Northwest Zone Fishing
|Fishing on the Siletz River
-Photo by Andy Walgamott-
Weekend fishing opportunities:
- Reminder: Trout fishing in streams closes Oct 31. Lakes remain open all year.
- Reminder: 2016 Two-rod angling validation expires Oct. 31.
- Fishing is good for fall Chinook in the Kilchis, Wilson, Trask, and Nestucca rivers.
- Yaquina Bay and Tillamook Bay anglers are experiencing an overall increase in catch rates of black rockfish.
- Anglers can now fish with a second rod in many NW Zone streams through Oct. 31 if they purchase a two-rod endorsement for $21.50. News release.
- Summer steelhead fishing is slow in the Siletz, Nestucca, Wilson, and Trask and should continue to improve as temperatures cool.
- Reminder: there will be no wild coho fisheries in the NW Zone with the exception of Siltcoos and Tahkenitch lakes.
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.
NORTH COAST LAKES
Late fall and winter can be a great time to fish for trout on the North coast lakes. There are hold over trout from the spring and September stockings available, and trout should be a good size. Also, these fish should be hungry, as long as the water doesn’t get too cold.
MID COAST LAKES
Rainbow trout stocking is complete along the mid coast. Holdover trout will be available in most lakes. Fishing for the various warm water fish species will slow as water temperatures cool. There are numerous lakes in the Florence area that can provide good opportunity.
ALSEA RIVER: cutthroat, Chinook
The Alsea River and bay is open for Chinook salmon. Fishing is slow. Fish are throughout the bay and lower river. With the recent rain the river was high but has come into shape. Trolling herring in the lower bay is an effective technique. Eggs and bobber can be productive in the upper bay and river as the season progresses.
KILCHIS RIVER: Chinook, chum (catch and release)
The Kilchis dropped into shape the middle of last week and fished well. Fall Chinook were moving and being caught. The logging bridge (Kilchis Forest Rd.) to Hwy. 101 was the preferred drift as usual, but there should be fish throughout the system. All of the usual techniques, such as bobber fishing, divers and bait, and back bouncing should be effective.
LOWER COLUMBIA TRIBUTARIES: Chinook
Lower Columbia Tributaries opened to fall Chinook fishing Aug. 1. These are mark selective fisheries this year, meaning only hatchery fall Chinook may be retained in these waters. Hatchery Chinook are those having a healed adipose or ventral fin clip. See the ODFW Regulation Update Page for details. See Press Release.
NEHALEM RIVER AND BAY: Chinook
No new reports for the Nehalem. This large basin often stays muddy longer than the other North coast basins. Although the North Fork has dropped into shape over the weekend, fishing pressure was light. Best guess is that the lower main stem will be the best chance for Fall Chinook once the water turns green.
|Fishing in the Nestucca River
-Photo by Kathy Munsel-
NESTUCCA RIVER AND THREE RIVERS: Chinook
Fall Chinook fishing is good on the Nestucca. Although still a little high, the Nestucca turned green late last week and has been fishing well. Fall Chinook are throughout the system, and good numbers are being caught. There was heavy pressure on Saturday but it looks like there are plenty of fish to go around. All of the usual techniques, such as bobber fishing, divers and bait, and back bouncing should be effective. Remember that 1st Bridge near Beaver is the upstream deadline for fall Chinook angling.
SALMON RIVER: cutthroat, Chinook
The Salmon River and bay is open for Chinook salmon. Fishing is slow. Fish are throughout the bay and river. Trolling herring in the lower bay is an effective technique. Eggs and bobber can be productive in the upper bay and river as the season progresses. Parking can be limited at Knight Park during the fall salmon return. Anglers are reminded that from Knight Park boat ramp to Sulphur Creek from Sept. 1 to Dec. 31, angling is restricted to single point hook metal lures, fly angling, or salmon bobber angling.
SILETZ RIVER: steelhead, cutthroat, Chinook
The Siletz River and bay is open for Chinook salmon. Fishing is slow. Fish are throughout the bay and river. With the recent rain the river was high but has come into shape. Trolling herring in the lower bay is an effective technique. Eggs and bobber or drifting eggs can be productive in the upper bay and river as the season progresses. Consult the regulations for changes in deadline locations through the season.
