All posts by Andy Walgamott

Good News, Bad News In Battle Against European Crab Invasion

There’s good news and bad from the battle against invasive European green crabs at the eastern end of Washington’s Strait of Juan de Fuca.

The good is that, the infestation appears to be pretty localized on Dungeness Spit, with the crustaceans only being found in an interior channel of Graveyard Spit.

LORENZ SOLLMAN OF THE U.S. FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE INSPECTS A TRAP SET OUT TO COLLECT INVASIVE EUROPEAN GREEN CRABS AT DUNGENESS NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE EARLIER THIS YEAR. (ALLEN PLEUS, WDFW)

The bad is that the 76 trapped there to date far outnumber how many were found at two North Sound sites last year, “heightening the need for aggressive trapping and removal efforts to reduce the chance that the population could become a permanent fixture in the area.”

And it’s the breeding season and the crabs are less likely to crawl into traps.

So reports Emily Grason of the Washington Sea Grant Crab Team in an update posted this morning.

The worry here is what the green crabs could do to eelgrass pastures — so important for our salmonids and other fish — and clam beds, if they establish a sustaining population. Their arrival in Maine centuries ago is pinned on “dramatically” lower clam harvests and damage to kelp beds from their digging, and officials are concerned about what sort of impact they’ll have on shellfish and habitat here.

So, federal, state and tribal crews have been putting a lot of time and energy into trying to eradicate the unwanted crabs since their mid-April discovery at Dungeness National Wildlife Refuge, running more than 2,000 trap sets, and they’ve been learning more about the colony.

Earlier this spring, the theory was that larva had floated across the Straits from Sooke Bay on Vancouver Island, site of the first green crabs in the region, during the Blob-hot summer of 2015.

But now it’s believed they may have arrived last year because of their relatively small size, an inch to 2.5 inches across the backs.

EUROPEAN GREEN CRAB COLLECTED AT DUNGENESS NWR EARLIER THIS YEAR. (ALLEN PLEUS, WDFW)

“Based on how fast we know crabs grow, we can tell that this is a relatively new population, and likely arrived at Dungeness Spit during 2016,” Grason reports. “The wide range of sizes could reflect the fact that a female green crab can release multiple broods per year in Pacific Northwest, where our temperate climate allows a longer growing season for this species than is seen in other parts of the world.”

DNA testing will also help determine whether those at the spit are in fact related to the Sooke stock, coastal populations, or come from somewhere else.

With this being the start of the breeding season, crews are concerned that Dungeness could provide a jumping-off point for more populations to take hold in Puget Sound. Unfortunately, there are dozens upon dozens of locations from Orcas Island to Olympia that are highly or moderately suitable for green crabs.

A WASHINGTON SEA GRANT MAP SHOWS HIGHLY AND MODERATELY SUITABLE HABITATS FOR EUROPEAN GREEN CRABS. THEY’VE ONLY BEEN FOUND AT THREE LOCATIONS — WESTCOTT BAY ON SAN JUAN ISLAND, PADILLA BAY, AND DUNGENESS SPIT, SO FAR. (WSG)

But working fast and hard to get on top of this emerging problem could help slow or even stop the invasion in its tracks.

“Recent efforts in California have shown that very intensive, consistent trapping can have a dramatic impact on populations in isolated locations,” Grason notes. “At Graveyard Spit, the population seems, so far, to be small and isolated, easier to tackle than if green crab showed up everywhere all at once.

Ongoing trapping and monitoring is planned through the summer here, and crews are fanning out to test nearby habitats for green crabs.

Likening the situation to prevention of forest fires, Grason writes, “It’s difficult to forecast exactly where, when, or how severe they will be when they do pop up, and yet it’s imperative to respond quickly and aggressively as soon as they are detected, and while they are still small. Early detection is the foundation of this process, and here we are fortunate to have so many volunteers, partners, and beachgoers as our ‘lookouts’ for any smoldering green crab invasions.”

In a recent TVW video, WDFW’s Allen Pleus calls early detection the “second cheapest thing we can do.”

