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To give hunters more time to report their hunts in the new electronic licensing system, the deadline to report 2018 hunts has been extended to April 15, 2019.

The 1 steelhead bag limit on several NE creeks and rivers, set to expire on Dec. 31, has been extended through April 30, 2019.

Recreation Report

Southwest Zone

Regulation Updates

Regulation Updates as of February 13, 2019
These are in-season regulation changes adopted on a temporary or emergency basis. Please see
e-regulations for permanent regulations.

There are no regulation updates in the SW Zone at this time.

For more information contact your local ODFW office:

  • Charleston Field Office 541-888-5515 
  • Roseburg Umpqua Watershed District Office  541-440-3353
  • Gold Beach Field Office 541-247-7605 
Recreation Report

Weekend fishing opportunities:

  • THIS WEEKEND IS FREE FISHIGING WEEKEND IN OREGON. During the President’s Day Weekend, Feb 16-17, you do not need a license to fish clam or crab in Oregon.
  • Lake Selmac and Reinhardt Pond will be stocked for the upcoming Free Fishing Weekend.
  • The upper Rogue water levels don’t typically fluctuate dramatically upstream of Elk Creek. So while the rest of the river is falling into shape after a storm, this is a great section of river to explore.
  • While cold water temperatures can slow the steelhead bite, there are winter steelhead to be caught in the Coos, Coquille and Umpqua basin. As one biologist put it, you can’t catch a steelhead staying at home.
  • Lost Creek Reservoir fishes well in the winter, and is a major draw for trout anglers in the Rogue Basin.
  • In places like Tenmile Lakes and Lake Marie, yellow perch can be first warmwater fish to start biting in late winter/early spring in Tenmile Lakes.
  • When the ocean swells are small, late winter/early spring can typically be good for surfperch fishing on Coos County beaches.

2019 STOCKING SCHEDULE AND STOCKING MAP

2019 trout stocking schedule

Get a jump on planning your 2019 trout fishing adventures. The 2019 weekly trout stocking schedule is now posted on MyODFW.com.

Umpqua anglers: return steelhead snouts

Winter steelhead anglers are asked to return snouts from hatchery steelhead harvested in the Umpqua River basin to collection barrels at various boat ramps around Douglas County and at the ODFW office in Roseburg.

This data collection is part of a multi-year research project to bring more winter steelhead back to the South Umpqua.

Ice fishing safety

With several water bodies beginning to ice over, anglers need to be cautious during first-ice conditions. Take the following precautions: use the “buddy system,” wear a PFD in case of thin ice, carry a throw-rope, and use a heavy metal staff to check for thin-ice. The Minnesota DNR has developed guidelines for ice thickness and other safety tips.

AGATE LAKE: trout, largemouth bass, crappie

The boat ramp is usable and the reservoir is approximately 34 percent full. However, visibility is very poor due to suspension of fine sediment.

APPLEGATE RESERVOIR: largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, trout

Trout anglers have reported success trolling a flasher/wedding ring/worm combination, or just a night crawler behind a flasher. Fishing should be good.

Applegate Lake has three boat ramps. The Hart-Tish Park ramp is closed until the concessionaire reopens later in the spring. As lake surface elevation levels have fluctuated the last few weeks from heavy inflows due to storms, the USFS Copper Boat Ramp has been usable one week and non-usable the next week. It’s best to check the most recent lake levels before planning on using the Copper Ramp, which is useable at more than 1932 feet lake surface elevation. There is no gate access to worry about here as it is open year-round. French Gulch remains accessible boat access despite surface elevation fluctuations. Surface temperatures are 44 degrees.

APPLEGATE RIVER: trout, winter steelhead

The Applegate River is open to trout and steelhead fishing through March 31. Only hatchery rainbow trout and hatchery Steelhead may be retained. All wild steelhead and cutthroat trout must be released.

Winter steelhead in the Applegate typically arrive later in the season. Releases from the dam have dropped in half since last week, with the guage near Copper running at 506 cfs on Tuesday afternoon. Near the town of Applegate, the gauge reading is 241 cfs (1.56 ft) and 425 cfs (2.55 ft) at Wilderville.The river is expected to rise a few feet later into the week, but should be dropping through the weekend. You can check current conditions on the USGS WaterWatch website, here. Most river users tend to use a small pontoon boat as their preferred method for navigating the Applegate.

