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Reel Time Fishing Northwest

Mark Yuasa covers fishing and outdoors in the Pacific Northwest.

August 18, 2010 at 5:23 PM

Columbia River steelhead fishery slows in lower river, but still very good above Bonneville Dam

Steelhead fishing has cooled down in the Lower Columbia River.

Blame the low water flow, water temperatures hovering at 72 degrees and a drop in the fish counts at Bonneville Dam. The few steelhead caught around the mouths of the Cowlitz and Lewis were some nice-sized fish into the lower teens.

The action at the Wind River mouth, Drano Lake and White Salmon River are good for steelhead.

At Drano about three-quarter of the boat anglers sampled had kept or released a steelhead, and more than half were kept. Some coho were also sampled there too.

Bonneville Pool boat anglers averaged a fish per rod including fish released. Catch was mainly steelhead along with a few fall chinook.

The Columbia River A-steelhead run is tracking about 375,000 to 400,000 right now compared to the original preseason forecast of 337,500. The larger-size and later returning B-steelhead forecast is about 90,000.

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