Columbia River Fishing at It's Best
For the Love of Columbia River Springers
Sturgeon Fishing on the Columbia
previous arrow
next arrow
Slider
 
Author: Editorial Staff

Another brief opening planned for Columbia River spring chinook fishery below Bonneville Dam

No Comments

Photo of Columbia River Fishing Guide Daniel St. Laurent


 

OLYMPIA – A section of the lower Columbia River will again reopen for two days of recreational spring chinook salmon fishing beginning Saturday, April 20, state fishery managers announced today.
 

The initial spring chinook fishing period from Bonneville Dam downriver to Warrior Rock closed at midnight Wednesday, April 10, then reopened for two days on April 13 and 14 based on catch and run estimates at that time.
 

This weekend’s opening comes after fishery managers from Washington and Oregon evaluated additional information collected from the recreational fishery, said Bill Tweit, special assistant with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife. Staff will continue to closely monitor the run as it progresses.
 

“With updated catch estimates still well below the expected harvest numbers, we feel comfortable reopening this section of river for another round of weekend fishing,” Tweit said. “Water levels are still high but are starting to stabilize, which may provide improved fishing opportunity.”
 

The fishery will reopen for spring chinook on April 20 and 21 on the Columbia River upstream from the Warrior Rock boundary line to Bonneville Dam. The lower river downstream from Warrior Rock remains closed to fishing for salmon, steelhead, and shad.
 

Anglers may retain one adult chinook and one adult steelhead, or two adult steelhead, per day. Only hatchery fish may be retained.
 

Waters above Bonneville Dam to the Oregon/Washington state line above McNary Dam remain open to salmon fishing through May 5.
 

Anglers are reminded that the use of barbless hooks is required when fishing for salmon and steelhead in these areas.

 

 


 

Short reopening scheduled for Columbia River spring chinook fishery below Bonneville Dam

No Comments

Photo courtesy of Columbia River Fishing Adventures


 

OLYMPIA – A section of the lower Columbia River will reopen for recreational spring chinook fishing for two days beginning Saturday, April 13th, state fishery managers announced.
 
The initial spring chinook fishing period from Bonneville Dam downriver to Warrior Rock ended at midnight Wednesday, April 10. But with less than half of the expected harvest of 3,689 upriver spring chinook salmon reeled in so far, additional opportunity remains available to anglers, and fishery managers from Washington and Oregon agreed to reopen the area to fishing for one more weekend from April 13th-14th.
 
“Given the low forecast, we’re closely monitoring this run,” said Bill Tweit, special assistant for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife. “We’re going to meet our conservation objectives and work within our means to provide harvest opportunities.”
 
Tweit noted that cold spring temperatures and recent heavy rains may have also contributed to slow fishing in recent weeks.
 
The fishery will reopen for spring chinook over the weekend on the Columbia River upstream from the Warrior Rock boundary line to Bonneville Dam. The lower river downstream from Warrior Rock remains closed to fishing for salmon, steelhead, and shad.
 
Anglers may retain two adult salmon, two steelhead, or one of each per day, but only one salmon may be a chinook. Only hatchery fish may be retained.
 
Waters above Bonneville Dam to the Oregon/Washington state line above McNary Dam remain open to salmon fishing through May 5th.
 
Anglers are reminded that the use of barbless hooks is required when fishing for salmon and steelhead in these areas.

 

 


 

States Projection low spring chinook returns and constrain Columbia River fishing seasons

No Comments

 

VANCOUVER, Wash. – Fishery managers from Washington and Oregon today approved a sports fishery, for spring chinook salmon on the Columbia River that reflects a significant reduction in the number of fish available for harvest this year.

According to preseason projections, about 99,300 upriver spring chinook will reach the Columbia this year, down 14 percent from last year and 50 percent below the 10-year average. Those fish return to hatcheries and spawning areas upriver from Bonneville Dam.

In addition, fishery managers are also expecting much lower returns than last year to several major lower Columbia River tributaries, particularly the Cowlitz and Lewis rivers. On the Cowlitz, this year’s spring chinook run is projected to reach just 11 percent of the 10-year average and fall short of meeting hatchery production goals.

