Tag Archives: steelhead

SW WA, Hanford Reach Fishing Report (12-4-17)

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

Salmon/Steelhead

Cowlitz River – I-5 Br. downstream:  7 bank rods had no catch.  Upstream from the I-5 Br:  54 bank rods kept 8 adult coho and released 7 adult coho and 1 cutthroat.  No boat anglers were sampled.

BUZZ RAMSEY REPORTS THAT BLACK FRIDAY RAINBOWS ARE STILL ON THE LOOSE AT ROWLAND LAKE. HIS SON BLAKE AND FRIEND CHRIS SESSIONS PICKED UP THESE LAST FRIDAY BY TROLLING A MAG LIP 2.5. (BUZZ RAMSEY)

Last week, Tacoma Power employees recovered 2,187 coho adults, 41 coho jacks, four fall Chinook adults, 12 cutthroat trout, five summer-run steelhead and one winter-run steelhead during five days of operations at the Cowlitz Salmon Hatchery separator.

During the past week, Tacoma Power employees released 265 coho adults and five coho jacks into the Cispus River near the mouth of Yellow Jacket Creek and they released 284 coho adults and six coho jacks at Franklin Bridge in Packwood.

Tacoma Power released 531 coho adults, 16 coho jacks, three fall Chinook adults, and four cutthroat trout into the Tilton River at Gust Backstrom Park in Morton and released 376 coho adults and three coho jacks into Lake Scanewa near Randle.

River flows at Mayfield Dam are approximately 12,100 cubic feet per second (cfs) on Monday, December 4. Water visibility is two feet and water temperature is 47.5 degrees F.

Kalama River – 7 bank anglers had no catch.

McNary Reservoir Steelhead Sport Fishery – Report from Paul Hoffarth, WDFW Fish and Wildlife Biologist in Pasco WA – The Columbia River from McNary to the Tri-cities reopened for the harvest of steelhead on December 1. There was a large flurry of anglers that came out to fish over the weekend. There were 338 angler trips during the past three days.  Anglers averaged 16 hours per steelhead, unfortunately most of the fish caught were wild, 71 of the 80 fish caught had to be turned back. For the fishery (August 1 – December 3) only 37 steelhead have been harvested and 93 wild steelhead have been caught and released from 2,564 angler trips.

Hanford Reach Steelhead Sport Fishery (Hwy 395 – Hanford) – Report from Paul Hoffarth – Steelhead fishing continues to be slow to fair in the lower Hanford Reach.  Bank anglers averaged a steelhead for 20.1 hours of fishing.  Boat anglers continue to do considerably better at 1.5 steelhead per boat (9.6 hours per fish). An estimated 226 steelhead were caught in November and 132 were harvested. Roughly 80% of the fish caught in November were Ringold Springs origin (adipose + right ventral fin clipped).

Since the fishery opened on October 1, a total of 194 steelhead have harvested plus an additional 131 caught & released from 1,397 angler trips.  Daily limit is one steelhead per day and the steelhead must have both an adipose and ventral fin clip (through December 31). This year’s return to Ringold Springs Hatchery is estimated at ~800 steelhead.

Recent releases of surplus hatchery steelhead and brood stock rainbow into SW WA waters.  No report on angling success.

Lake/Pond
Date
Species
Number
Fish per Pound
Hatchery
Notes*

Adult WintersNov 20, 2017
Rainbow
1,000
0.92
GOLDENDALE HATCHERY
* SPEARFISH LK (KLIC)<http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/plants/weekly/search.php?searchby=LakeStocked&search=SPEARFISH%20LK%20(KLIC)&orderby=LakeStocked%20ASC,%20StockDate%20DESC>
Nov 29, 2017
Rainbow
79
0.1GOLDENDALE HATCHERY

Nov 27, 2017
Rainbow
100
0.1
GOLDENDALE HATCHERY

WDFW Gets 933 Comments On Freshwater Reg Simplification Ideas

Simplifying Washington’s fishing pamphlet might not be so simple.

When state fishery managers asked for feedback on their first round of proposals — making lake and river regulations more uniform and easier to understand — they snagged a ton of comments, 933 to be exact.

Everybody had an opinion. Many were for the tweaks, many others were against them.

(Who knows how many comments the agency will get when they tackle salmon and saltwater rules in the coming years.)

It’s a damned-if-you-do, damned-if-you-don’t deal.

With fishery managers acknowledging that their regs “are complex and can be difficult to follow” — it’s been stated by more than one angler they need an attorney by their side to interpret things — the review represents an effort to make them more user-friendly, which I think we can all appreciate, even if it also flies in the face of what anglers also want: rules tailored to their specific fishery or style of fishing.

With this go-around, just four subjects accounted for more than half of all the comments, with eliminating special limits on panfish at select lakes receiving a griddle-sized 29.1 percent, mostly against.

According to a presentation prepared for a public hearing before the Fish and Wildlife Commission at its meeting next week, 247 of 272 who expressed opinions on the idea were opposed.

Many said that reservoirs such as Banks, Potholes and Moses should be excluded and that species like crappie and bluegill would be wiped out and other fish species would also lose out on dinner, according to the WDFW summary.

“Numerous eastern Washington resorts, sport fishing clubs, local guides, and warmwater anglers have expressed concerns over eliminating bag limits on major waters,” the agency stated.

A proposal to allow chumming on all waters also saw strong opposition, with 59 shooting holes in the chum bucket while 31 filled it up.

“This is a bad idea and will lead to unnecessary overfishing and collateral damage to other species,” one cogent argument went, according to the agency.

On the flip side, others said, “I am in favor of being able to chum, and don’t think it has any negative impact on the water quality,” and “I believe it increases opportunity for anglers, especially when pursuing stocked trout.”

Another proposal that saw strong negative response was scrapping the requirement that trout caught with bait but released be counted towards the daily limit of five.

Forty-six bonked the idea, arguing, “Bait should not be considered acceptable for catch-and-release situations,” while 23 want it added to their stringer, saying it “Would allow more flexibility and opportunity for anglers” and “This rule was always unenforceable anyway.”

But the tape measure had to come out for several subjects with much closer splits among commenters:

Removing duplicate landowner rules had nine comments for (“If these restrictions are not set by the department then they should not be listed in the pamphlet”) and nine comments against (“The rules set by the landowners or managing authorities may not be readily available or easily known”).

Different daily and size limits for steelhead and trout had 21 comments for (“Separating steelhead from trout should make reading and understanding the fishing regulations much easier” and 19 comments against (“Allowing retention of ‘trout’ in waters containing steelhead would pose another unnecessary risk to steelhead populations).

Standardized seasons and regs for stillwaters had 30 comments for (“Fewer rules, and the fewer exceptions, avoids confusing anglers”) and 26 comments against (“Why not simply reduce to a year-round season in some fisheries and a March 1st (or last Saturday in April) through November 30th season?”).

As for standardized regs for rivers and creeks, it had support from 27 (“Simple is better, when exploring a new water having to remember a whole new set of rules is a burden”) but opposition from 35 (“The current approach of having waters closed unless listed as open is the best approach. Puts a number of species of conservation concern at risk”), especially bass and walleye clubs worried about dropping daily and size limits.

However, there were some proposals nearly everybody could admire, such as:

Standardizing whitefish season to Dec. 1-last day in Feb. (18-1);
Standardizing language for juvenile waters to allow seniors and disabled anglers (15-1);
Consistent terminology for possession limits (26-5);
Eliminating daily and size limits on brook trout (30-6);
Retention of incidentally caught hatchery steelhead (23-5);
Ending mandatory hatchery steelhead retention (34-10);
And opening game fish season in rivers, streams and beaver ponds from the start of Memorial Day Weekend through Halloween (25-9).

After the Dec. 9 public hearing in Room 172 of the Natural Resources Building on the grounds of the state capital complex, the Fish and Wildlife Commission is scheduled to make final decisions at its Jan. 18-20 meetings in Vancouver, with any changes they make coming out in the new pamphlet that goes into effect July 1, 2018.

Next up in WDFW’s rule simplification drive will be salmon, followed by shellfish and saltwater species in 2019.

Middle Methow Won’t Open For Whitefish On Dec. 1

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

Whitefish fishing will close in lower section of Methow River

Action: Close fishing in the Methow River from Gold Creek to the Twisp River.

TO PROTECT A LOW RUN OF METHOW STEELHEAD, LIKE THIS ONE JOHN BRACE CAUGHT ON THE RIVER SEVERAL SEASONS BACK, WDFW IS CLOSING WATERS BETWEEN GOLD CREEK AND THE TWISP RIVER FOR WHITEFISH TO REDUCE THE ODDS OF INCIDENTAL HOOK-UPS WITH STEELHEAD. (FISHING PHOTO CONTEST)

Dates: Dec. 1, 2017 through March 31, 2018

Species affected: Whitefish

Reason for action: Allowable impacts to steelhead listed for protection under the federal Endangered Species Act in the upper Columbia River are very low. The whitefish season in the Methow River from Gold Creek to the Twisp River has a high steelhead encounter rate. Closing this section of the Methow River will protect listed steelhead and provide greater assurance the other whitefish seasons will remain open as long as possible.

