Tag Archives: spring chinook

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

Salmon/Steelhead

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wind River – 4 boat anglers had no catch.

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

Klickitat River – 2 bank anglers had no catch.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

All except 61 were bonked in April.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Salmon/Steelhead

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Klickitat River – No effort observed.

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

2 (33%) of the steelhead were kept.

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

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

Sturgeon

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

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

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

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

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

Trout

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

Lake/Pond
Date
Species
Number
Fish per Pound
Hatchery
Notes

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

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

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

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

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

WDFW Sets Snake Spring Chinook Season

THE FOLLOWING IS A WASHINGTON DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND WILDLIFE EMERGENCY RULE CHANGE NOTICE

Action/Species affected: Spring chinook salmon fishing to open on the Snake River.

Locations:

A) Below Ice Harbor Dam: Snake River from the South Bound Highway 12 Bridge near Pasco upstream about 7 miles to the fishing restriction boundary below Ice Harbor Dam.

B) Below Little Goose Dam: Snake River from Texas Rapids boat launch (south side of the river upstream of the mouth of Tucannon River) to the fishing restriction boundary below Little Goose Dam. This zone includes the rock and concrete area between the juvenile bypass return pipe and Little Goose Dam along the south shoreline of the facility (includes the walkway area locally known as “the Wall” in front of the juvenile collection facility).

THE WALL, WHERE JEFF MAIN CAUGHT THIS 25-POUNDER SEVERAL SEASONS BACK, AND OTHER PARTS OF THE SNAKE RIVER WILL OPEN FOR SPRING CHINOOK LATER THIS MONTH. (FISHING PHOTO CONTEST)

C) Clarkston: Snake River from the downstream edge of the large power lines crossing the Snake River (just upstream from West Evans Road on the south shore) upstream about 3.5 miles to the Washington state line (from the east levee of the Greenbelt boat launch in Clarkston northwest across the Snake River to the WA/ID boundary waters marker on the Whitman County shore).

Dates: Each area is open two days per week until further notice.

Area A (Below Ice Harbor Dam) opens Friday, April 28, and will be open only Friday and Saturday each week.

Areas B and C (Below Little Goose Dam and near Clarkston) open Sunday, April 30, and will be open only Sunday and Monday each week.

Daily limits: 6 hatchery chinook (adipose fin clipped), of which no more than one may be an adult chinook salmon. For all areas open to chinook salmon harvest, anglers must cease fishing for salmon when the hatchery adult limit has been retained for the day.

Reason for action: Based on the pre-season prediction for a relatively good return of spring chinook and angler input requesting an emphasis for a longer fishery season, Snake River fisheries in each of these zones are open for only two days per week (with only one weekend day included each week) with a daily bag limit of only one adult hatchery chinook.

The restrictions on the fishery help prolong the duration of the season, ensure sharing of fishing opportunities with upriver fishery zones, and enable managers to ensure that the fisheries comply with Endangered Species Act (ESA) restrictions and harvest allocations available for the Snake River.

Other Information: The minimum size of any retained chinook salmon is 12 inches. Jacks are less than 24 inches long.

The adipose fin-clipped chinook salmon that can be retained must have a healed scar at the location of the missing fin. All chinook salmon with the adipose fin intact, and all bull trout and steelhead, must be immediately released unharmed.

In addition, anglers fishing for all species, in the areas open for chinook salmon, during the days of the week the salmon fishery is open in that area, must use barbless hooks.

Only single point barbless hooks are allowed when fishing for sturgeon. A night closure is in effect for salmon and sturgeon. It will be unlawful to use any hook larger than 5/8 inch (point of hook to shank) when fishing for all species except sturgeon.

Anglers cannot remove any chinook salmon or steelhead from the water unless it is retained as part of the daily limit.

Anglers are reminded to refer to the 2016/2017 Fishing in Washington Sport Fishing Rules pamphlet for other regulations, including safety closures, closed waters, etc.

Information Contact: Jeremy Trump, District 3 Fish Biologist (509) 382-1005.

Tribal Fishing Platforms Built At Wind River Mouth

Tribal fishing platforms were recently erected at the mouth of the Wind River, squeezing in at a famed, productive and very small bank fishing spot for spring Chinook.

While this year’s run is running late due to huge flows, and the Wind forecast of 3,600 is on the low side, salmon numbers are building at Bonneville, where more than 250 have been counted so far this year, and it won’t be long before some pull into the drowned mouth of this Washington-side Columbia Gorge tributary.

