Fishing Report: Friday, June 19
COASTWIDE: Forecasts are for winds up to 20 knots this weekend but waves aren't forecast to eclipse 5 feet, so ocean trips could be doable especially early in the morning. No small-craft advisories were in place as of Thursday afternoon. Good schools of krill and baitfish remain off the South Coast and that's helped turn chinook salmon fishing up a notch. Chinook fishing is now open throughout the Oregon Coast.
The highest recorded levels of domoic acid along the Oregon Coast in 17 years has closed razor clamming statewide, but bay clams and butter clams are fine. Also, mussel harvest is open only from the mouth of the Rogue River down to the California border.
A few decent morning minus tides through the weekend means clammers can get out to some profitable beds in the Charleston area, but the lows aren't nearly as low as last week. Call the state shellfish hotline at 1-800-448-2474 for updates before digging.
When anglers can venture out, near-shore jigging for black rockfish and lingcod has been very good close to shore. Anglers must stay within the 30-fathom line for bottomfishing through September, but most of the good spring fishing is close to shore.
The marine aggregate limit in Oregon is seven rockfish a day, but only three can be blue rockfish, and all china, quillback and copper rockfish must be released. Anglers are allowed to keep one canary rockfish a day under the seven-fish marine aggregate limit under new marine rules. The lingcod limit is two a day with a 22-inch minimum, and that is separate from the marine aggregate.
Cabezon will be on the list of keeper rockfish July 1.
Dungeness catches are picking up in the ocean and in larger estuaries such as Coos and Winchester bays. The crab sizes and catch rates seem to be improving weekly.
Large sardines are scaring up some good halibut off Langlois and north of Brookings.
COOS BAY: Black rockfish catches are decent between the jetties, and pile perch are being caught under the McCullough Bridge. Fishing is best around slack tides. Lingcod fishing outside of Charleston remains very good when anglers can get out. Decent morning minus tides await diggers through Sunday and that should draw action around Clam Island and other hot spots around Charleston and Empire. Crabbing is best near the jetties but it has been slow. 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: The offshore chinook season is picking up as more fish are moving north past California and decent weather awaits weekend anglers. Good schools of krill and baitfish have been reported, and look for the chinook to be traveling below them. Larger anchovies are working best. Jiggers have done well on black rockfish and lingcod, particularly north of town. Look for chinook catches to start improving as chinook move into Southern Oregon as the season progresses.
The South Coast halibut season is open, and catches have been slow so far.
GOLD BEACH: A few spring chinook continue to get caught daily in the bay, with catches best at low tide near the mouth and high tide as far up as John's Pool. This is classic fall chinook information, but it's rare to see it work for late-run springers. Surfperch fishing is holding on along most open beaches when the wind isn't howling like it has most of this past week. Try Berkley Gulp sand shrimp or sandworms because they stay on the hooks better than sand shrimp or prawns. Lingcod fishing was excellent this week when bar conditions allowed safe passage. The ocean is open for chinook fishing but no action to report.
AGATE: The lake is down to 80 percent full and dropping faster now than it has all season. The water is murky, but warmwater fish catches are decent and best early and late in the day. Slowly fishing purple and other dark, plastic worms should get anglers into bass off points The boat ramp is usable. No trout stockings are planned this spring. Lake access closes at dusk.
APPLEGATE: The lake received 9,000 legal-sized trout and 500 larger trout late last month, which should get action going outside of the French Gulch and Copper boat ramps. Some bank fishing with worms is good higher up in the reservoir. Troll for freshly stocked and holdover trout up to 16 inches. The surface level is down a foot to 1,948 feet above sea level, and it is dropping about 3 feet a week now because inflows are down to 48 cubic feet per second. Bass fishing has improved off points with crankbaits and plastic worms.
Applegate Lake has a standing advisory against eating too many portions of warmwater fish because of elevated mercury levels found in the bass and crappie.
DIAMOND: Fishing has been slow to fair from boats with worms under bobbers or PowerBait, but the trout population appears down and the bite has been slow. Catches have been better on the lake's northern half. The shrimp beds and the Cheese Hole are kicking out fish for those using PowerBait and worms, but daily limits are rare. Most of the trout are 12 to 15 inches long, with an occasional 4- or 5-pounders. About 300,000 fingerling were stocked in late May, and they should be large enough to contribute to the fishery in late August or early September. If you find yourself catching the fingerlings, pull up and move on to let them survive their early stages after stocking.
EMIGRANT: The lake is murky but the surface turbidity is improving. Bass anglers are still using rattling crankbaits fished slowly off rock croppings and near willows. Trout fishing is somewhat slow due to the poor water conditions. Troll streamer flies or still-fish with worms or chartreuse PowerBait in the area, but not from the ramp. The lake is down a hair to 72 percent full and dropping rather quickly as recharge from Hyatt and Howard Prairie lakes is dropping off.
