Big Storms to Kick Off Coastal King Season

Brooking resident Michael McGahan landed this bright Chetco River king salmon last December. With rain in the forecast, the Smith and Chetco should both be full of late fall-run kings. Photo courtesy of Wild Rivers Fishing

The season’s first big storms are bearing down on the North Coast and they look formidable. And that means fresh-from-the-salt king salmon — big and bright — will make their way up all of our coastal rivers starting this weekend. If you see a steady stream of drift boats heading north on U.S. Highway 101, this is the reason. Following a steep rise Friday, the Smith and Chetco rivers should be fishable on Saturday, but both will probably be a little dirty. Both rivers should have fresh kings moving through. Expect plenty of debris and leaves, as well.

As of Wednesday, the Smith is predicted to peak at just over 7,745 cubic feet per second on the Jed Smith gauge Friday afternoon. The river will be on the drop through the day Sunday before it begins to rise again Sunday evening. The Chetco flows should mirror the Smith somewhat. Following a steep rise Friday, it will drop slightly Saturday before rising again Sunday. As the rain ramps up Monday, it will likely be blown out through most of next week.

According to Jonathan Garner of Eureka’s National Weather Service, the North Coast will see three wet systems move through the area beginning Tuesday. “For the 24-hour period beginning Tuesday, we could see up to an inch of rain from the Smith basin to the Eel,” he said. “The next system will arrive Thursday evening and linger through Friday morning. This could bring up to 2 inches. More rain is in the forecast Saturday through Monday, when we could see between 3 to 5 additional inches, with higher amounts falling in the mountains.”

As of Wednesday, all North Coast rivers subjected to low-flow fishing closures. The Smith, Eel, Mad, Redwood Creek and Van Duzen remained closed to angling. All are expected to rise this weekend to levels that will allow angling but don’t expect green water on rivers other than the Smith. Be sure and call the low-flow closure hotline at 707-822-3164 to determine if the river is open prior to fishing. California Department of Fish and Wildlife will announce whether rivers will be open by a telephone recorded message each Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Rivers will not automatically open to fishing once minimum flows are reached.

Mad River
Predicted to peak at 1,870 cfs Friday evening. Minimum flows are 200 cfs at the gauging station at the Highway 299 bridge to lift angling restrictions.

Main Eel
Forecasted to reach 3,480 cfs early Sunday morning. Minimum flows are 350 cfs on the Scotia gauge to lift angling restrictions.

Van Duzen
Predicted to peak at 1,825 cfs Friday evening. Minimum flows are 150 cfs at the gauging station near Grizzly Creek Redwoods State Park to lift angling restrictions.

South Fork Eel
Flows are predicted to peak at 1,660 cfs early Saturday morning. Minimum flows are 340 cfs at Miranda to lift angling restrictions.

Smith
The Smith is likely to see heavy boat traffic this weekend. If the predictions hold, it should open sometime Friday morning. It’s forecast for a steep rise all day but should drop into fishable shape by Saturday. It could be a little dirty and leafy, but fish should be coming. Minimum flows are 600 cfs at Jedediah Smith State Park to lift angling restrictions.

Chetco
Anglers are anxious to see how high the Chetco will get from this week’s rain, reports Andy Martin of Wild Rivers Fishing. “The river could be fishable for drift boats on Friday, and then likely will blow out,” he said. “Expect muddy conditions over the weekend. Low-flow gear restrictions are in effect, but bobber fishing is allowed. CDFW will make a decision about the gear restriction, which makes back-bouncing or drift fishing off limits, after the weekend storm. The restriction is in effect to prevent snagging or flossing salmon during low water. Salmon are spread throughout the river with bigger numbers near the head of tide. Estuary trolling has been slow except for Sunday, when boats had multiple fish. Flows of 2,000 to 3,000 cfs are ideal on the Chetco. Flows Monday were 125 cfs but are expected to jump to 5,000 cfs by Sunday.”

Trinity quota update
According to Dan Troxel, an Environmental Scientist on the Klamath River Project, adult Chinook harvest will close on the upper Trinity as of Monday Oct. 25. The Lower Trinity will close to adult retention as of Nov. 1. Press releases for both closures are forthcoming. Both the upper and lower Klamath sections have met their adult quota harvest limits.

Fishing vessel drill conductor training
The Alaska Marin Safety Education Association (AMSEA) will be conducting hands-on survival skills on Oct. 26 and 28 from 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. at the Humboldt Fishermen’s Marketing Association, #3 Commercial Street in Eureka. The training will include: Cold-water survival skills, EPIRBs, signal flares and mayday calls, man overboard recovery, firefighting and more. Fees are $125 to commercial fisherman, $175 to all others. Training meets the U.S. Coast Guard requirements for drill conductors on commercial fishing vessels, 46 CFR 28.270(c). Register online at www.amsea.org or call 907-747-3287.

Kenny Priest operates Fishing the North Coast, a fishing guide service out of Humboldt specializing in salmon and steelhead. Find it on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and www.fishingthenorthcoast.com. For up-to-date fishing reports and North Coast river information, email kenny@fishingthenorthcoast.com

Klamath Adult King Harvest Quota Filled

Paradise resident Wes Palade holds an adult king salmon taken on the lower Klamath earlier in the season. Photo courtesy of Kenny Priest/Fishing the North Coast Guide Service

If you’re looking to harvest an adult Chinook salmon in the Klamath basin, the Trinity River is your only option as of Tuesday. On Monday, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife determined the recreational fall-run Chinook salmon catch will have met the Upper Klamath River adult fall-run Chinook salmon quota (of 208) below Iron Gate Dam for the 2021 season.

This triggers the closure of the adult fall-run Chinook salmon fishery on the main stem of the Klamath River from 3,500 feet downstream of the Iron Gate Dam to the State Route 96 bridge at Weitchpec. The adult fall-run Chinook salmon fishery on the lower Klamath River, from the estuary to the State Route 96 bridge at Weitchpec closed Sept. 8. The spit fishery at the mouth of the Klamath closed Aug. 28 and will remain closed to all fishing for the rest of the year.

Except within 100 yards of the mouth (spit area), the main stem of the Klamath River will remain open for the harvest of salmon (jacks) less than or equal to 23 inches. All adult Chinook salmon caught must be immediately released and reported on an angler’s report card. The daily bag limit remains two jacks per day.

Both the upper and lower Trinity River sections remain open to the harvest of adult fall-run Chinook salmon. The daily bag limit on the Trinity River is two fall-run Chinook salmon with no more than one adult greater than 23 inches.

Anglers may monitor the quota status of open and closed sections of the Klamath and Trinity rivers by calling California Department of Fish and Wildlife’s fishing information hotline at (800) 564-6479.

