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Fishing Report for July 6, 2018

OCEAN OUTLOOK

COASTWIDE: Forecasts call for 10-knot winds and 3-foot wind waves outside of Brookings Friday, followed Saturday by much of the same. Sunday’s forecast is for the winds to hold steady at 10 knots but wind waves jumping to 4 feet. All in all a pretty good forecast for South Coast ocean anglers.

The marine aggregate rockfish daily limit for bottomfishers has dropped from five fish to four for the remainder of 2018 or until further in-season actions are taken. Cabezon are back in the mix. The cabezon limit is one per day, and that counts against the four-fish aggregate limit. Rockfish angling is now 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. Look for some good morning action through the weekend.

The ocean chinook salmon season is open, and catches should be peaking in July. Trollers out of Brookings are working near the California border, working 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 through the weekend, particularly near the mouths of rivers like Elk River. 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.

Another set of excellent minus morning tides begin Tuesday and run through the weekend. That bodes well for weekend clammers, but only a small area locally 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 dominating the catch, and just a few holdover trout are showing up in the mix. 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 quickly and was listed Thursday at 70 percent full. No gas motors are allowed. Electric trolling motors are OK. The park closes at dusk.

APPLEGATE: The lake is down to about 12 feet from full, and inflows are more than 210 cubic feet per second less than outflows, so conditions are changing rapidly along shorelines and near the top of the reservoir. The rainbow trout are well dispersed in the lake, but most of the action has been in the Seattle Bar area and around the mouth of Carberry Creek and points in the upper reservoir. Bass fishing is good for those casting crankbaits toward rocky points. Slow trolling of Flatfish or Wedding Ring lures could be good for trout, and still-fishing in the French Gulch cove with PowerBait should be good. The surface temperature was at 70 degrees earlier this week.

DIAMOND: Trout fishing has been very good at the south end, but steady winds have harmed catches and blown anglers off the water earlier than normal. Trollers should start with Wedding Ring lures spiked with a small piece of worm about 4 feet behind a small flasher. Some algae is starting to congregate on the south side. Still-fishers and fly-fishers working the south side, the shrimp beds and the old cheese hole have done very well. Fish worms about 2 or 3 feet off the bottom by using bobbers and float PowerBait 4 feet or so off the bottom. Flyfishers 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 57 percent full, dropping 5 percent in the past week alone. The lake was stocked last month with 1,000 rainbow trout at the county boat ramp. Expect to continue seeing some 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: The pond was stocked with 1,000 legal-sized rainbow trout in late May and some remain. Action is best with worms, PowerBait and small spinners. There is a $4 day-use parking fee off Gate 5.

FISH: The lake got 2,500 legal-sized trout three weeks ago at the Forest Service ramp near the resort, and they have become pretty well-dispersed. Look for good fishing in the marina area and the cove near the Forest Service boat ramp. The lake dropped to 68 percent full this week, the largest drop single-week since spring. Streamer flies and small Rapala plugs that look like tui chubs will start working for bigger rainbows and brown trout now that the water is warming. Also start focusing on the springs out in the lake.

HOWARD PRAIRIE: Fishing is good for rainbow trout for still-fishers in deeper water near the dam with PowerBait. Trollers are working the lake’s far-side channel with Wedding Ring or Tasmanian Devil lures spiced with small pieces of worm. All of the resort facilities are open. The lake was stocked earlier this month with 7,500 legal-sized rainbows. The lake was listed Thursday at 54 percent full, down a hair from last week.

HYATT: The lake received another 7,450 legal-sized trout last month. BLM’s campground and Mountain View boat ramp are open, and the lake is at 33 percent full, and that is too shallow for the vast majority of trailered boats to launch. Trolling and still-fishing for trout have been very good near the dam, in the Orchard area and along the creek channel. Trollers should work the shorelines and the old creek channel.

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

LOST CREEK: Another 10,000 legal-sized rainbow trout and 1,500 larger trout were stocked two weeks ago, and that has helped an already good fishery near the dam and well above Peyton Bridge, where the no-wake rules are being enforced. Most of the action, however, is in the lower 20 percent of the lake. Fishing is best near the Takelma ramp, around the island and trolling the far portion of the dam’s face. Flows out of Lost Creek are being walked down by 100 cfs per day until they stop at 1,600 cfs Saturday. The lake is down to more than 21 feet from full. Bank anglers using PowerBait at either side of the dam are faring well.

WILLOW: The lake was stocked recently with 5,000 legal-sized rainbow trout and 1,500 larger trout. Bass fishing is picking up. The lake was listed this week at 97 percent full.

SELMAC: The lake received 3,000 legal-sized rainbow trout last month and 1,000 legals three weeks ago, 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: Chinook salmon fishing has slowed a bit in the upper Rogue as new fish numbers slow down and water levels drop as they regularly do in July, while some summer steelhead are getting caught in the evenings or early in the morning. The middle Rogue is more miss than hit for spring chinook and a few summer steelhead, and the lower Rogue bay is seeing a pretty strong early july bay fishery, with trollers hitting a mix of late spring chinook and early fall chinook.

Until the fall chinook bite in the bay takes off, it keeps the upper Rogue as the best bet, with more emphasis on spring chinook than summer steelhead for a while longer.

Cole Rivers Hatchery technicians collected another 315 spring chinook this week at the hatchery collection pond, down about 80 fish from the previous week. That inches the count up to 3,076 so far this year — the best in three years but still below the 10-year running average of 3,415 springers. Cole Rivers Hatchery technicians two weeks ago recycled 576 excess spring chinook from the hatchery to the Gold Hill boat ramp and those are making their way back upstream.

Bank anglers are doing fair to decent on spring chinook early in the morning at the Hatchery Hole, while driftboaters are doing best upstream of Shady Cove, but more people are focusing on runs above and below TouVelle State Recreation Site. 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 113 summer steelhead showed up at the hatchery this week. The 353 fish counted so far is well ahead of the 10-year running average of 223. Summer steelhead will hit everything, and they range from under 20 inches to 12 pounds. Late-run or spawned-out winter steelhead can look bright, but their meat will be poor and should be released. All wild steelhead must be released unharmed river-wide for the remainder of the year.

Flows out of Lost Creek Lake were dropped last weekend to 1,600 cubic feet per second to conserve water for releases later when fall chinook start moving upstream. Flows at Dodge Bridge Thursday were at 1,647 cfs, highlighting how little natural flow is in the upper Rogue now from tributaries. Flows at the old Gold Ray Dam site were at 1,717 cfs Thursday.

Boats trolling the Lower Rogue bay have been averaging about 1.5 chinook per day this past week , with late spring chinook slightly outnumbering early fall chinook. Troll the bay using anchovies and Rogue bait rigs.

In the middle Rogue, bank anglers are pounding either Hayes Falls or Rainie Falls or heading upriver. A few springers have come to driftboat anglers between Rogue River and Grants Pass on roe and sandshrimp by back-bouncing. Flows Thursday at Grants Pass were down to a very skinny 1,497 cfs and dropping.

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. Any rainbow trout over 16 inches is considered a 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.

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