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Fishing report Sept. 20, 2019

OCEAN OUTLOOK

COASTWIDE: A small-craft advisory is in effect through Saturday evening. Friday’s forecast calls for winds to 20 knots and wind waves up to 5 feet, followed Saturday by winds reaching 20 knots in the afternoon and swells up to 4 feet. Sunday’s forecast calls for 15-knot winds and swells to 7 feet.

Rockfish anglers no longer have to stay within the 30-fathom line, and that is in effect for the remainder of the year. That means halibut anglers can keep limits of bottomfish during the same trip.

The marine aggregate rockfish daily limit for bottomfishers is five fish. Cabezon has closed for boat-based anglers, and boat anglers have to release copper, quillback and China rockfish. The cabezon closure does not apply to shore-based anglers. A descending device to help release rockfish caught in deeper water is mandatory on all boats.

The halibut limit remains two a day in the Central and South Coast sub areas because the poundage quotas are strong enough to allow for doubling of the daily limit. Also, the all-depth season has been extended to every Friday through Sunday until the quota is reached. There is also plenty of quota left in the South Coast sub-area out of Brookings and Gold Beach.

The ocean salmon season is closed for the remainder of the year off the Southern Oregon Coast. That includes no October chinook fishery off the mouth of the Chetco River.

Weather has been a bit rough, and that has kept tuna anglers in port the past few days, but tuna have been reported as close as 6 miles off Charleston recently.

Surfperch fishing has been good, and this weekend’s forecast doesn’t look too promising for shore fishing other than in secluded beaches. Focus on South Coast beaches, especially those close to river mouths. Try casting Berkley Gulp sandshrimp, sand worms or prawns.

Recreational crabbing is open coastwide. Most of the crabs are now hard-shelled as the prime recreational season on Dungeness begins.

The next minus tide series begins early Thursday morning. Razor clamming is open from the Coquille River mouth to the California border. Clatsop beaches are closed as part of the yearly conservation closure through Sept. 30. Bay clamming and mussel harvesting are open along the coast. Before digging, call the shellfish hotline at 1-800-448-2474.

LAKE OUTLOOK

AGATE: The lake was down Thursday to 15 percent full and dropping. Water conditions are decent for crappie and perch fishing, but there is very little structure along the shoreline. Bass fishing has been slow. The ramp is open. No gas motors are allowed. Electric trolling motors are OK. The park closes at dusk.

APPLEGATE: The lake was down Thursday to more than 67 feet below full and it continues to drop almost 6 feet per week. It’s definitely a park and hike to the water show, with muddy banks discouraging most anglers. Bank anglers should try off points. Trollers are working off the Copper ramp and near the dam. Launch at the low-water French Gulch ramp. No fresh fish have been stocked since mid-summer. Troll Wedding Ring lures spiced with a piece of worm or a worm behind a flasher. Bass fishing is fair to good. The surface temperature is starting to drop quickly.

DIAMOND: Trout fishing has picked up amid stormy and cooler weather. The area has received some snow and the mosquitoes have died off. Trollers should focus on small lures and worms, and still-fishing is best with PowerBait or worms deep under sliding bobbers. Fly-fishers are using woolly buggers and chironomids, fished with intermediate or sinking lines and stripped short but fast. The south end ramp is open. All tiger trout must be released unharmed, and some of them are pushing 20 inches.

EMIGRANT: The lake was down Tuesday to 26 percent full and dropping, with barely enough water to launch at the low water ramp at the county park. Largemouth bass fishing interest has picked up and fall fishing is good throughout the day for those working off rocky points with plastic worms. Smallmouth bass are on the gravely flats. The lake is low enough that there is no vegetation structure available to hold fish now. Perch fishing is fair. The Emigrant Arm as disappeared at this water level. Rainbow trout were stocked three times early this year, and fishing for them is nonexistent now.

EXPO: The pond last received trout in June, and that’s the last stocking of the season. Some bass and panfish are getting caught. Parking fees are required.

FISH: The lake is dropping quickly, and the rainbow trout are congregating around springs out of the lake bed. Fishing has been good early and late in the day. The lake was 13 percent full and dropping, making boat ramp use sketchy at best. Troll Wedding Rings with worms or small Rapalas that look like tui chub for rainbows and tiger trout. Fish off the bank with PowerBait near underwater springs. All tiger trout must be released.

