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How to catch Sturgeon

Sturgeon fishing on the lower Chehalis river

 Most of the sturgeon fishing in the Chehalis occurs in the Aberdeen to Friends Landing area below Montesano.  However there can be fish caught in the river from Westport all the way to Centralia.

Launches on the river, starting downriver & working upstream are;
              
(1) In Westport, Grays Harbor,-- South on N Montesano St.; Left on Wilson Ave. to its end.

(2) 9th Street Landing and Rayonier Point---Hoquiam Parks & Rec Dept   Hoquiam River
     In Hoquiam, E on Simpson Ave.; L on 9th St., ramp at end.
    - difficult to launch/ load a boat at low tide. 

(3) 28th Street Boat Launch  Chehalis River/Grays Harbor
      In East Hoquiam, E on Simpson Ave.; R at 28th St; follow .5 mi to end at parking area; boat ramp.

(4) Aberdeen ramp --  Chehalis River
       From Aberdeen at US 101 cross Chehalis River, S .5 mi; L just before fire station,  follow Rd to parking area.

(5) Weyerhaeuser Boat Ramp - Chehalis River-- Cosmopolis
       In Cosmopolis, east at 'F' St, go 2 blocks to end of St.

(6) Friends Landing  -- Chehalis River,
       From Montesano,  -- West 1 mi on US 12; L (south) on Devonshire Rd,
       go 1.1 mi; South on Katon Rd 1.4 mi.

(7) South Montesano (WDFW) - Chehalis River 
      From Montesano, S on SR 107 .8 mi; L at "Public Fishing" sign, go past lumber yard
       .2  mi to end of Rd.

Starting at Westport, you can go out to mid-river between Ocean Shores & Johns River.  There is a flat here with the water averaging 20' deep, you can also find a slot that reaches 35'.  This deeper slot is one location to try.  Others would be in the slot up to the right of Sand Island Shoal.  Another location would be in the 2 channels that run up towards the Humptulips River.  Then there is the main Chehalis shipping channel up to Aberdeen. This area is more susceptible to wind & bad weather for small boats than farther upriver.

Upriver farther, most of the fishing usually takes place from the Cosmopolis launch up to Preacher Slough.  There are also some spots below the launch near the bend in the river.  You will find sturgeon  at the Cosmopolis  launch area, at the bend just upriver from the launch & under the power lines.  Another spot is around the bend above Max slough on the left. Fishing can be concentrated on the right hand side here to up into the 60' hole at the next sharp LH bend.  This upper bend is however the main area that the Quinault Indians net for sturgeon.  
  Fishing also occurs at the mouths & into both Blue Slough & Preacher Slough.  In the winter when high run off occurs, you may consider slipping into the sloughs.
  Above here is Higgins Island on the left, above the island there is a 30' hole that is sometimes fished. The water shallows up to averaging 15' clear to Friends Landing, which as a hole nearby at 30'.

Best catching appears to be on the incoming to slack tide.

The Chehalis River is open for sturgeon fishing 24 hours a day.  There are many who fish it the evening, till 10 pm or so, depending on the tide.   You will be amazed at the boats on the river at night even in February.  One word of caution, if the moon is not out, & it starts to rain, a hand-held spotlight does not cut it to find your way back downriver.  LOTS OF BLACKNESS OUT THERE.

Bait of choice here will either be smelt or sand shrimp.

The above information was used with the permission LeeRoy Wisner of  www.pugetsoundanglers.org
LeeRoy Wisner had posted several EXTREMELY informative articles on the Puget Sound Anglers website and we strongly recommend visiting that website or
click here to email him directly. As an editor's note I must say that in my lifetime of searching every available resource I have never come across so many helpful and informative articles as those written by LeeRoy Wisner. Thanks again and hats to LeeRoy for giving us permission to post these articles so that you can learn more about fishing and hopefully you catch more fish!