SW WA Fishing Report



Cowlitz River– 34 bank anglers kept 5 steelhead while 48 boaters kept 45.  All the fish were sampled from the Blue Creek area.

Last week Tacoma Power recovered 1,066 summer-run steelhead, 168 spring Chinook adults, 24 jacks, 240 mini-jacks, four sockeye salmon, and one sea-run cutthroat trout during five days of operation at the Cowlitz Salmon Hatchery separator.

Tacoma Power employees released 48 spring Chinook adults and 22 jacks into the upper Cowlitz River at the Day Use Park in Lake Scanewa above Cowlitz Falls Dam, eight spring Chinook adults into the Cispus River, and 198 spring Chinook mini-jacks into Riffe Lake at Mossyrock Park during the week.

River flows at Mayfield Dam are approximately 4,780 cubic feet per second on Monday July 19. Water visibility is eleven feet.

Drano Lake – 5 boat anglers kept 1 chinook jack.  There were 13 boats there midday Saturday July 17.

Lower Columbia below Bonneville Dam – Lots of effort though angling success was a little better earlier in the week during the stronger tides.  Tides become stronger again later this week.

Last week we sampled 1,968 salmonid bank anglers below Bonneville Dam with 12 adult and 3 jack summer Chinook, 429 steelhead, and 1 sockeye, an average of a salmonid kept/released per every 4.4 rods based on mainly incomplete trips. In addition, we sampled 448 salmonid boat anglers (211 boats) with 5 adult summer Chinook, 151 steelhead, and no sockeye, an average of a salmonid kept/released per every 2.9 rods based on mainly completed trips.  Overall, 65% of the adult Chinook and 60% of the steelhead caught were kept.

343 salmonid boats and 872 bank anglers were observed from Bonneville Dam downstream during last Saturday’s (July 17) effort flight count.  Three-quarters of the bank effort was found on the Washington side.  Boat effort was more scattered.

Bonneville Pool – Fairly windy last week but boat anglers are catching steelhead though most of the fish were wild and had to be released.

The Dalles Pool – Bank anglers averaged 2/3 salmonid per rod when including fish released.  Most of the fish were steelhead of which over half were wild and had to be released.

John Day Pool – Paul Hoffarth, WDFW District 4 Fish Biologist in Pasco, reports very little effort for salmon last week and no reported catch. Anglers are beginning to fish for steelhead above and below McNary Dam.

  • The summer steelhead counting period at Bonneville Dam began April 1 and continued to June 30 for the Skamania stock.  A total of 29,261 steelhead (11,276 unclipped) were counted during this time period and the run exceeded the preseason forecast (16,400 total, 3,300 wild)for Skamania steelhead. On July 1 the upriver A/B steelhead counting period began.  From July 1 to July 18, a total of 84,680 steelhead have been counted at Bonneville which is significantly above average.   Nearly 50% of the summer steelhead at Bonneville have been unclipped.


Lower Columbia below Bonneville Dam – At the ports of Chinook and Ilwaco, charter boat anglers averaged nearly ½  legal kept per rod while private boaters averaged one per every 6.3 rods.  At the Deep River and Knappton ramps, anglers averaged 0.81 legals kept per boat.  Bank anglers sampled in the estuary did not catch any fish.  If an angler did catch a fish, there was a 40% chance it would be a keeper.

A few legals were caught by boat anglers in the Kalama area and by bank anglers near Longview.

175 private and 2 charter boats were found fishing for sturgeon from the Wauna powerlines downstream during last Saturday’s effort flight count.  Just over a hundred boats were counted from Wauna upstream.  Only 28 bank rods were counted during the same flight.


Lower Columbia below Bonneville Dam – Some walleye are being caught by boaters in the Camas/Washougal area and in the gorge.

The Dalles Pool – Boat anglers are catching some walleye while bank anglers are catching some bass.

John Day Pool – Paul Hoffarth reports walleye angling was a little slower than the previous week but still good. Average was a walleye per every 4.4 hours fished.


Mayfield Lake – 4 bank anglers had 2 rainbows.

Riffe Lake – 21 bank anglers kept 18 landlocked coho.  Catch was split between the dam and Taidnapam.

Swofford Pond – 4 bank anglers had 1 bluegill.


John Day Pool – Boat anglers are still catching some shad.

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