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Weekly Recreation Report: Northwest Zone

May 26, 2015

 Northwest Zone Fishing

Coffenbury Lake

Fishing on Coffenbury Lake

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.

Very low water levels in coastal streams will present some challenging fishing conditions. Scale down your gear, using smaller weights and baits, and lighter leaders. Look for fish, especially steelhead, to hold in different parts of the river than they normally would.

Most rivers and streams re-opened to trout on May 23, 2015.


Coffenbury, Lost, Cape Meares, Hebo, and Town lakes are scheduled to be stocked the first week of June prior to Free Fishing Weekend. Trout fishing should be fair to good. Due to low water availability at Nehalem Hatchery, the scheduled September stocking of trophy trout has been canceled. Those fish will be released prior to free fishing weekend in the same locations as they would have been released later. Although not trophy size, the fish will still be larger than the typical legal size fish. Warming water temperatures will get warmwater fish more active. Coffenbury, Cullaby, Sunset, Lytle, Cape Meares, and Town lakes, and Vernonia Pond all offer opportunity for largemouth bass.

The latest trout stocking schedule


Fishing for the various warm water fish species can be productive during the spring as lake temperatures start to rise and fish begin spawning. Anglers will start finding more fish up in the shallows this time of year.

Trout stocking continues

The rainbow trout stocking program is in full swing and most water bodies have been stocked recently or will be soon again. Most areas will be stocked multiple times until early June. Be sure to check out the 2015 trout stocking schedule for the most up to date information.
ALSEA RIVER: cutthroat trout

The cutthroat trout season is now open for the season and anglers should have fair to good results in most of the larger tributaries and mainstem. Small spinners are typically productive as wells as small spoons or fly fishing with nymphs or streamers.

KILCHIS RIVER: cutthroat

Cutthroat fishing should be fair in the early season.

NESTUCCA RIVER AND THREE RIVERS: steelhead, Chinook, cutthroat

Fishing is mostly fair for spring Chinook. Fish are available through tidewater and into the lower river, including Three Rivers. Special gear restrictions went into effect in Three Rivers beginning May 1. Steelhead angling is slow. Fishing for cutthroat trout should be fair to good.

SALMON RIVER: cutthroat trout

Cutthroat trout are now open to harvest. Typically good fishing can be had during the early part of the season. Using small lures like spinners, spoons or various flies can be productive.

Williams Family

Steve Williams with his daughter and son, Kathyrn and Kyle after a day of steelhead fishing on the Siletz River.
-ODFW Photo-

SILETZ RIVER: steelhead

Summer steelhead fishing is slowly starting to pick up. New fish will continually be moving into the river over the next few months with the peak numbers typically in July. River flows are much lower than normal for this time of year so think small and subtle presentations. Typical steelhead tactics apply such as bobber and jig / bait, or casting spoons or spinners. Cutthroat trout are now also open to harvest and can be found throughout the main stem river and many large tributaries.

SIUSLAW RIVER: cutthroat trout

The cutthroat trout season is now open for the season. The main stem of the Siuslaw and Lake Creek can be good fishing as well as the larger tributaries entering these systems. Bait is not allowed above the head of tide but small spinners, spoons and fly fishing can be very productive.

TILLAMOOK BAY: sturgeon, Chinook

Spring Chinook fishing is fair overall, but some good bites are being reported at times. Fish the lower bay on softer tide series, and the upper bay on the bigger swings. Trolling herring or large bladed spinners are the two most popular techniques. Catch-and-release fishing for sturgeon should be fair.

TRASK RIVER: steelhead, Chinook, cutthroat

Spring Chinook fishing is fair but steady with some days better than others. Fish are being caught from tidewater up to the hatchery area. Gear restrictions are now in effect from the Cedar Creek boat slide down to the Lorens Drift wooden boat slide. An occasional summer steelhead is being caught. Fishing for cutthroat trout opened May 23, including in the north, south, and east forks.

