COASTWIDE: Coastal weather for the weekend starts with a small-craft advisory for hazardous seas through Sunday night. Expect 20-knot winds and swells up to 15 feet today, followed Saturday by 15-knot winds and swells dropping to 10 feet. Sunday sees the winds eventually backing down to 5 knots, but the swells will still be close to 10 feet. Good weekend to stay inland.
The marine aggregate rockfish daily limit for bottomfishers is five fish. Anglers are allowed to fish for midwater rockfish species outside 40 fathoms using 30-foot leaders and floats to stay off the bottom. The midwater species limit is 10 per day.
Lingcod fishing has been excellent when anglers can get out, particularly out of Brookings, and anglers this past week benefited from excellent ocean conditions.
Surfperch fishing has been solid more often than not off the Rogue River sand spit off the south jetty, even though there’s not much of a sand spit there at the moment, as well as at Nesika Beach. Fish with Berkley Gulp sand worms or sandshrimp.
Commercial and recreational crabbing is open coast-wide.
Morning minus tides start Monday and run through the week, making for good clamming conditions. Razor clamming has been very good in the open stretch from the Columbia River to Cascade Head, including the clam-rich Clatsop County beaches. The rest of the coast is closed to razors because of elevated levels of domoic acid. Bay clamming and the recreational harvest of mussels is open along the entire coast, but that can change quickly, so check the shellfish hotline at 1-800-448-2474 before digging.
AGATE: The lake was stocked last month with 350 larger-sized rainbow trout to go along with trout stocked in early winter. Fishing for them has been decent with PowerBait or worms under bobbers. The lake is completely full now, but turbidity is a problem. No gas motors are allowed. Electric trolling motors are OK. The park closes at dusk.
APPLEGATE: The lake rose dramatically this week, and that has put the trout bite off. However, look for fishing to pick up next week after 10,000 legal-sized trout and 800 larger trout are stocked there. Most of the action has occurred around the French Gulch and Copper ramps. The lake is up 18 feet from last week to elevation 1,963 feet, and forecasts call for some heavy inflows through the weekend. When things settle down, slow trolling of Flatfish or Wedding Ring lures could be good, and still-fishing in the French Gulch cove with PowerBait should be good. The surface temperature is in the low 40s.
DIAMOND: The lake is ice-free, and fishing could be very good if new snows don’t block access to the north boat ramp. When angling resumes, look for very good catches of rainbow trout on worms and PowerBait, as well as chironomid flies. All tiger trout must be released unharmed.
EMIGRANT: The lake was listed Thursday at 71-percent full, up 4 percent over the past week. The lake was stocked earlier this week with 1,000 larger rainbow trout at the county boat ramp, and that’s where the action is for bait fishers using PowerBait or worms under bobbers. Trollers need to work Wedding Rings very slowly. Bass fishing has been good on plastic worms and grubs fished slowly. The county boat ramp is open during daylight hours.
EXPO: The pond was stocked earlier this week with 1,500 legal-sized rainbows, and action should continue to be very good for them with worms, PowerBait and small spinners. There is a $4 day-use parking fee off Gate 5.
FISH: The lake is ice-free but not getting much fishing attention. No new stocking of rainbow trout is scheduled until later this month. It was stocked last month with 700 larger-sized rainbow trout, and catches of those fish have been somewhat sporadic. The lake is up to 78 percent full. A sno-park pass is needed to park at the Forest Service lot near the boat ramp through the end of the month.
HOWARD PRAIRIE: The lake is ice-free and access is available at the Willow Point boat ramp when snow doesn’t deter access. The marina is closed.
HYATT: BLM has closed the boat ramps at its recreation area. The lake is icing over, and heavy snows have blocked access.
LAKE OF THE WOODS: The lake is ice-free and getting a little attention from brown trout anglers fishing Power Bait in deeper water. Perch are also prevalent.
LOST CREEK: Another 15,000 legal-sized rainbow trout and 800 larger trout will be stocked next week and will be split between both boat ramps. Most of the action is in the lower few hundred yards of the reservoir. Flows out of Lost Creek were increased to 2,100 cubic feet per second Thursday as the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers looks to reduce the filling rate for the reservoir, which is expected to fill by the end of the month. The lake was up to 4 feet from full Thursday. A big spike in inflows is expected through the weekend. Anglers have been finding trout by trolling green Wedding Ring lures near the dam and around the island off the Takelma boat ramp. Bank anglers using PowerBait at either side of the dam also are faring well.
ROGUE: Winter steelhead fishing is improving in the upper Rogue and holding on in the middle Rogue, while the first good spring chinook bite occurred earlier this week in the lower Rogue, where it’s definitely game-on for springers now.
That leaves the best bet as the middle Rogue, but pay close attention to the rains and flows. As of Thursday, things looked pretty good. Flows Thursday at Grants Pass were down to 2,765 cfs with 4 NTUs of turbidity. That’s good. However, forecasts call for flows to get over 6,000 cfs by late Monday after pretty good conditions through the weekend. A caviat is that poor conditions forecast last weekend never really materialized, so look for updates before investing a day on the water.
Middle Rogue anglers have done well on a mix of roe, yarn flies, worms and watermelon corkies and Mag Lip plugs size 3.0 and 3.5. Misty River and the Copper Mine varieties have been best.
In the upper Rogue, flows out of Lost Creek Lake were jacked up to 2,100 cfs Thursday, putting a damper to a good steelhead bite on roe and plugs. Flows Thursday at Dodge Bridge were up to 1,890 cfs just as the ramping up of flows began. Look for flows to peak Monday around 4,000 cfs, but turbidity should be OK for late-season steelhead fishing. Flows at the old Gold Ray Dam site were just a hair above 2,400 cfs Thursday before the increased flows reached there. Flows will peak there around 5,500 cfs Tuesday, and that could be tough for steelhead fishing. A few rumors of spring chinook getting caught in the upper Rogue remain just that. However, steelheaders report hooking large fish that break off and are never seen.
In the lower Rogue, a great spring chinook bite happened Monday and was followed with a good bite Tuesday but bad weather Wednesday. Monday’s conditions should be repeated early next week, and maybe this weekend. Most of the action was on 6-inch anchovies behind a gold blade, but boat anglers found success on cloudy days with a brass blade. Bankies continue plunking with the Gray Ghost Spin-Glo (now actually named the Rogue), as well as flame-chartreuse and pink-pearl. All the action has been throughout the lower 9 miles of freshwater.
Another 358 winter steelhead reached Cole Rivers Hatchery this week, nearly twice the return of last week, but still well below the 10-year average. No new spring chinook were counted this week, keeping the running total at one.
Anglers can now keep one wild winter steelhead longer than 24 inches river-wide, and no more than five per year.
APPLEGATE: The river is closed to all angling.
CHETCO: The river is closed to all angling.
ELK: The river is closed to all angling.