Bait can again be used in the entire Rogue

Rogue River - Middle - Grants Pass, OR (Josephine County)

by OR Department of Fish & Wildlife Staff

Bait can again be used in the entire Rogue from the mouth upstream to Fishers Ferry. 

Chinook fishing is now closed upstream of Hog Creek boat ramp through the remainder of the year. 

Summer steelhead fishing has been very good. Most summer Steelhead in this area should be starting to stage from Rogue River up through Gold Hill. There still may be some fish caught in the Galice to Grants Pass section as well. Up to 2 hatchery steelhead as part of the daily combined salmon/steelhead bag limit and 5 hatchery trout may be retained.

Coho salmon have been making a large push into the upper river, with a very good hatchery run this year, in additional to the wild fish. Most wild fish are staging at tributary mouths or already heading up them to spawn.  Hatchery fish should be on the move toward the hatchery.

Cole Rivers Hatchery recycled the last group of re-run summer Steelhead just before Thanksgiving at the Modoc Access on the Denman Wildlife Area.  These fish have a hole punch in their left gill plate.  Anglers are reporting catching these fish throughout the upper river and fishing should be good for a few more weeks.

As of Nov. 23, 130 new summer steelhead entered the ladder. The total summer steelhead for the year is 2,232 fish, roughly 65 percent of the likely total run for the year. There’s still a lot of summer steelhead fishing to be had over the next month.  New counts were not available at the writing of this report, but will be updated on the fish counts page once available later in the week.

Another good push of 291 coho also entered the hatchery ladder, bringing this year’s coho total to 1,983 fish. The 10-year average is 835 to date. Looking at long-term averages, this should be around 65 percent of the run. The next week would be the time to target this year’s coho run as at least 80 percent of the hatchery run has arrived at the hatchery by early December and by mid-December it’s over.

This big return of coho comes despite an overall reduction in coho smolt releases since 2014, showing what can happen when there’s good ocean survival of outmigrating juveniles. Hopefully this trend of increased survival includes other anadromous programs (Chinook and steelhead) when those stocks return as older-age fish.

Flows coming out of William L. Jess Dam are at 899 cfs and 47.5 degrees, and matching inflow to the reservoir. Anglers fishing the upper river will have to drift their lures/bait/flies pretty much over fish to get them interested in a strike. Temperatures further down river warm up a bit and fish are a little feistier. 

Locally-owned and operated tackle and fly shops in Medford, Shady Cove, and Ashland have excellent gear and very fresh bait, local flies and knowledge that is specific to the Rogue and to your particular technique. Go check them out and offer them your support.

For the latest fish counts, call into the Lost Creek Reservoir hotline or check the fish counts page.

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.

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