February, 2012 Special Newsletter



Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife

Willamette River sturgeon retention will open for two weekends in February
January 17, 2012
CLACKAMAS, Ore. – ODFW fishery managers announced today the white sturgeon retention season on the Lower Willamette River (including Multnomah Channel and the Gilbert River) will be open Feb. 17-18 and Feb. 24-25.
The shortened harvest season is in response to a continued decline in the abundance of legal-sized fish in both the Willamette and Columbia rivers. Last week, the directors of Oregon and Washington departments of fish and wildlife agreed on a reduction in the harvest rate for both rivers from 22.5 percent to 16 percent for 2012. That’s a 38 percent reduction in the number of fish that can be harvested from the Willamette, and a 2012 harvest guideline between 1,768 and 2,022 fish.
“Our goal is to open a four-day fishery,” said Steve Williams, ODFW deputy administrator for marine and Columbia River fisheries. “However, we’ll be monitoring the fishery closely to make sure we stay within the harvest guideline.”
“With the high angling effort and high catch rates we’ve seen the past few years, we are expecting a very short season,” he said.
The season just announced applies to the Willamette River below the falls in Oregon City. Anglers are reminded that the daily bag limit is one fish with a fork length between 38 and 54 inches.

For those of you have been waiting to go sturgeon fishing now’s the time to “call and book now (425) 533-1785.”

This season the Willamette River is better to be fished because of weather conditions on the Columbia River.  Hopefully the river conditions will be right before the opening dates of retention of sturgeon. The Willamette River has been producing a larger number of bigger fish. As normal you will usually catch many smaller fish (shakers) before catching legal size keepers. If you catch an oversize fish you will not forget it since they can make long runs, leaps and take a long time to reel in. Sturgeon is some of the finest tasting fish you’ll ever eat-no bones. Remember we have covered heated boats for your comfort.


Before the heavy rains came, the Steelhead Fishing had been good along the Washington and Oregon Coastal Rivers.  The Wilson, Nehalem, Siletz and the Nestucca Rivers from what I was hearing had been doing the best. In Washington recently before the heavy rains started the Cowlitz, Washougal, Kalama and Wynoochie Rivers had been doing very well.
After the rivers drop some more, expect the Sandy and Clackamas Rivers to pick up.


   Back in 1972, I was going to college. Every day at noon I would go out to my car and have lunch while listening to a daily radio fishing show. One day, I heard the host of the show talking about Summer Steelhead fishing on the Clackamas River. A father had taken his five-year-old son to Carver fishing for steelhead. Well, they got to their fishing spot and started to fish using a pretty effective spoon lure called a Steelie. Soon after fishing for a while the father realized that they were running low on tackle, so he told his young son to go back car to play with his hot wheels toys. The son went to the car and brought one back! The youngster still wanted to fish and so started to throw a fit. He still wanted to fish! Do we all know that steelhead is an aggressive fish? So wouldn’t you know it, the father tied a hook to a blue metallic “Hot Wheel’s Car.” The boy cast it out and it caught a nice summer steelhead! That just goes to show, these fish bite out of aggressiveness.