A NEWLY CONSTRUCTED TRIBAL FISHING PLATFORM AT THE MOUTH OF THE WIND RIVER. STATE AND YAKAMA OFFICIALS SAY IT IS THE FIRST TIME THE WOODEN STRUCTURES HAVE BEEN BUILT HERE, AND THEY ARE ALLOWED UNDER TRIBAL FISHING REGULATIONS. THE RUB WILL COME AS SPRING CHINOOK ARRIVE AND FISHERS OF ALL NATIONS CONGREGATE AT THE PRODUCTIVE BANK SPOT. (BRAD COLLINS)

On good days dozens of anglers will try their luck at The Point, sometimes called Cranky Banky Point, that basalt bone that sticks out into the Wind as it reaches the Columbia.

When the Bonneville Pool is lower, there’s room to accommodate more anglers, but when dam operators are holding back water or dealing with large volumes, there’s less.

The concern is that the two approximately 6-foot-by-6-foot platforms will leave even less place for nontribal fishermen to huck their plugs and other lures for hatchery springers. They set up potential gear conflicts and babysitting hassles for state and tribal game wardens.

BANK ANGLERS CAST PLUGS OFF THE POINT DURING 2011’S SPRING CHINOOK FISHERY. (ANDY WALGAMOTT)

This morning, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, which operates several Chinook hatcheries in the area, was referring calls to the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife’s regional office in Vancouver.

According to WDFW Capt. Jeff Wickersham, the wooden structures were put up by Yakama Nation fishers. He said it was a legal activity in the tribes’ usual and accustomed fishing area.

Through a spokesman, he added he believes it is the first time that they’ve been erected at this particular spot on the Wind (there is a tribal in-lieu fishing site upstream), though in 2011 some were installed upriver inside Drano Lake, causing a stir for awhile.

Wickersham says that tribal members can’t obstruct or displace state anglers to build one, and that the structures are basically treated like a fisherman who got to a spot first.

That means tribal members have de facto claimed at least two locations on the point for the season.

A RECENT IMAGE TAKEN FROM OFF HIGHWAY 14 SHOWS THE TWO NEW SCAFFOLDS PUT UP ON THE POINT. (BRAD COLLINS)

THIS IMAGE FROM 2011’S SPRING CHINOOK FISHERY SHOWS A LONE BANK ANGLER ON THE POINT, WHILE BOATS WORK THE DROWNED MOUTH OF THE WIND RIVER ON A RAINY DAY. (ANDY WALGAMOTT)

The point is private property, owned by Carson Acres LLC, Skamania County tax records show. Anglers access it by walking in on trails from Highway 14.

According to Roger Dick Jr., harvest coordinator for the Yakama Nation, tribal regulations have always allowed for platforms at Wind, and the Yakamas are the only tribe with treaty-reserved fishing rights there.

“The platforms are the property of the YN fishers and the platforms are only to be used by YN members because they are used for treaty fishing. YN rules do not allow non-YN members to exercise YN treaty rights, which includes use of gear/equipment,” he says.

WITH WIND MOUNTAIN AS A BACKDROP, AN IMAGE FROM THE POINT SHOWS TWO NEW TRIBAL FISHING PLATFORMS THERE. (BRAD COLLINS)

He says that in other areas where there are tribal platforms, such as in the John Day Dam tailrace, it’s “commonly understood” they’re only for tribal fishers.

However, as he confirms, it’s a first they’ve been put up here, which may cause confusion, angst and anger.

More platforms are reported to be being built on the Wind above the Highway 14 and Burlington Northern Sante Fe bridges.

According to the Yakamas’ 2017 fishing regulations, members can fish the lower Wind through June 25, from noon on Monday through 6 p.m. on Saturdays. Fishing is not allowed on Sundays there or elsewhere, for “conservation purposes.”

Dick Jr. explains that poles with rope hanging off of them are used to hang hoopnets, or setnets, the primary way Yakama fishers harvest salmon, though they can also use hook-and-line methods.

GEAR FOR SETNETTING STANDS READY UNDERNEATH A NEWLY BUILT TRIBAL FISHING PLATFORM AT WIND RIVER. (BRAD COLLINS)

The Yakamas’ openness to answering questions this go-around contrasts sharply with what occurred during 2011, when similar platforms popped up at Drano Lake, where the tribe also has treaty fishing rights. Reporters were unable to get comment from tribal officials on what was going on.

