Oregon Fisheries Update August 7th – 13th, 2015

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Willamette Valley Fishing Report – With the summer chinook run officially over, metro anglers aren’t that far from setting up shop for the fall run of upriver brights. A lull in chinook passage at Bonneville shows a clear separation of the two runs. Summer steelhead numbers are peaking and have nearly caught up to previous years but still lag behind.

Fish passage at Willamette Falls has once again fallen to a near-standstill with water temperatures in the mid-70s. To fish around this area, try for smallmouth bass which are both active and legal to fish on the lower Willamette. Despite lower than average water levels, the McKenzie remains fishable and offers possibilities for fly anglers. The Santiams are about as low as they can get with fishing poor. Clackamas levels will continue to drop through the coming week according to NOAA forecasts. Fishing is very slow. Other than getting a little lower every day, conditions remain unchanged at the Sandy River where fishing is poor.

North Coast Fishing Report – The Buoy 10 fishery continues to draw interest and happy anglers. It’s been a productive shift from summer chinook to fall fish with catch rates for chinook still impressive for this early in the season. Coho made a strong showing last weekend, likely pushed in from the ocean on the opener’s high tide series. It’ll be primarily a chinook show this weekend on the lower Columbia.

The ocean coho fishery south of Cape Falcon is slated to close this Sunday, August 9th. The fishery has been underperforming but reports recently out of Garibaldi indicate the fish have finally made a showing. Another any coho season is set to open later in September, it should be quite productive.

The Nehalem Bay fishery is producing fair results for summer chinook in the Wheeler area. The softer tide series this weekend should allow for good action near the jaws if the ocean weather calms as indicated.

It’s too early for high expectations on Tillamook Bay but any chinook is allowed in the bay and control zone right now. Hatchery coho are also still weeks away from showing.

Bay crabbing is picking up in Nehalem, Tillamook and the Nestucca estuaries. There are still fair numbers of soft-shells so be selective of what you take.

Central & South Coast Reports – Tuna fishing has been worthwhile out of most Oregon ports although seems to improve further south. Ocean crabbing is definitely worthwhile wherever boats head out.

Catches of coho have picked up out of Depoe Bay and Newport but so have the number of wild (unmarked) fish which have to be released. This fishery will continue through Sunday, August 9th barring the unlikely filling of the quota over the next three days. The popular non-selective ocean coho fishery, during which hatchery or wild fish may be kept, will open in September. Participation is expected to be strong and the quota to fill rapidly, even if leftover quota from the selective fishery is rolled into the non-selective season.

Limits of rockfish and an average of one lingcod per rod are being taken regularly out of central Oregon ports.

Mussel harvesting is now closed from Cape Meares near Tillamook to the Oregon/California border due to naturally occurring toxins which are harmful to humans.

With crabbing continuing to improve at Winchester Bay, even dock crabbers are picking up some keepers now. Chinook and coho are being caught by trollers in the bay. Coos Bay is also producing salmon to troll fishers using flashers and herring or spinner/anchovy combos.

Rogue Bay has continued to be productive as high water temperatures in the Rogue are preventing salmon from running upstream. The high water temps are supposed to improve in coming weeks. Upper Rogue anglers continue to catch some springers and steelhead.

Tuna catches have been excellent at times out of the Port of Brookings.

Central & Eastern – Water temperatures in the lower Deschutes are back to near normal for August, prompting fishery managers to re-open the river to regular fishing hours. Summer steelhead action has been fair and will likely improve dramatically in the coming days with recent passage numbers at Bonneville.

The 2 PM cutoff was lifted from the Imnaha River above Freezout Creek (About 10 miles above the town of Imnaha). Bass fishing has been good here and anglers may now pursue them anytime.

Smallmouth bass fishers have continued catching hundreds of fish every day on the John Day River.

Fishing is reported as good at East Lake for kokanee and trout. Rainbows must be fin-clipped to keep here.

Big Lava Lake is fishing well for 12 to 18 inch rainbow trout but get an early start or forget about it.

Kokanee trollers at Wickiup have been taking good numbers of fish.

Washington fishing reports: The Cowlitz remains good for summer steelhead but anglers are awaiting good numbers of chinook and coho to enter district rivers. The Kalama also continues to produce some summer steelhead despite low flows.

The Drano Lake fishery is good for summer steelhead with only the occasional chinook being taken. Steelhead action should peak this week.

Mainstem anglers continue to do well for summer steelhead but the focus will soon focus on fall chinook as the run is likely to be large. Wobblers are the primary source for success and anglers will try in earnest soon, given the predicted return.