Willamette Valley/Metro – With the Columbia still closed, and the Willamette reverting back to a 7-day/week fishery, you can guess where the pressure will be. It’s hard to call it pressure however, when most of the interest is focused elsewhere and folks have largely given up hope on the now remnant spring Chinook run.
We’ll get to talk about the Columbia River summer steelhead and Chinook openers next week!
What’s likely to happen however, is steady numbers of late-run spring Chinook and early running summer Chinook will remain around the lower reaches of the Willamette and the Multnomah Channel. In high water years, particularly on the Columbia, mainstem Columbia fish will be milling around these areas and fall to hardware trollers. The water is simply too warm to rely on a bait bite this time of year. Although the run is clearly down this year, there will be catchable numbers of fish.
The Willamette itself will be somewhat slow, but persistent anglers in the know will still have an opportunity through the month of June. Oregon City will remain a viable option for hardware trollers, but bait bouncers have seen their best days go by. Shad remain an option as well, but action seems sub-par for shad this year as well.
The Clackamas remains a biological desert. With the dropping flows and clearing waters, action remains subdued. There are a few salmon in the deeper holes, but steelhead remain skittish, especially in the clearing waters.
The Sandy has slowed as well. The lower reaches remain a lake due to a high water year on the Columbia, but what few spring salmon anglers remain, they have to work pretty hard for their fish. Trolled spinners in the lower reaches may be one of the better options.
Northwest – Spring Chinook action in Tillamook Bay remains fair at best. Sporadic catches have always been the rule in this fishery, but it seems more prevalent this season. The higher tide exchanges will bode best for upper bay anglers and spinners should start to play a larger role in the warming waters. Herring will remain a good bet as you near high tide however.
The district’s rivers are slow, with the highest concentration of fish in the Trask River. Anglers bobber fishing eggs and shrimp are catching a few in the deeper holes, but it’s an early morning bite and it helps if you have access to private water that holds fish. The Wilson also have a few willing biters, but the action drops off swiftly after sunrise. The Nestucca and Three Rivers are a distant 3rd choice.
Another halibut opener starts Thursday with just shy of 1/2 of the quota still available. Newport is of course the leading port, with Garibaldi and Pacific City nearly tied for a distant 3rd. Bottomfishing remains excellent out of all ports.
Sturgeon anglers looking for keepers have been pleased with the results on the lower Columbia. Although not everyone has been getting keepers, the fishery wasn’t set up for that so that everyone got a chance. There are some quality fish however, from both upstream and downstream of Tongue Point. The Oregon side seems to be producing better results than the Washington side does.
Crabbing is fair in Tillamook Bay and poor on most other estuaries.
Southwest – Pete Heley tells us there are lots of other fishing opportunities. The annual spring run of redtailed surfperch on the Umpqua River above Winchester Bay is well underway. Last weekend the saltwater sculpins were especially active and a major nuisance for the perch anglers.
The surfperch, commonly called “pinkfins” seem to be constantly on the move and since their preferred spawning area covers about three river miles from slightly below Winchester Bay up to Gardiner, they can, at times, seem to disappear.
Much of the fishing pressure directed toward Umpqua River spring chinook salmon has shifted to the North Umpqua River. Boat crabbers have been catching some legal crabs at Half Moon Bay, but the ocean crabs with the most meat have been coming from water from 15 to 20 fathoms deep. Shad fishing on the Umpqua River is becoming more consistent.
Eastern – With the exception of some of the higher elevation lakes in central and eastern Oregon, trout stocking is pretty much over for the summer and will resume on a limited basis in October. However, there should be fair numbers of trout left from plants made just prior to last week’s free fishing weekend.
New contributor Tim Moran put together a heck of a report for us this week. Tim, my friend, over-the-top! Thank you! Tim has this to say:
“Last week the John Day was running at about 4000 cfs….the temp was in 60’s on the surface but much colder just a foot below the surface. Anglers (my brother and his 25 year old son) floating from lower Burnt Ranch to Clarno picked up bass fishing any slow water they could find. As was the case last year, the bass are healthy and are running a bit bigger. They did the damage fishing black buggers and 4” curly tail plastics. The flows are slowing and should be hovering around 2800 CFS by this Saturday according to NOAA. As the water warms and the flows calm the fishing will only get better. We’re about two weeks away from “Popper Season” on the John Day!
