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Reel Time Fishing Northwest

Mark Yuasa covers fishing and outdoors in the Pacific Northwest.

May 11, 2009 at 10:07 PM

Columbia River region sport fishery updates

I didn’t have time to get these posted onto the fish checks this afternoon so here’s what happened down in the Columbia River region this past week.

Cowlitz River – Producing spring and some summer run steelhead. Most of the fish were sampled near the barrier dam.

Kalama and Lewis rivers – All chinook must be released beginning today, Monday May 11. Summer run steelhead are appearing in the catch on both rivers.

Wind River – Including jacks and fish released, boat anglers averaged a chinook per every 5.4 rods. About a quarter of the catch were jacks. Starting today (Monday May 11), up to 6 jacks may be kept as part of the daily limit.

Through May 7 there have been 76 PIT tagged Wind River chinook detected at Bonneville Dam. This total includes 71 age four and five jacks. Applying the tag rates to the detections of all ages produces a run size (to Bonneville) of 5,940 Wind River chinook. For comparison, the 2008 run estimate was 4,815 chinook on this date, and finished at an estimated 6,724.

The final run size projections past Bonneville for 2009 are 6,282, 6,819, and 10,382 using the earliest, average and latest timing curves since 2000, respectively. Pre-season, 6,900 adults were forecasted to return to the Wind this year.

There have been some spring chinook caught in the gorge. Based on a couple PIT tag detections at Shipherd Falls, a couple hundred fish are moving upstream. However, no fish had returned to the hatchery through May 7.

Drano Lake – Boat and bank anglers averaged a chinook per about every 3 and 4 rods, respectively, when including jacks and fish released. Nearly 20% of the catch were jacks. Starting today (Monday May 11), up to 6 jacks may be kept as part of the daily limit.

The hatchery opened the trap last Monday; by the time the trapped closed Friday, 1,354 fish had returned. The escapement goal of 1,000 fish has been met.

White Salmon River – No spring chinook were found in the sample there.

Klickitat River – Bank anglers below Fisher Hill Bridge are catching some spring chinook and summer run steelhead. Most of the chinook catch were jacks.

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