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May 18 Fishing Report

OCEAN OUTLOOK

COASTWIDE: Forecasts call for winds up to 10 knots and wind waves of 2 feet or less, which is perfect for jigging. Saturday will bring much of the same, with Sunday getting a little rougher with 15-knot winds and swells up to 4 feet.

The marine aggregate rockfish daily limit for bottomfishers is five fish. Anglers are allowed to fish for midwater rockfish species outside 40 fathoms using 30-foot leaders and floats to stay off the bottom. The midwater species limit is 10 per day.

Lingcod fishing has been excellent when anglers can get out, particularly out of Brookings, and this appears to be one of those weekends to really get after both lingcod and halibut off the South Coast.

Surfperch fishing should be very good to excellent at places like Nesika and Winchuck Beach as well as Cape Blanco, particularly near the mouth of Elk River. Fish with Berkley Gulp sand worms or sandshrimp as well as lug worms. Commercial and recreational crabbing is open coast-wide. However, ocean crabbing has slowed, as has dock crabbing in Charleston.

A nice series of really heavy minus tides are running today through Tuesday and the light surf will make this weekend a great time for summer clamming. Razor clamming has been very good in the open stretch from the Columbia River to Cascade Head, including the clam-rich Clatsop County beaches. Also now open for razor clams are beaches from the Umpqua River’s south jetty to Cape Arago south of Coos bay. The rest of the coast is closed to razors because of elevated levels of domoic acid. 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: The lake was stocked last month with 350 larger-sized rainbow trout to go along with trout stocked in early winter. Fishing for them has been pretty good with PowerBait or worms under bobbers, but that will start to wane as water temperatures start to rise and really turn this into a warmwater fish show. The lake is down to 96 percent full. Fish for bass and panfish around the submerged willows. No gas motors are allowed. Electric trolling motors are OK. The park closes at dusk.

APPLEGATE: The lake is up more and is just a few inches from full. Another 10,000 legal-sized trout and 800 larger trout were stocked there last month and they are starting to spread around. The Seattle Bar area has been popular, with trolling woolly buggers or small spinners from float tubes is working well. For trout, slow trolling of Flatfish or Wedding Ring lures could be good, and still-fishing in the French Gulch cove with PowerBait should be good. The surface temperature continues to rise.

DIAMOND: The lake’s rainbows remain very active and catches continue to be excellent, with most anglers getting their five-trout limit with a little effort. Still-fishers and fly-fishers working the south side and the shrimp beds have done very well, as well as the old cheese hole. The water is warming and conditions close to ideal as they have been so far this year. Fish worms about 5 feet under bobbers and PowerBait off the bottom, as well as chironomid flies stripped slowly in the bottom half of the water column. All tiger trout must be released unharmed.

EMIGRANT: The lake is down a bit to 77 percent full as the Talent Irrigation District kicks in its irrigation season. The lake was stocked last week with 1,000 rainbow trout at the county boat ramp, and that’s where the action is for bait fishers using PowerBait or worms under bobbers. Trollers should use Flatfish or Wedding Ring lures with worms, with or without dodgers. Bass fishing has been good with plastic worms and grubs fished slowly and crankbaits deep. The county boat ramp is open during daylight hours.

EXPO: The pond was stocked with 1,500 legal-sized trout this past week for the second stocking in the past two weeks. Look for the action to be excellent for them with worms, PowerBait and small spinners. There is a $4 day-use parking fee off Gate 5.

FISH: The lake received 5another 4,500 legal-sized rainbows stocked at and around the resort this past week. Look for good fishing in the marina area with PowerBait, worms and small spinners. The lake is holding steady at 81 percent full.

HOWARD PRAIRIE: The lake is fishing well for rainbow trout for still-fishers with PowerBait in the shallows each morning, and for trollers working the lake’s far-side channel with Wedding Ring or Tasmanian Devil lures. The resort’s boat ramp and campgrounds open Friday, but the marina, restaurant and store will open Saturday. The lake was to be stocked two weeks ago with 7,500 legal-sized rainbows. The lake was listed Thursday at 63 percent full, down a hair from last week.

HYATT: BLM has opened the Mountain View boat ramp, and there is just enough water for most trailered boats to launch there, but be cautious. Trolling and still-fishing for trout has 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. The lake is down a hair to 42 percent full.

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 as well. Brown trout fishing and kokanee catches have been slow.

LOST CREEK: Another 10,000 legal-sized rainbow trout and 1,500 larger trophy trout were stocked this past week, making this weekend likely the best fishing weekend at the lake so far this year. 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 will be holding steady at 2,250 cubic feet per second through the weekend as the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has the lake hovering just under full with increased inflow from warming weather. Bank anglers using PowerBait at either side of the dam also are faring well.

RIVER OUTLOOK

ROGUE: Chinook salmon fishing is starting to pick up in the upper Rogue are starting to show themselves in the upper Rogue for both bank and boat anglers, while bank fishing has picked up at places like Hayes and Rainie falls. The lower Rogue is seeing a few more spring chinook than last week, but the schools so far have tended to be small.

That keeps the upper Rogue this weekend’s best bet and expect for things to stay that way until the fall chinook move into the bay. Cole Rivers Hatchery technicians were unavailable Thursday and no updated fish counts were released from this week’s collection. Bank anglers are consistently getting spring chinook early in the morning at the Hatchery Hole, while driftboaters are doing best upstream of Shady Cove. 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. Some late-run winter steelhead definitely remain in the mix, with fish hitting bait and plugs. But be wary, late-run or spawned-out fish can look bright but their meat be of poor quality and definitely should be released. Also, all wild steelhead must be released unharmed river-wide for the remainder of the year.

In the upper Rogue, flows out of Lost Creek Lake are planned to hold steady at 2,250 cfs through the weekend and air temperatures are expected to remain under 80 degrees into next week. That should help. Flows Thursday at Dodge Bridge were holding steady at 2,411 cfs and forecast to hold steady. Flows at the old Gold Ray Dam site were at 2,761 cfs Thursday.

In the middle Rogue, bank anglers are either pounding Hayes or Rainie falls or heading upriver. Some catches of springers have come to driftboat anglers between Rogue River and Grants Pass on roe or plugs. Flows Thursday at Grants Pass were at a bit low at 2,837 cfs, but they were actually up after some rain runoff this week.

In the lower Rogue, the spring chinook bite has improved some but there still are a dearth of springers down there. Water flows of 3,958 cfs at Agness on Thursday. Most of the catches have been in the between river miles 9 and 15, but one guy trolling the bay has caught fish each of the past two days.

APPLEGATE: The river is closed to all angling.

CHETCO: The river is closed to all angling.

ELK: The river is closed to all angling.

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