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More Details On 2018 Columbia Summer, Fall Salmon Seasons

THE FOLLOWING IS A PRESS RELEASE FROM THE OREGON DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND WILDLIFE

Oregon and Washington fishery managers have announced the 2018 summer and fall fisheries for the Columbia River.

MORNING AT “BUOY 10” …  (BRIAN LULL)

This year, anglers will see changes to daily bag limits and fewer fishing days for Chinook salmon due to lower harvest guidelines resulting from below-average salmon and steelhead forecasts.

For the summer season, adult Chinook retention will be limited to June 22 through July 4 from the Astoria-Megler Bridge upstream to Bonneville Dam. From Bonneville Dam upstream to the Oregon/Washington border, the summer Chinook season is scheduled for June 16 through July 31. The daily adult bag limit for both areas is two hatchery salmonids, which may include up to two Chinook when retention is allowed. Due to projected low escapement, sockeye retention will be prohibited this year.

LOWER COLUMBIA RIVER SALMON ANGLERS FISH BELOW THE LONGVIEW BRIDGE, WHERE JOHN FIELDING SNAPPED THIS ON-THE-WATER SHOT.(DAIWA PHOTO CONTEST)

The fall seasons will start Aug. 1 based on a projected return of 375,500 fall Chinook, down from 476,100 last year. This year’s forecast includes 205,100 upriver bright Chinook, compared to a return of 296,500 in 2017. Based on this lower forecast, fisheries will be managed for a harvest rate of 8.25 percent, down from 15 percent in the recent years, resulting in shorter fall Chinook retention seasons.

“Through the recent season-setting process, we worked with the public to design fall fisheries within the upriver bright Chinook constraints,” said John North, fisheries manager for ODFW’s Columbia River Program. “Hopefully a run upgrade in mid-September will allow us to liberalize some fisheries and provide additional opportunity.”

COLUMBIA RIVER STEELHEADERS WILL HAVE A ONE-HATCHERY-SUMMER-RUN LIMIT STARTING AUG. 1. (CHRIS SPENCER)

Though improved from last year’s return, predicted steelhead returns remain below average. To reduce harvest, anglers will be limited to one steelhead per day from Aug. 1 to the end of the year.

For more information about upcoming Columbia River seasons, including regulation updates, visit ODFW’s online fishing reports at www.myodfw.com.

The following are detailed regulations for the 2018 Columbia River summer and fall salmon and steelhead seasons:

Summary of 2018

Summer/Fall Salmon and Steelhead Regulations for the mainstem Columbia River

All regulations may be subject to in-season modification

Summer Season (June 16-July 31)

  • Astoria-Megler Bridge upstream to Bonneville Dam

o   Retention of adult hatchery Chinook (24-inches or longer) allowed June 22 – July 4 (13 days).

o   Retention of hatchery Chinook jacks and hatchery steelhead allowed June 16 – July 31. The daily adult bag limit is two hatchery salmonids. Sockeye retention prohibited.

o   All other permanent rules apply.

  • Bonneville Dam upstream to OR/WA border (upstream of McNary Dam)

o   Retention of adult hatchery Chinook (24-inches or longer) allowed June 16 – July 31.

o   Retention of hatchery Chinook jacks and hatchery steelhead allowed June 16 – July 31. The daily adult bag limit is two hatchery salmonids. Sockeye retention prohibited.

o   All other permanent rules apply.

Fall Seasons (Aug. 1-Dec. 31)

  • Buoy 10

o    Area definition: From the Buoy 10 line upstream to a line projected from Rocky Point on the Washington shore through red buoy #44 to red marker #2 at Tongue Point on the Oregon shore.

o    Aug. 1 – Dec. 31: Retention of adult hatchery coho (16-inches or longer) and hatchery steelhead allowed. Daily bag limits by time period are described below. All other permanent rules apply.

o    Aug. 1 – Aug. 24: Retention of adult Chinook (24-inches or longer) allowed. The daily bag limit is one adult salmonid (Chinook, hatchery coho, or hatchery steelhead only).

o    Aug. 25 – Sept. 30: Retention of Chinook prohibited. The daily bag limit is two adult hatchery salmonids (coho and steelhead only) and may include up to one hatchery steelhead.

o    Oct. 1 – Dec. 31: Retention of Chinook prohibited. The daily adult bag limit is two hatchery salmonids (coho and steelhead only) and may include up to one hatchery steelhead. Hatchery coho jacks may be retained.

