Fishing & Hunting Report: Free Admission to Mount Rainier Park

By Kim Mason
For The Chronicle
If fishing isn’t your cup of tea, take advantage of National Park week and get free admission to Mt. Rainier National Park and other national parks this week, ending Sunday.
For more information go to

Catch Cards Due by April 30
You must return your Catch Record Card to WDFW by April 30 — even if you didn’t catch a single steelhead, salmon, halibut or sturgeon.
Return Catch Record Cards to: WDFW CRC UNIT, 600 Capitol Way N, Olympia, WA 98501-1091.
Special Hunt Permit Deadline May 18
Hunters must apply for special hunting permits for fall deer, elk, mountain goat, moose, bighorn sheep, and turkey seasons by May 18.
Applications may be purchased from license vendors statewide or on WDFW’s website at Applications must be submitted on that website or by calling 1-877-945-3492.

Rivers, Lakes, Streams and Saltwater
According to Marshall Borsom of Fish Country in Ethel, Riffe Lake is fishing well near Mossyrock Dam. Use worms, cocktail shrimp and corn about 6-10 feet under a bobber.
“We’ve heard hardware is working also — Kastmaters, Roostertails, etc.,” said Borsom.
The Cowlitz River is picking up for the spring Chinook enthusiasts.
“We had a few good reports of fish being caught this last week from boaters and bank anglers alike. Not a fish for every person and the ones picking fish up are putting in their time,” said Borsom.
Boaters are running divers with eggs and shrimp, kwik fish with herring, back-bouncing eggs, etc. The bank anglers are throwing big gobs of eggs with shrimp tail.
“When the river stays steady for awhile the bite seems to be better,” Borsom said, “but when the river is jumping up then down consistently, the bite slows.”
Last week Tacoma Power recovered 1,098 steelhead, 62 spring Chinook adults and 17 jacks during five days of operation at the Cowlitz Salmon Hatchery separator.
During the past week they released 62 winter-run steelhead, 31 spring Chinook adults and nine jacks at the Day Use Park in Lake Scanewa above Cowlitz Falls Dam and they released five winter-run steelhead each into the upper Cowlitz River at Packwood and the Tilton River at Gust Backstrom Park in Morton.
River flows at Mayfield Dam are approximately 12,000 cfs on Wednesday, Apr. 25, rising from a 3-day steady flow of 10,000.
Surf perch fishing has been excellent for anglers concentrating their efforts between Grayland and Tokeland beaches.
When the winds aren’t blowing waves over the jetty at Westport, sea bass and ling cod fisherman have been hauling in good numbers, according to Charles McElroy, sporting goods clerk at Sunbird Shopping Center.
“Throw anchovy or sand shrimp under a bobber, toss it out and let it bob in the water,” said McElroy. “You’ll knock the heck out of ‘em with that combo.”
Kimberly Mason is a freelance writer based in Cinebar. She can be contacted at