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Fishing report: Friday, May 21


COASTWIDE: A small-craft advisory is in effect through Friday evening. Friday’s forecast calls for winds up to 25 knots and swells to 5 feet. Saturday’s forecast calls for winds to 20 knots, with wind waves up to 4 feet. Sunday calls for winds to 15 knots and 5-foot swells.

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 moved closer to shore. Focus closer now to river mouths, such as the mouth of the Elk River. Sandshrimp and mussels are the best bets, with plastic sand worms and shrimp a secondary bait.

Recreational crabbing is open coastwide.

Razor clamming is open on a sliver of the south coast from the mouth of Coos Bay to Cape Arago. That’s it for the entire Oregon Coast. Bay clamming is open on the south coast. Another series of great morning minus tides begins Monday, with the best a 2.3-foot minus tide that hits low at 7:13 a.m. Thursday. Before digging, call the shellfish hotline at 1-800-448-2474.


AGATE: The lake received 2,500 legal-sized rainbow trout early this month 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 full, but it remains extremely turbid. Electric trolling motors are OK. The park closes at dusk.

APPLEGATE: The lake was stocked earlier this month 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 35 feet from full Thursday. The lake will not fill this year. Water releases are at 175 cfs.

DIAMOND: Trout fishing is best on the south end near the Silent Creek channel for both rainbows and tiger trout. Fishing is best with worms under bobbers, but alter your depths until you find the trout. All tiger and brown trout must be released unharmed.

EMIGRANT: The lake is 35% full and still of no real use to boaters and anglers. The lake received another 3,500 legal-sized rainbows in mid-April to go with the 1,000 legal-sized rainbows late last month. They were all released at the county boat ramp. Fish for them off the bank with chartreuse garlic or rainbow PowerBait or slowly troll worms from boats.

EXPO: The pond was stocked again two weeks ago with 1,500 legal-sized rainbows. Catches have been fairly good on worms under bobbers. Some bass and panfish are available. Parking fees are required.

FISH: The ice is off, and fishing is decent in the open water near the marina for rainbow trout. The lake received another 5,000 legal-sized rainbow trout two weeks ago. Find them in the cove near the Forest Service boat ramp with worms or PowerBait. All tiger trout must be released. The lake was listed Thursday at 47% full.

HOWARD PRAIRIE: The ice is disappearing and there is plenty of open water but not decent boat access to it. The lake was not stocked with rainbows this spring. It was listed Thursday at 10% full. Fishing access is best near the dam.

HYATT: The lake is 23% full and ice-free. The lake received 5,000 legal-sized trout earlier this month, all released near the dam. Fish them with worms or PowerBait off the bank.

LAKE OF THE WOODS: The ice is gone, and trolling for rainbow trout is fair to good with worms behind flashers in the shallows. Go slow. Perch fishing is good near the resort.

LOST CREEK: The lake received 15,000 legal-sized rainbows earlier this month, to go along with 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 18 feet shy of full and not expected to fill this year. Outflows have increased to 2,000 cfs to aid spring chinook salmon migration through the lower Rogue River canyon.

WILLOW: The lake received another 4,000 legal-sized rainbow trout in mid-April, and they have acclimated well. Fish them with worms or PowerBait near the county boat ramp and deeper water across the lake.

SELMAC: The lake was stocked in mid-April 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 came last week with 2,000 legal-sized rainbows.


ROGUE: A few spring chinook are getting caught in the upper Rogue by boat and bank anglers, while the lower Rogue remains slow for springers. The middle Rogue has been in a stall now that the winter steelhead run has petered out for the season.

That keeps the best bet on the upper Rogue. Another 75 springers made it to the Cole Rivers Hatchery intake this past week, upping the count to 112. That’s bad and well under the 10-year running average of 942 fish to date. Still, a few are getting caught by driftboaters back-bouncing roe and sandshrimp.

A few bankies are hooking springers at Hayes Falls and below Rainie Falls, but not much elsewhere. The Hatchery Hole is closed due to a low number of returning hatchery springers, and it will remain closed until August.

Anglers can no long keep any wild steelhead Rogue-wide until 2022.

Another 19 winter steelhead showed up this week at Cole Rivers Hatchery, pushing the count to date up over 1,541 adult steelhead. That’s a nice showing but definitely late. Very few catch-worthy winter steelhead are now around. Catch them on eggs, small fake egg clusters coated with scent, single egg flies, small plugs and worms. The entire arsenal is open this month.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has increased outflows to 2,000 cfs to aid migrating chinook, and that has helped get chinook on the move. Flows at Dodge Bridge were a healthy 2,116 cfs, with very little help from tributary flows.

Flows at Grants Pass were up to 2,684 cfs but that’s still pretty low for mid-May.

For late-run steelhead, try roe, yarn balls and soft egg clusters 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 up to 2,506 cfs of clear and cold water. Those are still quite low for spring chinook. Spring chinook anglers from Lobster Creek down are catching a half-dozen fish a day, but fewer than half are hatchery chinook that can be kept.

APPLEGATE: The river reopens to trout fishing Saturday but anglers cannot target steelhead.

CHETCO: The river reopens to cutthroat and rainbow trout fishing Saturday.

ELK/SIXES: The rivers reopen to angling Saturday.

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