The Lower Columbia River from Bonneville Dam clear down to the mouth near Buoy-10 is starting to fill up with salmon and steelhead.
“The dam counts at this time (for chinook) is highest since 1989, and the commercial fishery on Sunday night got about 1,000, and a buyer had about 500 from (Tuesday night’s) fishery,” said Joe Hymer, a state Fish and Wildlife biologist. “Things are starting to ramp up pretty quickly.”
“It is pretty good fishing both in the ocean (near Ilwaco) and Buoy-10, and in the river are all producing quote a few fish and lots of chinook,” Hymer said. “I know a guy from our office got a 43 pounder (at Buoy 10), and Oregon had about half-a-fish per rod check.”
Fall adult chinook counts at Bonneville have looked like this the past five days: Aug. 12, 1,102, plus 154 jack chinook; Aug. 11, 1,464, plus 155; Aug. 10, 1,345, plus 192; Aug. 9, 1,310, plus 174; and Aug. 8, 1,774, plus 299 for a season total of 13,242, plus 2,173.
Steelhead counts at Bonneville have also ranged from a high of 8,935 on Aug. 8 to 3,394 on Aug. 12 for a total of 134,435.
“Anglers are picking up fish all through the lower river, and the area around the Lewis River mouth has been good,” Hymer said. “Effort at Buoy-10 is ramping up, and chinook fishing is pretty good just above and below the (Astroia-Megler) bridge.”