Tag Archives: columbia river

SW WA, Lower Columbia, Hanford Reach Fishing Report (7-31-17)

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

FACTOID

A few summer run chum have been found in the Cowlitz and Kalama rivers.

CHUM SALMON ARE NATIVE TO THE LOWER COLUMBIA, AND WHILE FEW RETURN ANNUALLY THESE DAYS, THOSE THAT DO MOSTLY HEAD FOR A CREEK NEAR BONNEVILLE OR THE GRAYS RIVER NEAR THE MOUTH. (JOE HYMER)

Salmon/Steelhead

Cowlitz River – Above the I-5 Br:  61 bank rods kept 7 adult spring Chinook and 2 steelhead and released 1 adult and 1 jack spring Chinook.  52 boats/157 rods kept 48 steelhead and released 1 jack spring Chinook and 10 cutthroats

Below the I-5 Br:  1 boat/2 rods and 1 bank angler had no catch.

Mainstem Lewis River – 2 boat anglers kept 1 steelhead.

Drano Lake – 22 boat anglers kept 2 adult Chinook and 6 steelhead and released 13 steelhead and 1 adult Chinook.  ~12 boats here on weekdays and ~25 boats here last Saturday morning.

Lower Columbia mainstem below Bonneville Dam – Last week we sampled 1,042 salmonid anglers (165 boats) with 23 adult and 2 jack summer Chinook, 85 steelhead, and no sockeye.  8 (35%) of the adult summer Chinook and 45 (53%) of the steelhead were kept.

Any Chinook (adipose fin clipped or not) may be retained beginning tomorrow (August 1).  All steelhead must be released during the month of August.

Hanford Reach Summer Chinook/Sockeye Fishery- From Paul A. Hoffarth District 4 Fish Biologist WA Dept. of Fish & Wildlife in Pasco WA –

Effort has been slow but did pick up slightly this past week.  There were an estimated 37 boats fishing for summer chinook salmon in the Columbia River between Highway 395 and Priest Rapids Dam during the week.  WDFW staff interviewed 9 anglers from 7 boats with 1 hatchery jack chinook harvested and 4 wild adult chinook caught and released.

For the season there have been 2,366 angler trips for summer chinook/sockeye with 115 adult hatchery chinook, 42 chinook jacks, and 885 sockeye harvested. Area fisheries will continue to be open to fishing for hatchery summer chinook through August 15. On August 16, the fall fishery will open.

Sturgeon

Lower Columbia mainstem below Bonneville Dam – We sampled 39 sturgeon anglers (including 12 boats) with 30 legals released.

Hanford Reach – 6 boats, 16 anglers, 76 hours, 4 caught, 1 harvested, 1 legal + 2 shakers released (19 hours/fish)

Bass and Walleye

Lower Columbia mainstem below Bonneville Dam – Last week we sampled 9 walleye anglers (6 boats) in the Camas/Washougal area with 3 fish released.

Hanford Reach – Smallmouth bass: 6 boats, 10 anglers, 30 hours, 31 caught, 4 harvested (1 hour/fish)

Walleye: 11 boats, 18 anglers, 61 hours, 34 caught, 19 harvested (1.8 hours/fish)

Cowlitz Steelhead Limit Dropping To Two Due To Low Returns

It’s not just the Columbia River that’s seeing a low return of summer steelhead.

Fewer than expected are coming back to the Cowlitz, so state managers are reducing the daily limit from three to two, as well as dropping the requirement to keep any hatchery steelhead caught.

THE DAILY STEELHEAD LIMIT ON THE COWLITZ RIVER IS BEING DROPPED BY ONE STARTING NEXT MONDAY, JULY 31. ANNA RUNYARD CAUGHT THIS NICE SUMMER-RUN A COUPLE SEASONS AGO FISHING AT BARRIER DAM WITH A CORKY AND YARN. (FISHING PHOTO CONTEST)

The change is effective next Monday, July 31, and affects anglers fishing from the Sparks Road/Lexington Bridge upstream to Barrier Dam.

