Monthly Archives: January 2013

Pete Heley Outdoors 1/30/2013

While the best crabbing in our area is still at Charleston, the boat crabbers trying the Half Moon Bay area on the Umpqua River near Winchester Bay all seem to be catching at least a few crabs and some are doing better than that.While venturing out into the ocean, when possible, would almost certainly improve one’s crabbing success, a decent portion of the commercial crab fleet spent considerable time crabbing very shallow water and the crabs they caught will not be available to enter the lowermost river mouths. In other words, in the near future ocean sport crabbing may be of limited benefit and the number of crabs entering the lowermost river sections of such river systems as the Coquille, Siuslaw and Umpqua will be less than hoped for.

A scarcity of sand shrimp has had an effect on the fishing pressure on the South Jetty and Triangle Area. The most common fish species taken are striped surfperch and greenling which are almost always taken on bait. Consequently, the anglers that are fishing this area are targeting blue and black rockfish with an occasional cabezon or lingcod hooked on the metal or softplastic lures they are using when not using bait. One local angler has been having very good success fishing local beaches for redtailed surfperch (pinkfins).

Recent rains should offer a temporary improvement in steelhead fishing success. Steelhead fishing has been fair to good on the Umpqua, but almost no finclipped keekpable steelhead are being caught. The Coos River/Millicoma system should offer improved steelhead fishing as should Tenmile Creek and Eel Creek. Last week, because of low water conditions, most of the steelhead taken during the “Best of the Creeks” two day steelhead contest were caught in Eel Creek which offers far more cover than does lower Tenmile Creek.

What is most notable on Tenmile Lakes, but is also happening to a lesser extend on Siltcoos and Tahkenitch lakes, is a gradual increase in bassfishing pressure as many serious bass anglers are getting ready for improving  bass fishing success whether or not they are tournament fishermen. While the fishing is usually very slow and is inconsistent at best, some of Oregon’s largest bass are caught from late January through April.

Yellow perch fishing in most area lakes remains inconsistent, but should gradually improve over the next several weeks. Except in the clearest lakes, the perch usually move into somewhat more shallow water to spawn, but very clear or very cold water will move them deeper.

The annual stocking schedule is still not posted on the ODFW website, but last year the Florence area lakes were first stocked during the second week in February. Empire Lakes received their first trout plants last year during the last week in February and Loon Lake received its first trout plant the first week of March and Lake Marie received its first trout plant the third week of March.

Now that Diamond Lake is open the year around, novice ice anglers should remember two key points when attempting to ice-fish new water. One is to be especially careful around spring areas that will have thinner ice and the other is to be avoid reservoirs that have fluctuating water levels during the winter months – and may have an ice cover well above the actual water level of the reservoir. Each of these situations can prove deadly.

Recently, one of California’s best known brown trout anglers lost considerable credibility when it was found that he had told different people three different locations for where he caught a 16 pound brown trout he was photographed with. It didn’t help when people began comparing notes and found out that the lures they were purchasing from him were falling apart almost immediately after first use. Another example of the power of the internet.

California recently reduced the maximum length of keepable sturgeon and then changed the way they were to be measured from measuring the fish to the furthest tip of the tail to the fork length – thereby making the length of the keepable sturgeon almost exactly the same as before. The new measurement will reduce the number of people who were getting away with trimming the tail tips on sturgeon to make them fit the legal length requirements.

The first spring chinook salmon taken this year is generally considered to be the one taken in the lower Willamette River on January 26th. Usually, the first spring chinooks taken from the Umpqua and Rogue rivers are caught during the first two weeks in March. Several years ago, a salmon taken from the lower Rogue during the first week in February was found to be a late-run fall chinook from the Elk River. One of the biggest obstacles to catching early spring chinook from the Umpqua or Rogue rivers is that most anglers wait until someone else has caught one – and sometimes that can delay sportfishing pressure on these rivers by a couple of weeks.

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Deepest Lakes in Western USA Trivia Quiz

DEEPEST LAKES IN WESTERN UNITED STATES TRIVIA QUIZ
1 – Name the lakes or reservoirs in Alaska that are at least 400 feet deep?
2 – Name the lakes or reservoirs in the state of Washington that are at least 400 feet deep?
3 – Which lakes or reservoirs in Oregon are at least 400 feet deep?
4 – Name the lakes or reservoirs in Idaho that are at least 400 feet deep?
5 – Which lakes or reservoirs in Nevada are at least 400 feet deep?
6 – Name the lakes or reservoirs in Montana that are at least 400 feet deep?
7 – Which lakes or reservoirs in Wyoming are at least 400 feet deep?
8 – Which lakes or reservoirs in Arizona are at least 400 feet deep?
9 – Which lakes or reservoirs in Utah are at least 400 feet deep?
10-Which lakes or reservoirs in Colorado are at least 400 feet deep?
11-Name the lakes or reservoirs in California that are at least 400 feet deep?

