Mile to Mile Map for the Oregon Coast Trail from Bandon to Humbug Mountain State Park

262.1 Old Town Bandon is one of the most picturesque port towns along the Oregon Coast. Access to the Port of Bandon, the south jetty and the Beach Loop Road is through Old Town Bandon. Access to Bandon is gained from Hwy 101 or from the Coos County Seat, Coquille via St. Hwy 42 and from Coquille east via State Hwy 42 from Hwy I-5.

Coquille Bay is one of Oregon’s smaller bays ranking eleventh among the fourteen major bays, but the bay is one of the premier crabbing and fishing bays on the Oregon Coast.

The bar is subject to breaking waves even in calm seas. A seasonal light and fog signal are located on the south jetty. The skipper should be experienced with the local bar conditions before attempting to cross the bar. The boater should be prepared to deal with fog and the waves generated by the prevailing afternoon winds. The Coast Guard maintains a seasonal lifeboat station in the boat basin from Memorial Day through Labor Day. Click on the Oregon State Marine Board and click on Water Levels/Navigation lsted under the column Safety and Education. Click on Coquille River Bar located under the column, Coastal Bar Chartlettes. The interactive PDF file webpage describes the navigational hazards that boaters encounter when crossing the Coquille River Bar or as described below.

South jetty. It is always dangerous to get too close to the end of a jetty. An unexpected breaker could carry a small boat into the end of the jetty with great force. The inside of the south jetty is a dangerous area, and boaters should remain clear. The prevailing northwest wind could send a powerless boat into the jetty.

North jetty. Stay clear of the end of this jetty, because the sea breaks almost continuously in this area. A shallow area with partially submerged rocks extends from the abandoned lighthouse to the end of the jetty. The large swells that occur in this area could put a boat onto the rocks.

South side of Coquille River entrance. The area to the south of the entrance can be very dangerous. There are several rocks just below the surface that cannot be seen except during very heavy seas. There is a prevailing northwest wind during the summer months, and the sea currents run to the south. These two conditions could combine to send a powerless boat in this area onto the rocks.

Range Markers Front and rear range markers are identical: a rectangular red daymark with a white stripe on a skeleton tower. By steering a course that keeps the two range markers in line, you will remain within the channel. See the latest CG-162 Light List.

Rough Bar Advisory Sign is positioned on shore 300 yards west of the Port of Bandon boat ramp on the south side of the channel.  Call the Coos Bay Coast Guard station (541) 888-3266 for the bar report for the Coquille Bar before considering crossing the bar.

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

Crabbing at Coquille Bay at Bandon One of Oregon's premier crabbing bays is one of Oregon’s smaller bays ranking eleventh among the fourteen major bays but crabbing from Webber's crabbing rates high on our list of favorite bays to crab. Crabbing in Bandon usually remains productive until the bay blows out with turbid brown stained water during seasonal Fall rains.

One lucky crabber shared the following photos of his amazing crab catch at Webber's Crab Dock collected his prize at daylight. Our Thanks to the lucky crabber for sharing his amazing crabbing adventure with us. Bill

Bill's Crabbing Adventure to Webber's Crabbing Dock in Bandon.

Bandon Bait & Tackle, a great source of information is located next to the Public Boat Launch and Webber's Crabbing Dock at 110 1st St Se, Bandon, OR 97411. Diane fixes a mean fish and chips to go along with her clam chowder. She also books fishing trips for local river guides. (541) 347-3905 Diane rents crab rings and sell bait to catch the freshest food available.

Tony's Crab Shack at 541 347-2875 operates a preimer restaurant. Tony and his brother Robert of Tony's Crab Shack is also a great source of information about all things recreational in the Bandon area.

Tony's Crab Shack Annual Crab Derby. Catch a tagged crab and win the Big Bucks 100.00 dollars weekly and 1000.00 value worth of prizes from July 4th through the Cranberry Festival in September, that is if I got it right. Six crab tags have been turned in at Tony's.

Tony's May surf perch derby is underway. Pay a 5.00 entry fee, land the largest fish posted to the derby and it is winner take all. Second place is a hundred dollar gift certificate and a fifty dollar gift certificate for third place.

The food Tony serves is great!, The fish Tacos umm umm are so good, I make the drive to Bandon to have lunch with my wife, Diane whenever I am in the area.

Tony’s cooks crabs for 50 cents per crab and backs them for an additional 25 cents per crab. Tony rents boats in the summer and fall months. Read Tony’s all encompassing Fishing Report in the Bandon Western World newspaper or the online edition at Bandon Western World.

Tony's Credo, "How To Be A Crab Ninja"

Over the years I have pretty much tried every trick in the book to catch Dungeness crabs in Bandon, Oregon.

In those same years I have learned one FACT, and that’s the fact that crabbing is an art, not a science. So many factors play into catching crabs that you can never hope to hit the Holy Grail and perfect crabbing every time you go out. You can however increase your odds.

The following list of tips will help you overall in your effort to catch legal Dungeness crabs.

1) Bait is important. Things that are natural to crabs seem to do better. This includes using fish carcasses, squid, clams and the like. Using these also have a downside in that seals seem to love these baits as much as the crab do. In a battle of you vs. the seal vs. your bait, YOU LOSE. So BEST tip on bait is protect it at all costs. Using a bait bag or bait box will often keep the seals at bay. It will also help to keep the crab on your bait longer.

If a crab pulls off a nice piece of your bait more than likely it’ll crawl off an eat it so something to stop them from tearing off chunks will improve your odds when using crab rings.

2) Location, location, location. Crabs tend to get pushed around with the tides and also tend to settle into channels formed by those tides and river flow. If you can find a place near this your odds go up. If you want to crab where it’s best for you, such as an enclosed boat basin your odds go down.

If you are crabbing and are catching at least some crab then at least you know they are there, if you are getting nothing, likely it’s time to move. I don’t know how many people I have seen crabbing in areas sheltered from the wind and far off the beaten path and whining how the damn crabs are not to be found, well DUH!

