Oregon Fisheries Update November 20th, 2015

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Willamette Valley Fishing Report – Salmon fishing on the mainstem Columbia is over. There will continue to be some action for Chinook in the Hanford reach and steelhead in the John Day Pool and John Day Arm but all other fisheries are effectively over. With the steelhead run this year sub-par, don’t expect very good fishing in what normally, has been a very productive fall fishery.

High, muddy water on the Willamette means boaters should be extra cautious, keeping one eye upriver for debris that will be washing down from areas and tributaries upstream. About the only option for fishing on the lower Willamette will be for sturgeon.

The McKenzie River is high but has started to drop. As it comes into shape and the water clears from rain storms this week, fly anglers should be able to fish it once again.

Waters on the Santiam system are high and are often slower to recover with other valley rivers, Willamette aside. That said, fishing will probably remain poor for a while.

Now that the Clackamas has started to drop and clear, anglers may have a chance this weekend to catch late summer steelhead or coho.

The Sandy River will likely take longer to return to fishable condition than will the Clackamas but those who want to fish it should do so as it drops and clears for the best chance of success.

North Coast Fishing Report – With recent rainfall, district rivers have been blown out for 4 days now and are still several days from recovery. The Kilchis and Wilson systems should fish as early as Monday and Tuesday of next week. We just got done with a real gully-washer.

Area rivers should come back in early next week and the bay may fish as early as Sunday. There should still be some fair numbers of Chinook returning to the Tillamook Bay Watershed.

The Trask may have an occasional bright Chinook but the Nestucca, Nehalem, Salmon and Necanicum Rivers should largely be done. It’s quite early, especially given the probability of a low return, that there won’t be much in the way of early steelhead.

It’s a bit early for steelhead on the North Fork Nehalem and Necanicum Rivers but it’s not out of the realm of possibility.

The targeted chum salmon season is over; don’t even try…

Central & South Coast Reports – An update of the impact from domoic acid on coastal Dungeness has resulted in the closure of commercial and recreational crabbing from Haceta Head to the Oregon/California border.

Surf perch fishing is usually wrapped up this late in the year but even as recently as this week, catches remained good.

Now that Siltcoos Lake has filled, the dam is open and fishing for wild coho will be getting underway. This is primarily a troll fishery that will remain open through December.

There are two primary deep water bays on the southwest coast where crabbing will hold up even after fresh water has chased crab out of shallower bays. With Coos Bay subject to the domoic acid closure, Winchester Bay remains open.

The troll fishery in Rogue Bay has wrapped up with precipitation this week moving the last of the Chinook upstream to spawn. With winter steelheading yet to get started here, that leaves late-season summer steelhead for anglers to target.

While the freshet this week shut down tidewater trolling on the lower Chetco River, upstream anglers will now have a shot at better numbers of salmon upstream.

Help out with the Food Drive in Roseburg on Nov. 20 at Sherm’s Thunderbird, 2553 NW Stewart Parkway. The drive runs 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. They will be accepting canned fish as well as cash donations, all of which will go to the local food bank.

Central & Eastern – It was only just today that waters of the Deschutes started to show impact from rain this week. While steelheading and trout fishing had slowed, anglers hope for some improvement following this freshet.

Because the Metolius is a spring-fed river, water temperatures tend to be more temperate regardless of weather conditions so it’s a good bet for winter trout fishing.

Summer steelheading was good on the John Day prior to the storm front passing through this week and it should fish again as conditions improve.

SW Washington Fishing Reports – Although action is clearly slowing here, anglers fishing the Cowlitz still have a chance at an occasional coho and Chinook salmon. All wild Chinook on the Cowlitz need to be released and finding a hatchery one will be a bit tough this time of year.

The Kalama has an occasional summer steelhead or coho available but coho are becoming more rare by the day.

The Lewis River is slow and the Klickitat has finally slowed for Chinook

Anglers should check out the Black Friday specials at these lakes:

Black Friday trout opener is coming up the day after Thanksgiving. The six lakes to be planted will be closed starting the Monday before Thanksgiving (November 23) through Thanksgiving (November 26) and reopen Friday November 27. The lakes to be planted with 2,000 very large rainbows (averaging 15 to 16 inches in length and weighing 1-1/4 pounds) each are:

Lewis County

Fort Borst Park Pond

South Lewis County Park Pond

Cowlitz county

Kress Lake

Clark County

Battleground Lake

Klineline Pond

Klickitat County

North Rowland Lake