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Fishing report: Friday, Sept. 21

OCEAN OUTLOOK

COASTWIDE: Winds up to 10 knots and wind waves up to 5 feet are forecast for Friday, followed Saturday by 10-knot winds and 2-foot wind waves and a slight chance of rain. Sunday’s forecast calls for winds kicking up to 30 knots and wind waves of up to 8 feet.

The marine aggregate rockfish daily limit for bottomfishers is back up to five fish after a mid-season adjustment by the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife. The increase is expected to stay in effect through the remainder of the year, but changes could again occur. The cabezon quota has been reached, so cabezon must be released unharmed.

Rockfish angling is open only inside the 30-fathom line through the rest of the month. ODFW plans to go through with the all-depth bottomfish season set to begin Oct. 1. 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. This weekend appears pretty marginal for that, however. Focus on kelp beds and position your boat behind rocks to shield from the wind when it kicks up.

Surfperch fishing will be questionable through the weekend because of heavy winds and rough surf. When you go, fish with Berkley Gulp sand worms or sandshrimp, as well as lug worms.

Recreational crabbing is open coastwide, and ocean and dock crabbing in the Charleston area is improving.

No minus tides are forecast for clammers this week.

Razor clamming is closed from the mouth of the Umpqua River to the California border. Bay clamming is open along the coast, but the recreational harvest of mussels is closed from the Coquille River south jetty to the California border. Before digging, check the shellfish hotline at 1-800-448-2474 before digging.

LAKE OUTLOOK

AGATE: Some perch and crappie fishing is occurring on cooler days. Pressure is light. The lake is just 7 percent full. Wind-drift worms with light weight or just a swivel, or cast small spinners or flies. No gas motors are allowed. Electric trolling motors are OK. The park closes at dusk.

APPLEGATE: The lake is down to almost 69 feet from full and dropping quickly. Not much angling activity at the lake, but those fishing deep are getting into rainbow trout with worms or Wedding Ring lures spiced with a worm. Copper and French Gulch are the only usable ramps. The surface temperature has dropped below 70 degrees. Many of the lake’s trout are sporting copapods. The parasites should be scraped off before cooking. Releasing sport-caught trout with copapods allows the parasites to spread.

DIAMOND: Trout fishing is picking up with cooler evenings. Most of the action is on 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. Fly-fishers can use chironomid flies stripped slowly in the bottom half of the water column. All tiger trout must be released unharmed.

EMIGRANT: The lake is down to 9 percent full, seriously cramping which boats can use the ramp. Larger boats should stay away. Largemouth bass fishing is good with swim baits and plastic worms fished from pontoon boats or float tubes.

EXPO: Trout fishing is poor because of hot water and few fish.

FISH: Larger rainbow trout were stocked last week because quickly dropping water levels meant they needed to be released earlier than planned. The lake is down to 10 percent full, leaving the Forest Service ramp inoperable and close to de-watering the resort’s rock ramp. Though low, the lake has held on and is no longer dropping. Water quality has improved a little, but some algae remains and the water quality is somewhat poor. However, those fishing from shore or from kayaks or float tubes are doing well for trout, particularly near submerged springs. Use streamer flies and small Rapala plugs that look like tui chubs. The plugs will excite the tiger trout, which are growing quite large.

HOWARD PRAIRIE: Fishing is good for rainbow trout for still-fishers in deeper water near the dam with PowerBait, but warm water has the trout less active. Access to the gravel ramp near the dam will reopen Sept. 17, and look for improved fishing along the dam’s face. The lake was listed Thursday at 37 percent full.

HYATT: Access is very poor with no workable ramps because the lake is only 4 percent full. Boat access is limited to small boats that can be launched off the shore or carried to the water. The few people trying are reportedly doing well.

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, but that should pick up with cooler evenings.

LOST CREEK: Stewart State Park and the marina are open, but U.S. Army Corps of Engineers facilities remain closed due to wildfires. Bank access around the dam and the Takelma ramp are also closed. Most of the action is fishing out of boats in the lower 20 percent of the lake, which is down to more than 58 feet from full. Outflows are down to 1,200 cubic feet per second.

WILLOW: The lake was stocked in late summer with 5,000 legal-sized rainbow trout and 1,500 larger trout. Bass fishing has been popular of late. The lake has more water in it than most in Jackson County.

SELMAC: Public access is allowed again after fire closures. Bass fishing is fair in the warm water.

RIVER OUTLOOK

ROGUE: The lower Rogue Bay turned on for fall chinook and coho again after a short lull, while the middle Rogue is getting better for fall chinook and some summer steelhead downstream of Grants Pass. The upper Rogue is flies-only, and catches are a bit slow for summers but good for cutthroat trout.

The best bet remains the lower Rogue bay, and this looks like an excellent weekend to do it. Air temps will be in the mid-60s with some morning clouds, and if the winds lie low, action should be good. The average fish is now in the mid- to late-20 pounds for chinook, and more coho are starting to show up in the mix, including some hatchery fish. Fish have been biting best early and on the high end of the incoming tide. Troll anchovies with a variety of blade colors. Green-on-green and chartreuse-and-green are good bets, with some decent catches coming on anchovies without blades.

The two-rod validation in tidewater has ended, so anglers are back to using just one rod per licensed angler.

Excellent numbers of adult and halfpounder summer steelhead are moving through the lower Rogue, and halfpounder catches are starting to pick up from Agness down. Fall chinook are getting caught by back-bouncing eggs and sandshrimp from Foster Bar down to Quosatana.

The upper Rogue above the Fishers Ferry boat ramp is open for flies only through October, and early catches have been somewhat slow. Water releases from Lost Creek dam are holding steady at 1,200 cfs, where they are scheduled to remain through October.

Swinging large streamers should be best until the end of September until the water cools. Black, blue and purple are great colors, particularly in combinations. Nymphing with prince nymphs and single egg flies also will be popular, particularly on overcast days. Molded plastic eggs aren’t flies. Fishing with spinning rods and plastic floats should be good in the deeper runs. No added weights or attachments are allowed.

Flows at Dodge Bridge Thursday were at 1,286 cfs and dropping. Flows at the old Gold Ray Dam site were down to 1,344 cfs Thursday and dropping.

In the middle Rogue, bank anglers are starting to see more fall chinook at the mouth of the Applegate River, and driftboaters are finding chinook in classic spots like Hellgate and Taylor Creek canyons, but the pikeminnow are thick there. Cast roe or beads or a combination of them from the banks and roe-sandshrimp combinations from boats.

Anglers using plugs are hitting some 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. Bear Camp Road is closed again, except for those supporting Lower Rogue Canyon floaters.

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. Angling closes at 2 p.m. daily to protect wild summer steelhead threatened by low and warm conditions. Also, all angling is closed within 200 feet of tributaries between the Scottsburg Bridge and the River Forks boat ramp.

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