You have to go way back in time to see the sheer numbers of chinook that have been caught in the Lower Columbia River, including a catch that is a new record for August.
“We had a record catch in August for adult chinook kept in the Lower Columbia, which was 7,584 chinook,” said Joe Hymer, a state Fish and Wildlife biologist in Vancouver.
During Aug. 27-31, anglers on the Lower Columbia River made 17,109 trips and caught 4,079 adult fall Chinook (3,984 kept and 95 released), 617 summer steelhead (374 kept and 243 released), and 67 adult coho (25 kept and 42 released).
Hymer says since Sept. 1 the water flows in the Lower Columbia have dropped back down to average flows and that has affected the chinook fishery to some degree.
“It did get off the quick start, and catch rates have hit a slight lull,” Hymer said.
The best catches of chinook have taken place from Vancouver to Longview.
This comes on the heels of what had been a great king fishery at Buoy 10 located near the mouth of the Columbia River near Ilwaco, and some of best fishing seen in a couple of decades.
“It was a good year with a catch rate 0.40 fish per rod average, and a catch of 24,000 chinook,” Hymer said. “That was the highest Buoy 10 catch since 1988, which is pretty darn good.”
Hymer says the catch per trip on the Oregon side of Buoy 10 was about 0.36 per rod, and that goes back from he says is about 1982.
The Oregon catch per trip was the highest Hymer could every find for Buoy 10.
(Photo by Mark Yuasa of Clyde McBrayer from Olympia with a nice 22-pound king caught just above the Astoria-Megler Bridge near Buoy-10 on Aug. 19.)