Ocean boating forecasts are not optimistic for Black Friday with “Offshore Gale-Force Winds” predicted for November 25th. The remainder of the week is an improvement over Friday but none of it looks friendly.
The extension or bonus days included in Free Fishing Weekend will allow anyone to crab (see exceptions, below), clam or fish for any species without license or ‘tags’ Friday and Saturday, Nov. 25th and 26th.
The recreational harvest of razor clams is CLOSED from the Columbia River to the California border for elevated levels of domoic acid. This includes all beaches and all bays. The recreational harvest of mussels and bay clams is OPEN from the Columbia River to the California border. Ocean crabbing re-opens December 1st.
From Reedsport, author, publisher and prolific blogger, Pete Heley (peteheley.com) reports this week, “Oregon will have six free fishing, crabbing and clamming days in 2017. Those new fishing days will actually begin this year over Thanksgiving Weekend. The four additional free days were granted courtesy of the Oregon legislature in 2015. The additional days will be split up in two day increments for Thanksgiving Weekend (Friday and Saturday) and on December 31st and January 1st. So in a five-week period this winter “outdoorsy” people in Oregon will have four new days to enjoy outdoor recreation without needing a fishing or shellfish license or a tag.
“ODFW spokesperson Rick Hargrave stated “while the weather can be challenging at Thanksgiving, fall can be a great time to go trout fishing: many ponds and lakes have been stocked this fall and fish are feeding hungrily for the winter. In addition, Oregon Parks and Recreation Department is waiving day use fees at state parks (Friday only), some of which include great fishing opportunities.
“We’re hoping anglers have so much fun and success at this free fishing weekend, they’ll want to participate in a second free fishing weekend scheduled for Dec. 31 and Jan. 1,” Hargrave said.|
“The new free fishing days probably will not result in many additional license sales, but is intended to introduce new anglers to fishing, clamming and crabbing. It should increase tourism from nearby states and allow visitors to sample Oregon’s wonderful outdoor recreational opportunities before buying a fishing or shellfish license. Although there were no additional trout plants slated for this year’s Thanksgiving Weekend event, there will almost certainly be in future years.
“Crabbing was still surprisingly productive at Winchester Bay last week, but last week’s rainfall probably won’t help. If crabbing success at Winchester Bay falls off, Coos Bay and especially Charleston at the bottom end of Coos Bay should remain saltier and more productive.
“Smaller largemouth bass up to two pounds were surprisingly active in Tahkenitch Lake last week and there are still fair numbers of bass anglers fishing Tenmile Lakes each day. Barring a major cold snap, both largemouth bass and yellow perch should continue biting in local lakes.”
Ocean crabbing becomes legal again on Dec. 1st and the new fishing and hunting regulations for 2017 should be available at license venders around that date.
Cole Rivers Hatchery is stocking one-pound trout in urban ponds to entice people to opt outside for Thanksgiving angling. This week, Reinhart Park Pond in Grants Pass is getting 500 rainbow trout while 1,500 will go into the Expo Pond in Central Point.
“These trout have been in our show ponds for a couple of years. They grow nicely thanks to public use of our pay feeders,” said assistant hatchery manager Craig Erwin. “We often release the fish this time of year as they outgrow their space at the hatchery, so the timing is perfect for the upcoming Free Fishing Weekend.
A Free Fishing Weekend is set for Friday, November 25 and Saturday, November 26. Fishing, crabbing and clamming in Oregon is free – no licenses, tags or endorsements are needed. All other fishing regulations apply. The 2015 Oregon Legislature set the November dates and December 31 and January 1 as additional Free Fishing Weekends to introduce new anglers to the sport.
The ongoing La Nina winter is said to be responsible in greatest part for the extra-wet weather. The long-range (angler) prediction is for an even better tuna season in 3017. And the 2016 season started in June. Ooh, this ‘gonna be good!
Fishing was good prior to the latest blowout on the Chetco River, with large bucks retained and many big hens released to repopulate the river. The rise currently occurring on the Chetco may draw the season to a close here, as the Chinook run is usually about over come Thanksgiving when there aren’t torrential rains. Those fish are likely upriver now.