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FISHING AND HUNTING REPORT

FISHING AND HUNTING REPORTRiver Outlook ROGUE ' The Rogue is starting to come alive with spring chinook as fresh salmon are getting caught from tidewater all the way to the Hatchery Hole. The best bet for now, however, is the middle Rogue, where bank anglers and boat anglers are hitting springers regularly at Pearce Riffle, with good bank catches reported at Savage Rapids Dam and Hayes Falls. Ennis Riffle also is producing salmon.

Several salmon in the 30 to 40-pound range have been reported already. The only slow spot for the middle Rogue is Rainie Falls, where flows remain high enough that the salmon simply are not holding there. That's common when water flows are high enough to make for good catches at Pearce Riffle.

In the lower Rogue, fresh schools of salmon started moving through tidewater again Tuesday after a few days of poor catches. Boat anglers are anchoring in the Elephant Rock and John's Hole area, with best success coming on anchovies with green-bladed spinners. Others are anchoring in shallow water from 2 to 8 feet deep, intercepting the chinook as they migrate upstream. Bank anglers also are doing very well at places like Huntley Park and Lobster Creek, with anchovies or gray ghost Spin-Glo's the top choices. Use Spin-Glo sizes No. 0 or No. 2.

In the far upper Rogue, water releases from Lost Creek Lake are up to 2,834 cubic feet per second, which is more than twice the flows of last week. The difference is that Lost Creek Lake is full, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is releasing about as much water as is flowing into the lake.

The spring chinook count over Gold Ray Dam jumped from 885 on April 24 to 2,228 on May 1. With more than 1,000 fish passing the dam each week, the springer fishing should be steadily improving each day. Roe is out-producing Kwikfish in the upper Rogue now, but figure on using both when fishing anywhere in the stretch.

— The Hatchery Hole has been good at times for spring chinook, with several fish in the 30-pound class caught in the past week, including a 35-pounder by Greg Quincy of Central Point.

For daily flow reports out of Lost Creek Lake, telephone 1-800-472-2434.

Anglers can no longer keep any wild steelhead as part of their two-fish bag limit. Wild spring chinook, however, are legal to keep as part of the two-fish limit.

UMPQUA ' Spring chinook fishing has been fair to good in the main-stem Umpqua around Scottsburg and Elkton, with several fish in the 40-pound class. Steelhead fishing was fair in the all-angling section of the North Umpqua, and slow in the flies-only section. The Amacher Park area, however, has been good for winter steelhead.

COOS ' Bay fishing has been good for surfperch, lingcod, and greenling. Sturgeon and striped bass should be biting in the bay and lower Coos River. Small, feeder coho have been entering Coos Bay, and anglers are reminded that harvest of coho upstream of tips of the jetties is closed until Aug. 1.

COQUILLE ' Striped bass and sturgeon should be biting in the lower river.

Lake Outlook HOWARD PRAIRIE ' Fishing is excellent now, with trollers and still-fishermen often catching their limits very quickly when fishing in less than 15 feet of water. The fish over 20 inches long, however, are not getting caught as often as they were opening weekend. The only ones who are not faring well are those anchoring in 25-plus feet of water, where the trout simply are not swimming now.

For trollers, the best luck is on natural colored lures, especially red and frog patterns. Also, nightcrawlers behind small flashers are working very well. Trollers should work the shorelines from the Howard Prairie Resort south to Red Rock Cove, and on the east side from Fawn Island all the way to the dam.

Bait fishermen did best on the light- colored dough baits like Magic Bait, PowerBait and Crave, as well as Velveeta cheese and nightcrawlers.

The limit remains five trout more than 8 inches long, with only one of them allowed to be more than 20 inches long.

HYATT ' Trout catches were good near the BLM boat ramp, where 7,000 legal-sized rainbow trout were planted for opening day. The lake is getting another shot of fresh legal-sized trout this week, and that should boost angler numbers as well as catches.

The lake is low on rainbows this year, suffering the lingering remnants of last year's die-off due to warm water and an algae bloom. Look for trout in the shallows near Campers Cove or in the Orchard Hole.

The limit remains five trout more than 8 inches long, with only one of them allowed to be more than 20 inches long.

DIAMOND '

Catches have been good for rainbow trout running 16 to 19 inches, while several trout in the 9- to 10-pound range also have been caught this past week. Another 2,500 trophy-sized trout are scheduled for stocking into the lake this week, followed by 2,500 more trophies next week.

Still-fishing with rainbow PowerBait or worms floated with mini-marshmallows are working great. The waters near the Pizza Parlor and Silent Creek were hot for boats who anchored and fished bait off the bottom.

Trollers should use No. 7 Rapalas, with the rainbow, silver chad and fire tiger the most common and popular colors. Fly-fishermen using woolly buggers, either black or olive, should fare well at the lake's south end near Silent Creek.

The limit remains five trout more than 8 inches long, with only one of them allowed to be more than 20 inches long.

LOST CREEK '

Fishing for planted coho and hold-over rainbow trout is good upstream of Peyton Bridge, where anglers should be reminded to troll slowly in the no-wake zone. However, cold water conditions have kept the trout from congregating in good numbers at the far upper end of the reservoir.

