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

Weekly Recreation Report: Northwest Zone

Updated September 27, 2016

 Northwest Zone Fishing

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

Weekend fishing opportunities:

  • Trophy trout were released recently at the following lakes: Cape Meares (300), Coffenbury (500), Lost/Clatsop Co. (300), Sunset (150), and Town (300).
  •  Chinook salmon fishing is open and fish are being caught in fair to good numbers in Alsea, Nestucca, Nehalem Siletz, Siuslaw, Tillamook and Yaquina bays.
  • Yaquina Bay and Tillamook Bay anglers are experiencing an overall increase in catch rates of black rockfish.
  • Anglers can now fish with a second rod in many NW Zone streams through Oct. 31 if they purchase a two-rod endorsement for $21.50. News release.
  • Summer steelhead fishing is fair in the Siletz, Nestucca, Wilson, and Trask and should continue to improve as temperatures cool.
  • Sea run cutthroat fishing is fair to good the Kilchis, Nehalem, Nestucca, Trask, Wilson, Alsea and Siuslaw.
  • Reminder: there will be no wild coho fisheries in the NW Zone with the exception of Siltcoos and Tahkenitch lakes.

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.

2016 trout stocking schedule

The 2016 trout stocking schedules for the North Coast Watershed (pdf) are on the ODFW Trout Stocking Page. Take a look to find out when and where Oregon’s hatchery trout are being released around the state.

NORTH COAST LAKES

Several North Coast lakes were stocked last week with trophy trout. (See stocking schedule link above for details), and cooler temperatures should be improving fishing for hold over trout from the spring. This is a great time of year to fish the lakes, cool nights and rain should be getting trout active again, and what fish are left should be good sized.

MID COAST LAKES

Rainbow trout stocking is complete along the mid coast. Holdover trout will be available in most lakes through the summer. Fishing for the various warm water fish species is good this time of year. There are numerous lakes in the Florence area that can provide good opportunity.

ALSEA RIVER: cutthroat, Chinook

The Alsea River and bay is open for Chinook salmon. Fishing is fair. There are fish that have migrated to the upper bay. Trolling herring in the lower bay is an effective technique. Eggs and bobber can be productive in the upper bay and river as the season progresses.

KILCHIS RIVER: cutthroat

Trout fishing should be fair to good. Sea-run cutthroat should be throughout the system.

LOWER COLUMBIA TRIBUTARIES: Chinook

Lower Columbia Tributaries opened to fall Chinook fishing Aug. 1. These are mark selective fisheries this year, meaning only hatchery fall Chinook may be retained in these waters. Hatchery Chinook are those having a healed adipose or ventral fin clip. See the ODFW Regulation Update Page for details. See Press Release.

NEHALEM RIVER AND BAY: Chinook, cutthroat

Chinook fishing is fair throughout the bay. Best fishing has been near the head of tide this past week.

Sea-run cutthroat are present throughout the system. Casting spinners or streamer flies along banks or to cover should get some bites.

Fishing the Nestucca
Fishing in the Nestucca River
-Photo by Kathy Munsel-

NESTUCCA RIVER AND THREE RIVERS: steelhead, cutthroat

Fall Chinook fishing was slow in the Nestucca Bay last week. There are plenty of fish showing and a few were caught, but the majority seemed to be off the bite. The lower bay near Pacific City has been fishing best, but there should be fish throughout the estuary and moving with the tides.

Summer steelhead angling is fair to good. There are excellent numbers of fish throughout the system, with the highest concentrations now in the upper river. The river is still very low, but last weekend’s rains and cooler water temperatures should have these fish getting active.

Anglers are reminded that Three Rivers is closed to all angling from the mouth to the hatchery weir July 16 – Sept. 30.

Angling for cutthroat should be fair to good, sea-runs should be throughout the system. Try casting spinners or streamer flies in areas with cover, or dead drifting small presentations.

SALMON RIVER: cutthroat, Chinook

The Salmon River and bay is open for Chinook salmon. Fishing is. Trolling herring in the lower bay is an effective technique. Eggs and bobber can be productive in the upper bay and river as the season progresses. Parking can be limited at Knight Park during the fall salmon return. Anglers are reminded that from Knight Park boat ramp to Sulphur Creek from Sept. 1 to Dec. 31, angling is restricted to single point hook metal lures, fly angling, or salmon bobber angling.

