WILLAMETTE RIVER: Due to warm water temperatures (over 65 F), adult Chinook salmon are dying in the Willamette River Basin. If you see a dead adult salmon in the Willamette River between Salem and Eugene, please call the ODFW Corvallis District Office at 541 757 4186. District staff are monitoring river conditions and tracking the locations of dead salmon.
The numbers of late season dedicated anglers still fishing spring Chinook in the lower Willamette is finally dwindling as warm water impacts catch. The best catch rates checked by ODFW again showed up in the lower Multnomah Channel on up to St. Johns with perhaps a handful of fish hooked in the Oregon City area. Shad fishing in Gladstone and Oregon City had been good but in recent days catch has fallen off also as effort declines. A hot weekend like this one coming up will surely put many recreational boaters on the Willamette, making for some difficult fishing conditions.
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.
Daily counts at the Willamette Falls fish ladder continue with the cumulative passage count for spring Chinook adults standing at 49,602 through June 20th. This Chinook number is definitely above preseason expectations. The relatively poor partial summer steelhead count sits at 2,430 fish passing, while the final winter steelhead counts wrapped up the end of May at 4,508.
For anglers interested in sturgeon fishing, the catch-and-release sturgeon fishery remains a decent bet for hooking into fish and finding steady action with the St. Johns area and Milwaukie offering the best chance for success.
Hydrological numbers for the Willamette on June 22 show flows getting even lower at 6,590 cfs, a water temperature in Oregon City around 74°, and visibility very good at 7.4 ft.