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Reel Time Fishing Northwest

Mark Yuasa covers fishing and outdoors in the Pacific Northwest.

July 1, 2014 at 4:37 PM

State Fish and Wildlife Columbia River regional fishing reports


Cowlitz River – Improving for summer run steelhead.  34 boat anglers kept 19 summer steelhead, 4 adult and 1 jack spring Chinook and released 1 adult spring Chinook.  120 bank anglers kept 11 adult and 3 jack spring Chinook and 9 summer run steelhead plus released 2 adult spring Chinook.

Last week Tacoma Power recovered 422 spring Chinook adults, 139 jacks, 94 mini-jacks, 284 summer-run steelhead and two sockeye salmon adults during five days of operations at the Cowlitz Salmon Hatchery separator.

During the past week Tacoma Power employees released 133 spring Chinook adults and 28 jacks into the Cispus River above the mouth of Yellow Jacket Creek, 126 spring Chinook adults and 96 jacks into Lake Scanewa above Cowlitz Falls Dam, and 81 spring Chinook mini-jacks into Riffe Lake at Mossyrock Park. The two sockeye salmon were recycled downstream to the Massey Bar boat launch.

River flows at Mayfield Dam are approximately 5,120 cubic feet per second on Monday, June 30. Water visibility is 10 feet. Flows on the Cowlitz River will be reduced to 2,600 cubic feet per second on Tuesday, July 1.

Lower Columbia mainstem below Bonneville Dam –Catch estimates from June 16 through June 30 include 1,720 adult Chinook kept (2,056 released) from 26,100 angler trips.  Kept and release mortalities are estimated at 2,028 Chinook (84% of the 2,414 allocated) and 650 sockeye.

  • The preseason forecast was for a Columbia River return of 67,500 adult summer Chinook and 347,100 sockeye.
  • The Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) began weekly stock status reviews for the summer season on Monday June 30.  TAC maintained the preseason summer Chinook forecasted return of 67,500 fish and updated the sockeye return to 425,000.
  • Sockeye passage at Bonneville Dam through June 30 totals 316,297 fish.  Passage is typically 50% complete by June 25.
  • Every day adds to the possibility of a new second highest return of sockeye to the Columbia River.   The record return is 521,000 in 2012; second highest is 387,900 in 2010.


Lower Columbia mainstem from the Marker 82 line downstream – Last week we sampled we sampled 8 sturgeon anglers (2 boats) with 21 legals released.  Continues to be catch-and-release only.


Bonneville Pool – Bonneville Pool closed in early March with the majority of the guideline being reserved for the summer season.  Two 2-day summer periods were adopted with an expected catch of 200 kept fish per day (800 fish total).  Actual catch during the summer periods was less than projected; averaging around 100 fish per day (see below).


2014 Recreational Sturgeon Harvest in Zone 6
Pool Guideline Catch Balance Season
Bonneville Winter 241 Jan 1-Mar. 9*
Bonneville Summer 391 Jun 13-14, 20-21
Bonneville Pool 1,100 632 468 Closed

* Closed Jan 20-31 and Feb 18-23

The Dalles Pool – Slow for legal size fish.  Through June 29, an estimated 101 (34%) of the 300 fish guideline had been taken.

Uncertainty exists as to the status of the population in The Dalles Pool which has been producing poorer than expected catch rates in the past three years.  The population is being assessed this summer with final results due by January 2015.

Walleye and Bass

Lower Columbia mainstem below Bonneville Dam – Last week in the Camas/Washougal area we sampled 2 walleye anglers (2 boats) that had no catch.

The Dalles Pool – Bank and boat anglers are catching some bass.


Recent releases of rainbows (no report on angling success):

CANYON CR 28.0231
Jun 23, 2014 Rainbow 1,000 1.45 Vancouver Hatchery
Jun 24, 2014 Rainbow 3,317 2.15 Goldendale Hatchery


Lower Columbia mainstem below Bonneville Dam- We also sampled 63 shad anglers with 72 shad.   Daily counts at Bonneville Dam are now <10,000 fish per day.



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