Prospects are encouraging for Saturday’s six-hour smelt dipping season in the lower Cowlitz River.
On Wednesday afternoon, steady streams of smelt were observed along the bank in the Kelso area, although none were observed in the Castle Rock area.
According to the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, the three delivery reports the agency had by Wednesday showed the commercials averaging 100 pounds of smelt.
Sport dipping in the Cowlitz is from the bank only between 7 a.m. and 1 p.m. Saturday. Each dipper may retain 10 pounds of smelt, which is about a one-quarter of a five-gallon bucket.
All other Washington waters remain closed to smelt fishing.
• The first confirmed spring chinook of 2016 has been caught. It was taken on a herring in the Prescott area. Prescott is on the Oregon side north of Kalama.
• Sunday is the final day of the early sturgeon retention season in the Bonneville pool of the Columbia Gorge. Catch-and-release angling will be allowed.
A one- or two-day retention season is likely in mid-June, depending on how may sturgeon remain on the 325-fish allocation.
• Walleye fishing has ramped up in The Dalles and John Day pools. Boaters average 3.5 walleye per rod (including fish released) in The Dalles pool last weekend.
• Catchable-size rainbow trout have been stocked in Spearfish Lake in Klickitat County plus Sacajawea, Silver and Kress lakes in Cowlitz County. Spearfish got almost 1,500. Silver Lake received 3,000 trout. Kress got 2,000 and Lake Sacajawea got 2,500.
Spearfish also was stocked with 133 large brood stock rainbow trout and Rowland Lake got 86.
Angler checks from the Department of Fish and Wildlife:
Mid-Columbia — Bonneville pool, 98 boaters with 14 legal sturgeon kept plus three legal, three oversize and 265 sublegals released; 44 bank rods with 14 sublegal sturgeon released.
• The Dalles pool, 24 boaters with two legal sturgeon kept plus 21 sublegals released; 25 boaters with 82 walleye kept and five released; two bank rods with six walleye kept and two released.
• John Day pool, 31 boaters with two oversize and eight sublegal sturgeon released; 35 boaters with 11 walleye kept and five released.