Outdoors blog 3/12

By Al Thomas, Columbian Outdoors Reporter



There will be no meeting of the Columbia River Compact today to consider a commercial fishing period in the lower river.

Test netting on Sunday did not find a high ratio of chinook to steelhead, which state officials are looking for prior to adopting a commercial fishing period.

Twelve test drifts with 4 1/4-inch-mesh nets caught four upper Columbia origin hatchery spring chinook and 26 steelhead (10 wild).

Five drifts with 8-inch-mesh net caught one lower Columbia chinook, two upper Columbia chinook and one chinook of undetermined origin along with one hatchery steelhead.

Next Tuesday (March 20) is the first of three Tuesdays in which sport fishing is closed in the lower Columbia to allow for gillnetting without conflicts with the recreational fleet.

The count at Bonneville Dam through Friday is seven chinook and 1,309 steelhead.

Washington samplers checked 1,362 boaters in the past week with 52 spring chinook kept and 16 released. Through Sunday, there were 32,800 angler trips with 693 chinook kept and 216 released. The sport allocation is 12,700 chinook kept plus released mortalities prior to the mid-May run update.

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