Tag Archives: columbia river

Springer Catch Stays Below Quota But Doesn’t Look Like Enough For Reopener

That good springer fishing on the Lower Columbia that wrapped up Sunday evening was the last on the big river for awhile, at least till a runsize update that’s now not expected until mid-May.

State managers estimate that the recently concluded four-day opener brought the catch to within 423 fish of the upriver quota, and after release mortalities on wild Chinook are factored in and visual stock identifications are double-checked against coded-wire tag data, it’s unlikely there will be any more time on the water for several weeks.

KEVIN GRAY NABBED THIS SPRING CHINOOK OUT OF THE LOWER COLUMBIA ON SUNDAY, THE LAST DAY OF FISHING FOR CHINOOK UNTIL, AT THE VERY EARLIEST, MID-MAY’S RUNSIZE UPDATE. GRAY WAS USING A FLASHER WITH A HERRING BRINED IN GRAYBILL’S SCENT, RUN ON BOTTOM. (FISHING PHOTO CONTEST)

“We’ve got between 350 and 360 fish available for harvest prerunsize update below Bonneville Dam, and that’s not enough to have any kind of opener,” says WDFW’s Ron Roler in Vancouver.

According to the latest stats, from April 20-23 we caught 6,355 adult kings, of which 5,784 were kept, with 75 percent of those coming from the constraining above-Bonneville stocks.

That brought the season totals to 8,947 kept Chinook, including 6,482 upriver fish, over 61,020 anglers trips.

The quota for before the run size is updated is 6,905 Chinook headed for Eastern Washington, Central Idaho and Northeast Oregon streams.

“We were concerned we were going to be over,” says Roler. “That number turned out to be a relief for me and Oregon.”

Nearly all of this season’s salmon have been caught in April, with an estimated 7,772 for boaters, 750 for Oregon bankies, and 379 for Washington plunkers.

Over the final four days, best catch was in the western Columbia Gorge, where 1,192 were brought over the rails of jet sleds fishing above the eastern tip of Reed Island to the boat deadline below the dam.

“I think we’re done in the lower river until the runsize update — that may not be till mid-May,” says Roler, pointing to high, muddy, cold water that gives springers “no reason to hurry” upstream.

The dam count sits at 1,732 through yesterday, just 6 percent of the 10-year average.

Roler does say that it’s likely there will be talks about the springer fishery above Bonneville to the Oregon-Washington border, which is slated to otherwise wrap up May 5.

 

SW WA, Lower Columbia Fishing Report (4-24-17)

THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION ORIGINATED WITH WDFW AND WAS TRANSMITTED BY JOE HYMER, PSMFC

Salmon/Steelhead

Cowlitz River – 29 bank anglers kept 3 adult, 2 jack spring Chinook and 2 steelhead.  23 boat anglers kept 2 adult spring Chinook, 4 steelhead and released 1 steelhead.

Last week, Tacoma Power employees recovered 371 winter-run steelhead adults, one winter-run steelhead jack, 505 spring Chinook adults, 26 spring Chinook jacks and two summer-run steelhead adults in five days of operations at the Cowlitz Salmon Hatchery separator.

During the past week, Tacoma Power employees released 137 spring Chinook adults, nine spring Chinook jacks, and 17 winter-run steelhead adults into the Cispus River near Yellow Jacket Creek and 78 spring Chinook adults and three spring Chinook jacks into Lake Scanewa located in Randle.

Last week, Tacoma employees released 15 winter-run steelhead adults into the Tilton River located at Gust Backstrom Park in Morton and 162 spring Chinook adults and ten spring Chinook jacks at Franklin Bridge in Packwood.

River flows at Mayfield Dam are approximately 13,300 cubic feet per second on Monday, April 24. Water visibility is five feet and water temperature is 44.6 F.

ALLEN HEAD OF PORTLAND OREGON CAUGHT THIS HANSOM CHINOOK FROM THE LOWER COLUMBIA ON WRAPPED PLUG WHILE FISHING WITH GUIDE MIKE KELLY. (VIA BUZZ RAMSEY)

Wind River – 4 boat anglers had no catch.

Drano Lake – 6 bank anglers had no catch.  18 boat anglers kept 1 adult spring Chinook.  ~ 25 boats here last Saturday morning.

Klickitat River – 2 bank anglers had no catch.

