Oregon Fisheries Update for June 3rd

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Willamette Valley – The Columbia River reopens for likely the remainder of the year on Friday, first to target the remaining allocation of spring Chinook, followed by the summer Chinook opener on June 15th. Counts at Bonneville eclipsed 2,000 fish again on June 1st but we’re still weeks away from the peak passage of summer Chinook at Bonneville Dam. Action isn’t likely to be explosive but it remains one of the best games in town. The May 24th press release can be found here.

Summer steelhead counts are beginning to grow on the mainstem Columbia where weekend anglers can take advantage of good tides for beach plunkers.

Very few trollers can be seen working the lower Willamette for spring Chinook. Fishing is slow but is that because of the note or that so few are trying to catch them? In less philosophic news, the shad are in at Oregon City.

McKenzie level ad flow are conducive to an enjoyable weekend for fly fishers as long as they’re prepared to fish in hot weather.

Both the North Santiam and South Santiam are in good shape and very gradually dropping. There has been enough steelhead counted at Willamette Falls to create a fishery here.

Clackamas River water conditions are good but will be dropping and getting clearer during the sunny weekend ahead. It’s probably better to target summers here than springers.

Keep an eye on water color at the Sandy River as hot weather can sometimes turn the water milky gray. Summer steelhead are available here.

NW Oregon – Tillamook Bay anglers continue to witness hit-or-miss fishing. The extreme tide series may make bar crossings challenging, in the morning at least. Anglers typically focus their efforts in the upper estuary on a tide series such as what we’ll witness this weekend but moss continues to be a common problem, largely coming from the Tillamook River.

Bank anglers and river boaters remain challenged in the low flows but early morning bobber tossers are seeing slight opportunity each morning at the crowded hatchery holes on the Trask River as well as Three Rivers.

This weekend is likely the last opportunity for all-depth halibut. The Columbia River sub-area closes on Friday (6/3), Garibaldi remains sub-par, and Newport is productive.

Bottomfishing remains excellent, especially for sea bass. Consistent lingcod action is not happening.

Ocean crabbing is picking up from Newport to Garibaldi, but larger softshells are starting to make up a heavier portion of the catch.

The razor clam digging this weekend should again be phenomenal, such as it was on the larger minus tide series a few weeks ago. Since you’ll be down there anyway, surf perch fishing can be a nice combo option, after easily digging your limit of razor clams north of Tillamook Head.

Southwest – Bottom fishing has been excellent out of Depoe Bay whenever ocean conditions have been decent. High winds have often been a problem here.

Central Oregon Coast halibut fisher is open this coming weekend. After two earlier openers, 55% of the quota remains to be caught.

While the all-salmon-except-coho season opened June 28th for the area from Humbug Mountain south to the Oregon/California border, fishing has been slow.

Spring Chinook catches have been slow to spotty on the lower Rogue River. There’s almost no effort on the middle river which upper Rogue anglers are catching fish.

Bottom fishing has been producing good catches and often limits out of the Port of Brookings although ocean crabbing has been slow.

The halibut fishing sub-area from Humbug Mountain to the Oregon/California border opened only June 1st, almost 400 pounds have been landed.

As the weather warms, so does the water temperature at Diamond Lake The trout have responded in kind,, warming up to offerings of bait.

Eastern – Salmon flies and Golden Stones can still be found on the lower Deschutes River with imitations remaining effective for trout.

The channels are producing best for trout at Crane Prairie.

Trollers are doing well for kokanee at Wickiup. While limits are unusual here, the kokanee that come out of here are often large.

Trout fishing is expected to be good in the coming week and beyond as the ODFW has stocked plenty of legal-sized trout here as well as some larger ones.

Smallmouth bass fishing is good on the John Day River with many anglers landing over 100 in a day and occasionally hooking a big one.

The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife announced the spring Chinook fishery on the Snake River below Hells Canyon Dam will close at today, June 2nd at sundown (8:30 p.m.).

SW Washington – Although the Cowlitz remains the best option, the bite here is quickly fading. As we’ve seen in the Willamette, there seems to have been a gross over-prediction of adults to this system. Summer steelhead should start to show in better numbers in two to three weeks from now.

The other district streams continue to produce pathetic results.

The Wind and Drano Lake fisheries are fading as well but bank anglers upstream are in their peak season. Regardless of season status, fishing isn’t all that great. Summer steelhead should start in better numbers later this month.