Above photo was taken at a boat ramp on the Lewis River is Southwest Washington.
Keith Archer provided this happy group with some Spring Chinook.

The majority of Chinook fishing will be directed above the mouth of the Willamette River, a move that is drawing serious criticism from Washington anglers. While fish managers say the spring run of Willamette salmon is endangered, Oregon officials are continuing an open fishery on the river.

A newspaper printed the following info on a few years ago:

Spring Chinook are considered by many to be the best flavored Salmon, and thousands of anglers a day are fishing the Columbia River in hopes of landing one of these prizes. In the final two weeks of March there were more than 36,000 fishing trips reported and 4,400 Chinook kept. Beginning Saturday, the glut of boats in the Vancouver area will get even larger because the season will close downstream of the Hayden Island power lines to protect a weak run headed for the Willamette River. A big run of 269,300 spring Chinook was forecast to enter the Columbia, headed upstream of Bonneville Dam. The sport season between Hayden Island and Bonneville Dam is scheduled to run through April 30, but could close sooner if sport anglers reach their allocation. These boats are trolling near the Interstate 5 Bridge. Anglers trolling cut-plug herring downstream between the 1-5 Bridge and BNSF Railway bridge are having some of the best success rates.

     Daniel St. Laurent Salmon and Steelhead fishing guide. I fish the Columbia River, Tillamook Bay and all coastal rivers & bays nearby including Nehalem, the Wilson & Trask Rivers for Salmon & Steelhead and the popular Buoy 10 Salmon fishery. I also fish for Spring Salmon at Wind River and Drano Lake and the Willamette River. I'll give you tips and information to help you fish all those areas because I've been fishing them all my life and it's my passion. I live to get up every morning and fish and nothing is more fun to me than making sure my friends and clients are "on the fish" and in the right zone using the very best baits and lures. Please visit my website and contact me to book a trip. My promise to you is that you'll be glad you did  - 
Daniel St. Laurent  - 
St. Laurent Guide Service

Spring Chinook Salmon

45 years experience fishing the world from Alaska to the South Coast of Oregon

The Salmon Master Salmon Fishing Guide

     Terry Seamster is "the Salmon Master" and he fishes the Columbia River and all of Oregon's most popular waters from Buoy 10 & Astoria all the way to Portland and the Willamette River. Then to the Oregon coastal rivers in the Tillamook Bay area, the Nehalem Bay & the Wilson & Trask rivers. Then through Southern Oregon on the world famous Umpqua River and Winchester Bay. GOOD SEATS FILL FAST so call early. 503-484-8900


Spring Chinook are caught by Columbia river fishing guides and local resorts for the Oregon and Washington. Columbia river fishing guides are Oregon fishing guides and Washington fishing guides. Spring Chinook Salmon, Steelhead, Sturgeon, Walleye, Bass and Trout and species include "Fall Chinook" King Salmon, Spring Chinook, Upriver brights and Springers as well as smallmouth bass, trophy Sturgeon and keeper Sturgeon. Select a guide below and have the fishing adventure of a lifetime. Spring Chinook Salmon on the Columbia River Springers Spring Chinook and Fishing Tips on how to catch Spring Chinook Salmon.

The spring Chinook salmon fishery on the Columbia opens on Sunday with high expectations and a lot of significant changes from previous years. The expectations seem to be in large part those of fishery officials, not anglers who generally are not happy with the changes.

On a recent weekend there were more than 530 boats counted on the Willamette, more than half of which were fishing for salmon.


Northwest Sportfishing Guide Service
Charles Ireland of NW Sportfishing Guide Service offers fully guided fishing trips on the Umpqua, Coos, Coquille, Rogue, Willamette, and Columbia rivers, bays, and ocean of Oregon for Salmon, Steelhead, and Sturgeon.
Experienced guide Charles Ireland is offering professional friendly service with over 10 years experience guiding Oregon's top fisheries. Our trips are great for anyone with any experience level. Our goal for every trip is that you have fun and are successful.