Willow Creek weir counts
The week ending Oct. 7, a total of 587 adult kings were counted at the Willow Creek weir. The jack count for the week was 94. For the season to date, 2,833 (adults and jacks) have been counted, including both hatchery and wild. The totals are the highest dating back to 2004. The next highest was in 2012, when a combined 2,609 adults and jacks were counted for the season.

Weekend marine forecast
Gusty conditions will ease beginning Friday. As of Wednesday afternoon, Friday’s forecast is calling for winds out of the north 5 to 10 knots with northwest waves 8 feet at 13 seconds. Saturday, winds will be out of the north up to 5 knots with northwest waves 6 feet at 13 seconds. Sunday the winds will be 5 to 10 knots out of the north with north waves 3 feet at 5 seconds and northwest 6 feet at 14 seconds. These conditions can and will change by the weekend. For an up-to-date weather forecast, visit www.weather.gov/eureka/ or https://www.windy.com. To monitor the latest Humboldt bar conditions, visit www.wrh.noaa.gov/eka/swan. You can also call the National Weather Service at (707) 443-7062 or the office on Woodley Island at (707) 443-6484.

Dungeness crab testing continues

Domoic acid testing in Dungeness crabs is roughly halfway complete on the California coast. To date, samples from Crescent City, Trinidad, Bodega Bay, Half Moon Bay/San Francisco and Monterey have all been tested at least once. Only Monterey had crabs that exceed the action level of 30 parts per million. For more information, visit www.cdph.ca.gov.

The Oceans:
Eureka
The Pacific halibut bite and effort have both slowed down considerably. According to Tim Klassen of Reel Steel Sport Fishing, the lack of effort could be have something to do with the slow fishing. “There aren’t many anglers still trying and not many are looking around,” he said. “If you land on the right spot the fishing can be good, which is pretty normal for this time of the year.” Cape Mendocino continues to provide solid rockfish action. “There’s fish to be had but we’ve had to look around a little to find a wide variety,” added Klassen. The warm tuna water is staying put at just over 55 straight out. There could be a small weather window Saturday.

Shelter Cove
The salmon and rock fishing continues to be excellent at Shelter Cove. “We had salmon limits every day last week,” said Jake Mitchell of Sea Hawk Sport Fishing. “It’s been a real mixed grade with barely legals all the way up to 30 pounds. The salmon have been right at the Coast Guard buoy. The rock fishing has been excellent as well with limits everyday we’ve gone. We went to Gorda one day and got two halibut before coming back to cove and getting our salmon limits.”

Brookings
According to Andy Martin of Brookings Fishing Charters, A break in the windy weather allowed anglers to get offshore for bottom fish and halibut over the weekend. “A handful of halibut were caught in 200 feet of water along the border,” said Martin. “Lingcod fishing has been best near the Point St. George Reef lighthouse. Rockfish action has been wide open. A big swell will make fishing a little less comfortable this week, but the ocean is expected to remain fishable in close.”

North Coast river closures
Currently, all the North Coast rivers subjected to low flow fishing closures, including the Eel, Mad, Redwood Creek, Smith and Van Duzen are closed. Sections of rivers that are open include the main stem Eel River from the paved junction of Fulmor Road to its mouth, and the main stem Smith River from the mouth of Rowdy Creek to its mouth. The Mad River from the mouth to 200 yards upstream is closed until Jan. 1, 2022.The Department of Fish and Game will make the information available to the public no later than 1 p.m. each Monday, Wednesday and Friday as to whether any river will be closed to fishing. The rivers can be opened up at any time. The low flow closure hotline for North Coast rivers is 707-822-3164.

The Rivers:
Lower Klamath
Fishing has been tough on the lower Klamath as the run is winding down. There are some steelhead around, and the occasional coho. The late-run kings should be making their way into the river soon, especially if we see some rain. Boat pressure has been light. The daily bag limit is two jack Chinook 23-inches or less and two hatchery steelhead.

Chetco estuary
Good fishing at times in the Chetco estuary indicates a big fall run upriver once rains arrive reports Andy Martin of Wild Rivers Fishing. He said, “The area along the jetties has been producing kings to 30 pounds. Guides are averaging a fish per rod. Bigger schools are staging just offshore, as anglers targeting rockfish are reporting large numbers of salmon begging released while bottom fishing. The hatchery-to-wild ratio is nearly 50-50.”

Kenny Priest operates Fishing the North Coast, a fishing guide service out of Humboldt specializing in salmon and steelhead. Find it on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and www.fishingthenorthcoast.com. For up-to-date fishing reports and North Coast river information, email kenny@fishingthenorthcoast.com.

Chetco Estuary Kicking Out Quality Kings

Doug and Nick Ebert hold limits of salmon caught Oct. 2 while fishing the Chetco River estuary with guide Mick Thomas of Brookings Fishing Charters. Photo courtesy of Brookings Fishing Charters

If you’re looking for an opportunity to catch big, ocean-fresh kings, the Chetco estuary is the place to be. Salmon have been staging in the tidewater since the beginning of September. They’ll be there until rain allows them to make their way upriver. Following last Monday’s rain, which bumped the flows from under 100 cubic feet per second to nearly 1,000 cfs, some salmon were able to navigate out of the tidewater. But there should be plenty more heading in from the salt to take their place. “Salmon fishing has kicked into high gear on the Chetco estuary,” said Andy Martin of Wild Rivers Fishing. “Upwards of 50 kings were landed on Saturday and several dozen more on Monday. There is a good mix of jacks and wild and hatchery kings. The good fishing has attracted a crowd of boats. Anchovies and plug-cut herring are producing fish the second half of the incoming tide and beginning of the outgoing.”

On the Chetco, the daily bag limit for salmon is two adult fish per day, no more than one adult wild Chinook. Anglers may harvest adult hatchery Chinook until the daily bag limit has been met. Once the adult daily limit is harvested, anglers cannot continue to fish for jack salmon. The river remains closed above mile 2.2 because of low flows.

Over on the Smith River, the tidewater fishing hasn’t been as good. But that may not be for a lack of fish. The rain that fell last week pushed the flows over 900 cfs, and schools of jacks and darker adults moved through. According to Britt Carson of Crescent City’s Englund Marine, there aren’t many fish staging in the estuary right now. “There’s been a few boats trolling sardines and anchovies, as well as bank anglers tossing Kastmasters and Cleos,” he said. The Smith River is currently closed above the mouth of Rowdy Creek due to low flows.