The guys at “The Deschutes River Angler” report that the crowds have all disappeared but trout are finally looking up and are keyed into the adult stones and fishing is good! Fishing should be great this weekend and into the middle of next week until all the big bugs are gone but there are plenty of BWO’s and PMD’s around. Look to switch to these flies if we get the expected cooling and showers.
The Cascade Lakes are a mixed bag. Wickiup has slowed but is still putting out some big Kokanee. Trollers and Jigs tipped with corn and tuna are taking fish there. Odell is producing higher numbers with trollers and jig fishermen both getting fish. The average Odell fish is 10 inches. Reports are fish are biting from the surface down to 30 ft. on all the usual koke baits.
The Owhyee River has dropped from a 1500 CFS torrent down to about 290 CFS. The drop in flow will certainly improve conditions there but as the river usually flows at about 180 CFS many of the holes, seams and pockets that produced in the past will be different now. Anglers will discover a whole new river but one that still has Montana level brown trout fishing here in Oregon. The Owyhee is a bug factory but it’s a long way for most Oregonians to go. My advise would be to hire a guide if you’re a first timer and cut your learning curve by 80%.”
SW Washington – From the WDF&W web site:
Cowlitz River – 271 bank rods kept 51 adult and 3 jack spring Chinook, 1 steelhead, 2 cutthroats and released 3 adult
and 1 jack spring Chinook, 1 steelhead, and 2 cutthroats. 46 boat rods kept 7 adult and 1 jack spring Chinook, 4
steelhead and released 1 cutthroat.
Last week, Tacoma Power employees recovered 806 spring Chinook adults, 52 spring Chinook jacks, three winter-run
steelhead adults, one winter-run steelhead jack, 20 summer-run steelhead adults and nine cutthroat trout in four
days of operation at the Cowlitz Salmon Hatchery separator.
During the past week, Tacoma Power employees released 149 spring Chinook adults and 20 spring Chinook jacks and
one winter-run steelhead into the Cispus River near Yellow Jacket Creek and they released 303 spring Chinook adults
and 14 spring Chinook jacks into Lake Scanewa located near Randle.
In addition, Tacoma Power employees released 157 spring Chinook adults and eight spring Chinook jacks at Franklin
Bridge in Packwood and one cutthroat trout into the Tilton River located at Gust Backstrom Park in Morton.
River flows at Mayfield Dam are approximately 12,300 cubic feet per second on Monday, June 5. Water visibility
is eight feet and water temperature is 47.1 degrees F.
Kalama River – 8 bank anglers had no catch. 18 boat anglers kept 2 adult spring Chinook.
Lewis River – 4 boat anglers kept 1 adult spring Chinook.
North Fork Lewis River – 8 bank anglers kept 1 adult spring Chinook. 5 boat anglers kept 4 adult and 5 jack spring
Wind River (mouth) – 7 bank anglers kept 2 adult spring Chinook. 36 boat rods kept 1 adult spring Chinook.
Drano Lake – 171 boat rods kept 16 adult and 2 jack spring Chinook and released 1 adult spring Chinook.
Klickitat River – 22 bank anglers kept 16 adult and 1 jack spring Chinook and released 5 adult spring Chinook.
Lower Yakima River Spring Chinook Fishery – April 28-June 4 – Fishing for all species continues to be very slow in the
lower Yakima River. Although anglers continue to talk about fishing for spring Chinook no anglers have been
observed. Flows in the Yakima River have remained well above normal all season.
Lower Columbia from the mouth upstream to the Wauna powerlines including adjacent tributaries and Young’s
Bay – Reports from yesterday’s opener was it very crowded. Effort based on trailer counts was likely 500+ boats, not
including charters. Preliminary reports indicate maybe a legal kept per every 2 boats (not including charters).
Next fishery dates are Wednesday June 7, Saturday June 10, Monday June 12, Wednesday June 14, Saturday June 17.
Legal size: 44-inch minimum and 50-inch maximum fork length (Fork length is measured in a straight line from the tip of the nose to the fork in the caudal fin (tail) with the fish laying on its side on a flat surface, with the tape measure/ruler positioned flat under the fish).
Daily bag limit: One fish
Annual bag limit: Two fish
Retention of green sturgeon is prohibited
On days open to white sturgeon retention, angling for sturgeon is prohibited after 2 PM, including catch and release.