Saltwater angling has been outstanding this week and is expected to be just as good next week. The Strait of Juan de Fuca has been producing exceptional catches of chinook, coho and pinks and fishing has been terrific in Marine Area 2 (Westport-Ocean Shores). The story has been the same in Marine Area 1 (Ilwaco). There has been a big im-provement in salmon fishing in Tacoma area waters and some pinks and chinook are being caught in Hood Canal.
Steelhead fishing has been good in the lower Columbia from the Rocky Point/ Tongue Point line upstream to Bonneville Dam, with some positive catches of sturgeon last weekend from the Wauna power lines downstream to the river mouth.
White sturgeon may be retained Friday through Sunday from the mouth of the Columbia to the Wauna power lines. The daily limit is one sturgeon with a 41-inch minimum fork length.
The Cowlitz has been producing steelhead, adult chinook and mini-chinook at barrier dam and some steelhead are being caught in the lower river.
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A few steelhead are being caught in the Lewis during the early morning and fishing has been about the same in the Kalama. Olympic Peninsula rivers are suffering from low-water conditions.
Beginning Aug. 1, up to six hatchery adult coho may be retained on all lower Columbia River tributaries with hatchery programs, including the Cowlitz, Deep, Elochoman, Grays ( including the West Fork), Kalama, Klickitat, Lewis (including North Fork), Toutle ( including Green and North Fork) and Washougal rivers.
Buoy 10 opens to chinook and hatchery coho fishing Aug. 1.
Tacoma: There has been definite improvement. Samplings Saturday at the Point Defiance Boathouse and Marina counted 48 boat anglers with 20 chinook. The majority were taken between Owen Beach and the clay banks. A 24-pound chinook was caught Monday. Overall, fishing has been better than fair.
The occasional pink and chinook are being caught in front of the Hoodsport Hatchery and lliwaup and Aycock areas, said Walt Harvey of Verles Sports in Shelton.
Tuna fishing has been very good in Marine Area 2. A charter returned Sunday with over 100 tuna averaging 22 pounds each, said Dennis Moss of Angler Charters. Salmon fishing also has been good with coho making up the majority of the catch. Monday, Olympia angler Tom Honan caught a 42-pound chinook.
Fishing has been equally good in Marine Area 1 (Ilwaco). Salmon fishing has been super with most boats returning with limits before noon, said Sarah Gudell of Pacific Salmon Charters. The majority of the catch has been coho (averaging 8-10 pounds). Chinook are averaging 28 pounds. Combination trips (salmon and bottom fishing) also have been very good. Reservations are available for tuna trips scheduled next week.
Salmon fishing has been fair in northern Puget Sound. Angler effort has been heavy in the central Sound, but catches have been modest. Samplings at Shilshole on Sunday counted 168 boat anglers with 13 chinook, six coho and 83 flatfish.
Marine Area 5 (Sekiu and Pillar Point) has produced very good catches of chinook, coho and pinks. Sampling Sunday at Olson’s Resort boat ramp counted 174 boat anglers with 44 chinook, 24 coho and 44 pinks.
Cowlitz: Last week, 298 summer steelhead, 287 chinook, 58 jacks and 374 chinook mini-jacks, two sockeye and one chum returned to the Cowltz Salmon Hatchery.
Boat anglers are catching steelhead from Blue Creek to Mission Bar. Bank angling has been fairly decent at barrier dam for mini-chinook, the occasional adult chinook and odd steelhead, said Karen Glaser of Barrier Dam Campground. Eggs, shrimp and jig and bobbers have been the preferred set-ups. Fishing has improved for steehead in the lower river, but it hasn’t been red hot, said Jarrod Ligh of 4 Corners Store in Castle Rock.
Kalama: Opens to fishing for hatchery chinook and hatchery coho Aug. 1. All wild chinook (adults and jacks) must be released. Steelheading has been an early morning and late evening fishery from the red barn down river due to recreational water activity, said Wayne Orzell of Pritchard’s Western Angler.
Lewis (including North Fork): A few steelhead are being caught early in the morning near the mouth. Beginning Aug. 1, the river opens to retention of hatchery coho and hatchery fin-clipped chinook through September. In addition, anglers will be able to use a floating device on the North Fork through September from Johnson Creek to Colvin Creek.
Nisqually: The river is low and clear. A few anglers have been fishing the lower river with limited success. Action has been better in the upper reaches of the river.
Olympic Peninsula: There has not been a lot of activity because river conditions continue to be low and clear, said Bob Gooding of Olympic Sporting Goods in Forks.
Lower Columbia: Last week, sampling by DFW personnel counted 725 bank anglers with 193 steelhead, three chinook and one cutthroat between Rocky Point/Tongue Point line to Bonneville Dam. Also, 154 boat anglers (72 boats) had 89 steelhead and two jacks.
Best catches were observed from Kalama downstream and in the gorge. Through July adult chinook must be released, but one adult chinook may be retained beginning Aug. 1 as part of the two adult salmon daily limit. All salmon other than chinook and hatchery coho must be released.
Bonneville to McNary dams: Some chinook and steelhead are being caught in The Dalles Pool. No effort for salmon has been observed in John Day Pool.
Grays (including West Fork) and Elochoman: Beginning Aug. 1, both rivers open to fishing for hatchery chinook and hatchery coho. Wild chinook (adults and jacks) must be released in both rivers. On the Grays, all chinook must be adipose and /or ventral fin-clipped to be retained.
Klickitat: Fall salmon season fishery opens Aug. 1. Any chinook or coho (fin-clipped or not) may be kept. Up to two chinook may be retained.
Skykomish: Some steelhead are being caught near the Rieter Ponds facility.
Charter boat anglers last week averaged nearly one legal sturgeon per rod while private boat anglers averaged one per 4.2 rods. Fishing from the bank was slow. Effort and catch was light from the Wauna power lines to Bonneville Dam. All sturgeon must be released August through September. The area from Marker No. 85 upstream to the boat and bank deadlines below Bonneville Dam will re-open Aug. 1 to sturgeon fishing.
For the week of July 13-19, anglers caught 6,158 pikes with seven tagged fish recovered. Boyer Park was the hot spot last week with 2,174 pikeminnows caught by 273 anglers. Fishing was decent in the Chinook Landing, The Dalles and Greenbelt areas. To date a total of 70,011 pikeminnow have been caught.
WALLEYE, BASS AND SHAD
Boat anglers have been catching bass in both The Dalles and John Day pools. Walleye and shad are being caught by boat anglers in John Day Pool.