Weekend marine forecast
Winds will begin to decrease Friday and the ocean looks to be plenty fishable over the weekend. As of Wednesday afternoon, Friday’s forecast is calling for winds out of the north 5 to 10 knots with northwest waves 5 feet at five seconds and west 3 feet at 16 seconds. Saturday, winds will be out of the north 5 to 10 knots with northwest waves 5 feet at nine seconds. Sunday looks a little worse with winds coming from the north 5 to 15 knots and north waves 6 feet at six seconds and northwest 4 feet at 13 seconds. These conditions can and will change by the weekend. For an up-to-date weather forecast, visit www.weather.gov/eureka/ or www.windy.com. To monitor the latest Humboldt bar conditions, visit www.wrh.noaa.gov/eka/swan. You can also call the National Weather Service at 443-7062 or the office on Woodley Island at 443-6484.

Dungeness crab testing underway

Dungeness crabs testing for Domoic Acid has begun on the West Coast. To date, two locations have posted results. Monterey Bay was tested on Sept. 21 and just one of the six samples tested above the threshold of 30 ppm. Trinidad was also tested on Sept. 21 and there was no detection of Domoic Acid. .” For more information on Domoic Acid and current test results, visit http://www.cdph.ca.gov/Programs/CEH/DFDCS/Pages/FDBPrograms/FoodSafetyProgram/DomoicAcid.aspx

The Oceans:
Eureka
Prior to Monday, there hadn’t been much offshore activity out of Eureka due to rough seas. Gary Blasi of Full Throttle Sport Fishing ventured to the halibut grounds in less than ideal conditions Monday and put in quick limits. The weather was better Tuesday but the bite was slower. Very few boats were on the water.

Shelter Cove
According to Jake Mitchell of Sea Hawk Sport Fishing, the rockfish bite has been excellent this week. “It’s been a little slow at times but still getting good limits every day,” he said. “Most of the effort was at the Old Man this week.  The salmon bite picked up the last couple days and most boats have been getting limits over the weekend right at the Coast Guard buoy.

Brookings
Rough ocean conditions kept the Brookings fleet at the docks all of last week and the weekend reports Andy Martin of Brookings Fishing Charters. He said, “Better weather is expected this weekend, with a shot at late-season Pacific halibut. Lingcod fishing had been improving before the rough weather.”

The Rivers:
Lower Klamath
The salmon effort and harvest has slowed considerably on the lower Klamath. Reportedly, the mouth is still sanded over making it difficult for fish to enter the river. If and when it blows open, we should see more fresh kings along with coho move in. For the week ending Oct. 7, 43 jacks were harvested and 43 adults were released above the Highway 101 bridge. The daily bag limit is two jack Chinook at 23-inches or smaller and two hatchery steelhead.

Willow Creek weir update
For the week ending Sept. 30, a total of 821 adult kings were counted at the weir. The jack count for the week was 97. For the season to date, 2,201 (adults and jacks) have been counted, including both hatchery and wild. The totals are the highest since 2012 when a combined 2,609 adults and jacks were counted for the season. This year’s totals include only four weeks of trapping.

Kenny Priest operates Fishing the North Coast, a fishing guide service out of Humboldt specializing in salmon and steelhead. Find it on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and www.fishingthenorthcoast.com. For up-to-date fishing reports and North Coast river information, email kenny@fishingthenorthcoast.com.

Rough Seas Curtail Pacific Halibut Bite

Eureka resident Jazz Lewis landed a nice Pacific halibut while fishing out of Eureka Saturday. Photo courtesy of Gary Blasi, Full Throttle Sport Fishing

When the ocean has been fishable, the Pacific halibut have been chomping baits at a pretty good clip out of Eureka. Most of the charters and sport boats still fishing are scoring their one-fish-apiece limit. The biggest detriment has been the weather. Large swells have been the norm over the past few weeks, limiting the fleet to just a day here and there on the water. When the stars do align, the fishing has been very good. “There’s plenty of fish out there,” said Tim Klassen of Reel Steel Sport Fishing. “Most of the action has been in the same general area, between the 49 and 54 lines in 200 to 300 feet of water.” According to Klassen, the majority of the fish are running between 10 and 20 pounds, but a few bigger fish have shown up. The top baits have been herring along with salmon and tuna bellies. Rough ocean conditions are in the forecast at least through the end of the week. The good news is with no fishing, the quota will last longer. The halibut fishery will run through Nov. 15, or until the quota is reached, whichever is earlier. As of Sept. 12, the California Dept. of Fish and Wildlife has estimated 26,118 net pounds of Pacific halibut has been harvested toward the 39,260-pound quota. To view the latest catch projection information, visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/Conservation/Marine/Pacific-Halibut#31670772-in-season-tracking.

Weekend marine forecast
Northerly winds will continue through the week before increasing and spreading north late Thursday and into the weekend. As of Tuesday, the forecast out 10 nautical miles for Friday is calling for winds out of the north 5 to 15 knots with north swells 10 feet at eight seconds. Saturday is calling for winds from the north 5 to 15 knots and northwest swells 7 feet at 11 seconds. Sunday the winds will be from the north 5 to 10 knots and north swells 4 feet at 6 seconds and northwest 7 feet at 14 seconds. These conditions can and will change by the weekend. For an up-to-date weather forecast, visit www.weather.gov/eureka/ or www.windy.com. To monitor the latest Humboldt bar conditions, visit www.wrh.noaa.gov/eka/swan. You can also call the National Weather Service at 443-7062 or the office on Woodley Island at 443-6484.

Recreational crab regulation changes for 2021
The California Fish and Game Commission adopted new regulations for the recreational crab fishery in 2021. The revised regulations include the following new requirements when fishing with crab traps:

  • A standardized buoy and additional red buoy marker for each trap
  • All crab traps must be serviced at least every nine days
  • A Recreational Crab Trap Validation is required when fishing crab traps
  • A limit of 10 traps per person

Also note that the CDFW director can now implement a season delay or early season closure due to marine life entanglement risk. Notices of delay or closure will be posted on the CDFW’s Whale Safe Fisheries web page at least five days before any delay or closure. The Dungeness season is expected to reopen on Saturday, Nov. 6. Crabbers can also sign up to receive important season information and updates on the web page. The new regulations are in effect beginning Nov. 1. The Recreational Crab Trap Validation can now be purchased at www.wildlife.ca.gov/Licensing/Fishing as well as from other approved license sales agents. For more information on regulations changes, visit www.nrm.dfg.ca.gov/FileHandler.ashx?DocumentID=195067&inline.

The Oceans:
Eureka
Rough ocean conditions have kept the boats tied up since Monday and it looks like more of the same all week. The Pacific halibut bite remains solid between the 49 and 54 lines, weather permitting. According to Klassen, the rockfish action near Cape Mendocino was tougher than usual over the weekend. “There’s still lots of blacks but not big numbers of the other species,” he said. “The ling cod bite wasn’t that great, either. The ocean conditions could have put them off the bite.”

