Oregon Fisheries Update November 4th, 2016

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Willamette Valley/Metro – Although fishing for coho and steelhead resumes on the mainstem Columbia starting Saturday, the bulk of the run is through the lower 125 miles of river, making it highly improbable that success is likely. The entire Columbia remains closed to Chinook since fishery managers downgraded the run size several weeks in a row.

Willamette water levels have been high recently but are dropping and will continue to do so through the weekend. The better fishing right now is for sturgeon although it is 100% catch-and-release.

The McKenzie will get through this weekend of dropping rivers unscathed and, after dropping all week, will be a decent place for trout anglers to try.

Speaking of dropping rivers, the North Santiam will be dropping quite rapidly over the weekend but trying to figure out how it’ll fish in this situation is a challenge.

Waters of the Clackamas River will be far more civilized, dropping over the comin weekend but not such a great distance in a short time. Try for coho or late summer steelhead here.

This week, Pro fishing guide Jeff Stoeger of O2BFISHN Guide Service (503-704-7920) tells us where coho are most likely to be on the Sandy River, when winter steelhead will show and urges waders to avoid Chinook redds.

Northwest – With plenty of water in local area rivers in Tillamook County, driftboaters continue to find success floating many of the counties streams from the Nestucca to the Kilchis. Since the rivers have had a prolonged period of high water activity, Chinook are well distributed in these systems. Small tides this weekend may make the lower reaches the most productive with fresh fish reported early this week on the Trask, Wilson and Kilchis systems.

The Miami, Kilchis and Wilson Rivers have chum salmon available for those that desire a good catch and release option. There has been no rumor of early winter steelhead as of yet.

Tillamook Bay itself will produce sporadic results, but again, with water in the district’s area rivers, fish won’t be spending much time in the estuary this weekend. The Ghost Hole, Bay City and the West Channel should all be options however.

Soft tides should improve success for Dungeness crab catchers. Although all coastal estuaries are options, the lower Columbia and Netarts Bay should be the top options.

The ocean will be out of reach for boaters for the foreseeable future. Salmon, crab and halibut seasons are closed anyway.

Southwest – Halibut season closed at the end of October whether quotas remained or not. It’s too rough to chase ‘em at this time of year regardless.

Bottom fishing, which continues without depth restrictions, rule changes and still includes a single cabezon to fill a limit, is great offshore. The problem is getting out.

Some charter operations closed seasonally at the 1st of October with more closing at the beginning of November. To further confuse the issue, some will reopen on December 1st. Call ahead to be sure.

While ocean crabbing has close until December 1st, bays and estuaries are open and results will be improving in November.

Alsea River steelheaders rejoice, probably, although there’s no hot report or anything but the lower Alse opened on N9ovember 1st. Steelhead to follow.

Author, publisher and blogger Pete Heley (peteheley.com), writing from Reedsport, tells us about a variety of fisheries including salmon, bass, perch and trout and reminds us all that most streams closed for trout fishing at the end of October.

Rogue water levels have been running too high for the river to fish well. As it’s dropping over the coming weekend, there may be opportunities for late summer steelhead. The ‘flies only’ restriction on the upper Rogue has been lifted. Fishing reported to have improved shortly thereafter, particularly where bait is allowed.

Eastern – Trout fishing action on the Deschutes mirrors the water conditions; it’s not so good when it’s muddy but well worthwhile when the water is in good color.

Trout fishing is expected to slow on the Metolius River which has a reputation as a year-’round fishery and rightfully so. But it’s still better in spring.

Cold weather won’t keep avid lake trout trollers away from Crescent Lake. ‘Fact is, they just get started now and seem to enjoy it even more as it gets colder. It’s probably a sickness. Good thing they found the cure!

SW Washington – Effort remains low for salmon in most district tributaries but coho remain available on the Cowlitz and Kalama River systems. Some sea-run cutthroat trout are also being taken on the Cowlitz.

The Klickitat River mouth is producing some coho, albeit sporadically. This fishery should continue to produce through Thanksgiving but anglers should not have high expectations for this fishery.