May 22, 2013
rainbow trout, largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, black crappie
Anglers should have good success catching stocked rainbow trout by fishing bait from the bank or by trolling or fishing bait from boats. Many anglers fish from shore near the boat ramps in the main campground.
Fishing for largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, bluegill, crappie, and other warmwater species has been good. Smallmouth bass can be found along the rocky shorelines, while the other species can be found around the flooded willows. A wide variety of lures can be used to target the bass. Crappie jigs or bait suspended below a bobber are effective for the crappie, bluegill, and yellow perch. Bullheads and the occasional channel catfish can be taken by fishing bait on the bottom.
The water level at Emigrant is at 94 percent of capacity.
Emigrant Lake is actually a manmade reservoir located at the southern end of the amazing Rogue Valley. It was first created in 1924 with the construction of a 110 foot concrete arch damn by the Talent Irrigation District to create irrigation and flood control from Emigrant Creek. The United States Bureau of Reclamation expanded the damn to a 204 foot rock filled structure in 1960 that still stands today.
Below Emigrant Lake’s waters lies what used to be the Klamath Junction. It was comprised of the Old Siskiyou Highway, Greensprings Highway, and the road connecting Ashland to the two. This junction was, until the construction of the damn, the hub of travel between Ashland, Klamath Falls, and the Siskiyou Summit. The first white women to settle into this area were Elizabeth Fine Hill and her daughters Martha, Ann and Mary. They moved to the area with their husband/father Isaac and brother Cicero for a Donation Land Claim. In the following year hundreds more settlers came to the area to settle into the Klamath Junction. With the expansion of the lake and the construction of the second damn in 1960, the settlers, including the Hill family, were forced to leave the area and Klamath Junction was soon under water.
Emigrant Lake produces a wide variety of fishing opportunities. Warm water fish are abundant in the lake year round and include both large and small mouth bass, black crappie, yellow perch and brown bullhead. Each year approximately 10,000 legal sized (8-12 inch) rainbow trout are stocked in the lake between March and June. The trout fishing is best in the spring and fall when water temperatures are slightly cooler.
Emigrant Lake also provides a large recreation area including a full hookup campground, picnic area and two 280 foot water slides that are open from Memorial Day to Labor Day.