Bill Taylor of Winchester Bay, a volunteer for the Gardiner, Reedsport, Winchester Bay STEP chapter asked me to help make people aware that the organization will be finclipping 108,000 fall Chinook salmon fingerlings during the week beginning Monday, April 27th. The finclipping will take place at the chapter’s Gardiner hatchery and will run from 9 am until 2 pm daily until the task is finished. Bill says that the chapter could really use help from the public in completing the massive task. If you want to help, the hatchery is located at the north end of the Highway 101 bridge over the lower Smith River and about 100 yards west of Highway 101. It’s a right turn if you are traveling from Reedsport to Gardiner and a left turn if you are driving from Gardiner towards Reedsport.
The trout stocking schedules for all zones are now available on the ODFW website. Scheduled to be stocked this week are Mercer Lake (2,250 12-inchers); Sutton Lake (1,500 12-inchers);Siltcoos Lagoon (850 legals, 350 12-inchers and 106 16-inchers). Next week, Alder, Buck and Dune lakes are scheduled for trout plants with Alder and Dune to each receive 850 legals, 225 12-inchers and 36 16-inchers with Buck Lake to receive the same number of legals and 16-inchers as Alder and Dune, but only 200 12-inchers. Other Florence-area trout plants occurring next week will take place at Georgia and North Georgia Lakes (150 legals each); Elbow Lake (600 12-inchers); Lost Lake (500 12-inchers) and Perkins Lake (205 legals and 200 12-inchers).
Trout plant nobody should get excited about will occur next week at Tenmile Lakes where 6,000 legal trout will be dumped into about 2,700 surface acres of water and Siltcoos Lake where 1,000 12-inchers will be stocked into a lake with more than 3,100 acres of water. Loon Lake and Lake Marie are not scheduled to receive their next trout plants untill the week beginning May 18th when they will each receive 1,000 legal rainbows.
Fishing for such warmwater species as bass and catfish should be getting more consistent as more and more afternoons along the Oregon coast reach and exceed 60 degrees. As the bass and panfishing gets more consistent, trout fishing will become more productive in the early mornings and late evenings.
The general trout opener for lakes that are not open all year is this Saturday, April 25th and even though most lakes are now open all year, most of the fishing tackle sales still occur in mid-to-late April.
Spring Chinook and shad fishing on the Umpqua River remains slow, but the river above Scottsburg is improving for smallmouth bass with spinners and crankbaits being productive. As the river continues to drop and clear, expect soft plastics such as worms and grubs to become more effective.