“Low returns of summer steelhead to the Cowlitz Hatchery thus far this season make it necessary to reduce the daily limit as a precautionary measure to ensure enough fish can be collected to meet the hatchery broodstock needs,” says an emergency rule-change notice out from WDFW this afternoon.

According to escapement reports, 381 have returned so far to the Cowlitz Trout Hatchery, 307 to the Cowlitz Salmon Hatchery.

At roughly the same point in 2016, those figures were 372 and 3,302; in 2015 they were 372 and 2,474; and in 2014 they were 460 and 4,503. In 2013, 2,009 had come back.

The daily limit on the Cowlitz below the Lexington Bridge has already been reduced to one because of this year’s low Columbia forecast, and for the month of August, none can be kept in those waters.

A fact sheet out from fishery managers today states that the A-run so far is just 10,418 at Bonneville Dam, “much less than expected” through July 25, which should have been 20,800 based on the forecast.

Pikeminnow Catches Dipping On Columbia, Snake

Pikeminnow catches dropped by more than 1,700 last week over the previous one, with 7,148 brought to stations on the Columbia and Snake Rivers July 17-23.

That figure is also less than half of what it was a month ago but reflective of the typical seasonal lull in the fishery that pays anglers to remove the native species that preys on young salmon and steelhead in the Columbia hydropower system.

THE PIKEMINNOW SPORT REWARD PROGRAM OFFERS INCENTIVES TO CATCH THE SPECIES FROM THE MOUTH OF THE COLUMBIA UP TO TRI-CITIES, AND IN THE SNAKE FROM TRI-CITIES UP TO CLARKSTON. (PIKEMINNOW.ORG)

For the third straight week, Boyer Park on the Snake below Lower Granite Dam retained its spot as most productive, with a haul of 1,771 qualifying fish,

That’s nearly 1,000 more than the second best station, Greenbelt, also on the Snake, where 787 were brought in, according to the latest figures from program manager Eric Winther.

Coming in third was The Dalles, with 675, then Cathlamet, on the Lower Columbia, with 622.

Giles French had the highest catch per angler, with 15.2 for the 38 participants, followed by 9.3 at Cascade Locks and 8.9 at Boyer Park.

The overall average per angler was 5.8 pikeminnow for 1,235 participants, down about a fish a fisherman over the previous week.

Eight specially tagged pikeminnow were turned in last week, up from five the week before, with three at Columbia Point, and one each at Cathlamet, Gleason, Washougal, The Dalles and Greenbelt.

All totaled, 121,014 qualifying pikeminnow have been removed from the Columbia and Snake since the start of season May 1.

The Dalles has been most productive, with 43,613, followed by Columbia Point at 14,681 and Boyer Park 14,054.

Average catch is 6.9, with a range from 11.0 at The Dalles to 1.5 at Willow Grove and Umatilla.

Just over 200 tagged fish have been turned in.

Effort is 17,524 on the season.

The sport reward program pays anglers from $5 to $8 per pikeminnow, with tagged ones worth $500.

For more details, including fishing maps, check out pikeminnow.org.

Lower Columbia, Gorge Pools Fishing Report (7-19-17)

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

Salmon, Steelhead and Shad

On Saturday’s (7/15) flight, 162 salmonid boats and 49 Oregon bank anglers were counted from the Astoria-Megler Bridge to Bonneville Dam.

Gorge Bank: Weekly checking showed one adult Chinook kept, and two adult Chinook and four summer steelhead released for 61 salmon anglers; and 153 shad kept for 29 shad anglers.

Gorge Boats: Weekly checking showed seven adult Chinook and one Chinook jack kept, plus six adult Chinook, one Chinook jack and eight steelhead released for 18 salmon boats (61 anglers).

Troutdale Boats: Weekly checking showed two adult Chinook kept and three adult Chinook released for 57 salmon boats (99 anglers).

Portland to Westport Bank: Weekly checking showed one adult Chinook and three summer steelhead kept, plus one steelhead released for 96 bank anglers.