A bill funding the fight against aquatic invasive species has passed the Senate unanimously twice, but needs the House to agree and Governor Inslee to sign it.

As we’ve written here before, this is no time for lawmakers to get crabby about funding.

To learn how to spot green crabs and differentiate them from juvenile Dungies and red rocks, as well as find out more about the efforts of the Crab Team, go here.

Roaming From Chrome: More Columbia Anglers Turn To Walleye

It’s not just AndyCoho roaming from chrome these days!

The most famous Northwest salmon and steelhead angler’s been dabbling with walleye of late, and an outdoor writer along the world’s Chinookiest crick has developed an interest in the tasty white-meated fish as well.

WHEN THE SALMON AND STEELHEAD DON’T WANT TO PLAY — OR AT LEAST RETURN IN GOOD NUMBERS — ANGLERS TURN TO WALLEYE, AND THIS YEAR HAS PROVED TO BE A GOOD ONE IN THE COLUMBIA’S EAST GORGE RESERVOIRS, WHERE THIS PAIR WAS CAUGHT RECENTLY. (YAKIMA BAIT)

Al Thomas of The Columbian details why he’s strayed in a great article out today.

“This spring chinook season in Southwest Washington was so flaky — with the high streamflows by mid-March and low Bonneville Dam counts — that I only made one trip for the premier fish of the Columbia River.”

“I opted instead to chase walleyes in the Columbia Gorge and that turned out to be a fantastic choice.”

THEY’RE NOT THE TROPHY WALLEYE THAT FISHERMEN FOCUS ON FROM FEBRUARY THROUGH APRIL IN HOPES OF SETTING A NEW STATE OR WORLD RECORD, BUT PLENTIFUL SMALLER AND TASTIER WALLEYE ARE ATTRACTING, SHALL WE SAY, EYES. (BUZZ RAMSEY)

There seems to be plenty to catch this year, possibly due to 2015’s warm waters as well as its low flows providing.

Creel samplers have been tallying high numbers on The Dalles and John Day Pools, and the upper end of the former reservoir is where Buzz Ramsey found himself a couple weeks ago during a Facebook Live broadcast with guide Cody Herman, fellow Yakima Bait staffer Jarod Higginbotham and ODFW.

GUIDE CODY HERMAN OF DAY ONE OUTDOORS SHOWS OFF ONE OF 28 WALLEYE HE AND THE BIG FELLAS FROM YAKIMA BAIT CAUGHT A COUPLE WEEKS AGO. (BUZZ RAMSEY)

“Yeah, walleye are mostly smaller and don’t fight like silver fish but who cares; they offer a great tasting alternative and pull your string a lot more often than most days spent chasing salmon and/or steelhead,” Ramsey told us afterwards.

They caught 28 in a couple hours of “trolling a Hammer Time spinner in combination with a Spin-N-Glo bottom walker,” he reported.

On the end was a slightly different big-river bait than Ramsey usually runs on the Columbia.

“Yeah, the worms are more of a hassle than lures or even herring, but you can take the fight out of the squirmy little fellows with a hard throw to the floor, which makes hanging them straight on your worm harness a lot easier,” he tipped.

A COPPER-BLADED HAMMER TIME SPINNER BAITED WITH A NIGHTCRAWLER WAS THE SET-UP OF THE DAY. (BUZZ RAMSEY)

Ramsey tells Thomas that when salmon runs are smaller, state Departments of Fish and Wildlife do notice more anglers going out for walleye in the eastern Columbia Gorge reservoirs, suggesting we’re not as locked into chrome only as you might think.

Thomas has been doing so well, he writes that he and his partner have set a boat limit of 20 between them. (There’s otherwise no limit, as both states eliminated those a couple years ago.)

And you might even see Buzz and his trademark hat out there again, trolling for these Midwest imports.

“I cooked a few fillets shortly thereafter, along with two eggs, and again experienced the taste of a great-tasting fish that I’ve gone too long without,” he told us.

OUR MAY 2017 COVER STORY BY ANDYCOHO — ANDY SCHNEIDER — NAILED WHY AND HOW TO ROAM FROM CHROME THIS YEAR.

