Tag Archives: walleye

Sport Fishing Reaction To Final Orca Recommendations Sent To Gov

Washington’s Southern Resident Killer Whale Task Force has transmitted its recommendations for how to help out the state’s struggling orcas to Governor Inslee, and members of the sportfishing community are reacting to the final package.

WASHINGTON GOVERNOR JAY INSLEE SPEAKS BEFORE SIGNING AN EXECUTIVE ORDER ON ORCAS AND CHINOOK EARLIER THIS YEAR. THE ORDER CREATED THE SOUTHERN RESIDENT KILLER WHALE TASK FORCE THAT TODAY DELIVERED ITS FINAL RECOMMENDATIONS. (TVW)

An executive summary says the 148-page report provides an outline for meeting four key goals:

  • Increasing the abundance of Chinook, the key forage for the starving whales;
  • Decreasing disturbance from vessels with the affect of boosting their access to salmon;
  • Reducing contaminants in the environment;
  • And measures of accountability.

A PUGET SOUND ADULT CHINOOK SALMON SWIMS THROUGH THE BALLARD LOCKS. (NMFS)

It aims to increase the population of J, K and L Pods by 10 in 10 years, reversing the decrease seen since 1996. There are now only 74 orcas after this year saw the high-profile deaths of a just-born calf and a young animal as well as a third.

“I will review these recommendations over the coming weeks, and my staff and I will assess each one for the most impact in the short and long-term. I will roll out my budget and policy priorities in mid-December for consideration during the 2019 Legislative Session,” Gov. Inslee tweeted.

Ron Garner of Puget Sound Anglers, George Harris of the Northwest Marine Trade Association and Butch Smith of the Ilwaco Charters were among the dozens of task force members who signed on as supporting the entire package, while a whale watching world representative was the only no vote. Six others abstained.

Front and center, Goal 1 is to boost the numbers of Chinook that orcas depend on most.

That would be done through a mix of habitat restoration and acquisition projects, enforcing current laws that protect fish habitat, incentivizing private work that benefits salmon, and “significantly” boosting hatchery production.

With Puget Sound kings listed under the Endangered Species Act, that will have to be done carefully, but already the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission is talking about how and where it might be possible to ramp things up for SRKWs.

“We did get the recommendation from the WDFW commission of 50 million Chinook into the recommendation to the Governor,” said PSA’s Garner.

It would take money and time were that to be implemented, but could potentially come online far faster than other parts of the goal.

A story out this week spotlighted the highly important but excruciatingly slow pace of salmon habitat work — 90 years to recover what plans call for for full estuary restoration.

“Production needs to be ramped up immediately, and follow the recovery/ESA sidebars in the recommendations,”
said Liz Hamilton of the Northwest Sportfishing Industry Association, who is a member of the task force’s Prey Working Group.

However, she expressed concern about “organizations who will file lawsuits to fight increased production no matter how thoughtfully done and no matter how dire the need.”

Admittedly, anglers would also see “shirt tail” benefits of more Chinook, to hazard a guess primarily in South and Deep South Sound and terminal zones, which are well past whale feeding zones.

There had been calls to “completely stop salmon fishing” to make more prey available for orcas, but ultimately that wasn’t the direction of the task force.

“We were successful in getting the target off of our backs blaming fishing,” said Garner. “At one point we brought out the 87-page NOAA study that said if we stopped all fishing on the West Coast — California to Alaska — salmon would not recover.”

A GRAPH FROM THE TASK FORCE’S RECOMMENDATIONS SHOWS THE DECLINE IN CHINOOK AND COHO HARVEST IN WASHINGTON SALT- AND FRESHWATERS BY RECREATIONAL, TRIBAL AND COMMERCIAL FISHERMEN. (SRKWTF)

He said that he and others were able to convince the task force that reductions in salmon production due to ESA listings, Hatchery Scientific Review Group recommendations and the funding cuts that have particularly affected state facilities “put the entire system into shock.”

“The orcas, coastal communities, tribal communities, tackle retailers, fishing shops, boat shops, and everything that relies on salmon crashed. Our habitat is in terrible shape and we’re losing it faster than it’s being rebuilt,” he said.

Even if the larger target is off of the backs of fishermen as a whole, Hamilton remains vigilant about some possible closures she’s heard of that would only apply to sportfishing and wouldn’t help feed orcas.

As for those “cute little water puppies” stealing dinner from SRKWs, the plan includes a recommendation titled “Predation of Chinook: Decrease the number of adult and juvenile Chinook lost to predation by species other than Southern Residents.”

That begins with figuring out the impact of harbor seals and sea lions, which leaves a lot to be desired, but the task force does urge the legislature to fund that work by WDFW and the tribes.

It also requests that state fishery managers drop limits on popular walleye, bass, catfish and other nonnative species that are known to chow on Chinook smolts.

It doesn’t go as far as reader Larry Moller wants — herring hatcheries — but it does call for more work to be done to assess all the forage fish species so important to Chinook.

A PAIR OF SOUTHERN RESIDENT KILLER WHALES SWIM IN INLAND WATERS EARLIER THIS MONTH. (KATY FOSTER/NOAA FISHERIES)

As far as vessel disturbance, instead of no-go zones it calls for lawmakers to create go-slow bubbles around J, K and L Pods.

Garner termed warding off area closures a win, but also acknowledged that others in the boating world will be hurt by another recommendation:

An all-fleet, three- to five-year moratorium on watching the three groups of orcas.

“WDFW said they could have a boat around them to ward off everyone while they are in our waters,” said Garner. “I think this hurt the whale watchers. They said the locals SRKWs are only here 20 percent of the time. There was never any intent to do damage to the whale watching industry.”

It’s important to note that the moratorium would NOT affect watching transient orcas, grays or humpbacks.

The plan’s recommendations also call for creating a new $10 orca endorsement for boaters, but it takes more of a strong nudge approach in terms of asking anglers and others to turn off their fish- and depthfinders when orcas are within about a half-mile’s distance.

And as for one of the most controversial elements, Snake River dams, it recommends a stakeholder process to talk about their removal with help from a third-party neutral.

Speaking of dams, NSIA’s Hamilton continues to call for more spill down the mainstem Columbia, saying that upping it over current levels to help smolts downriver is modeled to yield real results in returning adult spring Chinook.

“Columbia River springers are a critical food source to orcas during winter when there is little else to nourish pregnant and migrating orcas. Tags show they do circles off the mouth of the Columbia River during March,” she says.

