Tag Archives: steelhead

Oregon Fishing Report Highlights (1-23-20)

THE FOLLOWING IS FROM THE OREGON DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND WILDLIFE RECREATION REPORT FOR JAN. 23, 2020

Highlights from this week’s Recreation Report:

Hunters have just one week to report their 2019 hunts

Hunters have until Jan. 31 to report their 2019 hunts. If you purchased a tag, reporting is mandatory even if you didn’t hunt or harvest an animal.

Ways to report your hunt.

BUZZ RAMSEY SHOWS OFF A HATCHERY WINTER STEELHEAD CAUGHT ON ONE OF OREGON’S NORTH COAST RIVERS LAST WEEKEND. HE REPORTED LANDING 16 FISH OVER TWO AND A HALF DAYS OF FISHING, MOSTLY WILD STEELHEAD BUT THREE OTHER FIN-CLIPPED FISH TOO. (BUZZ RAMSEY)

Last week for Zone 1 duck hunters

Zone 1 duck season ends on Jan. 26. Waterfowl success has been picking up thanks to recent stormy conditions. Given the current forecast, the last week of the season could be good.

Register your new hunter for a hunter education class/course

Hunters 17 years old and younger need to complete a hunter education course and field day before they hunt this fall. Traditional classes and field days are available now, and online courses can be taken anytime. Taking care of hunter education now will be one less thing to worry about as hunting season approaches.

Best bets for fishing

  • Steelhead fishing has been hot on the Chetco. Current conditions have been favoring anglers plunking from the bank.
  • Anglers have been catching steelhead on the lower Rogue using a variety of techniques, but plunking is the current favorite.
  • Anglers have been landing winter steelhead in the Galice area of the middle Rogue. With rain in the forecast, except steelhead numbers to increase.
  • Trout have been biting in the Holy Water, the stretch of the upper Rogue between the hatchery and the Lost Creek Lake spillway.
  • Bank anglers are catching some nice trout from the bank at Ochoco Reservoir, which also will get 100 brood trout this week.
  • The Crooked River continues to offer good opportunities for trout and whitefish up to 16 inches.
  • It’s getting to be prime time for winter steelhead on the Sandy and Clackamas rivers. Keep an eye on water levels and be ready to hit the waters as they begin to drop.
  • Ice conditions, and fishing, have been good on Chickahominy Reservoir.
  • Steelhead fishing on the Grande Ronde can be quite good in January and February, when flows cooperate. Look for uncrowded conditions and lots of open water.

WDFW OKs Farming Sterile Female Steelhead In Cooke Sea Pens

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

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) on Tuesday approved an application from Cooke Aquaculture to farm all-female, sterile (triploid) rainbow trout/steelhead in Puget Sound.

A WDFW MAP SHOWS THE LOCATION OF COOKE AQUACULTURE PENS IN PUGET SOUND. (WDFW)

The five-year permit applies to existing net pens in Puget Sound where Cooke holds valid aquatic land leases with the Washington Department of Natural Resources. This includes four pens currently operating near Rich Passage and Skagit Bay, but may later extend to three other net pens owned by Cooke.

WDFW approved the permit following an extensive State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) public comment period, which saw more than 3,500 comments submitted. WDFW created a detailed document addressing Cooke’s proposal that also serves, in part, as a response to those comments. That document, and other related information, can be found at https://wdfw.wa.gov/licenses/environmental/sepa/closed-final.

“We heard from a huge number of stakeholders on this issue, and we appreciate everyone who took time to make their voice heard as part of this process,” said WDFW Deputy Director Amy Windrope. “This permit was approved based on scientific review and is contingent on Cooke complying with strict provisions designed to minimize any risk to native fish species.”

Among those provisions:

  • A comprehensive escape prevention, response, and report plan;
  • Biennial inspections of net-pen facilities by a WDFW-approved marine engineering firm, to check for structural integrity and permit compliance;
  • Immediate reports to WDFW of any escaped fish, as well as a unique marking identifying all commercial aquaculture fish;
  • Sampling and testing of smolts before being transferred to marine net pens, to ensure that they are free of disease;
  • Annual fish health evaluation reports; and
  • Tissue sampling for genetic analysis of broodstock by WDFW.

These are just some of the conditions required under the permit. In addition, Cooke will have to obtain a modification to their National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permits from the Washington Department of Ecology, and a transport permit from WDFW prior to any steelhead trout being moved into net pens.

For the full list, see the “mitigating provisions” section in the justification document at https://wdfw.wa.gov/sites/default/files/2020-01/marine_aquaculture_permit_justification.pdf

Cooke first submitted an application to raise steelhead trout in January 2019 in an effort to transition from farming Atlantic salmon in the company’s existing Puget Sound net pens. The company submitted a completed SEPA checklist and supporting documentation to WDFW in July.

