The Columbia is Closed

This week in fishing

It’s been a slow week of Salmon fishing in Oregon with a few bright spots in the Columbia gorge area. I fished the Multnomah Channel below the Sauvies Island bridge yesterday and the Columbia River today. I didn’t mark many fish and failed to see a net go up on either outing. The fish counter at Cathedral reported one fish for 28 boats at 4pm today. The fish counter also said that he checked nine fish for four boats yesterday in the gorge. Earlier in the week Pro Guide Shane Magnuson posted pictures on his Facebook page that he had limited with four fish. In one of his photos it looks like he was in the gorge. There have been a few fish caught at Sellwood, the channel, and Swan Island basin but the average fish caught per pole is still very low.

As you probably know, the Columbia River is closed to fishing until further notice. Governor Jay Inslee closed all fishing in the State of Washington from March 25th to April 8th due to the Coronavirus. Unfortunately, the closure includes the Columbia River which is jointly managed by both Washington and Oregon. In light of this decision, Oregon closed the Columbia for fishing at midnight on March 26th. This is a huge disappointment for our fishing community because the Columbia offers both boat and bank fishing for some of the best Chinook salmon in our region. Today, March 26th, while fishing near Caterpillar Island, a Washington law enforcement boat approached me and asked where I had launched and if I had caught any fish. He proceeded to tell me that Oregon anglers should fish on the Oregon side of the river since Washington closed fishing on the 25th (yesterday). Wow, it never occurred to me that I would have to fish on one side of the Columbia river. Personally, I don’t think there were any biters on the Oregon or Washington side so it didn’t really matter anyway. Stay tuned and hopefully the states will re-open the Columbia earlier than expected.

The Willamette river and Multnomah Channel are the only Salmon options for the weekend. The turbidity is low, water level isn’t on the rise, and the temperature is close to 50 degrees as of today. These conditions are favorable and I’m hoping that the temperature rise gets these stubborn springers biting. Good luck with your weekend fishing! If you catch a springer, send me a picture so I can post it on my website.

Identifying fish on your finder

After spending thousands of hours staring at my GPS/Fishfinder I have a pretty good idea of what fish I’m looking at. I snapped a few photos today and I’d like you to figure out what’s on my fish finder screen. Take a look at the three photos below without reading the text and see if you can figure out what you’re looking at. When you’re done, take a look at the text below each photo. Do our observations correspond? Now, if we could only get them to bite!

Image 1 – These are not Salmon or Sturgeon in my opinion.

Image 2 – The long slender fish in this snapshot appears to be a sturgeon.

Image 3 – This is what salmon look like on my GPS/fishfinder.

2 thoughts on “The Columbia is Closed

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