SW WA Fishing Report, Novembrrrr 22, 2010

(REPORT COURTESY BIOLOGIST JOE HYMER)

SALMON/STEELHEAD

Grays River – Mainstem Grays from Hwy. 4 Bridge to South Fork opens to fishing for hatchery steelhead, hatchery coho, and adipose and/or ventral fin clipped Chinook beginning December 1.  On the same day the open area on the West Fork expands from the hatchery intake/footbridge to the mouth.

Cowlitz River – Anglers are still continuing to catch coho throughout the river though best catches came from the barrier dam area.

Last week, Tacoma Power recovered 5,393 coho adults, 189 jacks, 52 fall Chinook adults, one jack, 46 winter-run steelhead, 42 summer-run steelhead, and 56 sea-run cutthroat trout during seven days of operation at the Cowlitz Salmon Hatchery separator.

During the past week Tacoma Power employees released 1,101 coho adults, 71 jacks, and 26 fall Chinook adults into Lake Scanewa, 130 coho adults and five jacks into the upper Cowlitz River at the Skate Creek Bridge in Packwood,  and 88 coho adults, nine jacks, one fall Chinook adult, and three cutthroat trout into the Tilton River at Gust Backstrom Park in Morton during the week.

River flows at Mayfield Dam are approximately 9,470 cubic feet per second on Monday, November 22. Water visibility is seven feet.

Blue and Mill creeks (tributaries to Cowlitz River) – Beginning December 1, Blue Creek opens to fishing for hatchery steelhead and sea-run cutthroats while Mill Creek opens to fishing for hatchery steelhead.   See the 2010-2011 Fishing in Washington pamphlet for additional details.

Green River, North Fork Toutle River, and mainstem Toutle from mouth to forks –  November 30 is the last day to fish for hatchery steelhead and hatchery salmon.

South Fork Toutle River –  From 4100 Bridge upstream, November 30 is the last day to fish for hatchery steelhead.  From the mouth to the bridge remains open with selective gear rules in effect beginning December 1.

Kalama River – Anglers are still catching some coho and steelhead.

Lewis River – Anglers are catching some coho though most of the fish are dark.  In addition some Chinook, which have to be released, are being caught.  Flows below Merwin Dam are currently near 8,200 cfs, up from the long-term mean of 6,610 cfs for this date.

Under permanent rules, the night closure and anti-snagging rule is lifted from Johnson Creek to Colvin Creek beginning December 1.  However, the restriction of fishing from any floating device in that area remains in effect through mid December.

Wind River – Under permanent rules, November 30 is the last day of the catch and release game fish season above Shipherd Falls.

Klickitat River – Under permanent rules,  the Klickitat (except for the salmon fishery from the Fisher Hill Bridge downstream) closes to fishing for trout including hatchery steelhead and salmon beginning December 1.  The salmon season from the Fisher Hill Bridge downstream remains open through January.

The whitefish only season from 400 feet above Fishway #5 upstream to the Yakama Reservation boundary begins December 1.  Whitefish gear rules will be in effect

Lower Columbia below Bonneville Dam – We sampled 1 salmonid bank angler from Bonneville Dam downstream to the Rocky Point/Tongue Point line with no catch.  We did not sample any boats.

Hanford Reach – From Paul Hoffarth, WDFW District 4 Fish Biologist in Pasco – An estimated 351 steelhead have been caught in November through the 21st.  Anglers are averaging 1 steelhead for each 11 hours of fishing. A total of 501 hatchery steelhead have been harvested this season in the lower Hanford Reach (Hwy. 395 to Hanford town site). Catch and harvest is well below the 2008 and 2009 November fisheries but similar to catch and harvest in 2004-07.

STURGEON

Lower Columbia from the Wauna powerlines to Bonneville Dam – In general, the fishing has gone as cold as the weather.  We sampled 117 sturgeon bank and 24 boat (8 boats) anglers from Bonneville Dam downstream to the Wauna powerlines with no legals kept.    Combined with the few fish found in the ODFW sample, probably less than a dozen fish were caught out of the 57 legals remaining on this year’s annual guideline for this area.

TROUT

Swift Reservoir – Remains open to fishing through November 30.  No report on angling success.

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