Spring chinook catches are improving in the lower Columbia and lower Willamette rivers.
The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife sampled 663 salmon anglers with 33 adult spring chinook during the first six days of March.
By comparison, during the same week in 2015 only four adult chinook were checked. In 2014, no spring chinook had been sampled through the first week of March.
The best success is the lower portion of the river, plus near Woodland.
Most of the chinook sampled are of Willamette, Cowlitz, Kalama or Lewis origin.
An estimated 151 spring chinook were kept in February, the largest for the month since 2011.
In the Willamette River downstream of the St. Johns Bridge, including Multnomah Channel, Oregon sampled 953 boaters with 59 spring chinook kept and seven released.
• Spring chinook fishing opens Wednesday in the Wind River from the boundary markers upstream to the state Highway 14 bridge. The daily limit is two hatchery chinook, two hatchery steelhead or one of each. Barbed hooks may be used.
The Wind is closed to all fishing from state Highway 14 to 400 feet downstream of Shipherd Falls from Wednesday through March 31. Angling then opens for hatchery chinook and hatchery steelhead on April 1.
• Drano Lake at the mouth of the Little White Salmon River opens Wednesday. It too has a limit of two hatchery chinook, two hatchery steelhead or one of each. Barbed hooks are allowed.
• The Columbia from Bonneville Dam to the Washington-Oregon border opens Wednesday. The limit is two hatchery steelhead or one hatchery chinook and one hatchery steelhead.
Fishing from a boat is not allowed from Bonneville Dam to the Tower Island power lines near The Dalles. Bank fishing is open in this stretch, but only with hand-casted lines..
• Kokanee fishing is a bust at Merwin Reservoir. The lake has about 18 inches of visibility. Only four trailers were in the Speelyai Bay parking lot on Sunday morning.
• Walleye fishing remains excellent at the upper end of The Dalles pool, with a catch average of more than 2.5 fish per rod, including fish released. More than 1,200 walleye have been tallied during creel sampling this year.
Angler checks and related information from the Washington (WDFW) and Oregon departments of Fish and Wildlife:
Lower Columbia — Downstream of Puget Island, 55 boaters with 16 adult spring chinook kept. (WDFW)
• Cathlamet, four bank rods and two boaters with no salmon or steelhead. (WDFW)
• Longview, 30 boaters with no catch; 54 bank rods with one steelhead kept. (WDFW)
• Cowlitz River mouth, eight boaters with no catch. (WDFW)
• Kalama, 39 boaters and eight bank rods with no salmon or steelhead. (WDFW)
• Woodland, 54 bank rods with no catch; 211 boaters with 16 adult spring chinook and one steelhead kept plus one steelhead released. (WDFW)
• Warrior Rock to Kelley Point, 134 boaters and 11 bank rods with no salmon or steelhead. (WDFW)
• Davis Bar to Portland airport tower, 26 boaters and seven bank rods with no catch. (WDFW)
• Camas-Washougal, three boaters with no catch. (WDFW)
• North Bonneville, 17 bank rods with one adult spring chinook and one steelhead released. (WDFW)
Mid-Columbia — The Dalles pool, 134 boaters with 274 walleye kept and 73 released; 22 boaters with one legal sturgeon kept plus 19 sublegals released; 29 bank rods with one oversize and one sublegal released. (WDFW)
• John Day pool, 50 boaters with one legal sturgeon kept plus three sublegals released; 17 bank rods with no sturgeon; 112 boaters with 120 walleye kept and 31 released; four boaters with three bass kept and 19 released.
Cowlitz — Thirty-eight boaters with 27 hatchery steelhead kept and one jack spring chinook released; 59 bank rods with three hatchery spring chinook and nine hatchery winter steelhead kept.
Most of the steelhead came near the trout hatchery and the samon near the barrier dam. Water visibility is 4 feet. The salmon hatchery collected 226 winter steelhead and five adult spring chinook in five days of operation last week. (WDFW)
Kalama — Eleven boaters with three hatchery steelhead kept and two wild steelhead released; 50 bank rods with two hatchery steelhead kept and one wild steelhead released. (WDFW)
Lewis — One bank rod with one wild steelhead released. Beginning today, all chinook must be released. (WDFW)
East Fork Lewis — Ten bank rods with two wild steelhead and one whitefish released. Tuesday is the final day to fish for hatchery steelhead in the East Fork of the Lewis. (WDFW)
Washougal — Tuesday is the final day to fish for hatchery steelhead.