Willamette Zone fishing report, March 20 – Dalles Chronicle

willamette-zone-fishing-report-march-20-dalles-chronicle Willamette Zone fishing report, March 20 - Dalles Chronicle

WILLAMETTE ZONE FISHING

Weekend fishing opportunities:

One more day of recreational smelt dipping will be permitted this year on the Sandy River on Saturday, March 22, from 6 a.m. until noon. Fishing licenses are not required for this activity. Fishing for smelt is by dip net only, and the bag limit is 10 pounds per person.

March is prime time for steelhead fishing on the Clackamas, Molalla, Sandy, and Santiam rivers and conditions are now ideal.

Spring Chinook fishing should take off in the Willamette River as soon as color and flows improve.

Spring trout fishing heats up

Warmer water temperatures are putting fish on the bite. Stocking schedules for most zones have been posted on the trout stocking page, as are Google-based maps showing all stocking locations. Others will be posted as soon as they’re available.

The 2014 trout stocking schedules for the North Willamette Watershed District and the South Willamette Watershed District are now posted on-line on the ODFW trout stocking page.

Adult steelhead fishing workshop

Join the Association of North West Steelheaders, Sandy River Chapter and ODFW and learn how to fish for this amazing species. Saturday, April 5 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m at Camp Angelos, Corbett, OR. Cost is $52.00/person. Visit the ODFW website for more information and to register.

New salmon, steelhead, sturgeon endorsement

Anglers fishing for salmon, steelhead or sturgeon in the Columbia River and its tributaries are now required to have a Columbia River Basin endorsement. See a map of the Basin and get more information.

Send us your fishing report

We’d love to hear about your recent fishing experience. Send us your own fishing report through ODFW Fishing Reports — the information will be forwarded to the local biologist who may use it to update various ODFW resources such as the Weekly Recreation Report.

Trout stocking map

Find the location and details about the many lakes, ponds and streams that receive hatchery trout from ODFW’s fish hatcheries on the new Google-based stocking map.

ALTON BAKER CANOE CANAL: trout

Alton Baker Canoe Canal was stocked in late February with 1,086 legal-sized and 200 larger sized rainbow trout. Fish were scattered at multiple locations along the length of the Canal. Summer steelhead are occasionally caught in this system and anglers are reminded they will need a combined angling tag and a Columbia River Basin Endorsement to legally target or harvest a steelhead. It is legal to fish with two rods in the Alton Baker Canoe Canal, provided the Two-Rod Validation has been purchased.

The canal is located within Alton Baker Park and can be accessed off of Club Road in Eugene. The Canoe Canal is located in downtown Eugene behind Autzen Stadium. A 4-acre pond at the midpoint of the canal is a good spot but it can be fished all along its 2-mile length from Day Island Road in Eugene to Aspen Street in Springfield.

BENSON LAKE: rainbow trout, white crappie, largemouth bass, brown bullhead

Stocked the week of March 10 with 2,000 legal-sized rainbow trout. This is a 40-acre lake located in Benson State Park in the Columbia River Gorge. From Portland, head east on I-84, park is located on the south side of the freeway approx. 1/2 mile west of Multnomah Falls.

BETHANY POND: rainbow trout, largemouth bass, crappie, bluegill, bullhead

Stocked the week of March 10 with 1,000 legal sized rainbow trout. This is a 10-acre pond located at Bethany west of Portland. The pond is maintained by Tualatin Hills Park and Rec. Amenities include picnic tables, restrooms, and a paved, ADA accessible trail.

BLUE LAKE: rainbow trout, largemouth bass, brown bullhead, black crappie, bluegill

Stocked the week of March 10 with 1,500 legal-sized rainbow trout. This is a 64-acre lake located in Blue Lake Park 3 miles west of Troutdale. This family-friendly park as picnic areas, restrooms, walking trail, and ramp for small boats. Park is maintained by Multnomah County.

BLUE RIVER above BLUE RIVER RESERVOIR: trout

Blue River both above and below Blue River Reservoir is closed to fishing until April 26, 2014.

BLUE RIVER RESERVOIR: trout, warmwater species

Blue River Reservoir is located east of Eugene near the town of Blue River, north of Highway 126 and is open to year-round fishing.

CANBY POND: rainbow trout

Stocked the week of March 10 with 450 rainbow trout. Canby Pond is a 1-acre pond located on the south end of Canby in Canby City Park. The park is south of Hwy 99E and adjacent to the Molalla River. Angling restricted to youth age 17 and under or holders of one of the Disabled Anglers permits.