Portland to Westport Boats: Weekly checking showed four adult Chinook, one sockeye and nine summer steelhead kept, plus two adult Chinook and six steelhead released for 69 boats (150 anglers).

Estuary Bank (Astoria-Megler Bridge to Wauna Power lines): Weekly checking showed no catch for one angler.

Estuary Boats (Astoria-Megler Bridge to Wauna Power lines): Weekly checking showed no catch for two salmon boats (four anglers).

Bonneville Pool: Weekly checking showed no catch for four bank anglers.

The Dalles Pool: No report.

John Day Pool: Weekly checking showed no catch for two bank anglers.

STURGEON

Gorge boats: Catch and release only. No report.

Troutdale boats: Catch and release only.  Weekly checking showed two sublegal and eight legal white sturgeon released for one boat (three anglers).

Portland to Wauna Power lines boats: Catch and release only. Weekly checking showed 11 sublegal and 10 legal white sturgeon released for two boats (four anglers).

Portland to Wauna Power lines bank: Catch and release only.  Weekly checking showed one legal white sturgeon released for one bank angler.

Estuary Boats (Buoy 10 to Wauna Power lines): Catch and release only. Weekly checking showed one green sturgeon, and 39 sublegal, 50 legal and 73 oversize white sturgeon released for eight boats (27 anglers).

Bonneville Pool: Catch and release only. Weekly checking showed no catch for two bank anglers.

The Dalles Pool: Catch and release only. No report.

John Day Pool: Catch and release only. Weekly checking showed one sublegal sturgeon released for two boats (five anglers).

WALLEYE

Troutdale boats: Weekly checking showed 18 walleye kept and eight walleye released for nine boats (18 anglers).

Bonneville Pool: No report.

The Dalles Pool: Weekly checking showed four walleye kept for two boats (six anglers).

John Day Pool: Weekly checking showed 167 walleye kept and 47 walleye released for 29 boats (57 anglers).

Snake’s Boyer Park Again Tops Among Pikeminnow Stations

Pikeminnow catches dipped below five figures for the first week since mid-May, with 8,867 brought to stations on the Columbia and Snake last week.

For the second straight week, Boyer Park retained its spot as most productive, with a July 10-16 haul of 2,762 qualifying fish, more than twice as many as The Dalles, where 1,140 were brought in, according to the latest figures from program manager Eric Winther

A MAP ON PIKEMINNOW.ORG SHOWS HOT SPOTS AROUND BOYER PARK, WHICH IS BELOW LOWER GRANITE DAM ON THE SNAKE RIVER. (PIKEMINNOW.ORG)

Coming in third was Cathlamet, on the Lower Columbia, with 785, then Greenbelt, outside Clarkston, with 710.

Both the rise of Boyer and downtrending of the overall catch are typical for this time of year.

Boyer Park again had the highest catch per angler, with 11.7 for the 236 participants, down from an even 16.0 the previous week, followed by 10.2 at both Ridgefield and Washougal.

The overall average per angler was 6.9 pikeminnow for 1,279 participants.

All totaled, 113,866 qualifying pikeminnow that have been removed from the Columbia and Snake since the start of season May 1. The Dalles has been most productive, with 42,991, followed by Columbia Point at 14,329 and Boyer Park 12,288.

Five specially tagged pikeminnow were caught last week, down from 15 the week before, but with two at Washougal, and one each at Rainier, Ridgefield and Boyer Park.

The sport reward program pays anglers from $5 to $8 per pikeminnow, with tagged ones worth $500. The idea is to reduce the numbers of the native species that prey on young salmon and steelhead in the Columbia hydropower system.

For more details, including fishing maps, check out pikeminnow.org.

SW WA, Columbia Fishing Report (7-17-17)

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

Salmon/Steelhead

Cowlitz River – Below the I-5 Bridge:  29 bank and 1 boat/3 rods had no catch.  From the I-5 Bridge upstream:  184 bank rods kept 23 adult and 2 jack spring Chinook and 9 steelhead and released 2 adult and 2 jack spring Chinook, 3 steelhead, and 2 cutthroats.  67 boats/193 rods kept 65 steelhead and 1 cutthroat and released 1 steelhead and 17 cutthroat.