The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife recently released 27,500 legal-sized rainbows into the lake, putting half at the Lost Creek Lake Marina and the other half at the Takelma boat ramp near the dam's face. These trout are biting an assortment of offerings, from worms and PowerBait to small spinners and leech flies.

The lake was full Wednesday.

Trolling has been the most productive because it is the most common tactic used in the lake, while still-fishing with PowerBait and nightcrawlers, or casting Roostertails and other small spinners from the bank, has worked well.

No adult steelhead will be released into the lake this year over concerns about possibly contaminating lake water with viruses that could get into Cole Rivers Hatchery just downstream of the dam.

The daily limit is five trout at least 8 inches long, but only one trout over 20 inches. For bass, the limit is five a day with no more than three over 15 inches long, but most bass fishing is catch and release. Angling is open year-round.

APPLEGATE ' Trout fishing is improving for those trolling points and coves, while the smallmouth bass bite remains just fair. Bass anglers are reminded that they cannot keep any bass between 12 inches and 15 inches, and just one bass longer than 15 inches can be part of the five-bass daily limit.

The lake was full Wednesday.

EMIGRANT ' Fishing for legal-sized rainbow is good near the dam and in the upper arms, while early bass fishing is good for crankbaits fished near willows. Another 3,500 legal-sized rainbow trout were released last week at the boat ramp at the county park. The lake is full, with plenty of water in the willows at the far upper end.

EXPO ' The pond near Peninger Road will be stocked with legal-sized rainbow trout this week, and fishing for them should be good. Catches have been good for warmwater fish this past week.

FISH '

Trout fishing is good, with 4,900 legal-sized rainbows stocks last week. Though the lake is open year-round, the cold waters usually curtail most angling until later in the spring, but the lake sports some large rainbows.

LAKE of the WOODS '

The lake was stocked this week with rainbow trout, and fishing should improve as the water warms and both the rainbow and brown trout get more active. The lake is open to night fishing as a way to target the brown trout.

ALL SPORTS PARK ' The ponds near Grants Pass were stocked again this week with 300 legal-sized trout, and fishing is good with worms, PowerBait and small spinners. The ponds will be stocked again with 300 more legals next week.

SELMAC LAKE ' The lake was stocked recently with legal-sized trout, and fishing was good with bait and lures. Bass fishing was good at the lake, with grubs fished near submerged vegetation a good first choice.

WILLOW LAKE ' The lake was recently stocked with legal-sized trout and catches were good but activity was light. Bass fishing was improving as the weather and water has warmed.

The campground, cabins and ramp at the Willow Lake Resort are open, but the restaurant remains closed.

FISH ' The lake was stocked with almost 5,000 legal-sized rainbow trout last week, and fishing for them is good. Most anglers are trolling near the shores and coves.

Ocean Outlook The all-depth spring halibut season opens today and runs through Saturday between Cape Falcon and Humbug Mountain. Halibut catches should be excellent outside the 30-fathom line, especially for those fishing due west of Newport, where the main recreational halibut fleet is based. The near-shore halibut season opened statewide May 1, but shallow-water catches have been poor. Anglers must keep only the first halibut over 32 inches long that they catch per day.

Surfperch fishing is good at the mouth of the Rogue, where anglers using clam necks are catching good numbers of fish off the sand spit. The open beach areas near the mouth of the Winchuck and Elk rivers are also good for surf perch when surf conditions are low.

Oregon beaches are closed to the harvest of all clam species. The harvest closure includes all beaches, ocean spits, and jetties from the mouth of the Columbia River to the California border. All bays remain open for the harvest of clams except for the jetties at the entrances to the bays. Harvesting of mussels and scallops is allowed, but only the adductor muscle meat should be eaten from scallops. Crab do not concentrate domoic acid in the meat and are not affected by this closure. However, recreational harvesters are advised not to eat the crab viscera (guts) at this time. For more information, call the Oregon Department of Agriculture's shellfish line 1-503-986-4728.

Ocean-fishing was fair amid sporadic storm fronts. Chinook fishing is open in the ocean from Humbug Mountain to Cape Falcon, and the fish are starting to congregate a little better nearer to shore. Catches so far have been somewhat light. Light-tackle jigging for bottomfish was very good early in the week despite some rough weather, with plenty of lingcod in the mix off Brookings.

Crabbing is slowing down, and crabs may begin to get soft-shelled as the spring and summer progresses.

Hunting Outlook ROGUE ' Turkey hunting should improve with the break in the storm fronts. The birds have been somewhat silent this past week, preferring to roost and hide from rains and winds.

Look for some good harvest of toms throughout Jackson and Josephine counties. Some good public land is open for turkey hunting in the Elk Creek and Trail Creek drainages, the area near Butte Falls, Kerby and Grants Pass, and some areas near Lake Creek.

Cougars are secretive and difficult to hunt, but numbers are high in southwestern Oregon. The best method of finding cougars is by predator calls in areas with good deer numbers.

KLAMATH ' Squirrel hunting should improve with warmer weather.

Watchable Wildlife ROGUE ' A covered viewing station on the Denman Wildlife Area provides a good opportunity to view waterfowl, egrets, raptors and songbirds. The structure was built by the Oregon Hunters Association and is accessed by a paved, wheelchair-accessible pathway. It is located on Whetstone Pond, just north of the ODFW office.