Outdoors blog 3/19

By Allen Thomas, Columbian outdoors reporter

Published:

 

Washington and Oregon officials have decided not to have a Columbia River Compact meeting today, meaning no gillnetting on Tuesday.

Twenty test drifts on Sunday caught 28 chinook and 40 steelhead. Seventy-nine percent of the chinook were hatchery fish, while 39 percent were upper Columbia origin. Sixty-three percent of the steelhead were marked.

The states want to see a ratio with more chinook and fewer steelhead before adopting a commercial fishing period.

Sport fishing is closed Tuesday, a decision made in January in anticipation of potentially having the gillnet fleet on the river March 20, March 27 and April 3.

Streamflow in the Columbia at Bonneville Dam had dropped to 193,000 cubic feet per second Monday after being as high as 230,000 on Saturday. A year ago, the river was running at 246,000 cubic feet per second.

Twenty spring chinook have been counted at Bonneville through Friday. The 10-year averge through March 16 is 794.

Water temperature at Bonneville is 42.6 degrees. A year ago, the temperature was 41 degrees on this date.

Oregon's Willamette River is open although the streamflow at Portland on Monday was 121,000 cubic feet per second with less than a foot of visibility. The spring chinook count at Willamette Falls is only two spring chinook, although that number is not important this time of year.