Columbia, SW WA Fishing Report (2-28-17)

THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION ORIGINATED WITH ODFW AND WDFW AND WAS TRANSMITTED BY JOE HYMER, PSMFC

Salmon, Steelhead and Shad

Salmonid catch and effort remains low, and there has not been much improvement in the water clarity.  Please be advised that on our weekend boat trip, there was more woody debris observed than the previous week.

Gorge Bank: No report.

Gorge Boats: No report.

Troutdale Boats: No report.

Portland to Westport Bank: Weekly checking showed no catch for four bank anglers.

Portland to Westport Boats: Weekly checking showed no catch for seven boats (15 anglers).

Estuary Bank (Clatsop Spit to Wauna Powerlines): No report.

Estuary Boats (Tongue Point to Wauna Powerlines): No report.

Bonneville Pool (Bonneville Dam upstream to The Dalles Dam): No report.

The Dalles Pool (The Dalles Dam upstream to John Day Dam):  No report.

John Day Pool (John Day Dam upstream to McNary Dam):  No report.

STURGEON

Lower Columbia River (below Bonneville Dam): Closed for retention. No report.

Bonneville Pool (Bonneville Dam upstream to The Dalles Dam): Weekly checking showed one legal white sturgeon kept, plus 10 sublegal sturgeon released for 10 bank anglers; and one legal white sturgeon kept, plus 11 sublegal and two oversize sturgeon released for 12 boats (28 anglers).

The Dalles Pool (The Dalles Dam upstream to John Day Dam): Weekly checking showed no catch for five bank anglers; and two legal white sturgeon kept, plus 15 sublegal sturgeon released for one boat (four anglers).

John Day Pool (John Day Dam upstream to McNary Dam):  Weekly checking showed one legal white sturgeon kept, plus five sublegal sturgeon released for two bank anglers; and eight sublegal and four oversize sturgeon released for 19 boats (40 anglers).

WALLEYE

Bonneville Pool:  Weekly checking showed no catch for one boat (one angler).

The Dalles Pool:  Weekly checking showed two walleye kept for one bank angler; and 47 walleye kept, plus 29 walleye released for 10 boats (23 anglers).

John Day Pool: Weekly checking showed no catch for three bank anglers; and 31 walleye kept, plus 21 walleye released for 34 boats (71 anglers).

……………………………………………………………

Salmon/Steelhead

Cowlitz River – A few steelhead being reported caught along with an occasional spring Chinook.

Last week, Tacoma Power employees recovered one coho adult and 51 winter-run steelhead adults in four days of operations at the Cowlitz Salmon Hatchery separator.

During the past week, Tacoma Power employees released one coho adult and 15 winter-run steelhead adult into the Cispus River near Yellow Jacket Creek.

Last week, Tacoma employees released 23 winter-run steelhead adults into the Tilton River located at Gust Backstrom Park in Morton.

River flows at Mayfield Dam are approximately 9,860 cubic feet per second on Monday, February 27. Visibility is at five and the water temperature is 42.8 degrees F

Lewis River (including North Fork) – Effective March 1 until further notice, closed to fishing for spring Chinook.  Fishing for hatchery steelhead remains open.

Lower mainstem Columbia from the I-5 Bridge downstream – 16 bank anglers had no catch.

Mainstem Columbia from Buoy 10 upstream to the I-5 Bridge (except Lewis River sanctuary) – Open to fishing for hatchery Chinook and hatchery steelhead through April 6.  Effective March 1, only 1 may be a hatchery adult Chinook.

Lewis River sanctuary (see attached map): Effective March 1, no angling is allowed. This closed area is defined as a line from a marker on the lower end of Bachelor Island through USCG buoy Red #4 to the Oregon shore, downstream to a line from the lower (north) end of Sauvie Island across the Columbia River to the downstream range marker (0.7 miles downstream of the Lewis River) and continuing along the wing jetty to the Washington shore.

A WDFW IMAGE OUTLINES THE LEWIS RIVER MOUTH CLOSURE AREA DURING THE MARCH 1-APRIL 6 INITIAL COLUMBIA RIVER SPRING CHINOOK FISHERY. (WDFW)

Mainstem Columbia from the I-5 Bridge upstream to Bonneville Dam – Effective March 1 through April 6, will be open to fishing for hatchery Chinook and hatchery steelhead.  No boats (bank only) from Beacon Rock upstream.  The salmonid daily limit will be 6 fish.  Up to 2 may be hatchery steelhead or 1 hatchery adult Chinook and 1 hatchery steelhead.

Bonneville Dam to McNary Dam – No effort was observed for steelhead.

No additional spring Chinook have been counted at Bonneville Dam through Feb. 25.  The only fish counted was on Feb. 11.

Sturgeon

Bonneville Pool – Both bank and boat anglers are catching some legals.

The Dalles Pool – Boat anglers are catching some legals.

John Day Pool – Bank anglers are catching some legals.

Walleye

Bonneville Pool – Light effort and no catch for walleye.

The Dalles Pool – Including fish released, boat anglers averaged 3.3 walleye per rod.  Bank anglers were also catching some fish.

John Day Pool – Boat anglers averaged 1.5 walleye per boat when including fish released.

Bass

Bonneville Dam to McNary Dam – No effort was observed for bass.

Trout

Recent plants of catchable and brood stock rainbows.  No report on angling success.

Lake/Pond
Date
Species
Number
Fish per pound
Hatchery
Notes

* ICE HOUSE LK (SKAM)<http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/plants/weekly/search.php?searchby=LakeStocked&search=ICE%20HOUSE%20LK%20(SKAM)&orderby=LakeStocked%20ASC,%20StockDate%20DESC>
Feb 22, 2017
Rainbow
1,000
2.42
GOLDENDALE HATCHERY

Feb 21, 2017
Rainbow
30
0.2
GOLDENDALE HATCHERY

* LTL ASH LK (SKAM)<http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/plants/weekly/search.php?searchby=LakeStocked&search=LTL%20ASH%20LK%20(SKAM)&orderby=LakeStocked%20ASC,%20StockDate%20DESC>
Feb 21, 2017
Rainbow
30
0.2
GOLDENDALE HATCHERY

2017 Riffe Lake levels

Based on new information about regional seismicity, the United States Geological Survey (USGS) recently revised its earthquake predictions for the Cowlitz River basin. Although the probability of a large earthquake is very low, the revisions showed an increase to the potential impact just on the spillways of Mossyrock Dam (not to the dam structure itself). To protect public safety, Tacoma Power has proposed to hold Riffe Lake’s elevation down approximately 30 feet lower than full (778 ft.) at least into the next decade. Approval by the federal agency that regulates the utility is pending.

Please note: The circumstances at Mossyrock Dam are significantly different than the current situation at Oroville Dam in Northern California. Tacoma Power is not reacting to a current situation – the operational changes are an abundant precautionary measure. There is no impending emergency at Mossyrock Dam and there is no structural damage.

Without a significant seismic event, which has a very low probability, there are no concerns about Mossyrock Dam. Mossyrock Dam is a concrete structure, while the Oroville Dam is an earthen structure. The spillways at the Oroville Dam sit on soil and bedrock, and are failing. At Mossyrock, the spillways rest on concrete, and, even when applying the revised seismic analysis, it is not predicted that an earthquake would compromise the dam – it would only impact the spillways. The mitigating response is keeping the lake level about 30 feet lower than full.

Smelt

Last Saturday’s sport smelt fishery on the Cowlitz was largely a bust with few fish caught and lots of effort and traffic.  The largest catch observed was 15 fish.

River was dropping, turbid, and cool.

May not be another sport season this year (but never say never).

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