SW WA, Lower Columbia Fishing, Sculpin Report

(COURTESY BIOLOGIST JOE HYMER)

SALMON/STEELHEAD

Cowlitz River – A few spring chinook are still being caught by boat anglers in the lower river.  Through June 17, a total of 850 adult spring chinook are being held for brood stock.  Escapement goal for Cowlitz is 1,718 for hatchery brood and 2,000 to the upper watershed.  On average, the return is half over.

Last week Tacoma Power recovered 37 spring chinook adults, 47 jacks, one mini jack, and 134 summer-run steelhead during five days of operation at the Cowlitz Salmon Hatchery separator.
During the past week Tacoma Power employees released three spring chinook adults and 40 jacks into Lake Scanewa.

River flows at Mayfield Dam are approximately 7,410 cubic feet per second on Monday morning, June 20. Water visibility is 10 feet.

Kalama River – Anglers are catching some steelhead.  Remains closed for spring chinook.

As of June 17, a total of 115 adult spring chinook are being held at Kalama Falls Hatchery.  The hatchery brood stock goal is 400 fish.  On average, the return is half over.

Through June 15, a total of 29 hatchery and 20 wild summer run steelhead had returned to Kalama Falls Hatchery.  At the same time last year, 338 hatchery and 64 wild fish had returned.

Lewis River – Light effort and catch. Remains closed for spring chinook.

As of June 15, just under 1,000 adult spring chinook are being held for brood stock.  The goal is 1,300 fish.  On average the return is 90% complete.

A total of 279 hatchery summer run steelhead had returned to the Merwin Dam trap as of June 15.

Washougal River – 122 bank anglers kept 14 hatchery steelhead and released 3 wild fish.  11 boat anglers kept 2 hatchery steelhead and released 1 hatchery and 2 wild fish.  The creel census program, funded by the Columbia River Salmon and Steelhead Endorsement funds, is now complete.

Through June 15, a total of 366 hatchery summer run steelhead had returned to Skamania Hatchery.  At the same time last year, 814 fish had returned.

Wind River – Effort is light though some spring chinook are still being caught.

Through June 19, a total of 1,788 spring chinook had returned to Carson National Fish Hatchery.  The escapement goal is 1,500 fish.

Drano Lake – Light effort though some spring chinook are still being caught.

Klickitat River – Bank anglers continue to catch a mix of adult and jack spring chinook and steelhead.

As of June 20 there are 184 adults at Klickitat Salmon Hatchery.  The hatchery escapement goal is 500 fish.

Lower Columbia mainstem below Bonneville Dam – For the first three days of the summer chinook season (June 16-19) , we sampled almost 1,200 salmonid anglers (including 150 boats) with 123 adult and 65 jack summer chinook, 58 steelhead, and 18 sockeye.  87 (71%) of the adult and 53 (82%) of the jacks were kept as were 42 (72%) of the steelhead and 16 (89%)of the sockeye though all sockeye, adipose fin clipped or not, may be retained.

Just over 800 salmonid bank anglers and almost 300 boats were observed on the lower Columbia mainstem during last Thursday’s summer chinook opener.

The Dalles Pool – Light catches of spring chinook though there were quite a few bank anglers trying.

John Day Pool – From Paul Hoffarth, WDFW District 4 Fish Biologist in Pasco – Estimated harvest in the John Day Pool for June 13 through June 15 is 17 hatchery adult chinook.  No chinook jacks or wild chinook were caught the last three days of the fishery. Catch and effort was light and the water remains high and turbid.  A couple of the boat anglers are able to routinely catch Chinook.

For the 2011 spring chinook fishery in Lake Umatilla (John Day Pool) an estimated 978 hatchery adult spring chinook were harvested as well as 150 hatchery jacks. In addition 304 wild adult and 38 wild jack chinook were caught and released. Roughly 24% of the adult catch in this area were wild.

STURGEON

Lower Columbia mainstem – Fishing is slow from the bank in the estuary as is for boat anglers launching from the Knappton and Deep River ramps.  The ports of Chinook and Ilwaco data should be here shortly.  Above Wauna powerlines to Marker 82, we sampled 1 legal kept in the Kalama area.

Sturgeon effort was 125 private boats and 15 charters with most of the fleet observed in the estuary during last Thursday’s (June 16) effort flight count.

A Compact/Joint State hearing is scheduled for 1:00 p.m. Thursday June 23, 2011.  Fisheries under consideration: Recreational sturgeon – Below Wauna (estuary) and Bonneville Pool.

The Dalles Pool – Light effort and catch.

WALLEYE, BASS, OTHER WARMWATER FISH, TROUT

Kress Lake near Kalama – 8 anglers with 2 yellow perch and 2 rainbows (one 16.5”) kept, 3 bluegill and 1 bass released. Good effort, low harvest.

Horseshoe Lake in Woodland – 25 anglers with 3 rainbow trout kept. Good effort, low harvest.

Kidney Lake near North Bonneville – 21 anglers with 11 rainbows and 12 sculpin kept, 4 rainbows and 35 sculpin released.

Bass Lake – No effort/activity. High water is covering a good portion of the trail.

Icehouse Lake near the Bridge of the Gods -3 anglers with 3 rainbow kept.

Tunnel Lake just east of Drano Lake – 3 anglers with 1 rainbow trout kept.

Rowland Lake near Bingen- 7 anglers with 1 rainbow kept and 2 bluegill and 1 bullhead released. Extremely windy over the past several days.

Horsethief Lake near Lyle – 2 anglers no fish. Extremely windy over the past few days.

Spearfish Lake near Dallesport – 3 anglers with 1 rainbow released. Extremely windy over the past few days.

Hess Lake – No effort/activity.

The Dalles Pool – Boat anglers averaged 2 walleye and 10 bass per rod when including fish released.  Bank anglers averaged nearly 5 bass kept/released per rod.

SHAD

Lower Columbia below Bonneville Dam – Based on mainly incomplete trips, bank anglers just below Bonneville Dam averaged just over 3 shad per rod when including the few fish released.  Some shad were caught by boat anglers in the gorge and at Kalama.

 

During the Thursday June 16 effort flight count, there were 167 bank anglers fishing for shad while few boat anglers were found.

 

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