CARMEN RESERVOIR: trout

Carmen Reservoir is accessed via FS Road 750 off Hwy 126, about 2 miles south of Clear Lake, and is open all year. Motor boats are prohibited on Carmen Reservoir.

CHEADLE LAKE: bass, bluegill

This 60-acre former mill pond in Lebanon provides an excellent warm water fishing experience for the beginner as well as the seasoned angler. Largemouth bass up to 16 inches and panfish up to 9.5 inches have been reported recently. To get there take Russell Road east off Main Street about a mile. There is a small boat ramp and ADA fishing dock at the parking lot and there is foot access most of the way around the pond.

CLACKAMAS RIVER: summer steelhead, coho

The Clackamas River was finally in decent shape for fishing this past week and winter steelhead were landed from Dog Creek down through Carver. These good conditions will continue with no significant rain in the forecast and snow levels remaining fairly low. March should be primetime for winter steelhead fishing in the Clackamas so now is the time to hit the river. It’s still a little early to be chasing spring Chinook however.

Monday hydrological data shows flows down at 5,560 cfs, a gauge reading in Estacada of 14.02 ft., and the water temperature holding near 44°.

CLEAR LAKE: trout

Clear Lake is open to angling all year. Naturally reproducing brook trout are also available. The lake is accessed from Highway 126 approximately 70 miles east of Springfield. Cabins and row boats are available for rent from Clear Lake Resort (http://www.linnparks.com/pages/parks/clearlake.html).

COAST FORK WILLAMETTE RIVER: trout

The Coast Fork of the Willamette River is open to catch-and-release fishing for trout.

COMMONWEALTH LAKE: trout, bass, bluegill, crappie

Due to low water levels, the fish scheduled for release in this lake were redirected to Progress Lake this week.

COTTAGE GROVE POND: trout, warmwater species

Cottage Grove Pond will be stocked this week with 1,750 legal-sized rainbow trout. To access the pond, travel east from Cottage Grove on Row River Road. Cottage Grove Pond is located behind the truck scales and may be accessed via an asphalt pathway. Only the pond with the dock is stocked with hatchery trout. This pond also offers terrific bird-watching opportunities, with bald eagles, various ducks, red-winged blackbirds, and other migratory songbirds frequently observed at this time of year.

COTTAGE GROVE RESERVOIR: trout, warmwater species

Cottage Grove Reservoir will be stocked this week with 4,500 legal sized rainbow trout. Holdover trout are also available to anglers. The reservoir is south of Cottage Grove and is open to angling all year.

NOTICE: The Oregon Health Authority has issued a health advisory updating information about eating fish caught in Cottage Grove Reservoir. Under the advisory issued June 5, 2012 people can safely consume up to nine meals per month of hatchery-grown rainbow trout month that are 12 inches in length or less. People can distinguish hatchery-grown rainbow trout by the absence of the adipose fin, which is clipped before hatchery fish are released into streams and reservoirs. Despite the new exception for rainbow trout, mercury contamination for resident warm-water fish, including bass, bluegill, crappie and bullhead continues to be a concern. Women of childbearing age, particularly pregnant or breastfeeding women, children under six years of age and persons having liver or kidney ailments should avoid eating any fish from this reservoir other than rainbow trout. Healthy women beyond childbearing age, other healthy adults and healthy children six years of age and older should eat no more than one 8-ounce meal of fish other than rainbow trout per month.

CRESWELL POND (GARDEN LAKE): trout, warmwater

Garden Lake will be stocked this week with 1,750 legal-sized rainbow trout. The pond is located in Garden Lake Park on the east side of I-5 in Creswell and is open to fishing all year, although vegetation can become a problem later in spring.

DETROIT RESERVOIR: trout, kokanee

Located 50 miles east of Salem, this large lake (approximately 3,600 acres at full pool) receives over 100,000 trout throughout the year. The reservoir was stocked in mid-October with 7,000 legal-sized rainbow trout. Check with local outfitters in the town of Detroit to find out which boat ramps are operational.

DEXTER RESERVOIR: trout

Dexter Reservoir will be stocked this week with 2,900 legal-sized rainbow trout. The reservoir is adjacent to Highway 58 near Lowell and is open all year.

DORENA RESERVOIR: trout, warmwater

Dorena Reservoir will be stocked this week with 6,000 legal-sized rainbow trout. The reservoir is east of Cottage Grove on Row River Road and is open all year.

