Mile by Mile Guide to the Oregon Coast

FORWARD

    Like a beacon from one of its fabled lighthouses, the recreational opportunity offered on the Oregon Coast beckons all that it shines upon.  Recreational opportunity is the common thread that brings a family together.  In today’s society it is more important than ever for family members to participate in activities that stress family values and build character.  The expectation of participating in fishing, clamming or crabbing trips is the trigger that releases the spirit of adventure embodied within us all.  It is the spirit that bonds the family together.

    The fishing, clamming and crabbing along the Oregon Coast are unsurpassed and provide those who participate the opportunity to fulfill their expectations by offering a varety of species to everyone who wets a line, picks up a clam shovel or throws a crab ring.

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Internet Links Common to the Oregon Coast

Click on the link "Mile by Mile Oregon Coast Travel Guide" to bypass the section of Internet links common to most coastal resources and proceed to mile 0.0 at the Astoria/Melger Bridge.

Don's Oregon Crabbing and Clam Digging Adventure defines Oregon's Mile by Mile. Clam digger Don and his brother in law's amazing adventure set the standard for all the recreational enthusiast to follow.

Backing and shaking crab. Recover more usable crabmeat in additiion to reducing the time it takes to shake and pick crabmeat.

Horseback Riding: click on Horseback Riding to view the stables that offer horseback riding on Oregon's beaches.

Marine Reserves and Gardens: For more details refer to the marine reserves and gardens listed on the fishing synopsis, or visit the Oregon marine reserves website at www.oregonmarinereserves.com.

Northwest River Forecast displays the current levels of Oregon's rivers and forecast future level of river flows based on the current weather conitions and weahter forecast of the immediate furture weather forecast. The Northwest River Forecast is a rich resource of information for clam diggers, crabbers and fishermen to view the dynamics of the changing flows of Oregon's rivers.

ODFW Trout Stocking Schedule the ODFW stocks all sizes of trout into Oregon's lakes each spring. The ODFW posts the stocking schedule of the planing on their website.

Oregon's Atlas of Lakes: Discover the rich diversity of Oregon’s lakes—learn about the current and historical topography, environmental relationships, and recreational and practical uses. The Atlas of Oregon Lakes is a resource for the public, resource management agencies, and scientists to better manage and enjoy our lakes. With all of that being stated, Portland State needs to put more effort to bring the information in Oregon Atlas of lakes up to date.

Oregon's Boat Launches: Click on the link. Answer the disclaimer’s question by clicking the OK box prior to entering the name of the boat launch or the name of the body of water in the search parameter and go.

Ocean Fishing Charters: Internet links to charter services webistes on the Internet by Bays.

Oregon Coastal River Fishing Guides: Internet links to Oregon fising guides who advertise through their websites on the Internet by Coastal River Bay by Bay.

Oregon State Parks: besides booking a place or a reservations to camp or park your RV, Oregon State parks offers many recreaional oriented events to the public participation: Find a Park, Ocean Shore State Recreation Area, Let's Go Event Calendar, Scenic Trails, Scenic Bikeways, Whale Watch Spoken Here! And the Junior Program for kids 6 to 12.Oregon Shellfish Hotline post levels of marine toxins that pose a threat to the publc safety. Know before you go. Always check the Oregon Shellfish Hotline prior to digging clams, harvesting mussels or other marine invertebrates or taking crabs.

Oregon Tide Pool Tours attract thousands of visitors to the Oregon Coast each year.

The following links are to the recreational assets associated with the geographical areas of interest for each bay within the parameters defined in the maps for each section of the Oregon Coast Trail:

1. Oregon Coast Trail from the Columbia River to Oswald West State Park

Beginning of the Mile by Mile Guide from Astoria Melger Bridge South

Lower Columbia River Estuary

Clatsop County Lakes, Point of Interest and Recreational Resources

Necanicum River Estuary

Nehalem Bay

2. Oregon Coast Trail from Oswald West State Park to Cape Lookout State Park

Tillamook County Recreational Resources

Barview Jetty

Tillamook Bay

Port of Garibaldi

Netarts Bay

3. Oregon Coast Trail from Cape Lookout State Park to Lincoln City

Sand Lake

Nestuccay

Salmon River Estuary

4. Oregon Coast Trail from Lincoln City to Waldport

Siletz Bay

Siletz Bay Cabbing and Fishing Report

Depoe Bay

Yaquina Bay

Yaquina Bay Crabbing and Fishing Report

Alsea Bay

Alsea Bay Crabbing and Fishing Report

5. Oregon Coast Trail from Waldport to Florence Siuslaw River Estuary

Siuslaw River Estuary

Siuslaw River Estuary Crabbing and Fishing Report.

6. Oregon Coast Trail from Florence to North Bend

Winchester Bay and Umpqua River Crabbing and Fishing Report

Umpqua River Estuary

Coos Bay

7. Oregon Coast Trail from North Bend to Bandon

Coquille River Estuary

8. Oregon Coast Trail from Bandon to Humbug Mt.

Port Orford

Port Orford Crabbing and Fishing Report: No report.

9. Oregon Coast Trail from Humbug Mountain State Park to Pistol River State Scenic Viewpoint

Mile by Mile Continuaion:

Mile by Mile Map of the Oregon Coast Trail from the Astoria-Megler Bridge to Oswald West State Park

Mile 0.0 The Astoria–Megler Bridge is a steel cantilever through truss bridge that spans the Columbia River between Astoria, Oregon and Point Ellice near Megler, Washington, in the United States. Located 14 miles (23 km) from the mouth of the river, the bridge is 4.1 miles (6.6 km) long[4] and was the last completed segment of U.S. Route 101 between Olympia, Washington, and Los Angeles, California.[5] It is the longest continuous truss bridge in North America. From the Wikipedia.

The Lower Columbia River Estuary

The lower Columbia River is rich with American History. Robert Grey named the Columbia River after sailing his ship the Columbia Rediviva into the river in 1792. The Lewis and Clark Expedition followed Robert Grey’s visit to the Columbia River establishing our nation’s claim to Pacific Northwest. Astoria is the oldest permanent American settlement west of the Mississippi River and was founded by the Pacific Fur Trading Company in 1810. The company sent two parties to establish a trading post at the mouth of the Columbia River. One party sailed around Cape Horn to establish Astoria and one party was sent overland establishing the Oregon Trail. John Jacob Astor was the leader of the expedition that established the trading post Astoria.

Known as the Graveyard of the Pacific the Columbia River bar is the most dangerous to cross on the Pacific Coast. More than two thousand ships have sunk attempting to cross the bar. Only venture onto the Columbia River Estuary in boats greater than 20 feet in length that are fully equipped to handle ocean conditions.

Safe boating is always your first priority. The U. S. Coast Guard Auxiliary offers a number of classes that skippers of small boats, their families and boat mates should take before considering boating in Oregon’s coastal waters.

The safety and comfort of everyone onboard is your responsibility once your family and guests board your boat. Before getting underway go over your procedural check list each and every time making sure all hatch covers are secure, the engine compartment vented, check the engine oil levels, test carbon monoxide alarms, do a radio check and secure all loose gear etc.… Make it a practice to fill the fuel tanks before leaving the marina or boat launch. Never consume more than half of the fuel onboard before the boat is back at the dock.

Each person onboard should be required to wear a life jacket for the duration of the trip. Always wear a life jacket when crossing the bar. In an emergency you will not have the time to put on a life jacket. A life jacket stored away in an inconspicuous location or laying just inches away from your grasp will cost you or your loved ones your lives should the boat sink or roll over.

It is strongly recommended that you include the purchase of survival suits when you finance the purchase of your boat. It is foolish to cross the bar into the open ocean without survival suits on hand for all those onboard. Practice putting them on and do not hesitate wear them if you believe you may need them. If your boat sinks or you have to abandon it because of fire the Coast Guard may not be able to find you and pull you from the water before your core body temperature has fallen lower than your ability to survive like my friend, Randy Bacon, in the water 45 minutes, RIP.

The dynamics of fishing in the ocean, bays and the tidal reach of river channels underscore the importance of marine electronics to anglers. A GPS for pinpoint navigation is necessary for safe boating; a fathometer fish/finder to monitor water depth when boating in shallow water and radar to facilitate safe boating in the fog or entry into a harbor. To assure a safe boating trip the boat should also be equipped with a marine radio tuned to monitor channel 16, a CB radio, cell phone, a compass, navigational charts and a skipper knowledgeable in their use.

Always check the tide and extended marine forecast when planning to go boating in the open ocean or in the jetty channel of Oregon’s Bays. Resist the desire to cross the bar when small craft advisories or warning are posted and the ocean is calm. Ocean conditions can change faster than your ability to return to the harbor or before the Coast Guard restricts the length of vessels allowed to cross the bar or closes the bar altogether.

The decision to cross the bar begins before launching the boat or departing the marina by accessing current ocean conditions at the bar and the extended marine forecast off shore by calling permanently manned Coast Guard stations at Cape Disappointment 360-642-3565, 503-322-3234 for Tillamook Bay at Garibaldi, 541-765-2122 for Depoe Bay, 541-265-5511 for Yaquina Bay, 541-902-7792 for the Siuslaw River Estuary, 541-271-8417 for the Umpqua River, 541-888-3102 for Coos Bay and 541-469-4571 for the Chetco River Estuary.

Radio Stations KVAS 103.9 FM (1230 kHz) and KAST 99.7 FM (1370 kHz) gives bar condition reports for the Columbia River Bar 15 minutes before and after the hour. The current marine weather forecast is broadcast on VHF Weather channel 3 or 4. If you are on the water heading outbound or inbound monitor VHF-FM channel 68 or 69 and CB channel 13 for a report on conditions at the Columbia River Bar or contact the Coast Guard Station via VHF-FM Channel 16 and ask for a report of ocean conditions at the bar.

A report of current ocean conditions and the extended marine forecast at Pacific NW Coastal Marine Data is available over the internet. Select National Weather Service - NWS Portland to display the area discussion for Portland's weather ; then under Current Forecasts select S Washington/N Oregon for the COASTAL WATERS FORECAST of the northern Oregon coast or S Oregon for the COASTAL WATERS FORECAST for the southern Oregon Coast. After reading the status report for current ocean condition and the extended marine forecast, select Quick look Marine Forecast to display the information for ocean conditions generated by following buoys: Buoy 29 Buoy 50 Near Buoy 89 Near Mouth of Columbia Near Tillamook Bar.

To access the information generated by the buoys associated with navigating the Columbia River Bar Click on menu topic, “Buoys and Coastal Winds” and select the nearshore Buoy Station for the bar you plan to cross. Select Buoy Station 46029 – Columbia River Bar to display current ocean conditions at buoy station 46029.

Recreational boaters in possession of cell phones can call Dial-A-Buoy at (888-701-8992) for the status of current ocean conditions at the nearshore and offshore buoys located nearshore at: DMNO3 (Desdemona Sands), 46029 (Columbia River), MLTO3 (Marsh Island), 46089 (Tillamook), 46050 (Yaquina Bay), NWPO3 (Newport Bay), 46015 (Port Orford), CARO3 (Cape Arago), 46027 (Pt St George) and Offshore Buoy Station 46002 - OREGON - 275NM West of Coos Bay. Listen and follow the menu instructions exactly to hear the status report for the buoy station you requested. After listening to the Buoy Status Report of ocean conditions at the buoy station requested, follow the menu prompts to listen to the recorded message providing offshore Coastal Forecasts for S Washington/N Oregon or S Oregon for the region of the buoy station requested.

What is Dial-A-Buoy? NDBC, a part of the National Weather Service (NWS), created Dial-A-Buoy to give mariners an easy way to obtain the reports via a cell phone. Dial-A-Buoy provides wind and wave measurements taken within the last hour at the NDBC buoy and Coastal-Marine Automated Network (C-MAN) stations. The stations operated by the National Data Buoy Center are located in the Atlantic, Pacific, Gulf of Mexico, and the Great Lakes. Buoy reports include wind direction, speed, gust, significant wave height, swell and wind-wave heights and periods, air temperature, water temperature, and sea level pressure. Some buoys report wave directions. All C-MAN stations report the winds, air temperature, and pressure; some also report wave information, water temperature, visibility, and dew point.

Recreational boaters use the observations, in combination with forecasts, to make decisions on whether it is safe to venture out. Some even claim that the reports have saved lives. Surfers use the reports to see if wave conditions are, or will soon be, promising. Many of these boaters and surfers live well inland, and knowing the conditions has saved them many wasted trips to the coast. Consult everyone onboard for their opinion before making the decision to cross the bar. If anyone doubts that is safe to go, Don’t Go.

Know your harbor. The location of the boat launches located in the tidal reach of Oregon’s bays is available on the internet at the Oregon State Marine Board. Refer to the column Safety and Educations then click on Water Levels/Navigation Charts. The links to the Coastal Bar Chartlettes are posted in the box on the right side of the webpage. Click on the link to display your bay of interest. Familiarize yourself with the conditions at the bar. Learn what to expect before crossing the bar. Visiting skippers should inquire about the local bar conditions from the U. S. Coast Guard Service before crossing the bar. A visit to a Coast Guard Station only takes a few minutes and can only enhance the success of the trip.

Bar Advisory Signs: The Coast Guard has installed and maintains Bar Advisory Signs in most of the bays that have a Coast Guard Station. Currently there are no Bar Advisory Signs located in Nehalem Bay, Nestucca Bay and Alsea Bay.

Bar Advisory (Warning) Signs in the lower Columbia River Estuary are located at the boat ramp areas at the Port of Hammond, Warrenton, Chinook, Ilwaco and Fort Canby. These signs are blue in color and have amber flashing lights that read: Warning When Flashing, Bar Restrictions in Effect, Tune to 1610 AM. When the amber lights are flashing on any of the warning signs, hazardous conditions are present and a bar restriction is in place. Mariners should tune in and listen to the restriction information.

The signs have two flashing lights that are activated when the seas exceed 4 feet in height. If the ocean conditions are not favorable for pleasurable boating do not cross the bar. Good judgment is your best advisor. Do not attempt to cross the bar if there is any doubt that it safe to do so. Bar restrictions and closures not only apply to boats leaving the harbor but also to boats entering the harbor.

The following underlined areas describe some of the dangerous tidal conditions that affect boating safety in the Lower Columbia River Estuary and crossing the bar.

Chinook spur, upper, lower and middle Sand Island spurs are built on two rows of staggered pilings. Currents flowing through these pilings attain a velocity of up to 5 knots. A boat which becomes disabled or is maneuvered in such a way as to come in contact with any of these spurs is almost sure to suffer damage or become trapped against them and turn over. Even large boats have been capsized in these areas. Give these spurs a wide berth and never get close to them on the up-current side.

Jetty A which is southeast of Cape Disappointment, presents a particular danger when the current is ebbing. Water flowing out of the river, is deflected by the jetty and frequently the currents reach 8 knots, often causing waves up to 8 feet high. Boats proceeding into Baker Bay West Channel make very little speed against the swift current and are exposed to the rough water or surf for long periods of time. The shallow sandy area should be avoided by small craft when heavy seas are present because of the surf which breaks on the beach.

Clatsop Spit is the most unpredictable area on the river entrance. During flood currents and slack water it may be calm with only a gentle swell breaking far in on the spit. Yet 5 or 10 minutes later, when the current has started to ebb, it can become extremely hazardous with breakers extending far out toward the channel. You should remain north of the red buoys in this area, particularly just before or during the ebb. The South Jetty has a section broken away on the outer end. The broken section is under water close to the surface. Boats should use extra caution in the area from the visible tip of the Jetty out to Buoy "2SJ". Peacock and Clatsop Spits are called The Graveyard of the Pacific for good reason.

Peacock Spit: Breakers are heavy in all types of current. Sports craft leaving the river should never be on the north side of the green buoys. When rounding Peacock Spit, give the breakers at least a half-mile clearance. Many times unusually large swells coming in from the sea suddenly begin breaking up to 1/2 miles outside the usual break on the end of the North Jetty.

Middle Ground: This is a shallow triangle area between the Jetty A and the North Jetty and main Ship Channel that is subject to breaking seas when swells as small as 4 feet are present. Conditions here can change in minutes with tidal current changes.

There are five components effecting ocean conditions that recreational boaters need to consider before crossing the bar into the open ocean or boating in the Lower Columbia River Estuary: the height of the long ocean swells, the interval between long ocean swells in seconds, the height and direction of wind waves, the velocity and direction of the wind and the phase of the daily tidal cycle. If the forecasted height of the tallest wind wave added to the height of the long ocean swells equals or exceeds the interval in seconds between the long ocean swells do not cross the bar. The interval in seconds between the long ocean swells can be the difference between a pleasurable boating experiences or one that makes you wish you had never left the dock. If the interval between the long ocean swells indicates rough boating conditions do not cross the bar. Typically it is fairly calm until mid-morning when the wind begins to blow. Depending on the velocity and direction, the wind can make operating a small boat difficult. When ocean conditions deteriorate the Coast Guard can restrict the size of the boat allowed to cross the bar or close the bar to altogether. Do not attempt to cross the bar at any of Oregon’s bays during the outgoing phase of the major tidal exchange of a spring tide. Our explanations of the daily tidal exchange of the tidal cycle follows:

Recreational boaters have to consider the phase of the daily tidal cycle before crossing the bar of Oregon’s bays or boating in the Lower Columbia River Estuary. The tidal cycle consist of series of spring tides or neap tides which occur during the phases of the lunar cycle. There normally two high tides and low tides in the daily tidal cycle. They consist of a major tidal exchange followed by a minor tidal exchange. The highest and lowest tide occurs during the major tidal exchange followed by a lower high tide and higher low tide of the minor tidal exchange. Spring tides and Neap tides are governed by the position of the sun in relation to the earth and the moon.

Spring tides occur during the new moon or full moon when the sun, moon and earth are aligned. During the alignment the gravitational pull causes tidal fluctuations that are larger than usual resulting with the highest high tides and the lowest low tides. The fact that water appears to spring away from the earth is the reason the tides are referred to as spring tides.

Neap tides occur during the 1st and 3rd quarter phase of the moon when the sun and the moon are at right angles to one another in conjunction to their relative position of the earth. The effect of their gravitational pulls is partially cancelled causing tidal fluctuations that are smaller than usual resulting with lower high tides and higher low tides. The outgoing tide always causes unstable tidal conditions at the Bar. The bar at Tillamook Bay is dangerous to cross during any outgoing phase of the tidal cycle, but it is the grandeur of the tidal exchange at the Columbia River Bar that compels respect for the tidal condition encountered at all of Oregon’s bars. Do not attempt to cross the bar for any of Oregon’s bays during the outgoing phase of the major tidal exchange of a spring tide.

Recreational boaters should not attempt to cross the Columbia River Bar during the outgoing phase of the major and minor tidal exchange of a spring tide or during the outgoing phase of the major tidal exchange of a neap tide. The small boater should cross the Columbia River bar from low slack tide and during the first hour of the incoming tide when the ocean is flat and calm with the long ocean swell less the 3 feet and intervals greater than 10 seconds with wind waves less than 1 foot. Stay within the red and green buoys when crossing the bar. Follow the red buoy line out entering the waypoints of the channel markers and buoy locations in the GPS and record the compass bearing on the chart of the Lower Columbia River Estuary for each buoy as you are outward bound. When departing from the Washington side of the Columbia River head to Buoy G11 and enter the waypoint in the GPS and compass bearing on the chart. From there, head southwesterly to Buoy R10 and enter the waypoint in the GPS and compass bearing on the chart. Departing from the Oregon side, follow the red buoy line to Buoy R10 entering the waypoints and compass bearings for each of the R Buoys. From Buoy R10 follow the red buoy line out to Buoys R8, R6 past R2SJ Bell Buoy (marking the end of the submerged portion of the South Jetty) and to Buoy R4. Rough water with breakers is common occurrence from buoy R8 seaward to buoy R6 during the incoming phase of the major tidal exchange of the incoming tide.

Once clearing the Columbia River Control Zone at Buoy R4 troll for coho and Chinook salmon southwest to Buoy CR and for Chinook salmon on the return trip to Buoy R4. The lighted whistle buoy CR is located 5.8 nautical miles (6.6) miles SW of the Columbia River Bar. Plan the return of your boating trip to clear of the mouth of the Columbia River Bar at Buoy R10 before next low tide begins to ebb.

The swells generated by the outgoing tide in the Lower Columbia River Estuary often exceed 20 feet in height and can extend for more than 1½ miles in the jetty channel and up to 1/2 mile offshore from the end of the entrance of the bar. The swells generated by the outgoing tide in combination with a wind chop can cause confused seas that can sink a boat in seconds. If you are caught on a rough bar while coming in keep the boat square before the seas and ride the back side of the swell staying ahead the following swell, but to you will most likely have to quarter the following swells to cross the bar successfully. The ability to cross a rough bar demands seamanship based on experience. If you are going boating in the Lower Columbia River Estuary join the Coast Guard Auxiliary. Their members are willing to help you gain the experience and confidence to cross the bar. Discuss all safety issues with family members and guests before leaving the dock. Avoid the dangerous tidal conditions at the mouth of the Columbia River by fishing upstream from Buoy 10 and letting the fish come to you. Visit Englund Marine in Astoria for information on current fishing conditions and everything you need in fishing gear to do the job.

The emphasis in the lower Columbia River is on the world class sturgeon and salmon fishery. The fishing conditions described in this publication differs from today's fishing conditions. The sturgeon population has declined and the bag severally reduced. Sand sole enter the mouth of the Columbia River in fishable numbers during late spring. The fish species usually associated with jetties are present along the jetties at the entrance to the lower Columbia River in fishable numbers; but because of the dangerous tidal conditions during the outgoing tide anglers should fish for those species elsewhere. The fishing for rockfish and flatfish in Washington State coastal waters to Leadbetter Point is excellent. Anglers from OR and WA are allowed to fish from a boat in ocean waters from Cape Falcon OR to Leadbetter Point WA. The Columbia River Zone is divided into regional zones. All the regional zones are governed by general regulations common to all zones and by special regulations governing individual zones. The Marine Zones common to all zones and by special regulations governing individual zones. The Marine Zone extends from Buoy 10 seaward. Oregon and Washington anglers are allowed to fish from a boat in the ocean from Cape Falcon OR to Leadbetter Point WA.

Special Regulations: Salmon fishing is closed within the Columbia Control Zone (CZ). The Columbia Control Zone extends seaward from Buoy 10 to a line drawn between Buoy 4 at 46 13’ 35’N/124 06’ 50’W and Buoy 7 at 46 15’ 48’N/124 5’ 18’W and in a straight line from the end of the north jetty at 46 15’ 45’N/124 05’ 20’w to Buoy 7 and in a straight line from the south jetty at 46 14’ 03’N/124 04’ 05’W to Buoy 4. The eastern boundary of the CZ extends from a bearing 357 degrees true north from 46 14’ 00’N/124 03’ 07’W. Fishing for salmon in the CZ is prohibited. Regional zone 1 extends from Buoy 10 upriver to a line extending from buoy R44 to Rocky Point WA. Regional zone 2 extends upriver from the R44/ Rocky Point line to the I–5 Bridge. The information in this publication encompasses all of regional zone 1 and identifies specific locations in the Marine Zone and regional zone 2. Refer to the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife Sport Fishing Regulations for area closures and the regulations governing fishing for sturgeon, salmon and other fish species.

Fishing the Lower Columbia River:

The angler has to consider the velocity of the tidal current when developing fishing strategy. The velocity of the outgoing tidal current lower Columbia River varies from 3.5 to 5 knots and can attain a velocity of over 5 knots at the entrance with velocities attaining 8 knots on the north side of the bar. The incoming tide in the Columbia River seldom attains velocities of over 4 knots, but as the tide changes from outgoing to incoming the heavier saltwater flows under the outgoing lighter brackish water. For a brief time the water in the lower estuary flows in both directions at the same time. A riptide usually accompanies the tidal surge of the incoming tide followed by schools of Chinook and coho salmon. Remember to troll faster than the speed of the tidal current when trolling with the tidal current to maintain the herring in the Chinook’s strike zone.

Chinook Salmon:

Jerry Don't Worry-Be Happy took this Springer on the lower Columbia

Spring Chinook salmon entering the Columbia River in February and March are returning to tributaries in the Lower Columbia River below Bonneville Dam. Spring Chinook salmon entering the Columbia River in April are returning to tributaries in the Columbia River Basin above Bonneville Dam. The most productive fishing for spring Chinook salmon in the lower Columbia River occurs in regional zone 2 upriver from the channels associated with Rice Island and Miller Sands.

Fall Chinook Taken From The Lower Columbia River

Fall Chinook salmon enter the north side of the Columbia River in fishable numbers about the middle of August and is comprised of Tule run Chinook and returning Upriver Brights. Because the Tule run Chinook are sexually mature and ready spawn when they enter the river they are reluctant to bite and the table quality of their flesh has begun to decline. Upriver Brights are sexually immature when they enter the Columbia River and the table quality of their flesh is at its very best. When salmon season opens in the lower Columbia River the Pacific high has been parked over the Pacific Northwest and it has not rained for several months. The mean water temperature the river is higher than the temperature preferred by Chinook salmon when the salmon enter the river with the incoming tide. The temperature of the lower river varies between 56 to 65 degrees depending on phase of the tide. The Chinook salmon swim upriver at the depth they most comfortable in.

Tule run Chinook swim upriver along the north shore in water up to 40 feet deep. Returning Upriver Brights swim in the deepwater lane that runs parallel to and just above Desdemona Sands upriver past the Astoria/Melger Bridge. If the mean temperature of the water is too high some of the Chinook salmon will return to the ocean with the outgoing tide while others with continue their upriver migration. Tule run Chinook salmon returning to Deep River or Gray’s River will continue up the north side of the river while other Tule run and Upriver Brights begin crossing the river to the Oregon side where the spires rise on the Astoria–Melger Bridge following the scent of the river of their origin.

The Astoria–Melger Bridge and the Oregon Washington State Line are geographical references used to direct anglers where to fish for Chinook salmon. The state line is located at the point on the bridge where the spans begin to rise as you near the Washington side of the river.

Upriver Bights: The most productive fishing for Upriver Bights occurs trolling a plug cut herring with the incoming tide along the Oregon–Washington state line from Chinook, Washington to a point opposite of Melger Washington. Troll a plug cut herring next to the bottom behind a diver or a wire spreader with a 6 foot length of 35 pound test fluorocarbon leader. Returning Chinook salmon usually migrate along the bottom of the estuary, but at times migrate higher in the water column. When fishing with multiple rods stagger the depth of the bait by four pulls from a depth of 25 feet to the bottom. Adding a herring dodger or 8 inch flasher behind the wire spreader or diver is a productive option the angler should consider. Rig the wire spreader with a 36 inch sinker dropper utilizing 6 to 12 ounce sinkers to present the bait to the salmon. As high slack tide approaches troll cross current in a zig–zag pattern back to Chinook, Washington.

When the tide begins to ebb the most productive fishing occurs from the Astoria–Melger Bridge to Chinook Washington back bouncing mini mooching with a whole or plug cut herring. As the velocity of the tidal current increases either back troll with a plug cut herring or troll a plug cut herring with the ebbing tide. Fish at a depth from 20 and 45 feet as the current moves the boat in a northwesterly direction through the Church Hole all the way to Chinook Point. Fishing is also productive on the Oregon side of the river at the Astoria/Melger Bridge or in the area between Taylor Sands and the shipping channel upriver to Tongue Point.

Launching at Deep River is one option consider to fish for Chinook salmon below the Astoria/Melger Bridge but the limited launching facilities are a negative factor. But, if the decision is made to do so, follow the piling markers to navigate the channel to the fishing locations downriver along the Washington side of the river. Stay on the right hand side of the channel going out. The boater has to be aware of Deadheads which are mired in the bottom substrate and float on the other end rising and falling with the tide. The depth of the water in the channel will vary between 6 and 14 feet deep at low tide. Follow marker R16, R14 and R12 before turning toward the right to R10. Navigate to the right of R12, R10 and R8 to avoid shallow water to the left. From there follow the shore pilings down to Rocky Point. Avoid the piling marker at Rocky Point because it sits on a rock outcropping. Clear Rocky Point and head southwest for about 400 yards staying within 100 yards of the shoreline. Head South keeping the shore on your right but heading toward and staying West of piling marker #14A to Portuguese Point then continue around the corner to piling marker 13 located next to the shore at Grays Point. From Gays Point, you can see the Astoria/Melger Bridge in the distance. Continue along the Washington shore to the Chinook salmon fishery from the Astoria/Melger Bridge to the Church Hole.

Fishing in the channels above Tongue Point is productive as Chinook salmon disperse across the width of the Columbia River searching for the scent of their home river. Chinook salmon migrate upriver at the depth where they are most comfortable. During August and September the water temperature in the channels above Tongue Point is often higher than the temperature preferred by Chinook salmon. Usually the most productive fishing is from a depth of 25 to 30 feet deep; however, during warmer periods they may migrate at a greater depth.

Coho salmon return to the lower Columbia River Estuary in August. But only fin clipped coho salmon may be retained. Every year thousands of hatchery coho salmon return to the Columbia River. Start fishing for coho salmon as early as the first week of August and fish through September into October. The most productive fishing occurs from the deadline at Buoy 10 in the area between the green and red buoy lines extending eastward to an imaginary line extending northeasterly from a point midway between buoy 12 and 14 to the lower end of Sand Island. Fish the riptide that usually accompanies the tidal surge of the incoming tide. Schools a coho follow the tidal surge of the incoming tide along the north shore of the river in water that is between 20 and 40 feet deep to an area near the north end of the Astoria/Megler Bridge. Coho salmon returning to the net pens in Young’s Bay migrate from Buoy 10 past Buoys 12 and 14, around Clatsop Spit into Young’s Bay. Troll from Buoy10 around Buoy 12 past Buoy 14 trolling a plug cut herring between 3 and 5 knots with the incoming tide 4 ½ feet behind a diver in the upper half of the water column is the most productive method followed by trolling hoochies, spinners or streamer flies behind a size 0 dodger.

White sturgeon are year–round residents of the Columbia River with a permanent population exceeding one million fish. Fishing is open all year in the lower Columbia River, but is restricted to catch and release only during specific periods throughout the year. Check with ODFW for current information on restrictions. The sturgeon fishery of the lower Columbia River offers sturgeon fishing at its very best. The most productive fishing for sturgeon for the entire Columbia River occurs from the mouth of the Columbia River to an imaginary line between Tongue Point, Oregon and Gray’s Point, Washington during the months of June, July and August.

Typically the sturgeon fishing in the lower Columbia River from the mouth of the river through Cathlamet Bay and Gray’s Bay is slow from September through December. The sturgeon fishing improves in January upriver from an imaginary line between Tongue Point, Oregon and Gray’s Point, Washington when the eulachon (Thaleichthys pacificus) commonly referred to as smelt enter the lower river to spawn but the fishing from the imaginary line to the mouth of the river remains slow. Fish from Gray’s Point to Altoona Washington and in the channels and sloughs around Rice Island, Miller Sands and in Cathlamet Bay. The fishing continues to improve upriver from the imaginary line to through Cathlamet Bay and Gray’s Bay as the smelt run peaks in February and March but remains slow from the imaginary line seaward. During this period, smelt are the first choice for bait followed by mud and/or sand shrimp. The fishing upriver from the imaginary line continues to improve during April but remains slow from the imaginary line seaward.

The sturgeon fishing improves during May from the mouth of the Columbia River to the imaginary line through Cathlamet Bay and Gray’s Bay as shad enter the rivers associated with the lower Columbia River Estuary to spawn. During this period, shad or smelt is the most productive bait followed by mud and/or sand shrimp. The fishing is productive on the south side of the Columbia River from Clatsop Spit to Tongue Point and in the channels and sloughs associated with Cathlamet Bay. The area from Clatsop Spit to Youngs Bay and the sandy shoals of Desdemona Sands or Taylor Sands are most productive locations to fish for sturgeon. Desdemona Sands is located in front of Astoria and extend from a point north of Hammond upriver past the Astoria–Melger Bridge. Taylor Sands is located halfway across the river opposite of Tongue Point. Fishing is productive on the north side of the river from Sand Island upriver to Gray’s Point in the area between Grey’s Point and buoy 12.

The Sturgeon fishing improves dramatically during June, July and August as the catch rate soars from the mouth of the Columbia River to imaginary line at Tong Point. During this period anchovies enter the lower Columbia River and are the most productive bait followed by mud and/or sand shrimp. The fishing declines during September and the catch rate falls.

To fish for sturgeon anchor the boat on the up current side of the deeper holes and shallow depressions in the channels and toughs adjacent to the tidal flats in water that is 10 to 40 feet deep. Use the current lines that appear between the tidal flats and the deeper water of the river channels as a guide to the shallow depressions and deep holes. The channels in the lower Columbia River are continually shifting. If you are going to do any boating on the lower river, invest in a compass, the latest navigational charts available and a GPS Chartplotter; otherwise, you chance spending hours stuck on the tidal flats.

Launching at Deep River is one option consider to fish for Chinook salmon below the Astoria/Melger Bridge but the limited launching facilities are a negative factor. But, if the decision is made to do so, follow the piling markers to navigate the channel to the fishing locations downriver along the Washington side of the river. Stay on the right hand side of the channel going out. The boater has to be aware of Deadheads which are mired in the bottom substrate and float on the other end rising and falling with the tide. The depth of the water in the channel will vary between 6 and 14 feet deep at low tide. Follow marker R16, R14 and R12 before turning toward the right to R10. Navigate to the right of R12, R10 and R8 to avoid shallow water to the left. From there follow the shore pilings down to Rocky Point. Avoid the piling marker at Rocky Point because it sits on a rock outcropping. Clear Rocky Point and head southwest for about 400 yards staying within 100 yards of the shoreline. Head South keeping the shore on your right but heading toward and staying West of piling marker #14A to Portuguese Point then continue around the corner to piling marker 13 located next to the shore at Grays Point. From Gays Point, you can see the Astoria/Melger Bridge in the distance. Continue along the Washington shore to the Chinook salmon fishery from the Astoria/Melger Bridge to the Church Hole.

Fishing in the channels above Tongue Point is productive as Chinook salmon disperse across the width of the Columbia River searching for the scent of their home river. Chinook salmon migrate upriver at the depth where they are most comfortable. During August and September the water temperature in the channels above Tongue Point is often higher than the temperature preferred by Chinook salmon. Usually the most productive fishing is from a depth of 25 to 30 feet deep; however, during warmer periods they may migrate at a greater depth.

Coho salmon return to the lower Columbia River Estuary in August. But only fin clipped coho salmon may be retained. Every year thousands of hatchery coho salmon return to the Columbia River. Start fishing for coho salmon as early as the first week of August and fish through September into October. The most productive fishing occurs from the deadline at Buoy 10 in the area between the green and red buoy lines extending eastward to an imaginary line extending northeasterly from a point midway between buoy 12 and 14 to the lower end of Sand Island. Fish the riptide that usually accompanies the tidal surge of the incoming tide. Schools a coho follow the tidal surge of the incoming tide along the north shore of the river in water that is between 20 and 40 feet deep to an area near the north end of the Astoria/Megler Bridge. Coho salmon returning to the net pens in Young’s Bay migrate from Buoy 10 past Buoys 12 and 14, around Clatsop Spit into Young’s Bay. Troll from Buoy10 around Buoy 12 past Buoy 14 trolling a plug cut herring between 3 and 5 knots with the incoming tide 4 ½ feet behind a diver in the upper half of the water column is the most productive method followed by trolling hoochies, spinners or streamer flies behind a size 0 dodger.

White sturgeon are year–round residents of the Columbia River with a permanent population exceeding one million fish. Fishing is open all year in the lower Columbia River, but is restricted to catch and release only during specific periods throughout the year. Check with ODFW for current information on restrictions. The sturgeon fishery of the lower Columbia River offers sturgeon fishing at its very best. The most productive fishing for sturgeon for the entire Columbia River occurs from the mouth of the Columbia River to an imaginary line between Tongue Point, Oregon and Gray’s Point, Washington during the months of June, July and August.

Sturgeon fishing heyday in the Lower Columbia from a charter vessel.

Typically the sturgeon fishing in the lower Columbia River from the mouth of the river through Cathlamet Bay and Gray’s Bay is slow from September through December. The sturgeon fishing improves in January upriver from an imaginary line between Tongue Point, Oregon and Gray’s Point, Washington when the eulachon (Thaleichthys pacificus) commonly referred to as smelt enter the lower river to spawn but the fishing from the imaginary line to the mouth of the river remains slow. Fish from Gray’s Point to Altoona Washington and in the channels and sloughs around Rice Island, Miller Sands and in Cathlamet Bay. The fishing continues to improve upriver from the imaginary line to through Cathlamet Bay and Gray’s Bay as the smelt run peaks in February and March but remains slow from the imaginary line seaward. During this period, smelt are the first choice for bait followed by mud and/or sand shrimp. The fishing upriver from the imaginary line continues to improve during April but remains slow from the imaginary line seaward.

The sturgeon fishing improves during May from the mouth of the Columbia River to the imaginary line through Cathlamet Bay and Gray’s Bay as shad enter the rivers associated with the lower Columbia River Estuary to spawn. During this period, shad or smelt is the most productive bait followed by mud and/or sand shrimp. The fishing is productive on the south side of the Columbia River from Clatsop Spit to Tongue Point and in the channels and sloughs associated with Cathlamet Bay. The area from Clatsop Spit to Youngs Bay and the sandy shoals of Desdemona Sands or Taylor Sands are most productive locations to fish for sturgeon. Desdemona Sands is located in front of Astoria and extend from a point north of Hammond upriver past the Astoria–Melger Bridge. Taylor Sands is located halfway across the river opposite of Tongue Point. Fishing is productive on the north side of the river from Sand Island upriver to Gray’s Point in the area between Grey’s Point and buoy 12.

The Sturgeon fishing improves dramatically during June, July and August as the catch rate soars from the mouth of the Columbia River to imaginary line at Tongue Point. During this period anchovies enter the lower Columbia River and are the most productive bait followed by mud and/or sand shrimp. The fishing declines during September and the catch rate falls.

To fish for sturgeon anchor the boat on the up current side of the deeper holes and shallow depressions in the channels and toughs adjacent to the tidal flats in water that is 10 to 40 feet deep. Use the current lines that appear between the tidal flats and the deeper water of the river channels as a guide to the shallow depressions and deep holes. The channels in the lower Columbia River are continually shifting. If you are going to do any boating on the lower river, invest in a compass, the latest navigational charts available and a GPS Chartplotter; otherwise, you chance spending hours stuck on the tidal flats.

Columbia River crabbing is one of Oregon’s premier crabbing locations from late summer through fall depending on declining snowmelt and the arrival of seasonal rains.  Crabbing from Social Security Beach or the south jetty at the tip of Clatsop Spit in the area marked in red using a spring loaded folding crab trap to take crabs from the sandy shore or a crab snare for taking crabs from the jetty rocks inside the jetty channel.

We do not recommend fishing or crabbing from the rocky structure of Oregon's jetties or rocky shore exposed to the dynamics of dangerous ocean conditions caused by unexpected sneaker waves. If you have to pause and consider if it is safe to fish or crab from rocky structure then don't do it.  

Turn west into the day use entrance of Fort Stevens State Park to access the off beach parking areas associated with the beaches of Clatsop Spit. The access roads to the parking areas adjacent to the ocean beach at Clatsop Spit and to the south jetty at Clatsop Spit are open twenty four hours daily. Clatsop Spit beach and the south jetty at Clatsop Spit are divided into geographical areas A, B, C and D.  There are signs located at the entrances of the access roads that identify each area.  Areas A and B are the access roads to the parking area adjacent to Clatsop Spit Beach. Area C is the access road to the parking area adjacent to Clatsop Spit Beach and the south jetty.  Area D is the access road to the parking area adjacent to the beach on the southern shore of the Columbia River. Crabbing from a Boat is very productive following the red buoy line R20 to R22 and G21 to G25. Stay clear of the shipping channel. Crab in 20 to 30 feet of water during the incoming tide but pick up the gear before low tide to avoid losing gear to the strong current of the outgoing tide.             

Crabbing for Dungeness crabs in the lower Columbia River Estuary depends on the amount of freshwater entering the watershed from rainfall or snowmelt. Crabbing usually gets going in late July or early August.

How to humanly kill Dungeness and red rock crabs is the question my wife wants me to answer. She cannot bear to see anything suffer. Striking the Thoracic ganglion with a crab mallet kills the crab immediately. The crab does not suffer as it would if submerged in boiling water and neither does my wife. Killing and backing the crabs prior to cooking them shortens the total time it takes to cook and clean large numbers of crabs. In addition cooking crabs that have been backed and cleaned minimizes the strong odor associated when cooking whole live crabs.

Click on the following video clip to view a professional crab shaker picking a Dungeness crab. Using this method cuts the time to pick a crab in half.

Click on the following links for additional information about taking crabs in the Pacific Northwest. Click on ODFW's website crab page or click on Washington State's information on recreational crabbing or click California's information on recreational crabbing. Click on Alaska's comments on Dungeness Crabs and on permits and regulations for SE Alaska. Click on Dungeness Crabs at Netarts Bay. Click on Species Profile for Dungeness Crabs PDF file. Click on Species Profile for Red Rock Crabs to view PDF file. Click on Dungeness and Red Rock Crabs to view information on taking crabs from Oregon's Bays and ocean water.

The most productive crabbing usually occurs in the lower portion of the saltwater dominated bays, Coos Bay and Netarts Bay. Crabbers in Oregon’s Bays have to deal with the high river flows common during the rainy season usually from November through April. Crabbing in the smaller estuaries is over until next spring or early summer unless there is an extended period of dry weather. The river levels of costal rivers increase dramatically with the arrival of the large seasonal storms. The increased river flows are enough to move the crabs out of the smaller bays like the Chetco Cove, Rogue River Estuary, Necanicum River Estuary and Nestucca Bay but not out of the larger bays.

Check of the Northwest River Forecast to view river levels for all of Oregon's rivers. Look for river levels to rise with the return to seasonal rainfall beginning in late Fall into the Winter months. The smaller estuaries the Chetco, Rogue, Salmon, and Necanicum are the first to be affected by seasonal flooding followed by the larger estuaries Coquille, Siuslaw, Alsea, Siletz, Nestucca, Nehalem, Yaquina, Tillamook, Coos, Netarts and the Lower Columbia River Estuary. Conversely when river levels drop crabbing improves first in Sand Lake, Netarts and Coos Bays before improving in Oregon's other estuaries.

Click on the Northwest River Levels to view the height of the river level for the Columbia River.

Click on Nehalem to display the height of the river level for the Nehalem River near Foss

Click on Trask for Tillamook to display the height of the river level for the Trash River above Cedar Creek near Tillamook

Click on Wilson - Tillamook to display the height of the river level for the Wilson River at Sollie Smith Bridge

Click on Nestucca to display the height of the river level for the Nestucca River near Beaver

Click on Siletz to display the height of the river level for the Siletz River at Siletz

Click on Alsea River at Tidewater to display the height of the river level for the Alsea River – At Tidewater.

Click on Alsea River at Lobster Creek to display the height of the river level for the Alsea River at Lobster Creek

Click on Umpqua River at Reedsport to display the height of the river level for the Umpqua River at Reedsport

Click on Umpqua River near Elkton to display the height of the river level for the Umpqua River near Elkton

Click on North Umpqua River at the Winchester Dam to display the height of the river level at the Winchester Dam.

Click on the South Umpqua River at Roseburg to display the height of the river level at Roseburg.

Click on Siuslaw to display the height of the river level for the Siuslaw River near Mapleton.

Click on the height of the river level for the Coquille River – At Coquille.

