Fishing report 3/22

By Allen Thomas, Columbian outdoors reporter



Spring chinook fishing remains slow in the lower Columbia River with muddy water downstream of Woodland-St. Helens.

Through Sunday, there have been nearly 30,000 angler trips with a kept catch of 582 chinook and 302 steelhead, plus 180 chinook and 217 steelhead released.

Among the kept chinook are 389 upper Columbia salmon. The early-season allocation is 12,700 upper Columbia chinook kept plus release mortalities.

River patrol brings citations

Wildlife officers will cite more than a dozen anglers as a result of Tuesday's patrol of the Columbia River between Vancouver and Woodland.

The river was closed for sport fishing on Tuesday in anticipation of a commercial fishing period. The next two Tuesdays — March 27 and April 3 — also will be closed.

Sgt. Jeff Wickersham of the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife said some citations were issued Tuesday and others will be sent in the mail. Most of the citations will be for fishing in a closed area, which carries a $152 bail forfeiture.

The river will be closed on March 27 and April 3 regardless if the Columbia River Compact decides to adopt a commercial fishing period or not.

Test netting on Sunday caught 40 steelhead and 28 chinook. The states do not want to authorize a gillnet fishery until the number of steelhead in the river drops and the proportion of spring chinook increases.

Streamflow in the Columbia River at Bonneville Dam on Wednesday was 201,000 cubic feet per second, very similar to 2011 for the same date. The temperature was 42.2 degrees.

But flow at Beaver Army Terminal downstream of Longview is 492,000 cubic feet per second, compared to a normal 237,000, showing the influence of the Willamette River and other tributaries.

Twenty-seven spring chinook have been counted at Bonneville through Monday. The 10-year cumulative average for March 19 is 885.

The Willamette was flowing at 93,200 cubic feet per second on Wednesday, compared to an average of 33,700 cubic feet per second. Streamflow at Portland peaked at about 120,000 cfs on Saturday. Visibility is poor, although is improving slowly.

Walleye fishing was good last weekend in The Dalles and John Day pools.

Klineline Pond was stocked with 2,450 half-pound brown trout on Monday, while Lacamas Lake got 3,000. The water in Lacamas is murky.

Lower Columbia — Estuary, 23 boaters and three bank rods with no spring chinook or steelhead; two boaters and one bank rod with no sturgeon. (WDFW)

Tongue Point to Wauna powerlines, 28 boaters with one spring chinook kept. (ODFW)

Cathlamet, 11 boaters and five bank rods with no salmon or steelhead; three boaters with no sturgeon. (WDFW)

Longview, 33 boaters with no salmon or steelhead; 22 bank rods with one steelhead kept; four boaters with one sublegal sturgeon released; seven bank rods with no sturgeon. (WDFW)

Longview to Portland, 563 anglers with 15 spring chinook kept and four released; 180 Oregon bank rods with one steelhead kept. (ODFW)

Kalama, 60 boaters and 25 bank rods with no salmon or steelhead; five boaters with no sturgeon. (WDFW)

Woodland, 34 boaters with one spring chinook kept and one released; 136 bank rods with one spring chinook and one steelhead released, (WDFW)

Warrior Rock to Kelley Point, 371 boaters with 14 spring chinook kept and two released; 90 bank rods with one spring chinook kept plus one spring chinook and one steelhead released. (WDFW)

Davis Bar to Portland airport, 343 boaters with 16 spring chinook and one steelhead kept plus two spring chinook released. (WDFW)

Troutdale, 101 boaters with no spring chinook or steelhead. (ODFW)

Camas-Washougal, 81 boaters with two spring chinook kept and one released. (WDFW)

Columbia Gorge (downstream of Beacon Rock), four boaters with no spring chinook. (WDFW)

North Bonneville, 22 bank rods with one steelhead kept. (WDFW)

Mid-Columbia — The Dalles pool, two boaters with no sturgeon; 13 bank rods with four sublegal sturgeon released; nine bank rods with one wild steelhead released; 22 boaters with 36 walleye kept. (WDFW)

John Day pool, 38 boaters with 33 walleye kept and 11 released; 11 bank rods with no salmon or steelhead; 22 bank rods with one legal sturgeon kept and two sublegals released; 16 boaters with one oversize and two sublegals released. (WDFW)

Kalama — Three bank rods with one steelhead kept and three steelhead released. (WDFW)

Cowlitz — The separator at Cowlitz Salmon Hatchery recovered 109 winter steelhead in five days of operation last week. (WDFW)

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