Southwest Oregon Fishing Reports
From Pete Heley at PeteHeley.com
Anglers may keep two Pacific halibut per day in the sport halibut fisheries in the Central Oregon Coast and Southern Oregon Subareas (subareas south of Cape Falcon to the OR/CA Border), beginning Friday, August 23, 2019.
Primarily due to uncooperative weather for most of the spring and summer all-depth seasons, approximately 150,000 pounds of quota remain for the Central Coast and Southern Oregon subareas. Given the total amount of quota remaining ODFW, NMFS, and IPHC determined that this change can be made to allow for additional opportunity to harvest quota in these two subareas, as allowed under the flexible in-season management provision of the Halibut Catch Sharing Plan for the west coast.
Updates to the sport bottomfish fishery will be posted here: myodfw.com/pacific-halibut-sport-regulations
And to the Marine Recreational Report here: myodfw.com/recreation-report/fishing-report/marine-zone
Update to the Three Subareas (through August 11) Below.
Columbia River Subarea:
All-Depth—Closed for 2019. No quota remaining.
Nearshore— The nearshore fishery is open seven days per week. 281 pounds of quota remain.
Central Oregon Coast Subarea:
Spring All-Depth season— Closed for 2019. Quota remaining = 82,000 pounds.
Summer All-Depth Season—Open every Friday and Saturday until the quota is met or Oct. 31. Quota remaining = 58,000 lbs. 2 fish bag limit effective Friday, Aug. 23.
Nearshore Season— Open seven days per week until quota is met or Oct. 31. Quota remaining = 23,000 lbs. 2 fish bag limit effective Friday, Aug. 23.
A reminder that on days when the all-depth fishery is also open, such as Aug. 23-24 & Aug. 30-31, the all-depth fishery regulations apply, regardless of what depth is fished. This means that most bottomfish species may not be retained when halibut are onboard the vessel.
South of Humbug Mountain subarea:
Open seven days per week until quota is met or Oct. 31. Quota remaining = 9,000 lbs. 2 fish bag limit effective Friday, Aug. 23.
Data regarding the current ocean selective (finclipped) coho season has been updated through August 11thth and 39.8 percent of the quota has been caught and kept with fishing success running at .74 retained salmon per angler/trip for the season.. The most successful port so far continues to be Depoe Bay with 1.01 kept salmon per angler trip.
Ocean salmon-fishing continued its gradual several week decline, with salmon-fishing success now down to .74 retained salmon per angler/trip. Newport continues to be the busiest port along the central Oregon coast. It’s 17891 angler/trips is nearly twice as many as any other port. Winchester Bay is second with 9,456 angler/trips and Garibaldi is third with 8,710 angler/trips.
The updated(through August 11th) resuls for all ten ports in our zone are: Garibaldi(8,710 angler/trips – .51 retained salmon per angler); Pacific City(4,726 angler/trips -.92 retained salmon per angler); Depoe Bay(6,626 angler trips – 1.01 retained salmon per angler); Newpor(17891 angler /trips – .90 retained salmon per angler); Florence(0 angler/trips); Brookings(3,267 angler/trips – ..28 retained salmon per angler); Gold Beach(177 angler/trips – .00 retained salmon per angler); Bandon(202 angler/trips – .47 retained salmon per angler): Charleston(2,065 angler/trips – .55 retained salmon per angler);Winchester Bay (9,456 angler trips – .62 retained salmon per angler.
As for chinook salmon catches, Newport leads with 1,196 followed by Winchester Bay Bay with 719 and Depoe Bay with 663.
With two weeks left in the season, 39.8 percent of the quota has been caught and kept and there is no chance that season quota will be met or even approached.
Portland-area salmon-fishing regulations that were loosened last year are more restrictive this year.
Second rod licenses will not be allowed on the Willamette River this year.
Barbed hooks will no longer be legal to use on the Columbia River this season.
As of August 16th, jetty anglers can once again keep one cabezon measuring at least 16-inches per day. But as for boat anglers – it’s still catch and release.
Studies quoted in “The Columbia Basin Bulletin. have concluded that a major cause of hatchery salmonids straying in coastal streams is due to certain streams lacking distinctive odors. The gradual acidification of the ocean also appears to be an important factor regarding the straying of spawning salmonids.
A reminder that things could always get worse was the recent closing of every Mississippi beach due to toxic algae.
Unsubstantiated rumors of California halibut taken at multiple locations at Winchester Bay are still being repeated – but so far, remain unverified.
Striper fishing on the Smith River improved last week for bait anglers.
According to Loon Lake Lodge, the BLM Campground is still closed and isn’t slated to reopen until 2021. Its closure has definitely affected boating and fishing pressure on different areas of the lake. Recreational usage is very heavy at the upper end of the lake near the old “Ducketts Dock”, but recreational usage in the middle and lower end of the lake is definitely greatly reduced.
Several Florence-area lakes are providing good early morning fishing for largemouth bass and yellow perch.
An inexpensive and easier way to move fish over dams and other obstructions have been developed by WHOOSHH. It’s definitely worth an internet search. – make sure you spell it right.
Bass fishing has been good on Tenmile Lakes. Anglers are catching most of the bass along the deeper weedlines and submerged trees. Topwater lures have been catching bass in the low light periods or even in the shade during the middle of the day.
Yellow perch fishing continues to be decent with anglers catching yellow perch along the edges of weedlines. Most of the fish are under 10-inches long but there are a few 12-inch plus fish being caught.
