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Reel Time Fishing Northwest

Mark Yuasa covers fishing and outdoors in the Pacific Northwest.

March 24, 2011 at 1:34 AM

Spring chinook fishery success changes from day to day in the Lower Columbia, but has improved

The Lower Columbia River spring chinook fishery has come out of its coma like state, and catches in the past few days have improved.

Most anglers were finding the best catches from I-205 to the mouth of the Lewis River. Fishing was fairly slow in the Camas-Washougal area, and better from Longview to Cathlamet.

Pete Sergeef, a state Fish and Wildlife fish checker in the Puget Sound area, fished near the I-5 Bridge and hooked a 27-pound spring chinook Wednesday morning at daybreak, but saw just a handful of fish caught.

A check from the Marine Park boat ramp in Vancouver on Tuesday showed 49 boats with 16 spring chinook kept and four released.

Through March 20, there have been an estimated 35,731 angler trips with 1,349 adult spring chinook kept and 343 released. About 88 percent of the fish were of upriver origin, and only 15 percent of the catch guideline had been taken. There were also 227 steelhead kept and 221 released.

Fishing effort more than doubled from the previous week with 931 boats and 514 bank anglers counted during a March 19 aerial survey, but effort was down about 40 percent from the same time last year (1,634 boats and 824 bank anglers).

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