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Weekly Recreation Report: Northwest Zone

October 21, 2014

 Northwest Zone Fishing

Fishing the Columbia
Fishing the Columbia
-Photo by Kathy Munsel, ODFW-

2014 Coastal coho and fall Chinook seasons

Now available on the ODFW Website.

Send us your fishing report

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.

2014 trout stocking

The 2014 trout stocking schedule for the North Coast Watershed District is now posted on-line on along with other districts on the ODFW trout stocking page.

Lost Lake, Cape Meares Lake, Coffenbury Lake and Sunset Lake have all been stocked in past few weeks. Town Lake stocking is still delayed due to ongoing construction of the new dam. Stocking will occur after construction is complete.


The wild coho salmon fishery in Siltcoos and Tahkenitch Lakes is open from Oct.1 through Dec. 31. The peak fish return is typically around late October through mid-November. A good rain event is normally needed to move fish up into the lakes so watch the weather carefully. Anglers have success either trolling or casting lures such as spinners, spoons, hot shots, mag warts or some type of rattle / wiggle bass plug. Areas to focus on are near the lake outlets or the major tributaries to the lakes.

ALSEA RIVER: Chinook, coho, cutthroat trout

The fall Chinook fishery has slowed down recently in tidewater but forecasted rain events this week should improve the bite. Fishing the river above tidewater should be productive through the weekend.

The wild coho salmon fishery is producing fair to good results in the mid to lower bay and should a good improvement in the river above tide water following this week’s rain.

Sea run cutthroat trout can be found in the lower to mid section of the mainstem. Resident cutthroat trout are spread out through the basin. The Alsea has many opportunities for bank fishing along Hwy 34 as well as some good riverside camping options.

BIG CREEK: Chinook, coho

Fishing for hatchery coho has been good. Some Chinook are still in the creek also. Anti-snagging rule is in effect.

KILCHIS RIVER: cutthroat, Chinook, coho, chum

Fishing for cutthroat should be fair to good. Use light gear in the clear water. Some Chinook and coho are available in tidewater areas below Hwy 101. Bobber and bait will work best in areas where the fish hold up. Salmon should move upstream with this week’s rain. Some chum may show up also, but fishing will be better in November.

NEHALEM RIVER: Chinook, coho, cutthroat

Chinook fishing is fair to good. Fish are available through the bay, tidewater and upstream areas. Troll herring near the bottom in the lower bay. Trolling spinners further up the bay or bobber and bait in tidewater and river holes can be effective. Hatchery and wild coho are available in the bay. The wild coho fishery in the bay opened Sept. 15. Check with ODFW for season and bag limit details. Hatchery coho have entered the north fork in good numbers and can be caught up to the hatchery and above. Look for another push of fish with this week’s rain.

Fishing for cutthroat is fair to good, with sea-run cutthroat and resident cutthroat available in most areas of the river open to fishing.

NESTUCCA RIVER AND THREE RIVERS: steelhead, Chinook, cutthroat, coho

Fall Chinook fishing is improving as more fish enter the system and spread into tidewater. A few salmon snuck upstream with last week’s rain, but most fish are still in the bay. Trolling herring near the mouth or bobber fishing around the boat launches below the Pacific City bridges are both popular. Or try diving plugs when the tide is running. Bobber fishing or casting spinners is productive in upper tidewater areas. Fishing in upstream areas should improve as rains draw fish into the river.

The wild coho fishery is open Sundays and Mondays through November. Check with ODFW for details on seasons and bag limits.

Summer steelhead fishing is fair. Several hundred summer steelhead have been recycled from Cedar Creek Hatchery in recent weeks (released at Pacific City). Spinners or small baits like crawdad tails are good options. Cutthroat trout fishing should be fair to good. Anglers are reminded that no bait is allowed above Blaine, and the angling deadline is Elk Creek.

SALMON RIVER: cutthroat trout, Chinook

Fall Chinook fishing is fair to good with this week’s rain likely pushing a lot of fish out of tidewater. Casting lures or floating bait under a bobber should produce well.

