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Reel Time Fishing Northwest

Mark Yuasa covers fishing and outdoors in the Pacific Northwest.

March 13, 2012 at 9:14 AM

Latest southwestern Washington fish report shows big interest in spring chinook

Salmon/Steelhead

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 109 winter-run steelhead during five days of operation at the Cowlitz Salmon Hatchery separator.

During the past week Tacoma Power employees released 20 winter-run steelhead at the Day Use in Lake Scanewa above Cowlitz Falls Dam and 15 into the Tilton River at Gust Backstrom Park in Morton.

River flows at Mayfield Dam are approximately 10,300 cubic feet per second on Monday, March 12. Water visibility is eight feet.

Kalama River – 13 bank anglers kept 2 hatchery steelhead and released 1 hatchery and 1 wild fish. 4 boat anglers kept 1 spring chinook.

North Fork Lewis River – 8 bank anglers had no catch.

Washougal River – 35 bank anglers kept 2 hatchery steelhead and released 1 wild fish. 10 boat anglers kept 1 hatchery steelhead and released 1 hatchery and 7 wild fish. Thursday March 15 is the last day to fish for steelhead. Mt. Norway Bridge downstream re-opens April 16 under selective gear rules (no bait).

Anglers should also be aware that March 15 is the last day to fish for steelhead on Abernathy, Cedar (Clark Co.), Germany, Mill (Cowlitz Co.), Rock (Skamania Co.), Salmon (Clark Co.) creeks and on the Coweeman, Elochoman, Grays, and East Fork Lewis rivers.

Wind River – From mouth (buoy line/markers) upstream to 400 feet below Shipherd Falls opens to fishing for hatchery spring chinook and hatchery steelhead March 16.

Drano Lake – Also opens to fishing for hatchery chinook and hatchery steelhead March 16.

Expect fishing to start slowly at Wind and Drano as only 7 adult chinook had been counted at Bonneville Dam through March 9.

Lower Columbia below Bonneville Dam – Last week we sampled 1,755 salmonid anglers (including 639 boats) with 69 spring Chinook and 10 steelhead. Boat anglers averaged a Chinook kept/released per every 20 rods based on mainly completed trips. Bank anglers only released one wild chinook based on primarily incomplete trips; however they are catching some steelhead.

52 (75%) of the Chinook caught were kept. 76% of the Chinook we sampled were upriver stock based on Visual Stock Identification (VSI). Half the steelhead caught were kept.

Reminder – The entire lower Columbia below Bonneville Dam will be closed to all fishing for salmonids Tuesday March 20, March 27, and April 3.

The Dalles Pool – Anglers are catching some steelhead though most of the fish were wild and had to be released.

John Day Pool – No steelhead were sampled 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.

Sturgeon

Lower Columbia below Bonneville Dam – Some legals were caught by boat anglers from Kalama upstream. Fishing is slow from the bank.

The Dalles Pool – Bank anglers are catching some legals. No legals were sampled from boat anglers.

Through February, an estimated 27(9%) of the 300 fish guideline had been taken.

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

An estimated 138 (28%) of the 500 fish guideline had been taken through February.

Walleye and Bass

The Dalles Pool – Boat anglers averaged over 1.5 walleye per rod when including fish released. No effort was observed for bass.

John Day Pool – Including fish released, boat anglers averaged nearly a walleye per rod. They were also catching some bass. Little to no bank fishing effort.

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