Lower Columbia mainstem below Bonneville Dam – From last Thurs.-Sun. we sampled 3,129 salmonid anglers (including 1,021 boats) with 703 adult, 25 jack spring Chinook and 3 steelhead.  625 (89%) of the adult spring Chinook were kept.  We sampled 536 (86%) of the adult spring Chinook kept.  Based on Visual Stock Identification (VSI), 422 (79%) of the fish sampled were upriver stock.  All of the steelhead were kept.

A hearing has been scheduled for Wednesday, April 19 at 1 PM via teleconference to review harvest and stock status and consider the recreational spring Chinook fishery downstream of Bonneville Dam.

The mainstem Columbia from Bonneville Dam to the WA/OR border is scheduled to remain open for hatchery Chinook and hatchery steelhead through Fri. May 5.

5-day Springer Extension Yields 2,029 For BBQs; 4 More Days Coming

Editor’s note: Updated 3:40 p.m., April 18, 2017 at bottom

Catches surged during the recently concluded five-day extension of Columbia spring Chinook season.

An estimate from the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife’s Jimmy Watt’s says that from April 13 through the 17th, 2,264 of the early salmon were caught and 2,029 were kept across nearly 12,000 angler trips.

THOUGH THIS YEAR’S 4-YEAR-OLD SPRINGERS SEEM TO BE A BIT SMALLER THAN USUAL, NOT SO WITH THIS LIKELY 5-YEAR-OLD FISH HELD BY GUIDE ERIC LINDE. A CLIENT CAUGHT THE ESTIMATED 30-POUNDER ON A HERRING BEHIND A FISH FLASH. (VIA BUZZ RAMSEY)

With 70 percent of those springers bound for tribs above Bonneville, that brings the upriver tally to 2,119 out of the 6,905 available before the runsize update.

Overall, 3,163 kings have been kept this season, a figure which includes fish that would have turned off into the Cowlitz, Kalama and Willamette.

Boaters have accounted for 2,616 of those, Oregon bankees 340 and Washington plunkers 146.

All except 61 were bonked in April.

Huge, cold flows appear to have slowed the run down.

“The 503 adult spring Chinook counted at Bonneville Dam through April 16 are the second lowest on record since at least 1939,” reported fisheries biologist Joe Hymer in Vancouver this morning. “The record low are the 205 fish counted through April 16, 2006.”

Still, anglers have been catching fish, but in a different spot than usual.

Catch tallies show 589 carded in Zone 10, below Cathlamet, followed by 502 below the Lewis (beware the closure around the trib mouth), 424 from the Willamette to the Lewis, and 317 around the Puget Island reach.

Buzz Ramsey at Yakima Bait has been keeping a close eye on the fishery, forwarding his pics and those of guides catching kings on anchor with M2 Flatfish and trolling herring and Fish Flashes.

Fishing is closed for springers on the Columbia at the moment, but scheduled to reopen this coming Thursday through Sunday, April 20-23.

Managers had planned to hold a teleconference tomorrow afternoon at 1 to go over the fishery and run status, but subsequently cancelled it. They say they may hold one April 26 to review things.

SW WA, Columbia Fishing Report (4-18-17)

THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION ORIGINATED WITH WDFW AND WAS TRANSMITTED BY JOE HYMER, PSMFC

Salmon/Steelhead

FACTIOD – The 503 adult spring Chinook counted at Bonneville Dam through April 16 are the second lowest on record since at least 1939.  The record low are the 205 fish counted through April 16, 2006.

Cowlitz River – 8 bank anglers with 1 steelhead kept.  20 boat anglers with 3 adult Chinook kept.

ANGIE WILDER OF BEND PICKED UP THIS NICE SPRING CHINOOK WHILE FISHING ON ANCHOR IN 12 FEET OF WATER WITH AN M2 FLATFISH. SHE WAS OUT WITH GUIDE MIKE KELLEY. (VIA BUZZ RAMSEY)

Last week, Tacoma Power employees recovered 300 winter-run steelhead adults, five winter-run steelhead jacks, 347 spring Chinook adults, seven spring Chinook jacks and one summer-run steelhead adult in five daysof operations at the Cowlitz Salmon Hatchery separator.

During the past week, Tacoma Power employees released 84 spring Chinook adults, one spring Chinook jack, 49 winter-run steelhead adults  and one steelhead jack into the Cispus River near Yellow Jacket Creek and 132 spring Chinook adults, one spring Chinook jack, one winter-run steelhead jack and ten winter-run steelhead into Lake Scanewa located in Randle.

Last week, Tacoma employees released 13 winter-run steelhead adults into the Tilton River located at Gust Backstrom Park in Morton and released 81 spring Chinook adults at Franklin Bridge in Packwood.

