Fishing report 4/18

By Allen Thomas, Columbian outdoors reporter

Published:

 

Spring chinook fishing is staying closed in the lower Columbia despite state biologists estimating only 72 percent of the early-season sport allocation has been caught.

And that was after the extra week extension.

The commercials didn’t have a big day on April 9 either, catching only 56 percent of their allocation.

But with catch-per-effort in both fisheries below expectations, and the so-so Bonneville Dam count, it’s a waiting game until the spring run forecast is updated in May.

Fishing in the mid-Columbia pools hasn’t been much either, with 21 spring chinook out of an allocation of 658 caught through April 7. A joint state hearing to address the mid-Columbia — scheduled to close on May 6 — may happen in early May.

The cumulative count at Bonneville through Tuesday was 1,903 adult chinook. That compares to 622 a year ago.

With the Columbia off-limits, attention turns to the lower Willamette River or Wind River and Drano Lake in the Columbia Gorge.

The Willamette River never did get as muddy as projected last week. The gauge at the Morrison Bridge in Portland indicates more the 4 feet of visibility.

Oregon officials estimate there were 6,430 boat angler trips in the lower Willamette last week with a kept catch of 626 chinook and 93 salmon released.

Four Southwest Washington lakes have been stocked with half-pound rainbow trout.

Battle Ground Lake received 2,300 trout, Horseshoe Lake in Woodland got 3,250, Kress Lake near Kalama got 2,550 and Lake Sacajawea in Longview was planted with more than 7,300.

Steelhead fishing has resumed in the lower stretches of the East Fork of the Lewis and Washougal.

The East Fork is open from the mouth to the upper boat ramp at Lewisville Park, while the Washougal is open from the mouth to the Mount Norway Bridge. Through June 7, single barbless hooks must be used and no bait is allowed

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

Lower Columbia — Longview to Portland, 109 boaters with five legal sturgeon kept plus 140 sublegal sturgeon released. (ODFW)

Mid-Columbia — Bonneville pool, four bank rods with no spring chinook or steelhead. (WDFW)

The Dalles pool, 12 boaters with two walleye kept and one released; 53 bank rods with four spring chinook kept and one released; 20 bank rods with 13 sublegal sturgeon released; four boaters with one sublegal sturgeon released. (WDFW)

John Day pool, four boaters with seven bass kept and 21 released; 16 boaters with five walleye kept and one released; 32 boaters with 15 sublegal sturgeon released; 20 bank rods with three sublegal sturgeon released. (WDFW)

Wind — Seven boaters with no spring chinook, although there are reports of a few fish being caught. (WDFW)

Drano Lake — Thirty-seven boaters with four spring chinook; 14 bank rods with one spring chinook. The lake is closed on Wednesdays through June. Also though June, only bank fishing is allowed from the most eastern pillar of the Highway 14 Bridge to a marker on the north shore. (WDFW)