Anglers are reminded that a shellfish license is required to harvest all shellfish except fresh water clams and crayfish.
Springtime provides excellent marine fishing opportunities. Catch rates for near shore species of ground fish are often best in spring, 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 1 may be a cabezon from April 1 through Sept. 30. There are separate daily limits for lingcod (two) and flatfish other than Pacific halibut (25).
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.
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, blue, and copper rockfish, rock and kelp greenling, cabezon, lingcod, and starry flounder. Current regulations prohibit retention of yelloweye and canary rockfish and require a 10-inch minimum for greenling. Cabezon retention is prohibited by all anglers until July 1. Retention of cabezon is allowed July 1 through Sept. 30. 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 clams are presently open coastwide; however, contact the Department of Agriculture’s Shellfish Hotline at 1-503-986-4728 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 looks to vary from good to great based on forecasted adult returns destined for key river basins of the Columbia River, the Central Valley in California, and the Klamath River. Although fishery managers are forecasting returns to the Central Valley and Klamath River fall Chinook to be well below the 2013 totals, they should be abundant enough to result in good Chinook catches along the entire Oregon Coast.
|Summer Chinook on the Columbia
-Oregon Fish and Wildlife-
Managers are predicting tremendous runs of Chinook are forecast to return to the Columbia River later this summer and this should provide for some great fishing both in the ocean and the Columbia River in August.
Thanks to much improved hatchery and naturally produced coho populations, the 2014 ocean coho seasons should provide the most time on the water for coho fishing since the 2010 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 on August 30 to coincide with Labor Day weekend.
Summary of the 2014 Ocean Seasons:
- North of Cape Falcon to Leadbetter Pt., Washington
- Recreational season for hatchery fin-clipped Chinook from May 31-June 13 (9,000 coastwide quota).
- Recreational season for all salmon from June 14-Sept. 30 with a 2 fish limit, of which only 1 can be a Chinook and all coho must be fin-clipped. Quota of 92,400 coho with 13,100 Chinook guideline.
- Commercial troll salmon seasons are similar to last year, but will have larger quotas. Seasons will start on May 1 for Chinook and July 1 for hatchery coho and continue through the earlier of September 16 or quota.
- 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 10 through Sept. 7.
- Sport fin-clipped coho open June 21-August 10 (quota of 80,000 coho) from Cape Falcon south to OR/CA Border
- Sport non-selective coho from Aug. 30 through Sept. 30 with a quota of 20,000. Open from Cape Falcon south to Humbug Mt.
- Commercial troll Chinook salmon seasons from Cape Falcon to Humbug Mt. that provide for full fishing from April 1 through July 31, Aug.6-29, and fall fishing with weekly trip limits of 65 Chinook from Sept.3 through Oct. 31.
- Commercial troll Chinook salmon seasons from Humbug Mt. to OR/CA border from April 1 through May 31 without trip limits or quotas, and then June 15-30, July 1-31, Aug. 6-29, and Sept. 12-27 seasons managed by quota and daily trip limits.
May is a popular time for targeting Pacific halibut and Oregon’s quota, set by the International Pacific Halibut Commission, is just slightly below last year. Some changes in 2014 include:
- In the Columbia River subarea, the open days during the all-depth season have been expanded to include Thursdays.
- Also in the Columbia River subarea, a nearshore fishery has been established to allow more groundfish anglers to retain incidental catches of halibut.
- In the Central Coast subarea, the nearshore fishery will start July 1 instead of May 1 and the number of open days per week increases from three to seven. The goal is to provide more fishing opportunity in July when all-depth fisheries are general closed.
- The former South of Humbug subarea has been separated at the Oregon and California border, and the Oregon portion is now known as the Southern Oregon subarea. As with all other subareas, the Southern Oregon subarea will now close once the quota has been attained.
This year’s seasons are:
- North Coast (Leadbetter Point, Wash., to Cape Falcon): Nearshore season quota is 1,190 pounds. Opened May 5, inside the 40-fathom line (defined by waypoints), Monday-Wednesday. Spring all-depth season: Open May 1, four days per week, Thursday-Sunday, through 8,564 pounds or the start of the summer season on Aug. 1.
- Central Coast (Cape Falcon to Humbug Mountain): Nearshore season quota is 22,274 pounds. Open July 1, seven days per week, inside the 40-fathom line (defined by waypoints) through the earlier the quota or Oct. 31. All-depth seasons combined quota is 159,634. Spring all-depth season: Open May 8-10, May 22-24, June 5-7, and June 19-21. Backup days are July 3-5, July 17-19, and July 31. Summer all-depth season: Aug. 1-2 and every other Friday and Saturday after Aug. 1-2
- South Coast (south of Humbug Mountain): Quota is 3,712 pounds. Season: seven days a week through the earlier of quota or Oct. 31.
Find the most up-to-date halibut information here.
-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. For information on 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.
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. 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