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Fishing Report: Friday, Aug. 28

OCEAN OUTLOOK

COASTWIDE: Decent conditions will welcome anglers on the South Coast this week as they go after a mixed bag of bottomfish and halibut. Today's forecast calls for 10-knot winds and four-foot wind waves, followed Saturday and Sunday by five-knot winds and five-foot swells.

Rockfish anglers must stay inside the 20-fathom line while fishing for rockfish at least through September, and possibly for the rest of the season. It does not impact salmon, tuna or halibut fishing, but anglers can't venture past the 20-fathom curve if they have rockfish on board. Anglers can keep one cabezon a day.

The ocean was pretty kind to anglers who made it out this past week, and good bottomfishing was reported in the mornings, with near limits out of Coos Bay, Brookings and Gold Beach.

Fishing for chinook salmon and fin-clipped coho is closed off Southern Oregon and will reopen for Labor Day weekend.

The halibut season out of Brookings is open south of Humbug Mountain. Catches have been light, so 80 percent of the South Coast quota remains. Central Coast halibut anglers will learn today whether there is enough quota left to have one more all-depth weekend in early September.

Tuna anglers continue to run 30 to 50 miles out of Charleston, and anglers have been coming back with four to six tuna each when weather allows.

The ocean and bays are open to crabbing coastwide.

Razor clamming is closed south of the Siuslaw River because of domoic acid levels, and razors are off limits through September on the North Coast for the annual conservation closure. Bay clams, butter clams and mussels are available coastwide. Before digging, check the shellfish hotline at 1-800-448-2474.

LAKE OUTLOOK

AGATE: The lake was listed Thursday at 36 percent full and dropping rapidly. Fishing is fair at best for a mix of bass, crappie and perch, but mostly perch around submerged willows. Smallmouth are near the dam. No trout stockings are planned this year. No gas motors are allowed, but electric trolling motors are fine.

APPLEGATE: Fishing has slowed amid hot weather and decreasing water levels. However, some anglers are catching rainbows 8- to 16-plus inches by trolling deep higher in the reservoir. Bass fishing is best off points and near submerged trees. The lake was listed at 50 feet shy of full Thursday, down seven feet in the past week.

DIAMOND: The lake is fishing fairly well for rainbows but action has slowed, with PowerBait and worms out-fishing trolling. Fly-fishing chironomid patterns with long leaders is working well, especially on cloudy days. Use long leaders. The rainbows are spread out. Mornings are more productive, especially on hot days. Another 300,000 fingerlings were stocked recently and should be avoided until they are of legal eight-inch size. Be careful when releasing tiger trout, which can't be kept.

EMIGRANT: The lake was listed Thursday at 40 percent full and is dropping rather quickly. Trout fishing has slowed dramatically, with a mix of warmwater species taking up the slack. Fish crankbaits, plastic worms or grubs very slowly and deep around structure on cloudy days. Fishing plastic worms, jigs or grubs is very good in and around submerged willows in the Emigrant Arm and around Songer Butte.

FISH: The lake was 40 percent full Thursday and is dropping 3 percent a week. A recent algae bloom has cut visibility and slowed the trout bite significantly from what it was just a few weeks ago. Fish PowerBait for a mix of holdover rainbows and landlocked chinook near the Forest Service boat ramp and near springs. Tiger trout as big as 18 inches have been caught, but they must be released unharmed. Fishing around the springs is best.

HOWARD PRAIRIE: Fishing is slowing as it normally does in late August, but expect that early fall boost in fish activity as soon as the weather begins to cooperate. Morning fishing is best. Holdover trout in the 16- to 19-inch range are being caught, but rainbows eclipsing 20 inches are still being caught in deeper water. The lake has dropped slightly to 54 percent full.

HYATT: Trout fishing has slowed, and bass fishing is good. Anything red works for bass, especially around the Orchard and in the bay near the BLM ramp. Not much size to the largemouth, though. The lake dropped this week to 48 percent full.

