FISHING INFORMATION ROUNDUP
Before any fishing trips, always be sure to consult the regulations to see if there are any changes. You can check them here 2019 Sport Fishing Regulations.
With this week’s rain, steelhead fishing in the mainstem Umpqua should be picking up..
Steelhead anglers have been hitting the Coos and Coquille, and this week’s rain should help their cause. No word of the first fish caught…yet..
Effective Dec. 7, the emergency angling closures in the Winchuck, Chetco, Elk and Sixes Rivers have been lifted. Reduced wild Chinook harvest and bag limits remain in effect
With several water bodies beginning to ice over, anglers need to be cautious during first-ice conditions. Take the following precautions: use the “buddy system,” wear a PFD in case of thin ice, carry a throw-rope, and use a heavy metal staff to check for thin-ice. The Minnesota DNR has developed guidelines for ice thickness and other safety tips.
CONDITIONS LAST UPDATED 12 / 12 / 2019
LAKE REPORTS - PRESENTED BY:
AGATE LAKE: trout, largemouth and smallmouth bass, black crappie, bluegills, perch, bullhead catfish
The lake is 11 percent full. The water is very low, and the boat ramp is now unusable due to low water levels, muddy banks make it quite difficult to access the water as well. Essentially the lake is closed until more water arrives.
APPLEGATE RESERVOIR: trout, spring chinook, largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, bluegill, crappie
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The reservoir is 2 percent full. French Gulch is now the only useable boat ramp and is nearing the end of its availability, so be careful when launching a boat. Trout fishing should be good with the cooler temperatures, try trolling a flasher trailed by a wedding ring/night crawler combo, or flasher and a nightcrawler..
Bass may still be biting for a few more weeks and bass anglers should try casting lures along a rocky shoreline.
DIAMOND LAKE: rainbow trout, tiger trout, brown trout
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DO NOT EVER USE LIVE BAIT IN DIAMOND LAKE!! IT IS AGAINST THE LAW AND IT DOES NOT WORK ANY WAY. IF YOU SEE PEOPLE USING LIVE BAIT IN DIAMOND LAKE, REPORT THEM IMMEDIATELY.
With winter conditions, pressure has been light at Diamond.
Make sure to contact Diamond Lake Lodge for up-to-date conditions by calling 541-793-3333 for updates. This is also the number you will use to contact the marina about boat rentals, or to book a trip with their guide service. Diamond Lake is open for fishing year-round.
EMIGRANT RESERVOIR: rainbow trout, largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, black crappie, perch, catfish
Emigrant reservoir usually does have a few trout left over from the spring that haven’t been caught yet, and they should be feeding right now. Try trolling bait in deeper water or still fishing bait in deeper water. The warmwater fish are totally off the bite now. The boat ramp at Emigrant is still accessible at Emigrant Lake and the reservoir is 27 percent full.
The Point RV Park is open year-round. The Oak Slope Tent Campground is open as well.
EXPO PONDS: rainbow trout, largemouth bass, crappie, bluegill, bullhead catfish, carp
JACKSON COUNTY IS CHARGING AN ACCESS FEE TO THE ISOLA POND PARKING AREA. THE FEE IS $4 PER DAY. YOU CAN USE JACKSON COUNTY PARKS PARKING PASS AS WELL. THE PASS IS $30 FOR THE YEAR. GET PASSES AT MOST MAJOR SPORTING GOODS RETAILERS IN JACKSON COUNTY.
The Isola Pond was last stocked mid-October. Any trout that are left should be biting with the cooler temperatures we are experiencing, try still fishing some bait from the bottom. Fishing for bass and panfish has slowed with the cooler temperatures.
The Southern Oregon RV Park developed by Jackson County offers parking in the lot to the right as you drive in Gate 5. A day use fee to park here is $4. An annual parking permit can be purchased from Jackson County Parks Department for $30. That parking permit is good for all Jackson County Parks. The Expo Ponds have plenty of good bank access, and anglers can catch many of the species present by fishing night crawlers below a bobber. This makes the ponds a great place to take kids fishing.