Lower Columbia mainstem below Bonneville Dam – Last week we sampled 978 salmonid anglers (149 boats) with 42 adult and 6 jack summer Chinook, 67 steelhead, and no sockeye.  24 (57%) of the adult summer Chinook  and 42 (63%) of the steelhead were kept.

SCOTT FLETCHER SHOWS OFF A SUMMER CHINOOK CAUGHT IN THE UPPER COLUMBIA LAST WEEK. (FISHING PHOTO CONTEST)

Anglers averaged a steelhead caught per every 14.6 rods.  In comparison, anglers averaged a fish per every 6.1 and 7.6 rods during the same time in 2015 and 2016, respectively.

Tri-cities Area Summer Chinook & Sockeye Fishery

With the closure of the Upper Columbia River for the retention of sockeye, angler effort has been low.  This past week, July 10-16, there were an estimated 62 boats fishing for summer chinook salmon in the Columbia River between Highway 395 and Priest Rapids Dam.

WDFW staff interviewed 19 anglers from 8 boats with a reported harvest of 1 adult hatchery chinook and 1 wild chinook and 1 sockeye were caught and released.  For the week an estimated 8 adult summer chinook were harvested.  For the season there have been 2,291 angler trips for sockeye/summer chinook with 115 adult hatchery chinook, 23 chinook jacks, and 885 sockeye harvested. Area fisheries will continue to be open to fishing for hatchery summer chinook through August 15.

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

Sturgeon

Lower Columbia mainstem from the Marker 82 line downstream – We sampled 16 sturgeon anglers (including 4 boats) with 9 legals released.

Shad

Lower Columbia mainstem below Bonneville Dam – We sampled 20 shad bank anglers with 27 fish kept.

Walleye

Lower Columbia mainstem below Bonneville Dam – 3 walleye anglers (1 boat) had no catch.

Trout

Recent plants of rainbows, including some over 5 pounds each.  No report on angling success.

Lake/Pond
Date
Species
Number
Fish per Pound
Hatchery
Notes

LK MERWIN (COWL)<http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/plants/weekly/search.php?searchby=LakeStocked&search=LK+MERWIN+%28COWL%29&orderby=LakeStocked%20ASC,%20StockDate%20DESC>
Cowlitz County – Region 5
Jul 10, 2017
Rainbow
1,447
0.18
MERWIN HATCHERY

LK MERWIN (COWL)<http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/plants/weekly/search.php?searchby=LakeStocked&search=LK+MERWIN+%28COWL%29&orderby=LakeStocked%20ASC,%20StockDate%20DESC>
Cowlitz County – Region 5
Jul 10, 2017
Rainbow
1,234
0.8
MERWIN HATCHERY

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
Jul 11, 2017
Rainbow
3,337
2.5
GOLDENDALE HATCHERY

MINERAL LK (LEWI)<http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/plants/weekly/search.php?searchby=LakeStocked&search=MINERAL+LK+%28LEWI%29&orderby=LakeStocked%20ASC,%20StockDate%20DESC>
Lewis County – Region 5
Jul 11, 2017
Rainbow
2,600
2
MOSSYROCK HATCHERY

MAYFIELD RES (LEWI)<http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/plants/weekly/search.php?searchby=LakeStocked&search=MAYFIELD+RES+%28LEWI%29&orderby=LakeStocked%20ASC,%20StockDate%20DESC>
Lewis County – Region 5
Jul 12, 2017
Rainbow
180
1.89
EELLS SPRINGS

MAYFIELD RES (LEWI)<http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/plants/weekly/search.php?searchby=LakeStocked&search=MAYFIELD+RES+%28LEWI%29&orderby=LakeStocked%20ASC,%20StockDate%20DESC>
Lewis County – Region 5
Jul 12, 2017
Rainbow
3,886
2.04
EELLS SPRINGS

ODFW Asking Columbia Anglers To Be Gentle On Steelhead, Maybe Fish Walleye Instead

Steelhead runs to the Inland Northwest are in the tank this year, so along with reducing bag limits and fishing hours, state fishery managers are now urging anglers to use “best handling practices.”

