Lower Columbia Spring Chinook Angling Effort
by Mark Yuasa
Here is the latest Lower Columbia River in-season catch and angler effort estimates by state Fish and Wildlife that continues to show a growing participation rate despite some mediocre action.
Effort increased quite a bit on the lower Columbia last week, but the catch rate dropped in the rising river. During March 16-22, anglers made 14,539 trips and caught 695 adult spring chinook (581 kept and 114 released) and 162 winter steelhead (53 kept and 109 released).
Based on the state fisheries data take from Visual Stock Identification sampling, upriver fish comprised 77 percent of the kept catch during this time.
From Feb. 1-March 22, there have been an estimated 30,450 angler trips with 972 adult spring chinook kept and 246 released.
Prior to the run update, the allocation of upriver fish (including release mortalities) for sport and non-tribal commercial fisheries will be 10,318 spring chinook below Bonneville Dam.
According to the data provided by Joy Hymer, a state Fish and Wildlife biologist, the best fishing and most angler effort 1,379 boats with 3,162 anglers (550 with 1,223 the week before) has come from the Woodland area with 172 springers kept (96 the week before) and 42 released (35).
Other places with good angling pressure is around the I-5 Bridge 1,234 with 3,019 (349 with 762) with 108 (28) caught and 38 (nine) released, and Vancouver area 1,158 with 2,446 (319 with 610) with 76 kept (six) and 25 released (three).
The Longview area saw 989 with 2,027 (371 with 758) with 87 (41) caught and four (three) released; downstream from Puget Island 867 with 1,831 (387 with 762) with 137 (62) caught and 22 (six) released; the Kalama stretch 642 with 1,359 (333 with 689) with 46 (46) caught and 21 (23) released; and Cathlamet 355 with 767 (204 with 408) with 72 (38) kept and 15 (17) released.
The Bonneville Dam fish counts show 642 counted at the fish ladder for the season. On March 25, 50 were counted; March 24, 56; March 23, 34; March 22, 30; and March 21, 58.
Hatchery spring chinook fishing below Bonneville Dam is open through April 10 -- but closed March 31 and April 7 -- with a daily limit of one hatchery-marked spring chinook. the river above Bonneville Dam is open through May 6, but won't gain steam until later in April. No recent report, but the steelhead fishing had been good on the Cowlitz.
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