Northwest Zone Fishing
Send us your fishing report
-Photo by Kathy Munsel, ODFW-
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.
NORTH COAST LAKES
Warm water fishing is slow. Coffenbury, Cullaby, Sunset, Lytle, Cape Meares, and Town lakes, and Vernonia Pond all offer opportunity for largemouth bass. Weed growth and water quality may make fishing challenging in some areas.
The latest trout stocking schedule.
MID COAST LAKES
Fishing for the various warm water fish species is fair to good during the summer months. There are numerous lakes in the Florence area that can provide good opportunity and have boat and bank access.
ALSEA RIVER: Chinook, coho, cutthroat trout
The fall Chinook fishery is producing fair to good results for both bank and boat anglers. Anglers are having the best action fishing from the lower bay up to the head of tide. Trolling, casting lures or bobber fishing are all producing depending on the section and conditions. Bank fishing near the Hwy. 101 bridge or up at the newly opened Don Lindly Park (MP 7 on Hwy. 34) can be good for both Chinook and coho.
The wild coho fishery is under way and will continue through Oct. 15. The daily bag limit of 1 adult coho and seasonal limit of 2 adult coho (in aggregate with other areas with the same bag limit). The lower bay typically produces the best results early in the season.
Cutthroat trout fishing is fair in the lower mainstem below the confluence with Five Rivers. With the low and warm river conditions the best opportunities will be in the early morning when water temperatures are the coolest. Small spinners are typically productive as wells as small spoons or fly fishing with nymphs or streamers.
KILCHIS RIVER: cutthroat, Chinook
Cutthroat fishing should be fair. Sea-run cutthroat should be available in good numbers in tidewater areas and are moving to upstream areas. Water levels are low and clear so use very light gear. A few fall Chinook may be starting to enter tidewater areas.
LOWER COLUMBIA TRIBUTARIES: cutthroat
Catch-and-release fishing for cutthroat trout is available. These are small streams, with very low flows and clear water at this time. Using light gear and stealthy tactics should produce fair fishing.
NEHALEM RIVER AND BAY: Chinook, cutthroat, coho
Fishing for Chinook is fair to good. Some hatchery coho are being caught also. Troll herring or spinners near the bottom, or bobber fish in upper tidewater.
Sea-run cutthroat can be caught throughout the bay and tidewater areas, and further upstream. Troll or cast small lures or flies along the channel margins or in areas of cover, such as logs or woody debris.
The Nehalem Bay and River is closed to the retention of wild (non-finclipped) coho salmon this year.
NESTUCCA RIVER AND THREE RIVERS: steelhead, Chinook, cutthroat
Fall Chinook fishing is fair to good in the bay. Trolling herring near the mouth is producing fish, with bobber/bait and spinners producing near Pacific City and into upper tidewater areas. Steelhead fishing is slow to fair, with some decent bites coinciding with recent rain events.
Fishing for cutthroat trout should be fair to good. Three Rivers is closed to all fishing downstream of the hatchery. The bay and tidewater below Cloverdale will be open to the retention of wild coho on Sundays and Mondays only, from Sept. 20-Nov 2. One adult wild coho per season may be kept.
SALMON RIVER: Chinook, cutthroat trout
The fall Chinook fishery is producing well for both boat and bank anglers in tide water. Trolling, casting lures or bobber fishing through the high slack tide tends to be the most productive.
Cutthroat trout fishing from upper tide water through the lower river can be effective during the early mornings with sea runs moving through this time of year.
|Wild Chinook Salmon on the Siletz
-Photo by Steven Martin-
SILETZ RIVER: Chinook, coho, steelhead, cutthroat trout
The fall Chinook fishery has been producing fair to good results in the lower bay up to the Chinook Bend area. Chinook can be found through the head of tide but still in small numbers. Trolling or bobber fishing through the high slack seems to be the most productive.
The wild coho fishery continues through Nov. 30 with a daily bag limit of 1 adult coho and seasonal limit of 2 adult coho (in aggregate with other areas with the same bag limit). The lower bay up to Coyote Rock typically produces the best results early in the season.
