Tag Archives: winter steelhead

2018-19 Winter Steelhead Season Smolt Release Figures Out

The latest smolt release data for Western Washington rivers shows three you might want to put on your radar this coming winter season.

IT’S NEVER TOO EARLY TO START THINKING ABOUT WINTER STEELHEAD SEASON, AND THE LATEST SMOLT RELEASE DATA FROM WDFW BEGINS TO PAINT A PICTURE ABOUT WHAT TO EXPECT IN THE COMING MONTHS. ONE THING YOU CAN COUNT ON IS THAT HUNTER SHELTON WILL BEAT A PATH TO THE OLYMPIC PENINSULA FOR A SHOT AT CHROME-BRIGHT BEAUTS LIKE THIS PAIR FROM LAST NOVEMBER. (YO-ZURI PHOTO CONTEST)

They doubled on the Elochoman and Naselle in 2017 for return this season, and were up sharply on the Quinault system as well, according to state figures.

Now, whether the fishing’s twice as good as last year on them is anyone’s guess, as ocean conditions play a strong role in returns, but they will be ones to watch for reports in the coming months.

On the Lower Columbia trib, releases jumped from 66,000 in 2016 – a year-class that produced a “phenomenal” return that allowed managers to recycle and even surplus fish – to 139,000 last year.

According to a WDFW hatchery tech’s report, last season’s fish were the first smolts at the Elochoman’s Beaver Creek facility protected from predation by netting and fencing since 2009.

A bit further west on Highway 4, the Naselle jumped from 37,000 to 73,000, bringing it back up to where it’s been in recent years, outside of 2015 when Puget Sound smolts were let loose here due to a court settlement.

And releases into Lake Quinault and Cook Creek climbed by 73,000 over 2016 and previous years, to 488,000. You’ll need a tribal guide to fish the system.

The one major blip is that Cowlitz stocking dropped by 161,000, but the number of late-returning smolts that went out is still nothing to shake your fish stick at – 437,000 from Blue Creek, 13 percent of all the winter-runs released in the state.

Elsewhere on the Westside, the number of young steelhead turned loose in most waters didn’t vary all that much from the prior year.

But for the record, they were up slightly on the Nooksack (+13,000), Salmon (+10,000), Wynoochee (+7,000) and Willapa (+7,000) and down somewhat on the North Fork Stillaguamish (-20,000), Bogachiel (-20,000), Satsop (-17,000) and Skookumchuck (-13,000).

Skagit-Sauk Catch Estimates Show A Hot Day, And Mostly Good Fishing

If you were lucky enough to be steelheading in Washington’s North Cascades on April 18, you most likely had a very, very good day.

DRIFT BOAT ANGLERS MAKE THEIR WAY DOWN THE SAUK RIVER DURING APRIL’S 12-DAY FISHERY. (ANDY WALGAMOTT)

One-fifth of all the wild winter-runs caught during the recently concluded 12-day catch-and-release fishery on the Skagit and Sauk Rivers were landed that Wednesday, according to preliminary estimates from state monitors.

That didn’t surprise Brett Barkdull, the district fisheries biologist, who’d dropped some not-so-subtle hints that it might be a good one to call in sick.

BOBBER AND SPOON RODS AWAIT EMPLOYMENT ALONG THE SAUK THIS SPRING. (ANDY WALGAMOTT)

“I thought the total catch on that first Wednesday when the Sauk was first in shape might have been higher actually,” he said.

The Sauk, which shot up to 9,500 cubic feet per second as rains swept in on the eve of opening weekend, had dropped back to 6,000 cfs by that morning, and the river’s fish had yet to feel the hidden sting of fishermen’s pink worms, plugs and spoons.

GLACIAL FLOUR FROM THE SUIATTLE RIVER CLOUDS THE SAUK BELOW GOVERNMENT BRIDGE. (ANDY WALGAMOTT)

Barkdull cautioned that data his team of creel samplers collected haven’t been finalized yet, but the early estimates show that anglers caught 118 steelhead on April 18, or one for every 8.86 hours of effort that day, a figure that may be a high mark for some time to come.

“I don’t expect there will be a day like that again unless we get a year with a huge return,” noted Barkdull.

WHITEHORSE MOUNTAIN RISES OVER THE FLATS NEAR DARRINGTON. AT ONE TIME SEVERAL THOUSAND YEARS AGO, THE SAUK ACTUALLY DRAINED WEST THROUGH THE NORTH FORK STILLAGUAMISH RIVER VALLEY, BUT NOW MEETS THE SKAGIT AT ROCKPORT. (ANDY WALGAMOTT)

Over the dozen days of fishing, 565 steelhead were caught in 11,504 total hours of fishing, or one every 20.36 hours.

A rate of 20 hours a fish is considered to be “off the charts good,” Barkdull said.

“Three hundred hours for a fish is more the norm for Puget Sound,” he said.

The slowest day was the final Saturday, April 28, when it zipped up to 85 hours a fish as several consecutive days of hot weather wilted mountain snowpack, sending both rivers back up.