A N.M.F.S STORY MAP SHOWS AN ORCA KNOWN AS K25 ALL BUT SWIMMING LAPS AROUND THE C.R. BUOY AS THE 2013 RUN OF SPRING CHINOOK ENTERED THE COLUMBIA RIVER. PRIOR TO THE ARRIVAL OF THE SALMON THAT YEAR, THE WHALE PATROLLED UP AND DOWN THE WEST COAST. (NMFS)

But she worries that the state is moving “too slow” on that key action and might even go “backward” next year.

“The first items were of immediate actions. If we are to have salmon and orca in our future, the long-term actions are critical,” says Hamilton. “We must enforce existing laws, we must protect and restore salmon habitats, and the science also says we should look at the effects of dams, especially the four lower Snake River dams.”

Even as the task force handled that issue with kid gloves, it urged the legislature to fund the dismantling of two other dams, one on the Pilchuck that has been attracting a lot of coverage of late, and another in the Nooksack watershed.

Besides Garner, Harris and Smith, the list of other task force members in the fishing world who consented to the final package include:

Amy Windrope of WDFW; BJ Kiefer of the Spokane Tribe; Brad Smith of the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission; commercial fisherman Brendan Flynn; Chad Bowechop of the Makah Tribe; Jacques White of Long Live the Kings; Lynne Barre of the National Marine Fisheries Service; Paul McCollum of the Port Gamble S’Klallam Tribe; Rep. Brian Blake of the state House of Representatives; and Terry Williams of the Tulalip Tribes.

Those who abstained included representatives from the Washington Farm Bureau, Washington Forest Protection Association and Association of Washington Businesses, and the Lummi, Squaxin Island and Skokomish Tribes.

The report also includes next steps, identifies which agency is tasked with dealing with what recommendations, minority reports from task force members about ideas they don’t support, and a rundown on public comments.

Now it is up to the governor and the legislature to put some teeth in the recommendations.

Fight Against Bucket Biologists Going High Tech

Potential good news from the fight against bucket biologists.

Montana fishery biologists using something called “forensic geochemistry” have figured out the source and timeframe that walleye were moved into Swan Lake, in the state’s northwestern corner.

OTOLITHS, A BONE IN THE EAR OF FISH, CONTAINS CHEMICAL SIGNATURES THAT PROVIDES CLUES ABOUT WHERE THE ANIMAL CAME FROM. (OREGON STATE UNIVERSITY, FLICKR)

And genetic material from northern pike in Northeast Washington is pointing to a different source than the widely assumed one.

Whether or not the new tools help lead to arrests is a good question, but they will at least serve as a warning shot across the bow of those who would illicitly move fish around.

IN THE CASE OF THE WALLEYE, managers have concluded that at least two fish were driven over the continental divide on a 200-mile journey that occurred in the spring of 2015, according to a report in the Columbia Basin Bulletin last month.

“Our findings now allow investigators to look at fishing license sales, webcams, and boat registrations around the Lake Helena area for the time period when the walleye were illegally introduced,” Samuel Bourett, an FWP researcher, told the emailed newsletter.

The species is native to the Mississippi River and lower Missouri River basins, but as was common earlier last century walleye were moved westward for fishing opportunities.

Nowadays, the tide has turned against moving nonnative fish — or at least nonsterile ones — into new locations, though decades of population growth provide a ready reservoir for those who want to continue the practice.

But fishery officials are fighting back with increasingly sophisticated means.

In early 2016, several months after two walleye were gillnetted at Swan, Bourett’s agency and conservation groups offered a $30,000 reward for information on the illicit stocking of the lake, which provides critical habitat for Endangered Species Act-listed bull and cutthroat trout.

They also began examining the otoliths of the fish, looking for chemical signatures that could pinpoint where they came from.

In 2017 they built a database with fish from 13 popular Montana walleye waters.

Out of that they determined the origin of the Swan Lake release.

“Core to edge geochemical profiles of [two types of strontium] and (strontium/calcium) ratios in the walleye otoliths revealed that these fish had been introduced to Swan Lake within the past growing season, and their geochemical signature matched that of walleye sampled from Lake Helena, Montana, located 309 road kilometres away,” write Bourett and Niall Clancy in a paper recently published in the Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences.

Illegally stocking fish in Montana is punishable with fines running from $2,000 to $10,000, the loss of all license privileges and cleanup costs.

WDFW BIOLOGIST DANNY GARRETT SCOWLS WHILE HOLDING THE 13.5-POUND GRAVID HEN WALLEYE HE NETTED OUT OF LAKE WASHINGTON IN 2015. (DANNY GARRETT, WDFW)

Well to the west, in 2012 the otoliths of walleye from Lakes Roosevelt and Moses and Potholes and Scooteny Reservoirs were compared with those from Lake Washington fish for a common chemical signature but no match was found, according to state fisheries biologist Danny Garrett, who himself netted half a dozen more in 2015.

“I think there is merit in doing more of this work,” he notes.

THEY’RE NOT THE ONLY ONES TRACING where invasive fish are coming from. Dr. Kellie Carim works for the U.S. Forest Service’s National Genomics Center for Wildlife and Fish Conservation out of Missoula, and she’s looking into pike.

Another Upper Midwest transplant, northerns are also popular with fishermen but present a nightmare threat for Northwest salmon and steelhead managers as the species has crept its way down the Pend Oreille River and into Lake Roosevelt and is now at the mouth of the Spokane River, according to a recent story. Anecdotal reports from anglers put them further down, in Lake Rufus Woods.

With funding from a USDA Tribal College Initiative Grant, Carim has come to a rather interesting conclusion about where many of those pike actually originated.

“The history we’ve told ourselves, the simplest explanation, is that the fish are flowing downstream from Western Montana,” she says.

That is, from Noxon Reservoir, down the Clark Fork River into Idaho and through Lake Pend Oreille before arriving in Washington.

“However, what the genetic analysis says is that those in Lake Roosevelt and the Pend Oreille River are closely related to those in the Couer d’Alene drainage,” Carim says.

Rather than taking an aquatic highway, they most likely took a paved one, in a livewell up US 95 to I-90 to either Idaho 41 or US 2 to Washington 20 and the river.

From there, their population built and the theory has been that in high water years they were entrained out of the Pend Oreille into the Columbia River in British Columbia and then Lake Roosevelt.

DAVEY McKERN HOLDS ONE OF THE FIRST NORTHERN PIKE CAUGHT IN LAKE ROOSEVELT. THE SPECIES HAS BEEN LARGELY CONCENTRATED OFF THE MOUTHS OF THE KETTLE AND COLVILLE RIVERS, BUT SOME HAVE BEEN FOUND DOWNSTREAM AT THE MOUTH OF THE SPOKANE RIVER, ACCORDING TO A NORTHWEST POWER AND CONSERVATION COUNCIL REPORT. (DAVEY MCKERN)

Carim, whose work aims to identify where the pike are coming from to stop the flow into Eastern Washington, adds that DNA from other Upper Columbia and Pend Oreille fish aren’t in the database, meaning there are more potential sources out there too.

