ODFW releases this week's fishing report

 

 

rainbow trout
Rainbow Trout
- Photo by Roger Smith-

Weekend fishing opportunities:

  • Diamond Lake will open to fishing on Jan. 1, 2013.
  • Over the last few weeks there have been reports of multiple limits caught at Lost Creek Reservoir, with fish averaging 12- 15 inches.
  • Due to the high flows in December and early January, good numbers of steelhead have entered the South Umpqua River.
  • Starting on Jan. 1, 2013, steelhead anglers in the Coos, Coquille, and Tenmile basins will be able to retain one additional adipose fin-clipped steelhead per day for a total aggregate of 3 adult fish harvested daily.
  • Conditions are improving for winter steelhead fishing on many south coast rivers.

Buy hunting/fishing licenses now
Hunters and anglers are reminded to purchase 2013 hunting and fishing licenses before venturing into the field in the new year. They can be purchased on the ODFW website, at ODFW license agents and at ODFW offices that sell ODFW documents. Fees are not increasing in 2013. For more information, visit ODFW’s licenses and regulations page.

New resources for SW Zone anglers

Send us your fishing report
We’d love to hear about your recent fishing experience. Send us your own fishing report through ODFW Fishing Reports -- the information will be forwarded to the local biologist who may use it to update various ODFW resources such as the Weekly Recreation Report.

AGATE LAKE: trout, largemouth bass, black crappie

The lake was stocked with legal and larger sized trout in mid-October and should provide good angling opportunities throughout the fall and winter.

The reservoir is 78 percent full.

APPLEGATE RESERVOIR: largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, trout

Hart-Tish boat ramp is now closed for the season. The French Gulch boat ramp is open; however, you can no longer launch a boat from the Copper ramp.

Applegate was stocked the first week of October with large trout (pounders) and legals and trout angling should be good. Trolling lures or flasher/worm combinations at depth should produce fish. The reservoir is 12 percent full at this time.

Steelhead
Steelhead
-Photo by Charlotte Ganskopp-

APPLEGATE RIVER: rainbow and cutthroat trout, winter steelhead

The Applegate River is open for trout fishing. Two adipose fin-clipped trout may be kept per day, 8-inch minimum length. All wild rainbow and cutthroat must be released unharmed.

The Applegate opened to steelhead fishing Jan. 1. Only adipose fin-clipped fish may be harvested. Consult the 2013 fishing regulations for more information. Fishing is usually slow in January but with the water we’ve had so far this year, it could heat up early.   Spinners, spoons, bait and flies can all produce fish in the Applegate. Flows at Wilderville were 670 cfs on Jan. 14.

ARIZONA POND: rainbow trout

Slow. Arizona Pond has been lowered to help control aquatic vegetation. The pond is managed by Oregon State Parks and is open only to youth 17 and under.

BEN IRVING RESERVOIR: rainbow trout, bass, bluegill, yellow perch, crappie

The reservoir was stocked with 4,000 trout in 2012. Warmwater fishing for bass and crappie is available. Ben Irving recieved 1,000 trout for Labor Day.

CHETCO RIVER:  steelhead

Low, clear, and cold. Steelhead are spread throughout the river with the lower river producing the best. Steelhead fishing will probably be slow until the weather warms up and we get some rain. Boat anglers side drifting small clusters of eggs or yarn balls seems to be producing the best. Bank anglers have also been enjoying some success either plunking spin and glows or drifting some eggs. Bank access on the Chetco River is really good, with some of the most popular spots being Social Security, Loeb State Park and Ice Box.

In 2013 ODFW is collecting angler caught steelhead broodstock for the hatchery program on the Chetco River. Anglers fishing the river may notice that some adult steelhead are being held in drift boat live boxes or in river live boxes. Anglers retaining steelhead for this program must be signed up through ODFW. Anglers interested in this program or would like more information can contact the ODFW Gold Beach Field Office (541-247-7605) for more information.

