The seemingly annual striped bass has turned up in the Columbia, and it is a whopper.
According to a fishery official in Vancouver, the rare catch weighed 52 pounds.
It was netted in the Bridal Veil Falls drift, between Bonneville Dam and the mouth of the gorge, during a commercial salmon fishery earlier this week.
Though records aren’t really kept for the species which commercial fishermen can’t legally sell, it could be the largest landed in the Columbia. A blurb by Mark Yuasa says that in 2008, a 40-pounder was netted in the general area.
Stripers are not native to the West Coast. They were introduced to the Sacramento River system in the late 1800s and remain strong there, but only rarely occur north of Oregon’s Central Coast.
In other Columbia River news, this year’s shad return is the best since 2006 when 3.9 million passed Bonneville, and with more than 100,000 going through the dam daily, that mark could be topped within a week. As of yesterday, 3.14 million had been counted. High mark, according to Fish Passage Center data, is 5.3 million in 2004.