HOWARD PRAIRIE: The marina and boat ramp at the resort are closed for the season due to low water, and the restaurant is now closed. That has lost angler interest, likely for the season. The lake was holding steady at 36 percent full, which is severely limiting boat launchings and trailerings at the resort ramp. The other ramps are unusable for powerboats.

HYATT: The lake is holding steady at percent full with little interest from anglers. Some canoes, kayaks and cartoppers are launching off the bank to find decent rainbow trout fishing in the canal and near the dam. Lots of small bass in the mix.

LAKE OF THE WOODS: Fishing is fair for a mix of brown trout, rainbow trout and perch. Worms and PowerBait are working best. The lake was last stocked in late June, with 1,000 legal-sized rainbows and 600 trophy trout.

LOST CREEK: The lake received 10,000 legal-sized rainbows and 1,500 trophy trout in mid-June, and it won’t be stocked again until 5,000 legal-sized rainbows and 2,300 trophy-sized rainbows will be stocked in the first week of October, split between the marina and the Takelma ramp. Most of the action is near the Takelma ramp. Most anglers are trolling Wedding Ring lures spiced with a worm. Some trollers are using small flashers. Fishing single eggs or small chunks of worm is good where the Rogue flows into the reservoir. The area upstream of Peyton Bridge is a no-wake zone. The lake outflows were dropped systematically over the past week and are now at 1,250 cubic feet per second out of the dam. The lake is 3.4 feet from its normal fall low pool.

WILLOW: The lake is open, and 4,000 rainbow trout and 1,500 trophy trout were stocked in late May at the county ramp. Fish them with worms and PowerBait or streamer flies. Fishing for them has been very good.

SELMAC: Fishing for bass is fair. Hot weather is hurting the trout fishery.

MEDCO: The lake received 1,100 legal-sized rainbows in mid-June. Fishing is best trolling worms and flashers or still-fishing with PowerBait.

RIVER OUTLOOK

ROGUE: Recent rains and cooler weather has caused some yo-yoing in the upper Rogue sujmmer steelhead fishing during the flies-only season. The middle Rogue is starting to see the first fall chinook of the year in places such as Taylor Creek Canyon as well as a nice surge in steelhead and halfpounders. The lower Rogue is loaded with fall chinook, jack chinook, adult and halfpounder steelhead, while the bay has been slow for big adult chinook but still hot on jacks — and that will only get better as the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers drops outflows to the upper Rogue.

That keeps the lower Rogue the best bet, primarily around the Agness area. Side-drifting roe has been good for chinook, and all those jacks that seem to be dominating the run this year. Swinging streamer flies has been decent for halfpounders, as well.

In the upper Rogue, summer steelhead continue to make a good showing and are now inching close to the 2012 run for the best year-to-date totals at Cole Rivers Hatchery. Another 65 showed up in the collection pond this week, upping the total to date to 2,636. The drop in numbers came as the drop in flows to 1,250 cubic feet per second out of Lost Creek Lake.

Considering that the 10-year running average for this week is 1,571 steelhead, you can see why fly-fishers are excited.

Flows at dropping flows at Dodge Bridge are up a bit from rains to 1,529 1,279 cfs and 1,995 cfs at the old Gold Ray Dam site. The water is warm, so now is the perfect time to swing leeches, red ants and other steelhead flies with sink-tip lines or nymphing egg patterns around spawning chinook.

The flies-only season runs through Oct. 31 upstream of Fishers Ferry boat ramp.

Guides in the middle Rogue this week reported marking chinook on depth finders in Taylor Creek Canyon, but they seem to be on the move and not biting. A slug of jacks were milling around below Rainie Falls this week as well, and the bite is just starting to turn on. Summer steelhead fishing has been good around Grants Pass with worms or Panther Martin lures, and large numbers of halfpounders have been reported in the Galice area this week. They’ll hit spinners, worms, plugs and streamer flies.

APPLEGATE: The river is open for trout fishing, and all wild rainbow trout and cutthroat trout must be released unharmed. That’s pretty much all of the catch.

CHETCO: The river is open for trout fishing, and only artificial flies and lures are allowed above tidewater.

Mail Tribune / Jamie Lusch