Chinook fishing improving

Columbia River fall chinook salmon season is in full swing. Fishing success improved again this past weekend, with catch rates approaching two chinook per boat in the Columbia River Gorge and Bonneville Pool. Farther upstream, the chinook bag has been increased to six hatchery fish per day on the Snake River in Hells Canyon.


• New structure for NE Oregon fall turkey hunting: Three former controlled hunts (Baker, Grande Ronde, Wallowa) have been combined into one first come, first served “Northeast Fall Turkey Hunt” with 450 tags available. The former Blue Mountain controlled hunt is also now first come, first served with 500 tags available. Tags for both these hunts go on sale Sept. 20.


• Reservoir storage is at 17 percent of capacity and receding. Fishing has been fair for rainbow trout, with the average size being 14 to 15 inches. Small boats can still be launched at the boat ramp, but this will become more difficult as the water level recedes.


Angling for rainbow trout should be good as water temperatures have cooled putting the trout back on the feed in shallower water. Lures, flies and bait should all be productive.


As the fall progresses the remaining stocked fish will begin switching to more natural food. Try natural baits and natural imitations to attract these fish. Bait should be either hung under a float or set just off bottom. Kokanee anglers have been reporting catching daily limits of 25 fish. Kokanee size appears to be improving with reports of fish in the 8- to 9-inch range.