Oregon Fishing Forecast - November 15, 2018
Portland/Metro - With all metro fisheries winding down for the year, anglers will be looking forward to the next run of fish due into the rivers in the coming weeks. There have been unconfirmed rumors of winter steelhead in the Sandy, but no confirmed catches have been made.
Late-run coho should still be available in both the Sandy and Clackamas Rivers but most of the remaining coho are likely of wild origin, requiring release. Eagle Creek hatchery took in just over 2,100 coho by November 2, meeting their egg taking requirement. Cedar Creek hatchery has their quota for the year as well. Excess coho still in good shape go to local area food banks to feed the hungry.
Another prolonged week of dry weather will keep local area streams dropping and clearing, making for tough fishing conditions for those still in pursuit of coho and summer steelhead. Fish this late into the season will make for poor table fare, but still provide a good fight on light gear.
Sturgeon fishermen working the Portland Harbor are still yielding good catches of both keeper and undersize fish, the action should last well into the winter months.
Although the region's trout stocking program is slowing, there remains ample biting fish in some of the larger lake systems in the area. Henry Hagg Lake should stay productive through the month of November, especially if the temperatures remain stable.
The Tillamook Report - With little effort out for Tillamook Bay fall Chinook, it's hard to gauge just how productive the fishery is. November Chinook are largely destined for the Wilson and Kilchis River systems, but it's quite apparent that the entire Tillamook watershed is witnessing low returns this season. The extreme lower reaches of some of these river systems remain open as well, but check the news release link from the ODF&W web site for updated regulations.
Anglers that targeted chum salmon for catch and release fishing on the Miami, Kilchis and Wilson River systems will find that option closing after November 15. These fish provide good sport, but leaving spawning fish unmolested is important too, as chum fry provide an important food base for other important species such as coho smolts in the spring. Most north coast rivers will remain open for winter steelhead and some start to show around Thanksgiving in some district systems. It's not unrealistic to believe we'll see a better return of steelhead this season and next as ocean conditions improved for this year's returning brood.
Ocean conditions for nearshore bottomfishing have been decent and good catches of sea bass and lingcod have been had by those out there trying. The ocean swell is expected to rise through the weekend, but favorable conditions may come about early next week. Ocean crabbing re-opens on December 1 and it doesn't look like the commercial fleet will start before late December.
Lower Columbia River - Soft tides will offer up good morning and afternoon crabbing options out of Hammond. Low slack can be just as productive as high slack, especially on a soft tide exchange. Be cautious of the ever-changing wind forecast however.
For a more detailed report, go to www.TheGuidesForecast.com
Bob Rees is a sixth generation Oregonian and a 20-year veteran fishing guide of Oregon's Northwest region. Bob Rees' column, The Guide's Forecast, has been a trusted fishing resource for over 16 years and will appear in the Thursday edition of the Portland Tribune. He welcomes the opportunity to partner with the Portland Tribune to bring the sport fishing community timely and accurate fishing information so you can catch more fish!