FISH LAKE: rainbow trout, brook trout, tiger trout, spring chinook
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Expect snow at Fish Lake. Trout fishing has been good lately, some large trout are being caught both from boat and the shore. Try trolling a green wedding ring/worm, or small lures such as spoons or rooster-tails. Fly-fishing can also be fun here with brightly colored, flashy streamers. The water clarity is good by the resort, but decreases elsewhere. The water is cold, about 41 degrees by the resort, so fishing in the late afternoon or evening when fish are more active may be a good bet. Fish Lake is quickly filling back up. It is now 34 percent full and should continue to fill. The resort ramp is usable for smaller trailered boats, but the resort is now on winter hours and is only open Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Smaller pontoons or kayaks also can be launched from the Forest Service boat ramp, and smaller trailered boats now may be able to be launched here as well, but be careful for submerged tree stumps. Inflatables and kayaks will be a good choice here.
Tiger trout, Chinook salmon, brook trout, and larger rainbow trout are available. Remember that tiger trout must be immediately released unharmed. Anglers are encouraged to report their catch of tiger trout to fish district staff at 541-826-8774.
FOURMILE LAKE: rainbow trout, lake trout, kokanee, brook trout
Fourmile Lake is now snowed in and accessible by snowmobile only. However, if you get there, open water can still be found. Trout are biting on sunny days in the middle of the day. The bites are light now. DON"T set your rod down. make sure you can feel those light bites. Power bait and nightcrawlers will get you trout for dinner.
GALESVILLE RESERVOIR: rainbow trout, bass, coho smolts
Galesville has been stocked with a lot of “trophy-size” trout this year and fishing has been good. In addition to trout, the reservoir was stocked with coho smolts until 2015. Fishing should be okay with the fish being concentrated. 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. Fishing for bass and other panfish has been good. Good areas are near dead snags and the boat ramp. Try a slow retrieve with a diving crank bait. Call 541-837-3302 for information on camping and boat launching conditions.
GARRISON LAKE - Curry County: rainbow, cutthroat trout
Trout fishing has slowed due to weed growth and lower water. Anglers fishing early morning or late evening have been doing the best. Anglers slow trolling spinners, flies, or wedding ring spinners tipped with a worm all typically do well hooking up with some feisty rainbow trout. Five trout per day/3 daily limits in possession; 8-inch minimum; only one trout over 20 inches long may be taken per day. Bank anglers can find access at the 12th street or Pinehurst boat ramps and off Paradise Point Road. The lake can be very windy so anglers will want to check the weather before heading out.
HOWARD PRAIRIE RESERVOIR: trout, bass, pumpkinseed sunfish, bluegills
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Expect snow at Howard Prairie this weekend. The reservoir is 31 percent full and has good water clarity. All boat ramps are closed at this time due to low reservoir levels. Inflatables and kayaks can launch from shore. If you can get a small inflatable or kayak in, try trolling worms or lures. Anglers report catching some big fish at Howard Prairie. With cool water temperatures, the larger trout are active and biting at lures with red and black colors. Bank fishing can still be a good option here if you can get to some deeper areas. Howard Prairie has been stocked with our annual “fall fingerlings.” These trout are not of legal size, but should be by the spring, please be cognizant of the size of fish you are catching and gently release these smaller fish to grow until next year. The marina and restaurant, and the campground are now closed for the season.
HYATT LAKE: trout, largemouth bass
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Expect snow at Hyatt Lake. Hyatt Lake is 37 percent full and the boat ramp is not accessible at this time. Inflatables or kayaks can launch from the banks. It is deep enough around the dam to fish from the shore, and this can be a good option for still-fishing bait. Hyatt Lake has a lot of weeds, which can be problematic for fishing. Now that the water is low, anglers may have to adjust their techniques. There are some large, fat and healthy trout in Hyatt that are likely to bite on bait fished from the bottom or by trolling bait. Bass are also available at Hyatt, but will be slow to bite now that the weather has cooled. Hyatt Lake has been stocked with our annual “fall fingerlings.” These trout are not of legal size, but should be by the spring, please be cognizant of the size of fish you are catching and gently release these smaller fish to grow until next year.
LAKE OF THE WOODS: rainbow trout, kokanee, brown trout, yellow perch, brown bullhead, smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, crappie
The lake is near freezing and/or partially frozen.
Call Lake of the Woods Resort for recent information toll free at 866-201-4194. Open and accessible all year. Lake of the Woods has three improved boat ramps, numerous campgrounds and day use areas. There is a day use fee for this lake.
