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Fishing Report: Friday, July 3

OCEAN OUTLOOK

COASTWIDE: Small-craft advisories and hazardous seas warnings have been issued through tonight, but look for winds and seas to settle down through the Fourth of July weekend to where Sunday and Monday look very good for ocean access. Fifteen-knot winds and 5-foot waves are forecast for Saturday and 5-knot winds and 6-foot swells Sunday. That's doable for those with decent sea-legs. Good schools of krill and baitfish are off the South Coast, and that's helped turn chinook salmon fishing up a notch. Chinook fishing is now open throughout the Oregon Coast.

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. One cabezon can now be kept as part of the aggregate limit.

Large sardines are scaring up some good halibut off Langlois and north of Brookings but the overall halibut bite has been slow.

The highest recorded levels of domoic acid along the Oregon Coast in 17 years have 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. Call the state shellfish hotline at 1-800-448-2474 for updates before digging.

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.

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. Chinook fishing is getting better outside the jetties. 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 just starting to get going, with anglers finding the occasional chinook about halfway up the water column in 300 feet of water. 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.

The South Coast halibut season is open, and catches have been slow so far.

GOLD BEACH: Trolling for spring chinook continues to be good in the bay, with about four dozen fish caught Sunday. The drop in water has slowed the bite a bit, but look for catches to pick up now that the flows have settled. The freshwater part of the lower Rogue is so warm that the chinook aren't heading upstream out of tidewater. 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.

LAKE OUTLOOK

AGATE: The lake is down to 68 percent full and dropping faster now than it has all season. The water is murky, but warmwater fish catches have been decent. Fishing is 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 is doing well for trollers working outside of the French Gulch and Copper boat ramps. Some bank fishing with worms is good higher up in the reservoir, but water levels are low and dropping fast. Troll for freshly stocked and holdover trout up to 16 inches. The surface level is down 4 feet to 1,942 feet above sea level. 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-pounder. 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 to let them survive their early stages.

EMIGRANT: The lake is clearing but very warm water has slowed trout fishing. Bass and perch fishing is good around submerged willows where there is still water. The lake is down a hair to 63 percent full and dropping rather quickly as recharge from Hyatt and Howard Prairie lakes is dropping off.

FISH: The lake is down to 51 percent and fishing has remained good thanks in part to the mid-July stocking of  3,000 legal-sized trout. 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 are 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. The lake is down to 30 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 31 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 recently.

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 two weeks ago. 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 44 feet shy of full but not dropping as fast, because outflows were cut to 1,500 cubic feet per second earlier this week.

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: Brown trout are 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 in May. 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.

RIVER OUTLOOK

ROGUE: The upper Rogue is still good for spring chinook salmon fishing, and the drop in water flows has slowed migration, forcing more hole fishing and putting the focus farther upriver amid searing weather. The middle Rogue is dead for chinook and a few fly-fishers and spin-fishers are catching some summer steelhead, but most of the fish are pretty small. The lower Rogue is surprisingly good for anglers trolling the bay for late-run spring chinook as well as a few early fall chinook.

That keeps the best bet on the upper Rogue, where water releases from Lost Creek Lake dropped to 1,500 cubic feet per second and where it will stay now that the majority of the springers have made it safely through the Rogue River Canyon without a warm-water disease outbreak. The farther upstream the better for boat and bank anglers, with light action below Shady Cove. Driftboaters are using roe and sandshrimp, with some plug fishing at tailouts and deeper runs.

Early summer steelhead are starting to show themselves, and fishing for them is good enough that evening floats are starting to be viable. Another 59 fresh summers were counted Wednesday in the Cole Rivers Hatchery collection pond, upping the catch there so far to 143 steelhead. With flows down to 1,600 cfs at Dodge Bridge, swinging streamers at dusk seems like the ticket for fly-fishers, with spin-fishers tossing anything from worms and corkies to pink plastic worms or small spinners.

In the lower Rogue, springers continue to be 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. The freshwater portion of the Rogue is so warm now that fish aren't moving out of the bay, and there is no action upstream of tidewater.

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.