* denotes reservoir

ANSWERS
1 – (7 lakes) – Lake Clark (1,056 feet deep; Tustumena Lake 950 feet deep; Iliamna Lake 900  feet deep; Becharof Lake 600 feet deep; Kenai Lake 541 feet deep; Skilak Lake 528 feet deep and Blue Lake 468 feet deep). 2 – (2 lakes + 1 reservoir) – Lake Chelan 1,486 feet deep; Lake Crescent 624 feet deep *Lake Franklin D. Roosevelt 400 feet deep). 3 – (2 lakes + 2 reservoirs) – Crater Lake 1,943 feet deep; *Detroit Lake 440 feet deep; Waldo Lake 420 feet deep; *Lake Billy Chinook 415 feet deep). (4) (1 lake + 1 reservoir) – Lake Pend Oreille 1,152 feet deep and *Dworshak Reservoir 650 feet deep.    (5) – (1 lake + 1 reservoir) – Lake Tahoe 1645 feet deep -shared with California; * Lake Mead 589 feet deep-shared with Arizona; (6) – (3 lakes) – Talley Lake 492 feet deep; Waterton Lakes 482 feet deep-shared with Alberta, Canada and McDonald Lake 472 feet deep. (7) – (1 lake + 1 reservoir) – Jackson Lake 438 feet deep and *Flaming Gorge Reservoir 436 feet deep-shared with Utah. (8) – (2 reservoirs) – *Lake Mead 589 feet deep-shared with Nevada and *Lake Powell 560 feet deep-shared with Utah. (9) – (2 reservoirs) – *Lake Powell 560 feet deep and *Flaming Gorge Reservoir 436 feet deep-shared with Wyoming. (10) – (1 reservoir) – *Morrow Point Reservoir 400 feet deep. (11) – (2 lakes + 2 reservoirs) – Lake Tahoe 1,645 feet deep-shared with Nevada; *Lake Oroville 689 feet deep; *Shasta Lake 517 feet deep and Fallen Leaf Lake 415 feet deep.

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Northwest Oregon Fishing Report

OR NW-OR CST BASSThe yearly ODFW trout stocking schedule is not yet available on their online website, but last year, trout plants for the northwest region started the second week of February. Native and carryover trout should be available in some of the larger lakes in the region such as Devils Lake, Siltcoos Lake, Tahkenitch Lake and to a lesser extent, Big Creek reservoirs, Mercer, Munsel, Olalla Lake, Sutton and Woahink lakes.

Some of the sloughs, including Youngs Bay, offer some surprisingly good, but very much overlooked, crayfish populations.

Fishing for yellow perch should be improving over the next several weeks in virtually all of the area lakes. Try fishing deeper during colder weather. Seldom taken incidentally by perch anglers, brown bullheads can be taken in good numbers during the winter and early spring months in the more shallow coastal lakes since that is where the water is warmest. In Siltcoos and Tahkenitch lakes, that means fishing in water more than 15 feet deep

Steelhead fishing in most streams is slow to fair and low stream flows and clear water limits steelhead activity and the amount of fresh fish entering area streams. However, this is the time when the success rates between experienced, stealthy finesse anglers and other anglers shows its biggest gap. A wise move is to get last minute info on stream flows and water levels locally before deciding where to fish.

There usually are a few bass anglers that start fishing some of the area lakes for bass. Sunset and Cullaby lakes are relatively shallow and seem to perk up, fishing-wise, the earliest and each of these lakes have produced bass weighing well over nine pounds. Eckman Lake, just east of Waldport, is also very shallow and capable of producing large, if not numerous, bass during any brief warm spell during the late winter and early spring.

Once rated Oregon’s top bass lake, Siltcoos Lake bassfishing has fallen on hard times. The bass still reach large size, but the numbers of bass is only a fraction of what it was during the lake’s “glory” years. Tahkenitch Lake seems to have recovered from more than a decade of low bass numbers and some very large bass have been taken in recent years.

