Steelhead Slow to Show
by Rich Landers
FISHING -- There's not much to report since the Columbia River from McNary Dam upstream to U.S. 395 opened for the harvest of hatchery steelhead on June 16.
"The fishery has been very slow for effort and harvest over the past two weeks," said Paul Hoffarth, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife biologist in the Tri Cities.
The agency began monitoring the fishery on Aug. 1. As of Monday, staff had interviewed two boats (four anglers) along with four bank anglers. No steelhead or salmon were harvested.
"There have been an estimated 95 angler trips for steelhead the first half of August," Hoffarth said.
Fall chinook counts over Bonneville are on the rise and a large return (in excess of 200,000) is expected to return to the Hanford Reach this fall, he said. "Currently, steelhead are returning in very low numbers, well below the 10-year average."
"On Aug. 1, the fall salmon regulations went into effect from McNary Dam upstream to Hwy 395. This year's regulations allow anglers to retain two adult salmon or hatchery steelhead until Nov. 1.
See the Washington Sport Fishing Rules for more details.
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