NEWPORT, Ore. – Big seas and wild weather for three days out of a four-day opening prompted state fishery managers to give anglers a second chance to go after Chetco River fall chinook on Saturday, Oct. 11.
After a successful first day on Oct. 1 wild weather and ocean conditions will keep anglers off the ocean for the remaining three open days of the popular fall chinook Chetco River Ocean Terminal Area fishery, which allows fishing in the ocean adjacent to the Chetco River at Brookings.
The estimated catch on Oct. 1 was 190 chinook split between 585 anglers (about three out of 10 fishers landed a fish). Reports from Brookings had plenty of trophy size chinook landed with a few fish pushing the “magical” 50 pound mark. With a harvest goal of 250 chinook, fishery managers agreed that enough fish remained to allow for another day of fishing.
“With the Chetco fall chinook season, our goal was to provide fishing opportunity balanced with what the resource can safely support,” said Eric Schindler, ocean salmon biologist for the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife. “It was unfortunate that this very intense storm came rolling in just in time for the Chetco fishery, but anglers still had a great opener and we had the flexibility to add another day. Since the original intent of the season structure was to include a weekend day, it was agreed that Saturday, Oct. 11 was the best choice.”
Anglers may fish from Twin Rocks (42°05"36"N. Lat.) to the Oregon/California border and seaward three nautical miles. The limit is one adult chinook per day and no more than four from within the Chetco River Ocean Terminal Area per season. Minimum length limit is 24 inches and single point, single shank barbless hooks are required. Anglers are also reminded that all coho must be released.