Tag Archives: rainbow trout

Stocker Rainbows Adding Color To Fall Fishing Ops In Washington

A number of Western and Central Washington lakes are being stocked with nice-sized trout for fall fishing.

FALL ANGLERS FISH OFF A DOCK AT SEATTLE’S GREEN LAKE, WHICH RECEIVED 1,511 TWO-THIRDS-POUND RAINBOWS IN LATE OCTOBER. (ANDY WALGAMOTT)

WDFW says these rainbows average 15-plus inches, with some bouncing the scales at 3 pounds.

Releases are slated to occur prior to Black Friday at:

Clark County: Battle Ground Lake and Klineline Pond
Cowlitz County: Kress Lake
King County: Beaver, Fivemile, Green and Steel Lakes
Klickitat County: Rowland Lake
Lewis County: Fort Borst Park and South Lewis County Park Ponds
Mason County: Spencer Lake
Pacific County: Cases Pond
Pierce County: American and Tanwax Lakes
Skagit County: Clear and Cranberry Lakes
Snohomish County: Ballinger, Silver and Tye Lakes and Gissberg Ponds
Thurston County: Black, Long, and Offut Lakes
Whatcom County: Padden Lake
Yakima County: North Elton Pond

To narrow down the timeframe, keep an eye on https://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/reports/stocking/trout-plants.

THANKS TO STATE HATCHERY RELEASES, WASHINGTON ANGLERS CAN ENJOY CATCHING AND EATING NICE-SIZED RAINBOWS LIKE THESE IN FALL. (JOSHUA MYERS VIA WDFW)

Steel and Padden were scheduled to close after Halloween, but have been kept open past New Year’s Day via a rule change that came out last week, and were both recently stocked and will be again around Thanksgiving.

WDFW is running a pilot program focusing on expanding fishing opportunities in Pugetropolis’s I-5 corridor.

“I’m really excited to offer these fisheries and hopefully it leads to getting more people into the sport,” WDFW biologist Justin Spinelli in Mill Creek told Mark Yuasa for an article in our latest issue. “We’re trying this out in urban-centered areas. We know a lot of people in the cities may be interested in getting outside and going fishing. This allows them to access nearby lakes and it’s not too complicated and doesn’t require a whole bunch of gear.”

In Eastern Washington, Fourth of July Lake on the Adams-Lincoln County line, Hatch and Williams Lakes in Stevens County, and Hog Canyon Lake in Spokane County will open on Black Friday for a winter fishery powered by previous years’ trout fly plants.

“WDFW’s trout stocking and hatchery programs are active year-round,” said Steve Caromile, the agency’s Inland Fish Program manager. “We provide the gift of spending time with friends and family on lakes around the state, at any time of the year.”

Anglers 15 years and older need a freshwater fishing license to dangle worms, eggs and other offerings for trout in lakes. Licenses are available online and at numerous local outlets.

Yuasa: I-5 Fall Trout Releases Boosted, Plus Squid, Crab, Salmon Ops In November

Editor’s note: The following is Mark Yuasa’s monthly fishing newsletter, Get Hooked on Reel Times With Mark, and is run with permission.

By Mark Yuasa, Director of Grow Boating Programs, Northwest Marine Trade Association

We’ve been hanging our salmon fishing lines in the water for more than five months, and I’d like to switch gears and set sights on another exciting opportunity to get through the impending holiday madness.

Yes, take some time to let go of your snobbish salmon attitude and harken back to days when you pursued trout with nothing more than high hopes, a jar of salmon eggs, Power Bait or a container of worms.

Now is the time to hit the refresh button and replay those memorable moments or share it with someone new to fishing.

“We’re trying out a couple of pilot programs, which allowed us to be creative on how we structure trout fisheries in our region, and we’ve kept intact a couple others that have been successful,” said Justin Spinelli, a WDFW biologist in Mill Creek.

(MARK YUASA, NMTA)

Earlier this year, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) strategized ways to boost trout prospects at a time when many have holiday plans or shopping on their minds.

According to Spinelli, WDFW hatchery staff had space in some hatcheries and funding to raise thousands of rainbow trout to catchable size (8 to 11 inches) this past spring and summer.

“During this pilot program, we plan to monitor and conduct creel surveys so we can get an idea on participation and success,” Spinelli said. “Keeping fish in hatcheries longer was expensive. We need to make sure for budget purposes that it’s worth our effort to provide this special opportunity.”

WDFW is planting 27,000 rainbow trout along the I-5 corridor in 12 lakes within Whatcom, Skagit, Snohomish and King counties.

“I’m really excited and hopefully it leads to getting more people into the sport,” he said. “We’re trying this out in urban centered areas. We know a lot of people in the cities may be interested in getting outside and going fishing.”

Spinelli says this offers easy access to nearby lakes and it’s not too complicated of a fishery to learn, doesn’t take a whole bunch of expensive fishing gear and provides fish that are willing to bite.

Two popular local lakes where late-season annual plants have become the norm are Beaver Lake in Issaquah and Goodwin Lake in Snohomish County.

Beaver was expecting a plant – possibly as soon as this week – of 1,250 trout averaging 2 pounds apiece and another 1,250 just prior to Thanksgiving. Goodwin will receive 5,000 in December.

Here are other scheduled plants (most lakes are open year-round except two have seasonal dates):

King County – Green, 3,600 (1,611 planted last week); Steel, 1,600 (open Nov. 1-Jan. 5 only and 804 were planted last week); and Fivemile, 1,200 (616 were planted last week). Snohomish County – Gissburg Ponds, 2,000; Tye, 2,000; Silver, 2,000 (1,005 were planted last week); and Ballinger, 1,600 (804 were planted last week). Skagit County – Clear, 1,500; and Cranberry, 1,750. Whatcom County – Padden, 1,750 (open Nov. 1-Jan. 5 only and 1,000 were planted last week).

“Some lakes we plant will have fish biting for quite a while,” Spinelli said. “I’m thrilled with this new program and hope we can demonstrate that this can be a stimulus for our trout fisheries at a time when choices of fishing activities are much slimmer.”