  • Lower Columbia: Tongue Point/Rocky Point upstream to Warrior Rock/Bachelor Island

o    Area definition: From a line projected from Rocky Point on the Washington shore through red buoy #44 to the red marker #2 at Tongue Point on the Oregon shore upstream to a line projected from the Warrior Rock Lighthouse on the Oregon shore through red buoy #4 to a marker on the lower end of Bachelor Island.

o    Aug. 1 – Dec. 31: Retention of adult hatchery coho (longer than 20-inches), and hatchery steelhead allowed. Hatchery coho jacks may be retained. Daily adult bag limits by time period are described below. Each legal angler aboard a vessel may continue to deploy angling gear until the daily adult salmonid bag limit for all anglers aboard has been achieved. All other permanent rules apply.

o    Aug. 1 – Sept. 2: Retention of adult (24-inches or longer) and jack Chinook allowed. The daily adult bag limit is one salmonid (Chinook, hatchery coho, and hatchery steelhead only).

o    Sept. 3 – Dec. 31: Retention of Chinook (adults and jacks) prohibited. The daily adult bag limit is two hatchery salmonids (coho and steelhead only) and may include up to one hatchery steelhead.

  • Lower Columbia: Warrior Rock/Bachelor Island upstream to Bonneville Dam

o    Area definition: From a line projected from the Warrior Rock Lighthouse on the Oregon shore through red buoy #4 to a marker on the lower end of Bachelor Island upstream to Bonneville Dam.

o    Aug. 1 – Dec. 31: Retention of adult hatchery coho (longer than 20-inches) and hatchery steelhead allowed. Hatchery coho jacks may be retained. Daily adult bag limits by time period are described below. Each legal angler aboard a vessel may continue to deploy angling gear until the daily adult salmonid bag limit for all anglers aboard has been achieved. All other permanent rules apply.

o    Aug. 1 – Sept. 14: Retention of adult (24-inches or longer) and jack Chinook allowed. The daily adult bag limit is one salmonid (Chinook, hatchery coho, and hatchery steelhead only).

o    Sept. 15 – Dec. 31: Retention of Chinook (adults and jacks) prohibited. The daily adult bag limit is two hatchery salmonids (coho and steelhead only) and may include up to one hatchery steelhead.

  • Bonneville Dam upstream to OR/WA border (upstream of McNary Dam)

o   Aug. 1 – Dec. 31: Retention of adult coho (longer than 20-inches) and hatchery steelhead allowed. Coho jacks may be retained. All coho (adults and jacks) retained downstream of the Hood River Bridge must be hatchery fish. Each legal angler aboard a vessel may continue to deploy angling gear until the daily adult salmonid bag limit for all anglers aboard has been achieved. All other permanent rules apply.

o   Effective Aug. 1, retention of adult Chinook (24-inches or longer) and Chinook jacks allowed but will be managed in-season based on actual catches and the upriver bright fall Chinook run-size. The daily adult bag limit is two salmonids, and may include up to one Chinook and up to one hatchery steelhead.

Sportfishing Leaders React To 2018 Salmon Seasons

Northwest salmon anglers are digesting news from the just-concluded season-setting process, which brought — as it always does — a mix of tasty, so-so and stomach-turning results.

Puget Sound and Southern Oregon anglers should be happier than in recent years, Washington Coast and Buoy 10 fishermen will be somewhat disappointed, and Skokomish River egg drifters are gnashing their teeth — again.

SILVER SALMON ANGLERS FISH AMIDST A BLIZZARD OF SEAGULLS AT POSSESSION BAR DURING 2014’S EVERETT COHO DERBY. THE PAST TWO YEARS’ DERBIES HAVE BEEN CANCELLED DUE TO RESTRICTED FISHERIES, BUT THIS YEAR’S LOOKS TO BE BACK ON. (ANDY WALGAMOTT)

Those are very broad brush strokes and we’ll all be able to drill deeper into the details of Chinook and coho seasons as the days and weeks go by and the LOAF, or list of agreed-to fisheries, is posted, singling out our waters for their 2018 opportunities or looking elsewhere for different ones.

In the meanwhile, there’s some reason for optimism in the sportfishing community, including from Gabe Miller, who says there’s “a lot to look forward to this season, particularly in the Puget Sound region.”

“We are looking at substantially more coho opportunity than we have the past few years, especially in North Puget Sound,” says Miller, who works at Sportco in Fife and is vice president of the Northwest Sportfishing Industry Association. “Another bright spot is South Sound Chinook, which should provide anglers with plenty of harvest opportunity this summer and through the fall.”

He said that in the wake of 2016’s and 2017’s fishery restrictions, which affected coho the hardest, 2018’s seasons “should look a little more like what anglers were used to seeing in the past.”

A WDFW CHART OUTLINES MARINE AREA FISHERY TIMING FOR CHINOOK AND COHO. (WDFW)

Mark Yuasa, the boating and fishing director for the Seattle-based Northwest Marine Trade Association, said that these days salmon anglers need to be mobile with their boats.

“I’m pretty happy about what’s in store for anglers in late-summer and early-fall for coho fishing in Puget Sound, which is something we haven’t had for several years. We’ll also have some decent summer Chinook fisheries in certain areas,” he said.

