Fishing report 2/20

By Allen Thomas, Columbian outdoors reporter



Saturday will be the third opportunity to dip smelt in the Cowlitz River. More dippers were out last week than during the snow storm, but no smelt were sampled.

Dipping is allowed from 6 a.m. to noon and only from the bank.

The Columbia is about 38 degrees, while the Cowlitz is 43 degrees.

Smelt prefer water temperatures around 42 degrees.

Washington and Oregon officials will meet at 1 p.m. today to consider reopening the Bonneville pool for sturgeon retention.

Through Sunday, the catch is 183 sturgeon. State officials plan to split the 1,100 fish allocation roughly equal between the winter and a brief summer season in mid-June. Catches were poor last weekend.

Battle Ground Lake has been planted with 1,500 rainbow trout averaging nearly a half pound.

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

Lower Columbia — Eleven Oregon bank rods with one wild steelhead released. (WDFW)

Mid-Columbia — Bonneville pool, 44 boaters with seven legal sturgeon kept and 164 sublegals released; 44 bank rods with 32 sublegal sturgeon released; three boaters with no walleye. (WDFW)

The Dalles pool, four boaters with no sturgeon; 11 bank rods with one sublegal released; three boaters and one bank rod with no walleye. (WDFW)

John Day pool, 23 boats with one oversize and two sublegals released; 38 bank rods with one legal sturgeon kept and two sublegals released; 13 boaters with five walleye kept and one released. (WDFW)

Washougal — Six boaters with two hatchery steelhead kept and five wild steelhead released; nine bank rods with one steelhead released. (WDFW)

Streamflow on Wednesday afternoon was dropping but still dirty and a high 4,500 cubic feet per second.

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