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ODFW WEEKLY RECREATION REPORT
Fishing, Hunting, Wildlife Viewing
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Northwest Zone Map

Weekly Recreation Report: Northwest Zone

October 28, 2014

 Northwest Zone Fishing

Fishing the Columbia
Fishing the Columbia
-Photo by Kathy Munsel, ODFW-

2014 Coastal coho and fall Chinook seasons

Now available on the ODFW Website.

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.

2014 trout stocking

The 2014 trout stocking schedule for the North Coast Watershed District is now posted on-line on along with other districts on the ODFW trout stocking page.

Lost Lake, Cape Meares Lake, Coffenbury Lake and Sunset Lake have all been stocked in past few weeks. Town Lake stocking is still delayed due to ongoing construction of the new dam. Stocking will occur after construction is complete.

NORTH COAST LAKES

Lost Lake, Cape Meares Lake, Coffenbury Lake and Sunset Lake have all been stocked in past month. Town Lake near Pacific City was also stocked last week.

MID COAST LAKES

The wild coho salmon fishery in Siltcoos and Tahkenitch Lakes is producing fair to good results. Recent rain events and the pulsing of the lake levels have brought a good number of coho into the lakes. The peak fish return is typically around late October through mid-November. A good rain event is normally needed to move fish up into the lakes so watch the weather carefully. Anglers have success either trolling or casting lures such as spinners, spoons, hot shots, mag warts or some type of rattle / wiggle bass plug. Areas to focus on are near the lake outlets or the major tributaries to the lakes.

ALSEA RIVER: Chinook, coho, cutthroat trout

The fall Chinook fishery is producing fair to good results with anglers having the best success in the river above tidewater either from a drift boat or bank fishing. Recent rains have moved a lot of fish up river towards the spawning grounds. Fishing above tidewater should be productive through the weekend.

The wild coho salmon fishery is producing fair to good results with the best action in the river above tidewater. The fishery should remain productive through the weekend.

The cutthroat trout season will be over at the end of this month. Cutthroat can be found throughout the mainstem and the Alsea has many opportunities for bank fishing along Hwy 34.

BIG CREEK: Chinook, coho

Fishing for hatchery coho has been fair. Chinook numbers have decreased and there are no bright fish available this late in the season. Anti-snagging rule is in effect.

KILCHIS RIVER: Chinook, coho, chum

Recent rains have brought Chinook and chum into the river. The river continues to run on the high side after recent heavy rains. Watch for the periods between storms in order to hit it while the river is falling. Fishing should be very good over the next few weeks.

NEHALEM RIVER: Chinook, coho

Chinook fishing was good in the mainstem before it blew out with recent rains. Chinook remain available in the bay, but don’t expect them to hold there long. Fish the edges of the main river when it is high and off color as Chinook tend to hold in these areas. It is not too late to catch a wild coho in the bay although most of the fish that had been holding there have now blasted up river. The bay remains open to wild coho retention through November. Trolling spinners further up the bay or bobber and bait in tidewater and river holes can still be effective this time of year. The North Fork Nehalem will be one of the first rivers to clear and both hatchery coho and Chinook are available.

NESTUCCA RIVER AND THREE RIVERS: steelhead, Chinook, coho

Fall Chinook fishing will be very good as the river drops and the fishery effort shifts from tidewater into the river. Bobber fishing or casting spinners will still produce fish in upper tidewater areas, but river fishing with bait-wrapped plugs, drifted or back-bounced baits, or bobber and bait will be the best bet over the next couple of weeks.
The wild coho fishery in the bay is open Sundays and Mondays through November. Check with ODFW for details on seasons and bag limits. Summer steelhead fishing is fair. Several hundred summer steelhead have been recycled from Cedar Creek Hatchery in recent weeks (released at Pacific City). Spinners or small baits like crawdad tails are good options.

