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Fishing Report: Friday, Dec. 1


COASTWIDE: A small-craft advisory is in effect from Cape Blanco on south through Sunday evening, which puts the kibosh on what little ocean angling opportunities are now afforded the sport fleet. Swells as high as 13 feet are forecast through the weekend, and that's a buzz-killer for the fleet.

Halibut fishing is closed off the South Coast. That leaves only ocean bottomfishing outside the 40-fathom line. Thirty-foot leaders and floats are required to keep baits off the bottom and focused on midwater rockfish species. No lingcod, cabezon or other bottomfish can be targeted, even from jetties. Also open is fishing for sanddab and surfperch. Surfperch fishing is likely to be poor through the weekend because of stiff winds and surf.

Crabbing is closed in the ocean, off beaches and in bays south of the north jetty at Coos Bay as well as from Tahkenitch Creek to Cape Foulweather near Newport because of high levels of domoic acid found in Dungeness. The ocean reopens to sport crabbing today outside of those closed areas.

The recreational harvest of razor clams is closed from Cascade Head to the California border for elevated levels of domoic acid, including all beaches and bays. Too bad, because there are excellent afternoon and evening low tides through the week. Razor clams are open in Clatsop County and the digging has been very good. Bay clams are open throughout the Oregon Coast. The recreational harvesting of mussels is open along the entire coast. Before digging, check the shellfish hotline at 1-800-448-2474.


AGATE: The lake is down to 24 percent full, thanks to recent rains and runoff, and fishing pressure is very light. Look for isolated catches of yellow perch and bass around structure and near the dam face. No gas motors are allowed. Electric trolling motors are OK. The park closes at dusk.

APPLEGATE: Fishing pressure has been very light, with some catches of rainbow trout for those trolling near where Carberry Creek finally hits stagnant water far into where the reservoir normally is in spring. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has decreased water releases to 450 cfs beginning Thursday to offset increased runoff from recent rains. The lake has risen to 94 feet from full and just about where the Corps keeps it for winter flood control.

DIAMOND: Warm weather means no snow around the lake, but most afternoons of late have been windy. Some anglers are hitting the lake, and catches are usually good in mid-fall. Those who have gone out have done well with streamer flies or leeches at the south end and PowerBait around the edges. All tiger trout must be released unharmed.

EMIGRANT: The lake was listed Thursday at 29 percent full and increasing slightly. Fishing pressure is light. Bass fishing is decent but slowing. Slowly fish plastic worms, grubs and crankbaits near structure. Smallmouth are off rocky points, largemouth are largely in the submerged willows.

EXPO: Plenty of the 300 legal-sized rainbow trout and 150 17-inchers that were stocked last week remain. Catch them on PowerBait, worms and bobbers or small spinners like Panther Martins. There is a $4 day-use fee to park there off Gate 5.

FISH: Anglers are still running into what's left of 900 trophy trout stocked late last month at the Forest Service ramp, but effort is very light. Use worms or PowerBait, or strip leeches or woolly buggers. Troll plugs that look like chubs or Wedding Ring lures with a small chunk of worm on the hook. Tiger trout must be released unharmed.

HOWARD PRAIRIE: Trout fishing is decent but pressure is virtually non-existent. The marina is closed but the Willow Point boat ramp is open and usable, with most angling in that area. Fishing has been best near the dam. Trollers should use worms and flashers, starting deep and working their way up the water column until they find where the trout are suspended. The lake was listed at 75 percent full, very high for this time of year.

HYATT: BLM has closed the boat ramps at its recreation area. The lake is up slightly to 42 percent full. Any fishing now is off the bank.

LOST CREEK: Flows out of Lost Creek were bumped down Thursday to 2,250 cubic feet per second to deal with the rise in the inflow to about 3,300 cfs this week. The lake elevation Thursday was 1,812.3 feet, a few inches above where the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers shoots for today for the winter flood-control season. The few anglers on the lake are finding trout by trolling near the dam and around the island off the Takelma boat ramp.

LAKE OF THE WOODS: Fishing is fair for rainbows in the shallows and farther out in the lake with bait or lures. Effort is almost non-existent. Some kokanee have been caught in the deeper parts of the lake. Expect snow this weekend.

WILLOW: The lake got 3,000 legal-sized trout and 1,500 pound-sized trout in early June. Catch what's left on PowerBait or worms.


ROGUE: The upper Rogue has seen a surge in the movement of late-run summer steelhead while the middle Rogue has been slow and the lower Rogue is starting to see early winter steelhead but not to the degree that it's worth the trip to Gold Beach.

That keeps the best bet on the upper Rogue, but timing will be everything. With rains forecast for Saturday and Sunday, fishing will be best today and Saturday morning before the waters start to rise. Flows were at 2,806 Thursday at Dodge Bridge, but were dropping steadily as the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers dropped Lost Creek Lake outflows from 2,600 cfs to 2,250 cfs. Flows are forecast to rise the sharpest Sunday and peak over 3,000 cfs. Most of that will be clean water, so angling should get good again early next week.

The summer steelhead have become quite active in recent weeks, with 448 fish entering Cole Rivers Hatchery in the past week. That has shot up the run to date to 2,943 steelhead, more than 1,000 above the 10-year running average. These moving fish are aggressive, so plug fishing has been very effective recently. For fly-fishers, a shift from egg flies to swinging big leeches also has worked quite well at times.

The Shady Cove boat ramp remains the demarcation line between bait and non-bait fishing since Nov. 1. Upstream of the ramp, catches were still good on roe fished at the heads and tailouts of pools and riffles. Downstream of Shady Cove, catches have been very good of late on plugs, mostly Mag Lip 3.0 and 3.5 in the Misty River or crayfish colors.

A few coho are getting caught in the upper Rogue, chiefly by anglers fishing pinkish plugs. All wild coho must be released. Another decent showing of coho emerged this past week at the hatchery, adding another 102 coho to the mix. The run to date there has been 707 fish, about 200 short of the 10-year running average. However, hatchery coho are notoriously poor biters and are usually poor eating quality when caught now in the upper Rogue.

Flows at the former Gold Ray Dam site were up down Thursday at 3,309 cfs and not expected to rise until early Sunday.

In the lower Rogue, a few winter steelhead have been caught by plunkers this past week, but lots of debris in the water has mired effective fishing time. Flows at Agness were already at 6,300 cfs and forecast to hit about 7,500 cfs Tuesday.

All chinook fishing is closed upstream of the Hog Creek boat ramp near Galice.

In the middle Rogue, anglers are reporting a few summer steelhead caught with worms and corkies off the bank or side-drifting from driftboats. Flows Thursday at Grants Pass were at 3,406 cfs.

APPLEGATE: The river is open to trout fishing, but all wild trout must be released unharmed. Most of the trout are steelhead pre-smolts.

CHETCO: Flows were forecast to rise through the weekend but not likely to blow the river out.