Ryan Lothrop, Columbia River policy coordinator for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW), said those projections are largely the result of poor ocean conditions, which have complicated fisheries management in recent years.

“Anglers will still find some good fishing opportunities in the Columbia River Basin this spring, but conservation has to be our first concern,” Lothrop said. “We have a responsibility to protect salmon runs listed under the federal Endangered Species Act and get enough fish back to the spawning grounds and hatcheries to support future runs.”

Although salmon fishing is currently open from the mouth of the Columbia River to the Interstate-5 bridge, spring chinook usually don’t arrive in large numbers until mid-to-late March. The new fishing regulations approved today will take effect in the following areas:

  • Columbia River below Bonneville Dam: Salmon fishing will open March 1 through April 10 on the Columbia River upstream from Warrior Rock boundary line to Bonneville Dam. Anglers may retain two salmon, two steelhead, or one of each per day, but only one salmon may be a chinook. The lower river downstream from Warrior Rock will be closed to fishing from March 1 through April 10 to conserve spring chinook returning to the Cowlitz and Lewis rivers.
  • Tributaries: The Cowlitz and Lewis rivers will also close to salmon fishing March 1 to conserve spring chinook for hatchery escapement needs, but will remain open for hatchery steelhead retention. The Kalama River will remain open to fishing for salmon and steelhead, but the daily limit of adult salmon will be reduced to one fish on March 1.
  • Columbia River above Bonneville Dam: Waters above Bonneville Dam to the Oregon/Washington state line above McNary Dam will open to salmon fishing April 1 through May 5. Anglers may retain two salmon, two steelhead, or one of each per day, but only one salmon may be a chinook.

In all open waters, only hatchery salmon and steelhead identified by a clipped adipose fin and healed scar may be retained.

Along with new area restrictions in the lower Columbia, fishery managers also reduced initial harvest limits for upriver spring chinook returning to the upper Columbia and Snake rivers. If those fish return as projected, anglers in the Columbia and Snake rivers will be limited to a total of 4,548 fish, compared to 9,052 last year, prior to a run size updated in May.

Lothrop noted that this year’s projected return of 99,300 upriver spring chinook is the lowest since 2007, but still well above the record-low return of just 12,800 fish in 1995.

“Experience has shown that warm-water ocean conditions present a challenge to salmon survival,” he said. “As in the 1990s, we have observed that cyclical warming effect during the past few years with similar results. During these times, we have to be especially cautious in how we manage the fishery.”

Anglers are strongly advised to review the rules for the waters they plan to fish, available on the department’s website at https://fortress.wa.gov/dfw/erules/efishrules/

WDFW is the primary state agency tasked with preserving, protecting and perpetuating fish and wildlife and ecosystems while providing sustainable fishing and hunting opportunities.

 


 

WDFW Commission to take public input on hatchery reform and salmon management policies

No Comments

 

OLYMPIA – The Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission will take public input on various topics – including hatchery reform, salmon management in Grays Harbor and Willapa Bay, and several land transactions – during an upcoming meeting in Olympia.

The commission, a citizen panel appointed by the governor to set policy for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW), will meet Feb. 8-9 in Room 172 of the Natural Resources Building, 1111 Washington St. SE, Olympia. The meeting will begin at 8 a.m. both days.

A full agenda is available online at https://wdfw.wa.gov/commission/meetings.html.

WDFW staff will provide an update on a review of the state’s hatchery and fishery reform policy, which is intended to improve hatchery effectiveness, ensure compatibility between hatchery production and salmon recovery plans, and support sustainable fisheries. Staff will discuss the process they will use to review the policy and the science behind it. The public will have the opportunity to comment during the Friday meeting.

WDFW fish managers will also provide an update on the progress of the Willapa Bay Salmon Management Policy comprehensive review. That policy, approved by the commission in 2015, prioritizes recreational chinook fisheries in Willapa Bay while focusing commercial fishery opportunities on coho and chum salmon. 

