Tag Archives: steelhead

Decade After Dam Destroyed, Sandy’s Salmon, Steelhead ‘Rebounding’ – ODFW

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

Ten years ago a new era of salmon and steelhead recovery quite literally started out with a bang when Marmot Dam was removed from the Sandy River.

Marmot Dam used to block the Sandy River at this bend. Removal of the dam, completed last year, restored the free-flowing nature of the river upstream to its headwaters near the glaciers on Mount Hood. (ODFW)

More than a ton of high-grade explosives were detonated, taking off the face of the 47-foot high concrete dam.

At the time, it was the largest dam breach ever attempted. Portland General Electric, owner of the dam, figured it would be more cost-effective to remove the structure than upgrade it to meet new federal relicensing standards.

Scenes from ODFW’s 2008 “salmon rodeo” on the Sandy: Fish biologists Dannette Faucera and Todd Alsbury point out Chinook redds to their crew while surveying the Salmon River.

In July 2007, in a highly publicized event, PGE blew the concrete face off its dam on the Sandy River. For the next three months, large backhoes with pneumatic hammers pulverized, drilled, pulled apart and hauled off the remaining pieces of the dam. On Oct. 19, a rainstorm swept away the backfill that had accumulated behind the dam, making the Sandy totally free-flowing again, from its headwaters on Mt. Hood to its confluence with the Columbia River in Troutdale 56 miles away.

Biologists, conservationists, anglers, and others hailed the removal of Marmot Dam as a victory for imperiled native runs of Chinook and coho salmon and steelhead. The hope was that fish would benefit from better flows, better water quality and unrestricted access to prime spawning grounds in the uppermost reaches of the river.

DFW staff members unfurl a tangle net before drifting it through a deep hole in the Sandy River. A swimmer, wearing a dry suit, took one end of the net to the other side of the river and swam down and back across the stream in an arc, creating an action in the net that some compared to closing a purse. (ODFW)

So has 10 years of a free-flowing Sandy River been good for fish?

The answer is an unqualified ‘yes’, according to Todd Alsbury, ODFW district fish biologist for the Sandy, and one of the partners in the removal of Marmot Dam.

Fish biologists Todd Alsbury (right), Ben Walczak (center), and Danette Faucera (left), wearing wet and dry suits, wade the icy Salmon River, a tributary of the Sandy, in an attempt to push salmon downstream where they can be collected in a seine net. (ODFW)

Now, for the past three years, when other runs of salmon and steelhead around the region have been down, the Sandy has been seeing increasingly strong returns; in some cases, double what they were a decade ago before Marmot Dam was removed.

“While not solely due to dam removal, returns of wild spring Chinook, winter steelhead, and coho have increased significantly as compared to their abundance before the dam was removed,” said Alsbury, who noted that in the 10 years since Marmot Dam was removed ODFW has observed the largest returns for all three species in the 40 years.

ODFW staff members work together to pull in a net full of fish. Through trial and error they developed a coordinated approach that was very effective at landing Chinook. (ODFW)

For example, the number of wild spring Chinook increased from an average of 809 before dam removal to 2,086 afterwards. Similarly, coho increased from 784 returning fish before dam removal to 1,959 afterward, and wild winter steelhead increased from 898 to 2,757.

To really gauge how successful removal has been, though, it helps to look at how the fish were doing prior to removal of the dam.

Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife hatchery technicians Rob Dietrichs (right) and Dave VanAmburgh (center) remove a chinook salmon from a tangle net while Dannette Faucera, assistant district fish biologist, prepares to scoop the fish up for transport aboard an ATV, then a tank truck to an ODFW hatchery in Clackamas. (ODFW)

Wild spring Chinook were nearly extirpated in the 1950s and ’60s by dam operations, habitat losses, and other human impacts. During this period, fishery managers tried to rebuild the population with hatchery Chinook, which were intercepted in a trap at Marmot Dam and trucked to Sandy Fish Hatchery, where the next generation of fish was spawned and reared.

However, fisheries management changed dramatically in 1998 when the fish were listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act. This triggered discussions about ways to recover the fish, including by taking out Marmot Dam and reducing releases of hatchery fish so there would be fewer of them to compete with the ESA-listed wild fish. These discussions also led to one of the first integrated brood programs whereby wild spring Chinook were reared at the hatchery, and later cross-bred with hatchery Chinook to create a fish closely resembling the native fish, instead of looking outside the basin for replacement stock with different genetics.

Members of ODFW fish staff put a chinook salmon into an aluminum box filled with water from the Sandy River. The boxes were strapped to ATVs, which carried the fish about three-fourths of a mile through the woods to a pickups equipped with tanks designed to keep them in good shape during the 20-mile ride to the hatchery. (ODFW)

When Marmot Dam was removed, ODFW biologists lost a fish trap that gave them the ability to catch and separate wild fish. The fish needed to be separated so the wild ones could go on upstream to spawn while the hatchery fish were captured and taken to the hatchery to spawn. For the first two years after dam removal, ODFW staff netted brood stock out of the river using large seine nets pulled by swimmers in full wetsuits. Later on, biologists installed weirs, or portable traps, in the river for this purpose.

