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  • 2010 Spring Forecast

  • SOUTHWEST ZONE
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  • Applegate Reservoir - Offers good fishing for largemouth and smallmouth bass and rainbow trout. Spring chinook salmon provide additional sport. Trout fishing has been good on holdover fish through early spring, while the first stocking of 2010 is scheduled for the week of April 19. Trout have been caught wind drifting with flies, on wedding rings spiced with a small piece of worm, and by trollers fishing flatfish. Bank anglers have been successful at the lower end of the lake using eggs. Try fishing a variety of depths off points and tributaries. Fishing for bass and panfish will improve as the water warms. The water level at Applegate Reservoir measured 1,956 feet as of early April, roughly 30 feet below full pool, but all ramps are open. The Copper Boat Ramp is open daily, and the Hart-Tish ramp is open on weekends. Updated boat access and day use area information is available by calling the Applegate Ranger District at 541-899-1812. Daily reservoir level in feet above sea level can be obtained by calling 1-800-472-2434.
    Applegate River - The river is closed to trout fishing in spring, but reopens for adipose fin-clipped rainbow trout May 22. Two hatchery trout may be kept per day, 8-inch minimum length. Non-adipose fin-clipped rainbow trout and all cutthroat trout must be released unharmed. The use of bait is allowed. Much of the Applegate is privately owned, and anglers are reminded not to trespass. Access is available at parks on the river.
    Agate Lake - Largemouth bass, bluegill, black crappie and brown bullhead provide good fishing at Agate Lake. The reservoir is full. Black crappie have been caught on wedding rings spiced with small pieces of worms. Try fishing for them near submerged vegetation. Bass fishing should improve as the water warms. Some holdover trophy rainbows, stocked last fall, may be available.
    Denman Wildlife Area Ponds - The ponds throughout the property offer fishing for a variety of warmwater species. Whetstone Pond, adjacent to the office, is the largest pond and contains largemouth bass, bluegill, black crappie and brown bullhead. Carp also are present, and green sunfish are found in some of the ponds. Good bank fishing is available, and boats with electric motors are permitted. A map of all ponds on the wildlife area is available. Information is available at the Rogue Watershed District office of ODFW at 541-826-8774.
    Diamond Lake - There should be more than 200,000 12- to 14-inch trout available as enough ice melts to get anglers on the water. There should also be several thousand 16-plus inch trout from stocking in 2008. Roughly 315,000 fingerlings will be stocked in mid-June. Many of these will be legal-sized by mid-August.
    Emigrant Reservoir - Emigrant Reservoir was 74 percent full as of early April, and has been stocked with good numbers of legal-sized rainbow trout. Trout fishing has been good on Powerbait, worms and single eggs. Angling for bass and panfish should improve as the weather warms.
    Expo Pond and Reinhart Pond - Both ponds are stocked with rainbow trout throughout the spring, and provide fishing for bass and panfish in the summer and fall. Expo Pond is located immediately adjacent to the access road at Gate 5 at the Jackson County Fairgrounds. Reinhart Park Pond is located at Reinhart Park in Grants Pass.
    Fish Lake - The lake is mostly ice-free and is just over 60 percent full. The boat ramp is open. Trout angling has been fair. Fish Lake is heavily stocked each year with legal-sized rainbows, with the first release in 2010 scheduled for the week of April 19. Brook trout also are available. As a pilot project, juvenile spring chinook are being stocked in Fish Lake along with legal rainbows. The first release of 50,000 adipose fin-clipped spring chinook averaging three inches in length was completed in 2009. Plans call for the fish to be stocked for three years to see whether they will survive and grow large feeding on tui chubs. Trout regulations will apply to the spring chinook in the lake.
    Howard Prairie Reservoir - Howard Prairie opens for fishing April 24. The reservoir is 65 percent full as of early April, and the ice has melted. ODFW released more than 150,000 fall fingerling at Howard Prairie. Largemouth bass, pumpkinseed, brown bullhead and smallmouth bass are also available.
    Hyatt Lake - Hyatt Lake opens for fishing April 24. The lake was 76 percent full as of early April. The lake remains overpopulated with a large number of largemouth averaging 7 to 8 inches. Trout stocking has been temporarily switched to releases of legal-sized trout at Hyatt Lake. Holdover trophy trout from releases last fall should add to the fishery at this spring.
