Here is a rundown on fishing in the Columbia River region and its tributaries and lakes:
SALMON AND STEELHEAD
Cowlitz River – Anglers are catching spring chinook and winter run steelhead, primarily from the trout hatchery to the barrier dam. From boundary markers at mouth to Mayfield Dam – Through July, hatchery salmon daily limit is 6 fish. Up to 2 adults may be retained. Only hatchery Chinook and hatchery coho may be retained.
Last week, Tacoma Power recovered 1,444 winter-run steelhead, eight summer-run steelhead, 232 spring chinook adults and one jack during five days of operation at the Cowlitz Salmon Hatchery separator. Not included in the total above were a thousand spring chinook that returned to the separator over the weekend.
During the week Tacoma Power employees released twelve winter-run steelhead into the Tilton River at Gust Backstrom Park in Morton, 108 spring chinook adults, one jack and 61 winter-run steelhead into the Cispus River above Yellowjacket Creek, and 83 spring chinook adults and seven winter-run steelhead into the upper Cowlitz River at Skate Creek Bridge in Packwood, Washington.
River flows at Mayfield Dam are approximately 3,530 cubic feet per second on Monday, April 19. Water visibility is ten feet.
Kalama River – No report on angling success. From boundary markers at mouth to 1,000′ below upper salmon hatchery. Through July, salmon daily limit is 6 hatchery chinook. Only 1 adult may be retained.
Lewis River – Light effort at the mouth. Mainstem Lewis from mouth to East Fork mouth and North Fork Lewis from mouth to overhead power lines below Merwin Dam. Through July, salmon daily limit is 6 hatchery chinook. Only 1 adult may be retained.
Washougal River – No report on angling success for hatchery steelhead. From the mouth to Mt. Norway Bridge is open to fishing for hatchery steelhead. Through the first Friday in June, selective gear rules are in effect; no bait may be used.
The first three hatchery summer runs of the year returned to Skamania Hatchery last week.
Wind River – Effort and catch is increasing at the mouth. bout 80 boats were observed there last Saturday afternoon. Wind River from the mouth (boundary line/markers) to 400 feet below Shipherd Falls. Through June, open to fishing for hatchery chinook and hatchery steelhead. Daily limit is a total of 2 salmon or hatchery steelhead or one of each. Release all wild chinook. Night closure is in effect.
From the mouth to the Burlington Northern Railroad Bridge – Through June, the anti-snag rule has been rescinded. From May 1 through June 30, the anti-snag rule will remain in effect from the Burlington Northern Railroad Bridge upstream. Only fish hooked inside the mouth may be retained.
Wind River from 100 feet above Shipherd Falls upstream to boundary markers approximately 800 yards downstream from Carson National Fish Hatchery (except closed 400 feet below to 100 feet above the Coffer Dam) – From May 1 through June 30, the salmon and steelhead daily limits will be a total of 2 chinook or hatchery steelhead or one of each. Unmarked chinook may be retained in this section of the Wind. Night closure and anti-snag rule will be in effect. Only fish hooked inside the mouth may be retained.
Drano Lake – Effort and catch is also increasing here. Around 100 boats were observed here Saturday morning. The lake is closed to all fishing on Wednesdays through May. Through June, night closure is in effect but the anti-snag rule has been rescinded. Bank fishing only west of a line projected from the eastern most pillar of the Highway 14 Bridge to a posted marker on the north shore.
Klickitat River – Light effort and no catch observed from the Fisher Hill Bridge downstream. Through May, open Mondays, Wednesdays, Saturdays, and Sundays only. Daily limit 2 hatchery chinook, hatchery steelhead, or one of each. Night closure and anti-snag rule are in effect.
Lower Columbia from I-5 Bridge downstream – Area is now closed for fishing. Last week we sampled 5,111 boat anglers (2,196 boats) with 1,669 adult and 11 jack chinook and 19 steelhead. In addition, state Fish and Wildlife sampled 969 bank anglers with 69 adult and 2 jack chinook and 12 steelhead. Unlike the previous couple weeks, fish were caught throughout the river.
Overall, 86% of the adult chinook caught were kept. Of the 1,346 adult chinook kept that we sampled, 82% were upriver stock based on Visual Stock Identification (VSI).
On Saturday April 17, a total of 2,585 boats and 1,393 bank anglers were counted during the flight. 1,114 (43%) of the boats and 490 (35%) of the bank anglers were counted from Warrior Rock to the I-5 Bridge.