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Oregon Coast and Saltwater Fishing Report

OR Saltwater report CRABYOUNGS BAY – No reports on redtailed surfperch or sturgeon success.
SEASIDE AREA – No fishing or crabbing reports.
PACIFIC CITY – No reports. However, redtailed surfperch should be available from the surf when conditions permit.
GARIBALDI BAY – No reports.
TILLAMOOK BAY – Crabbing is poor to fair in the lower portions of the bay. Fishing for sturgeon is very slow for the few anglers fishing the channel edges.
NESTUCCA RIVER (tidewater) – No fishing reports.
NETARTS BAY – Crabbing is usually fair to good, since the bay stays salty all year. No reports on fishing success.
LINCOLN CITY BEACHES – Redtailed surfperch are available on area beaches when surf conditions allow – but very little fishing pressure.
SILETZ RIVER (tidewater) – A few anglers are fishing the lowermost tidewater for mediocre success on steelhead. No crabbing reports.
DEPOE BAY – Virtually no fishing pressure of any kind, but crabbing is poor to fair in the bay and fair to good in the ocean when accessible.
YAQUINA BAY (Newport) – Crabbing is fair in the bay and fair to good in the ocean when there is access allowed to the ocean. Bottomfishing is fair to good off the jetties at the Yaquina River mouth and a California grass rockfish recently bested the twin six pound six ounce fish taken from the Newport jetties that were co-holders of the IGFA world record.
WALDPORT & ALSEA RIVER (tidewater) – Crabbing is slow.
YACHATS – There is a little fishing pressure directed at redtailed surfperch on beaches in the area. Try to fish the steeper beaches in heavy surf conditions.
SIUSLAW (tidewater) – Almost no fishing pressure directed at bottomfish in the ocean, but a few anglers are fishing the small jetties near the Siuslaw River mouth for bottomfish and surfperch. Both fishing and crabbing is slow.
SILTCOOS RIVER (tidewater) – When surf conditions permit, a few anglers are enjoying fair fishing for redtailed surfperch on both sides of the Siltcoos River mouth.
WINCHESTER BAY & UMPQUA RIVER (tidewater) – Crabbing is slow with the best results coming to boats crabbing around Half Moon Bay. Dockbound crabbers are having their best luck at the Coast Guard Pier, but a few crabs have been taken at Dock 9 and Dock A. The South Jetty has been fishing well for bottomfish – mostly greenling and striped surfperch. Fishing for blue and black rockfish can be good near evening and a few cabezon and lingcod are biting. The lingcod fishing should gradually drop off as the spawning season ends and there is a one cabezon (16-inches or longer) daily limit for bank anglers only. A few hardy souls have dragged boats into the Triangle to catch crabs (both dungenbess and rock) and rockfish (near the culvers on the river side of the Triangle).
COOS BAY – Various species of bottomfish are available in Coos Bay up as far as the railroad trestle. Crabbing is fair up as far as Empire. Fish structure for decent numbers of surfperch (striped, pile and redtailed) and greenling. There is almost no fishing pressure directed at sturgeon in the bay, but there seems to be increasing numbers of California halibut taken (average size around ten pounds, but weighing up to at least 40 pounds).
CHARLESTON – Crabbing is fair to good with fair numbers of both dungeness and rock crab available. There is a fair amount of fishing pressure both from boats and from anglers fishing off the jetties. Many of the boat anglers are heading north to Tenmile Reef to catch quick limits of lingcod and fair numbers of rockfish. Clamming is especially good when there is a daytime minus tide.
BANDON & COQUILLE RIVER (tidewater) – Crabbing is poor to fair at Bandon. A very few anglers are trying for bottomfish from boats or off the jetties and deeper inshore areas from the rocks. A few surfperch anglers are fishing the beach just south of Bandon.
PORT ORFORD – A few anglers are fishing the beaches just south of Port Orford for redtailed surfperch (pinkfins). Some really big lingcod have been caught recently by anglers fishing from boats that are able to take advantage of the boat lift.
GOLD BEACH & ROGUE RIVER (tidewater) – Virtually no fishing pressure directed at rockfish and other bottmfish. Still to early for redtailed surfperch below the Highway 101 Bridge. Some of the beaches in the area are giving up a few surfperch when surf conditions are right. Some of the steeper beaches north of Gold Beach are fishable in roughher surf conditions.
BROOKINGS – Bottomfishing for rockfish has been fair to good with limited fishing pressure.

