Fishing Report: Friday, Feb. 2


COASTWIDE: For the first time in several weeks, part of the weekend looks fishable on the ocean, and that bodes well for those after lingcod and other bottomfish. Winds to 15 knots today will kick up swells to 5 feet with rain, but that could be doable for early jigging. Saturday will bring 20-knot winds and wind waves of 3 to 5 feet. On Sunday conditions will start to fall apart, with 20-knot winds and swells to 8 feet.

There's a five-fish marine aggregate rockfish daily limit for bottomfishers. When conditions improve, anglers can still 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.

Surfperch fishing could be good today but is likely to deteriorate as the surf builds.

Crabbing is open in the ocean and estuaries from Cape Blanco near Port Orford to the Washington border after tests showed domoic acid levels in Dungeness had dropped to safe levels. Crabbing is closed south of Port Orford, and more tests are expected in the next week.

The recreational harvest of razor clams is closed from Cascade Head to Winchester Bay and from Coos Bay to the California border due to domoic acid, including all beaches and bays. Evening minus tides occur tonight and Saturday night, then the tides start to flatten out the rest of the week. The recreational harvest of mussels is open along the entire coast. Before digging, check the shellfish hotline at 1-800-448-2474.


AGATE: Fishing has been good for recently stocked rainbow trout. The lake was up to 40 percent full. Fishing pressure is light. Fish PowerBait or worms under bobbers off the bank or anchored in 10 feet or so of water. No gas motors are allowed. Electric trolling motors are OK. The park closes at dusk.

APPLEGATE: Fishing pressure has been light, with water levels extremely low. Forest Service staff have cleared some of the mud at the low-water ramp in French Gulch, so it could be usable depending on the size of the boat and truck. Bank fishing has been good near the dam or off points. Outflows have remained steady at 150 cubic feet per second. Try still-fishing with small bits of PowerBait and very light weight off the bank in the French Gulch area.

DIAMOND: The lake is ice-free, and the north boat ramp is open. Fishing for rainbow trout has been good for those venturing out in boats. Worms under bobbers or PowerBait off the bottom have been very effective, with the trout biting daintily in the frigid water. Trolling is slow.

EMIGRANT: The lake was listed Thursday at 42 percent full and rising slowly. Fishing pressure is light, and some midday bass fishing has been good in what's left of the pool near the bottom of the reservoir. The county boat ramp is open during daylight hours. Some holdover trout are available.

EXPO: Another 1,000 legal-sized rainbow trout and 150 18-inchers were stocked just before Christmas, and anglers are still finding them. Worms and PowerBait are the staples. There is a $4 day-use fee to park there off Gate 5.

FISH: The ice is melted and there is some bank fishing open around the Forest Service boat ramp, but pressure and catches are both light. Cast bait into open water for rainbow trout. Tiger trout must be released unharmed. Sno-Park permits are required. The lake was listed at 72 percent full Thursday and holding steady.

HOWARD PRAIRIE: Ice fishing does not look promising for the next few weeks. Fishing for rainbow trout should be good in open water for bank anglers. The marina is closed. The lake was listed at 66 percent full, very high for this time of year.

HYATT: BLM has closed the boat ramps at its recreation area. The lake is up slightly to 45 percent full. Any fishing now is off the bank.

LOST CREEK: Flows out of Lost Creek were holding steady Thursday at 1,400 cfs, allowing the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to slowly begin filling the reservoir, which was up 4 feet this past week to 1,826 feet above sea level and filling at a consistent pace. The few anglers on the lake are finding trout by trolling green Wedding Ring lures near the dam and around the island off the Takelma boat ramp. Bank anglers fishing PowerBait at either side of the dam also are faring well.

LAKE OF THE WOODS: Most of the lake was ice-free and ringed with a little snow Thursday, and fishing off the resort was good mainly for perch and some trout. The resort has canceled an ice-fishing clinic that was set for Feb. 10-11.


ROGUE: Low water has stalled winter steelhead movement in the upper Rogue, while the middle Rogue is spotty for adult winter steelhead, but lots of halfpounders continue to stick around. The lower Rogue has been decent for boat anglers but just fair for plunkers amid low water that doesn't look like it will rise in the near future.

That makes the middle Rogue the best bet, particularly for those looking to wet a pre-Super Bowl line. Low and cold flows have left winter steelhead sprinkled around the Grants Pass and Galice areas, with no one stretch looking better than the rest. Boat and bank anglers fishing roe or corkies and worms have scratched fish in Grants Pass, at Robertson Bridge and below Ennis Riffle. Better success has come on halfpounders, with a good showing of hatchery halfpounders in the Almeda area and as far up as the Applegate. Flows at Grants Pass were a paltry 2,561 cfs Thursday and forecast to stay relatively level or drop into next week.

In the upper Rogue, winter steelhead movement has stalled, but late-run summer steelhead are moving because they're ripe and ready to spawn. That also means they're not worth keeping and that's kept anglers away. No fresh winter steelhead reached Cole Rivers Hatchery this past week, so the count remains one. A good freshet is needed to get winter steelhead moving, and none are in the immediate future. Flows at Dodge Bridge were down to 1,877 cfs and looking to stay that way for at least a few days. Flows at Gold Ray were under 2,400 cfs. That's drought-like summer flows, except cold.

All wild coho must be released. No new coho have reached the hatchery, indicating the run likely is over.

In the lower Rogue, boat anglers fishing a double offering of Hot Shots and Spin-Glo's have been doing OK for winter steelhead amid low and cold flows. A decent pod of fish were in the Cole Riffle area earlier this week and moving slowly. Flows at Agness were under 5,800 cfs and dropping. Clear water has hurt plunking success.

APPLEGATE: Some early winter steelhead and halfpounders remain in the lower third of the river, with fish movement slow this week. Flows at the town of Applegate were down to 235 cfs. Side-drifting worms and corkies or casting spoons has been best in deeper holes and riffles before the sun comes out. More water is needed to get fishing kick-started. Flows out of Applegate remained at 350 cfs.

All wild steelhead must be released unharmed, and there is no fishing from a floating device. Side-drifting worms and corkies or casting spinners or spoons will be best. Fly-fishing with egg flies can be good, but the cold water has the steelhead a bit less active than ideal.

CHETCO: Winter steelhead fishing was decent in the dropping and clearing water. Flows were down to 3,150 cfs Thursday, meaning some pre-Super Bowl winter steelhead fishing could be quite good side-drifting roe or fishing smaller MagLip plugs.

ELK: The river was looking not so hot for winter steelhead fishing, with flows at the hatchery listed Thursday at 4.2 feet and dropping. Also, the water was light green to clear, making for tough winter steelhead conditions through the weekend. Rain is needed.

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