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Lake and Pond Report highlights for Southern Oregon;

Water surface temperatures are still dropping.  ODFW will soon be stocking “fall fingerling” rainbow trout in larger reservoirs for overwintering. Some areas will soon be seeing the last stockings of the year of legal or larger rainbow trout.

Even with very low water levels at many popular destinations, small personal watercraft such as kayaks, float tubes and canoes can still launch in most instances. Some of the larger reservoirs will still have boat access on improved (concrete) ramps. Even some of these are getting low. Staff tries to update these in a timely manner, so check the local waterbody for any updated information on launch conditions.

Bass and panfish fishing is still a good bet in many small ponds, reservoirs and lakes.  Water temperatures don’t really start cooling off to where warmwater species slow down until mid-October in most valley waterbodies.

Anglers and other members of the public should remember that it’s illegal to fish with live fish as bait in all lakes, ponds, reservoirs, creeks and rivers in Oregon. Also, transporting fish, shellfish, crayfish, amphibians, or even dumping the contents of an aquarium into a waterbody is illegal and can be very detrimental to these systems. If you see someone doing any of these things, please report it to OSP or your local fish and wildlife office immediately. Or better yet, if you feel safe, ask the person to stop as you see it happening. Education is key to keeping Oregon’s waterways free from additional invasive or unwanted species.

Trout fishing is open on most mainstem rivers. Checks specific streams within a larger basin to see if they are open or closed. All tributaries to the Rogue, Applegate and Illinois are closed to fishing, unless noted in the regulations, exceptions section of the SW Zone.




APPLEGATE RESERVOIR: trout, spring chinook, largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, bluegill, crappie

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The only useable boat ramp at Applegate Reservoir is the French Gulch Boat Ramp. It’ll be next spring before Hart-tish and Copper are usable again. 

Hart-tish campground is now closed for the season. 

Bait is allowed and 5 trout per day, year-round, on the streams above Applegate Dam and the lake itself.

There is a longstanding health advisory for consumption of resident species due to elevated levels of mercury. See Oregon Health Authority consumption guidelines or the 2021 sportfishing regulations for more information.

For a change of scenery, try driving up to the lakes above Applegate Reservoir. These lakes have illegally and stunted yellow perch with no limit. Bass and bluegill are also in these lakes. There also is camping available but expect crowds on the weekends.

Anglers can get the latest information about lake levels and water temps by calling the US Army Corps Lost Creek Lake and Applegate Reservoir projects information line at 1-800-472-2434


DIAMOND LAKE: rainbow trout, tiger trout, brown trout

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The crowds are small this time of year at Diamond, but the fishing is good. Recent reports indicate limits for lots of anglers and large fish.

Anglers should check with the Umpqua National Forest (541-498-2531) for information on camps and ramps. Seasonal closures are occurring for campgrounds and boat launches. 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. 


HOWARD PRAIRIE RESERVOIR: trout, bass, pumpkinseed sunfish, bluegill

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The reservoir is at 4 percent capacity. The best bank fishing and launching of small water personal watercraft is over near the dam. Recently some smaller boats like a drift boat has been seen launching, however most banks are soft and muddy.

The Rogue Fish District is still interested in anglers catch composition, so there are trout stocked with differential fin marks representing different fish stocks. Anglers interested in reporting their catch or learning more about this program and what to look for, are encouraged to call 541-857-2411 and speak with the local STEP Biologist. Specifically, look for clips on ventral fins or adipose fins in your catch.

All campgrounds and facilities are currently closed until further notice. More information on facilities can be found on Jackson County Parks website.


LAKE SELMAC: trout, largemouth bass, bluegill, crappie, bullheads

Water levels have been dropping slowly at Lake Selmac as there is very little if any tributary input. Aquatic weeds are still very thick out here, but should be starting to die off with the shorter days. Boat-based anglers are still picking up largemouth bass along the vegetation lines.

If you’ve got little kids, bluegill fishing from the bank can be a productive and fun. A simple setup of a small piece of nightcrawler under a bobber, or better yet, a small chironomid fly (simple wrapped hook) or prince nymph with 3-foot leader under a bobber/bubble should get a pretty quick strike. Try switching up flies and color patterns periodically if the action slows.

