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Fishing Report: Friday, Oct. 31

OCEAN OUTLOOK

COASTWIDE: Forecasts call for 10-knot winds and 9-foot swells today, followed by 10-foot swells Saturday and 6-foot swells Sunday. That likely means most anglers will remain inland this weekend.

The South Coast halibut fishery closes this evening.

Anglers can venture past the 30-fathom line for bottomfishing, but few will bother, as near-shore fishing is good for black rockfish and the occasional lingcod, which have moved farther offshore. The marine aggregate limit in Oregon is seven rockfish a day. Anglers can keep one cabezon as part of that limit. The lingcod limit is two a day with a 22-inch minimum, and that is separate from the marine aggregate.

Crabbers have been doing very well for legal-sized males in most Oregon estuaries, with boat crabbers landing limits or close to them in Coos Bay and other spots. The ocean is closed to sport and commercial crabbing until Dec. 1.

Razor clam digging in Clatsop County is about as good as it gets. A record 16 million clams are estimated for the 18-mile stretch of beach from the Columbia River to Tillamook Head. The past record estimate was 9 million in 2005. Razor clamming is closed from the California border to Heceta Head near Florence because of elevated bacteria levels.

COOS BAY: Fishing for chinook salmon is slowing down for anglers trolling cut-plug herring in the bay from the Highway 101 bridge upstream to the mouth of the Millicoma River. Still, decent fish are getting caught daily all the way up to the top of tidewater. Bottomfishing is very good to excellent when anglers can get out, but don't expect to cross the bar this weekend.

Many red rock crabs in the Charleston area have been tagged as part of a study. Anyone who catches one is urged to call state fish biologists at 541-888-5515.

BROOKINGS: Heavy rains earlier in the week drew many chinook salmon into the mainstem Chetco.

GOLD BEACH: The Rogue bay has turned off for chinook and coho salmon, as most fish are blowing through tidewater and heading upstream.

LAKE OUTLOOK

AGATE: The lake has bottomed out at 3 percent full, and it's so murky that it's unfishable. The gate to the day-use park closes at 8 p.m.

APPLEGATE: The lake is fishing fairly well for holdover rainbow trout 10 to 14 inches long. Trollers are finding fish with Wedding Ring lures spiced with worms between 40 and 60 feet deep. Hart-Tish Park and its boat ramp are closed, and the ramp at Copper is no longer usable. That leaves only the French Gulch ramp for launching. Bass fishing is good with crankbaits and grubs. The lake was down to 82 feet from full, dropping about 2 feet this past week.

Applegate Lake has a standing advisory against eating too many portions of warmwater fish caught in the lake due to elevated mercury levels found in the bass and crappie.

DIAMOND: Fishing for trout has improved as the water has cooled and the fish have fanned out into deeper water. Most of the action is still-fishing PowerBait or with worms under bobbers. Vary your depths. Trolling is slow. The limit is eight trout per day longer than 8 inches, but only one can be longer than 20 inches. Diamond Lake remains open year-round.

EMIGRANT: The county park boat ramps are unusable. The lake is holding steady at 9 percent full. There is some bank fishing where Emigrant Creek hits what's left of the lake and near the rowing boathouse, but not much action is going on. Driving on the lake bed is illegal.

FISH: The lake has inched up to 17 percent full after being below the water-gauge level most of last month. No boat ramps are usable, however. A few people fishing on float tubes are faring very well for a mix of trout and chinook salmon. Most of the fishing is with bait near the center of the lake or from the bank near the resort. Tiger trout must be released unharmed. Chinook are legally considered trout and can be kept as part of the five-trout daily limit. The chinook are in 12- to 14-inch range.

HOWARD PRAIRIE: The lake closes to angling tonight for the season. The impromptu launch at Willow Point Campground is unusable. Fishing effort is very light. The lake is listed at 28 percent full and is holding steady. Bank fishing is slow but float-tube fishing for fly-fishers using streamers and sinking lines is good.

