Pete Heley Outdoors 11 / 18 / 2015

A newer, more restrictive crab advisory has replaced the one issued last week for crabs taken between Charlston and the California border. The new restriction, a joint ODFW and Department of Agriculture announcement, is both severe and immediate. Here it is:

The Oregon Department of Agriculture and the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife have announced the immediate closure of recreational and commercial bay crabbing from Heceta Head, north of Florence on the Oregon Coast, to the California border due to elevated levels of domoic acid. This includes crabs harvested in bays and estuaries, and off docks, piers, jetties, and the ocean.

Crab harvesting from Heceta Head north to the Columbia River remains open (Willapa Bay in southwest Washington is also closed to crabbing due to elevated levels of marine toxins), It is recommended that crab always be eviscerated prior to cooking. Evisceration includes removal and discard of the internal organs and gills.

Despite the closure, crab and shellfish products sold in retail markets and restaurants remain safe for consumers.

Domoic acid or amnesic shellfish toxin can cause minor to severe illness and even death. Severe poisoning can result in dizziness, headaches, vomiting and diarrhea. More severe cases can result in memory loss and death. Shellfish toxins are produced by algae and originate in the ocean. Toxins cannot be removed by cooking, freezing or any other treatment. ODA will continue to test for toxins in the coming weeks. Removal of the advisory requires two consecutive tests in the safe range.

For more information, call ODA’s shellfish safety information hotline at (800) 448-2474 or visit the ODA shellfish closures web page.

My friends at “The Bites On”, a tackleshop in the Empire District of Coos Bay, have received reports of smallmouth bass to nearly two pounds coming out of New River south of Bandon. The New River is part of the Floras Creek drainage which is the outlet to Floras Lake. Floras Lake has a population of very much overlooked largemouth bass and cutthroat trout as well as some salmon and steelhead smolts which may now be somewhat in jeopardy  should the smallmouths move up into the lake via the slow-moving waters of New River and Floras Creek.

Other developing smallmouth fisheries include the mainstem Coquille River up to and including the first few miles of the South Fork, Woahink Lake which has had smallmouths for years, but experienced a population spike over the last few years. and Eel Lake which has produced smallmouths weighing more than four pounds this year.

By the time you read this, all three coastal lakes with coho fisheries should have salmon in them, but it will probably be Thanksgiving before Tahkenitch and Tenmile produce many salmon. The Chinook salmon in the Elk and Sixes rivers will most likely be on a similar time table.

The coho fisheries at Siltcoos, Tahkenitch and Tenmile all end one hour after sunset on December 31st.

The people in charge of making repairs to the Westlake Boat Ramp at Siltcoos Lake timed it to cause maximum inconvenience. Boat launching alternatives include Nightingales Resort which is at least a ten mile drive and charges a ten dollar launch fee and Darlings Resort which charges a five dollar launch fee. Darling’s also honors the Lane County Pass, but the resorts all have very limited parking.

Yellow perch fishing is decent in most area waters, but very good off the fishing dock at the Couty Park in Lakeside. For some reason, the fishing dock at the County Park in Westlake on Siltcoos Lake does not fish well, but many parts of the lake produce good perch fishing for boat anglers. Don’t count on catching many crappies or bluegills.

About Pete Heley

Writes and self-publishes Oregon and Washington fishing books.
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