Matt Quittenton of Miranda landed this nice king last Thursday while fishing out of Shelter Cove with Jake Mitchell of Sea Hawk Sport Fishing. Photo courtesy of Jake Mitchell

Shelter Cove
The rockfish bite was great all week, according to Jake Mitchell of Sea Hawk Sport Fishing. “We made it up to Rodgers break in marginal conditions and did really good for a couple days,” he said. “The weather finally laid down enough for us to get up to Gorda on Sunday, and we had limits of rockfish and lings along with four Pacific halibut. We fished for salmon for about a total of eight hours this week and landed seven fish to 27 pounds right out front inside of the whistle.”

Crescent City
According to Britt Carson of Crescent City’s Englund Marine, tuna were caught last weekend 40 miles from the harbor. “Since Sunday, the ocean has been really rough,” he said. “When the boats can get out, the rockfish and lingcod bite is still excellent. The California halibut are pretty much done.”

Brookings
Lingcod and rockfish action has been good on calm-weather days, which have been few and far between in recent weeks reports Andy Martin of Brookings Fishing Charters. He said, “Friday yielded limits for most boats, while rougher weather returned over the weekend. The Chetco River bar was closed Monday. Big swell will limit action much of this week. Pacific halibut season remains open.”

Low Flow River Closures begin Oct. 1
North Coast rivers that are regulated by low flow closures, including the Eel, Mad, Mattole, Redwood Creek, Smith and Van Duzen will begin angling restrictions on October 1 through January 31, except for the Mad River, which went into effect September 1. The Department of Fish and Game will make the information available to the public by a telephone recorded message updated, as necessary, no later than 1 p.m. each Monday, Wednesday and Friday as to whether any stream will be closed to fishing. The rivers can be opened up at any time. The low flow closure hotline for North Coast rivers is (707) 822-3164. NOTE: The main stem Eel from the South Fork to Cape Horn Dam and the Mattole River will be closed until January 1, 2022

Areas subject to low flow closures:

Mad River: The main stem Mad River from the Hammond Trail Railroad Trestle to Cowan Creek. Minimum flow: 200 cfs at the gauging station at the Highway 299 bridge.

The main stem Eel River from the paved junction of Fulmor Road with the Eel River to the South Fork Eel River. Minimum flow: 350 cfs at the gauging station near Scotia.

The South Fork of the Eel River downstream from Rattlesnake Creek and the Middle Fork Eel River downstream from the Bar Creek. Minimum flow: 340 cfs at the gauging station at Miranda.

Van Duzen River: The main stem Van Duzen River from its junction with the Eel River to the end of Golden Gate Drive near Bridgeville (approximately 4,000 feet upstream of Little Golden Gate Bridge. Minimum flow: 150 cfs at the gauging station near Grizzly Creek Redwoods State Park.

Mattole River: The main stem of the Mattole River from the mouth to Honeydew Creek.

Minimum flow: 320 cfs at the gauging station at Petrolia.

Redwood Creek: The main stem of Redwood Creek from the mouth to its confluence with Bond Creek. Minimum flow: 300 cfs at the gauging station near the Highway 101 bridge.

Smith River: The main stem Smith River from the mouth of Rowdy Creek to its confluence with Patrick Creek; the South Fork Smith River from the mouth upstream approximately 1000 ft to the County Road (George Tyron) bridge and Craigs Creek to its confluence with Jones Creek; and the North Fork Smith River from the mouth to its confluence with Stony Creek. Minimum flow: 600 cfs at the Jedediah Smith State Park gauging station.

The Rivers:
Lower Klamath
Salmon fishing slowed slightly late last week, as the mouth was reportedly sanded over. The fishing picked up on Sunday, with jacks and some adults caught between Starwein and Blue Creek. With more than an inch of rain on Monday and flows jumping up 400 cubic feet per second, there should be plenty of fish moving through the mouth into the lower river.

Chetco
“Salmon fishing has heated up at the mouth of the Chetco, where a dozen or so kings are being caught daily by anglers trolling along the jetties,” said Martin. “Bigger numbers of hatchery fish showed up last week, a sign the run is accelerating. Low-flow regulations are in affect upriver, as kings begin to move out of the estuary and into the tidewater. Rain early this week increased flows, but not enough for drift boat fishing upriver.”

Kenny Priest operates Fishing the North Coast, a fishing guide service out of Humboldt specializing in salmon and steelhead. Find it on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and www.fishingthenorthcoast.com. For up-to-date fishing reports and North Coast river information, email kenny@fishingthenorthcoast.com

2021/2022 low flow information for North Coast rivers

Low Flow River Closures begin Oct. 1
North Coast rivers that are regulated by low flow closures, including the Eel River, Mad River, Mattole River, Redwood Creek, Smith River and Van Duzen River will begin angling restrictions on October 1st, except for the Mad River, which went into effect September 1st. The Department of Fish and Game will make the information available to the public by a telephone recorded message updated, as necessary, no later than 1 p.m. each Monday, Wednesday and Friday as to whether any stream will be closed to fishing. The rivers can be opened up at anytime. The low flow closure hotline for North Coast rivers is (707) 822-3164. NOTE: The main stem Eel from the South Fork to Cape Horn Dam and the Mattole River will be closed until January 1, 2022.

Sections of rivers that are open include the main stem Eel River from the paved junction of Fulmor Road to its mouth, and the main stem Smith River from the mouth of Rowdy Creek to its mouth.

The Mad River from the mouth to 200 yards upstream is closed until Jan. 1, 2022.

Areas subject to low flow closures:

Mad River: The main stem Mad River from the Hammond Trail Railroad Trestle to Cowan Creek. Minimum flow: 200 cfs at the gauging station at the Highway 299 bridge.

The main stem Eel River from the paved junction of Fulmor Road with the Eel River to the South Fork Eel River. Minimum flow: 350 cfs at the gauging station near Scotia.

The South Fork of the Eel River downstream from Rattlesnake Creek and the Middle Fork Eel River downstream from the Bar Creek. Minimum flow: 340 cfs at the gauging station at Miranda.

Van Duzen River: The main stem Van Duzen River from its junction with the Eel River to the end of Golden Gate Drive near Bridgeville (approximately 4,000 feet upstream of Little Golden Gate Bridge. Minimum flow: 150 cfs at the gauging station near Grizzly Creek Redwoods State Park.

Mattole River: The main stem of the Mattole River from the mouth to Honeydew Creek. Minimum flow: 320 cfs at the gauging station at Petrolia.

Redwood Creek: The main stem of Redwood Creek from the mouth to its confluence with Bond Creek. Minimum flow: 300 cfs at the gauging station near the Highway 101 bridge.

Smith River: The main stem Smith River from the mouth of Rowdy Creek to its confluence with Patrick Creek; the South Fork Smith River from the mouth upstream approximately 1000 ft to the County Road (George Tyron) bridge and Craigs Creek to its confluence with Jones Creek; and the North Fork Smith River from the mouth to its confluence with Stony Creek. Minimum flow: 600 cfs at the Jedediah Smith State Park gauging station.

