As sure as springtime tulip and dogwood blooms come into their own this month, spring salmon fishing season is hitting its stride this time of year. In fact, Willamette River salmon anglers have enjoyed a strong run of fish the past few weeks and it’s only getting better on the river that runs through the heart of Oregon.

The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife has forecast more than 100,000 spring salmon to swim up the Willamette River between April and June. It’s a healthy number of fish by any calculation, so the Willamette is open to salmon angling seven days a week and anglers enjoy a daily limit of two hatchery salmon.

The Willamette Springer is the premier fish by which all other salmon seasons are measured. That is, if the spring run is strong, the anglers respond and that sets the stage for all of the other seasons that follow.

So far, the angling interest has been strong – proven by a glance at the so called “aluminum hatch” of boats along the entire 26 mile length of the river length of the river from Oregon City to the confluence with the Columbia River.

Trolling with salmon lures called “Quikfish” and baits like dyed prawns is popular pastime for sure, but this season a new shore side angling dock at Oregon City provides bank anglers good opportunities too.

One more thing to keep in mind: if you boat the river, do it safely!

about author Grant McOmie

Grant McOmie is a Pacific Northwest broadcast journalist, teacher and author who writes and produces stories and special programs about the people, places, outdoor activities and environmental issues of the Pacific Northwest. A fifth generation Oregon native, Grant’s roots run deepest in the central Oregon region near Prineville and Redmond where his family continues to live.


In this Grant’s Getaway

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These maps and directions are for planning purposes only. You may find that construction projects, traffic, or other events may cause road conditions to differ from the map results. For travel options, weather and road conditions, visit, call 511 (in Oregon only), 800.977.6368 or 503.588.2941.

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  1. Nelson says…

    I love your segments. It shows us different places that we would love to visit that we would not know about otherwise.

    Written on May 26th, 2011 / Flag this Comment
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