Tag Archives: fall chinook

Southwest Washington Fishing Report (10-16-18)

THE FOLLOWING WDFW FISHING REPORT WAS TRANSMITTED BY BRYANT SPELLMAN

Salmon/Steelhead:

Columbia River Mainstem from the mouth upstream to McNary Dam

  • From the Buoy 10 line upstream to the Highway 395 Bridge at Pasco:
    • Closed to angling for and retention of salmon and steelhead.

IN THIS IMAGE DREDGED OUT OF OUR WAY, WAY, WAAAAAY BACK FILE, FALL SALMON ANGLERS FISH THE COWLITZ ABOVE AND BELOW THE MOUTH OF THE TOUTLE FOR COHO DURING THE 2008 SEASON. (CHRIS SPENCER)

Salmon/Steelhead:

Columbia River Tributaries

Elochoman River – No anglers sampled.

Cowlitz River – I-5 Br downstream: 59 bank rods kept 9 coho jacks and released 11 coho jacks.  26 boats/57 rods kept 8 coho, 12 coho jacks and released 2 chinook, 3 chinook jacks, 4 coho and 2 coho jacks.

Above the I-5 Br:  68 bank rods kept 1 coho, 3 coho jacks, 5 steelhead and released 36 chinook, 1 chinook jack and 2 coho jacks. 8 boats/18 rods kept 3 coho, 12 coho jacks, 1 steelhead and released 2 chinook.

Last week, Tacoma Power employees recovered 1,225 coho adults, 2,584 coho jacks, 256 fall Chinook adults, 49 fall Chinook jacks, 210 cutthroat trout and 49 summer-run steelhead adults during seven days of operations at the Cowlitz Salmon Hatchery separator.

During the past week, Tacoma Power released 92 coho adults and 197 coho jacks into the Cispus River near Randle, and they released 101 coho adults and 232 coho jacks at the Franklin Bridge release site in Packwood.

Tacoma Power released 300 coho adults, 1,176 coho jacks, 38 fall Chinook adults, 17 fall Chinook jacks and 15 cutthroat trout into the Tilton River at Gust Backstrom Park in Morton, and they released 467 coho adults, 890 coho jacks and three cutthroat trout into Lake Scanewa in Randle.

River flows at Mayfield Dam are approximately 3,560 cubic feet per second on Monday, Oct. 15. Water visibility is 14 feet and the water temperature is 53.2 degrees F. River flows could change at any time so boaters and anglers should remain alert for this possibility.

Kalama River – 28 bank anglers kept 1 steelhead.  2 boats/2 rods released 1 steelhead.

Lewis River – 105 bank anglers kept 1 chinook jack, 7 coho, 5 coho jacks and released 2 chinook, 2 chinook jacks, 2 coho, 3 coho jacks and 2 steelhead.  22 boats/55 rods kept 1 chinook, 3 chinook jacks, 3 coho, 20 coho jacks and released 1 chinook, 3 chinook jacks, 2 coho jacks and 1 steelhead.

Wind River – No anglers sampled.

Drano Lake – 3 bank anglers kept 1 chinook. 36 boats/84 rods kept 33 chinook, 35 chinook jacks, 2 coho, 2 coho jacks and released 24 chinook, 11 chinook jacks and 1 coho.

Klickitat River – 80 bank anglers kept 43 chinook and 12 chinook jacks, 3 coho and released 2 chinook and 1 coho jack.

Fishing Rule Changes:

  • Grays River:  effective October 6, 2018 until further notice, from the mouth upstream to the mouth of the South Fork:  release all Coho.
  • West Fork Grays River:  effective October 6, 2018 until further notice, from the mouth upstream:  release all Coho.
  • Cowlitz River:  Until further notice closed for Chinook retention from the mouth to the Barrier Dam including all lower Cowlitz tributaries, except the Toutle River.  Until further notice, the closed waters section below the Cowlitz Salmon Hatchery Barrier Dam is 400’, at the posted markers.
  • Washougal River, including Camas Slough:  Until further notice closed for Chinook retention from the mouth to the bridge at Salmon Falls.
  • Toutle River:  effective October 6, 2018 until further notice, from the mouth upstream to the forks:  release all Chinook.
  • North Fork Toutle River:  effective October 6, 2018 until further notice, from the mouth upstream to the posted markers below the fish collection facility:  release all Chinook.
  • Wind River:  from the mouth to 400’ below Shepherd Falls, closed for steelhead retention and closed to night fishing for salmon and steelhead.
  • Drano Lake: Effective Oct. 17, 2018 until further notice. Closed to all fishing in the waters downstream of markers on a point of land downstream and across from Little White Salmon National Fish Hatchery and upstream of the Highway 14 Bridge.
  • White Salmon River:  from the mouth to the county road bridge below the former location of the powerhouse, closed for steelhead retention and closed to night fishing for salmon and steelhead

STURGEON

From the mouth of the Columbia River upstream to McNary Dam including adjacent tributaries – Until further notice, white sturgeon open for catch and release fishing only. Fishing for sturgeon at night is closed.

