Willamette Valley/Metro – Chinook passage at Bonneville is starting to slip, and so is consistency in the below Bonneville troll fishery. Catch rates remain good enough to justify effort however, persistent anglers are still taking 2-fish limits of Chinook with some regularity. Spinners or super-baits trolled behind Pro Trolls is still the go-to option, but wobbler dunkers working lures on anchor are still taking a few fish if strategically set up in a trolling lane. This fishery should remain viable for at least another 10 days, even with the downturn in predicted return rates.
Savvy Sandy River coho salmon anglers had a good week following the season’s first significant rain reports pro guide Jeff Stoeger (503-704-7920). Spinner casters and bobber and bait fishermen did well from Oxbow to Cedar Creek, but now that the river has receded and is likely to stay at low levels, fish will become timid again, but be concentrated in the deeper holes.
Clackamas River anglers also found fair success following the rain freshet, but conditions have once again become challenging for river anglers. Coho are well distributed to McIver Park, but there are certainly more to come.
Sturgeon fishing often becomes more consistent for lower Willamette anglers and although there is relatively low effort, this can be a high action fishery that gets folks hooked on sturgeon fishing. Smelt or sand shrimp is likely the best options for bait.
Northwest – Coho have once again shown in good numbers in the Buoy 10 fishery. Catches were good early in the week, but have tapered slightly by week’s end. This is supposed to be a transition time from the “A” run fish to the later returning and Washington tributary bound “B” run fish that dominate the mid-October catch at Buoy 10. The best action is taking place above the bridge on the Washington side.
Crabbing on the lower Columbia is excellent, and razor clam digging is slated to reopen on October1st, although results will likely disappoint. Just think quality over quantity.
Tillamook fishing has been slow for Chinook and coho. Many of the hatchery coho have made their way to the Trask River facility, but the North Fork Nehalem has realized a disappointing run to date. Catches in the estuary suggest there are still fair numbers of fish to come. The effort has remained in the lower bay and adjacent ocean waters. Ocean crabbing remains excellent, and bay crabbing is holding up as well.
The Trask got a good shot of hatchery coho and some Chinook, but anglers are finding their best success in the lower reaches, where fish are concentrated in tidewater, but not necessarily biting due to the low tide exchanges.
The Tillamook River certainly has some Chinook in it as well, but again, low tide exchanges is limiting success.
The Salmon River Chinook fishery never went gangbusters, but the Nestucca and Siletz have been putting out impressive numbers given the return to most north coast tributaries. The Alsea is also producing good results, especially for herring trollers fishing near the mouth of the river. By next week, the tidewater fisheries should be producing.
Calm seas have recently inspired tuna chasers to make one last effort for the sliver bullets. One boat running out of Astoria has been having consistent success running 55 miles SW of the Columbia River mouth. The upcoming weather system may once again scatter fish however, but they remain a nice grade for those in pursuit.
No viable deep reef fishery this year, that traditionally started on October 1st, as the quota for lingcod and black rockfish is eaten up at this time. We’ll have to wait for January before we can pursue swimming fish taco’s again.
Southwest – From our friend Pete Heley
The bottomfish reopening, when it happens, will not be a complete reopening. Nearshore waters will remain closed until at least January 1st, when a new year’s quota goes into effect and the offshore waters that do reopen will allow retention of lingcod and some rockfish species, but other rockfish species will remain off limits. Ocean salmon anglers need to know that as of October 1st anglers fishing for salmon or having salmon on board are restricted to waters less than 40 fathoms (240 feet) deep.
Salmon fishing remains fair, but inconsistent for boat anglers fishing the Umpqua River. Fishing success is improving for anglers casting spinners from shore at Half Moon Bay, Osprey Point and near the Gardiner Boat Ramp.
Aaron Abraham, while fishing with sand shrimp for salmon in Winchester Bay’s East Boat Basin, landed pile perch weighing 2.70 and 2.69 pounds.
The retention of coho salmon in Siltcoos, Tahkenitch and Tenmile lakes becomes legal on October 1st. The only stream fishing that will be legal to fish for salmon on the three lakes is the portion of the Siltcoos River from the lake down to the Highway 101 Bridge.
Salmon fishing success is gradually improving on the Coos, Coquille and Siuslaw rivers and the Rogue has been very good with a number of chinooks weighing between 37 and 45 pounds taken in the last ten days.
Crabbing remains very good pretty much anywhere along the Oregon coast and it seems like all but the very largest crabs are full of meat.
Central Coast summer all-depth halibut season is closed and public input is invited on the 2018 seasons.
Southern Oregon Subarea: This area remains open seven days per week until October 31 or the quota is caught. 3,436 pounds remain.
Reminder: with the recent recreational bottomfish closure, no species of bottomfish (rockfish, lingcod, cabezon, etc) except for other flatfish species, may now be retained.
Eastern – Our friend Tim Moran will be deer hunting Eastern Oregon this week instead of reporting on it. Good luck Tim! I’m getting excited myself for some terrestrial time in pursuit of elk this coming season!
SW Washington –
Cowlitz River – From the I-5 Bridge downstream: 24 bank rods kept 1 adult Chinook and released 1 jack and 1 adult coho. 8 boats/19 rods kept 1 adult Chinook and released 2 jack and 3 adult Chinook, 1 adult coho, and 1 steelhead. From the I-5 Bridge upstream: 18 bank rods kept 2 jack and 1 adult Chinook and 1 steelhead and released 4 adult Chinook, 1 jack coho, and 3 cutts. No boats were sampled.
River flows at Mayfield Dam are approximately 2,580 cubic feet per second (cfs) on Monday, September 25. Water visibility is 14 feet and water temperature is 55.4 degrees F.
Drano Lake – No report on angling success. Effective October 1, anglers may fish for SALMON and STEELHEAD with two poles with a Two-Pole Endorsement and each angler aboard a vessel may deploy SALMON and STEELHEAD angling gear until the daily limit for all anglers aboard has been achieved. Barbed hooks will be allowed October 1 through December 31. The lake will be closed to all fishing from 6 pm Tuesdays to 6 pm Wednesdays in October
Yakima River Fall Salmon Fishery Update Sept 1-17: A total of 909 adult chinook and 211 jacks have moved upstream of the Prosser Diversion since August 1. Fall Chinook counts into the Yakima River have been slow and steady over the past two weeks at ~25 adult Chinook per day. WDFW staff interviewed 195 anglers this past week with 11 salmon observed in the harvest (38 hours per fish). There were an estimated 906 angler trips for salmon in the lower Yakima River this past week with a total of 1,758 angler trips for the season. An estimated 82 adult Chinook have been harvested this season. Fishing should continue to improve over the next few weeks of the season.
Buoy 10 – Some hatchery coho are being caught. Effective October 1, the salmonid daily limit increases to 6 fish of which 2 may be adult salmon or one adult salmon and one hatchery steelhead. Salmon minimum size is 12 inches. Any Chinook, adipose fin clipped or not, may be retained. Release all salmon other than Chinook and hatchery coho.
Lower Columbia mainstem from the Lewis downstream – Light effort and catch during the current no Chinook retention through the end of this month. Effective October 1, up to two adult Chinook, fin clipped or not, may be retained.
Lower Columbia mainstem from the Lewis River upstream to Bonneville Dam – Chinook catches were very good, especially earlier last week. Effort in this area is fairly heavy. No creel sampling numbers are currently available.