River flows at Mayfield Dam are approximately 12,400 cubic feet per second on Monday, April 17. Water visibility is six feet and water temperature is 44.6 F

North Fork Lewis River from Johnson Creek (located downstream from Lewis River Salmon Hatchery) upstream to Merwin Dam – During the month of May, closed to all fishing.

Wind River – 1 lonely boat there last Saturday.  No report on catch.

Effective May 1 through June 30, from the mouth to the Hwy. 14 Bridge each angler aboard a vessel may deploy SALMON/STEELHEAD angling gear until the daily SALMON/STEELHEAD limit for all anglers aboard has been achieved. In addition, anglers with a Two-Pole Endorsement may fish for salmon and steelhead with two poles during the same period.

Beginning May 1, anti-snagging rule will be in effect from the Hwy. 14 Bridge upstream. When the anti-snagging rule is in effect, only fish hooked inside the mouth may be retained.

Wind River from 100 feet above Shipherd Falls upstream to boundary markers approximately 800 yards downstream from Carson National Fish Hatchery (except closed 400 feet below to 100 feet above the Coffer Dam) -From May 1 through June 30, the salmon and steelhead daily limit will be a total of 2 chinook or hatchery steelhead or one of each. Unmarked chinook may be retained in this section of the Wind. Night closure and anti-snagging rule will be in effect. Only fish hooked inside the mouth may be retained.

Drano Lake – 17 boat anglers had no catch.  2-3 boats observed there daily.

Effective May 1 through June 30, each angler aboard a vessel may deploy SALMON/STEELHEAD angling gear until the daily SALMON/STEELHEAD limit for all anglers aboard has been achieved. In addition, anglers with a Two-Pole Endorsement may fish for salmon and steelhead with two poles during the same period.

Klickitat River – No effort observed.

Lower Columbia mainstem below Bonneville Dam -From last Thurs.-Sun. we sampled 1,369 salmonid anglers (including 443 boats) with 246 adult, 1 jack spring Chinook and 6 steelhead.  227 (92%) of the adult spring Chinook were kept.  We sampled 206 (91%) of the adult spring Chinook kept.  Based on Visual Stock identification (VSI), 159 (77%) of the fish sampled were upriver stock.

2 (33%) of the steelhead were kept.

Effort is increasing with nearly 1,000 salmonid boats and 600 bank anglers counted during last Saturday’s flight.

A hearing has been scheduled for Wednesday, April 19 at 1 PM via teleconference to review harvest and stock status and consider the recreational spring Chinook fishery downstream of Bonneville Dam.

Sturgeon

Lower Columbia mainstem below Bonneville Dam – Light effort and catch.

All fishing for sturgeon will be closed from May 1 through Aug. 31 in the sturgeon sanctuary from Bonneville Dam downstream 9 miles to a line crossing the Columbia River from navigation Marker 82 on the Oregon shore westerly to the boundary marker on the Washington shore upstream of Fir Point.

Bonneville Pool – No report on success during the current catch-and-release only fishery. Angling for sturgeon will be prohibited from May 1 through July 31 between The Dalles Dam downstream 1.8 miles to a line from the east (upstream) dock at the Port of The Dalles boat ramp straight across to a marker on the Washington shore.

The Dalles Pool -No report on success during the current catch-and-release only fishery. Under permanent rules to protect spawning fish, closed to fishing for sturgeon from John Day Dam downstream 2.4 miles to the west end of the grain silo at Rufus Oregon

John Day Pool – No report on success during the current catch-and-release only fishery. Under permanent rules to protect spawning fish, closed to fishing for sturgeon from McNary Dam downstream 1.5 miles to Hwy. 82 (Hwy. 395) Bridge May 1 through July 31.

Trout

Recent plants of catchable size rainbows and browns into SW waters.  No report on angling success.

Lake/Pond
Date
Species
Number
Fish per Pound
Hatchery
Notes

Clark County – Region 5
Apr 10, 2017
Rainbow
2,500
1.85
VANCOUVER HATCHERY

KLINELINE PD (CLAR)<http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/plants/weekly/search.php?searchby=LakeStocked&search=KLINELINE+PD+%28CLAR%29&orderby=LakeStocked%20ASC,%20StockDate%20DESC>
Clark County – Region 5
Apr 10, 2017
Brown Trout
2,500
1.75
VANCOUVER HATCHERY

KRESS LK (COWL)<http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/plants/weekly/search.php?searchby=LakeStocked&search=KRESS+LK+%28COWL%29&orderby=LakeStocked%20ASC,%20StockDate%20DESC>
Cowlitz County – Region 5
Apr 12, 2017
Brown Trout
1,755
2.7
MOSSYROCK HATCHERY

