OR Ocean Opens March 15 For Chinook

Fishing for Chinook out of Garibaldi, Depoe Bay and elsewhere along the Beaver State’s Central and South Coasts opens next Tuesday — just don’t expect an Oregon Tuna Classic-style blastoff.

“My model says seven fish,” says Eric Schindler, ODFW ocean salmon sampler in Newport, half jokingly about how many salmon will be brought back to the dock this month.

This afternoon the agency announced that ocean waters from Cape Falcon just north of Manzanita to Humbug Mountain near Port Orford will be open March 15-April 30 for kings.

The season comes thanks to a return to near-average forecasts for Sacramento fall Chinook, allowing for more fishing opportunity this year, he says.

Coho must be released, and anglers fishing out of Tillamook Bay are reminded that only adipose fin-clipped Chinook salmon may be retained when fishing inside Tillamook Bay and offshore waters within the 15-fathom depth contour between Twin Rocks and Pyramid Rock.

Citing data from spring seasons between 2002 and 2007, Schindler says that March’s high catch is six with an average of three for an average of 50 angler trips while April’s high mark is 155 and average is 44 for 200 angler trips.

“It’s an opportunity for people who like to go fishing and want to spend some time out on the ocean,” he says.

That said, the Chinook tend to be well offshore and weather windows fleeting, he says.

The area from Humbug Mountain to the Oregon-California border will remain closed during March and April.

Seasons after April 30 are being developed at this time, he says.

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