Oregon and SW Washington Fisheries Update July 6th, 2018

Willamette Valley/Metro – Although the mainstem Columbia closed a bit early for summer Chinook, catches weren’t impressive as the run size has been downgraded reflecting the continued downward trend for Chinook fisheries west coast wide. Hopefully, the fall run scheduled to open on August 1st comes in as predicted.

Sockeye are the surprise to date and steelhead are tracking ahead of last year. Both species are now open to retention on the mainstem Columbia, but a softer tide series this weekend won’t make for great fishing.

Shad fishing is finally starting to taper and it looks like a record run on the Columbia.

The Willamette Chinook fishery in the Portland Harbor is also starting to slow, but action remains robust enough to justify the effort although the 4th and 5th of July left lots of anglers scratching their heads. These fish are largely headed towards the Clackamas River, but the upper Willamette Basin should also continue to see some more returning adults as well.

Bass are quite active for casters both above the below Willamette Falls, the action should stay consistent well into July.

The Santiam systems are producing fair at best fishing for both steelhead and spring Chinook.

The Sandy and Clackamas are best for summer steelhead, spring Chinook are being finicky, but those seeking salmon should target the Sandy River above Dodge Park to Cedar Creek.

Pro guide Jeff Stoeger of O2BFISHN (503-704-7920) reports, This week the Sandy has produced some nice catches in the mid to upper river of salmon and summer steelhead. The ticket for catching these guys has been weighted spinner is size 4, in green and blue with silver blades. Small egg clusters and prawns also has worked under a float. Fishing will continue to hold for a couple more weeks before it starts to drop off. The next thing to look forward to is coho season which will start in September. As the season starts to slow down, its time to prepare for winter steelhead fishing.

Northwest Oregon – The spring Chinook season is effectively over for Tillamook Bay. Springers can still be found in the tidewater sections of the Trask and Nestucca systems, and upriver on these as well as the Wilson. Fish will be timid in the low, clear and warm waters so early morning will produce the best catches on bobbers and bait.

Summer steelhead remains a fair option on the Wilson and Nestucca systems, but anglers must fish the pocket water and deeper runs where steelhead feel more secure in biting an angler’s offering.

Cutthroat trout should be available in most every north coast system, with the Nehalem, Trask, Wilson, Nestucca and Tillamook River tidewater sections likely to produce the best catches.

Bottomfishing remains a great option with the long-leader fishery offering 10-fish limits for select rockfish species. Limits are common for high quality sea bass.

The all-depth halibut quota is nearing fulfillment, anglers are standing by to see if the July 6 – 7 opener is going to happen. Nearshore is a fair option south of Cape Falcon, with fair catches coming from Newport northward.

The salmon season south of Cape Falcon opened last week, but results were predictably poor. A few Chinook came from Newport, but coho action was slow. It’ll likely be several more weeks before coho become a better option.

It’s still a bit early for albacore tuna but anglers are anxious. Trollers out of Garibaldi reported a few about 35 miles out of port caught on swim baits in 61 degree water. Catches were robust along the southern Oregon coast last week so fish should be arriving soon in good number.

Astoria area – Catch and release sturgeon fishing remains excellent between Tongue Point and Astoria.

The offshore salmon bite was fair, but trollers had to travel pretty far to the north to find 10 to 14-pound Chinook.

Central and Eastern Oregon – From our Friend Tim Moran:

John Day River – I fished the JDR on Sunday and the fishing was great.  The bass were in deeper water with a little current. Once we figured out where they were at we caught a fish 5 -7 -10 casts in a row at times. The flow was just  below 500CFS.

Prineville Reservoir – Reports are still holding up.  Floating worms on a sliding egg sinker or fishing with power bait from the bank are getting some really nice fish.

Lava Lake – Big Lava has been real good lately for fly fishermen.

South Twin – Fly guys and bait fishermen are getting some nice fish.

Davis Lake – Bass fishing is great at Davis!

Fishing is good pretty much everywhere in Central and eastern Oregon right now.  SO get out there!  

Read more details from Tim Moran from the paid version of The Guide’s Forecast!