LK SACAJAWEA (COWL)<http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/plants/weekly/search.php?searchby=LakeStocked&search=LK+SACAJAWEA+%28COWL%29&orderby=LakeStocked%20ASC,%20StockDate%20DESC>
Cowlitz County – Region 5
Apr 12, 2017
Brown Trout
1,755
2.7
MOSSYROCK HATCHERY

TUNNEL LK (SKAM)<http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/plants/weekly/search.php?searchby=LakeStocked&search=TUNNEL+LK+%28SKAM%29&orderby=LakeStocked%20ASC,%20StockDate%20DESC>
Skamania County – Region 5
Apr 12, 2017
Rainbow
2,000
2.36
GOLDENDALE HATCHERY

CRITFC Releases Name Of Tech Who Died On Columbia, More On Accident

THE FOLLOWING IS A PRESS RELEASE FROM THE COLUMBIA RIVER INTER-TRIBAL FISH COMMISSION

On Friday, April 7, 2017 a Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission (CRITFC) four-member crew was conducting sea lion abundance counts in the lower Columbia River aboard the research vessel CRITFC 3 when it capsized near Multnomah Falls. Crewmember Greg George (56) was transported via Life Flight to Portland where he later died. A member of the Yakama Nation, Greg came from a well-known fishing family and had decades of experience on the river as both a fisher and research technician. He worked on a number of fisheries projects over the past 20 years for CRITFC, USGS, and the Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission. His work at CRITFC included measuring gas bubble trauma in juvenile salmon, removing northern pike minnow, and evaluating sea lion predation on returning salmon in the lower Columbia River.

The other three crewmembers received care for mild hypothermia in area hospitals and were released later that day. The surviving crewmembers are Bobby Begay and Maria Jim, both Yakama Nation tribal members, and Tyler Simmons, a Umatilla tribal member.

THE COLUMBIA RIVER INTER-TRIBAL FISH COMMISSION REPORTS THAT ON THE DAY ITS TECH GREG GEORGE DIED, THE CREW REPORTED THAT THE RIVER IN THE WESTERN GORGE WAS “CALM” AT THE START OF THEIR SEA LION SURVEY AT PHOCA ROCKS, NEAR WHERE THIS IMAGE WAS TAKEN, BUT WINDS CAME UP AND CONDITIONS DETERIORATED, SENDING A WAVE OVER THE BOW OF THEIR BOAT. (ANDY WALGAMOTT)

Davis Washines, Yakama Nation General Council Chairman and retired Chief of CRITFC Enforcement met with CRITFC staff on Monday morning to reflect on the accident and honor Greg. “We are taught to always treat one another in a good way, because we never know when the Creator will call our name. One day, we can be talking and visiting with someone, and the next day they can be gone. Greg grew up as a Columbia River fisherman and worked over the past 20 years helping to restore and protect the salmon runs, which he was doing when this tragic accident happened. He loved the river and saw the importance of his job protecting salmon. We can now say that he truly dedicated his life to this effort. He worked for something important and this work goes on. We can pay tribute to his sacrifice and his honor by continuing to restore and protect our first food, salmon.”

The day started at 8:30am when the crew checked in with the Portland office and reported that the Columbia River just below Bonneville Dam was calm and that they were heading to Phoca Rock for their morning sea lion count. Phoca Rock is an outcrop across from Bridle Veil Falls 13 miles downstream from Bonneville Dam. On their return, river conditions worsened and a large wave broke over the bow of the boat, capsizing it. The crewmembers were able to exit the cabin and held on to the capsized vessel until it sank. All were wearing flotation devices and were retrieved from the water by the Gresham Fire and Rescue team who were dispatched after receiving 911 calls.

The CRITFC 3 was a three-year-old, 26-foot research vessel that was equipped with twin-engines, a self-bailing deck, and the latest navigation and safety equipment.

“CRITFC and it’s member tribes mourn the loss of our colleague and our friend who was lost in this accident and give thanks for the safe return of the other three crew members,” said Leland Bill, Chairman of the Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission. “The crew captain showed true bravery and his actions prevented an even larger tragedy. The Columbia River offers many gifts but its power makes it dangerous, even for the most experienced.”

“We are overwhelmed by the community support and well-wishes from our state and federal partners as well as members of the public,” Chairman Bill continued. “We will be forever grateful to the first responders who were involved in the rescue effort and provided care to our crew.”

