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About Oregon South Coast fishermen (OSCF)

Dedicated to the enhancement of fishery resources with emphasis on the Chetco and Winchuck rivers.  Since 1975 the Oregon South Coast Fishermen have utilized the best of science to promote and enhance habitat, hatcheries and harvest through education and community involvement.


  • Oregon South Coast Fishermen is a STEP group (Learn about STEP)  and will participate, as requested, directed, and authorized, with the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife to accomplish STEP projects and activities.
  • Oregon South Coast Fishermen is dedicated to the maintenance and enhancement of the fishery resources and to their management for the benefit of sustainable fish populations and sport fishing opportunities.
  • Oregon South Coast Fishermen is dedicated to the protection, management and enhancement of fish habitat, with special emphasis on the Chetco and Winchuck rivers and their tributaries and the ocean territorial waters with Curry County.
  • Oregon South Coast Fishermen is dedicated to providing youth angling and outdoor education opportunities.
  • Oregon South Coast Fishermen will provide appropriate comment on activities that affect fisheries, habitat and fishing opportunity.
  • Oregon South Coast Fishermen will be involved with the local community to promote the importance of fisheries and fishing as both an economic benefit and a quality of life indicator.

Oregon South Coast Fishermen will promote fishing by sharing information and techniques with our members and other fishermen, by reaching out to new fishermen and new residents to introduce them to the local fishing opportunities and by promoting club fellowship and social activities.

Thank you for your support.


Why Join OSCF?

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ACTIVITIES overview 2024


  • Board Mtg. Jan 9
  • Club Mtg. Jan 17/ CWT Prize Drawing
  • Continue Salmon Carcass Scale Sampling
  • Steelhead Broodstock Collection aka ‘Chetco Chrome Challenge’  6th annual


  • Board Mtg. Feb. 13
  • Club Mtg.   Feb 21
  • CCC closing ceremony TBD
  • FREE Fishing Weekend Feb. 17-18


  • Board Mtg. March 12
  • Club Mtg.    March 20
  • Arizona Pond Prep for Reel Fish Days in April
  • Begin ‘Eggs To Fry’ program in Brookings 3rd grade classes


  • Board Mtg. April 9
  • Club Mtg.   April 17
  • Reel Fish Days at AZ Pond. Dates TBD
  • 2024 Salmon Season Dates to be released by PFMC


  • Board Mtg. May 14
  • Club Mtg.   May 15
  • Azalea Festival Memorial Weekend May 25-26
  • Kids Fish- Ponds: set up May 24. Fish Sat May 25
  • Brookings 3rd grade fish release date TBD


  • Board Mtg. June 11
  • Club Mtg. June 19
  • Chetco Estuary Seining Begins (count smolt)
  • Set up Winchuck River Fish Trap
  • Begin Monitoring Fish Trap
  • -ree Fishing Weekend June 1-2


  • Board Mtg. July 9
  • Club Mtg.    July 17
  • Chetco Estuary Seining
  • Monitor Winchuck Fish Trap
  • July 4th Fireworks at the Port 


  • Board Mtg. Aug 13
  • Club Mtg.    Aug 21
  • Monitor Winchuck Fish Trap


  • Board Mtg. Sept. 10
  • Club Mtg.    Sept. 18
  • Remove and store WR trap
  • Prepare for salmon snout CWT collection
  • Set up Ferry Creek Net Pen


  • Board Mtg. Oct. 8
  • Club Mtg. Oct. 16
  • Ferry Creek Smolt Arrive
  • Feeding schedule sign ups for FC smolt
  • Release of FC smolt into Chetco River
  • Salmon broodstock collection (Rodeo)


  • Board Mtg. Nov. 12
  • Club Mtg. Nov. 20
  • Continue Salmon Rodeo
  • Take down store FC Net Pen
  • FREE Fishing Weekend Nov. 29-30


  • Board Mtg. Dec. 10
  • Christmas Party Dec. 17
  • Salmon Carcass Scale Collection
  • prepare for CCC in 2025
  • CR steelhead broodstock collection

about oscf and ofwd

The Lower Rogue Watershed District is part of the Rogue Watershed District. The Lower Rogue Watershed District includes coastal basins from Four Mile Creek south to the California border. New River, Elk and Sixes Rivers, Euchre Creek, Rogue River, and other miscellaneous coastal tributaries are included in this district.

