Mile by Mile Map of the Oregon Coast Trail from the Siuslaw River Estuary to North Bend.

191.0                              Siuslaw River Estuary

The Port of Siuslaw is located in the City of Florence on the north shore of Oregon’s eighth largest bay. Florence was named after the sailing vessel Florence, which sunk offshore during a storm in November 1875. Today the bar at the entrance to the bay can be dangerous to cross and the small boater has to use caution when considering crossing the bar or fishing in the jetty channel. The waves generated by the wind and/or the current from a strong outgoing tide can sink a small boat. Call the Coast Guard station, (541) 997-8303, for recorded weather and bar conditions before considering boating in the jetty channel or crossing the bar. Access to the Siuslaw River Estuary is from Hwy 101 or State Hwy 126 east from Florence to Mapleton to Eugene.

NOAA's Bar Observation Website for Oregon's Bays. Check the NOAA Bar Observations website for updated closures and restrictions on Oregon's Bays.

The following underlined areas describe some of the dangerous tidal conditions affecting safe boating when entering or departing Siuslaw Bay or boating in the jetty channel as listed on the Web Page for Oregon State Marine Board at www.boatoregon.com. 

Shoal water on the northeast side of the channel has a depth of two to three feet at high tide which extends from C"7" to G"9".  Shoal water on the south side of the channel, extends from buoy #6 to buoy #4 and approximately 50 yards out toward the south jetty tips.

Outer end of south jetty. Breakers are almost always present. When the seas are from the southwest or west, breakers may extend to the entrance buoy.

Outer end of north jetty. Breakers are almost always present. When the seas are from the west, the breakers may extend to the entrance buoy.

Siuslaw River channel lies along the northern half of the river entrance. Water depth ranges from 6 to 20 feet. When swells are running from the northwest, boaters should stay in the channel. When the swells run from the west or southwest, stay closer to the south jetty until clear of rough water.  When conditions are questionable, contact the Coast Guard station for advice on VHF channel 16 or 22A, or CB channel 9. Once inside the bar, head for the channel. Ranges mark the preferred depth channel, but depending on conditions they do not mark the best route to follow.

The USCG are heavy users of the Marine VHF Channels; Channel 16 is reserved for distress, safety and calling, while channel 22A is utilized for special warnings, Marine Safety and other announcements.

Siuslaw River bar has a very narrow channel extending out past the jetties. Unlike larger bars on the Oregon coast, the Siuslaw River bar may be rendered impassable for small boats by a moderate swell, particularly at ebb tide. Boaters should use extreme caution when operating near this bar. Due to shoaling and jetty extensions, bar conditions are unpredictable. When the bar is rough, expect continuous breakers 50 to 100 yards off the jetty tips.

Bridge:  Clearance beneath the Siuslaw River Bridge is low. Use caution when crossing under the bridge on the flood tide to avoid damaging superstructure such as antennas and troll poles.

Rough bar advisory sign is positioned on the Coast Guard tower facing 150½ true.

Fishing in the Siuslaw River Estuary:

The Siuslaw River Estuary Bay is best known for the quality of the coho salmon fishing.  Fishing in the bay and main stem of the Siuslaw River has posted some of the highest fish counts for coho salmon recorded for any of Oregon’s bays.

Information Report 2000-04. Zhou, S., and R. Williams. 2000. Escapement goals for Siletz River and Siuslaw River fall Chinook based on stock and recruitment analysis.

Information Report 98-4. Nickelson, T.E. 1998. A habitat-based assessment of coho salmon production potential and spawner escapement needs for Oregon coastal streams.

Information Report 88-1 Chinook Populations in Oregon Coastal River Basins. Description of Life Histories and Assessment of Recent Trends in Run Strengths

Coho salmon of the Siuslaw River have one of the best runs of coho salmon on the Oregon Coast.  The coho salmon return from late August, peaking from September into October and runs declining rapidly into November.  Fish for coho salmon early in the run trolling with the incoming tide in the lower bay with plug cut herring, chartreuse hoochies or streamer flies.  Troll these baits behind a diver or wire spreader in the upper half of the water column.  Trolling with rainbow, chartreuse or pink colored spinners or spinner bait combinations is an effective option.  Troll these baits throughout the bay and in tidal reach of the river channel.  Be sure to troll a plug cut herring with a tight spin at speeds between 3 and 5 knots.

Chinook salmon begin returning to the Siuslaw Bay in August and peaking in September and early October before declining in November.  The average catch rate has been increasing for the last 25 years and is dominated by a high percentage of 5 year old fish and some 6 year old fish.  The majority of the Chinook salmon returning to the Siuslaw Basin return to Lake Creek with fewer Chinook returning to the Siuslaw River and the North Fork of the Siuslaw River respectively.  

The best fishing for newly arriving fall Chinook salmon occurs in the lower bay during the incoming tide of the major tidal exchange of spring tides or neap tides especially when the incoming tide coincides with sunrise or sunset.  The next most productive fishing period occurs at sunrise or sunset during the incoming tide of the minor tidal exchange in the daily tidal cycle.  Daybreak is that magical time of day when Chinook salmon bite the best.  Be sure to have the bait in the water one half hour before sunrise.  Fishing is most productive from ½ hour before sunrise to midmorning and from late afternoon until ½ hour after sunset.

Early in the run trolling a plug cut herring with the incoming tide through high slack tide or with outgoing tide in the lower bay from the jetty jaws to the Highway 101 Bridge is the most productive method to catch early returning fall Chinook salmon.  The velocity of the tidal current in the lower bay can require the use of heavy sinkers up to 16 plus ounces to keep the bait in the Chinook’s strike zone. 

As the run develops troll a plug cut herring with the tide in the upper bay from the Highway 101 Bridge past Old Town to the confluence of the North Fork of the Siuslaw River.  Troll a plug cut herring or spinners with the tide from the confluence of the North Fork to the Dairy Hole at the confluence of the Duncan Inlet or from the confluence of the North Fork with the main stem Siuslaw upriver to Bender Landing located on the North Fork of the Siuslaw River.  Troll the spinners on the bottom utilizing a wire spreader with the spinner tied to a 72 inch 35 plus pound test monofilament lead and an 18 inch break away dropper.  If the Chinook are rolling on top flat line the spinner by trolling it without using weight. 

Fish in the tidal reach of the Siuslaw River from the Dairy Hole below Duncan Inlet upriver to the Dollar Hole located at the head of tidewater above Mapleton or in the upper tidal reach of the North Fork of the Siuslaw River from Bender Landing up river to Haring Creek or for the more adventurous to the head of tide at Condon Creek using the following methods:  Troll with the incoming tide through high slack tide or back troll or back bounce with the outgoing tide using bait wrapped Flatfish lures, spinners or spinner bait combinations.  Drift with the tidal current back bouncing a walnut sized gob of salmon eggs topped with a sand shrimp or drift with the tidal current using a free sliding bobber to fish a walnut sized gob of salmon eggs topped with sand shrimp suspended just off of the bottom at a depth of 8 to 10 feet.  Bobber fishing is productive in the holes upriver from the Dairy Hole at Duncan Inlet, at the hole below the confluence of Sweet Creek, the Pipe Bridge Hole just below Mapleton Landing and in the holes above Mapleton Landing to the Dollar Hole just below the head of tide at Farnham Landing.  Vertical jigging with a Buzz Bomb in the deeper holes upriver form the Pipe Bridge Hole can be productive.  The most popular Flatfish lure has a silver body with chartreuse head or Hot Tail finish.  The most productive spinner is No. 6 chartreuse Bolo spinner with silver and copper blades followed by a rainbow colored Yaquina Slammer spinner. Fish during low slack tide by trolling a No. 6 rainbow colored Yaquina Slammer spinner or by casting a No. 5 chartreuse Bolo spinner with silver and copper blades.  Anchor up current above the deeper holes and fish with bait wrapped Flatfish lures, bait sweetened Spin–N–Glos, spinners, wobblers, spinner bait combinations, a walnut size gob of salmon eggs or bobber fish with salmon eggs and/or sand shrimp during the outgoing tide through low slack.

Steelhead returning to Siuslaw Basin: Steelhead returns, and hence the fishery, typically peak from late January through February and last well into March. There also is an extended fishery in the Siuslaw River from Whittaker Creek downstream to 200 yards below the mouth of Wildcat Creek through April 15.

The Siuslaw River near the Whittaker Creek campground offers good boat and bank access and is where a target of 70,000 winter steelhead smolts are released each spring. A good portion of the returning hatchery fish collected at this site is released back into the fishery. This area can be heavily fished during the peak season by boat and bank anglers, particularly on weekends.

Lake Creek and its major tributaries can be a productive catch-and-release fishery for wild steelhead, and provide opportunities to catch hatchery steelhead near the town of Deadwood, where 15,000 hatchery winter steelhead smolts are released into Green Creek.

Popular techniques used from a drift boat include side drifting, pulling plugs or drifting a bobber and jig. Effective bank fishing techniques are flow dependent but include swinging spinners and spoons across riffles, drifting a bobber and bait or jig, plunking, and bouncing a corky and bait along the bottom. Some early season scouting during lower flows to learn which technique will work for an area can pay off.

Cutthroat trout return to the Siuslaw River Basin anytime from the first week of July through first middle of August.  Fishing for cutthroat is productive at the confluence of the North Fork and the main stem Siuslaw Rivers and upstream to Mapleton trolling Doc Shelton spinners rigged with night crawlers.  Fish in the upper tidal reach of the Lake Creek and the Siuslaw River above Mapleton trolling Doc Shelton spinners rigged with a night crawler, casting spinners or by anchoring above the deeper holes and fishing on the bottom with night crawlers, crawfish tails or by casting spinners. Trout season opens in May. and there should be some nice cutthroat around. Check the ODFW Regulations of opening dates and daily bag limit requirments.     

Striped bass enter Siuslaw Bay from the middle of March during the years when the striped bass population is at its highest.  Fish along the tidal flats associated with the confluence of the North Fork, Cox Island, South Inlet or Duncan Inlet.   

Black rockfish, blue rockfish and copper rockfish enter Siuslaw Bay early as March but usually from April through October withdrawing from the bay during periods of heavy seasonal freshwater runoff in winter and to deeper water during the daylight hours.  Fishing at night in the jetty channel along the south jetty and the finger jetties is excellent from spring into early fall.

Click on Distinguishing the new species of Blue rockfish, the Deacon rockfish, from Black and Blue rockfish is significant to meet the retention requirements while fishing for Deacon, Blue and Black rockfish.

Pileperch, striped seaperch, redtail surfperch, walleye surfperch and white seaperch enter the bay in late spring.  Striped seaperch are the dominate perch species followed by pileperch but the fishing really heats up when redtail surfperch enter the bay.  Good fishing for perch starts in the jetty channel along the finger jetties just inside the entrance of the bay and gets better as the perch move up the bay to Cox Island.  The fishing can be exceptional during June and July along the tidal flats adjacent to the deepwater channels from the city docks in Florence to the North Fork of the Siuslaw River, Cox Island and the South Inlet.  The fishing ranges from fair to excellent through fall depending on the tides and the weather conditions.       

Kelp greenling, whitespotted greenling and rock greenling enter the bay with the tide from late spring through fall.  The best fishing occurs during July and August among the submerged structure of the north, south and finger jetties at the entrance to the bay.

Lingcod spawn along the north and south jetties from late January throughout March.  Fishing is fair to excellent during the spawning period.

Cabezon are present throughout the year with the best fishing occurring along the south and north jetties in March during the spawning period, but the fishing for cabezon ranges from fair at the end of the jetties for most of the year.   

White sturgeon enter the bay in fishable numbers from December to June.  Fish for sturgeon in the deeper holes in the tidal reach of the river channel during the last two hours of an outgoing tide through slack tide.  The sturgeon fishery is a small but viable one that is subject to over fishing.  Concentrate fishing in the deeper holes from the confluence with the South Inlet upstream to Mapleton.

Crabbing in the Siuslaw River Estuary:

Crabbing at Siuslaw River Estuary is extremely good in the lower bay and in the ocean during normal summer and fall flows. Crabbing from the deep water channel at the confluence of the north fork of the Siuslaw River seaward ranges from fair to good in late summer and fall with lots of juvenile crabs in the mix.

The crabbing from Siuslaw Bay public crabbing dock located at the end of the South Jetty Road is excellent from late spring until the freshwater from winter rains force the crabs out into the ocean.

North Jetty fish ladder access point for crab divers. An old fish ladder off of N. Jetty road in Harbor Vista Park provides good SCUBA access, locally known as "The Crab Hole".............

Lower Siuslaw River Estuary map of clam and crab distribution.

My buddy Walt and I crabbed from the crabbing dock located on the south shore of the Siuslaw River Estuary. We did not catch any keeper sized crabs but only 2 keeper sized crabs were taken while we were there.

How to humanly kill Dungeness and red rock crabs is the question my wife wants me to answer. She can't stand to see anything suffer. Striking the Thoracic ganglion with a crab mallet kills the crab immediately. The crab does not suffer as it would if submerged in boiling water and neither does my wife. Killing and backing the crabs prior to cooking them shortens the total time it takes to cook and clean large numbers of crabs.

Click on the following video clip to view a professional crab shaker picking a Dungeness crab. Using this method cuts the time to pick a crab in half.

Additional Information for Crabbing From the Coastal Waters of the Pacific Rim: Click on the following links for additional information about taking crabs in the Pacific Northwest. Click on ODFW's website crab page or click on Washington State's information on recreational crabbing or click California's information on recreational crabbing. Click on Alaska's comments on Dungeness Crabs and on permits and regulations for SE Alaska. Click on Dungeness Crabs at Netarts Bay. Click on Species Profile for Dungeness Crabs PDF file. Click on Species Profile for Red Rock Crabs to view PDF file. Click on Dungeness and Red Rock Crabs to view information on taking crabs from Oregon's Bays and ocean water.

The Siuslaw Bay public fishing piers are located at the City Docks in Old Town and at the end of the South Jetty Road.  The fishing for perch is excellent from spring through early summer.  The crabbing is excellent from late spring until the freshwater from winter rains force the crabs out into the ocean.  The fishing for salmon from the pier is productive in late August and September as the salmon enter the river.

The Siuslaw Jetties – The best fishing is from the south jetty, which has a larger population of rockfish and access to the Siuslaw Bay public fishing pier.  The south jetty has finger jetties to control erosion.  The fishing for bass, greenling and perch should be good along these areas.   The south jetty is accessed by traveling south on Hwy 101 across Siuslaw Bay for approximately 1.4 miles, turn right on the south Jetty access road and follow the sign.  The north jetty is accessed from Hwy 101 via Heceta Beach Drive; turn left on Rhododendron to the North Jetty.

Siuslaw Bay boat launches: the easiest way to the Florence City Docks and the Port of Siuslaw boat launch and R/V park and campground is from Highway 101 to Second St. Turn east onto Second St. The Florence City Docks are located south and west of the public parking lot at Nopal St. and First St. Drive 2 blocks and turn right on Nopal St. Drive 1 block to First St to the public parking lot located on the SW corner of the intersection.

The Port of Siuslaw and R/V Park and Campground are located in Old Town Florence at the end of Harbor St. To access the boat launch and campground continue east on Second St. to Harbor St. Turn right onto Harbor St. to First St. Turn left onto First St. to access the entrance to the campground loop located to the left, or continue down Harbor St. to the no fee 3 lane boat launch.

The confluence of North Fork of the Siuslaw River with the Siuslaw River just east of Florence. Launch at Bender’s landing to fish the North Fork of the Siuslaw River.  Access Bender’s landing by turning onto the North Fork Road from Hwy 126 just east of Florence. 

The other boat ramps and hoist are located east of Florence on Highway 126 and 36. The Siuslaw River R/V Park and Marina at 6516 Highway 126 at Cushman has an improved ramp with a 5 dollar launch fee. The ODFW operated Tiernan Boat Ramp is a free to launch but there is some confusing and launching may require a Lane County use fee? The unimproved boat ramp located about six miles west of Mapleton. The Mapleton Landing Boat Ramp and Transit Dock are located in Mapleton near the intersection of Highway 126 and Highway 36.  The Farnham Landing is located just above the Dollar Hole at the head of tide on Highway 36 two miles east of Highway 126.  The Tide Wayside boat launch is located 5.9 miles east of Highway 126 is operated by Lane County. For more information call 541-682-2000. Just east of Swisshome, Highway 36 continues toward Triangle Lake and Eugene parallel to Lake Creek. The Siuslaw continues to the east but south of Lake Creek parallel to the Siuslaw River on the Old Stagecoach Road. The Old Stagecoach becomes Richardson Operated by ODFW the Konnie Fishing Access on Lake Creek no use fee required is located 9.5 miles from north east of Hwy 126. Call ODFW for additional information at 800-720-6339. The Schindler Landing on Lake Creek is located 12.4 miles from Hwy 126. in Mapleton. The use fee required boat landing Schindler Landing is operated by Lane County. The Deadwood Boat Launch on Lake Creek is located 13.2 miles from Hwy 126. The Deadwood Boat Launch a use fee required boat launch is operated by Lane County. For additional information call 541-682- 2000.

The recreational opportunity offered to white water kayak and canoe enthusiast the opportunity to apply their skill levels in the upper reach of the Siuslaw River and Lake Creek. In addition the fishing in the upper reach of the Siuslaw River offers unequaled opportunity to those fly fishing enthusiast who cast flies into the crystal clear river.

Hwy 126 is the Florence-Eugene Hwy. The distance between the intersection of Hwy 126 and Hwy 36 at Mapleton and the intersection of Hwy 126 and the Territorial Hwy, Veneta, OR is 32.2 miles. The travel miles for boat launches in the upper reach of the Siuslaw River Estuary are posted from the intersection of Hwy 126 and the Territorial Hwy in Veneta, OR. The travel miles for the boat launches located upriver from Mapleton along the lower Siuslaw River and Lake Creek are posted from the intersection of Hwy 36 and Hwy 126.

The Richardson's Pole Slide a no use fee pole slide is located at Richardson OR. on the Siuslaw River and is operated ODFW. The Richardson Boat Slide is located 23.7 miles from the intersection of Hwy 126 and the Territorial Hwy, Veneta, OR. From Veneta travel 23.3 miles to the Richardson Bridge over the Siuslaw River. Turn right and cross the bridge. Turn left onto the Old Stagecoach Rd to the pole slide located .3 tenths of a mile on the left.

The Linslaw Park boat launch a fee use boat launch is operated by Lane County. The Linslaw Park Boat Launch is located 22.4 miles from the intersection of Hwy 126 and the Territorial Hwy, Veneta, OR. on the right side of Hwy 126.

The Austa Boat Ramp a fee use operated by Lane County. The Austa Boat Ramp is located 20.0 miles from the intersection of Hwy 126 and the Territorial Hwy, Veneta, OR. on the right side of Hwy 126.

The Whittaker Creek Boat Ramp and the Ford Access are located on the Siuslaw River Road 20.1 miles from the intersection of Hwy 126 and the Territorial Hwy, Veneta, OR. Turn left from Hwy 126 onto the Siuslaw River Rd. The Whittaker Creek Boat Ramp a no use fee boat launch is operated by the BLM. From Hwy 126 travel 1.6 miles down the Siuslaw River RD. to Dunn Ridge RD. Turn right onto Dunn Ridge RD. cross the bridge and turn left into the entrance to the Whittaker Creek Boat Ramp. For additional information call 541-683-6600. The Ford Access is a no use fee access area operated by ODFW. The Ford Access is located 5.5 miles downriver on the Siuslaw River RD. For additional information call 800-720-6339.

Sporting Goods - The Sportsman, the largest family owned at (541 997 3336) is the largest sporting goods store serving the Central and Southern Oregon Coast and is located on South Hwy 101 in Florence. The Sportsman is the go to source for local crabbing and fishing information and carries all the recreational necessities to fulfill your fishing, crabbing, clam digging and hunting needs.

Clam Digging in the Siuslaw River Estuary is based on ODFW Seacor studies.

Information Report: 2014-09 Status of Oregon bay clam fisheries, stock assessment, and research using Seacor methods of research.

Digging clams in the Siuslaw River Estuary is limited to the huge population of softshell clams in addition to limited population of purple varnish clams and an even smaller population of Bay Clams. The softshell clam beds are accessible by boat or by car from Hwy 126 east of Florence at the confluence of the Siuslaw River and the North Fork of the Siuslaw River. Purple varnish clams are dug from the tidal flat located just east of the crabbing dock on the south jetty while razor clams are common to Heceta Beach and Baker Beach.

Lane County requires parking permits to park in the day use parking areas at most of the county parks. The permits are available at the Sportsman Sporting Goods store located on HWY 101 just north of the HWY 101 Bridge over the Siuslaw River Estuary. The Sportsman is one of two family owned and operated sporting goods stores on the Oregon Coast that carry a complete line of equipment that will satisfy your recreational needs.

During the Spring of 2015 I went to both the beach at the North Jetty and the beach at the Driftwood Shores Resort to dig razor clams. The surf was rough and I managed to dig only one medium sized razor clam.

Razor Clams: At one time excluding the Clatsop Spit Beaches the digging of razor clams at Heceta Beach was considered the best place to dig razor clams in Oregon ahead of Agate Beach and Meyers Beach. According to local diggers digging productivity varies from poor to very good depending on the tidal range and surf conditions.

Heceta and Baker Beach Razor Clams: Last summer ODFW reported some razor clams were dug from the northern reach of Baker Beach.

Lane County requires parking permits to park in the day use parking areas at most of the county parks. The permits are available at the Sportsman Sporting Goods store located on HWY 101 just north of the HWY 101 Bridge over the Siuslaw River Estuary. The Sportsman is one of two family owned and operated sporting goods stores on the Oregon Coast that carry a complete line of equipment that will satisfy your recreational needs. There are some parking permit required to park at the beaches north of the North Jetty of the Siuslaw River. Parking is free at the North Jetty and at the public beach access parking area immediately south of the Driftwood Shores resort. A Lane County parking permit is required to park at the end Heceta Beach Road. There is a day use fee to park at the Sutton Lake Recreational area on the west side of Hwy 101 just north of Florence except for holders of the Golden Eagle pass program. The recreational area at Baker Beach via the Baker Beach Rd requires a day use fee or displaying the passes of the Golden Eagle program.

Baker Beach Rd. is the northern most access road to the beaches located north of the North Jetty except for the trail that leads to Baker Beach from the turnout overlooking the beach from Hwy 101.

Softshell clams are the primary clams of interest in the Siuslaw River Estuary. Piddocks clams are dug from the exposed tidal flats on the north side of the channel some distance from the Harbor Vista R/V Park. Some cockles are raked and some gaper clams are dug on the tidal flats below the Harbor Vista R/V Park.

Internet links of interest:

Tidal Projections: Click on at entrance of the estuary to view the NOAA tidal projections for the entrance to the Siuslaw River Estuary, or click on City Dock to view the tidal projections for the city dock. The tide at Florence occurs 55 minutes later than at the entrance to river jetty.

Click on the River Gage at Mapleton to display the height of the river level for the Siuslaw River – Near Mapleton

Click on the Northwest Forecast River Center and scroll down and over the icon for the water level gauge station of choice. Click the river gage station icon to display the river gage station information.

Click on the Marine Forecast to view the marine forecast from Florence to Cape Blanco featuring Small Craft Warning.

Click on navigational hazards to avoid when crossing the Siuslaw River.

Oregon Parks and Recreation Department: ATVs regulations and guidelines for Oregon, Operating Permit Requirements, OHV Use on National Forests in Washington and Oregon and the OHV regulations for the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area.

Oregon Dunes National Recreational Area. The sand dunes associated with the Oregon Dunes National Recreational Area are the largest collection of coastal dunes in the world and is the most popular recreational area on the Oregon Coast. The area offers visitors unlimited recreational opportunity to fulfill their expectations. The clam digging, crabbing and fishing is exceptional. Hunting in season is allowed. Fishing in the surf for redtail surfperch is exceptional between Umpqua Bay and Coos Bay. There are numerous lakes in the area, the most notable being Siltcoos, Tahkenitch and Tenmile, all of which offer exceptional fishing, boating or water skiing. There are hiking trails that offer varying degrees of difficulty from a casual walk along the beach to a heart–pounding climb through the dunes. Dune buggy enthusiasts enjoy a level of participation that is comparable to their abilities. Vehicles entering the ocean beaches and the sand dunes in the Oregon Dunes National Recreational Area must be in compliance with beach access regulations. The beach associated with the Oregon Dunes Recreational Area is patrolled by the Marine Patrol and the patrol issues costly tickets to the owners of vehicles who violate regulations. Access to the sand dunes or to the beach by off road or by four wheel drive street legal vehicles requires an off road vehicle permit. Area merchants and the Oregon Department of Motor Vehicles issue off road vehicle permits. All vehicles both street legal and off road must display a red flag on the end of a nine foot whip antenna and carry a class–A fire extinguisher to access the off road areas of the Oregon Dunes National Recreational Area. Off road access to the beach by motor vehicle gives the angler ability to move often to locate feeding surfperch and striped bass. Be sure to park above the high tide mark and in an area where you don’t become stuck in the sand. Check with the Oregon Dunes National Recreational Office to confirm the sandy dunes and the beach areas open to vehicles. Other nearby recreational attractions such as the Kentucky Falls and the Deans Creek Elk Viewing Area are another compelling reason to visit the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area. The dunes within the Oregon Dunes National Recreational area stretch southward from the south shore of Siuslaw Bay to North Beach on the north shore of Coos Bay.

191.7 The South Jetty Road is located 1.4 miles south of Florence and is the northern entrance to the Oregon Dunes National Recreational Area. The ocean beach offers excellent fishing for redtail surfperch and the occasional striped bass and productive digging for razor clams. The south jetty crabbing dock is located at the end of the five mile long South Jetty Road. There is ample parking for all vehicles in the parking areas along the South Jetty Road. Motor vehicles are only allowed on the sand dunes south to the Siltcoos Beach Road. Barret Lake is a small but isolated lake just south of the Siuslaw River Estuary and is accessible by walking north from the junction of Odd Fellow's Road and the South Jetty Road. I could not find any reference to the species of fish common to the lake, if any.

193.4 Cleawox Lake is an 82 acre lake located south of Florence on the west side of Highway 101 at the Jessy M. Honeyman State Park. Honeyman State Park is the second largest overnight camp in the state. There are two miles of sand dunes between the park and the ocean. Two natural freshwater lakes are within the park. Cleawox -- which is great for swimming -- and Woahink, which has a public boat ramp, is used for all water sports. Rent a canoe and explore the lake.

193.4 Woahink Lake is an 787 acre lake located south of Florence east of Highway 101 at Honeyman State Park. Woahink Lake (from Wikimedia) contains yellow perch, largemouth bass, brown bullhead and bluegill plus the lake with all sizes of the rainbow trout each spring. Little Woahink Lake is a small lake located just north of Woahink.

Spring brings out the pink rhododendrons. Come summertime, this is a great place for family reunions. The fall huckleberries and blackberries are ripe for the picking. This is a camp for all seasons.

Cleawox lake contains largemouth bass, yellow perch, black crappie, brown bullhead and bluegill plus the lake with all sizes of the rainbow trout each spring. Bear Lake is an isolated lake locate west of Cleawox and is accessible by hiking or ATV. Visitor to the area should be equipped to deal with damp rainy conditions.

Information Report 2001-02. Nickelson, T.E. 2001. Population assessment: Oregon coast coho salmon ESU

Information Report 2000-07. Zhou, S. 2000. Stock assessment and optimal escapement of coho salmon in three Oregon coastal lakes, Siltcoos Lake, Tahkenitch Lake, Tenmile Lakes.

195.9 Dune City: turn east onto Clear Laker Rd to access Siltcoos Lake.

196.6 Westlake City: turn east onto Pacific Ave. to access Siltcoos Lake. The entrance to the Forest Service, Tyee Campground and boat launch is located 100 feet to right upon entering Pacifc Ave. The boat launch suitable for small boats such as kayaks or canoes. To launch larger boats please launch at an apporiate boat launch.

Siltcoos Lake at 3,164 acres is one of the largest natural lakes in Oregon. Siltcoos Lake (from Wikimedia) is located south of Florence east of Hwy 101. Siltcoos Lake (from siltcooslake.com) contains black crappie, brown bullhead, yellow perch, bluegill, largemouth bass, cutthroat trout, rainbow trout and supports a terrific run of Coho salmon. The Oregon State record for Coho salmon was taken from Siltcoos. The thrill of catching the largest fish of any species is an accomplishment that few experience.

Siltcoos Lake Boat Launches

Fish Mill Lodges a no use fee to launch at 541-997-2511, Siltcoos Lake Resort a no use fee to launch at 541-997-3741 Westlake Resort, a no use fee to launch at 541-997-3722. Darlings Resort, a use fee to launch at 541-997-2841. Jackson Mini Mart a use fee to launch call 541-997-8633 for additional information. Nightingale's Fish Camp a no use fee to launch at 541-997-2892 Ada Fishing Resort a use fee to launch at 541-997-2342 and Ada County Ramp is a fee to use boat ramp. Call 541-682-2000 for additional information. Let us know if the launching information was accurate? Share photos of your adventure by emailing them or other suggestions to crabbinginfo@yahoo.com.