To meet conservation objectives, WDFW requires the release of any wild chinook salmon in these fisheries and manages fishing seasons to hold mortality rates for those fish within a prescribed limit. WDFW staff will seek guidance from the commission on priorities for the 2019-20 season.

Also at the meeting, state fishery managers will provide an overview of last year’s salmon fisheries in Grays Harbor, including an assessment of harvest levels and conformance with conservation objectives.

After staff presentations, the commission will take public input on both the Willapa Bay and Grays Harbor policies.

In other business, commissioners will consider three transactions, including the acquisition of 1,100 acres to protect waterfowl habitat in Grays Harbor County, an 80-acre conservation easement to protect Mazama pocket gopher habitat in Thurston County, and an easement to Ferry County for wellhead protection.

Additionally, the commission is scheduled to take action on proposed wildlife-rehabilitation rules and will hear a briefing on the Lower Columbia River sturgeon population and proposed 2019 fisheries.

 

 


 

Washington, Oregon fish and wildlife commissioners will meet to discuss Columbia River salmon reform

No Comments

 

OLYMPIA – The public is invited to attend a meeting scheduled this month by members of the Washington and Oregon fish and wildlife commissions to discuss next steps in reforming salmon management on the Columbia River.

The meeting is set for Jan. 17 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission Room, 4034 Fairview Industrial Dr. S.E. in Salem, Ore. The public is welcome to observe the discussion, but will not have an opportunity to comment during the meeting.

The Joint-State Columbia River Salmon Fishery Policy Review Committee, which includes three members of each state’s commission, was formed to renew efforts to achieve management goals for Columbia River fisheries endorsed by both states in 2013.

The three delegates to the workgroup from the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission are commissioners David Graybill from Chelan County, Bob Kehoe from King County, and Don McIsaac from Clark County. The commission is a citizen panel appointed by the governor to set policy for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW).

WDFW recently finalized its five-year performance review of the 2013 fishery reform policy, which called for reforms ranging from requirements that anglers use barbless hooks to a phase-out of commercial gillnets in the main channel of the Columbia River. While the performance review noted progress on some issues, expectations have not been met in a variety of other key areas, said Ryan Lothrop, WDFW Columbia River policy coordinator.

“This new effort is designed to find common ground on strategies for improving fishery management in the Columbia River,” Lothrop said. “Having different policies in joint waters of the Columbia River makes it very difficult to manage and implement fisheries.”

Washington’s Comprehensive Evaluation of the Columbia River Basin Salmon Management Policy is available on WDFW’s website at https://wdfw.wa.gov/publications/02029/.

Lothrop, who will staff Washington’s commissioners, said the workgroup’s first task will be to establish a schedule for future meetings. The panel will then discuss issues addressed in the policy review, focusing initially on strategies that could to be incorporated into fishing regulations for the 2019 season.

To take effect, any new proposals endorsed by the workgroup would require approval by the full fish and wildlife commissions in each state, Lothrop said.

“The group doesn’t have a lot of time to discuss changes for 2019,” Lothrop said. “The season-setting process for this year’s salmon fisheries gets underway in mid-March, so that’s the focus for the near term.”

 

 


 

The Dalles Pool sturgeon season set to close on January 7th

No Comments

Columbia River Sturgeon Fishing with Buddy Dupell of Columbia River Fishing Adventures


 

CLACKAMAS, Ore. – The recreational sturgeon season in The Dalles Pool (The Dalles Dam upstream to John Day Dam) will close effective 12:01 a.m. Monday, Jan. 7, under rules, announced today by fishery managers from Oregon and Washington.
 
The states decided to close the sturgeon sports fishery based on catch projections which indicate the 135 fish guideline may be achieved by Friday evening. Catch rates have been high since the season opened Jan. 1, with an estimated 69 fish kept through Jan. 3.
 
Sturgeon fishing remains open in the Bonneville and John Day pools, where the guidelines are 325 and 105 fish, respectively.
 
Retention sturgeon fishing is closed below Bonneville Dam and below Willamette Falls under permanent sport fishing regulations.
 
