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Reel Time Fishing Northwest

Mark Yuasa covers fishing and outdoors in the Pacific Northwest.

April 12, 2011 at 3:10 PM

Lower Columbia spring chinook fishery still slow

Here is the latest word on the Lower Columbia River spring chinook sport fishery.

From April 8-10 there were an estimated 7,400 angler trips with 665 spring chinook (513 kept and 152 released) and 201 steelhead handled.

For the season thru April 10, there have been an estimated 90,000 angler trips with 5,023 adult spring chinook kept and 1,485 released.

Still pretty low salmon effort for the first week of April with just over 700 boats and nearly 850 bank anglers counted during the Saturday, April 9 aerial flight count.

Last year at this time (Saturday, April 10) there were 2,300 salmon boats.

Sport fishing in the Lower Columbia River for spring chinook is open through April 18.

A meeting between Washington and Oregon Fish and Wildlife is 2 p.m. on April 14 to discuss updates, catches and if an extension on the fishery is possible.

From April 8-10, boat anglers averaged an adult spring chinook kept or released per every 10.5 rods while bank anglers averaged one per every 32.3 rods based on mainly completed and incomplete trips, respectively.

81-percent of the adult spring chinook hooked were kept. 85-percent were of upriver stock.

In comparison to previous years during this period, this year’s catch rate is the lowest since at least 2000.

Boat anglers averaged an adult chinook kept/released per every 2.9 rods in 2010; 5.9 rods in 2009, 2.5 rods in 2008; 4.1 rods in 2007; 7.2 rods in 2006; 6.4 rods in 2005; 3.0 rods in 2004; 5.6 rods in 2003; 4.9 rods in 2002; and 4.6 rods in 2001.

Through April 10, just 659 adult spring chinook had been counted at Bonneville Dam. Last year 7,148 fish had been counted at this time. The recent 10-year average is 16,764.

After reaching 400,000 cubic feet per second at Bonneville Dam on April 6, flows are expected to average just under 300,000 cfs for at least the next week and a half. The 10-year average for this time of year is 183,000 cfs.

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