While the National Marine Fisheries Service holds WDFW to a 10 percent mortality rate in C&R steelhead fisheries, Barkdull personally feels it’s likely far lower. He pointed to a study from the Vedder showing a 2.5 percent rate as a good surrogate, but acknowledged the feds’ 10 percent as the management standard.

Barkdull said there wasn’t anything unexpected in the preliminary figures, which he said are probably within 10 percent of where final ones will be.

“We put people right on top of a bunch of naïve fish late in the season when they were all upriver staging to spawn,” he said.

THIS DOUBLE-STACK SPOON HAS BEEN SLUMBERING IN THE EDITOR’S TACKLE BOX FOR NINE YEARS IN HOPES OF ONE DAY AGAIN SPLASHING DOWN IN THE SAUK. (ANDY WALGAMOTT)

He doubts that this year’s 20-hours-a-fish rate will hold up in the coming four federally permitted winter-spring fisheries, what with their likely earlier start dates and longer seasons.

“The fish will trickle in, get caught, some will get smart, some will move out of the fishing area, and effort will even out and be less,” Barkdull forecasted.

It took what felt like forever to get this year’s fishery approved. The last season here was in 2009, and following a number of poor returns, the rivers were closed.

But in 2013, the group Occupy Skagit began rallying to reopen the rivers. A management plan that WDFW and three area tribes sent to NMFS in 2016 was finally approved early last month.

TILL NEXT SEASON! (ANDY WALGAMOTT)

It requires strict monitoring of catches, and Barkdull’s estimates show that steelheaders also kept three hatchery steelhead, released 219 bull trout, 12 rainbow trout, six cutthroat and three spring Chinook, rounding up and down.

“We saw no illegal kept fish of any sort,” he added.

He said there are plans in the works to break out catches for bank, jet, drift, conventional, fly, and guided and unguided anglers.

My Pitch For The Fish: Turn Tukwila Soccer Fields Into Side Channels For Salmonids

With the World Cup coming up in June, it might not be the best time for me to tell Tukwila’s aspiring Mo Salahs, Kevin De Bruynes and Neymars this:

I want to rip out your four soccer fields and put in a big huge giant side channel for imperiled salmon and steelhead instead.

TARPS COVER PORTIONS OF FOUR SOCCER FIELDS AT STARFIRE, ALONG THE GREEN RIVER TRAIL IN TUKWILA SOUTH OF SEATTLE. (ANDY WALGAMOTT)

Look, kids, I love the beautiful game — what an MLS debut for Ibra! — and really do want you to be on our 2022 team.

USA! USA! USA!

But those 6, 7, 8, 9 acres right alongside the lower Green have a higher and better purpose than close-cropped grass, limed lines and practicing Olivier Giroud-style scorpion goals.

(OK, the third is negotiable.)

BEHIND A SCREEN OF INVASIVE BLACKBERRIES, THE GREEN RIVER COURSES OVER A SET OF ROCKS, RARE IN ITS LOWER END. (ANDY WALGAMOTT)

They could instead be a network of thickly wooded, winding, tidally influenced habitat for Endangered Species Act-listed Chinook and winter- and summer-run steelhead, as well as coho, to rear in, boosting fish capacity in the highly developed King County river system.

Similar projects have gone in downstream at Codiga Park, Cecil Moses Memorial Park, the Turning Basin, Highway 509 Wetlands and Kellogg Island, and well as upstream.

One, a 700-foot-long constructed reach known as Riverview between Kent and Auburn, held way more young kings and across all stream flows than four other surveyed stretches.

ANOTHER VIEW OF THE SOCCER FIELDS. THE GREEN RIVER IS JUST TO THE LEFT OF THE PAVED TRAIL. (ANDY WALGAMOTT)

So why not return a portion of the city’s (and formerly the county’s) Fort Dent Park to its original purpose lo these many decades ago?

“The area historically had a bunch of side channel habitats and wetland slough-type areas that were great for rearing, but most of that habitat has been filled in and developed and the river has largely been diked throughout that area,” notes one fisheries biologist.

JUST BEHIND A STARFIRE PRACTICE FIELD, A MONUMENT MARKS WHERE A STEAMSHIP USED TO DOCK IN THE LATTER HALF OF THE 1800S, WHEN LAKE WASHINGTON DRAINED OUT THROUGH THE BLACK RIVER INTO THE GREEN/DUWAMISH, WHEN THE SYSTEM WAS ALSO STILL CONNECTED TO MT. RAINIER’S WHITE RIVER. (ANDY WALGAMOTT)

While the region’s Powers That Be continue with their offsides thinking that they can somehow recover ESA stocks by restricting our fisheries into oblivion, we can raise all the yellow and red cards we want on gillnetting and pinnipeds — along with stormwater runoff and pollution — because they do have an verifiable impacts.

But honestly, the best way to help our favorite fish out is to increase the amount of habitat available to them.

That was the point of a recent stellar educational simulation posted on Tidal Exchange, and it’s what I hear over and over and over from biologists: Quit festering so much about fishery impacts on adult fish and focus instead on adding rearing space for the young’ns.

