Recreation Report

Northwest Zone

Regulation Updates

Regulation Updates as of December 12, 2018

These are in-season regulation changes adopted on a temporary or emergency basis. Please see e-regulations for permanent regulations.

NW COASTAL RIVERS

Effective November 1 through December 31, the daily bag limit for adult Chinook in all coastal rivers and bays in the NW Zone is one.  Seasonal maximum bag limits remain in effect, including the North Coast Wild Chinook Aggregate Bag Limit described on page 27 of the 2018 Oregon Sport Fishing Regulations, but no more than 3 adult Chinook may be retained during the period from November 1 through December 31.

Effective Nov. 1, 2018, angling for Chinook is prohibited upstream of the following boundaries:

  • NECANICUM RIVER - 12th Avenue Bridge in Seaside.
  • NEHALEM RIVER, mainstem and bay - Confluence with North Fork Nehalem.
  • NEHALEM RIVER, NORTH FORK - Confluence with mainstem Nehalem.
  • MIAMI RIVER AND KILCHIS RIVER - Highway 101 Bridge.
  • WILSON RIVER - Yellow ODFW sign posted near Makinster Road at River Mile 1.1 (in tidewater).
  • TRASK RIVER - Highway 131 Bridge.
  • TILLAMOOK RIVER - Yellow ODFW sign posted 100 ft upstream of the tidewater disabled angler platform.
  • NESTUCCA RIVER - Mainstem upstream of Woods Bridge
  • THREE RIVERS - Closed from mouth upstream.
  • LITTLE NESTUCCA RIVER -  Highway 101 Bridge.
  • SALMON RIVER - Marker 200 ft. below hatchery weir.
  • SILETZ RIVER - Effective Saturday, Nov. 10,  closed to angling for Chinook upstream of the ODFW marker located 1,200 feet above the Ojalla Boat Ramp.
  • DRIFT CREEK (Siletz) AND SCHOONER CREEK - Closed from mouth upstream.
  • YAQUINA RIVER - Mainstem and tributaries upstream of Cannon Quarry Boat Ramp. Effective November 17, closed to angling for Chinook upstream of the Elk City boat ramp.
  • ALSEA RIVER - Highway 34 Bridge below Taylors Landing. Effective November 17, closed to Chinook upstream of the Five Rivers bridge.
  • DRIFT CREEK (Alsea) - Closed from mouth upstream.
  • YACHATS RIVER - Closed to angling for Chinook.
  • SIUSLAW RIVER - Tiernan Boat Ramp.
  • NORTH FORK SIUSLAW RIVER - Closed to angling for Chinook upstream of the Highway 126 Bridge
  • LAKE CREEK (Siuslaw) - Closed from mouth upstream. 

SELECT AREA FISHERIES (Lower Columbia)

Includes the Youngs Bay Select Area from the Highway 101 Bridge upstream to markers at confluence of Youngs and Klaskanine rivers, including lower Lewis and Clark River upstream to Alternate Highway 101 Bridge and lower Walluski River tidewater sections; and the Knappa/Blind Slough Select Area from markers at the west end of Minaker Island upstream to markers at the mouth of Blind Slough and continuing up Blind Slough/Gnat Creek to the Aldrich Point Road Bridge.

  • The following is a correction to errors on page 26 (NW Zone) and page 72 (Columbia Zone) of the 2018 Oregon Sport Fishing Regulations: The use of barbed hooks is allowed when angling for salmon, steelhead, or trout in the above Select Areas.
  • Effective September 24 until further notice, angling and retention of Chinook and hatchery coho is allowed.  Retention of steelhead remains prohibited.
  • All other permanent regulations apply.

WILD COHO

There will be no special seasons for wild coho in rivers of the NW Zone for 2018. 

  • Hatchery coho salmon may be retained as part of the daily bag limit in all waters that are open to angling for Chinook or steelhead.
  • Retention of wild coho salmon allowed in Siltcoos and Tahkenitch lakes under permanent rules.

