Fishing Report: Friday, April 15 – Medford News, Weather, Sports, Breaking News

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OCEAN OUTLOOK

THE WHOLE COAST: Friday’s forecast calls for 5 knot winds and 3 knot swell. On Saturday, winds are expected to pick up to 10 knots and swell drag around 3 feet, plus rain. Sunday’s forecast looks identical to Saturday’s, so collectively this should provide excellent sea fishing opportunities for groundfish throughout the weekend.

The general marine catch limit is five fish in total, with copper, spinyback and Chinese rockfish no longer part of the daily limit for boat anglers. Anglers are subject to a different quota for these species and can still keep them. This includes those who fish from the piers. The lingcod limit is two fish over 22 inches.

The perch fishing is expected to improve significantly through the weekend in favorable conditions after nearly two weeks of rough stuff. Look for a good spring bite as they rise near river mouths and beach to spawn. Sand shrimp and mussels are the best baits, with plastic sandworms and shrimp as secondary choices.

Clam mining is closed from Cape Blanco to the California border due to high levels of domoic acid in the clams. However, the rest of the state, including the bays, is open for clam fishing. A less tidal evening round begins on Wednesday. Before digging, call the Seashells Hotline at 1-800-448-2474.

The recreational crab fishery is open in the ocean and catches have been excellent in the ocean and bays such as lower Coos Bay in Charleston. Many Dungeness begin to have soft shells due to molting. Be sure to eliminate the slack as the amounts of meat are not ideal.

LAKE OVERVIEW

AGATE: TThe lake received another 3,000 legal-sized trout last month to supplement the 1,000 legal-sized trout posted two weeks earlier. Fishing around the ramp should be good all weekend long on Power Bait, worms, or anything that smells like hatchery food pellet. The lake was 99% full on Thursday, with cloudy water. Electric trolling motors are OK. The park closes at dusk.

APPLEGATE: Hart Tish Park boat launch and dock are closed due to lack of water. French Gulch and Copper ramps can be used. The lake should be stocked with rainbow trout next week. Fish for rainbows with PowerBait or bank worms or slowly drag Tasmanian Devil lures spiced up with a piece of worm. Bass fishing was fair with plastic worms and grubs caught slowly on the bottom along rocky points and flats on hot days. The lake is slowly filling due to low flow and is 40 feet below where the US Army Corps of Engineers prefers it to be on its normal refill schedule. Outputs held at 125 cfs.

DIAMOND: The ice becomes melting and it is not safe to venture there. There’s about 50 feet of open water in front of the resort, and that’s probably all weekend. Look for the lake to thaw by the end of April.

EMIGRANT: The lake is holding at 13% infill, with very little angling activity. There have been reports of shoaling of catfish with chicken livers, as well as casting with larvae or plastic worms for bass off the rocky headlands on sunny days.

EXPO: Last week, state wildlife biologists stocked 1,500 legal-sized rainbow trout, which should kick-start an April fishery that may become very popular. Catch them with Panther Martin lures, single salmon roe or under float worms. Parking fees are required.

FISH: The ice has melted and rainbow trout fishing has been good near the springs with PowerBait. The water is cold. The lake was listed Thursday at 41% full.

HOWARD PRAIRIE: The lake is open for angling and ice-free, but few take advantage of it. The lake level was up a hair’s breadth to 11% on Thursday and was filling extremely slowly. Most of the action takes place near the access to the dam. The lake was stocked with 50,000 rainbow fry on October 8, and catches are expected to be very good with worms and PowerBaits as well as small streamers for fly anglers. Anglers can keep five trout a day, only one of which is over 20 inches.

Hyatt: The lake was 14% full on Thursday and mostly ice free, with some fishing in the dam area for trout. The limit is five trout per day, with only one over 20 inches. No fry trout were stocked last year, so trout numbers are very low. Some warm water fish like black crappie make an appearance in the catch.

LAKE OF THE WOODS: The lake is ice free and already fishes fairly well for rainbow trout in shallow water. These fish navigate in search of meals in warmer waters. Try PowerBait or small lures that look like minnows.

LOST STREAM: The lake will receive a new complement of catchable legal-size rainbow trout this week, with stocking having begun Wednesday at the Takelma ramp. More restocking is expected this week as state fish biologists focus on adding more catchable trout to open waters early this year. Bank fish with PowerBait near the Takelma boat ramp or at the Medco access point near Hwy 62. Wind drift worms over the Peyton Bridge have been good. The lake on Tuesday was 28 feet below the normal fill level for this time of spring, and that’s a poor stat with less than four weeks remaining in the normal fill season. Outputs stabilized at a bare minimum of 700 cfs.

MEDECO: The lake is ice free and was stocked last month with 2,000 legal size trout. Catch them on PowerBait or worms.

SELMAC: The lake was again stocked with 1,000 legal size trout last week. Fish them with worms or PowerBait.

WILLOW: The lake received another 2,000 legal-size rainbow trout late last month, meaning trout fishing with worms and PowerBait continues near the boat launch of the county, where the fish were released.

RIVER OVERVIEW

THUG: The winter rainbow trout fishery has been decent on the Upper Rogue amid historically low April flows, while the Middle Rogue is seeing catches of spawned summer rainbow trout head towards downstream. Lower Rogue has seen a few more Spring Chinook salmon caught in the past week, and a few more are getting caught as they begin to move up Rogue.

But expect that to change as flows are expected to increase early next week for the first time all winter.

The Rogue medium around Galicia will remain the best bet for the weekend, but it’s a lukewarm endorsement largely due to conditions expected to rebound through the weekend. Flows at Grants Pass reached 3,000 cfs on Thursday and will decrease somewhat until Monday, when flows are expected to start increasing to around 7,200 cfs. This is the first washout time for the peach that average Rogue has seen since December. And that’s with the Lost Creek Lake releases expected to hold steady at 700 cfs as the US Army Corps of Engineers seeks to recover the volume of water lost to the reservoir.

Slow Drifting Fish Eggs, Soaked Yarn Balls, or Pink Plastic Worms will do best at the head of the pools and in the migrating rapids. Plug fishing should be acceptable, but in slower than normal waters due to cold temperatures. Lots of summer rainbow trout and a few winter rainbow trout are in the fishery. These should all be released safe and sound. If killed, the quality of their meat is very poor and not worth the loss for the resource.

Flows at Dodge Bridge reached 1,700 cfs on Thursday and are expected to climb to around 3,000 cfs on Tuesday. But beware; past forecasts have been disappointing. Fishing in Upper Rogue was best with plugs and pink plastic worms. Many adults are now spawning in the mainstem of the river and boaters should try to avoid spooking them when crossing shallow spawning areas.

In the lower Rogue, the occasional cool winter rainbow trout gets caught by those diving with spin-glos from the bank at places like Huntley Park and the old factory site. But that’s not inspiring. After the first springer of the year three weeks ago, catches were light for springers.

The movement of rainbow trout to Cole Rivers Hatchery is still very low due to extremely low flows.

The Hatchery Hole is closed to all angling from April 1 through July 31. The Hatchery Hole is permanently closed to all Chinook fishing.

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

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

CHETCO: The river is now closed to fishing.

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