Oregon Fisheries Update July 1st, 2016

Willamette Valley – Summer Chinook fishing on the mainstem Columbia remains ho-hum. Numbers over Bonneville Dam are remaining consistent with the run forecast and under more traditional river temperature conditions, action remains best upriver, towards Bonneville Dam. Summer steelhead numbers are starting to swell and also traditionally, the upcoming minus tide series is typically the most productive of the season. Beach plunkers have a reasonable chance at a summer steelhead through the system, downstream of Bonneville Dam.

Some sockeye are also showing up in the catch, which shouldn’t be surprising since the run is much larger than anticipated.

Spring Chinook are still being caught on the lower Willamette, at least according to the ODFW. You didn’t hear it from us. Shad. Now shad are being caught in the lower Willamette and you can quote us on that!

The McKenzie is for fly fishers as they are for the river. Fish to the lowest light.

There are summer steelhead and spring Chinook in the Santiams although anglers seem to be getting pretty tight lipped about this place.

The Clackamas River is low and clear with the low/clear trend continuing daily through the perceivable future. Nonetheless fish will be caught.

There was a brief surge in water levels on the Sandy River due to a cloudburst on NT, Hood according to weekly reporter, Pro Guide Jeff Stoeger (503-704-7920) of O2BFISHN Guide Service.

Northwest Oregon – The offshore summer Chinook season finally kicks off on July 1st. We’ll have a full report next week but unreliable sources, yes, you read that correctly, state that action for Chinook is epic at 350 feet off of the lighthouse, north of the Columbia River jetty. The commercial fleet has been fishing on them. Yes, go at your own risk but conditions look favorable for the good ‘ol college try, at least on the opener, and maybe early next week.

The estuary Chinook fishery remains dismal; should have been here last year. Sturgeon fishing however IS epic! There are certainly a fair amount of juvenile crab in the system so prepare to go through some bait but large fish are plentiful, if you sit down on them. Fresh bait is available at World Class Fishing at (503) 741-1407. Steelhead fishing in the estuary, off of local area beaches, should provide fair sport through the holiday weekend.

Don’t overlook the razor clam option as well. You only have a few more weeks before the summer closure.

Bottomfishing should also be productive on the small incoming tide exchange early in the weekend as well. Lingcod remain elusive.

The south of Falcon fishery is unimpressive. Coho are scarce and Chinook are too, unless you’re pretty far south.

Bay crabbing may be ok on north coast systems, especially with the weak incoming tide series.

Spring Chinook fishing in the Tillamook district will be largely focused on the upper Trask, Wilson, Nestucca and Three Rivers. Back to low flows, the action will largely take place at first light and dusk. It’ll even be challenging at those times too but there are fair numbers of fish available. Look for the summer steelhead on the Wilson, Nestucca and Three Rivers in the pocket water.

Bottomfishing out of most north Oregon ports remains productive. Tuna action is coming up soon!

Central & South Coast Reports – Results for charters were mixed this week. While all were targeting bottomfish, ling cod and the usually cooperative, mostly black rockfish some did OK while others blanked.

Even though the spring all-depth halibut fishery closed with an over-filled quota, anglers may still fish nearshore and do so seven days a week.

Pinkfin surf perch are still running (and getting caught) in Winchester Bay and the lower Umpqua River.
The shad fishery on the Umpqua River should last another couple of weeks.

Tuna fishing has been reported as both slowing and heating up out of Charleston. Real-wild reports from guys in sport boats would give the nod to pretty darned good.

Rogue River fishing is slow. The lowest part is where, coincidentally, low water is combining with higher-than-normal water temperatures to stall catches of spring Chinook and further slow the burgeoning summer steelhead fishery. The fishing isn’t better on the middle Rogue but somewhat better on the upper.

With only lackluster results for ocean Chinook since the season opened over four months ago, boaters were most thankful about the coho opener on this past Saturday, June 25th. With just a few days under their fish fighting belts, it remains to be seen if this is the saving grace. Early catches haven’t given rise to optimism.

Trout fishing has remained good at Diamond Lake where most anglers are taking limits.

Central & Eastern – Boasting a decent trout fishery year around but not-so-secretly a daunting waterway challenging all but those few here know her secrets, fishing has been good on the Metolius.

The ODFW recently announced that Chinook fishing will close at the end of day on July 3rd with salmon numbers too low to continue.

In a similar but completely different notice, the ODFW announced that Chinook fishing would open on the Wallowa river starting July 2nd as salmon numbers are far better than expected. Only hatchery fish may be kept; be sure to check the regulations.

Expect trout fishing to be fair at Crane Prairie Reservoir with fish in different locations now that summertime weather has warmed the water.

SW Washington – Salmon and steelhead fishing on the Cowlitz remains good. Bank anglers working the Barrier Dam are doing well for springers while summer steelhead anglers at the trout hatchery are also producing good results, mostly by boat anglers. Action for both should keep up but summer steelhead should start to dominate the catches on this system.

The Kalama and Lewis remain very slow.

As we’ve stated many times before, effort largely switches to the mainstem Columbia, in pursuit of summer steelhead and summer Chinook this time of year, and justifiably so.