Tag Archives: spring chinook

Columbia, SW, South-central WA Fishing Report (D-Day-2017)

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

Weekend Fishing Opportunities:

*         Shad angling is open from Buoy 10 upstream to the OR/WA Border.  Shad angling is good in the gorge.

*         White sturgeon retention is open from Buoy 10 upstream to Wauna power lines on Saturday June 10 and Saturday June 17 (see special regulations for details).

*         The Bonneville Pool is open to the retention of legal white sturgeon on Saturday June 10 (see special regulations for details).

*         The McNary Pool is open to the retention of legal white sturgeon through July 31.

*         White sturgeon retention is closed from Wauna Power lines upstream to Bonneville Dam, and from The Dalles Dam upstream to McNary Dam, but remains an option for catch-and-release fishing. Anglers are reminded that spawning sanctuaries take effect May 1 (see special regulations for details).

*         Walleye fishing has been outstanding in The Dalles and John Day pools.

HUNTER HIGGINBOTHAM GOT IN ON THE EAST COLUMBIA GORGE POOLS’ GOOD WALLEYE FISHING LAST MONTH, CATCHING HIS FIRST ON A TRIP IN WHICH HE, HIS DAD AND GRANDFATHER CAUGHT 60. (JAROD HIGGINBOTHAM)

Current Columbia River regulations for salmon, steelhead, shad and sturgeon can be found at the Sport Fishing Regulation Update<http://www.dfw.state.or.us/resources/fishing/reg_changes/index.asp> page.

Salmon, Steelhead and Shad

Gorge Bank: Weekend checking showed 550 shad kept for 121 bank anglers.

Gorge Boats:  Weekend checking showed 230 shad kept for three boats (nine anglers).

Bonneville Pool:  Weekly checking showed 1,296 shad kept, plus 586 shad released for 135 bank anglers.

STURGEON

Buoy 10 upstream to McNary Dam: Catch and release only.

Gorge boats: Catch and release only.

The Dalles Pool: Catch and release only. Weekly checking showed 10 sublegal and one oversize sturgeon released for one boat (three anglers).

John Day Pool: Catch and release only. Weekly checking showed four sublegal sturgeon released for one boat (three anglers).

WALLEYE

Bonneville Pool: No report.

The Dalles Pool: Weekly checking showed 293 walleye kept, plus 24 walleye released for 30 boats (77 anglers).

John Day Pool: Weekly checking showed 220 walleye kept, plus 69 walleye released for 40 boats (108 anglers).

………………………………………………………..

Salmon/Steelhead

Elochoman River – No effort for salmonids.

Cowlitz River -271 bank rods kept 51 adult and 3 jack spring Chinook, 1 steelhead, 2 cutthroats and released 3 adult and 1 jack spring Chinook, 1 steelhead, and 2 cutthroats.   46 boat rods kept 7 adult and 1 jack spring Chinook, 4 steelhead and released 1 cutthroat.

Last week, Tacoma Power employees recovered 806 spring Chinook adults, 52 spring Chinook jacks, three winter-run steelhead adults, one winter-run steelhead jack, 20 summer-run steelhead adults and nine cutthroat trout in four days of operation at the Cowlitz Salmon Hatchery separator.

During the past week, Tacoma Power employees released 149 spring Chinook adults and 20 spring Chinook jacks and one winter-run steelhead into the Cispus River near Yellow Jacket Creek and they released 303 spring Chinook adults and 14 spring Chinook jacks into Lake Scanewa located near Randle.

In addition, Tacoma Power employees released 157 spring Chinook adults and eight spring Chinook jacks at Franklin Bridge in Packwood and one cutthroat trout into the Tilton River located at Gust Backstrom Park in Morton.

River flows at Mayfield Dam are approximately 12,300 cubic feet per second on Monday, June 5. Water visibility is eight feet and water temperature is 47.1 degrees F.

