SW WA Fishing Report

(COURTESY OF JOE HYMER, PACIFIC STATES MARINE FISHERIES COMMISSION)

SALMON/STEELHEAD

Washington Columbia River tributary fall salmon regulations approved during the 2010 North of Falcon Process:

Camas Slough, Drano Lake, Cowlitz, Green (Cowlitz Co.), Toutle (mainstem and North Fork), Washougal, Wind, White Salmon rivers  – New for 2010 – All wild fall chinook (adults and jacks) must be released. Most if not all age classes of returning fall chinook are now mass marked.

Elochoman and Kalama rivers – Like last year, all wild chinook (adults and jacks) must be released.  All ages of returning  fall chinook are mass marked.

Lewis River (including North Fork) – Like last year, hatchery fall chinook may be retained in August and September. Some stray hatchery fall chinook are found in the Lewis River. This  allows opportunity to keep adipose clipped chinook during the hatchery early stock coho fishery.

Beginning October 1, all chinook must be released on the Lewis (including North Fork) and fishing from any floating device will be prohibited on the North Fork Lewis River from Johnson Creek upstream to Colvin Creek.  The wild fall Chinook return to the Lewis in 2010 may just barely meet the 5,700 natural spawn escapement goal.  Recent flooding and poor juvenile production causes some concern for future returns and increases the importance of meeting the goal this year.

Cispus, Cowlitz, Deep, Elochoman, Grays, (including West Fork), Green (Cowlitz Co.), Kalama, Lewis (including North Fork), Tilton, Toutle (including North Fork) and Washougal rivers – Up to six adult hatchery coho may be retained. Based on pre-season ocean-abundance forecasts, hatchery escapement goals are expected to be met.  Tributary sport harvest rates are typically low (<10%).  This regulation will hopefully encourage anglers to fish for and harvest the surplus hatchery coho.

Klickitat River – Up to 6 adult coho may be retained on the Klickitat River.  Not all hatchery coho returning to the Klickitat this fall will be adipose fin clipped hence the any fish.

Harvest of hatchery late stock coho and stray hatchery fall Chinook will be allowed during the winter steelhead season on the Grays River (including West Fork). Adult late stock hatchery coho will begin returning in 2010.  The additional salmon season matches the  existing hatchery winter run steelhead season.  In addition, it allows additional opportunity to harvest stray hatchery fall Chinook.  Fall chinook must be adipose and/or ventral fin clipped to be retained.

Grays (including West Fork) and Elochoman rivers – New for 2010 – The anti-snag rule and night closure begins August 1. Beginning last year, the fall salmon fishery opens one month earlier.  This regulation makes it consistent with the opening date.

Cedar Creek (North Fork Lewis tributary) closed to all fishing in September and October to protect naturally spawning fall Chinook and coho.

Lower Lacamas Creek (Washougal River tributary) from footbridge downstream closed to all fishing beginning in September. Stream flows are increased in the fall when the water behind Round/Lacamas lakes is lowered for annual maintenance on the dam.  This increase in flows sometimes attracts fall Chinook to spawn naturally in the creek.

Fishing report:

Cowlitz River – Fishing is slow.  Last week, Tacoma Power recovered 985 summer-run steelhead, 352 spring Chinook adults, 55 jacks, 122 mini-jacks, four sockeye salmon and three sea-run cutthroat trout during five days of operation at the Cowlitz Salmon Hatchery separator.

Tacoma Power employees released 78 spring Chinook adults and 19 jacks into the upper Cowlitz River at the Skate Creek Bridge in Packwood, Washington, 209 spring Chinook adults and 28 jacks into the Cispus River, and 113 spring Chinook mini-jacks into Riffe Lake at Mossyrock Park during the week.

River flows at Mayfield Dam are approximately 3,530 cubic feet per second on Monday August 2. Water visibility is over eleven feet.

Wind River from 400’ below Shipherd Falls downstream – No report on angling success.  Salmon daily limit is 6 fish.  Up to 2 adults may be retained.  Release wild chinook and wild coho.  Anti-snag rule is in effect through October.

Drano Lake – Effort and catch have increased.  There were about 50 boats here last Saturday July 31.  80% of the boat anglers sampled had caught a steelhead though over half the fish were wild and had to be released.

Salmon daily limit is 6 fish.  Up to 2 adults may be retained.  Release wild chinook and wild coho.  Anti-snag rule is in effect through the end of the year.

White Salmon River – Boat anglers are catching some steelhead.

From the powerhouse downstream, the salmon daily limit is 6 fish.  Up to 2 adults may be retained.  Release wild chinook and wild coho.  Anti-snag rule is in effect though the end of the year.

