Willamette Valley/Metro – With no mainstem Columbia opportunity for salmon in the recent past or near future, anglers were focused on the last of the 2 open days for sturgeon last Saturday. The results were not impressive as anglers reported slow fishing for both keepers and shakers on the 22nd. Numbers are fully tallied, this could be the last catch and keep sturgeon opportunity for the 2018 season. Nearly 87% of the 1,230 keeper quota in the above Wauna Powerlines fishery has been utilized. Managers will take it up again in late spring, with hopeful fishermen looking for another mid-May – early June opportunity in the estuary.
Adult and jack Chinook counts at Bonneville continue to disappoint managers and anglers. With the sport fleet already way over our season impacts to listed Snake River Chinook, future opportunity looks grim. Sport anglers may get more opportunity by mid-October, when there’s next to no chance to intercept any Chinook in the lower reaches of the mainstem. Mid-October coho are most often destined for SW Washington hatcheries, and that run too is likely to be depressed. Coho counts, after a strong early season showing, are now lagging well behind last year’s mediocre return. The good news is jack counts are stronger this year than last, indicating a possible turn-around for the 2019 return. Any glimmer of hope for a better return is welcome at this point.
Bank anglers are hitting the Clackamas and Sandy with fervor. Although catches are somewhat sparse, fish are present in both systems, and early mornings are producing a few fish for take-home. Casting spinners and jigs in the lower reaches is yielding success for persistent anglers, but current conditions make it challenging to find willing biters. Conditions don’t look to be changing for the foreseeable future. Pro guide Jeff Stoeger of O2BFISHN (503-704-7920) reports, “Well it depends on what day you fished and what location you fished determined who caught fish. I floated last Friday and the only thing that I saw was a down river springer that had white head and was on its last legs (fins). The river is ideal in color and water temp. The river had that nice steelhead green color and the temp was in the mid 50’s, the only set back is that the river is still running at 7.63 ft and needs a good shot of rain. On Saturday, there was a good number of fish caught in the lower river.” You can see more of Jeff’s report and an upcoming forecast for the Sandy, Clackamas and entire north coast by becoming a paid subscriber HERE. Paid subscribers get about FIVE TIMES the amount of information for fifty cents a week!
Some boat effort is taking place near the mouth of the Clackamas and Meldrum Bar for coho. Catches here are also rare.
Generous numbers of trout are scheduled to be stocked at Henry Hagg Lake near Forest Grove, and Trillium Lake on Mount Hood. Fishing should be productive.
Northwest Oregon – Anglers are having to work hard for Chinook in the Tillamook district. Tillamook Bay remains a top prospect, but anglers must be willing to shed seaweed from their gear on the current strong tide series. The Ghost Hole and the West Channel has been producing fair catches recently, but upper bay trollers should find better success into the weekend.
The Trask and Tillamook tidewater reaches should have Chinook available.
The Salmon, Nestucca and Nehalem are all in peak season, but catches are slow, with only an occasional day of fair catches. The Alsea is also fair at best and the Siletz is starting to see some improvement.
There’s still time to register for the October 4 – 6 SHOT tournament sponsored by the Association of Northwest Steelheaders. Proceeds from the event go to benefit north coast fish enhancement projects. Go to www.nwsteelheaders.org for more information.
Astoria area – Crabbing on the lower Columbia is improving, but crabbers still have to work for limits of quality crab.
ODFW will delay the opening of fall razor clam harvest along the Clatsop beaches from the traditional date of Oct. 1 to Nov. 1 at the earliest , to allow time to collect public feedback on management options in light of a recent stock assessment.
Extension of the annual conservation closure only applies to Clatsop County beaches, and prohibits all harvest of razor clams (both recreational and commercial) along the 18 mile stretch of beach from Tillamook Head (Seaside) to the mouth of the Columbia River, until the closure is lifted.
ODFW recently completed the annual stock assessment survey for razor clams along the Clatsop beaches. The survey found that most clams are too small to be harvested by commercial clammers or desired by recreational clammers.
Central and Eastern Oregon –From our Friend Tim Moran:
Deschutes River – Steelhead fishing is fair in the Deschutes in Mack Canyon. Fish are spread from Moody to Maupin but there aren’t very many guys fishing for them. If you go you’ll have a decent shot at a fish or two but multiple fish days aren’t happening.
Crane Prairie Reservoir – It has all the water due to litigation surrounding a spotted frog..so Wickiup’s loss (literally – it doesn’t exist right now) is CPR’s gain. Trout fishing is good in the Quinn and Rock Creek areas.
Lava Lake – Lava has been good with fish to 20 inches. Fish near the rocks and reeds in 10 to 15 feet of water.
Crooked River – Same as last week – Flows are low and stable and fishing is good! Small nymphs under a small indicator or on a dry/ dropper always produce here.
Southwest – From ODF&W
Fall Chinook fishing continues to be good on the middle and upper Rogue, and with cooler temperatures, more fish are moving upriver.
Diamond and Willow lakes are good bets for some late summer trout fishing.
This is the last weekend for salmon anglers with a two-rod validation to use an extra rod while fishing for Chinook salmon and hatchery coho salmon in Coos Bay.
Fly-fishers have been doing well from Dodge Bridge to Fishers Ferry on the upper Rogue.
From Pete Heley at PeteHeley.com
The nonselective ocean coho season is now officially over with last Friday’s opener. Anglers could have fished for four to six hours on Saturday without exceeding the quota, but I cannot, and I am pretty sure that the ODFW cannot, figure out how to make partial-day openers work – which is why they never have them.
Currently only chinook salmon of at least 24-inches in length are legal to keep while salmon fishing in the ocean.
Some wildly optimistic anglers continue to think there will be a nonselective coho season in coastal rivers, but there hasn’t been one in several years and without a major improvement in coho numbers – there may never again be a non-selective coho season for coastal rivers.
Salmon are showing up in increasing numbers in the “mud hole” at the mouth of Winchester Creek – but have not yet started biting well.
A few chinook salmon are starting to show up at Sawyer’s Rapids and if this year’s fishing is anything like previous years’, the bite will be an early morning one.
Crabbing at Winchester Bay continues to be good, but “A” Dock was closed to crabbing. The reason for the closure was because a boat returning after dark couldn’t use the moorage space they paid for because of unattended crab traps left overnight.
Salmon Harbor, trying to do the right thing, relented slightly a few days later, and clearly marked an area at the very end of the dock where people could crab – but only while they were watching their crab gear. The current policy is that unattended pots or traps on “A” Dock will be confiscated.
Recreational ocean crabbing will close on October 15th and remain closed through November.
Bottomfishing in marine waters deeper than 180 feet is slated to reopen on Oct. 1st. Cabezon are still under an emergency closure.
An angler who caught a couple of jumbo pile perch last September while fishing with sand shrimp on the western side of Winchester Bay’s East Boat Basin stated that there are pile perch there this year that dwarf the pile perch caught last fall – and pile perch to three and a half pounds were caught last fall.
Last week, juvenile kokanee were observed swimming in large numbers near the dam and being heavily preyed upon by fish-eating birds including white pelicans.
SW Washington – From WDF&W:
Nothing new from the WDF&W web site, but HERE is the report from the 18th.