the film

If You're Not Afraid to Move,
You Might Snag Some Pikeminnow

by Staff
The Olympian, July 5, 2007

The Columbia River has been producing good catches of sturgeon for private and charter boat anglers.

Wednesday was the last day this year to retain sturgeon below the Wauna power lines. The catch, projected through Wednesday, was 17,955 fish (110 percent of adjusted 16,274 fish guideline).

Catch-and-release will be permitted through the end of the year. Retention is scheduled to reopen Jan. 1.

Salmon fishing has been only fair in most southwest Washington rivers including the Columbia although chinook fishing hasn't been too bad in the Chehalis.

Salmon catches have been spotty at the upper end of the Cowlitz and at times some decent catches of steelhead were had at Blue Creek. Fishing for steelhead has been slow in the Kalama and Wynoochee.

Nothing has been happening in the Lewis and low, clear water conditions have slowed fishing on the Olympic Peninsula.

Bank anglers below Bonneville Dam have been averaging just over a shad kept per rod. Walleye and bass fishing has been slow.

The pikeminnow fishery has been very good. Saltwater fishing has been fair in waters around Tacoma but on the slow side in the South Sound and Hood Canal.

The Department of Fish and Wildlife is emphasizing the need for anglers to be careful releasing wild fish. Steve Thiesfeld, Puget Sound recreational manager, said when releasing wild salmon the fish should be keep in the water and avoid using a net.

If a net is needed, a rubber net or soft, knotless nylon or cotton net should be used.

Salmon and bottom fishing has been very good at Westport and Ilwaco. Lake fishing has been good especially for warm water species in local lakes and surrounding counties.


The lower Columbia has been producing good catches of sturgeon for anglers fishing in Chinook and Ilwaco areas.

Charter boat anglers averaged nearly 0.7 legal fish kept per rod last week and private boat anglers one every three rods.

Sampling checks taken at Knappton/Deep River showed private boat anglers averaged a legal fish kept per two rods.

Bank anglers from Knappton to Fort Columbia also were catching some legals. On Sunday, 543 private boats and 25 charters plus 31 Washington and 13 Oregon bank anglers were fishing for sturgeon below the Wauna power lines.

In June, the effort was estimated to be 23 percent higher than in 2006.

BONNEVILLLE POOL: Boat anglers averaged a legal kept per 3.8 rods last week. Bank anglers have also been catching some fish.


COWLITZ: Even though flows are low, bank anglers at barrier dam have been catching some springers drifting bait under bobbers, and sturgeon are being caught in the pool by anglers using sand shrimp and eggs, Barrier Dam Campground's Don Glazer said.

Boat anglers at Blue Creek have been catching some steelhead using spoons and spinners. Some plugs also are being used. Fishing has been slow at the lower end of the river.

Sampling checks last week showed 43 bank anglers sampled from barrier dam downstream to Olequa kept three steelhead. The fish were caught at Blue Creek.

Seventy-nine boat anglers sampled at Blue Creek kept 31 steelhead. During the same time last year, boat anglers averaged a fish per rod.

Last week, 43 spring chinook adults, 12 jacks, 28 mini-jacks, one sockeye and 32 summer steelhead were recovered at the Cowlitz Salmon Hatchery.

Also last week, three radio-tagged adult spring chinook were released into the Cispus River, and two radio-tagged spring chinook were released into the upper Cowlitz at the Skate Bridge site in Packwood.

COLUMBIA: Below Bonneville Dam is now closed to retention of adult chinook. It remains open for chinook jacks and hatchery steelhead.

Adult fall chinook from Rocky Point/Tongue Point line upstream to Bonneville Dam may be retained beginning Aug. 1.

Joe Hymer of the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife's Vancouver office said last week, department personnel sampled 559 salmon anglers (including 63 boats) with 36 adult and three jack summer chinook and 16 steelhead.

A flight Saturday counted 104 salmon boats and 261 Washington and 78 Oregon bank anglers.

Based on the preseason run size of 45,600 fish, an estimated 1,650 fish were available for harvest in the sports fisheries occurring below Priest Rapids Dam (1,250 below Bonneville Dam and 400 from Bonneville to Priest Rapids Dam).

The projected catch of 2,100 kept chinook below Bonneville Dam through Saturday exceeds the allocation for this area.

Adult summer chinook passage at Bonneville Dam to date is tracking slightly less than expected based on preseason forecast and average-timed runs. Passage typically is 50 percent complete around July 1.

BONNEVILLE DAM TO HIGHWAY 395 BRIDGE AT PASCO: Bank anglers are catching some summer chinook and steelhead in Bonneville Pool. No report is available for the Dalles Pool. Light effort and catch has been observed in John Day Pool.

