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Weekly Recreation Report: Northwest Zone

Updated July 19, 2016

 Northwest Zone Fishing

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

Weekend fishing opportunities:

  • Summer Steelhead fishing is fair in the Siletz, Nestucca and Three Rivers.
  • Sea run cutthroat fishing is fair in tidewaters of the Kilchis, Nehalem, Nestucca, and Siuslaw.

Send us your fishing report

We’d love to hear about your recent fishing experiences. 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.

2016 trout stocking schedule

The 2016 trout stocking schedules for the North Coast Watershed (pdf) are on the ODFW Trout Stocking Page. Take a look to find out when and where Oregon’s hatchery trout are being released around the state.


Spring trout stocking is complete. Holdover trout are available in most lakes. The best opportunity will be in higher elevation lakes that remain cooler longer, such as Hebo Lake, South Lake, and Lost Lake. Battle Lake offers some hike in fishing opportunity also.

The water level at Cape Meares Lake has been lowered to facilitate repairs to the outlet structure. The lake will be held at the current level until the repairs can be completed later this summer.

Warmwater fish are active. Look for some largemouth bass action in Lake Lytle, Coffenbury Lake, Cullaby Lake, Sunset Lake, and Cape Meares Lake, and Vernonia Pond. Aquatic vegetation is increasing with the summer weather so expect to deal with weeds.


Rainbow trout stocking is complete along the mid coast. Holdover trout will be available in most lakes through the summer. Fishing for the various warm water fish species is good this time of year as fish move to the shallows for spawning. There are numerous lakes in the Florence area that can provide good opportunity.

ALSEA RIVER: cutthroat

The Alsea River is open for cutthroat trout, casting small spinners, spoons or fly fishing streamers or dry flies can be very effective. Bait is not allowed above the head of tide until Sept. 1.

KILCHIS RIVER: cutthroat

Trout fishing should be fair to good. Sea-run cutthroat should be in tidal areas, and will begin moving upstream soon. Anglers are reminded that no bait is allowed above tidewater May 22 - Aug. 31.


A few spring Chinook are available in Big Creek, Gnat Creek, and the Klaskanine River.

NEHALEM RIVER AND BAY: Chinook, cutthroat

Chinook should be entering the bay in small numbers. Anglers are reminded that of the two Chinook salmon per day bag limit, only one may be a wild Chinook through Sept. 15th. In addition, only 5 wild adult Chinook salmon may be harvested from the Nehalem River and Bay and/or the North Fork Nehalem River from Apr 1 – Sept 15. Trolling herring near the mouth of the bay will be the most productive early in the season. Sea-run cutthroat are available in tidewater and will begin moving upstream over the next few weeks. Casting spinners or streamer flies along banks or to cover should get some bites. Anglers are reminded that no bait is allowed above tidewater through August 31. Repairs to one of the docks at Nehalem boat ramp are scheduled to take place during the next week or two. The ramp will remain open, but one of the two docks will be closed to the public for a couple days.

Fishing the Nestucca
Fishing in the Nestucca River
-Photo by Kathy Munsel-

NESTUCCA RIVER AND THREE RIVERS: steelhead, Chinook, cutthroat

Spring Chinook angling has slowed down. Angling for summer steelhead is improving; with the best action being in the lower River between 1st Bridge and Cloverdale. Use lighter gear and small presentations to entice more bites. Anglers are reminded that Three Rivers closed to Spring Chinook angling on July 15th, and is closed to all angling from the mouth to the hatchery weir July 16 – Sep 30. Gear restrictions are also in effect. Check regulations. Angling for cutthroat should be fair to good, with sea-runs primarily available in tidewater right now. Try casting spinners or streamer flies in areas with cover.

SALMON RIVER: cutthroat

The Salmon River is open for cutthroat trout, and casting small spinners, spoons or fly fishing streamers or dry flies can be very effective. Bait is not allowed above the head of tide until Sept. 1.

SILETZ RIVER: steelhead, cutthroat

Steelhead fishing is fair. This run typically peaks by early July. Casting spinners, drifting bait or using a bobber and jig can be effective. Cover water and fish small and simple as the river conditions are low and clear. For cutthroat trout, casting small spinners, spoons or fly fishing streamers or dry flies can be very effective.

SIUSLAW RIVER: cutthroat

For cutthroat trout, casting small spinners, spoons or fly fishing streamers or dry flies can be very effective. Angling for all species in streams above tidewater is restricted to artificial flies and lures until Sept. 1. Casting small spinners, spoons or fly fishing streamers or dry flies can be very effective.


