Tag Archives: coho

SW WA, Lower Columbia, Hanford Fishing Report (10-1-19)

THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION WAS FORWARDED BY BRYANT SPELLMAN AND PAUL HOFFARTH, WDFW

Hanford Reach Fall Chinook Fishery Update (Sept 23-29)

Over 5,800 anglers fished for fall chinook in the Hanford Reach this past week. Fishing, both in terms of numbers of anglers and harvest continues to increase. Boats averaged over a fish per boat, 12 hours per fish.

BOB AND BRIAN SUYAMA HOIST A PAIR OF UPRIVER BRIGHTS CAUGHT IN THE HANFORD REACH OF THE COLUMBIA RIVER YESTERDAY. THEY WERE FISHING WITH JERRY HAN AND RUNNING PRO-TROLLS AND SUPER BAITS STUFFED WITH STARKIST TUNA. (YO-ZURI PHOTO CONTEST)

From September 23 through September 29, WDFW staff interviewed anglers from 747 boats (2,034 anglers) and 102 bank anglers with 915 adult chinook, 85 jacks and 4 coho. An estimated 2,536 adult chinook, 231 chinook jacks and 11 coho were harvested for the week (expanded). For the season there have been 15,620 angler trips with 4,570 adult chinook, 495 chinook jacks, and 19 coho harvested. Harvest is tracking similar to last year at this time. (2018 =4,571 adult chinook).

Adult counts of fall chinook over Bonneville are running 45% above last year’s numbers and McNary counts  are running 21% above last year at this time.

In addition to the US v Oregon Agreement, the Hanford Reach URB population is managed under the Hanford Reach Fall Chinook Fishery Management Plan. The population is managed to meet the Hanford Reach URB escapement goal of 31,100 – 42,000 adults (naturally spawning population). Harvest allocated to the fishery is based on in-season return estimates. An in-season estimate is generated weekly beginning September 15 for the Hanford Reach wild component of the return. The estimate is generated based on current passage through the fish ladders at McNary, Ice Harbor, and Priest Rapids Dams and projected migration timing. Based on numbers through September 30, an estimated 44,794 adult, wild (natural origin) fall chinook are expected to return to the Hanford Reach. At 44,794, 9,700 adult chinook are allocated to the Hanford Reach sport fishery. This allocation plus the current one adult daily limit should be sufficient to continue the fishery for the next couple of weeks and potentially through the end of the scheduled season. The next in-season update will be posted October 8.

 

Fishing Report Sept 23 -29, 2019

Salmon/Steelhead:

Columbia River Tributaries

Cowlitz River – I-5 Br downstream – 56 bank rods released 1 Chinook and 1 coho jack. 65 boats/159 rods kept 41 coho, 9 coho jacks and released 49 Chinook, 4 Chinook jacks, 39 coho, 13 coho jacks and 1 steelhead.

Above the I-5 Br – 36 bank rods kept 5 coho and released 14 Chinook and 2 Chinook jacks. 4 boats/14 rods kept 1 coho, 6 steelhead and released 5 Chinook, 2 coho and 10 coho jacks.

Kalama River – 6 bank anglers had no catch. 1 boat/1 rod had no catch.

Lewis River – 75 bank anglers released 2 Chinook, 1 Chinook jack and 1 coho. 5 boats/11 rods kept 3 coho and 1 coho jack.

Washougal River– 10 bank anglers had no catch. 4 boats/9 rods released 3 Chinook.

Wind River – 12 boats/16 rods kept 1 Chinook, 9 coho and released 1 Chinook, 10 coho and 3 steelhead. Drano Lake – 4 bank anglers had no catch. 15 boats/42 rods kept 28 Chinook, 5 Chinook jacks and released 6 Chinook.

Klickitat below Fisher Hill Bridge – 75 bank anglers kept 38 Chinook, 1 Chinook jack, 1 coho and released 1 Chinook. 1 boat/2 rods kept 1 Chinook.