To continue providing a recreational fishery, Alsbury and his staff developed an acclimation site to rear and release juvenile fish at a location that is suitable for returning adult fish. They now collect adult fish using temporary weirs near the release location to capture returning adults. Afterwards, the weir can be removed from the river.

“Our goal is to first protect native runs of native salmon and steelhead while at the same time providing a robust recreational fishery,” said Alsbury. “Thanks to a lot of hard work on the part of many dedicated individuals and a lot of collaboration we are starting to see some impressive results.”

“Habitat is the key,” Alsbury added, noting that the Sandy is one of the few rivers where fish habitat is now being added faster than it is being degraded or lost, and that salmon are now showing up to spawn in habitat that didn’t exist before.

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

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

Salmon, Steelhead and Shad

On Saturday’s (10/14) flight, 314 salmonid boats and six Oregon bank anglers were counted from Tongue Point to Bonneville Dam.  Anglers fishing in the John Day Pool averaged 0.38 Chinook and 0.13 steelhead caught per boat, while anglers fishing in The Dalles Pool averaged 2.00 Chinook caught per boat.  In the Bonneville Pool, boat anglers averaged 0.67 Chinook, 1.10 coho and 0.04 steelhead caught per boat, while anglers fishing in the gorge averaged 1.46 Chinook and 0.29 coho caught per boat.  In Troutdale, boat anglers averaged 0.41 Chinook and 0.10 coho caught per boat, while anglers fishing from Portland to Westport averaged 0.25 Chinook and 0.26 coho caught per boat.  Bank anglers fishing in the John Day Pool averaged 1.00 coho caught per angler.

CLAY HULL REPORTS THE BITE WAS ON AT RINGOLD ON THE LOWER END OF THE MID-COLUMBIA RIVER’S HANFORD REACH LAST WEEKEND. HE WAS FISHING WITH SON WILLIAM AND GUIDE BRICE O’DOHERTY. (FISHING PHOTO CONTEST)

Gorge Bank: Weekend checking showed no catch for two bank anglers.

Gorge Boats: Weekend checking showed 41 Chinook adults, one Chinook jack and six coho adults kept, plus two coho adults released for 28 boats (79 anglers).

Troutdale Boats: Weekend checking showed 31 Chinook adults and four coho adults kept, plus two Chinook adults, one Chinook jack, four coho adults and one coho jack released for 80 boats (167 anglers).

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

Portland to Tongue Point Boats:
Weekend checking showed 14 Chinook adults, one Chinook jack, 13 coho adults and one coho jack kept, plus two coho adults released for 57 boats (129 anglers).

Bonneville Pool (Bonneville Dam upstream to The Dalles Dam): Weekly checking showed 44 Chinook adults, six Chinook jacks, 75 coho adults, one coho jack and two steelhead kept, plus two Chinook adults, one coho adult, and one steelhead released for 69 boats (164 anglers).

The Dalles Pool (The Dalles Dam upstream to John Day Dam): Weekly checking showed four Chinook adults kept for two boats (seven anglers).

John Day Pool (John Day Dam upstream to McNary Dam): Weekly checking showed two coho adults kept for two bank anglers; and three Chinook adults and one Chinook jack kept, plus one steelhead released for eight boats (14 anglers).

STURGEON

Lower Columbia River (below Bonneville Dam): Closed for retention. Weekend checking showed two sublegal sturgeon released for two boats (four anglers).

Bonneville Pool: Closed for retention.  Weekly checking showed 10 sublegal sturgeon, one legal and one oversize sturgeon released for one boat (three anglers).

The Dalles Pool: Closed for retention.  No report.

John Day Pool: Closed for retention.  Weekly checking showed no catch for one bank angler.

WALLEYE

Gorge:  No report.

Troutdale: No report.

Bonneville Pool:  Weekly checking showed two walleye kept for one boat (two anglers).

The Dalles Pool: Weekly checking showed two walleye kept, plus one walleye released for three boats (six anglers).

John Day Pool: Weekly checking showed 25 walleye kept, plus 15 walleye released for five boats (eight anglers).

…………………….

Salmon/Steelhead

Mainstem Grays River from the Hwy. 4 Bridge upstream to the South Fork and West Fork Grays from the mouth upstream to boundary markers 300 yards below the hatchery road bridge – Under permanent rules, closes to all fishing from Oct. 16 through Nov. 30. These areas will reopen to fishing for hatchery salmon and hatchery steelhead beginning December 1.

Cowlitz River – I-5 Bridge downstream:  25 bank rods released 1 cutt.  19 boat anglers kept 6 adult coho and released 2 adult Chinook and 4 adult coho.  Upstream from the I-5 Br:  26 bank rods kept 4 jack and 1 adult coho and released 16 adult Chinook, 2 adult coho, and 1 cutt.  11 boat rods kept 4 jack coho, 1 steelhead, and 5 cutts and released 1 jack and 7 adult Chinook, 2 jack and 2 adult coho, and 2 cutts.