Salmon Open Off Most Of WA Coast This Saturday, Westport July 1

THE FOLLOWING IS A PRESS RELEASE FROM THE WASHINGTON DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND WILDLIFE

Sport anglers will have the opportunity to reel in salmon off the Washington coast starting Saturday, June 24.

That’s when marine areas 1 (Ilwaco), 3 (La Push) and 4 (Neah Bay) open daily for salmon fishing. Marine Area 2 (Westport) will open a week later on July 1.

ILWACO IS AMONG THE WASHINGTON PORTS OPENING FOR SALMON THIS SATURDAY, AND WILL DRAW LOCAL ANGLERS AND PUGETROPOLITES LIKE JOHN KEIZER ALIKE. (SALTPATROL.COM)

Fish managers expect slightly higher numbers of chinook and coho salmon will make their way through the ocean this year as compared to 2016, said Wendy Beeghley, an ocean salmon manager with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW).

ADS ON THE SIDES OF SOUND TRANSIT AND METRO BUSES ROLLING THROUGH SEATTLE AND ITS SUBURBS BECKON RESIDENTS TO WESTPORT. (ANDY WALGAMOTT)

Due to the improved forecasts, the recreational chinook catch quota this year is 45,000, up from 35,000 in 2016. This year’s coho quota of 42,000 fish is an increase of 23,100 coho from 2016, when anglers were allowed to keep coho only in Marine Area 1. Coho retention is allowed in all four marine areas this summer.

Anglers fishing in marine areas 1 and 2 will have a daily limit of two salmon, only one of which can be a chinook. In areas 3 and 4, anglers will have a two-salmon daily limit. In all areas, anglers must release wild coho.

STUART ALLEN AND OTHER NEAH BAY ANGLERS WILL BE TARGETING FAT CHINOOK THIS SEASON. THE TRI-CITIES ANGLER CAUGHT THIS ONE SEVERAL SEASONS AGO. (FISHING PHOTO CONTEST)

All four marine areas are scheduled to close to salmon fishing at the end of the day Sept. 4 but could close earlier if the quota is met.

Throughout the summer, anglers can check WDFW’s webpage at http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/creel/ocean/ for updates

More information about the fisheries can be found in the 2017-18 Washington Sport Fishing Rules pamphlet, available at license vendors and sporting goods stores and online at http://wdfw.wa.gov/publications/01914/2017-18_marine.pdf.

Fee Hike Dead, WDFW Hopes For General Fund Infusion Instead

It’s now very unlikely Washington hunters and anglers will have to pay more for their licenses any time soon, as it appears WDFW’s fee increase bill is dead for the year.

That word this morning from the agency’s legislative liaison, Raquel Crosier.

“I think we’ll get between $5 million and $10 million in General Fund to deal with budget shortfalls. It’s not as much as we’d hoped for, but it plugs holes,” she said.

Crosier said that $10 million would still require deep cuts, “but not public-facing” ones, meaning they could be dealt with through efficiencies away from the eye of sportsmen and state residents.

As it stands, lawmakers are wrapping up their second special session today, with the third starting tomorrow. Crosier is optimistic a 2017-19 budget with funding for WDFW will be worked out before the June 30 deadline. Though McCleary may not be resolved, that would at least prevent closing fisheries and shuttering hatcheries till a deal is struck.

WDFW’s fee increase proposal — seen by some sportsmen as a done deal but actually requiring the legislature to approve and governor to sign into law — was the subject of a long campaign stretching all the way back to August 2015, when the agency took its Washington’s Wild Future initiative on the road around the state.

June 2016 saw the revealing of proposals, which would have raised around $26 million to help maintain and increase fishing opportunities and enhance hunting ops.

It included $17 catch cards for salmon, steelhead, halibut and sturgeon, later whittled down to $10 apiece in the face of opposition.

This February, the proposal received a public hearing in front of the House Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee, which helped identify stakeholder concerns and that more work was needed outside Olympia with fishing and hunting groups on HB 1647.

