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Fishing report: Friday, April 1

OCEAN OUTLOOK

COASTWIDE: Friday’s forecast calls for winds to 25 knots and swells to 8 feet. Saturday calls for winds to 20 knots and wind waves to 5 feet. Sunday’s forecast sees winds of 10 knots, with swells building to 10 feet.

The general marine bag limit is five fish in aggregate, with copper, quillback and China rockfish no longer part of the daily limit for boat anglers. Bank anglers are under a different quota for those species and can still keep them. That includes those fishing off jetties. The lingcod limit is two fish over 22 inches.

Surfperch fishing is likely to be poor through the weekend amid heavy surf that will force the fish out past the breakers. When conditions improve, look for a good spring bite. Sandshrimp and mussels are the best baits, with plastic sand worms and shrimp as secondary choices.

Andy Martin holds up a lingcod landed near Brookings. Jamie Lusch / Mail Tribune

Razor clam digging is closed from Cape Blanco to the California border because of elevated levels of domoic acid in clams. However, the rest of the state, including bays, is open for clamming. A round of evening minus tides begins Wednesday evening. Before digging, call the shellfish hotline at 1-800-448-2474.

Recreational crabbing is open in the ocean, and catches have been excellent in the ocean and bays such as lower Coos Bay at Charleston.

LAKE OUTLOOK

AGATE: The lake got another 3,000 legal-sized trout last month to complement the 1,000 legals released there two weeks earlier. Fishing around the ramp should be good through the weekend on Power Bait, worms or anything that smells like a hatchery food pellet. The lake was at 86% full Thursday, with turbid water. 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 usable, and the lake’s filling schedule is underway. 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 on warm days. The lake is 52 feet from full, and outflows have been holding steady at 125 cfs.

DIAMOND: The ice is thinning quickly and is not strong enough for ice fishing. Look for the lake to thaw out by late April.

EMIGRANT: The lake is up a hair to 12% full, with very little angling activity. Some bank fishing for catfish with chicken livers has been reported.

EXPO: State wildlife biologists stocked 1,500 legal-sized rainbow trout last month. Catch them with Panther Martin lures, single salmon eggs or worms under bobbers. Parking fees are required.

FISH: The ice is thawing rapidly and ice fishing is not recommended.

HOWARD PRAIRIE: The lake is open to angling, and the ice is thawing rapidly with some open water. The lake was stocked with 50,000 fingerling rainbows Oct. 8. The lake is 10% full. Fishing access is best near the dam. Anglers can keep five trout a day, with only one longer than 20 inches.

HYATT: The lake was up to 13% full Thursday. Ice conditions are very poor, and there is some open water accessible to anglers. The limit is five trout a day, with just one over 20 inches. No fingerling trout were stocked last year.

LAKE OF THE WOODS: Ice fishing is not recommended amid warming temperatures and thawing ice.

LOST CREEK: The lake received 7,300 more trout in October, including 2,300 trophy trout. Bank fish with PowerBait near the Takelma ramp, or at the Medco access point off Highway 62. Wind-drifting worms above Peyton Bridge has been good. The lake Tuesday was 6 feet below the normal target for flood control for Jan. 1, so the filling is way behind the normal schedule. Outflows have steadied at a bare minimum 700 cfs.

MEDCO: The lake is ice-free and was stocked last month with 2,000 legal-sized trout.

SELMAC: The lake was stocked with 1,000 legal-sized trout two weeks ago. Fish for them with worms or PowerBait.

WILLOW: The lake received another 2,000 legal-sized rainbow trout late last month, and that means game on for trout fishing with worms and PowerBait near the county boat ramp, where the fish were released.

RIVER OUTLOOK

ROGUE: Winter steelhead fishing has been tough on the upper Rogue amid historic low April flows, while the middle Rogue is seeing catches of spawned-out summer steelhead headed downstream. While a nice pod of winter steelhead are reportedly now in the Agness area, catches are light. Early spring chinook fishing also is slow on the lower Rogue.

The middle Rogue around Galice will be the best bet for the weekend, but that’s a lukewarm endorsement largely because of conditions. Flows at Grants Pass were a low 1,134 cfs Thursday and are forecast late next week to be about 2,200 cfs before dropping quickly again. That’s brutally low, due to a bare minimum 700 cfs released from Lost Creek Lake and horrifically low tributary flows.

Slowly drift-fishing roe, soaked yarn balls or pink plastic worms will be best at the heads of pools and in migration riffles. Plug fishing should be OK but in slower water than normal because of the cold temperatures.

Flows at Dodge Bridge were down Thursday to 1,170 cfs, and they are expected to rise to about 1,300 cfs late next week. Things weren’t much better at the old Gold Ray Dam site Thursday at 1,127 cfs. Flows at Agness were a paltry 1,812 cfs. That’s low for late summer, let alone early spring.

In the lower Rogue the occasional fresh winter steelhead is getting caught daily by those plunking with Spin-Glo’s from the bank at places like Huntley Park and the old mill site. But that’s not inspiring. After the first springer of the year two weeks ago, catches have been light.

Steelhead movement into Cole Rivers Fish Hatchery is still very poor due to extremely low flows. But don’t give up yet for a decent late season. More rain is needed to jump-start everything.

The Hatchery Hole closes to all angling today through July 31. The Hatchery Hole is permanently closed to all chinook fishing.

The Rogue is closed to trout fishing to protect downstream migrating salmon smolts. They cannot be targeted even for catch-and-release fly-fishing at this time.

APPLEGATE: The river is closed to trout and steelhead fishing.

CHETCO: The river is now closed to fishing.

UMPQUA: Flows were low and clear Thursday, but look for the North and South Umpquas to rise a bit next weekend.

ELK: The river is closed to steelhead fishing.