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Reel Time Fishing Northwest

Mark Yuasa covers fishing and outdoors in the Pacific Northwest.

September 20, 2011 at 3:52 PM

Columbia River area offers a good mix of fishing opportunities

Here are the latest fishing reports from the Columbia River region:

Salmon/Steelhead

Cowlitz River – On the lower river, anglers are catching a mix of fall chinook, coho, and summer run steelhead. Just under half the fish caught were wild and had to be released.

Last week Tacoma Power recovered 1,760 fall chinook adults, 83 jacks, 349 coho adults, 12 jacks, 29 spring chinook adults, four jacks, 111 summer-run steelhead, eight sea-run cutthroat and two pink salmon during five days of operation at the Cowlitz Salmon Hatchery separator.

During the past week Tacoma Power employees released 265 fall chinook adults, four jacks, six spring chinook adults, one jack and seven coho adults into the Cispus River above the mouth of Yellow Jacket Creek. They released 379 fall chinook adults, 18 jacks, thirteen spring chinook adults, 24 coho adults and one jack into the Upper Cowlitz River at the Skate Creek Bridge in Packwood and 78 fall chinook adults, eight jacks, nine spring chinook adults, three jacks, 64 coho adults and one jack into Lake Scanewa behind Cowlitz Falls Dam. Also during the week 636 fall chinook adults, 29 jacks, 223 coho salmon adults and fourteen jacks were released into Mayfield Lake at the Ike Kinswa State Park boat launch and 143 fall chinook adults, seventeen jacks and four cutthroat at Gust Backstrom Park in Morton.

A total of three cutthroat trout and the two pink salmon were released into the Cowlitz River at the Barrier Dam boat launch during the week.

River flows at Mayfield Dam are approximately 4,400 cubic feet per second on Monday, September 19. Water visibility is 11 feet.

Kalama and Washougal rivers – Bank anglers are catching some fall chinook.

Lewis River – Anglers on the North Fork around the salmon hatchery did well for fall chinook, coho, and summer run steelhead when the flows more doubled last week. Flows have since dropped from just over 4,300 cfs to 1,241 cfs (about half the long term mean) today and angling success has slowed.

Drano Lake and the lower Klickitat River – Boat anglers are catching some fall chinook. Effort has been fairly heavy on the Lower Klickitat with a few dozen vehicles parked there last Saturday morning. No report on angling success by bank anglers.

Buoy 10 – Catch rates for hatchery coho approached a fish per rod at times last week. A few chinook were caught over the weekend.

Lower Columbia below Bonneville Dam – Last week we sampled 1,864 salmon anglers (including 499 boats) with 520 adult and 28 jack fall chinook, 35 adult and one jack coho, and 16 steelhead. 480 (92%) of the adult and 27 (96%) of the jack fall Chinook, 18 (51%) of the adult coho, and 12 (75%) of the steelhead were kept (though one steelhead was a wild fish that should have been released. In addition, the wild coho jack should have been released).

Just over 1,400 salmon boats and 459 bank anglers were found during last Saturday’s (September 17) effort flight count.

Bonneville Pool – Boat anglers were catching some fall chinook. There were approximately 30 boats of the White Salmon and 50 off the Klickitat River early last Saturday morning.

Sturgeon

Lower Columbia below Bonneville Dam – Effort continues to be light during the current catch-and-release only fishery. Only a few boats were observed during last Saturday’s flight count and we only found a couple boats in our sample last week.

Walleye

Lower Columbia below Bonneville Dam – Only four boats fishing for walleye were observed during last Saturday’s effort flight count. However, the few boat anglers we sampled in the Camas/Washougal area did well for walleye when including fish released.

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