Free fishing this weekend Saturday and Sunday Aug. 17-18
It’s free to fish, crab or clam in Oregon on Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 17-18.
During these two days, no fishing licenses or tags (including a Combined Angling Tag or Columbia River Basin Endorsement) are required to fish, crab or clam anywhere in Oregon for both residents and non-residents.
Although no licenses or tags are required, all other fishing regulations apply including closures, bag limits and size restrictions. If you are fishing for salmon, steelhead or marine species like rockfish, remember to check the Fishing section of the Recreation Report for the zone you want to fish to find the latest regulations.
Look for the latest on fishing conditions and regulations at ODFW’s Weekly Recreation Report, which is updated every Wednesday. Trout and warmwater fishing are ideal for beginners; see the trout stocking schedule to find out when your local pond was stocked with hatchery rainbow trout.
If you’re in the mountains, combine a hike with a fishing trip and hike in to one of Oregon’s higher elevation mountain lakes. These stay cooler in the summer which keeps trout on the bite. See ODFW’s guide to Fishing Oregon’s hike-in lakes.
If you are on the coast this weekend, ocean fishing for rockfish, tuna and coho salmon has been good. Surfperch can be targeted from beaches and jetties by those staying on shore (see How-to fish for surfperch). Or try crabbing, which is currently open along the entire Oregon coast (reminder to always double check ODA shellfish restrictionsbefore clamming or crabbing).
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.
Summer steelhead numbers are increasing in the middle and upper Rogue and the recent storm may have pushed more fish upstream. Keep in mind fishing for chinook upstream of Dodge Bridge is now closed.
On the Umpqua, anglers are catching a few Chinook in the bay.
Approximately 230 hatchery adult spring Chinook and 66 hatchery adult summer steelhead from Cole River Hatchery were recycled into the upper Rogue on June 21.
Bass fishing on the Main and South Umpqua is always a good bet this time of year.
If you fish in lakes and ponds that have perch in them, use a bobber and nightcrawler to catch them in high numbers. Perch are invasive in Oregon, There is no bag limit on them. You can take all you want of these very good eating fish.
CONDITIONS LAST UPDATED 8/ 15 / 2019
LAKE REPORTS - PRESENTED BY:
AGATE LAKE: trout, largemouth and smallmouth bass, black crappie, bluegills, perch, bullhead catfish
The lake is 44 percent full. Bass fishing along the dam and crappie fishing with jigs near submerged willows will be good bets, especially early or late in the day.
APPLEGATE RESERVOIR: trout, spring chinook, largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, bluegill, crappie
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MERCURY ADVISORY IN EFFECT AT APPLEGATE RESERVOIR. TROUT, SALMON, AND STEELHEAD ARE THE FISH THAT ARE SAFE TO EAT OUT OF APPLEGATE RESERVOIR. THERE ARE HEALTH ADVISORIES ON EATING WARM WATER FISH OUT OF APPLEGATE.
The Oregon Health Department has issued a mercury advisory for Applegate Reservoir. This means that the warmwater fish in Applegate have been found to be carrying higher than safe levels of mercury in them. Mercury is naturally occurring in Southern Oregon waterways. You should limit the amount of bass, perch, bluegills, and crappie that you eat out of Applegate Reservoir. Click here for the full information.
The lake was stocked in mid-April with 10,000 legals and 800 quality trophy trout, and was stocked again in early June with 15,000 legals and 500 pounder-size rainbow trout.
As the surface temperature warms, trout anglers will want to concentrate on deeper water and inlets. Bass fishing should be good, and anglers should try casting lures along a rocky shoreline. The reservoir is 56 percent full and boat ramps are accessible. Applegate Lake has three boat ramps. The Hart-Tish Park ramp is open as are Copper and French Gulch. 56 percent of capacity is a higher then normal level for Applegate at this time of the year.
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.
Diamond Lake has been decent. Recent reports indicate most successful anglers are using flies with a quick retrieve or trolling. Others are having good success with floating bait off the bottom. If one technique isn’t working switch to something else. They stocked Diamond Lake with sub legal rainbows of around 6 inches in size in June. It was planned that 350,000 of them would be released. I caight one of those on my trip up to Diamond on June 22nd. Returned it to the lake as quickly as possible.
