Oregon Salmon Fishing
The Pacific Northwest's iconic fish, the salmon, also is one of the favorite pursuits of Oregon's resident and visiting anglers.
Perhaps the most prized of all is the chinook salmon, also known as a king, and they are running somewhere in the state during every month. However, Oregon runs are by far the largest in the fall, when fish are widespread and can top 40, 50, or (rarely) 60 pounds. Spring is another great time to chase chinook, when "springers" (one of the tastiest salmon found anywhere) migrate up a select number of rivers. Chinook are caught from deep in the ocean to mountain streams far inland.
Coho salmon also run into rivers across western Oregon and up the Columbia Basin, and they are an excellent game and table fish. While coho, also known as silvers, are beloved because they bite with almost suicidal enthusiasm in ocean and bays and give a spirited fight that often includes jumps. They can be more frustrating in fresh water, but there still are some fine fisheries in quite a few rivers and a handful of coastal lakes.
Of the other Pacific salmon species, Oregon has very limited fisheries for chum salmon on the north coast and modest runs of sockeye and pink salmon on the Columbia River.
However, Oregon has some of the world's best fishing lakes and reservoirs for kokanee, a land-locked sockeye salmon. Other state waters have land-locked chinook, coho or Atlantic salmon. For more information about kokanee fishing:
Finally, whenever you think about salmon fishing, you must be aware that regulations frequently shift in-season to minimize the impact on protected salmon that often use the same waters as healthier runs. Check the ODFW website and consult with local tackle shops or fishing guides for the latest. This website also posts seasonal updates, so use the search bars (there's one to the left) to find updated information about specific fisheries using the current year, species and water body as search terms.