What’s Fishin’ In Oregon

“Fantastic steelhead fishing on the Wallowa, Grande Ronde and Imnaha rivers continues,” reports ODFW, but don’t overlook spring break trout stocking in Willamette Valley ponds.

Here are more highlights from ODFW’s weekly Recreation Report:

SOUTHWEST ZONE

  • Winter steelhead fishing has been good on the North Umpqua. Through the end of January over 2,500 winter steelhead had crossed Winchester Dam – one of the highest counts in the last 10 year. Remember only fin-clipped steelhead can be harvested.
  • Many area lakes and reservoirs are being stocked this week in anticipation of Spring Break.
  • March is an excellent month to fish for steelhead in the Elk and Sixes rivers.
  • Anglers have caught some early-season spring chinook in the lower Rogue River and the chinook season will continue to build into April.

NORTHWEST ZONE

  • Nestucca River: Steelhead angling should be fair to good as the river drops after recent rains. Fish are spread out in the river system. Look for a mixture of hatchery and wild fish. Drifting lures or bait near the bottom has been productive. Spinners are generally a good bet in the upper river also.
  • Trask River: Steelhead angling is fair to good. Fish are spread out through the river, including the forks. A few hatchery fish are being caught, but expect more wild fish in the catch as the season goes on. River levels rose last weekend, so fresh fish should be moving in.
  • Wilson River: Steelhead angling is fair to good. Fishing conditions were marginal after recent rains, but the river is dropping. Boaters on the lower river have done well side drifting. Drift fishing or bobber and jigs have produced for bank anglers. Good numbers of fresh fish should be entering the system.

WILLAMETTE ZONE

  • Spring chinook are now being taken on the Willamette River and in the Multnomah Channel. Catch success has been variable but will improve soon.
  • Winter steelhead fishing is good in the Clackamas and Sandy rivers and Eagle Creek. Steelhead are spread throughout both systems and some good catches have been reported.
  • Sturgeon fishing is fair on the lower Willamette River.
  • Trout stocking gets into full swing this week at sites throughout the Willamette Valley.

CENTRAL ZONE

  • Haystack Reservoir offers some good spring fishing for 12 to 18-inch rainbow and brown trout.
  • Flows and water temperatures have been good on the Hood River and, as a result, winter steelhead fishing has been good.

NORTHEAST ZONE

  • McKay Reservoir opened to fishing on March 1 and should provide some good spring fishing for rainbow trout, yellow perch and brown bullhead.
  • McNary, Hatrock and Tatone ponds will be stocked with rainbow trout this week.
  • Anglers have been catching both stocked trout and kokanee on Wallowa Lake.
  • The great steelhead fishing continues in the Grande Ronde and Imnaha basins.

COLUMBIA ZONE

  • Spring chinook should be available in increasing numbers on the lower Columbia for boat and bank anglers.
  • Legal-sized sturgeon are being caught by bank anglers in the gorge.

MARINE ZONE

  • Bottom fishing is good when ocean conditions permit. Calmer oceans usually mean better fishing success. Lingcod are in shallower waters to spawn. Divers may find success spearing along rocky jetties for ling cod and black rockfish.
  • Herring are spawning in many coastal bays now. Fishing for herring can be great fun with kids using light tackle. Watch for birds diving into the herring schools and try to get in on the action. The aggregate daily catch limit for herring, sardines, anchovies and smelt is 25 pounds.
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