 

Hanford Reach Angler Pines For Past Years’ Larger Returns Of 5-year-old URBs

By Rick Itami

Back in the early 1990s when I first tried my luck at catching the famous upriver bright fall Chinook salmon in the Hanford Reach of the mighty Columbia River, I was amazed to see huge fish rolling all over the river.

THE NUMBER OF 5-YEAR-OLD FALL CHINOOK RETURNING TO THE COLUMBIA RIVER’S HANFORD REACH HAS DROPPED IN RECENT YEARS. PRIOR TO 2006, ONE-THIRD OF THE RUN CAME IN AS 5’S, ON AVERAGE, BUT SINCE THEN THE PERCENTAGE HAS DROPPED TO 18. DAVE SITTON CAUGHT THIS BEAST IN 2012. (YO-ZURI PHOTO CONTEST)

And when I say huge, I mean salmon running in the 30- to 40-pound range. The first time I hooked one of these giants, I fought it for 20 minutes before my 30-pound-test monofilament finally snapped when I tried to horse the fish into the net.

In those days, outdoor sections of newspapers often contained photos of smiling fishermen displaying monster fall Chinook caught with regularity.

Fast forward to the present and you have a totally different scenario. You simply do not see anglers landing many really large fish as before.

Toby Wyatt, owner/operator of Reel Time Fishing (208-790-2128) and who is one of the most successful guides on the Hanford Reach, says his clients land just a few fish in the 30-plus-pound range. Most of his catch ranges in the 10- to 20-pound range. He misses getting his clients into the monsters.

So what happened to the giants of the Hanford Reach?

AUTHOR RICK ITAMI HOLDS AN UPRIVER BRIGHT FROM THIS PAST SEASON, A 12-POUND HEN. A FISH’S AGE, THE LENGTH OF TIME IT SPENDS IN THE PACIFIC AND OCEAN PRODUCTIVITY DETERMINE HOW BIG A SALMON GROWS. (YO-ZURI PHOTO CONTEST)

Paul Hoffarth, Region III fisheries biologist for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, confirms the drop in size of fish. Surprisingly and for unknown reasons, Hoffarth says that a significant shift in the age structure of fish happened all in one year — 2006.

Prior to 2006, roughly one-third (34 percent) of the upriver brights were the big 5-year-old fish and 37 percent were 4-year-olds.

Beginning in 2006, the percentage of 5-year-olds has averaged 18 percent (with a range of 10 to 28 percent) and has never recovered.

Hoffarth does not know why the decline happened so suddenly and no studies have been done to determine a cause or causes. Therefore, no one knows if the age structure will return to pre-2006 levels.

So we anglers are left in the dark as to what the future of the upriver bright population has in store in terms of the size of fish caught. Let’s hope whatever caused the flip in the age structure of these magnificent fish will just as suddenly flip the other way.

I would love to see a river full of rolling giants again.

Hanford Reach Fall King Fishery Closing Early Next Week

Fall Chinook fishing on the Hanford Reach will stay open through Monday, giving anglers one last weekend to catch upriver brights on the free-flowing Columbia.

SPOKANE’S RICK ITAMI WAS A BIT PESSIMISTIC ABOUT FISHING FOR HANFORD REACH FALL CHINOOK, GIVEN THE LOWER RUN, BUT ONCE THERE HE FOUND WILLING BITERS, INCLUDING A 12-POUND HEN THAT WILL PROVIDE EGGS FOR HIS STEELHEADING ADVENTURES THIS WINTER AND A 10-POUND BUCK. (YO-ZURI PHOTO CONTEST)

While this year’s run is down and the limit has been dropped to one a day, fishermen have still been finding biting salmon.

Some have been reporting success running tuna-stuffed Brad’s Super Baits behind Pro-Trolls. They’ll probably have less competition this weekend, which is also the deer and duck opener across the state.

The Reach above the wooden powerlines at the old Hanford townsite to Priest Rapids Dam was set to close after Oct. 15, but it wasn’t clear when the waters from there down to Tri-Cities would shut down as the run continued to trickle past downstream dams.

An early October update from state fisheries biologist Paul Hoffarth warned the quota might be met by Oct. 7, then another earlier this week said fishing would stay open through this Friday, Oct. 12.

“Based on the updated return estimate for natural-origin Hanford Reach fall Chinook, all adult Chinook in excess of escapement will be harvested by Oct. 15,” WDFW said in an emergency rule-change notice sent out this afternoon.

If you still want to fish the free-flowing Columbia for upriver brights — and for a good cause — sign up for late October’s 6th Annual King of the Reach derby, a three-day event that collects wild fall Chinook for the Grant County Public Utility District’s Priest Rapids Hatchery, improving the stock’s fitness and ensuring that hatchery fish remain genetically similar to the natives here.

Southwest Washington, Hanford Reach Fishing Report (10-8-18)

THE FOLLOWING ARE WDFW FISHING REPORTS FROM BRYANT SPELLMAN AND PAUL HOFFARTH

The Hanford Reach fall salmon fishery opened August 16. Angler effort and harvest continues to be strong and steady.  There were 4,874 angler trips taken for salmon in the Hanford Reach this past week. WDFW staff interviewed 2,202 anglers. Based on the data collected, 2,292 adult chinook and 364 jacks were harvested bringing the season total to 6,703 adult chinook, 762 jacks, and 10 coho. Anglers averaged 10 hours per per fish (1.5 fish per boat).

DHEYAA HAMMADI SHOWS OFF A NICE HANFORD REACH FALL CHINOOK CAUGHT OVER THE WEEKEND. HE WAS RUNNING SEAHAWKS PATTERN BRAD’S SUPER BAIT CUT PLUGS LOADED UP WITH TUNA AND WAS FISHING WITH TROY BRODERS. (YO-ZURI PHOTO CONTEST)

The fish counts at McNary have not officially posted through October 7 but based on the available data the fishery will remain open through Friday, October 12. There will be an update as soon as the counts post.

…………………………………..

Salmon/Steelhead:

Columbia River Mainstem from the mouth upstream to McNary Dam

  • From the Buoy 10 line upstream to the Highway 395 Bridge at Pasco:
    • Closed to angling for and retention of salmon and steelhead.

Salmon/Steelhead:

Columbia River Tributaries

Elochoman River – No anglers sampled.

Cowlitz River – I-5 Br downstream: 29 bank rods kept 10 coho jacks and released 1 coho jack.  23 boats/47 rods kept 3 coho, 1 coho jack, and released 2 chinook, 1 chinook jack, 2 coho, and 4 coho jacks.

Above the I-5 Br:  34 bank rods kept 1 steelhead and released 6 chinook, 3 coho jacks. 1 boat/1 rod no catch.

Last week, Tacoma Power employees recovered 1,100 coho adults, 2,586 coho jacks, 368 fall Chinook adults, 42 fall Chinook jacks, 96 cutthroat trout, and 49 summer-run steelhead adults during six days of operations at the Cowlitz Salmon Hatchery separator.

During the past week, Tacoma Power released 152 coho adults and 336 coho jacks into the Cispus River near Randle and they released 221 coho adults and 401 coho jacks at the Franklin Bridge release site in Packwood.

Tacoma Power released 385 coho adults, 1,336 coho jacks, seven fall Chinook jacks and seven cutthroat trout into the Tilton River at Gust Backstrom Park in Morton, and they released 149 coho adults, 431 coho jacks and one cutthroat trout into Lake Scanewa in Randle.

River flows at Mayfield Dam are approximately 3,540 cubic feet per second (cfs) on Monday, Oct. 8. Water visibility is 14 feet and the water temperature is 53.6 degrees F. River flows could change at any time so boaters and anglers should remain alert for this possibility.

Kalama River – 13 bank anglers released 2 chinook.  1 boat/3 rods, no catch.

Lewis River – 47 bank anglers kept 1 steelhead, 1 coho, 2 coho jacks and released 2 chinook, 1 coho and 1 coho jack.  5 boats/5 rods kept 1 coho jack and released 1 coho.

Wind River – No anglers sampled.

Drano Lake – 8 bank anglers kept 1 chinook, 2 coho and 1 coho jack.   42 boats/ 116 rods kept 31 chinook, 21 chinook jacks, 6 coho, 2 coho jacks and released 8 chinook, 1 chinook jack and 1 steelhead.

Klickitat River –46 bank anglers kept 16 chinook, 6 chinook jacks and released 1 steelhead.