So, with that idea in mind early one afternoon last week, I made the rounds of the fußball fields next to the Seattle Sounders practice facilities.

Walking along the paved Green River Trail as warm sunlight poured over me, I imagined an army’s worth of dump trucks hauling off millions of cubic feet of topsoil (with a load or two of the rich fill headed for my yard).

ANOTHER VIEW OF THE FIELDS, WITH THE GREEN RIVER TO THE RIGHT OF THE PATH. (ANDY WALGAMOTT)

Pausing next to a bench, I saw earthmovers sculpting subtidal flats and fingered drainages, as well as berms and islands down where a couple dogs played fetch with their owners, and moving the dike from next to the river to over where cars parked.

THE GREEN FLOWS UNDER THE STARFIRE WAY BRIDGE, NEAR THE UPSTREAM END OF THE SOCCER FIELDS. (ANDY WALGAMOTT)

From the Starfire Way bridge, I mulled where I’d put in a diversion from the river to flood the former fields and later, standing down by the Fort Dent landing monument, I considered where I’d put an outlet.

GOALS STAND ON A SLIGHT RISE ABOVE THE FIELDS. (ANDY WALGAMOTT)

With the scent of cottonwood sap in my nostrils, I envisioned fishermen joining soccer squads and other volunteers to participate in annual mass plantings of native plants, shrubs and trees.

I saw a forest growing up and shading the channels, providing perches for kingfishers, and boardwalk pathways and informational displays on how the project was helping young kings, silvers and chromers.

FISH HABITAT RESTORATION PROJECT IN SKAGIT COUNTY. (ANDY WALGAMOTT)

And then I really actually did see Clint Dempsey in the Starfire parking lot and I was like OMG, it’s Deuce, right there! OK, just be cool, Walgamott, don’t run over for a selfie and to hassle him with your hairbrained idea, breathe through your nose, man.

Ahem, I will admit that this project would face some challenges.

It pits little kickers against little finners, and sadly, I don’t know that Pugetropolites really have the stomach for helping the latter group out like they should.

There’s convincing the Tukwila Parks & Rec Department to get on board and mitigating the four lost playfields (those nice, level though rather noisy grassy strips just over the hill in SeaTac are right out).

The required permitting and buy-in from the city, county, flood control district, state and Army Corps of Engineers and other federal agencies.

A MOWER CLIPS THE GRASS ON A PRACTICE FIELD BEHIND A SCREEN AT STARFIRE. THE SOUNDERS’ FACILITIES ARE OUTSIDE THE EDITOR’S FISH HABITAT PROJECT. (ANDY WALGAMOTT)

And the price tag. The morning of my walk I’d picked up a MegaMillions ticket for Friday’s half-billion-dollar drawing, but I only got one number, so NMFS Section 6 and Washington Salmon Recovery Funding Board grants will be key and the project would have to compete well with others to score money from either of those two heavy-lift sources.

So, yeah, my project is probably a long shot for salmon and steelhead, but sometimes you gotta think big — kinda like Wayne Rooney did from his own half last November.

Lower Columbia, SW WA Fishing Report (3-26-18)

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

Washington lower Columbia mainstem below Bonneville Dam sport sampling summaries for March 19-25

Fishing for spring Chinook is improving for boat anglers from Vancouver downstream. Bank angling remains SLOW!

DAVID GRANT OF OREGON CITY CAUGHT THIS SPRING CHINOOK ON THE LOWER COLUMBIA THIS PAST SATURDAY WHILE FISHING WITH GUIDE BILL MONROE. THE FISH FELL FOR A HERRING TROLLED IN COMBINATION WITH A FISH FLASH. (VIA BUZZ RAMSEY)

On Saturday March 24 there were 631 salmonid boats and 277 bank anglers counted during the flight. Last year during the same time there were just over 100 salmonid boats and 100 bank anglers counted. Of course, last year flows were nearly 460,000 cfs compared to the 212,600 cfs now.

Washington Columbia River tributaries sport sampling summaries for March 19-25

Salmon/Steelhead

Cowlitz River – From the I-5 Br. downstream:  65 bank rods kept 1 adult spring Chinook and 2 steelhead and released 3 steelhead.  4 boat rods kept 1 steelhead.  Above the I-5 Br:  35 bank rods kept 4 adult spring Chinook and 6 steelhead.  139 boat rods kept 2 adult spring Chinook and 43 steelhead and released 2 steelhead and 1 cutthroat.

Kalama River – 16 bank anglers released 3 steelhead.  7 boat angler kept 1 steelhead.

Mainstem Lewis River – 1 bank angler had no catch.

North Fork Lewis River – 19 bank anglers kept 1 adult spring Chinook.   1 boat angler had no catch.

Trout

Recent plants of catchable size rainbows.  No report on angling success.

