From this evening's TGF, the season has been set for:
7 PM Monday 8/4 to 7 AM Tuesday 8/5 (12 hrs)
7 PM Wednesday 8/6 to 7 AM Thursday 8/7 (12 hrs)
7 PM Monday 8/11 to 7 AM Tuesday 8/12 (12 hrs)
Area: Mouth upstream to the lower Zone 4 fishing boundary extending from
Warrior Rock on the Oregon shore to the Lewis River on the Washington shore
These nets will likely have an effect on the sturgeon bite as well. Although effort for the catch and release option has been minimal, the fish were certainly present. Gillnets harvested and estimated 700 to 800 keepers with the average size around 35 pounds meaning most of the fish were over 52 inches. The gillnetters are limited to 7 sturgeon/week so most likely, most of them got their weekly limit and will not be retaining any more in the next 2 openers. The gillnets do seem to have a negative impact on the sturgeon bite and therefore, success, even in the catch-and-release fishery will drop off. For those willing to try, deep water will still be the place to go using fresh herring or anchovies for bait. This will likely be more of a secondary target after a days effort for salmon. The gillnets took another 700 to 800 chinook on the 8/4 opener compared to about 900 last year. ODF&W biologists theorize that few chinook (and coho) were harvested in the ocean than expected which may make river salmon fishing better than expected as well. Only time will tell!
Hookem - they used to target Sturgeon and only kept early fall chinook as "bycatch". Now, with the sturgeon limit at 7 fish, they are targeting early fall chinook. And yes, you are right - it's too early - that's why they let them in. If they let them in towards the peak of the run they'd catch 10-20 times the number of fish. Actually, I expect them to slaughter them on August 11 - that's the latest they've been allowed in the river in at least 6 years. I respectfully disagree with Sailcat about the sturgeon bite falling off- just ask Butch Smith, owner of Coho Charters, and an avid anti-gillnetter. He always limits out the boat just as usual and just as fast on the mornings after the nets come out.
Schlep - they can go wherever they want in the open zone, but many of them still think they own drift-rights (which have not been valid for quite a while now) and will get downright nasty if another gillnetter comes in "their part of the river"
I talked to a gillnetter and the second opener last night was as poor as the first - only 30 chinooks for his boat. I'll bet Monday he gets 300 or more.
I just heard that a gillkiller netted 500 pounds of kings and two sturgeon one 59" at the mouth of the Cowlitz. Also this person told me the netter kept some undersized gators and called this guy to come and pick some meat up. Yeah i see the gillnetters are strictly regulated and enforced. I know this is just what a guy told me, but i have heard many many stories of the netters keeping more than they are suppose to. No enforcement at all.Unless they take an observer on board.
Fisherdan - I think it happens more upriver than downriver, although I'm sure lots of them take chances like that. In the lower river, the cops are out in force all night on every gillnet opener. I've talked to more than one gillnetter who was working his net and turned around to find out that Mike Cincy had boarded his boat and was already measuring fish and writing tickets for shakers that hadn't been measured and released yet. 500 lbs of Chinook would match the take of the guy I talked to so it's probably true - 20 fish at 25 lb. average would do that. With the 9 inch mesh they rarely catch a fish smaller than 20 lbs.
The nets will be down in Washougal in a couple weeks and their in for at least a week at least they have in the past.I checked with the coast guard and the Ore. fish cops at the sportsman show this year and they said you have to move for them even if your anchored !!! ,I couldn't really understand why they had a really hard time finding out for me both the cops and the coast guard :whazzup: :shrug: .Something about impedeing river traffic :whazzup: I mean these guys had to have a group meeting to come up with this and read a couple rule books.I'm not pulling my anchor if I'm out of the channel and I never fish near the channel and they can take me to court.I've got a fillet knife that will make short work of a net.Untill they come up with a written law that says YOU MUST MOVE,if I'm anchored I'm staying.
hey guys ! Right on Dawhunt! i totally agree with ya on that one. You guys watch out for these clowns and their nets , I almost hit a boat last year b/c i had no lights on whatsoever .
these guys are screwballs and need be banned from the river!
Stand up fishermen for your ground and keep up the good work!
tight lines , mike
They go in the water at 6:00 P.M. and are supposed to be out by 6:00 A.M.,I put in around 5:30 A.M. and dodge the nets on my way to Reed Is.
you would be amased at how long some of those nets are.This year I'm putting in at 5:30 and will wait untill 6:00 hopeing they'll be out of the way.In the past it was almost impossible to launch your boat as they would back a truck down the launch and unload there fish on the ramp its kinda of hard to get around 20-30 gillnet boats they leave one lane open(a little) and you have to work your way around them.I just wish they would go away WAY AWAY :bowdown: !!!.Its a sure sign the fish are here when you see 20-30 gillnet boats tied up at the dock and the parking area full of there trailers. :depressed: