Hunting Report, August 5


Coast: The small boat warning remains in effect until Friday evening. Friday’s winds are expected to reach 25 knots and wind waves to 6 feet in the afternoon, followed by gusts of up to 20 knots and gusts of up to 5 feet on Saturday. Sunday’s forecast calls for winds to drop to 5 knots and swell to 4 feet.

Ocean salmon fishing has slowed slightly for a mix of Chinook and Coho salmon off southern Oregon as currents change. Chinook fish with stilts 80 to 150 feet down with anchovies. Coho is caught higher in the water column and closer to the boat. The season is open seven days a week.

After a brief wave of tuna, no new catch was reported over the past week.

Bottom fishing is excellent for black rockfish, langkud, and halibut when weather permits. Halibut are found in waters as shallow as 100 feet.

Surf fishing will probably be doing well again this weekend as the perch moves toward the waterways to breed and the ocean appears to be lying flat. Shrimp and mussels are the best bait, with plastic sandworms and shrimp as secondary options.

The clamming in the bay should be fine despite the low tide in the morning which has been very helpful the last couple of weeks.

Clam pits have been opened in South Tillamook Head after levels of domoic acid in oysters south of Cape Blanco have finally reached safe levels. However, Clatsop County beaches are now subject to annual conservation closures. Prickly clam pits have been poor on the south coast, but look for good oysters in the bay on the south coast, especially around Charleston in Coos Bay. Before digging, call the oyster hotline at 1-800-448-2474.

Recreational fishing is open in the ocean, and the catch has been excellent in the ocean and bays such as Charleston’s Lower Coos Bay. Many dirt began to coalesce after molting. Make sure to get rid of the soft meat as the portions of the meat are not ideal.

Lake Outlook

Agate: The lake got 4,000 legal-size trouts in June, and that’s it for the season. Trout fishing was slow. Perch and bass fishing was very good in the warm weather and warm water. The lake was logged at 58% full on Thursday, with murky waters and rapidly dropping due to demand for irrigation water amid triple-digit heat. Electric trolling motors are fine. The park closes at dusk.

APPLEGATE: The Hart Tish Park boat ramp and pier are open, and there is plenty of water for the boat ramps. The last time rainbow trout were stocked in the lake was in June. Catch rainbows with PowerBait or worms from the bank, or slowly hunt down a Tasmanian spiced devil with a worm. Bass fishing was good with plastic worms and larvae being slowly caught from the bottom along rocky points and flats on warm days. The lake is dropping rapidly now that inflows have fallen off the charts as is usually the case in midsummer. The lake is listed 31 feet below full, with outflows continuing by 300 feet. The lake was logged at 62% on a full Thursday. Remember the 10 mph speed limit on the tank.

DIAMOND: The lake does fairly good fishing for rainbow trout, with the best fishing at the southern end near the pizza shop, in Silent Creek Channel or the far side of the lake near Scout Camp. Most of the action takes place in shallow waters in the morning and evening, slowing midday amid warmer temperatures. Fishing deep with PowerBait during the day. Mosquitoes are dense along the bank but thin the further away from the shore. PowerBait and small leech flies caught slowly will do better, with the worms under the bobbers near the bottom of another good bet. All tiger trout must be released unharmed. Some lose 5 pounds.

Migrant: The lake is 18% full as hot weather has increased the demand for irrigation water drawn from the reservoir. Angling activity is primarily for smallmouth and bass bigmouth from cranked rock points and rubber worms that run from the bottom. Very little fishing activity for trout. Some bank catches of catfish with chicken livers have been reported. More boat fishing for bass occurred during the warmer days.

Expo: State wildlife biologists stocked 1,500 legal-sized rainbow trout here nearly two months ago, and their numbers are now tiny. Catch them with Panther Martin bait, individual salmon eggs, or worms under bobbers. Parking fee required.

Fish: Rainbow trout was better caught near the springs where irrigation withdrawals have caused significant drawdowns to the bottom of the lake. However, a percentage of the full reading was not available on Thursday at Fish Lake. This makes locating the springs even more important. PowerBait and worms work best, as well as phishing lures that look like tui chub. The tiger trout must be released unharmed. Some of the accessible springs are located off the Fish Lake Resort’s marina.

