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Weekly Recreation Report: Northwest Zone

August 27, 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 Web site.

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.


Trophy trout stocking is scheduled for mid-September in some lakes. Check the stocking schedule to see which lakes will be stocked. Construction of the new outlet structure at Town Lake is ongoing. The fishing dock has been moved away from its base due to low lake levels. Fall stocking may not occur on schedule.

Fishing for warm water species is slow due to poor water quality in many areas. Weeds are a problem in many areas.


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: cutthroat trout, crayfish

A small number of Chinook salmon are starting to enter the river. Trolling spinners of herring in the lower portion of the bay will produce the best results early in the season.

Sea run cutthroat trout can be found in tidewater and 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.

Use of bait is not allowed above the head of tide until Sept. 1. However, using small lures such as spinners, spoons, jigs or crank baits can be very effective. Fly-fishing dry flies, nymphs, or streamers can also produce well. Crayfish are also abundant in the Alsea and can provide added adventure during the summer months.

KILCHIS RIVER: cutthroat

Fishing for cutthroat should be fair to good. Sea-run cutthroat are making their way through tidal areas and into the river. Use light gear in the clear water. No bait is allowed above tidewater through the end of August.

NEHALEM RIVER: Chinook, coho, cutthroat

Chinook fishing is fair to good. Fish are available through the bay and into tidewater areas. Troll herring near the bottom in the lower bay. Trolling spinners further up the bay or bobber and bait in tidewater areas can be effective. A few hatchery coho have been reported caught also.

Fishing for cutthroat is fair to good, with fresh sea-run cutthroat increasing in numbers this month. Anglers are reminded that no bait is allowed above tidewater through Aug. 31 and that fishing for Chinook is closed upstream of the Foss Rd. bridge.

NESTUCCA RIVER AND THREE RIVERS: steelhead, Chinook, cutthroat

Fall Chinook season in the bay opened Aug. 1. Angling is showing signs of improvement, and more fish will hit the bay in September. Trolling herring near the mouth or bobber fishing around the boat launches below the Pacific City bridges are both popular. Or try a kwikfish on the outgoing tide. Check with ODFW for recently adopted fall salmon regulations (similar to 2013).

Summer steelhead angling is fair. Over 300 summer steelhead have been recycled from Cedar Creek Hatchery in the last few weeks. 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

Cutthroat trout fishing is fair to good from tidewater through the mainstem with sea run cutthroat trout found in the lower portion of the river. Use of bait is not allow above the head of tide but small spinners, spoons or fly fishing can be very productive. Some fall Chinook are starting to move in on the high tides with the best success this time of year coming from the lower bay up to the Hwy 101 bridge.

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

SILETZ RIVER: steelhead, cutthroat trout, Chinook

Fall Chinook fishing is starting to pick up in the lower to mid sections of tidewater. Trolling spinners of herring seem to be producing the best results at this time. Look to fish early in the morning and during the incoming tide through high slack.

Steelhead fishing is slow to fair. The best chance to hook into a summer steelhead is in the early mornings from Moonshine Park up to the deadline. Using small spinners, jigs, or pieces of bait can be effective during low clear flows.

The cutthroat trout fishery is fair to good with sea run cutthroat being found through tidewater and into the mid to lower section of the river. Using small presentations such as spinners, jigs under a bobber, or fly fishing can produce good results.

SIUSLAW RIVER: Chinook, cutthroat trout

The fall Chinook run is getting started with some fish being caught from the jaws up to around the Cushman area in tidewater. Trolling herring behind a flasher seems to be the most productive tactic early in the season.

Cutthroat trout fishing is fair to good in many areas on the mainstem river with sea run cutthroat trout showing up in tidewater. Use of bait is restricted above the head of tide through August but small lures such as spinners, spoons, jigs, crank baits or fly fishing can all be very productive. Trolling for sea run cutthroat in tidewater can also be very productive.

TILLAMOOK BAY: Chinook, coho

Fishing for salmon is slow. The fishery will improve later in August as fall Chinook and coho start entering the bay. Fish near the jetties for the best chance of finding an early arriving salmon.

TRASK RIVER: steelhead, Chinook, cutthroat

An occasional summer steelhead is being caught. Fishing for cutthroat trout should be fair to good. Sea-run cutthroat should be making their way upstream in increasing numbers.

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, with sea-run fish making their way upstream.

YAQUINA RIVER: Chinook, cutthroat trout

Most river basins are starting to see some early returning fall Chinook. The Yaquina is producing some catch between River Bend and the Toledo Airport boat ramp. Trolling herring or large spinners on the incoming tide can be productive.

The Yaquina River Basin and many tributaries can produce good cutthroat trout fishing with the sea run cutthroat trout fishery picking up in the upper tide water reach. Using small lures or fly fishing can be very productive as well as trolling near the head of tide. Use of bait is not allowed above the head of tide until Sept. 1.

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  Northwest Zone Hunting


Use the Oregon Hunting Map to see where to hunt.

See the big game hunting forecast online.


Aaron's first buck bowhunting in eastern Oregon
– Photo by Scott Mckee–

Archery deer hunting will likely be slow due to predicted continued warm and dry weather. Access closures to industrial forest lands will likely be very limited as well. Conditions should improve with precipitation.

Archery elk hunting will also be somewhat slow due to continued warm and dry weather, which makes for noisy conditions in the forest. Access on private industrial lands will likely be limited until precipitation arrives to reduce fire danger levels. A reminder for this year is that in the Trask WMU the bag limit will be one bull within the entire unit.

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 opens 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 it 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.

Stellar Sealion
Steller Sea Lions
-Oregon Fish and Wildlife-


Steller sea lions are present in good numbers (as usual) at the Three Arch Rocks National Wildlife Refuge near Oceanside with some larger bulls being seen prominently displaying their bulk. This larger cousin to the common California sea lion has been recently delisted along the Pacific Coast, and is locally abundant in some areas of the Oregon coast. Although more numerous on the southern Oregon coast, this haul-out is the most easily viewed one for these sea lions on the north coast.

Common murres and other nesting seabirds have been seen lately on the tops of nearshore rocks such as Three Arch Rocks. Although subject to disturbances from bald eagles, they still seem to try to nest in larger colonies when they can. The birds that choose to nest in smaller groups in more protected areas seem to have higher nesting success.


Jewell Meadows Wildlife Area

Elk viewing has been good at Jewell Meadows Wildlife Area. Elk have been visible along Hwy 202 and Beneke Road. Now that it’s summer, best viewing times are early morning and late evening hours. Bulls have generally fully grown their new antlers and some have likely rubbed off the velvet covering. Elk calves should be visible as the meadows have been cut for hay in all areas. Migrant song birds have nested in the wildlife area, but a few males might still be vocal in declaring their nesting territories. Look for violate-green and tree swallows near view area fence lines and gliding over open meadows. Band-tailed pigeons have been seen near bird feeders. Please remember that areas posted as wildlife refuge are closed to public access. Wildlife Area Parking Permits are now required on the wildlife area (as of Jan. 1, 2014).


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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