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  • Fishing Report: April 29, 2011

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  • Coastwide - Heavy winds and surf are forecast for the Southern Oregon Coast through the weekend, and that will put a damper on spring jigging for black rockfish and lingcod. Conditions could simmer down early next week for some early-morning jaunts to near-shore rock piles and kelp beds in search of lingcod. Big black or glow-in-the-dark jigs will be best.
    The marine aggregate limit in Oregon is seven rockfish a day, plus one cabezon, and the lingcod limit is two a day with a 22-inch minimum.
    Chinook salmon fishing opened March 15 and will remain open through April north of Humbug Mountain, but poor ocean conditions have made for a very light showing in the fishery.
    Sport crabbers are allowed on the ocean, but few are fishing for Dungeness these days because of treacherous seas. Bay crabbing has been just fair thanks to high runoff from local streams all week. Look for bay crabbing to be poor into next week. All shellfish fishing is open coastwide, but clammers should be mindful of sneaker waves. For more information and updated closure information, call the shellfish hotline at 800-448-2474.
    BROOKINGS - Surfperch fishing was a bust again around the Winchuck River mouth because of rough seas. It will take a few calm days for the perch to move in from beyond the surf line. When they do, catch them with clam necks, prawns, shrimp flies, mussels or plastic shrimp imitations.
    GOLD BEACH - Surfperch fishing has been poor at Nesika Beach, but look for good catches soon after the surf subsides. No bay fishing is going on for spring chinook.
    WINCHESTER BAY - Sturgeon fishing is slow. Crabbing has been fair, largely because of high freshwater levels in the bay. Chinook fishing is open but effort is very light due to rough seas.
    CHARLESTON - Chinook season is open, but little effort so far because of rough seas. The lower area of Charleston has been fair for crabbing. Watch for sneaker waves while jetty fishing.
    AGATE - Fishing for legal- and trophy-sized rainbows has not improved due largely to murky water. The lake is full. No gas motors are allowed. Small electric motors are legal.
    APPLEGATE - The lake is about two-thirds full, and trolling has been good lately in the upper part of the reservoir for anglers looking for land-locked salmon stocked there. Trolling Flatfish or Triple Teasers should work well for them, and fly-fishing for trout has been good on calm days. Cold water has made for relatively poor bass fishing, but fishing crank baits very slowly off points and near the dam will produce smallmouth catches throughout the day. The French Gulch boat ramp is usable. Hart-Tish Park is closed. For updates on facilities, call 541-899-9220.
    EMIGRANT - Spring anglers are still finding some of the 3,500 legal-sized rainbow trout stocked there late last month, but this week's storms and barometric changes have slowed trout and bass fishing. The water is murky. More warm days should get the bass on the bite. Fish them with plastic grubs or slowly retrieved crankbaits. Bank anglers fishing near the dam are faring well on worms or PowerBait for trout.
    A standing public-health advisory continues about eating all but trout from the lake because of elevated mercury levels.
    HOWARD PRAIRIE - The lake is open and early fishing for rainbow trout has been very good in water 10 to 20 feet deep. Bank anglers off the jetty at Howard Prairie Resort have done very well in the early morning with rainbow or chartreuse PowerBait or worms floated off the bottom. Bobbers and worms can work well for suspended fish throughout the day. Good bank-fishing access is available at the jetty, along with Klum Landing and Willow Point. Focus on water 10 to 20 feet deep.
    HYATT - The lake is fishing well for legal-sized rainbows and some holdover trout from last year. Fishing near the dam and around the Orchard has been good. Trolling is slow, but try Triple Teasers or Wedding Rings with worms. Troll slowly and in the top 10 feet of the water column.
    DIAMOND - The lake is fishing very well for ice anglers, particularly around the lodge and in the Cheese Hole. Lots of 16-inchers are in the mix. Try PowerBait off the bottom or a worm dangled six to 10 feet beneath the ice. Fishing in pockets of open water, especially near the pizza parlor, has been very good but access is tough through the snow. Diamond Lake Resort is offering Sno-cat shuttles to and from the open water. South access to the lake is closed, so reach the resort via the north access off Highway 138. The limit is five trout per day until Sunday, when the new eight-fish limit goes into effect, with just one trout longer than 20 inches allowed.
    EXPO - 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.
    LOST CREEK - Trolling for trout improved after the stocking of 25,000 legal-sized rainbow trout a month ago. Focus on catching them near 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 even more when the fish get acclimated to the lake. The Stewart State Park boat ramp and the Takelma ramp are open.
    FISH - The lake is primarily ice-free around the resort and Forest Service ramp. Angling effort has been low. Worms and chartreuse PowerBait will work best for rainbow trout. The resort is open Fridays through Sundays.
    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 now.
    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 open to angling and good early fishing for brown trout is happening for those still-fishing with worms or PowerBait or fly-fishers using woolly buggers or leeches.
    MEDCO - Fishing for rainbow trout has been good off the bank with PowerBait.
    ROGUE - The upper Rogue was high but fishable for late-run winter steelhead, while the middle Rogue remains spotty for spring chinook and the lower Rogue continues to spit out nice catches of springers, but the ration of wild fish in the mix is starting to rise.
    That leaves each extreme of the Rogue as equally good bets, with the upper Rogue for steelhead and the lower Rogue for chinook.
    In the upper Rogue, anglers have just a few more days to kill wild steelhead over 24 inches. Starting Sunday, all wild steelhead must be released unharmed. Most wild steelhead around now are either spawned-out kelts headed downstream or ripe and ready to spawn. Regardless, their meat is of poor quality and release of them is highly recommended.
    Flows were at 4,500 cubic feet per second Thursday afternoon at Dodge Bridge, but the color was good enough for fishing. That could change quickly if rains swell tributaries.
    Cole Rivers Hatchery crews released 43 winter steelhead Wednesday at the Gold Hill boat ramp. Forty-three of them were spawned-out adult females and the last was a wild male. These fish were released so they could return to the ocean and come back next year. So far, hatchery workers have returned to the Rogue more than 900 spawned-out hatchery winter steelhead.
    Side-drifting yarn balls scented with egg juice is excellent for steelhead now, while K-11 Kwikfish plugs are also good. Pink and silver is the best color combination. Stay closer to shore and in slower water.
    In the middle Rogue, a few anglers are hiking in to Rainie Falls and fishing for spring chinook there, but success has been spotty. The water was flowing at 6,700 cfs at Grants Pass on Thursday, but the color looked good enough for springer fishing. Some bank anglers have tried a few different spots, but no real successes have been reported yet.
    In the lower Rogue, spring chinook fishing continues to be very good for boat anglers fishing a Brad's Cut Plug rig with an anchovy or sardine. Bankies are using larger Spin-Glo's. Fishing for boaters has been best from Jim Hunt Creek upstream to Lobster Creek, and then again in the Agness area. Good catches have been reported all week despite flows of 9,900 cfs Thursday at Agness. Lots of 20- to 25-pound hatchery fish have been caught so far, but the wild-to-hatchery ratio is changing. Where the catch was 70 percent hatchery fish, it is now closer to 50 percent. All wild chinook must be released riverwide.
    Flows out of Lost Creek Lake were set to drop from 3,500 cfs Thursday to 3,100 cfs by Sunday.
    ILLINOIS - The river is closed to fishing.
    APPLEGATE - The river is closed to fishing.
    UMPQUA - The South Umpqua and North Umpqua were both high and not fishable Thursday for winter steelhead. The South Umpqua closes to angling Saturday night.
    The first few spring chinook were caught in the mainstem below the forks this past 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.
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