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Reel Time Fishing Northwest

Mark Yuasa covers fishing and outdoors in the Pacific Northwest.

February 19, 2014 at 8:38 AM

State Fish and Wildlife Columbia River regional fishing reports


Deep River from the mouth to town bridge – From March 1 through June 15, the daily limit for salmon may not include more than one hatchery adult Chinook during those days when the adjacent waters of the mainstem Columbia River are open to retention of spring Chinook.

Coal Creek (near Longview) – Feb. 28 is the last day to fish for steelhead and other game fish below the falls.

Cowlitz River – No report on angling success.  Last week Tacoma Power recovered five coho salmon adults and three winter-run steelhead during five days of operations at the Cowlitz Salmon Hatchery separator.

During the past week Tacoma Power employees released two coho adults and two winter-run steelhead adults into the Tilton River at Gust Backstrom Park in Morton, and they released three coho adults into Lake Scanewa above Cowlitz Falls Dam.

River flows at Mayfield Dam are approximately 5,290 cubic feet per second on Tuesday, February 18. Water visibility is six feet.

Washougal River – 6 boat anglers kept 2 hatchery steelhead and released 2 hatchery and 5 wild steelhead.  9 bank anglers released 1 steelhead.

Mainstem Columbia from Buoy 10 upstream to the I-5 Bridge – Open to fishing for hatchery Chinook and hatchery steelhead through April 7 (except closed Tuesdays March 25 and April 1). Through February, anglers may retain up to two hatchery adult chinook salmon per day.  Effective March 1, the adult salmonid limit will be 2 fish of which no more than one may be a hatchery Chinook.

Mainstem Columbia from the I-5 Bridge upstream to Bonneville Dam – Effective March 1 through April 7 (except closed Tuesdays March 25 and April 1), open to fishing for hatchery Chinook and hatchery steelhead.  No boats from Beacon Rock upstream.  The adult salmonid limit will be 2 fish of which no more than one may be a hatchery Chinook.

Bonneville, The Dalles, and John Day pools – Little to no effort or catch for steelhead.

Hanford Reach – Fishing activity is light and the catch is even lighter in the Hanford Reach steelhead sport fishery in February.  WDFW staff have interviewed 26 anglers (15 bank, 11 boat) in February with no catch. There is hope on the horizon as some of the highest catch and harvest for this fishery is typically in March.


Bonneville Pool – Boat anglers averaged a legal kept per about every 6 rods.  Slow for legal size fish from the bank.

Through Feb. 9, an estimated 172 (15.6%) of the 1,100 fish guideline had been taken.  Catch-and-release only until further notice.

The Dalles Pool – Light effort and no legals were sampled last week.

John Day Pool – Bank anglers are catching some legals.  Slow for boat anglers.

Walleye and Bass

Bonneville and The Dalles pools – Light effort for walleye and no catch was observed.

John Day Pool – Including fish released, boat anglers averaged about ½ walleye per rod.


Battle Ground Lake – Planted with 1,500 nearly half-pound rainbows Feb. 12.  No report on angling success.


Cowlitz River – More dippers out last Saturday but still no catch.

Open Saturdays only 6 AM to noon through March 1.  Dip nets may be used from the bank only.  Daily limit 10 pounds per person (about ¼ of a five-gallon bucket). Possession limit is equal to one daily limit.

Mainstem Columbia water temp was 37 degrees; Cowlitz 43 degrees.  Smelt prefer water temps around 42 degrees.

The mainstem Columbia and all other Washington Columbia River tributaries remain closed.




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