Lake/Pond
Date
Species
Number
Fish perPound
Hatchery
Notes

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
Mar 19, 2018
Rainbow
2,000
2.4
VANCOUVER HATCHERY

KLINELINE PD (CLARK<https://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/plants/weekly/search.php?searchby=LakeStocked&search=KLINELINE+PD+%28CLAR%29&orderby=LakeStocked%20ASC,%20StockDate%20DESC>
Clark County – Region 5
Mar 19, 2018
Rainbow
1,500
2.4
VANCOUVER HATCHERY

SW WA, Lower Columbia Fishing Report (3-19-18)

THE FOLLOWING FISHING REPORTS ORIGINATED WITH ODFW AND WDFW AND WERE FORWARDED BY JOE HYMER, PSMFC

Washington lower Columbia tributaries sport sampling summaries for March 12-18

Salmon/Steelhead

Cowlitz River – From the I-5 Br downstream:  44 bank rods had no catch.  Above the I-5 Br:  38 bank rods kept 5 steelhead.  97 boat rods kept 23 steelhead and released 6 steelhead and 2 cutthroats.

BRUCE LYSTAD PULLED THIS PIG OF A WINTER STEELHEAD OUT OF THE COWLITZ RIVER LAST WEEK WHILE FISHING WITH FRIEND SHEA FISHER. IT REPORTEDLY WEIGHED 20.6 POUNDS SEVERAL HOURS LATER AND AFTER BLEEDING IT. (THEFISHERE.COM)lewislewi

Kalama River – 26 bank anglers released 3 steelhead.  11 boat anglers released 3 steelhead.

Mainstem Lewis River – 4 bank rods had no catch.  3 boat rods released 1 steelhead.

North Fork Lewis River – 7 bank rods had no catch.   2 boat rods had no catch.

Wind River – No report. Anglers are reminded Wind River from the Hwy. 14 Bridge upstream is closed to all fishing through March.

Trout

Recent plants of catchable size rainbows.  No report on angling success.
Lake/Pond
Date
Species
Number
Fish per Pound
Hatchery
Notes

LK SACAJAWEA (COWL)<https://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/plants/weekly/search.php?searchby=LakeStocked&search=LK+SACAJAWEA+%28COWL%29&orderby=LakeStocked%20ASC,%20StockDate%20DESC>
Cowlitz County – Region 5
Mar 13, 2018
Rainbow
3,083
2.5
GOLDENDALE HATCHERY

Columbia River Salmon and Steelhead Endorsement sampling summary – March 12-15

 

Salmon, Steelhead and Shad

On Saturday’s (3/17) flight, 523 salmonid boats and 226 Oregon bank anglers were counted from the Columbia River estuary to Bonneville Dam.  In the Portland to St. Helens area, boat anglers averaged 0.08 adult spring Chinook caught per boat, while anglers fishing from Westport to Buoy 10 averaged 0.14 spring Chinook and 0.01 steelhead caught per boat.  Bank anglers fishing the Portland to Westport area averaged 0.01 steelhead caught per angler.

Gorge Bank: No report.

Gorge Boats (below Beacon Rock): No report.

Troutdale Boats: Weekend checking showed no catch for six boats (12 anglers).

Portland to Westport Bank: Weekend checking showed one steelhead kept for 161 bank anglers.

Portland to St. Helens Boats: Weekend checking showed 10 adult spring Chinook kept, plus one adult spring Chinook released for 140 boats (357 anglers).

Goble to Beaver Boats: Weekend checking showed no catch for 19 boats (51 anglers).

Wauna Powerlines to Clatsop Spit Bank: Weekend checking showed no catch for four bank anglers.

Westport to Buoy 10 Boats: Weekend checking showed four adult spring Chinook kept, plus one adult spring Chinook released for 36 boats (92 anglers).

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

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

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

STURGEON

Lower Columbia River (below Bonneville Dam):  Closed for retention. Weekend checking showed no catch for one bank angler.

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: No report.

John Day Pool: No report.

Lower Columbia mainstem sport sampling summary March 12-18

SW WA, Lower Columbia Fishing Report (3-14-18)

THE FOLLOWING FISHING REPORTS ORIGINATED WITH ODFW AND WDFW AND WERE FORWARDED BY JOE HYMER, PSMFC

Washington lower Columbia mainstem sport sampling summaries – March 5-11

Not hot but at least we sampled a couple fish.235 salmonid boats and 218 bank anglers were counted during last Saturday’s flight.

Lower Columbia River mainstem sport effort and catch update – March 1

FYI – during March 1-11, anglers on the lower Columbia made 4,943 trips and caught 24 adult spring Chinook (21 kept and 3 released) and 56 steelhead (12 kept and 44 released). Based on preliminary VSI sampling, upriver spring Chinook comprised 29% of the kept catch.

During February, anglers on the lower Columbia made 3,638 trips and caught 18 spring Chinook (kept) and 64 steelhead (released). Based on VSI sampling, all the February Chinook catch was lower river origin.

ODFW Columbia River Angling Report

Salmon, Steelhead and Shad

On Saturday’s (3/10) flight, 235 salmonid boats and 138 Oregon bank anglers were counted from the Columbia River estuary to Bonneville Dam.

