WILLAMETTE RIVER: The springer fishing for those working the water in the lower Willamette area at the head of Multnomah Channel has finally begun to cool down a bit, but there was still a fair to good bite taking place last week. Some of these Chinook are late Willamette or Clackamas River fish and a few are also summer Columbia River fish swinging into the Willamette for a rest before heading further up the Columbia.
There was a very limited amount of salmon fishing effort around Oregon City as the springers congregate below the falls prior to entering the fish ladder for upstream passage. The shad fishery is also winding down with a decline in both effort and catch providing evidence of that. There may be a few diehard shad anglers out in Oregon City giving it one last try.
Winter steelhead passage counts ended May 31st with a very low season total of 822 fish passing at Willamette Falls while ongoing cumulative counts through July 1 for summer steelhead stand at a very low 1,652 whereas the spring Chinook count is now all the way up to 30,539.
Anglers will also find there are plenty of warm water fishing opportunities on the Willamette for bass and small pan fish, working the rocky shorelines and around areas with structure, particularly near Cedar Island and Milwaukie.
USGS hydrological data for the Willamette River on July 10 has flows dropping to 9,090 cfs, the water temperature up near 73°F, and visibility still very good at 7.0 ft.
The Middle Fork Willamette River is open to bait below Dexter Dam only. Reminder: Restrictions from Dexter Dam to appoximately 700 ft downstream to the markers: No angling from the north shore, from a floating device, or while wading (pg 44 in regulations). This river reach is open to retention of adipose fin-clipped salmon and steelhead and non-adipose fin-clipped steelhead greater than 24 inches in length. A Columbia River Basin Endorsement is required for anglers targeting salmon and steelhead in the Middle Fork Willamette below Dexter Dam.
The Middle Fork Willamette above Lookout Point and Hills Creek reservoirs is open to fishing using lures and artificial flies. All wild trout must be released upstream of Lookout Point Reservoir. The Middle Fork Willamette River is not stocked with hatchery trout.