News Release – February 1, 2017
Recreational ocean and bay crabbing closed from the Coos Bay North Jetty to Heceta Head
NEWPORT, Ore.– The Oregon Department of Agriculture and the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife announced today the immediate closure of the recreational crab fishery from the Coos Bay North Jetty to Heceta Head, north of Florence, due to elevated levels of domoic acid. This closure includes Winchester Bay and the Siuslaw River in Florence. Crabbing within Coos Bay remains open.
Elevated domoic acid levels were found in the viscera of Dungeness crab collected offshore near Winchester Bay, triggering a biotoxin closure. The remaining areas of the coastline south of Coos Bay and north of Heceta Head will remain open for recreational crabbing. Decisions regarding the commercial fishery for the affected area will be made soon.
It is recommended that crab always be eviscerated prior to cooking. Evisceration includes removing and discarding the internal organs and gills. Despite the closure, crab and shellfish products sold in retail markets and restaurants remain safe for consumers.
Domoic acid or amnesic shellfish toxin can cause minor to severe illness and even death. Severe poisoning can result in dizziness, headaches, vomiting and diarrhea. More severe cases can result in memory loss and death. Shellfish toxins are produced by algae and originate in the ocean. Toxins cannot be removed by cooking, freezing or any other treatment. ODA will continue to test for toxins in the coming weeks. Removal of the advisory requires two consecutive tests in the safe range.
For more information, call ODA’s shellfish safety information hotline at (800) 448-2474 or visit the ODA shellfish closures web page.
The IPHC just announced that Oregon has been granted a 256,757-pound recreational quota for 2017’ an increase of nearly 17% over the 220,077-pound quota of 2016. If you fish halibut, be aware of the impact that Yelloweye Rockfish, which are frequent bi-catch, have on your halibut fishery. If the Yelloweye catch reaches quota, that will shut down the halibut fishery and additional pounds in the latter quota will mean nothing.
Steelhead are in the Alsea River although it may be a week or so until it’s actually fishable again. Beads are hot here, too, with pink being the first choice.
Prior to the freshet destined to hit the coast on Friday this week, fishing was fairly crummy on the Siuslaw. Steelheaders at Whitaker have reported plenty of other anglers but no fish. Count on the Siuslaw starting to rise on February 3rd right along with the rest of ’em.
On Wednesday, February 1st, one lone angler made his way out to the Florence jetty on this cold, windy day. He returned in less than 15 minutes with three nice perch and said he could’ve caught more but couldn’t stay warm enough to fish. If this is a new fishery to some, click here to get the 411 from the ODFW.
When boats have been able to get out of Depoe Bay, it has not been infrequently, even with the short hop they blessed with here. On those rare occasions, bottom fishing has been great. Crabbing has slowed somewhat (where allowed) with commercial efforts taking some, but the quality is excellent.
Author, publisher and prolific blogger, Pete Heley (peteheley.com) reports to us from Reedsport, “Yet another example of user fees gone wild is HB 2320 which proposes fees for Oregonians using small non-motorized boats. House Bill 2320 would authorize the program and establish fees for transferable permits boaters would have to carry when rowing or sailing their boats. A one-week permit would cost $4, an annual permit would cost $12, and a two-year permit would cost $20.
This would be in addition to the $7 annual Invasive Species Program permit users of boats over 10 feet long must purchase to fund efforts to keep aquatic invasive species such as quagga and zebra mussels out of Oregon waterways and control those already here.
Under the proposal, anyone 14 or older would have to carry both permits when operating any non-motorized boat. Companion bill HB 2321 seeks to remove the AIS exemption for non-motorized boats less than 10 feet long – so it appears that float tubers will be chipping in, too.
The Marine Board estimates that the fees would generate about $2.17 million over the next two years and the proposal calls for two full-time employees and one part-time employee with a biennial cost of $1.87 million. The excess money would be available as grants such as those used for boat ramp construction and improvements.
It’s interesting that HB 2320 does not have a legislative sponsor, possibly because of the public’s resentment over the increased use of user fees to avoid trying to impose tax increases; tax increases which often have to endure a public vote.
On a happier note, the trout stocking schedule is now on the ODFW website. The only areas not yet included are in central and eastern Oregon which are more complicated to plan due to ice covers on most waters that come off at varying times.
