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Reel Time Fishing Northwest

Mark Yuasa covers fishing and outdoors in the Pacific Northwest.

March 6, 2012 at 8:38 AM

Some spring chinook appeared in catches on Lower Columbia, and other southwest area fish reports


South Fork Toutle River from mouth to 4100 Road Bridge – Effective March 16, closed to all fishing.

Cowlitz River – No report on angling success is currently available. Last week Tacoma Power recovered 122 winter-run steelhead and one spring Chinook adult during five days of operation at the Cowlitz Salmon Hatchery separator.

During the past week Tacoma Power employees released 26 winter-run steelhead at the Day Use in Lake Scanewa above Cowlitz Falls Dam and 15 steelhead into the Tilton River at Gust Backstrom Park in Morton.

River flows at Mayfield Dam are approximately 9,470 cubic feet per second on Monday, March 5.

Washougal River – 39 bank anglers released 4 wild steelhead while 17 boat anglers kept 1 hatchery steelhead and released 2 hatchery and 15 wild fish. Thursday March 15 is the last day to fish for steelhead.

Lower Columbia mainstem below Bonneville Dam – During the first four days of March we sampled 565 salmonid anglers (including 165 boats) with 21 spring Chinook and 3 steelhead. Boat anglers averaged a Chinook kept/released per every 17.6 rods based on mainly completed trips. Bank anglers only released one wild steelhead based on primarily incomplete trips. All of the Chinook were sampled from the mouth of the Lewis to Vancouver.

19 (90.5%) of the Chinook caught were kept. We sampled 15 (79%) of the Chinook kept. 11 (73%) of the Chinook sampled were upriver stock based on Visual Stock Identification (VSI).

2 (66%) of the steelhead caught were kept.

Effort is increasing with 351 boats and 300 bank anglers counted during the Saturday March 3 effort flight count.

Bonneville Pool – No effort.

The Dalles and John Day pools – No steelhead catch was observed last week.

Bonneville Dam to Oregon/Washington Border – Effective March 16 through May 2, open to fishing for hatchery Chinook and hatchery steelhead. Bank fishing only from Bonneville Dam to Tower Island powerlines located about 6 miles below The Dalles Dam. Up to 2 adult hatchery Chinook or hatchery steelhead or one of each may be retained per day.


Lower Columbia mainstem below Bonneville Dam – Some legals were caught in the Camas/Washougal and Woodland areas. Effort remains fairly low with 39 boats and 29 bank anglers counted during last Saturday’s flight.

Bonneville Pool – Light effort in the current catch-and-release fishery.

The Dalles Pool – No legals were found in the sample.

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

Bass and Walleye

Bonneville and John Day pools – Boat anglers averaged about ½ walleye per rod when including fish released. Some bass were found in the Bonneville Pool creel.

The Dalles Pool – Including fish released, boat anglers averaged about a walleye per rod. No effort was observed for bass.


Horseshoe Lake in Woodland – Planted with 816 two pound rainbows Feb. 27. No report on angling success.



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