SW Washington Fishing: Sturgeon: Anglers can catch and keep white sturgeon in the Columbia River estuary for eight days in May and two days in June. The limit is one legal-sized sturgeon per day, and a total of two sturgeon per year. Legal-size sturgeon measure 44-50 inches from their snout to the fork in their tail.
The fishery runs Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays: May 14, 16, 19, 21, 23, 26, 28, 30, plus June 2 and 4. Sturgeon angling including catch and release fishing closes at 2 p.m. on each open day. Catch-and-release fishing for sturgeon is allowed on all non-retention days.
The open area includes the Columbia River from the Wauna powerlines to the mouth at Buoy 10, including Youngs Bay and all adjacent Washington tributaries.
Salmon/steelhead: The spring chinook fishery on the Columbia River above Bonneville Dam is open through the first week in May, but salmon fishing below Bonneville Dam dam has been closed since April 7 pending a run update. Like last year, decisions about any additional fishing time have been delayed by slow salmon passage at the dam.
Above Bonneville Dam, spring chinook fishing is open through May 7 from the Tower Island power lines upriver to the Washington/Oregon border near Umatilla. Bank fishing (hand-casted only) is allowed from the dam upriver to the power lines.
The daily catch limit is one adult hatchery chinook salmon, as part of a daily limit that includes up to two hatchery steelhead or one adult hatchery salmon and one hatchery steelhead. Anglers fishing the Columbia River are required to use barbless hooks, and must release any salmon or steelhead not visibly marked as hatchery fish by a clipped adipose fin.
Key tributaries to watch this month are the Klickitat River, Wind River and Drano Lake, said Joe Hymer, a WDFW fish biologist. The upriver spring chinook count at Bonneville Dam finally climbed past 1,000 fish per day in late April, which means those three tributaries will likely see a lot more fish in the weeks to come.
Anglers have also been catching some nice spring chinook and hatchery steelhead on the Cowlitz and Kalama rivers, and other tributaries to the lower Columbia. The daily limit on most of those rivers is two hatchery adult chinook, although anglers fishing the Cowlitz are limited to one hatchery adult chinook per day.
The Lewis River (including North Fork) is closed for chinook retention until further notice. In addition, the North Fork Lewis River is closed to all fishing in May from Johnson Creek upstream to the dam.
Meanwhile, a number of lakes in southwest Washington will receive fresh plants of trout this month. They include:
Clark County: Battle Ground Lake, Klineline Pond.
Cowlitz County: Horseshoe Lake, Kress Lake.
Klickitat County: Horsethief Lake, Spearfish Lake.
Skamania County: Swift Power Canal.
Lewis County: Ft. Borst Park Pond; Mayfield Lake, South Lewis County Park Pond, Swofford Pond.
Goose Lake, in Skamania County, may be stocked if access allows. Please check WDFWs Weekly Catchable information for the most current information. Anglers are also reminded that Swift Reservoir will not open until the first Saturday in June, as noted in the fishing pamphlet. The later opening is designed to protect downstream migrating salmon and steelhead smolts, which are part of an ongoing reintroduction program under re-licensing agreements with PacifiCorp.
South Lewis County Park Pond will be closed to fishing for the public May 10-12 for the 5th Annual Jim and Penny Lancaster Fishing Derby. The lake will reopen to the public after 2 p.m. on May 12. For information on the derby, contact Penny Lancaster at firstname.lastname@example.org .
Elsewhere in the region, several streams will open to fishing May 26, the Saturday of Memorial Day weekend. They include Canyon Creek in Clark County (if road access allows); the upper Little White Salmon River in Skamania County; and Spring Creek in Klickitat County. Due to recovery efforts of the Oregon spotted frog, Outlet and Bird creeks in Klickitat County will not be stocked this year.
Warmwater fishing: Silver Lake in Cowlitz County has been producing good numbers of yellow perch, although catching keeper-size crappie has been slow. Lacamas Lake is doing well for largemouth bass, and panfish are picking up at Kress Lake.
The walleye fishery in the The Dalles and John Day pools on the Columbia River are already on fire, and Tiger musky fishing should pick up in May at both Mayfield Lake and Merwin Reservoir. Rowland and Horsethief lakes will be good options for both panfish and largemouth bass.