LAKE SELMAC: trout, largemouth bass, bluegill, crappie, bullheads
Lake Selmac was stocked the week of Oct. 14 with legal and larger-size trout. Try still fishing bait in deeper parts of the lake. Lures may also be a good bet in areas where aquatic vegetation is not an issue. Bass and panfish are available here year-round but may be slow to bite now that the weather has cooled. Aquatic vegetation can be thick in some areas but is beginning to die off. Warmwater fish in Lake Selmac are often found near the shore in the aquatic vegetation.
LEMOLO RESERVOIR: rainbow trout, brown trout, kokanee
No recent reports. The lake was last stocked before Labor Day. Kokanee in Lemolo are considered trout and therefore fall under the daily limit for trout of 5 per day with only one of those measuring over 20-inches. Contact Lemolo Lake Resort at 541-957-8354 for weather/road conditions and additional information.
LOST CREEK RESERVOIR: rainbow trout, brown trout, spring chinook, bass, bullheads
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Lost Creek Reservoir was stocked the week of Oct. 2 with legal-size and larger trout and both Tekelma and the Marina boat ramps are accessible. This is probably the best lake for launching larger trailered boats at this time and the trout fishing will continue to be good throughout the fall. Trout should be biting well with the cool temperatures. Bass and panfish are available here year-round but will be slow to bite now that the weather has cooled. Trolling a wedding ring and worm combination behind an oval egg sinker is always a good bet.
Lost Creek Reservoir is 36 percent full.
Some of the trout may have external parasites called copepods. Fish parasites generally do not pose a threat to humans when fish are cooked, and copepods can be scraped off prior to cooking. Anglers are encourage to keep fish that have copepods while staying within the daily limit, since release simply allows the parasite to expand to other hosts.
MEDCO POND: rainbow trout, largemouth bass, bluegill
Fishing should be good. It is worth a try to see if they are on the bite. Use nightcrawlers to see if there are active biters. Anglers are reminded that Medco Pond is privately owned. Gas engines are not allowed on the pond, and bank access is restricted to the west shore.
Medco Pond is not Forest Service or BLM land. The owner has said it will remain open to public access as long as people treat it respectfully and not trash it. And as long as there is public access, ODF&W will keep stocking it. There is a caretaker on site. They are putting out garbage bags for you to put your trash in, and even providing some chairs for sitting in while fishing. Some really nice touches. Let's do our part visiting there and throw all our trash away and leave only memories of our time there. By the way, when at Medco Pond, keep your eyes open when looking at the trees around the pond, especially the east side of it. Wolf sightings have happened up here. Keep your ears open too. Might hear them howling in the hills near the pond. I have had several people report they heard them, and I have heard a wolf howl up here. Best times for howling to happen are in the evening right after dusk turns to true nightfall, and again in the early morning hours just ahead of and after dawn's arrival. I saw a wolf on the Butte Falls - Prospect Highway just north of the pond. They are in the area.
REINHART POND: rainbow trout, warm water fish
Reinhardt Park Pond was last stocked with rainbow trout in mid-October. These fish should be biting well with the cooler water temperatures we have been experiencing, try still fishing bait in the deepest parts of the lake. Bass and panfish are available here year-round, but may be slow to bite now that the weather has cooled. This is a great place for a family to explore with very easy access for everyone. A relative simple set up that includes either a nightcrawler fished below a bobber.
WILLOW LAKE: rainbow trout, largemouth bass, black crappie, bluegills, brown bullhead, perch
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The water temperatures at Willow Lake have cooled significantly. Trout should be biting again. Warmwater fishing has really slowed down. Lake clarity is good. Anglers should concentrate on submerged willows or rocky shorelines. At 52 percent full, Willow Lake remains higher than other reservoirs in the area, but the boat ramp is now closed. Inflatables or kayaks can be launched from the shore.
RIVER REPORTS AS OF 12 / 12 / 2019
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To find out more about conservation, management and outreach efforts on the Rogue River, check out the Rogue River page on the ODFW Web site.
ALWAYS consult the fishing regulations before fishing rivers and streams in Southern Oregon. You can get to the regulations by clicking here.
Rogue River, lower: salmon, steelhead, trout
The flows are at 3,190 cfs this morning at Agness
As we ease into fall/winter weather, the water temperature will continue to drop, which should encourage some fish to move up river. When expecting rain and rising river levels, some people may want to consider switching tactics to anchoring up and back-bouncing eggs. Bank anglers will want to look for fish on inside bends in the river and slots along willow banks.
