Willamette Valley/Metro – With little to fish for in the Portland area, anglers are hinging their bets on a brighter future for salmon. Dam passage at Bonneville remains uninspiring, but jack coho counts are tracking above the 10-year average, indicating a much better year, next year. Chinook jack counts may indicate another down year for Chinook in 2019. Much of the blame rests with what scientists term “The Warm Water Blob,” an anomaly never before observed, at least in this magnitude, in the Pacific Ocean. It appears the blob has receded, hopefully bringing back some normalcy to future returns of salmon. Steelhead have suffered too, as the river-wide closure for all salmon and steelhead remains in effect.
Catch and release sturgeon fishing in the lower Willamette remains a fair option.
Anglers working the Clackamas River are finding an occasional coho downstream of Eagle Creek. Recent precipitation has improved catches, but action is far from consistent. Spinners and casted jigs will likely continue to produce the best results as we enter peak season for this fishery.
Sandy River anglers are finding some hatchery coho downstream of Cedar Creek. Fish are beginning to congregate in higher numbers at the popular creek mouth, awaiting a better flush of rain to bring them up to the hatchery. Early mornings are best, fish become timid after the morning bite. Pro guide Jeff Stoeger (503) 704-7920 of O2BFISHN Guide Service reports, “The river finally took its first good jump with the latest rain. We had a few showers and the river barely bumped in height. This last week rain showers, caused the river jumping up a foot and turned the river milk chocolate brown. The river was running at 7.56 and perfect steelhead green and low then jumped to 8.5ft on Tuesday and has started to drop but will remain brown and off color for a few days. Before the river blew up there were reports of fish being caught in lower river and at oxbow park area. There were reports that a few bright springers were still caught in Oxbow as well as some coho.”
You can see more of Jeff’s report and an upcoming forecast for the Sandy, Clackamas and entire north coast by becoming a paid subscriber HERE. Paid subscribers get about FIVE TIMES the amount of information for fifty cents a week!
Canby Pond is slated for trout stocking this week, and Henry Hagg Lake should continue to be a good bet through October.
Northwest Oregon – Chinook fishing in Tillamook Bay has remained challenging as last weekend’s SHOT tournament held by the Association of Northwest Steelheaders yielded just 5 fish for 40 anglers over a 2-day period. The largest fish tipped the scales at just over 18 pounds.
The stronger tide series brought about abundant amounts of seaweed, further impeding success for the fall run fish. Wild coho seem to be as plentiful as Chinook this season, but must be released unharmed. The Ghost Hole, Bay City and the Coast Guard Station in front of Garibaldi are producing the most consistent success, at high tide when the seaweed and eelgrass are less of a problem.
Mid-October produced some of the season’s best catches last year, anglers are holding out hope. Chinook jacks are more prevalent in this year’s catches too, hopefully indicating a stronger return of 4-year olds next year.
Tidewater bobber fishers remain perplexed with the lack of fish lately, but the Wilson, Trask and Tillamook tidewater reaches should all have some fish available.
The ocean swell may be subsiding over the weekend. Bottomfishers are anxious as the deep-reef fishery produced some monster lingcod prior to the current rough ocean conditions. Large canary and yellow tail rockfish hit the decks as well.
Other north coast estuaries are under-performing as well, including the Nehalem. The North Fork hatchery did report some dark coho being taken on eggs over the weekend however.
Astoria area – Despite big tide exchanges, crabbing has been good on the lower Columbia River Afternoon tides this weekend should yield good results too.
Southwest – From ODF&W
The wild coho fishery opened on Tenmile Lakes on Oct. 1, though it will take a few good rains to chase the fish into lake.
The Chetco bubble fishery will be open this weekend, Oct. 13-14.
Anglers are catching hatchery coho in the lower Rogue, and there are reports of coho in the Grants Pass area.
Fishing for summer steelhead in the middle ane upper Rogue should be good for the next month or two due to a strong run this year.
Both boat ramps at Lost Creek Reservoir are usable at this time, and large trout were stocked there last week. Trout fishing should be very good at Lost Creek through the winter and early spring.
Bottomfish anglers may now fish at all depths for the remainder of the year. The daily bag limit for marine fish is 5 plus 2 lingcod. The retention of cabezon is now closed for the remainder of the year.
Anglers may also choose to fish the offshore longleader fishery outside of the 40-fathom regulatory line which is open year round. The longleader fishery has a daily bag limit of 10 fish made of yellowtail, widow, canary, redstripe, greenstripe, silvergray, and bocaccio rockfish. No other groundfish are allowed and offshore longleader fishing trips cannot be combined with traditional bottomfish, flatfish or halibut trips.
Salmon fishing is open through Oct. 31 from Cape Falcon to Humbug Mountain with a limit of two salmon per day. But salmon anglers are limited to fishing inside the 40 fathom line.
From Humbug Mountain to the OR/CA border, salmon fishing closed on Aug. 26. The Chetco River Fall Chinook State Waters Terminal Fishery will open on Oct. 13-14 with a daily bag limit of 1 Chinook per angler.
The Nearshore halibut season is open seven days a week and as of Sept. 30 there is 34 percent of the quota remaining. The remaining 7,968 lbs of the All-depth quota was moved to the nearshore halibut quota on Sept. 6.
For the southern Oregon Subarea, halibut is open 7 days a week through Oct. 31 or attaining the quota of 8,982 lbs. As of Sept. 30 there is 40 percent of the quota remaining.
From Pete Heley at PeteHeley.com
Salmon fishing remains fair on the lower Umpqua River at Winchester Bay. But few chinooks or finclipped cohos are being caught. Bank anglers seem to be doing every bit as good as the boat anglers.
The coho salmon seasons on Siltcoos. Tahkenitch and Tenmile lakes opened on October 1st and second rod validations immediately became invalid on those three lakes. No salmon have been reported yet in all three lakes, but a series of high tides could get salmon into the Siltcoos River, but there may not be enough water flowing through the fish ladder at the dam for the salmon to actually use it and move upstream past Highway 101 where they become legal to fish for. Very seldom do Tahkenitch and Tenmile lakes get any coho salmon before the end of October. The lower deadline on Tahkenitch Lake is the Highway 101 Bridge. The lower deadline on Tenmile Lakes is the bridge on Hilltop Drive in Lakeside.
It most likely will not be a productive coho season on these lakes, but at least anglers can keep wild or unclipped coho salmon. The daily limit is one adult and one jack salmon per day and the season limit, which includes all three lakes, is five adult salmon. Anglers are supposed to quit salmon fishing after keeping an adult coho salmon.
The Chetco bubble fishery opens for the first of two weekends on Oct. 6-7.
Striped bass angling on the Smith and Coquille rivers should remain poor to fair through October when it typically slows to a crawl.
Afternoon fishing for smallmouth bass should be fair to good, but slower in numbers than during the summer, but the chances of bass longer than 15-inches will be improved.
Afternoon fishing for largemouth bass should be productive on most area lakes.
Ocean crabbing remains good, but the recreational season will close on October 15th. River and bay crabbing will remain open all year – subject to emergency closures for elevated toxin levels.
Bottomfishishing in marine waters deeper than 180 feet, using convential angling methods, reopened on October 1st and fishing has been very good. Long leader bottomfishing is still legal in waters deeper than 240 feet, but almost every marine angler is opting for the conventional techniques – which allows them to keep two lingcod (22-inch minimum) and five bottomfish. Cabezon are still illegal to keep.