Tag Archives: MCNARY POOL

Tourney Catch Data Shows Central Washington Waters Shine Bright For Bass

Updated 9:10 a.m., March 27, 2019 at bottom with additional details on the impact of bass retention liberalizations on the Columbia.

Draw a straight north-south line from Oroville to Plymouth in Central Washington and it will touch the four waters producing the fattest tournament bass in the Evergreen State.

WDFW reports that the average weight of largemouth and smallmouth caught in contests at Lake Osoyoos, Moses Lake, Potholes Reservoir and the John Day Pool was 3.34, 2.74, 2.57 and 2.45 pounds.

TOURNAMENT BASS ANGLERS FISH A LAKE WASHINGTON SHIP CANAL BAY DURING AN EVENT LAST MAY. (ANDY WALGAMOTT)

The agency posted the rundown on its Facebook page today, and it also might help noncompetitive anglers figure out where to go catch bucketmouths and bronzebacks.

In listing the top 18 waters, WDFW said that it had crunched the weights of 146,124 bass caught during events held across the state over the past decade.

Four other Central Washington waters are also on the list:

5 Bonneville Pool, 2.36 pounds
7 McNary Pool, 2.24 pounds
10 Lake Chelan, 2.15 pounds
15 Banks Lake, 1.84 pounds

Further east, far Eastern Washington posted four:

11 Long Lake (Spokane), 2.13 pounds
13 Box Canyon Reservoir, 2.05 pounds
16 Lake Roosevelt, 1.81 pounds
18 Little Goose Pool, 1.33 pounds

But the Westside has its share of lunker lakes too:

5 Bonneville Pool, 2.36 pounds (we’re calling it a liner for two regions)
6 Lake Sammamish, 2.31 pounds
8 Lake Washington, 2.22 pounds
9 Lake Whatcom, 2.21 pounds
12 Silver Lake (Cowlitz), 2.11 pounds
14 Riffe Lake, 1.86 pounds
17 Lake Tapps, 1.67 pounds

As part of receiving a permit to hold a tournament, organizers must report how many fish were caught during the event and how much they weighed.

That Osoyoos stands so far above the other waters may (or may not) be due to the relatively few are held there, if WDFW’s 2019 fishing contest calendar is any indication. It lists just two this year on the Okanogan River reservoir that stretches from Oroville into British Columbia, so a couple events with relatively hefty catches might have pushed its average up. Or not.

A pair of Grant County lakes are particularly popular with bassers; Potholes and Moses will host dozens of events this year.

WDFW’s rundown comes as a bill in the state legislature would require the state Fish and Wildlife Commission to liberalize bag limits on bass, as well as walleye and channel catfish, in all anadromous waters of Washington to reduce predation on salmonid smolts.

That would essentially extend the current no size/bag limit regulations on the Columbia and Snake systems to places like Lakes Washington and Sammamish, where the Muckleshoot Tribe has been conducting warmwater test fisheries in recent years.

There have been no restrictions on how many or what size bass you can retain on the Columbia above Tri-Cities, the Snake and their tribs since 2013, and the Columbia below Tri-Cities since 2016.

A month or so ago I asked WDFW biologists if they’d seen any effect of that in terms of bass as well as similarly affected walleye and channel catfish, but they couldn’t say as they don’t conduct creel or population samples specifically for those species, though walleye and bass are monitored by ODFW through the northern pikeminnow program.

However, the tourney bass data does offer an unexpected window.

In responding to feedback on its Facebook post yesterday, WDFW said, “Average weights of bass weighed in tournaments have not changed significantly in the Columbia River Pools. The average since 2016 is slightly higher than the 10-year average.”

SW WA, Lower, Middle Columbia Fishing Report (1-29-19)

THE FOLLOWING WDFW FISHING REPORTS WERE TRANSMITTED BY BRYANT SPELLMAN AND PAUL HOFFARTH

Washington Columbia River and Tributary Fishing Report Jan 21-27, 2019

Sturgeon:

Bonneville Pool- 27 bank anglers released 4 sublegal sturgeon.  31 boats/85 rods kept 14 legal sturgeon and released 8 legal, 236 sublegal and 2 oversize sturgeon.

