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Reel Time Fishing Northwest

Mark Yuasa covers fishing and outdoors in the Pacific Northwest.

September 25, 2012 at 10:08 AM

State Fish and Wildlife fishing reports from Columbia River region

Salmon/Steelhead

South Fork Toutle River – Effort and steelhead catches are light.

Cowlitz River – Anglers are catching fall chinook and coho.

Last week Tacoma Power recovered 823 fall Chinook adults, 106 jacks, 14 spring Chinook adults, one jack, 303 coho adults, 127 jacks, 118 summer-run steelhead, seven cutthroat trout, and two sockeye salmon during five days of operations at the Cowlitz Salmon Hatchery separator.

During the past week Tacoma Power employees released 220 fall Chinook adults, 39 jacks, ten spring Chinook adults, 91 coho adults and 79 jacks into Lake Scanewa above Cowlitz Falls Dam at the Day Use Site and 183 fall Chinook adults, 31 jacks, two spring Chinook adults, 13 coho adults and five jacks into the upper Cowlitz River at Packwood.

A total of 305 fall Chinook adults, 31 jacks, 133 coho adults, 43 jacks and one cutthroat trout were released into the Tilton River at Gust Backstrom Park in Morton during the week.

River flows at Mayfield Dam are approximately 4,740 cubic feet per second on Monday, September 24. Water visibility is 14 feet.

Kalama River – Bank anglers are catching some fall chinook though the majority of the fish were released (dark or wild fish).

Lewis River – North Fork Lewis has been good for fall chinook and some coho jacks. Effective October 1, any chinook, adipose fin clipped or not, may be retained on the mainstem Lewis. In addition, the North Fork from Colvin Creek (located above the salmon hatchery) upstream to Merwin Dam closes to all angling from October 1 through December 15.

Washougal River – Some fall chinook are being caught.

Wind River – Effort and catches are light.

Drano Lake – Boat anglers are catching some fall chinook. In October, fishing is closed from 6 pm Tuesdays to 6 pm Wednesdays.

White Salmon River – Effort and catches are light.

Klickitat River – Effort is heavy with nearly 65 vehicles counted from Fisher Hill Bridge downstream last Saturday morning. Bank anglers are catching fall chinook, a mix of adults and jacks.

Buoy 10 – Coho catches approached ½ fish per rod at times last week.

Effective October 1, the salmonid daily limit increases to 6 fish of which 2 may be adult salmon or hatchery steelhead or one of each. Salmon minimum size is 12 inches. Release all salmon other than chinook and hatchery coho.

Lower Columbia below Bonneville Dam – Last week we sampled 751 salmonid anglers (including 254 boats) with 91 adult and 47 jack fall Chinook, 11 steelhead, 5 adult and 1 jack coho. Overall, 79 (87%) of the adult Chinook, 5 (45%) of the steelhead, and 4 (80%) of the adult coho were kept.

Salmonid effort is way down, especially in the area below the Warrior Rock line where all chinook must be released.

Effective October 1, up to two adult fall chinook (adipose fin clipped or not) may be retained from the Warrior Rock Lighthouse, through Red Buoy #4, to the orange marker atop the dolphin on the Washington shore downstream. The salmonid daily will be 6 fish of which 2 may be adult salmon or hatchery steelhead or one of each. Salmon minimum size is 12 inches. Release all salmon other than chinook and hatchery coho.

Bonneville Pool – High winds last Saturday hampered the boat fishery off the mouth of the Klickitat.

The Dalles Pool – Anglers are catching a mix of fall chinook, coho, and summer run steelhead.

Hanford Reach – WDFW staff interviewed 1,253 anglers from 933 boats with 767 adult Chinook and 260 jacks this past week. An estimated 1,661 adult fall Chinook and 618 jacks were harvested (1.3 chinook per boat). All areas are reporting strong catches, especially for this early in the fishery.

An estimated 3,191 adult Chinook and 1,097 jacks have been harvested through WDFW staff interviewed 1,253 anglers from 933 boats with 767 adult Chinook and 260 jacks this past week. An estimated 1,661 adult fall Chinook and 618 jacks were harvested (1.3 chinook per boat). All areas are reporting strong catches, especially for this early in the fishery. An estimated 3,191 adult Chinook and 1,097 jacks have been harvested through September 16.

The current in-season run forecast for the Hanford Reach estimates the 2012 adult return at 85,500 fish.

Sturgeon

Lower Columbia below Bonneville Dam – Only a handful of sturgeon boats in the current catch-and-release only fishery.

The Dalles Pool – Some sturgeon are being caught those most were by salmonid anglers.

Through August, an estimated 189 (63%) of the 300 fish guideline had been taken.

Walleye

Lower Columbia below Bonneville Dam – Boat anglers averaged a walleye kept per rod last week. There were 15 walleye boats observed from Camas/Washougal upstream during last Saturday’s effort flight count.

Trout

Mineral Lake – No report on angling success. September 30 is the last day to fish for the year.

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