Life + Outdoors » Fishing the North Coast

Fall-Run Salmon Quotas Underway on the Klamath



Fall regulations began 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 2,119 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, 1,060 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 360 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 2022, 318 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 699 adults. The quota will be split almost evenly: 350 adults for the main stem Trinity downstream of the Old Lewiston Bridge to the State Route 299 West bridge at Cedar Flat, and 349 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 exceed 23 inches. Once these quotas have been met, no Chinook salmon greater than 23 inches in length may be retained (anglers may still retain a limit of Chinook salmon less than 23 inches in length).

Visit for a complete list of regulations. Anglers may monitor the quota status of open and closed sections of the Klamath and Trinity rivers by calling the Klamath information hotline at 800-564-6479. All anglers on the Trinity and Klamath rivers must have salmon harvest cards in their possession when fishing for salmon.

Weekend marine forecast

Steep, short-period seas are forecast to peak Wednesday and are expected to diminish during the latter portion of the week. Friday's forecast is calling for north winds 5 to 15 knots and north waves 5 feet at six seconds. Saturday is calling for northwest winds 10 to 15 knots and waves out of the northwest 5 feet at six seconds. Sunday's forecast is better, with winds out of the northwest up to 5 knots and west waves 3 feet at 10 seconds. These conditions can and will change by the weekend. For an up-to-date weather forecast, visit or You can also call the National Weather Service at 443-7062 or the office on Woodley Island at 443-6484.

The Oceans:


According to Tim Klassen of Reel Steel Sport Fishing, the tuna bite turned on pretty well last Friday off of Eureka. "Boats didn't need to go much farther than 20 miles," said Klassen. "The tuna were in that general area for a while but they were spread out. Friday, for whatever reason, they decided to come up and the boats did well. With all the warm water, the salmon fishing hasn't been great. Top scores have been a couple per boat. The fish being caught are on the bottom. Hopefully the wind we're seeing this week will cool the water."


The rockfish bite out of Trinidad remains excellent according to Curt Wilson of Wind Rose Charters. He said, "They come a little slower when we have minus tides, but overall, the bite is still good. Some days we're getting a nice variety and others, it's nothing but black rockfish. The lingcod bite is still going strong too. Fish are being caught from Flat Iron all the way to Sue-Meg (formerly Patrick's Point). There are some salmon being caught, mostly out in deeper water and the fish are right on the bottom."

Shelter Cove

Another good week of rock fishing at the Cove reports Jake Mitchell, of Sea Hawk Sport Fishing. "The lingcod bite improved a little bit as well," said Mitchell. "The salmon bite is still slow. We tried fishing real deep one day and were able to land a couple small kings but that's been about it. The wind started blowing and things are starting to cool down so hopefully the salmon action will start to improve."

Crescent City

"Tuna fishing last week was excellent," said Kevin Hooper of Crescent City's Englund Marine. "Boats had to travel nearly 50 miles offshore but it was worth it. The wind has picked up this week, but conditions could be right by the weekend. The rockfish bite continues, with easy limits being reported. Most of the boats are doing well at the two reefs as well as the Sisters. The salmon bite is still slow, but I'm not sure how many are putting in the effort. Last week's minus tides produced some great razor clamming. The next round of good tides arrive next Thursday."


"Tuna fishing busted open out of Brookings last week as the albacore moved within 32 miles of the harbor, and calm weather allowed charters and private boaters to get in on the action," said Andy Martin of Brookings Fishing Charters. "Most boats returned with 20 to 45 tuna Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. Windy weather returned over the weekend. Halibut fishing also was good last week, while salmon action has been slow. A few nice kings were caught Monday by the buoys."

The Rivers:

Lower Klamath

The water color is finally starting to improve after last Monday's blowout. It's not quite green, but it's improving slightly each day. There's plenty of steelhead to be had from the Glen up and some fall kings are making their way into the lower river. Fishing should really improve over the next couple weeks. Fall regulations went into effect Monday, Aug. 15. 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.

Lower Rogue

Salmon action is fair on the Rogue according to Martin. "Most guides have switched to Pro Troll flashers, short leaders and 3.5 spinner blades. The technique is tricking two to three kings per boat. Warm water has slowed the anchovy bite, with fewer salmon being caught on bait. Crowded conditions also have reduced catch rates. Upwards of 100 boats a day are trolling the bay."

Kenny Priest operates Fishing the North Coast, a fishing guide service out of Humboldt specializing in salmon and steelhead. Find it on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and For up-to-date fishing reports and North Coast river information, email [email protected]

Add a comment