The summer all-depth halibut season for the central coast subarea is now closed. During the August 31-September 1 opening there were 19,725 pounds landed. Fish had an average weight of 33 pounds round weight. Coast wide the success rate was a little under 50 percent.
With approximately 2,800 pounds left, there is not enough quota left for any additional all-depth days. Therefore, the summer all-depth season is closed. The remaining poundage from the spring and summer all-depth fisheries will be transferred to the nearshore fishery.
The Nearshore Season, which began June 1st, is open seven days per week. Through September 2 there has been a total of 21,824 pounds landed, leaving 4,032 pounds (15 percent) of the initial quota remaining. With the leftover from the all-depth season, the adjusted allocation remaining is approximately 14,000 pounds. The average weight of landed fish so far this year has been approximately 25 pounds round weight.
South of Humbug Mountain subarea, there has been a total of 3,659 pounds landed. This leaves 5,323 pounds (59 percent) of the quota remaining. Average weight of fish landed so far has been approximately 32 pounds round weight.
The final data for the ocean finclipped coho season, which ended on September 3rd, is now in. Starting at the northern end of our zone the total angler trips per port were: Garibaldi (4,114 trips); Pacific City (2,670 trips); Depoe Bay (5,150 trips); Newport (11,693 trips); Florence (1,128 trips); Winchester Bay (7,638 trips); Charleston (1,158 trips); Bandon (108 trips); Gold Beach (57 trips); Brookings (4,841 trips).
As for percentage of coho salmon that were finclipped by port: Garibaldi (817 of 2,098 — 39 percent); Pacific City (1,140 of 2,796 — 40.8 percent); Depoe Bay (2,026 of 6,831 — 29.7 percent); Newport (5,802 of 18,637 — 31.1 percent); Florence (356 of 1,662 — 21.4 percent); Winchester Bay (1,296 of 9,234 — 14 percent); Charleston (171 of 1,340 — 12.8 percent); Bandon (8 of 36 — 22.2 percent); Gold Beach (0 of 0 — 0 percent); Brookings (18 of 594 — 3 percent).
Season success rates bases on retained salmon per angler trip by port are: Garibaldi(.24); Pacific City (.55); Depoe Bay (.46); Newport (.54); Florence (.36); Winchester Bay (.23); Charleston (.22); Bandon (.10); Gold Beach (.00); Brookings (.24).
In fairness to Brookings, 1,160 of 1,178 of the port’s retained salmon — or 98.5 percent — were Chinook salmon.
As for ocean salmon, last Friday and Saturday were nonselective salmon days where any coho salmon at least 16-inches long and any Chinooks at least 24-inches long were legal to keep, subject to the two-salmon-per-day daily limit. The season will continue on Fridays and Saturdays of each week until the quota of 3,500 coho salmon is reached. Expect a short ocean season for cohos, but the ocean Chinook season will run through October.
The most confusion will be among river salmon anglers, some of whom will think they can retain any coho salmon during the ocean nonselective season. Finclipped coho salmon from 15 to 20-inches (jacks) and more than 20-inches (adults) are legal to keep all year in rivers that allow the retention of finclipped steelhead.
Lake Marie, which received two recent trout plants, should be fishing well for trout. Trout fishing should be improving for native, carryover and searun trout in larger coastal lakes like Siltcoos, Tahkenitch and Tenmile lakes.
There should be plenty of planted trout left in the north arm of Cleawox Lake, which is essentially disconnected from the main body of the lake and therefore receives very little fishing pressure — even though many trout planted in the spring end up in the north arm.
Bluegills should still be biting well in Eel and Loon lakes, but they won’t be near the shoreline or in shallow water like they were in the spring and summer.
Striped bass should be biting better in slightly cooler water on the Smith and Coquille rivers. Most of the recent striper catches on the Coquille River have been in the lower river within ten miles of Bandon.
Ocean crabbing out of Winchester Bay has been very good, although some crabbers were griping about the recent dredging. Commercial crabbing in the ocean has been closed since mid-August and recreational ocean crabbing will close on October 15th. Crabbing on the lower Umpqua River has been good with good catches being made as far upriver as a mile above Winchester Bay.
Most serious bottomfish anglers have found they like the long leader technique that allows them to retain 10 mid-depth bottomfish per day in marine waters at least 240 feet deep. Marine anglers fishing water less than 180 feet deep can use convention gear and can keep lingcod, but must deal with a daily limit of four bottomfish and two lingcod. Cabezon are still under an emergency closure due to overharvest.
I intended to report the results of the recent Labor Day Salmon Derby this week, but as I am writing this I haven’t received the results. When I get them, I’ll report them.
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.