EAGLE CREEK: winter steelhead

Eagle Creek is in good shape with great color and nice flows; it should continue this way through the weekend. Fishing for winters requires some flexibility in gear, adjusting color and size to accommodate water conditions. The hatchery has had about 350 steelhead return, a relatively low number as a result of reduced smolt releases a couple of years ago.

Long stretches of Eagle Creek run through private property, particularly up near the hatchery and from an area below the lower ladder on down past Bonnie Lure to the mouth. Anglers are advised to pay close attention to where you fish and we encourage you to ask permission prior to accessing or crossing private lands on your way to your favorite fishing hole. See Page 15 of the Oregon Sport Fishing Regulation pamphlet for more information on “Your Rights to Use the Surface, Bed, and Banks of Oregon’s Rivers and Lakes.”

EE WILSON POND: trout, bluegill

EE Wilson Pond re-opened for fishing Saturday, Feb. 1. In anticipation of the season opener, the pond was stocked with 500 legal size rainbow trout, as well as 90 large brood trout between 5-10 pounds each. It will be stocked again this week with 500 legal and 400 larger size rainbow trout. As a reminder, only one fish over 20 inches may be kept as per zone regulations. Also, be reminded that permits are required when parking anywhere at EE Wilson Wildlife Area.

FERN RIDGE RESERVOIR: largemouth bass, crappie, bluegill, brown bullhead

This 9,000 acre lake just 12 miles west of Eugene is the Willamette Basin’s largest water body. It has four boat ramps and there is good bank angling along the dam and at the shoreline parks. Current water levels are 7 feet below full pool, but most boat ramps are still available. For local information regarding the lake, contact the Lane County Parks Department at 541-682-2000.

This lake is mostly shallow with a band of deep water from the original channel of the Long Tom River. The reservoir produces crappie over 12 inches and bass angling has been very good in recent years. Best time of year for crappie is in spring after the water temperature reaches the mid-50s, but fish can still be found in deeper water year round. July and August are peak months for largemouth bass. Fish the shoreline along the southern part of the reservoir, especially the sloughs and inlets where there is underwater structure.

FOSTER RESERVOIR: trout, bass, perch, catfish

This scenic 1,200-acre reservoir on the South Santiam River is located just 30 minutes from Interstate 5. There is good bank access at several rest stops and campgrounds, and two seasonal boat ramps. It was stocked again on May 21 with 4,000 rainbow trout. Please remember that only kokanee and adipose fin-clipped trout may be taken and there are no limits on size or number of bass. All boat ramps are available at this time. From I-5 take US 20 east from Albany to the town of Sweet Home. The reservoir is 3 miles past the town on the left.

FREEWAY LAKES: trout, bass, bluegill, crappie

This water-body actually consists of three interconnected ponds and features some good size bass and crappie. A boat ramp is available at East Freeway Lake, and there is good bank access around Middle Freeway Lake. Freeway Lakes is scheduled to be stocked in mid March with rainbow trout as well. To get there, take the State Police exit in Albany and follow the frontage road south (3 Lakes Road) for several miles.

GREEN PETER RESERVOIR: kokanee, trout, bass

This large reservoir east of Sweet Home is a premier kokanee fishery with a bag limit of 25 fish per day. It also supports stocked rainbow trout and a good population of smallmouth bass. Reservoir levels have dropped to winter low levels but Thistle Creek boat ramp is open.

HENRY HAGG LAKE: trout, bass, crappie, yellow perch, crappie, bluegill and brown bullhead

Stocked the week of March 3 with 18,000 legal-sized rainbow trout. This popular 1,110-acre lake near Forest Grove has been closed to fishing since November and reopened to anglers on March 1. This lake also received 125 large brood trout in January and 1,000 2-pounders on Feb. 20, so there are lots of fish to be caught in this premier Northwest Oregon fishing destination. Hagg Lake is located within Scoggins Valley Park. The park features numerous picnic areas, two boat launching facilities, more than 15 miles of hiking trails, and observation decks for wildlife and bird watching.

HILLS CREEK RESERVOIR: trout, warmwater

Hills Creek Reservoir is open to fishing all year. All non-adipose fin-clipped trout and salmon must be released unharmed. This reservoir is stocked annually with 100,000 adipose fin-clipped spring chinook fingerlings and 200,000 adipose fin-clipped rainbow trout fingerlings. These fish grow to catchable size within a year.

HILLS CREEK above HILLS CREEK RESERVOIR: trout

Hills Creek is closed to fishing until April 26, 2014.

