Tag Archives: steelhead

Southwest Washington Fishing Report (10-16-18)

THE FOLLOWING WDFW FISHING REPORT WAS TRANSMITTED BY BRYANT SPELLMAN

Salmon/Steelhead:

Columbia River Mainstem from the mouth upstream to McNary Dam

  • From the Buoy 10 line upstream to the Highway 395 Bridge at Pasco:
    • Closed to angling for and retention of salmon and steelhead.

IN THIS IMAGE DREDGED OUT OF OUR WAY, WAY, WAAAAAY BACK FILE, FALL SALMON ANGLERS FISH THE COWLITZ ABOVE AND BELOW THE MOUTH OF THE TOUTLE FOR COHO DURING THE 2008 SEASON. (CHRIS SPENCER)

Salmon/Steelhead:

Columbia River Tributaries

Elochoman River – No anglers sampled.

Cowlitz River – I-5 Br downstream: 59 bank rods kept 9 coho jacks and released 11 coho jacks.  26 boats/57 rods kept 8 coho, 12 coho jacks and released 2 chinook, 3 chinook jacks, 4 coho and 2 coho jacks.

Above the I-5 Br:  68 bank rods kept 1 coho, 3 coho jacks, 5 steelhead and released 36 chinook, 1 chinook jack and 2 coho jacks. 8 boats/18 rods kept 3 coho, 12 coho jacks, 1 steelhead and released 2 chinook.

Last week, Tacoma Power employees recovered 1,225 coho adults, 2,584 coho jacks, 256 fall Chinook adults, 49 fall Chinook jacks, 210 cutthroat trout and 49 summer-run steelhead adults during seven days of operations at the Cowlitz Salmon Hatchery separator.

During the past week, Tacoma Power released 92 coho adults and 197 coho jacks into the Cispus River near Randle, and they released 101 coho adults and 232 coho jacks at the Franklin Bridge release site in Packwood.

Tacoma Power released 300 coho adults, 1,176 coho jacks, 38 fall Chinook adults, 17 fall Chinook jacks and 15 cutthroat trout into the Tilton River at Gust Backstrom Park in Morton, and they released 467 coho adults, 890 coho jacks and three cutthroat trout into Lake Scanewa in Randle.

River flows at Mayfield Dam are approximately 3,560 cubic feet per second on Monday, Oct. 15. Water visibility is 14 feet and the water temperature is 53.2 degrees F. River flows could change at any time so boaters and anglers should remain alert for this possibility.

Kalama River – 28 bank anglers kept 1 steelhead.  2 boats/2 rods released 1 steelhead.

Lewis River – 105 bank anglers kept 1 chinook jack, 7 coho, 5 coho jacks and released 2 chinook, 2 chinook jacks, 2 coho, 3 coho jacks and 2 steelhead.  22 boats/55 rods kept 1 chinook, 3 chinook jacks, 3 coho, 20 coho jacks and released 1 chinook, 3 chinook jacks, 2 coho jacks and 1 steelhead.

Wind River – No anglers sampled.

Drano Lake – 3 bank anglers kept 1 chinook. 36 boats/84 rods kept 33 chinook, 35 chinook jacks, 2 coho, 2 coho jacks and released 24 chinook, 11 chinook jacks and 1 coho.

Klickitat River – 80 bank anglers kept 43 chinook and 12 chinook jacks, 3 coho and released 2 chinook and 1 coho jack.

