Oregon Fisheries Update April 29th, 2016

Willamette Valley – Spring Chinook passage at Bonneville is dismal. Peak passage is supposed to happen during the first week of May and if that’s when the peak happens this year, it’s likely to be a bust of a run. Keep your fingers crossed, a lot is at stake.

Spring Chinook fishing is slow on the lower Willamette although catch-and-release sturgeon fishing remains good. There has been reports of better action at Oregon City but with the sea lions awaiting you to hook up, anglers are becoming quickly discouraged. A really good day is 2 or 3 fish, and we’re in peak season. Can you say mis-prediction?

McKenzie fly fishers may expect good and improving water conditions over the coming weekend with fair to good results for trout. Although the Santiam system will be gradually dropping over the coming week, there are too few fish in the system to expect great results here.

Fishing on the Clackamas has been slow not that winter steelheading is all but over and summer steelhead and spring season has barely started.

Pro guide Jeff Stoeger of O2Bfishin Guide Service (503-704-7920), reporting on the Sandy River, tells us  that fishing is slow but more summer steelhead will be coming into the river in coming weeks.

Northwest Oregon – It’s early for good numbers of spring Chinook in Tillamook Bay but given the poor results in the Willamette and tributary fisheries, you still may want to consider it. It’s late for steelhead as most of the winter run is spawning although there are some summer runs available in the Wilson and Nestucca systems.

Bottom fishing is excellent however, especially for sea bass. Garibaldi Charters writes, “Garibaldi Charters 1-800-900-HOOK . The weather pattern has prevented us from doing much ocean fishing this last week, but when it was nice enough to get out we were able to get easy limits of rockfish on the nearshore  reefs around Three Arch Rocks.”

Razor clam digging has been good on the minus tides. Unfortunately, we don’t have those this weekend. Crabbing has been fair at best.

There are some spring Chinook available in Clatsop County, on Big Creek and the Klaskanine Rivers.

Central & South Coast Reports – Surf perch fishing has been producing many limits for anglers fishing off most of the south coast beaches.

The Department of Fish and Wildlife announced regulations for offshore salmon and halibut for 2016. It looks a little bleak for coho fishing this season.

In his regular weekly report, author of several books on fishing, Pete Heley (PeteHeley.com) reports that pinkfin perch have yet to make their annual appearance in Winchester Bay although spring Chinook catches have been decent on the Umpqua. Warmwater fishing is really picking up and trout are available in most area lakes and ponds

Bottomfishing has been outstanding out of most south coast ports. With lingcod spawning now, they are aggressive and anxious to cooperate with anglers.

The spring Chinook season on the lower Rogue is just getting underway, although there are a few springers clear up to the hatchery. Fishing on the middle river has been spotty with upper Rogue results being fair to good.

Now clear of ice, Diamond Lake trout fishing is slow to fair but is expected to improve.

Central & Eastern – Deschutes conditions are decent with some fly anglers catching redsides, although they aren’t in good shape now. They are just coming off of the spawn.

Owyhee River is receiving a great deal of pressure now on the stretch below the dam.

With Timothy Lake open and accessible now, this is another opportunity for eastside stillwater fly fishers.

Fishing has been fair to good and very good at times at Wickiup Reservoir. The opener over the past weekend was a hottie.

Odell Lake has been very productive, producing fairly consistent limits of kokanee.

SW Washington – The Cowlitz is still clicking along but spring Chinook are now starting to make up a more significant amount of the catch. The run is tracking well with about double the number returning to date to the hatchery as they had last year at this time. The overall forecast is for 25,000 returning adults, which may be a bit of a stretch but it seems the fishery is performing well and may be the best bet in town. Don’t forget to bring your own rock however, it’s crowded!

The Lewis and Kalama remain petty and not likely to change.

The Wind River and Drano Lake fisheries are nothing to write home about either. You can’t expect much however, when Bonneville Dam is only passing about 1,000 adults per day. This fishery should really be turning on now but anglers won’t get too excited until about 3,000 adults or better per day are passing the facility.