2018 Pacific Halibut
Columbia River Subarea (Leadbetter Point, WA to Cape Falcon, OR)
All-depth season: opens May 3, every Thursday, Friday, and Sunday until quota attained, or September 30. Saturdays are closed.
Nearshore season: opens May 7, every Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday until quota attained, or September 30.
Central Coast Subarea (Cape Falcon to Humbug Mountain)
Spring all-depth season: Fixed dates are May 10-12, May 24-26. June 7-9, and June 21-23. Available back-up dates, if quota remaining, July 5-7 and July 19-21.
Summer all-depth season: Opens August 3-4, then every other Friday and Saturday until quota attained or October 31.
Nearshore season: Opens Jun 1, 7 days per week until quota attained, or October 31
Southern Oregon Subarea: opens May 1, 7 days per week until quota attained, or October 31.
Weather this last couple of weeks has prevented most anglers from fishing for bottomfish. Reports from the last week prior to the series of systems moving through indicated that the lingcod bite had slowed somewhat, but many anglers were still able to get their limits. Rockfish fishing had been a lot more hit and miss with anglers spending more time to catch close to their limit. Reminder that as of Sunday, April 1, the bottomfish fishery is restricted to inside of the 30 fathom regulatory line.
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. Reminder that the Stonewall Bank Yelloweye Rockfish Conservation Area is closed to all bottomfish trips, including longleader trips.
Sport salmon fishing for Chinook in ocean waters from Cape Falcon (just North of Nehalem Bay) to Humbug Mt. (just South of Port Orford) is open for two salmon per day (all salmon except coho). Minumum 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. Salmon fishing has been very slow to date.
Diamond Lake fishing is starting to pick up with reports of the lake being ice-free. Several anglers are reporting limits, but anglers should be wary of light bites.
Many rivers will be open for trout fishing May 22.
Smallmouth bass will begin to bite throughout the mainstem of the Coquille River as the water clears and temperatures warm. There is no size limit or daily bag limit on the number of smallmouth bass you can keep in the Coquille River Basin.
Fish Lake was stocked last week with legal-size rainbow trout. Tiger trout, Chinook salmon, and brook trout also are available. The lake is free of ice, most of the snow has melted, and anglers are catching fish. The lake is currently 81 percent full. The resort is currently open Fridays through Sundays.
Galesville has been stocked several times this year and should have lots of trout from previous stockings. Recent stockings have included “trophy trout” weighing in close to two pounds. 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.
Garrison Lake was recently stocked with legal and trophy-sized trout. 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. Anglers can check the stocking schedule for the weeks the lake is expected to be stocked.
Loon Lake was stocked last week and should have plenty of trout from other stockings. Fishing for crappie, bluegill and bass has been improving with recent warm weather. Slower presentations such as jigging can be a good technique.
Lost Creek Reservoir has been stocked with legal-size and trophy rainbow trout. Trout fishing has been good. Boat anglers can have success trolling along the dam and over shallower areas of the main reservoir. Bank anglers have good success on either side of the dam, but are reminded to not block access to the Takelma boat ramp.
Powers Pond was stocked this week with legal-size trout. Anglers are reporting good catches of trout using PowerBait. During the late spring fishing for largemouth bass, crappies and bluegills is good.
A small storm brought a little bit of water last weekend to the lower Rogue River. To take advantage of dropping water levels, anglers will want to fish early this week. Bank anglers plunking and anchored boats have had some success in the lower Rogue. Steelhead has been winding down. Wild harvest closed April 30, but the river is open to hatchery fish harvest year-round. There should be great fishing opportunities over the next few weeks.
Rogue River, middle: spring Chinook, steelhead, trout
Steelhead are still present in the middle Rogue River and the first spring Chinook are arriving; however, numbers of each are currently low. Fishing should be fair.
The Rogue River is currently closed to trout fishing. It will reopen for trout on May 22.
Winter steelhead are still available in the upper Rogue, and the first few spring Chinook of the season have arrived at Cole River Fish Hatchery. Updated fish counts at Cole Rivers Hatchery can be viewed here.
Legal-size rainbow trout were stocked in Tenmile Lakes earlier this month. Trout anglers trolling spinners and wedding rings in the main part of the lake are still catching holdover hatchery rainbow trout in Tenmile Lakes. Trout fishing is open all year in Tenmile Lakes.
On the north Umpqua the river is looking really good for steelhead fishing and should be good for a little while longer. Chinook fishing opened on the North up to Deadline Falls, and a few are being caught.
The South Umpqua and Cow Creek are closed to all fishing from May 1 through May 21. This has been occurring for some time and is a conservation measure to protect migrating fish.
Willow Lake has been stocked with legal-sizedrainbow trout, so trout fishing should be good. Angling for bass and other warmwater species should also be good with the warm weather forecast for the middle of this week.