Posts tagged: Bonneville Dam
FISHING — I love the looks of this graphic from the Fish Passage Center showing yesterday's spike of steelhead pouring over Lower Granite Dam. The big push up the Snake has begun!
From just over 240 fish a day a week ago, water temperatures had cooled and beckoned just more than 600 fish over the dam toward Lewiston on Sunday.
That pulse tripled on Monday to more than 1800 fish.
Fall chinook also are steaming upstream.
FISHING — Starting Saturday, fishing for chinook salmon will be allowed at the Lake Chelan Project Tailrace to target fish returning to a net pen release area.
The Washington Fish and Wildlife Department has announced the season will run Sept. 1-Oct. 15 from the railroad bridge to the Chelan PUD safety barrier below the powerhouse.
Read on for details posted by the agency.
FISHING — Uh-oh. Not only have the steelhead been slow to come up the Columbia River and in to the Snake — many of the fish we thought would be coming won't be coming at all.
Fish managers from Washington and Oregon have downgraded their forecast of A-Run steelhead moving up into the Columbia system.
Despite that, there's a bunch of steelhead already in the system and many of them are ready to start pouring over Lower Granite Dam any day.
But here's the not-so-great news just released by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.
- The Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) met Monday August 27 to review steelhead stock status. TAC updated the forecast for Group A upriver summer steelhead to 191,000, or 61.3% of the 311,800 fish preseason forecast.
- The 191,000 Group A steelhead return would be the lowest since 1999 (176,500).
- TAC agreed it was too early to update the Group B run size, but recognized Group B passage was tracking less than expected, indicating the Group B run may also be less than forecast.
FISHING UPDATE — The Clearwater River is NOT the temperature of bathwater, as reported yesterday.
The Idaho Fish and Game Department's steelhead update report posted Tuesday said Clearwater River water temperatures were around 65 degrees.
That caught MY attention. That's way too warm for normal operating conditions, considering water was still coming out of the bottom of Dworshak Dam to usher young steelhead and salmon downstream and encourage adults to come upstream.
Joe DuPont, IFG regional fisheries manager, checked into the situation this morning and said the temperature report was an error.
“The water temperature is still in the low 50s,” he said minutes ago. Anglers on the water know that, of course, but the rest of us look closely at river reports from various sources.
“The releases from Dworshak are not ending earlier although they did reduce flow recently,” DuPont said. However, the cooling flows from Dworshak will be decreased significantly in September, he said.
Meantime, warm water in the Snake continues to stall the steelhead run over Lower Granite. The cooling trend in weather could jumpstart fish movements any day.
FISHING — With steelhead counts on the downward trend at Bonneville Dam, the first dam they reach from the ocean on their upstream migrations, they haven't even started to rise out of double digits over Lower Granite Dam, the last dam they cross before hitting the Grande Ronde River and Idaho.
Could this be a year for another big late August-early September spike over Lower Granite?
FISHING — Fishing for steelhead plus the bonus of fishing for expanded daily limits of fall chinook salmon will open Sept. 1 on the Washington portion of the Snake River, officials announced today.
Predicting a strong return of upriver bright chinook salmon, Washington Fish and Wildlife Department fishery managers have expanded the daily catch limit to include three adult hatchery chinook, plus three hatchery jack chinook under 24 inches in length.
Only hatchery salmon and steelhead may be kept.
Anglers may also catch and keep up to three hatchery steelhead, but must stop fishing for the day – for both chinook and steelhead – once they have taken their three-fish steelhead limit.
Read on for the details from the WDFW.
FISHING — Despite the heat wave, anglers checked on the Clearwater River were catching steelhead at reasonably productive rates last weekend. The water temperature was 52 degrees.
Idaho Fish and Game creel checks found the following rates:
The steelhead run remains stalled in the Columbia, with only about 50 or so a day moving over Lower Granite Dam en route to Idaho waters.
FISHING — Steelhead anglers continue the record-setting success at catching the returning sea-run fish in the Columbia river below Bonneville Dam.
