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Reel Time Fishing Northwest

Mark Yuasa covers fishing and outdoors in the Pacific Northwest.

April 20, 2011 at 5:27 PM

Lower Columbia River spring chinook fishery ends on a high note

Go figure…

After almost two months of fruitless, miserable spring chinook fishing, and just as the Lower Columbia River fishery came to an end on Tuesday, April 19, the sport catches took a turn for the better.

“Actually the catches improved, and it looks like a push of fish are coming through the lower river and they are on their way,” said Joe Hymer, a state Fish and Wildlife biologist in Vancouver. “I wouldn’t be surprised if it ramped up soon and these are mostly upriver type fish.”

The Lower Columbia River sport fishery ended about 75-percent of the pre-update, upriver catch balance number. The best catch rates occurred the last two days of the season, which was this past Monday and Tuesday. Oregon bank anglers enjoyed their best season in years.

Through April 19, there were an estimated 109,180 angler trips with 7,440 spring chinook kept and 1,939 released. An estimated 5,669 (76-percent) of the chinook kept were of upriver origin based on Visual Stock identification. In addition, 1,059 steelhead were kept and 530 were released.

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