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Public Fishing Opportunities at Spring Creek National Fish Hatchery

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Overview:

 

Spring Creek Fish Hatchery, with property located in both Skamania and Klickitat Counties on the Washington side of the Columbia River Gorge, has provided recreational fishing opportunities to the public since its establishment in 1901. Anglers of all ages can fish for spring, summer, and fall Chinook salmon, steelhead trout, white sturgeon, smallmouth bass, and other coldwater fish species. The hatchery's main access road also provides access to Columbia River bank fishing at Spring Creek Hatchery State Park.
 
Spring Creek Fishing Site 1: Columbia River Access

Map 1 identifying Columbia River public fishing access at Spring Creek National Fish Hatchery
Columbia River fishing access at Spring Creek National Fish Hatchery is highlighted in yellow. Click on the image above for an enlarged version. Credit: USFWS

 

Spring Creek Fishing Site 2: White Salmon River, Big White Ponds Area Access

Map 2 dentifying White Salmon River public fishing access at Spring Creek National Fish Hatchery

White Salmon River fishing access at Spring Creek National Fish Hatchery's Big White Ponds area is highlighted in yellow. Click on the image above for an enlarged version. Credit: USFWS

 
Public Access Fishing Sites:

The hatchery’s Fishing Plan and its supporting Environmental Analysis codifies 8.8 acres of fishing across approximately 1 mile of shoreline along the Columbia River. Bank fishing is allowed starting at the hatchery's property/the end of Spring Creek Hatchery State Park, and ending 1/4 mile from the opening of the hatchery's adult collection ladder. This spot is located by the start of boulder rip-rap along the short that extends to the hatchery gate. There are several parking areas, and anglers can use established trails leading to the river.
 
Fishing is also allowed on 10 acres, or approximately 2,100 feet of shoreline, at the hatchery's Big White Ponds Area on the White Salmon River. There are structures that may inhibit fishing in some spots, and the public is cautioned to avoid them. No motorized vehicles are allowed on this property due to the lack of parking near the river and the slope and rugged nature of the road.
 
Anglers can walk from the gate, which is located along Highway 141 Alt for approximately 1/4 mile to reach the White Salmon River. Limited parking is available near the gate entrance.
 

Fish culture at Spring Creek NFH. Credit: USFWS

 
Hatchery Fishing Plan highlights, rules, and regulations:

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

  • • Fishing on hatchery lands is allowed year round during daylight hours only.

    • Camping, overnight use, and fires are prohibited.

  • • For the Columbia River access site, rest room facilities are available in the State Park, and at the hatchery's Visitor Center during business hours (7:30am-4pm Monday-Friday).

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

    • The hatchery requests that the public use only established trails to access the Columbia River.
Tule fall Chinook salmon. Credit: Lance Kudel

 

Applicable State and Tribal Regulations:

  • • Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife Fishing Regulations, including species and take limits, apply when fishing on Spring Creek National Fish Hatchery property.

     

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

  • • 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. Federal law enforcement may randomly check anglers for compliance with Federal and state laws.
 

Fishing the Columbia River at Spring Creek National Fish Hatchery.
Credit: Ryan Hagerty/USFWS

 

Other Resources:

 



Last Updated: July 24, 2020
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