Except for specific sanctuaries, catch-and-release sturgeon fishing remains open in all of these waters, even when retention seasons are closed.

 


 

Salmon limits revised on Columbia River, tributaries between Priest Rapids Dam and Chief Joseph Dam 

 

WDFW FISHING RULE CHANGE<?u>

 

Action:

  • Release all adult chinook salmon
  • Increase daily sockeye limit to 3 fish

Species affected:Adult chinook salmon and sockeye.

Locations and effective dates:

  • Priest Rapids Dam to Rock Island Dam: July 16 at 12:01 a.m. through August 31. Daily limit 6 salmon, no more than 3 sockeye may be retained. Release all adult chinook and coho. Salmon minimum size 12 inches.
  • Rock Island Dam to Wells Dam: July 16 at 12:01 a.m. through October 15. Daily limit 6 salmon, no more than 3 sockeye may be retained. Release all adult chinook and coho. Salmon minimum size 12 inches.
  • Wells Dam to Hwy 173 Bridge at Brewster: July 16 at 12:01 a.m. through August 31. Daily limit 6 salmon, no more than 3 sockeye may be retained. Release all adult chinook and coho. Salmon minimum size 12 inches.
  • Hwy 173 Bridge at Brewster to Chief Joseph Dam: July 16 at 12:01 a.m. through October 15. Daily limit 6 salmon, no more than 3 sockeye may be retained. Release all adult chinook and coho. Salmon minimum size 12 inches.
  • Wenatchee River (mouth to Icicle Road bridge)August 1 through September 30. Daily limit 6 salmon. Release all adult chinook, coho, and sockeye. Salmon minimum size 12 inches.
  • Chelan River (from railroad bridge upstream to Chelan P.U.D. safety barrier below the powerhouse): July 16 at 12:01 a.m. through October 31: Daily limit 4 salmon. Release all adult chinook, coho, and sockeye. Salmon minimum size 12 inches.
  • Okanogan River (from mouth upstream to Hwy. 97 Bridge immediately upstream of mouth): July 16 at 12:01 a.m. through October 15. Daily limit 6 salmon. Release all adult chinook, coho, and sockeye. Salmon minimum size 12 inches.
  • Okanogan River (from Hwy. 97 Bridge immediately upstream of mouth to the second Hwy. 97 Bridge in Oroville): July 16 at 12:01 a.m. through September 15. Daily limit 6 salmon. Release all adult chinook, coho, and sockeye. Salmon minimum size 12 inches.
  • Similkameen River (from mouth upstream to 400 feet below Enloe Dam): July 16 through September 15. Daily limit 6 salmon. Release all adult chinook, coho, and sockeye. Salmon minimum size 12 inches.

Reason for action: The summer chinook run was downsized to a total of 44,000, which is 35% below the preseason forecast. This reduction in the chinook run decreased the allowable catch in recreational fisheries above Priest Rapids Dam. Anglers are expected to catch their allocation by July 15, 2018.

Additional information:

The decline in this year’s projected summer chinook run size also prompted the closure of summer chinook fisheries below Priest Rapids Dam earlier this month. The following sportfishing seasons are in effect for salmon and steelhead on the mainstem Columbia River:

Megler-Astoria Bridge to Hwy. 395 Bridge at Pasco: Salmon and steelhead, July 7-July 31: Daily limit 6, up to 2 adult salmon or hatchery steelhead or 1 of each may be retained. Release all salmon other than hatchery jack chinook and sockeye. Salmon minimum size 12 inches.

Hwy. 395 Bridge at Pasco to Priest Rapids Dam: Salmon, July 7-August 15: Daily limit 6, up to 2 adult salmon may be retained. Release all salmon other than hatchery jack chinook and sockeye. Salmon minimum size 12 inches.

The Entiat River salmon season will remain unchanged and as described in the 2018-2019 Sport Fishing Rules Pamphlet. The fall chinook seasons between Priest Rapids Dam and Rock Island Dam will remain unchanged and as described in the 2018-2019 Sport Fishing Rules Pamphlet. Anglers are reminded that the Colville Confederated Tribe will be out capturing chinook for hatchery broodstock with their purse seiner.

