Summer is here and attention has turned to warm water lakes and ponds, as well as the Columbia River for those interested in SW Washington fishing. Shad fishing continues to produce on the Columbia and Pikeminnow fishing has been excellent. The Columbia opened 6/16/23 for Sockeye, Steelhead, and Chinook with mixed success. Sockeye numbers over Bonneville have skyrocketed and the season is in full swing.
REMINDER, please verify the regulations before fishing any body of water. AND wear a life jacket.
Flows have remained steady for the last few reports at 2900 cfs and the gage height steady at 2.7 feet which has been great for sleds and drift boats allowing them to get around still.
There were a few anglers when I stopped in at the Cedar Creek boat launch on Wednesday fishing for Steelhead and Chinook without success. We should start to see steelhead catch rates go up quickly in the coming weeks.
Creel reports show 15 bank rods had no catch. 4 boats/10 rods kept one steelhead.
I drove up to the Kalama after work on Monday talking to an angler at what I call the red barn hole. He had said fishing has been very slow lately with some Chinook being caught higher up but he hasn’t heard of anybody doing any good on early Steelhead. Recent rain gave some good color to the river but it remains at a similar lower level as past weeks.
Creel reports show 33 bank rods kept one jack. 2 boats/4 rods kept three Chinook.
Last week, Tacoma Power employees recovered 179 spring Chinook adults, 52 spring Chinook jacks, one winter-run steelhead adult, and 84 summer-run steelhead adults over five days of operations at the Cowlitz Salmon Hatchery separator.
During the past week, Tacoma Power employees released 99 spring Chinook adults, 21 spring Chinook jacks, and one winter-run steelhead adult into Lake Scanewa in Randle.
Creel reports above the I-5 bridge show 14 bank rods kept one Chinook and released one steelhead. 9 boats/33 rods kept 14 steelhead. Below the bridge WDFW reports 88 bank rods kept one Chinook, one jack and 11 steelhead. 2 boats/4 rods had no catch.
Locals on the Washougal have been talking about early Summer Steelhead being caught in the lower river. There seems to be some fish around but it’s a matter of finding them and getting there before the swimmers come out.
Sockeye, Steelhead, and Chinook are now open from Astoria Bridge to Bonneville dam. Below Who Song and Larry’s has been a great location to target these fish. I fished at Who Song’s and Larry’s for about an hour on Wednesday and saw 3-4 Sockeye caught. Pikeminnow fishing has been very good, you can find locations at https://www.pikeminnow.org/fishing-maps. Shad fishing is still going great with creel reports stating over 400 fish caught for 90 people at Bonneville.
Drano Lake and Wind River
Fishing pressure was non-existent with most people done here until late summer/early fall. As usual there are fish that stop in here but it has not been easy fishing.
Warm Water Lakes and Ponds
Bass have started to bed and have become aggressive protecting their beds fishing the shallows has been working well for people. Crappie and Bluegill have started to become more prevalent near docks and fallen trees as well.
Read this week’s Oregon fishing report.