Fishing Rule Changes:

  • Grays River:  effective October 6, 2018 until further notice, from the mouth upstream to the mouth of the South Fork:  release all Coho.
  • West Fork Grays River:  effective October 6, 2018 until further notice, from the mouth upstream:  release all Coho.
  • Cowlitz River:  Until further notice closed for Chinook retention from the mouth to the Barrier Dam including all lower Cowlitz tributaries, except the Toutle River.  Until further notice, the closed waters section below the Cowlitz Salmon Hatchery Barrier Dam is 400’, at the posted markers.
  • Washougal River, including Camas Slough:  Until further notice closed for Chinook retention from the mouth to the bridge at Salmon Falls.
  • Toutle River:  effective October 6, 2018 until further notice, from the mouth upstream to the forks:  release all Chinook.
  • North Fork Toutle River:  effective October 6, 2018 until further notice, from the mouth upstream to the posted markers below the fish collection facility:  release all Chinook.
  • Wind River:  from the mouth to 400’ below Shepherd Falls, closed for steelhead retention and closed to night fishing for salmon and steelhead.
  • Drano Lake: Effective Oct. 17, 2018 until further notice. Closed to all fishing in the waters downstream of markers on a point of land downstream and across from Little White Salmon National Fish Hatchery and upstream of the Highway 14 Bridge.
  • White Salmon River:  from the mouth to the county road bridge below the former location of the powerhouse, closed for steelhead retention and closed to night fishing for salmon and steelhead

STURGEON

From the mouth of the Columbia River upstream to McNary Dam including adjacent tributaries – Until further notice, white sturgeon open for catch and release fishing only. Fishing for sturgeon at night is closed.

 

ODFW Announces Steelhead, Salmon Rule Changes On Umatilla, Walla Walla

THE FOLLOWING IS AN ODFW PRESS RELEASE

Steelhead fishing on the Umatilla River will be closed from Oct. 15-April 30, 2019 to protect native steelhead.

Also, the bag limit for salmon on the Umatilla River (from the Hwy 730 bridge to the CTUIR reservation boundary approximately 0.7 miles above Hwy 11 bridge) will be lowered from 3 to 1 adult fall Chinook or coho salmon per day and 5 jack salmon per day from Oct. 15-Nov. 30. In addition, 5 mini jack (8-15 inches) coho or fall Chinook salmon can be taken per day in that stretch of the Umatilla River.

Steelhead fishing will also be closed on the Walla Walla River from Dec. 1, 2018-April 30, 2019, again to protect native steelhead.

Estimated returns for both the Umatilla and Walla Walla rivers are expected to be near historic lows, based on returns over Bonneville Dam. The steelhead closure and reduction in the fall Chinook and coho bag limits are needed to ensure enough fish are available for hatchery broodstock escapement to Threemile Dam.

For more information on regulations and fishing opportunities in the Northeast Zone, visit https://myodfw.com/recreation-report/fishing-report/northeast-zone

Registration Open For Steelhead 101 Workshop In Troutdale

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

Register by Oct. 25 for a Steelhead 101 fishing workshop Nov. 3 and 10 at Glen Otto Community Park (1106 E Historic Columbia River Hwy, Troutdale).

A JOINT ODFW-STEELHEADERS WORKSHOP INCLUDES CLASSROOM AND ON-THE-WATER INSTRUCTION FOR HOW TO CATCH WINTER-RUNS. (ANDY WALGAMOTT)

The event is co-hosted by ODFW and the Sandy River Chapter, Association of NW Steelheaders. Register online at https://or.outdoorcentral.us/or/license (call Jason at 503-947-6025 if you need help registering). 

The workshop is for beginning anglers to learn the essential elements of steelhead fishing. On Nov. 3, the workshop runs from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. and covers selecting the right gear, essential knots, fishing ethics and tips and techniques. Nov. 10’s workshop will be an on-the-water session from 8 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

The cost is $52 for adults, $22 for youth (minimum age 10). Lunch, equipment and a year-long membership to the Association of NW Steelheaders is included in the price.

ODFW and partners host a variety of workshops teaching people how to hunt, fish, crab and clam. See the Workshops and Events page for more, https://myodfw.com/workshops-and-events

Fish Commissions Urged Not To Rollback Columbia Salmon Reforms

Ahead of a five-year review and public comment on Columbia salmon and steelhead reforms, fishing advocates are sending out red alerts the tide might be turning in the lower river.

