Fish & Feathers: Winter outdoor roundup

Locals "Uncle Bobbie," Dick Gonder and John Slagel displaying part of their evening meal.

Winter steelhead is getting off to an early start and with the fair weather after the recent storms, most of the rivers in western Washington should be in fishable shape. Reports from WDFW checkers on the Cowlitz and Lewis rivers show winter steelhead are on the move.

Karen Glaser, at Barrier Dam Campground on the Colwitz says, "We are getting some nice winter runs, there are some people getting limits of steelhead and some getting limits of bright coho."

The Cowlitz is also producing good numbers of coho, many still bright, from the barrier dam downstream to Kelso. Probably the best fishing was at Lake Schanewa (Cowlitz Falls Reservoir) where a sampling showed an average of an adult coho per boat angler. There are no reports on fishing the Washougal River.


Sturgeon reopened on the lower Columbia River Nov. 23, and the fishing success was mixed. Astoria, Chinook and Baker Bay showed about 20 to 25 boats on the water but we did not see or hear of any successes. The tides were very slow. Reports up-river seemed to indicate that fish were being taken above Rice Island and in the Cathlamet area.


The crabbing down river from Chinook to the A-jetty is producing excellent crab (upper half of the incoming through high slack). If you go around A-jetty under the lighthouse to crab, remember that you can only use rings, pots will be allowed starting Dec. 1. Also watch out for the ocean swell in that area, it can get mighty nasty.

It is not final yet but it appears that the commercial crabbers will be putting in their pots about Dec. 7, so if you are going to get in some serious crabbing - get it on!

Very local news

One local outdoor enthusiast, known as "Terrible Ted," can be seen almost daily, rain or shine in his open-bowed boat pulling pots in search of those "spiders of the sea."

His poor lovely wife is kept chained in the kitchen, throughout the year canning sturgeon, crab, salmon, trout, vegetables, fruit and just about everything else that will fit in a jar. "T.T" is nearing the level of kitchen abuse and will probably be dealt with by locals on a stormy night.

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