What’s Fishin’ In Oregon

Giant-ass kokanee are the only fish biting in Oregon these days. There are springers, steelhead, trout, bottomfish and more to be caught.

Here are highlights from around the state, courtesy of the weekly Recreation Report:


  • Winter steelhead fishing has been good on the North Umpqua. Through mid-February, over 4,346 winter steelhead had crossed Winchester Dam – one of the highest counts in the last 10 year. Remember only fin-clipped steelhead can be harvested.
  • Trout fishing has been good on Applegate Reservoir and Garrison Lake.
  • Spring chinook fishing continues to be pretty good on the lower Rogue River even with the low water conditions. Anchovies have been the hot bait.


  • The winter steelhead fishery is nearly over for the season. Many coastal rivers are closed to steelhead angling effective April 1st. Anglers are encouraged to check the regulations for specific river openings.
  • Spring chinook angling opens April 1 in Tillamook Bay, Wilson River, Trask River and Nestucca River. Fishing does not generally pick up until May. The ocean remains closed to salmon angling.
  • Cape Meares, Smith, Tahoe, Lytle, South, Town, and Hebo lakes, and Lorens Pond and Nedonna Pond are scheduled to be stocked with legal size rainbow trout the week of April 5th. North coast lakes on the stocking schedule have all been stocked at least once this spring. Fishing should be fair to good.


  • 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.


  • 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.


  • 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 have been stocked and are good destinations for young anglers who are out of school for Spring Break.
  • Anglers have been catching both stocked trout and kokanee on Wallowa Lake.
  • The great steelhead fishing continues in the Grande Ronde and Imnaha basins.


  • Spring chinook are available in increasing numbers on the lower Columbia for boat and bank anglers.
  • A few legal size sturgeon are being caught by boat and bank anglers in the gorge.


  • 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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