The following is the Southwest Zone fishing report with information provided by fisheries and wildlife workers throughout Southern Oregon.
BEN IRVING RESERVOIR — Trout anglers have had the best success trolling lures in the deeper areas of the reservoir. The lake was stocked recently with “trophy” size fish. Warmwater fishing should be good. 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.
COOPER CREEK RESERVOIR — The lake was previously stocked prior to Labor Day. In the past 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 has been good with multiple reports of bass and bluegill. Try fishing for bass around aquatic vegetation in the mid-morning and late afternoon hours.
DIAMOND LAKE — Diamond Lake has been decent. Recent reports indicate most successful anglers are using flies with a quick retrieve or trolling. Others are having good success with floating bait off the bottom. If one technique isn’t working switch to something else, 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.
FISH LAKE — Fish Lake will be stocked this week with trophy trout. Water levels are still dropping, but trout fishing has been good with several large trout reported being caught. Anglers should concentrate on deeper areas and near the springs at the east end of the lake. If the clarity is low, still-fishing with bait is always a good option.
Fish Lake is now 17 percent full and the Forest Service boat ramp is unusable due to low lake levels. Even inflatables and kayaks may have trouble here due to mud. The Fish Lake Resort boat ramp is still accessible. 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.
FORD’S POND — This shallow pond supports populations of warmwater fish. Bass fishing has been good and can be good any time of year. 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 electric motors and does not have a good access point for larger boats.
GALESVILLE RESERVOIR — Galesville has been stocked with a lot of “trophy-size” trout this year and fishing has been good. In addition to trout, the reservoir was stocked with coho smolts until 2015. 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 has been good. Good areas are near dead snags and the boat ramp. Try a slow retrieve with a diving crank bait.
HEMLOCK LAKE & LAKE IN THE WOODS (Douglas County) — Fishing for trout in Hemlock and Lake in the Woods can be good this time of year. Spinners or “plunking” with worms and/or PowerBait can be effective methods for fishing these lakes. 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.
HUNTER CREEK — New temporary fishing regulations will be in place from Oct. 1 through the rest of 2019 closing the creek to all fishing. For more information, please see the in-season regulation change tables here.
LEMOLO RESERVOIR — Fishing has been a little slow.The lake was stocked prior to Labor Day so it should be a little better. 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 541-643-0750 for weather/road conditions and additional information.
LOST CREEK RESERVOIR — Trout fishing should be good, especially in deeper water and in the upper reservoir above the Hwy 62 bridge, where water is cooler and anglers can avoid recreational boaters. As the water cools, trout fishing will continue to get better. Trolling a wedding ring and worm combination behind an oval egg sinker is always a good bet. Lost Creek Reservoir is 46 percent full.
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.
PACIFIC OCEAN AND BEACHES — Bottomfishing is now open to fish at all depths. 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 harvest of cabezon along with copper, quillback, and China rockfish are now all closed to boat anglers. Shore anglers will still be able to harvest these rockfish species (but are encouraged to release them) and 1 cabezon a day.
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, 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 for Chinook salmon from Cape Falcon to Humbug Mt is open 7 days a week. As of Sept. 8, ocean salmon anglers harvested 51.7 percent of the nonselective coho salmon quota. The non-selective ocean coho season will be open again on Sept. 13-15. Chinook must be a minimum of 24-inches long and coho must be at least 16-inches.
Tuna are still being caught 20-35 miles off shore when conditions allow anglers to get on the ocean.
Halibut anglers may now keep two halibut per day as of Aug. 23. The Nearshore Halibut season is open Monday through Thursday each week in the Central Coast Subarea. As of Sept 1, there is 71 percent of the Nearshore quota remaining. The summer All-Depth season for the Central Coast Subarea is open every Friday through Sunday through October 26 or attaining the quota of 67,898 lbs. As of Aug. 31 there is 49 percent of the All-Depth quota remaining.
The Southern Oregon Subarea is open seven days a week for halibut. There is still 75 percent of the quota remaining for the Southern Oregon Coast halibut season.
SMITH RIVER, Umpqua — Smith River closes on Sept.16 to all fishing above Spencer Creek in the main and above Johnson Creek in the North Fork.
Look for striped bass in the lower stretches of the river below Spencer Creek in the mainstem. Recent reports indicate some great fishing.
The river is open in the tidewater portions for Chinook. There should be a few lurking in the lower sections.
TENMILE CREEK — Opened to trout fishing through Oct. 31. Anglers may now use bait in rivers and streams for the remainder of the trout season Some warmwater fish come out of the lakes, and can be caught in Tenmile Creek.
TENMILE LAKES — Bass fishing has been good on Tenmile Lakes. Anglers are catching most of the bass along the deeper weedlines and submerged trees. Topwater lures have been catching bass in the low light periods or even in the shade during the middle of the day.
Yellow perch fishing continues to be decent with anglers catching yellow perch along the edges of weedlines. Most of the fish are under 10-inches long but there are a few 12-inch plus fish being caught.
Trout anglers continue to troll for trout. A few trout have been caught on bait by anglers targeting yellow perch.
TOKETEE LAKE — Fishing is open in Toketee year-round, but it’s currently pretty slow. Try fishing the upper end of the lake. 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 — Recent reports have indicated some decent fishing at some of the high lakes. A small spinner or fly can be great choices. Contact the Forest Service at 541-496-3532 for road conditions as lakes may still 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, Wolfe and Skookum lakes.
Clearwater Forebay Two can be a great place to fish as well with brook trout and rainbow available.
Red Top Pond offers excellent bank fishing opportunities and is scheduled to be stocked this week. 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 — Some fall Chinook have been caught in the bay, and hopefully the end of August and September bring more fish. Please note there is no retention of unclipped coho salmon in the river, but fin-clipped coho is open in the river as part of your two adult salmon daily limit. The river regulations start at the tips of the jetties.
Bass fishing has still been good in most of the main. Trout fishing reopened on May 22, but tributaries close to all fishing Sept. 16. The mainstem is catch-and-release only.
UMPQUA RIVER, NORTH — There have been some reports of anglers catching summer steelhead, but it has been slow. The North closed to all fishing for Chinook on July 1.
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 July 1, fishing in the fly water area is restricted to the use of a single, barbless, unweighted artificial fly.
UMPQUA RIVER, SOUTH — The mainstem South and all tributaries close to all fishing on Sept. 16 as part of the annual closure to protect salmon.
WILLOW LAKE — The surface temperature at Willow Lake is warm, which will slow trout fishing considerably. Fishing for bass and panfish is more likely to be productive. Lake clarity is good but aquatic vegetation could be problematic in some areas. Anglers should concentrate on submerged willows or rocky shorelines. At 64 percent full, Willow Lake remains higher than other reservoirs in the area and may be the most accessible for launching boats at this time.
WINCHUCK RIVER — Temporary regulations will be in place between Oct. 1 and Dec. 31 for wild Chinook. For more information, please see the in-season regulation change tables here.