Other information: The whitefish seasons in the Methow (from Twisp River to Foghorn Dam and from the Weeman Bridge to the falls at Brush Creek) will open Dec. 1 as scheduled, as will those on the Similkameen, Chewuch, and Entiat rivers and Sinlahekin Creek. Those seasons are described in the current Washington sport fishing rules pamphlet.

WDFW will monitor those fisheries closely, and may close additional seasons if federal impact levels on listed steelhead are reached. Anglers are advised to check the WDFW website (https://fortress.wa.gov/dfw/erules/efishrules/) for new emergency regulations before going fishing.

Lower Columbia Fishery Biologist’s Good, Bad, Ugly From 2017 Fisheries

THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION ORIGINATED WITH JOE HYMER, PSMFC SUPERVISING FISHERY BIOLOGIST

2017 Lower Columbia mainstem from the Rocky Point/Tongue Point line upstream to Bonneville Dam sport totals – The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly

Note: Does not include Buoy 10.

A BIG RUN OF SHAD YIELDED WHAT’S BELIEVED TO BE THE SECOND HIGHEST SPORT CATCH SINCE 1969. (ARMY CORPS OF ENGINEERS)

The Good

Summer and Fall Chinook – The 3,516 summer and 26,138 fall Chinook adults caught this year were the 4th and 6th highest, respectively, since at least 1969. The record are the over 5,900 adult summer Chinook and 41,500 adult fall Chinook, both records which were set in 2015.

Coho – Over 3,100 adult coho were kept this year, the 4th highest since at least 1969. The record are the nearly 5,800 fish caught in 2014.

Shad – Even without estimates for this May, the nearly 170,000 shad kept in 2017 are the 2nd highest since at least 1969. The record are the nearly 195,000 fish caught during all of 2013.

White Sturgeon – The 430 fish estimated caught from the Wauna powerlines upstream to Bonneville Dam were the first since 2013.

The Bad

Salmonid Effort – Lowest in nearly a decade and almost 100,000 angler trips less than the recent 10 year average.

The Ugly

Summer Steelhead – The less than 1,700 fish kept this year are the lowest since the complete closures in the mid-1970’s.

White Sturgeon – The 430 fish estimated caught from the Wauna powerlines upstream to Bonneville Dam are but a fraction of the 62,450 fish estimated kept in 1987.

Sea-Run Cutthroats – This is the 4th consecutive year with no estimated fish kept.

SW WA, Columbia Fishing Report (11-27-17)

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

Salmon, Steelhead and Shad

The salmonid creel program on the lower Columbia has ended for the year and will resume February of 2018.

Bonneville Pool (Bonneville Dam upstream to The Dalles Dam): Weekly checking showed 15 adult coho kept, plus one Chinook and adult coho released for 10 boats (22 anglers).

OUTDOOR REPORTER TERRY OTTO OF THE COLUMBIAN AND WADE RAMSEY SHOW OFF A PAIR OF BLACK FRIDAY LIMITS CAUGHT AT ROWLAND LAKE IN THE SPACE OF JUST A COUPLE HOURS. THEY WERE TROLLING 2.5 MAG LIP. (BUZZ RAMSEY)

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

John Day Pool (Columbia River above John Day Dam and John Day Arm): Weekly checking showed no catch for five boats (15 anglers).

STURGEON

Lower Columbia River (below Bonneville Dam): Closed for retention. No report.

Bonneville Pool: Closed for retention. No report.

The Dalles Pool: Closed for retention. No report.

John Day Pool: Closed for retention. No report.

WALLEYE

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

The Dalles Pool: Weekly checking showed no catch for two boats (three anglers).

John Day Pool: No report.

……………………………………………..

Salmon/Steelhead

Mainstem Grays from the mouth upstream to the Hwy. 4 Bridge and West Fork from 300 yards below the salmon hatchery road bridge upstream to the hatchery intake/footbridge – Effective November 16, the night closure, anti-snagging rules, and stationary gear rule restrictions are no longer be in effect.

Mainstem Grays from Hwy. 4 Bridge upstream to the South Fork and West Fork Grays River from mouth upstream to 300 yards below hatchery road bridge – Opens to fishing for hatchery steelhead, hatchery coho, and adipose and/or ventral fin clipped Chinook beginning December 1.

Green River, North Fork Toutle River, and mainstem Toutle River from mouth to forks – November 30 is the last day to fish for hatchery steelhead and hatchery coho.

Outlet Creek (Cowlitz Co.) – November 30 is the last day to fish for hatchery steelhead and hatchery salmon.

South Fork Toutle River – From 4100 Bridge upstream, November 30 is the last day to fish for hatchery steelhead and hatchery coho. The mouth to the bridge remains open to fishing for hatchery steelhead with selective gear rules in effect beginning December 1.

