The change protects an extremely limited spring Chinook run while allowing anglers to continue harvesting fall Chinook salmon. This is the only angling regulation change in the Coos-Coquille-Tenmile Lakes basin that resulted from the Coastal Multi-species Conservation and Management Plan (CMP) adopted by the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission in June 2014.
The CMP defined the following changes to hatchery programs in the basin:
- Increased Tenmile basin smolt releases to 25,000 fish.
- Moved 20,000 smolts for the East Fork Coquille River to the North Fork Coquille River at LaVerne Park, nearly doubling smolt releases there.
- Hatchery winter steelhead will not be passed above the dam/trap at Eel Lake although some bright fish will be recycled down to lower Tenmile Creek or Saunders Lake for more angling opportunity. This is a conservation measure to reduce the number of hatchery steelhead on spawning grounds.
- Coos basin and South Fork Coquille subbasin releases will remain the same.
- 100,000 fall Chinook pre-smolt releases are moved from the West Fork Millicoma River to the Coos Bay estuary (location TBD). This should provide a better fall Chinook fishery which occurs primarily in the lower estuary while decreasing hatchery fish on the upper West Fork Millicoma River spawning grounds. The fish will still be reared and fin-clipped at Millicoma Interpretive Center, and students will still participate in those activities.
- Acclimation and release of nearly 57,000 fall Chinook smolts at Hall Creek above the Coquille River will be moved to the Ferry Creek acclimation site in Bandon to contribute to a better fishery in the lower estuary and decrease hatchery fish on the upper spawning grounds. This increases the Ferry Creek releases from 10,000 to 66,500 fall Chinook smolts.