Oregon Fishing Updates for July 13

Willamette Valley/Metro – With the Columbia River steelhead run peaking right now, anglers working the mainstem are finding only mediocre success. A better set of tides are coming this weekend however, action for bank anglers should improve and the gorge should be peaking for the next 2 weeks.

Walleye fishing is good around Bonneville and excellent in the reservoirs above The Dalles Dam.

Sockeye remain the surprise on the mainstem, already doubling their pre-season prediction. Anglers are allowed to retain any sockeye, most likely intercepted as bycatch for beach plunkers targeting steelhead.

The Sandy and Clackamas Rivers remain fair options for summer steelhead seekers, but early mornings will be key to success, especially with the hot weather upon us. These rivers will also be inundated with rafters, making fish even more timid for angler’s offerings. Pro guide Jeff Stoeger of O2BFISHN (503-704-7920) reports, “This week, the Sandy has started its glacial melt and the river is off color with about foot and half visibility. The river is running between 7.8 ft to 8.0 depending on how warm the weather gets during the day and how cool the evenings get dictates water clarity and height. When the river goes off color you need to increase the size of spinners and increase the size of bait so the fish are able to see it and smell it. In clear water, size 3 and 4 spinners work well, I would stick with size 4’s in dark color bodies and blades. More of Jeff’s report is available to full length subscribers: click HERE, and for just $24.95/year, or 50 cents a week, you’ll get more detail AND aforecast to prep you for your next fishing trip.

The Willamette action is functionally over, although a few late season Chinook will still get caught over the next few weeks. Your best chance will be at the head of the Multnomah Channel trolling spinners around high tide.

Warm-water species such as bass and catfish will become productive above Willamette Falls especially.

Northwest Oregon – Bottomfishing remains the top option out of most north coast ports. Lingcod are becoming harder to find, but sea bass remain plentiful and the long-leader fishery in the deeper water continues to produce 10-fish limits for most anglers. Rough seas are forecasted for this weekend, which may make ocean fishing uncomfortable. Pay close attention to your destination and make sure you are going the same direction as wind waves when returning to port.

Salmon fishing has been challenging since the South of Cape Falcon fishery (Manzanita) opened in late June. Chinook and coho catches are averaging about a keeper salmon every 10 rods although Pacific City leads the charge with .42 retained salmon per angler through July 1st. Chinook catches are outpacing coho by nearly 3 to 1.

Nearshore halibut remains a fair option when seas allow. Garibaldi and Pacific City were the two most productive ports for the last reporting period (through July 1st).

Summer steelhead remain an option in the Wilson and Nestucca systems, but you’ll have to employ low-water techniques and fish early to have any hope.

Sea-run cutthroat trout are a good option in nearly any north coast tidewater system.

The Salty Dawg fleet is excited to get the albacore fishery going. Tuna have been landed in nearly every Oregon coastal port, but catches remain sporadic. Consistency comes in the latter half of July and well into September.

Bay crabbing has been challenging, but ocean crabbing out of Garibaldi is fair.

Astoria area – Sturgeon fishing remains epic for those fishing fresh anchovies from Tongue Point to the Astoria/Megler Bridge. Fish are averaging larger than 4 foot.

A strong south wind scattered salmon off of the mouth of the Columbia this week. The NW wind is returning, likely to cause a building swell and rough conditions for ocean goers.

Sea bass fishing was good from the south jetty this week, but should become more challenging with the big tides this weekend.

Razor clam digging north of Tillamook Head (Seaside) closes starting July 15th. There is an excellent set of tides up until the closure date.

Central and Eastern Oregon – From our Friend Tim Moran:

Deschutes River – Fishing is good on nymphs during the day and very good fishing dries in the evening.  Caddis and PED’s (Pale Evening Dunns) are coming off when the sun goes behind the canyon.  Fishing has been real good from Warm Springs to Trout Creek!

Metolius River – Golden Stones are really starting to hatch now and fishing with the nymphs and dries should be good.  Caddis and PED’s will be around too.  Evenings on the Met are magical!

John Day River – Flows are now low enough that you have to drag your boat is several spots.  Fishing is very good though and bass will be scattered..some up near the shore and some in deeper water.  I like to target them first with poppers, then if that isn’t getting like a a strike every few casts I’ll go with a weighted woolly bugger.  #4 grubs are a killer too if you’re spin fishing!

East Lake – It’s been good but will be off with the east winds.  When they’re not blowing, reports are very good.  Fly guys are fishing chironomids under a small float.  Red has been a hot color.  Leeches and small nymphs are good too!  Hit up the Fly Fisher’s Place in Sisters for all the latest news and tips before you go if your flyfishing.  Trollers are doing well to.  Small dodgers with a spinner worm combo or hoochie will take rainbows and kokanee.

Crane Prairie – I have a report from the guys at Central Oregon Fishing Reports – Bass fishing is good in the coves and up the Deschutes arm.  Plastics, spinnerbaits and topwater are all taking fish.  Most fish are running 1.5 to 2 pounds but they got a few up around 5lbs!

I sound like a broken record but the next 3 months you really can’t go wrong fishing anywhere in central/eastern Oregon.  We live in a great state if you love to fish and hunt!

It’s going to be a HOT weekend so the water will be the place you want to be!

Southwest – From ODF&W

Lingcod fishing off the central coast has been good during the past couple of weeks and saw most anglers taking home a limit (2 lingcod). In contrast, rockfish action has been slower; fish were seen on fish finders but were reluctant to bite, especially black rockfish. Reminder that as of April 1, the bottomfish fishery is restricted to inside of the 30 fathom regulatory line.