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

Gorge Boats (below Beacon Rock):No report.

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

Portland to Westport Bank: Weekend checking showed one steelhead kept for 170 bank anglers.

Portland to Westport Boats: Weekend checking showed four spring Chinook adults kept for 74 boats (194 anglers).

Estuary Bank (Clatsop Spit to Wauna Powerlines): Weekend checking showed no catch for two bank anglers.

Estuary Boats (Buoy 10 to Wauna Powerlines): Weekend checking showed one steelhead released for three boats (six anglers).

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

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

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

STURGEON

Lower Columbia River (below Bonneville Dam): Closed for retention. Weekend checking showed no catch for two boats (three 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: No report.

John Day Pool: No report.

Washington Columbia River tributaries sport sampling summaries for March 5-11 + a BONUS FACTOID

BONUS FACTOID

– More spring Chinook have returned to the Lewis River traps (10) and Willamette Falls (5) through March 11 than have been counted at Bonneville Dam (3).

Salmon/Steelhead

Cowlitz River – From the I-5 Br. downstream: 58 bank rods kept 3 steelhead. 2 boat rods had no catch. Upstream from the I-5 Br: 45 bank rods kept 2 adult spring Chinook and 2 steelhead. 103 boat rods kept 18 steelhead and released 3 steelhead and 2 cutthroat.
Last week, Tacoma Power employees recovered 14 winter-run steelhead adults during five days of operations at the Cowlitz Salmon Hatchery separator.

During the past week, Tacoma Power employees released three winter-run steelhead adults into the Tilton River at Gust Backstrom Park in Morton. Tacoma Power also released one winter-run steelhead adult into Lake Scanewa near Randle.

River flows at Mayfield Dam are approximately 5,080 cubic feet per second (cfs) on Monday, March 12. Water visibility is nine feet and water temperature is 43.3 degrees F.

Kalama River- 26 bank rods released 1 steelhead. 3 boats/8 rods were sampled with no catch.

Lewis River – 22 bank rods had no catch.

Trout

Last week’s plants of catchable size rainbows. No report on angling success,

Lake/Pond
Date
Species
Number
Fish per Pound
Hatchery
Notes

LACAMAS LK (CLAR)<https://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/plants/weekly/search.php?searchby=LakeStocked&search=LACAMAS+LK+%28CLAR%29&orderby=LakeStocked%20ASC,%20StockDate%20DESC>
Clark County – Region 5
Mar 05, 2018
Rainbow
4,125
1.6
VANCOUVER 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
Mar 06, 2018
Rainbow
1,500
1.6
VANCOUVER HATCHERY

KLINELINE PD (CLAR)<https://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/plants/weekly/search.php?searchby=LakeStocked&search=KLINELINE+PD+%28CLAR%29&orderby=LakeStocked%20ASC,%20StockDate%20DESC>
Clark County – Region 5
Mar 06, 2018
Rainbow
1,825
1.6
VANCOUVER HATCHERY

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
Mar 08, 2018
Rainbow
2,880
2.4
MOSSYROCK HATCHERY

LEWIS CO PRK PD-S (LEWI)<https://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/plants/weekly/search.php?searchby=LakeStocked&search=LEWIS+CO+PRK+PD-S+%28LEWI%29&orderby=LakeStocked%20ASC,%20StockDate%20DESC>
Lewis County – Region 5
Mar 08, 2018
Rainbow
1,840
2.3
MOSSYROCK HATCHERY

SW WA, Columbia River Fishing Report (3-6-18)

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

Washington Columbia River and its tributaries sport sampling for Feb. 26-March 4

Salmon/Steelhead

Anglers should be aware March 15 is the last day to fish for hatchery steelhead on Abernathy Creek, Cedar (Clark Co.), Mill Creek (Cowlitz County), Germany Creek (including all tributaries), Rock (Skamania Co.), Salmon (Clark Co.), and Skamokawa creeks and on the Coweeman, Elochoman, Grays, East Fork Lewis, South Fork Toutle, and Washougal rivers.

SOUTHWEST WASHINGTON AND COLUMBIA RIVER ANGLERS ARE HOLDING THEIR BREATH IN HOPES LATE WINTER STEELHEAD AND SPRING CHINOOK START TO SHOW UP IN GOOD NUMBERS SOON, AS RETURNS HAVE LAGGED SO FAR. SHANE VANDERLINDA CAUGHT THIS HATCHERY CHROMER ON THE COWLITZ A FEW MARCHES AGO. (YO-ZURI PHOTO CONTEST)

Cowlitz River – From the I-5 Br downstream:  32 bank rods kept 1 steelhead.  Upstream from the I-5 Br. – 53 bank rods had no catch.  96 boat rods kept 8 steelhead and released 2 steelhead and 1 cutt.

Last week, Tacoma Power employees recovered four winter-run steelhead adults during five days of operations at the Cowlitz Salmon Hatchery separator.  All four fish were kept for hatchery needs and no other fish were released during the week.

