Angler’s Log – July 4, 2019

This group of Eugene fishermen all landed limits of coho salmon, also called ”silvers” while fishing with Captain Greg Hedrick. Photos/Frank Armendariz

Salmon are at the top of the report this week. The ocean salmon season opened in June and the fishing has been exceptional off the Lane County Coast. For parties fishing out of Florence there are a lot of coho right offshore, wild ones that have to be released along with real good numbers of fin-clipped silvers, and limits were had by many anglers over the weekend. Successful anglers were finding fish just outside the jetty to about three miles offshore. Not many chinook yet, but those numbers should increase over the next few weeks. I can’t understate the success on coho salmon; I spoke to several captains that had caught 20 or more fish per day, and most had limits of fin-clipped keepers on Sunday.
On the drive out of the north jetty of the Siuslaw River in Florence, the bright floats marking the location of crab pots are not easily missed as folks take to the bay for what has been only a fair crab season at the public docks and for people using boats. I know a lot of folks mix crabbing and shellfish collection this time of year, but please be aware of the issued warnings. At presstime the south jetty of the Siuslaw to the California border was closed to shellfish collection. North of Florence, last week’s rain washed fecal contaminants into several north coast bays, and contaminated water warnings have been issued to their adjacent beaches. Always check before you collect: Eating contaminated shellfish can be very dangerous.
Briefly, the central coast lakes are reaching temperatures that get most warm-water species like large-mouth bass very actively feeding, with periods during the day where the surface bite has been very good. Those windows will get longer as the summer progresses; shallow-running crank baits and spinner-bait fished in structure will draw the big bass out.
The canal at Alton Baker was stocked with trout again last week. This is a very easy-to-access urban fishery that generally is stocked as long as the water quality holds up. I will keep you posted. The Coast Fork of the Willamette near Creswell also got about 800 stocker rainbow trout. The Coast Fork has salmon and steelhead right now too. The plentiful runoff has been beneficial to the Coast Fork this year and to most other fisheries in Lane County.
Even though the count of spring chinook and summer steelhead into the southern Willamette Valley is far below average, those fish arrived in excellent shape and have been providing sport beyond what the run numbers counted at the Willamette Falls would indicate. The Middle Fork Willamette, McKenzie and South Santiam rivers just to the north of us have all been consistently producing migrating fish this spring. Now all salmon and steelhead passing through the Willamette Falls ladder get counted. Speculation is that the high water this spring allowed fish to climb the falls naturally unseen by the cameras that recorded each fish’s passage. Whatever the reason, if you live in the valley don’t miss out.
Now go fishing! Take your kids or a friend; those will be some of your best memories….



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