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Columbia River Fishing Forecast – Spring and Summer Salmon

A nice spring chinook caught on the Columbia River

In the first of many forecasts to come over the next couple months, the Columbia River fishing forecast for Spring and Summer Summer was just released by ODFW. The preliminary numbers for the 2023 run are looking good, especially the Spring Chinook numbers over 300,000 and Summer Sockeye numbers over 200,000! Add in Summer Chinook and we are looking at over half a million Spring and Summer salmon heading up the Columbia River.

Columbia River Spring Chinook

Fishing for Spring Chinook starts to heat up in the Portland area the last week of March and I expect the Columbia to remain open through the first week of April. We’ll have more info as actual season dates are announced. Of course we will move right into the Willamette and Cowlitz Rivers once the Columbia is closed for retention.

Columbia River Summer Salmon

Summer Salmon retention on the Columbia River usually has a short season that occurs in June/July. With the increased number of fish in the forecast, I’m hoping we’ll end up with a longer summer season. We launch on both the Oregon and Washington sides of the river, depending on which provides the best fishing opportunity. The summer months can also offer some fun combination trips, when steelhead retention overlaps salmon retention. If you want to wrangle some big fish, catch and release sturgeon fishing can be added into your trip, when conditions allow, providing an action-packed day with the opportunity to keep your salmon catch.

I’ll update this post once seasons are set early next year. It looks like we’re going to have some nice salmon fishing opportunities to start out the 2023 Columbia River Salmon Season.

Customers are already calling to get their 2023 dates on the calendar. If you’d like to get on the books early, feel free to call or reach out. We’re always happy to help, including answering whatever questions you may have.