Oregon and SW Washington Fisheries Update November 9th, 2018

Willamette Valley/Metro – Willamette River sturgeon fishing tops the list as the most viable fishery in the metro area right now. Catch and release prospects will remain good well into November, with many anglers easily taking double-digit counts using fresh sand shrimp and frozen smelt for bait. The fishery’s success is the reason a consumptive option is not on the table, success rates would have too much horsepower, causing managers to limit opportunity for a short run fishery. Another consumptive fishery is likely next spring for estuary fishers, but managers won’t make that decision for several more months.

The Sandy and Clackamas has had its run on hatchery coho. Although there will be a rare late returning straggler, the run is albeit over. The Cedar Creek Hatchery on the Sandy processed another 500 – 600 coho on Monday, completing its egg take for the season. Approximately 200,000 fertilized coho eggs are incubating at the hatchery right now, until they hatch out several weeks from now where they’ll be pond reared until release in the spring of 2020. The hatcher saw about a 1% return from smolt (juvenile) to adult, standard for most hatcheries these days. The mouth of Cedar Creek will be the obvious place to intercept late returning hatchery coho, using small baits and jigs to entice fish. Another prolonged dry spell is in the forecast so expect water conditions to be low and clear once again. Pro guide Jeff Stoeger (503-704-7920) reports, “The latest report that I can provide is that the river blew out last Friday and the river still hasn’t come back into shape. The river is light brown with a little bit of green tint to it. The current river level is down to 9ft and had dropped about 6 inches over the day. The next weather storm is forecasted for next Wednesday before we see the next rain showers. The freezing level is staying low so the river will drop and then jump with next rain showers. There was a good bump of fish that showed up when the river took a bounce last week.”

Although most of the upcoming trout plants will be made in the upper Willamette Valley lakes and ponds in the coming weeks, water bodies like Henry Hagg Lake and Canby Pond should carry over ample numbers of trout into the fall months. Fish should be on the bite before temperatures drop too low, making for an ideal fishery for many younger anglers.

Sorry, but registration for the 31st annual Hall of Fame Banquet is CLOSED, but if you still want to invest in the future of sportfishing, the Association of Northwest Steelheaders can certainly use your donation to help fulfill its mission. Please go HERE to donate. Thank you in advance!

Northwest Oregon – Although only Tillamook Bay remains open for the targeting and retention of Chinook, action is fair at best. Much of the effort has slowed, and catches remain subdued for a period of time that has historically been productive. Many anglers have given up on fall Chinook, waiting for winter steelhead to arrive, which won’t be in fishable numbers for another 6 weeks. In the meantime, at least until November 15th, chum salmon will exercise anglers on the Miami, Kilchis and Wilson Rivers. This too is a great fishery for newcomers and youngsters alike. The BnR scampi tails fished under a bobber can offer great action, catch and release is required.

ODF&W re-opened a portion of the Siletz River, HERE is the official press release.

The offshore forecast looks as if bottomfishing will again be on the table. Although most of the charter fleet has hung it up for the season, private boaters can take advantage of good numbers of lingcod and bottomfish both on and offshore. Ocean crabbing remains closed, but bay crabbing in most coastal estuaries is good.

Halibut and ocean salmon seasons are closed.

Lower Columbia River – Crabbing in the lower Columbia is excellent. A soft incoming tide this weekend should give crabbers an excellent opportunity for easy limits.

Central and Eastern Oregon – From our friend Tim Moran 

Fall River – The Fall River is fishing good from the campground to the hatchery and below the falls. Lots of big trout near the hatchery. Fish here but stand away from the bank and wear muted colors to have the best results. When fish are rising small blue wing olives and midges are usually what’s on the menu.

Crooked River – Flows are about 50 to 60 CFS but stable. There is good dry fly fishing almost all day on BWO, PMD and caddis patterns. Small nymphs under a small indicator or on a dry/ dropper always produce here too.

Ana River – the Ana in SE Oregon is a great fall and winter fishery. Most of it has to be drifted in pontoon boats but it’s worth the time if you’re over there.

Owyhee River – Trout fishing is good with hatches coming off in the afternoons. Small black midges and BWO’s are predominant but it never hurts to throw streamers for the big Browns that live here.

Fishing has slowed in the Prineville and Madras area lakes.

From ODF&W 

Bikini Pond, Taylor Lake and the Prineville Youth Fishing Pond have been stocked with legal and extra trophy trout, and fishing should be good.

On the lower Deschutes, steelhead are passing over Sherars Falls and fishing should be fair in the Maupin area.

Anglers have been catching fall Chinook at Sherars Falls on the Deschutes, and can expect good numbers of fish through October.

The Fall River was stocked recently and anglers report good fishing throughout the river.

On the John Day River, flows have increased and steelhead are starting to enter the river.

Trout fishing at Chickahominy Reservoir continues to be good to excellent.

Yellowjacket Lake has been recently stocked with 10- to 12-inch fish and fishing should be good.

This is the time of year when bass fishing on the upper Owyhee River can be good.

Upper Klamath Lake and Klamath River below Keno Dam fish well in November.

Klamath River below the powerhouse will have low flows until 2 p.m. — catch rates have been really high.

Ana River was stocked last week with 250 larger rainbow trout.

Cottonwood Meadows is turning out 19” rainbow trout!

Trout fishing at Heart Lake has been excellent – this is a great place to catch some large fish before snow restricts access.

Southwest – From ODF&W 

Trout fishing in Hemlock Lake and Lake in the Woods can be great this time of year.

Steelhead anglers should consider the middle and upper Rogue, where summer steelhead fishing continues to be good.