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
MERCURY ADVISORY IN EFFECT AT EMIGRANT. TROUT IS THE ONLY TYPE OF FISH THAT ARE SAFE TO EAT OUT OF EMIGRANT.
Fishing for warmwater species should be good, especially early and late and late in the day. Anglers should concentrate on the submerged willows and the rocky area along the dam. The reservoir is 56 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.
Fishing for bass and panfish should be good. During the summer, anglers should concentrate on submerged vegetation or other structures. Fishing for trout is very slow due to warm water temps.
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
The lake was stocked with larger rainbow trout in addition to legal-sized fish in mid-July, which should have provided a boost to angler success through the summer and into the fall. Still fishing with PowerBait is always a good option, especially if clarity is low. But, with good water clarity, trolling with flashers and worms will put fish in the boat unless the bite is totally off. The lake is at 34 percent of capacity. The boat ramps are open. Large boats need to use caution launching at the Forest Service boat ramp.
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
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Fishing for rainbow trout is good. The lake was heavily stocked last week with rainbow trout ranging from 10- to 19-inches. Fishing has been fair for brook trout and for lake trout around 20-inches, and there are a few rainbow trout carryovers. The lake is 25 percent full, based on the 15,600 acre feet taken out for irrigation. As the lake lowers, it will become increasingly more difficult to launch boats, as there is no concrete boat ramp. You can launch boats from the sandy beach.
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. 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. I can also add that I have seen pioctures from Galesville of whooper sized bluegill and crappie being taken there recently. I mean true giant sized bluegills and crappie. The size truly worth going after for some really delicious filets. 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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The reservoir is 42 percent full and the marina boat ramp remains usable with about four feet of water depth. Larger boats probably have another week or two to be able to launch at Howard, and should contact Jackson County Parks for current conditions. No other boat ramps are available at Howard. Trout fishing has slowed with warmer water temperatures. Anglers reported some success by trolling worms or lures or still fishing with power bait while anchored in deeper water. Anglers need to be prepared for color in the water during an ongoing bloom. Bass fishing should be good.
HYATT LAKE: trout, largemouth bass
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Hyatt Lake is 39 percent full and may now be unusable to trailered boats. The water is approaching the end of the concrete at the Mountain View boat ramp, use caution if attempting to launch here. Fishing can still be good from inflatables and smaller watercraft, or from shore near the dam. Bass fishing should be good, but aquatic vegetation can be problematic. The rocky shore near the dam may be the most accessible at this time.
LAKE OF THE WOODS: rainbow trout, kokanee, brown trout, yellow perch, brown bullhead, smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, crappie
Fishing for rainbow trout is slow as most have moved to deeper water in the middle of the lake. As water temperatures warm near shore, trout will move out into colder water and hold at a depth of about 15 feet. Fishing for largemouth bass also has been good with a few smallmouth available. Yellow perch are the dominant fish in the reservoir. Fishing with bait on the bottom can be very good for brown bullhead. 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
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Fishing for bass and panfish should be good, especially early and late in the day with warmer temperatures. Aquatic vegetation can be thick in some areas this time of year and anglers may have to adjust their fishing techniques.
LEMOLO RESERVOIR: rainbow trout, brown trout, kokanee
Fishing has been a little slow. The lake is scheduled to be stocking at the end of the month. 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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Trout fishing should be good, especially in deeper water and in the upper reservoir around and above the Hwy 62 bridge, where water is cooler and anglers can avoid speedboaters. Trolling a wedding ring and worm combination behind an oval egg sinker is always a good bet. The lake is 62 percent full and the surface temperature is 74F. Some of the trout 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 for bass and panfish should be good. 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
The pond near the baseball fields at Reinhardt Community Volunteer Park has been stocked throughout the spring but will not be stocked again until October due to warm water temperatures. 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, or floating PowerBait fished off the bottom are all you need to catch a trout here. If you choose to use PowerBait below a bobber, make sure to add some split shot to your line below the bobber to keep the power bait from floating on the surface. Non-toxic split shot often made of tin are very good options for youth fishing.
