Oregon Fisheries Update for February 26th, 2016

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Willamette Valley – While the Willamette is on a trend of dropping and clearing, rainfall starting Friday night will effect this and most valley rivers. It’s too early to expect much in the way of results from spring Chinook. Better bets include sturgeon or warmwater fish, particularly bass according to Robert Campbell at Fisherman’s Marine in Oregon City (503-557-3313).

Winter fly fishers are likely to do all right on the McKenzie River in the coming week as rain is not expected to have a major impact here.

With steelheading worthwhile on many rivers around Oregon and too few winters are up river to put significant numbers into the Santiam, there are certainly better options.

Expect to see the water level and flow rise significantly on the Clackamas River over the weekend with rainfall. Once the level starts to drop in the coming week, fishing for winter steelhead will resume.

Pro guide Jeff Stoeger of O2BFISHN Guide Service (503-704-7920) reports from the Sandy River that the resumption of winter steelheading here will be dependent on how long the rain lasts and how much it raises and roils the water.

Northwest Oregon – Steelheaders working the north coast are finding more consistent success during periods of high water. As flows drop, so does success. The Wilson and Nestucca remain primary targets for those seeking a consumptive opportunity and as we come into peak season, numbers of broodstock and wild steelhead should start to pick up.

The Trask, Kilchis, Necanicum and North Fork Nehalem will also remain good late season options, in that order. Higher flows generally produce better catches on these systems as well. Consistent flow over the upcoming weekend should provide good opportunity for both bank and boat anglers.

The Nehalem remains a bit too high for consistent productivity.

The offshore forecast remains too rough for any bottomfishing or ocean crabbing excursions. Good fishing awaits for those that have the flexibility to go offshore this time of year. Ocean crabbing will be spotty at best and worse in the estuaries.

No productive clamming this weekend but diggers last weekend did well despite the high surf.

Central & South Coast Reports – The entire Oregon coast, including both bays and ocean, remains
open for crabbing now.

The Saltwater Sportsmen’s Show is scheduled for this coming weekend at the Oregon State Fairgrounds in Salem from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day. A $20 admission is good for either or both days.

Herring made an appearance in Yaquina Bay this week but there’s no way to determine how long they’ll be present for anglers to catch.

Crabbing has been picking up a little at Winchester Bay. Angers here are looking forward to the upcoming spring Chinook run.

While winter steelheading was fair to good on the lower Rogue, it is expected to be on the rise over the weekend as a storm front passes through. Rainfall will affect the middle river as well, where fishing is expected to be good as the river drops and clears in the coming week. A mix of summers and winters can be found on the upper Rogue.

Steelheading has been good on the Chetco River this week but rising water over the coming weekend is the least favorable condition for winters.

There’s no fishing going on at Diamond Lake according to a report from the resort there, but recent winter weather has anglers hopeful for another round of ice fishing.

Central & Eastern – Trout fishing on the lower Deschutes is slow, which is to be expected at this time of year.

Kokanee fishing has been worthwhile for trollers at Lake Billy Chinook although bull trout are being caught at this time.

At Odell Lake, trollers willing to brave often frigid weather are trolling deep with downriggers to take a few large lake trout.

Kokanee fishing at Green Peter has been slow and the few that have been caught were small.

SW Washington – Cowlitz River steelheading is improving slightly but anglers have their eyes fixated on a banner spring Chinook year that is in the works. Springers have already been caught here but we’re still weeks away from consistent fishing on this system.

The Kalama continues to put out some hatchery fish and an occasional wild fish as well. It likely won’t get much better but March tends to offer slightly beter consistency.

The Lewis River continues to struggle but with little effort from other anglers, there are certainly some sizeable fish to be caught (and released).

Razor clam diggers did very well on last weekend’s tide. Look for more openers in the future as it seems a good set has taken place here.