Coho Salmon

Oregon and SW Washington Fisheries Update October 18th, 2019

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Willamette Valley/Metro – Fishery managers brought some late-breaking but good news this week, with the re-opener of the mainstem Columbia for coho salmon only. The fishery is now open from Buoy 10 to The Dalles Dam. For the most accurate information, go HERE. Also embedded in this press release is details for another 2 days of catch and keep sturgeon fishing from the Wauna powerlines to Bonneville Dam. Expectations aren’t for a lot of either sturgeon or coho to be caught, but at least opportunity is increasing instead of decreasing this time.

The Willamette is seeing a decent coho return with nearly 6,000 adults over the falls now. Action is tapering at the mouth of the Tualatin, but opportunity should continue for another few weeks. Anglers should explore the upper reaches of the Willamette and its tributaries to take advantage of the greatest numbers of fish.

The Clackamas is primed for action with the latest river rise and the Eagle Creek fish hatchery reports that 1,000 fish have entered the facility. The mouth of Eagle Creek is the obvious point of interception and at a minimum, another couple of thousand adults are due back to the hatchery here.

Pro guide Jeff Stoeger (503-704-7920) of O2BFISHN reports on the Sandy River, “Welcome to this week’s Sandy River report. Last week we saw the river take a large bump due to some snow melt. The river went up to 9ft and was chocolate brown in color. Over the next couple of days, the river dropped into perfect conditions and there were a good number of fish caught in Oxbow Park, Dodge Park  and in Dabney Park. This next rain event will bring the river up again and could go off color and then drop into shape. The freezing level is going to drop down into the four to six thousand foot range which will help maintain current conditions. The rain forecast is for rain over the next ten days and as much as an inch to inch and half of rain.”

And since we’re in the same geographical location…

Well, the response to our call for anglers to submit comments on the section 120 permit (Sea lion removal) was UNDERWHELMING. Thank you to Blake B., Ryan K., Gary W., Kurt D., Michael M., Steven S., Grayson P., as 7 of our over 5,000 subscribers that took a few minutes to comment. The window is closing for comments, keep reading to see how you can MAKE A DIFFERENCE! You can see the detailed comments submitted by the NW Guides and Anglers by CLICKING HERE. You can see we should leave no impacts behind, feel free to use these bullet points too (no pun intended). Comments are DUE October 29th!

If there’s one thing ALL sportanglers can get behind, it’s saving endangered salmon and steelhead from going extinct. That’s why it’s CRITICAL that you submit your public comments in support of implementation The Endangered Salmon Predation Prevention Act we all worked so hard to pass last year. If sportanglers don’t step up and advocate for the recovery of these species, there’s a chance the program may not realize it’s full intention.

We URGE you to submit comments on this very important program so recovery can move forward and the massive investments in time and money we’ve made in the Pacific Northwest don’t go down the throats of these sea lions! COMMENT HERE and you can learn more about the effort HERE.

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.

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!

Northwest Oregon – Interest and success for Buoy 10 coho continues to slide. A few coho remain in the fishery, but just like the early season, it’s largely disappointing. Crabbing remains good and anglers should have another week of combination action, too bad the weather won’t be so cooperative.

Tillamook Bay has been producing some Chinook, experienced anglers say it’s better than last year (which wasn’t necessarily supposed to be the case). Upper bay anglers did well early in the week and tidewater of the Trask, Tillamook and Wilson Rivers held fish for persistent anglers.

Nehalem Bay is waning, as is commonly the case this time of year. Coho, mostly wild, continue to entertain anglers, but results in spaghetti for dinner as all wild coho must be released. The current river rise is bringing hatchery coho in, but the water is currently turbid. Once it drops, fishing should be fair with only a mediocre return likely. None-the-less, it’s peak season and the hatchery offers excellent bank access for early risers.

The Nestucca has produced on-again-off-again results for Chinook in tidewater. Our first significant fall rain should draw fish upstream and fresh fish into the lower tidewater reaches, but they won’t stay there for long. Anglers are reminded that angling is only open downstream of First Bridge, but Three Rivers is now open for fall Chinook and should provide fair to good bank fishing for anglers this weekend.

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

The Salmon River is passing peak period but fair numbers of Chinook remain in the river. Bank anglers should have a good crack at them this weekend.

The Alsea is producing fairly, mostly in tidewater, but fish are ready to make their way upstream as the rain freshet does its thing. Fresh fish should be moving into tidewater throughout the weekend.

The Siletz is one of the better producing rivers this season, but results remain sporadic for most anglers. Like other north coast systems, the rain freshet will send older fish upstream and bring in fresher fish in the lower reaches. As of this writing (10/17/19 19:00), the Siletz is already up a foot, and predicted to climb another foot by the weekend.

Yaquina Chinook remain available, but were elusive this week.