Winter steelhead fishing should be starting. Anglers might want to try swinging flies or tossing spinners.
Five hatchery trout may be retained daily. Wild rainbow and cutthroat trout must be released. Rainbow trout over 16-inches are considered steelhead.
Rogue River, middle: steelhead, chinook salmon, trout
At Grants Pass we have a flow of 1,750 cfs. The temp is 44.5 degrees.
As we ease into fall/winter weather, the water temperature will continue to drop, which should encourage some fish to move up river. When expecting rain and rising river levels, some people may want to consider switching tactics to anchoring up and back-bouncing eggs. Bank anglers will want to look for fish on inside bends in the river and slots along willow banks. Winter steelhead fishing should start . Anglers might want to try swinging flies or tossing spinners.
Five hatchery trout may be retained daily. Wild rainbow and cutthroat trout must be released. Rainbow trout over 16-inches are considered steelhead.
Rogue River, upper: steelhead, trout
The flow from the Lost Creek Dam is at 1,166 cfs. The flow at Dodge Bridge is at 1,490 cfs.
3,200 summer run steelhead and 202 coho salmon have returned to the Cole Rivers Hatchery through December 10th.
Above Hog Creek, Chinook fishing is now closed.
Summer steelhead and trout remain open in the upper Rogue, and summer steelhead fishing has been good. Bait restrictions are in effect in some areas so be aware of the regulations where you are fishing. From Fishers Ferry to Shady Cove anglers cannot use bait. A simple setup of bouncing bait, or using lures such a spinner, a plug or a bead can be very effective in steelhead fishing. This has been a great run of summer steelhead with not only many fish available, but larger fish as well. Cold, low water has been keeping steelhead from moving around much right now, so if you can figure out where they are holding it can still be good fishing. Excess hatchery adult summer steelhead from Cole River Hatchery are being recycled back into the fishery and anglers are reporting success in catching these fish. Some summer steelhead have red, blue or green tags extending from the top of the fish near the dorsal fin. ODFW encourages anglers that catch these fish to call the upper Rogue office at 541-826-8774. Cole Rivers is seeing coho back at the hatchery.
The Holy Water from the dam to the hatchery is open and is fly fishing ONLY! No bait fishing is ever allowed. Use both wet and dry flies. Wets tend to outfish dries, until a pale evening dunn hatch starts coming off on sunny days in the afternoons. Use prince nymphs or copperswans, steelhead brassies, stone flies, ugly bugs, or you will want to fish large dark flies if swinging. Don’t be afraid of color such as black and chartreuse, black and blue, black and purple, black and pink, or black and red. If tying your own flies, don’t be afraid to add a little bit of flash dubbing or tinsel in the body of your fly.
ROGUE RIVER ABOVE LOST CREEK RESERVOIR: rainbow trout, brook trout, cutthroat trout
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The Rogue River and feeder creeks like Mill Creek, National Creek, and Union Creek are stocked weekly from Memorial Day through Labor Day with 2500 legal sized rainbows of 8 - 10 inches in size. Stocking points are at campgrounds, and access points along Highway 62, Highway 230, and Forest Service roads in the area. You will also encounter larger sized hold overs going to 20 inches in the creeks. The deep pools of the Upper Rogue holds rainbows that can get up to 5 pounds. We see a couple of those caught every year up here. In 2017 a brown trout that was nearly 24 inches long and weighing about 4 pounds was caught at the mouth of Union Creek where it enters the Rogue. That fish was released after the angler that caught it posed for pictures with it. That is the largest brown to be caught in the upper Rogue in years. But, it is proof they are in there.
In addition to the stocked trout, the river and its tributaries also support naturally produced rainbow, cutthroat, brook, and brown trout ALL trout caught with adipose fins must be released unharmed. The best thing to use up here is without question nightcrawlers. Next would be using a single salmon egg like a Pautzke egg on a treble hook. Fly fishing can be done along Highway 230 where there is enough separation of the foliage and trees to allow for fly casting. With cold water, you’ll want to swing your lure right in front of fish, so work through a hole a bit more slowly. 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 night crawler or Pautzke eggs, even Power Bait will produce.
UMPQUA RIVER, MAINSTEM: steelhead, sturgeon, chinook, bass, striped bass, shad, trout
As of this morning the height of the river is at 4.06 feet and the flow is 2,410 cfs at Elkton.