IN A NEW VIDEO, FORMER OREGON GOVERNOR JOHN KITZHABER, SEEN HERE IN A SCREEN GRAB, URGES VIEWERS TO MAINTAIN THE COLUMBIA RIVER SALMON REFORMS. (GILLNETSKILL.COM)

“There’s absolutely no reason to change right now, it makes no sense,” says former Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber in one of several short videos posted this month on Keep Gillnets off the Columbia’s Facebook and YouTube pages.

He was instrumental in the 2012 compromise that prioritized developing new alternative nontribal commercial gear in the mainstem, moving netting to off-channel areas near the mouth, and increasing allocation for sportfishers, moves also aimed to help more wild salmon and steelhead — some of which are listed under the Endangered Species Act — get through to upstream spawning grounds.

The reforms have proven contentious, with a major disagreement early last year over ESA-listed Snake River fall Chinook impact allocations, with Washington wanting to move to the planned 80-20 nontribal sport-commercial split but Oregon sticking to 70-30.

In another video, Larry Cassidy, a longtime former Washington Game Commission member and respected conservationist, called the reforms a “smart move”, and said they’re working well and there’s “no reason” not to continue them.

The importance of Columbia Chinook was recently highlighted by a joint state-federal review that found springers, tules and upriver brights among key feedstocks for struggling southern resident killer whales.

The Northwest Sportfishing Industry Association, which said in a weekly newsletter last Friday that it’s grateful for Kitzhaber’s continued interest in the issue, is urging its members to check out Gillnetskill.com and asking them to contact Oregon’s and Washington’s governors, Kate Brown and Jay Inslee.

The issue will be before the eight current Washington Fish and Wildlife Commissioners during a Monday, Oct. 15, meeting that begins at 8:30 a.m.

Members will get a staff briefing on the reforms and view a presentation that includes color-coded report cards for how well it’s played out in terms of management purposes; recreational, commercial and tribal fisheries; allocations; new gear; and the economic results.

“The report is simply a tool to help commissioners evaluate whether the policy has been a success,” Bill Tweit, a WDFW special assistant, said in an agency press release out earlier this week.

Afterwards there will be an hour-long panel discussion and a chance for public comment.

A meeting agenda says that WDFW staffers will also “seek guidance and next steps.”

Later in the meeting, commissioners will hold their annual get-together with Inslee, and in early November the citizen panel appointed by the governor will meet with its Oregon counterparts on the issue.

Southwest Washington, Hanford Reach Fishing Report (10-8-18)

THE FOLLOWING ARE WDFW FISHING REPORTS FROM BRYANT SPELLMAN AND PAUL HOFFARTH

The Hanford Reach fall salmon fishery opened August 16. Angler effort and harvest continues to be strong and steady.  There were 4,874 angler trips taken for salmon in the Hanford Reach this past week. WDFW staff interviewed 2,202 anglers. Based on the data collected, 2,292 adult chinook and 364 jacks were harvested bringing the season total to 6,703 adult chinook, 762 jacks, and 10 coho. Anglers averaged 10 hours per per fish (1.5 fish per boat).

DHEYAA HAMMADI SHOWS OFF A NICE HANFORD REACH FALL CHINOOK CAUGHT OVER THE WEEKEND. HE WAS RUNNING SEAHAWKS PATTERN BRAD’S SUPER BAIT CUT PLUGS LOADED UP WITH TUNA AND WAS FISHING WITH TROY BRODERS. (YO-ZURI PHOTO CONTEST)

The fish counts at McNary have not officially posted through October 7 but based on the available data the fishery will remain open through Friday, October 12. There will be an update as soon as the counts post.

…………………………………..

Salmon/Steelhead:

Columbia River Mainstem from the mouth upstream to McNary Dam

  • From the Buoy 10 line upstream to the Highway 395 Bridge at Pasco:
    • Closed to angling for and retention of salmon and steelhead.

Salmon/Steelhead:

Columbia River Tributaries

Elochoman River – No anglers sampled.

