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Reel Time Fishing Northwest

Mark Yuasa covers fishing and outdoors in the Pacific Northwest.

March 26, 2014 at 1:52 PM

Lower Columbia spring chinook fishery perks up

IMG_1897 (2)The Lower Columbia River has finally shown some life for spring chinook although another soggy weather system could put a temporary hold on fishing.

“There has been a little uptick for spring chinook in the Lower Columbia mainstem, but the best fishing is coming from the Willamette River,” said Joe Hymer, a state Fish and Wildlife biologist.

“We’re expecting some rain and that will not improve the water conditions,” Hymer said.”It sounds like a big school of smelt in the Cathlamet area may put a damper on fishing. The water in the Willamette was actually clearer than the Columbia, but we’ll have to see what this rain does to it.”

Elsewhere the steelhead fishing finally came to life in the Cowlitz.

“Steelhead fishing has been good in the Cowlitz at barrier dam, and all through the river (161 boat anglers caught 115 steelhead and released three this past week).”

Don’t make any plans just yet to hit the tributaries above Bonneville Dam as not enough fish are crossing over to make it worthwhile.

“There is nothing going on above Bonneville at the Wind River or Drano Lake yet, and less than 100 fish have been counted at Bonneville on the season so far.”

There have been some decent catches for sturgeon catch and release on the Lower Columbia, and good walleye fishing in The Dalles Pool of the Columbia.

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