3) Crab rings aren’t for wimps. A Dungeness crab may be a dumb little sea creature but when the ground moves underneath them they have enough sense to think all hell is breaking loose and it’s time to get out of Dodge. So if you are using a crab ring and pulling real slow, YOUR crab are basically yelling “Wooooos” to you and crawling off your crab ring.

Pull quickly, you will get all the rest you need AFTER you have your belly full of fresh Oregon Dungeness crab, but until then, crab like you mean it.

If you can’t do this, get a trap that will at least keep them in for the most part. They are heavier and harder to pull but much less affected by pulling them up slowly.

4) Crab when crabbing is good. For every day of the year someone will tell you something about how to know when crabbing is good or bad. From salinity in the water, to months of the year that end in ‘R’ to the day after a storm, full moon, sewage spill or whatever. But if you REALLY want to know how the crabbing is doing, ask around the stores on the docks, they usually know. They can not only tell you how the crab are running but if they are full and meaty or have just molted. The staff at Tony’s Crab Shack always know what is happening since they cook many of the crab caught in Bandon.

5) Don’t be afraid to ask. Most crabbers on the docks are totally full of crap and will tell you they caught 30 crab yesterday, that’s just fishing. But they will usually help you with honest questions, like what bait are they using, or how best to throw crab rings, how to measure crabs and the like. But remember if someone asks you these questions it’s a time honored tradition to lie about your catch, you always caught 30 yesterday but today is slow.

Best of luck! Tony

Clam Digging: Clam digging in Coquille Bay is limited to digging softshell clams. The softshell clam beds are located in the National Wildlife Refuge at Riverside Dr on the eastside of the bay above Bandon. A very limited number of littleneck and gaper clams are located in the lower bay along the south shore. Some purple varnish clams are dug from the large tidal flat on the north side fo the bay at the entrance to Bandon Marsh. Mussels are picked from the rocky structure at Face Rock. Razor clams are dug along the beach south of Face Rock.

Coquille Estuary and River Basin Boat Launches: Port of Bandon supports a double lane boat launch with a $2.00 launch fee. Bullards Beach State Park no use fee double lane boat launch, Rocky Point Coos County no use fee Boat Launch. Located north of the Coquille River Estuary. Turn east onto North Bank Ln. Proceed to the Rocky Point County boat launch. The Riverton Boat ramp a no use fee boat ramp is located in Riverton. Sturdivant Park a no use fee is located off of Hwy 42 on the North side of the Coquille River at the City of Coquille and is managed by the City of Coquille. The Coquille ramp a no use fee is located on the the Coquille River at the City of Coquille and is managed by Coos County. The Coquille Ramp is located on the south side of the river via Hwy 42 S. to Fishback Rd. turn left to the Coquille Ramp. The Coquille Chamber of Commerce offers a recreational pamplet full of useful information associated with the Coquille River. The Arago Ramp County boat ramp a no use fee boat ramp is located on Fishtrap-Arago road approximately one-half mile South of the town of Arago.  The park and boat launch is on the West side of the road. Bryant Park Boat Ramp with restrooms and picnic tables is located on the east bank of the S Fork of the Coquille River in Myrtle Point, Oregon at Old Hwy 42 and Spruce St. Hoffman Bridge on the Middle Fork of the Coquille River. The Hoffman Bridge/Hwy 42 Drift Boat Slide is located approximately 2.8 miles upriver from Bryant Park Boat Ramp, and is a no use fee drift boat slide operated by ODFW. Call ODFW for additional infomation at 800-720-6339. Broadbent Boat Ramp on the S. Fork of the Coquille is located approximately 3.4 miles upriver from the Hoffman Bridge Ramp. It is operated by ODFW. Call 800-720-6339 for additional information. The Mid Drift Boat Ramp a no use fee ramp is located 3.3 mile upriver from the Broadbent Boat Ramp. It is operated by ODFW. Call 800-720- 6339 for additional information. The Beaver Creek Boat Ramp and Hayes Boat Ramp are located next to each other approximately 5.0 miles from the Mid Drift Boat Ramp. They are no use fee operated by ODFW. Call 800-720-6339 for additional information. Baker Pond Boat Ramp is an unimproved ramp no use fee ramp located on Baker Creek Ln. 4.2 miles from the Beaver Creek Boat Ramp and Hayes Boat Ramp. It is operated by ODFW. Call 800-720-6339 for additional information. Powers Park Boat Launch no use fee is located at Coos County Park in Powers Oregon. Call Coos County at (541) 439-2791 for additional information. The Powers Park Boat Launch is located off of Hwy 242. Turn south onto Hood St. and you are there. Orchard Park Boat Launch is located 1.2 miles from the Powerw Park Boat Ramp on S. Powers Road. The Orchard Park Boat Launch is a no use fee boat launch opered by the City of Powers. Call 541-439-3331 for additional information.

Internet Links of Interest for the Coquille River Estuary

Seen live Bandon's Coast Cam.

Tidal projections for the Coquille River Estuary from March 2015 to March 2016.

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

Click on the height of the river level for the Coquille River – At Coquille.

Click on the height of the river level for the Coquille River – At Myrtle Point

Click on the following link to view the navigational hazards for crossing the bar at the Coquille River Estuary.

Fishing in the Coquille River Estuary:

Fishing in the ocean in along Coquille Bank is excellent for rockfish and salmon on the pinnacles located approximately a mile west of the entrance to Coquille Bay and at Coquille Rock located approximately 1½ of a mile west to the entrance of Coquille Bay. Fishing for rockfish is excellent at Five Foot Rock and Wash Rock, both of which are located south of Coquille Bay. Fishing for Rockfish and Chinook salmon along Whiskey Run Reef located southwest of Cape Arago is excellent.

Chinook salmon begin returning to Coquille Bay the last half of August and peeking in September and running through October before declining in November. The catch rate for Chinook runs about 8000 fish per year with a high percentage of 4 year old fish followed by 5 and 3 year old fish.

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. The most productive fishing for early returning fall Chinook salmon occurs trolling a plug cut herring with the incoming tide from the jetty jaws to the entrance to Bandon Marsh.

