THE FOLLOWING ORIGINATED WITH PAUL HOFFARTH, WDFW, AND WERE TRANSMITTED BY JOE HYMER, PSMFC
McNary Reservoir Steelhead Sport Fishery
The Columbia River from McNary Dam to the Tri-cities reopened for the harvest of hatchery steelhead on December 1. Angler effort declined a bit in January. There were 529 angler trips for steelhead in January, down from 1,588 in December.
WDFW staff interviewed 110 anglers. Anglers averaged 19 hours per steelhead, unfortunately most of the fish caught were wild, 80 of the 95 fish caught were wild and had to be turned back. For the fishery (August 1 – January 31) 135 steelhead have been harvested and 354 wild steelhead have been caught and released from 4,308 angler trips.
Effective January 1 the daily limit is two hatchery steelhead per day (see Washington Sport Fishing Rules for additional information).
Hanford Reach Steelhead Sport Fishery (Hwy 395 – Hanford)
Steelhead fishing continues to be slow in the Hanford Reach. Effort has been light. WDFW staff interviewed 300 anglers in January. Bank anglers averaged a steelhead for 24 hours of fishing. Boat anglers are doing a little better at 18 hours per fish. An estimated 44 steelhead were caught in January and 26 were harvested. Since the fishery opened on October 1, 312 steelhead have harvested plus an additional 172 steelhead were caught & released from 2,114 angler trips.
This year’s return to Ringold Springs Hatchery is estimated at ~900 steelhead