Cowlitz River – I-5 Br downstream: 29 bank rods kept 10 coho jacks and released 1 coho jack.  23 boats/47 rods kept 3 coho, 1 coho jack, and released 2 chinook, 1 chinook jack, 2 coho, and 4 coho jacks.

Above the I-5 Br:  34 bank rods kept 1 steelhead and released 6 chinook, 3 coho jacks. 1 boat/1 rod no catch.

Last week, Tacoma Power employees recovered 1,100 coho adults, 2,586 coho jacks, 368 fall Chinook adults, 42 fall Chinook jacks, 96 cutthroat trout, and 49 summer-run steelhead adults during six days of operations at the Cowlitz Salmon Hatchery separator.

During the past week, Tacoma Power released 152 coho adults and 336 coho jacks into the Cispus River near Randle and they released 221 coho adults and 401 coho jacks at the Franklin Bridge release site in Packwood.

Tacoma Power released 385 coho adults, 1,336 coho jacks, seven fall Chinook jacks and seven cutthroat trout into the Tilton River at Gust Backstrom Park in Morton, and they released 149 coho adults, 431 coho jacks and one cutthroat trout into Lake Scanewa in Randle.

River flows at Mayfield Dam are approximately 3,540 cubic feet per second (cfs) on Monday, Oct. 8. Water visibility is 14 feet and the water temperature is 53.6 degrees F. River flows could change at any time so boaters and anglers should remain alert for this possibility.

Kalama River – 13 bank anglers released 2 chinook.  1 boat/3 rods, no catch.

Lewis River – 47 bank anglers kept 1 steelhead, 1 coho, 2 coho jacks and released 2 chinook, 1 coho and 1 coho jack.  5 boats/5 rods kept 1 coho jack and released 1 coho.

Wind River – No anglers sampled.

Drano Lake – 8 bank anglers kept 1 chinook, 2 coho and 1 coho jack.   42 boats/ 116 rods kept 31 chinook, 21 chinook jacks, 6 coho, 2 coho jacks and released 8 chinook, 1 chinook jack and 1 steelhead.

Klickitat River –46 bank anglers kept 16 chinook, 6 chinook jacks and released 1 steelhead.

  • Grays River:  Effective October 6, 2018 until further notice, from the mouth upstream to the mouth of the South Fork: release all Coho.
  • West Fork Grays River:  Effective October 6, 2018 until further notice, from the mouth upstream: release all Coho.
  • Deep River:  Effective September 24, 2018 Deep River reopens to salmon and steelhead angling under permanent rules.
  • Youngs Bay, Blind Slough and Knappa Slough: Effective September 24, 2018 Youngs Bay, Blind Slough and Knappa Slough reopens to salmon and steelhead angling under permanent Oregon regulations.
  • Cowlitz River:  Effective September 22, 2018 closed for Chinook retention from the mouth to the Barrier Dam including all lower Cowlitz tributaries.  Until further notice, the closed waters section below the Cowlitz Salmon Hatchery Barrier Dam is 400’, at the posted markers.
  • Toutle River:  Effective October 6, 2018 until further notice, from the mouth upstream to the forks: release all Chinook.
  • North Fork Toutle River:  Effective October 6, 2018 until further notice, from the mouth upstream to the posted markers below the fish collection facility: release all Chinook.
  • Washougal River, including Camas Slough:  Effective September 22, 2018 closed for Chinook retention from the mouth to the bridge at Salmon Falls.
  • Wind River:  from the mouth to 400’ below Shepherd Falls, closed for steelhead retention and closed to night fishing for salmon and steelhead.
  • Drano Lake: Effective Sept. 29, 2018 until further notice.  The daily salmon limit remains 6 fish total, of which only one may be an adult.  Drano Lake remains closed to night fishing for salmon and steelhead and closed to retention of steelhead.
  • White Salmon River:  from the mouth to the county road bridge below the former location of the powerhouse, closed for steelhead retention and closed to night fishing for salmon and steelhead.