Crosier said that as recently as a month ago, recreational organizations were supportive of 20 percent increases on the fishing side and 7 percent on the hunting side.

But while the Democratic-controlled House preferred the fee-based approach, Republicans who control the upper chamber did not, and it really showed in the language and approaches senators took with WDFW throughout this year’s legislative sessions.

When agency honchos talked about support from constituents, senators pointed to stacks of emails and letters expressing opposition.

If it had been approved, it would have been the first major hike since mid-2011, but to a degree, WDFW’s big ask also faced bad timing.

True, it may really need more funding, but on the backside of some stellar years of fishing, these past two have seen generally poor salmon runs and unprecedented fishery restrictions due to The Blob, the loss of access to Skokomish River kings and coho and the subsequent backing away of support for fee increases by three important angling organizations, as well as self-inflicted wounds such as the unexplained loss of a couple hundred thousand steelhead smolts from the state’s last best summer-run river, all of which left sportsmen wondering why they should pay more for less.

Despite the apparent death of license fee hikes this go-around, WDFW is hopeful two other revenue bills will pass.

This morning, the Senate Natural Resources and Parks Committee gave a do-pass recommendation to extending the Columbia River endorsement another two years, key for holding salmon and steelhead seasons in the basin.

Crosier said it’s likely the legislature will pass Sen. Kirk Pearson’s SB 5947, with fees going towards monitoring fisheries that occur on or amongst ESA-listed stocks.

And she is also hopeful that legislation addressing the rising threat to Washington waters from aquatic invasive species passes. Sen. Jim Honeyford’s bill has twice been approved unanimously by senators, but keeps getting shuttled back to the House as special sessions end and begin again.

Dipping into the General Fund for however much would begin to fill the $40 million cut out of WDFW’s budget from that source in 2009.

Looking further down the road past the hoped-for infusion, Crosier also mentioned creation of a conservation task force to look into how to better fund nongame management.

 

Washington Senate Committee Moves Key Bill Funding Columbia Fisheries Monitoring

It’s been a while since either of the two state legislative committees that oversee WDFW issues in Olympia have met, but this morning, the Senate’s gave a bill extending the Columbia endorsement for two more years a do-pass recommendation.

It otherwise expires at the end of the month, imperiling a number of salmon and steelhead fisheries throughout the watershed of the big river.

BOATS ON THE COLUMBIA RIVER BELOW BONNEVILLE DAM DURING THIS SPRING’S CHINOOK SEASON. (ANDY WALGAMOTT)

The endorsement covers the cost of monitoring catches, required because so many harvestable fish either swim alongside ESA-listed ones or are federally protected themselves.

WDFW’s Kelly Cunningham called the $8.75 fee anglers who fish the Columbia and its numerous tribs for kings, coho, winter- and summer-runs and other stocks have been paying since 2010 “vital” to fisheries, and said none could otherwise occur above McNary Dam without it.

During this morning’s public hearing before the Natural Resources and Parks Committee, Chairman Sen. Kirk Pearson’s SB 5947 received support from Carl Burke of Fish Northwest, who called the endorsement a “win-win piece of legislation” and a model for others in the future.

Scott Sigmon of Coastal Conservation Association of Washington termed it a “successful story that’s benefited anglers up and down the river,” and said that 40 percent of endorsements are sold to Eastside-based anglers.

Cunningham, who is the WDFW Fish Program deputy assistant director, said it’s led to a million angler days a year and $87 million in annual economic activity for local economies.

Bill Clark of Trout Unlimited and Dave Knutzen of Olympia also were in support.

Asked by Sen. Brad Hawkins (R-East Wenatchee) if he foresaw a day where the endorsement would be covered inside WDFW’s regular budget, Cunningham pointed to the “growing financial burden” of ESA listings and two recent examples.

He said that NOAA’s approval to again release early winter-timed steelhead in select Puget Sound rivers and the Mitchell Act biological opinion also included terms and conditions that require new but unfunded monitoring and other work such as a doubling of the number of weirs in Lower Columbia rivers.

