SW WA Fishing Report

(JOE HYMER, PACIFIC STATES MARINE FISHERIES COMMISSION)

SALMON/STEELHEAD

South Fork Toutle River from the mouth to the 4700 Road Bridge and Green River from the mouth to 400’ below the water intake at the upper end of the hatchery – Open to fishing for hatchery steelhead.  Selective gear rules in effect through June 4. No report on angling success.

Under permanent rules, the entire South Fork Toutle River and the Green River from the mouth to the 2800 Road Bridge will open to fishing for hatchery steelhead beginning June 5.      Under permanent rules, all tributaries to the South Fork Toutle and Green rivers remain closed to all fishing.

Cowlitz River – Some spring Chinook are being caught around the barrier dam.  Steelhead catches were more scattered.

Through October, anglers may now retain up to three hatchery steelhead per day from the Hwy. 4 Bridge at Kelso upstream to Mayfield Dam.  All game fish except hatchery steelhead must be released through June 4.  Beginning June 5, the daily limit for trout will be five fish, of which up to 3 may be hatchery steelhead. Release wild cutthroat.  From the mouth to Mayfield Dam, anglers are reminded they may retain steelhead with a clipped right ventral fin and a healed scar at the location of the clipped fin.

Last week, Tacoma Power recovered 146 winter-run steelhead, 100 summer-run steelhead, 646 spring Chinook adult and 115 jacks during five days of operation at the Cowlitz Salmon Hatchery separator.

River flows at Mayfield Dam are approximately 3,560 cubic feet per second on Monday, May 24. Water visibility is 14 feet.

Lake Scanewa (Cowlitz Falls Reservoir) – Open to fishing for hatchery spring Chinook.  No report on angling success.  Reverts to permanent fishing regulations beginning June 1.

Tacoma Power employees released 309 spring Chinook adults, 75 jacks and two winter-run steelhead into Lake Scanewa at the Day Use Park above Cowlitz Falls Dam and  147 spring Chinook adults and 31 jacks into the Cispus River  during the week.

Kalama River – Effort and catch has been light though some spring Chinook and steelhead are being caught.

A total of 152 adults have returned to Kalama Falls Hatchery as of May 21.  The 5 year average cumulative total to date is 16.49% of the run.   Using the average run timing returns to date would convert to a run size of 922 adults to Kalama Falls Hatchery.  The hatchery escapement goal is 438 adults.  Pre-season forecast (total return to the Kalama) was 900 adults.

Lewis River – Light effort and catch.  A few spring Chinook and steelhead are being caught.  Flows below Merwin Dam were 4,100 cfs this morning, slightly higher than the long-term mean of 4,570 cfs for this date.

Washougal River from mouth to Mt. Norway Bridge – Through Oct. 31, up to three hatchery steelhead may be retained per day.  Through June 4, selective gear rules are in effect; no bait may be used.

No report on angling success. Approx 70 summer run adult steelhead are being recycled to Hathaway Park in Washougal this afternoon

Flows at Hathaway Park are dropping but still about 1,000 cfs today.  Water temperature has decreased to approximately 48 degrees.  See https://fortress.wa.gov/ecy/wrx/wrx/flows/station.asp?sta=28B080#block0 for information.

Washougal River from Mt. Norway Bridge to Salmon Falls Bridge and West (North) Fork Washougal River from intake at Skamania Hatchery upstream- Effective June 5 through Oct. 31, up to three hatchery steelhead may be retained per day.

Wind River – It appears the large numbers of fish that were present in the gorge earlier last week have moved upriver between the coffer dam and the hatchery.  Effort and catch is fading quickly at the mouth.

Based upon earlier trapping and Passive Integrated Transponder (PIT) tags detections at the Shipherd Falls Trap, over 3,000 fish had passed the fall as of Thursday May 20.  Through May 24, a total of 1,070 spring Chinook had returned to Carson National Fish Hatchery.  The hatchery escapement goal is 1,500.

Wind River from the mouth (boundary line/markers) to 400 feet below Shipherd Falls and 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)– The salmonid daily limit is a total of 4 fish or which no more than 2 may be hatchery steelhead.  Chinook jacks count as part of the salmon daily limit.  Release all wild Chinook from Shipherd Falls downstream.  Night closure is in effect.  The anti-snag rule has been rescinded from the mouth to the Burlington Northern Railroad Bridge but remains in effect from the bridge upstream where only fish hooked inside the mouth may be retained.

