Southwest Oregon Fishing Reports
From Pete Heley at PeteHeley.com
Data regarding the current ocean selective(finclipped) coho season has been updated through August 18th and 42.5 percent of the quota has been caught and kept with fishing success running at .72 retained salmon per angler/trip for the season.. The most successful port so far continues to be Depoe Bay with 1.00 kept salmon per angler/trip.
Ocean salmon-fishing continued its gradual several week decline with salmon-fishing success now down to .72 retained salmon per angler/trip. Newport continues to be the busiest port along the central Oregon coast. It’s 19,818 angler/trips is nearly twice as many as Winchester which is the second busiest port with. 10,315 angler trips Garibaldi is third with 9,594 angler/trips.
The updated(through August 18th) resuls for all ten ports in our zone are: Garibaldi 9,594 ( angler/trips – .49 retained salmon per angler); Pacific City (5,167 angler/trips -.85 retained salmon per angler); Depoe Bay (7,128 angler trips – 1.00 retained salmon per angler); Newpor(19,818 angler /trips – .88 retained salmon per angler); Florence(0 angler/trips); Brookings(3,267 angler/trips – ..28 retained salmon per angler); Gold Beach(189 angler/trips – .00 retained salmon per angler); Bandon(244 angler/trips – .40 retained salmon per angler): Charleston(2,195 angler/trips – .53 retained salmon per angler/; Winchester Bay (10,315 angler trips – .58 retained salmon per angler.
Brookings had 3,359 angler trips and .28 retained salmon per angler – and about 40 percent more kept cohos than chinooks. which is very unusual. For the season it took about nine angler/trips for each keeper chinook.
The Non-selective ocean Coho Season: Open August 31/September 1, and each Friday- through Sunday through the earlier of September 30 or the quota of 9,000 coho. Bag Limit: Two salmon per day. Minimum lengths: Coho – 16”; Chinook – 24”; steelhead – 20”; and no minimum length for pink, sockeye, or chum salmon in ocean fishery.
As for chinook salmon catches, Newport leads with 1,209 followed by Winchester Bay Bay with 763 and Depoe Bay with 663.
With two weeks left in the season, 42.5 percent of the quota has been caught and kept and there is no chance that season quota will be met or even approached. when the season ends on August 25th.
The Non-selective Coho Season: is set to open August 31-September 1, and each Fri-Sun through the earlier of September 30 or the quota of 9,000 coho. Bag Limit: Two salmon per day. Minimum lengths: Coho – 16”; Chinook – 24”; steelhead – 20”; and no minimum length for pink, sockeye, or chum salmon in ocean fishery. Unless fishing conditions are terrible the season won’t last long.
I would be very surprised if there are no major changes in next year’s ocean chinook salmon season.
Saturday, August 31st is a “free fishing day” in California
Free Fishing Days are different in California than they are in Oregon. In California, every angler must have the appropriate report card if they are fishing for steelhead, sturgeon or salmon in the Smith, Klamath, or Trinity river systems.
The best tuna fishing in decades is currently happening along most of the Oregon coast – and a few other tuna species, including bluefins have also been caught.
As the Columbia River’s salmon outlook becomes ever more dismal, it seems that the river’s shad runs are becoming more robust.
The shad are non-native (they’ve only been around for about 130 years. Water temperatures and ocean conditions in recent years have definitely favored the shad.
Nearly 7.5 million of the 18-inch, 3 to 8-pound fish crossed Bonneville Dam this year -more than four times the number of salmon and steelhead that have crossed the dam this year.
China, copper and quillback rockfish must be released when fishing from a boat, effective 12:01 a.m. on Friday, August 23, 2019. Other species not affected.
Retention of China, copper and quillback rockfish will be prohibited unless fishing from shore beginning Friday, August 23rd. Catch of these species is infrequent when fishing from shore, and contributes a very small amount of additional mortality. Therefore, persons fishing from shore may continue to retain China, copper and quillback rockfishes.
Bag limits remain unchanged for lingcod, flatfish, greenling and other rockfish species (such as black, blue, deacon, canary, and vermilion rockfishes). Harvest of these species is well within guidelines, and no closure of the bottom fish fishery is expected for 2019.
