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Reel Time Fishing Northwest

Mark Yuasa covers fishing and outdoors in the Pacific Northwest.

June 21, 2011 at 8:08 AM

Summer chinook action on Lower Columbia river draws plenty of anglers and some chinook and sockeye

Salmon and Steelhead

Cowlitz River – A few spring chinook are still being caught by boat anglers in the lower river. All the steelhead were caught by boat anglers in the Blue Creek area. Through June 17, a total of 850 adult spring chinook are being held for brood stock. Escapement goal for Cowlitz is 1,718 for hatchery brood and 2,000 to the upper watershed. On average, the return is half over.

Last week: 34 Cowlitz bank angler caught no fish; 23 boat anglers caught six steelhead, and released two spring chinook and one steelhead.

Last week Tacoma Power recovered 37 spring chinook adults, 47 jacks, one mini jack, and 134 summer-run steelhead during five days of operation at the Cowlitz Salmon Hatchery separator.

During the past week Tacoma Power employees released three spring chinook adults and 40 jacks into Lake Scanewa.

River flows at Mayfield Dam are approximately 7,410 cubic feet per second on Monday morning, June 20. Water visibility is 10 feet.

Kalama River – Anglers are catching some steelhead. Remains closed for spring chinook.

Last week: 23 Kalama bank anglers caught six steelhead, and released one chinook and one steelhead.

As of June 17, a total of 115 adult spring chinook are being held at Kalama Falls Hatchery. The hatchery brood stock goal is 400 fish. On average, the return is half over. Through June 15, a total of 29 hatchery and 20 wild summer run steelhead had returned to Kalama Falls Hatchery. At the same time last year, 338 hatchery and 64 wild fish had returned.

Lewis River – Light effort and catch. Remains closed for spring chinook.

Last week: 14 Lewis North Fork anglers caught no fish, and two Lewis mainstem bank anglers caught no fish.

As of June 15, just under 1,000 adult spring chinook are being held for brood stock. The goal is 1,300 fish. On average the return is 90-percent complete.

A total of 279 hatchery summer run steelhead had returned to the Merwin Dam trap as of June 15.

Washougal River – 122 bank anglers kept 14 hatchery steelhead and released three wild fish. 11 boat anglers kept two hatchery steelhead, and released one hatchery and two wild fish. The creel census program, funded by the Columbia River Salmon and Steelhead Endorsement funds, is now complete.

Through June 15, a total of 366 hatchery summer run steelhead had returned to Skamania Hatchery. At the same time last year, 814 fish had returned.

Wind River – Effort is light though some spring chinook are still being caught.

Through June 19, a total of 1,788 spring chinook had returned to Carson National Fish Hatchery. The escapement goal is 1,500 fish.

Drano Lake – Light effort though some spring chinook are still being caught.

Last week: Five Drano boat anglers caught one spring chinook.

Klickitat River – Bank anglers continue to catch a mix of adult and jack spring chinook and steelhead.

Last week: 14 Klickitat bank anglers caught 12 spring chinook and one steelhead, and released one spring chinook.

As of June 20 there are 184 adults at Klickitat Salmon Hatchery. The hatchery escapement goal is 500 fish.

Lower Columbia mainstem below Bonneville Dam – For the first three days of the summer chinook season (June 16-19), state Fish and Wildlife sampled almost 1,200 salmon anglers (including 150 boats) with 123 adult and 65 jack summer chinook, 58 steelhead, and 18 sockeye. 87 (71-percent) of the adult and 53 (82-percent) of the jacks were kept as were 42 (72-percent) of the steelhead and 16 (89-percent) of the sockeye though all sockeye, adipose fin clipped or not, may be retained.

Just over 800 salmon bank anglers and almost 300 boats were observed on the lower Columbia mainstem during last Thursday’s summer chinook opener.

The Dalles Pool – Light catches of spring chinook though there were quite a few bank anglers trying.

John Day Pool -Paul Hoffarth, a state Fish and Wildlife fish biologist in Pasco estimated harvest in the John Day Pool for June 13 through June 15 is 17 hatchery adult chinook. No chinook jacks or wild chinook were caught the last three days of the fishery. Catch and effort was light and the water remains high and turbid. A couple of the boat anglers are able to routinely catch chinook.

For the 2011 spring chinook fishery in Lake Umatilla (John Day Pool) an estimated 978 hatchery adult spring chinook were harvested as well as 150 hatchery jacks. In addition 304 wild adult and 38 wild jack chinook were caught and released. Roughly 24% of the adult catch in this area were wild.

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