Fishing opportunities mushroom starting this weekend with the opening of summer chinook angling in the Columbia River on Saturday.
Commercial fishermen testing shad gear near County Line Bar said on Wednesday their chinook handle has changed from 12-pound fish with an 80 percent mark rate to white-bellied, 20-pounders with a 50 percent mark rate. This is a good sign summer chinook are in the lower Columbia.
The Columbia upstream of Interstate 5 also opens for retention of hatchery steelhead and sockeye beginning Saturday. Summer chinook season in the lower Columbia is scheduled to be open through July 1.
Gillnetting is scheduled in the lower Columbia from 9 p.m. Sunday to 5 a.m. Monday.
Sturgeon retention will be open Friday and Saturday, but not Sunday, in Bonneville pool. Sturgeon retention also will be allowed June 22 and 23 depending on the catch. There are 1,060 sturgeon remaining on the Bonneville pool allocation.
Sturgeon angling sputters along in the estuary. Charter anglers are only getting a fish per eight rods and kicker boat fishermen are doing much worse. Catches are not expected to improve much until the flow in the Columbia lessens.
Shad catches have improved markedly, particularly near Bonneville Dam. Shad also are being caught in the Kalama, Woodland and Sauvie Island areas.
Merwin Reservoir is producing kokanee is bit better this week.
Angler checks from the Washington (WDFW) and Oregon (ODFW) departments of Fish and Wildlife:
Lower Columbia — Buoy 10 to Wauna power lines, 17 boaters with eight steelhead and three sockeye kept plus one steelhead and three spring chinook released. (ODFW)
Fort Canby-Ilwaco ramps, 181 charter anglers with 23 legal sturgeon kept plus 28 oversize and 58 sublegals released; 39 private boaters with three sublegal sturgeon released. (WDFW)
Chinook, 36 boaters with two legal sturgeon kept plus three oversize and five sublegals released. (WDFW)
Estuary, 35 bank rods with nine steelhead kept and one chinook released. (WDFW)
Knappton, Deep River ramps, 35 boaters with 10 legal sturgeon kept plus one legal and 28 sublegals released. (WDFW)
Chinook to Knappton, six bank rods with three sublegal sturgeon released. (WDFW)
Cathlamet, four boaters with two sublegal sturgeon released; 155 bank rods with 32 steelhead, one jack chinook and five sockeye kept plus seven chinook released; seven boaters with one steelhead kept. (WDFW)
Longview to Portland, 21 boaters with five spring chinook released; 30 boaters with 20 shad kept; 156 Oregon bank rods with 11 steelhead and 12 sockeye kept plus one steelhead and 16 spring chinook released; 214 boaters with 12 legal sturgeon kept plus 150 sublegals released. (ODFW)
Longview, six boaters with nine sublegal sturgeon released; two bank rods with no sturgeon; 273 bank rods with 35 steelhead and nine sockeye kept plus five steelhead and seven chinook released; 33 boaters with 10 steelhead and one sockeye kept plus six chinook released; three boaters with two shad kept. (WDFW)
Kalama, eight boaters with three legal sturgeon kept and 17 sublegals released; 70 bank rods with one steelhead and two jack chinook kept plus two adult chinook and three steelhead released; 10 boaters with 30 shad kept and 11 released. (WDFW)
Woodland, two bank rods with no sturgeon; 240 bank rods with seven steelhead and three sockeye kept plus eight chinook and one steelhead released; four boaters with 20 shad kept and six released. (WDFW)
Warrior Rock to Kelley Point, 71 bank rods with one jack chinook kept and 13 adult chinook released; three boaters with two sublegal sturgeon released; six boaters with 24 shad kept. (WDFW)
Davis Bar to Portland airport, 15 boaters with one legal sturgeon kept plus 14 sublegals released; six boaters with 25 shad kept. (WDFW)
Troutdale, 12 boaters with 32 shad kept; six boaters with one legal sturgeon kept plus two sublegals released. (ODFW)
Camas-Washougal, five boaters with one legal sturgeon and three sublegals released; six bank rods with no sturgeon; 21 boaters with 174 shad kept and six released. (WDFW)
North Bonneville, 125 bank rods with 1,600 shad kept and 20 released; three boaters with 210 shad kept. (WDFW)
Columbia Gorge, nine boaters with 57 shad kept. (ODFW)
Columbia Gorge (downstream of Marker 82), 17 boaters with one legal sturgeon kept plus one oversize and seven sublegals released. (ODFW)
Mid-Columbia — The Dalles pool, six boaters with two oversize and 15 sublegal sturgeon released; 21 bank rods with 20 sublegal sturgeon released; 25 boaters with 29 walleye kept and one released; two boaters with four bass kept and 26 released; three bank rods with three bass kept and two released. (WDFW)
Cowlitz — Twenty-three boaters with five steelhead kept; 135 bank rods with 10 adult spring chinook, two jacks and six steelhead kept. (WDFW0
South Fork Toutle — Thirty-six bank rods with three steelhead released. (WDFW)
Kalama — Seven bank rods with no steelhead. (WDFW)
North Fork Lewis — Five bank rods with no salmon or steelhead. (WDFW)
Washougal — Fifty-six bank rods with five steelhead kept and five released; 15 boaters with two steelhead kept. (WDFW)
Wind — Thirty-six boaters with three spring chinook kept. In the gorge, 18 bank rods with three spring chinook kept and two released. (WDFW)
Drano Lake — Seven boaters with one adult and one jack spring chinook kept. (WDFW)
Klickitat — Twenty-two bank rods with three spring chinook and four steelhead kept. (WDFW)