There is public bank access near the dam, Jackson Campground, McKee Bridge, Cantrall Buckley Park, Applegate, Fish Hatchery Park. Remember, there is no fishing from a floating device. Bank anglers should stay below ordinary high water mark and not trespass on private property. The river temperature is 42 degrees coming out of Applegate Dam.

ARIZONA POND: rainbow trout

Arizona pond was stocked at the end of 2018 and many holdover trophy trout from last year are still lurking in the deeper water. Youth anglers fishing this pond are allowed to keep five trout per day; one of which can be over 20-inches. Oregon State Parks manages Arizona Pond for youth fishing, ages 17 and under.

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

Trout fishing can be tough, but some anglers are having success on some of the warmer days. Trout anglers have had the best success trolling lures in the deeper areas of the reservoir. Warmwater fishing should be decent as well. Try fishing for bass at the head of the reservoir and shallow structure in the mid-morning and late afternoon hours using a slow retrieve.

BLUEBILL LAKE: trout, warmwater species

Will be stocked in spring of 2019 with legal-size trout.

Located in the USFS’ Dunes National Recreation Area, on the north spit near North Bend. There is a campground and trail around the lake, but no boat ramp.

BRADLEY LAKE: trout

Bradley Lake was stocked with fall trophy trout in mid-October. Will be stocked in spring of 2019 with legal-size and trophy rainbow trout.

No bank fishing without permission from land owners, but an ODFW boat ramp allows anyone to launch and fish from a boat. Anglers can also fish from the dock at the boat ramp. Located about three miles south of Bandon and is one mile west of Hwy 101.

BUTTERFIELD LAKE: trout

Butterfield Lake was stocked with fall trophy trout in mid-October. Will be stocked in spring of 2019 with legal-size trout.

Excess hatchery steelhead juveniles were also stocked in Butterfield Lake this past fall. Most of these fish are under 8-inches long but should grow to a legal-size fish by spring.

CHETCO RIVER: steelhead

Popular from the shore or drift boat, this river has a lot to offer. Many choose side drifting or back bouncing any combination of roe/yarn/puff-balls/corky from a boat. On shore, plunking is the fishing style of choice for many. With a weight, swivel, leader and a spin-N-Glo, you’re good to go! Depending on water flow and clarity, some also experiment with Hot-Shots and Kwikfish. While enjoying the beautiful scenery, you’re sure to have a memorable fishing experience.

Wild steelhead may be harvested 1/day and 3/year as part of a daily or annual salmon/steelhead bag limit.

Anglers interested in participating in the angler-caught steelhead brood stock program may inquire about signing up at the Gold Beach ODFW office 541-247-7605.

Please see the southwest zone special regulations and exceptions for current regulations. A visual and status update on the river bar crossing can be found here at the NOAA bar camera webpage.

COOPER CREEK RESERVOIR: rainbow trout, bass, bluegill, coho and Chinook smolts

Trout fishing can slow as we head into winter. Some anglers are having success on warmer days, and a recent report indicates decent fishing with the anglers even catching a few juvenile coho and  Chinook. A recent stocking of fish for a kids fishing event should have improved trout fishing recently.

In the last two years, Cooper has been stocked with coho and  Chinook salmon juveniles. These are often mistaken for kokanee. Anglers may retain up to 5 salmon juveniles in the reservoir as part of their daily trout bag limit. Please remember to release salmon and trout less than 8-inches.

Warmwater fishing should still be good as well. Try fishing for bass around aquatic vegetation in the mid-morning and late afternoon hours.

COOS RIVER BASIN: winter steelhead

Heavy rainfall this week will have most river forks in the South Coos and Millicoma basins high and muddy this week. Steelhead fishing conditions may be marginal until rivers drop and begin clearing. Rain is in the forecast through the weekend but getting lighter early next week. Steelhead anglers wanting to fish the South Fork Coos River will need a Dellwood Fishing Access Permit, available from the Weyerhaeuser website.  

Trout fishing in streams and rivers will reopen May 22, 2019, while lakes in the basin are open year-round. Spring stocking of Coos area lakes begins the last week of February and first week of March, and continues up to the Free Fishing Weekend in June.

