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Anglers can keep three hatchery coho from the Nehalem River Basin beginning Aug. 1

July 31, 2009


TILLAMOOK, Ore. -- With a large number of hatchery coho salmon expected to return to the Nehalem River basin this year, fishery managers have increased the daily bag limit to three adult hatchery coho per day beginning Aug. 1.

“We are expecting several thousand hatchery coho to return to Nehalem Hatchery this year, and we want to see these fish caught by anglers,” said Chris Knutsen, ODFW fisheries biologist.

Nehalem Hatchery release approximately 100,000 coho smolts every year.  The adult coho that are returning this year entered the ocean as juveniles in the spring of 2008.  They were greeted by excellent ocean conditions that have allowed them to grow quickly and survive in good numbers.  

While these coho can be very aggressive in the lower bay, Knutsen counsels anglers to be patient and vary their angling techniques when fishing in the upper bay and river. 

“Being in the right place at the right time is the key to success,” he said.  “Trolling spinners a few feet below the surface can be very effective at times, and if you see coho jumping, consider anchoring and casting spinners toward the rising fish.  These fish will often strike the spinner while it is falling toward the bottom.”

ODFW reminds anglers that chinook angling in the Nehalem Basin is closed this year and that all chinook caught while coho fishing must be released immediately unharmed.

To find out more about local fishing conditions, boat rentals or specific tackle recommendations, Knutsen suggests anglers visit any of the several marinas and tackle stores in the Nehalem and Wheeler area.

The Nehalem Basin is not the only North Coast watershed expecting a large return of hatchery coho this year. With expected large returns of hatchery coho from the Trask Hatchery, the daily adult salmon bag limit also increases to three in the Tillamook Bay watershed on Aug. 1.




Chris Knutsen (503) 842-2741
Jessica Sall (503) 947-6023

Fax:     (503) 947-6009
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