The 2014 Saltwater Sportsman’s Show is March 8 and 9 in Salem. Registration opens at 8 a.m. both days. The show will be in the Oregon State Fairgrounds, Americraft Center, 2330 17th St. Two-day adult admission to the tradeshow and all seminars is $20. Admission to just the tradeshow is $10. Youth 17 years and younger are free. More information is at www.saltwatersportsmansshow.com.
There is an error in the 2014 Oregon Sport Fishing Regulations book in the waypoint for the Stonewall Bank Yelloweye Rockfish Conservation Area (YRCA). On page 105, the latitude for waypoints 3, 4 and 5 are incorrect. The map for the YRCA on page 105, however, is correct. The waypoints for the Stonewall bank YRCA are the same as in previous years. The waypoints for the YRCA on the ODFW web site are correct.
Here are the correct coordinates (the bold and underlined minutes are corrected from the 2014 regulations book):
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We’d love to hear about your recent fishing experience. Send us your own fishing report through ODFW Fishing Reports -- the information will be forwarded to the local biologist who may use it to update various ODFW resources such as the Weekly Recreation Report.
Saltwater News Bulletins
You can subscribe to receive e-mails and text message alerts for marine topics you are interested in. Sign up and enter your phone for text alerts and e-mail information to subscribe to email updates. It’s easy to unsubscribe at any time. Your phone and e-mail information will remain confidential. Six different lists of interest to ocean enthusiasts are available: Bottomfish (recreational), Halibut (recreational), Ocean Salmon (recreational), Ocean Salmon (commercial troll), Commercial Nearshore Groundfish, and Marine Reserves.
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:
ODFW biologists report spawning aggregations of herring in Yaquina Bay this week. Jigging for herring is great fun for kids. You can also harvest them with dip nets and cast nets. The limit is 25 pounds.
Most fishers catch herring for bait, freezing them for later. But herring are good people food too. They are high in omega-3 oil and low in mercury. Try smoking them. Delicious!
The fish offering the highest percentages of omega-3 oil content include mackerel (1.8%), lake trout (1.6 percent), herring (1.5 percent), sardines (1.4 percent), albacore tuna (1.3 percent), and salmon (1.1 percent).
- Oregon Fish and Wildlife-
Fishing is good for bottom fish when the weather allows. Many anglers report limits of lingcod. Rockfish seem to be back on the bite too. Lingcod are in shallow water guarding nests this time of year.
Fishing for groundfish is open at all depths through March 31, 2014.
The cabezon season is closed until July 1.
The marine fish daily bag limit is seven fish. There are separate daily limits for lingcod (two) and flatfish other than Pacific halibut (25).
Remember: yelloweye rockfish and canary rockfish may not be retained.
The Stonewall Bank Yelloweye Rockfish Conservation Area, approximately 15 miles west of Newport, is closed to the take of rockfish, lingcod, flatfish and other species in the groundfish group.
This is prime time for spearfishing along rocky jetties and rocky outcrops in bays. On good ocean days a boat trip to rocky ocean reefs will provide excellent hunting. Two things work in a spearfishers favor during this time of year: good visibility (usually 15 feet or better) and lingcod are guarding their nests in shallow water.
The early recreational ocean salmon from Cape Falcon to Humbug Mountain will be open March 15 through April 30 for all salmon except coho. All other regulations including length limits, bag limits, gear restrictions and area restrictions from the 2013 ocean salmon regulations are in effect.
The early 2014 ocean salmon seasons (prior to May 1) were set under the 2013 season setting process. These early seasons, including opening dates, may be modified by in-season action by NOAA Fisheries at the March Pacific Fishery Management Council meeting (March 8-13, 2014).
Fishing for Pacific halibut in Oregon is closed.