The Central Coast nearshore halibut fishery opened on Friday, June 1. During the last couple of weeks, anglers were bringing in 2-3 Petrale sole per angler along with some halibut.

There will be an announcement by noon on Friday, July 13 if enough quota remains for any additional back-up dates in the Central Oregon Coast Subarea spring all-depth fishery. Remaining available back-up dates are: July 19-21. The summer all-depth fishery opens August 3-4, every other Friday and Saturday until October 31, or the quota is caught.

Sport salmon fishing for Chinook is open in ocean waters from Cape Falcon (just North of Nehalem Bay) to the Oregon/California border for two salmon per day (all salmon except coho). Minimum sizes are 24-inches for Chinook and 20-inches for steelhead.

Tuna fishing has been good for anglers fishing roughly 30 miles from Coos Bay last week and weekend.

Chinook fishing on the lower Rogue is heating up with anglers catching fish from the bay up to Indian Creek.

Hatchery Spring Chinook excess to brood needs are being recycled back into the upper Rogue fishery upstream of Gold Hill.

The Rogue River above Lost Creek Reservoir is a hot spot for summer trout fishing, offering a great place to escape the heat of the valley, enjoy some beautiful scenery, and catch some nice trout.

Anglers continue to catch crappie and bluegills from the fishing dock on Eel Lake.

Salmon anglers out of Charleston and Winchester Bay are reporting good catches of fin-clipped coho.

Yellow perch fishing has been very good in Tenmile Lakes.

Smallmouth bass fishing continues to be good in the south and mainstem Umpqua.

During the hot weather the best trout fishing will be early in mornings at higher lakes like Diamond, Hemlock, Lake in the Woods, and the high Umpqua lakes.

There is always more Oregon fishing information delivered earlier on our site, The Guide’s Forecast.  You can also sign-up for our weekly emails here.

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Seven Fish, Five Fish, Four Fish, More Fish. Where Do We Go From Here?

By Bob Rees

Not even one year ago, the bag limit for rockfish was seven fish. Today, it’s four. As we experience a downturn in our salmon and steelhead stocks, bottomfishing is only becoming more popular.

Professional fishing guides that normally stay within the confines of Tillamook Bay for spring Chinook, were making a 20-mile trek to Arch Cape in pursuit of sea bass, and an occasional lingcod. The eleven day catch and keep sturgeon fishery had explosive effort this spring and anglers are turning to warm-water species to meet their recreational needs in a cold-water mecca. What’s going on here?

It’s no secret that the consumptive use of our fishery resources is not going away. Catch and release fisheries are becoming more popular, and while that’s a good thing, most Americans, and most of the world for that matter, enjoy consuming seafood. That’s certainly the case in the Pacific Northwest.

Although we’ve seen the systematic ramp down in opportunity for our ocean resources, most would agree it’s necessary for the future of our fisheries. While some fisheries are losing opportunity, innovative fishermen are finding ways to successfully (and hopefully sustainably) exploit other opportunities such as the Long-leader fishery now taking place off of the Oregon Coast. This fishery allows for a 10 fish bag limit on slope species of rockfish many have never heard of: yellowtail, chillipepper, canary, redstripe, greenstriped, widow, baccachio and the like. It makes for a nice bag limit of high quality fish for those in the know.

There are certainly some knowledgeable sport anglers that are taking advantage of this new-found fishery, but there is a good handful of charter boat operators that have the fishery dialed (Garibaldi Charters is one of them), taking easy limits on most days.

Leave it to motivated meat anglers to find a way (admittedly, I’m one of those).

Now if you’ve been paying attention to history, an opportunity like this doesn’t go un-noticed by those that have access to this fishery. How long will it be before this fishery gets inundated with effort, and we have to start lowering catch limits for these species as well? Only time will tell that story, but if history repeats itself, if salmon, steelhead, sturgeon and other species continue to under-perform, effort will continue to grow for this fishery until changes need to be made. Salty Dawgs are keeping their eye on the horizon for the arrival of albacore tuna, that’s for sure.

You’ve heard me say it before, we have it pretty good here in the Pacific Northwest. Between all the runs of salmon and steelhead (no matter how poor the forecast is), sturgeon bottomfish, halibut, lingcod, tuna, crab and on and on, for now anyway, there always seems to be some form of opportunity for the consumptive angler (and non-consumptive too of course). I don’t really know how it goes for the rest of the country, my biased self says we have it as good as it gets out west here, why go anywhere else?

There’s some bad shenanigans going on in the gulf states however, and as early as next week, Congress could be voting on legislation that sets a bad precedent no matter what part of the country you live in. HR 200 was introduced by Alaskan Congressman Don Young with co-sponsorship support from Gulf State Congressmen. Some are calling it a “Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing” (it just had a different bill number back then).

I’ve got to credit gulf state sport anglers for the initiative, it’s just hard to justify throwing out sound science and policy, and a real risk to the future of sustainable fisheries, for short term gain with no accountability.

Rep. Don Young’s H.R. 200 would:

  • Represent a significant step backward and hinder federal fisheries managers’ ability to rebuild and maintain sustainable fish stocks.
  • Threaten the law’s strong accountability and responsible management measures – including the requirement to use science-based fishing catch limits.
  • Threaten the scientific integrity of the stock assessment process.

