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MailTribune.com
  • Fishing Report: Jan. 11, 2013

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  • COASTWIDE - This week's hazardous seas will start to settle down Sunday and Monday, but 15-knot winds are still in the forecast and that should chase any January jiggers away from bottomfishing spots.
    The marine aggregate limit in Oregon is seven rockfish a day, and no cabezon may be kept until July. Retention of cabezon is allowed July 1 through Sept. 30. The lingcod limit is two a day with a 22-inch minimum, and that is separate from the marine aggregate.
    The ocean is open to sport and commercial crabbers. Dungeness crab catches been good in bays, and look for good crabbing conditions next week after river flows subside.
    The Oregon Department of Agriculture closed mussel harvesting from the Columbia River to the California border because of elevated levels of paralytic shellfish toxin. All other shellfish harvesting is open from the Columbia River to the California border.
    Eating whole, recreationally harvested scallops is not recommended, however. Coastal scallops are not affected by toxin closures when only the adductor muscle is eaten. If you don't know what an adductor muscle is, don't eat scallops.
    GOLD BEACH - Very little ocean and bay activity has occurred out of Gold Beach recently.
    AGATE - Trout-fishing effort has slowed dramatically amid murky water conditions from recent inflows. Some of October's stocking of 1,000 legal-sized and 100 larger rainbow trout still are available. Catching will be best still-fishing with worms or PowerBait. The lake is 77 percent full. No gas motors are allowed. Small electric motors are legal. The lake is open year-round.
    APPLEGATE - Reservoir levels remain low, and water temperatures continue to be cold. Fishing pressure is very light, with a few anglers targeting what's left of the 1,000 legals and 200 larger rainbow trout stocked there last month. Try trolling Wedding Rings or Triple Teasers with a piece of worm. PowerBait or wind-drifting worms are also good bets. Bass fishing is slow. The Copper ramp is no longer usable, and Hart-Tish Park is closed. French Gulch is open.
    DIAMOND - The lake is open for ice fishing, with most of the action near the resort because that area has the best access. Anglers are fishing worms just below the ice layer or PowerBait near the bottom with a weight on the end of the line and a hook with a short leader about two feet up the line. Some are doing well with white or pink jigs. Last summer's fingerlings are now over 8 inches long, while most of the catch are rainbows 12 to 16 inches long. Show caution when on the ice. The lake is open year-round.
    EMIGRANT - Fish are more concentrated with the low water levels. Smallmouth and largemouth bass fishing is slow amid cold water conditions. Trout fishing is slow also. The lake is up to 51 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.
    EXPO - Fishing and interest have waned since anglers picked through most of the fall stocking of 500 legal-sized and 100 larger trout. Catch what's left of them on worms under bobbers or small Panther Martin lures. The limit is five trout per day with only one over 20 inches. The pond is open year-round.
    FISH - Ice fishing near the resort and off the Forest Service boat ramp has been good with jigs, worms and PowerBait. The ice is firm. All tiger trout must be released unharmed. The lake was listed Thursday at 62 percent full. The lake is open year-round.
    HOWARD PRAIRIE, HYATT and LEMOLO - Fishing is closed until April.
    LOST CREEK - A persistent blue-green algae bloom has kept most anglers away. Those who fish there are encouraged to practice catch-and-release fishing until the advisory is lifted. Aggressive water releases from the reservoir have it back to its normal flood-control elevation of 1,812 feet above sea level, and releases were holding steady at 1,000 cubic feet per second.
    ROGUE - The lower Rogue remained solid for winter steelhead fishing all week, but look for a short lull in catches today and Saturday as water levels start to rise. The middle Rogue is looking good for early-run winter steelhead downstream of the Applegate River mouth, and the upper Rogue still is loaded with retreads and spawned out summer steelhead that are bending rods but not filling smokers because of poor meat quality.
    That keeps the best bet on the lower Rogue, where everyone from bankies to driftboat and powerboat anglers are finding nice numbers of fish. River guides using a mix of side-drifted roe and pulled plugs are getting double-digit hookups most days. That's excellent action for any time of year.