North Fork Lewis River – 7 bank anglers kept 1 adult coho.  2 boat anglers had no catch.

Drano Lake – 3 boat anglers had no catch.

Klickitat River – 32 bank anglers kept 10 adult Chinook and 3 adult coho and released 1 adult Chinook.

Lower Columbia mainstem below Bonneville Dam – Effort and catches are still holding up, at least until the rain forecasted for later this week.  Over 300 boats were counted during last Saturday’s flight.  Boat anglers averaged an adult Chinook per every other boat last week.

Sturgeon

Lower Columbia below Bonneville Dam – Light effort and catch during the current catch-and-release fishery.

2017 Wauna-Bonneville Dam Recreational White Sturgeon Fishery

Season: Saturday, October 21, Thursday, October 26

Area: Mainstem Columbia River from the Wauna powerlines upstream to Bonneville Dam.

Daily bag limit: One fish

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).

Annual bag limit: Two fish (applicable to any/all 2017 retention fisheries)

Retention of green sturgeon is prohibited.

Walleye

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

Washington Easing Hatchery Steelhead Limit Restrictions On Southeast Waters

Washington fishery managers are partially scaling back steelhead bag limit restrictions on waters in the southeast corner of the state.

As of Sunday, Oct. 15, daily limits will increase from one to two hatchery fish on the Walla Walla, Touchet, Tucannon and Grande Ronde Rivers.

GRANDE RONDE AND SOUTHEAST WASHINGTON ANGLERS WILL SOON BE ABLE TO RETAIN TWO HATCHERY STEELHEAD A DAY AS DAM COUNTS INDICATE MORE ARE RETURNING THAN FEARED JUST TWO MONTHS AGO. (GREG OLENIK)

However, the Snake will remain catch-and-release only from the mouth up to Clarkston. But between there and the Couse Creek boat ramp, near the mouth of of Hells Canyon, the river will also offer a two-hatchery-steelhead limit, though any longer than 28 inches must be released.

That’s to protect expected low returns of B-runs headed back to Idaho rivers.

Above Couse Creek, any hatchery steelhead can be retained, daily limit two.

Idaho managers are also mulling easing restrictions.

Going into this year’s season, Washignton’s fishing regs pamphlet listed a three-hatchery-steelhead limit on most of the rivers, except the Snake where fall season was yet to be determined.

Though this year’s A-run of steelhead is still well below average, it’s not looking as critically poor as it was in midsummer, when dam counts suggested we might only see 54,000 back.

That led Washington, Oregon and Idaho managers to chop bag limits or switch to catch-and-release-only fishing in the Snake and its tributaries.

But since then more have been counted at Bonneville Dam, and the preseason forecast of 112,100 has just about been met and will probably be exceeded.

“These measures will help ensure that sufficient numbers of wild and hatchery fish return to their natal streams,” said Chris Donley, WDFW regional fisheries manager. “But we’ll 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.”

Along with bag limit tweaks, the mandatory steelhead retention rule will be waived on Washington waters, but anglers will need to quit for the day after keeping two.

Southern Washington Fishing Report (10-10-17)

THE FOLLOWING MATERIAL ORIGINATED WITH WDFW, INCLUDING PAUL HOFFARTH, AND JOE HYMER, PSMFC, AND WAS TRANSMITTED BY HYMER

Salmon/Steelhead

Mainstem Grays River from the Hwy. 4 Bridge upstream to the South Fork and West Fork Grays from the mouth upstream to boundary markers 300 yards below the hatchery road bridge – Under permanent rules, closes to all fishing from Oct. 16 through Nov. 30. These areas will reopen to fishing for hatchery salmon and hatchery steelhead beginning December 1.

NICOLE KASEBERG LANDED THIS AND ANOTHER COHO ON A 1/2 -OUNCE FAT WIGGLER IN BENGAL, A NEW PATTERN. SHE WAS FISHING FISHING WITH GUIDE BOB TOMAN ON THE COLUMBIA RIVER. (VIA JAROD HIGGINBOTHAM)

Cowlitz River – From the I-5 Bridge downstream: 33 bank rods kept 5 adult coho and released 1 adult Chinook and 2 chum. 11 boat rods kept 2 adult coho and released 2 adult Chinook and 2 adult coho. Above the I-5 Bridge – 73 bank rods kept 1 jack and 7 adult coho and released 25 adult Chinook, 11 jack and 2 adult coho and 4 cutts. 4 boat rods had no catch.

Last week, Tacoma Power employees recovered 2,402 coho adults, 742 coho jacks, 498 fall Chinook adults, 19 fall Chinook jacks, four spring Chinook adults, 16 summer-run steelhead and 18 cutthroat trout during five days of operations at the Cowlitz Salmon Hatchery separator.

During the past week, Tacoma Power employees released 517 coho adults, 161 coho jacks and four spring Chinook adults into the Cispus River near the mouth of Yellow Jacket Creek, and they released 469 coho adults, 184 coho jacks and one cutthroat trout at Franklin Bridge in Packwood.

