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Fishing Report: Oct. 19, 2012

COASTWIDE - The near-shore Pacific halibut fishery remains open north of Humbug Mountain until anglers fill the final 1,000 pounds of the quota or until Oct. 31. With fishing interest from Garibaldi down to Coos Bay, the fishery could close after this weekend.

Morning ocean conditions look decent for bottomfishing and near-shore halibut fishing, but swells are forecast to rise to 8 feet daily. However, there are no small-craft advisories in effect through the weekend.

The marine aggregate limit in Oregon is seven rockfish a day, and no cabezon may be kept for the rest of 2012. The lingcod limit is two a day with a 22-inch minimum, and that is separate from the marine aggregate.

Dungeness crab catches have been good in bays statewide, with boaters faring better than dock crabbers.

GOLD BEACH - Rains swelled the lower Rogue and dragged many of the coho and chinook salmon out of the estuary and upstream. However, fresh fish have been moving in daily with the tides. Chinook ran up Indian Creek this week, but many of them have dropped back out and are milling around the creek mouth. Fishing for them has been good with spinners from the bank and trolling anchovies with chartreuse Rogue Rig blades. Trolling in the bay for coho has remained fair to good, with wild fish still dominating the catch. Perch fishing has slowed with little interest among anglers.

BROOKINGS - Trolling with anchovies in Chetco Bay has been decent for fall chinook, and it should be good this weekend after this week's rains drew fish upstream. Many of the fish have been in the 14-pound range, but a few 30-pounders are in the mix. Trolling anchovies or herring has been best near the top of the incoming tide.

AGATE - Trout fishing will pick up this week after Monday's stocking of 1,000 legal-sized and 100 larger rainbow trout. Catches will be best still-fishing with worms or PowerBait. The lake is down to 22 percent full, but cooler weather has helped get water temperatures to more trout-friendly levels. No gas motors are allowed. Small electric motors are legal.

APPLEGATE - The lake was infused two weeks ago with 1,000 legals and 200 larger rainbow trout, and fishing has been good on them in the French Gulch area. Troll Wedding Rings or Triple Teasers with a piece of worm. PowerBait or wind-drifting worms are also good bets. The lake is down to 82 feet from full. The Copper ramp is no longer usable and Hart-Tish Park is closed.

EMIGRANT - Fish are more concentrated with the low water levels. Smallmouth bass fishing is best off rocky banks, and a few largemouth have been taken in the willows. The lake is holding steady at 24 percent full.

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

HOWARD PRAIRIE - Trout fishing has picked up for those trolling Wedding Rings with small pieces of worm, while some throwback anglers are doing well using Ford Fenders. The lake two weeks ago received an extra 1,000 legal-sized trout and 200 larger trout. Chartreuse and rainbow PowerBait are working OK, along with worms seven feet or so under bobbers. The lake was listed Thursday at 68 percent full. The lake is open through October, and the limit is five trout per day over 8 inches, but only one can be longer than 20 inches.

HYATT - Bass fishing is giving way to trout fishing now that another 1,000 legal-sized and 200 larger rainbow trout were stocked there recently. The BLM boat ramp is open, but the campground is closed. The lake was listed Thursday at 67 percent full. The lake is open through October, and the limit is five trout per day over 8 inches, but only one of them can be longer than 20 inches.

DIAMOND - The trout bite has improved with cooler air and water temperatures. Fishing remains best at the south end in water 10 to 20 feet deep. Wind-drifting worms or woolly buggers along the west end also has been good. Some of this year's fingerling plant have reached the 8-inch minimum size. The limit is eight trout, with only one allowed over 20 inches.

EXPO - Fishing picked up dramatically Monday when 500 legal-sized and 100 larger trout were stocked there. Catch them on worms under bobbers or small Panther Martin lures. The limit is five trout per day with only one over 20 inches.

LOST CREEK - A voluntary advisory against water contact at the lake has kept most anglers away. Those who are there are encouraged to practice catch-and-release fishing until the blue-green algae advisory is lifted. The lake was down to less than a foot from minimum pool.

