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Oregon Fisheries Update November 3rd, 2017

by | Nov 2, 2017

Willamette Valley/Metro – With salmon and sturgeon fisheries on the mainstem really winding down, Columbia River anglers will be hard-pressed to find excitement until late March, when the season’s first spring Chinook should start to arrive in abundance. Until then catch and release opportunities will remain the best bet, and given the results of the all-out catch and keep fishery we just completed, many anglers won’t be motivated.

The Willamette however, will remain a sturgeon catch and release mecca. Well, mecca may be a strong word, but given the fact this system is a few degrees warmer than the Columbia, it will certainly hold fish in good numbers, well into the spring months. Sand shrimp and smelt will remain a top bait for the few that will participate.

Sandy River anglers will still finding quality coho in the upper reaches of the river. Cedar Creek will remain a top prospect, but the hatchery just processed over 1,000 adults. The bulk of the run has entered the hatchery.

The Clackamas is producing a rare coho, with much of the catch being wild these days. Eagle Creek may still offer a late season hatchery fish, but the fishery is winding down quickly given the recent high water event.

Northwest – Following some great Chinook fishing last week, the Tillamook Basin has slowed, especially Tillamook Bay itself, as the strong push of Chinook have entered Tillamook’s tributaries, the Wilson and Kilchis in particular.

Success in those tributaries hasn’t been particularly productive however, many of the motivated biters were culled in the bay fishery. Persistent high water conditions will bring better success to Wilson and Kilchis River anglers, we may get that scenario this weekend. Chum salmon numbers in the Kilchis and Miami should be building.

The Nestucca hasn’t been particularly productive either lately. Not a surprise given how late we’re getting into the fishery.

The Siletz has finally slowed, at least the lower reaches. Driftboaters had pretty good action following the last big rain freshet.

Crabbing remains surprisingly good, especially in Tillamook Bay. The lower Columbia is also a very strong option. This weekend’s rain shouldn’t damper optimism, but strong tides over the weekend won’t do you any favors.

The ocean looks to be calm over the ocean, but what would you fish/crab for? It’s all closed. Razor clam digging may be fair along Clatsop beaches however.

Updated 11/01/2017 (ODF&W)
Crabbing is CLOSED from the north jetty of Coos Bay (including inside Coos Bay) to OR/CA border due to elevated domoic acid levels

Ocean season is also currently closed (October16-November 30)

Open in bays, estuaries, beaches and jetties from the north jetty of the Coquille River (Bandon) northward to Columbia River

More information from Oregon Department of Agriculture

Oregon’s recreational bottomfish season is closed inside the 40 fathom regulatory line and all 2017 sport halibut fisheries are closed for the remainder of the year.

Many local reservoirs are scheduled to receive additional fingerling (sub-legal 5-inch), legal-size (8- to 10-inch), and larger (12- to 16-inch) rainbow trout in the coming weeks:

Hyatt Lake has just gotten 500 larger (14-inch) rainbow trout, as well as 80,000 additional fall fingerlings (4- to 5-inches).

Willow Lake near Butte Falls will receive 2,500 legal-size and 500 larger (14- to 16-inch) trout for anglers to enjoy this weekend.

Applegate reservoir has been producing trout on trolled wedding ring/worm combos and from the bank. It is also scheduled to receive an additional 1,000 larger (12-to 14-inch) trout by this weekend and 5,000 legals next week.

Lost Creek reservoir and Fish Lake both received recent stockings throughout October, and are great destinations this fall.

Fishing for Summer Steelhead on the Rogue has been good between Grants Pass and Shady Cove.

Fishing for trout in Diamond Lake continues to be excellent. Fall trout fishing at Diamond can be great.

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

Recent rain has moved Chinook throughout the Chetco River and into the Elk River.

Trout fishing at Diamond Lake is still very good when the weather is favorable. Fly-fishing has been productive on the south end of the lake.

From our friend Pete Heley at

The recreational harvest of bay clams is OPEN along the entire Oregon coast from the Columbia River to the California border. The recreational harvest of razor clams is OPEN from the Columbia River down to Cascade Head (north of Lincoln City). The recreational harvest of razor clams is CLOSED from Cascade Head (north of Lincoln City to the California Border for elevated levels of domoic acid. This includes all beaches and all bays.

