Oregon Fisheries Update:
Summer chinook season closed on July 2nd from Bonneville Dam to Priest Rapids. No adult chinook may be retained from Tongue Point upstream until August 1st when fall salmon arrive. Overall, it wasn’t a productive season but sport anglers did exceed their catch allocation. Dam passage is tracking behind preseason estimates.
Shad fishing is slowing making it more difficult to find quality bait for oversized sturgeon. Floater shad is the best option.
Steelhead counts continue to climb and weekend tides make for ideal fishing conditions along lower Columbia River beaches. Plunkers should take fair numbers of fish on spin-n-glos.
While the shad run is tapering off at Oregon City, it was still possible to take scores of them in a couple of hours over the past weekend. Sturgeon fishing has been slow. Smallmouth bass have been cooperating with anglers above the Falls as they’re pitching crankbaits in the low, clear, mid-60 degree water. A little more flow, depth and color would improve prospects, however.
Reports of only an occasional steelhead are coming from the Dodge Park area on the Sandy River.
Action on the Clackamas slowed recently as the water cooled but weather this week should turn that situation around. Numbers of both summers and springers are good and improving. Boaters must exercise extra caution navigating the lower river as the water is very low.
North Santiam steelheaders are taking a few fish floating bobber and jigs. It’s recommended that anglers trying this technique take a number of different colors of small-sized jigs. The South Santiam is getting a great deal of boat traffic with many of those anchoring in drifts. Fishing is fair for summer steelhead with fish being trucked downstream from Foster to Waterloo or Pleasant Valley.
Waters scheduled for trout stocking include Faraday Lake, North Fork Reservoir, Trillium Lake, Big Cliff Reservoir, Breitenbush River, Detroit Reservoir, Leaburg Lake, McKenzie River above Leaburg Lake, Salt Creek, North Santiam River above Detroit, Trail Bridge Reservoir and Middle Fork of the Willamette River above Hills Creek Reservoir.
Northwest – Sturgeon fishing closed on July 4th in the estuary. Catches remained good until the closure making catch and release fishing a strong option with little competition from other anglers. Anchovies may be difficult to find during the week making sand shrimp the best option in shallow water and fresh herring in the deeper slots. Anglers can also find success jigging their own anchovies for bait.
Out of the Columbia, offshore anglers found coho from the CR Buoy southward 5 miles. Most fish are still averaging 4 to 6 pounds but a few larger fish have been taken. Ocean crabbing has been good.
From Garibaldi, a band of warm water scattered previously schooled coho but tuna are within 25 miles of shore. Bay crabbing remains challenging.
Low water favors only the stealthy bank angler seeking pocket water steelhead on the Wilson and Nestucca Rivers. Small baits or bobbers and jigs early in the morning will produce the best results.
Good catches of coho are being taken by many of the boats launching out of Newport and fishing over 150 feet of water. Better than half the silvers being hooked are fin-clipped keepers. Chinook are being landed on occasion, but there aren’t many out there. Crabbing is fair at Yaquina Bay although many softshells are in the mix. Herring are still available but numbers thinned early this week. Crabbing has been poor at Waldport.
Southwest – All-depth halibut will open again this week July 5th through 7th. One more spring opener is possible if sufficient poundage remains, but if so, it may not be a full three days. The summer central Oregon coast all-depth halibut fishery opens August 3rd and is scheduled to be open every other Friday through Sunday until the combined spring and summer quota of 226,989 pounds is taken or October 28th, whichever comes first.
Tuna were out of Winchester Bay 50 miles Monday this week although anglers over the weekend found them at 27 miles. In both instances, action was great once the albacore were located. Coho fishing has picked up offshore but the majority of fish landed have been wild, requiring release. One boat picked up 25 but kept only the four which were fin-clipped, another caught 15 to keep two. Ocean crabbing has improved with double-digit catches coming from 40 to 50 feet of water.
Boats did well out of Florence for coho earlier this week with many limits returned to port. Ocean crabbing was good as well although no limits were reported.
Halibut have been taken fairly close to port out of Coos Bay. This week’s opener should be productive.
Rogue anglers have given up on the spring chinook season for the most part in the lower river. An occasional springer has been landed in the Grants Pass stretch but fishing is best in the Hatchery Hole. A few summer steelhead are being taken in the upper river.
Fishing for sea-run cutthroat trout was very good on the lower Chetco over the weekend.
Section 5 of the Rogue River is scheduled to be planted with trout.
Eastern – Scheduled for planting with hatchery trout in the Deschutes watershed are Campbell Lake, Deadhorse Lake, Miller Lake, Olallie Lake, Spring Creek and Spring Creek.