Oregon Fisheries Update for October 21, 2016

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Willamette Valley/Metro – For all intents and purposes, the Columbia River sport fishery is done. As of Saturday, October 22nd, it’s officially done. With the run size DOWNGRADE again, it’s been discovered that we have overharvested what we should have. It might even be moral to cease fishing immediately. It might be time for catch and release fishing for sturgeon on the mainstem and lower Willamette River.

It’s been a while since we’ve seen the Willamette as high as it is now as it is just cresting from storm fronts which have passed. It’ll be too dangerous to boat or fish for several days.

Waters of the McKenzie River are still high but dropping and will produce trout (and possibly steelhead) once water has dropped.

The entire Santiam system is, in angler’s vernacular, blown out. Water here will remain too high to fish anytime in the coming week.

While the Clackamas is high, the color isn’t too bad and it is hoped that additional fish entered during the high water event. Try it as it’s dropping.

According to our Sandy Guru and Pro fishing guide Jeff Stoeger of O2BFISHN Guide Service (503-704-7920), there is not a lot of reason for optimism in the next couple of days, but the river should fish in the coming week as the freezing level drops.

Northwest – Following the intense rain storm of last weekend, fishing in Tillamook Bay picked up by Tuesday, producing some quality sized Chinook for trollers in the Ghost Hole. It seems the Ghost Hole was the consistent producer, both the last part of outgoing tide and the last half of incoming tide. Still not much happening in the West Channel.

Local area rivers saw yet another rise on Thursday, which will put rivers in near ideal shape by the weekend. Smaller streams like the Kilchis produced fair catches of mostly coho but some Chinook were caught in other systems such as the Necanicum and North Fork Nehalem. Of course, coho were the mainstay on the North Fork but we’re clearly on the last half of the run, at least for hatchery fish.

The Nestucca, Wilson and Trask should produce by the weekend. There were some fish caught in the Trask tidewater early in the week but seasoned veterans were the real winners. It’s pretty challenging for beginner fishermen to know the habits when conditions are tough.

Crabbing has slowed in most north coast estuaries with Netarts Bay the exception. There is no sign of calming seas.

Crabbing in the lower Columbia River estuary remains fair to good.

Southwest – As storms kept recreational and charter boats from launching out of central Oregon ports, some charter operations have closed for the winter. Be sure to call ahead to book a trip.

October 15 will be the last day to try for Dungeness crab in the ocean. The season will be closed in the ocean for crab from October 16 through November 30.

In his regular weekly report, Pete Heley, author and publisher and fishing guru (peteheley.com) reminds us there is no coho salmon season on Tenmile Lakes this year but it will open for wild coho in 2017 on a new schedule.

There has been no word from ODFW officials regarding any extension on the central coast all0depth halibut season. When we know, you’ll know.

Rogue Bay has gone quiet following the storms earlier this week. All that water moved Chinook 9oout of the bay as they head upstream to spawn. The entire river is still a little out of shape so head upstream if you fish it.1

While still cleaning up from the storm, the Chetco River does get some Chinook and offers a fine fishery. Only the waters below river mile 2.2 are open at this time.

Fines for misidentifying coho for Chinook can be as high as $1500. We urge all who fish for salmon in Oregon to know the difference.

Eastern – Between rain, co9d weather and high wind, we have heard little from east-side anglers, so if you go, let us know how it was!

Deschutes anglers are periodically dealing with the muddy outflow from White River which, when active, will roil the lower Deschutes. Plug pullers are taking a few steelhead at the mouth.

While a highly technical river, the Metolius has been fishing well and should continue to do so for those who can crack the code.

SW Washington – High waters on most district streams limited interest and success this week. As rivers drop, the Cowlitz and North Fork Lewis will remain the best options for coho and Chinook. Don’t expect banner numbers of either however, but it will represent the best opportunity this fall, to catch a fresh fish in one of these district rivers.

Drano Lake is still putting out a rare Chinook, this fishery is effectively over however.