In a press release asking fishermen to give the fish “a helping hand,” ODFW’s pointing to page 13 of its regs for tips on fishing, fighting and releasing summer-runs — as well as suggesting maybe just go out for something else instead.

Walleye continue to fish well in the John Day Pool, according to the agency’s latest stats.

It’s all another reminder of the wreckage of The Blob, which overheated the Columbia and the Northwest in 2015, and poor ocean conditions last year.

This year’s forecast for A- and B-run steelhead is just 119,000, or about 50 and 37 percent of the five- and 10-year averages.

But daily counts at Bonneville have been even more abysmal, just 10 to 17 percent of the decadelong average for July 1-13 so far.

A SCREEN GRAB FROM THE FISH PASSAGE CENTER SHOWS HOW THIS YEAR’S COUNT OF STEELHEAD AT BONNEVILLE DAM (RED LINE) IS COMPARING TO LAST YEAR (BLUE) AND THE 10-YEAR AVERAGE. (FPC)

Worst of all is the extremely low prediction for ESA-listed wild Bs bound for Idaho, just 1,100.

That’s left only 22 allowable B-run mortalities available, which is what’s led to the fishery restrictions, including August’s pending retention closure on all steelhead below The Dalles on the Columbia and in sections of cool-water tribs.

“Positive voluntary efforts may reduce the necessity for future mandatory regulations,” said Tucker Jones, ODFW’s Columbia River manager in a press release. “If a person happens to intercept a wild steelhead, or any steelhead during a retention closure period for that matter, it is imperative that they do their utmost to ensure its survival by using best handling practices.”

ODFW’s best handling practices include:

  • Use barbless hooks (even where not required)
  • Use tackle strong enough to bring your fish in quickly
  • Land fish as quickly and carefully as possible
  • Avoid removing the fish from the water
  • If taking a photo, cradle the fish at water level and quickly take the picture
  • Remove hooks quickly and gently while keeping the fish under water
  • Use long-nosed pliers or hemostats to back out a hook
  • If a fish is hooked deeply, cut the line near the hook
  • Revive fish (point them into slow current or move them back and forth until gills are working)
  • When possible, let the fish swim out of your hands
  • Fish when it’s cool out – likely early in the morning or late in the afternoon – fishing is better and stress on fish is less.

The last time many of these were seen, per se, was about this time in 2015, when water temperatures in drought-stricken streams were spiking, leading ODFW as well as WDFW to restrict fishing.

This go around, Oregon’s providing the above advice, as well as an alternative:

“With returns of steelhead so low, another strategy is to not target them and focus on other species, including warmwater species such as bass, walleye, and pikeminnow. These species are not only fun to catch but they also prey on juvenile steelhead and salmon,” ODFW’s press release states.

 

Columbia, Gorge Pools, SW WA Fishing Report (7-12-17)

THE FOLLOWING MATERIAL ORIGINATED FROM JIMMY WATTS, ODFW, PAUL HOFFARTH, WDFW, AND JOE HYMER, PSMFC, AND WAS TRANSMITTED BY HYMER

SALMON, STEELHEAD AND SHAD

On Saturday’s (7/8) flight, 271 salmonid boats and 90 Oregon bank anglers were counted from the Astoria-Megler Bridge to Bonneville Dam.

Gorge Bank: Weekend checking showed six adult Chinook kept and three adult Chinook released for 39 salmon anglers; and 250 shad kept for 43 shad anglers.

COLUMBIA RIVER FISHERY MONITORS CONTINUE TO REPORT GOOD ANGLING FOR WALLEYE THIS YEAR. LEXI HAN HOOKED THIS ONE IN JUNE NEAR TRI-CITIES. (FISHING PHOTO CONTEST)

Gorge Boats: Weekend checking showed five adult Chinook kept and three adult Chinook released for seven salmon boats (18 anglers).

