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Fishing Report: Friday, May 27

OCEAN OUTLOOK

COASTWIDE: The ocean off Southern Oregon will be more than a bit windy and squirrely heading into the weekend, but the weather will improve incrementally as it goes. Winds of 20 to 25 knots are forecast for today with wind waves of 6 to 9 feet near Brookings. That's not good. Saturday the winds will abate to 15 knots with 4- to 6-foot waves. Sunday will see 10- to 20-knot winds and 3- to 5-foot waves. No rain is expected.

Limits of lings and rockfish are still coming in regularly out of Coos Bay, Brookings and Gold Beach when anglers can get out. Jigging just off kelp beds is very good.

The halibut season out of Brookings is open south of Humbug Mountain, and while effort has been light, a few fish have come back to the dock. Look for some early action north of Brookings in water close to 200 feet.

The ocean and bays are open to crabbing coastwide, but ocean crabbing has been slow.

Decent late-morning digging tides await clammers today and Saturday. Razor clamming is closed south of Yahats because of domoic acid levels, while bay clams and butter clams are available coastwide. Mussels can be taken only south of Cascade Head now. Before digging, check the shellfish hotline at 1-800-448-2474.

LAKE OUTLOOK

AGATE: The lake is dropping slowly and was listed Thursday at 95 percent full. Fishing is fair for a mix of bass, crappie and perch. No trout stockings are planned this year. Most of the boat action has been high up in the reservoir around submerged willows, especially on cloudy days. No gas motors are allowed.

APPLEGATE: Fishing is good for a mix of recently stocked, legal-sized rainbow trout and holdover trout running 16-plus inches. The lake got 8,000 legal-sized trout this week. All the boat ramps are open and operational. Trollers and still-fishers off the bank high up in the reservoir are doing well. Bank anglers using worms under bobbers in the Seattle Bar area are seeing consistent action, but mostly for smaller rainbows. The lake is 10 inches from full and dropping slowly as the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers releases a little more than 325 cfs of water, which is a hair over the inflow.

DIAMOND: The lake is warming, and fishing is improving almost daily, with PowerBait and worms out-fishing trolling. The rainbows are spread out. Mornings are more productive, but fishing has been decent all day during cloudy days. Another 300,000 fingerlings are scheduled for stocking early next month.

EMIGRANT: The lake dropped a hair this week and was 95 percent full Thursday. The 1,000 legal-sized trout stocked there earlier this month have dispersed, but the cove off the ramp is the best bet for trout. Bass are starting to bite thanks to warming water. Fish crankbaits, plastic worms or grubs very slowly around structure on cloudy days.

FISH: The lake was up to 74 percent full Thursday. Another 3,725 legal-sized trout and 425 pounders were stocked earlier this month, and fishing has been best near the marina and the Forest Service boat ramp. Fish PowerBait for a mix of holdover rainbows, landlocked chinook and tiger trout, which must be released unharmed. Fishing around the springs is best and will remain that way for most of the season.

HOWARD PRAIRIE: The lake is fishing well for anchored boats fishing rainbow or chartreuse PowerBait off the bottom near shore. Trolling has picked up with Triple Teasers, Tasmanian Devils and Wedding Ring lures. Lots of holdover trout in the 16- to 19-inch range are getting caught, with another 5,000 legals set for stocking there next week. The lake has dropped a smidge to 70 percent full.

HYATT: The lake is open, the Bureau of Land Management boat ramps on the lake's southwest side are open, and trout and bass fishing has improved. The lake got its first 6,000 legals and 400 trophy trout three weeks ago at the BLM boat ramp, and another 5,000 legals are scheduled to be released next week. The lake has dropped a hair to 74 percent full.

LOST CREEK: The lake is holding steady at about 10 inches from full but that will start to drop now that the Corps upped the water releases there today. Fishing is good for the 10,000 recently stocked legal-sized trout and 800 trophy-sized rainbows stocked there last month. Another 25,000 legal-sized rainbows and 1,075 pound-sized rainbows were released two weeks ago. Fishing is good with worms in the area where the Rogue flows into the lake above Peyton Bridge. Trollers should start with green Wedding Ring lures with a piece of worm. Landlocked salmon have been holding deeper than the trout.

LAKE OF THE WOODS: The lake was fishing very well for a mix of rainbows, brown trout and perch near the resort with worms under bobbers and PowerBait off the bottom. 

WILLOW: Trout fishing is improving after 3,225 legal-sized rainbows and 425 pounders were stocked there this week at the county boat ramp. 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 gets another 1,000 legal-sized trout next week, and that will have to sustain the fishing there. Catches are good with worms under bobbers, PowerBait and small spoons slowly retrieved. That's it for stocking this year.

RIVER OUTLOOK

ROGUE: Early spring chinook fishing continues to be somewhat slow river-wide, but a mix of wild and hatchery springers are getting caught daily somewhere along the 157 miles of Rogue open to salmon. The upper Rogue is kicking out fish daily to bank and boat anglers, but not at the level they've come to expect in late May, and ditto for the guides fishing the lower Rogue near Agness.

That keeps the upper Rogue as not only the best bet but perhaps the only real bet right now for spring chinook.

In the upper Rogue, the spring chinook bite for driftboaters was decent this week some days, but sunny skies this weekend won't help much. Algae is starting to break off and clog hooks, and that's not a welcome adversary. Flows in the upper Rogue are going up from 2,300 cfs to 2,500 cfs out of Lost Creek Lake, and that should help a little for the Memorial Day weekend bite. Some boat anglers are using Mag Lip 3.5 or K-15 Kwikfish lures with pink and chartreuse on them, while others are back-bouncing roe and sandshrimp combinations. Live sandshrimp are best. The best action is in migration lanes on overcast days. Focus on six to eight feet of water on the inside turns of gravel bars. As the water drops, it can be best to stay in a productive migration lane and wait for the chinook to come to you.

All wild spring chinook must now be released river-wide.

Flows Thursday afternoon at Dodge Bridge were down to just under 2,500 cfs.

Another 117 spring chinook reached the Cole Rivers Hatchery collection pond this week, upping the take to 543 springers. That's less than half of the 10-year average.

In the lower Rogue, plunkers and boat anglers are getting in front of very few springers daily, with most of the action upstream of Lobster Creek. That's slow, particularly for what should be the back half of the peak catch there. Boat anglers are using anchovies with spinner blades, Kwikfish and MagLip lures fished on gravel beds. The good news is that the catch is now half-wild, half-hatchery fish that can be kept. Flows at Agness were dropping and were at 3,575 cfs Thursday. A slight uptick is forecast thanks to light weekend rains.

APPLEGATE: The river is open to trout fishing. All wild trout must be released unharmed. No fin-clipped rainbows are stocked there.

CHETCO: The river is open to trout fishing. Look for some sea-run cutthroat in tidewater.