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Reel Time Fishing Northwest

Mark Yuasa covers fishing and outdoors in the Pacific Northwest.

May 31, 2011 at 3:42 PM

Columbia River region offers some nice spring chinook and steelhead fishing activities

Here are the latest reports by state Fish and Wildlife from the Columbia River and its tributaries with fair to good fishing reports of a mix of spring chinook and summer-run steelhead.

The Cowlitz River is producing some spring chinook and steelhead.

Last week Tacoma Power recovered 218 adult spring chinook adults, 102 jack spring chinook, 30 winter-run steelhead and 38 summer-run steelhead during five days of operation at the Cowlitz Salmon Hatchery separator.

During the past week Tacoma Power employees released 22 adult spring chinook, 52 jack spring chinook and two winter-run steelhead into the Upper Cowlitz River at Lake Scanewa, and 46 adult spring chinook and 39 jack spring chinook into the Cispus River above the mouth of Yellow Jacket Creek.

River flows at Mayfield Dam are approximately 8,730 cubic feet per second on Monday, May 31. Water visibility is eight feet.

Lake Scanewa (Cowlitz Falls Reservoir) opens to fishing for hatchery spring chinook and hatchery rainbows on Wednesday, June 1.

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 will be open to fishing for hatchery chinook and hatchery steelhead beginning Saturday, June 4.

The entire South Fork Toutle River and the Green River from the mouth to the 2800 Road Bridge will be open to fishing for hatchery steelhead beginning Saturday, June 4. Bait may be used. All tributaries to the South Fork Toutle and Green rivers will remain closed to all fishing.

In the Kalama and Lewis rivers anglers were catching some steelhead. Both rivers are now closed for spring chinook.

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 Saturday, June 4.

In the Wind River the coffer dam area is probably the best for spring chinook though some fish were being caught throughout the system. High flows make for difficult fishing at Milepost 7. A total of 254 spring chinook had returned to Carson National Fish Hatchery as of May 30.

In Drano Lake boat anglers continue to catch some spring chinook. Anglers should note the Wednesday closures have been extended through all of June.

In the Klickitat River bank anglers from the Fisher Hill Bridge downstream were catching a mixture of adult and jack spring chinook and summer run steelhead.

Under permanent rules, the Klickitat River from the Fisher Hill Bridge downstream will open 7 days per week beginning June 1. The salmon daily limit will be 6 fish of which no more than 2 may be adults. Two hatchery steelhead may also be retained. Release wild chinook.

The section from 400 feet upstream from # 5 fishway upstream to boundary markers below the Klickitat Salmon Hatchery will open to fishing for hatchery chinook jack and hatchery steelhead beginning June 1 under permanent rules. Again, release wild chinook.

In the Lower Columbia below Bonneville Dam, state Fish and Wildlife sampled 892 salmon anglers (including 61 boats) with 33 adult and 44 jack spring chinook, and 27 steelhead. 22 (67-percent) of the adult and 39 (89-percent) of the jacks were kept as were 21 (78-percent) of the steelhead. All of the adults and all but one of the jacks sampled were upriver origin based on Visual Stock Identification (VSI).

On the Saturday May 28 effort aerial flight count showed there were 89 salmon boats and 549 bank anglers observed.

In Bonneville Pool there was light angler effort and catch.

In The Dalles Pool for May 28-29, an estimated 114 angler trips produced eight adult and 61 jack chinook kept.

In the John Day Pool, state Fish and Wildlife biologist Paul Hoffarth in Pasco, estimated harvest in the John Day Pool for May 28-30 is 22 adult hatchery chinook and 56 hatchery jacks. An additional 11 wild adult and 11 wild jacks were caught and released. Catch was light. Water is turbid and the flows are high, at or approaching 500,000 cfs. Effort was moderate with 71 boats on the water on Saturday along with 44 bank anglers.

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