Bill Kremers of Corvallis with a Willamette River spring Chinook from May 2nd from the Milwaukie area.

Oregon and Washington Fisheries Update August 30th, 2019

Willamette Valley/Metro – With the looming September 8th closure from Warrior Rock to Bonneville Dam, anglers are hoping for a strong finish to an abrupt season. This reach of river is full of Chinook, but has often times been volatile so fishing is on one day, a miss the next. That has been the case so far this season.

Pro Trollers using spinners are still finding fairly consistent success from Bonneville to Warrior Rock and a few remaining anchor wobbler anglers are still holding out although their success isn’t what it used to be. The season should remain fair to good through the closure date.

Coho are also in the system, awaiting the first fall rains to draw them upstream and into the Clackamas and Sandy Rivers. Coho are staging at the mouths of both of these systems and likely entering the lower reaches of each system as well. Spinners will take some fish, but success should build as the run does, a bit deeper into September.

Pro guide Jeff Stoeger (503-704-7920) of O2BFISHN reports, “This week we saw that the Sandy was off color and running at 7.65 ft. The Sandy will continue to stay off color due the warm weather we have had. The weather forecast is for possible rain showers Wednesday night and Thursday morning. If you plan to fish the river, fish the mouths of small creeks that drop into the river, the water will be much clearer and the fish will stack up because of clean and clearer water.  

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

Willamette anglers will come back online as well, with a few coho anglers trying for success just downstream of the mouth of the Clackamas.

Taking the next generation of conservationist to Bonneville Dam to see large Chinook pass the viewing window is also a great idea. September is an incredible time of year.

Northwest Oregon – Tillamook anglers are awaiting the first robust catches of Chinook to the district, knowledgeable anglers aren’t holding their breath but Chinook should start nosing their faces into the Tillamook, Nehalem and Nestucca estuaries this week. The excitement is riding a bit higher for the “any 2 salmon” season kicking off on Saturday for ocean going sport anglers.  Having the ability to keep any coho you catch out there is a great opportunity, due to the efforts we’ve made to restore the runs and favorable ocean conditions that have promoted a return to abundance. Anglers are holding out hope that the offshore weather cooperates.

The Nestucca and Nehalem, and to a lesser degree Tillamook Bays have all had a few Chinook taken from them recently. Hatchery coho may make the stronger return this week, especially to the Nehalem and Tillamook Bay, where the south channel is the most likely point of interception for these fish. Trolling spinners higher in the estuary or bait down low should take some fish this weekend.

Rivers remain too low to draw fish into them and summer steelheading on the Wilson, Nestucca and Siletz Rivers remains slow. The Trask and North Fork Nehalem will soon have coho, especially if we have an early rain event stimulate migration. Remember, NO estuary or river wild coho seasons this year along most of the coastline.

The Siletz, Alsea and Salmon Rivers should also see some early season Chinook this weekend. The Alsea remains one of the better bets on the north/central coast. Salmon River Chinook return in better numbers around mid-September and the return is rather short-lived for estuary anglers. Ocean crabbing is picking up, but many of the crab remain fairly soft. Estuary crabbing should produce fewer crab, but of higher quality. Strong tides this weekend don’t make estuary crabbing a strong option however.

And as if salmon, tuna, halibut and bottomfish weren’t enough to lick your chops about, the all-depth fishery re-opens earlier than anticipated. Starting September 3rd, anglers can fish at any depth for bottomfish. AND, you may then also keep bottomfish ALONG WITH your halibut! We haven’t seen an opportunity like this for, well, I don’t know when. HERE is the official press release, which you should go by.

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

Central and Eastern Oregon Fishing Reports

From avid anger Tim Moran

Crane Prairie –  Small black leeches are taking most of the trout on Crane  -fished with an intermediate sink line.  Rust and olive will take fish too. 

Hosmer Lake – It’s still a damsel and zebra midge show on Hosmer.  Some really nice Brookies have shown up in recent weeks.

Wickiup –  It’s so low that it’s not doing much.  No reports.

East Lake – East Lake fishing slowed during the heat but should pick up again this weekend with cooler weather.

Lower Deschutes River – BWO, PMD’s and especially Caddis coming off right now and fishing for trout is good. Euro- nymphing is great too.  Check with the guys at the Deschutes Angler in Maupin for tips and flies.

There are steelhead in the river and fishing has been spotty but decent with few fishermen on the river targeting steelhead.   The river is on again  – off again.

There should be enough fish that have entered the river in July and August that there are enough fish up there to target.   A reader was kind enough to let me know last week that there were a few fish being caught on the D and pressure was pretty light.  I always appreciate input from readers.  Your reports are always welcome!  

John Day River – Bass fishing was slow this week in the Clarno area due to thunderstorms that muddied an cooled the water.  Some fish were caught but it went from 80 to 15 per day. 

Upper Columbia River – Fishing from The Dalles east continues to be great.  Lots of 3 and 4 pound and a few pushing 5 have been caught this year. 

From ODF&W

Fishing the higher elevation hike-in lakes can offer solitude, good fishing, and a chance to combine a couple of your favorite outdoor activities. Find more information on planning your hike-in fishing trip.

Metolius Pond is scheduled to be stocked this week – making it a great place to take the kids fishing over the holiday weekend.

Trout fishing should be on your holiday weekend agenda. Best bets include trout in the Wallowa and Imnaha rivers, and Jubilee Lake. BONUS: There are huckleberries at Jubilee Lake.

Several waterbodies are schedule to be stocked with trout this week, just in time for the holiday weekend: Lake of the Woods, Deadhorse Lake, Fourmile Lake, Campbell Lake and Miller Lake.