Cutthroat trout fishing is fair through the mainstem with sea run cutthroat trout found in the lower portion of the river.

Fishing the Siletz
Fishing on the Siletz River
-Photo by Andy Walgamott-

SILETZ RIVER: Chinook, coho, steelhead, cutthroat trout

Fall Chinook fishing is fair to good with anglers having success from the jaws all the way up to the deadline. Recent rains have pushed a lot of fish out of tidewater so anglers have a large fishing area to choose from. Trolling down low, bobber fishing or drifting down from the deadline should all produce through the weekend.

The wild coho fishery is producing good results with anglers catching fish around the mouth up to the mid tide water area. Coho are also being caught above tidewater but to a lesser extent so far.

Summer steelhead fishing is fair in the upper river above Moonshine Park.

The cutthroat trout fishery is fair with sea run cutthroat being found throughout the mainstem. Using small presentations such as spinners, jigs under a bobber, or fly fishing can produce good results.

SIUSLAW RIVER: Chinook, coho, cutthroat trout

Fall Chinook fishing is fair and should see an increase in activity this week following the rain events. Trolling herring, big spinners or bobber fishing are effective tactics.

The wild coho fishery is fair to good for anglers in the lower to mid sections of tide water and expected to improve up river with a rise in the river level this week.

Cutthroat trout fishing is fair with sea run cutthroat trout found in upper tidewater and the lower portions on the Siuslaw and Lake Creek. Small lures such as spinners, spoons, jigs, crank baits or fly fishing can all be very productive.

TILLAMOOK BAY: Chinook, coho

Fishing for salmon is fair to good. Fall Chinook and hatchery coho are being caught in throughout the bay. On softer tide series, troll herring in the lower bay. On stronger tide series, trolling herring or spinners in the upper bay is a good bet. Some anglers are finding success casting or trolling spinners in the west channel.

The wild coho fishery in the bay is open Fridays and Saturdays through November. Check with ODFW for season and bag limit details.

TRASK RIVER: steelhead, Chinook, cutthroat

An occasional summer steelhead is being caught. Fishing for cutthroat trout should be fair to good. Good numbers of Chinook and coho are available in tidewater, and quite a few hatchery coho have moved upstream into the river. Chinook and coho should make their way upstream with this week’s rain, providing good opportunity through the lower river. Sea-run cutthroat are spread through the river with good fishing opportunities available.

WILSON RIVER: steelhead, Chinook, cutthroat

Summer steelhead are in the river in decent numbers. Fishing is fair, especially in upriver holes. Cutthroat fishing should be fair. Small spinners and flies are good options. Some fall Chinook are available in tidewater areas. Bobber and bait will be the best bet in the tidal holes where fish hold up. Look for fish to move out of tidewater and into the river upstream with rain this week.

YAQUINA RIVER: Chinook, coho, cutthroat trout

Fall Chinook fishing fair with anglers catching fish from around Sawyers Landing all the way to the head of tide near Elk City. Fish are in a variety of spawning stages but a good push of new bright fish is expected. Trolling herring, large spinners or bobber fishing on the incoming tide have been working, especially around the slack tide.

The wild coho salmon fishery is fair with anglers having the best success in the lower river from Sawyers landing up to the airport boat ramp. Trolling herring or spinners faster than for Chinook and higher in the water column have been productive.

Cutthroat trout fishing is fair with sea run cutthroat found in upper tidewater and in the lower portions of the Yaquina and Big Elk above the head of tide. Using small lures or fly fishing can be very productive as well as trolling near the head of tide.

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  Northwest Zone Hunting


Use the Oregon Hunting Map to see where to hunt.

See the bird and big game hunting forecasts.