For more information contact your local ODFW office:

  • Tillamook North Coast Watershed District Office 503-842-2741
Recreation Report

Weekend fishing opportunities:

  • Expect steelhead fishing in the Alsea to pick up this week with more rain in the forecast.
  • Hatchery winter steelhead should be coming in on the lower Columbia tributaries, the North Fork Nehalem, the lower Wilson River, and in the lower Nestucca River and Three Rivers following the rains early this week.
  • For this week and through weekend (before the next storm blows in), the Necanicum, Three Rivers, Wilson and North Fork Nehalem would be good bets for steelhead. 

2018 STOCKING SCHEDULE AND STOCKING MAP

NORTH COAST LAKES

While trout stocking is over for the year, some holdover trout are still available in most of the North Coast lakes. Surplus hatchery steelhead have been stocked in Town Lake. These fish brighten back up and get fairly active once in the lake. They can create a unique fishing experience. A total of 66 were released in the lake recently. Additional fish will be stocked as available.

in the lake recently. Additional fish will be stocked as available.

Check the 2018 trout stocking schedules for these north coast lakes: CAPE MEARES LAKE | COFFENBURY LAKE | CULLABY LAKE | HEBO LAKE | LAKE LYTLE | LOREN’S POND | LOST LAKE | NEDONNA POND | SMITH LAKE | SPRING LAKE | SOUTH LAKE | TAHOE LAKE | TOWN LAKE | VERNONIA LAKE

MID COAST LAKES

Stocking of mid coast lakes stopped in early June, but fishing for warmwater species can still be good in several area lakes, including Ollala Reservoir, Mercer Lake, Siltcoos Lake and Tahkenitch Lake.

Check the 2018 trout stocking schedules for these mid coast lakes: ALDER LAKE | BIG CREEK RESERVOIR #1 | BIG CREEK RESERVOIR #2 | BUCK LAKE | CARTER LAKE | CLEAWOX LAKE | DEVIL’S LAKE | DUNE LAKE | ECKMAN LAKE | ELBOW LAKE | ERHART LAKE | GEORGIA LAKE | LOST LAKE (Lane County) | MERCER LAKE | MUNSEL LAKE | NORTH GEORGIA LAKE | OLALLA CREEK RESERVOIR | PERKINS LAKE | SILTCOOS LAGOON | SILTCOOS LAKE | SUTTON LAKE | THISSELL POND | WOAHINK LAKE

ALSEA RIVER: winter steelhead

Winter steelhead fishing has begun on the Alsea River. The popular North Fork Alsea fishery opened on Dec. 1. Fishing has been slow so far, the river is low and clear and water temperatures have dropped with the cold nights and east winds. During these conditions, the lower Alsea can be good as fish slow their migration and spend more time lower in the system.

Expect things to pick up this week with the change in weather and more rain in the forecast. The Alsea still gets a good amount of the early returning stock that peaks in December and January, as well as a later stock that peaks in February and March. Expect more fish to show up with each rise in the river level from now through April. Bobber fishing with jigs/bait, drift fishing, and casting lures are all effective ways to catch these hard fighting fish.

Reminder, winter steelhead fishing remains open in the areas closed to Chinook. When fishing for winter steelhead remember to practice good ethics and leave spawning Chinook and coho salmon alone so they can provide fish for the future.

Due to lower than expected returns and conservation concerns, fall Chinook fishing is closed on the Alsea upstream of the Five Rivers bridge. Below the deadline the bag limit for fall Chinook is reduced to one adult Chinook per day and a limit of 3 from Nov. 1 through the remainder of the season. Very few fish are being caught below the deadline and fishing continues to be very slow. Steelhead fishing is still open in the closed chinook areas.

All wild coho must be released during the 2018 fall salmon season.

Trout fishing in streams will reopen May 22, 2019.

KILCHIS RIVER: steelhead

The Kilchis is a wild steelhead river with no hatchery steelhead releases. The winter steelhead run is at its best on this system late December through early April. The Kilchis can get low and clear, so it fishes the best as the water drops after high water events. It is often one of the first Tillamook Rivers to come back into shape after a rain event.

