Oregon Fisheries Update August 27th – September 2, 2015

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Willamette Valley Fishing Report – Although passage at Bonneville remains mediocre, wobbler anglers working the Kalama to Cowlitz stretch are starting to see fair catches of chinook. This reach will not be open long so action needs to ramp up quickly to call the season a success. The first week of September is often one of the peak weeks.

Waters of the Willamette River remain in the mid-70s at the Falls. Fish movement is stagnant but rain in the forecast should get some fish moving upstream.

As signs of fall become more evident, trout on the McKenzie have become more active, responding to fly angler’s offerings.

With the Santiam system unchanged in level or flow for over a week, there’s still nothing of angler interest happening here. That may change with precipitation.

As rain falls, the resultant freshet will bring the first coho into the Clackamas River. While Labor Day Weekend is traditionally the start of the season here, not much would be happening without precipitation.

Similarly, fresh water in the Sandy River will be enticing coho which will be drawn up the Columbia with rainfall. Early season fish will respond best to hardware.

North Coast Fishing Report – The Buoy 10 season remains productive but it wouldn’t be Buoy 10 if the fishing didn’t have its hit or miss days. Anglers were disappointed about Thursday’s catches but some trollers landed on them. Biologists had to pull the plug on all Chinook retention from Buoy 10 to Tongue Point starting Saturday, August 29th. The any chinook season will remain open, at least for now, above Tongue Point through September 7th. Coho are starting to show in better numbers and action for coho should ramp up into Labor Day. Tongue Point was good early in the week but action has since tapered as the tidal influx has increased.

Fishery managers liberalized the ocean salmon season, allowing a 2 chinook bag limit starting Saturday, August 29th. I know, ironic….. Ocean salmon fishing has been challenging; makes me wonder if we’re actually going to get the coho run that is forecasted. Slam dunk limits it is NOT.

The Nehalem fishery is ho-hum as anglers await the transition into fall fish. Better catches are likely to happen by the first week of September and peaking from mid to late-September. Coho numbers are expected to be fair at best.

Tillamook Bay should ramp up again with some Chinook likely to be taken in the upper reaches over the weekend. The ocean will be in no shape for fishing at least until early next week. Some hatchery coho are likely to start showing.

The Nestucca, Salmon and Alsea River Rivers are likely to start giving up Chinook on this tide series. The Alsea is likely to produce the best catches as it often receives the largest returns.

Central & South Coast Reports – During the “non-selective” ocean coho season, coho salmon may be kept whether or not they are fin-clipped. The opener is September 4th with the season scheduled to continue through September 30th or fulfillment of quota.

Tuna are being taken out of most Oregon ports with productive locations to launch changing from week to week or even day to day as warm water moves nearer to or further from the shoreline.

The next opportunity to fish all-depth halibut will occur Friday and Saturday, September 4th and 5th. More opportunities will follow if any of the quota remains available to catch.

Surf perch fishing is good from most beaches up and down the south coast. The limit is 15 but please don’t take more than you’re able to use.

Fishing for albacore has been good at times out of Charleston. Trollers and moochers at Coos Bay have enjoyed good catches of Chinook lately and bay crabbing has been decent.

Central & Eastern – Waters of the lower Deschutes have been murky due to muddy outflow from White River. Fishing above the White River mouth is one solution.

Chinook fishing will open on part of the Snake River from the Oregon/Washington border to Hells Canyon Dam. Be certain to check regulations for limits and limitations.

Trout are being taken from the Wallowa River now that the water temperature has dropped. The 2 PM temporary conservation closure is in effect here.

Fishing for planted trout has been worthwhile at Wallowa Lake with best results occurring for morning anglers.

The east side is explosively dry with multiple wildfires threatening homes as well as waterways. Use extreme caution and observe current restriction which include no campfires anywhere.

Winchester Bay boat anglers as well as bank fishers report an improvement in Chinook and coho catches this week. Crabbing is good in the bay, better outside in the ocean.

Salmon trolling at Rogue Bay has produced good catches of Chinook one day then slow the next. Chinook and a few summer steelhead are being caught on the middle river now but the upper Rogue remains the better fishery. Anglers are advised that starting September 1st, the Rogue from Dodge Bridge to Fishers Ferry will be flies only.

Jigging has been producing good catches of lingcod and rockfish just outside Brookings Harbor. This bottomfish fishery has remained a hotspot for many weeks. Ocean crabbing has been producing hard-shelled Dungeness that are full of meat. Offshore Chinook fishing has remained sluggish and has yet to really turn on as it has been expected to do.

SW Washington- Summer steelhead remain an option on the Cowlitz and Kalama Rivers but as you can guess, most district effort will remain focused on the Columbia River main stem for chinook. It won’t be long before chinook and coho begin to inundate district rivers however.

The Wind River and Drano Lake fisheries remain productive for mostly wild steelhead. Any chinook may also be retained and action for large, fall run fish is improving daily.