Chinook fishing closed Dec. 1. Please note there is no retention of unclipped coho salmon in the river, but fin-clipped coho is open in the river as part of your two adult salmon daily limit.
Steelhead fishing should be starting up on the main. With rain in the forecast fishing could pickup over the weekend. Make sure to turn in snouts from hatchery fish for a chance to win a gift card.
Trout fishing is currently closed on the Main and its tributaries, but will reopen next Memorial Day.
Open for Chinook salmon Feb 1 – Jun 30 (Umpqua Wild Chinook Aggregate Bag Limit applies). From July 1– Dec. 31, anglers can harvest two wild Chinook per day, and in combination with the other salmon/ steelhead recorded on your salmon tag, up to 20 fish total. Fin-clipped hatchery fish can be recorded on a separate hatchery harvest tag that is available. There is no limit on the number of hatchery tags that can be purchased. Daily limits still apply.
UMPQUA RIVER, SOUTH: steelhead, trout, smallmouth bass
As of this morning the height of the river is at 5.24 feet and the flow is 1,060 cfs at Brockway.
The mainstem South reopened to steelhead fishing Dec. 1. There have not been any reports of any steelhead caught yet. But, hardly any anglers are making an effort right now. The best time to fish the SU is always late January through early April. When you catch steelhead, make sure to turn in snouts from hatchery fish for a chance to win a gift card.
UMPQUA RIVER, NORTH: steelhead, spring chinook, trout
As of this morning the height of the river is at 3.23 feet and the flow is 2,180 cfs at Winchester.
There have been some reports of anglers catching summer steelhead, but it has been slow. We are entering the shoulder season for steelhead and it should pick up for winter steelhead in January. Make sure to turn in snouts from hatchery winter steelhead for a chance to win a gift card.
The North is closed to all fishing for Chinook.
Some of the North Umpqua and tributaries are open for trout (those above Slide Creek Dam): check the fishing regulations to see which areas are closed.
Note that as of Oct. 1, fishing in the fly water area is restricted to the use of a single, barbless, artificial fly.
CHETCO RIVER: Sea run cuttthroat trout, rainbow trout, chinook salmon, steelhead
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Effective Dec. 7, the emergency angling closure in the Chetco River was lifted. Reduced wild Chinook harvest and bag limits remain in effect.
Temporary fishing regulations will be in place Oct. 1 – Dec. 31 this year for wild Chinook salmon. Adult wild Chinook may be harvested, 1 per day and 5 per year, as part of daily or annual salmon/steelhead bag limit. However, of the 5 no more than 2 adult wild Chinook may be harvested for the period of Oct. 1 – Dec. 3.
ELK / SIXES RIVERS: Sea run cutthroat trout, rainbow trout, steelhead
Effective Dec. 7, the emergency angling closure in the Elk River was lifted. Reduced wild Chinook harvest and bag limits remain in effect.
Temporary fishing regulations will be in place Oct. 1 – Dec. 31 for wild chinook salmon. For more information, please see the in-season regulation change tables here.
To check current river conditions, call 541-332-0405.
APPLEGATE RIVER: rainbow and cutthroat trout, steelhead
The Applegate River is open to trout fishing. Only fin-clipped rainbow trout may be retained. All wild cutthroat and rainbow trout must be released unharmed. Steelhead fishing will open January 1st.
ILLINOIS RIVER: trout, steelhead
The Illinois is open for trout fishing, but hatchery fish are not stocked so the fishery is primarily catch-and-release for wild rainbow and cutthroat trout.
WINCHUCK RIVER: Sea run Cutthroat trout, rainbow trout, steelhead
Effective Dec. 7, the emergency angling closure in the Winchuck River was lifted. Reduced wild Chinook harvest and bag limits remain in effect.
Temporary fishing regulations are now in place through Dec. 31 this year for wild chinook salmon. Adult wild Chinook may be harvested, 1 per day and 5 per year, as part of daily or annual salmon/steelhead bag limit. However, of the 5 no more than 2 adult wild Chinook may be harvested for the period of Oct. 1 – Dec. 31 This rule does not affect hatchery fish or jacks.