Click on the height of the river level for the Coquille River – At Myrtle Point.

Click on the Chetco River – Near Brookings to view the height of the river near Brookings.

Click on the height of the river level for the Rogue River – At Agnes, and on the Illinois River at Kriby.

Click on the Summary of river levels to view and identify you river of interest in the Pacific Northwest. Click on the following link to view the level of the river gages in the Rogue River watershed. Click on the river levels at Agate Dam, Grants Pass, at Raygold, below Prospect, Lost Creek Dam, near Agnes, near Eagle Point, near Mcleod, near Prospect and the Rogue River Valley Canal.

Internet Links of Interest:

BAR CROSSING: Click on navigational hazards for crossing the Columbia River Bar.

Tidal Projections for the North Jetty of the Columbia River Estuary

Tbone Tidal Projections for the 12 Ave bridge at Seaside.

Click on the following link to view the Marine Weather Forecast from Zone Forecast: Coastal waters from Cape Shoalwater WA to Cascade Head OR out 10 nm.

Shellfish Hotline:

Always call the Oregon Shellfish Hotline at (503) 986-4728 or 1-800-448-2474 toll free outside of Oregon before harvesting clams or mussels for messages listing the areas closed to harvesting shellfish due to high levels of marine toxins.

Fish and Shellfish Consumption Advisories and Guidelines In mid July the State issued shellfish advisories for elevated levels of arsenic in soft shell clams and gaper clams. The CDAO does not recommend consuming contaminated clams or fish species of any species. The Oregon Health Authority has prepared a series of asked and answered questions about the soft shell clams taken from Oregon's Bays. Click on Questions and Answers (pdf).

However the purple varnish clams common to most of Oregon's Bays have tested free of contamination from arsenic; and to date the clams have not been contaminated by Domoic Acid or PSP that have closed the Oregon Coast to the taking of razor clams and mussels.

Oregon's Beach Monitoring Program is a part time program that occurs between Memorial Day in May and Labor Day in September.

Oregon's Beach Monitoring program helps protect people who come into contact with beach water contaminated with elevated levels of fecal bacterium called enterococcus. The program does regular water testing to look for high levels of bacteria and issues a public health advisory when bacteria counts exceed acceptable risk levels.. Beginning in 2017 the EPA has implemented new higher standards to requiring Oregon to issue an alert notifying the public of the health risks.

New Beach Action Value for the 2017 beach monitoring season
The Oregon Beach Monitoring Program (OBMP) is beginning a process to adopt a new beach action value (BAV) for bacteria of 70 MPN that will be used as the basis for public health advisories at Oregon beaches starting in 2017. The 2015 and 2016 monitoring seasons will remain unchanged and continue to use the current BAV of 158 MPN
.

What type of bacteria? Ocean waters are tested to see if a fecal bacterium called enterococcus is present. Enterococcus is found in the intestines of warm blooded animals, including humans. High levelsn of these bacteria show there is fecal material in the water and that microscopic disease-causing organisms may be present.

How does the water become contaminated? Fecal contamination can be due to multiple causes near anybody of water. Some of the reasons of contamination are due to: animal feces deposited by domestic animals and all wild animals including beavers, seals, migratory waterfowl and seabirds , swimmers with diarrhea, children not prperly cleaned after using the bathroom, the improper disposition of diapers, the vomiting or fecal matter in the water, agricultural and storm water run-off, sewage treatment plant spills, inadequate or the absence of public septic systems, failing or leaking of both public and private septic systems or the improper disposal of boat waste. The list of offending agents is seemingly endless. Do your part it reduce contamination of our waterways.

The Algae Bloom Surveillance program advises the public when a harmful algae bloom has been detected in a lake or river. Not all blooms are harmful, but some species of algae, such as cyanobacteria or blue-green algae, can produce toxins that can cause serious illness in pets, livestock, wildlife and humans.

Please see the Oregon fish consumption guidelines for more information abut the health benefits of fish and how to make healthy fish choices.

DON'S OREGON CRABBING AND CLAMMING ADVENTURE

Dons amazing Oregon adventure in crabbing and clam digging adventure begain in his home in San Diego making plans for the trip with his brother in law. Don is an avid digger of California's Pismo clams. Digging Pismo clams fueled his ambitious desire to partake in the wonderful bounty that digging clams and crabbing in Oregon represents; an experience that Don repeated several times. Don's Amazing Mile by Mile of his Oregon Adventure began on the Columbia River Estuary and ended when they returned home from Coos Bay.

Avid clam digger, crabber and fisherman Don, Don's Nephew and his brother-in-law share their Oregon vacation adventure with us in the following email and photo array. Don lives and works in San Diego and has shared photos of his Pismo clam digging adventures with us.

Don writes, "Sorry for the late Clamming report Bill, I've been up to my neck at work since coming back from my trip to Oregon from 8/25 - 9/3/10.  We had a great time fishing, crabbing, and clamming in Astoria, Nehalem and Coos Bay. 

We were able to savor Oregon seafood every day we were up there, it doesn't get any better than that.  In terms of the clamming, we found the Purple Varnish Beds just south of the Nehalem boat launch, and directly across the bay from there, the heavy Softshell beds near the Brighton area.  In Coos Bay (Empire area) we found heavy Butter Clam beds with the Manila Littlenecks mixed in, plus a Gaper Clam.

Interesting thing was, we were dealing (every day) with tides that were +2.0 - +3.0, and still had excellent harvests!!  It was awesome and can't wait to dig up and savor some more clams next year!!

Just for the record, there were three of us clamming, which accounted for the sizeable amount of clams we harvested on some of our outings.  Also, the Littleneck Clam Appetizer I made was modeled after Clamslayer's Clams Casino recipe.  I cleaned and then chopped up and steamed the clam meat, then mixed with melted sharp cheddar, then topped with hot sauce.  Wow, so delicious.  Yet another great tidbit from your book. Thanks for your advice and your book. Don."

Don used a crab snare very effectively to take the Dungeness crabs in the photo off of the south jetty of the Columbia River Estuary. They dug the purple varnish and picked the mussels from Nehalem Bay. Don is pictured below digging softshell clams from the Brighton area of Nehalem Bay in the photo to the left. Don and his brother-in-law pose with softshell clams they dug next to the photo of the cleaned clams and cooking clams and above the photo of the purple varnish clams. The photo of them on the ATVs was taken at the Oregon Dunes Recreational Area. The photo of the butter that were dug from Coos Bay is next to the photo of Don's version of Clams Casino.

Mile 3.0 The Astoria Column and the Columbia River Maritime Museum.

7.0 Fort Clatsop National Memorial provides visitors with a look into the historic past. Each summer the National Park Service offers programs that depict the daily activities of the Lewis and Clark Expedition. The memorial is a complete replica of the site where Lewis and Clark spent the winter of 1805–06. The winter was particularly hard on our nations most celebrated explorers. To access the Fort Clatsop Memorial, turn southeast onto Old Highway 101 and then south on Fort Clatsop Road.

7.5 Ridge Road/Columbia Beach Road is the access road to Columbia Beach, Fort Stevens State Park, Fort Stevens Historic Museum, Clatsop Spit and the south jetty at Clatsop Spit. Turn west onto Ridge Road/Columbia Beach Road from Highway 101.

The Peter Iredale Road is the main entrance to Fort Stevens State Park, Coffenbury Lake and the beach access to Columbia Beach and Clatsop spit. The Peter Iredale Road is the only road that allows access to the ocean beach by motor vehicles. Motor vehicles are allowed on the ocean beaches all year except the beach northward from the wreck of the Peter Iredale is closed to vehicular access from May 1st to September 15th from 12:01 P.M. to Midnight. Fort Stevens State Park is a full service State Park. There is ample parking at all of the Fort Stevens recreational areas. Coffenbury Lake is stocked with rainbow trout throughout the summer. Columbia Beach is the site of the grounded British bark Peter Iredale. The rusting skeleton of the ship has been the dominant feature on the beach since running aground on October 25, 1906.

Razor clams of the Peter Iredale

Columbia Beach and the ocean beach at Clatsop Spit offer the clam digger some of the best razor clam digging on the Oregon Coast. The fishing for redtail surfperch ranges from poor to excellent from late spring through the summer as the perch migrate along Oregon’s beaches entering Oregon's Bays to give live birth to their young. Picking editable mushrooms is popular recreational activity at Fort Stevens State Park, but be 100 percent sure that the mushroom picked is an editable one. No guessing allowed. Searching for Agates is another recreational activity that is very popular with beach goers.

Turn west into the Day Use Entrance of Fort Stevens State Park to access the ocean beach at Clatsop Spit, the south jetty at Clatsop Spit and the beach at the Jetty Sands on the southern shore of the Columbia River. Vehicle access is allowed to the beach at the Jetty Sands.

The access roads to the parking areas adjacent to the ocean beach at Clatsop Spit and to the south jetty at Clatsop Spit are open twenty–four hours daily. Clatsop Spit and the south jetty at Clatsop Spit are divided into geographical areas A, B, C and D. There are signs located at the entrances of the access roads that identify each area. Areas A and B are the access roads to the parking area adjacent to Clatsop Spit Beach. Digging for razor clams, surf fishing for redtail surfperch and beach combing are the attractions here. Area C is the access road to the parking area adjacent to Clatsop Spit Beach and the south jetty at Clatsop Spit. There is a viewing platform at the beginning of the jetty that offers an exceptional view of the mouth of the Columbia River, Clatsop Beach and Clatsop Spit. Digging for razor clams, surf fishing for redtail surfperch, fishing from the south jetty and beach combing are the attractions here. Area D is the access road to the parking area adjacent to the southern shore of the Columbia River located at the tip of Clatsop Spit. The beach on the southern shore is referred to as the Jetty Sands or Social Security Beach by local anglers. Parking is allowed on the beach at Jetty Sands. Excellent fishing for sturgeon, redtail perch, crabbing and wildlife viewing are the attractions here.

When Sturgeon was King of the Columbia at Fort Stevens

Turn onto Pacific Drive from Ridge Road/Columbia Beach Road and follow the sign to the jetty at the Historic Fort Stevens Museum. Vehicular access to the Historic Fort Stevens is restricted to the hours the park is open, from 10:00 am to 6:00 p.m. seven days a week. Historic Fort Stevens was a major defense installation from the Civil War through World War Two. Today the remains of the Fort, the museum, the guard house, the barracks site and the battlements in conjunction with the beauty of the surrounding area fulfill the expectations of the visitor. The park is well known for reenactment of Civil War Battles over the Labor Day Weekend.

8.1 Ensign Ln. Zip Lining at High Life Adventures offers the thrill of lifetime with their Zip Line Adventures. Located near Warrenton on Alternate Hwy 101. Click on the spirit of adventure to view the beginning and ending of the zip line aventure taken by my wife Diane, my daughter Kristina and my grandsons. Click Here for travel directions

11.5 Sunset Beach offers excellent digging for razor clams. Sunset Beach Road is the first public access point south of Fort Stevens State Park. Turn west onto Sunset Beach Road from Hwy 101 and park on the beach.

17.0 Del Rey Beach State Wayside located 2 miles north of Gearhart and offers excellent digging for razor clams. Parking is allowed on the beach.

20.0 Gearhart is accessible by turning west onto Pacific Avenue from Highway 101. Follow the signs for beach access and park on the beach. The razor clam digging from Gearhart south to Tillamook Head is not quite as good as the beach north of Gearhart but the clams are larger. Click HERE to return to the top of the page.

22.0 approximately Neawanna Point Wayside is located on the west side of Hwy 101 and is eastern access point to the Necanicum River Estuary to crab and dig for purple varnish clams or soft shell clams.

25.0 Necanicum River at SeasideThe broad sandy beaches north to Clatsop Spit consistently produce the highest density of razor clams found along the Oregon Coast.  More razor clams are harvested from the sandy beach from Seaside to Clatsop Spit than from all of Oregon’s beaches combined.  Fish for redtail surfperch at the mouth of the Necanicum River from March through September.  Seaside, like many nearby beach communities, does not allow parking on the beachfront streets from 11:00pm to 5:00am.  There is ample street parking but the streets are narrow.  Seaside has the distinction of being the end of the Lewis and Clark Trail.  Members of the expedition camped over the winter of 1805 making salt for their return trip east.  

Do not attempt to cross the bar of the Necanicum River Estuary. Avoid boating in the lower reach of the Necanicum River Estuary during any stage of the tidal cycle. Click on the images to enlarge them.

Nacanicum River Estuary photo.gifNacanicum River Estuary.gif

Fishing in the Necanicum River Estuary:

Pileperch, striped seaperch, walleye surfperch and white seaperch enter the estuary in small numbers to feed on intertidal animals.  The best fishing occurs during the summer and ranges from poor to occasionally good depending on the tides, time of year and the amount of freshwater in the estuary.  Local residents’ fish for perch and crab from the 12th street Bridge seaward.

Chinook salmon return in small numbers to the Necanicum River in late September, through October and into NovemberThe catch averages 154 fish per year. 

Coho salmon return in late September peaking in October and run into November.  The run is small and of interest to local anglers.  The catch averages 70 fish per year.

Starry Flounder fishing was at onetime fairly consistent, but today the fishing ranges from poor for most of the year to fair at best in the spring.  The best fishing occurs in Spring from the lower estuary

Clam Digging in the estuary is limited to the softshell clams and purple varnish clams. 

The Necanicum River Estuary like the Salmon River Estuary is dominated by freshwater and crabbing productivity is limited to periods of extended clear weather. The most productive crabbing is from boats and from the 12th Ave Bridge. Necanicum River Estuary clam digging is limited to softshell clams and purple varnish clams.

The 2012 crabbing from 12th Ave. Bridge over the Necanicum River Estuary at Seaside was good! Parking is available at the City Park located at the southwest corner of the 12 Ave Bridge. In between the time I parked my truck and walked onto the bridge to videotape the crabbers working their gear an OSP officer parked on the eastside of the bridge and observed the crabbers through a pair of binoculars. I did not notice him until I had left, returned to my truck and was driving eastward across the bridge, but by the time I turned around to video tape him in action, he was gone.

Crabbing is fair to good during the summer months from the 12th Street Bridge street seaward. Raking for Dungeness crabs in the lower estuary is very popular in the Necanicum River Estuary.

The summer of 2011, I visited Seaside and everywhere I drove there were crabbers taking crabs on the 12th Ave Bridge.

Necanicum River boat launches are located at Quatat Marine Park and Cartwright Park on the Necanicum River. and Neeawanna Creek boat launch Broadway Park in addition to the up river boat launch at SEF Johnson Tract Click on the boat launch of interest and enter the name of the boat launch in the search parameter and answer the disclaimer questions and go.

21.3 Broadway and 23.0 Avenue U: Seaside Beach offers excellent digging for razor clams, and has the distinction of being the end of the Lewis and Clark Trail. Members of the expedition camped over the winter of 1805 making salt for their return trip east. The City of Seaside, like other beach communities, does not allow parking on the beachfront streets from 11:00pm to 5:00am. Access to Seaside Beach is available from multiple locations in the City of Seaside beginning at the Cove Via Avenue U to public parking area at the end of Avenue U; or, turn south onto S. Edgewood St. Continue south on Edgewood St. to the public parking area located on Ocean Vista Dr. Park and follow the trail to the beach at the Cove. Turn west onto Avenue G., but parking is limited to the street. There is a beach side public parking area located between 12th Avenue entry, and 11th Avenue exit. And additional but limited parking between 11th Avenue entry and 10th Avenue.

Several options for parking in Seaside: whether you are arriving to Seaside from the north, or the south, parking in Seaside is free*, quite easy and in larger abundance than many are aware. If you aren't sure of your activities while in Seaside, stop into the Visitors Center on the corner of Broadway and Hwy 101 (Roosevelt). The friendly staff can help you find a nice restaurant, family-friendly activities and quaint shops or direct you towards the beach.

From the North: turn right onto 1st Avenue as you approach Broadway along Hwy 101 (referenced as Roosevelt within Seaside city limits). Drive west until you pass the Seaside Civic and Convention Center. The lot just west of the Convention Center is free and open to the public. Street parking is also available but in lower supply. Should the Convention Center lot be full, continue west on 1st Avenue and turn left onto Columbia. Pass through Broadway and take your first right onto Avenue A. The public parking garage sign is located on your immediate right and the first two levels are free and open to the public. There is no overnight parking allowed in this garage for public vehicles.

From the South: turn left onto Broadway from Hwy 101 (referenced as Roosevelt within Seaside city limits). The possibility exists that street parking will be available on Broadway. We simply advise that your pay attention to all posted signs. If street parking is not available, proceed until you get to the corner of Broadway and Columbia. Turn left onto Columbia and take your first right onto Avenue A. The public parking garage sign is located on your immediate right and the first two levels are free and open to the public. There is no overnight parking allowed in this garage for public vehicles.

*Please pay attention to posted signs as parking hours may vary from location to location. Also note that Motor Home and Bus parking is prohibited in the Convention Center lot from June 1 - October 1.

RV and Motorhome Parking: there are a few options for those driving large vehicles through Seaside but not planning to overnight in the area. Option number one is located just north of the Seaside Visitors Bureau at the corner of Broadway and Hwy 101 (referenced as Roosevelt in Seaside). Broadway and its many shops, restaurants, family-friendly activities and ocean beach are located no more than 1/2 mile from this lot. Click HERE to return to the top of the page.

21.8 2nd. Ave. Seaside Aquarium is located on the Promenade between 2nd and 3rd avenues.

Founded in 1937, Seaside Aquarium is one of the oldest aquariums on the West Coast. The aquarium is privately owned and the descendants of some of the founders are still active in the aquarium operation.

The aquarium is proud to be involved in public awareness programs: Marine Mammal Stranding, Seaside Beach Discovery Program, Sea Week, Haystack Rock Awareness Program, the Wildlife Center of the North Coast and other marine education tours and activities for school children.

28.3 Ecola State Park is located 2 miles north of Cannon Beach between Chapman Point and Tillamook Head. The park encompasses Indian Point, Indian Cove, Crescent Beach and Chapman Point. Captain William Clark named the area after the Chinook Indian word Ekoli for a whale that had washed ashore when he visited there in 1806. Turn west from Highway 101 onto Old Highway 101 two miles north of Cannon Beach. Follow the signs to Ecola Park Road. The single lane road to the park is narrow and windy. To fish for the bass, perch, cabezon, sea trout and lingcod from the rocky shore at Ecola Point follow the trail from the main parking lot south for ¼ of a mile. The fishing for redtail surfperch from the sandy beach at Indian Cove or Crescent Beach is fair. Indian Cove and Crescent Beach are listed by ODFW as a location to dig for razor clams. The park offers visitors a dramatic view of coastline and Haystack Rock.

29.4 Cannon Beach is named for the cannons that washed ashore after the USS Shark sunk on Clatsop Spit in 1846. Cannon Beach is well known for the numerous small specialty shops and quaint restaurants that attract thousands of visitors each year. Haystack Rock, Cannon Beach’s most famous attraction, is the World’s third largest freestanding monolith rising 235 feet out of the surf. The Dorymen of Cannon Beach offer visitors charter fishing trips launching their dories from in front of Haystack Rock. Cannon Beach is listed by ODFW as a location to dig for razor clams and has good fishing for redtail surfperch. Refer to the Oregon Sport Fishing Regulation restricting the taking of shellfish within a 300 yard radius of Haystack Rock.

Cannon Beach is located between Tolovana Beach and Chapman Beach. Chapman Beach is the small beach located between Ecola Creek and Chapman Point and is generally considered as part of Cannon Beach. To access Cannon Beach, turn onto Sunset Blvd from Highway 101. The parking is very limited to one small public parking lot.

30.8 Tolovana Beach is located 1 mile south of Cannon Beach between Cape Falcon and Tillamook Head. Turn west onto Warren Way from Highway 101. There is ample parking at the State Park Wayside. The beach offers good fishing for redtail surfperch.

32.4 Arcadia Beach offers good fishing for redtail surfperch but parking is limited.

33.7 Hug Point State Park Wayside parking lot has only enough room to accommodate cars and pickup trucks. Hug Point is named for the roadway that hugs the point. The road was built by early travelers and could not be used during high tide.

35.2 Arch Cape is located north of Cape Falcon. Access to the cape is very limited. Arch Cape Beach is listed by ODFW as a location to dig for razor clams.

37.2 Cove Beach is located north of Cape Falcon and is a fair location to fish for redtail surfperch. Cove Beach is listed by ODFW as a location to dig for razor clams. Access to the beach is very limited.

39.2 Oswald West State Park parking area and trailhead to Short Sands Beach located at Smuggler Cove on the lee side of Cape Falcon. There are trails leading to the summit of Neahkahnie Mountain and to beach at base of the mountain from the park. Short Sands Beach is listed by ODFW as a location to dig for razor clams. It is a short ¼ mile walk to the 37 primitive campsite nestled in the forest. The campsites are assigned on a first come basis by Sate Park employee.

Mile by Mile Map of the Oregon Coast Trail from Oswald West State Park to Cape Lookout State Park

42.8 Neahkahnie Beachis located at Manzanita just south of Neahkahnie Mountain and offers excellent fishing for redtail surfperch but the parking is limited. Follow the Ocean Road to Manzanita Beach. There is good fishing for redtail surfperch with ample parking.

The legend of buried treasure near Neahkahnie Mountain has treasure seekers searching for the elusive booty from the treasure laden Spanish Galleon, San Francisco Xavier, that wrecked on Nehalem spit in 1707. The legend was passed down by Clatsop Indians who observed shipwrecked Spaniards burying chests near the base of Neahkahnie Mountain and supported in fact by the large amount of beeswax that is found from time to time on Nehalem Spit.

43.9 Nehalem Beach is the located north of the entrance to Nehalem Bay on the Nehalem Bay Sand Spit. Nehalem Bay State Park is a full service park located on Nehalem Beach below Manzanita Beach. The fishing for redtail surfperch is excellent along the Nehalem Beach.

45.7                             Nehalem Bay

Nehalem Bay-1.gif

Nehalem Bay, Oregon’s fourth largest bay and one of Oregon's premier crabbing bays and for digging large soft shell clams. Crabbing, fishing for salmon and steelhead and digging for softshell clams is very popular because of the bays proximity to Portland. The entrance to Nehalem Bay at times becomes very rough and dangerous to cross. Nehalem Bay does not have a Coast Guard station or Bar Advisory Signs. During the summer, the Coast Guard broadcasts bar conditions on VHF channels 16 and 22 but only when a Coast Guard boat is patrolling the area. A whistle buoy is located 1 mile west of the entrance to bar at Nehalem Bay. The small boater has to use caution when considering crossing the bar or fishing in the jetty channel during the outgoing tide. The south jetty extends seaward for 600 yards. The following underlined areas describes some of tidal conditions when boating in the jetty channel or crossing the bar at Nehalem Bay.

Crab Rock: Crab Rock is located about 150 yards southeast of Jetty Fisheries Resort docks and is a hazard to small boats when it is covered by water. The hazard is sometimes marked by a privately maintained red buoy just westward of the rock. If the buoy is present, stay to the right of it when outbound and to the left when inbound.

Bar area: The entire area between the beach and the 30-foot curve is bar area and breaks on the ebbing current. The safest channel across the bar is subject to frequent change. Boaters proceeding out should stop just inside the entrance and carefully evaluate the bar. If the bar is breaking, do not cross. If you decide to cross, pick the calmest area and proceed, but do not attempt to turn around if the bar is breaking.

Entrance: The best water is close to the south jetty. The channel seaward of the jetties is continually shifting, and familiarity is needed to cross it safely. The range markers, therefore, do not necessarily show the exact channel and can also become obstructed by trees.

The emphasis in Nehalem Bay is on crabbing and salmon fishing. Fishing for salmon is excellent outside the jetty jaws but only do so in seaworthy boats. Surprisingly the fish species usually associated with most of Oregon’s developed deep water bays are not found in Nehalem Bay in great enough numbers to fish for them on a consistent basis.

The North Nehalem Fish Hatchery offers fishing opportunity for the disabled from the deck of the fishing platform for salmon and steelhead.

Clam Digging:

Nehalem Bay clam digging is very good but limited to softshell clams, purple varnish clams and butter clams. We thank clam digger, Dun and his family for sharing the photos of the clams they dug. The large softshell clams were from the north shore across the bay from the Wheeler Marina following the instructions of Jim the owner of Wheeler Marina. The purple varnish clams were dug from the tidal flats associated with the Nehalem State Park Boat ramp.

Crabbing in Nehalem Bay is renowned for its excellence for most of the year with the best crabbing occurring from early summer through late fall from the trestle just above Fishery Point seaward to the jetty channel.

Current fishing, crabbing and clam digging report for Nehalem Bay.

The Jetty Fisher has the ideal location to intercept Dungeness crabs as they enter the bay on the south side of the jetty channel.

The Jetty Fishery is located at the mouth of Nehalem Bay. Crabbing from the Jetty Fishery crabbing dock as shown in the following video taken earlier this summer is great. The crabs enter Nehalem Bay along the channel that runs along the south side of the jetty channel and right into the crab rings at the Jetty Fishery Dock. The crabbing dock is closed at 5:00 pm.

Backing and shaking crab. How to humanly kill Dungeness and red rock crabs is the question my wife wants me to answer. She can't stand to see anything suffer. Striking the Thoracic ganglion with a crab mallet kills the crab immediately. The crab does not suffer as it would if submerged in boiling water and neither does my wife. Killing and backing the crabs prior to cooking them shortens the total time it takes to cook and clean large numbers of crabs.


Click on the following video clip to view a professional crab shaker picking Dungeness crabs. Shaking crabs rather than picking them cuts the time in half to shake and pick the meat from crabs.

Additional Information for Crabbing From Coastal Waters:

Click on the following links for additional information for taking crabs in the waters of the Pacific Northwest. ODFW's website crab page or Washington State information on recreational crabbing, California's information on recreational crabbing. Click on Alaska's comments on Dungeness Crabs and permits and regulations for SE Alaska, or click on Dungeness Crabs at Netarts Bay. Click on Species Profile for Dungeness Crabs PDF file. Click on Species Profile for Red Rock Crabs to view PDF file. Click on Dungeness and Red Rock Crabs to view information on taking crabs from Oregon's Bays and ocean water.

Fishing the Nehalem:

Chinook salmon return to Nehalem Bay in small numbers beginning the first week of July and in some years depending on the number of returning fish the fishing can be as hot as a 4th of July fireworks show. The summer run peaks in early August. The first week of September usually signals the return of the fall Chinook run. Fall Chinook salmon are present in Nehalem Bay and lower tidal reach of the Nehalem River from September peaking in early October and running into early November. The age class of the returning Chinook is usually comprised of mature 5 year old fish. ODFW combines statistical catch data for the summer and fall runs averaging approximately 2300 fish per year. Fish both runs using the same tackle and techniques.

The best fishing for newly arriving fall Chinook salmon occurs in the lower bay during the incoming tide of the major tidal exchange of spring tides or neap tides especially when the incoming tide coincides with sunrise or sunset. The next most productive fishing period occurs at sunrise or sunset during the incoming tide of the minor tidal exchange in the daily tidal cycle.

Daybreak is that magical time of day when Chinook salmon bite the best. Be sure to have the bait in the water one half hour before sunrise. Fishing is most productive from ½ hour before sunrise to midmorning and from late afternoon until ½ hour after sunset. Early in the run troll a plug cut herring with or against the incoming tide or with outgoing tide from Fishery Point seaward. Troll the plug cut herring in the channel that parallels the east shore and the south jetty. The velocity of the tidal current in the lower bay requires the use of heavy sinkers up to 12 plus ounces to keep the bait in the Chinook’s strike zone.

As the number of returning Chinook salmon increase troll a plug cut herring or a bait wrapped Flatfish lure colored with a silver body and chartreuse head or Hot Tail finish in the deepwater channel in the bend of river at the Community of Wheeler or in the channel opposite of Deer Island. Remember Chinook salmon often bite prior to and after the tide change. As high tide approaches, Chinook salmon will often mill around in the area between the Community of Wheeler and Fishery Point. Trolling a rainbow colored spinner such as the Yaquina Slammer on the tidal flats just above the deepwater channel during a last hour of the incoming tide often produces fish.

Troll with the incoming tide or back troll, back bounce or troll with the outgoing tide from the Highway 101 Bridge to the confluence with the North Fork using a plug cut herring, bait wrapped Flatfish lures or with spinners. The depth of the channel above Fishery Point varies with the contour of the bottom and underscores the importance of using LCD marine electronics. Increase the trolling speed in the shallow water reach of the channel lifting the bait in the water column to avoid hanging it up on the bottom. Lower the trolling speed as the channel deepens. Chinook salmon often react to the change of speed by striking the bait.

Anchor on the up current side of the deeper holes located from the Highway 101 Bridge upstream to the head of tidewater at the Roy Creek County Park. Fishing on the bottom with bait wrapped Flatfish lures, spinner bait combinations, spinners, bait sweetened Spin–N–Glos, wobblers or with a walnut sized gob of salmon eggs are effective options.

Bobber fish through the deeper holes from the head of tidewater at Roy Creek County Park to the Highway 101 bridge during the last half of an outgoing tide through slack tide using a gob of salmon eggs the size of a walnut and sand shrimp. The most productive holes are located just above and below Roy Creek Park and the reach of the river upstream from the confluence with the North Fork.

Coho salmon return to Nehalem Bay from August through September. Fish early in the run in the lower bay from Fishery Point seaward trolling plug cut herring, hoochies or a streamer flies with the incoming tide. Troll these baits with a diver or wire spreader or diver in the upper half of the water column. Troll in the upper bay with rainbow, chartreuse or pink colored spinners or with spinner bait combinations.

Cutthroat trout return to the Nehalem River Basin beginning as early as the middle of July but most often from August through September. Fish from the Community of Wheeler to the confluence of the North Fork from middle of July into September trolling Doc Shelton spinners rigged with night crawlers.

Fish in the upper tidal reach of the North Fork or in the main stem Nehalem River using night crawlers, crawfish tails or by casting ¼ ounce yellow or white Roostertail spinners.

Black rockfish enter Nehalem Bay from April through October but withdraw from the bay during periods of heavy freshwater runoff from seasonal storms from November through March and into deeper water during the daylight hours. The fishing is for black and blue rockfish is the most inconsistent for any of Oregon’s large bays. Historic and current catch statistics reflect the poor fishing. The most productive fishing should occur in the jetty channel during the incoming tide shortly after sunset.

Striped seaperch, pileperch, walleye surfperch, redtail surfperch and white seaperch enter the bay in late spring. Schools of perch move onto the tidal flats feeding heavily on intertidal animals. The fishing ranges from fair to excellent through fall depending on the tides and the weather conditions.

When the dynamics of the tide are at work in the bay, fish in the area of current breaks whirlpools and rip tides. At times, during the incoming or outgoing tide, current lines appear between the tidal flats and the adjacent deeper water. Use the current lines as a guide to the channels that drain the tidal flats. To assure success the angler should tour the bay during low tide to identify the locations where perch can be intercepted during the incoming tide. Low tide also provides the angler the opportunity to pump shrimp.

Fish for perch in the channel along the south jetty and around Crab Rock. Fish in the main channel along the east shore from the Jetty Fishery upstream to the railroad trestle above Fishery Point. Fish along main channel that drains the tidal flats of the north shore from the Oregon State Park to the community of Wheeler.

Kelp greenling, whitespotted greenling and rock greenling enter the bay in small numbers with the tide. The fishing is rated fair at best, and the best fishing occurs late spring through summer months in the channel along the south jetty.

White sturgeon enter Nehalem Bay from the middle of December through July. Typically, fishing is intermittent from day to day ranging from poor one day to excellent the next. The sturgeon fishery ranks 5th overall when compared to Oregon’s other bays averaging 74 fish per year. The most productive baits are mud and/or sand shrimp. The best locations to fish are on the south end of Deer Island and Dean’s Point. Sturgeon are also caught in the holes along the south shore between Fishery Point and the community of Wheeler. One of the better locations is the Airport Hole, which is located on the south side of the airport near Nehalem State Park. Fish the deeper holes in the river channel to the head of tidewater.

Lingcod spawn along the outer portion of south jetty from late January through April. The best fishing should occur during the peak of the spawning period from late February through early April but the fishing is rated inconsistent at best.

Cabezon should be present in the rocky structure of the south jetty but the fishing is inconsistent.

Bank fishing for salmon from the Nehalem Bay State Park using bobbers or by casting spinners from shore. Plunking for salmon with sand shrimp and/or salmon eggs is also productive, but the crabs often eat the bait before the salmon can take it. Fish for perch from the railroad trestle above Fishery Point or from Brighton seaward to the south jetty but access is limited by private property.

Nehalem Bay JettyThe South Jetty offers better fishing than the north jetty.  Access the South Jetty by turning west from Highway 101 onto Nedonna Beach Road.  Park at the end of the road and walk to the jetty.  

Nehalem Bay boat launches on the south shore are the Jetty Fishery, the Brighton boat ramp, the Paradise Cove Resort, the Wheeler Public boat launch and the Nehalem Bay boat ramp.  The North shore boat launch is located at Nehalem Bay State Park.  Launch at Roy Creek Park to access the head of tidewater.  Roy Creek Park is located off of Foss Road via State Hwy 53.

48.9 Nedonna Beach is located a mile south of the entrance to Nehalem Bay. Nedonna Beach is renowned for excellent redtail surfperch fishing.

48.9 Manhattan Beach is accessible from Highway 101 north of Garibaldi. Turn west from Highway 101 at the Nedonna Beach Road and left into the Manhattan Beach Wayside. There are picnic tables, restrooms and ample parking for all R/V vehicles. There is good to excellent fishing for surfperch.

50.8 Rockaway Beach is accessible from Highway 101 north of Garibaldi and is renowned for redtail surfperch fishing. There is ample parking located west of Highway 101 by turning west at the U.S. Bank sign. Access to the beach at Rockaway Beach.

55.7 The Barview Jetty produces the highest catch ratio of fish caught per angler of any jetty on the Oregon Coast according to the local fishermen. The jetty extends 800 yards seaward. The western most 80 yards of the jetty is submerged. To access the Barview Jetty drive north from Garibaldi on Highway 101 take the Barview Jetty exit. Park and walk out to the jetty or drive through the county and park. The Barview Jetty is more accessible than the south jetty. The fishing for rockfish is more productive off of the Barview Jetty than from the south jetty. The jetty channel runs deeper along the Barview Jetty than it does along the south jetty. The Barview Jetty is the access point to the southern section of Rockaway Beach located just north of the entrance to Tillamook Bay. The fishing is excellent for perch from the Barview Jetty or for redtail surfperch from the southern section of Rockaway Beach.

Tillamook area rivers are the are home to some of Oregon’s finest steelhead and salmon fishing. The diversity of Tillamook Bay provides the angler with the opportunity to plan combination trips. Set out crab pots in the early morning before daylight and fish for Chinook salmon during a high incoming tide in the lower tidal reach of the bay, or dig for clams and pump for sand shrimp in the lower bay during an outgoing minus tide and fish for perch on the incoming tide. Being prepared to make the most of your opportunities can turn an ordinary outing into an exceptional one.

53.8 Tillamook Bay at the Barview Jetty: Located just north of Garibaldi, the Barview Jetty County Park is a great place to stay while on your clam digging and crabbing adventures. The jetty provides the opportunity to fish for salmon, perch and shallow water rockfish. Fishing from the North Jetty is rated the most productive of any Jetty on the Oregon coast. Use a crab snare to take Dungeness crabs while fishing for black rock or perch. Bait the crab snare with herring purchased from the Barview Store. The following video clip of 4 limits of Dungeness crabs.

54.0 The Three Graces are famous landmarks that denotes the beginning of the jetty channel.

55.4 View the train at Rockaway by clicking on the following link in red. Enjoy a trip into history by taking a ride on the Oregon Coast Scenic Railroad. The steam driven locomotive train departs the fishing port of Garibaldi to the resort beach community of Rockaway. Click on the Schedule to purchase tickets on the Oregon Coast Scenic Railroad.

The Salmonberry Trail is 86 miles of adventure from Banks to Tillamook. Oregon's hiking, cycling, and equestrian trail.

For its entirety, the trail follows the century-old Pacific Railway and Navigation Company rail bed, which—due to its steep grades and sharp curves—gained the moniker, “Punk, Rotten and Nasty.” Relicts of its railroad heritage include 13 railroad tunnels and dozens of trestles, including the Big Baldwin Bridge, which offers a stunning view.

The east end of the trail will begin in the pastoral community of Banks at the foothills of the Coast Range. Here, it will connect to the popular 22-mile Banks-Vernonia State Trail, Oregon’s first rail-trail.

The western half of the trail, from Enright to Tillamook, will parallel an active line, the Oregon Coast Scenic Railroad, in a scenario known as rail-with-trail. The organization offers tourist excursions down the coast using vintage locomotives and an all-volunteer crew.

The trail will end on the south side of Tillamook at the Port of Tillamook Bay’s Industrial Park, which includes an air museum that once served as a blimp hanger and, today, showcases various types of aircraft.

55.7                            Tillamook Bay

Captain Robert Gray crossed the bar at Tillamook Bay in the sloop Lady Washington August 14, 1788.  Captain Gray originally named Tillamook Bay, Murders Bay, after Indians killed one of his crewmen, but the bay was later renamed in honor of the Tillamook Indian Tribe.  The Indian word, “Tillamook” means land of many waters.  The Miami, Kilchis, Wilson, Trask and Tillamook Rivers flow into Tillamook Bay.

Tillamook Bay is the second largest and most accessible bay on the Oregon coast, because the bay is so accessible, recreational clam diggers, crabbers and fishermen are able to fulfill their expectations.  The Brad Dawson tidewater access facility is an example of just how recreational friendly Tillamook Bay is.  It is handicapped accessible and is located on the Netarts Highway at the confluence of the Tillamook River and South Fork of the Trask River

Fishing in the open ocean or in the jetty channel requires seaworthy boats and experienced skippers because the Tillamook bar is one of the most dangerous to cross.  More than one fisherman has lost his life while trying to cross the bar on an outgoing tide.  Seaworthy boats are required for safe boating inside the bay to deal with large wind generated waves.  Call the Coast Guard at 1-360-642-3565 for a report of local bar conditions and the extended marine forecast.  The Coast Guard also broadcasts bar conditions on VHF channels 16 and 22.  The following underlined areas of the Tillamook Bar as listed on the Web Page of the Oregon State Marine Board.

Click on Tillamook Bay to view the areas described as the dangerous tidal conditions affecting safe boating when entering of departing Tillamook.

NOAA's Bar Observation Website for Oregon's Bays. Check the NOAA Bar Observations website for updated closures and restrictions.

Bar area. The entire area between the beach and the 20-foot curve is bar area and breaks on the ebbing tide. The water runs out from four to six knots on the average and is very strong. Boaters proceeding out should stop in the channel east of the seaward end of the breakwater and carefully evaluate the bar. If you decide to cross, proceed out - but do not attempt to turn around if the bar is breaking.

North jetty. About 100 yards of the outer end of the north jetty is submerged. This area and the portion of the channel just south of it are extremely dangerous. Avoid the sunken jetty and use caution in the channel south of it.

Middle grounds. Shoaling makes this area unpredictable and hazardous; it should be avoided.

South jetty. About 100 yards of the outer end of the south jetty is submerged. Use caution and avoid the sunken jetty when entering or exiting.

Tillamook Bay channel lies just south of the north jetty. Navigate with extreme caution. This channel changes constantly because of continuous natural silting and scouring. Obtain up-to-date information on channel conditions from the Coast Guard or other authoritative local sources. Do not rely on the range markers without first inquiring whether they mark the present channel location.

Tillamook Bay is Oregon's premier fishing bays. The salmon fishing is legendary and the fishing for rockfish off of the north jetty is the most productive for any of Oregon's bays.

Fishing In Tillamook Bay

I took a video clip of the Salmon Fishing in Tillamook Bay and was lucky enough to catch some footage of anglers at the Ghost Hole and one angler landing a salmon off of the Bar View Jetty.

Last year members of the Longview Hill Fishing Club struck gold in the form of Chinook Salmon. I am a member of the club and wanted to share the excitement of their adventure with my friends. Bill

If you are in need of clam digging equipment or crab gear while visiting the Tillamook Bay - Netarts Bay area stop by the family owned Tillamook Sporting Goods located on the west side of Hwy 101 across the street from Burger King in Tillamook or call 503 842 4334. Tillamook Sporting Goods is located 14 minutes from Netarts Bay to thewest via 3rd St or to Garibaldi via Hwy 101 north of Tillamook. Cheryl and her staff can provide all the equipment necessary for your recreational needs.

The diversity of Tillamook Bay provides the angler with the opportunity to plan combination trips. Set out crab pots in the early morning before daylight and fish for Chinook salmon during a high incoming tide in the lower tidal reach of the bay, or dig for clams and pump for sand shrimp in the lower bay during an outgoing minus tide and fish for perch on the incoming tide. Being prepared to make the most of your opportunities can turn an ordinary outing into an exceptional one.

Chinook salmon return to Tillamook Bay during the spring, fall and in winter. The age class of the returning Chinook is usually comprised of high percentage of 5 year old fish followed by 4 year old and larger 6 year old fish. Spring Chinook salmon begin returning to Tillamook Bay in May peaking in late May into early June but only fin clipped fish may be retained. The highest number of spring Chinook are returning to the Trask and Wilson Rivers respectively with a smaller number straying into the Kilchis and Tillamook Rivers. Fish spring Chinook salmon in the lower bay using the same methods used fishing for fall Chinook salmon.

Fall Chinook begin returning to the bay the last week of August increasing in September and peaking in October with the highest number of Chinook salmon returning to the Trask and Wilson Rivers respectively and fewer Chinook salmon returning to the Tillamook, Kilchis and Miami Rivers. During the fall run the early returning salmon are mostly returning to the Trask River. After September 15th Chinook salmon begin returning to the Wilson and Tillamook Rivers. A small number of Winter Chinook return in November and December to the Wilson River.

Early during the spring and fall runs the best salmon fishing occurs in the ocean below the south jetty and to a lesser extent above the north jetty trolling a plug cut herring behind a herring dodger or flasher along the 20 or 30 foot curve north or south of the jetties. During the peak of the runs the most productive fishing occurs in the lower bay trolling a plug cut herring with the incoming tide in the channel along the north jetty from the jetty jaws to Kincheloe Point. Troll a plug cut herring from late May through the middle of June and from the middle of September through the middle of October with the tide from west of the Coast Guard Station to Garibaldi up the Bay City channel through the Ghost Hole to Sandstone Point. Once past the Ghost Hole add spinners and Kwikfish lures to the trolling mix through Bay City. Trolling for Chinook salmon in the south channel is not as popular as in the Bay City channel but can be as productive for Chinook returning to the Trask and Tillamook Rivers. Troll in the south channel from Kincheloe Point through Crab Harbor to a point opposite of the Oyster Fish Haven with a plug cut herring. The velocity of the tidal current in the lower bay requires sinkers 6 to 20 ounces tied to an 18 to 24 inch dropper to keep the bait in the Chinook’s strike zone.

Chinook salmon migrate upriver to the spawning grounds during high water years but in low water years they will mill around in the upper bay above Bay City before moving into the tidal reach of the river channels awaiting the freshets from spring or fall rains. Troll in the upper bay from Memaloose Point through the Picket Fences or from the Oyster House Hole through the Sheep Corral to Bay City using spinners with green accents and rainbow colored spinner blade or with a 50–50 green or chartreuse and hammered brass blade, or bait wrapped Flatfish lures with a silver body and chartreuse head or Hot Tail finish. Troll these baits next to the bottom utilizing light weight sinkers up to 2 ounce in the shallow water of the tidal flats and in the deepwater channels of the upper bay associated with the Bay City channel or the south channel. Fish only in the Main channel or in the south channel above crab harbor to Boulder Point with local knowledge. For information and fishing gear Tillamook Sporting Goods has it all.

