Oregon Fisheries Update September 25th – October 1st, 2015

Willamette Valley Fishing Report – Trollers working the water downstream of the Portland airport continue to surprise themselves with good success using frozen herring, Brads Lures or spinners near the bottom. This technique is primarily used for spring chinook but every once in a while, Columbia River fall fish succumb to this method. If you think it’s going to work as well next year, be prepared for disappointment but who knows…. Bonneville anglers continue to do well also, with sporadic fast action for those that are willing to hit the water on a consistent basis.

Lower water temperatures has improved fish passage over Willamette Falls although coho numbers remain quite low. Bass fishing is good in the lower river.

While it’s unlikely that rainfall will have much effect on level and flow of the McKenzie River, it’s in pretty good shape regardless. Fly anglers have been doing well here.

The entire Santiam system is extremely low and clear. There’s nothing here that would be of interest to those hoping to catch any fish.

While water is low o the Clackamas River, there are a few coho about. Too few for this time of year although there was one caught earlier this week.

The coho run on the Sandy River is timed later than that on the Clackamas. While there are a few around, prospects will be better later in the year.

North Coast Fishing Report – The Buoy 10 fishery continues to disappoint with what few anglers  remain, are heavily pressured by marauding sea-lions. There are coho present but a limit is far from reality. Lower Columbia crabbing is worthwhile however. On October 1st, the Buoy 10 fishery re-opens to the retention of Chinook and although Chinook are typically a rare catch this time of year, given this years run size, it is a slight possibility, if a sea-lion doesn’t take it off your line.

The Tillamook Bay fishery is well underway and frequent fishers would say it’s off to a great start. The ocean and jaws has been a frequent point of interception but bay trollers are finding some success at Garibaldi, The Ghost Hole and Bay City as well. The upper bay is producing poorly at this time.

The Nehalem system is also producing good catches as the fall run is clearly underway here too. Trollers are still working the jaws but stronger tides should push fish into the upper reaches from Wheeler upstream by the weekend.

The Nestucca from above Woods to the Boat Ramp Hole has good numbers of chinook present. Bobber tossers are getting plenty and trollers are taking an occasional fish as well. It looks like a good season here.

The Salmon, Siletz and Alsea Rivers are producing good catches of Chinook and uniformly, coho remain absent although the wild run tends to show later in the season anyway.

Crabbing is picking up in most coastal estuaries but so is pressure. The ocean is producing consistent limits of quality sized crab and will remain open through October 15th.

Albacore chasers have been disappointed, not only in how far west they have to travel to stand a reasonable chance, but also by the numbers they are catching for the effort they are putting in. The late season has been a bit of a disappointment. Live bait will still rule the roost.

Deep reef opportunities begin on October 1st. This is a great chance to find a big lingcod and quality sized rockfish in waters that aren’t hit all that hard. The weather is volatile and for that reason, charter boats don’t offer these trips too far into the fall.

Central & South Coast Reports – Salmon fishing out of Newport and Depoe Bay has been slow although bottom fishing has produced good catches of rockfish and ling cod.

Sport and commercial boats fishing for tuna are wondering at this time of year if the trip they’re making may be the last one of the season.

Fishing for coho, fin clipped or wild, will continue off the central Oregon coast through September 30th, after which no ocean coho may be kept.

All-depth halibut will be open October 1st and 2nd, possibly for the last fishery of the summer season and for the year. Despite the quota over-filling for nearshore halibut, fishing may continue until further notice due to a transfer of quota from other fisheries.

The Southern Oregon Subarea halibut fishery (out of the Brookings area), will likely continue until the regulatory closure of October 31.

The Siltcoos, Tahkenitch and Tenmile lakes wild coho salmon season will start on October 1st and is scheduled to continue through the end of the year.

Chinook are being caught at Winchester Bay and in the lower Umpqua although coho have been a little slower in making an appearance here.

Trolling for salmon in Rogue bay has been good most days. With the Rogue river extremely low, fishing for Chinook and summer steelhead is slow on the Grants Pass stretch and has slowed in the flies-only stretch on the upper Rogue.

Bottom fishing is good in the ocean out of the Port of Brookings. The Chetco Bubble fishery will be open October 1st through 11th at which time a derby will take place.

Central & Eastern – Waters of the lower Deschutes are in good condition and clarity now that White River is no longer spewing silt into the mainstem. Summer steelhead and trout are available here.

East Lake has been fishing well for trout while trollers are still catching kokanee here.

With an algae bloom hampering visibility at Crane Prairie, fishing has slowed to a standstill.

Kokanee are spawning in many areas around Oregon now and may be seen running upstream in many rivers including the Metolius.

John Day River smallmouth bass fishing shows no signs of slowing as fall approaches. Recently fly fishers have caught plenty of them.

North Twin Lake will have no length or bag limit on trout from now until October 19th when rotenone will be applied to eliminate illegally stocked fish.

SW Washington- The Cowlitz has an array of species available with Chinook topping the list. Only fin-clipped Chinook may be retained however and they are making up about 1/2 of the catch. Coho are starting to show but don’t expect big numbers and summer steelhead are still hitting baits and an occasional spinner.

The Lewis River is yielding some coho and summer steelhead.

Drano Lake relaxes regulations starting October 1st. Check for the use of 2 rods.

The Hanford Reach of the Columbia continues to break records for harvest. Stevie Parsons of Beaverton lost a fish that her guide stated was over 50 pounds.