The popular “Black Friday” trout fisheries also give anglers a chance to get out and burn off the calories from a Thanksgiving feast. This includes thousands of beefy trout averaging 1 to 1.3 pounds going into more than a dozen southwest Washington lakes.

Clark County – Klineline, 2,000; and Battle Ground, 2,000. Cowlitz County – Kress, 2,000. Klickitat County – Rowland, 2,000. Lewis County – Fort Borst Park Pond, 2,000; and South Lewis County Park Pond, 2,000. Pierce County – American, 2,000; and Tanwax, 1,000. Thurston County – Black, 1,000; Ward, 300; Long, 1,000; and Offutt, 1,000.

Millions of fry-size trout were planted this past spring in eastern Washington lakes that are open from Nov. 29 through March 31. These fish should have grown to catchable size (8 to 11 inches). They include Hatch, 10,000, and Williams, 12,000, in Stevens County; Fourth of July, 80,000, on Lincoln/Adams county line; and Hog Canyon, 20,000, in Spokane County.

Elton Pond in Yakima County open from Nov. 29 through March 31 will be planted with 2,000 trout averaging 1.2 pounds.

Be sure to check the WDFW website for additional lakes open year-round, which are expected to be planted in late fall and winter. For weekly stocking reports, go to www.wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/plants/weekly.

Other holiday fishing opportunities

This is a magical time of the year with opportunities blooming for squid, salmon and Dungeness crab just to name a few.

Hitting up many Puget Sound piers has become a nightly affair as millions of tasty squid – known in the culinary society as “calamari” – are pouring into Puget Sound marine waterways from Edmonds south to Tacoma.

Squid jigging is good at the Les Davis Pier in Tacoma; Des Moines Marina Pier; Seacrest Boathouse Pier in West Seattle; Seattle waterfront at Piers 57, 62, 63, 70 or the Seattle Aquarium Pier; Edmonds Pier; A-Dock and Shilshole Pier; Point Defiance Park Pier; Fauntleroy Ferry Dock; Illahee State Park Pier; and the Waterman and Indianola piers in Kitsap County.

Night-time on a flood tide are the best periods to catch squid as they’re attracted to lighted public piers. Squid like to lurk in the darker edges of lighted water and dart out into the light on their unsuspecting prey. The WDFW website has a wealth of information on squid jigging at http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/shellfish/squid/.

Salmon chasers still have opportunities in central Puget Sound (Marine Catch Area 10), which is open for chum and maybe a late coho through Nov. 15. Target chums around Jefferson Head, West Point south of Shilshole Bay, Point Monroe, Kingston, Allen Bank and Southworth near Blake Island, and the east side of Bainbridge Island.

Southern Puget Sound (Area 13) is open year-round and should be fair game for hatchery winter chinook off Fox Island, south of the Narrows Bridge, Anderson Island and Johnson Point.
Hood Canal (Area 12) is often an underfished location in the winter for hatchery chinook around central region at Misery Point and Oak Head.

A reminder the daily catch limit is two coho, chum or hatchery chinook in southern Puget Sound (Area 13). The daily limit in Areas 10 is two salmon but only one may be a coho (you can retain chum, pink and coho but need to release chinook).

Central Puget Sound (Area 10) and south-central Puget Sound (Area 11) reopens Jan. 1 for hatchery chinook. Northern Puget Sound (Area 9), San Juan Islands (Area 7) and east side of Whidbey Island (Areas 8-1 and 8-2) reopens Feb. 1 for hatchery chinook.

There’s nothing sweeter than having a plate of Dungeness crab sitting on the holiday dinner table and fishing has been fairly good since it reopened back on Oct. 1. Dungeness crab fishing is open daily through Dec. 31 at Neah Bay east of the Bonilla-Tatoosh line (Marine Area 4); Sekiu area in western Strait of Juan de Fuca (5); Port Angeles area eastern Strait of Juan de Fuca (6); San Juan Islands (7); and northern Puget Sound/Admiralty Inlet (9) except for waters south of a line from Olele Point to Foulweather Bluff. The east side of Whidbey Island in Deception Pass, Hope Island, and Skagit Bay (8-1); Port Susan and Port Gardiner (8-2) has closed for crabbing.

Sport crabbers are reminded that setting or pulling traps from a vessel is only allowed from one hour before official sunrise through one hour after official sunset. For more information, go to https://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/shellfish/.

Can you dig it? Coastal razor clam success very good since opening in late September

The coastal razor clam digs have gotten off to a stupendous start and be sure to get some for the holiday dinner table.

The first digs of the 2019-2020 season began Sept. 27-29 at Long Beach and success was excellent with 18,000 diggers taking home 296,000 clams.

(MARK YUASA, NMTA)

“Digging went really well during the first series opener at Long Beach,” said Dan Ayres, the head WDFW coastal shellfish manager. “It was as close to limits as you can get (the first 15 clams dug regardless of size or condition is a daily per person limit).”

Digging this week also was off-the-charts good at Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis and Mocrocks. There’s still a last chance on tonight (Nov. 1) at Long Beach, Twin Harbors and Copalis (minus-0.2 feet at 10:38 p.m.). No digging is allowed during PM low tides only.

Many night-time low tide digs are planned in the weeks ahead on Nov. 1, 11, 13, 15, 17, 24, 26, 28 and 30 at Long Beach, Twin Harbors and Copalis; and Nov. 12, 14, 16, 25, 27 and 29 at Long Beach, Twin Harbors and Mocrocks. Dec. 10, 12, 14, 16, 23, 27 and 29 at Long Beach, Twin Harbors and Mocrocks; and Dec. 11, 13, 15, 26 and 28 at Long Beach, Twin Harbors and Copalis.

Final approval is announced by WDFW about one or two weeks prior to each series of digs and are dependent on marine toxin levels being below the cutoff threshold.

WDFW shellfish managers are saying this could be one of the best seasons seen in quite a while for many digs planned from winter through spring. For details, visit https://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/shellfishing-regulations/razor-clams.

New name and new events happening in 2020 during the NW Fishing Derby Series

A quick look back at the 2019 derby season saw a total of 6,176 anglers entered into 13 derbies (one was cancelled) which is up from 4,690 in 2018 and there’s plenty of excitement coming up in 2020.