Klickitat above #5 Fishway – 14 bank anglers kept 2 Chinook and released 1 Chinook.

Sturgeon:

Cowlitz River – I-5 Br downstream – 26 bank rods had no catch. 22 boats/65 rods kept 5 legal sturgeon and released 12 sublegal and 3 oversize sturgeon.

Pikeminnow Sport – Reward Fishery Program:

The program operates from May 1 to September 30 in the lower Columbia River (mouth to Priest Rapids Dam) and the Snake River (mouth to Hells Canyon Dam). http://www.pikeminnow.org/

Lower Columbia mainstem sport Sept. 23-29

Coho

Bonneville bank: 4 anglers with nothing
Camas/Washougal boat: 16 anglers with 3 coho and 3 adult Chinook released
Vancouver boat: 7 anglers with 5 adult Chinook and 1 coho released
Woodland boat: 2 anglers with nothing
Kalama bank: 6 anglers with 3 adult Chinook released
Kalama boat: 17 anglers with 3 coho kept and 2 adult Chinook released
Cowlitz boat: 6 anglers with 4 coho kept and 2 adult Chinook and 1 steelhead released
Longview bank: 1 angler with nothing
Longview boat: 4 anglers with 2 coho released

Sturgeon:

Bonneville bank: 45 anglers with nothing
Bonneville boat: 4 anglers, also with nothing
Camas/Washougal bank: No report
Camas/Washougal boat: 41 anglers with 4 legals kept and 10 sublegals released
I-5 area bank: No report
I-5 area boat: No report
Vancouver bank: 7 anglers with nothing
Vancouver boat: 118 anglers with 1 legal kept and 22 sublegals and 6 oversize released
Woodland bank: 22 anglers with nothing
Woodland boat: 140 anglers with 5 legals kept and 21 sublegals and 1 oversize released
Kalama bank: 19 anglers with nothing
Kalama boat: 140 anglers with 3 legals kept and 24 sublegals and 8 oversize released
Cowlitz bank: No report
Cowlitz boat: No report
Longview bank: 25 anglers with 1 legal kept
Longview boat: 230 anglers with 7 legals kept and 27 sublegals and 5 oversize released
Cathalmet bank: No report
Cathlamet boat: No report

Puget Sound Coho Managers Seeing ‘Mixed Signals’ In 2019 Run

Good luck figuring out what’s up with this year’s Puget Sound coho run.

It’s continuing to give off “mixed signals,” but for the moment it appears there won’t be another post-5 p.m.-Friday-afternoon major rule change emailed out, like last week.

CHAD AND LOGAN SMITH SHOW OFF A SILVER THEY CAUGHT DURING LAST WEEKEND’S EVERETT COHO DERBY. WEIGHING IN AT 7.73 POUNDS, IT WAS THE 75TH LARGEST OF THE 930 ENTERED. (YO-ZURI PHOTO CONTEST)

WDFW’s Mark Baltzell apologized to sportfisher advisors for that during a conference call late this morning, saying the decision to drop saltwater limits from two to one had been made “pretty quick.”

He also detailed how the region’s returns are performing so far, and while nowhere can be said to be looking great, only one system appears to be eliciting real concern, the Duwamish-Green.

It’s a bit on the early side to parse much from returns to its Soos Creek Hatchery, but Baltzell said that Muckleshoot catches have been 20 percent or less than what the tribe had expected given the forecast, with half their fishermen apparently not bothering to burn gas to set nets in the lower river or bay, he added.

Some sport anglers are reporting catching silvers in the river, but others are also struggling to get a bite.

Many of the jumpers in the DGR also appear to be on the smaller side, and that’s definitely the case over on the Quilcene, where adult returns to the national fish hatchery are not very far ahead of jacks, 6,413 to 5,984, the highest ratio in recent memory. Whether that’s good news for next year is a good question.