SILETZ RIVER: steelhead, cutthroat, Chinook

The Siletz River and bay is open for Chinook salmon. Fishing is fair. Trolling herring in the lower bay is an effective technique. Eggs and bobber or drifting eggs can be productive in the upper bay and river as the season progresses. Consult the regulations for changes in deadline locations through the season.

Steelhead fishing is slow. Casting spinners, drifting bait or using a bobber and jig can be effective. Cover water and fish small and simple as the river conditions are low and clear. For cutthroat trout, casting small spinners, spoons or fly fishing streamers or dry flies can be very effective.

SIUSLAW RIVER: cutthroat, Chinook

The Siuslaw River and bay is open for Chinook salmon. Fishing is fair. Trolling herring in the lower bay is an effective technique. Eggs and bobber can be productive in the upper bay and river as the season progresses.

For cutthroat trout, casting small spinners, spoons or fly fishing streamers or dry flies can be very effective. Angling for all species in streams above tidewater is restricted to artificial flies and lures until Sept. 1. Casting small spinners, spoons or fly fishing streamers or dry flies can be very effective.

TILLAMOOK BAY: Chinook

Fishing on the bay is fair. Fall Chinook are being caught throughout the bay. Success rates are varying greatly from day to day but there are definitely some fish around. There are also decent reports of hatchery coho being caught. Anglers are reminded that there is no retention of wild coho in the bay this year, so all coho kept must be adipose fin clipped.

Due to a wetland restoration project between the tidewaters of the Trask and Wilson Rivers, public access to the Wilson River tidewater from the end of Goodspeed road, and to the Hospital Hole on Trask tidewater, are currently unavailable.

TRASK RIVER: steelhead, cutthroat

No reports of fall Chinook being caught in the lower Trask yet, but with fish present at Memaloose for the past several weeks they should be sneaking in anytime. It’ll will probably take a good freshet to move them above the head of tide.

Summer steelhead fishing is slow. Water is low and clear, so concentrate effort in the early morning and late evening, and use lighter gear and small presentations to entice more bites. There are fish throughout the system.

Angling for cutthroat should be fair to good, sea-runs should be throughout the system. Try casting spinners or streamer flies in areas with cover, or dead drifting small presentations.

Due to a wetland restoration project between the tidewaters of the Trask and Wilson Rivers, public to the Hospital Hole on Trask tidewater is currently unavailable.

steelhead
Wilson River steelhead!
- Oregon Fish and Wildlife-

WILSON RIVER: steelhead, cutthroat

No reports of fall Chinook being caught in the lower Wilson yet, but with fish present at Memaloose for the past several weeks they should be sneaking in anytime. It’ll will probably take a good freshet to move them above the head of tide.

Fishing for steelhead is fair to good. There are excellent numbers of fish throughout the system, with the highest concentrations now in the upper river. The river is still very low, but last weekend’s rains and cooler water temperatures should have these fish getting active.

Angling for cutthroat should be fair to good, sea-runs should be throughout the system. Try casting spinners or streamer flies in areas with cover, or dead drifting small presentations.

Due to a wetland restoration project between the tidewaters of the Trask and Wilson Rivers, public access to the Wilson River tidewater from the end of Goodspeed road is currently closed.

YAQUINA RIVER: cutthroat, Chinook

The Yaquina River and bay is open for Chinook salmon. Fishing is fair. Trolling herring in the lower bay is an effective technique. Eggs and bobber can be productive in the upper bay and river as the season progresses.

For cutthroat trout casting small spinners, spoons or fly fishing streamers or dry flies can be very effective. Angling for all species in streams above tidewater is restricted to artificial flies and lures until Sept. 1.

  Northwest Zone Hunting

OPEN: COUGAR, BEAR, GENERAL DEER RIFLE (opens Oct. 1), MOURNING DOVE, FOREST GROUSE, MOUNTAIN AND CALIFORNIA QUAIL, CROW

Elk Hunter

After 40 years of hunting Doug harvested the big one.
-Photo by Sally Woodman-

General deer rifle season opens Oct. 1 and hunting conditions should be good with wet weather predicted for the opener. Deer populations on the north coast are moderate to abundant, depending on where you hunt, with higher deer populations generally being in the eastern portion of the Saddle Mtn., Wilson and Trask units. The earlier part of the season is slower, but hunting improves as October progresses and deer enter the breeding period (rut).

