Humboldt’s Friday Fishing Report 3/17/2017
River flow conditions and fishing were good for the Chetco, Smith and South Fork Eel River last week. The upper Trinity River has also provided more opportunities for fishing due to river conditions. The South Fork Eel River was an emerald green and nice to see some color, however other coastal rivers were still brown with turbidity. Conditions may be suitable for fishing this weekend but rivers should be starting to rise into next week. Steelhead are in the river systems, with most action on the Smith, Chetco and upper Trinity River due to favorable conditions.
Ocean fishing is near with some good reports of Surfperch. Rockfish season is opening May 1 and Pacific Halibut is expected to open around May 1 also.
Chetco River- Great reports of Steelhead entering the system in the past weeks. Conditions may be favorable this weekend for Steelhead but rivers are projected to rising on Saturday. Side drifting and roe have been good for Steelhead when they are around.
Smith – Similar river and fishing conditions to the Chetco. Good reports of Steelhead in the system. Conditions may be favorable this weekend for Steelhead. Side drifting and roe have been good for Steelhead.
Klamath River – Currently high flows. Steelhead are in the river however with predicted high flows. No reports for the upper Klamath area.
Trinity River- Most reports are good for Steelhead on the Upper Trinity where conditions are more favorable. Flies, plugs, and side-drifting have been working for Steelhead. The numbers of returning Steelhead to the hatchery have declined the past weeks. There have not been any new reports for the CDFW Trinity River Trapping Summary.
The CDFW’s Trinity River Project 2017 trapping summary through Feb. 25, 2017. (NO UPDATES)
Total combined Chinook did not change from 0 (12/24-12/31) to 0 (2/19-2/25).
Total combined Coho did not change from 0 (12/24-12/31) to 0 (2/19-2/25).
Total combined Steelhead doubled from from 121 (2/12-2/18) to 47 (2/19-2/25).
See Full 2016 TRP_ Trapping_Summary
Mad River –The river has been high and turbid with some reports of success. Side drifting and roe have been effective for Steelhead.
Van Duzen- Conditions were clearing up this past week as Steelhead should be in the system. River flow should be ascending this weekend and into next week. There may be some time left before the next rain event. Side drifting and roe have been effective for Steelhead.
Eel River/South Fork – River conditions have not been favorable on the main stem due to high flow for the main stem.The South Fork Eel River was an emerald green color this week and some drift boats were sited. Steelhead should have been entering the system in recent weeks. Rivers are predicted to ascend next week but conditions my be favorable for the South Fork before the new precipitation event. Side drifting have been effective for Steelhead.
- On Mar. 14, the Van Arsdale Fish Count Station reported “The Chinook count stands at 435 (Male 191, Female 188, Jack 56). A total of 4 steelhead were trapped this week. The steelhead count stands at 24 (Male 12, Female 12)”
Dungeness Crab and Shellfish
The recreational fishery for Dungeness crab (Metacarcinus magister) is open from November 5, 2016 through July 30, 2017. The daily bag limit is 10 crab, and the minimum size limit is 5¾ inches. Note that the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) advises that consumers not eat the viscera (internal organs, also known as “butter” or “guts”) of crabs caught north of Point Reyes. Recreational crabbing is not allowed from vessels licensed for commercial Dungeness crab fishing. Review new crabbing regulations that went into effect on August 1, 2016, crab measurement methods (PDF),and the current Ocean Sport Fishing regulations booklet for more Dungeness crab fishing information.
- Call the CDFW Domoic Acid Fishery Closure Information Line at (831) 649-2883 for the latest status of the Dungeness crab season.
- Call the CDPH Shellfish Biotoxin Information line at: (510) 412-4643 or toll-free at (800) 553-4133 for updated crab consumption advisories, or check CDFW’s Finfish and Shellfish Health Advisories web page.
More info on our Sport Fishing Regulations page.
Open Fishing Seasons
= Partially closed fishing season
Kelp and Rock Greenlings
Soupfin Shark and Spiny Dogfish
Other Federally Managed Groundfish
Pacific Sanddab and Other Flatfish
Closed Fishing Seasons
All North Coast rivers are high and very dangerous. Subjected to low flow fishing closures during dry times of the year.
The low flow closure hotline for North Coast rivers is 707-822-3164.
COASTAL WATERS FORECAST FOR NORTHWEST CALIFORNIA NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE EUREKA CA 838 AM PDT FRI MAR 17 2017 PZZ400-172230- 838 AM PDT FRI MAR 17 2017 SYNOPSIS FOR NORTHERN CALIFORNIA WATERS SOUTHERLY WINDS AND SEAS WILL INCREASE TODAY AS AN OFFSHORE LOW PRESSURE SYSTEM MOVES TOWARD THE OREGON AND WASHINGTON STATE COAST AND ASSOCIATED FRONTS MOVE ACROSS THE WATERS. WINDS WILL SHIFT TO THE NORTH SATURDAY NIGHT THEN BECOME SOUTHERLY AGAIN EARLY NEXT WEEK IN ADVANCE OF A COLD FRONT.
PZZ450-172230- PT ST GEORGE TO CAPE MENDOCINO OUT 10 NM- 838 AM PDT FRI MAR 17 2017 ...SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY IN EFFECT FROM 3 PM PDT THIS AFTERNOON THROUGH SATURDAY MORNING... TODAY S WINDS 10 TO 20 KT. WAVES W 5 FT AT 10 SECONDS. CHANCE OF RAIN. TONIGHT S WINDS 15 TO 20 KT WITH GUSTS TO AROUND 30 KT. WAVES SW 8 FT AT 8 SECONDS...AND NW 4 FT AT 10 SECONDS. CHANCE OF RAIN. SAT S WINDS 15 TO 20 KT WITH GUSTS TO AROUND 30 KT... BECOMING W 5 TO 10 KT. WAVES SW 8 FT AT 10 SECONDS. RAIN. SAT NIGHT N WINDS 10 TO 15 KT. WAVES W 5 FT AT 9 SECONDS... AND NW 7 FT AT 13 SECONDS. SUN N WINDS UP TO 5 KT. WAVES NW 7 FT AT 11 SECONDS. MON SE WINDS 5 TO 15 KT. WAVES SW 4 FT AT 7 SECONDS...AND NW 5 FT AT 12 SECONDS. TUE S WINDS 15 TO 25 KT. WAVES SW 7 FT AT 9 SECONDS...AND W 7 FT AT 13 SECONDS.