Rogue River, middle REPORTWinter steelhead are still being caught on the Middle Rogue. While most all neighboring streams are closing for st
Winter steelhead are still being caught on the Middle Rogue. While most all neighboring streams are closing for steelhead on March 31, the Rogue remains open all year. However, retention of wild steelhead closes April 30. To retain a wild fish, it must be a minimum of 24 inches long. Only 1 wild fish per day, and 3 per year zone wide in aggregate may be kept.
Trout fishing on the Rogue is closed and reopens on May 22. This includes catch-and-release fishing. Any angler on the Rogue at this time will need to have in possession a valid combined angling tag, in addition to their fishing license, and not be targeting trout or half-pounder steelhead. Young smolt are outmigrating currently and this regulation is designed to protect them.
Anglers are picking up winter steelhead, but it has been a tough year. There are some larger fish in the mix, which has been nice to see. If targeting water below the Applegate River, you’ll get the chance to target both Rogue and Applegate hatchery fish. Running plugs from a drift boat or drifting nightcrawlers or eggs, eggs/shrimp, soft beads, or yarn balls are all good bets.
There have been reports of hatchery fish sighted off of Baker boat ramp and Chinook County Park vicinity. There are winter steelhead acclimation facilities in Skunk Creek and Greens Creek, and there should be returning adults in the vicinity.
Locally-owned and operated tackle and fly shops in Grants Pass 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 support during this time.
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.
Wednesday morning the flow was 1,180 cfs and dropping and conditions clear with turbidity was 3 NTU and water temps starting the day in the high 40s and reaching mid 50s at the Grants Pass guage station. Flows are below normal for this time of year, so some riffles/rapids may be a bit bonier than usual.
For those interested in checking conditions before getting on the river, the City of Grants Pass Water Division’s website offers information on river conditions at Grants Pass as well as a link to a river camera. Anglers can check all the USGS gaging stations, which have the most current temperatures and river flows here. Last updated 4/14/21.
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