Klamath Still Kicking Out Plenty of Kings

Six-year-old Rylan Angeli, along with the help of father Nick, landed this nice king salmon on a recent trip to the Klamath River. Photo courtesy of Jeff Griffith

Salmon fishing on the lower Klamath continues to roll on. Fresh schools of jacks (2-year-old males) as well as adults are arriving just about daily. Anglers fishing from the Glen up to Johnson’s are finding fresh fish side-drifting riffles and dragging roe through the deep slots. The rain over the weekend bumped the flows just enough to really put the fish on the move and the fishing was wide-open from top to bottom. And the numbers from California Department of Fish and Wildlife provide plenty of evidence. For the week ending Sept. 16, a whopping 886 jacks were harvested above the U.S. Highway 101 bridge. During the same week, more than 1,000 adults were released along with another 264 jacks. Those are some pretty impressive catch rates. The lower Klamath adult salmon quota was met Sept. 7, but anglers can still keep two jacks (less than or equal to 23 inches) per day with a possession limit of six. You may still fish for adult Chinook salmon in other sections of the Klamath Basin, including the main stem of the Klamath River above Weitchpec and the entire Trinity River, until their quotas are met. Anglers may keep track of the Klamath and Trinity river quotas by calling (800) 564-6479.

Upper Klamath, Trinity salmon quota update 
The upper Klamath and Trinity quotas don’t have closure dates as of yet according to Dan Troxel, an environmental scientist on the Klamath River Project. “Typically, the quotas are based off harvest timing, meaning a set number of days following the closure of the lower Klamath to retention of adult salmon,” said Troxel. As of now, the Upper Klamath will allow for adult harvest likely through the first week of October. As for the Trinity River, we’re seeing lots of fish at the Willow Creek Weir, so the adult harvest closure date will need to be discussed further. Additionally, the Lower Trinity sector is partially informed by the recreational creel survey conducted by Hoopa Valley Tribal Fisheries. At this point, no formal updates have been provided to CDFW, however effort and catch is reported to be pretty minimal in their survey area. An increase in fishing effort is likely to occur with the lifting of National Forest closures that have been in place, so things should change for the better for anglers in the near future.

Weekend marine forecast
Ocean conditions are expected to be plenty fishable by the weekend. As of Tuesday, the forecast out 10 nautical miles for Friday is calling for winds out of the west up to 5 knots with northwest swells 5 feet at 11 seconds. Saturday is calling for winds from the northwest up to 5 knots and northwest swells 3 feet at seven seconds and west 6 feet at 18 seconds. Sunday the winds will be from the west up to 5 knots and west swells 6 feet at 13 seconds. These conditions can and will change by the weekend. For an up-to-date weather forecast, visit www.weather.gov/eureka/ or www.windy.com. To monitor the latest Humboldt bar conditions, visit www.wrh.noaa.gov/eka/swan. You can also call the National Weather Service at 443-7062 or the office on Woodley Island at 443-6484.

Pacific halibut quota update
The CDFW has projected 26,118 net pounds of Pacific halibut has been harvested through Sept. 12. In 2021, the Pacific halibut allocation for California is 39,260 pounds. The Pacific halibut fishery will run through November 15, or until the quota is reached, whichever is earlier. To view the latest catch projection information, visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/Conservation/Marine/Pacific-Halibut#31670772-in-season-tracking

The Oceans:
Eureka
The rough ocean kept the boats off the water over the weekend and through Monday. Friday, the Pacific halibut fishing was pretty good for the Eureka fleet. According to Tim Klassen of Reel Steel Sport Fishing, the bite was in the same general area, just north of the entrance in 250 feet of water. “The fish are still on the small size, ranging from 10 to 30 pounds,” he said. “Boats were back on the water Tuesday fishing in pretty rough conditions.. The fish are definitely still there and some boats were able to get limits.” The rockfish and lingcod bite at the Cape has been good according to Tony Sepulveda of Shellback Sport Fishing. “We’ve been seeing a good grade of lingcod up to 30 pounds and a nice variety of rockfish,” he said.

Shelter Cove
The salmon fishing has slowed down out of the cove, according to Jake Mitchell of Sea Hawk Sport Fishing. We had four salmon on Wednesday but haven’t boated one since,” he said. “There were a few caught on Thursday as well, but I haven’t heard of any landed since then. The rock fishing has been excellent with limits of rockfish and lingcod every day. We made it up to Rodgers break one day and spent the rest of the week off the Ranch House for the rockfish.”

Crescent City
According to Britt Carson of Crescent City’s Englund Marine, rough ocean conditions had the boats tied up over the weekend. “Late last week, a few Pacific halibut were still being caught and the rockfish bite was still going strong.” The tuna water was within 35-40 miles as of Tuesday and a few boats made the run. Top boat put in 51 albacore. Ocean conditions look good for the next few days.

Brookings
Windy weather limited success for rockfish and lingcod last week, and then conditions deteriorated further as the first big fall storm created rough bar conditions over the weekend reports Andy Martin of Brookings Fishing Charters. He said, “Better weather is expected this week, with plenty of options for lingcod, Pacific halibut and rockfish. Sport crabbing also has improved near Brookings.”

The Rivers:
Lower Klamath
Salmon fishing remains excellent for both jacks and adults on the lower Klamath. Side-drifting roe in the riffles and dragging roe through the deeper holes are both producing fish from the Glen to Johnson’s. Fresh fish are coming into the lower river just about every day. Anglers can keep two jacks (less than or equal to 23 inches) per day with a possession limit of six.

Lower Rogue/Coos
According to Martin, the Chetco estuary fished well last week, but was slow over the weekend, as the slight rise in flows was enough to draw the kings holding near the jetties upriver. “Muddy water and rough bar conditions also made trolling rough,” said Martin. “Kings continue to be caught on the Rogue Bay, but the season is quickly winding down. Wild coho can be kept on the Coos, where fishing is decent for them, but slow for kings.”

Kenny Priest operates Fishing the North Coast, a fishing guide service out of Humboldt specializing in salmon and steelhead. Find it on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and www.fishingthenorthcoast.com. For up-to-date fishing reports and North Coast river information, email kenny@fishingthenorthcoast.com

Plenty of Kings in the Klamath

Kyliee, left and sister Maycee Jacks of Eureka scored a limit of jack salmon Saturday while fishing the Klamath River. Photo courtesy of Kenny Priest/Fishing the North Coast Guide Service

Since just before Labor Day weekend, the Klamath River has been stuffed with salmon. The number of jacks has been amazing and we’re seeing some nice adult kings in the river, as well. The bulk of the run started a little late this year, most likely due to the unusually high water temperatures. Smoke-filled skies and cooler weather finally began cooling the water just enough, and the salmon came charging.