  • Grays River:  Effective October 6, 2018 until further notice, from the mouth upstream to the mouth of the South Fork: release all Coho.
  • West Fork Grays River:  Effective October 6, 2018 until further notice, from the mouth upstream: release all Coho.
  • Deep River:  Effective September 24, 2018 Deep River reopens to salmon and steelhead angling under permanent rules.
  • Youngs Bay, Blind Slough and Knappa Slough: Effective September 24, 2018 Youngs Bay, Blind Slough and Knappa Slough reopens to salmon and steelhead angling under permanent Oregon regulations.
  • Cowlitz River:  Effective September 22, 2018 closed for Chinook retention from the mouth to the Barrier Dam including all lower Cowlitz tributaries.  Until further notice, the closed waters section below the Cowlitz Salmon Hatchery Barrier Dam is 400’, at the posted markers.
  • Toutle River:  Effective October 6, 2018 until further notice, from the mouth upstream to the forks: release all Chinook.
  • North Fork Toutle River:  Effective October 6, 2018 until further notice, from the mouth upstream to the posted markers below the fish collection facility: release all Chinook.
  • Washougal River, including Camas Slough:  Effective September 22, 2018 closed for Chinook retention from the mouth to the bridge at Salmon Falls.
  • Wind River:  from the mouth to 400’ below Shepherd Falls, closed for steelhead retention and closed to night fishing for salmon and steelhead.
  • Drano Lake: Effective Sept. 29, 2018 until further notice.  The daily salmon limit remains 6 fish total, of which only one may be an adult.  Drano Lake remains closed to night fishing for salmon and steelhead and closed to retention of steelhead.
  • White Salmon River:  from the mouth to the county road bridge below the former location of the powerhouse, closed for steelhead retention and closed to night fishing for salmon and steelhead.

STURGEON

From the mouth of the Columbia River upstream to McNary Dam including adjacent tributaries – Until further notice, white sturgeon open for catch and release fishing only. Fishing for sturgeon at night is closed.

6th Annual King Of The Reach Derby Coming Up Oct. 26-28

With 10 million-plus fertilized fall Chinook eggs to their credit so far, salmon anglers, state fishery managers and a public utility district will build on their success later this month when the 6th Annual King of the Reach kicks off.

THE OSTROMS — THOR, KARL AND JACOB — WON THE SECOND ANNUAL KINGS OF THE REACH DERBY IN 2013 WITH THIS AND 51 OTHER FALL CHINOOK CAUGHT IN THE HANFORD REACH. (THOR OSTROM)

The Oct. 26-28 live-capture fishing derby collects wild upriver brights for the Grant County Public Utility District’s Priest Rapids Hatchery, improving the stock’s fitness and ensuring that hatchery fish remain genetically similar to the natives in the Hanford Reach.

Coastal Conservation Association Washington’s Tri-Cities Chapter coordinates participation, and compared to regular fishing opportunities, the event has some interesting regulations to be aware of.

It’s held after the Hanford Reach closes for the season — likely to occur sometime next week — no fishing license is required and two-poling’s OK without the endorsement. Barbless hooks must be used, though.

Participants are encouraged to preregister with CCA or on-site, and all anglers are required to register with WDFW as volunteers each day before they fish.

Boat captains need fish transporting permits plus a way to haul the salmon to the Vernita Bridge or White Bluffs launches, either in a livewell or a big cooler with a pump. After all, the goal is to get them to the hatchery alive. According to CCA, there was less than 2 percent mortality among the 511 kings brought in in 2017.

WDFW’s Paul Hoffarth, who is the brains behind the event, says that anglers have brought in a total of 2,111 fall kings, including 1,034 bucks and 1,077 hens, since the first King of the Reach was held in 2012.

Fishing effort has increased annually, from 598 angler hours that first year to 2,722 in 2017, his data shows.

While some numbers from last year have yet to be crunched, derby fish have resulted in 25 percent of the hatchery’s production having at least one natural-origin parent.

Hoffarth says that even with this year’s lower return — 38,357 based on a Sept. 30 estimate — escapement (the number of spawners) should exceeded the goal of 31,100 natural-origin adult kings.

Entry in the derby is $25 for the day or the weekend (youths age 17 or under are $15). Refreshments will be provided and prizes will be awarded to participants for the most live salmon turned in per boat per day, and for the entire event.

Last year Justin Sprengel turned in the most kings, 37.

Random prizes will be awarded as well.

Derby entries are available online at ccawashington.org/KingoftheReach and Grigg’s in Pasco, and Ranch and Home and Sportsman’s Warehouse in Kennewick.

SW WA, Hanford Reach Fishing Report (10-1-18)

THE FOLLOWING ARE WDFW FISHING REPORTS FROM BRYANT SPELLMAN AND PAUL HOFFARTH

Salmon/Steelhead:

Columbia River Mainstem from the mouth upstream to McNary Dam

  • From the Buoy 10 line upstream to the Highway 395 Bridge at Pasco:
    • Closed to angling for and retention of salmon and steelhead.

AUSTIN, LEXI, BRITT AND CORBIN HAN POSE WITH A FALL CHINOOK RECENTLY CAUGHT NEAR TRI-CITIES. IT BIT A SUPERBAIT WITH TUNA BEHIND A PRO TROLL FLASHER TROLLED DOWNSTREAM. (YO-ZURI PHOTO CONTEST)

Salmon/Steelhead:

Columbia River Tributaries

Elochoman River – No anglers sampled.