Tacoma Power released 845 coho adults, 205 coho jacks, 221 fall Chinook adults, seven fall Chinook jacks and four cutthroat trout into the Tilton River at Gust Backstrom Park in Morton.

River flows at Mayfield Dam are approximately 3,520 cubic feet per second (cfs) on Monday, Oct. 9. Water visibility is 11 feet and water temperature is 54.3 degrees F.

Lewis River (mainstem) – 5 boat anglers had no catch.

Lewis River (North Fork) – 26 bank anglers kept 4 adult coho. 13 boat anglers kept 1 jack and 4 adult Chinook, 2 adult coho and released 1 steelhead.

Klickitat River – 33 bank anglers kept 6 adult Chinook and 1 adult coho.

Yakima River – Fall Chinook continue to trickle into the Yakima River. There was a push of coho into the river last week. WDFW staff interviewed 165 anglers this past week with 14 adult salmon, 1 jack, and 1 coho harvested (25 hours per fish). Most of the harvest has been recorded in the areas just downstream of the Grant Ave bridge.

There were an estimated 545 angler trips for salmon in the lower Yakima River with a total of 3,134 angler trips for the season. An estimated 188 adult Chinook, 18 jack Chinook, and 2 coho have been harvested this season. Fishing should peak these final two weeks of the season.

Paul A. Hoffarth

District 4 Fish Biologist

WA Dept of Fish & Wildlife

Lower Columbia mainstem below Bonneville Dam – Still pretty good effort and catch. During last Saturday’s effort flight count there were 457 boats and 156 bank anglers tallied. We sampled up to an adult Chinook per boat and a fish for every 4 bank rods.

During October 1-8, anglers on the lower Columbia made 10,288 trips and caught 2,574 adult Chinook (2,562 kept and 12 released), 23 summer steelhead (11 kept and 12 released) and 895 adult coho (651 kept and 244 released).

Bonneville Dam to McNary Dam – Effective Oct. 16, the anti?snagging rule is lifted.

Hanford Reach – Last week, WDFW staff interviewed anglers from 851 boats (2,118 anglers) and 68 bank anglers (Ringold access area) and sampled 855 adult Chinook, 70 jacks, and 1 coho. Based on the information collected, an estimated 2,494 adult Chinook, 203 jacks, and 3 coho were harvested from 6,345 angler trips. Anglers averaged 1.1 Chinook per boat, 15 hours per fish.

Through October 8, 7,213 adult fall Chinook and 595 Chinook jacks have been harvested in the Hanford Reach from 23,998 angler trips.

A Hanford Reach in-season adult fall Chinook update was completed on October 7 that estimates a natural origin return of 56,194. This would allow a harvest of up to 15,000 adults and still meet escapement goals for the Reach. At this time, there are no plans to modify the current regulations for the Hanford Reach. Two weeks remaining in this fishery. The Hanford Reach area will close to fishing for salmon on October 22!

=========================================

The Coastal Conservation Association Tri-Cities Chapter is working with Grant Public Utilities District and WDFW to host the King of the Reach Live Capture Fishing Derby October 27-29 at the Vernita Boat Launch, Wahluke (White Bluffs). The event calls upon volunteer sport anglers to help capture Wild Chinook for use as broodstock at the Priest Rapids Hatchery, an effort that will help preserve the genetic fitness and health of hatchery and wild fish. This is a WDFW Volunteer Program requiring all anglers to register on-site before fishing each day.

Who will be the next King of the Reach? Visit this webpage (http://www.ccawashington.org/KingoftheReach) to learn more about how to participate or contact Paul Hoffarth (WDFW) by phone (509-545-2284) or email (Paul.Hoffarth@dfw.wa.gov).

Sturgeon

ANNOUNCEMENT

COLUMBIA RIVER JOINT STATE HEARING

A hearing has been scheduled for 1:00 PM Wednesday October 11, 2017 via teleconference to consider recreational white sturgeon retention fisheries in the mainstem Columbia River upstream of Wauna powerlines and in the lower Willamette River (Oregon State Action).
Attachments area

 

 

Lower, Middle Columbia River Fishing Report (10-4-17)

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

Weekend Fishing Opportunities:

*         The fall salmon season is open from Buoy 10 upstream to the Oregon/Washington Border above McNary Dam (see Sport Fishing Regulation Updates page for retention details).  An estimated 487,000 fall Chinook and 319,300 coho are expected to return to the Columbia River this fall.

JAROD HIGGINBOTHAM OF YAKIMA BAIT REPORTS THAT JOHN PLUGHOFF OF PLUGHOFF OUTFITTERS IS DOING WELL ON MID-COLUMBIA CHINOOK WITH THE COMPANY’S HILDEBRANDT SALMON SPINNERS. (VIA JAROD HIGGINBOTHAM)

*         Salmonid angling is good in the Bonneville Pool and the gorge.

*         White sturgeon retention is closed from Buoy 10 upstream to the Oregon/Washington Border above McNary Dam, but remains an option for catch and release fishing.

