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. Cape Lookout is renowned for the panoramic view at the end of a 2.5 mile trail. Anderson view point located on the north face below Cape Lookout 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 Sand Lake 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 RoadThe Whalen 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.

Clay Myers SNA is a coastal island estuary on the Three Capes Scenic Loop with 1.5 miles of hiking trails. Once crossing over the Whelan Island Bridge exit the Clay Myers loop road to the right to the parking area and vault toilets but is no water at the site.  

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. Female perch of most species enter Oregon's bays during Spring to give live birth, while the males of most perch species remain in the ocean where they are readily caught by surf.  

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 enter Sand Lake in small numbers during late August and September. In 2015 recorded 6 Chinook tagged in August and 8 tagged in September.

Cutthroat trout return to Sand Creek from late July into September but the greatest numbers return in August.   

Coho salmon are occasionally are caught in Sand Lake each year by anglers fishing for other fish species. The Coho that are caught are wild fish and are catch and release only. The fall of 1991 was the season the last Coho salmon were reported being tagged.

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 tidal flats in the southwest area of the tidal basin are the most productive tidal area to rake cockles or dig purple varnish clams

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.

Town Lake is located one and one half miles from Pacific City between Terra Del Mar and Woods. The lake contains a variety of fish including planted trout, largemouth bass, crappie and yellow perch. Each year ODFW stocks the lake with nearly 200 surplus summer steelhead from Cedar Creek hatchery, so far this season. In addition some surplus early run winter steelhead should be released in the near future. These fish get fairly active in the lake and offer a unique fishing experience, especially when the rivers are blown out. Once in the lake they are considered “trout” and do not require a Combined Angling Tag. Anglers are reminded, however, that only one trout per day over 20 inches may be retained, and these fish will almost all be in that size range.

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. Surfing and Dory Fishing are major attractions here. Surfing often conflicts with the launching and retrieveing of the Dory Fleet. 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.

2.6 Miles North 35.3 South Pacific City 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. The day use park is a horse friendly park with ample parking for all vehicles.

The Green Acres Stables offers beach rides in the beach through the Bob Straub State Park. My wife Diane, was a champion horse woman taking the top honors at many horse shows in California. As a champion horse woman she recommends the services offered by Green Acres Stables.

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. 

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.

Know before you go are the words of wisdom and encouragement offered by the Tillamook Resource Area Program, "The National Back Country Byway" for the Nestucca River sponsored the Bureau of Land Management located at 4610 Third Street Tillamook, OR 97141 or call (503) 815-1100 for additional information.

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 INFORMATION REPORTS NUMBER 2008-01 Click on the Chinook Salmon link to read the entire report.

Oregon North Coast Spring Chinook Stock Assessment – 2005-06 for the Nestucca, Wilson and Trask Rivers

INTRODUCTION: Chinook salmon populations of the Oregon coast exhibit two general life history types, classified as either spring-run or fall-run depending on adult life-history traits. Fall Chinook are present in most Oregon coastal basins, and the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) has identified 28 fall Chinook populations in this area (ODFW 2005). Spring Chinook salmon are found in larger river basins on the Oregon coast, and the upper portions of the Umpqua and Rogue rivers. This is a more limited distribution than coastal fall Chinook and includes only 10 populations (ODFW 2005). Oregon coastal fall Chinook stocks have been monitored through a set of 56 standard spawning ground surveys, many conducted since the 1950’s. There has not been a similar, consistent, coast-wide monitoring program for Oregon coastal spring Chinook spawners. Abundance of these populations has been monitoring through a variety of methods including; freshwater harvest estimates, counts at dams and weirs, summer resting hole counts, and spawning ground surveys.

Information Report 98-4. Nickelson, T.E. 1998. A habitat-based assessment of coho salmon production potential and spawner escapement needs for Oregon coastal streams.

Information Report 88-1 Chinook Populations in Oregon Coastal River Basins. Description of Life Histories and Assessment of Recent Trends in Run Strengths

Information Reports Number 2008-01 Oregon North Coast Spring Chinook Stock Assessment – 2005-06.

