With the short Buoy 10 Chinook season about to wrap up, an estimated 12,000 or so will have been kept there, including several for famed salmon angler and Northwest Sportsman columnist Buzz Ramsey and five others with him this morning.
Hatchery coho remain open and Ramsey reported putting a couple keepers in the boat too, but the two-week king season at the mouth of the Columbia’s closes after today.
The above catch estimate comes from a WDFW-ODFW fact sheet out this afternoon and is through yesterday.
State managers say that another 3,600 Chinook were released, with 2,500 coho kept and 4,000 let go. The daily limit here this year is one salmon.
“Total Chinook mortalities are tracking consistent with preseason expectations for the Chinook retention period,” the fact sheet says.
In a call from Buoy 10 around 10 a.m. Ramsey reported hooking five salmon on SpinFish, his company Yakima Bait’s new pull-apart plug with a bait chamber that disperses scent as it is pulled through the water, behind rotating flashers, with another two biting on Hildebrandt spinners behind flashers.
He said the Chinook were chrome bright and running around 10 pounds and probably were 3-year-olds, which make up a small percentage of the upriver bright run. There have been some bigger kings making an appearance as well, based on social media postts.
Anglers had made 48,000 trips through yesterday since fishing opened Aug. 14.
“There’s got to be less boats, but today it’s packed,” reported Ramsey this morning.
Yesterday, a guide boat involved in an accident with another fishing boat earlier this week near the Astoria-Megler Bridge was refloated and towed to port, a video posted to Facebook shows.
Further upstream, the fact sheet reports 2,100 kings and 20 coho kept between the Tongue-Rocky Point line and Warrior Rock through Aug. 23. The waters between Tongue-Rocky Point and Puget Island close after today.
And from Warrior Rock to Bonneville, where fishing is open Fridays-Sundays through Sept. 6, has seen 350 kings kept.
Just under 50,300 adult fall Chinook have been counted at the dam as of yesterday, “which is higher than would be expected given the preseason forecasts and average run timing,” the fact sheet reported.
Managers expect 431,000 fall kings of all stocks back to the mouth of the Columbia,
The jack count is also tracking slightly better than the 10-year average, a potential sign for next year.
In other Columbia salmon news, ODFW and WDFW managers scrubbed a seventh and final early-season gillnet opener between the mouth of the Lewis and Bonneville that had been scheduled for Monday night.
“The majority of the URB sub-allocation planned preseason for August mainstem non-treaty commercial fisheries has been achieved; therefore, not enough URBs remain available,” the fact sheet stated.