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Reel Time Fishing Northwest

Mark Yuasa covers fishing and outdoors in the Pacific Northwest.

September 15, 2009 at 4:32 PM

Columbia River and tributary fish checks

Here are the weekly fish check compiled by state Fish and Wildlife biologist Joe Hymer in the Vancouver regional office.

Salmon/Steelhead

Toutle River – Anglers at the mouth of the Green River are catching fall chinook and hatchery coho. The first couple hundred coho of the season had returned to the hatchery as of September 9. ffective October 1, all Chinook must be released on the North Fork Toutle River from the Kidd Valley Bridge near Hwy. 504 upstream.

Green River – No report on angling success. Adult chinook must be released beginning October 1; however, hatchery chinook jacks may continue to be retained.

Cowlitz River – Lots of effort at the mouth of the Toutle where anglers are catching hatchery coho and some fall chinook.

Last week, Tacoma Power recovered 1,651 fall chinook adults, 382 jacks, 451 coho adults, 15 jacks, 157 summer-run steelhead adults, 60 spring chinook adults, 17 spring chinook mini-jacks, 25 sea-run cutthroat trout and two pink salmon adults during five days of operation at the Cowlitz Salmon Hatchery separator.

During the week Tacoma Power employees released 1,367 fall chinook adults, 360 jacks, and four coho adults into Mayfield Lake at the Ike Kinswa State Park boat launch, and 324 coho adults, nine jacks, and 37 spring chinook adults into Lake Scanewa above Cowlitz Falls Dam. Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife transported three cutthroat trout to the Tilton River and three cutthroat to the upper Cowlitz River basin.

River flows at Mayfield Dam are approximately 3,510 cubic feet per second on Monday, September 14. Flows will be increased to about 4,500 cubic feet per second on Tuesday, September 15.

Kalama River – No fish were sampled during one day of sampling on the lower river last week. Anglers from the upper salmon hatchery downstream are able to keep hatchery adult and jack fall chinook through the end of the year.

Lewis River – Anglers are catching hatchery coho.

Effective October 1, all chinook must be released on the Lewis River (including North Fork) and fishing from any floating device will be prohibited on the North Fork from Johnson Creek (located below the salmon hatchery) to Colvin Creek (located upstream from the salmon hatchery). Under permanent rules, Colvin Creek upstream to Merwin Dam closes to all fishing beginning October 1 to protect naturally spawning fall chinook.

Washougal River – Anglers are catching fall Chinook. Effective October 1, anglers must release adult chinook from the Little Washougal River upstream; however, hatchery chinook jacks may continue to be retained.

Drano Lake- Boat anglers are catching some steelhead. Anglers should note that 6 p.m. Tuesdays to 6 p.m. Wednesdays during October are scheduled to be closed to all fishing during the tribal commercial fisheries.

White Salmon River – No report on angling success. Adult chinook must be released from posted markers ½ mile upstream of the Hwy. 14 Bridge to the powerhouse beginning October 1; however, hatchery chinook jacks may continue to be retained.

Klickitat River – Bank anglers on the lower river are catching fall chinook.

Buoy 10 – Private boat anglers are averaging about a coho per boat on most days. Effective October 1, anglers will be allowed to keep hatchery coho jacks are part of the salmon and steelhead daily limit. The daily limit will be 6 fish of which no more than 3 may be adults. Up to 2 of the adults may be hatchery steelhead. All salmon other than hatchery coho must be released.

Lower Columbia below Bonneville Dam – From September 10-13 we sampled 514 boat anglers (238 boats) with 52 adult and 9 jack fall chinook, 13 adult coho, and 1 steelhead. We also sampled 151 bank anglers with 13 adult and 1 jack fall chinook plus 2 adult coho.

Anglers are reminded that effective today (September 14) all chinook must be released downstream from a line projected from the Warrior Rock Lighthouse through red buoy #4 to the orange marker atop the dolphin on the Washington shore (upstream of the Lewis River) and upstream of the Rocky Point/Tongue Point Line. However, fishing for hatchery steelhead, hatchery coho, and hatchery sea-run cutthroats in this area remains open.

Bonneville Pool – Boat anglers are catching some fall Chinook and coho at the mouths of the Washington tributaries.

Hanford Reach – Catch was higher in comparison with same week in 2008. Last week 69 Adult and 16 jacks were checked from 313 anglers (120 boats) at the Vernita, Ringold, and Waluke boat ramps. Best catches accrued at and around the Waluke boat ramp. 27 bank anglers at Ringold had 2 chinook jacks. Effort has slowed at the mouth of the Yakima with effort moving upriver.

Sturgeon

Lower Columbia below Bonneville Dam – Light effort and catch continues during the current catch and release fishery. Beginning October 1, white sturgeon may be retained Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays only from the Wauna powerlines upstream to Bonneville Dam. From the Wauna powerlines downstream, all sturgeon must be released through the end of the year.

Walleye

Lower Columbia below Bonneville Dam – Boat anglers from Camas/Washougal upstream to Bonneville Dam are catching decent numbers of walleye.

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