The Marine Fish Conservaiton Network has made it pretty easy to tell your Congressional representative what you think of bad fisheries bills. Just go HERE to take action now!

It may be challenging to understand what a gulf coast initiative has to do with west coast fisheries, but setting a precedent of bad policy, and compromising future opportunities should not be tolerated in any region or with any publicly owned resource. I’ve made the comparison before, what if we ignored the way we do business with regards to Columbia River salmon management? Granted, we’re governed under the Endangered Species Act, while offshore stocks are not, but if we were allowed wide-open access to spring Chinook, sturgeon and steelhead, how would that go over for our sons and daughters, grandsons and granddaughters? Haven’t we saddled them with enough challenges?

Furthermore, how would the original authors of the Magnuson Stevens Act feel about how we’re talking about fisheries management under HR 200? The late Warren Magnuson (D) and the late Ted Stevens (R) would be rather disappointed in their fellow statesmen.

It’s a critical time for fisheries management, this is the moment you’ve been waiting for, get on over to The Network’saction page and send the letter opposing HR 200. Let’s keep poor fisheries management where it belongs, never to see the light of day.

Dan Hogan with a Canary Rockfish

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Oregon Fishing Update for July 6th

Willamette Valley/Metro – Although the mainstem Columbia closed a bit early for summer Chinook, catches weren’t impressive as the run size has been downgraded reflecting the continued downward trend for Chinook fisheries west coast wide. Hopefully, the fall run scheduled to open on August 1st comes in as predicted.

Sockeye are the surprise to date and steelhead are tracking ahead of last year. Both species are now open to retention on the mainstem Columbia, but a softer tide series this weekend won’t make for great fishing.

Shad fishing is finally starting to taper and it looks like a record run on the Columbia.

The Willamette Chinook fishery in the Portland Harbor is also starting to slow, but action remains robust enough to justify the effort although the 4th and 5th of July left lots of anglers scratching their heads. These fish are largely headed towards the Clackamas River, but the upper Willamette Basin should also continue to see some more returning adults as well.

Bass are quite active for casters both above the below Willamette Falls, the action should stay consistent well into July.

The Santiam systems are producing fair at best fishing for both steelhead and spring Chinook.

The Sandy and Clackamas are best for summer steelhead, spring Chinook are being finicky, but those seeking salmon should target the Sandy River above Dodge Park to Cedar Creek.

Pro guide Jeff Stoeger of O2BFISHN (503-704-7920) reports, This week the Sandy has produced some nice catches in the mid to upper river of salmon and summer steelhead. The ticket for catching these guys has been weighted spinner is size 4, in green and blue with silver blades. Small egg clusters and prawns also has worked under a float. Fishing will continue to hold for a couple more weeks before it starts to drop off. The next thing to look forward to is coho season which will start in September. As the season starts to slow down, its time to prepare for winter steelhead fishing.

Northwest Oregon – The spring Chinook season is effectively over for Tillamook Bay. Springers can still be found in the tidewater sections of the Trask and Nestucca systems, and upriver on these as well as the Wilson. Fish will be timid in the low, clear and warm waters so early morning will produce the best catches on bobbers and bait.

Summer steelhead remains a fair option on the Wilson and Nestucca systems, but anglers must fish the pocket water and deeper runs where steelhead feel more secure in biting an angler’s offering.

Cutthroat trout should be available in most every north coast system, with the Nehalem, Trask, Wilson, Nestucca and Tillamook River tidewater sections likely to produce the best catches.

Bottomfishing remains a great option with the long-leader fishery offering 10-fish limits for select rockfish species. Limits are common for high quality sea bass.

The all-depth halibut quota is nearing fulfillment, anglers are standing by to see if the July 6 – 7 opener is going to happen. Nearshore is a fair option south of Cape Falcon, with fair catches coming from Newport northward.

The salmon season south of Cape Falcon opened last week, but results were predictably poor. A few Chinook came from Newport, but coho action was slow. It’ll likely be several more weeks before coho become a better option.

It’s still a bit early for albacore tuna but anglers are anxious. Trollers out of Garibaldi reported a few about 35 miles out of port caught on swim baits in 61 degree water. Catches were robust along the southern Oregon coast last week so fish should be arriving soon in good number.

Astoria area – Catch and release sturgeon fishing remains excellent between Tongue Point and Astoria.

The offshore salmon bite was fair, but trollers had to travel pretty far to the north to find 10 to 14-pound Chinook.

Central and Eastern Oregon – From our Friend Tim Moran:

John Day River – I fished the JDR on Sunday and the fishing was great.  The bass were in deeper water with a little current. Once we figured out where they were at we caught a fish 5 -7 -10 casts in a row at times. The flow was just  below 500CFS.

Prineville Reservoir – Reports are still holding up.  Floating worms on a sliding egg sinker or fishing with power bait from the bank are getting some really nice fish.

Lava Lake – Big Lava has been real good lately for fly fishermen.

South Twin – Fly guys and bait fishermen are getting some nice fish.

Davis Lake – Bass fishing is great at Davis!

Fishing is good pretty much everywhere in Central and eastern Oregon right now.  SO get out there!  

Read more details from Tim Moran from the paid version of The Guide’s Forecast!

Southwest – From ODF&W

Lingcod fishing off the central coast was excellent during the past week and saw most anglers taking home a limit (2 lingcod). In contrast, rockfish action was slow; fish were seen on fish finders but were reluctant to bite, especially black rockfish. Reminder that as of April 1, the bottomfish fishery is restricted to inside of the 30 fathom regulatory line.