Granted that it was cancelled in 2016 and 2017, but while last weekend’s Everett Coho Derby did see the largest overall catch since 2012, 930, the average size fish weighed in was also the second smallest to 2015’s notoriously little coho, 5.4 pounds to 4.54 pounds.

Smaller, hungry fish can be snappier than larger ones, driving up catch rates, but also have fewer eggs to lay, reducing a run’s overall productivity.

As for other weirdness, Sekiu anglers were having to weed through “20 to 30” wild coho for every clipped one, a sportfishing advisor reported during today’s call. That had the effect of diminishing interest in making the long haul into the western Straits.

If this year’s run is late, like some believe, it would seem to be overwhelmingly wild, which would not be a bad thing either.

During the call Baltzell said that a regression correlation model developed by the late Steve Thiesfeld to gauge Puget Sound returns from Sekiu catches fell apart in 2015, the Blob year, and he’s been “reluctant” to bring it out again.

On Pugetropolis rivers, Baltzell said Nooksack coho “seem to be doing OK” and putting out “decent catches,” though tribal results have been below expectations.

On the Skagit, the hatchery return to Marblemount is “doing OK,” with the Cascade “full of fish,” he reported.

Creel samplers and game wardens working the Stillaguamish are finding “some effort” but “not a lot caught,” he said.

On the Snohomish system, numbers at the Wallace Hatchery are “doing OK,” with 3,000 or 4,000 coho that “had to be chased” out of the holding pens to collect summer kings for spawning, he reported.

Baltzell added that down at the mouth Tulalip fishermen were seeing relatively low catches in their nets. Further up anglers are doing OK with Dick Nites and other lures.

Snohomish coho were federally listed as an overfished stock and state and tribal managers are trying to rebuild the run, setting a higher escapement goal this year. Salmon angling on the system only only runs through Monday, Sept. 30.

Ballard Locks counts for Lake Washington coho haven’t been updated for about a week, but are comparable to the 10-year average.

And the Puyallup appears to have a split personality, with the White River’s return “gangbusters” — Bill Dowell at the Army Corps of Engineers says that through this morning, 10,198 have been passed over Mud Mountain Dam* —  but not so much for the mainstem, Baltzell indicated.

“Puget Sound wide, it looks like we overforecasted, but that is yet to be determined,” he summarized to sportfishing advisors.

One trolled the idea of returning the limit on Puget Sound to two, arguing that if eggtake goals are met at Soos Creek, concerns on the Duwamish would thus be addressed. Baltzell didn’t have an immediate answer, but essentially said it might raise issues with the comanagers.

Besides most of the abovementioned rivers, Marine Areas 8-1, 10, 12 and 13 will remain open for coho retention in October. Some are still being caught in the salt.

*IN OTHER PUGETROPOLIS SALMON NEWS, it appears that at the very minimum, this year’s Puyallup pink run was waaaaaaaay underforecast.

State and tribal managers predicted 47,905 back, but as of this morning, 445,615 had been counted below Mud Mountain Dam on the river’s tributary, the White, with more still arriving every day.

The Corps of Engineers’ Bill Dowell said Aug. 27’s 22,642 was the largest single-day haul of humpies on record.

He also said that this year’s 8,696 Chinook collected there was the third most since 1941, with the past four years all being the best since the flood-control facility came online.

A new $116 million fish passage facility is being built on the river.

Drano Closing For All Fishing; Ringold Won’t Open For Steelhead

THE FOLLOWING ARE EMERGENCY RULE-CHANGE NOTICES FROM THE WASHINGTON DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND WILDLIFE

Drano Lake to close to all fishing

Action: Closes Drano Lake to all fishing.

Effective date: Sept. 29, 2019 until further notice.

Species affected: All fish species.

COLUMBIA SALMON ANGLERS ARE OUT ONE MORE PLACE TO FISH FOR FALL CHINOOK THIS SEASON AS WDFW ANNOUNCES THAT DRANO LAKE WILL CLOSE TO ALL ANGLING TO GET AS MANY FISH BACK TO THE NATIONAL HATCHERY ON THE LITTLE WHITE SALMON AS POSSIBLE. GUIDE GERARDO REYES CAUGHT THIS LARGE WILD UPRIVER BRIGHT EARLIER THIS MONTH AT THE LAKE WHICH DOUBLES AS A THERMAL REFUGE FOR SALMON AND STEELHEAD BOUND FOR SPAWNING GROUNDS HIGHER IN THE COLUMBIA BASIN. (FLATOUTFISHING.NET)

Location: In the waters downstream of markers on point of land downstream and across from Little White Salmon National Fish Hatchery and upstream of the Highway 14 Bridge.

Reason for action:  The current estimate of fall Chinook salmon that will return to Little White Salmon National Fish Hatchery is below the number needed to meet the 2019 broodstock collection goal. Closing the fishing season in Drano Lake will increase the number of hatchery fish available for broodstock and help ensure future hatchery returns.

Additional information: WDFW will continue coordinating with National Fish Hatchery staff to monitor the hatchery return and determine if further fishery modification is needed.

Hanford Reach steelhead fishery to remain closed

Action: Closes steelhead fishing

Effective date: Oct. 1 through Dec. 31, 2019.

Species affected: Steelhead.

Location: Highway 395 Bridge (Kennewick/Pasco) upstream to the old Hanford townsite powerline crossing.

Reason for action: Through Sept. 24, the 2019 steelhead return is the fourth-lowest return on record since 1962 for both the Upper Columbia River and Snake River. Adult returns of Ringold Springs Hatchery-origin steelhead are currently tracking at less than 50 percent of the 2018 return. The closure is necessary to ensure sufficient numbers of steelhead will be available to meet hatchery broodstock production needs.

Additional information: This year’s return of Ringold Springs Hatchery steelhead is expected to be the lowest return on record over the past 20 years. All returning steelhead will be needed for broodstock to meet the production goal of 180,000 juvenile steelhead scheduled for release in 2021. The Hanford Reach is currently closed to steelhead retention, but was scheduled to open Oct. 1. Under this rule change, steelhead retention will remain closed through Dec. 31.

SW WA, Lower Columbia Fishing Report (9-25-19)

THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION WAS FORWARDED BY BRYANT SPELLMAN, WDFW

Sport Fishing Report Sept. 16-22

Salmon/Steelhead:

Columbia River Tributaries 

Cowlitz River – I-5 Br downstream – 27 bank rods kept 1 coho and 1 coho jack. 32 boats/72 rods kept 11 coho, 3 coho jacks and released 62 Chinook, 53 Chinook jacks, 15 coho and 8 coho jacks.

Above the I-5 Br – 8 bank rods released 3 Chinook and 2 Chinook jacks.

KERI WILLARD AND BEAU MEUCHEL HOLD UP FALL CHINOOK CAUGHT ON THE LOWER COLUMBIA IN THE ST. HELENS AREA OVER LABOR DAY WEEKEND. (YO-ZURI PHOTO CONTEST)

Lewis River – 36 bank anglers kept 7 coho and released 3 Chinook and 2 coho.  6 boats/18 rods released 1 coho jack.

Wind River – 2 boats/6 rods kept 5 Chinook, 1 coho and released 2 Chinook and 3 coho.

Drano Lake – 17 bank anglers kept 1 coho and released 1 coho jack and 1 steelhead.  20 boats/45 rods kept 18 Chinook, 1 Chinook jack and released 1 Chinook.

Klickitat below Fisher Hill Bridge – 32 bank anglers kept 5 Chinook and 2 Chinook jacks.

Klickitat above #5 Fishway – 3 bank anglers had no catch.

Sturgeon:

Cowlitz River – I-5 Br downstream – 29 bank rods released 3 sublegal sturgeon.  11 boats/37 rods kept 7 legal sturgeon and released 33 sublegal sturgeon.

