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Portland Springers Are Here!

4 nice Spring Chinook salmon.

*Update* 2024 Columbia River Spring Chinook Salmon season extended through April 11th

The flowering cherry trees that line Portland’s Tom McCall Waterfront Park are in full bloom. To many, that is a sign that spring has come to Portland. The Spring Chinook Salmon, known as Springers, are arriving as well. These local favorites are stunning, in color, texture, and taste. If you’re looking to fire up the grill or smoker at home, why not experience a day on the river with your friends and family beforehand? Talk about farm (or river) to table freshness!

2024 Portland Spring Chinook Salmon Fishing

Fishing conditions for Springers have been good we’ve had some early catches of Spring Chinook in the Portland/Vancouver area. We’ve definitely had some interesting late winter weather and I’m really excited for things to warm up as we move into the prime months of Springer fishing. The Columbia River is slated to remain open for Chinook retention through April 11th, which is great news. That gives us a window where we can fish either the Columbia or Willamette River, whichever is fishing better on a given day. As we move further into April I expect fishing to pick up as more and more fish move into the area. The Multnomah Channel is a favorite area to fish this time of year, and we’ve seen some beautiful fish already.

The 2024 Columbia River Spring Chinook forecast is for over 200k fish, and of those, over 50k Springers are expected to head into the Willamette River. That’s roughly the same number of Columbia River salmon and 10K more heading into the Willamette than the actual return for 2023. I think the 2024 Springer season is going to offer some good fishing opportunities, especially on our sunny spring days. Get your fishing trip on the calendar so you don’t miss out.

Thumbs up for this spring chinook.

What’s Next for Springers

April and May should be good fishing months, but of course the areas we fish and conditions are going to change 3x’s over before we hit June.  Our focus will shift to the Channel, the Willamette and by the end of April, the Lewis River should offer some good fishing opportunities as well. The nice snowpack we have should keep the rivers from warming up too quickly, but how hot it gets in April and how much rain shows up will be what ultimately drives our temperatures. At a minimum, snowpack should help with flows, but how much so, really depends on how much spill we get out of the Columbia River dams. Too much spill and it backs the Willamette up big time. While this isn’t ideal at moderate levels, I’ve seen some killer fishing as levels approach the top of the boat ramps. Of course, I’m praying for the latter.

Spring chinook caught on the Columbia River.

There’s lots of Salmon fishing to do right now. If you’d like to add a little variety, you can always go catch and release Willamette River sturgeon for part of the day. This combo trip is very popular amongst our guests! White sturgeon claim the Willamette and Columbia Rivers as their home year-round, and the months of April and May tend to offer lots of action. Of course it’s your trip, and we want to provide you with the experience you’re looking for.  

Questions? Looking to book? Let us know how we can help!