With steelhead season mostly wrapped up besides a few die-hard anglers on the Smith and Klamath rivers, it’s time to start thinking about salmon: spring salmon in the Rogue River and ocean salmon out of Crescent City and Eureka starting May 1.
Smith steelhead roundup
Drought-like conditions for most of 2013 did not prevent anglers from having a relatively stable and hardy steelhead season on the Smith River.
In February, during the 31st Annual Steelhead Chopper Derby, put on by the Rowdy Creek Fish Hatchery, 28 fish for a total of 772 inches were caught on the Smith while 39 fish for a total of 1077 inches were caught on the Chetco River.
First place: Kurt Miller and Jason Bravo/Jaytuk Steinruck of Smith River with fishing guide Jim Bansemer; and Troy and Tyler Travis of Smith River with fishing guide Phil Desaultels. Thirteen fish for 354 inches in total length.
Second place: Robert Forkner of Modesto and Tommy Chew of Klamath with fishing guide Mike Coopman; and Nick Angeli and Eric Schweikl of Cloverdale with fishing guide Kim Hagen. Ten fish for 240 inches.
Third place: Marc Mondavi of St. Helena and Jeff Richardson of Santa Rosa with guide Val Early; and Ronnie Richardson of Cloverdale and Nate George of St. Helena with guide Frank Duarte. Eight fish for 230 inches.
Biggest fish: Sally Tanner of Ferndale with a 36.5-inch steelhead taken from the Chetco.
Top rod award (most fish): Greg Gerhardt of Reno (with guide Willie Plunkett) nabbed five steelhead.
Rowdy Creek weir
At the Rowdy Creek fish weir there were 276 male steelhead and 274 female steelhead caught this steelhead season. The hatchery used 43 of the fish for spawning, to make 160,000 hatchery steelhead.
Rogue River spring salmon
The Rogue has picked up, according to guide Andy Martin, who said guides are catching one to three salmon per day, with the best reports coming in at six salmon per boat.
Bank fishing isn’t bad either with plunkers at Huntley Park catching a dozen salmon on Tuesday.
“It’s still hit or miss but there are a lot of fish in the river,” Martin said. “It should just keep getting better; it’s just the beginning of the good fishing.”
North Coast ocean salmon
From the California-Oregon border south to Horse Mountain, the recreational ocean salmon season will be open from May 1 through Sept. 8 with a two salmon of any kind (except coho) limit per day. The Chinook minimum size limit is 20 inches.
Fishing guide contact: Andy Martin of Wild Rivers Fishing at 541-813-1082 and wildriversfishing.com.