Fishing Report, Nov. 30

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The fall salmon season is open from Buoy 10 upstream to the Oregon/Washington Border above McNary Dam and anglers are still catching a few coho in the Bonneville Pool.

Bonneville Pool (Bonneville Dam upstream to The Dalles Dam): Weekly checking showed 15 adult coho kept, plus one Chinook and adult coho released for 10 boats (22 anglers).

North Fork Lewis River: 10 bank and 4 boat rods had no catch. Flows below Merwin Dam are currently 11,600 cfs, nearly twice the long-term mean for this date.

Under permanent rules, effective December 1 the night closure and anti-snagging rules will no longer be in effect from Johnson Creek (below the salmon hatchery) upstream to Colvin Creek (above the salmon hatchery).

Cowlitz River: From the I-5 Bridge downstream: 11 bank rods had no catch. No boat anglers were sampled. Upstream from the I-5 Bridge: 18 bank rods kept 1 jack and 8 adult coho and released 7 adult coho. 1 boat rod had no catch.

Under permanent rules, the night closure and anti-snagging rule is lifted from Mill Creek upstream to the Barrier Dam effective Dec. 1.

Mainstem Grays from the mouth upstream to the Hwy. 4 Bridge and West Fork from 300 yards below the salmon hatchery road bridge upstream to the hatchery intake/footbridge — Effective November 16, the night closure, anti-snagging rules, and stationary gear rule restrictions are no longer be in effect.

Mainstem Grays from Hwy. 4 Bridge upstream to the South Fork and West Fork Grays River from mouth upstream to 300 yards below hatchery road bridge – Opens to fishing for hatchery steelhead, hatchery coho, and adipose and/or ventral fin clipped Chinook beginning December 1.

Dec. 1 closings

Many rivers and streams in Southwest Washington will close to retention of hatchery steelhead and salmon on Dec. 1st. These include the main stem Toutle River, the Green River, Outlet Creek, and sections of the South Fork Toutle River.

Mill Creek (tributary to Cowlitz River) — Beginning December 1, opens to fishing for hatchery steelhead, hatchery sea run cutthroats, and hatchery salmon from the mouth to the salmon hatchery road crossing culvert. Selective gear rules, night closures and anti-snagging rules will be in effect for this one month fishery.

Two sport records fall

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) confirmed that two state sport fish records fell during one late September weekend.

Mike Benoit of Gig Harbor set a new state record for the largest opah caught off the coast of Washington on Sept. 23. The 37.98-pound fish measured 32.5 inches. Benoit was live bait fishing with anchovies out of Westport.

Then, on Sept. 24, Erik Holcomb of Lynden set a new state record for the largest blue shark. The 49.5-pound fish measured 71 inches. Holcomb was also live bait fishing with anchovies out of Westport.

Waterfowl Report

Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge: Hunters averaged 1.7 birds per hunter for the week of November 20 through November 26. 105 hunters took 144 ducks and 32 geese over two days.

Blind #9 was the best for the week, giving up 22 ducks on Nov. 21 and a total of 26 ducks for the week. Blinds # 5, 8 and 12 also did well. Blind # 15 was tops for geese, with 9 birds harvested there on Nov. 25.