Willamette Valley/Metro – Portland area anglers don’t have a lot to pursue in the dog days of summer. Summer Chinook counts at Bonneville are dropping fast, and although the summer steelhead passage is on the improve, numbers are far shy from previous years, as in 1/3 of last year’s tally as of this date. Some steelhead are being caught however.
Warm water anglers are taking advantage of the water conditions on the Willamette. Spring Chinook action is finally tapering.
Rafters and swimmers are dominating the Sandy and Clackamas Rivers. Only early morning casters stand a chance.
Below, With ocean salmon still slow, these two anglers targeted lingcod and came up big on July 17th. These large lings were taken just outside of the mouth of the Columbia River.
Northwest – The salmon bite off of the mouth of the Columbia has finally picked up again. Coho are falling to the SW of the river mouth and Chinook action is fair as well. Both species should start showing in greater numbers as we near early August.
The sturgeon fishing remains very impressive downstream of Tongue Point.
Nehalem Bay trollers are catching a few summer Chinook in the Wheeler area. Catches are light, just as expected.
A friendly ocean has inspired tuna chasers to go an ungodly number of miles offshore for the albacore. Action has been good out of Garibaldi and Astoria however, and tuna should get closer as the season progresses.
Ocean crabbing remains excellent from Garibaldi southward, but soft-shells are the rule. Bay crabbing remains fair.
There are some nice sized halibut coming from the nearshore fishery, mostly between Manzanita and Nehalem Bays.
Spring Chinook and summer steelhead fishing is challenging in the Tillamook area systems, low, clear water isn’t helping matters. Steelhead remains your best option on the Wilson and Nestucca systems.
Southwest – From Pete Heley at PeteHeley.com
On a Tenmile Creek float last week, we caught dozens of yellow perch, but none over eight inches in length. The fishing for largemouth bass was disappointing with no bass landed weighing more than a pound. Tenmile Creek is free of logjams this year, but is quite narrow in a number of spots – to the point where passage via a pontoon boat is very difficult. A float tube or a kayak is a much better choice.
As for fishing at Winchester Bay, the South Jetty is fishing well for assorted bottomfish, the Triangle is fishing well for the same marine species with a smaller average size. The latest stats on the ocean fin-clipped coho fishery run through July 9th and 1077 finclipped quota, or six percent of the 18,000 quota of finclipped cohos have caught and kept. The ocean finclipped coho season will end July 31st unless the quota is reached earlier.
Winchester Bay has been the busiest port and has produced the most keeper coho. Garibaldi is the second busiest port and has produced the most kept chinooks – but has recently fished very poorly with only .18 kept salmon per angler for the season. Starting on September 2nd there will be an ocean coho season where both clipped and unclipped coho salmon may be kept with a quota of 6,000 cohos. There have been catches of 25+ tuna taken this last week out of both Charlston and Winchester Bay.
The pinkfin run on the lower Umpqua River above Winchester Bay continues with the fishing getting ever more inconsistent. A recent tidewater trip for Umpqua River smallmouth revealed a surprising amount of fishing pressure. Fishing Guide Jaimie Standifer reported good fishing for chinook salmon last week on the Umpqua River near Reedsport.
Eastern – Contributor Tim Moran is off this week, hope he’s catching fish!
SW Washington –
Cowlitz River – Below the I-5 Bridge: 29 bank and 1 boat/3 rods had no catch. From the I-5 Bridge upstream: 184 bank rods kept 23 adult and 2 jack spring Chinook and 9 steelhead and released 2 adult and 2 jack spring Chinook, 3 steelhead, and 2 cutthroats. 67 boats/193 rods kept 65 steelhead and 1 cutthroat and released 1 steelhead and 17 cutthroat.
Lower Columbia mainstem below Bonneville Dam – Last week we sampled 978 salmonid anglers (149 boats) with 42 adult and 6 jack summer Chinook, 67 steelhead, and no sockeye. 24 (57%) of the adult summer Chinook and 42 (63%) of the steelhead were kept. Anglers averaged a steelhead caught per every 14.6 rods. In comparison, anglers averaged a fish per every 6.1 and 7.6 rods during the same time in 2015 and 2016, respectively.
Tri-cities Area Summer Chinook & Sockeye Fishery
With the closure of the Upper Columbia River for the retention of sockeye, angler effort has been low. This past week, July 10-16, there were an estimated 62 boats fishing for summer chinook salmon in the Columbia River between Highway 395 and Priest Rapids Dam. WDFW staff interviewed 19 anglers from 8 boats with a reported harvest of 1 adult hatchery chinook and 1 wild chinook and 1 sockeye were caught and released. For the week an estimated 8 adult summer chinook were harvested. For the season there have been 2,291 angler trips for sockeye/summer chinook with 115 adult hatchery chinook, 23 chinook jacks, and 885 sockeye harvested. Area fisheries will continue to be open to fishing for hatchery summer chinook through August 15.
Lower Columbia mainstem from the Marker 82 line downstream – We sampled 16 sturgeon anglers (including 4 boats) with 9 legals released.
Lower Columbia mainstem below Bonneville Dam – We sampled 20 shad bank anglers with 27 fish kept.
Lower Columbia mainstem below Bonneville Dam – 3 walleye anglers (1 boat) had no catch.
Recent plants of rainbows, including some over 5 pounds each. No report on angling success.