Oregon Fisheries Update July 3rd – July 9th, 2015

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Willamette Valley Fishing Report – The Columbia remains the bright spot for anglers fishing the metro area. Summer Chinook action remains impressive for the water conditions most of the region is experiencing. Anchor anglers using spinners as well as a few plug plunkers, are taking impressive numbers of fish from the I-205 area to Bonneville Dam and even downstream of Westport where the check revealed a whopping 7.5 Chinook per boat (there were only 2 boats fishing but collectively, they landed 15 fish (10 keepers and 5 wild ones). Counts of Chinook and sockeye have likely peaked at Bonneville Dam. Managers liberalized the Columbia summer Chinook season, check the ODF&W press release or see the full length version of our newsletter for more detailed information.

On the Willamette, with salmon, steelhead and sturgeon dying from stress after being hooked, it may be time to give them a break. There are other species to fish for such as shad at Oregon City.

Despite a slight drop in water level, the McKenzie is in better shape than many other valley rivers and offers some chance to catch trout.

The Entire Santiam system is low and clear. Fishing has been slow and if our guess is right, there’s little to indicate an improvement over the coming week.

With the waters of the Clackamas low and getting lower as it gets clearer and warmer, there’s little of interest for responsible anglers here.

Summer heat has done its season thing to the Sandy River, causing it to run silty to the point of zero visibility.

North Coast Report – Warm, low flows on all area river has anglers focused on the salt. The coho opener wasn’t a barn burner out of Garibaldi but anglers did report fair success for mostly coho. Ocean crabbing is picking up as well but rough bar conditions are likely to exist over the holiday weekend so ocean fishing won’t be a great option.

Ocean fishing out of Astoria remains great however with mostly coho in the catch. Some quality Chinook are coming from the fleet too however, mostly north of the river mouth, along the Long Beach Peninsula. Trolled anchovies are taking the bulk of the catch. Bottomfishing has been good on the south jetty too but extreme tides are limiting productive fishing periods.

Crabbing is improving in the estuary. The fresher the bait and softer the tide, the more productive you catch will be. The crab in the river are in better shape than the crab in the salt. Remember that crabbing to the north of the Columbia is closed due to a toxin in the crab viscera.

Sturgeon fishing the lower Columbia remains a hot prospect as well. Fish are certainly pocketed up however but ample numbers are strewn throughout the estuary. Fresh anchovies will take the bulk of these fish as well.

Tuna boats are present in good numbers at the West End Mooring Basin. A good sign that a productive season will occur.

Central & South Coast Reports – Offshore conditions are unlikely to allow recreational boats safe passage to ocean fishing grounds.

Spring all-depth halibut is closed as the quota is filled. Anglers may now fish halibut as of July 1st. All depth summer halibut season opens again in August.

Salmon fishing is fair to good out of Newport and Depoe Bay although fishing for bottomfish is better. One cabezon is allowed to make up part of the seven-rockfish limit as of July 1st. Ocean crabbing is good.

Tuna are being taken out of many Oregon ports now but boats must be equipped to make long round trips to attain success. Tuna will be moving closer to shore with warmer water in weeks to come.

Boats launching out of Winchester Bay report decent coho fishing with the majority of the fish landed being hatchery keepers. The pinkfin perch fishery is ongoing in the Umpqua River above Winchester Bay although it’s not as reliable as in weeks past. Anglers are reminded to check special regulations before fishing salmon or steelhead in the Umpqua River.

Some nice-sized bottom fish have been taken out of Gold Beach. Chinook have been caught in Rogue Bay but the lower and middle river is poor. Upper Rogue fishing is still productive.

Salmon fishers out of Brookings have seen an improvement in catches for ocean Chinook and coho. Bottomfishing is also good as is offshore crabbing.

Trout fishing is fair at Diamond Lake with Power Bait still the best option to take fish here.

Central & Eastern – Many east side rivers are being negatively effected by hot weather and drought. Restrictions are in effect in some places so be certain to check updated regulations before fishing.

Low water at the Grande Ronde River has caused the ODFW to announce an early closure of Chinook fishing on July 6th.

Try fishing the high cascade lakes which are not only productive but will be cooler than the Willamette Valley.

The John Day is not suffering any setbacks in fishing action as smallmouth bass fishing has been excellent here.

Washington fishing reports – Anglers have all but folded it up on most district tributaries. Low, clear and warm water continues to hamper success although summer steelhead remain available in the Cowlitz.

The Lewis and Kalama remain dismal and tributary fisheries upstream of Bonneville are all but over.

Anglers remain focused on the Columbia mainstem where summer Chinook and summer steelhead continue to cooperate. Action for both species is likely to wane however, especially if the water continues to warm.