Willamette River flows northward for 183 miles past cities of Corvallis, Albany, Salem, Oregon City, Downtown Portland, then it will enter the Columbia River.

The Willamette River rises in three separate forks in the mountains south and southeast of Eugene, at the southern end of the Willamette Valley.

Formed by the confluence of its Middle and Coast forks near Springfield, the main stem meanders generally north for 187 miles to the Columbia.

The river’s two most significant course deviations occur at Newberg, where it turns sharply east, and about 18 miles downriver from Newberg, where it turns north again.

Near its mouth north of downtown Portland the river splits into two channels that flow around Sauvie Island.

The main channel enters the Columbia about 101 miles from the larger stream’s mouth on the Pacific Ocean, and the smaller Multnomah Channel, a tributary, enters the Columbia about 14.5 mile further downstream near St. Helens in Columbia County.

Arising at 438 feet above sea level, the main stem loses 428 feet in elevation between source and mouth or about 2.3 feet per mile. The gradient is slightly steeper from the source to Albany than from Albany to Oregon City. At Willamette Falls, between West Linn and Oregon City, the river plunges about 40 feet. For the rest of its course, the river is extremely low-gradient and is influenced by Pacific Ocean tidal effects from the Columbia. The main stem of the Willamette River varies in width from about 330 to 660 feet.

What kind of fish are in the Willamette River?

You will find many species of fish like salmon, sturgeon, steelhead, walleye.  Don’t forget all of the pan fish, crappie, bass and perch.

Pan fish like bass and crappie Is better in the spring and summertime, when the river is warmer. Panfish become more active when the river is warmer.

Spring salmon is probably. one of the most popular and sought after fish, the Willamette River has to offer.

Generally, people and fishing guides like me will start fishing the Willamette for salmon in late March. We will continue this fishery all the way through early part of July. Salmon fishing on the Willamette River you are allowed to keep hatchery, salmon only.

Willamette River will offer excellent sturgeon fishing year-round; However, most sturgeon fishing is catch and release only.

Pan fish like perch bass and are year-round, However, in the spring and summertime, when the river is warmer, will offer better opportunity.

make sure you check with Oregon Department and Fish and Wildlife’s website to see the current regulations be for you go fishing.

Marvin’s guide service would be happy to hook you up for salmon, sturgeon or walleye on the Willamette River.


Client standing with a Sturgeon she just caught on the Willamette river

Fishing guide Marvin and his client with a sturgeon they caught.

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Last Updated on by Marvin




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