In SW Washington fishing, Merwin is busy with fishing essentially slower for most of the week. I did receive some improved news on Wednesday morning. Sea Lions continue to be the main source of frustration for most anglers. There have been a couple of petitions floating around that have been filled with thousands of you contributing. Let’s continue to dream that something gets done, but don’t get your hopes up.
REMINDER, please verify the regulations before fishing any body of water. AND wear a life jacket.
Spring Chinook continue to trickle in, with ten so far to the hatchery. Fishing activity is at a minimum, noting no boats running by the house all week. Steelhead saw a nice boost, both hatchery and wild. The Lewis should begin to produce anytime. I plan to try this weekend, although I still have not decided on trolling the mouth or fishing the upper river.
Many sea lions are still in the river at least as far up as the first hatchery with reports that they are following smelt. WDFW checks showed improved angler interest. Overall, nineteen bank rods had no catch. Seven boats and nineteen rods kept one Chinook and released one steelhead.
Until further notice, the posted fishing boundary markers will be located at the 400-foot distance below the Barrier Dam. There was a huge bump in Steelhead escapements this week. Chinook showed a net gain of seven fish.
There are still reports of plunkers accidentally snagging smelt in the lower river. Tacoma Power employees recovered a large increase in Steelhead and a slight increase in Chinook. In total 1,062 winter-run steelhead adults, eight spring Chinook adults, and two summer-run steelhead adults were recovered over five days of operations at the Cowlitz Salmon Hatchery separator.
Columbia spring Chinook managers issued an update on the fishery that closed last Tuesday, reporting that anglers kept an estimated 2,910 of salmon in the lower river, including 26 percent of the constraining above-Bonneville quota.
The average temperature at Bonneville dam is a full two degrees cooler than last year.
Drano Lake – Getting a little busier, but nothing to write home about yet.
Wind River – Effective March 16, 2023, until further notice, from the mouth eight hundred yards downstream of Carson National Fish Hatchery: Daily limit 6. Up to 1 adult salmon and 1 hatchery steelhead or up to two hatchery steelhead may be retained. Release all salmon other than hatchery Chinook and hatchery coho.
Klickitat River – From the mouth to Fisher Hill Bridge: Effective April 1 through May 26, 2023: Daily limit 2, of which up to 1 may be an adult salmon. Release wild Chinook. Open Mondays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays only.
Merwin – The spring turnover is in full swing. Water temperatures vary by two to three degrees from forty-four on the south side and forty-seven on the north side.
Swift Reservoir – Although it doesn’t open until the Saturday before Memorial Day, please take the following notice into consideration: 2023 Swift Reservoir Drawdown – PacifiCorp is planning an operational project for the Swift No. 1 Hydroelectric Dam that will require a significant reservoir drawdown beginning September 5, 2023. This drawdown will make the boat launch at Swift Forest Camp inaccessible for the remainder of 2023.
Kress Lake – The state added 9 more recycled Steelhead this week. I stopped by on Tuesday to observe only two fisherman.
Battle Ground Lake – Fishing has been decent for stocker rainbow.
Horseshoe Lake – On April 11th and 12th they received an additional 3,500 stocker Rainbow. That’s a total of 11,000 in a six-day period.
Lake Sacajawea – WDFW stocked with 3,500 catchable Rainbow on April 12th.
Pacific County Lakes – This week Cases Pond received 800 stocker size Rainbow and 200-1lb Rainbow. This lake is open only to juveniles (age 15 and younger), seniors (70 and older) and anglers with a disability who possess a designated harvester companion card. There is a fishing dock/platform area, and rough trails extend around most of the pond.
Jetty / Surf Fishing
Surf fishing is beginning to heat up when folks can get out with surf conditions. There have been some good reports from Long Beach.
Photo above: Last Week Razor Clam Limit | Looney Coonie Jim’s Crew | Image Jim Milanowski
WDFW announced the following actual digs:
The following digs during morning (a.m.) low tides will proceed as scheduled: Digging is allowed from midnight until 12 p.m. only on April 19-25
April 19, Wednesday, 6:44 AM; -0.4 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
April 20, Thursday, 7:28 AM; -0.9 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis
April 21, Friday, 8:09 AM; -1.2 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
April 22, Saturday, 8:50 AM; -1.1 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis
April 23, Sunday, 9:31 AM; -0.8 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
April 24, Monday, 10:14 AM; -0.4 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis
April 25, Tuesday, 11:01 AM; 0.1 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
Westport – Westport marina posted an advisory about the dredging operation underway. There is reporting of crab pots in the dredge area. Please take great caution to avoid all access lanes, disposal areas, and the shipping channel to avoid damage.
Have a great week everyone, please email me any time with questions or comments: firstname.lastname@example.org
Read our latest Oregon fishing report.