Fishing Report, Dec. 7

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The fall salmon season is open from Buoy 10 upstream to the Oregon/Washington Border above McNary Dam (see Sport Fishing Regulation Updates page for retention details). Anglers are still catching a few coho in the Bonneville Pool.

White sturgeon retention is closed from Buoy 10 upstream to the Oregon/Washington Border above McNary Dam, but remains an option for catch-and-release fishing.

Walleye fishing is good in the John Day Pool and fair in The Dalles Pool.

Salmon/Steelhead

Cowlitz River — I-5 bridge. downstream: 7 bank rods had no catch. Upstream from the I-5 bridge: 54 bank rods kept 8 adult coho and released 7 adult coho and 1 cutthroat. No boat anglers were sampled.

River flows at Mayfield Dam are approximately 12,100 cubic feet per second on Dec. 4. Water visibility is two feet and water temperature is 47.5 degrees.

Kalama River — 7 bank anglers had no catch.

McNary Reservoir Steelhead Sport Fishery — The Columbia River from the McNary Dam to the Tri-Cities reopened for the harvest of steelhead on December 1. Anglers averaged 16 hours per steelhead, unfortunately most of the fish caught were wild, 71 of the 80 fish caught had to be turned back.

Hanford Reach Steelhead Sport Fishery (Hwy 395 – Hanford) — Steelhead fishing continues to be slow to fair in the lower Hanford Reach. Bank anglers averaged a steelhead for 20.1 hours of fishing. Boat anglers continue to do considerably better at 1.5 steelhead per boat (9.6 hours per fish).

Walleye

Bonneville Pool — Weekly checking showed one walleye kept for two boats (two anglers).

The Dalles Pool — Weekly checking showed one walleye kept and three walleye released for one bank anglers and eight walleye kept for seven boats (13 anglers).

John Day Pool — Weekly checking showed one walleye kept and 22 walleye released for five boats (ten anglers).

Comment sought

The Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission will hold a public hearing on proposals to simplify recreational fishing rules for Washington rivers, streams and lakes during its public meeting Thursday through Saturday in Olympia. Other issues will be addressed as well.

On Thursday, the commission is scheduled to convene for an informal discussion of administrative and operational issues in Room 175 of the Natural Resources Building, 1111 Washington St. SE in Olympia.

The special meeting will be followed by a two-day meeting Dec. 8-9 in Room 172 of the Natural Resources Building. The meeting is scheduled to begin at 8:30 a.m. on Friday. Saturday, the commission will re-convene at 7 a.m. with an executive session, followed by the regular public meeting at 8:30 a.m.

State fishery managers are proposing a package of simplified recreational fishing rules for Washington’s rivers, streams and lakes. The proposals are based upon general policies for freshwater species – such as trout, steelhead, bass, walleye, and panfish – that WDFW put forth for public review in September.

Fishery managers are scheduled to work on salmon fishing rules during 2018. They will address shellfishing regulations and rules for other saltwater fisheries in 2019.