For the last three weeks, the fishing has been nothing short of spectacular. To see the number of fish in the river is certainly good news, especially considering the numbers of adult salmon returning in previous years has been so dire.

Since the complete salmon fishing closure in 2017, adult salmon returns have fallen well short of the 40,700 minimum floor escapements. In 2019, a return of approximately 87,000 was predicted but the actual returns were only 37,270. In 2020, CDFW forecasted a modest 48,274 natural area spawning salmon would return but only 26,190 were counted. This fall, 31,574 natural area spawning adults are forecasted to return.

So, while it’s easy to speculate this year’s returns could be more robust due to the harvest and catch rates, it’s way too early to celebrate. We won’t know the size of the run until sometime early next year. But it does feel good to see the river full of fish again. The lower Klamath adult salmon quota was met Sept. 7. You can still keep two jacks (less than or equal to 23 inches) per angler. Anglers may still fish for adult Chinook salmon in other sections of the Klamath Basin, including the main stem of the Klamath River above Weitchpec and the entire Trinity River, until their quotas are met. Anglers may keep track of the Klamath and Trinity river quotas by calling (800) 564-6479.

Weekend marine forecast

Hazardous seas warnings are in effect for the outer waters as steep waves and gusty winds continue through the work week. Conditions are expected to ease just before the weekend. As of Wednesday, the forecast out 10 nautical miles for Friday is calling for winds out of the south 5 to 10 knots with northwest swells 5 feet at 10 seconds. Saturday looks similar, with winds from the south up to 10 knots and northwest swells 6 feet at 11 seconds. Sunday the winds will be from the west up to 5 knots and northwest swells 8 feet at 12 seconds. These conditions can and will change by the weekend. For an up-to-date weather forecast, visit www.weather.gov/eureka/ or www.windy.com. To monitor the latest Humboldt bar conditions, visit www.wrh.noaa.gov/eka/swan. You can also call the National Weather Service at 443-7062 or the office on Woodley Island at 443-6484.

The Oceans:
Eureka
According to Tim Klassen of Reel Steel Sport Fishing, the Pacific halibut bite was pretty good prior to the latest ocean blowout. “We had fairly easy limits on Friday and Saturday,” he said. “There seems to be plenty of fish around. Most of the action is in roughly 250 feet of water just north of the entrance and the fish are averaging 15 to 25 pounds. The California halibut bite is still going, too. We fished Monday in the bay and landed five keepers. There’s a lot of smaller fish as well, which is good for the future. There’s quite a bit of bait in the bay right now.”

Shelter Cove
According to Jake Mitchell of Sea Hawk Sport Fishing, the rock fishing and lingcod bite has been excellent all week. “From the Old man to down below the Hat, that area all seemed to produce equally good results. There are still some salmon around as well. Two days we had a fish per rod and two days we had zero. Still lots of bait right below the Cove and that’s where all the action has been. There’s still some nice fish around, two 36-pounders were caught this week.”

Crescent City
A 65-pound Pacific halibut was caught on Friday, according to Britt Carson of Crescent City’s Englund Marine. “Most of the fish are being caught near the South Reef in 225 to 300 feet of water. The rockfish and lingcod action remains excellent, with most boats getting easy limits of both.” A few tuna were caught late last week 25 miles from the harbor. The next weather window looks to be Friday.

Brookings

“Lingcod and rockfish was very good out of Brookings last week before a big swell and strong winds returned on Sunday,” said Andy Martin of Brookings Fishing Charters.  “A few boats ventured offshore for tuna Saturday, and found a handful of albacore 22 miles out. With rough weather this week, tuna won’t be an option any time soon. Halibut fishing has slowed, but remains decent for Pacific halibut. The limit is now two fish a day.”

Eleven year-old Rylan Pilgrim from Lincoln, CA landed a limit of jacks over the weekend on the Klamath River. Photo courtesy of James Keeling Guide Service

The Rivers:
Lower Klamath
There are still quite a few jacks in the lower river, along with some nice adult kings. The fish are spread out from the Glen to Johnson’s. As a reminder, the lower river quota has been met and salmon longer than 23 inches must be released. Your adult Chinook releases need to be recorded on your North Coast Salmon Report Card as normal. The bag limit is two salmon less than or equal to 23 inches and two hatchery steelhead.

Chetco/Lower Rogue
The Chetco estuary fished surprisingly well last week, with many boats getting multiple fish reports Martin. “It is still early, with the best estuary fishing at the end of September and early October,” he said. “The Rogue Bay is fair for salmon, with a mix of jacks and larger adults. Salmon fishing has improved near Grants Pass, and indication much of the fall run has already moved through the bay.”

Kenny Priest operates Fishing the North Coast, a fishing guide service out of Humboldt specializing in salmon and steelhead. Find it on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and www.fishingthenorthcoast.com. For up-to-date fishing reports and North Coast river information, email kenny@fishingthenorthcoast.com

Anglers Enjoy Pacific Halibut Season Reopener

The Pacific halibut fishery reopened Sept. 3 and what a nice little shot in the arm for our local economy. You needn’t look any further than the local boat ramps as trucks and trailers were lined up as far as you could see. The charter fleet was also rejuvenated, with plenty of happy customers filling their boats over the holiday weekend. The “reopening” came after CDFW and NMFS indicated a much lower catch volume than previously projected following the June 30 closure. Can you say Christmas in September? While the boat traffic was heavy, the fishing wasn’t quite as red hot as everyone hoped. There were plenty of fish caught, including limits for some boats. The slower than anticipated bite didn’t seem to bother most anglers. Being back on the water, drifting for a tasty meal while enjoying the long holiday weekend was enough for most. Prior to the weekend, more than 20,000 pounds were left to harvest of the 39,260 quota. For more information, visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/conservation/marine/pacific-halibut#31670772-in-season-tracking.

Menlo Park resident Craig Maynard landed a nice Pacific halibut over the weekend out of Trinidad. The halibut fishery opened back up Friday, Sept. 3 Photo courtesy of Tony Sepulveda/Green Water Fishing Adventures

Weekend marine forecast
Northerlies and steep seas will gradually increase through the workweek, and hold through the weekend. As of Wednesday, the forecast out 10 nautical miles for Friday is calling for winds out of the north 5 to 10 knots with northwest swells 5 feet at six seconds. Saturday looks a little worse, with winds from the north 10 to 15 knots and northwest swells 7 feet at seven seconds and northwest 4 feet at 17 seconds. Sunday the winds will be from the north 5 to 15 knots and north swells 8 feet at eight seconds and northwest 6 feet at 14 seconds. These conditions can and will change by the weekend. For an up-to-date weather forecast, visit www.weather.gov/eureka/ or www.windy.com. To monitor the latest Humboldt bar conditions, visit www.wrh.noaa.gov/eka/swan. You can also call the National Weather Service at 443-7062 or the office on Woodley Island at 443-6484.