    Bank anglers are doing best with Spin-Glo's and Hot Shots at Huntley Park and Canfield Riffle, meaning most of the best catches are closer to Gold Beach than Agness. Flows at Agness were up to 9,000 cubic feet per second Thursday and rising. When flows drop after Saturday, it should trigger a good flurry of fishing.
    In the middle Rogue, anglers are seeing a mix of spawned-out kelts headed downstream as well as some nice, bright early-run winter steelhead. However, the water is cold, and Thursday's snows are not helping that improve. That has slowed the bite some. Side-drifting roe and corkies in slow, deep runs has been best, while K-11 Kwikfish and crayfish plugs are working in similar runs, particularly around submerged rocks. Look for the subtle disturbance on the surface to detect where those rocks are in slow waters. Most of the early winter steelhead of January are a mix of wild and hatchery fish bound for the Applegate River, so fishing downstream of the Applegate is the best bet. However, there are a decent number of winter steelhead already upstream of the mouth of the Applegate, indicating a strong early run.
    In the upper Rogue, anglers still are running into what's left of the nearly 2,200 summer steelhead recycled Christmas Eve, but most of these fish are pretty dark and only marginally edible. Many of those fish released at TouVelle State Park remain downstream of the park, where they are hitting K-11 Kwikfish in good measure. Flows out of Lost Creek Lake are holding steady at 1,000 cfs as the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers begins the slow filling of the reservoir, which was at slightly more than a foot higher than last Thursday. That left flows at Dodge Bridge at 2,332 cfs Thursday.
    Plugs will out-fish bait in low water, with steelhead stacking up near creek mouths and in tailouts of deeper runs like Frenchman's. Bait now is legal from the Shady Cove boat ramp downstream to Fishers Ferry boat ramp, with worms and watermelon corkies a good late-run summer steelhead offering.
    Anglers can now keep one wild winter steelhead a day, and up to five per year, from the Hog Creek boat ramp downstream to the mouth. The rest of the river is catch-and-release for wild steelhead until February.
    CHETCO - The river has dropped, and water temperatures have dipped after a good week of winter steelhead fishing on the Chetco. Plugs have out-fished sidedrifters using roe and corkies. Plunking has slowed as the drop in flows has quelled steelhead migration. Flows will drop through the weekend to about 2,000 cfs, then they are forecast to rise again next week after a brief freshet.
    APPLEGATE - Early-run winter steelhead were reported in the lower Applegate, and early fishing for them has been fair to good for those wading the riffles in the snow. Flows at Wilderville were hovering short of 1,000 cfs, and that's a good level for side-drifting roe or bouncing spoons through riffles.
    ElK/SIXES - Flows are forecast to bump up today and then drop off this weekend, and that should bode well for winter steelhead anglers looking for some color in these streams. Side-drifting roe or drifting jigs under bobbers has been good for steelhead, with plug fishing holding up well on both streams.
    ILLINOIS - The river is open to winter steelhead fishing, and fresh fish are in the lower ends of the system. Fishing is restricted to artificial flies and lures. Anglers fishing above Klondike Creek can keep one wild steelhead over 24 inches long per day and five per year. The mainstem Illinois and its tributaries remain closed upstream of Pomeroy Dam.
    COOS - Water conditions were low, clear and cold, hampering steelhead fishing. Look for good catches to resume after a small freshet forecast for next week.
    COQUILLE - Winter steelhead anglers are running into fresh fish in the North Fork at Laverne Park and in the lower South Fork. Some bank fishing successes for winter steelhead have been reported in the Coquille area.
    UMPQUA - Flows in the mainstem Umpqua have increased but winter steelhead fishing still is good upstream of Elkton. The lower South Umpqua has risen this week, and flows at Riddle were more than 5,300 cfs and more than 6,400 cfs at Winston. When flows drop back into shape, look for good catches of winter steelhead. However, most of the catch recently has been wild steelhead.
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