While Puget Sound salmon are rebounding from the Blob, Columbia River Chinook are still in a bit of a rough patch, with this year’s Washington and North Oregon Coast quota dropping by 40 percent.

That’s not the best of news for Astoria, Ilwaco, Westport, La Push and Neah Bay, but there will still be good numbers of salmon caught out here, thanks to a coho quota of 42,000, the same amount as last year and which held up into early September.

“We are cautiously optimistic with the seasons set for Marine Area 1 and the Columbia River,” says Liz Hamilton, NSIA’s executive director. “The managers did a good job at getting close to management objectives, and we are hoping the seasons proceed as planned. The numerous stock constraints this year were challenging. With any luck, the upriver brights will show enough strength by mid-September to provide some extra fishing time to the river above Buoy 10.”

“Fingers crossed,” she added.

GUIDE BOB REES NETS A CHINOOK AT BUOY 10. THIS YEAR’S FISHERY WILL BE A DEPARTURE FROM RECENT ONES, WHAT WITH ITS ONE-SALMONID LIMIT FROM AUG. 1-24 DUE TO ONE OF THE SMALLER RETURNS OF THE PAST DECADE. (ANDY WALGAMOTT)

Well south of the mouth of the big river, Chinook anglers will be able to get back on the ocean between Humbug Mountain and the California border, which was closed last year, and ODFW is touting a “strong forecast” of fall kings back to the Rogue as one of the coast’s “bright” spots.

Oregon Coast coho are down, but there’s still enough for a 35,000 hatchery silver quota, with limited September fishing for wild and clipped coho.

Meanwhile, behind the scenes, the biologists and run modelers and fishery managers are breathing a collective sigh of relief that, finally, it’s all over, and the whole pile of paperwork is now headed for the feds’ desk for them to, hopefully, make faster work than they have with the Skagit-Sauk steelhead sign-off.

At least one state source says that this year’s extraordinary “plenary session,” which brought Washington and tribal fisheries leaders together last week, was a “huge success” and played a key role in helping the comanagers reach an agreement on schedule.

THE STILLAGUAMISH TRIBE’S SEAN YANNITY SPEAKS DURING THE PLENARY SESSION. (ANDY WALGAMOTT)

In 2016, talks between the state and tribes dragged on for a month and a half before a deal was struck.

“This year there was a feeling of unity among all parties involved in a process that has long been a bitter battle filled with arguments, cultural indifference and over who was going to catch that ‘last salmon’ dating back to the Boldt Decision,” said NMTA’s Yuasa. “It was a good feeling to get everyone for the most part on the same table to address issues for the upcoming fishing seasons and save salmon populations, which are an iconic piece of Northwest history. We all need to swallow a bitter pill from time to time, but in the end you’ll find some exciting fishing this year.”

He was on hand during that one-hour say-what-you-wish confab in which sport and tribal fishermen talked about the importance of salmon habitat, heritage and the problems of pinnipeds.

So too was Tom Nelson, cohost of 710 ESPN Seattle’s The Outdoor Line. He expressed mixed feelings about what he heard in that packed Lynnwood hotel room and what eventually came out of another in Portland.

THE OUTDOOR LINE HOST TOM NELSON (RIGHT) LISTENS AS NWIFC’S LORRAINE LOOMIS SPEAKS. (ANDY WALGAMOTT)

“I’m disappointed that the nontribal part of the allocation took the biggest part of the cut and the Makahs will keep fishing at the same level as last year,” he said on a last-minute Chinook hangup yesterday. “Even a token movement on their behalf would have given something to the feeling of the plenary session.”

Essentially, impact rates on low mid-Hood Canal Chinook stocks put Puget Sound fisheries in jeopardy, so state managers reduced the coastal king guideline and there were losses in Areas 8-1 and 9.

“That said, we’re going coho fishing in Admiralty Inlet in September,” Nelson said.

That’s the best place, by catch stat, to put out herring strips or cast from the beach for silvers in late summer. Last year it wasn’t even available to boaters, and only through Labor Day for shore fishers, due to very low forecasted Skagit and Stillaguamish coho returns.

And while Nelson called losing September Chinook fishing in the San Juan Islands “brutal,” he noted it would help address starving orca issues, as Fraser-bound kings are a key feedstock for the marine mammals.

The Makah Tribe’s Russ Svec was among those who spoke during the plenary session, saying, “Today is a good day to see everyone talking with one voice.”

But one person who wasn’t buying the good feels was longtime sportfishing advocate Frank Urabeck, who was angry that there still is no resolution to the Skokomish River problem, which leaves recreational anglers unable to access state-hatchery-reared Chinook and coho in the southern Hood Canal stream.

“What is a shame is that the other Puget Sound tribes let this happen, making a mockery of the recent NOF state/tribal ‘Kumbaya’ plenary session,” Urabeck said.

