(JOE HYMER, PACIFIC STATES MARINE FISHERIES COMMISSION)
Cowlitz River – Light effort and catch by boat anglers on the lower river.
Last week, Tacoma Power recovered 183 summer-run steelhead, 49 spring Chinook adults, four jacks, 33 mini-jacks, 40 fall Chinook adults, six jacks, one coho salmon, two sockeye salmon, two chum salmon and eight sea-run cutthroat trout during five days of operation at the Cowlitz Salmon Hatchery separator.
Tacoma Power employees released 45 spring Chinook adults and four jacks into the Cispus River, 30 spring Chinook mini-jacks into Riffe Lake at Mossyrock Park, and 40 fall Chinook adults, five jacks and one coho salmon into the Tilton River at Gust Backstrom Park in Morton during the week.
River flows at Mayfield Dam are approximately 4,760 cubic feet per second on Monday August 30. Water visibility is 14 feet.
Drano Lake and the White Salmon River – Boat anglers are catching some steelhead.
Buoy 10 –
- Chinook catch through August 29 totals 6,459 Chinook and 6,388 coho. This catch represents 52% of the Chinook allocation and 54% of the coho allocation.
- Catch projections for the final two days (August 30-31) include 500 Chinook and 800 coho). This would bring the total catch projection for Buoy 10 to 55% of the Chinook allocation and 61% of the coho allocation through August 31.
- Stock composition based on preliminary CWT data suggests that about 3,500 (56% of total catch) Lower River hatchery (LRH) stock fish have been harvested in Buoy 10, compared to a preseason expectation of 2,900 (23% of expected catch).
Although allowable total Chinook catch remains on the Chinook quota for Buoy 10, LRH impacts appear to have exceeded expectations so far. Therefore, the fishery will close for Chinook retention as scheduled effective Wednesday September 1. The fishery remains open for hatchery coho and hatchery steelhead as outlined in the current “Fishing in Washington” pamphlet.
Lower Columbia mainstem from the Rocky Point/Tongue Point line upstream to Bonneville Dam – We sampled 1,149 salmonid bank anglers from Bonneville Dam downstream with 101 adult and 4 jack fall Chinook and 64 steelhead, an average of a salmonid kept/released per every 6.8 rods based on mainly incomplete trips. In addition, we sampled 2,529 salmonid boat anglers (1,065 boats) with 505 adult and 13 jack fall Chinook, 5 adult coho, and 33 steelhead, an average of a salmonid kept/released per every 4.5 rods based on mainly completed trips.
- August Chinook catch has been less than expected, with 1,000 Chinook kept from 25,000 angler trips through August 22.
- Effort began to increase substantially last week, with 800 boats counted on August 25 and 1,500 on August 28. Catch rates for last week were around 0.3 Chinook per angler trip. Angler effort and catch rates are expected to continue to increase over the coming weeks.
Fall Chinook Stock Status Update: Fall Chinook passage at Bonneville Dam totals 63,649 adult through August 29. Passage is typically 50% complete on September 7. To date, 82% of the adult passage is bright stock.
At this time, it appears Chinook passage is tracking below expectations for both tule and bright stock fish. Expectations include a total passage of 97,700 adults by August 29, with 71% bright stock fish. The Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) TAC will meet next week to review stock status.
Bonneville Pool – Boat anglers at the mouth of the tributaries are catching fall chinook and some steelhead.
Lower Columbia from the mouth to Marker 82 – Light effort and catch. Only 7 boats and no bank anglers were counted during the Saturday August 28 effort flight count. No legals were found in the few boats sampled in the Camas/Washougal area; however, some salmonid anglers are catching a few incidental sturgeon.
Lower Columbia below Bonneville Dam – Boat anglers in the Camas/Washougal area are catching some walleye.