Trout anglers will want to fish off the bottom near the dam, where the deepest water is.


LOST CREEK RESERVOIR: rainbow trout, brown trout, spring chinook, bass, bullheads

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The only ramp usable at Lost Creek Lake is the Takelma ramp operated by the US Army Corps of Engineers on the NW side of the lake. The lake continues to drop and is 13 percent full. As conditions at area lakes and reservoirs continue to deteriorate due to low water levels, the Takelma ramp will continue to be a place where larger vessels can launch. However, there is no dock here. 

Trout fishing should still be good. Make sure to have a flasher in your arsenal and switch things up if fish are slow to bite. A simple wedding ring spinner is always productive here when trolled from a boat. Trout will be congregated in areas with colder water such as near the dam or upstream of the Hwy 62 bridge. Drifting nightcrawlers upstream of the Hwy 62 bridge has produced nicely for some recent anglers.

Reports of trout with copepods continue to come in. The best thing that anglers can do is harvest these fish. They are still edible, as the copepods can be scrapped off the fish before cooking.

Don’t discount bass fishing up here by any means. October is still a great month for bass anglers as bass will be active for at least another few weeks. Especially the smallmouth bass. Try the steep banks along the south shore or NE shore with Texas rigged nightcrawlers or plastics. Crank baits and surface lures will be best early in the morning.

Joseph Stuart Recreation Area is managed by Jackson County Parks. Currently no campfires are allowed in campground loop D, and the boat ramp is closed due to low water. Day use fees for this facility apply. If you’re a frequent user here, a Jackson County Parks season pass is $40 and covers many other local Rogue Valley fishing destinations, as well.


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

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Water levels in Willow continue to drop as irrigation shutdowns in other reservoirs have switched things over to Willow Lake. The reservoir is 48 percent capacity and is lower than the same time last year. This is one of the only irrigation reservoirs still releasing water. 

Trout, bass, crappie and perch are most prevalent here. Fishing from shore will likely produce plenty of perch and bluegill. Anglers targeting deeper water on the bank opposite the boat ramp by trolling will have greater success with rainbow trout. No trout have been stocked since late spring, but there should be fish still present.

Campgrounds at Willow Lake are open but campfires are not allowed. Boat launching at the improved ramp may be getting difficult with the dropping water. For more information please visit the Jackson County Parks website.

Anglers encountering illegally introduced yellow perch are always encouraged to take as many of these as they want. This illegal introduction has only resulted in stunted perch and impacts to the bass and trout fishery in this lake and numerous others around the Southwest District. Anglers are reminded that using live fish as bait is prohibited. If you see someone transporting live fish from or into a water body, please get a photo and/or call OSP with this information


For a complete look at Southwestern Oregon fishing reports, click the image below;


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For a complete look at Southeastern Oregon fishing reports....including all of Klamath and Lake Counties, click the image below;


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For General Recreation,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,click image outdoos





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River Report Roundup - 


ALWAYS consult the fishing regulations before fishing rivers and streams in Southern Oregon. You can get to the regulations by clicking here.


Rogue River, lower: salmon, steelhead, trout

Hays Haul


The flows are at 1,560 cfs at Agness 10/13. Fishing effort is non existant at this point. 

The Huntley Park seining season is coming to a close at the end of October. Counts from this project will continue to be updated every two weeks until the end of the month and can be found here.

ODFW tracks hatchery survival and other important information through Coded Wire Tag returns.  Anglers with hatchery catch are encouraged to return adipose fin-clipped Chinook snouts to ODFW. A snout box with instructions is located inside the fish cleaning station in the port near the boat ramp. Thank you for your participation.

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

Five hatchery trout may be retained daily. Wild rainbow and cutthroat trout must be released. Rainbow trout over 16-inches are considered steelhead.


Rogue River, middle: steelhead, chinook salmon, trout

At Grants Pass we have a flow of 1,440 cfs. The temp is 40 degrees as of 10/13/.

Fishing effort has been minimal as the low flows have really limited fishing. From Sept. 1 through Oct. 31, within the wild and scenic section from Foster Creek upstream to Whiskey Creek, only artificial flies and lures are allowed. No bait is allowed in that reach.

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.


