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Reel Time Fishing Northwest

Mark Yuasa covers fishing and outdoors in the Pacific Northwest.

March 31, 2011 at 12:40 PM

Spring chinook catches still under the anticipated preseason mark

Spring chinook catches appear to still be tracking below the preseason expectations in the Lower Columbia River sport fishery.

Projected through today (March 31), there have been an estimated 65,000 angler trips with 3,770 adult spring chinook kept and 1,092 released.

Of those 2,964 (79-percent) of the spring chinook kept were of upriver origin based upon Visual Stock Identification (VSI).

Approximately 40-percent of the 7,750 upriver catch guideline has been taken. There were also 553 steelhead kept and 411 released.

The lower river below Bonneville will close after April 4. The area from Tower Island power lines six miles below The Dalles Dam and the Washington/Oregon state line located 17 miles upstream from McNary Dam is open through April 24.

At midweek Joe Hymer, a state Fish and Wildlife biologist in Vancouver said “there may be a check point as it’s tracking a little bit behind where they thought it would be at this time during the season.”

“We’ll see what happens after this week, and as of right now it’s only open through Monday, but stay tuned,” Hymer said.

Catches of late had been better down from I-5 Bridge at places like the Lewis, Kalama and Cathlamet areas.

Tributaries such as the Wind River, Klickitat River and Drano Lake will also provide good spring chinook fishing from late April into May. Time these fisheries by looking at the Bonneville Dam counts.

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