The coming fall Chinook salmon fishing season at Buoy 10 and into the Columbia River looks like it’ll be another great one.
While it’s still preliminary, Oregon and Washington Departments of Fish and Wildlife have released an early statement that “Fall Chinook returns (in 2024) should be similar to 2023 returns…” on the Columbia River. Remember that the 2023 forecasts called for more than a half million Chinooks, and the actual run was a fair bit better than that.
We certainly caught lots of kings!
The statement went on to say that the Bonneville Pool Hatchery part of the run may be weaker based on lower returns of jack (immature) Chinook. However, at the same time, Upriver Bright stocks appeared to have higher jack returns than the previous year. That’s an indication that this highly prized part of the fall run could be especially strong in 2024, which is good news for anglers.
On the downside, early reports indicate that the coho run may be a bit smaller than last year.
In both cases, these are estimates and the actual runs can vary in one direction or the other.
I’ll update this article when the more detailed, official run forecasts are released several months down the road.
It’s worth reminding now, though, that August 2024 will be here before we know it, bringing with it some of the best salmon fishing in Oregon and Washington. The Buoy 10 fishery near Astoria offers some of the most reliable salmon fishing on the West Coast, but that’s what makes it so popular. People come from around the world to catch salmon here.
In fact, I’ll once again get a jump on the Buoy 10 season by fishing in the Pacific Ocean offshore around July 20. This ocean area typically opens ahead of the estuary.
==> Now’s the time to book the coming summer’s prime dates with an expert charter like Marvin’s Guide Service before they disappear.
We’re still waiting for Oregon and Washington’s fish and wildlife departments to provide their annual forecasts for Chinook and coho salmon on the Columbia River. Buoy 10 is the first place those fish will arrive, and I’ll let you know as I do what 2024 will bring.
What follows is what I shared heading into last year’s Buoy 10 season. Again, I’ll update the predictions as soon as they’re official, but there’s usually always plenty of salmon to catch at Buoy 10.
Last year’s predictions:
Fisheries managers are forecasting a return of more than 272,000 “upriver bright” fall Chinook salmon, an increase over even last year’s excellent run of upriver salmon. These are the brightest and best-tasting of the Columbia River’s king salmon.
On top of that, biologists expect even more coho salmon in this year’s runs – a whopping 886,000 silvers!
So that’s why, as a guide, I’m very excited about the upcoming salmon season, and you should be, too.
This is my favorite time of year to fish King salmon in the mouth of the Columbia River.
I actually start fishing for chinook salmon out of Astoria, Oregon, in the middle of July in the ocean. Then we move into the Buoy 10 area in the Columbia River estuary in August.
By September, the Columbia River estuary will be full of coho salmon. This is some exciting fishing with plenty of fish caught.
Also, in September (and maybe into October), we will drop crab pots on the way out to go fishing. This will only add to your adventure.
I tell you what, it does not get much better eating than fresh salmon and fresh crab.
Since this is the most popular salmon fishery in the Northwest, trips fill up fast. Be sure to call me today at 503-314-5087, and let’s hook you up with salmon and crab at Buoy 10!
Buoy 10 Fishing Report
Be sure to keep up with my regularly updated Buoy 10 fishing reports.
Where is Buoy 10?
The actual navigational marker dubbed Buoy 10 is between the jetties where the Columbia River meets the Pacific Ocean.
So … Is Buoy 10 in the ocean? Or is Buoy 10 in the Columbia River? Well, you could say it’s right where the West’s biggest river meets the world’s biggest ocean. It’s also where every salmon that enters the Columbia River on their return to spawning grounds and fish hatcheries must pass.
But when fishing guides like me and other veteran anglers at this incredible fishery talk about the “Buoy 10 fishery,” we are typically talking about a larger area that starts with a straight line running north-south through that famous buoy.
The management area stretches from there clear inland to an imaginary line drawn from Tongue Point, which is east of Astoria on the Oregon side, north to Rocky Point on the Washington shore. It passes through Red Buoy 44 out in the river.
There are days and even entire weeks when I don’t even see the actual buoy 10, as the fish may be biting right off Hammond, around the Astoria-Megler Bridge, or one of the other top spots. So we’ll go where the fish are thickest and use my proven Buoy 10 salmon fishing methods.
Buoy 10 Fishing Regulations
The rules for fishing in the Buoy 10 area are set each year and depend partially on run forecasts for the various types of wild and hatchery salmon that return to the Columbia River each summer and fall.
Often the season will open in August and continue well into September, but there are always some things to keep in mind. For example, fishing for chinook salmon usually ends before coho fishing. Typically, we can fish for chinook most of August and often until about Labor Day, while the fishing for hatchery (fin-clipped) silvers usually keeps going strong, often through September.
Close to the Action
Because Buoy 10 is the most productive place to fish for salmon in the Lower 48 most years, it’s also very popular. The main boat ramps in Astoria, Warrenton and Hammond are often jammed with people launching their boats for the day.
I again plan to moor my boat at the Hammond Marina right in the thick of the action, so once you secure your date, all you’ll have to do is walk down and step on and we’ll get after the salmon.
Buoy 10 Crabbing
Maybe you just love crab. November is time for crab, you will be in the comfort of my 27-foot covered and heated boat for a guided crab fishing trip. In November, it is very easy to get limits of crab.
The Oregon limit for crab is 12 each. Crab cooking is available right at the marina. Also, the marina can vacuum pack your catch and prepare it to ship.
Whether you want salmon or crab or BOTH, call me today at 503-314-5087 and let’s catch your date before it gets away.
Be sure to read about our great fishing and crabbing trips in the Astoria area.
Astoria Visitor Information
Check out this season’s Columbia River salmon forecast.
Last Updated on by Marv