Black Bear season continues through December on the north coast. With wild berry crops being early this summer, bears should be actively foraging on them earlier in the season. The best time to spot foraging bears is in the very early morning and late evening hours. Like with cougar, predator calling can be very effective, and is a good option for doing in the middle of the day when the bears are not likely to be seen in open areas.

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.

Mourning dove season goes through Oct. 30, but they are rare along the north coast. Rather, the larger but similar looking Eurasian collared dove are more plentiful and exist almost anywhere around human habitation. As they are an invasive species, there is no closed season or bag limit restriction on the collared doves.

California quail season opened September 1, but are also rare along the north coast. The best prospects are along agricultural areas on the eastern flanks of the coast range.

Mountain quail appear to have had a good hatch this spring as they seem plentiful this summer. The season opened September 1, and the eastern slope of the coast range is generally better than areas closer to the coast for finding birds. Look for these forest-dwelling quail on south and west-facing slopes around brushy clearcuts. ODFW is looking for hunters willing to collect and mail in wings and tails from harvested birds. You can obtain some collection envelopes from the Tillamook office of ODFW by stopping by during regular business hours or calling 503-842-2741.

Forest grouse (ruffed and blue varieties) hunting season opened on September 1. There appears to have been a good hatch of young this year, so hunting prospects are looking very good. Blue grouse are found on higher elevation ridges, along with a few ruffed grouse. Ruffed grouse are usually found on mid-slopes and riparian areas. ODFW is looking for hunters willing to collect and mail in wings and tails from harvested birds. You can obtain some collection envelopes from the Tillamook office of ODFW during regular business hours or by calling 503-842-2741.

Crow season opens October 1 and goes through January 31, 2017. These birds are plentiful, especially in agricultural settings, but can also be found almost anywhere people live or along forest stand edges.

 Northwest Zone Wildlife Viewing

Oyster Catcher

Oyster Catcher on her nest
- Photo by Tim Moore-

NORTH COAST WILDLIFE VIEWING

If you’re walking the beaches along the north coast near rocky outcroppings or nearshore rocks, you may be surprised by an outburst of calls from the black oystercatcher. With its black feathers and bright orange bill and feet, it’s easy to distinguish from other birds. However, its name is a true misnomer as it does not feed on oysters at all. Rather, it feeds primarily on mussels that cling to the tidally-influenced rocks.

Brown pelicans have returned to the north coast shorelines in good numbers, now that fall is almost upon us. Most of them will stay here well into the fall to feed on forage fish species before they move south for the winter.

TILLAMOOK COUNTY

In estuaries and pastures it’s not too difficult to find the large white wading bird that spends the fall, winter and spring in Tillamook County. It’s the great egret, and it has been in the county in seemingly increasing numbers in recent years. The only known roost site for these birds in the county is Hathaway Slough, located along Hwy 101 between Tillamook and Bay City. The birds typically start flying into roost site near dusk, and create a stark contrast to the dark green spruce trees they occupy.

CLATSOP COUNTY

Jewell Meadows Wildlife Area

elk
A bull elk looks over his herd at the Jewell Meadows Wildlife Area
- Photo by Rick Swart, ODFW-

Elk viewing has been good at Jewell Meadows Wildlife Area. Best viewing has been in the evenings until dark. Elk may be out longer in the mornings and come out earlier in the evenings on cool cloudy days. Good places to look are the Fishhawk Tract along Hwy 202 and the Beneke Tract along the first 1.5 miles of Beneke Creek Road.

The elk breeding season or “rut” is in full swing and should continue through the first week or so of October. This is a good time to visit the wildlife area to see breeding activity including bulls bugling and battling for dominance. Tree and violate green swallows can still be seen gliding over fields and resting on fence lines near viewing areas. Band-tailed pigeons have been observed near area bird feeders and frequenting the many cascara trees throughout the wildlife area. Many other song bird species can be seen in and around viewing areas. (9/19/16)

Visitors are reminded that areas posted as Wildlife Refuge are closed to public access. Additionally, posted portions of the Beneke Tract are closed to public entry during any Saddle Mt. unit elk season including Archery season. Closure dates are August 1 through March 15 (see big game regulations for exceptions).

Wildlife Area Parking Permits are required on the Wildlife Area.


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