Kalama River Spring Chinook Fishing 2023

The Kalama River can provide epic fishing for Spring Chinook when returns are decent and it’s one of the few smaller rivers available in western Washington where you can target these salmon from the bank or a drift boat reliably

The Kalama River drains the southwest flanks of Mt St Helens in southwest Washington and winds its way through foothills and timberland until it dumps into the Columbia River just north of the town of Kalama.

The graphs on this page are meant to update automatically as the run of spring chinook show up on the Kalama River in 2023. The goal is to provide you reliable trip planning information all in one place.

 

Forecast for 2023 Kalama River Spring Chinook

As you can see independent of forecasts, returns of spring chinook on the Kalama have improved in recent history and the forecast for 2023 puts this return in the top 3 for the decade.

Since the low return periods of Columbia Basin lower rivers between 2018-2020, returns of spring chinook have been bouncing back nicely. We may not have a 2015-2016 era return, but 2023 on the Kalama and other SW Washington riers may be the 3rd best in the past decade.

Updated Status of returning Spring Chinook on the Kalama River

You can expect the above graph to update automatically as spring chinook start to get counted at the hatchery and can be a good indication of when it’s time to head down to the Kalama River

Historical Run Timing of Spring Chinook on the Kalama River

As you can see from the run timing, returns are fairly steady between May and June and even early July.

Fishing Regulations for Kalama River Spring Chinook 2023

from mouth to railroad bridge below I-5 CRC (604)

Species Date Additiional Rules

All species

July 1-Oct. 31

Night closure.

Trout

Year-round

Min. size 14”. Daily limit 2.

Steelhead (hatchery)

July 1-July 31

Min. size 20”. Daily limit 1.

Aug. 1-Aug. 31

Closed.

Sept. 1-Sept. 30

Min. size 20”. Daily limit 1.

Oct. 1-June 30

Min. size 20”. Daily limit 3.

Other game fish

Year-round

Statewide min. size/daily limit.

Salmon

Jan. 1-July 31

Min. size 12”. Daily limit 6. Up to 2 adults may be retained. Release all salmon other than hatchery Chinook and hatchery coho.

Aug. 1-Dec. 31

Min. size 12”. Daily limit 6. Up to 3 adults may be retained. Release all salmon other than hatchery Chinook and hatchery coho.

from the railroad bridge below I-5 to Modrow Bridge CRC (604)

Species Date Additiional Rules

All species

Apr. 1-Oct. 31

Night closure. Anti-snagging rule.

Year-round

CLOSED WATERS – from Modrow Bridge downstream to a set of markers approx. 1000’ below the temporary rack, while rack is installed in the river below Modrow Bridge.

Trout

Year-round

Min. size 14”. Daily limit 2.

Steelhead (hatchery)

Year-round

Min. size 20”. Daily limit 3.

Other game fish

Year-round

Statewide min. size/daily limit.

Salmon

Jan. 1-July 31

Min. size 12”. Daily limit 6. Up to 2 adults may be retained. Release all salmon other than hatchery Chinook and hatchery coho.

Aug. 1-Dec. 31

Min. size 12”. Daily limit 6. Up to 3 adults may be retained. Release all salmon other than hatchery Chinook and hatchery coho.

from upstream of the Modrow Bridge to the natural gas pipeline crossing CRC (603)

Species Date Additiional Rules

All species

 

Internal combustion motors prohibited.

Apr. 1-Oct. 31

Night closure. Anti-snagging rule.

Trout

Year-round

Min. size 14”. Daily limit 2.

Steelhead (hatchery)

Year-round

Min. size 20”. Daily limit 3.

Other game fish

Year-round

Statewide min. size/daily limit.

Salmon

Jan. 1-July 31

Min. size 12”. Daily limit 6. Up to 2 adults may be retained. Release all salmon other than hatchery Chinook and hatchery coho.

Aug. 1-Dec. 31

Min. size 12”. Daily limit 6. Up to 3 adults may be retained. Release all salmon other than hatchery Chinook and hatchery coho.

from the natural gas pipeline crossing to the deadline at the intake to the Fallert Creek Hatchery CRC (603)

Species Date Additiional Rules

All species

 

Internal combustion motors prohibited.

Apr. 1-Oct. 31

Night closure. Anti-snagging rule.

Sept. 1-Oct. 31

Fly fishing only, except use of barbed hooks is allowed.

Trout

Year-round

Min. size 14”. Daily limit 2.

Steelhead (hatchery)

Year-round

Min. size 20”. Daily limit 3.

Other game fish

Year-round

Statewide min. size/daily limit.

Salmon

Jan. 1-July 31

Min. size 12”. Daily limit 6. Up to 2 adults may be retained. Release all salmon other than hatchery Chinook and hatchery coho.

Aug. 1-Dec. 31

Min. size 12”. Daily limit 6. Up to 3 adults may be retained. Release all salmon other than hatchery Chinook and hatchery coho.

from intake of the Fallert Creek Hatchery to 1,000’ below fishway at Kalama Falls Hatchery CRC (603)

Species Date Additiional Rules

All species

 

Internal combustion motors prohibited.

Trout

Year-round

Min. size 14”. Daily limit 2.

Steelhead (hatchery)

Year-round

Min. size 20”. Daily limit 3.

Other game fish

Year-round

Statewide min. size/daily limit.

Salmon

Jan. 1-July 31

Min. size 12”. Daily limit 6. Up to 2 adults may be retained. Release all salmon other than hatchery Chinook and hatchery coho.

Aug. 1-Dec. 31

Min. size 12”. Daily limit 6. Up to 3 adults may be retained. Release all salmon other than hatchery Chinook and hatchery coho.

from 1,000’ below fishway to 1,000’ above fishway at Kalama Falls Hatchery

Species Date Additiional Rules

All species

 

CLOSED WATERS.

from 1,000’ above fishway at Kalama Falls hatchery upstream to Summers Creek CRC (602)

Species Date Additiional Rules

All species

 

Selective gear rules, except barbed hooks are allowed.

Trout

Year-round

Min. size 14”. Daily limit 2.

Steelhead (hatchery)

Year-round

Min. size 20”. Daily limit 3.

Other game fish

Year-round

Statewide min. size/daily limit.

from Summers Creek upstream to the intersection of 6000 and 6420 Rds. CRC (602)

Species Date Additiional Rules

All species

 

Fly fishing only, except barbed hooks are allowed.

Trout

Year-round

Min. size 14”. Daily limit 2.

Steelhead (hatchery)

Year-round

Min. size 20”. Daily limit 3.

Other game fish

Year-round

Statewide min. size/daily limit.

from the intersection of 6000 and 6420 Rds. to 6600 Rd. Bridge immediately downstream of Jacks Creek CRC (602)

Species Date Additiional Rules

All species

 

Selective gear rules, except barbed hooks are allowed.

Trout

Sat. before Memorial Day-Nov. 30

Min. size 14”. Daily limit 2.

Steelhead (hatchery)

Sat. before Memorial Day-Nov. 30

Min. size 20”. Daily limit 3.

Other game fish

Sat. before Memorial Day-Nov. 30

Statewide min. size/daily limit.

from 6600 Rd. Bridge (just downstream of Jacks Creek) to Kalama Falls and tributaries

Species Date Additiional Rules

All species

 

CLOSED WATERS.

Emergency Fishing Regulations for Kalama River Spring Chinook 2023

The above permanent regulations for the Kalama River are subject to change at any time and without being updated on this blog. One must consult the WDFW Emergency Regulations before any trips to ensure they are in full compliance with state laws regulating fisheries.

 

 

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