Bonneville bank: 97 anglers with 4 sublegals released
Bonneville boat: 52 angles with 12 sublegals released
Camas/Washougal boat: 82 anglers with 9 legals kept and 63 sublegals and 9 legals released
Vancouver bank: 12 anglers with nothing
Vancouver boat: 162 anglers with 22 legals kept and 46 sublegals and 39 oversize released
Woodland bank: 36 anglers with 1 legal kept and 1 sublegal released
Woodland boat: 59 anglers with 4 legals kept and 11 sublegals and 4 oversize released
Kalama bank: 40 anglers with nothing
Kalama boat: 161 anglers with 22 legals kept and 38 sublegals and 7 oversize released
Longview bank: 38 anglers with 1 legal kept
Longview boat: 255 angles with 16 legals kept and 18 sublegals and 4 oversize released

Pikeminnow Sport – Reward Fishery Program:

The program operates from May 1 to September 30 in the lower Columbia River (mouth to Priest Rapids Dam) and the Snake River (mouth to Hells Canyon Dam).  http://www.pikeminnow.org/

Puget Sound Coho Limit Dropping To One Monday

Coho anglers from the Strait of Juan de Fuca to Deep South Sound will see their daily limits drop to one starting Monday as state managers worry about the size of this year’s run as well as the size of the fish themselves.

THE 2015 SEASON WAS MARKED BY SMALL, VERY HUNGRY COHO LIKE THIS ONE. (ANDY WALGAMOTT)

A WDFW emergency rule change notice out late this afternoon says that preliminary monitoring by the agency and tribes are finding that this year’s ocean-returning silvers “have a smaller body size and potentially lower-than-expected run sizes to many systems.”

Smaller bodies mean that hens are carrying fewer eggs, whether to the hatchery or gravel.

The news is not unlike at this time in 2015, when coho came in half the size of usual during the height of the Blob, the giant pool of warm water that reduced the amount of forage available for salmon and other species.

“WDFW is implementing this rule as a precaution to ensure escapement and hatchery goals are met,”  the e-reg states.

It affects Marine Areas 5, 6, 7, 8-1, 9, 10, 11 and 13, the central and eastern Straits, the San Juan Islands, and Central and South Puget Sound.

The daily limit is two until then.

Marine Area 8-2 has already closed for coho due to concerns of overfishing of the important Snohomish River stock.

Mark Yuasa of the Northwest Marine Trade Association, who tracks Puget Sound salmon fishing news very closely, considered the news to not be unexpected.

Even though some anglers have struggled to catch coho, others have seen good catches, albeit with a wide variety of sizes turning up on images posted to Facebook.

Indeed the run has been giving off mixed signals, but now WDFW is taking a cautious approach.

The big Everett Coho Derby is this weekend.

The change affects about a week of coho retention in a number of marine areas, but more in others.

 

Mon.-Thurs. Added For Last Week Of Oregon Central Coast Any-Coho Fishery

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

From Friday, Sept. 20 through Sunday, Sept. 29, anglers can keep any legal sized salmon they catch in the ocean on the central Oregon coast after fishery managers increased the popular non-selective coho fishery to seven days a week for the final week of the fishery.

LORELEI PENNINGTON SHOWS OFF A WILD COHO CAUGHT DURING A PAST SEPTEMBER SEASON. (YO-ZURI PHOTO CONTEST)

The ocean non mark selective coho fishery between Cape Falcon and Humbug Mountain opened Aug. 31 on a schedule of each Friday through Sunday and open for all salmon including coho. During the first three open periods of the season, anglers have landed a total of 8,935 coho out of the quota of 15,640, which leaves eaving 6,700 coho remaining to be caught.

“Fishery managers felt they could open seven days a week for this last part of the season and still remain within the coho quota,” said Eric Schindler, ocean salmon supervising biologist for ODFW. “The non-selective coho fishery in September has been very popular with most anglers, and adding a few more days will provide a few more chances for anglers to catch some nice coho.”

