Columbia, SW WA Fishing Reports (3-8-11)

(REPORTS COURTESY BIOLOGISTS JOE HYMER, TANNA TAKATA)

COLUMBIA RIVER MAINSTEM

Salmonid angler effort continues to rise; however, catch rates slowed down this past weekend due to the cold water temperature.  On Saturday’s (3/5) flight, 475 salmonid boats and 115 Oregon bank anglers were counted.  Most of the effort continues to be upstream of St. Helens.

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ONE OF TW SPRINGERS LANDED ABOARD BILL SWANN'S BOAT MARCH 3. (SWANNY'S GUIDED FISHING)

Troutdale Boats:

Weekend checking showed 11 adipose fin-clipped spring chinook kept, plus three unclipped spring chinook released for 51 boats (111 anglers).

Portland to Longview Bank:

Weekend checking showed one unclipped steelhead released for 95 bank anglers.

Portland to Longview Boats:

Weekend checking showed 25 adipose fin-clipped spring chinook kept, plus six unclipped spring chinook released for 211 boats (501 anglers).

Estuary Bank: (Clatsop Spit to Wauna Powerlines):

No report.

Estuary Boats (Tongue Point to Wauna Powerlines:

Weekend checking showed no catch for nine boats (18 anglers).

John Day Pool:

Weekly checking showed no catch for one bank angler; and two adipose fin-clipped steelhead kept, plus two clipped and six unclipped steelhead released for two boats (four anglers).

STURGEON:

Sturgeon effort was light on the lower Columbia River this past weekend with 16 boats and six Oregon bank anglers counted on Saturday’s (3/5) flight.

Gorge Bank:

Weekend checking showed no catch for five bank anglers.

Gorge Boats:

No report.

Troutdale Boats:

Weekly checking showed no catch for two boats (four anglers).

Portland to Longview Bank:

No report.

Portland to Longview Boats:

Weekly checking showed one legal white sturgeon kept, plus two legal, one oversize and 39 sublegal sturgeon released for six boats (17 anglers).

Bonneville Pool:

No report.

The Dalles Pool:

Weekly checking showed no catch for eight bank anglers; and no catch for one boat (two anglers).

John Day Pool:

Weekly checking showed one sublegal sturgeon released for 23 bank anglers; and two legal white sturgeon kept, plus one oversize and 14 sublegal sturgeon released for 33 boats (62 anglers).

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Salmonid/Steelhead

Cowlitz River – Anglers are catching some late winter run steelhead.

Last week, Tacoma Power recovered 56 winter-run steelhead, one spring Chinook adult and one cutthroat trout during five days of operation at the Cowlitz Salmon Hatchery separator. During the past week Tacoma Power employees released the spring Chinook adult and 24 steelhead into the Cispus River above the mouth of Yellow Jacket Creek, and seven winter-run steelhead and one cutthroat trout into the Tilton River at Gust Backstrom Park in Morton.

River flows at Mayfield Dam are approximately 6,640 cubic feet per second on Monday, March7. A required weekly flow increase to approximately 8,000 cubic feet per second is scheduled for 12-hours on Tuesday, March 8 to promote downstream migration of juvenile salmonid outmigrants in the Cowlitz River. Water visibility is three feet.

Lewis River – Light effort and catches.

Anglers should be aware that March 15 is the last day to fish for steelhead on Abernathy, Cedar (Clark Co.), Germany, Mill (Cowlitz Co.), Rock (Skamania Co.), Salmon (Clark Co.) creeks and on the Coweeman, Elochoman, Grays, East Fork Lewis and Washougal rivers.

Wind River and Drano Lake are scheduled to open for spring chinook March 16 with a limit of two chinook per day. Expect fishing to be slow at first with only 17 fish across Bonneville Dam through  March 4.

Lower Columbia mainstem from Bonneville Dam downstream – Effort is increasing but success decreased last week.  There were close to 500 salmonid boats and 300 bank anglers counted during last Saturday’s (March 5) effort flight count.

Last week (excluding Monday Feb. 28) we sampled 1,233 anglers (including 428 boats) with 56 chinook and 4 steelhead.  Boat anglers averaged a Chinook kept/released per every 17.8 rods based on mainly completed trips.  Most of the catch was sampled in the Vancouver area.  There was one lucky bank angler out of the 255 sampled that had caught a spring Chinook.

Forty-five (80%) of the Chinook caught were kept.  96% of the Chinook kept were upriver stock based on Visual Stock Identification (VSI).

The Dalles Pool – No salmonid anglers were sampled last week.

John Day Pool – Boat anglers are catching steelhead.

Bonneville Dam to Oregon/Washington Border – Effective March 16 through April 24, open to fishing for hatchery Chinook, hatchery steelhead, and shad.  Bank fishing only from Bonneville Dam to Tower Island powerlines located about 6 miles below The Dalles Dam.  Up to 2 adult Chinook or steelhead or one of each may be retained per day.  Only hatchery chinook and hatchery steelhead may be retained.

Expect fishing to be slow at first with only 17 fish across Bonneville Dam through  March 4.

Sturgeon

Lower Columbia below Bonneville Dam – One lucky boat angler in the Vancouver area had caught a legal size fish.  The majority of the sturgeon effort (nearly 400 boats) was found in the Willamette River during last Saturday’s effort flight count.

The Dalles Pool – Light effort and no catch was observed.

John Day Pool – Boat anglers are catching some legals.

Walleye and Bass

Bonneville, The Dalles, and John Day pools – Including fish released, boat anglers averaged about a walleye per boat.  Little to no effort for bass in any of the three pools.

Trout

Klineline Pond – Slow for trout.

Plants of rainbows in SW Washington waters since March 1:

Lake Sacajawea in Longview – 4,311 catchable size fish March 1.

Battleground Lake – 3,209 catchable size fish March 2.

Lacamas Lake near Camas – 4,000 over half-pound fish March 1.

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