Fishing Report: Friday, July 7

OCEAN OUTLOOK

COASTWIDE: Forecasts call for windy and choppy weather on the coast, but it probably won't be bad enough to cancel a trip, especially for those running out of Brookings for rockfish and halibut. Today's forecast calls for winds up to 20 knots and a 3-foot mixed swell, followed Saturday by 15- to 20-knot winds around Brookings and 3- to 6-foot wind waves. Sunday calls for 20-knot winds fueling 4- to 7-foot wind waves.

Very good to excellent lingcod and black rockfish catches have occurred recently out of Brookings when the weather has allowed. Blue rockfish catches have been good to very good. The South Coast halibut season is open, and some very nice fish were caught over the July 4 weekend. It remains open through Oct. 31.

Canary rockfish are part of the 2017 seven-fish marine bag limit, and there is no sub-limit on them, so anglers can have canaries make up their entire seven-fish daily limit if they choose. However, anglers can keep no more than six black rockfish. Also, there's a new combined, four-fish sub-limit for a combination of blue/deacon, China, copper and quillback rockfish. There is no change to the two-fish lingcod daily limit. Cabezon are still off-limits.

Rockfish anglers must stay inside the 30-fathom line. When that restriction is lifted Sept. 1, anglers must carry at least one descending device on board each boat and use it when releasing any rockfish caught in 30 fathoms of water or deeper.

Crabbing is open along the entire Oregon Coast, but it's been slow, and a lot of males have recently molted. The best ocean crabbing has been in more than 100 feet of water.

Razor clamming is closed along the entire coast because of domoic acid. Bay clams and butter clams are available coastwide, and mussels are closed south of Cape Arago near Charleston. Look for some very good minus morning tides all week for diggers. Before digging, check the shellfish hotline at 1-800-448-2474.

LAKE OUTLOOK

AGATE: The lake is down to 79 percent full. That should be fine, but hot weather is warming the reservoir a bit too much. Look for crappie, yellow perch and occasional bass in deeper water and anywhere there's shade. No gas motors are allowed. Electric trolling motors are OK. The park closes at dusk.

APPLEGATE: Rainbows are spread throughout the lake and biting well for bait anglers and trollers. A worm 5 feet or so under a bobber has worked well at the upper end of the reservoir. Trollers using Wedding Ring lures have also done well. Bass fishing off points and around structure in the upper part of the reservoir has been fair to good. Still lots of floating debris throughout the reservoir. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has held releases to 400 cfs, and inflows have plunged to about 200 cfs as the snowmelt starts to slow. The lake was listed Thursday as 9 feet from full, down about 2.5 feet from last week.

DIAMOND: The lake continues to fish very well for rainbows in the shallows at the south end and near the shrimp beds and the old Cheese Hole — lots of fish between 12 and 17 inches. PowerBait floated off the bottom is out-fishing worms under bobbers, with corn yellow and salmon-egg peach popular, but don't forget the glitter chartreuse. Trollers are getting action on Needlefish and Flat Fish. The south ramp is open and so are the campgrounds, but the mosquitoes are brutal this year.

EMIGRANT: The lake was listed at 83 percent full and dropping faster than it has all season. As summer moves in, bass fishing is picking up for those casting plastic worms or slowly worked crankbaits off points. Trolling for trout will be best in the lower section of the lake, but look for trout to work their way up toward cool creek mouths.

EXPO: The pond got another complement of 1,000 legal-sized trout last month. Fishing is best with worms and bobbers or Panther Martin lures. Access the pond through Gate 5 off Peninger Road. Parking fees are required.

FISH: The lake got 3,000 legal-sized rainbows three weeks ago. Fishing is very good, mainly in the cove off the Forest Service ramp, off nearby points and deep in the middle of the lake. Catches have been best with PowerBait, as well as leeches and woolly bugger flies. The lake was down a hair to 85 percent full, the first time it's dropped since the ice came off. Tiger trout must be released unharmed. 

HOWARD PRAIRIE: The lake received 5,100 legal-sized trout near the resort last month, and fishing is holding up well throughout the lake. Fishing has been very good from Grizzly Campground up into the flats at the lake's northwest side, with trolling and still-fishing equally effective. Lots of bug activity in that area means fishing streamer flies such as leeches and thin woolly buggers should be good. The lake was listed Thursday as 95 percent full, which is great for July. The boat ramp at Klum Landing is open now that the parking lot has been redone.

