Oregon and SW Washington Fisheries Update November 16th, 2018

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Willamette Valley/Metro – With all metro fisheries winding down for the year, anglers will be looking forward to the next run of fish due into the rivers in the coming weeks.

Late-run coho should still be available in both the Sandy and Clackamas Rivers but most of the remaining coho are likely of wild origin, requiring release. Eagle Creek hatchery took in just over 2,100 coho by November 2nd, meeting their egg taking requirement. Cedar Creek hatchery has their quota for the year as well. Excess coho still in good shape go to local area food banks to feed the hungry. Pro guide Jeff Stoeger (503-704-7920) reports, “This week’s report starts off with reports that the first winter steelhead was caught in the lower section of the river below Dabney Park. The fish was a native and it weighed about 7lbs and it was nickel bright. The river is on a roller coaster with river levels going up and dropping over night. The current river level is at 8.12 and four days earlier it was over 9 ft. The weather forecast over the next ten days shows chance of rain next Tuesday and Wednesday with the temps running in low 50’s. We need to have more frequent storms in order to put more snow in the mountains and also bring the river levels to normal levels. “

Another prolonged week of dry weather will keep local area streams dropping and clearing, making for tough fishing conditions for those still in pursuit of coho and summer steelhead. Fish this late into the season will make for poor table fare, but still provide a good fight on light gear.

Sturgeon fishermen working the Portland Harbor are still yielding good catches of both keeper and undersize fish, the action should last well into the winter months.

Although the region’s trout stocking program is slowing, there remains ample biting fish in some of the larger lake systems in the area. Henry Hagg Lake should stay productive through the month of November, especially if the temperatures remain stable.

Northwest Oregon – With little effort out for Tillamook Bay fall Chinook, it’s hard to gauge just how productive the fishery is. November Chinook are largely destined for the Wilson and Kilchis River systems, but it’s quite apparent that the entire Tillamook watershed is witnessing low returns this season. The extreme lower reaches of some of these river systems remain open as well, but check the news release link from the ODF&W web site for updated regulations.

Anglers that targeted chum salmon for catch and release fishing on the Miami, Kilchis and Wilson River systems will find that option closing after November 15th. These fish provide good sport, but leaving spawning fish unmolested is important too, as chum fry provide an important food base for other important species such as coho smolts in the spring. Most north coast rivers will remain open for winter steelhead and some start to show around Thanksgiving in some district systems. It’s not unrealistic to believe we’ll see a better return of steelhead this season and next as ocean conditions improved for this year’s returning brood.

Ocean conditions for nearshore bottomfishing have been decent and good catches of sea bass and lingcod have been had by those out there trying. The ocean swell is expected to rise through the weekend, but favorable conditions may come about early next week. Ocean crabbing re-opens on December 1st and it doesn’t look like the commercial fleet will start before late December.

Lower Columbia River – Soft tides will offer up good morning and afternoon crabbing options out of Hammond. Low slack can be just as productive as high slack, especially on a soft tide exchange. Be cautious of the ever-changing wind forecast however.

Central and Eastern Oregon – From our friend Tim Moran 

Deshutes River – Steelhead fishing remains spotty but there are fishable numbers in the river.  We got two Monday above the locked gate on small black and purple buggers under a small float/indicator.  Trout fishing remains good – mostly on nymphs but there is some BWO action especially when its overcast or we get a little light rain.

Metolius River –  There is almost always a BWO’s, October Caddis or midge hatch this time of the year but most of the time you will be casting nymphs to take trout.  The kokanee spawn is over so  the bull trout are turning back to hunting smaller game.

Crooked River – Fishing is good in the crooked and will remain so unless there is heavy rain in the area. Small BWO’s, Adams, or attractor patterns will draw strikes from rising trout.

Fall River – The Fall is a definite go to late fall and winter fishery.  The water is so cold the temp doesn’t change much no matter the season.  If there are rising fish look for BWO or midge hatches and get small.  Size 18 to 22 are the go to sizes for this river. You can fish small nymphs too.

It’s basically winter now so the reports get a bit harder to come-by.  But if you get a chance – fish do have to eat everyday so get out there!

You can see more of Tim’s report and an upcoming forecast for Central and Eastern Oregon by becoming a paid subscriber HERE. Paid subscribers get about FIVE TIMES the amount of information for fifty cents a week!

Southwest – From ODF&W 

Trout fishing in Hemlock Lake and Lake in the Woods can be great this time of year.

Bass fishing on the Umpqua has been surprisingly ok.

Anglers are still catching summer steelhead fishing on the North Umpqua, despite the poor return in general.

Fishing at Lost Creek Reservoir has been good with anglers catching trout up to 16-inches.

With still no snow in the forecast, Howard Prairie, Fish Lake, and Fourmile Lake are still great destinations to fish for trout, especially from personal watercraft such as kayaks, float tubes, or the bank.

Bottomfish anglers may now fish at all depths for the remainder of the year. The daily bag limit for marine fish is 5 plus 2 lingcod. The retention of cabezon is now closed for the remainder of the year.

Anglers may also choose to fish the offshore longleader fishery outside of the 40-fathom regulatory line which is open year round.


From Pete Heley at PeteHeley.com

With Tenmile Lakes finally getting their salmon, all three coastal salmon lakes now have fishable numbers of salmon in them and the next good rain should greatly improve salmon fishing in all three lakes..

The legal fishing area for salmon on Tahkenitch Lake is from the road that encircles the east end of the lake on Mallard and Five Mile arms down to the Highway 101 Bridge at the lower end of the lake.

On the south coast, the Elk River is producing some chinook salmon. but fishing success is confined to the lower river.

Perch fishing at the County Park on South Tenmile Lake slowed down from last weeks hot bite, but a number of nice-sized rainbow trout to more than 20-inches picked up most of the slack.

Just because the bass clubs have stopped having tournaments doesn’t mean you should stop fishing for bass. Although cold water has slowed fishing success, it hasn’t completely stopped it.

Bay and river crabbing remains fairly good for those using boats and even the dock crabbers are making fair catches if they put the time in.

Crabbers willing to drag or carry small boats into the “Triangle” have been doing very well and anglers fishing the South Jetty at Winchester Bay have been catching some decent-sized rockfish as well as some greenling and striped surfperch. Retention of cabezon is still closed. Offshore bottomfishing remains pretty much a “sure thing”.

Oregon’s third “Free Fishing Weekend” of this year will fall on November 23rd and 24th according to the regulations booklet and fishing licenses, shellfish licenses and salmon tags will not be required to fish, crab or clam during those two days – subject to current regulations and bag limits, of course. The reason that I say “according to the regulations booklet” is that “Free Fishing Weekends” generally fall on Saturdays and Sundays and November 23rd and 24th fall on Friday and Saturday. Perhaps Thanksgiving has something to do with it – but pay close attention and make sure you are fishing, crabbing or clamming on the proper days if you don’t have a license.

SW Washington – Salmon/Steelhead:

Nothing new on the WDF&W web site, but HERE’S the November 5th report.

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