The Necanicum should provide some fair Chinook fishing for bank anglers by Friday and Saturday. Crabbing remains good and soft tides should provide some opportunity if the rivers don’t blow out and send crab west. The ocean is now closed to recreational crabbing (and it’s upside down too). That makes halibut and rockfishing out of reach, and the albacore have disappeared.

Central and Eastern Oregon Fishing Reports

From avid angler Tim Moran:

Crane Prairie –  Fishing Crane (or any of the cascade lakes for that matter) will be challenging in the forecast weather conditions.  A mix of rain and snow and wind is on the menu. 

East Lake – This might be your last chance to fish East and Paulina. There were good reports from both last weekend but the weather was perfect.  This weekend – not so much.

Lower Deschutes River – If I was going to fish anywhere this weekend I’d fish the “D”. With temps stabilizing on the mountain there isn’t anymore silt/mud being puked into the river by the White River so water clarity is good.  The cooler and cloudy weather is perfect for swinging flies and hardware. 

John Day River – Bass fishing is pretty much over for the year as the bass get dormant when the river temps fall.  Steelhead are in the river now but not yet in fishable numbers but that hopefully will change quickly. 

Metolius River – The Met is fishing well and weather doesn’t really affect the river too much unless its cataclysmic. October Caddis, mahogany duns and BWO’s are coming off right now and you can fish the rusty spinner fall in the early evening when it occurs.

Fall River – Fall fishes well in the late fall and it’s a little easier when there is a little chop on the water so this could be a great weekend to hit it.

Crooked River – As long as the river levels are consistent this river will fish well. 

I’ll be incommunicado next week as I’ll be up in the Hell’s Canyon area chasing elk and maybe some steelhead!  Good luck everyone!    

From the ODF&W

Steelhead fishing should good in the lower Deschutes.

Fall can be some of the best trout fishing of the year in the area’s lakes and reservoirs. The cooler temperatures have sent most of the crowds home, and put trout on the bite as they feed aggressively to prepare for winter.

Coho and fall Chinook are starting to arrive in the Umatilla in good numbers.

Steelhead are starting to move into the John Day River.

Trout fishing on the Grande Ronde and Wallowa rivers continues to be good with the cool fall temperatures.

Fly-fishing on the Chewaucan River has been excellent, with one angler landing a 28-inch redband!

The Klamath River below Keno Dam is the best bet for good fishing in the Klamath Basin.

Fishing in Krumbo Reservoir has been great with anglers catching trout up to 18-inches.

Fishing at Heart Lake has been very good, with anglers pulling out fish up to 15-inches.

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 as of Aug. 23. The Nearshore Halibut season is open Monday through Thursday each week in the Central Coast Subarea. As of Oct. 6, there is 55 percent of the Nearshore quota remaining. The summer All-Depth season for the Central Coast Subarea is open every Friday through Sunday through October 26 or attaining the quota of 67,898 lbs. As of Oct. 6 there is 31 percent of the All-Depth quota remaining.

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.

This week’s forecasted rain should pull Chinook out of the tidewater of the Coos and Coquille and send them on their way upriver.

Anglers continue to catch Chinook and steelhead on the middle Rogue.

While bay fishing has slowed some on the lower Rogue, anglers are still catching chinook and steelhead below the Hwy 101 bridge.

Several SW Zone waterbodies, including Lake Selmac, Expo Pond, Reinhart Park Pond, Saunders Lake, Upper Empire Lake, Butterfield Lake, Bradley Lake and Powers Pond will be stocked this week with some legal size and larger trout. Thanks to cooler temperatures, these fish should be ready to bite.

2019 Stocking schedule and Stocking Maps

SW Washington –  From the WDF&W web site, October 16th:

For regulation updates, go HERE.

Fishery Reports: Salmon/Steelhead: Columbia River Tributaries

Columbia River Tributaries

• Cowlitz River – I-5 Br downstream – 31 bank rods kept 2 coho and released 4 coho adults. 19

boats/61 rods kept 16 coho, 3 coho jacks and released 20 Chinook, 4 Chinook jacks, 28 coho and

1 coho jack.

• Above the I-5 Br – 32 bank rods kept 4 coho and released 43 Chinook and 1 coho.

• Kalama River – 4 bank anglers had no catch.

• Lewis River – 48 bank anglers kept 3 Chinook, 1 Chinook jack and 1 coho. 13 boats/38 rods kept

17 Chinook, 4 Chinook jacks and released 3 Chinook and 1 coho.

• Washougal River (Slough) – 11 boats/20 rods kept 16 coho and released 1 coho.


• Cowlitz River – I-5 Br downstream – 7 bank rods had no catch. 5 boats/13 rods released 2

sublegal and 5 oversize sturgeon.

Tributaries not listed: Creel checks not conducted