HYATT: The lake received 5,100 legal-sized rainbow trout at the BLM ramp earlier last month, and anglers are catching them with PowerBait or worms under bobbers. Trolling will be good along the lake's old creek channel with Needlefish or Flat Fish lures. Bass are starting to get active, as well. The lake has dropped a hair to 58 percent full and it will stay about that level for the foreseeable future in preparation for some improvements to Hyatt Dam this summer. Construction has not yet begun. The bass are getting very active, and while numerous, they tend to be small.

LOST CREEK: The lake got another 10,000 legal rainbows and 1,500 pound-sized trout two weeks ago, split between the Takelma and marina boat ramps. Fishing is good around both facilities. The lake is starting to drop much faster and was listed Thursday at 14 feet from full, down 4 feet in the past week. Water quality is getting poor from an apparent algae bloom. Trolling has been decent with red or green Wedding Ring lures with a worm near the dam. Wind-drifting worms where the river flows into the upper part of the lake is very good, but the water above Peyton Bridge is a no-wake zone, so it takes a while to get there.

LAKE OF THE WOODS: Fishing is good for rainbows in the shallows and farther out in the lake with bait or lures. Some kokanee have been caught in the deeper recesses of the lake and in the middle for trollers.

MEDCO POND: The pond received another 1,600 legal-sized rainbows last month to go with 4,000 legals stocked in May. Fishing is good with PowerBait or worms under bobbers.

WILLOW: The lake got 3,000 legal-sized trout and 1,500 pound-sized trout in early June. Catch them early in the day on PowerBait or worms.

RIVER OUTLOOK

ROGUE: Spring chinook salmon and summer steelhead catches are picking up in the upper Rogue, while the lower Rogue is starting to turn on for a mix of early fall chinook and late spring chinook for trollers in the bay. The middle Rogue also has become a viable option, with anglers starting to pick up summer steelhead in and around Grants Pass.

That makes the upper Rogue the best bet, with the Rogue Bay continuing to inch closer. But the double-dipping of steelhead and chinook for the upper Rogue reign supreme.

In the upper Rogue, the Corps of Engineers has held Lost Creek Lake outflows steady at 3,000 cfs all week, and that has kept fish in the upper Rogue moving. A good bite occurred at times this week throughout the upper Rogue, with spring chinook hitting eggs and sandshrimp back-bounced or fished off divers. Plugs also have worked fairly well with sardine wraps and other scents. Those fishing smaller plugs have hit some nice summer steelhead on both sides of Shady Cove.

The 619 springers counted this week at Cole Rivers Hatchery represents the second decent week of counts there this season. That put the count to 1,776 fish, which is nothing to celebrate considering the that's about a third of the 10-year running average.

Another 92 summer steelhead were counted Wednesday, bouncing the count there so far to 218 fish, which is a hair above the running 10-year average. The early fish tend to be either 20-inch, first-time spawners or 8-plus pounders that are either wild fish on their second or third spawning run or hatchery females stripped of their eggs and released to the Rogue. These fish will bite anything from spinners to plugs to worms and even pink plastic worms fished under bobbers.

Anglers fishing downstream of Dodge Bridge can keep wild springers as part of their two-chinook limit, while those upstream of the bridge must release wild spring chinook unharmed.

The Hatchery Hole is closed for the season because state fish biologists are concerned that Cole Rivers Hatchery might not meet spring chinook production goals for the second straight year. Fishing is allowed from the old deadline on down, which is the area where boat fishing begins.

Flows at Dodge Bridge were down a hair to 3,051 cfs Thursday, 3,294 cfs at the old Gold Ray Dam site, 3,051 cfs at Grants Pass, and 3,872 at Agness. All represent the lowest flows of the season.

The lower Rogue is starting to heat up for trollers as both early fall chinook and late spring chinook come in with every tide and move all the way up to Indian Creek. The hot water, however, keeps the chinook from moving out of the bay. That's good if you're in the bay; it's bad if you're anywhere upstream. Troll anchovies with Rogue bait rig blades or Brad's cut-plug herring.

Surfperch fishing off the Rogue sand spit has been excellent when the surf and winds cooperate.

APPLEGATE: The river is open to trout fishing, but all wild trout must be released unharmed. Most of the trout are actually steelhead pre-smolts.

CHETCO: The river is open for angling. Look for sea-run cutthroat trout in the estuary.

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