COQUILLE RIVER BASIN: steelhead

Heavy rainfall this week will have most river forks in the Coquille basin high and muddy this week. Steelhead fishing conditions may be marginal until rivers drop and begin clearing. Rain is in the forecast through the weekend, but getting lighter early next week.

Trout fishing in streams and rivers will reopen May 22, 2019, while lakes in the basin are open year-round. Spring stocking of Coquille area lakes begins the last week of February and first week of March, and continues up to the Free Fishing Weekend in June.

DIAMOND LAKE: trout

There have been recent reports of folks fishing on the ice, and catching fish. Follow ice fishing safety tips and proceed at your own risk. While ice fishing, anglers with a two-rod endorsement may use up to five rods.

Make sure to contact Diamond Lake Lodge for up-to-date conditions. 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. Anglers should also check with the Umpqua National Forest (541-498-2531) for information on seasonal camp and ramp closures.

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.

As part of the 2016 regulation simplification process, Diamond Lake is now back to the Southwest Zone regulation of 5 rainbow trout per day.

EEL LAKE: trout, largemouth and smallmouth bass, bluegill, crappie

Fishing for trout has been decent in deep water near the boat ramp. Eel Lake has some holdover trout in excess of 15-inches long.

Approximately 13 miles north of North Bend off Hwy 101.

ELK RIVER:  Chinook, steelhead

From the river mouth to Bald Mountain Creek, the Elk is open for steelhead and  Chinook fishing through March 31. Wild steelhead may be harvested 1/day and 3/year as part of a daily or annual salmon/steelhead bag limit. Anglers please see the southwest zone regulation exceptions in the ODFW Sport Fishing Regulations book for more details. Please note: there is a wild  Chinook aggregate bag limit rule for Floras/New, Sixes, and Elk Rivers.

To check river current conditions, call 541-332-0405.

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

The boat ramp nearest to Emigrant Lakes The Point RV Park is open. An angler with a medium sized boat and single axel trailer was able to launch successfully last week. All other boat ramps are closed or very inaccessible, but the reservoir is beginning to fill. Anglers would do best to plan on fishing from shore, or from inflatables or personal watercraft. The Point RV Park is open year round. The Oak Slope Tent Campground is scheduled to open March 15, 2019.

EMPIRE LAKES: trout, warmwater species

Upper Empire Lake was stocked with fall trophy trout in mid-October. Will be stocked several times in spring 2019 with legal-size and trophy rainbow trout.

Warmwater species are present year-round, but may be lethargic in colder weather. Try fishing bait near the bottom, or very slow presentation of lures.

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

Fishing for bass and panfish should be good to fair. Expo Pond is scheduled to receive the first trout stocking of the year the first week of March. The Southern Oregon RV Park developed by Jackson County offers parking in the lot to the right as you drive in Gate 5. A $4 day use fee to park applies here, or an annual parking permit can be purchased from Jackson County Parks Department.

FISH LAKE: rainbow trout, brook trout, spring  Chinook

Expect snow and ice at Fish Lake for the weekend. Ice still covers the lake, and with the recent cold weather, ice fishing is likely a safe bet. The resort is on winter hours and open Friday-Sunday, but anglers should call ahead to check on conditions and open hours.Tiger trout,  Chinook salmon, brook trout, and larger rainbow trout are available. Remember that tiger trout must be immediately released unharmed. Anglers are encouraged to report their catch of tiger trout to fish district staff at 541-826-8774.

FLORAS CREEK/NEW RIVER: steelhead, Chinook

The season for  Chinook salmon and hatchery steelhead is open through Dec. 31.  Chinook retention is open from the mouth to the bridge at mile post 1.5 on Floras Creek. The fishery typically turns on when the bar opens up after fall rainfall. Please note: there is an aggregate bag limit rule for Floras/New, Sixes, and Elk Rivers for wild  Chinook. For further detail on this water body, please consult the southwest zone section of the ODFW Sport fishing Regulations book. And as always, please obtain landowner permission before crossing private land.

FLORAS LAKE: rainbow trout, cutthroat trout

With limited bank access, Floras Lake is best accessed by boat. There’s a public boat ramp is available at Boice-Cope Park. For further detail on this waterbody, please consult the southwest zone section of the ODFW Sport Fishing Regulations book. And, as always, please obtain landowner permission before crossing private land.