Rogue River, upper: steelhead, trout

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The flow at Cole Rivers Hatchery just below Lost Creek Dam is at 948 cfs. The flow at Dodge Bridge is at 1,150 cfs as of 10/13.

2231 spring chinooks, 1,501 summer steelhead, 3 fall chinooks, and 2 cohos have returned to the Cole Rivers Hatchery through October 12th.

Chinook fishing is closed from Fishers Ferry upstream to Cole Rivers Hatchery through the end of the year.

Beginning Sept. 1, all fishing gear from Fishers Ferry to Cole Rivers hatchery is restricted to artificial flies, with no added weights except for a bubble or similar floating device attached to the line. No bait is allowed.

Anglers are catching trout and summer steelhead. Anglers can only retain hatchery trout (5 per day) and hatchery steelhead. Summer steelhead season appears better than last year and should hold up in October. Anglers are encouraged to be mindful of spawning spring Chinook salmon and avoid disturbing these fish as they spawn.

Especially with the extremely low flows, boat anglers are encouraged to fish below Shady Cove, and preferably Dodge Bridge as drift boats and rafts may drag bottom in some shallow riffles. There appears to be more steelhead lower in the system so may be better off below Shady Cove anyway. Be mindful of redds (salmon nests) that can be found along river margins and at tailouts. River flows will be lower than normal as well, so drift boats and rafts may drag bottom in places. Please watch for redds or avoid spawning congregations as much as possible.


ROGUE RIVER ABOVE LOST CREEK RESERVOIR: rainbow trout, brook trout, cutthroat trout.

The Rogue River and feeder creeks like Mill Creek, National Creek, and Union Creek are stocked weekly from Memorial Day through Labor Day with 3000 legal sized rainbows of 8 - 10 inches in size. Stocking points are at campgrounds, and access points along Highway 62, Highway 230, and Forest Service roads in the area. You will also encounter larger sized hold overs going to 20 inches in the creeks. The deep pools of the Upper Rogue holds rainbows that can get up to 5 pounds. We see a couple of those caught every year up here. In 2017 a brown trout that was nearly 24 inches long and weighing about 4 pounds was caught at the mouth of Union Creek where it enters the Rogue. That fish was released after the angler that caught it posed for pictures with it. That is the largest brown to be caught in the upper Rogue in years. But, it is proof they are in there.

In addition to the stocked trout, the river and its tributaries also support naturally produced rainbow, cutthroat, brook, and brown trout  ALL trout caught with adipose fins must be released unharmed. The best thing to use up here is without question nightcrawlers. Next would be using a single salmon egg like a Pautzke egg on a treble hook. Fly fishing can be done along Highway 230 where there is enough separation of the foliage and trees to allow for fly casting. With cold water, you’ll want to swing your lure right in front of fish, so work through a hole a bit more slowly. 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 or Pautzke eggs, even Power Bait will produce. With the cold conditions of winter setting in, look for best results on sunny days when the water gets warmed some. 


UMPQUA RIVER, MAINSTEM: steelhead, sturgeon, chinook, bass, striped bass, shad, trout

As of this morning the height of the river is at 3.02 feet and the flow is 1,120 cfs at Elkton as of 10/13. 

Bass fishing continues to be good throughout the basin.

Chinook fishing success seemed to be moderate, and some have likely started moving upriver to spawn. The Mainstem is restricted to one wild adult Chinook per day and five per year. There is no retention of wild coho in the Umpqua this year. Please practice good catch-and-release techniques with fish that are not retained.

Trout fishing is open.


UMPQUA RIVER, SOUTH: steelhead, trout, smallmouth bass

RIVER IS CLOSED TO ALL ANGLING THROUGH NOVEMBER 30TH. It reopens for steelhead on December 1st.


UMPQUA RIVER, NORTH: steelhead, spring chinook, trout

The North Umpqua and its tributaries from the mouth of the marker below Soda Springs Dam are now closed to all fishing through Nov. 30. This closure is in response to the lowest return of summer steelhead on record. Trout fishing is open year-round upstream of Slide Creek Dam and in tributaries in this section.

Learn more about this closure.