“We definitely need to collect more samples. Some fish are aren’t ‘assigning’ very well,” she says.

Next week, she will be presenting before the Northwest Power and Conservation Council on pike.

Meanwhile, state and tribal managers have been teaming up to take a hammer to the species.

According to a recent NWPCC article by John Harrison, 18,000 have been scooped out of the Pend Oreille River by the Kalispel Tribe and another 1,800 have been removed from Lake Roosevelt by the Colville and Spokane Tribes and WDFW. Anglers have also turned in more than 1,000 heads for cash through a Colville Tribes program. And hundreds of thousands of dollars are being spent to protect the investment of hundreds of millions of dollars put into salmon recovery in the Columbia Basin.

While bucket biologists will likely continue their illegal pike and walleye stockings, the odds are now increasing that someone will get caught.

Washington Bass, Walleye In Crosshairs For Orca Recovery?

Smallmouth, largemouth, walleye and other popular but nonnative gamefish species might one day be reclassified as invasive in Washington, a proposal meant to help out the prey of struggling killer whales but one that would further alienate warmwater anglers who already feel like the state’s redheaded stepchildren.

A POTENTIAL RECOMMENDATION BY WASHINGTON’S ORCA TASK FORCE COULD PUT A CHILL ON WALLEYE, A NONNATIVE SPECIES THAT ALSO CONSUMES CHINOOK AND OTHER SALMONID SMOLTS WHILE PROVIDING EXCELLENT FISHING OPPORTUNITIES IN FALL, LATE WINTER AND SPRING ON THE COLUMBIA NEAR TRI-CITIES. (YO-ZURI PHOTO CONTEST)

A Seattle TV station got ahold of that and other draft recommendations that Governor Jay Inslee’s state orca task force has developed ahead of their Monday, Sept. 24 release for public comment.

According to KCPQ, “Prey Potential Recommendation 27” calls on Inslee to support adding bass, walleye, catfish, perch and more to a list that includes northern pike, several species of carp and northern snakeheads.

The idea is “to allow and encourage removal of these predatory fish in the waters containing salmon or other ESA-listed species,” according to documents that reporter Brett Cihon cites.

The papers state:

“Walleye in the Columbia River are reported to consume more than two juvenile salmon daily while bass are reported to consume more than one juvenile salmon per day. There are likely millions of these non-native predatory fish in Washington waters, including Lake Washington and other water bodies, containing salmon. Twenty-four million salmon smolts are consumed by these non-native species between McNary Dam and Priest Rapids dam.”

It wasn’t clear where the reported figures originated, but walleye do now occur throughout much of the Columbia and Snake Rivers, as well as many Columbia Basin reservoirs and lakes.

These waters are so rich with forage – and not just salmonid smolts but young shad, perch, catfish and squawfish, according to guides quoted in a Northwest Sportsman article during last winter’s trophy fishery period – that anglers come from the home of walleye, the Upper Midwest, to try and catch fish into the high teens if not set a new state or world records, or at least personal bests.

Bass are simply everywhere, in lakes and slower, warmer rivers across the state, and support a number of fishing tournaments.

A 2011 paper KCPQ cited captured the dichotomy between the species’ value to anglers and fisheries and its danger to native fish. Researchers said there were 75,000 smallmouth bass anglers in Washington in 2006, or 14 percent of the state’s fishermen, and they spent 1.1 million days afield to the tune of $32.6 million in economic activity.

Those figures were also mostly below 1996 levels in not only Washington but Oregon and Idaho. The paper suggested site-specific regulations for areas of known salmonid smolt concentrations.

Since it came out, Washington and Oregon have moved to liberalize walleye, bass and catfish regulations, dropping size and daily limits on the Columbia and its tributaries, after pressure from federal overseers to show the states are doing something to reduce predation on ESA-listed salmon and steelhead smolts.

But now the focus is on orcas and their prey. Fall Chinook from the Lower Columbia and its tribs, as well as the Hanford Reach and Snake River, along with spring and summer king stocks from the Cowlitz, Kalama and Idaho rivers were found to be among the most important to southern resident killer whales, according to a new analysis out earlier this summer.

Anglers are being paid to remove northern pikeminnows, a native but numerous species that have benefited from the damming of the Columbia and Snake Rivers, and they’re also getting cash to cut off the heads of northern pike in Lake Roosevelt.

KCPQ also reported that among other potential recommendations, the task force suggests removing three smaller dams on the Middle Fork Nooksack, Pilchuck and Naches Rivers; support efforts in Congress to make it easier to remove sea lions from more Lower Columbia Basin waters; establish a “no white-water wake” within half a mile of orcas; and develop a new limited-entry whale-watch boat permit program.

Some observers of the process are reported to feel that the measures aren’t strong enough or that their effects are too short-term.

‘Disheartening’ — Walleye Caught At Lake Cascade, IDFG Reports

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

An angler fishing for smallmouth bass and perch on Lake Cascade near Crown Point earlier this week instead reeled in an adult walleye, measuring more than 19 inches in length. Fish and Game regional fisheries manager Dale Allen positively identified the fish on Wednesday, August 22.

LAKE CASCADE FISHERY MANAGERS SAYS ITS “DISHEARTENING” THAT WALLEYE HAVE BEEN PLACED IN POPULAR LAKE CASCADE. tHEY SAY THEY WILL PULL RESOURCES FROM ELSEWHERE TO GET ON TOP OF THE UNWANTED SPECIES. (VIA IDFG)

The fish was illegally stocked in the reservoir and is the first-ever confirmed report of a walleye in Lake Cascade. Because of the illegal stocking and the threat walleye pose to Cascade’s and other downstream fisheries, Citizens Against Poaching (CAP) is offering a cash reward for information regarding this criminal case. Call the CAP hotline anytime at 1-800-632-5999.

Idaho has just a few walleye fisheries, all established by Fish and Game, and all in isolated reservoirs. Salmon Falls Creek Reservoir in south central Idaho is one example; no outlets from the reservoir exist that might allow walleye to escape to other waters. It is because of their potential threat to existing fisheries that walleye have not been more widely stocked in other Idaho waters.

