Extreme summer heat slows coho bite and results in statewide fishing restrictions

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ILWACO, Washington – “Shake N Bake” cleared the bar from the Columbia River on Thursday, circled north around the treacherous Peacock Spit Shoal and shook the rushing waters off her shoulders as she plunged into a confused sea.

A six foot and two foot swell / wind combination is generally unpleasant for most fishing boats and a fatal decision for a day on the high seas.

But Mike Colbach’s 42-foot Henriques is a far cry from most fishing boats.

Colbach, a Portland lawyer and a longtime good friend, is a master albacore captain, but the tuna isn’t due for a week or two, so we were on a bus-man vacation, digging through a swell. northwest in search of coho salmon.

The rough seas were more exciting than the fishing.

We removed Pro-Troll flashers and anchovies off Long Beach, slowly heading north, then south, but still well north of the Columbia influence.

Even there, however, the water hovered around 65 degrees, uncomfortable territory for the salmon.

Small pockets of fish brought us seven coho, four of which we released from the net because they were wild, or at least not cut.

Hungry for salmon, we moved on to a race far south for groundfish. This return trip almost straight into the swell would have put us to the test more than Mike’s sturdy, seaworthy boat.

No one aboard “Shake N Bake” is ever unhappy, despite the sea or the fishing. Mike and his co-captains, John Cooney of Portland and Darrell Miller of Vancouver, Washington, are easy to love, at sea or on land. We all went home with a smile.

His Bill Jr., who also fished with us on Thursday, found a larger pouch of fish on Friday (naturally) and limited his six guests to coho and a chinook as he maneuvered his boat through the near riptides. of the Columbia River buoy.

“Spotty” is a good description of the openness of the hatchery coho fishery off the mouth of the Columbia, especially as a result of the scorching heat inland and high temperatures from the river to the river. closed off.

Further south of last week’s Heat Dome, Winchester Bay and Florence were the the best fishing ports on the coast, on average between one and one and a half fish per rod.

Word of mouth report from northern California suggested fish were still stacked south of the Oregon border.

Owl Hours: In order to alleviate the pressure on fish threatened by drought and unusually warm waters for the season, the Oregon Department of Fisheries and Wildlife has adopted immediate emergency restrictions on many rivers and streams in all parts of the state except southeastern Oregon.

Fishing will be closed from 2 p.m. to 1 hour before sunrise on some rivers and streams (including tributaries of some large rivers). The restrictions are expected to last until September 30, although they can be extended or lifted.

They include the Willamette, Clackamas, Sandy, Santiam (north and south), Molalla and Deschutes rivers from the mouth to Sherars Falls.

Angling closures within 200 feet of the mouths of tributaries in parts of the Umpqua and North Umpqua rivers will allow fish to congregate in these cooler areas without fishing pressure.

Further targeted angling closures in parts of the Rogue and Illinois rivers will also allow salmon and rainbow trout to migrate without fishing pressure.

Details can be found in the department’s weekly fishing report, which can be found at myodfw.com/recreation-report/fishing-report. Go to myodfw and click on the “leisure report”, then below the photo, “fishing report”. to find the state’s nine fishing grounds. Regulatory updates are listed at the top of each area’s fishing outlook.

And a rectification: The original press release from the Oregon Department of Fisheries and Wildlife said on Tuesday that fishing would be closed on the Nehalem River.

One version appeared in The Oregonian / OregonLive.

The ministry has since revised the press release.

All fishing will be closed in the main course of the Nehalem River, but only upstream of the Miami-Foley Road Bridge.

Nehalem Bay and the river below the bridge remain open under permanent regulations.

However, the North Fork Nehalem River will fall under “Tawny Owl” restrictions, along with all other open water streams in the Northwest Area.

Life vest: Stunned by the 26 deaths from boating accidents last year (19 of 21 drowning victims were not wearing flotation devices), the Oregon State Marine Council asked his staff to come up with ideas to tighten state requirements.

Randy Henry, director of the agency’s boating safety program, said mandatory rules for operators or others beyond current child-only laws will be on the table this summer and presented to the Marine Board in October, with likely legislative action in the 2023 session.

So far, the pre-boating season figure is only five fatalities, but a hot summer awaits.

In memory: Hobary Manns, a decades-long sport fishing regular in Oregon, died Thursday.

Manns was an accomplished writer, radio personality, television host, and hot water fisherman who readily shared his knowledge and passion for angling.

His legacy will include countless hours of mentoring with others, including antique hardware collectors and western environmentalists.

– Bill Monroe


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