Willamette Valley/Metro- Salmon season is in full swing on the Columbia River with the highest catch rates of the season from Bonneville Dam to the I-5 Bridge. Trolled herring are taking the bulk of the fish downstream of the gorge while spinners and plugs are responsible for Bonneville area fish. Four-year old adults are making up the bulk of the catch averaging between 12 and 16 pounds. This fishery will peak in the next 2 weeks but increased spill to aid smolts downriver could curb angler success.
Summer steelhead are passing Willamette Falls in double digits as the water temperature continues to inch toward the 50-degree mark. Springers are being caught daily on the lower Willamette and at the head of the Multnomah Channel, but it is slow. Sturgeon fishing is good for those willing stay mobile to locate larger fish.
A mix of bright and dark steelhead are being hooked on the Clackamas River with a scattering of hatchery summer fish is available.
A few broodstock winters have been taken on the Sandy and summer steelhead are just starting to enter.
The North Santiam will be subject to fluctuations in level and flow but numbers of fish available is improving daily. A total of 16 summer steelhead had entered the trap at Foster Dam on the South Santiam as of April 3rd.
The March Brown hatch has been coming on reliably in the afternoons on the McKenzie and while fishing hasn’t been as hot and heavy as the hatch, it has been good at times.
Scheduled for trout stocking are Creswell Pond, Detroit Reservoir, Dexter Reservoir, Dorena Reservoir, E. E. Wilson Pond, Foster Reservoir, Freeway Lake East, Green Peter Reservoir, Junction City Pond, Roaring River Park Pond, Timber Linn Lake, Walling Pond, Walter Wirth Lake and Waverly Lake.
Northwest – North coast anglers are still pursuing steelhead on the Wilson, Trask and Nestucca Rivers but the run is certainly coming to an end. Brian Barr and Josh Lowe of Eugene fished the Wilson on Friday from Mills Bridge to Sollie Smith landing 6 steelhead using Kwikfish. Five of the 6 landed were hatchery fish but 2 were released because they were dark.
The Nestucca has also been producing good catches but has lost some of its consistency as the season winds down reports pro guide Jesse Zalonis (503-392-5808) and Kent Anderson (503-550-6303). Anglers are targeting fish in the upper reaches with the recent high water.
Next on tap in the Tillamook area is spring chinook but numbers won’t be substantial until the large minus tide series in mid-May. A few early fish are usually caught late this month however.
Calm seas are in the ocean forecast for the weekend. Limits of bottomfish should be easily attained for anglers knowing where to target these fish. Pressure has been light all season due to poor weather conditions. Ocean crabbing will also be a good option.
Crabbing in Yaquina Bay remains poor and the herring are yet to show.
Bay City Reservoir, Cape Meares Lake, Carter Lake, Cleawox Lake, Devils Lake, Hebo Lake, Lake Lytle, Lorens Pond, Smith Lake, South Lake, Tahoe Lake and Town Lake are scheduled to be planted with hatchery trout.
Southwest – Angers will be fishing the tail end of a mid-day minus tide series through the weekend.
Pro guide Bill Kremers (541-754-6411) reports fair fishing for ling cod, good results for rockfish and slow crabbing out of Depoe Bay this week
Although winter steelheading will continue even as it winds down on the North and South Umpqua through April, with the first spring chinook trickling in, angler’s attention has been focused on the latter. The North Umpqua dropped to decent levels this week.
Spring chinook fishing has been only fair, but has remained steady from the mouth of the Rogue River to Agness. The problem so far has not been a lack of fish but water temperatures which have stubbornly remained in the 40s. The time of year is right to warm the river however, and catches are expected to continue to improve through April.
Limits of rockfish and ling cod are being taken out of Brookings with even inexperienced anglers returning to port with good catches.
Scheduled for trout planting are Bradley Lake, Eel Lake, Emigrant Lake, Applegate Reservoir, Lake Selmac, Howard Prairie Reservoir, Hyatt Reservoir and Libby Pond.
Eastern – Check river flows before heading over to the John Day River for bass. If the river is over 1000 CFS, fishing will be challenging reports pro guide Steve Fleming at Mah-Hah Outfitters (1-888-624-9424). Quality sized fish are available however and are taking a variety of crankbaits and plastics.
Many streams and rivers on the east side remain roiled and some lakes, such as Little Lava, Wickiup and Davis Lake, remain iced over but warm weather this week is expected to improve conditions in the near future.