MARINE ZONE FISHING
Saltwater News Bulletins
You can subscribe to receive e-mails and text message alerts for marine topics you are interested in. To sign up go to http://dfw.state.or.us/MRP/bulletins/index.asp and enter your phone for text alerts and e-mail information to subscribe to email updates. It’s easy to unsubscribe at any time. Your phone and e-mail information will remain confidential. Six different lists of interest to ocean enthusiasts are available: Bottomfish (recreational), Halibut (recreational), Ocean Salmon (recreational), Ocean Salmon (commercial troll), Commercial Nearshore Groundfish, and Marine Reserves.
Send us your fishing report
We’d love to hear about your recent fishing experience. Send us your own fishing report through ODFW Fishing Reports -- the information will be forwarded to the local biologist who may use it to update various ODFW resources such as the Weekly Recreation Report.
Prohibitions at Oregon’s marine reserves at Redfish Rocks and Otter Rock are in effect. Fishing, crabbing, clamming, hunting and gathering seaweed are all prohibited. Beach walking, surfing, bird watching, diving and other non-extractive uses continue to be allowed. See complete details and a map of the boundaries of the reserves:
Otter Rock Marine Reserve
Redfish Rocks Marine Reserve and Marine Protected Area
Most ports sampled reported catches of four to five rockfish again this week. About half of the anglers caught lingcod. The hot port last week was Garibaldi with most bottomfishers getting limits of rockfish and at least one lingcod.
Fishing for groundfish is closed offshore of the 30-fathom line defined by latitude and longitude.
Cabezon retention is prohibited by all anglers until July 1. Retention of cabezon is allowed July 1 through Sept. 30. Under the federal cabezon quota, there is only enough cabezon to be open for two to three months during the busy summer period. When ODFW asked for public input in the fall, many people said they preferred a later season (July-September) over an earlier season. The daily bag and size limits remain the same (one-fish sublimit, 16-inch minimum length).
The marine fish daily bag limit is seven fish (of which no more than one may be a cabezon during the cabezon season). There are separate daily limits for lingcod (two) and flatfish other than Pacific halibut (25).
Remember: yelloweye rockfish and canary rockfish may not be retained.
The Stonewall Bank Yelloweye Rockfish Conservation Area, approximately 15 miles west of Newport, is closed to the harvest of rockfish, lingcod, flatfish and other species in the groundfish group.
About half of the anglers out of Astoria landed Chinook salmon last week. Coho catches improved with a catch rate of 1.1 coho per angler. The total catch rate for salmon off Astoria was 1.8 – one of the highest catch rates of the last decade.
On the rest of the coast there were only a few reported coho landings. One in 10 anglers caught Chinook south of Astoria, but at Bandon it picked up with about half of the anglers catching a Chinook. Brookings was the hot spot of the state for Chinook with a catch rate of 1.5 per angler.
Anglers fishing in ocean waters adjacent to Tillamook Bay between Twin Rocks and Pyramid Rock and within the 15-fathom depth contour are reminded that only adipose fin clipped Chinook salmon may be retained.
Fishing for Chinook salmon from Humbug Mountain to the Oregon/California border is open through Sept. 8.
Retained Chinook salmon statewide must be 24 inches or larger.
Columbia River Subarea
There were no reported catches of halibut out of Astoria. Through June 22, anglers have landed 3,100 pounds. This leaves 6,300 pounds (67 percent) of the spring quota remaining. Average weight this season is 16 pounds. The spring all-depth season is open every Friday, Saturday and Sunday until the quota is reached or the start of the summer season on Aug. 2.
Central Oregon Coast Subarea
Excellent weather and hungry halibut combined June 20-22 to push past the quota for the spring all-depth Pacific halibut fishery. Halibut anglers caught about 60,000 pounds in the three days. Fishery managers closed the fishery until the summer all-depth season starts Aug. 2.
Nearshore Season—Landings from the nearshore through June 16 are 9,248 pounds, leaving 13,790 pounds or 60 percent of the nearshore quota remaining. There was a lot of effort on the most recent opening, especially on Saturday, due to good weather. Many anglers had quick success, taking only one or two drifts to get limits, with many anglers returning to the docks by 9 or 10 a.m. The average weight from the nearshore fishery, so far this season has been 15 pounds. The nearshore will next be open June 27-29.
