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Reel Time Fishing Northwest

Mark Yuasa covers fishing and outdoors in the Pacific Northwest.

May 26, 2011 at 3:38 PM

Kalama and Lewis rivers close for spring chinook as returns appear so far to be poor

Anglers fishing in the Kalama and Lewis rivers will have to release all spring chinook beginning Saturday, May 28 through July 31.

Areas of the Kalama where this new rule covers are from boundary markers at the mouth to the upper salmon hatchery.

Through May 20, only 11 adult spring chinook salmon (including three unmarked fish) had returned to Kalama Falls Hatchery, well below the hatchery broodstock spawning goal of 400 fish. Only 600 adult spring chinook were forecast to return to the Kalama River this year.

Creel sampling surveys on the Kalama have shown light catches and no evidence of large numbers of fish holding in the river. Hatchery returns will continue to be closely monitored.

The Lower Kalama remains open to the retention of hatchery steelhead.

Areas of the Lewis where this new rule covers are from the mouth of the mainstem Lewis River to the mouth of East Fork, and on the North Fork Lewis from mouth of East Fork to the overhead power lines below Merwin Dam.

Less than 100 adult spring chinook have entered the traps on the Lewis River, well below the hatchery escapement goal of 1,300 fish. The preseason forecast anticipated a return of 3,400 adult spring chinook to the river system.

Creel sampling surveys on the Lewis have shown light catches and no evidence of large numbers of fish holding in the river. In addition, recent checks at the traps show low recruitment. Hatchery returns will continue to be closely monitored.

Both the mainstem and North Fork Lewis remain open to fishing for hatchery steelhead.

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