Nearly 4,800 Springers Caught In Last Week

New figures from Oregon and Washington fishery managers show that sport anglers landed 4,874 spring Chinook on the Columbia over the past week, keeping 4,220 of them.

“This last week was pretty good,” confirms guide Jim Stahl of J&J Guide Service (425-344-8716).

He’s been fishing the Kalama area and says that fellow guide Mark Coleman of All Rivers Guide Service (425-736-8920), fishing upstream of him, has also been doing well.

The new catch figures are a significant jump over the previous week when managers said around 2,000 had been kept or released. Only fin-clipped hatchery Chinook may be retained on the mainstem below Bonneville Dam, daily limit one adult.

A NICE PAIR OF SPRING KINGS CAUGHT ON THE BIG RIVER LAST WEDNESDAY ON HERRING. (LAZER SHARP PHOTO CONTEST)

The overall springer catch since Feb. 1 now stands at 6,682 with 1,011 released.

The river is closed today below I-205 as commercial netters dip their gear for their first fishery of the year. Modeling yesterday suggested a catch of between 6,000 and 10,000 springers.

For boat anglers, the best stretch has been The Interstate area, where the catch really jumped last week. Overall, 1,928 have been kept there since season began, and nearly 1,500 last week alone.

Second best area is the Estuary below Cathlamet where 1,085 have been kept so far, including 625 last week.

TOM SNAZA OF SPOKANE LANDED THIS SPRINGER OUT OF CATHLAMET YESTERDAY, MARCH 29. HE WAS FISHING A CUTPLUG AND FISH FLASH WITH HIS DAD, JOHN, OF NAPAVINE. (LAZER SHARP PHOTO CONTEST)

Third best is below the Interstate, between the mouths of the Willamette and Lewis; 944 have met their maker there, 331 last week.

Herring seems to be this year’s bait du jour.

“All I’ve been doing is trolling downhill,” says Stahl. “I can’t stand sitting. I’ve only sat for two hours in two weeks.”

From the bank, only 450 springers have been retained so far this season. Oregon side beaches continue to lead with 267 fish, of which 136 were landed between Warrior Rock and Sandy Island.

Just over 216 have been landed in the bank-only area between I-205 and Bonneville Dam this year, three-quarters of which were retained.

Saturday’s the last day to fish the water from I-5 up to Bonneville until an inseason run estimate is performed; one isn’t expected until early May.

The river below I-5 and above the dam, however, will remain open.

The percentage of Chinook bound for tribs above the dam rose from 45 percent the previous week to 70 percent last week.

All totaled, anglers have made 68,920 trips for springers this year, including over 60,000 in March alone. Effort and catch for the month are among the highest on record.

The count at the dam reached 300 as of Sunday, still lagging well behind the 10-year average, but in line with how springers have come back since 2005 when they began to run later for unknown reasons.

Unfortunately, fishing is expected to slow this week in the lower Columbia because of high, turbid water from recent rainstorms.

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One Response to “Nearly 4,800 Springers Caught In Last Week”

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

    […] But then things began to pick up with 700 kept through mid-March, 2,462 by the next week, nearly 7,000 by the end of the month and 9,600 kings through April […]

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