Mill Creek (tributary to Cowlitz River) – Beginning December 1, opens to fishing for hatchery steelhead, hatchery sea run cutthroats, and hatchery salmon from the mouth to the salmon hatchery road crossing culvert. Selective gear rules, night closures and anti-snagging rules will be in effect for this one month fishery.

Cowlitz River – From the I-5 Br. downstream:  11 bank rods had no catch.  No boat anglers were sampled.  Upstream from the I-5 Br:  18 bank rods kept 1 jack and 8 adult coho and released 7 adult coho.  1 boat rod had no catch.

Under permanent rules, the night closure and anti-snagging rule is lifted from Mill Creek upstream to the Barrier Dam effective Dec. 1.

Last week, Tacoma Power employees recovered 4,494 coho adults, 132 coho jacks, 21 fall Chinook adults, two fall Chinook jacks, 32 cutthroat trout, and 25 summer-run steelhead during four days of operations at the Cowlitz Salmon Hatchery separator.

During the past week, Tacoma Power employees released 833 coho adults and 14 coho jacks into the Cispus River near the mouth of Yellow Jacket Creek, and they released 421 coho adults at Franklin Bridge in Packwood.

Tacoma Power released 948 coho adults, 20 coho jacks, 21 fall Chinook adults, two fall Chinook jacks and three cutthroat trout into the Tilton River at Gust Backstrom Park in Morton and they released 546 coho adults and 17 coho jacks into Lake Scanewa near Randle.

River flows at Mayfield Dam are approximately 14,400 cubic feet per second (cfs) on Monday, November 27. Water visibility is four feet and water temperature is 48.3 degrees F.

North Fork Lewis River – 10 bank and 4 boat rods had no catch.  Flows below Merwin Dam are currently 11,600 cfs, nearly twice the long-term mean for this date.

Under permanent rules, effective December 1 the night closure and anti-snagging rules will no longer be in effect from Johnson Creek (below the salmon hatchery) upstream to Colvin Creek (above the salmon hatchery).

Klickitat River – Under permanent rules, the Klickitat River from Fishway #5 upstream closes to fishing for salmon and trout (including hatchery steelhead) beginning December 1. The whitefish only season from 400 feet above Fishway #5 upstream to the Yakama Reservation boundary begins December 1. Whitefish gear rules will be in effect.

Trout

Swift Reservoir from the dam upstream to the Eagle Cliff Bridge – No report on angling success.  Remains open to fishing through November 30. Until then, the daily limit is 10 hatchery rainbows. Landlocked salmon rules are in effect (salmon count towards the trout daily limit); however, all salmon larger than 15 inches must be released.

Recent plants of one-pound rainbows 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%20GROUND%20LK%20(CLAR)&orderby=LakeStocked%20ASC,%20StockDate%20DESC>
Nov 20, 2017
Rainbow
1,000
0.92
GOLDENDALE HATCHERY

* FORT BORST PRK LK (LEWI)<http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/plants/weekly/search.php?searchby=LakeStocked&search=FORT%20BORST%20PRK%20LK%20(LEWI)&orderby=LakeStocked%20ASC,%20StockDate%20DESC>
Nov 22, 2017
Rainbow
750
1
MOSSYROCK HATCHERY

Nov 21, 2017
Rainbow
1,000
0.8
MOSSYROCK HATCHERY

* KLINELINE PD (CLAR)<http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/plants/weekly/search.php?searchby=LakeStocked&search=KLINELINE%20PD%20(CLAR)&orderby=LakeStocked%20ASC,%20StockDate%20DESC>
Nov 20, 2017
Rainbow
1,500
0.92
GOLDENDALE HATCHERY

* KRESS LK (COWL)<http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/plants/weekly/search.php?searchby=LakeStocked&search=KRESS%20LK%20(COWL)&orderby=LakeStocked%20ASC,%20StockDate%20DESC>
Nov 22, 2017
Rainbow
750
1
MOSSYROCK HATCHERY

Nov 21, 2017
Rainbow
1,500
0.97
GOLDENDALE HATCHERY

Nov 21, 2017
Rainbow
1,000
0.8
MOSSYROCK HATCHERY

* LEWIS CO PRK PD-S (LEWI)<http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/plants/weekly/search.php?searchby=LakeStocked&search=LEWIS%20CO%20PRK%20PD-S%20(LEWI)&orderby=LakeStocked%20ASC,%20StockDate%20DESC>
Nov 22, 2017
Rainbow
750
1
MOSSYROCK HATCHERY

