COASTWIDE: Forecasts call for some calm summer fishing days this weekend, with 5-knot winds and 4-foot swells today, 5-knot winds and 4-foot wells Saturday and 10-knot winds with 3-foot swells Sunday.
Very good to excellent lingcod and black rockfish catches have occurred out of Brookings when the weather has allowed. Blue rockfish catches have been good to very good. The South Coast halibut season is open through Oct. 31, and some very nice fish have been caught when the weather cooperates.
Canary rockfish are part of the 2017 seven-fish marine bag limit, and there is no sub-limit on them, so anglers can have canaries make up their entire seven-fish daily limit if they choose. However, anglers can keep no more than six black rockfish. Also, there's a new combined, four-fish sub-limit for a combination of blue/deacon, China, copper and quillback rockfish. There is no change to the two-fish lingcod daily limit. Cabezon are still off-limits.
Rockfish anglers must still stay inside the 30-fathom line. When that restriction is lifted Sept. 1, anglers must carry at least one descending device on board each boat and use it when releasing any rockfish caught in 30 fathoms of water or deeper.
Crabbing is open along the entire Oregon Coast and it is picking up in bays. Some of the crabs are still with soft shells and low meat content after molting. Look for crabs to fatten up by September.
Razor clamming is closed along the entire coast because of domoic acid. Bay clams and butter clams are available coastwide, and mussels are open from Lincoln City to the California border. Before digging, check the shellfish hotline at 1-800-448-2474.
AGATE: The lake is down to 59 percent full, the lowest it's been this year. Look for crappie, yellow perch and occasional bass in deeper water and anywhere there's shade. The water is very warm. No gas motors are allowed. Electric trolling motors are OK. The park closes at dusk.
APPLEGATE: Rainbows are spread throughout the lake and still biting well from French Gulch up toward the top of the lake. A worm 5 feet or so under a bobber is working well at the upper end of the reservoir. Bass fishing off points and around structure in the upper part of the reservoir has been fair to good. Still lots of floating debris throughout the reservoir. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has held releases at 370 cfs, and inflows have plunged to about 125 cfs. The lake was listed Thursday as almost 25 feet from full, down almost 5 feet from last week.
DIAMOND: The lake is fishing very well for rainbows in the shallows at the south end and near the shrimp beds and the old Cheese Hole — lots of fish between 12 and 17 inches. PowerBait floated off the bottom is out-fishing worms under bobbers, with corn yellow and salmon-egg peach popular, but don't forget the glitter chartreuse. Trollers are getting action on Needlefish and Flat Fish. The south ramp is open and so are the campgrounds, but the mosquitoes are brutal this year.
EMIGRANT: The lake was listed Thursday at 59 percent full and dropping fast, with about 11 percent of its capacity drained in the past week to fuel high irrigation needs amid record heat. Bass fishing has held its own for those casting a mix of plastic worms and grubs and crankbaits. Trolling for trout has slowed in the warm water, with the upper section of the lake best near Emigrant Creek. Fresh trout were stocked two weeks ago at the county boat ramp for a fishing event, and what's left of those fish have dispersed.
EXPO: The music festival is gone and fishing is back to normal, which means slow. No fresh fish have been stocked and the water is warming rapidly. Fish with worms and bobbers or Panther Martin lures, with warmwater fish more accessible now. Access the pond through Gate 5 off Peninger Road. Parking fees are required.
FISH: The lake got 3,000 legal-sized rainbows a month ago, and that's it until later this month. Fishing is still good, however. Catches have been good with PowerBait, as well as leeches and woolly bugger flies. The lake was down significantly in the past week and was listed Thursday at 77 percent full. Tiger trout must be released unharmed.
HOWARD PRAIRIE: Trout fishing is holding its own despite the usual late-summer swoon, largely because high water conditions have kept the trout feeding, cool and in good shape. Fishing has been very good from Grizzly Campground up into the flats at the lake's northwest side, with trolling and still-fishing equally effective. Lots of bug activity in that area means fishing streamer flies such as leeches and thin woolly buggers should be good. The lake was listed Thursday as 88 percent full, which is great for April let alone August.
