The steelhead season is slowing down considerably along the Wild Rivers Coast but there are still some fish to be caught from the Rogue to the Smith rivers. Southern Oregon anglers looking to nab a few more Chetco steelhead will need to move fast, however, because the Chetco River will close at the end of the day on Sunday.

River fishing

The steelhead bite has started to wane over the last couple weeks, though there are still a few being caught in the Smith River.

The Rogue River to the north is also still producing a few steelhead, but it too has slowed down considerably, according to Joe Martin of Rogue Coast Sport Fishing. Martin said most of the anglers currently fishing the Rogue are hoping to land an early spring salmon. Although a few salmon have already been hooked on the Rogue River, Martin said it has been pretty tough fishing so far.

The Chetco River fished fairly well last weekend, according to Andy Martin, of Wild Rivers Fishing.

“Over the weekend was really good on the Chetco,” he said. “On Saturday and Sunday we had good days with five-plus fish a day and some fresh fish still showing up.”

Fishing on the Chetco River slowed a little bit through the week, but Andy Martin said it should still be in good fishing shape through the weekend before the river closes to anglers on at the end of the day Sunday.

On the ocean

It has been a slow week for ocean anglers in Oregon due to rough seas throughout the week. Although kept on shore, sport fishermen got some good news as sport crabbing reopened in Southern Oregon following clean test reports from the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife.

Martin said the commercial crabbers had a bit of a slow season this year, which doesn’t bode well for the recreational crabbing. Many of the commercial crabbers have already pulled their pots out of the water, however, which means there won’t be as much competition for crab from the commercial boats.

Meanwhile, bottom fishermen will likely have a chance to get out over the weekend as seas are predicted to calm down through Monday.

Ocean salmon season

The Pacific Fisheries Management Council continued with its public meetings last week in which it discussed, among other topics, the 2019 ocean salmon seasons on both sides of the California-Oregon border. The final ocean seasons will be set as the last meeting scheduled to take place April 9-16 in Rohnert Park.

Fishing contacts: Joe Martin of Rogue Coast Sport Fishing at 541-425-7210; Andy Martin of Wild Rivers Fishing at 206-388-8988; Englund Marine Supply Company at 464-323.

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