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Gear restrictions extended on Chetco, Winchuck rivers

GOLD BEACH, Ore – Angling gear restrictions for the Chetco and Winchuck rivers set to be lifted November 4 are now extended through December 31 or until rainfall significantly increases water levels.

Angling is restricted to fly fishing (must include a strike indicator) or bobber fishing in both rivers; in the Chetco, it applies from River Mile 2.2 to Nook Creek and in the Winchuck from the mouth to Wheeler Creek. See page 18 of the Sport Fishing Regulations for specific information on gear restrictions.

Based on historical flow regimes, gear restrictions are typically in place September 1 – November 3 each year to eliminate snagging. This year is an exception with abnormally low flows and no significant October rains.

Biologists expect good numbers of chinook to return to the Chetco and some are already holding in the lower river. Maintaining a fishing opportunity for Chetco bank anglers is important and this is also a good time of year to harvest hatchery fish that have been retuning.

Restrictions could be lifted before December 31 if water flows consistently reach the normal fall flow to distribute fall chinook throughout the watershed.