Then, anglers and WDFW worried the structures reduced the already limited bank fishing area on the lake even more, as not everyone in Northwest anglerdom has a sled, drift boat or other craft to troll for springers from. And just as tribes can claim long histories of fishing, so too do nontribal anglers have lengthy relationships with good spots. One platform sat by a new handicapped fishing access spot.

Since 2011, however, things quieted down at Drano (in spring 2012, Yakama officials issued at least two statements on the platforms there). Dick Jr. says the Yakamas have another fishery there — the Wednesday closure for netting — and that smaller returns limit the opportunities. He says the tribal council considers cultural, social and economic factors in determining whether to allow platforms there.

As it stands, passive integrated transponder, or PIT tag, data shows no Wind springers having arrived at Bonneville yet (1.3 and 2.7 percent of four- and five-year-old Carson National Fish Hatchery juveniles were PIT tagged before they went to sea).

So for the moment, the platforms at the  mouth of the Wind are just being buffeted by the breezes blowing through the Columbia Gorge, though as this year’s run grows, things could get stormier.

Editor’s notes: 1) Hat tip to JH for the story forward. 2) This blog was updated April 14, 2017, to clarify WDFW Capt. Jeff Wickersham’s comments that this is the first time that platforms were built at the point. There is a tribal in-lieu fishing site upstream on the Wind from there. 3) This blog was subsequently updated April 17, 2017 to include links to 2011 and 2012 articles on platforms erected at Drano Lake.

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

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

Salmon/Steelhead

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2 (40%) of the steelhead were kept.

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

ANNOUNCEMENT

COLUMBIA RIVER JOINT STATE HEARING

April 7, 2017

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

Sturgeon/Walleye

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

Trout

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

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

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

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

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

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

Lower Columbia Fishing Update (4-5-17)

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

Lower Columbia mainstem sport update thru April 2

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

Bonneville Dam flows continue to be at record high levels

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

Bonneville adult spring Chinook counts reach a new low

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

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

Salmon, Steelhead and Shad

Catch rate and effort increased slightly this last week.

Gorge Bank: No report.

Gorge Boats: No report.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

John Day Pool (John Day Dam upstream to McNary Dam):  No report.

STURGEON

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

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

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

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

WALLEYE

Troutdale:  No report.

Bonneville Pool:  No report.

The Dalles Pool:  No report.

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

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

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

Salmon/Steelhead

BONUS FACTOID

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wind River – No effort.

Drano Lake – 2 boat anglers had no catch.

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

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

Sturgeon

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

Walleye

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

John Day Pool – Boat anglers are catching some walleye

Bass

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

Columbia, SW WA Fishing Report (3-29-17)

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

Lower Columbia mainstem sport update – March 26

Last week, anglers on the lower Columbia made 2,024 trips and caught 11 spring Chinook and 19 steelhead.  Through March 26, anglers have made 8,305 trips and caught 59 adult spring Chinook (53 kept and six released) and 52 steelhead (14 kept and 38 released).

DESPITE POOR FISHING CONDITIONS, SCOTT DUNBAR CAUGHT THIS NICE SPRING CHINOOK OUT OF THE COLUMBIA LAST WEEK. HE WAS FISHING WITH GUIDE BRANDON GLASS. (BRANDON GLASS VIA BUZZ RAMSEY)

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Salmon, Steelhead and Shad

On Saturday’s (3/19) flight, 146 salmonid boats and 86 Oregon bank anglers were counted from the Columbia River estuary to Bonneville Dam.  Catch rates remain low despite the increase in effort.

Gorge Bank: No report.

Gorge Boats: No report.

Troutdale Boats: Weekend checking showed no catch for 18 boats (37 anglers).

Portland to Westport Bank: Weekend checking showed no catch for 38 bank anglers.

Portland to Westport Boats: Weekend checking showed no catch for 39 boats (85 anglers).

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

Estuary Boats (Tongue Point to Wauna Powerlines): Weekend checking showed no catch for 10 boats (17 anglers).

Bonneville Pool (Bonneville Dam upstream to The Dalles Dam): Weekly checking showed no catch for one bank angler

The Dalles Pool (The Dalles Dam upstream to John Day Dam):  Weekly checking showed no catch for one bank angler.

John Day Pool (John Day Dam upstream to McNary Dam):  Weekly checking showed no catch for five bank anglers.

