The European green crab, an invasive species of concern to biologists has recently been found at several locations along the Oregon coast, including Bandon, Coos Bay and Winchester Bay. It is currently present in Puget Sound where fisheries biologists worry about its impact on oysters, mussels, clams and small crabs. In Maine it has been found to compete with juvenile lobsters for food
Hopefully, its impact locally will be nominal.
A new law has passed both state house and senate requiring a “waterway access permit” for small non-motorized craft over 10 feet. Canoes, kayaks, paddleboards, rowboats, etc will require a $17 annual permit ($30 for 2 years). The permit is transferrable though so it goes with the operator not the vessel. And goes into effect in 2020.
The Dalles is your only choice for oversize sturgeon as Bonneville to Skamania Island is closed to all sturgeon fishing to protect sturgeon during the spawn.
The ocean finclipped coho season opened with a whimper this Saturday as rough bar conditions severely limited participation. Several nice-sized Chinooks were caught last week by anglers casting spinners from the bank at Half Moon Bay. The very few boats that managed to reach the ocean out of Winchester Bay did find some coho salmon — almost all of which were unkeepable unclippoed fish.
Some pinkfin anglers have commented on the small size of the unborn perch — which might indicate the spawn is far from over. In the last few weeks, a few fall Chinook have found the “pinkfin-intended sand shrimp irresistible.
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Possibly Oregon’s most overlooked marine fisher, sand dabs, are a delicious small flatfish that sometimes suspend well above the bottom. In northern and central California sand dab tournaments are becoming increasingly popular with the winners usually catching 200+ fish.
This year’s awesome shad fishing on the Umpqua River is winding down and may be pretty much over in two to three weeks.
An increasingly hot crappie bite is occurring off the fishing dock at Tugman Park on Eel Lake, as the crappie finally finish spawning. Bluegills are also becoming more active and willing to bite. I hope the ODFW notices that the only time the fishing dock has more than a half-dozen anglers on is when the lake’s warm-water panfish bite is going well.
The improved striped bass fishing this year is a good example of how important even small improvements in habitat can be. This year’s removal of minimum lengths and bag limits on stripers was more than counterbalanced by small temperature increases in the ocean and Smith, Umpqua and Coquille rivers.
If similar beneficial changes would happen regarding the habitat of salmon and steelhead, the amount of improvement might be surprising. Changes I’d like to see would include an improvement in spawning areas; higher and cooler river flows and better ocean conditions.
In fact, an improvement in ocean forage conditions would be my most hoped for improvement as newly-arriving salmonid smolts would quickly outgrow potential predators allowing them to survive to maturity in much greater numbers.