SALMON RIVER: cutthroat trout, Chinook

Fall Chinook fishing is fair with anglers catching fish in upper tidewater and through the mainstem up to the deadline. Many fish are in spawning condition this time of year. Casting lures or floating bait under a bobber can be effective.

Cutthroat trout fishing is fair through the mainstem with the season over at the end of this month.

Fishing the Siletz
Fishing on the Siletz River
-Photo by Andy Walgamott-

Fall Chinook fishing is fair to good. Anglers are having success from mid to upper tidewater and all through the river below the deadline at Illahee Park. Recent rains have pushed a lot of fish out of tidewater for their migration to the spawning grounds. The wild coho fishery has slowed down but anglers can still catch bright fish in tidewater up to the deadline. Summer steelhead fishing is slow in the upper river above Moonshine Park. The cutthroat trout fishery has slowed down and the season closes at the end of this month.

SILETZ RIVER: Chinook, coho, steelhead, cutthroat trout

Fall Chinook fishing is fair to good. Anglers are having success from mid to upper tidewater and all through the river below the deadline at Illahee Park. Recent rains have pushed a lot of fish out of tidewater for their migration to the spawning grounds.

The wild coho fishery has slowed down but anglers can still catch bright fish in tidewater up to the deadline.

Summer steelhead fishing is slow in the upper river above Moonshine Park.

The cutthroat trout fishery has slowed down and the season closes at the end of this month.

SIUSLAW RIVER: Chinook, coho, cutthroat trout

Fall Chinook fishing has slowed down in tidewater as recent rains have pushed most fish up into the river. Fishing from the bank or drift boat above the head of tide should produce the best results this week. The wild coho fishery has slowed down for anglers in the lower to mid sections of tide water but should be fair to good for those fishing near the deadline.Cutthroat trout fishing is slow to fair with the season closing at the end of this month.

TILLAMOOK BAY: Chinook, coho

Fishing for salmon is good as weather conditions and flows allow. Fall Chinook and a few wild coho are being caught throughout the bay. On softer tide series, troll herring in the lower bay. On stronger tide series, trolling herring or spinners in the upper bay is a good bet. Some anglers are finding success in the west channel. Fish are not holding for long periods in the bay right now so consider moving your fishing effort upstream to one of the local rivers. The wild coho fishery in the bay is open Fridays and Saturdays through November. Check with ODFW for season and bag limit details.

TRASK RIVER: steelhead, Chinook

An occasional summer steelhead is being caught but Chinook are the go-to fish these days. Good numbers of Chinook are available throughout the system but most of the hatchery coho have already entered the hatchery. When the river levels drop and clear a bit, fishing for Chinook should be very good all the way up to the deadline at the north and south fork confluence. The Hatchery Hole opened on October 16 to take advantage of strong returns.

WILSON RIVER: steelhead, Chinook

Fishing for fall Chinook was very good just before the last big rain. As the river drops, fishing should continue to be very good either from a boat or the bank. Spinners (sizes 4-6) cast from the bank should produce fish as well as bobber and bait set-ups.

YAQUINA RIVER: Chinook, coho, cutthroat trout

Fall Chinook fishing is slow to fair with anglers having the best results in the mid to upper areas of tidewater. Recent rains have pushed many fish upriver and onto the spawning grounds but new bright fish should be around over the next couple weeks.

The wild coho salmon fishery has slowed down a bit as recent rains have pushed many fish up river towards the spawning grounds. Bright fish can still be caught from Sawyers landing up through tidewater. Trolling herring or spinners faster than for Chinook and higher in the water column have been productive. Cutthroat trout fishing is slow to fair with the season scheduled to close at the end of this month.

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  Northwest Zone Hunting

OPEN: COUGAR, BLACK BEAR, RIFLE DEER, GROUSE, QUAIL, MOURNING DOVE (closes Oct. 30), WATERFOWL (duck reopens Oct. 29, see regs)

Use the Oregon Hunting Map to see where to hunt.

See the bird and big game hunting forecasts.

