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Spring break means fresh rainbow trout

Spring has sprung this week for Southern Oregon trout anglers who will get a fresh start at fresh rainbows at several local lakes during the spring-break vacation.

Cole Rivers Hatchery crews this past week stocked more than 38,000 legal-sized rainbows into five local water bodies, ushering in the fishing season at most of these reservoirs and ponds.

The largest single stocking was 25,000 rainbows at Lost Creek Lake. The fish, which are slightly more than the 8-inch legal minimum, were split between the marina and the Takelma boat ramp near the north end of the dam.

Those fish will complement the 13- to 16-inch rainbows that anglers have already been catching while trolling near the dam's face or at bank-fishing access points near both ends of the dam.

Willow Lake was scheduled to get its first 4,500 rainbows of the season today, while Emigrant Lake near Ashland got 3,500 legals Thursday. The Emigrant legals are in addition to more than 300 adult excess Rogue River summer steelhead released there in early February.

Anglers have reported catching steelhead up to 8 pounds by casting spinners near the reservoir's feeder creeks, such as Emigrant Creek on the far upstream end.

Josephine County's two most popular fishing reservoirs also got their pre-break doses of rainbows. Reinhart Pond in Grants Pass got 300 rainbows to go with those stocked last month, and Lake Selmac near Selma receive its first 5,000 legals of the season earlier this week.

Reach reporter Mark Freeman at 541-776-4470 or mfreeman@mailtribune.com.