Great fishing and good weather throughout September means that quotas for ocean coho should be met in the next few days. As a result, the area from Cape Falcon, Ore. south to Humbug Mountain will close for coho salmon effective midnight on Friday, Sept. 19.& The area from Leadbetter Point, Wash. to Cape Falcon, Ore. will close for all salmon at midnight on Sunday, Sept. 21.
“This has been the absolute best September we’ve ever had for ocean coho fishing,” according to Eric Schindler, ODFW ocean salmon project leader. “There were more fish in the quota than we thought we’d ever catch in September, but fishing has just been phenomenal.”
“The good news is that anglers can continue to fish for Chinook between Cape Falcon and Humbug Mt. through the end of October,” Schindler added. Coastal streams and the Columbia River also remain open for coho.
According to Chris Kern, ODFW administrator for marine and Columbia River programs, the final total will be over 100,000 angler trips for the 2014 ocean salmon season, the highest in 10 years. The total number of coho caught since June –which will exceed 83,000 – is the most since 2003. Overall, the 2014 ocean salmon seasons yielded almost one salmon per angler per trip for the entire season, which is much higher than average.
“The September coho fishery has been very popular and productive thanks to good coastal coho returns,” Kern said. “We can’t always count on these kinds of returns, but this year is a great example of the kind of opportunity these fish can provide under good conditions.”
The 2014 fishery also demonstrated how important these fisheries are to coastal communities and the Oregon public, Kern added.
While the ocean coho season is ending, coho fishing continues to be outstanding at Buoy 10 near the mouth of the Columbia River, where the crowds have largely gone home, the bag limit is up to three hatchery coho, and anglers have averaged more than two kept coho per person so far this week. Coho fishing, including the retention of wild coho where allowed, is also starting to pick up in coastal rivers and streams, and coastal Chinook fishing is expected to be very good as well.