SW WA, Columbia Gorge Pools Fishing Report (1-22-20)

THE FOLLOWING FISHING REPORT WAS FORWARDED BY BRYANT SPELLMAN, WDFW

Washington Columbia River and Tributary Fishing Report Jan 13-19, 2019

Mainstem Columbia River

Salmon/Steelhead:

John Day Pool – 4 bank anglers released two steelhead.

Sturgeon:

Bonneville Pool – Two bank anglers had no catch.  20 boats/59 rods kept six legal sturgeon and released 87 sublegal and one oversize sturgeon.

JACOB CULVER SHOWS OFF A BONNEVILLE POOL STURGEON CAUGHT SEVERAL SEASONS BACK. (FISHING PHOTO CONTEST)

The Dalles Pool – Seven bank anglers released one sublegal sturgeon.  10 boats/25 rods kept four legal sturgeon and released 12 sublegal sturgeon.

John Day Pool – 20 bank anglers had no catch.  14 boats/31 rods released one sublegal sturgeon.

Walleye:

Bonneville Pool – 1 boat/1 rod had no catch.

The Dalles Pool – 1 bank angler had no catch.

John Day Pool – 1 bank angler had no catch.  2 boats/3 rods kept three walleye.

Bass:

John Day Pool – One bank angler had no catch.

Salmon/Steelhead:

Columbia River Tributaries

Grays River – Two bank anglers had no catch.

Elochoman River – 39 bank anglers kept 20 steelhead.  1 boat/2 rods kept two steelhead.

Cowlitz River – I-5 Br downstream – One bank angler had no catch.

Above the I-5 Br – Six bank anglers had no catch.

Tributaries not listed: Creel checks not conducted.

SW WA, Columbia Gorge Pools Fishing Report (1-14-20)

THE FOLLOWING FISHING REPORT WAS FORWARDED BY BRYANT SPELLMAN, WDFW

Washington Columbia River and Tributary Fishing Report Jan 6-12, 2019

Salmon/Steelhead:

Columbia River

John Day Pool – 12 bank anglers kept one steelhead and released four steelhead.

Sturgeon:

Bonneville Pool – Seven bank anglers had no catch.  13 boats/39 rods kept 10 legal sturgeon, released 64 sublegal and two oversize sturgeon.

KATIE CRAIG CAUGHT THIS DALLES POOL STURGEON IN FEBRUARY 2016. SHE WAS FISHING THE COLUMBIA RESERVOIR WITH HUBSTER NATHAN. (FISHING PHOTO CONTEST)

The Dalles Pool – Six bank anglers released one sublegal sturgeon.

John Day Pool – 15 bank anglers had no catch.  17 boats/36 rods kept one legal sturgeon and released one oversize sturgeon.

Reservoir Estimated
Total Harvest
% of Guideline Guideline
Bonneville 146 29 500
The Dalles 74 55 135
John Day 18 17 105

Walleye:

John Day Pool – 1 boat/3 rods had no catch.

Bass:

John Day Pool – Two bank anglers had no catch.

Salmon/Steelhead:

Columbia River Tributaries 

Elochoman River – 11 bank anglers kept 12 steelhead.

(Cowlitz) Above the I-5 Br – One bank angler had no catch.

  • Tributaries not listed: Creel checks not conducted.

SW WA Tribs, Columbia Gorge Pools Fishing Report (1-8-20)

THE FOLLOWING FISHING REPORT WAS FORWARDED BY BRYANT SPELLMAN, WDFW

Fishery Reports:

Salmon/Steelhead:

John Day Pool – 15 bank anglers released 15 steelhead.  1 boat/1 rod had no catch.

Sturgeon:

Walleye:

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

The Dalles Pool- 2 boats/3 rods released two walleye.

John Day Pool- 1 bank angler had no catch.  6 boats/12 rods kept 13 walleye.

COLUMBIA WALLEYE ANGLERS LIKE JIM DEATHERAGE ARE BEGINNING TO TARGET TROPHIES AND EATERS IN THE POOLS AND TAILRACES OF THE BIG RIVER. DEATHERAGE CAUGHT THIS ONE LAST JANUARY WHILE FISHING WITH JERRY HAN IN THE TRI-CITIES AREA. (FISHING PHOTO CONTEST)

Bass:

John Day Pool- 1 boat/3 rods kept six bass.

 Salmon/Steelhead:

Columbia River Tributaries

Grays River – 2 bank anglers had no catch.

Elochoman River – 22 bank anglers kept 12 steelhead.  3 boats/4 rods kept one steelhead and released one steelhead and one coho.

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

Above the I-5 Br:  11 bank rods had no catch.  1 boat/3 rods had no catch.

