Columbia Springer Update 2 (3-15-11)

Anglers have kept at least 818 springers on the Lower Columbia through last Saturday, an increase of 254 from the previous week.

Fishing has been hampered by cold water and fugly conditions that have also led commercial fishermen to ask managers to delay tomorrow evening’s planned fishery below Kelly Point. Sport catches averaged only one springer for every 10 or 11 boats in some of the best areas.

That said, guide Brandon Glass reports on his Facebook page that he landed a 25-plus-pounder while fishing earlier today with his pa, Jack,  and Buzz Ramsey.

That’s a pretty meaty springer, and is likely a 5-year-old.

According to managers, nearly 90 percent of the kept salmon — only one adipose-fin-clipped Chinook can be retained per angler a day — had been headed to tribs above Bonneville.

Boaters have retained a total of 281 since Feb. 1 between the mouth of the Willamette and the I-205 bridge, better known as the Interstate stretch.

Another 153 have been kept between the Willamette and Lewis mouths.

Oregon bank anglers are now in the lead with 12 springers hauled ashore, all between Rainier and Puget Island, roughly speaking, while Washington shoremen have taken seven home, three from below Bonneville, four from Vancouver to Woodland.

According to biologist Joe Hymer in Vancouver, 9 percent of the sport quota of 7,750 upriver-bound springers has been taken.

There have been just over 21,100 angler trips this season.

Last year through March 17, anglers had only landed a total of 800 springers, keeping 700, of which 68 percent were headed for lower-river tribs like the Willamette.

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