Nov 21, 2017
Rainbow
1,000
0.8
MOSSYROCK HATCHERY

* ROWLAND LK (KLIC)<http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/plants/weekly/search.php?searchby=LakeStocked&search=ROWLAND%20LK%20(KLIC)&orderby=LakeStocked%20ASC,%20StockDate%20DESC>

Nov 21, 2017
Rainbow
1,242
0.97
GOLDENDALE HATCHERY

Nov 20, 2017
Rainbow
547
0.92
GOLDENDALE HATCHERY

Nov 20, 2017
Rainbow
463
0.97
GOLDENDALE HATCHERY

Columbia, SW WA Fishing Report (11-21-17)

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

Salmon/Steelhead

Cowlitz River – From the I-5 Br. downstream:  13 bank rods kept 2 adult coho.  5 boat rods kept 3 adult coho and released 2.  Above the I-5 Br:  104 bank rods kept 1 jack and 43 adult coho and released 31 adult coho.  31 boat rods kept 16 adult coho and released 3 adult Chinook and 12 adult coho.

Last week, Tacoma Power employees recovered 1,182 coho adults, 92 coho jacks, 19 fall Chinook adults, 52 cutthroat trout, and two summer-run steelhead during six days of operations at the Cowlitz Salmon Hatchery separator.

During the past week, Tacoma Power employees released 111 coho adults and 21 coho jacks into the Cispus River near the mouth of Yellow Jacket Creek and 104 coho adults and six coho jacks at Franklin Bridge in Packwood.

Tacoma Power released 626 coho adults, 50 coho jacks, four fall Chinook adults, and nine cutthroat trout into the Tilton River at Gust Backstrom Park in Morton and 223 coho adults and two coho jacks into Lake Scanewa near Randle.

River flows at Mayfield Dam are approximately 10,300 cubic feet per second (cfs) on Monday, November 20. Water visibility is seven feet and water temperature is 50 degrees F.

Lower Hanford Reach Steelhead Fishery – From Paul Hoffarth, WDFW Fish and Wildlife Biologist in Pasco WA – Steelhead fishing continues to be slow to fair in the lower Hanford Reach.  Bank anglers have averaged a steelhead for 20.5 hours of fishing.  Boat anglers are doing considerably better at 1.1 steelhead per boat (9.3 hours per fish). WDFW staff has interviewed 144 bank anglers fishing for steelhead in November with 47 steelhead caught and 33 hatchery steelhead harvested. Staff interviewed 22 boats (62 anglers) with 25 steelhead caught and 15 harvested.

The majority of the steelhead caught are double clipped and legal to harvest. Daily limit is one steelhead per day and the steelhead must have both an adipose and ventral fin clip (through December 31). This year’s return to Ringold Springs Hatchery is estimated at 816 steelhead.

…………………………..

Salmon, Steelhead and Shad

The salmonid creel program on the lower Columbia has ended for the year and will resume February of 2018.

Bonneville Pool (Bonneville Dam upstream to The Dalles Dam): Weekly checking showed 17 adult coho kept, plus one adult coho released for 12 boats (27 anglers).

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

John Day Pool (Columbia River above John Day Dam and Joh Day Arm): Weekly checking showed one adult Chinook and one jack Chinook kept for two bank anglers; and four steelhead released for 13 boats (28 anglers).

STURGEON

Lower Columbia River (below Bonneville Dam):  Closed for retention.  No report.

Bonneville Pool: Closed for retention.  No report.\

The Dalles Pool: Closed for retention.  No report.

John Day Pool: Closed for retention.  No report.

WALLEYE

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

John Day Pool: Weekly checking showed no catch for two bank anglers; and 10 walleye kept, plus one walleye released for three boats (eight anglers).

Without Boggan’s, ‘Fishing The Ronde Will Never Be Quite The Same’

I’ll be rooting around my parent’s basement on Thanksgiving Day, searching for an old yellow notepad that’s gathered nearly 20 years of dust.

The words scrawled across those 70 or 80 pages go with a few dozen slide photographs I dug out of the back corner of my cramped attic yesterday afternoon and put on the light box.

I hadn’t meant to resurrect them all for another year and a half, for a magazine feature I’ve mulled, but then I learned that Boggan’s Oasis burned down Saturday night and I needed to remember right then.

ALL THAT REMAINS OF BOGGAN’S OASIS, THOUGH THE MEMORY OF THE ICONIC RESTAURANT ALONG HIGHWAY 129 HALFWAY BETWEEN ASOTIN, WASHINGTON, AND ENTERPRISE, OREGON, WILL LIVE ON IN THE HEARTS OF LOCAL RESIDENTS, STEELHEADERS, HUNTERS AND OTHERS WHO’VE STOPPED IN FOR A MILKSHAKE, A BOX LUNCH OR DINNER. (JENNIFER BRISTOL)

All that’s left of the restaurant is twisted metal, fallen cinder blocks and a hollow place in the hearts of everyone who knows this country.