The Department receives angler requests to establish new walleye populations every year. For the reasons noted, these requests are courteously denied. Unfortunately, some self-serving anglers are not willing to take no for an answer, instead taking matters into their own hands. “This illegal introduction was carefully thought out,” Allen noted. “The closest walleye fishery is more than 200 miles from Cascade. To survive the extended transport time, this fish – and possibly others – would have required clean, cold, aerated water for a number of hours.”

The Department may not know the extent or severity of this illegal stocking for several years. Because of the high stakes, resources will be diverted from other projects to expand fish sampling in Lake Cascade later this year to see if more adult walleye are present and to determine whether reproduction has occurred.

“This incident is particularly disheartening for Cascade,” Allen said. “Fish and Game spent years rebuilding a world-class perch fishery, and the reservoir is also full of big trout and trophy smallmouth bass. Adding another top predator like walleye will almost certainly impact these other sport fish.”

The negative ramifications of this illegal stocking extend well beyond the shores of Lake Cascade. With thousands of acre feet of irrigation water released from the reservoir on an annual basis, it’s no stretch that walleye could move through the Payette River system into Brownlee Reservoir and the Hells Canyon section of the Snake River.

Lower Columbia, Gorge Pools, SW WA Fishing Report (6-18-18)

THE FOLLOWING FISHING REPORTS ORIGINATED WITH ODFW AND WDFW AND WERE TRANSMITTED BY TANNA TAKATA, ODFW, AND JOE HYMER, PSMFC

Columbia River Angling Report

Salmon, Steelhead and Shad

On Saturday’s (6/16) flight, 113 salmonid boats and 52 Oregon bank anglers were counted from the Astoria-Megler Bridge to Bonneville Dam.  Boat anglers fishing in the Goble to Beaver area, averaged 2.40 steelhead and 0.60 sockeye caught per boat.  Bank anglers fishing the Portland to Westport area, averaged 0.04 Chinook and 0.13 steelhead caught per angler.

STURGEON RETENTION ON THE LOWER COLUMBIA ENDED EARLIER THIS MONTH, BUT NOT BEFORE ELISE PASSMORE CAUGHT THIS ONE ON THE SECOND TO LAST DAY OF THE SEASON BELOW CATHLAMET. CATCH-AND-RELEASE REMAINS OPEN. (YO-ZURI PHOTO CONTEST)

Gorge Bank: Weekend checking showed no catch for six salmonid bank anglers; and 1,844 shad kept, plus 92 shad released for 176 shad anglers.

Gorge Boats: Weekend checking showed 220 shad kept, plus 50 shad released for five boats (18 anglers).

Troutdale Boats: Weekend checking showed no catch for three salmonid boats (four anglers); and two shad kept for one boat (three anglers).

Portland to Westport Bank: Weekend checking showed four steelhead kept, plus two adult Chinook and two steelhead released for 46 bank anglers.

Portland to St. Helens Boats: Weekend checking showed no catch for three salmonid boats (nine anglers); and one shad kept for one boat (two anglers).

Goble to Beaver (Clatskanie) Boats: Weekend checking showed eight steelhead kept, plus four steelhead and three sockeye released for five boats (20 anglers).

Wauna Powerlines to Clatsop Spit Bank: No report.

Westport to Buoy 10 Boats: Weekend checking showed no catch for five boats (16 anglers).

Bonneville Pool (Bonneville Dam upstream to The Dalles Dam): Weekly checking showed no catch for 10 salmonid bank anglers; and no catch for two salmonid boats (five anglers).  Shad anglers caught 98 shad for 53 bank anglers, and 12 shad for one boat (three anglers).

The Dalles Pool (The Dalles Dam upstream to John Day Dam): Weekly checking showed no catch for two salmonid bank anglers; and no catch for 10 salmonid boats (16 anglers).  Shad anglers caught 28 shad for six bank anglers, and 54 shad for two boats (10 anglers).

John Day Pool (John Day Dam upstream to McNary Dam): Weekly checking showed no catch for two salmonid bank anglers; and three adult Chinook kept, plus one coho released for 12 salmonid boats (25 anglers).  Shad anglers caught 2,065 shad for 61 boats (200 anglers).

STURGEON

Gorge Boats:  Closed for retention. No report.

Troutdale Boats:  Closed for retention. Weekend checking showed one sublegal sturgeon released for one boat (three anglers).

Portland to Wauna Powerlines Boats:  Closed for retention. No report.

Wauna Powerlines to Clatsop Spit Bank:  Closed for retention. No report.

Buoy 10 to Wauna Powerlines Boats:  Closed for retention. Weekend checking showed 15 sublegal and 15 oversize sturgeon released for one boat (four anglers).

Bonneville Pool (Bonneville Dam upstream to The Dalles Dam): Closed for retention.  Weekend checking showed six legal white sturgeon kept, plus 20 sublegal and six oversize sturgeon released for 42 bank anglers; and 99 legal white sturgeon kept, plus 796 sublegal, nine legal and 22 oversize sturgeon released for 94 boats (253 anglers).

The Dalles Pool (The Dalles Dam upstream to John Day Dam): Closed for retention.  Weekend checking showed three legal white sturgeon kept, plus 12 sublegal sturgeon released for 14 bank anglers; and 24 legal white sturgeon kept, plus 228 sublegal, five legal and 14 oversize sturgeon released for 21 boats (67 anglers).

John Day Pool (John Day Dam upstream to McNary Dam): Closed for retention.  Weekend checking showed four sublegal, eight legal and nine oversize sturgeon released for six boats (21 anglers).

WALLEYE

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

The Dalles Pool: Weekly checking showed 43 walleye kept, plus three walleye released for 11 boats (25 anglers).

John Day Pool: Weekly checking showed 109 walleye kept, plus 19 walleye released for 30 boats (91 anglers).

Washington Columbia River mainstem and its tributaries sport sampling summaries for June 11-17

Salmon/Steelhead

Cowlitz River – I-5 Br. downstream:  6 bank anglers had no catch.  Above the I-5 Br:  17 bank anglers released 2 cutts.  25 boat anglers kept 2 adult spring Chinook and 11 steelhead.

Last week, Tacoma Power employees recovered 83 spring Chinook adults, 40 summer-run steelhead,  and one winter-run steelhead during five days of operations at the Cowlitz Salmon Hatchery separator.

Tacoma Power also released ten spring Chinook adults into Lake Scanewa near Randle.

River flows at Mayfield Dam are approximately 5,100 cubic feet per second (cfs) on Monday, June 18. Water visibility is 15 feet and the water temperature is 49.9 degrees F.

Kalama River – 6 bank anglers had no catch. 6 boat anglers kept 3 steelhead.

Lewis River (North Fork) – 15 bank anglers had no catch.

