THE FOLLOWING MATERIAL ORIGINATED FROM TANNA TAKATA, ODFW, AND STEPHEN GRAY AND PAUL HOFFARTH, WDFW, AND WAS TRANSMITTED BY JOE HYMER, PSMFC
Columbia River Angling Report
Salmon, Steelhead and Shad
The salmonid creel program on the lower Columbia has ended for the year and will resume February of 2017
Bonneville Pool (Bonneville Dam upstream to The Dalles Dam): Weekly checking showed seven coho adults and one coho jack kept, plus one steelhead released for 20 boats (46 anglers).
WINTER-RUN STEELHEAD ARE STARTING TO SNEAK INTO THE WASHOUGAL RIVER, WHERE SAMUEL STUART CAUGHT THIS CHROMER A FEW SEASONS BACK. (FISHING PHOTO CONTEST)
The Dalles Pool (The Dalles Dam upstream to John Day Dam): Weekly checking showed no catch for two bank anglers; and two steelhead kept for one boat (two anglers).
John Day Pool (John Day Dam to McNary Dam): Weekly checking showed three steelhead kept, plus one steelhead released for 13 bank anglers; and two steelhead kept, plus nine steelhead released for 14 boats (35 anglers).
John Day Arm: Weekly checking showed no catch for six bank anglers; and two steelhead kept, plus seven steelhead released for 30 boats (78 anglers).
Lower Columbia River (below Bonneville Dam): Closed for retention. No report.
Bonneville Pool: Closed for retention. Weekly checking showed seven sublegal, five legal and one oversize sturgeon released for two bank anglers.
The Dalles Pool: Closed for retention. Weekly checking showed 20 sublegal sturgeon released for two bank anglers.
John Day Pool: Closed for retention. Weekly checking showed no catch for three bank anglers; and 60 sublegal, 20 legal and six oversize sturgeon released for 14 boats (37 anglers).
Bonneville Pool: Weekly checking showed no catch for one boat (one angler).
The Dalles Pool (The Dalles Dam upstream to John Day Dam): Weekly checking showed 248 walleye kept, plus 31 walleye released for 14 boats (29 anglers).
John Day Pool (John Day Dam to McNary Dam): Weekly checking showed 101 walleye kept, plus 13 walleye released for 38 boats (72 anglers).
Lower Columbia mainstem and its tributaries sport sampling summaries for Nov. 7-13
Note: There will likely be no report next week.
Mainstem Grays below the Hwy. 4 Bridge and West Fork from 300 yards below the salmon hatchery road bridge upstream to the hatchery intake/footbridge – Effective November 16, the night closure, anti-snagging rules, and stationary gear rule restrictions will no longer be in effect.
Mainstem Grays from Hwy. 4 Bridge to South Fork and West Fork Grays River from mouth to 300 yards below hatchery road bridge – Opens to fishing for hatchery steelhead, hatchery coho, and adipose and/or ventral fin clipped Chinook beginning December 1.
Green River, North Fork Toutle River, and mainstem Toutle River from mouth to forks – November 30 is the last day to fish for hatchery steelhead and hatchery salmon.
Outlet Creek (Cowlitz Co.) – November 30 is the last day to fish for hatchery steelhead and hatchery salmon.
South Fork Toutle River – From 4100 Bridge upstream, November 30 is the last day to fish for hatchery steelhead and hatchery salmon. The mouth to the bridge remains open to fishing for hatchery steelhead with selective gear rules in effect beginning December 1.
Mill Creek (tributary to Cowlitz River) – Beginning December 1, opens to fishing for hatchery steelhead, hatchery sea run cutthroats, and hatchery salmon from the mouth to the salmon hatchery road crossing culvert. Selective gear rules, night closures and anti-snagging rules will be in effect for this one month fishery.
Cowlitz River – Coho are still being caught with most of the action at the barrier dam.
Last week Tacoma Power employees recovered 2,392 coho adults, 365 jacks, 35 fall Chinook adults, one jack, 55 summer-run steelhead, two winter-run steelhead, and 69 cutthroat trout in seven days of operations at the Cowlitz Salmon Hatchery separator.