SOUTHERN OREGON COASTAL REPORTS -
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Ocean surfaces are now going to be in winter conditions. Small boats under 30 feet are not advised to be out of port owing to small craft advisory conditions, gale conditions, and hazardous seas......unless there is certain window of opportunity that will develop. ALWAYS be checking forecasts frequently, and keep an eye on the ocean if you can get out.
FOR 12 / 12 / 2019
Salmon fishing in the estuary and the river remains the main attraction in Brookings as low water flows have kept the fish kegged up in the lower river. Fishing in the near shore waters of Brookings has been for bottom fish off the jetties and the beaches. Crabbing remains slow in the estuary and boat basin. When ocean conditions have cooperated, the fishing for bottom fish, including some huge lings has been very good with limits being hit. Boat angling for cabezon is now closed as the quota has been hit. But, Cabbies are taken off the jetties in Brookings and you are still allowed one cabezon a day when fishing from the shore or jetties.
GOLD BEACH: The reports from Gold Beach show that hings are pretty slow. Salmon fishing has been spotty at best as groups of them come in. Crabbing is better in the bay than it had been. Seeing a few more crabs coming in. Bottom fishing is good out of Gold Beach provided you have conditions to get after them. Surf perch fishing on the sand bars has been good too with good conditions. Clam necks and Berkley Gulp baits will get you fish in the bucket with favorable conditions including tides and winds.
COOS RIVER BASIN: Dungeness crab, bay clams, steelhead, bottom fish, striped bass.
Fishing for rockfish inside the bay has been good near the submerged rock piles. Fishing is typically best near slack tide. 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.
A few winter steelhead anglers have starting fishing the East Fork and West Fork Millicoma rivers. We have not received any reports of steelhead being caught but with the rain in the forecast some fish should move in soon. Steelhead anglers wanting to fish the South Fork Coos River above Dellwood will need a fishing permit from Weyerhaeuser to access this portion of the river.
Hatchery steelhead returns in the Coos Basin will be down this year due to low smolt releases two years ago. Because of disease issues at the hatchery then, we were only able to release less than 40 percent of our production goal.
Trout fishing in streams and rivers will reopen May 22, 2020.
WINCHESTER BAY: sturgeon, chinook, rock fish, surf perch
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Not getting much information from here now. I would suspect that bottom fishing is good with favorable conditions off the jetties and in the Triangle. Crabbing is just decent. Taking long soaks get more than a couple keepers.
MARINE OFF SHORE FISHING: bottomfish, crab, salmon, tuna, halibut
SOUTHERN OREGON COAST CLOSED TO THE HARVEST OF RAZOR CLAMS FROM COQUILLE RIVER SOUTH JETTY TO THE CALIFORNIA STATE LINE DUE TO HIGH LEVELS OF DOMOIC ACID
Prohibitions at Oregon’s marine reserves at Cascade Head, Cape Perpetua, Redfish Rocks and Otter Rock are in effect. Fishing, crabbing, clamming, hunting and gathering seaweed are all prohibited. Beach walking, surfing, bird watching, diving and other non-extractive uses continue to be allowed. See complete details and a map of the boundaries of the reserves:
Otter Rock Marine Reserve
Redfish Rocks Marine Reserve and Marine Protected Area
Cape Perpetua Marine Reserve and Marine Protected Area
Cascade Head Marine Reserve and Marine Protected Area
Seasons and regulations summary on the main sport bottomfish seasons page
CABEZON RETENTION FROM BOATS NOW CLOSED FOR THE REST OF THE YEAR. ANGLERS FISHING FROM THE SHORE MAY RETAIN ONE LEGAL CABEZON IN THEIR DAILY CATCH THROUGH DECEMBER 31ST.
As usual, autumn finds bottomfish anglers pursuing other activities, but some level of effort is common throughout the winter months when safe ocean conditions allow. When ocean conditions have allowed, anglers have been having good success with lingcod and mixed success with rockfish. Anglers should carefully check the weather forecast before venturing out to go ocean fishing.
Retention of cabezon, China rockfish, copper rockfish, and quillback rockfish is prohibited from boats. The quota for these rockfish species, along with cabezon, is estimated to have been reached. Shore-based fishing for copper, China and quillback rockfishes as well as cabezon will continue, as there is quota set aside to accommodate this.
Excited to go bottomfish fishing but find yourself wondering what you can keep and how many? Click here
Want to work on your identification skills of commonly caught bottomfish? Try the Common Bottomfish online quiz (similar to the Yelloweye or Not quiz) byclicking here.