The daily bag limit is two legal size salmon (Chinook >24”; coho >16”; steelhead >20”).  Anglers are reminded that single point barbless hooks are required for ocean salmon angling or if a salmon is on board the vessel in the ocean.

The all-salmon-except-coho fishery from Cape Falcon to Humbug Mountain will remain open through the end of October.

For more information about fishing opportunities including the latest regulations, visit https://myodfw.com/recreation-report/fishing-report/

Steelheading To Close On Clearwater, Snake; IDFG: ‘No Surplus’ For Fishery

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

On Friday, Sept. 20, the Idaho Fish and Game Commission voted to close all steelhead seasons on the Clearwater River because the number of returning adult hatchery fish is less than the number needed for broodstock, and there is no surplus to provide a fishery.

IDAHO’S STEELHEADING CLOSURE MEANS THAT EVEN CATCH-AND-RELEASE FISHING FOR UNCLIPPED A- AND B-RUNS, LIKE THIS ONE LANDED ON THE SOUTH FORK CLEARWATER, WILL NOT BE ALLOWED IN THE CLEARWATER DRAINAGE. (DAIWA PHOTO CONTEST)

The closure is effective at midnight on Sept. 29, 2019, and covers the Clearwater River upstream to the confluence of the Middle Fork and South Fork, along with the North Fork, Middle Fork and South Fork tributaries. The section of the Snake River downstream from the Couse Creek boat ramp to the Idaho/Washington state line will also be closed to protect Clearwater-bound steelhead. The closure in the Clearwater River drainage is consistent with harvest restrictions put in place in fisheries on the mainstem Columbia River by the Oregon and Washington Fish and Wildlife Departments.

Consistent with existing rules that prohibit targeting steelhead or salmon where there is no open season, anglers will not be allowed to fish for steelhead in the Clearwater River drainage after the fishery is closed, even catch-and-release.

The Clearwater River drainage closure is in addition to the already-restricted fishery the commission approved for statewide steelhead fishing during their August meeting. The existing seasons remain in place for steelhead fisheries in the Salmon and Snake river basins.

Idaho Fish and Game biologists have been tracking steelhead returns closely, and the number of Clearwater-bound hatchery steelhead has continued to fall short of projections. According to Lance Hebdon, anadromous fishery manager for Idaho Fish and Game, while the return of wild, Clearwater-bound steelhead is tracking close to the preseason forecast, the return of hatchery-origin steelhead to the Clearwater River is substantially below what was expected.

Through Sept. 18, biologists estimate about 1,158 hatchery steelhead destined for the Clearwater River have passed Bonneville Dam based on PIT tags. The small, electronic tags are embedded in fish and help biologists know which river migrating steelhead are destined for. On average, about 50 percent of the hatchery steelhead returning to the Clearwater River would have passed Bonneville Dam by Sept. 18.

“Based on average run timing, we estimate that this will result in approximately 2,300 fish crossing Bonneville Dam by the end of the season,” Hebdon said. “The result for Idaho anglers is that only 1,700 hatchery steelhead destined for the Clearwater River will make it to Lower Granite Dam by the end of the season.”

In order to meet broodstock needs for Clearwater River hatcheries (a total of 1,352 fish), 100 percent of the steelhead destined for the North Fork Clearwater River, and a high percentage of the fish destined for the South Fork Clearwater River would have to be collected, leaving no surplus fish for harvest.

Although the steelhead fishery will be closed in the Clearwater River basin, there will be no changes to the ongoing fall Chinook season, which is scheduled to close on Oct. 13. In addition, the commission approved a Coho salmon fishery in the Clearwater River basin during their conference call on Sept. 20. This Coho fishery is open effective immediately, and will run concurrent with the fall Chinook fishery.

Because these fisheries will close Oct. 13, or earlier if catch limits are attained, any incidental impact on Clearwater hatchery steelhead is expected to be minimal.

