Fall Fishing Opportunities

September 3, 2018
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Fall Chinook are the prize of choice for Umpqua River fishing.

When most anglers look to fall fishing in the Umpqua River, they think of fall Chinook salmon.

The federal fish managers are forecasting a lower than average return of fall Chinook mostly due to poor ocean conditions. There will be no wild coho salmon fishery in the Umpqua this year also due to a poor forecasted return.

On the bright side, there are 60,000 hatchery coho smolts released every year in the Umpqua, and anglers regularly harvest about 1,000 adult coho every year.

If you are willing to travel, the Rogue River is forecasted to have an excellent run of fall Chinook. This can be attributed to the fact that Rogue River fall Chinook migrate south to the ocean off of California, where Umpqua River Chinook migrate north off the coast of Canada and Alaska.

Fall salmon fishing the Umpqua River started in July in the lower river and continues into October in the upper river.

Early in the fall, ODFW releases what some call the “Labor Day Lunkers” so check the ODFW stocking schedule to find which lakes and reservoirs will be stocked prior to the holiday.

Water bodies such as Cooper Creek Reservoir out of Sutherlin are great places to try your luck for these large trout weighing up to two pounds. Warmwater fish and even small landlocked coho salmon can also be found in Cooper Creek and fall fishing can be productive for both.

Ocean fishing for groundfish (rockfish, lingcod, greenling and others) and salmon can also be good in the early fall before the fall storms pick up. Be aware that ocean season regulations change, and anglers should check saltwater regulations before heading out.

Last year, a federally set quota for black rockfish was used up by early fall, forcing ODFW to close down the fishery early. ODFW has recently reduced the daily bag limit for this group of fish in an effort to extend the season this year.

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