Oregon Fisheries Update:
Willamette Valley/Metro- Anglers have had a disappointing start to the upriver bright salmon fishery. The stretch of Columbia from Kalama to the mouth of the Sandy is usually producing excellent results now but recent reports indicate otherwise. The river is now only open from Warrior Rock near Sauvie Island upstream to the Oregon/Washington border. Metallic wobblers are producing the best results. Dam passage at Bonneville indicates the best is yet to come.
The lower Willamette remains low, warm and clear. Coho are trickling over the Falls, but it’ll take a break in temperatures and the first fall rain to open the floodgates. Fall chinook number fewer than 40 and summer steelhead counts are still shy of the 14,000 mark for the year. Sturgeon fishing is slow, bass fishing is excellent.
Fly anglers are taking fair to good numbers of rainbows and cutthroat on the South Santiam, but steelhead smolts are also hitting. Release with care.
The McKenzie above Leaburg Dam continues to delight fly anglers with a combination of native and hatchery trout.
A few lightly colored summer steelhead are being hooked on mostly early morning forays on the Clackamas. Recycling to Riverside from the trap is ongoing. Coho salmon are available on the lower river although numbers are low this early in the season.
Coho are expected to show in the lower Sandy River over the next week or so although October is the peak month.
Faraday Lake, North Fork Reservoir, Small Fry Lake and the McKenzie River below Leaburg Lake are scheduled to be planted with hatchery trout.
Northwest – The Buoy 10 fishery is clearly peaking with easy limits falling to anglers in the know fishing bait or hardware above the bridge on the Washington side. Coho are averaging large with frequent keepers running nearly 9 and 10 pounds. Most recently, the fish have been taken in the deepest part of the channel which is over 40 foot deep.
The ocean re-opener was less than impressive but still produced limit fishing. Offshore anglers turned around on Sunday when westerly winds kept tuna fishers from pursuing their quarry. Good weather conditions are common for ocean fishers this month however and opportunities will likely come later in the month.
Lower Columbia River crabbing is sporadic with shorter soak times producing better results. Crab pot buoys are frequently getting run over by sport and commercial traffic so be aware of where you place your gear.
Chinook are being taken in Tillamook but not in any great numbers. The Nehalem showed signs of improvement last week but only for a couple of days. A 46-pounder was weighed in on the 31st. Some chinook are beginning to show in the lower Nestucca as well. Spinner casters are faring best.
The new record Siletz chinook (so far) this season goes to Brad Bemis who landed a 46-pounder on August 28th. It’s still slow but action has picked up here over the past week with most fish in the 28 to 30 pound range.
Halibut fishing was rewarding over the past weekend out of Newport with most boats returning to port with limits.
Southwest – Mild minus tides over the weekend will likely delay bar crossings. The surf forecast for Saturday and Sunday is mild as of Tuesday this week.
Albacore were tough to find and halibut was slow offshore out of Winchester Bay this past Saturday. Anglers launching out of the bay on Sunday this week were met with a lumpy ocean and scattered tuna. Trolled, plug-cut herring are picking up a few chinook below Reedsport.
Boaters 18 to 20 miles out of Coos Bay experienced spotty tuna fishing over the weekend, but it was worth the trip.
Anglers continue to pick up chinook daily trolling the Rogue River estuary. It’s been steady and improving over the past week. A few chinook have been taken outside the mouth on wobblers. Expect changes in chinook regulations next year as the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission lays plans to double the number of wild chinook spawning in the Rogue system over the next few years.
South coast beaches continue to deliver surf perch limits with pressure form anglers very light.
Offshore salmon fishing wrapped up September 6th south of Cape Falcon. The ocean north of that landmark re-opened September 2nd for an additional 2,000 coho. Brookings anglers get a two-week chinook season in October. Bottom fishing remains excellent with large rockfish and lings rewarding ocean anglers.
Section 5 of the Rogue River is scheduled to be stocked with rainbows this week
Eastern – Water conditions are improving as temperatures gradually drop with cooler nights. Steelhead numbers are building on the lower Deschutes and should be receptive to spinners and plugs.