Kalama River – 8 bank anglers had no catch.  18 boat anglers kept 2 adult spring Chinook.

Lewis River – 4 boat anglers kept 1 adult spring Chinook.

North Fork Lewis River – 8 bank anglers kept 1 adult spring Chinook.  5 boat anglers kept 4 adult and 5 jack spring Chinook.

Wind River (mouth) – 7 bank anglers kept 2 adult spring Chinook.  36 boat rods kept 1 adult spring Chinook.

Drano Lake – 171 boat rods kept 16 adult and 2 jack spring Chinook and released 1 adult spring Chinook.

Klickitat River – 22 bank anglers kept 16 adult and 1 jack spring Chinook and released 5 adult spring Chinook.

Lower Yakima River Spring Chinook Fishery: April 28-June 4 – Fishing for all species continues to be very slow in the lower Yakima River. Although anglers continue to talk about fishing for spring Chinook no anglers have been observed.  Flows in the Yakima River have remained well above normal all season.

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

Sturgeon

Lower Columbia from the mouth upstream to the Wauna powerlines including adjacent tributaries and Young’s Bay – Reports from yesterday’s opener was it very crowded.  Effort based on trailer counts was likely 500+ boats, not including charters.  Preliminary reports indicate maybe a legal kept per every 2 boats (not including charters).

Next fishery dates are Wednesday June 7, Saturday June 10, Monday June 12, Wednesday June 14, Saturday June 17
Legal size: 44-inch minimum and 50-inch maximum fork length
(Fork length is measured in a straight line from the tip of the nose to the fork in the caudal fin (tail) with the fish laying on its side on a flat surface, with the tape measure/ruler positioned flat under the fish).
Daily bag limit: One fish
Annual bag limit: Two fish
Retention of green sturgeon is prohibited
On days open to white sturgeon retention, angling for sturgeon is prohibited after 2 PM, including catch and release.

Mainstem Columbia River from Bonneville Dam upstream to The Dalles Dam (except for the sturgeon spawning sanctuary) and all adjacent tributaries- Sturgeon retention will be allowed for one day only, Saturday June 10. Retained sturgeon must measure between 38-inches and 54-inches fork length.
(Fork length is measured in a straight line from the tip of the nose to the fork in the caudal fin (tail) with the fish laying on its side on a flat surface, with the tape measure/ruler positioned flat under the fish).
Daily bag limit: One fish
Annual bag limit: Two fish
Angling for sturgeon is prohibited from May through July from 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.

Bass and Channel Catfish

Lower Yakima River Fishery: April 28-June 4 – Anglers are catching a few smallmouth bass and channel catfish but in much fewer numbers than in previous years. WDFW staff has interviewed 117 anglers this season (April 28-June 4) with 90 smallmouth and 27 catfish. Total effort is estimated at 756 angler trips with 550 bass and 130 channel catfish harvested (287 bass and 16 catfish released).

By the end of May in 2016, staff had interviewed 460 anglers with 1,629 smallmouth bass and 275 catfish. An estimated 5,141 angler trips were made in May of 2016.

Trout

Recent plants of catchable size rainbows in SW WA waters.
Lake/Pond
Date
Species
Number
Fish per pound
Hatchery
Notes

ROWLAND LK (KLIC)<http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/plants/weekly/search.php?searchby=LakeStocked&search=ROWLAND+LK+%28KLIC%29&orderby=LakeStocked%20ASC,%20StockDate%20DESC>
Klickitat County – Region 5
May 30, 2017
Rainbow
440
2.5
GOLDENDALE HATCHERY

ROWLAND LK (KLIC)<http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/plants/weekly/search.php?searchby=LakeStocked&search=ROWLAND+LK+%28KLIC%29&orderby=LakeStocked%20ASC,%20StockDate%20DESC>
Klickitat County – Region 5
May 30, 2017
Rainbow
2,058
2.51
GOLDENDALE HATCHERY