FORD’S POND: largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, yellow perch, bluegill, crappie

This shallow pond supports populations of warmwater fish. As temperatures cool, bass should be showing up in that shallows making them more accessible for bank anglers. In addition to bass, there are other warmwater fish species that can make for a fun outing.

Ford’s Pond (just west of Sutherlin) was purchased by the city of Sutherlin in 2016. The pond is open to the public and has a lot of bank access. Ford’s is restricted to non-motorized boats and does not have a good access point for larger boats.

GALESVILLE RESERVOIR: rainbow trout, bass, coho smolts

Galesville has been stocked several times in 2018 and should have trout from previous stockings. In addition to trout, the reservoir was stocked with coho smolts until 2015. The reservoir is very low and fish should be kegged up.

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.

Fishing for bass and other panfish should be decent. Good areas are near dead snags and the boat ramp. Try a slow retrieve with a diving crank bait.

Call 541-837-3302 for information on camping and boat launching conditions as the reservoir is well below normal, but is finally filling again.

GARRISON LAKE: rainbow and cutthroat trout

Anglers slow trolling spinners, flies, or wedding ring spinners tipped with a worm all typically do well hooking up with some feisty rainbow trout. Five trout per day/2 daily limits in possession; 8-inch minimum; only one trout over 20-inches long may be taken per day. Bank anglers can find access at the 12th street or Pinehurst boat ramps and off Paradise Point Road. The lake can be very windy so anglers will want to check the weather before heading out.

HEMLOCK LAKE & LAKE IN THE WOODS (Douglas County): trout

Fishing in the winter for trout in Hemlock and Lake in the Woods can be a little tough, especially with low-level snow. Spinners or “plunking” with worms and/or PowerBait can be effective methods for fishing these lakes. Recent snow and cool temperatures may have slowed things down.

Anglers fishing the high lakes in the Umpqua District are encouraged to e-mail fishing reports. Contact the Forest Service at 541-496-3532 for road conditions and potential road closures. Remember to only keep trout at least 8-inches long, and only one trout over 20-inches per day.

HOWARD PRAIRIE RESERVOIR: rainbow trout

Expect snow and ice for the weekend. Howard Prairie is iced over, but likely not very thick. No reports of ice fishing has been received. Weather here fluctuates much more than higher elevation lakes such as Fish Lake and Lake of the Woods along Hwy. 140, so ice fisherman are advised to proceed at their own risk.

The access road to the dam remains locked. Anglers can still walk the shoreline and fish the point to the south of the dam when there’s open water. There is good bank access via BLM property on the NW side of the lake via the Keno Access Road, but no reports have come it whether there is any open water here either.

Fall fingerling trout have been stocked this season. Please handle these undersized trout with care and release them unharmed. The shoreline near the dam and near Fawn Island can be very productive during periods of low water.

HYATT LAKE: rainbow trout and largemouth bass

Expect snow for the weekend. Hyatt Lake is frozen over and surrounded by snow. No reports have come in as to whether or not the ice is thick enough for ice fishing. Proceed at your own risk.

ILLINOIS RIVER: trout, steelhead

The Illinois River is open for trout fishing and winter steelhead through March 31. Since only hatchery trout may be retained, fishing will be primarily catch-and-release for wild trout, as the Illinois does not have a hatchery program. Wild winter steelhead may be retained in a few areas, but are subject to new daily and seasonal bag limits of 1 per day and 3 per year SW zone wide in waterbodies were wild harvest is allowed. Consult the 2019 fishing regulations for areas open to retention of wild steelhead.

JOHNSONS MILL POND: trout, warmwater species

Access is restricted at this time due to river flooding. Check with Coos County Parks Dept. for access conditions. Johnson Mill Pond will be stocked with legal-size and trophy trout in the early spring of 2019. The pond is not stocked in late spring, due to its shallow nature that promotes heavy weed growth.

Warmwater species are present year-round, but may be lethargic in colder weather. Try fishing bait near the bottom, or very slow presentation of lures.

Two and a half miles south of Coquille off Hwy 42 down Johnson Mill Road.

