While Tillamook area streams are better known for their robust fall Chinook runs and scrappy winter Steelhead returns, spring Chinook are widely considered the most prized fish that returns to the Oregon Coast.
Springers start trickling their way into the Wilson and Trask Rivers in late April, and with their peak return through May. Springers aren’t necessarily bigger or tougher than their fall returning cousins, but what they do have on fall fish is that spring Chinook are absolutely delicious when they hit the dinner table.
Springers stay in the river much longer than fall Chinook before they spawn. Because of this, their bodies are loaded with fat reserves to preserve them throughout the warm summer months while they wait for the right time to do their thing. That fat is loaded with Omega-3 fatty acids making them not only delicious, but also very healthy to eat. So good in fact, some Springers go for almost $50 per pound in the supermarket.
Springers certainly aren’t the easiest fish to catch. The water in the spring is low and clear, making them a very leery fish to target. But, if you ask around the small circles of Tillamook area fishermen, the challenge Springers present, and the reward on the dinner table, make them the more sought-after fish of the year.
Find out more here: Fishing