Pete Heley Outdoors 9 / 23 / 2015

The ODFW catch statistics for the current ocean coho season through September 13th indicated that 12 percent the adjusted quota of 20,700 cohos had been caught. The catch statistics are usually adjusted on the ODFW website on Tuesdays and include catches through the preceding weekend. The ocean catch will surely make a big jump when last week’s catches are figured in, since ocean conditions were mild and fishing pressure on the ocean was relatively high.

Lots of anglers are taking advantage the nonselective coho season for coastal rivers. On the Umpqua, the nonselective coho fishery runs from the ocean upriver to the Scottsburg Bridge but does not include Smith River.. On the Siuslaw that fishery runs fron the ocean upriver to, but not including Lake Creek. On the Coquille, the nonselective coho fishery runs from the ocean upriver to the Highway 42S  Bridge immediately upriver of Sturdivant Park. On the Coos River, the nonselective coho fishery runs from the ocean up to Dellwood and the Millicoma confluence.

None of these rivers have a quota this year, but the nonselective season ends on October 15th on the Umpqua and Siuslaw rivers and on November 30th on the Coos and Coquille rivers.

The coho salmon season for Siltcoos, Tahkenitch and Tenmile lakes will start on October 1st. There will almost certainly not be any salmon in these lakes on that date. The possible exception would be Siltcoos Lake where rainfall or high tides may get returning salmon to the fish ladder on Siltcoos Dam which is located at the upper end of tidewater on Siltcoos River. Once they ascend the fish ladder it is an easy three mile journey to reach the lake.

Upon the start of the coho season on these coastal lakes, anglers with 2-rod fishing licenses will not be able to use them for the entire duration of the salmon season which ends on December 31st.

This is the time of year when bankbound salmon anglers have their greatest opportunity. Half Moon Bay, Osprey Point and Gardiner are all producing salmon for spinner flingers. Salmon are also starting to stack up below the bridge at the lower end of Winchester Creek. These fish are mostly finclipped Chinooks courtesy of our hard working local STEP chapter. A few of these salmon have been caught by spinner flingers and even one fly angler. But what quite a few Winchester Bay anglers are waiting for is when these salmon start biting sand shrimp and roe fished beneath bobbers – which should start happening by next week and by that time a lot of salmon anglers will have sore elbows and shoulders from many hours spent casting spinners in the lower Umpqua River.

Overlooked amidst the salmon hysteria is the October 1st opening for all-depth bottomfish. Possibly because it’s closed for six months every year, the offshore ridges southwest of Winchester Bay offer some of the finest lingcod angling along the entire Oregon coast.

Also very much overlooked is the improving fishing in most of our area lakes for largemouth bass and yellow perch as well as for smallmouth bass on the Umpqua and Coquille rivers.

There should be fair numbers of trout left in Lake Marie which received 1,800 trout about three weeks ago – 1,300 of which were 16-inchers.

About Pete Heley

Writes and self-publishes Oregon and Washington fishing books.
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