Willamette Valley/Metro – Portland area action is fading, with the Willamette remaining high and the Columbia experiencing extreme snowmelt as well. Options opened up last Friday however, with the re-opening of the Columbia River salmon season and steelhead available too.
Trollers working Davis Bar on the Columbia, as well as other known hot spots aren’t faring well for the amount of effort being put in. High and somewhat off-color water is quelling success rates, but anchor anglers are catching a few throughout the river. The most productive reach is around Puget Island, near Cathlamet on the Washington side of the river. Action will most likely remain good well into June, for both spring Chinook and summer steelhead in full migration.
Shad are also starting in on the Columbia and Willamette Rivers. Successful shad anglers need flow and sunny weather to score. Flow is a hard thing to find on the Willamette, but you can troll for shad too, with a high degree of success. Anchor anglers fishing near Bonneville are sure to score high numbers of this fun catching fish, perfect for crab bait or the garden, not so much for table fare, they are an invasive species after all.
Tributary fisheries are improving, with the Sandy the more likely option for spring Chinook. The Clackamas has some spring Chinook available, but the better target is summer steelhead. Both the Clackamas and Sandy Rivers are dropping and clearing, which will concentrate fish more, but make them more reluctant to bite as well.
From Pro guide Jeff Stoeger (503-704-7920), of O2BFISHN Guide Service – I hope that everyone had a great Memorial day weekend. I want to thank all the men and women who had served or is serving our country for there great sacrifice. The fishing report is not to talk about. The major action for springers has been at the mouth of the Sandy for the fish are moving into the sandy to get out main current of the Columbia. The Columbia is still running at flood stage levels for the snow melt in Canada has started early and the snow pack was well above normal stages. The lower sandy is a lake for there is a lot of sled action, for Lewis and Clark is the only boat ramp open because Chinook boat ramp is closed because of flooding.
Northwest Oregon – Spring Chinook fishing remains challenging in Tillamook Bay, but the last few years, June was by far the better month. That will likely be the case this year but weekend tides dictate an upper bay effort where action should be fair. Spinners and plugs will offer up the best opportunities on outgoing tide, trolled herring at high tide.
The Trask, Wilson and Nestucca should all have spring Chinook available, but the Trask will remain the best bet since it gets the most hatchery plants. The Hatchery Hole will be a bank angler’s favorite, but it will be crowded. Eggs and sand shrimp fished under bobbers will remain the best baits. Summer steelhead are in the Wilson and Nestucca systems.
Trout fishing in north coast streams opened on May 22nd. There are some nice cutthroat trout available.
Bottomfishing remains excellent, but lingcod are somewhat challenging. The next halibut opener is June 7 – 9 although Pacific City and Garibaldi haven’t been producing limits recently. The nearshore halibut opener is June 1st, where fish often cruise in the early season, but still remain challenging to find on a consistent basis. The mouth of Nehalem Bay is a fan favorite. Anglers must fish inside of the 40-fathom line for nearshore halibut.
Astoria area – Sturgeon fishing remains challenging on the lower Columbia, with plenty of keepers remaining in the quota. The best action is taking place above Tongue Point using sand shrimp as bait.
Bottomfishing along the south jetty out of Astoria is oddly slow.
Although on the backside of the most productive tides, razor clam digging should be good along Clatsop Beaches into the weekend.
Southwest – From ODF&W
June 2-3 is Free Fishing Weekend and you won’t need a license, tag or endorsement to fish anywhere in Oregon that’s open to fishing. Rockfish, halibut, ocean salmon, clams – take your pick! ODFW and its partners also will host several free trout fishing events throughout the state to help you and your family or friends get started.
Reports from the Central Coast last week were that rockfish were off the bite. Those that were caught had stomachs full of crab larvae. Lingcod success is marginal, limits are being caught but it takes a lot of time and work. Reminder that as of Sunday, April 1, the bottomfish fishery is restricted to inside of the 30 fathom regulatory line.
This past weekend, many anglers took advantage of the three day weekend and nice weather window to fish for halibut. Mixed reports of success, as there was very little drift at times.
Sport salmon fishing for Chinook is open in ocean waters from Cape Falcon (just North of Nehalem Bay) to the Oregon/California border for two salmon per day (all salmon except coho). Minimum sizes are 24-inches for Chinook and 20-inches for steelhead.
