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Reel Time Fishing Northwest

Mark Yuasa covers fishing and outdoors in the Pacific Northwest.

February 15, 2012 at 6:08 PM

Good for steelhead in The Dalles Pool, and walleye action on the rise in section of Columbia

Weekend Fishing Opportunities in the Columbia River:

Sturgeon angling is good for boat anglers in the Bonneville Pool when the weather cooperates; however, sturgeon retention will be closed in the Bonneville Pool beginning Saturday February 18. Anglers in the John Day Pool are also catching a few legals.

Steelhead fishing is excellent for boat anglers in The Dalles pool. Steelhead should also be available for anglers plunking on the lower Columbia River sandbars.

Walleye angling is starting to pick-up between Bonneville and McNary Dams.

SALMON, STEELHEAD AND SHAD

The following modifications are now in effect for the mainstem Columbia River from Buoy 10 upstream to the Oregon/Washington border above McNary Dam:

COLUMBIA RIVER MAINSTEM, BUOY 10 LINE UPSTREAM TO THE I-5 BRIDGE:

This section of the Columbia River is currently open seven days per week to the retention of adipose fin-clipped spring Chinook, adipose fin-clipped steelhead, and adipose fin-clipped coho during January 1 through Wednesday February 29, 2012 with a daily bag limit of two adult salmon or steelhead in combination plus five jacks. Effective Thursday March 1 through Friday April 6, 2012 (or until the catch guideline of 12,700 upriver spring Chinook has been reached) this section of the Columbia River will be open to the retention of adipose fin-clipped spring Chinook, adipose fin-clipped steelhead, and shad with a daily bag limit of two adult salmonids, only one of which may be a Chinook (≥24″), and five adipose fin-clipped jacks; however, the season will be closed on Tuesdays, March 20, 27, and April 3 to allow for possible commercial fishing days. The retention of chum and sockeye salmon is prohibited. All other permanent rules apply.

COLUMBIA RIVER MAINSTEM, I-5 BRIDGE UPSTREAM TO BONNEVILLE DAM:

This section of the Columbia River is open to the retention of adipose fin-clipped steelhead with a daily bag limit of two fish during January 1 – February 29, 2012. The retention of spring Chinook is prohibited as per permanent regulations. Effective Thursday March 1, the mainstem Columbia River from the I-5 Bridge upstream to Beacon Rock plus the Oregon and Washington banks from Beacon Rock upstream to Bonneville Dam will be open to the retention of adipose fin-clipped spring Chinook, adipose fin-clipped steelhead and shad through Friday April 6 (or until the catch guideline of 12,700 upriver spring Chinook has been reached); however, the season will be closed on Tuesdays, March 20, 27 and April 3 to allow for possible commercial fishing days. The daily bag limit will be two adipose fin-clipped adult salmonids, of which only one may be a Chinook (≥24″), plus five adipose fin-clipped Chinook jacks. The retention of chum and sockeye salmon is prohibited. All other permanent rules remain in effect.

COLUMBIA RIVER MAINSTEM, BONNEVILLE DAM UPSTREAM TO THE OREGON/WASHINGTON BORDER:

This section of the Columbia River is open January 1 – March 15, 2012 to the retention of adipose fin-clipped steelhead with a daily bag limit of two fish. The retention of spring Chinook is prohibited as per permanent regulations. Effective Friday March 16 through Wednesday May 2, 2012 (or until the catch guideline of 1,700 fish has been reached), this area will be open to the retention of adipose fin-clipped spring Chinook and adipose fin-clipped steelhead with a daily bag limit of two adipose fin-clipped adult Chinook (≥24″) or steelhead in combination, plus five adipose fin-clipped Chinook jacks. Angling for salmon and steelhead from a floating device between Bonneville Dam and the Tower Island Powerlines (located approximately 6 miles downstream from The Dalles Dam) is prohibited.

Boat anglers are catching quite a few steelhead in The Dalles Pool. On the Lower Columbia, salmonid and steelhead angler effort increased this past weekend now that the water clarity is beginning to improve. On Saturday’s (2/11) flight, 61 salmonid boats and 95 Oregon bank anglers were counted.

Portland to Longview Bank:

No report.

Portland to Longview boats:

Weekend checking showed no catch for 28 boats (58 anglers).

Bonneville Pool:

No report.

The Dalles Pool:

Weekly checking showed one adipose fin-clipped steelhead kept, plus one unclipped steelhead released for 20 bank anglers; and nine adipose fin-clipped steelhead kept, plus two clipped and 11 unclipped steelhead released for nine boats (22 anglers).

John Day Pool:

Weekly checking showed one unclipped steelhead released for 14 bank anglers; and six unclipped steelhead released for two boats (12 anglers).

STURGEON

The following modifications are now in effect for the mainstem Columbia River from Buoy 10 upstream to the Oregon/Washington border above McNary Dam:

BUOY 10 UPSTREAM TO WAUNA POWERLINES:

This section of the Columbia River is currently open to the retention of sturgeon seven days per week with a daily bag limit of one sturgeon between 38 and 54 inches fork length and an annual limit of five fish. The retention of green sturgeon is prohibited.

The following modifications were adopted at the January 26 Compact/Joint State Hearing for the 2012 mainstem Columbia River sturgeon fishery from Wauna Powerlines (River Mile 40) downstream to the mouth at Buoy 10, including Youngs Bay and all adjacent Washington tributaries.

