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Weekly Recreation Report: Northwest Zone

November 18, 2014

 Northwest Zone Fishing

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.

Most rivers and streams closed to trout fishing on Oct. 31.


Tahkenitch Lake
Tahkenitch Lake
- Photo by Kathy Munsel-

Trout stocking is complete for the year. Construction activities are winding down at Town Lake, but a few tasks remain to be completed. Due to recent tampering at the dam, the lake will have to be drawn down again to install the water control headgate. The dock will be moved to accommodate the drawdown, and will be inaccessible for a period of time.


The wild coho salmon fishery in Siltcoos and Tahkenitch Lakes is producing fair to good results. Look for the next good rain event to help move new fish up into the lakes. This time of year is typically peak season.

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, steelhead

Fall Chinook and coho salmon fishing is slow. The fall Chinook run is nearing the end but some new fish will still be trickling in. Fresh coho salmon will also continue to move through the river but in smaller numbers. Winter steelhead season is approaching quickly and chrome bright steelhead could be targeted in the lower river starting anytime now.
BIG CREEK: coho, steelhead

Low, clear flows have made fishing conditions very tough. Rain is needed to get fish moving. A few hatchery coho may still be around. Expect a few early winter steelhead to show in the next few weeks.

KILCHIS RIVER: Chinook, coho, chum

Fall Chinook angling is slow due to low, clear water and lack of fish movement. Fishing may improve toward the weekend if forecasted rains raise the river and bring in new fish. Angling for chum is now closed. Wild coho may be harvested only downstream of Hwy 101 on Fridays and Saturdays through November.

NEHALEM RIVER AND NORTH FORK: Chinook, coho, steelhead

Chinook fishing is slow to fair, with fewer fresh fish available as the month goes on. Best opportunity may be in the bay or lower river where fish may be holding until more rain comes. The bay also remains open to wild coho retention through November. The North Fork Nehalem still offers some hatchery coho and Chinook opportunity, but rain is needed to improve fishing conditions. Look for a few early winter steelhead to show in the next few weeks.

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

NESTUCCA RIVER AND THREE RIVERS: steelhead, Chinook, coho

Fall Chinook fishing has generally been good, but fishing has slowed lately with low, clear and cold water. Fish are not actively migrating, and likely are holding in tidewater or the lower river. Bobber fishing or casting spinners will still produce fish in upper tidewater areas. Fishing the river with bait-wrapped plugs, drifted or back-bounced baits, or bobber and bait are the accepted methods, but tone down the presentation until fishing conditions improve.

The wild coho fishery in the bay is open Sundays and Mondays through November. Check with ODFW for details on seasons and bag limits. An early winter steelhead could show later this month, especially in Three Rivers.


Fall Chinook fishing is slow as most fish have or are now actively spawning. A small number of new fish should continue to enter the river over the next couple weeks.

SILETZ RIVER: Chinook, coho, steelhead

Fall Chinook and coho salmon fishing is slow with anglers having the best success fishing the river between Illahee Park and Morgan Park. Most Chinook have moved onto the spawning grounds but some fresh coho are still pulsing in. Summer steelhead fishing is slow in the upper river and winter steelhead could start showing up in small numbers at anytime.

SIUSLAW RIVER: Chinook, coho

The Fall Chinook and wild coho fisheries are slow with anglers having the best success above tidewater. Most fall Chinook have moved onto the spawning grounds but some quality coho should continue to pulse through over the next couple weeks.

TILLAMOOK BAY: Chinook, coho

Fishing for salmon is fair to good as lower river flows have slowed movement through the bay. There was a decent bite as a group of fish moved in over the weekend, so look for good opportunity to continue. The wild coho fishery in the bay is open Fridays and Saturdays through November. Check with ODFW for season and bag limit details.
Riverside Park, Clackamas
Trask River
-ODFW photo-

TRASK RIVER: steelhead, Chinook, coho

Fishing for Chinook slowed last week under low flow conditions. Rain is needed to bring more fish in. Most of the hatchery coho have already entered the hatchery. The Hatchery Hole opened on Oct. 16 to take advantage of strong returns. An occasional summer steelhead is still being caught, and the first winter steelhead of the season are anticipated to arrive soon.

WILSON RIVER: steelhead, Chinook

Fishing for fall Chinook slowed considerably last week as cold weather and low flows slowed movement and put the bite off. Rain later in the week should improve conditions. Spinners (sizes 4-6) cast from the bank should produce fish as well as bobber and bait set-ups. Bait wrapped plugs or back bouncing from boats can be very effective also.

YAQUINA RIVER: Chinook, coho

Fall Chinook fishing is slow as most fish have moved onto the spawning grounds. Small numbers of new fish should continue to move through over the next couple weeks. Coho salmon fishing has slowed down but pulses of fresh coho should also continue to move through over the next few weeks.

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  Northwest Zone Hunting


Use the Oregon Hunting Map to see where to hunt.

See the bird and big game hunting forecasts.

Waiting for some birds
Waiting for some birds
-Photo by Anna Grabhorn-

Second COAST ELK season runs Nov. 22-28. Bulls should be available in good numbers as carryover from last year was above average. Weather conditions will determine hunter success to a large extent.

Duck season goes through Jan. 25, 2015. The overall liberal bag limit with some species restrictions, continue this fall. See the 2014-15 Oregon Game Bird Regulations for details. More migratory ducks are present now than earlier in the fall, and the weather has been generally more conducive to productive hunting. Some of the best hunting occurs during the onset of stormy weather when ducks are moving around a lot.

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.

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

Migratory waterfowl have been moving into the north coast area in recent weeks, and a wide variety of ducks and geese are now available for viewing in and around north coast estuaries, including the lower Columbia River.

Snow geese, a relatively uncommon species on the north coast, have recently been seen in Tillamook area pastures. More birds should be coming in as storms further north develop.

Great Egret
Great Egret
-Oregon Fish and Wildife-


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.


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.

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