*"Chinook salmon populations of the Oregon coast exhibit two general life history types, classified as either spring-run or fall-run depending on adult life-history traits. Fall Chinook are present in most Oregon coastal basins, and the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) has identified 28 fall Chinook populations in this area (ODFW 2005). Spring Chinook salmon are found in larger river basins on the Oregon coast, and the upper portions of the Umpqua and Rogue rivers."

*"In 2005, ODFW conducted a review of Oregon native fish status, in regards to the State’s Native Fish Conservation Policy. This review grouped populations by Species Management Unit (SMU), and examined coastal spring and fall Chinook populations separately. The review determined the near-term sustainability of the Coastal Fall Chinook SMU was not at risk, but the Coastal Spring Chinook SMU was at risk (ODFW 2005)." *quote out of context. Click to view full text.

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 usually begins about the first week of May peaking in late May – early June and running through June. The catch 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. Fish for them using the same angling methods used for fall Chinook salmon.

The summer run fish enter the bay in late July peaking in August. The migration of Chinook into the river 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 declining in November with a few Chinook returning in early December.  The average catch 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.

Steelhead 2003-01 Information Report - Assessment of the Status of Nestucca and Alsea Winter Steelhead,

Steelhead return to the Nestucca, Little Nestucca and Three Rivers from late November through April

Early-returning hatchery steelhead (40,000 smolts marked with an adipose and left maxillary fin clip) are available from late November through January, with a peak in late December/early January. Wild broodstock hatchery steelhead (70,000 smolts; adipose only clipped) are available in the Nestucca through the spring. Past creel surveys show most fish are caught January to early April.

Since 2008, most of the early returning hatchery smolts have been released in Three Rivers, with a portion released at Farmer Creek boat launch. The wild brood hatchery smolts are released in Three Rivers; in the main stem Nestucca River at Farmer Creek boat launch and First Bridge boat launch; and in Bays Creek (a tributary just above the fifth bridge). This release strategy should optimize harvest opportunities and help spread the fishery out.

Wild steelhead are caught throughout the winter, with a peak in March.

The Nestucca River Road parallels the upper Nestucca River, beginning at Beaver and continuing upstream to the angling deadline at Elk Creek. Best bank access is above Blaine, with many pullouts along the river. The use of bait is prohibited in the Nestucca River above Moon Creek. Fishing in the upper Nestucca is best later in the season, as primarily wild fish return to the upper river. The Nestucca River upstream from Moon Creek closes March 31.

Boat access is available at boat ramps located at the first and fourth bridges above Beaver, at a boat slide above the fifth bridge (a new wooden boat slide was constructed in 2011, with concrete steps added last year to make access down the bank easier)and at the sixth bridge. The launch site at sixth bridge is located on private property, and anglers are asked to be courteous and pack out their trash in order to insure access in the future. Only experienced boaters should launch upstream of the fourth bridge due to some hazardous water.

The lower Nestucca River offers limited bank access, but some very good boat access. Launching/takeout is available at boat ramps located at First Bridge, the Rock Hole (end of Bixby Road), Farmer Creek wayside, the mouth of Three Rivers and Cloverdale. Bank access also is available at those sites. A separate fee (not the county pass) is required at Cloverdale to cover the cost to lease access from the Sanitary District. Day passes are available at the launch, or season passes are available from the sporting goods store in Hebo. Repairs to the lower end of the Cloverdale launch were completed recently. Use caution as there is a drop off at the end of the concrete, although this should not be an issue at normal winter flows.

Three Rivers, a tributary entering the Nestucca at Hebo, offers very good bank access in the lower river and excellent opportunity for anglers targeting early-returning hatchery steelhead, as well as later returning wild broodstock hatchery steelhead. Good numbers of steelhead ascend Three Rivers on their return to Cedar Creek Hatchery.

Bank access on Three Rivers is available at the hatchery, at the “heart attack” hole (on the south side of the stream), on the “S” curve just above Hebo, and by the sewage treatment plant in Hebo. The upper Three Rivers is accessible along Hwy 22, but fewer fish are present above the hatchery weir and bank access is limited. When available, fish are recycled downstream from Cedar Creek Hatchery.