The tidal reach of the Coquille River is the longest of any coastal river in Oregon extending upriver 41.01 miles from the jetty jaws. As the number of returning Chinook increase, fish upriver from the power lines down river from Rocky Point to the hole at Randolph Slough to the Cannery Hole above Randolph Island trolling a plug cut herring with the incoming tide through high tide. Launch at Riverton or Coquille and fish with the tide trolling a plug cut herring followed by trolling bait wrapped Flatfish lures, spinners or spinner bait combinations from Bear Creek which is located upstream from the Cannery Hole above Randolph Island to Sturdivant Park in the City of Coquille. The most effective Flatfish lure has a silver body and chartreuse head or Hot Tail finish. The most effective spinner is colored with 50/50 chartreuse and brass blade or a rainbow colored blade with a green tip. Drift with the outgoing tidal current back bouncing a walnut sized gob of salmon eggs topped with a sand shrimp or 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. Anchor above the up current side of the deeper holes during the outgoing tide and fish on the bottom with bait wlrapped Flatfish lures; bait sweetened Spin–N–Glos, wobblers or a walnut sized gob of salmon eggs topped with a sand shrimp. Accent the salmon eggs and sand shrimp with a small length of pink, red, chartreuse or orange yarn.

Coho salmon return to the Coquille River from September through October before declining in November. Coho slamon also enter the Coquille River Estuary in July, August and December. The best fishing occurs early in the run trolling plug cut herring, hoochies or streamer flies behind a wire spreader or a diver in the upper half of the water column with the incoming tide from the jetty jaws to the entrance to Bandon Marsh. Fish from the entrance of Bandon Marsh to the Highway 101 Bridge trolling plug cut herring, pink or chartreuse spinners. Fishing is allowed in tidewater for the retention of fin clipped coho salmon upstream to Lampa Creek at river mile 11.5.

Steelhead in the Coquille River Basin. Prime steelhead fishing is available in the major forks of the Coquille River—namely the South, North and East forks. Hatchery steelhead smolts are acclimated and released in areas where angler access and harvest success is good. The South Fork of the Coquille River upstream of the Forest Service boundary is closed to all fishing to protect spawning and rearing steelhead.

The South Fork is the largest of the three forks, and provides good access for boat and bank fishing.

Steelhead smolts are released from acclimation sites at the mouth of Beaver and Woodward creeks below Powers, so adult steelhead are attracted back to these spots. The South Fork between Myrtle Point and Powers is a great area to target these returning fish.

Drift boat launches are located at the mouth of Beaver Creek, at the confluence of the Middle and South forks, and several points in-between. Beaver Creek, Baker Creek, Myrtle Grove State Park and Powers Memorial State Park provide access to popular bank fishing holes.

On the North and East forks of the Coquille River, most fishing is from the bank, although limited drift boating occurs in a few places.

On the North Fork, the most popular steelhead holes are located in Laverne County Park. An acclimation site is located here, so hatchery returns to the area are plentiful. On the East Fork, acclimations occur near China Creek below Brewster Gorge, and excellent fishing is also available here. Land ownership along the East Fork is a “checkerboard” pattern, with alternating sections of private lands and BLM-administered public lands.

The Middle Fork Coquille River has no hatchery steelhead releases. This river, characterized by boulder and “pocket water”, is a spawning and rearing area for wild steelhead. While their presence is very low, adipose fin-clipped steelhead are legal to harvest in the Middle Fork. There are a few public sites along the Middle Fork because most land is privately owned.

River gage information for the South Fork Coquille River at Powers. ODFW

Striped bass enter Coquille Bay from middle of March through April during the years when the striped bass population is at its highest. Most anglers concentrate fishing in Hatchet and Iowa Sloughs in the Riverton area and Randolph Island, Myrtle Point, and next to Johnson Mill Pond.

Black rockfish and blue rockfish fishing is very productive in the rocky strucure located west of the entrance to the bay. Fishing in the bay along the rocky riprap jetty channel after sunset is productive on the incoming tide durning the summer months, but be aware of dangerous tidal condtions.

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

Striped seaperch, pileperch, redtail surfperch and walleye surfperch enter the bay in late spring. Schools of perch move onto the tidal flats feeding heavily on intertidal animals upstream from the jetty channel at the entrance to the bay into Bandon Marsh. The fishing ranges from fair to excellent through fall depending on the tides and the weather conditions.

Fish for perch along the jetty channel and from the public fishing pier or among the pilings associated with the Port of Bandon. Fish in the tidal flats adjacent to the tidal flats associated with Bandon Marsh as the perch migrate into Bandon Marsh on the tide.

Kelp greenling, whitespotted greenling and rock greenling enter the bay with the tide. The best fishing occurs during the spring and the fall along the south jetty and among the structure associated with the public docks at the Port of Bandon. The fishing is poor the rest of the year.

Lingcod spawn along the jetty from late January throughout March but the fishing is rated as inconsistent as best.

Cabezon are present all year among the rocks along the jetty but the fishing is rated as inconsistent at best.

White sturgeon enter Coquille Bay in small numbers from December to June. The sturgeon fishery is a small one that is of interest to local anglers only with the catch ranking 11th among Oregon’s larger bays. Fish for sturgeon upstream from the Highway 101 Bridge in the deeper holes of tidewater. The best fishing is at Rocky Point. The hole at Rocky Point is accessible to bank fishermen, but the most successful fishing is from a boat.

Bank fishing for bass, lingcod, cabezon and greenling is limited to the north jetty, the south jetty and to the pier structure associated with the Port of Bandon. Fish for perch from the jetties and from along the west shore of Bandon Marsh. Fish for sturgeon from Rocky Point which is located west of Highway 101 via the north bank road.

The Port of Bandon Public Fishing Pier at Webber's Crabbing Dock is located in old town next to the boat launch. The crabbing is good during periods of low rainfall. The fishing for perch is good during the spring spawning run.

