Oregon Fishing Update April 26th, 2019

Willamette Valley/Metro – Another week of high water has kept most anglers trailered up, or unsuccessful for those that headed out to take advantage of two additional days on the Columbia River last weekend. Throughout the open area (Bonneville to Warrior Rock), very few fish were caught and another extension was discussed on Wednesday and the states adopted another 2-day extension, this Saturday and Sunday (April 27 and 28) . Counts at Bonneville are climbing, but a rising river may continue to prolong peak passage, which has peaked around May 10th in recent years. About 1,400 spring Chinook have crossed Bonneville to date.

Catches of spring Chinook finally kicked in on the Willamette River this week. All reaches of the lower river produced fish, even bank anglers working the Oregon City area, which always fishes best in high flows. The Willamette is forecast to continue to drop, making the weekend look promising for spring Chinook anglers. From Oregon City to St. Helens, it should be a good week for spring Chinook anglers. Catches were robust in Oregon City on Wednesday and Thursday.

The Clackamas River has finally dropped into good shape and a few summer steelhead, and a few late returning wild winter runs and spent steelhead are also in the creel. It’s still too early for spring Chinook catches here.

The Sandy is still booting out a few late season winter steelhead and some summer run fish as well. With the extended period of high water, the upper reaches near Cedar Creek will remain the better bet. Spring Chinook should start showing here, but like the Clackamas, the run has shifted to a later date more recently. Trout plants are happening with some regularity in the Willamette Valley, and as the weather warms up, so should the bite in local area lakes and ponds. Check the ODF&W web site for updated information.

Pro guide Jeff Stoeger (503-704-7920) of O2BFISHN reports, ” This week’s report is showing that winter and summer steelhead are still being caught in the entire river. Fished the lower river Friday with a take down on a plug below Dabney Park. Oxbow Park has been the most productive area of the river. There is very little boat action on the river and most of the action has been from Dodge Park to Oxbow and Oxbow to Dabney. There has been more bank action from Cedar Creek to Dabney Park. Most of the fish being caught have been native with a few hatchery summers being caught in the mix. “

Northwest Oregon – Steelhead season is largely over on the north coast. Most guides called it just mediocre with most of the run now spawning or near spawning. North coast rivers will harbor spawned out steelhead for the next few weeks, but shouldn’t necessarily be targeted them during this time. Summer steelhead will return to the Wilson and Nestucca systems as well as Three Rivers however, with peak action likely to happen in June and July. These late season spawners make for excellent table fare, second only to spring Chinook, which will soon return to the Trask River and Tillamook Bay through the month of June. No spring Chinook have yet to be reported.

Bottomfishing remains excellent with just a few days left for deep reef fishing. On May 1st, anglers will be restricted inside of 40 fathoms, which is still productive for many species of bottomfish, but bigger lingcod and bass exist along the offshore (deep) reefs. The deep reef fishery will re-open on October 1st. Coastal lakes and ponds will also see an infusion of stocked trout with fewer anglers targeting them in the rural districts. Trout fishing in the district’s rivers is closed as juvenile salmon and steelhead make their way to the ocean this time of year, and are often mistaken for trout by novice anglers. Trout season opens in late May in most coastal systems.

Central and Eastern Oregon Fishing Reports – From Tim Moran

Fishing the opener on the east side was pretty good for those who got out.  Highlights are there were actually fish to catch at Wickiup, Crane fished good but access was tough and Prineville is very good right now!    


Crane Prairie – It’s fishing good.  Most of the guys I talked to fished small nymph and leech patterns and did well.  Early season powerbait or a worn floated off the bottom will always take fish.  The fly guys were working Quinn River, Rock Creek, and Cow Camp areas. 

Wickiup – Well it sounds like the reports of Wickiup’s demise were premature – the old boy was kicking out kokanee last week and a few guys did pretty well.  T

South Twin Lake – Twin is fishing well on worms, eggs and powerbait. 

Odell Lake –  Fishing was good at Odell on the opener.  Lots of fish but most were in that  9 to 11 inch class. 

Prineville Reservoir:  It’s red hot at Prineville!  Bank fishing remains good on worms, powerbait and small spinners like Roostertails. 

From ODF&W

Crane Prairie and Wickiup reservoirs opened to fishing on April 22.

Bull trout and kokanee fishing have been good in Lake Billy Chinook, especially the Metolius arm.

Trout fishing has been good in Ochoco and Prineville reservoirs.

Trout anglers who prefer moving waters should check out the Fall River, and the Deschutes from Lake Billy Chinook to Benham Falls.

Morgan Lake is now open to fishing and has been stocked with trophy-size fish.

Roulet Pond has been stocked with 1,100 legal-size and 125 trophy-size rainbow trout. A new fishing pier was constructed last fall. Anglers with disabilities will enjoy excellent fishing access at this pond.

Kinney Lake is fishing well for stocked and holdover trout up to 16-inches.

The Wood River, Sprague River and Upper Williamson River open on April 22.

Best bet for fishing in the Klamath Basin is Lake of the Woods for stocked fish, Klamath River below JC Boyle Dam for native redband trout or Wood River for brown trout.

Krumbo Reservoir has been recently stocked and fishing should be good for 8- to 10-inch trout. Though there are larger, holdover trout to tempt the determined angler.

