No trout plants are scheduled this week for our area, but there should be fair numbers of trout left in the lakes that were stocked last week. Those lakes include: Loon Lake, Ben Irving Reservoir, Cooper Creek Reservoir, Galesville Reservoir and Plat “I” Reservoir near Roseburg. Coos County lakes that were stocked last week include: Johnson Mill Pond, Powers Pond and Saunders Lake.
Steelhead fishing is winding down but there are still decent numbers of fish in most of the smaller streams that generally have later runs.
Yellow perch are spawning now and the female perch are in immediate pre-spawn condition with distended egg-laden bellies. Kathy Reiss, who almost always has a nightcrawler-baited hook in the water while working at Ringo’s Lakeside Marina on South Tenmile Lake, reported that every female perch she caught last week fit that description.
Despite limited perch-fishing pressure, many anglers consider Siltcoos Lake to be the lake most likely to give up a state record-threatening yellow perch.
A few anglers have occasionally tried for crappie off the fishing dock at Eel Lake in the hopes that the crappies are back near the dock in numbers similar to last year — and so far, the answer is NO!
Muddy Umpqua River water didn’t completely stop the bottomfishing off Winchester Bay’s South Jetty. Most of the anglers were fishing at high tide when the muddy river water is most diluted by much clearer ocean water. Recently, the best fishing has been for lingcod.
Crabbing success is way down. When doable, the ocean is most productive and Coos Bay near Charleston is still productive.
As stated in a previous column, my goal this year is to catch bass out of 50 different Oregon waters. One of the most intriguing areas for an exploring bass angler is the New River area south of Bandon. Within a few miles there are New River, the Floras Lake outlet, Floras Lake, the Croft Lake outlet and Muddy Lake which has a relatively new visitor-friendly trail into it. After checking out the area on Google Earth, I now regret selling my kayak. I may have to invest in another one.
One of my biggest pet peeves is unwarranted or unauthorized NO TRESPASSING signs. There are a surprising number of such signs posted at various locations and most of the illegal ones do not have any contact information on them. Unfortunately, the various law enforcement agencies do not pursue such illegal postings with the same vigor as they do actual trespassing. To me, they are opposite sides of the same “coin” and should be treated with equal seriousness.
Examples of such signs would include those nailed to trees along the railroad tracks in the Hauser area and the sign posted on a log in the middle of the largest cove on the north section of Cleawox Lake. That sign was taken down last year, but I will always wonder how many recreationists decided not to enter that cove while the sign was up.
However, the best example of excess when it comes to restricting outdoor access may involve the good Samaritan who lets people use his private boat ramp on Mercer Lake. The ramp is located just past Mercer Lake Resort and a long ways before the public boat ramp located at the far end of the lake. The problem is that the adjacent landowner tells people wanting to use the ramp that he is the property owner and there is no public access — prompting the actual ramp owner to post a sign warning about the adjacent landowner and including the phone number of the marine patrol should ramp users be harassed.
It’s a shame these abuses exist. But this writer/angler feels that property owners claiming property rights they don’t actually have should be treated every bit as harshly as actual trespassers.
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.