Cowlitz River – I-5 Br downstream: 25 bank rods kept 9 coho jacks and released 1 coho jack.  14 boats/33 rods kept 8 coho, 25 coho jacks, 1 steelhead and released 15 chinook, 1 chinook jack, 3 coho, 6 coho jacks and 1 steelhead.

Above the I-5 Br:  41 bank rods released 12 chinook and 1 steelhead. 5 boats/13 rods kept 1 steelhead and released 3 chinook.

Last week, Tacoma Power employees recovered 986 coho adults, 2,251 coho jacks, 375 fall Chinook adults, 89 fall Chinook jacks, 86 cutthroat trout, 42 summer-run steelhead adults and seven spring Chinook adults during five days of operations at the Cowlitz Salmon Hatchery separator.

During the past week, Tacoma Power released 107 coho adults, 174 coho jacks and two spring Chinook adults into the Cispus River near Randle, and they released 120 coho adults, 68 coho jacks, and two spring Chinook adults at the Franklin Bridge release site in Packwood.

Tacoma Power released 389 coho adults, 1,251 coho jacks, 86 fall Chinook adults, 34 fall Chinook jacks, and six cutthroat trout into the Tilton River at Gust Backstrom Park in Morton, and they released 210 coho adults, 640 coho jacks, five cutthroat trout and three spring Chinook adults into Lake Scanewa in Randle.

River flows at Mayfield Dam are approximately 3,540 cubic feet per second (cfs) on Monday, Oct. 1. Water visibility is 14 feet and the water temperature is 54.8 degrees F. River flows could change at any time so boaters and anglers should remain alert for this possibility.

Kalama River – 10 bank anglers had no catch.  2 boats/5 rods kept 4 steelhead and released 1 steelhead.

Lewis River – 69 bank anglers kept 1 chinook jack, 2 coho, 1 coho jack and released 5 chinook, 3 coho and 1 coho jack.  15 boats/39 rods kept 4 chinook and released 19 chinook, 9 chinook jacks, 1 coho and 1 coho jack.

Wind River – No anglers sampled.

Drano Lake – 15 bank anglers released 1 steelhead.   91 boats/231 rods kept 78 chinook, 33 chinook jacks, 10 coho, 2 coho jacks and released 3 chinook, 3 coho and 5 steelhead.

Klickitat River – 97 bank anglers kept 51 chinook and 16 chinook jacks.

  • Deep River:  Effective September 24, 2018 Deep River reopens to salmon and steelhead angling under permanent rules.
  • Youngs Bay, Blind Slough and Knappa Slough: Effective September 24, 2018 Youngs Bay, Blind Slough and Knappa Slough reopens to salmon and steelhead angling under permanent Oregon regulations.
  • Cowlitz River:  Effective September 22, 2018 closed for Chinook retention from the mouth to the Barrier Dam including all lower Cowlitz tributaries, except the Toutle River.  Until further notice, the closed waters section below the Cowlitz Salmon Hatchery Barrier Dam is 400’, at the posted markers.
  • Washougal River, including Camas Slough:  Effective September 22, 2018 closed for Chinook retention from the mouth to the bridge at Salmon Falls.
  • Wind River:  from the mouth to 400’ below Shepherd Falls, closed for steelhead retention and closed to night fishing for salmon and steelhead.
  • Drano Lake: Effective Sept. 29, 2018 until further notice.  The daily salmon limit remains 6 fish total, of which only one may be an adult.  Drano Lake remains closed to night fishing for salmon and steelhead and closed to retention of steelhead.
  • White Salmon River:  from the mouth to the county road bridge below the former location of the powerhouse, closed for steelhead retention and closed to night fishing for salmon and steelhead

STURGEON

From the mouth of the Columbia River upstream to McNary Dam including adjacent tributaries – Until further notice, white sturgeon open for catch and release fishing only. Fishing for sturgeon at night is closed.

……………………………

The Hanford Reach fall salmon fishery opened August 16. Angler effort continues to increase as well as harvest. There were 5,046 angler trips taken for salmon in the Hanford Reach this past week. WDFW staff interviewed 2,087 anglers this week. Based on the data collected, 2,043 adult chinook and 208 jacks were harvested bringing the season total to 4,411 adult chinook, 398 jacks, and 10 coho. Anglers averaged 13 hours per per fish (1.2 fish per boat), 50% increase compared to the week prior.

An in-season estimate was generated for the Hanford Reach wild return based on fish counts through September 30. An estimated 38,357 wild (natural) origin fall chinook are expected to return to the Hanford Reach. Base on this estimate harvest would be limited to ~6,500 adult chinook, leaving roughly 2,000 adult chinook remaining in the quota. Sunday, October 7 will likely be the final day of the fishery between the Hwy 395 bridge and Priest Rapids Dam.

