about the fish
The abundance of the Northwest fisheries offer year round fishing opportunities. With Steelhead and Sturgeon starting early in the year and Chinook Salmon, Pacific Halibut, Rockfish, Ling Cod, Walleye and Dungeness Crab through out the year there is always an opportunity for you to get out and get some great fishing or crabbing in. The information below will give you a little bit of information to start planning your next fishing adventure. Give me a call at 503-810-0909 or contact me using the contact form below to schedule your next trip.
Chinook (King) Salmon
Mid March - Early November
The Chinook is the largest of the Pacific salmon species, the world record standing at 126 pounds. Oregon designated the Chinook Salmon also known as ”Kings" as the official state fish in 1961. Each female salmon deposits from 3,000 to 14,000 eggs in several gravel nests. When sexually mature (between 3 - 7 years of age) salmon return to their home fresh water streams to spawn.
January-March (Winter Run) May-October (Summer Run)
The Pacific Northwest gets a run of both “Winter Run” “Summer Run” Steelhead. Both winter and summer run fish spawn in the spring, but they enter the river at different times and at different stages of reproductive maturity. Steelhead live up to nine years and spend between one and three years in freshwater before smolting and entering the ocean. Steelhead are highly sought after by anglers because of their acrobatic fighting abilities. The Oregon State record was caught on the Columbia River in 1970 and weighed 35.8 lbs.
White sturgeon are large fish that range along the west coast of North America from California to British Columbia. White sturgeon from the lower reaches of the Columbia River are considered the most productive in the species’ range. The white sturgeon is North America’s largest fish. The largest on record was caught in 1898 and weighed approximately 1,500 lbs. White sturgeon are born in freshwater, and although they can enter seawater, it’s not required to complete their lifecycle. The white sturgeon has no teeth. It eats by sucking in its food. A sturgeon’s taste buds are located on the outside of its mouth. White sturgeon can live for 100 years or more.
Pacific halibut are large flatfish found on the continental shelf from California to the Bering Sea. At about 10 years of age, females spawn on the same grounds where they were hatched. The fish live up to 40 years. Halibut are the largest of all the flatfish. Female halibut mature at around 12 years, while males mature at around 8 years. The oldest halibut on record, both male and female, is 55 years old. The Washington State record weighed in at 288.0 lbs caught September 9th, 1989.
The Columbia River is by far the Pacific Northwest’s best Walleye fishery. Many anglers believe the next world record Walleye will come from the Columbia River. A large female Walleye can lay up to 600,000 eggs per year. Walleye have one of the most dedicated angler followings in the State because of their abundance and they are one of the best eating freshwater fish anywhere. Both Oregon and Washington’s State Record Walleye were caught on the Columbia River. The Oregon State Record Walleye was caught in 1990 and weighed 19.95 lbs.
Rockfish/Ling Cod (bottom fish)
June-September (weather depending)
Rockfish is a broad name for over 70 varieties of fish which are sometimes referred to as Pacific Snapper. Oregon sport and commercial fishermen commonly catch over 25 different species of rockfish. Many of these rockfish have similar characteristics and are difficult to tell apart.
Dungeness crab can be found in nearly all Oregon estuaries and out to depths of 1,080 ft. off shore. Although, the majority of ocean crabs will be found in 300 feet or less. Dungeness crab commonly eat small shrimps, clams, smaller crabs, worms, snails and fish. Adult and juvenile crab are preyed upon by large fish and octopus.