The fishery developed big time last year as unusually high, cool flows turned anglers on to turned-on fish.
Here's the report for July 2012 just posted by Joe Hymer of the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife in Vancouver.
Total of 20,451 steelhead were kept and released from the lower Columbia mainstem below Bonneville last month. The previous record for any single month was 18,516 in August 2011.
FISHING — As the graphs suggest, steelhead are moving over Bonneville Dam and heading up the Columbia, but a thermal barrier of warm water in the Snake River is keeping the fish from heading into Idaho.
The chart for Lower Granite Dam shows low numbers of fish heading over the last dam before they reach Lewiston and the mouth of the Clearwater. As of this week, the number of fish over Lower Granite is about a third the number of summer run steelhead recorded this time last year.
But they will come, sooner or later.
STEELHEAD FISHING — Anglers have been catching a few steelhead in the Snake and Clearwater Riers, but as the charts reveal, the fish that have been moving over Bonneville Dam — first they reach on the Columbia - are just beginning to show up in bigger numbers at Lower Granite Dam — last dam on the Snake before the fish reach Idaho waters.
2012 Steelhead Count
From July 1 to November 30
|Dam||Date of Count||Daily Count||
Total To Date
Total To Date
|Average of Last 5 Years|
|Lower Granite||July 22||59||677||1,253||2,550|
SALMON FISHING – After several record daily sockeye counts over Bonneville Dam this week, fisheries managers’ expecations for overall record returns of sockeye salmon to the upper Columbia River are high.
The salmon fishing season in the upper Columbia above Priest Papids Dam opens today.
By mid-July, Washington Fish and Wildlife biologists expect summer chinook and sockeye fisheries to have kicked into high gear.
Check the status of incoming adult fish through the interagency Columbia River Data Access in Real Time (DART).
Chris Donley, a local fish biologist and salmon slayer, highly recommends watching the numbers on that website to see when the fish start piling into the upper Columbia fisheries.
When you get to it, click on “Adult Passage,” then scroll through dates to bottom and today for latest on all species (also compares with past years’ numbers).
FISHING — The light at the end of the tunnel looking downstream is the gleam of steelhead running in decent numbers over Bonneville Dam.
The curve is going up sharply as about 500 fish a day are swimming from the ocean and over the first dam on the Columbia River.
Next stop for many of those fish is the Snake River, where a few fish already are trickling over Lower Granite Dam — the last dam before they enter the Lewiston area, including the mouth of the Clearwater and the Grande Ronde River. The black line on the Lower Granite fish count should start going up any day.
With tributary water temperatures staying cool longer than normal again this year, anglers may want to rig up with slightly stronger line when they're fishing for summer smallmouth in the Ronde, if you know what I mean.
SALMON FISHING — Starting July 1, anglers will be required to rlease all chinook and sockeye with external floy tags and/or with one or more holes (round, approximately ¼ inch diameter) punched in the caudal (tail) fin.
The Washington Fish and Wildlife announced the rule change on Thursday. the rule will run through Oct.15.
Location: Mainstem Columbia River from Priest Rapids Dam upstream to Chief Joseph Dam, including the Similkameen and Okanogan rivers.
Read on for details.
SALMON FISHING — Here's the latest word on the huge salmon runs forecast to run up the Columbia River this summer, just posted by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife:
Upper Columbia Summer Chinook
FISHING — a slight uptick in steelhead moving upstream over Bonneville Dam indicates good things to come into the Snake River next month.
PREDATORS — Like the cormorants that move in ahead of them, California sea lions are leaving their original saltwater hunting areas to chase fish inland as they go up the Columbia River.
At least three, and maybe four of the big marine mammals this year have managed to find their way up the Columbia 146 miles from the Pacific Ocean to cross above Bonneville Dam.
The sea lions have in recent years increased their presence in the waters below Bonneville Dam, feeding on salmon and steelhead spawners that are looking for an upstream passage route.
