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Reel Time Fishing Northwest

Mark Yuasa covers fishing and outdoors in the Pacific Northwest.

October 10, 2011 at 4:31 PM

Columbia River region fishing reports

Salmon/Steelhead

Grays River – The mainstem Grays will close to all fishing between Highway 4 and the South Fork on Oct. 16, when the West Fork will also close from the mouth to 300 yards below the hatchery road. These areas will reopen for hatchery salmon and hatchery steelhead beginning Dec. 1.

Cowlitz River – Anglers on the lower river were catching a mixture of fall Chinook and coho.

Last week Tacoma Power recovered 2,671 fall chinook adults, 148 jacks, 4,860 coho adults, 339 jacks, 33 summer-run steelhead, 24 sea-run cutthroat and four pink salmon during seven days of operation at the Cowlitz Salmon Hatchery separator.

During the past week Tacoma Power employees released 457 coho adults, 21 jacks, 170 fall Chinook adults and two jacks into the Upper Cowlitz River at the Skate Creek Bridge in Packwood, and 821 fall chinook adults, 67 jacks, 1,052 coho adults and 25 jacks into Lake Scanewa behind Cowlitz Falls Dam.

Also, 276 fall chinook adults, 33 jacks, 246 coho adults and seven jacks were released into the Cispus River near the mouth of Yellow Jacket Creek and 1,044 fall chinook adults, 33 jacks, 179 coho salmon adults, 16 jacks and seven cutthroat were released into the Tilton River at Gust Backstrom Park in Morton. A total of six cutthroat trout and four pink salmon were released into the Cowlitz River at the Barrier Dam boat launch.

River flows at Mayfield Dam are approximately 4,980 cubic feet per second on Monday, Oct. 10. Water visibility is 16 feet.

Lewis River – Anglers were catching a mixture of fall chinook and coho.

White Salmon River – Boat anglers were catching some coho. Unfortunately most were unmarked and had to be released.

Klickitat River – Anglers were catching some fall chinook and coho.

Lower Columbia below Bonneville Dam – Last week we sampled 192 salmon anglers (including 45 boats) with 29 adult and three jack fall chinook, seven adult coho, and one steelhead. All the chinook were kept as were six (86-percent) of the coho. The steelhead was released.

Effort is still fairly strong with 259 salmon boats and almost 200 bank anglers found during the Saturday Oct. 8 effort flight count.

Bonneville Pool – Boat anglers are catching coho and some fall chinook, primarily at the mouth of the Klickitat. There were 65 boats there last Saturday morning.

Oct. 15 is the last day the night closure and anti-snagging rule will be in effect for salmon and steelhead from Bonneville Dam to McNary Dam.

Sturgeon

Lower Columbia mainstem from the Wauna powerlines to Bonneville Dam – A lot slower for bank anglers just below Bonneville Dam that averaged a legal kept per every 24.6 rods based mainly on incomplete trips. We also sampled some legals caught by boat anglers in the Camas/Washougal and Kalama areas.

On last Saturday’s effort flight count, 265 sturgeon boats and just over 500 bank anglers were tallied.

Walleye

Lower Columbia below Bonneville Dam – A handful boats were observed fishing for walleye in the Camas/Washougal area last Saturday. Boat anglers were catching some walleye there.

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