COASTWIDE: The ocean will start the weekend off a little dicey and get progressively worse. Today's forecast calls for 10-knot winds and 6-foot swells, which is doable for many ocean anglers. Saturday will bring winds up to 20 knots and 8-foot swells, followed Sunday by 35-knot winds and 8-foot swells and 6-foot wind waves.
Very good to excellent lingcod and black rockfish catches have occurred recently out of Brookings when the weather has allowed. Black and blue rockfish catches have been good to very good.
Rockfish anglers have new bag limits for 2017. Canary rockfish are part of the 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 as part of that seven-fish aggregate limit. 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 off-limits.
Rockfish anglers must carry at least one descending device and use it when releasing any fish caught in 30 fathoms of water or deeper, but that does not effect rockfish anglers, who must currently stay inside the 30-fathom line.
Crabbing is open along the entire Oregon Coast.
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 full. Spring fishing has been pretty good for crappie, yellow perch and the occasional bass. No gas motors are allowed. Electric trolling motors are OK. The park closes at dusk.
APPLEGATE: Trolling for rainbows picked up after 10,000 legal-sized rainbows and 800 trophy trout were added at the Hart-Tish Park and the Copper ramps. The water level is holding steady at 1,985.8 feet above sea level, which is slightly more than a foot from full. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is releasing slightly more water than is entering the reservoir, and look for that to hold true into next week at least. Bank fishing with worms under bobbers near the release sites will be a good idea. Trollers might try a Wedding Ring lure spiced with half a worm. Fishing off the bank higher up in the reservoir has been good at times for those using PowerBait or worms under bobbers with varying leader lengths. The French Gulch ramp also is open.
DIAMOND: The lake remains iced up except for a short ring in shallow water around the shoreline. Not safe for ice fishing and no room for boats. Diamond Lake boathouse employees now think fishing won't resume until near the end of May.
EMIGRANT: Another 1,000 legal-sized rainbows were released this past week at the county boat ramp to go with 1,000 legals released there a month ago. That's brought some interest from trollers and bank anglers. The lake was listed Thursday at 100 percent full. Spring bass fishing is picking up for those casting plastic worms or slowly worked crankbaits in the shallower water around willows and other structure. Look for that to improve with warming temperatures.
FISH: The lake last week received its first stocking of the season when 5,000 legal-sized rainbows were released off the Forest Service ramp, and fishing for them already has been good with PowerBait as well as leeches and woolly bugger flies. The lake was up a hair this week to 70 percent full, and fishing is good around the shallows as trout are cruising for early insects. Tiger trout must be released unharmed.
HOWARD PRAIRIE: The lake received its first complement of rainbows of the season last week with 5,100 legals released there, and already the fish have been moving about the lake. Fishing has been good for both trollers and still fishers with PowerBait in water 8 to 12 feet deep. The resort is open and operating, and boat rentals are available. Early-season anglers have done well trolling out of the Willow Point boat ramp, but also expect good bank angling in the shallows around the resort. On warmer days, troll the shallows with Wedding Rings and worms and other lures.
HYATT: The lake is ice-free and it got its first batch of fresh trout of the season when 5,100 legal-sized rainbows were released last week. The water is cold, so still-fishing with PowerBait is a good bet. Bass are starting to get active, as well. The BLM ramp is usable but the facilities there are not officially open. The lake is up a tick to 64 percent full and it will stay about that level for the foreseeable future in preparation for some improvements to the dam.
LOST CREEK: The lake got 800 trophy trout split this week between the Takelma and marina ramps, as well as 20,000 legals two weeks ago. The lake level is holding at about a foot under full as the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is passing inflow to keep some room in the reservoir. Look for outflows around 4,000 cfs through the weekend. It also has pushed anglers back down to the dam area, where trolling has been decent with red or green Wedding Ring lures with a worm.
LAKE OF THE WOODS: The lake is ice-free. Fish for rainbows in the shallows with bait or lures. The resort is open.
WILLOW: The lake got 4,000 legal-sized rainbows last month at the county boat ramp. Catch them early on PowerBait or worms near the ramp before they disperse.
EXPO: The pond received another 1,500 legal-sized trout this week to go with 3,000 legal-sized rainbows stocked there earlier this spring. Fishing is best with worms and bobbers or Panther Martin lures. Access the pond through Gate 5 off Peninger Road. Parking fees are required.
MEDCO POND: The pond received 2,000 legal-sized rainbows last week, and fishing for them is good off the shore with PowerBait or worms under bobbers.
ROGUE: Water flows are high throughout the river, which has slowed the migration of spring chinook, while winter steelhead fishing is on its last legs in the upper Rogue. High outflows from Lost Creek Lake through Wednesday will alter spring chinook tactics in the upper Rogue, while the lower Rogue is fair to good for spring chinook, because that's where all the salmon are. And that makes the lower Rogue the best bet for at least the weekend.
In the lower Rogue, spring chinook fishing tailed off this week after a hot weekend, but it was still pretty good for anglers focusing on the lower 14 miles of river. The high flows have really retarded migration, and clear water conditions mean boat anglers using cut-plug herring are out-fishing plunkers. Flows at Agness were on the rise and forecast to hit about 12,000 cfs Saturday before dropping through most of next week. That bodes well for fishing there.
In the upper Rogue, the Corps of Engineers has upped the outflows from Lost Creek Lake to 4,000 cfs and forecasts are for it to hit 5,500 cfs Saturday as the Corps grapples with high inflows to an almost full lake. The bouncing flows will provide a tough bite and slow migration, but flows should subside Sunday and into next week. That should make spring chinook fishing better in migration lanes with plugs such as Mag Lip 4.5s and K-15 Kwikfish instead of back-bouncing holes with roe. The first spring chinook salmon of the year was counted Wednesday at Cole Rivers Hatchery, and both boat and bank anglers have been running into a few throughout the upper Rogue. All wild chinook must be released unharmed.
The catch-and-release rules for all wild steelhead are back on for the remainder of the calendar year.
Winter steelhead fishing has slowed down in the Grants Pass area. Most of the fish getting caught recently were dark and spawned-out. Not much activity reported for spring chinook.
Surfperch fishing off the Rogue sand spit has been great.
APPLEGATE: The river is closed to all angling.
CHETCO: The river is closed to all angling.