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Fishing Report: June 1, 2012

Ocean Outlook

COASTWIDE - Fairly decent surf conditions are forecast for this weekend, with rain and winds in the mix. Morning trips could be good, but the swells will kick up as the days progress. An excellent series of morning minus tides start Saturday and run through the week, creating the best clamming conditions so far this year.

The marine aggregate limit in Oregon is seven rockfish a day, which can include one cabezon. The lingcod limit is two a day with a 22-inch minimum, and that is separate from the marine aggregate.

BROOKINGS - Excellent lingcod and black rockfish catches have been reported in recent days from the mouth of the Chetco River up to House Rock, with black, white and red jigs working best. Pacific halibut fishing was good west of the Thomas Creek Bridge in water 170 to 240 feet deep this week. Anglers ran into some chinook three to four miles offshore while trolling about 30 feet deep.

Surfperch fishing has been very good to excellent at Winchuck Beach near Brookings and Nesika Beach near Gold Beach. Focus on the top two hours of the incoming tide to one hour after high tide. Clam necks and Berkley Gulp sand worms have been the most effective baits of late, but mussels and squid work very well, too.

COOS BAY - Excellent morning clam tides start early Saturday morning and run through the week, and they likely will create a lot of interest in the sands around Clam Island. Chinook fishing has been good recently when the surf and winds allow pleasure-boaters and charters to get out. Troll anywhere from 12 to 60 feet deep for chinook there. No tuna reports yet.

WINCHESTER BAY - Sturgeon fishing remains slow. Rockfish catches are good off the south jetty.

Lake Outlook

AGATE - Turbidity levels are improving, but it's still a bit cloudy for good trout fishing. No fresh trout will be released this week. Fishing with worms beneath bobbers or PowerBait at the lower end of the lake is your best bet. Trolling will be poor until the water clears. Bass and crappie fishing have started to pick up now that the water is warming. Work plastic worms slowly near the willows for largemouth. No gas motors are allowed. Small electric motors are legal.

APPLEGATE - The lake received 9,000 legal-sized trout and 500 1-pound trout last week, and that has put the lake on trout anglers' radar screens. The lake is now just a few inches shy of full, opening the Seattle Bar area for good angling opportunities for trout and bass. Slowly troll lures spiked with worms or fish PowerBait from the bank near the boat ramps. Hart-Tish Park is open and the boat ramp is usable, as is Copper and French Gulch, but French Gulch sports little parking.

EMIGRANT - The lake received no new trout in the past three weeks. Fishing for legal-sized trout stocked earlier this month has been good for bank and boat anglers along the lower section of the reservoir, particularly around the county park. Water clarity is good. Bank anglers using chartreuse or rainbow PowerBait have fared very well for trout, while trollers using Little Cleo's or Triple Teasers have also caught fish. The lake was listed Thursday as a hair under full. Smallmouth bass fishing has been a bit slow but OK off rocky points and around rocky structure along the lake's lower end.

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

HOWARD PRAIRIE - Trout fishing remains something of a mixed bag at the lake, with most success coming to bank anglers or boaters anchored in waters less than 15 feet deep. Trollers working the lake edges have done fair to good with Triple Teasers or Wedding Rings with small pieces of worm. Chartreuse and rainbow PowerBait are working best, along with worms seven feet or so under bobbers. Wind-drifting nightcrawlers also is good. The limit is five trout per day, with one over 20 inches.

HYATT - The lake's somewhat slow for rainbow trout, but the fish getting caught tend to be 15-plus inches long. A few trout over 20 inches have been caught recently. Most of the effort has been still-fishing in shallow water with PowerBait. The bite is light, so be patient and let the trout all but hook themselves. Anchoring near the Orchard, the dam and the west bank in eight to 12 feet of water has been good for anglers chasing holdover rainbows. The cold water should make trolling a little tougher. The limit is five trout a day with an 8-inch minimum, and only one can be 20 inches or longer.