Trout anglers continue to troll for trout. Fishing has been slow on Tenmile Lakes but a few anglers are catching trout trolling deep water with wedding ring spinners.
Coos River Basin – Fishing for rockfish inside the bay has been good near the submerged rock piles. Fishing is typically best near slacktide. A jig with a twister tail can be a great bait for catching rockfish.
Salmon fishing was slow this past week in Coos Bay. Anglers have been trolling from the Empire Boat Ramp to the California Street boat ramp. Most anglers troll a cut plug herring behind a flasher. Catch rates will improve as we approach the end of the month.
Temporary fall Chinook salmon regulations start on Aug. 1. Salmon anglers in Coos Bay will only be able to harvest 1 wild Chinook per day and 5 wild Chinook for the season in aggregate from all waters from Coos Basin, Coquille Basin, Sixes River, and Elk River. The South Fork Coos River will be closed to salmon fishing upstream of Myrtle Tree Boat Ramp, and the Millicoma River will be closed to salmon fishing upstream of Rooke Higgins Boat Ramp.
Trout fishing in streams and rivers opened on May 22, while lakes in the basin are open year-round. Try cutthroat trout fishing on streams of the Elliott State Forest.
Marine perch species are available around rocks, riprap, pilings, and docks at this time of year.
Striped bass fishing has slowed down on the whole Coquille River. Most anglers are using cut bait or nightcrawlers fished with sliding sinkers on the river bottom.
The smallmouth bass bite is also good at this time in the mainstem and South Fork Coquille rivers. Smallmouth bass will bite on worms, jigs with a twister tail, crankbaits, and small spinners.
A few salmon anglers have been trolling for fall Chinook around Bullards Beach and Rocky Point.
Temporary fall Chinook salmon regulations start on Aug. 1. Salmon anglers in the Coquille Basin will only be able to harvest 1 wild Chinook per day and 2 wild Chinook for the season in aggregate from all waters from Coos Basin, Coquille Basin, Sixes River, and Elk River. The Coquille River will be closed to salmon fishing upstream of Sturdivant Park Bridge (Highway 42S Bridge).
Diamond Lake has been decent. Recent reports indicate most successful anglers are using flies with a quick retrieve or trolling. Others are having good success with floating bait off the bottom. If one technique isn’t working switch to something else
Umpqua River – Some fall Chinook have been caught in the bay, and hopefully, the end of August and September bring more fish. Please note there is no retention of unclipped coho salmon in the river, but fin-clipped coho is open in the river as part of your two adult salmon daily limit. The river regulations start at the tips of the jetties.
Bass fishing has been good in most of the main.
There have been some reports of anglers catching summer steelhead on the North Umpqua, but it has been slow.
Some stretches of the South are closed to fishing still. Please consult the fishing regulations for more info. Trout fishing in the entire basin is catch-and-release only. Bass fishing has been good throughout
The Rogue bay has been slow for Chinook. Most of the fish are being caught downstream of Highway 101. Chinook numbers should continue climb through August.
Summer steelhead fishing has remained good in the middle Rogue, and some Chinook may be available. Anglers may keep hatchery summer steelhead throughout the river and hatchery or wild Chinook downstream of Dodge Bridge.
Popular floats include: Gold Hill to Rogue River, Baker to Lathrop or Ferry Hole, or Griffin Park to Robertson Bridge.
Boaters floating from Hog Creek to Graves Creek should be familiar with the rapids in this section of the river, and know their takeouts. Experienced oarsmen/woman are recommended here. There are many BLM public access points to bank fish from Hog Creek to Graves Creek. This is often referred to the “Galice area.”
The middle Rogue is a good area to target pikeminnow for the STEP pikeminnow harvest contest. Pikeminnow can be caught with bait drifted off the bottom in eddies and slow-moving water. Pick up a flier at the Central Point ODFW office or at a local bait and tackle shop for more details on this contest, or call Ryan Battleson at 541-826-8774 x 226.
Summer steelhead and trout remain open in the upper Rogue, and summer steelhead fishing has been reported to be good. The Rogue between Fishers Ferry Boat Ramp and Dodge Bridge remains open for hatchery and wild Chinook until Sept. 1, but is now closed above Dodge Bridge.
As of August 15, 213 new summer steelhead had entered the trap at Cole Rivers, for a season total of 1,786 steelhead to date. Excess hatchery adult summer steelhead from Cole River Hatchery are being recycled back into the fishery and anglers are reporting success in catching these fish by drifting eggs.
Some summer steelhead have red tags extending from the top of the fish near the dorsal fin. ODFW encourages anglers that catch these fish to call the upper Rogue office at 541-826-8774.
Trout fishing has been good recently at Fish Lake, where the water remains cooler throughout the summer than some other reservoirs in the area. Anglers should concentrate on deeper areas and near the springs at the east end of the lake. If the clarity is low, still-fishing with bait is always a good option.
Fish Lake is now 30 percent full and the Forest Service boat ramp is unusable to boat trailers. The Fish Lake Resort boat ramp is still accessible.
Tiger trout, Chinook salmon, brook trout, and larger rainbow trout are available. Remember that tiger trout must be immediately released unharmed. Anglers are encouraged to report their catch of tiger trout to fish district staff at 541-826-8774.
Where water temperatures are getting warm enough to put trout off the bite, bass and warmwater fish may be the better bet. This includes places like Applegate Reservoir, Expo Pond, Howard Prairie Reservoir, Hyatt Lake and Emigrant Reservoir.