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Fishing Report: Friday, Oct. 29

OCEAN OUTLOOK

COASTWIDE: A small-craft advisory is in effect through Saturday afternoon on the South Coast. The Friday forecast calls for 15-knot winds and swells up to 8 feet. Saturday calls for winds to 20 knots with swells to 8 feet, plus 9-foot wind waves. Sunday calls for winds rising to 25 knots with swells down to 5 feet.

The halibut limit that increased from one to two fish a day from Humbug Mountain south to the California border ends Sunday night, even though anglers have not put a very big dent in the halibut quota this year.

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.

Fishing Guide Brian Wager, left, Angelo Scaramastra and Jim Luzzi watch as a wild steelhead breaks water after being hooked near Hell Gate Canyon on the Rogue River. - Jamie Lusch

Surfperch fishing will be nonexistent this weekend. Once conditions improve, sandshrimp and mussels are the best baits, with plastic sand worms and shrimp as secondary choices.

Recreational crabbing is open coastwide. Crabbing has been slow in bays because heavy offshore surf this past week has pushed crabs offshore.

Razor clamming is open from Netarts Bay south to the California border. Clatsop County beaches are open for razor clamming amid some of the best clam populations seen in decades. 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. 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. Electric trolling motors are OK. The park closes at dusk.

APPLEGATE: 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 87 feet from full Thursday and finally rising slightly, while water releases are holding steady at 130 cfs.

DIAMOND: Trout fishing has been best on the south end near the Silent Creek channel for rainbows and tiger trout. Fishing is best with worms under bobbers. All tiger and brown trout must be released unharmed. The lake is not yet starting to ice over.

EMIGRANT: The lake is down to 2% 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 19% full, a slight upswing.

HOWARD PRAIRIE: The lake is open, but access is very poor. Those able to drag a boat to the water have done very well trolling worms and flashers for rainbows. The lake was stocked with 50,000 fingerling rainbows Oct. 8, and those fish are an investment in next year. The lake is down to 4% full and it appears to have bottomed out. Fishing access is best near the dam.The no-limit rules expired Oct. 1, so anglers can keep only five trout a day, with just one longer than 20 inches.

HYATT: The lake was down to 1% full Thursday. The no-limit rules expired Oct. 1, so only five trout a day, with no more than one over 20 inches, are allowed. No fingerling trout have been stocked so far this year.

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.

LOST CREEK: The lake received 10,000 legal-sized rainbows in mid-June, split between the marina and the Takelma boat ramp, and 7,300 trout were stocked the week of Oct. 4-8, including 2,300 trophy trout. Bank fish with PowerBait near the ramp. Wind-drifting worms above Peyton Bridge has been good. The lake Thursday was 51 feet below the normal late-season target for flood control as outflows have steadied at 900 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 and that’s it until February. 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 and that’s it until next March. Fish them with worms or PowerBait near the county boat ramp and deeper water across the lake.

RIVER OUTLOOK

ROGUE: The latest rains have helped warm the upper Rogue to get summer steelhead moving again, while the middle Rogue remains slow for adult summer steelhead but picking up for halfpounders in the Galice and Ennis Riffle areas. The Agness area has been good for steelhead and halfpounders, while the rest of the lower Rogue remains slow for steelhead.

That makes the far upper Rogue the best bet for late-season summer steelhead fishing. It’s flies-only still through Sunday, but look for good catches in the upper Rogue beginning Monday when the tackle box reopens after two months of just flies.

Upstream of the Shady Cove boat ramp will get the most interest as of Monday. That’s where bait and artificial lures are allowed. Look for good steelhead catches on small clusters of roe as well as yarn balls soaked in roe juice.

Downstream of the Shady Cove ramp is open to only artificial flies and lures. Plugs like MagLips will be very hot throughout most of next week. For fly-fishers, this allows the use of molded plastic beads that are illegal during the flies-only season.

The warming water has steelhead on the move. Another 53 summer steelhead reached Cole Rivers Hatchery this past week to increase the return to date to 1,567 adults. That’s behind the running 10-year average of 1,930 fish to date but is an improvement.

The flows out of Lost Creek Lake are holding at 900 cubic feet per second, but flows are forecast to juggle only a little this week from Thursday’s level of 1,026 cfs at Dodge Bridge.

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 for summer steelhead fishing the next two seasons. But that good fishing for now has resumed as flows finally dropped to 2,153 cfs Thursday at Agness. That’s close to ideal for bait, plugs and flies for steelhead and halfpounders. The Lower Rogue Canyon also opens Monday for bait and plugs for adult and halfpounder steelhead. Prospects look very good.

The Rogue is closed for chinook salmon fishing upstream from Hog Creek. No worries, since there’s no action up there.

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. The Hatchery Hole is now permanently closed to all chinook fishing and will remain open only for steelhead. Bait such as worms and roe will be legal there beginning Monday.

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

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

CHETCO: The Chetco is dropping into good shape for the first wave of fall chinook of the season. Flows Thursday were at about 4,600 cfs and dropping well after peaking earlier this week at about 8,500 cfs. That should move fall chinook throughout the system. Fish them with roe or plugs, but there usually is a fair amount of leaves in the water through the first storm sequence.

ELK/SIXES: The rivers are open and early fall chinook began showing up this week. However, conditions have dropped to low and clear, making for tough fishing this weekend.

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