Oregon Fisheries Update for May 27th

Readers will note an abbreviated report and forecast this week due to an accident that TGF writer Michael Teague was in earlier this week. He’s recovering, and we look forward to his speedy return to accurate fishing reports throughout Oregon.

Fisheries Update

Willamette Valley – The Columbia River will reopen for another Memorial Day weekend opportunity. Here is the press release detailing the opportunity:
May 24, 2016

CLACKAMAS, Ore. – Fishery managers from Oregon and Washington today reopened a Chinook salmon fishery and closed a recreational sturgeon fishery on the Columbia River.

Chinook fishing on the lower Columbia River will be open Friday May 27 through Monday May 30, then reopen again on June 3 and continue through June 15 when the summer Chinook fishing season begins.
According to Tucker Jones, ODFW’s Columbia River Program manager, the joint state action is based on the remaining allowable catch and a projected run size of 180,000 to the river mouth.

“We’re excited that we can open Chinook fishing over Memorial Day weekend, he said, “And by closing the fishery for a few days in middle of next week we hope to provide some stability to our constituents, and avoid emergency closures for the duration of the season.” The states did leave open the possibility of shortening the season if catch rates are higher than expected over Memorial Weekend.

The daily bag limit is two fin-clipped adult salmonids per day of which only one may be a Chinook. Only adipose fin-clipped fish may be kept. Retention of fin-clipped Chinook jacks is also allowed. Sockeye salmon must be released. Permanent regulations for steelhead and jack Chinook apply when adult Chinook seasons are closed. All other permanent regulations apply.

The states also opted to close the recreational white sturgeon fishery in the John Day Pool where the season has been under way since the beginning of the year and anglers have nearly met their annual harvest guideline of 500 fish. The closure is effective Sunday May 29.

For more information, visit ODFW’s website.


Willamette River spring Chinook anglers continue to struggle for results. Some fish are still being taken in Multnomah Channel and Oregon City. Falls counts remain depressing as it appears the run will fall way short of its prediction this year.

The big news story has the appearance of shad Oregon City. Anglers were reporting incredible action this week as it’s clear the run is well underway.

The Clackamas River has good numbers of summer steelhead available although some say they’re kegged up in specific locations. Spring Chinook are slow to show.

The Sandy River is also starting to see some summer steelhead. Spring Chinook numbers should climb in the coming weeks.

Northwest Oregon – Anglers plying the waters near Astoria are reporting good numbers of sturgeon around. Catch and release opportunities are open but few are participating.

Spring Chinook fishing in Tillamook Bay remains stable. Catches are far from explosive, but anglers are finding fair success from top to bottom.

The Trask, Wilson and Nestucca Rivers are still low so fish remain concentrated in the lower reaches.

Salt water anglers remain tentative about the offshore halibut option. The swell is shrinking but wind waves are cause for concern.

Bottomfishing remains excellent but lingcod action is becoming more inconsistent.

Ocean and bay crabbing remains fairly disappointing.

Another minor minus tide series produced productive razor clam digging this week. That minus tide series has since disappeared however.

Southwest Washington – It is clear now that the Cowlitz River is not going to get the whopper return that was originally predicted. Spring Chinook numbers at the hatchery remain unremarkable. Success rates for spring Chinook are parallel. Summer steelhead are starting to show but the peak is still weeks away.

The Kalama River has some summer steelhead available but spring Chinook catches remain poor.

Anglers are starting to gain interest on the main stem Columbia. Summer steelhead catches are off to a fair start.

The Wind River and Drano Lake fisheries effort have shifted to their respective river systems. Action in those systems remains fair to good but the boat troll fishery is waning.