2 NW US Reps Introduce Bill To Control Sea Lion Predation On Columbia ESA Fish Stocks

THE FOLLOWING IS A JOINT PRESS RELEASE FROM U.S. REPS. JAMIE HERRERA BEUTLER AND KURT SCHRADER

U.S. Reps. Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-WA) and Kurt Schrader (D-OR) have introduced the Endangered Salmon and Fisheries Predation Prevention Act, a bipartisan bill to improve the survival of endangered salmon, steelhead and other native fish species in the Columbia River system. The legislation provides tribal members and government fish managers with the means to remove sea lions from specific areas where they are posing the most harm.

Our community prioritizes protecting salmon and steelhead in the Columbia River because they are central to our way of life in the Pacific Northwest,” said Jaime. “The Endangered Salmon and Fisheries Predation Prevention Act is critical because sea lion predation is posing a serious threat to our salmon populations, impacting our efforts to ensure their survival. With this solution, we have to tools to better protect the salmon so vital to our recreational, cultural and economic interests.”

SEA LIONS CROWD THE DOCKS AT ASTORIA IN SPRING 2015. (WDFW)

“Over the last few years, we’ve seen a record number of California and Steller sea lions in the Columbia River from Astoria to Bonneville Dam,” said Rep. Schrader. “These sea lions pose a real threat to the salmon in the river that BPA ratepayers and my constituents pay hundreds of millions of dollars annually as part of the largest mitigation program in the country for threatened and endangered species. These predators are present in numbers totally inconsistent with their historic range. Even the National Marine Fisheries Service called the mortality of salmon returning to the Columbia River Basin that’s attributable to sea lions alarming. We need to eliminate this threat to our iconic Oregon salmon that are struggling to survive. I’ve been working with Rep. Herrera Beutler and our states, tribes, and local communities for several years now on solutions to save our salmon, and this legislation will provide the states and tribal members the authority they need to eliminate this threat once and for all.”

“Unless Congress finally acts to protect our wild and endangered Columbia River basin salmon and steelhead from extensive, unnatural sea lion predation we will likely lose species to extinction,” said Gary Loomis, founder of G-Loomis, Edge Rods and Coastal Conservation Association in the Pacific Northwest.  “There is strong scientific consensus on the need for action and I applaud the bipartisan efforts of Representatives Jaime Herrera Beutler and Kurt Schrader to lead this important effort once again.  The rest of our Congressional delegation – Senate and House, Republican and Democrat – need to support this effort before it is too late.”

“The spring chinook loss, coupled with the growing sea lion population, has placed us in an emergency situation,” said Leland Bill, chairman of the Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission. “The Endangered Salmon and Fisheries Predation Prevention Act   would give us the flexibility to address the current sea lion situation so conflicts with at-risk species can be managed.”

Specifically, this bipartisan bill would authorize states and tribal members to lethally remove sea lions that are predating on endangered salmon, steelhead and other native fish species. This bill builds on previous versions of the legislation by requiring eligible entities to have received training from a state fish and wildlife organization. The Endangered Salmon and Fisheries Predation Prevention Act is supported by a broad spectrum of Northwest residents and organizations that includes recreational fishermen represented by the Coastal Conservation Association, Tribes and the Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife.

Historic recovery efforts of endangered salmon and steelhead populations in the Columbia River have been compromised by exponentially increasing sea lion predation in recent years. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), California sea lions have killed the largest proportion of spring Chinook salmon and steelhead this year than any year since 2011.

The estimated consumption of salmon and steelhead by California sea lions in the Bonneville Dam tailrace was 1.14% (1,402 fish) in 2013, 1.17% (2,615 fish) in 2014, 3.12% (7,779 fish) in 2015, and 3.9% (6,371 fish) in 2016.

Protecting salmon populations helps secure a future for recreational fishing in Washington state – an industry that contributes 4,811 jobs, generates $498 million in sales and contributes $361 million to the state’s gross domestic product (2014 statistics).

SW WA, Lower Columbia Fishing Report (4-10-17)

THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION ORIGINATED WITH WDFW AND WAS TRANSMITTED BY JOE HYMER, PSMFC

Salmon/Steelhead

Cowlitz River – 128 bank anglers kept 3 adult spring Chinook, 19 steelhead and released 3 steelhead, 1 cutthroat.  37 boat anglers kept 4 adult spring Chinook, 20 steelhead and released 1 adult spring Chinook.

Last week, Tacoma Power employees recovered 315 winter-run steelhead adults, one winter-run steelhead jack, 60 spring Chinook adults and one cutthroat trout in five days of operations at the Cowlitz Salmon Hatchery separator.