The Trask and Wilson rivers are the largest rivers entering Tillamook Bay followed by the Kilchis, Tillamook and the Miami Rivers. The highest percentage of the Chinook salmon returning to Tillamook Bay are returning to the Trask and Wilson Rivers respectively with a lower percentage returning to the Tillamook River. Fish for spring Chinook in the tidal reach of the Trask and Wilson River in June using the same tackle and methods used to fish for fall Chinook. Fish for fall Chinook salmon holding in the lower tidal reach of the Trask River from early September and in the Tillamook River from mid September and in the Wilson River from early September; fishing through October. Fish for winter run Chinook salmon in the lower tidal reach of the Wilson River from November into December.

The most productive fishing in the lower tidal reach of the Trask, Wilson and Tillamook Rivers occurs when the incoming tide coincides with daybreak. Troll bait wrapped Flatfish lures with the incoming tide to intercept migrating fish or anchoring above the deeper holes and fish the lures near the bottom waiting for the fish to come to you. After sunrise add a rainbow colored spinner and/or a spinner bait combination to the trolling mix and fish through high slack tide. When the tide begins ebb drift with the outgoing tide back bouncing a walnut sized gob of salmon eggs topped with a sand shrimp along the bottom or bobber fish a walnut sized gob of salmon eggs suspended just off of the bottom. Anchor above the deeper holes and bobber fish with salmon eggs and/or a sand shrimp during the outgoing tide through low slack tide, or depending of current velocity fish on the bottom with bait wrapped Flatfish lures, spinners, spinner bait combinations, Spin–N–Glos or with an assortment of wobblers.

Coho salmon return in September peaking in October and running into November but only adipose fin clipped coho may be retained. Fish in the lower bay trolling either a whole herring, plug cut herring, a hoochie sweetened with a chunk of herring, streamer flies or with spinners in the upper half of the water column from the jetty jaws to Garibaldi. The best fishing occurs in the upper bay occurs at high incoming tide from Bay City south trolling a rainbow, chartreuse or pink colored spinner or with a spinner bait combinations. Most of the coho salmon are returning to the Trask River with smaller numbers returning to the Wilson and Tillamook Rivers.

Cutthroat trout return to the Wilson, Trask and Kilchis rivers from the middle of July into October with the highest percentage of cutthroat trout returning to the Trask River and a smaller but equal percentage returning to the Wilson and Kilchis Rivers. The most productive fishing occurring in the tidal reach of the three rivers occurs from the middle of July through August trolling Doc Shelton spinners rigged with night crawlers or by casting spinners.

Black rockfish, copper rockfish and blue rockfish enter Tillamook Bay early as March but usually from April through October withdrawing from the bay during periods of heavy seasonal freshwater runoff in winter and into deeper water during the daylight hours. Black rockfish are by far the dominate shallow water rockfish caught in the bay in declining numbers from along the north jetty to Barview, Garibaldi and the Larson Pond culvert. The north jetty is the most productive location to fish for all three species of shallow water rockfish. Copper rockfish are caught in declining numbers from the north jetty to Garibaldi. The most productive fishing occurs in the jetty channel and in the lower bay during an incoming tide after sunset or at daybreak as the shallow water rockfish enter the bay to feed. Remember if you’re going to fish in the jetty channel at night do so only on an incoming tide and when the ocean is clam.

Pileperch, striped seaperch, redtail surfperch, walleye surfperch and white seaperch enter the bay with the tide during the spring in large numbers feeding heavily on intertidal animals. Fishing ranges from fair to excellent through summer into fall depending on the tides, weather conditions and the amount of freshwater runoff entering the bay. Striped seaperch are the dominant perch species in the lower bay and fishing for them at the Three Graces can be red hot on both the incoming and out going tides. Fish for striped seaperch, pileperch, redtail surfperch and walleye surfperch from shore at the Three Graces, Hobsonville Point, the Ghost Hole or Sandstone Point. Fishing in the Bay City channel, the main channel and the south channel is productive during both the incoming and outgoing tide. The perch follow the channels with the tide up the bay to Bay City.

Kelp greenling, rock greenling and whitespotted greenling are year–round residents. Statistically Tillamook Bay produces the highest catch rate for greenling for any of Oregon’s bays. Fishing is the best in the spring into summer and poorest during periods of heavy seasonal rainfall and flooding. By far the best fishing is located in the rocky structure along the north jetty followed by Barview and the Larson Pond culvert with a smaller number being caught in the structure associated with the Port of Garibaldi.

Lingcod fishing improves along the north jetty and the Barview jetty from late January with the best fishing occurring from late February to early April along the north jetty followed by Barview Jetty. The slowest fishing occurs from May through December.

Cabezon fishing along the north jetty ranges from poor to fair throughout the year. Angler should concentrate fish during the peak of the spawning period from February into March. Fishing for cabezon over the submerged portion of the north jetty is exceptional from early spring but it should only be attempted when the ocean is flat calm.

White sturgeon are present in the bay for most of the year. The catch ratio of keeper sturgeon caught for the number of hours fished is the highest of Oregon’s bays. Sturgeon enter Tillamook Bay in December. The best fishing is from the middle of December through May with the emphasis in February and March. The fishing in the bay declines during June and July and is slow until December. The most productive time to fish is during the last two hours of the outgoing tide through low slack tide. Fish with mud and/or sand shrimp in the holes, shallow depressions or along the slope of the banks associated with the south, main or Bay City channels, the Sheep Coral or the area from the Picket Fence to Memaloose Point. Fish in the shallow depressions and holes associated with the tidal reach of the river channels of the Wilson, Trask and Tillamook rivers. The fishing declines in the bay as the sturgeon move into the tidal reach of the Tillamook River and to a lesser extent into the Wilson and Trask Rivers. The fishing in the Tillamook River is usually consistent from July through September and at times through October into November but is sporadic in the Wilson and Trask Rivers. Call the area’s tackle shops to find the area of the bay with the hot bite.

Sand Sole enter Tillamook Bay in small numbers from April through August.

Tillamook Bay at the Port of Garibaldi is the second largest and most accessible bay on the Oregon coast, because the bay is so accessible, recreational clam diggers, crabbers and fishermen are able to fulfill their expectations.

The Garibaldi Marina is a full service marina offering a large array of products and services. Jeff reminds everyone to use caution when boating in the bay during the high velocity of clam tides. The Garibaldi Marina at 503 322 3312 is operating on Summer Hours. Jeff operates a fleet of rental boats all in top condition. However the boats are rented to crab, clam or fish in the bay during the incoming tide only. Crabbing is always better when you're in a boat!!! Rental Boats are done by reservation only. Reservations are accepted no more than 7 to 10 days in advance.

Jeff from Garibaldi Marina has a video clip available on his website or click on Boat Crabbing to view it. The Garibaldi Marina is a full service marina offering a large array of products and services. When I visited Jeff at the Garibaldi Marina the first thing I noticed that everything was neat and stowed where it belonged, see photo below. Jeff rents everything you need to make you trip a success. Boat rentals are reasonable priced and by reservation only. Boats are only rented during the incoming tide so consult the tide table link below to plan your trip.. Jeff, his wife, Val and their two boys, Cody and Casey operate the Garibaldi Marina. Click on the image of the photo to enlarge it.

Garibaldi Marina.gif

Safety is our number one priority at Garibaldi Marina. It is this reason that we can only rent our boats on the INCOMING tide with favorable weather conditions. Please plan accordingly.

We rent 16 foot aluminum boats with well maintained late model 8 hp motors. All required safety equipment is included with the rental at no additional charge. Coast Guard regulations do not allow more than 5 persons on board including children.

At the time of rental we will go over a map of the bay, detailing where to go and where the crabbing is good. We will also go over safety procedures, boat and motor operation and take time to answer any and all questions you may have. Please arrive a little early to allow time for this. Already experienced with boats and our area? Then please be patient and enjoy our refresher course! Crab image by Garibaldi Marina. Click on the image to enlarge it.

Tillamook bay Johnny B Scott Lannies 30 crab.jpg

We rent crab rings! Crab rings are a little different than crab pots. The primary difference is that you need to check crab rings more often, we recommend checking them about every ten minutes. Please feel free to bring your own gear or rent or purchase from us.

RATES

Boat rentals - $80 first three hours / $10 each additional hour as tide and weather allow.
Crab Rings - $6 each for the day. Back by end of business day - No overnight rentals.
Crab bait - $3.00 each
Crab Cooking - First 12 crab FREE with boat rental!

The most common package we put together for our customers is a 3 hour boat rental / 3 crab rings / 6 crab bait for a total cost of $116.

We rent crab rings! Crab rings are a little different than crab pots or traps. The primary difference is that you need to check crab rings more often, we recommend checking them about every ten minutes from a boat and about every fifteen minutes when crabbing off the docks.

We also rent clam rakes! Clam rakes are great for harvesting many kinds of bay clams. Locally you can find Gapers, Butters, Cockles, Littlenecks, & Softshells.

Both Crab Rings and Clam Rakes are a $6.00 Rental and are due back an hour before the end of the business day. Sorry - No overnight rentals.

ODFW Crab and Clam Distribution Maps for Tillamook Bay
Click on the Seacor Shellfish Areas for Tillamook Bay to link to ODFW's maps of the shellfish.

The Port of Garibaldi offers crabbing and/or fishing from the public dock at the intersection of 7th and Commercial and from the Pier's End crabbing dock at 12 Avenue.

Crabbing off of the 7th. Ave. Crabbing Dock.

Crabbing off of the 12th. Ave. Crabbing Dock.

Ocean Crabbing:

Combination trips for fish and crab pay off for my friends. Last year my friend Tim reported the he and his friends took 44 crabs in 2 days last while fishing for lingcod and rockfish out of Tillamook Bay. They set the pots in 35 feet of water 1 mile south of the entrance to Tillamook Bay. My friend Tim took the crabs in the same area that my friend Jerry did in the following images below while fishing for coho salmon. Sometimes it pays to take advantage of your recreational opportunities by taking crabs and catching coho salmon. Notice the coho in the cooler with the crabs. Click on the images to enlarge them.

Clam Digging:

Public access to the bay clam digging areas of Tillamook Bay is limited to the Garibaldi tidal flat or the large tidal flat adjacent on the Bay Ocean Peninsula just south of Crab Harbor. The clam digging at the tidal flat located just south of the Crab Harbor is great for gaper clams and cockles. Access the Garibaldi tidal flat via 12th street. Butter clams, gaper clams as well as some cockles are located in the tidal flats dominated by gravel substrate west of the 12 street crabbing dock. Digging in the mixed substrate of gravel, mud and sand using a potato fork with a shovel is difficult at best. We recommend digging for bay clams from the tidal flats accessible by boats of from the tidal flats from the Bay Ocean Peninsula Rd, but it is a long walk that requires the use of some type of cart to carry your equipment. Use caution when walking out onto the tidal flats. Becoming trapped in the mud is easy and getting unstuck can be nearly impossible.

Thanks to who ever you are for she most of your crabbing and clam digging opportunity digging gaper clams and crabbing in Tillamook Bay.

Dig clams, crab and fish from late fall from throughout the bay during the early morning out going tide. However use caution when boating in the bay during the outgoing tide. The combination of the outgoing tidal current in combination with the ebbing tide can create huge swells that can sink a boat in seconds. Always wear a lifejacket when boating in Oregon's Bays. Click HERE to view the current crabbing, clam digging and fishing report.

Mile by mile continuation

55.9 the Mill smokestack towers 195 feet above the Old Mill site.

56.9 Miami River.

61.0 The Kelchis Point Reserve is approximately 200 acres along Tillamook Bay in Bay City, Oregon. The Tillamook County Pioneer Museum (TCPM) owns, protects, maintains, and holds this land in the public trust. Kilchis Point is home to a wide variety of plants (flora) and animals (fauna) that together form precious ecosystems.

63.0 Kilchis River

63.9 Tillamook is world famous for cheddar cheese. The Tillamook Cheese Factory offers a self–guided tour. View the cheese making process through the viewing windows.

Tillamook River

Trask River

64.1 Wilson River.

64.4 The Latimer Quilt and Textile Center is a museum and living arts center. It is housed in the restored 1930s Maple Leaf schoolhouse and features exhibits of vintage and contemporary textiles. It also is an active place for the creation of textile arts, complete with classrooms and a resource library. It is located at 2105 Wilson River Loop Road a short distance from U.S. Highway 101.

65.0 The Tillamook County Pioneer Museum has a huge collection of information on the area, its history and its people. The three-story museum is a piece of local history, too. It was built in 1905 and served as the county courthouse for 30 years. Among its most popular attractions are a replica of a blacksmith shop and a forest fire lookout station. The research library has many shelves full of historical information, with more than 3,000 volumes. The museum is located in the heart of downtown Tillamook at 2106 2nd Street.

Traveling south on HWY 101 from Tillamook inland to Beaver, Hebo and Cloverdale:

68.1 Tillamook is also the location of the Tillamook Air Museum with its collection of World War Two aircraft, but the planes are gone except for as they appear in our video clip. The Tillamook Air Museum. The video provides the visitor with a glimpse of horror and glory of War.

The current aircraft on display include: the Aerospacelines Mini-Guppy, Bell TH-57 Hellicopter, Cessna 180F Skywagon, Chris-Teena Mini-Coupe, Douglas A4-B Skyhawk (on Highway 101), Erco Ercoupe 415-C, Fairchild Gk-1, Grumman F-14A Tomcat, Kaman HTK-1 (Helicopter), Ling-Temco-Vought A-7 Corsair ll, Mikoyan-Gurevich Mig-17/Lim 6, Nieuport 11 (Replica), Nord 1101 Noralpha, Quickie (homebuilt aircraft hanging above Café), 1967 Parker 2nd Ranger Glider, Learjet 24, Mikoyan-Gurevich Mig-17F/Lim5, A-26C Invader, Fouga-CM 170 Magister, BAC Jet Provost Mk. 3A, 1939 Piper J3 Cub and the C-27A Spartan

Tillamook is the gateway to the Three Capes Scenic Loop. Visitors to the Three Capes Scenic Loop have the opportunity to enjoy the unsurpassed visual grandeur of Oregon’s coastal treasures. The view of Tillamook Bay from Cape Mears provides the visitor with a vision of things to come as they travel south on the Three Capes Scenic Loop.

Click on Munson Falls: to view the spectacular video clip.

65.1 Coast Route directions for visitors traveling south on Three Capes Scenic Loop. Highway 101 goes inland through the communities of Beaver, Hebo and Cloverdale before rejoining the Coast Route at Nestucca Bay but the Sand Lake cutoff bypasses Cape Mears and Cape Lookout at mile marker 76.7 on Highway101. From Tillamook the Three Capes Scenic Loop south begins by turning west onto 3rd Street in the City of Tillamook. The Coast Route continues south on the Netarts Highway to the Three Capes Scenic Loop via Bayocean Road (1.8 miles from Hwy 101 at Tillamook) to the Bayocean Peninsula and the community of Cape Mears. The Three Capes Scenic Loop continues by turning left on the Cape Mears Road (7.2 miles from Hwy 101 at Tillamook) to the communities of Oceanside (11.8 miles from Hwy 101 at Tillamook) and Netarts Bay (14.5 miles from Hwy 101 a Tillamook). From Netarts travel along the bay on Netarts Bay Drive, this becomes Whiskey Creek Road to Cape Lookout State Park. Whiskey Creek Road becomes Cape Lookout Road before the entrance to Cape Lookout State Park (22.5 miles from Hwy 101 at Tillamook). Drive over Cape Lookout to the Sand Lake Road. Turn right onto Sand Lake Road to Sand Lake (29.5 miles from Hwy 101 at Tillamook) and Cape Kiwanda (34.1 miles from Hwy 101at Tillamook). At Pacific City turn left and cross the Nestucca River (35.0 miles from Hwy 101 at Tillamook). Turn right onto Brooten Road. Brooten Road follows the north shore of Nestucca Bay where it rejoins Highway 101 at mile marker 90.4. The miles listed for the Three Capes Scenic Loop reflect the distance actual distance traveled north on the individual roads that comprise the Three Capes Scenic Loop for a total of 37.9 highway miles from the intersection of Hwy 101 and Brooten Road to the intersection of Hwy 101 and 3rd Street (Netarts Hwy) in the City of Tillamook.

Cape Mears Beach and the Community of Cape Meares are located north of Cape Mears and south of the Bayocean Peninsula 7.9 miles at the end of Bayocean Road. Parking is limited within the Community of Cape Mears. There is fair to excellent fishing for redtail surfperch along the ocean side of the beach from late spring through summer.

Located on Hwy 131 (Netarts Hwy) 1/8 mile South of Bay Ocean Rd the The Brad Dawson tidewater handicap access facility is an example of just how recreational friendly Tillamook Bay is. It is handicapped accessible and is located on the Netarts Highway at the confluence of the Tillamook River and South Fork of the Trask River and provides the disabled the opportunity to fish for salmon and sturgeon. Continue south 6.6 miles to Netarts Bay and the community of Netarts.

28.6 north 9.3 south – Cape Mears State Scenic Viewpoint is located north of Oceanside Beach on Cape Mears. The emphasis is on the outstanding view and the tormented Octopus tree. The light at Cape Mears lighthouse was lit on January 1, 1890. The Coast Trail continues to Short Beach on the south side of the park.

27.2 north 10.7 south –Short Beach is accessed through the south end of Cape Mears State Park or Park along the highway 1.1 miles north of Oceanside and follow the trail down to the beach. Fishing for redtail surfperch from late spring through summer is good.

26.1 north 11. 8 south – Oceanside Beach is located 2.0 miles north of Netarts Bay off of the Cape Mears Road. The beach has been listed by ODFW as a location to dig for razor clams and is a good location to fish for redtail surfperch. The Ocean Beach State Wayside has a small but ample parking area. Mt. Maxwell located above Oceanside is a favorite location of Oregon’s hang gliders.

23.4 north 14.5 south Netarts Bay is one of the pearls of the Three Capes Scenic Loop. The bay, Oregon’s sixth largest, is more like a tidal basin than a bay because it receives a limited amount of freshwater from the small streams flowing into it. The absence of a large river flowing into it, plus the isolation of the bay, has spared it from the effects of human development that have degraded the water quality of Oregon’s other large bays. Oysters grown in the bay are renowned for their quality and flavor because of the high quality of the water. The freshwater entering the bay has minimal effect on the salinity of the saltwater in the bay and for this reason the bay is noted more for the excellent crabbing and clam digging than for fishing.

Navigational information for crossing the bar at Netarts Bay. It is dangerous to attempt to cross the bar at Netarts Bay at anytime. Use caution when boating in the lower bay. Plan your boating activities to clear of the lower bay prior to low tide. The high velocity of the outgoing tide can pull a small boat across the bar into the surf.

Redtail surfperch, pileperch, walleye surfperch, silver surfperch, striped seaperch and white seaperch enter the bay for most of the year to feed.  Fishing ranges from good to excellent from spring through fall and from poor to fair in winter.  Fishing is excellent at the Boiler Hole just south of the boat launch in the lower half of the bay and in the channels adjacent to the tidal flats.

Kelp greenling, whitespotted greenling and rock greenling enter the bay with the tide.  The best fishing occurs during the fall and in the spring in the lower bay.  Sea trout and perch are often caught in the same areas.

Black rockfish and copper rockfish are caught in Netarts Bay but the fishing is inconsistent.     

Starry Flounder fishing ranges from poor for most of the year to fair in early spring.

ODFW Crab and Clam Distribution Maps for Netarts Bay

Click on the image of the map to enlarge it. Click on the Seacor Shellfish Areas for Netarts Bay to link to ODFW's maps of the shellfish

Netarts Bay Crabbing: What has changed Winter crabbing productivity? At one time in the recent past crabbing in Netarts Bay was excellent for most of the year especially during winter. The winter crabbing in Netarts Bay was the most productive of any bay on the Oregon Coast. Today, the productive crabbing during the winter months has declined to mediocre. The consensus of opinion offered by local's boils down to two reasons: 1. the increased Dungeness crab catch by commercial crabbers crabbing in the ocean outside of the bar and shoaling occurring at the entrance at the bay at the bar. My guess it is a combination of factors.

Kelp crabs: last summer crabbers Tim and Walt report crabbing from the shore at Happy Camp for Dungeness crabs is slow. However Tim caught 8 kelp crabs. All of which he returned to the bay. Kelp crabs are not fit to eat.

Last summer found one lucky crabber catching a starry flounder from the shore at Happy Camp.

Clam Digging Netarts Bay:

Large gaper clams can be located at a depth up to 39 inches under sandy substrate making nearly impossible to dig without a cylinder to keep the sand from caving in filling the hole. The gaper clam in the video was not as deep as hoped for but what difference does it make.

On August 11 After visiting the tidal flats on the west side of Netarts Bay and failing to find any clams where we usually dig them, we located a large tidal flat of amazing abundance of bay clams further up the bay. What was so amazing was the area showed no signs of anyone having dug clams from the area. We were going to dig our usual mixture of bay clams but could resist taking limits of fist sized cockles showing at our feet.

on 06/09 the trip from Netarts Bay offered a great view of the Elk grazing at the property of the Tillamook Air Museum. I was so excited at seeing the elk on my way home from digging clams at Netarts, I had to stop and film them after taking Josh Kline clam digging at Netarts. Josh Kling and friends went clam digging at Netarts Bay for gaper and butter clams. The group camped at Cape Lookout State Park over the weekend. I had a dreat time heling those folks that were new to digging clams.

On 06/29 my buddy Walt and I walked in at the Whiskey Creek fish hatchery looking for Steamer Clams. We found the digging few and far between. The size and abundance of all species of bay clams continues to decline. We both took home limits of Manila Clams but we picked up most of the clams from surface of the substrate.

Thin Shell Littleneck Clams are an uncommon clam found in Netarts Bay. Netarts is the bay to dig for Thin Shell Littleneck clams. I plan on digging them. Bill

On 05/18/14 My wife and I visited Netarts Bay to butter clams and Manila clams. It was her first clam dig. We had a great time.

On 08/01/12 My friends returned to Netarts Bay to search for large softshell clams but without success I managed to dig but one softshell clam; however, diggging for gaper clams, butter clams and Manila clams was productive as shown below.

On 07/21/12 I was not satisfied with the Manila clams I dug on 07/17 and returned to Netarts Bay to dig for larger Manila clams. My effort was rewarded when my clam dog and I tried another spot further up the bay. The 5 inch softshell clam was a surprise and I intend on returning tomorrow to see if the old man has enough juice to dig a limit of softshell clams and a limit of bay clams as shown below.

On 07/17/12 My wife, Diane and I drove to Whiskey Creek to dig for Manila Clams, but it was raining when we arrived and Diane waited in the SUV while I dug clams. I met a young lady who had raked a limit of Manila clams leaving the Fish Hatchery and asked her for a heads up on where to go. She told me to go past the stick sticking out of the mud and go north to dig clams. I followed her advice and dug a limit of Manila clams. It was not until I set down at home and viewed the video of my clam digging adventure that I realized the meaning of the series of the sticks in the mud extending across the tidal flats. Are boundary markers for the Shellfish Reserve? While I was out digging clams my wife informed me that an OSP officer drove into the parking area and disappeared into the tree. The importance of the sticks in the mud and the OSP officer walking into the trees became apparent. Was he looking for diggers digging in the Shellfish Reserve? I looked in the 2012 Oregon Sport Fishing Regulations and could not find any reference to boundary location markers. I had a great time digging Manila clams at Whiskey Creek. You will enjoy raking for Manila clams there.

On 06/04/12 I went clam digging for razor clams on Cape Lookout Spit. I dug 1 razor clams out of the 3 shows in the wet sand. One of the other 5 diggers had 2 razor clams. I noticed a number of molted female crab shells on the beach, which means the males are still being occupied by the females outside of the bay. Crabbing in the bay is still slow but has picked up somewhat.

My buddy Rick and his daughter dug limits of mostly butter clams from the tidal flats in Netarts Bay. We took his boat and looked for clams on the isolated tidal flats near the mouth of the bay. Rick dug one 5 1/2 inch razor clam. It was the only one we found. However, we did find a small pocket of large gaper clams, that we will dig the next time out.

On 06/02/12 and 06/03 Clam Clinic Netarts bay was attended by 42 participants dug limits of bay clams.

On 08/29/11 my buddy Bill (RIP) asked to dig some steamer clams, so off to Netarts Bay we went.

You have to work to dig limits of steamer clams at Netarts Bay and today was no different. What a great day it turned out to be. With a little instruction, Bill dug his second limit of steamer clams. His first limit was taken from the Hood Canal years ago.

My wife wanted some chowder so I dug butter clams to make a small batch of tasty creamy style chowder, but I took the time to dig 6 steamer clams for taste treat for myself.

Netarts Bay and Coos Bay are the two Oregon's Bays that have a verified population of geoduck clams but the clams are seldom found in the intertidal zone. Clam digger Jim knew what he was looking at when he saw the neck of the geoduck.

Internet Links of interest for Netarts Bay:

View the NOAA Tidal Projections and click on your area of interest.

View future tidal projections for Netarts Bay 2014.

Click on the following link to view the Marine Weather Forecast from Zone Forecast: Coastal waters from Cape Shoalwater WA to Cascade Head OR out 10 nm.

18.1 north 19.8 southCape Lookout State Park is another gem on the Three Capes Scenic Loop and is located in one of the most beautiful coastal settings in Oregon. Cape Lookout State Park is a full service park and is located on the south end of Netarts Bay off of the Cape Lookout Road. The Netarts Bay sand spit is accessed through Cape Lookout State Park. Razor clams are dug on the ocean side to the tip of the spit. Fishing for redtail surfperch is excellent on the ocean side of the spit. Access to the spit is through the State Park or by boat across Netarts Bay.

Mile by Mile Map of the Oregon Coast Trail from Cape Lookout State Park to Lincoln City.

15.4 north 22.5 southCape Lookout is located between the Sand Lake Recreational Area and Netarts Bay off of the Cape Lookout Road. The cape is renowned for the panoramic view at the end of a 2.5 mile trail. Anderson view point is a favorite launch area of Oregon’s hang gliders.

11.0 north 26.9 southSand Lake Beach is located north of the entrance to Sand Lake and below Cape Lookout. The fishing for surfperch is outstanding at the entrance to the tidal basin. Turn west from Sand Lake Drive onto Galloway Road. Follow the road 2.4 miles to the Sand Lake Recreational Area and the north Shore of Sand Lake. The recreational area is renowned for ATV use. The recreational area is a full use park with ample parking for all vehicles.

8.4 north 25.9 south Sand Lake at Whalen Island.

Sand Lake is one of the gems of the Three Capes Scenic Loop.  The natural wonder of the tidal basin is its most outstanding attribute.  The fishing and crabbing is consistent because rainfall has little effect on the salinity of the water because the basin does not have a large continuous source of freshwater.  The presence of perch, flounder and crabs in Sand Lake is governed by the tides.  The bar at Sand Lake is too dangerous to attempt to cross.  Access is gained to Sand Lake by turning west onto the Whelan Park Road at actual highway mile 8.4 on Sand Lake Road.  The county park is a full service park.  It is wonderful place for a family vacation.  The north spit of Sand Lake is threatened by erosion as a large portion of the north spit has recently washed into the sea.  Motor vehicles are allowed in most areas of the area beaches from Nestucca Bay to Sand Lake.  Check with local State Park officials for areas of the beach open to motor vehicles and seasonal closures.    

  Low and high salt marshes are the most prominent tidal areas in Sand Lake.  They are the first areas to become exposed on an outgoing tide and the last to be covered by the incoming tide.  The high and low salt marshes in this publication are shown as extended shoreline or as islands.  Much of the tidal area extending from the Shore of Sand Lake is salt marsh.

Redtail surfperch, pileperch, walleye surfperch, silver surfperch and striped seaperch enter the tidal basin in small numbers throughout the year.  They enter the tidal basin with the tide feeding heavily on intertidal animals.  Fishing is usually fair depending on the tide, time of year and the weather conditions.  The best fishing for perch and all species occurs from May through October during the incoming tide in the deepwater channels adjacent to the tidal flats in the lower part of the tidal basin south and west of Whalen Island.  

Starry Flounder fishing at onetime was the dominate fishery in Sand Lake.  Today the fishing ranges from poor for most of the year to fair at best in the spring.    

Chinook salmon stray into Sand Lake in small numbers and several are caught in the tidal basin each year.

Cutthroat trout return to Sand Creek from late July into September but the greatest numbers return in August.  Fish in Sand Lake during the incoming tide trolling Doc Shelton spinners rigged with night crawlers.  

Coho salmon are occasionally are caught in Sand Lake.

Bank Fishing is on the north shore inside the entrance to the north bar and from the south shore of Whalen Island

Clam digging in Sand Lake is limited to purple varnish clams and a small population of cockles.  The population of purple varnish clams in Sand Lake is the highest of any of Oregon’s bays.  The purple varnish clam beds are located along the North Channel

Crabbing ranges from fair to good for most of the year inside the entrance to the tidal basin south and to the west of Whalen Island.  Historically the most productive crabbing occurs from May through September with the most productivity occurring during May and August.   The crabbing is consistent because rainfall has little effect on the salinity of the water because the basin does not have a large continuous source of freshwater.

The Sand Lake boat launch is located at the Whalen County Park on the south shore. Caution: the parking floods during the incoming tide.

6.1 north 31.8 south – Tierra Del Mar Beach is located north of Cape Kiwanda below the entrance to Sand Lake on the Three Capes Scenic Loop along Sand Lake Drive. The fishing for surfperch is outstanding on the Tierra Del Mar Beach and at the entrance to the Sand Lake tidal basin. Motor vehicles are allowed on the beach all year except they are prohibited north of the entrance from May to September 30, days all year. Driving south, Sand Lake Drive becomes Kiwanda Drive.

3.8 north 34.1 south – Cape Kiwanda is located 1.2 miles north of Pacific City. From the south turn left from Brooten Road onto Pacific Ave and right onto Kiwanda Drive after crossing the Nestucca River. From the north turn right onto Hungry Harbor Dr. from Kiwanda Drive. The fishing is excellent for all species at Cape Kiwanda. Cape Kiwanda provides boats protection from northwesterly winds that predominate during the summer months. Anglers use to crowd onto the steep sided sandstone cliffs, but now, private development on the Cape prevents access. Refer to the Oregon Sport Fishing Regulation restricting the taking of shellfish within the Cape Kiwanda Marine Garden. There is ample parking at the beach access site of Pacific City’s famous Oregon dory fleet on Kiwanda Beach. Click on image to enlarge it.

The spirit of adventure is embodied in anglers who are courageous enough to charter a dory for an early morning fishing trip to the inshore reefs. It is a trip that will stimulate every red blood cell in your body. The adventure begins as the dory clears the surf to the open ocean. The angler is in store for some of the best fishing for shallow water rockfish and lingcod the ocean has to offer. The return to the beach is thrilling as the dory races through the surf to the beach.

Kiwanda Beach extends from the Nestucca Bay sand spit on the north shore of Nestucca Bay to Cape Kiwanda. The fishing for redtail surfperch is excellent from late spring through summer. Access to Kiwanda Beach gained through Pacific City. Drive to Pacific City from the north via Three Capes Scenic Loop on Kiwanda Drive and from the south by exiting Highway 101 at milepost 90.4 onto Brooten Road. Drive to Pacific City turn left at Pacific Ave. Cross the Nestucca River and turn left onto Sunset Dr. and follow the signs 0.5 miles to Bob Straub State Park Wayside. The wayside is a day use park with ample parking for all vehicles.

2.9 north 35.0 south           Nestucca Bay

The bay is very shallow and dominated by tidal flats.  The bar at the entrance to Nestucca Bay is dangerous to cross.  Not at anytime should the small boater attempt to cross the bar.  You should only crab or fish in the lower bay on a high incoming tide because the speed of the current from a strong outgoing tide can pull a small boat into the surf at the bar capsizing the boat

Nestucca Bay is one of the jewels of the Three Capes Scenic Loop.  The beauty of Oregon’s tenth largest bay provides the visitor a vision of things to come as they travel north on the Three Capes Scenic Loop. 

The bay is very shallow and dominated by tidal flats.  Each fall the shallow water of the tidal flats attracts thousands of migrating waterfowl. Local anglers refer to Nestucca River as the Big Nestucca or the big river and to the Little Nestucca River as the little river.  The Nestucca Basin is renowned for its premier fishing for Chinook salmon, steelhead and searun cutthroat trout. 

The Nestucca Basin is renowned for its premier fishing for Chinook salmon, steelhead and sea run cutthroat trout. Click on the following link to view the salmon fishing episode from the bank at the boat ramp. A word of cautions, the rocky and or muddy shoreline structure is very slippery so wear the appropriate footwear when fishing or taking crawdads.

Fishing in the Nestucca River Estuary 

Chinook salmon return to Nestucca River during the spring, summer and in the fall.  Chinook salmon return to Little Nestucca River only during the fall.  The majority of the Chinook salmon returning in the fall returns to the big Nestucca River

The spring run of Chinook salmon begins about the first week of May peaking in late May – early June and running through June. The catch rate averages 890 fish per year and is comprised of a high percentage of mature 5 year old fish.  Some anglers' fish for spring Chinook salmon in the lower bay trolling a plug cut herring, but most fish in the river above the head of tidewater.

Spring Chinook unlike their fall cousins spend very little time in tidewater.  Some Chinook may hold briefly at the head of tidewater at Cloverdale, while others continue upriver to the spawning grounds.  The spring Chinook salmon’s exception to their fall behavioral pattern of tidewater

The summer run fish enter the bay in late July peaking in August.  The average catch rate is 257 acclamation provides anglers with the opportunity to fish for upriver bright salmon whose flesh is still at its optimum quality.  Drifting the Nestucca River from Farmer’s Creek to either Three Rivers or the Cloverdale boat launch is the best way to fish for spring Chinook salmon above the head of tidewater.  Fish for spring Chinook back trolling or back bouncing eggs and sand shrimp or with bait wrapped Flatfish lures.  Bobber fish in the deeper holes with a walnut sized gob of salmon eggs with sand shrimp.  Anchor above the deeper holes and fish on the bottom using bait wrapped Flatfish lures, spinners, spinner bait combinations, bait sweetened Spin–N–Glos, an assortment of wobblers or a combination of salmon eggs and sand shrimp. fish per year.  The summer run fish follow the fall run’s behavioral pattern of freshwater acclamation.  Fish for them using the same angling methods used for fall Chinook.

Fall Chinook salmon begin to return about the end of August, peaking in September into October.  The average catch rate for fall Chinook is 3150 fish per year and is comprised of a high percentage of mature 5 year old fish.  The best fishing for newly arriving fall Chinook salmon occurs in the lower bay during the incoming tide of the major tidal exchange of spring tides or neap tides especially when the incoming tide coincides with sunrise or sunset.  The next most productive fishing period occurs at sunrise or sunset during the incoming tide of the minor tidal exchange in the daily tidal cycle.  Daybreak is that magical time of day when Chinook salmon bite the best.  Be sure to have the bait in the water one half hour before sunrise.  Fishing is most productive from ½ hour before sunrise to midmorning and from late afternoon until ½ hour after sunset.  Early in the run troll a plug cut herring with the incoming tide through high slack tide or with the outgoing tide from Cannery Hill seaward in the channel paralleling the east shore to the bar.  The velocity of the tidal current in the lower bay requires the use of heavy sinkers up to 12 ounces to keep the bait in the Chinook’s strike zone. 

  During the peak of the run fish downstream from Pacific City to the northern most point of Cannery Hill then seaward to the bar or from the boat launch in the Little Nestucca arm of the bay to Cannery Hill then seaward.  Early on troll with a plug cut herring, followed later by trolling spinners, spinner bait combinations or with bait wrapped Flatfish lures with the incoming high tide through high slack tide and with the outgoing tide.  Later in the run troll spinners, spinner bait combinations or bait wrapped Flatfish lures with the incoming tide through high slack tide from Pacific City to Big Bend.  Anchor and fish with wobblers or bobber fish using eggs, sand shrimp or a combination of eggs and sand shrimp or fish in the deeper holes down river from Big Bend to the Pacific City boat ramp during the last two hours of the outgoing tide.  Troll with the incoming tide from Pacific City to the ODFW boat ramp at the head of tidewater in Cloverdale or back bounce or back troll with the outgoing tide fishing with bait wrapped Flatfish lures, spinners or spinner bait combinations.  Bobber fish using a free sliding bobber drifting a walnut sized gob of salmon eggs topped with sand shrimp along the bottom in the deeper holes in the upper tidal reach above Big Bend during the out going tide.  Accent the salmon eggs and sand shrimp with a small length of pink, red, chartreuse or orange yarn.

Coho salmon begin returning to Nestucca Bay in September peaking in October and running through November.  In some years they may enter the bay latter peaking in November.   The best fishing occurs early in the run in the lower bay below Pacific City trolling with plug herring, hoochies or streamer flies behind a flasher and a wire spreader.  Troll with the incoming tide from the entrance of the bay to the bridge over the Big Nestucca River.  Troll in the upper bay with the outgoing tide from the Woods Bridge seaward and in the little river from the Highway 101 bridge seaward trolling with rainbow, chartreuse or pink colored spinners or with spinner bait combinations.

Cutthroat trout return to Nestucca Bay in late July or early August but historically searun cutthroat trout entered the bay as early as May.  Fishing for cutthroat is productive along the entire tidal reach of the big and little rivers.  Fish in the big river from the Woods Bridge seaward or in the little river from the Highway 101 Bridge seaward trolling Doc Shelton spinners rigged with a night crawler or by casting spinners.  Fish in the tidal reach of the big and little rivers above the Woods and Highway 101 Bridges trolling Doc Shelton spinners rigged with a night crawler, casting spinners or by anchoring above the deeper holes and fishing on the bottom with night crawlers or by casting spinners.     

Striped seaperch, pileperch, redtail surfperch and walleye surfperch enter the bay in late spring.  Schools of perch move onto the tidal flats feeding heavily on intertidal animals.  The fishing ranges from poor to fair through fall depending on the tides, weather conditions and the number of perch entering the bay.  Historically fishing for perch is slow in Nestucca Bay.  Fish for perch along the channel adjacent to the eel grass beds on either side of the bay from the mouth of the bay to the confluence of the Big and Little Nestucca Rivers at Cannery Hill.  The best fishing for perch occurs at the deep hole on the north shore slightly east of the confluence of the Nestucca and Little Nestucca. 

White sturgeon enter Nestucca Bay in small numbers beginning in December.  The best fishing occurs from December through June but is sporadic at best.  The sturgeon fishery is the least productive of any of Oregon’s large bays.  The best time to fish for sturgeon is two hours before low tide through low slack.  Start fishing at the Airport Hole located below the Pacific City boat ramp and work upstream from there.  Sturgeon have been caught by anglers while fishing for perch the deep hole associated with the tidal flat on the north shore slightly east of the confluence of the Nestucca and Little Nestucca.  Mud and/or sand shrimp are the most productive bait.  The sturgeon fishery is a small one that is of interest to local anglers only.

Bank Fishing for salmon is accessible from the public boat launches at the head of tidewater in Cloverdale and upstream at the confluence of Three Rivers and Farmer Creek from the Pacific City boat ramp or the at the boat ramp or on south shore of the Little Nestucca River with a bobber using eggs, sand shrimp or a combination of eggs and sand shrimp or with spinners.  The Nestucca Valley Sporting Goods Store in Hebo can direct you to hat allow public access. 

Clam digging in Nestucca Bay is limited to the harvest of softshell clams on the east shore above the Little Nestucca River along Brooten Road as shown in the below photo by clam diggers Gary and Jan in addition to purple varnish clams.and on the west shore near the entrance to the bar.  Using a boat to access the clam bed is best way to access the clam beds.

Crabbing in Nestucca Bay is not as productive as Oregon’s other large bays and ranges from fair to good at best from spring to early fall in the lower half of the bay in the deeper water near the entrance at the bar.Typically the best crabbing occurs in the lower bay seaward during the period of time from mid-summer into mid fall when the river flows are at their lowest.

Crabber Steve and friends took time off of crabbing and fishing in Siletz Bay to crab in the lower Nestucca Bay. Several months prior to this visit Steve and friends took near limit catches of Dungeness crabs using Crab Max crab traps; however, this time they did not take a crab. Recent rainfall pushed the crabs out into the ocean.

Times are tough and economical R/V and tent space accomodations in the Three Capes Scenic Loop are extremely limited. There are low cost alternatives to the high priced RV parks in Woods and Pacific City for R/V ers and tent campers. The Whelan County Park at Sand Lake and the Woods Campground and County Park are two another options for campers located nearby in Woods and Sand Lke.

Is there anything more rewarding than taking a bushel of crawdads from Oregon's coastal rivers? What a great recreational opportunity for all! The day we visited the Nestucca river it was more of a fact finding trip. Much like crabs the culinary diversity of crawdads is only limited by your imagination.

The limit for crawdads is 72 per person per day. We only took enough crawdads to satisfy our immediate needs as a side dish. I cooked the crawdad in the video clip for 5 minutes: 2 minutes too long and they were a little dry. Over cook them and they will dry out and become rubbery.

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Most people find eating visceral material objectionable. The visceral cannel of crawdads is easily removed as shown in images 3,4 and 5. Pick up the crawdad and grasp the middle segment of the tail flap. Twist 90 degreed and pull. The one to two limits of crawdads are ready to cook.

I purchased an immersion basket for my 16 quart stock pot. It is so very useful in cooking all kinds of things, a boiled crawdad feed, Dungeness crabs and blanching clams. etc.

All tings are not equal when cooking a boiled crawdad feed. One has to consider the cooking time of the ingredients, potatoes, corn and crawdads in that order for everyone to enjoy the feed.

Crawdad feeds really give you the opportunity to showoff you cooking skills, but the basics will do just fine. Fill the 16 quart stock pot with 6 quarts of water. Add 1/2 cup of Crab Boil, 1/2 cup of salt, 4 bay leaves, 4 cloves of garlic and a rough chopped onion.

Bring the water to a boil. Add the potatoes to the boiling water. Boil the potatoes until nearly done. The potatoes should offer some resistance when poked with a round sharp toothpick. Add the corn. Return to a boil and boil for seven minutes. Add the crawdads and boil for 3 minutes. Remover the immersion basket, drain and serve.

Most people find eating visceral material objectionable. The visceral cannel of crawdads is easily removed as shown in images 3, 4 and 5. Pick up the crawdad and grasp the middle segment of the tail flap. Twist 90 degreed and pull. The one to two limits of crawdads are ready to cook.

Nestucca Bay boat launches are located in the Little Nestucca arm of the bay and in the lower tidal reach of the Big Nestucca River.  The boat launch in the Little Nestucca arm of Nestucca Bay is located by turning east onto Meda Loop just south of the Highway 101 bridge over the Little Nestucca River.  There are three boat launches located in the lower tidal reach of the Big Nestucca River.  There is an unimproved boat launch located on Brooten Road approximately ½ mile south of Pacific City.  The Pacific City Ramp is located on the west shore of the Nestucca River on the Nestucca Bay Sand Spit.  There is a boat launch located at the County Park in Woods.  To access the upper tidal reach the Nestucca River launches the boat at Cloverdale.  To access the in the river above the head of tidewater launch.

