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Clear skies and cooling temperatures bring the famous fall run of Chinook salmon to the Alsea River. Fishing techniques include trolling in the lower bay, bobber fishing up the river, lure and fly fishing.

During the winter months, anglers float the upper river in drift boats searching for winter steelhead. Spring brings seasonal runs of perch and herring to the bay, and makes fishing from a dock or a boat fun for the whole family.

Oregon Coast Coho Salmon are currently listed as a threatened species.  Consult with current fishing regulations regarding any take of coho salmon. Often, Chinook salmon are larger than Coho salmon, but the most reliable differences are listed below.

Here are some of the key differences between Coho and Chinook Salmon:

Illustration of a fish with numbered parts, possibly for educational purposes.

COHO (Silver)

1. Gums at base of teeth white.
2. Small round spots on back.
3. Tail fin rays ribbed.
4. Color on back bluish green.
5. Spots on upper tail lobe only.

Black and white illustration of a fish with numbered parts for identification or educational purposes.


1. Gums at base of teeth black.
2. Large uneven spots on back.
3. Tail fin rays smooth.
4. Color on back reflects purple in sun.
5. Spots on both tail lobes.


For more information check with the National Marine Fisheries Service.

For current fishing and license regulations, see the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife Website: