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Mail Tribune Fishing Repor March 26, 2021

OCEAN OUTLOOK

COASTWIDE: A hazardous seas warning is in effect through Saturday afternoon. The forecast calls for 25-knot winds Friday off Brookings, with swells up to 8 feet. Saturday’s forecast calls for winds to drop to 15 knots but swells up to 8 feet. Sunday sees a bit of a break, with winds up to 10 knots and swells dropping to 4 feet.

The general marine bag limit is six fish in aggregate. Anglers can keep just one copper, quillback or 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 continued to push 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. No new minus tides are in the mix this week. Before digging, call the shellfish hotline at 1-800-448-2474.

LAKE OUTLOOK

AGATE: The lake is 75% full and rising quickly, but it remains extremely turbid. Electric trolling motors are OK. The park closes at dusk. Fishing is poor.

APPLEGATE: The lake was stocked last week with 10,000 legal-sized rainbows and is due for a similar stocking in May. That should jump-start some interest. 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 57 feet from full Thursday, about 26 feet short of the typical filling regime. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has kept releases at 150 cfs as part of a more aggressive strategy to fill the lake as much as possible amid drought conditions.

DIAMOND: The lake has a combination of hard ice, slush and snow. Ice fishermen have been hitting the area near the resort as well as the south end, but most of the action is off the north ramp area. Worms dangled about 5 feet under the ice are a good first bet for those who choose to venture onto the ice. Anglers can use up to five rods while ice fishing if they have a two-rod ODFW license endorsement.

EMIGRANT: The lake is 19% full and still of no real use to boaters and anglers. The lake received 1,000 legal-sized rainbows last week, released at the county boat ramp. That should improve interest. Fish them off the bank with chartreuse garlic or rainbow PowerBait or slowly troll worms from boats.

EXPO: The pond was stocked two weeks ago, and fishing has been fairly good for rainbow trout on worms under bobbers. Some bass and panfish are available. Parking fees are required.

FISH: Ice fishing has been fair to good off the Forest Service ramp and around the resort. 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 42% full.

HOWARD PRAIRIE: The lake is holding steady at 8% 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 down to 13% of capacity, with some ice fishing occurring near the dam, but there is some soft ice and open water along the shore.

LAKE OF THE WOODS: Some ice fishing is occurring right off the resort ramp area. Catches have been very good for perch, with the occasional nice rainbow trout. Worms and small jigs are working best. Augers and snow shelters are available for rent at the resort.

LOST CREEK: The lake received its first dose of 20,000 legal-sized rainbows last week, split between the marina and the Takelma boat ramp. That should jump-start fishing interest. Bank fish with PowerBait near the Taklema ramp or troll worms behind flashers near the boat ramp and the dam areas. Also, wind-drifting worms above Peyton Bridge has been good. The lake Thursday was 35 feet shy of full and about 26 feet lower than the normal filling schedule due to drought and poor inflows. Outflows are stable at 1,100 cfs.

WILLOW: The lake is open, but fishing pressure is very light. The lake received its first trout stocking of the spring last week when 4,000 legal-sized rainbows were released at the county boat ramp. Fish them with worms or PowerBait.

SELMAC: The lake was stocked last week with 5,000 legal-sized rainbow trout for the spring fishery. For trout, fish with worms or PowerBait.

MEDCO: The pond is partially iced over and there is very little angling interest. The first trout stocking of the season is scheduled for April 23, when 2,000 legal-sized rainbows will be released.

RIVER OUTLOOK

ROGUE: Winter steelhead fishing has plateaued a bit in the middle Rogue while the upper Rogue is starting to see some decent numbers of winter steelhead for the first time this year. The lower Rogue remains slow for winter steelhead, though the Agness area has been very good for halfpounder steelhead. And early spring chinook salmon fishing is slow river-wide.

That keeps the best bet on the middle Rogue, where the winter steelhead are around but a bit finicky on the bite. Most of the best catches are from Ennis Riffle down to the Galice area, with roe and yarn balls far out-fishing plugs. Most of the fish are in deeper water and less so in riffles, particularly as the day goes on.

Flows at Grants Pass were a paltry 1,891 cfs and forecast to bounce around a little into next week amid light rains but no real bump in flows.

Roe, yarn balls and soft egg clusters are working best in deeper runs. For plugs, use MagLip 3.5s or 3.0s, with Misty River colors as well as gold, black and chartreuse. K-11 Kwikfish in gold or copper are also decent choices.

The upper Rogue drew 82 fresh winter steelhead into Cole Rivers Hatchery this week. That’s the best week so far this season. That bumps the overall count to date at 202 adults, which is ahead of last year (though that’s damning with very faint praise) . It’s still well below the 10-year average of 753 adult winter steelhead to date.

With just 1,100 cfs coming out of Lost Creek Lake, flows at Dodge Bridge were down close to 1,498 cfs Thursday and forecast to jump around slightly through the weekeend.

The entire angler arsenal is available in the upper Rogue now. Plugs, roe, yarn balls soaked in egg juice and even worms with watermelon corkies are all decent bets.

In Agness, flows Thursday were at 4,288 cfs Thursday and that’s been good for halfpounder fishing with streamer flies or nymphs and worms. Spring chinook salmon fishing has been very slow to date and water flows don’t look very promising for that to chance in the very near future.

Wild steelhead can be part of the daily two-fish limit, which includes hatchery fish. Wild chinook must now be released river-wide but anglers can keep up to two hatchery chinook as part of the two-fish daily salmon/steelhead limit.

APPLEGATE: Fresh winter steelhead were caught recently in the lower sections of the river with roe and spoons. However, flows are low and the fish are skittish. No new fish made it to the trap at the base of Applegate Dam this past week. The season ends Wednesday evening. All wild steelhead must be released unharmed.

CHETCO: The river was at 2,700 cfs Thursday and dropping consistently through the weekend, which is the last weekend for winter steelhead fishing. Catches are tapering off. Steelhead are throughout the system now. Side-drifting roe and fake eggs has been best. The season ends Wednesday evening.

ELK/SIXES: Water levels were low and clear for winter steelhead fishing but expected to improve through the weekend. Steelhead numbers, however, have remained low all season. Steelhead fishing ends Wednesday night.

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