SPRING CHINOOK CATCHES HAVE SURGED ON THE COLUMBIA AFTER A SLOW START. MITCH SANCHOTENA CAUGHT THIS ONE YESTERDAY WHILE FISHING WITH HIS WIFE SHIRLEY AND BUZZ RAMSEY. “THIS FISH HIT A 4.0 MAG LIP IN THE MAD CLOWN FINISH. WE WERE ON ANCHOR IN 12 FEET OF WATER WITH THE PLUG RIGGED OFF A 24-INCH DROPPER LINE AND 48-INCH LEADER,” RAMSEY REPORTS. (BUZZ RAMSEY)

During the past week, Tacoma Power employees released 28 winter-run steelhead adults into the Cispus River near Yellow Jacket Creek and released 24 spring Chinook adults and one winter-run steelhead into Lake Scanewa located in Randle.

Last week, Tacoma employees released four winter-run steelhead adults and one cutthroat adult into the Tilton River located at Gust Backstrom Park in Morton.

River flows at Mayfield Dam are approximately 9,680 cubic feet per second on Monday, April 10. Water visibility is five feet and water temperature is 43.7 F.

East Fork Lewis from mouth to top boat ramp at Lewisville Park and Washougal River from mouth to Mt. Norway Bridge – Open to fishing for hatchery steelhead Sunday April 16. Through the first Friday in June, selective gear rules are in effect; no bait may be used.

Wind, White Salmon, and Klickitat rivers and Drano Lake – No effort including the bank only area outside the mouth of Drano Lake.

Drano Lake – April 12 is the first of the scheduled Wednesday closures that run through June. Effective April 16 through June 30, bank fishing only west of a line projected from the easternmost pillar of the Hwy. 14 Bridge to a posted marker on the north shore.

Lower Columbia mainstem below Bonneville Dam – Last week we sampled 1,640 salmonid anglers (including 534 boats) with 165 adult and 2 jack spring Chinook and 5 steelhead.  148 (90%) of the adult spring Chinook were kept.  We sampled 131 (89%) of the adult spring Chinook kept.  Based on Visual Stock Identification, 81 (62%) of the fish sampled were upriver stock.

2 (40%) of the steelhead were kept.

Today (Mon. April 10) is the last scheduled day of the fishery.

ANNOUNCEMENT

COLUMBIA RIVER JOINT STATE HEARING

April 7, 2017

A hearing is scheduled for 10:00 AM Wednesday April 12, 2017 via teleconference to consider the recreational spring Chinook fishery in the Columbia River below Bonneville Dam. Select Area commercial fisheries may also be considered.

Sturgeon/Walleye

Lower Columbia mainstem below Bonneville Dam – We did not sample any sturgeon or walleye anglers.

Trout

Recent plants of trout and surplus steelhead into SW WA waters.  No report on angling success.
Lake/Pond
Date
Species
Number
Fish per Pound
Hatchery
Notes

BATTLE GROUND LK (CLAR)<http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/plants/weekly/search.php?searchby=LakeStocked&search=BATTLE+GROUND+LK+%28CLAR%29&orderby=LakeStocked%20ASC,%20StockDate%20DESC>
Clark County – Region 5
Apr 03, 2017
Rainbow
2,000
2.4
GOLDENDALE HATCHERY

LACAMAS LK (CLAR)<http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/plants/weekly/search.php?searchby=LakeStocked&search=LACAMAS+LK+%28CLAR%29&orderby=LakeStocked%20ASC,%20StockDate%20DESC>
Clark County – Region 5
Apr 03, 2017
Rainbow
6,000
2
VANCOUVER HATCHERY

BATTLE GROUND LK (CLAR)<http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/plants/weekly/search.php?searchby=LakeStocked&search=BATTLE+GROUND+LK+%28CLAR%29&orderby=LakeStocked%20ASC,%20StockDate%20DESC>
Clark County – Region 5
Apr 04, 2017
Cutthroat
3,653
2.37
SKAMANIA HATCHERY

MARYHILL PD (KLIC)<http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/plants/weekly/search.php?searchby=LakeStocked&search=MARYHILL+PD+%28KLIC%29&orderby=LakeStocked%20ASC,%20StockDate%20DESC>
Klickitat County – Region 5
Apr 04, 2017
Rainbow
400
2.4
GOLDENDALE HATCHERY

HORSESHOE LK (COWL)<http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/plants/weekly/search.php?searchby=LakeStocked&search=HORSESHOE+LK+%28COWL%29&orderby=LakeStocked%20ASC,%20StockDate%20DESC>
Cowlitz County – Region 5
Apr 05, 2017
Steelhead
33
0.1
MERWIN DAM FCF
Adult Winters

Lower Columbia Fishing Update (4-5-17)

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

Lower Columbia mainstem sport update thru April 2

FYI – last week on the lower Columbia, anglers made 2,273 trips and caught 29 adult spring Chinook.

