SW WA Fishing Report

(JOE HYMER, PACIFIC STATES MARINE FISHERIES COMMISSION)

SALMON/STEELHEAD

Cowlitz River – Some spring Chinook and steelhead are being caught at the barrier dam.

Last week, Tacoma Power recovered 197 spring Chinook adults, 36 jacks, 20 mini-jacks, 197 summer-run steelhead and two late winter-run steelhead during five days of operation at the Cowlitz Salmon Hatchery separator.

Tacoma Power employees released 117 spring Chinook adults and 27 jacks into the upper Cowlitz River at the Lake Scanewa Day Use Park above Cowlitz Falls Dam during the week.

River flows at Mayfield Dam are approximately 8,500 cubic feet per second on Monday, June 14 and are likely to increase during the week. Water visibility is nine feet.

Kalama River – Flows were high most of the week and effort was light.

Lewis River – Light effort though some spring Chinook and steelhead are being caught.  Flows below Merwin Dam are currently 6,563 cfs, which are 70% higher than the long-term mean of 3,840 cfs for this date.

Wind River – Spring Chinook continue to be caught around the coffer dam area.

Drano Lake – Light effort and catch.  Closed to all fishing on Wednesdays through June.

Lower Columbia from the Rocky Point/Tongue Point line upstream to the I-5 Bridge – Anglers are catching a mix of chinook, steelhead, and sockeye.  Including fish released (adult Chinook, wild Chinook jacks, wild steelhead, and sockeye), bank anglers averaged a fish per nearly every 3 rods while boat anglers averaged one per every 5 rods based on mainly incomplete and completed trips, respectively.

Bank angling effort was high last Saturday with nearly 700 anglers counted along the Washington and Oregon shores last Saturday June 12.  Boat effort was lighter with 55 counted during the flight.

Effective Wednesday June 16, hatchery adult Chinook may be retained from the Megler-Astoria Bridge to Priest Rapids Dam.  Sockeye must be released.

At Bonneville Dam, flows are expected to drop slowly from a high of nearly 400,000 cfs this past weekend to 320,000 cfs by next weekend (see http://www.nwrfc.noaa.gov/river/station/flowplot/text/BONO3.QI.0.0.1.0.txt for details).  Water visibility at the dam is approximately 3 feet.

  • The 2010 forecast of 88,800 adults to the Columbia River mouth is 165% of the 2009 return of 53,900 adults, and would represent the highest return since 2002.
  • Based on the 2010 forecast, daily counts at Bonneville Dam are expected to average about 2,900 Chinook per day during June 16-30 and then steadily decrease to 700 fish per day by the end of July.  Passage is typically 50% complete by the end of June.
  • An estimated 453,000 upriver summer steelhead are expected to pass Bonneville Dam in 2010, which is 139% of the recent 10-year average of 326,000 fish.  The minimum run size of lower Skamania steelhead averaged 65,000 fish during 2005-2009.
  • The 2010 sockeye forecast of 125,200 fish to the Columbia River mouth is considered a strong run compared to the 10-year average of 97,000 fish.  The forecast includes 14,300 Wenatchee stock, 110,300 Okanogan stock, and 600 Snake River sockeye.
  • The predicted Wenatchee return is 62% of the 23,000 fish escapement goal for that system.

STURGEON

Lower Columbia mainstem from the mouth to the Wauna powerlines – Effort was high during last Saturday’s sturgeon derby and free fishing weekend though catch rates were low, at least as measured at the Knappton and Deep River ramps.  At those ramps, boat anglers averaged a legal kept per every 7.2 rods.  No legals were sampled from the bank.

Almost 500 private boats and 19 charters were counted during last Saturday’s flight.  Last year, nearly 700 private boats and 24 charters were counted.

The ports of Chinook and Ilwaco data should be available by tomorrow.

Lower Columbia mainstem from the Wauna powerlines to the marker 82 line – Not much action for the few anglers we sampled.  About 40% of the 174 boats counted during last Saturday’s flight were found in the gorge.

TROUT

Mayfield Lake – Bank and boat anglers are catching rainbows.

Swofford Pond – Some rainbows and a few perch are being caught.

Riffe Lake – Including fish released, bank anglers at Taidnapum and near the dam averaged 2 landlocked coho per rod.

Klineline Pond – No report on angling success.  Planted with 2,052 catchable size rainbows June 9.

Rowland Lake near Lyle – No report on angling success.  Planted with 2,082 catchable size rainbows June 8.

SHAD

Lower Columbia below Bonneville Dam – Limited sampling showed boat anglers near Woodland were catching some fish.  During last Saturday’s flight, over 800 bank anglers were counted with most of the effort observed just below the dam.

Yesterday, the count of nearly 90,000 shad at Bonneville Dam was the highest daily count to date this year.  Overall, over 600,000 shad have been counted at the dam, about 60% of the 1 million fish that had been counted at this time last year.

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