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Willamette Valley/Metro- The spring salmon run on the Columbia and Willamette Rivers has been slow to materialize. Small flurries of fresh chinook salmon have been reported for weeks now, but the strength of the run has yet to make its showing. The typical Portland hot spots like Davis Bar, I-5, Head of Multnomah Channel and Sellwood are giving up a few fish daily, but anglers still await the big push. The later than normal smelt run could be the culprit, but the lower Columbia has been virtually void of salmon until recently when sport and test net catches improved. A compact call today will determine any possible extension for mainstem Columbia sportanglers.

Anglers looking for some faster action might consider catch and release sturgeon fishing in the Portland harbor.

The McKenzie has been fishing well with redsides taking nymphs and wet flies. The water level will rise with rain this week but when the sun returns and air temperatures warm, look for March Brown hatches.

The next "learn the river" trip on the North Santiam will take place on April 6th. Telephone (503) 897-3301 for additional information. Fishing has been slow to fair but will improve as numbers build.

The Clackamas River continues to produce winter steelhead and anglers can expect the action to continue through the middle of the month. A few summer steelhead are also showing up in the catch and those numbers should increase through April. Rumors of an early spring chinook are circulating but remain unconfirmed. Good salmon fishing is still a month and a half away.

On the Sandy River, water levels remain good for steelhead fishermen. Both winter and summer steelhead are showing up and angling pressure has been described as "average". Many of the winter steelhead landed are in spawning mode and care should be taken to release them as quickly and easily as possible. The stretch between Oxbow Park and Dabney Park will have the most opportunity as well as the most of the effort.

Northwest – A mix of summer and late winter steelhead, both pre and post-spawn are available on the north coast. Several streams closed to fishing on April 1st. Rivers containing hatchery summer steelhead and spring chinook remain open but are still weeks away from viable catches. Spring chinook season opened on April 1st although no springers have been confirmed.

Another rain freshet is due by the weekend, which could stimulate steelhead action for one last time on larger systems such as the Wilson, Trask and Nestucca Rivers. Hatchery broodstock fish should still be available with an occasional summer steelhead likely too.

Coastal anglers remain motivated by excellent sea bass and lingcod catches in the ocean or near bay entrances. Seas were flat calm at mid-week but are expected to blow up by the weekend with the storm front coming ashore.

Bay crabbing remains challenging.

Southwest- Offshore bottom fishing out of central Oregon ports was excellent in calm seas over the past week with depth restrictions looming. Plenty of large lings were available and rockfishers filled limits. As a visual bonus, the northward whale migration has started. Boats must stay inside the 30 fathom line as of April 1st.

Spring chinook fishing has been picking up on the mainstem Umpqua with a 23-pounder landed near Elkton late last week. Cold water has been keeping bites light; perhaps rain this week will serve to raise water temps which should improve fishing.

While ocean crabbing has been spotty and opportunities sporadic, Coos Bay has been producing good catches of Dungeness. Ballard Beach has been giving up large pinkfin to surf casters.

Bottomfishing has been excellent offshore out of Gold Beach. Spring chinook catches have been spotty but a few have been reported every day from the lower Rogue. Springer fishing will improve in the coming weeks. Expect variable flows this week although rainfall may finally trigger the spring chinook run. Fishing for winter steelhead has been fair to good with drift-boaters doing best side-drifting cured eggs. Bank anglers will score following a freshet as the river drops. Steelheading has been fair on the upper Rogue.

A flat ocean and mild breezes combined to create a banner weekend for bottomfishers out of the Port of Brookings. Lingcod are migrating to shallow water in preparation for spawning which will make them available to nearshore boaters and jetty anglers. The Chetco River closed on April 1.

Large pinkfin surf perch are being caught from the stretch of beach near the mouth of the Sixes River. The Elk and Sixes river are closed to fishing.

The spring thaw is in progress at Diamond Lake with snow on the ice-covered surface turning slushy. Ice fishing won't be an option but it will soon be possible to launch boats.

Eastern – The lower Deschutes has been fishing well below Maupin with Blue-Winged-Olives and March Browns hatching. Middle Deschutes levels are a little high but the March Brown hatch has started here and some nice browns have been landed on nymphs.

Crooked River levels have started rising as predicted. This will compromise the fine fishing enjoyed here in low water conditions. It will fish if water conditions stabilize.

Kokanee fishing was decent over the past weekend for trollers fishing with hoochies in calm conditions.

SW Washington- With most anglers focused on salmon in the mainstem Columbia, district rivers are getting little attention for viable steelhead returns. The Cowlitz is a top prospect with late winters and early summers starting to show. A spring chinook has also been confirmed.

Other area rivers will see restrictions this spring as returns are forecast to be low.

Salmon passage at Bonneville is becoming more consistent but interest remains low. That should change as we near mid-month as passage is likely to peak in about a month from now. Low flows are more conducive to early passage.
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