WILLOW LAKE: rainbow trout, largemouth bass, black crappie, bluegills, brown bullhead, perch
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Willow Lake has been stocked with trout; however, with surface temperatures at 80oF trout fishing is likely slow and anglers should concentrate in the deepest part of the lake. Fishing for bass and panfish is more likely to be productive and the lake clarity is good. The boat ramp at Willow Lake is open and the lake is 85 percent full
RIVER REPORTS AS OF 8 / 16 / 2019
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Pikeminnow are not native to the Rogue River and anglers are always encouraged to remove them while fishing on the Rogue. Until Sept. 2, the STEP program is running a pikeminnow harvest contest for the Rogue River. For more information pick up a flier at the Central Point ODFW, local bait and tackle shops, or call Ryan Battleson at 541-826-8774 x 226.
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 2,070 cfs this morning at Agness
The Rogue bay has been slow for Chinook......most of the time. There has been bursts of a decent bite from time to time. But, nothing red hot yet. That said, the chinooks being seen are really nice quality. Most of the fish are being caught downstream of Highway 101.
The Huntley Seining Project has begun again. So far, we’ve seen adult steelhead, half-pounders, and shad. Anglers can find the regularly updated Huntley Report here.
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 1,840 cfs. The temp is 68 degrees.
Summer steelhead are available along with some Chinook. Anglers may keep hatchery summer steelhead throughout the river and hatchery or wild Chinook downstream of Dodge Bridge.
Popular floats include: Gold Hill to Rogue River, Baker to Lathrop or Ferry Hole, or Griffin Park to Robertson Bridge.
Boaters floating from Hog Creek to Graves Creek should be familiar with the rapids in this section of river, and know their takeouts. Experienced oarsmen/woman are recommended here. There are many BLM public access points to bank fish from Hog Creek to Graves Creek. This is often referred to the “Galice area.”
The middle Rogue is a good area to target pikeminnow for the STEP pikeminnow harvest contest. Pikeminnow can be caught with bait drifted off the bottom in eddies and slow moving water. Pick up a flier at the Central Point ODFW office or at a local bait and tackle shop for more details on this contest, or call Ryan Battleson at 541-826-8774 x 226.
Rogue River, upper: steelhead, trout
The flow from the Lost Creek Dam is at 1,726 cfs. The flow at Dodge Bridge is at 1,720 cfs.
3,250 spring chinook, and 1,786 summer run steelhead have returned to the Cole Rivers Hatchery through August 14th.
Summer steelhead and trout remains open and the recent rain may have brought new fish upstream. The Rogue between Fishers Ferry Boat Ramp and Dodge Bridge remains open for hatchery and wild Chinook until Sept. 1.
Chinook fishing is now closed upstream of Dodge Bridge.
As of August 7, 269 new summer steelhead had entered the trap at Cole Rivers, for a season total of 1,573 steelhead to date. 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 by drifting eggs. The summer steelhead have red 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.
There is good public access for bank fishing and boat access at Cole Rivers Hatchery, McGregor Park, Casey Park, Rogue Elk, Shady Cove, Takelma, Dodge Bridge, Modoc, Denman Wildlife Area, Touvelle State Park, Gold Ray and Fishers Ferry. Most floats in the upper Rogue have been from the hatchery or Rogue Elk downstream to Shady Cove. Dodge Bridge to Touvelle is an excellent float but anglers should be aware that they will encounter Rattlesnake Rapids. If you are not ready for Rattlesnake, many floats will start at the ODFW Modoc Access Site and float to Touvelle or Fishers Ferry.
Fly anglers that nymph will want to 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. Also, covering lots of water when working through a run is a good technique when swinging flies. Trying moving 4-5 feet down every cast or two.
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. Use the same flies as mentioned above...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.
Reports indicate fishing has been good from Prospect upstream. 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 PowerBait will produce.
