Reel Deal: Klamath catch slows down while river mouth shifts

By Adam Spencer, The Triplicate September 27, 2013 01:35 pm

The mouth of the Klamath River’s new look.
The mouth of the Klamath River’s new look. Photo courtesy of California Department of Fish and Wildlife
Recent rains on the North Coast gave some anglers high hopes that a big push of salmon would follow, but it’s still too early for most coastal watersheds and a major change in the configuration at the mouth of the Klamath River has made fishing “slow, slow, slow,” according to guide Steve Huber.

Lower Klamath River

Rainfall and high tides over the past week caused the mouth of the Klamath River to shift from a long, narrow outlet emptying on the southern side to a wider slot emptying a few hundred feet farther north.

The salmon harvest at the mouth of the Klamath dropped significantly last week, but more fish should be on the way.  Only 121 salmon were harvested from Sept. 17 to Sept. 23 — a sharp drop from the 1,278 harvested the week before.

“I anticipate more fish moving into the river as the mouth opens up again,” said Sara Borok, California Department of Fish and Wildlife scientist for the Klamath River Project. Borok said the mouth is fishable again, but anglers should watch out for sneaker waves.

Boat-based anglers in the lower Klamath said fishing has been very slow, four or fewer fish per boat being an average day, according to guide Steve Huber.

“Some of that sand (at the mouth) needs to lie down before these fish can come in,” Huber said.

Crescent City Ocean

The rough seas that come with a change of seasons has left many ocean-going anglers at port, but when the waters lie down, bottom fishing is as good as always, according to Tally Ho II Sportfishing.

Captain Craig Strickhouser said that lingcods and black rockfish are still biting in high numbers whenever his boat can go after them.

The bottom fishing ocean fishery closes Oct. 31 for Crescent City.

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