By Ian Carter
In SW Washington fishing, the Cowlitz River continues to be the ray of sunshine in our neighborhood. More Chinook are being intercepted on the Columbia as the run begins the migration. The Washougal has closed shop and Merwin is a good bet.
REMINDER, please verify the regulations before fishing any body of water. AND wear a life jacket.
It’s Wednesday and the Lewis flow rate is 6,270 and dropping rather sharply. Based on the weather forecast the river should be in great shape by the weekend. The water is murky, but clearing up quickly, as it’s certainly not the summertime levels of last week. I personally didn’t fish the Lewis the past few days. At my neighborhood association meeting last night, I did speak with a couple people who have fished a few times without any success.
The flow rate is like other rivers in our region, coming off a brief elevated peak and dropping nicely in time for the weekend. The water temperature fluctuations have leveled off a little but warming a little more each day.
There aren’t many fish making it to the hatchery and NO Chinook so far.
It’s busy and Steelhead fishing is excellent by recent standards. Many people are reporting good success both by boat and bank. Plunkers are doing especially well in certain places. Recycle counts dropped again this week. Maybe it’s because so many fish were intercepted by fisherman based on the reports I’m seeing.
As of Wednesday afternoon, the flow rate is 5,100 cfs at Mayfield after experiencing a brief 24-hour bump to 6,300 cfs. Castle Rock recording station is 8,600 cfs. The Cowlitz didn’t see as large an increase in water volume from the recent rain as other area rivers. Real time water flow for the Castle Rock station can be found here and Mayfield dam station here.
Dave Mallahan with Daves Guide Service has been fishing every day and getting fish but considers it a grind still.
Today March 15th, was the Washougal last day. It’s unfortunate as I just received this great report from Seth. This last rain storm brought the river up and there’s been quite a few fish caught lately. An even mix of wild and hatchery.
The river is now open as reflected by the flight survey conducted by WDFW last Saturday. Lower Columbia River Buoy 10 upstream to Bonneville Dam they counted 123 salmonid boats and 73 Washington bank rods.
I spoke with Korey at Bob’s, and he shared that plunkers are doing OK at Willow Grove, but things are good across the river in Oregon at Didley Beach. There is a combination of Springers and Steelhead in the mix.
Merwin – I haven’t heard reports of any productive Muskie fishing happening, although it’s getting to be that time of year. Not a bad idea to throw a Steelhead bait caster and some large Rapalas in the boat in case kokanee fishing is slow.
Riffe Lake is currently 680 feet, which is an additional five lower and still not launchable with a trailered craft.
Mayfield Lake Some of the Riffe faithful have been focusing on Mayfield instead. Fishing is decent. Please be sure to check the regulations as they are different than Riffe.
Kress Lake – This past week the lake received approximately a dozen Steelhead transplants from the Kalama Falls hatchery. Korey at Bob’s shares that he has talked to guys that are doing well with the transplanted Steelhead.
Battle Ground Lake – No new stocking or reports
Klineline – No report and no additional stocking
Silver Lake – I heard a rumor that the Bass may be waking up. Stay tuned in the coming weeks.
Jetty Fishing – From those who braved the weather there are reports of sporadic Ling Cod catches. As when fishing the ocean by boat, follow the birds to find the fish. The coastal forecast as it’s updated can be found here.
Crabbing – Positive reports from all areas.
Clamming – Excellent reports continue to be the norm. Latest seasons have been released for the rest of March. Even though the tests are getting better for Long Beach, there’s still nothing on the horizon through all of April. Unfortunately, this is very bad news for the Long Beach Clam Festival.
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Find our Oregon fishing report here.