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Fishing report May 24, 2019


COASTWIDE: Friday calls for winds up to 23 mph and 8-foot waves, followed Saturday by winds to 22 mph and waves building to 9 feet in the afternoon. Sunday calls for winds dying down a bit to 19 mph and waves dropping to 7 feet.

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 for all bottomfish should be very good through the weekend if the waves allow for it.

The ocean chinook salmon season begins Saturday off the Southern Oregon coast, but expect early catches to be light as the chinook move north along the California coast to reach Oregon waters. The best bet is to start trolling herring or anchovies slowly at about 150 feet deep.

Surfperch fishing has been very good at some south coast beaches. Try casting Berkley Gulp sandshrimp, sand worms or prawns.

Recreational crabbing is closed on the south coast from Cape Blanco to the California border because of a domoic acid bloom, but it could open as early as next week if tests from Dungeness sampled this week show acceptable toxin levels.

Clammers have no good low tides or minus tides this week.

Razor clamming is open from the Columbia River to Cape Blanco, but it remains closed from Cape Blanco to the California border due to domoic acid levels. Bay clamming and mussel harvesting are open along the coast. Before digging, call the shellfish hotline at 1-800-448-2474.


AGATE: The lake is back up to full, with good clarity for fishing for crappie and perch, especially around submerged willows. Bass are in the rocky areas. The ramp is open. No gas motors are allowed. Electric trolling motors are OK. The park closes at dusk.

APPLEGATE: The lake was stocked this week with 15,000 legal-sized trout and 500 trophy trout for the Memorial Day weekend. For trout, troll 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, particularly in the Seattle Bar area. The surface temperature has steadied at 50 degrees, and the lake is up slightly to 2.5 feet from full.

DIAMOND: Trout fishing has slowed, with fishing better at the south end, but the south ramp remains closed due to snow. Fly-fishing is best with chironomids and big leeches, while trolling small lures and worms has worked best for rainbows. All tiger trout must be released unharmed.

EMIGRANT: The lake is down a hair to 92 percent full, but there remains plenty of water for all boats to launch at the ramp. Visibility is the best it has been all year. Bass fishing is good. Focus on rock outcroppings and submerged willows. Rainbow trout have been stocked three times so far this year and fishing for them is good for those trolling worms and small spinners.

EXPO: The pond received 1,500 legal-sized trout three weeks ago, and fishing for them is still fairly good with small spinners, single salmon eggs and PowerBait. Water temperatures remain unseasonably low, which helps trout angling. Some bass and panfish are getting caught as well. Parking fees are enforced by Jackson County.

FISH: The lake received 4,500 legals and 500 lunker trout last week, and trout fishing has been very good recently. The lake is up to 65 percent full. Troll Wedding Rings with worms or small Rapalas that look like tui chub. The Forest Service and resort ramps are both operable. All tiger trout must be released unharmed.

HOWARD PRAIRIE: Fishing is very good for holdover trout, with still fishing and trolling working well. Also, 7,500 legal-sized rainbows were stocked there each of the past two weeks out of the Klamath Hatchery. Trollers are using Tasmanian Devils or other lures, even long worms. Still-fishing for trout is good with PowerBait or worms, with chartreuse and garlic-flavored baits working best. The lake is up slightly to 55 percent full.

HYATT: The BLM Loop C boat ramp is open, and trolling has been good with Wedding Rings and worms. Three weeks ago, 7,500 legal-sized rainbows were stocked and none have been stocked since. Water temperatures are rising and that has bass more active. Fish plastic worms and crank baits for bass. Most of the action should be in the lower areas of the lake, which is up a hair to 57 percent full.

LAKE OF THE WOODS: Fishing is good for a mix of brown trout and rainbow trout. Perch fishing also is good.

LOST CREEK: The lake received another 10,000 rainbows last week split between the marina and the Takelma ramp. Most of the action is near the Takelma ramp, trolling Wedding Ring lures spiced with a worm. Some trollers were using small flashers. The lake remains just under 2 feet from full.

WILLOW: The lake is open, and 4,000 rainbow trout and 1,500 trophy trout were stocked this past week at the county ramp. Fish them with worms and PowerBait or streamer flies. Fishing for them has been very good.

SELMAC: Bass fishing is good, and fishing for stocked trout is good with PowerBait. The lake received another 3,000 rainbows two weeks ago.


ROGUE: Spring chinook salmon are trickling into the lower Rogue and catches have improved slightly in the upper Rogue, with likely less than 20 percent of this year’s run up that far by now. The first summer steelhead showed up this past week at Cole Rivers Hatchery, and it’s not as unusual as that sounds. And, as usual, the middle Rogue is not getting fished much at all for spring chinook that barely stick around while finning through Grants Pass.

That makes the upper Rogue still the best bet.

Spring chinook counts remain underwhelming. The 391 springers that showed up this past week at Cole Rivers Hatchery are more than twice what has reached the hatchery so far this run, bumping the total to 542 to date. That’s well below the 10-year running average of 984 chinook. So far, two fish have been recycled down to TouVelle State Park.

Decent water conditions have helped both boat and bank anglers hit a few fish daily, with most of the action upstream of Rogue Elk Park. Boat anglers are fishing primarily with roe and sandshrimp or roe and prawns, with some fishing MagLip 3.5 lures in chartreuse and chrome patterns. Bank anglers are hitting fish at the Hatchery Hole, while a few are coming out daily at Hayes Falls and the Slide Hole. Catches will only improve. Early-season fishing is best in migration lanes.

All wild chinook must be released unharmed river-wide. Flows out of Lost Creek Lake were dropped earlier this week to 2,000 cubic feet per second, but are scheduled to go up to 2,200 cfs Saturday morning. Flows at Dodge Bridge were at 2,458 cfs Thursday, and that’s about 1,000 cfs lower than last week. Flows Thursday at the former Gold Ray Dam site were at 2,804 cfs.

The first six summer steelhead of the year have made it to Cole Rivers Hatchery this past week. Similarly, there were 32 at the hatchery this time last year, and four the previous year. In four of the past 10 years, there were no summer steelhead at the hatchery by now, and at least two of those years were low-water years.

In the middle Rogue, almost nothing is happening. Flows at Grants Pass were down Thursday to 2,558 cfs.

In the lower Rogue, Brad’s Cut Plug lure or large Spin-Glo’s have been the baits of choice for boat and bank anglers. Pink-pearl, glitter pink and tequila sunrise have been the hot Spin-Glo colors. Flows at Agness were down to 4,232 cfs Thursday. Small schools of springers are moving daily out of the bay, but not yet in force. Less than half the catch are fin-clipped chinook that anglers can keep.

APPLEGATE: The river is open for trout fishing, and all wild rainbow trout and cutthroat trout must be released unharmed. That’s pretty much all of the catch.

CHETCO: The river opened Wednesday for trout fishing, and only artificial flies and lures are allowed above tidewater.

A 4-year-old Rogue River spring chinook salmon at Cole Rivers Hatchery.Mail Tribune Photo / Jamie Lusch