Steelhead fishing is slow. The majority of available fish are in the upper Siletz gorge. Casting spinners, drifting bait or using a bobber and jig can be effective. For cutthroat trout, casting small spinners, spoons or fly fishing streamers or dry flies can be very effective.
SIUSLAW RIVER: cutthroat, Chinook
The Siuslaw River and bay is open for Chinook salmon. Fishing is slow. Fish are throughout the bay and river. With the recent rain the river was high but has come into shape. Trolling herring in the lower bay is an effective technique. Eggs and bobber can be productive in the upper bay and river as the season progresses.
For cutthroat trout, casting small spinners, spoons or fly fishing streamers or dry flies can be very effective.
TILLAMOOK BAY: Chinook
Chinook fishing is fair on Tillamook Bay. Despite the high waters fishing pressure picked up the end of last week some fish were caught. It sounds like the Ghost Hole was the best bet, but there were some fish caught at Memaloose as well. Although there’s no doubt many fish moved into the rivers on last week’s storm, there are still plenty of Chinook in the bay, and new fish coming in.
There are some large wild coho being caught; remember that coho fisheries are hatchery fish only (adipose fin clipped), and all unclipped coho must be released. Know how to identify coho by the white gum line at the base of the teeth, and the ribbed tail fin rays (Page 95 of the Oregon Sport Fishing Regulations). Don’t assume it’s a Chinook just because it’s large.
Due to a wetland restoration project between the tidewaters of the Trask and Wilson Rivers, public access to the Wilson River tidewater from the end of Goodspeed road, and to the Hospital Hole on Trask tidewater, are currently unavailable.
TRASK RIVER: Chinook
Fall Chinook fishing is good on the Trask River. The Trask dropped into shape late last week and fishing has been good. There are lots of fish moving and getting caught. Cedar Creek down to Hwy 101 seems to be the best, but there are fish throughout the system. All of the usual techniques, such as bobber fishing, divers and bait, and back bouncing should be effective.
Remember that the Dam Hole (MP 7) to Blue Ridge Creek is closed to angling this time of year.
Due to a wetland restoration project between the tidewaters of the Trask and Wilson Rivers, public to the Hospital Hole on Trask tidewater is currently unavailable.
|Wilson River steelhead!
- Oregon Fish and Wildlife-
WILSON RIVER: Chinook
No directs reports from the Wilson River, but it dropped into shape the end of last week, and with as well as the other North Coast Rivers have been fishing, best guess is that fishing is sell for fall Chinook. There should be fish throughout the system, and all of the usual techniques, such as bobber fishing, divers and bait, and back bouncing should be effective.
Due to a wetland restoration project between the tidewaters of the Trask and Wilson Rivers, public access to the Wilson River tidewater from the end of Goodspeed road is currently closed.
YAQUINA RIVER: cutthroat, Chinook
The Yaquina River and bay is open for Chinook salmon. Fishing is slow. Fish are throughout the bay and river to the angling deadlines. Trolling herring in the lower bay is an effective technique. Eggs and bobber can be productive in the upper bay and river as the season progresses.
For cutthroat trout casting small spinners, spoons or fly fishing streamers or dry flies can be very effective.
Northwest Zone Hunting
OPEN: COUGAR, BEAR, GENERAL DEER RIFLE (closes Nov. 4), MOURNING DOVE (closes Oct. 30), FOREST GROUSE, MOUNTAIN AND CALIFORNIA QUAIL, CROW, DUCK
Gunnar Sanchez posing with his first buck.
-Photo by John A Boro-
General deer rifle season goes through Nov. 4, with a youth weekend extension following on Nov. 5-6. Deer populations on the north coast are moderate to abundant, depending on where you hunt, with higher deer populations generally being in the eastern portion of the Saddle Mtn., Wilson and Trask units. Deer will start to become more active as October progresses and deer enter the breeding period (rut).