HUDDLESTON POND: trout, bass, bluegill

Stocked the week of March 10 with 800 legal-sized and 400 larger and trophy rainbow trout. This is a 5-acre pond located within Huddleston Pond Park in the city of Willamina, Ore. A former mill pond, it contains woody debris that provides habitat for bass and bluegill. It reaches a maximum depth of about 10 feet, with shallow “kid-friendly” edges. It is ADA accessible in places, with a restroom and picnic areas nearby. There is paved parking lot and small ramp for people who want to launch small, non-motorized boats.

JUNCTION CITY POND: trout, crappie

Junction City is a popular stocked trout fishing pond located about 2 miles south of Junction City on 99W on the west side of the highway. There is excellent access around the entire 8-acre pond. As a reminder, zone regulations apply: five trout daily may be kept and only one over 20 inches. As a reminder, zone regulations apply: five trout daily may be kept and only one over 20 inches.

LEABURG LAKE: trout

Leaburg Lake is closed to fishing until April 26, 2014.

MCKENZIE RIVER below Leaburg Lake: trout, salmon, steelhead

The McKenzie River below Leaburg Lake is currently open to catch-and-release fishing for trout and fishing for harvest for steelhead. Gear use is restricted to flies and lures. Some steelhead should still be available in the river, although pressure has been light. A Columbia River Basin Endorsement is required for anglers targeting salmon and steelhead in the McKenzie.

McKenzie basin-specific regulations and stocking schedule.

MCKENZIE RIVER above Leaburg Lake: trout, steelhead

The McKenzie River above Leaburg Lake is closed to fishing and will re-open April 26, 2014.

McKenzie basin-specific regulations and stocking schedule.

MOLALLA RIVER: steelhead, spring Chinook

The river is in fine shape for winter steelhead fishing, running with moderate water levels and great color. The increase in passage numbers at Willamette Falls should translate to improved catch rates when a portion of these winter fish make their way into the Molalla.

Since most of the steelhead passing the falls this time of year are wild winters, anglers should be aware that a majority of fish entering the Molalla will be unmarked wild fish resulting in a predominantly catch-and-release fishery.

MT HOOD POND: trout

Stocked the week of March 10 with 1,000 rainbow trout. The pond also offers angling for several different species of warm water fish including crappie, bluegill, and catfish. Anglers are reminded that from April 1 through Aug. 31 fishing at Mt. Hood Pond is restricted to youths 17 and under as well as individuals who possess a valid Oregon Disabilities Fishing Permit.

NORTH FORK RESERVOIR: trout

Closed to fishing until May 25. This is a 350-acre reservoir of the Clackamas River behind North Fork Dam approximately 5.2 miles east of Estacada, Ore.

Fishermen are reminded that the boat ramp and marina at Promitory Park will be closed to all public access until the summer of 2016 while PGE constructs a surface collector to improve the downstream passage of native salmon and steelhead juveniles at North Fork Dam. The reservoir will be open to fishing from May 25 through Oct. 31. All other access points to North Fork Reservoir will remain open, and ODFW will stock the lake with hatchery trout as in the past.

For more information about the closure, visit PGE’s website at:

http://www.portlandgeneral.com/community_environment/parks_campgrounds/sites/clackamas_river/docs/promontory_closure.pdf

SALMON CREEK: trout

Salmon Creek is a tributary to the Middle Fork Willamette River east of Oakridge. It is open to catch-and-release angling for trout using flies and lures through April 26, 2014.

SALT CREEK: trout

Salt Creek is a tributary to the Middle Fork Willamette River east of Oakridge. It is open to catch-and-release angling for trout using flies and lures through April 26, 2014.

SANDY RIVER: summer steelhead, spring Chinook

After several days of high flows the Sandy is fishable and producing winter steelhead, which are spread throughout the river from Troutdale up to Cedar Creek. A number of fish were landed between Oxbow and Dabney in recent days along with some good catch numbers seen up at Cedar Creek. The decent water conditions should hold with lower snow levels in place and no big rain expected.

A limited smelt season will continue on the Sandy next Saturday, March 22 from 6 a.m. to noon. Fishing is by dip net, with a bag limit of 10 pounds per person per day.

Monday morning hydrological data shows the river below Bull Run at 3,870 cfs, a gauge reading of 10.72 ft. and the water temperature down near 41°.

SANTIAM RIVER (NORTH FORK): steelhead, Chinook, trout

SANTIAM RIVER (NORTH FORK): steelhead, Chinook, trout

Although flows are down from their recent levels, the N. Santiam is still running high and off-color. Flows currently stand at 10,000 cfs at Mehama and are expected to drop slowly during the next week. Best conditions might be found in the lower reaches where new winter steelhead are staging. Warming water temperatures should make fish more active once flows come down to manageable levels. A new crop of summer steelhead have begun to arrive at Willamette Falls, but it will be several weeks before good numbers begin to show up in the Santiam basin. So far, 1,649 winter steelhead have been counted at Willamette Falls, and 83 have been tallied at Upper Bennett dam at Stayton. When the ‘bite’ is on, bobbers and jigs are the preferred angling method with spoons, spinners and egg clusters also being effective. Currently the entire river below the Minto Fish Facility is open to salmon and steelhead fishing.

River levels best for fishing are below 3,000 cfs at the Mehama gauge (currently the gauge is around 10,000 cfs)

River levels best for fishing are below 3,000 cfs at the Mehama gauge. Current conditions

CAUTION: The section between Shelburn and Green’s Bridge remains hazardous for boaters because of downed trees and multiple side channels. Better bets are the floats below Green’s Bridge and above Stayton.

UPDATE: The boat slide at Upper Bennett Dam on the North Santiam was repaired on 1/28/14 and is now ready for use. For boaters, portage around Upper Bennett between Mehama and Stayton should be much easier.

SANTIAM RIVER (SOUTH FORK): steelhead, Chinook, trout, bass

Flows in the South Santiam, have remained at very high levels for the past week. Currently, flows are at 8,700 cfs and dropping slowly. Fish should become more active once flows moderate. To increase your chances, cover as much water as you can and get your bait, lure, or fly as close to the fish as possible. The new crop of summer steelhead will be arriving in the next few weeks along with some wild winter steelhead that have already made into the basin. Fish counts at the Foster fish ladder have been discontinued due to construction but will re-open by April 1, 2014.

SHERIDAN POND: trout

Stocked the week of March 10 with 700 rainbow trout ranging in size from 8 inches to 2 pounds apiece. Sheridan Pond is a 2 1/2-acre pond located on the edge of town. It provides excellent access for families and kids. Good parking. From Hwy. 18, take exit 33 to Balston Rd., turn right and left to the pond.

SMITH RESERVOIR: trout

Smith Reservoir is north of Trail Bridge Reservoir and is accessed by turning off Hwy 126 at Trail Bridge Reservoir and following FS Road 730 north to Smith Dam. The reservoir is not visible from the highway and is open to year-around fishing.

ST. LOUIS PONDS: trout, bass, crappie, bluegill, yellow perch, channel catfish

The ponds will be stocked the week of March 24 with 2,700 rainbow trout, ranging in size from 8 inches to 2 pounds each. This stocking is in addition to the release of 500 trout the week of March 10.

The fishing park has a number of ADA-accessible fishing platforms and a paved trail that meanders around some of the ponds. Parking is very limited, so carpooling is encouraged, and when parking lots fill up participants may need to walk in a mile from the gate at the entrance of the complex.

St. Louis Ponds is located 13 miles north of Salem and west of I-5. To get to there from the north, take the Woodburn exit off I-5. Then go east to Hwy. 99E. At Hwy. 99E, head south to the town of Gervais. At the light, go west on Gervais Rd. through Gervais. Gervais Rd. changes to St Louis Rd. Continue west on St Louis Rd. as it crosses over I-5 to Tesch Lane, at the railroad crossing. Go left on Tesch Lane and follow the signs to the ponds. For more information, contact Jeff Fulop at (971) 673-6034.

SUNNYSIDE PARK POND: trout, bass, bluegill

TThis 4-acre pond is located 2 miles above the upper end of Foster Reservoir. It gets stocked with over 2,000 rainbow trout a year starting in February. It will receive its first stocking of 2014 this week with 1,000 legal and 50 larger size rainbow trout. Sunnyside Pond also offers bluegill and largemouth bass year round. The park has a campground and picnic area and is a great place to take kids fishing. There is also boat ramp access to the Middle Fork arm of Foster Reservoir. To get there from I5, take US 20 through the town of Sweet Home and continue around Foster Reservoir to Quartzville Creek road. Take a left and follow this road for two miles to the park.

TIMBER LINN POND: rainbow trout

This beautiful, family-friendly fishing pond is located within the 90-acre Timber-Linn Memorial Park in Albany. It will be stocked this week with 140 very large brood trout averaging about 15 pounds each! Please keep in mind that only one fish over 20 inches may be taken per day. Timber-Linn Lake can be reached by turning east off I-5 onto the Santiam Highway (Hwy. 20), then immediately turning north onto Price Road and proceeding to the park entrance.