We’ve now hit the refresh button and renamed it the “Northwest Fishing Derby Series” with a tentative 18 derbies scheduled. It will include two lingcod/rockfish “For the Love of Cod Derbies” in Coos Bay, Charleston and Brookings, Oregon in March 21-22 and March 28-29 respectively, and the Something Catchy Kokanee Derby at Lake Chelan in April.

The highlight is a chance enter and win a sleek $75,000 fully loaded, grand-prize all-white KingFisher 2025 Series Hardtop boat powered with Yamaha 200hp and 9.9hp trolling motors on an EZ Loader Trailer. Our newest sponsor of the derby – Shoxs Seats (www.shoxs.com) – has provided a pair of top-of-the-line seats that are engineered for maximum comfort in the roughest of seas.
The good news is anglers who enter any of the 18 derbies don’t need to catch a fish to win this beautiful boat and motor package!

A huge “thank you” to our other 2020 sponsors who make this series such a success are Silver Horde and Gold Star Lures; Scotty Downriggers; Burnewiin Accessories; Raymarine Electronics; WhoDat Tower; Dual Electronics; Tom-n-Jerry’s Marine; Master Marine; NW Sportsman Magazine; The Reel News; Outdoor Emporium and Sportco; Harbor Marine; Prism Graphics; Lamiglas Rods; KIRO/ESPN 710AM The Outdoor Line; Salmon, Steelhead Journal; Rays Bait Works; and Salmon Trout Steelheader Magazine.

First up in the series are the Resurrection Salmon Derby on Feb. 1-2; Friday Harbor Salmon Classic on Feb. 6-8; and Roche Harbor Salmon Classic on Feb. 13-15. For details, go to http://www.nwsalmonderbyseries.com/.

In the meantime, take a break from holiday shopping and hit up a lake or open saltwater areas for a feisty fish tugging on the end of your line.

I’ll see you on the water!

Curlew Lake SP, Ferry Co. Serve Up Family Fun, Good Fishing

How peaceful and restful is a week at Northeast Washington’s Curlew Lake?

Well, if you’re a guard dog that is tuckered out from all the swimming, trail running, fetching sticks and more you’ve done, you’ll sleep so soundly you won’t even hear the deer sneaking up on you.

A CURIOUS MULE DEER DOE APPROACHES OUR CAMPSITE AND NAPPING DOG NYOKI AT CURLEW LAKE STATE PARK. (ANDY WALGAMOTT)

But Amy, River, Kiran and I also came back to the Westside happily tired out too after seven days spent exploring beautiful northern Ferry County and northeastern Okanogan County.

Along with fishing we enjoyed horseback and bicycle rides, sight-seeing and wildlife viewing, kayaking and inner-tubing, searching for fossils and swinging from a big ol’ rope into another nearby lake.

A ROAD LEADS THROUGH WDFW’S CHESAW WILDLIFE AREA, ABOVE THE REMOTE NORTHEAST OKANOGAN COUNTY TOWN OF THE SAME NAME. (ANDY WALGAMOTT)

I really can’t pick out one highlight over any other, as it was all really fun, the weather was mostly good, and we all had a great time. I daresay it was an instant top-five in the pantheon of Walgamott Northwest Campouts.

I brought mostly trout and bass gear and used them to little effect — meaning, maybe a bite or two from the former species and just tiny specimens of the latter — but fortunately I had a backup plan.

KIRAN WAITS FOR A BITE OFF A DOCK AT CURLEW LAKE STATE PARK. (ANDY WALGAMOTT)

This spring reader Jerry Han cued me into the excellent perch fishing at Curlew. Perch were illegally introduced several years ago and were an initial cause of concern because of how popular and productive the rainbow fishery is and how the nonnative species competes with young trout.

As potentially harmful as it could yet prove, I will grudgingly admit that turning to yellowbellies probably saved our fishing, at least for Kiran and given the shallower, warmer south-end waters we stuck to.

IT TOOK A LITTLE BIT FOR KIRAN TO DIAL IN WHEN TO SET THE HOOK ON FISH, BUT HE EVENTUALLY GOT IT. (ANDY WALGAMOTT)

Jerry and his family like to fish in winter and spring for perch, and he sent me some tips and equipment to try out during our trip, specifically a bait pump and Crappie Nibbles to load into it and squirt into tube jigs.

A boatload of anglers who made an emergency run to shore by our campsite so one could use the facilities also clued me in to another tactic, a little nub of nightcrawler behind an orange curltail.

Combining the two methods we got some bites, but the winds and lack of an anchor for my 12-foot sit-inside kayak also made it tough to stay on top of the schools at Curlew’s south end.

Still, it was interesting to see Kiran come up with his own fishing theories. One afternoon it was a bit stormy, so we were stuck on shore and took some casts off a fallen tree then moved over to the aviation dock at the state park.

KIRAN SHOWS OFF ONE OF THE NICER YELLOW PERCH HE CAUGHT AT THE LAKE’S SOUTHERN END. (ANDY WALGAMOTT)

He caught a bass at both places and the next day wanted to ditch the jig and use just a worm because he felt that that was what the fish actually wanted.

So we headed out in the kayak to our hot spot just south of Beaver Island and I rigged up his rod with just a weight, baitholder hook and a worm and handed it to him while I looped a worm behind a chartreuse curltail on a 1/32-ounce jighead and fished it myself.

As luck would have it my set-up caught the first perch, so I handed it with a fresh worm chunk to Kiran and took his no-frills rod and of course caught one on that.

But it soon became apparent that the combo of a curltail and worm was what the fish really wanted, and using it Kiran quickly outfished me, reeling up a nice mix of perch with it and learning that fishing doesn’t always make sense but a little extra sparkle and size can help increase the bite.

A TIGER MUSKY LURKS IN THE WEEDS (LOWER LEFT) AT THE STATE PARK’S SWIMMING AREA. (ANDY WALGAMOTT)

One perch I caught that didn’t make it drew the instant attention of the lake’s bald eagles and osprey, and soon the rush of wind through an adult bald’s feathers whooshed right over me as the raptor reached down with its talons, grabbed the fish and flew off to a nearby tree to dine.

