The 2022 Salmon Fishing Season is Here!

May 18, 2022

Ready for the 2022 Salmon Fishing Seasons?

We have great news for avid fishers – the Washington Division of Fish & Wildlife recently announced the salmon and steelhead 2022 summer and autumn seasons for the Columbia River.

What Fishers Can Expect

We’re expecting a great year for salmon, with improved forecasts predicting larger runs in the autumn. The highlights include a healthy summer salmon season and an extended autumn salmon season down the Columbia River. In Astoria, a three-fish bag limit puts the icing on the cake during the Coho season.

We’ve been anticipating this news for a long time. Finally, now it’s official, so let’s jump right in!

Salmon Fishing at Buoy 10

We get on the Columbia River Salmon before they enter the river. Next, Coho and Chinook spend their time in the Pacific waters near Astoria, growing fat and awaiting the perfect time to start their journey up the river. Then, finally, on June 25, 2022, Pacific ocean fishing officially opens.

The Columbia River Autumn Salmon season officially begins in Astoria, home of the famous Buoy 10 Salmon fishery. The season will start on August 1 and run through August 24, when we’ll be pursuing hatchery Coho salmon and Chinook. Then, beginning on August 25, Chinook retention opens and includes indigenous fish through September 7.

After Labor Day and the summer season begins to wind down, Coho salmon take center stage until the Buoy 10 season winds down in October. With a three-fish limit, it’ll be an excellent opportunity to put some fresh Coho in the freezer for the winter.

The Columbia River is the perfect destination for your next fishing excursion with the beautiful weather, a thriving fishery, historical points of interest, dining, and everything the Pacific Northwest offers.

Summer Steelhead And Salmon on the Columbia River

The Columbia River opens for Summer Salmon and ongoing Steelhead retention from June 16, 2022, through June 22, 2022. This year Chinook salmon and hatchery Steelhead are both keepers.

This time of the year, anglers have the opportunity to catch large “June Hogs,” which are some of the largest Chinook salmon of the entire season. These amazing fish can reach up to 50 pounds! The average Chinook salmon is around 15-20 pounds but don’t be surprised if you reel in a 30, 40, or 50-pound fish.

We can fish for summer steelhead through July 31, 2022, when salmon retention is limited to a brief period.

Columbia River Salmon Fishing – Fall 2022 Season

The Hatchery Coho Salmon and Chinook retention period on the Columbia River in Portland extends from August 1, 2022, to September 13, 2022. It reopens from October 1, 2022, following a short closure, through December 31, 2022.

Since this is a prime fishing period, our guides reserve the right to change their schedule. So naturally, our salmon fishing guides will accommodate as many clients as possible during the busy season.

Late Fall Salmon In Columbia River

On August 1, the Columbia River over the Bonneville Dam opens for Coho Salmon and Chinook fishing. The Chinook and hatchery Coho salmon retention period run until December 31, 2022. However, we generally finish up our autumn salmon fishing season by November.

Advantages Of Hiring A Salmon Fishing Guide

Fishing with a guide service has many advantages, the most important being that it dramatically increases your chances of landing a trophy fish. Also, when you’re with a professional, you’ll learn new techniques and fishing spots and have someone to help you net your fish and take photos.

Columbia River Fishery Is A World-Class Destination

The Columbia River is among the most popular fisheries in the world. It offers a variety of fish, such as Salmon, Steelhead, Shad, and Sturgeon, and a wide range of methods to catch them. You can troll, mooch, back-bounce, jig, or cast, making it an excellent destination for novice and experienced anglers.

Portland, Oregon, area salmon fishing is something that every angler should experience at least once. Why? Because the Columbia River is among the most prolific salmon rivers on the planet.

Each year, millions of Chinook and Coho return to Columbia to spawn. The fish navigate waters as far away as Alaska and Hawaii to release their eggs in the river’s tributaries.

This journey is epic, and many fish don’t make it back to see another season. However, this annual circle of life makes Astoria salmon fishing unique, and it’s something that every angler should experience.