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“State of Jefferson” Trivia Quiz

“STATE OF JEFFERSON” TRIVIA QUIZ
1 – Which states would have formed the state of “Jefferson”?
2 – What was the main reason behind the popularity behind forming the state of               Jefferson?.
3 – What Oregon counties would have become part of the state of Jefferson?
4 – What California counties would have become part of the state of Jefferson?
5 – What even stopped the momentum of the “State of Jefferson” movement?
6 – Which city was widely considered to be the frontrunner for becoming the
state capital of Jefferson?
7 – Today, which area seems most inclined to favor a “State of Jefferson”?

ANSWERS
1 – Southern Oregon and Northern California; 2 – Many people in southern Oregon
and northern California felt that the state governments in Salem and Sacramento
did not do a good job of representing their interests. 3 – Coos, Curry, Douglas,
Jackson, Josephine, Klamath and Lake – 7 counties; 4 – Butte, Del Norte, Glenn, Humboldt, Lassen, Mendocino, Modoc, Plumas, Shasta, Siskiyou, Tehama and Trinity – 12 counties; 5 – The Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and the USA’s entry into WWII took the steam out of the “State of Jefferson” movement in 1941. 6 – Yreka in northern Siskiyou County (within 30 miles of the Oregon/California border – which had a population of less than 2,500 people in 1940. 7 – The several northernmost counties in California.

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Pete Heley Outdoors 1/23/2012

The “Best of the Creek” steelhead contest was held this last weekend on Tenmile and Eel creeks, Information on the contest, obtained via Gould Buford, had Noah Myfiewiez winning the two day contest with four steelhead weighing a total of 34.10 pounds. Noah also had the second largest steelhead weighed in at 12.70 pounds. Doug Jones had the largest steelhead weighed at 14.91 pounds and had three steelhead weighing a total of 25.87 pounds for second place overall. Most of the steelhead weighed in during the contest were caught in Eel Creek.

The winner for the best smoked salmon/steelhead was Chuck Myers who donated the Bradley Smoker he won back to the STEP chapter. Myers and his close friend, “RC”, who won this contest last year seem to have a lock on this contest. Congrats to Mr. Myers for helping set up the prize structure for next year’s smoked fish competition.

Low, clear water has slowed steelhead success along the entire Oregon coast, but a few serious anglers are taking advantage of the limited holding options such water offers steelhead. Some coastal streams that allow the retention of one unclipped steelhead per day (five per season), such as the Elk, Sixes, Pistol, Rogue and Winchuck rivers, are being very heavily fished

Crabbing pressure picked up markedly over last weekend at Winchester Bay and some fair catches were made. However, the best crabbing in the area is still at Charleston and will remain so until the Umpqua River drops some more. Last week, there were a few instances where boats could venture out into the ocean to crab. A good sign for dock crabbers is that one crabber made a good catch of Dock A Sunday morning and Dock A is quite a ways upstream from the ocean indicating that perhaps the river has fallen enough to become slightly more salty.

The Southj Jetty seems to still be producing decent botttomfishing and the lingcod fishing is excellent when anglers can cross the Umpqua River Bar. Many of the lingcod caught recently have already spawned.

Diamond Lake, as of January 1st, immediately became Oregon’s most popular ice-fishing destination and once the ice was thick enough for safe fishing, has given up some very good catches of rainbow trout. The ODFW would like anglers at Diamond Lake to fill out catch reports and has made the forms available at the resort marina and at the north boat ramp cleaning station. If very many anglers do not fill out the forms, the end result could be lower stocking rates at the lake – and with the lake now subject to year-round fishing pressure, fishimg success could definitely be harmed in the long term.

Some other good waters for ice fishing would be Lake of the Woods where anglers are catching mostly yellow perch, but also have a chance to catch rainbow trout, brown trout, kokanee, smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, black crappie and brown bullheads. Dog Lake, in southeastern Oregon, has been producing some good-sized yellow perch with a chance at largemouth bass, crappies, brown bullheads and bluegills. At Dog Lake, any cutthroat trout have to be released. The places in eastern Oregon where anglers can currently ice-fish for trout are numerous and include almost every fishing spot that is open the entire year. Crescent Lake has been providing some decent fishing for mackinaw and recently gave up a 26 pounder (but iced up shortly after the fish was caught). Anglers that fish the year-round sections of the Deschutes near Bend need to be aware that the stream flows are high with the end of the irrigation season.