Sen. John McCoy (D-Tulalip) stated that the funding was needed for the “conservation of the fishery.”

After a brief discussion, Pearson (R-Monroe) called for a vote and SB 5947 was sent to Senate Ways and Means.

Today’s the last day of the second special session with a third expected to begin tomorrow. There’s optimism a budget will pass before June 30, preventing a shutdown of state fisheries and hatcheries.

Columbia-Snake Pikeminnow Program Catch Nears 70,000

Pikeminnow catches ticked up over the previous week on the Columbia and Snake Rivers, with 10,950 qualifying fish brought in for the sport reward program June 12-18.

Once again The Dalles station recorded the highest number overall, with 3,915 checked, a dropoff of about 900 fish over June 5-11, but this year’s catch to date of 31,563 there has already surpassed nine of the last 10 complete seasons.

A SCREEN SHOT OF A MAP PUT TOGETHER BY THE NORTHERN PIKEMINNOW SPORT-REWARD PROGRAM SHOWS BOAT LAUNCHES AND HOT SPOTS AROUND CATHLAMET, WHERE THE LOWEST CATCH STATION ON THE COLUMBIA IS. DOZENS MORE STRETCH UPSTREAM TO PRIEST RAPIDS DAM, AND UP THE SNAKE TO CLARKSTON. (PIKEMINNOW.ORG)

Action heated up on the Snake, where Boyer Park took in 1,102 pikeminnow, while on the Lower Columbia, 899 were recorded at Kalama.

Speaking of Kalama, it saw the highest catch per registered angler of the week, with 45 fishermen accounting for those 899 pikeminnow, an average of 20.0 fish each.

Other stations seeing relatively high catch per angler include Washougal (13.7), The Dalles (12.1) and Cascade Locks (11.1).

Thirty-one specially tagged pikeminnow were caught last week, with seven of those turned in at Bingen, six each at The Dalles and Columbia Point, five at Washougal, and one each at Cathlamet, Rainier, Kalama, Gleason, Giles French, Umatilla and Boyer Park.

Since the 2017 season started May 1, 69,195 qualifying pikeminnow have been removed from the Columbia and Snake, 69,340 overall.

The sport reward program pays anglers from $5 to $8 per pikeminnow, with tagged ones worth $500. The idea is to reduce the numbers of the native species that prey on young salmon and steelhead in the Columbia hydropower system.

For more details, including fishing maps, check out pikeminnow.org, and if you’re interested in putting your angling skills to work, check out the June 22 seminar coming to Longview and put on by program leader Eric Winther.

WDFW Holding 2 Upcoming ‘Listening Sessions’ On Wenas Wildlife Area Target Shooting

THE FOLLOWING IS A PRESS RELEASE FROM THE WASHINGTON DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND WILDLIFE

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) will hold listening sessions June 27 and 28 for the public to provide input on target shooting at the Wenas Wildlife Area.

Public feedback from the listening sessions will be shared with the Wenas Wildlife Area Target Shooting Advisory Committee to help inform their deliberations and eventual recommendations on how to provide recreational target shooting opportunities at the wildlife area.

Public listening sessions are scheduled for:

Tuesday, June 27, 6 to 9 p.m., in the Manastash Room at the Ellensburg Fairgrounds.
Wednesday, June 28, 6 to 9 p.m., at the Selah Civic Center, 216 S 1st St.

Additional public listening sessions will be scheduled in the fall.

More information about the Wenas Wildlife Area can be found on the WDFW website at http://wdfw.wa.gov/lands/wildlife_areas/wenas/

For more information on the Wenas Wildlife Area Target Shooting Advisory Committee, see http://wdfw.wa.gov/about/advisory/wtsc/

Holy Shad! Half A Million Counted At Bonneville Monday

Shad stormed past Bonneville yesterday, with just under a half million being counted in the first fish ladder on the Columbia River.

The 497,738 recorded at the dam June 19, 2017, is the third highest daily count ever, and most in 14 years.

