OLYMPIA — The Icicle River will open this year for spring chinook fishing.

People will be able to fish on the Icicle River for spring chinook from June 15 to July 31, according to a state Department of Fish and Wildlife news release.

Fish and Wildlife originally closed the Icicle River for spring chinook this year for fear that not enough salmon would return for spawning purposes.

The Leavenworth National Fish Hatchery needs at least 1,000 spawning salmon to return.

Salmon returns have been better than projected, though, and there are 100 spring chinooks available for harvest, according to the news release.

People can catch one salmon per day that is a minimum size of 12 inches and they can only retain hatchery fish.

A hatchery fish can be identified by its missing adipose fin, according to the news release. People also cannot fish at night or with two poles.

Salmon returns were projected to be poor this year, according to the state Department of Fish and Wildlife. The agency announced in April that there would be no fishing for spring or summer chinook on the Columbia River this year.

The cause of the closure is due to a blob of warm water off the coast of Washington and Oregon in 2014 and 2015. The blob created poor ocean conditions for the salmon and affected salmon populations.

The blob has since broken apart and it is suspected that salmon populations will make a return, according to Fish and Wildlife.

Tony Buhr: 664-7123

buhr@wenatcheeworld.com or

on Twitter @TonyBuhr

Environment, county and health reporter

Tony Buhr has been a professional reporter for almost seven years. He worked for the Walla Walla Union-Bulletin as a cops and courts reporter. The Ellensburg Daily Records as a cops and courts, breaking news, agriculture and water reporter.