Despite these pre-emptive restrictions, crabbing and bottom fishing out of Winchester Bay have been very good.
As of August 23rd, 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.
Bottomfishing is restricted to inside the 40-fathom regulatory line through September. Fishing for lingcod and rockfish has been good when the ocean is calm enough to fish. The daily bag limit for marine fish is 5 plus 2 lingcod.
The harvest of cabezon along with copper, quillback, and China rockfish are now all closed to boat anglers. Shore anglers will still be able to harvest these rockfish species (but are encouraged to release them) and 1 cabezon a day.
Ocean salmon fishing for Chinook salmon from Cape Falcon to Humbug Mt is open. The ocean nonselective coho salmon season will be open on Aug. 31 and Sept. 1. Chinook must be a minimum of 24-inches long and coho must be at least 16-inches.
Tuna are still being caught 20-35 miles off shore when conditions allow anglers to get on the ocean.
Halibut anglers may now keep two halibut per day as of Aug. 23. The Nearshore Halibut season is open seven days a week in the Central Coast Subarea. As of Aug. 18, there is 72 percent of the Nearshore quota remaining. The summer All-Depth season for the Central Coast Subarea is open every Friday and Saturday through October 26 or attaining the quota of 67,898 lbs. As of Aug. 17 there is 80 percent of the All-Depth quota remaining.
The Southern Oregon Subarea is open seven days a week for halibut. There is still 83 percent of the quota remaining for the Southern Oregon Coast halibut season.
Warmer water and lower flows of the Chetco have slowed trout fishing in the mainstem, but anglers willing to do a little walking can find some great cutthroat trout fishing in some of the tributaries to the Chetco through Oct. 31. As always, please be sure to have landowner permission prior to walking across private property.
The Cooper Creek Reservoir is scheduled to be stocked this week prior to Labor Day.
In the last two years, Cooper has been stocked with coho and Chinook salmon juveniles. These are often mistaken for kokanee. Anglers may retain up to 5 salmon juveniles in the reservoir as part of their daily trout bag limit. Please remember to release salmon and trout less than 8-inches.
Warmwater has been good with multiple reports of bass and bluegill. Try fishing for bass around aquatic vegetation in the mid-morning and late afternoon hours.
Fishing for rockfish inside the Coos bay has been good near the submerged rock piles. Fishing is typically best near slacktide. Boat anglers are no longer able to harvest copper, quillback, or China rockfish for the remainder of the year because we reached our catch limit on these species. A jig with a twister tail can be a great bait for catching rockfish.
Salmon fishing was decent over the past week in Coos Bay. Anglers have been trolling from the Empire Boat Ramp to the California Street boat ramp have been having success trolling a cut plug herring behind a flasher. Catch rates have been best near the high slack tide.
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. Some anglers have had success catching sea-run cutthroat trout in the upper reaches of tidewater.
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
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 26 percent full and the Forest Service boat ramp is unusable to boat trailers. The Fish Lake Resort boat ramp is still accessible.
Lake Marie can be good fishing any time, but it is also scheduled to be stocked with larger trout this week. Most anglers use PowerBait or worms to catch trout and yellow perch. The local STEP hatchery released clipped rainbow trout into Lake Marie for the last three years.
The Rogue above Lost Creek Reservoir will be stocked this week and this will occur weekly through the summer. This is a great section of the river to fish to avoid the valley heat as water remains cold in this area throughout the summer and trout should still be biting.
In addition to stocked rainbow trout in the mainstem, the tributaries also support naturally produced trout.
Anglers can cast flies or smaller lures like a Panther Martin or rooster tail. Often tipping the lure with bait helps to produce. In slower holes, fishing straight bait such as nightcrawler, Pautzke eggs or even PowerBait will produce.\
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. A few trout have been caught on bait by anglers targeting yellow perch.
The surface temperature at Willow Lake is warm, which will slow trout fishing considerably. Fishing for bass and panfish is more likely to be productive. Lake clarity is good. Anglers should concentrate on submerged willows or rocky shorelines.