Fishing Report: Friday, Nov. 17

OCEAN OUTLOOK

COASTWIDE: Today and Saturday will bring 5-knot winds and 5-foot swells to the coast, followed Sunday by winds up to 30 knots and wind waves up to 10 feet.

Halibut fishing is closed off the South Coast. That leaves only ocean bottomfishing outside the 40-fathom line. Thirty-foot leaders and floats are required to keep baits off the bottom and focused on midwater rockfish species. No lingcod, cabezon or other bottomfish can be targeted, even from jetties. Also open is fishing for sanddab and surfperch. Surfperch fishing is likely to be poor through the weekend because of stiff winds and surf.

Crabbing is closed in the ocean, off beaches and in bays south of the north jetty at Coos Bay as well as from Tahkenitch Creek to Cape Foulweather near Newport because of high levels of domoic acid found in Dungeness. The ocean is closed to crabbing until Dec. 1 regardless of whether the current public-health closure is lifted.

The recreational harvest of razor clams is closed from Cascade Head to the California border for elevated levels of domoic acid, which includes all beaches and bays. The recreational harvesting of mussels is open along the entire coast. Before digging, check the shellfish hotline at 1-800-448-2474.

LAKE OUTLOOK

AGATE: The lake is holding steady at 23 percent full, and fishing pressure is very light. Look for isolated catches of yellow perch and bass around structure and near the dam face. No gas motors are allowed. Electric trolling motors are OK. The park closes at dusk.

APPLEGATE: Fishing pressure has been very light, with some catches of rainbow trout for those trolling near the mouth of Carberry Creek or fishing worms or PowerBait from the bank. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has increased water releases to 400 cfs beginning Thursday to offset increased runoff from recent rains.

DIAMOND: Snow is starting to accumulate around the lake, with about 10 inches there Thursday morning. Fishing pressure has been very light, but those going out have done well with streamer flies or leeches at the south end and PowerBait around the edges. All tiger trout must be released unharmed.

EMIGRANT: The lake was listed Thursday at 26 percent full and increasing slightly amid recent rains. Fishing pressure is light. Bass fishing is decent but slowing. Slowly fish plastic worms, grubs and crankbaits near structure. Smallmouth are off rocky points, largemouth are largely in the submerged willows.

EXPO: 500 legal-sized trout and 100 12-inch trout were stocked two weeks ago. More trout will be stocked for the next Free Fishing Weekend, which is next Friday and Saturday right after Thanksgiving. Catch them on PowerBait, worms and bobbers or small spinners like Panther Martins.

FISH: Anglers are still running into what's left of 900 trophy trout stocked late last month at the Forest Service ramp, but effort is very light. Use worms or PowerBait, or strip leeches or woolly buggers. Troll plugs that look like chubs or Wedding Ring lures with a small chunk of worm on the hook. Tiger trout must be released unharmed.

HOWARD PRAIRIE: Trout fishing is good in the snow, but pressure is very light. The marina is closed but the Willow Point boat ramp is open and usable, with most angling in that area. Fishing has been best near the dam. Trollers should use worms and flashers, starting deep and working their way up the water column until they find where the trout are suspended. The lake was listed at 75 percent full, very high for this time of year.

HYATT: BLM has closed the boat ramps at its recreation area. The lake is 40 percent full. Any fishing now is off the bank.

LOST CREEK: The lake got another 1,000 trout 14 to 16 inches long last month, complementing 5,000 legal-sized trout, 10,000 fingerling and 2,300 trophy trout about 15 inches apiece stocked there earlier last month. That's far more larger trout released this fall than in past years. They were dispersed between the Takelma boat ramp and the marina. The lake was listed Thursday at 58 feet from full. Outflows were increased Thursday to 2,300 cfs to account for rising inflows.

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 parts of the lake. Expect snow this weekend.

WILLOW: The lake got 3,000 legal-sized trout and 1,500 pound-sized trout in early June. Catch what's left on PowerBait or worms.

RIVER OUTLOOK

ROGUE: The upper Rogue has seen an uptake to late-run summer steelhead fishing as the steelhead adjust to the colder weather, while the middle Rogue will suffer from high and likely dirty water this weekend from rain. The lower Rogue is rising and that will put the bite off for summer steelhead, halfpounders and what few fall chinook remain there.

That keeps the best bet on the upper Rogue, where what you use is determined largely by where you go. The Shady Cove ramp is the demarcation line between bait and non-bait fishing since Nov. 1. Upstream of the ramp, catches were still good to very good on roe fished at the heads and tailouts of pools and riffles. Summer steelhead were in good shape and scattered for driftboaters. Downstream of Shady Cove, catches have been good on a mix of plugs, scented yarn balls and pink worms fished under bobbers. These rules remain in effect through the remainder of the year. Cole Rivers Hatchery technicians collected 145 new steelhead Wednesday after getting fewer than a couple dozen each of the past three weeks.

A few coho are getting caught in the upper Rogue, chiefly by anglers fishing pinkish plugs. All wild coho must be released. The first big push of coho reached Cole Rivers Hatchery this past week, with 277 of the 397 caught there so far coming in the past week.

Fly-fishermen continue to fish single-egg patterns for summer steelhead in the upper Rogue, while other bank anglers are finding success casting spinners near TouVelle State Park and at the Denman Wildlife Area.

Flows out of Lost Creek Lake increased to 2,300 cubic feet per second Thursday, and that's sending everything up. Flows at Dodge Bridge were at 2,259 cfs before the bump up in water and they are forecast to peak around 3,500 cfs there Monday. Flows at the former Gold Ray Dam site were up to 2,648 cfs and forecast to hit around 4,600 cfs Monday.

In the lower Rogue, adult summer steelhead and halfpounders are still showing up in decent numbers in the lower 30 miles of freshwater. However, flows are against angling efficiency. Flows at Agness were already at 6,066 cfs and climbing Thursday, forecast  to peak at about 11,000 cfs Tuesday. That puts steelheaders out of business there. When it resumes, cast Panther Martin spinners, worms and corkies or swing streamer flies. Try Quosatana Creek, Lobster Creek and Cole Riffle.

All chinook fishing is closed upstream of the Hog Creek boat ramp near Galice.

In the middle Rogue, anglers are reporting a few summer steelhead caught with worms and corkies off the bank or side-drifting from driftboats. Also, fly-fishing with small nymphs has been surprisingly good in the Robertson Bridge area. A few coho are getting caught in the slow water around Galice by dragging pink jigs off the bottom. Flows Thursday at Grants Pass were at 2,740 cfs and forecast to peak Monday at around 5,200 cfs.

APPLEGATE: The river is open to trout fishing, but all wild trout must be released unharmed. Most of the trout are steelhead pre-smolts.

CHETCO: Flows were forecast to drop this weekend before shooting up Monday with the next series of rain storms. That might make for some very good fall chinook salmon fishing Sunday with plugs in migration lanes river-wide. The water will be high but dropping and that will put fall chinook on the move. Some of the fish are starting to be dark. The Chetco Bar fire restrictions have been modified so Nook Bar and its boat ramp are now open for public access. Plugs have been out-fishing roe when the chinook are on the move.

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