Willamette Valley/Metro – With all systems go for Willamette Valley rivers, catch rates remained robust for the week, but the catch per angler dropped from the previous week, while effort increased. The most productive reach remained the mainstem Willamette from St. Johns Bridge to the mouth and the entire Multnomah Channel where just over 4,600 “angler days” yielded 651 spring Chinook (524 hatchery fish and 127 wild fish requiring release). The middle and upriver reaches also produced fairly, but it’s clear that the adult return this year is down from previous years.
Wild winter steelhead counts have now eclipsed over 3,000 returning adults, and spring Chinook passage is also now over 3,000 returning adults. Almost half of the passage is made up of wild spring Chinook, welcome news for a run that was on a strong downward trajectory. At least 27 California sea lions have been removed from the Oregon City area, certainly helping wild and hatchery fish pass the natural barrier.
Anglers are reminded that approaching the sea lion traps compromises the program, which is clearly working and harassing sea lions without a permit is illegal and won’t be tolerated. Let the fish recovery teams do their work, you just keep fishing.
The Clackamas River is in ideal shape, but dropping and clearing. The annual creel census is underway and no salmon or steelhead were reported for the first week of sampling. Effort remains justifiably low, but catches should be improving in the coming weeks.
The Sandy River is also slow to jump start, but catches should be improving here as well. Summer steelhead will draw the most attention, but spring Chinook should be available for persistent anglers. The lower reaches will garner the most effort. Willamette River sturgeon catch and effort dropped off this week, but catches will remain most consistent in the Portland Harbor. The sanctuary closure from the Oak Grove Railroad Bridge to Willamette Falls is now in effect. It’s spawning season for the larger sturgeon in this reach.
Pro guide Jeff Stoeger (503-704-7920) of O2BFISHN reports, ” This week the Sandy has been holding around 9 ft and the water temp is around 50 degrees. There has been a few Chinook caught and released in the upper river. I had a phone call from a friend and he said that he was fishing eggs with a sand shrimp and hooked a nice native nickel bright. With the river running low and the temps above normal the river should start to show glacial color and you will need to use more scent. “
See the full version of Jeff’s report by becoming a paid subscriber here.
Northwest Oregon – Spring Chinook are starting to show in the Trask River, but anglers need to be putting forth their best effort in the early mornings. Eggs and/or sand shrimp under bobbers will produce the best results close to the hatchery but as flows continue to drop, so will catch rates.
Tillamook Bay itself is producing only an occasional spring Chinook. Minus tides this weekend should produce the better catches in the upper bay. Use spinners and plugs on outgoing tide, herring at high tide.
With the deep reef now closed, nearshore catches of sea bass and some lingcod remain excellent.
Ocean crabbing is picking up too, as crabs come off the “clutch,” also known as the breeding season.
The halibut season south of Cape Falcon opens today. With a substantial increase in annual quota, it’s slated to be a productive year. Catches are likely to be good out of Newport and hopefully Garibaldi.
The first of an 11-day catch and keep sturgeon fishery opens up on Monday, May 13th on the lower Columbia River. Catches are likely to start slow and build into early June.
Central and Eastern Oregon Fishing Reports
Anglers are reporting good fishing in Crane Prairie Reservoir.
Trout fishing has been good in Ochoco and Prineville reservoirs.
Trout anglers who prefer moving waters should check out the Fall River, and the Deschutes from Lake Billy Chinook to Benham Falls.
Several waterbodies are scheduled to be stocked this week including Fall River, Prineville Youth Fishing Pond, Sprague Pit Pond, Century Gravel Pond and Clear Lake.
Peach Pond was stocked last week with 1,000 legal-size and 75 trophy-size fish.
Cutsforth Pond is scheduled to be stocked this week with 600 legal- and 100 trophy-size trout.
Crappie should be biting in Willow Creek, Cold Springs and McKay reservoirs.
Smallmouth bass anglers should hit the miles (and miles) of rocky shoreline along the Columbia River. Remember, the shallow bays warm first!
Because Morrow County will be working on ORV pond #3, it will not be stocked in 2019.
Best bet for fishing in the Klamath Basin is Lake of the Woods for stocked rainbow trout, Klamath River below JC Boyle Dam for native redband trout, Wood River for brown trout and J.C. Boyle Reservoir for warmwater fish.
Crappie anglers should consider Campbell Reservoir for some early season fish.
Access is improving throughout the zone. Early season fishing for holdover trout can be very good in these locations.
Holbrook Reservoir, Lofton Reservoir and Heart Lake are now accessible.
After a few days of warm weather, warmwater fishing in the Owyhee Reservoir can be good.
Poison Creek Reservoir is scheduled to be stocked with 200 trophy trout this week.
Southwest – From ODF&W
Diamond Lake is the hot place to be right now for trout fishing. Most successful anglers are using flies.
On the lower Rogue, the spring Chinook season is reaching its peak RIGHT NOW.
More anglers are reporting catches of spring Chinook on the middle Rogue, with more on the way.
American shad should begin running in the Coquille and mainstem Umpqua rivers.
Look for striped bass in the lower Smith River and Coquille River tidewater.
Bass and bluegill fishing should be good in Cooper Creek Reservoir and Loon Lake.
Bass, bluegill, and crappie, are biting in places like Empire, Saunders, and Tenmile lakes, and Powers and Johnson Mill ponds.
Waterbodies in the SW Zone scheduled to be stocked the week of May 6 include, Emigrant Reservoir, Spalding Pond, Reinhart Park Pond, Expo Pond, Eel Lake and Saunders Lake.
SW Washington – The most recent report from WDF&W is from May 5th. You can access it here: