South Central Washington: Salmon: Summer chinook and sockeye salmon are moving up the Columbia River, providing anglers great fishing opportunities in July. In fact, sockeye are returning in numbers that far exceed the preseason forecast, prompting WDFW to open two additional areas of the river to sockeye retention.
Area 1: Columbia River from Hwy. 395 Bridge at Pasco to the Interstate 182 Bridge at Richland near Columbia Point. There is a daily limit of three salmon, of which one may be an adult hatchery chinook and two may be sockeye.
Area 2: Columbia River from the Interstate 182 Bridge to Priest Rapids Dam. There is a daily limit of six salmon, of which two may be adult hatchery chinook and three may be sockeye.
Anglers can keep any sockeye they catch, but only hatchery-raised chinook and steelhead with a clipped adipose fin may be retained. Barbless hooks are required when fishing for salmon, as are a current Washington fishing license and a Columbia River Salmon and Steelhead Endorsement. Anglers with a Two-Pole Endorsement may fish with two poles, but not for sturgeon.
In the Columbia River downstream of the Highway 395 Bridge the regulations are the same as last year. Anglers have a daily limit of six salmon, including up to two adult salmon, or two hatchery steelhead, or one of each. Anglers must release all salmon other than hatchery chinook or sockeye. Anglers are not permitted to use two poles in this area.
Sturgeon: Anglers may catch and keep legal-size white sturgeon in Lake Wallula (McNary Dam to Priest Rapids/Ice Harbor dams) through July 31. Fish must measure 43 to 54 inches (fork length) to be retained.
The quota has been reached in Lake Umatilla (John Day Dam to McNary Dam), but catch-and-release fishing is allowed for the remainder of the year. Sturgeon fishing is prohibited in sturgeon sanctuaries in the Snake River from Goose Island upstream to Ice Harbor Dam and in the Columbia River upstream of the Priest Rapids Hatchery outlet to Priest Rapids Dam, and from the I-82 Bridge at Umatilla upstream to McNary Dam.
Shad: Shad have reached McNary and Ice Harbor dams in numbers that make for great fishing. Averaging 4 pounds apiece, millions of shad have begun moving up the Columbia River. They're fairly easy to catch and there are no catch limits.
Walleye, bass, kokanee and trout: Walleye and bass are biting throughout the Columbia River, but the best fishing in the Tri-cities area is in Lake Umatilla between Crow Butte and McNary Dam.
Kokanee hotspots include Bumping Lake, Keechelus Reservoir and Kachess Reservoir.
Summer is also the time to hike to high lake hotspots for rainbow and cutthroat trout. Lakes such as Leech, Dog, Rimrock and Clear Lake on Highway 12, or Lost or Cooper Lakes near Snoqualmie Pass are good bets for July. Visit the high lakes section of Fish Washington to research additional options.