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For Best Springtime Chinook, Head South

by Mark Yuasa
Seattle Times, April 3, 2008

The Columbia River spring chinook fishery remains the top pick of the week with turnout and catches being some of the best seen in years.

"It has been rocking for spring chinook," said Joe Hymer, a state Fish and Wildlife biologist. "We've seen lots of fishing trips [36,124 angler trips from Buoy 10 to Bonneville Dam from March 16-31], and a high catch [4,441 fish kept and 680 released], which is the third-highest catch in the month of March since 1993."

Some of the best sport catches have been coming from the Beaches Restaurant downstream to the railroad bridge off Hayden Island and Vancouver.

"The Marine Park ramp check was better than a fish-per-boat average, and fishing was still good this week in the Vancouver area," Hymer said.

Fishing also picked up around Cathlamet, Davis Bar, Longview, below Bonneville and the Camas-Washougal area.

There was a commercial gill-net fishery with 24 boats on Tuesday from Vancouver upstream with most of the effort occurring above Camas. Each boat averaged about two fish per drift.

"The commercial fishery takes a little chunk of the catch out, but there are plenty of newly arriving fish in the river," Hymer said. "The dam fish counts at Bonneville are off to a slow start [199 fish through April 1], and the water is cooler but we aren't quite sure why the fish aren't moving up."

The portion of the Lower Columbia from the west power lines on Hayden Island to Buoy 10 is open only through tomorrow, but the river from the Hayden west power lines up to McNary Dam is open for fishing beyond that.

The Wind River and Drano Lake are open daily, but fishing has been slow. The Klickitat River is open Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays.

Related Pages:
Survival of Snake River Salmon & Steelhead data compiled by, July 2004

Mark Yuasa
For Best Springtime Chinook, Head South
Seattle Times, April 3, 2008

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