MyOutdoorBuddy.com, Fishing News
New Feature

Click on Columnists  to access travelogues, field reports, advice, humorous tales and answers to your Q’s! 





Products-Services


Website of the Week

                                





Chetco high water fishing rules questioned

s I'm writing this article, I am looking at the Chetco River Gauge, and I like what I'm seeing. The river was blown out and spewing thick, brown mud on Sunday at 35,200 cubic feet per second, and over the last four days it has dropped and cleared to a light, pea-green complexion. Thursday, the Chetco was flowing at 4,400 cfs - perfect plunking conditions!

Additionally, the river is predicted to drop to between 2,000 and 2,500 cfs this weekend - perfect back-bouncing conditions if you are in a boat, and stellar drift-fishing water if you are fishing from the bank. And the river is supposed to maintain that aforementioned flow throughout the month.

But alas, neither plunking, back-bouncing or drift-fishing techniques can be deployed on the Chetco at this time (from rivermile 2.2 up to Nook Creek) because they will not be legal techniques for at least 13 more days.

Until November 4 rolls around, salmon anglers are limited to fishing underneath a bobber. And I don't care what anyone says, bobber-fishing techniques are highly ineffective when the river has high flows. The only bobber-type fishing technique that has had any credence on the Chetco as of late is using a bobber-and-Kwikfish or similar plugs (FlatFish; Mag Lip), a technique which can be only effectively utilized from a drift boat.

And that has gotten me just a little more than ticked off, because October has historically been one of the best months to plunk, back-bounce, drift-fish, pull plugs or even side-drift, and the more I think about this situation, the redder my face gets. I believe that someone clear down in Cucamonga can feel the heat that is emanating from my face at this very moment.

Laurie and Bob Manley with chinook Salmon, by Larry Ellis
Laurie and Bob Manley from Brookings were fishing with guide Joe Whaley of Joe Whaley's Guide Service on Friday on the Chetco River when they caught their Chinook while pulling sardine-wrapped Kwikfish underneath a bobber, the only technique that is useable under bobber restrictions. Photo by Larry Ellis

The Chetco River is currently under an anti-snagging rule (bobbers and fly fishing restrictions) until November 4, and please don't get me wrong. Of course I am very much against snagging salmon, whether the snagging is caused from hit-a-home-run side-sweeps of a fishing rod, or from the more subtle, delicate approach of line-biting.

The fact is, it is illegal to intentionally snag salmon and steelhead, or to keep unintentionally foul-hooked salmon or steelhead.

So I am all in for the anti-snagging rules and bobber restrictions that are listed under the "Chetco River" on page 30 of the Oregon Sport Fishing Regulations. A photograph of a typical bobber rigging is on page 12.

But you have to remember the intent in which the anti-snagging regulation was made.

The anti-snagging regulation was intended for low-flow conditions, when salmon tend to keg up in the deeper tidewater holes, which makes them sitting ducks for fishing outlaws.

But it was not intended for the high-water conditions that often do occur in October.

In fact, I remember when deploying most fishing techniques on the Chetco were quite legal 35 years ago when I first moved to Brookings back in 1981.

During that particular year, people were back-bouncing roe from driftboats throughout Loeb State Park. I was one of the anglers drift-fishing Corkies-and-roe from the bank at the lower end of Loeb, witnessing the onslaught of drift boats deploying back-bouncing techniques as well as pulling plugs. And fish were rolling on the river just like a repeated lyric from Proud Mary.

Guaranteed, most years you will get at least 10 days of superb high-water fishing conditions in October on the Chetco River, conditions that render themselves perfectly to most river techniques. Often, October will even present itself with over 2 weeks of stellar high-water river conditions.

But now that the anti-snagging rule is in cold print in the Oregon Sport Fishing Regulation booklet, it is a very difficult rule to change according to the district fisheries biologist in charge of the Rogue and Chetco Rivers.

"At this point, we're still not proposing to make a change (in regulations), said Todd Confer, ODFW district fisheries biologist for the Chetco River on Thursday. "In the past we were operating under temporary rules. We had a temporary rule in place to require the bobber fishery and it was easy to just rescind that. But now that bobber rule is a permanent rule, so now it requires us to do a temporary rule to make a change."

So I say it's time to make another temporary rule change. And I also have a solution which will satisfy the anti-snagging law intent and allow anglers to use other techniques when the river has risen to high flows in October, which is:

Open and close the Chetco to specific fishing techniques according to specific river flows.

This is not the first time that this subject has been broached, by the way. Nor should it be the last, at least until a new regulation has been added to the regulation booklet.

