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Reel Time Fishing Northwest

Mark Yuasa covers fishing and outdoors in the Pacific Northwest.

May 24, 2011 at 8:46 AM

Lower Columbia tributaries giving up some spring chinook and steelhead

The Lower Columbia River tributaries are producing a mix of steelhead and spring chinook according to the state Fish and Wildlife checks from this past week.

In the Cowlitz River anglers were catching a mix of adult and jack spring chinook, primarily in the upper river.

Last week Tacoma Power recovered 533 adult spring chinook, 349 jack spring chinook, 21 winter-run steelhead and 78 summer-run steelhead during five days of operation at the Cowlitz Salmon Hatchery separator.

During the past week Tacoma Power employees released 46 adult spring chinook, 217 jack spring chinook, and six winter-run steelhead into the Upper Cowlitz River at Packwood, and 62 adult spring chinook and 98 jack spring chinook into the Cispus River above the mouth of Yellow Jacket Creek.

River flows at Mayfield Dam are approximately 9,620 cubic feet per second on Monday, May 23. Water visibility is eight feet.

In the Kalama River salmon catches were light. Just 11 adult spring chinook (including three unmarked fish) had returned to Kalama Falls Hatchery through May 20. The escapement goal is 400 fish for hatchery brood stock.

In the Lewis River there has been light angler effort and catch. Just 85 adult spring chinook had returned to the Merwin Dam trap through May 20 though hatchery personnel have only had sporadic access to the trap due to high river flows. The hatchery escapement goal is 1,300 fish.

The East Fork Lewis River from the mouth to 400 feet below Horseshoe Falls (except closures around various falls), and the Washougal River from the mouth to Salmon Falls Bridge will be open to fishing with bait for hatchery steelhead beginning the first Saturday in June (June 4).

In the Washougal River boat anglers were catching some hatchery summer-run steelhead. Slow fishing from the bank. The river is backed up from the high Columbia flows all the way to the Sandy Swimming Hole.

The Elochoman River from mouth to West Fork and Grays River from mouth to South Fork and West Fork from mouth to hatchery intake/footbridge open to fishing for hatchery chinook and hatchery steelhead beginning the first Saturday in June (June 4).

The entire South Fork Toutle River and the Green River from the mouth to the 2800 Road Bridge will open to fishing for hatchery steelhead beginning the first Saturday in June as outlined in the 2011/2012 Sportfishing Rules Pamphlet. Beginning June 4, bait may be used. All tributaries to the South Fork Toutle and Green rivers will remain closed to all fishing.

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