90.4 Coast Route directions for visitors traveling north on Three Capes Scenic Loop. Highway 101 goes inland to Tillamook once you have crossed over the Little Nestucca River just east of Nestucca Bay. The route along the coast continues to Pacific City by turning left from Highway 101 onto Brooten Road. Brooten Road is the beginning of the Three Capes Scenic Loop. The miles listed for the Three Capes Scenic Loop reflect the distance actual distance traveled on the individual roads that comprise the Three Capes Scenic Loop for a total of 37.9 highway miles beginning at the intersection of Hwy 101 and Brooten Road and ending at the intersection of Hwy 101 and 3rd Street (Netarts Hwy) in the City of Tillamook.

The Three Capes Scenic Loop travels from Brooten Road along Nestucca Bay to Pacific City. Turn left at the stop sign and cross the bridge over the Nestucca River (2.9 miles from Hwy 101). Turn right at the stop sign to travel north to Cape Kiwanda (3.8 miles from Hwy 101) along Kiwanda Drive, which becomes Sand Lake Drive. Drive past Sand Lake (8.4 miles from Hwy 101) to Cape Lookout Road (12.0 miles from Hwy 101). Turn left to Cape Lookout (18.1 miles from Hwy 101) and Netarts Bay (23.4 miles from Hwy 101). Take the Cape Mears Road to the community of Oceanside (26.1 miles from Hwy 101). From Oceanside travel to Cape Mears (28.6 miles from Hwy 101) and to Bayocean Road (30.7 miles from Hwy 101). Take Bayocean Road to the Netarts Highway (36.1 miles from Hwy 101). Take the Netarts Highway to Tillamook where you rejoin Highway 101 (37.9 miles from Hwy 101).

90.4 Coast Route directions for visitors traveling south from Pacific City. Visitors traveling south along the Oregon Coast should turn right onto Highway 101.

93.7 Winema Beach is the beach south of Nestucca Bay. The surfperch fishing for redtail surfperch is excellent. Parking at the beach access is very limited.

97.7 Kiwanda Beach is located between Neskowin Beach and Winema Beach. Access is gained through the community of Neskowin by beach access trails from Hawk Street. The parking along Hawk Street is limited. The fishing for redtail surfperch ranges to good.

97.7 Neskowin Beach is a small beach located north of Cascade Head and immediately south of Kiwanda Beach. Turn west into the entrance of the community of Neskowin. Park at the State Park Wayside and follow the trail to the beach. The fishing for redtail surfperch is good especially at the mouth of Neskowin Creek. The beach in front of Proposal Rock is site of two thousand year old Sitka spruce and hemlock tree stumps that were uncovered by the erosion caused from El Nino and La Nina. Single adults should avoid visiting the area while in the company of a member of the opposite sex to avoid conflict over intentions unless your intentions are marriage. The power of Proposal Rock is truly inspiring.

104.7                     Salmon River Estuary

The entrance to the Salmon River Estuary and Three Rocks just offshore is the site of a wreaked treasure laden Spanish Galleon that went aground in the early 17th century, but the real treasure is the beauty that surrounds visitors to the estuary.  The estuary is unique because the functional values associated with the ecology of the tidal flats and marshes have been restored to a natural condition.  The estuary is one of most picturesque on the Oregon coast and is located 4 miles north of Lincoln City.  Access the estuary by turning west onto Three Rocks Road from Highway 101 just north of the Salmon River

The Salmon River Estuary is a freshwater dominated estuary.  The claming, crabbing and fishing are limited by the amount of freshwater entering the bay.  Not at anytime should the small boater attempt to cross the bar.  Avoid boating in the lower estuary during the outgoing tide.

Even though the Salmon River Estuary is one of Oregon’s smallest, extending upstream for 4.03 miles to the head of tidewater just above the Otis Bridge, it is one of the most popular with anglers.  The high number of Chinook salmon returning to the estuary attracts large numbers of fishermen easily overcrowding the tidal reach of the estuary.

Chinook salmon return to the estuary in small numbers in late August peaking in late September or early October and running into November.  Chinook salmon in the Salmon River are in transition because of the introduction of a large number of hatchery raised Chinook salmon.  The average catch rate is 2048 fish per year comprised of 4, 5 and 3 year old fish.  The Salmon River Estuary is small and easily becomes overcrowded as anglers arrive early to claim the best fishing locations.  The navigable reach of the estuary extends upstream to the Glass–House Hole located where the bend in the estuary turns sharply to the south. Because of the small size of the Salmon River Estuary trolling is limited.  Troll in the deeper channel in the lower estuary upstream with a plug cut herring with the high incoming tide. Bobber fishing with eggs is one of the more productive method used to catch Chinook salmon in upper tidal reach during the outgoing tide.  Anchor above the deeper holes and use a free sliding bobber to fish a walnut sized gob of salmon eggs topped with a sand shrimp, bait wrapped Flatfish lures or with wobblers during all phases of the tidal cycle.  Accent the salmon eggs and sand shrimp with a small length of pink, red, chartreuse or orange yarn.   

Coho salmon enter the Salmon River Estuary in late August through September, peaking in October and running into November.  At one time the average size of the coho salmon returning to the Salmon River was the largest of any coho salmon returning to the central Oregon coast.

Cutthroat trout return to the Salmon River Estuary in August.  Fish for cutthroat trout during the incoming tide trolling Doc Shelton spinners rigged with a night crawler or from shore in the upper tidal reach of the estuary casting spinners or by fishing on the bottom of the deeper holes with night crawlers of crawfish tail.  The cutthroat have a tendency to remain in the cool brackish water of the estuary until rain cools the water in the river before migrating upriver.       

Striped seaperch, pileperch, walleye surfperch and white seaperch enter the estuary with the tide beginning in late May.  Perch fishing is fair at best until the seasonal rains dominate the estuary.  Fish for perch along the channels that drain the tidal flats in the lower estuary.

White sturgeon are occasionally caught by anglers fishing for salmon during the fall.

Clam Digging is limited to softshell and purple varnish clams.  The most productive softshell clam beds are located in the tidal flats on the northeast shore upstream around the bend from the boat launch.  Except for canoes the boat launch is too shallow to use at low tide.

Crabbing ranges from poor to fair from May through July and is good during August and September in the lower estuary. 

Bank Fishing from the more productive fishing locations is very competitive with anglers often fishing elbow to elbow.  It is often difficult to find a parking place along Highway 18 near the Red Barn located .8 of a mile east of Highway 101.  Fishing with large white, chartreuse or orange

Rooster Tails, Blue Fox or Bolo spinners or bobber fishing salmon eggs topped with a sand shrimp accented with colored yarn are the most productive methods. 

Salmon River Estuary boat launch is a free boat launch operated by Lincoln County.  The boat launch is located the lower estuary at the end of the pavement 2.4 miles on Three Rocks Road.

Mile by Mile Map of the Oegon Coast Trail from Lincoln City to Waldport

112.8 Roads End Beach is the upper beach associated with Lincoln City beaches. Access is gained by turning northwest from Highway 101 onto Logan Road. Turn west onto NW 44th Street to access one of Lincoln City’s beach access entry points that is located behind the Chinook Winds Casino. To access the Roads End State Park Wayside drive past NW 44th Street and turn left into the wayside.

113.0 Turn west onto NW 33 St. to visit the Connie Hansen Garden Conservancy. All visitors are welcome to stroll through the enchanted garden any time each day from dawn to dusk. Enjoy the graveled and grass pathways reveal the intimacy of garden with each turn of the pathway. Take any route that appeals and stay as long as you'd like.  Yes, pets are welcome to enjoy the garden too!

114.4 Devils Lake contains Largemouth bass, yellow perch and is stocked each spring with catchable size rainbow trout. The shore line drives of Devils Lake are located from Hwy 101 off of East Devils Lake Road, West Devils Lake Rd whidh becomes NW 14 St.

Devil Lake boat launches are located at: East Devils Lake State Park is located off of East Devils Lake RD, Holmes Road Park is located at the end of Holmes Road, Regatta Park is located off of West Devils Lake Road and  Sand Point Park is located on the north east side of Devil’s Lake off of East Devil Lake Rd

114.5 Devils Lake State Park contains Largemouth bass, yellow perch and is stocked each spring with catchable size rainbow trout.

115.0 D River Beach is the midway point in the Lincoln City beaches. Access is gained by turning west from Highway 101 into the large parking area at the D River Wayside. The D River is famous as the world’s shortest river and is ground zero for those displaying the Kite Flying Skills.. The river flows from Devil’s Lake. At times during the summer fishing for redtail surfperch at the mouth of the D River is excellent. The lake is home to largemouth bass and is stocked heavily with rainbow trout. The beach is an ideal location fo a family gathering. There are a number of volleyball courts available for public use and the beach is renowned for kite flying.

Beach access to the beach south of D River beach is gained by turning west on SW Fleet Street from Highway 101. Follow SW Fleet Street to SW 11th Drive. There is parking for several cars at the beach access entryway and across the street at Canyon Drive Park. Canyon Drive Park is a small park with pond and is a beautiful place to enjoy a lunch.

Access to the ocean beach associated with the community of Nelscott in Lincoln City is gained by turning west at SW 32nd Street. Turn left into the small parking lot. Walk to SW Anchor Ave turn left to the beach access at SW 32th.

117.8 Siletz Bay north shore access at Taft Beach is achieved by turning west at S. 51st Street. The public parking lot is located ½ block on the right side of the street and there is limited parking at the end of the street. The fishing for salmon and perch is excellent from the north shore at the entrance of Siletz Bay. Click HERE to view Lincoln City's open spaces, trails and city parks.

118.0 Siletz Bay Park is a small wayside park adjacent to Highway 101 and the northeast corner of Siletz Bay. This part of the bay is good for pumping sand shrimp and to dig for purple varnish clams or for small sized softshell clams. Both the purple varnish clams and softshell clams are excellent when served as steamer clams, fired clams or in clam chowder.

118.5 Cutler City is located in lower Siletz Bay and offers limited access to the bay at the Josephine Young Memorial Park by turning west onto 62nd Street, which becomes S Fleet St. Turn west onto S. 65th St. and drive the end of street. The parking is limited to two vehicles. The tidal flats are a good place to pump for sand shrimp. A drive down 263 rd St. leads to the gateway of the Cutler City Wetland Trail with all of it's incredible beauty. Remember to bring along mosquito repellent should it be needed.

120.3                            Siletz Bay

The Siletz River at Siletz Bay Lincoln City enters the ocean between the community of Taft and the Siletz Spit. Ebbing tide at the shallow entrance of the bay attains tidal currents of 5 to 7 knots. The term, "shallow entrance" implies shallow water which it is not! Children falling into or attempting to swim in the deep water channel that runs along the North Shore can be swept into the ocean in the blink of an eye.

At the turn of the century Oregon’s ninth largest bay was a deepwater port of entry, but over time the bay has been subjected to extensive sedimentation.  Studies show the ocean is the source of most of the sediment deposited on the tidal flats in the bay.  The numerous logs and root wads marooned on the tidal flats have become small islands. 

The bar at the entrance to Siletz Bay is dangerous to cross.  Not at anytime should the small boater attempt to cross the bar.  You have to use caution when crabbing or fishing in Siletz Bay.  You should only crab or fish in the lower bay on a high incoming tide.  The high current velocity of the major tidal phase of an outgoing spring tide reaches seven knots at the entrance, enough force to pull an underpowered vessel or one having engine failure over the bar into the surf jeopardizing the lives of all aboard.

Siletz Bay is one of Oregon’s most popular bays to fish for Chinook salmon.  The Siletz River has both a spring and fall run of Chinook salmon, but it is the fall run that generates all the excitement as demonstrated by the congested boat traffic in the photograph.

Chinook salmon return to Siletz Bay during the spring and in the fall.  The master of the salmon demanded tribute from Indians before they could pass Medicine Rocks according to the Siletz Indian legend.  Medicine Rocks consists of three rocks, on two of which the heads of persons may be recognized.  On the left side of the master of the salmon stands his wife, both of them easily recognized; on his right side is their dead child.*  Honor the legend by leaving something and the salmon will return forever. 

Historically, the number of returning spring Chinook salmon is small.  The catch rate for spring Chinook averages a 170 fish per year.   The run begins about the last week of May peaking June and running into July.  Spring Chinook unlike their fall cousins spend very little time in the bay or the lower tidal reach but instead hold in the upper tidal reach of the river channel.  Fish for spring Chinook salmon 6 miles upstream from the Highway 101 Bridge to the head of tidewater located 15.5 miles upstream at Cedar Creek.  Launching facilities are limited in the upper tidal reach of the Siletz River.  Launch a boat at Strom Park and fish with the incoming tide to the head of tidewater or fish downstream to Sunset Landing with the outgoing tide.  Fishing is also productive in the river above the head of tidewater.  Launch at Morgan Park and fish the deeper holes to the takeout at Strom Park but the drift boater must be prepared to deal with the tide. 

A small numbers of fall Chinook salmon enter the Siletz River from the last week of August and increasing numbers through the middle of September.  The number of returning fish increase during the last half of September peaking in October.  The catch rate averaged approximately 1500 fish per year and is dominated by a high percentage of 5 year old fish followed by 4, 6 and 3 year old fish.  The best fishing for newly arriving fall Chinook salmon occurs in the lower bay during the incoming tide of the major tidal exchange of spring tides or neap tides especially when the incoming tide coincides with sunrise or sunset.  The next most productive fishing period occurs at sunrise or sunset during the incoming tide of the minor tidal exchange in the daily tidal cycle.  Daybreak is that magical time of day when Chinook salmon bite the best.  Be sure to have the bait in the water one half hour before sunrise.  Fishing is most productive from ½ hour before sunrise to midmorning and from late afternoon until ½ hour after sunset.  The main channel runs northwest from the Highway 101 Bridge towards the sand spit turning north paralleling the sand spit to the bar.  The long boat ride from Siletz Moorage to the bar discourages anglers from fishing in the lower bay. 

On 09/27/15 a local artist took a Chinook salmon with a Stinger spinner while fishing from the north shore of Siletz Bay.

Salmon crossing the bar at Siletz Bay offer anglers fishing from shore the opportunity to take home a Chinook salmon or coho in season.

Early in the run concentrate fishing in the lower bay trolling a plug cut herring with the incoming tide from the entrance at the bar along the channel paralleling the sand spit to the first house on Siletz Spitz.   

During the peak of the run most anglers concentrate fishing in the lower tidal reach of the river channel above the Highway 101 Bridge to Sunset Landing.  Troll a plug cut herring, spinner bait combinations, rainbow colored spinners or silver colored bait wrapped Flatfish lures with a chartreuse head with the incoming tide.  The competition for the more productive holes and travel lanes is intense.  To avoid the congestion most anglers anchor on the up current side of the more productive holes and fish with a plug cut herring, bait wrapped Flatfish lures, spinner bait combinations, spinners or wobblers.

Back bounce or back troll with the outgoing tide from Sunset Landing downstream to the Highway 101 Bridge fishing with bait wrapped Flatfish lures, spinner bait combinations, spinners or wobblers.  Fish upstream from Windy Bend drifting with the tide or by anchoring above the deeper holes during the last half of the outgoing tide through low slack tide fishing with a bobber using a walnut sized gob of salmon eggs and sand shrimp.  Accent the salmon eggs and sand shrimp with a small length of pink, red, chartreuse or orange yarn.  

Coho salmon return to Siletz Bay during the last half of October and run through November.  Troll in the lower bay from the sand spit near the bar trolling plug cut herring, hoochies or streamer flies with the incoming tide to the Highway 101 bridge.  Troll these baits behind a diver or wire spreader or diver in the upper half of the water column.  Troll in lower tidal reach in the river channel from the Highway 101 Bridge to Sunset Landing with plug cut herring, pink, rainbow or chartreuse colored spinners.  Remember coho salmon prefer bait trolled near the surface at speeds between 3 and 5 knots. 

Cutthroat trout return to Siletz Bay from the middle of July through August.  Early in the run fish from the Cannery Hole seaward to the Siletz Spit during the incoming tide trolling Doc Shelton spinners rigged with night crawlers.  After the first week of August fish the entire length of the upper reach of tidewater trolling Doc Shelton spinners rigged with night crawlers.  Fish from shore in the upper tidal reach of the estuary casting spinners or by fishing on the bottom of the deeper holes with night crawlers or crawfish tails. 

Redtail surfperch, pileperch, walleye surfperch, silver surfperch and striped seaperch enter the bay in late spring.  The fishing ranges from fair to excellent through fall depending on the tides and the weather conditions.  The best fishing occurs during June and July in the lower bay along the main channel paralleling the sand spit upstream to the pilings at the Cannery Hole.  Fish in the areas of the upper bay that are adjacent to eelgrass beds and along the channel that drains Millport Slough up to the entrance of the Siletz Bay Natural Wildlife Refuge.   

White sturgeon enter Siletz Bay in small numbers sporadically throughout the year.  The catch rate for keeper size fish averages less than 15 fish per year with the high count of 52 fish landed.  The best fishing occurs in the lower tidal reach of the river channel above the Highway 101 Bridge from December through March. The best time to fish for sturgeon is two hours before low tide.  Mud and sand shrimp are the most productive bait.  The sturgeon fishery is a small one that is of interest to local anglers only

Sand Sole enter Siletz Bay in small numbers from April through August.

Bank fishing for salmon at the natural entrance to the bay attracts anglers from all over Oregon.  At one time the fishing for salmon from the north shore of the entrance to Siletz Bay was so popular it was hard to find a spot from which to fish.  Fishing for salmon and perch is excellent from the north shore at the entrance of Siletz Bay.  Bank fishing along Highway 229 for Chinook salmon is excellent on the lower river immediately upstream from Siletz Moorage.  Anglers either fish with spinners or bobbers.  Fishing with herring can be productive but the crabs steal most of the bait.  Pullouts along the highway with heavily used trails leading down to the river usually disclose the location of the more productive fishing holes along the river.  One of the best holes is located approximately 100 hundred yards upstream from a singlewide silver mobile home that is across the river from the highway.  Another productive location is the Movie House Hole.  The movie house was originally used as a set in the movie, “Sometimes a Great Notion”, starring Henry Fonda and Richard Jaeckel.  The hole at the head of tidewater located at Cedar Creek is one of the most productive on the river.  Spinners or salmon eggs are the most productive bait used by anglers.  The best fishing occurs at daybreak and on the tide change.  Fish for perch from the north shore of the bay at the entrance at the community of Taft or under the Highway 101 Bridge over Millport Slough or the Siletz River

Siletz Bay boat launches are limited to the Siletz Moorage located on the north shore of the upper bay at Kernville. The limited launching facilities can interfere with timely launching of the boat.  There are several good RV parks with private boat launches located up river in lower tidal reach.  They are Coyote Rock RV Park, Sportsman’s Landing and Sunset Landing.  Lincoln County operates a free public boat launch located six miles up the river at Bear Creek and in the upper tidal reach at Strom Park and in the river above Strom Park at Morgan Park.

DEVIL'S LAKE: contains Largemouth bass, yellow perch, bluegill, crappie and is stocked each spring with catchable size rainbow trout.

In the above video clip we, my son Scott, my friend Dutch and I launch the boat at Regatta Park located on the west shore of Devil's to fish for rainbow trout.

Holmes Road Park and Boat Launch provides launch facilities to access the northern section of Devil's Lake while providing the ideal location for a family picnic.

There are 2 boat launches on the East side of Devil's Lake. The East Devil's Lake State Park and Boat launch is a full service facility for launching trailer boats and/or a great location to have a family gathering. The boat launch provides access to the Southern portion of Devil's Lake and is located on East Devil's Lake Road.

The Sand Point City Park is a small park providing a primitive boat launch for car top boats such as pontoon boats and Kayaks. The park provides a restroom, several picnic tables and a Barbeque grill type cooker. The park complete with swimming beach {No Lifeguard} is an ideal location for family gatherings. We recommend that those using the swimming beach wear life jackets while in the water.

Boat Rental on Devil's Lake: the Blue Heron Marina is the only boat rental marina on Devil's Lake.

Oregon State Park Campground at Devil's Lake State Park is located on the Westside of Hwy. 101 one block north of the World's Shortest River, "D River".

Clam digging in Siletz Bay historically has been limited to softshell clams.  However purple varnish clams are the clam species of interest taken from the tidal flats in the lower bay.

Purple Varnish Clams are the easiest clam species to dig from Oregon's coastal waters. Digging purple varnish clams from the soft sand in Siletz Bay is the best way to introduce those new to digging bay clams in Oregon. The clams are dug from the tidal flats below the Schooner Creek Wayside along HWY 101 in the Taft area of Lincoln City, however, the best access to the tidal flats is from gravel turnout just north of the Bay House Restaurant. Siletz Bay is also home to softshell clams. In fact the distribution of softshell and purple varnish clams overlap and you may encounter one of the species while digging for the other.

Clam digging clinics begin with a brief lecture at the Driftwood Public Library located at 801 SW Hwy 101 in Lincoln City. The lecture covers Oregon’s clam digging regulations, clam identification for taking purple varnish clams, harvest methods, as well as cleaning and cooking methods. Lectures last approximately 45 minutes before adjourning to dig clams. Click on the following link to view the clam digging clinic class schedule on the Lincoln City website, Catch Your Dinner Crabbing and Clam Digging from Siletz Bay.

My trip to Siletz Bay was rewarded by witnessing the survival strategy of purple varnish clams when the velocity of the outgoing washes them loose into the tidal current. The clams are seemingly more successful than butter clams or littleneck or Manila clans at digging themselves into the substrate.

Crabbing is good from late spring to early fall but most productive during September and October in the lower bay from Cutler City seaward to the entrance of the bay.  Crabbing with a Crab Max from the shore is very productive at Taft.

Crabber Dustin scores big during the vernal equinox in September.

The two most important dates on the crabbing calendar are the vernal equinox of the summer solstice and the autumnal equinox . Crabbing from the north shore was a planned event to see if we enjoyed the same level of success that we experienced at the vernal equinox of the summer solstice. The Equinoxes is when the sunlight shines equally on both the southern hemisphere and the northern hemisphere. The crabs were taken by my friend, Dustin and myself using the Crab Max folding crab traps baited with turkey necks, wings, legs and chicken legs. Ultimately, we retained 22 hard shell barnacle encrusted crabs. We returned 9 plus soft shell legal sized male crabs to the water. Our success of taking limits of Dungeness yesterday, September 23 exceeded our expectations!!!

Current fishing, crabbing and clam digging report Siletz Bay.

The Tide Pool Tours on Lincoln City Beaches are fun for all family members. In still a since of awareness of the Marine Environment in your children by attending one of more of the tide pool tours on Lincoln City beaches. The tours are presented throughout spring and summer months. Lincoln City is conveniently located to Portland and Salem area families.

Lincoln City Events and Surrounding Area Activities:

Click on Lincoln City to view the fun filled activities in the Lincoln City area, or click on the Oregon Coast Today Newspaper to see interesting places to visit and new things to experience while visiting the Central Oregon Coast.

Held in November the annual Lincoln City Clam Chowder cook off is a major coastal event.

The cook off features clam chowder from restaurants all over the Pacific Northwest. Judging is by a panel of judges and voting from the public. Besides the clam chowder there entertainment features music by a Jazz Trio.

The Jambalaya Cook Off is sponsored by the Lincoln City Culinary Center. The Culinary Center sponsors the prestigious Clam Chowder Cook Off along with other cooking events. We were honored to be ask to participate as one of the judges.

Lincoln City's Fish 2016 Taco Cook Off attracted a record number of fish taco enthusiasts. The turn out was so large the event ran out of tacos early.

Agates are common to the gravel bars at the entrance of Siletz Bay. The gravel bars are revealed during periods of heavy surf of Winter storms. Photo of polished agates by Steve Martin.

Lincoln City Events and Attractions

Taft Beach Sandcastle Contest

Date & Location: We look forward to 2017

Saturday, August 13, 2016: 11am – 5pm
Siletz Bay, Historic Taft District in Lincoln City
SW 51st Street

For More Information:

Bay Area Merchants Association (BAMA)
541-614-0771

Photography Hiking Clinics

Enhance your photography skills and explore the wild side of Lincoln City! Instructors Jeri Knudson of JAKs Photography Studio, and Bob Gibson of Blue Water Photography, will host a series of outdoor photography workshops taking place from spring continuing through summer 2016.

Each experience begins at one of Lincoln City’s premiere hiking locations and concludes at the studio for sharing, social time and Q&A.

This series of workshops is designed to explore the exciting possibilities in photography and teach skills, which allow you to get the most out of your camera. All set in some of the best scenery Lincoln City has to offer!

Schedule of Events

Hikes last for approximately 2 hours followed by 1 hour in the studio.

  • Saturday, March 19, 2016 – SW 51st Street Beach Access, 9-11am
  • Saturday, April 16, 2016 – Drift Creek Falls, 9-11am
  • Saturday, May 14, 2016 – The Villages, 9-11am
  • Saturday, June 11, 2016 – Canyon Drive Park, 9-11am
  • Saturday, July 9, 2016 – Cascade Head from Knights Park, 9-11am
  • Saturday, August 13, 2016 – Spring Lake Trail, 9-11am
  • Saturday, September 17, 2016 – Cascade Head, 9-11am

Registration Information

To register, contact:
Blue Water Photography
Bob Gibson
541-994-3405
bob@bluewaterphoto.net
Visit the Blue Water Photography’s website

Cost is $20 per person. Pre-registration is required.

Space in each scheduled hike is limited to 12 photographers, ages 14 and up. Each person must supply his or her own digital camera. These classes are designed to fit every skill level.

For more information, contact the Lincoln City Visitor & Convention Bureau at 800-452-2151 or Bob Gibson at 541-994-3405.

Jennifer Sears Glass Art Studio

Create your own Glass Art at Jennifer Sears Art Studio located at 4821 SE Hwy 101 • 541-996-2569 in the Historic Taft District of Lincoln City, visit the Jennifer Sears Glass Art Studio to learn and experience the fine art of glassblowing.

Culinary Center in Lincoln City

Explore your culinary side. Enjoy recreational classes featuring seasonally-inspired cooking that focus on the abundant foods of the Pacific Northwest.

Classes include a wide array of subjects and cuisines and offer both hands-on and demonstration styles.

Lincoln City Cultural Center features a series of Jazz performances and car shows scheduled for the month of August. The scope of the Cultural Center's Performing Arts, Special Events, Galleries and Classes all of which are topics of interest that challenge the interest for all family members.

Lincoln City Community Center
2150 NE Oar Place
Lincoln City, OR 97367
541.994.2131

Click here for the Summer Fun Guide!

We are open the following legal Holiday!
September 5 - Labor Day
Holiday Schedule for Weight room, cardio room, walking track, gymnasium: 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
Holiday Pool schedule: 11 a.m.-Noon Independent Exercise, Noon- 1:15 p.m. Lap Swim, 1:30-4:00 p.m. Rec Swim
Holiday hours for Rock Wall: Noon-4 p.m.

North Lincoln County Historical Museum features permanent and rotating exhibits where you can learn About Lincoln County’s rich history and unique qualities, from its rugged settlers to the development of its main industries.

Internet Links of Interest for the Siletz River Estuary:

NOAA tidal projections for the Siletz River Estuary at Taft.

Tbone tidal projections for the North shore of Siletz Bay at Taft.

Click on the navigational hazards to avoid when crossing the Bar at the Siletz River Estuary.

Local Weather - Click to view the local weather forecast for Lincoln City.

Recommended website: Click on the following link to see an detailed hourly forecast for weather and surf conditions on the northern Oregon Coast. Then click your coastal zone of interest to view the detail information compiled on the Marine Digital Point Forecast Matrix Interface.

Marine Weather - Click on the marine weather forecast for coastal waters from Cascade Head to Florence OR out 10 nm.

Click on Stonewall Bank Buoy Reports to view reports.

Click on National Buoy Data Center to view the observations from buoys off the Oregon Coast.

Mile by Mile Continuation:

121.4 Siletz Spit is accessed through the parking lot at the Market Place at Salishan. Turn west into the parking lot from Highway 101. The hiking trail to the sand spit is located in the right back corner of the parking lot. It takes approximately 15 minutes to walk the nature trail to the beach.

121.6 & 122.5 Gleneden Beach is located between Lincoln Beach and the Siletz Spit. Fishing for redtail surfperch fishing is good at times along the beach to Siletz Spit. To access the beach while traveling from the south turn west at mile mark 122.5 on Wessler Street and follow it to the Gleneden Beach Wayside. The parking area is large enough to accommodate all vehicles. To access the beach while traveling from the north by turn west at mile mark 121.6 onto Gleneden Beach Loop Road. Follow the loop road to Wessler Street. Turn west to the State Park. Access to a small parking area and beach trail is gained by turning west onto Laurel Street. Follow the sign to the Beach Comber Motel. Park the car at the short dead end and walk down the beach access trail to the beach.

124.4 Lincoln Beach is located north of Forgarty Creek Cove and south of and adjacent to Gleneden Beach via Willow ST. Lincoln beach is one of the sites where two thousand year old Hemlock tree stumps were uncovered by erosion from the unusual current flow caused by the ocean condition El Nino. The erosion has uncovered the remnants of ancient forests that were flooded by the ocean between two and four housand years ago. The tree stumps of Douglas fir, Sitka Spruce and Hemlock were uncovered at fourteen locations along the Oregon Coast.

My wife Diane poses on one of the stumps of the two thousand year old Hemlock trees and our yellow Labrador Zoë sits at her feet.

125.0 Fishing Rock is a renowned location to fish for the species associated with the rocky shore, i.e. bass, sea trout, perch, cabezon and lingcod. Fishing south along the rocky shore to Otter Crest consistently produce fine catches of the fish species associated with the rocky shore along the Oregon Coast. From the north turn west on Fishing Rock Street at mile marker 124.8 or turn west onto Forgarty Ave from both directions at mile marker 125.0. Park at the end of the block and follow the trail to the fishing area.

125.3 Forgarty Creek Cove is a sandy beach cove dominated by rocky structure inside of the surf line. The cove is located west of Forgarty Creek State Park. The entrance to Forgarty Creek State Park is on eastside of Highway 101 just south of Forgarty Creek Cove. There is ample parking for all vehicles at the State Park. Park and follow the sighs to the beach. Fishing is fair for perch. After sunset the fishing for bass is excellent under the lights from the Surfrider Inn.

125.8 Boiler Bay access to the north shore is from a very small parking area adjacent to Highway 101. Fishing the north point at high tide is renowned for the fish species associated with the rocky shore, i.e. bass, sea trout, perch, cabezon and lingcod. Use caution when entering the highway from the small pking area. Refer to the Oregon Sport Fishing Regulation restricting the taking ofshellfish or marine invertebrates within the Boiler Bay Research Reserve.

126.4 Boiler Bay State Wayside is located north of the world’s smallest bay – Depoe Bay. Boiler Bay received its name from the boiler that can be seen on the north shore during low tide. The boiler is all that remains of the steam schooner J. Marhoffer. The schooner was on fire when it drifted into the bay on May 18, 1910 and sank. The fishing in Boiler Bay is renowned for the fish species, i.e. bass, sea trout, perch, cabezon and lingcod.  Anglers fish from behind the fence overlooking the cliff adjacent to the parking lot or from the rocks that extend out from Government Point south toward Depoe Bay.

Caution: each year the ocean claims the lives of visitors, fisherman or otherwise, who fall into the ocean when they loose their footing from the extremely slippery rocks.

127.6                                   Depoe Bay

Depoe Bay: Port Dock 1, the primary crabbing dock, is the first dock in the image. The single lane boat launch is shown on the south shore.

The World’s smallest bay attracts thousands of visitors each year. The Spouting Horn is a crack in the basalt on the rocky shore that sends ocean spray skyward over on looking storm watchers during winter storms. Depoe Bay's location is ideal as it is just minutes from some of the most productive fishing for nearshore or deepwater complex rockfish species along the Oregon Coast. Anglers fishing out of Depoe Bay and Yaquina Bay have the highest catch ratio of rockfish per angler on the Oregon Coast according to statistical catch information compiled by the National Marine Fishery Service.

Know your harbor. Familiarize yourself with the conditions at the bar. Navigational hazards for crossing the bar at Depoe Bay NOAA's Bar Observation Website for Oregon's Bays. Check the NOAA Bar Observations website for updated closures and restrictions.

127.5 Click on Whale Watch Center located just north of the bridge over Hwy. 101 to get a Whale's Eye View of Depoe Bay.

Depoe Bay is one of the safer ports of entry for the small boats. Call the Coast Guard at 1-541-765-2122 for a report of local bar conditions and the extended marine forecast. The entrance to Depoe Bay is through a narrow crack in the basalt rock. The entrance should not be attempted at night or in rough weather without local knowledge. Notice of entry via channel 80 and by horn blast is required before a boat may enter or exit the harbor channel. Vessels entering Depoe Bay must align the range markers of two vertical red lights located above the entrance to Depoe Bay before entering the harbor channel through the basalt rock. There is a lighted bell buoy located inshore from a lighted whistle buoy located 1.1 miles west offshore. Once clearing the harbor follow the channel to the lighted bell buoy. Fishing is excellent for rockfish over the rocky reefs and along the edge of the kelp forest north to government Point at Boiler Bay and to the mouth of the Siletz River. Fishing for rockfish is excellent south along the rocky reefs and kelp forest off of Morocco, Cape Foul Weather and Otter Rock. Fish for coho and Chinook salmon seaward outside of the 30 fathom curve from late June through the end of July. A word of caution, avoid fishing off of the North Reef and Flat Rock because large swells can materialize out of nowhere. North Reef is located approximately 550 yards west and slightly north of the entrance to Depoe Bay and Flat Rock is located approximately 450 yards southwest of the entrance to Depoe Bay.

An important rule at Depoe Bay: Never fish between the entrance and the red bell buoy. The Rough Bay Warning Light displays two flashing lights when activated and is positioned on a building north of the entrance channel. When the lights are flashing check with Depoe Bay Coast Guard on VHF channel 16 for crossing restrictions.

When visibility is less than one nautical mile, the Coast Guard activates its fog signal. The horn then sounds for 2 seconds, once every 30 seconds.

The cabezon and lingcod were caught off of Boiler Bay while fishing from a boat drifting over the rocky reefs. The salmon were caught outside of the 30 fathom curve.

Bank fishing from the rocky structure inside the bay at low tide is good for perch, sea trout and the occasional flurry of bass. The fishing outside the bay in front of Depoe Bay from the basalt rocky shelf is excellent for perch, sea trout, cabezon, bass and lingcod. Fish south of the entrance to Depoe Bay or north of the entrance to the ‘Crack’ located 150 yards northward Fishing from the north point at Depoe Bay is outstanding for bass, cabezon and lingcod during a high or low tide when the ocean is flat clam. The end of the point is accessible at low tide, but is dangerous at all times except when the ocean is flat clam. Fish the south side of Pirates Cove during high tide for bass and lingcod. Access North Point by turning west onto Sunset to the corner of SW Alsea Ave, park and walk through the public beach access trail to North Point. To access the south side of Pirates Cove turn right onto Alsea Ave to Vista St. Fishing at the south point at Depoe Bay is good for perch, sea trout, bass and lingcod during low and high tide.

Depoe Bay boat launch is located at the south end of the bay. The access road is the first street to the east south of the Hwy 101 Bridge. There is a two dollar launch fee but the launch is congested by anglers waiting up to 1½ hours to launch boats during salmon season.

If fishing from the rocky structure at Depoe Bay is not your thing, then try fishing on one of the fine Charter Vessels from Dockside Charters.

Current status for offshore fishing productivity from Dockside Charter's website. Click on Fishing Reports:

Depoe Bay Crabbing allows crabbing and fishing from the port docks from one half hour prior to sunrise and one half hour after sunset. All the crabbing equipment must be removed from the docks during prohibited hours. Lifejackets are required to be worn by children under 14 years of age when crabbing from the port docks but you must provide lifejackets for them.

On Sunday 11/30/14 the view of the Highway 101 Bridge over the crack in the basalt from port dock one is spectacular; however, the crabbing was not. My friend Dustin and I along with my clam digging dog, Cali Ann spent several hours on the crabbing dock and managed to catch short male Dungeness. The bay is home to both Dungeness and red rock crabs.

However, not satisfied Dustin scored the two beauties several days later.

Internet Links of Interest for Depoe Bay:

Navigational hazards for crossing the bar at Depoe Bay

Click on the NOAA tidal projections to display the tidal projections for Depoe Bay.

Local Weather - Click to view the local weather forecast for Depoe Bay.

Recommended website: Click on the following link to see an detailed hourly forecast for weather and surf conditions on the northern Oregon Coast. Then click your coastal zone of interest to view the detail information compiled on the Marine Digital Point Forecast Matrix Interface.

Marine Weather - Click on the marine weather forecast for coastal waters from Cascade Head to Florence OR out 10 nm.

Click on Stonewall Bank Buoy Reports to view reports.

Click on National Buoy Data Center to view the observations from buoys off the Oregon Coast.

127.7 Ellingson St. is the access point to the rocky basalt shelf located south of the entrance to Depoe Bay. Fishing from the basalt rocky shelf on the south side of Depoe Bay is excellent for perch, sea trout, bass and lingcod during low and high tide when the ocean is calm.

128.2 South Point St. is the access point to the rocky cliffs south of Depoe Bay. The fishing at the south point is excellent for perch, sea trout, bass and lingcod during low and high tide when the ocean is calm.

129.6 Rocky Creek State Park is located just north of Cape Foulweather. The entrance is just north of the Otter Crest Loop Road. Anglers fish south from the entrance to Whale Cove along the rocky shore to the mouth of Rocky Creek. The fishing for bass, sea trout, cabezon and lingcod is excellent during high tide. Whale Cove is closed to fishing and the taking of shellfish and invertebrates.

129.8 Morocco Rock Quarry is located 1.3 miles south on the Otter Crest Loop Rd. Park at the quarry and follow the trail through the trees to the rocks below to excellent fishing for all rockfish species.

133.0 The Devil’s Punch Bowl is located between the Cities of Newport and Depoe Bay west of Highway 101. Turn west onto the Otter Crest Loop. Turn west on 1st or 3rd street and drive to parking area. Follow the signs to the Marine Gardens Trail off of 3rd Street or the trail to the upper end of Beverly Beach from 1st Street. The fishing for rockfish and perch is fair at best. Refer to the Oregon Sport Fishing Regulation restricting the taking of shellfish or marine invertebrates within the Otter Rock Marine Garden.

134.1 Beverly Beach is sandy beach located north of Moolock Beach and south of the Devil’s Punch Bowl at Otter Rock and is a fair location to fish for redtail surfperch. There is parking on the ocean side of Highway 101 that accommodates recreational vehicles and trailers. Beverly Beach State Park is a full service State Park located on the eastside of highway 101.

Beverly beach is one of the sites where four thousand year old Sitka spruce tree stumps that were uncovered by erosion from the unusual current flow caused by the ocean condition El Nino.

135.0 Moolock Beach is comprised of sand and gravel. The fishing for surfperch is fair. Follow the signs to the parking area just west of Highway 101. There is a turnout on the west side of the highway that will accommodate a limited number of vehicles.

137.6 Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area is located on the site of a former rock quarry. The term "Outstanding Natural Area" is an accurate description of Yaquina Head. Yaquina Head was the site of extensive rock quarrying before being purchased by the BLM. The BLM created handicap accessible tide pools complete with by concrete ramps from the former rock quarry. There is an interpretive center and daily tours of Oregon’s tallest lighthouse. The lighthouse, which was built in 1873, is ninety–seven feet tall and was constructed with double tube walls using bricks. The ghost of a worker who fell to his death during construction haunts the Lighthouse and has warned some visitors of danger. The space between the double tube walls was so narrow the worker’s body was not recovered and his body was entombed between the walls where he died. The cliffs and offshore rocks are home to a variety of seabirds and seals. The viewing of migrating gray whales is a major attraction as is tide pooling. Refer to the Oregon Sport Fishing Regulation restricting the taking of shellfish or marine invertebrates within the Yaquina Head Marine Garden. Access the Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area by turning west from Highway 101 onto Lighthouse Road and follow the signs to the parking lot at Quarry Cove. Some anglers park at the small parking area ¼ mile outside the Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area to avoid having to pay the five dollar entry fee. The fishing at Yaquina head is renowned for the fish species associated with the rocky shore, i.e. bass, sea trout, perch, cabezon and lingcod.

137.7 Agate Beach is accessed from the pubic parking lot adjacent to Highway 101 just below the Lighthouse Road. The entrance to the parking lot is about one block down the highway from the Lighthouse Road. There is a sign at the south end of the parking lot that identifies the Lucky Gap trailhead to Agate Beach.

138.4 Agate Beach is located in the northern section of Newport. Traveling from the north turn west from Highway 101 onto Ocean View Drive at mile 138.4, or from the south turn west from Highway 101 onto Edenview Way to the Agate Beach Wayside located about ½ mile down the road. A small parking lot is located on the ocean side of the street. Ample parking for all vehicles is available in the parking lot across the street and north of the smaller parking lot that has picnic tables and restrooms. Agate Beach is renowned for razor clams but the population fluctuates from very few to very high numbers. The clam digging area is several hundred yards north of the Agate Beach Wayside. Fishing for redtail surfperch ranges from poor to fair.

138.5 Big Creek Reservior (Newport Reservior) follow the signs east to the reservior. The reservoir is home to planted trout, largemouth bass, yellow perch and brown bullhead. The trout in the photo were taken the day the trout were planted. Taking advantage of the recreational opportunity will fullfil the expectations of you and your family and friends. Check the ODFW trout planting schedule to see the week that ODFW plans to stock your lake of interest. Call the local ODFW office or the fish hatchery to find out the potential day of the week they plan to stock your lake of interest.

140.5 Nye Beach is located in Newport. Turn west from Highway 101 onto NW 6th Street and drive to Coast Street and turn left. Travel a block and a half turn right and drive to the parking lot at the beach. Parking is limited to passenger cars and light trucks. The fishing for surfperch on this section of Nye beach ranges from poor to fair.

141.3 Nye Beach and the North Jetty of Yaquina Bay are accessed by exiting Highway 101 from either direction just north of the Yaquina Bay Bridge. Stay in the right lane and exit right into Yaquina Bay State Park at the North Jetty section of Nye Beach. Park the car and walk down to the beach. There is ample parking available for all vehicles. Fishing is fair for surfperch from the north jetty and the sandy beach next to it. The sandy beach adjacent to the north jetty is listed by ODFW as a location to dig for razor clams.

The Yaquina Bay bar is one of safer bars to cross in Oregon, but the small boater has to use caution when considering crossing the bar or fishing in the jetty channel. The waves generated by the wind and the current from a strong outgoing tide can swamp a small boat at the entrance to the jetty channel. During the winter the heavy west swell makes the bar at Yaquina Bay more dangerous to cross. There is a lighted whistle buoy located 1.5 miles SW of the entrance to Yaquina Bay. Click on, "The Yaquina Bay Bar', to view the areas described as some of the dangerous tidal conditions affecting safe boating when entering or departing Yaquina Bay or boating in the jetty channel as listed on the Web Page for Oregon State Marine Board at www.boatoregon.com. Photo From Wikipedia

The 2016 Battle of Yaquina Bay took place over the Memorial Day Weekend Between two opposing 18th Century Mon O Wars. The outcome was never in doubt, we won. Bill

South jetty. There are submerged rocks along the length of the jetty; do not hug the jetty on either side. Boaters should remain in the channel entering and leaving the river so that if their engines fail, they will have time to anchor before the current or wind sweeps them into the rocks.

North jetty. This jetty affords excellent protection from northerly winds. However, the same caution should be exercised in running close to it as with the south jetty. Be especially cautious of submerged rocks near the tip of the north jetty. On an ebb tide, stay well clear, up to the end of the north jetty, as there is danger of being swept into the breakers at the extreme end. Remain in the channel outbound until you pass buoy #1 at the south end of Yaquina reef. This applies to entering the river as well as leaving.

