Steelhead Fishing

Steelhead and sturgeon, salmon and sunfish, the Hanford Reach has fishing opportunties for everyone.

The Hanford Reach offers 51 miles of free-flowing Columbia River, the last in the United States. It maintains a world-class fishery, enjoyed by anglers year round. Trophy bass can be found in the side channels and along rocky shorelines. Fall chinook salmon, termed "Upriver Brights," return to the Hanford Reach every year by the thousands to spawn in the gravel beds. Steelhead are also found in the river's cold, clear water and can provide anglers with the fight of a lifetime; however, all wild steelhead must be released unharmed. In the deep holes of the Columbia, the ancient white sturgeon gives anglers an opportunity to harvest this unique species.

Most fishing is generally done from a motor boat, with shallow draft jet boats being the most popular. A float trip by kayak, raft, or canoe will provide a chance to fish the upper Hanford Reach. Though less productive, bank fishing is also possible with bass being the best quarry.

Fishing seasons and limits are set by Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife. Be sure to review the regulations which are published annually. Make your trip to Hanford Reach memorable with a trophy fish for your wall or dinner table.


A bit about the photograph on this page. The lucky angler is Rich Steele, one of the key people leading to protection of the Hanford Reach National Monument. Rich worked tirelessly for years, donating both time and many, many, many promotional trips in the Hanford Reach in his jetboat. Thank you, Rich.