SW Oregon Fishing Report

From ODF&W

August can be a great time to target bass at Lost Creek Lake. Target the submerged flats and points, where the years of willow planting and habitat enhancement by local bass clubs pay off this time of the year!

Summer steelhead should be in both the Rogue and North Umpqua.

Anglers wishing a little solitude can walk one of the smaller coastal creeks fly- or spinner fishing for coastal cutthroat. Water temperatures are still good in most small to medium-size streams, but conditions may change as the summer progresses and water levels drop and temperatures warm.

All tributaries to larger river systems such as the Rogue, Applegate and Illinois are closed to fishing, unless noted in the regulations exceptions section of the SW Zone.

A good push of Summer steelhead entered Cole Rivers hatchery last week. Some reports have been coming in that anglers are getting them on dark colored flies. Only adipose fin-clipped trout and steelhead may be harvested this time of year on the Rogue. Best bet for gear folks would be plugs, drifting bait, or getting started early on a “bug and bubble.”

It’s Free Fishing Weekend Aug. 15-16 – two days when you, your friends, your family and everyone else can fish (and crab and clam) for free any where in Oregon that’s open. No license, tag, endorsement or validation needed. Nonresidents included. (Regular closures, bag limits and other regulations still apply.)

Agate Lake has been dropping quickly over the last 3 weeks and is now at 58 percent capacity. The boat ramp and day use facilities here are open and managed by Jackson County Parks. There is a 10mph speed limit on this reservoir.

Agate Lake has a good population of crappie and yellow perch, as well as brown bullhead. No report on water clarity.

This is a good time of year for anglers to start fishing some of the tributaries to the Chetco. Cutthroat fishing can be very good on some of the larger tributaries this time of year. Seek out cool deeper waters.

Anglers have been catching a few rockfish in the lower Coos Bay estuary fishing along the jetty and submerged rock structures. Smaller jigs with a twister tail or 1-ounce jigging spoons have been working to catch rockfish and greenling. The daily bag limit for marine fish was recently increased to 7, which for boat anglers cannot include any copper, quillback or China rockfish.

Bank anglers can still retain one copper, quillback or China rockfish as part of their daily bag limit. Anglers are also allowed 2 lingcod per day. The harvest of 1 cabezon per day as part of your general marine fish daily limit opened on July 1.

Temporary wild fall Chinook regulations are in effect starting Aug. 1 for salmon anglers fishing in Coos Bay. Anglers cannot harvest no more than one (1) adult wild Chinook salmon daily / five (5) for the period of Aug 1 – Dec 31 from all waters of Coos River basin, Floras Creek/New River, and Sixes River. See specific rules for Floras/New River and Sixes.

Boat anglers reported catching a couple Chinook in between the jetties this past weekend. Salmon anglers will start trolling around the North Bend Airport and Chip Pile soon.

Anglers continue to do well harvesting smallmouth bass on the South Fork Coquille and upper Coquille River using small Rapala crankbaits and a worm on a plain hook. Smallmouth bass fishing continues to be good throughout the South Fork, Middle Fork and mainstem Coquille river. There are no daily bag limits or length limits on bass in the Coquille River.

Thanks to new temporary regulations in Coquille River system, anglers can now use bait, spears and spear guns to harvest smallmouth bass. This unique fishing opportunity is one of many efforts to reduce the impact of illegally introduced bass on Chinook populations.

Some striped bass anglers continue to have success casting crankbaits on the lower Coquille River but overall fishing for striped bass has been spotty. A few striped bass have been reported in the river above the town of Coquille. Anglers are trying several different techniques like fishing anchovies on the bottom of the river or by drifting and casting crankbaits. There are no daily bag limits or length limits on striped bass.

Temporary wild fall Chinook regulations are in effect starting Aug. 1 for salmon anglers fishing in the Coquille Basin. The entire Coquille Basin is closed to retention of adult wild Chinook Aug 1 – Dec 31. Anglers may harvest hatchery Chinook but must fish downstream of Hwy 101 bridge or can angle from the bank in Randolph Slough between sign markers located at the West and East ends of the slough.

Recent reports recommend anglers focus on transition zones around weed beds. Bait and spinners have both been working well.

Most of the Forest Service campgrounds are now open at Diamond Lake as well as boat launches. Anglers should check with the Umpqua National Forest (541-498-2531) for information on camps and ramps.

Anglers can check fishing and water conditions at Diamond Lake on the Diamond Lake Resort Facebook page, or call 541-793-3333 for updates. Diamond Lake is open year-round.

Diamond Lake has been stocked with tiger and brown trout. These fish are intended to assist in controlling illegally introduced tui chub. These trout are catch-and-release only and need to be released immediately and unharmed if caught

Anglers continue to catch bluegills and crappies from the fishing dock on Eel Lake. Boat anglers should concentrate fishing along the edge of the weedlines for bluegills and crappies. Fishing will be best in the mornings before the afternoon winds pick up. Remember to keep your distance from other anglers that are not in your group.

Emigrant Lake is mostly a warm water fishery at this point with good crappie and bass fishing to be had. With the dropping reservoir levels, anglers should now start targeting points and rocky outcroppings. Submerged vegetation is pretty non-existent.

Anglers have been focusing in the upper portion of the Galesville Reservoir and doing well with warmwater fish.

The current info from Douglas County Parks is the parks are open. Call 541-837-3302 for information on camping and boat launching conditions. Check out the Lake Level Gage for more information.

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.

