How poor is spring chinook fishing? Well, there were an estimated 2,055 angler trips on Sunday and Monday with 30 spring chinook kept and five released in the lower Columbia River. That is almost 59 trips per fish.
Streamflow on Wednesday was 325,000 cubic feet per second at Bonneville Dam.
The flow is expected to stay high for months. The Willamette River at Portland was at 143,000 cubic feet per second on Wednesday. Normal for the Willamette is 31,000 for April 4.
State officials will meet at 10 a.m. today to consider an extension of the season beyond the closure scheduled to begin on Saturday.
The overall catch through Sunday is 1,671 chinook kept.
The kept catch of upper Columbia chinook is 1,117 spring chinook. The early-season guideline for the lower Columbia catch is 12,700 upper Columbia chinook, including release mortalities.
It is likely the states will extend the season. Also likely is another Tuesday closure to allow the commercials to net without conflict with the sport fleet.
The gillnet catch from Tuesday appears to between 2,000 and 2,500 spring chinook.
State officials only had a preliminary estimate as of Wednesday afternoon.
State monitors watched 84 drifts Tuesday with a catch of 184 spring chinook and 36 steelhead. Eighty-four percent of the chinook were fin-clipped.
The spring chinook count at Bonneville Dam for the season is 45 through Tuesday. The 10-year average through April 3 is 3,224. A year ago, the Bonneville count through April 3 was 280.
The high, muddy water appears to be improving sturgeon fishing in the lower Columbia. Walleye anglers are doing very well just downstream of John Day Dam.
Kokanee fishing is slow at Merwin Reservoir.
Angler checks from the Washington (WDFW) and Oregon (ODFW) departments of Fish and Wildlife:
Lower Columbia — Estuary, 90 boaters with one spring chinook and one steelhead kept; five bank rods with no catch. (WDFW)
Tongue Point to Wauna power lines, 61 boaters with three spring chinook kept and one released. (ODFW)
Cathlamet, 16 boaters with with one spring chinook kept; 29 bank rods with one steelhead kept. (WDFW)
Longview, 120 boaters with five spring chinook kept and one released; 100 bank rods with two spring chinook and two steelhead kept plus one steelhead released; one boater with one legal sturgeon kept. (WDFW)
Longview to Portland, 440 boaters with eight spring chinook and one steelhead kept plus three spring chinook released; 302 Oregon bank rods with 14 spring chinook, one jack chinook and 17 steelhead kept plus one spring chinook and two steelhead released; 16 boaters with five legal sturgeon kept plus two oversize and 36 sublegal sturgeon released; seven Oregon bank rods with no sturgeon. (ODFW)
Cowlitz River mouth, two boaters with no salmon or steelhead. (WDFW)
Kalama, 121 boaters with six spring chinook kept; 31 bank rods with one steelhead kept; 19 boaters with three legal sturgeon kept and 25 sublegals released. (WDFW)
Woodland, 127 boaters with four spring chinook and one steelhead kept plus two chinook released; 179 bank rods with one spring chinook kept and one spring chinook and one steelhead released. (WDFW)
Warrior Rock to Kelley Point, 485 boaters with 35 spring chinook kept and four released; 79 bank rods with four spring chinook and one steelhead kept; two boaters with 12 sublegal sturgeon released. (WDFW)
Davis Bar to Portland airport tower, 439 boaters with 16 spring chinook kept and four released; two bank rods with no salmon; four boaters with 10 sublegal sturgeon released. (WDFW)
Troutdale, 130 boaters with no salmon or steelhead. (ODFW)
Camas-Washougal, 140 boaters with four spring chinook kept and three released; five bank rods with no catch; four boaters with no sturgeon. (WDFW)
North Bonneville, 51 bank rods with one spring chinook kept; one bank rod with no sturgeon. (WDFW)
Columbia Gorge (downstream of Beacon Rock), seven boaters with no salmon or steelhead; two boaters with no sturgeon; 13 Oregon bank rods with no sturgeon. (ODFW)
Mid-Columbia — The Dalles pool, 15 bank rods with one steelhead released; 14 bank rods with four sublegal sturgeon released; 20 boaters with 20 walleye kept plus eight released. (WDFW)
John Day pool, eight bank rods with one steelhead kept; 22 boaters with four sublegal sturgeon released; 66 bank rods with one legal sturgeon kept plus one oversize and 10 sublegals released; 27 boaters with 15 walleye kept plus two released. (WDFW)
Cowlitz — Forty-four boaters with 22 steelhead and four spring chinook kept plus one steelhead and four trout released; 89 bank rods with 13 steelhead kept. (WDFW)
The river was flowing at 17,100 cubic feet per second at Castle Rock on Wednesday. The average for the date is 8,830.
Kalama — Sixteen bank rods with two steelhead kept and five released. (WDFW)
Lewis — Six bank rods with no salmon or steelhead. (WDFW)
North Fork Lewis — Seventeen bank rods with no salmon or steelhead.
Streamflow at Ariel on Wednesday was 7,200 cubic feet per second. Normal for the date is 4,620. (WDFW)