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Reel Time Fishing Northwest

Mark Yuasa covers fishing and outdoors in the Pacific Northwest.

November 17, 2014 at 1:08 PM

State Fish and Wildlife Columbia River regional fishing reports


Mainstem Grays from Hwy. 4 Bridge to South Fork and West Fork Grays River from mouth to 300 yards below hatchery road bridgeOpens to fishing for hatchery steelhead, hatchery coho, and adipose and/or ventral fin clipped Chinook beginning December 1. Mainstem Grays below the Hwy. 4 Bridge and West Fork from 300 yards below the salmon hatchery road bridge upstream to the hatchery intake/footbridge are already open.


Green River, North Fork Toutle River, and mainstem Toutle River from mouth to forksNovember 30 is the last day to fish for hatchery steelhead and hatchery salmon.

South Fork Toutle RiverFrom 4100 Bridge upstream, November 30 is the last day to fish for hatchery steelhead. The mouth to the bridge remains open with selective gear rules in effect beginning December 1.

Cowlitz River – Boat anglers averaged an adult coho per rod while bank anglers averaged just over 2/3 fish per rod.  Though fish are still being caught in the lower river, the barrier dam area has produced the best results for coho.  Some winter run steelhead and sea run cutthroats are being caught, mainly around the trout hatchery.  River has been turbid from the mouth of the Toutle downstream.

Under permanent rules, Nov. 30 is the last day of the night closure and anti-snagging rule from Mill Creek to the barrier dam.

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

  • 37 summer-run steelhead
  • two winter-run steelhead
  • 62 fall Chinook adults and two jacks
  • 9,096 coho adults
  • 189 coho jacks
  • 52 sea-run cutthroat trout

During the past week Tacoma Power employees released:

  • 2,191 coho adults and 42 jacks into Lake Scanewa
  • 515 coho adults and five jacks into the Cispus River above the mouth of Yellow Jacket Creek
  • 30 fall Chinook adults, two jacks; 1,574 coho adults, 45 jacks, seven cutthroat trout and one winter-run steelhead into the Tilton River at Gust Backstrom Park in Morton
  • 20 fall Chinook adults; 1,373 coho adults and 29 jacks at Franklin Bridge in Packwood

River flows at Mayfield Dam are approximately 13,500 cubic feet per second on Monday, November 17. River visibility is 13 feet.

Bonus Factoid:  Cowlitz Salmon Hatchery adult coho returns (79,174) to date are the highest since at least 1969.  The previous record through early-mid-November was 68,901 fish (2009).

Mill Creek (tributary to Cowlitz River) Beginning December 1, opens to fishing for hatchery steelhead from the mouth to the salmon hatchery road crossing culvert. Night closures and anti-snagging rules will be in effect for the one month fishery

Kalama River – Effort and catch remains light from the Modrow Bridge downstream.

Through Nov. 11, a total of 1 hatchery and 6 wild late winter steelhead had returned to Kalama Falls Hatchery.

Lewis River – Bank and boat anglers on both the mainstem Lewis are catching some coho.  Boat anglers on the North Fork Lewis area also catching some fall Chinook.

Under permanent rules, the night closure and anti-snagging rule are lifted on the North Fork Lewis from Johnson Creek to Colvin Creek beginning December 1.

Wind RiverUnder permanent rules, November 30 is the last day of the catch and release game fish season above Shipherd Falls.

Klickitat River – Bank anglers on the lower river continue to catch some coho but at a little slower rate than previously.

Under permanent rules, the Klickitat (except for the salmon fishery from the Fisher Hill Bridge downstream) closes to fishing for trout including hatchery steelhead and salmon beginning December 1. The salmon season from the Fisher Hill Bridge downstream remains open through January 1.

The whitefish only season from 400 feet above Fishway #5 upstream to the Yakama Reservation boundary begins December 1. Whitefish gear rules will be in effect.

Bonneville Pool – Boat anglers continue to catch some coho at the mouth of the Klickitat.

Another Bonus Factoid – The 63,419 adult fall Chinook that have returned to Priest Rapids Hatchery to date are the highest since at least 1971.  The previous record was 34,789 fish set just last year.


Swift Reservoir from dam to 3/8 mile below Eagle Cliff Bridge Remains open to fishing through November 30. Until then, the daily limit is 10 trout (except closed to fishing for bull trout and wild steelhead). Landlocked rules will be in effect (salmon count towards the trout daily limit); however, all salmon larger than 15 inches must be released.

Six SW Washington ponds and lakes are closed to fishing Nov. 24-27. The following waters are scheduled to reopen Nov. 28 and each will receive plants of 2,000 rainbow trout averaging 15-16 inches and 1¼ pounds apiece:

Battleground Lake and Klineline Pond in Clark County

Kress Lake in Cowlitz County

Fort Borst Park Pond and South Lewis County Park Pond in Lewis County

Rowland Lake in Klickitat County




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