The One Benefit of High River Temperatures

Almost everything that happens has both a good and a bad side to it – even when we are talking about such outdoor pursuits as fishing and hunting. For example, high lake levels can make finding largemouth bass more problematic as they are more scattered along a lake’s increased shoreline, but it definitely improves spawning success.

High river flows make for tougher fishing, but usually mean better spawning options and cooler water temperatures – which usually mean better trout or salmon fishing opportunities in future years.

Despite higher and cooler water temperatures lasting into early summer for much of Oregon and Washington, the high temperatues for the last several weeks has, once again, resulted in high river temperatues on many coastal streams.  A good example is the Umpqua River where water temperatues above Reedsport have exceeded 70 degrees. The high river temperatues have acted like a thermal barrier to upstream-migrating chinook salmon and they have been holding below Reedsport awaiting cooler water temperatues upriver and taking advantage of somewhat cooler water delivered from the ocean during high tide.

If the upriver water temperatues remain high, the salmon will continue to stack up below Reedsport giving anglers multiple chances to catch them. If the river temperatues stay elevated for some time, there will be a considerable number of salmon stacked up awaiting cooler water and some of them will gradually become dark. However, fresh chinooks are entering the lower river every day and there will be plenty of bright salmon available for anglers.

Proof that there are still bright salmon available to catch below Reedsport is the photo below – which shows Scott Howard of Strike Zone Charters (541-361-0194) with longtime client Karen Stattler-Alvarado and her children holding up a couple of bright chinooks weighing more than 20 pounds.

About Pete Heley

Writes and self-publishes Oregon and Washington fishing books.

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