Salmon fishing has generally been slow to date. Most open areas are seeing one Chinook landed for every four angler trips.
Trout fishing has been picking up on the upper Rogue where the salmonfly hatch is still underway.
It may sound as if we’re repeating ourselves but fishing continues to be hot at Diamond Lake.
Anglers have been finding smallmouth bass, shad and striped bass in the Coquille Basin
Bass and other warmwater fishing has been picking up, in the words of one biologist, “everywhere.”
Largemouth bass fishing is picking up in Tenmile and Butterfield lakes.
Both shad and smallmouth bass fishing are picking up in the mainstem Umpqua.
Central and Eastern Oregon Fishing Reports – From our friend Tim Moran:
Tim is in Mexico… again. We’ll get his report upon his return. Good luck Tim!
SW Washington – From WDF&W
Salmon/Steelhead Cowlitz River – (I-5 Br downstream) – 7 bank rods and 1 boat rod had no catch. Above the I-5 Br. – 64 bank rods kept 12 adult and 1 jack spring Chinook. 12 boat rods kept 2 adult spring Chinook and 1 steelhead. Last week Tacoma Power employees recovered 34 winter-run steelhead, 134 spring Chinook adults, six spring Chinook jacks, and nine summer-run steelhead during five days of operations at the Cowlitz Salmon Hatchery separator.
During the past week, Tacoma Power employees released one winter-run steelhead into the Tilton River at Gust Backstrom Park in Morton and they released three winter-run steelhead into the Cispus River near Yellow Jacket Creek. Tacoma Power also released five spring Chinook adults and one spring Chinook jack into Lake Scanewa near Randle.
River flows at Mayfield Dam are approximately 6,320 cubic feet per second (cfs) on Tuesday, May 29. Water visibility is 14 feet and the water temperature is 48.7 degrees F. From the Lexington (Sparks) Road Bridge upstream to 400 feet or boundary markers below the barrier dam – From June 1 through July 31, barbed hooks will be allowed for salmon, steelhead, and cutthroats. Starting June 1, the area that is closed to fishing below the Cowlitz River barrier dam will expand from 100 feet to 400 feet to help increase the number of spring Chinook arriving at the salmon hatchery. We had projected that 5,000 spring Chinook would return to the river this year, but they’re tracking well below that now. Expanding the area that’s closed to fishing will help ensure we can meet hatchery broodstock goals and continue to move fish to the upper Cowlitz watershed for fishing opportunities and reintroduction efforts. The no-fishing zone will be posted with signs until further notice.
East Fork Lewis River from the mouth to 400 feet below Horseshoe Falls (except closures around various falls) and the Washougal River from the mouth to Salmon Falls Bridge – Under permanent rules these areas will be open to fishing with bait for hatchery steelhead beginning the first Saturday in June.
Kalama River – 9 bank and 3 boat anglers had no catch.
Lewis River (mainstem) – 5 bank rods had no catch. 11 boat rods kept 1 adult spring Chinook.
Lewis River (North Fork) – 33 bank rods kept 7 adult spring Chinook and 1 steelhead. 8 boat rods had no catch.
Wind River (mouth) – 3 bank rods kept 1 adult spring Chinook. 96 boat rods kept 32 adult and 2 jack spring Chinook and released 1 adult spring Chinook.
Drano Lake – 145 boat rods kept 53 adult and 2 jack spring Chinook and released 7 adult spring Chinook.
Klickitat River from the mouth (Burlington Northern Railroad Bridge) upstream to the Fisher Hill Bridge and from 400 feet upstream from #5 fishway upstream to the boundary markers below the salmon hatchery – Effective June 1, the salmon daily limit is 6 hatchery Chinook of which no more than two may be adults. In addition, up to 3 hatchery steelhead may be retained. Wild chinook must be released. Open 7 days per week.
Lower Columbia mainstem from the Rocky Point/Tongue Point line upstream to Bonneville Dam – Last week we sampled 495 anglers, including 74 boats, with 32 adult and 1 jack spring Chinook and 16 steelhead. 23 (72%) of the adult Chinook and 14 (88%) of the steelhead were kept. Fish were caught throughout the river.