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Mail Tribune Fishing Report, 4/2/2021

OCEAN OUTLOOK

COASTWIDE: The forecast calls for 15-knot winds Friday dropping off to 5 knots off Brookings, with swells up to 6 feet. Saturday’s forecast calls for winds of 10 knots or less but swells to remain up to 6 feet. Sunday sees nearly an identical forecast as Saturday.

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 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 85% full and rising quickly, but it is extremely turbid. Electric trolling motors are OK. The park closes at dusk.

APPLEGATE: The lake was stocked last week with 10,000 legal-sized rainbows and is due for a similar stocking in May. That should spur 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 54 feet from full Thursday, about 31 feet short of the typical filling schedule. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has kept releases at 150 cfs as part of a more aggressive strategy to fill the lake.

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 22% full and still of no real use to boaters and anglers. The lake received 1,000 legal-sized rainbows two weeks ago, 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 three 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 14% full, 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 20,000 legal-sized rainbows two weeks ago, split between the marina and the Takelma boat ramp. Bank fish with PowerBait near the Taklema ramp or troll worms behind flashers near the boat ramp and the dam areas. Wind-drifting worms above Peyton Bridge has been good. The lake Thursday was 31 feet shy of full and about 29 feet lower than the normal filling schedule. Outflows have dropped to a minimum 850 cfs to aid in filling amid drough conditions.

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 two weeks ago 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 are starting to show in the upper Rogue and are now at twice the levels at Cole Rivers Hatchery as this time last year. The middle Rogue has slowed for winter steelhead amid low flows, and the lower Rogue remains slow for early spring chinook salmon.

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. Early spring chinook salmon fishing is slow river-wide.

That moves the best bet to the upper Rogue, just to try something different. Another 149 winter steelhead showed up this past week at Cole Rivers Hatchery, nearly doubling the count to 351 steelhead to date. That’s much better than last year but still well under the 10-year running average of 1,039 adults. Catch them on eggs, small fake egg clusters coated with scent, single egg flies, small plugs and even worms. The entire arsenal remains open this month. However, flows are problematic. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has cut the outflows down to 850 cfs, and that will make driftboating a bit bumpy and loud. Flows at Dodge Bridge were a paltry 1,249 cfs and dropping through the weekend. A minor spike is expected next week.

In 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. But still, action has been slow this week. Most of the fish are in deeper water, particularly as the day goes on.

Flows at Grants Pass were a paltry 1,488 cfs and forecast to continue to slide downward until mid-week.

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.

In Agness, flows Thursday were at 3,418 cfs of clear and cold water. That’s helped dampen early spring chinook salmon catches to about a dozen so far this season.

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: The river is closed to all angling.

CHETCO: The river is closed to all angling.

ELK/SIXES: The rivers are closed to all angling.

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