South reef. This reef can be considered an extension of Yaquina reef and is equally dangerous because it has the same surf conditions. When going south, continue out the channel to the lighted bell buoy #1 before turning south.

Yaquina reef. This reef is extremely dangerous, even when the winds are light and few breakers can be seen. A large swell coming from seaward can cause a tremendous breaker on this reef with little or no warning, even when the sea is otherwise calm. Never fish close to the reef and do not turn north between the end of the north jetty and buoy #1.

Rough Bar Advisory Sign is positioned on shore at the east end of Coast Guard pier.

Call the Coast Guard at 1-541-265-5511 for a report of local bar conditions and the extended marine forecast before crossing the bar. 

NOAA's Bar Observation Website for Oregon's Bays. Check the NOAA Bar Observations website for updated closures and restrictions.

Fishing in Yaquina Bay

The central Oregon Coast has the highest catch ratio of rockfish per angler on the Oregon Coast according to statistical catch information compiled by the National Marine Fishery Service. Yaquina Bay’s proximity to productive fishing grounds and the large charter fishing fleet serving anglers out of Yaquina Bay and Depoe Bay is the reason for the high catch ratio.

Fishing and crabbing aboard the "Long Fin" outside Yaquina Bay for rockfish, lingcod and Dungeness crabs. The boat limited out on rockfish and crabs in addition to landing several lingcod.

Fishinng and crabbing outside Yaquina Bay aboard the "Long fin ended up being a good way to spend a windy day on the ocean, I only fell twice!!!

Captain Jerry and his crew did a great job of putting us on fish over the rocky reefs of the South Reef in addition to nearly limiting out on Dungeness Crabs on the sandy bottom northwest of the entrance to Yaquina Bay.

Fishing for rockfish is excellent north along the Yaquina Reef and south along the South Reef all the way to Johnson Rock. Yaquina Reef runs northward from the north jetty paralleling the coast just off the Yaquina Bay Lighthouse towards Yaquina Head. The south reef is located approximately 1/4 of a mile southwest of the south jetty and extends south to Seal Rock. The California Current pushes ocean water southward along the Oregon Coast from late spring through late fall. The reverse occurs from late fall into late spring as the Davidson Current pushes ocean water north along the Oregon Coast. Tidal water flowing out Yaquina Bay carries forage fish in the direction of the ocean currents along either the Yaquina Reef or the South Reef. Fish the South Reef from late spring through late fall and the Yaquina Reef from late fall through late spring. Some of the best fishing for salmon, rockfish and flatfish is found along Stonewall Bank. Locally the Stonewall Bank is known as the Rock Pile. The Rock Pile is located 14 miles from Yaquina Bay and is a renowned location for excellent fishing for all fish species. Salmon arrive at the Rock Pile in fishable numbers early in July with the best fishing occurring after the first of August. The best fishing for lingcod (other than the spawning period) occurs from June through September at the north end of the Rock Pile and in an area north of the Rock Pile along the 50 fathom line. Fishing for lingcod is also productive along Johnson Rock located approximately 1½ miles offshore 5 miles south of Yaquina Bay. Fishing for coho salmon is excellent west of Yaquina Bay outside of the 30 fathom curve from late June to the middle of July. Some of the best early season fishing for Chinook salmon occurs on the Fingers located west of the Rock Pile or at Heceta Banks. The time and distance to it takes to travel to Heceta Banks is rewarded with some of the finest fishing for salmon and rockfish on the entire Oregon Coast.

The photograph of the black rockfish, the mixture of rock and kelp greenling and the rainbow surfperch where caught along the finger jetty rocks while crabbing in Yaquina Bay.

Black rockfish are the dominate rockfish caught in Yaquina Bay followed by copper rockfish, blue rockfish and an occasional grass rockfish and brown rockfish. Rockfish enter Yaquina Bay early as March but usually from April through October withdrawing from the bay during periods of heavy seasonal freshwater runoff in winter and to deeper water during the daylight hours. The most productive fishing for black and copper rockfish occurs in the jetty channel from the Highway 101 Bridge seaward followed by fishing in the lower bay among the pilings associated with the fish plants and around the riprap on both ends of the seawall during an incoming tide after sunset or at the twilight of dawn. During the day the best fishing for blue rockfish occurs at sunrise on the ocean side of the north jetty during an incoming tide when the ocean is flat calm.. After sunset fish for black and blue rockfish in the seaward end of the jetty channel as they move into the jetty channel to feed. Fish for all five species of shallow water rockfish along the submerged structure of the north, south and finger jetties, among the pilings in front the Yaquina Bay Bridge.

Long View Hills 02.jpgLong View Hills 03.jpgLong View Hills 04.jpg

February 23rd, what a great day to be out on the water. Click on the images of the photos above to enlarge them. The fishing club chartered the charter boat for a five hour Bottom Fishing trip over the rocky south reef at Seal Rock.

The boat limited out on bottom fish and 7 lucky anglers took home lingcod. Including the two angles who caught the largest in the photographs. Lingcod at the fish cleaning station. So if you are visiting the Newport area of the Oregon coast plan to include a trip on one the fine charter vessels at Newport.

Lingcod spawn along the finger jetties, the south jetty and north jetty from late January through April. The best fishing occurs from late February through early April from the noticeable hump inside the north jetty to the end of the jetty. The hump was the end the original jetty. Historically the fishing for lingcod in Yaquina Bay is the most productive for any of Oregon’s bays.

Ocean Perch: Striped seaperch, Pileperch, walleye surfperch, redtail surfperch and white seaperch enter the bay in spring. Striped seaperch and pileperch are the dominate perch species in the bay. Schools of perch move onto the tidal flats feeding heavily on intertidal animals feeding up the bay as far as the Toledo Airport. The fishing ranges from fair to excellent through fall depending on the tides and the weather conditions. Fish for perch along the submerged structure of the north, south and finger jetties associated with the entrance of the bay, among the pilings around the Yaquina Bay Bridge and underneath the docks throughout the bay. Fishing is productive along the riprap seawalls of the South Beach Marina or along the seawall associated with the Port of Newport. Fish at the entrance of the channels that drain the tidal flats behind the Marine Science Center, Sally’s Bend or at the entrance to King’s, McCaffery or Poole sloughs.

The perch in the video clip are shiner perch.. Shiners are great tasting but small and require de-boning with a sharp knife. They make great fish tacos.

Greenling: Kelp greenling, rock greenling and whitespotted are year–round residents. The best fishing occurs late spring and fall. The fisery ranks second overall when compared to Tillamook Bay. Fish for greenling along the submerged structure of the north, south and finger jetties, in the small kelp bed along the north jetty, among the pilings in front the Yaquina Bay Bridge and underneath the docks throughout the bay.

Cabezon fishing is slow most of the year but improves during the peak of the spawning period from February into March along the finger jetties, the south jetty and the north jetty. Poke pole fishing is the most effective method used to catch cabezon during the spawning period especially on the finger jetties.

Pacific herring spawn anytime from February to April.

Chinook salmon enter the bay in small numbers about the second week of September. Increasing numbers of Chinook salmon enter the bay from the middle to the last week of September usually peaking during the first half of October. Chinook salmon are present through out the lower bay, the upper bay and in the lower tidal reach of the river channel from October into early November. The catch rate averages over 1100 fish per year and is evenly divided between 3, 4 and 5 year old fish.

The best fishing occurs in the lower bay and in the ocean outside the jetty jaws. Troll in the jetty channel with or against the incoming tide from the jetty jaws to the Coast Guard Station and in the channel from the Coast Guard Station past the seawall to Sawyers Landing trolling a plug cut herring with or without a herring dodger. Remember to buy the largest herring available preferably herring in blue or purple labeled packages. Trolling with or back bouncing mooching a plug cut herring with the outgoing tide are effective methods that will put fish in the boat.

As the number of returning Chinook salmon increase launch the boat at Sawyer’s Landing and troll with the incoming tide in the deepwater channel between Poole and Parker Sloughs or between Flesher and Blind Sloughs with a plug cut herring or a rainbow colored Yaquina Slammer with a green tip. Launch at the Toledo boat ramp and troll a plug cut herring or Yaquina Slammer in the deepwater channel with the incoming tide through high slack tide from Blind Slough to the Toledo boat launch or troll a plug cut herring or Yaquina Slammer with the incoming tide upriver to the boat works on the north bank. Launch at Canyon Park Boat Launch and go downriver to Mill Creek. There is a deep hole at Mill Creek that holds salmon. Troll from Mill Creek upriver with the incoming tide using a plug cut herring, bait wrapped Flatfish lures with a silver body with a chartreuse head or spinners with green accents equipped with blades of the following colors: rainbow, 50–50 green and chartreuse, 50–50 green and hammered brass, or 50–50 chartreuse and hammered brass. Remember Chinook salmon often bite before during and after low or high slack tide.

Avid Chinook salmon fisherman, Collin T. Brooksby lives along the Yaquina River and fishes hard for Chinook salmon landing this beautiful 36 pound Chinook salmon upstream of Mill Creek using a Blue Fox spinner with silver and copper blades. Photo by Colin Brooksby.

Fish the upriver reach of the Yaquina River from Mill Creek to Elk City back bouncing or back trolling with the outgoing tide with rainbow colored Yaquina Slammer spinners or bait wrapped Flatfish lures. Back bouncing a walnut sized gob of salmon eggs and/or sand shrimp with the outgoing tide or drifting with a bobber and eggs are productive options, but be prepared to hang the tackle up on the numerous submerged objects upstream from Mill Creek. Trolling Yaquina Slammer spinners in the upper half of the water column or casting a No. 5 chartreuse Bolo spinner with silver and copper blades through low slack tide is productive. Anchor above the deeper holes upstream from Mill Creek and fish during the outgoing tide through low slack tide. Fish on the bottom with bait wrapped Flatfish lures, bait sweetened Spin–N–Glos, wobblers or a combination of salmon eggs and sand shrimp or with a bobber using salmon eggs topped with a sand shrimp. Accent the salmon eggs and sand shrimp with a small length of pink, red, chartreuse or orange yarn. Call Englund Marine at 541 265 9275 for an up to date fish report.

Do not fail to take advantage of the feeder Chinook salmon that enter lower Yaquina Bay in June of most years. The most productive fishing occurs in front of the Coast Guard Station. Troll a plug cut herring between the Highway 101 Bridge and the west end of the seawall.

White sturgeon are year–round residents of Yaquina Bay. The catch rate ranks 3rd overall behind Umpqua and Tillamook Bays. Typically the best fishing occurs from December to June declining in July and is slow until the following December. Mud shrimp are the first choice as bait except when the herring are running. The best fishing for white sturgeon occurs from the pilings at the entrance of McCaffery Slough to Elk City. Most of the sturgeon fishery on the Yaquina River occurs during the outgoing tide through low tide as the sturgeon move into the holes and shallow troughs. Fishing also productive during the incoming tide as the sturgeon move onto the mud flats to feed. The mud flat associated with Blind Slough is one of these areas. Hooking a keeper sized or larger sturgeon in shallow water is a thrilling experience because they often become airborne. Bob and Bob hold up a keeper sized white sturgeon taken in upper Yaquina Bay. Photos’ by Randy Druba.

Coho salmon return to the Yaquina River as early as the middle of August but typically from September through October. The best fishing occurs early in the run trolling a plug cut herring, hoochies or spinner bait combinations behind a flasher and a wire spreader in the upper half of the water column with the incoming tide from the jetty jaws to the Coast Guard Station. Troll through out the bay and tidal reach of the river channel with a rainbow, chartreuse or pink colored spinners or spinner bait combinations.

Cutthroat trout return to the Yaquina River in as early the middle of July but always by the first of August. Fish for cutthroat trout during the incoming tide trolling Doc Shelton spinners rigged with a night crawler or casting spinners in the upper tidal reach upriver from the confluence with Mill Creek. Fishing from shore in the deeper holes of the tidewater reach of the Yaquina River above Elk City is productive casting spinners or by fishing on the bottom with night crawlers or crawfish tails.

Bank fishing is fisherman friendly in the lower bay, upper bay and tidal reach of the Yaquina River. The fishing for bass at night can be fantastic on an incoming tide from the south jetty. The television show, “Fishing the West”, featured a show on night fishing for bass along the Yaquina Bay jetty. The City of Newport closes and locks the gate on the South Jetty Road at dusk each evening. You will have to park and walk to the location on the jetty you wish to fish from. Fish for lingcod or cabezon from either side of the north jetty. The best fishing on the channel side of the jetty is from the visible hump near to the end of the north jetty. It is a long and difficult walk to the hump. Anglers have to climb over and around the jetty rocks. Begin fishing on the ocean side of the jetty just past the area where the surf breaks against the jetty rocks.

Fish for salmon from jetty rocks: on the ocean side of the south jetty, the channel side of south jetty, the jetty at the South Beach Marina, the rocks around the natural gas plant and from the OreAqua beach. Fish in the upper bay in the area of deep water located at buoy 25 at mile marker 5.9 on the Bay Road. Two other good locations are at the 8.5 mile mark on the Bay Road and at buoy 37 located at mile marker 8.8. Fish in the deeper holes located in the lower tidal reach of the Yaquina River from the confluence of the Yaquina River and Mill Creek upstream to the head to tidewater above Elk City along the Elk City road.

Fish for perch from the rocks during the incoming tide: at the finger jetties along the south jetty road, the channel side of the south jetty, the jetty at the South Beach Marina, mile markers 4.0, 5.9, 8.5 and 8.8 on the Bay Road. Fish from the bank under the willows at mile marker 8.5 and in the deeper water next to buoy 37 at mile marker 8.8.

Fish for white sturgeon in the upper bay two hours prior to low slack tide in the holes that are accessible from the Bay Road. One of the best locations is at buoy marker 25, which is located at mile marker 5.9. Three other good locations are at mile markers 8.5, 8.8 and 11.4. Fish from the bank under the willows at mile marker 8.5 and in the deeper water next to buoy 37 at mile marker 8.8. The hole located upstream from mile marker 11.4 mile runs along the bend in the river where the river narrows. Park at the turnout climb down the bank and walk 50 yards upstream at low tide and fish from there upstream. One of the most productive bank fishing locations in upper tidal reach is located at the confluence of Mill Creek and the Yaquina River. Park the truck just below the confluence and fish right out of the truck.

Yaquina Bay Crabbing: the following video details the crabbing opportunities from the docks at Yaquina Bay. An interesting aspect about crabbing in Yaquina Bay that is also common to some of Oregon's other bays is that crabbing may be slow from the docks but productive in the deep water areas of the bay.

The disabled dock at the end of the rod at the Northwest Natural Gas Plant has reached the end of its useful life in Yaquina Bay. Northwest Natural Gas is in the process of removing the now unsafe dock. Public access to the disabled dock has been restricted since 9/11 so the dock was not of much use to the disabled. The restricted access to the dock served as a symbol of success of the objectives of the terrorist.

The Port of Newport at Yaquina Bay: crabbing for Dungeness Crabs in Yaquina Bay produced this fine catch for this young lady.

Last winter during November Crabbers from the Longview Hills Fishing Club scored limits of Dungeness crabs on Yaquina Bay just in time of Thanks Giving, "Today Mike and I went crabbing in Yaquina Bay. The weather was lousy but the crabbing was great. We got our limit (24) and were home by 3:30 pm. All that remains now is to pick the crabs. Yuk!! Thanks Mike for a fun day. Don" Don made the point that picking crabs is Yuk! Shaking crabs makes picking crabs a lot easier as demonstrated in the follow video clips

How to humanly kill Dungeness and red rock crabs is the question my wife wants me to answer. She can't stand to see anything suffer. Striking the Thoracic ganglion with a crab mallet kills the crab immediately. The crab does not suffer as it would if submerged in boiling water and neither does my wife. Killing and backing the crabs prior to cooking them shortens the total time it takes to cook and clean large numbers of crabs.

Click on the following video clip to view a professional crab shaker picking a Dungeness crab. Using this method cuts the time to pick a crab in half.

The crabbing docks in Yaquina Bay gave up this fine catch of Dungeness crabs plus the huge red rock crab in the following photos.

Additional Information for Crabbing From the Coastal Waters of the Pacific Rim:

Click on the following links for additional information about taking crabs in the Pacific Northwest. Click on ODFW's website crab page or click on Washington State's information on recreational crabbing or click California's information on recreational crabbing. Click on Alaska's comments on Dungeness Crabs and on permits and regulations for SE Alaska. Click on Dungeness Crabs at Netarts Bay. Click on Species Profile for Dungeness Crabs PDF file. Click on Species Profile for Red Rock Crabs to view PDF file. Click on Dungeness and Red Rock Crabs to view information on taking crabs from Oregon's Bays and ocean water.

Clan Digging in Yaquina Bay

Digging for Bay Clams in Yaquina Bay requires the proper equipment, skill and a low enough tide to provide the time to accomplish your goals. The first photo below is of a bed of butter clams followed by the photo of the clams my friend Roger dug. The third photo is of a bed of gaper clam.

The following video displays one the methods to dig gaper clams with a shovel; at least it is the method we recommend. Bill

Clan Digging in Yaquina Bay

Last year, my friend Roger celebrated the 4th of July weekend with our own fireworks by digging bay clams from Yaquina Bay.

My friend Robert and his girlfriend crabbed for an hour behind the Landing and caught 4 nice rock hard keepers at Yaquina Bay prior to digging the 2 limits of gaper clams shown on the video.

ODFW Crab and Clam Distribution Maps for Yaquina Bay

Click on the image of the map to enlarge it.

Click on the Seacor Shellfish Areas for Yaquina Bay to link to ODFW's maps of the shellfish.

Clam management in Yaquina Bay from a historic perspective as compared to the Seacor maps:

Yaquina Bay Clam Study 1947

Shellfish Investigation Progress Report August 1949

Observations Horseclams 1950PR20

1949-50 Observations Horseclams 1950 PR21

Internet Links of Interest for Yaquina Bay:

Tidal Projections through March 2016 - Click on the following link to view the tide tables for Yaquina Bay at South Beach to plan future crabbing and clam digging adventures.

Tidal Projections to view the NOAA tidal projections for Oregon. Scroll down to Yaquina Bay and click on your area of interest.

Local Weather - Click to view the weather forecast for Newport at Yaquina Bay.

Recommended website: Click on the following link to see an detailed hourly forecast for weather and surf conditions on the northern Oregon Coast. Then click your coastal zone of interest to view the detail information compiled on the Marine Digital Point Forecast Matrix Interface.

Marine Weather - Click on the marine weather forecast for coastal waters from Cascade Head to Florence OR out 10 nm.

Click on the current weather conditions at the South Jetty of Yaquina Bay.

Navigational Hazards - Click on the navigational hazards to avoid when crossing the Yaquina Bay bar.

Click on Stonewall Bank Buoy Reports to view reports.

Click on National Buoy Data Center to view the observations from buoys off the Oregon Coast.

Click on Sunrise and Sunset to view at Newport.

OSU Links of Interest Click on to view weather.

Mile by mile continuation

142.1 South Beach is the location of the Hatfield Marine Science Center, the Oregon Coast Aquarium and the access road to the south jetty and South Beach. South Beach is located just south of Yaquina Bay and extends southward to Wandamere Beach. Access to South Beach is gained through South Beach State Park or by exiting either the south turnoff or the north turnoff from Highway 101 immediately south of the Yaquina Bay Bridge. Follow the signs to the south jetty. There is ample parking for all vehicles near the end of the jetty road. Admission to the Hatfield Marine Science Center is free and the center offer visitors outstanding exhibits of marine life.

143.4 South Beach State Park is located ½ mile south of the Yaquina Bay Bridge and is a full service park. The best razor clam digging is the area just south of the jetty. South Beach is listed by ODFW as a location to dig for razor clams.

147.2 Lost Creek Ocean Wayside is located between Wandamere Beach and South Beach. The Wayside is a good location from which to access either beach. There is ample parking for all vehicles. Wandamere Beach is listed by ODFW as a location to dig for razor clams.

149.0 Beaver Creek enters the ocean at Ona Beach State Park. Ona is the Indian name for clam. The ecology of the Beaver Creek Estuary and its associated wetlands has evolved from being dominated by ranching and farming to one dominated by the natural occurring functional values associated with wetlands and estuaries. The wild and scenic beauty of the Beaver Creek Estuary makes the Beaver Creek Estuary a very special place. Ona Beach State Park is a beautiful day use park and a wonderful place for a family outing. There are restrooms, picnic tables and ample parking for all vehicles. The fishing from Ona Beach is excellent for redtail surfperch. Searun cutthroat trout and coho salmon return to Beaver Creek in August and September respectively.

150.9 Seal Rock is located between the cities of Waldport and Newport. Parking at the Seal Rock Wayside is restricted to passenger vehicles. Parking is available for all vehicles at the turnouts south of the Seal Rock Wayside. Fishing is fair to excellent for all fish species associated with the rocky shore and tide pools. Fish for perch, sea trout, bass, cabezon and lingcod from the beach in front of the rocks or from the rocks as the tide recedes. Harvest mussels of off the rocks or dig for littleneck clams in the cobble and gravel substrate on the beach in front Seal Rock and for piddocks clams in the sandstone in the tidal zone located in the rocky shore. The sandy beach north of the Seal Rocks is renowned for excellent surf fishing.

To surf fish drive north through Seal Rock. Turn west into a small parking area about ¼ of a mile north of the community of Seal Rock. Park and walk down to the beach. The best fishing occurs as pictured just after dawn north of the seal rocks. The once broad sandy beach has suffered from the effects of severe beach erosion. The erosion is the result of the strong and persistent southwest current caused from El Nino and La Nina weather patterns. The sandy beach has recovered and is once again home to a harvestable population of razor clams.

153.2 Driftwood Beach State Wayside is located between Waldport and Seal Rock and is an excellent location to fish for redtail surfperch and dig for razor clams. There are picnic tables, restrooms and ample parking for all for all vehicles.

155.0 Alsea Bay North Wayside is located just north of the Alsea Bay Bridge. Turn west into access road from Highway 101. There is limited parking. Take the trail on the south side of the wayside to the north shore of the bay to dig for clams or fish from the bank for Chinook salmon and perch.

Mile by Mile Map of the Oregon Coast Trail from Alsea Bay to the Siuslaw River Estary at Florence.

155.4                             Alsea Bay:

The City of Waldport is located on the south shore of Alsea BayOld Town Waldport was built on the site of an Indian burial ground.  Deceased Alsi Indians were interred in wooden canoes above ground.  The early white settlers piled the canoes together and burned them.  The City of Waldport set an example that other coastal communities should follow by building easy access steps over the riprap to the bay.  The low and high salt marsh of the large island that separates the North Channel from the main channel is the most prominent tidal area in Alsea Bay.  The large island becomes three smaller islands during high incoming spring tides.

The bar at the entrance to Oregon’s seventh largest bay is dangerous to cross.  Not at anytime should the small boater attempt to cross the bar.  You have to use caution when crabbing or fishing in Alsea Bay.  You should only crab or fish in the lower bay on a high incoming tide because the high current velocity of the major tidal phase of an outgoing spring tide reaches five to seven knots at the entrance, noug force to pull an underpowered vessel or one having engine ailure over the bar into the surf jeopardizing the lives of all aboard. Loss of life from boats capsizing in the surf at the entrance to Alsea Bay occurs annually.

Eckman Lake is a 45 acre lake located 3 miles east of Waldport on Highway 34. Catchable rainbow trout are planted each spring. The shallow lake contains some brown bullhead and largemouth bass. Eckman Lake was created to provide water skiing opportunity for Waldport residents by erecting a small dam across Eckman Creek. Eckman Lake was the result. The question was the loss of the ecological productivity of converting tidelands to a freshwater lake with the price? Today the boat launch is overgrown with weeds and water skiers no longer use the lake.

Chinook salmon return to Alsea Bay in small numbers in some years as early as the last week of August but usually during the first week of September.  The run peaks in late September to early October running into November.  The average catch rate is 2780 fish per year.  The best fishing for newly arriving fall Chinook salmon occurs in the lower bay during the incoming tide of the major tidal exchange of spring tides or neap tides especially when the incoming tide coincides with sunrise or sunset.  The next most productive fishing period occurs at sunrise or sunset during the incoming tide of the minor tidal exchange in the daily tidal cycle.  Daybreak is that magical time of day when Chinook salmon bite the best.  Be sure to have the bait in the water one half hour before sunrise.  Fishing is most productive from ½ hour before sunrise to midmorning and from late afternoon until ½ hour after sunset.  Trolling a plug cut herring with the incoming tide through high slack tide in the lower bay from the bar to the Port Docks is the most productive method to catch early returning fall Chinook salmon.  The velocity of the tidal current requires the use of heavy sinkers up to 16 plus ounces to keep the bait in the Chinook’s strike zone.  Most anglers concentrate fishing in the upper bay from the Port Docks to the confluence of Drift Creek to avoid the dangerous tidal conditions of the outgoing tide in the lower bay.  Chinook salmon move into the upper bay above the Port Docks to avoid the high velocity of the current in the lower bay.  The color of the water in Alsea Bay varies from clear to off colored and stained depending on the amount of rainfall runoff especially the runoff from Drift Creek.  Fish in the upper bay in the main or north channels from the confluence of Drift Creek to the Port Docks by trolling with or incoming or outgoing tide using a plug cut herring or spinners equipped with genuine silver, matte silver or rainbow colored blades when the water is clearer and spinners with green accents and rainbow colored spinner blades or with 50–50 green or chartreuse hammered brass spinner blades in dingy stained water.  Back trolling or back bouncing with a plug cut herring or spinners during the outgoing tide are options that produce fish.  Trolling a plug cut herring or spinners on the tidal flats above and between the Port Docks and North Island during a last hour of the incoming tide through high slack tide is an option that can be productive.  Remember when buying herring buy the largest herring available. 

Fish in the lower tidal reach of the river channel from Taylor’s landing to the confluence of Drift Creek or in the tidal reach of Drift Creek using the following baits.  Troll with the incoming tide with spinners equipped with genuine silver, matte silver or rainbow colored spinner blade or bait wrapped Flatfish lures with a silver body and chartreuse or green accents.  Back bounce or back troll with the outgoing tide fishing with a walnut sized gob of salmon eggs, spinners or with bait wrapped Flatfish lures.  Drift with the tidal current using a free sliding bobber to fish a walnut sized gob of salmon eggs topped with a sand shrimp just off of the bottom.  Bobber fishing with walnut sized gob of salmon eggs topped with a sand shrimp while drifting with the tidal current is the most popular method used to fish for salmon in the upper tidal reach of the river channel. 

Anchor above the deeper holes from Taylor’s landing to the head of tidewater above Kozy Kove in the community of Tidewater.  Fish with a bobber during the last half of the outgoing tide through low slack tide using a walnut sized gob of salmon eggs topped with a sand shrimp.  Fishing with bait sweetened Spin–N–Glos, spinners, spinner bait combinations, bait wrapped Flatfish lures, wobblers or bait while anchored above the deeper holes during an outgoing tide are also productive methods for catching Chinook salmon in the Alsea River.

Coho salmon begin returning to Alsea Bay in September peaking in October and running through November.  Troll a plug cut herring, hoochies or streamer flies behind a diver or wire spreader in the lower bay with the incoming tide in the upper half of the water column from the bar to the Port Docks trolling.  Fish in the upper bay from the Port Docks to the confluence with Taylor’s Landing trolling plug cut herring, chartreuse hoochies, streamer flies, rainbow, chartreuse or pink colored spinners.  Remember coho salmon prefer bait trolled at a speed of 3 to 5 knots.

Cutthroat trout return to the Alsea River early in July and run through August.  Fish from the first week of July through the first week of August trolling Doc Shelton spinners rigged with night crawlers from Eckman Slough upstream to Canal Creek.  Troll with Doc Shelton spinners rigged with night crawlers or cast spinners in the upper tidal reach of the Alsea River above the community of Tidewater through the end of August. The searun in the photo was taken up river.      

Pileperch, walleye surfperch, redtail surfperch, white seaperch and striped seaperch enter the bay in late spring.  Striped perch are the dominant perch species found in the bay.  Schools of perch move onto the tidal flats feeding heavily on intertidal animals upstream from the entrance to the bay to McKinney’s Slough.  The fishing ranges from fair to excellent through fall depending on the tides and the weather conditions.  Fish for perch in the channel adjacent to the Port of Alsea, at the entrance to Lint Slough and along the channels that drains the tidal flats of northern half of the bay to McKinney’s Slough

Starry Flounder fishing ranges from nonexistent for most of the year to fair in the spring.  The best fishing occurs from the Highway 101 Bridge to the North Channel that drains the tidal flats of the upper bay.

White sturgeon enter Alsea Bay in small numbers for most of the year.  The best fishing occurs from May through August.  Fish in the holes downstream from McKinny’s Slough and Eckman Slough or from the confluence of Drift Creek upstream to Taylor’s landing.  The best time to fish for sturgeon is two hours before low tide.  Mud and sand shrimp are the most productive bait.  The sturgeon fishery is a small one ranking 6th overall when compared to more productive bays averaging 45 fish per year with low and high yearly catch of 12 and 116 fish respectively. 

Bank Fishing at the entrance to Alsea Bay is under utilized to say the least.  Fish along the north shore for perch, starry flounder and salmon from the Highway 101 Bridge seaward and along the south shore for salmon from William P. Keady Wayside seaward and for perch and starry flounder from the Port Docks located in Waldport seaward.  Bank Access is limited in the upper bay and the lower tidal reach of the river channel is limited by private property.

Clam digging in Alsea Bay for softshell clams is renowned for its excellence and rates right at the top for any of Oregon’s bays.  The softshell clam beds on the south shore are located up Highway 34 at Eckman Lake.  Travel east on Highway 34 from the City of Waldport to Eckman Lake.  There is ample parking along Highway 34 across from Eckman Lake and the church allows clam diggers to park at the church parking lot.  The clam digging area is located on the far bank opposite of the church parking lot on the other side of Eckman Creek.  The softshell clam beds on the north shore are located 1.4 miles east of Highway 101 on Bayview Rd.  A small to moderate population of cockles are located on the banks of the deep channel in front of the City of Waldport and in the channel east of the Highway 101 Bridge that runs parallel to the south shore.  Alsea Bay supports a moderate population of gaper clams on the northwest shore of the sand spit that parallels Alsea bay Dr.  Purple varnish clam beds are located in the tidal flats east of the Hwy 101 Bridge and the Port of Alsea

Alsea Bay is renowned for the high population of softshell clams common to the upper bay. Cockles and gaper clam (Tresus Capax) are common to specific areas in the lower bay as shown below.

In the not to distance past, my buddy Walt and I were into digging large gaper clams in the lower bay. However, clam digger Bret filled a 5 gallon bucket with 8 of his limit of 12 gaper clams. The best we could do was dig 4 of the big brutes.

Our clam digging buddy and former CDAO Board Member Jerry dug the clams in the following photograph. He dug the gaper clams from the lower bay and the softshell clams from the tidal flat on the bayside of HWY 34 at Eckman Lake.

The size of the gaper clams (tresus capx) in the photo demonstrate the abunance of age class of gaper clams in Alsea Bay. The clams in the photo were dug from the Bridge Flat on both sides of the Hwy 101 Bridge. The Waldport Bridge Flat was dominated by thousands of juvenile gaper clam that clam diggers were confusing as softshell clams. We asked ODFW to close the flat to harvest to protect the juvenile gaper clams from being dug. We aske OSP for enforcement! They both refused to act and the result was the gaper clams disappeared. Why? Is this important? Yes, because ODFW does not have either a Clam Managment and Crab Management plan in place. Would the presence of a Clam Management plan made a difference? We will will neve know!!!

Shellfish and Estuarine Assessment of Coastal Oregon (SEACOR) for Alsea Bay.

Directions to Alsea Bay clam digging access points:

Crabbing in Alsea Bay has a reputation for excellence.  Like most of Oregon’s bays the most productive crabbing occurs in the fall during September, October into November depending on the arrival of the seasonal fall storms. Crab in the channel that parallels the north shore from a point opposite of McKinley’s Marina seaward to the entrance of the bay. Be aware of the sand bars that extend from accross from the Port Docks toward the west.   The Port of Alsea allows crabbing from the port docks in Old Town Waldport.

Bill from the Dock of the Bay located at 1245 NE Mill St, Waldport, OR 97394 · (541) 563-2003 carries all of the crabbing gear to fill you needs to rent or buy.

Diving for crabs in Alsea Bay is very popular during the time of abundance.

Bill Here: Last season one of my daughter's friends stopped by my home and gave me 4 of the 12 crabs he had caught in the lower Alsea Bay. What a great gift! The crabs were soft and about half full of crab meat. However, my wife and I enjoyed a great crab Louis. I made Oregon's Crab Louie salad dressing with fresh ginger added to it.....

OREGON’S CRAB LOUIE DRESSING

Last season one of my daughter's friends stopped by my home and gave me 4 of the 12 crabs he had caught in the lower Alsea Bay. What a great gift! The crabs were soft and about half full of crab meat. However, my wife and I enjoyed a great crab Louis. I made Oregon's Crab Louie salad dressing with fresh ginger added to it.....

The recipe for Oregon’s Crab Louie dressing is based on the ability to enhance the flavor of the ingredients of Oregon’s Crab Louie. The optional ingredients consist of Worcestershire sauce or Chipotle chili pepper sauce or fresh ground ginger. Either one of the optional ingredients adds a flavor component to Oregon’s Crab Louie that complements the delicate sweet flavor of the fresh crabmeat.

Ingredients:

2 cups Mayonnaise
2/3 cup Catsup
3 tablespoons hamburger relish
1/2 lemon juiced
1 tablespoon Chipotle flavored hamburger relish if available or 1 minced Chipotle chili pepper from a can of Embasa Chipotle chili peppers (optional), or
1 plus tablespoon fresh ginger root finely chopped (optional), or
Several dashes of Worcestershire sauce (optional)

Preparation:

1. Oregon’s Crab Louie dressing is a combination of mayonnaise, catsup, hamburger relish and lemon juice mixed to taste. Add either one of the optional ingredients to enhance the flavor of the Louie Dressing. Add a tablespoon of Chipotle flavored hamburger relish or 1 plus tablespoon of fresh minced ginger to complement and enhance the flavors of the crabmeat and other ingredients. If the Chipotle flavored hamburger relish is unavailable add 1 minced Chipotle chili pepper to the three tablespoons of hamburger relish. Do not allow the flavor of the chipotle or ginger to overpower the dressing by using too much.

Internet links of interest:

Tideland Ownership Maps, 1972-1973

Tidal Projections:View the tidal projections for Waldport, or view the tidal projections for Drift Creek.

View the navigational hazards to avoid when crossing the Alsea Bay Bar. Scroll down the PDF pages to Alsea Bay

Click on Marine Weather forecast to view the marine weather forecast for coastal waters from Cascade Head to Florence OR out 10 nm.

Alsea Bay boat launches are located on the south shore off of Highway 34.  Follow the signs to the public boat launch at the Port of Alsea and to McKinley’s Marina to access the lower bay.  There are a number of private boat launches in the upper bay along Hwy 34.  Launch at the Kozy Kove Marina in the community of Tidewater to fish in the tidal reach of the river channel. 

155.9 Alsea Bay South Shore access is gained by turning west into the beach access parking lot at the intersection of Highway 34 and Highway 101. The parking area is located behind the Historic Alsea Interpretive Center. The Historic Alsea Interpretive Center offers the visitor interesting exhibits on marine life. Take the stairway to the bay and pump for sand shrimp, fish for salmon during the annual migration or rake for cockles in this section of the bay.

156.6 William P. Keady Wayside access to the southeast shore of Alsea Bay is from the stairs built by the City of Waldport. Pump for sand shrimp or rake for cockles in this section of the bay.

157.1 Governor Patterson State Memorial Wayside is one the access point to the south shore spit of the entrance to Alsea Bay. Dig for razor clams along the sandy beach from the entrance to Alsea Bay to Yachats.

159.0 Waconda Beach is located between Beachside Beach and the Governor Patterson State Wayside and is a fair location to fish for redtail surfperch and dig for razor clams. Parking is very limited along the west side of Highway 101.

159.3 Beachside State Park is a full service State Park located north of Tillicum Beach and is a fair location to fish for redtail surfperch. The sandy beach above Yachats is listed by ODFW as a location to dig for razor clams.

160.5 Tillicum Beach is a full service State Park located 3.5 miles north of Yachats and is a fair location to fish for redtail surfperch and a good location to dig for razor clams.

163.6 Smelt Sands Beach is located .7 of a mile north of the Yachats River Bridge and is home of the 804–beach trail. The trail provides excellent access to the rocky shore. The rocky beach is famous as the location where smelt are caught by dipping nets into the tidal surge to catch the spawning smelt. The smelt run during July. The area is an excellent location to fish for perch, sea trout, bass, cabezon and lingcod. The rocky shore from Smelt Sands Beach south along the coast to Strawberry Hill offer anglers some of the most productive locations along the Oregon Coast that consistently produce fine catches of bass, sea trout, perch, cabezon and lingcod.

164.4 The Yachats State Park is a day use park located in Yachats. To access the park turn west on 2nd Street or west on Marine Drive 163.8. The fishing for perch, sea trout, bass, cabezon and lingcod is excellent. Refer to the Oregon Sport Fishing Regulation restricting the taking of shellfish or marine invertebrates within the Yachats Marine Garden. The area is not only popular with surfers and anglers but is ideally suited for most recreational activities.

164.8 The Yachats Ocean Beach Wayside is an access road that parallels the rocky shore for .5 of a mile. To access the Wayside turn west onto the access road immediately south of the Yachats River Bridge. The fishing for bass, cabezon, greenling and lingcod is excellent.

166.9 The Devil’s Churn is just north of the visitor center and 2.7 miles south of Yachats. Park at either the visitor center or in the turnouts along Highway 101. The best fishing is on the rocky area south of the Devils Churn. The fishing for perch, sea trout, bass, cabezon and lingcod is excellent.

167.1 Cape Perpetua Auto Tour is a short drive to the top of the Cape. The view on a clear day is absolutely breath taking. The basalt monolith rising 803 feet above the ocean shore is the highest point immediately fronting the ocean below on the Oregon Coast. The view from the top is a challenging reward for those with the energy to hike the trail to the top.

167.3 The Cape Perpetua Visitor Center is located 1 mile north of Neptune beach. There is a vehicle access fee to park in Cape Perpetua Recreational Area. There is ample parking for all vehicles at the visitor center and limited parking available along highway 101. Follow the hiking trail down to the rocky shore. Fish from the rocks south to Cook’s Chasm. The fishing for perch, sea trout, bass, cabezon and lingcod is excellent. The taking of shellfish and invertebrates within the Cape Perpetua Marine Garden is closed except for the excellent digging of razor clams and the taking of a single mussel for fishing. There are 26 miles of hiking trails that take visitors to areas of incredible beauty and vistas that are truly inspirational. The center provides visitors with a wealth of information and displays about the daily lives of Native Americans. The history of Cape Perpetua and the surrounding area goes back 5,000 years.

Credit for discovering Cape Perpetua belongs to Captain James Cook on March 7, 1778. Captain Cook named Cape Perpetua in honor of St. Perpetua, an early Christian who was murdered on March 7, in the year 203. The information provided by the Visitor Center can only enhance the quality of your trip.

168. 2 Neptune Beach is located 3.6 miles south of Yachats and is a good location to fish for perch, sea trout, bass, cabezon and lingcod. Refer to the Oregon Sport Fishing Regulation restricting the taking of shellfish or marine invertebrates within the Neptune State Park Reserve.

168. 5 Neptune Beach has two parking lots. The parking is limited on both locations. There is a restroom located at this one. Neptune Beach is a good location to fish for perch, sea trout, bass, cabezon and lingcod. The sandy beach associated with Neptune Beach and the Cape Perpetua Visitor Center offers excellent digging for razor clams.

169.3 Strawberry Hill is located north of the Bob Creek Wayside and south of Neptune Beach 5 miles south of Yachats. There is excellent fishing for all rockfish species from the rocky ledges and for striped seaperch from the beach.

170.0 The Bob Creek Wayside is located north of Searose beach. There is a fairly large sea cave under the Bray's Point overlook. The fishing for sea trout, bass, cabezon, lingcod and striped seaperch is good.

171.3 Searose Beach is located between Stonefield beach and the Bob Creek Wayside. The fishing for striped seaperch and redtail surfperch is good. Access is gained by parking at the pullout located on the north side of the Tenmile Creek.

171.5 Stonefield Beach State Wayside is located just south of Tenmile Creek. The fishing for redtail surfperch is good.

172.6 Tokatee Klootchman State Wayside beach access.

173.9 Rock Creek Beach is a sandy beach located between the rocky beaches of Roosevelt and Stonefield. Fishing for redtail surfperch is good.

175.0 Roosevelt Beach is located north of the Muriel Ponsler Wayside.

175.3 The Muriel Ponsler Wayside has limited parking.

176.0 The Carl G. Washburn State Park is a full service park and is located south of the Muriel Ponsler Wayside. The fishing for striped seaperch is good over the rocky beach. China Creek is named after the coolies that worked in the creek for Gold.

177.2 Trailhead parking for access to the China Creek Trail, the Valley Trail, the Hobbit Trail and the trail to the beach is from a turnout on the eastside of Highway 101.

178.2 Devil’s Elbow is located between Cape Creek and Heceta Head.  The entrance to the parking area for the Devil’s Elbow and the Heceta Head Lighthouse is located immediately south of the service entrance to the lighthouse.  The lighthouse was built in 1884 and it cast a light 21 miles seaward.

The lighthouse is the most photographed landmark on the Oregon Coast.  The best location from which to photograph the lighthouse is from one of several turnouts on Highway 101 south of the Devil’s Elbow.  The ghost of the lighthouse keeper’s daughter is rumored to walk the halls of the light keeper’s house.  Heceta Head is named after Spanish Explorer Bruno Heceta who discovered the headland in 1775.  The fishing for pileperch, striped perch, sea trout, shallow water rockfish and lingcod is excellent during spring from the basalt rocky shelves that are only exposed during an outgoing tide or at low tide.     

179.2 The Sea Lion Cave is one of the most popular attractions on the Oregon Coast.  The cave was discovered in 1880 by retired sea captain, William Cox.  Captain Cox entered the cave from the ocean by skiff and found himself trapped inside the cave by a storm for several days.

181.2 Baker Beach overlook is located on the turnout on Highway 101. 

The view of Baker Beach in the foreground and Heceta Beach, the jetty at the mouth of the Siuslaw River and the Oregon Dunes National Recreational Area in the background give promise to the unlimited recreational opportunity.  Follow the stairs to access the trail that leads to Baker Beach below.

182.2 Baker Beach as pictured above is located north of Florence and is accessed by turning west onto Baker Beach Road from Highway 101 or via the footpath from the overlook on Hwy 101.  Baker Beach is a good location to fish for redtail surfperch and to dig for razor clams south to Heceta Beach.  Equestrian enthusiasts are welcome at Baker Beach.  The beach is so popular with equestrians, on weekends, that it is difficult to find a place to park.

182.2 Baker Beach Access to Lilly Lake. Lilly Lake is the lake that comes into view as your vehicle decsends the hill on Hwy 101. Turn west onto Baker Beach Rd. and continue to the Lillly Lake Trail. Take the trail to the 1.6 acre lake. Lily Lake contains native cutthroat trout catch and release only using files and artificial lures.  

185.4 Sutton Lake Recreational Area is a full service recreational area located north of Florence and is accessed by turning west into the Sutton Lake Recreational Area access road.  The beach is a good location to fish for redtail surfperch and to dig for razor clams.