The Little Nestucca River offers fair opportunity for steelhead. A few stray hatchery steelhead may be present throughout the winter season. Wild fish may be caught and released through the winter, with the run peaking in March. Limited public access is available along Little Nestucca River Road between Hwy 22 and Hwy101.The river closes March 31.

Historic catch statisitcs represent a window of opportunity for catching the salmonids returning to the Nestucca River Basin. Click on Sport Catch Statistics - Salmon, Steelhead and Sturgeon to view the catch statistics for the salmonid species of interest. The reports on this page represent harvest statistics gathered from sports harvest angler tags (punch cards) returned by anglers to ODFW. This sports harvest data has not been verified by ODFW and may be inaccurate for several reasons. Errors may arise from anglers incorrectly reporting locations, dates, and/or species of catches; or from errors in data entry caused by difficult-to-read harvest cards.

According to the annual Recreational Coho Catch Statistics the number of hatchery coho salmon catch rate for Coho returning to the Nestucca River vary from low numbers to over 500 fish tagged in 2014. According to the monthly Coho catch statistics.

In past years Coho salmon begin returning to Nestucca Bay in September peaking in October and running through November.  During that period of time they may have entered the bay later peaking in November. Currently Coho salmon begin returning to the Nestucca River in July, August or 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. 

Female perch of most species enter Oregon's bays to give live birth, while the males of most perch species remain in the ocean where they are readily caught by surf

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.

The bay is very shallow and dominated by tidal flats.  Each fall the shallow water of the tidal flats and the surrounding pastures attract thousands of migrating geese, ducks and other waterfowl.

Canadian geese regularly use the pastures associated with the road between Woods and the Woods junction with Hwy 101. The pastures are part of the Tillamook exclusiom zone that prohibits hunting greese to protect threatened goose species.

Nestucca Bay National Wildlife Refuge's mosaic of pastures supports the only coastal wintering Dusky Canada Deese, as well as the Worlds entire population of Semidi Islands Aleutian Crackling Geese. Click the following to view the area closed to goose hunting. NW Permit Goose Zone Tillamook County Closed Area. Ducks and coots may be hunted daily on Brooten Marsh and the mouth of the Little Nestucca Rvr east of its confluence with Nestucca Bay. Goose hunting is prohibited. Only portable blinds or blinds constructed of on-site dead vegetation or driftwood may be used. All blinds and decoys must be removed at the end of the day. Entry to refuge lands is prohibited from one hour after sunset to two hours before sunrise. For more information click on the Nestucca Bay National Wildlife Refuge or call 541-867-4550.

Crawdads 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. Do not consume crawdads raw or undercooked. I recommend cooking the crawdads as shown the video clip for 7 minutes in boiling water once the water returns to a boil. Boil crawdads until they are thoroughly cooked through, but over cooking dries them out and they become rubbery. Do not consume raw or undercooked freshwater fish or crabdads.

Most people find eating visceral material objectionable. The visceral canal 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 such as a boiled crawdad feed, cooking Dungeness crabs, blanching clams and cooking corn on the cob, umm. 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 7 minutes thoroughly cooking them. Remove the immersion basket, drain and serve.

Nestucca Basin 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 bidge over the Little Nestucca River. 

There is an unimproved boat launch for launch car top boats located at Fishers Point on Brooten Road approximately ½ mile south of Pacific CityThe Pacific City Ramp is the boat launch for launching motorized trailer boats. The facility has Flush toilet Restroom, Paved Parking Lot & Concrete Boat Ramp . It is located on the West side of Nestucca River off Sunset Ave on the Nestucca Bay Sand Spit across the bridge over the Big Nestucca River.  There is a boat launch located at Pacific City Sporting Goods in Woods.  To access the upper tidal reach the Nestucca River launch the drift boats at Cloverdale. Cloverdale boat ramp- from Tillamook, travel 22 miles south on Hwy 101 to Cloverdale. Just past post office, turn right to access the site (follow posted signs). To access the in the river above the head of tidewater launch the drift boats at the mouth of Three Rivers or at Farmer’s Creek.

Nestucca River Boat Launch at Beaver Or. The First Bridge Boat Ramp from Tillamook is 15 miles south on Hwy 101 to Beaver. Turn left on Blaine Rd (at Shell station). Travel 1/4 mile east to first bridge crossing, turn right into boat ramp (under bridge). Bixby County Boat Launch is operated by Tillamook County. The unimproved boat launch is located at the end of Bixby Rd in Beaver Oregon. Turn east from Hwy 101 at the Shell Station onto Blaine Road to Bixby Road. Turn right onto Bixby. The boat launch is located at the end of Bixby Road. There is a chemical Toilet, Gravel Parking Lot & Unimproved Boat Ramp suitable for drift boats. The Fourth Bridge Boat Ramp is located 2.5 miles on Blaine Road.  The boat ramp is located  across the bridge on the right side of the road. The Borba Road Boat Slide is located approximately .7 mile from the intersection of Blaine Road and Borba Road.  Short wooden slide, requires a rope to lower boat into the water. Be cautious of technical waters downstream. Limited roadside parking near launch. Turnaround approximately ¼ mile upstream. Additional roadside parking downstream along Borba Rd.

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/Vers 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.

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.

91.8 Little Nestucca River access is gained by turning east on Hwy 130, or by launching a boat from the boat launch at Meda Loop.

93.7 Winema Beach is the beach south of Nestucca Bay. The surfperch fishing for redtail surfperch is excellent along the beach to the entrance of Nestucca Bay. Parking at the beach access easement is very limited. A couple reported that a Big Foot walked from the beach through the parking area. Sounds a little fishey.

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. Originally know as Slab Creek Neskowin Creek flows into the ocean at Neskowin Beach. Park at the State Park Wayside and follow the trail to the beach. The Neskowin Golf Course is one of the oldest on the Oregon coast, was was designed by Ercel Kay and opened in 1932.

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. For additional information about the ecology of the Salmon River Estuary click on the link to the Sitka Center website below. If you plan on visiting the area refer to the regulations of managing the taking of marine resources from the Cascade Head Marine Reserve.

Tidal Marsh Restoration Is This End Or, Just the Begining?

The Sitka Center for the Arts and Biology Contact the Sitka Center at 541.994.5485 or info@sitkacenter.org. The Center is located on the Oregon coast just north of Lincoln City at 56605 Sitka Drive, Otis OR 97368. Click HERE for directions to the Sitka Center.

2000 – 2002 Effectiveness Monitoring for the Western Oregon Stream Restoration Program Report Number: OPSW-ODFW-2003-07

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. The lower estuary is very shallow during minus tides easily stranding deep draft boats.

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.

105.2 Hwy 18 is the major highway between the Portland Metro and Salem metro areas and Lincoln City and other the beach communities of Newport to the south and cities associated with the Three Capes Senic Loop to the north. The Van Duzer Corridor SSC stretches from northwestern Polk County to Lincoln City, passing through the Northern Oregon Coast Range parallel to the Salmon River.

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 is 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. 

Information Report 2001-05. Cornwell, T.J., D.L. Bottom, and K.K. Jones. 2001. Rearing of juvenile salmon in recovering wetlands of the Salmon River Estuary.  

Recovery of Wild Coho Salmon in Salmon River 2009 Annual Report Project 208-803

Sport Catch Statistics - Salmon, Steelhead and Sturgeon. The reports on this page represent harvest statistics gathered from sports harvest angler tags (punch cards) returned by anglers to ODFW. This sports harvest data has not been verified by ODFW and may be inaccurate for several reasons. Errors may arise from anglers incorrectly reporting locations, dates, and/or species of catches; or from errors in data entry caused by difficult-to-read harvest cards.

Coho salmon enter the Salmon River Estuary depending on river flows 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.

Steelhead fishing in the Salmon River (located north of Lincoln City along Hwy 18) offers fair-to-good catch-and-release fishing for wild winter steelhead, from late December through March. Bank access can be found in the lower river near the Salmon River Hatchery or along the Van Duzer corridor.

Life History Variability, Habitat Use, and Migratory Behavior of Coastal Cutthroat Trout in the Salmon River, Oregon. Report Number: OPSW-ODFW-2012-10

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.

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