Willamette Valley/Metro- Summer chinook season opens up on June 16th from Tongue Point to the OR/WA border. Only fin-clipped chinook adults greater than 24” in length may be retained. Chinook salmon counts should again begin to ramp up with the peak passage happening by the first week of July.
Sturgeon fishing in the Marker 82 stretch remains challenging for oversize sturgeon anglers but there are some oversize and keeper sized fish available downstream of Troutdale.
Spring chinook and summer steelhead totals are higher at Willamette Falls than at this time last year with fish passage steady. Shad remain in the spotlight with spring chinook receiving less attention. Shad numbers remain strong, with nearly all the effort being spent at Oregon City, while a few anglers try in the Multnomah channel. Chinook are still available from the mouth to Willamette falls, but salmon pressure is light.
Despite fluctuating water conditions on the McKenzie River, it has been fishing well for fly anglers. Steelheading has continued to improve as are the numbers of summers available.
The Santiams have been dropping this week and are predicted to continue that trend through the coming weekend. Summer steelhead numbers are good in both the North and South Santiam and spring chinook density is building. Counts are improving over Bennett and Foster dams.
The Clackamas continues to be less than exciting for spring chinook anglers, but summer steelhead continue to bend rods for fishermen targeting them.
Sandy River anglers continue to have good success with summer steelhead and decent fishing for spring chinook. The summers seem to be here in better numbers than previous years, while chinook are worth the effort but their numbers have yet to be impressive.
Northwest – Spring salmon anglers in Tillamook County continue to have options although this will be the last good week for action in the district. Action in the lower estuary was good again this week with anglers taking fair numbers of springers in along the jetty and in the spring bubble fishery just off of the mouth of Tillamook Bay. Chinook must be fin-clipped until you get out of the control zone (check ODF&W web site) through July 31st. Action is likely to taper however with in-river options picking up through the rest of the month.
Nestucca River and bay anglers also saw more activity through the weekend although the news effectively spread as it was crowded over the free fishing weekend. Action will focus on the mainstem Nestucca and Three Rivers should be a strong option through June as well. Anti-snagging regulations are in effect on this system as well so be sure to check updates on the ODF&W web site.
Sturgeon anglers were easily frustrated as action on the lower Columbia was frequently sporadic over the weekend. Fishing was consistently poor but should pick up as water temperatures warm and flow subside. The grade of keepers is impressive however as fish over the 50 inch mark are available.
Summer steelhead and chinook should become more available this week as tides this weekend become more favorable for bank and boat anglers. Fish should be running the banks in the faster flows, becoming more susceptible to spin-n-glos tipped with coon shrimp through all of next week. Sockeye are available as well but anglers need to be reminded that sockeye, no matter how small, must be tagged as adult salmon on your punch-card. These fish are high quality and are expected to return in high numbers this season. Target them by using smaller sized spin-n-glos in flame colors.
Anglers may have good opportunity for bottomfish along the south jetty out of Astoria this weekend as the ocean forecast looks favorable for offshore effort. A selective chinook salmon fishery is underway as well with fish being caught on trolled spoons and bait. This fishery targets Columbia River bound summer chinook and will last through June 22nd or when 8,000 chinook are harvested.
Beach clamming for razor clams should get good again staring Sunday through the middle of next week.
Southwest – Boats out of central Oregon ports over the past weekend took limits of rockfish and near limits of lingcod. Chinook fishing remains slow but is due to start producing.
With 48% of the 120,821-pound spring all-depth halibut quota remaining, the fishery will open again on June 14, 15 and 16 with good results anticipated.
With algae becoming problematic on the mainstem Umpqua, spring chinook catches have slowed. Smallmouth bass fishing has started up on the South Umpqua but has been slow in the cool water.
Although tuna fishing has yet to start up, ocean chinook catches have been good out of Charleston. Coos Bay is providing fair to good crabbing and excellent clamming on minus tides.
Bottom fishing out of Gold Beach has been hot or cold but when it’s hot, it’s great, yielding quick limits of rockfish and lingcod for all. Offshore chinook fishing has been worthwhile about five miles out. A combination of hatchery and wild spring chinook are being taken as catches pick up on the lower Rogue but remain slow in the middle river. It doesn’t matter as of the 1st of June; finclipped or not, they’re all fair game below the old dam site. Only hatchery chinook may be kept on the upper river and catches have remained steady.
With a strong ocean chinook season forecast this year, ODFW fish counters at the Port of Brookings note a trending improvement in catches as the season progresses. Ocean anglers trolling anchovies with hoochies are doing best. Beaches are producing very good catches of surf perch.
Eastern – Following an extended high water period, the Wallowa dropped into good condition over the last weekend. No reports although a five-pound kokanee was landed at Wallowa Lake.
The Imnaha is in good shape and is open for chinook although no catch reports have been forthcoming.
When the water of the Snake River warms, smallmouth bass move upstream into the Grande Ronde to spawn. Fishing here can be very good when this occurs.
SW Washington – Effort and catch for steelhead and spring chinook is greatest on the Cowlitz River but overall, return rates seem below expectations. Summer steelhead counts should be ramping up soon.
The Lewis and Kalama Rivers remain poor options with the Kalama remaining closed for chinook retention.
Effort and catches are starting to slow on the Wind River and Drano Lake.