ODFW does not maintain a hatchery facility on the Chetco River and all adult steelhead must be captured from the Chetco River and hauled to Elk River Hatchery to be spawned. Once the eggs hatch, steelhead juveniles are reared to about 1 year old before being returned to the Chetco River as smolts that will then head to the ocean.

Chetco River flows near Brookings.

COOPER CREEK RESERVOIR: rainbow trout, bass, bluegill, yellow perch, bullhead

The reservoir was stocked with over 8,000 trout in 2012. Large yellow perch and bullhead are available to catch. Trout fishing with PowerBait has been successful. Some of the trout do have copepods which are tiny parasites on their body and gills. These are not harmful to humans, but the liasons can be removed and the meat should be throughly cooked. Cooper Creek received 2,000 extra trout for Labor Day.

COOS COUNTY LAKES: rainbow trout

The construction at the Bradley Lake Boat Ramp is complete and the boat ramp is now open. Bradley Lake will be stocked with “trophy” size rainbow trout next week.  These are the fish that were going to be stocked in October but were delayed due to the boat ramp construction.

COOS RIVER BASIN: Dungeness crab, bay clams, steelhead

Crab

Dungeness Crab
- Photo by Kathy Munsel, ODFW -

The water has been low and clear in both the West Fork Millicoma and East Fork Millicoma rivers making steelhead fishing difficult. Fishing on the South Fork Coos River was decent over the past week. The water levels in the South Fork Coos River were a little higher than other rivers in the Basin. Good places to fish are the Millicoma Interpretive Center on the West Fork Millicoma, Nesika Park on the East Fork Coquille River, and at the Big Creek (5 mile marker above the Dellwood office) on the South Fork Coos River. Access to the South Coos River above the Dellwood Gate is by permit from Weyerhaeuser Company, and is subject to their rules. Anglers should call the Weyerhaeuser hotline number at 1-888-741-5403 for recorded information on access and permits. Fishing access permits can be obtained at Weyerhaeuser’s Dellwood office.  

Starting on Jan. 1, 2013, steelhead anglers in the Coos, Coquille, and Tenmile basins will be able to retain one additional adipose fin-clipped steelhead per day for a total aggregate of 3 adult fish harvested daily. See page 38 of the 2013 Oregon Sport Fishing Regulations.

Crabbing effort in Coos Bay has been slow but for those that ventured out on the bay have found that crabbing has been decent. Successful crabbers have been setting their traps in deeper water. Crabbing from the dock has been slow. Crabbing has been good from the jetties up to the BLM boat ramp off the North Spit.

In a cooperative effort including ODFW and OSU researchers, hundreds of red rock crabs have been tagged with a small blue “floy tag” in Charleston to gain an understanding of their growth, age, movement, population size, and fishery. Red rock crabs are native to Oregon and are found in only a few Oregon estuaries. If you catch a tagged red rock crab please contact the ODFW Charleston office at 541-888-5515.

Clamming is excellent during low tides near Charleston, off Cape Arago Highway, and Clam Island. There are also good places to dig clams even on positive low tides in Coos Bay. For more information on shellfish in Coos Bay click on the following link: Shellfish Assessment of Coastal Oregon.

Before any shellfish harvest trip, make sure to check the Oregon Department of Agriculture website for any updates.

COQUILLE RIVER BASIN: steelhead

Steelhead fishing in the South Fork Coquille River was decent over the past week.  Anglers drifting the river were having a little better luck than bank anglers. Fishing elsewhere in the Coquille Basin has been slow due to low water conditions. Anglers have also picked up a few winter steelhead on the Coquille River near the town of Coquille. Most anglers catch steelhead in this part of the river by plunking spin-glos and/or eggs.

Starting on Jan. 1, 2013, steelhead anglers in the Coos, Coquille, and Tenmile basins will be able to retain one additional adipose fin-clipped steelhead per day for a total aggregate of 3 adult fish harvested daily. See page 38 of the 2013 Oregon Sport Fishing Regulations.

DIAMOND LAKE: trout

Diamond Lake opened to fishing on Jan. 1, 2013. The Forest Service campgrounds and the road around the lake will be closed due to snow. Anglers are being asked to fill out creel forms at Diamond Lake beginning on Jan. 1. The information gained from these forms will be used by ODFW to keep track of catch rates and angler pressure during this winter. Forms are located at the resort marina and the north boat ramp cleaning station.

