A much-anticipated action notice regarding mainstem Columbia River spring Chinook recreational fishery has been released. There has been no positive change in reports for area rivers as Merwin continues to be the place to catch dinner. Thousands of pinnipeds cruising the entire lower Columbia currently doesn’t bode well for Steelhead returning to our tributaries. WDFW didn’t email their creel check report, maybe it’s just running late.
REMINDER, please verify the regulations before fishing any body of water. AND wear a life jacket.
This week I only conversed with one Woodland fisherman. I’m sorry to say he had no success after a full morning fishing various bank spots upriver from the Goerig Park.
The smelt finally made it to the Lewis. I have never seen so many seals and sea lions in the river at one time.
Hatchery Steelhead escapements are creeping up, with a decent boost of around 20% of the season to date total since previous report. During a drive on Tuesday, I noted very little angling activity.
I spoke with one individual who didn’t have any luck. The overall buzz amongst local anglers is discouraging, with some wondering if the fish will show at all.
There is no word whilst writing this report if a sport smelt dip is on the horizon. I looked back on my fishing log book for the date of last year’s dip. It was on March 5th, and we managed four limits in three scoops. It’s lots of fun for the kids, but please make sure they wear a life jacket when close to the river’s edge.
Last week, Tacoma Power employees recovered 92 winter-run steelhead adults and two coho adults over five days of operations at the Cowlitz Salmon Hatchery separator.
Tacoma Power employees also released two coho adults and eight winter-run steelhead into Lake Scanewa in Randle and they released four steelhead adults into the Tilton River near Morton.
I just spoke with Dave Mallahan with Daves Guide Service. He described today’s fishing as not really improving, “every once in a while, somebody gets lucky and gets a few”. Dave and his clients were fortunate to get three Wednesday morning.
All eyes will become more focused on the Columbia in anticipation of the announced 38-day season below Bonneville fishery. The catch quota is almost 2,600 more Chinook than 2022’s original estimates of which season ran through April 6. I haven’t heard any specific catch reports this week. I visited both Austin Point and Martin Bar in Woodland on Monday and surveyed no fisherman.
WDFW has finally made it easy to register for the Pikeminnow Reward fishery. Welcome to the Electronic Angler Registration!
The Pikeminnow Mobile App is now available on Android and iOS devices. From this app you can quickly register to go Pikeminnow fishing using your mobile device. Additional information on the reward program can be found here.
Merwin –Kokanee fishing continues to be lights out and fishing pressure on the weekends is heavy.
The key seems to be locating the schools as the fish appear to be spreading throughout the reservoir. Water is in the 41-degree range depending on the day.
There are still reports of many debris fields on the lake, so continue to use extreme caution.
Riffe Lake – Angler West has a great episode from last summer about fishing Riffe that aired this weekend. You can find it at YouTube here.
Kress Lake – This past week the lake received seven Steelhead transplants from the Kalama Falls hatchery. Panfish season at Kress is right around the corner. In the springtime, these tasty and fun little fish get super aggressive guarding their reds, becoming more centralized and easier to catch.
Battle Ground Lake – Received 1,500 Cutthroat on February 13th. Trolling the north side of the lake would be best to hook Cutthroat.
Klineline – Good news for local anglers with kids, as a double stocking occurred on February 13th. The watershed received 1,500 Cutthroat and 2,000 Rainbow trout. The best technique for Klineline is powerbait from the shore. Fishing from floating devices is prohibited.
Silver Lake – A few isolated reports suggest that Crappie fishing in the canals is still producing rather well.
Jetty Fishing – It’s almost time. Many of Washington’s marine areas open for bottom fish on March 11th. Some good places to jetty fish are Westport, Ocean Shores, and Cape Disappointment near Ilwaco.
Surf Perch –There are several reports of excellent surf fishing on both Mocrocks and Pacific beaches. I haven’t heard anything for the Long Beach peninsula but anticipate some news once clamming opens and people have another reason to visit other than just fishing Surf Perch.
Clamming – Reports from Copalis Beach indicate that clamming is good. Many folks are stating it was super easy clamming.
It’s pretty much the don’t plan fair weather outdoor activities more than two days in advance time of year. We should probably anticipate continued cooler than normal temperatures with some sun and rain.
Read this week’s Oregon fishing report.