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Reel Time Fishing Northwest

Mark Yuasa covers fishing and outdoors in the Pacific Northwest.

February 22, 2012 at 4:30 PM

Commercial test netting yields a small catch of fish in Lower Columbia

The latest commercial test fishery to determine spring chinook abundance in the Lower Columbia River showed poor catches again early this week.

“They had 16 drifts, and only caught one spring chinook and two steelhead in Zones 2 and 3 (which is from Longview downstream),” said Joe Hymer, a state Fish and Wildlife biologist in Vancouver.

“So that shows a low abundance in the river, but we did sample one spring chinook released in Longview area (by a sport angler),” Hymer said.

All the Columbia tributary water levels have come up with the Grays River at flood stage, and areas around the mouth of the Cowlitz and across from the mouth of the Willamette are also likely affected.

“We aren’t sure about levels on the Columbia, and it takes a little more for it to go out,” Hymer said.

The next test netting will occur on Sunday, followed by a compact meeting on Monday to see if commercial gill-netting for spring chinook could start soon after.

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