Crabbing is closed from the California border northward to the north jetty on the Coquille River — so while crabbing at Bandon is closed, all of Coos Bay and bay and river crabbing farther north remain open. All ocean crabbing along the Oregon coast has been closed since October 15th and will remain so through November. Where open (north of the Coquille River) crabbing is still productive in the lower tidewater areas of Oregon rivers and bays.
The recreational harvest of bay clams is OPEN along the entire Oregon coast from the Columbia River to the California border. The recreational harvest of razor clams is OPEN from the Columbia River down to Cascade Head (north of Lincoln City). The recreational harvest of razor clams is CLOSED from Cascade Head (north of Lincoln City to the California Border for elevated levels of domoic acid. This includes all beaches and all bays.
The season for ocean Chinook salmon closed Tuesday evening (Oct. 31st), but fair numbers of coho salmon are now in all three lakes with coho seasons.
Seals have already entered Siltcoos Lake and seem to be hanging around Booth Island, but will likely move into the Fiddle Creek Arm as more salmon enter the lake.
Tahkenitch Lake received salmon earlier than usual this year, but so far the catch has consisted almost entirely of jack salmon.
Tenmile Lakes also received its initial coho salmon earlier than usual and with the exception of salmon hooked near Lakeside Marina located where Tenmile Creek leaves South Tenmile Lake, the catch has been almost entirely in Templeton Arm. A major portion of the salmon caught last week in Tenmile have been jack salmon smaller than 15-inches in length. Andy Fortrin and David Horn of “The Bite’s On” fished Templeton Arm last week and caught steelhead as well as coho salmon.
The ODFW is increasing its monitoring of deer and elk herds for Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD), a fatal neurological disease that has never been detected in Oregon’s cervids but is spreading throughout North America.
The disease is caused by a protein prion that damages the brain of infected animals, causing progressive loss of body condition. It’s untreatable and always fatal. The prions that cause CWD can also last a long time in the environment, infecting new animals for decades.
ODFW has been keeping an eye out for the disease for years now, running check stations in eastern Oregon to test harvested deer and elk on the opening weekends of popular hunting seasons and requiring disease testing at captive cervid ranches. (The test to confirm CWD involves collecting an animal’s lymph nodes or brain stem and can only be conducted once an animal has died.)
ODFW sampled deer for CWD over opening weekend of rifle deer season. The department will host another two check stations this weekend for Rocky Mountain elk season (Sunday and Monday, Oct. 29 and 30 in Biggs at exit 104 along I-84 and at the ODOT weigh station one mile east of Prineville on Hwy 26). All successful hunters driving by these locations should stop and get their animal tested, which takes just a few minutes.
ODFW is also testing road-killed deer and elk and is expanding this testing to western Oregon this year. Animals that exhibit signs of wasting or neurological disorder are also tested. If you see or harvest a sick deer or elk, report it to the ODFW Wildlife Health Lab number at 866-968-2600 or by email to Wildlife.Health@state.or.us and do not consume the meat.
Although CWD has not been shown to sicken people, the Center for Disease Control advises hunters not to eat meat from animals infected with CWD. It’s also always a good idea to wear latex or rubber gloves when field dressing an animal and to wash hands and instruments thoroughly afterwards.
ODFW is also asking hunters interested in having their deer or elk tested for CWD to contact their local office to set up an appointment. ODFW is most interested in deer and elk that are at least two-years-old (e.g. not spikes). To get an animal CWD tested, hunters will need to bring in the animal’s head, which should be kept cool prior to sampling if possible. ODFW will also take a tooth for aging and hunters should receive a postcard several months later with information about the animal’s age. If an animal tests positive for CWD, the hunter will be notified. (Note that samples are tested out of state and results can take several weeks.)
Hunters heading to a state with CWD are reminded they are prohibited from bringing back any parts of their deer, elk or moose that contain brain matter or spinal cord tissue (see page 29 of Big Game Regulations under “Parts Ban”). This is where the CWD prion is most concentrated..
Water temperatures along the Oregon coast are close to ideal for rainbow trout and they are biting well in recently stocked lakes. Both Butterfield and Saunders lakes are fishing well. As for Empire Lakes, make sure to fish Upper Empire Lake which was recently stocked with 3,500 trout, while Lower Empire was deemed to shallow and weedy to stock with trout.
In a conversation with Rob Gensorek of Basin Tackle in Charleston, he related that the last striped bass he caught out of the Coquille River, a 19.85 pound fish, had swallowed a largemouth bass of nearly 3 pounds.
A fish kill reported on the beach at Lincoln City was determined to consist of yellow perch and largemouth bass that had left Devils Lake via the “D” River during high water and perished when they reached saltwater.
Pete Heley works parttime at the Stockade Market & Tackle, across from ‘A’ Dock, in Winchester Bay where he is more than happy to swap fishing info with anyone.