Howard Prairie: The lake is open for fishing, but water levels are very low, and no legal-size trout were stocked this spring. There are some salmon fish caught by fishermen with a PowerBait off the bank near the dam. There are not many other procedures. The lake level dropped slightly Thursday by 8% as water was diverted to Emigrant Lake for use in irrigation.

Hyatt: The lake has been stationary at a distressing level of 3% full as it is being withdrawn to feed the Expat Lake for irrigation. Some fishing is still in the dam area for trout. The maximum is five trout per day, with only one fish over 20 inches. Fingerling trout were not stocked last year, so trout numbers are very low. Some warm-water fish, such as black crappie, appear in the catches.

Timber Lake: The lake continues to fish well for rainbow trout in shallow waters. Lots of chick is caught off the resort slope.

LOST CREEK: The lake got a new batch of premium, legal-size rainbow trout back in the Takelma slope late last month. Inflows are declining, and releases are still at 1,700 cubic feet, so the lake is declining fairly quickly for the first time this year. Banks fish with PowerBait near the Takelma slope or at the Medco access point off Highway 62. The wind worms floating over the Peyton Bridge were good. Bass fishing has been good near the rocky outcrops recently, with the crank and rubber worms being one of the best offerings. The lake was listed Thursday at 65% full and 32 feet full, which is good for this time of year amid drought.

Medco: Last month the lake was stocked with 2,000 legal-size trout. Catch them on PowerBait or Worms.

SELMAC: 1,000 legal-size trout were stocked in the lake again about a month ago, and that’s it for the season. Hunt them with worms or PowerBait.

Willow: The lake received another 2,000 legal-size rainbow trout late last month. Catch them with worms or PowerBait near the county boat ramp, where the fish were released.

Futuristic view of the river

ROGUE: The top Rogue is now only partially open for the chinook spring but fully open for the summer steel head which is now getting more attention. The middle rogue stays slow for the steelhead and prevents the chinook salmon he hasn’t made yet. The lower Rogue continues to have a decent chinook bite, with 41 pestles captured on Wednesday.

This 41-pound ingredient alone deserves to make a shift in this week’s best bet to lower rouge, despite holding the nice steel header at the top of rouge.

Low rogue fishing in early fall spreads slowly this week as the 68-degree river waters are forced to stay in the cooler bay frontier. Dwarf anchovies with copper blades and copper blades or other combinations of yellow and bronze anchovies. Look for the catch to improve as more fish will start moving into the bay.

Lots of smaller chinook this year, get used to it because 3 year olds are expected to dominate in the 14lb range but there is still a nice showing of a very large plane.

The downstream is also full of perch, and the taste of anchovies can be disappointing. For those targeting perch, use flies of perch, shrimp, or cut anchovies.

The return of the fish to Cole Rivers Hatchery is still encouraging for change. Hatchery technicians last Wednesday collected 64 spring Chinooks to increase the numbers to 4,304 fish – the best so far since 2015. Also, another 139 summer steelheads arrived at the hatchery, increasing those numbers to 1,926 fish. This is the best since at least 1993, last year’s records were available. This week’s collections weren’t available Thursday.

Boat fishermen run in some big springs at the top of the Rouge, down the Dodge Bridge stream, mostly roe and sand shrimp or running plugs from pontoon boats. Salmon fishing is now closed upstream of the Dodge Bridge. Steelheaders use everything from pink plastic worms and worms to various plugs and an array of flies, from streamers to ugly bugs and prince nymphs. The early steelhead is aggressive, so open fly boxes and deal with these guys.

Flows at the Dodge Bridge were oddly steady at 1,883 cubic feet on Thursday and are set to drop a bit each day over the course of the week as tributary flows drop off the charts.

Hunting for the Summer Steelhead is open year-round, but all wild steelheads must now be released unharmed for the remainder of the year along the river. Steelheads bite everything from worms and small groups of salmon eggs to nymph flies and a variety of small plugs. The best include pink, black and/or silver.

The Hatchery Hole is now open for steelhead fishing from the bank and wading. There is no fishing from boats there. All wild steel heads must be released unharmed at the river level.

In the middle Rogue, a few summer steelheads are caught on worms and cork as they make their way to the top of the Rogue. Some of these early fish can be in the 10 pound range.

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