198.1 The Siltcoos Lake hiking trail descends through mature coastal forest to the western edge of Siltcoos Lake. Sounds in the forest are muffled by a deep carpet of hemlock needles, and the dense canopy overhead shelters hikers from the sun in the summer and the rain in the winter. Massive stumps remain from logging in the 1930’s; look for evidence of notches that once held springboards, the planks on which loggers stood while hand-sawing a tree. Halfway to the lake, the trail splits to form a loop. Both directions reach the lake in about a mile. Fee/pass required for parking. A vault toilet is on the trail.  Travel directions: Drive 13.5 miles north of Reedsport on US 101 to milepost 198 and turn right (east) into trailhead parking area. The trail is rated as moderately difficult to hike it’s length  2.25 miles one way. Reference, "Hiking Around Reedsport".

198.1 Siltcoos River access and access to the ocean beach is gained by turning west from Highway 101 into the Siltcoos entrance of the Oregon Dunes National Recreational Area, the Siltcoos Beach Access Rd. The Siltcoos River offers anglers the opportunity to fish for steelhead trout and Coho salmon in season, if open, during the fall and winter runs. Check ODFW for season and bag limits. Outdoor writer, Pete Heley fishes all the creeks that flow from the big coastal lakes and Siltcoos is one of his favorites. Pete writes, "Siltcoos River - Flows from Siltcoos Lake for about four miles to the ocean and is interrupted by a small dam a couple of miles from the lake west of Highway 101. Above the dam there are good populations of yellow perch and largemouth bass along with a few bluegills, brown bullheads and black crappies. There are a fair number of squawfish (and surprisingly big rainbow and cutthroat trout.) This section is a fun float when it opens in late May. Below the dam there are small numbers of largemouth bass along with come native cutthroat trout." Pete Heley is the most knowledge person on fishing for warm-water fish species in Oregon and Washington. Pete has written more than 20 books describing the fishing for those species, Where to go and how to do it! Order his books or contact Pete at www.peteheley.com.

Siltcoos Sand Camping, OR is the ultimate camping adventure for recreational enthusiast who camp out of the 4-wheel drive vehicles.

Overview: Siltcoos is located about seven miles south of Florence, within the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area. This unique facility is an off-road enthusiast's dream. Designated routes crisscross various dunes and forests within the recreation area. Visitors also enjoy relaxing on the beach and swimming in the ocean.

Natural Features: Campsites are located directly on the sand, dispersed along the coast and the Siltcoos River. The dunefield is known for its wind-sculpted sand dunes towering 500 feet above sea level. The region marks the largest expanse of coastal sand dunes in North America.

Snowy plovers, a threatened species of small coastal bird, has a designated nesting habitat within Oregon Dunes Recreation Area.

Facilities: Siltcoos' year-round campsites must be accessed by 4X4 vehicles only. Standard sites accommodate up to 20 people and five vehicles. Two group sites accommodate up to 40 people and 10 vehicles. This is a popular facility and reservations are recommended.

The campground is primitive and provides no water, restrooms or campfire rings. Visitors must bring their own water, portable toilets and fire pans.

Nearby Attractions: Sutton Lake is just 8 miles north of Siltcoos, where visitors enjoy boating, fishing and canoeing. A boat ramp is located on-site.

Many hiking trails lie east of the campground in the foothills of the coastal mountains.

Recreation: Off-road vehicle riding is the ultimate attraction at Siltcoos. Stagecoach Trailhead provides access to several trails, including the accessible Lagoon Trail and the longer Waxmyrtle Trail, which meanders through the coastal shore pine forests and along the Siltcoos River to the beach.

Visitors also enjoy swimming and birding at the beach. A variety of shorebirds are often spotted on the shore. Seasonal whale-watching is a popular activity.

The Stagecoach Trailhead is accessible from the from the Siltcoos River and Siltcoos Beach Access Rd. Reference, "Hiking Around Reedsport". Three short and interesting trails depart from this trailhead. The Waxmyrtle Trail, 1.5 miles one way, follows the Siltcoos River through saltwater estuary, ending at the beach. Refer to the PDF map of the Waxmyrtle Trail. The Chief Tsiltcoos Trail, a 1.25 mile loop, winds up and down through coastal forest. Refer to the PDF map of the Chief (Tyee) Tsiltcoos Trail. Tyee means Chief. The Lagoon Trail, located 0.25 miles east of the trailhead, is a 1 mile loop around a wildlife-rich oxbow lake, an old arm of the Siltcoos River. Fee/pass required for parking. No trailhead facilities, although adjacent campgrounds provide restrooms and water. Directions: Drive 13.5 miles north of Reedsport on US 101 to milepost 198.1. Turn left (west) onto Siltcoos Beach Road and drive an additional 1 mile to trailhead. Trail lengths: 1.5 miles for the Waxmyrtle Trail (one way); 1.25 miles for the Chief Tsiltcoos Trail (loop); 1 mile for the Lagoon Trail (loop). All three trails are rated as easy to hikel

The beach north of the Siltcoos River is renowned for catching redtail surfperch. The best surf fishing is located on the beach 1 to 2 miles north of the Siltcoos River. Motor vehicles are prohibited on the beach from Siltcoos Beach Road to Sparrow Park Road.

198.7 Carter Lake - a 28 acre lake is operated by the U.S. Forest Service. Carter Lake is located off of Hwy 101 South of Florence. The lake contains largemouth bass, yellow perch and is stocked with catchable rainbow trout. the Carter Lake boat launching facilities are a no use fee boat launch opperated by the Forest Sevice. Call 541-271-3611 for additional information.

The Winchester Bay/Reedsport Chamber of Commerce webpage, Hiking Around Reedsport describes the hiking opportunities from and nearby Cater Lake. The webpage describes with detail and clarity the hiking opportunity available in the Reedsport area for recreational enthusiast visiting the Oregon Dunes National Recreational Area. The trailhead for the Carter Dunes Trail and the handicap accessible Taylor Dune Trailhead are located within Carter Lake Park. The first quarter mile of the Taylor Dune Trail is handicap accessible. Follow the beach trail as shown on the Forest Service map to the beach. The fishing from the beach ranges from slow to fair for redtail surfperch and the occasional striped bass.

200.8 The Oregon Dunes Overlook offers the visitor two viewing platforms that are connected by walkways and boardwalks that are completely handicap accessible. The platforms provide the visitor with a scenic view of the dunes. Follow the 1 mile trail to the beach. The entire beach offers fishing for redtail surfperch and for the occasional striped bass.

201.1 Perkins Lake varies up to six acres in size and it is stocked with rainbow trout by the ODFW. There is a private home on the lake. Please respect their property.

202.3 Tahkenitch Creek Trailhead to the beach is accessed by parking at the Tahkenitch Creek Trailhead and hiking along the Tahkenitch Dunes and/or the Threemile Lake Loop to the beach. Refer to the PDF file map of the trails. The entire ocean beach offers fishing for surfperch and for the occasional striped bass.

After leaving Tahkenitch Lake, Tahkenitch Creek flows under the Hwy 101 Bridge to a small dam some 250 feet down stream from the bridge (Pete Heley at www.peteheley). "The stream hosts runs of Coho salmon, steelhead and searun cutthroat trout in addition to fair numbers of largemouth bass, yellow perch and brown bullhead catfish in the stream as well as a few bluegill and fewer black crappies. Most of the largemouth bass are pan sized measuring between 9 and 11 inches although a very few will weigh as much as 4 or more pounds. The creek flows 2 miles before reaching the ocean which has several large pools in it that off a chance at a good-sized bass. The short distance that it is legal to fish between the bridge and the dam some sizable bass in it, but no fishing is allowed within 200 feet of the dam and the stream below the dam does not open to fishing until May. The best fishing for spiny rays in the creek occurs in the first mile below the dam. Low water levels and heavy weeds have made fishing the creek difficult by mid-summer of recent years."

202.5 Tahkenitch Lake is one of the larger lakes on the Oregon coast with a surface area of 1674 acres. The name is from an Indian word that is said to mean "many arms." The lake contains black crappie, brown bullhead, yellow perch, bluegill, largemouth bass, cutthroat trout, rainbow trout and supports a terrific run of Coho salmon.

Information Report 2001-02. Nickelson, T.E. 2001. Population assessment: Oregon coast coho salmon ESU

Information Report 2000-07. Zhou, S. 2000. Stock assessment and optimal escapement of coho salmon in three Oregon coastal lakes, Siltcoos Lake, Tahkenitch Lake, Tenmile Lakes.

202.5 Tahkenitch Lake Boat Launch: Tahkenitch Fishing Village is a private launch with a launch fee. Call 541 271 5222.

202.8 Tahkenitch Boat Launch a U.S. Forest Service no use fee boat launching facility. Call 541-271-3611 for additional information. The paking area is small and can fill quickly. I use to launch my cartop boat from the road on the backside of the lake.

204.5 Elbow Lake is a 13 acre lake located on the west side of Hwy 101 thirteen miles south of Florence. The lake contains largemouth bass, yellow perch and is planted each spring with a limited number of good sized rainbow trout. There is a single lane road that fishermen use to launch small cartop boats. The road does not have a boat ramp and the boats have to be slid down the bank to the lake. Paring is extremely limited. The U.S. Forest Service boat launch is a no use fee boat launching facility. Call 541-271-3611 for additional information.

207.5 Sparrow Park Rd is the access road to the beach south to the North Jetty of Umpqua Bay. Sparrow Park Road is located 1.5 miles north of Gardiner. The fishing is excellent for redtail surfperch and striped bass and the beach south to the North Jetty is a productive location to dig for razor clams. R/Vs and trailers should avoid the long narrow and winding road to the beach. There is a turn around at the end of the road, but the only parking available is on the beach. Motor vehicles are only allowed to travel on the beach south to the north jetty; however, motor vehicles are allowed access through the sand dunes to the west shore of Umpqua Bay on Clam Bed Road. Local fishermen use ATVs to access the beach south to the North Jetty to fish this hotspot for redtail surfperch and striped bass. Fishing for cutthroat trout in Threemile Lake is an option for those fit enough to make the hike. Refer to the PDF map of Threemile Lake accessed from Sparrow Park Rd.

209.4 Gardiner is the location of the Gardiner Boat Launch operated by the Douglas County Parks Department. The boat launch is only usable at high tide and subject to the collection of sediment. Fish for Coho salmon or Starry Flounder off of the boat ramp. Remember boaters have the right of way.

210.0 Park at the turnout on the west side of Highway 101 located at mile mark 210.0 and fish for sturgeon, Starry flounder or striped bass on the downstream side of the railroad trestle.

210.3 The Smith River is a large coastal river that flows into Umpqua River Estuary 11.49 miles above the jetty jaws and was named after the legendary Mountain Man, Jedediah Smith. Jedediah was the first white man to cross the Sierra Nevada Mountains into California and to walk from California to the Columbia River. Jedediah was one of eighteen trappers camped at the confluence of the Smith and Umpqua Rivers. Jedediah and two other trappers were away from camp when Kelawatset Indians attacked the trapper’s camp killing all but one of the trappers.

210.5 Bolon Island is located at the confluence of the Smith and Umpqua Rivers off of the Smith River Road, Bolon Island was once the traditional camping ground of Native Americans. Maybe that explains the justification used by Kalawatset Indians to attack members of Jedediah Smith's trapping party on Bolon Island. The trail extends half way around the island, providing views of the Umpqua River. Bird watchers will enjoy a rare opportunity to visit a double-crested cormorant rookery, home to hundreds of birds that typically nest in more remote areas. Bolon Island Tideways State Scenic Corridor is a day use area only and is free of charge. There are no facilities on site. Reedsport Chamber of Commerce. Bolon Island is an excellent location for digging for softshell clams. Bolon island is also is the location of a the Douglas County boat launch.

Kentucky Falls is remote trail that visits three breathtaking waterfalls. Refer to PDF map of Kentucky Falls.  Forest Service Travel Directions From Reedsport:

Follow US-101 N and OR-126 E 48.2 mi. Turn right (east) onto Lower Smith River Road (Forest Road #48). Continue 15.9 miles and turn left onto North Fork Smith River Road (Forest Road #48A). Travel 10.6 miles and turn right onto Forest Road #23. Continue 9.6 miles turning left onto Forest Road #919. Travel 2.8 miles and turn right into parking area. Follow signs to the trailhead.

After the hike into the Falls and the initial descent rewards hikers with a view of the 90-foot Upper Kentucky Falls. The trail continues down moderate switchbacks to the 100-foot Lower Kentucky Falls and North Fork Smith Falls, twin waterfalls that can be viewed simultaneously from certain vantage points. A semi-maintained trail continues 5 miles beyond the Lower Kentucky Falls; check conditions before hiking on extended trail.  No fee or permits required; no facilities at trailhead. Directions: Drive 0.5 miles north of Reedsport on US 101; turn right (east) and continue 11 miles on the Lower Smith River Road o North Fork Road #48; turn north and continue 7.6 miles, turn right (east) on Road #23. After an additional 10.5 miles, turn left (northwest) on Road #919 and proceed 2.8 miles to the trailhead. The trail length: 0.8 miles to Upper Kentucky Falls (one way), additional 1.4 miles to Lower Kentucky Falls (one way). The hiking difficulty is rated as moderate. Reference, "Hiking Around Reedsport".

211.2 Umpqua River Estuary

The Umpqua River Estuary is Oregon’s third largest bay and one of the most productive. Historically the catch rate for coho and Chinook salmon in the offshore waters is one of the highest of any port along the Oregon Coast. There is a lighted whistle buoy located .9 tenths of a mile west of the south jetty light. The south jetty is marked with a light with a seasonal fog signal and radar reflector. A 086 degree lighted range and a buoy mark the entrance channel which is subject to frequent changes. Early settlers realized the potential of establishing a commercial port at the Umpqua River Estuary, and at the settlers urging, the Federal Government built the first lighthouse on the Oregon Coast at the entrance to the Umpqua River Estuary in 1857. Building the lighthouse on the sand was a mistake and b 1861 erosion had undermined the lighthouse and it collapsed.

Ships crossing the bar at the Umpqua River Estuary were at the mercy of an unstable channel that was constantly shifting. Nature was unmerciful when the brewery vessel Willamina ran aground at the entrance to Winchester Bay while attempting to deliver Pacific Pride beer to thirsty fishermen. The construction of the north jetty in 1919 and the south jetty in 1933 helped to establish the Umpqua River Estuary as a major port of entry for sport fishermen, but the entrance to the bar and the jetty channel are still subject to dangerous tidal conditions. Recorded weather and bar condition reports are available by calling (541) 271-8417. Breaking waves can be encountered on the Umpqua River bar at any time. The following underlined areas describe some of the dangerous tidal conditions that affect boating safety in the jetty channel of the Umpqua River or crossing the Umpqua River Bar as listed on the Web Page for Oregon State Marine Board at www.boatoregon.com.

