Word on Lower Columbia River
by Mark Yuasa
The summer chinook, steelhead and sockeye sport fishery continues to lure plenty of attention in the Lower Columbia River, but the sturgeon fishery is just lagging on at a snails pace.
From June 16-July 5, there were an estimated 36,954 salmon angler trips below Bonneville Dam that produced 2,154 adult summer chinook kept and 1,028 released.
In addition, there were also an estimated 2,759 steelhead kept and 1,315 released, plus 135 sockeye kept and 1,025 released.
Through July 5, there's been an estimated 25,769 sturgeon angler trips below the Wauna powerlines with 3,503 legal sturgeon kept.
The projection through July 11 is there will have been an estimated 28,267 angler trips with 3,905 legal sturgeon kept.
The catch guideline for the season is 9,600 fish.
Catch rates for legal size fish improved for Ilwaco charter boat anglers, but declined for private boaters at the ports of Chinook and Ilwaco last week. In all, 41-percent of the charter boat anglers took home a legal size sturgeon while private boaters averaged one per every 12 rods. If an angler is lucky enough to catch a fish, there was a 29-percent chance it would be legal size.
Fisheries managers will review the catch data after July 11 to determine if additional fishing opportunity is available under the catch guideline.
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