Fishing report for Oregon and SW Washington

Willamette Valley/Metro- Dam counts at Bonneville have experienced an unexpected jump in chinook counts. These are likely a mix of late spring chinook and early summer run fish. This bodes well for the summer chinook fishery set to start around mid-month.

Sturgeon anglers working the gorge are still catching fair numbers of keepers and oversize fish using fresh shad, either whole or in strips to entice strikes. Keeper success will likely fade from this fishery however as mature fish migrate towards more fertile grounds in the lower Columbia River.

Shad counts are improving but have clearly not peaked yet. Early indications point to a less than average return. Sockeye salmon are beginning to pass at Bonneville as well but incidentally caught sockeye, most often encountered in the steelhead bank fishery, must be released.

Spring chinook passage has picked up again at Willamette Falls. Over 43,000 springers and 13,000 summer steelhead have crossed. Lower Willamette trollers have continued to take chinook. Willamette passage coupled with Willamette kept catch has already surpassed the preseason prediction for returning adults. It’s a much better return than originally predicted. Shad fishing is fair to good.

Steelheading is fair to good below Leaburg Dam on the McKenzie while trout fishing is good river-wide.

A few springers have been taken on the North Santiam while steelhead are being caught on the South Santiam on spinners and jigs.

Backtrollers are taking a combination of springers and steelhead on the Sandy from Oxbow to Dabney but steelhead remains the main focus for most avid anglers.

The Clackamas is producing a few springers and is expected to improve this month. Steelheading has been slow to fair although summer fish are beginning to show in better numbers.
 
Northwest –  A good tide series rewarded upper Tillamook Bay salmon fishers with steady catches throughout the week. Effort was higher given the better returns but it still hasn’t been a wide open bite by any means. A softer upcoming tide series will favor lower bay anglers but a forecasted significant rise in river levels may send opportunistic adults upriver in a hurry and out of reach of bay trollers.

North Coast rivers are scheduled to crest on the weekend and may not fish until early next week. The Trask will be the go-to river but the Wilson, Nestucca and Three Rivers will also receive a good shot of adults and should be well distributed throughout the systems. Bank anglers fishing at the hatchery on the Trask will certainly benefit from the healthy returns but are in jeopardy of losing the quality public access due to a high incidence of littering and poor angling practices.

A calm ocean last week allowed anglers to target salmon in the Tillamook Bay bubble with some success. Nearshore bottomfishers and halibut anglers fared well however and more success is likely when seas calm again. Crabbing for keeper males remains fair at best however with the best success by far, coming from the ocean.

Fair numbers of sea-run cutthroat trout are showing in the estuary and lower stretches of north coast streams. A consumptive fishery is now underway on many coastal streams and local area lakes will be stocked next week with catchable rainbows in preparation for Free Fishing Weekend June 12th and 13th. A complete list of Free Fishing events can be found on the ODF&W website.

Sturgeon fishing near Astoria picked up downstream of the Astoria Bridge late last week with sporadic catches coming from the green buoy line on the Oregon side. Anchovies are the best bait in the deeper water while anglers working shallower water find better results using sand shrimp for bait.

Southwest – Soft tides but marginal ocean conditions are predicted for the coming weekend.

Boats launching out of Winchester Bay caught very few ocean chinook as predicted. Caches will improve a few weeks into the season. Springers continue to be caught on the upper mainstem and North Umpqua. Shad fishing has been slow this week.

Lower Rogue spring chinook anglers are experiencing off-and-on action. Better results are coming to plug pullers on the middle river with wrapped Kwikfish. With over 7,000 springers counted at Gold Ray Dam, upper river anglers have seen some decent action although only hatchery salmon may be kept above the dam until July 1st.

Sea run cutthroat are being caught in fair to good number on the Chetco. Only artificial lures and flies may be used above tidewater. Out of Brookings, rockfish catches are excellent while ling cod and crab catches have been fair.

A free kids fishing derby will take place on June 12th from 6:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at Diamond Lake.

The Rogue above Lost Creek and Fish Lake are scheduled to be planted with trout.

Eastern – Fly anglers made some memories over the past weekend on the Deschutes with the early stonefly and salmon fly hatches in full swing. Nymphing is effective in the morning with dries drawing redside grabs all afternoon. Fishing is best when the weather is warm.

Crane Prairie has been fishing well with an apparent resurgence in the trout population.

SW Washington – Salmon and steelhead remain viable options for SW Washington anglers will the Cowlitz remaining a top prospect for salmon anglers working the Barrier Dam area. Summer steelhead should begin to show in greater numbers over the next few weeks.

Increased bag limits for spring chinook remain for the Wind River and Drano Lake fisheries although catch success has shifted to areas higher in the watershed. Eggs drifted under a bobber or on the bottom will likely produce the best. Summer steelhead action should begin to pick up for trollers in the lower reaches.

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