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Fishing Report: Friday, April 22

OCEAN OUTLOOK

COASTWIDE: A small-craft advisory that has been on the books the past two days will give way today to some bumpy weekend water along the South Coast. Winds today will increase to 20 knots, and 4-foot wind waves will be matched with 6-foot swells for a lumpy ocean. Saturday will bring 10-knot winds and 11-foot swells, followed Sunday by 15-knot winds and 10-foot swells. That could lead to some early-morning rockfish fishing for those with larger boats and strong sea legs.

Limits of lings and rockfish are coming in daily from Coos Bay, Brookings and even Gold Beach when anglers can get out. Lingcod are spawning and aggressive. There also appears to be no shortage of them. The ling limit is two fish, and jigging just off kelp beds is very good. Anglers can keep up to one canary rockfish as part of the seven-fish bottomfish aggregate limit, but anglers should release canaries to ensure the quota is not filled, which could close the bottomfishing season.

The ocean and bays are open to crabbing coastwide. Catches will be good in bays as long as the rain holds off.

Razor clamming is closed south of Tillamook Head, while bay clams and butter clams are available coastwide. Mussels can be taken coastwide. Before digging, check the shellfish hotline at 1-800-448-2474.

LAKE OUTLOOK

AGATE: The lake is full. It is still pretty murky, but some bass, crappie and perch have been caught with night crawlers or larger plastic worms fished very slowly around submerged structure. This week's warm weather will get the bass more active. The boat ramp is usable and closes at sunset. No trout stockings are planned this year.

APPLEGATE: The lake is fishing well for a mix of recently stocked legal-sized rainbow trout and holdover trout running 16-plus inches for trollers and still-fishers off the bank high up in the reservoir. The best action for holdover trout is near the mouth of Carberry Creek and other water sources on worms, PowerBait and small spinners. The new rainbows will be caught predominantly near the Copper boat ramp. The lake is at 1,979 feet above sea level, up just two feet this past week and just eight feet shy of full. Trolling for trout is always a good choice with Wedding Ring lures spiced with a piece of worm. Watch for floating debris.

DIAMOND: The lake is 90 percent ice-free with plenty of open water. Anglers are doing best near shore with worms about three feet under bobbers. The water is cold but the rainbows are working the shallows, so mornings and evenings not too far from the bank has been the best option. PowerBait is second string right now, but look for that to improve.

EMIGRANT: The lake was 97 percent full Thursday, and this week it got 1,000 legal-sized trout stocked at the county boat ramp. That makes the cove off the ramp the best bet for trout. Bass are starting to bite thanks to warming water. Fish plastic worms or grubs very slowly around structure. Look for an improved bite next week amid another round of warm afternoons.

FISH: The lake was ice-free and rising rapidly to 62 percent full Thursday, and a few anglers are venturing into the open water. Fish PowerBait for a mix of holdover rainbows, land-locked chinook and tiger trout, which must be released unharmed. Stick close to shore where the shallower water is warmer.

HOWARD PRAIRIE: The lake is ice-free and fishing fairly well from the bank near the dam and from anchored boats in 10 feet or so of water for rainbow trout up to 19 inches. Worms under bobbers and PowerBait in the shallows are good bets, as the bigger fish will be patrolling the shallows for early-emerging insects. The Willow Point boat ramp is open and Howard Prairie Resort is up and running for this weekend, which is the traditional trout opener. Trolling will be slow. The lake is up to 68 percent full and rising steadily but not spectacularly.

HYATT: The lake is open and the Bureau of Land Management boat ramps on the lake's southwest side will be open today, but expect poor fishing because of a lack of stocked trout in the lake the past three years. Bass fishing will be slow until the water warms. More trout will be stocked in May and that should increase the action substantially.

LOST CREEK: Inflows have settled down, and a mix of 10,000 recently stocked legal-sized trout and 800 trophy-sized rainbows have acclimated and are biting a mix of baits and lures. The best bank fishing is near the Takelma ramp, and trollers are working the water around the dam's northwest edges. Trollers should start with green Wedding Ring lures with a piece of worm. Land-locked salmon remain in the mix, and they've been holding deeper than the trout. The lake is on the rise and was listed Thursday at 1,868.5 feet above sea level, up six inches from last week and less than four feet from full.

LAKE OF THE WOODS: The lake is ice-free and open to fishing for rainbow trout, brown trout and yellow perch. Worms under bobbers and PowerBait off the bottom will be good choices until the water warms. 

WILLOW: Trout fishing is improving now that 4,000 legal-sized rainbows were stocked there two weeks to go with 4,000 stocked there last month. Most of this weekend's catches will be around the county ramp where the stocking truck stopped. The lake is almost full.

EXPO: The pond near the outdoor stage got 1,500 legal-sized trout this week, and the catching is fair to good with worms under bobbers, PowerBait and small spoons slowly retrieved.

RIVER OUTLOOK

ROGUE: Early spring chinook salmon continue to trickle into Cole Rivers Hatchery, while the upper Rogue's winter steelhead run is under par for the year and is starting to peter out. The middle Rogue is seeing little fishing action after a brief flurry for winter steelhead last week, and the lower Rogue is spotty for spring chinook. That makes the best bet the upper Rogue for a mix of late-run winter steelhead and the hopes of catching that first springer of your season this weekend. 

In the upper Rogue, a few springers are getting caught daily by boat anglers fishing a mix of Mag Lip 3.5 lures with pink and chartreuse on them and for those those back-bouncing roe and sandshrimp combinations. The best action is in migration lanes on overcast days, so eight feet of water on the inside turns of gravel bars are the top spots on which to focus. As the water drops, it can be best to stay in a productive migration lane and wait for the chinook to come to you. A few winter steelhead are still showing up in the daily catch, but most are dark or already spawned out and should be released. River-wide all wild chinook must be released, and only fin-clipped chinook can be kept. Anglers can keep one wild steelhead 24 inches or longer per day, but that's not advisable based on fish condition this late in the run.

Outflows from Lost Creek dam were cut back this week to 2,700 cubic feet per second and are likely to remain at that level through the weekend. Some rain is forecast and that could juggle the flows, but focus your fishing time on dropping water levels. Flows Thursday afternoon at Dodge Bridge were just under 3,300 cfs and forecast to rise Saturday and drop Sunday, meaning Sunday should be the better weekend day.

Another 171 new winter steelhead were captured Wednesday at Cole Rivers Hatchery, so the run is still moving. The count is up to 1,262 steelhead to date, which is significantly under the running 10-year average of 2,099 fish.

In the middle Rogue, a wad of hatchery and wild winter steelhead that ran through Grants Pass last week are largely gone, and fishing interest has dissipated with it. Flows at Grants Pass Thursday were a solid 3,800 cfs of clear water, and rain forecast to hit the area should see flows peak Saturday at just under 5,000 cfs before dropping Sunday.

In the lower Rogue, plunkers and boat anglers are finding a handful of spring chinook from Indian Creek to Lobster Creek. Plunkers are using a mix of lime-chartreuse and pearl-pink Spin Glo's in about six feet of water. Weights of up to 6 ounces have been used lately. Boat fishing has been slow with Kwikfish or anchovies. Flows at Agness Thursday were less than 6,200 cfs. More water will help springer fishing dramatically.

APPLEGATE: The river is closed to fishing and will reopen in late May.

CHETCO: The river is closed for the season.

ELK: The river is closed for the season.