If recent ice fishing success is any indication, fishing for holdover trout should be good on Wolf Creek and Unity reservoirs.

Anglers also can expect good trout fishing at recently stocked locations like Phillips Reservoir, Murray Reservoir and Hwy 203 Pond.

Holbrook Reservoir is accessible now via the Fish Creek Road from Bly.

After a few days of warm weather, warmwater fishing in the Owyhee Reservoir can be good.

Some anglers are taking limits of trout from Burn Gravel Pond.

Yellowjacket Lake is accessible, via high-clearance vehicle, and fishing has been fair to good.

Southwest from Pete Heley at www.PeteHeley.com

As of last weekend, the Umpqua River had dropped somewhat, but was still muddy. Just before it muddied up sprink chinook angling was the best it’s been all season – which is only fair in an otherwise crummy season. Anglers fishing the South Jetty area for lingcod and other bottomfish are finding much clearer water in the ocean on the south side of the “Triangle”.

Very few salmon anglers are taking advantage of the ocean chinook fishery which has been in effect since March 15th. It seems like a few anglers would be targeting springers before they actually get into the Umpqua River.

By the time the lower Umpqua River clears, there may be a few redtail surfperch or “pinkfin” on their spawning run in the two miles of river just above the East Basin entrance at Winchester Bay.

Striped Bass were biting well on the upper tidewater areas of the Smith River before heavy rains muddied the stream and they should resume biting when the water clears. It won’t be long before the stripers move downstream into the lower tidewater areas.

Shad fishing may be just days away on several area streams including the Coos/Millicoma, Coquille, Siuslaw and Umpqua rivers. On the Umpqua, the early fishing pressure will almost certainly be in the Yellow Creek area.

Offshore bottomfishing using conventional techniques in waters deeper than 240 feet (40 fathoms) ends at the end of April.

Bass anglers in the Grants Pass/Medford area are dealing with latgemouth bass that are actually spawning or on the verge of it.

The Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission (OFWC) finalized the 2019 recreational halibut seasons at their meeting on April 19th at St. Helens for all of Oregon’s halibut zones.

Regarding the spring all-depth season for our area( central coast subarea) – there are five fixed open dates: May 9-11, May 16-18, May 23-25, May 30-June 1, June 6-8. – If quota remains, possible back-up dates will be June 20-22, July 4-6, and July 18-20.

In addition to the many lakes planted last week, Butterfield Lake will receive 400 trophy trout this week and Upper Empire Lake will receive 4,500 trout comprised of 2,500 legals and 2,000 trophies.

Southwest – From ODF&W

On the lower Rogue, the spring Chinook season is reaching its peak RIGHT NOW.

We’ve gotten reports of at least a few spring Chinook being caught in the middle Rogue, and anglers can expect more to arrive in the coming weeks.

While the Chinook season is kicking off, don’t overlook steelhead fishing on the Rogue. Conditions on the river are good, and steelhead fishing will continue for the next few weeks.

Look for striped bass in the lower Smith River.

Bass and bluegill fishing should be good in Cooper Creek Reservoir and Loon Lake.

With warmer spring temperatures, look for warmwater fishing to pick up in places like Empire and Tenmile lakes.

Trout fishing should be good in Howard Prairie Reservoir, Hyatt Lake and Fish Lake, all of which will be stocked again this week. And don’t overlook Applegate and Lost Creek reservoirs, both of which have been stocked recently.

Several waterbodies in the SW Zone are scheduled to be stocked the week of April 22 including, Applegate Reservoir, Bradley Lake, Butterfield Lake, Galesville Reservoir, Middle Empire Lake, Lost Creek Reservoir, Ben Irving Reservoir, Loon Lake and Arizona Pond.

The “Family Fun Day” event, sponsored by the Kids’ Hope Center of Bay Area Hospital, will take place on Saturday, April 27 at Middle Empire Lake. The lake will be stocked late in the week, and a floating pen will provide small children an opportunity to catch a trout.

On the Pacific bottomfishing has been good when the ocean lays down and anglers have been able to make it out.

Bottomfish anglers may now fish at all depths until May 1. Fishing for lingcod and rockfish has been good when the ocean is calm enough to fish. The daily bag limit for marine fish is 5 plus 2 lingcod. The retention of cabezon is closed until July 2019.

Anglers may also choose to fish the offshore longleader fishery outside of the 40-fathom regulatory line, which is open year round. The longleader fishery has a daily bag limit of 10 fish made of yellowtail, widow, canary, blue, deacon, redstripe, greenstripe, silvergray, and bocaccio rockfish. No other groundfish are allowed and offshore longleader fishing trips cannot be combined with traditional bottomfish, flatfish or halibut trips. Find information about a longleader setup here.

Ocean salmon fishing is open for Chinook salmon from Cape Falcon to Humbug Mt from March 15 through April 30. Chinook must be a minimum of 24 inches in length. The ocean is close to coho salmon.

2019 Stocking schedule and Stocking Maps

SW Washington – The most recent report from WDF&W is from April 17th. You can access it here:

https://wdfw.wa.gov/sites/default/files/2019-04/SW%20fishing%20report%20april%208-14.pdf