Lower Columbia mainstem from the Megler-Astoria Bridge upstream to Bonneville Dam – Up to 2 hatchery steelhead may be retained.  Release all sockeye.  Fishing at night is permitted in Washington waters.  Release all adult Chinook through June 21 and July 5-31.

Sturgeon

Bonneville and The Dalles pools – During the one-day retention fishery last Friday, boat anglers averaged just over a legal kept per boat from each pool..   Bank anglers averaged a legal kept per every 7 rods in Bonneville Pool and one for every 4 rods in The Dalles Pool.

Trout

Tacoma Power released 5,200 rainbow trout into Mayfield Lake.  No report on angling success.

Shad

Bank anglers just below Bonneville Dam averaged 4 shad per rod based on mainly incomplete trips while boat anglers averaged just over 8 fish per rod based on completed trips this past weekend.

Nearly 2.6 million shad had been counted at Bonneville Dam through June 17.  .

Lower Columbia, Gorge Pools Fishing Report (6-12-18)

THE FOLLOWING FISHING REPORT ORIGINATED WITH ODFW AND WAS TRANSMITTED BY TANNA TAKATA, ODFW, AND JOE HYMER, PSMFC

Current & Upcoming Fishing Opportunities:

*         Spring Chinook angling is open through Friday June 15 to both boat and bank anglers from Tongue Point upstream to Bonneville Dam; and from Tower Island Power Lines upstream to the Oregon/Washington border above McNary Dam, plus the banks only between Bonneville Dam and Tower Island Power Lines.  The bag limit is two adult salmonids.

*         Angling for shad is open from Buoy 10 upstream to Bonneville Dam.

CONNOR THUN SHOWS OFF A LOWER COLUMBIA STURGEON HE CAUGHT ON — GET THIS — PEANUT BUTTER AND SAND SHRIMP. (VIA BUZZ RAMSEY)

*         White sturgeon retention is closed from Buoy 10 upstream to McNary Dam but remains an option for catch and released fishing.  Anglers are reminded that spawning sanctuaries are in effect (see special regulations for details).

*         On Friday June 15, Bonneville and The Dalles pools will be open to the retention of white sturgeon (see special regulations for details).

*         The McNary Pool is open to the retention of legal white sturgeon through July 31.  Anglers are reminded that spawning sanctuaries are in effect (see special regulations details).

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

Columbia River regulation updates for salmon, steelhead, shad and sturgeon can be found above.

Salmon, Steelhead and Shad

Salmonid angling effort was low this past weekend, most likely due to the poor weather conditions.   Boat anglers fishing in the gorge averaged 0.33 Chinook caught per boat, while anglers fishing the Westport to Buoy 10 area averaged 0.09 steelhead caught per boat.  Bank anglers fishing in the Portland to Westport area averaged 0.06 Chinook and 0.10 steelhead caught per angler.

Gorge Bank: Weekly checking showed five adult Chinook kept for 22 bank anglers; and weekend checking of shad anglers showed 2,564 shad kept, plus 51 shad released for 191 shad anglers.

Gorge Boats (below Beacon Rock): Weekend checking showed one adult Chinook kept for three salmonid boats (11 anglers); and 685 shad kept for 11 shad boats (33 anglers).

Troutdale Boats: Weekend checking showed no catch for one salmonid boat (three anglers); and no catch for one shad boat (two anglers).

Portland to Westport Bank: Weekend checking showed three adult Chinook and five steelhead kept for 52 bank anglers.

Portland to St. Helens Boats: Weekend checking showed no catch for four salmonid boats (nine anglers).

Goble to Beaver (Clatskanie) Boats: No report.

Wauna Powerlines to Clatsop Spit Bank: No report.

Westport to Buoy 10 Boats: Weekend checking showed one steelhead released for four boats (11 anglers).

Bonneville Pool (Bonneville Dam upstream to The Dalles Dam): Weekly checking showed no catch for five bank anglers.

The Dalles Pool (The Dalles Dam upstream to John Day Dam): Weekly checking showed one adult Chinook kept for 11 bank anglers.

John Day Pool (John Day Dam upstream to McNary Dam): Weekly checking showed one adult Chinook released for six bank anglers; and four adult Chinook kept for eight boats (21 anglers).

STURGEON

Gorge Boats:  Closed for retention. No report.

Troutdale Boats:  Closed for retention. No report.

Portland to Wauna Powerlines:  Closed for retention. Weekend checking showed eight sublegal sturgeon released for one boat (four anglers).

Wauna Powerlines to Clatsop Spit Bank:  Closed for retention. Weekend checking showed one legal white sturgeon kept for 17 bank anglers.

Buoy 10 to Wauna Powerlines Boats:  Closed for retention. Weekend checking showed 139 legal white sturgeon kept, plus 244 sublegal, 253 oversize and two green sturgeon released for 121 boats (401 anglers).

Bonneville Pool (Bonneville Dam upstream to The Dalles Dam): Closed for retention.  No report.

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

John Day Pool (John Day Dam upstream to McNary Dam): Closed for retention.  No report.

WALLEYE

Bonneville Pool: No report.

The Dalles Pool: Weekly checking showed 53 walleye kept for 11 boats (23 anglers).

John Day Pool: Weekly checking showed no catch for one bank angler; and 152 walleye kept, plus seven walleye released for 16 boats (43 anglers).

Lower Columbia, Gorge Pools Fishing Report (6-5-18)

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

Estuary [white sturgeon] update

On June 2 and 4, estuary sturgeon anglers made 2,964 trips and kept 660 white sturgeon.

DAVE ANDERSON CAUGHT THIS STURGEON IN THE COLUMBIA ESTUARY OVER THE RECENT HOLIDAY WEEKEND. (YO-ZURI PHOTO CONTEST)

SALMON, STEELHEAD AND SHAD

Salmonid angling was fair this past weekend in the lower Columbia River.  On Saturday’s (6/2) flight, 199 salmonid boats and 237 Oregon bank anglers were counted from Tongue Point to Bonneville Dam.  Boat anglers fishing in the Portland to St. Helens area, averaged 0.09 Chinook caught per boat, while anglers fishing from Goble to Beaver averaged 0.11 Chinook caught per boat.  Boat anglers fishing in the estuary averaged 0.15 Chinook and 0.22 steelhead caught per boat. Bank anglers fishing in both the gorge averaged 0.07 Chinook caught per bank angler, while anglers fishing the Portland to Westport area averaged 0.07 Chinook and 0.02 steelhead caught per angler.

Gorge Bank:

Weekend checking showed one adult Chinook kept for 15 salmonid anglers; and 693 shad kept for 93 shad anglers.

