Photo fish jumping from ocean
Port Orford. Natural. Wonders.

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If you like to fish, you have your choice of lake, river or ocean. And with no run-off pollution or industries anywhere nearby, fish are clean, wild, and ready for the frying pan.

Elk and Sixes Rivers – Both rivers are pristine and the Elk boasts the some of the best salmon fishing in the contiguous US. When the rains start (October or November), fall chinook salmon and coho salmon run (also known as silvers). After Thanksgiving, sea-run cutthroat trout (also known as bluebacks) and winter steelhead lure fishers from near and far.

Photo men fishing  at Elk River
Salmon fishing at Elk River

Elk River Fish Hatchery – In early June, the Elk River Fish Hatchery sponsors a free fishing weekend for children 10 years old and younger. Fish caught can be 10 inches to 9 pounds and include chinook salmon, winter steelhead, and rainbow trout. Rods, reels, bait, and tackle are provided. Call 541.332.7025 for exact date and times.

Rogue River – From March through June, you can try for the famous “springer” chinook salmon.  From July through winter, first chinook and coho salmon and then steelhead. Ask for guides in the Gold Beach area.

Garrison Lake – With 130 acres of lake in the middle of Port Orford, everybody gets a chance to catch their limit. Largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, rainbow trout, cutthroat trout, and chinook salmon (also known as king or blackmouth) are plentiful year round. And, it has a good boat launch. Photo 12th Street Boat Lanch sign

Laird Lake – This small isolated lake, on the way to Powers, has been stocked with trout in the past. Wily and hard to catch, only experienced fishers need make the trip up the Elk River. Four-wheel drive vehicles recommended.

The Pacific Ocean – In a kayak, canoe, or rowboat, you can catch bottom fish, including lingcod, kelp greenling, red snapper, cabezon (a rockfish), and black snapper just waiting to snap up your bait around Nelly’s Cove. Or charter a boat at the dock for bigger fish. There are more than fifty species of fish in the deep waters off shore.

Port Orford Dock –  Fish off the Port Orford dock or the jetty for smelt, sardine, herring, bottom fish, snappers, lingcod, halibut, and perch to name a few. Plus beach fish on the Dock Beach.

Shoreline fishing – Pinkfin perch and serfperch can be caught from any  beach in the area.

You can find Oregon Sport Fishing Regulations handbooks at McNair’s True Value Hardware in town on Hwy 101, where licenses, bait, tackle and fishing supplies are also sold. The Dock Tackle Shop also sells 1-day licenses and fishing supplies. For additional fishing information, seasons, regulations, restrictions, visit the Oregon Fish and Wildlife website or call 503.872.5263.

And, for information about guided ocean and river fishing, visit Port Orford Fishing Charters website or call 541.294.1249, or Five-Star Charters website or call 888.301.6480.

To find out when fish are in season, and the appropriate regulations regarding their catch, download Oregon State official fishing guides:

2013 Oregon Sport Fishing SW Zone

2013 Oregon Sport Fishing Marine Zone


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