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Reel Time Fishing Northwest

Mark Yuasa covers fishing and outdoors in the Pacific Northwest.

June 22, 2011 at 2:44 PM

Take your pick of summer chinook, steelhead, shad and sockeye now moving into the Lower Columbia River

The summer chinook fishery started off on a good note, but has slowed down a little since then although a spike in the steelhead, shad and sockeye catch makes for a wide range of species to catch in the Lower Columbia River.

During the first four days (June 16-19) of the summer chinook fishery, anglers made 9,600 trips and caught 1,300 adult summer chinook (855 kept and 446 released).

Bank anglers made the majority of the trips and catch although overall boat anglers had a higher catch rate. On Sunday’s flight we counted over 1,100 salmon bank anglers and just under 300 boats.

“It slowed down a little bit, but the water is dropping, and not quite as good as the first four days of the fishery (June 16-19),” said Joe Hymer, a state Fish and Wildlife biologist in Vancouver.

“We are seeing more steelhead in the Longview/Cathlamet areas up to 15 pounds or so, and a few more sockeye,” Hymer said.

Shad counts at Bonneville Dam have also spiked up to almost 75,000 on Tuesday, June 21.

“Now is a good time for shad fishing,” Hymer said, who also cautioned anglers to keep a close watch on your stringer of shad catch laying on the banks as aggressive oversized sturgeon have been coming up to shore and grabbing the stringers full of fish.

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