State Fish and Wildlife Columbia River
by Mark Yuasa
Cowlitz River - 72 bank anglers kept with 3 steelhead and 3 coho kept. 49 boat anglers had 31 steelhead and 8 coho kept and 7 coho released.
During four days of operations at the Cowlitz Salmon Hatchery separator, last week Tacoma Power recovered:
During the past week Tacoma Power employees released:
Bonneville Pool - Boat and bank anglers are catching steelhead but all of the fish in the sample were wild and had to be released.
The Dalles Pool - No salmonid effort was observed.
John Day Pool - Bank anglers are catching some steelhead.
Hanford Reach - From Paul A. Hoffarth, WDFW District 4 Fish Biologist in Pasco:
During the month of December anglers landed 277 steelhead and harvested 214 hatchery steelhead in the Hanford Reach sport fishery. WDFW estimates 967 anglers fished in December and 3,312 anglers since the fishery opened on October 1.
Anglers are averaging a steelhead for every 12 hours of fishing, slightly better by boat (9 hours/fish) than bank (15 hours/fish) but just a little slower fishing than in November. Fishing has been very spotty - good one day, slow the next but good overall compared to prior years.
Harvest this December was the best on record dating back to 2003. This season 87% of the fish caught during the fishery have been hatchery clipped fish. The majority of the fish caught have been Ringold Springs Hatchery released steelhead (adipose + right ventral fin clipped).
An estimated 949 hatchery steelhead have been harvested since the fishery opened on October 1. Total catch including fish released is 1,210 steelhead.
Ringold Springs Hatchery staff collected and transported all the hatchery steelhead captured at the trap this fall and released them back into the river in the Tri-cities to give anglers another opportunity to catch these returning adults. These “recycled” fish are marked (caudal clipped) prior to release. Of the 949 fish harvested since October 1, a total of 188 (20%) were previously captured at the trap and released.
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