It’s still pretty early for steelhead on the Kilchis, although a few may have trickled in after the freshet caused by Tuesdays heavy rains.

Due to a poor return of Chinook salmon, and conservation concerns about meeting spawning escapement goals, emergency regulation changes took effect for coastal rivers in the NW Zone on Nov. 1, 2018. As a result the Kilchis River is closed to fall Chinook fishing upstream of the Hwy 101 bridge. Downstream of the Hwy 101 bridge the bag limit for fall Chinook is reduced to one adult Chinook per day and a limit of 3 from Nov. 1 through the remainder of the season.

Trout fishing in streams will reopen May 22, 2019.

LOWER COLUMBIA TRIBUTARIES: steelhead

Early returning winter steelhead should begin showing up in Big Creek, Gnat Creek, and the NF Klaskanine River. The North Coast got some heavy rains on Tuesday and that brought the rivers up. We would expect to see some steelhead show up on these streams as they drop into shape; before the next storm shows up.

NECANICUM RIVER: steelhead

The Necanicum has a hatchery winter steelhead release and these tend to be early returning fish. After the heavy rains Tuesday and subsequent rise in the river, we would expect some fish to arrive this week. The Necanicum is a small basin and should be in prime condition, at least until early next week when the next storm is predicted. For this week and through weekend, the Necanicum would be a good bet for steelhead. 

NEHALEM RIVER:  steelhead

All of the hatchery steelhead for the Nehalem basin are released in the North Fork, making the mainstem a mostly wild steelhead river. As such, it is a later run and will fish better later in the season -- January through early April. Recent rains brought the Nehalem up almost 3 feet, so currently it is muddy and “blown out.” The Nehalem is a big river and can take some time to drop into shape, so it’s questionable whether it will fish well before the next storm.

Anglers are reminded that there is NO RETENTION of wild coho in the Nehalem River this year; only adipose fin clipped coho may be retained.

Due to a poor return of Chinook salmon, and conservation concerns about meeting spawning escapement goals, emergency regulation changes took effect for coastal rivers in the NW Zone on Nov. 1, 2018. As a result the Nehalem River, mainstem and bay is closed upstream of the confluence with the North Fork Nehalem. Downstream of the confluence of the North Fork, the bag limit for fall Chinook is reduced to one adult Chinook per day and a limit of 3 from Nov. 1 through the remainder of the season.

Trout fishing in streams will reopen May 22, 2019.

NORTH FORK NEHALEM RIVER: steelhead

The North Fork Nehalem has a good run of early hatchery winter steelhead. The North Fork blew out with the heavy rains on Tuesday, but was already starting to come back into shape by today, and should fish well late this week and into the weekend. Expectations are that this freshet will bring in some fish, and this is a good bet until the next storm.

Anglers are reminded that there is NO RETENTION of wild coho in the Nehalem basin this year; only adipose fin-clipped coho may be retained.

Due to a poor return of Chinook salmon, and conservation concerns about meeting spawning escapement goals, emergency regulation changes took effect for coastal rivers in the NW Zone on Nov. 1, 2018. As a result the North Fork Nehalem is closed to Chinook fishing.

Trout fishing in streams will reopen May 22, 2019.

NESTUCCA RIVER AND THREE RIVERS: steelhead

The Nestucca River has two different hatchery winter steelhead stocks, one of which is early returning,and most prevalent in the lower river and Three Rivers. The Nestucca went up almost 2 feet with Tuesday’s rain and blew out, but it is on the drop and should fish by later in the week. Expectations are that there should be some fish coming in as the river drops. Best bet will probably be the lower River (below Farmer Creek), although there are probably a few fish going higher than that. The other hatchery stock (wild broodstock fish) and wild steelhead will start trickling in as well, but will peak late December through early April.

Three Rivers will come back into shape faster than the mainstem, and there should be early returning hatchery steelhead showing up after this high water event. This will be a good bet late this week and into the weekend. 

