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Fishing report, Aug. 24, 2018

OCEAN OUTLOOK

COASTWIDE: Today’s forecast calls for 5-knot winds out of Brookings, but winds will kick up to 15 knots by late afternoon with 8-foot wind waves following suit. Saturday’s forecast calls for 25-knot winds and 6-foot wind waves, followed by mostly the same Sunday.

The marine aggregate rockfish daily limit for bottomfishers has dropped from five fish to four for the remainder of 2018. The cabezon quota has been reached, so cabezon are off the table through the rest of the year and must be released unharmed.

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. Focus on kelp beds and position your boat behind rocks to shield from the winds when they kick up.

The ocean chinook salmon season is through Sunday, and some decent catches have occurred for those trolling 5 to 8 miles out of Brookings, which remains the top chinook port in Oregon. Troll anchovies or sardines.

Look for good surfperch fishing to return to the Southern Oregon coast once the waves subside. The heavy surf forces surfperch farther offshore, and it usually takes a few calm days for them to return. Lots of surfperch are in the Rogue River mouth, as well. Fish with Berkley Gulp sand worms or sandshrimp, as well as lug worms.

Recreational crabbing is open coastwide, but ocean and dock crabbing in the Charleston area is just fair.

There are morning minus tides Saturday and Sunday but they are very weak. Clamming is open in 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 28 percent full, down 6 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 45 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 outflow tower. Smallmouth bass fishing is good for those casting crankbaits toward rocky points, with early morning and evenings best. 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. Hart-Tish Park and ramp also are open.

DIAMOND: Trout fishing remains decent for hot August weather, with fishing best very early in the morning and late. 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 25 percent full and destined to drop to less than 10 percent in the coming weeks. Some early morning and evening bass fishing can be good with plastic worms and crankbaits. Trout action is slow. 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 26 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 surprisingly good 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 43 percent full.

HYATT: Access is very poor with no workable ramps because the lake is down to 14 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 people trying are doing 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 43 feet from full, and it will drop faster as outflows remain at 2,000 cubic feet per second to help migrating fall chinook in the Rogue. Bank access around the dam also is closed. The Takelma ramp is closed.

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: Bass fishing is fair to good amid warm water conditions.

RIVER OUTLOOK

ROGUE: Trolling for chinook salmon in the lower Rogue Bay remains good to very good, but fish are moving out of the bay amid higher and cooler freshwater flows. A mix of fall chinook and summer steelhead are getting caught in the middle Rogue largely by plug fishermen. The upper Rogue is a mix of slightly improvingsummer steelhead and some decent lingering spring chinook fishing downstream of Dodge Bridge.

The best bet remains the lower Rogue bay, which sports some of the best air left in Southern Oregon. A strong mix of 3- and 4-year-old fall chinook have been in the bay regularly. Fish have been biting best early in the fog and on the incoming tides, but some outgoing tides have been solid. Cohos are starting to show up in the catch as are larger summer steelhead. 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.

Anglers with the two-rod tag can fish two rods in the bay through September.

Good numbers of adult and halfpounder summer steelhead are moving through the lower Rogue but catches have been spotty and they’re not above Agness in any real numbers yet.

In the upper Rogue, water releases remain at 2,000 cfs out of Lost Creek dam, and that should help get more chinook and steelhead on the move. Heavy smoke is keeping anglers away in droves. Check the DEQ smoke report for Shady Cove before going. Occasionally there’s a nice piece of blue sky over the Rogue.

Fishing for late-run spring chinook is fair to good below Dodge Bridge, a stretch where anglers can now keep wild chinook as part of the two-fish daily limit. Most catches have been on plugs.

Cole Rivers Hatchery technicians collected 145 new spring chinook. That’s better than last week, and it inches the count up to 4,486 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 made it. No new steelhead or chinook were recycled this 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. Those could also get steelhead.

Another 128 summer steelhead showed up at the hatchery this week. The 1,213 fish counted so far is ahead of the 10-year running average, but not by much. 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 2,026 cfs, the first time they’ve been over 2,000 cfs there since late July. Flows at the old Gold Ray Dam site were likewise up to just under 2,000 cfs Thursday.

In the middle Rogue, anglers using plugs are hitting a surprising number of large summer steelhead and occasional fall chinook from Valley of the Rogue State Park through Grants Pass. 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 open again after being closed because of wildfires. Bear Camp Road is still closed. Some fall chinook were seen rolling this week in Taylor Creek Canyon.

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 longer than 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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