WILLAMETTE RIVER: Seven-day-a-week fishing has resumed on the lower Willamette, as Chinook salmon crossings surged late last month to bring the hatchery component to within the escapement goal of 22,000 fish. For more information, see news release. With the extra fishind days, there was an uptick in effort and harvest, with 2,461 angler trips producing a catch of 358 Chinook. Springers were again landed from the lower Multnomah Channel all the way up into Oregon City, and all parts in-between.
Winter steelhead passage continues to plod along while spring Chinook passage saw a brief jump but has since fallen back and is well behind historical average counts. Through May 31 there were 822 winter steelhead make their way into the upper Willamette via the fish ladder, a very low number for this date, along with 747 summer steelhead. Spring Chinook passage has improved with a cumulative total through June 7 showing 20,117 adult spring Chinook crossing Willamette Falls.
Shad fishing is now going strong on the lower Willamette, with 661 angler trips producing more than 5,000 keepers last week.
Two-rod validations are again allowed through July, and the use of barbed hooks is allowed when angling for salmon, steelhead, or trout in Willamette River downstream of Willamette Falls (including Multnomah Channel and Gilbert River) and in lower Clackamas River upstream to Highway 99E Bridge. Barbless hooks are still required when fishing for sturgeon.
USGS hydrological data for the Willamette River on June 12 has flows at 17,300 cfs, the water temperature at 60°F, and visibility good at 6.8 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.