Umpqua anglers: return steelhead snouts
Winter steelhead anglers are asked to return snouts from hatchery steelhead harvested in the Umpqua River basin to collection barrels at various boat ramps around Douglas County and at the ODFW office in Roseburg. This data collection is part of a multi-year research project to improve winter steelhead fishing in the South Umpqua River.
UMPQUA RIVER, MAINSTEM: steelhead, sturgeon, chinook, bass, striped bass, shad, trout
As of this morning the height of the river is at 2.91 feet and the flow is 1,050 cfs at Elkton.
Some fall Chinook have been caught in the bay, and it should continue to improve as we get further into August. 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. The river regulations start at the tips of the jetties.
Bass fishing has been good in most of the main.
Trout fishing is open and the mainstem is catch-and-release only, but in tributaries 2 per day may be kept as long as they meet the 8-inch minimum length.
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
Some stretches of the South are closed to fishing still. Please consult the fishing regulations for more info. Trout fishing in the entire basin is catch-and-release only. Smallmouth bass fishing has been good throughout.
UMPQUA RIVER, NORTH: steelhead, spring chinook, trout
There have been some reports of anglers catching summer steelhead, but it has been slow.
The North closed to all fishing for Chinook on July 1.
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 July 1, fishing in the fly water area is restricted to the use of a single, barbless, unweighted artificial fly.
CHETCO RIVER: Sea run cuttthroat trout, rainbow trout, chinook salmon, steelhead
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Warmer water and lower flows have slowed trout fishing in the mainstem, but anglers willing to do a little walking can find some great cutthroat trout fishing in some of the tributaries to the Chetco. Above tidewater, only artificial flies and lures may be used. The bag limit is two per day. Rainbow trout over 16-inches are considered steelhead.
Please see the southwest zone special regulations and exceptions for current regulations.
ELK / SIXES RIVERS: Sea run cutthroat trout, rainbow trout, steelhead
The trout season opened May 22. Two Rainbow trout per day may be retained per day. Rainbow trout over 16-inches are considered steelhead. Please see the southwest zone regulation exceptions in the ODFW Sport Fishing Regulations book for more details.
To check river current conditions, call 541-332-0405.
APPLEGATE RIVER: rainbow and cutthroat trout, steelhead
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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.
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
Trout season opened May 22. Two trout may be retained daily. Rainbow trout over 16-inches are considered steelhead. Please see the exceptions to the southwest zone regulations for more details.
SOUTHERN OREGON COASTAL REPORTS -
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Ocean surfaces will be rough through Sunday the 18th. A Gale Warning with a Hazardous Seas Warning is up for the waters south of Cape Blanco through 5 am Sunday, then that is replaced with a small craft advisory through Sunday night. Not looking good to get boats out of Brookings or Gold Beach at all.
North of Cape Blanco, a Small Cradt Advisory is in effect through Sunday. This is going to cause an impact on fishing from Port Orford north. The timing for free fishing weekend could not be worse.
FOR 8 / 15 / 2019
Fishing in the near shore waters of Brookings has largely been for bottom fish off the jetties and the beaches for the last week. Crabbing has been slow in the estuary and boat basin. The real crabbing in Brookings is happening off shore for keepers. 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 takne off the jetties in Brookings and you are still allowed one cabezon a day when fishing from the shore or jetties. Salmon angling has slowed, but when conditions allowed anglers are still taking them. Tuna have been as close as 17 miles out. While not nearly as red hot as it is further north, anglers have still been boating plenty of tuna when boats can get out the 17 to 20 miles to get to them
GOLD BEACH: The reports from Gold Beach mirror much of what we see in Brookings. The exception here is the tuna. Not hearing of any tuna being taken out of Gold Beach. Literally the only port in Oregon where that seems to be the case. Crabbing is very slow in the bay, and much better off shore. But, conditions have to be such that boats can get out. Bottom fishing is good out of Gold Beach. That is the focus of off shore fishing here. As you likely saw above, salmon fishing in the bay has not been really great. Some chinooks being taken. Really nice ones to be sure. With the expected weather this weekend, look for the emphasis to be totally on the bay.