Monday was the last day adult summer chinook could be retained. Chinook jacks and hatchery steelhead are still in season. Adult fall chinook may be retained beginning August 1.

HIGHWAY 395 BRIDGE AT PASCO TO PRIEST RAPIDS DAM: No reports of angling success is available. Monday was the last day adult summer chinook could be retained. Chinook jacks are still in season. Adult fall chinook may be retained beginning August 16.

WIND: Now closed to fishing for spring chinook. Trout, including hatchery steelhead remains open from the mouth to 400 feet below Shipherd Falls.

Fall salmon season on the lower river opens August 1. Above Shipherd Falls is closed to all fishing until the catch-and-release steelhead fishery scheduled to open in mid-September.

Through June 17, nearly 1,400 adult spring chinook had returned to Carson National Fish Hatchery. The hatchery escapement goal (1,200 fish) has been met.

DRANO LAKE: The lake is now closed for spring chinook. Hatchery steelhead season remains open. Fall salmon season opens August 1.

TOUTLE and GREEN: Anglers report both rivers have some steelhead in the deep pools.

LEWIS: Nothing is happening, Elaine Byrnes of Anglers Workshop said. Fishing has been very, slow.

KALAMA: Fishing has been slow. Some steelhead are being caught throughout the river, but anglers are having to work for their catch.

WYNOOCHEE: Fishing has been slow. The river is low and clear, Walt Harvey of Verles Sports in Shelton said.

NISQUALLY: The river is low and clear. No fishing reports are available.

CHEHALIS: Chinook catches have been good from Pe Ell to Chehalis, said Charles McElroy of Sunbirds in Chehalis. Anglers are drifting shrimp and eggs with sand shrimp producing best results.


Boat anglers fishing for Tiger Muskies in MAYFIELD LAKE are finding them in the Winston Creek cove area and weed beds. The fish have been hitting Bucktail and Tandem spinners in orange, yellows, reds and black.

Boat anglers are taking limits of trout trolling in the top 10 to 15 feet of water with trolling rigs with a piece of worm or cocktail shrimp. Bank anglers at the trout hatchery, Ike Kinswa State Park and the County Park using bobbers and baits are also having fair success.

All boat launches at RIFFE LAKE except for the launch at Taidnapam State Park are open. Boat anglers trolling the islands by the Mossyrock State Park, the boom line at the dam and shoreline across from the islands have been catching some silvers and rainbows.

Bank anglers fishing on either side of Mossyrock Dam have been catching some limits of trout. Bass are biting by the spillway of Swofford, and at the Kosmos Road, Rainey Creek areas. Some bass have also been caught near the new boat launch at the east end of the lake.

LAKE SCANEWA anglers have been catching near limits of trout trolling the Cowlitz River and Cispus arms with baits and Blue Fox, Needlfish and Triple Teaser spinners. From the shoreline baits and spinners have also been working.

CARLISLE LAKE, TOLEDO and SWOFFORD ponds anglers are seeing a fair bite for blue gills, bass and perch. Trout fishing has slowed.

CUSHMAN RESERVOIR has been producing a few chinook. Trout fishing has been slow.

HARTS LAKE: Fair numbers of triploids are being caught plus good catches of perch and crappie which have been very active. A few catfish in the eight- to nine-pound range have also been caught.

SPANAWAY LAKE boat anglers have been catching limits of trout weighing up to two pounds at the south end of the lake. Still fishing using worm/marshmallow combinations have been working best.

Trolling a flat fish has also been good, but only smaller size trout are being caught. Bank fishing has been spotty. Anglers are using worms under a bobber with best bite being had during very early morning hours.

OFFUT LAKE has been producing good catches of perch and fair numbers of bass. The bass are being caught on plastics. Perch on worms. Trout fishing has slowed, but anglers are still catching near limits using green and orange Power Bait. Early morning hours best bite.

Anglers fishing AMERICAN LAKE have been catching a huge number of perch just about everywhere in the lake. Trout fishing has been fair. The perch are hitting worms and so are the trout. A few kokanee also have been caught, but the fish are a little on the small size.

MINERAL LAKE: Fish continue to be on the bite, Linda Gordon of Mineral Lake Resort said. Fishing the deep sections of the lake are producing best results.

Yellow Power Eggs have been the bait of choice. Nice limits of browns in the 14- to 16-inch range are being caught off the resort fishing dock and in front of the dock by boat anglers. The browns have been hitting worms and marshmallows.

Liza Lang from Covington caught two browns weighing 21/2 and 3 pounds last weekend.


Last week, 1,621 anglers caught 12,234 pikeminnows with one tagged fish for every 816 pikeminnows caught.