AN ANGLER HOLDS A SHAD CAUGHT EARLIER THIS RUN. (CHASE GUNNELL)

The huge day brings the tally for the year to 1,164,998, meaning 42 percent of all shad that have passed so far in 2017 did so yesterday.

“And the fishing’s been good too, but that’s an impressive count,” says Joe Hymer, who was going through historical figures to gauge the strength of the day, confirming Monday as the third most on record.

Our super-quick rundown found a 520,664-shad day on June 6, 2003 and 504,224-shad day on June 5, 2003, but nothing else within nearly 150,000 fish.

Monday’s true count is likely higher because some portion of the school goes through the locks.

Hymer says that The Dalles Dam is a better indicator of fish numbers.

The 2003 Bonneville shad count ended up at 4,558,550, second only to 2004’s 5,355,677.

“Another factoid — more shad were counted yesterday in a single day than the total annual counts in all but 3 years from 1946-1977,” he added.

The big jump may have been related to a decrease in flows out of Bonneville over the weekend. Salmon and steelhead passage can be similarly affected by changing conditions at the dam, whether volume or water temps that hold back fish, then change, leading to a massive school passing.

Anglers have been enjoying pretty good angling for shad below the dam on down the Columbia. Yesterday, Hymer reported 292 fishermen with 2,408 shad over the weekend, and he says Monday found 126 on the Washington bank below Bonneville with 1,344.

“Some groups of anglers had close to a hundred fish when sampled.  Fish are reported to be good sized,” he reported.

That state record was caught 12 years ago tomorrow, a 3.85-pounder.

“Never fished them before, but with the crowds below Bonneville crushing it I had to give it a try,” reported Puget Sound angler Chase Gunnell, who was in the area last week for a conference. “Really neat fishery. In two hours I hooked about half a dozen on small chartreuse jig heads, all right on the bottom just inside the current seam. The more experienced anglers around me were getting them by the bucket load.”

Hymer points to this page for more information on shad fishing, but notes the Steamboat Landing Dock in Washougal, a popular spot, is closed for repairs.

Lower Columbia, SW WA Fishing Report (6-19-17)

THE FOLLOWING MATERIAL ORIGINATED FROM TANNA TAKATA WATTS, ODFW, PAUL HOFFARTH, WDFW, AND JOE HYMER, PSMFC, AND WAS TRANSMITTED BY HYMER

Salmon, Steelhead and Shad

On the lower Columbia this past weekend salmonid angling ranged from fair to excellent, despite the high water flows.  On Saturday’s (6/17) flight, 706 salmonid boats and 345 Oregon bank anglers were counted from the Astoria-Megler Bridge to Bonneville Dam.  Boat anglers fishing in the gorge averaged 1.11 summer Chinook and 0.06 steelhead caught per boat, while anglers fishing in Troutdale averaged 0.11 summer Chinook caught per boat.  In the Portland to Westport area, boat anglers averaged 0.28 summer Chinook, 0.03 sockeye and 0.03 steelhead caught per boat, while anglers fishing in the estuary averaged 0.80 summer Chinook and 0.10 steelhead caught per boat.  Bank anglers fishing in the gorge this past week averaged 0.40 summer Chinook, while anglers fishing the Portland to Westport area averaged 0.14 summer Chinook, 0.02 sockeye and 0.03 steelhead caught per bank angler.

A 3.5 MAG LIP IN DEATH PUNCH DELIVERED DINNER FOR HUNTER AND AVERY THOMAS WHILE FISHING THE KLICKITAT RIVER EARLIER THIS MONTH. (VIA JAROD HIGGINBOTHAM, YAKIMA BAIT)

Gorge Bank: Weekly checking showed six adult Chinook and one jack Chinook kept for 15 salmonid anglers; and 338 shad kept for 43 shad anglers.

Gorge Boats:  Weekend checking showed nine adult Chinook and one steelhead kept, plus 11 adult Chinook released for 18 boats (56 anglers); and 653 shad kept for 13 boats (38 anglers).

Troutdale Boats: Weekend checking showed three adult Chinook kept, plus two adult Chinook released for 45 boats (98 anglers); and seven shad kept for four boats (10 anglers).

