September 13, 2012
SALEM, Ore. -- The wild coho salmon
season on most Oregon’s coastal rivers opens on Sept. 15
and fishery managers are anticipating a big season.
Big because almost 300,000 wild coho are expected to
return to coastal rivers and lakes, and that means
anglers will be able to harvest even more fish than last
For the fourth year in a row, ODFW will open selected
rivers and lakes to the harvest of wild coho. Locations
that will open Sept. 15 include Nehalem, Tillamook Bay,
Nestucca, Siletz, Yaquina, Siuslaw, Umpqua, Coos, and
Coquille rivers. Other locations will open Oct. 1
including Tenmile Lakes and the Alsea Basin.
Coho fisheries in these systems are managed by season
quotas and will be closed when the quotas are met, so
anglers should check the status of the quotas before
fishing. The exception is Tenmile Lakes, which will be
managed under a fixed season that ends Dec. 31.
Wild coho fisheries in Siltcoos and Tahkenitch lakes
are allowed without quotas under permanent rules as
shown in the 2012 Sport Fishing Regulations.
The daily bag limit for wild coho is one fish on all
of these water bodies, but seasonal limits, harvest
quotas and angling deadlines vary by location. For a
complete description of the 2012 wild coho seasons, as
well as in-season updates on quotas, go to
While harvest quotas remain conservative -- coastal
coho continue to be listed under the federal Endangered
Species Act – the 2012 river-specific quotas are all
larger than in 2011.
“On some rivers, like the Umpqua and Siuslaw, the
quotas are almost double what they were a year ago,”
said Mike Gray, ODFW fish biologist in Charleston. “If
the actual return approaches expectations, and the fish
cooperate, we’re going to have a great coho season on
According to Gray, the large returns in recent years
are about more than just a chance to fish for them.
“Of course we’re always excited to be able to offer
additional fishing opportunity,“ he said. “But to see a
fish species listed as threatened bounce back to where
we can now allow some directed harvest is pretty
“Obviously the time and effort agencies, watershed
councils, and private landowners have put into restoring
watersheds and salmon habitat is paying big dividends
for fish and for fishing communities,” Gray said.