The Umpqua River is Oregon’s second longest coastal river and is dominated for extended periods by freshwater runoff from seasonal rains and/or snowmelt originating in the Cascades. The tidal reach of the Umpqua and the Smith Rivers extend upriver for 27.09 and 23.98 miles respectively. Public access to the riverbanks in the tidewater reach of the Umpqua River is limited by private property. Public access to the riverbanks in the tidewater reach of the Smith River is more accessible than the Umpqua River. State Hwy 38 follows the Umpqua River from Reeds Port east to Scottsburg to Elkton before leaving the Umpqua River to Drain where it becomes Hwy 99 before merging with I-5. Hwy 138 follows and crosses the Umpqua River from Elkton to join I-5 at Sutherlin.

211.5 Intersection Hwy 101 and 38. The informational center for the Oregon Dunes National Recreational Area is located on the west side of Highway 101. The Center is a great source of information for the recreational resources in the National Dunes Recreational Area and other Federal Lands.

The Umpqua Discovery Center in Old Town Reedsport is located from Highway 38 & Highway 101 turning east onto Highway 38 (Umpqua Ave) for .2 of mile. Turn left onto E Railroad Ave for .3 of mile. Turn right onto River Front Way. The Umpqua Discovery Center is just ahead to the left.

The Umpqua Discovery Center is an educational and cultural resource for all ages making active, innovative contributions to preserving the Oregon "Tidewater Community" experience. Interactive exhibits and programs illustrate how land, water and people have shaped each other over time.

The Discovery Center is also the location of the Reedsport boat launch. Finding a parking place during the spring of fall salmon season can be challenging.

Reedsport Skateboard Park is located at Lion's City Park

Reedsport Dog Park: Champion Park can be accessed from the parking lot of the Oregon Dunes/Chamber of Commerce Visitor Center or from Juniper Street on the west side of Highway 101.

Mile post 3.5 on Hwy 38 Deans Creek Elk Viewing Area. Elk have inhabited the location that is now the Dean Creek Wildlife Area since the 1930s. During that time, native salt marshes were drained and freshwater allowed to irrigate the site's grasslands.[2]Originally used for cattle grazing by area farmers, the Bureau of Land Management, in partnership with the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, took over management of the site in 1991.

Don't miss visiting the Hinsdale Estate Garden just a mile up Hwy 38 from Deans Creek, the Oregon Coast's Secret Rhododendron Garden when the gardens bloom at Spruce Reach Island. The gate at the Hinsdale Estate is only open a few days a year, but the Friends of Hinsdale allow trespassing. Parking at the gate driveway is not allowed, so drop off your vistiors at the gate and park at the Deans Creek parking area. We discourage walking on Hwy 38 because the danger to pedestrians by distracted drivers watching the Elk.

Mile post 8.0 on Hwy 38 is the access to the North Slough at Brandy Bar which runs along the south side of the Umpqua River. Both Largemouth and Smallmouth bass are taken from the lower slough while pan fish: black and while crappie and bluegill are taken from the upper slough. Bank access for fishing is limited and the North Slough is best fished from a boat. Launch the boat from the Umpqua River Wayside at mile post 9.6 on Hwy 38. The North Slough is located on the south shore downriver from the boat launch.

Mile post 13.0 on Hwy 38 Loon Lake is a 258.3 acre lake is accessible from I-5 in Oregon. Take the Drain Exit south of Cottage Grove. Travel 43 miles west on State HWY 38 to Mill Creek Road, 4 miles west of Scottsburg. From US HWY 101 and Reedsport, travel 13 miles east on State HWY 38 to Mill Creek Road and follow the signs.

(From Atlas of Oregon Lakes, Johnson et al. 1985)  Loon Lake sits in beautiful surroundings in the Coast Range east of Reedsport and is a classic example of a landslide lake. Great blocks of sandstone fell from the west wall of the Lake Creek valley to lie as a jumbled mass of blocks that impounded the waters of Lake Creek. Carbon-14 dating of trees drowned at the time of damming indicates that the event occurred about 1460 years ago. Loon Lake a 258.3 acre lake was originally much longer, extending several miles upstream. Its size is gradually being reduced as the outlet stream erodes through the natural dam. While the sides and outlet end of the lake are flanked by steep, timber-covered slopes, the inlet end is flat pastureland of lakebed origin that became exposed as erosion reduced the height of the barrier at the outlet. Loon Lake was apparently discovered in 1852 by explorers from Scottsburg and named for the presence of loons nesting on the water.

The drainage basin of Loon Lake is primarily forest land, with a mix of private and Bureau of Land Management lands. The lake is heavily used for public recreation, including fishing, camping, and water skiing. A BLM campground, swimming beach, and boat launch are located near the outlet and a resort and private summer cabins flank the upper portion of the lake.

Loon Lake is relatively deep and develops a sharp thermal stratification during the summer. The depth of the thermocline is rather shallow, indicating less wind-induced mixing than is found in Oregon coastal lakes. The water is noticeably turbid during the winter when heavy rains bring much surface runoff. The turbidity persists in the deeper water during the summer and may contribute to density stratification. Deeper water is sometimes low in dissolved oxygen and somewhat higher in conductivity than surface water. These conditions are a consequence of the density stratification.

The quality of the water in the lake is quite good. Extensive growths of macrophytes develop in shallow water areas. During summer months, the concentrations of chlorophyl and phosphorus are quite low and water transparency is quite high. Based on these characteristics, Loon Lake is classified as oligotrophic. The depletion of oxygen in the deeper water is seemingly inconsistent with the chlorophyl and phosphorus data and as noted, suggests that oxygen depletion may be related to material washed into the lake during the winter from the watershed rather than from the decay of plants growing in the lake itself.

Loon Lake Nestled in a beautiful forested setting, the Loon Lake offers good trout fishing in the spring and early summer as well as many other recreational activities such as swimming, water skiing, boating and camping.

Loon Lake Falls trail departs from the beach at Loon Lake. After passing through an old growth fir, spruce, and hemlock forest along the lake shore, the trail takes a short climb to the falls. Hikers can walk directly to the base of the cascading water. A bench provides a spot to rest and enjoy the scenery. A fee is required for parking. Facilities available at the trailhead. Travel Directions: Drive 13 miles east of Reedsport on Highway 38; turn right (south) at signs for the Loon Lake Recreation Area; drive 7 miles and turn right at the Loon Lake Recreation Area; continue to the end of the day use parking lot. The trail is located to the right of the beach/picnic area near the restrooms.Length: 0.5 miles (one way). The hike is rated as easy. Reference, "Hiking Around Reedsport".

16.0 Scottsburg Park

Mile by Mile Continuation:

215.5 Winchester Bay on the Umpqua River Estuary. The crabbing and fishing reports are provided by the outdoor reporter and outdoor writer, Pete Heley at Pete Heley's Outdoor Publicatons at the Stockade Market. Read Pete's weekly outdoor report for all aspects of recreational fishing and crabbing in the Umpqua Post at http://www.theumpquapost.com/. The Stockade Market carry a complete line of equipment for crabbing, clam digging and fishing equipment.

Crabbing:

The Lower Umpqua River Estuary Map of crabbing and clam distribution.

In June 2014, I spent the morning crabbing from the Coast Guard crabbing dock in Winchester Bay without taking a legal crab. I spoke to the only other crabber and he had taken only 1 crab in 2 days of crabbing. The video clip captures the continued deterioration of the crabbing dock. How long will it be before the dock is permanently closed? We have lobbied our political representatives and while they all agree we need to restore the structural integrity of crabbing and fishing docks, the grant committees that fund these types of projects have failed to do so.

In August 2012, I took my wife crabbing at Coast Guard crabbing dock at Winchester Bay, but the strong NW wind kept her in the truck. We arrived at 10:30 and crabbed for 2 hours. Even though I caught over 100 plus Dungeness crabs I only managed to take 2 legal crabs using 2 Crab Max crab traps. One crab was soft and the other crab had lost its pinchers and having no desire to keep a hard shell crab with very small pinchers I returned both to the bay. I crabbed with a new collapsing crab pot using the heads and guts from 8 cutthroat trout we caught yesterday evening. I pulled the pot twice in 2 hours and managed to catch 2 small crabs. This is the second time I have used trout heads for bait and each time the catch was disappointing; so from now on I will use the heads and guts from the trout I clean as garden bait.

Crabber Ted and another crabber both took the 6 Dungeness crabs using crab rings. Ted and the other crabber started crabbing at low slack around 5:30 am. Ted had been camped at Winchester Bay for a week and had limited out each day, but he had to crab during the entire incoming tide each day to do so.

Clam Digging in the Umpqua River Estuary: based on ODFW Seacor studies.

Information Report: 2014-09 Status of Oregon bay clam fisheries, stock assessment, and research using Seacor methods of research.

These 20 softshells were dug from the muddy substrate at Bolon Island.

05/29 clam digger Dutch reports diggers did very well on softshell clams at Bolon Island taking limits of large clams. Softshell clams are the dominate clam species in the Umpqua River Estuary. The tidal flats associated with Bolon Island and Gardiner offer clam diggers the best access. Click on Digging Softshell Clams on Umpqua River Estuary to view the video showing one of the best methods for digging softshell clams.

My buddy Dutch digging gaper clams from the Triangle at Winchester Bay. The population of the large sized gaper clams vary greatly during periods of continuous storm water runoff that persists for extended periods of time.

Internet links of interest for the Umpqua River Estuary:

Tidal Projections: Click on the NOAA tidal projections for Oregon. Scroll down to Umpqua River Estuary and click on your area of interest.

Click on the navigational hazards to avoid when crossing the bar at Winchester Bay.

Click on the Marine Forecast from Florence to Cape Blanco featuring Small Craft Warning.

Click on Northwest River Forecast Center: Scroll over the river gauge station. Click the river gauge station icon to display the river gauge station information

Click on the height of the river level for the Umpqua River – Near Elkton

Recommended link: Click on the following link to see a detailed hourly forecast for weather and surf conditions on the southern Oregon Coast. Then click your coastal zone of interest to view the detail information compiled on the Marine Digital Point Forecast Matrix Interface.

Fishing in the Umpqua River Estuary and Winchester Bay:

Chinook Salmon return to the Umpqua River in the spring and fall and to the Smith River in the fall. Feeder Chinook salmon often enter Umpqua River Estuary in July and are caught between Winchester Bay and buoy 19. The largest Chinook salmon ever landed in Oregon weighed 83.0 pounds and was caught in the Umpqua River in 1910. Spring Chinook salmon in the Umpqua River offer anglers one of the best opportunities to set a new state record.

Information Report 98-4. Nickelson, T.E. 1998. A habitat-based assessment of coho salmon production potential and spawner escapement needs for Oregon coastal streams.

Information Report 88-1 Chinook Populations in Oregon Coastal River Basins. Description of Life Histories and Assessment of Recent Trends in Run Strengths

Spring Chinook salmon: in most years some Spring Chinook Salmon are tagged during the first week of March but substantial numbers of Spring Chinook Salmon begin entering Winchester Bay in April, peaking in late April or in May and running into June. The run of Spring Chinook salmon is usually comprised of high percentage of mature 5 and 6 year old fish. Spring Chinook spend very little time in the lower tidal reach of the Umpqua River Estuary. Some anglers experience success trolling for spring Chinook salmon along the south jetty with a plug cut herring, but the most productive fishing occurs upstream from the Hwy 101 Bridge at Reedsport and in the river above Scottsburg. Fish with bait wrapped Flatfish lures, Rogue Bait Rig and anchovy combinations, spinners or bait sweetened Spin–N–Glos using a wire spreader rigged with a 12 inch sinker dropper line and a 36 inch leader line to present the bait to the salmon. It usually requires a 2 to 8 ounce sinker to walk the bait to the desired location, 15 to 60 feet behind the boat. During periods of low river flows, anchor above and fish in the deeper water between the slots of the rock ledges. During the increased flow of spring runoff, anchor in the shallow water on the inside of a curve and fish at a depth of 4 to 10 feet from the inside out.

My friend Bill Morris caught this Spring Chinook downstream from Reedsport in 2013. My friend Steve Schuttpelz caught the fat red meat Chinook jack with his hand tied red ant fly at the deadline of Winchester Creek (see the video for more information) at Winchester Bay.

Umpqua River fall Chinook salmon begin returning in late July or early August peaking in late August and running into September. The age class of the returning Chinook is usually comprised of higher percentage of younger 3 year old fish followed by 4 year old fish.

Early in the run concentrate fishing in lower Winchester Bay. Most anglers fish between the East Basin and buoy 12 trolling a plug cut herring with the incoming tide in the channel that parallels the east shore along the south jetty to buoy 12 or in the deepwater channel that parallels the west shore from buoy 12 in a straight line to buoy 15 then to buoy 17 on east shore. As the number of returning fish increase troll a plug cut herring or rainbow colored spinners from buoy 17 to the International Paper Co. Chinook salmon often hold the deepwater between buoy 19 and buoy 21. Anchor and fish with bait wrapped Flatfish lures or with wobblers. Fish for Chinook salmon holding underneath the Highway 101 Bridge at Reedsport or in the deeper holes at confluence of the Smith and Umpqua Rives by trolling a plug cut herring or rainbow colored spinners.

To fish the tidal reach of the Umpqua River above the Smith River, launch a boat at the Umpqua Wayside State Park or at Scottsburg. Trolling a plug cut herring with the high incoming tide is the most productive method used to catch Chinook salmon followed by trolling a bait-wrapped Flatfish lure, spinners or a spinner bait combination. Back bounce, back troll or troll with the outgoing tide using a plug cut herring, bait wrapped Flatfish lures, spinners, a spinner bait combinations, wobblers or with a walnut sized gob of salmon eggs topped with a sand shrimp. Anchor up current above the deeper holes above Scottsburg and bobber fish with salmon eggs and sand shrimp or fish on the bottom using salmon eggs topped with sand shrimp, bait sweetened Spin–N–Glos or wobblers.

Fall Chinook salmon return to the Smith River in October but enter the Smith River in late September and peaks in late October before declining in early November. The age class of the returning Chinook is usually comprised of 4 and 5 year old fish. In early October fish for Smith River fall Chinook in lower Winchester Bay using the same methods used to fish for fall Umpqua River Chinook. Fish in the lower tidal reach of the Smith River from the confluence with the Umpqua River to the South Side Bridge trolling a plug cut herring, bait wrapped Flatfish lures or spinners with the incoming tide. Back bounce or Back troll with the outgoing tide using a plug cut herring, a walnut sized gob of salmon eggs topped with sand shrimp, bait wrapped Flatfish lures or spinners. To fish the upper tidal reach of the Smith River launch at the Noel Ranch launch or the Riverside boat launch. Drift with the tidal current using a free sliding bobber to fish a walnut sized gob of salmon eggs topped with a sand shrimp just off of the bottom. During the outgoing tide anchor up current above the deeper holes and fish with bait wrapped Flatfish lures, bait sweetened Spin–N–Glos, wobblers, a walnut size gob of salmon eggs or bobber fish with salmon eggs and sand shrimp.

The Oregon Plan for Salmon and Watersheds Calibration of Estimates of Coho Spawner Abundance in the Smith River Basin, 2001 Monitoring Report No. OPSW-ODFW-2002-06 May 2002

Coho salmon some Coho return to the Umpqua River Estuary in January and July. Coho usually return to the Umpqua River Estuary from late August peaking in September and October before declining in November.

Fish for coho salmon early in the run trolling plug cut herring, chartreuse hoochies or streamer flies with the incoming tide in the lower bay from the south jetty to buoy 12. Troll these baits behind a diver or wire spreader in the upper half of the water column. Be sure to troll a plug cut herring with a tight spin and at speeds between 3 and 5 knots. Fly fishing and/or trolling or casting spinners in the tidal flats associated with the City of Gardiner and the site of the former International Paper Mill is a favorite of local anglers. The water in the Umpqua River is often stained or murky with sediment. Fish with rainbow or dark colored spinners with brass or copper blades in stained water and light colored spinners with silver accents in clear water. Pink or chartreuse colored spinners are very effective when fishing for coho in the tidal flats. Umpqua Bay boast the highest catch rate of coho salmon for any of Oregon’ coastal bays.

STEELHEAD HATCHERY AND GENETIC MANAGEMENT PLAN

Steelhead returning to the Umpqua River Basin Overview and Mainstem: The Umpqua is famous for its steelhead fishing. There is year-round harvest of adipose fin-clipped steelhead in the Mainstem and North Umpqua, while the South Umpqua and Smith River are open for adipose clipped winter steelhead from Dec. 1, 2013 through April 30, 2014. The wild run has been strong the last several years, so there are good catch-and-release opportunities throughout the basin. Anglers should remember that no wild steelhead can be harvested in the Umpqua Basin. We remind anglers to check the ODFW regulations for current approved harvest mehtods and bag limits for fish, crabs and clams taken from Oregon's State Waters.

The Umpqua River Basin has an estimated population of 30,000 to 40,000 winter steelhead. An estimated 7 to 11 percent of the winter steelhead that swim through the Mainstem are fin clipped. Thus anglers should anticipate hooking more wild fish than hatchery fish, particularly in the Mainstem, Smith and North Umpqua. The hatchery program is based in the South Umpqua so anglers wanting to harvest a steelhead should concentrate their efforts in the South Umpqua from Canyonville downstream. During the last couple of years 75,000 to 109,000 winter steelhead smolts have been released in the South Umpqua. Thus 3,000 to 5,000 fin clipped steelhead should be returning.

From December through mid-February all of the steelhead bound for the North and South Umpqua are still making their way through the Main Umpqua. This makes for an incredible catch-and-release fishery as up to 90 percent of the steelhead hooked will be wild fish and must be released unharmed.

The best fishing opportunities in the Mainstem begin after Thanksgiving and continue through early March. Winter steelhead fishing begins just above tidal influence at Scottsburg. Bank fishing begins at Family Camp and continues upstream on the south side of the Umpqua River to Lutsinger Creek. Sawyer's Rapids and Scotts Creek are just upstream and are popular bank and drift boat spots. There also is good bank access at Bunch Bar wayside, which is owned by Douglas County and at Yellow Creek, Cleveland Rapids and River Forks Park.

Drift boaters can access the river at the Scotts Creek boat ramp and the Sawyer’s Rapids RV Park. Boat fishing is also available at Elkton, Yellow Creek, Osprey, James Woods and Umpqua boat ramps. Boat fishing on the Mainstem tends to be best when water levels area between 8 and 10 feet. Low and cold water conditions can keg steelhead up. Anglers fishing under these conditions should be particularly mindful of practicing good ethical catch-and-release techniques and handle the wild fish as little as possible.

Fishing in the North and South Umpqua starts in late December, with peak catch rates in late February through March. Winchester Dam counts show that by Jan. 15 only about 11 percent of the run has crossed Winchester Dam. By Feb. 15 normally about 30 percent of the run has reached the dam while by the middle of March about 66 percent have crossed the dam. Assuming that the South Umpqua steelhead are traveling at the same speed, it means that the fishing in the South Umpqua will be most successful from late February on. Since the fish tend to move more with rising water temperatures, anglers should be aware that a cold snap can stop the migration and slow the bite. Steelhead fishing in April can be productive, but by then many anglers have shifted their interest to spring chinook.

The North Umpqua and Smith River are typically the first waters to come back into fishable shape after a storm. The Mainstem Umpqua and South Umpqua are best fished when water levels are rising or falling. Higher flows cause the migrating winter steelhead to travel closer to the banks making them easier for bank anglers to target. Many of the best plunking holes on the Mainstem can only be fished at higher flows.

Fishing Techniques

Bank anglers on the Mainstem are successful plunking with a Spin-N-Glo, with or without prawns or roe, on a 20-24-inch leader rigged with appropriate weight from a three-way swivel. Bank anglers on the North and South Umpqua Rivers prefer drift fishing with a corky, yarn or egg rig. Most will use pencil lead or a slinky about 24 inches above the bait, with just enough weight to keep the bait near the bottom. Anglers in the North Umpqua fly waters should double check the angling regulations since gear use varies by time. Most boaters throughout the Umpqua basin prefer side drifting with eggs or pulling plugs.

Contact the District Office of ODFW at Roseburg, 541-440-3353, for more information on fishing techniques, and up-to-date fishing conditions. Or check out the ODFW weekly Recreation Report for the latest on fishing conditions.

Steelhead returning to the North Umpqua River

Anglers should remember that the North Umpqua no longer has a wild fish harvest. Only adipose fin-clipped steelhead may be kept in this area. Only about 5 percent of the winter steelhead in the North Umpqua are hatchery fish. However, with the strong wild population there is still a lot of catch-and-release opportunity in the North Umpqua.

Boat access is readily available on the lower 30 river miles of the North Umpqua River. Hestness Landing provides access for anglers to the lower North Umpqua River, and Amacher Park boat ramp is located just below Winchester Dam. A drift from Amacher Park to Hestness Landing is often productive for winter steelhead anglers. Above Winchester Dam, boat access is available at Whistlers Bend Park, Gravel Pit boat ramp, Colliding Rivers boat ramp, and a drift boat slide on Lone Rock Road. A boat take-out-only is located on the south side of the river off Page Road. The best boat fishing occurs when the North is between 4 to 7 feet or 1,688 to 6,400 cfs. The North Umpqua can be difficult to float for inexperienced boaters and caution should be used when floating this river.

Bank fishing in the lower river can be found at River Forks Park, Amacher Park, Whistlers Bend Park, near Colliding Rivers, the Narrows and just below Rock Creek at Swiftwater. Winter steelhead fishing above Rock Creek to Soda Springs Dam is part of the fly water area and is limited to wading and bank fishing. Fishing in the fly water can be productive throughout the season depending on river conditions -- optimal flows are from 1,500 cfs to about 5,500 cfs. Successful fly anglers use 10 to 14-foot spey rods and sink tips to “swing” large weighted or unweighted flies in the winter.

Winchester Dam counts are also posted on the ODFW website. The counts are not meant to be “real time” but can provide a look back at what the run timing has been in recent years.

The best way to use the Winchester Dam counts is to click on the time frame you’re interested in from the previous year. Then you can view 10 years of data to see what percent of the run has normally reached Winchester Dam by that time. Run time is generally the same from year to year with some adjustments for flood events, or cold snaps that can slow the run down a little. By viewing 10 years of data by 2-week increments anglers can plan their trips accordingly.

Steelhead retuning to the South Umpqua River The South Umpqua is the center of the Umpqua’s winter steelhead hatchery program. The goal of the hatchery program is to acclimate and release 80,000 –120,000 winter steelhead smolts per year. To help maintain the best possible genetics for the hatchery program, about 50 percent of the fish used for the broodstock are wild fish. Some of these fish are provided to the program through guides who have permits from the ODFW and Oregon State Police, while the rest of the fish are captured at various traps in the South Umpqua basin.

The South Umpqua winter steelhead program also provides a lot of public outreach. Volunteers from ODFW’s STEP program are an integral part of operating the acclimation sites and assisting with the broodstock collection. The ODFW has two acclimation sites on Canyon Creek, one operated by STEP volunteers and the other by the Cow Creek Band of the Umpqua Tribe of Indians. The ODFW also runs one acclimation site in cooperation with Eastwood Elementary School. This provides steelhead that tend to linger in the Canyonville and Roseburg areas. The STEP program and volunteers provide a variety of tours and field events at the acclimation sites so visitors can learn about fish life-cycles, the needs of fish, and fish management techniques.

With the release of nearly 94,000 smolts in 2011,109,000 in 2012, and about 75,000 in 2013 we are expecting a good hatchery return this year. Most of the fish that return come back in 2 years; therefore, fishing for hatchery fish is predicted to be good. Again, although these hatchery fish will be available in the Mainstem and North Umpqua, they will compose a small percentage of the steelhead in those basins.

The South Umpqua River provides the best opportunity to catch and keep adipose fin-clipped steelhead.

Boat ramps include Templin Beach in Roseburg, Douglas County Fair Grounds and Happy Valley. The new Harold and Sid Nichols boat ramp in Winston opened in October 2012. It is off Highway 42 near Douglas High School.

Several unimproved boat ramps are located at Boomer Hill, Gazley Bar, Stanton Park and Canyonville County Park. These boat ramps tend to be in the portion of the South with the highest concentration of hatchery fish. Above Canyonville there are unimproved ramps at Days Creek, Lavadoure Creek, Milo and Tiller. Catch-and-release fishing for wild steelhead is popular in this upper section of the South. The best boat angling is when the water levels are between 7 to 9 feet or about 3,000 to 6,500 cfs.

Bank fishing can be good at Templin Beach, Happy Valley Boat Ramp, the Myrtle Creek Bridge and Stanton County Park. There is also bank fishing available behind Seven Feathers Casino. Cow Creek is open to Middle Creek for steelhead fishing. Both Cow Creek and the South Umpqua River also provide above-average opportunities to catch and release large wild winter steelhead.

Steelhead returning to the Smith River Smith River provides anglers an opportunity to catch and release wild winter steelhead. The regulations do allow harvest of adipose-clipped steelhead, but there is no hatchery program in the Smith River basin and stray hatchery fish are rare. Bank access below Smith River Falls is limited due to private landownership. Boat access below the falls is available at the Wasson Creek Bridge, a drift boat slide near Dailey Creek, a wayside just above Doe Creek, and an unimproved boat slide just below the falls. Bank fishing access improves above Smith River Falls, as landownership becomes BLM and private industrial. Several unimproved boat slides exist above the falls, with good boat access at Vincent Creek. Several good drifts are available in the Smith River basin.

Cutthroat Trout: “The Oregon Coast Coastal Cutthroat Trout Species Management Unit (SMU) includes all populations of cutthroat trout inhabiting ocean tributary streams from the Necanicum River south to the Sixes River. The Oregon Coast Coastal Cutthroat Trout SMU passed all six interim criteria and its conservation risk classification for this Status Report is “not at risk.” Oregon Native Fish Status Report – Volume II

Striped bass enter the Umpqua River Estuary from middle of March before spawning in the Smith and Umpqua Rivers in June, but they only spawn successfully in the Smith River. Striped bass spawn successfully in the Smith River more not than often. ODFW has a policy of managing in favor of salmon over striped bass. The larger mature striped bass enter the estuary followed by schools of smaller striped bass feeding heavily on spawning herring from middle of March into early April. The striped bass move upriver to the Scottsburg reach feeding on smelt and shad during their respective runs. After spawning in June the stripers move down river feeding heavily before returning to the ocean in the middle of September. Oregon’s largest striped bass at 68.0 pounds was caught in the Umpqua River.

Fish for striped bass upstream from lower Umpqua River Estuary from the south jetty to the confluence of the Smith River using the methods detailed in the section describing striped bass. Concentrate fishing around the islands upstream to the confluence of the Smith River and in Scholfield Creek. Fish in the structure associated with the bridges and railroad trestles that cross the Smith and Umpqua Rivers. Fish in the main stem Umpqua River from the confluence with the Smith River to the head of tidewater above Scottsburg. Launch above tidewater at Sawyer’s Rapids and drift to Scottsburg Park. Fishing from Scottsburg to Sawyer Rapids can be exceptional anytime from the middle of March as the stripers feed heavily on smelt. Shad return the Umpqua River during May and June. Back bounce using whole smelt or strip bait cut from shad from Sawyer’s Rapids to Scottsburg during their respective runs during March–April and May–June. Fish striped bass in the tidal reach of the Smith River from Hudson Slough or Otter Slough to the head of tidewater. Most anglers fishing in the Smith River concentrate fishing for stripers in the Noel Ranch area from the middle of March to June.

Black rockfish and blue rockfish fishing is poor during heavy freshwater runoff from November through February. Fishing is usually good from late spring through October except for periods of heavy runoff from snowmelt in the Cascades. The best fishing occurs after sunset on an incoming tide in the channel along the jetties or in the harbor. Remember if you’re going to fish in the jetty channel at night do so only on an incoming tide and when the ocean is clam.

Click on Distinguishing the new species of Blue rockfish, the Deacon rockfish, from Black and Blue rockfish is significant to meet the retention requirements for Deacon, Blue and Black rockfish. Meet the Deacon rockfish.

Pileperch, striped seaperch, walleye surfperch, redtail surfperch and white seaperch enter Winchester Bay in spring. Schools of perch move onto the tidal flats feeding heavily on intertidal animals. Perch are caught upriver as far as Double Cove Pt on the east shore and Buoy 17 on the west shore. Fish between Buoy 12 and 15, ODFW reference. Striped perch are the predominant perch species caught in the bay except during the years when redtail surfperch enter the bay. The greatest numbers of striped perch are caught at the triangle while redtail perch and pileperch are taken further inside the bay to buoy 15 and along the east shore of the East Basin. The fishing ranges from fair to excellent late spring through fall depending on the tides, weather and snowmelt runoff.

Greenling: kelp greenling, whitespotted greenling and rock greenling enter Winchester Bay with the tide from late spring through the summer months. The best fishing occurs along the rocky structure associated with the triangle followed by the jetties and occasionally the structure associated with the boat basins.

Lingcod spawn along the rocky structure of the jetties from late January throughout March. Fishing is excellent during the spawning period along either ocean side or the bayside of the triangle and the south jetty. Historically the fishing for lingcod rates behind Yaquina Bay in productivity.

Cabezon are year–round residents. February through March is the most productive time of the year along the south jetty at the triangle. Fishing is slow the rest of the year.

Pacific herring enter the bay to spawn from February into April. Live herring are available at the Umpqua Bait Co. in the East Basin of Winchester Bay.

Starry Flounder fishing is fair during spring and poor for the rest of the year. Drift from the East Basin seaward using sand shrimp, blood worms or pile worms for bait.

White sturgeon enter the bay for most of the year. The sturgeon fishery ranks second behind sturgeon fishery of Tillamook Bay. The best fishing occurs from January through June but declines sharply from the middle of July before picking up again in December. Mud and/or sand shrimp are the most productive bait throughout the year followed by smelt, shad and herring.

Big Bend is the transition area between the lower and upper bay and is the most popular location to fish for sturgeon. Fish in the deeper holes associated with the channels and tidal flats around the islands in Big Bend. Fish in the deeper holes upstream from Buoy 12 to Buoy 21. Fish from Buoy 12 to Buoy 15 in water that is 15’ to 20’ deep. Fish from Buoy 17 to Buoy 19 in the deepwater channel along the outside of Big Bend. The “Wall Hole” which is nearly 50 feet deep at buoy 19 in Big Bend is the most productive location to catch sturgeon in the lower bay.

Fish upriver from the Wall Hole to the paper mill and in the holes associated with the islands at the confluence of the Smith and Umpqua Rivers.

Fish the deeper holes in the Umpqua River from the confluence with the Smith River to the Deans Creek elk viewing area or from Deans Creek to Scottsburg using smelt or shad for bait. Fishing in the holes associated with the power lines or below the confluence with Mill Creek is very productive. The smelt run anytime from January through March. Fresh smelt or shad is the most productive bait during their respective spawning seasons. Fish for sturgeon from May through June using shad caught at Sawyer Rapids for bait. The Umpqua River boast one of the best shad runs on the Pacific Coast.

Sand Sole enter the bay in small numbers from April through August.

Bank fishing: Fish for perch, greenling, bass, lingcod and salmon from the jetties and triangle breakwater in the lower bay.

Fish for striped bass from the shore at Half Moon Bay located just above the south jetty. Fish for pile and stripped perch along the east shore north of the Coast Guard Station in the East Basin. Fish for salmon and perch from shore at end of Oak Point located between the West and East Basins. Fish for Chinook salmon in the East Basin just below the bridge over Winchester Creek. Fish at night for bass on an incoming tide from the south jetty. Park at the turnout on the west side of Highway 101 located at mile mark 210.0 and fish for sturgeon and striped bass on the downstream side of the railroad trestle. Fish for sturgeon upriver on the Umpqua River at the confluence with Mill Creek. Fish for striped bass and salmon along the guardrail section of the Smith River Road above East Gardiner. Fish for striped bass at night during an incoming tide using frozen sardines rigged with a sliding sinker. Patience is required, because it may take hours for a school of stripers to appear.

Internet links of interest for the Umpqua River Estuary:

Tidal Projections: Click on the NOAA tidal projections for Oregon. Scroll down to Umpqua River Estuary and click on your area of interest.

Click on the navigational hazards to avoid when crossing the bar at Winchester Bay.

Click on the Marine Forecast from Florence to Cape Blanco featuring Small Craft Warning.

Click on Northwest River Forecast Center: Scroll over the river gauge station. Click the river gauge station icon to display the river gauge station information

Click on the height of the river level for the Umpqua River – Near Elkton

Recommended link: Click on the following link to see an detailed hourly forecast for weather and surf conditions on the southern Oregon Coast. Then click your coastal zone of interest to view the detail information compiled on the Marine Digital Point Forecast Matrix Interface.

Umpqua Bay boat launches on the north shore are located in the community of Gardiner but is usable only at high tide and on Bolon Island, and the Bolon Island boat launch located between the Umpqua and Smith Rivers on Bolon Island.  Turn east onto the Smith River Road from Highway and left again into the launch area. We suggest launching larger trailer boats in Winchester Bay or at the boat launch located the Umpqua River Discovery Center in Reedsport. 

The Reedsport boat launch, formerly the Rainbow Plaza boat launch is located on the south shore in the upper bay at the Discovery Center in Old Town Reedsport. To get there from mile post 211.5 on Highway 101 turn East onto Highway 38 which becomes Umpqua Ave. Travel for .2 of mile and turn left onto E Railroad Ave for .3 of mile and the entrance to the single lane boat ramp. Turn right onto River Front Way. The Umpqua Discovery Center and the double lane boat launch is just ahead to the left. Finding a parking place during the spring of fall salmon season can be challenging.

The Umpqua Bay boat launches in the lower bay are located at Winchester Bay’s Salmon Harbor West or Salmon Harbor East

There are two boat launches located in the upper tidal reach of the Umpqua River, the Umpqua Wayside State Park 9.2 miles on Hwy 38 and Scottsburg Park 16.0 miles on Hwy 38. There are two boat launches located above tidewater at Scott Creek and Sawyer Rapids.  The Scott Creek boat launch is located approximately 5 miles east of Scottsburg. Exit I-5 at the 135 exit at Sutherlin, Travel west to Elkton, west for 12 miles on Hwy 38 to the park a day use park with boat launch facility on Main` Umpqua river. The boat launch at Sawyer Rapids is a day use fee park operated by Douglas County. Call 541-957-7001 for additional information. To access the Sawyer Rapids boat launch drive to Elkton.  Drive across the river and turn right on Henderer Road to Hooker Road to the boat launch. Access from I-5 Henderer Road.  I-5 exit 135 at Sutherlin, Hwy 138 to Elkton, Left on Mehl Creek road 1 mile, right on Henderer Road 6 miles.   Day use park with boat ramp on Main Umpqua River. The Alfred S. Tyson City Park Boat Launch is located 36 miles East off of Hwy 38 the Umpqua Hwy in Elkton at 640 River Dr. Turn right onto 3rd St. to River Road. Turn Right onto River Dr. and left into driveway of the Alfred S. Tyson Park. At Elkton Hwy 38 leaves the Umpqua River to the City of Drain before joining I-5 between Roseburg to the south and Cottage Grove to the north.

The Umpqua River flows from the confluence of the South Umpqua River and the North Umpqua River at Winchester, Or. Access to the boat ramps on the Umpqua River between Elkton and I-5 is achieved by turning south onto Hwy 138. The Yellow Creek boat launch at the community of Oakland is a fee to use boat launch operated by Douglas County is located at mile post 11.6 on Hwy 138 from Elkton. Access from I-5 is at exit 136. The Yellow Creek Boat Launch is located at milepost 12.6 west of Sutherlin on Highway 138. Call 541-957-7001 for additional information.

At mile post 13.7 from Elkton Hwy 138 leaves the Umpqua River to Sutherlin. Turn onto Tyee Rd to follow the road parallel to the Umpqua River until Tyee Rd splits and leaves the Umpqua River. The main split of Tyee Rd. joins Fort McKay Rd east to Sutherlin. The Osprey Boat Ramp is accessed by turning onto Tyee Rd. at mile post 13.7 on Hwy 138 intersection with Tyee Rd. Travel to mile 6.7 to the Osprey Boat Ramp on the right. The Osprey Boat Ramp is a no fee to use boat operated by the B.L.M. Call 541-440-4930 for additional information. The Osprey Boat Ramp is a no fee to use boat operated by the B.L.M. Call 541-440-4930 for additional information. The James Wood Boat Ramp a fee to use boat ramp is accessed by turning onto Tyee Rd. at mile post 13.7 on Hwy 138 intersection with Tyee Rd. Travel to mile 14.6 to the James Wood Boat Ramp on the right. The James Wood boat ramp is operated by Douglas County. Call 541-957-7001 for additional information. The James Wood Boat Ramp is located from the east via Milepost 6 on Tyee Road. Exit I-5 135 at Sutherlin, west 1/2 mile, left on Fort McKay road 4 miles to Umpqua, right on Tyee road 7 miles. The Umpqua Landing Boat Ramp a fee to use boat ramp is accessed by turning onto Tyee Rd. at mile post 13.7 on Hwy 138 intersection with Tyee Rd. Travel to mile 20.7 to the second road named Tyree Rd. Turn right and travel to the Umpqua Landing Boat Ramp at the end of the second Tyree Rd. The Umpqua Landing boat ramp is located under the bridge over the Umpqua River. The Umpqua Landing is operated by Douglas County. Call 541-957-7001 for additional information. The Umpqua Landing is located from the east via Fort McKay Road, 1 mile west of the town of Umpqua. Exit I-5 to Sutherlin, west of Hwy 138 one mile, Left on Fort Mckay road to the Umpqua Landing day use park with boat launch. The Cleveland Rapids Park a fee to use boat ramp operated by Douglas County. Call 541-957-7001 for additional information. The Cleveland Rapids Park is located from the east via Lower Cleveland Rapids Road.  Travel west from Roseburg on Garden Valley Blvd for 5 miles. Turn left on Lower Cleveland Rapids Road and travel one mile to park. Day use park with boat launch facility on Umpqua river. River Forks Park a fee to use boat ramp is operated by Douglas County. Call 541-957-7001 for additional information. The River Forks Park is located on River Forks Park Road west of Roseburg on Garden Valley Blvd for three miles, turn left onto Old Garden Valley Road and travel for two miles. Turn left on River Forks Park Road. Day use park at confluence of North and South Umpqua rivers. Templin Beach Ramp a no use fee boat ramp operated by the City of Roseburg located in the Southeast section of the city at the corner of Templin Street and Arizona Street. Exit I-5 to the east at exit 124 onto SE Washington Ave. Turn south onto SE Stephens Ave to SE Mosher Ave. Turn west to SE 1st. Turn west onto SE Templin Ave. The five acre park sits along the east bank of the South Umpqua River and is a favorite spot for local residents to enjoy water related activities. The park consists of a single lane improved boat launch ramp, restrooms, and parking. The majority of the park is in the riparian zone of the river, resulting in a mostly natural environment. Call 541-672-7701 for additional information. Douglas County Fairgrounds is a no use fee boat launch. Contact us at 541 957 7010 or email fairgrounds@co.douglas.or.us or Visit Us by exiting I-5 at exit 123. Turn east onto Portland Ave. to the Douglas County Fairground R/V Park complex. Happy Valley Boat Launch Exit I-5 at exit 119 onto Coos Bay-Roseburg Hwy. Turn right at Carnes Road and left on Happy Valley Road. Turn right on Poteet Ave. Poteet Avenue, Green District.  Boat launch facility on the South Umpqua River. Hult Mill River Lauch is a primative gravel bar launch locate adjacent to the Roseburg Lumber Yard. Access is through private property. Use at your own risk. The Hult Mill river launch area is located in the community of Dillard off of Hwy 99. Travel south from the City of Winston on Hwy 99 through the community of Dillard to Dyke Rd. Turn right onto Dyke Rd and follow it to the Hult Mill River Launch area. The us of 4 wheel dirve vehicles to access the launch area is recommended. The Sid Nichlos Park Boat Slide a no use fee is Operated by the City of Winston at 541-679-6114. The Sid Nichols Boat Slide is located at the purposed Sid Nichlos City Park on the riverside of Hwy 42 south of NW Abraham Ave. Myrtle Creek boat slide is operated by the City of Myrtle Creek. The Myrtle Creek boat Slide is accessed from SW Fourth Ave. Access the Myrtle Creek Boat Slide from Exit 108 from I-5 onto N Old Pacific Hwy and follow it around to the right to SW Fourth Ave and turn right to the Boat Silde parking area. Lawson Bar is operated by the ODFW. Access the Lawson Bar from I-5 by exiting at exit 102 the south onto Gazley Rd. Turn left onto Lawson Bar Rd. Follow the Lawson Bar Rd. to the right turn toward the South Umpqua River. Ford's Bridge is operated by the ODFW. Access the Ford's Bar from I-5 by exiting at exit 101 on either Stanton Park Rd. or Ravenswood Rd. Turn south to the frontage road on the east side of I-5. Take the frontage road under the I-5 Bridge to access Ford's Bridge sand and gravel bar adjacent to the South Umpqua River. Stanton Park is operated by Douglas County and is located at 1540 Stanton Park Road, Canyonville, OR 97417. To access Stanton Park exit I-5 at exit 99. Travel north 1/2 mile on Stanton Park Road east of freeway (North of 7 Feathers Casino). Pickett Park a no use fee day use park (Formally Canyonville Park) is operated by Douglas County. Access by exiting I-5 exit 125 at Roseburg. Go east on 138 to Idleyld park. Lavadour is operated by the ODFW. Milo Boat Ramp is operated by ODFW and is located 6.2 miles on the Tiller Trail from the intersection of Shively Creek Rd OR-227 and Tiller Trail Hwy. Boomer Hill is operated by ODFW and is located 15.7 miles on the Tiller Trail from the intersection of Shively Creek Rd OR-227 and Tiller Trail Hwy. Turn left onto Tiller-South Umpqua Rd / S Umpqua Rd. Turn right into the boat launch area turn to the west to the river to launch. Three C Rock is operated by the U.S. Forest Service and is located 15.7 miles on the Tiller Trail from the intersection of Shively Creek Rd OR-227 and Tiller Trail Hwy. Turn left onto Tiller-South Umpqua Rd / S Umpqua Rd and travel 2.6 miles to the Three C Rock launch.

