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Reel Time Fishing Northwest

Mark Yuasa covers fishing and outdoors in the Pacific Northwest.

April 30, 2013 at 11:32 AM

State Fish and Wildlife Columbia River regional fishing reports


Cowlitz River – Anglers are catching some spring Chinook and steelhead throughout the river.  Anglers should note the south side of the river from Mill Creek to the Barrier Dam is closed to all fishing from May 1 through June 15 per permanent regulations.

Cowlitz Salmon Hatchery spring Chinook return as of April 27 is 370 adults including 14 wild origin.  Hatchery escapement goal is 1,644 adults.

Cowlitz River flow ranged between 6,000 and 14,000 cfs last week.

Cowlitz Falls Reservoir (Lake Scanewa) (Lewis County): Effective May 1, salmon season open year round.

Kalama River – Overall, effort is light for steelhead.  As of April 19, a couple wild summer run steelhead had returned to Kalama Falls Hatchery.

Kalama Falls Hatchery spring Chinook return as of April 27 is 1 wild adult.  The hatchery escapement goal is about 400 adults.  Remains closed to fishing for spring Chinook.

Kalama River (Cowlitz County) from 1,000 feet above the fishway at the upper salmon hatchery upstream to Summers Creek:  Effective May 1, anglers may retain up to 2 hatchery steelhead.

Lewis River – Effort for steelhead is very light.  4 hatchery summer run steelhead had returned to Merwin Dam trap as of April 15.

Spring Chinook returns to traps on the Lewis as of April 29 is 2 hatchery adults.  The hatchery escapement goal is about 1,300 adults.  Remains closed to fishing for spring Chinook.

River flow was about 6,000 cfs last week.

Washougal River – Anglers are catching some steelhead.

Wind River – Effort and catch is beginning to build.  High count for the week was 37 boats.  An estimated 660 angler trips produced 115 adult Chinook kept last week.

Anti-snagging rule will be in effect from the Burlington-Northern Railroad Bridge upstream beginning May 1. When the anti-snagging rule is in effect, only fish hooked inside the mouth may be retained.

Wind River from 400 feet below Shipherd Falls upstream, including all tributaries – Until further notice, closed to all fishing.

Drano Lake – Effort and catch is also beginning to build here too.  About 60 boats were observed last Saturday.  Catch rates were nearly identical to the Wind.

Klickitat River – Light effort and only a single steelhead was sampled last week.  No reports of spring Chinook caught.

Bonneville Pool – Bank anglers just outside Drano are catching some spring Chinook.

The Dalles Pool – Effort and catch is increasing.  Bank and boat anglers are catching spring Chinook.

John Day Pool – Bank anglers are catching some spring Chinook; slow for boat anglers.

The Technical Advisory Committee(TAC) met today but did not provide an upriver spring Chinook run update.  Counts total 24,300 adult Chinook at Bonneville Dam through April 28.  By this date at Bonneville Dam, passage is about 20% complete based on the 5-year average and about 25% complete based on the 10-year average.

TAC will continue to meet weekly to review the progress of the upriver spring Chinook run.  The next scheduled TAC meeting is Monday May 6.


Lower Columbia mainstem below Bonneville Dam – Effort remains light with <100 boats even on a Saturday.

Mainstem Columbia and its tributaries from Buoy 10 to the Wauna powerlines including all adjacent Washington tributariesWhite sturgeon may be retained daily through April 30.  The daily limit is 1 fish.  Through April the minimum size is 38” fork length and maximum size is 54” fork length.  Catch-and-release only May 1-10.  White sturgeon may also be retained daily May 11 through June 30 at which time the minimum size will be 41” minimum fork length and maximum size 54” fork length.

Effective through April 30, angling is prohibited from a line between the upstream end of Sand Island, located east of Rooster Rock State Park, to a marker on the Oregon shore downstream to a line between the lower end of Sand Island and a marker on the Oregon shore.

