Fishermen looking for smallmouth

Anglers bypass small Chinook run for other fish

— With the salmon count over Prosser Dam low so far, fishermen on the river are turning to smallmouth bass.

Department of Fish and Wildlife officials said an estimated 6,721 bass were caught during the first week of the month.

The catch-rate is about 4.4 bass per hour on the lower Yakima River from Prosser downstream to Richland, officials said.

Only seven channel catfish were reported during daylight outings, officials said.

The fishing report comes on the heels of a low spring Chinook salmon run.

Officials said the salmon count over Prosser Dam is only 141 adult Chinook and 2 jacks so far.

Game wardens checking the river said with so few salmon, no fishermen were trying to catch them on the lower river.

On the Columbia, state officials said walleye and bass fishing has been heating up above The Dalles and John Day dams.

Officials also said anglers can be paid $8 for each pikeminnow — commonly called squawfish — they catch over 9 inches in length.



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