The Dalles Pool- Closed for retention.  No report.

John Day Pool- 34 bank anglers released 2 sublegal sturgeon.  24 boats/59 rods released 1 oversize sturgeon.

WALLEYE ARE STARTING TO BITE IN THE COLUMBIA SYSTEM. GLENN STEFFLER CAUGHT THIS ONE ON THE UPPER RIVER RECENTLY. (YO-ZURI PHOTO CONTEST)

Walleye:

Bonneville Pool- 5 boats/7 rods kept 2 walleye and released 3 walleye.

The Dalles Pool- No report.

John Day Pool- 17 boats/36 rods kept 26 walleye and released 7 walleye.

Salmon/Steelhead:

Columbia River Tributaries

Grays River – 2 bank anglers had no catch.

Elochoman River – 17 bank anglers kept 4 steelhead and released 3 steelhead.

Abernathy Creek – 2 bank anglers had no catch.

Germany Creek – 2 bank anglers had no catch.

Cowlitz River – I-5 Br downstream: 16 bank rods had no catch.  1 boat/2 rods had no catch.

Above the I-5 Br:  27 bank rods kept 1 steelhead.  10 boats/28 rods kept 1 steelhead and released 1 steelhead.

Last week, Tacoma Power employees recovered one winter-run steelhead adult during four days of operations at the Cowlitz Salmon Hatchery separator.

During the past week, Tacoma Power released one winter-run steelhead adult into the Tilton River at Gust Backstrom Park in Morton.

River flows at Mayfield Dam are approximately 5,370 cubic feet per second on Monday, Jan. 28. Water visibility is 10 feet and the water temperature is 44.6 degrees F. River flows could change at any time so boaters and anglers should remain alert for this possibility.

East Fork Lewis River – 16 bank anglers had no catch.  1 boat/2 rods had no catch.

Salmon Creek – 6 bank anglers had no catch.

Tributaries not listed: Creel checks not conducted.

Trout Plants and stocking schedules:

https://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/plants/weekly/search.php?orderby=StockDate

McNary Steelhead Sport Fishery: January Update

WDFW staff have interviewed 76 boats in January with 13 hatchery steelhead harvested, 1 hatchery released, and 67 wild steelhead caught and released. Anglers averaged just over 1 steelhead per boat, 8.8 hours per fish including wild. The majority of the steelhead caught were A run but 4 B run fish have been harvested and 24 wild “B” run were caught and released. In addition, 79 bank anglers were interviewed with 3 wild caught and released. Fishing has been very slow from the bank (47 hours per steelhead).

SW WA, Columbia Fishing Report (1-16-19)

THE FOLLOWING WDFW FISHING REPORTS WERE TRANSMITTED BY BRYANT SPELLMAN AND PAUL HOFFARTH

Washington Columbia River and Tributary Fishing Report Jan 16, 2019

Sturgeon:

Bonneville Pool- 45 bank anglers released 1 sublegal sturgeon.  36 boats/102 rods kept 8 legal sturgeon and released 1 legal, 151 sublegal and 2 oversize sturgeon.

The Dalles Pool- Closed for retention.  No report.

John Day Pool- 17 bank anglers had no catch.  27 boats/56 rods released 5 sublegal sturgeon.

TROY BRODERS PREPARES TO CAST OUT FOR STEELHEAD. (YO-ZURI PHOTO CONTEST)

Walleye:

Bonneville Pool- 1 boat/2 rods had no catch.

The Dalles Pool- No report.

John Day Pool- 11 boats/25 rods kept 12 walleye and released 1 walleye.

Salmon/Steelhead:

Columbia River Tributaries

Grays River – 4 bank anglers had no catch.

Elochoman River – 33 bank anglers kept 6 steelhead and released 1 steelhead.  1 boats/2 rods had no catch.

Abernathy Creek – 2 bank anglers had no catch.

Germany Creek – 7 bank anglers kept 1 steelhead.

Cowlitz River – I-5 Br downstream: 12 bank rods had no catch.

Above the I-5 Br:  3 bank rods had no catch.

