The week started with good weather on both sides of the California-Oregon border and anglers were able to catch lots of rockfish out of both Crescent City and Brookings. Pacific halibut have reportedly been a little bit harder to come by, but there have been a few caught on both sides of the border throughout the week.
Ocean fishing has gotten more and more difficult later in the week as some storms and waves have made it difficult to get out to sea. The forecast remains bleak through the middle of next week, but could start to open back up around Thursday.
Meanwhile there is a bit of a lull in the finish in local rivers, but there was some big news coming away from the water as the California Department of Fish and Wildlife has announced the fall salmon season on the Klamath River. The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife also announced proposed temporary harvest limits and closures for wild fall chinook fisheries on coastal rivers in Southern Oregon, including the Chetco River.
On the ocean
It has been a solid week for bottomfishing on both sides of the border this week with limits of black snappers reported early in the week.
In California the lingcod was also particularly hot early in the week. Jim Mitchell of Gotcha Hooked Fish Trips said he and some friends were able to catch easy limits of both bottomfish and lincod early in the week. Englund Marine Supply Company also weighed in a new leader in its annual biggest lincod competition this week — a 29 pounder caught on Sunday.
Up in Brookings anglers have also been catching a few lingcod while limiting out on black rockfish early in the week, but lingcod were a little bit harder to come by up north.
Farther out to sea anglers took advantage of some good conditions early in the week to search for Pacific halibut. Although the halibut fishing has been slow to start the season, there were still a few caught on both sides of the border. A particularly nice 60-pound halibut was reportedly caught out of Crescent City in about 40 feet of water on Tuesday by an angler attempting to bottomfish.
The ocean salmon season is also quickly approaching on both sides of the border, with the season set to open on May 25 through Sept. 2.
It has been a slow week for river anglers on the Wild Rivers coast due to the closure of the Klamath, Smith and Chetco rivers. The only river fishing available at the moment is on the Rogue River where there are still some spring salmon being caught, but the fishing is still on the slow side.
Although the Klamath River is still closed to salmon fishing, anglers got a look at the upcoming fall salmon season on the river as the California Department of Fish and Wildlife announced the quota for the season, which starts on Aug. 15 and runs through Dec. 31.
The Klamath salmon quota for this year is 7,637 adults, which is roughly twice the quota from last year. The daily bag limit will be two Chinook salmon, no more than one of which may be an adult (measuring 22 inches or more). The possession limit will be six salmon with no more than three adults.
On Monday the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife issued a press release proposing some significant cutbacks to Chetco salmon fishing including temporary harvest limits and closures for coastal wild fall chinook fisheries.
The proposal is seeking to close the Chetco River upstream of mile 2.2 until at least November while also reducing the limit from one a day and five per year to one a day and two per year. The OFDW is also considering curtailing the popular “Chetco bubble fishery”, which allows for some limited salmon fishing in the fall, outside of the regular ocean salmon season.
The Smith and Chetco rivers will also reopen for cutthroat tout fishing next week. The Chetco River is scheduled to open back up on Thursday, with the Smith River opening next Saturday.
Fishing contacts: Jim Mitchell of Gotcha Hooked Fish Trips at 464-8482; Tally Ho II Sportfishing at 707-464-1236; Andy Martin of Wild Rivers Fishing at 206-388-8988; Chetco Outdoor Store at 541-469-9151; Englund Marine Supply Company at 707-464-323.
Reach Michael Zogg at firstname.lastname@example.org .