THE FOLLOWING FISHING REPORTS WERE FORWARDED BY BRYANT SPELLMAN AND PAUL HOFFARTH
Preliminary Washington Columbia River mainstem and tributary sport sampling summary September 26-October 2, 2022
Mainstem Columbia River
Sec 1 (Bonneville) – 49 bank anglers kept nine Chinook, two Chinook jacks and two coho. 48 boats/114 rods kept 42 Chinook, eight Chinook jacks, three coho and released four Chinook.
Sec 2 (Camas/Washougal) – No report.
Sec 3 (I-5 area) – No report.
Sec 4 (Vancouver) – 1 boat/2 rods had no catch.
Sec 5 (Woodland) – 17 bank anglers had no catch. 30 boats/67 rods kept 12 Chinook, eight Chinook jacks, three coho and released one Chinook jack and two coho.
Sec 6 (Kalama) – 42 bank anglers had no catch. 19 boats/40 rods kept four Chinook, one Chinook jack and three coho.
Sec 7 (Cowlitz) – 18 boats/55 rods kept nine Chinook, five Chinook jacks, five coho and released one Chinook jack.
Sec 8 (Longview) – Four bank anglers had no catch. 7 boats/13 rods kept one Chinook jack. Sec 9 (Cathlamet) – No report.
Sec 10 (Cathlamet) – 1 boat/2 rods had no catch.
Columbia River Tributaries
Cowlitz River I-5 Br downstream – 20 bank rods kept one Chinook jack and released one coho jack. 6 boats/12 rods kept two coho.
Cowlitz River Above the I-5 Br – 25 bank rods kept one coho and released one Chinook, one Chinook jack and one steelhead. 5 boats/10 rods kept two Chinook, one coho, one coho jack and released one Chinook and one steelhead.
Kalama River – 12 bank rods released two Chinook. 1 boat/2 rods released one Chinook.
Lewis River – 64 bank rods kept 16 coho, four coho jacks and released one Chinook. 13 boats/30 rods kept one Chinook jack, five coho, seven coho jacks and released nine Chinook, two Chinook jacks, one coho and one coho jack.
Wind River – Two bank rods released one steelhead. 1 boat/2 rods kept two coho.
Drano Lake – No report.
Klickitat River below Fisher Hill Bridge – 29 bank rods kept 20 Chinook.
Klickitat River above #5 Fishway – One bank rod had no catch.
Hanford Reach & Yakima River Fall Salmon Sport Fishery Update
Adult fall chinook counts at Bonneville have typically reached the 94% passage mark by October 2. Just under 500,000 adult chinook have passed upstream of Bonneville Dam to date. McNary adult chinook counts are at ~128,000 with roughly 86% of the fish typically passing McNary by October 2.
Fishing (harvest) held steady this past week and should hold steady for one more week before fish condition starts to decline. WDFW staff interviewed anglers from 590 boats (1,534 anglers) and 132 bank anglers with 729 adult chinook, 61 jacks, and 10 coho harvested.
Based on sampling information collected, the total harvest in the Reach was 2,484 adult chinook, 193 chinook jacks, and 36 coho were harvested from 5,530 angler trips, 23% better than the 2021 harvest for the same week. Boat anglers averaged better than a fish per boat (1.4), 12 hours per fish. Bank anglers at the Ringold access area are doing well compared to prior years due to a strong return of fall chinook to Ringold Springs Hatchery, averaging 18 hours per salmon.
For the fishery there have been 20,732 angler trips with 7,092 adult chinook, 609 chinook jacks, and 85 coho harvested. In addition, 17 sockeye, 82 adult chinook, 48 chinook jacks, and 163 steelhead were caught and released.
The upper section of the Hanford Reach, Hanford townsite powerline crossing to Priest Rapids Dam will close on October 16 (October 15 is the last day to fish the upstream area). The lower section of the Reach is scheduled to remain open through December 31 this year to provide anglers some additional days to target on the late run coho expected to return to Ringold Springs Hatchery.
Based on the current passage of adult fall chinook through the McNary, Ice Harbor, and Priest Rapids fish ladders, ~57,000 wild (natural origin) fall chinook are expected to return to the Hanford Reach this year. The in-season return estimate is 26% above the pre-season forecast. Based on the current return estimate there will be sufficient numbers of fall chinook allocated to the sport fishery to continue the fishery through the end of the scheduled season.
Yakima River Salmon
The Yakima River opened to salmon fishing on September 23 and plans to stay open through October 31. Anglers can harvest Chinook and coho salmon. Both adipose clipped and unclipped salmon can be harvested. The river is open from the Hwy. 240 bridge in Richland (river mile 2.1) upstream to the Grant Avenue Bridge in Prosser (river mile 47.0). Fishing has been slow to date but anglers are catching a few chinook.
• Daily limit of two adult salmon. No limit on jacks. Minimum size 12 inches.
• Release all salmon other than Chinook and coho.
• Barbless hooks required when fishing for salmon.
• Anglers can use two poles when fishing for salmon with the Two-Pole Endorsement.
• Night closure in effect for salmon.
Anglers must stop fishing for salmon once they have retained their adult daily limit. Chinook measuring 24″ or more in length and coho measuring 20″ or more in length are classified as adults.
The lower section of the Hanford Reach (Interstate 182 bridge upstream to the old Hanford townsite powerlines) opened for Ringold Springs Hatchery origin steelhead on October 1. Steelhead must be a minimum of 20 inches in length and must be adipose clipped and ventral fin clipped to be harvested in this area of the Columbia River. Steelhead are trickling into the hatchery in relatively low numbers. No harvest was reported over the weekend. Fishing for steelhead and coho doesn’t typically improve until November. Ringold Springs origin coho are late run returning in late October through December.