Yellow perch fishing in our area has slowed down somewhat, but should improve by mid-February when the perch start getting close to actually spawning. Tenmile seems to have the best trout fishing, but Siltcoos and Tahkenitch are worthy alternatives. Slightly warmer water should improve the overall fishing picture.

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Pete Heley Outdoors 1/16/2013

This weekend (January 19th and 20th) marks the seventh annual “Best of the Creek” Steelhead contest for Eel and Tenmile creeks. The contest hours are: Check in or registstration runs from 6 am till noon on both on both Saturday and Sunday. The weigh-in is at the boat ramp in Spin Reel Park (USFS Parking Permit required) and runs from 7 am till 4 pm on Saturday and from 7 am till 3:30 pm on Sunday. The Awards Ceremony starts at 3:30 on Sunday and the entry fee for the two day affair is $15.00.

The easiest way to get registered is to drop by Ringo’s Lakeside Marina to pick up an entry packet prior to the actual contest. For more information, one can call the Marina 541-759-3312 or Mike Mader at 541-759-2414.

Being held in conjunction with the steelhead contest will be the Second Annual Smoked Salmon/Steelhead Competition which will be on Saturday, January 19th – also at Spin Reel Park. Each entrant must submit three samples of their smoked fish on paper plates by moon. Only three entries per family are permitted and all samples are assigned a number and judges from Englund Marine, The Big Show, KCBY and County Commissioner Bob Main will rank the samples. First prize is a Bradley Smoker ($250 value); Second prize is a Work Sharp Knife and Tool Sharpener ($70 value).

Purchasers of 2013 hunting or combination licenses started receiving parking permits in 2012 at no additional cost. Last year’s parking permits were good for the Denman Wildlife Area near Central Point (north of Medford), the E.E. Wilson Wildlife Area near Corvallis, the Ladd Marsh Wildlife Area near La Grande, the Sauvies Island WIldlife Area and the Summer Lake Wildlife Area in southeast Oregon. Displaying the parking permit in a clearly visible manner on a vehicle’s dashboard can save someone the normal seven dollar parking fee.

This year, four additional wildlife areas have been added and these are: the Fern Ridge Wildlife Area, the Klamath Wildlife Area just south of Klamath Falls on Upper Klamath Lake, the Phillip W. Schneider Wildlife Area (near Dayville in northeast Oregon) and the White River Wildlife Area near Tygh Valley in northcentral Oregon.

The parking permits are transferrable between vehicles, but each vehicle must have a permit while parked at the wildlife area. So far this year, most people who receive such permits place no value on them, but they should. Obviously, the number of such wildlife areas will continue to grow and it is no fun having  to pay seven bucks each time one wants to park in such an area.

In a Salem meeting last Friday, the ODFW adopted a conservation plan to maintain and enhance fall chinook populations in the Rogue Management Unit – even though the recent population levels are more robust than in the past. They also adopted a schedule of damages assessing an average market value per pound for each species of food fish to be used in assessing damages in lawsuits associated with the unlawful taking of food fish.

The Commission also approved two land acquisitions adding 100 acres to the Sauvie Island Wildliofe Area and 310 acres to the Fern Ridge Wildlife Area and they also approved three amendments to the 2013 Big Game Regulations including one which clarifies that hunters who do not report, by the specified deadlline, information regarding their deer and elk hunts will not have to complete a late report in addition to the $25 penalty they will be assessed.

The Commission also adopted the schedule of damages to be used in assessing commercial fishing violations during 2013. Each year, the Commission establishes the average market value per pound for each species of food fish. These values are used to set damages in lawsuits associated with the unlawful taking of food fish. The values are based on the average prices during the previous year as reported by Oregon commercial fish dealers.

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Pete Heley Outdoors 1/09/2013

Probably the biggest news regarding local (and semi-local) steelhead angling is that as of the first of the year, according to the ODFW website, anglers fishing for steelhead in the Coos, Coquille and Tenmile basins are now allowed to keep an additional finclipped steelhead – making the daily limit three finclipped steelhead on the open portions in these basins.

Over the weekend, several anglers stated that Tenmile Creek looked to be in good fishing conditions, but anglers fishing on Eel Creek and the Millicoma/Coos stated that while the fishing was very slow, the clear water seemed to bring out the worst in angling behavior as several instances of anglers attempting to snag fish were spotted. The angler that saw anglers attempting to snag steelhead on Eel Creek actually hooked and lost a couple of steelhead using roe in the snag infested small stream and did manage to hook and land a late, unkeepable, coho. The coho seasons on Siltcoos, Tahkenitch and Tenmile lakes closed at the end of December.