STURGEON

From the mouth of the Columbia River upstream to McNary Dam including adjacent tributaries – Until further notice, white sturgeon open for catch and release fishing only. Fishing for sturgeon at night is closed.

SW WA, Hanford Reach Fishing Report (10-1-18)

THE FOLLOWING ARE WDFW FISHING REPORTS FROM BRYANT SPELLMAN AND PAUL HOFFARTH

Salmon/Steelhead:

Columbia River Mainstem from the mouth upstream to McNary Dam

  • From the Buoy 10 line upstream to the Highway 395 Bridge at Pasco:
    • Closed to angling for and retention of salmon and steelhead.

AUSTIN, LEXI, BRITT AND CORBIN HAN POSE WITH A FALL CHINOOK RECENTLY CAUGHT NEAR TRI-CITIES. IT BIT A SUPERBAIT WITH TUNA BEHIND A PRO TROLL FLASHER TROLLED DOWNSTREAM. (YO-ZURI PHOTO CONTEST)

Salmon/Steelhead:

Columbia River Tributaries

Elochoman River – No anglers sampled.

Cowlitz River – I-5 Br downstream: 25 bank rods kept 9 coho jacks and released 1 coho jack.  14 boats/33 rods kept 8 coho, 25 coho jacks, 1 steelhead and released 15 chinook, 1 chinook jack, 3 coho, 6 coho jacks and 1 steelhead.

Above the I-5 Br:  41 bank rods released 12 chinook and 1 steelhead. 5 boats/13 rods kept 1 steelhead and released 3 chinook.

Last week, Tacoma Power employees recovered 986 coho adults, 2,251 coho jacks, 375 fall Chinook adults, 89 fall Chinook jacks, 86 cutthroat trout, 42 summer-run steelhead adults and seven spring Chinook adults during five days of operations at the Cowlitz Salmon Hatchery separator.

During the past week, Tacoma Power released 107 coho adults, 174 coho jacks and two spring Chinook adults into the Cispus River near Randle, and they released 120 coho adults, 68 coho jacks, and two spring Chinook adults at the Franklin Bridge release site in Packwood.

Tacoma Power released 389 coho adults, 1,251 coho jacks, 86 fall Chinook adults, 34 fall Chinook jacks, and six cutthroat trout into the Tilton River at Gust Backstrom Park in Morton, and they released 210 coho adults, 640 coho jacks, five cutthroat trout and three spring Chinook adults into Lake Scanewa in Randle.

River flows at Mayfield Dam are approximately 3,540 cubic feet per second (cfs) on Monday, Oct. 1. Water visibility is 14 feet and the water temperature is 54.8 degrees F. River flows could change at any time so boaters and anglers should remain alert for this possibility.

Kalama River – 10 bank anglers had no catch.  2 boats/5 rods kept 4 steelhead and released 1 steelhead.

Lewis River – 69 bank anglers kept 1 chinook jack, 2 coho, 1 coho jack and released 5 chinook, 3 coho and 1 coho jack.  15 boats/39 rods kept 4 chinook and released 19 chinook, 9 chinook jacks, 1 coho and 1 coho jack.

Wind River – No anglers sampled.

Drano Lake – 15 bank anglers released 1 steelhead.   91 boats/231 rods kept 78 chinook, 33 chinook jacks, 10 coho, 2 coho jacks and released 3 chinook, 3 coho and 5 steelhead.

Klickitat River – 97 bank anglers kept 51 chinook and 16 chinook jacks.

