-Photo by Brandon Ford-
Anglers are reminded that regulations are subject to change in-season - check before you fish. New for 2015: anglers may retain one canary rockfish (although ODFW strongly advises releasing uninjured fish at depth), and retention of China, quillback, and copper rockfish is prohibited. Additionally, Marine Reserve areas are closed to all harvest.
Springtime provides excellent marine fishing opportunities and several species are available from ocean and bay shores and jetties. In particular, lingcod, greenling, black rockfish, and perch species are popular with anglers. Black rockfish and lingcod are often on the bite after recently completing their annual spawning cycle.
The marine fish daily bag limit is seven fish, of which no more than 3 may be blue rockfish, no more than 1 may be canary rockfish, and no more than 1 may be a cabezon during the cabezon season of July 1 through Dec. 31. There are separate daily limits for lingcod (two) and flatfish other than Pacific halibut (25). Yelloweye, China, copper, and quillback rockfish are prohibited at all times and in all waters. Regulations are subject to change because of quotas – check before you fish. Fish identification and other tips. Anglers are urged to avoid canary rockfish (retaining one only if it is injured and caught incidentally while targeting other species such as black rockfish) and to use a descending device for any that are released.
Tillamook Bay and jetty: Lingcod, rockfish, greenling, and perch can be caught along the jetties of Tillamook Bay. Crabbing also is available in the bays and the ocean.
Lincoln County rocks, bays and beaches: As with other rocky spots along the Oregon coast, the jetty in Newport finds anglers catching various species of perch, rockfish, and greenling throughout the year. Lingcod are caught in rocky habitat too. Spring is a good time to try for perch in bays, especially when rain does not interfere with salinity: make it a “bay day” by digging for bay clams at low tide and fishing for perch at high tide. Ocean beaches hold considerable promise for redtail surfperch anglers, usually around high tide, and are worth trying whenever surf conditions are safe.
Coos County beaches and jetties: Redtail and silver surfperch, sand sole and starry flounder are biting in the spring and early summer. Striped bass can be a welcome surprise to those surfperch anglers casting in the surf. Anglers will find a mix of pile, white, and striped surfperch in Coos Bay around structures and along the Coos jetties in the spring and early summer. Also available are grass, black, and blue, rockfish, rock and kelp greenling, cabezon, lingcod, and starry flounder. Sardines, anchovies, and herring are often caught in spring and early summer off docks and piers around Coos Bay, when large schools enter the estuary. Razor clamming is presently closed along the entire Oregon coast; however, contact the Department of Agriculture’s Shellfish Hotline at 1-503-986-4728 / 800-448-2474 for more information on periodic clamming closures.
Curry County beaches: Redtail, striped and silver surfperch are available in the spring and early summer. The most popular beaches are located at the mouth of Hunter Creek, Winchuck River, Elk River and at Nesika Beach. You can also catch surfperch from the Rogue River jetties.
Recreational and commercial troll Chinook salmon fishing this year is shaping up to be another very good year for Chinook salmon, and a better than average year for coho salmon. The forecasted abundance for adult returns destined for key river basins of the Columbia River, the Central Valley in California, and the Klamath River are all looking good for this year.
Calab holding his first ever salmon.
-Photo by Rick Gallahon-
Thanks to continued strong hatchery and naturally produced coho populations, the 2015 ocean coho seasons will provide almost as much fishing opportunity as the banner 2014 season. Mark selective fishing for hatchery coho beginning in late June is expected to be very good along the Oregon Coast, especially from Bandon up to the Columbia River. The Cape Falcon to Humbug Mt. non-selective coho season will open September 4 to coincide with Labor Day weekend.
Summary of the 2015 Ocean Seasons:
- North of Cape Falcon to Leadbetter Pt., Washington
- Recreational season for hatchery fin-clipped Chinook from May 30-June 12 (10,000 coastwide quota).
