COOS RIVER BASIN: Trout fishing in streams is now closed until May 22, 2017.
Currently all steelhead rivers in the Coos Basin are high and muddy. The West Fork Millicoma River will be the first river to clear. When water conditions are good, anglers are still catching fish throughout the Coos Basin. Anglers are drifting eggs or corkies along the stream bottom or using a jig suspended under a bobber. Anglers fishing the South Fork Coos River above Dellwood will need a permit from Weyerhaeuser, which they can pick up at the Dellwood office. In the Coos Basin 1 additional hatchery steelhead may be retained per day for a total aggregate of 3 adult fish harvested daily.
Anglers have been catching a few rockfish and surfperch along the jetties and submerged rock piles. Fishing for rockfish in the bay has been spotty. The marine fish daily bag limit for bottom fish (rockfish) is seven fish and a separate daily limit for lingcod (two). The 7 fish marine bag limit will remain in place, with these adjustments for 2017: Create a sub-bag limit of 6 black rockfish, Remove the sub-bag limit for canary rockfish, Add China/quillback/ copper rockfishes to the sub-bag limit with blue/Deacon rockfish and change the limit from 3 to 4. Finally remove the 10-inch minimum size for kelp greenling. Retention of cabezon is not allowed until July 1.
Recreational crabbing is still open inside the Coos Bay estuary. Crabbing has been decent in Coos Bay but crabbers will need to sort through several short crab to find keepers. Crabbing from a boat has been better than crabbing from the dock but dock crabbers are picking up a few legal crabs.
Recreational harvest of bay clams remains open along the entire Oregon coast. Clamming is excellent during low tides near Charleston, off Cape Arago Highway, and Clam Island. There are also good places to dig clams even on positive low tides in Coos Bay.
Recreational harvest of razor clams and mussels is closed from the entire Oregon coast due to elevated levels of domoic acid. This includes all beaches and all bays. Before any shellfish harvest trip, make sure to check the Oregon Department of Agriculture website for any updates.