Friday, March 17, 2006

Columbia salmon-fishing options

On the lower from the I-5 Bridge downstream, boat anglers are beginning to take a few chinook. Almost 80 percent of the fish caught are adipose-clipped.
Ringold steelhead activity has picked up, with anglers averaging 8.5 pole hours per fish and bank anglers doing slightly better than boat anglers. The Ringold fishery will be open to bank and boat anglers through the end of March and then "bank only" from April 1-15. No spring chinook fishery at Ringold is scheduled for this year.
Meeting state and federal conservation objectives for wild chinook and coho salmon stocks will require additional restrictions in Washington coastal fisheries this year. Three ocean salmon-fishing options adopted this week by the Pacific Fishery Management Council are lower than last year's recreational fishing quotas, which allowed the harvest of 43,250 chinook salmon and 121,800 coho.
Two friends took six rainbow from Lake Roosevelt Monday while bank fishing with Power Bait and marshmallows near Ft. Spokane. All their bites came between 9 and 10:30 a.m. Another report from Spring Canyon indicated trollers also had a good early bite, and then nothing.
WDFW fish biologist Jim Cummins said March is generally a favorite time for many trout fly anglers on the Yakima River. Fishing should pick up as water temperatures rise.
Cold weather is affecting the fishing on area fly-fishing waters, but the Spokane Fly Fishers had a successful outing on Coffeepot Lake last weekend. Members caught rainbow to 26 inches on chronomids and Wooly Buggers.
Lake Lenore has been fair early on dark-colored patterns, and the Clark Fork is seeing some hatches of midges and blue-winged olives.
Idaho waters
In Idaho, Jeff Smith at Fins and Feathers in Coeur d'Alene said most of the small lakes south of Coeur d'Alene are losing their ice. Fernan may have open water at the back end by the weekend, and Hauser and the Chain lakes are already fishable. At Rose Lake, anglers are taking panfish and a few pike. Kokanee are coming through thick ice on lower Twin, and perch and crappie are showing in the upper lake. Small lakes such as Robinson and Smith (rainbow trout) and Dawson (multiple species, including tiger musky) near Bonners Ferry still have thick ice.
On the Clearwater proper last week, anglers averaged a fish every 8 hours. On the South Fork, the average was 5. From the Middle Fork to the North Fork, an average of 5 hours of casting resulted in a fish landed. There was also modest success from the South Fork to the Middle Fork and the Little Salmon.
Drano Lake and Wind River, from Shipherd Falls downstream to boundary-line markers, opened to fishing for hatchery chinook and hatchery steelhead Thursday. Night closures and non-buoyant lure restrictions are in effect. Fishing will be slow at first, as chinook have not yet arrived at Bonneville Dam.

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