Fisheries Update November 13th – 19th, 2015

Willamette Valley Fishing Report – With the closure of the Beacon Rock to Bonneville stretch, interest and success have dropped off for the record return of Chinook returning to the system this year. Fresh fish are still available in the main stem and mouths of upstream tributaries but most of the fleet is respecting spawning season going on right now. It’s time for this years brood to bury their seeds in the gravel.

Fish counts at Willamette have slowed at Willamette Falls with the exception of winter steelhead which are just starting to run. Catch-and-release fishing for sturgeon is ongoing in the lower Willamette.

With another weather front due in the next couple of days, the McKenzie is forecast to be high. Fishing it as it drops is the best bet.

The Santiam system is also due to get walloped by the coming rainfall. The entire system is likely to be out of shape until the third week in November,

Coho fishing on the Clackamas has been slow which caused the recent closure of fishing for that specie at Eagle Creek. Most anglers are anxiously awaiting the winter steelhead run.

It has also been slow on the Sandy River where water level and flow have been fluctuating. After the next freshet, there may be more fish available but everyone realizes the mis-prediction at this point.

North Coast – Chinook are still running in Tillamook Bay but effort is waning. Persistent anglers are still targeting fish in the lower bay, from the Ghost Hole to Bay City is consistently the best. There are still some fish being taken in the upper bay but it won’t be the most productive spot.

The Wilson River has been the focal point for most effort as it receives the late run of Chinook. Another punch of rain is sure to put the north coast rivers out, briefly at least.

The Trask, Nestucca and certainly the Nehalem are largely done for the season. There may be a rare bright Chinook and an even rarer early winter steelhead for the persistent angler.

Chum are present in the Kilchis and Miami Rivers but anglers are not allowed to target them after the 15th.

Coastal crabbing is good, especially in the lower Columbia. It looks like a wet and windy weekend ahead however. The ocean is forecast to be ridiculous for a while.

Central & South Coast Reports – Bottom fishing is generally good offshore out of most ports at this time of year although weather disallows the launching of boats much of the time.

While crabbing is open all year in coastal bays and estuaries and is pretty good most places, the ocean is closed until December 1st.

Despite heavy boat traffic from trollers on the Yaquina River, there haven’t been any reports of fish being caught.

With the fish ladder open briefly over the past week, the Siltcoos Lake wild coho fishery has started. These fish are taken mostly by boat trolling. Bass are also being caught here.

There are other lake fisheries for wild coho at Tenmile Lake and at Tahkenitch Lake but these have yet to get underway.

Bottom fishing out of Gold Beach has been excellent whenever boats have been able to launch. Trollers in Rogue Bay took a good number of fish over the past weekend before rain raised river levels. Steelheading is still an option in the lower and middle Rogue River. Fishing pressure is highest on the upper Rogue where bait is allowed.

Offshore bottom fishing has been yielding limits or near limits for boats launching out of the Port of Brookings. Many Chinook headed upriver on the last freshet in the Chetco River.

Elk and Sixes Chinook anglers should find fish after the next round of rainfall raises river levels at which time these fish will enter these systems.

Central & Eastern – The lower Deschutes is a little off color due to muddy discharge from the White River. Steelheading has been slow while trout fishing is fair.

Steelheading is reported as fair to good on the Grande Ronde River.

A recent discovery of brown bullheads at North Twin Lake may result in the ODFW poisoning all the fish there in order to be rid of the catfish. Trout would be stocked following this procedure.

SW Washington – Action on SW district streams is also slowing. With a pathetic showing of coho that usually fuels November opportunity, anglers have largely “left the building.” The Cowlitz and Lewis remain the best options but neither is producing impressive catches.

Anglers are already looking forward to a winter steelhead run that will likely also fall on hard times.