LAKE MARIE (Marie Lake): rainbow trout, yellow perch

Lake Marie has been stocked several times in 2018. Most anglers use PowerBait or worms to catch trout and yellow perch. The local STEP hatchery released clipped rainbow trout into Lake Marie in the spring of 2017 and 2018. Please e-mail Greg.F.Huchko@state.or.us if you catch an adipose fin-clipped fish. This information will help inform ODFW and the local STEP group on the possibility of continuing the project.

LAKE SELMAC (Selmac Lake): trout, largemouth bass, bluegill, crappie

Lake Selmac is scheduled to receive 5,000 legal rainbow trout this week, just in time for Free Fishing Weekend Feb.16-17). Selmac is one of the first waterbodies in the Rogue District to receive a stocking for the year. Visibility at Selmac can be dramatically influenced by precipitation. It can take a week or more to clear. When visibility is good, reports have been good with fly anglers fishing leeches or streamers and a slow strip. Gear fisherman should expect good success as visibility improves. The first trout plant of the year is scheduled for the second week of February. Aquatic vegetation at Lake Selmac has died off quite a bit. With limited options for low elevation lakes this time of year, Lake Selmac may be worth an exploratory trip.

LEMOLO RESERVOIR: brown trout, rainbow trout, kokanee

Recent cool temperatures and snow will likely slow fishing down. 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. Contact Lemolo Lake Resort at 541-957-8354 for weather/road conditions and additional information.

LOON LAKE: rainbow trout, bass, bluegill

Fishing for crappie, bluegill and bass has likely been slow. Slower presentations such as jigging can be a good technique. Visit the BLM and Loon Lake Resort websites for information on opening dates and camping.

LOST CREEK RESERVOIR: rainbow trout, bass

Lost Creek will be the primary draw for trout anglers in the Rogue watershed now through early spring. Large rainbow have been stocked to complement fish remaining as holdovers from earlier releases. Water levels are lower than usual right now, so trailered boats can only launch at the Takelma boat ramp currently. Surface temperature is 44 degrees.

Recent reports indicate anglers have found success on red wedding rings fished with a worm behind a dodger or flashers have produced fish, as have PowerBait fished deep while trolling.

Some of the trout have external parasites called copepods. Fish parasites generally do not pose a threat to humans when fish are cooked, and copepods can be scraped off prior to cooking. Anglers are encourage to keep fish that have copepods while staying within the daily limit, since release simply allows the parasite to expand to other hosts.

MEDCO POND: rainbow trout, largemouth bass, bluegill

Largemouth bass and bluegill are available, but fishing will likely be slow with the cold temperatures. Still may be worth a stop if travelling between Butte Falls and Prospect. Anglers are reminded that Medco Pond is privately owned. Gas engines are not allowed on the pond, and bank access is restricted to the west shore.

MILLICOMA POND: trout

The pond will be stocked again in late April, for youth fishing.

MINGUS PARK POND: trout, warmwater species

Mingus Park Pond will be stocked with trout in spring of 2019. Bluegill and largemouth bass are available in the pond year-round.

Located in Mingus Park in the City of Coos Bay.

PACIFIC OCEAN AND BEACHES: bottomfish, salmon, halibut, surfperch

Bottomfishing has been good when the ocean lays down and anglers have been able to make it out.

Bottomfish anglers may now fish at all depths for the remainder of the year. Fishing for lingcod and rockfish has been good when the ocean is calm enough to fish. The daily bag limit for marine fish is 5 plus 2 lingcod. The retention of cabezon is closed until July 2019.  

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, redstripe, greenstripe, silvergray, and bocaccio rockfish. No other groundfish are allowed and offshore longleader fishing trips cannot be combined with traditional bottomfish, flatfish or halibut trips. Find information about a longleader setup here.

Ocean salmon fishing is closed.

PISTOL RIVER: steelhead

Through March 31, the Pistol River is open for steelhead fishing. Wild steelhead may be harvested 1/day and 3/year as part of a daily or annual salmon/steelhead bag limit. Please remember that anglers will need to obtain landowner permission before crossing private land adjacent to the river.

PLAT I RESERVOIR: rainbow trout, bass

Where access is available, anglers may have success catching trout and bass with bait such as PowerBait and night crawlers. Water levels may be low this time of year so contact the Sutherlin Chamber of Commerce (541-459-3280) for lake level information.