A SIGN POSTED ALONG THE SKOKOMISH RIVER BY THE SKOKOMISH TRIBE WARNS ANGLERS AWAY FROM THE BANKS AS 2016’S RETURN OF CHINOOK TO THE STATE HATCHERY FILL THE RIVER. (ANDY WALGAMOTT)

He also laid blame at the feet of WDFW Fish Program Manager Ron Warren and other state officials for failing to get the fishery restarted, and expressed doubt that it’s all about a reservation boundary dispute for the Skokomish Tribe.

“It is more likely there are other self-interest reasons and the tribe is just using the land ownership claim to significantly increase their harvest of Chinook salmon, including ESA-listed natural origin fish,” Urabeck said.

He’d gone so far as to call for a new nontribal commercial fishery in Hood Canal, where fall Chinook can otherwise be difficult for recreational anglers to catch, to access the state share.

Urabeck claimed that some observers feel the river has been lost to sport fishing and said that many anglers don’t feel public money should fund WDFW’s George Adams hatchery.

FRANK URABECK, LEFT, CHECKS HIS NOTES DURING A RALLY HELD AT THE STATE OF WASHINGTON’S GEORGE ADAMS SALMON HATCHERY THE FIRST SUMMER THAT THE SKOKOMISH WAS NOT OPEN FOR SPORT FISHING DUE TO A CLAIM THAT THE ENTIRE WIDTH OF THE RIVER WAS PART OF THE SKOKOMISH RESERVATION. (ANDY WALGAMOTT)

Radio’s Nelson might have summed up the whole months-long salmon-season-setting process best for all parties.

“Every North of Falcon you’re sort of left with that kissing-your-sister feeling,” he quipped.

He reiterated his support for working with the tribes on a host of problems facing Western Washington salmon.

“Now let’s move forward from here with the tribes,” Nelson said. “Let’s reach out to the Stillys [Stillaguamish Tribe] and stand shoulder to shoulder with them” on a Fish and Wildlife Commissioner’s recent proposed conservation hatchery and marine predation issues.

Southern Washington Fishing Report (9-26-17)

THE FOLLOWING MATERIAL ORIGINATED WITH WDFW, INCLUDING PAUL HOFFARTH, AND JOE HYMER, PSMFC, AND WAS TRANSMITTED BY HYMER

FACTOID:  The McNary Dam Chinook count through September 20 is 65,314 so the U.S. v. Oregon management goal of 60,000 has been met for the 24th consecutive year.

A WESTERN OREGON SALMON ANGLER SHOWS OFF A COHO CAUGHT WHILE UPSTREAM TROLLING IN THE COLUMBIA WITH A BENGAL TIGER PATTERN FAT WIGGLER OFF THE MOUTH OF THE DESCHUTES RIVER. (VIA BUZZ RAMSEY)

Salmon/Steelhead

Cowlitz River – From the I-5 Bridge downstream:  24 bank rods kept 1 adult Chinook and released 1 jack and 1 adult coho.  8 boats/19 rods kept 1 adult Chinook and released 2 jack and 3 adult Chinook, 1 adult coho, and 1 steelhead.  From the I-5 Bridge upstream:  18 bank rods kept 2 jack and 1 adult Chinook and 1 steelhead and released 4 adult Chinook, 1 jack coho, and 3 cutts.  No boats were sampled.

Last week, Tacoma Power employees recovered 587 fall Chinook adults, 24 fall Chinook jacks, 17 summer-run steelhead, 20 spring Chinook adults, one spring Chinook jack, 565 coho adults, 84 coho jacks, and 18 cutthroat trout during five days of operations at the Cowlitz Salmon Hatchery separator.

During the past week, Tacoma Power employees released 16 spring Chinook adults, one spring Chinook jack, 76 coho adults, nine coho jacks and nine cutthroat trout into the Cispus River near the mouth of Yellow Jacket Creek and they released three spring Chinook adults, 59 coho adults and and seven coho jacks at Franklin Bridge in Packwood.

Tacoma Power released 369 fall Chinook adults, 11 fall Chinook jacks, 305 coho adults, 46 coho jacks and two cutthroat trout into the Tilton River at Gust Backstrom Park in Morton.

River flows at Mayfield Dam are approximately 2,580 cubic feet per second (cfs) on Monday, September 25. Water visibility is 14 feet and water temperature is 55.4 degrees F. River

Drano Lake – No report on angling success.

Effective October 1, anglers may fish for SALMON and STEELHEAD with two poles with a Two-Pole Endorsement and each angler aboard a vessel may deploy SALMON and STEELHEAD angling gear until the daily limit for all anglers aboard has been achieved. Barbed hooks will be allowed October 1 through December 31. The lake will be closed to all fishing from 6 pm Tuesdays to 6 pm Wednesdays in October

Yakima River Fall Salmon Fishery Update Sept 1-17:

A total of 909 adult chinook and 211 jacks have moved upstream of the Prosser Diversion since August 1. Fall Chinook counts into the Yakima River have been slow and steady over the past two weeks at ~25 adult Chinook per day. WDFW staff interviewed 195 anglers this past week with 11 salmon observed in the harvest (38 hours per fish).  There were an estimated 906 angler trips for salmon in the lower Yakima River this past week with a total of 1,758 angler trips for the season. An estimated 82 adult Chinook have been harvested this season. Fishing should continue to improve over the next few weeks of the season.

