Official and Final Rules from the ODFW:
2016 Coastal Coho Seasons
• There will be no special seasons for wild coho in the NW and SW zones for 2016.
• Permanent rules remain in effect:
Hatchery coho salmon may be retained as part of the daily bag limit in all waters that are open to angling
for Chinook or steelhead, no Retention of wild coho salmon allowed in Siltcoos and Tahkenitch lakes
under permanent rules.
NW ZONE STREAMS and ESTUARIES: CLOSED to retention of wild coho.
SW ZONE STREAMS and ESTUARIES: CLOSED to retention of wild coho.
At this time, Siltcoos and Tahkenitch lakes will open and the ocean fishery is a ‘go.’ Any further
changes or updates will appear here as soon as they happen. See Random Links for a full rundown of recent changes.
All salmon fishing from Humbug Mt. to the Oregon – California Border closed Aug. 7, but will
reopen for Chinook for three days over the long Labor Day weekend, September 3rd through September
Nearshore halibut fished a treat as some British visitors quipped. Only 18 percent remained in
the quota following another strong fishery from August 8th through the 14th, during which anglers landed
a whopping 4,670 pounds in the best week this season. In the following fishery August 15th through 21st,
another 2,494 pounds were converted to dinners, leaving less than 2% of the quota and, we predict, a closure is imminent. Man, if only all forecasts were that easy!
Some offshore anglers (perhaps more than a few) haver referred to the current situation, a combination
of daily wind for the last couple of weeks and warm water moving far offshore as the “Tuna Drought. A
few very larger boats have made the trip out and back with some success, but few private vessels are set
up for a rough ocean round-trip of 100 miles or more.
Charters out of Depoe Bay report steady and reliable catches of rockfish but that the ling cod bite has been good one day, only fair the net Good nearshore halibut fishing this year has been mirrored in incidental catches. Crabbing has been so good that skippers have been asking in advance that clients be patient as the crab cookers at the dock are backed up.
While fishing opportunities north of Newport or so aren’t usually mentioned in this section, that fall
Chinook are in coastal estuaries up to the Airport Hole in Pacific City is indicative of an early and strong run this year.
Crabbing has been good inside Yaquina Bay with one crabber reporting a limit in less than half an hour running six traps and picking up one after another. As an aside, this same fellow (and his friends) took three limits of cockles in the bay that same day.
According to several anglers who have tried it over the past week, a few Chinook have showed in Alsea Bay with the emphasis on few. One or two Chinook doth not make a trip worthwhile.
An impressive picture of a Chinook which was posted on Saturday, August 20th, and has since made appearances in many locations on the Internet. This Chinook was taken on the Siuslaw and scaled at 32 pounds but the lady remains unidentified.
Despite problems with wind and wave, one boater ventured across the Winchester Bay bar to take six nice Chinook but he fi9shed for 12 hours to do it. He also reports that salmon were being caught inside along the South Jetty and up into Reedsport.
Speaking of Reedsport, native Pete Heley, author of several books on angling (peteheley.com) reports, “Crabbing at Winchester Bay continues to be very good and dock crabbers are now sharing the crabbing success.
“Fishing the South Jetty continues to be productive and between the salmon fishing and improved crabbing, the fishing pressure on the South Jetty is way down. Most of the fish taken are striped surfperch, greenling and smaller black rockfish.
“Starting on September 3rd, the nonselective ocean coho season will begin. This will be an angler’s only chance to actually keep an unclipped or wild coho salmon this season. The cohos must be 16-inches long to keep and all kept fish must be tagged. Chinook salmon at least 24-inches long are also legal to keep in the ocean.
“This Labor Day Weekend, our local STEP Chapter (Gardiner-Reedsport-Winchester Bay) will sponsor its 23rd annual Salmon Derby. The contest hours will be from daylight until 6 pm on Saturday and Sunday and from daylight until noon on Monday. This year the derby is co-sponsored by Cabela’s and ticket prices are still $10.00 for an individual and $25.00 for a private boat which may include three or more anglers.
“As usual, the heaviest salmon weighed in each day wins $150.00 and the heaviest salmon weighed during the derby wins an additional $500.00. There is also a $100.00 prize for a Lucky Ticket Stub Drawing” and three “Blue Ticket” winners of $100.00 each drawn from people that weighed in salmon during the derby. One difference this year will the $1,500 worth of Cabela’s fishing gear that will be raffled off. The Awards Ceremony will be at 1:00 pm at the Marine Activity Center at the Salmon Harbor RV Resort in Winchester Bay. Questions regarding the derby can best be answered by calling Doug Buck at 541 – 271 – 3144.