Information contact: Region 2-Ephrata (509) 754-4624 or Wenatchee (509) 662-0452

How To Install A Fish Finder In A Kayak

Choosing the perfect fish finder for your kayak can be a quite daunting task. When it comes to installing the fish finder in a kayak, first of all, you have to read and understand the instruction given by the manufacturer for installing this unit, before you start doing this. This installation procedure will explain to you how to mount the transducer, how to put cables through a deck, how to tuck the cables inside a hull and finally how to install the battery box. However, installing the best kayak fish finder may require some technical skills by following throughout the procedures given below:

 

Step 1: Mounting The Transducer

 

Initially, you have to turn the kayak over and then find the flattest area of a hull. This is a place, where you need to mount the transducer exactly on the inside of a hull or just next to the scupper holes, which you can simply reach.

 

Here, you can use the emery cloth with lightly sand in order to rough up the area exactly, where you are going to mount the transducer. Make sure to wipe the area very clean by using a rag. Even most of the manufacturer is recommended to use the dual part and slow cure epoxy.

However, this will work well even on a hard or rough surface, but most of the kayaks are made up of plastic that is very flexible too. You can also use marine goop that is a silicone-based adhesive that gives you utmost stretch with the bumps of waves, road and also other movements as well.

 

In order to cover the bottom of a transducer, you just use the marine goop with no air bubbles. Then, you can position the transducer on a specific area by pressing down and moving it from one side to another side.

Finally, you can position a weight on the top of a transducer and let it dry for one day. Therefore, the kayak must be set at a proper level or the transducer will begin moving. Also, make sure that the transducer does not move during the drying.

 

Step 2: Mounting The Display Unit

 

Before mounting your fish finder, you have to mount your rod holder first and then choose an area that is suitable for your display unit. Initially, you should place a suitable area for the display unit.

 

In the next step, you have to be very careful with the knife. By simply using a rubber stopper, you will make a grommet. Then, you can cut the stopper in half and also cut a couple of grooves about 1/8” deep in all the way. Next, you can create a trough in the stopper and drill two or three holes in the stopper based on the unit you have.

 

Now, you have a custom grommet and pull the cables via a hole in the deck and then put them into the grommet. With the screwdriver, you can work the grommet into a hole and mount the base.

 

Step 3: Mounting The Battery Box

 

Now, you can cut the pool noodle in a half and use goop glue to the back of a box. Let’s dry for 24 hours with a weight on a top of the box. Next, you locate the box within the front of a kayak. By using a felt tip maker, you can execute the marker along the hull, when marking the pool noodle.

Locate the battery into a box and use the goop to safe the pool noodle to the box. Then, let this dry for one day. Now, you drill a hole in a box for the cable and save it properly by using a plastic cable clamp.

 

With the use of emery cloth, you can easily rough up the area and wipe clean it.

With the battery in a box for weight, you use goop to stick the box down in a hull. You should also let this dry for one day. During the first hour, you have to check it and then make a battery box not sliding. Now, you can put watertight and a couple of female flat connectors to the wires.

 

The final thing you need to do is to tuck up the cables and safe them with zip ties, rubbing alcohol and then zip tie anchoring attachments. In some cases, the peel and stick zip tie attachments do not work well on specific kayaks. In such case, you need to use the plastic cable clamps connected them to a mounting bolt within a kayak.

 

When you install the wiring harness and route the transducer cable, you should never connect wiring with your assumption like specific colors are for specific things. Before you start wiring the harness, it is better to read the instructions carefully. Some of the fish finders have many wires to power components with other marine electronics.

 

Step 4: Successful Installation Of Hardware

 

Once all the holes are drilled, now start installing the hardware. Instead of cutting the corners, you can buy cheaper hardware for this job. All hardware should be a perfectly suitable grade to withstand the atmosphere.