Here's an example of how a new regulation could read.

When the Chetco drops below 800 cfs (an arbitrary figure), the river above rivermile 2.2 up to Nook Creek would be governed by anti-snagging regulations.

Then when the Chetco raises above 800 cfs, the river would then become open to all other legal fishing techniques.

And when November 4 finally rolls around, and throughout the rest of the salmon and steelhead season, the Chetco River from rivermile 2.2 up to Nook Creek would then become open to all legal fishing techniques without any river-flow restrictions at all.

California opens and closes most of their north coast rivers according to this cubic-feet-per-second rule, and that system has worked quite well for them. There is no reason why It shouldn't work equally as well for "certain" Oregon rivers such as the Chetco.

ODFW could create an Oregon river flow hotline that anglers could call in order to get updated information at any hour.

Sound simple? It is indeed that simple, and quite lucrative in the long run for all parties who have an interest in fishing.

Law-abiding fishermen should not be punished because of a few bad apples who choose to snag and keep salmon and steelhead, when adjusting river techniques according to river flows would allow all fishermen to fish the Chetco when stellar October fishing conditions present themselves.

It's a win-win situation for the general fishing populace, river guides, ODFW employees and the agencies who enforce the sport fishing regulations.

For further information on how to change fishing regulations, visit, phone or email Lance Thomson at ODFW.


Lance Thomson
Rules Coordinator Fish Division
4034 Fairview Industrial Drive SE Salem, OR 97302
Phone: 503-947-6233
Email: Lance.Thomson@state.or.us

Tight lines!


NEWSFLASH!

Guide Val Early talked to Todd Confer this morning and told me that there was a possibility of opening the Chetco a little early in October.

“I talked to Todd Confer this morning and he said getting some emails from people would be helpful for sending up the line (Salem),” said Val Early on Friday morning. “Right now it was just them (ODFW, Gold Beach) that wanted to open it (the Chetco), so nobody in Salem was supporting that. So I’m going to send him an email and get a few guides to send him an email and then maybe you, and if you have a few friends that would like to be plunking who would like to send him an email, that would be helpful too.”

Todd Confer’s email is: todd.a.confer@state.or.us

Larry Ellis is the author of the recently published "Buoy 10 - The World's Largest Salmon Run!", a 14-mile long salmon fishery on the Columbia River. It is the first book ever written about the Buoy 10 fishery. He is also the author of "Plug Fishing for Salmon. Both books can be found at amatobooks.com, amazon.com and barnesandnoble.com. Larry currently writes monthly for Salmon Trout Steelheader magazine and is also the weekly fishing columnist for the Curry Coastal Pilot Newspaper. He particularly loves living in his hometown of Brookings, Oregon - The heart of salmon country and gateway to fishing paradise.