Spring Chinook catches are dropping off as it gets later in the season. Water temperatures in the upper bay are warm, but should be cooling with the recent rains. Trolling herring or large bladed spinners are the most productive techniques. Keep your gear near the bottom while trolling slowly.

TRASK RIVER: steelhead, Chinook, cutthroat

Spring Chinook is slowing down. Bobber and bait is the best bet. Anglers are reminded that the Trask River from 200 feet upstream and 900 feet downstream of Gold Creek at Trask Hatchery, which includes the Hatchery Hole, is closed to angling July 16 – Oct 15. Steelhead fishing is fair, and should start to pick up with the recent rains and cooler temps.

Anglers are reminded that gear restrictions took effect May 1 from the Cedar Creek wooden boat slide to the marker at the Lorens Drift wooden boat slide site. Trout angling should be fair.

WILSON RIVER: steelhead, Chinook, cutthroat

Fishing for steelhead and spring Chinook is slow. The water is low and clear, so use lighter gear and target the deeper holding areas. Trout angling should be fair.

YAQUINA RIVER: cutthroat

For cutthroat trout casting small spinners, spoons or fly fishing streamers or dry flies can be very effective. Angling for all species in streams above tidewater is restricted to artificial flies and lures until Sept. 1.

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  Northwest Zone Hunting

- Royalty Free Image-


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 (pdf).

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 Northwest Zone Wildlife Viewing


Band-tailed Pigeon
Band-tailed Pigeons
-U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service-

The forests in the north coast area are filled with the sounds of songbirds declaring their nesting territories. The types of birds you encounter generally depends on what type of forest stands you area surrounded by. For areas of highest songbird diversity, look for mixed stands of hardwoods and conifers in forests with different seral classes.

When out in the forests of the north coast, you might be startled by the flapping of wings overhead in the trees. These are likely band-tailed pigeons that are feeding on cascara berries. Cascara or chitum, is a native broadleaf species of tree that looks like a red alder, but has dark berries that the native pigeons love to forage on. Another favorite of these birds are red elderberries shrubs that have small red berries in grape-like clusters.

Waterfowl that nest in the north coast area should be visible with their broods of ducklings or goslings now. Most of the goslings will be almost the size of the parents, but still distinguishable from them. Ducklings tend to hatch later in the spring and will generally be much smaller than their parents now. Look for them anywhere there are larger bodies of still or slow moving water.


Three Arch Rocks NWR, located just west of Oceanside, has historically been home to thousands of nesting common murres and other colonial seabirds, and it is still possible to see large numbers of them staging below the rocks in the water. However, few birds nest there anymore due to the near constant presence of bald eagle that has severely disrupted nesting on the larger rocks in recent years.

Instead, the Steller sea lions are a very reliable denizen on the lower rock in front, Seal Rock. They can be seen loafing on the rock, often with young pups in the mix. These are the larger and lighter-colored cousin to the more common California sea lion.


The Twilight Eagle Sanctuary, located east of Astoria, just off of Hwy 30, is a great place to observe not only bald eagles, but a host of other birds. This time of year, the area is typically alive with calls of marsh wrens and Brewer’s blackbirds. Resident waterfowl, such as western Canada geese and mallards, should have broods of young in tow. Optics are always helpful when viewing wildlife in this area.

Jewell Meadows Wildlife Area

Elk viewing has been good at Jewell Meadows Wildlife Area. On warm sunny days, the best viewing has been early mornings or late evenings. Elk have been staying out a little longer on cool cloudy days. Good places to look are the Fishhawk Tract along Hwy 202 and the Beneke Tract along the first 1.5 miles of Beneke Creek Road.

New antler growth is readily visible on bull elk, especially the larger males. Calving and fawning season is here, and visitors are cautioned to not disturb elk calves, deer fawns, and other young wildlife. Often, mothers leave their newborn young alone for extended periods of time. Remember, “If you care, leave them there.” Elk calves are starting to become more visible in the open areas. Viewing for elk calves may be difficult due to the tall grass in most meadows. Watch for vegetation movement behind adults as calves try to follow their mothers through the tall grass. Tree and violate green swallows can be seen gliding over fields and nesting in boxes along view area fence lines. Band-tailed pigeons have been observed near area bird feeders. Many other song bird species can be seen in and around viewing areas. (6/27/16)

Visitors are reminded that areas posted as Wildlife Refuge are closed to public access and that Wildlife Area Parking Permits are required on the Wildlife Area.

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