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Mail Tribune Fishing Report Jan. 22, 2021

OCEAN OUTLOOK

COASTWIDE: Hazardous sea warnings are in effect through Saturday morning. Friday calls for winds starting at 15 knots and rising to 25 knots, with swells to 8 feet, and showers. Saturday calls for much of the same, with Sunday’s forecast calling for rain and winds to 10 knots and swells building to 15 feet. Another good weekend to watch the coast and not participate in it.

The general marine bag limit is six fish in aggregate a day to open the 2021 season. Anglers must release all copper, quillback and China rockfish when fishing from a boat. Boat anglers can not keep a cabezon until July 1. The lingcod limit is two fish over 22 inches.

Surfperch fishing was slow this week as rough seas pushed fish off the beach.

Recreational crabbing is open coastwide.

Razor clamming is closed along the entire Oregon Coast. Another set of decent evening minus tides begins Wednesday. Bay clamming is open on the south coast. Before digging, call the shellfish hotline at 1-800-448-2474.

LAKE OUTLOOK

AGATE: The lake is 37% full and extremely turbid. Electric trolling motors are OK. The park closes at dusk.

APPLEGATE: The lake last received rainbow trout in July. The Hart Tish Park boat ramp and dock are closed, but the low-water access at French Gulch and Copper are open. Fish for rainbows with PowerBait or worms from the bank or slowly troll Tasmanian Devil lures spiced with a piece of worm. Bass fishing on nice days has been fair with plastic worms and grubs fished slowly off the bottom along rocky points and flats. The reservoir was 75 feet from full Thursday. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is releasing about 630 cfs of water, which Thursday was about twice the inflow. The lake does not officially begin to fill until Feb. 1.

DIAMOND: The lake is starting to ice over, and some ice fishing has taken place near the north boat ramp. Worms dangled about 5 feet under the ice is a good first bet for those who choose to venture onto the ice.

EMIGRANT: The lake is 4% full and of no real use to boaters and anglers. No trout stocking is planned until spring.

EXPO: The pond hasn’t been stocked with trout since June. Some bass and panfish are available. Parking fees are required.

FISH: Ice fishing has been fair off the Forest Service ramp for those venturing onto the ice. Fish around the springs if you can find them. That’s where the rainbows are hovering. All tiger trout must be released. The lake was listed Thursday at 36% full and rising.

HOWARD PRAIRIE: The lake is holding steady at 9% of capacity with no usable boat ramps and very little interest from anglers other than from the bank near the dam. Early ice is starting to form but is not safe for ice fishing.

HYATT: The lake is up slightly to 8% of capacity with some ice fishing occurring near the dam. Be careful of cracked or thin ice.

LAKE OF THE WOODS: Some ice fishing largely for perch is occurring right off the resort ramp area.

LOST CREEK: The lake last received trout in July. The boat ramp at the Takelma day-use area is open, while the marina is closed. Wind-drifting worms above Peyton Bridge has been good. The lake was listed Thursday at about 3 feet above the normal bottom pool. Outflows are stable at 1,100 cfs, with inflows above 1,390 cfs, so the lake is filling well.

WILLOW: The lake is open, but fishing pressure is very light.

SELMAC: Fishing for bass is fair. For trout, fish with worms or PowerBait.

MEDCO: Ice is forming but there is some open water.

RIVER OUTLOOK

ROGUE: Low and cold water has put a damper on winter steelhead fishing river-wide, and with colder weather that might include snow these factors should lead to slow catch rates on winter steelhead this weekend. If you need a best bet, it’s a luke-warm endorsement for the middle Rogue around Rand for boat anglers dragging bait and bank anglers using plugs and side-planers at places like Rainbow and Chair riffles. A few fresh winter steelhead are in the mix there, but there are also a lot of spawned-out summer steelhead kelts headed downstream. They often look bright but they are definitely not of quality to keep as part of the two steelhead limit, of which one can be a wild steelhead 24 inches or longer downstream of Hog Creek.

Flows at Grants Pass were a dismal 1,753 cfs Thursday and not forecast to improve until well into next week.

In the lower Rogue, plunkers using Spin-Glo’s fared well early last week but low and cold flows have stymied their catches at places like Huntley Park and Dunkelberger Bar. Flows at Agness were at under 4,000 cfs Thursday and dropping significantly. Along with cold air temperatures through the weekend, that could make for some cold and lonely fishing.

In the upper Rogue, steelhead fishing has been in flux. Flows at Dodge Bridge were down to 1,401 cfs Thursday and slowly dropping. Not a positive scenario.

The entire upper Rogue is open for bait-fishing. Fish late summer steelhead with roe or roe-soaked yarn flies. Some fly-fishing is decent with nymphs and single egg patterns.

Anglers can keep one wild steelhead at least 24 inches long a day as part of the two-fish bag limit from the river mouth to the Hog Creek boat ramp. Upstream of Hog Creek opens to wild steelhead harvest Feb. 1.

APPLEGATE: Fresh winter steelhead were caught recently in the lower sections of the river with roe and spoons. The river opened Jan. 1 and is open through March. All wild steelhead must be released unharmed.

CHETCO: The Chetco was down to 2,450 cfs and dropping Thursday and looking like it will stay low and clear well into next week. That doesn’t bode well for winter steelhead fishing.

ELK/SIXES: Water levels were low and clear in both rivers, and forecasts don’t look appreciably better until later next week.

Jamie Lusch / Mail Tribune A native winter steelehead is released on the Sixes River.