COASTWIDE - The near-shore Pacific halibut fishery is over for the year along the Oregon Coast.
This is not a weekend to consider bottomfishing off the coast. Gale-force winds of up to 35 knots are forecast for tonight and Saturday. Seas up to 15 feet are forecast for the weekend, and high seas are on the horizon into next week. A gale watch and hazardous seas watch are in effect into Saturday.
The ocean is now off-limits to sport crabbing through November. Sport crabbing will open in the ocean Dec. 1 despite a recent declaration that commercial crabbing will be delayed in the ocean until Dec. 15 because of poor meat quality in offshore Dungeness.
The marine aggregate limit in Oregon is seven rockfish a day, and no cabezon may be kept for the rest of 2012. The lingcod limit is two a day with a 22-inch minimum, and that is separate from the marine aggregate.
Dungeness crab catches have been good in bays statewide, with boaters faring better than dock crabbers. However, storms that hit land beginning today will increase the freshwater load in local bays, forcing Dungeness to move down in estuaries or out to sea until conditions become more crab-friendly.
GOLD BEACH - Rain and wind will blow what's left of the bay fleet off the water. A few anglers continue to fish for late-run fall chinook in the lower reaches of freshwater, where low water has chinook stacked downstream of spawning tributaries. A 57-pound chinook was caught by a bait fishermen on the lower Rogue this week.
BROOKINGS - Bay effort has slowed now that the main river upstream of river mile 2.2 is open.
AGATE - Trout-fishing effort has slowed dramatically amid cold and windy weather. Available are some of October's stocking of 1,000 legal-sized and 100 larger rainbow trout. Catching will be best still-fishing with worms or PowerBait. The lake is holding firm at 23 percent full. Fish spinner baits or plastic worms for bass during the middle of the day. No gas motors are allowed. Small electric motors are legal. The lake is open year-round.
APPLEGATE - The lake was infused in October with 1,000 legals and 200 larger rainbow trout, and fishing has been good on them in the French Gulch area. Trolling Wedding Rings or Triple Teasers with a piece of worm is working well. PowerBait or wind-drifting worms are also good bets. The lake is down to 82 feet from full. The Copper ramp is no longer usable, and Hart-Tish Park is closed.
EMIGRANT - Fish are more concentrated with the low water levels. Smallmouth bass fishing is best off rocky banks, and a few largemouth have been taken in the willows. The lake is holding steady at 24 percent full. The lake is open year-round.
A standing public-health advisory continues about eating all but trout from the lake because of elevated mercury levels.
HOWARD PRAIRIE - Fishing is closed until April.
HYATT - Fishing is closed until April.
DIAMOND - The lake closed Oct. 31 but will reopen Jan. 1 under new rules that make the lake a year-round fishery.
EXPO - Fishing and interest have picked up dramatically with the recent stocking of 500 legal-sized and 100 larger trout. Catching them on worms under bobbers or small Panther Martin has been best. The limit is five trout per day with only one over 20 inches. The pond is open year-round.
LOST CREEK - An advisory against water contact at the lake has kept most anglers away. Those who are there are encouraged to practice catch-and-release fishing until the blue-green algae advisory is lifted. The lake was up to more than a foot above minimum pool this week.
FISH - Trolling for trout was very good this past week with Triple Teasers or other lures spiked with a piece of worm. Lots of big rainbows in the mix, as well as legal-sized chinook. For bank anglers, chartreuse PowerBait is working well near the resort and Forest Service boat ramp. Good water clarity was reported this week. The lake is open year-round. It was listed Thursday at 42 percent full, up a bit because of recent rains. The lake is open year-round.
LAKE of the WOODS - Fishing for rainbow and brown trout has been fair near the resort. PowerBait has been the top choice. Evening fishing has been best. The lake is open year-round.
LEMOLO - The lake is closed for the season.