Sutton Lake - 101 acres; north of Florence, east of Highway 101. Yellow perch, largemouth bass, brown bullhead, blue-gill.

187.3 Heceta Junction Lakes are located just west of the Heceta Junction and Hwy 101. The lakes contain largemouth bass, however the lakes have limited public access.

187.3 Heceta Beach is located at Florence via Heceta Beach Road 3 miles north of the junction of Highway 101 and Highway 138 or from any of a number of streets in Florence.  Park at the end of the road and walk to the beach.  Dig for razor clams south toward the north jetty or northward along the beach.  Heceta Beach has an excellent reputation for digging razor clams and for surf fishing for redtail surfperch.  The beach possibly offers the most productive razor clam digging south of aside.  The city of Florence was named after the three–masted bark Florence, which sunk offshore during a storm in November 1875.

Mercer Lake - 341 acres; north of Florence, east of Highway 101. Yellow Perch, largemouth bass, black crappie, brown bullhead.

Collard Lake - Access to the 31 acre lake is limited. The lake is located north of Florence, east of Highway 101 and contains largemouth bass and cutthroat trout.

Clear Lake is a 153 acre natual dune lake. The lake supports largemouth bassis and cutthroat trout. Access is limited to the hardy souls who are able to hike into the lake.

Ackerley Lake is small lake tucked between Clear Lake and Munsel Lake.

Munsel Lake - 93 acres; north of Florence, east of Highway 101. Yellow perch, largemouth bass, bluegill, brown bull-head.

The City of Florence is home to the Rhododendron Festival the second-oldest flower festival in Oregon and third – oldest on the West Coast and is just one year younger than the Portland Rose Festival. The Oldest flower festival on the west coast is the Tournament of Roses in Pasadena, California.    

Mile by Mile Map of the Oregon Coast Trail from the Siuslaw River Estuary to North Bend.

191.0                              Siuslaw Bay

The Port of Siuslaw is located in the City of Florence on the north shore of Oregon’s eighth largest bay. Florence was named after the sailing vessel Florence, which sunk offshore during a storm in November 1875. Today the bar at the entrance to the bay can be dangerous to cross and the small boater has to use caution when considering crossing the bar or fishing in the jetty channel. The waves generated by the wind and/or the current from a strong outgoing tide can sink a small boat. Call the Coast Guard station, (541) 997-8303, for recorded weather and bar conditions before considering boating in the jetty channel or crossing the bar.

NOAA's Bar Observation Website for Oregon's Bays. Check the NOAA Bar Observations website for updated closures and restrictions on Oregon's Bays.

The following underlined areas describe some of the dangerous tidal conditions affecting safe boating when entering or departing Siuslaw Bay or boating in the jetty channel as listed on the Web Page for Oregon State Marine Board at www.boatoregon.com. 

Shoal water on the northeast side of the channel has a depth of two to three feet at high tide which extends from C"7" to G"9".  Shoal water on the south side of the channel, extends from buoy #6 to buoy #4 and approximately 50 yards out toward the south jetty tips.

Outer end of south jetty. Breakers are almost always present. When the seas are from the southwest or west, breakers may extend to the entrance buoy.

Outer end of north jetty. Breakers are almost always present. When the seas are from the west, the breakers may extend to the entrance buoy.

Siuslaw River channel lies along the northern half of the river entrance. Water depth ranges from 6 to 20 feet. When swells are running from the northwest, boaters should stay in the channel. When the swells run from the west or southwest, stay closer to the south jetty until clear of rough water.  When conditions are questionable, contact the Coast Guard station for advice on VHF channel 16 or 22A, or CB channel 9. Once inside the bar, head for the channel. Ranges mark the preferred depth channel, but depending on conditions they do not mark the best route to follow.

Siuslaw River bar has a very narrow channel extending out past the jetties. Unlike larger bars on the Oregon coast, the Siuslaw River bar may be rendered impassable for small boats by a moderate swell, particularly at ebb tide. Boaters should use extreme caution when operating near this bar. Due to shoaling and jetty extensions, bar conditions are unpredictable. When the bar is rough, expect continuous breakers 50 to 100 yards off the jetty tips.

Bridge:  Clearance beneath the Siuslaw River Bridge is low. Use caution when crossing under the bridge on the flood tide to avoid damaging superstructure such as antennas and troll poles.

Rough bar advisory sign is positioned on the Coast Guard tower facing 150½ true.

Fishing in the Siuslaw River Estuary:

The Siuslaw River Estuary Bay is best known for the quality of the coho salmon fishing.  Fishing in the bay and main stem of the Siuslaw River has posted some of the highest fish counts for coho salmon recorded for any of Oregon’s bays.

Coho salmon of the Siuslaw River have one of the best runs of coho salmon on the Oregon Coast.  The coho salmon return from late September, peaking in October and runs into November.  Fish for coho salmon early in the run trolling with the incoming tide in the lower bay with plug cut herring, chartreuse hoochies or streamer flies.  Troll these baits behind a diver or wire spreader in the upper half of the water column.  Trolling with rainbow, chartreuse or pink colored spinners or spinner bait combinations is an effective option.  Troll these baits throughout the bay and in tidal reach of the river channel.  Be sure to troll a plug cut herring with a tight spin at speeds between 3 and 5 knots. 

Chinook salmon begin returning in small numbers to Siuslaw Bay in September peaking in early October and running into November.  The average catch rate has been increasing for the last 25 years and is dominated by a high percentage of 5 year old fish and some 6 year old fish.  The majority of the Chinook salmon returning to the Siuslaw Basin return to Lake Creek with fewer Chinook returning to the Siuslaw River and the North Fork of the Siuslaw River respectively.  

The best fishing for newly arriving fall Chinook salmon occurs in the lower bay during the incoming tide of the major tidal exchange of spring tides or neap tides especially when the incoming tide coincides with sunrise or sunset.  The next most productive fishing period occurs at sunrise or sunset during the incoming tide of the minor tidal exchange in the daily tidal cycle.  Daybreak is that magical time of day when Chinook salmon bite the best.  Be sure to have the bait in the water one half hour before sunrise.  Fishing is most productive from ½ hour before sunrise to midmorning and from late afternoon until ½ hour after sunset.

Early in the run trolling a plug cut herring with the incoming tide through high slack tide or with outgoing tide in the lower bay from the jetty jaws to the Highway 101 Bridge is the most productive method to catch early returning fall Chinook salmon.  The velocity of the tidal current in the lower bay can require the use of heavy sinkers up to 16 plus ounces to keep the bait in the Chinook’s strike zone. 

As the run develops troll a plug cut herring with the tide in the upper bay from the Highway 101 Bridge past Old Town to the confluence of the North Fork of the Siuslaw River.  Troll a plug cut herring or spinners with the tide from the confluence of the North Fork to the Dairy Hole at the confluence of the Duncan Inlet or from the confluence of the North Fork with the main stem Siuslaw upriver to Bender Landing located on the North Fork of the Siuslaw River.  Troll the spinners on the bottom utilizing a wire spreader with the spinner tied to a 72 inch 35 plus pound test monofilament lead and an 18 inch break away dropper.  If the Chinook are rolling on top flat line the spinner by trolling it without using weight. 

Fish in the tidal reach of the Siuslaw River from the Dairy Hole below Duncan Inlet upriver to the Dollar Hole located at the head of tidewater above Mapleton or in the upper tidal reach of the North Fork of the Siuslaw River from Bender Landing up river to Haring Creek or for the more adventurous to the head of tide at Condon Creek using the following methods:  Troll with the incoming tide through high slack tide or back troll or back bounce with the outgoing tide using bait wrapped Flatfish lures, spinners or spinner bait combinations.  Drift with the tidal current back bouncing a walnut sized gob of salmon eggs topped with a sand shrimp or drift with the tidal current using a free sliding bobber to fish a walnut sized gob of salmon eggs topped with sand shrimp suspended just off of the bottom at a depth of 8 to 10 feet.  Bobber fishing is productive in the holes upriver from the Dairy Hole at Duncan Inlet, at the hole below the confluence of Sweet Creek, the Pipe Bridge Hole just below Mapleton Landing and in the holes above Mapleton Landing to the Dollar Hole just below the head of tide at Farnham Landing.  Vertical jigging with a Buzz Bomb in the deeper holes upriver form the Pipe Bridge Hole can be productive.  The most popular Flatfish lure has a silver body with chartreuse head or Hot Tail finish.  The most productive spinner is No. 6 chartreuse Bolo spinner with silver and copper blades followed by a rainbow colored Yaquina Slammer spinner. Fish during low slack tide by trolling a No. 6 rainbow colored Yaquina Slammer spinner or by casting a No. 5 chartreuse Bolo spinner with silver and copper blades.  Anchor up current above the deeper holes and fish with bait wrapped Flatfish lures, bait sweetened Spin–N–Glos, spinners, wobblers, spinner bait combinations, a walnut size gob of salmon eggs or bobber fish with salmon eggs and/or sand shrimp during the outgoing tide through low slack.

Cutthroat trout return to the Siuslaw River Basin anytime from the first week of July through first middle of August.  Fishing for cutthroat is productive at the confluence of the North Fork and the main stem Siuslaw Rivers and upstream to Mapleton trolling Doc Shelton spinners rigged with night crawlers.  Fish in the upper tidal reach of the Lake Creek and the Siuslaw River above Mapleton trolling Doc Shelton spinners rigged with a night crawler, casting spinners or by anchoring above the deeper holes and fishing on the bottom with night crawlers, crawfish tails or by casting spinners.     

Striped bass enter Siuslaw Bay from the middle of March during the years when the striped bass population is at its highest.  Fish along the tidal flats associated with the confluence of the North Fork, Cox Island, South Inlet or Duncan Inlet.   

Black rockfish, blue rockfish and copper rockfish enter Siuslaw Bay early as March but usually from April through October withdrawing from the bay during periods of heavy seasonal freshwater runoff in winter and to deeper water during the daylight hours.  Fishing at night in the jetty channel along the south jetty and the finger jetties is excellent from spring into early fall.

Pileperch, striped seaperch, redtail surfperch, walleye surfperch and white seaperch enter the bay in late spring.  Striped seaperch are the dominate perch species followed by pileperch but the fishing really heats up when redtail surfperch enter the bay.  Good fishing for perch starts in the jetty channel along the finger jetties just inside the entrance of the bay and gets better as the perch move up the bay to Cox Island.  The fishing can be exceptional during June and July along the tidal flats adjacent to the deepwater channels from the city docks in Florence to the North

Fork of the Siuslaw River, Cox Island and the South Inlet.  The fishing ranges from fair to excellent through fall depending on the tides and the weather conditions.       

Kelp greenling, whitespotted greenling and rock greenling enter the bay with the tide from late spring through fall.  The best fishing occurs during July and August among the submerged structure of the north, south and finger jetties at the entrance to the bay.

Lingcod spawn along the north and south jetties from late January throughout March.  Fishing is fair to excellent during the spawning period.

Cabezon are present throughout the year with the best fishing occurring along the south and north jetties in March during the spawning period, but the fishing for cabezon ranges from fair at the end of the jetties for most of the year.   

White sturgeon enter the bay in fishable numbers from December to June.  Fish for them in the holes in tidal reach of the river channel during the last two hours of an outgoing tide through slack tide.  The sturgeon fishery is a small but viable one that is subject to over fishing.  Concentrate fishing in the deeper holes from the confluence with the South Inlet upstream to Mapleton.

Sand Sole enter the bay in small numbers from April through August.

Clam digging for gaper clams, piddocks clams or cockles is limited to the tidal area just inside the north jetty below Harbor Vista R/V Park.  The most productive digging for piddock clams in any of Oregon’s bays occurs along the north shore in the jetty channel in the area marked with a “4” but is only accessible by boat.  The softshell clams in locate on the west end of Cox Island are larger in size than the average softshell clam found in Oregon’s bays.  The softshell clam beds are located in the tidal flats at just east of Florence on both sides of the river.                                          

Crabbing is good from late spring to early fall in the lower bay from the city docks seaward to the jetty jaws.  The most productive crabbing occurs seaward from the Highway 101 Bridge.

The Siuslaw Bay public fishing pier is located at the end of the South Jetty Road.  The fishing for perch is excellent from spring through summer.  The crabbing is excellent from late spring until the freshwater from winter rains force the crabs out into the ocean.  The fishing for salmon from the pier is productive in late August and September as the salmon enter the river.

The Siuslaw Jetties – The best fishing is from the south jetty, which has a larger population of rockfish and access to the Siuslaw Bay public fishing pier.  The south jetty has finger jetties to control erosion.  The fishing for bass, greenling and perch should be good along these areas.   The south jetty is accessed by traveling south on Hwy 101 across Siuslaw Bay for approximately 1.4 miles, turn right on the south Jetty access road and follow the sign.  The north jetty is accessed from Hwy 101 via Heceta Beach Drive; turn left on Rhododendron to the North Jetty.

Siuslaw Bay boat launches  are the Florence City Docks and Ramp located in Old Town Florence.  The other boat ramps and hoist are located east of Florence on Highway 126 and 36. Siuslaw Marina has an unimproved ramp located 4 miles east of Florence..  Midway Dock is a hoist facility, Tiernan Boat Ramp is an unimproved boat ramp located about six miles west of Mapleton. C & D Docks and hoist facility. Mapleton Landing and Transit Dock are located in Mapleton near the intersection of Highway 126 and Highway 36.  Farnham Landing is located just above the Dollar Hole at the head of tide on Highway 36 two miles east of Highway 126.  Launch at Bender’s landing to fish the North Fork of the Siuslaw River.  Access Bender’s landing by turning onto the North Fork Road from Hwy 138.

Crabbing in the Siuslaw River Estuary:

Crabbing at Siuslaw River Estuary is extremely good in the lower bay and in the ocean during normal summer and fall flows. Crabbing from the City Docks ranges to good in late summer and fall with lots of juvenile crabs in the mix. The crabbing from Siuslaw Bay public crabbing dock located at the end of the South Jetty Road is excellent from late spring until the freshwater from winter rains force the crabs out into the ocean..............

Lower Siuslaw River Estuary map of clam and crab distribution.

The Sportsman, the largest family owned at (541 997 3336) is the largest sporting goods store serving the Central and Southern Oregon Coast and is located on South Hwy 101 in Florence. The Sportsman is the go to source for local crabbing and fishing information and carries all the recreational necessities to fulfill your fishing, crabbing, clam digging and hunting needs.

My buddy Walt and I crabbed from the crabbing dock located on the south shore of the Siuslaw River Estuary. We did not catch any keeper sized crabs but only 2 keeper sized crabs were taken while we were there.

Clam Digging Siuslaw River in the Siuslaw River Estuary is limited to a huge populations of softshell clam accessed by boat or by car from Hwy 126 east of Florence at the confluence of the Siuslaw River and the North Fork of the Siuslaw River. Purple varnish clams are dug from the tidal flat located just east of the crabbing dock on the south jetty while razor clams are common to Heceta Beach and Baker Beach.

Lane County requires parking permits to park in the day use parking areas at most of the county parks. The permits are available at the Sportsman Sporting Goods store located on HWY 101 just north of the HWY 101 bridge over the Siuslaw River Estuary. The Sportsman is one of two family owned and operated sporting goods stores on the Oregon Coast that carry a complete line of equipment that will satisfy your recreational needs.

During the Spring of 2015 I went to both the beach at the North Jetty and the beach at the Driftwood Shores Resort to dig razor clams. the surf was rough and I managed to dig only one medium sized razor clam.

Razor Clams: At one time excluding the Clatsop Spit Beaches the digging of razor clams at Heceta Beach was considered the best place to dig razor clams in Oregon ahead of Agate Beach and Meyers Beach. According to local diggers digging productivity varies from poor to very good depending on the tidal range and surf conditions.

Heceta and Baker Beach Razor Clams: Last summer ODFW reported some razor clams were dug from the northern reach of Baker Beach.

Lane County requires parking permits to park in the day use parking areas at most of the county parks. The permits are available at the Sportsman Sporting Goods store located on HWY 101 just north of the HWY 101 bridge over the Siuslaw River Estuary. The Sportsman is one of two family owned and operated sporting goods stores on the Oregon Coast that carry a complete line of equipment that will satisfy your recreational needs.There are some parking permit required to park at the beaches north of the North Jetty of the Siuslaw River. Parking is free at the North Jetty and at the public beach access parking area immediately south of the Driftwood Shores resort. A Lane County parking permit is required to park at the end Heceta Beach Road. There is a day use fee to park at the Sutton Lake Recreational area on the west side of Hwy 101 just north of Florence except for holders of the Golden Eagle pass program. The recreational area at Baker Beach via the Baker Beach Rd requires a day use fee or displaying the passes of the Golden Eagle program.

Baker Beach Rd. is the northern most access road to the beaches located north of the North Jetty except for the trail that leads to Baker Beach from the turnout overlooking the beach from Hwy 101.

Softshell clams are the primary clams of interest in the Siuslaw River Estuary. Piddocks clams are dug from the exposed tidal flats on the north side of the channel some distance from the Harbor Vista R/V Park. Some cockles are raked and some gaper clams are dug on the tidal flats below the Harbor Vista R/V Park.

Internet links of interest:Tidal Projections:Click on at entrance of the estuary to view the NOAA tidal projections for the entrance to the Siluslaw River Estuary, or click on City Dock to view the tidal projections for the city dock. The tide at Florence occurs 55 minutes later than at the entrance to river jetty.

Click on the River Gage at Mapleton to display the height of the river level for the Siuslaw River – Near Mapleton

Click on the Northwest Forecast River Center and scroll down and over the icon for the water level gauge station of choice. Click the river gage station icon to display the river gage station information.

Click on the Marine Forecast to view the marine forecast from Florence to Cape Blanco featuring Small Craft Warning.

Click on navigational hazards to avoid when crossing the Siuslaw River.

Oregon Dunes National Recreational Area. The sand dunes associated with the Oregon Dunes National Recreational Area are the largest collection of coastal dunes in the world and is the most popular recreational area on the Oregon Coast. The area offers visitors unlimited recreational opportunity to fulfill their expectations. The clam digging, crabbing and fishing is exceptional. Fishing in the surf for redtail surfperch is exceptional between Umpqua Bay and Coos Bay. There are numerous lakes in the area, the most notable being Siltcoos, Tahkenitch and Tenmile, all of which offer exceptional fishing, boating or water skiing. There are hiking trails that offer varying degrees of difficulty from a casual walk along the beach to a heart–pounding climb through the dunes. Dune buggy enthusiasts enjoy a level of participation that is comparable to their abilities. Vehicles entering the ocean beaches and the sand dunes in the Oregon Dunes National Recreational Area must be in compliance with beach access regulations. The beach associated with the Oregon Dunes Recreational Area is patrolled by the Marine Patrol and the patrol issues costly tickets to the owners of vehicles who violate regulations. Access to the sand dunes or to the beach by off road or by four wheel drive street legal vehicles requires an off road vehicle permit. Area merchants and the Oregon Department of Motor Vehicles issue off road vehicle permits. All vehicles both street legal and off road must display a red flag on the end of a nine foot whip antenna and carry a class–A fire extinguisher to access the off road areas of the Oregon Dunes National Recreational Area. Off road access to the beach by motor vehicle gives the angler ability to move often to locate feeding surfperch and striped bass. Be sure to park above the high tide mark and in an area where you don’t become stuck in the sand. Check with the Oregon Dunes National Recreational Office to confirm the sandy dunes and the beach areas open to vehicles. Other nearby recreational attractions such as the Kentucky Falls and the Deans Creek Elk Viewing Area are another compelling reason to visit the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area. The dunes within the Oregon Dunes National Recreational area stretch southward from the south shore of Siuslaw Bay to North Beach on the north shore of Coos Bay.

191.7 The South Jetty Road is located 1.4 miles south of Florence and is the northern entrance to the Oregon Dunes National Recreational Area. The ocean beach offers excellent fishing for redtail surfperch and the occasional striped bass and productive digging for razor clams. The south jetty crabbing dock is located at the end of the five mile long South Jetty Road. There is ample parking for all vehicles in the parking areas along the South Jetty Road. Motor vehicles are only allowed on the sand dunes south to the Siltcoos Beach Road. Barret Lake is a small but isolated lake just south of the Siuslaw River Estary and is accessible by walking north from the junction of Odd Fellow's Road and the South Jetty Road. I could not find any reference to the species of fish common to the lake, if any.

198.1 Siltcoos Beach road is the access to the beach associated with the Siltcoos River. Turn west from Highway 101 into the Siltcoos entrance of the Oregon Dunes National Recreational Area. The beach north of the Siltcoos River is renowned for catching redtail surfperch. The best surf fishing is located on the beach 1 to 2 miles north of the Siltcoos River. Motor vehicles are prohibited on the beach from Siltcoos Beach Road to Sparrow Park Road.

Siltcoos Lake at 3,164 acres is one of the largest natural lakes in Oregon. Siltcoos Lake (from Wikimedia)is located south of Florence east of Hwy 101. The lake contains black crappie, brown bullhead, yellow perch, bluegill, largemouth bass, cutthroat trout, rainbow trout and supports a terrific run of Coho salmon. The Oregon Stat record for Coho salmon was taken from Siltcoos. The thrill of catching the largest fish of any species is an accomplishment that few experience.

Cleawox Lake is an 82 acre lake located south of Florence on the westside of Highway 101 at the Jessy M. Honeyman State Park. Honeyman State Park is the second largest overnight camp in the state. There are two miles of sand dunes between the park and the ocean. Two natural freshwater lakes are within the park. Cleawox -- which is great for swimming -- and Woahink, which has a public boat ramp, is used for all water sports. Rent a canoe and explore the lake.

Woahink Lake is an 787 acre lake located south of Florence east of Highway 101 at Honeyman State Park. Woahink Lake (from Wikimedia) contains yellow perch, largemouth bass, brown bullhead and bluegill plus the lake with all sizes of the rainbow trout each spring. Little Woahink Lake is a small lake located just north of Woahink.

Spring brings out the pink rhododendrons. Come summertime, this is a great place for family reunions. The fall huckleberries and blackberries are ripe for the picking. This a camp for all seasons.

Cleawox lake contain largemouth bass, yellow perch, black crappie, brown bullhead and bluegill plus the lake with all sizes of the rainbow trout each spring. Bear Lake is an isolated lake locate west of Cleawox and is accessible by hiking or Atv. Visitor to the area should be equipped to deal with damp rainy conditions.

198.7 Carter Lake - 28 acres; south of Florence, west of Highway 101. The lake contains largemouth bass, yellow perch ann is stocked with catchable rainbow trout. Carter Lake Campground and Taylor Dune Trailhead is handicap accessible. The first quarter mile of the Taylor Dune Trail is handicap accessible. Follow the beach trail to the beach to fish for redtail surfperch and the accasional striped bass.

200.8 The Oregon Dunes Overlook offers the visitor two viewing platforms that are connected by boardwalks that are completely handicap accessible. The platforms provide the visitor with a scenic view of the dunes. Follow the 1 mile trail to the beach. The entire beach offers excellent fishing for redtail surfperch and for the occasional striped bass.

Perkins Lake varies up to six acres in size and it is stocked with rainbow trout by the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife. There is a priviate home on the lake. Please respect their property.

202.3 Tahkenitch Creek Trailhead to the beach is accessed by parking at the Tahkenitch Creek Trailhead and hiking along the Tahkenitch Dunes Threemile Lake Loop to the beach. The entire beach offers excellent fishing for redtail surfperch and for the occasional striped bass.

Tahkenitch Lake is one of the larger lakes on the Oregon coast with a surface area of 1674 acres. The name is from an Indian word that is said to mean "many arms." The lake contains black crappie, brown bullhead, yellow perch, bluegill, largemouth bass, cutthroat trout, rainbow trout and supports a terrific run of Coho salmon.

Tahkenitch Lake Boat Launches: Tahkenitch Fishing Village is a private launch with a launch fee. Call 541 271 5222.

Tahkenitch Boat Launch a U.S. Forest Service facility, I think. I was unable to determine if there is a launch fee or day use fee associated with the lake. Both Douglas and Lane Counties have day use fees, however there are some parking areas where the fees are not charged.

Elbow Lake is a 13 acre lake located on the west side of Hwy 101 thirteen miles south of Florence. The lake contains largemouth bass, yellow perch and is planted each spring with a limited number of good sized rainbow trout. There is a single lane road that fishermen use to lauch small cartop boats. The road does not have a boat ramp.

207.5 Sparrow Park Road is the access road to the beach south to the North Jetty of Umpqua Bay. Sparrow Park Road is located 1.5 miles north of Gardiner. The fishing is excellent for redtail surfperch and striped bass and the beach south to the North Jetty is a productive location to dig for razor clams. R/Vs and trailers should avoid the long narrow and winding road to the beach. There is a turn around at the end of the road, but the only parking available is on the beach. Motor vehicles are only allowed to travel on the beach south to the north jetty; however, motor vehicles are allowed access through the sand dunes to the west shore of Umpqua Bay on Clam Bed Road. Local fishermen use ATVs to access the beach south to the North Jetty to fish this hotspot for redtail surfperch and striped bass. Fishing for cutthroat trout in Three Mile Lake is an option for those fit enough to make the hike.

Umpqua River Estuary

The Umpqua River Estuary is Oregon’s third largest bay and one of the most productive. Historically the catch rate for coho and Chinook salmon in the offshore waters is one of the highest of any port along the Oregon Coast. There is a lighted whistle buoy located .9 tenths of a mile west of the south jetty light. The south jetty is marked with a light with a seasonal fog signal and radar reflector. A 086 degree lighted range and a buoy mark the entrance channel which is subject to frequent changes. Early settlers realized the potential of establishing a commercial port at the Umpqua River Estuary, and at the settlers urging, the Federal Government built the first lighthouse on the Oregon Coast at the entrance to the Umpqua River Estuary in 1857. Building the lighthouse on the sand was a mistake and b 1861 erosion had undermined the lighthouse and it collapsed.

Ships crossing the bar at the Umpqua River Estuary were at the mercy of an unstable channel that was constantly shifting. Nature was unmerciful when the brewery vessel Willamina ran aground at the entrance to Winchester Bay while attempting to deliver Pacific Pride beer to thirsty fishermen. The construction of the north jetty in 1919 and the south jetty in 1933 helped to establish the Umpqua River Estuary as a major port of entry for sport fishermen, but the entrance to the bar and the jetty channel are still subject to dangerous tidal conditions. Recorded weather and bar condition reports are available by calling (541) 271-8417. Breaking waves can be encountered on the Umpqua River bar at any time. The following underlined areas describe some of the dangerous tidal conditions that affect boating safety in the jetty channel of the Umpqua River or crossing the Umpqua River Bar as listed on the Web Page for Oregon State Marine Board at www.boatoregon.com.

The Umpqua River is Oregon’s second longest coastal river and is dominated for extended periods by freshwater runoff from seasonal rains and/or snowmelt originating in the Cascades. The tidal reach of the Umpqua and the Smith Rivers extend upriver for 27.09 and 23.98 miles respectively. Public access to the riverbanks in the tidewater reach of the Umpqua River is limited by private property. Public access to the riverbanks in the tidewater reach of the Smith River is more accessible than the Umpqua River.

The Smith River is a large coastal river that flows into Umpqua River Estuary 11.49 miles above the jetty jaws and was named after the legendary Mountain Man, Jedediah Smith. Jedediah was the first white man to cross the Sierra Nevada Mountains into California and to walk from California to the Columbia River. Jedediah was one of eighteen trappers camped at the confluence of the Smith and Umpqua Rivers. Jedediah and two other trappers were away from camp when Kelawatset Indians attacked the trapper’s camp killing all but one of the trappers.

Winchester Bay on the Umpqua River Estuary: The crabbing and fishing reports are provided by the outdoor reporter and outdoor writer, Pete Heley at Pete Heley's Outdoor Publicaitons at the Stockade Market. Read Pete's weekly outdoor report for all aspects of recreational fishing and crabbing in the Umpqua Post at http://www.theumpquapost.com/. The Stockade Market carry a complete line of equipment for crabbing, clam digging and fishing equipment.

Crabbing:

The Lower Umpqua River Estuary Map of crabbing and clam distribution.

In June 2014, I spent the morning crabbing from the Coast Guard crabbing dock in Winchester Bay without taking a legal crab. I spoke to the only other crabber and he had taken only 1 crab in 2 days of crabbing. The video clip captures the continued deterioration of the crabbing dock. How long will it be before the dock is permanently closed? We have lobbied our political representatives and while they all agree we need to restore the sturctural integrity those grant commitees that fund these types of projects have failed to do so.

In August 2012, I took my wife crabbing at Coast Guard crabbing dock at Winchester Bay, but the strong NW wind kept her in the truck. We arrived at 10:30 and crabbed for 2 hours. Even though I caught over 100 plus Dungeness crabs I only managed to take 2 legal crabs using 2 Crab Max crab traps. One crab was soft and the other crab had lost its pinchers and having no desire to keep a hard shell crab with very small pinchers I returned both to the bay. I crabbed with a new collapsing crab pot using the heads and guts from 8 cutthroat tout we caught yesterday evening. I pulled the pot twice in 2 hours and managed to catch 2 small crabs. This is the second time I have used trout heads for bait and each time the catch was disappointing; so from now on I will use the heads and guts from the trout I clean as garden bait.

Crabber Ted and another crabber both took the 6 Dungenss crabs using crab rings. Ted and the other crabber started crabbing at low slack around 5:30 am. Ted had been camped at Winchester Bay for a week and had limited out each day, but he had to crab during the entire incoming tide each day to do so.

Clam Digging:

05/29 clam digger Dutch reports diggers did very well on softshell clams at Bolon Island taking limits of large clams. Softshell clams are the dominate clam species in the Umpqua River Estuary. The tidal flats associated with Bolon Island and Gardiner offer the digger the best access. Click on Digging Softshell Clams on Umpqua River Estuary to view the video showing one of the best methods for digging softshell clams.

My buddy Dutch digging gaper clams from the Triangle at Winchester Bay. The population of the large sized gaper clams varies greatly during periods of continuous storm water run of persist for extended periods.

Internet links of interest for the Umpqua River Estuary:

Tidal Projections: Click on the NOAA tidal projections for Oregon. Scroll down to Umpqua River Estuary and click on your area of interest.

Click on the navigational hazards to avoid when crossing the bar at Winchester Bay.

Click on the Marine Forecast from Florence to Cape Blanco featuring Small Craft Warning.

Click on Northwest River Forecast Center: Scroll over the river gauge station. Click the river gauge station icon to display the river gauge station information

Click on the height of the river level for the Umpqua River – Near Elkton

Recommended link: Click on the following link to see an detailed hourly forecast for weather and surf conditions on the southern Oregon Coast. Then click your coastal zone of interest to view the detail information compiled on the Marine Digital Point Forecast Matrix Interface.

Fishing in the Umpqua River Estuary and Winchester Bay:

Chinook Salmon return to the Umpqua River in the spring and fall and to the Smith River in the fall. Feeder Chinook salmon often enter Umpqua River Estuary in July and are caught between Winchester Bay and buoy 19. The largest Chinook salmon ever landed in Oregon weighed 83.0 pounds and was caught in the Umpqua River in 1910. Spring Chinook salmon in the Umpqua River offer anglers one of the best opportunities to set a new state record.

Spring Chinook salmon enter Winchester Bay in April, peaking in late April or in May and running into June. The run of Spring Chinook salmon is usually comprised of high percentage of mature 5 and 6 year old fish. Spring Chinook spend very little time in the lower tidal reach of the Umpqua River Estuary. Some anglers experience success trolling for spring Chinook salmon along the south jetty with a plug cut herring, but the most productive fishing occurs above Scottsburg. Fish with bait wrapped Flatfish lures, Rogue Bait Rig and anchovy combinations, spinners or bait sweetened Spin–N–Glos using a wire spreader rigged with a 12 inch sinker dropper line and a 36 inch leader line to present the bait to the salmon. It usually requires a 2 to 8 ounce sinker to walk the bait to the desired location, 15 to 60 feet behind the boat. During periods of low river flows, anchor above and fish in the deeper water between the slots of the rock ledges. During the increased flow of spring runoff, anchor in the shallow water on the inside of a curve and fish at a depth of 4 to 10 feet from the inside out.

My friend Bill Morris (RIP) caught this Spring Chinook downstream from Reedsport in 2013. My friend Steve caught the fat red meated Chinook jack with his hand tied red ant fly at the deadline of Winchester Creek (see the video for more informatiion) at Winchester Bay.

spring salmon 4-22-11 2011-04-21 002.gifSteves Chinook 1.gif

The fellow in the video catches twice as many Chinook using a bobber with eggs as he does using spinners.

Umpqua River fall Chinook salmon begin returning in late August or early September peaking in late September into early October. The age class of the returning Chinook is usually comprised of higher percentage of younger 3 year old fish followed by 4 year old fish.

Early in the run concentrate fishing in lower Winchester Bay. Most anglers fish between the East Basin and buoy 12 trolling a plug cut herring with the incoming tide in the channel that parallels the east shore along the south jetty to buoy 12 or in the deepwater channel that parallels the west shore from buoy 12 in a straight line to buoy 15 then to buoy 17 on east shore. As the number of returning fish increase troll a plug cut herring or rainbow colored spinners from buoy 17 to the International Paper Co. Chinook salmon often hold the deepwater between buoy 19 and buoy 21. Anchor and fish with bait wrapped Flatfish lures or with wobblers. Fish for Chinook salmon holding underneath the Highway 101 Bridge at Reedsport or in the deeper holes at confluence of the Smith and Umpqua Rives by trolling a plug cut herring or rainbow colored spinners.

To fish the tidal reach of the Umpqua River above the Smith River, launch a boat at the Umpqua Wayside State Park or at Scottsburg. Trolling a plug cut herring with the high incoming tide is the most productive method used to catch Chinook salmon followed by trolling a bait-wrapped Flatfish lure, spinners or a spinner bait combination. Back bounce, back troll or troll with the outgoing tide using a plug cut herring, bait wrapped Flatfish lures, spinners, a spinner bait combinations, wobblers or with a walnut sized gob of salmon eggs topped with a sand shrimp. Anchor up current above the deeper holes above Scottsburg and bobber fish with salmon eggs and sand shrimp or fish on the bottom using salmon eggs topped with sand shrimp, bait sweetened Spin–N–Glos or wobblers.

Fall Chinook salmon return to the Smith River in October. The run usually peaks in late October, and the age class of the returning Chinook is usually comprised of 4 and 5 year old fish. In early October fish for Smith River fall Chinook in lower Winchester Bay using the same methods used to fish for fall Umpqua River Chinook. Fish in the lower tidal reach of the Smith River from the confluence with the Umpqua River to the South Side Bridge trolling a plug cut herring, bait wrapped Flatfish lures or spinners with the incoming tide. Back bounce or Back troll with the outgoing tide using a plug cut herring, a walnut sized gob of salmon eggs topped with sand shrimp, bait wrapped Flatfish lures or spinners. To fish the upper tidal reach of the Smith River launch at the Noel Ranch launch or the Riverside boat launch. Drift with the tidal current using a free sliding bobber to fish a walnut sized gob of salmon eggs topped with a sand shrimp just off of the bottom. During the outgoing tide anchor up current above the deeper holes and fish with bait wrapped Flatfish lures, bait sweetened Spin–N–Glos, wobblers, a walnut size gob of salmon eggs or bobber fish with salmon eggs and sand shrimp.

Coho salmon return from September peaking in October and running into early November. Fish for coho salmon early in the run trolling plug cut herring, chartreuse hoochies or streamer flies with the incoming tide in the lower bay from the south jetty to buoy 12. Troll these baits behind a diver or wire spreader in the upper half of the water column. Be sure to troll a plug cut herring with a tight spin and at speeds between 3 and 5 knots. Fly fishing and/or trolling or casting spinners in the tidal flats associated with the City of Gardiner and the site of the former International Paper Mill is a favorite of local anglers. The water in the Umpqua River is often stained or murky with sediment. Fish with rainbow or dark colored spinners with brass or copper blades in stained water and light colored spinners with silver accents in clear water. Pink or chartreuse colored spinners are very effective when fishing for coho in the tidal flats. Umpqua Bay boast the highest catch rate of coho salmon for any of Oregon’ coastal bays.

Striped bass enter the Umpqua River Estuary from middle of March before spawning in the Smith and Umpqua Rivers in June, but they only spawn successfully in the Smith River. The larger mature striped bass enter the estuary followed by schools of smaller striped bass feeding heavily on spawning herring from middle of March into early April. The striped bass move upriver to the Scottsburg reach feeding on smelt and shad during their respective runs. After spawning in June the stripers move down river feeding heavily before returning to the ocean in the middle of September. Oregon’s largest striped bass at 68.0 pounds was caught in the Umpqua River.

Fish for striped bass upstream from lower Umpqua River Estuary from the south jetty to the confluence of the Smith River using the methods detailed in the section describing striped bass. Concentrate fishing around the islands upstream to the confluence of the Smith River and in Scholfield Creek. Fish in the structure associated with the bridges and railroad trestles that cross the Smith and Umpqua Rivers. Fish in the main stem Umpqua River from the confluence with the Smith River to the head of tidewater above Scottsburg. Launch above tidewater at Sawyer’s Rapids and drift to Scottsburg Park. Fishing from Scottsburg to Sawyer Rapids can be exceptional anytime from the middle of March as the stripers feed heavily on smelt. Shad return the Umpqua River during May and June. Back bounce using whole smelt or strip bait cut from shad from Sawyer’s Rapids to Scottsburg during their respective runs during March–April and May–June. Fish striped bass in the tidal reach of the Smith River from Hudson Slough or Otter Slough to the head of tidewater. Most anglers fishing in the Smith River concentrate fishing for stripers in the Noel Ranch area from the middle of March to June.

Black rockfish and blue rockfish fishing is poor during heavy freshwater runoff from November through February. Fishing is usually good from late spring through October except for periods of heavy runoff from snowmelt in the Cascades. The best fishing occurs after sunset on an incoming tide in the channel along the jetties or in the harbor. Remember if you’re going to fish in the jetty channel at night do so only on an incoming tide and when the ocean is clam.

Pileperch, striped seaperch, walleye surfperch, redtail surfperch and white seaperch enter Winchester Bay in spring. Schools of perch move onto the tidal flats feeding heavily on intertidal animals. Perch are caught upriver as far as Double Cove Pt on the east shore and Buoy 17 on the west shore. Fish between Buoy 12 and 15, ODFW reference. Striped perch are the predominant perch species caught in the bay except during the years when redtail surfperch enter the bay. The greatest numbers of striped perch are caught at the triangle while redtail perch and pileperch are taken further inside the bay to buoy 15 and along the east shore of the East Basin. The fishing ranges from fair to excellent late spring through fall depending on the tides, weather and snowmelt runoff.

Greenling: kelp greenling, whitespotted greenling and rock greenling enter Winchester Bay with the tide from late spring through the summer months. The best fishing occurs along the rocky structure associated with the triangle followed by the jetties and occasionally the structure associated with the boat basins.

Lingcod spawn along the rocky structure of the jetties from late January throughout March. Fishing is excellent during the spawning period along either ocean side or the bayside of the triangle and the south jetty. Historically the fishing for lingcod rates behind Yaquina Bay in productivity.

Cabezon are year–round residents. February through March is the most productive time of the year along the south jetty at the triangle. Fishing is slow the rest of the year.

Pacific herring enter the bay to spawn from February into April. Live herring are available at the Umpqua Bait Co. in the East Basin of Winchester Bay.

Starry Flounder fishing is fair during spring and poor for the rest of the year. Drift from the East Basin seaward using sand shrimp, blood worms or pile worms for bait.

White sturgeon enter the bay for most of the year. The sturgeon fishery ranks second behind sturgeon fishery of Tillamook Bay. The best fishing occurs from January through June but declines sharply from the middle of July before picking up again in December. Mud and/or sand shrimp are the most productive bait throughout the year followed by smelt, shad and herring.

Big Bend is the transition area between the lower and upper bay and is the most popular location to fish for sturgeon. Fish in the deeper holes associated with the channels and tidal flats around the islands in Big Bend. Fish in the deeper holes upstream from Buoy 12 to Buoy 21. Fish from Buoy 12 to Buoy 15 in water that is 15’ to 20’ deep. Fish from Buoy 17 to Buoy 19 in the deepwater channel along the outside of Big Bend. The “Wall Hole” which is nearly 50 feet deep at buoy 19 in Big Bend is the most productive location to catch sturgeon in the lower bay.

Fish upriver from the Wall Hole to the paper mill and in the holes associated with the islands at the confluence of the Smith and Umpqua Rivers.

Fish the deeper holes in the Umpqua River from the confluence with the Smith River to the Deans Creek elk viewing area or from Deans Creek to Scottsburg using smelt or shad for bait. Fishing in the holes associated with the power lines or below the confluence with Mill Creek is very productive. The smelt run anytime from January through March. Fresh smelt or shad is the most productive bait during their respective spawning seasons. Fish for sturgeon from May through June using shad caught at Sawyer Rapids for bait. The Umpqua River boast one of the best shad runs on the Pacific Coast.

Sand Sole enter the bay in small numbers from April through August.

Bank fishing: Fish for perch, greenling, bass, lingcod and salmon from the jetties and triangle breakwater in the lower bay.

Fish for striped bass from the shore at Half Moon Bay located just above the south jetty. Fish for pile and stripped perch along the east shore north of the Coast Guard Station in the East Basin. Fish for salmon and perch from shore at end of Oak Point located between the West and East Basins. Fish for Chinook salmon in the East Basin just below the bridge over Winchester Creek. Fish at night for bass on an incoming tide from the south jetty. Park at the turnout on the west side of Highway 101 located at mile mark 210.0 and fish for sturgeon and striped bass on the downstream side of the railroad trestle. Fish for sturgeon upriver on the Umpqua River at the confluence with Mill Creek. Fish for striped bass and salmon along the guardrail section of the Smith River Road above East Gardiner. Fish for striped bass at night during an incoming tide using frozen sardines rigged with a sliding sinker. Patience is required, because it may take hours for a school of stripers to appear.

Internet links of interest for the Umpqua River Estuary:

Tidal Projections: Click on the NOAA tidal projections for Oregon. Scroll down to Umpqua River Estuary and click on your area of interest.

Click on the navigational hazards to avoid when crossing the bar at Winchester Bay.

Click on the Marine Forecast from Florence to Cape Blanco featuring Small Craft Warning.

Click on Northwest River Forecast Center: Scroll over the river gauge station. Click the river gauge station icon to display the river gauge station information

Click on the height of the river level for the Umpqua River – Near Elkton

Recommended link: Click on the following link to see an detailed hourly forecast for weather and surf conditions on the southern Oregon Coast. Then click your coastal zone of interest to view the detail information compiled on the Marine Digital Point Forecast Matrix Interface.

Oregon Dunes camping and R/V parks.

215.7 Ziolkouski Beach Park is located south of Umpqua Bay and is reached through the community of Winchester Bay by taking the Salmon Harbor Recreational Area Exit west from Highway 101. Follow the signs along county road 251 to the three beach parking areas. Parking is free at the first parking area. A parking permit is required at the second and third parking areas. A wheelchair access area is available at the second parking area. The third parking area offers ATV access to the sand dunes only from the south jetty to Spinreel Campground. The fishing on this section of the beach is excellent for mouth bass, yellow perch ann is stocked with catchable rainbow trout.

Clear Lake - 149 acres is located south of Winchester Bay, east of Highway 101. Native cutthroat trout. Access to the lake is restricted because the lake is the water source for the City of Reedsport.

222.5 The Umpqua Trailhead is located between Coos Bay and Winchester Bay west of Highway 101 just south of the Lakeside junction. Turn west from Highway 101 onto the trailhead access road. Access to the beach is by a four mile hiking trail. The fishing is excellent for redtail surfperch and striped bass.

