Spring Chinook Season Opens on Icicle River
The spring fishing season is starting to heat up on the waters of North Central Washington.
The spring season for Chinook salmon on the Icicle River opened on May 16 and will run until June 30.
Expert angler Dave Graybill, The Fishing Magician, says the hot temperatures and heavy snowpack in the mountains made for a challenging outset to the new season.
"Every year, we wait in anticipation of the spring salmon which are the most-prized Chinook to come up the Columbia River. This year, that coincided with extremely high runoff conditions and the first few days of the season were very difficult. But now, anglers are having success catching Chinookers on the Icicle."
Between 7,500 and 11,000 spring Chinook are expected to return to the Icicle River this year, a number Graybill calls "exceptional".
In addition to the plentiful run of Chinook salmon in the waters of the Upper Valley this spring, Graybill says Lake Chelan has also been a hotspot for Kokanee salmon this season.
"The Kokanee are exceptionally-large this year. It's not unusual for these fish to average ten or eleven inches, but this year there's a lot of fifteen- and even sixteen-inch Kokanee being caught on Lake Chelan."
Graybill says the Kokanee are currently massing in the Lower Basin of Lake Chelan and there are multiple access points along the lake allowing anglers of all ages to cast their line for a chance at catching them.
Kokanee season on Lake Chelan is open year round but Graybill says this is high-season for the fish.
For a complete set of rules and regulations related to fishing statewide, click here.