Western WA Fishing (River) Report 12-20-10

The Green? Up and ugly.

Puyallup? Same.

Nisqually? Nasty.

Skookumchuck? Up, chuck.

Chehalis? High.

Cowlitz? Up, colored.

Kalama? High, off.

Lewis? Good question; was distracted by sons as we blew past.

Salmon Creek? Couldn’t see over the barricades. Stupid short vehicles.

Willamette? Fireboat blasting debris away from other boats with hose spewing water the color of weak chocolate milk.

Santiam? Up, colored.

Upper Willamette? Up, brown.

Marys River? Up, brown.

Yaquina? Does this stupid river EVER freakin’ clear up?

So goes the river report that I can file after hightailing it to Newport and back this past weekend.

But despite generally fugly water conditions that certainly would turn off some anglers, steelheaders have been finding their quarry after early December’s flood subsided.

Cases in point, the following pics received at HQ the past day or so:

TERRY WIEST AND FRIEND HAD A GOOD DAY ON THE BOGEY LAST FRIDAY, DEC. 17. (STEELHEADUNIVERSITY.COM)

TRISTAN BUETTNER FISHED THIS 16-POUND, 11-OUNCE STEELHEAD OUT OF THE UPPER SNOQUALMIE RIVER SYSTEM (I.E. TOKUL CREEK) ON SAT, DEC. 18. IT LEADS THE 3 RIVERS MARINE WINTER STEELHEAD DERBY. (LAZER SHARP PHOTO CONTEST)

Here’s biologist Joe Hymer’s weekly Southwest Washington/Lower Columbia fishwrap.

SALMON/STEELHEAD

Deep River – By permanent regulation, the salmon daily limit reverts back to no more than 2 adults beginning Jan. 1. In addition, all chinook must be adipose fin clipped to be kept.

Cowlitz River – Some coho continue to be caught at the salmon hatchery while steelhead are being caught at the trout hatchery.

Last week, Tacoma Power recovered 2,838 coho adults, 45 jacks, one fall Chinook adult, 295 winter-run steelhead and eight sea-run cutthroat trout during five days of operation at the Cowlitz Salmon Hatchery separator.

During the past week Tacoma Power employees released 339 coho adults and eight jacks into Lake Scanewa, 405 coho adults, seven jacks and three winter-run steelhead in the Cispus River above the mouth of Yellowjacket Creek, 561 coho adults, eleven jacks and five winter-run steelhead into the upper Cowlitz River at the Skate Creek Bridge in Packwood, and 150 coho adults, nine jacks, four winter-run steelhead and two cutthroat trout into the Tilton River at Gust Backstrom Park in Morton.

River flows at Mayfield Dam are approximately 9,880 cubic feet per second on Monday, December 20. Water visibility is three feet.

By permanent regulation on the lower Cowlitz, the salmon daily limit reverts back to no more than 2 adults beginning Jan. 1.  Only hatchery chinook and hatchery coho may be retained.  Also, Mill Creek near the salmon hatchery closed to all fishing the same day.

Kalama River – No catch observed there yesterday.  River conditions were less than optimal.

By permanent regulation, the salmon daily limit will be 6 hatchery chinook of which no more than 1 may be a adult beginning Jan. 1.

Lewis River – Anglers are catching some steelhead on the mainstem and the north fork.  Flows below Merwin Dam are currently near the long term mean of 8,230 cfs for this date.

By permanent regulation, the salmon daily limit will be 6 hatchery chinook of which no more than 1 may be a adult beginning Jan. 1.

Lower Columbia below Bonneville Dam – We sampled 8 bank and 4 boat anglers (2 boats) with no catch.

Under permanent regulations from I-5 Bridge downstream to Buoy 10 release all salmon other than hatchery chinook beginning January 1.

Under permanent rules, Dec. 31 is the last day to fish for salmon on the mainstem Columbia from the I-5 Bridge to the Hwy. 395 Bridge at Pasco and the Elochoman, Grays, Tilton, and Washougal rivers plus Drano and Mayfield lakes.

STURGEON

Until further notice, recreational sturgeon fisheries will continue as scheduled under permanent regulations.  Fishery managers from Washington and Oregon are scheduled to meet Feb. 8 to consider changes to current catch quotas.

Lower Columbia mainstem and its tributaries from Buoy 10 to the Wauna powerlines – White sturgeon may be retained daily beginning Jan. 1. Daily limit 1, minimum size 38” fork length and maximum size 54” fork length.

Lower Columbia mainstem and its tributaries from the Wauna powerlines to Bonneville Dam – We sampled 11 bank anglers from Longview to Bonneville Dam with no catch, not even a sublegal released.

Except for area described below, remains open for white sturgeon retention Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays only. Daily limit 1, minimum size 38” fork length and maximum size 54” fork length.

