In SW Washington fishing this week – There was no lake stocking of recycled Steelhead or catchable Rainbows this week except for Battle Ground Lake. The YTD Chinook counts on the Escapement reports I provide to subscribers have reset to springers from the Fall Chinook. The Elochoman has provided the most positive reports for the week. Local rivers are reportedly fishing badly for various reasons. (smelt in the Cowlitz for one)
REMINDER, please verify the regulations before fishing any body of water. AND wear a life jacket.
Fishing pressure is extremely light and the usual people I speak with haven’t had much success. This week I didn’t have the chance to scout the river any further upriver than my home by the auction house stretch.
There are no signs of sea lions, but the numbers of eagles and hawks are increasing. This would lead me to believe that the smelt may be entering the Lewis this year.
I’m going to leave this hazard up this week for those readers who fish the Lewis and may not have seen it. Click on the image below for the Google Maps approximate location.
Kalama had an extreme amount of fishing pressure last weekend and tons of boats. Source Seth talked to a few anglers that had a fish, but the majority did not. The escapement numbers aren’t very promising at all.
The Cowlitz is full of smelt with sea lions spotted as far up as the Vader area. The Smelt are having severe adverse effects on Steelhead fishing. Probably best to skip the lower Cowlitz at all if pursuing Steelhead. I’m sure once the bulk of the run has passed WDFW will allow us a 6-hour season to dip these tasty and useful Eulachon.
According to a couple independent sources the Washougal is dead slow. Fishing pressure is light with the river seemingly reluctant to produce fish.
The escapement report is miserable with only 10 additional Steelhead making it to the hatchery. There were only six last week.
Sunday, we talked to a game warden on the Elochoman who was from Vancouver area. He stated that he drove all the way to the Elochoman because it’s the only river that he has counted fish at recently.
Apologies for the brevity, but there is nothing much to report yet. Plunking pressure this week subsided from the reports I have heard in addition to my own observations.
The wait for the first official Lower Columbia Springer catch continues. A few people are trying at County Line Park, but I haven’t heard of any success for either Steelhead or Springers.
Merwin – On Monday there were some issues with the automatic gate, not being so automatic. Anglers were lined up by the time it was fixed until a little before 8:00am. Fishing success overall has cooled off a little in the past week.
If you fish Merwin this weekend, please keep an eye on snow levels as they are supposed to get low. Make sure you are prepared for adverse road and ramp conditions. There has been a definable 10am -noon non-biting period that has been developing this week.
Mayfield Lake – No Reports this week.
Riffe Lake – Nathan at Sportsman’s Warehouse in Kelso says the water levels have dropped again and the boat launches are still high and dry. If we get some heavy rain the launches may be usable again. Riffe Lake fishing is very good for those in kayaks and fishing from the bank. There are lots of silvers and a few trout to be caught.
Battle Ground Lake – WDFW planted an additional 2,000 stocker Rainbow Trout on February 1st.
Puget Sound –The black mouth fishery is off to a great start from a few reports I’ve seen from the area. This is a complicated fishery with rules varying greatly by marine area designation. If you go, please do your homework.
Crabbing –remains good in the ocean.
Clamming – After publishing last week’s reports more days were opened for the beaches up north. As of Wednesday afternoon, there are no scheduled digs for the immediate future. But please keep checking here for a current updates.
Quite the mixed bag of February weather on the way through the weekend. Thursday in the high 50’s and sunny to then snow at 500 ft on Sunday. There will be much rain between Friday and Sunday, with a chance of some slight drying on Saturday.
Read our Oregon fishing report for the week.