Oregon Fisheries Update July 17th – July 23rd, 2015

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Willamette Valley Fishing Report – Anglers were still faring well in the gorge where Chinook anglers saw about a 1/2 Chinook per boat. There has been some sockeye and steelhead caught up there as well. Chinook numbers at Bonneville have taken another jump for some reason. This could keep catch rates good for another little while but warm water conditions are likely to slow catch rates.

The ODFW has decided that fishing for trout salmon, steelhead and sturgeon will be prohibited at all times in the Willamette River downstream of Willamette Falls, including the Clackamas River up to the Interstate 205 Bridge, the Multnomah Channel and the Gilbert River.

While running lower than normal, The McKenzie is still fishable and should entertain fly anglers. On the other hand, with the entire Santiam system extremely low, there’s little entertainment value here.

This week, the Clackamas and Sandy Rivers are so low, we’re just recommending to fish elsewhere for a while’

North Coast Report – All north coast rivers remain too low to expect decent results. Some summer steelhead are in the Wilson, Nestucca and Three Rivers but it’s rare to catch one much after sun-up. There should be some sea-run cutthroat trout in the lower reaches of each of these systems with some quite sizable. It’s likely best to target them closer to high tide.

Offshore trollers are taking mostly coho out of Garibaldi but there is an occasional nice Chinook being hooked. Look for the cooler water, around 55 degrees, which happened to be closer to shore on Thursday. Start your day around 140 foot to the NW of the Tillamook Bay jetty tips, that way, you can ride the NW wind home when it kicks up.

There are albacore available out of Garibaldi and the mouth of the Columbia with one report stating that fish were coming from as close in as 14 miles. Those watching the sea-surface temperatures have a much better grip on how far you’ll have to travel however.

Summer Chinook have entered Nehalem Bay in fair number. Although softer tides will produce the better catches, there are reports of 2 to 3 fish in the boat for more experienced anglers. The limit for these early season returnees is just one per person.

The ocean adjacent to the Columbia is producing some of the best catches coast-wide. Again, it’s mostly coho but Chinook should start to show in better numbers soon. You’re a bit more likely to catch Chinook in the shallower water along the Long Beach Peninsula than the  deep, ironically.

Ocean crabbing is improving on the north coast but there are more softshells starting to show.

Nearshore halibut fishing out of Garibaldi is poor. It seems the all-depth is your best opportunity come early August.

Central & South Coast Reports – The owners of Tradewinds Charters out of Depoe Bay were busted along with a number of their employees over allegedly keeping money from license sales, without producing the licenses, makes a nice profit but it’s stealing, and I mean a lot of stealing, from the natural resource agency that produces product for you and I. The business is not affiliated with nearby Newport Tradewinds.

Softshell clams have generated a health advisory from the Oregon Health Authority due to high levels of naturally occurring arsenic.

With the fishery showing weekly improvement, tuna are being taken by boats launching out of most Oregon ports.

Ocean crabbing continues to reward with good numbers although central Oregon crabs must be sorted for softshells which have little meat. Dungeness remain soft for some time after molting in the summertime. South coast ports report a much better grade of ocean crab.

Nearshore halibut fishing has been slow since the opener on July 1. All depth halibut summer season will open Aug 7-8 then every other Friday and Saturday until we meet the quota.

Ocean coho fishing is reported as good out of Newport and Depoe Bay with most boats taking limits or near-limits.

Winchester Bay is slow for crabbing but is improving. There are salmon in the bay but offshore fishing has yielded far more reliable results. Smallmouth bass fishing is good on the Umpqua River near Elkton.

Chinook fishers trolling Rogue Bay are seeing periodic, short-lived flurries of action. The water in the lower and middle Rogue River is too warm to be fishable. Spring Chinook fishing is winding down on the upper Rogue as the summer steelhead run is just getting underway.

Bottom fishing is excellent out of the Port of Brookings when wind and wave conditions allow boats to get out. Offshore salmon fishing has been slow to fair.

Central & Eastern – Dead salmon have been seen on the lower Deschutes. TGF announced earlier, the closure of Chinook fishing on the Deschutes, originally due to a poor return.

Smallmouth bass fishing has remained excellent on the John Day River for weeks now. On the upper sections of the river, a salmon die-off is occurring.

Lower Imnaha bass fishers are doing well this week.

Good catches of trout are being generated by trollers using lures behing flashers or dodgers at Detroit Reservoir.

Washington fishing reports – Some steelhead are being reported on the Cowlitz and Kalama Rivers. Some recycling is going on in the Cowlitz.

The majority of the effort remains on the mainstem where bank anglers are catching  some steelhead and sockeye and few summer Chinook. Success is waning and anglers will be met with challenging conditions this fall with the warm water. We’re weeks away from productive fishing once again.

Sockeye have been reported in the Wind River and Drano Lake, likely in an attempt to get out of the hot water.