224.3 The Spinreel Campground provides easy access to the beach by off road vehicles to the sand dunes and to the beach by ATVs to Horsefall Beach. The fishing is excellent for redtail surfperch and striped bass.

232.3 North Bay Viewpoint is located on the west side of Highway101. The viewpoint is the access point to the tidal flats associated with the slough of North Coos Bay and a good location from which to view wildlife. Softshell clams are dug along the shore.

232.8 The Trans Pacific Parkway provides access to Horsfall Beach, North Beach and the west shore of Coos Bay. Turn west from Highway 101 drive toward the far shore and park at the turnout at the far side of the small bridge. Fishing the incoming tide for perch and striped bass is good. The tidal flats are a favorite location to pump for mud or sand shrimp.

232.8 Horsfall Beach is located above North Beach. Access is gained by turning west from Highway 101 onto the Trans Pacific Parkway and right on Horsfall Beach Road. The beach has full service camping facilities and equestrians are welcome. Horsfall Beach is the surf fishing hot spot for Coos County for redtail surfperch and an occasional white seaperch. Fishing for striped bass is good to excellent.

232.8 North Beach located just north of the entrance to Coos Bay is listed by ODFW as a location to dig for razor clams. North Beach is administered by the BLM. North Beach is accessible by off road vehicles via the jeep trail from the Trans Pacific Parkway. Driving on the wet and dry sand areas of the beach is allowed from September 16th through March 14th and restricted to the wet sand area from March 15th through September 15th. Check with the BLM office to confirm the areas open to vehicles. The regulations for driving on the sandy dunes and on the beach for the BLM differ from those of the Oregon Dunes National Recreational Area, so be prepared to fulfill the requirements for both agencies. The fishing is excellent for redtail surfperch and striped bass.

Mile By Mile Map of the Oregon Coast Trail from North Bend to Bandon

234.0 Coos Bay

Coos Bay, Oregon’s largest bay is an anomaly that is dominated by saltwater. The bay receives comparatively little water from the rivers flowing into it. The Conde McCullough Bridge is the dividing line between West Coos Bay and East Coos Bay. The Conde McCullough Bridge was named in honor of the engineer who was a leading innovator in early bridge design of Oregon’s coastal bridges.

The Estuary Reserve at South Slough in Coos Bay is an attraction that will provide visitors with insight to the functional values associated with estuaries. A large percentage of all marine species depend on the ecological productivity of estuaries for their survival. Information compiled from scientific studies at the South Slough Estuary Reserve should be used to restore the functional values to Oregon’s other bays and estuaries.

Click on Coos Bay to view the Oregon State Marine Board website The website describes the dangerous tidal conditions affecting safe boating when entering or departing Coos Bay as listed on the Web Page for the Oregon State Marine Board; then click on the tab, "water levels/navigation charts" listed under the column, "safety & Education" to view the navigational advisories of interest for boaters.

The bar at the entrance to Coos Bay is usually safe to cross but the boater should be prepared to deal with fog and the waves generated by the prevailing afternoon winds.  The last 300 yards of the north jetty is submerged as is the last 100 yards of the south jetty.  The submerged jetties are subject to breakers most of the time.  A submerged jetty extends 500 yards off the east shore of West Coos Bay 0.8 of a mile NE of Coos Head.  The jetty extends in a SW direction from the east shore at a location from just above Fossil Point towards Coos Head.  A light with a seasonal fog signal marks the north jetty.  A lighted whistle buoy is 1.8 miles WNW of the entrance.

The following underlined areas describe some of the dangerous tidal conditions affecting safe boating when entering or departing Coos Bay. Click on Coos Bay to view the Oregon State Marine Board website The website describes the dangerous tidal conditions affecting safe boating when entering or departing Coos Bay as listed on the Web Page for the Oregon State Marine Board.

Sand spit, South Slough. As you leave the Charleston Boat Basin, the South Slough sand spit is on your left. It extends north, parallel to the channel from South Slough buoy #4, approximately 450 yards toward South Slough light #2. Presently, nun buoy #2T marks the north end of the sand spit. Do not cross this area.

Submerged jetty. When you proceed out from the Charleston Boat Basin in the South Slough channel, and are directly between South Slough light #4 and can buoy #5, directly ahead will be South Slough light #1, marking the end of the submerged jetty. This jetty is visible only at low water. When departing the Charleston Boat Basin, stay to the left of light #1 at all times.

Sand spit, north beach. This area is dangerous because of shoal waters and submerged jetties. Occasionally on a strong ebb there will be breakers in this area. Avoid this area because of the possibility of going aground or striking submerged jetties and pilings. Note, too, that inbound and outbound tugs with tows, freighters, and so forth, pass close aboard this area and cannot stop for obstructions in the channel—including small vessels.

South jetty, Guano Rock area. This is a very dangerous area because of shoals that extend out from the south jetty to the entrance channel. Breakers are frequently experienced from Guano Rock lighted whistle buoy #4 extending out to just past the end of the south jetty. Exercise care in this area at all times, especially on ebb tides.

North jetty, submerged. The north jetty extends approximately 200 yards to the west. The outward end of the jetty is submerged from the visible end of the jetty out toward buoy #3. Never cross this area. There are breakers in this area most of the time. When departing the bar northbound, be sure to pass buoy #3 before turning to the north.

Area north of buoy #5. This area can be very dangerous when there are any large swells on the bar or during ebb tide. Freak breakers are common in this area. Many boats do transit this area on occasion, but it is strongly recommended that you never cross here.

Rough Bar Advisory Sign is positioned eight feet above the water on jetty just north of the Charleston Boat Basin. This is a two-part sign, facing toward the Charleston Boat Basin and toward South Slough light #2.  The Charleston Coast Guard station records weather and bar conditions; you may obtain this information by phoning (541) 888-102 or (541) 888-3267 before boating in Coos Bay.

Good fishing for salmon extends over a wide area outside of Coos Bay and the area with the hot bite varies throughout the season as the salmon migrate offshore.  Fishing for rockfish is excellent from Baltimore Rock to Gregory Point southward through the rocky structure associated with Sunset Bay and from Rocky Point to Simpson Reef.  Fishing is excellent for Rockfish and Chinook salmon along Whiskey Run Reef located southwest of Cape Arago.  Feeder salmon enter lower Coos Bay during the summer usually in July feeding from Charleston to Fossil Point north to Jordan Cove.      

Fishing in Coos Bay:

Chinook salmon: Good fishing for salmon extends over a wide area outside of Coos Bay and the area with the hot bite varies throughout the season as the salmon migrate offshore. Fishing for rockfish is excellent from Baltimore Rock to Gregory Point southward through the rocky structure associated with Sunset Bay and from Rocky Point to Simpson Reef. Fishing is excellent for Rockfish and Chinook salmon along Whiskey Run Reef located southwest of Cape Arago. Feeder salmon enter lower Coos Bay during the summer usually in July feeding from Charleston to Fossil Point north to Jordan Cove.

Chinook Salmon return to Coos Bay about the first week of September peaking in early October and run through October. The most productive fishing occurs early in the run by trolling a plug cut herring with the incoming tide from the jetty jaws to the Empire Boat ramp.

Troll a plug cut herring, spinner or spinner bait combinations with the incoming tide through high slack tide in the deepwater channel from the Empire Boat ramp to the Conde McCullough Bridge. Back troll or back bounce with the outgoing tide mini mooching or trolling a plug cut herring, a bait wrapped Flatfish lure or a spinner bait combination seaward from the Empire Boat ramp or the Conde McCullough Bridge.

The most productive fishing in east bay occurs in the Marshfield Channel trolling a plug cut herring, spinners, spinner bait combinations or bait wrapped Flatfish lures with the incoming or outgoing tide with from the mouth of Isthmus Slough upriver to the Chandler Bridge. Local fishermen concentrate fishing from the mouth of Catching Slough upriver to the Chandler Bridge.

Fish the 4.8 mile tidal reach of the Coos River from the confluence of the Millicoma and the South Fork of the Coos Rivers to the Chandler Bridge trolling with the incoming tide through high slack tide or back trolling or back bouncing with the outgoing tide using a plug cut herring, bait wrapped Flatfish lures, spinners or spinner bait combinations. Drift with the tidal current back bouncing a walnut sized gob of salmon eggs and sand shrimp combination or drift with the tidal current using a free sliding bobber to fish a walnut sized gob of salmon eggs and sand shrimp suspended just off of the bottom. Anchor above the up current side of the deeper holes during the outgoing tide and fish on the bottom with bait wrapped Flatfish lures; bait sweetened Spin–N–Glos, wobblers or a walnut sized gob of salmon eggs and sand shrimp combination.

Fish in the approximately 9.7 mile tidal reach of the Millicoma River to the community of Allegheny or the South Fork of the Coos River to the community of Dellwood. Drift with the tidal current using a bobber rig baited with sand shrimp and/or salmon eggs. Anchor up current from the deeper holes and fish on the bottom salmon eggs topped with sand shrimp, bait sweetened Spin–N–Glos or an assortment of wobblers. Troll with bait wrapped Flatfish lures, rainbow colored spinners or spinner bait combinations.

Coho salmon return in September peaking in late September and running through October into November. Troll plug cut herring, hoochies or streamer flies behind a wire spreader or diver in the upper half of the water column with the incoming tide from the jetty jaws to the Jordan Cove. ODFW sponsors a terminal fishery for fin clipped coho salmon returning to Isthmus Slough. Trolling a plug cut herring or pink, chartreuse or rainbow colored spinners with green accents are productive options.

Striped bass enter Coos Bay from the middle of March before spawning upriver in June. The larger mature striped bass enter the bay followed by schools of smaller striped bass feeding heavily on spawning herring. The larger striped bass move upriver to the tidal portion of the Millicoma River and the South Fork of the Coos River, but fishing is only allowed in the Coos River. The most productive fishing occurs in the Coos River drifting with the tidal current back bouncing a plug cut herring, strip bait cut from shad or by casting broken back rainbow colored Rapala type lures into schools of striped bass. After spawning in June the stripers move down river into the bay feeding heavily before returning to the ocean in the middle of September.

The twilight of evening on a high incoming tide is the best time of day and tide to fish for striped bass in the estuaries. The best fishing in the bay occurs from late March to May and from late July to the middle of September. Fish for stripers as they migrate up into West Coos Bay from the South Slough up the bay into North Slough, Pony Slough and into the Haynes and Kentuck Inlets of East Coos Bay. Most anglers concentrate their efforts at the entrance to or in the shallow water of the Haynes and Kentuck Inlets of East Coos Bay and in Isthmus Slough as the stripers migrate up river to spawn.

Black rockfish, blue rockfish and copper rockfish are year–round residents of the lower bay. Brown rockfish are occasionally caught in the jetty channel. The most productive fishing for black, blue and copper rockfish occurs after sunset in the jetty channel along the north and south jetties and in the small kelp beds along the shore at Coos Head during the incoming tide. Fish along the east shore from Barview to Sitka Dock and over the submerged jetty at Fossil Point and submerged portion of the North Jetty near Hungry Man Cove (near the east end of clam digging area 1). Bass are also caught among pier structure associated with the Ports of Charleston and Empire and at the base of the Southern Pacific Rail Road trestle located west of the Highway 101 bridge and along the riprap of the North Bend Airport.

Ocean Perch: Striped seaperch, Pileperch, white seaperch, walleye surfperch, redtail surfperch and silver surfperch enter the bay in the spring during April with the greatest number occurring during the summer months of June and July. Schools of perch move onto the tidal flats feeding heavily on intertidal animals upstream from the entrance to the bay into the South Slough up through West Coos Bay and into East Coos Bay. The fishing ranges from fair to excellent through fall depending on the tides and the weather conditions. Striped seaperch are most commonly caught perch caught followed by pileperch, white seaperch, walleye surfperch, retail surfperch and silver surfperch. Coos Bay offers the most productive fishing for pileperch and white seaperch for any of Oregon’s bays. Fish along the channels that drain the tidal flats associated with South Slough, West Coos Bay up through the Jordan Cove and along the riprap associated the North Bend Airport.

The area around Buoy 12 is a local perch hotspot. Fish among the structure associated with docks of the Port of Charleston, the Empire Boat Basin, North Bend and the Port of Coos Bay. Fishing can be excellent in the channel that drains the tidal flats of North Slough, Pony Point Slough. Fish around the railroad trestle at Pony Point and in the deepwater channel off Russell Point that drains the tidal flats associated with Haynes and Kentucky Inlets. Fish along the deepwater channel that drains the tidal flats of North Point and among the pilings under the docks associated with North Bend and Coos Bay.

Kelp greenling, rock greenling and whitespotted greenling enter the bay with the tide throughout the year. The overall catch rate for greenling rates 3rd behind Yaquina and Tillamook Bays. The best fishing occurs in the lower bay from May through August along the submerged structure of the jetties, among the pier structure associated with the Port of Charleston and up the bay past Pigeon Point. The best fishing occurs on the eastside of west Coos Bay but declining numbers further up the bay to Menasha Dike (Transpacific Parkway).

Lingcod fishing is the best from January through April with February and March being the most productive. Fishing during the spawning period is excellent along either ocean side or the bayside of the north or south jetties and inside the bay to the Charleston Bridge.Cabezon are found all year among the jetty rocks, especially the submerged sections of the north and south jetties. Cabezon move into shallow water during March to spawn. The spawning period is the best time to fish for cabezon. Fishing is slow the rest of the year.

Pacific herring enter the bay to spawn in February, March and into April.

White sturgeon enter Coos Bay from January through July but the best fishing occurs in February declines in March and picks up from April through July before declining in August. The sturgeon fishery of Coos Bay ranks 4th overall when compared to the sturgeon fishery of Oregon’s other bays. Mud and/or sand shrimp are the most productive bait followed by herring and shad. Shad are most productive bait during their annual spawning run. Fish for shad and use them as bait in Coos and Millicoma Rivers during their annual spawning run from May into June. Fish for sturgeon during the outgoing tide in the deeper holes associated with the channel that drains the North Slough from the Transpacific Parkway Bridge to the railroad trestle bridge. The most productive fishing in the East Bay is associated with the Dolphins just upstream from the Conde McCullough Bridge and in the deeper

Empire Public Fishing Pier is located in the community of Empire at the Empire boat ramp.  Crabbing and fishing from the pier is fair at best on an incoming high tide.

Coos Bay JettiesThe north jetty is accessible from the Trans Pacific Parkway via Horsfall Beach by 4–wheel drive vehicle.  The south jetty is accessible from the Coos Head road.  The fishing for bass, sea trout, cabezon, lingcod and salmon from both jetties is excellent.  Fish for bass on an incoming tide from the south jetty after sunset, but be careful south jetty is subject to large breaking waves especially near Coos Head.   As always the angler should avoid the jetties during periods of heavy swells, and should never venture onto the jetty alone.

Bank fishing access in Coos Bay limited; however, fish for bass, sea trout, cabezon, lingcod and salmon from the south jetty at Coos Head or from the north jetty but one must be cautious because of the serious threat posed to one's safety by long ocean swells. Point Adams on the Charleston Spit offers the best fishing from shore in Coos Bay for all fish species.  Fish for perch, sturgeon and striped bass for the end of the riprap seawall associated with the airport. Fish for perch and striped bass from the west side of the bridge on the Trans Pacific Parkway or from shore along the west shore of West Coos Bay or the west shore of the North Slough.  Fish for sturgeon by parking on the turnouts along the Coos River Road paralleling the lower tidal reach of the Coos and Millicoma Rivers.  Fish for sturgeon on the South Fork of the Coos River in the hole just upstream from the Myrtle Tree County Boat Launch or downstream off of Landrith Road.   

Coos Bay boat launches in West Coos Bay on the south shore are located at the Charleston Boat Basin in Charleston. The BLM operates a boat launch on the east shore of West Coos Bay that is accessed via the Trans Pacific Parkway but is closed at times because of sedimentation.  Launch at or the Port of Charleston, Empire Boat Launch or the BLM operated boat launch to access lower Coos Bay or the ocean. 

The North shore boat launch Conde McCullough is located in the community of Glasgow via the North Bay Drive.  The Conde McCullough boat launch and the Coos Bay City Dock are used to access East Coos Bay.  The Coos Bay City Dock is located at the Port of Coos Bay off of Hwy 101. 

To access Isthmus Slough Launch at the Coos Bay City Dock or at the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife boat launch in the community of Hayden on Isthmus Slough.  To access the upper tidal reach of the Coos River launch at Doris Place boat ramp located at milepost 7.2 on the Coos River Hwy. 

To access Millicoma River, launch at the Rooke Higgins County Park and Boat Launch located at milepost 10.0 on the Coos River Hwy.  To access the South Fork of the Coos River take the Dellwood turnoff from the Coos River Hwy to the Myrtle Tree County Boat Launch.

ODFW Crab and Clam Distribution Maps for Coos Bay.

Click on the following link to view the SEACOR maps of Coos Bay. Seacor Shellfish Areas Coos Bay to link to ODFW's maps of the shellfish Location of clam beds on map listed below:
1. Training Jetty sandy tidal flat contains large gaper clams and razor clams. The larger gaper clams found in sandy areas of the tidal flats are located at depths up to 39 inches. Gaper clams at this depth in sand substrate are too deep to be dug successfully with a shovel. Use the digging methods described in this book to successfully dig gaper clams from these depths. Razor clams are common to the area. Boat access to the Training Jetty is a entrance to Hungryman’s Cove.
2. Clam Island emerges at a +2.0 or lower tide and is only accessible by boat. Hungryman’s Cove is a small channel that separates the shoreline of the North Spit with the island. It features the highest densities of gaper and butter clams in Coos Bay. Cockles and some native littleneck clams are also found. Shoreline flats boast excellent gaper and butter clamming.
3. Strawberry Island tidal flats are located just north of Clam Island. Gaper and butter clams dominate the area followed by cockles and steamer clams. Cape Arago Highway Clam Digging: is excellent for all species of “Bay ”.
4. Airport: digging for gapers and cockles is productive west of the runway. Boat access only.
5. Empire: the tide flats adjoining Empire are good for gaper and butter clamming. Parking and access is at a city parking area opposite of Fulton Ave .Sediments are soft and easy to dig in, however holes dug for gapers may cave in easily, choose good low tides.
6. Pigeon point: this expansive clam bed is productive and easily accessed. A good clamming area for butter, gaper and Piddocks clams. Access to the tidal flats is adjacent to the county easement area opposite of Grinnel road.
7. Fossil point area has good beds of large butter and gaper clams, however digging can be a little more difficult as the substrates include shell, and cobble. Access to the tidal flats is from the parking area at Beacon lane.
8. Barview: butter clams are the dominate clam species dug followed by gaper, cockles and steamer clams.
Charleston Clam Digging: is productive but the gaper clams are often small sized when compared to gaper clam taken from other tidal flats in Coos Bay
9. Point Adams large cockles can be raked along the sandy beach. Gapers occasionally recruit to the beach southwest of the point. Access is at the end of Boat Basin road.
10. Charleston Triangle Gapers and butters are abundant. Easily accessed from parking areas South of docks.
11. Charleston Flat Gapers and butters can be dug throughout the areas South of the South Slough bridge. Cockles can be raked toward the South end of this area. Access is at the Charleston visitor center, or turn south from the Arago Hwy onto Roosevelt and park at the end of the street. The parking area is the access point to the gaper, butter, cockle and steamer clams located on the large tidal flat just south of the Charleston Flat.
12. Indian Point: boat access only for cockle, gaper and butter clams.
13. Valino Island: boat access only for cockle, gaper and butter clams.
14. Ocean Beach razor clams at the North Spit and Bastendorff Beach.
15. Upper Coos Bay or East Bay (not shown) are the tidal areas up bay of the Railroad Bridge, North Slough and Haynes Slough are soft and muddy. Softshell clams can be found throughout, finding firm walking substrate is challenging. Areas around transpacific highway and North slough are occasionally used.**

Coos Bay Crabbing: Oregon's largest bay is a salt water dominated bay that holds crabs longer than any other of Oregon's Bays......... Recreational crabbing in the ocean now is open from December 1st of the current year thru October 15 of the following year. Recreational crabbing in the bays is open all year.

Crabbing like all other salt water related activity in the bays is dependent on the tides. The most productive crabbing tides occur during the series of Neap tides followed by the minor tidal exchange of Spring tides. The most productive crabbing in Oregon’s bays occurs in the larger salt water dominated bays during the incoming tide, periods of slack tide and during periods between the low high tide and high low tide of the daily tidal cycle.

Crabbing productivity usually declines over a series of Spring tides. Crabbing is not as productive during the high velocity tidal current generated during the major tidal exchange of spring tides or during the outgoing tide. The crabs bury themselves in the sand to escape the increased current velocity of the outgoing tide. …… Remember crabbing in the bays is best during periods of neap tides.

Warning this Spring the rough boating conditions have sunk 4 recreational boats. The weather has had a negative impact on the ability of crabbers to crab in the lower bay but. A word of caution while boating in the Coos Bay during the outgoing tide in combination with or without strong southerly winds associated weather fronts moving through the area: the resulting swells and wind chop can sink a boat in the blink of an eye.

The Bites On is located at 750 Newmark Avenue Empire OR 97420 at 541-888-4015 the Bites On has the fishing, crabbing and clam digging in stock to satisfy your immediate needs; or you can rent crab rings and purchase rockfish carcass for 2.50 or mackerel at 4.99 a bag. When crabbing is productive crabbing with mackerel is worth the cost. Some salmon are being taken in the bay. Call the Bite's On for up to the minute information.

Charleston is ground zero for launching your crabbing or clam digging adventures in Coos Bay. We suggest staying at the Charleston R/v Park or at one of the many motels in the area. Park host Susan Smith will do everything possible to make you stay in the area a pleasant one.

The best crabbing docks have been the B/C and D/E docks in Charleston. The best baits for crabbing are fish, chicken or turkey legs. The best time to crab in the bays is good during the incoming tide but best at slacks tide and during periods of neap tides with minimal movement of water between the high low tide and low high tide.

The best crabbing docks have been the B/C and D/E docks in Charleston. The best baits for crabbing are fish, chicken or turkey legs. The best time to crab in the bays is good during the incoming tide but best at slacks tide and during periods of neap tides with minimal movement of water between the high low tide and low high tide.

Digging Clams in Coos Bay

"Geoduck clams actually exist in Coos Bay.", exclaimed clam digger John. We thank clam digger John for sharing his Geoduck clam with us, however very few have ever been dug from Coos Bay. There are reports of a few Geoduck clams taken from Clam Island. I found one while filming the video clip for cockles in South Slough, but I was not prepared to dig it and I was never able to return to the spot with the proper equipment. I dig not want to fail in any attempt to dig the clam so I left it alone.

Digging clams in Coos Bay produces all the clam species of interest to recreational clam diggers (razor clams, Geoduck clams, gaper clams, butter clams, Manila clams, softshell clams and cockles.

Coos Bay offers the most productive clam digging found in any of Oregon’s bays. The gaper, cockle and butter clam beds extend from the South Slough to the Airport. Littleneck clams are found in association with butter clams in South Slough, Bar View, Pigeon Point and Strawberry Island. Softshell clams are found in Pony Slough, North Slough, and Haynes Inlet and along the east shore of East Coos Bay. Piddocks clams are found at Pigeon Point. Razor clams are dug from the sandy beach at Bastendorff Beach, the North Spit and inside the North Spit at the Training Jetty. At times a limited number of razor clams are dug from the sandy beach from the Charleston Sand Spit that separates the Charleston Boat Basin from the jetty channel.

Clam digging access points along the east shore of west Coos Bay are: at the parking area at the Empire Boat Launch, the Fulton St. sewage plant plus several public easements along the Cape Arago Hwy. Charleston clam digging access points: Turn onto Boat Basin Road then right onto Kingfisher Rd. and park next to the bay. Turn left onto Roosevelt and park at the end of the street. Dig for Empire and butter clams on Clam Island. All species of bay clams are dug on the North Spit accessible by 4x4’s via the Trans Pacific Pkwy. Access beyond the end of the paved road is by 4x4 vehicles equipped to deal with deep sand.

North Spit Area Clam Digging: Access to the North Spit is by boat or via the Trans Pacific Parkway. Razor clams are located on the Oceanside near the tip of the North Spit and in the sandy substrate of the tidal flat at the Training Jetty just inside the North Spit. All species of “Bay Clams” are accessible from shore of the North Spit associated with Clam Island and Strawberry Island. Butter and Gaper clams dominate the tidal flats associated with Clam Island and Strawberry Island. Cockles and steamer clams (littleneck and Manila clams) are found in the tidal flats associated with Strawberry Island. The following video was sponsored by the World Newspaper of the CDAO initial clam clinics in Coos Bay for gaper clams on the North Spit.

Coos Bay clam digging: offers the most productive clam digging found in any of Oregon’s bays. The average size of the gaper clams located in the Charleston Triangle and in the tidal flat located between the Cape Arago HWY and Randolph St. range from mostly small to medium but the clams are plentiful as are cockles and butter clams.

Bill demonstrates raking cockles in South Slough at Crown Point across the channel from Kelly's Point.

The harvest of empire/gaper clams has been good at the North Spit and Clam Island. The best harvest areas for the average clam digger without 4 wheel drive trucks are from the Empire/Charleston tidal flats along Cape Arago Highway , and within Charleston , north and south of the Charleston Bridge . Butter, gaper, and cockle clams are abundant in these areas as listed on the SEACOR maps below.

ODFW Crab and Clam Distribution Maps for Coos Bay

Click on the image of the map of the crabbing and clam digging areas at the bottom of the page to enlarge it. If the image is still too small use the zoom feature on your browser to enlarge the image of the map.

Click on the following link to view the SEACOR maps of Coos Bay. Seacor Shellfish Areas Coos Bay to link to ODFW's maps of the shellfish Location of clam beds on map listed below:

1. Training Jetty sandy tidal flat contains large gaper clams and razor clams. The larger gaper clams found in sandy areas of the tidal flats are located at depths up to 39 inches. Gaper clams at this depth in sand substrate are too deep to be dug successfully with a shovel. Use the digging methods described in this book to successfully dig gaper clams from these depths. Razor clams are common to the area. Boat access to the Training Jetty is a entrance to Hungryman’s Cove.
2. Clam Island emerges at a +2.0 or lower tide and is only accessible by boat. Hungryman’s Cove is a small channel that separates the shoreline of the North Spit with the island. It features the highest densities of gaper and butter clams in Coos Bay. Cockles and some native littleneck clams are also found. Shoreline flats boast excellent gaper and butter clamming.
3. Strawberry Island tidal flats are located just north of Clam Island. Gaper and butter clams dominate the area followed by cockles and steamer clams. Cape Arago Highway Clam Digging: is excellent for all species of “Bay ”.
4. Airport: digging for gapers and cockles is productive west of the runway. Boat access only.
5. Empire: the tide flats adjoining Empire are good for gaper and butter clamming. Parking and access is at a city parking area opposite of Fulton Ave .Sediments are soft and easy to dig in, however holes dug for gapers may cave in easily, choose good low tides.
6. Pigeon point: this expansive clam bed is productive and easily accessed. A good clamming area for butter, gaper and Piddocks clams. Access to the tidal flats is adjacent to the county easement area opposite of Grinnel road.
7. Fossil point area has good beds of large butter and gaper clams, however digging can be a little more difficult as the substrates include shell, and cobble. Access to the tidal flats is from the parking area at Beacon lane.
8. Barview: butter clams are the dominate clam species dug followed by gaper, cockles and steamer clams.
Charleston Clam Digging: is productive but the gaper clams are often small sized when compared to gaper clam taken from other tidal flats in Coos Bay
9. Point Adams large cockles can be raked along the sandy beach. Gapers occasionally recruit to the beach southwest of the point. Access is at the end of Boat Basin road.
10. Charleston Triangle Gapers and butters are abundant. Easily accessed from parking areas South of docks.
11. Charleston Flat Gapers and butters can be dug throughout the areas South of the South Slough bridge. Cockles can be raked toward the South end of this area. Access is at the Charleston visitor center, or turn south from the Arago Hwy onto Roosevelt and park at the end of the street. The parking area is the access point to the gaper, butter, cockle and steamer clams located on the large tidal flat just south of the Charleston Flat.
12. Indian Point: boat access only for cockle, gaper and butter clams.
13. Valino Island: boat access only for cockle, gaper and butter clams.
14. Ocean Beach razor clams at the North Spit and Bastendorff Beach.
15. Upper Coos Bay or East Bay (not shown) are the tidal areas up bay of the Railroad Bridge, North Slough and Haynes Slough are soft and muddy. Softshell clams can be found throughout, finding firm walking substrate is challenging. Areas around transpacific highway and North slough are occasionally used.**

After a day crabbing on the Charleston docks or digging clams on the tidal flats you built up an hunger that only can be satisfied with a hot meal at Davey Jones Locker.

Not only does Davey Jones rent clam shovels and cockle rakes they carry fishing tackle.

Davy Jones Tacklw.gif

Internet Links of Interest:

Oregon's bar closure website. Check the NOAA Bar Observations website for updated closures and restrictions.

Check the NOAA Bar Observations website for updated closures and restrictions for local bar observations of Oregon’s Bays.

Plan for future clam digging and or crabbing adventures by clicking on the Tidal Projections for Charleston near the entrance to Coos Bay and scroll down the desired month for 2016 - 2018.

Click HERE to view the NOAA tidal projections for Charleston near the entrance to Coos Bay.

Click on the Marine Forecast from Florence to Cape Blanco to view the marine forecast featuring Small Craft Warning.

Click the following link to view the Marine Forecast for the NWS Medford Zone: Coastal waters from Cape Blanco OR to Pt. St. George CA out 10 nm (PZZ356).

The following NOAA link for detailed information for the Oregon Coast is a great source for planning your razor clam digging adventures. Click on the following link to see a detailed hourly forecast for weather and surf conditions on the southern Oregon Coast.

NOAA Coastal Forecast for Curry County

LONG OCEAN SWELLS: Click on to view the Oregon Surf Report. Use the Stonewall Bank buoy or the St Georges buoy in place or the Port Orford buoy to view the height of the long ocean swells in Southern Oregon Beaches. Use the Port Orford buoy station 46015. to view the height of the long ocean swells. National Buoy Data Center observation reports for buoys off the Oregon Coast. Click on National Buoy Data Center to view the observations from buoys off the Oregon Coast.

Recommended website: Click on the following link to see an detailed hourly forecast for weather and surf conditions on the southern Oregon Coast. Then click your coastal zone of interest to view the detail information compiled on the Marine Digital Point Forecast Matrix Interface.

The local weather forecast for the greater Coos Bay area changes hourly.

Email us with any suggestion how we can improve the information we provide at crabbinginfo@yahoo.com

Mile by Mile Directions to Cape Arago

235.4 North Bend junction of Highway101 and the coast route to Charleston and the ocean beaches associated with the Cape Arago Highway and the Seven Devils Road. From North Bend, Highway 101 parallels the west shore of East Coos Bay through the City of Coos Bay rejoining the coast route at the junction of the Seven Devils Road north of Bandon.

The route to the ocean beaches continues along the east shore of West Coos Bay through the communities of North Bend, Empire and Charleston to the junction of the Seven Devils Road. The Cape Arago Highway ends 14.0 miles at Cape Arago. The route along the ocean beach continues along the Seven Devils Road.

1.0 Cape Arago Highway is the access route to Pony Point and West Coos Bay through the communities of North Bend, Coos Bay, Empire, Charleston and the northern junction to Seven Devils and Cape Arago.

5.5 to 6.2 Cape Arago Highway is the location of access to the tidal flats associated with Coos Bay. Dig for clams in this section of the bay or pump for mud or sand shrimp. The lower bay offers excellent clam digging for gaper clams, cockles, butter clams and littleneck clams. Look for the large yellow beach access signs. Parking is extremely limited. The competition is keen for the few convenient parking places during clam tides.

6.7 Cape Arago Highway is another location for access to the tidal flats associated with Coos Bay. Dig for clams in this section of the bay or pump for mud or sand shrimp.

8.0 Port of Charleston is home to restaurants that serve excellent seafood. Dig for clams in this section of the bay or pump for mud or sand shrimp. Launch your boat and fish and crab in the bay or fish on the inshore reefs just outside the bar.

8.5 Seven Devils northern junction south is the access route to the beaches south of Cape Arago and to the South Slough Estuary Reserve at Coos Bay. The Seven Devils are named after seven hairpin turns that have been the cause of numerous automobile accidents. Travel on Seven Devils Road north of the Seven Devils Wayside is not recommended for RV’s and travel trailers because the road is narrow, windy and not paved. Visitors driving RV’s and pulling travel trailers should detour around the gravel road portion of Seven Devils Road via the West Beaver Hill Road to the East Humphrey Road and rejoining the Seven Devils Road to access Whiskey Run Beach, Merchants Beach, Sacchi Beach and Agate Beach. Public access to Sacchi Beach and Agate Beach is restricted by private property.

9.0 Coos Head is the location of the south jetty of Coos Bay. The south jetty at Coos Head can also be accessed through Bastendorff Beach. Fish for bass, sea trout, cabezon, lingcod and salmon from the south jetty at Coos Head. Be careful when fishing on the south jetty as the south jetty is subject to large breaking waves especially near Coos Head. The shore line of Coos Head managed by the BLM while the upland area of Coos Head is the property of the Confederated Tribes of Coos, Lower Umpqua, and Siuslaw Indians and is currently closed to access by nontribal peoples.

10.3 Bastendorff Beach is located just south of the entrance to Coos Bay and north of Yoakum Point. Access is gained via the Cape Arago Highway and is listed by ODFW as a location to dig for razor clams. It is also an excellent location to fish for redtail surfperch and striped bass.

10.7 Yoakum Point is located between Bastendorff Beach and Lighthouse Beach. Public access is limited by private property. Visitors have to park along the Cape Arago Highway and walk in.

11.2 Gregory Point is the location of the Cape Arago lighthouse and was the location of the Cape Arago lifesaving station. Three lighthouses have been built on Gregory Point. The first was built in 1866, the last in 1934. The lifesaving station was part of the tragic drama of cowardice and courage displayed at its worst and its best by the rescuers connected to the sinking of the steam driven ship Tacoma that ran aground off Umpqua Bay during a howling winter storm in January of 1883. Access to Gregory Point and to the lighthouse is restricted through the Coast Guard Station. Visitors have to park on Cape Arago Highway and walk in. Refer to the Oregon Sport Fishing Regulation restricting the taking of shellfish or marine invertebrates within the Gregory Point Subtidal Research Reserve.

11.2 Lighthouse Beach is located between Gregory Point and Yoakum Point. Public access is limited by private property.

11.7 Sunset Bay is located west of Coos Bay on the Cape Arago Highway. The fishing from the rocky shore is renowned for its excellence. There is good to excellent fishing for all shallow water rockfish species, sea trout, lingcod, cabezon, striped seaperch and pileperch including an occasionally white seaperch. Refer to the Oregon Sport Fishing Regulation restricting the taking of shellfish or marine invertebrates within the Cape Arago Intertidal Research Reserve. The best fishing is from the point on the north side of the bay.

Kayakers honing their skills in the stormy surf at Sunset Bay.

The point is accessible during an outgoing tide. Remember to keep an eye on the tide giving you plenty of time to leave the rocks before being trapped by the incoming tide. Use caution when fishing on the rocky shore at Sunset Bay or Cape Arago because the rocky shore is subject to the sudden onset of large breaking waves. The south shore of Sunset Bay isespecially dangerous.

There is a small boat launch located at the far end of the parking lot that will accommodate small open boats. There are some anglers who fish in the ocean outside of Sunset Bay consistently, but do so only when the ocean is flat dead calm.

The Sunset Bay State Park is a full service park with several volley ball courts and a golf course. The winter storms draw kayak enthusiast who practices their sport in the waves.

12.0 Cape Arago Highway is the location of the trailhead that leads to the rocky cove just south of Sunset Bay. There is excellent fishing for rockfish in the cove.

12.4 Shore Acres State Park is the former home of timber baron Louis Simpson who built two homes on the site. One of the homes burned and the other slid into the ocean leaving 7 acres of formal floral gardens. During the winter holidays the park is aglow with more than 200,000 lights to celebrate the season. The park offers winter visitors a surf and ocean spay show as storm driven waves smash into the shore in spectacular fashion. Shell Island offers a springtime visitor a view of the largest sea lion colony on the Oregon Coast. The sea lions arrive each spring to give birth to their pups. There is ample parking for all vehicles. The beach trail is located behind the garden. The fishing is good to excellent for the fish species common to the rocky shore: bass, perch, cabezon, sea trout and lingcod.

14.0 Cape Arago State Park consists of three coves located at the end of the Cape Arago Highway. There is ample parking for all vehicles. The trails to the rocky shore below the north cove, middle cove and south cove are located behind the parking area. The fishing is good to excellent for the fish species common to the rocky shore: bass, perch, cabezon, sea trout and lingcod. South cove is a sheltered cove located on the lee side of Cape Arago and offers boaters anchorage during the summer months.

Mile by Mile from Coos Bay to Bandon at Face Rock

238.1 Charleston junction to the ocean beaches on Highway 101 and Commercial Ave in the City of Coos Bay is the junction to Charleston and the ocean beaches associated with the Cape Arago Highway and the Seven Devils Road.

239.5 Coos River junction on Highway 101 in the City of Coos Bay is the junction to the Coos River, the South Fork of the Coos River and the Millicoma River and the community of Alleghany.

257.4 Seven Devils southern junction west from Highway 101 is the access route to the beaches south of Cape Arago and to the South Slough Estuary Reserve at Coos Bay. The route south continues on Highway 101 to Bullards Beach and the coastal community of Bandon on Coquille Bay. Turn west from Highway 101 onto the Seven Devils Road and travel north to access Whiskey Run Beach, Merchants Beach, Sacchi Beach and Agate Beach and the South Slough Estuary Reserve at Coos Bay. The Seven Devils Road continues north and joins the Cape Arago Highway just west of the community of Charleston located on Coos Bay. The route along the east shore of West Coos Bay continues through the communities of Charleston and Empire to North Bend where it rejoins Highway 101.

3.9 Whiskey Run Beach off of Seven Devils Road allows beach access by motor vehicles and is listed by ODFW as a location to dig for razor clams and is an excellent location to fish for redtail surfperch and the occasional striped bass.

4.5 Merchants Beach is the location of the Seven Devils State Wayside and is an excellent beach to fish for redtail surfperch and the occasional striped bass. The Seven Devils State Wayside is a day use park with restrooms, picnic tables and ample parking for all vehicles.

5.0 Agate Beach is an excellent beach to fish for redtail surfperch and the occasional striped bass. Access to Sacchi Beach and Agate Beach from the Seven Devils Road is restricted by private property. Access to these beaches is by foot from the Seven Devils Wayside at Merchants Beach

5.3 Sacchi Beach is an excellent beach to fish for redtail surfperch and the occasional striped bass.

259.3 Bullards Beach is located one mile north of Coquille Bay off of Highway 101. Access to Bullards Beach is through the full service Bullards Beach State Park. Bullards Beach State Park is the site of a former Coquille Indian village. The beach is renowned for excellent surf fishing in Curry County. Bullards Beach is the access point to the north jetty of Coquille Bay and the Coquille Lighthouse. Equestrians are welcome at Bullards Beach State Park.

Mile to Mile Map for the Oregon Coast Trail from Bandon to Humbug Mountain State Park

262.1 Old Town Bandon is one of the most picturesque port towns along the Oregon Coast. Access to the Port of Bandon, the south jetty and the Beach Loop Road is through Old Town Bandon.

Coquille Bay is one of Oregon’s smaller bays ranking eleventh among the fourteen major bays, but the bay is one of the premier crabbing and fishing bays on the Oregon Coast.

The bar is subject to breaking waves even in calm seas. A seasonal light and fog signal are located on the south jetty. The skipper should be experienced with the local bar conditions before attempting to cross the bar. The boater should be prepared to deal with fog and the waves generated by the prevailing afternoon winds. The Coast Guard maintains a seasonal lifeboat station in the boat basin from Memorial Day through Labor Day. Click on the Oregon State Marine Board and click on Water Levels/Navigation listed under the column Safety and Education. Click on Coquille River Bar located under the column, Coastal Bar Chartlettes. The interactive PDF file webpage describes the navigational hazards that boaters encounter when crossing the Coquille River Bar.

NOAA's Bar Observation Website for Oregon's Bays. Check the NOAA Bar Observations website for updated closures and restrictions.

Coquille Bay at Bandon One of Oregon's premier crabbing bays is one of Oregon’s smaller bays ranking eleventh among the fourteen major bays. Crabbing in Bandon usually remains productive until the bay blows out with turbid brown stained water during seasonal Fall rains.

A great source of information Bandon Bait & Tackle is located next to the Public Boat Launch at 110 1st St Se, Bandon, OR 97411. Diane fixes a mean fish and chips to go along with her clam chowder. She also books fishing trips for local river guides. (541) 347-3905 Diane rents crab rings and sell bait to catch the freshest food available.

Tony's Crab Shack at 541 347-2875 operates a preimer restaurant. Tony and his brother Robert of Tony's Crab Shack is also a great source of information about all things recreational in the Bandon area.

Tony's Crab Shack Annual Crab Derby. Catch a tagged crab and win the Big Bucks 100.00 dollars weekly and 1000.00 value worth of prizes from July 4th through the Cranberry Festival in September, that is if I got it right. Six crab tags have been turned in at Tony's.

Tony's May surf perch derby is underway. Pay a 5.00 entry fee, land the largest fish posted to the derby and it is winner take all. Second place is a hundred dollar gift certificate and a fifty dollar gift certificate for third place.

The food Tony serves is great!, The fish Tacos umm umm are so good, I make the drive to Bandon to have lunch with my wife, Diane whenever I am in the area.

Tony’s cooks crabs for 50 cents per crab and backs them for an additional 25 cents per crab. Tony rents boats in the summer and fall months. Read Tony’s all encompassing Fishing Report in the Bandon Western World newspaper or the online edition at Bandon Western World.

One lucky crabber shared the following photos of his amazing crab catch at We

bber's Crab Dock collected his prize at daylight. Click on the photo to enlarge the image. Our Thanks to the lucky crabber for sharing his experience with us. Bill

Crab Photo 120.gifCrab Photo 131.gif

Tony's Credo, "How To Be A Crab Ninja"

Over the years I have pretty much tried every trick in the book to catch Dungeness crabs in Bandon, Oregon.

In those same years I have learned one FACT, and that’s the fact that crabbing is an art, not a science. So many factors play into catching crabs that you can never hope to hit the Holy Grail and perfect crabbing every time you go out. You can however increase your odds.

The following list of tips will help you overall in your effort to catch legal Dungeness crabs.

1) Bait is important. Things that are natural to crabs seem to do better. This includes using fish carcasses, squid, clams and the like. Using these also have a downside in that seals seem to love these baits as much as the crab do. In a battle of you vs. the seal vs. your bait, YOU LOSE. So BEST tip on bait is protect it at all costs. Using a bait bag or bait box will often keep the seals at bay. It will also help to keep the crab on your bait longer.

If a crab pulls off a nice piece of your bait more than likely it’ll crawl off an eat it so something to stop them from tearing off chunks will improve your odds when using crab rings.

2) Location, location, location. Crabs tend to get pushed around with the tides and also tend to settle into channels formed by those tides and river flow. If you can find a place near this your odds go up. If you want to crab where it’s best for you, such as an enclosed boat basin your odds go down.

If you are crabbing and are catching at least some crab then at least you know they are there, if you are getting nothing, likely it’s time to move. I don’t know how many people I have seen crabbing in areas sheltered from the wind and far off the beaten path and whining how the damn crabs are not to be found, well DUH!