Adult Salmon Quota met on the Lower Klamath
In a press release issued Tuesday, CDFW projected anglers will have met the Lower Klamath River adult fall Chinook salmon quota below the State Route 96 Bridge near Weitchpec for the 2021 season as of 11:59 p.m. Sept. 7.

This triggers the closure of the adult Chinook salmon fishery on the main stem of the Klamath River from the State Route 96 Bridge to the mouth of the Klamath River.

The fishery at the mouth of the Klamath was closed as of Friday, Aug. 27 and will remain closed to all fishing for the rest of the calendar year. The rest of the lower main stem of the Klamath River below the Highway 96 Bridge at Weitchpec will remain open to the harvest of jack (two-year-old) Chinook salmon less than or equal to 23 inches. All adult Chinook salmon caught must be immediately released and reported on the angler’s report card.

Anglers may still fish for adult Chinook salmon in other reaches of the Klamath Basin, including the main stem of the Klamath River above Weitchpec and the entire Trinity River until the closure of those fisheries. Anglers may keep track of the Klamath and Trinity river quotas by calling (800) 564-6479. For Klamath and Trinity fishing regulations, visit www.nrm.dfg.ca.gov/FileHandler.ashx?DocumentID=169262&inline.

The Oceans:
Eureka
With the Pacific halibut season opening back up, there was no shortage of anglers taking advantage of the calm seas over the weekend. According to Tim Klassen of Reel Steel Sport Fishing, the bite wasn’t red hot but there are plenty of fish around. “Most of the effort was just north of the entrance in 300 feet of water,” he said. “The fish ranged from 12 to 30 pounds this weekend. The ocean looks fishable through the week so we should see some better scores. Boat traffic was heavy over the holiday weekend.”

Trinidad
According to Curt Wilson, of Wind Rose Charters, there were a handful of halibut caught over the weekend. “It wasn’t wide-open but there were fish caught each day over the weekend,” he said. “We were able to boat four on Saturday with the big fish weighing roughly 40 pounds. Fish are being caught all up and down the line, from 180 all the way to 400 feet. The black rockfish action is still good but we’re still not seeing much variety.” The launch is scheduled to close Sept. 14.

Shelter Cove
The salmon bite continues to be somewhat decent, reports Jake Mitchell of Sea Hawk Sport Fishing. “Some private boats with two to three people have been getting limits, while many others have been striking out,” he said. “It seems it’s just about being patient and being in the right place at the right time. We averaged just over a fish per angler this past week. Most of the action is just south of the harbor in 20 to 60 feet of water. Rock fishing is still solid and the lingcod bite seems to be improving a little as well. No one has been halibut fishing since it reopened that I know of.”

Crescent City
Quite a few Pacific halibut were caught over the weekend, according to Britt Carson of Crescent City’s Englund Marine. He said, “The best bite was on the backside of the South Reef in 225 to 300 feet of water. The rockfish and lingcod action remains excellent, with lots of limits reported over the holiday weekend.” One boat made a 25 to 35 mile run for tuna on Saturday and reportedly boated 15.

Brookings
“Calm weather led to wide-open halibut fishing over the weekend out of Brookings,” said Andy Martin of Brookings Fishing Charters. “Boaters who put in an all-day effort fishing in 200 feet of water straight out from the harbor returned with limits of halibut from 10 to 40 pounds. Combinations of squid, herring and salmon carcasses are working best. Lingcod fishing has improved, especially on calm-weather days in 40 to 60 feet of water. Ocean salmon season is closed.

The Rivers:
Lower Klamath
The salmon bite was red-hot over the weekend even with the increase in flows. The river is full of jacks and quite a few adult kings are mixed in. Fish are being caught side-drifting the riffles and dragging bait through the deeper holes. The adult quota was met Sept. 7. The daily bag limit is two Chinook less than or equal to 23 inches. For more information, visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/News/lower-klamath-river-adult-fall-run-chinook-salmon-quota-met.

Chetco/Lower Rogue
Salmon fishing busted open over the weekend in the Chetco estuary according to Martin. “A dozen or more kings a day are being caught along the jetties, with more adult salmon showing in the catch than jacks,” he said. “The second half of the incoming tide is best. Drift boat fishing upriver won’t begin until there are significant fall rains. Salmon fishing has been hit-and-miss on the Rogue Bay, with good fishing over the weekend and slow action on Monday.”

Kenny Priest operates Fishing the North Coast, a fishing guide service out of Humboldt specializing in salmon and steelhead. Find it on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and www.fishingthenorthcoast.com. For up-to-date fishing reports and North Coast river information, email kenny@fishingthenorthcoast.com

Kings Make a Strong Showing on the Klamath

Klamath resident Kathy DeVol Cunningham landed a nice limit of king salmon on Saturday on the Klamath River. Photo courtesy of Mike Coopman’s Guide Service

Early last week, we were waiting patiently for the fall run of king salmon to begin their migration upriver. Well, the wait is over. The water temperatures cooled a couple degrees and the schools of ocean-fresh kings moved their way into the lower river. In fact, so many fish came through the mouth beginning last Tuesday that the spit area quota was filled in only a few days. And the fishing was phenomenal further upriver as well all through the weekend. There were plenty of jacks to be had and some nice adults as well. All the fish are dime-bright and moving through the river quickly. “As of Tuesday morning, very preliminary estimates indicate only 32 adults have been added to the quota since last week’s count, leaving well over half of the 611 fish quota left for harvest,” said Dan Troxel, an environmental scientist on the Klamath River Project. “No expansion estimates have been factored in at this point. Unless the adult catch-rate really takes off, we should be open to keeping adult salmon through the holiday weekend.” 

Reminder: The spit area, within 100 yards of the channel through the sand spit formed at the Klamath River mouth, is closed to fishing the remainder of the year. Fishing is open from the estuary upriver to State Route 96 bridge at Weitchpec. Once the quota is met, no Chinook salmon greater than 23 inches in length may be retained (anglers may still retain a limit of Chinook salmon under 23 inches in length).

Anglers may keep track of the Klamath and Trinity river quotas by calling (800)564-6479. For Klamath and Trinity fishing regulations, visit www.nrm.dfg.ca.gov/FileHandler.ashx?DocumentID=169262&inline.

