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Fishing and Hunting report

Fishing and Hunting reportRiver Outlook ROGUE ' Spring chinook fishing remains good in the middle Rogue and is improving in the upper Rogue, but warming water is starting to slow down catches in the lower river.

That makes the middle Rogue still the best bet, but fishing upstream of Gold Ray Dam remains a good option despite relatively low numbers of fish. Most of the spring chinook appear to be in the waters from Grants Pass to Gold Hill, chiefly because the operation of Savage Rapids Dam blocked most fish passage until earlier this week. The ladders are full of springers migrating upstream now, so look for a fresh batch of fish in the Shady Cove area by the end of the week.

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, but most are now in the 18- to 22-pound range. Fewer of the 40-plus pound fish have been reported this past week. The flows at Grants Pass are down to 3,000 cubic feet per second of 57-degree water. Look for good catches in the middle Rogue until the water temperatures eclipse 60 degrees, which shuts the salmon's mouths.

In the far upper Rogue, water releases from Lost Creek Lake are down to 1,919 cfs, which is about 800 cfs lower than last Wednesday. The releases are at 50 degrees, making it prime for a springer bite. Catches have been good recently and the vast majority are of hatchery fish, but the fish numbers remain low. The spring

chinook count over Gold Ray Dam jumped 5,627 on May 7 to 9,270 on May 15. That's low for this time of year, but the steady stream of fresh fish is encouraging. 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, and the banks are getting crowded.

— In the lower Rogue, the bite has slowed as the water temperature is rising toward 60 degrees.

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. Shad are starting to show up in the lower river, with Sawyers Rapids and Yellow Creek the top spots for shad on jigs or flies.

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 ' Catches of striped bass and sturgeon are picking up in the lower bay.

Lake Outlook HOWARD PRAIRIE ' Trout fishing remains excellent, with trolling starting to out-shine still-fishing. For trollers, Tasmanian Devils in a variety of colors are the top performers, while some people are finding good success trolling a worm behind flashers. The average depth where most of the fish are caught is still 10-15 feet, and most anglers are catching their limits in about an hour. The best trolling is taking place along the shoreline from the resort south to Red Rock Cove and on the east side from Fawn Island to the dam. Trolling just beyond the resort's moorage is also doing very well.

Still-fishing in the morning is very good with the lighter-colored floating dough baits as well as Velveeta cheese. Most of the bait-fishing action is around Buck and Fawn islands as well as Red Rock. Focus your efforts around Buck and Fawn Islands, and too at Red Rock.

A few bass are also getting caught.

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

A few bass are getting caught daily as well.

HYATT '

Catches of rainbow trout remain good near the BLM boat ramp, where most of the legal-sized rainbow trout were planted this month by the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife. Still-fishing with light-colored PowerBait is the most popular choice, but fly-fishermen using dragonfly nymphs and woolly buggers are also faring well in the evenings.

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 ' Trout fishing remains very good for a mix of freshly stocked fish. Anglers are looking for what remains of the 5,000 lunker rainbow trout stocked this month, but catches are good as well for the 20,000 juvenile chinook salmon released into the lake. The chinook are all 10-14 inches long and put up a great fight on light tackle.

For bait fishermen, PowerBait and worms floated on a mini marshmallow are best. The lake's north end, particularly near where the lake flows into Lake Creek, is the most consistent producer.

Trollers are catching the majority of the fish, with Needle fish or medium-sized Rapalas the best choice when used with a half-ounce of lead to get your lure deeper. Troll from the Diamond Lake Campground boat ramp to the Thielsen View Campground ramp.

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 '

Catches of the stocked coho salmon and the hold-over rainbow trout from last year's stocking remain very good upstream of Peyton Bridge, where the fish are starting to congregate around the cool-flowing river and creek mouths. Anglers should remember that the waters upstream of the bridge are a no-wake zone.

Recent warm weather has raised the lake's surface temperature above 58 degrees.

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 remained full Wednesday, and the stable levels have helped improve trout and smallmouth bass catches.

Trolling has been the most productive for trout, with worms and flashers a good bet. Smallmouth bass are heating up around the lake edges and points.

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 ' Fishing for rainbow trout and stocked coho is improving for those trolling points and coves, as well as bank fishing in the upper portions of the reservoir. Smallmouth bass bite has picked up amid warmer weather and better water temperatures. 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 most areas along the lower end of the reservoir. Bass fishing with crankbaits has improved in the upper arms, but schools of perch are dominating the catches there. Crappie fishing is slow.

The lake is full, and the willows are well-flooded.

EXPO '

The pond near Peninger Road were stocked with legal-sized rainbow trout last week, and fishing for them remains good on worms. Catches have been good for warmwater fish this past week.

FISH '

Trout fishing is good, with 4,900 legal-sized rainbows stocked there recently. 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 recently with rainbow trout, and fishing is improving 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.

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.

Ocean Outlook Poor ocean conditions have marred the early start of the ocean salmon season off Southern Oregon and Northern California, where high winds have kept most trollers at bay. The season opened Saturday and runs to Sept. 14, with a two-chinook daily limit and no weekly limit or mid-season closures. Very few chinook have been caught off Brookings so far, but look for catches to pick up next month.

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 (503)986-4728.

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 and the calm, warm mornings. The birds are starting to be active and responsive to late-season calls.

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. The turkey season runs through May 31.

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.