HYATT: The lake mercifully closes to angling tonight. The lake is holding steady at 6 percent full, rendering the BLM boat ramp unusable. Some bank anglers and those fishing out of float tubes have done well of late for both rainbow trout and bass. The bass fishing has been excellent with red lures, streamer flies or worms near the dam.

LOST CREEK: Fishing for trout is best upstream of Peyton Bridge, though 60-degree surface temperatures should start getting the trout to spread out more. Some 15-inch trout have been taken there recently. Bass fishing is very good with a mix of crankbaits and plastics. At 1,809 feet above sea level, the water level is past the bottom of the marina boat ramp, but the Taklema ramp is usable. Inflows are now matching outflows

LAKE OF THE WOODS: Trolling with green or black Wedding Rings is working well for rainbow trout, while pink ones are knocking the kokanee well. Water levels remain very good. Still-fishing with PowerBait from the bank has been good for trout, especially early. Bass are thick in the shallows, and night fishing for catfish is good.

LEMOLO: Fishing is good for a mix of  holdover lunker trout from earlier fall stocking. Trolling deep gets a mix of trout and kokanee, while still-fishing near the resort with PowerBait is good. From Nov. 1 to Dec. 31, all brown trout must be released. The reservoir will still be open for fishing, and rainbow trout and kokanee can be harvested for the five-trout limit.

WILLOW: Fishing from the bank with PowerBait or worms has been good around the resort and directly across from the county boat ramp. Trollers could try Tasmanian Devils or Triple Teasers, or wind-drift worms in the afternoon. Boat traffic and fishing effort remains very light. The lake was 40 percent full Thursday.

RIVER OUTLOOK

ROGUE: The upper Rogue transitions out of the flies-only season Saturday for summer steelhead, while the middle Rogue is good for steelhead, and the lower Rogue is fishing well for chinook salmon for boat anglers upstream of Lobster Creek.

That makes the best bet the upper Rogue, largely because the tackle box opens for those who don't fly-fish. Downstream of the Shady Cove boat ramp is open to artificial flies and lures but no bait, so side-drifting yarn soaked in egg scent will be the offering du jour.

Upstream of the Shady Cove ramp is open to bait fishing, but egg flies will be just as useful there. Most of the steelhead are at the heads of riffles or tailouts sucking on loose chinook salmon eggs. Plug fishing will be fair to good, largely because these steelhead are pretty aggressive right now. Plastic egg flies will be legal starting Saturday; they are banned during the flies-only season.

(Correction: This report has been updated to clarify regulations.)

Flows in the Rogue are bouncing around and could rise if today's rains materialize as forecast. Flows out of Lost Creek Lake are down slightly to 1,060 cubic feet per second and just 1,212 cfs at Dodge Bridge. That will make driftboating a bit bumpy during the popular early November fishery. Summer steelhead are scattered river-wide now.

In the middle Rogue, fishing is good everywhere from Valley of the Rogue State Park on through Ennis Riffle, which was alive with big adult steelhead much of this week. Flows at Grants Pass remained a skinny 1,444 cfs and dropping Thursday. Worms with beads or black-and-yellow Panther Martin lures are good offerings.

In the lower Rogue, this week's big rains coaxed schools of coho and chinook to move upstream. Fishing for them has been good upstream of Lobster Creek this week.

Summer steelhead fishing remains decent and is best in the Agness area, where the flows were listed Thursday at 2,200 cfs. That means fly-fishing success will drop off in favor of worms, plugs and Panther Martin lures.

CHETCO — The river was dropping Thursday after this week's rains drew lots of chinook into the mainstem river, where fishing remains open to those fishing streamer flies or bait under bobbers. Back-bouncing roe and pulling plugs resumed on the Chetco Monday, and fishing should be very good after another rise in flows this weekend.

ELK/SIXES — Last week's rains drew plenty of fall chinook out of tidewater on both streams, with good fishing until flows dropped to low and clear in mid-week. Look for another fresh batch of fish to move in through the weekend.