Lower Columbia Springer Catch Rising

Springer catches jumped on the Lower Columbia last week, with anglers tripling their haul over the previous seven days, according to the latest state estimates.

BOB TOMAN SHOWS OFF A SPRING CHINOOK CAUGHT LAST SATURDAY WHILE OUT WITH GUIDE BILL MONROE JR. (VIA BUZZ RAMSEY)

Fishery managers report 582 spring Chinook caught March 19-25 during 10,729 trips, with 515 of those salmon kept, along with 38 steelhead.

“Last week boat angler catch rates improved to about one fish kept per every six boats from about one fish kept per 16 boats the week before last,” ODFW’s Jimmy Watts reported today. “Bank angler catch rates remained very low.”

The March 11-18 stats were 169 kept (and 193 caught) for just under 7,000 trips.

The percentage of upriver-bound springers rose as well, from 40 percent to 56 percent.

Total kept catch on the season (February 1-March 25) now sits at 727, which is just over one-tenth of the total number of mortalities (kept + released and estimated died) available for the above-Bonneville-bound portion of the springer return, 7,157, before a run size update.

Of those 727, 709 have been landed in March, with 694 of those bonked by boaters.

Best section by catch total is from the bottom end of Sauvie Island down to Deer Island with 181, but boaters below Puget Island have the second best tally at 132.

According to estimates from the DFWs, only 15 springers have been landed by plunkers, perhaps because the fish are running deeper this year. Supervising fisheries biologist Joe Hymer reported that the Columbia’s been flowing at 216,000 cubic feet per second of late, less than half the volume it had last year at this time, 460,000 cfs.

As for the Bonneville count, it’s up to 16 Chinook through March 26. With two of those fish probably late falls due to their January arrival at the dam, that means the run so far is less than a tenth of the 10-year average for this point.

What follows is the weekly Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife Columbia River fishing report, with creel sampling for different parts of the river:

 Salmon, Steelhead and Shad

On Saturday’s (3/24) flight, 631 salmonid boats and 179 Oregon bank anglers were counted from the Columbia River estuary to Bonneville Dam.  In Troutdale, boat anglers averaged 0.08 spring Chinook caught per boat, while anglers fishing from Portland to St. Helens averaged 0.23 spring Chinook and 0.01 steelhead caught per boat.  In the Goble to Beaver area, boat anglers averaged 0.13 spring Chinook and 0.02 steelhead caught per angler, while anglers fishing from Westport to Buoy 10 averaged 0.28 spring Chinook and 0.03 steelhead caught per boat.  Bank anglers fishing from Portland to Longview averaged 0.01 spring Chinook caught per angler.

Gorge Bank: No report.

Gorge Boats (below Beacon Rock): No report.

Troutdale Boats: Weekend checking showed one adult spring Chinook kept for 13 boats (34 anglers).

Portland to Westport Bank: Weekend checking showed one adult spring Chinook kept for 184 bank anglers.

Portland to St. Helens Boats: Weekend checking showed 28 adult spring Chinook and one steelhead kept, plus six adult spring Chinook released for 151 boats (418 anglers).

Goble to Beaver Boats: Weekend checking showed two adult spring Chinook kept, plus one adult spring Chinook released for 24 boats (60 anglers).

Wauna Powerlines to Clatsop Spit Bank: Weekend checking showed one adult spring Chinook kept for 184 bank anglers.

Westport to Buoy 10 Boats: Weekend checking showed eight adult spring Chinook kept, plus three adult spring Chinook released for 40 boats (109 anglers).

Bonneville Pool (Bonneville Dam upstream to The Dalles Dam): No report.

The Dalles Pool (The Dalles Dam upstream to John Day Dam): No report.

John Day Pool (John Day Dam upstream to McNary Dam): No report.

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