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FISHING AND HUNTING

FISHING AND HUNTINGRiver Outlook ROGUE ' The fall coho fishery continues to be hot in the lower Rogue bay, while summer steelhead and halfpounder fishing remain very good in the Agness area. The middle Rogue downstream of Savage Rapids Dam is excellent for summer steelhead that are actively feeding behind spawning fall chinook salmon, and the upper Rogue remains good for steelhead in the flies-only season.

The best bet, however, remains the far lower Rogue, where coho fishing from the bank or boats is very good in tidewater. Trollers using anchovies and small spinner blades are finding cohos throughout the mouth, with more wild cohos than hatchery fish. All wild coho must be released unharmed. Even bank anglers casting silver-bladed spinners with red beads from the bank are hitting cohos consistently. A few fall chinook remain in the mix, and fresh fall chinook will trickle into the lower Rogue into December, with many of them large fish bound for lower Rogue spawning tributaries.

The Agness area remains very good for summer steelhead adults and half-pounders, with bait, flies and lures working well in the Cougar Lane area. Evenings are best with streamer flies, while the fish are hitting bait all day. All wild steelhead and half-pounders must be released unharmed.

Chinook fishing upstream of Hog Creek closed Friday, so anglers still after fall chinook are hitting the canyons downstream of Galice. Some edible fish are still around, but most are getting dark and of poor edibility.

In the upper Rogue, the early run of summer steelhead has slowed during the middle of the flies-only season, but the number of fish holding upstream of Gold Ray Dam remains very strong. Through Tuesday, the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife logged 7,293 steelhead past the counting station.

Outflows from Lost Creek Lake remain at 900 cubic feet per second to help ensure chinook salmon spawn in the main channel. It also represents the amount of water flowing into the reservoir. The release temperatures also have dropped to just under 43 degrees. Swinging traditional steelhead streamers is poor now, but egg flies work well fished under strike indicators. You can use no added weights nor attachments, but use a heavy dropper fly and an egg fly at the point.

— Bans on keeping more than one wild chinook are now off for the remainder of the year downstream of Gold Ray Dam when angling is allowed. Remember, all wild steelhead must be released unharmed for the remainder of the year.

For daily flow reports out of Lost Creek Lake, call (800)472-2434.

UMPQUA ' Steelhead fishing is slow in the main-stem and fair in the North Umpqua. Catches are fair in the all-angling and flies-only sections of the North Umpqua. Smallmouth bass fishing remains good in the main-stem, while sturgeon fishing remains slow in tidewater. Fishing for coho is fair to good in the bay. All wild coho must be released unharmed.

COOS/COQUILLE ' Chinook fishing remains very good to excellent in Coos Bay and fair to good in the Coquille bay. Chinook are starting to move up the Coquille, but Coos Bay fishing remains in tidewater. Sea-run cutthroat trout are also present in tidewater. Striped bass fishing is fair to good up to Johnson Mill Pond.

Lake Outlook HOWARD PRAIRIE ' Fall trout fishing is good during the day, with this year's stocked fingerlings showing up well in the catches. The surface temperatures are down to 60 degrees, helping drag the trout off the bottom. Morning trollers continue to focus on natural-colored lures, with Tasmanian Devils working best. Despite mid-August weather, good catches of 16-inch trout have been seen.

Velveeta cheese and light-colored PowerBait are the most productive, although a lot of people are picking fish up on red eggs. The limit remains five trout a day, with only one longer than 20 inches allowed.

HYATT ' The lake remains good for rainbow trout, with most catches in the 12- to 16-inch range. Fishing has been good with bait off and on all day, while trollers are doing best in the evenings.

The limit remains five trout a day, with only one over 20 inches a day allowed.

DIAMOND ' Fishing is fair to good for stocked rainbows along the south end of the lake, with fish congregating near Silent and Short creeks. Early morning is good in the shallows, but the fish are going to 30-35 feet deep and near the middle of the lake during the day. Trollers are still catching trout with red Needlefish or No. 5 Rapalas.

The limit is five trout a day, with only one longer than 20 inches a day allowed.

LOST CREEK ' Bass fishing is good along the shorelines. As surface temperatures have dropped to 61.5 degrees, the fish are moving toward the surface. Trout fishing remains good with bait near freshwater sources and trolling is best around the marina and near the face of the dam, with mornings and evenings best. The lake is at its winter low for flood control.

Remember, the waters upstream of Peyton Bridge are a no-wake zone, so it's a good mid-day refuge from water-skiers.

The lake is open year-round for trout and bass fishing, with trout anglers out-numbering bass anglers throughout the cold-weather months.

APPLEGATE ' Fishing for stocked chinook and rainbow trout around 12 inches long is good in the mornings and evenings. Bass fishing is good near the dam. Both boat ramps remain operational.

Anglers can keep up to five rainbow trout, stocked salmon or recycled winter steelhead a day, but only one fish can be longer than 20 inches. No bass between 12 inches and 15 inches can be kept, and only one bass larger than 15 inches can be kept.

FISH ' Trolling and still-fishing for trout remains good near the resort and the boat ramp, while fly-fishing is good in the evenings with woolly buggers and leeches.

WILLOW ' Fishing for bass remains good, and trout catches have improved.

SELMAC ' The lake remains closed to public access due to an outbreak of potentially toxic blue-green algae.

Ocean Outlook The chinook salmon season is over off the mouth of the Chetco.

Anglers are banned from fishing for black rockfish, lingcod, greenling and cabezon, leaving surfperch and a few other species open. Tuna fishing remains slow. Yellowtail rockfish fishing is open outside the 40-fathom curve.

Crabbing remains slow. Shellfish harvest is open for all species except razor clams on the south and central coast.

Hunting Outlook ROGUE ' General rifle season opens Saturday for elk, and good bull ratios are present in the Rogue Unit around Prospect and Butte Falls. Expect some precipitation early next week at high elevations, and that should help with bull harvest. The green-dot road closure remains in effect.

Blue and ruffed grouse hunting is good, as is Mountain quail. Look for quail near high-elevation water sources.

The October fee-pheasant hunt closes Saturday at the Denman Wildlife Area, with birds planted freshly each night. Hunting is best with dogs, and this year's birds are good fliers.

Bear hunters are in the midst of what is expected to be an average year throughout most of southwest Oregon. Hunters should concentrate their efforts in the berry patches in early morning and late afternoon. Bear numbers are good with the highest numbers at moderate to low elevations in the coast range, and with smaller populations in the Cascades. Successful bear hunters are reminded to turn in a bear tooth for the ongoing bear population study in southwest Oregon.

Cougar hunters can expect an average year. Cougars are abundant throughout with indicators pointing to stable or increasing numbers and distribution. Hunting cougar is a challenge because these animals are very secretive, but harvest success is greatest adjacent to private land with high deer populations using a predator call. DOUGLAS '

Rifle hunters can expect a better-than-average general bull elk season in the Dixon, South Indigo and Evans Creek units, where there are good bull ratios

Blue and ruffed grouse hunters can expect a better than average year thanks to above-average production countywide. Same with mountain quail.

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 on Whetstone Pond, just north of the ODFW office.