At Cathlamet, 98 anglers caught 505 pikeminnows, and in the Kalama area, 66 anglers caught 214 pikeminnows. One hundred and forty anglers at Washougal caught 522 fish.

Anglers at The Dalles caught 2,207 pikeminnows. The catch was 9.9 fish per angler.

Paul Dunlap of the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife's Vancouver office said an important factor in catching pikeminnows is fishing with the current. Either incoming or outgoing tides provide current.

As with any type of fishing, putting time in learning an area of the river is the most important part of catching fish consistently.

Most of the top anglers will move as many as 15 times a day trying to find active fish. So don't be afraid to move. If you fail to catch any fish in 20 minutes, move.


WESTPORT: Salmon fishing has been better than this time last year, said Dennis Moss of Angler Charters. Silvers are averaging 5 to 8 pounds and kings 18 to 25 pounds. Catches average one to two fish per person.

Tuna fishing has also been good. One charter returned from a two day trip last week with a catch of 300 fish.

TACOMA: Fishing has not been sizzling, but it hasn't been too bad. Anglers are catching too many wild fish and releasing them, which is not making anglers very happy.

There are too many wild fish in the area, Art Tachell of Point Defiance Boathouse and Marina said. Keepers are being caught in the Point Dalco area, slag pile and in front of the boathouse.

Monday, Allen Robert of Tacoma landed a 351/2 pound chinook near Point Dalco. Trolling has been better than mooching because of dogfish activity.

HOOD CANAL: Some chinook are being caught in the Ayock and Lilliwaup areas. The fish have been hitting silver-bladed Coyote spoons at depths of 35 to 45 feet, Walt Harvey of Verles Sports in Shelton said.

ILWACO: Salmon fishing has been just fine. Boats are limiting with kings and silvers, Sarah Gudell of Pacific Salmon Charters said. Bottom fishing has also been good and bookings are being taken for the July 19 tuna fishing opener and the August 3 opener for halibut.

SOUTH SOUND: An employee of Zittles Marina said a few hatchery chinook in the 8- to 14-pound range were caught last week near Lyle Point. Most anglers were trolling Coyote spoons.


The Nisqually is our last local stream to open on July 1 and already a couple of reports have come in.

One angler fishing a few miles upstream from the McKenna bridge said he landed two rainbows around 17 inches long plus several others that were not so big using a bead head prince nymph, Tom Bolender of Fishy Business said.

Another angler was fishing upstream from the Chehalis power plant canal outlet and managed to hook several rainbows in the 12- to 14-inch range using tungsten pheasant tail nymphs and cone head muddlers.

Bolender said he fished the Deschutes on Sunday and was not expecting to catch any fish because of the full moon the previous evening, but instead did pretty well on eight to ten inch cutthroat.

Bolender fished several different patterns with similar results. There were no hatches coming off while he was there so he fished nothing but wet flies.

After reading some reports from the Tilton River, a few people have headed that way over the past week and had good success.

One angler reported he and a few friends had caught several rainbows, a couple of wild cutthroat and a 19-inch white fish.

Steelhead has picked up a little bit over the past week; although, huge numbers of fish are not being caught anywhere in particular. Reports have been reasonably good.

Wynoochee and Humptulips fish have been caught by jig and bobber anglers there have been a few landed in the Cowlitz by fly fishers.

One of the tricks being used on the Cowlitz is a sinking leader. It is similar to a sink tip, but it is actually a tapered leader that you attach tippet to the end of it.

Some good bass fishing occurred over the past week in Lawrence Lake. The anglers who did the best were using an olive Woolly Bugger.

A report came in from Stump Lake from a fly fisher that caught his first kokanee on a fly rod using the same olive Woolly Bugger pattern. He also managed to land a number of rainbows before the day was over.

Failor Lake, just northeast of Hoquiam gave up a 10 pound rainbow last week by an angler using a bead-head mini leech.

Bolender said he spoke to an angler Monday who managed to land a 23-inch Coho in Hammersley Inlet over the past week.

That fish along with a number of good size cutthroat were caught using a barbell-eyed mini sculpin.

Other cutthroat reports have come in from all over the South Sound saying that as usual the fly that has been doing best has been the Clouser minnow.

There have been huge tides recently making some of the more productive areas a bit more difficult than usual.

Finding small bays that offer fish a little escape from the hard current has been paying off for a few anglers who figured it out.

Often time we receive reports the first pink salmon showed up at Hoodsport hatchery right around July 4. Remember to take a variety number of weighted and weightless pink flies for the best chance of success.

If You're Not Afraid to Move, You Might Snag Some Pikeminnow
The Olympian, July 5, 2007

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