Oregon and SW Washington Fisheries Update November 1st, 2019

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Willamette Valley/Metro – Some boaters are still harassing dark Chinook in the Bonneville reach, not a good idea given this year’s impacts we’ve had on Chinook stocks in the system. Upstream of Bonneville, it’s a bit more justified as boats averaged about 1 kept coho per boat in that reach, mostly around the mouth of the Klickitat.

The last sturgeon opener produced expectedly poor results although anglers in Westport averaged 0.33 legal white sturgeon caught per boat.

Coho counts at Willamette Falls continue to yo-yo with over 7,100 coho past the falls at this point. That is considered a good return year. Effort is dropping as it’s really cold out there when the fish are supposed to be biting.

Clackamas River hatchery coho are mostly at or near their hatchery of origin. With dropping flows and cooler air and water temperatures, migration has slowed, giving bank anglers some additional opportunity recently. Most of the fish are wild at this point however, requiring release. They are still taking twitched jigs and spinners however.

Pro guide Jeff Stoeger (503-704-7920) of O2BFISHN reports on the Sandy River, “I floated the river Friday and it was on the drop. The wind hadn’t picked up yet, and the forecast was for the winds to start blowing over the weekend and weather temperatures were dropping as well. I floated from Dabney to Lewis and Clark.  We saw tons of spawning salmon, well into the hundreds. The water temp was 47 degrees and the water level was 9.3ft, and it is 8.2 ft as of late Wednesday afternoon. The forecast is for the river to level off about 8ft until we get our next batch of rain. We hooked up twice and the fish took spinners with hoochie tails in size 4 spinners. Both fish were wild and released. As your out fishing and walking the river banks, please be careful not to walk on reds that salmon have just created.”

See the full version of Jeff’s, Tim’s and Bob’ reports by becoming a paid subscriber here. It’s just $0.50 cents per week!

More TROUT STOCKING of both legals and trophy trout in the Willamette Valley and throughout the state. Fall is a great time to take advantage of these fish that are wanting to put on some winter pounds before the weather hits.

Northwest Oregon – Buoy 10 coho fishing is over. The lower Columbia remains a good option for crabbing, especially this weekend with the soft tide series. Be aware however, a wicked east wind will make for dangerous boating conditions so check the forecast carefully, it’s always changing.

Chinook numbers are starting to taper on many north coast systems but Tillamook Bay remains a late-season option as Wilson and Kilchis fish make their way into the system. Action has been hit or miss but fish are still being caught daily. Effort is mainly focused on the lower bay, where weak tides this weekend will only exacerbate that effort. Tillamook district rivers are not too low to effectively float, but the tidewater of the Trask and Wilson remain good bobber fishing options.

The Nehalem is effectively over, but the Nestucca will still have a few late arrivals into early November. The Salmon River is done as well, at least for bright fish. Yaquina Bay is also pretty done for Chinook this year.

The Alsea should continue to produce some catches of bright Chinook and a few dark ones as well. Fish should again be stacking up in tidewater, awaiting the next rain freshet. The Siletz is much the same but more bright fish should be seen here over the next few weeks. Trollers working flashers and spinners in tidewater will have the upper hand this weekend as tide changes are small.

Crabbing has dropped off a bit on most north coast estuaries but it should be fair this weekend.

Offshore weather looks very favorable for bottomfish as salmon, halibut and crab are now closed in the salt chuck. Ling cod and sea bass should be plentiful and cooperative.

See the full Tillamook report AND FORECAST by being a paid subscriber or see last week’s edition here.

Now’s the time to learn more about drifting our bevy of North Coast Rivers. Technical Report #8 Driftboat Fishing on the North Oregon Coast gives some deep insight as to how to catch our region’s salmon and steelhead. Pick up your copy NOW and peruse through the other Technical Report options for crabbing, herring trolling and bobber fishing while your at it!

Up close KK STW
Driftboat caught steelhead on the Wilson River with KastKing innovator Al Noraker

See the full Tillamook report AND FORECAST by being a paid subscriber or see last week’s edition here.

Central and Eastern Oregon Fishing Reports

From ODF&W

Steelhead are spread out in the lower Deschutes as far upriver as South Junction. Fishing should pick up soon in the North Junction, South Junction and Warm Springs areas.

