Oregon Fisheries Update:
Willamette Valley/Metro- With the Columbia River from Bonneville Dam downstream now closed to salmon, steelhead and shad fishing, anglers will be seeking other opportunities in tributaries or upstream fisheries. Although lower river catch rates dropped dramatically in the closing days, success near Bonneville was excellent and dam counts verify the run is well underway.
Many of these prized fish are destined for upper river tributaries and will be challenging to pursue in the Columbia River reservoirs. Check updated regulations for open tributaries along the Columbia River as those fisheries will be peaking in the coming weeks.
Sturgeon will also become a focus for metro anglers from Bonneville to Buoy 10 in the coming weeks and catch rates are beginning to climb with the warming water temperatures. The best stretch will be in the Columbia River gorge with smelt a top choice to use as bait.
Counts of salmon and steelhead have slowed with a drop in the water temperature caused by unseasonably
cold weather. Trollers and anchor fishers have experienced minor flurries of springer action but overall,
fishing has been slow. Sturgeon fishing has been fair to good.
Steelhead are scattered on the North Santiam and fishing is slow.
Trout fishing on the McKenzie has been good between weather fronts with Caddis hatches occurring amidst the March Browns.
Water levels at the Clackamas are down from last week and the color is good. Steelheading is spotty but fresh summers are being caught daily.
Sandy anglers are taking a few summer steelhead but most are thinking about springers. There are chinook in the river and numbers will be increasing.
Scheduled for trout planting are Haldeman Pond, Henry Hagg Lake, Huddelston Pond, Salmonberry Lake, Silver Creek Reservoir, Timothy Meadows Reservoir, Trojan Pond, Blue River above Reservoir, Blue River Reservoir, Carmen Reservoir, Clear Lake, Detroit Reservoir, Dexter Reservoir, E. E. Wilson Pond, Fall Creek, Foster Reservoir, Freeway Lake East, Green Peter Reservoir, Junction City Pond, Leaburg Lake, the McKenzie River above Leaburg Lake, Roaring River Park Pond, Salmon Creek, Smith Reservoir, Walling Pond, Walter Wirth Lake, Willamette River Coast Fork and the Middle Fork Willamette above Hills Creek Reservoir.
Northwest – A significant rise in river levels was forecasted for north coast streams at mid-week but when flows do drop, steelhead will make up the bulk of the catch reports pro guide Jesse Zalonis (503-392-5808). Although it’s likely a few summer steelhead may be in the creel, spent winter run fish headed back to sea will likely make up the bulk of the catch. An early spring chinook may also be available but most won’t return until mid-May.
Tides won’t be ripe for estuary sturgeon fishing in Tillamook or the Astoria area but friendly seas are forecasted for the weekend which should give bottomfishing enthusiasts some good opportunity for lingcod, seabass and surf perch. Be sure to check bar conditions before crossing.
North of Cape Falcon near Manzanita, halibut season opens on May 1st. Anglers are allowed to fish 7-days per week with a daily bag limit of 1 halibut per day, 6 per year.
Crabbing remains poor in most north coast estuaries and ocean crabbing is likely to be only slightly better if boats can get there this weekend.
Alder Lake, Big Creek Reservoir, Big Creek Reservoir, Buck Lake are scheduled to be stocked with hatchery trout.
Southwest – Halibut season will open on the central and south coast on May 1st inside the 40-fathom line with the first all-depth fishery May 8th through 10th.
As the winter steelhead run winds down on the Umpqua, spring chinook catches continue to improve and anglers have been diversifying tactics to target the fresh salmon.
Springer fishing has been slow in the Rogue with the water cold. In spite of challenging conditions, a few chinook are being taken daily. Warmer weather will trigger snowmelt which will, in turn, keep the water cool.
Surf casters have continued to take limits of perch off southwest beaches.
Boats crossing the bar and returning early at Brookings Harbor have been able to beat rough ocean conditions and are limiting on rockfish and lingcod in fairly shallow water.
Due to persistent snow and ice at Diamond Lake, the Kokanee Power Trout Derby which was scheduled for May 17th & 18th has been re-scheduled for June 7th & 8th.
Eastern – Trout fishing is fair on the lower Deschutes in mid-40-degree water that’s at above-average flows. Mid-day is yielding best results.
Although flows remain high on the John Day, big smallmouth bass should be a viable target in the dropping flows into the early weeks of May reports pro guide Steve Fleming (1-888-624-9424).