Due to a poor return of Chinook salmon, and conservation concerns about meeting spawning escapement goals, emergency regulation changes took effect for coastal rivers in the NW Zone on Nov. 1, 2018. As a result the Nestucca is closed to Chinook fishing upstream of the Woods Bridge. Downstream of the Woods Bridge the bag limit for fall Chinook is reduced to one adult Chinook per day and a limit of 3 from Nov. 1 through the remainder of the season. Three Rivers is also closed to fall Chinook fishing.

Anglers are reminded that there is NO RETENTION of wild coho in the Nestucca River this year; only adipose fin-clipped coho may be retained. There is not a hatchery coho run on the Nestucca, but the occasional stray is caught.

Trout fishing in streams will reopen May 22, 2019.

SALMON RIVER: winter steelhead

Winter steelhead fishing opened on Dec. 1. The Salmon River has no hatchery releases and is entirely a wild run. These fish will start to enter the system in December but the peak is January through March. Bobber fishing with jigs/bait and casting lures are great techniques to catch a Salmon River winter steelhead.

Fall Chinook fishing is winding down on the Salmon River. Due to lower than expected returns and conservation concerns, Chinook fishing above the Salmon River hatchery is closed for the remainder of the 2018 season. Below the deadline the bag limit for fall Chinook is reduced to one adult Chinook per day and a limit of 3 from Nov. 1 through the remainder of the season.

All wild coho must be released during the 2018 fall salmon season.

Trout fishing in streams will reopen May 22, 2019.

SILETZ RIVER:  winter steelhead

Winter steelhead are starting to show up in the Siletz River. It is still a little early for the Siletz but the winter steelhead fishing will continue to improve as we get later into December. January is typically when things heat up and continue through March/April.

The low clear water and cold conditions will be changing this week with warmer weather and rain in the forecast. Side drifting, bobber dogging, bobber fishing with jigs, and casting lures are all great techniques to catch winter steelhead.

When fishing for winter steelhead remember to practice good ethics and leave spawning Chinook and coho salmon alone so they can provide fish for the future.

Fall Chinook fishing continues to be slow on the Siletz River. Due to lower than expected returns and conservation concerns, the Siletz River is now closed to Chinook fishing above the marker located approximately 1200 ft. upstream of the Ojalla boat ramp. Below the deadline the bag limit for fall Chinook is reduced to one adult Chinook per day and a limit of 3 from Nov. 1 through the remainder of the season.

All wild coho must be released during the 2018 fall salmon season.

Steelhead fishing is open in the gorge area year-round but salmon fishing/retention is closed upstream of the marker approximately 1200 ft. above the Ojalla boat ramp  for the remainder of the 2018 fall salmon season.

Trout fishing in streams will reopen May 22, 2019.

The 3.5 mile bridge (aka Steel Bridge) in the Siletz gorge is open to motorized vehicles, but is only open to public vehicles on the weekend. Anglers can walk/bike in the road during the weekdays. If anglers do walk in they can park at the one mile gate and start from there.

SIUSLAW RIVER: winter steelhead

Winter steelhead fishing opened on Dec. 1 and fish will start entering the Siuslaw system throughout the month of December. No good reports yet but things should be changing this week with warmer weather and rain in the forecast. Hatchery fish in the Siuslaw system return to Whitaker Creek (Siuslaw) and Green Creek (Lake Creek).

Fishing should start to pick up soon with each rise in the river levels. Bobber fishing with bait/jigs, drift fishing, and casting lures are good techniques to catch a Siuslaw winter steelhead. Steelhead fishing remains open in the closed Chinook areas of the Siuslaw and Lake Creek.

Due to lower than expected returns and conservation concerns, fall Chinook fishing on the Siuslaw remains closed upstream of the Tiernan boat ramp (downstream of Mapleton). Below the deadline the bag limit for fall Chinook is reduced to one adult Chinook per day and a limit of 3 from Nov. 1 through the remainder of the season. Chinook fishing continues to be slow in the open area.

All wild coho must be released for the 2018 fall salmon season.

Lake Creek, a tributary of the Siuslaw River, is closed for the 2018 fall salmon season.

Trout fishing in streams will reopen May 22, 2019.

