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Fishing Report: Friday, April 29

OCEAN OUTLOOK

COASTWIDE: The ocean should be windy and bumpy but fishable this weekend based on weather and wave forecasts. Look for winds up to 20 knots off the South Coast and swells up to six feet Friday, giving way to 15-knot winds and six-foot swells Saturday. Sunday looks best, with 15-knot winds and five-foot swells.

Limits of lings and rockfish are still coming in daily from Coos Bay, Brookings and even Gold Beach when anglers can get out. It's shaping into another banner lingcod year, with spring always best because lingcod are spawning and aggressive. There also appears to be no shortage of them. The ling limit is two, and jigging just off kelp beds is very good.

The halibut season out of Brookings resumes Sunday. Look for some early action north of Brookings in 200 feet of water.

The ocean and bays are open to crabbing coastwide.

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 and larger plastic worms fished very slowly around submerged structure. Bass should be more active this weekend with the return of warm weather.

APPLEGATE: The lake is fishing fairly well for a mix of recently stocked legal-sized rainbow trout and holdover trout running 16-plus inches. Trollers and still-fishers off the bank high up in the reservoir are doing equally well. The lake is about three feet from full and rising slowly. 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. Trolling for trout is always a good choice with Wedding Ring lures spiced with a piece of worm.

DIAMOND: The lake is ice-free but the water is very cold, and that has the trout a bit lethargic. Anglers are doing best near shore with worms about three feet under bobbers, with catches mostly shy of the five-trout limit. PowerBait is a good second choice. The Diamond Lake Resort's charter boat is scheduled to make its first trip of the season today.

EMIGRANT: The lake was 98 percent full Thursday, and last week it got 1,000 legal-sized trout stocked at the county boat ramp, so they are starting to disperse throughout the lower lake. But the cove off the ramp is 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 is ice-free and was 66 percent full Thursday. A few anglers are venturing into the open water. Fish PowerBait for a mix of holdover rainbows, landlocked chinook and tiger trout, which must be released unharmed. Stick close to shore where the water is warmer.

HOWARD PRAIRIE: The lake is ice-free, and the traditional trout opener last Saturday saw some good but not great fishing action. Lots of holdover trout in the 16- to 19-inch range. The lake gets another 5,725 legal-sized trout and 400 trophy trout stocked next week. Boats anchored in 10 feet or so of water have done fairly well with PowerBait, as have trollers using Wedding Ring lures spiced with a small piece of worm. The lake is up to 70 percent full and rising.

HYATT: The lake is open and the Bureau of Land Management boat ramps on the lake's southwest side are open, but fishing has been slow thanks to low stocking levels in recent years. That will change next week when 6,000 legals and 400 trophy trout get stocked at the BLM boat ramp. Look for fishing to immediately improve in that bay. Bass fishing has picked up and they'll hit any small red lure or trolled worm, but most are in the seven-inch range.

LOST CREEK: The lake is less than a foot from full and rising slowly, which has allowed the 10,000 recently stocked legal-sized trout and 800 trophy-sized rainbows to get well acclimated. They are biting a mix of small lures and bait. 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. Landlocked salmon have been holding deeper than the trout. The lake was listed Thursday at 1,171.1 feet above sea level, up more than two feet from last week.

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. 

WILLOW: Trout fishing is improving and another 3,000 legal-sized rainbows are scheduled to be stocked next week. 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 last week, and the catching is fair to good with worms under bobbers, PowerBait and small spoons slowly retrieved.

RIVER OUTLOOK

ROGUE: Early spring chinook continue to trickle into Cole Rivers Hatchery, while the upper Rogue's anglers are working for a mix of late-run winter steelhead and some early spring chinook. The middle Rogue has slowed for winter steelhead, and interest in them has waned in Josephine County, while the lower Rogue continues to see surprisingly slow action for spring chinook.

That makes the best bet the upper Rogue for a mix of late-run winter steelhead and the hopes of catching an early springer. 

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 by those back-bouncing roe and sandshrimp combinations. The best action is in migration lanes on overcast days, so six to 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 only fin-clipped chinook can be kept. Anglers can keep one wild steelhead 24 inches or longer per day through Saturday, then all wild steelhead must be released unharmed for the rest of the calendar year.

Outflows from Lost Creek dam were cut back this week to 2,400 cubic feet per second and are likely to remain at that level through the weekend as Lost Creek Lake creeps closer to full. Look for the releases to increase this weekend. No rain is forecast, but warming weather will bump up the snowmelt a hair. Flows Thursday afternoon at Dodge Bridge were just under 2,900 cfs and forecast to drop slowly but steadily into at least mid-week.

Another 115 new winter steelhead were captured Wednesday at Cole Rivers Hatchery, so the run is still moving. The count is up to 1,377 steelhead to date, which is significantly under the running 10-year average of 2,274 fish. Another 55 spring chinook were also caught, upping the total to 89 so far this year. That's not good, considering that 653 were in the hatchery by this week last year.

In the lower Rogue, plunkers and boat anglers are getting skunked on a daily basis as the spring chinook salmon fishing has been a dud all week. Flows at Agness aren't helping, with just 5,685 cfs of very clear water measured.

APPLEGATE: The river is closed to fishing and will reopen May 22.

CHETCO: The river is closed for the season.

ELK: The river is closed for the season.