By Ian Carter
Things are still generally slow for Steelhead in our area. The Portland Boat Show is this weekend and a good opportunity to check out the latest and greatest in watercraft. No WDFW creel checks were performed again this week. I don’t know if they have discontinued the exercise, or if the practice isn’t a beneficial use of resources at this time.
There isn’t one of our rivers to highlight this week in SW Washington fishing, as all are in wait and see mode. I suppose the Lewis would be my choice if I chose to go fishing this weekend.
REMINDER, please verify the regulations before fishing any body of water
Flows are finally shaping up, albeit brief with the expected rain over the foreseeable future. The flow as of Wednesday is level at 7,200 cfs. The water clarity is greenish and perfect for Steelhead.
This Wednesday I drove up to the hatchery. There were no plunkers in the usual hatchery spot. Fishing pressure elsewhere around the hatchery was also nonexistent.
John Thompson from Sportsman’s in Vancouver spent a few days fishing the Nehalem in Oregon. They had a great trip and went 3/7. He has heard some sporadic reports from the Kalama.
The river flow rate is all over the place. As of Wednesday evening, it is back down to 9,800 cfs and appears that it may be in the process of rising again.
The number of fish processed by Tacoma Power employees is on a rapid decline. Just 716 coho adults, two coho jacks, 20 winter-run steelhead adults, one summer-run steelhead adult, and two cutthroat trout were recovered over four days of operations at the Cowlitz Salmon Hatchery separator.
I heard a couple of reports of Steelhead around.
A push of late Coho arrived over the last escapement period.
Today, Wednesday was the last day for sturgeon retention in the gorge. The speed in which the quota was used up is an indication at least of a healthy fishery for future years.
Reports are still positive from the lower Columbia Steelhead plunking beaches.
Merwin – Those brave enough to take a gamble on the wind forecast are finding some decent weather windows and good fishing.
Mayfield Lake – This watershed continues to produce some good results. The pressure is a little heavier than normal with Riffe accessibility being a factor.
Riffe Lake Potentially some good news coming soon from what I have heard through my contacts.
Battleground Lake –received 2,850 stocker Rainbow on January 3rd.
Klineline –On January 3rd, WDFW stocked 1,700 stocker size Rainbow Trout.
Kress Lake –received 20 more Steelhead on January 3rd.
American Lake –While not in our immediate area, this Lake near Tacoma has been producing some impressive catches of Yellow Perch.
Razor Clams – Still no news. Go here for updates
Sea Run Cutthroat – January is a great month to chase these fish from the shore in our coastal estuaries.
Surf Perch – I received a couple of reports about the Long Beach area producing some good catches of surf perch over last weekend.
Here’s our Oregon fishing report for the week.