Last week, Tacoma Power employees recovered two coho adults, 23 coho jacks and nine winter-run steelhead adults during five days of operations at the Cowlitz Salmon Hatchery separator.

During the past week, Tacoma Power released five coho jacks into Lake Scanewa in Randle.

Tacoma Power released two coho adults, 22 coho jacks and eight winter-run steelhead adults into the Tilton River at Gust Backstrom Park in Morton. They also released two coho jacks at the Franklin Bridge release site in Packwood.

River flows at Mayfield Dam are approximately 9,520 cubic feet per second on Monday, Jan. 14. Water visibility is 11 feet and the water temperature is 44.6 degrees F. River flows could change at any time so boaters and anglers should remain alert for this possibility.

East Fork Lewis River – 34 bank anglers had no catch.  2 boats/4 rods released 1 steelhead.

Salmon Creek – 34 bank anglers had no catch.

 

  • Tributaries not listed: Creel checks not conducted.

 

Trout Plants and stocking schedules:

McNary Steelhead Sport Fishery

This past week WDFW staff interviewed 16 boats with 5 hatchery steelhead harvested and 12 wild steelhead caught and released. Anglers averaged just over 1 steelhead per boat, 6.5 hours per fish including wild. The majority of the steelhead caught were A run but one B run fish was harvested and 6 wild were caught and released. 21 bank anglers were interviewed but no catch was reported.

More Details On 2018 Columbia Summer, Fall Salmon Seasons

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

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

MORNING AT “BUOY 10” …  (BRIAN LULL)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Summary of 2018

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

All regulations may be subject to in-season modification

Summer Season (June 16-July 31)

  • Astoria-Megler Bridge upstream to Bonneville Dam

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

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

o   All other permanent rules apply.

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

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

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

o   All other permanent rules apply.

Fall Seasons (Aug. 1-Dec. 31)

  • Buoy 10

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

SW WA Fishing Report (4-2-18)

THE FOLLOWING FISHING REPORTS ORIGINATED WITH WDFW AND WERE TRANSMITTED BY JOE HYMER, PSMFC

Columbia River Test Fishing

Spring Chinook mainstem test fishery

Washington Columbia River tributaries sport sampling summaries – March 26-April 1

Salmon/Steelhead

Cowlitz River – From the I-5 Br downstream:  78 bank and 4 boat rods had no catch.  Above the I-5 Br:  39 bank rods kept 2 adult spring Chinook and 1 steelhead and released 1 steelhead.  81 boat rods kept 1 adult spring Chinook and 21 steelhead and released 4 steelhead and 1 cutthroat.  Spring Chinook were primarily caught at the barrier dam while the steelhead were sampled at the trout hatchery.

Last week, Tacoma Power employees recovered 114 winter-run steelhead adults and three spring Chinook adults during five days of operations at the Cowlitz Salmon Hatchery separator.

During the past week, Tacoma Power employees released six winter-run steelhead into the Tilton River at Gust Backstrom Park in Morton.  Tacoma Power also released two spring Chinook adults and ten winter-run steelhead adults into Lake Scanewa near Randle.

River flows at Mayfield Dam are approximately 5,160 cubic feet per second (cfs) on Monday, April 2. Water visibility is eight feet and the water temperature is 42.8 degrees F.

Kalama River – 28 bank anglers had no catch.  6 boat anglers kept 2 steelhead.    All steelhead must be released on the lower Kalama River from April 4 through May 15.

A KALAMA RIVER ANGLER TWEETED US THIS PIC OF A PINNIPED WELL UPSTREAM. @BROWNBILL19681 REPORTED IT WAS AT THE WATERFALL HOLE ONE DAY, UP BY THE RED BARN THE NEXT. (@BROWNBILL19681)

North Fork Lewis River – 23 bank anglers released 1 steelhead.  5 boat anglers kept 1 steelheaD.

Drano Lake – 2 bank and 2 boat anglers had no catch.

Klickitat River from mouth (Burlington Northern Railroad Bridge) upstream to the Fisher Hill Bridge – Effective April 2 through May 30, open to fishing on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays only. The hatchery Chinook and hatchery steelhead daily limit is a total of 2 fish.

