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Fishing Report: Jan. 14, 2011

Ocean Outlook

Coastwide - The good news is the winds will finally die down today, but the seas will remain harsh into next week as a series of fronts continue to move onto the Oregon Coast. Two more wet and windy fronts move into the area Saturday and Sunday, which means bottomfishing will remain a bust coastwide this weekend.

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, especially on calm days after freshets push Dungeness out of the estuaries in search of good salinity. The meat quality in local crab remains very good.

Bay crabbing likely will be poor through the weekend in other than the deepest ports like Winchester Bay and Coos Bay.

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

BROOKINGS - Anglers will be stuck in the bay through the weekend, but some decent morning conditions either this morning or mid-week could present themselves for black rockfish jigging. Glow-in-the-dark jigs are the most popular offering now.

WINCHESTER BAY - Sturgeon fishing remains slow. Crabbing will be fair to good, depending upon how much runoff reaches the bay this weekend.

CHARLESTON - Bay crabbing has been very good, but look for catches of Dungeness to wane because of rainy conditions. The lower area of Charleston will be the best. Watch for sneaker waves while jetty fishing.

Lake Outlook

AGATE - Fishing for legal- and trophy-sized rainbows is slow, and angling effort has been very light at the lake. Trollers could do well. The lake is almost two-thirds full again. 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. Not much effort recently, but sunny days should bring a few trollers to the lake. The French Gulch boat ramp is usable, but barely for larger boats. Car-toppers and shallow-launch boats are still fine. Hart-Tish Park is closed.

EMIGRANT - The lake is back up to 52 percent full and rising, which likely will slow the trout bite. Poor weather has kept most trollers home, 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, and ice fishing has been good for those getting to the lake. Worms or small jigs have worked best.

LOST CREEK - Trolling for trout 15 to 17 inches remains good near the dam. The activity, however, has remained light and likely will be low during this weekend's poor weather. Troll Wedding Ring lures with worms or Triple Teasers. The lake is being drawn down for flood-control purposes. The Stewart State Park boat ramp is now open because water levels have risen back to the ramp concrete. The Takelma Ramp will remain open throughout the winter.

The lake's public-health advisory for blue-green algae is over.

FISH - The ice is four to five inches thick, and anglers have been fishing the cove near the Forest Service boat ramp with good success. Worms and jigs are working best for rainbow trout. The resort is open Fridays through Sundays and ice augers can be rented there.

WILLOW LAKE - The public-health advisory against water contact is over, but the boat ramp and county facilities remain closed.

SELMAC - Trout are biting, but effort has been quite light. Try worms, Panther Martin lures, single salmon eggs floated off the bottom or PowerBait.

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

River Outlook

ROGUE - The upper Rogue has been slow for late-run summer steelhead as the run phases itself out, and the winter steelhead have yet to make it this far. The middle Rogue is rising and warming and should be very good for early winter steelhead fishing through the weekend as long as the turbidity holds down. And the lower Rogue is high and rising, but the color was so good Thursday that anglers there were expecting to knock the winters pretty well through the weekend, then everyone expects to stay home as the next storm front blows the rivers out.

That leaves the best bet a tie between the middle and lower Rogue, so it depends upon where you live and how much gas you can afford.

Flows at Grants Pass were at 5,600 cubic feet per second and forecast to drop pretty steadily Friday through early Sunday. That makes for fabulous conditions for plunking near shore, side-drifting roe or night crawlers and corkies of fishing K-11 Kwikfish plugs. The only caveat will be turbidity. Turbidity was near the fishing threshold late Thursday, and if it gets much dirtier plunking will be about the only way to go.

Same goes for the lower Rogue, where conditions today through Sunday should be red-hot for winter steelhead either from the bank or boats. Most anglers are plunking with larger Spin-Glo's at the regular gravel bars such as Huntley Park, Quosatana Creek and Dunkelberger Bar. Flows at Agness were right at 5,700 cfs late Thursday and rising to about 8,000 cfs late Friday. However, by early next week the flows will shoot up to about 17,000 cfs at Agness, and that's too much even for plunkers.

Downstream of the Hog Creek boat ramp between Merlin and Galice, 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 five.

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

Flows out of Lost Creek Lake will be cranked up to about 1,400 cfs this weekend, leaving good conditions as long as tributaries don't start puking out a bunch of dirty water. But that's likely, so be flexible on where you want to fish for summer steelhead.

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. Flows will be rising and peaking tonight in the South and North Umpquas before dropping quickly and strongly through the weekend. That could make the South Umpqua red-hot for winter steelhead, should the water stay clear and the forecasted flows show up. Side-drifting near the banks will be best. The Canyonville area has been very good for winter steelhead recently when good conditions present themselves.

COQUILLE - The South Fork of the Coquille will see its flows peak this morning and drop all weekend, making for excellent conditions for winter steelhead fishing from the Powers area all the way to the Coquille area. Side-drifting roe and corkies will be best, with plug anglers hovering on the inside turns of gravel bars. The wild coho salmon season in the river is over.

ELK/SIXES - Both rivers were forecast to crest early today and drop through the weekend, making for fabulous winter steelhead fishing conditions on both waters. If the rains get too heavy, then both rivers could flash right out of shape for winter steelhead anglers.

CHETCO - The river shot up over 12,000 cfs by Thursday afternoon, and the water was turbid enough that winter steelhead fishing could be a bust through the weekend. Fishing conditions had been low and clear, with light-tackle anglers doing best. But look for good catches next week when water levels nose-dive.