TILLAMOOK BAY: fall Chinook

Fall Chinook fishing has been very slow, and is all but over in the bay. Due to a poor return of Chinook salmon, and conservation concerns about meeting spawning escapement goals, emergency regulation changes took effect for coastal rivers in the NW Zone on Nov. 1, 2018. As a result the bag limits in the bay and lower tidewater have been reduces to one adult Chinook per day and a limit of 3 from Nov. 1 through the remainder of the season. In addition the rivers of Tillamook Bay above lower tidewater are closed to fall Chinook fishing. The emergency deadlines for the rivers are as follows:

Miami and Kilchis Rivers: Hwy 101 Bridges

Wilson River: Yellow ODFW sign posted near Makinster Road at River Mile 1.1 (in tidewater).

Trask River: Hwy 131 Bridge

Tillamook River: Yellow ODFW sign posted 100 feet upstream of the tidewater disabled angler platform.                                                                                      

Very few, if any, hatchery coho are still in the bay.Tthere is NO RETENTION of wild coho in Tillamook Bay this year; only adipose fin clipped coho may be retained.

TRASK RIVER: steelhead

The Trask River is mostly a wild steelhead River, although it is known to get some hatchery strays. As such, it really hits its peak for steelhead fishing late December through early April. That said there should be at least a few fish sneaking in after this high water. The Trask went up over 3 feet with Tuesday’s rain and is currently blown out, but it is dropping and should be fishable by Thursday or Friday. Check conditons before you go.

Due to a poor return of Chinook salmon, and conservation concerns about meeting spawning escapement goals, emergency regulation changes took effect for coastal rivers in the NW Zone on November 1, 2018. As a result the Trask River is closed to fall Chinook fishing upstream of the Highway 131 bridge. Downstream of the Highway 131 bridge the bag limit for fall Chinook is reduced to one adult Chinook per day and a limit of 3 from Nov. 1 through the remainder of the season.

The hatchery coho run is virtually over, with hardly any fish left in the system. Angling will be very slow Anglers are reminded that there is NO RETENTION of wild coho in the Trask; only adipose fin-clipped coho may be retained. A few hatchery summer steelhead are present in the river, but expect slow fishing for fish that are spread out.

Trout fishing in streams will reopen May 22, 2019.

WILSON RIVER: steelhead

The Wilson River went up over 2 feet with Tuesday’s rain, and blew out. However, it’s on the drop and should be in prime fishing condition by Thursday or Friday and through the weekend. There should be steelhead coming in as the river drops, the early returning hatchery fish are usually best in the lower river (below Mills Bridge), but we wouldn’t be surprised to see a few broodstock fish sneaking in as well.

Due to a poor return of Chinook salmon, and conservation concerns about meeting spawning escapement goals, emergency regulation changes took effect for coastal rivers in the NW Zone on Nov. 1, 2018. As a result the Wilson River is closed to fall Chinook fishing upstream of the yellow ODFW sign posted near Makinster Road at River Mile 1.1 (in tidewater). Below the deadline the bag limit for fall Chinook is reduced to one adult Chinook per day and a limit of 3 from Nov. 1 through the remainder of the season.

Trout fishing in streams will reopen May 22, 2019.

YAQUINA RIVER:  winter steelhead

Winter steelhead fishing opened on the Yaquina and Big Elk on Dec. 1. No hatchery fish are released into the Yaquina/Big Elk so most fish caught are wild. January through March is the peak for the wild winter steelhead in the Yaquina/Big Elk. Bobber fishing with bait/jigs, drift fishing and casting lures are effective ways to catch these fish.

Due to lower than expected returns and conservation concerns, Fall Chinook fishing on the Yaquina remains closed upstream of the Elk City boat ramp. In addition, the Big Elk is closed for the remainder of the 2018 Chinook season. Below the deadline the bag limit for fall Chinook is reduced to one adult Chinook per day and a limit of 3 from Nov. 1 through the remainder of the season. Fall Chinook fishing is very slow in the area still open.

All wild coho must be released during the 2018 fall salmon season.

Trout fishing in streams will reopen May 22, 2019.