FISH: The lake is down to 60 percent and it received another 3,500 legal-sized trout two weeks ago and 3,000 legal-sized trout are slated for stocking this week. Look for catches of rainbow trout and chinook with worms, PowerBait or by trolling Wedding Ring lures spiced with a piece of worm. Tiger trout must be released unharmed. Chinook are legally considered trout here and can be kept as part of the five-trout daily limit. The chinook are in the 12- to 14-inch range.
HOWARD PRAIRIE: The lake is warming up as water levels drop but catches remain fairly good for boat anglers fishing early in the day and around dusk. Fish in the 15-inch range remain prevalent. Trollers working deep with Triple Teasers and Tasmanian Devils are doing well while still-fishers with PowerBait are doing best near the channel along the lake's far side. The gravel ramp off Doe Point is open and that's where another 1,250 legal-sized trout were stocked recently for Free Fishing Weekend. The lake is down to 33 percent full. The marina remains dry, so no boat rentals are available.
HYATT: Catches of rainbow trout have been slow for those still-fishing with worms or PowerBait near the Mountain View ramp, which is open but barely. The lake is down slightly this week to 36 percent full. Access is poor. Bass fishing in the Orchard is slow and will improve with warmer water. Another 1,250 legal-sized trout were stocked there for Free Fishing Weekend, but no events are planned because of poor lake access.
LOST CREEK: The lake received another 20,000 legal-sized trout and 500 larger trout recently, split between the Takelma ramp and the ramp at Stewart State Park. Another 5,250 legal-sized trout were stocked this past week. Look for good trolling for holdover trout upstream of Peyton Bridge and near the spillway access area. Bank fishing is best near the Takelma ramp.The lake was down to 32 feet shy of full and dropping fast due to stepped-up water releases to the Rogue River to help migrating spring chinook salmon in the lower river amid hot weather. The lake's inflow is down to 975 cfs.
LAKE OF THE WOODS: A mix of rainbows, kokanee and perch are being caught on PowerBait or small spinners near the resort. The lake received a mix of legal-sized and larger rainbow trout last week, some of which sport a tag on their backs. If you catch a tagged fish, check the kiosk and phone in your results.
LEMOLO: The lake is open to fishing, brown trout are now legal to keep, and that is drawing a slew of anglers trolling small lures far behind their boats in the mornings and evenings.
WILLOW: The lake received another 3,000 legal-sized trout and 1,500 larger trout late last month. Fishing from the bank with PowerBait or worms has been good around the ramp and near the campground, but there is very little effort. The lake is down slightly but still in good shape.
ROGUE: The upper Rogue is still good for spring chinook salmon fishing, and the last week's high water has wild and hatchery fish on the move (which is always a good thing), but flows dropped Thursday a bit and that should slow the upriver charge. The middle Rogue is dead for chinook and has not yet rousted for summer steelhead, and the lower Rogue is seeing a few late springers caught in the bay but pretty light action thanks to very warm water.
That keeps the best bet on the upper Rogue, where water releases from Lost Creek Lake are down to 2,400 cubic feet per second the past week. The drop in flows put the springers on the move, with 1,100 new salmon caught Wednesday at Cole Rivers Hatchery. That boosts the overall catch there to 4,981 fish, which is on par for the past three years.
Bankies are hitting a few fish at Casey State Park and the Hatchery Hole, while driftboaters using roe and sandshrimp are doing best above Shady Cove. Plug fishing is tough because of the amount of grass breaking off submerged rocks and floating downstream. The grass problem will remain but likely lessen thanks to the drop in releases.
The first few summer steelhead are around, but the numbers into the hatchery remain slower than recent years. A few decent early catches of summer steelhead on flies and lures have been sprinkled throughout the upper Rogue and look for better summer steelhead catches as the water drops.
Flows at Dodge Bridge were down to 2,771 cfs Thursday and should be about 200 cfs lower today. The morning springer bite is best, but cooler weather is seeing the catch spread out more throughout the day.
In the lower Rogue, a few springers are still getting caught daily in the bay for those trolling anchovies with Rogue blades. Act as if you're fishing for fall chinook, targeting the jetty area at low tide and as far upstream as John's Pool at high tide. Fish moving out of the bay are primarily staying from Cannery Riffle on down (another fall chinook-like move) and catches are decent for boats but only fair for bankies.
APPLEGATE: The river is open to trout fishing but not adult steelhead. Catch and effort are light.
CHETCO: The river is open to trout fishing, and look for sea-run cutthroat trout in tidewater.