FISH - Trout fishing around the resort and in the middle of the lake is fair to good, with some late-season stocking of trout helping. PowerBait is working best, with most catches from anchored boats near the Forest Service ramp near the resort. The lake was listed Thursday at 39 percent full. The lake is open year-round.

LAKE of the WOODS - Fishing for rainbow and brown trout has been fair near the resort. PowerBait has been the top choice. Evening fishing has been best.

LEMOLO - A good combination of rainbow and brown trout catches have been reported recently, in part because of a late-season trout stocking just before Labor Day. Trolling streamer flies, Bingo Bugs and PowerBait all are good choices.

ROGUE - The middle Rogue has picked up for summer steelhead hovering behind spawning chinook salmon, while the upper Rogue has improved now that some rain has altered low and stagnant river conditions. The lower Rogue is in the midst of coho and chinook migration after this week's rains raised the lower river, so fishing in the Agness area should be good for a mix bag.

That shifts the best bet to the middle Rogue, where anglers can toss their full arsenal of bait, lures and flies at summer steelhead. The best offering will be very small clusters of roe, yarn flies or single-egg plastic imitations at the tops of riffles just downstream of spawning chinook. Summer steelhead are wired into eating eggs now, with plugs a distant second choice. Find the spawning chinook and you'll find the steelhead.

In the Agness area, a mix of chinook, coho, adult summer steelhead and halfpounders all are present and available, but fishing pressure has been light. Only fin-clipped halfpounders, fin-clipped cohos and fin-clipped adult summer steelhead can be kept, but the stretch is still open to keeping wild fall chinook. Any steelhead under 16 inches long is considered a halfpounder.

In the upper Rogue, flows remained at 1,150 cubic feet per second Thursday out of Lost Creek Lake, but rains have inched the river up and warmed it enough to generate a pretty good summer steelhead bite on egg flies. But streamers, not so much. The out-flows have dropped in temperature to a frigid 44 degrees to slow down the incubation rates of spring chinook salmon eggs now in main-channel redds. Most of the summer steelhead are stacked up in the tops of riffles downstream from spawning chinook. In some cases, they're in water about a foot deep, so fish egg patterns in the tops of riffles and under trees.

The flies-only season is on through October upstream of what used to be Gold Ray Dam. Swinging streamers through riffles has slowed down due to the cooler water, and more steelhead are getting caught by anglers nymphing with Ugly Bug dropper flies and an egg on the point. Spinning rods with bobbers are legal, but no added weights or attachments are allowed through October. That includes split-shots and swivels.

It is illegal to target spawning chinook salmon even for catch-and-release fishing in the upper Rogue.

In the lower Rogue, a mix of wild fall chinook and wild and hatchery coho are in the bay, but their numbers diminished after this week's rains drew large schools of fish out of the estuary. Good coho fishing is now happening from Quosatana Creek on down as these fish move through.

All wild steelhead must be released unharmed riverwide.

CHETCO - Recent rains have drawn fish out of the estuary and upstream into freshwater areas now closed to angling. However, fresh fall chinook are moving into the estuary on incoming tides and anglers are trolling the estuary with large anchovies or sardines and faring well for chinook.

UMPQUA - Good catches of chinook and coho continue on the lower mainstem. Bass fishing in the Elkton area is slowing down now that cool air and water temperatures have returned. The North Umpqua is fair to good for summer steelhead, and chinook fishing is banned in the North Umpqua. The South Umpqua is closed to all angling through November.

COOS - Chinook salmon fishing is winding down in the bay for those trolling anchovies and cut-plug herring. Coho fishing is fair to good from the jetties up to the Dellwood Trap with anchovies or pink lures. The wild coho fishery remains open.

COQUILLE - Fishing for chinook in the lower river has been spotty, as is coho fishing. Wild coho can be caught from the jetties up to Sturdivant Park until the quota is reached.