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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 August 23, 2016

 Northwest Zone Fishing

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

Weekend fishing opportunities:

  • 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 and Trask.
  • Sea run cutthroat fishing is fair to good in tidewaters of the Kilchis, Nehalem, Nestucca, Trask, Wilson, Alsea and Siuslaw.

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

Spring trout stocking is complete. Holdover trout are available in most lakes. The best opportunity will be in higher elevation lakes that remain cooler longer, such as Hebo Lake, South Lake, and Lost Lake. Battle Lake offers some hike in fishing opportunity also.

The water level at Cape Meares Lake has been lowered to facilitate repairs to the outlet structure. The lake will be held at the current level until the repairs can be completed later this summer.

Warmwater fish are active. Look for some largemouth bass action in Lake Lytle, Coffenbury Lake, Cullaby Lake, Sunset Lake, and Cape Meares Lake, and Vernonia Pond. Aquatic vegetation is increasing with the summer weather so expect to deal with weeds.

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 Aug. 1 – Dec. 31. Fishing is slow but will pick up over the next several weeks. 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.

KILCHIS RIVER: cutthroat

Trout fishing should be fair to good. Sea-run cutthroat should be in tidal areas, and will begin moving upstream soon. Anglers are reminded that no bait is allowed above tidewater May 22 - Aug. 31.

LOWER COLUMBIA TRIBUTARIES: Chinook

Lower Columbia Tributaries opened to fall Chinook fishing on 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 in the bay, and some nice sized Chinook are being caught. Anglers are reminded that of the two Chinook salmon per day bag limit, only one may be a wild Chinook through Sept. 15. In addition, only 5 wild adult Chinook may be harvested from the Nehalem River and Bay and/or the North Fork Nehalem River April 1 – Sept. 15.

Trolling herring near the mouth of the bay will still be the most productive, but fish are being caught farther into the estuary. Sea-run cutthroat are available in tidewater and will begin moving upstream over the next few weeks. Casting spinners or streamer flies along banks or to cover should get some bites. Anglers are reminded that no bait is allowed above tidewater through Aug. 31.
Fishing the Nestucca
Fishing in the Nestucca River
-Photo by Kathy Munsel-

NESTUCCA RIVER AND THREE RIVERS: steelhead, cutthroat

Summer steelhead angling is fair. The best action is in the lower River between 1st Bridge and Cloverdale, but there should be fish throughout the system. 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.

Anglers are reminded that Three Rivers is closed to all angling from the mouth to the hatchery weir July 16 – Sept. 30, and the Nestucca closed to Spring Chinook angling on July 31.

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 Aug. 1 – Dec. 31. Fishing is slow but will pick up over the next several weeks 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. Parking can be limited at Knight Park during the fall salmon return.

SILETZ RIVER: steelhead, cutthroat, Chinook

The Siletz River and bay is open for Chinook salmon Aug. 1 – Dec. 31. Fishing is slow but will pick up over the next several weeks. 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 fair. 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 Aug. 1 – Dec. 31. Fishing is slow but will pick up over the next several weeks. 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.

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 slow. The bay closed to Spring Chinook fishing on July 31. Fall Chinook season is open, but the run hasn’t really started yet.

TRASK RIVER: steelhead, cutthroat

Summer steelhead fishing is fair. 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. The best fishing will be in the estuary and lower river, but 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.

Spring Chinook angling closed July 31st in the Trask River.

WILSON RIVER: steelhead, cutthroat

Fishing for steelhead is fair. The water is low and clear, so use lighter gear and target the deeper holding areas. 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.

Anglers are reminded that Spring Chinook season closed July 31 on the Wilson. Fall Chinook season does not open until Sept. 16, and the river is closed to salmon angling upstream of Jordan Creek (RM 21.9) Aug. 1 to Dec. 31.

YAQUINA RIVER: cutthroat, Chinook

The Yaquina River and bay is open for Chinook salmon. Fishing is slow but will pick up over the next several weeks. 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.

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

cougar
Cougar
- Royalty Free Image-

OPEN: COUGAR, BEAR, ARCHERY DEER AND ELK (opens Aug. 27)

Archery deer and elk hunting opens on August 27 on the north coast. Deer and elk populations are moderate with decent buck and bull escapement from last year’s hunting seasons. Elk hunters are reminded that the bag limit for archery elk does not include antlerless animals this year in the Wilson and Saddle Mtn. units. Access for archery hunters will likely be limited on industrial forest lands during the early part of the season due to higher fire danger. The warm and dry conditions will also influence where deer and elk area likely to be found: most likely in cool areas such as north-facing slopes and riparian areas.

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.

See regulations for details (pdf).

 Northwest Zone Wildlife Viewing

NORTH COAST WILDLIFE VIEWING

When out in the forests of the north coast, you might be startled by the flapping of wings overhead in the trees. These are likely band-tailed pigeons that are feeding on cascara berries. Cascara or chitum, is a native broadleaf species of tree that looks like a red alder, but has dark berries that the native pigeons love to forage on. Another favorite of these birds are red elderberries shrubs that have small red berries in grape-like clusters.

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.

TILLAMOOK COUNTY

Three Arch Rocks NWR, located just west of Oceanside, has historically been home to thousands of nesting common murres and other colonial seabirds. However, few birds nest there anymore due to the near constant presence of bald eagle that has severely disrupted nesting on the larger rocks in recent years. Instead, the Steller sea lions are a very reliable denizen on the lower rock in front, Seal Rock. They can be seen loafing on the rock, often with young pups in the mix. These are the larger and lighter-colored cousin to the more common California sea lion.

CLATSOP COUNTY

Jewell Meadows Wildlife Area

Elk viewing has been good at Jewell Meadows Wildlife Area. Best viewing has been in the evenings until dark on warm sunny days. Elk tend to be in the open areas a little longer in the mornings and evenings on cool cloudy days. Most of the meadows have been mowed so elk should be easier to spot. 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” should start at the end of August and continue until the first part of October with the peak about mid-September. 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. (8/19/16)

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.

Zones: Northwest | Southwest | Willamette | Central | Southeast | Northeast | Snake | Columbia | Marine


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