CHETCO RIVER: Sea run cuttthroat trout, rainbow trout, chinook salmon, steelhead

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The estuary has been bustling with boat and bank anglers lately. Catch has been good. Though river levels are still fairly low, recent rainfall colored the water up a bit and may have encouraged some early fish to move. Temporary rule changes for wild adult Chinook are now in place through Dec. 31. One wild adult Chinook per day and two total for this time period. This temporary rule change affects only adult wild Chinook. All other zone regulations still apply including the hatchery Chinook retention and the bobber rule.

ODFW tracks hatchery survival and other important information through Coded Wire Tag returns. Anglers with hatchery catch are encouraged to return adipose fin-clipped Chinook snouts to ODFW. A snout box with instructions is located inside the fish cleaning station in the port near the boat ramp. Thank you for your participation.


ELK / SIXES RIVERS: Sea run cutthroat trout, rainbow trout, steelhead

Temporary rule changes for Chinook are now in place Aug. 1-Dec. 31. No retention of adult wild Chinook. All other zone regulations still apply. Anglers may find some early run success near the mouth of the river. Please be cognizant of private property and always get permission before accessing the river through private land.


APPLEGATE RIVER: rainbow and cutthroat trout, steelhead

The river is open to trout fishing. Only hatchery trout may be retained, 2 per day. All wild rainbow trout and cutthroat trout should be immediately released unharmed. Anglers are reminded that the Applegate River is closed to salmon fishing. Trout anglers should target waters further upstream with cooler water temperatures. The river gauge at Wilderville can still reach the high 60s. Anglers are also encouraged to catch and remove non-local pikeminnow. Areas such as Fish Hatchery County Park have lots of pikeminnow. 

There is good bank access around the Hwy 199 bridge, Fish Hatchery Park, Cantrall Buckley Park, upstream of Murphy, and near McKee Bridge. There are also scatterings of BLM lands in the upper river around McKee Bridge.


ILLINOIS RIVER: trout, steelhead

The Illinois is open to trout fishing. There are no hatchery programs on the Illinois, so anglers will mostly encounter wild cutthroat and rainbow trout. These fish should be released unharmed. With temperatures starting to cool a bit, trout fishing should be picking up a bit. Fish will still likely be near tributaries or in deeper pools.

There is no salmon fishing allowed on the Illinois River, and through Nov.30, there will be an all fishing closure from Pomeroy Dam downstream to the 8 Dollar Bridge Rd bridge, which crosses the Illinois River. Tributaries and the mainsteam Illinois, upstream of Pomeroy Dam are closed year-round to fishing. 

There is good public bank access along 8 Dollar Rd. just north of Kerby, and Illinois River Rd. outside of Selma, all the way downstream to Miami Bar. Please park outside of the white lines to keep roads clear. Do your part and pack out what you pack in, as well as someone elses trash. There is trash service available at the Siskiyou Field Institute outside of Selma.


WINCHUCK RIVER: Sea run Cutthroat trout, rainbow trout, steelhead

Trout fishing is best in the early morning or late in the day when fish are more active. Temporary rule changes for wild adult Chinook are now in place Aug 31-Dec 31. One wild adult Chinook per day and two total for this time period. All other zone regulations still apply



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Last week was not a banner one for the ocean anglers. Along the coast, high wind swells and bar closures prevented most boats from going out and fishing for bottomfish. Bigger boats that could get out brought in a mix of black, blue and deacon rockfish with an occasional canary rockfish in the mix. The lingcod bite has slowed down drastically. Many anglers have been concentrating on estuary salmon fishing.


The longleader fishery

Offshore longleader fishing gives anglers an opportunity to catch a larger daily bag limit of rockfish and helps distribute effort so boats are less concentrated on nearshore species. On a longleader trip, an angler can keep up to ten rockfish (in aggregate) of certain species. The species are as follows: yellowtail, widow, canary, chilipepper, deacon, blue, greenstriped, redstripe, silvergray and bocaccio rockfishes. Are some of these species new to you? No problem – check them out here.

Longleader gear: How to rig up for the offshore longleader fishery and FAQs



Crabbing is closed in the ocean from Oct. 16 – Nov. 30.

Recreational crabbing remains open in bays and estuaries, and on beaches, docks, piers, and jetties along the entire Oregon coast from the Columbia River to the California border. For recreational crab harvesters, it is recommended that crab always be eviscerated prior to cooking, which includes removal and discard of the viscera, internal organs, and gills.