DIAMOND - The trout bite has dropped off amid a major chironomid hatch that has the trout focused on emerging insects. Fly-fishing with chrionomid nymphs or woolly buggers can be good, but the PowerBait bite and the trolling bite has been pretty slow. The limit is eight trout over 8 inches long, with only one over 20 inches allowed.

EXPO - The lake received another 1,300 legal-sized rainbow trout recently, and fishing for them is very good with worms, PowerBait and small Panther Martin lures. Water conditions are very good. The pond is accessible at Gate 5 for the Jackson County Expo Park off Peninger Road.

LOST CREEK - The lake received its second batch of 20,000 legal-sized rainbow trout and 500 1-pound rainbows last week, and fishing for them has been best for bank anglers fishing various-colored PowerBait balls off the shore near the Takelma ramp. The lake is a hair under full and should remain stable for the next week, at least. Most anglers are fishing fairly close to shore. Trollers working the point off the marina also have done fairly well with Little Cleo's or Wedding Rings spiced with a piece of worm. Warming water should improve bass fishing. Fish slowly presented crankbaits or worms or grubs near structure.

LAKE of the WOODS - Fishing is good for rainbows and brown trout along shorelines.

FISH - Fishing for rainbow trout is good near the resort and the cove near the Forest Service boat ramp. Rainbow-brown hybrid trout called tiger trout were stocked there and they must be released unharmed. The lake recently got 4,500 legal-sized trout and another 500 larger trout and they're starting to bite, with PowerBait or worms top choices. Trolling is improving with warming water.

WILLOW - The lake received 3,000 legal-sized rainbow and 1,500 1-pound rainbows last week, and still-fishing with worms under bobbers or with PowerBait has been very good around the boat ramp and county facilities. The ramp, campgrounds and cabins are open and available.

River Outlook

ROGUE - The upper Rogue has held on for spring chinook salmon despite some disruptions from increased water releases from Lost Creek Lake that stabilized Thursday morning. The middle Rogue was more miss than hit for springers, with places like Rainie Falls and Hayes Falls spitting out a few fish daily. The lower Rogue has held on for springers amid clear water with temperatures in the mid-50s as anglers there are waiting for a big push from late-run chinook.

That keeps the best bet on the upper Rogue — where it belongs and will likely remain until August.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers ramped up the flows from 2,600 cubic feet per second to 3,000 cfs out of Lost Creek Lake, and flows are forecast to hold steady there through June. The increase curbed the chinook bite Thursday, but look for conditions to be fine through this weekend and steady for another month.

The early-run wild springers are settling in upper Rogue holes awaiting spawning time and wild chinook are off-limits for anglers to keep. Another 345 hatchery spring chinook salmon were recycled Wednesday from Cole Rivers Hatchery to the Gold Hill ramp.

Bankies have done well with beads and yarn at the Hatchery Hole, while boat anglers have done very well with roe and divers, Kwikfish and cut-plug herring. Waters upstream of Shady Cove have produced better than those downstream of town, in part because of increased angler presence upstream.

Waters downstream from the old Gold Ray Dam site are open to the retention of wild spring chinook beginning today, and look for some upper Rogue effort to switch to the old dam area.

The lower eight miles of the Rogue improved slightly for springers the last few days amid 55-degree water. Guides are reporting one to three springers a day with the occasional big day.

APPLEGATE - The river is open to trout fishing, but anglers cannot target steelhead. Resident trout and cutthroat trout are available, but effort so far has been light.

UMPQUA - The mainstem Umpqua is fishing fair to good for spring chinook in the Elkton area, where flows are dropping and water conditions are improving. Most of the action is between the Scottsburg and Scott Creek boat ramps by driftboaters fishing Kwikfish or roe and sandshrimp combinations. A few springers have been caught this week in the lower section of the North Umpqua, as well.

CHETCO - The river is open to trout fishing, and catches of sea-run cutthroat trout were good in tidewater and places like the Social Security Hole.