Reports are that rockfish fishing is still scratchy, anglers are having to work for them. Lingcod has slowed down some as well; however there are still some good-size lingcod being landed, it just may take some more time and effort than it did a few weeks ago. Reminder that as of April 1, the bottomfish fishery is restricted to inside of the 30-fathom regulatory line.
As of July 1, the general marine bag limit (rockfish, greenlings, etc.) is 4 fish. This reduction to the bag limit is necessary to keep total catches within annual quotas and reduce the chance of an early closure of the recreational bottomfish fishery.
The longleader gear fishery outside of the 40 fathom regulatory line has been authorized to continue in April through September. Recent catches from the offshore longleader trips often consist of a nice grade of yellowtail, widow and canary rockfishes. A reminder that the Stonewall Bank Yelloweye Rockfish Conservation Area is closed to all bottomfish trips, including longleader trips.
The summer all-depth fishery will be open on Friday and Saturday (Aug. 17-18) with approximately 50 percent of the quota remaining and will be open every other Friday and Saturday until Oct. 31, or the quota is caught. There will be an update by noon on Friday, Aug. 24 on catch from the Aug 17-18 opening, how much quota remains, and if it is enough for additional days to be open.
The Central Coast nearshore halibut fishery opened on Friday, June 1. When the winds have allowed anglers to get out, there has been limited success with nearshore halibut. The average weight of fish landed last week was around 21 pounds live weight. Based on landings through Aug. 5, approximately 7,500 pounds (29 percent) of the allocation remains.
The Southern Oregon Subarea (Humbug Mountain to the OR/CA Border) remains open 7 days per week.
Reminder that similar to the bottomfish fishery listed above, descending devices are mandatory when fishing for or retaining Pacific halibut.
Sport salmon fishing for Chinook is open in ocean waters from Cape Falcon (just North of Nehalem Bay) to the Oregon/California border for two salmon per day (all salmon except coho). Minimum sizes are 24-inches for Chinook and 20-inches for steelhead. Anglers are also reminded that within the 15 fathom depth contour off Tillamook Bay (Twin Rocks to Pyramid Rock) that all Chinook salmon must have a healed fin clip. Chinook catches have been light in most ports with the exception of Brookings where anglers were landing 0.29 Chinook per angler over the past week.
Anglers have been having the best success on albacore approximately 40-60 miles offshore out of Winchester Bay, Charleston, and Bandon. Albacore will be found in waters with temperatures of 58oF or higher, and with low chlorophyll concentrations (<0.25mg chlorophyll/m3). Best way to identify a chlorophyll in the correct range is when the water is a brilliant clear blue color as observed in the wake behind the boat. High ocean productivity this season has resulted in higher chlorophyll concentrations further offshore that have severely limited access to albacore for recreational boats.
Coos River Basin – From Aug. 1 through Sept. 30 salmon anglers with a two-rod validation will be able to use rods while fishing for Chinook salmon and hatchery coho salmon in Coos Bay. Salmon anglers have been trolling from the BLM boat ramp up to California Street boat ramp. There have been a few Chinook salmon caught along with a few California halibut. The best fishing seems to be near the high tide. The peak Chinook salmon fishing will occur in late August and September.
Recreational fishing for bottomfish is open in the ocean along with bays and estuaries. The daily bag limit for marine fish is 4 plus 2 lingcod. The retention of cabezon started on July 1 with a 1-fish sub-bag limit. Fishing for rockfish and greenling inside Coos Bay near the north jetty and other submerged rock structures has been good lately.
Fishing continues to be good at Diamond Lake. Most anglers are taking home fish averaging 15-inches and we are starting to see more 17-inch or larger fish in creel surveys. Trolling seems to be the most effective technique, but using bait or flies has also been showing positive results.
Anglers are continuing to catch largemouth bass, crappie, and bluegill from the fishing dock and along the weedlines in Eel Lake. Fishing is typically the best in the mornings before the wind starts blowing in the afternoons.
Trout fishing continues to be good at Garrison Lake. Anglers slow trolling spinners, flies, or wedding ring spinners tipped with a worm all did well. Bank anglers can access the fishery from the 12th street or Pinehurst boat ramps and off Paradise Point Road.
