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Reel Time Fishing Northwest

Mark Yuasa covers fishing and outdoors in the Pacific Northwest.

February 25, 2014 at 8:08 AM

State Fish and Wildlife Columbia River regional fishing reports

Salmon/Steelhead

Cowlitz River – 17 bank anglers with no catch.

Washougal River – 12 boat anglers with 1 hatchery steelhead kept and 3 hatchery and 6 wild fish released.  20 bank anglers with 2 hatchery steelhead released.

Lower mainstem Columbia from the I-5 Bridge downstream – We sampled 103 salmonid anglers (including 26 boats) with no catch.

Just over 100 bank anglers and 45 boats were counted during last Saturday’s effort flight count.  Most of the boat effort was observed in the Vancouver area.

A few spring Chinook have been caught in the Youngs Bay SAFE commercial fishery.

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

Sturgeon

Lower Columbia below Bonneville Dam – Only a couple sturgeon anglers were observed during the current catch-and-release fishery.

Bonneville Pool – Reopens for sturgeon retention starting today (Feb. 24) and runs through March 9.

The Dalles Pool – Slow for legal size fish.

John Day Pool – Bank anglers are catching some legals.

Walleye and Bass

The Dalles and John Day pools – Boat anglers are catching some walleye.  No effort was observed for bass.

Smelt

Lower mainstem Columbia – 60 pounds of smelt were caught in last Thursday’s commercial opener.  Today’s commercial catches have reportedly   increased significantly (possibly thousands of pounds per boat)!

Water temperature during last Thursday’s larval sampling were 7.0 C (44.6 F) in the Cowlitz River, and 6.5 C (43.7 F) in the Columbia River.  This is good for smelt movement.  On the other hand, the flows are up, the rivers very muddy, and lots of debris.  That could delay smelt migration.

A few cormorants and about 4 seals were spotted in the lower Cowlitz River at Gerhardt Gardens Park last week.  There were no gulls sighted. A few birds were sighted at near Cathlamet on Saturday.

Cowlitz River – No smelt were reported caught during last Saturday’s opener.  Sat. March 1 is the last day scheduled to be open for sport dipping.

Mainstem Columbia and all other Washington tributaries – Closed to sport fishing for smelt.

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