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Reel Time Fishing Northwest

Mark Yuasa covers fishing and outdoors in the Pacific Northwest.

August 18, 2009 at 3:26 PM

Word on Columbia River area sport fisheries


Just got back from Buoy 10 at the Lower Columbia River, and man the coho and king salmon fishing was pretty good. Check it out: I plan to write a story about my adventure down to the Big C in my upcoming Sunday outdoor notebook.

Here are the latest reports from the Columbia River area as reported by the state Fish and Wildlife Vancouver office:


Cowlitz River – Lots of fish being caught near the Cowlitz mouth, mostly steelhead and a few fall Chinook. Also a few sea run cutthroat are showing up in the creel near the trout hatchery.

Last week, Tacoma Power recovered 315 summer-run steelhead adults, 17 spring Chinook adults, seven jacks, 67 Chinook mini-jacks, one fall Chinook adult and three cutthroat trout during five days of operation at the Cowlitz Salmon Hatchery separator.

During the week Tacoma Power employees released three spring Chinook adults and three jacks into the Cispus River above the mouth of Yellow Jacket Creek, three spring Chinook adults and four jacks into the upper Cowlitz River at the Skate Creek Bridge in Packwood, Washington, and 62 spring Chinook mini-jacks into Riffe Lake at Mossyrock Park.

River flows at Mayfield Dam are approximately 2,620 cubic feet per second with a visibility of 14 feet on Monday, August 17.

Lewis River – Excellent at times for steelhead at the mouth. Bank and boat anglers in the North Fork Lewis are also catching some summer run steelhead.

Wind River – Effort was light with 8 boats observed here yesterday morning. No fish were found from the few boat anglers sampled.

Drano Lake – Including fish released, boat anglers averaged over 1.2 steelhead per rod. Just over half the steelhead caught were kept. A few adult fall Chinook are also appearing in the catch. Effort has increased with just over a hundred boats counted here yesterday morning.

White Salmon River – Bank and boat anglers are catching summer run steelhead. Bank anglers are also catching some fall Chinook. Effort has increased with 68 watercraft found here yesterday. SR 141 is very crowded with parked vehicles.


Buoy 10 – Effort and catch have increased. Approximately 950 boats were counted here during Saturday’s flight. Catches have ranged from ½ to a fish per rod. A little over a third of the catch were Chinook.

Here are the latest checks from Buoy 10: Aug. 10: 48 boats with 140 anglers caught seven chinook and 140 coho; Aug. 11, 14 boats with 35 anglers caught two chinook and 16 coho; Aug. 12, Nine boats with 18 anglers caught three chinook and 15 coho; Aug. 13, 52 boats with 138 anglers caught 57 chinook and 48 coho; Aug. 14, 95 boats with 257 anglers caught 106 chinook and 106 coho; Aug. 15, 136 boats with 391 anglers caught 106 chinook and 205 coho; and Aug. 16, 90 boats with 259 anglers caught 19 chinook and 101 coho.

Lower Columbia from the Rocky Point/Tongue Point line upstream to Bonneville Dam – Last week we sampled 890 bank anglers with 251 steelhead and 10 adult fall Chinook. In addition we sampled 259 boat anglers (128 boats) with 118 steelhead and 10 adult and 1 jack fall Chinook. Two thirds of the steelhead caught were kept.

Nearly 300 boats and 200 WA and 135 OR bank anglers were counted during last Saturday’s flight. The most boats (79) were found at the mouth of the Cowlitz.

Hanford Reach – From Paul Hoffarth, WDFW Fish Biologist in Yakima – We officially kicked off the Hanford Reach fall chinook fishery Sunday. We interviewed 5 boats and 5 bank anglers Sunday. None of the boats were fishing for salmon (sturgeon and walleye). All 5 bank anglers at Ringold were fishing for salmon. Bank anglers reported catching and releasing 1 adipose clipped steelhead. Expansion for the week was 6 steelhead caught and released.


Lower Columbia below Bonneville Dam – Effort continues to be light during the current catch-and-release fishery. During last Saturday’s flight, only 27 boats and 7 WA and 12 OR bank were counted.


Lower Columbia below Bonneville Dam – Boat anglers in the Camas/Washougal area are catching some walleye. Twenty boats were counted from there to the gorge last Saturday.

(Photos by Mark Yuasa)



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