“Early in the fall, many of the steelhead in the Clearwater river basin are actually fish destined for the Salmon and Grande Ronde rivers, which have pulled into the Clearwater until water temperatures in the Snake River start to cool off,” Hebdon said. “The main component of the Clearwater River steelhead run starts arriving in the middle of October.”

Lower Washougal Opening Early For Salmon, Chinook Added To Bag

THE FOLLOWING IS AN EMERGENCY RULE-CHANGE NOTICE FROM THE WASHINGTON DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND WILDLIFE

Salmon and steelhead fisheries expanded on the Washougal River

Action: Allows retention of up to 3 hatchery adult salmon, including up to 1 hatchery adult Chinook. Allows retention of up 3 hatchery steelhead.

Effective date: Sept. 19 through Dec. 31, 2019.

Species affected: Hatchery salmon (Chinook and coho) and hatchery steelhead.

Location: Washougal River, from the mouth to the bridge at Salmon Falls.

Reason for action: Hatchery broodstock collection for the Washougal fall Chinook program has been meeting weekly objectives and early indications are that the broodstock goal will be achieved. This action also expands steelhead fishing opportunity that had been restricted below the Washougal River weir to support fall Chinook broodstock collection efforts. Expanding retention of hatchery salmon and hatchery steelhead will provide additional angling opportunity while broodstock collection efforts continue.

Additional information: Salmon daily limit is 6 fish; up to 3 adults may be retained, of which up to 1 may be a Chinook. Release all salmon other than hatchery Chinook and hatchery coho.

Hatchery steelhead daily limit is 3 fish; minimum length 20 inches.

All other rules published in the 2019-20 Washington Sport Fishing Rules pamphlet remain in effect.

Information contact: Matt Gardner, district fish biologist, 360-906-6746.

SW WA, Columbia, Hanford Reach Fishing Report (9-9-19)

THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION WAS FORWARDED BY BRYANT SPELLMAN AND PAUL HOFFARTH, WDFW

Fishing Report Sept. 2-8, 2019

Salmon/Steelhead:

Columbia River Tributaries

Elochoman River – 1 bank angler released 1 steelhead.

Cowlitz River – I-5 Br downstream – 5 bank rods had no catch. 8 boats/19 rods kept 3 coho, 1 coho jack and released 1 coho, 1 coho jack, 7 Chinook and 2 Chinook jacks.

Above the I-5 Br – 13 bank rods had no catch. 3 boats/6 rods kept 1 steelhead and released 1 steelhead and 1 Chinook.

JERRY HAN SHOWS OFF A NICE EASTERN COLUMBIA GORGE FALL CHINOOK CAUGHT EARLIER TODAY. HE WAS FISHING WITH TYLER MILLER OF MILLER TIME FISHING. (YO-ZURI PHOTO CONTEST)

Lewis River – 35 bank anglers kept 1 Chinook jack, 2 coho, 5 coho jacks and released 1 Chinook. 5 boats/6 rods kept 1 coho.

Wind River – 1 bank angler had no catch. 6 boats/9 rods released 11 Chinook.

Drano Lake – 6 bank anglers released 5 steelhead. 15 boats/33 rods kept 19 Chinook, 2 coho and released 16 steelhead.

Tributaries not listed: Creel checks not conducted.

Pikeminnow Sport – Reward Fishery Program:

The program operates from May 1 to September 30 in the lower Columbia River (mouth to Priest Rapids Dam) and the Snake River (mouth to Hells Canyon Dam). http://www.pikeminnow.org/

Hanford Reach Fall Chinook Fishery Update (Sept 2-8)

Adult counts of fall chinook over Bonneville are running ~9% above last year’s numbers but McNary counts are 1/3 lower than last year at this time. The first in-season update for the Hanford Reach will be included in next week’s update.

 

Pugetropolis Coho Derbies, Salmon Series Raffle Boat On Tap

As summer nears an end, a pair of big Puget Sound silver salmon derbies appear on the calendar, with one also providing the venue for the annual raffling off of a $75,000 boat package.

