From ODF&W, Weekend fishing opportunities:
2018 Sport Groundfish (beginning Monday, Jan. 1, 2018)
Open at all depths, Jan-Mar and Oct –Dec. Only open inside of 30 fathom line Apr-Sept.
General Marine Fish daily bag limit is 5 fish; no sub-bag limits except for cabezon when open.
Cabezon opens July 1, with a 1 fish sub-bag limit.
Lingcod daily bag limit is 2 fish, separate from the General Marine fish bag limit. Minimum size of 22 inches.
Yelloweye rockfish prohibited at all times and in all waters.
Flatfish daily bag limit is 25 fish for species of sanddab, sole, flounder, etc. Does not include Pacific halibut.
Open all depths year round.
Anglers are reporting fair surfperch fishing from southern Oregon beaches.
Anglers from Winchester Bay are reporting good surfperch fishing in the Triangle and south jetty areas.
With steelhead rivers vacillating between low and clear, and high and muddy, anglers may want hit Garrison Lake for some trout fishing.
Lost Creek Reservoir is a winter trout fishing hot spot in the Rogue Valley.
Winter steelhead should pick up on the Coos and Coquille rivers once we get some significant rain.
Winter steelhead fishing has been good on the Umpqua.
Anglers have been catching trout up to 19-inches while trolling in Tenmile Lakes.
Anglers have been catching some surfperch when ocean swells have been small.
Ocean fishing for bottomfish has been great when conditions allow.
CHETCO RIVER: winter steelhead
Steelhead fishing has been fair. Rain is expected by the weekend which should improve fishing conditions. Plunking will be good as flows drop and the river clears.
The ODFW angler caught winter steelhead broodstock program started last week. This is an annual program to collect adult steelhead to be spawned for the hatchery program on the river. Anglers interested in participating or would like more information can call the ODFW Gold Beach office at 541-247-7605.
COOS RIVER BASIN: Dungeness crab, bay clams, rockfish, steelhead
Streams and rivers are now closed to trout fishing until May 22, 2018.
Steelhead are slowly moving upriver from the head of tide on the Coos Basin rivers. With many of the rivers running low and clear anglers may need to use smaller baits and lures. Some anglers are still having good luck catching winter steelhead near the head of tide on the Millicoma and South Fork Coos rivers. Anglers fishing the South Fork Coos River above Dellwood will need a permit from Weyerhaeuser, which allows the angler to access up to the Seven Mile Bridge. Permits can be obtained at Weyerhaeuser’s Coos Bay office. In the Coos Basin, 1 additional hatchery steelhead may be retained per day for a total aggregate of 3 adult fish harvested daily.
Recreational fishing for bottomfish is opened on Jan. 1 in the ocean along with bays and estuaries. The daily bag limit will be 5 marine fish plus 2 lingcod. There will be no retention of cabezon until July 1. Anglers have reported catching rockfish near the north jetty of Coos Bay.
COQUILLE RIVER BASIN: crab, trout, steelhead
Streams and rivers are now closed to trout fishing until next spring.
The steelhead rivers in the Coquille Basin continue to run low and clear. Steelhead anglers have been plunking in the tidewater sections of the Coquille River near the town of Coquille in hopes of the first returning winter steelhead. Anglers fishing the South Fork Coquille have reported catching winter steelhead. In the Coquille Basin 1 additional hatchery steelhead may be retained per day for a total aggregate of 3 adult fish harvested daily.
DIAMOND LAKE: trout
The latest reports indicate the lake is not safe to walk on and a lot of ice has melted.
Rogue River, lower: winter steelhead
Low. A few winter steelhead are being picked up by anglers plunking Spin-n-Glos. Boat anglers are starting to catch more steelhead. Most fish are being caught while boats are anchored up and running plugs waiting for steelhead to move up river. Boat anglers side drifting eggs in the Agness area are also picking up a some fish.
Rogue River, middle: steelhead, trout
Steelhead have been caught in the Galice area recently but they appear to be holdover half-pounders and not adult winter steelhead. Summer steelhead are available, but cold, clear water is making fishing challenging. Anglers should down-size their tackle and work their offerings slowly along the bottom. The river is also open for trout fishing. Five hatchery trout may be harvested per day. Wild trout must be released unharmed.
Rogue River, upper: steelhead, trout
Hatchery summer steelhead are available for upper Rogue anglers. With the cold, static river flow anglers should down-size their tackle and work their offerings slowly along the bottom.
Trout are also available. Only hatchery rainbow trout can be kept, while all cutthroat trout and wild rainbow trout must be released unharmed.
The river discharge from Lost Creek Reservoir was 1,400 cfs and 44oF on Tuesday, Jan. 16. For the most current releases of water out of Lost Creek Reservoir, call 1-800-472-2434.
SMITH RIVER, Umpqua: steelhead
Steelhead fishing is open upstream to Sisters Creek on the mainstem and to bridge ten (~14.5 miles up the N.F. Smith River Rd.) on the North Fork. Chinook fishing closed on Dec. 31. Steelhead fishing should pick up as we move closer to January. The Smith can be one of the first to clear after a large storm.
UMPQUA RIVER, NORTH: steelhead
Winter steelhead is picking up with some anglers tying into a few. Most fish are likely still below Winchester Dam, but a few are being caught upstream.
Check with the US Forest Service regarding potential trail closures on the North Umpqua. Most access points are open, but some trails remain closed after this summer’s fire. The North Umpqua is closed to Chinook fishing till February. Trout fishing in North Umpqua and its tributaries is closed until May 22, 2018.
Note that from Oct. 1 through June 30 fishing in the fly water area is restricted to the use of a single, barbless artificial fly.
From our friend Pete Heley: at www.PeteHeley.com
The ODFW is also encouraging anglers to turn in their combined angling or “salmon “ tags. While there isn’t a financial penalty for not doing so, the information helps the ODFW make better fish management decisions. One-day and multi-day licenses also have space to track salmon, steelhead and halibut harvest. Anglers who purchased these documents are also encouraged to return them to ODFW.
Combined Angling Tags, Hatchery Salmon/Steelhead Harvest Cards and one-or multi-day licenses can be turned in to most POS agents or at any ODFW office located throughout the state. The cards can also be mailed to any ODFW office or to ODFW Headquarters, 4034 Fairview Industrial Drive SE, Salem, OR 97302.
Steelhead angling remains tough, but the rain predicted for this week should help. Tenmile Creek has shown some improvement. While most anglers are using salmon roe or sand shrimp, an angler fishing the confluence of Eel and Tenmile creeks caught three hatchery steelhead in three casts last week while fishing a pink plastic worm below a bobber.
The warm temperatures last weekend allowed a number of anglers to make very good catches of largemouth bass at Tenmile Lakes.
Pete Heley works part-time at the Stockade Market & Tackle, across from ‘A’ Dock, in Winchester Bay where he is more than happy to swap fishing info with anyone.