THE FOLLOWING FISHING REPORTS WERE FORWARDED BY BRYANT SPELLMAN AND PAUL HOFFARTH, WDFW
Preliminary Washington Columbia River mainstem and tributary sport sampling summary October 3-9, 2022
Mainstem Columbia River
Sec 1 (Bonneville) – 18 bank anglers kept four Chinook and released two coho. 11 boats/23 rods kept four Chinook, one Chinook jack, six coho and released two Chinook.
Sec 2 (Camas/Washougal) – 26 boats/53 rods kept seven Chinook, three Chinook jacks, 10 coho and one coho jack.
Sec 3 (I-5 area) – 1 boat/1 rod had no catch.
Sec 4 (Vancouver) – 13 bank anglers had no catch. 16 boats/35 rods kept three Chinook, two Chinook jacks, 14 coho and released one Chinook, one Chinook jack and one coho.
Sec 5 (Woodland) – Seven bank anglers had no catch. 31 boats/85 rods kept six Chinook, three Chinook jacks, 15 coho and released six Chinook, three Chinook jacks, seven coho and three coho jacks.
Sec 6 (Kalama) – 18 bank anglers had no catch. 4 boats/9 rods kept six coho and released three Chinook.
Sec 7 (Cowlitz) – 3 boats/8 rods kept one coho and released three Chinook.
Sec 8 (Longview) – Nine bank anglers had no catch. 16 boats/30 rods kept two Chinook, one Chinook jack, five coho and released one coho.
Sec 9 (Cathlamet) – No report.
Sec 10 (Cathlamet) – No report.
Sec 5 (Woodland) – 1 boat/2 rods had no catch.
Columbia River Tributaries
Cowlitz River I-5 Br downstream – 11 bank rods had no catch. 1 boat/1 rod released three coho jacks.
Cowlitz River Above the I-5 Br – No report.
Kalama River – 20 bank rods released five Chinook.
Lewis River – 66 bank rods kept five coho, five coho jacks and released one Chinook jack, eight coho and one coho jack. 12 boats/21 rods kept eight coho, three coho jacks and released three coho and one coho jack.
Wind River – No report.
Drano Lake – 95 bank rods kept seven Chinook, three coho, four steelhead and released 15 Chinook and three coho. 100 boats/286 rods kept 64 Chinook, two Chinook jacks, 79 coho, 20 steelhead and released 24 Chinook, 15 coho, one coho jack and 16 steelhead.
Klickitat River below Fisher Hill Bridge – 16 bank rods released one Chinook jack.
Klickitat River above #5 Fishway – Two bank rods 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. Coho are starting to move into the river. An update will be provided later today.
• 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.
Yakima River Salmon Sport Fishery Harvest Estimates and In-season Returns
Adult fall chinook counts at Prosser typically reach the 40% passage mark by October 6. Coho run slightly later on average with 34% of the Yakima River return through Prosser by the same date. We are likely still fairly early in the migration. There is a large amount of variability in the return timing for coho and fall chinook between years.
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.