All fishing for sturgeon will be closed from May 1 through Aug. 31 in the sturgeon sanctuary from Bonneville Dam downstream 9 miles to a line crossing the Columbia River from navigation Marker 82 on the Oregon shore westerly to the boundary marker on the Washington shore upstream of Fir Point.

The Dalles Pool – Slow for legal size fish.  Under permanent rules to protect spawning fish, closed to fishing for sturgeon from John Day Dam downstream 2.4 miles to the west end of the grain silo at Rufus, Oregon May 1-July 31.

John Day Pool – Boat anglers are catching some legals; slow for legal size fish from the bank.

Under permanent rules to protect spawning fish, closed to fishing for sturgeon from McNary Dam downstream 1.5 miles to Hwy. 82 (Hwy. 395) Bridge May 1-July 31.

Walleye and Bass

The Dalles Pool – Boat anglers averaged a walleye per every 3.5 rods and 3 bass per rod.  Bank anglers are catching some bass.

John Day Pool – Boat anglers did well for bass with over 8 fish kept/released per rod.  Fishing for walleye was slower.


2013 Opening Day creel results – Region 5, John Weinheimer April 27, 2013

# Anglers

# Fish

# Fish



County Lake




fish caught/angler

fish kept/angler



Lewis   Plummer, 23 anglers w 24 kept and 41 released.  2.83 f/a caught, 1.04 f/a kept

Breezy, cloudy, low turnout, biggest trout 18”.

Lewis    Carlisle, 37 anglers w 75 kept and 446 released.  14.08 f/a caught, 2.03 f/a kept.  Anglers happy and having fun.  Cool, overcast, no rain.  3 broodstock and 5 triploids checked.  Bait and lures working equally well.  Coho not a problem.

Lewis   Fort Borst Park Pond, 59 kids (juvenile only) with 91 trout kept, 1.54 f/a kept.  Kids having a good time.  17.75” biggest trout.

Fort Borst Park Pond (Lewis County):  Effective May 1, open to all licensed anglers until further notice.  Two poles may be used with a Two-Pole Endorsement.

Mineral Lake  67 anglers w 171 kept and 95 released.  3.97 f/a caught, 2.55 f/a kept.  18 broodstock , 14 triploids, and some brown trout checked.  Overcast.  Largest fish checked was about 10 lbs.

Skamania   Kidney Lake, 45 anglers w 141 kept and 15 released.  3.47 f/a caught, 3.13 f/a released.  Warm and sunny, bite best at daylight.  Moving tackle worked best rather than still fishing.

Skamania  Swift Reservoir, 25 anglers w 109 kept and 13 released.  4.88 f/a caught, 4.36 f/a kept

Chilly start, high clouds, very happy anglers, very nice rainbows, only 11 landlocked Coho.

Klickitat   Spearfish Lake, 35 anglers w 151 kept and 12 released.  4.66 f/a caught, 4.31 f/a kept, warm, sunny, calm until 10:00 am, then very windy.  3 broodstock , 10 triploids, and 138 catchables checked.  Powerbait, worms, marshmallows, spinners and spoons all were working well.

Klickitat   Rowland Lake, 51 anglers w 162 kept and 225 released.  7.59 f/a caught, 3.18 f/a kept. 6 broodstock, largest about 7 lbs, 43 triploids checked,  Bite best early.

Klickitat   Horsethief Lake, 51 anglers w 115 kept and 19 released.  2.63 f/a caught, 2.25 f/a kept.  5 broodstock checked.  By about 8:40 am very windy.  Sunny and warm, beautiful.

Year round waters on Saturday (these are not completed trips):

Kress Lake near Kalama – 53 anglers w/114 kept and 18 released.

Horseshoe Lake in Woodland – 18 anglers w/23 kept and 7 released.

Battleground Lake – 42 anglers w/51 kept and 4 released.

Merwin Lake (Reservoir) (Clark/Cowlitz County): Effective May 1, kokanee limit is 10. Kokanee do not count as part of the trout daily limit.




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