LOST CREEK: The lake is dropping faster, and the better fishing for rainbow trout is upstream of Peyton Bridge where water temperatures are more favorable for trout. Fishing is fair to good for 10,000 legal-sized trout and 1,075 trophy trout stocked there last month. That's the last trout stocking scheduled for Lost Creek until October. Fishing is good with worms or single salmon eggs in the area where the Rogue flows into the lake above Peyton Bridge. Landlocked salmon have been holding deeper than the trout. Fish for largemouth in the submerged willows and for smallmouth off rocky points. The lake was listed Thursday at more than 39 feet below full pool, down four feet from last week.

LAKE OF THE WOODS: The lake is fishing fair to good for a mix of rainbows, brown trout and perch near the resort with worms under bobbers and PowerBait off the bottom. Fishing is best at dawn and dusk.

WILLOW: Trout fishing has slowed for the mix of legal-sized and pounder rainbow trout stocked in July at the county boat ramp. The lake is dropping but water clarity is good.

EXPO: The pond got 1,000 legal-sized trout in June, and that was the last stocking for this summer.

RIVER OUTLOOK

ROGUE: The upper Rogue remains a mix of steelhead-only fishing upstream of Dodge Bridge and a steelhead-chinook show downstream of Dodge, but yet another weekend heat wave will make evening floats rough. The lower Rogue bay has been on fire for fall chinook for trollers and even bank casters, and middle Rogue anglers are getting a few summer steelhead while waiting for the first good pods of fall chinook to reach Grants Pass as early as this weekend.

That makes the lower Rogue bay the best bet, thanks to a mix of excellent catches of really prime fish. The bay has been good for fall chinook for bank and boat anglers, with lots of 20-plus-pound chinook being caught daily. One 38-pound chinook was verified Wednesday. Trolling smallish anchovies with a Rogue blade rig is best. With such hot water, all of the action has been from the Jot's Resort boat ramp down to the mouth. There appear to be lots of jacks in the bay, as well. Bank anglers in the Indian Creek area and off the sand spit are getting into the action, tossing pink RoosterTails or Little Cleo's for chinook. Bank casters also are starting to pick up summer steelhead.

In the upper Rogue, the demarcation is Dodge Bridge through Wednesday, with the two-month flies-only season beginning Thursday from Fishers Ferry boat ramp up to the deadline at the Hatchery Hole. Until then, a mix of roe, plugs and flies are hooking summer steelhead during early mornings and evenings, with hot days not as productive. Downstream of Dodge, anglers fishing roe or plugs are finding a mix of summer steelhead and late-run spring chinook. Wild springers can be kept downstream of Dodge Bridge as part of the two-fish daily limit. Not all are in great shape, but fish are around. Those fishing smaller Kwikfish or MagLip lures like 3.5 or even 2.5 will have the best bet for catching either a springer or a steelhead. Back-bouncing roe and sandshrimp is also a good bet.

The early summer steelhead run is slowing. The 82 new steelhead collected Wednesday at Cole Rivers Hatchery is a bump up from last week and pushes the total so far to 1,394 fish, and that doesn't include 779 steelhead recycled back downstream to the Modoc Unit at Denman Widlife Area so far this season. The 10-year running average for this week in the run to Cole Rivers is 946 steelhead.

Flows in the upper Rogue out of Lost Creek are holding steady at 2,200 cfs this weekend, and the rest of the river is holding accordingly. Flows at Dodge Bridge are just over 2,450 cfs, 2,300 cfs at the old Gold Ray Dam site and 2,239 cfs at Grants Pass. Flows at Agness were up to just over 2,600 cfs for the first time this summer and that has helped fall chinook migrate successfully through the Lower Rogue Canyon so far this season despite warm flows.

Another 2,375 legal-sized trout were stocked this week in several locations in and around Union Creek along the far upper Rogue. These releases continue weekly through Labor Day.

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 and wash-in fall chinook in tidewater and far upper tributaries.