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Oregon Fisheries Update November 17, 2017

Courtesy of

by | Nov 23, 2017

Willamette Valley/Metro – With the Columbia all done for the year, the Willamette high and muddy, with a chance for a sturgeon, and the Sandy and Clackamas Rivers too high, we’re getting off pretty easy this week here at The Guide’s Forecast. Moreover, anglers are justified in spending quality time with their families in the living room, instead of in a solitary location along some blown-out riverbank.

Trout fishing anyone? Here’s the stocking schedule for your region, and it’s free on black Friday and whatever Saturday. I’m not sure you’ll enjoy the weather however.

Hopefully, we’ll have more to report next week, but despite poor water conditions, we’re between runs, so you’re really not missing anything.

Northwest – It’s been much the same along the north Oregon coast. High waters and few fish, but there have been a few bright Chinook, wild coho and some spent chum salmon (now illegal to target) taken from the smaller streams, such as the Kilchis and, Trask and Wilson Rivers.

The smaller streams were blown out on Wednesday however; the North Fork Nehalem was over 70″ in the morning, with a little more precipitation on the way before a “drawdown” over the weekend. Still no recent reports of steelhead in the district.

It’s just been a miserable place to recreate as of late, even in our more protected bays and tidewaters.

Southwest – From Pet Heley at

As of 11/23
The Oregon Department of Agriculture and the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife announce the reopening of recreational and commercial bay crabbing from the north jetty of the Coquille River to the north jetty of Coos Bay. The reopening includes crab harvested in bays and estuaries, and on beaches, docks, piers, and jetties. Crab samples taken from the area indicate levels of domoic acid have dropped and remain below the alert level.

Recreational crabbing – Currently open in all bays and estuaries that are not under the health advisory; opens after Dec. 1 in ocean areas where biotoxins are below the alert level.

A last-minute update from the ODFW and ODA announced that the area between the North Jetty at Charleston and Tahkenitch Creek will remain open to crabbing while the coastal stretch from Tahkenitch Creek to Cape Foulweather (south of Depoe Bay) is now closed to crabbing.

For the most up-to-date crabbing information visit:

The heavy rains got fresh salmon into the coastal coho lakes and south coast rivers. While anglers may have to wait a few days to fish for the jumbo chinooks the south coast rivers are famous for, the coho salmon lakes should remain clear enough to fish.

Bradley Lake, stocked during the last week in October, is the last lake to receive planted trout along the Oregon coast, but Butterfield and Saunders both have fishable numbers of uncaught stocked trout.

A few skilled and determined bass anglers are still catching a few bass, but the catch of anglers using lures designed to appeal to both bass and salmon on Siltcoos, Tahkenitch and Tenmile lakes has consisted almost entirely of salmon and larger trout.

ODFW is waiving all fishing licensing requirements on the Friday and Saturday after Thanksgiving to encourage people to #optoutside with friends and family during the long holiday weekend.

On Nov. 24 and 25, 2017, all fishing, crabbing and clamming in Oregon will be free for both Oregon residents and non-residents. That means no licenses, tags or endorsements are needed on those days. All other fishing regulations apply.

And from ODF&W
#OptOutside on black Friday, Nov. 24 with the help of FREE FISHING. On Friday and Saturday (Nov.25) you won’t need a license, tag or endorsement to fish, crab or clam anywhere in Oregon that is open to fishing. Follow us on social media to learn more about upcoming opportunities.

Expo Pond at the Jackson County Fairgrounds and Reinhart Park Pond in Grants Pass will be freshly stocked in time for Thanksgiving weekend.

Around 400 summer steelhead excess to broodstock needs at Cole Rivers Hatchery will be released back into the fishery in the vicinity of Touvelle State Park by Thanksgiving as well.

Look for recent rains to bring Chinook into the Chetco, Elk and Winchuck rivers.

Middle Rogue River – Hatchery coho salmon and summer steelhead are available. One report listed red-colored plugs as producing the best success for boat anglers between Grants Pass and Grave Creek. Spinners, spoons and nightcrawlers caught fish for bank anglers.

The Umpqua River Mainstem – Chinook fishing is about over in the Umpqua. Most fish have moved onto the spawning grounds. From July 1– Dec. 31, anglers can harvest two wild Chinook per day, and in combination with the other salmon/ steelhead recorded on your salmon tag, up to 20 fish total.

Eastern – From our friend Tim Moran

Deschutes River – With the really warm weather I would fish above the White River this weekend. Steelhead are still in play above and just below Maupin.

Metolius River – Fishing is good on the river and will continue to be good until the weather gets really cold. BWO’s, PMD’s in 18 to 22 should take trout on top and Pheasant Tails, midges and any assortment of small nymphs will take fish nymph fishing.

Grande Ronde River – Steelhead fishing is good in the GRR. This is a remote river a long way from almost anywhere so I’d recommend hiring a guide if you’re not familiar so that you can get on the fish right away.

Snake River – The Lower Snake is now open to the retention of A run (mostly hatchery) fish. Fishing is good in the Heller Bar area and downstream.

Columbia river above Bonneville – Guys are still getting Coho at the mouths of tributaries including the White Salmon and Klickitat.

SW Washington – Here’s what WDF&W provided in this week’s report:

Cowlitz River – From the I-5 Br. downstream: 13 bank rods kept 2 adult coho. 5 boat rods kept 3 adult coho and released 2. Above the I-5 Br: 104 bank rods kept 1 jack and 43 adult coho and released 31 adult coho. 31 boat rods kept 16 adult coho and released 3 adult Chinook and 12 adult coho.

River flows at Mayfield Dam are approximately 10,300 cubic feet per second (cfs) on Monday, November 20. Water visibility is seven feet and water temperature is 50 degrees F.

Lower Hanford Reach Steelhead Fishery – From Paul Hoffarth, WDFW Fish and Wildlife Biologist in Pasco WA – Steelhead fishing continues to be slow to fair in the lower Hanford Reach. Bank anglers have averaged a steelhead for 20.5 hours of fishing. Boat anglers are doing considerably better at 1.1 steelhead per boat (9.3 hours per fish). WDFW staff has interviewed 144 bank anglers fishing for steelhead in November with 47 steelhead caught and 33 hatchery steelhead harvested. Staff interviewed 22 boats (62 anglers) with 25 steelhead caught and 15 harvested. The majority of the steelhead caught are double clipped and legal to harvest. Daily limit is one steelhead per day and the steelhead must have both an adipose and ventral fin clip (through December 31). This year’s return to Ringold Springs Hatchery is estimated at 816 steelhead.

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