Oregon Fisheries Update November 26th – December 2nd, 2015

Willamette Valley Fishing Report – The small surge (117 counted) of coho on November 18th has once again dwindled to a trickle as the 2015 run goes out with a whimper. The winter steelhead total as of the 25th was 74, but steelheaders take hope as this run is barely starting. While water levels are dropping, visibility in the lower Willamette remains about 12 inches.

Waters of the McKenzie crested November 19th with water temperatures dropping from the upper to the lower 40s over the past week along with water levels. The McKenzie River above Leaburg Lake is closed to fishing until Jan. 1, 2016.

While water level and flow has returned to normal on the Santiams, there’s not much to interest anglers here as trout fishing closed at the end of October and there are few anadromous fish in the system.

A reminder from the ODFW: “Henry Hagg Lake will open year-round starting Monday, Nov. 23.
“The change is a result of both ODFW and Washington County Parks wanting to increase fishing opportunities at the lake and gives anglers an early start to fish one of the largest trout and bass lakes in the Willamette Valley.

We’ll return with Columbia River fishing reports when they are warranted.

North Coast Fishing Report – A good spurt of Chinook fell to anglers working the Kilchis and Wilson Rivers early this week and last weekend. Chinook remain available but action should taper with the dropping flows. Fresh fish should be in the system well into the weekend but you’ll likely start to see some colored up ones as well. Tillamook Bay should also remain an option for bigger boaters. Stick to the Bay City reach.

Driftboaters will be greeted with dropping flows and cooler water temperatures. The Wilson will remain the top prospect but stealthy anglers should see options on the Kilchis as well. Winter steelhead are already starting to show in fishable numbers on the Wilson, Kilchis and Three Rivers. It will only get better from here. The North Fork Nehalem will remain a top option.

Put a fork in the Trask and Nestucca systems; they’re done.

Estuary crabbing should pick up over the weekend as fresh water continues to exit the stream systems. Ocean crabbing remains closed.

Bottomfishing should be excellent on Friday and Saturday if the prediction holds true.

Central & South Coast Reports – The crabbing closure from Haceta Head to the Oregon/California border was updated on November 19th. It is unsafe to eat crab from any bay, estuary or river tidewater until further notice do to high levels of domoic acid.

Commercial crabbing, scheduled to open on December 1st, has also been delayed until no sooner than December 15th. Weekly testing is ongoing.

Despite late November being considered too late for surf fishing, anglers have continued to report good results for perch from most of Oregon’s ocean beaches.

Siltcoos Lake is open for wild coho and there are a few fish in the lake. This is primarily a troll fishery. The season will close here as well as Tahkenitch and Tenmile lakes at the end of December.

Ocean fishing for rockfish is good out of Gold Beach but there are few opportunities to launch at this time opf year. Steelhead are being caught in all stretches of the river but bait is allowed only on the upper Rogue above Shady Cove boat ramp.

Following rain earlier this month which raised Chetco River level and flow, the waters have now settled down. Chinook have moved upstream.

While there is snow on the ground at Diamond Lake, there is no ice through which anglers may fish for trout.

Central & Eastern – East side weather is turning cold so anglers are advised extra caution driving and extra layers of clothing while fishing.

One fishery tempting only the heartiest of souls is winter trolling for lake trout a Crescent Lake where some big fish have been caught.

Steelheading has been slow around Troy on the Grande Ronde River but there is still time for improvement.

SW Washington Fishing Reports –

Cowlitz River – Bank anglers at the hatcheries are catching some fall Chinook, coho, summer run steelhead, and sea run cutthroats.

Coweeman River – Light effort and no catch of steelhead.

Kalama River – Anglers are catching a mix of coho and steelhead.

East Fork Lewis River – Bank anglers are catching some coho and steelhead. All salmon must be released. The steelhead were wild and released as required.

North Fork Lewis River – Effort and catch was light.


Webinar Driftboating and bank fishing the Wilson River with Pro Guide Bob Rees January 20th