Anglers are doing fairly well at Lemolo Reservoir. Fishing deeper in the reservoir can be a good tactic when the lake is warm. Kokanee in Lemolo are considered trout and therefore fall under the daily limit for trout of 5 per day with only one of those measuring over 20 inches.

Lost creek has some exceptional bass fishing during July through August. Consider targeting catfish cove, or some of the points off the southwestern portion of the lake.

Trout will not be stocked until mid-September, but there are plenty of trout still in Lost Creek Lake. Trolling up the Lost Creek Arm, near the Dam, or above Highway 62 are good bets. Trout will be deep as surface temperatures are still warm.

Trout anglers may try trolling a wedding ring and worm combination behind an oval egg sinker in the Lost Creek Arm, or up under Hwy 62 where the mainstem meets the lake. As the water warms up through the summer, the trout will be deeper.

Bottomfishing is restricted to inside the 40-fathom regulatory line until Sept. 1. Fishing for rockfish and lingcod has been spotty recently when anglers can get out on the ocean. The daily bag limit for marine fish was recently increased to 7. But anglers must release all copper, quillback or China rockfish when fishing from a boat.

Anglers are also allowed 2 lingcod per day. Anglers may harvest 1 cabezon per day as part of your general marine fish daily limit.

Anglers may also choose to fish the offshore longleader fishery outside of the 40-fathom regulatory line, which is open year-round. The longleader fishery has a daily bag limit of 10 fish made of yellowtail, widow, canary, blue, deacon, redstripe, greenstripe, silvergray, chillipepper, and bocaccio rockfish. No other groundfish are allowed and offshore longleader fishing trips cannot be combined with traditional bottomfish, flatfish or halibut trips.

Surfperch anglers are reporting limited success fishing the ocean beaches using sand shrimp or Berkley Gulp sand worms.

The ocean Selective Coho (fin-clipped) season will close after Aug. 16 from Cape Falcon to the OR/CA Border. This area in the ocean is also open to harvest of Chinook salmon. The salmon bag limit is two salmon per day.The Non-Selective Coho Season will open on each Frid -Sat starting on Sept. 4 through Sept. 30 or attaining the 3,000 non-marked selective coho quota.

The Summer All-Depth Halibut season for the Central Coast Subarea starts on Aug. 6-8 and continues every other Thursday – Saturday until Oct. 31 or the quota is caught.

The Southern Oregon Subarea for halibut is open 7 days a week through the earlier of the quota of 8,000 pounds or Oct. 31. As of Aug. 2, there is 70 percent of the quota remaining.

On the lower Rogue River Chinook salmon fishing has improved with about 50 boats a day trolling for salmon. Chinook numbers will build in the estuary and fishing will only get better for the next couple of months. As usual, the best bait is an anchovy.

On the middle Rogue, Cole Rivers Hatchery is releasing the first of this years Spring Chinook smolts beginning Aug. 12. Anglers will encounter these and are encouraged to handle them with care; these could be 25-pound adults in four years! Smolt should begin showing in the Grants Pass area as early as the end of this week and throughout next week.

Chinook salmon may be harvested from the Rogue Mouth, all the way up to Dodge Bridge through Aug. 31. However, fresh fish won’t likely start showing until late August or early September. It’s a good idea to watch the Huntely Seining counts to see if/when fish are entering the river.

There are many BLM public access points to bank fish from Hog Creek to Graves Creek. This is often referred to the “Galice area.” You will have plenty of rafting traffic in this section of water this time of year.

Locally-owned and operated tackle stores in Grants Pass have excellent gear and very fresh bait that is specific to the Rogue and to your particular technique. Go check them out and offer them support during this time.

It is illegal to snag and keep a snagged fish, whether it’s wild or hatchery! Report violations to Oregon State Police by calling *OSP.

And the upper, beginning Aug. 1, all Chinook fishing is completely closed from Dodge Bridge to Cole Rivers Hatchery, this includes hatchery Chinook and jacks. Anglers may still fish for summer steelhead and trout, and should have a combined angling tag in possession if fishing equipment (fly or gear) that is suitable for targeting Steelhead.

Very good trout fishing can still be had from Rogue Elk upstream to Cole Rivers Hatchery. Check out some of the local fly shops and their websites for good tactics. Trout anglers are especially encouraged to harvest adipose-fin clipped trout in this reach of river. Summer steelhead should be picking up throughout the upper Rogue.

Chinook should start milling around in the lower sections of Smith River. Traditionally this a troll fishery, but there are some spots to throw spinners from the bank and some anglers use a bobber and egg setup. Some areas in the Smith are open for retention of trout so check the regulations before going out. Smallmouth fishing should be good below the falls.

The Umpqua is restricted to one unclipped Chinook per day and five per year. Chinook fishing is open and anglers are finding a few in the lower estuary.

Bass fishing is great right now. A recent report had a boat with over 200 bass brought to the boat. Anywhere from Scott Cr. to River Forks Park should be a good choice to find some fish.

Trout fishing is open on the Main and its tributaries, it is catch-and-release only on the mainstem.

On the South Umpqua River, bass fishing has been great. Reports show anglers catching around Roseburg, but anywhere below Tiller is a good bet. Trout is catch-and-release for the South Umpqua Basin. The mainstem and tributaries above Jackson Creek Bridge are closed year-round.

1 comment

  1. Thank you so much for a very (and I mean very) informative report! I’m in Grants Pass and I love the Southern Oregon update!👊👊👊👏👏👏

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