SW WA Fishin’ Report

(JOE HYMER, PACIFIC STATES MARINE FISHERIES COMMISSION)

SALMON/STEELHEAD

Cowlitz River – Spring chinook and steelhead are being caught, primarily from the trout hatchery to the barrier dam.  The first 14 hatchery summer run steelhead of the season were trapped at Cowlitz Salmon Hatchery last week.

Flows have been steady at 3,540 cfs (except for the weekly flushing flow).  A total of 1,280 spring chinook adults have returned to the Cowlitz Salmon Hatchery separator as of April 23.  The 13 year average cumulative total to date is 6.97% of the run (range 1.1 ~ 12.8).  Using average run timing returns to date would convert to a run size of 18,364 to the separator.  The pre-season forecast was 12,500 adults returning to the Cowlitz in 2010.

Kalama River – Both spring chinook and steelhead are being caught.

Lewis River – Some spring chinook and steelhead are being caught in the North Fork; light effort and catch on the mainstem Lewis.

Flows below Merwin Dam were 4,200 cfs today which is slightly less than the long-term mean of 5,100 for this date.

Wind River – Overall one in every three boat anglers caught a spring chinook.  Some fish are being caught by bank anglers at the mouth and in the gorge.

There have been a total of 81 detections of Carson National Fish Hatchery (CNFH) Integrated Transponder (PIT) tagged adult spring Chinook at Bonneville Dam as of April 21.  Applying the juvenile tag rate from CNFH produces an estimate of 6,282 CNFH chinook over Bonneville Dam through April 21.

The final CNFH run size projections at Bonneville Dam, using early and average timing data from 2000-2009, are 10,593 and 21,547, respectively.  The pre-season forecast was 14,000 adults returning to the Wind in 2010.

There have been 80 spring chinook passed at Shipherd Falls through April 21.

For more information about PIT Tag observations, see http://www.cbr.washington.edu/dart/pit_obs_adult_obs_de.html.

CNFH daily counts will be available beginning May 1 via web site and phone. Web site address is http://www.fws.gov/gorgefish/carson/index.html.  Main office number is 509 427 5905.

Wind River from 100 feet above Shipherd Falls upstream to boundary markers approximately 800 yards downstream from Carson National Fish Hatchery (except closed 400 feet below to 100 feet above the Coffer Dam) – From May 1 through June 30, the salmon and steelhead daily limits will be a total of 2 chinook or hatchery steelhead or one of each.  Unmarked chinook may be retained in this section of the Wind. Night closure and anti-snag rule will be in effect.  Only fish hooked inside the mouth may be retained.

Drano Lake – About 40% of the bank and boat anglers at Drano Lake had caught a spring chinook when sampled last week.  About 120 boats observed here last Saturday (April 24) around noon.

There have been a total of 108 detections of Little White Salmon National Fish Hatchery(LWSNFH)  PIT tagged spring Chinook at Bonneville Dam as of April 25.  Applying the juvenile tag rate from LWSNFH produces an estimate of 6,756 LWSNFH adult chinook over Bonneville through April 25.

The pre-season forecast was 28,900 adults returning to Drano Lake in 2010.

White Salmon River – Spring chinook are no longer released here but there have been sporadic catches of stray fish based on angler reports.

Klickitat River – Some spring chinook are being caught by bank anglers from the Fisher Hill Bridge downstream.

The first few spring Chinook of the year have been counted at the Lyle Falls adult trap.  Trap counts will be updated starting this week on the Yakama Indian Nation website at http://www.ykfp.org/klickitat/Data_lyleadulttrap.htm.

Flow at Pitt were 2,250 cfs today which is close to the long-term mean of 2,330 for this date.

Bonneville Pool – Bank angles just outside of Drano Lake are catching some spring chinook.

The Dalles Pool – Including fish released, just over one in every 3 bank anglers kept/released a spring chinook while about one in six boat anglers had caught a fish. Overall  78% of the fish caught were kept.

John Day Pool – From Paul Hoffarth, WDFW District 4 Fish Biologist in Pasco: For the week of April 19-25, an estimated 549 adult hatchery chinook were harvested and 138 wild chinook were released. The majority of the harvest were retained by bank anglers fishing the Oregon shore. WDFW staff interviewed 336 salmon anglers this past week and sampled 85 hatchery chinook. For the season, an estimated 748 adult hatchery chinook have been harvested and 154 wild chinook were released.

UPRIVER SPRING CHINOOK RUN SIZE UPDATE

§  Bonneville Dam passage of adult Chinook through April 25 totals 95,512.  This is the highest cumulative count to date since 2003 and the 3th highest count to date since 1977.

§  With the total Bonneville count plus upriver impacts in treaty and non-treaty fishing below Bonneville Dam, 129,679 upriver spring Chinook can be accounted for.

§  The Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) met today and says it is still too early to update the run size.   TAC will be meeting regularly to review dam counts and harvest data.

STURGEON

Lower Columbia from Bonneville Dam downstream – Effort and catches remain light except in the gorge.  A total of 123 boats and 200 bank anglers were counted during the Saturday April 24 flight.  Just under half the boats and over three-quarters of the bank anglers were found in the gorge.

Lower Columbia from the mouth to the Wauna powerlines – White sturgeon may be retained daily through April and from May 22 through June 26.  Daily limit 1.  Maximum size is 54” fork length. Through April, minimum size is 38” fork length.  Effective May 22, the minimum size will be 41” fork length.  Catch-and-release fishing is allowed during non-retention days.

From Bonneville Dam downstream 9 miles to a line crossing the Columbia from Navigation Marker 82 on the Oregon shore through the upstream exposed end of Skamania Island, continuing in a straight line to a boundary marker on the Washington shore:  CLOSED to fishing for STURGEON May 1-Aug. 31.

The Dalles Pool – Boat anglers averaged a legal per every 2 rods when including fish released.  Bank angling was slow for legal size fish.

From John Day Dam downstream 5.4 miles to the west end of the grain silo at Rufus, Oregon:  CLOSED to fishing for STURGEON May 1-July 31.

John Day Dam to McNary Dam (including all tributaries) – The retention of sturgeon is prohibited through the rest of the year.   Catch-and-release fishing is permitted.  From McNary Dam downstream 1.5 miles to Hwy. 82 (Hwy. 395) Bridge:  CLOSED to fishing for STURGEON May 1-July 31.

WALLEYE AND BASS

The Dalles Pool – Boat anglers averaged 1.3 walleye per rod while bank anglers averaged 2.6 bass per rod when including fish released.

John Day Pool – Few boat anglers sampled and those that were sampled had no catch.

TROUT

Klineline Pond – 47 bank anglers kept 58 catchable size and 1 brood stock rainbow and released 19 catchable size rainbows.  Planted with 2,000 rainbows averaging 2/3 pound each and 256 averaging 1.5 pounds each last week.

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