March 19, 2013 at 9:08 AM
State Fish and Wildlife Columbia regional fishing reports and sampling checks
Cowlitz River – 37 bank anglers kept 1 and released 3 steelhead. 49 boat anglers kept 10 and released 2 steelhead.
Last week Tacoma Power recovered 261 winter-run steelhead, one spring Chinook salmon (the first one this year), and one cutthroat trout during five days of operations at the Cowlitz Salmon Hatchery separator.
During the past week Tacoma Power employees released 30 steelhead and one spring Chinook salmon into Lake Scanewa above Cowlitz Falls Dam at the Day Use Site, and 72 steelhead into the Tilton River at Gust Backstrom Park in Morton.
River flows at Mayfield Dam are approximately 6,580 cubic feet per second on Monday, March 18. Water visibility is eleven feet.
East Fork Lewis River – The entire river is currently closed to all fishing. From the top boat ramp at Lewisville Park downstream re-opens April 16 under selective gear rules (no bait).
Kalama River – 3 bank anglers had no catch. Closed for spring Chinook.
Washougal River – 53 bank anglers kept 2 hatchery and released 3 wild steelhead. 13 boat anglers kept 3 hatchery and released 2 hatchery and 7 wild steelhead.
The entire river is currently closed to all fishing. Mt. Norway Bridge downstream re-opens April 16 under selective gear rules (no bait).
Wind River from mouth (boundary line markers) to 400 feet below Shipherd Falls – Closed to all fishing through March 31. Effective April 1, daily limit will be 1 hatchery spring Chinook or 1 hatchery steelhead. Two poles will not be allowed. However, the 2012 expanded fishing area at the mouth will be used as the lower boundary for this year’s fishery.
Wind River from 400 feet below Shipherd Falls upstream, including all tributaries – Until further notice, closed to all fishing.
Drano Lake – Only a single boat observed there yesterday.
Lower Columbia mainstem below Bonneville Dam – Last week we sampled 2,348 salmonid anglers (including 914 boats) with 82 adult and 1 jack spring Chinook and 5 steelhead. 69 (84%) of the adult Chinook and all of the steelhead caught were kept. All but one of the adult Chinook were caught by boat anglers. Fishing success improved in the Cathlamet area as the week progressed. 47 (76%) of the 62 adult Chinook sampled were upriver stock based on Visual Stock Identification.
Catch rates were similar to the same time the past two years. From March 12-18, 2012 we sampled 1,263 salmonid anglers (including 423 boats) with 42 spring Chinook and 5 steelhead. From March 14-20, 2011 we sampled 2,656 anglers (including 946 boats) with 116 chinook and 5 steelhead.
Reminder – The mainstem Columbia below Bonneville Dam will be closed to fishing for salmon, steelhead, and shad March 26 and April 2, 2013.
Bonneville Pool – No effort was observed here.
The Dalles Pool – Light effort and no catch was observed there last week.
John Day Pool- Boat anglers are catching some steelhead. No catch was observed from the bank.
Lower Columbia mainstem below Bonneville Dam – Last week we sampled 41 sturgeon anglers (including 14 boats) with nary a sublegal, legal, or oversize caught.
The Dalles and John Day pools – Boat anglers caught some legals.
Walleye and Bass
Lower Columbia mainstem below Bonneville Dam – Last week we sampled 3 walleye anglers (including 1 boat) with no fish kept or released.
The Dalles and John Day pools – Boat anglers in both pools averaged around a walleye kept/released per every 4 rods last week. Bank anglers are also catching some walleye in The Dalles Pool. Boat anglers are catching some bass in John Day Pool.
Eulachon (Columbia River smelt) – Enforcement reports a strong run came into the Cowlitz last Friday morning. The river was black with smelt on both sides from the mouth to the Toutle River. Fishing for eulachon, an ESA listed species, is CLOSED STATEWIDE (including all marine and freshwater areas).
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