Willamette Valley/Metro – The success of the lower Columbia for summer Chinook surprised everyone, causing an early closure for summer Chinook in the mainstem starting Saturday at 12:01 a.m. Most are frustrated and in disbelief that the quota went so quickly, but catch rates in the Longview to Tongue Point reach were good, as well as in the Bonneville area. Summer steelhead remains open, with a 1-fish bag limit for hatchery fish, and action is fair downstream of Longview, despite low passage at Bonneville Dam.
Willamette River anglers continue to impress at the head of the Multnomah Channel. Spinner trollers continue to find late-run springers and stray summer Chinook here, as well as down the Multnomah Channel. This action should begin to taper in the next 10 days however. All other reaches of the Willamette are slowing down, especially in the warming and dropping flows.
The Sandy River is starting to show its glacial colors and catches have slowed as a result. The upper reaches continue to be the best bet for early morning spinner casters, and anglers using larger sized baits in the colored waters. Warmer weather will exacerbate the problem.
The Clackamas is still putting out some summer steelhead and spring Chinook. With dropping flows however, fish will become more weary. It’s best to focus between McIver Park and Barton Park.
Northwest – With the offshore opener last weekend, hopes were high that salmon would be willing. For anglers out of Newport and Garibaldi, they were largely disappointed. Chinook were rare and coho even rarer. For Columbia River trollers heading north off of the Long Beach Peninsula, action has been good, limit good. That is for Chinook, coho in this area are also oddly scarce.
Spring Chinook in Tillamook Bay pulled another week of no-show. The season in Tillamook was officially sub-par, some would even say poor. It’s not likely to spark this late either. River anglers are struggling in the Trask, Nestucca and Wilson, especially with the onslaught of swimmers and dropping and warming flows.
Catch and release sturgeon fishing in the lower Columbia is epic.
Bottomfishing remains excellent and crabbing is picking up, but a large percentage of the Dungeness are softshelled.
There’s another all-depth halibut opener this weekend. Catches have been fair, but sporadic amongst the fleet.
Southwest – After a terrible week of Umpqua River pinkfin angling, the fishery rebounded bigtime over last weekend. Bass and panfish angling continues to be very good.
Umpqua River Shad fishing was very good last week including a few good catches made between Family Camp and Sawyers Rapids. Brownlee Reservoir and the Snake River in eastern Oregon have been fishing very well for channel catfish.
A possible lake record mackinaw was pulled out of Cultus Lake last week. The 36-pound fish was reportedly weighed on an accurate scale and is likely a lake record.
Beginning August 1st, Washington’s Franklin D. Roosevelt Reservoir will have a white sturgeon retention season. Daily limit 1 sturgeon. Annual limit 2 sturgeon.
I was surprised to learn that the oldest animal ever recorded was the “Ming clam” which was aged at 507 years. It was dredged off the coast of Iceland in 2006 and its age was calculated by researchers counting annual growth lines in its shell Ming was unfortunately killed by researchers when they opened its shell.
A lot of Oregonians are less than happy with the re-introduction of gray wolves into Oregon, but some states have it worse. Wisconsin. which allows bear hunting with dogs, paid out more than $120,000 in 2016 in livestock losses due to wolf predation – and approximately $100,000 for hunting dogs killed by wolves at $2,500 per dog.
The ODFW decided to use the first backup dates for all-depth halibut for the central Oregon coast subarea. 35,663 pounds or 23 percent of the quota remains and all-depth halibut fishing will continue on June 29th and 30th and July 1st.
The ocean fin-clipped coho season opened slowly and most of the fishing pressure was directed toward chinooks.
A few commercial tuna boats have reported good catches, but the fish seem to be too far offshore for sport anglers to reach.
Crane Prairie – surface temps are approaching the mid 60’s and it’s getting the damsel flies going. Fish for the big Crane-bows with slow sink lines and damsel nymphs.
Davis lake bass fishing should be red hot this week with the sustained nice weather.
The fishing on the Deschutes from Warm Springs to Maupin is still holding up. Dry fly action in the evenings is best with mayfly and caddis patterns.
East lake fishing is good! Fly guys are doing well imitating the droves of callibaetis coming off the bottom. Fish for them in every stage from nymph to emerger to spinner.
It’s late spring/early summer in central/eastern Oregon…pick a lake or river go fishing. Chances are you will do well where ever you go. The dog days will be here soon enough!
SW Washington – June 26, 2017 Contributed by Joe Hymer at WDF&W
Cowlitz River – I-5 Bridge downstream – 30 bank rods had no catch. Above the I-5 Bridge: 97 boat rods kept 1 adult spring Chinook and 34 steelhead plus released 3 steelhead. 139 bank rods kept 29 adult and 1 jack spring Chinook and 2 steelhead plus released 1 adult spring Chinook.
Last week, Tacoma Power employees recovered 434 spring Chinook adults, 36 spring Chinook jacks and 50 summerrun steelhead adults in five days of operations at the Cowlitz Salmon Hatchery separator. During the past week, Tacoma Power employees released 129 spring Chinook adults and 20 spring Chinook jacks into the Cispus River near the mouth of Yellow Jacket Creek and they released 160 spring Chinook adults and nine spring Chinook jacks at Franklin Bridge in Packwood. In addition, Tacoma Power employees recycled 50 floy-tagged summer-run steelhead at the I-5 boat launch near Toledo.
River flows at Mayfield Dam are approximately 9,160 cubic feet per second (cfs) on Monday, June 26. Water visibility is 8 feet and water temperature is 50.0 degrees F.
Lower Columbia mainstem below Bonneville Dam – Last week we sampled 1,253 salmonid anglers (273 boats) with 179 adult and 8 jack summer Chinook, 22 steelhead, and 15 sockeye. 108 (60%) of the adult summer Chinook, 20 (91%) of the steelhead, and 12 (80%) of the sockeye were kept.
Hanford Reach Summer Chinook & Sockeye Fishery – The summer chinook and sockeye fishery in the Tri-cities area opened June 16. WDFW staff interviewed 70 of the 308 boats fishing for salmon. An estimated 58 adult summer chinook, 4 chinook jacks, and 173 sockeye have been harvested and 35 wild adult chinook have been caught and released. Anglers are averaging a little less than a sockeye per boat (0.7), 20 hours per fish.
Chinook were harvested at one chinook per 4 boats, 29 hours per chinook. Angler effort and catch began to rise this past weekend. Sockeye fishing should improve as the counts over McNary Dam rise. River temperatures are still relatively cool at 62F at McNary Dam and 59.5F in the Hanford Reach.
Lower Columbia mainstem from the Marker 82 line downstream – We sampled 21 sturgeon anglers (7 boats) with 9 legals released.
Lower Columbia mainstem below Bonneville Dam – We sampled 683 shad anglers (including 4 boats) with 6,158 shad kept and 134 released.
Walleye Lower Columbia mainstem below Bonneville Dam – 5 walleye anglers (3 boats) had no catch.