Summer steelhead fishing is fair to good in the upper river above Moonshine Park.
Cutthroat trout can be found in most sections with sea runs found in the mid to lower river this time of year.
SIUSLAW RIVER: Chinook, coho, cutthroat trout
Fall Chinook fishing is producing fair to good results from the lower bay up to Cushman with fair numbers of fish starting to push up to the Mapleton area. Trolling herring, spinners or bobber fishing can all be productive.
The wild coho fishery is open Sept. 15– Oct. 15 with a daily bag limit of 1 adult coho and seasonal limit of 2 adult coho (in aggregate with other areas with the same bag limit). The lower bay up to the North Fork confluence typically produces the best results early in the season. Lake Creek will not open for wild coho in 2015.
The cutthroat trout fishery is fair for sea runs in the lower reaches of the river and in upper tide water. Fishing during the early mornings or near the larger tributaries is the most productive.
TILLAMOOK BAY: Chinook, coho
Fishing for Chinook and hatchery coho is fair to good. Trolling herring or spinners are the two most popular techniques. Fish are being caught throughout the bay. Casting spinners for hatchery coho can be productive at times in some of the mid-bay channels. The bay is open to wild coho retention (1 adult wild coho for the season) on Fridays and Saturdays only, through Oct. 31.
TRASK RIVER: steelhead, Chinook, cutthroat
Fall Chinook are available in tidewater in increasing numbers. A few hatchery coho are making their way through tidewater and into the lower river also. An occasional summer steelhead is still being caught. Fishing for cutthroat trout is fair to good. The hatchery hole area is closed to all fishing through Oct. 15. Anglers are reminded that the Dam Hole (near MP 7 on Trask River Road) is closed through November.
Anglers who catch a steelhead or salmon with numbered tag(s) are encouraged to report catch information via the internet or by calling ODFW at 503-842-2741 and asking for Derek Wiley. All live tagged fish that are not legal to retain or are voluntarily not kept should be released quickly and unharmed with tags intact.
WILSON RIVER: steelhead, Chinook, cutthroat
Summer steelhead fishing is slow. Fishing for cutthroat trout should be fair. Use lighter gear for best results as the water is extremely low and clear. Fall Chinook angling in tidewater will improve over the coming weeks as more fish arrive.
YAQUINA RIVER: Chinook, coho, cutthroat trout
Anglers are having fair to good results for fall Chinook from the lower bay up to the Canyon Quarry boat launch area. Trolling herring or spinners during the incoming tide through the high slack typically produces the best results. Small numbers of Chinook are also up near Elk City.
The wild coho fishery is open Sept. 15 through Nov. 30 with a daily bag limit of 1 adult coho and seasonal limit of 2 adult coho (in aggregate with other areas with the same bag limit). The lower bay up to the airport boat ramp typically produces the best results for coho.
Cutthroat trout fishing is slow to fair from upper tide water to the lower reaches on the mainstem. The mainstem Yaquina and Big Elk Creek are good places to try casting small spinners or spoons as well as bait fishing near the head of tide.
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Northwest Zone Hunting
OPEN: COUGAR, BLACK BEAR, FOREST GROUSE, MOUTAIN QUAIL AND MOURNING DOVE, W OR GENERAL DEER RIFLE (opens Oct. 3)
Use the Oregon Hunting Map to see where to hunt.
2015 Big Game Hunting Forecast
First buck, Dallas Watershed
– Photo by Justin Tisdel –
Hunters will face fire restrictions and some closures and they need to know what those are before they go. More info. Some good resources for fire information: InciWeb, National Forest webpages, Oregon Dept Forestry
W OR General Deer Rifle season opens October 3 and will likely be slow for the opener as relatively warm and sunny weather is predicted. The deer breeding season, or ‘rut’ generally doesn’t start until later this month, when bucks become much more vulnerable to harvest. The general strategy early in the season is to look for deer in openings such as clearcuts early in the morning and late in the evening with some stalk hunting in timbered areas during the day. During warmer weather, look at cooler, north-facing slopes over south-facing ones.
