Oregon Fisheries Update August 5th, 2016

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Willamette Valley – Summer steelhead remain available for Bonneville area anglers but the larger-in-number A-run fish are phasing out, while the larger-in-size B-run fish are starting to show. Small spinners often produce the best results but spin-n-glos tipped with coon shrimp are also a consistent favorite. We’re still weeks away from a viable fall Chinook opportunity but after last year, anglers anxiously await the opportunity to try their pro-trolls and super-baits again.

With water in the lower Willamette in the upper 70s, fish movement has slowed to single digits at the Falls and fishing in the lower river has slowed to a near-standstill with the exception of – what else? – warmwater fishes.

Water flows on the McKenzie have been dropping with the long, hot dry spell. Flows are still fishable, so grab you fly rod & give it a try this weekend!

As with other streams around Oregon, the North and South Santiam rivers are flowing low and very clear. There are decent numbers of summer steelhead around as well as some salmon.

Clackamas water levels have been on the drop for the most part over the past several weeks. There are good numbers of summer steelhead in the river, though, as well as a few late springers.

Summertime often means milky, silty water on the Sandy River and so it is now. There are still fish to be caught in places, though, according to our man on the Sandy, Pro Guide Jeff Stoeger (503-704-7920) of O2BFISHN Guide Service.

Northwest Oregon – The Nehalem Bay summer Chinook fishery should be well underway but action has been fair at best for this estuary. It’s been a productive fishery in years past and should be peaking in the coming 2 weeks. Stronger tides have kept interest higher in the estuary, around Wheeler, where fish are being caught every day, just not in the numbers we’ve seen in the past 2 seasons.

The ocean coho season south of Cape Falcon remains open through August 7th but effort is light due to dismal success rates. Less than 6% of the coho quota has been harvested. The fish are running large however.

Tillamook Bay is open to fall Chinook but action won’t spark until later this month.

Most district streams are closed to salmon fishing but steelhead remain open with the Wilson and Nestucca most likely to produce the best results.

Sea-run cutthroat trout may be the best option for the next several weeks. Trolling the tidewater sections of most north coast streams will likely produce results with little competition to boot.

Bay crabbing has been fair on Tillamook and Nehalem. Tides improve dramatically the middle of next week; fresh salmon carcasses will produce good catches.

Central & South Coast Reports – Wind has kept bots off the ocean over the past week, preventing salmon, tuna and bottom fish anglers from getting a salt fix. The upcoming week looks considerably better.

We discuss and simplify the new two-rod rule which allows an angler fishing any coastal stream open for anadromous fishes to use two rods but only for those species and with a two-rod endorsement. There’s more, of course, but that’s the core. Check the regs before fishing.

With nearshore halibut an ongoing fishery, the Summer All Depth season opens Friday and Saturday, August 5th and 6th. We’ll report on catches and quotas remaining every week!

This week, Oregon author and fishing authority, Pete Heley (peteheley.com) shares information about private and public bass ponds and gives details about the current and future coho fishery.

Rogue Bay has been producing summer and fall Chinook on the troll and a good thing, too, as this was the only option for local boats as winds whipped the coast over the past week. Catches haven’t been red hot but it has remained fair but steady with this fishery becoming easier as the wind calms down. Fall Chinook fishing usually starts up on the lower Rogue in late August or early September. Results are still slow on the middle river recently with better fishing available on the upper Rogue.

Bottom fishing is a pretty steady producer and certainly a worthwhile option for boats launching out of the Port of Brookings. As with other Oregon ports over the past week, wind has disallowed ocean launches but that situation is due for a reversal.

Trout fishers have continued to enjoy fair to good results at Diamond Lake.

Central & Eastern – Summer steelhead have started entering the Deschutes River but the progress of the run seems to have slowed as numbers at the dams on the Columbia River are falling off again. It’s early yet, so the better part of the season on the D is yet to come, with these fish cooperating here well into the fall months.

Usually, high lake reports are all about trout but trout fishing has been tough at Davis Lake. While earning the scorn of some salmonid anglers, largemouth bass have rescued a fishing day or two here.

In addition to plenty of trout) another 3,000 of which were stocked this week) Timothy Lake has a decent population of crawdads which lots of people like to eat.

Decent numbers of kokanee which seem to be coming out of Paulina Lake although they are widely scattered, making it difficult to locate schools.

SW Washington – The Cowlitz River has seen a surge of pressure and success for summer steelhead. Boat anglers are doing best but bank anglers are catching a few as well. Chinook are still weeks away from entering in any good number.

Drano Lake boat anglers are doing very well for steelhead. Bank anglers are catching a few too.

Boat anglers working the mainstem Columbia are still catching fair numbers of steelhead with nearly 75% of the fish being of hatchery origin. This fishery should taper but the larger B-run steelhead should start to show in better numbers in the coming weeks.