  • Deep River:  Effective September 24, 2018 Deep River reopens to salmon and steelhead angling under permanent rules.
  • Youngs Bay, Blind Slough and Knappa Slough: Effective September 24, 2018 Youngs Bay, Blind Slough and Knappa Slough reopens to salmon and steelhead angling under permanent Oregon regulations.
  • Cowlitz River:  Effective September 22, 2018 closed for Chinook retention from the mouth to the Barrier Dam including all lower Cowlitz tributaries, except the Toutle River.  Until further notice, the closed waters section below the Cowlitz Salmon Hatchery Barrier Dam is 400’, at the posted markers.
  • Washougal River, including Camas Slough:  Effective September 22, 2018 closed for Chinook retention from the mouth to the bridge at Salmon Falls.
  • Wind River:  from the mouth to 400’ below Shepherd Falls, closed for steelhead retention and closed to night fishing for salmon and steelhead.
  • Drano Lake: Effective Sept. 29, 2018 until further notice.  The daily salmon limit remains 6 fish total, of which only one may be an adult.  Drano Lake remains closed to night fishing for salmon and steelhead and closed to retention of steelhead.
  • White Salmon River:  from the mouth to the county road bridge below the former location of the powerhouse, closed for steelhead retention and closed to night fishing for salmon and steelhead

STURGEON

From the mouth of the Columbia River upstream to McNary Dam including adjacent tributaries – Until further notice, white sturgeon open for catch and release fishing only. Fishing for sturgeon at night is closed.

……………………………

The Hanford Reach fall salmon fishery opened August 16. Angler effort continues to increase as well as harvest. There were 5,046 angler trips taken for salmon in the Hanford Reach this past week. WDFW staff interviewed 2,087 anglers this week. Based on the data collected, 2,043 adult chinook and 208 jacks were harvested bringing the season total to 4,411 adult chinook, 398 jacks, and 10 coho. Anglers averaged 13 hours per per fish (1.2 fish per boat), 50% increase compared to the week prior.

An in-season estimate was generated for the Hanford Reach wild return based on fish counts through September 30. An estimated 38,357 wild (natural) origin fall chinook are expected to return to the Hanford Reach. Base on this estimate harvest would be limited to ~6,500 adult chinook, leaving roughly 2,000 adult chinook remaining in the quota. Sunday, October 7 will likely be the final day of the fishery between the Hwy 395 bridge and Priest Rapids Dam.

From Highway 395 to Priest Rapids Dam the daily limit is 6 fall chinook, no more than 1 adult fall chinook. Anglers must stop fishing when the adult limit is retained. Anglers can use two poles if they have the two-pole license endorsement.

The Columbia River from Highway 395 to the old Hanford town site wooden powerline towers opened October 1 to the harvest of Ringold Springs origin hatchery steelhead. Steelhead released from Ringold Springs Hatchery are adipose fin clipped and right ventral fin clipped. The daily limit is one adipose + right ventral fin clipped steelhead. This unique mark (clips) allows these steelhead to be differentiated from upper Columbia River and Snake River steelhead and allows these steelhead to be selectively harvested.

Boggan’s Back Open, Grand Celebration Planned For This Weekend

A popular waystation on one of the Northwest’s best steelhead rivers is back open after a fire destroyed it last fall.

“They’re serving 10 to 15 people with ice cream,” said Bill Vail at a noisy Boggan’s Oasis earlier this afternoon.

(BOGGAN’S OASIS)

He and wife Farrel are planning a two-day grand reopening this weekend at their restaurant just above the banks of the Grande Ronde River at the bottom of the Rattlesnake and Buford Grades, between Clarkston and Enterprise.

It will feature a 1950s theme, described as “fitting” for all the milkshakes and hamburgers served there during the Vails’ ownership since 1983.

The establishment dates back to the 1940s, but on Nov. 19, a blaze left the building a smoking shell, burning so hot it melted their grill.

ALL THAT REMAINED OF BOGGAN’S OASIS AFTER LAST FALL’S FIRE. THE DISASTER FOLLOWED A HELLACIOUS WINTER THAT SAW OWNERS BILL AND FARREL VAIL CLOSE THE DOORS MORE THAN THEY HAD IN ALL PREVIOUS ONES COMBINED. (JENNIFER BRISTOL)

But thanks to insurance, the Vails were able build again, though finding contractors so late in the construction season was a bit tricky.

“The layout’s about the same, but it’s a bigger building,” said Bill.

