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Fishing report April 5, 2019

OCEAN OUTLOOK

COASTWIDE: A gale warning is in effect through Friday afternoon. Winds are expected to rise to 30 knots Friday morning before backing down to 15 knots in the afternoon amid rain. Wind waves will be up to 10 feet. Saturday calls for winds up to 25 knots and swells up to 12 feet with showers likely, while Sunday calls for 20-knot winds, 12-foot seas and likely rain.

The marine aggregate rockfish daily limit for bottomfishers is five fish. Cabezon must be released unharmed until summer. Rockfish angling is open beyond the 30-fathom line. A descending device to help release rockfish caught in deeper water is mandatory on all boats.

Lingcod are done spawning, and males are guarding egg nests. They are aggressive and will take most jigs or frozen sardines. Fishing is very good when anglers can get out, particularly around rock piles and kelp beds.

Surfperch fishing has been very good at some south coast beaches. Nesika and Winchuck beaches have been the most consistent. Try casting Berkly Gulp sandshrimp, sand worms or prawns.

Recreational crabbing is now open on the entire Oregon coast after domoic acid tests showed Dungeness within acceptable levels in the Port Orford area. Bay crabbing has been good to very good in Charleston. The next domoic acid test on Dungeness is scheduled for some time next week.

Clammers will see no morning minus tides this weekend.

Razor clamming is closed from Cape Blanco to the California border due to domoic acid levels. Also closed are beaches from the Columbia River down to Tillamook Head, including Clatsop beaches, because of elevated levels of domoic acid. Bay clamming is open along the coast. Before digging, call the shellfish hotline at 1-800-448-2474.

LAKE OUTLOOK

AGATE: The lake is full, but runoff into the reservoir has been very muddy, and visibility is poor, which makes fishing difficult. The water is warming, and crappie fishing should be improving. Try jigs near submerged willows. No new rainbow trout have been stocked yet this spring. The ramp is open. No gas motors are allowed. Electric trolling motors are OK. The park closes at dusk.

APPLEGATE: The lake was fishing fairly well for anglers trolling Wedding Ring lures spiced with a piece of worm or just a worm behind a flasher. Also, some fishing with PowerBait from the bank has been good along the lake’s back side. The surface temperature has steadied at 50 degrees. The lake is about 21 feet from full but rising quickly. The French Gulch and Copper ramps are usable. The Hart-Tish Park ramp won’t open until the concessionaire returns this spring.

DIAMOND: Ice fishing has been good. Effort has been spread between the south end near the pizza parlor and straight out from the resort. The ice was reportedly in two layers each about a foot thick with slush between them. Worms and small jigs, and chartreuse-garlic PowerBait, have worked well. Vary depths until you get into the rainbows.

EMIGRANT: The lake is up to 72 percent full, with visibility improving. Bass fishing should improve with warmer weather, but this weekend’s rains won’t help. Focus on rock outcroppings and submerged willows. Early trout fishing has been good for some of those 1,000 legal-sized rainbows released last week at the county ramp, and another 1,000 rainbows are scheduled to be released there some time this week. The far boat ramp closest to the RV park is open.

EXPO: The pond is set to receive another 1,500 legal-sized rainbow trout some time this week and that should jump-start the fishery. They will bite PowerBait and small spinners. The occasional bass or panfish has been caught, and that should improve as the water warms. Parking fees are enforced.

FISH: Ice fishing has been good but conditions are starting to deteriorate, with a coat of water and slush on top of the ice. Fishing had been good over the springs near the resort and off the Forest Service boat ramp, where a sno-park permit is needed to park. Worms, jigs and rainbow PowerBait are popular. The lake is up a hair to 50 percent full. All tiger trout must be released unharmed, but catches of them have been rare through the ice.

HOWARD PRAIRIE: There were no updates on ice thickness this week. The lake is up to 33 percent full.

HYATT: No updates on ice thickness were available this week. The lake was listed Thursday at 24 percent full.

LAKE OF THE WOODS: The ice is still more than a foot thick, but warm weather has made the top very mushy and wet, and that has chased some ice fishers away. Anglers are catching yellow perch and the occasional trout or kokanee. Rainbows are biting worms in the top 8 feet of the water column.

LOST CREEK: The lake received 20,000 rainbows two weeks ago split between both boat ramps. Both ramps are open. Most angling activity is occurring near the dam and the Takelma ramp. Fishing has been good for those trolling Wedding Ring lures spiced with a worm. Some are also using small flashers. The lake is less than 9 feet from full, but forecasts call for large inflows well into next week. Releases are up Friday to 4,000 cfs.

WILLOW: The lake is open, and 4,000 rainbow trout were stocked two weeks ago at the county ramp. Fish them with worms and PowerBait while they get acclimated. Another 4,000 rainbows are scheduled to be stocked here next week.

SELMAC: Bass fishing is poor but should improve as the water warms.

RIVER OUTLOOK

ROGUE: This weekend looks like a bust river-wide because of the rain, snowmelt and high outflows out of Lost Creek Lake in preparation for the storm. With 4,000 cubic feet per second of water being released beginning Friday morning into the upper Rogue, even the Holy Water impoundment just downstream of the dam won’t fish well for rainbows. So the best bet is a beverage and basketball until later next week.

So there’s not a best bet but an only bet — water from the Hatchery Hole down to the mouth of Big Butte Creek. Flows will be at least 4,000 cfs there.

In the upper Rogue, look for winter steelhead and likely the first spring chinook salmon of the year when flows start receding significantly late next week. For winter steelhead and springers, fish the inside turns on gravel bars and other migration lanes because both salmon and steelhead will be on the move. MagLip 3.5s or bigger will be best if looking for either species, with back-bouncing roe and sandshrimp or straight roe. Avoid the holes because they won’t get kegged up there quite yet.

Flows at Dodge Bridge Thursday were more than 5,300 cfs and rising, with flows expected to top out Tuesday around 10,000 cfs. That’s well below flood level but not conducive for any fishing.

Flows Thursday at Grants Pass were about 7,300 cfs and forecast to peak Tuesday at around 22,000 cfs. Flows Thursday at Agness were at 10,300 cfs and rising, with a predicted peak late Tuesday at around 40,000 cfs. That’s under flood stage but getting close, which is unusual for spring.

That’s all too bad because winter steelhead were finally on the move this past week in the upper Rogue. Cole Rivers Hatchery technicians collected 436 fresh winter steelhead, boosting the returns to 1,121 so far this season. That’s above the 10-year running average. No spring chinook or summer steelhead were captured there this past week.

APPLEGATE: The river is closed.

CHETCO: The river is closed.

ELK AND SIXES: The rivers are closed.

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