I’ll tell you where salmon are biting — at Carrolls Slough, based on on-the-water reports filed by a buddy today — but there are fish chomping on baits throughout Southwest Washington.
Here’s Joe Hymer’s weekly roundup:
Grays River (including West Fork) – Remains open to fishing for salmon and steelhead through October 15. No report on angling success.
Cowlitz River – Boat anglers on the lower river are doing well on adult coho.
Last week, Tacoma Power recovered 7,266 coho adults, 470 jacks, 1,461 fall Chinook adults, 300 jacks, 41 summer-run steelhead adults, 97 sea-run cutthroat trout and one pink salmon adult during seven days of operation at the Cowlitz Salmon Hatchery separator.
During the week Tacoma Power employees released 533 fall Chinook adults, 250 jacks, 78 coho adults and 38 jacks into Mayfield Lake at the Ike Kinswa State Park boat launch, 260 coho adults and seven jacks into the Tilton River at Gust Backstrom Park in Morton, 1,673 coho adults and 38 jacks into Lake Scanewa above Cowlitz Falls Dam, and 659 coho adults and 16 jacks into the upper Cowlitz River at the Skate Creek Bridge in Packwood, Washington. Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife transported three cutthroat trout to the Tilton River . The sea-run cutthroat and the pink salmon adult were recycled downstream to the Barrier Dam boat launch.
River flows at Mayfield Dam are approximately 4,430 cubic feet per second on Monday, October 5 and water visibility is 13 feet.
Kalama River – Bank and boat anglers are catching adult coho though about half the fish were released. Bank anglers were also catching a few steelhead.
Lewis River – On the mainstem Lewis, boat anglers are catching adult coho as are bank anglers on the North Fork. However, about half the fish were released.
Drano Lake – Boat anglers were catching a few summer run steelhead. Drano Lake will be closed to all fishing from 6 pm Tuesdays through 6 pm Wednesdays during October.
White Salmon River- Bank anglers at the mouth are catching adult coho though a lot of them are unmarked fish that have to be released.
Klickitat River – Fairly light effort and catch during the limited sampling last week.
Yakima River – All ahead slow. Angler effort slowed a bit this past week especially with the windy conditions on Sunday. WDFW staff sampled 80 anglers with 2 adult chinook and 1 jack. Estimated harvest was 19 adult chinook and 4 jacks for the week and 39 adults and 4 jacks for the season.
Buoy 10 – Still a few anglers trying for hatchery coho with nearly three dozen boats counted during last Saturday’s (October 3) flight. No report on angling success. Anglers are allowed to keep hatchery coho jacks are part of the salmon and steelhead daily limit. The daily limit is 6 fish of which no more than 3 may be adults. Up to 2 of the adults may be hatchery steelhead. All salmon other than hatchery coho must be released.
Lower Columbia below Bonneville Dam – Boat anglers are still catching some fall Chinook in the area open upstream from the mouth of the Lewis. Coho are being caught there and in the lower river especially near the mouths of the Lewis and Cowlitz.
Still decent boat effort with just over 200 counted during last Saturday’s flight. Most of the effort was found in the Camas/Washougal area and at the mouth of the Cowlitz.
Preseason forecasts for Columbia River coho total 703,100 adults comprised of 466,600 early and 236,500 late stock coho. Currently, the states can account for around 300,000 early stock coho. It appears the early stock coho are tracking within expectations. Late stock coho are just beginning to reach counting facilities though almost 13,000 adults had returned to Cowlitz Salmon Hatchery, the highest return to date to that facility since at least 1990.
Bonneville Pool – Boat anglers are catching a mixture of fall Chinook and coho off the mouths of the Klickitat and White Salmon rivers. Counts of late stock adult coho at Bonneville Dam are increasing with 3,000-4,000 fish daily the past few days.
Hanford Reach – Last week 847 boat anglers (347) boats kept 374 adult and 115 jack Chinook and 1 adult coho plus released 1 adult and 9 jack chinook. 26 hatchery steelhead were also retained and 28 wild and 1 hatchery origin fish were released. The Vernita area was the hotspot this past week.
138 bank anglers at Ringold kept 10 jack fall Chinook and 15 hatchery origin steelhead plus released 3 jack Chinook. One hatchery origin and 7 wild steelhead were also released.
Lower Columbia from the Wauna powerlines upstream to Bonneville Dam – Quite a few legals were kept by bank anglers just below Bonneville Dam on the re-opener Thursday October 1 but slowed by Saturday. Just over 200 bank anglers were counted there on the opener and last Saturday.
Boat effort was more spread throughout the lower river with 240 counted during last Saturday’s flight. Outside the gorge, overall catch was low.
White sturgeon may be retained from the Wauna powerlines to Bonneville Dam Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays only through the end of the year.
Lower Columbia below Bonneville Dam – Boat anglers are doing well in the Camas/Washougal area.