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 slacktide. A jig with a twister tail can be a great bait for catching rockfish.
Salmon anglers caught a few fall Chinook trolling from the chip pile to the California Street boat ramp this past weekend. Most anglers troll a cut plug herring behind a flasher. Catch rates will improve as we approach the end of the month.
Temporary fall Chinook salmon regulations start on Aug. 1. Salmon anglers in Coos Bay will only be able to harvest 1 wild Chinook per day and 5 wild Chinook for the season in aggregate from all waters from Coos Basin, Coquille Basin, Sixes River, and Elk River. The South Fork Coos River will be closed to salmon fishing upstream of Myrtle Tree Boat Ramp, and the Millicoma River will be closed to salmon fishing upstream of Rooke Higgins Boat Ramp.
Marine perch species are available around rocks, riprap, pilings, and docks at this time of year.
Trout fishing in streams and rivers is open. Try cutthroat trout fishing on streams of the Elliott State Forest. Using spinners and flies can get you into a fight with these scrappy fish.
WINCHESTER BAY: sturgeon, chinook, rock fish, surf perch
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In a word.......TUNA!! It is all about tuna right now here. Tuna have been as close as 8 miles out in the last week. They are just slaughtering them here. Limits of 20 have been getting reached. And seeing HUGE albacore tuna being caught here. The average fish is running around 20 pounds right now. For tuna look for the temperature breaks and hit them hard. When you do, you get slammed! Dorado, yes dorado, are being seen in numbers out of Winchester Bay and Charleston. I have seen pictures of as many as 8 dorado landed on a boat. Just incredible fishing for them. Possibly the best ever off Oregon. The key is to look for floating debris like logs to get the dorado. Find those floating logs, and you are going to hit dorado. In addition a small bluefin tuna was landed this last week up here. It weighed just under 30 pounds. Bit it was a bluefin. Anglers are reporting hooking into sharks as well. Have had reports of makos and threshers being caught. Those are both tremendous eating! If you can catch one of those, lucky you! I did see a picture of two anglers posing with a blue shark of about 8 feet in length. Blue sharks are very poor eating. I have caught one while after tuna out of Brookings one year. We cut the leader and let it go. It was about 8 feet in length. If you should get a blue, or salmon shark on the line, just cut your leader and let it go.
Now that I have covered all of that....let's talk about the crabbing which has been sensational! They are pulling pots just stuffed with HUGE males. Males so big you do not even need to measure them out. OBVIOUS keepers as soon as you put eyes on them. You take the 12 largest ones you have, empty the pot of the rest, and move on. Yes, it really is that good in the off shore waters. In the bay and boat basin, keepers are being brought in. Just takes longer soaks and more work to get the big boys. But, you will get some. Salmon fishing has slowed on the open ocean. But, it has been picking up in the easturary, Half Moon Bay, and even the Boat Basin. Chinooks runniong around 20 pounds have been taken by anglers in boats and also from the shore. Spinners are getting it done from the shore.....and trolling spinners and anchovies has been working in the eastuary and Half Moon Bay. Bottom fishing has been great too. Limits beeing had for those doing that kind of fishing. And so of course now that I have you all jacked up about this.....a Small Craft advisory is up througth Sunday night that will be a total buzzkill for the ocean waters for Free Fishing weekend. If you are going to go, go after the chinooks in the eatuary and soak crab pots in Half Moon Bay and the Boat Basin. You will get some crabs that way.
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
This is the PREMIER Off shore fishery along the Oregon Coast right now. To say it has been good is an understatement. It is being called the best tuna fishing off Oregon in 50 years. As I said above in the Winchester Bay report....dorado, yes dorado are off the coast in numbers. This could be the best dorado fishing off Oregon...EVER! Seeing multiples being caught. The best so far was a boat out of Winchest Bay that got 8 of them in a day of fishing.
