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Reel Time Fishing Northwest

Mark Yuasa covers fishing and outdoors in the Pacific Northwest.

June 30, 2009 at 1:54 PM

Latest fish tales from the Columbia River, and area lakes and tributaries

I am out of the office today, but wanted to make sure everyone is up to date on the fish reports from the Columbia River region. So here is the reports that biologist Joe Hymer with the state Fish and Wildlife office in Vancouver has released:

Salmon/Steelhead

Cowlitz River – Spring Chinook continue to be caught by bank anglers at the barrier dam while boat anglers are catching steelhead around the trout hatchery.

Last week, Tacoma Power recovered 20 spring Chinook adults, 13 jacks, and 112 summer-run steelhead during five days of adult fish collection efforts at the Cowlitz Salmon Hatchery separator. During the week Tacoma Power employees released two spring Chinook adults and 12 jacks into Lake Scanewa above Cowlitz Falls Dam.

Cowlitz River flows at Mayfield Dam are approximately 6,120 cubic feet per second on Monday, June 29. Water visibility is ten feet.

Wind River and Drano Lake – Today (June 30) is the last day to fish for spring Chinook.

Lower Columbia mainstem below Bonneville Dam – Last week we sampled 1,461 bank anglers with 99 adult and 22 jack Chinook, 37 sockeye, and 47 steelhead. We also sampled 605 boat anglers (256 boats) with 62 adult and 6 jack Chinook, 2 sockeye, and 12 steelhead. Success was best on the opener and slowed as the week progressed.

Through June 28, an estimated 16,771 angler trips have produced 1,360 adult Chinook kept and 419 released plus 873 sockeye kept and 57 released. Adult Chinook may be retained on the lower Columbia below Bonneville Dam through July 5.

Effort was high last Saturday with 711 boats and 614 WA and 343 OR bank anglers counted.

The Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) met yesterday and downgraded the adult summer Chinook run size from the pre-season forecast of 70,700 to 58,000 fish. However, TAC did not change the sockeye pre-season forecast of 183,200.

John Day Pool – WDFW staff interviewed 41 salmonid anglers in the John Day Pool. Anglers reported harvesting 3 hatchery jack chinook and released 2 hatchery origin adult chinook and 1 wild adult chinook.

Bonneville Dam upstream – Adult Chinook (adipose fin clipped or not) may be retained beginning tomorrow (July 1).

Sturgeon

Lower Columbia mainstem from the mouth to the Wauna powerlines – Charter boat anglers averaged just over a legal kept per every other rod while private boaters averaged one per every 5.7 rods. Bank anglers were catching a few legals. About one-third of the fish caught were keeper size. Overall success was better earlier in the week.

Just over 500 private boats and 20 charters were counted during the Saturday June 27 flight. White sturgeon retention is scheduled to re-open July 2-5.

Lower Columbia mainstem from the Wauna powerlines upstream to Marker #85 – Boat anglers from Woodland to Vancouver are catching some legals. Fishing from the bank is slow.

One hundred sixty boats were counted during last Saturday’s flight. Just over half were found in the gorge.

Walleye and Bass

Lower Columbia below Bonneville Dam – The few boats sampled in the Camas/Washougal area had no catch.

John Day Pool – Boat anglers averaged just over a bass and 0.5 walleye kept per rod.

Shad

Lower Columbia below Bonneville Dam – Effort, catch, and dam counts are declining. Bank anglers from Camas/Washougal upstream and boat anglers from Vancouver upstream averaged about a shad per rod. 42 WA and 33 bank anglers were counted during last Saturday’s flight. Less than 6,000 shad had been counted daily at Bonneville Dam the past few days.

John Day Pool – Boat anglers averaged over 4 shad kept/released per rod. Bank anglers averaged over 1.5 fish per rod.

Trout

Mayfield and Riffe lakes – Bank anglers are catching some rainbows at Mayfield and primarily landlocked coho at Riffe.

Swofford Pond – Bank anglers are catching some bluegills.

Tacoma Power continues to release catchable size rainbow trout in the Cowlitz River area. Last week trout from the Nisqually Trout Farms were stocked into Skate Creek near Packwood and into the Tilton River at Gust Backstrom Park in Morton. On June 23, WDFW planted 474 half-pound rainbows into Forlorn Lake # 1 and another 474 fish in Forlorn Lake #2 in Skamania County.

The Goldendale Hatchery planted 200 excess broodstock rainbow into Takhlakh Lake today. They are about 3 pounds apiece.

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