Humboldt’s Friday Fishing Report 4/21/2017
Historically low numbers of fall-run and winter-run Chinook salmon have prompted the California Fish and Game Commission (FGC) to drastically limit the state’s salmon fishery for the remainder of 2017. In the Klamath Management Zone, which is the area between the Oregon/California border and Horse Mountain (40° 05’ 00” N. latitude), the entire ocean salmon fishery will be closed, as will the fall-run Chinook fishery on both the Klamath and Trinity rivers.
Returning stock projections for fall-run Chinook in the Klamath River Basin are the lowest on record. By limiting, and in some cases closing, the fisheries for the remainder of 2017, the FGC hopes to maximize fall- and winter-run Chinook survival and reproduction and support efforts to rebuild the fisheries.
Inland, spring-run Chinook fishing will still be allowed through Aug. 14 on the Klamath River and through Aug. 31 on the Trinity River. After these dates, both fisheries will close for the remainder of the calendar year. However, the nearby Smith River will remain open for fall-run Chinook, and there are additional opportunities in southern Oregon rivers. During the salmon season closure, steelhead angling will still be allowed in both the Klamath and Trinity rivers.
The ocean salmon season north of Horse Mountain will be completely closed in 2017. All areas south of Horse Mountain opened on April 1 and will remain open, with some restrictions read more here. Reports in the Shelter Cove area are slow but salmon have been reportedly caught, weekend ocean conditions are not looking too favorable.
Most rivers will be closed for steelhead except the Klamath and Trinity. The Smith will remain open through April and Mainstem Eel River from the South Fork down river is open all year (See Regulations). The Chetco River, Redwood Creek, Mad River, South Fork Eel River, Van Duzen River and Mattole River are closed for fishing.
Chetco River- Closed March 31, 2017
Smith – Decent reports of steelhead in the system as they should be making their may back down river. Conditions are looking favorable this weekend before the season ends. The season ends April 30th. Side drifting and roe have been good for Steelhead.
Klamath River – Currently high flows down river. Steelhead are in the river system and most likely coming down. Spring-run Chinook fishing will be allowed through Aug. 14 on the Klamath River and will close for the remainder of the calendar year. During the salmon season closure, steelhead angling will still be allowed in both the Klamath River.
Trinity River- The Bureau of Reclamation announced that releases from Lewiston Dam into the Trinity River will increase on Saturday, April 22, and will reach approximately 11,000 cubic feet per second (cfs) by Wednesday, April 26. The peak flow will continue until Friday, April 28.
Releases will decrease to 2,050 cfs on May 7 and ramp up to 5,400 cfs on May 10. The releases will start ramping down on June 4 until the summer base flow of 450 cfs is reached on August 11.
People residing near the river or recreating on the river can expect river levels to increase and should take appropriate safety precautions. Landowners are advised to clear personal items from the floodplain prior to the releases.
Spring-run Chinook fishing will be allowed through through Aug. 31 on the Trinity River and will close for the remainder of the calendar year. During the salmon season closure, steelhead angling will still be allowed in the Trinity River. Flies, plugs, and side-drifting have been working for steelhead. There have not been any new reports for the CDFW Trinity River Trapping Summary.
Mad River – Closed March 31, 2017
Van Duzen- Closed March 31, 2017
Eel River- River conditions have not been favorable on the main stem due to high flow for the main stem. Side drifting has been effective for Steelhead. Mainstem Eel River from the mouth to South Fork Eel River is open all year (See Regulations).
South Fork Eel River- Closes March 31, 2017
- On April 17, the Van Arsdale Fish Count Station reported “The Chinook count stands at 435 (Male 191, Female 188, Jack 56). No steelhead were trapped this week. The steelhead count stands at 59 (Male 27, Female 32). If no steelhead are trapped this next week, trapping will cease the following week. The lamprey tube was offline last week. We hope to have it up and running in the next couple of days.”
- On April 10, the Van Arsdale Fish Count Station reported “The Chinook count stands at 435 (Male 191, Female 188, Jack 56). A total of two steelhead was trapped this week. The steelhead count stands at 59 (Male 27, Female 32). The last storm set really woke up the lamprey around the station. Unfortunately, once river flow gets above 1,200 cfs the entrance to the tube is submerged and lamprey cannot utilize the tube. Flow is still above 1,200 cfs this morning. Lamprey did ascend the tube during part of this last week but I have yet to review the videos and produce counts…maybe next week.”
Recreational Ocean Salmon Regulations
California’s recreational salmon fishery will open in ocean waters on Saturday, April 1, 2017, from Horse Mountain (40° 05’ 00” N. latitude) south to the U.S./Mexico border. The recreational salmon fishery north of Horse Mountain will remain closed for all of 2017 due to historically low numbers of Klamath River fall Chinook salmon. (Read More).
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.
42°00 N. Latitude (Oregon Border) to 40°10 N. Latitude (near Cape Mendocino in Humboldt County)
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
Caution! North Coast rivers can be high and very dangerous. Some portions of the Klamath and Trinity Rivers will be 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.
Weather Forecast (Coastal)
COASTAL WATERS FORECAST FOR NORTHWEST CALIFORNIA NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE EUREKA CA 832 AM PDT FRI APR 21 2017 PZZ400-212215- 832 AM PDT FRI APR 21 2017 SYNOPSIS FOR NORTHERN CALIFORNIA WATERS LIGHT NORTHERLIES WILL CONTINUE THROUGH FRIDAY AFTERNOON...FOLLOWED BY A RETURN TO SOUTHERLIES FRIDAY NIGHT INTO SATURDAY AS A WEAK FRONT APPROACHES. A MID PERIOD WESTERLY SWELL WILL PERSIST THROUGH NEXT MONDAY.
PZZ450-212215- PT ST GEORGE TO CAPE MENDOCINO OUT 10 NM- 832 AM PDT FRI APR 21 2017 TODAY NW WINDS 5 KT. WAVES W 6 FT AT 12 SECONDS. TONIGHT SW WINDS 5 TO 10 KT. WAVES W 4 FT AT 11 SECONDS. CHANCE OF RAIN. SAT S WINDS 10 TO 15 KT. WAVES W 7 FT AT 12 SECONDS. CHANCE OF RAIN. SAT NIGHT SW WINDS UP TO 5 KT. WAVES W 8 FT AT 13 SECONDS. SUN W WINDS 5 TO 10 KT. WAVES W 9 FT AT 14 SECONDS. MON S WINDS 10 TO 15 KT. WAVES W 7 FT AT 12 SECONDS. TUE S WINDS 10 TO 20 KT. WAVES W 8 FT AT 10 SECONDS.