Gorge Boats (below Beacon Rock):

Weekend checking showed no catch for one boat (five anglers).

Troutdale Boats:

Weekend checking showed no catch for 11 salmonid boats (29 anglers); and one shad kept, plus 75 shad released for two boats (four anglers).

Portland to Westport Bank:

Weekend checking showed nine adult Chinook, one jack Chinook and four steelhead kept, plus five adult Chinook released for 208 salmonid anglers; and no catch for one shad angler.

Portland to St. Helens Boats:

Weekend checking showed one adult Chinook kept for 11 salmonid boats (22 anglers); and 14 shad kept for five shad boats (17 anglers).

Goble to Beaver (Clatskanie) Boats:

Weekend checking showed one adult Chinook kept for nine salmonid boats (22 anglers); and 72 shad kept for two shad boats (eight anglers).

Wauna Powerlines to Clatsop Spit Bank:

No report.

Westport to Buoy 10 Boats:

Weekend checking showed two adult Chinook, one jack Chinook and eight steelhead kept for 13 boats (36 anglers).

Bonneville Pool (Bonneville Dam upstream to The Dalles Dam):

No report.

The Dalles Pool (The Dalles Dam upstream to John Day Dam):

Weekly checking showed four adult Chinook kept for 19 bank anglers.

John Day Pool (John Day Dam upstream to McNary Dam):

Weekly checking showed 11 adult Chinook and two jack Chinook kept, plus six adult Chinook released for 56 boats (151 anglers).

STURGEON

Gorge Boats:  Closed for retention.     

No report.

Troutdale Boats:  Closed for retention.

Weekend checking showed five sublegal and two oversize sturgeon released for two boats (five anglers).

Portland to Wauna Powerlines:  Closed for retention.

Weekend checking showed nine sublegal, six legal and 13 oversize sturgeon released for seven boats (24 anglers).

Wauna Powerlines to Clatsop Spit Bank:  Closed for retention.

Weekend checking showed one sublegal and three oversize sturgeon released for 19 bank anglers.

Buoy 10 to Wauna Powerlines Boats:  Closed for retention.

Weekend checking showed 195 legal white sturgeon kept, plus 321 sublegal, 294 oversize and two green sturgeon released for 196 boats (675 anglers).

Bonneville Pool (Bonneville Dam upstream to The Dalles Dam):

Closed for retention.  No report.

The Dalles Pool (The Dalles Dam upstream to John Day Dam):

Closed for retention.  Weekly checking showed two sublegal sturgeon released for three bank anglers.

John Day Pool (John Day Dam upstream to McNary Dam):

Closed for retention.  No report.

 

WALLEYE

Bonneville Pool:

No report.

The Dalles Pool:

Weekly checking showed 87 walleye kept for 18 boats (36 anglers).

John Day Pool:

Weekly checking showed 146 walleye kept, plus 35 walleye released for 40 boats (97 anglers).

Lower Columbia, Gorge Pools Fishing Report (5-29-18)

THE FOLLOWING FISHING REPORT ORIGINATED WITH ODFW AND WAS TRANSMITTED BY TANNA TAKATA, ODFW,  AND JOE HYMER, PSMFC

RECREATION REPORT

Current & Upcoming Fishing Opportunities:

*         Spring Chinook angling is open through Wednesday June 6 to both boat and bank anglers from Tongue Point upstream to Beacon Rock.  Beacon Rock to Bonneville Dam is open to bank angling only.
*         Spring Chinook angling is open through Friday June 15 from Tower Island Power Lines upstream to the Oregon/Washington border above McNary Dam, plus the banks between Bonneville Dam and Tower Island Power Lines.
*         Angling for shad is open from Buoy 10 upstream to Bonneville Dam.
*         White sturgeon retention is open from Buoy 10 upstream to Wauna powerlines on Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays during May 14 through June 4 (see special regulations for details).

AUSTIN VAN HOUTE SHOWS OFF A KEEPER STURGEON HE CAUGHT IN THE COLUMBIA ESTUARY LAST WEEKEND, ONE OF TWO FOR HE AND HIS WIFE. THEY WERE FISHING WITH NORTHWEST SPORTSMAN CONTRIBUTOR ANDY SCHNEIDER, WHO REPORTED, “THE FISH WERE CAUGHT IN DEEPER WATER ON THE INCOMING. WE SAW SOME GOOD SCHOOLS OF ANCHOVIES WASHING THROUGH WITH THE TIDE, SO HOPEFULLY MORE FISH WILL BE MOVING IN FOLLOWING THE BAIT. THE ONES WE HOOKED WERE AGGRESSIVE BITERS, GIVING US A GOOD CONVERSION OF BITES TO HOOKED FISH.” (ANDY SCHNEIDER)

*         White sturgeon retention is closed from Wauna powerlines upstream to McNary Dam but remains an option for catch and released fishing.  Anglers are reminded that spawning sanctuaries are in effect (see special regulations for details).
*         The McNary Pool is open to the retention of legal white sturgeon through July 31.  Anglers are reminded that spawning sanctuaries are in effect (see special regulations details).
*         Walleye angling is good in The Dalles and John Day pools.

Columbia River regulation updates for salmon, steelhead, shad and sturgeon can be found above.

Salmon, Steelhead and Shad

Salmonid angler success was fair during the reopening weekend for spring Chinook retention.  On Saturday’s (5/26) flight, 282 salmonid boats and 245 Oregon bank anglers were counted from Tongue Point to Bonneville Dam.  Boat anglers fishing in the Portland to St. Helens area, averaged 0.15 spring Chinook caught per boat, while anglers fishing in the Goble to Beaver area averaged 0.29 spring Chinook caught per boat. Boat anglers fishing in the estuary averaged 0.09 spring Chinook caught per boat.  Bank anglers fishing in the Portland to Westport area averaged 0.05 spring Chinook and 0.03 steelhead caught per bank angler, while anglers fishing in the estuary averaged 0.09 spring Chinook caught per bank angler.

Gorge Bank: Weekend checking showed one jack Chinook released for seven salmonid anglers; and 185 shad kept for 52 shad anglers.

Gorge Boats (below Beacon Rock): No report.

Troutdale Boats: Weekend checking showed no catch for nine salmonid boats (17 anglers); and 20 shad kept for one shad boat (two anglers).

Portland to Westport Bank: Weekend checking showed eight adult Chinook and four steelhead kept, plus one steelhead released for 152 salmonid bank anglers.

Portland to St. Helens Boats: Weekend checking showed one adult Chinook kept, plus two adult Chinook released for 20 salmonid boats (38 anglers); and 25 shad kept, plus 21 shad released for five shad boats (16 anglers).