Troutdale Boats: Weekend checking showed one adult Chinook kept plus three adult Chinook and one steelhead released for 27 salmon boats (57 anglers).

Portland to Westport Bank: Weekend checking showed three adult Chinook, one Chinook jack and four summer steelhead kept plus one adult Chinook released for 72 bank anglers.

Portland to Westport Boats: Weekend checking showed two adult Chinook kept and four adult Chinook released for 29 boats (64 anglers).

Estuary Bank (Astoria-Megler Bridge to Wauna Power lines): Weekly checking showed no catch for three anglers.

Estuary Boats (Astoria-Megler Bridge to Wauna Power lines):  Weekend checking showed no catch for two salmon boats (five anglers).

Bonneville Pool: Weekly checking showed one adult Chinook kept plus one adult Chinook released for seven bank anglers.

The Dalles Pool: Weekly checking showed one adult Chinook kept for six bank anglers; and no catch for two boats (four anglers).

John Day Pool: No report.

STURGEON

Gorge boats: Catch and release only. No report.

Portland to Wauna Power lines: Catch and release only. No report.

Estuary Boats (Buoy 10 to Wauna Power lines): Catch and release only. Weekend checking showed 16 sublegal and 31 oversize sturgeon released for four boats (11 anglers).

Bonneville Pool: Catch and release only. No report.

The Dalles Pool: Catch and release only. Weekly checking showed one sublegal sturgeon released for one bank angler.

John Day Pool: Catch and release only. Weekly checking showed eight sublegal and one legal sturgeon released for five boats (20 anglers).

WALLEYE

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

Bonneville Pool: No report.

The Dalles Pool: Weekly checking showed three walleye kept and 50 walleye kept for three boats (13 anglers).

John Day Pool: Weekly checking showed 421 walleye kept and 223 walleye released for 68 boats (152 anglers).

………………………………………………………

Salmon/Steelhead

Cowlitz River – I-5 Bridge downstream:  2 boat and 25 bank rods had no catch.  Above the I-5 Bridge:  142 boat rods kept 4 adult spring Chinook, 37 steelhead, and 1 cutthroat and released 26 cutthroats.  155 bank rods kept 26 adult spring Chinook and 10 steelhead and released 4 adult and 2 jack spring Chinook, 1 steelhead, and 1 cutthroat.

Lower Columbia mainstem below Bonneville Dam – During the first nine days of July we sampled 1,081 salmonid anglers (including 183 boats) with 72 adult and 4 jack summer Chinook, 82 steelhead, and 1 sockeye.  26 (36%) of the adult summer Chinook were kept (remember, adult Chinook had to be released through July 6). 52 (63%) of the steelhead and the lone sockeye were kept.

Tri-cities Area Summer Chinook & Sockeye Fishery – WDFW staff interviewed 58 anglers from 30 boats this past week with a reported catch of 1 adult chinook and 24 sockeye.  For the week an estimated 12 adult summer chinook and 300 sockeye were harvested.  For the season there have been 2,144 angler trips for sockeye/summer chinook with 107 adult hatchery chinook, 23 chinook jacks, and 885 sockeye harvested. Area fisheries will continue to be open to fishing for hatchery summer chinook through August 15.

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

Sturgeon

Lower Columbia mainstem below the Marker 82 line – 50 sturgeon anglers (including 15 boats) were sampled with 37 legals released.

Shad

Lower Columbia mainstem below Bonneville Dam – 188 anglers (including 2 boats) kept 601 shad and released 16 fish.

Walleye

Lower Columbia mainstem below Bonneville Dam – 21 walleye anglers (10 boats) kept 6 walleye.