Coquille Bay Jetties – Access to the north jetty is through Bullards State Park. Access to the Curry County Park at the south jetty is through Old Town Bandon. The jetty channel is deeper along the south jetty. Fishing for bass at night for bass along the jetty channel should be productive. Fishing for perch along the jetty channel is excellent.

Bandon Marsh National Wildlife Refuge. The Bandon Marsh National Wildlife Refuge is located at Refuge Headquarters: South Coast Refuge Office 83673 North Bank Lane Bandon, OR 97411 Phone: 541-347-1470 Fax: 541-347-9376 More information to come.

Waterfowl Hunting at the Bandon Marsh National Wildlife Refuge

  • Bandon Marsh Unit: Waterfowl and snipe may be hunted daily during authorized seasons on that portion west of US Hwy 101 and outside Bandon city limits.
  • Ni-les’tun Unit: Waterfowl may be hunted on Saturdays, Sundays, and Wednesdays on that portion south of a designated east-west line that is south of N. Bank Ln and adjacent to the Coquille Rvr. Hunters may park boats in the marsh while hunting. Boats along the bank of the Coquille Rvr are required to park in designated locations. Foot access to the hunting area from the N. Bank Ln parking lot is allowed through the retrieval zone.

On both units, only portable blinds or blinds constructed of on-site dead vegetation or driftwood may be used. All blinds and decoys must be removed at the end of the day. Entry to refuge lands is prohibited from one hour after sunset to two hours before sunrise. For more information or 541-347-1470.

Coquille Valley Wildlife Area An access permit is required at the Coquille Valley Wildlife Area. Permits can be obtained at no cost at the information kiosk on the Wildlife Area.Coquille Valley Wildlife Area provides crucial habitat for migrating and nesting waterfowl and Oregon’s native fish. The area features good access to walk-in waterfowl hunting, fishing, paddle boating, and excellent wildlife viewing opportunities 

Information and maps of the area are available at a kiosk located off North Bank Lane.


From Hwy. 42: Turn onto North Bank Lane. Parking area is approximately .6 mile on the right.

From Hwy. 101: Turn onto East Beaver Hill Road, then turn left (east) onto North Bank Lane. East Beaver Hill Rd. is located 8.5 miles north along Hwy. 101 from Bandon.

Coquille River Falls Trail #1257 The relatively short Coquille River Falls trail switches back and forth through an amazing stand of old-growth Douglas-fir, hemlock, and Port-Orford cedar trees, and ends at Coquille River Falls. The trail is within driving distance from the small town of Powers, Oregon, and several campgrounds in and around the town. Forest Service photo.

When arriving at the falls, care should be taken, since the trail is steep and almost always wet. Footing is very insecure when descending to the river.

Directions: From Powers, OR, travel south on County Road 219 to Forest Road 33. Continue to Forest Road 3348 and travel 1.6 miles to trailhead.

From Gold Beach, OR, go northeast on County Road 595 to Forest Road 33, to Forest Road 3348. Travel 1.6 miles to trailhead.

From Glendale, OR, go west on Bureau of Land Management Road 32-9-3 to Forest Road 3348. Travel 17 miles to trailhead.

Camping is available at the Rock Creek Campground Directions from Powers, OR, go southeast on Forest Road 3347 for 19 milrd. Maximum parking vehicle length: 16 feet. Other nearby campgrounds and trailheads: Island Campground, Daphne Grove Campground and Located within walking distance of the Azalea Lake Trailhead.

Oregon Islands National Wildlife Refuge

"From nearly every viewpoint on the Oregon coast, colossal rocks can be seen jutting out of the Pacific Ocean. Each of these landforms is protected as part of Oregon Islands National Wildlife Refuge. The refuge includes 1,853 rocks, reefs and islands and two headland areas and spans 320 miles of the Oregon coast.", USFW.

The visceral beauty of the headlands and islands that comprise the Oregon Islands National Wildlife Refuge has attracted the attention of mankind ever since we first arrived on the scene some 15,000 years ago.

Bandon State Park is comprised of three separate waysides providing access to Coquille Point, Face Rock Viewpoint and Bandon Beach. Bandon Beach offers excellent fishing for redtail surfperch duing their spawning run in the Spring.

Bradley Lake: is a small natural lake located on the central Oregon coast four miles south of the City of Bandon. The lake was formed during the Pleistocene Epoch by the impoundment of China Creek by migrating sand dunes, a common lake formation mode on the Oregon Coast (Cooper 1958). Several vacation and permanent homes line the forested shores of the lake. Residents and visitors boat, swim and fish in Bradley Lake. A public boat launch is maintained at the south corner and the lake is regularly stocked with rainbow trout. The Bradley Lake boat launch is a no use fee boat launch operated by Coos County. The Bradley Lake Boat Launch is located 4 miles south of Bandon off of Hwy 101 via Bradley Lake Ln.

Laurel Lake, Croft Lake, New Lake, Muddy Lake and others in southern coastal Oregon. These lakes are surrounded by private property and are not accessible to the general public.

288.1 Floras Lake is located 38 miles south of Coos Bay. Access to the lake is through the Community of Langlois. Turn west from Hwy 101 onto the Floras Loop Road, then west again on Floras Lake Rd. Follow the signs on to the entrance of the lake on Boice Cope Road. Continue to the parking lot, boat ramp and Floras Lake Trailhead.  There are a number of trailheads located at Floras Lake. Click on trailheads or Floras Lake Trailhead to view the or Coos Regional Trails Partnership website for the trails associated with Floras Lake or other nearby trails.

Floras Lake (Click to view info from Wikipedia) (Curry) a 272.4 acre lake (From Atlas of Oregon Lakes, Johnson et al. 1985)  Floras Lake, a medium-sized lake on the southern Oregon coast, is an embayment which has been cut off from the ocean by low migrating sand dunes. It exhibits a dendritic, or branching, shape typical of many of the coastal lakes formed in this manner. Still active, these sand dunes are steadily encroaching on the west shore of the lake. Surface inflow is derived from four unnamed tributaries and the outflow is into Floras Creek, also called New River, which enters the ocean through a breach in the sand dunes farther north. The water level in the lake is reported to vary as much as five or six feet annually, an unusually large fluctuation in a natural lake of this type. To the east and south of the lake is a timbered plateau, land which is primarily in private ownership; to the north lies a marshy floodplain. On the east shore is the site of Pacific City, an enthusiastic but ill-fated attempt to establish a Curry County seaport early in this century. The shoreline is now occupied by several summer homes and permanent residences. Only about one mile of the shoreline is in public ownership, this being along the west side in undeveloped Floras Lake State Park. The name Floras is presumably derived from one Fred Flora, an early day settler and miner in the region.

