News about the change in production at Cole Rivers Hatchery was first reported by Mark Freeman of the Mail Tribune. You can find his article here:http://www.mailtribune.com/article/20151002/ENTERTAINMENTLIFE/151009974/0/SEARCH
Whether you’re fishing the lower Rogue bay in late September and October, or the upper Rogue in November and December, it’s no secret that catching a hatchery coho salmon can be similar to finding a needle in a haystack. This is in large part due to Cole Rivers hatchery not meeting their coho smolt release goal for the past decade because of fungus outbreaks.
The large majority of coho are caught in the Rogue River bay at Gold Beach. Once they move upriver they are typically known as non-biters, although a few are caught in the upper Rogue mostly by anglers targeting steelhead. In 2012 anglers throughout the river only caught 5.9% of the returning hatchery coho. It was even worse in 2013 when only 2.2% of returning hatchery coho were caught.
To give anglers a better opportunity at taking home fish, the OFDW allowed Cole Rivers hatchery to trade coho production in for the more sought after spring chinook salmon. Releases of coho will be cut from a goal of 200,000 smolts to 75,000, while springers will be getting an additional release of 80,000 smolts. Wild springers should also see a boost in numbers from the cut back in coho releases. When the coho smolts are released from the hatchery in April they are known for feeding on the smaller wild spring chinook fry that are in the river.
The new releases were made in 2014, so anglers will begin to see the affect in 2017 beginning in the fall with the coho, and then spring of 2018 with the springers.
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