Pete Heley Outdoors 2/26/2014

Thanks to Lake Havasu, a Colorado River impoundment  that separates California and Arizona, there is now strong evidence that there is some benefit to having a quagga mussel infestation – and that is a great forage base for growing the world’s largest redear sunfish. In the last few years,a number of giant redears have been pulled from Havasu weighing more than four pounds and last week, a five pound 12.8 ounce redear was caught on a nightcrawler from the reservoir.

While some fish species in Lake Havasu have suffered greatly due to quagga mussels, the redear sunfish have grown to record sizes.

With the Umpqua River being muddy, steelhead fishing pressure has switched to the Smith River and other area streams. Tenmile Creek and Eel Creek are both clear, but are running high and steelhead hooked recently in Eel Creek are seldom landed. Much of the fishing pressure on Tenmile Creek is currently in the Spin Reel Park area and few anglers are fishing the lower reaches of the stream in the sand dunes area. Sand shrimp remains the preferred bait.

Congratulations to former Reedsport resident Steve Martin for having his photo of a very impressive wild chinook appear in the fishing report section of the ODFW website. Steve, who now lives in Lakeside, has recently been enjoying some very good bottomfishing in the Bandon area. Bottomfish anglers out of Charlston and Winchester Bay have also enjoyed good bottomfishing, despite rough ocean conditions.

Anglers fishing the South Jetty/Triangle area have dealt with muddy Umpqua River water by fishing when the tide is almost completely high or fishing on the south side of the Triangle.

Most of the fishing pressure directed at planted trout in the Florence-area lakes has been directed at Cleawox Lake – which is understandable since most of the trout were planted there.

This week Saunders Lake and several other lakes in southern Coos Count are slated to receive 3,000 legal rainbows each. The other lakes are Bradley Lake and Powers Pond and Johnsom Mill Pond. Empire Lakes is scheduled to receive 6,000 legal rainbows next week and Loon Lake is slated to receive 2,000.

For those among you that have wanted to try icefishing, there will be a seminar held on Diamond Lake on March 8th. ODFW will show anglers how to make the best of snowy, icy conditions at a March 8 Family Ice Fishing Workshop on Diamond Lake.

According to Mark Newell, ODFW outdoor skills coordinator, ice fishing can be a great winter-time activity for the whole family.

“It’s easy for kids to participate,” Newell said. “And if the fishing is a little slow most of them enjoy the chance to play in the snow.”

Participants in the workshop will learn all ice fishing basics – safety on the ice, appropriate gear and how to use it, and how to care for and clean their catch. The cost of the workshop is $52 per adult and $12 per child under age 18. This includes the use of equipment and instruction. Lunch is not included.

Steve Martin with a bright chinook on thr ODFW website

Steve Martin with a bright chinook on thr ODFW website

Children under 13 years old do not need a fishing license to participate, but adults must have a valid Oregon fishing license and youth ages 14-17 will need an Oregon juvenile angling license. Youth must be accompanied by a paying adult.

For more information about the workshop, and to register, go to the ODFW website.

About Pete Heley

Writes and self-publishes Oregon and Washington fishing books.

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