POWERS POND: trout, warmwater species

Powers Pond was stocked with fall trophy trout in mid-October. Will be stocked in spring of 2019 with legal-size and trophy rainbow trout. Largemouth bass, bluegill, crappie, and brown bullhead catfish are available year-round.

Reinhardt Park Pond : trout, bluegill, bullhead

The pond at Reinhardt Community Volunteer Park in Grants Pass is scheduled to receive one of the first trout plants in the Upper Rogue District this week. These 300 fish should be a nice addition to this weekends free fishing days (February 16 and 17). This is a great place for a family to explore with very easy access for everyone. A relative simple set up which includes either a nightcrawler fished below a bobber, or floating power bait fished off the bottom are all you need to catch a trout here. If you choose to use power bait below a bobber, make sure to add some split shot to your line below the bobber to keep the power bait from floating on the surface. Non-toxic split shot often made of tin are very good options for youth fishing.

ROGUE RIVER

Rogue River, lower: steelhead

Winter steelhead season is in full swing on the Lower Rogue. Anglers have had success from the shore and from boats. From side-drifting or back-bouncing roe to plugs and spinners, multiple fishing techniques will do the trick when it comes to this river. Anglers may want to consider plunking with plugs or a Spin-n-Glow during higher water events. As the water drops, anglers typically switch to side drifting with eggs or tossing spinners. One wild steelhead at least 24” may be harvested per day and three per year as part of a daily and annual salmon/steelhead bag limit.

The Rogue is open for hatchery rainbow trout through March 31; 5/day. Wild rainbow and cutthroat trout must be released.

For a current view of the Rogue from the Isaac Lee Patterson Bridge in Gold Beach, check out the ODOT’s camera.

Rogue River, middle: steelhead, trout, hatchery coho

In the coming weeks, anglers will likely be encountering down runner summer steelhead or kelts, and should limit their handling of these fish by not removing them from the water, if possible.

 The river is holding steady around 1900 cfs and should rise a bit this weekend with measurable precipitation in the forecast for Friday through the weekend.

Now (February 1) through April 30, the entire Rogue from the mouth to Cole Rivers Fish Hatchery is open to steelhead fishing with a limited harvest opportunity of 1 wild steelhead per day and 3 per year SW zonewide. In the Rogue, wild steelhead must be at least 24 inches in length in order to be retained. Consult the 2019 sport fishing regulations for further information and clarification. Good reports of hatchery fish being caught in the Galice and Robertson Bridge area continue to be reported.

Popular methods for winter steelhead fishing include Running plugs from a drift boat, Drifting night crawlers, roe, or yarn balls, or plunking large gravel bars by running spin and glows or side-planning setups with plugs. are always a good call. A diversity of bait including different colored roewill always help your chances when steelhead fishing. Higher water can often be a good thing for bank anglers and plug fishermen as the river will actually “get smaller.” Meaning that fish will be navigating closer to shore and in a narrower migration path. Try targeting 1.5-4 feet of water in these circumstances.

Fly anglers that nymph will want to use prince nymphs or copperswans, steelhead brassies, stone flies, ugly bugs, or will want to fish large dark flies if swinging. Don’t be afraid of color such as black and chartreuse, black and blue, black and purple, black and pink, or black and red. If tying your own flies, don’t be afraid to add a little bit of flash dubbing or tinsel in the body of your fly. Also, covering lots of water when working through a run is a good technique when swinging flies. Trying moving 4-5 feet downstream every cast or two.

As we progress into later February, popular floats include: Gold Hill to Rogue River, Baker to Lathrop or Ferry Hole, or Griffin Park to Robertson Bridge.

Half-pounders are worth targeting throughout the winter. Target these fish from Galice to Grave Creek by boat, or for the hardy angler willing to hike into the Wild and Scenic section of the Rogue. Anglers report great half-pounder fishing downstream of Rainie Falls. Remember, only 5 hatchery rainbow trout may be retained per day. All wild rainbow trout and cuttroat trout must be released throughout the river.

