800 Columbia Springers Caught So Far

A report this morning says that since Feb. 1, at least 800 spring Chinook have been landed on the Columbia, but despite this year’s monster upriver forecast, most of those have been bound for lower-river tribs.

That from Joe Hymer of the Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission, in his weekly sport fishing roundup.

Of the 800, nearly 700 were kept, and of those, “68% of the Chinook kept were lower river stock based on visual stock identification,” Hymer reports.

While frankly yours truly is worried — All Hail Another Effed Up Forecast — this year’s upriver run is tracking similar to how every run since 2005 has come in: late.

Through March 15, 46 Chinook have gone over Bonneville, tied for most through that date since that year (2008 also saw 46).

Before 2005, runs appear to have come in earlier — 4,355 through March 15 in 2003, for instance.

But with such a large forecast — 470,000, the average of six predictions — you’d just expect to see a few more fish on the early side of the bell curve.

Meanwhile, anglers are picking up springers in the Multnomah Channel, and if you’re not quite up to staying at home, here’s the rest of Hymer’s report:


Cowlitz River – Anglers are catching late winter run steelhead and a few spring chinook.  Last week, Tacoma Power recovered 225 winter-run steelhead and 24 spring Chinook adults during five days of operation at the Cowlitz Salmon Hatchery separator.

During the week Tacoma Power employees released seven winter-run steelhead into the Tilton River at Gust Backstrom Park in Morton and 41 winter-run steelhead and 21 spring Chinook adult into Lake Scanewa behind Cowlitz Falls Dam.

River flows at Mayfield Dam are approximately 5,050 cubic feet per second on Monday, March 15. Water visibility is ten feet.

Kalama River – Anglers are catching some late winter run steelhead.

Lewis River – Light effort and catches.

Wind River from mouth to 400 feet below Shipherd Falls and Drano Lake opened to fishing for hatchery salmon and hatchery steelhead today (March 16).  With only 46 adult chinook over Bonneville Dam to date, expect slow fishing until more fish cross the dam.

Lower Columbia below Bonneville Dam – Last week we sampled 1,103 boat anglers (493 boats) with 86 adult chinook and 3 steelhead.  In addition, we sampled 196 bank anglers with 1 adult chinook and 2 steelhead.  Overall, 98% of the adult Chinook and 60% of the steelhead caught were kept.  Of the 80 adult chinook sampled, 56% were lower river stock based on Visual Stock Identification (VSI).

Effort was down a little from the previous weekend with just over 600 boats and nearly 300 bank anglers counted during last Saturday’s March 13 flight.

From Feb. 1-March 14, 2010, there have been an estimated 21,500 angler trips with 800 chinook handled from the lower Columbia mainstem sport fishery below Bonneville Dam.  698 (88%) of the chinook caught were kept.  68% of the chinook kept were lower river stock based on Visual Stock Identification (VSI).

From Buoy 10 to the I-5 Bridge, fishing for hatchery Chinook, hatchery steelhead, and shad is closed on Tuesdays through March 30. From the I-5 Bridge to Bonneville Dam, fishing for hatchery salmon, hatchery steelhead, and shad is open only Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays through April 3.  Bank fishing only from the I-205 Bridge upstream to Bonneville Dam.

The Dalles Pool – Bank anglers are catching some steelhead.

Bonneville Dam to McNary Dam opened to fishing for hatchery chinook, hatchery steelhead, and shad today (March 16). Daily salmonid limit is 6 fish (hatchery chinook or hatchery steelhead), of which no more than 2 may be hatchery adult chinook or hatchery steelhead or one of each. Bank fishing only from Bonneville Dam to the Tower Island powerlines approximately 6 miles below The Dalles Dam.


Lower Columbia below Bonneville Dam – Boat anglers in the Kalama area were catching some legals; slow elsewhere.

Effort remains light with 33 boats and 47 bank anglers counted during Saturday’s flight.

The Dalles Pool – Boat anglers are catching some legals; slow from the bank.  Sturgeon may be retained daily until The Dalles Pool guideline is met. The daily limit is 1 fish, minimum size 43” fork length and maximum size 54” fork length.


The Dalles Pool – Boat anglers averaged nearly a walleye per rod when including fish released.  A few bass are also being caught by boat anglers.  Light effort and no catch observed from the bank.


3 Responses to “800 Columbia Springers Caught So Far”

  1. Springer Bite Improving « Northwest Sportsman Says:

    […] this week he reported a total of 800 Chinook landed since Feb. 1, with 698 of those being kept, and of those, 68 percent were from lower […]

  2. Springer Catch Up To 18.4K « Northwest Sportsman Says:

    […] reporters — mea culpa, yours truly — wondered where the hell the fish were and publicly gnashed our teeth over the managers and their damned “record run” forecast of 470,000 back to tribs above […]

  3. First 5-digit Day At BD « Northwest Sportsman Says:

    […] of 470,000 might be early, a vast improvement since the days in March when yours truly fretted about the run being […]

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