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Fishing Report: March 11, 2011

Coastwide - Heavy winds, rain and choppy seas are forecast through the weekend as yet another winter storm zeroes in on the Southern Oregon Coast. Next week, locals could get out for some early-morning jigging for black rockfish and lingcod near shore.

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

Sport crabbers are allowed to ply the ocean, but few are fishing for Dungeness these days because of choppy seas. Bay crabbing has been just fair thanks to high runoff from local streams. Look for bay crabbing to be poor Sunday from the latest storm fronts.

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 - Ocean fishing looks rough at best through the weekend, but some decent days could be on the horizon here next week for black rockfish and lingcod. Surfperch fishing is good around the Winchuck River mouth on calmer surf days. Clam necks and prawns are good baits.

GOLD BEACH - Surfperch fishing has been good at Nesika Beach with shrimp and prawns, but be careful about rough surf.

WINCHESTER BAY - Sturgeon fishing remains slow. Crabbing has been good.

CHARLESTON - The lower area of Charleston continues to be the best and most popular place for crabbing. Watch for sneaker waves while jetty fishing.

PORT ORFORD - A few perch are still getting caught in the bay off the public docks there.

AGATE - Fishing for legal- and trophy-sized rainbows has slowed amid storms and murky water. Trolling has been slow, so try still-fishing or wind-drifting with bait. Heavy wind days have not produced catches. No gas motors are allowed.

APPLEGATE - The trophy trout stocked there two weeks ago have spread out and have been tougher to find. Trollers using Flatfish or Triple Teasers should do well when targeting them, as well as the large and trophy trout stocked there in late October, though weather conditions have slowed the bite. Good numbers of land-locked chinook are still available. The French Gulch boat ramp is usable. Hart-Tish Park is closed.

EMIGRANT - The lake will get another 3,500 legal-sized rainbow trout next week, and that should jump-start trout fishing. The latest storms have slowed the trout bite, and the water is murky, harming trollers. Bank anglers fishing near the dam are faring well on worms or PowerBait. Bass fishing will improve with the warmer weather.

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 April 23.

HYATT - The lake is closed to angling until April 23.

DIAMOND - The lake is closed to angling until April 23.

EXPO - The pond is open year-round, and fishing will improve next week when 1,400 legal-sized rainbow trout are released. Once stocked, catch them on Panther Martin lures, worms and single salmon eggs.

LAKE of the WOODS - The lake is frozen, and ice fishing has been good. Worms or small jigs have worked best.

LOST CREEK - Trolling for trout will improve next week when the lake gets infused with 25,000 legal-sized rainbow trout. Focus on catching them near the Lost Creek Lake Marina and the Takelma boat ramp. Bank fishing will be best with worms, single salmon eggs or PowerBait. Trolling will pick up once the fish get acclimated to the lake. The Stewart State Park boat ramp and the Takelma ramp are open.

FISH - Ice fishing has been steadily good in the cove near the Forest Service boat ramp. 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 lake will be stocked with almost 5,000 legal-sized rainbow trout next week, and that should generate some angling interest.

SELMAC - The lake was stocked recently with the legal-sized trout and fishing has been good for them with most baits. Single salmon eggs and cheese has worked well.

LEMOLO - The lake is closed to angling until April 23.

MEDCO - Fishing for rainbow trout has been good off the bank with PowerBait.

ROGUE - The upper Rogue has been a bit slow for winter steelhead thanks to persistent storm fronts that have muddied much of the river downstream of Big Butte Creek, while the middle Rogue is getting hit with high water and the lower Rogue is high and muddy but sporting some early spring chinook salmon downstream of Agness.

That means the best bet is a tough call. Nothing looks good through the weekend, but as the water drops next week there should be some good spring chinook catches in the lower river and good winter steelhead activity in the middle and upper Rogue, depending upon the clarity of the water.

Springers are clearly the buzz. The Rogue Outdoor Store in Gold Beach has confirmed eight springer catches this week between the old mill site upstream to Lobster Creek, as well as a couple in the Agness area. Water conditions were high and muddy Thursday, but anglers still were targeting springers there. Water conditions were forecast to be tough through the weekend, but look for a fast drop in flows early next week. Find springers on the inside turns of gravel bars and other migration lanes. Be patient, and wait for the springers to come to you — hopefully in waves.

In the middle Rogue, winter steehead fishing had been pretty good before high and dirty flows mucked up the works. Steelhead have been most prevalent from the mouth of the Applegate River down to Galice. Flows at Grants Pass were above 6,500 cubic feet per second Thursday and likely will be high until Sunday afternoon, when a decent bite might turn on before another rainstorm spikes the flows.

The upper Rogue was thin on winter steelhead and heavy on dirty water since mid-week this week, and flows likely will stay turbid through the weekend. Fishing was OK from the hatchery down to the mouth of Elk Creek, but now even that's a bust thanks to dirty water spewing from Big Butte Creek. When it clears, look for side-drifting of roe or yarn balls to produce some decent winter steelhead catches. Steelhead will be on the move.

Anglers may now keep one wild steelhead per day as long as it is at least 24 inches long. The annual limit is five.

ILLINOIS - Water conditions were high and poor for winter steelhead fishing Thursday, with flows at Kerby higher than 6,000 cfs. Winter steelhead fishing could improve by Sunday, then drop off again as another storm raises flows Monday. Use Spin-Glo's and yarn balls, then Little Cleo's when the water clears up more.

No bait is allowed. Anglers can keep one wild steelhead at least 24 inches long per day, and up to five per year between Briggs Creek and Pomeroy Dam.

APPLEGATE - Winter steelhead fishing should improve next week because fish are starting to disperse throughout the river. Flows at Wilderville were about 1,500 cfs Thursday and are likely to stay high through the weekend.

All wild steelhead must be released unharmed and there is no fishing allowed from a floating device.

UMPQUA - The South Umpqua and North Umpqua were high and out of shape for winter steelhead fishing Thursday and are likely to remain out of shape into next week.

ELK/SIXES - The Elk and Sixes were both out of shape for late-run winter steelhead fishing Thursday.

CHETCO - The river was flowing at close to 12,000 cfs Thursday with no action for late-run winter steelhead. When flows subside, look for a batch of spawned-out kelts, as well as a few fresh, late-run winter steelhead.Anglers may keep one wild winter steelhead from the Chetco a day and five per year.