There are two boat launches located on the North Fork of the Umpqua River between I-5 at Winchester and the confluence with the South Fork of the Umpqua River. Hestness Landing a fee to use boat ramp operated by Douglas County is located off of Del Rio Road in Roseburg. Exit I-5 at exit # 129. Go west on Del Rio Road three miles. Boat launch facility on the North Umpqua River. Call 541-957-7001 for additional information. Amacher Park R/V Park and Campground is a fee to use boat ramp operated by Douglas County. Amacher Park is located at 5750 NE Stephens, Winchester, OR 97495. Amacher Park is located on the North Umpqua River in Winchester under the I-5 Bridge. Exit 129. The Winchester Dam Boat Launch is operated by ODFW. It is foolish to boat in the backwater impoundment behind an active spillway because of the limited amount of time to react to an emergency should one occur. Access the Winchester Dam Boat ramp (bank slide) by exiting I-5 at exit 138. Travel south on NE Stephens St. Look for the boat ramp (slide) at the parking area for Winchester Dam facility? Call 800-720-6339 for additional information. Whistlers Bend Park is operated by Douglas County. The travel distance from the I-5 exit 124 to Whistlers Park Rd. is 12. 8 miles. To access Whistlers Bend Park exit I-5 at exit 124 onto West Harvard Ave Hwy 138. Travel the short distance east on West Harvard Ave where it veers to the right onto SE Oak Ave to SE Stephens St. Follow Hwy 138 by turning left onto SE Stephens St. Continue on SE Stephens St. to NE Diamond Lake Blvd. Turn right onto NE Diamond Lake Blvd (Hwy 138). NE Diamond Lake Blvd becomes North Umpqua Hwy (Hwy 138). Travel to Whistlers Park Rd and turn left to the park at the end of Whistlers Park Rd. Colliding Rivers Boat Launch is operated by Douglas County at Milepost 16, Hwy 138 on the North Umpqua just west of Glide. The travel distance from the I-5 exit 124 to the entrance to Colliding Rivers Boat Launch is 16.9 miles. Lone Rock Drift Boat Access is operated by Douglas County. The travel distance from the I-5 exit at West Harvard Drive exit 124 to the Lone Rock Road is 18.8 miles up the North Umpqua Hwy. Turn right onto Lone Rock Road and immediately left and travel 1.1 miles to the Lone Rock Drift Boat Access. Susan Creek is operated by the B.L.M. We modified the travel distance directions to begin from the intersection of SE Stephens St and Hwy 138 NE Diamond Lake Blvd. The travel distance from the intersection of SE Stephens St. and Hwy 138 NE Diamond Lake Blvd. to the entrance of the Susan Creek Boat Launch is 28.5 miles on the North Umpqua Hwy. Bogus Creek is operated by the U.S. Forest Service. The travel distance from the intersection of SE Stephens St. and Hwy 138 NE Diamond Lake Blvd. to the entrance of the Bogus Creek Boat Launch is 34.8 miles on the North Umpqua Hwy. Gravel Bin Take Out is operated by the U.S. Forest Service. No motor use between the Lone Rock Camp (approximate RM 32) upstream to Lemolo Lake. The travel distance from the intersection of SE Stephens St. and Hwy 138 NE Diamond Lake Blvd. to the entrance of the Gravel Bin Take Out is 39.7 miles on the North Umpqua Hwy. Apple Creek Campground is operated by the U.S. Forest Service. The travel distance from the intersection of SE Stephens St. and Hwy 138 NE Diamond Lake Blvd. to the entrance of the Apple Creek Campground is 43.4 miles on the North Umpqua Hwy. Horseshoe Bend is operated by the U.S. Forest Service. The travel distance from the intersection of SE Stephens St. and Hwy 138 NE Diamond Lake Blvd. to the entrance of the Horseshoe Bend Boat Launch at FS Rd. 4750 is 46.4 miles on the North Umpqua Hwy. The boat launch is located down and around the corner on FS Rd. 4750. Boulder Flat is the last of the boat launch on the North Umpqua River before Toketee Reservoir and is operated by the U.S. Forest Service. The travel distance from the intersection of SE Stephens St. and Hwy 138 NE Diamond Lake Blvd. to the entrance of the Boulder Flat Boat Launch is 52.3 miles on the North Umpqua Hwy. Hwy 138 continues to Diamond Lake and Crater Lake.

South Umpqua Falls is located at the South Umpqua Falls Campground. Exit I-5 at W 1St. in Cayonville and turn left. Turn right onto S. Main St and then left onto SE 3rd. St. the Tiller Trail Hwy. Follow the Tiller Trail Hwy to the Tiller S. Umpqua River Rd and turn left. The South Umpqua Falls Campground is located approximately 13.4 miles up the road. The South Umpqua River parallels the road providing recreational access to the river.

Refer to the Oregon State Marine Board for a list of boat launches associated with the North Umpqua River Basin located east of I-5.

North Fork of the Umpqua River Wild and Scenic River. The recreational opportunities of the North Umpqua River Basin are so impressive we are compelled to share some of them with you.

The B.L.M. manages large tracks of forested land along the North Fork of the Umpqua River Basin. The beauty in addition to the recreational opportunities common to the North Fork of the Umpqua River are not common but unique in the minds and hearts and souls of those who visit the area.

The Thundering Waters Brochure of the North Umpqua River describe the locaton of waterfalls in the North Umpqua River watershed.

"The waters of the North Umpqua are rich in fly-fishing history. The North Umpqua serves as needed habitat for a variety of resident and anadromous fish species, including summer and winter steelhead, fall and spring Chinook salmon, Coho salmon, and sea-run cutthroat trout." (blm brochure)

Explore and embrace the grandure of the North Umpqua River Trail. "Hiking, horseback riding, mountain biking, photography, fishing, and sight-seeing opportunities abound in the spectacular settings of the North Umpqua Trail in the Cascade mountains of the Pacific Northwest.

In the early 1970’s, local trail advocates envisioned a trail extending from Rock Creek to the Cascades. Construction began in 1978 and was completed in 1997 through the cooperative efforts of many dedicated volunteers, the Umpqua National Forest, Roseburg District Bureau of Land Management, and Douglas County Parks Department.

TIOGA SEGMENT

Length: 15.7 miles
Difficulty: Difficult, Steep Terrain, long distance
Trailheads: Swiftwater and Wright Creek

MOTT SEGMENT

Length: 5.5 miles
Difficulty: Moderate
Trailheads: Wright Creek and Mott

PANTHER SEGMENT

Length: 5 miles
Difficulty: Moderate
Trailheads: Mott and Panther

CALF SEGMENT

Length: 3.7 miles
Difficulty: Moderate
Trailheads: Panther and Calf

MARSTERS SEGMENT

Length: 3.6 miles
Difficulty: Moderate
Trailheads: Calf and Marsters

JESSIE WRIGHT SEGMENT

Length: 4.1 miles
Difficulty: Moderate
Trailheads: Marsters and Soda Springs

DEER LEAP SEGMENT

Length: 9.6 miles
Difficulty: Moderate (west to east), Difficult (east to west)
Trailheads: Soda Springs and Toketee Lake

HOT SPRINGS SEGMENT

Length: 3.5 miles
Difficulty: Moderate
Trailheads: Toketee Lake and Hot Springs

DREAD & TERROR SEGMENT

Length: 13 miles
Difficulty: Difficult
Trailheads: Hot Springs and White Mule

LEMOLO SEGMENT

Length: 6.3 Miles
Difficulty: Moderate
Trailheads: White Mule and Kelsay Valley

MAIDU SEGMENT

Length: 9 miles
Difficulty: Difficult
Trailheads: Kelsay Valley and Digit Point Access." (blm brochures)

Smith River Basin Boat Launches: There are number of boat launches located in the Smith River basin from the Douglas County Boat Ramp located in Gardiner on Hwy 101 just prior to leaving town headed south and the Bolon Island Boat Ramp which is located off of Hwy 101 by turning east onto the Lower Smith River RD and left again into the Bolon Island Recreation area to the Smith River Marina & Campground, a private marina and campground, at mile marker 7.9 on the Lower Smith River RD. The Noel Ranch Boat Launch no use fee boat launch is operated by the U.S. Forest Service. The Noel Ranch boat launch is located at mile post 8.5. The Riverside Boat Launch a use fee boat launch operated by Douglas County is located at mile post 11.3 on the Lower Smith River Road.  The Art Moss primitive boat launch is located 17.8 miles from Hwy 101 on the Lower Smith River Road. The no use fee boat launch is operated by ODFW. For additional information call 800-720-6339. The Dailey Ranch Boat Launch is located 22.2 miles from Hwy 101. The no use fee Dailey Ranch Boat Launch is operated by ODFW. For additional information call 800-720-6339. The Fawn Creek Boat Ramp is located 24.7 miles from Hwy 101. The use fee Fawn Creek Boat Ramp is operated by the BLM. For additional information 541-756-0100. The Lower Drift Take-Out is located 26.2 miles from Hwy 101 on the Lower Smith River RD. The no fee use Lower Drift Take-Out boat launch is operated by ODFW. For additional information call 800-720-6339.

Oregon Dunes camping and R/V parks.

215.7 Ziolkouski Beach Park is located south of Umpqua Bay and is reached through the community of Winchester Bay by taking the Salmon Harbor Recreational Area Exit west from Highway 101. Follow the signs along county road 251 to the three beach parking areas. Parking is free at the first parking area. A parking permit is required at the second and third parking areas. A wheelchair access area is available at the second parking area. The third parking area offers ATV access to the sand dunes only from the south jetty to Spinreel Campground.

Half Moon Bay Campground Winchester Bay:

Reservations on  a first come/first serve individual and group campsites for RV’s, pickup campers and tents. (non-hookup). Easy access to the ocean beaches, Dunes NRA Recreation Area, ocean fishing, crabbing Umpqua Lighthouse and the town of Winchester Bay. Located at 1645 Salmon Harbor Drive, Winchester Bay, OR 97467 off Highway 101 three miles south of Reedsport. One mile west on Salmon Harbor Drive.

Windy Cove B RV Park and Campground 684 Salmon Harbor Drive, Reedsport, OR 97467 is located 1/2 mile West of Highway 101 on Salmon Harbor Road in Winchester Bay. Situated in the heart of recreational activity on Douglas County’s coastline, this is the perfect campground for the off-road enthusiast, fisherman, crabber or beach comber. 

Windy Cove B RV Park & Campground Offers:

    • Complete camping facilities for RV'S, pickup campers, and tents.
    • Reservations on first come/first serve individual sites, and a cabin.
    • Bay front camping in Winchester Bay.
    • Close to local beaches, the NRA Dunes Recreation Area, fishing, crabbing and the village of Winchester Bay.

Lake Marie is a small lake located within the Umpqua Lighthouse State Park. The lake is the trailhead for the 1 mile Lake Marie trailhead is located at Umpqua Lighthouse State Park. The trail circles picturesque Lake Marie and begins from a sandy swimming beach and provides access to several swimming and fishing points around the lake. A short spur trail on the western side leads to open sand dunes. Facilities available at the free day use area of the park. Travel directions: Drive 5 miles south of Reedsport on US 101 to Winchester Bay.  Turn right (west) onto Salmon Harbor Drive. Travel 1 mile and turn left (east) onto Lighthouse Road. Travel 1 mile to the park located just past the Umpqua River Lighthouse. The trail connects to both ends of the sandy beach. The trail length is1 mile loop and the hiking difficulty is rated as easy. Reference, "Hiking Around Reedsport".

The lake is only suitable for car top boats and Kayaks because the lake has no boat launching facilities and launching is through the sandy beach swimming area. The lake is planted annually with thousands of rainbow trout and supports largemouth bass and yellow perch.

Clear Lake - 149 acres is located south of Winchester Bay, east of Highway 101. and contains native cutthroat trout. Trespassing access to the lake is restricted because the lake is the water source for the City of Reedsport. Clear Lake flows south in Edna Lake.

Edna Lake a 34.8 acre lake is located between Clear Lake and Teal Lake. The lake is surrounded by private property with no public access. The lake contains native cutthroat trout. Edna Lake flows into Teal Lake.

Teal Lake a 6.1 acre lake is located between Edna Lake and the remnant of Potts Lake. Potts Lake was filled when Highway 101 was constructed. Teal Lake is owned by the Shuttpelz family and contains native cutthroat trout. The lake is posted, so please respect their privacy.

Shuttpelz Lake is a small, lightly fished lake just north of Hall Lake. Hall Lake is an 11.9 acre lake. The lakes are separated by small waterfall that prevents fish passage upstream to Shuttpelz Lake.  Fishing in Shuttpelz Lake catch-and-release only. There is good bank access on the western shore and many anglers pack a float tube or small raft to fish the brushy eastern shore. The lake is a short 0.5 mile hike from the new day-use area at Hall Lake. Hall Lake located across U.S. Hwy 101 from Tugman State Park. To get there follow Hwy101 north past Lakeside and turn west at the Wildwood Drive exit. Turn left at the sign for the Hall Lake Day Use Area. A simple gravel parking lot with restrooms and a grassy field compose the only developed elements of the park. Follow the hiking trail mark signs to hike to Shuttpelz Lake. Both lakes contain cutthroat trout and largemouth bass.

221.5 Eel Lake a 347.3 acre lake is a large, deep lake located along the Oregon Coast between the Umpqua River and Coos Bay. Clear, Edna, Teal, Stuttpelz and Hall Lakes drain into the western side of Eel Lake via Clear Creek. Tributaries also include Eel and Marsh Creeks which flow into the east and west arms of the lake.  The lake’s outlet, Eel Creek, joins Tenmile Creek about a mile below Tenmile Lake before flowing into the Pacific.  Eel Lake, like many other lakes on the Oregon Coast was formed by a series of geological events that included changes in sea level and movement of coastal dunes.

Nearly all the shoreline of Eel Lake drops precipitously to a flat bottom of over eighteen meters deep. The average depth is 12.5 meters and the deepest point is approximately 20 meters. The northern portions of each of the lake’s arms gradually become shallower and end in extensive wetlands.

Eel Lake’s watershed consists of steep timber covered slopes ranging from 16 to 228 meters above sea level.  Rainfall within the watershed averages 74 inches per year.  There are a few residential areas to the west of the lake, but most of the watershed is owned by private logging interests and William M Tugman State Park. A boat launch, picnic facilities, restrooms, and hiking trails that run along the south shore encompas approximately half of the lake. There are no homes on the lakeshore. 

The lake is primarily used for fishing, boating, and drinking water supply.  The Lakeside Water District uses Eel Lake as a drinking water source for approximately 1200 residents of the City of Lakeside and surrounding areas.  Fish species include native cutthroat trout, coho salmon, steelhead, and rainbow trout; and non-native largemouth bass, yellow perch, and bluegill.  The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife stocks Eel Lake with rainbow trout each spring. 

222.0 Tenmile Lake a 1138.5 acre lake (From Atlas of Oregon Lakes, Johnson et al. 1985) and North Tenmile lake are accessible via Lakeside Junction. Tenmile Lake is the largest in a series of lake basins that drain the west side of the Coast Range south of the Umpqua River. It is the farthest south in a chain that includes Clear Lake, Eel Lake, North Tenmile Lake and several smaller water bodies. The lake was originally known as Johnson Lake, but the U. S. Board of Geographic Names has officially named it Tenmile Lake; the name South Tenmile Lake is incorrect but is in common usage. Tenmile and North Tenmile Lakes were undoubtedly named for Tenmile Creek which connects them to the ocean. In turn, the creek was so named because it was supposed to be about 10 miles south of Winchester Bay, the first pioneer settlement on this part of the coast.

