Central & South Oregon Coast Fishing Reports for Jan 22nd

In Salem, The Fish and Wildlife Commission met on Monday to set harvest specifications and season structure for recreational groundfish.
Oregon’s rules are based on the federal rules adopted by the Pacific Fishery Management Council and 2016 harvest limits are the same as last year. This year’s recreational ground fish regulations will be a seven fish daily bag limit for all Marine Fish (rockfish, greenling, and Cabazon), no more than one of which may be a Cabezon or Canary Rockfish, and no more than three of which may be a Blue or Deacon Rockfish. Cabezon are off the limits for ocean anglers until July under the regular seasonal closure.

ODFW wants halibut anglers to weigh in on open dates for the 2016 spring all-depth sport halibut fishery in the Central Coast subarea. And like last year, there are three ways to give feedback—attend a public meeting, participate via webinar, or take an online survey.

The Central Oregon Coast Subarea extends from Cape Falcon to Humbug Mt., and includes most Oregon ports except those in the Astoria area, Gold Beach, and Brookings. The seasons for the Columbia River and Southern Oregon Subareas have already been established for this year.

“The sport halibut fishery is popular, so we want to ensure we hear from as many anglers as possible,” said Lynn Mattes, halibut project leader for ODFW.

Participants in the process will help choose the number of spring all-depth “fixed” and “back-up” dates, and the weeks in which those open dates occur.

The public meeting will begin at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 2 at the ODFW Newport office, 2040 SE Marine Science Drive. Participants can join the meeting online at https://global.gotomeeting.com/join/620143213, or dial in at 1-(408) 650-3123 Access code: 620-143-213.

Finally, anglers can offer input through an online survey, which will be available on the ODFW halibut webpage from Feb. 2-7, 2016.

For questions, or to provide additional comments without attending the meeting, anglers should contact Lynn Mattes at 541-867-0300 ext. 237 or by e-mail: lynn.mattes@state.or.us or Maggie Sommer at 541-867-0300 ext. 227 or by e-mail: maggie.sommer@state.or.us.

The entire staff at TGF World Headquarters is looking forward to the upcoming version of Dangerous Jobs which will follow commercial crabbers out of Newport. We wondered, though, which jobs are really the most dangerous.?, We had to look no further than an article in the Statesman Journal from January 5, 2016.

“A report by the National Institute on Occupational Safety and Health in 2009 found that East Coast ground fishing was the deadliest, followed by Atlantic scallops. In third place was Dungeness crabbing off of Oregon and Washington. The fishery had 25 deaths among a workforce of 8,092 between 2000 and 2009, a rate of 310 deaths per 100,000 full-time-equivalent workers. The Bearing Sea crab fleet suffered 12 deaths among a workforce of 4,658 fishermen, or 260 per 100,000 full-time-equivalents.”

The lower Rogue River went well over flood stage and 80,000 cfs on January 18th. That’s just Monday this week! Since then it has been dropping but is forecast to rise and fall again while maintaining flows over the coming week that are not fishing friendly. These conditions are forecast to endure. Despite a brief respite early in the coming week, another storm system is due. The middle Rogue offers promise for this with really great timing and if the predictions for the Grants Pass stretch remain accurate. This stretch of the river has been producing decent catches of both fresh winters and spawned-out summer steelhead but fishing has been fair to good. Those brief windows of opportunity will open tomorrow, January 22nd but the next predicted drop won’t occur until Tuesday nest week. Anglers can keep one wild steelhead 24 inches or longer per day now from Hog Creek on down. On the upper rogue, steelheaders are catching mostly summers, the majority of which have already been recycled from the hatchery. As a result, many of these fish are dark and of poor quality, but they are biting roe, yarn balls and plugs worms and watermelon corkies and small egg clusters.

While side-drifting roe and also running small plugs were effective for steelhead on the Chetco through January 11th or so, the waters started rising on the 13th and it’s been mostly a muddy mess since. Hold on, though. Not only does the season run through March but there’s high hopes for the coming week. The Chetco will continue to rise through the weekend, cresting on Sunday. The drop will be rapid with plunkers getting an opportunity on Tuesday in the week to come. starting mid-week, a mix of roe, sand shrimp and even plugs be taking steelhead.
This year, thanks to excellent color, the Chetco has been plunking at 8,000 cfs where it usually has had to drop to 5,000 or so. Don’t let higher flows deter you! Anglers may keep two hatchery steelhead a day, or one wild steelhead and one hatchery steelhead, with no more than 1 wild steelhead a day; five per year. Tip – When the river gets in to shape again, be sure to try small Mag Lip 3.0 and 3.5 lures in purple and pink variations.

According to a telephone report from with Diamond Lake marina, no one has been out last two days with mild temperatures and rain making the surface is unstable.