*         Walleye angling is good in The Dalles and John Day pools.

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

On Saturday’s (9/30) flight, 582 salmonid boats and 22 Oregon bank anglers were counted from Tongue Point to Bonneville Dam; and 32 Oregon boats were counted at Buoy 10.  Anglers fishing in the John Day Pool averaged 0.50 Chinook and 0.21 coho caught per boat, while anglers fishing in The Dalles Pool averaged 0.15 Chinook caught per boat.  In the Bonneville Pool, boat anglers averaged 0.83 Chinook, 0.20 coho and 0.02 steelhead caught per boat, while anglers fishing in the gorge averaged 1.84 Chinook, 0.24 coho and 0.04 steelhead caught per boat.  In Troutdale, boat anglers averaged 1.08 Chinook and 0.35 coho caught per boat, while anglers fishing the Portland to Westport area averaged 0.49 Chinook and 0.41 coho caught per boat.  Anglers fishing at Buoy 10 averaged 0.92 coho and 0.25 Chinook caught per boat.  Bank anglers fishing in the Bonneville Pool averaged 0.13 coho caught per angler.

Gorge Bank: Weekend checking showed no catch for seven bank anglers.

Gorge Boats: Weekend checking showed 89 Chinook adults, 11 Chinook jacks, and six coho adults kept, plus one Chinook adult, one Chinook jack, six coho adults and two steelhead released for 49 boats (164 anglers).

Troutdale Boats: Weekend checking showed 35 Chinook adults and nine coho adults kept, plus eight Chinook adults, one Chinook jack, and five coho adults released for 40 boats (73 anglers).

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

Portland to Tongue Point Boats: Weekend checking showed 47 Chinook adults, three Chinook jacks, 26 coho adults and one coho jack kept, plus nine Chinook adults, one Chinook jack, 21 coho adults and three coho jacks released for 115 boats (275 anglers).

Estuary Boats (Above Tongue Point): No report.

Estuary Boats (Tongue Point to Buoy 10): Weekend checking showed one Chinook adult, and eight coho adults kept, plus two Chinook adults, and three coho adults released for 12 boats (44 anglers).

Bonneville Pool (Bonneville Dam upstream to The Dalles Dam): Weekly checking showed two Chinook jacks kept, plus one coho adult released for eight bank anglers; and 34 Chinook adults, seven Chinook jacks, eight coho adults and one steelhead kept for 41 boats (109 anglers).

The Dalles Pool (The Dalles Dam upstream to John Day Dam): Weekly checking showed eight Chinook adults and eight Chinook jacks kept for 53 boats (163 anglers).

John Day Pool (John Day Dam upstream to McNary Dam): Weekly checking showed seven Chinook adults, one Chinook jack and three coho adults kept for 14 boats (27 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.  Weekly checking showed three sublegal, three legal and one oversize sturgeon released for three boats (eight anglers).

WALLEYE

Gorge:  No report.

Troutdale: No report.

Portland to Tongue Point:  No report.

The Dalles Pool: Weekly checking showed 13 walleye kept for eight boats (16 anglers).

John Day Pool: Weekly checking showed 88 walleye kept, plus 52 walleye released for 24 boats (46 anglers).

Idaho Mulls Clearwater, Snake Keeper Steelhead Season

Inland Northwest steelheaders may get a keeper season after all.

With enough A-run hatchery fish now expected back to Idaho to meet broodstock goals, managers there are asking for feedback on a proposal to open a season though with a reduced bag limit and maximum size restriction on prime waters.

IDFG says that there will be a surplus of 22,000 of the smaller summer-runs and is taking comment on a plan to open the Clearwater system and lower Snake for the harvest of up to just two a day, neither of which could be longer than 28 inches.

A PROPOSAL FROM IDAHO BIOLOGISTS WOULD OPEN RETENTION ON A-RUN STEELHEAD, BUT REDUCED THE USUAL LIMIT FROM THREE TO TWO. (BRIAN LULL)

That’s an attempt to prevent overharvesting as well as get as many of the bigger B-runs — both hatchery and wild — back as possible.

Idaho’s upper Snake and rivers further up Hells Canyon may be opened too with the same bag, but the size restriction would be shed from the Couse Creek ramp on the Washington side, upstream.

In a normal year, the daily limit is three hatchery steelhead and no size restriction.

Washington steelhead managers are also watching developments.

“We’re waiting to follow Idaho’s lead,” said Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife spokesman Madonna Luers, who added it may be a couple weeks before a decision is made, per a report by Eric Barker of the Lewiston Tribune.

This year’s worst-in-40-years Inland Northwest steelhead forecast of 112,000 initially sparked fishery restrictions all the way down to the mouth of the Columbia, inside cool-water refuges in the lower river and gorge, as well as the Snake and its tributaries.

With July dam counts just fractions of average and a dire mid-August inseason update of just roughly 60,000, those looked more than warranted. IDFG closed retention before any fish got anywhere near the Gem State.