The biggest fish we saw was a tiger musky lurking in the weeds of the swimming area. Some other camping kids spotted it nestled in the milfoil and whatnot and the boys and I waded in to inspect it as well. It’s hard to judge how long it was, but at least 3-plus feet, and it was not afraid of people.

I had two big swimbaits that might have gotten a go from it, but that would have been followed immediately by the splintering of my rod and reel into 39 pieces, as all the combos I brought along were pretty lightweight.

THE BOYS AND I APPROACH AN OLD TUNNEL ON THE NORTHERN REACH OF THE FERRY COUNTY RAIL TRAIL. (ANDY WALGAMOTT)

Besides all the fishing we also enjoyed two nice bike rides on different parts of the Ferry County Rail Trail, one along the west side of the lake and the other from the town of Curlew north through the tunnel.

You can’t hunt along the abandoned railway, but there is one big bear in the area, if the numerous large piles on the trail by the tunnel are any indication. Biking along the Kettle River I cursed myself for not bringing my fly rod and hopper imitations.

RIVER LOOSENS A CHUNK OF SHALE FROM THE ROCK RACE AT THE STONEROSE FOSSIL SITE. (ANDY WALGAMOTT)

In Republic we stopped by the Stonerose Fossil Site and gingerly whacked apart shale laid down in a shallow lake during the Eocene some 50 million years ago, finding imprints of dawn redwood needles, deciduous leaves and a March fly. Under a magnifier at the interpretive center a staffer pointed out how the bug’s wings had come off its body.

RIVER FLAGS TRAFFIC ON HIGHWAY 21 AS THE K DIAMOND K GUEST RANCH’S HORSE AND CATTLE HERDS ARE MOVED IN THE MORNING. (ANDY WALGAMOTT)

Not far south of town is the K Diamond K Guest Ranch which had space for us one morning to join a nice long trail ride. River and Kiran assisted in gathering and herding the 50 horses and 20 longhorns from a field on one side of Highway 21 to pastures and a corral on the other before we all mounted up.

RIVER AND KIRAN RIDE ACROSS A HIGH PASTURE OF THE K DIAMOND K, A 1,600-ACRE WORKING RANCH WITH AN INCREDIBLE LODGE FRAMED BY LOGS HARVESTED ON THE SPREAD ABOVE THE SANPOIL RIVER. (ANDY WALGAMOTT)

In the evenings deer wandered through our camp, followed by bats flitting through the pines, and as the larch logs coaled we gazed at the stars as the Milky Way came out. Late at night coyotes serenaded us.

THE FAM RELAXES IN THE AFTERNOON. (ANDY WALGAMOTT)

We also took a drive to Chesaw and the Okanogan Highlands, where I camped in 2003 and 2004, and which was where Amy’s and my camera got quite a workout capturing the stunning scenery. Along the way we made a stop at an awesome rope swing at Beaver Lake, then returned a couple days later for some more water fun and in hopes the loons there would call.

RIVER AND KIRAN ENJOY THE BEAVER LAKE ROPE SWING WHILE NYOKI GOES FOR A SWIM IN SEARCH OF A FETCH STICK. (ANDY WALGAMOTT)

They didn’t, but I can tell you that I’d love to call on this corner of the Northwest more often than once every decade and a half.

And next time it’ll be with even more fishing gear and rods.

CURLEW LAKE IN AFTERNOON LIGHT. (ANDY WALGAMOTT)

Get a Free NewsLetter Here

SW WA, Lower Columbia Fishing Report (8-14-19)

THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION WAS FORWARDED BY BRYANT SPELLMAN, WDFW

Salmon/Steelhead:

Columbia River Tributaries

Elochoman River– 1 bank angler had no catch.

Cowlitz River – I-5 Br downstream – 1 boat/4 rods had no catch.

Above the I-5 Br – 31 bank rods kept 25 steelhead. 27 boats/73 rods kept 37 steelhead and released 3 steelhead.

NATE SCANLON BEAMS WITH PRIDE AT HIS MOM LARA AND HER ESTIMATED 30-POUND UPRIVER BRIGHT, CAUGHT IN THE BUOY 10 FISHERY ON AUG. 7 JUST ABOVE THE ASTORIA-MEGLER BRIDGE. THEY WERE FISHING WITH GUIDE JOEL HENLEY AND TROLLING A GREEN-LABEL CUTPLUG BEHIND A CUSTOMIZED FISH FLASH AND 14 OUNCES OF WEIGHT TO KEEP THE SETUP “HUGGING THE BOTTOM.” (ANVILOUTDOORS.COM)

Tacoma Power employees recovered 121 summer-run steelhead adults, 68 spring Chinook adults, one spring Chinook jack, 62 spring Chinook mini-jacks, and two Cutthroat trout during five days of operations at the Cowlitz Salmon Hatchery separator.

During the past week Tacoma Power employees released nine spring Chinook adults into the Cispus River located near Randle and they released six spring Chinook adults and two Cutthroat trout at the Franklin Bridge release site in Packwood.

To date, Tacoma Power employees have recycled 606 summer-run steelhead to the lower Cowlitz River.

Kalama River – 23 bank anglers had no catch.

Lewis River – 26 bank anglers kept 3 steelhead and released 1 Chinook jack. 3 boats/8 rods released 4 Chinook.

Drano Lake – 5 boats/7 rods kept 1 Chinook jack and released 1 steelhead.

Klickitat below Fisher Hill Bridge – No anglers sampled.

Klickitat above #5 Fishway – No anglers sampled.

Trout:

Merrill Lake – Fishing has been good for rainbow and cutthroat, some browns are being caught.

Catchable Trout Plants:

Lake/Pond Date Species Number Fish/lb Hatchery

MAYFIELD RES (LEWIS) August 6, 2019 Rainbow 2,680 1.34 EELLS SPRINGS

MAYFIELD RES (LEWIS) July 28, 2019 Rainbow 2,648 1.32 EELLS SPRINGS

MAYFIELD RES (LEWIS) July 24, 2019 Rainbow 2,786 1.39 EELLS SPRINGS

GOOSE LK (SKAM) July 18, 2019 Rainbow 1,644 2.30 GOLDENDALE

Warmwater:

Lacamas Lake – Bass and yellow perch fishing has been excellent.

