Ocean salmon season opens June 17 off of Brookings
BROOKINGS, Ore. (April 6, 2023) – Ocean anglers will get two and a half months to catch hatchery coho salmon this summer off the Oregon Coast, with the season running June 17 through Aug. 31 out of Brookings. Coho often produce wide-open action, and when schools move through, multiple hookups at the same time are common. Coho, also known as silver salmon, are known for their hard fighting abilities and excellent taste.
Federal fishery managers set ocean salmon seasons on April 6 during a meeting of the Pacific Fishery Management Council. Brookings will be the closest port to California with any ocean salmon fishing, as salmon will be closed this year off of California, and in the Sacramento River and its tributaries. Chinook fishing is closed the entire year in the ocean off of California, and until Sept. 1 in the ocean off of most of the Oregon Coast. The river seasons on the Rogue and Chetco rivers will go on as normal. Coho fishing will be open from Brookings to Tillamook most of the summer. Anglers will be allowed to keep two hatchery coho per day. Fishing will be open seven days a week, with a 110,000-quota for hatchery coho.
During most seasons, catch rates for hatchery coho are highest out of Brookings early in the season, with the last two weeks of June and first two weeks of July the prime time to catch coho. The fishery is fueled by massive releases of hatchery coho by Native American tribes on the Columbia River. Those fish migrate south in the ocean, and arrive off the coast of Brookings in May, June and early July as they make their way back to the Columbia. This year, federal fishery manager predict an ocean abundance of more than 1 million coho, with most of the fish from the Columbia River, but plenty also from the Umpqua, Coos, Siuslaw, Coquille, Siltcoos and Rogue rivers.
The Brookings Fishing Charters crew has a well-earned reputation for producing the best ocean salmon catch rates for the local charter boat fleet. All of the captains are also licensed river guides and have decades of experience fishing for salmon. Many have extensive Oregon and Alaska fishing guide and charter boat experience.
Coho are caught trolling plug-cut herring or anchovies behind flashers, or on lures that resemble baitfish. The fish are aggressive feeders and when the bite is on, they attack lures and baits with little caution, making them easy targets for experienced charter captains.
Low numbers of Chinook salmon expected to return to the Sacramento River led to this summer’s salmon shutdown in California. Since the majority of the king salmon caught off the Oregon Coast are from the Sacramento and Klamath rivers, Oregon also has salmon restriction. Coho salmon, however, are having healthy returns, especially on the Columbia River, where tribes have focused on building the silver salmon runs in recent years.
King salmon fishing will be allowed this year on the Chetco and Rogue rivers, where salmon runs are healthy. The Brookings Fishing Charters crew is historically known for getting some of the biggest salmon each year on the Chetco. The drought that devastated salmon runs in California was not as severe on the Oregon Coast rivers.
River fishing on the Rogue starts in late June and early July, while the Chetco kicks into gear at the end of September. Drift boat season is late October and early November.
Since coho salmon are migrating from Northern California up through Oregon during their ocean migration back to the Columbia, the early part of the season is best. The peak season is in late June and early July.
Brookings Fishing Charters will be offering ocean coho trips daily, with salmon only trips, or salmon and rockfish combos. There also are Point St. George Reef lingcod and hatchery coho combos, with salmon fishing taking place on the way back from the lighthouse in Oregon waters.
To book an ocean salmon trip, visit www.brookingsfishing.com or call (541) 813-1082.