Salmon fishing around Buoy 10 at the mouth of the Columbia River was reportedly very slow Tuesday and Wednesday. Anglers faced foggy conditions Tuesday, followed by wind and rain on a sloppy Wednesday. The bite was reported very poor, with strong ebb tides in the mornings.
It appears that most of the fish are still out in the ocean and have not yet begun crossing the buoy line into the Columbia.
The Washington Department of Fishing and Wildlife reported over the weekend: 90 boats at Buoy 10 on Saturday with 254 anglers, 33 chinook kept and 90 coho kept; 97 boats Sunday with 283 anglers, 26 chinook kept and 173 coho kept; and 87 boats Monday with 216 anglers, 34 chinook kept and 115 coho kept.
More coho have entered the Buoy 10 catch with Monday's port of Chinook/Ilwaco check averaging two fish per boat. One in 3-4 boats sampled had kept a chinook. In the Lower Columbia mainstem below Bonneville Dam, steelhead still comprise the bulk of the catch.
WDFW angler checks:
Cowlitz River — Boat anglers averaged a steelhead kept per rod. Most of the fish were caught at the trout hatchery and near the mouth. Bank anglers are also catching some summer run steelhead and the trout and salmon hatcheries.
During five days of operations at the Cowlitz Salmon Hatchery separator, last week Tacoma Power recovered 1,336 summer-run steelhead; 89 spring Chinook adults, 42 jacks, 156 mini-jacks; four fall Chinook adult; and two cutthroat trout
During the past week Tacoma Power employees released 87 spring Chinook adults and 41 jacks into the Cispus River above the mouth of Yellow Jacket Creek; 136 spring Chinook mini-jacks into Riffe Lake at Mossyrock Park; four fall Chinook adults into the Tilton River at Gust Backstrom Park in Morton; and 200 summer-run steelhead were recycled downstream to the Interstate-5 boat launch.
Wind River — Boat and bank anglers are catching some steelhead, 75 percent of which were wild and had to be released. Effort is light with only four boats observed there yesterday.
Drano Lake — Including fish released, boat anglers averaged a fish per rod, but about two-third were wild steelhead and had to be released. Fifty boats counted there Monday.