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Reel Time Fishing Northwest

Mark Yuasa covers fishing and outdoors in the Pacific Northwest.

March 16, 2014 at 8:08 AM

Wind River and Drano Lake open Sunday for spring chinook, but don’t expect much action early on

CHINOOK RUNTwo tributaries above Bonneville Dam on the Columbia River will open this Sunday, but don’t expect much action until fish counts begin building.

The Wind River from the mouth (boundary line markers) upstream to the Burlington Northern Railroad Bridge will open Sunday, March 16 through July 31. Anglers with a two-pole endorsement may fish with two poles for salmon and steelhead May 1 through June 30.

The Wind River from Burlington Northern Railroad Bridge upstream to 400 feet below Shipherd Falls will open April 1 through July 31; and the section from 100 feet above Shipherd Falls to 800 yards downstream of Carson National Fish Hatchery (except closed waters from 400 feet below to 100 feet above coffer dam) will open May 1 through June 30.

The daily catch limit is two chinook or two hatchery steelhead or one of each at various times and locations on the Wind River. Release wild chinook downstream from Shipherd Falls. Release all trout other than hatchery steelhead. Minimum size 12 inches for salmon and 20 inches for steelhead. When fishing for sturgeon or other species, only one pole per angler may be used. The area from the railroad bridge upstream to Shipherd Falls will be closed to all fishing from March 16-31 to protect wild steelhead when salmon abundance is low.

The Wind River spring chinook returns are expected to be slightly higher than the recent five year average and more than twice last year’s actual return.

Drano Lake will also open on Sunday, March 16, and the two-pole sport fishing endorsement rule will begin sooner than expected.

Anglers may use two-pole when purchased with their license from May 1 through June 30 for salmon and steelhead at Drano Lake below markers on point of land downstream and across from Little White Salmon National Fish Hatchery and upstream of the Highway 14 Bridge.

Fishing is closed at Drano Lake on Wednesdays during that time frame.

The Drano Lake spring chinook returns are expected to be similar to the recent five year average and almost twice last year’s actual return.

The tributary salmon fisheries usually begin to see fish arrive by early April, and the peak is around late April through May.

 

 

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