Yellow perch fishing should be good in Pelican Bay area of Upper Klamath Lake and in Crystal and Fourmile creeks.

Trout fishing continues to be good in Long Creek and the North Fork Sprague River.

This is a good time of year to throw hopper patterns for redband trout on the Chewaucan and Wood rivers.

Southwest Oregon from Pete Heley at

Data regarding the current ocean selective (finclipped) coho season has been updated through August 18th and 42.5 percent of the quota has been caught and kept with fishing success running at .72 retained salmon per angler/trip for the season. The most successful port so far continues to be Depoe Bay with 1.00 kept salmon per angler/trip.

Ocean salmon-fishing continued its gradual several week declines with salmon-fishing success now down to .72 retained salmon per angler/trip. Newport continues to be the busiest port along the central Oregon coast. It’s 19,818 angler/trips is nearly twice as many as Winchester which is the second busiest port with. 10,315 angler trips Garibaldi is third with 9,594 angler/trips.

The updated(through August 18th) resuls for all ten ports in our zone are: Garibaldi 9,594 ( angler/trips – .49 retained salmon per angler); Pacific City (5,167 angler/trips -.85 retained salmon per angler); Depoe Bay (7,128 angler trips – 1.00 retained salmon per angler); Newpor(19,818 angler /trips – .88 retained salmon per angler); Florence(0 angler/trips); Brookings(3,267 angler/trips – ..28 retained salmon per angler); Gold Beach(189 angler/trips – .00 retained salmon per angler); Bandon(244 angler/trips – .40 retained salmon per angler): Charleston(2,195 angler/trips – .53 retained salmon per angler/; Winchester Bay (10,315 angler trips – .58 retained salmon per angler.

Brookings had 3,359 angler trips and .28 retained salmon per angler – and about 40 percent more kept cohos than chinooks. which is very unusual. For the season it took about nine angler/trips for each keeper chinook.

The Non-selective ocean Coho Season: Open August 31/September 1, and each Friday- through Sunday through the earlier of September 30 or the quota of 9,000 coho. Bag Limit: Two salmon per day. Minimum lengths: Coho – 16”; Chinook – 24”; steelhead – 20”; and no minimum length for pink, sockeye, or chum salmon in ocean fishery.

As for chinook salmon catches, Newport leads with 1,209 followed by Winchester Bay Bay with 763 and Depoe Bay with 663.

With two weeks left in the season, 42.5 percent of the quota has been caught and kept and there is no chance that season quota will be met or even approached. when the season ends on August 25th.

The Non-selective Coho Season: is set to open August 31-September 1, and each Fri-Sun through the earlier of September 30 or the quota of 9,000 coho. Bag Limit: Two salmon per day. Minimum lengths: Coho – 16”; Chinook – 24”; steelhead – 20”; and no minimum length for pink, sockeye, or chum salmon in ocean fishery. Unless fishing conditions are terrible the season won’t last long.

I would be very surprised if there are no major changes in next year’s ocean chinook salmon season.

2019 Stocking schedule and Stocking Maps

Southwest – From ODF&W

Rockfish fishing near the submerged rock piles in Coos Bay.

Anglers have been catching come salmon in Coos Bay.

Crappie and bluegill have been biting in Eel Lake.

Trout anglers should check out the upper Elk and Chetco rivers for cutthroat. Look for them at the mouths of tributaries or in deeper pools where the water is cooler.

Bass fishing on the Main and South Umpqua is always a good bet this time of year.

Anglers should keep in mind that as of Sept. 1 on the Rogue River above Fishers Ferry chinook fishing is closed and gear is restricted to fly-only. Hatchery summer steelhead and hatchery trout remain open and fishing for both have been reported to be good.

Trout fishing has been good recently at Fish Lake, where the water remains cooler throughout the summer than some other reservoirs in the area.

Several waterbodies are scheduled to be stocked with trophy trout this week, just in time for the holiday weekend. They include Marie Lake, Cooper Creek Reservoir, Lemolo Reservoir, Red Top Lake, Lake in the Woods, Ben Irving Reservoir, Hemlock Lake, Clearwater Bay #2 and the Rogue River above Lost Creek Reservoir.

The Rogue Pikeminnow Roundup harvest contest will continue until Sept. 2, contact Ryan Battleson at 541-826-8774 x 226 for details.

SW Washington –  From the WDF&W web site, August 26th:


Columbia River Tributaries

• Lewis River: Effective August 1, 2019 until further notice, from Johnson Creek to the power lines below Merwin Dam: release all salmon other than hatchery coho.

• North Fork Toutle River: Effective August 1, 2019 until further notice: Daily salmon limit 6, up to 4 adults may be retained. Release all salmon other than hatchery coho.


• 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: Salmon/Steelhead:

Lower Columbia mainstem from Cathlamet to Bonneville Dam – 757 salmonid boats and 185 Washington bank rods were tallied during last Saturdays flight count.


Columbia River Tributaries

Elochoman River – 6 bank anglers kept 1 steelhead.

Cowlitz River – I-5 Br downstream – 1 boat/2 rods had no catch. Above the I-5 Br – 5 bank rods had no catch. 13 boats/33 rods kept 20 steelhead, released 5 steelhead and 2 Chinook.

Lewis River – 4 bank anglers had no catch. Wind River – 1 boat/1 rod had no catch.

Drano Lake –11 boats/25 rods kept 9 Chinook.

Klickitat below Fisher Hill Bridge – 1 bank angler had no catch.

Klickitat above #5 Fishway – 1 bank angler had no catch.