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I know its still 2 weeks away but what does everyone think fishing will be like the 1st week in the river?? I'm really going to try and target the coho this year but wondering if there will be enough in the river that first week?? Anyone have any thoughts on that?
I'm no bio, but it might be possible that the return to the Columbia might be stalled somewhat by very warm river temps. The Columbia according to the compact update as of 7/7 was running about 3 degrees warmer than last year. As said, I'm no bio so take it for what it is worth. There will be plenty of reports in a B10 thread to let you know how things are going, so keep an eye on that when it gets set up.
 

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I mark a ton of fish, when they bite they are full. While I suspect they run is over estimated too, there are still more fish then last year I think.


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The coho are coming. Give it a few weeks. They're thick off Newport and Depoe right now. Easy limits very quickly. Took us an hour to limit 4 people 3 different days last week with many unclipped released. Doubles, triples and quads were the norm. Almost never got all four rods out before we were hooked up again. It took us three hours to limit 4 on Saturday and we were whining about it taking so long. Finally getting some chinook in the mix helped ease the pain of the "slow" bite. 馃ぃ #spoiled.
 

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I'm no bio, but it might be possible that the return to the Columbia might be stalled somewhat by very warm river temps. The Columbia according to the compact update as of 7/7 was running about 3 degrees warmer than last year. As said, I'm no bio so take it for what it is worth. There will be plenty of reports in a B10 thread to let you know how things are going, so keep an eye on that when it gets set up.
Thanks for the reply - I'd love to be able to fish the ocean but I'm limited to fishing the river in my boat, just not big enough for the big blue ;) Mostly just getting excited like everyone else.
 

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Sat was slow hooked 8 kept 4 fishing NW of cr buoy. Sunday we started at the cr with little action. Headed north and only got one so we went south and picked up a couple more. Definitely slower then last week! Monday we went sw of cr and then trolled southwest from 250-300 . Only 1 keeper, several smalls, and a couple of natives. Conditions were great but just couldn鈥檛 find the fish.
 

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Jacksalmon: That warm water stall is what creates good fishing. When water is 68 or so, they don鈥檛 slow down, just pass through. Better fishing @ 70/71.
 

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Today, we killed 6 Coho, released 5, and lost 5 or 6. Again, no real bite anywhere, just small flurries of action that don't last long.

We started way down deep in the dirty south and gradually worked our way NE. Got bit at each of my little spots, but just never a sustained pod of fish.

Maybe they pop again tomorrow...
 

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Today, we killed 6 Coho, released 5, and lost 5 or 6. Again, no real bite anywhere, just small flurries of action that don't last long.

We started way down deep in the dirty south and gradually worked our way NE. Got bit at each of my little spots, but just never a sustained pod of fish.

Maybe they pop again tomorrow...
Has your clip rate been around 50%? If so, then w mediocre catch rate that would suggest that there isn't a huge pile of CR hatchery fish out there to raise the clip rate in the catch (I know not all CR coho are clipped but most are).
 

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Today, we killed 6 Coho, released 5, and lost 5 or 6. Again, no real bite anywhere, just small flurries of action that don't last long.

We started way down deep in the dirty south and gradually worked our way NE. Got bit at each of my little spots, but just never a sustained pod of fish.

Maybe they pop again tomorrow...

This is what I have been seeing this year off the CR. No real hot fishing, but sporadic and spread out fishing.. So if you have the time to grind you can get the job done.. Just strange.. It seems to me the salmon are there just not biting all that well. But fishing is not bad, just not great. Actually part of me is glad it is this way as last year we blew through the quota and could not fish for 2+ weeks out of the CR until the river opened up.
 

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I had a good day today limited by 10:00 with 4 coho. We only released 1 I clipped fish several that didn鈥檛 stick. We were way south and west 310 feet of water found a very fishy rip. Lol


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I had real hot fishing till that really cold water blew in. Since then its been challenging.

The fish we are catching are a very good grade. I would say our 6 fish bag today was at least 45 pounds. That's really good for this time of year, and we released at least 3 huge unclipped fish each in the 8 pound class.

I saw another guides fish on the table and his 6 salmon were big as well.
 

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I had real hot fishing till that really cold water blew in. Since then its been challenging.

The fish we are catching are a very good grade. I would say our 6 fish bag today was at least 45 pounds. That's really good for this time of year, and we released at least 3 huge unclipped fish each in the 8 pound class.

I saw another guides fish on the table and his 6 salmon were big as well.
Different fish than up off B-1. The hatchery we're catching are not nearly that grade.
 

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Times have sure changed. Fishing with Dad in the late 50s and 60s he would hit the area just outside of B7 & 9 fast trolling with flies targeting Coho.
 

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Dang, some people have all the luck. Our clip ratio was terrible both days we fished. 1 day out of Newport and one day out of garibaldi. 10% clip rate out of Newport and about 25% out of garibaldi.
 

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View attachment 959436 Had to work a little for em, cover some ocean, but got our fish by 1000 today. Again, no hot bite, but little flurries in 3 different spots.

Our day is coming!!!
Took some time off from fishing the CR to go down to Depoe today to fish with friends.No bar and no ebb. Constant action. Limited by 8am and as long as we kept the lines clean of jelly we got bit.
The fish still seem to be south, but August and September should be very good.
boat Nancy J
 

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Hey All: Some have been asking why the coho fishing has been so good down south (Newport e.g.) and others have said they would be moving north. That was followed by a few posts about where the Columbia smolts go when they leave the river. I sent a few questions to Eric Schindler of ODFW, who knows this stuff well and he was nice enough to take the time to provide a very detailed response to my questions, which makes for a very interesting read and will improve your knowledge of CR salmon greatly. Unfortunately, I could not get the graphics he provided to copy and paste for this post. I might try again and see if I have better luck. Here it is and many thanks to Eric for doing this:


Jack,



Thanks for sharing the list of questions about salmon. Before I get into answering the questions as best I can, I want to make a couple of points. First, salmon are fairly predictable in their migration patterns. Second, every year is different, and patterns will change. Third, salmon are masters of making sure to not 鈥減ut all of their eggs in one basket鈥. In other words, not all salmon from a run will follow the same migration route, and there will be variation in return timing and other factors. You are welcome to copy and paste this email with my contact information to the Salty Dog board, I hope it helps clear things up a little bit.



So here are the questions and my replies:

Question 1: Where do coho smolts (wild or hatchery) go when they exit the Columbia, north, south, both or just hang around the mouth of the Columbia give or take so many miles? If what was written has some validity, why would there be so many coho down south, but not so many around the Columbia itself? Is it correct that the coho that are down south right now will be migrating up to the CR later this summer? Are they of Columbia origin; or all those coho down south from other origins?



Reply: The Columbia River hatchery coho are lumped into two main categories: Type N (North) Coho and Type S (South) Coho. These two groups of fish have very different ocean distributions. With the Type S coho primarily heading to the far South (North to Central California Coast) while the Type N coho tends to have a more northern distribution with adults primarily from North-Central Oregon through South-Central Washington). The actual smolt distributions aren鈥檛 as clear as what we see with the adults, so I can鈥檛 give a firm picture of where the smolts over winter beyond what we see in the returning adults. If you look at the ocean entrance timing for coho smolts (April through June) that is when there are typically the strongest Northerly ocean currents and the Columbia smolts would be riding that current along with the Columbia River plume to the South.



The vast majority of the hatchery coho being caught off Newport are almost certainly of Columbia River hatchery origin. I just checked and the lab hasn鈥檛 read any of our 2021 ocean coded wire tag recoveries yet, so I can鈥檛 verify that is what we are seeing this year, but it is what we see almost every year.



One side note is that we had indications back in May that the coho may have distributed further South than what we normally see. We had reports from California Dept. of Fish and Wildlife that their recreational Chinook anglers were running into large numbers of clipped coho in the San Francisco area. Apparently that was a very unusual event, at least in recent years.



So, yes the clipped coho that are off Newport and Depoe Bay will be heading North to the Columbia soon. Typically we start to see a big drop in the marked coho rate on the Central Oregon Coast by mid-August. Here are a couple of tag summary pie charts from the 2014 season (Oregon CWT recoveries from North of Cape Falcon recreational ocean season and then the Cape Falcon to Humbug Mt. recreational ocean season):







Question 2: Then, there is the same question for chinook smolts that exit the Columbia. I have always thought that the prevailing wisdom is that they go north up to Alaska. However, do any significant number of Columbia chinook go south? Do any significant numbers of Columbia chinook hang around the Columbia mouth give or take so many miles, like north of Falcon and Washington Area 1?



Reply: You are correct, the vast majority of Chinook salmon smolts leaving the Columbia River (and most Oregon Coastal rivers) go North. Most Chinook smolts enter the ocean late in the summer after the Northerly currents have subsided, and ride the Southerly currents up to the Gulf of Alaska when the fall storm track starts to show up. There are a lot more stocks and diversity in ocean distribution with Chinook than with the coho stocks previously discussed. We do get good numbers of some of the Chinook out of the Columbia Basin showing up all the way to Northern California. Those are primarily Snake River fall Chinook, but even so, the majority of those fish migrate North. The lower Columbia River tule fall Chinook tend to be a bit less of a far north migrating stock with more of these fish showing up off B.C., the Washington Coast, and the Northern Oregon Coast (most typically North of Cascade Head).



As for the part of the question about are the fish hanging around the mouth of the Columbia, I would have to say that is not likely. When salmon return on the spawning run they may stage in front of a river system until the conditions are more ideal. Most commonly this is when river temperatures are too high in the late summer. Salmon in the ocean are growing and focused on going where the feed + ocean conditions are better. They will stay in an area only as long as they are finding appropriate conditions, and then they will start searching.



Here are some similar graphics of hatchery Chinook stock contribution off Oregon (also from 2014), but from the commercial troll fishery as we had a much better sample size to work from and it was good Chinook year. When you get South of Cape Falcon the central valley stocks from California dominate the contributions in the harvest.














Question 3: Since there would seem to be no significant return of northern chinook to the Columbia (upriver brights and tules) yet, how does one explain the presence of chinook around the Columbia at this time? Are they chinook that have not gone south or north, but instead, just hung around the Columbia? For example, in the early June chinook fishery, there are chinook available to catch. They can't be northern fish returning from Alaska. So, are they Columbia springers or summers; or are they young Columbia chinook that have not migrated much away from the Columbia, but instead have spent their first few years around the mouth and nearby?



Reply: If you review the CWT pie charts above, you can see the hatchery Chinook mix for pre-July off the Columbia vs. the July through September stocks. One thing of note, is don鈥檛 assume they all went to Alaska. For a number of stocks they tend to not go far North, and again some also head South. So it is likely that some fish didn鈥檛 go far at all, and found conditions to their liking off Washington. Typically the Northern Washington Coast holds more Chinook than the area off the Columbia. In regards to spring Chinook, it seems like they are a rare occurrence anywhere in the ocean fisheries.



I don鈥檛 typically burrow too deep into the coded wire tag data, but anyone can. All the CWT recovery and release information going back to the 1970鈥檚 for California, Oregon, Washington, British Columbia, and Alaska is available at www.RMPC.org Fair warning, the site does have a bit of a learning curve.




Question 4: Essentially, what we posters were looking for was some info about where Columbia coho and chinook go when the leave the Columbia as smolts and whether any of them really don't travel far away from the Columbia, but instead just hang around the mouth and nearby, again such as North of Falcon and in Washington Area 1.



Reply: So my best assessment based on the CWT data is that no fish don鈥檛 just hang around one spot unless they have favorable feed and ocean conditions. But getting back to the 鈥渆ggs in the basket鈥 concept, there almost certainly will be a few fish that will not go far.



With regards to the low catch rates on coho off the Columbia so far this season, I am very surprised. The ocean feed conditions are good, water conditions are good, and the coho have not seemed to be concentrated. Off Newport, there have been good catches of coho from nearshore all the way out at least 15 miles - I don鈥檛 think anyone has salmon fishing further out. Those coho will be working their way up to the Columbia soon, and I would expect great fishing by early August, and Buoy 10 should be the best it has been for coho in a long time.





~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Eric Schindler

Ocean Sampling Project, Project Leader

Oregon Dept. of Fish and Wildlife

2040 SE Marine Science Drive

Newport, Oregon 97365

[email protected]

TEL: (541)867-0300 x252

FAX: (541)867-0311


www.dfw.state.or.us/MRP/salmon/
 
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