Fall regulations will begin Sunday, Aug. 15 on the Klamath River, triggering the start of the fall salmon quota. The California Fish and Game Commission adopted bag and possession limits for the Klamath Basin based on a quota of 1,221 fall-run adult kings. On the Klamath, the fall season closes Dec. 31. The fall season on the Trinity begins Sept. 1 and closes Dec. 31.
On the Lower Klamath, from the State Route 96 bridge at Weitchpec to the mouth, 611 adults will be allowed for sport harvest. The section above the bridge at Weitchpec to 3,500 feet downstream of the Iron Gate Dam will get 208 adults.
The Spit Area (within 100 yards of the channel through the sand spit formed at the Klamath River mouth) will close when 15 percent of the total Klamath River Basin quota is taken downstream of the U.S. Highway 101 bridge. In 2021, 183 adults can be harvested below the U.S. Highway 101 bridge before the closure at the mouth is implemented. The rest of the area below U.S. Highway 101 (the estuary) will remain open to recreational fishing. Important reminder: All legally caught Chinook salmon must be retained while fishing the spit. Once the adult component of the total daily bag limit has been retained, anglers must cease fishing in the spit area.
On the Trinity side, the quota is set at 402 adults. The quota will be split evenly: 201 adults for the main stem Trinity downstream of the Old Lewiston Bridge to the State Route 299 West bridge at Cedar Flat, and 201 adults for the main stem Trinity downstream of the Denny Road bridge at Hawkins Bar to the confluence with the Klamath.
The daily bag limit will be two Chinook salmon, no more than one of which may be greater than 23 inches, and a possession limit of six, of which only three may be longer than 23 inches. Once these quotas have been met, no Chinook salmon longer than 23 inches may be retained (anglers may still retain a limit of Chinook salmon less than 23 inches in length).
Visit www.nrm.dfg.ca.gov/FileHandler.ashx?DocumentID=193634&inline for a complete list of regulations. Additional information can be found on the Klamath-Trinity River hotline at 1-800-564-6479. All anglers on the Trinity and Klamath rivers must have salmon harvest cards in their possession when fishing for salmon.
Razor Clam fishery opens in Humboldt County
After a closure that lasted five years due to domoic acid, The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) director has opened the recreational razor clam fishery in Humboldt County. In a press release issued Tuesday, state health agencies advised the consumption of razor clams in the area no longer poses a significant threat for domoic acid exposure. Testing of razor clams at Clam Beach, Humboldt County, in June and July, indicated all clams were below the federal action level for domoic acid of 20 parts per million. This announcement arrives several months after the fishery opened in Del Norte County. With the opening of Humboldt County, no domoic acid closures remain in effect for razor clams.
CDFW reminds clammers that the daily bag limit for razor clams is 20 and the first 20 clams dug must be retained regardless of size or condition. During odd-numbered years, Clam Beach (also known as Little River Beach) in Humboldt County is only open between Moonstone Beach and north of the boundary line due west from the Clam Beach south parking lot trailhead (40° 59.67' N. lat.). Effective March 8, each person is required to keep a separate container for their clams and is not allowed to commingle their take with another person's when digging and transporting clams to shore. For specific razor clam regulations, visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/Fishing/Ocean/Regulations/Sport-Fishing/Invertebrate-Fishing-Regs#mollusks.
Weekend marine forecast
Light winds and lower seas are expected to last through the weekend. Friday's forecast is calling for winds up to 5 knots out of the northwest and northwest waves 5 feet at 11 seconds. Saturday is calling for north winds 5 to 10 knots and waves out of the northwest 4 feet at 12 seconds. Sunday's forecast is similar, with winds out of the north 5 to 10 knots and waves northwest 3 feet at five seconds and 3 feet at 11 seconds. These conditions can and will change by the weekend. For an up-to-date weather forecast, visit www.weather.gov/eureka/ or 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 443-7062 or the office on Woodley Island at 443-6484.
According to Tim Klassen of Reel Steel Sport Fishing, the tuna water looked promising a couple of days ago, but it looks like the wind may have done a number on it. "The latest Terrafin shots didn't look all that great," said Klassen. It doesn't look like Eureka will get in on this round, as it looks much better up off Crescent City now." Ocean conditions look great through the weekend. This will be a good opportunity to head south to Cape Mendocino for rockfish and lingcod.
The rockfish bite out of Trinidad remains excellent, according to Curt Wilson of Wind Rose Charters. He said, "The lingcod bite has really picked up. They've definitely moved in closer to shore. The fishing is good from right out front all the way to Patrick's Point, it hasn't really slowed down. When the weather allows, fishing at Reading Rock is wide open. The lingcod have really been on the bite and limits are coming easy with fish to 25 pounds and plenty in the high teens."
Like everywhere else along the coast, tuna is on everyone's mind. According to Jake Mitchell, of Sea Hawk Sport Fishing, the warm water is about 50 miles straight out. "It was 40 miles out two days ago, and it may be starting to break up," said Mitchell. "There's a lot of boats planning on going Thursday. The rock fishing has been great, but the lingcod remains at about a fish per rod on average. There was a decent salmon bite over the weekend down by the Hat but the weather made it difficult for the sport fleet to spend much time down there. Looks like some better weather for the better part of this week."
Boats in search of tuna will be heading to Crescent City in force starting Thursday. The warm water is sitting only 30 miles out and it's by far the best tuna conditions we have on the North Coast. A dozen albacore along with a dorado were caught last Thursday 30 miles offshore. If you're planning on heading up this weekend, expect a crowd. And also, be aware of the road closures at Last Chance Grade. According to Britt Carson of Crescent City's Englund Marine, the Sisters and the South Reef continue to provide limits of quality rockfish and lingcod. "The California halibut bite was hit and miss last week with only a few hitting the net," said Carson. "A thresher shark was caught Thursday along with some soup fins along South Beach."
Salmon fishing improved last week out of Brookings, where fishing remains open for kings through Aug. 15 and hatchery coho through Aug. 28, reports Andy Martin, of Brookings Fishing Charters. "Windy weather slowed the bite over the weekend," he said. "There also was decent halibut action last week in 200 feet of water. Boats are gearing up for albacore tuna runs beginning Thursday, setting their course for a bubble of warm water 30 miles straight out from Point St. George. A few tuna were caught last week 40-plus miles out. Fishing is good for rockfish and fair for lingcod."
The estuary fishery slowed down over the weekend, but there are still some adults and jacks being caught daily. There are some half-pounders and adult steelhead upriver. Fall regulations go into effect Sunday. The daily bag limit will be two Chinook, no more than one adult (longer than 23 inches) and the possession limit is six, no more than three adults.
According to Martin, the Rogue Bay is producing big salmon and good action at times. "Lots of salmon are held up and can be seen splashing near the north jetty," Martin said. "Calmer winds this week could boost catch rates."
Kenny Priest (he/him) operates Fishing the North Coast, a fishing guide service out of Humboldt specializing in salmon and steelhead. Find it on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and www.fishingthenorthcoast.com. For up-to-date fishing reports and North Coast river information, email firstname.lastname@example.org