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ODFW Recreation Report – March 21st, 2017
First Of Several Free Fishing Days Will Take Place April 22-23
Anglers and would-be anglers can enjoy a weekend of free fishing on April 22-23. On these two days, Oregonians and visitors can fish, crab and clam for free anywhere in Oregon without a license, tag or endorsement. This is the first of eight Free Fishing days in Oregon this year. Additional free days are June 3-4, Nov. 25-26, and Dec. 31-Jan. 1.
Reel In Trout With The Kids At An ODFW Family Fishing Event
ODFW’s Outdoor Skills Program will host 28 Family Fishing Events at locations across Oregon this year. These events offer personalized fishing opportunities at stocked ponds across Oregon, with ODFW staff and volunteers on-site to provide equipment and instruction tailored to beginning anglers, all free of charge. Check out the online schedule for an event near you.
Learn to Hunt and Fish
Steelhead fishing, turkey hunting clinics coming up. See www.odfwcalendar.com for latest classes.
NORTH COAST FISHING
- If you haven’t purchased your license yet, now would be a good time to stop by one of our offices or website and get one. With lots of fishing opportunities coming up in 2017 you’ll want to have the paperwork out of the way already.
- Winter steelhead fishing is in full swing so now’s the time to get out and get after Oregon’s signature winter steelhead. Winter steelhead season is open and hatchery steelhead are available on the Kilchis, Nehalem, Nestucca, Salmon, Siletz, Alsea, Siuslaw, Trask, and Wilson.
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.
NORTH COAST LAKES
So far this season, Town Lake near Pacific City has been stocked with nearly 200 surplus summer steelhead from Cedar Creek Hatchery. In addition, 66 early run winter steelhead were released there on Jan. 11. Nehalem Hatchery released 200 surplus winter steelhead into Vernonia pond, 57 into Lost Lake and 60 into Lake Lytle. These fish get fairly active in the lake and offer a unique fishing experience, especially when the rivers are blown out. Once in the lake they are considered “trout” and do not require a Combined Angling Tag. Anglers are reminded, however, that only one trout per day over 20 inches may be retained, and these fish will almost all be in that size range.
Trout stocking is scheduled to begin the week of March 20 in most district lakes. The 2017 trout stocking schedule is available online. Due to a barn collapse, access to Lorens Pond may not be possible, and stocking may be delayed. Check with ODFW before going fishing here.
ALSEA RIVER & BAY: Steelhead
Steelhead fishing is open on the Alsea River and listed tributaries. Fishing has picked up on the north fork around the hatchery. Casting spinners, drifting bait or using a bobber and jig can be effective.
KILCHIS RIVER: Steelhead
The river is in good shape as of mid-week. Fishing should be good for winter steelhead. The river will likely be lower and clearer by the weekend, depending on rainfall. Adjust your gear to the conditions. Fish are spread through the system.
NEHALEM RIVER: Steelhead
This year’s weather is definitely putting the “winter” in winter steelhead fishing. The Nehalem is high and muddy and may be that way through the weekend. Check current river levels before heading out. Steelhead should be well distributed in the system by now.
The Salmonberry River should produce some good fishing opportunity as we approach the peak of the run. Anglers are reminded to check with the Port of Tillamook Bay about access along the railroad right of way.
The North Fork Nehalem has some opportunity for mostly wild steelhead this time of year, although the occasional hatchery fish is still present.
NESTUCCA RIVER & THREE RIVERS: Steelhead
This year is definitely putting the “winter” in winter steelhead. The Nestucca should be dropping into shape for the weekend. This is generally a good time of year to be on the Nestucca and there should be hatchery fish and wild fish throughout the system. All the usual techniques such as side drifting, float fishing, drift fishing, or pulling plugs or divers and bait should be effective. During high water use brighter colors and larger presentations.
Three Rivers hatchery fish should be winding down this time of year but this small tributary will drop and clear much quicker than the Nestucca and could be a good option for bank fishing this week.
SALMON RIVER: Steelhead
The Salmon River is open for wild and hatchery steelhead. Fishing is fair. Wild winter steelhead can be retained on the Salmon River. Daily and annual bag limit on wild winter steelhead are 1/day and 3/year. Casting spinners, drifting bait or using a bobber and jig can be effective.
SILETZ RIVER: Steelhead
Steelhead fishing is fair. Drift boaters are having success from Moonshine Park to Siletz and bank anglers are catching hatchery fish in the Siletz gorge. Casting spinners, drifting bait or using a bobber and jig can be effective.
SIUSLAW RIVER: Chinook, Steelhead
The Siuslaw River and Lake Cr. are open for hatchery winter steelhead. Fishing is fair. Casting spinners, drifting bait or using a bobber and jig can be effective.
TRASK RIVER: Steelhead
When conditions have been good, the Trask has been fishing well this season. It should be dropping into shape by this weekend. Check the river levels before heading out this weekend. There should be steelhead throughout the system. During high water use brighter colors and larger presentations. The Trask has mostly wild fish, but the occasional hatchery fish is caught.
WILSON RIVER: Steelhead
When the Wilson has been in decent shape it has fished well this season. It should be dropping into prime shape by mid-week and into the weekend. It’s always a good idea to check the river levels before heading out. There should be plenty of brood stock hatchery and wild steelhead around, and there have been some big fish coming off the Wilson this year. All the usual techniques such as side drifting, float fishing, drift fishing, or pulling plugs or divers and bait should be effective. During high water use brighter colors and larger presentations.
YAQUINA RIVER: Steelhead
The Yaquina River and Big Elk Cr. are open for steelhead. Fishing is fair. Wild winter steelhead can be retained on Big Elk Cr. with a daily and annual bag limit of 1/day and 3/year. The Yaquina River is open for hatchery winter steelhead. Casting spinners, drifting bait or using a bobber and jig can be effective.
NORTH COAST HUNTING
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.
SHOW AND TELL
Another Amazing Fish!!!! Caught by Tony
Here is a nice deer taken back in 2010 by Joe Goodell of Toledo.