The focus of the STEP program within the district is to utilize volunteer resources to accomplish management objectives. The STEP Biologist works primarily with local clubs, landowners, timber companies, watershed councils, educators, and school groups. Most of the volunteers engaged in STEP activities in this watershed district belong to one of two local STEP groups: Oregon South Coast Fisherman (OSCF) or Curry Anadromous Fishermen (CAF). The groups consist primarily of retired individuals interested in performing meaningful work that will help restore and maintain fish populations within local watersheds. The CAF’s primary focus is aquaculture and education while the OSCF’s focus is on population monitoring, broodstock collection, and habitat restoration. Both groups consider fishery education a high priority and often cooperate with other local entities to accomplish common objectives.  Volunteers participate in projects associated with fish culture, habitat restoration,  population monitoring,  access to fishing and education.



Inventory and Monitoring activities characterize fish populations and their habitats. Projects include stream and riparian habitat surveys and other methods used to study, monitor or inventory fish life history, presence, distribution or abundance.

Chetco River Scale Sampling

One way for fish biologists to acquire age information about salmon and trout is by collecting scale samples. Scales have growth rings, just like trees, which show the growth history of fish. Scales can be collected from juvenile salmonids by using a knife to scrape between the dorsal fin and lateral line, where the oldest scales form. Scales on adult salmonids can often be acquired by removing individual scales with forceps.  For anadromous fish such as salmon and steelhead, certain characteristics of their scales can show at what age they migrated to sea (as a juvenile), the length of time they spent at sea, whether they have spawned previously and their approximate age when they returned to the river.

The STEP Biologist and Oregon South Coast Fishermen volunteers assisted in a fall Chinook Salmon scale sampling effort conducted on the Chetco River. The sampling effort is planned to improve data on age and hatchery/wild composition estimates for the Chetco River. The volunteers used drift boats and covered the mainstem reaches while ODFW staff sampled in the tributaries. 

Monitor Outgoing Salmon Smolt (Winchuck Fish Trap)

Since 1988, fall Chinook salmon smolt outmigration data has been collected from a screw trap on the Winchuck River, in southwestern Oregon, just upstream from the river’s estuary. Since 2001, Salmon Trout Enhancement Program volunteers from the South Coast Fishermen have been an integral part of that data collection effort. The screw trap was purchased by the South Coast Fishermen and donated to the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife. In addition, a private landowner allows access through his property to set up and operate the trap each year.

The survey runs from June through August, when the smolts are migrating downstream to the sea and, according to Lower Rogue STEP biologist John Weber, provides an important ‘snapshot’ of how the river’s fall Chinook are faring.

There is no hatchery program for the Winchuck so all its fall Chinook salmon are wild fish. The spawning run goes from early November through December and averages a few thousands fish each year. There is also a run of winter steelhead and a small coho run on the river. Because the screw trap project involves more than identifying fish and letting them go, volunteers receive weekly training sessions on safe trap operation, fish identification and fish marking techniques. Volunteers work five days per week through the trapping season in two person teams. The project is essentially a capture-recapture study.

“It’s involved,” said Weber. “We’re making outmigration estimates that requires clipping the fish, releasing them back upstream and then identifying the recaptured fish.” A statistical formula is then applied to come up with a total population estimate.

In 2010 South Coast Fishermen volunteers and ODFW biologists operated the trap for 62 days, capturing and marking 4,602 outmigrating fall Chinook smolts for a total of about 170 volunteer hours. The South Coast Fishermen have also been helping ODFW collect Chetco River fall Chinook scale samples since 1991.

Chetco River Estuary Seining

The STEP Biologist and OSCF volunteers have completed over 30 years seining Chinook Salmon smolts in the Chetco River estuary. The project consists of volunteers setting a juvenile beach seine at select stations bi-weekly from June through September. These index surveys characterize abundance and development of native fall Chinook Salmon smolts. In addition, the data is used to indicate when hatchery Chinook Salmon smolt should be released to have the least impact on native fish utilizing the estuary.

Huntley Park Seining

The Huntley Park Seining Project represents a continuation of a 46-year adult salmonid monitoring database. This project is conducted annually from July through October at Huntley Park on the lower Rogue River. The Huntley Park project is a high priority to the district and harvest managers. The Huntley Park data is used to monitor stock abundance, age composition and hatchery/wild ratio of summer steelhead, Coho Salmon, and fall Chinook Salmon

Chetco/Rogue Fish Snout Recovery Stations

During the fall, two snout recovery stations were deployed to several Chetco River boat ramps. Volunteers solicited prizes for raffle to anglers that donated tagged snouts. Each station has cards available for anglers to fill out to include with the snout. If the card is filled out correctly and the snout has a tag the angler will be entered into drawings that will be conducted throughout the 2020 season.

