Home > Yakima Basin Overview > 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 sculpinsdacesuckers, and whitefishare a key part of our aquatic ecosystems.
Bull Trout Salvelinus confluentus

Bull Trout – Salvelinus Confluentus
Photo Credit: Caleb Zurstadt

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 has also had negative effects on many native species.

Fishing Opportunities in the Yakima Basin
WDFW Weekender Report
Yakima River, Washington Fly Fishing Reports & Conditions

Adult Salmon and Steelhead Returns to the Yakima Basin