As of July 1, the general marine bag limit (rockfish, greenlings, etc.) will be is 4 fish. This reduction to the bag limit is necessary to keep total catches within annual quotas, and reduce the chance of an early closure of the recreational bottomfish fishery.

The longleader gear fishery outside of the 40 fathom regulatory line has been authorized to continue in April through September. Recent catches from the offshore longleader trips often consist of a nice grade of yellowtail, widow and canary rockfishes. Reminder that the Stonewall Bank Yelloweye Rockfish Conservation Area is closed to all bottomfish trips, including longleader trips.

The Central Coast nearshore halibut fishery opened on Friday, June 1. During the last couple of weeks, anglers were bringing in 2-3 Petrale sole per angler along with some halibut.

There are just over 26,000 pounds remaining on the spring all-depth quota, therefore back-up dates of Friday, July 6 and Saturday, July 7 will be open. Once catches from those open dates are tallied, there will be an announcement by noon on Friday, July 13 if enough quota remains for any additional back-up dates in the Central Oregon Coast Subarea spring all-depth fishery. Remaining available back-up dates are: July 19-21.

Sport salmon fishing for Chinook is open in ocean waters from Cape Falcon (just North of Nehalem Bay) to the Oregon/California border for two salmon per day (all salmon except coho). Minimum sizes are 24-inches for Chinook and 20-inches for steelhead.

On the Rogue River, anglers have begun trolling the bay up to Indian Creek for Chinook and the catch has been pretty good.

Hatchery Spring Chinook fishing excess to brood needs are being recycled back into the upper Rogue fishery upstream of Gold Hill.

The Rogue River above Lost Creek Reservoir is a hot spot for summer trout fishing, offering a great place to escape the heat of the valley, enjoy some beautiful scenery, and catch some nice trout. Learn more about this fishery.

Anglers are catching crappie and bluegills from the fishing dock on Eel Lake.

Until high winds chased anglers off the water, anglers were catching tuna about 30 miles from Coos Bay last week.

Largemouth bass fishing has been good on Tenmile Lakes. Try topwater lures during low light, then switch to plastics in deeper water when the sun hits that water.

Smallmouth bass fishing continues to be good in the south and mainstem Umpqua.

Fishing for trout at Diamond Lake continues to be good.

Anglers were catching tuna about 30 miles from Coos Bay last week. The wind has anglers off the ocean until things calm down.

There are still plenty of trout at Millicoma Pond for kids to catch. The pond is stocked for kids fishing and anglers are welcome to bring their own fishing gear but gear is available on site if you don’t have any.

2018 STOCKING SCHEDULE

STOCKING MAP

Pete Heley shares the following from PeteHeley.com

Angler effort through May is higher than has been seen in recent years, even the record high years of 2015 and 2017. Therefore, this reduction is necessary to try to keep total annual catches within quotas for several species, and reduce the risk of an early closure such as occurred in September 2017.

Tuna have been showing up for the last couple of weeks in Newport and Charleston and the fish have been reachable – even for boats launching out of Winchester Bay. One recent report had the tuna 13 miles west of the “Bandon High Spot”. Most of the recent tuna reports had the tuna no more than about 50 miles out – but that can quickly change.

The Umpqua River pinkfin run is still going on and it appears that it may last several more weeks – if the reports of relatively undeveloped baby perch in the adult female perch being cleaned are accurate. Recent perch fishing reports indicate tough fishing, but it seems that at least a few boats each day are getting close to their legal boat limits.

Shad fishing success on the Umpqua River has dropped off except at Sawyer’s Rapids where some anglers are catching more than 50 shad per day. Smallmouth bass fishing has generally been very good, but there was a temporary lull last week that was most noticeable on the South Umpqua. Suspended weeds and algae are causing an increasing amount of grief to both shad and bass anglers.

There is always more Oregon fishing information delivered earlier on our site, The Guide’s Forecast.  You can also sign-up for our weekly emails here.

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Oregon Fishing Update for June 30

Willamette Valley/Metro – Catches of Willamette River spring Chinook continue to impress anglers down about the overall basin’s return. Trollers working the head of the Multnomah Channel are still taking salmon with some regularity using Pro-trolls with small 3.5 spinners in tow. It’s best to target high tide, but sporadic catches are happening throughout the day as well. This fishery will start fading soon, so take advantage of it while it’s good.

Oregon City is still drawing interest from salmon trollers as well as shad anglers. While salmon fishing is still mediocre, shad catches remain fairly robust. This fishery will fade as well, but anglers upstream will continue to target summer steelhead and spring Chinook on the Santiam and McKenzie River systems with peak action happening about now.

The summer Chinook fishery on the mainstem Columbia is underway and although catches aren’t explosive, those dialed in are getting some quality fish. River conditions are good and anglers are reporting fair action from Bonneville Dam to Longview using plugs on anchor, or trolling Pro-trolls with spinners. Peak passage at Bonneville often happens in early July and the fishery is slated to close after July 4th so days are limited.

Shad fishing is excellent in the gorge.

Sockeye salmon passage is surprising managers but no season has been set. Sockeye are often intercepted while fishing for summer steelhead.

Summer steelhead catches are improving, with fish falling to spin-n-glos and coon shrimp. Plugs are also taking fresh run fish as we near peak migration for this species as well. Shallow beaches should provide some good options this weekend as we roll into a strong ebb tide.