Steelheading To Reopen Around Lewiston

THE FOLLOWING IS A PRESS RELEASE FROM THE IDAHO DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND GAME

Meeting by conference call on Wednesday, Dec. 18, the Idaho Fish and Game Commission reopened steelhead fishing in the Clearwater River and lower Snake River downstream of Couse Creek Boat Ramp, beginning on Jan. 1. Daily bag limit in those sections is limited to one adipose-clipped steelhead per day, none over 28 inches in length.

IDFG WILL REOPEN STEELHEADING ON THE SNAKE BELOW WASHINGTON’S COUSE CREEK BOAT RAMP AND IN PORTIONS OF THE CLEARWATER BASIN. (BRIAN LULL)

Anglers should note that the North Fork Clearwater River will be closed to steelhead fishing during the 2020 spring season. The South Fork of the Clearwater River will also reopen on Jan. 1, and all other season dates remain the same as what is printed 2019-21 Idaho Fishing Seasons and Rules brochure.

To see a summary of modifications that have been made to the 2019-21 printed steelhead seasons and rules, specific to the 2020 spring season, visit Idaho Fish and Game’s Steelhead Seasons and Rules Page. You can see the updated steelhead seasons and rules here.

The commission had previously closed steelhead fishing entirely on the Clearwater River in September, as well as the Snake River below Couse Creek. The closure came amid concerns that returns of hatchery steelhead would not be sufficient to meet broodstock needs for the Clearwater hatcheries.

Fisheries managers were waiting to see if enough steelhead would return to replenish hatcheries before proposing to the commission to resume steelhead fishing for Clearwater and lower Snake rivers.

After an additional month of trapping steelhead for the Clearwater River hatchery programs, fisheries managers were confident there are enough steelhead for hatcheries and to provide steelhead fishing opportunities. Fisheries managers also plan to continue enlisting anglers to help provide steelhead broodstock in the South Fork fo the Clearwater in the spring.

Southwest Washington Tribs Fishing Report (11-26-19)

THE FOLLOWING WAS FORWARDED BY BRYANT SPELLMAN, WDFW

Washington Tributary Fishing Report Nov 18-24, 2019

Salmon/Steelhead:
Columbia River Tributaries

Grays River – 5 bank anglers released thee coho.

Elochoman River – 15 bank anglers released one steelhead and one coho.

Cowlitz River – I-5 Br downstream – 18 bank rods kept one coho. 1 boat/2 rods had no catch.

Above the I-5 Br – 15 bank rods kept two coho. 1 boat/5 rods kept one coho.

Kalama River – 4 bank anglers had no catch.

Lewis River – 12 bank anglers had no catch. 1 boat/1 rod had no catch.

Klickitat below Fisher Hill Bridge – 8 bank anglers kept four coho and released one Chinook.

? Tributaries not listed: Creel checks not conducted.

Coded Wire Tagged Steelhead Caught In Umpqua Basin Could Be Worth $50

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

Anglers who catch a hatchery steelhead and return the snout to an ODFW collection barrel have a chance to win a $50 gift card if their fish is coded wire tagged. Monthly prize drawings run December through April 2020.

ODFW IS ASKING UMPQUA RIVER STEELHEADERS TO DROP OFF THE SNOUTS OF ANY HATCHERY WINTER-RUNS IN BARRELS AT BOAT LAUNCHES OR THE ROSEBURG OFFICE TO SCAN AS PART OF A STUDY. SCOTT HAUGEN CAUGHT THIS ONE ON THE MAINSTEM A COUPLE YEARS AGO WHILE RUNNING A MAG LIP. (SCOTT HAUGEN VIA BUZZ RAMSEY)

The contest is meant to encourage anglers to leave the snouts of harvested Umpqua Basin hatchery winter steelhead in collection barrels at popular boat ramps. Barrels are also in Roseburg at Sportsman’s Warehouse and the ODFW office on North Umpqua Highway. Bags and tags with date and location of harvest are in the barrels.

ODFW scans the snouts for coded wire tags in the second of a multi-year research project to improve winter steelhead fishing in the South Umpqua River. Fish were tagged earlier this year and released in four groups at acclimation sites in Canyonville.

STEP biologist Evan Leonetti wants to know which release timing is the most beneficial to anglers, particularly those fishing the South Umpqua River.

“Those tags tell us which release date and group gives a better return for anglers which is why it’s important to return snouts of harvested hatchery steelhead,” Leonetti said. “The potential to win a gift card is a bonus, and we hope to collect more snouts this year.”

Volunteers with a flexible schedule are needed to collect harvest information from winter steelhead anglers on the North and South Umpqua rivers. That information is used in conjunction with the coded wire tag data to better manage the hatchery fishery. Volunteers are also needed to check the collection barrels.

Volunteers must provide their own transportation and may be working alone or with a partner at boat ramps. The project runs the length of the winter steelhead season, ending about mid-April.

