There are a number of fishing opportunities that will end on October 31st. The ocean Chinook salmon fishery for fish at least 24-inches long will end. Also ending will be the summer halibut seasons. There will be a final summer season all-depth halibut opener on October 28th and 29th because there were no reported halibut landings during the last all-depth opener on October 14th and 15th.
Almost all the coastal streams close at the end of October, but until then, they are legal to fish for trout and bass. Where it can get awkward is on coastal lakes that have coho seasons. Siltcoos River, the outlet to Siltcoos Lake, is open for salmon down to the Highway 101 Bridge, but is open for trout and bass throughout its entire length – through October 31st (excepting the 200 feet of river above and below the dam).
Salmon fishing ia not allowed on Tahkenitch Creek, but trout and bassfishing is legal through October 31st. Where one can get into trouble, is when an enforcement officer believes an angler is targeting salmon – even if they are not keeping them. The best example of this is on Tenmile Lakes, which does not have a coho salmon fishery this year (but will next year). Every fall a number of anglers fish the channel connecting North and South Tenmile, which is an area closed to coho salmon fishing. – even though because of how shallow it is, it is a poor choice for bass or yellow perch. But every year by using bass lures that also appeal to salmon they catch a number of cohos that are already weakened from ascending Tenmile Creek. Even if they are released, the salmon’s chances of successfully spawning are considerably reduced.reduced.
As I am writing this, there are coho salmon in Siltcoos, Tahkenitch and Tenmile lakes. Since Tenmile Lake doesn’t have a coho fishery this year, parking isn’t a problem, but it most definitely is at Siltcoos and can be at Tahkenitch.
As for the County Park on South Tenmile Lake, after an absense of 11 months, yellow perch are once again being caught in decent numbers. The larger perch are measuring ten to 11-inches and they are usually caught on strips cut from the bellies of smaller perch. It seems like most of the smaller and even some medium-sized perch are simply thrown on the fishing dock rather than back in the water and anglers wanting to fish off the dock are going to have to share it with a number of fish-eating birds.
Ocean crabbing is closed through November, but the lower tidewater areas of Oregon’s coastal rivers are open the entire year and there were a number of decent catches made by dock crabbers at Winchester Bay last week. If the rains continue to the point where crabbing is no longer feasible, there should always be the option of Charlston which is much saltier during the winter months than any of the coastal rivers.
Bradley Lake, south of Bandon, is scheduled to be stocked with 800 14-inch trout this week, but some of the Coos County lakes, including Bradley, that were stocked with 14-inch trout the second week of October have been fishing well. The 600 trout planted in Butterfield Lake seemed to have largely been ignored by anglers, but the 4,000 trout dumped into Empire Lakes have provided good fishing and the 1,300 stocked into Saunders Lake seemed to have turned on this week and fishing has been very good. No more trout plants are slated until next spring along the Oregon coast.
Despte recent rains and winds, temperatures have been surprisingly warm which should keep those planted trout biting well and should extend the fall bass bite for several more weeks. Smallmouth bass anglers on the Umpqua and Coquille rivers are somewat at the mercy of water clarity – as are bottomfish anglers fishing the South Jetty. If the water in the lower Umpqua River gets muddy to the point where it has a negative impact on fishing success, anglers should fish the south side, or ocean side of the Triangle where the water should be much clearer. Offshore bottomfish anglers shouldn’t have a problem with water clarity.