Oregon Fisheries Update June 10th, 2016

Willamette Valley – With Chinook fishing back open on the mainstem Columbia, interest is likely to grow as the summer run Chinook numbers start to improve. Over 2,000 Chinook a day are starting to pass Bonneville Dam with peak passage for summer Chinook at Bonneville likely to happen early to mid-July. Another good run is in the forecast. Fishery managers decided on Thursday, to allow boat angling for salmon above Beacon Rock starting Friday, June 10th. The river will then shift from spring to summer Chinook season starting June 16th with an even greater expansion of opportunity to the Astoria/Megler Bridge.

There are few trying for spring Chinook in the warm waters of the lower Willamette but a few may still be seen. Passage of both summer steelhead and spring Chinook have been good at Willamette Falls over the past week. Shad are being caught in good number at Oregon City and the catch-and-release sturgeon fishing is ongoing, although there is little pressure.

McKenzie River fly anglers won’t be disappointed in river conditions over the coming weekend. In addition, plenty of bugs will be hatching.

Anglers will find water level and flow of the North and South Santiam Rivers quite stable. Thanks to good daily counts at Willamette Falls, the numbers of summer steelhead and spring Chinook available have improved.

Expect to find decent water conditions at the Clackamas River despite somewhat low water. The level is forecast to remain stable, then start to drop on Sunday, June 12th, with that trend continuing for a couple of days. There are summer steelhead and a precious few springers in the river so try to fish it before or following the predicted drop in water level.

Hot temperatures put the Sandy out of shape for a while, melting the glacier at the headwaters and causing the river to run milky. It’s recovering now with summer steelhead available.

Northwest Oregon – Tillamook spring Chinook fishing is disappointing. Catches remain sporadic with the best action coming from the ocean fishery as of late. Action typically tapers by mid-June, especially on a sub-par run like we’re witnessing this season.

Springers are present in the river systems with the Trask offering up the best chance and the Wilson, Nestucca and Three Rivers also options.

The halibut season out of Astoria is now closed and managers are looking at the central coast quota but only 17% remains.

Ocean crabbing is improving and bottomfishing, especially for sea bass, is excellent. Lingcod success remains marginal.

Catch and release sturgeon fishing in Astoria is good with few anglers participating. Local bait remains hard to find.

Central & South Coast Reports – Ocean crabbing has experienced a welcome improvement over the past week with most of those seeking Dungeness offshore taking about half-limits.

Speaking of crabbing, most bays are poor to slow now while the area just outside the bay in the ocean can be quite productive for those with boats capable of crossing the bar.

Following the last all-depth halibut fishery, about 22,000 pounds remain in the quota, so two more days, Friday, June17th and Saturday, June 18th will be open for fishing. Nearshore halibut is open seven days a week but follows all-depth rules during those fisheries.

According to regular contributor, author, blogger and all-around good guy Pete Heley of Reedsport, it’s not a case of “you should a been here yesterday” but rather last week as that’s when fishing for pinkfin on the Umpqua was best this season. There are more to be caught and fishing for males in the surf is always an option!

Ocean charters out of Gold Beach report good catches of rockfish and lingcod but are also taking halibut periodically.

The lower Rogue River is running low while water temperatures are higher than normal. These situations have slowed spring Chinook fishing although a few are being caught daily. It would seem the better fishing is up high on the river.

Sea-run cutthroat trout have been caught recently on the lower Chetco River.

Despite a lack of results and even activity that would belie the fact, ocean waters off Southern Oregon are open to Chinook salmon fishing.

Sometimes warmer weather can be a blessing, as it’s been at Diamond Lake where improved water temperatures have created a better trout bite.

Central & Eastern – Trout anglers at Trillium Lake have been making decent catches. The ODFW has planted trout here several times this year.

Lake Billy Chinook took a one-two punch from recent hot weather. Not only did it raise the water temperature but also spawned and algae bloom.

Kokanee fishing has been good at Paulina Reservoir, a productive and popular destination for these fish. Stay versatile to determine whether trolling or jigging is more effective.

Green Peter has continued to produce good numbers of small kokanee. The most recent reports indicate that while still smaller, the overall size is improving. Perhaps there’s hope after all.

Thanks to a release of adult spring Chinook into the Powder River, that waterbody opened to fishing for them on June 8th and is scheduled to continue through the 1st of September. Check the regulations on this one; they’re special.

SW Washington – Spring Chinook catches are ramping down, with a fairly disappointing season on most tributaries. The Cowlitz remains the obvious bright spot but success rates are slowing for springers and slightly improving for summer steelhead.

The Kalama and Lewis Rivers remain slow

The Wind River and Drano Lake fisheries are not producing well.

Plunkers and boaters fishing for summer steelhead are doing fair on the mainstem Columbia with some nice 3-salt fish showing in the catches. These fish are ranging over 12 pounds.

Webinar - Building Your Own Gear with Pro Guide Chris Vertopoulos - January 29th