Paul A. Hoffarth
District 4 Fish Biologist
WA Dept. of Fish & Wildlife

Buoy 10 – Some hatchery coho are being caught.

Effective October 1, the salmonid daily limit increases to 6 fish of which 2 may be adult salmon or one adult salmon and one hatchery steelhead. Salmon minimum size is 12 inches. Any Chinook, adipose fin clipped or not, may be retained. Release all salmon other than Chinook and hatchery coho.

Lower Columbia mainstem from the Lewis downstream – Light effort and catch during the current no Chinook retention through the end of this month.

Effective October 1, up to two adult Chinook, fin clipped or not, may be retained.

Lower Columbia mainstem from the Lewis River upstream to Bonneville Dam – Chinook catches were very good, especially earlier last week.  Effort in this area is fairly heavy.

No creel sampling numbers are currently available.

McNary Reservoir Steelhead/Salmon Fishery: Aug 1 – September 24:

Angler effort continues to increase in this fishery.  There were an estimated 645 angler trips for salmon and steelhead in the McNary to Snake River portion of the Columbia River this past week.  WDFW staff interviewed 85 anglers from 42 boats and 105 bank anglers fishing for steelhead/salmon.  Staff sampled five steelhead and three Chinook.

There have been 1,473 angler trips for steelhead/salmon in the McNary area through September 24 with a harvest of 13 steelhead, 4 adult and 3 jack Chinook. An additional 2 wild steelhead have been released. Angler effort and harvest remains well below last season.

This area of the Columbia River will close to fishing for steelhead in October and November. The area will remain open for salmon.

Paul A. Hoffarth
District 4 Fish Biologist
WA Dept. of Fish & Wildlife

Hanford Reach Sport Fishery Update

WDFW staff interviewed anglers from 667 boats (1,729 anglers) and 95 bank anglers (Ringold access area) and sampled 458 adult Chinook and 58 jacks.  Based on the information collected, an estimated 1,616 adult Chinook and 203 jacks were harvested this past week from 6,016 angler trips.  Anglers averaged 1.3 Chinook per boat, 22 hours per fish.

Through September 24, 1,923 adult fall Chinook and 203 Chinook jacks have been harvested in the Hanford Reach from 10,887 angler trips.

A Hanford Reach in-season adult fall Chinook update was completed on September 23 that estimates a natural origin return of 46,042. This would allow a harvest of roughly 10,000 adults and still meet escapement goals for the Reach.

Paul A. Hoffarth
District 4 Fish Biologist
WA Dept. of Fish & Wildlife

Trout

Recent trout plants into SW WA waters.  No report on angling success.

Lake/Pond
Date
Species
Number
Fish per Pound
Hatchery
Notes

COUNCIL LK (SKAM)<http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/plants/weekly/search.php?searchby=LakeStocked&search=COUNCIL+LK+%28SKAM%29&orderby=LakeStocked%20ASC,%20StockDate%20DESC>
Skamania County – Region 5
Sep 18, 2017
Rainbow
1,000
1.1
GOLDENDALE HATCHERY

Mineral Lake – No report on angling success. September 30 is the last day to fish there for the year.

Buoy 10, Lower Columbia, Gorge Pools Fishing Report (8-28-17)

THE FOLLOWING MATERIAL ORIGINATED FROM TANNA TAKATA, ODFW, AND WAS TRANSMITTED BY JOE HYMER, PSMFC

Salmon, Steelhead and Shad

On Saturday’s (8/26) flight, 853 salmonid boats and 38 Oregon bank anglers were counted from Tongue Point to Bonneville Dam; and 756 Oregon boats were counted at Buoy 10.  Anglers at Buoy 10 averaged 2.17 Chinook and 0.73 coho caught per boat.  In the gorge, boat anglers averaged 0.58 Chinook caught per boat, while anglers fishing in Troutdale averaged 0.17 Chinook and 0.04 coho caught per boat.  In the Portland to Tongue Point area, boat anglers averaged 0.27 Chinook and 0.01 steelhead caught per boat.  Bank anglers fishing in the gorge averaged 0.03 Chinook caught per angler.

A NETTER REACHES FOR A SALMON HOOKED IN THE BUOY 10 FISHERY AT THE MOUTH OF THE COLUMBIA EARLIER THIS MONTH. (JIM AND JENN STAHL, NWFISHINGGUIDES.NET)

Gorge Bank: Weekend checking showed one Chinook adult kept for 31 bank anglers.

