No wild Coho season in coastal bays and estuaries this fall due to weak run

From ODFW 2016 News Releases

August 2, 2016

SALEM, Ore.—As a precautionary measure, ODFW will not propose any coastal freshwater fisheries on wild Coho this fall due to concerns over poor ocean survival and adequate spawning escapement to coastal rivers this year.

The Fish and Wildlife Commission was scheduled to consider a limited fishery in the Coos, Coquille and Umpqua rivers and Tenmile Lake at its meeting in Salem this Friday, but ODFW has decided to not move forward with the proposal.

“ODFW had already decided earlier this year to not propose coastal freshwater fisheries on wild Coho on the north and central coast,” said ODFW Ocean Salmon Technical Resources Manager Christine Mallette. “Today’s decision to also not propose any coastal freshwater fisheries in the SW Zone is responsive to concerns that the wild Coho run may be lower than anticipated.”

Wild Coho seasons in Siltcoos and Tahkenitch lakes as well as federally authorized ocean fisheries are not impacted by this decision.

Ocean Salmon and Columbia River Program
Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife

2011 Tillamook Bay Wild Coho.

2011 Tillamook Bay Wild Coho.

Post Script: Not surprised at this situation. One of my friends is a commercial salmon troller who fishes anywhere from Port Orford to the Washington coast. He put in quite a few days this chinook season and remarked to me on several occasions that the rarity of his encounters with coho (when lowering and retrieving his gear from the depths that he fishes for kings) was “scary.” He has usually encountered silvers quite regularly, but only rarely did this season. He told me that he was concerned that ODFW’s coho prediction might have been on the” optimistic side” this year.

We all hope the runs will not be as poor as they were during the depths of the 1990s, but only time will tell now. By March 2017, we will have a solid idea what the wild run in 16/17 is like.

Me? If my commerial fisher friends are worried, I’m worried too.

JN

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