Oregon Fishing Update
Willamette Valley/Metro – Today is re-opener of retention season for sturgeon from the Wauna Powerlines near Westport to Bonneville Dam. The season will last through December 31st but only on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. Anglers are allowed one fish between 42 and 60 inches and the fishing is likely to be excellent in the Columbia River Gorge. Bank anglers should post some of the best results with smelt taking the bulk of the fish. The lower Willamette, including Multnomah Channel will also open to retention but won’t produce good results until the winter months.
Salmon fishing from Bonneville Dam to the Highway 395 Bridge near Pasco reopened on September 30th. Anglers should have fair fishing although the quality of the salmon should begin to fade by mid-month. Catch and release fishing below Bonneville remains open and is producing good results.
A cooling Columbia is sending summer steelhead upriver destined for tributaries like the Grand Ronde, Imnaha and Snake Rivers. Better fishing is on the way.
Coho and chinook are crossing Willamette Falls in good numbers. Although a targeted fishery doesn’t exist for salmon in this area, a few coho are being taken around Meldrum Bar. Willamette boaters are advised to use caution at the ramps in the lower water of this section.
Coho angling is spotty but summer steelheading is holding up on the Clackamas. Rain is needed to bring bright coho into Eagle Creek.
The Sandy River is giving up a few silvers. Trollers are catching some at the mouth with spinners and drift fishers are finding colored silvers below Cedar Creek. Fish are not moving fast in the low water of the Sandy.
Steelheading on the North and South Santiam remains fair to good.
Henry Hagg Lake, Mt. Hood Pond, Dexter Reservoir, and Foster Reservoir are scheduled to be planted with trout this week.
Northwest – Tillamook remains consistent for chinook although the best bite remains in the lower bay and ocean. Ocean conditions have allowed a heavy harvest just outside the bay entrance although the bite varies from day to day. Recently, the best bite has been near low slack in the late afternoon along the north jetty on the inside of the bay. Spinner trollers are taking fish but when the bulk of the biters are getting culled in the ocean, results aren’t impressive.
Crabbing remains challenging on Tillamook Bay but fair on Netarts and Nestucca estuaries.
Pro guide Jesse Zalonis (503-392-5808) reports, "The Nestucca tidewater has a lot of fish present but sculpin and salmon smolts are eagerly taking baits fished for adult chinook. The Pacific City Boat Ramp is putting out consistent catches but conditions are crowded."
The Salmon River near Lincoln City is still producing fish but has passed its prime. Significant rain would increase catch rates coast wide but is nowhere in the forecast.
Fishing is slow on the Siletz with spinners and plugs out-producing bait.
Although October seems late for albacore, boaters have taken tuna out of Newport as recently as the 1st. The Yaquina River is giving up a few Chinook and coho. Crabbing is a solid option in the bay.
Southwest – Following a rough weekend, boaters launching out of Reedsport found a flat ocean and lots of Chinook. Winchester Bay has been spotty, but produced well late last week. Smallmouth bass fishing is slowing on the Umpqua as the water cools.
Coos and Coquille trollers have seen an increase in the Chinook catch rate over the last few days.
Chinook fishing has been slow on the Siuslaw.
Trollers in the Rogue estuary are seeing inconsistent results but when it’s good, it’s really good. Steelheading is fair in the upper river, flies-only section.
Bottom fishing out of Brookings remains phenomenal, with rockfish running very large and substantial numbers of ling cod in the mix. Chetco Bay is producing decent catches of adult Chinook and jacks. Ocean salmon anglers started fishing again on October 1st. The offshore Chinook fishery closes October 12th.
Eastern – Though steelhead counts at Bonneville exceed the 10-year average, they’ve been slow making it upriver. The Grande Ronde has yet to receive numbers sufficient to create better than a fair fishery. Imnaha anglers, on the other hand, are enjoying fine steelheading. Anglers in the lower Deschutes will find good numbers, light pressure and excellent water conditions.
The October Caddis hatch is in full swing on the Wallowa River with imitations taking scores of trout keyed on the large insects.
Waters stocked this week include the South Fork of the Crooked River and Taylor Lake.