Rowland Lake – Anglers have been catching some bluegill and pumpkinseed.

Swofford Pond – Bass and channel catfish fishing has been excellent.

Pikeminnow Sport – Reward Fishery Program:

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

Buoy 10 

Date Number
of Boats
Number
of Anglers
Chinook
Kept
Coho
Kept
Comments
1-Aug 35 85 3 3 Opener
2-Aug 40 100 7 7  
3-Aug 192 505 45 34  
4-Aug 128 338 35 22  
5-Aug 73 180 47 30  
6-Aug 86 212 85 45  
7-Aug 0 0 0 0 Not Sampled
8-Aug 114 287 129 82  
9-Aug 35 97 31 27  
10-Aug 264 756 217 143  
11-Aug 334 997 82 66  

 

Lower Columbia Mainstem Sport Aug. 5-11

Salmon and steelhead:

Bonneville bank: 14 anglers with nothing
Camas/Washougal bank: 4 anglers with 1 Chinook jack kept
I-5 area bank: No report
Vancouver bank: 23 anglers with nothing
Woodland bank: 50 anglers with 1 Chinook kept
Kalama bank: 42 anglers with nothing
Cowlitz bank: No report
Longview bank: 52 anglers with nothing
Cathlamet bank: 5 anglers with nothing
Private boats/bank: 3 anglers with nothing

Bonneville boat: No report
Camas/Washougal boat: 14 anglers with nothing
I-5 area boat: 7 anglers with nothing
Vancouver boat: 23 anglers with 1 Chinook kept
Woodland boat: 24 anglers with 4 Chinook kept and 1 Chinook released
Kalama boat: 25 anglers with 2 Chinook kept
Cowlitz boat: 24 anglers with 5 Chinook kept and 10 steelhead released
Longview boat: 41 with 1 Chinook kept
Cathlamet boat: No report
Private boats/bank: 11 anglers with 1 Chinook kept and 1 jack released

Sturgeon:

Kalama boat: 2 anglers with 7 sublegals and 1 oversize released
Longview bank: 1 angler with nothing
Longview boat: 3 anglers with 1 sublegal, 2 legals and 1 oversize released

Walleye:

Camas/Washougal boat: 8 anglers with 2 kept and 2 released

Get a Free NewsLetter Here

Geezers (And Others) Will Now Have To Walk Down To Grand Coulee Fishing Beach

Despite a reported 33 of 34 commenters being opposed to banning parking at Geezer Beach, parking will no longer be allowed at the popular lower Lake Roosevelt bank fishery.

A FISHERMAN TENDS THEIR LINE AT GEEZER BEACH ON JAN. 8, 2019. (HANK WIEBE)

Local anglers and the town of Coulee Dam had fought the Bureau of Reclamation’s proposal this past winter, but citing “safety concerns” the federal agency will now block off vehicle entry to the fishy spot on the reservoir’s north bank just above Grand Coulee Dam.

Trouters and others will still be able to fish there, but will now have to walk in from a parking area at roughly the 1,300-foot-elevation mark down to the water, the level of which can fluctuate as low as the 1,220-foot mark over the course of a year. This year it went as low as 1,258 feet.

“It’s just bullsh*t,” reacted Northwest Sportsman reader Hank Weibe, who earlier this year said that due to his disabilities, the beach was “one of the few places I can access.”

For fellow angler Bob Minato, who reported that he suffers from heart disease, diabetes and poor circulation, Geezer is perfect for fishing out of his vehicle.

“Before I became disabled, I used to spend all six weeks of my vacation in Grand Coulee. Now I spend even more time in Grand Coulee and Eastern Washington,” he wrote to BOR.

With the lake near full pool now, the change won’t realistically go into effect until some time in early 2020 when water levels will drop to make room for spring runoff, per BOR spokeswoman Lynne Brougher.

REMINGTON WIEBE SHOWS OFF A NICE RAINBOW CAUGHT OFF GEEZER BEACH WHILE FISHING WITH HER GRANDPA, HANK, WHO HOPED TO KEEP THE ACCESS SITE OPEN TO DRIVE-DOWN ANGLING. (YO-ZURI PHOTO CONTEST)

The feds essentially went along with a request from the Colville Tribes.

“We support the use of suitable areas for fishing or other appropriate recreational activities. However, driving on the drawdown is not an acceptable practice,” stated Chairman Rodney Cawston in comments citing public safety, protecting archeological resources and a ban on driving on the lakebed everywhere else on the reservoir.

However, in comments to BOR, Coulee Dam officials said that over the past four decades they’d never heard of any vehicle ever going into the water at Geezer Beach.

A former worker at the dam told The Star of Grand Coulee, which followed the story closely since last December, that the area had been “reworked and completely modified through the construction of the Dam’s history” while being used for staging, though a BOR assessment says that three places at or near there do have tribal names.

Banning parking on the beach but continuing to allow fishing was one of three alternatives federal managers evaluated.

Another was completely barring access, while the third was no change.

“… Cars, trucks, all-terrain vehicles and recreational vehicles will be required to park in designated parking areas and will not be allowed to drive or park on the shoreline or drawdown,” BOR said in a press release announcing the change.

The new rules for what’s known as BOR’s Reclamation Zone will be enforced by the Colville Tribes, the feds say.

