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Fishing report, Aug. 10, 2018

OCEAN OUTLOOK

COASTWIDE: Forecasts call for a calm ocean with 5-knot winds and 2-foot wind waves today, followed Saturday with winds to 10 knots and 2-foot seas. Sunday calls for winds up to 30 knots and wind waves to 8 feet.

The marine aggregate rockfish daily limit for bottomfishers has dropped from five fish to four for the remainder of 2018. The cabezon limit is one per day, and that counts against the four-fish aggregate limit. Rockfish angling is open only inside the 30-fathom line. A descending device to help release rockfish caught in deeper water is mandatory on all boats.

Lingcod fishing is very good when anglers can get out, particularly out of Brookings. Lingcod catches were very good out of Gold Beach this past week amid calm seas. Look for some good morning action through Saturday.

The ocean chinook salmon season is open, and catches have been fair out of Brookings. A large school of salmon, likely bound for the Rogue River, was marked on depth finders earlier this week near Cape Sebastian. Work the water near the California border, trolling slowly 150 to 180 feet down with anchovies or sardines. The Southern Oregon coastal chinook season runs through Aug. 26.

Look for good surfperch fishing along the Southern Oregon Coast, particularly near the mouths of rivers. There again are lots of surfperch in the Rogue River mouth, as well. Fish with Berkley Gulp sand worms or sandshrimp, as well as lug worms.

Commercial and recreational crabbing is open coastwide, but ocean and dock crabbing in the Charleston area have slowed.

A set of really good minus morning tides continue through Tuesday. That bodes well for weekend clammers, but only a small area around Coos Bay is open in Southern Oregon for razor clams because of domoic acid levels. 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.

LAKE OUTLOOK

AGATE: Perch, bass and some crappie are active. Pressure is light. Most of the action is on perch and bass near the submerged and partially flooded willows. Wind-drift worms with light weight or just a swivel, or cast small spinners or flies. The lake is dropping and was listed Thursday at 39 percent full, down 10 percent in the past week. No gas motors are allowed. Electric trolling motors are OK. The park closes at dusk.

APPLEGATE: The lake is down to almost 36 feet from full, down 5 feet from last week. Trout are well dispersed in the lake, but most of the action has been where Carberry Creek drops into the reservoir and deeper water near the dam and ouflow tower. Smallmouth bass fishing is good for those casting crankbaits toward rocky points. Slow trolling could be good for trout, and still-fishing in the French Gulch cove with PowerBait should be good. The surface temperature was at 75 degrees earlier this week.

DIAMOND: Trout fishing has slowed amid warm water and a spreading algae bloom. Surface temperatures were at 75 degrees Thursday. Most of the action is in the south end with worms under bobbers in about 15 feet of water. Find the leader depth to get the worm a little off the top of the weedline. Trollers should start with Wedding Ring lures spiked with a small piece of worm about 4 feet behind a small flasher. Still-fishers and fly-fishers working the south side, the shrimp beds and the old cheese hole have done OK this week but not as well as last month. Fly-fishers can use chironomid flies stripped slowly in the bottom half of the water column. All tiger trout must be released unharmed, and they are showing up pretty strongly in the catch, particularly at the south end.

EMIGRANT: The lake is down to 33 percent full. The lake was stocked last month with 1,000 rainbow trout at the county boat ramp. Expect light action around there. Bait fishers using PowerBait or worms under bobbers will do the most damage. Trollers should use Flatfish or Wedding Ring lures with worms, with or without dodgers. Bass fishing has been good with plastic worms or grubs fished slowly near submerged willows, and with crankbaits deep. The county boat ramp is open during daylight hours.

EXPO: Trout fishing is slow amid hot water conditions.

FISH: The lake received another 2,500 legal-sized trout last month at the Forest Service ramp near the resort. Look for decent fishing in the marina area and the cove near the ramp, mainly early in the mornings and evenings. The lake dropped to 37 percent full this week. Use streamer flies and small Rapala plugs that look like tui chubs. Also focus on the springs out in the lake.

HOWARD PRAIRIE: Fishing is fair for rainbow trout for still-fishers in deeper water near the dam with PowerBait, but warming water has the trout less active. Trollers are working the far-side channel with Wedding Ring or Tasmanian Devil lures spiced with small pieces of worm. The lake was stocked earlier this month with 7,500 legal-sized rainbows. The lake was listed Thursday at 46 percent full.

