Plenty of adult kings left to catch on the Klamath

Houston, TX resident Ralph Wissel landed a pair of jack salmon on a recent trip to the Klamath River. Fishing remains excellent on the Klamath, and there’s still plenty of adult salmon left to catch before the lower river quota is met.
Photo Credit: Photo courtesy of Kenny Priest/Fishing the North Coast Guide Service

by Kenny Priest
9-26-2019
Website

It’s hard to imagine the fishing could get better on the Klamath after last week, but it actually did. Whether it was the increased flows from the rain, or the fish were just ready – a pretty good slug of fish entered the Klamath beginning on Sunday. And a lot more adults finally made their way into the system. Limits have been easy to come by this week on adults and jacks. The one thing we know for sure is there’s plenty of fish left to catch before the lower river quota is met. Through Sept. 23, 1,564 adult kings have been harvested towards the quota of 3,819, leaving 2,255 left for harvest. With angling effort beginning to decline, the quota could easily go through Oct. The spit fishery still has plenty of fish to catch as well. Anglers have harvested 525 adult kings below the 101 bridge, leaving 620 left to catch. Catch rates supposedly began to increase over the weekend, so this quota could go quick if the fish arrive in big numbers. Once this quota is met, only the spit area will close to fishing. Fishing will remain open upriver of the spit until the 3,818 quota is met. Once the lower river quota is wrapped up, anglers may still retain a limit of Chinook salmon under 22 inches in length. Anglers may keep track of the Klamath and Trinity river quotas by calling 800-564-6479.

Weekend marine forecast
The strong northerly winds will begin to diminish on Thursday. Large, steep seas will persist across all coastal zones Wednesday through late Thursday before subsiding on Friday. As of Wednesday afternoon, Friday’s forecast is calling for winds out of the N 10 to 20 knots with N swells 9 feet at 9 seconds. Saturday looks similar, with N winds 10 to 20 knots and N swells 9 feet at 10 seconds. Sunday the winds will be from the N 5 to 10 knots, with N swells 8 feet at 7 seconds and W 2 feet at 16 seconds. These conditions can and will change by the weekend. For an up-to-date weather forecast, visit www.weather.gov/eureka/ or https://www.windy.com. To monitor the latest Humboldt bar conditions, visit www.wrh.noaa.gov/eka/swan. You can also call the National Weather Service at (707) 443-7062 or the office on Woodley Island at (707) 443-6484.

Young Anglers Tournament coming in Oct.
The Trinidad Pier Youth Fishing Tourney will take place on Saturday, Oct. 5 from 11 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. The free event is open to all children ages 6 to 15. Prizes will be awarded in each category and fishing gear and bait will be provided. An adult must accompany children. Hot dogs and refreshments will be served following the event. Catch and release is encouraged and no fishing license is required. Look for the sign-up table on the Trinidad Pier. For more information, contact Ken Jones at kenjones@pierfishing.com

The Oceans:
Eureka

The wind has finally slowed down the tuna fishing. A few locals ran on Sunday and found some success roughly 40 miles out in less than ideal conditions. According to Tim Klassen of Reel Steel Sport Fishing, we may get another crack at them once the wind and ocean come down. “Right now, next Tuesday is looking like a possibility. There’s still warm water straight out of Eureka, as well as to the north and south. Prior to the big winds, we made a trip down to the Cape and the fish were biting. It was good to see the lingcod back on the bite. We also boated limits rockfish that included blues, coppers, cabezon, quillbacks, and some canaries. The most consistent fishery continues to be California halibut within Humboldt Bay. There’s still fish spread throughout the bay. Most fish are running eight to 12 pounds, but we’re seeing the occasional fish into the upper twenties,” Klassen added.

Shelter Cove
“The tuna bite was good last Monday through Wednesday, but we haven’t been back out since due to wind,” said Jake Mitchell of Sea Hawk Sport Fishing. “The warm water is pushing out a little bit, so we’ll see what it looks like when the wind calms down. Right now, my plan is to try again on Thursday as it looks like the water is about 30 miles. The salmon effort has dried up, I didn’t hear of anyone trying this week.”

Brookings
Rough weather has kept boats at the docks in Brookings this week reports Andy Martin of Brookings Fishing Charters. “Rockfish and lingcod are biting when the weather cooperates, but wind has kept most anglers in port,” added Martin.

Low Flow River Closures begin Oct. 1
North Coast rivers that are regulated by low flow closures, including the Eel River, Mad River, Mattole River, Redwood Creek, Smith River and Van Duzen River will begin angling restrictions on October 1st, except for the Mad River, which went into effect September 1st. The Department of Fish and Game will make the information available to the public by a telephone recorded message updated, as necessary, no later than 1 p.m. each Monday, Wednesday and Friday as to whether any stream will be closed to fishing. The rivers can be opened up at anytime. The low flow closure hotline for North Coast rivers is (707) 822-3164. NOTE: The main stem Eel from the South Fork to Cape Horn Dam and the Mattole River will be closed until January 1, 2016

Areas subject to low flow closures:
Mad River: The main stem Mad River from the Hammond Trail Railroad Trestle to Cowan Creek. Minimum flow: 200 cfs at the gauging station at the Highway 299 bridge.

The main stem Eel River from the paved junction of Fulmor Road with the Eel River to the South Fork Eel River. Minimum flow: 350 cfs at the gauging station near Scotia.

The South Fork of the Eel River downstream from Rattlesnake Creek and the Middle Fork Eel River downstream from the Bar Creek. Minimum flow: 340 cfs at the gauging station at Miranda.

Van Duzen River: The main stem Van Duzen River from its junction with the Eel River to the end of Golden Gate Drive near Bridgeville (approximately 4,000 feet upstream of Little Golden Gate Bridge. Minimum flow: 150 cfs at the gauging station near Grizzly Creek Redwoods State Park.

Mattole River: The main stem of the Mattole River from the mouth to Honeydew Creek.
Minimum flow: 320 cfs at the gauging station at Petrolia.

Redwood Creek: The main stem of Redwood Creek from the mouth to its confluence with Bond Creek. Minimum flow: 300 cfs at the gauging station near the Highway 101 bridge.

Smith River: The main stem Smith River from the mouth of Rowdy Creek to its confluence with Patrick Creek; the South Fork Smith River from the mouth upstream approximately 1000 ft to the County Road (George Tyron) bridge and Craigs Creek to its confluence with Jones Creek; and the North Fork Smith River from the mouth to its confluence with Stony Creek. Minimum flow: 600 cfs at the Jedediah Smith State Park gauging station.

The Rivers:
Lower Klamath

Fishing got a little tougher last Friday and Saturday, but it busted wide-open on Sunday. Limits have been the norm since then for just about everyone. Right now, there’s a good mix of jacks, adult salmon, along with a good number of adult steelhead. Fish are spread out from the Glen to Blue Creek. Side-drifting roe in the riffles and dragging roe through the deeper holes are both producing fish.

Lower Rogue/Coos
“The Rogue Bay has slowed, with a few jacks and adult kings and some Coho salmon available,” said Martin.  “Fish are quickly moving through the bay and continuing upriver. Last week’s rain also drew many of the salmon holding in the Coos and Umpqua estuaries upriver. Fishing is fair for salmon on both systems with a fish per rod. Lots of wild Coho are staging below the airport on the Coos.”

Find "Fishing the North Coast" on Facebook and fishingthenorthcoast.com for up-to-date fishing reports and North Coast river information. Questions, comments and photos can be emailed to kenny@fishingthenorthcoast.com.