2011 Recreational Sturgeon (Above Wauna Powerlines)_minor area closure

Effective January 1 through April 30, angling for all species in prohibited from a line between the upstream end of Sand Island (upstream from Rooster Rock) and a marker on the Oregon shoreline, downstream to a line between the lower end of Sand Island and a marker on the Oregon shoreline.

Bonneville Dam to McNary Dam – Sturgeon may be retained beginning Jan. 1. In Bonneville Pool, the daily limit is 1 fish, minimum size 38” fork length and maximum 54” fork length. From The Dalles Dam to McNary Dam, the daily limit is 1 fish, minimum size 43” fork length and maximum size 54” fork length. Ending date for all pools depends upon when the individual guidelines are met.

Salmon/Steelhead

 

Deep River – By permanent regulation, the salmon daily limit reverts back to no more than 2 adults beginning Jan. 1. In addition, all chinook must be adipose fin clipped to be kept.

 

Cowlitz River – Some coho continue to be caught at the salmon hatchery while steelhead are being caught at the trout hatchery.

Last week, Tacoma Power recovered 2,838 coho adults, 45 jacks, one fall Chinook adult, 295 winter-run steelhead and eight sea-run cutthroat trout during five days of operation at the Cowlitz Salmon Hatchery separator.

During the past week Tacoma Power employees released 339 coho adults and eight jacks into Lake Scanewa, 405 coho adults, seven jacks and three winter-run steelhead in the Cispus River above the mouth of Yellowjacket Creek, 561 coho adults, eleven jacks and five winter-run steelhead into the upper Cowlitz River at the Skate Creek Bridge in Packwood, and 150 coho adults, nine jacks, four winter-run steelhead and two cutthroat trout into the Tilton River at Gust Backstrom Park in Morton.

River flows at Mayfield Dam are approximately 9,880 cubic feet per second on Monday, December 20. Water visibility is three feet.

By permanent regulation on the lower Cowlitz, the salmon daily limit reverts back to no more than 2 adults beginning Jan. 1.  Only hatchery chinook and hatchery coho may be retained.  Also, Mill Creek near the salmon hatchery closed to all fishing the same day.

Kalama River – No catch observed there yesterday.  River conditions were less than optimal.

By permanent regulation, the salmon daily limit will be 6 hatchery chinook of which no more than 1 may be a adult beginning Jan. 1.

Lewis River – Anglers are catching some steelhead on the mainstem and the north fork.  Flows below Merwin Dam are currently near the long term mean of 8,230 cfs for this date.

By permanent regulation, the salmon daily limit will be 6 hatchery chinook of which no more than 1 may be a adult beginning Jan. 1.

Lower Columbia below Bonneville Dam – We sampled 8 bank and 4 boat anglers (2 boats) with no catch.

 

Under permanent regulations from I-5 Bridge downstream to Buoy 10 release all salmon other than hatchery chinook beginning January 1.

Under permanent rules, Dec. 31 is the last day to fish for salmon on the mainstem Columbia from the I-5 Bridge to the Hwy. 395 Bridge at Pasco and the Elochoman, Grays, Tilton, and Washougal rivers plus Drano and Mayfield lakes.

 

Sturgeon

 

Until further notice, recreational sturgeon fisheries will continue as scheduled under permanent regulations. Fishery managers from Washington and Oregon are scheduled to meet Feb. 8 to consider changes to current catch quotas.

Lower Columbia mainstem and its tributaries from Buoy 10 to the Wauna powerlines – White sturgeon may be retained daily beginning Jan. 1. Daily limit 1, minimum size 38” fork length and maximum size 54” fork length.

Lower Columbia mainstem and its tributaries from the Wauna powerlines to Bonneville Dam – We sampled 11 bank anglers from Longview to Bonneville Dam with no catch, not even a sublegal released.

Except for area described below, remains open for white sturgeon retention Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays only. Daily limit 1, minimum size 38” fork length and maximum size 54” fork length.

2011 Recreational Sturgeon (Above Wauna Powerlines)_minor area closure

Effective January 1 through April 30, angling for all species in prohibited from a line between the upstream end of Sand Island (upstream from Rooster Rock) and a marker on the Oregon shoreline, downstream to a line between the lower end of Sand Island and a marker on the Oregon shoreline. 

Bonneville Dam to McNary Dam – Sturgeon may be retained beginning Jan. 1. In Bonneville Pool, the daily limit is 1 fish, minimum size 38” fork length and maximum 54” fork length. From The Dalles Dam to McNary Dam, the daily limit is 1 fish, minimum size 43” fork length and maximum size 54” fork length. Ending date for all pools depends upon when the individual guidelines are met.

 

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