OUTDOORS REPORT

Rick Beasley

STEELHEAD FISHING

ALSEA RIVER: Winter steelhead fishing has slowed down on the Alsea with the low rainfall. These conditions slow migration and congregate the fish that are trying to move upriver in the lower portions of the Alsea. There is an old saying, “When the water is low fish low, when the water is high fish high.” Smaller presentations and lighter line will work best in the lower water conditions.

SALMON RIVER: Winter steelhead continue to enter the Salmon River system through the month of February as later-returning wild fish start to show up now through March. The Salmon River is entirely a wild run, entering in December peaking Jan.-March. Bobber fishing with jigs or bait and casting lures are great techniques to catch a Salmon River winter steelhead.

SILETZ RIVER: Winter steelhead continues to be fair on the Siletz. The numbers of wild and hatchery fish should continue to improve, as we get closer to the peak of the run in February and March. Side drifting, bobber dogging, bobber fishing with jigs, and casting lures are all great techniques to catch winter steelhead.

DEEP-SEA FISHING

NEWPORT: Before ocean conditions deteriorated at the end of last week, anglers were getting limits of lingcod out of Newport. Rockfish have been harder to find, but those caught offshore, like canary rockfish and yellowtail rockfish, have been large. The entire Oregon Coast is now open for recreational crabbing.

DEPOE BAY: Limits of pole-benders were decked last week off the Siletz Reef. Government Point continues to be limit-worthy for the party boats. The bottomfish season is open at all depths with a General Marine Species bag limit of 5 fish, and a separate lingcod limit of 2 fish.

HUNTING

SPRING BEAR TAGS: The application deadline for controlled spring bear hunts is Sunday, Feb. 10. Applications can be made online at myodfw.com or at a registered state licensing agent, such as BiMart, Walmart, Fred Meyer or other coast retailers.

COUGAR: The most productive way to hunt cougar in the Western Alsea unit of Lincoln County is to use a predator call — staking a family pet to a stump is not recommended. Hunters are reminded if they harvest a cougar, they must have it checked in to an ODFW office within 10 days of harvest. See the 2019 Oregon Big Game Regulations for details.

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