SW WA, Columbia Fishing Report



Cowlitz River – Spring chinook are being caught primarily in the lower river and at the barrier dam.  About half the catch were jacks.

Last week, Tacoma Power recovered 593 winter-run steelhead, nine summer-run steelhead, 17 spring chinook adults and 16 jacks during five days of operation at the Cowlitz Salmon Hatchery separator.

During the past week Tacoma Power employees released 30 winter-run steelhead and four spring chinook salmon into Lake Scanewa above Cowlitz Falls Dam and seven winter-run steelhead into the Tilton River at Gust Backstrom Park in Morton.

River flows at Mayfield Dam are approximately 11,200 cubic feet per second on Monday, May 9. Water visibility is eight feet.

Kalama River – Anglers are catching a mix of adult and jack spring chinook and winter and summer run steelhead.  The first hatchery couple hatchery summer run steelhead of the year returned to Kalama Falls Hatchery trap last week and a couple spring Chinook (also the first of the year) could be in the trap today.

Lewis River – Some spring chinook are being caught around the salmon hatchery and at the mouth.  15 hatchery summer run steelhead (the first of the year) returned to the Merwin Dam trap last week.  Flows below Merwin Dam are currently 7,580 cfs. which is over 1.5 times higher than the long term mean for this date.

Washougal River – Anglers are catching a few hatchery steelhead.

Wind River – Including fish released, boat anglers averaged nearly 2/3 fish per rod, an outstanding catch rate for spring chinook.  Effort has been heavy.  A sea lion has been reported at the mouth of the Wind.

Drano Lake – Boat anglers are averaging nearly 2/3 spring chinook kept/released per rod here too.  Bank anglers are averaging a fish per about every 3 rods.  Effort has been heavy with 160 boats counted here last Saturday May 7.


Klickitat River – Bank anglers on the lower river are catching some spring chinook and summer run steelhead.  Flows at Pitt are currently 2,563 cfs. which is slightly higher than the long term mean for this date.  Flows are expected to rise in the next couple days.

Yakima River – From Paul Hoffarth, District 4 Fish Biologist in Pasco:  WDFW staff conducted a creel survey on the lower Yakima River on Sunday May 8. Only one angler was fishing for salmon.  The angler was taking advantage of the two-pole endorsement that was listed as a provision of this fishery. No fish were reported caught.  All other anglers were fishing for smallmouth bass.

Bonneville Pool – Excellent for spring chinook just outside the mouth of Drano where bank anglers averaged a fish per rod based mainly on completed trips.  Bank anglers at Cascade Locks are also catching some fish though a sea lion is causing some problems there too.

The Dalles Pool – Including fish released, bank and boat anglers averaged just under ½ spring chinook per rod.

John Day Pool – Anglers had a good weekend of spring chinook fishing. An estimated 476 adult hatchery spring chinook were harvested in the John Day Pool (Lake Umatilla) this past weekend and 58 wild adult chinook were caught and released.

Reminder – Anglers may fish for hatchery chinook and hatchery steelhead from the Tower Island power lines in Bonneville Pool upstream to the Oregon and Washington border, plus the Washington bank between Bonneville Dam and the Tower Island power lines located approximately 6 miles below The Dalles Dam, through tomorrow May 10. 

Ringold – From Paul Hoffarth: The Ringold area “Bank Only” sport fishery for spring Chinook opened May 1.  Angler effort remained low during the week with less than 6 anglers per hour fishing for salmon . WDFW staff interviewed 23 anglers fishing for salmon this past week. One hatchery and two wild fish were reported caught.  Based on the effort an estimated 4 hatchery adult chinook were harvested and 6 wild adult chinook were released for the week.  No other fish were reported in the catch.  No chinook have entered the Ringold Hatchery trap to date.


Lower Columbia below Bonneville Dam – Boat anglers caught some legals around Camas/Washougal and Kalama.  Effort was light with just 67 boats and 17 bank anglers counted during the Saturday May 7 effort flight count.

The Dalles Pool – Boat anglers are catching some legals.  Through April, an estimated 114 (38%) of the 300 fish guideline had been taken.

John Day Pool – 1 boats (4 anglers) with no catch.  (Catch & Release Only!)


Lacamas Lake – An angler brought in a 7 pound+ largemouth bass from Lacamas to the Region 5 office last week.

The Dalles Pool – Boat anglers averaged nearly 4 walleye kept/released per rod.  Bank anglers are catching some bass.

John Day Pool – 3 boats (6 anglers) fishing for walleye had 3 walleye and 3 bass.


Lake Sacajawea in Longview – Planted with 3,039 catchable size rainbows May 3.  No report on angling success.

Kress Lake near Kalama – Received 8 surplus hatchery adult winter steelhead averaging ten pounds each May 2.  No report on angling success.

Little Ash Lake near Stevenson – Planted with 3,318 catchable size rainbows April 29.  No report on angling success.

Tunnel Lake (just east of Drano Lake) – Planted with 4,013 catchable size rainbows April 29.  No report on angling success.


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