How To Catch Spring Chinook
On The Columbia River

Only a few springers have thus far been counted at Bonneville Dam, but fishery managers say many more are expected to return to the river. According to current forecasts, over 269,000 upriver Chinook will return to the Columbia, which would make this year’s run the third largest since 1977.

The return, if it materializes, would overshadow last year’s return of just over 86,000 upriver spring Chinook.

The general Columbia salmon fishery will extend upstream from the west powerline crossing at Hayden Island. It opens on Sunday and will remain open through April 30 up as far as Bonneville, but closed on Tuesdays beginning March 25. The area upstream of Bonneville to McNary Dam is expected to continue through May 10.

The popular Buoy 10 fishery from the mouth upstream to Hayden Island will be limited to 12 days during the spring run, from March 24 through April 4.

Anglers will only be allowed to keep one hatchery adult Chinook salmon per day below Bonneville Dam, but may continue to retain two hatchery Chinook adults from Bonneville to McNary Dam. As in previous years, anglers fishing anywhere in the Columbia River must release wild Chinook salmon, which can be identified by an intact adipose fin.

This year’s rules do open up an additional 40 miles of bank access between Bonneville Dam and Tower Island. For the first time since the early 1980s, bank anglers will be able to fish the stretch of water from Bonneville Dam to six miles below the Dalles Dam.

John Krauthoefer, owner of Firefighter's Guide Service, is widely recognized as one of the North Oregon Coast's top fishing guides. With more than 35 years focused experience, Johns knowledge and expertise in some of the region's most celebrated fisheries has no equal. Tillamook Bay fall and spring Chinook, Nehalem Bay fall Chinook, Nestucca River Steelhead, North Fork Nehalem Steelhead (by Custom White Water Raft), Ocean Chinook, Silver Salmon and Halibut, Buoy 10 and Columbia River Salmon are all fisheries John has mastered. These are places were fall Chinook in excess of 60 pounds are caught, trophy Steelhead are found and spring Chinook jump on spinners and herring with reckless abandon. With John you'll be fishing premium gear in the comfort of his custom-built 26' Willie Raptor. Everything is provided except your license, rain gear and lunch. Firefighter's Guide Service is the difference between "Acceptable and Exceptional". Contact John by calling 503-812-1414 or www.oregoncoastfishingguide.com

Columbia River Springers
The Best Spring Chinook Fishing Guides

     “I’m looking forward to this Springer season. This year we are going to have bigger and more fish,” says Pat Abel with
Pat Abel’s Guide Service (503-307-6033 or. “The 1st 10 days of April have always been very good to me when it comes to catching Spring Chinook on the Columbia. I’ll start fishing the Columbia in late March after my Winter Steelhead season wraps up, and I expect to find some quality fish this season.”
Spring Chinook Salmon Techniques:
     “I prefer trolling herring on the incoming tide till the tide changes,” says Abel. “As everyone is scrambling for a place to anchor just before the tide change, I continue to troll. I’ll troll for the 1st hour of outgoing tide then I’ll find a place to anchor. I have found much better success trolling the 1st hour of the outgoing rather than sitting on anchor.”
Trolling whole or plug cut herring is responsible for more happy barbeques than any other technique in the Columbia. But trolling herring is definitely not the only way to catch Columbia River Springers; anchor fishing is a close second. Use sardine wrapped Kwikfish, prawn spinners or even plug cut herring while on anchor.

     “Everyone is stressing for Green Label herring,” says Abel. “But I still prefer using Blue Label herring for Springers. I just cut them back a little more than I do in the fall. The blues give me just a little more flash than a green label.”

