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Reel Time Fishing Northwest

Mark Yuasa covers fishing and outdoors in the Pacific Northwest.

April 11, 2011 at 12:44 PM

Lower Columbia River spring chinook reopens and fishing is not great

The Lower Columbia reopened for spring chinook last Friday, and fishing was decent despite high water levels.

“It is still a challenge for spring chinook, and the water is still pretty high,” said Joe Hymer, a state Fish and Wildlife biologist in Vancouver. “Fishing was decent on Friday, and a little bit occurred on Saturday. Dam counts aren’t all that spectacular either, and it is still a little on the tough side at the moment.”

From Friday through Sunday (April 8-10), state Fish and Wildlife sampled 1,436 anglers (including 440 boats) with 108 adult and one jack chinook and 11 steelhead kept.

Boat anglers averaged an adult spring chinook kept/released per every 10.5 rods while bank anglers averaged one per every 32.3 rods based on mainly completed and incomplete trips, respectively.

Eighty-eight (81-percent) of the adult spring chinook caught were kept, and 85-percent were of upriver stock based on Visual Stock Identification, and six (55-percent) of the steelhead caught were kept. A few legal sturgeon were also caught by boat anglers from Vancouver to Kalama.

The lower river commercial fishery wasn’t so good either with just under 800 spring chinook caught last their fishing period. They commercial fishery is pretty much done, as they just came under the allocation. Hymer says they commercial fleet might do more test fishing but that is about it.

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