Fishing report 3/20

By Allen Thomas, Columbian outdoors reporter



Spring chinook angling in the lower Columbia River is beginning to show signs of life.

Not much, but a tiny bit.

Catch rates remain awful.The river still is high and not very clear, but test fishing on Sunday indicates there are at least a few salmon around.

Sixteen test drifts in Wahkiakum and Cowlitz counties on Sunday with 4.25-inch tangle nets caught 16 spring chinook and 25 steelhead.

Among the spring chinook 12 were lower Columbia origin and four were upper Columbia fish. Twelve of the fish were fin-clipped. Seventeen of the 25 steelhead were fin-clipped.

State officials estimate that through Sunday there have been 7,200 fishing trips in the lower Columbia with 40 spring chinook kept and 23 released.

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife finally checked a kept fish from the Columbia on Monday. Two spring chinook were sampled Wednesday in the Cowlitz River and one in the Columbia River at Washougal.

At Bonneville Dam on Wednesday, the Columbia was 44 degrees and running at 260,000 cubic feet per second. The cumulative count of adult spring chinook is a whopping six.

Angling downstream of Bonneville Dam is closed on Tuesday and again on April 1 in case there is a commercial fishery set.

Oregon sampled 140 anglers in the lower Willamette and Multnomah Channel with no spring chinook.

Kokanee trolling is slow overall at Merwin Reservoir, but at times there are brief bites when anglers get fish.

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

Lower Columbia — Tongue Point to Wauna power lines, eight boaters with no catch. (ODFW)

Clatsop Spit to Wauna power lines, five bank rods with no catch. (ODFW)

Cathlamet, six bank rods and 16 boaters with no spring chinook. (WDFW)

Longview, 38 bank rods and 58 boaters with no spring chinook. (WDFW)

Kalama, 23 bank rods with one spring chinook released; 36 boaters with no catch; three bank rods with no sturgeon; six boaters with 10 legal and 15 sublegal sturgeon released. (WDFW)

Woodland, 74 bank rods and 33 boaters with no salmon. (WDFW)

Warrior Rock to Kelley Point, 66 bank rods and 148 boaters with no salmon or steelhead. (WDFW)

Westport, Ore., to Portland, 294 boaters with three adult spring chinook kept; 217 Oregon bank rods with four adult spring chinook and three hatchery steelhead kept plus two spring chinook and four steelhead released. (ODFW)

Davis Bar to Portland airport tower, 104 boaters with no salmon or steelhead. (WDFW)

Troutdale, 49 boaters with no catch. (ODFW)

Camas-Washougal, five bank rods and 20 boaters with no salmon or steelhead. (WDFW)

North Bonneville, 27 bank rods with no catch. (WDFW)

Mid-Columbia — The Dalles pool, 54 boaters with 91 walleye kept and 20 released; 19 bank rods with no sturgeon; 19 boaters with two legal sturgeon kept plus 21 sublegals released. (WDFW)

John Day pool, 39 boaters with one walleye kept and three released; 47 bank rods with three sturgeon kept plus 11 sublegals released; 51 boat rods with seven legal sturgeon kept plus one oversize and 24 sublegals released. (WDFW)

Cowlitz — Twenty-one boaters with six hatchery steelhead kept; 33 bank rods with three hatchery steelhead. (WDFW)

Washougal — The river is closed to all fishing. During the final few days of the winter season, 14 bank rods were checked with one hatchery steelhead kept and five wild steelhead released, while 18 boaters released 16 wild steelhead.

Merwin Reservoir — Two boaters with eight kokanee kept and one landlocked chinook released.

Klineline Pond — Nine bank rods with four rainbow trout. The trout were caught in the swimming area by fishermen using Power Bait. (WDFW)

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