Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife
June 21, 2012

Mandatory release of externally tagged salmon
on upper Columbia River and key tributaries

Action: Release all chinook and sockeye with external floy tags and/or with one or more holes (round, approximately ? inch diameter) punched in the caudal (tail) fin.

Effective dates: July 1 through Oct. 15, 2012

Species affected: Chinook and sockeye salmon

Location: Mainstem Columbia River from Priest Rapids Dam upstream to Chief Joseph Dam, including the Similkameen and Okanogan rivers.

Reason for action: Several fish-marking programs are currently being conducted by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW), the Yakama Nation and the Colville Confederated Tribes to study survival and migration patterns within the Columbia River system. Radio and/or acoustic tags will be placed inside chinook and sockeye salmon and will be identified by a colored external floy (anchor) tag below the dorsal fin.

In addition, fish will also be identified with one or more round holes (approximately ? inch in diameter) punched in the caudal (tail) fin. The success of these studies will be dependent upon anglers? ability to recognize these tags and to release the fish as quickly as possible. These fish are part of a study and have been anesthetized; the FDA requires a 21 day ban on consumption of these fish.

Other information: Signs will be posted at all boat launches with additional angler information concerning these ongoing studies. Anglers, upon identifying a tagged fish, are required to release the fish without removing it from the water.

Anglers can still retain adipose-clipped salmon that are not identified with a floy tag and/or a caudal fin punch.

Information contact: Bob Jateff, District 6 Fish Biologist, Twisp, (509) 997-0316, Travis Maitland, District 7 Fish Biologist, Wenatchee (509) 665-3337, or Jeff Korth, Region 2 Fish Program Manager, Ephrata, (509) 754-4624.

Fishers must have a current Washington fishing license. Check the WDFW ?Fishing in Washington? rules pamphlet for details on fishing seasons and regulations. Fishing regulations are subject to change. Call the WDFW Fishing Hotline for the latest rule information at (360) 902-2500, press 2 for recreational rules or check the WDFW webpage at for details on fishing seasons and regulations. For the Shellfish Rule Change Hotline call (360) 796-3215 or toll free 1-866-880-5431.