Hanford Reach Steelhead Sport Fishery (Hwy 395 – Hanford)

The steelhead fishery in the Hanford Reach closed at the end of March with the exception of the bank fishery at the Ringold Springs Hatchery access area. The bank area will be open through April 15 (bank angling only). Daily limit is two hatchery steelhead.

WDFW staff interviewed 111 anglers fishing for steelhead in the Hanford Reach in March.  Bank anglers averaged a steelhead for 17 hours of fishing and the boat anglers averaged a steelhead every 6 hours. An estimated 179 steelhead were caught and 55 were harvested. Since the fishery opened on October 1,  489 steelhead have harvested plus an additional 406 steelhead were caught & released from 2,943 angler trips.

McNary Reservoir Steelhead Sport Fishery Summary

For the fishery, August 1 – March 31, 141 steelhead were harvested and 552 wild steelhead were caught and released from 4,642 angler trips. The fishery was closed in October and November to reduce impacts to B run steelhead.

Lower, Middle Columbia Fishing Report (3-1-18)

THE FOLLOWING FISHING REPORTS ORIGINATED WITH ODFW AND WDFW STAFF AND WERE TRANSMITTED BY JOE HYMER, PSMFC

Lower Columbia mainstem sport sampling summary for Feb. 19-25

Sec. 5 (Woodland) bank – 7 salmonid anglers had no catch.
Sec. 5 (Woodland) boat- 1 boat/ 1 salmonid angler had no catch.
Sec. 8 (Longview) bank – 2 salmonid anglers had no catch

KYLE CARLSON SHOWS OFF A 14-POUND WALLEYE HE CAUGHT AND RELEASED ON THE UPPER DALLES POOL WHILE FISHING WITH GUIDE ALAN “TOUCHE” CLARK AND HIS BUDDY SETH NICKELL RECENTLY. THEY WERE PULLING WORMS ON BOTTOM. (YO-ZURI PHOTO CONTEST)

Salmon, Steelhead and Shad

Salmonid angling is slow in the lower Columbia River but should begin to pick up in the coming weeks.

Gorge Bank: No report.

Gorge Boats (below Beacon Rock): No report.

Troutdale Boats: No report.

Portland to Westport Bank: Weekly checking showed no catch for 55 bank anglers.

Portland to Westport Boats: Weekend checking showed no catch for 23 boats (46 anglers).

Estuary Bank (Clatsop Spit to Wauna Powerlines): No report.

Estuary Boats (Buoy 10 to Wauna Powerlines): No report.

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. No report.

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. No report.

WALLEYE

Bonneville Pool: No report.

The Dalles Pool: No report.

John Day Pool: No report.

Hanford Reach Steelhead Sport Fishery (Hwy 395 – Hanford)

Effort was light for steelhead fishing in the Hanford Reach but the catch and harvest improved, at least for the boat anglers.  WDFW staff interviewed 54 anglers in February.  Bank anglers averaged a steelhead for 55 hours of fishing but the boat anglers averaged a steelhead every 4 hours. An estimated 232 steelhead were caught in February and 122 were harvested. Since the fishery opened on October 1,  434 steelhead have harvested plus an additional 282 steelhead were caught & released from 2,440 angler trips.

The steelhead fishery in the Hanford Reach will close at the end of March except for the bank fishery. A small section of shoreline at the Ringold access area will continue to be open for “bank angling only” through April 15.

McNary Reservoir Steelhead Sport Fishery: February

Angler effort was very low in February but catch improved, harvest did not. An estimated 31 steelhead were caught in February and 6 were harvested. Catch per hour decreased from 19 hours per steelhead to 9.5 hours per fish. There were 131 angler trips for steelhead in February, down from 529 in January. Bank anglers averaged a steelhead for 7.3 hours of fishing.  Boat anglers 15.5 hours per fish. For the fishery (August 1 – February 28) 141 steelhead have been harvested and 469 wild steelhead have been caught and released from 4,439 angler trips.

Effective January 1 the daily limit is two hatchery steelhead per day. This area will close to the retention of steelhead on March 31.

