Sports anglers will be looking at some changes in four tributaries of the Columbia River for spring chinook in the coming days.
First the good news is state Fish and Wildlife reports that so far, more jack spring chinook are being counted at Bonneville Dam since at least 1976 with the exception of the year 2000.
With that sport catches of jack spring chinook has recently increased in both the Wind River and Drano Lake.
Thus, Wind River anglers may keep up to six salmon daily from May 11 to June 30. Of those up to two may be adult salmon or hatchery steelhead or one of each.
The area where the boost in catch limits take place are from the Wind River mouth (boundary line markers) to 400 feet below Shipherd Falls; the Wind River from 100 feet above Shipherd Falls to 400 feet below the coffer dam; and the Wind River from 100 feet above the coffer dam to 800 yards downstream of Carson National Fish Hatchery.
Other rules in the Wind are that anglers must release wild steelhead and all trout other than steelhead, and release wild chinook downstream from Shipherd Falls.
The same goes for Drano Lake where anglers may keep up to six salmon daily from May 11 to June 30. Of those up to two may be hatchery adult salmon or hatchery steelhead or one of each. Release wild chinook and wild steelhead. Release all trout other than steelhead.
This includes all of Drano Lake downstream of markers on point of land below and across from Little White Salmon National Fish Hatchery and upstream of the Hwy. 14 Bridge.
Anglers are reminded that fishing is closed in Drano Lake every Wednesday, plus there will be two Wednesday closures in June for the Yakama tribal fisheries.
On a down note, anglers in the Lewis and Kalama rivers must release all spring chinook beginning May 11 through July 31.
Only 2,200 adult spring chinook were forecasted to return to the Lewis system this year. So far, only a few dozen hatchery adult spring chinook have entered the traps on the Lewis. The hatchery escapement goal is 1,250. Based upon recent year return timing, the goal may not be met even with a reduced daily limit.
Only 900 adult spring chinook were forecasted to return to the Kalama River this year.
Through May 6, just two hatchery adult spring chinook had returned to the salmon hatchery. The hatchery brood stock goal is 500 fish. Based upon recent year return timing, the goal may not be met even with a reduced daily limit.
The Lower Kalama, and the Lewis River mainstem and North Fork Lewis remain open for hatchery steelhead.
Creel sampling surveys on both rivers have shown light catches and no evidence of large numbers of fish holding in the river. Hatchery returns will continue to be closely monitored.