THE FOLLOWING REPORTS WERE TRANSMITTED BY BRYANT SPELLMAN AND PAUL HOFFARTH, WDFW
Preliminary Washington lower Columbia River mainstem sport sampling summary
March 25-31, 2019
Bonneville bank anglers: 146; kept adult Chinook: 7
I-5 area bank anglers: 1; kept adult Chinook: 0
Vancouver area bank anglers: 65; kept adult Chinook: 0
Bonneville boat anglers: 2; kept adult Chinook: 0
Camas area boat anglers: 9; kept adult Chinook: 0
I-5 area boat anglers: 8; kept adult Chinook: 2
Vancouver boat anglers: 375; kept adult Chinook: 55
SPRING CHINOOK CATCHES ARE PICKING UP IN THE INTERSTATE STRETCH OF THE LOWER COLUMBIA. LAST WEEK’S KEPT CATCH OF 55 WAS SIX TIMES LARGER THAN THE PREVIOUS MARCH WEEK’S NINE. (ANDY WALGAMOTT)
Washington Columbia River and Tributary Fishing Report March 25-31, 2019
Lower Columbia mainstem from Warrior Rock line to Bonneville Dam– 434 salmonid boats and 70 Washington bank rods were tallied during last Saturdays flight count.
Bonneville Pool- 16 bank anglers kept 2 legal sturgeon and released 9 sublegal sturgeon. 10 boats/27 rods kept 7 legal sturgeon, released 86 sublegal and 1 oversize sturgeon.
The Dalles Pool- Closed for retention. No report.
John Day Pool- 62 bank anglers kept 9 legal sturgeon, released 44 sublegal and 15 oversize sturgeon. 11 boats/23 rods kept 8 legal sturgeon, released 1 legal, 40 sublegal and 1 oversize sturgeon.
Bonneville Pool- 3 boats/8 rods released 12 walleye.
John Day Pool- 44 boats/111 rods kept 172 walleye and released 12 walleye.
Bonneville Pool- 5 boat/7 rods released 16 bass.
John Day Pool- 4 boats/7 rods kept 13 bass and released 12 bass.
Columbia River Tributaries
Cowlitz River – I-5 Br downstream: 21 bank rods kept 5 steelhead and released 5 Chinook jacks.
Above the I-5 Br: 8 bank rods kept 9 steelhead. 24 boats/81 rods kept 44 steelhead and released 3 steelhead.
Last week, Tacoma Power employees recovered 196 winter-run steelhead adults and three spring Chinook adults during five days of operations at the Cowlitz Salmon Hatchery separator.
During the past week, Tacoma Power employees released 36 winter-run steelhead adults into the Tilton River at Gust Backstrom Park in Morton and they released 23 winter-run steelhead adults and one spring Chinook adult into Lake Scanewa located in Randle.
The remainder of the fish are being held at the hatchery for broodstock needs.
River flows at Mayfield Dam are approximately 5,080 cubic feet per second on Monday, April 1. Water visibility is 10 feet and the water temperature is 45.7 F.
Kalama River – 19 bank anglers released 1 steelhead. 7 boats/16 rods kept 1 steelhead and released 4 steelhead.
Lewis River – 8 bank anglers had no catch.
- Tributaries not listed: Creel checks not conducted.
Catchable Trout Plants:
Lake/Pond Date Species Number Fish/lb Hatchery
Battle Ground (CLARK) April 1, 2019 Rainbow 2,000 2.5 GOLDENDALE HATCHERY
Lacamas (CLARK) April 1, 2019 Rainbow 4,300 1.8 VANCOUVER HATCHERY
Hanford Reach Steelhead Sport Fishery
In March, an estimated 337 angler trips harvested 148 hatchery steelhead and released 3 wild (unclipped) steelhead. Anglers averaged 6.2 hours per steelhead. The fishery will remain open to “bank angling only” at the Ringold Springs Access area through April 15. Daily limit is two steelhead and only Ringold Springs steelhead can be harvested. Steelhead released from Ringold Springs Hatchery are adipose and right ventral fin clipped.
McNary Reservoir Steelhead Sport Fishery Summary
Due to the anticipated poor returns of steelhead in 2018 the daily limit was one hatchery steelhead effective August 1, 2018. State fishery managers declared a “night closure” for salmon and steelhead fishing effective Saturday, August 18 on a large stretch of the Columbia River and two of its tributaries due to concerns about summer steelhead run. The night closure was in effect from Buoy 10 near the river’s mouth upriver to the Highway 395 Bridge in Pasco. One week later WDFW announced that effective August 27, anglers must release any steelhead they intercept from Buoy 10 at the mouth of the Columbia River to Highway 395 in Pasco. Monitoring at Bonneville Dam indicated that 110,300 upriver steelhead will return to the Columbia in 2018, down from 182,400 fish projected before the fishing season began. This closure remained in effect until January 1, 2019. The fishery re-opened January 1 with a two hatchery steelhead daily limit and remained open through March 31. In addition the Columbia River above Bonneville Dam upstream to the Oregon/Washington state line above McNary Dam is currently open to salmon fishing from April 1 through May 5. Anglers may retain two salmon, two steelhead, or one of each per day, but only one salmon may be a chinook. The fishery will not be monitored upstream of McNary after March 31.
WDFW staff interviewed 200 anglers from 93 boats and 117 bank anglers during the four months of the fishery. There were 1,430 angler trips with 94 hatchery steelhead harvested and 408 wild steelhead caught and released during this fishery. B run steelhead comprised 40% of the harvest and 35% of the wild catch & release.