Bonneville Dam flows continue to be at record high levels

Yesterday’s average flows at Bonneville Dam were 445,300 cfs.  Flows have never been above 400,000 cfs on April 3 since at least 1950.  The previous high were the 381,500 cfs on April 3, 1969.

Bonneville adult spring Chinook counts reach a new low

Through April 3, only 22 adult spring Chinook have been counted at Bonneville Dam.  The previous low were the 25 fish counted through April 3, 1949.

WHILE THE BONNEVILLE SPRING CHINOOK COUNT REGISTERED A RECORD LOW OF JUST 22 THROUGH APRIL 3, BIOLOGIST JOE HYMER ATTRIBUTES THAT TO “SUPER HIGH FLOWS AND COOL WATER TEMPS,” AND FEELS FISH ARE “COMING.” THIS IMAGE FROM LATE MARCH SHOWS THE BEACON ROCK BOAT RAMP. (PSMFC)

Salmon, Steelhead and Shad

Catch rate and effort increased slightly this last week.

Gorge Bank: No report.

Gorge Boats: No report.

Troutdale Boats: Weekend checking showed no catch for two boats (seven anglers).

Portland to Westport Bank: Weekend checking showed three adult spring Chinook, and two steelhead kept, plus one steelhead released for 159 bank anglers.

Portland to Westport Boats: Weekend checking showed three adult spring Chinook kept, and two steelhead released for 64 boats (149 anglers).

Estuary Bank (Clatsop Spit to Wauna Powerlines): Weekend checking showed no catch for four bank anglers.

Estuary Boats (Tongue Point to Wauna Powerlines): Weekend checking showed no catch for eight boats (14 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.

STURGEON

Lower Columbia River (below Bonneville Dam): Closed for retention. Weekend checking showed one sublegal sturgeon released for one boat (three anglers).

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

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

John Day Pool (John Day Dam upstream to McNary Dam):  Closed for retention.  Weekly checking showed two legal white sturgeon kept, plus six sublegal and one legal white sturgeon released for 32 bank anglers; and five legal white sturgeon kept, plus 12 sublegal and three oversize sturgeon released for 10 boats (27 anglers).

WALLEYE

Troutdale:  No report.

Bonneville Pool:  No report.

The Dalles Pool:  No report.

John Day Pool: Weekly checking showed one walleye released for five boats (10 anglers).

Lower Columbia, SW WA Fishing Report (4-3-17)

THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION ORIGINATED WITH ODFW AND WDFW AND WAS TRANSMITTED BY JOE HYMER, PSMFC

Salmon/Steelhead

BONUS FACTOID

The 14 adult spring Chinook counted at Bonneville Dam through March 29 is the 4th lowest since at least 1938.  The fewest are the 2 fish counted through March 29, 1949.

BUZZ RAMSEY REPORTS THAT LOWER COLUMBIA RIVER GUIDE BRANDON GLASS HAS LANDED THREE HATCHERY SPRING CHINOOK IN THE LAST TWO DAYS BY USING A HERRING 30 INCHES BEHIND A DOUBLE FISH FLASH SET-UP. (BRANDON GLASS VIA BUZZ RAMSEY)

Cowlitz River – 138 bank anglers kept 3 adult spring Chinook and 10 steelhead.  86 boat anglers kept 2 adult spring Chinook, 34 steelhead and released 2 steelhead.

Last week, Tacoma Power employees recovered 206 winter-run steelhead adults and 11 spring Chinook adults in five days of operations at the Cowlitz Salmon Hatchery separator.

During the past week, Tacoma Power employees released 37 winter-run steelhead adults into the Cispus River near Yellow Jacket Creek and released eight spring Chinook adults into Lake Scanewa located in Randle.

Last week, Tacoma employees released 22 winter-run steelhead adults into the Tilton River located at Gust Backstrom Park in Morton and three spring Chinook adults were released at Franklin Bridge in Packwood.

River flows at Mayfield Dam are approximately 14,600 cubic feet per second on Monday, April 3. Water visibility is four feet and water temperature is 43.5 F.

Wind River – No effort.

