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Reel Time Fishing Northwest

Mark Yuasa covers fishing and outdoors in the Pacific Northwest.

July 31, 2012 at 10:28 AM

Columbia River region fishing reports

Salmon/Steelhead

Cowlitz River – All the catch in the creel was sampled between the hatcheries.

Last week Tacoma Power recovered 1,417 summer-run steelhead, 137 spring Chinook adults, 27 jacks, 48 mini-jacks and four sockeye salmon during five days of operations at the Cowlitz Salmon Hatchery separator.

During the past week Tacoma Power employees released 49 spring Chinook adults and 21 jacks at the Day Use Park in Lake Scanewa above Cowlitz Falls Dam, nine spring Chinook adults and three jacks into the upper Cowlitz River at Packwood, and 49 spring Chinook mini-jacks into Riffe Lake at the Mossyrock Park boat launch.

A total of 82 summer-run steelhead and three sockeye salmon were transported to the lower Cowlitz River and released at the Interstate-5 boat launch during the week.

River flows at Mayfield Dam are approximately 3,200 cubic feet per second on Monday, July 30. Water visibility is 11 feet.

South Fork Toutle River – No steelhead catch from the dozen anglers interviewed. Fishing is reported much better on the Green.

Wind River – Bank anglers at the mouth are beginning to catch some steelhead.

Drano Lake – Effort and catch for steelhead is beginning to ramp up at Drano. There were 25 boats there last Saturday morning.

White Salmon River – Bank anglers continue to catch some steelhead.

Lower Columbia below Bonneville Dam – Last week we sampled 2,691 salmonid anglers (including 286 boats) with 885 steelhead, 15 adult and 7 jack summer Chinook, and 2 sockeye. 450 (51%) of the steelhead were kept. All but one of the adult Chinook, all wild jack Chinook, and all sockeye were released as required. One hatchery adult Chinook was illegally kept.

Salmonid effort remains highest off the Washington bank with 635 anglers counted during last Saturday’s effort flight count.

Bonneville Pool – Some steelhead are being caught by boat anglers at the mouth of Drano. There were 15 boats there last Saturday morning. There were also a handful of boats at the mouth of the White Salmon.

The Dalles Pool – Bank anglers are doing well on steelhead though most of the fish caught were wild and had to be released.

John Day Pool – Very few anglers are fishing for Chinook at this time but the number of anglers fishing for steelhead is slowly increasing. No salmon were reported caught or harvested this past week.

Beginning August 1, any Chinook (adipose fin clipped or not) may be retained from Buoy 10 upstream to the Hwy. 395 Bridge at Pasco.

Sturgeon

Lower Columbia from the Wauna powerlines to Marker 82 – Anglers trying to bring some fish home before the catch and release fishery fared well in their efforts. We sampled 282 sturgeon anglers (including 112 boats) with 43 legals kept. There were 131 boats counted trying for sturgeon during the effort flight count last Saturday. All sturgeon must now be released until at least October 20.

The Dalles Pool – Slow for legal size fish. By emergency regulation, retention is allowed daily from Aug. 1 through Aug. 4. Beginning Aug. 5 until further notice, retention allowed only on Thursday, Fridays and Saturdays. Daily Limit one white sturgeon between 43-54 inches in fork length. A balance of 140 white sturgeon remain on the recreational harvest guideline (300 fish) for The Dalles Pool.

By permanent rule, the sturgeon spawning sanctuary below John Day Dam opens to fishing Wednesday August 1.

John Day Pool – Slow for the half dozen boat anglers sampled. Catch and release only fishing through the end of the year.

By permanent rule, the sturgeon spawning sanctuary below McNary Dam opens to fishing Wednesday August 1.

Walleye and Bass

Lower Columbia below Bonneville Dam – Boat anglers in the Camas/Washougal area are catching some walleye.

The Dalles Pool – Boat anglers are catching some walleye. The couple anglers sampled fishing for bass did very well.

John Day Pool – Including fish released, boat anglers averaged nearly a walleye per rod. They were also catching some bass.

Trout

Goose Lake north of Carson – Planted with 2,000 cutthroats averaging nearly ¾ pound each July 23. No report on angling success.

Council and Takhlakh lakes – Planted with 5,000 and 3,207 catchable size rainbows, respectively, on July 24. No report on angling success.

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