May 8th column

Pete's weekly fishing reports from Oregon!
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Pete Heley
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Joined: Thu Oct 23, 2008 11:35 am
Location: Reedsport, OR

May 8th column

Post by Pete Heley » Wed May 08, 2013 4:01 am

Fishing for spring chinook has been slow, except for the area below where Rock Creek enters the North Umpqua. The entire mainstem Umpqua has been fishing very slow. Another small springer was reported takenat Half Moon Bay last week, but the lower river has not been productive for any salmon and even the feeder chinook out in the ocean were tough to find last week - partly because of bar and ocean restrictions that did not give the ocean salnon anglers much time to try to find fish. Ocean salmon anglers should definitely look forward to July 1st when the ocean finclipped coho season opens in the ocean and there should be a few fall chinook around getting ready to begin their ascension of the Umpqua River.

The Triangle/South Slough area, usually the most consistent fishing spot in our area, was off a little over the weekend as the water was a little murky after some minus tides.

The information of the ODFW website regarding Halibut fishing is a little confusing. The first paragraph goes like this: Staff Recommended 2013 Pacific Halibut Sport Regulations. The Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission will make the final decision on the 2013 halibut regulations, including open dates, at their meeting on May 10. But later in their halibut post, the dates for the spring all-depth halibut season are given and the the first four three day openers are as follows (all Thursday through Saturday): May 9th-May 11th; May 16th-18th; May 30th-June 1st and June 6th-8th.

The ODFW paragraph I referred to in the preceding paragraph obviously is referring to the inshore halibut fishery, but is poorly written or explained. The inshore halibut fishery will be open Thursday through Saturday beginning on May 2nd and will run through October 31st or when the quota for the Cape Falcon to Humbug Mountain section of 23,038 is reached. All-depth halibut fishing south of Humbug Mountain to the Oregon/California border is open seven days a week from May 1st through October 31st. The all-depth halibut quotas were set at the same quotas as last year by the International Pacific Halibut Commission.

Sturgeon fishing on the Umpqua River remains slow, but a few striped bass have shown up in the lower to middle tidewater areas of the Smith and Umpqua rivers. Most of the stripers are still in the upper tidewater areas, but will be dropping downriver over the next few weeks. Striper fishing has been very slow.

Shad fishing is starting to heat up on the Umpqua and should get even better with warming water temperatures. Popular spots for non-boaters include Sawyers Rapids; Elkton, Yellow Creek, Tyee area and near the community of Umpqua. Most popular colors for the shad darts and jigs remains chartreuse and hot pink.

There are planted trout left in all the area lakes that have been planted. The Florence-area lakes that are slated to be stocked this week are: Carter Lake (2,500 legal trout); Cleawox Lake (2,000 legal and 150 trophy trout); Munsel Lake (1,500 foot long and 150 trophy trout) and Sutton Lake (1,000 foot long rainbows). Area trout plants will be less frequent this year except for the period preceding Oregon’s Free Fishing Weekend on June 1st and 2nd. This year, Washington’s Free Fishing Weekend is June 8th and 9th and California’s Free Fishing Days are July 6th and September 7th. Idaho’s Free Fishing Day is the second Saturday in June each year and is June 8th this year.

Some of the better trout fishing in our area have been in the larger lakes for native and carryover trout. Eel and Tenmile lakes have been quite productive for trout recently and some good catches have also been made at Siltcoos, Sutton and Tahkenitch lakes. Area streams will open on May 25th of this year.

Despite windy conditions, bass and panfish angling has been very good in most waters that harbor them. Largemouth bass in most coastal lakes are in their immediate pre-spawn stage and bluegills and bullhead catfish are becoming more active. The Umpqua is producing some very good smallmouth bass angling, but to a limited number of anglers. The best crappie and yellow perch angling usually occurs during March and April of each year.

A rather humbling article in the current issue of Naitonal Geographic illustrates how much we don’t know about our planet’s animal species. The article written by A. R. Williams and titled “Species Hunt” breaks down nine animal catagories into estimated number of species and number of species already discovered. Here goes in order of decreasing ratios:

Mammals (5,501 discovered species / 5,600 estimated total species = 98%)
Birds (10,064 discovered species / 10,500 estimated total species = 96%)
Reptiles (9,547 discovered species / 12,000 estimated total species =80%)

Fish (32,400 discovered species /45,000 estimated total species =72%)
Amphibians (6,771 discovered species / 15,000 estimated total species =45%)
Mollusks (85,000 discovered species / 200,000 estimated total species =43%)

Crustaceans (47,000 discovered species / 150,000 estimated total species =31%)
Insects (1,000,000 discovered species / 5,000,000 estimated total species =20%)
Arachnids (102,248 discovered species / 600,000 estimated total species =17%)

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