Floras Lake is popular with sport fishermen and summer recreationists and is important for salmon and steelhead runs to the upper tributaries. The lake contains several species of fish; both rainbow and cutthroat trout are stocked and there has been some effort to develop a black bass fishery. A paved public boat ramp is at the north end on Floras Lake Road. There is also a private resort at the northeast end of the lake.

In spite of its proximity to the ocean, the concentrations of sodium and chloride in Floras Lake are slightly below average for coastal lakes. Concentrations of other major ions and the alkalinity are also low, especially in winter and spring. One-third of the lake is shallower than 10 feet and about half is shallower than 15 feet. As a result there are extensive beds of submerged and emergent macrophytes along most of the littoral areas. There is also a noticeable decrease in the amount of shoreline vegetation around the periphery of the lake between the high and low water marks. Floras Lake is usually well mixed, explained by its exposure to the strong and persistent winds of the Cape Blanco region. However, weak thermal stratification has been observed, accompanied by a slight amount of oxygen depletion in the central basin.

The slight oxygen depletion and average values of transparency, chlorophyl and phosphorus concentrations indicate that Floras Lake is mesotrophic. Turbidity is frequently high due to heavy wind mixing and the presence of planktonic algae, although the sample collected on 8/3/82 had a low algal density. The ratio of drainage area to lake surface area and volume is above average for Oregon coastal lakes; thus the flushing rate is greater than average and reduces the likelihood of eutrophication.

Floras lake contains: Largemouth bass, rainbow trout, cutthroat trout, and runs of Cono salmon, Chinook salmon and steelhead.

Warning, both Garrision Lake and Floras Lake are large shallow lakes and the wind in the afternoon can generate wave large enough to sink small boats. In addition the incoming tide on the sandy beach along the face of the cliffs can trap unsuspecting visitors to the beach.

Floras Lake, Garrision Like and Sixes River Beach are gound zero for Windsurfing and Kiting in Southern Oregon. Click on Floras Lake to view the website that provides lessons for Windsurfing and Kiting at Boice Cope Curry County Park.

Floras Lake Boat Launch is located at Boice Cope Curry County Park.

Boice Cope Curry County Park , Floras Lake State Park and Blacklock Point and New River Beach are located above Cape Blanco. New River is an excellent location to fish for redtail surfperch.

The New River and the B.L.M. Running parallel to the Pacific Ocean for nine miles, New River is separated from the ocean by only a thin strip of stand. Many rare birds, animals and plants depend on New River’s estuary, forest, meadow, wetland, and shrub habitat for survival. The area remains secluded and primitive and is a perfect area to watch wildlife or hike on the five miles of self-guided loop trails. There are four main access points to the New River Area of Critical Environmental Concern: Storm Ranch, Floras Lake, Lost Lake and Fourmile. Visitors can also view state of the art displays about the area at the New River Nature Center.

Refer to the map of New River for addtional information. Click on the map to enlarge the image to full screan. Chinook salmon, usually the four year old fish, return to Floras Creek and the New River from late October peaking in November into December. A small number of coho salmon return in October. The New River supports a run of Cutthroat Trout.

293.6 Airport Road is the Oregon Coast trailhead to Cape Blanco or to Lake Floras and the New River Beach. The fishing for redtail surfperch is excellent.

295.7 Sixes River (from B.L.M) (from City of Port Orford) (from U.S. Forest Service) and the Sixes River Beach and Estuary are located just above Cape Blanco. The use of gas powered motors on the Sixes River is prohitited. Sixes River Beach at the estuary is listed by ODFW as a location to dig for razor clams. The beach is renowned as an excellent location to fish for redtail surfperch. Access to the Sixes River Estuary is through Cape Blanco State Park via the Hughes House access road but access to the rest of the river is limited by private property. A small number of coho salmon return in October. Chinook salmon, usually the larger five year old fish, return to the Sixes River from late October peaking in November into December. Some anglers drift the Sixes River from the Sixes River Grange on Highway 101 to Sixes River Estuary at Cape Blanco State Park. Other anglers prefer the longer drift from the Mid–Drift launch. The ODFW boat launch locate approximately 2.5 miles further up river to the take out at the Sixes River Grange. Drift the Sixes River when height of the river gage of the Elk River measures between 5 and 7 feet. The B.L.M. campground allows gold panning in the Sixes River.

The boat launches on the Sixes River are located at the Sixes River Estuary off of Cape Blanco Rd, the Sixes River Grange just north of the bridge over the Sixes River off of Hwy 101 and the Edison Creek Campground up the Sixes River.The B.L.M. manages the Sixes River Campground. Click to view the map of the Edson Creek Campground. Click to view the map of the Sixes River Campground.

Information Report 76-4. Reimers, P., and K. Baxter. 1976. Fishes of Sixes River, Oregon. The report documents the seasoal abundance of marine species common to Oregon's Esturies.

The Chinook salmon that return to small coastal rivers are generally dominated by 4 year old fish followed by 5 year old fish. When large fish are caught in these small coastal streams they attract a lot of attention and easily becoming overcrowded with anglers. There is a measure of truth in the axiom, “Too many cooks spoil the broth”, especially when too many anglers target the same fish in small water. If you can deal with the crowded conditions the reward can be worth the effort. Annually an average of 3000 Chinook return to the Sixes River. The average catch rate for the Sixes river is 600 fish per year.