Anglers have been catching good-size rainbow trout in Fish Lake.

Lost Creek will be the primary draw for trout anglers in the Rogue watershed now through early spring.

Expo Pond, Reinhardt Pond, Lake Selma, Powers Pond and Upper Empire Lake were all posted with trout the week of Oct. 15. With the cooling weather trend, fishing should be good at these easily accessible fisheries.

Garrison Lake will be stocked this week.


From Pete Heley at PeteHeley.com

While getting a fishing report last Saturday from Cathy Reiss of Ringo’s Lakeside Marina, a young man targeting yellow perch off their dock hooked and landed a chunky three pound largemouth on his panfish gear.

That same Saturday, the Tenmile Bass Club had a club tournament in which 14 boats participated and the results were surprising for a November tournament. Ten of the 14 boats weighed in five bass limits and seven of the boats weighed in catches of at least ten pounds.

As I am writing this on Sunday, a few coho salmon have been reported in Tenmile Lakes and there have been no reports this week of crappie, bluegill or bullhead catfish catches. Trout fishing remains slow, but the yellow perch and largemouth bass fishing has been very good.

Coho salmon are in Siltcoos and Tahkenitch lakes, which have small dams on their outlets allowing some control over when their outlets need additional flows or a good flushing.

Tahkenitch Lake has been fishing surprisingly well for coho salmon.

As of last weekend, chinook salmon have entered the Elk and Sixes rivers and more rain is needed to get these fisheries going.

Butterfield Lake, Saunders Lake, Upper Empire Lake, Bradley Lake and Powers Pond all seem to have fair numbers of trophy rainbows left from their October trout plants.

SW Washington – Salmon/Steelhead:

Columbia River Tributaries

Grays River – 18 bank anglers released 5 coho. 1 boat/3 rods had no catch.

Skamokawa Creek – No anglers sampled.

Elochoman River – 3 bank anglers had no catch.

Abernathy Creek – 1 bank angler had no catch.

Mill Creek – No anglers sampled.

Germany Creek – 1 bank angler had no catch.

Cowlitz River – I-5 Br downstream: 22 bank rods had no catch. 2 boats/4 rods released 1 chinook. Above the I-5 Br: 53 bank rods kept 4 coho jacks and released 10 chinook, 4 coho jacks, 1 steelhead and 3 cutthroat. 8 boats/21 rods kept 1 coho and 18 coho jacks. Last week, Tacoma Power employees recovered 935 coho adults, 2,717 coho jacks, 110 fall Chinook adults, 32 fall Chinook jacks, 73 cutthroat trout and 11 summer-run steelhead adults during seven days of operations at the Cowlitz Salmon Hatchery separator. During the past week, Tacoma Power released 181 coho adults and 428 coho jacks into the Cispus River near Randle and they released 77 coho adults and 214 coho jacks at the Franklin Bridge release site in Packwood. Tacoma Power released 242 coho adults, 1,212 coho jacks, 33 fall Chinook adults, 22 fall Chinook jacks and six cutthroat trout into the Tilton River at Gust Backstrom Park in Morton, and they released 227 coho adults and 879 coho jacks into Lake Scanewa in Randle. River flows at Mayfield Dam are approximately 3,540 cubic feet per second on Monday, Oct. 29. Water visibility is 11 feet and the water temperature is 54.14 degrees F. River flows could change at any time so boaters and anglers should remain alert for this possibility

Kalama River – 57 bank anglers kept 2 chinook, 1 chinook jack, 1 coho, 1 steelhead and released 1 chinook, 1 coho and 1 steelhead.

Lewis River – 86 bank rods kept 6 coho, 2 coho jacks and released 2 coho and 2 coho jacks. 15 boats/37 rods kept 1 chinook jack, 7 coho and 4 coho jacks.

East Fork Lewis River – 2 bank anglers had no catch.

Salmon Creek – 6 bank anglers had no catch.

Wind River – No anglers sampled.

Klickitat River – 46 bank anglers kept 2 chinook, 16 coho, 4 coho jacks and released 4 chinook.

Fishing Rule Changes:  Grays River: effective October 6, 2018 until further notice, from the mouth upstream to the mouth of the South Fork: release all Coho. 

West Fork Grays River: effective October 6, 2018 until further notice, from the mouth upstream: release all Coho. 

Cowlitz River: Until further notice closed for Chinook retention from the mouth to the Barrier Dam including all lower Cowlitz tributaries, except the Toutle River. Until further notice, the closed waters section below the Cowlitz Salmon Hatchery Barrier Dam is 400’, at the posted markers. 

Washougal River, including Camas Slough: Until further notice closed for Chinook retention from the mouth to the bridge at Salmon Falls. 

Toutle River: effective October 6, 2018 until further notice, from the mouth upstream to the forks: release all Chinook. 

North Fork Toutle River: effective October 6, 2018 until further notice, from the mouth upstream to the posted markers below the fish collection facility: release all Chinook. 

Wind River: from the mouth to 400’ below Shepherd Falls, closed for steelhead retention and closed to night fishing for salmon and steelhead. 

Drano Lake: Effective Oct. 17, 2018 until further notice. Closed to all fishing in the waters downstream of markers on a point of land downstream and across from Little White Salmon National Fish Hatchery and upstream of the Highway 14 Bridge. 

White Salmon River: from the mouth to the county road bridge below the former location of the powerhouse, closed for steelhead retention and closed to night fishing for salmon and steelhead

STURGEON From the mouth of the Columbia River upstream to McNary Dam including adjacent tributaries – Until further notice, white sturgeon open for catch and release fishing only. Fishing for sturgeon at night is closed.