Oregon Fisheries Update January 8th – January 14th, 2016

Willamette Valley Fishing Report – with water temperatures in the upper 30s in the lower Willamette, catch and release sturgeon fishing remains a good option as those fish aren’t bothered by chilly water. take at least a couple of different baits to ensure you give them something they’ll like.

Waters of the McKenzie River have been on a continual drop for over a week, putting the river in decent condition for winter fly fishing/ Anglers may expect fair results here.

The Santiam River system has dropped to fishing levels. Unfortunately, it still lacks fish.

Having dropped into decent level and flow, the Clackamas River is forecast to remain stable for the next few days. It is a good bet now for winter steelhead.

For those who don’t mind chilly air temperatures, the Sandy River, which has been on a smooth, lazy drop for two weeks, is coming into its own. Just keep an eye on wind forecasts because when the gorge winds kick up, it can be brutal here but a good chance of winter steel is the reward.

The 2016 regulations have no size or bag limits on bass. when Idaho altered their regulations in a similar fashion, it made little difference as bass anglers practiced catch and release regardless.

North Coast Fishing Report – Steelheading on the north Oregon coast remains quite impressive despite earlier thoughts that it would be a tough year. Low flows on smaller streams continue to restrict access for driftboats but bank anglers have good opportunity, especially since the weather is warming up. Larger systems such as the Wilson are producing consistent action for plug-pullers and those versed in low water techniques.

The Trask, Nestucca and now the Nehalem are all low water options as well and should produce a mix of a few hatchery fish and fair numbers of wild steelhead as well. These systems will produce even better results as we get into mid-February.

The ocean remains too rough for recreational fishing but the commercial fleet finally got after the Dungeness crab and scored good results. Bottomfishing will be great when the ocean tames but no sign of that in the very near future.

Minus tides will compromise success in estuaries for crabbing this weekend but if the surf calms down, razor clam diggers will have an opportunity to dig the bi-valves that haven’t been disturbed for quite some time. The surf doesn’t look too conducive for success however and the productive times will be after sunset.

Central & South Coast Reports – Ocean and bay crabbing is open now for recreational enthusiasts with commercial crabbers working offshore waters since January 4th.

Boaters getting out early before ocean breezes become hazardous are doing well for bottom fish on jigs. Keep an eye on swell forecasts if you try this.

While winter steelheading has attracted anglers to the Alsea, drift boaters are urged to scout the river as the last storms created new hazards.
The Umpqua is a popular and promising destination for winter steelheaders. While water here will be dropping and clearing through Saturday, it’s forecast to rise on Sunday and will probably muddy up when this occurs.

Some of the best crabbing available on the south coast = has been taking place in the lower half of Coos Bay near Charleston.

Now that bait may be used river-wide, steelheaders are scoring on the lower Rogue River with regularity by drifting roe although plug-puller are hooking their share. Winter steelhead are now well into the Grants Pass stretch and providing action there while the upper river is producing a mix of summers and winter fish.

January is the month where Chetco anglers are allowed to keep one wild steelhead a day over 24-inches long, with a maximum of 5 fish a year.

Washington Fishing Reports – The Cowlitz River is producing mediocre results for winter steelhead with the bulk of the run more likely to arrive in the coming weeks. Anglers are more looking forward to the 2016 spring Chinook run, which is supposed to be a whopper of a return. Still no sign of smelt.

Anglers on the Coweeman reported in with a wild steelhead for every other rod of effort. The Kalama saw some effort this week too with a fish taken for every 10 rods on this river.

The East Fork of the Lewis remains quiet with only a few steelhead reported this week.

Central & Eastern – It’ll be best to target redsides on the Deschutes now. While there are still summer steelhead in the river, they’ll be spawning soon and are well past their prime.

As of January 1, 2016, the Fall river open below the falls which provides a great deal of additional water for anglers to target.

There was actually a kokanee troller fishing Detroit Lake on the 2nd of January. No fish caught but stated there were a good number marked on his depth finder. Gotta admire his optimism and dedication to the sport.


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