Drano Lake – 2 boat anglers had no catch.

Lower Columbia below Bonneville Dam – Fishing is slowly improving with 3 of the 245 anglers sampled (including 72 boats) catching and keeping a spring Chinook.  Two fish were lower river and 1 upriver stock based on VSI.

In comparison, during the first 3 days of April 2016 we sampled 2,228 salmonid anglers (including 759 boats) with 469 adult spring Chinook!

Sturgeon

Lower Columbia mainstem – We did not sample any sturgeon anglers last week.

Walleye

Lower Columbia below Bonneville Dam – 1 boat angler had no catch.

John Day Pool – Boat anglers are catching some walleye

Bass

John Day Pool – A couple boat anglers released a handful of bass.

Columbia Springer Season Extended Through April 10

Spring Chinook season on the Lower Columbia has been extended to April 10, and what happens after that depends on how managers play their hand.

While catches so far have been far below modeling, with all of 53 keepers through March 26, between the high, murky flows surging through Bonneville and downstream test catches, there is reason for hope.

“There are fish in the river; we just don’t know how to get to them,” says Joe Hymer, a supervising fisheries biologist in Vancouver.

Well, at least sport anglers. Boats using tangle nets to gauge the run size for long-term data bases found some.

Hymer reports that a fishery on the 26th near Cathlamet yielded 3.1 springers per drift, up from 1.7 on the 19th, and better than 2016’s peak of 2.7 on April 3.

The caveat to that is, it’s likely that low sport catches and pinniped predation probably helped make for an “abnormally high catch rate,” says Hymer.

“But we do know upper river fish are in the lower river,” he adds.

Today’s news comes out of a joint state hearing. The Northwest Sportfishing Industry Association applauded Oregon’s and Washington managers decision to extend the fishery well ahead of the scheduled April 6 closure, which followed the organization’s request for an early announcement.

“The lack of fishing brought on by these river conditions has been particularly tough on the industry and we are deeply appreciative of how quickly ODFW and WDFW responded,” NSIA’s Liz Hamilton said in an email.

The extension also means the mainstem Columbia will be available for the organization’s important Spring Fishing Classic fundraiser on April 8.

Looking further down the road, Hymer says Oregon and Washington managers are looking at two options as the next week to 10 days play out.

If fishing conditions continue to be poor, it’s possible they’ll meet late next week and add days past April 10.

If it picks up, they could keep the river open through the 10th, close it and reassess the situation.

Before early to mid-May’s run-size update, the states are managing toward a cap of 6,905 above-Bonneville-bound springers, a figure which reflects a 30 percent buffer on a forecasted run of 160,400 to Eastern Washington, Northeast Oregon and Central Idaho tribs.

Of the 53 spring Chinook kept so far, 24 have been from the fishery-constraining upriver stocks, according to WDFW.

Hymer feels that this year’s run is being held back by extreme flows through Bonneville, as high as 460,000 cubic feet per second last Saturday. The dam count is all of 14 through March 26, tied for worst back through 1977, a review of records today showed.

But he thinks that once the fish start moving, they will move fast.

Portland guide Jack Glass posted on Facebook this afternoon that during high water during a season half a decade ago, he found success running two Fish Flashes. He’ll be giving a seminar tonight from 6-8 at Sportsman’s Warehouse in Southeast Portland of I-205.

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

Fishery managers extend spring Chinook season on lower Columbia

CLACKAMAS, Ore. – The spring Chinook fishing season on the lower Columbia River has been extended through April 10 under rules adopted today by Oregon and Washington fishery managers. Managers cited poor fishing conditions and limited harvest to-date in making their decision to extend the season.

Under the rules adopted today, the Columbia River from Buoy 10 upstream to Beacon Rock (boat and bank) plus bank angling only from Beacon Rock upstream to the Bonneville Dam deadline will remain open for spring Chinook through Monday, April 10. The closure area near the mouth of the Lewis River remains in effect.

The daily bag limit is two adult salmonids per day, but only one may be a Chinook.  Only adipose fin-clipped fish may be kept; all sockeye must be released per permanent regulation. All other permanent regulations apply.  Anglers are reminded that under rules previously adopted, from March 16 through May 15 the mainstem Columbia River will be open for retention of adipose fin-clipped steelhead from Buoy 10 to the Highway 395 Bridge and shad from Buoy 10 to Bonneville Dam only during days and in areas open for retention of adipose fin-clipped spring Chinook.

Managers will be monitoring the fishery and plan to meet the week of April 10 to see if additional days can be added to the season.