2018 Lower Columbia, Gorge Pools Spring Chinook Fishery Set

THE FOLLOWING ARE PRESS RELEASES FROM THE OREGON AND WASHINGTON DEPARTMENTS OF FISH AND WILDLIFE

ODFW

Fishery managers from Oregon and Washington set spring Chinook salmon seasons for the Columbia River today during a joint state hearing.

SPRING CHINOOK ANGLERS PREPARE TO NET ONE ON THE COLUMBIA RIVER. (ANDY WALGAMOTT)

The lower Columbia River recreational spring Chinook season will take place from Thursday, March 1 through Saturday, April 7 from Buoy 10 upstream to Beacon Rock, plus bank angling from Beacon Rock upstream to the Bonneville Dam deadline.

Above Bonneville Dam, the recreational Chinook season was set for Friday, March 16 through Monday, May 7, with the open area extending from Bonneville Dam upstream to the OR/WA border above McNary Dam. Only bank angling is allowed from Bonneville Dam upstream to the Tower Island powerlines.

The daily bag limit is two adult salmonids (Chinook, coho, or steelhead), of which only one may be a Chinook. Only adipose fin-clipped (hatchery) fish may be retained.

The 2018 seasons are based on a forecast of 248,500 spring Chinook returning to the mouth of the Columbia River. That forecast includes an expected 166,700 spring Chinook bound for areas upstream of Bonneville Dam. This year’s run prediction is slightly larger than last year’s actual return of 208,800 spring Chinook.

Columbia River spring Chinook seasons are driven by guidelines on the number of upriver-origin Chinook that can be killed; therefore, season dates can change during the season if/when guidelines are met. The lower Columbia recreational season will start with an upriver Chinook guideline of 7,157 fish. For the area from Bonneville Dam upstream to the OR/WA border, the recreational guideline is 954 Chinook. The area of the Snake River downstream of the WA/ID border has a guideline of 920 Chinook; seasons will be set by Washington at a later date.

On the Willamette River, Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife fishery managers are forecasting a return of 53,800 adult Chinook, which is up from last year’s actual return of 50,800. Fishing for hatchery spring Chinook is allowed seven days a week on the Willamette.

For more information, refer to Columbia River regulation updates at myodfw.com/recreation-report/fishing-report/columbia-zone and e-regulations for permanent regulations

The following is a summary of spring recreational fishing seasons, including those adopted at today’s meeting.

CHINOOK SALMON

Columbia River mouth to Bonneville Dam

Prior to March 1, permanent rules for Chinook salmon, as outlined in the 2018 Oregon Sport Fishing Regulations, remain in effect.

From March 1 through April 7, boat fishing will be allowed seven days a week from Buoy 10 at the Columbia River mouth upstream to Beacon Rock, which is located approximately four miles below Bonneville Dam. Bank fishing will be allowed during the same timeframe from Buoy 10 upstream to the fishing deadline at Bonneville Dam.

The daily bag limit will be two adipose fin-clipped adult salmon (Chinook or coho) or adipose fin-clipped steelhead in combination, of which no more than one may be a Chinook. The rules also allow retention of up to five adipose fin-clipped jack salmon per day in Oregon.

Columbia River from Bonneville Dam to the Oregon/Washington border

Prior to March 16, permanent rules for Chinook salmon and steelhead, as outlined in the 2018 Oregon Sport Fishing Regulations, remain in effect.

Effective March 16 through May 7, this area will be open to retention of adipose fin-clipped Chinook. Fishing for salmon and steelhead from a boat is prohibited between Bonneville Dam and the Tower Island power lines, which are approximately six miles downstream from The Dalles Dam.

The daily bag limit will be two adipose fin-clipped adult salmon (Chinook or coho) or adipose fin-clipped steelhead in combination, of which no more than one may be a Chinook. The rules also allow retention of up to five adipose fin-clipped jack salmon per day in Oregon.

Select Area Recreational Fisheries

Permanent fishing regulations for recreational harvest in Oregon waters within Youngs Bay and Blind Slough/Knappa Slough are listed in the 2018 Oregon Sport Fishing Regulations.

