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Reel Time Fishing Northwest

Mark Yuasa covers fishing and outdoors in the Pacific Northwest.

September 13, 2011 at 8:02 PM

Columbia River region fishing reports

Here are the latest salmon and steelhead fishing reports from the Columbia River region:

Cowlitz River: Bank anglers at the barrier dam are doing well for fall chinook while boat anglers near the mouth are doing well for fall chinook and coho.

Last week Tacoma Power recovered 803 fall chinook adults, 52 jacks, 126 coho adults, one jack, 34 spring chinook adults, 12 jacks, 162 summer-run steelhead, 11 sea-run cutthroat, two chum salmon and two pink salmon during five days of operation at the Cowlitz Salmon Hatchery separator.

During the past week Tacoma Power employees released 24 spring chinook adults, seven jacks, 96 fall chinook adults, eight jacks and 42 coho adults into the Cispus River above the mouth of Yellow Jacket Creek. They released 150 fall chinook adults, two jacks, ten spring chinook adults, three jacks, 37 coho adults and one jack into the Upper Cowlitz River at the Skate Creek Bridge in Packwood and released seven spring chinook mini-jacks into Riffe Lake at Mossyrock Park.

During the week 338 fall chinook adults, 17 jacks and 25 coho salmon were released into Mayfield Lake at the Ike Kinswa State Park boat launch. Also, Tacoma Power released 93 fall chinook adults, seven jacks, 19 coho adults and four cutthroat at Gust Backstrom Park in Morton, and one sea-run cutthroat was released into Lake Scanewa.

A total of six cutthroat trout, the pink and chum salmon and two summer-run steelhead were released into the Cowlitz River at the Barrier Dam boat launch during the week.

River flows at Mayfield Dam are approximately 3,540 cubic feet per second on Monday, Sept. 12. Water visibility is 13 feet.

Lewis River: A handful of boat anglers at the mouth had caught a few wild coho that had to be released.

Washougal River: Bank anglers are catching some fall chinook.

Wind River from 100 feet above Shipherd Falls to approximately 800 yards downstream of Carson National Fish Hatchery (except closed 400 feet below to 100 feet above the coffer dam): Under permanent rules, scheduled to open for catch-and-release for all game fish (including steelhead) beginning this Friday Sept. 16. Selective gear rules will be in effect.

White Salmon River: The lower portion of the White Salmon River will be closed to fishing for 12 hours Sept. 17 to allow an interagency clean-up team to remove derelict boats, camping gear and other debris before Condit Dam is breached in late October. The fishing closure will be in effect from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 17.The affected area extends 3.3 miles from the Highway 14 Bridge to the powerhouse at the dam. The river mouth downstream of the Highway 14 Bridge will remain open.

Yakima River from Paul Hoffarth, a state Fish and Wildlife biologist in Pasco): Effort picked up slightly this week with an estimated 148 angler trips for the week. No harvest has been reported to date.

Buoy 10 at Columbia River mouth: Good for coho early last week then slowed. Reopens for fall chinook retention beginning Friday Sept. 16. Up to two adult chinook may be retained.

Lower Columbia mainstem below Bonneville Dam: Last week state Fish and Wildlife sampled 2,386 salmon anglers (including 790 boats) with 745 adult and 59 jack fall chinook, 29 adult coho, and 48 steelhead. The majority of the fall chinook, 17 (59-percent) of the coho (though one was an unmarked fish that should have been released), and 38 (79-percent) of the steelhead were kept.

Lewis River downstream reopens for chinook retention Friday, Sept. 16-18. Up to two adult chinook may be retained.

Bonneville Pool – Boat anglers are catching some fall chinook and summer run steelhead. About 40 boats observed off the mouth of the Klickitat last Saturday morning.

Hanford Reach (from Paul Hoffarth, a state Fish and Wildlife biologist in Pasco): The Hanford Reach fall chinook fishery is off to a strong start. Staff interviewed 201 boats last week with 110 adult chinook and 20 jacks, roughly half a fish per boat. An estimated 426 adult chinook and 76 jacks were harvested this past week. Effort is spreading out throughout the Hanford Reach and the Tri-cities. Almost 2,000 angler trips this past week. Local staff will make their first in-season run prediction on Sept 15.

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