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Reel Time Fishing Northwest

Mark Yuasa covers fishing and outdoors in the Pacific Northwest.

October 21, 2014 at 8:38 AM

State Fish and Wildlife Columbia River regional fishing reports

Salmon/Steelhead Lower portions of Abernathy, Cedar (North Fork Lewis tributary), Coal, Germany, Mill (Cowlitz Co.) creeks and the Coweeman River – Re-open to fishing for hatchery steelhead and other game fish November 1.

Elochoman River – No report on angling success. Oct. 31 is the last day of night closure, anti-snagging rule, and stationary gear restrictions. Cowlitz River – Fishing for coho is still excellent with bank anglers averaging over ½ fish per rod and boat anglers nearly 1.5 per rod when including fish released.  Fish are being caught throughout the system though fishing slowed near the mouth of the river after last week’s rain.  Some fall Chinook and sea run cutthroats are also being caught. During five days of operations at the Cowlitz Salmon Hatchery separator, last week Tacoma Power recovered:

  • 106 summer-run steelhead
  • 1,051 fall Chinook adults and 52 jacks
  • 14,936 coho adults
  • 596 coho jacks
  • 68 sea-run cutthroat trout
  • one sockeye

During the past week Tacoma Power employees released:

  • 1,842 coho adults and 65 jacks into Lake Scanewa
  • 370 coho adults and 11 jacks into the Cispus River above the mouth of Yellow Jacket Creek
  • 375 fall Chinook adults, 26 jacks; 1,111 coho adults, 24 jacks and seven cutthroat trout into the Tilton River at Gust Backstrom Park in Morton
  • 490 fall Chinook adults and 17 jacks; 1,793 coho adults and 62 jacks at Franklin Bridge in Packwood
  • One sockeye salmon was released at the Barrier Dam boat launch

River flows at Mayfield Dam are approximately 4,150 cubic feet per second on Monday, October 20. October 31 is the last day 3 hatchery steelhead may be retained from the Hwy. 4 Bridge at Kelso upstream to Mayfield Dam.

Cowlitz River from posted sign on Peters Road to the mouth of Ohanepecosh and Muddy Forks, Tilton River from mouth to West Fork, and the Green River – Oct. 31 is the last day of the night closure and anti-snagging rule. Kalama River – Both bank and boat anglers are catching hatchery coho. Oct. 31 is the last day of the night closures, anti-snagging, and fly fishing only rules on the lower river. Lewis River – When including fish released, bank and boat anglers averaged over ½ adult coho per rod on the North Fork Lewis.  However, fishing at the mouth was slower.  Some fall Chinook are also being caught.

Colvin Creek to the overhead powerlines below Merwin Dam remains open to fishing through Friday October 31.  It will re-open for salmon and hatchery steelhead Dec. 16. Washougal River – No report on angling success.  Oct. 31 is the last day of the anti-snagging rule.  In addition, night fishing will be allowed from the Mt. Norway Bridge upstream to the Salmon Falls Bridge. Wind River – Light effort and catch.  October 31 is the last day to fish for salmon. Drano Lake – Boat anglers averaged an adult coho kept per rod.   Some Chinook are also being caught.

White Salmon River – No report on angling success. Oct. 31 is the last day to fish from the county road below the powerhouse upstream to Big Brothers Falls at River Mile 16.

Klickitat River – Bank anglers below Fisher Hill Bridge averaged about a coho per rod.  Some fall Chinook are also being caught.

Buoy 10 – At least 35 private boats and 2 charters were counted during last Saturday’s lower Columbia mainstem flight.  Some reports indicate fishing for hatchery coho is still very good.  However, the creel census program has concluded for the year.

Lower Columbia below Bonneville Dam – Last week we sampled 302 salmonid anglers (including 87 boats) with 19 adult and 2 jack fall Chinook, 53 adult and 1 jack coho, and no steelhead.

All the Chinook caught were kept and as were 45 (85%) of the adult coho. Last week on the lower Columbia, anglers made 2,800 trips and caught 204 adult Chinook (197 kept and seven released) and 424 adult coho (369 kept and 55 released). Effort is waning with just over 100 boats and 58 bank anglers counted during last Saturday’s (Oct. 17) effort flight count.  Over half the boat effort was observed in the Camas/Washougal area.

Under permanent rules, closed to fishing for salmon from Beacon Rock to Bonneville Dam effective November 1. Oct. 31 is the last day of the 2014 lower Columbia mainstem creel census program. The program will resume February 2015. Bonneville Pool – Boat anglers averaged about ½ coho per rod.  Some fall Chinook are also being caught but are becoming more mature.


Blue, Horsethief, Packwood, Walupt, and Willame lakes and Lewis River Power Canal – October 31 is the last day to fish for the year.



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