Fishing report 5/24

By Allen Thomas, Columbian outdoors reporter

Published:

 

The lower Columbia is open for spring chinook fishing on Saturday and Sunday. Angling from a boat and bank will be allowed as far upstream as Beacon Rock, with bank fishing only from Beacon Rock to the deadline at Bonneville Dam.

Only fin-clipped spring chinook and steelhead may be kept, but any sockeye is allowed. The sockeye, however, count as part of the daily bag limit.

Overall, spring chinook fishing is fading, summer steelhead and shad are not here in numbers yet and sturgeon angling is off to the typical slow start in the Columbia River estuary.

On the bright side, good catches of trout were observed last weekend at Swift Reservoir and the on-again, off-again kokanee fishery in Merwin Reservoir appears to be improving.

Anglers last week were getting about a spring chinook per three rods at the mouth of Wind River and Drano Lake. But the count at Bonneville Dam has dropped to about 1,000 chinook per day and success at Wind and Drano is anticipated to drop.

Streamflows at Bonneville Dam have increased, which tends to delay passage through the fish ladder. There also tends to be a drop in counts in late May, then a bit of a bump up again in early June.

Signs the seasons are changing can be found in the first walleye catch of the season from the Columbia River at Washougal and a good catch of shad in the Kalama area.

Kidney Lake near North Bonneville was planted last week with 1,500 catchable-size rainbow trout, while Spearfish Lake at Dallesport got 2,000 catchables and 10 10-pound rainbow trout.

Bass fishing also has been good in the John Day pool of the Columbia River.

Angler checks from the Washington (WDFW) and Oregon (ODFW) departments of Fish and Wildlife:

Lower Columbia — Buoy 10 to Puget Island, 84 private boat anglers with seven legal sturgeon kept plus two oversize and 102 sublegals released; 18 charter boat anglers with two sublegal sturgeon released. (ODFW)

Estuary, four boaters with no steelhead. (WDFW)

Ilwaco-Fort Canby, six private boats with no sturgeon; 76 charter anglers with five legal sturgeon kept plus one oversize and 40 sublegals released. (WDFW)

Chinook, 30 private boaters with one legal sturgeon kept and two sublegals released. (WDFW)

Chinook to Knappton, 21 boaters with five legal sturgeon kept plus two oversize and 21 sublegals released; three bank rods with no sturgeon. (WDFW)

Cathlamet, 29 bank rods with one steelhead kept; two bank rods with one sublegal sturgeon released. (WDFW)

Longview, 12 boaters with one steelhead kept and one spring chinook released; 35 bank rods with three steelhead kept; nine boaters with nine sublegal sturgeon released; two bank rods with no sturgeon. (WDFW)

Longview to Portland, 37 boaters with one adult spring chinook released; 161 boaters with 16 legal sturgeon kept plus two oversize and 120 sublegals released; 12 boaters with 14 walleye kept. (ODFW)

Cowlitz River mouth, four boaters with three sublegal sturgeon released. (WDFW)

Kalama, three boaters with no catch; 43 bank rods with one steelhead kept; 14 boaters with nine sublegal sturgeon released; two bank rods with no sturgeon; eight boaters with 94 shad kept. (WDFW)

Woodland, nine boaters with one spring chinook released; 91 bank rods with two steelhead and one jack chinook kept plus two adult chinook released; three boaters with one oversize sturgeon released; one bank rod with no sturgeon. (WDFW)

Warrior Rock to Kelley Point, six boaters with two chinook released; 37 bank rods with one steelhead kept and two adult chinook released; four boaters with two sublegal sturgeon released. (WDFW)

Troutdale, two boaters with no steelhead; nine boaters with 10 sublegal sturgeon released. (ODFW)

Camas-Washougal, three boaters with one legal sturgeon kept and four sublegals released; six bank rods with no sturgeon; two boaters with one walleye kept; two boaters with no shad; six bank rods with one shad kept. (WDFW)

North Bonneville, five boaters with eight sublegal sturgeon released. (WDFW)

Columbia Gorge (downstream of Bonneville Dam), 27 Oregon bank rods with 88 shad kept and one released. (ODFW)

Mid-Columbia — Bonneville pool, 45 bank rods with 14 spring chinook kept and one released. (WDFW)

The Dalles pool, four boaters with one oversize and four sublegal sturgeon released; 31 boaters with one spring chinook kept and three chinook released; 27 bank rods with three spring chinook kept and one released; nine boaters with six walleye kept. (WDFW)

John Day pool, 12 bank rods with no sturgeon; 19 boaters with four legal sturgeon kept plus two oversize and 15 sublegals released. Sturgeon retention is closed, but catch-and-release angling is allowed. Ten boaters with one spring chinook released; 57 bank rods with 13 spring chinook kept and seven chinook released; 34 boaters with 33 walleye kept and one released; 23 boaters with 53 bass kept and 66 released; seven bank rods with one bass kept and four released. (WDFW)

Cowlitz — Thirty-five boaters with 11 adult chinook and one jack chinook kept; 202 bank rods with 23 adult chinook and seven jack chinook kept plus one adult chinook released. (WDFW)

Kalama — Nine boaters with one adult spring chinook and one jack chinook kept plus one steelhead released; 52 bank rods with two steelhead kept and one jack chinook released. (WDFW)

Lewis — Five bank rods and seven boaters with no catch. (WDFW)

North Fork Lewis — Six boaters with one adult spring chinook and one jack; 17 bank rods with one steelhead kept. (WDFW)

Wind — At the mouth, 771 boaters with 252 adult spring chinook and 11 jacks kept along with 24 sturgeon released; four bank rods with two spring chinook kept. In the gorge, seven bank rods with four chinook kept, four boaters with no catch.(WDFW)

Drano Lake — Sixty-five bank rods with 11 spring chinook kept; 326 boaters with 100 adult spring chinook and one jack chinook kept plus one adult chinook and one sturgeon released. (WDFW)

Klickitat — Sixty-one bank rods with 22 adult spring chinook and four jacks kept plus seven adult chinook released. (WDFW)

Merwin Reservoir — Two boaters with eight kokanee kept and four trout released.

Swift Reservoir — Four boaters with 18 trout and two landlocked coho.

Riffle Reservoir — Nine anglers with 37 landlocked coho. (WDFW)

Silver Lake — Twenty-five anglers with 18 bass, 44 trout, 24 crappie, three yellow perch, two channel catfish, nine carp and two grass carp. (WDFW)

Lower Willamette — Last week, 7,052 anglers with 824 spring chinook kept and 120 released. At Oregon City, 154 anglers were sampled with 679 shad. (ODFW)