“The first derby ticket I sold this year while working at the Stockade Market was to Karen Arms who weighed in the heaviest salmon caught during last year’s derby.
“A federal agency, NOAA Fisheries, has approved the continued killing of California sea lions that are eating salmon, steelhead and sturgeon near the Columbia River’s Bonneville Dam.
“NOAA Fisheries announced last Wednesday that it is allowing Oregon, Washington and Idaho to continue what the agency is calling the “lethal removal” of those sea lions until the middle of 2021. Since 2008, the states have removed 166 seals or sea lions. Sea lions are protected under the Marine Mammal Protection Act. But the law allows the lethal removal of individual seals and sea lions that are known to be having a significant negative impact on threatened or endangered salmon or steelhead. Last year sea lions consumed nearly ten-thousand adult spring chinook salmon, according to NOAA Fisheries.
“What has been largely ignored amid the warmer water temperatures on the lower Deschutes River is the fact that this year’s sockeye salmon run of 350 is about four times the 86 returnees of last year. There doesn’t seem to be any effective way to deal with the lower river’s fast-growing smallmouth bass population other than a complete removal of the limits on bass size and numbers.
“During a short float trip on Tenmile Creek between its Eel Creek confluence and Spin Reel Park I used light tackle to catch fair numbers of small largemouth bass and a few yellow perch, but the surprise of the trip was the numbers of rainbow trout encountered. The trout ranged in size from eight to 11-inches and lacked adipose fins. Since Tenmile Lake receives minimal trout plants, my conclusion was that these were out-migrating steelhead smolts courtesy of the STEP program on Eel Creek at Tugman Park.
“Lake Marie’s annual pre-Labor Day plant of trophy rainbows occurred this week. The 800 trout of 15-inches or more should keep fishing the lake interesting through Thanksgiving. Several years ago, area fly anglers using pontoon boats “discovered” the lake’s good fall fishing and since they released virtually everything they caught, double digit catches of these large rainbows were possible through much of the winter. Lake Marie is also slated to receive 500 smaller, but still legal, rainbows next week.
“On August 18th, the WDFW announced that were starting wolf removal efforts in response to livestock predation by the state’s Profanity Peak wolf pack. After using a helicopter to shoot two pack members, the state halted its wolf removal efforts since the last recorded incident occurred on August 3rd. However, another incident blamed on the eastern Washington wolf pack resulted the removal efforts to almost immediately restart.
“Some provisions of the WDFW Wolf Removal Program are: (1) – The department must confirm four or more wolf depredation events on livestock within a calendar year, or six or more confirmed such events within two consecutive calendar years. (2) – Wolves must have killed, not just injured, livestock in at least one of those confirmed depredation events. (3) – WDFW must expect depredations to continue without taking lethal action to stop them. (4) – The department must notify the public about the pack’s activities and related management actions.
“The new policy is available here.
“WDFW is preparing a complete report on the recent action, including information about staff recommendations, the director’s decision, and wolf removal activities.
“The removal of two wolves from the Profanity Peak pack marks the third time that WDFW has used lethal measures to address repeated depredations on livestock since 2008, when the first pack was confirmed in Washington state. A total of 10 wolves have been removed through those actions. During that time, the state’s confirmed wolf population has grown from two wolves in one pack to at least 90 wolves and 19 packs by early 2016.
“Additional information about wolf packs and WDFW management actions is available here.
“Next year Washington’s senior resident anglers will have a new option that is in direct contrast to the way Oregon treats its senior resident anglers. The fee for a yearly fishing license for Oregonians at least 70 years of age went from $15.00 to $25.00 – a 67 percent increase. Next year, Washington senior residents can purchase a license for $19.05 including taxes and fees that will allow them to fish both freshwater and saltwater and also harvest seaweed, crabs and clams.
Charter boats which normally launch to make ocean forays were thankful over the past couple of weeks that Chinook fishing has remained fair to good in the bay. Despite decent results for trollers, Chinook have entered the lower Rogue as the additional flow from Lost Creek Reservoir is now improving flows river-wide and have moved salmon up to Galice at last report. Lower Rogue steelheading has been quite slow as the water temperature has yet to meet the summer’s requirements. Fishing for summer steelhead has been slow in the middle Rogue but still good in the upper river. Summer steelhead and late-run spring Chinook may be taken and are getting caught below Dodge Bridge with plugs or drifted eggs effective. Chinook fishing is disallowed above Dodge Bridge so it’s a summer steelhead only show on this stretch. Fly fishers are asking steelies here although small plugs are also working.
South coast halibut fishers who are limited to the waters from Humbug Mountain and the California border, but are not limited by water depth nor restricted to any day of the week, have plenty of quota remaining. According to a late-day update, 68% of this quota remains to be caught.