Summer and Winter-Run Steelhead, Small and Large Mouth Bass, White Sturgeon, Channel Catfish, Bull Trout or also known as the Snake River Cutthroat (Endangered Species) Chinook Salmon, Sockeye Salmon (Endangered Species), Mountain Whitefish
Joins the Columbia River at Pasco, Washington. The Snake is a major river of the greater Pacific Northwest in the United States. At 1,078 miles long, it is the largest tributary of the Columbia River, the largest North American river that empties into the Pacific Ocean. Rising in western Wyoming, the river flows through the Snake River Plain then rugged Hells Canyon and the rolling Palouse Hills to reach its mouth at the Tri-Cities of the state of Washington. Its drainage basin encompasses parts of six U.S. states, and its average discharge is over 54,000 cubic feet per second. A total of fifteen dams have been constructed along the Snake River for a multitude of different purposes (4) in the lower portion of the river in Washington state, from its headwaters in the Rocky Mountains to its mouth on Lake Umatilla.
Drive east from the Tri-Cities on Highway 124 to reach the lower end of the river. Upstream sections of the river are accessible from the town of Kahlotus by driving south for seven miles on Highway 261.
Besides Sacajawea State Park at the mouth of the river, there are several access areas and boat ramps on the lower end of the Snake, including Charboneau Windust Park at the upper end of Lake Sacajawea also has a boat ramp, and there’s another about three miles upstream, just above the Lower Monument Dam. Food, gas, lodging, and tackle are all available in the Tri-Cities area.
Fishing the Lower Snake River:
The steelheading and the smallmouth bass fishing are the two main draws of this part of the Columbia River’s biggest tributary, and one takes off just about the time the other begins to slow. Smallmouth Bass come to life here when the river’s water warms in early spring, and by June the lower end of the Snake is just as about as good a place as any to cast crankbaits and bounce leadheads along the bottom for smallmouth in the half pound to five pound range. As the water cools and the bassing drops off around the end of September, the steelhead start showing up in waves, and by October steelhead fever has made just about everyone forget about bass for a while. Steelhead catches on the Snake below the Lower Monument Dam have ranged from 1,300 to 2,000 fish a year, with the months of October, November, and December providing the bulk of the action. As in other big-water steelhead fisheries throughout the Columbia/Snake system, trolling various diving plugs is a popular productive fishing method.
Chances for a long chinook salmon fishing season with liberal limits next spring are looking slim in the Snake and Clearwater river. The chinook salmon forecast for 2013 is 58,200 bound for the Snake River and its tributaries like the Salmon and Clearwater rivers. Season has yet to be determined.