SWIFT RES (SKAM)<http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/plants/weekly/search.php?searchby=LakeStocked&search=SWIFT+RES+%28SKAM%29&orderby=LakeStocked%20ASC,%20StockDate%20DESC>
Skamania County – Region 5
May 30, 2017
Rainbow
51,440
2.56
SPEELYAI HATCHERY

SWIFT RESERVOIR ON OPENING DAY (Sat. June 3)
51 anglers
121 fish kept
39 fish released
160 total caught
Kept: 2.37/angler
Total fish: 3.14/angler
Several holdovers caught in the 16″+ range. Smaller rainbows were real beefy.  Attached are some pics taken by WDFW Region 5 staff.
Windy and cold but anglers extremely happy. Only complaints were limiting too fast.

————–

Swift Power Canal
15 anglers
7 rainbow kept; 0 released
0.47 fish/angler

Shad

Lower Columbia mainstem below Bonneville Dam – No report on angling success but lots of effort just below the dam with nearly 350 bank anglers counted there last Saturday June 3.   Daily dam counts vacillate between 2,000 and 20,000 fish per day.

Lewis Opening For Spring Chinook

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

Action: Lewis River, anglers are allowed a daily limit of one hatchery adult chinook.

Effective date and locations: June 1, 2017 through July 31, 2017 on the Lewis River from the mouth upstream to the overhead powerlines below Merwin Dam.

Species affected: Chinook salmon.

Reason for action: Escapement goals for the hatchery have been met.

Other information: Daily limit 6 hatchery chinook of which only 1 may be an adult. Minimum size 12 inches. All other permanent rules apply.

In addition to hatchery needs and providing a sport fishery, adult hatchery chinook will be trucked upstream above Swift Reservoir for reintroduction efforts.

Study Suggests Way To Minimize Springer Minijacks

Federal fishery researchers may have figured out a “template” for building a better springer.

Or at least rearing smolts that won’t fizzle out as minijacks.

Minijacks are male Chinook that are even smaller than jacks, which run to 24 inches, and while they may or may not go to sea, they’re reproductively viable.

THE PELTON LADDER ON THE DESCHUTES YIELDED INTERESTING RESULTS DURING A THREE-YEAR EXPERIMENT TRACKING HOW WELL YOUNG SPRING CHINOOK INTO ADULTHOOD. (NWFSC)

In Oregon’s Hood River system, some years they’ve ended up representing as much as 40 percent of the output of state and tribal hatcheries, doing little for fisheries while also posing a threat to wild king genes.

So, the Northwest Fisheries Science Center was called in to take a crack at the problem.

According to a recent story posted on NWFSC’s website, over the course of a three-year study that began in 2010, eggs from one year-class of returning springers were reared at three different facilities,  Carson National Fish Hatchery on the Wind, Parkdale Fish Facility on the Hood and Pelton Ladder on the Deschutes.

Then all were acclimated and released from Parkdale.

More than 40,000 smolts swam out with passive integrated transponders.

“In this way, any differences between the groups would be due to differences in the rearing environments alone—namely, the three hatcheries,” the story states.

The goal was to see which would achieve the highest smolt-to-adult return rate, or SAR, and thus fewest minijacks.

The winner?

Pelton Ladder, which otherwise allows anadromous fish to climb the three miles between a pair of dams on the Deschutes near Madras.

But why?

“Although it’s artificial, it’s like a natural river system, with natural water temperatures and lots of foraging food and insects, instead of the managed temperatures and artificial food you see at many hatcheries,” Chris Brun, who coordinates the state-tribal Hood River Production Program.

Nicknamed the “wild fish template,” it suggests smolts raised this way “were consistently larger, better adapted to saltwater, and far less likely to become minijacks than those from the other hatcheries. They also returned in the greatest numbers as adults,” writes author Al Brown.

The researchers’ results have been published online and are set to go into print in Transactions of the American Fisheries Society.

