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Reel Time Fishing Northwest

Mark Yuasa covers fishing and outdoors in the Pacific Northwest.

January 7, 2015 at 8:08 AM

State Fish and Wildlife Columbia River regional fishing reports

Salmon/Steelhead

Cowlitz River – 72 bank anglers kept with 3 steelhead and 3 coho kept.  49 boat anglers had 31 steelhead and 8 coho kept and 7 coho released.

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

  • 993 coho adults and 12 jacks
  • 275 winter-run steelhead

During the past week Tacoma Power employees released:

  • 228 coho adults, seven jacks, two winter-run steelhead and two cutthroat trout into the Tilton River at Gust Backstrom Park in Morton.
  • 66 coho adults into Lake Scanewa above Cowlitz Falls Dam.
  • 61 coho adults, one jack and one winter-run steelhead into the Cispus River above the mouth of Yellow Jacket Creek.

River flows at Mayfield Dam are approximately 14,200 cubic feet per second on Monday, January 5.

Bonneville Pool – Boat and bank anglers are catching steelhead but all of the fish in the sample were wild and had to be released.

The Dalles Pool – No salmonid effort was observed.

John Day Pool – Bank anglers are catching some steelhead.

Hanford Reach – From Paul A. Hoffarth, WDFW District 4 Fish Biologist in Pasco:

During the month of December anglers landed 277 steelhead and harvested 214 hatchery steelhead in the Hanford Reach sport fishery.  WDFW estimates 967 anglers fished in December and 3,312 anglers since the fishery opened on October 1.

Anglers are averaging a steelhead for every 12 hours of fishing, slightly better by boat (9 hours/fish) than bank (15 hours/fish) but just a little slower fishing than in November.  Fishing has been very spotty – good one day, slow the next but good overall compared to prior years.

Harvest this December was the best on record dating back to 2003.  This season 87% of the fish caught during the fishery have been hatchery clipped fish.  The majority of the fish caught have been Ringold Springs Hatchery released steelhead (adipose + right ventral fin clipped).

An estimated 949 hatchery steelhead have been harvested since the fishery opened on October 1.  Total catch including fish released is 1,210 steelhead.

Ringold Springs Hatchery staff collected and transported all the hatchery steelhead captured at the trap this fall and released them back into the river in the Tri-cities to give anglers another opportunity to catch these returning adults.  These “recycled” fish are marked (caudal clipped) prior to release.  Of the 949 fish harvested since October 1, a total of 188 (20%) were previously captured at the trap and released.

Sturgeon

Bonneville Pool – Boat anglers are catching some legals.  Slow for legal size fish from the bank.

The Dalles Pool – Boat and bank anglers are catching some legals.

John Day Pool – Slow for legal size fish.

Walleye and Bass

Bonneville Pool to John Day Pool – Boat anglers are catching some walleye in John Day Pool.  No effort was observed for walleye  in Bonneville and The Dalles pools.  No effort was observed for bass in any of the pools.

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