THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION WAS TRANSMITTED BY JOE HYMER, PSMFC, AND INCLUDES REPORTS FROM PAUL HOFFARTH, WDFW
Cowlitz River – Still not much change from the past couple weeks other than more wild Chinook (which must be released) are appearing in the catch. Only about 20% of the Chinook caught were hatchery fish.
Anglers are catching a mix of fall Chinook, coho, summer run steelhead, and sea-run cutthroats. Chinook are mainly being caught through the river, coho in the lower river, and steelhead and sea-run cutthroats around the trout hatchery.
During five days of operations at the Cowlitz Salmon Hatchery separator, last week Tacoma Power recovered:
203 summer-run steelhead, 17 spring Chinook adults, one jack, 1,040 fall Chinook adults, 95 jacks, 137 coho adults, 75 jacks and 12 cutthroat trout.
During the past week Tacoma Power employees released:
17 spring Chinook adults and eight coho adults into the Cispus River near the mouth of Yellow Jacket Creek;
147 fall Chinook adults, 20 jacks, 18 coho adults, two jacks and eight spring Chinook adults at the Franklin Bridge in Packwood;
465 fall Chinook adults, 63 jacks, with 111 coho adults, 72 jacks and one cutthroat trout into the Tilton River at Gust Backstrom Park in Morton.
River flows at Mayfield Dam are approximately 3,050 cubic feet per second on Monday, September 28.
Lewis River – Boat anglers are catching some fall Chinook while bank anglers are mostly catching steelhead. Flow below Merwin Dam are currently 886 cfs, about 40% of the long-term mean of 2,230 cfs for this date.
Wind River – Effort and catch is light.
Drano Lake – Boat anglers averaged nearly 1.5 adult Chinook per rod when including fish released. Some coho and a few steelhead are also being caught.
Buoy 10 – Hatchery coho catches have slowed in recent days.
Lower Columbia mainstem below Bonneville Dam – Last week we sampled 615 salmonid anglers (including 203 boats) with 265 adult and 12 jack fall Chinook, 7 adult coho, and 2 steelhead. Overall, 241 (91%) of the adult Chinook were kept. Below the mouth of the Lewis, 11 adult fall Chinook were released.
Four (57%) of the adult coho were kept. Both of the steelhead were released.
New: Weekly effort and catch estimates for the lower Columbia mainstem sport fishery are now posted on the WDFW website at http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/
Bonneville Pool – Boat anglers continue catching fall Chinook at the mouth of the tributaries.
Hanford Reach – From Paul A. Hoffarth, WDFW District 4 Fish Biologist in Pasco – It was another good week for salmon fishing in the Hanford Reach. Harvest for the week was estimated at 5,993 fall Chinook (5,706 adults and 288 jacks. So far this season 13,778 adult Chinook and 715 jacks have been harvested.
Fish were harvested throughout the Hanford Reach with the best catch per boat at White Bluffs and Ringold at just over 2 fish per boat. Vernita was running about 1.6 chinook per boat. Overall, anglers averaged better than 1.5 Chinook per boat, 10 hours per fish. Bank angling at the Ringold Springs Access area picked up with 71 Chinook harvested this past week.
WDFW estimates there were 9,115 anglers fishing in the Hanford Reach this past week (3,500+ boats). WDFW staff interviewed 2,561 anglers from 1,025 boats and 207 bank anglers.
The in-season run update (Sept. 23) for the Hanford Reach is 195,620 adult Chinook based on the long term mean (152,517 based on the 2014 return).
The salmon fishery in the lower Yakima River continues to improve. WDFW staff interviewed 159 anglers with 52 adult chinook and 3 jacks. An estimated 736 anglers fished for salmon in the Yakima River harvesting 269 adult fall chinook and 10 jacks. Anglers averaged 8 hours of fishing per chinook. This season, 406 adult chinook, 29 jacks, and 3 coho have been harvested.
This fishery should continue to improve over the next two weeks.
Goose Lake- Planted with 2,332 cutthroats averaging a pound each on Sept. 21. No report on angling success.