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Reel Time Fishing Northwest

Mark Yuasa covers fishing and outdoors in the Pacific Northwest.

March 21, 2011 at 3:41 PM

Spring chinook fishing on Lower Columbia River still in a funk

Not much has changed of late on the Lower Columbia River for spring chinook fishing.

It was bad last week, terrible over the weekend, and not any better by Monday as reported by anglers who searched for the prized springers from I-205 clear down to Frenchman’s Bar.

“It didn’t get any better from last week, and the catch rate was a little lower than the previous week,” said Joe Hymer, a state Fish and Wildlife biologist in Vancouver. “It (the water) was rough (on Sunday) and fishing has been slow although we did see our first spring chinook around the Kalama-Cathlamet area. The majority of spring chinook caught were still the upriver version.”

The latest commercial test fishery still showed more steelhead caught than spring chinook, which means there will be no full scale commercial fishery this week. They made 17 drifts and caught 17 spring chinook and 29 steelhead.

Fishing by the numbers:

Columbia River below Bonneville Dam — Last week: 447 bank anglers caught one spring chinook and three steelhead, and released one spring chinook; 946 boats with 2,209 anglers caught 91 spring chinook and one steelhead, and released 23 spring chinook and one steelhead; four bank anglers caught no sturgeon; 23 boats with 61 anglers caught two sturgeon and released 37; one boat with three anglers caught no walleye.

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