Anglers who catch a steelhead or salmon with numbered tag(s) are encouraged to report catch information via the internet or by calling ODFW at 503-842-2741 and asking for Derek Wiley. All live tagged fish that are not legal to retain or are voluntarily not kept should be released quickly and unharmed with tags intact.

WILSON RIVER: steelhead, Chinook, cutthroat

Spring Chinook fishing is fair but steady with some days better than others. Fish are being caught from tidewater up to the hatchery area. Gear restrictions are now in effect from the Cedar Creek boat slide down to the Lorens Drift wooden boat slide. An occasional summer steelhead is being caught. Fishing for cutthroat trout opened May 23, including in the north, south, and east forks.

YAQUINA RIVER: cutthroat trout

The cutthroat trout season opened on May 23rd and anglers can expect to have fair to good fishing. The mainstem Yaquina and Big Elk Creek are good places to try casting small spinners or spoons as well as bait fishing near the head of tide.

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  Northwest Zone Hunting


Spring bear and turkey hunting close May 31.

Use the Oregon Hunting Map to see where to hunt.

See the turkey hunting forecast.

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.

Spring bears should be active this spring due to the exceptionally mild winter and spring so far. Look for signs of recent bear activity in the forest, such as torn up old logs and young conifer trees with bark peeling near the base. Predator calling is generally your best bet, especially during the day when bears are not very active in forest openings. The season ends May 31.

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 Northwest Zone Wildlife Viewing

It’s spring and songbirds are starting to get serious about nesting. Year-round residents, such as the winter wren, are already very vocal and their melodic singing can be heard often when walking through north coast forests. Soon, neo-tropical migrants will show up and the forest will be filled with the songs of male birds declaring their nesting territories.


Steller sea lions are common on the smaller nearshore rocks on the eastern edge of the Three Arch Rocks NWR, located just west of Oceanside. Both adults and pups are present and can be distinguished by size and coloration. The refuge is home to these marine mammals nearly year-round except in the fall when they take a brief hiatus. Bring binoculars or a spotting scope for best viewing.

May is still a good month to view migrating shorebirds along ocean beaches as they make their way to nesting areas in the Arctic and other far-north regions. In Tillamook County, the whimbrel is a usual and conspicuous visitor each May. It’s a large brownish bird with a downturned bill that can be seen flying over and on farm pastures as well as the ocean beaches.


Jewell Meadows Wildlife Area

Roosevelt Elk
Roosevelt Elk
-Photo by Jim Yuskavitch, ODFW-

Visitors should take caution around the main viewing area over the next few months. Several construction projects including paving and restroom remodel will impact public use. The main view area may be closed intermittently to traffic during the paving portion of the project scheduled for late April and early May. The public restrooms will be closed in June for remodeling. Portable restrooms will be available.

Elk viewing continues to be good. Best viewing times are mornings and evenings, but elk may be visible throughout the day depending on weather. As spring progresses and temperatures start to warm, elk will use the timbered areas more during the middle of the day.

Most bulls have shed their antlers and new growth is already visible. Band-tailed pigeons have been seen near area bird feeders and along gravel roadways. Swallows have arrived and are visible gliding over meadow areas and checking out nest boxes along view area fences. Other wildlife to watch for include: coyotes in the fields, bald eagles perched in tall trees near creeks or soaring overhead, and songbirds near the viewing areas.

Visitors are reminded that areas posted as Wildlife Refuge are closed to public access. Posted portions of the Beneke Tract are open to the public starting March 16 and will remain open until August 1.

Wildlife Area Parking Permits are required on the wildlife area.

Ft. Steven’s State Park

The viewing bunker at Trestle Bay within the Ft. Steven’s State Park is a great place to view waterfowl and shorebirds, especially at lower tides. The bunker provides good shelter from rain, wind and storms, and viewing optics, such as binoculars or a spotting scope are highly recommended for best viewing.

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