State biologists now say that 113,000 steelhead are expected to return past Bonneville Dam this year — still very low, relatively speaking, but they took the fishery proposal to the Fish and Game Commission yesterday.

The panel wanted to consider public comment. To see their pitch, and to comment, go here.

Public input is being taken through Oct. 10.

Meanwhile, the commission went ahead and approved a coho season on the Clearwater and its North and South Forks, daily limit two and a season limit of 10. IDFG says there are enough of the Nez Perce-reintroduced salmon to meet hatchery needs and provide a “modest” fishery.

Southern Washington Fishing Report (10-2-17)

THE FOLLOWING MATERIAL ORIGINATED WITH WDFW, INCLUDING PAUL HOFFARTH, AND JOE HYMER, PSMFC, AND WAS TRANSMITTED BY HYMER

Salmon/Steelhead

Cowlitz River – Below I-5:  12 bank anglers had no catch.  16 boats/56 rods kept 4 adult Chinook, 4 adult and 11 jack coho and released 2 jack and 17 adult Chinook, 2 steelhead, and 5 jack and 5 adult coho.    Above the I-5 Bridge:  42 bank rods kept 1 jack and 3 adult Chinook, and 3 adult coho and released 5 adult Chinook, 1 steelhead, 1 jack and 2 adult coho, and 4 cutts.  No boat anglers were sampled.

WILLIAM HULL’S BACK AT IT, THIS TIME IN THE HANFORD REACH, WHERE HE DID WELL ON UPRIVER BRIGHTS WHILE FISHING WITH HIS DAD, CLAY, ON A GUIDED TRIP. (FISHING PHOTO CONTEST)

Cowlitz River from the barrier dam downstream is closed to retention of Chinook beginning today (Oct. 2).

Last week, Tacoma Power employees recovered 2,187 coho adults, 334 coho jacks, 610 fall Chinook adults, 22 fall Chinook jacks, 12 summer-run steelhead, 19 spring Chinook adults, and 40 cutthroat trout during five days of operations at the Cowlitz Salmon Hatchery separator.

During the past week, Tacoma Power employees released 11 spring Chinook adults, 360 coho adults, 39 coho jacks into the Cispus River near the mouth of Yellow Jacket Creek and they released three spring Chinook adults, 438 coho adults, 59 coho jacks, eight spring Chinook adults and two cutthroat at Franklin Bridge in Packwood.

Tacoma Power released 20 fall Chinook adults, 13 fall Chinook jacks, 1,270 coho adults, 232 coho jacks and six cutthroat trout into the Tilton River at Gust Backstrom Park in Morton.

River flows at Mayfield Dam are approximately 3,930 cubic feet per second (cfs) on Monday, October 2. Water visibility is 14 feet and water temperature is 53.6 degrees F.

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

Yakima River Fall Salmon Fishery Update: Sept 1- Oct 1 – Fall chinook counts into the Yakima River have been slow and steady over the past two weeks at ~50 chinook per day (Columbia River DART). WDFW staff interviewed 182 anglers this past week with 16 adult salmon and 3 jacks observed in the harvest (29 hours per fish).  Most of the harvest has been recorded in the areas just downstream of the Grant Ave bridge. There were an estimated 831 angler trips for salmon in the lower Yakima River this past week with a total of 2,589 angler trips for the season. An estimated 138 adult chinook and 10 jack chinook have been harvested this season. Fishing should continue to improve over the next few weeks of the season.

The Columbia River from McNary Dam upstream to the Highway 395 bridge at Pasco/Kennewick is closed to fishing for steelhead until December 1. This area will remain open to fishing and harvest of salmon (chinook & coho).  Any modifications to this closure will be posted on the WDFW website.

There were an estimated 714 angler trips for salmon and steelhead in the McNary to Snake River portion of the Columbia River this past week.  WDFW staff interviewed 51 anglers from 32 boats and 98 bank anglers fishing for steelhead/salmon.  Anglers reported harvesting three hatchery steelhead, 3 adult chinook, and 1 coho.

There have been 2,187 angler trips for steelhead/salmon in the McNary area through September 30 with a harvest of 23 steelhead, 21 adult chinook, 3 jack chinook, and 5 coho. An additional 9 wild steelhead have been released. Angler effort and harvest was well below last season.

Trout

Recent plants of one pound cutthroats.  No report on angling success.

