Late March Fishing Report

Willamette River - Portland, OR (Lane County)

by OR Department of Fish & Wildlife Staff

Spring Chinook fishing is underway on the lower Willamette, and some fish are being caught. In the past week, anglers caught and kept 63 hatchery spring Chinook and four hatchery winter steelhead between Willamette Falls and the river mouth. Effort increased this past week as well, more than doubling, to 3,869 angler days from just over 1,600 angler days the previous week.

The lower Multnomah Channel by boat was the best area for Chinook kept, with 31 Chinook harvested and 10 released. Still no hatchery steelhead and only four hatcheryr Chinook in the counts of fish crossing into the upper river at Willamette Falls. Wild winter steelhead seem to be making a comeback this year, with 1,925 wild steelhead making the crossing since the beginning of November when the first fish crossed. That compares to only 606 wild crossings for the same period in 2017 and 957 wild crossings in 2018. Hatchery spring Chinook are starting to show up at the falls, although at this writing only four have moved into the upper Willamette thus far

Catch-and-release sturgeon fishing is a good option on the lower Willamette and can be productive this time of year. The 213 anglers surveyed last week reported catchng and releasing a total of 188 sturgeon. The ODFW fishing dock on the river bank below the old West Linn Police Station is a good prospect for those who want to try catch-and-release sturgeon fishing from the shore. Kelly Point Park is another popular spot on the lower Willamette for some good catch-and-release sturgeon fishing. Remember to use single, barbless hooks, and bear in mind that it is illegal to remove sturgeon from the water, even for a photo. They must immediately be released unharmed.

Warmwater fishing can be another option for fishermen in the lower Willamette, Multnomah Channel and surrounding sloughs. Successful warmwater anglers tend to fish around bridges, pilings, wing dams, and other structures, which can be good spots to find warmwater fish, including walleye, crappie, and bass, which are plentiful in the Willamette.

Further upstream, the section between Albany and Harrisburg is open year-round for trout fishing, which can be very good when flows are cooperating. Anglers are allowed to keep two trout per day. Smallmouth bass fishing can be excellent between Salem and Albany starting in May.

Hydrological data for the Willamette at Willamette Falls on March 25 showed flows at 22,300 cfs, the water temperature at 48° F, and visibility at 5.4 ft.

More Reports

OR Department of Fish & Wildlife Reports
for Wednesday, March 27th, 2019

John Day River: Steelhead Are Now Present
Wilson River: Some Fish Being Caught
Lake Billy Chinook: Anglers Reporting Good Success
Clackamas River: Positive Fishing on The Clackamas
Foster Reservoir: Foster Reservoir Late March Report
Green Peter Reservoir: Trout and Bass Are Good Options For Anglers
Santiam River North Fork-2: Santiam River North Fork Late March Report
Santiam River (South Fork): Currently Flows Are Still Fairly Slow

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