Buck
Buck
-Oregon Fish and Wildlife-

General Deer Rifle season goes through Nov. 7. Hunter success will largely depend on weather conditions, with wet weather being best. If the weather is dry and warm, look for deer in openings during the early morning and late evening hours of daylight, and otherwise focus on timbered areas and north-facing slopes.

Duck season opened Oct. 11 on the north coast and goes through Jan. 25, 2015 with a short break in late October. The overall liberal bag limit with some species restrictions, continue this fall. See the 2014-15 Oregon Game Bird Regulations for details. The opener will likely be slow as no appreciable numbers of migratory birds have moved down yet from the north. Weather will also be a key factor in determining success early in the season, with the best hunting occurring during the wettest and stormiest weather.

Forest grouse and mountain quail is likely to be fair as it appears that there was not a strong hatch of young that have survived into the fall. If hunting for grouse, look for ruffed grouse on mid-slopes and along riparian areas, and sooty (blue) grouse are usually found at higher elevations on ridge tops. Mountain quail are most often found in brushy clear-cut areas on south or west facing slopes.

Mourning dove season continues this fall through Oct. 30. The north coast typically does not have a lot of these birds, so the hunting for them will be rather slow. However, the Eurasian collared dove that closely resembles the mourning dove is an introduced exotic that is unprotected. It, along with the exotic rock dove, can offer good year-round hunting opportunity where they occur in more developed areas.

Black Bears should be in good numbers in the northern Oregon coast range, especially in the southern portion of the Trask WMU. With warm weather during the day, bears are most active in forest openings in the early morning and late evening hours. Predator calling, especially during the middle of the day, can be very productive. In general, when scouting for bears look for areas with lots of wild berry crops, such as huckleberries, or abandoned orchards as they are very opportunistic foragers.

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.

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 Northwest Zone Viewing

The website for the Oregon Coast Birding Trail (pdf) for the north coast area offers over 40 different trails to find birds on the north coast. The trails include coastal, river and interior routes, so the variety of birds you can see on them is nearly endless. The website also has directions to the trails, tips on birding and lists facilities available along or near the trail.

Great Egret
Great Egret
-Photo by Robert Mutch-

TILLAMOOK COUNTY

Substantial numbers of great egrets are now in Tillamook County, where they should be present in farm fields and along estuaries in the county through the winter months. These large white birds are easy to spot as they usually provide a strong contrast to their surroundings, and can often be seen foraging in close proximity to great blue herons.

CLATSOP COUNTY

Jewell Meadows Wildlife Area

Elk viewing has been good at Jewell Meadows Wildlife Area. The breeding season or “rut” is starting to wind down. Some bulls are still with the larger herds and occasional bugling in the evenings is still being heard. With the onset of fall, larger bulls should start to segregate themselves from the herds and hang out in bachelor groups. Elk have been visible most mornings and evenings, depending on the weather. With cooler temperatures, elk are staying out in the fields a little later in the morning and returning a little earlier in the evenings. Good places to look are the Fishhawk Tract along Hwy 202 and the Beneke Tract along Beneke Creek Road.

Visitors are reminded that areas posted as “Wildlife Refuge” are closed to public entry and posted portions of the Beneke Tract are closed to entry during elk seasons. Black-tailed deer hunting only is allowed on portions of the Beneke Tract during the general Western Oregon rifle deer season. Consult the 2014 Big Game Regulations for additional information and exceptions. Wildlife Area Parking Permits are now required on the wildlife area.

Pelicans

Both brown and white pelicans can be seen this time of year on the lower Columbia River. The more common brown pelican is seen most frequently at the mouth of the river, up to Astoria. A great place to view them is from the South Jetty viewing platform at Ft. Stevens State Park. The larger white pelicans are a relative newcomer, and spend most of their time above Tongue Point on Miller Sands Island and other nearby ones. The white pelicans have traditionally been associated with far inland areas, but drought, particularly southeastern Oregon, may have encouraged them to nest on the river in recent years.

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