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Klamath Fall regulations begin Aug. 15

Fishing the North Coast by Kenny Priest, author badge,

all regulations go into effect on the Klamath River for fall-run Chinook salmon fishing beginning Aug. 15 and run through Dec. 31. The daily bag limit will be three Chinook, no more than two adults (greater than 22 inches) and the possession limit is nine, no more than six adults. Two hatchery steelhead or hatchery trout may also be retained, with a possession limit of four each.

Spring-run Chinook salmon fishing regulations will run through Aug. 14, with a daily bag and possession limit of two salmon.

Spring salmon regulations will run through Aug. 31 on the Trinity, with a daily bag and possession limit of two Chinook salmon. The take of salmon is prohibited from the confluence of the South Fork Trinity River downstream to the confluence of the Klamath River from Jan. 1 through Aug. 31.

Lewis Richey of Fortuna, who was fishing as part of the Humboldt Veterans group, landed a nice Halibut, Photo courtesy of Martin Abshire
«Lewis Richey of Fortuna, who was fishing as part of the Humboldt Veterans group, landed a nice Halibut on Monday out of Eureka. Martin Abshire, who runs the boat “Reel Time,” volunteered his time to take Richey as well as fellow veterans Steve Emmons of Fortuna, and Eric Hollenbeck of Eureka down to Cape Mendocino for a fun day of fishing. Photo courtesy of Martin Abshire

The entire 2015 quota for the Klamath River basin is 14,133 adult fall-run salmon based on 120,000 adult salmon predicted to return. On the Lower Klamath, from the mouth to the Highway 96 bridge at Weitchpec, 7,067 adults will be allowed for sport harvest. The mouth of the Klamath (spit area) will get 15 percent of the basin quota in 2015, which equals 2,120 adults. This area will be closed to all fishing after the quota has been met. New for 2015, all legally caught Chinook salmon must be retained. Once the adult (greater than 22 inches) component of the total daily bag limit has been retained, anglers must cease fishing in the spit area.

The section above the 96 bridge at Weitchpec to 3,500 feet downstream of the Iron Gate Dam will get 2,403 adults. The take of salmon is prohibited on the Klamath River from Iron Gate Dam downstream to Weitchpec from Jan. 1 through Aug. 14.

On the Trinity side, which will be open to fall-run Chinook salmon fishing Sept. 1 and run through Dec. 31, the quota is set at 4,663 adults. The quota will be split evenly, 2,331 adults from the main stem downstream of the Old Lewiston Bridge to the Highway 299 West bridge at Cedar Flat and the main stem downstream of the Denny Road bridge at Hawkins Bar to the confluence with the Klamath. The main stem downstream of the Highway 299 Bridge at Cedar Flat to the Denny Road Bridge in Hawkins Bar is closed to all fishing September 1 through Dec. 31.

Once these quotas have been met, no Chinook salmon greater than 22 inches in length may be retained (anglers may still retain a limit of Chinook salmon under 22 inches in length). For more information on bag and possession limits, visit this DFW website. All anglers on the Trinity and Klamath rivers must have Salmon Harvest Cards in their possession when fishing for salmon. The full regulation package approved by the Commission is available here.

Weekend Marine forecast
After a few rough days, the ocean looks like it will start to lie down on Saturday. Out 10 nautical miles north of the Cape, Friday’s forecast is calling for NW winds 5 to 15 knots and waves out of the NW 8 feet at 9 seconds. Saturday is calling for N winds 5 to 10 knots and waves NW 5 feet at 9 seconds. Sunday’s conditions are looking much better, with winds out of the N 5 to 10 knots and waves 4 feet at 10 seconds. For an up-to-date weather forecast, visit To monitor the latest Humboldt bar conditions, visit You can also call the National Weather Service at 707-443-7062 or the office on Woodley Island at 707-443-6484.

Ocean salmon closure reminders
Eel River mouth -- No salmon may be taken during the months of August and September in ocean waters at the mouth of the Eel River within two nautical miles north and south of a line drawn due west for two nautical miles from the center of the mouth of the river.

Klamath River mouth -- Salmon may not be taken during the month of August in ocean waters at the mouth of the Klamath River within six nautical miles north and south of a line drawn due west for three nautical miles from the center of the mouth of the river.

The Oceans/Eureka: Cape Mendo best bet for salmon
The salmon fishing is still really good near Cape Mendocino according to Gary Blasi of Full Throttle Sport Fishing. “I wouldn’t call it wide-open, but its good fishing. At any one time, you can look around and see one or two nets flying. This past week we’ve been able to limit out the customers within 45 minutes to an hour. There’s seems to be plenty of fish still concentrated in the one general area,” added Blasi. Tim Klassen of Reel Steel Sport Fishing has spent some time chasing salmon but mixed it up a little over the weekend. Saturday his crew wanted halibut, and that’s what they got. “We were able to land four, but none of them were big. Most of the action, per usual, took place from 250 to 350 feet of water.” Sunday he really mixed it up, running 40 miles from the entrance in search of Tuna. “We found a really nice break that went from 55.5 to 62 degree water, but we couldn’t find any large schools of fish. We landed two really nice albacore that were over 25 pounds as well as a California Yellowtail.”

Curt Wilson of Wind Rose Charters reports the rockfish bite really picked up this past week, with limits coming pretty easy. He said. “The lingcod action has turned around as well, and we’re starting to see quite a few undersized lings too. Since the opener last Saturday, the halibut bite has been wide-open. I heard the fish counter checked in over 45 halibut on Saturday alone. Guys were starting to fish shallower, with quite a few landed in 150 feet of water. Not much happening with salmon, the warm water is keeping the boats from trying.”

Shelter Cove
The hot salmon bite has cooled down in the past few days according to Captain Trent Slate of Shelter Cove Sport Fishing. He said, “You could probably put in limits, but you would have to stay on them all day long.”

Crescent City
The lingcod action is still over the top reports Chris Hegnes of Crescent City’s Englund Marine. “It’s amazing how consistently good the lingcod bite has been all season and it shows no signs of slowing down. The halibut have been biting too, I’m hearing one to two per boat since last Saturday’s opener. The only salmon to speak of is coming from those jigging for rockfish near the sisters. Like most of the coast, the water here is too warm to hold fish,” Hegnes added

The Rivers:
Lower Klamath

Cloudy, cooler conditions have really helped the river conditions reports Alan Borges of Alan’s Guide Service. He said, “The water temps have cooled down to the low 70s and the mouth, which had been sanding over, has opened up allowing more fish to enter. There’s definitely some steelhead around as well as a few salmon.”

Find “Fishing the North Coast” on Facebook and for up-to-date fishing reports and North Coast river information. Questions, comments and photos can be emailed to

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