Plenty of Klamath salmon left to catch

Fishing the NC 9_6 photo
Ron Ruchong and Margie Cook from Hamilton, Montana landed a pair of nice kings on a recent trip to the Klamath River. The spit area closed to fishing as of Monday, but upriver from the estuary to the Hwy. 96 bridge at Weitchpec remains open to the retention of adult king salmon. Photo courtesy of Brice Dusi/Brice Dusi’s Guide Service

The Labor Day weekend is typically the busiest weekend of the fall season on the Klamath River. And this year was no exception. The river was crowded, with plenty of boats and bank anglers trying to land the prized king salmon. Here’s what we know after the dust has settled. The Klamath “spit area”, which is within 100 yards of the channel through the sand spit formed at the Klamath River mouth, closed to fishing as of Monday, Sept. 3 at 11:59 p.m. The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) predicted they would meet Area 1 quota (below the 101 bridge) of 524 adult salmon by the end of the day on Monday. And they were pretty darn close. After Monday’s fishing ended, the CDFW counted 519 adult kings. As a reminder, the only the spit area is closed to fishing, the estuary will remain open until the entire lower river quota is met. And speaking of the lower river, or Area 2, we still have some adult kings available for harvest. As of Monday, Sept. 3, 1,189 of the 1,745 quota of adults have been harvested from the hwy. 96 bridge at Weitchpec to the mouth. This leaves roughly 556 adults remaining for harvest. With the big crowds mostly gone, hopefully we’ll get another couple of weeks out of the quota. Once the quota has been met, anglers may still retain a limit of Chinook salmon under 22 inches in length.

Young Anglers Tournament this Sunday

The Trinidad Pier Youth Fishing Tourney will take place this Sunday, Sept. 9 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The free event is open to all children ages 6 to 15. Prizes will be awarded in each category and fishing gear and bait will be provided. An adult must accompany children. Hot dogs and refreshments will be served following the event. Catch and release is encouraged and no fishing license is required. Look for the sign-up table on the Trinidad Pier. For more information, contact Ken Jones at

Marine forecast

The high north winds are finally laying down and will remain low through Thursday. However, gusty north winds and steep seas will redevelop south of Cape Mendocino by this weekend. As of Wednesday, the forecast out 10 nautical miles for Friday is calling for winds out of the NW 5 to 10 knots and waves N 3 feet at 5 seconds and SW 2 feet at 12 seconds. Saturday is calling for NW winds 5 to 15 knots and waves N 3 feet at 5 seconds and NW 3 feet at 10 seconds. Sunday’s forecast is calling for NW winds 5 to 10 knots and waves N 5 feet at 5 seconds. These conditions can and will change by the weekend. For 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.

The Oceans:


The salmon season came to a close on Monday, but it ended on a pretty good note. Conditions were a little too rough to get out on Sunday and Monday, but late last week the fish bit as good as they have all year. “Most of the boats fishing around the 38-39 line scored limits of nice salmon,” said Tim Klassen of Reel Steel Sport Fishing. “The fish were good ones, with some bigger fish in the 12-15-pound class landed. Boats have been off the water since Saturday due to rough seas, but a few were planning on heading out on Wednesday. Hopefully the halibut bite will pick up where it left off. The California halibut bite is still good, with lots of limits being reported. The bigger concentrations of fish have been in the main, deeper channels. There’s still plenty of bait in the bay,” added Klassen.

Shelter Cove

The tuna fishing out of the Cove was pretty good last week reports Jake Mitchell of Sea Hawk Sport Fishing. He said, “On Wednesday, we ran to Gorda Valley and put in 19 albacore to 30 pounds. On Thursday, we boated 34 to 15-pounds outside of the Knoll. I wasn’t on the water this weekend, but the salmon bite out front was reportedly spotty. I know some were caught inside the bell. The rock fishing was excellent over the weekend. A couple boats made it to Rogers and they had limits in a couple drifts.”

Crescent City

The harbor was quiet over the weekend due to the rough ocean reports Chris Hegnes of Crescent City’s Englund Marine. “There weren’t many boats out over the holiday weekend, the ocean has been pretty bumpy. The last reports I heard was the rockfish bite slowed down. A few boats were out on Wednesday, and it looks like the ocean will be fishable through the weekend,” Hegnes added.


The ocean out of Brookings has been fair for bottom fish, and should get better later this week as the wind dies down according to Andy Martin of Brookings Fishing Charters. “Some California halibut are being caught.  A few kings were caught in the Chetco estuary over the weekend. That will improve as more fish arrive in the coming weeks,” added Martin

The Rivers:

Lower Klamath

Salmon fishing remains steady on the Klamath reports Mike Coopman of Mike Coopman’s Guide Service. He said, “The fishing is good, and it held up pretty well through the holiday weekend. There’s lots of fish around right now from the top to the bottom, and they’re spread out. The fish are bright, and they’re moving quickly. There’s a nice mix of adult and jack salmon, and there’s plenty of steelhead around as well.”

Lower Rogue

Water temperatures have cooled on the Rogue, so the salmon are not holding as long, but enough new fish are coming in each day to keep fishing good reports Martin. He said, “Most guides are getting two to five kings a day. Some silvers are starting to show and the steelhead are biting upriver.”

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