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Reel Time Fishing Northwest

Mark Yuasa covers fishing and outdoors in the Pacific Northwest.

January 17, 2012 at 5:08 PM

Southwest Washington’s best fishing bet points to Cowlitz and Washougal rivers or year-round lakes for trout

Salmon/Steelhead

Cowlitz River — Last week: Seven boat anglers kept four winter steelhead; and 15 bank anglers kept four winter steelhead.

Last week Tacoma Power recovered 330 winter-run steelhead, 236 coho adults and four jacks during five days of operation at the Cowlitz Salmon Hatchery separator.

During the past week Tacoma Power employees released 158 coho adults, two jacks and 18 winter-run steelhead at the Lake Scanewa Day Use Site above Cowlitz Falls Dam and 45 coho adults and seven winter-run steelhead into the Tilton River at Gust Backstrom Park in Morton.

River flows at Mayfield Dam are approximately 10,300 cubic feet per second on Tuesday, January 17.

Washougal River — Last week: 24 boat anglers kept four winter steelhead, and released three; and 94 bank anglers kept three winter steelhead and released five.

Bonneville Pool – No effort was observed.

The Dalles and John Day pools – Bank and boat anglers are catching some steelhead.

Sturgeon

Lower Columbia below Bonneville Dam – Effort and catches are light.

Bonneville Pool – Boat anglers averaged a legal kept per about 4 rods. Anglers are catching 11 sublegals to every legal. Fishing is slow from the bank.

Through Jan. 15, an estimated 765 legals have been kept. The 2011 guideline was 2,000 fish. The guidelines for 2012 have not been finalized yet.

The Dalles Pool – A few legals are being caught.

John Day Pool – Boat anglers are catching some legals. Fishing is slow from the bank.

Walleye and Bass

Bonneville, The Dalles, and John Day Pools – The few boat anglers sampled did not catch any walleye. No effort observed for bass.

Trout

Recent plants into SW Washington lakes

Silver Lake near Castle Rock – 5,050 catchable size rainbows Jan. 9.

Kress Lake near Kalama – 11 adult steelhead Jan. 9.

Battleground Lake – 799 cutthroats averaging a pound each Jan. 11.

Kidney Lake near North Bonneville – 50 five pound and 13 ten pound brood stock rainbows Jan.9-10.

Icehouse Lake near Bridge of the Gods – 42 five pound and 7 ten pound brood stock rainbows Jan. 9.

Little Ash Lake near Stevenson – 42 five pound and 7 ten pound brood stock rainbows Jan. 9.

Tunnel Lake just east of Drano Lake – 83 five pound and 13 ten pound brood stock rainbows Jan. 9.

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