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Fishing Report: Friday, June 24

OCEAN OUTLOOK

COASTWIDE: The ocean off Southern Oregon will become progressively choppy and windy as the weekend progresses, and that could steer some anglers off the ocean despite improved salmon catches off Brookings and a steady rockfish bite. Winds will ramp up today amid a 4-foot mixed swell, followed Saturday by 10- to 15-knot winds and wind waves up to 6 feet. Sunday will see 15- to 20-knot winds and more 6-foot wind waves.

Limits of ling cod are becoming a little harder to come by, but catches of lings and black rockfish are still solid out of Coos Bay and Brookings. Jigging just off kelp beds and on rock humps is good along the South Coast.

The chinook salmon bite off Brookings has improved and was pretty good by the end of this past week. Some coho salmon are also being caught, but the season for them doesn't open until Saturday, so anglers have had to release them.

The halibut season out of Brookings is open south of Humbug Mountain. Catches in water around 200 feet deep and due west of the Thomas Creek bridge have been good for charters and private boaters using big jigs or large sardines bumped off the bottom.

Tuna fishing has been sporadic out of Coos Bay, where some good days have been followed by duds. Look for water 58 degrees and warmer. Currents are shifting daily.

The ocean and bays are open to crabbing coastwide, and ocean crabbing has improved along the South Coast. Males are molting now, so meat density can be low.

No minus tides are forecast all week for clammers. Razor clamming is closed south of the Siuslaw River because of domoic acid levels, but bay clams and butter clams are available coastwide. Mussels are open statewide, as well. Before digging, check the shellfish hotline at 1-800-448-2474.

LAKE OUTLOOK

AGATE: The lake is dropping and was listed Thursday at 83 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 has been very 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 in the beginning of the month, and those are the last trout planned for the lake through summer. 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 was listed at seven feet shy of full Thursday. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers continues to release 325 cfs of water, and the lake's inflow has dropped to 156 cfs.

DIAMOND: The lake is fishing very well for rainbows, with PowerBait and worms out-fishing trolling. Fly-fishing chironomid patterns is working well for fly-fishers, especially on cloudy days. Use long leaders. 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 later this month. The first tiger trout were stocked two weeks ago, and they all must be released unharmed. The tigers are undersized and should be handled as gently as possible. Look for heavy activity Saturday from the Rainbow $5,000 trout derby.

EMIGRANT: The lake was listed Thursday at 84 percent full. The 1,000 legal-sized trout stocked there last month have dispersed, but the cove off the ramp is still the best bet for trout. Bass are starting to bite thanks to extremely warm weather. Fish crankbaits, plastic worms or grubs very slowly around structure on cloudy days. Fishing plastic worms, jigs or grubs is very good in and around submerged willows in the Emigrant Arm.

FISH: The lake was holding steady at 69 percent full Thursday. Another 3,000 legal-sized trout were released last week, as were 5,000 tiger trout that are undersized and must be released unharmed if caught. The algae bloom of earlier this month seems to have dissipated, and lake clarity has improved this past week. Fish PowerBait for a mix of holdover rainbows, landlocked chinook and tiger trout, which must be released unharmed. Fishing around the springs is best.

HOWARD PRAIRIE: The lake is fishing well for people in anchored boats using 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 stocked this past week. The lake has dropped a hair to 65 percent full.

HYATT: Trout and bass fishing has improved. The lake got its first 6,000 legals and 400 trophy trout last month at the BLM boat ramp, and another 5,000 legals made it into the lake at the BLM ramp earlier this month. Bass fishing is very good, but there's not much size to the largemouth. The lake has dropped a hair to 68 percent full.

LOST CREEK: The lake is starting to drop now that inflows are below outflows. Fishing is good for the 10,000 legal-sized trout and 1,075 trophy trout stocked there last week. That's the last trout stocking scheduled for Lost Creek until October. 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. The lake's surface temperature is still jumping around the mid-70s all week. Fish for largemouth in the submerged willows and for smallmouth off rocky points. Smallmouth are also aggressively eating the last few salmonflies dropping onto the surface near the dam. The lake was listed Thursday at 18 feet below full pool and dropping fairly quickly as inflows lag outflows by 1,000 cfs.

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 has improved after 3,225 legal-sized rainbows and 425 pounders were stocked earlier this month 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 dropping.

EXPO: The pond near the outdoor stage got another 1,000 legal-sized trout earlier this month, and that's the last stocking scheduled for this summer. Use worms under bobbers, PowerBait and small spoons slowly retrieved.

RIVER OUTLOOK

ROGUE: Spring chinook fishing is still slower than it should be river-wide, and early summer steelhead are starting to pick up as frustrated anglers are switching from springers to steelhead. The middle Rogue remains dead for chinook and steelhead, and the lower Rogue's late-run spring chinook fishing continues to be a dud. That keeps the upper Rogue as the best bet, because the action isn't good enough to get more than a couple anglers fishing the Hatchery Hole dike each morning. Fishing guides who should be working daily are painting their houses, so that's a bad barometer.

But that doesn't keep the guides from hitting a few fish daily in the far upper Rogue, where Kwikfish and MagLip plugs are doing well for springers. Moss in the water continues to frustrate anglers. Check plugs regularly to keep them clean. Back-bouncing roe and sandshrimp or straight roe is working fairly consistently, particularly in the tops of holes and the deeper inside turns on gravel bars. Bank fishing is slow. Flows in the upper Rogue are down to 2,400 cfs out of Lost Creek Lake. The best action is in migration lanes on overcast days, and this weekend's cooler, cloudier conditions should help catches.

All wild spring chinook must be released upstream of Fishers Ferry boat ramp until July 1. Downstream of the ramp near Gold Hill, anglers can keep wild chinook as part of the two-fish daily limit, but there is very little interest among anglers in that stretch.

Flows Thursday afternoon at Dodge Bridge were hovering around 2,682 cfs, with flows at the old Gold Ray Dam down to 2,581 cfs.

Another 153 new springers reached Cole Rivers Hatchery in the past week, upping the total to date to a measly 1,172, well under one-third of the 10-year running average. Another 68 summer steelhead reached the hatchery this past week, bumping the early-run total to 136 steelhead. That's above the 10-year average of 87 fish to date and the best in three years. That's enough to get some anglers fishing worms, plugs and large flies for them. Early-run summer steelhead are some of the biggest fish in the run, with hatchery fish in the 8- to 10-pound range somewhat common. 

In the lower Rogue, plunkers and boat anglers largely struck out again this past week. A few boats have been trolling for late-run spring chinook in the bay with little or no success. Flows at Agness were up a hair to 3,387 cfs Thursday.

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.