Emergency regulation changes in NW Zone coastal rivers take effect Nov. 1 to protect low fall Chinook returns
SALEM – Fall Chinook fishing is restricted effective November 1st for coastal rivers in Oregon’s Northwest Zone. Restrictions will be in place from the Necanicum River in the north, to the Siuslaw River in the south.
As of November 1st, these coastal rivers in the NW Zone will be closed to fall Chinook fishing upstream of upper tidewater boundaries described below. The bag limit for fall Chinook in these systems is also reduced to one adult Chinook per day and a limit of 3 from Nov. 1 through the remainder of the season.
Angler catch rates have been very low in most systems and low numbers of fall Chinook are being observed in ODFW surveys to date. “We’ve had calls from many anglers that are concerned about the apparent low returns. These emergency actions will reduce the harvest of these fish to help ensure we see the escapement levels needed for these populations,” said Chris Knutsen, ODFW Northwest Watershed Manager. “We expect the fish that are currently present in the upper tidewater areas will move upstream with the rain and these closures will provide additional protection for those fish while we see how the rest of the run progresses.”
Chinook fishing remains open in bays and most lower tidewater areas, where there will still be some fish available for both bank and boat anglers. The closures also do not apply in lower Columbia River portions of the NW Zone.
NW Zone rivers (incl. upper tidewater areas and upstream) also remain open to fishing for other species including hatchery steelhead. Check the Oregon Sport Fishing Regulations for permanent regulations and the NW Zone Fishing Report for other in season changes.
The closures and reduced bag limit are likely to extend until the end of the year in most of these areas, though fishery managers will closely monitor the run, including returns to the spawning grounds and hatcheries, and may ease or remove restrictions if warranted. “Our goal is to provide angling opportunity on these fish if we have evidence that sufficient numbers are reaching the key spawning areas,” said Knutsen.
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 – Woods Bridge.
· Little Nestucca River – Highway 101 Bridge.
· Salmon River – Marker 200 ft. below hatchery weir.
· Siletz River – Strome County Park Boat Ramp at river mile 16.3.
· Drift Creek (Siletz) and Schooner Creek – Closed from mouth upstream.
· Yaquina River – Cannon Quarry Boat Ramp.
· Alsea River – Highway 34 Bridge below Taylors Landing.
· Drift Creek (Alsea) – Closed from mouth upstream.
· Siuslaw River – Tiernan Boat Ramp.
· Lake Creek (Siuslaw) – Closed from mouth upstream.