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Reel Time Fishing Northwest

Mark Yuasa covers fishing and outdoors in the Pacific Northwest.

March 4, 2014 at 8:08 AM

State Fish and Wildlife Columbia River regional fishing reports


Cowlitz River – 18 boat anglers kept 1 steelhead.  58 bank anglers kept 3 steelhead and released 1.

Last week Tacoma Power recovered one spring Chinook salmon, 45 winter-run steelhead and one coho salmon during four days of operations at the Cowlitz Salmon Hatchery separator.

During the past week Tacoma Power employees released twelve steelhead and one coho salmon into the Tilton River at Gust Backstrom Park in Morton, and they released the spring Chinook salmon into Lake Scanewa above Cowlitz Falls Dam.

River flows at Mayfield Dam are approximately 8,510 cubic feet per second on Monday, March 3. Water visibility is nine feet.

Lower Columbia below Bonneville Dam – We have yet to sample our first spring Chinook of the season.

Bonneville and John Day pools – Little to no salmonid effort.

The Dalles Pool – Bank anglers are catching steelhead though most of the fish were wild and had to be released.

Hanford Reach – Another slow month for steelhead fishing in the Hanford Reach.  Anglers caught eight hatchery steelhead and no wild steelhead this past month.  Fishing is usually slow during the winter months but the 2014 February catch was the lowest for any month over the past 10 years. The good news is March is typically one of the highest catch months of the fishery.

For the fishery, October through February, 659 steelhead have been caught and 321 hatchery steelhead harvested.  45% (298) of the steelhead encountered in the fishery have been unclipped.


Lower Columbia below Bonneville Dam – Light effort during the current catch-and-release fishery.

Bonneville Pool – Bank and boat anglers are catching some legals.  Retention is scheduled to be allowed through Sunday March 9.

The Dalles Pool – Light effort and catches.

John Day Pool – Boat anglers are catching some legals.

Walleye and Bass

Bonneville Pool – Light effort for walleye; no effort observed for bass.

The Dalles Pool – Bank and boat anglers are catching walleye.  No effort observed for bass.

John Day Pool – Including fish released, boat anglers averaged just over 2 walleye per rod.  Again, no effort observed for bass.


Recent plants of half-pound rainbows (no report on angling success):

Klineline Pond – 1,500 fish on Feb. 26

Battle Ground Lake – 1,500 fish on Feb. 24


Cowlitz River – 10 pound limits were the general rule Saturday March 1(last scheduled fishery).  Some limits were achieved in as little as a single dip.




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