What’s Fishin’ In Oregon

While Oregon’s eyes may be turning to the state’s northeast corner after Wallowa Lake gave up yet another record-setting kokanee, this weekend’s opportunities also include an all-depths halibut fishery.

But as rivers continue to subside, there are springers and steelies to be had in the Willamette drainage, today is the Columbia River summer king opener, nice-sized rainbows are going into coastal waters this week, it’s “best in years” trout fishing on Crane Prairie and there’s good action to be had at Brownlee Reservoir.

NORTHWEST SPORTSMAN WRITER ANDY SCHNEIDER (RIGHT) FOUND BITING SPRINGERS ON THE COAST RECENTLY. (ANDY SCHNEIDER)

Here are highlights from ODFW’s weekly Recreation Report:

WILLAMETTE ZONE

  • Spring chinook and summer steelhead are being landed in good numbers on the Clackamas River. Look for prospects to improve as the recent high flows subside.
  • Summer steelhead and spring chinook prospects are improving on the Sandy River.
  • Steelhead and spring chinook are being caught in the McKenzie and Middle Fork of the Willamette Rivers. Anglers should pay attention to water levels and temperatures to increase success. Additionally, anglers should expect new debris hazards (stationary and floating) and take steps to ensure a safe and successful trip.
  • More than 44,000 spring chinook have crossed Willamette Falls and are moving into the upper Willamette and its tributaries. Try fishing at San Salvador and Wheatland Ferry on the Willamette and around the mouths of the Tualatin, Molalla, and Santiam rivers.
  • Spring chinook are moving into the Santiam system.

NORTHWEST ZONE

  • Cape Meares, Town, South, Coffenbury, and Lost lakes will be stocked with larger trout (about 1 pound each) the week of June 14. This will conclude trout stocking for the spring. Trophy trout stocking is scheduled for September in several lakes.
  • Nestucca and Three Rivers:  Water levels continue to be good for this time of year. Forecasted dry weather will allow the river to drop this week. Spring Chinook and summer steelhead angling has been fair to good. Bobber and eggs will produce for Chinook. Try bobber and jigs for steelhead as the water clears, especially in the upper river. With the good flows, boaters should find success with diving plugs. Fishing for cutthroat trout has been fair, with fish spread throughout the river.
  • Tillamook Bay: Fishing for adipose fin-clipped spring chinook has been consistently good, but will begin to wind down as the month goes on. Fish are available throughout the bay and tidewater. Try trolling herring along the jetties (but stay out for the construction safety zone) or near the coast guard station, especially on softer tide series. Spinners or plugs usually produce best in the upper bay, with bobber and eggs/shrimp productive in tidewater areas. Fishing for sturgeon has been slow. Best catches generally come from the upper bay and Tillamook River tidewater as the spring goes on.
  • Trask River: Fishing for adipose fin-clipped spring chinook has been good. Fish are being caught throughout the lower river and up to the Dam Hole, with some fish available up to the county park. A few summer steelhead are available throughout the river. The season hatchery hole at Trask Hatchery closed to angling June 15.

SOUTHWEST ZONE

  • Spring chinook fishing on the upper Rogue has been good above Shady Cove.
  • Fishing for resident cutthroat trout is picking up in many rivers and streams. Flies or small spinners are the best bets.
  • Salmonflies are emerging along the upper Rogue, and creating the opportunity for some excellent dry-fly fishing.

CENTRAL ZONE

  • Fishing on Crane Prairie is the best it’s been in years with anglers catching fish up to 5 and 6 pounds.
  • Fishing on Lake Billy Chinook has been good for both kokanee and bull trout.
  • Anglers are still catching bright spring chinook on the lower Deschutes River near Sherars Falls.

SOUTHEAST ZONE

  • Fishing has been good in several area lakes and reservoirs including Klamath Lake, Lake of the Woods, and Krumbo and Thief Valley reservoirs.
  • Trout fishing is picking up on the Chewaucan Rivera above Paisley.
  • The Powder River is open for spring chinook with a daily bag limit of two fish.

NORTHEAST ZONE

  • Fishing for 8 to 10-inch crappie continues to be good on McKay Reservoir.
  • Trout fishing has been good on Kinney and Magone lakes.
  • Wallowa Lake continues to turn out record setting kokanee, including a 9 pound 10.7 ounce bruiser caught on June 13.

BROWNLEE ZONE

  • Crappie are spawning and fishing is good. Bass are biting but are fairly small. Catfish are also biting. Trolling for trout is fair. The reservoir is full. Call Idaho Power Company’s recording at 1-800-422-3143 to get information on access at recreational sites or visit their Web site under the “Rivers and Recreation” heading.

COLUMBIA ZONE

  • Effective June 16 angling is open for summer chinook and summer steelhead from the Astoria-Megler Bridge to the Oregon/Washington border.
  • Shad fishing is good below Bonneville Dam.
  • Sturgeon fishing is fair near Astoria.

MARINE ZONE

  • Fishing for Chinook was slow again last week with fewer than one in seven anglers landing a fish.
  • North of Cape Falcon to the Oregon/Washington border the “Selective Chinook Season” opened June 12 with few reports of fish landed. Fishing for chinook will continue through earlier of June 30 or 12,000 marked Chinook quota. Bag Limit: All salmon except coho. Two salmon per day, all retained Chinook must have a healed adipose fin clip.
  • Fishery managers determined last week there is enough quota remaining for a three-day additional all-depth opening June 17-19. Three more openings – July 1-3, July 15-17, and July 29-31 – are available as long as the total catch does not exceed 105,948 pounds. The summer sport halibut season will be every other Friday and Saturday from Aug. 6 to Oct. 30 or until the entire sub-area all-depth catch limit of 141,265 pounds of halibut is harvested. The near-shore season, for ocean waters inside the 40 fathom line, will be open seven days a week from May 1 until Oct. 31 or until the harvest quota of 12,284 pounds is achieved.
  • Fishing for lingcod improved this week with one fish for every two anglers targeting lingcod. Average catches of rockfish and greenling were about three to five per angler last week, depending on the port. Success in catching lings and most other bottom fish improves as waves moderate.
  • The Oregon Department of Agriculture closed all recreational razor clam harvesting from Coos Bay to Bandon due to elevated levels of domoic acid. Razor clamming remains open north of Coos Bay and south of Bandon.
  • Most crabbers had average catches between one and three crab. Crabbing in the ocean this time of year can be very productive, but also dangerous because of wind, sea and bar conditions.
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