SW WA Fishing Report (6-5-19)

THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION WAS FORWARDED BY BRYANT SPELLMAN, WDFW

Lower Columbia Mainstem Sport May 27-June 2

Salmon and steelhead:

Vancouver bank: 12 anglers with no Chinook or steelhead kept or released
Woodland bank: 7 anglers with no Chinook or steelhead kept or released
Kalama bank: 17 anglers with 1 adult Chinook released and no steelhead kept or released
Longview bank: 69 anglers with 2 adult Chinook released and 2 steelhead kept and 1 released
Cathlamet bank: 12 anglers with no Chinook or steelhead kept or released
private boats/bank: 8 anglers with 1 steelhead kept

Vancouver boat: 8 anglers with no Chinook or steelhead kept or released
Kalama boat: No report
Cowlitz boat: No report
Longview boat: 14 anglers with 1 adult Chinook released and no steelhead kept or released
Cathlamet boat: 4 anglers with no Chinook kept or released and 2 steelhead kept
private boats/bank: No report

HUGE NUMBERS OF SHAD ARE BEING COUNTED AT BONNEVILLE DAM, WITH BETTER THAN 1.7 MILLION IN JUST THE PAST FIVE DAYS ALONE. (CHASE GUNNELL)

Shad:

Bonneville bank: 44 anglers with 141 kept and 7 released
Bonneville boat: No report
Camas/Washougal bank: No report
Camas/Washougal boat: No report
I-5 area bank: No report
I-5 area boat: 3 anglers with 0 kept and 0 released
Vancouver bank: 5 anglers with 30 kept and 0 released
Vancouver boat: 8 anglers with 3 kept and 15 released
Woodland bank: 1 angler with 0 kept and 1 released
Woodland boat: 3 anglers with 25 kept and 0 released
Kalama bank: No report
Kalama boat: 9 anglers with 55 kept and 4 released
Cowlitz bank: No report
Cowlitz boat: No report
Longview bank: No report
Longview boat: 3 anglers with 41 kept and 0 released

Sturgeon:

Chinook/Elochoman bank: 173 anglers with 0 kept and 3 sublegals and 6 oversize released
Cathlamet boat: 77 anglers with 12 kept and 32 sublegals and 21 oversize released
Chinook/Elochoman boat: 1,036 anglers with 114 kept and 241 sublegals and 183 oversize released
Ilwaco boat: 224 anglers with 16 kept and 20 sublegal and 27 oversize released
Charter boats: 198 anglers with 11 kept and 13 sublegal and 99 oversize released

Columbia River Tributaries

Salmon/Steelhead:

Elochoman River– 3 bank anglers had no catch.

Cowlitz River – I-5 Br downstream: 9 bank rods had no catch.

Above the I-5 Br:  6 bank rods had no catch.  4 boats/10 rods kept 3 steelhead.

Tacoma Power employees recovered 81 spring Chinook adults, eight spring Chinook jacks, 20 summer-run steelhead adults, six winter-run steelhead adults, and one cutthroat trout adult during five days of operations at the Cowlitz Salmon Hatchery separator.

During the past week Tacoma Power employees released eight spring Chinook adults, one spring Chinook jack, and one cutthroat trout adult into Lake Scanewa located in Randle.

Tacoma Power employees recycled 22 summer-run steelhead this week to the lower river.

River flows at Mayfield Dam are approximately 2,940 cubic feet per second on Tuesday, May 28. Water visibility is 9 feet and the water temperature is 48.4 F.

Kalama River – 12 bank anglers released 2 Chinook jacks.

Lewis River – 5 bank anglers had no catch.  2 boats/5 rods had no catch.

Klickitat below Fisher Hill Bridge – 12 bank anglers kept 1 Chinook jack, 2 steelhead and released 1 steelhead.

Klickitat above #5 Fishway – 7 bank anglers released 1 steelhead.  2 boats/5 rods kept 1 steelhead and released 2 steelhead.

 

  •      Tributaries not listed: Creel checks not conducted.

 

Trout:  No report on angling success.

Catchable Trout Plants:  

Lake/Pond                           Date Species Number    Fish/lb Hatchery

Klineline (CLARK)                   May 29, 2019        Rainbow 1,500        2.60 Goldendale

Goose Lake (SKAMANIA)      May 28, 2019 Rainbow      1,500 2.52 Goldendale

Rowland (KLICKITAT)             May 28, 2019 Rainbow 1,562           2.52 Goldendale

Spearfish (KLICKITAT)            May 29, 2019 Rainbow 2,028           2.60 Goldendale

 Pikeminnow Sport – Reward Fishery Program:

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

SW WA Fishing Report (5-28-19)

THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION WAS FORWARDED BY BRYANT SPELLMAN, WDFW

Lower Columbia Mainstem Sport May 20-26

Salmon and steelhead:

Vancouver bank: 8 anglers with no Chinook or steelhead kept or released
Woodland bank: 20 anglers with 1 steelhead kept
Kalama bank: 6 anglers with no Chinook or steelhead kept or released
Longview bank: 14 anglers with no Chinook or steelhead kept or released
Cathlamet bank: 17 anglers with 1 adult Chinook released and 1 steelhead kept
private boats/bank: 8 anglers with 1 steelhead kept

Vancouver boat: 5 anglers with no Chinook or steelhead kept or released
Kalama boat: 3 anglers with no Chinook or steelhead kept or released
Longview boat: 8 anglers with 3 steelhead kept
Cathlamet boat: 10 anglers with 1 jack Chinook kept and 1 steelhead kept
private boats/bank: 17 anglers with 1 adult Chinook released and 1 steelhead kept

Shad:

Bonneville bank: 41 anglers with 47 kept and 4 released
Bonneville boat: 2 anglers with 0 kept and 7 released
Vancouver boat: 3 anglers with 7 kept and 0 released

Sturgeon:

Chinook/Elochoman bank: 164 anglers with 1 kept and 3 sublegals and 1 oversize released
Cathlamet boat: 193 anglers with 11 kept and 35 sublegals and 18 oversize released
Chinook/Elochoman boat: 692 anglers with 49 kept and 100 sublegals and 104 oversize released
Ilwaco boat: 178 anglers with 9 kept and 8 sublegal and 10 oversize released
Charter boats: 118 anglers with 11 kept and 7 sublegal and 26 oversize released

JULIE McCLELLAN-JOHNSON SHOWS OFF A 45.5-INCH FORK LENGTH STURGEON SHE KEPT ON MAY’S FIRST COLUMBIA ESTUARY OPENER. (MD JOHNSON)

Columbia River Tributaries

Salmon/Steelhead:

Elochoman River– 2 bank anglers had no catch.

Cowlitz River – I-5 Br downstream: 10 bank rods kept 2 steelhead.

Above the I-5 Br:  11 bank rods kept 3 steelhead.  23 boats/64 rods kept 22 steelhead.

Tacoma Power employees recovered 165 spring Chinook adults, 10 spring Chinook jacks, 25 summer-run steelhead adults, and 14 winter-run steelhead adults during five days of operations at the Cowlitz Salmon Hatchery separator.

