You heard right – the clock is ticking on the wild coho salmon season!
The Siletz River coho salmon season is coming to an end next Monday, Nov. 30, and for many fishing enthusiasts that signals a long winter lacking in freshly caught coho. But never fear, dear readers! According to a press release from the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, there is plenty of coho left in the river. In fact, biologists estimate that anglers have caught a mere 55% of the 400 available quota for the season. ODFW fish biologist Derek Wilson explains:
“We haven’t been seeing very many wild coho being caught, although wild coho returns appear to be at or above expectations,” Wilson said.
So why the low catch rates? Well, according to the press release, the numbers could be low “because the coho have been moving through the system quickly, because many anglers are focused on chinook salmon, or because of the inherent low susceptibility of coho to harvest after they leave the ocean and stop feeding”.
But wait! Aren’t coho salmon protected by the federal Endangered Species Act? How right you are. But the ODFW got the okay to open the conservative Siletz fishery from the NOAA Fisheries Service.
The coho fishing season may be coming to a close, but the Siletz will stay open to chinook salmon fishing until Dec. 31. Now is the perfect time to buy a new fishing knife and stock up on fishing accessories. Because the seasons are coming to an end, many manufacturers are marking down their prices. And if you don’t use your new fishing knife this year? Don’t worry! There’s always next season.