Sorry to be the bearer of bad news but Herman is a dying fishing IMHO. Since the tugboat no longer moors in the cove, the cove channel has been filling in and getting progessively choked with weeds along it's entire length. The main hole (where virtually ALL the stuff that gives HC a bad name happens) has shrunk to half the size it was several years ago due to the gravel bar expanding at the creek mouth.
Compound that with the EXTREME water fluctuations that have been happening above Bonneville this year, and it all adds up to very few, very spooked fish, concentrated in very skinny, weedy water. AND now that the chinook numbers are getting up there, it wont be long before the indian gill nets start blocking the entrance to the cove completely. And for those that like to fish in the hatchery channel, rumor has it the regs will be changed to HANDICAPPED fishing only (a good choice IMHO).
Here's the current graph for levels in the Bonneville Pool. For reference anything below 12ft your probably wasting your time at HC. At 10ft you can wade across the mouth of the hatchery channel without getting your cojones wet.
The cove is now all handicapped access. It is a good thing because that place really can turn into a zoo in a couple of weeks. What really needs to happen is to have the gamies make a visit once in a while. Yeah it looks like everybody there is fishing in a mud puddle in somebody's driveway.
If your were there last saturday you'd wonder why anyone would go. Boats lined up all the way down with next to nothing happening. I was starting to wonder why I bothered. Lots of weeds with lots of fish over the dam NOT stopping at Herman Creek. Some fish caught at the meat hole but I would think the guys down by Moffett or Eagle would be doing better. I agree with Silverfly, it is nowhere what it used to be.
That all totally confirms what I had been thinking, last year with coho, there were very few hatchery that you could keep. I was there 2 weeks ago and only saw 2 fish hooked by the bank waders at the mouth. Several thousand were going over the dam, but very few entering the creek and it was very shallow with lots of weeds. Back in 2001 the creek was full of fish and got a bad rap for snagging.
Herman Creek A portion of Herman Creek will be open only to anglers with disability-related permits and closed to all other angling beginning Saturday, August 11, 2007. The new regulation recently adopted by the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission provides disabled anglers with an opportunity to harvest returning hatchery chinook and adipose fin-clipped coho salmon and adipose fin-clipped steelhead.
This section of Herman Creek west of the peninsula up to the Lower Herman Creek Pond structure will be closed to all angling, except by people who possess certain disability-related permits issued by ODFW. The permits include the ODFW-issued Blind Angler License, Wheelchair Angling License, Disabled War Veteran Angling License, or Oregon Disabilities Hunting and Fishing Permit. All other regulations regarding Herman Creek remain the same. A fishing dock accessible to disabled anglers was previously constructed by ODFW staff at the Herman Creek slough. The department will explore other prospects to create additional disabled fishing opportunities at this location.
Well, the natives finished off of what was left of the fishery. Two long set of nets lined the mouth of the creek today. The fish I saw in there were from freshly caught to decomposed with big gnarly looking blotches on them...yummy. If the people buying those fish saw that, I doubt there would be any buyers. Guess its time for another fishery.