Fall can be some of the best trout fishing of the year in the area’s lakes and reservoirs.

It won’t be long before snow will limit access to central Oregon’s high elevation, hike-in lakes. Until then fish will be feeding aggressively as they get ready for the winter, and fishing can be good.

Prineville Youth Fishing Pond, Pinehollow Reservoir and Taylor Lake are scheduled to be stocked this week.

Umatilla River Coho made a strong push this past week with over 750 adults returning to Three Mile Dam.

Steelhead are starting to move into the John Day River.

Campbell, Cottonwood Meadows and Deadhorse lakes are good choices for some great fall trout fishing.

Best bet in the Klamath Basin is to target brook trout in the upper areas of the Sprague, Williamson or Sycan.

Recent sampling at Fish Lake (Wallowa Mountains) showed there are good numbers of both stocked rainbow and naturally-produced brook trout. Combine with cooler fall temperatures and fishing should be great.

Southwest – From ODF&W

Bottomfishing is now open to fish at all depths. Fishing for lingcod and rockfish was very good this past weekend. Many anglers caught big lingcod while fishing out past 40 fathoms. The daily bag limit for marine fish is 5 plus 2 lingcod.

The harvest of cabezon along with copper, quillback, and China rockfish are now all closed to boat anglers. Shore anglers will still be able to harvest these rockfish species (but are encouraged to release them) and 1 cabezon a day.

Anglers may also choose to fish the offshore longleader fishery outside of the 40-fathom regulatory line, which is open year round. The longleader fishery has a daily bag limit of 10 fish made of yellowtail, widow, canary, blue, deacon, redstripe, greenstripe, silvergray, and bocaccio rockfish. No other groundfish are allowed and offshore longleader fishing trips cannot be combined with traditional bottomfish, flatfish or halibut trips. Find information about a longleader setup here.

Ocean salmon fishing for Chinook salmon from Cape Falcon to Humbug Mt is open 7 days a week through Oct. 31. The non-selective coho season is now closed. Chinook must be a minimum of 24-inches long.

Halibut anglers may now keep two halibut per day. All halibut seasons will end on Oct. 31. The Nearshore Halibut season is open Monday through Thursday each week in the Central Coast Subarea. The summer All-Depth season for the Central Coast Subarea is closed for the year.

The Southern Oregon Subarea is open seven days a week for halibut. There is still 68 percent of the quota remaining for the Southern Oregon Coast halibut season.

Lost Creek Reservoir is probably the best lake for launching larger trailered boats at this time. Trout fishing should be good
Expo Pond, Reinhardt Park Pond, and Fish Lake remain good bets for trout fishing.

Subscriber Tom S. sent in this update, “Lost Creek Reservoir is fishing great with wedding ring night crawlers and 1oz”. Thanks Tom!

Summer steelhead fishing continues in the middle and upper Roque continues to be worth a mention.

Several rivers and streams will close to trout fishing after Oct. 31 – be sure to check the regulations before heading out this weekend.

2019 Stocking schedule and Stocking Maps

SW Washington –  From the WDF&W web site, October 28th :

For regulation updates, go HERE.

Fishery Updates

Columbia River Tributaries

Salmon/Steelhead:

Elochoman – 3 bank anglers released one steelhead.

Cowlitz River – I-5 Br downstream – 9 bank rods kept one coho. 7 boats/19 rods kept 12 coho and released three Chinook, 2 coho and 1 coho jack.

Above the I-5 Br – 40 bank rods kept two steelhead and released 14 Chinook. 6 boats/17 rods kept four coho and released two Chinook, 6 coho and 1 coho jack.

Kalama River – 7 bank anglers had no catch.

Lewis River – 17 bank anglers kept one coho. 9 boats/23 rods kept 11 Chinook, 2 Chinook jacks, 3 coho and released seven Chinook, 1 coho and 1 coho jack.

Wind River – 1 boat/2 rods released one Chinook.

Klickitat below Fisher Hill Bridge – 42 bank anglers kept 30 Chinook, 1 Chinook jack, 25 coho and 3 coho jacks.

Sturgeon:

Cowlitz River – I-5 Br downstream – 2 boats/7 rods released three sublegal sturgeon.

 Tributaries not listed: Creel checks not conducted.