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Washington Fishing Report

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South Central Washington Sponsored by
Date 02-Dec-16
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Conditions : South Central Washington: Steelhead: Fishing for salmon and steelhead is once again open on the mainstem Columbia River from Buoy 10 at the mouth of the river upstream to the Hwy 395 Bridge near Pasco.

The steelhead fishery in the Columbia River above Hwy 395 targets Ringold Hatchery steelhead specially marked with both a clipped adipose and ventral fin. Due to low fish returns, attaining the two hatchery fish limit there may pose a bit of a challenge, but anglers are taking a few fish home. The upper boundary line on the lower Hanford Reach steelhead fishery is the old Hanford townsite wooden powerline towers.

Walleye: Anglers don't typically catch as many walleye in the late fall as during the summer months, but the fish they do catch are often much larger. Some record-holders have been taken in the dead of winter. Hot spots for winter walleyes in the Tri-Cities area include from the Snake River downstream to Badger Island, below McNary Dam from Lake Umatilla downstream to Boardman. Some of the best spots are within a half mile of the boat launches.

Sturgeon: Retention fishing for sturgeon is currently closed on Lake Umatilla (John Day Reservoir) and Lake Wallula (McNary Reservoir), but catch-and-release fishing is allowed. Lake Umatilla will reopen to allow the harvest of sturgeon Jan. 1, and Lake Wallula will open for retention Feb. 1. Check the Washington Sport Fishing Rules for more details.

White fish: The Yakima River Basin is closed to steelhead fishing, but the two-month winter whitefish season opens Dec. 1 on the Yakima, lower Cle Elum and lower Naches rivers (check the rules pamphlet for open areas). As in years past, the catch limit is 15 fish per day, but anglers are required to use one, single-point hook (barbed allowed with bait) measuring no more than 3/16 inch from point to shank (hook size 14). The winter whitefish season closes Jan. 31 in all open areas.

Black Friday trout: WDFW stocked 2,000 jumbo rainbows in the North Elton Pond, which opened to fishing Nov. 25 with a two-fish daily limit as part of the department's "Black Friday" fishing event

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