3) Crab rings aren’t for wimps. A Dungeness crab may be a dumb little sea creature but when the ground moves underneath them they have enough sense to think all hell is breaking loose and it’s time to get out of Dodge. So if you are using a crab ring and pulling real slow, YOUR crab are basically yelling “Wooooos” to you and crawling off your crab ring.

Pull quickly, you will get all the rest you need AFTER you have your belly full of fresh Oregon Dungeness crab, but until then, crab like you mean it.

If you can’t do this, get a trap that will at least keep them in for the most part. They are heavier and harder to pull but much less affected by pulling them up slowly.

4) Crab when crabbing is good. For every day of the year someone will tell you something about how to know when crabbing is good or bad. From salinity in the water, to months of the year that end in ‘R’ to the day after a storm, full moon, sewage spill or whatever. But if you REALLY want to know how the crabbing is doing, ask around the stores on the docks, they usually know. They can not only tell you how the crab are running but if they are full and meaty or have just molted. The staff at Tony’s Crab Shack always know what is happening since they cook many of the crab caught in Bandon.

5) Don’t be afraid to ask. Most crabbers on the docks are totally full of crap and will tell you they caught 30 crab yesterday, that’s just fishing. But they will usually help you with honest questions, like what bait are they using, or how best to throw crab rings, how to measure crabs and the like. But remember if someone asks you these questions it’s a time honored tradition to lie about your catch, you always caught 30 yesterday but today is slow.

Best of luck! Tony

Clam Digging: Clam digging in Coquille Bay is limited to digging softshell clams. The softshell clam beds are located in the National Wildlife Refuge at Riverside Dr on the eastside of the bay above Bandon. A very limited number of littleneck and gaper clams are located in the lower bay along the south shore. Some purple varnish clams are dug from the large tidal flat on the north side fo the bay at the entrance to Bandon Marsh. Mussels are picked from the rocky structure at Face Rock. Razor clams are dug along the beach south of Face Rock.

Internet Links of Interest for the Coquille River Estuary

Seen live Bandon's Coast Cam.

Tidal projections for the Coquille River Estuary from March 2015 to March 2016.

Tidal Projections:Click on the NOAA tidal projections for Oregon. Scroll down to the Chetco and Rogue River Estuaries and click on your area of interest.

Click on the height of the river level for the Coquille River – At Coquille.

Click on the height of the river level for the Coquille River – At Myrtle Point

Click on the following link to view the navigational hazards for crossing the bar at the Coquille River Estuary.

Fishing in the Coquille River Estuary:

Fishing in the ocean in along Coquille Bank is excellent for rockfish and salmon on the pinnacles located approximately a mile west of the entrance to Coquille Bay and at Coquille Rock located approximately 1½ of a mile west to the entrance of Coquille Bay. Fishing for rockfish is excellent at Five Foot Rock and Wash Rock, both of which are located south of Coquille Bay. Fishing for Rockfish and Chinook salmon along Whiskey Run Reef located southwest of Cape Arago is excellent.

Chinook salmon begin returning to Coquille Bay between the last week of August and the first week of September peaking as early as the last of September but usually in early October and running through October. The catch rate for Chinook averages 1824 fish per year with a high percentage of 4 year old fish followed by 5 and 3 year old fish.

The best fishing for newly arriving fall Chinook salmon occurs in the lower bay during the incoming tide of the major tidal exchange of spring tides or neap tides especially when the incoming tide coincides with sunrise or sunset. The next most productive fishing period occurs at sunrise or sunset during the incoming tide of the minor tidal exchange in the daily tidal cycle. Daybreak is that magical time of day when Chinook salmon bite the best. Be sure to have the bait in the water one half hour before sunrise. Fishing is most productive from ½ hour before sunrise to midmorning and from late afternoon until ½ hour after sunset. The most productive fishing for early returning fall Chinook salmon occurs trolling a plug cut herring with the incoming tide from the jetty jaws to the entrance to Bandon Marsh.

The tidal reach of the Coquille River is the longest of any coastal river in Oregon extending upriver 41.01 miles from the jetty jaws. As the number of returning Chinook increase, fish upriver from the power lines down river from Rocky Point to the hole at Randolph Slough to the Cannery Hole above Randolph Island trolling a plug cut herring with the incoming tide through high tide. Launch at Riverton or Coquille and fish with the tide trolling a plug cut herring followed by trolling bait wrapped Flatfish lures, spinners or spinner bait combinations from Bear Creek which is located upstream from the Cannery Hole above Randolph Island to Sturdivant Park in the City of Coquille. The most effective Flatfish lure has a silver body and chartreuse head or Hot Tail finish. The most effective spinner is colored with 50/50 chartreuse and brass blade or a rainbow colored blade with a green tip. Drift with the outgoing tidal current back bouncing a walnut sized gob of salmon eggs topped with a sand shrimp or drift with the tidal current back bouncing a walnut sized gob of salmon eggs topped with a sand shrimp or drift with the tidal current using a free sliding bobber to fish a walnut sized gob of salmon eggs topped with sand shrimp suspended just off of the bottom. Anchor above the up current side of the deeper holes during the outgoing tide and fish on the bottom with bait wrapped Flatfish lures; bait sweetened Spin–N–Glos, wobblers or a walnut sized gob of salmon eggs topped with a sand shrimp. Accent the salmon eggs and sand shrimp with a small length of pink, red, chartreuse or orange yarn.

Coho salmon return to the Coquille River from September through October. The best fishing occurs early in the run trolling plug cut herring, hoochies or streamer flies behind a wire spreader or a diver in the upper half of the water column with the incoming tide from the jetty jaws to the entrance to Bandon Marsh. Fish from the entrance of Bandon Marsh to the Highway 101 Bridge trolling plug cut herring, pink or chartreuse spinners. Fishing is allowed in tidewater for the retention of fin clipped coho salmon upstream to Lampa Creek at river mile 11.5.

Striped bass enter Coquille Bay from middle of March through April during the years when the striped bass population is at its highest. Most anglers concentrate fishing in Hatchet and Iowa Sloughs in the Riverton area and Randolph Island, Myrtle Point, and next to Johnson Mill Pond.

Black rockfish and blue rockfish fishing is inconsistent at best.

Striped seaperch, pileperch, redtail surfperch and walleye surfperch enter the bay in late spring. Schools of perch move onto the tidal flats feeding heavily on intertidal animals upstream from the jetty channel at the entrance to the bay into Bandon Marsh. The fishing ranges from fair to excellent through fall depending on the tides and the weather conditions.

Fish for perch along the jetty channel and from the public fishing pier or among the pilings associated with the Port of Bandon. Fish in the tidal flats adjacent to the tidal flats associated with Bandon Marsh as the perch migrate into Bandon Marsh on the tide.

Kelp greenling, whitespotted greenling and rock greenling enter the bay with the tide. The best fishing occurs during the spring and the fall along the south jetty and among the structure associated with the public docks at the Port of Bandon. The fishing is poor the rest of the year.

Lingcod spawn along the jetty from late January throughout March but the fishing is rated as inconsistent as best.

Cabezon are present all year among the rocks along the jetty but the fishing is rated as inconsistent at best.

White sturgeon enter Coquille Bay in small numbers from December to June. The sturgeon fishery is a small one that is of interest to local anglers only with the catch ranking 11th among Oregon’s larger bays. Fish for sturgeon upstream from the Highway 101 Bridge in the deeper holes of tidewater. The best fishing is at Rocky Point. The hole at Rocky Point is accessible to bank fishermen, but the most successful fishing is from a boat.

Bank fishing for bass, lingcod, cabezon and greenling is limited to the north jetty, the south jetty and to the pier structure associated with the Port of Bandon. Fish for perch from the jetties and from along the west shore of Bandon Marsh. Fish for sturgeon from Rocky Point, which is located west of Highway 101 via the north bank road.

The Port of Bandon Public Fishing Pier is located in old town next to the boat launch. The crabbing is good during periods of low rainfall. The fishing for perch is good from late spring through fall.

Coquille Bay Jetties – Access to the north jetty is through Bullards State Park. Access to the Curry County Park at the south jetty is through Old Town Bandon. The jetty channel is deeper along the south jetty. Fishing for bass at night for bass along the jetty channel should be productive. Fishing for perch along the jetty channel is excellent.

Bandon State Park is comprised of three separate waysides providing access to Coquille Point, Face Rock Viewpoint and Bandon Beach. Bandon Beach offers fair fishing for redtail surfperch.

288.1 Floras Lake County Park and New River Beach are located above Cape Blanco. New River Beach is an excellent location to fish for redtail surfperch. Chinook salmon, usually the four year old fish, return to Floras Creek and the New River from late October peaking in November into December. A small number of coho salmon return in October.

293.6 Airport Road is the Oregon Coast trailhead to Cape Blanco or to Lake Floras and the New River Beach. The fishing for redtail surfperch is excellent.

295.7 Sixes River and the Sixes River Beach and Estuary are located just above Cape Blanco. Sixes River Beach at the estuary is listed by ODFW as a location to dig for razor clams. The beach is renowned as an excellent location to fish for redtail surfperch. Access to the Sixes River Estuary is through Cape Blanco State Park via the Hughes House access road but access to the rest of the river is limited by private property. A small number of coho salmon return in October. Chinook salmon, usually the larger five year old fish, return to the Sixes River from late October peaking in November into December. Some anglers drift the Sixes River from the Sixes River store on Highway 101 to Sixes River Estuary at Cape Blanco State Park. Other anglers prefer the longer drift from the Mid–Drift launch further up river to the take out at the Sixes River store. Drift the Sixes River when height of the river gage of the Elk River measures between 5 and 7 feet.

The Chinook salmon that return to small coastal rivers are generally dominated by 4 year old fish followed by 5 year old fish. When large fish are caught in these small coastal streams they attract a lot of attention and easily becoming overcrowded with anglers. There is a measure of truth in the axiom, “Too many cooks spoil the broth”, especially when too many anglers target the same fish in small water. If you can deal with the crowded conditions the reward can be worth the effort. Annually an average of 3000 Chinook return to the Sixes River. The average catch rate for the Sixes river is 600 fish per year. The BLM operates the Sixes River Campground.

296.6 Cape Blanco is the westernmost coastal point of California, Oregon or Washington. Cape Blanco offers an exceptional opportunity to observe gray whales. The view from the cape is absolutely magnificent. The lighthouse, which was built in 1870, was the second lighthouse built on the Oregon Coast. The black sand beach is a unique geological feature that attracts thousands of visitors each year. The park is the site of the historical Hughes House which was built in 1898 and displays period furniture depicting the lifestyle of the times. Antonio Flores named Cape Blanco in 1603. Cape Blanco has a full service State Park and equestrians are welcome.

297.2 McKenzie River Beach and the Elk River are located below Cape Blanco. The beach is an excellent location to fish for redtail surfperch especially at the mouth to the Elk River. Motor vehicles are allowed on the beach at Elk River State Park south to and area below Port Orford. A small number of coho salmon return to the Elk River during late October or early November. Chinook salmon, usually the four year old fish, return to the Elk River from late October peaking in November into December. The catch rate over the last decade has averaged 930 Chinook per year. Anglers avoid the Elk River estuary during high tide, because the Elk River estuary is subject to flooding by ocean waves during high tides. Access to the estuary is over the beach with 4 wheel drive vehicles with oversized tires. Most anglers drift the Elk River from the Elk River Fish Hatchery to Ironhead Landing, which is located east of Highway 101. Access to most of the river is limited by private property. Drift the river when the height of the river is between 5 and 7 feet.

299.8 Paradise Point State Wayside is the beach access to Paradise Point and to Garrison Lake. Fish for shallow water rockfish, i.e. grass, brown, copper, black or blue rockfish and sea trout, perch, cabezon and lingcod associated with the rocky shore from Paradise Point to Battle Rock at Port Orford.

301.0 Port Orford is a small harbor in the shelter of a south jutting promontory. There is no river mouth and hence no bar; boats enter and exit directly from the Pacific Ocean. The harbor is protected from summer northwesterly winds but wide-open to winter southerlies. There is one jetty on the north side of the harbor, and Battle Rock (named for an 1851 skirmish that took place there between would-be settlers and Indians) serves as a breakwater to the south. There is no boat ramp, but the Port of Port Orford operates a hoist and offers transient moorage. A visitor center is a short walk from the waterfront.

Port Orford and Depoe Bay are the safest ports of entry for the small boater along the Oregon Coast. Port Orford is located on the southeast side of Nellie’s Point and is protected by a 550 foot breakwater that extends SE from Graveyard Point. The Port offers protection from NW summer storms into early fall, but is exposed to the winter storms that come from the south. The fishing for shallow water rockfish, greenling and perch species associated with jetties and the rocky shore along the Port Orford jetty varies from fair to excellent. The fishing offshore for all species is excellent. Fish for rockfish to the south at Red Fish Rocks(currently a marine reserve) and for rockfish and salmon off Orford Reef and Blanco Reef. Orford Reef is located between Nellie’s Point and Cape Blanco. Blanco Reef is located off Cape Blanco. ODFW sponsors a fishery for Chinook salmon off of Port Orford between Cape Blanco and Humbug Mountain.

2016 Elk River Fall Chinook State Waters Terminal Area Recreational Season

•Open November 1-30
•Open shoreward of a line drawn from Cape Blanco (42°50‘20" N Lat.) to Black Rock (42°49‘24" N Lat. / 124°35‘00" W. Long.) to Best Rock (42°47‘24" N Lat. / 124°35‘42" W. Long.) to 42o40’30”N / 124o29’00” W to Humbug Mt.
•Daily bag limit of 2 Chinook per angler, but no more than 1 non fin-clipped Chinook per day, and no more than 10 non fin-clipped Chinook in seasonal aggregate with the Elk R., Sixes R., New R., and Floras Cr.
•Terminal tackle limited to no more than 2 single point barbless hooks.
•Redfish Rocks Marine Reserve closed to all fishing.
•Minimum length: Chinook = 24”

Port Orford offer an interactive website identifying fishing opportunities in the Port Orford area.

Port Orford is the only port in Oregon that offers crabbing in the Ocean from a dock facility. Crabbing productivity varies from day to day and with the season. Recreational boaters do crab in the ocean south of the port in 60 to 80 feet of water.

We have asked the good folks at Port Orford Docks repeatedly for information about crabbing and fishing from their docks but with no response. Finally, a crabber was good enough to share the following infomation about crabbing from the dock at Port Orford. I for one am looking forward to crabbing there. Bill

"When we were crabbing at Port Orford we were with a friend who was well acquainted with the dock area. If there are fishing boats coming and going there is only about 20 feet of dock available for crabbing because it is very much a working dock. We happened to hit it lucky two evenings in that all the boats were in before 6 p.m. so we were able to use the entire length of the dock where the cranes are located where the boats usually come in for as long as we wanted. If the cranes are in use you cannot safely crab from there. The third time we were there the weather was so lousy no boats had gone out at all so we had the entire dock to ourselves. The water at Port Orford appears to be much cleaner than the water elsewhere where crabbing is done at the mouths of rivers. We could see the bait on the bottom and could actually watch the crabs moving toward and onto the traps in the shallower water. The folks on the dock at Port Orford ask that crabbers spin the females or too small males back into the water so they hit the water on their sides. Since the dock is so high above the water it can kill the crabs if they land on their backs or stomachs. They also asked us to keep the area clean by removing all seaweed from the dock and throwing the snails back as well." Thank you for sharing, Bill

Rocky Point is a location with the reputation of consistently producing limits of littleneck clams. However the digging productivity for littleneck clams has declined because of a large scale die off several years ago. The die off of littleneck clams has occurred in many areas along the ocean beaches of the Pacific Northwest over the last decade. We have received several reports of recovery but we are in need of current up to date information on digging conditions at Rocky Point..

Internet Links of Interest:

Click on to view the tidal projections for Port Orford.

Click on the following link to view the tidal projections for the mouth of the Rogue River.

WEATHER FORECAST: Click the following link to view the local weather forecast for Brookings.

Click on the Marine Forecast from Florence to Cape Blanco to view the marine forecast featuring Small Craft Warning.

Click the following link to view the Marine Forecast for the NWS Medford Zone: Coastal waters from Cape Blanco OR to Pt. St. George CA out 10 nm (PZZ356).

The following NOAA link for detailed information for the Oregon Coast is a great source for planning your razor clam digging adventures. Click on the following link to see a detailed hourly forecast for weather and surf conditions on the southern Oregon Coast.

NOAA Coastal Forecast for Curry County

Email us with any suggestion how we can improve the information we provide at crabbinginfo@yahoo.com

Recommended website: Click on the following link to see an detailed hourly forecast for weather and surf conditions on the southern Oregon Coast. Then click your coastal zone of interest to view the detail information compiled on the Marine Digital Point Forecast Matrix Interface.

301.0 Port Orford Heads State Wayside is located a short walk from Nellies Point. The view of Orford Reef to the north and of the rocky shoreline and Humbug Mountain to the south is absolutely incredible and well worth the trip.

301.3 Battle Rock State Wayside is the site where in 1851 nine white settlers defended themselves from an attack by Kelawatset Indians. After defending their position on Battle Rock for more than two weeks the settlers abandoned Battle Rock to find refuge with white settlers along the Umpqua River. The site is bordered by a paved walkway with benches and a restroom. Follow the trail to the beach to fish for perch. The fishing for surfperch is fair at best.

303.6, 304.0 and 306.0 is the location of the viewpoints between Port Orford and Humbug Mountain. This stretch of the highway includes Rocky Point and Coal Point. Viewpoint 306.0 has beach access. Littleneck clams are common in the rocky substrate at Rocky Point.

307.0 Humbug Mountain State Park is a full service park located along Brush Creek on the eastside of the highway. A day use wayside is located at mile mark 307.7 on the west side of the highway. There is a physically challenging 3 mile trail to the summit that winds through a grove of old growth forest. The panoramic view from the summit is incredible. Access to the beach is by trail along Brush Creek from the park or the wayside.

Mile by Mile Map from the Humbug Mountain State Park to Pistol River State Scenic View Point

310.7 mile marker is a viewpoint with beach access to the rocky shore below. The fishing for rockfish should be good for those with the energy to hike down to the rocky shore to fish for them.

313.6 Arizona Beach is the location of a motel and RV park that controls access to the beach but the beach offers excellent fishing for redtail surfperch.

313.8 Prehistoric Gardens is located on Hwy 101 on the Southern Oregon Coast, halfway between Gold Beach and Port Orford.

314.1 Sisters Rock is accessed by driving down to the beach with a 4 wheel drive vehicle or by parking at the pullout and walking to the fishing area. The fishing should be good for all species.

316.6 Ophir Beach at Euchre Creek has a renowned reputation for redtail surfperch. Euchre Creek supports a small population of Chinook salmon. Chinook salmon return to the Elk River from late October peaking in November into December.

317.8 mile marker is the location of a viewpoint.

318.2 mile marker is the location of a viewpoint.

319.0 mile marker is the location of a Rest Stop.

320.9 Nesika Beach is a renowned location to fish for redtail surfperch. Redtail surfperch are the dominate perch species found along the sandy beaches from Nesika Beach to Cape Ferrelo Turn west onto Old Coast Highway then turn immediately right to only public access to the beach near the end of the old highway. Parking is limited to the side of the old highway.

324.0 The Old Coast Highway is the access to Otter Point State Wayside and Bailey’s Beach. Travel on the gravel road to Otter Point State Wayside is not recommended for travel trailers or RVs. Follow the trail to the beach. The fishing for redtail surfperch is excellent. Bailey’s Beach is listed by ODFW as a location to dig razor clams. Motor vehicles are allowed on the beach from Otter Point south to Meyer’s Creek.

326.3 mile marker is the location of an access road to the north jetty of the Rogue River Estuary.

327.0 mile marker is the location of the community of Wedderburn and the access road to the north jetty of the Rogue River Estuary.

Rogue River Estuary Click: To enlarge the images of the Rogue River Estuary - Sign in to the Clam Digging Proboards prior to clicking on the image of the Rogue River to enlarge it. Click on the image and click on it again.

Rogue River Estuary 1.gifRogue River Estuary-7 copy.gif

The Rogue River is longest coastal river originating within Oregon, while the length of its tidal reach is one of the shortest. The catch rate for spring and fall Chinook is the highest or any of Oregon’s coastal rivers ranging from low of 2000 to highs exceeding 15000 fish. The Rogue River bar is one of the easier bars to cross.

The Coast Guard maintains a seasonal lifeboat station in the boat basin from Memorial Day through Labor Day. Click on the Oregon State Marine Board and click on Water Levels/Navigation listed under the column Safety and Education. Click on Rogue River Bar located under the column, Coastal Bar Chartlettes. The interactive PDF file webpage describes the navigational hazards that boaters encounter when crossing the Coquille River Bar.

NOAA's Bar Observation Website for Oregon's Bays. Check the NOAA Bar Observations website for updated closures and restrictions.

Tidal Conditions: The following underlined areas describe some of the dangerous tidal conditions affecting safe boating in the jetty channel or when crossing the bar at the Rogue River Bay as listed on the Web Page for Oregon State Marine Board at www.boatoregon.com.

Shoal water, south side. Along the south side of the Rogue River channel are shoal water and gravel bars. This shoal water breaks to a height of six feet when a swell is running. Many boaters fishing inside the river or trolling between the jetties find themselves set into this dangerous area by northwest winds. If a vessel breaks down in the channel and is not anchored, the northwest wind and ebb tide will set it into this dangerous area within a matter of minutes.

Point of Interest: the shoaling at the mouth of the Rogue River Estuary prior to the construction of the jetties on the Rogue and Chetco would create lagoons in low water years that served a nurseries for salmon smolts and a barrier for salmon migrating up-river to spawn. Today the entrance to the Rogue River Estuary is subject to the shoaling that use to close the mouth of the estuary prior to the construction of the jetties.

Outer end, north jetty. Breakers are almost always present here because of shoal water. When the sea is running from the west or southwest, it is particularly dangerous.

Outer end, south jetty. Breakers are almost always present. Even when it appears calm, there may be occasional breakers 1,000 feet outside the south jetty. When this sea is running from the west or southwest, this area is very dangerous.

The Rogue River channel lies along the north jetty. Under existing conditions, a channel 13 feet deep and 300 feet wide, extending from the ocean to the inner end of the north jetty, is provided. Boaters are urged to use and stay within this channel. The river entrance is subject to frequent shoaling and depth changes. Do not rely on charted depths.

Fishing Inside the Channel. During recent years small boats fish just inside the bar and troll in an area between the north and south jetties. Frequently, there are a great number of boats in this area and they tend to crowd each other. Because trolling is the most frequent fishing method lines can get caught accidentally in a boat propeller. Should this happen the disabled boat should anchor immediately or call for aid. A northwest wind or ebb tide could set a boat into a dangerous area in a matter of minutes.

The Coast Guard maintain a seasonal lifeboat station in the boat basin from June through the middle of September and can be reached on VHF-FM channel 12.

The Rogue reef is located northwest of the entrance to the Rogue River Estuary. The reef offers excellent fishing for salmon and rockfish for most of the year weather permitting. Fish for lingcod and black rockfish in the kelp forest located just north of the bar. The emphasis in the Rogue River Estuary is on Chinook salmon fishing and the redtail surfperch that enter the bay each year.

Redtail surfperch enter the bay in spring. The perch fishing along the south jetty of the Rogue River Estuary has an excellent reputation for consistent catches of redtail surfperch.

Chinook salmon of the Rogue River are famous for the flavor of the spring run Chinook salmon. The spring run of Chinook salmon depend on their high fat content to sustain them until they spawn in the fall.

The Rogue River has both a spring and fall run of Chinook salmon, but it’s the spring run that generates the excitement. Both the spring and fall runs are dominated by 4 year old fish.

The spring run of Chinook salmon begins during the first half of April and runs through May and into June. The best fishing usually occurs during late April through mid May and last into June. Spring Chinook, unlike their fall cousins spend very little time in tidewater. They enter the river as soon as they arrive. The high stream flow of spring is the trigger that initiates the upriver migration. Some Chinook pause briefly at the head of tidewater while others continue upriver to the spawning grounds. The Chinook are reluctant to bite when the water temperature of the river falls below 52 degrees. The spring Chinook’s exception to their fall cousin’s behavioral pattern of tidewater acclamation provides anglers with the opportunity to fish for upriver bright salmon whose flesh is at its optimum quality. The best fishing for spring Chinook occurs upriver from Elephant Rock. Understanding the water conditions is the key to successful fishing. Under normal conditions the color of the water is emerald green and the Chinook swim upriver on the inside of the river bends and the slower moving water below gravel bars or deep holes that is 4 to 6 feet deep. During low water conditions the water becomes extremely clear and the Chinook seek refuge by swimming in the darker water that is 8 but no more than 10 feed deep. When the water is flowing high and is stained or off color the Chinook resume their normal swimming pattern at depths of 4 to 6 feet or shallower.

The most productive fishing is from anchored boats, but fishing from the bank is almost as good. Competition is keen for the best fishing locations. Local anglers often monopolize the most productive locations by anchoring on them for several days at a time. Most boaters double anchor. The primary anchor should be a 40 pound Kedge style anchor. Visiting anglers should arrive early to claim a spot at the most productive location. Attach a buoy to the anchor line and release the boat from the anchor line when a Chinook is hooked. The angler is free to fight the fish returning to the buoyed anchor line once the Chinook has been landed. Anglers fishing from the bank use the same tackle and angling methods employed by anglers fishing from boats. Of course, the ability to move in a boat is a big advantage. Anchor in the shallow water in a manner that positions the boat on the inside of a curve and fish for Chinook salmon from the inside out. Fishing with an anchovy rigged with a single treble hook and fished with a tight spin is a local favorite, but fishing with a Rogue Bait Rig and anchovy combination using the G spot spinner blade in gold and green or gold and chartreuse is the most productive. The Rogue Bait Rig accounts for most of the spring Chinook caught followed by straight anchovy or a Spin–N–Glo sweetened with salmon roe or with a spinner with a hammered gold back and the front painted with 50/50 green and chartreuse spinner blade. Fish these baits with a spreader using a 36 inch leader line and a 12 inch sinker dropper line. Use a heavy enough sinker to keep the bait on the bottom but light enough to walk the bait to the desired location. Usually, sinkers weighing 2 to 8 ounces are sufficient. To be successful present the bait at various depths ranging from 4 to 10 feet depending on water clarity to intercept salmon migrating upriver in the shallow water lane.

The Rogue River Estuary Jetty is one the most popular locations to fish for returning fall Chinook salmon. The Rogue River Estuary is one of Oregon’s smallest deepwater bays and easily becomes overcrowded by anglers trolling for fall Chinook. Chinook salmon begin arriving about the first of August with fishable numbers returning the last half of August peaking in September and running into October. The best fishing occurs early in the run from the Highway 101 bridge seaward as the Chinook salmon move into and out of the bay with the tide awaiting the freshets of the seasonal rains. During the years with heavy snowmelt runoff originating in the Cascades returning fall Chinook forgo their typical fall migration behavioral pattern and migrate immediately upriver, in some years, as early as July. Troll with the incoming tide in the jetty channel along the north jetty from the jetty jaws to the Highway 101 Bridge or with the outgoing tide from the head of tidewater along the north shore towards Jots Resort then seaward to the jetty jaws. The entrance to the Port of Gold Beach in the jetty channel is a deep-water hot spot that produces a lot of fish.

Troll along the north jetty with a plug cut herring, Rogue Bait Rig and anchovy combination or with a rainbow colored spinner with green accents or a spinner with a hammered gold back and the front painted with 50/50 green and chartreuse spinner blade. The Rogue Bait Rig is comprised of a G–Spot spinner blade positioned ahead of beads and slip tied–double hooks and is sold complete and ready to fish at local bait and tackle shops. Tackle shop operators can advise which of the Rogue Bait Rigs is the most productive. The swift current of the Rogue River requires the use of sinkers up to 12 ounces. Attach the Rogue Bait Rig to the top leg of the spreader with a beaded chain swivel. Bait with an anchovy and you’re ready to fish.

Coho salmon enter the bay as early as August, but typically in September peaking in October and running through the first half of November. The best fishing occurs early in the run trolling either a plug cut herring, a Rogue Bait Rig with green and gold blade or a straight anchovy baited to a treble hook, spinners, hoochies or streamer flies against the incoming tide from elephant rock seaward. Troll these baits behind a wire spreader or a diver in the upper half of the water column. Trolling in the bay with rainbow, chartreuse or pink colored spinners or spinner bait combinations are also effective options. Remember Coho salmon prefer bait trolled at speeds from 3 to 5 knots.

White sturgeon and green sturgeon are common in the Rogue River Basin from tidewater upstream to Agness. White sturgeon enter the Rogue River Estuary in small numbers from February through August. The catch rate averages 20 fish per year. Most of the sturgeon are caught by anglers fishing for salmon. Fish for sturgeon in the large hole underneath the Highway 101 Bridge and in the hole ¼ of a mile upriver from the Highway 101 Bridge. Use mud shrimp, sand shrimp or herring for bait in the bay and sand shrimp, crawdad tails or herring in the river.

Bank fishing access along the Rogue River is fisherman friendly. There is good fishing from the bank off of Jerry’s Flat Road or the north bank road. Jerry’s Flat Road (FSR #33) parallels the south shore of the Rogue River to the community of Agness. The north bank road is accessed through the community of Wedderburn. The most productive bank fishing locations are at the Ferry Hole, Huntley Bar, Orchard Bar, Kimball Creek, Lobster Creek, Kunkleberger Bar and Quosatana Creek. Bank anglers use size 00, 0, 1, 2 or 4 Spin–N–Glos with Mylar wings in Fire Tiger, Grey Ghost or Silver Bullet patterns fished with 24 inch leaders and sweetened with small piece of salmon roe with the sinker attached directly to the spreader. The Rogue Bait Rig and anchovy combination with the G spot blade in green or chartreuse is equally as effective.

Crabbing ranges from poor to fair from summer to early fall from the Highway 101 bridge seaward to the shoaling area depending on the amount of freshwater runoff from rainfall and/or snowmelt from the Cascades. Set your crabbing pots outside of the boating channels. Crabbing is allowed inside the boat basin but set the pots outside of the boating channels. Crabbing is allowed from the boat docks during the daylight hours. The Port does not provide lifejackets: you must use your own. Jot's Resort does not allow crabbing from their boat dock. We recommend checking with the Port of Gold Beach to make sure which of the port's docks are open for crabbing prior to making the trip.

Rogue River Estuary Jetty – the fishing for perch in the shallow water channel that parallels the south jetty has the reputation for excellence. Fishing for bass is limited to the deepwater channel that parallels the north jetty.

Rogue River Estuary boat launches are located on the south shore at the Port of Gold Beach and on the north shore at Jot’s Resort.

PORT - Boat Launch

Vessels on trailers can be easily launched using the recently refurbished 3 lane launch ramp that is located in the Port of Gold Beach.

To access the launch ramp drive between the Port Offices and the Post Office toward the harbor. Launch payments can be put into the lock box located at the top of the launch ramp. Daily launch fees are $3.00 or there is an Annual Launch Permit available at the Port Office. Call or come into the office to inquire about the cost of the permit or to purchase yours.

An improved boat launch with restrooms is located on the north shore at the Ferry Hole. The Ferry Hole is accessed through the community of Wedderburn via North Bank Rogue River Road. Boat launches on the south shore are located at Huntley Park, Lobster Creek and Quosatana Campground. The boat launches located at Quosatana Campground and Lobster Creek are improved ramps operated by the U.S Forest Service. The boat launch located at Huntley Park is an unimproved boat ramp operated by the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife. The south shore boat launches are located in campgrounds and have restrooms available. There are several unimproved boat launches located in Agness.

Internet Links of Interest for the Rogue River Estuary:

Click the following link to view the Marine Forecast available from NWS Medford, OR Zone Forecast: Coastal waters from Cape Blanco OR to Pt. St. George CA out 10 nm.

Click on the height of the river level for the Rogue River – At Agnes

Tidal Projections for the Rogue River Estuary at Wedderburn.

Click on the navigational hazards to avoid when crossing the Bar at the Rogue River Estuary.

327.0 Baily Beach an excellent location to fish for redtail surfperch and dig for razor clams is approximately 3 miles long. Baily's Beach is located immediately north of the North Jetty. Most noted for the fact that you can drive your vehicle on it, this beach is also the closest beach to the Rogue Reef, which offers incredible views.

Access to Bailey Beach is easy:

•You can access from the Rogue River north jetty.

•You can access south of Rogue Shores via either vehicle or by foot.

•You can access north of Rogue Shores from several paths that lead to the beach. There is ample parking at each trailhead.

•You can access Bailey Beach by hiking on the Oregon Coast Trial south from Otter Point. The Oregon Coast Trail drops down to the beach at the north end. Bailey Beach can also be very pleasantly viewed from Otter Point. There is amble parking at Otter Point.

Access from the Rogue Shore community is discouraged. Public access is more appropriate either north or south of Rogue Shores.

327.3 Rogue River Estuary.

328.0 Gold Beach is located at the entrance of the Rogue River Estuary and is an excellent location to fish for redtail surfperch and a fair location to dig for razor clams.

329.9 South Beach Park provides the angler with easy beach access to Gold Beach and is an excellent location to fish for redtail surfperch.

330.6 Hunters Beach has an excellent reputation for redtail surfperch. Chinook salmon, usually the four year old fish, return to the Hunter Creek from late October peaking in November into December. The catch rate averages 40 fish per year.

334.6 Cape Sebastain offers visitors an incredible panoramic view of the Oregon Coast at the end of a 2 mile long hike. Cape Sebastain is named for Sebastain Viscaino who in 1603 named the cape after himself. The fishing for shallow water rockfish, sea trout, perch, cabezon and lingcod from the rocky shore ranges from fair to excellent.

336.5 Myers Beach is accessible from the view points located at mile marker 336.5, 337.1 and 337.3. Meyers Creek is listed by ODFW as a location to dig for razor clams. Razor clams are dug along the beach north from Meyers Creek to Hunters Cove. This section of the beach is an excellent place to fish for redtail surfperch.

338.0 The Pistol River Beach as well as Meyer’s Beach is one of the most popular beach locations used for wind surfing competition that draws Wind Surfers from all over the World. Have your camera ready to capture the exciting images. Pistol River Beach is one of Oregon's beaches listed by ODFW as a location to dig for razor clams.

339.0 Pistol River State Wayside Beach is located between Crook Point and Cape Sebastain. The beach north and south of the Pistol River is and excellent location to fish for redtail surfperch. Chinook salmon, usually the four year old fish, return to the Pistol River from late October peaking in November into December. Striped seaperch are the dominate perch species caught along the rocky shore from Crook Point to the California Border. The fishing for shallow water rockfish, i.e. grass, brown, copper, black or blue rockfish, sea trout, perch, cabezon and lingcod from Crook Point to the north jetty of the Chetco River Estuary varies from fair to excellent depending on the weather and time of year.

Mile by Mile Map from the Pistol River Viewpoint Wayside to Winchuck Beach.

344.0 Samuel H. Boardman State Park is a long narrow State Park consisting of a series of waysides that provide access to areas of natural interest offering visitors one panoramic view after another ending at mile post 352.6. The Oregon Coast Trail traverses the park, but the steep cliffs that dominate the park severally limit access to the beach. The view of the seascapes offers visitors to the waysides unlimited photographic opportunity to capture absolutely stunning views of the Oregon Coast. A trail leads to the beach below.

344.8 Arch Rock Point is the viewpoint of the immense boomerang shaped monolithic rock located ¾ of a mile offshore. A visit to Arch Rock Point is only the prelude to visiting the Natural Bridges Cove.

346.1 The Natural Bridges Cove trail leads to an overlook with a view of the natural bridge rock formations. The view is one of the most dramatic seascapes along the Oregon Coast.

347.5 The Thomas Creek Bridge is the highest bridge in Oregon standing 345 feet.

348.2 Indian Sands Trail terminates on a high sandstone bluff overlooking the sea. Once again the view of the coast is truly spectacular. Specular view. Most of the views on the internet were copyright, We recommend taking plenty of photos at trails end.

349.4 The Whaleshead Beach is a beautiful location for a family picnic and has ample parking, restrooms and picnic tables.

351.2 House Rock was the site of a World War Two sentry tower. There is a steep trail to the beach below. The trailhead begins behind the Samuel H. Boardman Memorial.

351.8 Cape Ferrelo is named for Bartolome Ferrelo, a Spaniard who sailed into Oregon waters in 1543. Envision the grandeur of the Oregon Coast before as Ferrelo saw it. The vistas from Samuel H. Boardman State Park provide visitors with a glimpse of the Oregon Coast, as it was when Bartolome Ferrelo first saw it in 1543.

352.6 The Lone Ranch Beach is an ideal spot for a family gathering. The wayside has ample parking, restrooms, picnic tables and easy access trails to the beach and tide pools.

355.7 Harris Beach State Park is a full service park located two miles north of Brookings. The sandy beach is home to craggy rocks. The unusual geological formations are called seastacks which are a result of the collapse of the shore during an earthquake caused by subduction movement of plate tectonics that occurred 300 hundred years ago. The fishing is excellent for redtail surfperch and striped seaperch. Refer to the Oregon Sport Fishing Regulation restricting the taking of shellfish within the Harris Beach Marine Garden.

357.0 Macklyn Cove and Chetco Cove in Brookings is renowned for excellent fishing for striped seaperch and shallow water rockfish.. Access Mill Beach and the tide pools by turning west onto Center St. park at the end of the street follow the trail down to the beach. Refer to The Chetco River Estuaries is comparatively small and it does not take much rainfall to raise the river levels enough to force crabs to move out into the open ocean.

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Chinook Salmon The emphasis in the Chetco River Estuary is on Chinook salmon fishing. Fishing for Chinook salmon outside of the Chetco River Estuary is outstanding during the ocean salmon season. On calm days troll for salmon outside the jetty jaws to the whistle buoy located one mile from the harbor entrance. The 1997 saw 5100 Chinook salmon landed before the ocean salmon season closed in early September.

Chinook salmon return to the Chetco River Estuary from September through October into December usually peaking in last week of October. Early September Chinook salmon returning to the Chetco River are usually comprised of mostly hatchery fish followed in October by wild spawned fish. The Chinook salmon returning to Southern Oregon rivers later than their North Coast cousins to take advantage of the high river flows that breached the lagoons allowing escapement of salmon smolts into the ocean and returning salmon access to rivers of their birth.

A large number of the 1805 fish that are caught each year are five old fish that weigh between 30 and 40 pounds. The tidal reach of the Chetco River Estuary is only two and a half miles long. The Chinook move into and out of the bay with the tide. The best fishing for newly arriving fall Chinook salmon occurs in the lower bay during the incoming tide of the major tidal exchange of spring tides or neap tides especially when the incoming tide coincides with sunrise or sunset. The next most productive fishing period occurs at sunrise or sunset during the incoming tide of the minor tidal exchange in the daily tidal cycle. Daybreak is that magical time of day when Chinook salmon bite the best. Be sure to have the bait in the water one half hour before sunrise. Fishing is most productive from ½ hour before sunrise to midmorning and from late afternoon until ½ hour after sunset.

Early in the run trolling a plug cut herring with the incoming tide through high slack tide or with the outgoing tide from the head of tidewater seaward along the south jetty is the most productive method to catch early returning fall Chinook salmon. As the number of returning Chinook salmon increase, trolling spinners in the upper bay from the Hwy 101 Bridge to the head of tidewater are an effective alternative. The most effective spinner is colored 50/50 chartreuse and brass blade, a hammered gold back and the front painted with 50/50 green and chartreuse spinner blade or a rainbow colored blade with a green tip. Returning Chinook salmon hold in the Morris Hole and at Tide Rock at the head of tidewater before continuing upstream. Fish for them using the Rogue Bait Rig and anchovy combination or Spin–N–Glos sweetened with salmon eggs. Bobber fishing at the Morris Hole with sand shrimp and/or salmon eggs in is an effective option that is a favorite of local anglers.

Pileperch, striped seaperch, redtail surfperch, and walleye surfperch enter the bay in late spring. At best the fishing is fair to good from late spring through fall depending on the amount fresh water entering the bay. Fish for redtail surfperch along the south jetty and for the other perch species in the jetty channel and among the structure associated with the marina.

White sturgeon occasionally enter the Chetco River Estuary and the sturgeon that are caught are caught by anglers fishing for salmon.

Sand Sole enter the bay in small numbers in May.

South jetty of the Chetco River Estuary offer the angler a full service RV park at the Beach Front RV Park, boat launching, restrooms and picnic tables. Access ramps from the parking area to the beach make Harbor Beach the most user accessible beach on the Oregon Coast. The fishing for perch from the beach or the jetty is good.

Chetco River Estuary Crabbing varies but improves from summer early fall in the harbor at Brookings from the Highway 101 Bridge seaward or from the public crabbing dock until the arrival of fall rains. Crabbing in the ocean off of the Rogue and Chetco Rivers is productive in areas 60 to 80 feet.Clam Digging: The bay clams common to Oregon's Bay are not present in Brookings Harbor in large enough numbers to be of interest to recreational clam diggers.

Internet Links of Interest for the Chetco River Estuary:

Click on the following links to view the hazards boaters encounter crossing the bar at the Chetco River Estuary.

NOAA's Bar Observation Website for Oregon's Bays. Check the NOAA Bar Observations website for updated closures and restrictions.

Tidal Projections: NOAA tidal projections for Oregon. Scroll down to the Chetco River Estuary and click on your area of interest.

Click the following link to view the local weather forecast for Brookings.

Click the following link to view the Marine Forecast available from NWS Medford, OR Zone Forecast: Coastal waters from Cape Blanco OR to Pt. St. George CA out 10 nm.

Click on the Chetco River – Near Brookings to view the height of the river near Brookings.

Natural Resources of the Chetco River.

358.0 Harbor Beach and the south jetty of the Chetco River Estuary offer the angler a full service RV park at the Beach Front RV Park, boat launching, restrooms and picnic tables. Access ramps from the parking area to the beach make Harbor Beach the most user accessible beach on the Oregon Coast. The fishing for perch from the beach or the jetty is good.

361.7 McVey Beach is located just north of the Winchuck River. Turn west from Highway 101, at Don and Bob’s Auto Repair, onto Ocean view Drive. Turn left at the beach access road with the white cable post. The fishing for redtail surfperch is excellent.

362.2 Winchuck Beach is located just north of Oregon California boarder. The redtail surfperch fishing is excellent along the beach on either side of the Winchuck River. Chinook salmon return to the Winchuck River from late October through November. The run is comprised with a high percentage of five year old fish. The catch rate over the last decade has averaged 90 Chinook per year. The estuary at the Winchuck River is approximately ¼ mile in length. Access to the estuary is through the Winchuck River State Park Wayside (Crissey Field State Recreation Site), but access to the rest of the river is limited by private property. Bank fishing only.

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The Navigational Charts in this publication are out of date and are intended for informational use only: Not for Navigational Use. The navigational hazards described in this informational guide are dated. Know before you go. Check with the U.S. Coast Guard for a list of current navigational hazards prior to entering or leaving Oregon's Bays.

A Work In Progress. The infomation presented on this website is protected my numerous copyrights registered the Library of Congress. There are a huge number of recreational resources that will be added to the body of work referred to as the Mile by Mile Guide for the Oregon Coast. Click on the Mile by Mile Guide in red to view the Oregon Coast Trail maps posted to the State Parks website. If possible we will use the PDF maps to Frame our Mile by Mile Guide. FYI, I have driven the Oregon Coast several times researching recreational resources and I need to make the trip again.

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