SW WA, Lower Columbia Fishing Report

(REPORT COURTESY FISHERIES BIOLOGIST JOE HYMER)

SALMON/STEELHEAD

Cowlitz River – No report on angling success.  Last week Tacoma Power recovered 39 spring chinook adults, 38 jacks, 66 mini-jacks, 669 summer-run steelhead, one sea-run cutthroat trout and one sockeye during five days of operation at the Cowlitz Salmon Hatchery separator.

During the past week Tacoma Power employees released four spring chinook adults, 34 jacks, and two mini-jacks into the upper Cowlitz River at the Lake Scanewa Day Use Park and one sockeye and one sea-run cutthroat trout at the Barrier Dam boat launch.

River flows at Mayfield Dam are approximately 5,070 cubic feet per second on Monday morning, August 1. Water visibility is 13 feet.

Lewis River – On the mainstem Lewis, 11 boat anglers released 2 steelhead.  On the North Fork, 11 bank anglers kept 2 steelhead and 2 boat anglers kept 1 steelhead.

Hatchery summer run steelhead returns to Washington lower Columbia facilities, with the exception of Skamania Hatchery on the Washougal, continue to be down from the same point last year:

River                     2010                       2011

Cowlitz                 5,298                     3,030

Kalama                 1,776                     462

Lewis                     5,310                     1,568

Washougal          1,354                     1,702

Lower Columbia mainstem below Bonneville Dam – Last week we sampled almost 3,000 salmonid anglers (including 250 boats) with 13 adult and 14 jack summer chinook, 1,309 steelhead, no sockeye, and maybe 1 pink (at least that’s what the angler thought it was and it may have been).  Half the jacks were kept as were 56% of the steelhead.  All of the adult chinook were released as required.

For the month of July, Washington alone sampled almost 2,900 steelhead kept/released.    Just over half the fish were kept. 

The Dalles Pool – Bank anglers are catching some steelhead.

STURGEON

Lower Columbia mainstem from the mouth upstream to Wauna powerlines – The catch-and-keep fishery in the estuary ended with a bang for boat anglers.  Nearly all the charter boat anglers kept their one fish daily limit and private boat anglers averaged a legal kept/released per every 2.6 rods.  If an angler caught a fish, there was about a 40% chance it was of legal size.

Lower Columbia mainstem from the Wauna powerlines upstream to the Navigation Marker 82 line – We sampled legals kept by bank and boat anglers from Kalama to Longview.  Slow elsewhere.

The entire mainstem Columbia from the mouth to Chief Joseph Dam is now catch-and-release only.  Only the

The entire mainstem Columbia from the mouth to Chief Joseph Dam, except in the sturgeon spawning sanctuary described below, is now catch-and-release only.  Only the area from the Wauna powerlines to Bonneville Dam will re-open for catch-and-keep fishing.  In that area, white sturgeon may be retained Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays only beginning October 8. 

Sturgeon Spawning Sanctuary:  From Bonneville Dam downstream 9 miles to a line crossing the Columbia from Navigation Marker 82 on the Oregon shore through the upstream exposed end of Skamania Island, continuing in a straight line to a boundary marker on the Washington shoreCLOSED to fishing for STURGEON through August.from the Wauna powerlines to Bonneville Dam will re-open for catch-and-keep fishing.  In that area, white sturgeon may be retained Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays only beginning October 8.

SHAD

Lower Columbia mainstem below Bonneville Dam – No shad anglers were sampled.

WALLEYE AND BASS

Lower Columbia mainstem below Bonneville Dam – Some walleye were kept by boat anglers in the Camas/Washougal to Vancouver area.

The Dalles Pool – Boat anglers averaged over 3 walleye and 10 bass per rod when including fish released.  Bank anglers are catching some bass.

TROUT

Swift Power Canal – Planted with 1,700 rainbows averaging five pounds each and 1,416 averaging 1.5 pounds each on July 18.

Council Lake (Skamania County) – Planted with 5,892 catchable size rainbows July 27.

Takhlakh Lake (Skamania County) – Planted with 4,003 catchable size rainbows and 192 averaging three pounds each July 19-26.

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