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Reel Time Fishing Northwest

Mark Yuasa covers fishing and outdoors in the Pacific Northwest.

September 18, 2012 at 9:08 AM

Columbia River regional fish checks

State Fish and Wildlife Columbia River regional fish checks courtesy of biologist Joe Hymer:

Salmon/Steelhead

North Fork Toutle River – Bank anglers are catching some fall chinook and coho.

Cowlitz River – Anglers are catching a mix of fall chinook, coho, summer run steelhead, and sea run cutthroats.

Last week Tacoma Power recovered 6,407 fall chinook adults, 61 jacks, 60 spring chinook adults, two jacks, 29 coho adults, ten jacks, 95 summer-run steelhead, and four cutthroat trout during five days of operations at the Cowlitz Salmon Hatchery separator.

During the past week Tacoma Power employees released 176 fall chinook adults, 31 jacks, 46 spring chinook adults, one jack, one coho adult, five jacks, and one cutthroat trout into the Cispus River above the mouth of Yellow Jacket Creek and 73 fall chinook adults, 15 jacks, 12 spring chinook adults, one jack, and three coho adults into the upper Cowlitz River at Packwood. A total of 315 fall chinook adults, 13 jacks, 12 coho adults and three jacks were released into the Tilton River at Gust Backstrom Park in Morton during the week.

River flows at Mayfield Dam are approximately 4,870 cubic feet per second on Monday, September 17. Water visibility is 15 feet.

Kalama River – Anglers are catching some fall chinook.

Lewis River – North Fork anglers are primarily catching fall chinook and coho jacks. Any chinook, adipose fin clipped or not, may now be retained on the North Fork Lewis.

Flows at Merwin Dam are 1,340 cfs today, about two-thirds of the long-term mean (2,070 cfs) for this date.

Washougal River – Anglers are catching some fall chinook.

Wind River – Effort is light at the mouth with only a handful of boats counted there last Saturday morning.

Drano Lake – Boat anglers are catching fall chinook, summer run steelhead, and a few coho. Anglers with a Two Pole Endorsement may use two poles here. Only a couple boats were spotted off the mouth last Saturday morning.

White Salmon River – Most of the effort is outside the mouth where anglers are catching some fall chinook. About 20 boats were observed off the mouth last Saturday morning.

Klickitat River – Effort and catch is building. Bank anglers below Fisher Hill Bridge averaged a fall chinook per rod during a couple checks last week. Last Saturday morning, approximately 40 vehicles were parked below the bridge.

Buoy 10 – Boat anglers continue to catch some coho though fishing would be rated slow to fair.

Preseason catch expectations were 13,900 chinook and 9,200 coho. Catch (plus release mortalities) through Sept. 9 includes 19,300 chinook and 7,400 coho.

Lower Columbia mainstem below Bonneville Dam – Last week we sampled 2,115 salmon anglers (including 682 boats) with 723 adult and 115 jack fall Chinook, 16 steelhead, 16 adult and 1 jack coho, and 1 cutthroat. Overall, 426 (59 percent) of the adult chinook, 10 (63 percent) of the steelhead, and six (38 percent) of the adult coho were kept.

In the Mark Selective Chinook Fishery from the Warrior Rock line downstream to the Rocky Point/Tongue Point line, 98 (25%) of the 390 adult chinook were kept. All the adult chinook released were reported to be wild fish.

All chinook must be released from the Warrior Rock line downstream through September.

Almost 1,200 salmon boats and just over 400 bank anglers were counted during last Saturday’s effort flight count. The count was very similar to the same time last year.

Preliminary kept catch through September 16 totals 21,800 adult chinook, 800 coho, and 5,100 steelhead from 115,000 angler trips. The preliminary total catch expectation for the fishery (August 1 – December 31) is around 29,000 chinook and 1,500 hatchery coho.

The 2011 mainstem fishery produced 143,343 angler trips with catches of 28,169 adult fall chinook. The angler trip total and chinook catch were the highest on record. Will we have new records? Stay tuned.

Bonneville Pool – Fall chinook and some coho are being caught at the mouth of the Klickitat River. Effort is increasing with 30 boats tallied there last Saturday morning.

Sturgeon

Lower Columbia mainstem below Bonneville Dam – Last Saturday, only a handful of sturgeon anglers were found in the current catch-and-release only fishery.

Walleye

Lower Columbia mainstem below Bonneville Dam – A half dozen walleye boats were counted from Camas/Washougal upstream last Saturday. Including fish released, boat anglers averaged just over 2 walleye per rod last week.

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