Gorge Boats: Weekend checking showed seven Chinook adults kept for 12 boats (31 anglers).

Troutdale Boats: Weekend checking showed four Chinook adults and one Chinook jack kept, plus one steelhead caught for 24 boats (60 anglers).

Portland to Westport Bank: Weekend checking showed no catch for five bank anglers.

Portland to Tongue Point Boats: Weekend checking showed 36 Chinook adults and two Chinook jacks kept, plus two Chinook adults, one Chinook jack and one steelhead released for 139 boats (353 anglers).

Estuary Boats (Tongue Point to Buoy 10): Weekend checking showed 921 Chinook adults and 249 coho kept, plus 123 Chinook, 103 coho and one steelhead released for 481 boats (1,639 anglers).

Bonneville Pool (Bonneville Dam upstream to The Dalles Dam): Weekly checking showed no catch for four bank anglers; and two Chinook adults kept, plus three steelhead released for 19 boats (35 anglers).

The Dalles Pool (The Dalles Dam upstream to John Day Dam): Weekly checking showed 44 Chinook adults and five Chinook jacks kept, plus three Chinook adults released for 39 boats (99 anglers).

John Day Pool (John Day Dam upstream to McNary Dam): Weekly checking showed no catch for two boats (four anglers).

STURGEON

Lower Columbia River (below Bonneville Dam): Closed for retention. Weekend checking showed three sublegal and seven legal white sturgeon released for two boats (five anglers).

Bonneville Pool: Closed for retention.  Weekly checking showed two sublegal and one oversize sturgeon released for two boats (three anglers).

The Dalles Pool: Closed for retention.  No report.

John Day Pool: Closed for retention.  Weekly checking showed 13 sublegal, three legal and one oversize sturgeon released for two boats (eight anglers).

WALLEYE

Gorge:  No report.

Troutdale: Weekend checking showed three walleye kept for three boats (five anglers).

Portland to Tongue Point:  Weekend checking showed no catch for one boat (two anglers).

The Dalles Pool: Weekly checking showed 14 walleye kept, plus one walleye released for five boats (11 anglers).

John Day Pool: Weekly checking showed 38 walleye kept, plus 13 walleye released for 20 boats (43 anglers).

$50,000 Raised For Sportfishing Advocacy At 18th Buoy 10 Challenge

THE FOLLOWING IS A PRESS RELEASE FROM THE NORTHWEST SPORTFISHING INDUSTRY ASSOCIATION

Anglers from all over the Northwest came together Friday, August 18th, to compete for the most and biggest salmon at the Buoy 10 on the Columbia River, the biggest salmon fishery in the lower 48 states.  They were competing in the Northwest’s most popular derby –NSIA’s Buoy 10 Salmon Challenge. This was the 18th year of the derby and it was quite a success! The Challenge raised close to $50,000 to support NSIA’s mission of preserving, restoring and enhancing Northwest sportfisheries and the businesses that depend on them.

The first place team of RJ Bennett, Cody Clark, Adam Sturdevant and Dave Lewis. (NSIA)

Close to 200 anglers took to the waters off Buoy 10 on Friday. The chinook and coho were definitely biting, with participants weighing in more than 70 fish. Among some stiff competition, the Bob’s Sporting Goods team, captained by RJ Bennett, won First Place Team prize, with an average team weight of 17.75 pounds, winning a prize package that featured G. Loomis trolling rods and Shimano Tekota reels. Tanner Morton’s team captured Second Place Team prize, with 14.99 lb. average weight. The Second Place prize package included Tica Rods and reels for each team member. The Third Place Team was tight on their heels with a 14.39 lb. average per person weight for Jason Berg’s Team North American Hunting Competition, winning Berkley Buzz Ramsey rods and Penn Warfare reels.

Troy Bloom and his nephew Joey McGraw hoist Joey’s first B10 salmon catch – you can tell he’s really proud! (NSIA)

This year the Biggest Fish winner was Tanner Morton, who brought in a 20.90 pound chinook. He was awarded a $1000 check from the Big Fish sponsor, North River Boats. 2017 also saw the introduction of a new award – a $1000 Mystery Fish prize, sponsored by Weldcraft/Duckworth. Any weighed-in fish was eligible to win the prize, (1/72 odds!) which went to Deborh LeBer of the North American Hunting Competition team.

Greg and Don show off a nice Chinook that helped Team Northwest Sportsman make a strong showing at NSIA’s Buoy 10 challenge.

Even though anglers enjoyed such a great day on the water, the excitement was far from over as tournament anglers then got a shot at the more than $10,000 worth of auction items and door prizes. No one left empty-handed

NSIA Executive Director, Liz Hamilton says of the tournament, “The Buoy 10 Salmon Challenge is not only the most exciting fishing tournament on the lower Columbia this summer, but it is also our most important fundraiser. Monies raised will go towards protecting and restoring healthy river systems, defending hatcheries and the millions of smolts they release each year as well as working to increase angler access to fisheries across the Northwest.”

