COASTWIDE: Forecasts call for a gale watch and small-craft advisory through the weekend, so that likely will put the kabosh on most recreational ocean fisheries this weekend.
Very good to excellent lingcod and black rockfish catches have occurred out of Brookings when the weather has allowed. Blue rockfish catches have been good to very good. The South Coast halibut season is open through Oct. 31, and some very nice fish have been caught when the weather cooperates.
Canary rockfish are part of the 2017 seven-fish marine bag limit, and there is no sub-limit on them, so anglers can have canaries make up their entire seven-fish daily limit if they choose. However, anglers can keep no more than six black rockfish. Also, there's a new combined, four-fish sub-limit for a combination of blue/deacon, China, copper and quillback rockfish. There is no change to the two-fish lingcod daily limit. Cabezon are still off-limits.
Rockfish anglers must stay inside the 30-fathom line. When that restriction is lifted Sept. 1, anglers must carry at least one descending device on board each boat and use it when releasing any rockfish caught in 30 fathoms of water or deeper.
Crabbing is open along the entire Oregon Coast and it is picking up in bays, but crabs are starting to molt again and their meat content will diminish. Look for crabs to fatten up by September.
Razor clamming is closed along the entire coast because of domoic acid. Bay clams and butter clams are available coastwide, and mussels are closed south of Cape Arago near Charleston. Before digging, check the shellfish hotline at 1-800-448-2474.
AGATE: The lake is down to 63 percent full, the lowest it's been so far this year. Look for crappie, yellow perch and occasional bass in deeper water and anywhere there's shade. No gas motors are allowed. Electric trolling motors are OK. The park closes at dusk.
APPLEGATE: Rainbows are spread throughout the lake and biting well. A worm 5 feet or so under a bobber is working well at the upper end of the reservoir, but the Seattle Bar area is drying up for the first time this year. Bass fishing off points and around structure in the upper part of the reservoir has been fair to good. Still lots of floating debris throughout the reservoir. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has held releases at 370 cfs, and inflows have plunged to about 130 cfs. The lake was listed Thursday as 20 feet from full, down more than 5 feet from last week.
DIAMOND: The lake is fishing very well for rainbows in the shallows at the south end and near the shrimp beds and the old Cheese Hole — lots of fish between 12 and 17 inches. PowerBait floated off the bottom is out-fishing worms under bobbers, with corn yellow and salmon-egg peach popular, but don't forget the glitter chartreuse. Trollers are getting action on Needlefish and Flat Fish. The south ramp is open and so are the campgrounds, but the mosquitoes are brutal this year.
EMIGRANT: The lake was listed Thursday at 70 percent full and dropping fast. Bass fishing has held its own for those casting a mix of plastic worms and grubs and crankbaits. Trolling for trout has slowed in the warm water, with the upper section of the lake best near Emigrant Creek. Fresh trout were stocked two weeks ago at the county boat ramp for a fishing event and what's left of those fish have dispersed.
EXPO: The music festival means the pond will be overrun by festival-goers and fishing there is a nonstarter until late next week. Fish with worms and bobbers or Panther Martin lures. Access the pond through Gate 5 off Peninger Road. Parking fees are required.
FISH: The lake got 3,000 legal-sized rainbows a month ago, and that's it until next month. Fishing is still good. Catches have been good with PowerBait, as well as leeches and woolly bugger flies. The lake was down significantly in the past week and was listed Thursday at 77 percent full. Tiger trout must be released unharmed.
HOWARD PRAIRIE: The lake received 5,100 legal-sized trout near the resort last month, and fishing is holding up well throughout the lake. Fishing has been very good from Grizzly Campground up into the flats at the lake's northwest side, with trolling and still-fishing equally effective. Lots of bug activity in that area means fishing streamer flies such as leeches and thin woolly buggers should be good. The lake was listed Thursday as 90 percent full, which is great for July.
HYATT: The lake received 5,100 legal-sized rainbows at the BLM ramp last month, and anglers are catching them with PowerBait or worms under bobbers. Trolling is good along the lake's old creek channel. Bass are active, as well. The lake has dropped significantly in the past week and is now at 50 percent full.
