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Reel Time Fishing Northwest

Mark Yuasa covers fishing and outdoors in the Pacific Northwest.

April 18, 2011 at 9:42 PM

Lower Columbia River spring chinook fishery improves, but turnout remains low

Angler turnout remains really down despite an extension on the Lower Columbia River spring chinook fishery, although catches had improved.

In general catches are increasing in the Cathlamet area where anglers on some days averaged one adult spring chinook kept or released per boat.

Boat anglers in the Woodland area averaged over half-a-fish per boat when including fish released.

Fishing from the Washington shore remains slow.

Tomorrow (Tuesday 19) is the last scheduled day to fish for spring chinook on the Lower Columbia

.

Effort remains largely unchanged from the previous week, but is still substantially less than the same time last year.

From April 14-17, state Fish and Wildlife checked 1,669 anglers (including 565 boats) with 205 adult and two jack spring chinook and eight steelhead. Overall boat anglers averaged an adult spring chinook kept or released per every 6.5 rods, while bank anglers averaged one per every 44.6 rods based on mainly completed and incomplete trips, respectively.

181 (88-percent) of the adult spring chinook caught were kept. State Fish and Wildlife sampled 132 (73-percent) of the fish kept. 114 (86-percent) of the fish sampled were upriver stock based on Visual Stock Identification.

A total of 673 salmon boats and just over 700 bank anglers (including nine sampled just below Bonneville Dam but unable to count during the flight) were found during the Saturday, April 16 aerial flight count. On the April 9 aerial flight, just over 700 boats and nearly 850 bank anglers were counted.

On Saturday April 17, 2010, a total of 2,585 salmon boats and over 1,500 bank anglers were counted.

Spring chinook finally showed up in catches in the Columbia River mainstem above Bonneville Dam as well as in a few tributaries.

At the Wind River mouth four boat anglers kept one adult spring chinook, and one bank angler had no catch as did three bank anglers in the gorge.

In Drano Lake five boat anglers kept one adult spring chinook, and two bank anglers had no catch. Fishing is closed on Wednesdays through June at Drano Lake.

In the Klickitat River three bank anglers had no catch.

There was no fishing report from Bonneville Pool.

In The Dalles Pool bank anglers were catching some spring chinook. From March 16-April 17, there have been an estimated 656 angler trips with 24 chinook kept and 24 released.

In the John Day Pool an estimated 15 adult hatchery spring chinook were harvested in the John Day Pool (Lake Umatilla) this past week by anglers. State Fish and Wildlife staff interviewed 93 anglers and sampled two hatchery spring chinook. No wild spring chinook or any other species were reported. Very few boat anglers were targeting on spring chinook, but several bank anglers have been fishing the Oregon shore line below McNary.

Washington and Oregon Fish and Wildlife will hold a telephone conference 2 p.m. Wednesday, April 20 to review the above Bonneville sport spring chinook fishery. Currently the fishery is scheduled to remain open through April 24.

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