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Reel Time Fishing Northwest

Mark Yuasa covers fishing and outdoors in the Pacific Northwest.

August 19, 2011 at 10:10 AM

Record summer steelhead catch in Lower Columbia River mainstem

This summer the Lower Columbia River has seen a bonanza of summer steelhead, and it is now official that the July catch figure showed a record number of fish kept, and so far this month appears to be a record breaker as well.

There is a new record steelhead harvest for the month of July with an estimated 8,549 steelhead kept last month. The old record was 8,200 steelhead taken home in 2009.

Last month’s 15,897 total steelhead handled (kept and released) missed the record by just 37 fish (15,934 in 2009).

The August figures continue to be on pace for another record breaker.

Last week sport anglers on the Lower Columbia made 14,213 trips and caught 498 adult chinook (kept), 6,295 summer steelhead (3,826 adipose fin-clipped steelhead kept and 2,469 unclipped fish released) and eight coho (released).

In general, boat angler effort is increasing and steelhead bank angler effort downstream of Longview is decreasing. However, steelhead catches increased last week overall.

Also there is now a new record steelhead handled for the month of August, which so far is 11,639 steelhead (kept and released) in the Lower Columbia below Bonneville Dam.

The previous record was 11,049 fish for all of August 2009.

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