News: Salmon are still biting on rivers

Although fishing for adult salmon is now closed on the Lower Klamath River, and some chinook have started the run up the Rouge River, there are still lots of fish being caught on both rivers this week.

The Rouge Bay has slowed some from its peak about three weeks ago, when salmon started to head up river, but anglers are still getting a few fish per day in the bay. Meanwhile, fishing for jacks is still allowed on the Klamath River and anglers have been hauling in a fair few, while also releasing a fair amount of incidentally caught adult Chinook.

River fishing

The quota for adult salmon was met on the Klamath River in early September, but anglers are still reporting lots of Chinook in the river, with anglers still allowed to retain jacks — juvenile salmon measuring less than 22 inches.

Although anglers have been targeting jacks since the closure, there are still lots of adult salmon still in the Lower Klamath River.

“In short, a lot of adult Chinook being released by anglers in search of their jacks,” said Dan Troxel, an environmental scientist with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife’s Klamath River Project.

Further to the north, anglers are also catching lots of jacks at the Mouth of the Smith River, though adults seem to be hard to come by so, though its still early in the season. Anglers are still catching some salmon in the Chetco Estuary as well, though the bite seems to have slowed a little in the area over the past week.

Meanwhile further to the north Martin said most boats in the Rouge Bay seem to be catching a fish or two per day. Although there are already salmon heading upstream on the Rogue River, Martin said there should still be fish in the bay until the first major rain of the season.

On the ocean

California sportfishermen have seen their fishing options tighten over the last few weeks with the closure of both the ocean salmon and Pacific halibut seasons.

Although there have been some tuna caught off the coast of Crescent City and Brookings at times in the past month, anglers in California are largely confined to bottomfishing at the moment.

Capt. Craig Strickhouser of Tally Ho II Sportfishing said he took a group out on Friday and they did surprisingly well, considering the poor conditions.

“It was windy as all get out and the drift was really fast, but we did get some fish,” Strickhouser said. “The fish bit pretty well, which was surprising. The conditions were lousy, but we still got plenty of fish.”

Strickhouser said the boat ended up with a couple good-sized lingcod to go along with a nice mix of bottomfish including blacks, vermilion, canary and quillbacks.

Up in Oregon bottomfishing has also been strong whenever conditions allow anglers to get out, which has mostly been in the morning and early afternoon.

Salmon fishing in Oregon is also closed, but the Pacific halibut season is still open, with a little more than 40 percent left on the quota for the Southern Oregon Coast.

Anglers are still having luck targeting Pacific halibut in Oregon, with at least one 80-pounder reported throughout the week.

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