Sport crabbers were finally able to haul in pots out of the Port of Brookings this week after an extended closure due to elevated levels of domoic acid that have since dropped.
Recreational crabbers in Oregon found similar success as their counterparts in Northern California have been enjoying of over a month now, though sport crabbers on both sides of the border are now also in competition with the commercial fleets, which started setting pots on both sides of the border last weekend.
Local rivers are still producing steelhead. Although both the Smith and Chetco rivers were starting to get a little bit low both rivers are still fishable, especially for fly fishermen. Anglers are reporting that there seem to be fewer fish in both rivers however, and may need another round of rain to bring in a fresh batch of fish.
After an extended closure due to domoic acid, the recreational crabbing season is finally open out of Brookings, but sport crabbers were joined almost immediately by commercial fishermen, which started dropping pots last weekend. Meanwhile recreational crabbing out of California, which has been open for over a month, has remained strong though competition for crustaceans has taken a steep increase over the last seven days with commercial crabbers out of California also dropping pots starting last weekend.
Although the commercial season was slow to get started due to the quantity of meat in the dungeness crab, crabbers on both sides of the border are reporting that they have since started to fill out nicely.
Local rivers have been dropping on both sides of the California-Oregon border this week, though there is still enough water in the river to target some steelhead.
Andy Martin of Wild Rivers Fishing said he has been bouncing back and forth between the Smith and Chetco rivers this week and while fishing pressure has lifted significantly from a couple weeks ago on both rivers, there also seem to be fewer steelhead in the system.
Martin said he had some trouble getting down the Smith River on Wednesday, getting stuck on some rocks, but he was able to haul in a steelhead while back on the Smith Friday.
The Chetco River has been similarly slow, though Martin has been having a little bit more luck there.
“We have been getting a couple fish per day on the Chetco, the Smith has been really tough,” Martin said. “There are some fish at the really shallow tailouts if you keep your eye out. It is tough conditions, but I don’t think it’s so much the conditions as much as just a lack of fish — there aren’t a whole lot of fish on the Smith, and the Chetco is the same thing. It looks like either we need some rain to bring some more (steelhead) up, or we are having a slower year. Right now the Chetco is fishing better than the Smith, but they are both on the slow side.”
Anglers are also reportedly catching some steelhead this week on the Klamath River.
Sportfishermen in Oregon have had a good week of fishing in the ocean, with lots of red-tailed surfperch being hauled in off the beach, while bottom fishermen have been able to haul in limits of rockfish and lingcod.
Bottom fishing has been particularly successful in Oregon since it opened on Jan. 1, with lingcod bitting especially well.
Crescent City fishermen have also been hauling in lots of herring this week, which have stayed settled near Citizens Dock for the second week in a row.
Fishing contacts: Andy Martin of Wild Rivers Fishing at 206-388-8988; Chetco Outdoor Store at 541-469-9151; Englund Marine Supply Company at 707-464-3230.
Reach Michael Zogg at firstname.lastname@example.org .