This Saturday, Sept. 7, sees the Edmonds Coho Derby while the Everett Coho Derby goes down Sept. 21-22.

At the latter somebody who’s entered one of the Northwest Salmon Derby Series’ many events across the region this year will have their name drawn for a Weldcraft 202 Rebel Hardtop with Yamaha 200- and 9.9-horse motors, EZ-loader galvanized trailer and more.

THE WINNER OF THE 2019 NORTHWEST SALMON DERBY SERIES GRAND RAFFLE PRIZE, THIS BOAT AND ALL THAT COMES WITH IT, WILL BE AWARDED AT LATE SEPTEMBER’S EVERETT COHO DERBY. (NMTA)

For the past two years the package has been won by Idaho anglers who entered late July’s The Big One Derby on Lake Couer d’Alene, but who knows who will win the 2019 edition.

Anglers will be more focused on pulling the biggest coho out of local waters, but should note that while the southern portion of Marine Area 8-2 will be available for Edmonds event participants, it won’t be open during the Everett derby.

With federal fishery overseers classifying Snohomish coho as an “overfished” stock, state managers are trying to get as many wild and hatchery fish back to the system as they can.

Another saltwater option for both events is the Tulalip Bubble, which is open Saturdays and Sundays through September.

Recent WDFW catch reports do show silvers being caught inside Puget Sound, and more in the Straits.

The Edmonds Derby is put on by the Sno-King Chapter of the venerable Puget Sound Anglers organization, and features a $5,000 top prize for largest silver, $2,500 for second and $1,000 for third. Unlike the Everett derby, it is only held on saltwater. Last year’s winner was Bill Turner who weighed in a 10.1-pounder.

Today is your last day to buy tickets. For more, see edmondscohoderby.com.

ANGLERS LIKE MICHAEL RIAN (SECOND FROM RIGHT) WILL BE COMPETING TO CATCH THE LARGEST SILVER AT A PAIR OF DERBIES IN SEPTEMBER TO SCORE COLD, HARD GREENBACKS. FIRST UP IS THE EDMONDS COHO DERBY THIS SATURDAY, THEN COMES THE EVERETT COHO DERBY TWO WEEKENDS LATER. (EVERETT COHO DERBY)

AREA 8-2 IS WHERE 2018’s Everett Coho Derby winner caught his $10,000 fish in heaving seas, but you can bet that Michael Rian will just take his very specific strategy to nearby Area 9, Admiralty Inlet, the pipeline that will funnel hundreds of thousands of the bright salmon to Central, South and Deep South Sound streams.

He swears by 66 feet based on experiences in British Columbia and at last year’s derby.

“Our group … has caught a very high number of coho at that exact depth, and have tried to disprove the theory, and we keep losing!” he told me following last year’s win.

Rian used an orange-label herring in a Rhys Davis anchovy helmet in gold, green and chrome and tandem 2/O and 3/O barbless hooks on a 6-foot, 30-pound fluorocarbon leader behind an 11-inch flasher in gold green.

MICHAEL RIAN WON $10,000 AT LAST YEAR’S EVERETT COHO DERBY WITH THIS 13.27-POUNDER. (MICHAEL RIAN)

Last year was the first time the Snohomish Sportsmen’s Club and Everett Steelhead & Salmon Club had been able to hold the derby since 2015 due to low returns and fishery closures. Over the past decade or so, Areas 8-2 and 9 have both produced three winning fish, Area 10 one and the Snohomish one (coincidentally also the largest, 18.16 pounds).

Proceeds benefit local fish projects, including the release of 80,000-plus coho fry annually.

To get ready for the event, check out John and Conner Martinis’s free “High Percentage Coho Fishing” seminar starting at 6 p.m., Weds., Sept. 19, at Everett Bayside Marine off of West Marine View Drive.

For more, see everettcohoderby.com.