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Weekly Recreation Report: Northwest Zone

September 30, 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 and Cape Meares Lake were stocked with trophy trout two weeks ago. Coffenbury and Sunset lakes were stocked last week after the lakes cooled down sufficiently to put fish in. Town Lake stocking is still delayed due to ongoing construction of the new dam. Stocking will occur after construction is complete.


Trout fishing tends to be slow during the summer months as warm water temperatures can put trout off the bite. Look to fish early in the morning or near cool water zones until water temperatures start to cool off in the fall. This time of year can offer anglers a variety of warm water species to go after. There are numerous lakes in the Florence area that have warm water fish species such as bass, blue gill, perch and brown bullhead. Areas to consider are Siltcoos, Tahkenitch, Sutton, Mercer, Munsel and Woahink lakes. Angling out of a boat is typically the most productive in these lakes but there is some bank / dock access to consider.

ALSEA RIVER: Chinook, coho, cutthroat trout

Fall Chinook fishing is good with anglers catching fish from the mouth of the river all the way up through tidewater. Recent rains have also pushed some fish above tidewater. Trolling herring or lures in the lower portion of the bay and near Drift Creek or bobber fishing in the mid to upper section of tide water is producing well. Fishing the incoming tide or around the high and low slack tide tends to produce the best results.

The wild coho salmon fishery is producing excellent catches. Anglers fishing in the bay are doing the best casting spinners or trolling herring.

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

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 the fish hold up.

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.

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. 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 anglers having the best results in the lower bay trolling or bobber fishing the mid to upper tidewater areas. Some fish have moved above the hatchery with last week’s rain event.

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 producing well with anglers having the best results in the lower to mid sections of tidewater trolling spinners or herring. Bobber fishing has also been producing good results in the upper tidewater area.

The wild coho fishery has been good with anglers catching fish around the mouth up to the mid tide water area. Trolling herring or small spinners during the incoming tide seems to work the best.

Steelhead fishing picked up a little following last week’s rain event and cooler river temperatures. The best chance to hook into a summer steelhead is fishing above Moonshine Park up to the deadline. Fire season is still in effect and anglers are advised to call 541-336-3819 for the most current land closure information when fishing 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 producing well from the mouth of the river all the way through tidewater. The best results are in the mid tidewater section. Trolling herring, big spinners or bobber fishing are effective tactics.

The wild coho fishery is producing excellent catches for anglers fishing in the lower bay up to around the North Fork confluence. Trolling herring or casting spinners from the bank during the incoming tide can be productive.

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 spinners in the west channel. The wild coho fishery in the bay is open Friday’s and Saturday’s 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. Anglers targeting coho in the river should fish the deeper holes downstream of the hatchery. The hatchery hole and dam hole remained closed to angling. 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.

YAQUINA RIVER: Chinook, coho, cutthroat trout

Fall Chinook fishing has been variable with anglers having good days in areas around the oyster farm as well as up high above the Canyon Quarry boat ramp. Trolling herring, large spinners or bobber fishing on the incoming tide have been working, especially around the slack tide.

The wild coho salmon fishery has started to kick in with coho being caught from around Sawyers landing up to the airport boat ramp. Trolling herring or spinners faster than for Chinook seems to work the best.

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


Archery deer and elk seasons are now closed.

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 opens on October 4 and goes through November 7. The opening weekend 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.

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 opened on September 1 and 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. Consider fawn deer or calf elk distress calls earlier in the season. In general, when scouting for bears look for areas with lots of wild berry crops, such as huckleberries, 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 have recently returned to 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.


Jewell Meadows Wildlife Area

Elk viewing has been good at Jewell Meadows Wildlife Area. The breeding season or “rut” is ongoing with bulls still bugling and battling for dominance. Breeding behavior should continue into the first week or so of October. Listen for bugling and antlers clashing in the late evening and just after dark. Elk have been visible most mornings and evenings, depending on the weather. The herds tend to stay out longer in the mornings and come out earlier in the evenings on cool cloudy days. On warm sunny days, viewing has been limited to very early mornings and late 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 including the general archery season. Consult the 2014 Big Game Regulations for additional information and exceptions. Wildlife Area Parking Permits are now required on the wildlife area.


Both brown and white pelicans can be seen this time of year on the lower Columbia River. The more common brown pelican is seen most frequently at the mouth of the river, up to Astoria. A great place to view them is from the South Jetty viewing platform at Ft. Stevens State Park. The larger white pelicans are a relative newcomer, and spend most of their time above Tongue Point on Miller Sands Island and other nearby ones. The white pelicans have traditionally been associated with far inland areas, but drought, particularly southeastern Oregon, may have encouraged them to nest on the river in recent years.

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