Oregon Fisheries Update May 22nd – May 28th, 2015

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Willamette Valley Fishing Report – Despite continued good returns over Bonneville Dam, effort and success on the lower Columbia River is not impressive. We’re on the verge of improving summer steelhead action and gobs of shad are likely to really pop off in the near future but salmon fishing remains pretty quiet despite fair numbers present. Sturgeon angling near Kelly Point Park is certainly good but interest is also subdued due to catch and release regulations.

North Coast Fishing Report – Spring Chinook have finally made a fair showing in Tillamook Bay this week. The upper bay seems to be the best but tides will soon wane, making the lower estuary more attractive. Without much water in the coastal systems, these fish will congregate in the tidewater reaches or stay in the bay until cooler waters prevail. It appears that the moss that commonly fouls gear in the upper bay this time of year is actually not a problem; let’s hope it stays that way. Anglers working the adjacent ocean area are finding an occasional salmon but Bottomfishing as well has halibut (when open at all-depth) fishing has been great.

Nestucca anglers are only seeing sporadic results and with the extremely low flows, springers don’t seem to be making a strong showing in Three Rivers right now either. There is a rare summer steelhead being taken here.

Ocean crabbing may be slightly improving but really only slightly. Razor clam digging remains closed statewide due to elevated levels of naturally occurring toxins in the flesh of our favorite bivalves.

Central & South Coast Reports

Central & Eastern

SW Washington – The Cowlitz remains the top bet for salmon anglers working the lower Columbia tributaries in the district but success rates are slowing from previous weeks. Summer steelhead are also starting to show with more regularity but action is sporadic and more likely to improve into late June. The Kalama and Lewis are fair bets at best as spring Chinook returns continue to be depressed. Some summer steelhead are available but this too seems to be a diminishing fishery. The Wind River and Drano Lake fisheries are dramatically slowing as well. With the bulk of the run passed, anglers will anxiously await summer steelhead opportunities later in the summer.