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What does it take to get your own salmon in Oregon?

 
steward
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I'm a new transplant to Portland, Oregon. A year ago my neighbor (in a crowded apartment complex) came home with a couple of really nice big salmon. I think they were from the Columbia but I'm not sure.

Anyway, if I wanted to fish for salmon, what would I need?
 
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A boat, a lot of patience and obsession really help. A job with limited hours and emotional stress. 10% of the fishermen get 90% of the fish. Many of them spend 12-15 hour days sitting in a boat, often catching nothing. I like catching trout, but I may not be patient or obsessed enough to catch salmon. Plus too many other hobbies, like growing food in my yard.
John S
PDX OR
 
pollinator
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I catch salmon with a carpenter hammer and pry bar. Many customers catch fish and trades happen for lumber etc. I'm currently working in Port Alberni where about half of Canada's west coast fishery is centered. The sockeye runs in the past 2 years have been the highest in recorded history.

Of the 9 workers on this job, 6 are members of the local native community. They all have fish. Every day at coffee break and lunch, we've been eating lightly smoked and slightly dried salmon. I'm buying 10 fish when the job ends. One of the other workers, picks Himalayan berries on his days off. $12 for an ice cream pail of berries. I've ordered 10.
 
Julia Winter
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Hmmm, I guess I don't know how my neighbor really spent his time. It didn't seem like he invested dozens of hours in those two fish, but maybe he did.
 
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My daughter kayaks and fishes on the Clackamas from the shore.
 
steward
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Julia you need to ask that neighbor to take you fishin!
 
John Suavecito
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Excellent strategy. You don't need to know how to catch a salmon. You need a friend who knows how to catch a salmon.
John S
PDX OR
 
Julia Winter
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Good idea, but we were only in the apartment for a couple of months, then we moved to Cully. Right now, about a year later, I can't remember the guy's name! I just remember that he had a couple of pretty big tomato plants in pots on his external concrete stairway landing, which was more gardening that anybody else in that apartment complex did.

Mostly people smoked and walked to the 7-11 in their jammies to get more cigs. The kids ran wild and did inappropriate things in empty apartments. (Well, that's what my 10 yr old told me.) There was a nice swimming pool, though. It's hard to set up an apartment in Portland when you are moving from Wisconsin - nobody wants to deal with a long distance vetting process.
 
Julia Winter
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OK, so, fishing license? rod and reel? book of secret locations?
 
Dale Hodgins
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The person who knows how, where and when can fill their quota in a short time. My uncle Dave has landed more keepers in a single day than I have in my entire 50 years.
 
Posts: 131
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Julia Winter wrote:OK, so, fishing license? rod and reel? book of secret locations?



Edit: I think you need a specific tag for salmon, links to the regs below will cover that, I usually stick with trout.

I suck at fishing and hunting but anyway.. some info.

Regulations and recent reports and some suggested locations: (check out mussels and clams too, it's the one thing I limit out on daily)
http://www.dfw.state.or.us/resources/fishing/

Great recent info, useful for trout if nothing else and a good start at fishing.
http://www.dfw.state.or.us/rr/

iFish is the best Oregon fishing resource I've found, pointers galore but don't expect exact locations to the best fishing holes

Good Luck!
 
Julia Winter
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Thanks for the links. It looks like now is the time! Too bad I still have to finish up a kitchen remodel and get the attic stairway to be more safe for my 75 yr old mother (guest bed in the attic).
 
Rick Howd
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Are you sure you want here in the attic? Extra heat in the summer and she'll avoid going upstairs until it's the last result. I'd rather park me up there and have a sanctuary. There are some great tiny home companies in Portland that fit well into the back yard as well, but they cost a bit. Let me know if you need some links, the local codes in most areas are quite favorable to the installation.

Good luck on the fishing and if you want to try clams, mussels or some chanterelles you can join our family on an outing. Depending on the season I can show you our local berries as well.

OH, a good local food class website: www.wildfoodadventures.com his book is quite good.
 
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Julia, my only wild salmon will always be from a shop here....
BUT I live on an island, so there are fish and fishermen here!

I have noticed that all knowledge is very local.
You change place a little and you have to change most of your ways.
This is great if people tell you here aboout different ways, because it will help you compare and thus understand better.
Salmon is salmon, but where you will go fishing will vary.
Also, you will not want to buy the same tools according to the many or few times yu will go fishing.
And then, also your capacity of using the tools will be different (for example strenght to use it)

In the end the best way will be to go with local people.
I just come back from a fish a seafood week-end...
I would have eaten nothing without my boyfriend!

As fishing is not his main hobby either, he did not catch a lot of fish.
I asked other people and they told me that the moon was not the best for fish to come and bite the baits.
It seems that a lot of things counts!
 
Rick Howd
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It's a cruel world. So if you get a decent rod and reel, (i don't have suggestions, sorry) I bet if you try to fish alone you will find a man who wants to help you. They don't necessarily mean ill but watch things, most of us just want to show off. When you get it figured out show me!
 
Julia Winter
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Thanks everybody for the advice.

Rick, I'm not moving my mom in long term, it's just a one week visit. Luckily it's getting cooler and we've actually done a great job insulating the attic so it's not too hot up there. It is very important to have a "fence" around the stairwell, though, and that's still not installed. A hand rail is also important when you are 75 yrs old. The only beds downstairs are the queen I share with my husband and the elevated twin (like a top bunk without another bed under it) my 8 yr old uses, so I think upstairs is still the way to go. . .

Xisca, you are right that most knowledge is local. I was just trying to think of a question for the hunting and fishing forum to enter the contest, but apparently my question was too location specific!

If I keep asking around I'm sure I'll find a neighbor who fishes. Then I can either barter or learn. . .
 
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I've been salmon fishing my entire life, both salt and fresh water, and while I've never fished in Oregon, I have targeted the famous run of Chinook (King) Salmon from the Columbia river as they migrate up the coast of British Columbia.

The easiest and cheapest way to get into it is to take a lesson from the first nation people and target fish in and around the mouths of rivers instead of chasing them around the ocean with expensive boats: all those salmon eventually have to return home to the rivers. All you need for gear is an inexpensive spinning rod (large size/heavy action), some fishing line, probably 20lb test, and some tackle. Visit local fishing stores for advice, look at google maps and identify sand and gravel bars that will provide good access to the river, and find roads or trails to get there. Even simply driving along the river bank to see where everyone is parked and fishing is a good start. Of course read the regulations, purchase a license and the appropriate species tags, and act ethically when harvesting this shared resource.

The secret to fishing is to start early and stay late.

 
Rick Howd
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For me the secret it to buy on the dock where it's half price or less, only thing I can catch is a cold.
 
Julia Winter
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Thanks Rob, excellent advice. Rick, I may be with you, I don't know yet! I should try first.
 
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