The use of barbed hooks is allowed when angling for salmon, steelhead, or trout in the Youngs Bay and Knappa/Blind Slough Select Areas.

Based on today’s action, effective March 1 through June 15, 2018 on days when the mainstem Columbia River below Bonneville Dam is open to recreational Chinook harvest, the daily adult salmon/steelhead bag limit in Select Area fishing sites will be the same as mainstem Columbia bag limits. On days when the mainstem Columbia is closed to Chinook retention, the permanent bag limits for Select Areas will apply.

Willamette River

Under permanent rules, the Willamette River remains open to retention of adipose fin-clipped adult Chinook salmon and adipose fin-clipped steelhead seven days a week.  The rules also allow retention of up to five adipose fin-clipped jack salmon per day.

The use of barbed hooks is allowed when angling for salmon, steelhead, or trout in the Willamette River downstream of Willamette Falls. From March 1 through August 15, 2018, use of two rods is allowed on the Willamette and Clackamas rivers with purchase of two-rod validation.

The bag limit on the Willamette below Willamette Falls is two adipose fin-clipped adult salmon or steelhead in combination. Above the falls, two adipose fin-clipped adult salmon and three adipose fin-clipped steelhead may be retained in the daily bag.

STEELHEAD & SHAD

Permanent rules for steelhead and shad are in effect, except for the following modifications:

Effective March 16 through May 15, 2018, the 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. Beginning May 16 permanent rules resume as listed in the 2018 Oregon Sport Fishing Regulations.

 WDFW

Salmon managers from Washington and Oregon have approved sportfishing seasons for spring chinook salmon on the Columbia River, setting the stage for the first major salmon fishery of the year.

Anglers are already catching a few spring chinook in the lower Columbia below the Interstate 5 bridge, but the bulk of the run usually doesn’t arrive until March when the new rules take effect.

According to the preseason forecast, approximately 248,500 spring chinook salmon will return to the Columbia River this year – an increase of 20 percent from 2017. That number includes 166,700 upriver fish bound for waters above Bonneville Dam and 81,820 fish expected to return to rivers below the dam.

Bill Tweit, a special assistant for Columbia River fisheries at the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW), noted that the upriver forecast is up 44 percent from last year, but still 10 percent below the 10-year average.

“This year’s fishery appears to be shaping up as a fairly normal season,” Tweit said. “Even so, we always have to take a conservative approach in setting fishing seasons until we can determine how many fish are actually moving past Bonneville Dam.”

Based on the preseason projections, the two states approved initial fishing seasons for waters both below and above the dam:

  • Below Bonneville Dam: Catch guidelines approved today allocate 6,680 upriver fish for a 38-day fishing season below Bonneville Dam from March 1 through April 7. The fishery will be open to both boat and bank anglers from Buoy 10 to Beacon Rock, and to bank anglers only upriver to the dam.
  • Above the dam: Spring chinook fishing will also be open March 16 through May 7 from the Tower Island power lines upriver to the Washington/Oregon border near Umatilla. The season will run for 53 days with an initial catch guideline of 900 upriver chinook. Bank fishing will also be allowed from the dam upriver to the power lines.

In both areas, the daily catch limit will be one adult hatchery chinook salmon, as part of a two-fish daily limit that can also include hatchery coho salmon and hatchery steelhead. Anglers fishing the Columbia River will be required to use barbless hooks, and must release any salmon or steelhead not visibly marked as hatchery fish by a clipped adipose fin.

Tweit said this year’s initial catch guidelines include a 30 percent “buffer” in the preseason forecast to guard against overharvesting the run. If actual returns meet or exceed expectations, fish held in reserve will become available for harvest later in the season, he said.

Fishery managers will likely meet in May – when half the run has historically passed Bonneville Dam – to determine if this year’s fishing season can be extended.

To participate in this fishery, anglers age 15 and older must possess a valid fishing license. In addition, anglers fishing upriver from Rocky Point must purchase a Columbia River Salmon/Steelhead Endorsement. Revenue from the endorsement supports salmon or steelhead seasons on many rivers in the Columbia River system, including enforcing fishery regulations and monitoring the upper Columbia River spring chinook fisheries.

