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Reel Time Fishing Northwest

Mark Yuasa covers fishing and outdoors in the Pacific Northwest.

April 14, 2011 at 3:10 PM

Staff recommends Lower Columbia spring chinook fishery to stay open longer

Washington and Oregon Fish and Wildlife managers are still meeting as we speak, but the staff has made a recommendation to extend the Lower Columbia River spring chinook sport fishery to remain open through April 22.

I’ll let you know once the word is official so stay tuned…

In the meantime:

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.

Effort was still pretty low during 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.

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.

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 13, just 691 adult spring chinook had been counted at Bonneville Dam. Last year through April 10, 7,148 fish had been counted wit the recent 10-year average at 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. The visibility at Bonneville is two feet.

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