Oregon Fisheries Update November 6 – 12, 2015

Willamette Valley Fishing Report – Chinook salmon catches in the Bonneville area remain impressive but the creel census indicating two fish a boat was likely taken prior to the closure on November 1. Although more dark fish are beginning to show, the real impediment is the Beacon rock to Bonneville dam boat closure, now in effect through the end of the year.

While fish passage at Willamette Falls is fairly unremarkable, a fair number of fall Chinook and coho have passed, and are now upstream. The best bet for fishing on the lower river is for sturgeon although this is a catch-and-release fishery. The blue-green algae advisory at Clackamette Cove has been lifted.

Water level and flow at the McKenzie rose and fell with rainfall over the past week. It is now only a little higher than prior to the freshet and prospects for fly anglers targeting trout over the coming weekend are good.

The Santiams were little effected by recent precipitation and have returned to their respective pre-rainfall levels. Fishing remains poor here but winter steelhead are coming eventually.

Clackamas water levels have recovered from the freshet and while they are a bit higher, there has been little positive benefit reflected in coho catches.

Water levels remain fairly high and off-color on the Sandy River. Fishing for summer steelhead, Chinook and coho has been slow.

North Coast – Last weekends rain freshet was long awaited and has been paying dividends all week. All north coast rivers have ample numbers of salmon present but some systems are producing brighter fish than others.

The Wilson River is a top producer but the Kilchis, Trask, and Nestucca all have fish present as well. Waters are on the drop however so anglers have to be more savvy than before, fishing different holding water and offer unique baits or technique to entice fish. As levels drop, Chinook will start to hold in more traditional water.

Chum have been reported in many north coast systems, including the Nestucca. No, you still can’t keep them down there either. You can legally target chum salmon through November 15th however.

Tillamook Bay is still an option too as fresh Chinook are still being taken on the troll. The Ghost Hole and Bay City should start producing more regularly.

Crabbing should be fair, even with the recent rain freshet. Netarts Bay however will likely remain a top prospect.

Central & South Coast Reports – Water levels at Siltcoos Lake were finally high enough to allow the spillway to the Siltcoos River to open this week. It is hoped that coho will now use the fish ladder at the dam to enter the lake.

The ODFW and Department of Agriculture issued a warning to crabbers in the area of the south coast from Cape Arago to the California border. Due to high levels of domoic acid, it is recommended that crab be eviscerated prior to eating them.

Mussels may not be taken from the Yachats River in Lincoln County to the California border due to the same toxins.

Wild coho may still be caught in certain sections of the Siletz River through the last day of November. Check your reach here. Only one per day may be kept and only two for the year. Most anglers are targeting Fall Chinook now.

Rainfall this week has caused an improvement in Chinook catches on many coastal rivers including the Alsea but action is starting to slow as rivers fall back to low levels.

Winter steelhead fishing will begin in December on most south coast rivers although the Umpqua starts to see the first winters in November.

Chinook are still being caught on Rogue Bay and in the lower Rogue River as the last of the run is coming in now. While action on the middle Rogue is slower, there has been an uptick in summer steelhead catches. The flies-only limitation on the upper Rogue has lifted on the 1st of November with bait allowed above Shady Cove. Steelheading has been good at times.

Chetco anglers may fish the entire river up to Nook Creek. The primary target on the Chetco now is Chinook salmon.

ODFW biologists at Diamond Lake discovered a tui chub in one of their traps this week. These minnows, thought eradicated in the 2007 treatment of the lake, could come only from from am outside source.

Central & Eastern – Discharge from the White River is once again causing the water of the lower Deschutes to turn muddy this week. Trout fishing has been good here but steelheading has been slow.

Since the waters of the Metolius are spring fed and the river is open all year below the Arlington Bridge, it offers anglers a chance at winter trout fishing.

Conditions at the Grande Ronde can change rapidly depending on the weather, particularly in winter, so anglers should check the forecast before fishing. Steelhead can be good here at times.

SW Washington – Catches in most district tributaries remain depressed. Throughout the state, late season coho is a bust and Chinook are largely spawning now. The Cowlitz remains the best bet, as always and November used to bring some early run steelhead in. Anglers aren’t holding their breath this year however as a poor coho return is often indicative of a poor winter steelhead return.

The Lewis remains an option but Chinook will primarily be on tap. Don’t look for a bunch of late season coho here this year.

Klickitat and Drano Lake anglers are finding some fish but action is finally starting to slow.