PACKWOOD - The downpour early last week raised Cowlitz River levels and "made fishing pretty tough," according to Chuck Doam, Yakima.
Doam wasn’t complaining on Thursday afternoon, however. When The Chronicle caught up with him on the Cowlitz River at Skate Creek Bridge he had just netted his third big fish in 20 minutes.
Doam said he enjoys introducing friends to the art of fishing the Cowlitz for coho and Chinook.
“Once they’ve caught their first fish, they’re hooked,” said Doam as he held up his latest catch.
Last week, Tacoma Power recovered 10,003 coho adults, 402 jacks, 465 fall Chinook adults, 30 jacks, one chum salmon adult, 207 summer-run steelhead, seven winter-run steelhead and 82 sea-run cutthroat trout during seven days of operation at the Cowlitz Salmon Hatchery separator.
They released 809 coho adults and 91 jacks into the upper Cowlitz River at the Skate Creek Bridge in Packwood.
There was plenty of room for the anglers to spread out along the banks and in the water.
Beau Kooley, Gig Harbor, and friend Devin McWhirter, Tacoma, had their minds set on bagging an elk over the weekend, but made the trip to Packwood a few days early, hoping to take advantage of the river action.
“Everybody’s catching a little today,” said Kooley, adding fishing was a little slower this week.
“We were here last week and caught nine in four hours,” said McWhirter.
The daily limit on the Cowlitz River is six adult salmon per day; two adult Chinook may be retained.