WILLAMETTE RIVER: Spring Chinook anglers continued to get into the fish in the lower Willamette last week as water conditions held steady and more fish entered the river heading upstream. Once again Chinook were caught from Multnomah Channel up to Oregon City over the weekend with no one spot seeming to dramatically outshine another. The best catch rates checked by ODFW showed up in lower Multnomah Channel and up in the Oregon City area. The middle river around Sellwood and the upper downtown Portland harbor were once again the least productive spots as it seems the springers are passing through that stretch of river quickly. Theres also been a noticeable increase in Willamette effort now that the Columbia River is closed to Chinook retention.
Daily counts at the Willamette Falls fish ladder continue with the total passage for winter steelhead through May 4 standing at 4,262. The summer steelhead count sits at 735 fish passing. As of May 4 a total of 23,558 spring Chinook have passed through the ladder.
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 May 11 show flows down at 8.760 cfs, a water temperature in Oregon City at 63°, and visibility good at 6.3 ft.
The Middle Fork Willamette River above Hills Creek Reservoir is open to catch-and-release fishing for trout through Oct. 31. This reach of river is no longer stocked, although there may be some adipose fin-clipped trout originating from the reservoir available for harvest in the lower river reach. Gear use is limited to flies and lures.