The stocking schedule gives the size and numbers of the trout being stocked. However, it doesn’t give the size of the lakes and being able to divide a trout plant by the surface acreage of the lake receiving the trout is important when deciding where to fish.
Trout planted along the Oregon coast this year will be of three size classes. Most of the trout will be eight to nine inches long (legals) with some being 12-inches long (larger) and fewer 15-inchers referred to as trophy trout. Fourteen inchers, referred to as pounders will not be planted in coastal lakes this year, but some will be planted in the Newport area.
The first trout plants along the Oregon coast will take place in Florence-area lakes during the second week in February and include Alder Lake, Carter Lake, Cleawox Lake, Dune Lake, Lost Lake, Munsel Lake and Siltcoos Lagoon.
Three-acre Alder Lake will receive 850 legals, 100 larger and 72 trophies or 1,022 trout in all – or 340 trout per acre. Two-acre Dune Lake is slated to receive 850 legals and 36 trophies or 886 trout in all – or 443 trout per acre.
Twenty-eight-acre Carter Lake is slated to receive 750 12-inchers or 26 per acre and 82 acre Cleawox Lake will receive 3,000 legals, 450 12-inchers and 186 trophies for 3,686 trout total – or 44 trout per acre.
Six-acre Lost Lake will receive 500 12-inchers or 83 trout per acre and four acre Siltcoos Lagoon will receive 425 12-inchers and 35 trophies for a 460 trout total and 115 trout per acre. Munsel Lake, at 105 acres will receive 1,500 12-inchers and 150 trophies for a total of 1,650 trout or 15 trout per acre.
Water levels can greatly affect fish concentrations. Last fall, the trout planted in Saunders Lake chose not to venture through the shallow water beneath the railroad trestle to reach the main lake and ended up providing easy fishing in the much smaller section of the lake adjacent to Highway 101. If the water level at Cleawox is such as to prevent recently planted trout from venturing through extremely shallow water into the lake’s north arm the trout will be confined to the main lake, which is less than 50 acres and change the initial stocking density from 44 trout per acre to more than 70 trout per acre. Conversely, the trout that venture into Cleawox’s north arm will remain largely ignored by the lake’s anglers for the entire season.
Some changes regarding trout stocking for this year is that the last plants for coastal lakes will end during September rather than October and it appears that the Florence-area lakes will only be stocked through May. Another difference this year is that Georgia and North Georgia lakes will not be stocked during the same week.
According to the folks at Lakeside Marina, steelhead fishing on Tenmile Creek dropped off last week after several weeks of steady improvement. Anglers fishing for yellow perch on the fishing dock at the county park landed a couple of steelhead, but very few steelhead in Tenmile Lake or upper Tenmile Creek are keepable finclipped fish.
Both the South Jetty and local beaches have been producing fair action when fishable. Most of the crabbing pressure has been at Charleston, but when conditions allow it, crabbing in the ocean off Winchester Bay has been very good. Recently, the most successful commercial crabbers have been crabbing in deep water.
Although a few anglers fish Tenmile Lakes for bass all winter, the official start for bass fishing seems to be the annual Frostbite Open which takes place in late February. This year’s event will take place on Saturday, Feb. 25th. Over the last few years, Siltcoos Lake has also offered much improved early season and late season bass fishing.
The KEZI Eugene Boat and Sportsmen’s Show will be at the Lane County Convention Center from Friday through Sunday this week.”
We’re thankful for having Pete Heley’s presence here at TGF and welcome reader comments on his contributions. Often, he opens topics which would be inappropriate for us to broach but would certainly be an entry to discussion on our part. What do we think? Just ask!
Water temperature at Agness was 45 degrees and rising the morning of February 2nd but it’ll probably warm up somewhat as it rises, which it will do beginning Friday, February 3rd. oh, hey! That’s
tomorrow. Yep, and it will continue to do so for (see clever phrases above for ‘conceivable future). It’s gonna stay high for a week or so but is predicted to crest below Flood Level. Check with us next week for (hopefully) some really good news.
Chetco steelheaders, remember weeks of high and turbid water conditions with runoff from melting snowpack and rains? Well, that’s gonna happen again although there’s less snowpack and it won’t last for weeks. Other than that ….
It appears to be ‘on’ at Diamond Lake as this was posted at their website today: #icefishing