The Chetco River will swell with chinook salmon anglers Saturday, because recent rains have allowed state fish managers to open the popular stream a week earlier than expected.
The Chetco, near Brookings, was set to remain closed until Nov. 6 to keep anglers from over-fishing chinook often trapped in upper tidewater holes during October until fall rains swell the river and allow chinook to swim upstream.
Those rains materialized last week. The Chetco swelled to more than 7,000 cubic feet per second Sunday, and flows are expected to remain above 2,500 cfs through today.
Those high flows have given fall chinook plenty of opportunity to move upstream and spread themselves throughout the basin, says Todd Confer, fish biologist with the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife Gold Beach District.
That distribution has abated any concern about anglers catching too many chinook in tidewater, Confer says.
Until Saturday, the lower 2.2 miles of the Chetco are open to chinook and steelhead fishing.
The Chetco's bag limit is two salmon or steelhead per day.
The Winchuck River near the Oregon/California border remains closed to all angling until Nov. 6.
For more detailed information on coastal fall chinook fisheries, check the ODFW website at www.dfw.state.or.us and click on "Fishing Resources."
Halloween night brings more tricks and decidedly fewer treats to southwest Oregon trout anglers.
Lakes such as Diamond, Howard Prairie and Hyatt close to trout fishing Sunday evening for their annual winter break, and they won't reopen until the traditional opener on the fourth Saturday of April.
Also closing Sunday night is the Jenny Creek system in eastern Jackson County, the mainstem Applegate River and tributaries above Applegate Dam and Ashland Creek and its forks upstream of Reeder Dam near Ashland.
Lost Creek Reservoir, Applegate Reservoir, Fish Lake and Lake of the Woods remain open year-round for angling.
Reach reporter Mark Freeman at 541-776-4470, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.