Willamette Valley/Metro- Fish passage at Bonneville is still well underway and fishery managers decided to reopen the season for the retention of fall chinook above the Hood River Bridge. Catches are likely to be light but this is peak season for this section of the river. Jack counts continue to skyrocket boding well for future returns.
Sturgeon anglers in the gorge continued to catch keepers at a fair rate. Department heads met on Wednesday to discuss keeping a liberalized sturgeon season above Bonneville Dam. (The fishery will remain open 7 days per week through the end of the year.)
Cooler nights have had a dramatic effect on water temperatures at Willamette Falls as it dropped 10 degrees in 10 days to 62 as of September 24th. The temperature change has yet to effect fishing or fish movement over the Falls. A few coho have been hooked below the mouth of the Clackamas to Meldrum Bar. Sturgeon fishing is slow.
Steelheaders have experienced another week of fair to good fishing on the North Santiam. Summer steelhead have continued to enter the trap at Foster Dam on the South Santiam in good numbers over the past week. In addition, water levels and temperatures have improved, resulting in more steelhead landed over the past week.
The Clackamas has continued to produce good-quality summer steelhead over the past week while coho remain typically tight-lipped. Driftboats below Carver report seeing many steelhead and coho but hooking very few. Use caution, as the water remains low.
Coho are entering the Sandy and have been seen rolling as high as Cedar Creek.
Foster Reservoir, Henry Hagg Lake and West Salish Pond are scheduled to be planted with hatchery trout.
Northwest – Tillamook Bay catches are still good with higher numbers of chinook coming from the spinner trollers in the upper bay. Anglers are grumbling about the excessive silt that washed in from last year’s floods. It’s limiting the number of productive fishing areas in the upper bay putting large numbers of boats at the Oyster House Hole.
Catches in the lower bay and ocean strongly favored wild coho on Tuesday although weekend fishing was good. Tom Bonk of Kaiser landed his personal best at 43 pounds on Saturday using a herring at the mouth of Tillamook Bay. Crabbing is only fair on Tillamook Bay.
Nehalem Bay remains slow but action should be picking up on the Nestucca and Salmon Rivers in south Tillamook County. Better tides are coming this weekend.
The first fall rains are forecasted for this weekend. Although not substantial, the precipitation should stimulate hatchery coho on the North Fork of the Nehalem as well as the Trask River. Chinook should also start upriver on these streams.
Siletz tidewater has been very slow for chinook over the past week.
Trollers dragging plug-cut herring behind a flasher have been taking a few chinook in Yaquina Bay. A tournament will be taking place on October 14th for which anglers must register at one of several local businesses by October 6th. Crabbing is worthwhile in the bay.
Plug cut herring or large spinners have been productive recently in Siuslaw tidewater. Boaters are reporting better numbers of chinook this week. Word is out and the boat pressure has been heavy.
Southwest – If accurate, the wind and wave forecast for the weekend will prevent boaters from crossing southwest Oregon bars into the ocean. The good news is that the first significant fall rain is predicted to start on Sunday.
ODFW biologists remind anglers again this week that hatchery fall chinook holding below Calapooya Creek should be harvested before rains start. With precipitation, these chinook will enter the creek to spawn. Recent reports from the Umpqua tidewater indicate very slow reports and little angler effort.
Siltcoos and Tahkenitch Lakes open for wild coho retention on October 1st. Trolled spinners and plugs are most commonly used to take these fish.
It’s been a morning bite in the lower Coos River recently with trollers taking chinook on herring. Coos Bay has been producing good numbers of large, mostly hard Dungeness.
Chinook trollers on the Rogue River estuary have to endure spotty action again over the past week, a situation not expected to improve until the first decent fall rain.
Chetco anglers have started taking a few salmon but precipitation would be welcomed here as well. The bulk of the chinook run is holding offshore, awaiting fresh water that will trigger their migration. Chinook jacks are being taken in upper tidewater. The Chetco River ocean terminal area fall chinook opening October 1st will once again allow offshore salmon angling.
Eastern – Fishing on rivers in northeast Oregon is improving with cooler weather having a positive effect on water temperatures. The Grande Ronde, Wallowa and Minam Rivers should start showing improvements although peak season for these rivers occurs later in the fall.
Trout fishing has been good on the lower Deschutes while the steelhead bite has been decent one day, slow the next.