The Diamond Lake Resort has licenses, life jackets and augers available for ice fishing. They also have information on ice and fishing conditions at Diamond Lake on their website Or call their toll free number at 1-800-733-7593, ext 236 or 238 for updates.

Anglers should use caution when deciding whether or not to access the lake for ice fishing. As with any fishing opportunity, anglers are fishing at their own risk. No angling with bait fish is allowed during anytime.

Chinook Salmon
Chinook Salmon
-Oregon Fish and Wildlife-

ELK RIVER: chinook, steelhead

Low, clear, and cold. The next good rain event should get the steelhead on the move. Anglers can check flows by calling the information line prior to fishing the river. The best flows are usually 4-5 feet. 

Check river conditions by calling 541-332-0405.

EMIGRANT RESERVOIR: rainbow trout, largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, black crappie

Trout fishing is worth a try for trout anglers. The water level at Emigrant is at 53 percent of capacity.

EXPO POND: rainbow trout, largemouth bass, crappie, bluegill

The lake was stocked with legal and larger sized trout in mid-October and should provide good angling opportunities throughout the fall and winter.

FISH LAKE: rainbow trout, brook trout, spring chinook

Wedding ring and worm combinations behind a medium split shot may be a good bet for trout. 

Anglers must remember to practice good stewardship when releasing fish. Carefully handle the fish, never using a towel, and keeping them in the water at all times. If the fish is hooked deep, it is best to cut the line for release.

Fish Lake is at 62 percent of capacity and the boat ramp is open.

ODFW has received reports of anglers catching some tiger trout (a brook trout—brown trout hybrid) stocked into Fish Lake last fall. Tiger trout must be released unharmed. It is hoped that these predatory trout will feed on the abundant minnows in the lake and grow to provide for a trophy-quality fishery in a few years. Anglers are asked to carefully release any tiger trout they catch.

FLORAS LAKE: rainbow, cutthroat trout

The lake is best fished from a boat, as there is limited bank angling. The lake can be very windy, so anglers should check the weather prior to heading out.
 
Boat anglers are reminded to clean all aquatic vegetation off their boats and trailers before heading home to help control the spread non-native plants and animals.

GALESVILLE RESERVIOR: rainbow trout, bass

Galesville Reservoir is open to angling year-round. In addition to trout, the reservoir has also been stocked with coho smolts for the last couple of years. Many people mistakenly think these fish are kokanee. All of the coho smolts are adipose fin-clipped. In Galesville Reservoir, all landlocked salmon are considered trout and are part of the five-per-day trout limit, with only one trout over 20-inches long allowed for harvest. A few adult coho were recently released in the reservoir, but most of them were dark and ready to spawn.

The reservoir was stocked with over 8,000 trout in 2012. Anglers are reminded all bass between 12 and 15 inches must be released, and only one bass over 15 inches may be taken per day. Call 541-837-3302 for information on camping and boat launching conditions.

GARRISON LAKE: rainbow trout, cutthroat trout

Fishing has been hit and miss lately with the cold weather. The best time to fish the lake is in the early afternoon when some small insect hatches are occurring. The lake always has a lot of carry over rainbow trout and a good population of cutthroat. Boat anglers will want to keep an eye on the weather and fish the lake when there is no wind. Access for bank anglers is best at the 12th street boat ramp or along the foredune accessed through Tseriadun State Park. Garrison Lake is located in the middle of Port Orford.

Boat anglers are reminded to clean all aquatic vegetation off their boats and trailers before heading home to help control the spread non-native plants and animals.

HEMLOCK LAKE & LAKE IN THE WOODS: trout

Snow has closed the roads to these and the other high lakes in the Umpqua District.

