Quite a few area lakes received trout plants this week. Loon Lake and Lake Marie each received 1,000 legal rainbows. Other Douglas County lakes receiving trout plants include Ben Irving Reservoir with 1,000 legal rainbows; Plat ‘I’ Reservoir with 1,000 legal rainbows; Cooper Creek Reservoir with 1,500 legal rainbows and Galesville Reservoir with 1,667 trophy rainbows. Curry County lakes receiving trout plants included Floras Lake with 150 trophy trout and Garrison Lake with 250 trophies. In Coos County, Bradley Lake received 3,000 legal rainbows and 200 trophies and both Upper and Lower Empire lakes received 250 trophy rainbows. Florence-area lakes receiving trout plants included Carter Lake with 750 trophy rainbows; Cleawox Lake with 1,475 trophy rainbows and Woahink Lake with 1,000 trophy rainbows.
Sometimes when a lake is slated to receive identical trout plants during successive weeks. it is because the earlier stocking was delayed and that may be the case with Cleawox Lake which is slated for 1,475 trophy rainbows next week. Also slated to receive trout plants next week are: Alder Lake, Dune Lake, Empire Lakes, Garrison Lake, Georgia Lake, Mercer Lake, Munsel Lake, Perkins Lake, Powers Pond, Siltcoos Lagoon, Siltcoos Lake, Sutton Lake and North and South Tenmile lakes.
Winchester Bay’s South Jetty continues to offer good fishing for lingcod and rockfish – as does virtually every saltwater jetty in Oregon. Striped surfperch are entering their pre-spawn period and have also been biting well. Greenling, which no longer have a minimum size limit, are being caught primarily on the ocean side of the south side of the “Triangle”.
Redtail surfperch, often called “pinkfins” and walleye surfperch have been biting well on the beach adjacent to the second parking lot south of the Triangle. Other popular surfperch spots are Horsfall Beach near North Bend, Sparrow Park Road near Gardiner and near the mouth of the Siltcoos River at the end of Siltcoos Beach Access Road.
The much-anticipated run of female redtail surfperch up the Umpqua River usually starts around the first week in May and lasts until late July
The first shad should be bending rods on the Umpqua River near Sawyers Rapids and Yellow Creek within the next couple of weeks.
Spring chinook fishing on the Umpqua and Rogue rivers continues to be slow, but it is still early in the season and fishing should improve.
While talking to the folks at Darlings Resort on Siltcoos Lake, I learned that there was 18 bass tournaments scheduled to be held on the lake this year. It was only several years ago that Siltcoos Lake bass tournaments were a rarity. It’s amazing what one well-attended and productive bass tournament can do to a lake’s extended fishing pressure.
I also learned that the heaviest Siltcoos Lake bass taken in a tournament so far this year weighed seven pounds nine ounces and the biggest yellow perch turned in to the resort last year measured 16-inches – which almost certainly would have been a state record if it was caught prior to spawning and weighed on a certified scale.
Striped bass should be on the agenda. On the Smith River, stripers seem to school up in a few holes on the North Fork about three miles upstream of where the North Fork Smith River enters the mainstem Smith River. It seems that every year a few stripers are spotted in the Umpqua River near Sawyer’s Rapids – but seldom fished for. On the Coquille River, the spring striper fishery occurs from the Arago Boat Ramp upriver.
On the Coquille River in the spring, muddy water is often a factor limiting fishing success.
As for largemouth bass angling, some of the larger coastal lakes have water temperatures in the mid-50’s. However for the next couple of weeks we won’t have a series of consecutive warm days needed to raise water temperatures a noticeable amount.
Some of the shallow lakes in the southern Willamette valley in which fishing may improve during a single warmer day would be Ford’s Pond, Plat ‘I’ Reservoir and Selmac Lake.
I wish the ODFW in western Oregon would do more of what the state of Washington did more than ten years ago – and that is plant several juvenile white sturgeon. Washington officials planted the juvenile sturgeon in the upper Columbia River and the survival rate was surprisingly good – to the point where WDFW officials are now concerned with these, now adult, hatchery sturgeon interracting with native sturgeon.
Starting on April 29th, anglers will be allowed to harvest two sturgeon per day from Wanapum or Priest Rapids reservoirs. The sturgeon must have a fork length between 38 and 72-inches.
Sturgeon caught in these reservoirs will not count toward an angler’s annual limit for sturgeon and anglers will not be required to record sturgeon harvested from the two reservoirs on their catch record cards. Additionally, anglers may fish for sturgeon in Wanapum and Priest Rapids reservoirs with two rods with the purchase of a 2-rod endorsement. This fishery, now in its third season, will run until Sept. 1st.
Pete Heley works parttime at the Stockade Market & Tackle, across from A’ Dock, in Winchester Bay where he is more than happy to swap fishing info with anyone.