It’s pretty much the doldrums season for angling in Southwest Washington, past the peak of the hatchery winter steelhead run and too early for most of the wild steelhead.
A month from now still will be too early for spring chinook, not that common sense applies when spring salmon are involved. After all, someone has to catch the first fish of the season.
Washington and Oregon adopted spring chinook fishing rules for 2014 on Wednesday.
The river downstream of Interstate 5 is open daily. The Columbia between I-5 and Beacon Rock will be open for boats and bank rods daily beginning March 1. The stretch between Beacon Rock and Bonneville Dam will be open beginning March 1 for bank rods only.
State biologists project the sport allocation for the lower Columbia will be filled by about April 7, but several factors will influence the closure date.
Sturgeon retention in Bonneville pool resumes on Saturday and continues through Feb. 17 or until another 300 to 350 fish are taken.
Angler checks from the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife:
Mid-Columbia — The Dalles pool, 20 boaters with two legal sturgeon kept and 59 sublegals released; 10 boaters with two hatchery steelhead kept and 11 wild steelhead released; one bank rod with two walleye kept and one released.
John Day pool, 18 bank rods with no sturgeon; 30 boaters with two sublegal sturgeon released; three boaters with two hatchery steelhead kept and three wild fish released; five boaters with four walleye kept. (WDFW)
Washougal — Twenty-eight bank rods with one hatchery steelhead kept and three wild steelhead released; one boater with one wild steelhead released. The wild fish were very bright 4- to 7-pounders.