Trout

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

Lake/Pond
Date
Species
Number
Fish per pound
Hatchery
Notes

CHAMBERS LK (LEWI)<http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/plants/weekly/search.php?searchby=LakeStocked&search=CHAMBERS+LK+%28LEWI%29&orderby=LakeStocked%20ASC,%20StockDate%20DESC>
Lewis County – Region 5
Jul 05, 2017
Brown Trout
1,000
2
MOSSYROCK HATCHERY

MAYFIELD LK (26)<http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/plants/weekly/search.php?searchby=LakeStocked&search=MAYFIELD+LK+++%2826%29&orderby=LakeStocked%20ASC,%20StockDate%20DESC>
County – Region 5
Jul 06, 2017
Rainbow
4,290
2.13
EELLS SPRINGS

Pikeminnow Catch Tops 100,000 For The Season So Far

Pikeminnow catches have topped the 100,000-fish mark for the season as the sport reward program yielded 10,082 last week, as well as a new top station.

Anglers turned in the most fish at Boyer Park, on the Snake, taking over from The Dalles station on the Columbia, which had otherwise been most productive every week since the May 1 start of the fishery.

THE PIKEMINNOW SPORT REWARD PROGRAM OFFERS INCENTIVES TO CATCH THE SPECIES FROM THE MOUTH OF THE COLUMBIA UP TO TRI-CITIES, AND IN THE SNAKE FROM TRI-CITIES UP TO CLARKSTON. (PIKEMINNOW.ORG)

According to the latest figures from program manager Eric Winther, 3,065 qualifying pikeminnows came in to Boyer Park from July 3-9, 1,798 to The Dalles and 1,099 to Columbia Point, near the confluence of the two rivers.

Boyer Park also had the highest catch per angler, with 16.0 for the 191 participants, followed by 11.3 at Giles French and 8.9 for The Dalles.

But The Dalles can still account for 41,851 of the 104,999 qualifying pikeminnow that have been removed from the Columbia and Snake since the start of season.

And that’s the most there since the 2006 season concluded.

Fifteen specially tagged pikeminnow were caught last week, with six of those turned in at The Dalles, three at Columbia Point, two at Cascade Locks, and one each at Kalama, Gleason, Boyer Park and Greenbelt.

The sport reward program pays anglers from $5 to $8 per pikeminnow, with tagged ones worth $500. The idea is to reduce the numbers of the native species that prey on young salmon and steelhead in the Columbia hydropower system.

For more details, including fishing maps, check out pikeminnow.org.

Lake Washington Sockeye Closing Fast On Forecast, Columbia Tally

More sockeye have now been counted at the Ballard Locks this year than in all of 2016 and 2015 combined.

According to the latest tally posted by WDFW this afternoon, some 62,587 of the salmon have returned to the Lake Washington system.

And with a 6,200-fish day yesterday, the count is rapidly closing in on this year’s forecast of 77,000-plus.

An angler is calling on WDFW to open a fishery on the lake should the count reach 100,000, and that bid got TV coverage late last week.

In response, a state fishery manager spoke carefully in the written version of KING 5’s interview with sport advocate Frank Urabeck.

Urabeck is hoping to highlight the plight of a run that once regularly produced enough sockeye to hold semiannual fisheries, but hasn’t since 2006 because no returns have come anywhere close to meeting the 350,000-fish escapement goal needed to hold sport and tribal commercial seasons.

Meanwhile, as Seattle celebrates the 100th anniversary of the opening of the Ballard Locks tomorrow, a pair of local tribes will be gearing up for their annual ceremonial and subsistence fisheries on either side of the structure.

The Suquamish have a target catch of 2,500 sockeye, the Muckleshoots 1,000.

Of note, the Ballard Locks count is poised to take the lead over Bonneville Dam, where only 67,621 have been counted and the run appears to be tailing off a bit.

Columbia River tribes are fishing as if the return will be half of the preseason forecast, according to a state factsheet out last week.

If trends continue, this will be the first year since 2007 that more sockeye will have entered Lake Washington than the Columbia River.

And on Washington’s other sockeye front, 1,631 sockeye have shown up at the Baker River trap, with 546 of those transported up to Baker Lake, where angling opens this Saturday, July 8.