Fishing Report: Friday, Feb. 9
COASTWIDE: Today starts with a small-craft advisory through Saturday evening, with 20-knot winds and 6-foot wind waves. Saturday winds creep up to 25 knots and more 6-foot swells. Sunday sees winds ease back to 15 knots and wind waves to 5 feet.
The marine aggregate rockfish daily limit for bottomfishers is five fish. Anglers are allowed to fish for midwater rockfish species outside 40 fathoms using 30-foot leaders and floats to stay off the bottom. The midwater species limit is 10 per day.
Surfperch fishing could be good today but is likely to deteriorate as the surf builds.
Crabbing is open in the ocean coast-wide now that Southern Oregon Dungeness have tested safe for domoic acid after more than three months of levels that triggered a closure here.
Evening minus tides begin Wednesday, but be careful about sneaker waves when clamming on ocean beaches at night. The recreational harvest of mussels is open along the entire coast. Before digging, check the shellfish hotline at 1-800-448-2474.
AGATE: Fishing has been good for recently stocked rainbow trout. The lake shot up to 53 percent full as runoff increased from warm temperatures all week. Fishing pressure is light. Fish PowerBait or worms under bobbers off the bank or anchored in 10 feet or so of water. No gas motors are allowed. Electric trolling motors are OK. The park closes at dusk.
APPLEGATE: Fishing pressure has been light, with water levels extremely low but rising steadily, and the lake surface level is above 1,906 feet above sea level. Forest Service staff have cleared some of the mud at the low-water ramp in French Gulch, so it could be usable depending on the size of the boat and truck. Bank fishing has been good near the dam and off points. Outflows have remained steady at 150 cubic feet per second. Try still-fishing with small bits of PowerBait and very light weight off the bank in the French Gulch area.
DIAMOND: The lake is ice-free, and the north boat ramp is open. Fishing for rainbow trout has been good for those venturing out in boats. Worms under bobbers or PowerBait off the bottom have been very effective, with the trout biting daintily in the frigid water. Trolling is slow.
EMIGRANT: The lake was listed Thursday at 44 percent full and rising slowly. Fishing pressure is light, and some midday bass fishing has been good in what's left of the pool near the bottom of the reservoir. The county boat ramp is open during daylight hours. Some holdover trout are available.
EXPO: Another 1,000 legal-sized rainbow trout and 150 18-inchers were stocked just before Christmas, and anglers are still finding them. Worms and PowerBait are the staples. There is a $4 day-use fee to park there off Gate 5.
FISH: The ice is melted and there is some bank fishing open around the Forest Service boat ramp, but pressure and catches are light. Cast bait into open water for rainbow trout. Tiger trout must be released unharmed. Sno-Park permits are required. The lake was listed at 72 percent full Thursday and holding steady.
HOWARD PRAIRIE: Ice fishing does not look promising for the next few weeks. Fishing for rainbow trout should be good in open water for bank anglers. The marina is closed. The lake was listed at 66 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 45 percent full. Any fishing now is off the bank.
LOST CREEK: Flows out of Lost Creek were holding steady Thursday at 1,200 cfs, allowing the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to ramp up reservoir filling as snowmelt has increased outflows over 2,500 cfs. The surface level climbed another four feet to 1,830 feet elevation. The few anglers on the lake are finding trout by trolling green Wedding Ring lures near the dam and around the island off the Takelma boat ramp. Bank anglers using PowerBait at either side of the dam also are faring well.
LAKE OF THE WOODS: The lake is ice-free and the Forest Service Rainbow Bay boat ramp is open and usable. A few boats launched this week, and the bulk of the catch was yellow perch. The resort has canceled an ice-fishing clinic that was set for this weekend.
ROGUE: Low water has stalled winter steelhead movement in the upper Rogue, while the middle Rogue is spotty at best for adult winter steelhead, but lots of halfpounders are around and make low-water floats worthwhile. The lower Rogue has slowed dramatically for winter steelhead amid low, fall-like flows, and no spring chinook salmon have shown themselves there yet.
That makes the middle Rogue the best bet, but for all the wrong reasons. Low but warming flows have left winter steelhead fishing very hit-and-miss, because very few fish are moving over Rainie Falls. However, a large contingent of halfpounders are keeping anglers somewhat interested from Ennis Riffle on down, especially in late morning as the bug hatches begin. Halfpounders are hitting eggs, worms and corkies and some flies.
Flows at Grants Pass were an anemic 1,804 cfs (no, that's not a typo) Thursday and were forecast to inch up Saturday before dropping even more over the ensuing week.
In the upper Rogue, winter steelhead movement has been very slow but still a bit better than last week as a mix of late-run summer steelhead and early winter steelhead are available. Six more winter steelhead and 84 more summer steelhead reached Cole Rivers Hatchery this week. That makes the winter steelhead count to date seven. Though it sounds bad, the 10-year running average for this week is 47 fish. A good freshet is needed to get winter steelhead moving. Flows at Dodge Bridge were down to 1,426 cfs and looking to stay that way through next week. That has made for some hazardous boating conditions, particularly upstream of Dodge Bridge, where a driftboat sank last week. Flows at Gold Ray were under 1,800 cfs. That's drought-like summer flows, except cold.
All wild coho must be released. No new coho have reached the hatchery, indicating the run likely is over.
In the lower Rogue, boat anglers fishing a double offering of Hot Shots and Spin-Glo's have scared up a fish or two a day, but it's definitely slow. No spring chinook have been seen so far, thanks largely to extremely low flows. Flows at Agness were under 3,370 cfs and dropping. Clear water has hurt plunking success.
APPLEGATE: Low flows and stalled migration has slowed winter steelhead fishing, with any catches coming for those casting spinners in deeper pools where steelhead are hanging out waiting for some water. Flows at the town of Applegate were down to 227 cfs and dropping.
All wild steelhead must be released unharmed, and there is no fishing from a floating device.
CHETCO: Winter steelhead fishing has been really hit-and-miss, with more misses than hits as the water drops and clears. Flows were down to 1,506 cfs Thursday. Side-drifting roe or fishing plugs with very long leaders are the best options.
ELK: The river was very low and clear, so much so that the Elk River Hatchery flow phone has not been updated since Monday.