Ocean Outlook

Ocean Outlook

Coastwide - A small-craft advisory is in effect through tonight as more rain, stiff winds and 10-plus-foot surf continues to pound the Oregon Coast. But it appears as though that might abate Saturday and offer at least a chance of early morning fishing at near-shore reefs for black rockfish and lingcod.

Chinook salmon fishing opened March 15 and will remain open through April north of Humbug Mountain. Coos Bay and Winchester Bay will occasionally serve as hot ports during the later part of the season. Fishing has been poor or nonexistent since the season started because of routinely bad weather.

The marine aggregate limit in Oregon is seven rockfish a day, plus only one cabezon, and the lingcod limit remains two a day with a 22-inch minimum.

Sport crabbers are allowed on the ocean but few are fishing for Dungeness these days because of treacherous seas. Bay crabbing has been fair at best thanks to high runoff from local streams all week. Look for bay crabbing to be poor into next week, as well.

All shellfish fishing is open coastwide, but clammers should be mindful of sneaker waves. Mussel harvest also is open coastwide. For more information and updated closure information, call the shellfish hotline at 800-448-2474.

BROOKINGS - Surfperch fishing had been good around the Winchuck River mouth on calmer surf days. Look for more good perch fishing some time next week. Clam necks and prawns are good baits.

GOLD BEACH - Surfperch fishing has been good at Nesika Beach with shrimp and prawns, but be careful of rough surf. No bay fishing is going on for spring chinook.

WINCHESTER BAY - Sturgeon fishing remains slow. Crabbing has been only fair because of high freshwater levels in the bay. Chinook fishing is open, but effort is very light due to rough seas.

CHARLESTON - Chinook salmon season is open, but there's been little effort so far because of rough seas. The lower area of Charleston continues to be fair for crabbing. Watch for sneaker waves while jetty fishing.

Lake Outlook

AGATE - Fishing for legal- and trophy-sized rainbows has picked up as water conditions have improved. The lake is full. Trolling has been slow, so try still-fishing or wind-drifting with bait. Heavy wind days have not produced catches. No gas motors are allowed. Small electric motors are legal.

APPLEGATE - The lake is about two-thirds full, and trollers continue to find decent catches of the trophy trout stocked there in late February. They have spread out, but most are around the French Gulch arm. Troll Flatfish or Triple Teasers for them. Fly-fishing for trout has been good on calm days. The French Gulch boat ramp is usable. Hart-Tish Park is closed.

EMIGRANT - Spring anglers are running into some of the 3,500 legal-sized rainbow trout stocked there late last month, but this week's storms and barometric changes have slowed fishing, and the water is murky. More warm days should get the bass on the bite. Bank anglers fishing near the dam are faring well with worms or PowerBait.

A standing public-health advisory continues about eating all but trout from the lake because of elevated mercury levels.

HOWARD PRAIRIE - The lake is closed to angling until April 23.

HYATT - The lake is closed to angling until April 23.

DIAMOND - The lake is closed to angling until April 23.

EXPO - The pond is open year-round, and fishing has improved greatly after the recent release of 1,400 legal-sized rainbow trout. Find them with Panther Martin lures, worms and single salmon eggs.

LAKE of the WOODS - The lake is frozen, and ice fishing has been good, but be careful of thinning ice. Worms or small jigs have worked best.

LOST CREEK - Trolling for trout has improved after the recent stocking of 25,000 legal-sized rainbow trout for spring break. Focus on catching them near the Lost Creek Lake Marina and the Takelma boat ramp. Bank fishing has been best with worms, single salmon eggs or PowerBait. Trolling will pick up once the fish get acclimated to the lake. The Stewart State Park boat ramp and the Takelma ramp are open.

FISH - Ice fishing has been good in the cove near the Forest Service boat ramp, but be wary of thinning ice. Worms and jigs are working best for rainbow trout. The resort is open Fridays through Sundays, and ice augers can be rented there.

WILLOW LAKE - The lake was stocked with almost 5,000 legal-sized rainbow trout recently, and they have been largely neglected so far by anglers. No county facilities are open at the lake.

SELMAC - The lake was stocked recently with legal-sized trout, and fishing has been good for them with most baits. Single salmon eggs and cheese have worked well.

LEMOLO - The lake is closed to angling until April 23.

MEDCO - Fishing for rainbow trout has been good off the bank with PowerBait.

River Outlook

ROGUE - The latest rounds of storms knocked late-run winter steelhead and early-run spring chinook fishing back on its heels this week, but look for some breakthroughs on steelhead this weekend as water flows are forecast to drop through the weekend. But flows will still be high riverwide, which puts a premium on calm and clear water.

That makes the best bet the upper Rogue, where good schools of winter steelhead are spread out. Most of the fish are getting caught around boulders and slower water near the shore. Flows have grown much of the week and that's created a tough bite, but flows will be dropping through Sunday. Flows were about 5,000 cubic feet per second at Dodge Bridge. That's made for some tough rowing. Plug fishing has outproduced roe and yarn balls, but look for that to even out as flows drop steeply.

No one has caught a spring chinook salmon yet in the upper Rogue, and no springers had reached Cole Rivers Hatchery by early Thursday. A few anglers are starting to target spring chinook at Casey State Park and the Hatchery Hole, but hefty flows have kept many anglers away.

The middle Rogue was a bust for winter steelhead Thursday, but it could pull into shape by Saturday before getting dirty again. If it looks good, winter steelhead catches could be good from Grants Pass to Galice for boat anglers, not so good for bankies because of high water. Fishing bright plugs or yarn flies had been decent for winter steelhead in lower water.

A few anglers are starting to fish larger Kwikfish out of powerboats for spring chinook downstream of Grants Pass, but no confirmed reports of fresh chinook were found Thursday.

In the lower Rogue, spring chinook fishing has been consistently strong for boaters and bank anglers fishing slightly farther up in the system. Flows Thursday at Agness were a blistering 13,000 cfs Thursday, driving boat and bank anglers away. Flows are forecast to drop this weekend to about 10,000 cfs — the high end of fishable under most conditions. Places like the Willows are poor because the water has fanned out so much, and anglers are working from the Ferry Hole on upstream toward Agness. Bank anglers using anchovies with spinner blades and larger Spin-Glo's are finding springers at favorite haunts like Huntley Park and Dunkelberger Bar. Fish up to 32 pounds have been seen, and the catch so far has still hovered strongly above 50 percent hatchery fish — much higher than recent years. That's good because all wild spring chinook must be released unharmed. However, anglers may keep one wild steelhead per day, as long as it is at least 24 inches long, through April. The annual limit is five.

ILLINOIS - The river closed to winter steelhead fishing Thursday night.

APPLEGATE - The river closed to all fishing Thursday night.

UMPQUA - The South Umpqua and North Umpqua were both high and not fishable Thursday for winter steelhead. Look for the South Umpqua to drop enough for what could be very good winter steelhead fishing this weekend before water levels climb again next week. A lot of hatchery steelhead are in the mix, and the South Umpqua typically fishes well for late-run winter steelhead through April.

The first few spring chinook were caught in the mainstem below the forks this week before higher water chased anglers away. Look for more spring chinook to bite when water conditions improve.

ELK/SIXES - Both rivers are closed to fishing.

CHETCO - The river is closed to fishing.