HOWARD PRAIRIE RESERVOIR: closed

HYATT LAKE: closed

steelhead
Steelhead
- Photo by Derek Wilson-

ILLINOIS RIVER: trout, steelhead

The Illinois River below Pomeroy Dam is open for trout fishing. In the summer the Illinois fishery is basically a catch-and-release fishery on wild trout. Adipose fin-clipped trout may be kept, but typically these fish are available only in the lower river.

Steelhead should be available in the Illinois River and the river is currently open to steelhead fishing. Fishing is restricted to artificial flies and lures. Beginning Jan. 1, 2013, in the mainstem Illinois River from Klondike Creek to Pomeroy Dam, anglers may harvest non-adipose fin-clipped (wild) steelhead at least 24 inches in length, one per day and five per year, as part of the steelhead/salmon catch limit.  The Illinois River above Pomeroy Dam, near the town of Cave Junction, and all its tributaries above and below the dam are closed to fishing. Consult the 2013 fishing regulations for more information.

Illinois River flows at Kerby  

LAKE MARIE: rainbow trout

Fishing has improved recently, and anglers using worms or PowerBait have had some success. The lake was stocked with over 5,000 trout in 2012. Lake Marie also received some additional trout for Labor Day.

LAKE SELMAC: trout, largemouth bass, bluegill, crappie

Fishing for bass, bluegill, crappie, and other warmwater species is probably slowing down with cooler weather. The bluegill and crappie can be found around the willows, docks, and other types of structure. Fishing may be best during the warmest parts of the day.

LEMOLO RESERVOIR:

Please note new regulations beginning in 2013:

Lemolo will be open from April 1 through Dec 31. However, during April 1-April 26 and Nov. 1-Dec. 31 it is catch and release only for brown trout.

LOON LAKE: rainbow trout, bass, bluegill

Loon Lake was stocked with 6,500 trout in 2012. The resort and BLM campgrounds are closed. Call 541-599-2254 for additional information on campgrounds for spring 2013.

Ice fishing
Sunny January Day Fishing at Lost Creek
- Photo by Dan VanDyke-

LOST CREEK RESERVOIR: rainbow trout, spring chinook, bass

A health advisory for a harmful algae bloom has been issued for the reservoir, so anglers will want to take precautions to protect themselves and pets.

Over the last few weeks there have been reports of multiple limits caught at Lost Creek by bank and boat anglers. Fish were averaging 12 to 15 inches long. PowerBait was working well for bank anglers while boat anglers do well trolling a variety of lures and bait.

Lost Creek is at 45 percent capacity, and the surface temperature is 42ºF.

Many undersized spring chinook are being caught by trout anglers and must be released unharmed, usually by keeping them in the water as much as possible, grabbing the hook and shaking the fish free. Lost Creek offers excellent trout fishing in fall and winter. Trolling lures or flasher/worm combinations at depth should produce fish.

PACIFIC OCEAN AND BEACHES: bottomfish, Dungeness crab

The recreational Dungeness crabbing is open in the ocean.

Fishing for bottom fish including rockfish, ling cod, and cabezon is open at all depths until April 1. The marine fish daily bag limit is seven fish. There are separate daily limits for lingcod (two) and flatfish other than Pacific halibut (25).

PLAT I RESERVOIR: rainbow trout, warm water fish

Plat I was stocked with over 3,500 fish in 2012. In addition to trout fishing, the lake also has good bass fishing. Bass can be harvested from March 1 to Oct. 31 and are catch-and-release only from Nov. 1-Feb. 29. The reservoir is drawn down for the winter and will be refilled in Febuary.

REINHART PARK POND: trout

The lake was stocked with legal and larger sized trout in mid-October and should provide good angling opportunities throughout the fall and winter.

ROGUE RIVER

To find out more about conservation, management and outreach efforts on the Rogue River, check out the Rogue River page on the ODFW Web site.

River users can find stream flows and temperatures for several Rogue River reporting stations at this website: Rogue River levels.

Rogue River, lower: steelhead
 
The steelhead bite has slowed as water levels continue to drop and clear. Some of the best catches have come from the lower few miles of the river.  Most anglers fish the edges of the river targeting moving steelhead. The two preferred methods are to plunk a spin-n-glow or run plugs out of an anchored boat. Anglers will want to check flows before heading out.   