Lake/Pond
Date
Species
Number
Fish per Pound
Hatchery
Notes

GOOSE LK (SKAM)<http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/plants/weekly/search.php?searchby=LakeStocked&search=GOOSE+LK+%28SKAM%29&orderby=LakeStocked%20ASC,%20StockDate%20DESC>
Skamania County – Region 5
Sep 26, 2017
Cutthroat
530
1
SKAMANIA HATCHERY

Lower Columbia, Gorge Pools Fishing Report (9-27-17)

THE FOLLOWING IS ODFW’S WEEKLY RECREATION REPORT FOR THE COLUMBIA ZONE

SALMON, STEELHEAD AND SHAD

On Saturday’s (9/23) flight, 976 salmonid boats and 22 Oregon bank anglers were counted from Tongue Point to Bonneville Dam; and 59 Oregon boats counted at Buoy 10. Anglers fishing in the John Day Pool averaged 0.13 Chinook caught per boat, while anglers fishing in The Dalles Pool averaged 1.87 Chinook and 0.02 coho caught per boat. Anglers fishing in the Bonneville Pool averaged 1.21 Chinook, 0.07 coho and 0.01 steelhead caught per boat, while anglers fishing in the gorge averaged 1.49 Chinook and 0.12 coho caught per boat. In Troutdale, boat anglers averaged 0.14 Chinook and 0.14 coho caught per boat, while anglers fishing in the Portland to Westport area averaged 0.40 Chinook and 0.09 coho caught per boat. In the estuary, boat anglers averaged 0.98 coho and 0.02 Chinook caught per boat. Bank anglers fishing in the gorge averaged 0.05 Chinook caught per angler, while anglers fishing in the Portland to Westport area averaged 0.04 coho caught per angler.

Gorge Bank: Weekend checking showed one Chinook adult kept for 21 bank anglers.

Gorge Boats: Weekend checking showed 64 Chinook adults, four Chinook jacks, and four coho adults kept, plus one coho adult released for 43 boats (144 anglers).

Troutdale Boats: Weekend checking showed five Chinook adults, one Chinook jack, and four coho adults kept, plus one Chinook jack and one coho adult released for 37 boats (79 anglers).

Portland to Westport Bank: Weekend checking showed one coho adult kept for 23 bank anglers.

Portland to Tongue Point Boats: Weekend checking showed 42 Chinook adults, six Chinook jacks, and three coho adults kept, plus 10 Chinook adults, one Chinook jack and eight coho adults released for 129 boats (307 anglers).

Estuary Boats (Above Tongue Point): No report.

Estuary Boats (Tongue Point to Buoy 10): Weekend checking showed 17 coho kept, plus 32 coho and one Chinook released for 50 boats (135 anglers).

Bonneville Pool (Bonneville Dam upstream to The Dalles Dam): Weekly checking showed 93 Chinook adults, 14 Chinook jacks, five coho adults, one coho jack and one steelhead kept, plus five Chinook adults, and one coho jack released for 81 boats (205 anglers).

The Dalles Pool (The Dalles Dam upstream to John Day Dam): Weekly checking showed no catch for two bank anglers; and 99 Chinook adults, 20 Chinook jacks, and one coho adult kept, plus one coho jack released for 53 boats (163 anglers).

John Day Pool (John Day Dam upstream to McNary Dam): Weekly checking showed no catch for three bank anglers; and one Chinook adult kept for eight boats (11 anglers).

STURGEON

Lower Columbia River (below Bonneville Dam): Closed for retention. Weekend checking showed 31 legal and one oversize sturgeon released for two boats (seven anglers).

Bonneville Pool: Closed for retention. No report.

The Dalles Pool: Closed for retention. Weekly checking showed five oversize sturgeon released for two bank anglers.

John Day Pool: Closed for retention. Weekly checking showed six sublegal, one legal, and four oversize sturgeon released for two boats (eight anglers).

WALLEYE

Gorge: No report.

Troutdale: No report.

Portland to Tongue Point: No report.

The Dalles Pool: Weekly checking showed 49 walleye kept, plus four walleye released for six boats (12 anglers).

John Day Pool: Weekly checking showed three walleye kept for two boats (three anglers).

Southwest Washington Fishing Report (9-20-17)

THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION WAS COLLECTED BY ODFW AND WDFW STAFF AND TRANSMITTED BY JOE HYMER, PSMFC

Lower Columbia mainstem sport update

Last week on the lower Columbia, anglers made 15,120 trips and caught 6,350 adult Chinook (5,765 kept and 585 released) 358 adult coho (188 kept and 170 released) and 165 summer steelhead (123 kept and 42 released)..

Salmon/Steelhead

Cowlitz River – From the I-5 Bridge downstream:  12 boats/42 rods kept 13 adult and 2 jack Chinook and released 42 adult and 4 jack Chinook.  5 bank anglers had no catch.  No anglers were sampled upstream from the bridge.

ANOTHER GREAT OUTING OFF DRANO LAKE FOR WILLIAM AND HIS DAD, CLAY HULL. THEY WERE AGAIN FISHING WITH JOE MCCARL AND REPORT GOING TWO FOR FOUR. (FISHING PHOTO CONTEST)

Last week, Tacoma Power employees recovered 188 fall Chinook adults, 20 fall Chinook jacks, 18 summer-run steelhead, 62 spring Chinook adults, two spring Chinook jacks, 65 coho adults, two coho jacks, and 14 cutthroat trout during five days of operations at the Cowlitz Salmon Hatchery separator.

During the past week, Tacoma Power employees released 40 spring Chinook adults, one spring Chinook jack, five coho adults and one cutthroat trout into the Cispus River near the mouth of Yellow Jacket Creek and they released 16 spring Chinook adults, one coho adult and one cutthroat trout at Franklin Bridge in Packwood.

