From Humbug Mountain to the OR/CA border, salmon fishing closed on Aug. 26. The Chetco River Fall Chinook State Waters Terminal Fishery will open on Oct. 6-7 and Oct. 13-14 with a daily bag limit of 1 Chinook per angler.
The Nearshore halibut season is open seven days a week and as of Sept. 9 there is 38 percent of the quota remaining. The remaining 7,968 lbs of the All-depth quota was moved to the nearshore halibut quota on Sept. 6.
For the southern Oregon Subarea, halibut is open 7 days a week through Oct. 31 or attaining the quota of 8,982 lbs. As of Sept. 9 there is 48 percent of the quota remaining.
Coos River Basin – Streams and rivers are open to trout fishing through Oct. 31. Trout fishing in streams and rivers is slow to due to low water conditions. Trout anglers can now use bait in all streams when fishing for trout in all streams that are open to fishing. The daily limit for trout in streams is 2 fish per day and they must be 8-inches or longer.
Where water levels are too low for boats, like at Hyatt, Emigrant, Fish and Agate, bank anglers will continue to find terrific fall fishing.
Salmon anglers have been trolling the lower Coquille River from Bandon to Riverton Boat Ramp. A few salmon have been caught while trolling a cut plug herring but overall fishing has been slow.
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.
Galesville Reservoir has been stocked several times this year and should have lots of trout from previous stockings. In addition to trout, the reservoir was stocked with coho smolts until 2015. Anglers have reported recent catches of coho measuring up to 14-inches. Many people mistakenly think these fish are kokanee. The coho smolts should be adipose fin-clipped, and please remember to release the ones smaller than 8-inches long.
In Galesville Reservoir, all landlocked salmon are considered trout and are part of the five-per-day trout limit, with only one trout over 20-inches long allowed for harvest.
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. Bass have been seen hanging around riprap areas in shallower portions of the lake. The lake can be very windy. Anglers will want to check the weather before heading out.
On the Rogue
Water levels continue to drop as we enter the driest part of the year. With cooler than average water temperatures, Chinook have begun to move up river. People trolling bait are still reporting catches in the bay, but anglers might also think about side drifting with eggs farther up river. There have also been reports of coho salmon being caught in the bay and lower sections of the Rogue. Only hatchery coho may be kept as part of an angler’s adult and jack salmon daily bag limit.
Those interested in getting out of the wind or fog may want to head up river to fish for half-pounders and adult summer steelhead. Both have been moving up river in descent numbers. Lower flows are ideal fishing conditions for anglers swinging flies or tossing lures. Anglers interested in traveling up river are advised to contact the Forest Service for updates on road closures during fire season.
Anglers are picking up Chinook in the Gold Hill and Grants Pass area and from Robertson Bridge to Graves Creek by back-bouncing roe or Kwikfish, or fishing wobblers in deep holes. Look for Chinook rolling in deep holes. If you don’t see anything, best bet is to move on after a few drifts. September is a good time to fish fall Chinook in the middle Rogue area.
Anglers are catching summer steelhead on plugs fished from a drift boat, or side planner and plug from shore, or drifting night crawlers/roe or roe/yarn imitations. If anglers are side-drifting, steelhead can often be leader shy. With the clearing water and dropping flows, fluorocarbon leaders, or smaller test monofilament leaders are suggested (8-10 lb). Wild steelhead must be released unharmed.
With the start of September, the artificial fly season is underway between Fishers Ferry boat ramp and Cole Rivers Hatchery. Between Sept. 1 and Oct. 31, anglers may only fish artificial flies on any type rod and reel: no added weights or attachments except a bubble. This reach of the Rogue is open to fishing for hatchery summer steelhead and trout. Fishing for Chinook is now closed.
As of Sept. 11, 1,530 summer steelhead had entered Cole Rivers Hatchery, with 111 new for the week.
The Rogue River upstream of Lost Creek Reservoir has been stocked with trout for the final time in 2018. Anglers will still find plenty of trout at most sites for the next several weeks.
Chinook salmon and Steelhead season is open from the river mouth to Edson Creek through Dec. 31, but doesn’t typically pick up for at least another month. Steelhead may be fished for up to the South Fork of the Sixes River.
Fall chinook fishing opens 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.
From Pete Heley at PeteHeley.com
September 19, 2018 ACTION NOTICE – Recreational Ocean Salmon: NOAA Fisheries in consultation with the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, California Department of Fish and Wildlife, representatives from the recreational salmon fishery, and the Pacific Fishery Management Council and members of the Salmon Technical Team, has taken in-season action with respect to the recreational salmon fishery in the area from Cape Falcon to Humbug Mountain.
The September non selective coho season will be open on Friday, September 21 for all salmon. The season will close to retention of coho at 11:59PM on Friday, September 21.
RATIONALE AND NOTES: The recreational season in the area from Cape Falcon to Humbug Mt. has landed a total of 5,422 coho during the two Fri-Sat non selective coho salmon open periods in September. This leaves a remainder of 2,178 coho on the revised quota of 7,600 coho. With 2,736 coho taken in the first two day opening and 2,686 coho taken in the second two day opening, it was obvious that there were not enough coho remaining to allow for another two days of fishing. Managers selected Friday as the best option for a final day of fishing based on forecasts of marine conditions.
The daily bag limit for general marine fish (rockfish, greenlings, skates, etc.) will go back to 5 fish per angler per day, beginning on Wednesday, September 19.
The combination of the reduced bag limit from July through mid-September reducing catch of black rockfish, and some additional yelloweye rockfish quota from the Pacific Fishery Management Council is allowing the bag limit to return to 5 fish for the remainder of the year. Lingcod remains at 2 fish, flatfish at 25 fish, and longleader gear at 10 fish (of 8 specific rockfish species).
The recreational bottomfish fishery will also be able go to all-depth beginning on October 1 as planned pre-season.
Reminder: Cabezon is closed for the remainder of the year.
Very much overshadowed in the Pacific Northwest by the much larger Pacific Halibut, California Halibut seem to be becoming more common in Coos Bay – possibly because more anglers are correctly identifying them. They also seem to be getting bigger.
Often taken accidentally by salmon anglers trolling with herring or other baitfish, until recently very few Calfornia Halibut were caught in Coos Bay that weighed more than 15 pounds. An IGFA world record was taken in 2011 by Frank Rivera of Camarillo, CA. Rivera landed the 67.3-pound beast on Friday, July 1 off Santa Rosa Island while fishing aboard the 60-foot Mirage out of Oxnard. The massive flattie is nearly nine pounds bigger than the previous IGFA All-Tackle World Record, which also was caught off Santa Rosa Island in 1999.
In the last few years, much larger California Halibut have been showing up in Coos Bay with several fish taken weighing more than 40 pounds. The largest reported was a 55 pounder taken by Jon Hodder.
Unfortunately, Oregon is one of the nation’s worst states when it comes to keeping track of record fish.