NSIA would also like to thank their sponsors for making this event a success. Their support allows NSIA to have a strong voice in local, state, and federal governments, advocating for policies that keep the sportfishing industry thriving in the Northwest. Please remember these companies and brands when you’re stocking up for your next trip: Atlas Mike’s, Berkley, BS Fish Tales/Brad’s Lures, Cabela’s, Fisherman’s Marine & Outdoors, Salmon Trout Steelheader Magazine, Fred Meyer, Freshwater News, G. Loomis, Grundens, Lowrance, Luhr Jensen, Maxima, North River Boats, NW Sportmans Magazine, Okuma, Penn, Raymarine, Shimano, Steven’s Marine, Tica, Weldcraft/ Duckworth. We hope to see you on the waters at next year’s Buoy 10 derby!

Lower Columbia, Buoy 10, Gorge Pools Fishing Report (8-16-17)

THE FOLLOWING MATERIAL ORIGINATED FROM TANNA TAKATA, ODFW, AND WAS TRANSMITTED BY JOE HYMER, PSMFC

Salmon, Steelhead and Shad

Eight hundred twenty-six Oregon boats were counted at Buoy 10 this past weekend.  Anglers at Buoy 10 averaged 2.24 Chinook and 0.19 coho caught per boat.  In Troutdale, boat anglers averaged 0.07 steelhead caught per boat, while anglers fishing in the Portland to Tongue Point area averaged 0.47 Chinook and 0.28 steelhead caught per boat.  Bank anglers fishing in the gorge averaged 0.13 Chinook caught per angler.

A MULKEY SPINNER TROLLED BEHIND A FISH FLASH DURING THE FLOOD TIDE ABOVE THE BRIDGE YIELDED THIS FINE FALL CHINOOK FOR BUZZ RAMSEY. (BUZZ RAMSEY)

Gorge Bank: Weekend checking showed two Chinook adults kept for 16 bank anglers.

Gorge Boats: Weekend checking showed no catch for two boats (five anglers).

Troutdale Boats: Weekend checking showed one steelhead released for 15 boats (28 anglers).

Portland to Westport Bank: Weekend checking showed no catch for 14 bank anglers.

Portland to Tongue Point Boats: Weekend checking showed 34 Chinook adults and three Chinook jacks kept, plus one Chinook adult, one Chinook jack and 21 steelhead released for 75 boats (178 anglers).

Estuary Boats (Tongue Point to Buoy 10): Weekend checking showed 535 Chinook adults and 29 coho adults kept, plus 129 Chinook, 27 coho and one steelhead released for 297 boats (1,013 anglers).

Bonneville Pool (Bonneville Dam upstream to The Dalles Dam): Weekly checking showed no catch for one bank angler; and one steelhead released for five boats (10 anglers); and no shad catch for two bank anglers.

The Dalles Pool (The Dalles Dam upstream to John Day Dam): Weekly checking showed eight Chinook adults kept for one boat (five anglers).

John Day Pool (John Day Dam upstream to McNary Dam): Weekly checking showed two shad kept, plus 20 shad released for three boats (eight anglers).

STURGEON

Lower Columbia River (below Bonneville Dam): Closed for retention. Weekend checking showed four sublegal and three legal white sturgeon released for two boats (three anglers).

Bonneville Pool: Weekly checking showed no catch for six bank anglers; and seven sublegal, two legal and three oversize white sturgeon released for two boats (four anglers).

The Dalles Pool: Weekly checking showed four oversize sturgeon released for one boat (three anglers).

John Day Pool: No report.

WALLEYE

Gorge:  No report.

Troutdale: Weekend checking showed one walleye kept, plus one walleye released for seven boats (14 anglers).

Portland to Tongue Point:  Weekend checking showed four walleye kept for three boats (five anglers).

The Dalles Pool: Weekly checking showed 36 walleye kept for eight boats (14 anglers).

John Day Pool: No report.

Tony Floor On Buoy 10 Salmon, Retirement, End Of Column

Editor’s note: The following is Tony Floor’s monthly newsletter and is run with permission.

By Tony Floor, Fishing Affairs Director, Northwest Marine Trade Association

One of the beauties of writing this monthly column is being able to pick and choose the content and let ‘er rip.

In the 13 years I’ve locked myself into my office for this monthly assignment here at Chateau Floor, staring at the computer screen, I allow my thoughts to produce words which ultimately, I hope, resonate with readers who might share the passion I breathe about the natural world.

