SW Oregon Fishing Report for July 20th, 2018

From ODF&W

Both lingcod and rockfish are back on the bite on the Central Coast, although limits (2 lingcod and 4 rockfish) remain infrequent, landings have improved. Reminder that as of April 1, the bottomfish fishery is restricted to inside of the 30 fathom regulatory line.

As of July 1, the general marine bag limit (rockfish, greenlings, etc.) is 4 fish. This reduction to the bag limit is necessary to keep total catches within annual quotas, and reduce the chance of an early closure of the recreational bottomfish fishery.

The Central Coast nearshore halibut fishery opened on Friday, June 1. During the last couple of weeks, anglers were bringing in 2-3 Petrale sole per angler along with some halibut.

The Central Coast Subarea spring all-depth fishery has; not enough quota for additional days. The summer all-depth fishery opens August 3-4, every other Friday and Saturday until October 31, or the quota is caught.

Sport salmon fishing for Chinook is open in ocean waters from Cape Falcon (just North of Nehalem Bay) to the Oregon/California border for two salmon per day (all salmon except coho). Minimum sizes are 24-inches for Chinook and 20-inches for steelhead. Anglers are also reminded that within the 15 fathom depth contour off Tillamook Bay (Twin Rocks to Pyramid Rock) that all Chinook salmon must have a healed fin clip.

The hot spell continues in Southwest Oregon, and water temperatures are heating up, especially in lakes and reservoirs. To reduce stress on fish, fish early in the day when water temperatures are cooler. Avoid handling large numbers of fish. When releasing fish, handle the lure or hook and not the fish. Minimize the use of baited treble hooks if you plan to release trout.

The bay Chinook troll fishery continues to pick up on the lower Rogue River. People are reporting catch from the bay up to Indian Creek. Water levels are dropping and anglers should expect some low and clear conditions for a while.

A few anglers are hooking up with summer steelhead. Lower flows are ideal fishing conditions for anglers swinging flies or tossing spinners.

On the middle Rogue some Summer Steelhead are being caught on roe or plugs, and one report has some spring Chinook being caught on back-bounced roe around Gold Hill.

Anglers may retain both hatchery and wild Chinook salmon in the river downstream of Dodge Bridge. Wild steelhead must be released.

The Rogue River is open for trout fishing. Only hatchery rainbow trout may be retained. All wild rainbow and cutthroat trout must be released.

As of Tuesday, the flow in Grants Pass was 1,460 cfs, the water temperature averaged about 68oF, and the clarity was 3 NTUs. For those interested in checking conditions before getting on the river, the City of Grants Pass Water Division’s website offers information on river conditions at Grants Pass as well as a link to a river camera.

Last week an additional 221 hatchery spring Chinook and 154 hatchery summer steelhead were recycled back into the fishery on the upper Rogue. The release took place at the Dodge Bridge boat ramp. Fishing has been good in the upper river.

Anglers may retain both hatchery and wild Chinook salmon in the river downstream of Dodge Bridge. Only hatchery Chinook may be harvested from Dodge Bridge to Cole Rivers Hatchery.

Anglers are reminded that wild steelhead and trout must be immediately released.

Updated fish counts at Cole Rivers Hatchery can be viewed here.

The river discharge from Lost Creek Reservoir on Tuesday was 1,622 cfs and 51oF. For the most current releases of water out of Lost Creek Reservoir, call 1-800-472-2434.

Above Lost Creek, the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife is stocking legal-size rainbow trout each week at most of the campgrounds and popular access sites along Highways 62 and 230. In addition to the stocked trout, the river and its tributaries also support naturally produced rainbow, cutthroat, brook, and brown trout. During the summer, this section of the Rogue River offers some of the best trout fishing in the Rogue Basin. Anglers can cast flies or smaller lures like a Panther Martin or rooster tail. Bait is typically best, however. Worms, Pautzke eggs, even PowerBait in some slower holes will produce.

Lemolo can be a good option for fishing during hot weather. Kokanee in Lemolo are considered trout and therefore fall under the daily limit for trout of five per day with only one of those measuring over 20-inches. Contact Lemolo Lake Resort at 541-957-8354 for weather/road conditions and additional information.

On the Coquuille River basin streams and rivers are open to trout fishing. Trout fishing in streams and rivers is slow to due low water conditions. Anglers can use only artificial flies and lures in streams above tidewater, except the use of bait is allowed on the South Fork Coquille up to the Forest Service boundary upstream of Powers. The daily limit for trout in streams is 2 fish per day and they must be 8-inches or longer.

Smallmouth bass fishing has been good on the mainstem Coquille River, South Fork Coquille and Middle Fork Coquille rivers. Smallmouth are hitting on crankbaits, jigs and bait. There is no size limit or daily bag limit on the number of smallmouth bass you can keep in the Coquille River Basin.

Trout fishing on Tenmile Lakes has slowed down with the best fishing is in the early mornings. Anglers should focus on fishing in deeper water.

Fishing for largemouth bass has been good with the best fishing in the early mornings or late evenings. Bass are hitting topwater lures in the low light conditions and anglers are switching to plastics and deeper water once the sun hits the water.

Yellow perch fishing is very good fishing on the deep water side of the weedlines in water depths of 7-15 feet. Anglers are using small jigs or a worm on a hook fished near the bottom.

On the main stem of the Umpqua, Fall Chinook fishing will starting picking up in mid-July in the lower estuary.

Smallmouth bass fishing should be good throughout the main.

Trout fishing in the mainstem Umpqua opened May 22 and is catch-and-release only. Retention of trout is allow in the tributaries, which also opened May 22.

HOWEVER, biologists are asking anglers to avoid fishing the mainstem near the mouths of tributary streams during the hot weather and low water conditions. These areas are critical for juvenile steelhead that seek refuge into the cooler tributaries as mainstem water temperatures reach 70 degrees.

The North Umpqua and its tributaries reopened for trout May 22: check the fishing regulations to see which areas are closed. Chinook fishing closed on July 1. Summer steelhead should be around, but catching has been only decent.

Note that from Oct. 1 through June 30 fishing in the fly water area is restricted to the use of a single, barbless artificial fly. Beginning July 1 the fly may not be weighted

The South Umpqua and Cow Creek opened to trout fishing May 22. Catch-and-release only. Bass fishing should be good throughout

During the hot weather the best trout fishing will be early in mornings at higher lakes like Diamond, Hemlock, Lake in the Woods, and the high Umpqua lakes.