Boaters floating from Hog Creek to Graves Creek should be familiar with the rapids in this section of river, and know their takeouts. Experienced oarsmen/woman are recommended here. There are many BLM public access points to bank fish from Hog Creek to Graves Creek. This is often referred to the “Galice area”. Boats should not attempt to float through Hellgate Canyon during high water. Drifting roe or night crawlers are very effective.

Further upstream, Griffin Park and Robertson Bridge are good places to plunk or use a side-planer setup with plugs or Spin-N-Glos for bank anglers.

As of Tuesday afternoon, the flow in Grants Pass was approximately 1800 cfs, river stage at 1.82 feet, averaging 42 degrees F, and had a 4 NTU clarity reading. By Friday, the river is expected to nearly triple in size with reduced visibility into the weekend. This should be good for bank anglers using plunking and side-planner methods once the river starts dropping. 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.

Rogue River, upper: steelhead, trout, hatchery coho

Bait is again allowed throughout the entire Rogue basin. There is good public access for bank fishing and boat access at Cole Rivers Hatchery, McGregor Park, Casey Park, Rogue Elk, Shady Cove, Takelma, Dodge Bridge, Modoc, Denman Wildlife Area, Touvelle State Park, Gold Ray and Fishers Ferry. Most floats in the upper Rogue have been from the hatchery or Rogue Elk downstream to Shady Cove. Dodge Bridge to Touvelle is an excellent float but anglers should be aware that they will encounter Rattlesnake Rapids. If you are not ready for Rattlesnake, many floats will start at the ODFW Modoc Access Site and float to Touvelle or Fishers Ferry. Waterfowl season is now done, so boat traffic will now just be anglers.

The upper Rogue water levels don’t typically fluctuate dramatically upstream of Elk Creek. So while the rest of the river is falling into shape after a storm, this is a great section of river to explore. Try fishing roe, night crawlers, spinners or jigs under bobbers.

Fly anglers that nymph will want to use prince nymphs or copperswans, steelhead brassies, stone flies, ugly bugs, or will want to fish large dark flies if swinging. Don’t be afraid of color such as black and chartreuse, black and blue, black and purple, black and pink, or black and red. If tying your own flies, don’t be afraid to add a little bit of flash dubbing or tinsel in the body of your fly. Also, covering lots of water when working through a run is a good technique when swinging flies. Trying moving 4-5 feet down every cast or two.

As of Feb. 5, 3,283 summer steelhead had entered Cole Rivers Hatchery, with 59 new fish for the week. Only 3 new winter steelhead were collected for the week, bringing the total to 236 fish for the season; still a great start. Find updated fish counts at Cole Rivers Hatchery here.

The river is expected to about double in size at Dodge Bridge from Wednesday afternoon through Friday. The weekend should see a dropping river and better fishing conditions. Tuesday afternoon. the McCloud gauge was 1,130 cfs (1.70 ft) and 42oF. Downstream the Dodge Bridge gauge was reading 1,390 cfs (2.86 ft). For the most current releases of water out of Lost Creek Reservoir, call 1-800-472-2434. For real time streamflow from USGS gauges on the Rogue click here.

Rogue River, above Lost Creek Reservoir: trout

Expect snow and limited parking. Anglers will need to walk into fishing access sites. There are still trout available for the hardy angler, but discharge is still high at approximately 1,040 cfs and very cold water of 37 degrees. With cold water, you’ll want to swing your lure right in front of fish, so work through a hole a bit slower.

Anglers can cast flies or smaller lures like a Panther Martin or rooster tail. Often tipping the lure with bait helps to produce. In slower holes, fishing straight bait such as night crawler, Pautzke eggs, even PowerBait will produce.

SAUNDERS LAKE: trout, warmwater species

Saunders Lake was stocked with fall trophy trout in mid-October. Will be stocked in spring of 2019 with legal-size trout. Largemouth bass and bluegill are available year-round.

SIXES RIVER: steelhead

Steelhead season is open from the river mouth to Edson Creek through Dec. 31. Recent rainfall encouraged fish to move into the river system. Anglers can target steelhead up to the South Fork of the Sixes River. Please see the southwest zone regulation exceptions in the ODFW Sport Fishing Regulations book for more details. Please note: there is an aggregate bag limit rule for Floras/New, Sixes, and Elk Rivers for wild  Chinook.