LOST CREEK: The lake got another 10,000 legal rainbows and 1,500 pound-sized trout a month ago, split between the Takelma and marina boat ramps. The trout have spread out fairly well, with some of the best fishing directly across the lake from the marina and near the dam. The lake is dropping much faster and was listed Thursday at 32 feet from full, down 5 feet in the past week. Water quality is getting poor from an apparent algae bloom. Trolling has been decent with red or green Wedding Ring lures with a worm near the dam. Wind-drifting worms where the river flows into the upper part of the lake is very good.
LAKE OF THE WOODS: Fishing is good for rainbows in the shallows and farther out in the lake with bait or lures. Some kokanee have been caught in the deeper recesses of the lake.
MEDCO POND: The pond received another 1,600 legal-sized rainbows last month to go with 4,000 legals stocked in May. Fishing is good with PowerBait or worms under bobbers.
WILLOW: The lake got 3,000 legal-sized trout and 1,500 pound-sized trout in early June. Catch them on PowerBait or worms.
ROGUE: A mix of spring chinook salmon and summer steelhead continue to create a fairly decent fishery in the upper Rogue, with more anglers now switching over to stalking a good early return of summer steelhead. In the middle Rogue, a mix of steelhead and a few late-run springers have bent rods lately in the Grants Pass-Rogue River area, while the lower Rogue has been good for those trolling for fall chinook in the bay, when the wind doesn't sent anglers off the water.
That makes the best bet the upper Rogue, where anglers can double-dip for steelhead and chinook, but don't eschew the bay if you're looking to escape the madness the country music festival is expected to drop onto local traffic.
In the upper Rogue, the Corps of Engineers has kept Lost Creek Lake steady this week at 2,800 cfs, and that has kept fish in the upper Rogue moving. The spring chinook are hitting eggs and sandshrimp back-bounced or fished off divers. Plugs also have worked fairly well with sardine wraps and other scents. Those fishing smaller plugs have hit some nice summer steelhead on both sides of Shady Cove. The floating algae masses that have dogged anglers the past few weeks seem to be waning, particularly downstream of Dodge Bridge.
Spring chinook fishing upstream of Dodge Bridge closes Monday evening, but that stretch remains open for summer steelhead fishing. Chinook fishing for hatchery and wild fish continues through August downstream of Dodge Bridge.
Cole Rivers Hatchery collected 202 more springers this week. The count so far is 2,975 springers at the hatchery, which is about 60 percent of the 10-year running average. The hatchery now has enough fish to fuel this year's brood stock and actually will allow for some recycling of chinook downstream.
Another 202 summer steelhead were counted Wednesday, almost identical to last week's count. The total so far is 756 fish, well above the running 10-year average of 546 steelhead. The early fish tend to be either 20-inch, first-time spawners or 8-plus pounders that are either wild fish on their second or third spawning run or hatchery females stripped of their eggs and released to the Rogue. These fish will bite anything from spinners to plugs to worms and even pink plastic worms fished under bobbers.
Cole Rivers Hatchery workers recycled another 157 hatchery summer steelhead to the Modoc Unit of the Denman Wildlife Area July 14, as well as 323 spring chinook. Of those, 148 were adult males, and the remaining were jacks and subjacks. No new recycled fish in the mix this week.
Anglers fishing downstream of Dodge Bridge can keep wild springers as part of their two-chinook limit, while those upstream of the bridge must release wild spring chinook unharmed. All wild steelhead must be released unharmed.
Flows at Dodge Bridge were down a hair to 2,772 cfs Thursday, 2,910 cfs at the old Gold Ray Dam site, 2,650 cfs at Grants Pass, and 3,209 at Agness. All were the lowest flows of the season.
The lower Rogue has been fairly good for those trolling the bay for fall chinook, with an average of slightly more than one fish per boat. Winds, however, have made trolling difficult. Fishing is best on the morning incoming tides with anchovies or Brad's cut-plug herring lures.
In the middle Rogue, anglers targeting summer steelhead are catching fish most evenings, with Panther Martin lures or worms and corkies the top offerings. Also, the float from Valley of the Rogue to Chinook Park has been productive for steelheaders, with a few late-run springers seen moving through as well. All wild steelhead must be released unharmed river-wide.
APPLEGATE: The river is open to trout fishing, but all wild trout must be released unharmed. Most of the trout are actually steelhead pre-smolts.
CHETCO: A few more wash-in fall chinook are getting caught in the estuary, but not at the pace of earlier this month. Lots of anchovies are in the bay.