Willamette Valley/Metro- Steelhead numbers continue to peak at Bonneville Dam on the Columbia where some bank and boat anglers are getting into good numbers of fish. Although the bulk of the fish being landed are still the smaller "A" run fish, Idaho bound steelhead of significant larger size are due to make their appearance.
An occasional fall chinook is being landed for boat anglers in the Longview to Gresham stretch of the mainstem Columbia. Although still a few weeks away from peak season, salmon will begin to dominate the catch in this stretch for boaters anchored with hardware.
Oregon and Washington fishery managers met on Wednesday to consider re-opening the retention season for sturgeon in the Wauna to Bonneville section. The staff recommendation was for a continuance of the 4-day retention period (Thursday – Sunday) from August 18th through the end of the year. The compact however adopted a 7-day per week opener for the Wauna to Bonneville stretch and will likely reconsider additional time in the fall if the quota is kept in check. Effort has been light and catches slow.
The Willamette is running 71 degrees at Willamette Falls but there’s little in the lower river other than bass fishing of interest to anglers. Sturgeon fishing remains in the doldrums.
Steelheading has been slow to fair on the Clackamas. Spring chinook are evident but too dark to keep.
Fishing remains dead slow at the Sandy although trolling off the mouth may yield summer steelhead.
Summer steelhead and even spring Chinook counts picked up last week at Foster Dam on the South Santiam. Recycling of these fish is ongoing here and has started once again on the North Santiam where fish are being trucked to Mehama.
Trout fishing has slowed on the McKenzie with the water level low.
Waters in the South Willamette Valley scheduled to be planted with trout include Carmen Reservoir, McKenzie above Leaburg Lake and Salmon Creek.
Northwest – Calm seas continue to treat anglers to ample fishing opportunities for salmon, halibut tuna and bottomfish. From Garibaldi, albacore are 20 to 30 miles offshore and some anglers are reporting large Bluefin tuna occasionally breaking water. Salmon anglers are still taking good numbers of mostly coho but limits are not the rule.
Buoy 10 effort is beginning to pick up even though this fishery remains closed to the retention of chinook. If preliminary reports are accurate, the chinook opener on the 22nd should prove productive downstream of Tongue Point reports Pro guide Jim Nicol (503-550-3166).
Anglers fishing offshore of the mouth of the Columbia are witnessing epic fishing for coho. The recreational fleet as taken over 60% of the coho quota and if calm seas persist, the quota is likely to be met for the first time in several years. Best catches are coming from 6 to 12 miles south of the jetty tips in 150 to 250 foot of water. Although high numbers of wild coho and undersized chinook are being released, limits of hatchery fish are easy to come by. Chinook still only make up a very small portion of the catch. Anchovies make the best bait as bait balls are present in good numbers.
Steelhead are available in all of the whitewater areas of the Nestucca. Small baits will work best. There are still some really nice chrome fish around the area of First Bridge, and around Three rivers reports pro guide Jesse Zalonis (503-392-5808).
Albacore fishers are heading west anywhere from 28 to 40 miles out of the mouth of the Columbia. Ample numbers of fish are willing to bite.
Low, warm flows are challenging most freshwater steelheaders on north coast streams. Good numbers of sea-run cutthroat trout are present in tidewater sections of these rivers but remain open to catch and release opportunities only.
Tuna, halibut and Coho were taken out of Depoe Bay on a flat ocean last Sunday.
Pro guide Bill Kremers (541-754-6411) reports that the coho fishing is "pretty good" out of Newport, better out of Depoe Nay.
Southwest – Cabezon may no longer be kept by offshore boaters as of Saturday, August 10th. Fortunately, the survival rate for released fish is excellent. Anglers harvested 11.8 metric tons, which filled the quota for this year. Rock and jetty fishers may still keep cabezon, however.
All depth halibut will remain open every Friday, Saturday and Sunday until the 80,000 ton harvest cap is met or October 28th, whichever comes first.
Mild tides, which might make for easy bar crossings won’t mean much this coming weekend if the ferocious wind and wave forecast for the southwest coast is accurate.
Smallmouth bass fishing is good with light pressure on the Umpqua. Most smallies are in the one to two pound range. The ODFW announced a rule change on August 10th, which allows anglers to keep radio-tagged salmon taken on the Umpqua. They ask that the tags be returned, however. Steelheading is fair on the North Umpqua, better in the flies-only stretch. Tuna fishing has been great about 45 miles from port.
Anglers launching out of Florence last Sunday found smooth ocean conditions, scattered coho and good ocean crabbing.
Pro guide Jeff Jackson (541-268-6944) reports that Chinook have started entering the Siuslaw and that he took a 27-pounder "with minimal effort."
The Rogue River is open to chinook retention in its entirety with the last stretch where fishing was disallowed, from Gold Ray Dam to Hog Creek Boat Ramp, re-opened August 15th. Numbers of chinook in the lower river are very good, but the bite is only fair. The best fishing is near the mouth at the change of tide.
Offshore Chinook catches picked up dramatically out of Brookings over the past week. Albacore have been taken within 25 miles of shore.
Section 5 of the Rogue River is scheduled to be planted with hatchery trout.
Eastern – The upper Deschutes is producing good catches of Brook Trout on an assortment of dry flies. Steelheading on the lower Deschutes is improving as numbers continue to enter. Trout fishing has been consistently good.
Scheduled to be stocked with trout this week are Devils Lake, Rouge River and Spring Creek.