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Fishing report, Friday, Sept. 17

OCEAN OUTLOOK

COASTWIDE: Friday’s forecast calls for winds up to 5 knots and wind waves to 4 feet, and Saturday calls for winds up to 20 knots during the day and swells up to 7 feet. Sunday calls for winds to drop down to 15 knots but swells to rise to 9 feet.

The halibut limit has increased from one to two fish a day from Humbug Mountain south to the California border because anglers have not put a very big dent in the halibut quota this year.

The offshore season for salmon is closed along the south coast.

The general marine bag limit is five fish in aggregate, with copper, quillback or China rockfish no longer part of the daily limit for boat anglers. Boat anglers can keep one cabezon. The lingcod limit is two fish over 22 inches.

Surfperch fishing will likely drop off again this weekend due to heavy winds that will build up the surf and push the perch back off the beaches. When conditions improve, look for decent catches off south coast beaches. Sandshrimp and mussels are the best bets, with plastic sand worms and shrimp as secondary baits.

Recreational crabbing is open coastwide.

Razor clamming is open from Netarts Bay to California. It is closed on the north coast. Before digging, call the shellfish hotline at 1-800-448-2474.

LAKE OUTLOOK

AGATE: The lake received 2,500 legal-sized rainbow trout in early June, but don’t expect any more due to extremely warm water. Troll worms or fish worms or PowerBait under bobbers near the county boat ramp. Bank anglers need to stay off the ramp. The lake is 10% full and it appears to have bottomed out for the season. Electric trolling motors are OK. The park closes at dusk.

APPLEGATE: The lake was last stocked in June with 10,000 legal-sized rainbows. The Hart Tish Park boat ramp and dock are closed due to low water. The French Gulch and Copper ramps are still usable. Fish for rainbows with PowerBait or worms from the bank or slowly troll Tasmanian Devil lures spiced with a piece of worm. Bass fishing has been fair to good with plastic worms and grubs fished slowly off the bottom along rocky points and flats. The reservoir was 63 feet from full Thursday and dropping steadily. Water releases are holding steady at 175 cfs. Inflows are down to 25 cfs.

DIAMOND: Trout fishing is best on the south end near the Silent Creek channel for rainbows and tiger trout. But hot weather is sending the trout into deeper water. Fishing is best with worms under bobbers. All tiger and brown trout must be released unharmed.

EMIGRANT: The lake is down to 3% full, and that has all but shut off angling activity.

EXPO: The pond was last stocked in May with 1,500 legal-sized rainbows. Some bass and panfish are available. Parking fees are required.

FISH: Fishing is good in the open water near the marina for rainbow trout. Boat access is all manual, with bank fishing best around springs near the resort. Use worms or PowerBait. All tiger trout must be released. The lake was listed Thursday at 16% full, a slight up-swing thanks to underwater springs.

HOWARD PRAIRIE: The lake is open, but access is very poor. The lake was not stocked with rainbows this spring. The lake is down to 4% full. Fishing access is best near the dam. All limits on trout and other species have been lifted due to extremely low water.

HYATT: The lake was down to 1% full Thursday. All limits for size and numbers of trout and bass have been lifted because of poor water conditions.

LAKE OF THE WOODS: Trolling for rainbow trout is fair to good with worms behind flashers in the shallows. Go slow. Perch fishing is good near the resort. Water conditions are some of the best available in the state.

LOST CREEK: The lake received 10,000 legal-sized rainbows in mid-June, split between the marina and the Takelma boat ramp. And that’s it for a while, perhaps the rest of the year. Bank fish with PowerBait near the ramp. Wind-drifting worms above Peyton Bridge has been good. The lake Thursday was 31 feet below the normal late-season target for flood control as outflows have dropped to 1,300 cfs.

MEDCO: The lake was last stocked with 1,100 legal-sized trout in June. Fishing is slow.

SELMAC: The lake was last stocked with 1,000 legal-sized trout in mid-May. Fish for them with worms or PowerBait. Bass are active. The lake is loaded with algae.

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

RIVER OUTLOOK

ROGUE: Chinook fishing has picked up a bit in the lower Rogue, where coho are now starting to show up. The middle Rogue has shown some good flashes of summer steelhead fishing from Robertson Bridge up to the Gold Hill area, while fly-fishing for summer steelhead in the upper Rogue has been decent and worth some attention amid dropping water flows that make driftboating a bouncing business.

That puts the best bet on the middle Rogue, where the entire tackle box and fly box are available to anglers. Fly-fishers with streamers have been hitting steelhead quite consistently downstream of the mouth of the Applegate River, and those casting roe, worms or pink plastic worms are also doing fairly well. Smaller plugs fished from driftboats also have worked well of late. Flows are down, so it’s a bumpy ride.

In the bay, fall chinook catches have improved after a slow weekend. Fish into the 30-pound range have been showing up in the catches, however. Rogue blade rigs are still the best addition for bait, but some large chinook have been caught on straight herring recently. Coho are starting to show up in the catches and they will increase as the season moves forward. All wild coho must be released unharmed.

Also in the lower Rogue, large numbers of halfpounder steelhead have moved into the Agness area and throughout the Wild and Scenic Section of the Lower Rogue Canyon. That’s a great sign for fall fishing this year and summer steelhead fishing the next two seasons. Fish them in the canyon with flies and lures but not bait.

Summer steelhead are continuing to show in the upper Rogue. Another 122 summer steelhead showed up this week at Cole Rivers Hatchery, upping the count to 1,274 to date. It’s better than last year but still under the 10-year running average.

In the upper Rogue, summer steelhead fishing has been decent despite heavy smoke around Shady Cove. These are aggressive biters, with some big fish in the mix. It’s fly-fishing only, with streamers and a mix of stoneflies and prince nymphs best for traditional fly-casters. A similar mix of nymphs is working for those casting bobbers and flies with spinning rods. Remember, no added weights or attachments. That means no swivels or sinkers.

Flows are very low. With only 950 cfs out of Lost Creek Lake, flows at Dodge Bridge were just 1,115 cfs Thursday, with flows down to 959 cfs at Grants Pass. Flows at Agness were a pathetic 1,191 cfs. That’s about 80% of average.

The Rogue from Dodge Bridge on down is closed for chinook salmon, with the lower and middle Rogue still open.

The Hatchery Hole is open for summer steelhead anglers, and a few fish have been caught by fly-fishers nymphing with Ugly Bugs and single salmon egg point flies.

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

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers decreased outflows to 1,300 cfs from Lost Creek Lake this week.

APPLEGATE: The river is open to trout fishing but anglers cannot target steelhead.

CHETCO: The river is open to cutthroat and rainbow trout fishing.

ELK/SIXES: The rivers have reopened to angling but interest is very limited.

NORTH UMPQUA: The North Umpqua is closed to steelhead fishing because of low returns and extremely warm water.