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Reel Time Fishing Northwest

Mark Yuasa covers fishing and outdoors in the Pacific Northwest.

May 9, 2011 at 7:40 PM

First summer run steelhead showing up in catches in Lower Columbia tributaries

Here is the lowdown on the fishing scene from state Fish and Wildlife in the Lower Columbia tributaries where it has been a mix of spring chinook and steelhead.

In the Cowlitz River spring chinook were being caught primarily in the lower river and at the barrier dam. About half the catch were jack spring chinook.

Last week, Tacoma Power recovered 593 winter-run steelhead, nine summer-run steelhead, 17 spring chinook adults and 16 jacks during five days of operation at the Cowlitz Salmon Hatchery separator.

During the past week Tacoma Power employees released 30 winter-run steelhead and four spring chinook salmon into Lake Scanewa above Cowlitz Falls Dam and seven winter-run steelhead into the Tilton River at Gust Backstrom Park in Morton.

River flows at Mayfield Dam are approximately 11,200 cubic feet per second on Monday, May 9. Water visibility is eight feet.

In the Kalama River anglers were catching a mix of adult and jack spring chinook, and winter and summer run steelhead. The first hatchery couple hatchery summer run steelhead of the year returned to Kalama Falls Hatchery trap last week and a couple spring chinook (also the first of the year) could be in the trap today.

In the Lewis River some spring chinook were being caught around the salmon hatchery and at the mouth. 15 hatchery summer run steelhead (the first of the year) returned to the Merwin Dam trap last week. Flows below Merwin Dam are currently 7,580 cfs, which is over 1.5 times higher than the long term mean for this date.

In the Washougal River anglers were catching a few hatchery steelhead.

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