WILLAMETTE RIVER: The Willamette River spring Chinook fishery is struggling to get going with both effort and catch down from whats typically found in April. The boating effort has been pretty evenly spread out from Oregon City on down to the mouth of Multnomah Channel.
To date the catch has been disappointing considering were approaching the end of April with only an occasional decent bite popping up but slow fishing on most days. The lower Multnomah Channel continues to produce the best catch, mainly out of the Bayport Marina boat launch, but heading upriver the catch drops off all the way into Oregon City.
Moving through the last week of April and into early May it should be prime springer fishing time when fish should be found riverwide as long as decent water conditions hold up. The water is a few degrees warmer than normal for late April, but conditions are still pretty good for spring Chinook fishing and will hold this way into next weekend. On a positive note the catch and release sturgeon fishing in the Willamette has been very good for those looking to sturgeon action.
Fish crossings at Willamette Falls had a bit of a resurgence after some rainfall and slightly warmer water seemed to trigger movement. Total passage at the falls for winter steelhead through April 22 now reads 5,092. This winter steelhead passage number is running about in line with the ten year annual average. Weve also had 997 summer steelhead pass upstream through April 22. Theres finally been a bump in Chinook passage with 3,352 adult springers passing so far through April 22. Given the warmer water temperatures and low flows that Chinook passage number should show a steady increase over the next couple of weeks.
USGS hydrological data for the Willamette River on April 25 shows flows at 18,500 cfs, the water temperature moving up to 59° F and visibility still very good at 5.8 feet.