THE FOLLOWING FISHING REPORT WAS FORWARDED BY PAUL HOFFARTH, WDFW
The upper section of the Hanford Reach, Hanford townsite powerline crossing to Priest Rapids Dam closed to fishing for salmon on October 16. The Hanford Reach from the old Hanford townsite powerline crossing upstream to Vernita Bridge is closed to all fishing until February 1. The lower section of the Reach (below Hanford powerlines) 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. Ringold Springs origin coho are late run; returning in late October through December. Coho and Steelhead are trickling into the hatchery trap in relatively low numbers to date. Fishing for coho in this area doesn’t typically pick up until late November.
Angler effort dropped dramatically after the upstream closure of the Hanford Reach. Over the past two weeks WDFW staff interviewed anglers from 38 boats (85 anglers) and 84 bank anglers with 34 adult chinook, 1 jack, and 1 coho harvested. Based on sampling information collected, the total harvest in the Reach for this two week period was 162 adult chinook, 2 chinook jacks, and 3 coho. Boat anglers continued to average over a fish per boat (1.4).
For the fishery, August 16-October 31, there have been 28,401 angler trips with 10,455 adult chinook, 940 chinook jacks, and 100 coho harvested. In addition, 230 adult chinook, 93 chinook jacks, 235 steelhead, and 17 sockeye have been caught and released.
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. Hatchery steelhead returns to the volunteer trap at Ringold Springs Hatchery have been relatively low to date. The first in-season return estimate should be completed by mid- November. At this time continuation of the fishery after mid-November looks doubtful. Only one Ringold Springs Hatchery steelhead has been harvested to date.