Pete Heley Outdoors 10/29/2014

Although the streams that have been producing salmon for the last few months still have fish in them, smaller streams are now offering the best success. There are salmon in both the Elk and Sixes rivers and fishing has been good subject to water conditions It’s a rather fine line for there to be enough water to get fish into these rivers, yet not so much water that the streams become high, muddy and unfishable.

It will most likely take another rainstorm, or two, to get salmon into Floras Creek and some of the smaller south coast salmon fisheries.

Siltcoos Lake and that portion of the Siltcoos River outlet open to salmon fishing produced very good coho fishing last week. When there was enough water in the fish ladder  to allow the salmon hanging below the dam to move up into the upper portion of the outlet and the lake and become accessible to anglers – fishing was very good for several days before leveling off somewhat.

Once the salmon enter the lake on good numbers, they will stack up in the Fiddle Creek and Maple Creek arms of the lake prior to entering the creeks to spawn. Fiddle Creek Arm usually has the best numbers of coho, while the Maple Creek Arm is known for big salmon. Oregon’s state record coho salmon was pulled from Maple Creek Arm way back in 1966. The 25 pound 5.25 ounce coho was caught by Ed Martin.

Ringo, at Lakeside Marina, reported Sunday that an angler marked a number of large fish in the lake that he thought were salmon, but was unable to hook any. The area where Tenmile Creek enters the ocean appears blown out enough for salmon to enter the creek. Anglers need to be aware that Tenmile’s cohos are not legal to fish for until they reach the bridge on Hilltop Drive just below the lake. The channel connecting North Tenmile and South Tenmile lakes is not open for salmon fishing.

As someone who, several years ago, was selling duplicate salmon tags to anglers who had almost filled their original tags and correctly anticipated the resulting loss of the right to sell duplicate tags by ODFW licensing agents, I can see a similar  and growing problem in the near future.

And that problem is that an increasing number of salmon anglers are getting around the individual season limits on wild or unclipped coho salmon by purchasing daily or short term fishing licenses that are also a tag.

While such behavior clearly violates the spirit of the “law”, I cannot see any effective way to stop it as long as the ODFW is willing to sell short term fishing licenses to anglers that have already purchased a yearly fishing license.

About Pete Heley

Writes and self-publishes Oregon and Washington fishing books.
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