Additional information about fishing rules in effect during the upcoming spring chinook season is posted on WDFW’s website at https://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/regulations/.

Lower, Mid-Columbia, SW WA Fishing Report (2-12-18)

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

Columbia River Angling Report

Salmonid catch and effort is slow but should improve as the salmon begin to move into the lower Columbia.  On Saturday’s (2/10) flight, 18 salmonid boats and 41 Oregon bank anglers were counted from the Columbia River estuary to Bonneville Dam.

BEFORE IT CLOSED FOR RETENTION, THE JOHN DAY POOL YIELDED A KEEPER STURGEON FOR WILLIAM HULL. HE WAS FISHING WITH HIS DAD CLAY AND O’DOHERTY OUTFITTERS. (YO-ZURI PHOTO CONTEST)

Gorge Bank: No report.

Gorge Boats: No report.

Troutdale Boats: No report.

Portland to Westport Bank: Weekly checking showed two steelhead released for 60 bank anglers.

Portland to Westport Boats: No report.

Estuary Bank (Clatsop Spit to Wauna Powerlines): No report.

Estuary Boats (Tongue Point to Wauna Powerlines): No report.

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.  No report.

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 three sublegal sturgeon released for 53 bank anglers; and two legal white sturgeon kept, plus 19 sublegal and two oversize sturgeon released for 41 boats (96 anglers).

WALLEYE

Bonneville Pool: No report.

The Dalles Pool: No report.

John Day Pool: Weekly checking showed six walleye kept for two bank anglers; and 250 walleye kept, plus 70 walleye released for 52 boats (104 anglers).

………………………..

McNary Reservoir Steelhead Fishery

WDFW staff interviewed 5 boat anglers (3 boats) and 9 bank anglers fishing above McNary Dam in February. Bank anglers averaged 6.5 hours per steelhead. Much slower for boat anglers at 23 hours per steelhead. All steelhead encountered were wild, caught and released.

Lower Hanford Reach Steelhead Fishery

WDFW staff interviewed 16 boat anglers and 19 bank anglers in February. Boats are averaging 5.3 hours per steelhead. Much slower for bank anglers at 34 hours per fish. The majority of the fish caught are hatchery origin (11 of 12).

……………………………

Lower Columbia mainstem and its tributaries sport sampling summaries for Feb. 5-11

A Joint State/Compact hearing to consider recreational fisheries for Spring Chinook is scheduled for 10am February 21, 2018 at the Portland Airport Shilo Inn (11707 NE Airport Way).

Cowlitz River –  From the I-5 Br. downstream:  35 bank rods kept 1 steelhead.  Upstream from the I-5 Br:  22 bank anglers released 1 steelhead and 1 adult coho.  14 boats/40 rods kept 1 adult spring Chinook and 8 steelhead and released 1 steelhead and 1 cutthroat.

Lower Columbia mainstem from the I-5 Br. downstream –  Water looks prime for salmon fishing but just 18 boats and 73 bank rods were tallied during last Saturday’s flight.

Washington only creel checks:

Sec. 4 (Vancouver) bank – 2 salmonid anglers had no catch.
Sec. 5 (Woodland) bank – 9 salmonid anglers had no catch.
Sec. 6 (Kalama) bank – 2 salmonid anglers had no catch.
Sec. 8 (Longview) bank – 2 salmonid anglers released 1 steelhead.
Sec. 8 boat – 1 boat/1 salmonid angler had no catch.
Sec. 9 (Cathlamet) bank – 1 salmonid angler had no catch.

John Day Pool – No effort was observed for steelhead.

Sturgeon

John Day Pool – Closed for sturgeon retention through the rest of this year.

Walleye and Bass

John Day Pool – Boat anglers averaged over 3 walleye kept/released per rod.

