Outdoors blog: No gillnetting on Tuesday

By Al Thomas, Columbian Outdoors Reporter



There will be no Columbia River Compact hearing today (Monday) and no gillnet fishery on Tuesday.

Eighteen test-fishing drifts on Sunday in the Wahkiakum and Cowlitz county portions of the lower Columbia caught 10 spring chinook and nine steelhead, numbers not conducive to full-fleet fishery.

Two of the chinook caught were lower Columbia hatchery-origin salmon. Eight were destined for waters upstream of Bonneville Dam. Among those eight, six were hatchery origin.

Five of the nine steelhead were wild.

Test fishing will occur again March 31. The lower Columbia is closed to sport-fishing on Tuesday even though there will not be a net fishery.

Twelve spring chinook were counted on Friday, bringing the total for the year to 123 adults and one jack, plus 1,217 steelhead. The chinook total through March 22 in 2012 was 29. The 10-year average cumulative count through March 22 is 888.

SPORT FISHING RESULTS — Washington sampled 2,209 anglers with 104 spring chinook and two steelhead. Our calculator tells us that is a chinook per 21 rods. Oregon officials are speculating that the big run of smelt in the lower Columbia is contributing to the poor catches.

The boater check between Warrior Rock and Kelley Point was 336 rods with five spring chinook kept and two released. Between Davis Bar and Portland airport, the numbers were 795 boaters with 32 spring chinook kept and 12 released, At Camas-Washougal, 67 boaters were sampled with two spring chinook.

Some spring chinook were caught off the bank at Bonneville Dam.

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