Fishing on the ocean has started to slow this week. The 2018 salmon season has already closed in Oregon, and anglers to the south have until Monday before the end of the salmon season in California. The salmon fishing hasn’t been terribly productive out of Crescent City as of late, however.

Most of the best salmon fishing has been on local rivers recently. Although the salmon have started to run upstream on the Rogue River, anglers are still getting some salmon in the bay. On the Klamath River the salmon bite has been pretty good, especially late in the week after a water release from the dam increased flows.

Free fishing in California

Today is the second of two statewide free fishing days in California, meaning anyone is allowed to fish without a license. All fishing regulations remain in effect, however, including bag limits and report card requirements.

Anglers must still have the appropriate report card when fishing for steelhead, sturgeon or salmon on the Smith and Klamath-Trinity rivers.

River fishing

The Klamath River got a little bit of extra water this week, and anglers have seen an uptick in the salmon bite for a few days afterwards. Anglers are also catching a decent number of half-pounder — juvenile steelhead — but adult steelhead have still been few and far between.

Up on the Rogue River, Joe Martin said, the Chinook salmon have started to head upstream with a little bit cooler water now in the river. Martin said with the change, the fishing pressure in the Rogue Bay has dropped considerably. Martin said anglers in the bay are still getting a few fish, however, and anglers now targeting the river have also had some strong days early in the season.

On the ocean

Salmon fishing has been slow for the past couple weeks and the season is now over, with the exception of a couple bubble fishing weekends in October in Oregon.

Anglers in California are also nearing the end of the salmon season, scheduled to close on Wednesday. The salmon bite in the ocean hasn’t been particularly productive for anglers out of Crescent City throughout the week, however.

The Pacific halibut season is still open out of Oregon, and anglers are still catching a few small to mid-sized halibut intermittently out of Brookings. The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife has reported that 185 pounds of Pacific halibut were caught on the Southern Oregon Coast from Aug. 20–26, bringing the season total up to 3,523 pounds of the 8,982 pounds quota.

The halibut season in California will reopen for the last time this year on Sept. 1, and remain open through the end of October or until the quota is met.

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife has projected that a total of 23,781 pounds have been caught this year, with the official estimate from the California Recreational Fisheries Survey yet to be tabulated for July and August. That would leave a total of 7,159 pounds left on the quota of 30,940 pounds for the season.

Fishing contacts: Joe Martin of Rogue Coast Sport Fishing at 541-425-7210; Chetco Outdoor Store at 541-469-9151; Englund Marine Supply Company at 464-32306.

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