Portland to Westport Bank:  Weekly checking showed 11 adult Chinook, three sockeye and three steelhead kept, plus seven adult Chinook, two jack Chinook and one steelhead released for 133 bank anglers.

Portland to Westport Boats:  Weekend checking showed eight adult Chinook and two jack Chinook kept, plus two adult Chinook, one sockeye and one steelhead released for 36 salmonid boats (85 anglers).

Estuary Bank (Astoria-Megler Bridge to Wauna Power lines):  No report.

Estuary Boats (Astoria-Megler Bridge to Wauna Power lines):  Weekend checking showed seven adult Chinook and one steelhead kept, plus one adult Chinook released for 10 boats (23 anglers).

Bonneville Pool:  No report.

The Dalles Pool:  No report.

John Day Pool:  No report.

STURGEON

Gorge boats: Catch and release only. No report.

Portland to Wauna Power lines:  Catch and release only.  Weekend checking showed seven legal sturgeon released for one boat (four anglers).

Estuary Boats (Buoy 10 to Wauna Power lines):  Catch and release only.  Weekend checking showed 27 legal, 21 sublegal and 10 oversize sturgeon released for seven boats (29 anglers).

Bonneville Pool: Catch and release only.  No report.

The Dalles Pool: Catch and release only. No report.

John Day Pool: Catch and release only. No report.

WALLEYE

Troutdale boats:  Weekend checking showed no catch for one boat (one angler).

Bonneville Pool: No report.

The Dalles Pool: No report.

John Day Pool: No report.

…………………………………………………………………………….

Salmon/Steelhead

Cowlitz River –

I-5 Bridge downstream – 63 bank rods kept 3 adult and 4 steelhead.  3 boat rods had no catch.

Above the I-5 Bridge – 217 bank rods kept 31 adult and 3 jack spring Chinook and 2 steelhead and released 2 adult spring Chinook and 1 steelhead.  56 boat rods kept 1 adult spring Chinook and 23 steelhead and released 5 cutthroats.

Last week, Tacoma Power employees recovered 275 spring Chinook adults, 28 spring Chinook jacks and 38 summer-run steelhead in five days of operation at the Cowlitz Salmon Hatchery separator.

During the past week, Tacoma Power employees released 93 spring Chinook adults and four spring Chinook jacks into the Cispus River near Yellow Jacket Creek.  In addition, Tacoma Power employees released 79 spring Chinook adults and 15 spring Chinook jacks into Lake Scanewa behind Cowlitz Falls Dam.

River flows at Mayfield Dam are approximately 11,000 cubic feet per second on Monday, June 19. Water visibility is seven feet and water temperature is 48.9 degrees F.

Kalama River – 27 bank anglers kept 3 adult spring Chinook and released 1 adult and 1 jack spring Chinook.  10 boat anglers kept 4 adult spring Chinook and 2 steelhead.

Lewis River – 3 boat rods had no catch.

North Fork Lewis River – 23 bank rods kept 1 jack spring Chinook.  3 boat rods had no catch.

Wind River and Drano Lake – At Wind River, June 30 is the last day to fish for spring Chinook above Shipherd Falls. It is also the last day for the two-poles, boat limits, and barbed hooks for both Wind River and Drano Lake. Drano Lake will be open 7 days per week beginning July 1 and the bank only area near the mouth will be open for boats.

Drano Lake – 8 boat rods kept 1 adult spring Chinook.

Klickitat River – 7 bank anglers with 4 adult and 2 jack spring Chinook.

Lower Columbia mainstem below Bonneville Dam –  During the first 3 days of the summer Chinook season we sampled nearly 1,000 salmonid anglers (179 boats) with 107 adult and 12 jack summer Chinook, 15 steelhead, and 7 sockeye.

75 (70%) of the adult summer Chinook and 13 (87%) of the steelhead were kept.  Though legal to keep clipped and unclipped fish, 6 (86%) of the sockeye were kept.

Sturgeon

Lower Columbia mainstem from the Marker 82 line downstream – We sampled 27 sturgeon anglers (9 boats) with 16 legals released.  Only open for catch-and-release angling.

