Reel Deal: Klamath River swimming in steelhead, salmon

By Adam Spencer, The Triplicate August 09, 2013 01:03 pm

While ocean salmon fishing in Crescent City continues to change from easy limits to scratching for ones and zeros, the lower Klamath River has really become a hot spot to fish.

Both steelhead and salmon fishing in the lower Klamath River — including from the bank — has improved recently, with some anglers boasting double and triple hookups of steelhead.

Lower Klamath R.

In less than four hours on Sunday, a couple anglers landed 25 wild steelhead in the lower Klamath River, according to Dan Gilliland, who was fishing with local river guide Gary Farley.

“They were in there so thick, it was unbelievable,” said Gilliland, who was side drifting bait.  The pair had eight adults among the catch, including two 11-pounders.

Double and triple hook-ups followed on Tuesday, including a 9-pound hatchery steelhead.

Salmon anglers at the mouth of the Klamath River have been doing well, with two 30-pounders caught Tuesday morning, according to Aaron Funk, owner of Kamp Klamath RV Park and Campground.

Crescent City ocean

The salmon bite picked up on Wednesday, with many anglers getting limits of chinook salmon, according to folks at Englund Marine Supply Co. in Crescent City Harbor. The bite was strong just in front of Castle Rock.

Capt. Craig Strickhouser of Crescent City’s lone ocean charter, Tally Ho II Sportfishing, said that the lingcod have been biting consistently, including heavy fish, like a 20-pounder caught Tuesday.  The bite for black snapper (rockfish) has been “spotty,” he said.

Redtail surfperch

Redtail surfperch fishing from the spit at the mouth of the Klamath continues to be fantastic, Funk said.

Surfperch fishing is also reportedly good from Kellogg Beach, according to Englund Marine.

Dam release

“The Bureau of Reclamation will release additional water from Trinity Reservoir to supplement flows in the Lower Klamath River in 2013 to help protect an expected large returning run of adult Chinook salmon from a disease outbreak and mortality. The target date for augmented flows in the Lower Klamath River is August 15. Because of the two day-travel time between Lewiston Dam and the Lower Klamath, the releases from Lewiston Dam will begin in the early morning hours of August 13 and end in the last week of September.

“Flows in the Lower Klamath River will be targeted at 2,800 cubic feet per second during this period and Lewiston Dam releases will be adjusted accordingly. Current river flow forecasts indicate that Lewiston Dam releases will increase from the current rate of 450 cubic feet per second on August 13 and will vary between about 1,000 and 1,200 cubic feet per second, prior to dropping to 450 cubic feet per second in late September,” according to a press release.  

Eureka ocean

“The salmon bite is still WIDE OPEN!!” according to the Tuesday report from Reel Steel Sportfishing in Eureka. “We went through 5 trays of bait today. That is a lot of bites. We were limited before 9:30 and then we did a little whale watching. The ocean was flat calm.”

Fishing contacts: Tally Ho Sportfishing at 707-464-1236; Englund Marine Supply at 707- 464-3230; Gary Farley’s Angling Adventures at 707-482-140; Kamp Klamath RV Park and Campground at 707-482-0227;  Reel Steel Sportfishing at 707-499-4925.

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