River flows at Mayfield Dam are approximately 5,120 cubic feet per second (cfs) on Monday, March 5. Water visibility is eight feet and water temperature is 42.1 degrees F. River flows could change at any time so boaters and anglers should remain alert for this possibility.

Wind River from boundary line/markers upstream to the Hwy. 14 Bridge – Opens to fishing for hatchery Chinook and hatchery steelhead March 16.

Wind River from the Hwy. 14 Bridge upstream to 400 feet below Shipherd Falls fish ladder – Closed to all fishing March 16-31. Opens to fishing for hatchery Chinook and hatchery steelhead April 1.

Wind River – Daily limit is 2 hatchery Chinook or 2 hatchery steelhead or one of each. Barbed hooks may be used.

Drano Lake – Opens to fishing for hatchery Chinook and hatchery steelhead March 16. Daily limit 2 hatchery Chinook or 2 hatchery steelhead, or one of each. Barbed hooks may be used.

Expect fishing to start slowly at Wind River and Drano Lake as only 2 adult Chinook had been counted at Bonneville Dam through Feb. 27.

Lower Columbia mainstem from Bonneville Dam downstream – During the first four days of March we sampled over 300 salmonid anglers (including 89 boat) with nary a spring Chinook and just a few wild steelhead released.

Mainstem Columbia from Bonneville Dam upstream to Washington/Oregon Border – Effective March 16 through May 7, will be open to fishing for hatchery Chinook and hatchery steelhead. Bank fishing only using hand-casted lines (no floating device to set lines) from Bonneville Dam to Tower Island power lines located about 6 miles below The Dalles Dam. The salmonid daily limit will be 6 fish. Up to 2 may be hatchery steelhead or 1 hatchery adult Chinook and 1 hatchery steelhead.

Mainstem Columbia from Buoy 10 upstream to the Hwy. 395 Bridge – Effective March 16 through May 15, the mainstem Columbia River will be open for retention of adipose fin-clipped steelhead ONLY during days and in areas open for retention of adipose fin-clipped spring Chinook.

Mainstem Columbia from The Dalles Dam upstream to McNary Dam – If open from March 16 through June 15, anglers may possess up to 4 hatchery adult Chinook salmon in fresh form. Anglers aboard a boat may only possess one daily limit of salmon in fresh form.

ODFW Columbia River Angling Report

Salmon, Steelhead and ShadOn Saturday’s (3/3) flight, 130 salmonid boats and 108 Oregon bank anglers were counted from the Columbia River estuary to Bonneville Dam

Gorge Bank: Weekly checking showed no catch for four bank anglers.

Gorge Boats (below Beacon Rock): No report.

Troutdale Boats: No report.

Portland to Westport Bank: Weekend checking showed no catch for 233 bank anglers.

Portland to Westport Boats: Weekend checking showed one steelhead kept, plus one spring Chinook adult released for 41 boats (90 anglers).

Estuary Bank (Clatsop Spit to Wauna Powerlines): No report.

Estuary Boats (Buoy 10 to Wauna Powerlines): No report.

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

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

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

STURGEON

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

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: No report.

John Day Pool: No report.

Lower, Mid-Columbia, SW WA Fishing Report (2-12-18)

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

Columbia River Angling Report

Salmonid catch and effort is slow but should improve as the salmon begin to move into the lower Columbia.  On Saturday’s (2/10) flight, 18 salmonid boats and 41 Oregon bank anglers were counted from the Columbia River estuary to Bonneville Dam.

BEFORE IT CLOSED FOR RETENTION, THE JOHN DAY POOL YIELDED A KEEPER STURGEON FOR WILLIAM HULL. HE WAS FISHING WITH HIS DAD CLAY AND O’DOHERTY OUTFITTERS. (YO-ZURI PHOTO CONTEST)

Gorge Bank: No report.

Gorge Boats: No report.

Troutdale Boats: No report.

Portland to Westport Bank: Weekly checking showed two steelhead released for 60 bank anglers.

Portland to Westport Boats: No report.

Estuary Bank (Clatsop Spit to Wauna Powerlines): No report.

Estuary Boats (Tongue Point to Wauna Powerlines): No report.

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

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

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

STURGEON

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

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.  Weekly checking showed three sublegal sturgeon released for 53 bank anglers; and two legal white sturgeon kept, plus 19 sublegal and two oversize sturgeon released for 41 boats (96 anglers).

WALLEYE

Bonneville Pool: No report.

The Dalles Pool: No report.

John Day Pool: Weekly checking showed six walleye kept for two bank anglers; and 250 walleye kept, plus 70 walleye released for 52 boats (104 anglers).

………………………..

McNary Reservoir Steelhead Fishery

WDFW staff interviewed 5 boat anglers (3 boats) and 9 bank anglers fishing above McNary Dam in February. Bank anglers averaged 6.5 hours per steelhead. Much slower for boat anglers at 23 hours per steelhead. All steelhead encountered were wild, caught and released.

