River Outlook

River Outlook

ROGUE — A warm spell has caused water releases to get jacked at Lost Creek dam, triggering a spurt of migration throughout the Rogue, but spring chinook catches continue to be poor river-wide.

That shifts the best bet to be bank or boat fishing in the upper Rogue, because it's the closest option to feed your frustration in trying to catch those tough-to-find biters.

Flows are up. The flow out of Lost Creek Lake, which is now 3 feet down from full, was just under 3,000 cubic feet per second of 51-degree water. That's a perfect temperature for spring chinook fishing, which has picked up from the spike. Through May 25 (the last available count date from the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife) only 3,470 springers have cross Gold Ray Dam. A few fish are getting hooked daily at upper Rogue bank-fishing spots like the Hatchery Hole, Casey State Park and the Slide Hole, but not much other action. A fair amount of early hatchery fish remain in the mix. The best bite has been at daybreak.

In the middle Rogue, a few bank anglers using side-planers and Kwikfish are catching spring chinook in migration spots around Rogue River, Grants Pass and Merlin. But Hayes Falls, behind the Weasku Inn and Rainie Falls are the more popular spots for anglers casting beads and yarn. A few boaters are starting to find a springer or two a day downstream from Savage Rapids Dam.

In the lower Rogue, spring chinook fishing has remained very spotty, mainly because not enough salmon are present to get many anglers to spend a day on the water there. Catches continue to be more miss than hit throughout the lower stretch below Lobster Bar. Most action remains in the lower four miles of freshwater, but a few springers were caught this week by plunkers on Lobster Bar. Large Spin-Glo's are best. Also, native cutthroat have moved into the lower Rogue, and catch-and-release fishing for them has been good.

The river-wide spring chinook salmon limit is two per day, but only one non-finclipped wild salmon can be kept a day. The wild springer limits will be listed Friday for waters downstream of Whiskey Creek. For daily flow reports out of Lost Creek Lake, call 800-472-2434.

UMPQUA — The North Umpqua as well as the main-stem river have been very slow for spring chinook salmon angling. Shad fishing has been very good in the lower river, with the Yellow Creek and Sawyer's Rapids locations hot-spots because of relatively low water conditions. Smallmouth fishing is starting to heat up in the upper stretch of the main-stem Umpqua as well as the lower end of the South Umpqua. Striper fishing continues to be fair, with some stripers being picked up by spring chinook fishermen.

COOS — Shad fishing is very good in the lower Coos and Millicoma on lead shad darts and flies. Trout angling is now open.

Lake Outlook

HOWARD PRAIRIE — The lake is open and early-season fishing has remained fair to good. Anglers trolling worms behind Wedding Ring lures (red or chartreuse) and small flashers have fared well at the lake's south end. Casting worms off the jetty have caught a few good fish lately. The lake was stocked last week with fingerling trout, and they should start to appear in catchable sizes by fall. Still-fishing from boats has been slow, chiefly because the fish primarily are in waters 15 feet or less. Lots of 17-inchers in the mix. Trollers around Fawn and Doe islands have fared best.

HYATT — The lake is open to angling and early catches were fair to good for those slowly trolling Needlefish or fishing PowerBait off the bank near the dam. Anglers are catching a few large, hold-over rainbow trout, as well as the recently planted legal-sized rainbow trout. Fishing for largemouth bass should be improving with the warmer weather. The limit is five trout over 8 inches a day, but only one of those can be more than 20 inches.

LOST CREEK — The lake's surface temperature has holding steady at 61 degrees and that's starting to wake up the trout and bass. The lake was stocked May 14 with another 20,000 fresh legal-sized rainbow trout last week. The fish were distributed at Takelma Boat Ramp and the marina. The lake is full. The smallmouth bite has picked up this past week along the edges of the lake and in sunny coves, and it should be improving daily with more sunny days.

EMIGRANT — Good water conditions have ramped up the fishing success for bass, perch, sunfish and crappie. The south end's willows are the best. Trout fishing has been fair to good, with trout caught mostly on the lower end by bank anglers and around rocky points.

A health advisory has been issued about eating all but trout from the lake because of elevated mercury levels.

APPLEGATE — Largemouth and smallmouth bass fishing has improved as the lake has warmed but not dropped from its full status. Trout fishing has improved for both legal-sized rainbow trout and stocked salmon, which tend to school at rocky points. The lake was last stocked May 14 with legal-sized rainbow trout, and many have been found in the Carberry Arm. The stocking occurred at Hart-Tish Park and the Copper boat ramps. The Carberry Arm also has a lot of trout there.