     Even when the tide is incoming on the Columbia River, there still seams to be some current heading downstream. Use this little bit of current to cover more water and troll downstream. Look for water that is 12-30 feet deep and keep your bait within 2 feet of the bottom. Spring Chinook differ from their fall brethren, the Upriver Bright, and like to stay shallower. Watch your fish finder and see if fish are suspending as they move upriver. Many times as the current slows on the Columbia, fish will move throughout the water column. Keep your bait at the same level as the fish, or slightly higher.

Pat Abel Guide Service

I specialize in Trophy Spring Steelhead, Salmon and Sturgeon. I fish Tillamook-Bay and North Coast Rivers. I specialize In spring Sturgeon In Shallow waters In Astoria. I fish the Columbia River for spring Chinook Salmon. I have a 25' Jet-Sled and a 17' Drift-Boat. Are Trophy Steelhead Season Is March, On the Coast Rivers. Are drift boats are Heated. I also sell one day License. Pat Abel also offers bird watching tours by boat. Pat Abel fishing guide service is In the Portland, Oregon area and offers 3-4 hour crab trips In Tillamook-Bay.

     “I like to anchor in water that is as shallow as 12 feet deep for Springers,” says Abel. Abel looks for a sandy bottom that has “humps” formed from the river current. Abel will find the top of a “hump” and landmark it with something on shore. Abel then will anchor well above his landmark and work his plugs back so that they are sitting directly on top of the “hump”.
     Abel likes to use Kwikfish, like every other fisherman on the river, but also likes to try different techniques while on anchor. A different technique to try is sending a plug cut herring out behind your anchored boat. “I find that on day where the current is really heavy on the Columbia, anchor fishing with herring can be very productive.” Hints Abel. “Spinners also work well when the current is heavy.”
     Chrome and chartreuse is always a favorite among Spring Chinook anglers. “Sometimes it’s not the color of the plug that so important, it’s the action of the plug.” Says Abel, who also feels it’s important to change your sardine wrap on your plugs frequently.
Some good places to try:
Since fishing above I-5 is not allowed this year, I-5 is a good place to start trolling. Anglers trolling herring directly below I-5 found Spring Chinook biting in the deep water and close to Hayden Island in shallower water. Not far downstream is Davis bar, directly across from the mouth of the Willamette. Davis bar received a lot of attention last year, but yielded consistent result though out the season.
     Trolling down river from Davis bar is Frenchman’s bar and Caterpillar Island. Both Frenchman’s and Caterpillar Island have long been favorites for anglers trolling herring, but often becomes difficult to troll on an outgoing tide, since this is also a popular place to anchor and run plugs.
     Across the river from Caterpillar Island is Sauvie Island. Sauvie Island has long stretches of sandy beaches that Willamette bound Spring Chinook have been known to hug as they make their way up the Columbia. Not only does Sauvie Island have many places to anchor and troll, but also there are lots of places for bank bound anglers to plunk.
     Bachelor Island, above the mouth of the Lewis River, offers lots of room for boaters to anchor up for Spring Chinook. With a large sandy shelf with a gradual slope towards the channel, Bachelor Island is one of the better locations to anchor with Kwikfish.
     As you travel down river from St. Helens, you will find good water to anchor or troll on both sides of the Columbia. The farther from the boat ramps you travel the fewer fisherman you will find. While anglers may thin out, it doesn’t mean that there are no fish to be caught. When you explore new water away from the crowds, just look for similar river traits that attract the crowds in other places.
Helpful hints:
     “Don’t buy bad bait.” Stresses Abel. “Look for blood in the eyes or cloudy eyes as sure signs of bad herring.” Abel explains that most herring that is used for bait is harvested in the fall. So when ocean conditions are good, herring gorge themselves and grow fast. So what herring that is on the market now has been on the market since last fall. “So don’t hold your breath for fresh herring till late spring.”
     “Don’t set the hook when fishing plugs,” suggests Abel. “Let the rod bury over before pulling the rod out of the holder. When your trolling herring, let the current set the hook. When you set the hook hard it tears the mouth of the fish and can rip it enough and you will loose that fish later in the battle.”