Because of Oregon’s precautionary management of biotoxins, the crab and shellfish products currently being sold in retail markets and restaurants are safe for consumers.

Before clamming or crabbing, call ODA’s shellfish safety information hotline at (800) 448-2474 or visit the ODA shellfish safety closures web page at:

The consumption of crab viscera is not recommended.

Effective Jan. 1, 2020, recreational crabbers will need to mark all floating surface buoys with the owner’s full name or business name and at least one of the following: phone number, permanent address, ODFW Angler ID number, or vessel identification number. Mark your information in a clear, legible, and permanent manner. While this rule does not apply to gear tied to docks, piers, jetties, or beaches, we recommend marking buoys on any gear that could become derelict or lost. Find more information here.


SOA charters


Ocean salmon

Recreational ocean salmon fishing within the Columbia River Ocean Salmon Management Area (Leadbetter Point, Washington to Cape Falcon, Oregon) is CLOSED for the remainder of 2021.

The ocean from Cape Falcon to Humbug Mt. remains open for Chinook salmon fishing (and all salmon except coho) through Oct. 31. The daily bag limit is two salmon per day, a 24-inch minimum length for Chinook and a 20-inch minimum length for steelhead (no minimum length for ocean caught pink, chum, or sockeye salmon). Single-point barbless hooks (no more than 2 per line) are required when fishing for salmon or when fishing for other species in the ocean once salmon are on board the boat.

Find the ocean salmon seasons, catch updates, and more information on the ocean salmon season page.


OPEN from along the entire coast from the Columbia River to the Oregon border.


Mussel harvest is open along the entire Oregon coast.



The general marine fish bag limit is 5 daily (a reduction that became effective May 10); only one of the 5 fish may be a China rockfish, copper rockfish or quillback rockfish if caught from shore. Anglers fishing from boats may not retain any of these three species.

Surfperch are available in the surf year-round along sandy beaches and rocky shore, with the best fishing (and safest fishing) occurring when swells are small. Learn about ocean surfperch fishing.

When fishing from shore or inside estuaries and bays, it is important to check the tide. Many fish that swim into estuaries and bays, including salmon, surfperch, and Pacific herring, tend to come in with the tide. Catch of these species is more likely to occur closer to slack tide. Additionally, the accessibility of some areas can be completely dependent on the tide. Do not allow the incoming tide to become a safety issue.


Pacific halibut

Remember: Regulations require anglers to IMMEDIATELY record their catch on their Combined Angling Tag – paper or electronic. Immediately means:

  • Prior to rebaiting and putting the line back out.
  • Before taking a snack or drink break.
  • Before heading back to shore.

OSP reports that during a recent ocean patrol, 75 percent of halibut anglers were out of compliance – there were fish on the boat that had not been tagged. Don’t be one of those.

Anglers who keep two halibut per day in Oregon south of Cape Falcon (as allowed for the remainder of the 2021 halibut season), and who are using a daily or multi-daily combined angling tag to record their halibut harvest, must:

  • Record the first halibut on the paper tag or MyODFW app as usual.
  • Record the second halibut in any open space on the paper tag, or on any paper if e-tagging (anglers using e-tagging should plan to have paper and pen with them to do this).
  • Remember to include the species, location code, day and month, and length of the halibut in inches.

See the Sport Halibut Season Page for open dates and details for the Pacific halibut season.


The Columbia River Subarea is closed to Pacific halibut fishing for the remainder of 2021.


The Pacific halibut season is open 7 days per week at all depths in the Central Coast Subarea, and anglers may retain two Pacific halibut per day (six annually), until the quota is met or Oct. 31, whichever comes sooner.

Summer All-Depth (Estimates through Sept. 26)

Landed pounds: 37,989       Remaining pounds: 30,362            Remaining percent:  44 %

A total of 2,554 pounds was caught the week ending September 26, with the greatest catch coming out of Newport with 1,954 pounds. Charleston ocean anglers brought in 488 pounds, Garibaldi 91 pounds, and Pacific City caught 22 pounds.

SOUTH COAST (Estimates through Sept. 26)

Anglers may now retain two halibut per day (six annually).

Landed pounds: 5,259        Remaining pounds: 2,741             Remaining percent: 34 %



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