The Sandy and Clackamas Rivers remain slow for spring Chinook, fair for summer steelhead. River levels remain low, further challenging boat navigation as well as bank angling success.

Pro guide Jeffrey Stoeger of O2BFISHN (503-704-7920) reports, “I hope that you’re getting out and doing some summer steelhead and late springer action on the Sandy. There is a lot of fish in the upper river with some still nice and bright springer and summer fish. You will also find some of the fish on the darker side for they have been in the river for a month or so. The river is at summertime low and is running at 8 ft and could drop another couple of inches. The river also earlier in the week started to show some glacial melt in color but if the weather stays on the cool side it should stay on the low and clear side.”  A more detailed report is available for paid subscribers.

Northwest Oregon – Spring Chinook catches remain sub-par in both the bay and the district’s rivers. Hatchery fish should still be available for the next week or so, but activity will likely get more challenging as waters warm and rivers continue to drop.

Summer steelhead are available in the Wilson and Nestucca systems, but early morning hours will continue to produce the best results.

Cutthroat trout are a fair option, in both the district’s rivers and tidewater reaches this time of year.

Bottomfishing will remain the staple, with more anglers exploring the long-leader fishery that is yielding 10-fish limits for excited anglers.

Nearshore halibut remains a good option as well and managers will tally how the all-depth fishery performed last weekend before deciding on additional July dates. The fishing was fairly good, especially out of Newport however.

Astoria area – Catch and release sturgeon action remains excellent for fish to 7 foot in length. Fresh anchovies will remain the top choice this time of year.

The June 23rd salmon opener did produce some Chinook catches well to the north of the mouth of the Columbia River. Most fish averaged 10 to 12 pounds, but fish to 25 pounds also hit the dock. Coho catches were minimal.

Southwest – From ODF&W

Bottom fishing the last couple of weeks anglers reported having trouble finding fish at their usual spots, although some days seemed to have picked up some. Boats/anglers that put in the time have been able to come home with limits. Lingcod catches have been hit and miss.

The Central Coast nearshore halibut fishery opened on Friday, June 1. During the last couple of weeks, anglers were bringing in 2-3 Petrale sole per angler along with some halibut. There will be an announcement by noon on Friday, June 29 if enough quota remains for any back-up dates in the Central Oregon Coast Subarea spring all-depth fishery. Available back-up dates are: July 5-7 and July 19-21.

Sport salmon fishing for Chinook is open in ocean waters from Cape Falcon (just North of Nehalem Bay) to the Oregon/California border for two salmon per day (all salmon except coho). Minimum sizes are 24-inches for Chinook and 20-inches for steelhead.

Spring Chinook fishing is slowing on the Rogue, but there are still a few fish around. Fishing for early summer steelhead has been good on the middle and upper Rogue. During warm summer days the Rogue River above Lost Creek Reservoir offers some of the best trout fishing in the Rogue Basin.

Yellow perch fishing has been good in Tenmile Lake. Smallmouth bass are biting in the south and mainstem Umpqua.

2018 STOCKING SCHEDULE

STOCKING MAP

Pete Heley shares the following from PeteHeley.com

Beginning July 1, 2018, the general marine fish bag limit will decrease to 4 fish per angler per day. The general marine fish bag limit includes all species of rockfish (yelloweye rockfish prohibited at all times), greenlings, skates, and all other marine species not listed on pages 81-82 of the 2018 Oregon Sport Fishing Regulations.

I checked in with the ODFW office in Charleston and found that the rumor is true – the ODFW does intend to remove limits regarding numbers and minimum sizes on striped bass. Mike Graybill assured me that there was no ODFW war on stripers, but simply an attempt by the ODFW to simplify angling regulations.

After some additional exploring some of the ponds and small lakes in the sand dunes north of North Bend – I am now convinced that there are warmwater fish populations in most of them.

SW Washington – From WDF&W

Columbia River anglers can fish for sleek spring chinook salmon in early June, then gear up for beefy summer chinook later in the month under emergency regulations in effect above and below Bonneville Dam. Summer-run hatchery steelhead will also be available for harvest upstream to the Hwy. 395 Bridge in Pasco.

June can provide decent fishing for spring chinook and hatchery steelhead on the Wind River, the Klickitat River, and Drano Lake, which flow into the Columbia River above Bonneville Dam. This year should be no different as spring chinook continue to move toward hatcheries on these river systems and steelhead begin to appear in the catch.

Tiger muskie fishing is going strong in Mayfield Lake and picking up in Merwin Reservoir. Bass fishing continues to be good in Lacamas Lake (Clark County); Rowland Lake (Klickitat County) and Horsethief Lake (Klickitat County). Fishing is also picking up in Kress Lake (Cowlitz County), South Lewis County Park Pond (Lewis County), and Carlisle Lake (Lewis County).

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Sound Fisheries Policy is Under Attack!

By Bob Rees

Besides walking Capitol Hill on the legislation on sea lion predation on our Northwest stocks of salmon and steelhead, myself (Bob Rees) representing the Association of Northwest Steelheaders, and two representatives from the NW Guides and Anglers Association chatted with Oregon and Washington house and senate staff about H.R. 200 and the damaging implications on sound saltwater fisheries management. Please consider taking action TODAY, as H.R. 200 is a bad bill for our ocean fisheries and is up for a floor vote early next week.

