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Weekly Recreation Report: Northwest Zone

Updated June 28, 2016

 Northwest Zone Fishing

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

Weekend fishing opportunities:

  • Spring Chinook fishing is fair in Tillamook Bay and the Trask River.
  • Steelhead fishing is fair in the Siletz, Nestucca and Three Rivers.
  • Sea run cutthroat fishing is fair in tidewaters of the Kilchis, Nehalem, Nestucca, 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.


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 is being lowered to facilitate repairs to the outlet structure. The lake will gradually be drawn down over the summer until the work area can be isolated. Repairs will be done in late 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.


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 as fish move to the shallows for spawning. There are numerous lakes in the Florence area that can provide good opportunity.

ALSEA RIVER: cutthroat

The Alsea River is open for cutthroat trout, casting small spinners, spoons or fly fishing streamers or dry flies can be very effective. Bait is not allowed above the head of tide until Sept. 1.

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.


A few spring Chinook are available in Big Creek, Gnat Creek, and the Klaskanine River.

NEHALEM RIVER AND BAY: Chinook, cutthroat

Chinook should begin entering the bay in small numbers by early July. Trolling herring near the mouth of the bay will be the most productive early in the season. 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 August 31.

NESTUCCA RIVER AND THREE RIVERS: steelhead, Chinook, cutthroat

Spring Chinook angling is fair. Angling for summer steelhead is improving. Use lighter gear to entice more bites. On Three Rivers, from the hatchery deadline downstream to markers below Gauldy Bridge, new angling regulations allow youth angling only (17 and under) from June 1 to July 15. Gear restrictions are also in effect. Check regulations. Angling for cutthroat should be fair to good, with sea-runs primarily available in tidewater right now. Try casting spinners or streamer flies in areas with cover.

SALMON RIVER: cutthroat

The Salmon River is open for cutthroat trout, and casting small spinners, spoons or fly fishing streamers or dry flies can be very effective. Bait is not allowed above the head of tide until Sept. 1.

SILETZ RIVER: steelhead, cutthroat

Steelhead fishing is fair. This run typically peaks by early July but fish can be found throughout the mainstem. 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

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.


Spring Chinook are present in decent numbers. Catches have been fair at best for the most part, and catches are dropping off as it gets later in the season. Water temperatures in the upper bay are warm. Trolling herring or large bladed spinners are the most productive techniques. Keep your gear near the bottom while trolling slowly.

Fishing Taho Lake
The Day Begins. Fishing the Trask River
- Photo by Tom Armour-

TRASK RIVER: steelhead, Chinook, cutthroat

Spring Chinook angling is fair. More fish continue to move in and fish are spread out from tidewater up to the hatchery area. Bobber and bait is the best bet. Steelhead fishing is slow to fair.

Anglers are reminded that gear restrictions took effect May 1 from the Cedar Creek wooden boat slide to the marker at the Lorens Drift wooden boat slide site. Trout angling should be fair.

WILSON RIVER: steelhead, Chinook, cutthroat

Fishing for steelhead and spring Chinook is slow. The water is low and clear, so use lighter gear and target the deeper holding areas. Trout angling should be fair.

YAQUINA RIVER: cutthroat

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.

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  Northwest Zone Hunting


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).

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 Northwest Zone Wildlife Viewing

The forests in the north coast area are filled with the sounds of songbirds declaring their nesting territories. The types of birds you encounter generally depends on what type of forest stands you area surrounded by. For areas of highest songbird diversity, look for mixed stands of hardwoods and conifers in forests with different seral classes.

Even in July, newborn wildlife are appearing throughout the forest and sometimes in peoples’ yards. You may still encounter young deer fawns and elk calves, many of which appear abandoned at first glance. In actuality, the mother has left them temporarily to feed, and will be back soon to attend their young. Young wildlife are best left alone, as human intervention almost always has a negative outcome for the animal, and is usually illegal to do.

Waterfowl that nest in the north coast area should be visible with their broods of ducklings or goslings now. Most of the goslings will be almost the size of the parents, but still distinguishable from them. Ducklings tend to hatch later in the spring and will generally be much smaller than their parents now. Look for them anywhere there are larger bodies of still or slow moving water.

Common Murre
Common Murre
-Royalty Free Image-


Three Arch Rocks NWR, located just west of Oceanside, has historically been home to thousands of nesting common murres and other colonial seabirds, and it is still possible to see large numbers of them staging below the rocks in the water. 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.


The Twilight Eagle Sanctuary, located east of Astoria, just off of Hwy 30, is a great place to observe not only bald eagles, but a host of other birds. This time of year, the area is typically alive with calls of marsh wrens and Brewer’s blackbirds. Resident waterfowl, such as western Canada geese and mallards, should have broods of young in tow. Optics are always helpful when viewing wildlife in this area.

Jewell Meadows Wildlife Area

Elk viewing has been good at Jewell Meadows Wildlife Area. On warm sunny days, the best viewing has been early mornings or late evenings. Elk have been staying out a little longer 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. New antler growth is readily visible on bull elk, especially the larger males. Calving and fawning season is here, and visitors are cautioned to not disturb elk calves, deer fawns, and other young wildlife. Often, mothers leave their newborn young alone for extended periods of time. Remember, “If you care, leave them there.” Elk calves are starting to become more visible in the open areas. Viewing for elk calves may be difficult due to the tall grass in most meadows. Watch for vegetation movement behind adults as calves try to follow their mothers through the tall grass. Tree and violate green swallows can be seen gliding over fields and nesting in boxes along view area fence lines. Band-tailed pigeons have been observed near area bird feeders. Many other song bird species can be seen in and around viewing areas. (6/27/16)

Visitors are reminded that areas posted as Wildlife Refuge are closed to public access and that Wildlife Area Parking Permits are required on the Wildlife Area.

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