Buoy 10 – Slow on the Aug. 1 opener.  At the ports of Chinook and Ilwaco,  37 boats/105 anglers had 1 chinook.  Daily reports should be available on the department’s web site @ http://www.wdfw.wa.gov/fish/regions/reg5/buoy10.htm.

Effective August 1 through August 31 (chinook and coho catch expectation 12,500 and 11,900 fish, respectively), the Columbia River mainstem from Buoy 10 line upstream to the Tongue Point/Rocky Point Line is open for adult chinook (greater than 24 inches), hatchery coho (greater than 16 inches), and hatchery steelhead.  The daily bag limit is two salmon or hatchery steelhead or one of each.  Only one may be a chinook.  Any chinook, adipose fin clipped or not, may be retained.  Wild coho and all other salmon must be released.

During September 1 – December 31, this area will be open to the retention of hatchery coho and hatchery steelhead.  All chinook must be released.

Lower Columbia below Bonneville Dam – During the last six days of July we sampled 1,661 salmonid bank anglers from Bonneville Dam downstream with 1 adult and 1 jack summer Chinook, 463 steelhead, and no sockeye, an average of a salmonid kept/released per every 3.6 rods based on mainly incomplete trips. In addition, we sampled 505 salmonid boat anglers (234 boats) with 3 adult summer Chinook, 203 steelhead, and no sockeye, an average of a salmonid kept/released per every 2.4 rods based on mainly completed trips.  Overall, 25% of the adult Chinook and 63% of the steelhead caught were kept.

On the first day of the fall salmon season (August 1) we sampled 318 salmonid bank anglers from Bonneville Dam downstream with 49 steelhead and no fall chinook or coho,  an average of a salmonid kept/released per every 6.5 rods based on mainly incomplete trips. In addition, we sampled 92 salmonid boat anglers (37 boats) with 24 steelhead and no fall chinook or coho, an average of a salmonid kept/released per every 3.8 rods based on mainly completed trips.  Overall, 75% of the steelhead caught were kept.

Effective August 1 through December 31 (chinook catch expectation 17,200) the Columbia River mainstem from the Tongue Point/Rocky Point Line upstream to Bonneville Dam is open for fall chinook, hatchery coho, and hatchery steelhead.  The daily limit is 6 fish.  Up to two may be adult salmon or hatchery steelhead or one of each.  Only one may be a chinook.  Any chinook, adipose fin clipped or not, may be retained.  Wild coho and all other salmon must be released.

Beginning September 12, chinook retention will be prohibited from the Tongue Point/Rocky Point Line upstream to a line projected from Warrior Rock Lighthouse on the Oregon shore to Red Buoy #4 to the orange marker atop the dolphin on the lower end of Bachelor Island on the Washington shore.

Bonneville Pool – Very windy last weekend with just 4 boats off the White Salmon River and 8 off Drano Lake.

The Dalles Pool – Including fish released, bank anglers averaged 2/3 fish per rod.  Most of the catch were wild steelhead that had to be released.

John Day Pool – Very light effort and no catch was observed.

Effective August 1 through December 31 (chinook catch expectation 2,500), the mainstem Columbia from Bonneville Dam to McNary Dam is open for fall chinook, coho, and hatchery steelhead.  Daily limit is 6 fish.  Up to two may be adult salmon or hatchery steelhead or one of each.  Any chinook, adipose fin clipped or not, may be retained.  Wild coho must be released between Bonneville Dam and the Hood River Bridge.  All other salmon must be released.

Night closure and anti-snag rule is in effect for salmon and steelhead through mid October.

STURGEON

Lower Columbia from the Wauna powerlines downstream – At the Deep River and Knappton ramps, boat anglers averaged 0.74 legals kept per boat.  Bank anglers sampled in the estuary did not catch any fish. The ports of Chinook and Ilwaco data should be picked up later today.

All sturgeon must be released through the end of the year.

Lower Columbia from the Wauna powerlines to Marker 82 – A few legals were caught by boat anglers in the Kalama to Cathlamet area.   Above Wauna powerlines is closed to white sturgeon retention until October 1.

John Day Pool – Catch and release only.  Boat anglers averaged a sturgeon for every 6.1 hours fished.

WALLEYE AND BASS

The Dalles Pool – The few boat anglers sampled did not catch any walleye.

John Day Pool – Boat anglers averaged over a walleye kept/released per rod.  In addition, walleye anglers handled nearly 2 bass per rod.

TROUT

Mayfield Lake and Swofford Pond – Light effort and catch.

Riffe Lake – The fishery for landlocked coho has slowed.

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