The Wahkiakum County Eagle - Established as The Skamokawa Eagle in 1891

High river forces derby cancellation


Diana Zimmerman

Bob Kincade of Rochester caught a fish on Friday. The Hook the Hawg Fish Derby had been cancelled, but it was the first fish that employees at Wahkiakum Port 1 had seen for the spring season.

Last week, the Wahkiakum Chamber of Commerce cancelled their annual Hook the Hawg fishing derby, scheduled for Friday and Saturday due to conditions and the lack of interest.

"The extreme weather has affected visibility in the river," Commerce Director Paige Lake said. "All the snow melt and continually drenching rain turned the river a muddy brown, and the fish can't see any of the flashing lures."

And if the fish aren't biting, then out of town sport fishermen aren't either.

According to Tim Waller, whose family owns the Hotel Cathlamet, several long held reservations were cancelled when the derby was called off, but otherwise they haven't felt much of an effect.

This was not the case for Port 1 and the Elochoman Slough Marina. According to Port Manager Jackie Lea, they were down $16,000 from this time last year.

"We've had tons of cancellations since the fishing is not up to par," Lea said.

On Friday, Bob Kincade of Rochester, caught a fish while out with a guide. It was the first fish Lea and her staff had seen since the spring chinook season opened on March 1.

Meanwhile, the rain continues, and if the forecast at is to be believed, it's not going to let up any time soon.


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