If they weren’t digging razor clams this past weekend, Kevin and Colin Medved were patrolling a trio of extreme Southwest Washington steelhead streams.
Kevin, a resident of Colorado who on occasion flies out to a Long Beach property, reports that the Grays, Naselle and Elochoman Rivers were in fishable shape, good news after the spate of weather we’ve had, but that the fishing was, well, fishing.
Which is to say, they mainly saw some caught and swimming around, though Colin managed to salvage the Medved family pride with a hatchery fish from the Grays this morning.
For more on what’s fishing around Southwest Washington, here’s biologist Joe Hymer’s weekly report:
Cowlitz River – Last week Tacoma Power recovered 601 coho adults, five jacks and 120 winter-run steelhead during four days of operation at the Cowlitz Salmon Hatchery separator.
During the past week Tacoma Power employees released 370 coho adults, two jacks and 21 winter-run steelhead into the Cispus River above the mouth of Yellow Jacket Creek and 52 coho adults, one jack and nine winter-run steelhead into the Tilton River at Gust Backstrom Park in Morton.
River flows at Mayfield Dam will rise to approximately 16,900 cubic feet per second on Monday, January 24. Water visibility is one foot.
Bonneville, The Dalles, and John Day pools – Light effort and no steelhead were found in the creel.
From Paul Hoffarth, Washington Dept of Fish & Wildlife District 4 Fish Biologist:
Lower Reach (Hwy. 395 Bridge at Pasco to old Hanford town site): An estimated 118 steelhead were caught and 96 steelhead were harvested in January. Anglers are averaging 1 steelhead for each 17 hours of fishing. Boat anglers have fared just slightly better than the shore anglers. A total of 1,128 steelhead have been caught this season and 785 steelhead have been harvested. WDFW staff has sampled 26% of the estimated angler effort in this fishery. Catch and harvest numbers are well below the 2008 and 2009 fisheries but similar to those of 2004-07.
Upper Reach (Vernita Bridge to Priest Rapids Dam): On December 8, WDFW opened the Columbia River from the Hwy. 24 Bridge (Vernita Bridge) to Priest Rapids Dam for the retention of hatchery steelhead. This is the first time this area has been open in the winter for steelhead in many years. For the month of January, 90 steelhead have been caught and 46 hatchery steelhead have been harvested. Angler effort has been relatively light. Very few anglers are fishing from shore for steelhead. For those who venture out fishing has been very good with boat anglers averaging 1 steelhead for each 5 hours of fishing. An estimated 236 steelhead have been caught in this fishery with 50 hatchery steelhead harvested through January 23.
Lower Columbia below Bonneville Dam – We sampled 3 bank anglers just below Bonneville Dam that had no catch.
Bonneville Pool – Including fish released, boat anglers averaged a legal per every 2 rods while bank anglers averaged one per every 5.8 rods.
The Dalles Pool – Boat anglers averaged a legal per every 4 rods. Slow for legal size fish from the bank.
John Day Pool – Boat and bank anglers averaged a legal per about every 10 rods.
WALLEYE AND BASS
Bonneville and The Dalles pools – No walleye or bass anglers were found in the creel.
John Day Pool – Boat anglers averaged almost a walleye per rod. Light effort and no catch observed for bass.
Klineline Pond – 13 bank anglers kept 3 rainbows.
Carlisle Lake near Onalaska – Planted with 60 eight pounders Jan. 19.
Silver Lake near Castle Rock – Planted with 3,001 catchable size rainbows Jan. 18.