Chetco River Salmon Opener

The Chetco River near Brookings is scheduled to open this coming Saturday November 2nd for it’s Fall salmon season. Currently only the lower 2.2 river miles are open, and fishing has been slow in the estuary.

The big rain we received at the end of September drew a lot of the early returning kings upstream. Now the Chetco is so low, that the fish are trapped in the deeper holes. The upper tidewater spots such as Social Security Bar, and Tide Rock are packed full of 100’s of salmon. The ODFW, with help from the Oregon South Coast Fishermen, recently collected broodstock for the hatchery program, and had no problem collecting the goal of 60 kings. They estimated on their first pass with the seine that they captured around 250 kings.

With no rain in site for the opener, plan on using bobbers with straight eggs or egg and shrimp combo’s. Large spoons are also popular and can be effective at times. The river is too low for drift boats, so it will completely be a bank show.

Chetco River Salmon Fishing
Steven Theel of S.O. Chrome Guide Service with a big Chetco King that was caught and released a few days after last year’s opener.

The season may also be short lived if there is no rain expected for next week. ODFW will be monitoring the situation, and may close it 5-7 days after it opens. Pay close attention to the ODFW website for news on an emergency closure.

With the salmon kegged up, snagging and flossing have the potential to become a huge problem. Everyone is asked to report all violations and poachers. You can call the T.I.P. line (1-800-452-7888) with as much information as possible. Calls that lead to a citation or arrest may be eligible for a reward.

Anglers are also reminded that the Chetco is closed for salmon fishing above Nook Bar this year.

Tight Lines….


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