It seems that the recent cold temperatures slowed down the yellow perch bite, but Tenmile still seems to be the most productive and perch fishing should pick up over the next several weeks as the perch get closer to when they actually spawn – usually mid-March through early April.

Anglers fishing the South Jetty/Triangle Area at Winchester Bay have been having very good success on greenling. Cabezon, striped surfperch, blue and black rockfish as well as an occasional lingcod are also being caught. First time anglers should plan their jetty-fishing strategy while looking at the Triangle Area from the viewing area at the Umpqua Lighthouse. This area is simply too big to walk up to it on one’s initial visit and have any sense of perspective – and tide and wind conditions can definitely make a difference on which side of this area is the most comfortable to fish.

While the most productive crabbing continues to be on Coos Bay near Charleston, people crabbing at Winchester Bay are starting to enjoy more consistent success as the river has dropped and cleared. Crabbers want to crab as low in the river as they can, which means the old Coast Guard Pier for dockbound crabbers and in Half Moon Bay for boat crabbers. During the winter months, there is a consistent difference between crabbing at high and low slack tides as the high slack tide is much saltier than is the low slack tide.

A friend of mine who does a lot of PP&L work on the upper North Umpqua watershed informed me that it appears that Soda Springs Reservoir may be closed to fishing for years to come as a precaution against anglers harming adult salmon migrating above the dam or smolts migrating downstream from upriver areas of the North Umpqua. This reduction in fishing pressure will also probably mean a stronger brown trout population in Soda Springs and nearby areas of the North Umpqua and could conceivably end up reducing smolt survival in the upper river. An angler fishing Lemolo#2 (above Toketee Reservoir) landed an eight pound brown trout last week.

There continues to be a lot of interest regarding icefishing at Diamond Lake. Ironically, the lake often offers icefishing for period of time back when it opened in late April. While there will be some anglers icefishing the lake by the time you are reading this, a lot of anglers are going to wait for safer ice conditions. Anglers interested in fishing Diamond Lake through the ice should call: 1-800-733-7593, ext 236 or 238 for updates.

While the Columbia Zone portion of the ODFW fishing report fails to mention walleyes, many serious walleye anglers catch their biggest walleyes of the year in January and February. While some walleye anglers do well in the early summer through fall months in the Portland area, they have yet been successful in finding them during the winter and spring months when the biggest walleyes of the year are taken in the Columbia above The Dalles.

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Jerry Wiest Returning to Southwest Oregon

Jerry Wiest, after several years of living in Mountain Home, Arkansas is returning to Coos Bay, Oregon. It took him several years to admit it, but even such “outdoorsy” places as Mountain Home have a difficult time measuring up to the outdoor opportunities available in western Coos and Douglas counties.

Jerry stopped by the Stockade Market (Winchester Bay) last week and revealed that he had arranged to rent a house in western Coos Bay and was returning to Mountain Home to get the rest of his belongings and planned on being back in Coos Bay by the end of January.

Although he looked good, Jerry revealed that he had some serious health problems, but he planned on restarting his crab ring-making business – and Jerry’s crab rings were widely regarded as the best ones available when he was making them out of “Stuff N’Things” in the Empire district of Coos Bay.

Let’s hope that Jerry’s health holds up and he once again starts making his crab rings and other fishing-related items. I, for one, am looking forward to seeing him on a semi-regular basis.

Jerry Wiest of “Stuff N’ Things” fame.

 

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Diamond Lake Ice Fishing Primer

By the time you are reading this, Diamond Lake should be offering some of Oregon’s finest icefishing. But one needs to make certain that the lake is safe to venture out on.

Some of the most productive fishing on Diamond Lake is on the south end near where Silent Creek and Short Creek enter the lake. These streams are spring fed and offer cooler water during most of the year, but warmer water during the winter months. Because the water temperature of these streams varies little during the year, the ice is often thinner than on most of the northern portion of the lake. Anglers could easily encounter life-threatening trouble should they venture out on the lake near the mouths of these streams.

Diamond’s early season icefishing this year may be some of the best winter fishing the lake is going to offer. Of course, ODFW stocking policies may determine future fish populations and angling success. If the stocking policies remain unchanged, the lake’s fish population should stabilize at a somewhat reduced level as it now has to deal with year round angling pressure.

Regardless, Diamond should be a popular winter trout fishing destination as the trout grow fast and few Oregon fishing lakes offer the amenities available at the lake.

 

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