During the past week, Tacoma Power employees released 235 coho adults and 34 coho jacks into the Cispus River upstream of the mouth of Yellow Jacket Creek near Randle, 425 coho adults and 106 coho jacks at Franklin Bridge in Packwood, 480 coho adults, 54 coho jacks, 15 fall Chinook adults, one fall Chinook jack and nine cutthroat trout into the Tilton River located at Gust Backstrom Park in Morton and 487 coho adults, 45 jacks, and five cutthroat trout into Lake Scanewa above Cowlitz Falls Dam.
River flows at Mayfield Dam are approximately 11,500 cubic feet per second on Monday, November 14. Visibility is at seven feet and water temperature is 52.9 degrees F.
Lewis River – On the North Fork, some coho are being caught by bank anglers and boat anglers are catching some coho and Chinook. Mainstem Lewis is slow.
Under permanent rules, effective December 1 the night closure and anti-snagging rules will no longer be in effect from Johnson Creek (below the salmon hatchery) upstream to Colvin Creek (above the salmon hatchery)
Washougal River – No report on angling success. Through last week, 21 hatchery winter run steelhead had already returned to Skamania Hatchery.
Wind River from Shipherd Falls upstream to Moore Bridge – The catch-and-release game fish (including steelhead) season runs through November 30.
Klickitat River – Still some coho being caught. A decent number of adult coho (329) have been counted at the Lyle Falls Trap since the beginning of November.
Under permanent rules, the Klickitat River from Fishway #5 upstream closes to fishing for salmon and trout (including hatchery steelhead) beginning December 1. The whitefish only season from 400 feet above Fishway #5 upstream to the Yakama Reservation boundary begins December 1. Whitefish gear rules will be in effect.
The salmon and hatchery steelhead fishery from the Fisher Hill Bridge downstream to the mouth (Burlington Northern Railroad Bridge) remains open through January 31. Barbed hooks are allowed through December 31
Hanford Reach – The Columbia River from the Hwy 395 Bridge at Kennewick upstream to the old Hanford townsite wooden powerline towers is open for the harvest of Ringold Springs origin hatchery steelhead. Steelhead released from the Ringold facility have both an adipose and right ventral fin clip. All wild or adipose-only clipped steelhead must be released. The fishery opened on October 1 and will be open through March 31
Fishing has been slow for steelhead in the Hanford Reach this fall. In November, WDFW staff interviewed 69 boat anglers (30 boats) and 237 bank anglers with a total of 32 steelhead. Boat anglers averaged less than ½ a steelhead per boat (24 hours per steelhead). Bank anglers fared slightly better at 21 hours per steelhead. To date, approximately 70% of the fish caught in this fishery have been Ringold origin and legal to harvest.
In October, an estimated 162 steelhead were caught and 108 were harvested. Released steelhead included 32 adipose only, 17 unclipped, and 5 adipose-right ventral fin clipped steelhead.
Paul A. Hoffarth
District 4 Fish Biologist
WA Dept. of Fish & Wildlife
Swift Reservoir from the dam upstream to the Eagle Cliff Bridge -Remains open to fishing through November 30. Until then, the daily limit is 10 hatchery rainbows. Landlocked salmon rules are in effect (salmon count towards the trout daily limit); however, all salmon larger than 15 inches must be released.
The reservoir is currently 22 feet below full pool.
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 21) through Thanksgiving (November 24) and reopen Friday November 25. The lakes to be planted with 2,000 very large rainbows (averaging 15 to 16 inches in length and weighing over a pound each) are:
Fort Borst Park Pond
South Lewis County Park Pond
North Rowland Lake
McNary to Hwy 395 Catch & Harvest Estimates
After a two-week closure the Columbia River re-opened to fishing for steelhead upstream to the Hwy 395 bridge at Pasco/Kennewick. Anglers averaged 18 hours per steelhead this past week. Boat anglers averaged just under a steelhead per boat, 13 hours/fish. Bank angling slowed considerably since the closure with anglers averaging 34 hours per steelhead. The percentage of hatchery steelhead in the catch has decline to 30%.
WDFW staff interviewed 315 anglers with 48 steelhead caught and 14 hatchery steelhead harvested between Nov 5 and Nov 13. Based on the data collected, 317 steelhead were caught and 110 hatchery steelhead were harvested from 1,659 angler trips since the fishery re-opened
There have been 8,241 angler trips for steelhead/salmon in the McNary area through November 13 with a harvest of 687 hatchery steelhead.