From Highway 395 to Priest Rapids Dam the daily limit is 6 fall chinook, no more than 1 adult fall chinook. Anglers must stop fishing when the adult limit is retained. Anglers can use two poles if they have the two-pole license endorsement.

The Columbia River from Highway 395 to the old Hanford town site wooden powerline towers opened October 1 to the harvest of Ringold Springs origin hatchery steelhead. Steelhead released from Ringold Springs Hatchery are adipose fin clipped and right ventral fin clipped. The daily limit is one adipose + right ventral fin clipped steelhead. This unique mark (clips) allows these steelhead to be differentiated from upper Columbia River and Snake River steelhead and allows these steelhead to be selectively harvested.

Most Willapa Bay Tribs Opening For Coho; Siuslaw’s Lake Creek Closing to Salmon Fishing

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

Action:  Opens salmon in Willapa Bay tributaries with scheduled salmon seasons, except the Naselle River. Salmon daily limit is 6 fish, up to 2 adults may be retained, and no more than 1 adult may be a wild coho. Release all chinook.

WILLAPA BAY TRIBUTARIES EXCEPT THE NASELLE WILL OPEN FOR COHO FISHING OCT. 1. (YO-ZURI PHOTO CONTEST)

Effective date: Oct. 1 until further notice.

Species affected:  Salmon.

Location:  Bear River; Fork Creek; Middle Nemah River; North Nemah River; South Nemah River; North River; Smith Creek; Willapa River; Willapa River; South Fork.

Reason for action:  WDFW previously closed these areas to salmon fishing to protect fall chinook, which were returning in lower numbers than expected. Over the past week, active brood stocking efforts conducted by hatchery staff and volunteers have been significantly increased, making it likely that hatchery production goals for fall chinook will be met on the Willapa and Nemah river systems. Additionally, the proportion of females in the broodstock collected in these systems is higher than expected.

Returns of fall chinook needed for hatchery production in the Naselle River system are still short of the production goal. The Naselle River will remain closed to salmon fishing.

Retention of fall chinook is prohibited in all fisheries in the Willapa Bay watershed as a conservation measure in order to focus harvest opportunity on coho.

Additional information: Gamefish seasons remain as scheduled in the Washington Sport Fishing Rules pamphlet.

…………………..

Lake Creek (Siuslaw River tributary) closed to salmon fishing Oct. 15-Dec. 31

SALEM, Ore.—Lake Creek, a tributary of the Siuslaw River, will be closed to salmon fishing from Oct. 15-Dec. 31. No salmon fishing will be allowed from the mouth of Lake Creek to Indian Creek.

The closure is due to this year’s low stream flows, which will concentrate fall Chinook salmon in just a few locations, making them more vulnerable to harvest. The forecast for Chinook salmon is poor this year, and Chinook in the Siuslaw basin are not expected to meet Pacific Salmon Treaty escapement goals.

“Lake Creek is the largest producer of fall Chinook in the Siuslaw basin, and it’s important we conserve these fish during low stream flow and low return years,” said John Spangler, ODFW District Fish Biologist.

For more about regulations and fishing opportunities in the Northwest Zone, see the Recreation Report, https://myodfw.com/recreation-report/fishing-report/northwest-zone

 

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SW WA Fishing Report (9-26-18)

THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION WAS FORWARDED BY BRYANT SPELLMAN, WDFW

September 26, 2018

Salmon/Steelhead:

Columbia River Mainstem from the mouth upstream to McNary Dam

  • From the Buoy 10 line upstream to the Highway 395 Bridge at Pasco:  
    • Closed to angling for and retention of salmon and steelhead.

TONY HASLIP SHOWS OFF HIS BIGGEST CHINOOK YET, CAUGHT RECENTLY ON A WESTERN WASHINGTON RIVER WHILE FISHING EGGS UNDER A FLOAT. FRIEND CHRIS CLEARMAN TOOK THE PIC AND SENT IT IN. (YO-ZURI PHOTO CONTEST)

Salmon/Steelhead:

Columbia River Tributaries

Elochoman River – 2 anglers had no catch.

Cowlitz River – I-5 Br downstream: 127 bank rods kept 2 chinook, 2 coho jacks and released 3 chinook and 5 coho jacks.  55 boats/141 rods kept 8 chinook, 3 chinook jacks, 2 coho, 69 coho jacks and released 32 chinook, 39 chinook jacks, 9 coho, 25 coho jacks and 1 cutthroat. 

Above the I-5 Br:  48 bank rods kept 1 chinook, 2 steelhead, 1 cutthroat and released 3 chinook. 4 boats/9 rods kept 4 steelhead.