The bottomfish fishery is now open to all depths with a General Marine Species bag limit of 5 fish. Retention of China, copper and quillback rockfishes as well as cabezon is allowed for shore fishing only, of which no more than 1 may be a cabezon. Retention of cabezon, China rockfish, copper rockfish and quillback rockfish from a boat is prohibited. A separate bag limit allows retention of 2 lingcod. Yelloweye retention is still closed this year.
Anglers participating in the offshore longleader fishery frequently catch limits (10 fish) of large canary rockfish and yellowtail rockfish. The longleader gear fishery outside of the 40-fathom regulatory line is open all year.
Vessels fishing for or retaining bottomfish (including flatfish) species or Pacific halibut in the ocean are required (1) to have onboard a functioning rockfish descending device, and (2) use it to descend any rockfish released when fishing outside of the 30-fathom regulatory line. For more information and videos, please see the rockfish recompression webpage.
In addition to the descending device rule, ODFW continues to encourage anglers to use a descending device when releasing ANY rockfish with signs of barotrauma. Signs of barotrauma, such as bulging eyes and a gut protruding from the mouth, are reversible when fish are returned to depth with a descending device. Use a descending device to safely return fish to a depth of 60 feet or more. Even fish that are severely bloated can survive after being released at depth.
Waypoints (for fathom lines and other restricted areas)
Recreational crabbing is open in bays and estuaries, and on beaches, docks, piers, and jetties along the entire Oregon coast from the Columbia River to the California border,
For recreational crab harvesters, it is recommended that crab always be eviscerated prior to cooking, which includes removal and discard of the viscera, internal organs, and gills.
Because of Oregon’s precautionary management of biotoxins, the crab and shellfish products currently being sold in retail markets and restaurants are safe for consumers.
Before clamming or crabbing, call ODA’s shellfish safety information hotline at (800) 448-2474 or visit the ODA shellfish closures web page at: http://ODA.direct/ShellfishClosures
The consumption of crab viscera is not recommended.
Beginning Jan. 1, 2020, recreational crabbers will need to mark all floating surface buoys with the owner’s full name or business name and at least one of the following: phone number, permanent address, ODFW Angler ID number, or vessel identification number. Mark your information in a clear, legible, and permanent manner. While this rule does not apply to gear tied to docks, piers, jetties, or beaches, we recommend marking buoys on any gear that could become derelict or lost. Find more information here.
SHORE AND ESTUARY FISHING
Public piers provide opportunities to catch surfperch and baitfish and to drop crab pots (but check first for crab health safety closures).
Surfperch are available in the surf year-round along sandy beaches and rocky shore, with the best fishing (and safest fishing) occurring when swells are small. Learn about ocean surfperch fishing.
When fishing from shore or inside estuaries and bays, it is important to check the tide. Many fish that swim into estuaries and bays, including salmon, surfperch, and Pacific herring, tend to come in with the tide. Catch of these species is more likely to occur closer to slack tide. Additionally, the accessibility of some areas can be completely dependent on the tide. Do not allow the incoming tide to become a safety.
The recreational harvest of razor clams is CLOSED from the south jetty of the Siuslaw River to the California border for elevated domoic acid levels. This includes all beaches and all bays.
The recreational harvest of razor clams is OPEN from the Columbia River to the north jetty of the Siuslaw River. This includes all beaches and all bays.
The annual conservation closure for the Clatsop beaches is no longer in effect (July 15 - September 30).
Fall and winter harvesting of razor clams can be a challenging endeavor. Unlike the spring and summer, low tides are in the evenings and at night when visibility is poor or nonexistent. Typical to the Oregon coast, the fall and winter brings large storm events, which keep the razor clams from “showing” as readily and can also be a safety risk with surging water and debris on the beach. Make sure to monitor swell and surf advisories as well as predicted wind prior to harvesting. Combined seas greater than 10 feet and winds greater than 20 mph will make harvesting difficult for all, including the most experienced harvester.
Seasons now closed.
Details for the 2019 ocean salmon season, full catch and quota updates are available here.
You’ll find a guide and tips to identification of salmon and steelhead on the Ocean salmon fishing page here.
2019 PACIFIC HALIBUT
Halibut fishing season is closed.
Additional information about sport halibut management, including landing estimates, can be found on the ODFW halibut management webpage.