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Fishing and Hunting Report

River Outlook ROGUE ' Spring chinook fishing has tapered off in the middle Rogue because of rising water temperatures, while the lower Rogue has seen a surge in late-run chinook biters and the upper Rogue is starting to get a decent contingent of fish to improve catches there.

The best bet now is the upper Rogue, where the fish count remains low but the biters appear to be there. Through May 21, the count over Gold Ray Dam was just 12,296 fish. But that's about 3,000 more than the previous week. Water flows from Lost Creek Lake are up to 2,178 cubic feet per second of 52-degree water, and the water temperature is helping keep fish on the bite.

Kwikfish wrapped with sardines or tuna seem to be out-producing bait, but roe and live sandshrimp are still good choices for springers.

In the middle Rogue, bank and boat angling for springers has taken a dive as hot weather has warmed the river into the mid-60 degree range. The fish are migrating and not sticking around to bite at that water temperature, even at places like Rainie Falls.

The lower Rogue has seen a good salmon bite this week after about three weeks of poor angling. At least one salmon was caught in the bay Wednesday, but good catches of chinook were in the lower holes like Elephant Rock.

— Stoneflies are starting to hatch downstream of Rogue Elk Park, and lots of nymphs are floating in the river now as they move from the streambed to shore for hatching.

The river opened to trout fishing Saturday, with anglers catching primarily steelhead and chinook juveniles.

Through May 21, there were 29 summer steelhead already reported over Gold Ray Dam. When the numbers get up past 500 fish, then it's time to start thinking about evening steelhead trips in the upper Rogue.

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 ' Warm weather has heated up trout fishing, with anglers catching their limits of rainbows in about 40 minutes while trolling. Those trolling later in the day are also catching their limits in a few hours.

The early morning trollers are catching their fish between 10 and 15 feet below the surface. By mid-morning the fish tend to be a bit deeper. Fire Tiger patterns are especially good as are rainbow and rainbow trout patterns. Brass lures are also added to the mix when the sun is fully up. Nightcrawlers behind flashers are also a good bet.

The best trolling is taking place along the shoreline from the resort south to Red Rock Cove and then around to Willow Point. The east side of the lake from Fawn Island to the dam is good, although not in the same league as the west side. Trolling just beyond the resort's moorage is also doing very well, especially during the evenings.

Bait fishermen are still doing very well using the lighter colored floating dough baits as well as Velveeta cheese. Still-fishing is predominantly centered around both the north and south sides of Buck Island and at Red Rock Cove. Fishing near Fawn Island is also very good.

Fly-fishing in the evenings near Red Rock and Willow Point is starting to heat up as well. The north end of the lake has been a bit slow for fly-fishermen.

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 '

Rainbow trout fishing is improving throughout the lake and the warm water is getting the trout more active. More anglers are still-fishing than trolling, with catches near the dam, the BLM ramp and at Camper's Cove. Some large trout 23-25 inches long are getting caught, while bass fishing is improving in The Orchard.

Fly-fishermen using dragonfly nymphs and woolly buggers are also faring well in the evenings near the resort and at the lake's upper end. The lake has been stocked with legal-sized rainbow trout.

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.

The lake's surface temperature has dropped to 53 degrees, but look for that to rise quickly.

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. Worms, single salmon eggs and Velveeta cheese are the baits of choice. For fly-fishermen, the bigger rainbows are biting green or brown leeches or nymph patterns.

The 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 remained full Wednesday.

EMIGRANT ' Fishing for legal-sized rainbows is good near the dam and in the cooler water sections of the upper 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 willows areas of the lake continue to be well-flooded.

EXPO '

The pond near Peninger Road have been stocked with legal-sized rainbow trout recently, 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 The chinook salmon season is starting to heat up in the ocean at Brookings, where the rough seas finally settled and allowed for some good chinook catches Tuesday and Wednesday. On Tuesday, trollers were finding the chinook about 6-8 miles offshore, while anglers on Wednesday found schools of chinook at about 5 miles. The season opened Saturday and runs to Sept. 14, with a two-chinook daily limit and no weekly limit or mid-season closures.

Bottomfishing out of Brookings is excellent, even at near-shore rock piles as shallow as 50 feet.

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.

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

Hunting Outlook ROGUE ' Late-season turkey hunting should be fine in calm, warm mornings. 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 Saturday.

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.