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Mail Tribune Fishing Report, Feb. 12, 2021

OCEAN OUTLOOK

COASTWIDE: A small-craft advisory is in effect through Friday morning, with 30-knot winds and wind waves up to 8 feet by afternoon and rain. Saturday sees winds backing down to 15 knots but swells still lingering around 8 feet and rain likely. Sunday calls for winds to 15 knots and swells to 12 feet. That translates into a good weekend to avoid bar crossings.

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

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

Recreational crabbing is open coastwide.

Razor clamming is closed along the entire Oregon Coast. Bay clamming is open on the south coast. Afternoon minus tides are forecast Sunday and should be good for clammers through at least Wednesday. Friday and Saturday minus tides will occur after sunset. Be very careful of sneaker waves. Before digging, call the shellfish hotline at 1-800-448-2474.

LAKE OUTLOOK

AGATE: The lake is 41% 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 85 feet from full Thursday. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has held water releases at 200 cfs as it begins to fill the reservoir.

DIAMOND: The lake has a combination of hard ice, slush and snow. Ice fishermen are hitting the area near the resort as well as the south end. 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 6% full and still 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 last June. Some bass and panfish are available. Parking fees are required.

FISH: Ice fishing has been fair off the Forest Service ramp. 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 38% full.

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. The ice is not safe for ice fishing.

HYATT: The lake is at 9% of capacity, with some ice fishing occurring near the dam, but there is some soft ice and open water along the shore. Snow is forecast through the weekend. Be careful.

LAKE OF THE WOODS: Some ice fishing is occurring right off the resort ramp area. Catches have been very good for perch; not so much for rainbows or brown trout.

LOST CREEK: The lake last received legal-sized and trophy trout in October, and anglers are still catching them on the lower end of the lake. The boat ramp at the Takelma day-use area is open, while the marina is closed. Fish near the Taklema area and near the dam trolling worms behind flashers. Wind-drifting worms above Peyton Bridge has been good, but remember the no-wake boating rules. The lake was listed Thursday at about 11 feet above the normal bottom pool and filling at the best rate so far this season. Outflows are stable at 1,100 cfs.

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: The weak storm has anglers waiting and hoping that it will shake up water levels enough to get winter steelhead moving and biting throughout the middle Rogue as early as late next week and perhaps the upper Rogue a week or two later. The lower Rogue has slowed, along with other south coast streams, for winter steelhead. The first spring chinook salmon of the new year has yet to surface on the lower Rogue.

That makes the best bet waiting until at least midweek, then ply the middle Rogue with roe and sandshrimp for migrating winter steelhead downstream of Grants Pass. The run is a little late this year, but that doesn’t mean they won’t show up (but it doesn’t mean they will in force, either).

The upper Rogue is low and cold, while the middle Rogue is in decent shape as winter steelhead are finally showing up for boat anglers and plunkers.

Flows were hovering around 1,900 cfs of low and cold water Thursday at Grants Pass, but things should start shaking up. Rains are forecast to up flows to a peak of 9,000 cfs Tuesday before backing off to about 4,000 cfs later in the week. That drop should bode well for boat anglers and side-planers with plugs next week in the Galice area as well as near the mouth of the Applegate River.

Anglers riverwide can keep one wild winter steelhead a day and no more than three a year. The wild steelhead can be part of the daily two-fish limit, which includes hatchery fish.

In the lower Rogue, winter steelhead fishing turned off after a decent flurry of catches of both hatchery and wild steelhead in the Agness area on roe and MapLip 3.5 plugs. Flows were at 4,650 cfs Thursday at Agness but were forecast to peak around 18,000 cfs Tuesday. Later in the week, the dropping flow could be very good for winter steelhead plunking with Spin-Glo’s. Also, the first spring chinook of the season could be drawn into the Gold Beach area by then. That could make for good plunking midweek using Spin-Glo’s at places such as Huntley Park and Dunkelberger Bar.

In the upper Rogue, steelhead fishing has been slow. Flows at Dodge Bridge were down around 1,437 cfs Thursday but set to rise to over 5,000 cfs Tuesday before sliding down to about 2,400 cfs by the end of the week. Hopefully that will get fresh fish moving.

Fish late summer steelhead with roe or roe-soaked yarn flies. Some fly-fishing is decent with nymphs and single egg patterns.

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 river was slow for winter steelhead and bottomed out Thursday at 2,200 cfs. It was forecast to peak around 7,500 cfs by midweek. After that, winter steelhead fishing could be very good as the water drops. Winter steelhead have been spread out riverwide for a month.

ELK/SIXES: Water levels were low, and fishing for winter steelhead has been slow all week.

UMPQUA: The mainstem Umpqua is closed to all retention of wild chinook salmon, including jacks.

Matt Dungan photo Matt Dungan’s JawJacker uses the bent rod as a spring to set the hook when a fish tugs on the line and releases a trigger.