The modifications include:

Allow the retention of white sturgeon seven days per week effective Sunday January 1 through Monday April 30, 2012 with a daily bag limit of one fish between 38 – 54 inches fork length.

Prohibit the retention of sturgeon seven days per week during Tuesday May 1 through Friday May 11, 2012.

Allow the retention of sturgeon seven days per week effective Saturday May 12 through Sunday July 8, 2012 (or until the harvest guideline of 4,160 legal white sturgeon has been reached) with a daily bag limit of one fish between 41 – 54 inches fork length in effect.

Prohibit the retention of sturgeon seven days per week during Monday July 9through Monday December 31, 2012.

Retention of green sturgeon is prohibited as per permanent regulations.

Catch and release of sturgeon may continue during retention closures.

WAUNA POWERLINES UPSTREAM TO BONNEVILLE DAM:

Effective January 1 through Tuesday July 31, 2012, this section of the Columbia River is open to the retention of sturgeon on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays with a daily bag limit of one fish between 38 – 54 inches fork length and an annual limit of five fish.

The following modifications were adopted at the January 26 Compact/Joint State Hearing for the 2012 mainstem Columbia River sturgeon fishery from the Wauna Powerlines (River Mile 40) upstream to Bonneville Dam, all adjacent Washington tributaries, excluding the lower Willamette River upstream to Willamette Falls, Multnomah Channel, and Gilbert River.

The modifications include:

Allow the retention of white sturgeon three days per week on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, and prohibit the retention of sturgeon four days per week on Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday beginning January 1 through Tuesday July 31, 2012.Prohibit the retention of sturgeon seven days per week during Wednesday August 1 through Friday October 19, 2012.

Allow the retention of sturgeon three days per week on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday and prohibit the retention of sturgeon four days per week on Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday beginning Saturday October 20 through December 31, 2012 or until the catch guideline of 2,080 legal white sturgeon has been met.

Effective Wednesday, February 1 through Monday, April 30 angling is prohibited for all species in the area from a line between the upstream end of Sand Island and a marker on the Oregon shoreline, downstream to a line between the lower end of Sand Island and a marker on the Oregon shoreline.

Retention of green sturgeon is prohibited as per permanent regulations.

Catch and release of sturgeon may continue during sturgeon retention closures, except all sturgeon angling is prohibited between Marker 82 and Bonneville Dam during May 1-August 31, 2012.

The lower Willamette remains closed for sturgeon retention except for February 17 – 18 and February 24 – 25.

BONNEVILLE DAM UPSTREAM TO THE OREGON/WASHINGTON BORDER:

Regulations for the 2012 sturgeon sport fishery from Bonneville Dam upstream to the Oregon/Washington border are currently as follows:

Sturgeon creel sampling summaries and catch estimates for Bonneville, The Dalles, and John Day pools can be found at the following link:

WDFW Mid-Columbia River mainstem sport sampling summary

BONNEVILLE DAM UPSTREAM TO THE DALLES DAM:

This section of the Columbia River is currently open to the retention of sturgeon seven days per week. The daily bag limit is one sturgeon between 38-54 inches fork length and an annual limit of five fish. The use of more than one single point barbless hook is prohibited. Effective Saturday February 18, 2012 the retention of sturgeon in the Bonneville Pool and all adjacent tributaries will be prohibited. Catch and release will be allowed during retention closure.

THE DALLES DAM UPSTREAM TO MCNARY DAM:

Effective January 1, 2012 this section of the Columbia River is open to the retention of sturgeon seven days per week until the catch guidelines are reached. The daily bag limit is one sturgeon between 43-54 inches fork length and an annual limit of five fish. The use of more than one single point barbless hook is prohibited.

MCNARY DAM UPSTREAM TO THE OREGON/WASHINGTON BORDER:

Effective Wednesday February 1 through Tuesday July 31, 2012 this section of the Columbia River is open to the retention of sturgeon seven days per week with a daily bag limit of one sturgeon between 43-54 inches fork length and an annual limit of five fish. The use of more than one single point barbless hook is prohibited.

Sturgeon angler effort increased slightly this past weekend on the lower Columbia; however, catch rates remain poor. Sturgeon fishing is excellent in the Bonneville Pool when the weather cooperates. Anglers are also catching a few keepers in the John Day Pool.

Gorge Bank:

No report.

Gorge Boats:

No report.

Troutdale Bank:

No report.

Troutdale Boats:

No report.

Portland to Longview Bank:

No report.

Portland to Longview Boats:

Weekend checking showed three legal white sturgeon kept, plus two legal and 56 sublegal sturgeon released for 48 boats (100 anglers).

Bonneville Pool:

Weekly checking showed one legal white sturgeon kept, plus eight sublegal sturgeon released for 85 bank anglers; and nine legal white sturgeon kept, plus one legal, one oversize and 95 sublegal sturgeon released for 23 boats (81 anglers).

The Dalles Pool:

Weekly checking showed three sublegal sturgeon released for 20 bank anglers; and 16 sublegal sturgeon released for 10 boats (18 anglers).

John Day Pool:

Weekly checking showed no catch for 30 bank anglers; and two legal white sturgeon kept, plus one oversize released for 29 boats (38 anglers).

WALLEYE

Bonneville Pool:

Weekly checking showed nine walleye kept, plus four walleye released for three boats (five anglers).

The Dalles Pool:

Weekly checking showed no catch for two bank anglers; and one walleye released for two boats (four anglers).

John Day Pool:

Weekly checking showed 10 walleye kept, plus one walleye released for 25 boats (52 anglers).

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