The Buoy-10 salmon fishery at the Lower Columbia River mouth has been fairly good overall, and depending on the location you’ll likely find coho or kings.
“The coho have moved in, and are primarily below the (Astoria-Megler) bridge and some chinook are mixed in there too,” said Joe Hymer, a state Fish and Wildlife biologist. “There is still some action above the bridge, and the chinook catch has been holding steady at about one for every three or four boats.”
Hymer was at Buoy-10 last weekend, and the fish seemed to be running pretty shallow on the incoming tide.
Hymer’s friend was shaking off his diver with some weeds on it, and he ended up hooking an 18 pound chinook that was right next to the top. That is common with coho to take a bait high up, but not usually for a chinook.
The ocean outside of Buoy-10 has been on fire, and Hymer points out that it is hard to get down to the chinook. Some coho are decent size in the low teens, but most of those are wild fish that you have to release, and hatchery keeper fish are running 8 to 9 pounds.
More than 2.6 million chinook and coho are predicted to enter the Big-C, and the preseason catch expectations at Buoy-10 is 45,700 chinook and 56,500 hatchery coho.
Here is the data by state Fish and Wildlife for the first three days of the fishery:
Aug. 1: 43 boats with 107 anglers caught 13 chinook and 15 hatchery coho.
Aug. 2: 46 boats with 118 anglers caught 31 chinook and 25 hatchery coho. Aerial flight survey showed 225 boats on the water at Buoy-10.
Aug. 3: 46 boats with 126 anglers caught 33 chinook and eight hatchery coho.
Aug. 4: 53 boats with 138 anglers caught 31 chinook and five hatchery coho; one charter boat with five anglers caught no fish.
Aug. 5: No sampling conducted.
Aug. 6: 30 boats with 75 anglers caught 22 chinook.
Aug. 7: 48 boats with 119 anglers caught 20 chinook and 16 hatchery coho.
Aug. 8: Five boats with 11 anglers caught two chinook and eight hatchery coho.
Aug, 9: 90 boats with 254 anglers caught 33 chinook and 90 hatchery coho.
Aug. 10: 97 boats with 283 anglers caught 26 chinook and 173 hatchery coho.
Aug. 11: 87 boats with 216 anglers caught 34 chinook and 115 hatchery coho.