Trout

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

Lake/Pond
Date
Species
Number
Fish per Pound
Hatchery
Notes

BATTLE GROUND LK (CLAR)<https://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
Feb 05, 2018
Rainbow
1,500
1.9
VANCOUVER HATCHERY

KLINELINE PD (CLAR)<https://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/plants/weekly/search.php?searchby=LakeStocked&search=KLINELINE+PD+%28CLAR%29&orderby=LakeStocked%20ASC,%20StockDate%20DESC>
Clark County – Region 5
Feb 05, 2018
Rainbow
1,500
1.9
VANCOUVER HATCHERY

Smelt

Not much sign of smelt during the lower Columbia mainstem sport effort flight last Saturday.  There were a few seals from Wallace Is. to Rice Is. but no sea lions and no bird activity except for few gulls following an outbound ship.

All waters within the state of Washington remain closed to fishing for Columbia River smelt (eulachon).

McNary, Hanford January Steelhead Fishing Wrap-up

THE FOLLOWING ORIGINATED WITH PAUL HOFFARTH, WDFW, AND WERE TRANSMITTED BY JOE HYMER, PSMFC

McNary Reservoir Steelhead Sport Fishery

The Columbia River from McNary Dam to the Tri-cities reopened for the harvest of hatchery steelhead on December 1. Angler effort declined a bit in January. There were 529 angler trips for steelhead in January, down from 1,588 in December.

WDFW staff interviewed 110 anglers.  Anglers averaged 19 hours per steelhead, unfortunately most of the fish caught were wild, 80 of the 95 fish caught were wild and had to be turned back. For the fishery (August 1 – January 31) 135 steelhead have been harvested and 354 wild steelhead have been caught and released from 4,308 angler trips.

Effective January 1 the daily limit is two hatchery steelhead per day (see Washington Sport Fishing Rules for additional information).

Hanford Reach Steelhead Sport Fishery (Hwy 395 – Hanford)

Steelhead fishing continues to be slow in the Hanford Reach.  Effort has been light.  WDFW staff interviewed 300 anglers in January.  Bank anglers averaged a steelhead for 24 hours of fishing.  Boat anglers are doing a little better at 18 hours per fish. An estimated 44 steelhead were caught in January and 26 were harvested. Since the fishery opened on October 1, 312 steelhead have harvested plus an additional 172 steelhead were caught & released from 2,114 angler trips.

This year’s return to Ringold Springs Hatchery is estimated at ~900 steelhead

McNary Pool, Hanford Steelheading Update (1-3-18)

THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION ORIGINATED FROM PAUL HOFFARTH, WDFW, AND WAS TRANSMITTED BY JOE HYMER, PSMFC

McNary Reservoir Steelhead Sport Fishery

The Columbia River from McNary Dam to the Tri-cities reopened for the harvest of hatchery steelhead on December 1. Angler effort has been steady averaging 9 boats and 16 bank anglers per day. There were 1,588 angler trips for steelhead in December.  WDFW staff interviewed 303 anglers in December.  Anglers averaged 14 hours per steelhead, unfortunately most of the fish caught were wild.  321 of the 407 fish caught were wild and had to be turned back. For the fishery (August 1 – December 31) 120 steelhead have been harvested and 346 wild steelhead have been caught and released from 3,779 angler trips.

LIZ BUTOWICZ SHOWS OFF A MCNARY POOL HATCHERY STEELHEAD CAUGHT SEVERAL SEASONS AGO NOW. SHE WAS HER DAD, HOWARD, AND “COUSIN IN LAW” JERRY HAN. (FISHING PHOTO CONTEST)

Effective January 1 the daily limit will increase to two hatchery steelhead per day (see Washington Sport Fishing Rules for additional information).

Hanford Reach Steelhead Sport Fishery (Hwy 395 – Hanford)

Steelhead fishing continues to be slow to fair in the lower Hanford Reach.  Effort has been light.  WDFW staff interviewed 123 anglers in December.  Bank anglers averaged a steelhead for 13.5 hours of fishing in December.  Boat anglers are doing a bit better at 9 hours per fish. An estimated 115 steelhead were caught in December and 92 were harvested. Since the fishery opened on October 1, 286 steelhead have harvested plus an additional 154 steelhead were caught & released from 1,814 angler trips.

Effective January 1 any hatchery steelhead may be harvested.  Daily limit is one steelhead per day.  This year’s return to Ringold Springs Hatchery is estimated at ~900 steelhead.