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Reel Time Fishing Northwest

Mark Yuasa covers fishing and outdoors in the Pacific Northwest.

December 17, 2012 at 4:08 PM

Columbia River regional fishing reports by state Fish and Wildlife

Salmon/Steelhead

Under permanent rules, Dec. 31 is the last day to fish for steelhead in Mill Creek (Cowlitz River tributary) and salmon in the Elochoman, Grays (including West Fork), Tilton, Washougal rivers, the mainstem Columbia from the I-5 Bridge upstream to the Hwy. 395 Bridge at Pasco, and Drano and Mayfield lakes.

Effective Jan. 1, any Chinook kept must be adipose fin clipped on Deep, Lewis (including North Fork) rivers and the mainstem Columbia from the I-5 Bridge downstream. In addition, only 2 adult hatchery salmon may be retained daily on the lower Cowlitz and the adult daily limit is only 1 hatchery Chinook on the Kalama and Lewis rivers. Also, anglers are limited to one pole in Camas Slough and Drano Lake.

Cowlitz River – Anglers are catching some steelhead, primarily around the trout hatchery.

Last week Tacoma Power recovered 200 coho adults, 20 jacks, 175 winter-run steelhead, one fall Chinook adult, and one cutthroat trout during five days of operations at the Cowlitz Salmon Hatchery separator.

A total of 52 coho adults, eight jacks and two winter-run steelhead were released into the Tilton River at Gust Backstrom Park in Morton, eleven coho adults and five jacks into Lake Scanewa above Cowlitz Falls Dam at the Day Use Site, 49 coho adults, six jacks and one fall Chinook adult into the upper Cowlitz River at Packwood, and one cutthroat trout into the upper Cowlitz River basin during the week.

River flows at Mayfield Dam are approximately 13,100 cubic feet per second on Monday, December 17. Water visibility is seven feet.

299 hatchery winter steelhead have returned to Cowlitz Salmon Hatchery through Dec. 12. Last year, 823 fish had returned through Dec. 14.

Kalama River – Catches remain light.

Lewis River – North Fork bank anglers are primarily catching steelhead while boat anglers are still catching some fall Chinook. Flows below Merwin Dam are currently 5,490 cfs, about 70% of the long term mean (7,730) for this date.

113 hatchery winter steelhead have returned to the Lewis traps through Dec. 10. Last year, 294 fish had returned through Dec. 14.

Washougal River – Continues to be generally slow for steelhead. Flows at Hathaway Park rose nearly 4,000 cfs overnight. Flows are currently close to 5,500 cfs.

136 hatchery winter steelhead have returned at Skamania Hatchery through Dec. 10. Last year, 155 fish had returned through Dec. 14.

Trout

Klineline Pond – 5 bank anglers kept 6 rainbows.

Spearfish Lake near Dallesport – Planted with 124 rainbows averaging 5 pounds each Dec. 10. No report on angling success.

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