Let me tell you about my connection to it.

I spent two weeks in a cabin and trailer above Boggan’s in March 1999, taking the aforementioned notes and images while fishing for steelhead above and below the iconic restaurant along Washington’s Grande Ronde.

I remember the kindness and wonderful meals served up by the owners, Bill and Farrel Vail, who today aren’t sure if they will rebuild or not.

“I’m 84, and my lovely wife, she’s 82,” Bill told the Spokesman-Review. “It will work out. Everything’s in God’s hands. It will work out.”

They’d been up later than usual Saturday night to watch Gonzaga beat Utah State when they heard some noises and realized the restaurant was ablaze.

With no fire stations able to respond and the fire’s heat having destroyed a water pump that otherwise might have helped hose things down a bit, there was nothing for the Vails to do but watch the business they’ve owned since 1983 burn.

If there’s solace, I’m told by a local resident that the shuttle service and cabins are still available; check at the double wide or call (509) 256-3418.

But the restaurant is “a complete loss.

I remember back in ’99, after the day’s steelheading was done, eating dinner there and tracking the Zags as they made their first deep run in the Final Four.

IMAGES FROM A MARCH 1999 STEELHEADING STAY ON THE GRANDE RONDE RIVER OUT OF BOGGAN’S. (ANDY WALGAMOTT)

I know I took a lot of notes as the plug rods bounced on those floats down from Cougar Creek, but I hope to find in the pages of that yellow pad in my folks’ basement more memories from the wonderful evening sessions spent with fellow fishermen and others inside the cozy restaurant.

It was an important way station for those headed north or south by road, or east or west on the river.

Whether you were going to end your day at the takeout below Boggan’s or start there on the float downstream to Schumacher, whether you were coming from Enterprise headed for Asotin or vice versa, in a land where services are few and far between, Boggan’s was where you stopped for breakfast, lunch, dinner, local information or just to let the brakes cool at the base of the Rattlesnake and Buford Grades while you enjoyed one of their famed milkshakes.

“That place truly was an oasis in an otherwise isolated part of the world,” noted Chris Donley, a steelheader as well as WDFW’s regional fishing manager. “I’m going to miss the pay phone to check in at home and some great all-you-can-eat meals served up with love from Farrel. More importantly, this was Bill and Farrel’s home. I worry for them that they have a place to go during the holidays and beyond. I will miss the place and all its worn-out quirks. Fishing the Ronde will never quite be the same.”

I remember stopping at the restaurant in the mid-90s during a winter circumnavigation of the Blues and Greg using that payphone to make a call home to his folks.

Several years later, during that 1999 trip, my mom called the restaurant and left a message to tell me that F&H News wanted me to come in for a job interview at their Seattle office. I put the magazine off a week so I could fish some more, but did eventually hire on there.

As editor of the Washington edition, me or Randall Peters would call Bill for a report on the steelheading, which was typically all right if not good, even if the boys at the tackle shop in Clarkston thought otherwise than the savvy businessman on the Ronde.

The history of Boggan’s traces back to the post-World War II era, and is named for its original proprietor. Even as the nearby farming towns of Mountain View, Anatone, Paradise and Flora faded into history, Boggan’s was a coal that continued to burn in one of Washington’s most remote corners.

During the Vails’ ownership, smallmouth and steelhead runs increased markedly, and if you’d asked me after my 1999 trip, I would have told you it would have been impossible for the fishing to have been any better than it was that March.

A nine-fish day, a seven-fish day. Yes, I was in the hands of someone on their way to expert status, but I hit three on my own one day from the bank and felt pretty good about that, even if it was just below Cottonwood Creek.

That winter-spring season was actually only so-so for summer-runs, at least when measured against the years that proceeded it, one of which saw more than 325,000 fish over Lower Granite Dam and a Ronde harvest in excess of 13,000.

But the fishing wasn’t very good at all this past winter, one of the harshest to hit this country in several decades.

The river froze, then blew out. Participation in Boggan’s annual derby was half of usual, and only 29 steelhead were weighed in.

“No fish turned in at all after March 7,” they told me. “This year we are trying to forget.”

Those words, written in April as the Ronde tried to green up for the last week of season, were hopeful, but would be followed by a poor return this year.

And now the fire.

Looking through old slides and reading notes from days gone by won’t bring back the Boggan’s I knew, or anyone else did, but I hope to get back there this Thursday, as my family and I sit down to give thanks for what we have, and have had.