SMITH RIVER, Umpqua: winter steelhead

Steelhead fishing opened on Smith River up to Sisters Creek Dec. 1. There should be a number of fish coming into the river with recent rains, although the river will likely be running high from recent rains.

SPALDING POND: trout, largemouth bass, bluegill, brown bullhead

Spalding pond is located on USFS land between Grants Pass and Selma. Anglers may find light snow along the road from earlier in the week. Recent reports have indicated good trout fishing with night crawlers fished under a bobber.

SODA SPRINGS RESERVOIR: closed

Soda Springs remains CLOSED. The reservoir is closed to evaluate its use by salmon and steelhead.

SRU LAKE: trout

Due to trees in the road blocking the stocking truck, Sru Lake was not stocked with trout in 2018. It is scheduled to be stocked in spring of 2019 with legal-size trout, once the risk of snow is gone and the road is cleared for access.

Located on the US Forest Service’s Powers Ranger District, nearly 20 miles south of Powers. 

TENMILE CREEK: steelhead

Winter steelhead are running in Tenmile Creek and Eel Creek. The run tends to be a month later than other Coos County rivers, so hatchery fish may be available through March and into April.

Closed to trout fishing until May 22, 2019.

TENMILE LAKES: trout, warmwater species, largemouth bass

Trout can be caught year-round at Tenmile Lakes, but fish may not be too aggressive in cold water. Some holdover trout measure over 17-inches long. Look for fishing on holdover trout to improve in the next few months.

Fishing for largemouth bass and other warmwater species will slow down in cold weather. Presentations will need to be slow, as fish may be lethargic.

Yellow perch fishing should also pick up in the next few months, with some fish in the 9- to 12-inch range. Look for yellow perch in the deeper mudflats in the lake. Anglers are using small jigs or a worm on a hook fished near the bottom.

TOKETEE LAKE: brown trout, rainbow trout

Fishing is open in Toketee year-round, but fishing can be pretty slow this time of year. Water levels can fluctuate making launching boats difficult so contact the U.S. Forest Service at 541-498-2531 for lake level information.

UMPQUA HIGH LAKES AND FOREBAYS: trout

Contact the Forest Service at 541-496-3532 for road conditions as lakes may be difficult to access.

Lakes typically accessible from hiking trails and that were stocked in the last couple years are: Calamut, Connie, Bullpup, Fuller, Cliff, Buckeye, Maidu, Pitt and Skookum lakes. These lakes can be tough to get to in the winter and with the cold temperatures, fishing will likely slow.

Red Top Pond offers excellent bank fishing opportunities and was stocked around Labor Day with large rainbow trout. In addition, there should be plenty of holdover legal-size trout from previous stockings in these waterbodies. Anglers fishing the high lakes in the Umpqua District are encouraged to e-mail fishing reports.

UMPQUA RIVER, MAINSTEM: steelhead

There have been some really good reports throughout the main. The current forecast has the river coming into shape by the weekend. All wild steelhead must be released in the Umpqua so please follow good catch-and-release techniques.

Trout fishing will reopen in May 2019.

UMPQUA RIVER, NORTH: winter steelhead

Steelhead fishing should be good and recent reports have anglers catching a good number. The peak for the North is in later February and March.

Some of the North Umpqua and tributaries are open for trout (those above Slide Creek Dam): check the fishing regulations to see which areas are closed.

Note that as of Oct. 1 fishing in the fly water area is restricted to the use of a single, barbless artificial fly.

UMPQUA RIVER, SOUTH: winter steelhead

The river is expected to rise and might not be fishable for the weekend. Check out the North River Gauge.

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

The boat ramp at Willow Lake is open. Clarity at the lake is not ideal as the reservoir has been filling, but recent reports indicate that some anglers have been finding trout here and there with very little in the way of crowds! Expect snow for the week, but the lake should not be iced over.

WINCHESTER BAY: bottomfish, perch

Fishing in the Triangle and South jetty has been successful.

WINCHUCK RIVER: steelhead

Steelhead season is open through March 31. Wild steelhead may be harvest 1/day and 3/year as part of a daily or annual bag limit. Please see specific rules in the southwest zone of the ODFW Sport Fishing Regulations book prior to fishing. Also note: no fishing from a floating device is allowed on the Winchuck River.