Middle Rogue may start seeing some winter steelhead finally show up

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.  Wild Steelhead cannot be retained above Hog Creek until Feb. 1. Wild steelhead must be 24 inches in length to harvest, with a limit of 1 per day/3 per year zone wide in aggregate. 

Bait can again be used in the entire Rogue mainstem. All tributaries are closed unless noted in the exceptions of the SW Zone regulations.

Anglers may still find a few summer steelhead in the middle Rogue area, but will likely be starting to encounter down-running spawned out fish (also known as kelts). Handle these fish with care if you encounter them.

With some great bumps in river discharge, the middle Rogue may start seeing some winter steelhead finally show up. It’s still a bit early for the Middle Rogue, but plunkers in the lower river have been catching fish. Plunking or running a side planner downstream of Galice would be the best shot of catching an early winter run fish given the current highwater. The bulk of the winter steelhead in the middle Rogue don’t typically show until February and peaking in March into April. However, the high water so far is a welcome change from the past few years. 

Expect the river to be dropping into Friday, then a small bump for the weekend, then dropping into next week as the region is forecast for a drying period. As of Wednesday morning the flow in Grants Pass was 7610 cfs/5.15 feet and dropping. The water clarity was a muddy 29 NTU with a temperature of 40.8 degrees F. Water conditions for the Rogue can be found at the USGS stream gauges here , or checking the City of Grants Pass water page’s river data here.

More Reports

OR Department of Fish & Wildlife Reports
for Thursday, January 6th, 2022
Gerber Reservoir: The reservoir is frozen. Ice thickness is unknown
John C Boyle Reservoir: The reservoir might be partially frozen
Upper Klamath Lake: The lake is frozen except near the outlet
Klamath River - Upper - OR: Klamath River Report
Lake Of The Woods: Ice thickness is unknown but currently not safe for ice fishing
Willow Valley Reservoir: The reservoir is low and likely frozen
Applegate Reservoir: The only useable boat ramp at Applegate Reservoir is the French Gulch Boat Ramp
Applegate River: As of Wednesday morning, the Wilderville stream gage was reading 1,280 cfs and dropping
Arizona Pond: This pond received a sizeable batch of fresh rainbow trout over the holidays
Ben Irving Reservoir: Reservoir is likely murky and may inhibit certain methods.
Chetco River: Steelhead fishing has been really good
Coos River: Steelhead anglers have been catching hatchery steelhead
Coquille River: The rivers are currently high and muddy
Diamond Lake: The last report said the ice was not quite thick enough to start fishing on
Elk River: Steelhead fishing should be excellent
Emigrant Reservoir: Emigrant is close to deadpool
Fish Lake : The current lake level is 35 percent full and the lake is filling slowly
Galesville Reservoir: The reservoir has started to fill again but it is still very low
Garrison Lake: Bank anglers can find access at the 12th street or Pinehurst boat ramps and off Paradise Point Road
Howard Prairie Reservoir: Earlier in the week is that there’s about 6 inches of snow over about 4-6 inches of ice covering the lake
Hyatt Lake: Expect winter weather conditions for the weekend and a frozen lake
Illinois River: The Illinois is known for having a run of some earlier running winter steelhead
Pistol River: Steelhead are spread throughout the river
Rogue River- Lower: Steelhead fishing has been really good

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