Loon Lake should have plenty of trout from recent stockings. Fishing for crappie, bluegill, and bass has been decent. Slower presentations such as jigging can be a good technique.
On the lower Rogue, from Aug. 1 through Sept. 3, anglers with a 2018 two rod validation can fish for Chinook salmon and hatchery Coho salmon with two rods on the Rogue River from the mouth upstream to the Ferry Hole Boat Ramp (RM 5). Please note that anglers may only use one rod when angling for any other species.
People are reporting catch from the bay up to Indian Creek. For the most part, Chinook are holding in the tidal water.
On the middle Rogue, chinook salmon and summer steelhead are available. Anglers may keep both hatchery and wild Chinook salmon in the river downstream of Dodge Bridge. Anglers are picking up Chinook in the Gold Hill area by back-bouncing roe or Kwikfish. Wild steelhead must be released. Fishing for Chinook salmon upstream of Dodge Bridge to Cole Rivers Hatchery is closed, effective Aug. 1.
Effective Sat. Aug. 4, 2018, the Rogue River from Dunn Riffle to Galice is closed due to the Taylor Creek fire. All boat ramps along the river between Galice and Whitehorse Park have limited entry. Hog Creek Ramp is open for take-out. Galice Ramp is open for put-on. Rogue River Trail is open, but Rainie Falls Trailhead is closed. Check Inciweb.nwcg.gov for Taylor Creek Fire Closures here for the most up to date information.
On the upper Rogue, anglers are reminded that all Chinook salmon fishing closes in the Upper Rogue from Dodge Bridge to Cole Rivers Hatchery effective Aug. 1. Below Dodge Bridge anglers may continue to fish for Chinook through Aug. 31. Fishing for summer steelhead remains open and anglers are picking these up with smaller plugs and drifted nightcrawlers and roe. However, only hatchery summer steelhead may be retained.
Due to Taylor Creek/Miles fire, all federal fishing access sites are closed upstream of Highway 62 (McGregor Park visitor center and fishing access, Cole Rivers Boat Ramp, and the Holy Water until further notice.
The Rogue River upstream of Lost Creek Reservoir is normally stocked with rainbow trout weekly between Memorial Day and Labor Day. Because of a shortage of legal-size trout at Cole Rivers Hatchery, trout from Willamette Hatchery will be stocked. The river will be stocked this week and again the week before Labor Day.
Fall chinook fishing opened on the Smith River Aug. 1 from the mouth to the head-of-tide at Spencer Creek and in the North Fork Smith River from the mouth to the head-of-tide at Johnson Creek. Steelhead fishing is closed on Smith River above head-of-tide at Spencer Creek from May 1 through Nov. 30.
Trout fishing on Tenmile Lakes has slowed down with the best fishing is in the early mornings. Anglers should focus on fishing in deeper water.
Fishing for largemouth bass has been good with the best fishing in the early mornings or late evenings. Bass are hitting topwater lures in the low light conditions and anglers are switching to plastics and deeper water once the sun hits the water.
Yellow perch fishing is very good fishing on the deepwater side of the weedlines in water depths of 7-15 feet. Anglers are using small jigs or a worm on a hook fished near the bottom.
Please be aware that through Sept. 30, 2018, all fishing is closed within a radius of 200 feet from the mouths of all tributaries (including 200 feet into the tributary) of the Umpqua River mainstem between the Scottsburg Bridge (Hwy 38) and the River Forks Park Boat Ramp. These areas are critical for juvenile steelhead that seek refuge in the cooler tributaries as mainstem water temperatures reach 70+ degrees.
Fall Chinook fishing is starting to pick up in the lower estuary and should get better as we move into late summer. Smallmouth bass fishing is good throughout the main.
Open to trout fishing through Oct. 31 and is catch-and-release only. Retention of trout is allowed in the tributaries, which are open to trout through Sept. 15.
Fishing for bass and other warm water species should be good at Willow Lake. The lake is 94 percent full.
During the hot weather, the best trout fishing will be early in mornings at higher lakes like Diamond, Lemolo, Hemlock, Lake in the Woods, Lake Marie, and the high Cascade lakes in the Umpqua basin.