HYATT: Access is very poor with no workable ramps because the lake is down to 19 percent full, and boat access is limited to kayaks, canoes, driftboats launched off the shore or cartoppers that can be carried to the water. The few of people trying that are doing very well trolling and still-fishing for trout near the dam and along the creek channel.

LAKE OF THE WOODS: The lake is fishing decently for rainbows and perch with worms and PowerBait, while trolling has been fair to good for trout. Brown trout and kokanee fishing have been slow.

LOST CREEK: Stewart State Park and the marina are open, but U.S. Army Corps of Engineers facilities are closed due to wildfires. Another 10,000 legal-sized rainbow trout and 1,500 larger trout were stocked a month ago, and that has helped keep fishing decent near the dam and well above Peyton Bridge. Most of the action, however, remains in the lower 20 percent of the lake. The lake is down to more than 35 feet from full, and it will drop faster as outflows are boosted to help migrating fall chinook in the Rogue. Bank anglers using PowerBait at either side of the dam are faring well.

WILLOW: The lake was stocked last month with 5,000 legal-sized rainbow trout and 1,500 larger trout. Evening trout fishing has been best, while bass fishing is good early in the day.

SELMAC: The lake received 1,000 legal-sized rainbows in late June, but the water is warming and getting a bit rough on the trout. Catch them on PowerBait, small spinners and woolly bugger flies.

RIVER OUTLOOK

ROGUE: Trolling for chinook salmon in the lower Rogue Bay is easily the best bet even for those not catching fish because having breathable air rocks.

That said, the lower Rogue has been very good for fall chinook, with lots of 4-year-old chinook in the 28- to 30-pound range becoming more common. Fish have been biting best early in the fog and on the incoming tides. Good wind conditions are forecast for Friday and Saturday. Troll anchovies with a variety of blade colors. Green-on-green and chartreuse-and-green are good bets, with some decent catches coming on bladeless anchovies.

Good numbers of adult and halfpounder summer steelhead are moving through the lower Rogue. Some anglers are casting flies for steelhead at places like Cole Riffle and doing well in the evenings.

In the upper Rogue, water releases went up Friday morning to 1,750 cfs out of Lost Creek dam, and that should help get more chinook and steelhead on the move. Heavy smoke and perpetual triple-digit temperatures are keeping anglers away in droves.

Fishing for late-run spring chinook should be good below Dodge Bridge, a stretch where anglers can now keep wild chinook as part of the two-fish limit.

Cole Rivers Hatchery technicians collected 240 new spring chinook. That’s better than last week, and it inches the count up to 4,051 so far this year — the best in three years but still below the 10-year running average. About 88 percent of the springers that will reach Cole Rivers this year probably already have. No new steelhead or chinook were recycled this past week.

Look for more action on the run below TouVelle State Recreation Site, if the smoke conditions improve. Fish by back-bouncing roe and sandshrimp combinations or use MagLip 3.5 or 3.0 plugs scented, but don’t abandon the smaller Kwikfish wrapped with sardines.

Another 107 summer steelhead showed up at the hatchery this week. The 905 fish counted so far is ahead of the 10-year running average. Summer steelhead will hit most everything, and they range from under 20 inches to 12 pounds. Late-run or spawned-out winter steelhead should be released. All wild steelhead must be released unharmed river-wide for the remainder of the year.

Flows at Dodge Bridge Thursday were at 1,671 cfs, down a bit from last week. Flows at the old Gold Ray Dam site were at 1,695 cfs Thursday.

In the middle Rogue, anglers using plugs are hitting a surprising number of large summer steelhead on the runs between Valley of the Rogue and Robertson Bridge when the smoke allows for it. Cop Car and black-and-silver Weewarts are working, as are MagLip lures. Also lots of smaller steelhead are getting caught on worms or Panther Martin lures. The Merlin-Galice Access Road is reopened after being closed because of wildfires. Bear Camp Road is still closed.

In the far upper Rogue, trout are stocked weekly at places such as Union Creek Campground, and fishing for them is consistently good with worms and single salmon eggs.

APPLEGATE: The river is open to rainbow trout fishing, and only hatchery trout can be kept. Don’t expect to find them, however, because only fin-clipped winter steelhead are released there, and they are small and should be avoided. All cutthroat must be released. Rainbow trout over 16 inches are considered steelhead, and the river is closed to steelhead fishing until Jan. 1.

CHETCO: The river is open to trout angling, and sea-run cutthroat trout should be present in the lower river and estuary.

NORTH UMPQUA: Steelhead fishing is slow amid very warm water conditions. Angling closes at 2 p.m. daily to protect wild summer steelhead threatened by low and warm conditions.

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