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Public Fishing Opportunities at Little White Salmon National Fish Hatchery



Little White Salmon National Fish Hatchery, located in Skamania County on the Washington side of the Columbia River Gorge, has provided recreational fishing opportunities to the public since its establishment in 1896. Anglers of all ages can fish for spring and fall Chinook salmon, steelhead trout, rainbow trout, white sturgeon, largemouth bass, yellow perch, and other coldwater fish species.

Map identifying public fishing access at Little White Salmon National Fish Hatchery
On-hatchery fishing access at Little White Salmon National Fish Hatchery is highlighted in red. Click on the image above for an enlarged version. Credit: USFWS

The hatchery’s Fishing Plan and its supporting Environmental Analysis codifies 9.3 acres (an approximately 55 feet wide strip of land that extends over 7,389 of shoreline) of bank fishing at Drano Lake, a 223-acre natural depression at the mouth of the Little White Salmon River flooded by the pool behind Bonneville Dam. The Service-owned hatchery access road provides several parking areas, an Americans with Disabilities Act-compliant accessible ramp and fishing platform, and restrooms. The buoy line across the Little White Salmon River prohibits restricts fishing due to (hatchery) operational necessity, but does not impede recreational access (e.g. boating, paddle boarding, kayaking, etc.)

Drano Lake. Credit: USFWS

Hatchery Fishing Plan highlights, rules, and regulations:

  • • Hatchery and fishing area boundaries will be clearly posted.
  • • Anglers are allowed to fish along the northwest bank of Drano Lake on Hatchery property from State Highway 14 to the buoy line at the mouth of the Little White Salmon River, and along the northeast and north shore from the buoy line to the edge of the hatchery’s property.

  • • Fishing on hatchery lands is allowed seven days per week during open fishing seasons.


  • • Camping, overnight use, and fires are prohibited.

  • • The hatchery’s access road is closed every night from 11pm to 4am.

  • • Handicap accessible fishing is available in Drano Lake from a dedicated, handicap-accessible ramp and fishing platform on hatchery property.

  • • Parking turnouts exist along the hatchery access road adjacent to Drano Lake.

  • • Rest room facilities at the main handicap-accessible parking area.

  • • Boats may be tied off overnight to the shoreline until December 1st.

  • • Fishing line recycling containers for discarding used monofilament line will be available where bank fishing is allowed.

  • • Boat fishing and boat access to shoreline fishing is allowed on Drano Lake, and is regulated and managed by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW).

  • • The hatchery requests that the public use only established trails.
Chinook salmon. Credit: USFWS


Applicable State and Tribal Regulations:

  • • Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife Fishing Regulations, including species and take limits, apply when fishing on Little White Salmon National Fish Hatchery.


  • • Anglers must obtain a Washington State fishing license and follow Washington State laws, limits, and regulations.

  • • Hatchery and fishing area boundaries will be clearly posted.

  • • Anglers need to ensure they observe scheduled closures during Columbia River tribal gill net fisheries and single-day closures following gill net fishing (usually Wednesdays).

  • • Anglers also need to be aware of emergency closures enacted by WDFW to ensure hatchery broodstock needs are met. Closures and catch limit regulations will be posted on WDFW websites, in regulation books and onsite in informational kiosks.

  • • Enforcement of fishing regulations on hatchery property will primarily be conducted by state wildlife law enforcement officers. Tribal police will also inforce fishing regulations when native anglers are involved. Federal law enforcement may randomly check anglers for compliance with Federal and state laws.

An angler lands a fall Chinook salmon at the Little White Salmon NFH fishing platform.
Credit: USFWS


Other Resources:


Last Updated: October 15, 2019
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