Anyone over the age of 18 who is interested in volunteering should call Leonetti at 541-464-2175 or email evan.leonetti@state.or.us

SW WA Fishing Report (11-19-19)

THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION WAS FORWARDED BY BRYAN SPELLMAN, WDFW

Washington Tributary Fishing Report Nov 11-17, 2019

Salmon/Steelhead:
Columbia River Tributaries

Grays River – 4 bank anglers had no catch

Elochoman River – 2 bank anglers had no catch.

Cowlitz River – I-5 Br downstream – 8 bank rods had no catch. 9 boats/21 rods kept 13 coho and released 1 Chinook.

Above the I-5 Br – 15 bank rods kept one coho and released two Chinook. 3 boats/7 rods released one Chinook and three coho.

IN THIS IMAGE DREDGED OUT OF THE WAY, WAY, WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY BACK FILE, FALL SALMON ANGLERS FISH THE LOWER COWLITZ ABOVE AND BELOW THE MOUTH OF THE TOUTLE FOR COHO. (CHRIS SPENCER)

Kalama River – 1 bank angler had no catch.

Lewis River – 15 bank anglers released three coho. 5 boats/12 rods released one Chinook and one coho.

Washougal River – 1 bank angler had no catch.

Klickitat below Fisher Hill Bridge – 31 bank anglers kept 10 Chinook, 12 coho and released three Chinook and one coho. 4 boats/14 rods kept one Chinook and 18 coho.

Tributaries not listed: Creel checks not conducted.

IDFG Reports Some Good News On Steelhead Run

THE FOLLOWING IS A PRESS RELEASE FROM THE IDAHO DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND GAME

On Nov. 15, the Idaho Fish and Game Commission extended the current bag limits for steelhead fishing (one fish per day, three in possession) on portions of the Snake, Salmon and Little Salmon rivers for the 2020 spring steelhead season, which begins January 1.

According to Jim Fredericks, Fisheries Bureau Chief for Idaho Fish and Game, the hatchery steelhead return in the Snake and Salmon rivers is high enough to continue allowing anglers limited harvest opportunities.

(IDFG)

Biologists are already trapping adult steelhead on the Snake River at Hells Canyon Dam and will continue to do so into the spring, but Fish and Game is well on its way to meeting broodstock goals, Fredericks said.

Meanwhile, trapping at the Pahsimeroi and Sawtooth hatcheries does not begin until spring, but biologists are confident that continuing the one fish per day limit on the Salmon River through the spring will allow them to meet their broodstock needs.

“All of that is good news,” Fredericks said.

There was also some good news for Clearwater River steelhead. As a result of coordinated management actions with tribal and state partners, and additional emergency measures in Idaho, it now appears that returns will be sufficient to meet broodstock targets for Clearwater River hatcheries.

The commission closed steelhead fishing entirely on the Clearwater River in September, as well as the Snake River below Couse Creek. The closure came amid concerns that returns would not be sufficient to meet broodstock needs for the Clearwater hatcheries due to low returns of larger B-run steelhead, which typically spend two years in the ocean before returning to Idaho to spawn.

The low forecast prompted coordinated management between other state and tribal partners in the Columbia and Snake river basins in an effort to reduce impacts to hatchery steelhead returning to the Clearwater Basin. As a result, a higher-than-average percentage of adult steelhead survived the journey from Bonneville Dam on the Columbia River to Lower Granite Dam, which is about 25 miles downstream from Lewiston, increasing the projection of steelhead returning to the Clearwater.

To further bolster returns to the Clearwater River basin, managers initiated emergency broodstock trapping efforts at Dworshak National Fish Hatchery and at Lower Granite Dam. In addition to taking a higher percentage of fish in the fall at Dworshak Hatchery than are normally collected, managers are collecting fish from the trap at Lower Granite Dam and taking them directly to the Dworshak Fish Hatchery.

Thanks to the coordinated management and increased trapping efforts, between 700 and 800 of the 1,000 steelhead needed for broodstock at the Dworshak hatchery have already been trapped. An additional 350 adults need to be collected from the South Fork of the Clearwater, which will likely occur in the spring.

“We are fairly confident now that we’ll be able to achieve our Clearwater broodstock needs, and we don’t expect that we’re going to need to rely on the smaller 1-ocean fish, those smaller than 28 inches, because of the conversion of those larger, B-run fish,” Fredericks said.

Fish and Game is projecting that there could be about 1,000 of the smaller A-run steelhead in the Clearwater River system that will be in excess of broodstock needs, and Fish and Game managers will continue to coordinate with partners, including the Nez Perce Tribe and the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, to evaluate a potential fishing season on the Clearwater River in early 2020. Anglers can expect more information by late December.

“We’re confident we’ll be able to provide some catch-and-release opportunity at a minimum, and possibly some level of harvest,” Fredericks said. “But we do need to continue to monitor broodstock collection and make sure we’re going to get there, and coordinate with our management partners.”