Tahkenitch Lake received salmon earlier than usual this year, but so far the catch has consisted almost entirely of jack salmon.

Tenmile Lakes also received its initial coho salmon earlier than usual and with the exception of salmon hooked near Lakeside Marina located where Tenmile Creek leaves South Tenmile Lake, the catch has been almost entirely in Templeton Arm.

Water temperatures along the Oregon coast are close to ideal for rainbow trout and they are biting well in recently stocked lakes.

In a conversation with Rob Gensorek of Basin Tackle in Charleston, he related that the last striped bass he caught out of the Coquille River, a 19.85-pound fish, had swallowed a largemouth bass of nearly three pounds.

A fish kill reported on the beach at Lincoln City was determined to consist of yellow perch and largemouth bass that had left Devils Lake via the “D” River during high water and perished when they reached saltwater.

Pete Heley works part-time at the Stockade Market & Tackle, across from ‘A’ Dock, in Winchester Bay where he is more than happy to swap fishing info with anyone.

Eastern – From our friend Tim Moran.
Deschutes River – The River between Warm Springs and Maupin is still kicking out some Steelhead. Fly guys are fishing mostly with nymphs or jig flies under an indicator (bobber). Throwing steel is a good option too and spinners and wobblers should take fish. Cover a lot of ground and you’ll likely find the biters. Trout fishing is mostly a nymph show. A jimmy legs with a small mayfly nymph 20 to 30 inches behind it is a good choice.

John Day River – flows are low and the water has cooled about 20 degrees but there are a few bass around still and Steelhead will make a showing soon. I’m heading that way for a duck and goose hunt this weekend so I’ll have a better report next week.

Metolius and Crooked Rivers – These are two of the best winter trout fisheries in the state. The flows are usually good all winter and the trout stay active. Fish small nymphs in the morning and switch to 18 to 22 BWO’s or midge patterns if you start to get some activity. I love fishing a standard Adams on these rivers with a tiny dropper 16″ behind. The Metolius Bull Trout are in the river all winter and if stalking big fish is your game this river is great all winter.

Cascade Lakes – Fishing on the Cascade Lakes is all but done for the year but if you got out on Crane last week you know the fishing was amazing. i had three friends who crushed it, catching several 18 to 24 inch Cranebows. They were catching fish on everything from pulling leech patterns to throwing Rapalas and panther Martin spinners. The fish were up on the flats cruising for food. I wish i would’ve been out there!

Won’t be too much to report on until the steelhead show further east and Diamond Lake freezes over.

Have a great weekend everyone!

SW Washington – From WDF&W:

Cowlitz River – From the I-5 Br. Downstream: 4 bank rods released 2 cutts. Upstream from the I-5 Br: 22 bank rods kept 14 adult coho and released 7 adult Chinook and 1 jack and 6 adult coho. No boats were sampled last week. Last week, Tacoma Power employees recovered 4,418 coho adults, 512 coho jacks, 398 fall Chinook adults, 12 fall Chinook jacks, 97 cutthroat trout, and 120 summer-run steelhead during seven days of operations at the Cowlitz Salmon Hatchery separator.

River flows at Mayfield Dam are approximately 4,700 cubic feet per second (cfs) on Monday, October 30. Water visibility is five feet and water temperature is 51.5 degrees F.

Kalama River – 8 bank anglers kept 1 adult coho.

Mainstem Lewis River – 4 bank rods had no catch.

North Fork Lewis River – 44 bank rods kept 3 adult coho and released 1 adult coho. 27 boat rods kept 7 adult Chinook and 18 adult coho and released 2 jack and 8 adult Chinook and 3 adult coho.

Klickitat River – 9 bank anglers kept 4 adult coho.

Lower Columbia mainstem below Bonneville Dam – Last week we sampled 170 salmonid anglers (including 66 boats) with 7 adult coho and 1 jack and 2 adult Chinook. All of the coho and the jack Chinook were kept; one of the adult Chinook was kept and the other released.

Lower Columbia mainstem above the Wauna powerlines – Catch rates improved somewhat but effort dropped with 381 sturgeon boats and 243 bank anglers tallied on Saturday’s flight. Over 1,000 boats and 500 bank anglers were counted during each of the previous 2 retention days. Still have 2/3 of the guideline (something like 834 fish) left.

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