HYATT: The lake received 5,100 legal-sized rainbows at the BLM ramp last month, and anglers are catching them with PowerBait or worms under bobbers. However, with a 72-degree surface temperature, trout fishing has slowed and lots of smaller largemouth bass are getting caught. The first confirmed smallmouth bass was caught there last week by state biologists in an electroshocking boat. The lake has dropped significantly in the past week and is now at 47 percent full.
LOST CREEK: The lake got another 10,000 legal rainbows and 1,500 pound-sized trout a month ago, split between the Takelma and marina boat ramps. The trout have spread out fairly well, with some of the best fishing directly across the lake from the marina and near the dam. The lake was listed Thursday at 38 feet from full, down 6 feet in the past week. Trolling has been decent with red or green Wedding Ring lures with a worm near the dam. However, anglers need to get deep because the hot surface temperatures are pushing the trout down in the water column. Experiment with varying depths.
LAKE OF THE WOODS: Fishing is good for rainbows in the shallows and farther out in the lake with bait or lures. Some kokanee have been caught in the deeper recesses of the lake.
MEDCO POND: The pond got 1,600 legal-sized rainbows in June and 4,000 legals in May. Fishing is good with PowerBait or worms under bobbers.
WILLOW: The lake got 3,000 legal-sized trout and 1,500 pound-sized trout in early June. Catch them on PowerBait or worms.
ROGUE: A mix of spring chinook salmon and summer steelhead continue to create a fairly decent fishery in the upper Rogue, with more anglers switching over to stalking a good early return of summer steelhead. In the middle Rogue, a mix of steelhead and a few late-run springers have bent rods lately in the Grants Pass-Rogue River area, while the lower Rogue has cooled off after one of the hottest chinook fishing days there in years.
That makes the best bet either the upper or lower Rogue, depending on how you can handle the heat.
In the upper Rogue, anglers can still double-dip for steelhead and chinook downstream of Dodge Bridge. Upstream of Dodge Bridge is open for steelhead but not chinook, so most activity has been from Dodge on down. The Corps of Engineers is dropping the outflow today and Saturday, ending it at 2,350 cfs. That's the lowest it has been all year. That will trigger a little punch of migration, which will be good for plug anglers fishing in migration lanes for salmon and/or steelhead. The late-run spring chinook are also hitting eggs and sandshrimp back-bounced or fished off divers. Those fishing smaller plugs have hit some nice summer steelhead on both sides of Shady Cove. The floating algae masses that have dogged anglers the past few weeks seem to be waning.
Cole Rivers Hatchery collected 194 more springers this week. The count so far is 3,169 springers at the hatchery, which is about 60 percent of the 10-year running average. The hatchery has enough fish to fuel this year's brood stock.
Another 160 summer steelhead were counted Wednesday, upping the count so far to 916 fish. That's well above the 10-year running average of 666 for this time in the run. The early fish tend to be either 20-inch, first-time spawners or 8-plus pounders that are either wild fish on their second or third spawning run or hatchery females stripped of their eggs and released to the Rogue. These fish will bite anything from spinners to plugs to worms and even pink plastic worms fished under bobbers.
Anglers fishing downstream of Dodge Bridge can keep wild springers as part of their two-chinook limit, while those upstream of the bridge must release wild spring chinook unharmed. All wild steelhead must be released unharmed.
Flows at Dodge Bridge were down a hair to 2,688 cfs Thursday, 2,822 cfs at the old Gold Ray Dam site, 2,510 cfs at Grants Pass, and 3,172 at Agness. All were the lowest flows of the season.
The lower Rogue has been fairly good for those trolling the bay for fall chinook, with Tuesday's catch of more than two fish per boat the best in about five years. The bite slowed Wednesday and early Thursday but was still good. Also, the bay is very busy. Fishing is best on the morning incoming tides with anchovies or Brad's cut-plug herring lures.
In the middle Rogue, anglers targeting summer steelhead are catching fish most evenings, with Panther Martin lures or worms and corkies the top offerings. Also, the float from Valley of the Rogue to Chinook Park has been productive for steelheaders, with a few late-run springers seen moving through as well. All wild steelhead must be released unharmed river-wide.
APPLEGATE: The river is open to trout fishing, but all wild trout must be released unharmed. Most of the trout are actually steelhead pre-smolts.
CHETCO: A few more wash-in fall chinook are getting caught in the estuary, but not at the pace of earlier this month. Lots of anchovies are in the bay.