During the past week Tacoma Power employees released 20 spring Chinook adults, three spring Chinook jacks, and three winter-run steelhead adults into Lake Scanewa located in Randle and they released one winter-run steelhead adult into the Tilton River at Gust Backstrom Park in Morton.

Tacoma Power employees recycled 20 summer-run steelhead this week.

River flows at Mayfield Dam are approximately 2,970 cubic feet per second on Monday, May 20. Water visibility is 8 feet and the water temperature is 49.3 F.

Klickitat – 11 bank anglers kept 1 Chinook, 2 steelhead and released 6 jacks.

 

  •      Tributaries not listed: Creel checks not conducted.

 

Trout:  No report on angling success.

Catchable Trout Plants:  

Lake/Pond                           Date Species Number    Fish/lb Hatchery

Horsethief (KLICKITAT)          May 20, 2019 Rainbow       4,000 2.30 Goldendale

Battle Ground (CLARK)         May 21, 2019 Rainbow  1,833 2.44 Goldendale

 Pikeminnow Sport – Reward Fishery Program:

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

Family Enjoys Trout, Perch Fishing At Curlew

When life hands you lemons, make lemonade — or at least in this case, a fish fry.

As Curlew Lake transitions from a rainbow fishery to one gradually being overrun by perch, it provided good angling for both species for members of the Han family of the Tri-Cities area.

AUSTIN HAN LIFTS A HOOKED YELLOW PERCH OUT OF THE WATER AT CURLEW LAKE. (JERRY HAN)

They were making their annual pilgrimage to Washington’s northeastern corner over Memorial Day Weekend.

“Curlew may be a great destination for trout, but my parents and kids sure do love the perch fishing there!” says Jerry Han, a Kennewick dentist.

Getting in on the action was his 90-years-young uncle P.P. Han who  has just started getting into fishing this spring.

“He is turning into a fishing machine,” reports Jerry. “He caught the biggest trout of the day and got into a kayak for the first time to try kayak fishing.”

AT 90 YEARS OLD, P.P. HAN HAS TURNED INTO AN AVID ANGLER, FOLLOWING UP HIS FIRST CATCH AT THE TUCANNON LAKES EARLIER THIS SPRING WITH A NICE RAINBOW FROM CURLEW LAKE. (JERRY HAN)

Jerry reports rainbows to 17 inches, perch to more than a foot long.

“The trolling for trout is pretty standard with dodgers and Wedding Ring spinners with a chunk of nightcrawler. Easy limits of great-tasting pink-meated trout,” he says.

Afterwards, he switched everyone’s rigs up to target the perch using 1/16-ounce jigheads and 1 1/2-inch crappie tubes tipped with a piece of worm or strip of belly from an already caught perch.

“The perch belly is way more durable if the perch are biting aggressively, but a crawler will get bites guaranteed,” Jerry tips.

As for tube colors, he says red/chartreuse was tops, followed by all chartreuse.

CORBIN HAN HOISTS A NICE CURLEW PERCH. (JERRY HAN)

Han says that using his sidefinder he located a “huge” perch school mainly in 12 to 16 feet of water and suspects similar gatherings be found in the lake’s shallower bays.

In the short term, the yellowbellies are adding to Curlew’s plethora of species to fish for, which also include largemouth and smallmouth bass and tiger muskies — Jerry says he saw several 3-footers lurking in the shallows — but state fishery biologists don’t expect it to last after the illegal introduction of perch around 2011.

Their numbers jumped from just four in 2012 to at least 840 two years later, a “startling increase” that initially spawned a derby called the Perch Purge.

But WDFW has also changed its tune, promoting the fishery, though their collective teeth might be gritted about the likely demise of one of the state’s destination trout fisheries, not unlike what happened to Oregon’s Phillips Reservoir.

“We anticipate that over time perch will become overabundant and may stunt to sizes that are not favorable to anglers. In addition, we expect to see trout survival and growth negatively impacted by the presence of perch,” an agency spokesperson stated on WDFW’s Facebook page in a post this past winter pimping ice fishing for perch.

P.P. HAN DISPLAYS ANOTHER CURLEW TROUT AS ANGLER JERRY HAN’S PARENTS LOOK ON. (JERRY HAN)

They said it was likely the number of rainbows would be reduced to account for competition with perch, though it’s possible trout sizes could be increased as part of that.

“Anglers should expect trout catch rates to go down as perch abundances increase,” WDFW said. “Anglers can help with the trout fishery in Curlew by removing as many perch as they can. The bonus is that perch are pretty darn tasty.”

That, no doubt, is exactly what the Han family is finding on their return home, and that’s what the Walgamotts will be doing when we camp here for a week later in summer.

Besides the state park, there are three resorts on Curlew — Black Beach, Tiffany’s and Fisherman’s Cove.

GET OUT THE FILLET KNIVES, TIME TO GET TO WORK, BOYS! (JERRY HAN)

Southwest Washington Fishing Report (5-7-19)

THE FOLLOWING REPORTS WERE TRANSMITTED BY BRYANT SPELLMAN, WDFW

Salmon/Steelhead:

Columbia River Tributaries

Elochoman River– 1 bank angler released 1 steelhead.

Cowlitz River – I-5 Br downstream: 26 bank rods kept 3 steelhead.  1 boat/ 4 rods released 1 Chinook.

SKYLER BRODERS OF ST. HELENS SHOWS OFF A DRANO LAKE SPRING CHINOOK, HIS FIRST SALMON EVER. HE WAS TROLLING A BRINED HERRING WHILE FISHING WITH HIS COUSIN TROY BRODERS. (YO-ZURI PHOTO CONTEST)

Above the I-5 Br:  14 bank rods had no catch.  5 boats/13 rods had no catch.

Last week, Tacoma Power employees recovered 161 winter-run steelhead adults, two winter-run steelhead jacks, 118 spring Chinook adults, five spring Chinook jacks and one cutthroat trout during five days of operations at the Cowlitz Salmon Hatchery separator.

During the past week Tacoma Power employees released 17 winter-run steelhead adults and one cutthroat trout into the Tilton River at Gust Backstrom Park in Morton and they released 22 winter-run steelhead adults, 17 spring Chinook adults and one spring Chinook jack into Lake Scanewa located in Randle.