Last week, Tacoma Power employees recovered 390 coho adults, 568 coho jacks, 226 fall Chinook adults, 51 fall Chinook jacks, 38 cutthroat trout, 30 summer-run steelhead adults, 19 spring Chinook adults, and one spring Chinook jack during five days of operations at the Cowlitz Salmon Hatchery separator.

During the past week, Tacoma Power released 47 coho adults, 59 coho jacks, five spring Chinook adults, one spring Chinook jack and one cutthroat trout into the Cispus River near Randle, and they released 67 coho adults, 122 coho jacks and 12 spring Chinook adults at the Franklin Bridge release site in Packwood.

Tacoma Power released 186 coho adults, 377 coho jacks, 110 fall Chinook adults, 40 fall Chinook jacks, and three cutthroat trout into the Tilton River at Gust Backstrom Park in Morton.

River flows at Mayfield Dam are approximately 2,510 cubic feet per second (cfs) on Monday, Sept. 24. Water visibility is 14 feet and the water temperature is 54.3 degrees F. River flows could change at any time so boaters and anglers should remain alert for this possibility.

Kalama River – 27 bank anglers released 1 chinook and 1 steelhead. 

Lewis River – 112 bank anglers kept 1 chinook, 3 steelhead, 3 coho, 3 coho jacks and released 1 chinook, 1 coho and 3 coho jacks.  20 boats/49 rods kept 6 chinook, 1 chinook jack, 1 coho, 14 coho jacks and released 15 chinook, 20 chinook jacks and 4 coho jacks.

Wind River – No anglers sampled.

Drano Lake – 38 bank anglers kept 2 chinook, 1 chinook jack and released 2 steelhead.   66 boats/182 rods kept 59 chinook, 36 jacks, 8 coho and 2 coho jacks and released 3 chinook jacks, 8 steelhead and 1 coho.

Klickitat River – 27 bank anglers kept 4 chinook and 4 chinook jacks.

  • Deep River:  Effective September 24, 2018 Deep River reopens to salmon and steelhead angling under permanent rules.
  • Youngs Bay, Blind Slough and Knappa Slough: Effective September 24, 2018 Youngs Bay, Blind Slough and Knappa Slough reopens to salmon and steelhead angling under permanent Oregon regulations.  
  • Cowlitz River:  Effective September 22, 2018 closed for Chinook retention from the mouth to the Barrier Dam including all lower Cowlitz tributaries, except the Toutle River.  Until further notice, the closed waters section below the Cowlitz Salmon Hatchery Barrier Dam is 400’, at the posted markers.
  • Washougal River, including Camas Slough:  Effective September 22, 2018 closed for Chinook retention from the mouth to the bridge at Salmon Falls.
  • Wind River:  from the mouth to 400’ below Shepherd Falls, closed for steelhead retention and closed to night fishing for salmon and steelhead.
  • Drano Lake:  closed for steelhead retention and closed to night fishing for salmon and steelhead.
  • White Salmon River:  from the mouth to the county road bridge below the former location of the powerhouse, closed for steelhead retention and closed to night fishing for salmon and steelhead

STURGEON

From the mouth of the Columbia River upstream to McNary Dam including adjacent tributaries – Until further notice, white sturgeon open for catch and release fishing only. Fishing for sturgeon at night is closed.

 

Volunteers Needed At Key North Oregon Coast Chinook Hatchery

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

ODFW is looking for volunteers to help with the fall Chinook program at Salmon River Hatchery this fall. Shifts are available starting October 1, and help may be needed through the end of November.

VOLUNTEERS HELP NET SALMON AT THE SALMON RIVER HATCHERY. (ODFW)

In 2017, volunteers helped distribute 1189 adult Chinook salmon totaling 14562 pounds to 9 Oregon food share organizations and helped process and/or pass 2023 Chinook, 480 Coho, 6 Chum and 4 Summer Steelhead at the Salmon River Hatchery adult trap.

Salmon River Hatchery releases 200,000 adipose-marked and coded wire tagged fall Chinook salmon smolts each year to support a popular in-river recreational fishery, supplement ocean recreational and commercial fisheries, and provide information for the Pacific Salmon Treaty.

Salmon River Hatchery fall Chinook are the indicator stock to estimate the exploitation rate for all fall Chinook on the North Oregon coast. The recoveries of these fish in the commercial and sport fisheries in Alaska, British Columbia, Washington and Oregon, along with recoveries at the hatchery and on the spawning grounds, are used to represent the harvest rate of Oregon’s coastal fall Chinook in these fisheries.