TO BE FINISHED PROPERLY …

Hatchery Steelhead Retention Opening For A-runs In Lower Snake

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

Hatchery steelhead retention to open in lower Snake River

Action: Opens lower Snake River to retention of hatchery steelhead measuring under 28 inches in length.

SNAKE RIVER ANGLERS BELOW CLARKSTON WILL BE ABLE TO RETAIN HATCHERY STEELHEAD AS OF SATURDAY, NOV. 18, BUT ONLY THOSE LESS THAN 28 INCHES. SOPHIA WITHROW CAUGHT THIS ONE IN 2012 OFF WAWAWAI. (FISHING PHOTO CONTEST)

Location:

  • Snake River from the mouth of the river (Burbank to Pasco railroad bridge at Snake River mile 1.25) to the Washington/Idaho state line, at Clarkston Wash.: Daily limit of 2 hatchery steelhead; release all steelhead 28 inches or greater in length.

Areas already open to steelhead retention:

  • Snake River from the Idaho/Washington state line (at Clarkston, Wash.) upstream to the Couse Creek Boat Ramp: Daily limit of 2 hatchery steelhead; release all steelhead 28 inches or greater in length.
  • Snake River from Couse Creek Boat Ramp upstream to the Idaho/Oregon state line: Daily limit of 2 hatchery steelhead; no size restrictions.

Dates:   Nov. 18, 2017, until further notice.

Species affected:  Steelhead.

Reason for action: Lagging steelhead returns during the summer of 2017 led fisheries managers to initially close or reduce daily limits for steelhead fisheries to protect both A-run steelhead (fish smaller than 28 inches) and B-run steelhead (those 28 inches and larger) destined for the Columbia and Snake river basins. However, A-run steelhead, both wild and hatchery-origin adults, have returned in adequate numbers to allow opening portions of the Snake River to steelhead retention, including the lower portion of the river.

Allowing retention of fish measuring less than 28 inches in length will give anglers the opportunity to harvest excess hatchery A-run steelhead, while still providing protection to the remaining B-run steelhead within this reach. WDFW will continue to monitor the steelhead run over the coming months, and either curtail the harvest of steelhead if needed, or provide more harvest opportunity if possible. Anglers fishing in this area should continue to check emergency rules for any updates.

Other Information: Anglers must use barbless hooks when fishing for chinook or steelhead in the Snake River.  Anglers cannot remove any chinook or steelhead from the water unless it is retained as part of their daily bag limit. Anglers should be sure to identify their catch because unmarked chinook salmon, coho salmon and steelhead are also in the Snake River during this fishery.

Anglers are reminded to check the 2017/2018 Washington Sport Fishing Rules pamphlet for other regulations, including possession limits, safety closures, and a definition of a hatchery steelhead.  Anglers should continue to check emergency regulations for new and changing seasons.

 

Southwest Washington Fishing Report (11-8-17)

THE FOLLOWING MATERIAL ORIGINATED FROM WDFW, AND WAS TRANSMITTED BY JOE HYMER, PSMFC

Salmon/Steelhead

Cowlitz River – I-5 Br. downstream: 30 bank rods kept 3 adult coho and released 3 fish. 2 boat anglers had no catch. Upstream from the I-5 Br: 77 bank rods kept 34 adult and 1 jack coho and released 11 adult Chinook and 26 adult coho. 6 boat rods kept 6 adult coho and released 6 fish.

COHO ARE PROVIDING THE SEASON’S BEST FISHING OPPORTUNITIES AT THE MOMENT IN WASHINGTON’S SOUTHWESTERN QUARTER. BARRY DUBNOW CAUGHT THIS ONE ON THE HUMPTULIPS WHILE TWITCHING JIGS WITH GUIDE JARED CADY. (FISHING PHOTO CONTEST)

Last week, Tacoma Power employees recovered 1,989 coho adults, 333 coho jacks, 98 fall Chinook adults, two fall Chinook jacks, 43 cutthroat trout, and 16 summer-run steelhead during seven days of operations at the Cowlitz Salmon Hatchery separator.

During the past week, Tacoma Power employees released 106 coho adults and 24 coho jacks into the Cispus River near the mouth of Yellow Jacket Creek, and they released 217 coho adults, 34 coho jacks and one cutthroat trout at Franklin Bridge in Packwood.

Tacoma Power released 838 coho adults, 182 coho jacks, six fall Chinook adults, one fall Chinook jack and nine cutthroat trout into the Tilton River at Gust Backstrom Park in Morton and they released 579 coho adults, 76 coho jacks and two cutthroat trout into Lake Scanewa near Randle.

River flows at Mayfield Dam are approximately 5,900 cubic feet per second (cfs) on Monday, November 6. Water visibility is four feet and water temperature is 51.1 degrees F.