- Recreational season for all salmon from June 13-Sept. 30 with a 2 fish limit, of which only 1 can be a Chinook and all coho must be fin-clipped. Quota of 79,400 coho with 15,000 Chinook guideline.
- South of Cape Falcon
- Sport Chinook from Cape Falcon south to Humbug Mt. open March 15 through Oct. 31, and from Humbug Mt. to the OR/CA border open May 1 through Sept. 7.
- Sport fin-clipped coho open June 27-August 9 (quota of 55,000 coho) from Cape Falcon south to OR/CA Border
- Sport non-selective coho from Sept. 4 through Sept. 30 with a quota of 12,500. Open from Cape Falcon south to Humbug Mt.
May is a popular time for targeting Pacific halibut; and Oregon’s quota, set by the International Pacific Halibut Commission, is just slightly above last year. Some changes in 2015 include:
- In the Columbia River subarea, the all-depth seasons have been combined into one season.
- In the Columbia River and Central Oregon Coast Subareas, retention of other species of flatfish is now allowed on all-depth halibut days.
This year’s seasons are:
- Columbia River Subarea (Leadbetter Point, Wash., to Cape Falcon): Nearshore season quota is 500 pounds. Open May 4, inside the 40-fathom line (defined by waypoints), Monday-Wednesday. All-depth season: Open May 1, four days per week, Thursday-Sunday, through 9,754 pounds or September 30.
- Central Oregon Coast Subarea (Cape Falcon to Humbug Mountain): Nearshore season quota is 21,076 pounds. Open July 1, seven days per week, inside the 40-fathom line (defined by waypoints) through the earlier of quota or Oct. 31. All-depth seasons combined quota is 154,557. Spring all-depth season: Open May 14-16, May 28-30, June 11-13, and June 25-27. Backup days are July 9-11 and July 23-25. Summer all-depth season: Aug. 7-8 and every other Friday and Saturday after Aug. 7-8 until the quota is reached.
- Southern Oregon Subarea (south of Humbug Mountain): Quota is 7,318 pounds. Season: seven days a week through the earlier of quota or Oct. 31.
The most up-to-date halibut information
-Oregon Fish and Wildlife-
The daily bag limit for purple varnish clam is 72, making it easier to dig a full meal of this small but tasty clam. The purple varnish clam is also known throughout the Pacific Northwest as the purple mahogany clam, the dark mahogany clam, the varnish clam, and the savory clam. Populations of purple varnish clams are well established in several Oregon bays and estuaries including Sand Lake, Siletz Bay, Alsea Bay, Siuslaw River estuary and Coos Bay.
Other bay clams – like the gaper, butter, littleneck, cockle, and softshell – are abundant in Oregon’s coastal estuaries and bays. Where and how to dig
Razor clams: Shellfish biologists predict another abundant year for razor clams with plenty of medium- and small-sized clams on the Clatsop beaches. Where and how to dig for razor clams
As of May 14, the entire Oregon coast is closed to razor clamming due to elevated levels of domoic acid. Call the shellfish safety hotline 800-448-2474 for updates as the season progresses.
Crabbing: This spring, several bays have better crabbing for Dungeness and red rock crab than in the ocean. However, during periods of rain, crabbing in bays may slow due to decreased salinity, but boat crabbers can still expect to land a few keepers. More crabbing information
Prohibitions at Oregon’s marine reserves at Redfish Rocks, near Port Orford, and Otter Rock, near Depoe Bay, went into effect on Jan. 1, 2012. Additionally, Cascade Head, in Lincoln City and Cape Perpetua, near Yachats also had prohibitions in effect starting Jan. 1, 2014. Fishing, crabbing, clamming, hunting and gathering seaweed are all prohibited. Beach walking, surfing, bird watching, diving and other non-extractive uses continue to be allowed.
For more information about fishing opportunities in the Marine Zone, contact the nearest ODFW office:
Marine Resources Program
Newport, OR 97365