The STEP Biologist and CAF volunteers monitored snout collection stations at various access points on the Lower Rogue. These stations were deployed throughout the Spring and fall Chinook Salmon season. The stations received over 200 snouts. 

Ferry Creek Acclimation Adult Monitoring

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Fish Culture activities produce fish to supplement natural fish production, augment fisheries, or, in the case of the classroom egg incubation program, provide educational opportunities. This category also includes fish rescued, transplanted, or reintroduced.

Steelhead Broodstock Collection (Chrome Challenge)

Volunteers and fishing guides assisted ODFW staff in collecting broodstock for the Chetco River hatchery programs. Chinook Salmon and steelhead were collected and transported to Elk River Hatchery. Chetco Chrome Challenge Members of the OSCF held the 3rd annual Chetco Chrome Challenge. The Challenge was sponsored to increase participation in the annual angler steelhead broodstock effort. The group held a kickoff party at Chetco River Brewery to sign anglers up for the -week derby event. Throughout the derby anglers submitted pictures of the broodstock being deposited into the holding pens along the river. The pictures were used as raffle tickets for various prizes. The Chrome Challenge ended with 58 fish being donated for broodstock and an awards party at the brewery.

Salmon Broodstock Collection (Salmon Rodeo)

The STEP Biologist and OSCF volunteers sampled adult fall Chinook Salmon off the mouth of Ferry Creek. Ferry Creek has is a smolt acclimation site with limited access for adult salmon. A handful of salmon were sampled using tangle nets. The data collected from this project will be used to determine the effectiveness of the Ferry Creek Acclimation Project and increase the sample size of coded wire tags collected in the basin.


Education and Program Development informs the public about the STEP Program, Oregon’s salmon and trout resources, and their habitats. Projects include classroom incubators (also known as the “Fish Eggs-to-Fry Program”), presentations, classes, volunteer training, tours, displays, printed materials, equipment, construction and maintenance

Eggs To Fry

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Fry Release

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High School Fishing Clubs

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Habitat Improvement activities enhance, restore and protect habitat for native stocks of salmon, steelhead, and trout. Projects include the placement of large woody debris in streams, riparian protection and restoration, fish passage improvement and fish carcass placement for stream nutrient enrichment. This category also includes aesthetic improvements to lakes and streams achieved through the Keep Oregon’s Rivers Clean (KORC) fishing line and tackle recycling program.

Stream Enrichment

Volunteers with the Curry Anadromous Fishermen and the Oregon South Coast Fishermen assisted ODFW with placement of fall Chinook Salmon carcasses. Fall Chinook Salmon carcasses from Elk River Hatchery and Indian Creek STEP Hatchery were distributed in the Chetco River, Euchre and Brush Creeks and lower Rogue River tributaries.

River Fish Salvage

Oregon South Coast Fishermen volunteers salvaging stranded Chetco River fall Chinook Salmon juveniles from off-channel pools. Volunteers located pools that were no longer connected to the river and that had a high risk of dewatering over the summer months. The majority of fish salvaged were Chinook Salmon, some juvenile winter steelhead was observed in the catch.

Port Of Brookings Aerators

Historic water samples of the Chetco River Boat basin identified areas of low dissolved oxygen. At the time OSCF obtained funding from various sources to purchase and maintain the aerators. The Port of Brookings and OSCF purchased equipment required for maintenance. With the funding, the OSCF assisted the Port in getting the equipment back online.


Fishing Access and Opportunity – The 25-year Angling Enhancement Plan was adopted in February of 2010 to outline strategies for providing diverse, stable and productive angling opportunities and facilitate an increase in angling participation. Because of its strong connection to the volunteer base, and the local needs and interests, STEP is used to 4 directly address recreational fishing priorities; specifically, opportunity, access and mentoring. While the focus is on youth anglers and families it also provides direct and indirect benefits to all anglers.

Improved South Coast Angler Access

Oregon South Coast Fisherman (OSCF) maintained an access agreement with a Chetco River front landowner. The area has been a popular access point for local area anglers for many years. Since 2001, OSCF have been involved with the cleaning and maintenance of the area. This opportunity may not have been possible without the OSCF’s positive history working with the landowner. The gate is opened during fishing season for access. Annually, OSCF spend funds to improve and maintain multiple access locations on the Chetco River.

Reel Fishing Days

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Arizona Pond Preparation

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Arizona Pond Stocking

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Inventory and Monitoring activities characterize fish populations and their habitats. Projects include stream and riparian habitat surveys and other methods used to study, monitor or inventory fish life history, presence, distribution or abundance.

Azalea Festival Fishponds

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Coastal Holiday Festival of Lights Booth

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