Steelhead returning to the Sixes River: Sixes River muddies quickly, clears slowly, and boasts an excellent steelhead run. Bank fishing and boat access are at Cape Blanco State Park, Hwy 101 bridge, and at ODFW and BLM properties. Boat anglers can find easy floats that range from two to 12 miles. Most anglers fish roe, spinners, run plugs or fly fish.

Cutthroat Trout by ODFW. The creek flows from small coastal streams entering the ocean often are obstructed by the annual movement of beach sand hendering the entry of salmonids on their migration upstream to spawn. The condition persists until the increased stream flow from seasonal rainfall clears the sediment from the mouth of the streams allowing the upstream of migrating salmonids and the outward migration of smolts into the ocean to occur.

296.6 Cape Blanco is the westernmost coastal point of California, Oregon or Washington. Cape Blanco offers an exceptional opportunity to observe gray whales. The view from the cape is absolutely magnificent. The lighthouse, which was built in 1870, was the second lighthouse built on the Oregon Coast. The black sand beach is a unique geological feature that attracts thousands of visitors each year. The park is the site of the historical Hughes House which was built in 1898 and displays period furniture depicting the lifestyle of the times. Antonio Flores named Cape Blanco in 1603. Cape Blanco has a full service State Park and equestrians are welcome. Click to view the map of Cape Blanco.

Information Report 2001-07 Estimating Run Size and Spawner Escapement of Chinook Salmon in Elk River, Curry County,for use as an Exploitation Rate Indicator for Mid Coastal Wild Chinook Stocks.

Chinook salmon information report 2004-2 Stock assessment of Elk River Fall Chinook salmon for Chinook salmon for exploitation rate analysis.

297.2 McKenzie River Beach and the Elk River are (from City of Port Orford) (from U.S. Forest Service) located below Cape Blanco. The beach is an excellent location to fish for redtail surfperch especially at the mouth to the Elk River. Motor vehicles are allowed on the beach at Elk River State Park south to and area below Port Orford. A small number of coho salmon return to the Elk River during late October or early November. Chinook salmon, usually the four year old fish, return to the Elk River from late October peaking in November into December. The catch rate over the last decade has averaged 930 Chinook per year. Anglers avoid the Elk River estuary during high tide, because the Elk River estuary is subject to flooding by ocean waves during high tides. Access to the estuary is over the beach with 4 wheel drive vehicles with oversized tires. Most anglers drift the Elk River from the Elk River Fish Hatchery to Ironhead Landing, which is located approximately 1.2 miles east of Highway 101. Access to most of the river is limited by private property. Drift the river when the height of the river is between 5 and 7 feet. Sunshine Bar Campground is located 23.3 miles from Hwy 101 on the Elk River. McGribble Campground is located 12.0 miles from Hwy 101. Depart from Hwy 101. Head southeast on Elk River Rd for 10.4 miles. Go right onto FS-5325 for 1.1 miles. Turn right onto NF-5502 for 272 ft. Continue onto NF-020 for 0.4 miles. Turn left at the entrance to McGribble Campground. The Ironhead River Launch shown below.

Grassy Knob Wilderness is a wilderness area in the Klamath Mountains of southwestern Oregon, within the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest. It was designated wilderness by the United States Congress in 1984 and now comprises a total of 17,200 acres (6,961 ha).[1] Like most wilderness areas in Oregon, Grassy Knob Wilderness is managed by the Forest Service. Grassy Knob Trailhead. From Port Orford, OR, head north on Highway 101. Then go east on County Road 196 to Forest Road 5105. Take Forest Road 5105 which ends at the trailhead.

Elk River Hatchery Visitors' Guide The major portion of Elk River Hatchery construction was completed in 1968. In 1971 the hatchery completed final construction on an intake and ten new ponds. The purpose of the facility is to supplement natural production of fall Chinook in the Elk and Chetco Rivers and winter steelhead in the Chetco River. The facility is used to collect Elk River fall Chinook, to incubate eggs and rear both natural and hatchery fall Chinook and winter steelhead. The Elk River boat launch allows swimming. Outdoor interpretive signs explain hatchery operations.

Steelhead returning to the Elk River: Elk River is slow to muddy during rain events, and clears quickly. It has an excellent steelhead run that is best fished from a boat. Elk River does not have a steelhead hatchery program, but anglers can expect to catch some stray adipose fin-clipped steelhead. Elk River fishes best at 5.0 feet and dropping. Anglers can call (541)332-0405 for daily gauge heights and water clarity. Limited bank fishing is available because the majority of land along the river is private property. Most drift boaters put in at Elk River Hatchery and float approximately nine miles to Ironhead boat ramp; both are ODFW properties. Boat anglers side drift eggs, fly fish or run plugs. Chinook are in the system thru February, so anglers may want to run a little heavier line.

Cutthroat Trout by ODFW. The creek flows from small coastal streams entering the ocean often are obstructed by the annual movement of beach sand hendering the entry of salmonids on their migration upstream to spawn. The condition persists until the increased stream flow from seasonal rainfall clears the sediment from the mouth of the streams allowing the upstream of migrating salmonids and the outward migration of smolts into the ocean to occur.

299.8 Paradise Point State Wayside is the beach access to the ocean beach seperating the beach from Garrison Lake and to Paradise Point. Fish for shallow water rockfish, i.e. grass, brown, copper, black or blue rockfish and sea trout, perch, cabezon and lingcod associated with the rocky shore from Paradise Point Recreation Site to Battle Rock at Port Orford.

Garrison Lake a 130.9 acres (From Atlas of Oregon Lakes, Johnson et al. 1985). Garrison Lake is a shallow coastal lake located adjacent to the city of Port Orford and within its northeastern urban growth boundary. On some older maps the lake is shown as Garrison  Lagoon, but the name Garrison Lake has been officially adopted. It was named for John B. Garrison, a pioneer settler who was with Captain William Tichenor when he founded the town of Port Orford in 1851. Garrison Lake is a typical sand dune lake, separated from the nearby ocean by a low ridge of shifting dunes. As with many of the coastal lakes in Oregon, it was formed when the post-glacial rise in sea level caused submergence of the lower reaches of coastal streams. In this case a small stream was unable to maintain its course across the encroaching sand dunes and the lake was separated from the ocean.

