Oregon Fisheries Update for May 20th

Willamette Valley – Lower Willamette spring Chinook fishing has been slow built sturgeon fishing has remained a solid bet. The shad season, which is just starting, will produce thousands of fish once it gets rolling.

Waters of the McKenzie River will increase in level and flow with the rain that’s currently falling but this will be short-lived with the river looking beautiful and fishing well this weekend.

Even anglers with sights set on the Santiams have reason for optimism as numbers of summer steelhead and even spring Chinook are improving daily.

The Clackamas level and flow are sharply increasing but the impact will be slight and short-lived with the river dropping over the coming weekend. Summers and springers are in the water here.

Pro guide Jeff Stoeger of O2Bfishin Guide Service (503-704-7920), reporting on the Sandy River, tells us that downsizing baits and lures as well as fishing light, short leaders will improve odds of a summer steelhead hookup this coming weekend.

Northwest Oregon– Spring Chinook fishing is underway on Tillamook Bay. and last week was quite good. Most anglers stuck to the salt where south jetty troller’s did quite well for most of the week. There are seals and sea lions to contend with however. It just seems we can’t shake these things this year. The upper Bay fished well for spinner trollers on the incoming tide and the jetties fished well for the few boats trolling herring close to low slack on Thursday.

Following last weeks drizzle, river levels only came up a fraction of the foot. The Trask remains a top bet but rivers remain very low so conditions will be challenging.

The Nestucca and Wilson Rivers are also options but the lower reaches will remain the best bet since levels remain very low.

Offshore halibut anglers fared well out of Newport in depoe bay, but Garibaldi was mediocre. Bottom fishing remains excellent, and the fleet is starting to utilize the bottom fishing grounds off of arch Cape and Cannon Beach.

Another good set of razor clam tides are coming this weekend. The last series proved quite remarkable. If the swell lies down, it should be another great dig.

Columbia river – as expected, last weekends opener was less than impressive. Of course some boaters scored fair numbers of fish, but overall the fishing was quite slow. Chinook continue to pass and fair numbers and the run looks like it is tracking as predicted.

The best fishing was up towards the Dalles dam, But that reach of river will not reopen, unlike downstream of Bonneville dam where anglers will get an additional three days starting this Friday.

Central & South Coast Reports – All-depth halibut will be open again this week on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. There will be additional opportunities in the near future as it is highly unlikely the quota will fill this early in the season.

All-salmon-except-coho ocean salmon season will open on May 28 in the Oregon Klamath Management Zone, which is an area from Humbug Mountain south to the Oregon/California border.

Ocean crabbing has been slow on the southern coast but better for central coast crabbers. Bays and estuaries have been poor producers, however.

Spring Chinook fishing improved this week on the lower Rogue River around Agness but the action has died on the middle river. Anglers on the upper Rogue have been doing well for springers and there seems to be no slowing here.

Bottom fishing has been excellent out of the Port of Brookings with anglers taking limits of ling cod as well as a variety of colorful rockfish.

Trout fishing has been improving on Diamond Lake as the water warms. Bait fishing worms or Power Bait is more effective than trolling,

While the Applegate, Chetco, Coos, Illinois, Rogue, and Umpqua rivers will open for trout fishing on Sunday, May 22nd, the Chetco and Elk rivers are closed for the season.

Central & Eastern – Golden Stones and Salmon Flies are still hatching on the Deschutes but it’s important to track them down for the best fishing.

With many thousands of trout already planted, Timothy Lake fishing should only improveas the IDFW is stocking trophy-sized trout this week.

Wickiup Reservoir has been fishing well for kokanee and is producing some very large fish.

John Day River smallmouth fishing remains excellent while area lake are producing jumboa largemouth bass.

A free fishing day provided by the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife will take place on Saturday, May 21 at Pine Nursery Pond, located at Pine Nursery Community Park in Bend.

SW Washington – although the Cowlitz River remains king for spring Chinook, action is tapering in the room size was clearly overestimated.

Some summer steelhead are starting to show but it will be several more weeks before this fishery peaks.

The Kalama and Lewis rivers remain poor prospects.

The wind River and Drano lake fisheries are still worthwhile but catch rates are starting to taper. Effort will start to shift to the upper reaches of these systems as fish prepare to enter their respective hatcheries.

Razor clam diggers will have one more three day opportunity starting Friday to harvest the tasty shellfish. After Sunday, the season will close for the summer months.