Mainstem Columbia River from Bonneville Dam upstream to The Dalles Dam (Bonneville Pool), including adjacent tributaries – Friday June 23rd (1 retention day) open for white sturgeon retention between 38-inches and 54-inches fork length.  Note:  Sanctuary – Angling for sturgeon is prohibited during May through July from The Dalles Dam downstream 1.8 miles to a line from the east (upstream) dock at the Port of The Dalles boat ramp straight across to a marker on the Washington shore.

Shad

Lower Columbia mainstem below Bonneville Dam – We sampled 292 shad anglers (including 6 boats) with 2,408 shad kept and 55 released.   With the drop in river flows (to only 334,100 cfs) daily shad counts at Bonneville Dam jumped to nearly 100,000 fish yesterday.

Walleye

Lower Columbia mainstem below Bonneville Dam – 2 walleye anglers (1 boat) had no catch.

Trout

Recent releases of cutthroat and rainbows into Goose Lake north of Carson.  No report on angling success.

Lake/Pond
Date
Species
Number
Fish per pound
Hatchery
Notes

GOOSE LK (SKAM)<http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/plants/weekly/search.php?searchby=LakeStocked&search=GOOSE+LK+%28SKAM%29&orderby=LakeStocked%20ASC,%20StockDate%20DESC>
Skamania County – Region 5
Jun 12, 2017
Cutthroat
3,098
1.86
SKAMANIA HATCHERY

GOOSE LK (SKAM)<http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/plants/weekly/search.php?searchby=LakeStocked&search=GOOSE+LK+%28SKAM%29&orderby=LakeStocked%20ASC,%20StockDate%20DESC>
Skamania County – Region 5
Jun 12, 2017
Rainbow
1,400
1.4
VANCOUVER HATCHERY

GOOSE LK (SKAM)<http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/plants/weekly/search.php?searchby=LakeStocked&search=GOOSE+LK+%28SKAM%29&orderby=LakeStocked%20ASC,%20StockDate%20DESC>
Skamania County – Region 5
Jun 14, 2017
Cutthroat
1,360
1.86
SKAMANIA HATCHERY

GOOSE LK (SKAM)<http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/plants/weekly/search.php?searchby=LakeStocked&search=GOOSE+LK+%28SKAM%29&orderby=LakeStocked%20ASC,%20StockDate%20DESC>
Skamania County – Region 5
Jun 14, 2017
Cutthroat
1,634
2.09
SKAMANIA HATCHERY

Panhandle Lake Yields 3 New State Records — In Same Day

THE FOLLOWING IS A PRESS RELEASE FROM THE IDAHO DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND GAME

The state record for Tiger Trout stood at 17.5 inches before Free Fishing Day on June 10. By the end of the day, it had been broken not once, not twice, but three times at Deer Creek Reservoir during the fishing events sponsored by IDFG and the Pierce/Weippe Chamber of Commerce.

WHEN ALL WAS SAID AND DONE ON IDAHO’S FREE FISHING DAY EARLIER THIS MONTH, RICHARD MILLER OWNED THE STATE RECORD FOR HYBRID TIGER TROUT … THOUGH WITH HOW FAST THE HIGH MARK WAS BROKEN THAT DAY, WHO KNOWS HOW LONG HE’LL HOLD ONTO IT! (IDFG)

To start off, a 17.6-inch fish was caught, just barely breaking the record. This new record quickly fell, as an 18-inch fish and a 19.5-inch fish were caught  The new record was landed by Richard Miller, and weighed 2.65 lbs. Mr. Miller’s fish has been verified and certified as the new state record. Congratulations Richard! This up and coming fishery is sure to produce some even bigger Tiger Trout in the future, so get out there and see if you can break the new record!

A tiger trout is a hybrid between a brown trout and a brook trout. They’re a sterile fish that is stocked in a few select location around the state which you can see on Fish and Games Fish Planner page.

If you want to get a better look at tiger trout, check out this video when they were stocked in Deer Creek Reservoir.