The middle of August is the traditional peak of the Buoy 10 salmon fishery on the lower end of the Columbia River and this season appears to be no exception.
Chinook fishing has been good, with Washington and Oregon checks running a little better than two kings per boat on the lowest section of the river, below Tongue Point.
Coho checks haven’t been overwhelming — at about one fish per four boats — but state biologist Joe Hymer in Vancouver said the catch is starting to swing toward silvers. The coho have been running 6 to 8 pounds and they’re nice, healthy top-quality fish, Hymer said. About half, or a little more, are hatchery stock.
Fishing has shifted downstream, to the area from the buoy up to the town of Chinook, and some good, strong tides have brought fresh silvers in from the salt.
Anglers at the lower end, particularly those chasing coho, fish a diver and flasher, followed by a herring, anchovy or spinner, from 12 to 25 pulls back of the boat. The launches at Ilwaco and Chinook have both been crowded, Hymer said.