Fishing on Siltcoos Lake
Siltcoos Lake is a 3,164 acre freshwater lake, with a shore line of nearly thirty miles. It is the largest lake on the Oregon Coast and one of the biggest in the entire Northwest Zone. Siltcoos has also produced two current Oregon State Record Fish for Sea-run Cutthroat and a 25lb.Coho Salmon. There are eleven species of fish in the lake including: Bluegill, Brown Bullhead Catfish, Chinook Salmon, Sea-run Cutthroat Trout, Coho Salmon, Crappie, Large mouth Bass, Rainbow Trout, Steel-head, Sturgeon and Yellow Perch. This makes Siltcoos an excellent lake for fishing. For your convenience we have an inside fish cleaning station and we are located near the Boy Scouts of America’s Camp Baker.
Siltcoos lake, approximately 6 miles south of Florence, Oregon. Take the Westlake exit from Hwy 101 (2nd Siltcoos Lake exit) onto Pacific Avenue. We will meet each morning at 6am and weigh-in each day at the Lake’s Edge Marina, 4776 Laurel Avenue in Westlake.
Description: Coho Salmon are bright silver with small black spots on their backs and on the upper part of their caudal fin. The average weight is 6-12 pounds. The flesh of the Coho salmon is light pink and has a very delicate flavor. A very difficult salmon to keep fresh because of it’s feeding habits. The flesh tends to soften very quickly unless dressed immediately after being caught.
Fishing in the lake usually starts early October, always check regulations before fishing.
Chinook (King) Salmon have a blueish-green back with silvery sides and a white belly and black spots on the back and tail and silver splashes in teh tail. Chinook salmon range from 25-126 pounds and are 5-7 years of age. The flesh of the Chinook salmon is highly prized for it’s rich salmon flavor and firm flesh. The natural numbers of wild Chinook salmon is low compared to the other species of salmon. But is being managed to maintain the historical escapement goals and is in no way endagered in Alaska. Is both commerically havested and is also a prize sport fish.
Searun Cutthroat Trout
Searun cutthroat, also know as coastal cutthroat, harvest trout, and bluebacks are a unique and distinguished strain of cutthroat trout. The only of the 13 strains that migrates out to saltwater to feed before making the long journey back upstream to spawn, they are a unique and treasured fish along the coast. Born in the upper watershed of rivers in small tributaries, searun cutthroat trout are ill equipped to compete against more powerful steelhead, coho, and other salmon smolt. This is one of the reasons why the adult coastal cutthroat spawn in the upper reaches, away from competing spawners. Newly hatched smolt hide in the slack waters created by downed trees and overhanging brush. After birth, searun cutthroat generally spend between one and two years in freshwater feeding on nymphs, insects, and anything smaller than them. As voracious feeders, they will track down and eat everything they can.
Rainbow trout are coldwater fish that have long been symbolic of clear, healthy mountain streams and lakes in North America. Because of their ability to thrive in hatcheries, rainbow trout have been introduced into much of the United States and now inhabit many streams and lakes throughout the country. The popularity of rain- bow trout among anglers has placed it among the top five sport fishes in North America, and it is considered by many to be the most important game fish west of the Rocky Mountains. However, reduction of good quality trout habitat due to streambank and upland soil erosion, loss of riparian vegetation, water diversion, logging and mining activities, and point and non–point source pollution from municipal development and agriculture have significantly reduced the distribution and abundance of rainbow trout.
In addition, construction of dams, road crossings, and other structures impede the ability of rainbow trout to migrate upstream and down- stream, which is critical to successful completion of their life cycles. Consequently, nine different populations of steelhead (sea-run rainbow trout) have been added to the federal endangered species list. Implementing sound land management practices and stream and riparian improvements on private lands can help improve coldwater habitats used by rainbow trout and a host of other aquatic species. The life history requirements of the species vary tremendously depending on where the trout lives and whether it spends its life entirely in freshwater, or migrates to the sea for several years of growth be- fore returning to its freshwater birthplace to spawn. This leaflet will concentrate on the life history re- quirements of resident rainbow and redband trout, and the freshwater habitat needs of steelhead, collectively referred to here as rainbow trout
Steelhead trout belong to the family Salmonidae which includes all salmon, trout, and chars. Steelhead are similar to some Pacific salmon in their life cycle and ecological requirements. They are born in fresh water streams, where they spend their first 1-3 years of life. They then emigrate to the ocean where most of their growth occurs. After spending between one to four growing seasons in the ocean, steelhead return to their native fresh water stream to spawn. Unlike Pacific salmon, steelhead do not necessarily die after spawning and are able to spawn more than once.
Crappie are actually a member of the sunfish family and can be found in all the continental states. They are known by many different names, typically based on geographic location. Paper mouth, goggleye, bridge perch and speckled perch, just to name a few. The Black Crappie is darker, has seven or eight dorsal spines, has spotted sides and is typically found more in the northern states. The black prefers larger deeper impoundments.
Yellow perch or, as they are most commonly called, perch or ringed-perch do not rank high among the “battlers” in the fish world, although they will put up a fight equal to most fish of similar, small size. Nor are they highly regarded for their trophy-size, with 7- to 9-inch fish most commonly caught — 10-inch or larger fish are referred to as a “jumbos.” However, once on a feeding binge perch provide some mighty fast and furious fishing with catches of 10 to 15 fish in as many minutes the rule rather than the exception. Perch are probably best known as an esteemed table fish. A freshly caught stringer of perch, fried to a golden-brown, is unsurpassed in flavor and a meal second to none!
The smallmouth bass is generally brown (seldom yellow) with red eyes, and dark brown vertical bands, rather than a horizontal band along the side. There are 13–15 soft rays in the dorsal fin. The upper jaw of smallmouth bass extends to the middle of the eye. Males are generally smaller than females. The males tend to range around two pounds, while females can range from three to six pounds. Their average sizes can differ, depending on where they are found; those found in American waters tend to be larger due to the longer summers, which allow them to eat and grow for a longer period of time. Their habitat plays a significant role in their color, weight, and shape. River water smallmouth that live among dark water tend to be rather torpedo-shaped and very dark brown to be more efficient for feeding. Lakeside smallmouth bass, however, that live in sandy areas, tend to be a light yellow-brown to adapt to the environment in a defensive state and are more oval-shaped.
Bluegill are also know as bream, brim, or sunfish. Bluegill Range from the Rio Grand to Minnesota to Florida and everywhere inbetween. Bluegill can be identified by the blue gillflap. Bluegill grow to a maximum size of nearly 5 pounds. Bluegills prefer pools in streams, lakes, and ponds. Bluegill are one of the most sought after gamefish in the U.S.A. Bluegills can be caugth year round in Oregon but by far the most productive time is in the spring when the first spawns occur. Bluegill are a schooling fish and sometimes you can limit out without lifting the anchor as you catch them on the spawning grounds. Bluegill owe their popularity to the fact that they are common, bite readily, and are easily caught in small ponds by landbound youngsters. Common baits used to catch Bluegill are worms, crickets, artificial flies, and small jigs.
Brown Bullhead Catfish
The brown bullhead is a medium-sized member of the catfish family. It is considered a warm water fish and inhabits both fresh and brackish waters. It is an extremely hardy fish. The brown bullhead is easily identified by its distinctive barbells, thick rounded body, large somewhat flattened head, scaleless dark brown skin, mottled sides, cream-colored belly, square caudal fin, and sharp, saw-toothed spines at the base of the dorsal and pectoral fins.