Oregon and SW Washington Fisheries Update September 13th, 2019

Willamette Valley/Metro – With Chinook season closed down in the Portland/Metro area, the primary focus for urban anglers will be coho, which are starting to show up in better numbers as the season progresses. Coho on the mainstem Columbia will also soon be a good option, especially if the numbers materialize as predicted.

The Sandy and Clackamas Rivers will remain a focus for bank and some boat anglers, the water levels remain low.

Pro guide Jeff Stoeger (503-704-7920) of O2BFISHN reports on the Sandy River, ” This week, we saw the weather take a change for the good. The temperature had dropped and we finally received some rain. The forecast is for more rain and that will bring the river up. The river finally went up over 8 ft for the first time in months. The water temp has dropped and has nice color. The rain had brought in some coho and there will be more fish with each rain storm. Spinners and twitching jigs will be the most effective way to target incoming fish.”

See the full version of Jeff’s report by becoming a paid subscriber here.

A small surge of coho also entered the lower Clackamas but anglers must remain diligent to effectively target them. Spinners offer up the best opportunity, especially in the early morning when fish are migrating the most.

A late surge of summer steelhead can also happen on the Clackamas system and cooler daytime temperatures can often stimulate a late season bite.

Northwest Oregon – Although fall Chinook are starting to get caught with more regularity, early observations point to a mediocre at best run back to most north coast systems.

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A 32- pound south jetty fall Chinook out of Tillamook Bay

And if you’re looking for any other Technical Reports from our region, whether it be Fishing the Lower Columbia for Salmon or Crabbing the North Oregon Coast, you can find our 20 report series HERE.

Tillamook is a September option and in recent years, has been the better option that October. Trask and Tillamook Chinook and well as hatchery coho are making a show right now, with spinners and herring both effective throughout the estuary right now.

The Nestucca and Salmon River should both be entering peak season right now, with fair catches likely through the end of this month.

The Nehalem is putting out some fall Chinook but will suffer the same consistent results as other north coast systems; mediocrity. Some hatchery coho are starting to show.

The Alsea and Siletz both have Chinook available with catches described as fair for the early season. Some coho are starting to show.

North Coast rivers saw about a 1/2 foot jump when the torrential rains hit early this week. It was enough to draw some fish into the systems but the salt remains the best place to target both Chinook and coho right now.

The non-select ocean salmon season continues to be best out of Newport with better catches expected as we enter mid-month.

37% of the all-depth halibut quota remains and 69% of the nearshore quota remains so it should be another productive weekend for halibut chasers. The all-depth spots seem to be producing the best results.

Columbia River anglers are still finding fair numbers of coho for a good day’s effort. Although limits are not the rule and a high percentage of the caught coho are “wild,” action is steady and the fish are gaining in size. Anglers keep waiting for the whopper run that’s in the forecast, if they don’t come soon, many would call it another over-prediction.

The ocean out of the lower Columbia is sporadic too. Jellyfish can be a problem, but it seems that those that fish north off of the Long Beach Peninsula are faring the best. About 33% of the quota remains available for harvest through the end of this month.

Ocean crabbing remains good, but a fair number of soft-shells are in the catch.

See the full version by being a paid subscriber or last week’s edition here.

Central and Eastern Oregon Fishing Reports

From ODF&W

Water levels in Crane Prairie are dropping so trout will be in deeper water until the water temperatures cool.

Anglers have been catching some nice, bright Chinook on the lower Deschutes.

Trout anglers should consider Jubilee and Pendland lakes for their weekend fishing. The summer crowds are gone and cooler temperatures have put trout back on the bite.

Hunters in the area of the Umatilla and South Walla Walla forest ponds should remember to take a rod with them and enjoy a cast-and-blast weekend.

Trout fishing on the Blitzen near Page Springs has been good for anglers throwing wooly buggers and hopper patterns.

Trout fishing also should be good at Blue Lake in the Gearhart Wilderness.

Balm Creek Reservoir is holding a fair amount of water this year, as well as a fair number of trout in the 8- to 15-inch range.

Fishing for yellow perch can be excellent in the Lower Williamson River, Pelican Bay of Upper Klamath Lake and Crystal Creek, if you can find them!

Fishing for brook trout is excellent this time of year in the Upper Sycan, Upper NF and SF Sprague, Upper Williamson, Long Creek and a few high elevation lakes.

Southwest Oregon from Pete Heley at PeteHeley.com

No update from Pete this week.

Southwest – From ODF&W

Bottomfishing is now open to fish at all depths. Fishing for lingcod and rockfish has been good when the ocean is calm enough to fish. 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. As of Sept. 8, ocean salmon anglers harvested 51.7 percent of the nonselective coho salmon quota. The non-selective ocean coho season will be open again on Sept. 13-15. Chinook must be a minimum of 24-inches long and coho must be at least 16-inches.

Tuna are still being caught 20-35 miles off shore when conditions allow anglers to get on the ocean.

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 Sept 1, there is 71 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 Aug. 31 there is 49 percent of the All-Depth quota remaining.

The Southern Oregon Subarea is open seven days a week for halibut. There is still 75 percent of the quota remaining for the Southern Oregon Coast halibut season.

We’re still waiting for salmon fishing to pick up no the Umpqua, but in the meantime, bass fishing continues to be good.

Some salmon have started moving upriver in the Coos.

September is the last month for trout fishing on the Chetco, Elk, Floras/New, Hunter, Pistol, Sixes and Winchuck.

Smallmouth bass should be on the bite in the mainstem and South Fork Coquille.

After a slow start, Chinook fishing is heating up on the lower Rogue thanks to recent rains. Most fish are being caught below the Hwy. 101 bridge.

With water levels low and temperatures cooling, Fish Lake has been producing good trout and will be stocked again with trophies this week.

Half-pounder fishing has been good in the Rogue canyon, especially below Blossom. Keep an eye out for adult steelhead moving upriver, as well.

2019 Stocking schedule and Stocking Maps

SW Washington –  From the WDF&W web site, September 9th:


Columbia River Mainstem

 Warrior Rock to Bonneville Dam, Effective September 6 until further notice. Release all Chinook, 2 hatchery adult coho may be retained.

Columbia River Tributaries

 North Fork Toutle River: Until further notice: Daily salmon limit 6, up to 4 adults may be retained. Release all salmon other than hatchery coho.

 Wind River: Effective September 1 – September 30, 2019, from the mouth to 400 feet downstream of Shipherd Falls fish ladder: release all steelhead.

 White Salmon River: Effective September 1 – September 30, 2019, from the mouth to the county road bridge below the former location of the power house: release all steelhead.

 Klickitat River: Effective through September 30, 2019, from the mouth to Fisher Hill Bridge: release all steelhead. Sturgeon:

 Buoy 10 upstream to McNary Dam including adjacent tributaries: Closed to retention of white sturgeon but remains open for catch and release fishing only.

Fishery Reports:


Columbia River Tributaries

Elochoman River – 1 bank angler released 1 steelhead.

Cowlitz River – I-5 Br downstream – 5 bank rods had no catch. 8 boats/19 rods kept 3 coho, 1 coho jack and released 1 coho, 1 coho jack, 7 Chinook and 2 Chinook jacks.

Above the I-5 Br – 13 bank rods had no catch. 3 boats/6 rods kept 1 steelhead and released 1 steelhead and 1 Chinook.

Lewis River – 35 bank anglers kept 1 Chinook jack, 2 coho, 5 coho jacks and released 1 Chinook. 5 boats/6 rods kept 1 coho.

Wind River – 1 bank angler had no catch. 6 boats/9 rods released 11 Chinook.

Drano Lake – 6 bank anglers released 5 steelhead. 15 boats/33 rods kept 19 Chinook, 2 coho and released 16 steelhead.