(BOGGAN’S OASIS)

With its breakfast, lunch, dinner and desert menu, and rental cabins nearby, Boggan’s has been the kind of place where fishermen start and end their days during the fall-to-spring steelhead run.

“They’re already catching fish,” Bill reported.

While state managers dropped the limit to one hatchery summer-run a day, for some anglers it will be enough just to be able to stop by Boggan’s again.

“It feels good and we’re happy to start the next chapter in our lives,” Bill said.

Deschutes Plume Salmon Fishing Closure Lifted Starting Thursday

THE FOLLOWING IS A PRESS RLEASE FROM THE OREGON DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND WILDLIFE

The combination of cooling water temperatures in the Columbia River and additional protections in the form of a river-wide steelhead retention closure have allowed managers to re-open the closed area adjacent to the mouth of the Deschutes River effective Thursday Sept. 6.

THE COOL PLUME OF THE DESCHUTES RIVER WHERE IT ENTERS THE COLUMBIA IS A PRODUCTIVE PLACE TO FISH FOR FALL CHINOOK. GENARO RAMOS HOOKED THIS UPRIVER BRIGHT THERE IN 2016’S FISHERY. (YO-ZURI PHOTO CONTEST)

The Columbia River section outside the Deschutes mouth had been closed to angling since Aug. 9 based on direction from the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission to protect wild summer steelhead that may be using the cooler water provided by this tributary.

“Although steelhead returns are still below pre-season expectations, the additional protections provided by the river-wide retention closure coupled with decreasing temperatures allows us to open this popular Chinook salmon fishing area. That being said, if an angler does happen to catch a steelhead while fishing for something else, it is critical that they do their utmost to ensure its survival by using best fishing practices,” said Tucker Jones, manager of ODFW’s Ocean Salmon and Columbia River Program.

Anglers are reminded that due to poor returns of upriver summer steelhead, a retention closure remains in effect for steelhead in the mainstem Columbia River from the mouth at Buoy 10 upstream to the Highway 395 Bridge near Pasco, WA. The closure also includes the lower John Day River downstream from Tumwater Falls. In addition, the current fishing closure in the Deschutes River extending downstream from the lower end of Moody Rapids to the Deschutes River mouth at the Highway 84 Bridge will remain in place. The steelhead closures are expected to continue through the end of the year.

For more information and regulation updates, please see ODFW’s Columbia River Zone online.

ODFW MARKINGS ON A NOAA CHART SHOW THE CLOSURE AREA AROUND THE MOUTH OF THE DESCHUTES RIVER THAT IS NOW BEING LIFTED. (ODFW/NOAA)

Snake, Tribs Steelhead Limit Again Reduced

Snake River steelheaders will see reduced bag limits again this fall following a significant downgrading of the run earlier this week.

Oregon fishery managers this morning announced that anglers will only be able to retain a single hatchery fish when seasons open tomorrow, Sept. 1, on that state’s portions of the Snake and Grande Ronde Rivers, as well as its Imnaha River.

WITH POOR RETURNS SO FAR, OREGON STEELHEAD MANAGERS ARE AGAIN DROPPING THE LIMIT ON HATCHERY FISH ON THE SNAKE, GRANDE RONDE AND IMNAHA TO ONE A DAY. (BRIAN LULL)

WDFW followed in the afternoon with one-fish bags taking effect  Sept. 4 on the Washington Grande Ronde, Walla Walla, Touchet, Tucannon and Snake, and closing steelhead retention and night fishing the lower White Salmon River.

“Making this change now will help us meet our conservation objectives for wild steelhead and still allow anglers some fishing opportunity,” Eastern Washington Fish Program Manager Chris Donley said in a press release. “However, we will continue to monitor the run of steelhead to the Snake River and adjust as necessary.”

Idaho announced similar restrictions on the Clearwater, Snake, Salmon and Little Salmon earlier in the week.