Tacoma Power released 137 fall Chinook adults, 19 fall Chinook jacks, four coho adults, one coho jack and nine cutthroat trout into the Tilton River at Gust Backstrom Park in Morton.

River flows at Mayfield Dam are approximately 2,720 cubic feet per second (cfs) on Monday, September 18. Water visibility is 13 feet and water temperature is 54.9 degrees F. River

Lewis River – No report on angling success.  On the mainstem and North Fork Lewis rivers, any Chinook, adipose fin clipped or not, may be retained effective September 23.

Drano Lake – 33 boats/75 anglers kept 33 adult Chinook and adult coho and released 3 steelhead.  There were 65 boats were here last Saturday morning.

Bonneville Pool – 18 boats/43 anglers kept 22 adult Chinook.  Last Saturday morning there were 75 boats off the Klickitat, 40 off the White Salmon, and 30 off Drano Lake.

Lower Columbia, Gorge Pools Fishing Report (9-20-17)

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

Salmon, Steelhead and Shad

On Saturday’s (9/16) flight, 939 salmonid boats and 10 Oregon bank anglers were counted from Tongue Point to Corbett; and 196 Oregon boats were counted at Buoy 10.  Anglers at Buoy 10 averaged 0.12 Chinook and 1.62 coho caught per boat.  In the gorge, boat anglers averaged 1.10 Chinook caught per boat, while anglers fishing in Troutdale averaged 0.44 Chinook and 0.01 coho caught per boat.  In the Portland to Westport area, boat anglers averaged 0.74 Chinook, 0.05 coho and 0.01 steelhead caught per boat.  In the Bonneville Pool, boat anglers averaged 1.67 Chinook, 0.02 coho and 0.02 steelhead caught per boat, while anglers fishing in The Dalles Pool caught 1.24 Chinook and 0.06 coho caught per boat.  In the John Day Pool, boat anglers averaged 0.17 Chinook caught per boat.  Bank anglers fishing in the Portland to Westport area averaged 0.44 Chinook and 0.11 coho caught per angler.

FALL SALMON ARE MOVING UP THE COLUMBIA. WITH A LITTLE HELP FROM DAUGHTER CASSIDY, 13 MONTHS OLD, AUSTIN BOWEN SHOWS OFF A FALL CHINOOK HE PICKED UP LAST WEEKEND FISHING A PRAWN SPINNER BEHIND A FISH FLASH. (FISHING PHOTO CONTEST)

Gorge Bank: No report.

Gorge Boats: Weekend checking showed 32 Chinook adults and two Chinook jacks kept for 29 boats (81 anglers).

Troutdale Boats: Weekend checking showed 74 Chinook adults, four Chinook jacks and one coho adult kept, plus two Chinook adults and one pink released for 172 boats (383 anglers).

Portland to Westport Bank: Weekend checking showed one coho adult kept, plus four Chinook adults released for nine bank anglers.

Portland to Tongue Point Boats: Weekend checking showed 154 Chinook adults, three Chinook jacks, five coho adults and two steelhead kept, plus six Chinook adults, one Chinook jack and five coho adults released for 215 boats (489 anglers).

Estuary Boats (Above Tongue Point): Weekend checking showed four coho adults kept, plus one coho adult released for one boat (two anglers).

Estuary Boats (Tongue Point to Buoy 10): Weekend checking showed 161 coho adults kept, plus 20 Chinook and 101 coho released for 162 boats (486 anglers).

Bonneville Pool (Bonneville Dam upstream to The Dalles Dam): Weekly checking showed 158 Chinook adults, 14 Chinook jacks, two coho adults and two steelhead kept, plus six Chinook adults released for 98 boats (234 anglers).

The Dalles Pool (The Dalles Dam upstream to John Day Dam): Weekly checking showed 21 Chinook adults, three Chinook jacks and one coho adult kept for 17 boats (47 anglers).

John Day Pool (John Day Dam upstream to McNary Dam): Weekly checking showed no catch for three bank anglers; and five Chinook adults and one Chinook jack kept for 29 boats (54 anglers).

STURGEON

Lower Columbia River (below Bonneville Dam): Closed for retention. Weekend checking showed four sublegal and eight legal white sturgeon released for two boats (seven anglers).

Bonneville Pool: Closed for retention. No report.

The Dalles Pool: Closed for retention. Weekly checking showed three sublegal, one legal and five oversize sturgeon released for one boat (two anglers).

John Day Pool: Closed for retention. No report.

WALLEYE

Gorge:  No report.

Troutdale: Weekend checking showed no catch for one boat (two anglers).

Portland to Tongue Point:  Weekend checking showed one walleye kept for two boats (three anglers).

The Dalles Pool: Weekly checking showed 24 walleye kept, plus one walleye released for three boats (nine anglers).

John Day Pool: Weekly checking showed no catch for one bank angler; and 53 walleye kept, plus 16 walleye released for 15 boats (28 anglers).