Trinity River water release
Beginning Thursday, Sept. 2, the Bureau of Reclamation will begin to increase flows to the Trinity River for the Hoopa Valley Tribe’s Ceremonial Boat Dance. Releases will begin to increase above the base summer flow of 450 cubic feet per second at 10 a.m. Sept. 2, and reach a peak flow of 2,650 cubic feet per second between 12 a.m. and 12 p.m. Sept. 4. The releases will then gradually decrease back to the base summer flow, reaching 450 cfs at approximately 11 p.m. Sept. 10. Colder water temperatures and increased turbidity levels are to be expected.

Weekend marine forecast
Ocean conditions will begin to improve Thursday. Out 10 nautical miles north of the cape, Friday’s forecast is calling for northern winds 5 to 10 knots and waves out of the northwest 4 feet at seven seconds. Saturday is calling for northern winds 5 to 10 knots and waves north 4 feet at four seconds. Sunday, winds will be out of the north 5 to 15 knots and waves north 7 feet at six seconds. These conditions can and will change by the weekend. For an up-to-date weather forecast, visit www.weather.gov/eureka or www.windy.com. To monitor the latest Humboldt bar conditions, visit www.wrh.noaa.gov/eka/swan. You can also call the National Weather Service at 443-7062 or the office on Woodley Island at 443-6484.

2021 recreational Pacific halibut fishery to reopen Sept. 3
The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) announced on Tuesday that the recreational Pacific halibut fishery will reopen on Friday, Sept. 3 at 12 a.m. and remain open until Nov. 15 or until the quota is reached, whichever is earlier. Based on the current estimates of catch through June, CDFW estimates that 20,964 net pounds of the 39,260 net pound quota remain for anglers to catch.

The 2021 recreational fishery was closed on June 30 due to projected attainment of the quota. Since that date, new 2021 catch information indicates that the catch volume in the early part of the season was much lower than projected. The new information prompted CDFW and its partners at National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), the International Pacific Halibut Commission (IPHC) and the Pacific Fishery Management Council to evaluate the updated catch to date against the state’s quota, leading to the decision to reopen the fishery.

CDFW is excited to provide this additional opportunity for anglers to participate in the 2021 recreational Pacific halibut fishery. CDFW field staff will continue to collect information from anglers at public launch ramps and charter boat landings to monitor catch through the remainder of the season. Anglers’ cooperation aids CDFW field staff in monitoring the progress of the fishery to ensure the quota is not exceeded.

In-season quota tracking can be found at http://www.wildlife.ca.gov/conservation/marine/pacific-halibut#31670772-in-season-tracking

Saturday is statewide free fishing day
The last chance of the year to fish for free arrives over the Labor Day holiday weekend. Free Fishing Day is offered by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) Saturday, Sept. 4. While no fishing license is required on free fishing days, all fishing regulations, such as bag and size limits, gear restrictions, report card requirements, fishing hours and stream closures remain in effect. Every angler must have an appropriate report card if they are fishing for steelhead or sturgeon anywhere in the state or salmon in the Smith and Klamath-Trinity river systems. For more information, visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/Licensing/Fishing/Free-Fishing-Days.

The Oceans:
Eureka
Not much going on this week out of Eureka due to rough ocean conditions. According to Tim Klassen of Reel Steel Sport Fishing, the seas look good for the upcoming weekend. He said, “The warm tuna water is still sitting off our coast and it looks like it’s sliding south, which is good for us. Right now, it’s about 30 miles off of Crescent City and 50 miles from Eureka. I’m hoping for a window mid next week.”

Trinidad
Curt Wilson, of Wind Rose Charters was on the water Sunday but the rough water has forced him to the dock for a few days this week. “As it’s been all season, the black rockfish action is excellent,” said Wilson. “It’s pretty easy to go out between the Head and Patrick’s Point and catch a limit of 10 fish per person. We’re not seeing much variety right now. The weather looks to improve by the weekend, which should allow us to make it out to Reading Rock.”

Shelter Cove
According to Jake Mitchell of Sea Hawk Sport Fishing, the salmon bite was pretty solid until about Friday and has slowed considerably since then. “There’s still lots of bait but I think the bigger fish might be moving on and heading towards their home rivers,” he said. “The majority of the salmon the past couple days have been smaller, but I did see a 36-pounder caught on Sunday. Rock fishing was easy limits as usual and we’ve even had limits of lingcod the last three days. We’ve spent most of our time off the Ranch House and the Old Man.”

Crescent City
The tuna water is sitting about 30 miles off of Crescent City reports Britt Carson of Crescent City’s Englund Marine. He said, “There’s a few boats going out this weekend, hopefully the fish are still there. It’s been really windy this week, but a few boats are getting out early and getting limits of rockfish and lingcod. The California halibut bite has really died off.”

The Rivers:
Lower Klamath
The salmon bite was pretty spectacular over the weekend, with most boats getting limits of adults and jacks. The fish are spread throughout the river now and more are moving in everyday from the ocean. The steelhead bite has slowed as they’ve made their way further upriver but there are still a few around.

Kenny Priest (he/him) operates Fishing the North Coast, a fishing guide service out of Humboldt specializing in salmon and steelhead. Find it on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and www.fishingthenorthcoast.com. For up-to-date fishing reports and North Coast river information, email kenny@fishingthenorthcoast.com

2021 Klamath / Trinity Salmon Regulations

2021 Fall- Run Salmon

Klamath / Trinity fall quota – 1,221 adults

Klamath River fall-run Chinook
The daily bag limit is two Chinook salmon, no more than one of which may be greater than 23 inches, and a possession limit of six, of which only three may be greater than 23 inches.

Klamath Fall season begins on Aug. 15 and closes Dec. 31

  • The Spit Area (within 100 yards of the channel through the sand spit formed at the Klamath River mouth) – 183 adults *
  • From the Klamath mouth to the Hwy. 96 bridge at Weitchpec – 611 adults
  • From the Hwy. 96 bridge at Weitchpec to 3,500 feet downstream of the Iron Gate Dam – 208 adults
* Only the Spit Area will close once 183 adults are harvested. The rest of the area below Highway 101 (estuary) will remain open to recreational fishing.
The take of salmon is prohibited from Iron Gate Dam downstream to Weitchpec from Jan. 1 through Aug. 14

Trinity Fall season begins Sept. 1 and closes Dec. 31.

  • Downstream of the Old Lewiston Bridge to the Highway 299 West bridge at Cedar Flat – 201 adults
  • Downstream of the Denny Road bridge at Hawkins Bar to the confluence with the Klamath – 201 adults
Downstream of the Highway 299 Bridge at Cedar Flat to the Denny Road Bridge in Hawkins Bar is closed to fishing September 1 through December 31.
The take of salmon is prohibited from the confluence of the South Fork Trinity downstream to the confluence of the Klamath from Jan. 1 through Aug. 31.
Once these quotas have been met, no Chinook salmon greater than 23 inches in length may be retained. Anglers may still retain a limit of Chinook salmon under 23 inches in length.
Trinity River spring-run Chinook