    Illinois River - The Illinois is closed to all angling April 1-May 21. The river below Pomeroy Dam opens to steelhead and adipose fin-clipped trout on May 22. Angling is restricted to artificial flies and lures, and no bait is allowed. The fishery at this time of year is primarily a catch-and-release fishery. Adipose fin-clipped rainbow trout, which actually are half-pounder steelhead, can at times be caught in the lower Illinois during the summer months. The remainder of the river and its tributaries are closed to all angling.
    Lemolo Reservoir - Will be stocked in time for the April 24 opener, plus there will be more than 20,000 holdover trout from last year's stocking which should be 10 or more inches long. Lemolo has a naturally reproducing brown trout population that offers some excellent fishing in the spring and fall.
    Lost Creek Reservoir - Lost Creek should be a hot spot for trout again in 2010. Anglers fishing over the winter reported catching 14- to 15-inch holdover trout holding near the bottom of the lake. Trout stocking began in March, and releases continue through early June. Angling for bass and panfish will improve as the weather warms. Largemouth bass are expected to provide more of a fishery at Lost Creek due to recent ODFW transfers from other lakes. As of early April, the surface water temperature at Lost Creek was 45 degrees and the reservoir was 73 percent full.
    Rogue River - Anglers in the lower Rogue are focused primarily on spring chinook in April, May and June. An early run of summer steelhead usually enters the river the latter part of May and early June. Early spring angling on the middle and upper Rogue River focuses on winter steelhead. The Rogue is enjoying a good return of winter steelhead, with more than 9,000 fish counted at Gold Ray Dam as of March 31. Most winter steelhead in the Rogue are wild, but returns to Cole Rivers Hatchery as of the end of March are the second-highest hatchery return in the last 10 years, with 1,341 winter steelhead collected at the hatchery. The Rogue is open to fishing for adipose fin-clipped steelhead the entire year. Until April 30, wild steelhead at least 24 inches long may be kept, one per day and five per year. The Rogue is closed to trout fishing in the spring to protect smolts migrating to the ocean. Trout fishing reopens May 22, and anglers may keep five adipose fin-clipped rainbow trout per day, 8-inch minimum length. All wild rainbow and cutthroat trout must be released unharmed. Spring chinook salmon fishing peaks in the lower river in April and May, while anglers in the upper river above Gold Ray Dam enjoy peak fishing for spring chinook between late May and early July. Early reports from the lower river are encouraging. A few spring chinook had passed Gold Ray as of the end of March. For much of the run, nonadipose fin-clipped wild spring chinook must be released unharmed, while hatchery spring chinook may be harvested.
    Rogue River above Lost Creek Reservoir - Most campgrounds and public access sites on the Rogue River above Lost Creek Reservoir are stocked with legal-sized rainbow trout on nearly a weekly basis between Memorial Day and Labor Day. Brook trout also are available in the headwater streams.
    Selmac Lake - The largest standing waterbody in Josephine County, Lake Selmac is heavily stocked with legal-sized rainbows from February through June. The lake is managed for trophy bass through a one-bass-per-day limit. Bluegill, black crappie and brown bullhead are also available.
    Umpqua River - Spring chinook fishing should be good this year as long as water flows and temperatures stay steady. Based on last year's Winchester Dam count and the number of jacks observed, more than 14,000 spring chinook could cross the dam again this year. Most spring chinook are being caught in the lower river. There is a two-salmon-per-day limit, and both hatchery and native chinook may be kept. Winter steelhead season remains open on the South Umpqua through the end of April. Good numbers of fish continue to be in the river through April, and fishing pressure is light. Steelhead angling is open in the mainstem and North Umpqua year round, but only fin-clipped steelhead can be harvested. Striped bass are available in the lower Umpqua. Shad also will run in the mainstem as the water warms. Smallmouth bass are thick on the mainstem Umpqua and will become progressively more active as water warms. Bass season opens in the South Umpqua the same day that trout season opens (May 22). Ten bass of any size can be harvested per day.
    Willow Lake - Willow Lake offers fishing on stocked rainbow trout, as well as largemouth bass, black crappie, bluegill and yellow perch. As of mid-April, the reservoir was less than half full. Willow is not likely to fill this year, so anglers should prepare for low water conditions. The water does not yet reach the county boat ramp, and the ramp may not be usable this year. The county park opens April 16.
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