What’s Fishin’ In Oregon

There are several words that catch the eye of the editor of Northwest Sportsman. For instance, “outstanding.”

Read through ODFW’s weekly Recreation Report like I do and you’ll see a lot of “fairs,” many “goods,” the occasional “very good” and the rare “excellent, so when “outstanding” pops up you do a double take.

The agency used the term to describe walleye fishing on Oregon’s upper Columbia River.

To wit: “Walleye fishing below McNary Dam has been outstanding.”

Official advice from NWS: Grab your walleye wallopers and get yee to Boardman, bub.

But that’s not the only good fishing you’ll find around the Beaver State this weekend. Chinook, coho, “massive” rainbows, steelhead, kokanee, bass, crappie — they’re all biting, brother.

Here are highlights:


  • Fall chinook fishing has been very good on the Umpqua, Coos, Coquille and middle Rogue rivers.
  • With the onset of cooler temperatures trout fishing should pick up on many area lakes.
  • Anglers have landed some wild coho on the Coquille River.


  • North Coast Lakes: Trophy trout stocking is scheduled for the week of Sept. 20. Cape Meares, Town, Coffenbury, Lost and Sunset lakes are scheduled to receive trout averaging about 2 pounds each. Angling for warmwater species in district lakes is slowing as lakes begin to cool. There can still be some good action, especially for largemouth bass. Concentrate your efforts on the warmer parts of the day.
  • Alsea River: Fall chinook angling is starting to pick up.  Pockets of fish are being caught from the lower bay through upper tidewater. Trolling herring or lures near bottom seem to be producing fish. Cutthroat trout angling is fair to good with sea-run cutthroat trout can be found throughout most of the mainstem.
  • Salmon River: Fall Chinook are starting to be caught from the lower bay up to the hatchery. Fishing the incoming tide should produce the best results.
  • Siletz River: Anglers are starting to catch fall chinook from the lower bay well up into tidewater.  The wild adult coho fishery is underway with catch rates very low at this time. Steelhead fishing has picked up a little recently with the cooler wet weather. Best opportunities for summer steelhead are in the upper river. Cutthroat trout fishing is fair to good with sea-runs showing up from the bay to mid river.
  • Siuslaw River: Fall chinook are starting to be caught from the lower bay well up into tide water.  Trolling herring or lures close to the bottom can be productive. Cutthroat trout angling is fair to good in most areas. Sea-run cutthroat trout can be found from the bay into the lower river.
  • Tillamook Bay:  Angling for chinook is improving. A few fish are being caught throughout the bay. Trolling herring on the incoming tide in the lower bay is a good bet during soft tide series. Or try trolling spinners in the upper bay on larger tide swings. Hatchery coho are spreading out through the bay, especially after recent rains. Chinook are being caught in the terminal area just outside the bay. The ocean, including the terminal area, is now closed for coho.
  • Yaquina Bay: Fall chinook fishing is starting to pick up with some fish being caught from the lower bay well up into tide water. Cool temperatures have pushed some fish up river faster than normal. Cutthroat trout angling remains fair to good with sea-run cutthroat trout are being caught in the upper tidewater and low river areas.


  • Coho are starting to show up in the lower Clackamas River.
  • Catch-and-release sturgeon fishing is now permitted below Willamette Falls.


  • Summer steelhead fishing on the lower Deschutes River continues to be good.
  • Trout fishing continues to be very good on Antelope Flat Reservoir.
  • Kokanee fishing on many area lakes should be good with the onset of the fall spawning season.


  • Fishing for trout on the Blitzen River has been very good.
  • Deadhorse Lake has been yielding some massive rainbow trout.
  • Largemouth bass fishing has been very good on Krumbo Reservoir.


  • Good numbers of steelhead and coho have been arriving at the mouth of the Umatilla River. Fishing will get even better as water levels increase and water temperatures decrease.
  • Trout fishing has been good in Wallowa Lake.


  • Fish for crappie very early morning or late evening. The fish are deeper in the middle of the day and the bite is very light. Use 4 lb. test and an ultra light rod. Use jigs with a crappie nibble (chartruese jigs or red and whites have been good lately). Night fishing with lights is producing good catches. Bass are biting but are fairly small. Some large catfish are being caught using cutbait, worms or stink bait. Trolling for trout is fair. The reservoir is 25feet below full. The Spring Creek and  Holcomb boat ramps are out of the water due to low water levels.  Call Idaho Power Company’s recording at 1-800-422-3143 to get information on access at recreational sites.


  • Walleye fishing is good in Troutdale.
  • The river is full of fall chinook between Tongue Point and Bonneville Dam, with an average of 11,586 passing through the Bonneville ladder daily.
  • Sturgeon retention is closed from Buoy 10 upstream to Bonneville Dam through Thursday September 30.
  • The steelhead run is peaking in the McNary Dam area with anglers pulling plugs doing well above the dam, and bobber/jig producing well above and below the dam.
  • Walleye fishing below McNary Dam has been outstanding.


  • Anglers are still finding tuna, usually landing between two and five fish per angler. This year ranks as the third best for Oregon tuna anglers. Oregon anglers landed more than 30,000 albacore so far this year leaving only 2009 and 2007 with more sport-caught albacore. Although a few good weeks might push 2010 above 2009’s 40,000, the 2007 record of nearly 60,000 fish is in no danger this year.
  • Anglers fishing Cape Falcon to Leadbetter Pt. (Washington) are now allowed to keep up to two chinook salmon in the bag limit. Daily bag limit is now two salmon per day, and all retained coho must have a healed adipose fin clip.
  • Fishing for salmon north of Cape Falcon will continue through the earlier of Sept. 30 or 33,600 marked coho quota (chinook guideline of 12,100).
  • Most bottom fishers out of Charleston and Brookings came home with limits or near limits of rock fish. The rest of the coast had good catches of between three and five fish. Lingcod were harder to come by with the best catches being one fish for every two anglers.
  • Crabbing in Oregon bays improved in August as some larger males start to show up in the catch. During the summer months, recently molted legal-sized male Dungeness crabs can be found. There were some good catches in Coos Bay, and the crabbing in Alsea and Yaquina bays has been good. The best months for bay crabbing in Oregon are August through November. Bay crabbing success usually declines after significant rainfall as salinity levels drop. For the latest bay and estuary crabbing reports go to: http://www.dfw.state.or.us/MRP/shellfish/crab/reports.asp

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