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Mail Tribune Fishing Report, 4/16/2021


COASTWIDE: Friday’s forecast calls for 5-knot winds and swells up to 4 feet in the morning, with Saturday’s forecast calling for winds up to 10 knots and mixed swells up to 3 feet in morning fog. Sunday’s forecast calls for much of the same.

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 improving this week amid calmer seas as perch have moved closer to shore. Sandshrimp and mussels are the best bets, with plastic sand worms and shrimp a secondary bait.

Recreational crabbing is open coastwide.

Razor clamming is closed along the entire Oregon Coast and likely will for the foreseeable future. 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.


AGATE: The lake received 2,500 legal-sized rainbow trout last week as state fish biologists look to steer anglers toward Agate because of relatively stout water volumes. Troll worms or fish worms or PowerBait under bobbers near the county boat ramp, but bank anglers need to stay off the ramp. The lake is 90% full and rising, but it is extremely turbid. Electric trolling motors are OK. The park closes at dusk.

APPLEGATE: The lake was stocked this week with another 10,000 legal-sized rainbows, the same as a few weeks ago. 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 46 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’s ice is starting to melt off dramatically and the lake is not considered safe to venture onto. Expect the ice to melt off within two weeks. When it does, look for good trout fishing on the south end and near the marina.

EMIGRANT: The lake is 26% full and still of no real use to boaters and anglers. The lake received another 3,500 legal-sized rainbows last week to go with the 1,000 legal-sized rainbows late last month. They were all 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 again last week with 1,500 legal-sized rainbows. Catches have been fairly good for rainbow trout on worms under bobbers. Some bass and panfish are available. Parking fees are required.

FISH: The ice is starting to deteriorate quickly and it is not safe to ice fish. When the ice melts off, look for rainbows and tiger trout near underwater springs.

All tiger trout must be released. The lake was listed Thursday at 44% full.

HOWARD PRAIRIE: The lake’s ice is breaking up and it is not safe for ice fishing. The lake was not stocked with rainbows as normally planned in spring. It was listed Thursday at 9 percent full.

HYATT: The lake is 20% full and the lake’s ice is breaking up significantly and not safe for ice fishing. No spring trout stockings are planned because of low water.

LAKE OF THE WOODS: The ice is starting to break up significantly. Prior to that, catches have been very good for perch, with the occasional nice rainbow trout. Worms and small jigs were best.

LOST CREEK: The lake received 15,000 legal-sized rainbows this past week, to go along with the 20,000 legals stocked there at the end of March. They were 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 26 feet shy of full and about 25 feet lower than the normal filling schedule. Outflows have upped releases to 875 cfs to aid in filling amid drought conditions.

WILLOW: The lake received another 4,000 legal-sized rainbow trout last week. Fish them with worms or PowerBait near the county boat ramp and deeper water across the lake.

SELMAC: The lake was stocked last week with another 5,000 legal-sized rainbows, making it the only put-and-take trout fishery working well in Josephine County. For trout, fish with worms or PowerBait. Bass are getting active.

MEDCO: The first trout stocking of the season is scheduled for April 23, when 2,000 legal-sized rainbows will be released.


ROGUE: Winter steelhead are starting to bite decently in the upper Rogue despite horrifically low April flows, while steelhead are still showing themselves in the middle Rogue. The lower Rogue is slow for spring chinook amid extremely low flow conditions.

That keeps the best bet on the upper Rogue, just to cut down travel time until the spring chinook start showing up. Another 230 winter steelhead showed up this week at Cole Rivers Hatchery, pushing the count to date up over 900 adult steelhead. That’s inching closer to the year-to-date average of 1,640 steelhead over the past decade. Catch them on eggs, small fake egg clusters coated with scent, single egg flies, small plugs and even worms. The entire arsenal is open this month. However, flows are problematic. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has kept the outflows down to 875 cfs, and that will make driftboating a bit bumpy and loud. Flows at Dodge Bridge were a paltry 1,1,48 cfs and dropping through the weekend amid no expected rain.

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 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 1,194 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 2,194 cfs of clear and cold water. Those are brutal conditions, more akin to late summer than spring. Spring chinook salmon anglers from Lobster Creek down are catching a half-dozen fish a day, but fewer than half are hatchery chinook that can be kept.

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.