Mainstem Lewis River – 12 bank and 3 boat rods had no catch.

North Fork Lewis River – 72 bank rods kept 1 adult coho and released 1 adult Chinook and 3 adult coho. 40 boat rods kept 4 adult Chinook and 1 jack and 24 adult coho and released 4 adult Chinook and 5 jack and 8 adult coho.

Lower, Middle Columbia Fishing Report (10-30-17)

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

Salmon, Steelhead and Shad

Salmonid angling is winding down, with the majority of the salmonids being caught at the mouths of tributaries.  Anglers fishing in the John Day Pool averaged 0.80 Chinook and 2.40 coho caught per boat, while anglers fishing in The Dalles Pool averaged 1.00 Chinook caught per boat.  In the Bonneville Pool, boat anglers averaged 0.15 Chinook and 1.81 coho caught per boat, while anglers fishing in the gorge below the dam averaged 0.54 Chinook and 0.15 coho caught per boat.  In Troutdale, boat anglers averaged 0.04 Chinook and 0.07 coho caught per boat.

CHAD ZOLLER WAS AMONG THE ANGLERS WHO GOT OUT ON LAST WEEK’S TWO STURGEON KEEPER DAYS, THOUGH THIS DIAMONDSIDE HAD A LITTLE GROWING TO DO, SO IT WENT BACK INTO THE COLUMBIA. (FISHING PHOTO CONTEST)

Gorge Bank: Weekly checking showed no catch for three bank anglers.

Gorge Boats: Weekly checking showed four Chinook adults, one Chinook jack and two coho adults kept, plus three Chinook adults released for 13 boats (37 anglers).

Troutdale Boats: Weekly checking showed two Chinook adults and three coho adults kept for 46 boats (84 anglers).

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

Portland to Tongue Point Boats: Weekly checking showed no catch for 14 boats (26 anglers).

Bonneville Pool (Bonneville Dam upstream to The Dalles Dam): Weekly checking showed eight Chinook adults, three Chinook jacks, 172 coho adults and three coho jacks kept, plus six Chinook adults released for 95 boats (229 anglers).

The Dalles Pool (The Dalles Dam upstream to John Day Dam): Weekly checking showed one Chinook adult kept for one boat (two anglers).

John Day Pool (John Day Dam upstream to McNary Dam): Weekly checking showed one coho adult kept for five bank anglers; and four Chinook adults, four Chinook jacks and 12 coho adults kept for five boats (11 anglers).

STURGEON

 On Saturday’s (10/28) flight, there were 381 sturgeon boats and 121 Oregon bank anglers counted from Bonneville Dam downstream to Wauna power lines.  In the gorge, boat anglers averaged 0.17 legal white sturgeon caught per boat, while anglers fishing in Troutdale averaged 0.06 legal white sturgeon caught per boat.  In the Portland to Wauna power lines area, boat anglers averaged 0.12 legal white sturgeon caught per boat.  Bank anglers fishing in Troutdale averaged 0.07 legal white sturgeon caught per angler.

Gorge Bank: Closed for retention.  Weekly checking showed no catch for 69 bank anglers.

Gorge Boats: Closed for retention.  Weekly checking showed five legal white sturgeon kept, plus one sublegal and one oversize sturgeon released for 30 boats (78 anglers).

Troutdale Bank: Closed for retention.  Weekly checking showed one legal white sturgeon kept, plus four sublegal and one oversize sturgeon released for 15 bank anglers.

Troutdale Boats: Closed for retention.  Weekly checking six legal white sturgeon kept, plus one legal, 75 sublegal and eight oversize sturgeon released for 103 boats (229 anglers).

Portland to Wauna power lines Bank: Closed for retention.  Weekly checking showed one legal white sturgeon kept, plus 10 sublegal and one oversize sturgeon released for 225 bank anglers.

Portland to Wauna power lines Boats: Closed for retention.  Weekly checking showed 49 legal white sturgeon kept, plus 291 sublegal and 22 oversize sturgeon released for 396 boats (959 anglers).

Bonneville Pool: Closed for retention.  Weekly checking showed two legal and 20 sublegal sturgeon released for one boat (three anglers).

The Dalles Pool: Closed for retention.  No report.

John Day Pool: Closed for retention.  Weekly checking showed 15 legal, 33 sublegal and five oversize sturgeon released for five boats (15 anglers).

WALLEYE

Gorge:  No report.

Troutdale: Weekly checking showed no catch for two boats (five anglers).

Bonneville Pool:  No report.

The Dalles Pool: Weekly checking showed one walleye released for three boats (five anglers).

John Day Pool: Weekly checking showed 30 walleye kept, plus 14 walleye released for 26 boats (54 anglers).