Black bear hunting will be improving now that we’ve had wetter weather, but bears will still be most active early in the morning and late in the evening in openings such as clear-cuts. Most wild berry crops are done for the year, but some patches of Himalaya blackberries may still be available at lower elevations where bears may be foraging. Abandoned orchards in the forest will also be a good bet with the early growing season we’ve enjoyed. Like with cougar, predator calling during the mid-day hours can be very productive. Successful hunters must check in their bear 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.
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.
Forest grouse and mountain quail season opened Sept. 1 in western Oregon with hunting predicted to be good as the birds had excellent nesting conditions this spring and summer. Look for sooty (blue) grouse in higher elevations, such as ridge tops. Ruffed grouse are more common on mid-slope and riparian areas. Mountain quail prefer brushy clear-cut areas on south or west-facing slopes.
Mourning dove season also opened Sept. 1 and goes through Oct. 30, but there not many of these birds on the north coast as there is limited grain agriculture in the region. A larger and similar looking dove – the Eurasian collared dove – is an invasive species and can be hunted year-round with just a hunting license. It tends to occupy areas around people, so be careful when hunting them.
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Northwest Zone Wildlife Viewing
Brown pelicans have been arriving to the north coast in increasing numbers over the summer and will persist into the fall. These large, near-shore ocean-dwelling birds are entertaining to watch whether they are gliding just over the waves or stooping to dive for fish. Some good areas to observe them include Cape Meares State Park and the South Jetty at the Columbia River, accessed through Ft. Stevens State Park.
|Gray whale feeding
- Photo by Bob Swingle, ODFW-
Some reports of dead seabirds have continued to come in to ODFW offices even in late September. Many of the birds are young-of-the-year common murres that are showing symptoms of extreme emaciation (starvation). This is not surprising, given the rather warm ocean surface temperatures for most of the summer. The prevailing warm and clear ocean waters indicate a relatively unproductive ecosystem associated with the current El Nino conditions. 9/22/2015
Small groups of gray whales have recently been seen in the Netarts and Oceanside areas, which is unusual for this time of year. Viewing them in September is generally good as the ocean tends to be calmer than during the middle of the summer when northwest winds can make it difficult to detect them. As always, optics such as binoculars or spotting scope can help in watching them.
American white pelicans have been nesting on islands (mainly Miller Sands) on the lower Columbia River now for several years. As their name implies, they are large white birds – the only ones like that you’ll see there during the summer months. In Oregon, they typically nest inland in eastern portion, so seeing them in western Oregon is a rarity. One place you may be able to see them from land is the viewing platform at the Twilight Eagle Sanctuary, located just off of Hwy 30, east of Astoria. Bring a spotting scope for best viewing.
Jewell Meadows Wildlife Area
Elk viewing has been good at Jewell Meadows Wildlife Area. The breeding season or “rut” has begun with bulls bugling and battling for dominance. Breeding behavior should continue throughout September and into the first week or so of October. Listen for bugling and antlers clashing in the late evening and just after dark. Elk have been visible most mornings and evenings depending on the weather. The herds tend to stay out longer in the mornings and come out earlier in the evenings on cool cloudy days. On warm sunny days viewing has been limited to very early mornings and late evenings. Best viewing on warm days is about 1 hour before dark. 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.
Visitors are urged to use caution around the main viewing area as construction activities are occurring. The public restrooms are closed for remodeling, and will remain closed until October. Portable restrooms are available. Visitors are reminded that areas posted as Wildlife Refuge are closed to public access. Posted portions of the Beneke Tract are closed to entry during any open Saddle Mt. Unit elk season, August 1, 2015 to March 15, 2016 including the general bow seasons (see big game regulations for exceptions during the Western general rifle deer season). Wildlife Area Parking Permits are required on the wildlife area. 9/11/15.
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