The entire chain of lakes owes its existence to the same series of geological events as described by Cooper (1958). Ancestral Tenmile Creek was the mainstem of a stream network that drained this entire region, Eel Creek a tributary entering from the north, and Clear Creek a tributary of Eel Creek. During a time of coastal submergence which accompanied post-glacial warming, the whole system underwent a period of readjustment. The main valley and the lower courses of its tributary valleys were inundated. A bar of sand dunes formed across the river mouth and the ponded valley thus became a large lake with branches extending up the tributaries. As submergence continued the depth of the lake increased and the arms were extended farther upstream. At the same time, dunes along the shore north of Tenmile Creek were advancing inland and eventually entered broadside into the valley of Clear Creek, impounding its headwaters and forming what is now Clear Lake. As drainage from Clear Lake flowed into the Eel Creek valley a delta began to form which developed into a sand flat blocking off the upper portion of the valley and giving rise to Eel Lake. The overflow from Eel Lake then carried sand farther downstream and resumed delta formation in the lake occupying the submerged valley of Tenmile Creek. The delta extended itself across the lake to the south shore and farther upstream and downstream. Upstream the delta made contact with the promontory separating the large, submerged north and south arms of Tenmile Creek, thus segregating the present North Tenmile Lake and (South) Tenmile Lake, and producing the extensive sand flat upon which the village of Lakeside now stands. Since that time, movement of sand has ceased and a forest cover has developed so that there have been no further substantial modifications of the drainage pattern.

The drainage basin of Tenmile Lake is thus quite large and includes the basin of North Tenmile Lake within it. Other major tributaries entering the various arms include Shutter Creek, Adams Creek, Johnson Creek and Benson Creek. In contrast to Eel and Clear Lakes, the Tenmile Lakes are quite shallow and have filled in with rich organic matter which washes in from the drainage basin; narrow marshes border the lakes in several areas. The bottom material is sand, muck and peat. In some places around Tenmile Lake the surface topography is very steep and there is frequent slumping of overlying sedimentary material into the water, thereby gradually reducing lake depth. The upland area of the drainage basin is primarily covered by forest and is almost totally in private ownership, as is the shoreline of the lake.

The ecological characteristics of the Tenmile Lakes are dominated by their very shallow depth and the effects of introduced species of rooted macrophytes, particularly the Brazilian water weed (Elodea). Major ion concentrations are below average for coastal lakes; but phosphorus and chlorophyl concentrations were above average, and nitrate values were extremely high when sampled for this survey. Water transparency is below average for coastal lakes. These are all indicators of an eutrophic lake. Algal blooms are frequently observed in the water, and there is a noticeable oxygen depletion of the bottom water even though the lake is shallow. The phytoplankton surveys reported here showed quite high algal densities in spring and late fall, when cooler water temperatures normally reduce algal densities. Summer algae would be even more dense. A bloom of Aphanizomenon, a blue-green alga typical of highly eutrophic lakes, was reported by in August, 1956 (Phinney and McLachlan 1956). Phytoplankton data for 11/22/82 show Gomphosphaeria, also a blue-green eutrophic alga, to be dominant in terms of biomass. McHugh (1972) reported dominance of Melosira during winter months, which again is typical of eutrophic lakes. The summer, fall, and winter phytoplankton contain indicators of eutrophic conditions; however the spring sample is more typical of a lower trophic state as indicated by the biomass dominance of Dinobryon. Dinobryon is usually regarded as occurring most frequently in low-phospate, or oligotrophic, lakes, but this may be an exception. Undoubtedly some of the nutrient input into the lake is due to the heavy recreational use and the large number of homes around the shoreline. Also, the shallow nature of the lake allows nutrients to be resupplied readily from bottom sediments. 

Tenmile Lake has long been popular with recreationists from the local area as well as with large numbers of users from the interior valleys. In fact, Tenmile Lake receives more use by boaters (over 40,000 boater use days per year) than any other lake in Oregon (Frenkel 1975). Like the north lake, Tenmile has good rainbow fishing but it is the success with bass and pan fish that attracts most anglers. Largemouth bass activity has been so good that limits are often the rule. Bluegill is the most prolific species in the lake.

In spite of the excellent fishing now found in Tenmile Lake, the history of the fishery is an unfortunate one (Grenfell 1969, Schwartz 1977). Earlier this century large populations of cutthroat trout, silver salmon and steelhead passed through the Tenmile Lakes system to spawn in the tributary streams. The rich, productive lakes provided an ideal habitat for fish growth. The size of fish taken by anglers was impressive and the reputation of the Tenmile Lakes as producers of trophy fish was well established. In an attempt to create more variety and to develop a warm water fishery, yellow perch and brown bullhead were introduced, probably in the 1920s. These new species prospered, but at the expense of the salmon and trout. In time the quality of the salmon and trout fishery declined drastically as the increased numbers of warm water fish decreased the food supply. Studies of the problem were begun by the State Game Commission about 1938 and in 1953 an intensive study program was started with the goal of eliminating undesirable species and rebuilding the salmon and trout runs. These runs had also been adversely affected over the years by the deterioration of spawning grounds. Logging operations made some tributaries unsuitable for spawning salmon, while on others siltation reduced productivity. Much loss has also resulted from re-channeling of streams by landowners to obtain better drainage and more farming areas, usually in the flatter areas around the mouths of tributaries that make good pasture.

Information Report 2001-02. Nickelson, T.E. 2001. Population assessment: Oregon coast coho salmon ESU

Information Report 2000-07. Zhou, S. 2000. Stock assessment and optimal escapement of coho salmon in three Oregon coastal lakes, Siltcoos Lake, Tahkenitch Lake, Tenmile Lakes.

North Tenmile Lake a 829.2 acre companion lake just north of Tenmile Lake is joined to each other by a channel. (From Atlas of Oregon Lakes, Johnson et al. 1985)  North Tenmile Lake is a large natural lake on the Oregon coast south of the mouth of the Umpqua River. It is part of the well-known "Tenmile Lakes" system which includes the larger Tenmile Lake immediately to the south. The lakes are named for Tenmile Creek, which connects them to the ocean. The creek was so named because it was thought to be about ten miles south of the pioneer settlement at Winchester Bay. The geological development of these lakes from an old stream system is described earlier in this volume in the Tenmile Lake report. North Tenmile Lake shows a distinctive dendritic, or branching, pattern characteristic of lakes formed in submerged river valleys. Surface streams enter at several arms of the lake and the outflow is into a navigable channel leading to Tenmile Lake about half a mile away.

Most of the shoreline property around North Tenmile Lake is privately owned and some small water rights exist for domestic use and irrigation by local land owners. Timber companies own most of the land throughout the drainage basin, much of which was logged off in the 1940s. Brush and second-growth timber now cover the hills in this part of the Coast Range. North Tenmile Lake receives heavy recreational use, particularly by fishermen, although not as much as Tenmile Lake. It is primarily trout water while the other is a bass lake. Bluegill are also found in North Tenmile Lake in great numbers. In some years coho salmon run up Tenmile Creek to the lakes and provide good angling.

The Tenmile Lakes are later in their geological stage of development than Clear and Eel Lakes, which were part of the same ancestral stream system. Clear and Eel are deeper with relatively steep shorelines. North Tenmile is a shallow lake with a mean depth of 11 feet and is gradually filling in with nutrient-rich sediment from the drainage basin. Narrow marshes border much of the lake and the bottom is composed of sand, muck and peat. There are dense growths of rooted macrophytes, including the genera Brasenia nuphar, Typha, Potamogeton, Myriophyllum, and particularly Elodea which was introduced in the 1940s. The long history of problems with macrophytes and fish populations in the Tenmile Lakes is discussed in the earlier report.

Water quality in the two lakes is similar although North Tenmile is slightly more eutrophic, a determination based on concentrations of total phosphorus and chlorophyl, transparency, conductivity and nitrates. The sample taken on 5/5/82 showed a high nitrate concentration. Algal blooms have been noted, particularly Volvox aureus and Melosira granulata. Both Volvox and Asterionella formosa, also commonly found, have been associated with taste and odor problems, indicating the highly enriched state of North Tenmile Lake.

222.5 The Umpqua Trailhead (John Dellenback Trail) is located between Coos Bay and Winchester Bay west of Highway 101 just south of the Lakeside junction. Turn west from Highway 101 onto the trailhead access road. Access to the beach is by a four mile hiking trail. Watch for Snowy Plover Seasonal Closure Areas March 15 – Sept 15. Refer to the PDF trail map of the John Dellenback Trail. The fishing is excellent for redtail surfperch mostly during Spring and striped bass following the rare instances when they have successfully spawned.

224.3 The Spinreel Campground at Tenmile Creek provides easy access to the beach by off road vehicles to the sand dunes and to the beach by ATVs to Horsefall Beach. On the beach fishing is excellent for redtail surfperch during the spring. Tenmile Creek offers excellent fishing for steelhead trout, fishing for largemouth bass and fair fishing for yellow perch, rainbow and cutthroat trout (Pete Heley at www.peteheley.com). Pete suggest putting in at Hilltop Drive and walking out at the Old-Hwy 101 Bridge or at Eel Creek is about a 5 mile drift but walking back to your vehicle along the railroad track is slightly more than a mile.

226.5 Saunders Lake a 41.4 acre lake (From Atlas of Oregon Lakes, Johnson et.

al 1985). (ODFW Photo) Saunders Lake is one of several lakes in an extensive area of sand dunes on the Oregon coast stretching from North Bend to Florence. It is more visible and more heavily used than most in this area because of its proximity to the Oregon Coast Highway. Along with other nearby lakes (including Horsfall and Beale Lakes in this study) it lies in a forested deflation plain on which the sand is stabilized by a dense growth of shrubs and trees, primarily pine and fir. Active dunal ridges, reaching about 100 feet above sea level, flank the plain on both sides and trend north and south parallel to the coast. There are no perennial streams in the area and the lake is a surface expression of seasonal fluctuations in the water table. Saunders Lake is relatively steep sided so changes in surface area are not as great as at other lakes on the deflation plain. Nevertheless, there is a distinct seasonal pattern. At high stages the lake is often connected to Clear Lake, a small 25-acre lake to the north, and there is also some surface outflow to the west. Ground water aquifers in the area are tapped by the Coos Bay North Bend Water Board for industrial use and that activity has had some effect on lake levels. During the 1976-77 drought the natural level of the lake dropped by several feet. For the most part the shoreline of Saunders Lake is private property with many home sites. 

Local residents probably withdraw some water from the lake for domestic use. There is a short stretch of county owned shoreline at the south end and the Department of Fish and Wildlife has provided a boat launching ramp. Fishing success can be had on Saunders Lake, particularly for a few wild cutthroat and planted rainbow trout in the spring and early summer. The lake offers largemouth bass and bluegill and yellow perch are also caught in good numbers. The maximum depth of Saunders Lake is 35 feet, but over half the lake is shallower than 10 feet and there is an extensive growth of water lilies and other macrophytes. However, in spite of this fact and the large number of homes around the shoreline, Saunders Lake has a lower trophic state than most of the other coastal lakes. Secchi disk depth, chlorophyll and phosphorus concentrations all indicate mesotrophic conditions, but quite close to oligotrophic.

227.5 Riley Ranch County Park is located at milepost 227 on US Highway 101 just west of the community of Hauser, Oregon and 6 miles north of North Bend, Oregon. Riley Ranch is adjacent to the Oregon Dunes National Recreational Area. Physical address is: 93507 Riley Ranch Lane, North Bend, OR 97459.

The campground currently consists of 92 reservation campsites with water and electrical hookups, and 2-16’x20’camping cabins.  Two Restroom/shower buildings.  No dump station in the park but there is a RV sanitary dump station available for use at Tenmile County Park 5 miles up the road at the town of Lakeside. The campground accommodates ATV users with direct dune access from your camp site. The Ranch also welcomes Equestrians.

The day use area consists of a large gravel parking area which can be used for overflow dry camping if the campground is full at the rate of 25/night. 

Butterfield Lake (ODFW Photo) borders the northern part of the campground and provides a fishing opportunity for campers and day users alike. The lake currently has largemouth bass, warmouth bass crappie, perch, and trout. The lake will be on ODW&F’s stocking program and be receiving trout several times a year. The lake will be open to boats but will be limited in size and restricted to electric trolling motors only.

232.3 North Bay Viewpoint is located on the west side of Highway101. The viewpoint is the access point to the tidal flats associated with the slough of North Coos Bay and a good location from which to view wildlife. Softshell clams are dug along the shore.

232.8 The Trans Pacific Parkway provides access to Horsfall Beach, North Beach and the west shore of Coos Bay. Turn west from Highway 101 drive toward the far shore and park at the turnout at the far side of the small bridge. Fishing the incoming tide for perch and striped bass is good. The tidal flats are a favorite location to pump for mud or sand shrimp.

232.8 Horsfall Beach is located above North Beach. Access is gained by turning west from Highway 101 onto the Trans Pacific Parkway and right on Horsfall Beach Road. The Horsfall Beach Campground has full service camping facilities and equestrians are welcome. Horsfall Beach is the surf fishing hot spot for Coos County for redtail surfperch and an occasional white seaperch. Fishing for striped bass is good to excellent in the years following the bass successfully spawning in the Smith River.

Bluebill Lake a 14.4 acre lake within the Bluebill Campground.

Bluebill Campground is located in the Horsfall Area, known for its excellent off-road vehicle trails. It is also conveniently located less than a mile from Pacific Coast beaches and 2 miles north of North Bend, Oregon. With such an ideal location for recreation, it's no wonder families love this site.

Natural Features:

Surrounded by shore pine, huckleberry and wax myrtle, Bluebill lies near Bluebill Lake, within a short drive from the coast. It is part of the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area, known for its wind-sculpted sand dunes towering up to 500 feet above sea level.

Recreation:

Rainbow trout fishing in Bluebill Lake is great, and the campground links up to the Bluebill Trail, which is a one-mile loop around the lake.

Off-road vehicle enthusiasts flock to the campground to cruise the surrounding dunes. Some parts of the dunes are designated for hiking and horseback riding only.

Facilities:

Bluebill is equipped with drinking water, vault toilets, campfire pits and dumpsters. A host is available to answer campers' questions.

Nearby Attractions:

Scenic waterways are in every direction of the campground. Head south to Coos Bay, west to the Pacific, and northeast to Horsfall Lake.

Know Before You Go

  • No off-road vehicles allowed in campground
  • Limit 2 vehicles per site; no parking available for extra vehicles
  • For more information on Siuslaw National Forest, click here
  • Don't Move Firewood: Please protect Pacific Northwest forests by preventing the spread of invasive species. Firewood can carry insects and diseases that can threaten the health of our western forests. You can make a difference by obtaining and burning your firewood near your camping destination. Visit Dontmovefirewood.org for further information.

Getting There: From Reedsport, Oregon, take Highway 101 south for 22 miles to the Horsfall Dunes and Beach road sign; turn right and follow signs.

From Coos Bay/North Bend, Oregon, take Highway 101 north for about 2 miles to the Horsfall Dunes and Beach road sign, turn left and follow signs.

Phone Number: (541)271-6000

232.8 North Beach located just north of the entrance to Coos Bay is listed by ODFW as a location to dig for razor clams. North Beach is administered by the BLM. North Beach is accessible by off road vehicles via the jeep trail from the Trans Pacific Parkway. Driving on the wet and dry sand areas of the beach is allowed from September 16th through March 14th and restricted to the wet sand area from March 15th through September 15th. Check with the BLM.

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