Purpose: Contact U.S. House of Representatives: Oppose H.R. 200

Background: H.R. 200, “Strengthening Fishing Communities and Increasing Flexibility in Fisheries Management Act,” [is/may be] headed to the House floor for a vote as early as next week. Anglers invested in good ocean management oppose this legislation because it would undermine the Magnuson-Stevens Act’s mandate for science-based fisheries management that’s brought dozens of fish species back from the brink of collapse.

Additional information on H.R. 200 is available on the Network’s website. Full analysis of this legislation can be found here.

What anglers can do to help: Tell Congress: oppose H.R. 200. Our fisheries need science-based management for our fishing communities to thrive. ACT NOW!

You can use this action alert or contact your Representatives office directly (find your Representative here.)

Talking points for Congressional phone call:

  • Rep. Don Young’s H.R. 200, “Strengthening Fishing Communities and Increasing Flexibility in Fisheries Management Act,” is the wrong foundation for reauthorizing Magnuson-Stevens!
  • H.R. 200 would:
  • Represent a significant step backward and hinder federal fisheries managers’ ability to rebuild and maintain sustainable fish stocks.
  • Threaten the law’s strong foundation and weaken many conservation measures, such as the requirement to use science-based fishing catch limits that prevent overfishing.
  • Broaden the categories of data deemed to be “best available science” to include information provided by sources untrained in scientific survey methods and data gathering, which creates uncertainty in the future management of our fisheries.
    • Congress should focus on legislation that builds upon the Magnuson-Stevens Act’s success and strengthens it to meet the new challenges our oceans and fisheries face.
    • Please oppose H.R. 200.

 

Sample email to Congressional member:

Subject: Support Science-Based Fisheries Management: Oppose H.R. 200

Text: Please oppose Rep. Don Young’s H.R. 200, the “Strengthening Fishing Communities and Increasing Flexibility in Fisheries Management Act of 2017.”

This bill takes the wrong approach to reauthorizing the landmark Magnuson-Stevens Act, which brought science-based decision-making to fisheries management and brought many of our fishing communities back from the brink of collapse.

H.R. 200 would:

  • Represent a significant step backward and hinder federal fisheries managers’ ability to rebuild and maintain sustainable fish stocks.
  • Weaken some of the most important measures adopted during previous reauthorizations and creates exemptions that have the potential to render other management measures meaningless.
  • Threaten the law’s proven management measures and its strong accountability requirements—including the requirement to use science-based fishing catch limits.
  • Threaten the scientific integrity of the stock assessment process.

Congress should focus on legislation that builds upon the Magnuson-Stevens Act’s success and strengthens it to meet the new challenges our oceans and fisheries face. H.R. 200 is the wrong approach. Please oppose it now.

Thank you.

Additional talking points for H.R. 200:

  • H.R. 200 contains provisions that would:
    • Roll back the law’s successful rebuilding requirements, including by establishing broad loopholes that effectively remove reasonable time limits and allowing short-term economic concerns to trump the long-term economic and ecological health of the nation’s fish and fisheries.
    • Allow economics to factor into setting catch limits.
    • Extend state management into federal waters and exempt the Gulf of Mexico red snapper fishery from accountability when it exceeds catch limits.
    • Broaden the categories of data deemed to be “best available science” to include information provided by sources untrained in scientific survey methods and data gathering.
  • Strong fishing communities depend on healthy fisheries. Anything that undermines conservation provisions or promotes greater uncertainty in fisheries management jeopardizes the livelihoods of fishermen, seafood business owners, and coastal communities throughout the country.

 

  • To keep the Magnuson-Stevens Act strong, Congress must:
    • Maintain and defend the Magnuson-Stevens Act’s conservation requirements and strong science-based management;
    • Promote policies that support and strengthen our nation’s working waterfronts and community-based fishermen;
    • Transition to a more comprehensive fisheries management system that protects marine ecosystems; and
    • Strengthen assessment, monitoring, and enforcement mechanisms for implementing the law.
  • Congress has a history of passing bipartisan legislation that strengthens the Magnuson-Stevens Act’s science-based conservation principles, which keep our oceans and fisheries healthy and productive.
    • Anglers calls upon the House of Representatives to keep this tradition alive by voting against H.R. 200.
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Oregon Fishing Reports for June 22

Willamette Valley/Metro – Although spring Chinook fishing on the mainstem Columbia closed on the 15th, the summer Chinook season starts on June 22nd, and water conditions are looking favorable for a fair run through the 4th of July. Passage numbers at Bonneville are already climbing. Summer Chinook commonly run larger than their spring cousins, and action should be fair from Longview to Bonneville Dam using plugs and small spinners either on anchor or trolling.

Summer steelhead remain available too, and although we’re coming off of a good tide series, another strong outgoing tide happens towards the end of the month and should push steelhead towards lower Columbia River beach anglers, where catches should improve during peak migration. Small spin-n-glos tipped with coon shrimp often produce the best results for fish between 5 and 11 pounds.

Shad fishing at Bonneville is nothing short of epic, it’s peak season and anglers trying for these fish should use Dick Nite spoons or small green grubs during sunny weather.

Meanwhile, Willamette River catches near the head of the Multnomah Channel near St. Johns have improved dramatically, with some big numbers being reeled in, in recent days. Pro-trolls with small spinners behind them are taking the best numbers. The fishery at Oregon City has improved recently too, with trollers taking spring Chinook mostly above the West Linn Bridge.

Shad catches at Oregon City are excellent too.

The Sandy and Clackamas fisheries remain challenging in the low, clear flows of each of these systems. The bite at the head of Multnomah Channel is an indication that more fish are headed towards the Clackamas system, but the fishing there has been extremely poor for Chinook, fair for steelhead.

Pro guide Jeffrey Stoeger of O2BFISHN (503-704-7920) reports, “I floated the river Friday and the river is very low, its running at 8.2 ft and could drop depending how warm it gets over the next couple of days. The river was very clear and hadn’t started to show color of glacial melting yet. My boat is a clackacraft and I slid through some very shallow water and  I didn’t have to get out to push or pull the boat. If you have a metal boat plan on banging your boat and having to get out and push it over a hand full of spots. In the next few days or weeks the river could become a hazard for those who plan on floating it.  I targeted the deep holes and tail outs for both steelhead and salmon and was not successful. I knew the water was low and was looking in spots that I know that usually held fish. I fished plugs, diver and bait, jigs and worms and no takers. I did see fish moving thru the river for the water is so low that the fish are blasting upstream. When I put in at Oxbow I did see a lot of fish rolling at the boat ramp. There were 3 guys that were pitching spinners and they had mentioned that they had caught fish there.” A more detailed report is available for paid subscribers.

Northwest Oregon – There were some spring Chinook taken in upper Tillamook Bay last week, but overall, fishing remains slow. In recent years however, late June proved to be the best action so this week and next could be the best of the season. Springers on Tillamook are some of the largest in the state, so it should be worth the effort.

River fishing for spring Chinook just got a bit more challenging on the Trask River, where managers closed a productive stretch at the Trask Hatchery to help ensure this year’s proper egg take. Catches have been slow in the district’s rivers, especially in the low, clear flows.

Summer steelhead remain a viable option in the Wilson and Nestucca Rivers.

Bottomfishing remains a staple this time of year, and anglers are starting to catch onto the benefits of the long-leader fishery. Although the rigging is cumbersome to figure out, a 10-fish bag limit makes the effort worthwhile. The Garibaldi Charter fleet has it figured out so booking a trip with them is a wise investment.

Nearshore halibut fishing is fair, and remains open 7 days per week inside of 40-fathoms.

Astoria area – Catch and release sturgeon fishing is excellent right now, using anchovies for bait. Most areas are producing, the green line is especially good from Astoria to Hammond.

Southwest – From ODF&W

Last week anglers reported having trouble finding fish at their usual spots, although Sunday seemed to have picked up some. Boats/anglers that put in the time have been able to come home with limits. Lingcod catches have been hit and miss. Reminder that as of April 1, the bottomfish fishery is restricted to inside of the 30 fathom regulatory line.

Recent catches from the offshore longleader trips often consist of a nice grade of yellowtail, widow and canary rockfishes. Reminder that the Stonewall Bank Yelloweye Rockfish Conservation Area is closed to all bottomfish trips, including longleader trips.

The Central Coast nearshore halibut fishery opened on Friday, June 21-23 is the last set of fixed dates for the Central Coast spring all-depth fishery. Available back-up dates, if quota remains are: July 5-7 and July 19-21.

Sport salmon fishing for Chinook is open in ocean waters from Cape Falcon (just North of Nehalem Bay) to the Oregon/California border for two salmon per day (all salmon except coho). Minimum sizes are 24-inches for Chinook and 20-inches for steelhead.

Salmon fishing has generally been slow to date. Most open areas are seeing one Chinook landed for every four angler trips.  Spring Chinook fishing continues to be fair to good throughout the Rogue.  Fishing for early summer steelhead has been good on the middle and upper Rogue.

As the weather warms up (and I’d say we’re getting there), the Rogue River above Lost Creek Reservoir offers some of the best trout fishing in the Rogue Basin.  Anglers continue to report good catches of shad the Coquille Basin.  Trout fishing has been good in Tenmile Lakes, where some fish over 20-inches have been caught.

Largemouth bass fishing is picking up in Tenmile and Butterfield lakes.  Smallmouth fishing has been good in Lost Creek Reservoir and the mainstem Umpqua.

2018 STOCKING SCHEDULE

STOCKING MAP

Central and Eastern Oregon Fishing Reports – From our friend Tim Moran 

Deschutes River – As stated in last week’s edition, PMD’s and PED’s will be coming off with caddis for the foreseeable future.

Metolius River – The Green Drake hatch is happening from 2 to 5pm most days. Golden stones should make an appearance soon but until then go with a small nymph behind a GSF nymph when the trout aren’t rising.

John Day River – The JDR was up and down but mostly up and muddy and the bite was off. Until the weather stabilizes I’d go somewhere else.

Prineville Reservoir – Reports from Prineville are off the charts! Bank rods are scoring limits of rainbows to 20″.

East lake – The fly guys are getting fish on chironomids 16 to 20″ under an indicator.

Wickiup Reservoir – The kokanee are huge but numbers are not. You have to approach this more like a salmon trip – be ready for long stretches of inactivity and a few really nice fish.

Crane Prairie Reservoir – Fly fishing is good fishing the Deschutes and Quinn River channels with leeches, damsels and chironomids.

SW Washington – From WDF&W

Salmon/Steelhead

Cowlitz River – I-5 Br. downstream: 6 bank anglers had no catch. Above the I-5 Br: 17 bank anglers released 2 cutts. 25 boat anglers kept 2 adult spring Chinook and 11 steelhead. Last week, Tacoma Power employees recovered 83 spring Chinook adults, 40 summer-run steelhead, and one winter-run steelhead during five days of operations at the Cowlitz Salmon Hatchery separator. Tacoma Power also released ten spring Chinook adults into Lake Scanewa near Randle. River flows at Mayfield Dam are approximately 5,100 cubic feet per second (cfs) on Monday, June 18. Water visibility is 15 feet and the water temperature is 49.9 degrees F.

