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Oregon Fishing Report

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Willamette River Sponsored by
Date 17-Apr-15
Water Condition
Water Temperature  


Conditions : WILLAMETTE RIVER: Spring Chinook anglers found some decent fishing in the lower Willamette last week as water conditions improved, the water warmed, and more fish entered the river heading upstream. Chinook were caught from Multnomah Channel up to Oregon City over the weekend, but no one spot seemed 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 have proven to be the least productive spots. There’s also been a noticeable increase in Willamette effort now that the Columbia River is closed to Chinook retention. Anglers should find continued improvement in catch as the month of April moves along, providing water conditions hold up.

Daily counts at the Willamette Falls fish ladder continue with the total passage for winter steelhead through April 17 standing at 3,760. As of April 17 a total of 2,275 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 April 20 show flows down at 12,900 cfs, a water temperature in Oregon City up near 57°, and visibility very good at 5.4 ft.

The Middle Fork Willamette River above Hills Creek Reservoir is open to catch-and-release fishing for trout from April 25 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.

Reported by: Oregon D.F.W


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About: - The Willamette offers many warm water fishing opportunities to turn to when salmon or sturgeon are not available. Look for bass, crappie, or bluegill around rocky outcroppings and other structure such as old pilings or fallen trees. The local tackle shops should be able to set you up with the gear you need, as well as provide some expertise on the best places to try.

Misc Info: - Anglers are now allowed to keep up to three coho per day under a new “bonus bag” rule that took effect Sept. 1. Below Willamette Falls, anglers on the Willamette were already permitted under permanent rules to keep two fin-clipped adult salmon or steelhead in any combination. The new “bonus bag” rule allows retention of a third fish, as long as it is a hatchery coho, denoted by a clipped adipose fin.


Williamette River Flows
River Flow Stages

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