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Reel Time Fishing Northwest

Mark Yuasa covers fishing and outdoors in the Pacific Northwest.

September 3, 2014 at 4:32 PM

State Fish and Wildlife Columbia River regional fishing reports


Cowlitz River – Anglers are catching fall Chinook and summer run steelhead between the hatcheries and at the mouth.

During five days of operations at the Cowlitz Salmon Hatchery separator, last week Tacoma Power recovered:

  • 762 summer-run steelhead
  • 195 spring Chinook adults, 27 jacks, 65 mini-jacks
  • 78 fall Chinook adults 7 jacks
  • 1 coho jack
  • 14 sea-run cutthroat trout

During the past week Tacoma Power employees released:

  • 170 spring Chinook adults and 26 jacks into the Cispus River above the mouth of Yellow Jacket Creek
  • 63 spring Chinook mini-jacks into Riffe Lake at Mossyrock Park
  • 78 fall Chinook adults, seven jacks, one coho jack and one cutthroat trout into the Tilton River at Gust Backstrom Park in Morton, Washington

200 summer-run steelhead were recycled downstream to the Interstate-5 boat launch, completing a program in cooperation with the Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife that provided 1,600 summer-run steelhead recycled downstream during July and August.

River flows at Mayfield Dam are approximately 3,200 cubic feet per second on Tuesday, September 2.

Kalama River – Light effort and fall Chinook catch on the lower river.

Lewis River – Light effort and catch.

Washougal River – Relatively light effort and fall Chinook catch on the lower river.

Wind River – Light effort and catch.

Wind River from 100 feet above Shipherd Falls to Moore Bridge (except closed 400 feet below to 100 feet above the coffer dam) – Under permanent rules, scheduled to open for catch-and-release for all game fish (including steelhead) Sept. 16-Nov. 30. Selective gear rules will be in effect.

Drano Lake – A little slower for summer run steelhead but still better than ½ fish per boat angler when including fish released.  Some bright stock fall Chinook are also being caught.

Anglers with a Two Pole Endorsement may use two poles here beginning Sept. 15.

Buoy 10 – Yesterday, Washington boat anglers averaged almost 2 coho kept per rod (daily limit increased to 3 fish on Sept. 2).  Through Sept. 1, an estimated 82,700 angler trips produced 26,800 Chinook kept, 11,500 Chinook released, and 32,000 coho mortalities.  All Chinook must be released through Sept. 30.

Lower Columbia below Bonneville Dam – Effort and fall Chinook catches are increasing.  Just over 1,000 boats were counted last Thursday and Sunday.  From August 1-31, an estimated 4,700 fall Chinook had been kept from 59,000 angler trips.

Anglers below the Warrior Rock line to the Rocky Point/Tongue Point line were given an extra day (Sun. Sept. 7) to retain any Chinook, adipose fin clipped or not.  The Chinook mark selective fishery will be Sept. 8-14.  In both cases, no more than 1 fish may be an adult Chinook.  All Chinook must be released Sept. 15-30.

Bonneville Pool – Boat anglers are catching some fall Chinook and summer run steelhead.

Hanford Reach – An estimated 390 boats fished for salmon in the Hanford Reach (Hwy 395 and Priest Rapids Dam) this past week.  WDFW staff interviewed 59 boats (139 anglers:675 pole hours) fishing for salmon with 2 adult chinook and 1 jack. Staff also interviewed 18 bank anglers (43 hours) fishing for salmon at Ringold with no catch.

For the month of August an estimated 79 adult chinook and 9 jacks were harvested.  There were an estimated 1,546 angler trips for fall Chinook in the Tri-cities in August.

Stock Status Update

  • Passage at Bonneville Dam through September 2 totals nearly 120,000 adult Fall Chinook. Chinook passage to date has been significantly less than expectations (313,000 expected).  Based on the 10-year average, passage is 50% complete by September 8.
  • Passage of upriver summer steelhead since July 1 totals nearly 206,000 fish.  Counts to date are within expectations.  Based on the 10-year average, passage is 50% complete by August 11.
  • The U.S. v. Oregon Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) met on September 2.  TAC reported that the both tule and bright Chinook passage is well below expectations and passage must increase significantly in order to meet preseason forecasts.
  • TAC also reviewed steelhead stock status and reported that total passage is tracking to meet preseason forecast; however it was too early to update the individual stock components within the steelhead return.
  • TAC is scheduled to meet again on Monday September 8 and/or Wednesday September 10.





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