Pete Heley Outdoors – 4/30/2014

Shad were reported caught at both Yellow Creek and Elkton last week. If the Umpqua River stays relatively clear, shad fishing should be good. However, Sawyers Rapids may offer the best fishing if the river undergoes a major drop.

Despite light fishing pressure, several Chinook salmon were caught near the Umpqua River Bar last week.

Very warm midweek temperatures should signal a major improvement in largemouth bass fishing in area lakes. Umpqua River smallmouth fishing should show steady improvement as long as the river remains relatively clear.

Many of the lakes south of Reedsport were stocked this week  with legal rainbows including: Bluebill (2,000); Bradley (3,000); Eel (3,000); Millicoma Pond (500); Powers Pond (3,000); North and South Tenmile lakes (3,000 each; Saunders (3,000) and Butterfield (2,000). Some of the fishing spots that opened last Saturday were expected to produce excellent trout fishing with the best fishing expected to come from Crane Prarie and Wickiup reservoirs and Howard Prairie and Hyatt lakes.  Anglers wanting to keep their trout should consider Diamond Lake which is open all year and boasts Oregon’s most liberal trout limit (8 trout daily).

The first of the redtailed surfperch run on the Umpqua River above Winchester Bay could show up any time and usually happens by mid-May. sand shrimp and Berkely Gulp are the preferred baits.

The Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission set the 2014 sport and commercial halibut seasons during its meeting today in North Bend.

The Pacific halibut seasons set today are concurrent with those recently adopted by the International Pacific Halibut Commission and the National Marine Fisheries Service, and are similar to 2013 seasons. Though the 2014 U.S. West Coast halibut quota is essentially the same as last year, Oregon anglers will notice four changes that affect sport fisheries:
·        In the Columbia River subarea, the open days will be Thursday through Sunday during the all-depth season – an expansion of the Friday through Sunday open days last year.
·        Also in the Columbia River subarea, a nearshore fishery has been established to allow more groundfish anglers to retain incidental catches of halibut.

·        In the Central Coast subarea, the nearshore fishery will start July 1 and be open seven days a week.  This compares to the 2013 season that started May 1 for three days a week. The goal is to provide more fishing opportunity in July when all-depth fisheries are generally closed.

·        The former South of Humbug subarea has been separated at the Oregon and California border, and the Oregon portion is now known as the Southern Oregon subarea.  This will allow the Oregon and California fisheries to be managed separately. As with all other subareas, the Southern Oregon subarea will now close once the quota has been attained.

The final 2014 Pacific halibut sport seasons are on the ODFW website.

About Pete Heley

Writes and self-publishes Oregon and Washington fishing books.

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