More recently they’ve been seen at The Dalles Dam, which is another 45 miles upstream from Bonneville.
Tribal spokesmen say the sea lions have been raising hell for tribal gillnets in the area.
SALMON FISHING — The spring chinook fishery will reopen this weekend (May 19-20) for two days of fishing on a section of the Columbia River stretching 163 miles upstream from Bonneville Dam, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife announced this afternoon.
Anglers fishing those waters will be allowed to keep two marked hatchery adult chinook per day. All wild, unmarked chinook must be released unharmed.
Fishery managers from Washington and Oregon agreed to the two-day opening after the run forecast for upriver spring chinook was raised from 202,000 fish to 216,500 fish. (The original forecast recently was downgraded by nearly a third).
Cindy LeFleur, WDFW Columbia River policy manager, said the two states will meet May 22 to consider additional openings – both above and below Bonneville Dam – if the estimated size of this year’s spring chinook run continues to rise.
“All eyes are on the fish counts at Bonneville Dam right now,” LeFleur said. “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.”
This weekend, boat and bank anglers can fish from the Tower Island powerlines to the Washington/Oregon state line, 17 miles upriver from McNary Dam. Bank anglers can also fish from the powerlines downriver to Bonneville Dam.
Those waters have been closed to fishing since May 6, pending a run assessment.
SALMON FISHING — Fishing for spring chinook on the lower Snake River could close after fishing hours on Friday because of the downgrading of the forecast from about 314,000 to 220,000 fish up the Columbia.
Anglers have been catching springers in the Snake, and they may be close to their quota given the reduced numbers of fish coming upstream.
Look for an announcement, possibly late today, that would close the Snake from Little Goose downstream on Friday night.
Fishing upstream in the Snake would likely close after the weekend, according to John Whalen, regional fisheries manager, who said fish managers would be meeting Monday to go over the numbers again.
SALMON FISHING — Two sections of the Yakima River will open this week to fishing for hatchery-reared spring chinook salmon, under regulations announced late this afternoon by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.
Wednesday, May 16, the lower Yakima River will open to fishing for hatchery spring chinook from the Interstate 182 Bridge in Richland to the Grant Avenue Bridge in Prosser.
Saturday, May 19, the salmon fishery will expand to the upper Yakima River from the Interstate 82 Bridge at Union Gap to the railroad bridge below Roza Dam.
John Easterbrooks, regional WDFW fish program manager, said the lower river is expected to remain open through June 30, while fishing in the upper section will likely continue through July 31.
“The springers are running late this year, but they’re finally moving into the Yakima River,” said Easterbrooks, noting that fishery managers are predicting a return of approximately 5,000 adult hatchery chinook to the Yakima River.
Read on for details.
SALMON FISHING — Shortly after the 2012 spring chinook run expectations were downsized, the surge in a late-holding run finally began. Biologists are watching closely; anglers are baiting up.
The largest single-day count of spring chinook of the last nine years climbed over Bonneville Dam on Wednesday.
Andy Walgamott of Northwest Sportsmen shucked out a few more numbers:
The surge of 18,436 fish is the fifth largest going back through the early 2000's renaissance of the run and sixth largest back to the late 1930s, he said.
The former figure itself is higher than totals for every day of this year's return except Tuesday and Wednesday.
And Wednesday's aggregate brings the three-day total to 39,517 springers, meaning almost half of 2012's run, which now is up to 81,863, has come through the dam since Monday.
The top five all-time best days are April 18, 2001 (27,020), April 30, 2002 (25,631), May 1, 2002 (20,847), April 29, 1972 (19241) and April 15, 2001 (19,192).
In recent years, the best single day has been May 1, 2011, when 15,766 went through.
Washington and Oregon fish managers are watching the returns closely. Any run adjustments most likely would be made on Monday.
Meanwhile, expect a crowd at Drano Lake and Wind River. Anglers and salmon are all showing up at once.