It’s the final countdown to the Buoy 10 Salmon Season on the Columbia River, and we can’t wait to see what the 2021 season has in store for us. We’ve been looking forward to this popular fishery for months, and the time is finally here! The river opens for fall salmon fishing this Sunday, August 1st. Astoria is ready and so are we. As much as we have enjoyed ocean salmon and trophy sturgeon fishing this summer, nothing can compare to what takes place during the Buoy 10 season. If you’ve never experienced it, you might want to check it out. Hotels are bustling, restaurants are ready to serve some great local food, and it’s always fun to visit some of the unique historical sights like Battery Russel or Fort Clatsop while you’re in town. And yes, you can do all of this safely!
The 2021 Buoy 10 season looks a bit different this year. With a forecast of 500k Chinook and over 1.5 million Coho, we’re expecting a fall salmon season like we haven’t seen in over a decade. Chinook retention will go through Labor Day weekend, giving us 5 weeks of prime fishing at Buoy 10. We’ve been ocean salmon fishing since the end of June, and now it’s time to do some Columbia River fishing. Over the past month or so, the salmon have been putting on weight while munching on baitfish just outside the mouth of the river. Chinook will be starting their run up the Columbia River shortly and we’re ready to chase them in the freshwater as they head to their birthwaters.
Buoy 10 Chinook season is open through September 6th. That doesn’t mean we’re done fishing then. We simply switch to Coho Salmon fishing, and keep on fishing. This year the limit jumps up to 3 hatchery Coho per angler once the Chinook season closes at Buoy 10! In addition to a higher fish limit, September offers a slightly different scene than August. Summer travelers have returned home, and there are fewer boats on the river. It’s a bit more laid back and can offer some nice weather as well. Crabbing picks up in September and we’re happy to throw out the crab pots during your fishing trip. Just let us know if you’d like to do some crabbing. We’ll give you details on getting the correct license for whatever you choose.
We still have some dates available for the Buoy 10 season, and the fishing doesn’t end there. Columbia River Fall Salmon fishing will continue through October, including fishing in the Portland area and near the Klickitat River in the Columbia River Gorge. We expect to be fishing from mid-September into November on the Lewis River and in the Tillamook area as well.