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 Salmon opportunities heating up for anglers

Published: August 2, 2005

With coho starting their migration to fresh water, ocean salmon anglers along the central Oregon coast must shift their tactics and target chinook salmon beginning Aug. 1.

The "selective" coho fishery south of Cape Falcon ended July 31, but ocean salmon fishing opportunities remain plentiful.

Fishery managers timed the season to target Columbia River hatchery coho that feed off the central Oregon coast during June and July before returning to the Columbia River. This harvest management effort is a strategy under the Oregon Plan for Salmon and Watersheds to protect wild coastal coho stocks while allowing the harvest of Columbia River hatchery fish.

Anglers can effectively target chinook by fishing in deep water off-shore feeding areas or by concentrating their effort in the near-shore areas adjacent to coastal river systems that have abundant fall chinook returns.

"Chinook catch rates in the ocean have generally been good, particularly out of Charleston, Winchester Bay and Bandon," said Curt Melcher, salmon program manager for ODFW. "Out of Brookings and Gold Beach, the chinook season reopens Aug. 14 and typically we see better catches in late summer compared to the spring opener."

The central coast chinook season between Cape Falcon, near Manzanita, and Humbug Mountain, near Port Orford, continues through Oct. 31.

North of Cape Falcon, both chinook and adipose fin-clipped coho may be retained through Sept. 30 or attainment of a 60,900 coho quota. As of last Friday the season is now open seven days a week with a two salmon bag limit. Through July 17, an estimated 3,700 coho have been landed and the fishery is expected to last well into September.

"Coho catch rates north of Cape Falcon have been fair so far, but should improve as the Columbia River coho return to the area before entering the river," Melcher said.

Current ocean salmon catch rates are available on the Web at: www.dfw.state.or.us.

Several coastal rivers open Aug. 1 for adipose fin-clipped coho, including the Alsea, Salmon, Tillamook, Trask, Wilson, and Yaquina rivers in the Northwest Zone. In the Southwest Zone, the Coos, Coquille, Rogue, and Umpqua rivers open for coho Aug. 1.




Page Updated: Thursday May 07, 2009 09:14 AM  Pacific

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