River flows at Mayfield Dam are approximately 2,990 cubic feet per second on Monday, May 6. Water visibility is 10 feet and the water temperature is 50.0 F.

Kalama River – 67 bank anglers released 4 Chinook and 3 steelhead.  13 boats/23 rods kept 1 Chinook jack and released 7 steelhead.

Lewis River – 8 bank anglers had no catch.

Wind River– 65 boats/172 rods kept 46 Chinook and released 2 Chinook.

Drano Lake – 20 bank rods had no catch.  215 boats/594 rods kept 148 Chinook and released 12 Chinook.

Klickitat – No report.

 

  • Tributaries not listed: Creel checks not conducted.

 

Trout:  

No report on angling success.

Catchable Trout Plants:  

Lake/Pond                           Date Species Number    Fish/lb Hatchery

Battle Ground (CLARK)          April 24, 2019 Cutthroat    3,000 2.50 Skamania

Klineline  (CLARK)              April 24, 2019 Cutthroat       2,110 2.50 Skamania

Horseshoe (COWLITZ)           April 22, 2019 Rainbow    3,000 2.13 Goldendale

Sacajawea (COWLITZ)           April 26, 2019 Rainbow    3,360 2.80 Mossyrock

Carlise (LEWIS)                       April 16, 2019 Rainbow 10,000         2.00

Mineral (LEWIS)                     April 23, 2019 Rainbow 2,875           2.50 Mossyrock

Pikeminnow Sport – Reward Fishery Program:

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

SW WA, Lower Columbia Fishing Report (5-1-19)

THE FOLLOWING REPORTS WERE TRANSMITTED BY BRYANT SPELLMAN, WDFW

Preliminary Washington lower Columbia River mainstem sport sampling summary

April 27-28, 2019

Bonneville bank anglers: 135; kept adult Chinook: 9
Camas area banks anglers: -; kept adult Chinook: –
I-5 area bank anglers: 2; kept adult Chinook: 0
Vancouver area bank anglers: 15; kept adult Chinook: 0

Bonneville boat anglers: 4; kept adult Chinook: 0
Camas area boat anglers: 11; kept adult Chinook: 0
I-5 area boat anglers: 20; kept adult Chinook: 0
Vancouver boat anglers: 62; kept adult Chinook: 0

BEST FISHING THIS SPRING IN SOUTHWEST WASHINGTON MIGHT JUST HAVE BEEN DURING LATE APRIL’S LOWLAND LAKES TROUT OPENING WEEKEND. THE RAMSEY BOYS, BLAKE AND WADE, SHOW OFF STRINGERS CAUGHT AT ROWLAND LAKE THIS PAST SUNDAY, WHEN THE WINDS WERE MUCH CALMER THAN SATURDAY. PA BUZZ REPORTS THEY WERE TROLLING 2.0 SIZE MAG LIP PLUGS AND USING A CRAWL RETRIEVE WITH 3-INCH SCENTED BERKLEY WORMS. (BUZZ RAMSEY)

Salmon/Steelhead:

Lower Columbia mainstem from Warrior Rock line to Bonneville Dam– 48 salmonid boats and 89 Washington bank rods were tallied during last Saturdays flight count.  Despite the not so perfect conditions over the weekend, some fish were caught with most of the catch being on the Washington bank in the Gorge.

Salmon/Steelhead:

Columbia River Tributaries

Cowlitz River – I-5 Br downstream: 22 bank rods kept 1 steelhead.

Above the I-5 Br:  11 bank rods had no catch.  13 boats/34 rods released 1 Chinook.

Last week, Tacoma Power employees recovered 302 winter-run steelhead adults, 19 spring Chinook adults, one spring Chinook jack and two cutthroat trout during five days of operations at the Cowlitz Salmon Hatchery separator.

During the past week Tacoma Power employees released 19 winter-run steelhead adults and two cutthroat trout into the Tilton River at Gust Backstrom Park in Morton and they released 14 winter-run steelhead adults and three spring Chinook adults into Lake Scanewa located in Randle.

Tacoma Power tagged and recycled 26 winter-run steelhead adults to the lower river.

River flows at Mayfield Dam are approximately 2,960 cubic feet per second on Monday, April 29. Water visibility is 11 feet and the water temperature is 49.5 F.

Kalama River – 32 bank anglers had no catch.  13 boats/26 rods released 1 steelhead.  15 adult Chinook have returned to the hatchery as of April 29th.

Lewis River – Little to no effort during the current steelhead season.  1 bank angler had no catch.

Wind River– Light effort due to the mud line from the Columbia pushing its way into the normal trolling areas. 18 boats/31 rods kept 6 Chinook and released 1 Chinook.

Drano Lake – Effort has been ramping up each week along with the catch.  Creel samplers still have not checked a Chinook off the bank this season but the boats have been producing some fish.  80 boats/174 rods kept 40 Chinook.

Klickitat River- 4 bank anglers kept 1 steelhead.

Trout:

Klickitat County:

Horsethief Lake- 15 anglers kept 30 Rainbow trout and released 4.

Rowland Lake- 37 anglers kept 108 Rainbow trout and released 68.

Spearfish Lake- 8 anglers kept 22 Rainbow trout and released 3.

Lewis County:

Carlise Lake- 55 anglers kept 34 Rainbow trout and released 224.

Mineral Lake- 88 anglers kept 189 Rainbow trout and released 239.

Catchable Trout Plants:  

Lake/Pond                           Date Species Number    Fish/lb Hatchery

Battle Ground (CLARK)          April 24, 2019 Cutthroat    3,000 2.50 Skamania

Klineline  (CLARK)              April 24, 2019 Cutthroat       2,110 2.50 Skamania

Horseshoe (COWLITZ)           April 22, 2019 Rainbow    3,000 2.13 Goldendale

Sacajawea (COWLITZ)           April 26, 2019 Rainbow    3,360 2.80 Mossyrock

Carlise (LEWIS)                       April 16, 2019 Rainbow 10,000         2.00

Mineral (LEWIS)                     April 23, 2019 Rainbow 2,875           2.50 Mossyrock