NEWPORT - The closing last week of the sport rockfish fishery still leaves sport anglers with many fishing opportunities in coastal Oregon.
The closure went into effect Friday, ending the harvest of all rockfish, lingcod and greenling.
"The Columbia River salmon fishery continues to be good this year," said Curt Melcher, a salmon fisheries biologist for the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife.
The Buoy 10 fishery, which has been good fishing this year, will remain open for fin-clipped coho and steelhead through December and will be open for chinook retention through Labor Day. Tuhe main stem of the Columbia River from Tongue Point to Bonneville Dam is also open for salmon and steelhead and will likely remain open through September."
Eric Schindler, a fisheries biologist for ODFW based in Newport, said "Ocean salmon angling has been good this year."
The saltwater fishing opportunities don't end with salmon.
Pacific halibut opportunities include:
Between Cape Falcon and south to Humbug Mountain, the fishery is scheduled in all-depth waters for Sept. 17-18 and Oct. 1, 2, 15, 16, 29 and 30. Additional fishing days may be set. The fishery in the same area is open seven days a week inside the 40-fathom line through October 31.
South of Humbug Mountain the fishery is open in all-depth waters through Oct. 31.
"The albacore tuna fishing should remain good through most of September and some fish should be available into October," said Don Bodenmiller, project leader for marine recreational groundfish fisheries for ODFW. "The ocean remains open for tuna and other pelagic species like mackerel."
Other marine species remain open as well. There are plenty of opportunities to fish for a variety of flatfish species such as starry flounder, Pacific sanddab and sand sole. Flatfish are found primarily over sand or gravel bottoms. To fish for these species, anglers should use smaller baited hooks and make sure to fish on the bottom.
Also surfperch angling remains open with several popular species available in the estuaries and along sandy beaches. Anglers fishing for surfperch in the estuaries should look for areas with structure such as pilings.
Anglers fishing the surf should cast into about the third line of breakers and target areas of the beach with deeper pockets. Surfperch are usually caught using bait on smaller hooks. But some anglers use lures or flyfish using artificial baits that resemble shrimp.
Buoy 10 regulation changes after Labor Day
Oregon and Washington fishery managers will close the Buoy 10 sport season on chinook Tuesday, Sept. 7, due to a higher-than-expected catch projected through Labor Day.
The fishery will remain open for adipose fin-clipped coho and steelhead through the end of the year.
The Buoy 10 fall salmon fishery at the mouth of the Columbia River got off to a slow start in early August, but catch rates improved substantially during the middle of the month.
The catch rate during the week of Aug. 16-22 was near record high and anglers are projected to land approximately 14,000 chinook through Labor Day.
"I expected the fall chinook fishery to start slowly and then improve in mid-August," Melcher said. "It improved more dramatically than I expected and we needed to take this action to remain within our conservation guidelines and allocation agreements."
"In addition to our conservation mandate, the primary goal for the Buoy 10 recreational fishery is to provide an all species opportunity through Labor Day with additional coho fishing opportunity through the end of the year," Melcher added. "We accomplished that and maintained flexibility for the recreational fishery that takes place in the rest of the main-stem Columbia."