Anglers have caught a record number of summer steelhead this month in lower Columbia River with two weeks still remaining.
Through Sunday, 11,639 steelhead had been handled (kept or released) between Bonneville Dam and the ocean. That tops 11,049 in August of 2009, said Joe Hymer of the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.
He said the improved catch is likely due to cooler temperatures and a high streamflow in the Columbia River. Use of dyed prawns as bait also might be adding to the catch rate.
Steelhead fishing also have been exceptional off the mouths of Drano Lake and the White Salmon River. About 20 boats are fishing most mornings at each location.
Chinook catches are buildling slowly at Buoy 10. The most recent creel sample was 115 anglers at the Washington ports with 28 chinook and six coho on Tuesday.
There are concerns that the chinook might transit very quickly through Buoy 10 this month, resulting in a disappointing fishery.
Off the Columbia River, angling effort more than doubled last week. Fishermen averaged 1.34 salmon per rod with 79 percent of the catch being coho.
Through Sunday, 50 percent of the coho quota for northern Oregon-southern Washington had been taken.
A few walleye are being taken in the Washougal-to-Government Island area of the Columbia.
Angler checks from the Washington (WDFW) and Oregon (ODFW) departments of Fish and Wildlife:
Lower Columbia — Cathlamet, four boaters with no salmon or steelhead; 47 bank rods with 15 steelhead kept and 12 released, plus one sockeye released. (WDFW)
Longview, 187 boaters with seven adult chinook, one jack and 39 steelhead kept plus 26 steelhead released; 350 bank rods with 57 steelhead kept and 36 released. (WDFW)
Longview to Portland, 313 boaters with 43 adult chinook, one jack and 45 steelhead kept plus 12 steelhead and two coho released. (ODFW)
Cowlitz River mouth, 67 boaters with three adult chinook, one jack chinook and 13 steelhead kept plus six steelhead released. (WDFW)
Kalama, 124 boaters with three adult chinook and 27 steelhead kept plus 15 steelhead released; 388 bank rods with 10 adult chinook kept, one jack chinook released; 74 steelhead kept and 43 released; three bank rods with one sublegal sturgeon released; one boater with no walleye. (WDFW)
Woodland, 158 boaters with 16 adult chinook, three jack chinookand 56 steelhead kept plus 46 steelhead released; 258 bank rods with 61 steelhead kept and 38 steelhead and one jack chinook released; two boaters with four walleye. (WDFW)
Warrior Rock to Kelley Point, 66 boaters with two adult chinook, two jack chinook and 16 steelhead kept plus 23 steelhead released; 327 bank rods with 10 adult chinook and 90 steelhead kept plus 51 steelhead released; two boaters with four sublegal sturgeon released. (WDFW)
Davis Bar to Portland airport, two boaters with no catch; 46 bank rods with nine steelhead kept and two released. (WDFW)
Portland, four boaters with four walleye kept. (ODFW)
Troutdale, 136 boaters with three adult chinook, one jack chinook and 12 steelhead kept plus 11 steelhead and one sockeye released; eight boaters with eight walleye kept. (ODFW)
Camas-Washougal, 61 boaters with two adult chinook and five steelhead kept plus nine steelhead released; 35 bank rods with three steelhead kept plus three steelhead and one jack chinook released; 12 boaters with two oversize, one legal and one sublegal sturgeon released; 11 boaters with five walleye kept and two released. (WDFW)
North Bonneville, 48 boaters with one adult chinook and 18 steelhead kept plus 11 steelhead released; 514 bank rods with four adult chinook, two jack chinook and 201 steelhead kept with 137 steelhead released; two boaters with four walleye released. (WDFW)
Columbia Gorge (downstream of Bonneville Dam), 39 boaters with one adult fall chinook and 13 steelhead kept plus 10 steelhead released; 150 Oregon bank rods with 23 steelhead kept and 22 released. (ODFW)
Mid-Columbia — Bonneville pool, 51 boaters with 60 steelhead kept and 51 released. (WDFW)
Cowlitz — Thirty-six boaters with 12 steelhead and one sea-run cutthroat trout kept; 43 bank rods with five steelhead and two sea-run cutthroat trout kept. (WDFW)
Kalama — Thirteen bank rods with one steelhead kept. (WDFW)
Lewis — Five bank rods with one steelhead kept. (WDFW)
North Fork Lewis — Fifty bank rods with 18 steelhead kept. (WDFW)
Wind — At the mouth, two boaters with no catch. (WDFW)
Drano Lake — Ninety-five boaters with 32 steelhead kept and 22 released. (WDFW)
White Salmon — Fifteen bank rods with one steelhead kept. (WDFW)