Rogue River, middle: steelhead, trout, chinook
The river is looking pretty good.  Fish low in this section to try for early winter steelhead.  The flow at Grants Pass was 2620 cfs and the river temperature was peaking around 36ºF on Jan. 14.
Multiple boats reportedly caught 4-7 bright steelhead per boat over the last weekend with most fish being wild.

Remember all non-adipose fin clipped steelhead upstream of Hog Creek must be released unharmed. Beginning Jan. 1, retention of wild steelhead, at least 24 inches in length, 1 per day, five per year, is allowed downstream of Hog Creek. Consult the 2013 fishing regulations for more information. Take care when releasing fish.

Rogue River, upper: steelhead, trout

This section of the river opened to bait fishing Jan. 1. Consult the 2013 fishing regulations for more information. Anglers should be advised that the former marker at Gold Ray Dam has been changed since the dam has been removed. It is now located downstream of the former dam site at Fishers Ferry boat ramp.

The river from the hatchery deadline downstream to the mouth of Big Butte Creek is often fishable even when the rest of the river is blown out. Summers are still showing up at the hatchery so fishing this section could be worth the trip. Pressure has been light.
Remember all non-adipose fin clipped steelhead must be released unharmed. Take care when releasing fish.

A total of 5098 summers have entered Cole Rivers Hatchery as of Jan 9. Releases from Lost Creek Reservoir are 1006 cfs on Jan 9.

Rogue River, above Lost Creek Reservoir: closed.

Open to fishing! The Rogue above Lost Creek opened to fishing on Jan. 1, 2013 and will remain open all year. Consult the 2013 fishing regulations for more information.

SELMAC LAKE: trout

The lake was stocked with legal and larger sized trout in mid-October and should provide good angling opportunities throughout the fall and winter.

SIXES RIVER: steelhead

Low and cold. Steelhead are spread throughout the river, but anglers are having to work a little harder to get fish to bite.

SMITH RIVER, Umpqua: steelhead, sturgeon, striped bass

Steelhead will start entering the Smith River. There is no hatchery program up the Smith River so the angling opportunity will primarily be catch and release of wild steelhead.

SODA SPRINGS RESERVOIR: brown and rainbow trout

Soda Springs Reservoir and the Mainstem North to Slide Creek Dam will close to angling when the new regulations go into effect on Jan. 1, 2013. The tributaries between Soda Springs and Slide Creek Dam will be open to catch-and-release angling with flies and lures only. The area above Slide Creek will retain the current regulations. Due to construction at Soda Springs, there is currently very limited access.

TENMILE BASIN:  steelhead

A few steelhead have been caught over the weekend in lower lower Tenmile Creek. This is the start of the steelhead run and fishing will get better later this month. Anglers have caught steelhead drifting corkies, drifting a jig under a bobber, or by pulling plugs. Because Tenmile Creek is buffered by the lakes, it will be clear and fishable even when every other river in the area is high and muddy. Eel Creek opened for steelhead fishing on Jan. 1 and a couple steelhead have been caught in the Eel Lake Fish trap. 

Starting on Jan. 1, 2013, steelhead anglers in the Coos, Coquille, and Tenmile basins will be able to retain one additional adipose fin-clipped steelhead per day for a total aggregate of 3 adult fish harvested daily. See page 38 of the 2013 Oregon Sport Fishing Regulations.

TOKETEE LAKE: brown trout, rainbow trout

Fishing is open in Toketee year-round. Campground and boat ramp are now open. For more information call the U.S. Forest Service at 541-498-2531.

UMPQUA HIGH LAKES AND FOREBAYS: trout

Clearwater Forebay #2 was stocked with 4,000 trout this spring and received some additional trout Labor Day weekend. For brook trout anglers should try Cliff, Buckeye, Skookum (North Umpqua), Maidu, Twin and Wolf lakes. Linda and Calamut have been stocked with a native rainbow for the last couple of years. Bullpup and Fuller still have brook trout, but were also recently stocked with some fingerling native rainbows. Redtop Lake was stocked in early May and June and received some additional trout for Labor Day. Access to these lakes will be difficult since the roads will be snowed in.

