Oregon ocean salmon fishing looking up for 2018

SALEM, Ore.—Ocean salmon anglers can look forward to more opportunity this year based on recommendations made yesterday for federal waters (outside three miles) during a Pacific Fishery Management Council meeting in Portland.

Sport salmon fishing in the ocean off the Columbia River will open June 23 and is expected to run through Labor Day, Sept. 3, unless salmon quotas are reached earlier.

The area from Cape Falcon south to Humbug Mt opened for Chinook on March 15 and will remain open until Oct. 31. The forecast for Coho is down this year for both the Oregon coast and Columbia River, largely due to poor ocean conditions. Sport fishing for hatchery Coho will be open from Cape Falcon south to Humbug Mt. from June 30-Sept. 3 or until the quota of 35,000 fish is met. A small season for wild and hatchery Coho in this area is also scheduled for Sept. 7-8 and each Friday and Saturday after until Sept. 29 or the quota of 3,500 Coho is met, which may happen quickly.

Unlike the full closure to salmon fishing last year, the area south of Humbug Mt to the OR/CA border will be open to sport fishing for Chinook from May 19-Aug. 29. The strong forecast for Rogue River fall Chinook is a bright spot for the coast this year.

Commercial troll fishing for Chinook will be open intermittently along the whole Oregon coast from May through the summer. In 2017, all commercial salmon trolling was closed south of Florence.

“While this won’t be a banner year for ocean salmon fishing, overall it’s an improvement from 2017. This is particularly true for communities on the Southern Oregon coast, which were hit hard by 2017’s salmon closures,” said Chris Kern, ODFW Deputy Fish Division Administrator.

“I want to thank the many advisors, tribal members, agency staff, and members of the general public, who all worked hard to ensure that conservation goals for salmon stocks are met while providing fishing opportunities for communities up and down the west coast,” added Kern.

The PFMC recommendations will be forwarded to NOAA Fisheries for approval and implementation. The Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission will be asked to adopt matching rules for State waters (inside 3 mi) at their April 20 meeting in Astoria.