first_imgGiven that the lower Columbia River is at minor flood stage and has about a foot of visibility, it’s amazing that more than 2,000 anglers went out last week in pursuit of spring chinook.Granted, that’s a piddly number compared to normal in mid-March, but river conditions are awful and bordering on unsafe.Washington and Oregon officials estimate there were 2,258 trips last week with a catch of 11 spring chinook.For March, through Sunday, overall numbers are 6,210 trips with 25 lower Columbia spring chinook and 16 upper Columbia-Snake spring chinook kept plus six chinook released. The key number is the 16 upper Columbia-Snake fish caught. That’s 16 against an early-season allocation of 6,905 fish.The National Weather Service is forecasting the Columbia River will be close to 17 feet on the gauge through Monday, so the water is not dropping.The cumulative spring chinook count at Bonneville Dam was 12 through Monday.• Ironically, the high muddy water is not bothering the walleye in the upper end of The Dalles pool, where boaters averaged 4.4 fish per rod last week.last_img

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