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Reel Time Fishing Northwest

Mark Yuasa covers fishing and outdoors in the Pacific Northwest.

November 30, 2011 at 12:08 PM

Good for steelhead in the John Day Arm of the Columbia River

Here is the latest fishing report from Oregon Fish and Wildlife, and their weekend opportunities:

Angling for steelhead is good in the John Day Arm.

Sturgeon retention is open Thursday, Friday, and Saturday during Oct. 1 – Dec. 31 from Wauna Powerlines upstream to Bonneville Dam.

SALMON, STEELHEAD AND SHAD

The following modifications are now in effect for the mainstem Columbia River from Buoy 10 upstream to the Oregon/Washington border above McNary Dam:

COLUMBIA RIVER MAINSTEM, BUOY 10 LINE UPSTREAM TO THE TONGUE POINT/ROCKY POINT LINE:

Effective Oct. 1 through Dec. 31, this section of the Columbia River is open to the retention of fall chinook, adipose fin-clipped coho and adipose fin-clipped steelhead with a daily bag limit of two adult salmon/steelhead in combination and five jacks. Jack salmon are chinook less than or equal to 24 inches and coho less than or equal to 16 inches. The retention of chum and sockeye is prohibited.

COLUMBIA RIVER MAINSTEM, TONGUE POINT/ROCKY POINT LINE UPSTREAM TO BONNEVILLE DAM:

Effective Oct. 1 through Dec. 31, this section of the Columbia River is open to the retention of fall chinook, adipose fin-clipped coho and adipose fin-clipped steelhead. Anglers are reminded that salmon angling from a floating device is prohibited between Beacon Rock and Bonneville Dam during Nov. 1 through Dec. 31. The daily bag limit is two adult salmon/steelhead in combination and five jack salmon. Jack salmon are chinook less than or equal to 24 inches and coho less than or equal to 20 inches. It is unlawful to angle for jack salmon after the adult daily bag limit has been reached. Retention of chum and sockeye is prohibited.

COLUMBIA RIVER MAINSTEM, BONNEVILLE DAM TO THE OREGON/WASHINGTON BORDER ABOVE McNARY DAM:

Effective Aug. 1 through Dec. 31, this section of the Columbia River is open for fall chinook, coho (only adipose fin-clipped coho may be retained between Bonneville Dam and the Hood River bridge), and adipose fin-clipped steelhead. The daily bag limit is two adult salmon/steelhead in combination and five jacks. Jack salmon are chinook less than or equal to 24 inches and coho less than or equal to 20 inches. It is unlawful to angle for jack salmon after the adult daily bag limit has been reached. The retention of chum and sockeye is prohibited.

Steelhead fishing was good for the few boats sampled last week in the John Day Arm. The salmonid creel program on the lower Columbia has ended for the year and will resume February of 2012.

John Day Pool (Columbia River above John Day Dam and John Day Arm):

Weekly checking showed two adipose fin-clipped steelhead kept and seven unclipped steelhead released for six boats.

STURGEON

BUOY 10 UPSTREAM TO WAUNA POWERLINES:

Effective Monday, Aug. 1 through Saturday, Dec. 31, sturgeon retention is prohibited. Catch and release of sturgeon may continue during retention closures.

WAUNA POWERLINES UPSTREAM TO BONNEVILLE DAM:

Effective Saturday Oct. 1 through Dec. 31 (or until the harvest guideline is reached), this section of the Columbia River is open to the retention of sturgeon on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays with a daily bag limit of one sturgeon between 38 and 54 inches (fork length) and an annual limit of five fish. The retention of green sturgeon is prohibited.

The following modifications were adopted at the Sept. 15th Compact/Joint State Hearing for the 2011 mainstem Columbia River sturgeon fishery from the Wauna powerlines (River Mile 40) upstream to Bonneville Dam, including all adjacent Washington tributaries.

The modifications include:

Allow the retention of sturgeon three days per week on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday and prohibit the retention of sturgeon four days per week on Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday beginning Saturday, Oct. 1 through Saturday, Dec. 31, 2011.

Retention of green sturgeon is prohibited as per permanent regulations.

Catch and release of sturgeon may continue during sturgeon retention closures.

The Lower Willamette remains closed to sturgeon retention.

BONNEVILLE DAM UPSTREAM TO THE OREGON/WASHINGTON BORDER:

In Bonneville, The Dalles, John Day, and McNary Pools the retention of sturgeon is prohibited through Dec. 31, 2011 because the white sturgeon catch guidelines have been reached. Catch and release fishing will be allowed throughout the remainder of the year in all four pools.

Sturgeon fishing has been slow on the lower Columbia.

Gorge Bank:

No report.

Gorge Boats:

No report.

Troutdale Bank:

No report.

Troutdale Boats:

No report.

Portland to Longview Bank:

No report.

Portland to Longview Boats:

No report.

WARMWATER GAMEFISH

Bonneville and The Dalles Pools: smallmouth bass, walleye

Fall is a great time to target smallmouth bass and walleye in the Bonneville and The Dalles pools. Cool air temperatures often mean less wind in the eastern Columbia Gorge area. This means anglers can spend more time on the water fishing in calmer conditions. Anglers should focus on areas of slow currents with lots of structure such as rocks or riprap. Crankbaits, curly tailed grubs, and rubberworms should work great. Bass are very common and widespread in the Bonneville and The Dalles pools, so find a little bit of structure and you’ll find bass.

Walleye are caught in good numbers during the fall months. Boat anglers are the most successful by trolling plugs or a worm harness. Try trolling in about 15 feet of water along the shorelines. Another method is to vertically jig baits on humps on the bottom 20-40 foot deep. Walleye are found most commonly by anglers from the mouth of the Deschutes River upstream to John Day Dam.

John Day Pool: Walleye, smallmouth bass

Walleye fishing has been good all summer and fall, look for fish to begin moving towards deeper water as temperatures decrease. Walleye are being caught from Boardman to McNary Dam in good numbers, with many fish in the 5 pound range. Anglers are targeting walleyes with jigs/worms, plugs, spinner/worms and blade baits.

Take advantage of the great late fall weather and target smallmouth. The fish are in great condition this time of year and you can locate schools of fish on deep water breaks. When fishing deep water locations grubs and rubber worms work well, for the angler wanting to cover more water crankbaits and spinnerbaits also work well.

McNary Pool: Smallmouth bass

Take advantage of the great late fall weather and target smallmouth. The fish are in great condition this time of year and you can locate schools of fish on deepwater breaks. When fishing deepwater locations grubs and rubber worms work well, for the angler wanting to cover more water crankbaits and spinnerbaits also work well.

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