Drano Lake – Catch is fading with a Chinook per every 4.3 boat anglers and one per every 6 bank anglers, respectively.  Over 3,000 fish entered the hatchery trap when it was briefly opened last week.

Drano Lake – Open to fishing for hatchery chinook and hatchery steelhead through July except closed to all fishing on Wednesdays through June 9.  Through June 30, the salmonid daily limit is a total of 4 fish of which no more than 2 may be hatchery steelhead. Hatchery chinook jacks count as part of the salmon daily limit.  Release all wild Chinook.  Night closure is in effect.

Through June, the anti-snag rule has been rescinded.  Bank fishing only west of a line projected from the eastern most pillar of the Highway 14 Bridge to a posted marker on the north shore.

Klickitat River – Anglers continue to catch about equal numbers of spring Chinook and summer run steelhead from the Fisher Hill Bridge downstream.  About 20 vehicles per open day last week.

Flows at Pitt are currently 2,150 cfs, slightly less than the long-term mean of 2,510 cfs for this date.  At mid week, flows are expected to increase to the long-term mean.  River was turbid earlier last week.

Lower Columbia from the Rocky Point/Tongue Point line upstream to the I-5 Bridge – Both bank and boat anglers averaged a steelhead kept/released per every 12 rods based on mainly incomplete and completed trips, respectively.  A few hatchery Chinook jacks (which can be kept) and adults (which have to be released) were also caught.

Effort is relatively light with 18 boats and 200 bank anglers counted during the Saturday May 22 flight.  Effort was scattered throughout the lower river.

STURGEON

Lower Columbia from the mouth to the Wauna powerlines – Pretty good turnout on the May 22 retention re-opener.  About 160 private and 14 charter boats were counted during last Saturday’s flight count.   The largest concentration of private boats were around Tongue Point.

Catches on the Washington side were slow with one in 11 boat anglers sampled at the Deep River/Knappton ramps catching a legal size fish while none of the bank anglers checked had caught anything.

Mainstem Columbia River from Buoy 10 to the Wauna powerlines (including all adjacent Washington tributaries) – Through June 26 white sturgeon may be retained daily.  Daily limit is 1 fish, minimum size 41” fork length and maximum size 54” fork length. Catch-and-release fishing is allowed during non-retention days.

Lower Columbia from the Wauna powerlines to the Marker 82 line – Boat anglers were catching some legals.  Just over a hundred boats and a few dozen bank anglers were counted during last Saturday’s flight.  Over half the boats were found from Vancouver to the gorge.

Mainstem Columbia River from the Wauna powerlines upstream to Bonneville Dam (including all adjacent Washington tributaries) – Except in the sturgeon spawning sanctuary and closed waters described below, white sturgeon may be retained Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays only through July 31 and from October 1 through December 31. Daily limit 1. Minimum size is 38” fork length and maximum size is 54” fork length.  Catch-and-release fishing is allowed during non-retention days.

Sturgeon Spawning Sanctuary: 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 through August.

Through July, angling for all species is prohibited from a line between the upstream end of Sand Island near Rooster Rock and a marker on the Oregon shoreline, downstream to a line between the lower end of Sand Island and a marker on the Oregon shoreline.

SHAD

Lower Columbia below Bonneville Dam – Bank anglers at the Steamboat Landing docks in Washougal were catching some shad.   Almost 60 bank anglers were counted on both the Oregon and Washington shores just below Bonneville Dam during last Saturday’s flight count.    No report on angling success on the Washington side.

Bonneville Dam daily counts have ranged from 1,000- 2,000 shad per day for the last week.

TROUT

Mayfield Lake – Boat anglers are catching some rainbows.  Expected to have received 20,000 catchable size rainbows in May.  This follows the 25,000 fish planted in April.

Riffe Lake – Bank anglers are catching some landlocked coho.

Battleground Lake – 6,500 rainbows up to 2/3 pound each were planted May 15 and May 18.

Little Klickitat River – 495 catchable size rainbows were planted May 19 (Note:  Juvenile only waters with Goldendale city limits.  Opened April 24).

Maryhill Pond (Klickitat Co.) – 504 catchable size rainbows were planted May 19.

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