Anglers can keep up to five rainbow trout or stocked salmon a day, but only one fish can be more than 20 inches long. Also, no bass between 12 and 15 inches can be kept, and only one bass larger than 15 inches can be kept.

DIAMOND — The lake has been stocked with about 65,000 fish ranging from 5-pounders to legal-sized rainbows. Chartreuse PowerBait and worms for still fishermen has out-produced trolling with Needlefish or Wedding Rings. The fish are starting to distribute themselves throughout the lake, but catches have remained best around the resort and the North End boat ramp.

WILLOW — The lake was stocked with legal-sized rainbow trout the week of May 14. Angling for bass and other warmwater fish is improving as the water warms up. The boat ramp and store are open.

FISH — The lake will be stocked again this week with legal-sized rainbows. Trout catches have been good for slow trollers and still-fishermen near the shoreline.

EXPO POND — One of the ponds near Gate 5 was stocked earlier this year with excess summer steelhead from Cole Rivers Hatchery. The pond also will get a complement of legal-sized rainbows and grade-out steelhead this week. Trout catches should be good, but catches on the old winter steelhead released there in January remain poor. Only one of these steelhead over 20 inches can be kept daily, and they are legally considered trout that do not have to be added to a salmon/steelhead tag.

MEDCO POND — The pond was stocked with legal-sized rainbow trout last week, so trout fishing should be good. Fishing for rainbow trout, largemouth bass, and panfish should be good as well.

LAKE of the woods — Angling for largemouth bass, crappie, brown bullhead, smallmouth bass and brown trout is picking up. Angling for yellow perch and kokanee should be fair. The lake was stocked with legal and trophy rainbow trout just before the opening weekend of trout season.

SELMAC — Fishing for largemouth bass, bluegill, crappie and bullheads has been good. Also still-fishing is good for recently stocked legal-sized trout. Chartreuse and rainbow PowerBait has worked best.

KLAMATH/ AGENCY LAKES — Fishing for large Klamath trout has improved throughout the lake during as warming temperatures have gotten fish moving.

Ocean Outlook

The ocean outside of Brookings and Gold Beach was like a lake Wednesday and fishing for lingcod and black rockfish have been excellent. A few salmon are getting caught, but only about a dozen boats are now targeting salmon a day. Look for catches to improve later next month.

The near-shore Pacific halibut season is open. The remaining all-depth halibut dates for Cape Falcon to Humbug Mountain are Friday and Saturday and then again June 7-9. Halibut fishing has been good out of Charleston when the wind cooperates. Little action so far out of Brookings because the halibut are farther offshore and tough to reach unless ocean conditions are excellent.

The entire Oregon coast is now open for razor clams, bay clams, and mussels. A good series of low tides this weekend should make razor clamming fair in Curry County. Before doing any clamming, check for any updated health advisories by calling the Oregon Department of Agriculture's Shellfish line at 800-448-2474. For more information about razor clams and current status of particular areas see www.dfw.state.or.us/MRP/shellfish/razorclams online.

Hunting Outlook

JACKSON — Spring bear activity has picked up with the warmer weather; continue checking hill sides with green grasses and timber areas for dead logs where bears are looking for grubs. Areas where fires have gone through in the past several years provide great grass green-up. In lower elevations most deer have move to higher elevations, leaving game trails to bear activity, look for tracks along these trails. The spring bear and turkey seasons both close tonight, so now's your last chance. Turkeys are still calling although they maybe reluctant to come to call. Scouting with the use of locator calls will help in locating flocks and roosting areas. Turkeys can be found in oak savannah habitat with open grassy clearing, where much of this habitat is found on lower elevation private lands and BLM public lands.

CURRY — The South Coast is brimming with bears. Hunters should focus around fresh grasses and on south slopes for bear activity. Cougar hunters are reminded to buy a 2007 cougar tag, and a new regulation this year allows some hunters to buy two tags.

Watchable Wildlife

GENERAL — The Oregon Coast Birding Trail Guide at www.oregoncoastbirding.com is a Web site that highlights great birding opportunities all along the Oregon coast. It's divided into sections of coastline, and the north coast is only a click away from the main home page. Links to checklists and sponsors can be found on the home page as well.