Lower Columbia below Bonneville Dam — Closed to fishing for salmon, steelhead, and shad. Scheduled to reopen May 16 for shad. From the I-5 Bridge downstream, scheduled to reopen May 16 for hatchery steelhead and hatchery Chinook jacks. From the I-5 Bridge to Bonneville Dam, scheduled to reopen June 16 for hatchery steelhead and hatchery chinook.
Bonneville Dam to McNary Dam — Through May 31, open daily to fishing for hatchery chinook, hatchery steelhead, and shad. Bank fishing only from Bonneville Dam to the Tower Island power lines located about 6 miles downstream from The Dalles Dam. Daily salmonid limit is 6 fish (hatchery chinook or hatchery steelhead), of which no more than 2 may be hatchery adult chinook or hatchery steelhead or one of each. Release all wild chinook.
Bonneville Pool – Bank anglers just outside Drano Lake are catching some spring chinook.
The Dalles Pool — Including fish released, bank anglers averaged a spring chinook per every 3 rods. Boat anglers were also catching a few fish. Around ¾ of the fish caught were hatchery fish that were kept.
John Day Pool – From Paul Hoffarth Washington Dept. of Fish & Wildlife District 4 Fish Biologist in Pasco WA: For the week of April 12-18, an estimated 118 adult hatchery chinook were harvested and 7 wild chinook were released. The majority of the harvest were retained by bank anglers fishing the Oregon shore. WDFW staff interviewed 138 salmon anglers this past week and sampled 18 hatchery chinook. For the season, an estimated 129 adult hatchery chinook have been harvested and 7 wild chinook were released.
Lower Columbia Bonneville Dam – Effort remains light except for bank anglers on the Oregon side of the gorge. 54 boats and 15 WA bank anglers were counted during the Saturday April 17 flight. 241 bank anglers were counted at Rooster Rock.
Mainstem Columbia River from Buoy 10 to the Wauna power lines (including all adjacent Washington tributaries) – White sturgeon may be retained daily through April and from May 22 through June 26. Daily limit 1. Maximum size is 54″ fork length. Through April, minimum size is 38″ fork length. Effective May 22, the minimum size will be 41″ fork length. Catch-and-release fishing is allowed during non-retention days.
Mainstem Columbia River from the Wauna power lines upstream to Bonneville Dam (including all adjacent Washington tributaries) — White sturgeon may be retained Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays only through July 31 and from October 1 through December 31. Daily limit 1. Minimum size is 38″ fork length and maximum size is 54″ fork length. Catch-and-release fishing is allowed during non-retention days.
From Bonneville Dam downstream 9 miles to a line crossing the Columbia from Navigation Marker 82 on the Oregon shore through the upstream exposed end of Skamania Island, continuing in a straight line to a boundary marker on the Washington shore: CLOSED to fishing for STURGEON May 1-Aug. 31.
The Dalles Pool – Boat anglers were catching some legals; slow for legal size fish from the bank. Sturgeon may be retained daily until the pool guideline is met. The daily limit is 1 fish, minimum size 43″ fork length and maximum size 54″ fork length. From John Day Dam downstream 5.4 miles to the west end of the grain silo at Rufus, Oregon: CLOSED to fishing for STURGEON May 1-July 31.
John Day Dam to McNary Dam (including all tributaries) – The retention of sturgeon is prohibited through the rest of the year. Catch-and-release fishing is permitted. From McNary Dam downstream 1.5 miles to Hwy. 82 (Hwy. 395) Bridge: CLOSED to fishing for STURGEON May 1-July 31.
WALLEYE AND BASS
The Dalles Pool – Including fish released, boat anglers averaged a walleye per rod. Some bass were also being caught.
Recent trout releases in SW Washington waters:
South Lewis County Park Pond near Toledo – 4,255 catchable size browns April 12.
Lake Sacajawea in Longview – 7,110 catchable size browns April 8.
Kress Lake in Kalama – 352 triploid trophy rainbow trout averaging 1.5 pounds each April 13.
Horseshoe Lake in Woodland – 608 triploid trophy rainbow trout averaging 1.5 pounds each April 13.
Battleground Lake – 2,500 half-pound plus and 256 triploid trophy rainbow trout averaging 1.5 pounds each April 12 and 14.
Klineline Pond – Some of the 425 four-pound and 90 seven-pound brood stock rainbows plus thousands of catchable size rainbows left over from the Kids Fish-In Event held on April 10 should be available in the pond.