Happy Fall Chinook and Coho salmon fishing takes place in Tillamook Bay alongside commercial clam divers targeting yellow clams in the channels. Interactions between fishermen and clam divers can create a safety concern for divers.
The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) and the Oregon State Marine Board (OSMB) remind all boaters to use caution when in the vicinity of divers, especially in the area commonly known as Ghost Hole .
At this time of year, the Ghost Hole in Tillamook Bay is popular with sport fishermen and commercial clam divers, as over 70 percent of Oregon’s commercial clam harvest occurs in the bay. by Tillamook. Boat traffic, canals congested with trolling lines and itinerant divers have created a safety risk.
Salmon sport fishermen should look for flags or “dive” buoys near anchored boats, signaling that divers are below, often attached to air supply systems. While Oregon does not prohibit the operation of boats near dive lodges, ODFW and OSMB encourage boaters to stay at least 200 feet from dive operations.
“Safety is everyone’s responsibility,” said Steve Rumrill, ODFW Shellfish Program Manager. “We want recreational fishermen and commercial divers to be aware of each other and maintain a safe working distance to have a safe and productive day.”
Rumrill advises boaters to go slow, stay alert, and keep clear of diver flags.