-Oregon Fish and Wildlife-

General Deer Rifle season goes through Nov. 7. Hunter success will largely depend on weather conditions, with wet weather being best. If the weather is dry and warm, look for deer in openings during the early morning and late evening hours of daylight, and otherwise focus on timbered areas and north-facing slopes. Bucks should soon exhibit increased rutting (breeding) behavior, which should increase their vulnerability to hunters.

Duck season goes through Jan. 25, 2015 with a short break in late October. The overall liberal bag limit, with some species restrictions, continues this fall. See the 2014-15 Oregon Game Bird Regulations for details. It appears that no appreciable numbers of migratory ducks have shown up yet on north coast estuaries. Weather will be a key factor in determining success early in the season, with the best hunting occurring during the wettest and stormiest weather.

Forest grouse and mountain quail is likely to be fair as it appears that there was not a strong hatch of young that have survived into the fall. If hunting for grouse, look for ruffed grouse on mid-slopes and along riparian areas, and sooty (blue) grouse are usually found at higher elevations on ridge tops. Mountain quail are most often found in brushy clear-cut areas on south or west facing slopes.

Mourning dove season continues this fall through October. The north coast typically does not have a lot of these birds, so the hunting for them will be rather slow. However, the Eurasian collared dove that closely resembles the mourning dove is an introduced exotic that is unprotected. It, along with the exotic rock dove, can offer good year-round hunting opportunity where they occur in more developed areas.

Black Bears should be in good numbers in the northern Oregon coast range, especially in the southern portion of the Trask WMU. With warm weather during the day, bears are most active in forest openings in the early morning and late evening hours. Predator calling, especially during the middle of the day, can be very productive. In general, when scouting for bears look for areas with lots of wild berry crops, such as huckleberries, or abandoned orchards as they are very opportunistic foragers.

Cougar are most effectively taken by using predator calls. However, cougar densities are relatively low on the north coast. Successful hunters, remember you must check in cougar (hide and skull) at an ODFW office within 10 days of harvest and bring them in unfrozen. It’s also a good idea to prop their mouths open with a stick after harvest for easier tissue sampling, teeth collection and tagging. See regulations for details.

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 Northwest Zone Viewing

The website for the Oregon Coast Birding Trail (pdf) for the north coast area offers over 40 different trails to find birds on the north coast. The trails include coastal, river and interior routes, so the variety of birds you can see on them is nearly endless. The website also has directions to the trails, tips on birding and lists facilities available along or near the trail.

Great Egret
Great Egret
-Photo by Robert Mutch-


Substantial numbers of great egrets are now in Tillamook County, where they should be present in farm fields and along estuaries in the county through the winter months. These large white birds are easy to spot as they usually provide a strong contrast to their surroundings, and can often be seen foraging in close proximity to great blue herons.

Long gone are the large numbers of seabirds attempting to nest on Three Arch Rocks, a collection of near-shore rocks, west of Oceanside. Currently, large numbers of brown pelicans roost on the rocks, and the occasional peregrine falcon and/or bald eagles have been seen perched on them. Good binoculars or a spotting scope are a must for viewing the birds.


Jewell Meadows Wildlife Area

Elk viewing has been good at Jewell Meadows Wildlife Area. The breeding season or “rut” is starting to wind down. Some bulls are still with the larger herds and occasional bugling in the evenings is still being heard. With the onset of fall, larger bulls should start to segregate themselves from the herds and hang out in bachelor groups. Elk have been visible most mornings and evenings, depending on the weather. With cooler temperatures, elk are staying out in the fields a little later in the morning and returning a little earlier in the evenings. Good places to look are the Fishhawk Tract along Hwy 202 and the Beneke Tract along Beneke Creek Road.

Visitors are reminded that areas posted as “Wildlife Refuge” are closed to public entry and posted portions of the Beneke Tract are closed to entry during elk seasons. Black-tailed deer hunting only is allowed on portions of the Beneke Tract during the general Western Oregon rifle deer season. Consult the 2014 Big Game Regulations for additional information and exceptions. Wildlife Area Parking Permits are now required on the wildlife area.

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