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Columbia River Reports
Columbia River, plus pools and sloughs: Various species provide good fishing opportunities. Walleyes are caught throughout McNary and John Day pools, with popular areas near the Boardman and Irrigon boat launches (in Oregon) and below McNary and John Day dams. Boat-launch facilities are available at Paterson (primitive) and Plymouth in Washington. The Crow Butte facility may not be available due to state park closure. Expect excellent smallmouth bass fishing in the river and sloughs at Paterson, and good largemouth and smallmouth fishing in the Hanford area and near the mouth of the Yakima River. Another good smallmouth area, plus fair crappie, perch, sunfish and brown bullhead action, can be found in the Finley area. Channel catfish are caught throughout McNary Pool, with some six- to eight-pounders. Sturgeon fishing has been fair throughout this portion of the Columbia. Steelhead fishing opens June 16 from John Day Dam to the Highway 395 bridge at Kennewick. Fishing for hatchery steelhead is best in October and November and between McNary Dam and the Walla Walla River. Only hatchery steelhead with a missing adipose and a healed scar where the fin was clipped can be kept. All wild steelhead must be released. Fall chinook salmon return to the Umatilla River (Oregon), Yakima River, and Hanford Reach area from August through November, with the best fishing in late September to mid-October. There are primitive launch facilities in the Hanford Reach at Highway 240 (Vernita Bridge) and Ringold (Franklin County), and developed launches at Wahluke (Franklin County), Leslie Groves Park (Richland), and Columbia Point Park (Richland). Be sure to check the latest regulations and emergency measures for additional salmon fishing opportunities or early closures to protect sturgeon and salmon.