With the Chetco River now closed and the Smith River yielding much less fish than it was during the peak of the steelhead run, most anglers’ attentions have started to shift to salmon.
Although the spring salmon season is starting to pick up steam on the Rogue River, the big news for fishermen this week is the announcement of the ocean salmon seasons for the entire West Coast by the Pacific Fisheries Management Council this week.
After a full closure in the Klamath Management Zone last year, anglers can expect a much better salmon fishing season in 2018.
Ocean salmon seasons
The PFMC officially adopted its regulations for the upcoming ocean salmon season and after a full closure last year sportfishermen will finally be able to get out to target some chinook on both sides of the California-Oregon border.
In California from Horse Mountain north to the border the season will open on June 1 and remain open through Sept. 3. Fishing will be allowed seven days a week with a maximum of two chinook salmon per day. The minimum size salmon that can be retained is 20 inches.
Up in Oregon from the border north to Humbug Mountain, the season will open up on May 19 and remain open through Aug. 26. Anglers will be allowed to fish seven days a week, with a bag limit of two Chinook salmon with a minimum size of 24 inches.
Coho salmon are not allowed to be retained in either Southern Oregon or Northern California.
The Chetco River has been closed to anglers for the past couple weeks and steelhead fishing on the Smith River has remained fairly slow. Anglers are still catching some downers, with reports of a few fresh fish entering the system here and there, but the annual runs are clearly starting to wind down.
With steelhead slowing, many anglers are looking a little farther north, where anglers have been catching a few early spring salmon on the Rogue River.
Salmon fishing has been picking up on the Rogue River over the past couple weeks, but the flows are still fairly high after rain throughout the week. Fishermen are hoping that salmon bites will start to pick up as the Rogue River starts to drop next week.
On the ocean
It has been a rough time for ocean anglers with lots of wind and big waves throughout the majority of the week.
Although most of the boats have been kept in Brookings-Harbor this week, the surf perch fishing is starting to pick up steam on both sides of the California-Oregon border.
In other news, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife announced that the daily bag limit for canary rockfish jumped up from one per day to two per day. Although bottomfishing in Crescent City is still off limits, the increase will be in effect when the season opens back up.
Fishing contacts: Chetco Outdoor Store at 541-469-9151; Englund Marine Supply Company at 464-32306.
Reach Michael Zogg at firstname.lastname@example.org .