No Fishing Near Chandler Power Plant
BENTON CITY, Wash. -- People fishing near the Chandler Power Plant, east of Benton City on the Yakima River, may have to cast their lines somewhere else.
Department of Fish and Wildlife biologists say too many chinook salmon are being fished from the front of the power plant. The area 200 feet up and 200 feet downstream from the plant is closed for fishing from September 1st to October 22nd.
Biologists say that last year 60% of chinook salmon caught on the Yakima River were caught near the Chandler Dam. They say they want that number to be down at 5 or 10%. They say that fishing by the power house is not fair to the salmon living there.
Dept. of Wildlife biologist Paul Hoffarth says, "You've got an unnatural situation where a large portion of flow is exiting at Chandler Power House. This attracts salmon as they migrate up the river, so we have an unusually large component stacking up at the base of the Chandler Power house ."
The salmon like to gather near the dam because there is so much water there and with their great numbers, it's is extremely easy to catch a fish. Also, the area is known for snagging, where a fish is illegally caught by a hook catching its tail or body.
Going into this fall, the anticipated return for chinook is less than 2,500, a number biologists say must come up.