Goble to Beaver (Clatskanie) Boats: Weekend checking showed two adult Chinook kept for seven salmonid boats (23 anglers); and 12 shad kept, plus 40 shad released for three shad boats (six anglers).

Wauna Powerlines to Clatsop Spit Bank: Weekend checking showed one adult Chinook kept for 11 bank anglers.

Westport to Buoy 10 Boats: Weekend checking showed one adult Chinook kept for 11 boats (28 anglers).

Bonneville Pool (Bonneville Dam upstream to The Dalles Dam): Weekly checking showed five adult Chinook and one jack Chinook kept for 14 bank anglers.

The Dalles Pool (The Dalles Dam upstream to John Day Dam): Weekly checking showed one adult Chinook and one jack Chinook kept for three bank anglers; and no catch for one boat (three anglers).

John Day Pool (John Day Dam upstream to McNary Dam): Weekly checking showed no catch for three bank anglers; and seven adult Chinook kept for 37 boats (86 anglers).

STURGEON

Lower Columbia River (Wauna Powerlines upstream to Bonneville Dam):  Closed for retention. Weekend checking showed one sublegal, two legal and three oversize sturgeon released for one boat (two anglers).

Wauna Powerlines to Clatsop Spit Bank: Weekend checking showed two legal white sturgeon kept, plus two oversize sturgeon released for 18 bank anglers.

Buoy 10 to Wauna Powerlines Boats: Weekend checking showed 43 legal white sturgeon kept, plus four legal, 100 sublegal, 70 oversize and one green sturgeon released for 94 boats (321 anglers).

ANOTHER HAPPY ANGLER HOLDS A STURGEON CAUGHT ON LAST SATURDAY’S OPENER. (ANDY SCHNEIDER)

Bonneville Pool (Bonneville Dam upstream to The Dalles Dam): Closed for retention.  No report.

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

John Day Pool (John Day Dam upstream to McNary Dam): Closed for retention.  No report.

WALLEYE

Bonneville Pool: No report.

The Dalles Pool: Weekly checking showed one walleye kept for one bank angler; and 39 walleye kept for four boats (11 anglers).

John Day Pool: Weekly checking showed 95 walleye kept, plus seven walleye released for 18 boats (41 anglers).

Columbia, SW WA Fishing Report (4-23-18)

THE FOLLOWING ORIGINATED WITH ODFW AND WDFW AND WERE TRANSMITTED BY JOE HYMER, PSMFC

Columbia River Angling Report

Salmon, Steelhead and Shad

Gorge Bank: CLOSED.  No report.

BRENDA SKINNER SHOWS OFF A SPRING CHINOOK CAUGHT DURING THE APRIL 14 REOPENER. (ANDY WALGAMOTT)

Gorge Boats (below Beacon Rock): CLOSED.  No report.

Troutdale Boats: CLOSED.  No report.

Portland to Westport Bank: CLOSED.  No report.

Portland to St. Helens Boats: CLOSED.  No report.

Goble to Beaver (Clatskanie) Boats: CLOSED.  No report.

Wauna Powerlines to Clatsop Spit Bank: CLOSED. No report.

Westport to Buoy 10 Boats: CLOSED.  No report.

Bonneville Pool (Bonneville Dam upstream to The Dalles Dam): Weekly checking showed no catch for eight bank anglers.

The Dalles Pool (The Dalles Dam upstream to John Day Dam): Weekly checking showed one adult spring Chinook kept for 13 bank anglers.

John Day Pool (John Day Dam upstream to McNary Dam): Weekly checking showed no catch for one boat (two anglers).

STURGEON

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

Bonneville Pool (Bonneville Dam upstream to The Dalles Dam): Closed for retention.  Weekly checking showed four sublegal and two oversize sturgeon released for one boat (four anglers).

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

John Day Pool (John Day Dam upstream to McNary Dam): Closed for retention.  Weekly checking showed no catch for one boat (two anglers).

WALLEYE

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

The Dalles Pool: Weekly checking showed one walleye kept for one bank angler; and 20 walleye kept for four boats (10 anglers).

John Day Pool: Weekly checking showed 111 walleye kept, plus 34 walleye released for 57 boats (128 anglers).

Washington Columbia River mainstem and its tributaries sport sampling summaries for April 16-22 + a BONUS FACTOID

BONUS FACTOID – The 551 adult spring Chinook counted at Bonneville Dam through April 22nd are the 2nd lowest on record.  The record low are the 427 adults counted through April 22, 2006.  However, over 126,000 spring Chinook were tallied crossing the dam by the end of that season (June 15, 2006).

Salmon/Steelhead

Cowlitz River – From the I-5 Bridge downstream:  143 bank rods kept 1 adult spring Chinook and 6 steelhead and released 1 steelhead.  18 boat rods kept 2 adult spring Chinook.  Above the I-5 Bridge:  195 bank rods kept 7 adult spring Chinook and 22 steelhead and released 2 steelhead.  91 boat rods kept 3 adult and 1 jack spring Chinook and 20 steelhead and released 1 steelhead.

Last week, Tacoma Power employees recovered 629 winter-run steelhead and 90 spring Chinook adults and two jacks during five days of operations at the Cowlitz Salmon Hatchery separator.

During the past week, Tacoma Power employees released eight winter-run steelhead into the Tilton River at Gust Backstrom Park in Morton and they released 66 winter-run steelhead and 23 spring Chinook adults into the Cispus River, near Yellow Jacket Creek.

Tacoma Power also released 14 winter-run steelhead and 20 spring Chinook adults into Lake Scanewa near Randle.

River flows at Mayfield Dam are approximately 6,280 cubic feet per second (cfs) on Monday, April 23. Water visibility is five feet and the water temperature is 42.8 degrees F.

Bank anglers should note the south side of the river from Mill Creek to the Barrier Dam is closed to all fishing from May 1 through June 15 per permanent regulations.

Kalama River – 29 bank anglers kept 1 adult spring Chinook and released 5 steelhead.  10 boat anglers kept 1 adult spring Chinook and released 3 steelhead.

Lewis River mainstem – 39 bank rods kept 1 adult spring Chinook. 16 boat rods kept 1 adult spring Chinook and released 1 adult spring Chinook.

North Fork Lewis River – 56 bank rods kept 1 adult spring Chinook  43 boat rods kept 7 adult spring Chinook and released 1 steelhead

Under current permanent rules, the Lewis (including North Fork) closes for spring Chinook effective May 1.  Also, the area from Johnson Creek upstream to the dam is closed to all fishing during the month of May.

Wind River – 12 boat anglers had no catch.