Lower Hanford Reach Steelhead Fishery

WDFW staff interviewed 16 boat anglers and 19 bank anglers in February. Boats are averaging 5.3 hours per steelhead. Much slower for bank anglers at 34 hours per fish. The majority of the fish caught are hatchery origin (11 of 12).

……………………………

Lower Columbia mainstem and its tributaries sport sampling summaries for Feb. 5-11

A Joint State/Compact hearing to consider recreational fisheries for Spring Chinook is scheduled for 10am February 21, 2018 at the Portland Airport Shilo Inn (11707 NE Airport Way).

Cowlitz River –  From the I-5 Br. downstream:  35 bank rods kept 1 steelhead.  Upstream from the I-5 Br:  22 bank anglers released 1 steelhead and 1 adult coho.  14 boats/40 rods kept 1 adult spring Chinook and 8 steelhead and released 1 steelhead and 1 cutthroat.

Lower Columbia mainstem from the I-5 Br. downstream –  Water looks prime for salmon fishing but just 18 boats and 73 bank rods were tallied during last Saturday’s flight.

Washington only creel checks:

Sec. 4 (Vancouver) bank – 2 salmonid anglers had no catch.
Sec. 5 (Woodland) bank – 9 salmonid anglers had no catch.
Sec. 6 (Kalama) bank – 2 salmonid anglers had no catch.
Sec. 8 (Longview) bank – 2 salmonid anglers released 1 steelhead.
Sec. 8 boat – 1 boat/1 salmonid angler had no catch.
Sec. 9 (Cathlamet) bank – 1 salmonid angler had no catch.

John Day Pool – No effort was observed for steelhead.

Sturgeon

John Day Pool – Closed for sturgeon retention through the rest of this year.

Walleye and Bass

John Day Pool – Boat anglers averaged over 3 walleye kept/released per rod.

Trout

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

Lake/Pond
Date
Species
Number
Fish per Pound
Hatchery
Notes

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
Feb 05, 2018
Rainbow
1,500
1.9
VANCOUVER HATCHERY

KLINELINE PD (CLAR)<https://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/plants/weekly/search.php?searchby=LakeStocked&search=KLINELINE+PD+%28CLAR%29&orderby=LakeStocked%20ASC,%20StockDate%20DESC>
Clark County – Region 5
Feb 05, 2018
Rainbow
1,500
1.9
VANCOUVER HATCHERY

Smelt

Not much sign of smelt during the lower Columbia mainstem sport effort flight last Saturday.  There were a few seals from Wallace Is. to Rice Is. but no sea lions and no bird activity except for few gulls following an outbound ship.

All waters within the state of Washington remain closed to fishing for Columbia River smelt (eulachon).

SW WA, Columbia Gorge Fishing Report (1-30-18)

THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION ORIGINATED WITH WDFW AND WAS TRANSMITTED BY JOE HYMER, PSMFC

Salmon/Steelhead

Cowlitz River – Effort and catches are light.  From the I-5 Br. downstream -14 bank rods kept 1 steelhead.  Above the I-5 Br:  14 bank rods released 1 adult coho and 3 cutts.  1 boat/2 rods had no catch.

Last week, Tacoma Power employees recovered 38 coho adults and six winter-run steelhead during five days of operations at the Cowlitz Salmon Hatchery separator.

During the past week, Tacoma Power employees released six coho adults and three winter-run steelhead into Lake Scanewa near Randle. They released seven coho adults and one winter-run steelhead into the Cispus River located near Yellow Jacket Creek in Randle.

Tacoma Power also released 16 coho adults and two winter-run steelhead into the Tilton River at Gust Backstrom Park in Morton. The Franklin Bridge release site in Packwood currently is damaged due to recent high water.  Repairs are ongoing and the release site should be useable soon.

River flows at Mayfield Dam are approximately 13,100 cubic feet per second (cfs) on Monday, January 29. Water visibility is five feet and water temperature is 43.1 degrees F.

Bonneville and John Day pools – Little to no effort and no steelhead catch was observed.

Sturgeon

Bonneville Pool – Including fish released, boat anglers averaged a legal per every 3 rods last week.  Bank anglers also caught some legals.

John Day Pool – Boat anglers caught some legals.  Fishing was slow from the bank.

Walleye and Bass

Bonneville and John Day pools – Boat anglers averaged nearly 2 walleye per rod.  A few bass were also caught.

Trout

Plants of half-pound rainbows into SW WA waters last week.  No report on angling success.

Lake/Pond
Date
Species
Number
Fish per Pound
Hatchery
Notes

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
Jan 22, 2018
Rainbow
1,500
2
VANCOUVER HATCHERY

ICE HOUSE LK (SKAM)<https://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/plants/weekly/search.php?searchby=LakeStocked&search=ICE+HOUSE+LK+%28SKAM%29&orderby=LakeStocked%20ASC,%20StockDate%20DESC>
Skamania County – Region 5
Jan 22, 2018
Rainbow
1,000
2
VANCOUVER HATCHERY

KLINELINE PD (CLAR)<https://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/plants/weekly/search.php?searchby=LakeStocked&search=KLINELINE+PD+%28CLAR%29&orderby=LakeStocked%20ASC,%20StockDate%20DESC>
Clark County – Region 5
Jan 22, 2018
Rainbow
1,500
2
VANCOUVER HATCHERY

SW WA, Columbia Fishing Report (1-16-18)

THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION ORIGINATED WDFW AND WAS TRANSMITTED BY JOE HYMER, PSMFC

Salmon/Steelhead

Cowlitz River – From the I-5 Br. downstream:  5 bank rods had no catch.  Upstream from the I-5 Br:  19 bank and 1 boat rods had no catch.

