A Big, Bad Daddy Smelt Shows Up, And Other SW WA Fishing Reports (11-18-13)



Cowlitz River – Coho and sea run cutthroats made up the bulk of the catch last week though winter run steelhead have been counted at the salmon hatchery trap.

Last week Tacoma Power recovered 1,448 coho salmon, 1,054 coho jacks, 45 fall Chinook adults, five jacks, 17 summer-run steelhead, 201 cutthroat trout and three winter-run steelhead adults during six days of operations at the Cowlitz Salmon Hatchery separator.

During the past week Tacoma Power employees released 489 coho adults, 148 coho jacks, 53 fall Chinook adults, five jacks and eight cutthroat trout into the Tilton River at Gust Backstrom Park in Morton, 380 coho adults and 240 coho jacks into the upper Cowlitz River at the Skate Creek Bridge in Packwood and 355 coho adults and 313 jacks into Lake Scanewa behind Cowlitz Falls Dam.

River flows at Mayfield Dam are approximately 11,800 cubic feet per second on Monday, November 18. Water visibility is approximately 12 feet.
Kalama River – Anglers are catching some coho and steelhead.  One hatchery and 13 wild winter steelhead had returned to Kalama Falls Hatchery through last week.

Lewis River – Uptick in the coho catch, especially for boat anglers.

Klickitat River – Bank and boat anglers are catching coho in the Klickitat.  Fishing has slowed outside the mouth of the river.


Black Friday trout opener is coming up the day after Thanksgiving.  The six lakes to be planted will be closed starting the Monday before Thanksgiving (November 25) through Thanksgiving (November 28) and reopen Friday November 29. The lakes to be planted with very large rainbows (about 1.25 pounds each) are:

Lewis County
Fort Borst Park Pond
South Lewis County Park Pond

Cowlitz County
Kress Lake

Clark County
Battleground Lake
Klineline Pond

Klickitat County
Rowland Lake


A single large mature male smelt was caught during juvenile sturgeon studies in the Kalama area last week.  All Columbia River smelt (eulachon) sport and commercial fisheries remain closed.

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