Fish Species

The varied habitats of the Yakima Basin support some of the most diverse fish populations in the inland Columbia Basin. While much of our work focuses on steelhead and bull trout, which are both listed as threatened in our region, improving their habitats also benefits many other species.

  • Spring and fall chinook have recovered to the point that anglers once again have a chance to catch these prize fish here in the Yakima Basin. The Yakima is one of the region's best examples of how carefully managed hatcheries can support wild runs of fish.
  • Native cutthroat and rainbow trout make the Yakima River one of the most popular fly fishing destinations in Washington State.
  • Returning species like coho, sockeye and summer chinook had disappeared from the basin for 100 years, but are now making a promising comeback.
  • Numerous native resident fish including sculpins, dace, suckers, and whitefish are a key part of our aquatic ecosystems.

Introduced species like smallmouth bass, brook trout, carp and catfish are now common in parts of the basin. This has created new fishing opportunities, but also has also had negative effects on many native species.

Recent Yakima River Salmon and Steelhead Counts  

More on fishing opportunities:

WDFW Weekender Report

An overview of fly fishing on the Yakima (

About the Yakima Basin Fish & Wildlife Recovery Board: 

What We Do

Recovery Planning Overview

SRFB Grant Program Overview