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Reel Time Fishing Northwest

Mark Yuasa covers fishing and outdoors in the Pacific Northwest.

May 21, 2013 at 10:08 AM

State Fish and Wildlife Columbia River regional fishing reports


Elochoman River from mouth to West Fork and Grays River from mouth to South Fork and West Fork from mouth to hatchery intake/footbridge – Under permanent rules, open to fishing for hatchery Chinook and hatchery steelhead beginning the first Saturday in June (June 1st this year).

Green River from the mouth to 400’ below the water intake at the upper end of the hatchery and South Fork Toutle River from the mouth to the 4700 Road Bridge – The ending date for the early hatchery steelhead season that opens the last Saturday in May is incorrectly listed in the 2013-2014 Washington Sport Fishing Rules pamphlet.  The correct ending date is the Friday before the first Saturday in June.  This year, the ending date is May 31, 2013.  Selective gear rules apply during this fishery.

Cowlitz River – Anglers are catching some spring Chinook, mostly near the barrier dam.

Last week Tacoma Power recovered 456 spring Chinook adults, 51 jacks, 52 winter-run steelhead and 18 summer-run steelhead during five days of operations at the Cowlitz Salmon Hatchery separator.

During the past week Tacoma Power employees released 189 Chinook adults, 16 jacks and five winter-run steelhead and into the Cispus River above the mouth of Yellow Jacket Creek and 81 spring Chinook adults, 25 jacks and two winter-run steelhead into Lake Scanewa above Cowlitz Falls Dam.

River flows at Mayfield Dam are approximately 5,240 cubic feet per second on Monday, May 20. Water visibility is 11 feet.

Blue Creek from mouth to posted sign above rearing pond outlet – Effect June 1, the trout daily limit is 5 fish.  Up to 2 fish over 20 inches may be retained.  Release wild cutthroats.  Night closure and anti-snagging rules will be in effect.  Open to all anglers.

Kalama River from Summers Creek upstream to 6429 Road (about 1 mile above gate at end of county road bridge) – Effective the first Saturday in June, up to 2 hatchery steelhead may be retained.  Fly fishing only.

North Fork Lewis River from Johnson Creek (located downstream from Lewis River Salmon Hatchery) upstream to overhead powerlines below Merwin Dam – Through May 31 CLOSED TO ALL FISHING.  On June 1st this section will reopen to hatchery steelhead but remain closed for Chinook.

East Fork Lewis River from the mouth to 400 feet below Horseshoe Falls (except closures around various falls) and the Washougal River from the mouth to Salmon Falls Bridge – Under permanent rules these areas will be open to fishing with bait for hatchery steelhead beginning the first Saturday in June (June 1st this year).

Washougal River- Slow for hatchery summer run steelhead.

Wind River – Boat anglers at the mouth are catching some spring Chinook, mostly jacks.

195 spring Chinook returned to Carson National Fish Hatchery over the weekend, including 69 fish last night.  The hatchery has 952 adults on hand.  The hatchery escapement goal is 1,500 fish.

Last year, a total of 80 spring Chinook had returned to Carson National Fish Hatchery through May 21.

Drano Lake –   Boat anglers averaged a spring Chinook per every 5 rods last week. About 35% of the catch were jacks.

Klickitat River – Including fish released, bank anglers below Fisher Hill Bridge averaged about ½ fish per rod.  Jacks comprised about 1/3 of the salmon catch.  A few steelhead were also caught.

Under permanent rules, the Klickitat River from the Fisher Hill Bridge downstream will open 7 days per week beginning June 1. The salmon daily limit will be 6 fish of which no more than 2 may be adults. Two hatchery steelhead may also be retained. Release wild Chinook.

The section from 400 feet upstream from # 5 fishway upstream to boundary markers below the Klickitat Salmon Hatchery will open to fishing for hatchery Chinook jacks and hatchery steelhead beginning June 1 under permanent rules. Again, release wild Chinook.


Estuary – Charter and private boat anglers are catching some legals.  Still about a 50/50 chance a fish landed will be legal size.

Lower Columbia mainstem below Bonneville Dam – We sampled 62 sturgeon anglers (including 19 boats) with 6 legals kept.  All the legals kept were caught by boat anglers from Vancouver to Cathlamet.

The Dalles and John Day pools – Slow for legal size fish.

Walleye and Bass

The Dalles Pool –  Boat anglers averaged 2 walleye and 7 bass per rod when including fish released.  Bank anglers also caught some bass.

John Day Pool – Including fish released, boat anglers averaged nearly 2 walleye and a bass per rod.  Bank anglers also averaged a bass per rod.


Lower Columbia below Bonneville Dam – We sampled 75 shad anglers (including 5 boats) with 70 shad kept and 5 released.


Lake Scanewa (Cowlitz Falls Reservoir)Beginning June 1, open to fishing for hatchery rainbows.  20,000 catchable size rainbows expected to be planted from June through August.

Vancouver Lake- The flushing channel and the lake shoreline 400 feet east and west from the channel exit are closed to all fishing through May 31.  It had been through May 30.  The regulation was changed during the recent permanent rule process.

Some streams in Region 5 that open to fishing the Saturday before Memorial Day (and scheduled plants of catchable size rainbows) are Canyon (5,500), Bird (1,000), Outlet (1,000), and Spring (3,000) creeks and the Little White Salmon River (3,000).

Skate Creek and Tilton River from mouth to west fork – Under recently adopted permanent rules, effective the first Saturday in June the daily limit was reduced to 2 trout.  Release all cutthroats.  No longer planted with hatchery rainbows (see Rainey Creek below).

Rainey Creek from mouth to Hwy. 12 – Effective the first Saturday in June, the trout daily limit is 5 hatchery (adipose clipped) rainbows.  Release all cutthroats. Scheduled to be planted with 2,000 catchable size rainbows this summer.





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