STURGEON

Lower Columbia River (below Bonneville Dam): Closed for retention. Weekend checking showed no catch for six bank anglers; and no catch for two boats (three anglers).

Bonneville Pool (Bonneville Dam upstream to The Dalles Dam): Weekly checking showed three legal white sturgeon kept, plus 21 sublegal and one oversize sturgeon released for 37 bank anglers; and three sublegal and two oversize sturgeon released for seven boats (14 anglers).

The Dalles Pool (The Dalles Dam upstream to John Day Dam):  Weekly checking showed no catch for 12 bank anglers; and three legal white sturgeon kept, plus three sublegal and one oversize sturgeon released for three boats (11 anglers).

John Day Pool (John Day Dam upstream to McNary Dam):  Weekly checking showed three legal white sturgeon kept, plus 11 sublegal sturgeon released for 25 bank anglers; and three legal white sturgeon kept, plus eight sublegal and six oversize sturgeon released for 10 boats (23 anglers).

WALLEYE

Troutdale:  No report.

Bonneville Pool:  Weekly checking showed no catch for one boat (one angler).

The Dalles Pool:  Weekly checking showed no catch for one bank angler; and 222 walleye kept, plus 69 walleye released for 27 boats (66 anglers).

John Day Pool: Weekly checking showed 35 walleye kept, plus 66 walleye released for 41 boats (78 anglers).

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Salmon/Steelhead

Cowlitz River – 130 bank anglers kept 3 adult spring Chinook, 19 steelhead and released 3 steelhead.  115 boat anglers kept 2 adult spring Chinook and 41 steelhead.  Fish are being caught throughout the river with the trout hatchery area best for steelhead, especially for boat anglers.

Last week, Tacoma Power employees recovered 149 winter-run steelhead adults, two steelhead jacks and 13 spring Chinook adults and one cutthroat trout in five days of operations at the Cowlitz Salmon Hatchery separator.

During the past week, Tacoma Power employees released 18 winter-run steelhead adults and nine spring Chinook adults into the Cispus River near Yellow Jacket Creek.

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

River flows at Mayfield Dam are approximately 14,600 cubic feet per second on Monday, March 27. Water visibility is five feet and water temperature is 42.8 F.

Drano Lake – 4 bank anglers released 4 sublegal sturgeon

Lower Columbia mainstem below Bonneville Dam – Two lucky anglers out of the 352 sampled (including 88 boats) are eating fresh spring Chinook.  One fish was a lower river stock and the other upriver stock based on Visual Stock Identification (VSI).  Bank anglers released 2 steelhead.

Joint Staff recommends a Joint State hearing to discuss the lower Columbia mainstem sport fishery be scheduled for April 5, 2017.

Bonneville Dam upstream to McNary Dam – Light effort and no catch.

Sturgeon

Lower Columbia mainstem below Bonneville Dam – Light effort.

Bonneville Pool – Until further notice, closed for retention.

The Dalles Pool – Closed for retention through the end of the year.

John Day Pool – Bank and boat anglers are catching some legals.  Boat anglers averaged a legal kept per every 8 rods last week.  Tomorrow (Wednesday March 30) is the last day sturgeon may be retained for the year.

Walleye and Bass

Bonneville Pool – No effort was observed for either specie.

The Dalles Pool – Boat anglers averaged 1.7 walleye kept/released per rod.  No effort was observed for bass.

John Day Pool – Including fish released, boat anglers averaged just under 0.4 walleye per rod.  A couple bass were also caught.

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

* KLINELINE PD (CLAR)<http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/plants/weekly/search.php?searchby=LakeStocked&search=KLINELINE%20PD%20(CLAR)&orderby=LakeStocked%20ASC,%20StockDate%20DESC>
Mar 20, 2017
Rainbow
1,500
2.2
VANCOUVER HATCHERY

* LK SACAJAWEA (COWL)<http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/plants/weekly/search.php?searchby=LakeStocked&search=LK%20SACAJAWEA%20(COWL)&orderby=LakeStocked%20ASC,%20StockDate%20DESC>
Mar 20, 2017
Rainbow
3,083
2.4
GOLDENDALE HATCHERY

* SWOFFORD PD (LEWI)<http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/plants/weekly/search.php?searchby=LakeStocked&search=SWOFFORD%20PD%20(LEWI)&orderby=LakeStocked%20ASC,%20StockDate%20DESC>
Mar 16, 2017
Rainbow
4,200
2.1
MOSSYROCK HATCHERY