South of Humbug Mountain
Open through Oct. 31, seven days per week.
For the most up-to-date Pacific halibut information visit: http://dfw.state.or.us/mrp/finfish/halibut/index.asp
New for 2012
Limits double on purple varnish calms
Clam diggers may harvest twice as many purple varnish clams in 2013 than they did in previous years. In response to a public proposal, the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission increased the daily catch limit for purple varnish clams from 36 per day to 72 per day. Purple Varnish Clams are a non-native species that has become established in several Oregon bays and estuaries over the past decade.
Scallops require report card
Also starting in 2013, divers who harvest rock scallops will be required to report their catch to the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife using a free harvest card. Divers will provide important information about this resource to ODFW biologists that will enable them to better manage the resource. Since 1996, ODFW has required similar reporting by all recreational abalone harvesters who complete an annual harvest card. This program helps ODFW biologists understand and monitor the abalone fishery. This same card now includes space for rock scallop harvesters to report their catch. Anyone recreationally harvesting abalone or rock scallops will need to obtain the free abalone and scallop harvest card in addition to an Oregon Shellfish License. The harvest card is easy to get and simple to complete. Limits for abalone and rock scallops remain the same: one per day and five per year for abalone and 24 rock scallops per day.
Divers can get abalone/scallop permits by contacting ODFW Marine Resources Program in Newport 541-867-4741, Charleston 541-888-5515 or Astoria 503-325-2462. For more information visit the ODFW website.
The next minus tide series is July 5 through 12 in the morning. The entire Oregon coast is open to razor clam harvest until July 15 when the Clatsop county beaches will begin the annual conservation closure.
During the previous tide series in late May, clamming success was again the best at the Seaside beach areas; Sunset Beach was also quite productive. Clammers averaged more than 13 clams per person in these areas while other beach areas averaged almost 12 clams per person. Many large clams (>5 inches) were taken during the beginning of the previous tide series in the Seaside area. These larger clams are from large sets that occurred in 2009 and 2011. Natural mortality from storms and erosion, as well as less than expected harvest, allowed these clams to continue to survive in greater numbers than normal.
Water temperatures have risen to above the spawning temperature threshold, and there is still a fair amount of food in the surf. This has made the clams show quite readily but has also initiated spawning in some of the larger clams. Once spawning becomes widespread, larger clams will not show as readily as they have during past low tides.
There was a significant set of clams in 2012, and those clams are yet less than 3½ inches, considered small by many. Because clammers must keep the first 15 razor clams they dig regardless of size or condition, clammers should choose to dig the largest shows in order to limit the chances of digging a small clam.
For best results, clammers should pay close attention to surf forecasts and be on the beach one to two hours before low tide. If the forecast calls for combined seas over 8 or 10 feet, razor clam harvesting can be difficult because the clams tend to show much less in those conditions. When referencing tide tables, Clatsop beach razor clam harvesters should use the tide gauge at the Columbia River entrance.
Recreational shellfish safety status as of July 2:
Shellfish harvesting is open along the entire Oregon coast.
The consumption of whole recreationally harvested scallops is not recommended, however. Coastal scallops are not affected by toxin closures when only the adductor muscle is eaten.
The Oregon Department of Agriculture's shellfish safety hotline is toll free and provides the most current information regarding shellfish safety closures. Please call the hotline before harvesting: 1-800-448-2474.
Check out the recreational shellfish pages on the ODFW website. The pages contain everything you need to know for identifying and harvesting Oregon’s clams, including maps of individual estuaries that show where to crab and clam.
Bay crabbing continues to be extremely slow, with very few legal-sized male Dungeness crab caught. However, bay crabbing success should continue to improve over the next few months. May and June are transitional months when male crabs molt, increasing the availability of legal-sized crab. Newly-molted crabs are lighter in weight and have softer shells.
Ocean crabbing has been good. Recreational crabbing in the ocean is open along the entire Oregon coast.
The ODFW crabbing report shows average number of legal-sized Dungeness crab per person in various bays by month over the past year: check it out.
Some sport crabbers have difficulty correctly measuring the minimum size for Dungeness crab, which is 5 3⁄4 inches measured in a straight line across the back immediately in front of, but not including, the points. See an illustration showing the correct measurement.