After a public meeting and on-line survey, ODFW staff recommends these dates for sport Pacific halibut all-depth seasons between Cape Falcon and Humbug Mountain:
Spring all-depth Fixed Dates: May 8-10; May 22-24, June 5-7, and June 19-21
Spring all-depth Back-up Dates, if quota remaining: July 3-5, July 17-19 and July 31
Summer all-depth: opens Aug 1-2, every other Friday and Saturday until quota is attained
The Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission could make changes before granting final approval at its April 25 meeting. A complete map of the recommended regulations for 2014 is available on the sport halibut webpage.
-Oregon Fish and Wildlife-
The entire Oregon coast is open for razor clamming.
Garth took advantage of the beautiful weather on the beach on Friday (Feb. 28) to go razor clamming. “Conditions were fantastic,” he said. “Lots of diggers on the mid and north section of Seaside. I never saw a show. I pounded up only four clams. One local did better than that, but everyone else got between 0 and four clams. The sand seemed particularly hard.”
The next minus tide series begins March 25 mid afernoon. You will need a lantern as the low tides get later in the evening, but midwinter clamming can be productive. For best results, clammers should pay close attention to surf forecasts and be on the beach one to two hours before low tide. If the forecast calls for combined seas over 8 or 10 feet, razor clam harvesting can be difficult because the clams tend to show much less in those conditions. When referencing tide tables, Clatsop beach razor clam harvesters should use the tide gauge at the Columbia River entrance.
Recreational shellfish safety status as of March 4:
All shellfish harvesting is open along the entire Oregon coast.
Due to potential biotoxins, consuming whole scallops is not recommended. However, a scallop’s adductor muscle does not accumulate biotoxins and may be safe for consumption. Scallops are not being sampled for biotoxins at this time.
The Oregon Department of Agriculture's shellfish safety hotline is toll free and provides the most current information regarding shellfish safety closures. Please call the hotline before harvesting: 1-800-448-2474. Press 1 for biotoxin closures and 2 for general safety recommendations.
Check out the recreational shellfish pages on the ODFW website. The pages contain everything you need to know for identifying and harvesting Oregon’s clams, including maps of individual estuaries that show where to crab and clam.
Although bay crabbing is very slow this time of year. The best months for bay crabbing in Oregon are August through November, although success usually declines after significant rainfall as estuary salinity drops. Look for bay crabbing to pick up again in June.
The ODFW crabbing report shows average number of legal-sized Dungeness crab per person in various bays by month over the past year through September.
Crabbing in the ocean opened Dec. 1.
Some sport crabbers have difficulty correctly measuring the minimum size for Dungeness crab, which is 5 3⁄4 inches measured in a straight line across the back immediately in front of, but not including, the points. See an illustration showing the correct measurement.
The earliest spring migrant bird to the coast, the rufous humming bird has arrived. This bird nests further north than any other hummingbird. Most rufous humming birds winter in wooded areas in the Mexico state of Guerrero. They travel more than 2,000 miles – a prodigious journey for a bird weighing only three or four grams. They often stay in one spot for considerable time and often aggressively take over and defend feeding locations.
The rocks in front of the Whale Watch Center in Depoe Bay is a great spot to see Black Oystercatchers. Rangers at the center report seeing as many as 18 at one time. Black Turnstones and Western Grebes frequently visit the waters in front of the center.
-Video by Bob Swingle, ODFW-
Frogs and salamanders
Amphibians are on the move this month. Watch for rough-skinned newts, Pacific giant salamanders, red-legged frogs and other Oregon coast amphibians as they cross fields, lawns, roads and paths to find appropriate ponds and other still bodies of water to lay their eggs. Look just below the surface of the water at wetlands for clusters of eggs. A close inspection will reveal the embryo developing and often moving in the transparent egg.
Many newts produce toxins to avoid predation, but the toxins of the Oregon rough-skinned newt are particularly potent. One thirtieth of the toxin present in the skin of an average adult rough-skinned newt is sufficient to kill a healthy adult human. Toxicity is generally experienced only if the newt is ingested, although there are reports that some individuals experience skin irritation after handling the newt.
Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife 4034 Fairview Industrial Drive SE :: Salem, OR 97302 :: Main Phone (503) 947-6000 or (800) 720-ODFW :: www.dfw.state.or.us
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