Now, obviously hatchery operators may not have the coinage to build Pelton Ladders all over the Northwest to increase SAR, and perhaps there is some factor at play that makes the results peculiar to Columbia Gorge tribs, but it’s interesting nonetheless.

SW WA, Columbia Fishing Report (5-9-17)

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

Salmon/Steelhead

Cowlitz River – 98 bank rods with 6 adult Chinook kept.  26 boat rods with 3 adult and 1 jack Chinook kept.

Last week, Tacoma Power employees recovered 277 winter-run steelhead adults, one cutthroat trout, 706 spring Chinook adults, 41 spring Chinook jacks and seven summer-run steelhead adults in five days of operations at the Cowlitz Salmon Hatchery separator.

GUIDE SHANE MAGNUSON SHOWS OFF A DRANO LAKE SPRING CHINOOK CAUGHT ON A “COWGIRL” PATTERN MAG LIP 3.5 LUBED UP WITH GRAYBILL’S SAND SHRIMP SCENT, AND DRAGGED 70 FEET BACK. (UPPER COLUMBIA GUIDE SERVICE VIA YAKIMA BAIT)

During the past week, Tacoma Power employees released 208 spring Chinook adults, 17 spring Chinook jacks, and 26 winter-run steelhead adults into the Cispus River near Yellow Jacket Creek and released 155 spring Chinook adults, eight spring Chinook jacks, three winter-run steelhead and three winter-run steelhead jacks into Lake Scanewa located near Randle.

Last week, Tacoma employees released two winter-run steelhead adults and one cutthroat trout into the Tilton River located at Gust Backstrom Park in Morton and released 157 spring Chinook adults and nine spring Chinook jacks at Franklin Bridge in Packwood.

River flows at Mayfield Dam are approximately 14,700 cubic feet per second on Monday, May 8. Water visibility is five feet and water temperature is 46 degrees F.

Lewis River including North Fork – Little to no effort for hatchery steelhead.

Lewis River spring Chinook returns are 737 hatchery adults and 14 natural origin adults as of May 8.  An estimated 700 adult spring Chinook were expected to return to the Lewis River in 2017.  The escapement goal is about 1,300 adults

Wind River – 94 boat rods with 7 adult Chinook kept and 1 released.

All access to Shipherd Falls on Wind River is closed at this point.  WDFW trail/access from Shipherd Falls road is closed due to safety concerns.  The Hot Springs Resort is not allowing access to due to trespass and property concerns.  Therefore, all access to the area is closed to the public.  There is no timeframe on when this could be corrected but we are working with the Hot Springs resort owners on a possible solution.

Drano Lake – 373 boat rods with 71 adult and 1 jack Chinook and 1 steelhead kept and 5 adult Chinook released.

Klickitat River – 5 bank anglers with 1 steelhead released.

Trout

Tacoma Power released 4,000 rainbow trout into Mayfield Lake this past week.  No report on angling success

………………………………………

Salmon, Steelhead and Shad

Bonneville Pool (Bonneville Dam upstream to The Dalles Dam): Closed. Weekly checking showed no catch for 11 bank anglers.

The Dalles Pool (The Dalles Dam upstream to John Day Dam):  Closed.  Weekly checking showed one adult spring Chinook kept for 22 bank anglers; and no catch for five boats (nine anglers).

John Day Pool (John Day Dam upstream to McNary Dam):  Closed.  Weekly checking showed no catch for four boats (10 anglers).

STURGEON

Lower Columbia River (below Bonneville 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 sublegal sturgeon released for four boats (14 anglers).

WALLEYE

The Dalles Pool:  Weekly checking showed three walleye kept for six bank anglers; and 614 walleye kept, plus 66 walleye released for 39 boats (104 anglers).

John Day Pool: Weekly checking showed 904 walleye kept, plus 625 walleye released for 58 boats (141 anglers).

Mayday! Columbia Springer Run Sets New Low Through April

Ever try to start your rig and it just won’t turn over?