 

However, it is natural for boats to obtain wet, so if using anything, the water will damage it and become surely fail. If it is necessary, you can buy some additional hardware and ensure your installation is well done without any hassles.

 

Overall, the installation procedure also considers that the fish finder is the costliest piece of item on your boat. The wiring should also be utilized for the accurate purpose as well as the entire connections should be well sealed and also made well.

 

Before you start the installation process of the portable fish finder reviews in a kayak, you have to check the manufacturer’s suggestion and also remember to read the manual by paying close attention to the installation requirements. Also, do not forget to enjoy the good days of installation and also look forward to the better days.

Finally, the whole job is completed successfully and your new best kayak fish finder is installed correctly.

 

Sockeye Salmon fishery to open on the Columbia River

 


 

Starting July 1st, anglers can catch and keep sockeye salmon on the Columbia River, but will be required to release any chinook salmon they intercept downriver from Bonneville Dam.

Fishery managers from Washington and Oregon today agreed to modify fishing rules in joint waters of the Columbia, and the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) followed up by extending the sockeye fishery upstream to Chief Joseph Dam.

Before the season got underway, both states agreed to forgo scheduling any sockeye fisheries on the Columbia River due to low projected returns, especially those to the Wenatchee River.

However, an updated run forecast now projects that 209,000 sockeye will return this year – up from the 99,000 previously estimated – providing a sufficient number of fish for recreational fishing opportunities throughout the Columbia, said Bill Tweit, a WDFW special assistant.

“It’s always exciting to see salmon come in above the pre-season forecast,” Tweit said. “Sockeye can be elusive in the lower river, but anglers generally do well fishing for them from the Tri-Cities to Brewster.”

Snake River fisheries remain closed to protect Snake River sockeye listed under the federal Endangered Species Act.

While the preseason forecast for summer chinook has not yet been updated, Tweit said current data indicate that chinook returns are tracking about 20 percent below the initial projection of 67,300 adult fish. That prompted fishery managers to close the lower Columbia River summer chinook season four days earlier than previously scheduled.

“Based on the low catches to date above Bonneville, we decided to close the chinook fishery in the lower river but leave it open upriver from the dam,” Tweit said.

Starting July 1, anglers fishing from the Megler-Astoria Bridge to Bonneville Dam on the lower Columbia River can still catch a total of six salmon/steelhead a day. The daily limit for adult fish in those waters is two adult sockeye salmon or hatchery adult steelhead, or one of each. Anglers can round out their daily six-fish limit with hatchery jack chinook salmon.

For more information and details on daily limits in each section of the river, see the Fishing Rule Change at https://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/regulations/

 

 


 

Anglers can keep hatchery sturgeon starting April 29th in the upper Columbia River

No Comments

 

OLYMPIA – Beginning April 29, recreational anglers will again have an opportunity to harvest hatchery sturgeon from Wanapum and Priest Rapids reservoirs, state fishery managers announced today.

This is the third opening of the fishery in the upper Columbia River, said Chad Jackson, regional fish manager for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW).

“Not only does this fishery provide a great opportunity for anglers but it’s also helping our efforts to recover white sturgeon populations by reducing their interactions with these hatchery fish,” Jackson said.

Several thousand juvenile sturgeon were released into the upper Columbia River in the early 2000s. Those fish have grown to harvestable size, prompting WDFW to open a fishery in Wanapum and Priest Rapids reservoirs.

WDFW is implementing a size restriction for this fishery that is designed to target hatchery-origin sturgeon, while protecting larger wild fish, Jackson said.

Between April 29 and Sept. 1, anglers will be allowed to retain two hatchery sturgeon daily that are between 38 and 72 inches (fork-length) in Wanapum and Priest Rapids reservoirs. Sturgeon caught in these reservoirs will not count toward an angler’s annual limit for sturgeon. Anglers will not be required to record sturgeon harvested from the two reservoirs on their catch record cards. 

Anglers may fish for sturgeon with two poles with the purchase of a two-pole endorsement.

More details about this fishery can be found on WDFW’s webpage at https://fortress.wa.gov/dfw/erules/efishrules/.