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Reel Time Fishing Northwest

Mark Yuasa covers fishing and outdoors in the Pacific Northwest.

June 5, 2012 at 8:08 AM

Columbia River region fishing reports by state Fish and Wildlife


Cowlitz River – Anglers are mainly catching spring Chinook, in particular around the salmon hatchery. Some steelhead are also being caught mainly between the hatcheries.

Last week Tacoma Power recovered 598 spring Chinook adults, 81 jacks, 18 winter-run steelhead, and 115 summer-run steelhead during four days of operations at the Cowlitz Salmon Hatchery separator.

During the past week Tacoma Power employees released 212 spring Chinook adults, 36 jacks, and three winter-run steelhead at the Day Use Park in Lake Scanewa above Cowlitz Falls Dam, 170 spring Chinook adults, 30 jacks, and one winter-run steelhead into the Cispus River above the mouth of Yellow Jacket Creek, and 74 spring Chinook adults and seven jacks into the upper Cowlitz River at Packwood.

River flows at Mayfield Dam are approximately 6,540 cubic feet per second on Monday, June 4. Water visibility is 12 feet.

Kalama and Lewis rivers – Light effort and catches. Kalama River is closed to fishing for spring Chinook.

Washougal River – Effort has increased now that the river is open for bait up to the Salmon Falls Bridge. Some summer run steelhead are being caught in the lower river. River flows have been low.

Wind River and Drano Lake – Effort and catch continues to decline. Some spring Chinook are being caught in the Wind gorge/coffer dam area.

Klickitat River – Bank anglers in the lower river are still catching some spring Chinook and summer run steelhead. Effort was light for hatchery steelhead/Chinook jacks in the upper river.

Lower Columbia mainstem from the I-5 Bridge downstream – During the first three days of June we sampled 273 salmonid anglers (including 11 boats) with 3 adult and 1 jack spring Chinook, 23 steelhead, and 1 sockeye. All of the adult spring Chinook and 2 of the steelhead were released.

Nearly 250 bank anglers and 60 boats fishing for salmonids were tallied during last Saturday’s (June 2) effort flight count.


Lower Columbia mainstem from the mouth to Marker 82 – During the first three days of June we sampled 107 sturgeon anglers (including 30 boats) with 15 legals kept. Catch was spread throughout the river.

225 private and 8 charter sturgeon boats were also observed during last Saturday’s effort flight count with over a third of the private boats found in the estuary.

The Dalles Pool – Boat and bank anglers are catching some legals.

Walleye and Bass

The Dalles Pool – Including fish released, boat anglers averaged over 1.5 walleye and 11 bass per rod. Bank anglers are also catching some bass.


A variety of trout have been planted in SW WA lakes since mid May. Those include:

Kress Lake near Kalama – 3,018 catchable size and 10 ten pound rainbows May 18.

Battle Ground Lake – 2,232 eastern brook, 100 rainbow, and 2,792 tiger trout (all catchable size) May 23.

Lacamas Lake in Camas – 2,000 two-third pound rainbows May 22.

Horsethief Lake near Lyle – 4,277 catchable and 51 ten pound rainbows May 22.


Lower Columbia mainstem below Bonneville Dam – Bank anglers just below Bonneville Dam averaged 10 shad per rod while those in the Washougal area averaged over 2.5 per rod based on mainly incomplete trips, respectively. Boat anglers between Longview and Woodland averaged between 3 and 10 shad kept/released per rod based on mainly completed trips.

Bank angling effort for shad is increasing with over 300 bank rods counted last Saturday of which almost all were from Camas/Washougal upstream.

The 22,613 shad counted at Bonneville Dam yesterday was the season high to date.



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