It’s the second year in a row that Northwest officials have had to reduce the limit in response to low returns and concerns about wild steelhead.

An ODFW press release said that downstream dam counts were at “historically low” levels, just 25 percent of the 10-year average.

Earlier this week the A- and B-run forecast was reduced from 116,000 to 96,500, just about half of the preseason prediction of 190,350.

The agency said lowering the limit is meant to “reduce fishing pressure on sensitive wild stocks of steelhead, in addition to ensuring enough hatchery fish return to facilities in the Snake River basin to meet production objectives.”

“We found that this approach was successful last year to increase survival and returns to wild spawning tributaries and hatchery facilities,” said Jeff Yanke, ODFW’s district fish biologist in Enterprise, in a press release.

ODFW and WDFW have already closed steelhead retention on the mainstem Columbia from Buoy 10 to Tri-Cities, as well as the lower Deschutes and John Day Rivers, and closed fishing at night on Washington’s Drano Lake and the Wind River.

However, hopefully this year’s run mimics 2017’s.

By midfall, numbers had picked up at Bonneville Dam and managers were able to ease the restrictions.

Indeed, ODFW’s press release on today’s announcement uses the word “temporary,” but also that the change will stay in place for the time being as they monitor the run’s progress to Oregon waters.

SW WA Fishing Report (8-27-18)

THE FOLLOWING MATERIAL ORIGINATED WITH WDFW AND WAS TRANSMITTED BY BRYANT SPELLMAN, WDFW

Salmon/Steelhead:

Elochoman River – 4 bank anglers had no catch.

Cowlitz River – I-5 Br downstream:  12 bank anglers had no catch.  Above the I-5 Br:  17 bank rods kept 1 chinook and released 2 chinook.  33 boats/87 rods kept 18 chinook, 3 jacks, 26 steelhead and released 6 chinook, 7 jacks and 4 steelhead.

WHILE CHINOOK MUST BE RELEASED AT BUOY 10 NOW, HATCHERY COHO ARE STILL AVAILABLE AT THE FISHERY AT THE MOUTH OF THE COLUMBIA. AARON SEWALL PICKED UP THIS ONE ON AN ANCHOVY BEHIND A FISH FLASH JUST ABOVE THE BRIDGE WHILE FISHING WITH YAKIMA BAIT’S BUZZ RAMSEY LATE LAST WEEK. (BUZZ RAMSEY)

Kalama River – 1 bank angler had no catch.

Lewis River – 1 boat/1 rod  had no catch.

Wind River – 2 boats/2 rods had no catch.

Drano Lake – 15 boats/33 rods kept 7 chinook and released 3 steelhead.

Klickitat River – 3 bank anglers had no catch.

Columbia River Tributaries

  • Cowlitz River:  Until further notice, the closed waters section below the Cowlitz Salmon Hatchery Barrier Dam is 400’, at the posted markers.
  • Wind River:  from the mouth to 400’ below Shepherd Falls, effective August 18, 2018 until further notice, closed for steelhead retention and closed to night fishing for salmon and steelhead.
  • Drano Lake:  effective August 18, 2018 until further notice, closed for steelhead retention and closed to night fishing for salmon and steelhead.

Columbia River Mainstem from the mouth upstream to McNary Dam

  • From the Buoy 10 line upstream to the Highway 395 Bridge at Pasco:  Effective August 27, 2018 until further notice release all steelhead.  Effective immediately until further notice closed to fishing at night for salmon and steelhead.
  • Mouth of Deschutes River Closure.  Effective August 9, 2018 until further notice, all species, closed waters, for Oregon state waters adjacent to the mouth of the Deschutes River south of a straight line projecting from the flashing red USCG light #2 upstream to the lower South Channel range marker.  This notice is to inform Washington anglers of Oregon’s fishing closure.

STURGEON

From the mouth of the Columbia River upstream to McNary Dam including adjacent tributaries – Until further notice, white sturgeon open for catch and release fishing only. Fishing for sturgeon at night is closed.