The only surface inflow to Garrison Lake from its small drainage basin is a small, intermittent stream entering at the northeast end. Surface outflow is to the southwest, where an intermittent stream follows a twisting route to the ocean a quarter of a mile distant. Generally there is no flow in this stream during the summer when lake level is low. A seasonal fluctuation in water level of Garrison Lake of about one and one-half feet is reported. The surrounding hillsides support a second-growth coniferous forest. Willows and California Madrona grow near the lake and much of the shoreline is in deep brush.

Garrison Lake is used for recreational boating, fishing, and swimming and has been an important part of the lifestyle of Port Orford residents for many years. About 85 percent of the shoreline is in private ownership and many homes have been built along the shore, especially in the last two decades. In past years the lake has yielded good catches of rainbow and cutthroat trout. It is stocked regularly and also supports some native cutthroat. However, because of the large amount of private land surrounding the lake, access is difficult and it is hard to fish. There are two access points for the general public: a gravel boat ramp maintained by Curry County on the northeast shore and a paved state ramp on the south shore. The nearest camping area is Humbug Mountain State Park, about four miles south of Port Orford.

Proximity to the ocean plays a major role in the natural thermal and chemical characteristics of Garrison Lake. Prevailing winds keep it well-mixed, preventing stratification and making the lake turbid at times. Concentrations of major ions in the water are somewhat above average for coastal lakes, reflecting its proximity to the ocean. Conductivity is also fairly high, due mostly to sodium and chloride derived from the ocean. Ecological conditions vary considerably over the course of the year. Major ion concentrations were similar in August, November, and February, but considerably lower in May. Total phosphorus and chlorophyl followed a similar pattern. During winter and late spring, concentrations are about average for coastal lakes and transparency slightly less than average. By late summer phosphorus and chlorophyl concentrations are well above average for coastal lakes, transparency is reduced, and there is a marked increase in pH.

The species of phytoplankton in Garrison Lake are somewhat unusual, and further reflect the varying ecological conditions throughout the year. In the spring Dinobryon was dominant; this alga is most often associated with lakes having low phosphorus concentrations and low trophic states. In summer Desmidium and Nitzchia were dominant; these algae are very rare (not observed in any other lake in this study) and indicate unusual conditions in the lake. 0ocystis and Sphaerocystis, also observed in summer, are more common in oligotrophic lakes than in lakes with higher trophic states. The autumn phytoplankton assemblage consists of species that are widespread in many types of lakes. It appears that Garrison Lake, a complex ecosystem, is influenced by a large variety of factors.

Garrison Lake is not unlike many in the coastal area, with sandy shores and a considerable amount of macrophytes in the shallow areas. However, in the 1960s it began to suffer from the spread of macrophytes, to the extent that swimming and fishing have been restricted. Opinions concerning the causes of the macrophyte problem vary. Certainly the natural characteristics of the lake basin are a factor. Garrison Lake consists essentially of two basins connected by a shallow channel, the north basin being the larger and deeper of the two. The south basin is nowhere more than 12 feet deep and two thirds of the entire lake is shallower than 10 feet. In addition, poor water circulation results from poor drainage into and out of the lake. Thus, the lake would be expected to support a natural abundance of rooted macrophytes. A contributing factor is the in-filling through sediment accumulated from the drainage basin, a natural process which has been accelerated by road-building activity. The rapid eutrophication of Garrison lake in recent years suggests an overriding cultural influence, and the problem is severe. An anchor pulled from the 27 foot depth at the center of the lake in summer, 1982, was covered with Elodea. Apparently, the entire bottom is covered with this weed.There is also an abundant growth of phytoplankton in the lake which, many residents believe, is due to nutrient input from the city waste treatment plant. Other human-induced possibilities for the macrophyte and algae problems are: 1) accelerated sediment and nutrient loading from poor watershed management practices; 2) water draw-down for municipal use causing a lower lake level; 3) surface runoff contributing lawn and garden fertilizer; and 4) septic tanks draining into the lake and adding nutrients.

The water quality problems in Garrison Lake are severe and complex, involving a combination of several factors, both natural and cultural. Because it is such an important resource for residents of the Port Orford area, the interest in restoration potential will continue. The Curry and Coos County Council of Governments made tentative plans a few years ago to dredge the lake in an attempt to ameliorate the weed problem, but were not able to proceed because of a lack of funding. Dredging could be a feasible restoration technique in the event that it could economically remove a sufficient amount of sediment to reach the underlying sand. A variety of other potential solutions have been suggested for use either individually or in combination (CCCOG 1982):

a.      Aquatic plant harvesting and use of the material for agricultural

b.      and home fertilizer which has been found to promote better growth of

c.      grasses than peat moss.

d.      Watershed management to reduce the sediment and nutrient input.

e.      Introduction of species of fish or waterfowl that thrive on macrophytes.

f.       Chemical applications and/or screening of the bottom.

Garrision lake contains: Largemouth bass, rainbow trout, cutthroat trout, and Chinook salmon.

Garrision Lake Boat Launches:

The 12th Street Boat Launch is accessed by going west to the end of 12th St. to the City of Port Orford improved fee to use boat launch on the south side of Garrision Lake.

The Pinehurst Street Boat Launch is accessed by going west on 18th St. which becomes Pinehurst Dr. to Pinehurst St. Turn right onto Pinehurst St. to the City of Port Orford fee to use boat launch on the north side of Garrision Lake.

301.0 Port Orford is a small harbor in the shelter of a south jutting promontory. There is no river mouth and hence no bar; boats enter and exit directly from the Pacific Ocean. The harbor is protected from summer northwesterly winds but wide-open to winter southerlies. There is one jetty on the north side of the harbor, and Battle Rock (named for an 1851 skirmish that took place there between would-be settlers and Indians) serves as a breakwater to the south. There is no boat ramp, but the Port of Port Orford operates a hoist and offers transient moorage. A visitor center is a short walk from the waterfront. If you plan on visiting the area refer to the regulations of managing the taking of marine resources from the Redfish Rocks Marine Reserve.

Port Orford and Depoe Bay are the safest ports of entry for the small boater along the Oregon Coast. Port Orford is located on the southeast side of Nellie’s Point and is protected by a 550 foot breakwater that extends SE from Graveyard Point. The Port offers protection from NW summer storms into early fall, but is exposed to the winter storms that come from the south. The fishing for shallow water rockfish, greenling and perch species associated with jetties and the rocky shore along the Port Orford jetty varies from fair to excellent. The fishing offshore for all species is excellent. Fish for rockfish to the south at Red Fish Rocks(currently a marine reserve) and for rockfish and salmon off Orford Reef and Blanco Reef. Orford Reef is located between Nellie’s Point and Cape Blanco. Blanco Reef is located off Cape Blanco. ODFW sponsors a fishery for Chinook salmon off of Port Orford between Cape Blanco and Humbug Mountain.

2016 Elk River Fall Chinook State Waters Terminal Area Recreational Season

•Open November 1-30
•Open shoreward of a line drawn from Cape Blanco (42°50‘20" N Lat.) to Black Rock (42°49‘24" N Lat. / 124°35‘00" W. Long.) to Best Rock (42°47‘24" N Lat. / 124°35‘42" W. Long.) to 42o40’30”N / 124o29’00” W to Humbug Mt.
•Daily bag limit of 2 Chinook per angler, but no more than 1 non fin-clipped Chinook per day, and no more than 10 non fin-clipped Chinook in seasonal aggregate with the Elk R., Sixes R., New R., and Floras Cr.
•Terminal tackle limited to no more than 2 single point barbless hooks.
•Redfish Rocks Marine Reserve closed to all fishing.
•Minimum length: Chinook = 24”

Port Orford offer an interactive website identifying fishing opportunities in the Port Orford area. as demonstrated by information describing the fishing opportunities in the Ocean water at Port Orford.

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

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

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

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

Port Orford is the only port in Oregon that offers crabbing in the Ocean from a dock facility. Crabbing productivity varies from day to day and with the season. Recreational boaters do crab in the ocean south of the port in 60 to 80 feet of water.

We have asked the good folks at Port Orford Docks repeatedly for information about crabbing and fishing from their docks but with no response. Finally, a crabber was good enough to share the following infomation about crabbing from the dock at Port Orford. I for one am looking forward to crabbing there. Bill

"When we were crabbing at Port Orford we were with a friend who was well acquainted with the dock area. If there are fishing boats coming and going there is only about 20 feet of dock available for crabbing because it is very much a working dock. We happened to hit it lucky two evenings in that all the boats were in before 6 p.m. so we were able to use the entire length of the dock where the cranes are located where the boats usually come in for as long as we wanted. If the cranes are in use you cannot safely crab from there. The third time we were there the weather was so lousy no boats had gone out at all so we had the entire dock to ourselves. The water at Port Orford appears to be much cleaner than the water elsewhere where crabbing is done at the mouths of rivers. We could see the bait on the bottom and could actually watch the crabs moving toward and onto the traps in the shallower water. The folks on the dock at Port Orford ask that crabbers spin the females or too small males back into the water so they hit the water on their sides. Since the dock is so high above the water it can kill the crabs if they land on their backs or stomachs. They also asked us to keep the area clean by removing all seaweed from the dock and throwing the snails back as well." Thank you for sharing, Bill

Rocky Point is a location with the reputation of consistently producing limits of littleneck clams. However the digging productivity for littleneck clams has declined because of a large scale die off several years ago. The die off of littleneck clams has occurred in many areas along the ocean beaches of the Pacific Northwest over the last decade. We have received several reports of recovery but we are in need of current up to date information on digging conditions at Rocky Point..

Internet Links of Interest:

Click on to view the tidal projections for Port Orford.

Click on the following link to view the tidal projections for the mouth of the Rogue River.

WEATHER FORECAST: Click the following link to view the local weather forecast for Brookings.

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

Click the following link to view the Marine Forecast for the NWS Medford Zone: Coastal waters from Cape Blanco OR to Pt. St. George CA out 10 nm (PZZ356).

The following NOAA link for detailed information for the Oregon Coast is a great source for planning your razor clam digging adventures. Click on the following link to see a detailed hourly forecast for weather and surf conditions on the southern Oregon Coast.

NOAA Coastal Forecast for Curry County

Email us with any suggestion how we can improve the information we provide at

Recommended website: 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.

301.0 Port Orford Heads State Wayside is located a short walk from Nellies Point. The view of Orford Reef to the north and of the rocky shoreline and Humbug Mountain to the south is absolutely incredible and well worth the trip.

301.3 Battle Rock State Wayside is the site where in 1851 nine white settlers defended themselves from an attack by Kelawatset Indians. After defending their position on Battle Rock for more than two weeks the settlers abandoned Battle Rock to find refuge with white settlers along the Umpqua River. The site is bordered by a paved walkway with benches and a restroom. Follow the trail to the beach to fish for perch. The fishing for surfperch is fair at best.

303.6, 304.0 and 306.0 is the location of the viewpoints between Port Orford and Humbug Mountain. This stretch of the highway includes Rocky Point and Coal Point. Viewpoint 306.0 has beach access. Littleneck clams are common in the rocky substrate at Rocky Point.

307.0 Humbug Mountain State Park is a full service park located along Brush Creek on the eastside of the highway. A day use wayside is located at mile mark 307.7 on the west side of the highway. There is a physically challenging 3 mile trail to the summit that winds through a grove of old growth forest. The panoramic view from the summit is incredible. Access to the beach is by trail along Brush Creek from the park or the wayside.

Steelhead returning to Brush Creek: Brush Creek is a small creek that muddies slowly and clears quickly. The lower river is all within Humbug State Park, providing ample bank access. Anglers will have to search for pools free of willows to fish, but are usually rewarded with a steelhead. Unlike most of the south coast rivers and creeks, Brush Creek is closed to the harvest of wild steelhead.

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