Albacore tuna fishing was good for anglers who could access the offshore areas this past week. A record catch of 32,000 albacore tuna landed was reported this week. Albacore catch rates by port for the week ending on Aug. 11 were: Astoria – 3.05 tuna per angler, Garibaldi – 7.33 tuna per angler, Pacific City – 5.29 tuna per angler, Depoe Bay – 4.04 tuna per angler, Newport – 3.95 tuna per angler, Winchester Bay – 7.64 tuna per angler, Charleston – 8.29 tuna per angler, Bandon – 9.78 tuna per angler, Gold Beach – 7.67 tuna per angler, (but I had zero reports of tuna being caught by anglers out of Gold Beach), and Brookings – 7.51 tuna per angler.
There have also been a few other warm water species making rare surprise appearances on boats targeting albacore including: thresher shark, short fin mako shark, bluefin tuna, and yellowtail.
Seasons and regulations summary on the main sport bottomfish seasons page
CABEZON RETENTION FORM BOAST 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.
Ocean conditions last week were some of the nicest this summer. Many anglers took advantage of the favorable ocean conditions and targeted albacore tuna offshore, so we don’t really have new information on bottomfish.
Thursday, Aug. 15 was the last day to retain cabezon if fishing from a boat, the quota is estimated to have been reached. Shore-based fishing for cabezon continues as there is quota set aside to accommodate it.
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 open inside the 40-fathom regulatory line from May through September with a General Marine Species bag limit of 5 fish, of which no more than 1 may be a cabezon through August 15. Cabezon closed starting August 16 for boat-based anglers, as the quota has been caught. 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)
Selective coho salmon fishing is currently open in all areas of the Oregon Coast. Anglers fishing for salmon and all anglers fishing from boats with salmon on board are limited to no more than 2 single point barbless hooks per line, and no more than one line per angler (treble and double point hooks are prohibited).
In the Leadbetter Point, WA to Cape Falcon, OR, area fishing picked back up a bit over this past week with average catch rates climbing to 1.27 salmon per angler-trip with 96 percent of the catch made up of coho. Anglers are reminded that the bag limit is two salmon per day, but no more than one Chinook in this area, and all coho MUST have a healed adipose fin clip. As of Aug. 11, approximately 52 percent of the coho quota, and 46 percent of the Chinook guideline had been landed in the area.
In the area from Cape Falcon to the OR/CA border, the bag limit is two salmon per day and all coho MUST have a healed adipose fin clip. Catch rates picked up throughout much of this area last week. Based on dockside interviews salmon catch rates by port were: Garibaldi – 0.45 salmon per angler, Pacific City – 0.51 salmon per angler, Depoe Bay – 0.31 salmon per angler, Newport – 0.73 salmon per angler, Winchester Bay – 0.29 salmon per angler, Charleston – 0.75 salmon per angler, Bandon 0.38 salmon per angler, and Brookings 0.20 salmon per angler. Coho continue to make up the majority of the catch in all locations. As of Aug. 11, approximately 32,700 coho have been landed (36.3 percent of the quota of 90,000 coho). There have also been a total of 3,500 Chinook landed (there is no quota on Chinook for the recreational fishery in this area).
Details for the 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
The Central Oregon Coast summer all-depth season started off slowly, with a little over 2,000 pounds landed during the first opening (Aug 2-3). Ocean conditions were more favorable last week with some anglers going out for a summer “halbicore” trip (targeting both albacore tuna and halibut). Early reports are of some success on the halibut grounds with a decent grade of fish. The summer all-depth season is open every Friday and Saturday.
The Central Oregon Coast nearshore halibut fishery is open seven days per week. Remember, when the all-depth fishery is open (e.g. Aug 16-17), all-depth regulations apply, regardless of where fishing actually occurs.
In the Columbia River subarea, the nearshore halibut fishery is open daily; there has been little effort and only a few landings so far this season.
The southern Oregon subarea has seen some effort and success this year. One hefty halibut (landed in Brookings during the week ending June 16) weighed 56 pounds; the average this season is 29 pounds.
Halibut season dates can be found in the REGULATION UPDATES section above.
Additional information about sport halibut management, including landing estimates (posted by noon on Fridays), can be found on the ODFW halibut management webpage.
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 hazard.