COLUMBIA: Even though the fish aren’t showing up in state creel checks, there are reports of spring chinook salmon being caught in the lower river. The number of anglers on the water has been low, and it should be noted that from March 1 through May 15, the mainstem Columbia will be open for retention of hatchery steelhead and shad only on days and in areas open for retention of hatchery spring chinook.
COWLITZ: During state creel checks, eight boat anglers kept four steelhead. The fish were caught in the trout hatchery area.
KALAMA: Beginning Sunday, and until further notice, anglers will be able to keep three hatchery steelhead. This rule change covers the river from the boundary markers at the mouth to 1,000 feet below the fishway at the upper salmon hatchery.
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LEWIS: Starting Sunday, anglers must release all chinook caught on the mainstem from its mouth to the mouth of East Fork, and on the North Fork from the mouth of East Fork to the overhead power lines below Merwin Dam. Steelhead fishing remains open.
OLYMPIC COAST: The Sol Duc and Hoh rivers were the hot spots over the weekend. Creel samples showed anglers caught 63 wild and two hatchery steelhead on the Sol Duc, 58 wild and 14 hatchery on the lower Hoh, and 45 wild and one hatchery fish on the upper Hoh.
ROCKY FORD: Trout fishing has been good, but most fish being caught are small — 10-11 inches. Scuds, hare’s ear nymphs and leeches are effective flies.
YAKIMA: The best action has been in the canyon stretch. Anglers are using skwala patterns as the water temperatures warm up. Fishing in the Cle Elum area was slow over the weekend.
AMERICAN: The kokanee action was slowed over the weekend by windy, cold conditions. Water temperatures have dropped since last month, also slowing the action.
OFFUT: The lake is producing some good catches of rainbow trout. Most people hooking fish are floating bright-colored PowerBait close to the bottom.
OHOP: People have been catching rainbows. Most are using chartreuse PowerBait fished off the bottom. Some of the fish are measuring 18 inches long.
RATTLESNAKE: The lake was planted recently with rainbow trout, and the action has been good to very good. Remember, the lake is under catch-and-release regulations.
WASHINGTON: People are catching some cutthroat trout off the south end of Mercer Island. Look for schools of bait in water 30-60 feet deep. A sling blade and mini-squid in pink have been effective.
NORTH SOUND: Jerry Thomas of Mount Vernon caught an 18.95-pound salmon to win the $10,000 first prize in the Olympic Peninsula Derby last weekend. Anglers brought in 292 blackmouth to be weighed. Michael McLean of Tacoma finished in ninth place with a 14.05-pound salmon.
OLYMPIC PENINSULA: Anglers are catching blackmouth from Sekiu to Port Townsend. The best catch rate per angler has been in the waters off Sekiu, but there just haven’t been a lot of people fishing from there.
SOUTH SOUND: More of the same, poor catching when it comes to salmon.