ROGUE - The upper Rogue has improved some for late-run summer steelhead as fresh fish continue to move through the system. The middle Rogue has been fair to good for summer steelhead, with action mixed and occasionally quite good from Gold Hill all the way down to the mouths of tributaries in the Grants Pass area. A few holdovers still are fishing for late-run fall chinook in the lower Rogue, but action has been light.
That makes the upper Rogue the best bet, with what works best dependant largely on where you go.
Bait fishing opened Nov. 1 from Cole Rivers Hatchery to the boat ramp at Shady Cove Park. Small roe clusters, worms and plugs have all worked well for summers. Many anglers will favor small yarn flies soaked in roe juice, which is legal, and it's a good offering because it doesn't require rebaiting hooks. Steelhead in the low 30-inch class have been caught in the region. A fair number of cutthroat trout also are in the mix focusing on eggs, and they must all be released unharmed.
Be wary of yoyoing water conditions this week. Rains beginning today will finally get some warm flows moving in the upper Rogue, and that should create another decent flurry of steelhead fishing early next week.
Downstream of the Shady Cove ramp, the water is open to artificial flies and lures. Scented yarn flies side-drifted from boats or the bank are main choice for anglers. For driftboaters, crayfish plugs have been the lure of choice, with chartreuse, brown and even orange/brown colors all working well. Look for catches to increase next week.
In the upper Rogue, flows out of Lost Creek Lake remain at 1,100 cubic feet per second, but look for out-flows to go up, and then down, during the next few days depending upon how much rain falls.
The entire upper Rogue is closed to chinook fishing. It is illegal to target spawning chinook even for catch-and-release fishing in the upper Rogue.
In the middle Rogue, driftboat fishing for summer steelhead has been decent. It should drop off this weekend and pick up again next week as water levels drop and clear. The stretch from Valley of the Rogue State Park through the former Savage Rapids Dam site has good spawning gravels and good numbers of summer steelhead and cutthroat, and virtually everything caught there must be released under angling rules.
In the Agness area, a mix of chinook, coho, adult summer steelhead and halfpounders are present, but fishing pressure has been light. Bear Camp Road is closed, and that has severely cut back on Agness fishing interest.
A few anglers are fishing for late-run fall chinook in the lower river, mostly focusing in front of main spawning tributaries. Water levels have been low, with flows Thursday just 2,104 cfs, but look for a significant spike in flows this weekend.
Only fin-clipped halfpounders, fin-clipped cohos and fin-clipped adult summer steelhead may be kept, but the stretch is open to retention of wild fall chinook. Any steelhead under 16 inches long is considered a halfpounder.
All wild steelhead must be released unharmed riverwide.
CHETCO - The river was low and clear Thursday but is set to rise Saturday and stay way high until early next week. When it drops and clears, look for another flurry of fall chinook and perhaps some early winter steelhead from the forks down to the Social Security Hole. These fish will be migrating, so fishing will be best on the inside turns of gravel bars and other migration lanes. Think Kwikfish first, bait second. Bank anglers are tossing combinations of roe and corkies and yarn. Fishing was slow in the estuary.
UMPQUA - Coho and chinook catches are diminishing in the mainstem river, and the wild coho season on the mainstem remains open. Bass fishing in the Elkton area has slowed. The North Umpqua is fair for summer steelhead, and chinook fishing is banned in the North Umpqua. The South Umpqua is closed to all angling through November.
COOS - Chinook salmon fishing is all but over, with only a few anglers giving late-run chinook and coho a shot. Coho fishing is open from the jetties up to the Dellwood Trap with anchovies or pink Rooster Tail lures best. The wild coho fishery remains open.
COQUILLE - Fishing for chinook and coho in the lower river has slowed way down. Wild coho can be caught from the jetties up to Sturdivant Park until the quota is reached.
ELK - Fishing has been slow in low and clear water, but decent catches have occurred in the estuary this week during the peak of very high tides and the first few hours of the outgoing trides. Some fly-fishers are faring well with chartreuse streamers, while spincasters are swimming anchovies midway through the water column.