R-r-r-r-r-r-r-r-r-r-r-r-r-r.

R-r-r-r-r-r-r-r-r-r-r.

R-r-r-r-r-r-r-r.

That’s what comes to mind this morning as I look at the spring Chinook count.

Faced with high, cold flows pumping down the Columbia, the 2017 run has had a heckuva time getting going. Only 10 through March 15, triple digits not reached till April 8, the thousand-fish mark breached April 21, just under 3,350 through yesterday.

R-r-r-r-r-r-r-r-r-r-r-r-r-r-r-r-r-r-r-r-r-r-r-r-r.

A FISHING BOAT RUNS UPSTREAM IN THE WESTERN COLUMBIA GORGE ON THE LAST DAY OF THE FISHERY THIS YEAR. (ANDY WALGAMOTT)

The collection of emails from Fish HQ with the words “record low” is slowly building towards grimmer signs.

The Bonneville tally through yesterday, April 30, is less than 60 percent of the old record low for the same date, and not even 6 percent of the 10-year average.

R-r-r-r-r-r-r-r-r-r.

A total of 3,347 have been counted, well below 1949’s 5,770, the former record low.

And it’s a fraction of 1998’s and 1999’s very low runs in the upper 30,000s, though those appear to have been early-timed returns.

R-r-r-r.

“Weird year. Washington Lower Columbia hatcheries are on track based on the preseason forecasts,” says fisheries biologist Joe Hymer in Vancouver. “Willamette only has 16 fish through the falls fishway through April 27.”

“Flows, water temps, and pinnipeds all probably are affecting the counts,” he adds.

It almost felt like the run was going to turn over coming out of April’s second fishery extension. Good numbers were caught, especially below Bonneville.

R-r-r-r-r-r-r-r-r-r-r-r-r-r-r-r-r-vrooom-r-r-r.

But in the week after it closed, the count didn’t do much.

Elizabeth Daly at Oregon State University wonders if fishcounting devices at the dam have been affected by water conditions, but she has her doubts that high flows are slowing the progress of springers upstream.

Daly, a senior faculty research assistant at OSU’s and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Cooperative Institute for Marine Resource Studies in Newport, was a coauthor of a paper published earlier this year that predicted this year’s springer run could come in well below the forecast of 166,000-plus above-Bonneville-bound fish.

She says the paper didn’t give a specific forecast, but gave a range of 200,000 down to 80,000, based on different indicators.

R-r-r-r-r-r-r.

Bill Monroe had an interesting tidbit in an Oregonian article that came out 10 days ago. He wrote:

John North, a biologist with the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife’s Columbia River program, said a rough look at 152 coded wire tags recovered by fish checkers from anglers showed nearly a quarter of the salmon were close to the 24-inch mark.

However, he said, all were 4- and 5-year-old adults.

When this year’s returning adults went to sea as juveniles in summer 2015, The Blob was at its strongest, most destructive for Northwest fish and wildlife.

Offshore surveys found spring Chinook that were “thin, with empty stomachs, just not doing well,” says Daly.

(OSU/NOAA)

“That first year is really critical to survival to adulthood,” she says.

Many probably died, starved or eaten.

Perhaps for some reason this year’s springers are just behaving differently, Daly wonders.

Similar to the adult count, jacks are just 2 percent of the 10-year average. Packed with fat for their long upstream journeys to spawning grounds they’ll visit in summer, maybe springers can afford to wait a bit for better flows.

But on the other hand, steelhead don’t appear to be having issues at Bonneville. Though this year’s return is below the average over the past decade, that rate held steady through April.

This speculation springs to mind: Perhaps a Blob-hamstrung year-class just doesn’t have the strength to swim upstream in the face of such cold volumes of water pouring downstream?

I call this my “have your springer and eat it too” theory.

For the time being, me and Daly will continue watching the dam count — “every day,” she says — hoping there’s some gas in the tank somewhere.

R-r.

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.