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Big Chinook die off along North Coast – Chinook fishing prohibited

Chinook Salmon
Not having a good season up north….

Additional Chinook mortality leads to North Coast fall salmon angling closure

TILLAMOOK:   A recent die-off of fall Chinook salmon in the Wilson River has prompted fishery managers to close the entire North Coast to all salmon angling, effective December 13 – 31. The closure includes all North Coast basins from the Nestucca River to the Necanicum River.  Angling for steelhead is unaffected by this change and remains open under permanent regulations.

Monitoring of North Coast basins, in response to the recent die-off observed in the Wilson River and by reports from the public of similar mortality events in other rivers, revealed substantial deaths of fall Chinook salmon (more than half of the carcasses sampled in the Nestucca, Trask and Kilchis rivers this week) prior to spawning. Additional pre-spawn mortalities have been observed in the Wilson River since last week’s closure as well. The mortality is attributed to the spread of cryptobia, a naturally occurring parasite which only affects certain fish species, and poses no risk to humans.

The closure is necessary to protect remaining fall Chinook adults to allow them to reach spawning grounds, according to Robert Bradley, district fish biologist for ODFW’s North Coast Watershed District. “The observed pre-spawn mortality is on top of a reduced run of fall Chinook this year,” said Bradley. “We need to protect the remaining spawners to help provide for future runs of fall Chinook on the North Coast.”

Angling for all salmon is closed for the remainder of 2019 in the following areas: Necanicum River basin, Nehalem Bay and River (including the NF Nehalem), Tillamook Bay and rivers (Tillamook River, Trask River, Wilson River, Kilchis River and Miami River), and Nestucca Bay and River (including Three Rivers and the Little Nestucca River).

The pre-spawn mortality event appears to be limited to the North Coast. Assessments of other basins further south have not revealed any incidents of this kind. Due to this, no angling regulation changes are being made in other locations.

For more information about North Coast fisheries, including regulation updates, visit ODFW’s online fishing reports at


Co. Commissioners get an “earfull” of toxic spray and “excessive” vacation rental housing

Oregon Coast VRD
Archive photo

Lincoln County Commissioners Wednesday had a big crowd of people show up during their weekly meeting – one group protesting the continued toxic spraying on forest lands and how it affects the people who live near them. The other major issue was described as an explosion in the growth of vacation rentals which accommodate out-of-town visitors who come to the coast to relax and and escape their crowded urban environments.

Some of the points made on toxic sprays on private forestlands:

* Some residents testified that people living near sprayed forests are becoming ill due to aerial spray drift from helicopters – sprayed chemicals catching a ride in the wind and down creeks that wander through communities.
* People complained that timber companies lobby to pass laws that pre-empts the rights of human beings living in these areas to enjoy healthy lives. Lobbyists that represent large timber corporations have managed to pass laws that ignore the pleas of residents who point to the fact that the U.S. Forest Service doesn’t conduct aerial spraying on their federally owned properties because of their concern for the health of not only people but wildlife that dwell in the forests. Some have said they are worried that our forests are being turned in to “Wood Farms” rather than natural forests that filter our air, provide habitat for wildlife and produce oxygen for all living things to breathe. There are many indications that this battle is just heating up. Of course timber owners have dumped billions of dollars into their holdings and expect to benefit from sufficient return on their investment to produce a “sustain yield” of profits for themselves and for their shareholders. They consistently remind us that we live in a capitalist country.

Some of the points made on vacation rental dwellings (VRDs)

Another big issue presented to the county commissioners is what some characterize as the “out-of-control” vacation rental dwellings industry (VRDs). They mostly involve single family homes or condos, owned largely by out-of-town owners who admittedly make a small fortune on renting their expensive overnight and over-weekend facilities for mini-vacationers wanting to get out of their big cities for a few days. Several citizens told county commissioners that there is a routine lack of enforcement of rules on noise, occupancy numbers, parking limits and properly handling trash. Regular year-round residents complain that their peaceful neighborhoods are being transformed into open air party-time college dormitories. Several complained that VRDs in and outside of local cities don’t have nearly enough VRD rule enforcers on the streets to keep things in line. Local residents also decry the fact that with the growth of VRDs in their area, their property values are declining. Some residents who live outside city limits say even they are getting hit by the spread of VRDs.

An often mentioned complaint is aimed at the conversion of regular homes into VRDs. They say for every new VRD conversion it means one less house or condo that is available for regular residents as well as for the growth in the number of new permanent residents. The net effect is sharply rising housing costs which puts heavier financial burdens on local businesses trying to hire local labor at rates they can afford.

This VRD issue is certainly not limited to Lincoln County. It’s happening all over the country as friends and families seek lower cost vacation options. Meanwhile, local city councils and county commissions are being looked to for proper planning for sufficient local “housing stock” so that their communities don’t run out of housing for locals.

There is going to have to be a lot more “action” taken on this particularly troublesome challenge.

Traffic Crash Seal Rock: Milepost 150 at Curtis Street – 101 is shutdown – find detour

9:52am  Report of a serious traffic crash on Highway 101 milepost 150, in Seal Rock.  101 @ Curtis.  It’s a rollover accident with the vehicle coming to rest on it’s top.  Seal Rock Fire-Rescue asking for mutual aid from Newport.

9:57am  Person(s) stuck inside the wreckage.  Firefighters using extrication cutting tools to free the person(s) still inside.  

9:57am  Highway 101 is shut down at Curtis street. 

10:00am  Lifeflight rescue helicopter cannot respond to the scene due to bad weather.

10:07am  Victim has been pulled from the wreckage.

Numerous Timber Slash Burns Up and Down the Coast – No need to call 9-1-1.

Typical Slash Burns
More of the same for the next few days.

Oregon Department of Forestry – West Oregon District (Toledo), requested our assistance in letting the public know that on Wednesday, December 11, 2019 there will be several slash burning operations visible from Hwy 101 (Lincoln City to Waldport) and Hwy 20 (Newport, Toledo).

If you see these fires, please note that no action is needed. Oregon Department of Forestry has an interactive website where the public can see where controlled burns are taking place across the state. We have listed that information on our County Emergency Management page under current conditions and provided the direct link below.

Oregon Department of Forestry: Smoke Management Daily Plans and Accomplishments website: –


For the love of “safe bicycling” in and around Newport…

Street alert!


The City of Newport is seeking applications from citizens interested in serving on the Bicycle/Pedestrian Advisory Committee. The Committee meets monthly on the second Tuesday, at 5:30 P.M., at City Hall. The Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee consists of seven members, and all members must be residents, or business owners, in the city.

The purpose of the Committee is to: advise the City Council regarding issues relating to bicycle and pedestrian transportation, safety, recreation, and education; act as a resource to the City Council to provide additional information related to the unique problems associated with non-motorized transportation.

Anyone interested in serving on this committee should apply using the city’s committee application which is found on the city website at; click on “City;” then on “Committees;” and then on “Application for Committee/Commission.”

The completed form can be submitted electronically. Copies of the committee application form can also be obtained by contacting the City Manager’s Office at 169 SW Coast Highway, Newport, Oregon 97365, or by calling 541.574.0613. The application deadline is December 31, 2019.

The Bicycle/Pedestrian Advisory Committee will interview interested volunteers at an upcoming meeting, and forward a recommendation to the Mayor for formal appointment.

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