UMPQUA RIVER, MAINSTEM: steelhead, sturgeon, chinook, striped bass

The mainstem Umpqua is closed to wild steelhead harvest, but remains open year-round for adipose fin-clipped steelhead. Steelhead should begin entering the mainstem Umpqua in good numbers and angling should improve even more when the water temperature increases. Plunking during periods of higher, more turbid conditions can be very successful for bank anglers. The river will be in good shape and the water levels will be around 6 to 7 feet.  The steelhead should be fairly well distributed throughout the Mainstem. When fishing in the Mainstem you will most likely catch a wild steelhead due to the high number of wild fish that are still swimming up to the North and South Umpqua. Bank anglers have been successful in areas such as Cleveland Rapids.

Practice good angling ethics to release wild fish unharmed with a minimum of handling. Please report anyone harvesting wild steelhead to OSP. NOTE: It is illegal to keep a steelhead whose adipose fin has been freshly clipped. Anglers should note that most of the steelhead caught will be wild fish and must be released unharmed.

The “50 Places to go fishing within 60 minutes of Roseburg,” handout which is available online or at the office, identifies several good places for salmon and steelhead fishing.

Umpqua River flows near Elkton

UMPQUA RIVER, NORTH: steelhead

Steelhead
Andreas Linder from Oberammergau, Germany with a winter steelhead.
-Photo by Rick Swart-

Steelhead have been caught from Colliding Rivers down, but the bulk of the run typically doesn’t arrive until mid-February. A few anglers have had success as high as the fly waters. The river will be in good condition, but cold water temperatures may slow down the bite. Remember all wild steelhead must be released unharmed. Less than 6 percent of the steelhead in the North are hatchery fish, so anticipate that mostly wild fish will be hooked.

Note that from Oct. 1 through June 30, angling in the fly water area is restricted to a single barbless artificial fly which can be dressed with conventional fly tying material. The North Umpqua mainstem and the tributaries upstream of Soda Springs Reservoir are open for trout angling through Oct. 31. See gear and harvest restrictions.

North Umpqua River water levels at Winchester Dam

UMPQUA RIVER, SOUTH: steelhead

Due to the high flows in December and early January, good numbers of steelhead have entered the South and have been caught up to Milo. Bank anglers are fishing behind Seven Feathers casino, Stanton and Myrtle Creek Bridge. The peak of the steelhead run occurs from February through March and can still be very productive in April. The South Umpqua has a winter steelhead hatchery program and over 100,000 smolt have been released during the past three years. These releases provide the best opportunity for anglers hoping to take a fish home in the Umpqua Basin. Please remember wild steelhead must be released unharmed.

The South will be in good shape and about 7 feet. Most anglers fish the South when it is between 7 to 9 feet. The recent cold snap could however slow the bite however some anglers have still been successful.

South Umpqua River water levels near Riddle

WILLOW LAKE: rainbow trout, largemouth bass, black crappie, brown bullhead

Anglers should be advised that Willow Lake will be open daily from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. for the fall and winter. The gate will be locked at all other times.

WINCHESTER BAY: sturgeon, chinook, rock fish

The wild coho season is now closed. A few anglers are starting to fish for sturgeon. Note that starting Jan. 1 the annual statewide bag limit for sturgeon will be one fish. Check with the Coast Guard for new deadlines in the lower Umpqua when the bar is closed (541-271-4847).

WINCHESTER BAY: sturgeon, chinook, rock fish

Beginning Jan. 1, 2013 the statewide annual bag limit for sturgeon will be one fish. This applies to all Oregon waters including rivers, bays and estuaries.

The wild coho season is now closed. A few anglers are starting to fish for sturgeon. Check with the Coast Guard for new deadlines in the lower Umpqua when the bar is closed (541-271-4847).

WINCHUCK RIVER: steelhead

Low, cold, and clear. Anglers will need to use stealth in approaching the river and fish smaller baits. The best time to fish the river is just after a rain when there is some color to the water.