the film
Ecology and salmon related articles

Fishing Report for May 19

by Craig Hill
The Bellingham Herald, May 23, 2012

A Spring Chinook lies dead on the grass. This weekend anglers are getting an extra opportunity to fish for chinook on a 163-mile stretch of the Columbia River. The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife is reopening the section of the river upstream of Bonneville Dam today and Sunday after the run forecast for upriver spring chinook was raised from 202,000 to 216,500 fish.

Anglers can keep two marked hatchery adult chinook today but must release all wild and unmarked chinook.

"All eyes are on the fish counts at Bonneville Dam right now," said Cindy LeFleur, the WDFW's Columbia River policy manager.

"This run is one of the latest on record, so we really have to gauge from one week to the next how many spring chinook are still coming."


Cowlitz: Spring chinook are biting here for patient anglers. The Fish Country staff suggests boaters run divers with eggs or shrimp, back-bounce eggs, or use plugs with herring or sardines. Bank anglers are using eggs with shrimp, corky and yarn, spoons or sand shrimp alone.

Kalama: Chinook and steelhead are being caught.

Lewis: Not many people fishing the river.

Snake: The WDFW closed sections of the lower river to spring-chinook fishing on Friday night because the "allowable salmon catch ... will be reached sooner than we estimated," WDFW regional manager John Whalen said. Check for more information on what areas are closed.

Yakima: The WDFW expanded the salmon fishery from the I-82 Bridge at Union Gap to the railroad bridge below Roza Dam. WDFW manager John Easterbrooks estimates the lower river will stay open until June 30 and the upper section could continue through July.


American: David Anderson of Bill's Boathouse says fishing is outstanding. His son-in-law, who runs a guide service, caught his limit of five silvers on Thursday in less than an hour and twice had fish on both lines at the same time. Rainbows and perch are also biting, Anderson said. He recommends garlic-flavored PowerBait.

Spanaway: Bud Herlitzka of the Spanaway Park Boat House reported this week that trollers using Wedding Rings and worms or a fly trailing behind a Wedding Ring were catching their limit quickly. For still-fishing, he suggested using worms and marshmallows or PowerBait in the southeast corner of the lake.

Mayfield: Fishing has been slow.

Riffe: Salmon fishing has been good for those using cocktail shrimp, worms and white corn.

Sammamish: Bass fishing has been excellent lately.

Stevens: The Lake Stevens Kokanee Derby is today. For information, visit

Chelan: Anton Jones of Darrell and Dad's Family Guide Service says kokanee fishing is slow but that trout fishing is good for trollers between Sunnnybank and the Monument.

Potholes: Reports on walleye-fishing success have been mixed, according to a report from Mike Meseberg at MarDon Resort. With temperatures in the 70s and 80s, fishing has been best early morning or just before dark, Meseberg said.


Tacoma: Lingcod is "popular with some and frustrating for others," according to the staff at the Point Defiance Boathouse Marina. The area is closed to salmon fishing north of the Narrows Bridges until June 1.

South Sound: Salmon fishing is allowed south of the Narrows Bridges, with the Point Defiance Boathouse Marina recommending trolling with spoons in Wollochet Bay. Mooching and jigging is working for some near Point Gibson. Mike Zittel of Zittel's Johnson Point Marina says anglers are catching a few lingcod and the occasional salmon. He says salmon are biting best near Devil's Head.

North Sound: Some anglers are catching large halibut. Lingcod fishing requires patience right now.

Fly-fishing: The Gig Harbor Fly Shop reported earlier this week that fishing for catch-and-release cutthroat has been good in Puget Sound.

Related Pages:
Spring Chinook Fishing to Reopen in Lower Columbia by Allen Thomas, The Columbian, 5/22/12

Craig Hill
Fishing Report for May 19
The Bellingham Herald, May 23, 2012

See what you can learn

learn more on topics covered in the film
see the video
read the script
learn the songs
discussion forum
salmon animation