TIMOTHY LAKE: rainbow trout, brook trout, cutthroat trout, kokanee

Timothy is a 1,400-acre lake about 80 miles east of Portland past Mt. Hood. From Hwy 26 turn onto Forest Rd 42 (Skyline Rd), and then west to Forest Rd 57. Timothy is one of the most popular family camping and fishing destinations in the Mt. Hood National Forest. The lake’s south shore features four developed campgrounds and boat ramps. Three smaller, less developed campgrounds are found in the north. A trail system for hikers, mountain bikers and equestrians circles the lake. Motorboats are allowed on Timothy Lake, although a 10 m.p.h. speed limit is in place.

TRAIL BRIDGE RESERVOIR: trout

Trail Bridge Reservoir is open to year-round angling. This waterbody is adjacent to Hwy 126 and is approximately 60 miles east of Springfield. Only adipose fin-clipped trout may be harvested from Trail Bridge Reservoir. Flies and lures only may be used.

TRILLIUM LAKE: trout

Stocked the week of Aug. 26 with 2,500 legal-sized rainbow trout and 250 trophy trout. Trillium is a 60-acre lake located approximately three miles east of Government Camp off of Hwy 26. This lake is popular for fishing, camping and photography, often clearly reflecting Mount Hood. A large campground at the lake features a seasonal boat ramp and wheelchair-accessible floating dock.

WALLING POND: trout, crappie, bass

In winter, spring and fall, Walling Pond receives over 5,000 trout ranging in size from legals to multi-pound brooders. As a reminder, brooders are considered trout so zone regulations apply: five trout daily may be kept and only one may be over 20 inches. The pond is located within the Salem city limits west of I-5. Take Turner Road off Mission Street.

WALTER WIRTH LAKE: trout, crappie, bass

This popular Salem lake was stocked last week with 200 brood cranebow trout 750 legal, and 150 larger size rainbow trout. It will be stocked again this week with 2,200 legal size and 150 larger size rainbow trout. As a reminder, only one fish over 20 inches may be kept. This wheelchair accessible lake is located just east of Salem within Cascade Gateway Park, west of I-5 at Hwy. 22. Take Airport Rd. or Turner Rd. to reach the lake.

WAVERLY POND: trout, bluegill, catfish

Waverly Pond receives over 2,500 trout annually, ranging in size from ‘larger’ to trophies. The pond was stocked in mid-December with 54 extra-large brood trout averaging 10 pounds each. Please be aware, only one fish over 20 inches may be kept. Here is an excellent in-town fishing opportunity. From I-5 take exit 234 west towards Albany. The pond, located a quarter mile down the Pacific Boulevard and on the right, will be found in a beautiful park-like setting.

WEST SALISH POND: panfish, trout

The Salish Ponds Wetlands Park restoration project is far enough along that anglers are able to go in and fish both the east and west ponds. A variety of resident warm water species can be found in both ponds, with the east offering the greatest opportunity.

The City of Fairview would like to give young plantings in the park another season to establish themselves before large numbers of anglers begin fishing there again; as a result ODFW likely won’t resume stocking West Salish Pond with trout until late 2014.

WILLAMETTE RIVER: spring Chinook, summer steelhead, sturgeon

The Willamette is slowly improving but still fairly high and muddy. These conditions will likely hang on for a few more days making for some tough spring Chinook and winter steelhead fishing. Anglers giving it a shot have seen limited action with only a scattering of springers landed so far this season, some down in the Multnomah Channel and handful from Sellwood up into Oregon City. When the water conditions improve the Chinook fishery should shift to high gear as the season moves into late March.

A bulk of the effort for winters takes place near the mouth of the Clackamas River in Gladstone at Dahl Park and along Meldrum Bar where an occasional winter steelhead has been landed. Steelhead are often hooked by Meldrum Bar anglers regardless of the high, turbid water.

Winter steelhead passage at Willamette Falls has seen some improvement as the flows begin to recede with 1,891 counted through March 15. Total passage to date for winters continues to be about 35 percent of the previous ten year average. It’s a bit early considering the poor water conditions to see any spring Chinook move upstream yet.

Monday hydrological data shows the Willamette at 53,500 cfs, a water temperature near 49°, and visibility around a foot.

NOTICE: Oregon City has closed the Clackamette boat launch.

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