THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION ORIGINATED FROM PAUL HOFFARTH, WDFW, AND WAS 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 has been steady averaging 9 boats and 16 bank anglers per day. There were 1,588 angler trips for steelhead in December. WDFW staff interviewed 303 anglers in December. Anglers averaged 14 hours per steelhead, unfortunately most of the fish caught were wild. 321 of the 407 fish caught were wild and had to be turned back. For the fishery (August 1 – December 31) 120 steelhead have been harvested and 346 wild steelhead have been caught and released from 3,779 angler trips.
Effective January 1 the daily limit will increase to 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 to fair in the lower Hanford Reach. Effort has been light. WDFW staff interviewed 123 anglers in December. Bank anglers averaged a steelhead for 13.5 hours of fishing in December. Boat anglers are doing a bit better at 9 hours per fish. An estimated 115 steelhead were caught in December and 92 were harvested. Since the fishery opened on October 1, 286 steelhead have harvested plus an additional 154 steelhead were caught & released from 1,814 angler trips.
Effective January 1 any hatchery steelhead may be harvested. Daily limit is one steelhead per day. This year’s return to Ringold Springs Hatchery is estimated at ~900 steelhead.