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Fishing Report: Jan. 7, 2011

Coastwide - Hazardous seas warnings are in effect through Saturday night as the typical high-winds, big-seas winter days keep their grip on ocean angling opportunities. Swells will drop to 8-10 feet Sunday, so locals could find a chance to slip out for some early-morning bottomfishing early next week.

The entire ocean is open to bottomfishing now that the 20-fathom restriction ended Jan. 1. Also, cabezon fishing is allowed again because the new year brings a new catch quota.

Bottomfishers and divers will start seeing big lingcod again in their near-shore catch because lings are starting to move into shallow water to spawn. The limit remains two lingcod a day.

The marine aggregate limit remains seven rockfish a day and two lingcod a day with a 22-inch minimum.

Sport crabbers are allowed on the ocean, but few are fishing for Dungeness because of rough weather. Ocean crabbing near river mouths can be very good in January, with good meat quality in local crab. Just be mindful of a rough ocean.

Bay crabbing will slide off when freshets alter the salinity in estuaries, pushing the crab to the ocean. Deeper-water ports like Coos Bay and Winchester Bay are better bets than smaller ones.

All shellfish fishing is open coastwide, including the popular Clatsop County beaches. Mussel harvest also is open coastwide. For more information and updated closures, telephone the shellfish hotline at 800-448-2474.

BROOKINGS - Anglers sneaking out of the port in early mornings when the surf dies down should see near-limits of bottomfish by staying close to shore and jigging near kelp beds. Jigging glow-in-the-dark jigs is a good bet.

WINCHESTER BAY - Sturgeon fishing remains slow, but good catches of bottomfish have been reported off the south jetty.

CHARLESTON - Bay crabbing remains excellent in the lower stretches of the estuary between storms.

AGATE - Fishing for legal- and trophy-sized rainbows is slow, and angling effort has been light at the lake. Trollers could do well. The lake is up to half-full and the ramp is still usable. No gas motors allowed.

APPLEGATE - Trollers using Flatfish or Triple Teasers are still doing fairly well when targeting the large and trophy trout stocked there in late October. Also, good schools of land-locked chinook are available. The lake was up to 12 percent of capacity as of Jan. 4, just above the minimum level needed to make the French Gulch boat ramp usable for larger boats. Car-toppers and shallow-launch boats should have no problem. Hart-Tish Park is closed.

EMIGRANT - The lake is back up to 49 percent full, and some trout should still be available from spring releases. Poor weather has kept most trollers at home this winter, but sunny afternoons should lure a few bank anglers near the dam. Trollers should try red Tazmanian Devils or Wedding Ring lures spiked with a piece of worm.

A standing public-health advisory continues about eating all but trout from the lake because of elevated mercury levels.

HOWARD PRAIRIE - The lake is closed to angling until the fourth Saturday in April.

HYATT - The lake is closed to angling until the fourth Saturday in April.

DIAMOND - The lake is closed to angling until the fourth Saturday in April.

EXPO - The pond is open year-round and fishing remains good for large and trophy rainbow trout stocked there in late October. Chartreuse PowerBait or worms under bobbers are popular choices.

LAKE of the WOODS - The lake is frozen, but it may still be thin in spots.

LOST CREEK - Trolling for trout 15 to 17 inches remains very good near the dam. Troll Wedding Ring lures with worms or Triple Teasers. The lake is being drawn down for flood-control purposes and will be lower than normal this winter. It was at 43 percent of capacity this week and 42 degrees. The Stewart State Park boat ramp is no longer usable and is closed. The Takelma Ramp will remain open throughout the winter. The lake remains under a public-health advisory against water contact because of a blue-green algae bloom.

FISH - The lake was at 45 percent of capacity on Jan. 3 and iced over. Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife advises anglers to be cautious about venturing out on the ice.

WILLOW LAKE - The algae advisory ended Dec. 15. The boat ramp and county facilities are closed.

SELMAC - Trout are biting, but effort remains light. Try worms, Panther Martin lures, single salmon eggs floated off the bottom or PowerBait. The resort is closed for the season.

LEMOLO - The lake is closed to angling until the fourth Saturday in April.

ROGUE - The upper Rogue has been a bit slow for late-run summer steelhead amid some tough fishing conditions, while the middle Rogue has started to see a few early winter steelhead but lots of late summer steelhead. The lower Rogue has been good for winter steelhead for plunkers and driftboaters, with good conditions for anglers getting after the early part of what seems to be a decent run.

That makes the middle Rogue the valley angler's best bet, largely because the water conditions are perfect. Flows at Grants Pass were at 3,000 cubic feet per second Thursday, and the water had a nice green color after weeks of dirty water thanks to the sloughing of mud from the former Gold Ray Reservoir area.

Plugs and small clusters of roe are working about equally well for driftboat anglers working Lathrop's Landing down to the Almeda area. Fishing was better through last weekend, then the colder water seemed to drop the steelhead off the bite, but look for all that to improve as the cold fog abates.

Downstream of the Hog Creek boat ramp, anglers can now keep one wild steelhead at least 24 inches long a day as part of their two-fish daily limit. The wild steelhead season limit here is 5.

In the upper Rogue, late-run summers are getting caught regularly at the Hatchery Hole by bank anglers and throughout the entire reach, but most of the wild steelhead have spawned and are heading downstream.

In the lower Rogue, plunkers and boat anglers are faring well for fresh winter steelhead at most gravel bars from Agness down to Huntley Park. No 4 Spin Glo's are the most popular among plunkers. The Cop Car plug or Kwikfish size No. 11 have been swimming the best. Fish the inside turns on gravel bars and tail-outs.

All wild steelhead must be released upstream of the Hog Creek boat ramp.

UMPQUA - The upper mainstem Umpqua was fishing well for winter steelhead this week near the forks. The lower South Umpqua has been producing some very nice catches of winter steelhead in the Canyonville area. Flows in the South Umpqua are a nifty 1,164 cfs in Tiller. Side-drifting bait is best.

Tougher fishing conditions exist on the North Umpqua, and fewer steelhead are present there than in the south.

COQUILLE - After flows were nearly at flood stage last week, good winter steelhead fishing conditions were present this week, and anglers were taking advantage of them. Good steelhead catches were reported from driftboaters in the Myrtle Point and Coquille areas, as well as by bank anglers near LaVerne Park.

The wild coho salmon season in the river is over.

ELK/SIXES - Both rivers were dropping into good steelhead fishing shape late this week, and catches Thursday were good. The water gauge was at 4 feet and dropping slightly Thursday on the Elk. If today's rains don't hit the basin too hard, look for good steelhead catches on roe or plugs through the weekend.

CHETCO - The river was at 2,600 cfs Thursday, and winter steelhead fishing has been excellent this week amid good water conditions and plenty of steelhead. Bank anglers plunking at Social Security Bar and near the North Fork have been catching limits of fish daily, while boat anglers are doing well with plugs, side-drifting roe and even back-bouncing roe and sandshrimp. Anglers can keep one wild steelhead a day and up to five per year on the Chetco.