Southwest – From ODF&W

Lingcod fishing off the central coast was excellent during the past week and saw most anglers taking home a limit (2 lingcod). In contrast, rockfish action was slow; fish were seen on fish finders but were reluctant to bite, especially black rockfish. Reminder that as of April 1, the bottomfish fishery is restricted to inside of the 30 fathom regulatory line.

As of July 1, the general marine bag limit (rockfish, greenlings, etc.) will be is 4 fish. This reduction to the bag limit is necessary to keep total catches within annual quotas, and reduce the chance of an early closure of the recreational bottomfish fishery.

The longleader gear fishery outside of the 40 fathom regulatory line has been authorized to continue in April through September. Recent catches from the offshore longleader trips often consist of a nice grade of yellowtail, widow and canary rockfishes. Reminder that the Stonewall Bank Yelloweye Rockfish Conservation Area is closed to all bottomfish trips, including longleader trips.

The Central Coast nearshore halibut fishery opened on Friday, June 1. During the last couple of weeks, anglers were bringing in 2-3 Petrale sole per angler along with some halibut.

There are just over 26,000 pounds remaining on the spring all-depth quota, therefore back-up dates of Friday, July 6 and Saturday, July 7 will be open. Once catches from those open dates are tallied, there will be an announcement by noon on Friday, July 13 if enough quota remains for any additional back-up dates in the Central Oregon Coast Subarea spring all-depth fishery. Remaining available back-up dates are: July 19-21.

Sport salmon fishing for Chinook is open in ocean waters from Cape Falcon (just North of Nehalem Bay) to the Oregon/California border for two salmon per day (all salmon except coho). Minimum sizes are 24-inches for Chinook and 20-inches for steelhead.

On the Rogue River, anglers have begun trolling the bay up to Indian Creek for Chinook and the catch has been pretty good.

Hatchery Spring Chinook fishing excess to brood needs are being recycled back into the upper Rogue fishery upstream of Gold Hill.

The Rogue River above Lost Creek Reservoir is a hot spot for summer trout fishing, offering a great place to escape the heat of the valley, enjoy some beautiful scenery, and catch some nice trout. Learn more about this fishery.

Anglers are catching crappie and bluegills from the fishing dock on Eel Lake.

Until high winds chased anglers off the water, anglers were catching tuna about 30 miles from Coos Bay last week.

Largemouth bass fishing has been good on Tenmile Lakes. Try topwater lures during low light, then switch to plastics in deeper water when the sun hits that water.

Smallmouth bass fishing continues to be good in the south and mainstem Umpqua.

Fishing for trout at Diamond Lake continues to be good.

Anglers were catching tuna about 30 miles from Coos Bay last week. The wind has anglers off the ocean until things calm down.

There are still plenty of trout at Millicoma Pond for kids to catch. The pond is stocked for kids fishing and anglers are welcome to bring their own fishing gear but gear is available on site if you don’t have any.



Pete Heley shares the following from PeteHeley.com

Angler effort through May is higher than has been seen in recent years, even the record high years of 2015 and 2017. Therefore, this reduction is necessary to try to keep total annual catches within quotas for several species, and reduce the risk of an early closure such as occurred in September 2017.

Tuna have been showing up for the last couple of weeks in Newport and Charleston and the fish have been reachable – even for boats launching out of Winchester Bay. One recent report had the tuna 13 miles west of the “Bandon High Spot”. Most of the recent tuna reports had the tuna no more than about 50 miles out – but that can quickly change.

The Umpqua River pinkfin run is still going on and it appears that it may last several more weeks – if the reports of relatively undeveloped baby perch in the adult female perch being cleaned are accurate. Recent perch fishing reports indicate tough fishing, but it seems that at least a few boats each day are getting close to their legal boat limits.

Shad fishing success on the Umpqua River has dropped off except at Sawyer’s Rapids where some anglers are catching more than 50 shad per day. Smallmouth bass fishing has generally been very good, but there was a temporary lull last week that was most noticeable on the South Umpqua. Suspended weeds and algae are causing an increasing amount of grief to both shad and bass anglers.

SW Washington – From WDF&W

No new report to pilfer from WDF&W but you can view the latest report from late June here.