TAHSIS B.C. IS KNOWN FOR WONDERFUL KING SALMON FISHING IN JULY AND AUGUST AS LONGTIME FISHING BUDDY AND COLLEAGUE PAT PATTILLO JOINED ME TO WELCOME THIS 28-POUND SLAB ABOARD. (TONY FLOOR)

Over the span of forty years working the fishing scene, which requires inhaling and exhaling saltwater fishing here in the Pacific Northwest, along with other fantastic places on this planet, it has been my professional and personal life. Do you think it’s a result of the way I’m living or what I’m stepping in? Bet heavy on the latter.

If I’m sounding a little melancholy in this writing, it’s because I am. Next month’s column will be a wrap on this endeavor as I prepare to enter the next chapter of my life – retirement.

It’s a little challenging for this cat to think about that change, starting with facing the reality of having to pay for my fishing addiction! Was that thud the sound of you dropping to your knees, babbling the words of mercy for poor Tony? I hope not. Or, might it have been the sound of jumping up and down, shouting elations that finally, The Truth is silenced? Regardless, beginning Oct. 1 you won’t find my columns in public restrooms anymore! Makes me think of Aretha Franklin belting out her famous song R-E-S-P-E-C-T!

Tahsis B.C. is known for wonderful king salmon fishing in July and August as longtime fishing buddy and colleague Pat Pattillo joined me to welcome this 28-pound slab aboard.

Summers are too short in the Northwest. Many of us who have this addiction for chasing migrating Washington adult salmon live for every opportunity to get on the water, from Puget Sound to the mouth of the Columbia River, during what I call “show time”.

I’m burning up a cell phone about every week during the summer, making and receiving phone calls, learning about what’s hot and what’s not. Ever seen a cell phone melted in a pool of black and silver plastic? Now that’s a “hot bite” report that spins my wheels.

From July into August, Chinook salmon seem to be everywhere and clearly, some level of luck is involved in choosing the right heading to find the fish. Over time, I tend to stick with what works based on success or lack of success. That’s exactly why I pounded Ediz Hook in early July, followed by my annual trip to Tahsis, B.C. in the second week of the month, attempting to flush out big gorgeous king salmon from the kelp beds. Got a visual?

From Tahsis a few weeks ago, it was on to Neah Bay, fishing one of the most beautiful places in our state, Cape Flattery. King salmon southbound from Alaska and British Columbia are required to clear U.S. Customs at Cape Flattery as they make individual decisions to take a left, eastbound down the Strait of Juan de Fuca, or continue their southbound course along the Washington coast. A majority of these Chinook stocks are destined for the Columbia River, scheduled to arrive during the third week of August. Guess who will be there to meet them? Yo! Over here! Come to your daddy, sweetheart!

I’ve enjoyed great success fishing the entrance to the Columbia River in mid-August since my baptism to the fishery back in ’86. While ’86 established the all-time record of coho salmon returning to the Columbia of over 1.6 million fish, it was 1987 that really did me in. The Chinook salmon return back then was nearly 800,000 fish which represented the largest return since Bonneville Dam fish counts began in 1938. Good ‘ol 1938, huh?

In the last five years, the returns have blown ’38 out of the water, hovering around 900,000 to 1.2 million. There is no better show in town than the mouth of the Columbia in mid-August. Just like shooting ducks in a 55-gallon barrel – but not different.

My favorite spot is north of the mouth of the Columbia, about 3-5 miles in front of the town called Long Beach, trolling north and south in 25 to 50 feet of water through massive schools of anchovy. The technique is beyond simple. Tie your mainline to a diver, trailing 6-7 feet of 25 pound leader with tandem hooks, and thread on a fresh anchovy, available live in the Ilwaco boat basin, or a frozen herring. It all works!

I’m applying a fast troll speed at 3 to 3.5 miles per hour to get that bait spinning extremely fast, a tight drag to ensure the hook set on the grab with 13-15 pulls of mainline from your reel (two feet per pull). The results will be a takedown as if you’ve hooked an Amtrak. Big crushing bite, baby!

In the Columbia, I like fishing the “wing walls” on the Washington side of the river beginning early in the flood tide an hour or two after low slack. Green navigational markers are attached to pilings numbered 1 through 7, trolling into the current with 15-17 pulls. Some anglers prefer to hold their position with a downstream heading. I believe most of the king salmon entering the river are at mid-depth as they migrate upstream.

Once the incoming tide has completed about half its cycle, I’ll run upstream to Desdemona flats, immediately below the Megler-Astoria Bridge on the Washington side of the river, or continue above the bridge into Blind Channel. Blind Channel is simply a name applied to several underwater channels where Chinook salmon frequently hang on their journey upstream. In both areas, I’m zeroing in on 20-30 feet of water.

For these two areas, most anglers are using heavy sliding drop sinkers, anywhere from eight to 16 ounces, maintaining contact with the bottom or within a foot of the bottom. Get the net!

I am locked and loaded for major salmon fishing trips in August to the Washington coast. Salmon fishing won’t get any better following this month until next summer, so giddy up and time to make hay.

See you on the water!

Truth