WITH HER STEELHEAD RIVER RUNNING HIGH, PAULA CORCORAN WENT WITH A SPIN-N-GLO TAPED WITH HYPER-VIS AND FISHED CLOSE TO THE BANK, CATCHING THIS NICE WINTER-RUN. (YO-ZURI PHOTO CONTEST)

Early hatchery steelhead returns to date

Kind of a mixed bag from the same time last year.

River                      2018                       2017

Grays                    0                              30
Elochoman          581                         36
Kalama                 246                         190
Lewis                     251                         1,084
Washougal          193                         128

Note:  Cowlitz is late stock.

Elochoman River – From Shane McEneny, WDFW Fish Hatchery Specialist 4 – This year’s return is coming back from a plant of only 65k smolts but is the first year since before 2009 that the fish were reared with predator netting and fencing. Numbers of returning adults have been phenomenal as we are close to 600 trapped for the season with anticipations of reaching 1,000.  We are surplussing and recycling adults which we haven’t done for years and the fishing pressure has been enormous with a lot of happy fisherman.  Next winter’s return will come back from a plant of almost double the smolts.

Bonneville Dam to McNary Dam – No effort was observed for steelhead.

Sturgeon

Bonneville and The Dalles pools – Boat anglers are catching some legals.  The Dalles Pool was the best with a legal kept per about every 3 rods.

Bass and Walleye

Bonneville Pool – No effort was observed for either specie.

The Dalles Pool – Bank and boat anglers are doing well for walleye.  No effort was observed for bass.

Trout

Recent plants of catchable size to 10 pound rainbows and surplus adult winter steelhead released into SW WA waters.  No report on angling success.

Lake/Pond
Date
Species
Number
Fish perPound
Hatchery
Notes

* CARLISLE LK (LEWI)<https://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/plants/weekly/search.php?searchby=LakeStocked&search=CARLISLE%20LK%20(LEWI)&orderby=LakeStocked%20ASC,%20StockDate%20DESC>

Jan 08, 2018
Rainbow
100
0.2
GOLDENDALE HATCHERY

* HORSESHOE LK (COWL)<https://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/plants/weekly/search.php?searchby=LakeStocked&search=HORSESHOE%20LK%20(COWL)&orderby=LakeStocked%20ASC,%20StockDate%20DESC>

Jan 09, 2018
Rainbow
115
0.2
GOLDENDALE HATCHERY

Jan 04, 2018
Rainbow
2,400
2.34
GOLDENDALE HATCHERY

* ICE HOUSE LK (SKAM)<https://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/plants/weekly/search.php?searchby=LakeStocked&search=ICE%20HOUSE%20LK%20(SKAM)&orderby=LakeStocked%20ASC,%20StockDate%20DESC>

Jan 05, 2018
Rainbow
1,450
2.4
GOLDENDALE HATCHERY

* KRESS LK (COWL)<https://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/plants/weekly/search.php?searchby=LakeStocked&search=KRESS%20LK%20(COWL)&orderby=LakeStocked%20ASC,%20StockDate%20DESC>

Jan 09, 2018
Steelhead
8
0.1
KALAMA FALLS HATCHERY
Adult Winters

Jan 08, 2018
Steelhead
44
0.1
KALAMA FALLS HATCHERY
Adult Winters

Jan 05, 2018
Steelhead
26
0.1
KALAMA FALLS HATCHERY
Adult Winters

Jan 04, 2018
Rainbow
2,000
2.34
GOLDENDALE HATCHERY

Jan 04, 2018
Steelhead
30
0.1
KALAMA FALLS HATCHERY
Adult Winters

Jan 03, 2018
Steelhead
22
0.1
KALAMA FALLS HATCHERY
Adult Winters

* LK SACAJAWEA (COWL)<https://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/plants/weekly/search.php?searchby=LakeStocked&search=LK%20SACAJAWEA%20(COWL)&orderby=LakeStocked%20ASC,%20StockDate%20DESC

Jan 10, 2018
Rainbow
30
0.1
GOLDENDALE HATCHERY

Jan 10, 2018
Rainbow
66
0.2
GOLDENDALE HATCHERY

* SPEARFISH LK (KLIC)<https://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/plants/weekly/search.php?searchby=LakeStocked&search=SPEARFISH%20LK%20(KLIC)&orderby=LakeStocked%20ASC,%20StockDate%20DESC>
Jan 03, 2018
Rainbow
2,080
2.08
GOLDENDALE HATCHERY