Tremendous news for lower Columbia River Salmon anglers, as an extension was approved on Wednesday afternoon. The season has been stretched out through Sunday June 4th. This is epic considering the upcoming Memorial Day weekend.
REMINDER, please verify the regulations before fishing any body of water. AND wear a life jacket.
More good news just arrived at 18:00 on Wednesday. The Lewis has been reopened for hatchery Chinook effective May 25th through July 31st. Be sure to check the app for specific regulations for areas around the hatcheries.
WDFW Creel surveys didn’t report any contacts with fishermen. I’m not sure what happened on the fish counts as the YTD wild chinook Speelyai number was omitted on the official WDFW escapement report this week. The good news is that the escapements needed for hatchery production of Spring Chinook have been met.
Hatchery Chinook escapements doubled during the past reporting cycle. WDFW stream side checks display limited effort and poor results for bank anglers. All total, just nine bank rods checked had no catch. Six boats fishing 12 rods indicated they kept four Chinook and one steelhead.
A few less Spring Chinook have been processed by Tacoma Power team members this week. Hopefully it’s a combination of the Columbia high water and upriver landslide conditions that are keeping them away and not an indication that the run has peaked. During the past week, they recovered 357 spring Chinook adults, 53 spring Chinook jacks, 23 winter-run steelhead adults, and 29 summer-run steelhead adults over five days of operations at the Cowlitz Salmon Hatchery separator.
Turbidity has dropped by 75% from last week but reports on the bank indicate the river below the Toutle is still blown out. Wednesday morning the Castle Rock recording station is 7,530 cfs and dropping. Real time water flow for the Castle Rock station can be found here and Mayfield dam station here.
There aren’t many fish around as we are between winter steelhead and summer steelhead. Report contributor Seth states that around the beginning of June is when he will begin fishing for summer steelhead. He says, “now is the time to go out and scout the holes on the Washougal as there are plenty of pull offs on Washougal river road.” If you are in the area, it’s certainly worth checking out.
This portion of my report with a Wednesday compact meeting netted great news for lower river fishermen. The season has been extended through June 4th, 2023.
The folks at WDFW were busy with the following catch/effort reported:
Sec 1 (Bonneville) – 216 bank anglers kept 35 Chinook, eight jacks and released 10 Chinook.
Sec 2 (Camas/Washougal) – Nine bank rods had no catch. 16 boats/40 rods had no catch.
Sec 3 (I-5 area) – 2 boats/5 rods had no catch.
Sec 4 (Vancouver) – 59 bank anglers kept two Chinook and released five Chinook. 34 boats/63 rods kept one Chinook, one jack and released one Chinook.
Sec 5 (Woodland) – 12 bank anglers had no catch. 16 boats/36 rods kept one Chinook.
Sec 6 (Kalama) – 56 bank anglers kept one Chinook. 21 boats/45 rods kept one Chinook and released one Chinook.
Sec 7 (Cowlitz) – 6 boats/17 rods kept two Chinook and released four Chinook.
Sec 8 (Longview) – 61 bank anglers released one Chinook. 34 boats/73 rods kept two Chinook and released four Chinook.
Sec 9 (Cathlamet) – Seven bank anglers kept one steelhead and released four Chinook. 1 boat/3 rods had no catch.
Sec 10 (Cathlamet) – 4 boats/8 rods kept two Chinook and one jack.
Sec 1 (Bonneville) – 15 bank anglers kept 11 shad.
Sec 2 (Camas/Washougal) – Two bank anglers had no catch.
Sec 6 (Kalama) – 1 boat/1 rod kept 25 shad and released five shad.
Throughout the entire area, fishing success has been mediocre at best. There are some with super-secret spots that are intercepting fish. My friend fished last Sunday, and they caught only one wild fish. Most folks chose to anchor fish, while others trolled.
I personally fished two short trips during the six-day extension in the St Helens area. W
Have a great week everyone, please email me any time with questions or comments: email@example.com – Ian Carter
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