Visit https://midcoaststep.ivolunteer.com for more information, or to sign-up for a volunteer shift. For questions, contact Christine Clapp at christine.m.clapp@state.or.us or (541) 961-6386. The Salmon River Hatchery is located at 575 N. North Bank Rd. Otis, Oregon. Hatchery supervisor Michelle Viss can be reached at (541) 994-8606.

 

It Wasn’t That Long Ago …

Man, what a difference three years makes.

On this day in 2015 I posted* that Columbia River salmon managers had upped their fall Chinook forecast to a staggering 1,095,900.

ANGLERS ENJOYED SUPERB FALL CHINOOK FISHING ON THE COLUMBIA SYSTEM IN 2015 AS A RECORD 1.3 MILLION RETURNED, BUT THIS YEAR WE ARE SEEING THE OPPOSITE END OF THE UPS AND DOWNS OF THE SALMON CYCLE SWING. (YO-ZURI PHOTO CONTEST)

They were off by a mile — 210,000 miles.

The final estimate is that 1,305,600 upriver brights and tules made it to Buoy 10 that year.

Of those, 954,140 were counted at Bonneville, the most on record.

And more than all but two other entire annual returns of Chinook — i.e., springers, summers and fall fish — at the dam since counts began in 1938.

The fishing was preposterous — 36,535 kings kept at Buoy 10, 41,525 on the Lower Columbia, 13,260 from Bonneville to Highway 395. Treaty and NT comms got their shares.

We were all smiles — our smiles couldn’t have been any wider or we would have broken our faces.

“These are the good ol’ days for Chinook, ladies and gentlemen,” I wrote later that month.

CRITFC FISHERIES TECHNICIAN AGNES STRONG HOLDS A COLUMBIA RIVER FALL CHINOOK TRAPPED PRIEST RAPIDS HATCHERY DURING THE 2015 RUN. (PHOTO COURTESY OF AGNES STRONG)

Looking back, it was the culmination of three outstanding years of salmon fishing, but there were troubling signs, other blogs I wrote that month show.

Sept. 23: Columbia Early Coho Forecast Reduced Sharply; Snake King Return On Record Pace: “Even as what could be a record return of Snake River fall Chinook heads for Idaho, Columbia salmon managers took the fishbonker to this year’s prediction for early-run coho, smacking it hard from an expected 140,000 to just 27,000 past Bonneville.”

Sept. 15: Clearwater Coho A No-go, IDFG Announces: This year’s run of coho up the Columbia is not living up to expectations, at least not yet.”

Sept. 11: No Plans To Halt State Humpy Fishery On Skagit: “Initial netting by the Upper Skagits turned up just 10 percent of the expected catch during what is typically the peak of the run of the odd-year fish.”

Earlier that summer hundreds of thousands of sockeye died as they migrated up the too-warm Columbia, as did dozens of oversize sturgeon.

Summer streams were bone dry due to the previous winter’s snowpack failure. Many waters were closed or under restricted fishing hours. Forest fires roared in the mountains and hills.

The Blob was hungry in 2015, though the high numbers of Columbia kings and relative snappiness of starving coho and pinks initially hid it from us, and we foolishly didn’t consider how long the North Pacific’s hangover would last.

Now in 2018 we’re at the other end of the salmon cycle.

ODFW’s Tucker Jones said that if the fall king run continues tracking as it has, it will be the lowest return since 2007, when 220,200 limped into the mouth of the Columbia.

I wonder if it won’t ultimately come in at lows not seen for two and a half decades — the 214,900 in ’93.

Funny how that number and the offage between the mid-September 2015 runsize update and what it ultimately came in at are so close.

A FISH PASSAGE CENTER SHOWS THE 2018 FALL CHINOOK RUN AT BONNEVILLE (RED LINE) VERSUS LAST YEAR AND THE 10-YEAR AVERAGE. (FPC)

There is some hope, though. Last year’s run spiked unexpectedly after the usual high-count days, so we’ll see.

But in the meanwhile Chinook as well as coho and steelhead fishing have been closed from Buoy 10 all the way to Tri-Cities, and the steelie bag reduced to one hatchery a day in the Snake River basin.

CRITFC postponed a gillnet opener decision, though platform fisheries remain open, and nontreaty commercial fishing in the SAFE zones were shut down.

In the usually productive free-flowing Hanford Reach, the adult URB limit has been cut to one a day.

Just three falls ago, we harvested a record 33,885 in the Reach, and that November I wrote, “What a year!!!!!!!! Remember this one — it truly is The Good Ol’ Days.”

There were warning signs, but to hit the bad old days after such highs so fast is a reminder that the runs do ebb and flow.

Hopefully the closures and restrictions WDFW and ODFW have announced help rebuild the stocks and get us out of this hole and back on the water sooner.

*Editor’s note: Hat tip to Mike Fisenko who brought back this memory on Facebook.