WILLAMETTE RIVER: It remains somewhat of an in-between time for fishing on the lower Willamette as spring Chinook and summer steelhead angling come to a close, although a few coho have begun to show around the mouth of the Clackamas River. Anglers will 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. Catch-and-release fishing for sturgeon remains as another option for Willamette River anglers.
As of Aug. 15 the passage count of spring Chinook adults at Willamette Falls stood at 30,317 fish, which is the unofficial final passage number for 2016 as springer counts come to an end. The summer steelhead counts continue at Willamette Falls with the Sept. 23 cumulative passage showing 21,574 while adult coho passage was at 360 and adult fall Chinook passage was 571.
USGS hydrological data for the Willamette River on Sept. 26 has flows holding steady around 6,500 cfs, the water temperature near 62°F, and visibility very clear at about 8.8 ft.
The Middle Fork Willamette River is open to bait below Dexter Dam only. 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 angling 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.