Black Bear season continues through Dec. 31 on the north coast. Now that the berry crops are more or less gone, bears are focusing on orchards as reliable sources of food. The best time to spot foraging bears is in the very early morning and late evening hours. Like with cougar, predator calling can be very effective, and is a good option for doing in the middle of the day when the bears are not likely to be seen in open areas.
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.
Mourning dove season closes Oct. 30, but they are rare along the north coast. Rather, the larger but similar looking Eurasian collared dove are more plentiful and exist almost anywhere around human habitation. As they are an invasive species, there is no closed season or bag limit restriction on the collared doves.
California quail season is ongoing, but these birds are also rare along the north coast. The best prospects are along agricultural areas on the eastern flanks of the coast range.
Mountain quail appear to have had a good hatch this spring as they seemed to be plentiful this summer. In general, the eastern slope of the coast range is generally better than areas closer to the coast for finding birds. Look for these forest-dwelling quail on south and west-facing slopes around brushy clearcuts. ODFW is looking for hunters willing to collect and mail in wings and tails from harvested birds. You can obtain some collection envelopes from the Tillamook office of ODFW by stopping by during regular business hours or calling 503-842-2741.
Forest grouse (ruffed and blue varieties) hunting season continues until Jan. 31. There appears to have been a good hatch of young this year, so hunting prospects are looking very good. Blue grouse are found on higher elevation ridges, along with a few ruffed grouse. Ruffed grouse are usually found on mid-slopes and riparian areas. ODFW is looking for hunters willing to collect and mail in wings and tails from harvested birds. You can obtain some collection envelopes from the Tillamook office of ODFW during regular business hours or by calling 503-842-2741.
Crow season goes through Jan. 31, 2017. These birds are plentiful, especially in agricultural settings, but can also be found almost anywhere people live or along forest stand edges.
Duck season in Zone 1, which includes all of the north coast goes through Oct. 30 for the first period. The second period starts Nov. 2 and goes through Jan. 29, 2017. The exception is for scaup in Zone 1, which opens Nov. 5. Small numbers of early season migrants (e.g. pintails, teal and wigeons) have shown up in most of the north coast estuaries, including the lower Columbia River. However, larger numbers of migrating ducks should be showing up as the fall progresses. See the 2016-17 Oregon Game Bird Regulations for details.
Northwest Zone Wildlife Viewing
NORTH COAST WILDLIFE VIEWING
Brown pelicans have returned to the north coast shorelines in good numbers, now that fall is almost upon us. Most of them will stay here well into the fall to feed on forage fish species before they move south for the winter.
Migrating ducks, geese, coots and grebes have starting showing up on north coast estuaries and lakes. Most of the ducks are dabblers, such as pintails and mallards, which can be seen on mudflats or in shallow tidal areas during lower stages of the tides. A good pair of binoculars are generally all that is needed to find and identify the birds by species.
In estuaries and pastures it’s not too difficult to find the large white wading bird that spends the fall, winter and spring in Tillamook County. It’s the great egret, and it has been in the county in seemingly increasing numbers in recent years. The only known roost site for these birds in the county is Hathaway Slough, located along Hwy 101 between Tillamook and Bay City. The birds typically start flying into roost site near dusk, and create a stark contrast to the dark green spruce trees they occupy.
Jewell Meadows Wildlife Area
Elk viewing has been good at Jewell Meadows Wildlife Area. Best viewing has been in the mornings and evenings until dark. The elk breeding season or “rut” is over for the season and elk have gathered into larger groups. With the cooler and wetter weather, elk are spending more time in the open fields and recently some elk have been visible throughout day. 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.
Jewell Meadows Wildlife Area will start taking reservations for the winter elk feeding tours on Dec. 1, 2016. Tours run during the months of December, January, and February each winter.
Visitors are reminded that areas posted as Wildlife Refuge are closed to public access. Additionally, posted portions of the Beneke Tract are closed to public entry during any Saddle Mt. unit elk season. Closure dates are Aug. 1 through March 15 (see big game regulations for exceptions).
Wildlife Area Parking Permits are required on the Wildlife Area.
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