Salmon Fishing at Cascade Locks

Cascade Locks is a unique area where the Columbia River Gorge meets the Cascade Mountains. The site is well-known for its magnificent scenery and offers numerous activities such as hiking, biking, waterfalls, and fishing.

Anglers will find several fish species to target when fishing in the Cascade Locks, including salmon, steelhead, trout, and sturgeon.

Pristine and beautiful, the Cascade Locks is a must-visit for any angler looking to fish in Oregon.

Catch And Release Fishing For Fun And Sport

We don’t want to keep all the fish to ourselves. If you’re more interested in catch-and-release fishing, the waters are open year-round! The Columbia River and the Pacific Ocean waters are leading destinations for sport fishing and catching a few (or many) beautiful fish.

Sixty-one different fish species call the Columbia River Basin home. Among them, and in no particular order:

  • Chinook or King Salmon
  • Coho Salmon
  • Sockeye Salmon
  • Steelhead
  • White Sturgeon
  • Walleye
  • Smallmouth Bass
  • American Shad
  • Bluegill
  • Brown Bullhead
  • Channel Catfish
  • Chum Salmon
  • Cutthroat Trout
  • Carp
  • Largemouth Bass
  • Sole
  • Herring
  • and more

Whether you and your crew are searching for a fishing adventure that’s peaceful and calming or one that’s high-energy and action-packed, the Columbia River and the waters of the Northwest Pacific are the perfect setting.
The best thing is there’s no need to choose between the ocean or the river. You can have both on the same day, on the same trip! It all depends on where you go and what type of fish you want to catch.

Tap Into The Experience Of Trusted Fishing Guides

In our experience, here are some of the things we’ve learned along the way:

Tides Matter – Tides in and out of the Columbia River’s mouth will significantly influence fishing. Incoming tides bring cooler water, more baitfish, and more salmon. However, as the high slack tide transitions to an ebbing tide, it can create dangerous conditions around Buoy 10 – especially if winds are blowing in from the west. We constantly check the tide tables before heading out to ensure that everyone is safe and has a good time.

Winds Matter – The Columbia River is a windy place. And while winds can be suitable for fishing, they can make for a challenging day on the water. Before heading out, we check the weather report to see what the forecast has in store. If winds are in the forecast, dress appropriately and consider bringing a couple of extra layers of clothing, just in case. We take extra care when choosing our fishing spots. For example, we avoid areas with large waves or strong currents.

More Time On Water Equals More Fish – Much like everything in life, the more time you invest in the water, the better your chances are of hooking into a fish.
This reality is especially true during the fall when fish are spread out and moving in different areas throughout the day. The key is to be patient, keep your eyes peeled, and be ready to move when the bite turns on. And, when you have the help of experienced fishing guides to select the best fishing spots, you’re trip can be more successful.

Vary Your Bait – If you’re not getting bites, try changing your bait. Salmon are opportunistic feeders and will often strike at anything that resembles their preferred food source.

Tools And Technology Help – While it’s entertaining to think about the days when Lewis and Clark fished with nothing but a line and a hook, the truth is that modern technology has made fishing a lot easier. These days, anglers have a wealth of information at their fingertips. For example, we can use apps to check the weather and tides and even find fish. We have access to better fishing gear than ever before. Technology can certainly play a role in a successful fishing trip, from GPS-enabled fish finders to lures that light up in the water.

Of course, it’s all about being on the water and enjoying the experience. So, whether you’re a seasoned angler or just getting started, Buoy 10, Astoria, Portland, and the Pacific Northwest are top fishing destinations that you don’t want to miss.

Ready To Experience The Best Columbia River Fishing?

As we mentioned before, the summer and fall seasons are some of the best times to wet a line in the Northwest. But you don’t need to only take our word for it; make sure to reserve your spot on a guided fishing trip today. We’ll see you on the water!

Book Your Trip Today

Call 503.490.3099