(REPORT COURTESY JOE HYMER, PSMFC)
Cowlitz River – No report on angling success is currently available.
Last week, Tacoma Power recovered 449 coho adults, 15 jacks, 244 winter-run steelhead and four sea-run cutthroat trout during five days of operation at the Cowlitz Salmon Hatchery separator. During the week Tacoma Power employees released 25 coho adults, one jack and one winter-run steelhead into the Tilton River at Gust Backstrom Park in Morton, 84 coho adults and four jacks into the upper Cowlitz River at the Skate Creek Bridge in Packwood, 151 coho adults, seven jacks and one steelhead adult into the Cispus River above the mouth of Yellowjacket Creek, and 45 coho adults and three jacks into Lake Scanewa.
River flows at Mayfield Dam are approximately 8,800 cubic feet per second on Monday, December 14. Water visibility is eight feet.
Under permanent rules, December 31 is the last day to fish for hatchery steelhead on lower Mill Creek near the Cowlitz Salmon Hatchery.
Kalama River – Anglers are catching some steelhead.
Lewis River – Bank anglers are still catching steelhead around the salmon hatchery but overall fishing was a little slower last week.
Under permanent rules, wild Chinook must be released on several rivers beginning Jan. 1 including the mainstem Columbia from Buoy 10 upstream to the I-5 Bridge, Cowlitz (including Cispus), Deep, Kalama, Lewis (including North Fork) rivers plus Lake Scanewa (Cowlitz Falls Reservoir).
Under permanent rules, Dec. 31 is the last day to fish for salmon on the mainstem Columbia from the I-5 Bridge to the Hwy. 395 Bridge at Pasco and the Elochoman, Tilton, and Washougal rivers plus Drano and Mayfield lakes.
A Compact/Joint State Hearing is tentatively scheduled for February 18 to consider the 2010 mainstem Columbia recreational spring salmon seasons.
Until further notice, recreational sturgeon fisheries will continue as scheduled under permanent regulations. The Compact may consider modifications to the March-December 2010 mainstem Columbia sturgeon recreational fisheries at the February 18 hearing when additional Commission guidance is available.
Lower Columbia mainstem and its tributaries from the Buoy 10 to the Wauna powerlines – White sturgeon may be retained daily beginning Jan. 1. Daily limit 1, minimum size 38” fork length and maximum size 54” fork length.
Lower Columbia mainstem and its tributaries from the Wauna powerlines to Bonneville Dam – Light effort and catches. Remains open for white sturgeon retention Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays only. Daily limit 1, minimum size 38” fork length and maximum size 54” fork length.
Bonneville Dam to McNary Dam – Sturgeon may be retained beginning Jan. 1. In Bonneville Pool, the daily limit is 1 fish, minimum size 38” fork length and maximum 54” fork length. From The Dalles Dam to McNary Dam, the daily limit is 1 fish, minimum size 43” fork length and maximum size 54” fork length. Ending date for all pools depends upon when the individual guidelines are met.
Lacamas Lake – Received 6,000 catchable size rainbows Dec. 14.
Icehouse Lake (near Bridge of the Gods) and Little Ash Lake (near Stevenson) – Depending upon the weather, both may be planted with catchable size rainbows this week.
Rowland Lake near Lyle – Planted with 53 brood stock rainbows averaging 8 pounds each and 13 weighing 4 pounds each on Dec. 14.