Effective May 1 through June 30, from the mouth to the Hwy. 14 Bridge each angler aboard a vessel may deploy SALMON/STEELHEAD angling gear until the daily SALMON/STEELHEAD limit for all anglers aboard has been achieved. In addition, anglers with a Two-Pole Endorsement may fish for salmon and steelhead with two poles during the same period.

Beginning May 1, anti-snagging rule will be in effect from the Hwy. 14 Bridge upstream. When the anti-snagging rule is in effect, only fish hooked inside the mouth may be retained.

Wind River from 100 feet above Shipherd Falls upstream to boundary markers approximately 800 yards downstream from Carson National Fish Hatchery (except closed 400 feet below to 100 feet above the Coffer Dam) -From May 1 through June 30, the salmon and steelhead daily limit will be a total of 2 chinook or hatchery steelhead or one of each. Unmarked chinook may be retained in this section of the Wind. Night closure and anti-snagging rule will be in effect. Only fish hooked inside the mouth may be retained.

Drano Lake -2 bank anglers had no catch. 57 boat anglers kept 8 adult spring Chinook

Effective May 1 through June 30, each angler aboard a vessel may deploy SALMON/STEELHEAD angling gear until the daily SALMON/STEELHEAD limit for all anglers aboard has been achieved. In addition, anglers with a Two-Pole Endorsement may fish for salmon and steelhead with two poles during the same period.

Klickitat River – 5 bank anglers had no catch.

Sturgeon

Lower Columbia mainstem below Bonneville Dam – All fishing for sturgeon will be closed from May 1 through Aug. 31 in the sturgeon sanctuary from Bonneville Dam downstream 9 miles to a line crossing the Columbia River from navigation Marker 82 on the Oregon shore westerly to the boundary marker on the Washington shore upstream of Fir Point.

Bonneville Pool – Angling for sturgeon will be prohibited from May 1 through July 31 between The Dalles Dam downstream 1.8 miles to a line from the east (upstream) dock at the Port of The Dalles boat ramp straight across to a marker on the Washington shore.

The Dalles Pool -Under permanent rules to protect spawning fish, closed to fishing for sturgeon from John Day Dam downstream 2.4 miles to the west end of the grain silo at Rufus Oregon May 1 through July 31.

John Day Pool – Under permanent rules to protect spawning fish, closed to fishing for sturgeon from McNary Dam downstream 1.5 miles to Hwy. 82 (Hwy. 395) Bridge May 1 through July 31.

Trout

Recent plants of catchable size rainbows into SW WA waters.  No report on angling success.

Lake/Pond
Date
Species
Number
Fish perPound
Hatchery
Notes

KRESS LK (COWL)<https://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/plants/weekly/search.php?searchby=LakeStocked&search=KRESS+LK+%28COWL%29&orderby=LakeStocked%20ASC,%20StockDate%20DESC>
Cowlitz County – Region 5
Apr 16, 2018
Rainbow
3,361
2.31
GOLDENDALE HATCHERY

BATTLE GROUND LK (CLAR)<https://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/plants/weekly/search.php?searchby=LakeStocked&search=BATTLE+GROUND+LK+%28CLAR%29&orderby=LakeStocked%20ASC,%20StockDate%20DESC>
Clark County – Region 5
Apr 17, 2018
Rainbow
3,000
1.45
VANCOUVER HATCHERY
Tacoma Power released 3,600 rainbow trout into South Lewis County Park Pond.

 

 

Mid-Columbia Producing Tasty Walleye

Anglers are enjoying big catches of walleye on the Columbia this season, with 46 teams at a recent derby landing literally nearly a ton’s worth — top bag was 79 pounds — and fishermen from far and wide flocking to the big river for its tasty bounty.

“No wonder walleye are now our top fishery here,” noted Tri-Cities’ Wayne Heinz, who penned two stellar pieces on the species for the February and March issues of Northwest Sportsman magazine.

One of Wayne’s handful of sources in both articles was on that winning tourney team, guide Kimo Gabriel.

Another, guide TJ Hester, was who the South Sound’s Dave Anderson went out with recently. Dave shared his story with us:

By Dave Anderson

A few weeks ago my father in law and I were talking about doing a fishing trip to get out and unwind as our lives have been very busy. We originally wanted to do the normal steelhead trip on the coast but our friends were booked up.

THE CREW PREPARE TO BLAST OFF WITH GUIDE TJ HESTER (CENTER) FOR A DAY OF COLUMBIA RIVER WALLEYE FISHING. (DAVE ANDERSON)

As I was browsing on Facebook, I saw a picture and article about great walleye fishing on the Columbia. I grew up walleye fishing and have missed it since moving out here, so I was excited when we decided on planning this trip.

FISH BOX BEGINNING TO FILL UP. (DAVE ANDERSON)

I called up TJ Hester and got a date set up to get a day of fishing in with him. TJ and his dad are well known for being some of the best walleye guides on the Columbia. They offer trips targeting both trophy walleyes and the eaters (which is what we wanted to do).

NOT THE TARGET SPECIES, BUT RELATED AND DEFINITELY TASTY TOO! (DAVE ANDERSON)

We met up with TJ in the morning and after about a 45-minute run downriver we were on the grounds to do some fishing. We used bottom bouncers with about a 24-inch leader to a Smile Blade and half of a nightcrawler.

DAVE’S FATHER IN LAW SHOWS OFF ONE. (DAVE ANDERSON)

In our first pass we caught four walleye and I knew it was going to be a great day with flat water and some great company. Throughout the day we had multiple doubles, a triple and a quad hook up.

MULTI-FISH HOOK-UPS WERE COMMON DURING THE TRIP. (DAVE ANDERSON)

Around 2:00 pm, we decided we had plenty of walleye and headed back upriver on glass-like conditions to get dropped off. All we had to do was make a quick stop on the way home to clean our catch.

THE COLUMBIA WAS ON FIRE THAT DAY FOR WALLEYE … (DAVE ANDERSON)

It was a great trip and I’m super excited to add this to my list of awesome fishing opportunities we have in Washington state. This was definitely the first of many trips for me to target walleye. I can’t wait to take my son in the future.

… AND YIELDED SOME PRETTY TASTY EASTER APPETIZERS. (DAVE ANDERSON)

I even decided to try a quick and easy recipe for a Easter Sunday appetizer, which turned out amazing! I cracked a couple eggs and used the egg whites to dip the clean and dried fillets in. Next, I rolled the fillets in a mixture of gluten-free bread crumbs and Johnny’s Seafood lemon dill seasoning. I fried the fillets in a pan of hot avocado oil. It was delicious and guaranteed some of the finest table fare you’ll ever have!