High Steelie Catch; SW WA Fishing Report

(COURTESY JOE HYMER, PACIFIC STATES MARINE FISHERIES COMMISSION)

SALMON/STEELHEAD

Drano Lake – 25 boat anglers kept 8 steelhead and released 14 others plus 1 chinook jack.  The bite was reported good around daylight.  About 28 boats were counted here last Saturday morning (July 24).

White Salmon River – 5 bank anglers had no catch.  Some steelhead have been reported caught early in the morning.

Lower Columbia below Bonneville Dam – Effort and catch rates were similar to the previous week.

Last week we sampled 1,594 salmonid bank anglers from Bonneville Dam downstream with 6 adult summer Chinook, 360 steelhead and 1 sockeye, an average of a salmonid kept/released per every 4.3 rods based on mainly incomplete trips. In addition, we sampled 446 salmonid boat anglers (208 boats) with 3 adult and 1 jack summer Chinook, 110 steelhead and no sockeye, an average of a salmonid kept/released per every 3.9 rods based on mainly completed trips.  Overall, 78% of the adult Chinook and 62% of the steelhead caught were kept.

350 salmonid boats and 789 bank anglers were observed from Bonneville Dam downstream during last Saturday’s (July 24) effort flight count.  Nearly three-quarters of the bank effort was found on the Washington side.  Boat effort was more scattered.

An estimated 33,900 salmonid angler trips below Bonneville Dam resulted in a 3,400 steelhead kept in June.  The catch for the month was the highest since at least the early 1970s.

Bonneville Pool – Boat anglers off the White Salmon and Klickitat rivers are catching some steelhead though just over half were wild and had to be released.  Last Saturday 38 boats were observed off the White Salmon River and a half dozen each off Drano Lake and the Klickitat River.

The Dalles Pool – Bank anglers averaged nearly a steelhead per rod when including fish released.  The majority of the fish caught were wild and had to be released.

John Day Pool – No anglers were observed fishing for salmon or steelhead last week.

STURGEON

Lower Columbia from the Wauna powerlines downstream – Effort in the estuary was higher but catch rates were similar to the previous week.

Charter boat anglers averaged slightly better than a legal kept per every 3 rods while private boaters sampled at the ports of Chinook and Ilwaco averaged one per every 6.6 rods.  At the Deep River and Knappton ramps, boat anglers averaged 0.84 legals kept per boat.  Bank anglers sampled in the estuary did not catch any legals.   Overall, if an angler caught a fish there was a 37% chance it would be a keeper.

254 private and 12 charter boats were found fishing for sturgeon from the Wauna powerlines downstream during last Saturday’s flight count.

Through July 18 there were an estimated 31,400 sturgeon angler trips in the estuary that resulted in 4,900 legals kept.  The catch guideline for the season is 9,600 fish.

A Compact hearing is scheduled for 10:00 a.m. on July 29 in Cathlamet, Washington to consider fall season commercial fishing periods. Given the date, this hearing will also provide a timely opportunity to review the estuary sturgeon sport fishery.

Lower Columbia from the Wauna powerlines to Marker 82 – Effort and success remains about the same as the previous week.  A few legals were caught by boat anglers in the Vancouver to Kalama area and by bank anglers in Woodland.

Just over a hundred boats were counted from Wauna upstream during last Saturday’s effort flight count.  Only 37 bank rods were counted during the same flight.

John Day Pool – Boat anglers averaged a sturgeon per every 6.2 hours fished in the area open for catch-and-release.  The Columbia River from the Interstate 82 bridge upstream to McNary Dam will remain closed to all sturgeon fishing until August 1.  On August 1 this area will reopen for CATCH & RELEASE ONLY!

WALLEYE AND BASS

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

The Dalles Pool – The few boat and bank anglers sampled had caught some smallmouth bass and walleye.

John Day Pool – Boat anglers targeting bass and walleye averaged one and 4.4 hours per fish, respectively.   Walleye anglers had also caught more bass than walleye.

TROUT

Swift Reservoir – Planted with 2,900 one pound and 1,260 five pound rainbows July 20.

Takhlakh Lake (Skamania County) – Planted with 172 “jumbo” rainbows averaging 4 pounds each July 19.

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