Fishing Reports

A Hot Summer’s Day on Chico Creek
A Hot Summer's Day on Chico Creek, Steven T. Callan
On Patrol by Steven T. Callan
07/25/16 -- I’ve been exploring Northern California’s streams -- above and below the surface -- for most of my life. One of my most memorable adventures took place on a hot summer’s day in 1964, not long after my sixteenth...Full Story
Brownie’s Choice
Art work by Isabella Langaman
By Don Webster
Disregard the story’s title. I don’t really have a “first” name. If I did, it would probably be something like Leviathan or Behemoth or maybe Lunker. Officially, I’m a trout. A brown trout. A giant, brown trout. Possibly the biggest, fattest...Full Story
Keddie Ridge
Scouting Deerheart Lake, photo by Phil Akers
Article and photos by Phil “Flip” Akers
11/14/15 -- Adjacent to both Lake Almanor and Mountain Meadows, between the towns of Westwood and Greenville, is a seemingly forgotten piece of backcountry; Keddie Ridge – aka Ridge World – where ancient rocks... Full Story
Let’s check out the Upper Sac
Lake Siskiyou with Mt. Shasta standing sentinel. photo by Phil Akers
Article and photos by Phil "Flip" Akers
09/06/15 -- The Upper Sacramento River – The Upper Sac – begins at Lake Siskiyou’s Box Canyon Dam and continues ~37 miles downstream to Lake Shasta. It is a classic freestone river born from the Mt. Shasta and Mt. Eddy... Full Story
How to make Tuscan Tuna Salad with Fennel By Frank Galusha
05/04/15 -- OK, you went ocean fishing. If your fish is fresh or if you have processed, vacuum packed and frozen your catch properly, there are many ways to enhance your meals. Almost everything taken from the ocean is not... Full Story
German brown trout afternoon in Modoc
german brown trout in Modoc creek. MyOutdoorBuddy.com
By Lea Huetteman
09/04/14 -- Catching a German Brown Trout from the creeks in Modoc County is a fine way to spend an afternoon. There are many creeks in this part of California that drain the Warner Mountains. Stream trout fishing in this region opens...Full Story
Throw the kitchen sink at them
Indian Paintbrush is a favorite wildflower that carpets wilderness landscapes. Phil Flip Akers, myoutdoorbuddy.com
Article and photos by Phil Akers
08/20/14 -- Our wilderness areas are special, where Mother Nature is landlord and natural forces operate freely. Within the wilderness you will find no roads, shelters, picnic tables, toilets, or other conveniences. You enter at...Full Story
Humboldt Bay: Busy port, excellent fishery
Woodley Island Marina, Humboldt Bay, Eureka, California
03/06/04 -- Humboldt Bay, a busy commercial harbor and home port to many charter and private offshore fishing boats, is also popular with shore-based anglers and small boaters seeking bottomfish, sharks, crabs and clams...Full Story
Pulled into the pipes: Green Sturgeon
green sturgeon
By Erin Loury, FISHBIO
03/04/14 -- [Posted with permission of FISHBIO] Living in the Sacramento River can be a risky business for juvenile green sturgeon (Acipenser medirostris). The young fish must swim through a gauntlet of water... Full Story
Not Just Any Fish
California Golden Trout, California Heritage Trout Challenge, Not Just Any Fish, Phil
By Phil "Flip" Akers
02/14/13 -- Trout have inhabited California waters from the Sierra Nevada and Warner Mountains to the Pacific Ocean since prehistoric times. However, most of the trout caught by anglers are either hatchery raised fish...Full Story

 

Your outdoor adventures have only just begun
Northern California Fishing News, Northern California Hunting Reports

Fishing News

Northern California and Southern Oregon offer superb fresh and saltwater fishing. Before you make a trip, make sure you have
up-to-date news about where the fish are biting!

Hunting News

This region is also famous for its world-class hunting opportunities. Make sure you are armed with the absolute latest news by checking
the reports being filed daily at MyOutdoorBuddy.com.

Northern California Outdoor News, Northern California Outdoor Reports Outdoor News 

If you like to explore the great outdoors your choices are essentially infinite in Northern California and Southern Oregon. Use our news pages to plan your next outing!

Northern California Destination News, Northern California Destination Reports

Destinations

So many places to visit and so little time, but if you scan
these pages you'll know in advance what lies ahead and what
not to miss in the almost-mythical State of Jefferson.
Buddy Photos

You are there! Towering mountains, vast valleys, unique shorelines. Land, water and air bursting with life. Opportunity presents itself. Llghting is right. Click! An image is captured for the ages.

Photo Galleries, MyOutdoorBuddy.com

Photo Galleries

A preview of coming attractions...if you are planning a trip to this area be forewarned: What photographers have captured will whet your appetite for what will be an outdoor journey filled with wonders.  

Product & Services Directory

Don't let anything come between you and a wonderful weekend, vacation or or auto tour in this region. The fine product and services providers listed here will have what you need to enjoy your visit.  

Come back to MyOutdoorBuddy.com for more Northern California and Southern Oregon fishing, hunting and outdoor news, reports, information, opinions and photos.

Facebook

A friend to all who love the outdoors since 2006

Website Design Photo Credits: MyOutdoorBuddy.com thanks the following individuals for contributing photographs for use on our Home and Section pages: Anders Tomlinson of Tule-Lake.com, Casey Allen of Bayside, CA; Jason Haley of Medford, OR; Steve Breth of Burney, CA; Tracy McCormack of Eureka, CA; Grant Thompson of Grand Junction, CO; Richard Bott of Shingletown, CA; Ron Loftus of Yreka, CA; Scott Caldwell of Montague, CA; Lorissa Soriano of Alturas, CA and the late Dave Menke, formerly with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Klamath Basin National Wildlife Refuge Complex.

Website Design by Anders Tomlinson

©Copyright 2005-2015 by Frank Galusha, Editor and Publisher. Articles and photos are copyright protected and are published exclusively on the Internet by the publisher and may not be copied, displayed, reproduced or published in any other form without the express written permission of same who reserves all rights. Material supplied by others is the copyrighted property of the respective authors. Re-use of any MyOutdoorBuddy content, graphics and photos without written permission by the author(s) for any purpose is strictly prohibited.