Kalama River – 6 bank anglers had no catch. 6 boat anglers kept 3 steelhead.

Lewis River (North Fork) – 15 bank anglers had no catch.

Lower Columbia mainstem from the Megler-Astoria Bridge upstream to Bonneville Dam – Up to 2 hatchery steelhead may be retained. Release all sockeye. Fishing at night is permitted in Washington waters. Release all adult Chinook through June 21 and July 5-31.

Sturgeon

Bonneville and The Dalles pools – During the one-day retention fishery last Friday, boat anglers averaged just over a legal kept per boat from each pool. Bank anglers averaged a legal kept per every 7 rods in Bonneville Pool and one for every 4 rods in The Dalles Pool.

Trout

Tacoma Power released 5,200 rainbow trout into Mayfield Lake. No report on angling success.

Shad Bank anglers just below Bonneville Dam averaged 4 shad per rod based on mainly incomplete trips while boat anglers averaged just over 8 fish per rod based on completed trips this past weekend. Nearly 2.6 million shad had been counted at Bonneville Dam through June 17.

There is always more Oregon fishing information delivered earlier on our site, The Guide’s Forecast.  You can also sign-up for our weekly emails here.

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Let’s Talk About Fish and Fishing!

By Bob Rees

Do you want the good news, or the bad news? OK, bad news first.

How would you feel about DRASTIC AND DRACONIAN CUTS to hatchery production for spring Chinook, summer steelhead and rainbow trout in the Willamette River and Willamette Valley, courtesy of the US Army Corps of Engineers? Yeah, I thought so.

It’s still a reality folks, we have to fight for what we’ve paid for, what we’ve sacrificed for, and what we were promised. It’s a constant battle, and that’s why it’s important to be a member of an organization such as the Association of Northwest Steelheaders. This time, the US Army Corps is talking about cutting signature trout production in many Willamette Valley lakes by ONE THIRD! Trout fishing is considered a “gateway” fishery for Oregon’s anglers, often turning them into salmon and steelhead anglers and future conservationists. Is this the future we want for our children? They call it MITIGATION for a reason, Oregonians are OWED this, for the massive dam facilities that have KILLED the production of our wild trout and salmon in the region.

And summer steelhead in the North Santiam? GONE!

Spring Chinook? How about nearly HALVING the production, from 605,000 smolts to 360,000? Can you imagine making spring Chinook success half of what it is today? NO THANK YOU!

Don’t let this one slip by, critical decisions will be made by July 1st and the US Army Corps of Engineers hopes you’ll just let them slide by. Make these calls TODAY:

The message for the US Army Corps of Engineers would be, “Maintain your mitigation obligations for our trout, salmon and steelhead hatcheries in the Willamette Basin, our community and our children depend on it!. Fully fund trout, spring Chinook and steelhead production in the Willamette Valley!”

The message to the US Congressional offices would all be the same, they are on the same page as us so thank them, and ask them to continue to dog the US Army Corps of Engineers to meet their mitigation obligations. ”

Thank you for holding the US Army Corps of Engineers feet to the fire! They have a social and economic obligation to continue salmon, trout and steelhead production in the Willamette Basin. It’s critical to our communities, and our children that this opportunity is maintained, especially since the dams in the upper Willamette cut off wild production in our rivers and lakes!”

It’s a sad fact that we have to continue to fight this fight, but if we want to maintain our opportunity, a phone call from just a few concerned organizations isn’t going to get the job done!

Call NOW to SAVE OUR FISHERIES!

US Army Corps of Engineers, Portland Branch: 503-808-4700 Comment page is here. Reference KEVIN BRICE AND COLONEL  DORF.

US Congressman Peter DeFazio: 202-225-6416

US Congressman Kurt Schrader: (202) 225-5711

Senator Ron Wyden: (202) 224-5244

Senator Jeff Merkley: (202) 224-3753

Our fisheries are in the state they are in because our policy-makers haven’t heard from enough of us. Organizations like the Association of Northwest Steelheaders, the NW Guides and Anglers Association, The Northwest Sportfishing Industry Association and the Coastal Conservation Association are always working on your behalf, but we can’t do this alone. We plead with you, make these calls and make a difference. NOW!

Are you mad now? You should be…

But, here’s the good news, hopefully we can get over the bad.

The Association of Northwest Steelheaders and members of the Northwest Guides and Anglers Association are hosting what we hope will be its first (of an) annual Summer Steelhead Camp! The camp will be an overnight excursion to an island on the lower Columbia River, complete with camp out and plunking trip for summer steelhead on June 29th and 30th. This may be the event of the summer, and will only cost adults $60 and children $40. We’ll camp under the stars and tell fish stories and learn about the great conservation programs the Steelheaders are involved in. Most important, we’ll provide an intimidation free fishing experience for beginners; women, children and men are all encouraged to come, especially FAMILIES!

Steelheader Ty Campsey and his daughter with beach caught salmon from the lower Columbia River

These clinics are a big hit, this overnight camping trip will be an even bigger hit, so register ASAP if you’re interested in learning (and hopefully catching) the summer steelhead of the lower Columbia River. More details are on our web site by clicking HERE!

COME HAVE FUN WITH THE STEELHEADERS!

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