Fishing for surf perch has continued to reward even though the waves have been a little high for this activity. As the ocean lays down, this will be an alternate opportunity for fishers to pursue at the coast.
The entire coast opened to recreational crabbing on Monday, December 21st, ocean and bays. Commercial crabbing efforts will resume on January 4th now that Dungeness have been determined to be safe to eat. We tried to find out when those Dungeness in the cold case at you fish monger’s might have been taken but when we called the Oregon Department of Agriculture which does testing and sets seasons, they couldn’t remember the last time commercial crabbing was open.
Big water can mean big changes in many of our rivers. Reports are still coming in but here’s an alert for drift boaters on the Siletz will want to make note of. That tricky rapid just below Moonshine Park devolved during the freshet. Be sure to scout it before launching as this spot has taken down experienced boaters in the recent past. Only now it’s worse.
While larger bays such as Winchester and Coos will often produce Dungeness after prolonged rainfall, there have been no reports other than to say that Yaquina Bay is slow to fair due to fresh water in the bay.
Steelheaders on the Coos River, Coquille River, Tenmile Creek and their tributaries that are open to hatchery steelhead are allowed to keep up to three fish per day through April 30th, 2016. We heard this is not common knowledge so now you know!
Alsea steelheaders should do well this weekend as this river, just as the rest on the coast, will be dropping and clearing. The hatchery stretch is often productive but almost always crowded. There have been reports of many limits here and that is likely to be the trend until and unless the water level drops too low to fish well. Fortunately, some prefer tidewater fishing here while others will head up the North Fork to score winters. This will hopefully spread out efforts here.
The Siuslaw producing winter steelhead and late-season coho, the latter of which must be released regardless of make or model starting January 1, 2016. Water conditions ore quite good here and the river is expected to be productive through the weekend. Whitaker Creek has been running clear. Drift boaters might try the stretch from Whitaker to Wildcat.
While plunkers ruled the lower Rogue just a week ago, waters have since dropped and cleared, putting the river in fine condition for boat and bank anglers alike. Spoons, spinners, drifted roe and side-drifting will all produce over the coming weekend as the river drops from the current 8,100 cfs to about 6,000 cfs. There hasn’t been much action for steelheaders on the Grants Pass stretch with reports of slow but steady. Count on the upper Rogue to be productive, though, with the New Year providing fresh winter steelhead to anglers on this stretch, Try bobber and jigs or pink plastic worms here.
Currently at 2,500 cfs near Brookings, the Chetco has been predicted to drop to 2,000 cfs over this coming weekend,. That’s a little lower than some prefer but it should be in fine condition for anglers to launch their drift boats and side-drift cured eggs or Puff Balls or to pull plugs for winter steelhead.
Changes happen quickly on smaller river such as the Elk. It fished earlier this week but is currently dropping ow although the color is good. There are a couple of anglers out but no reports of catches on the morning of New Year’s Eve.
While ice fishermen spotted on the Diamond Lake Wednesday this week, six inches of fresh snow fell that same day. Reports indicate the roads have packed snow but the lake is accessible. Anglers are reminded that the trout limit at Diamond Lake will return to five fish per day starting January 1, 2016.