What’s Fishin’ In Oregon

Stats from ODFW show that Oregon fishing license sales peak in May. The agency has sold anywhere from 40,000 to nearly 60,000 that month over the past decade. It’s puzzling, especially considering that some of the year’s best opportunities are right now.

From Brookings to Wallowa, the Columbia River to the Blitzen River, there are plenty of fish to be had across the Beaver State — springers, steelhead, stocker and wild trout, surfperch, lingcod and more.

Here are some of the top opportunities right now, according to ODFW’s weekly Recreation Report:

SOUTHWEST ZONE

  • Lucky kids! Arizona Pond, a youth-only fishery between Gold Beach and Port Orford, will be stocked this week with 1 pound trout and fishing will be really good.
  • Spring chinook fishing on the lower Rogue really picked up over the weekend with both boat and bank anglers doing well.
  • If the ocean swells quiet a bit, surfperch fishing should be good.

WILLAMETTE ZONE

  • Spring chinook are now being taken on the Willamette River and in the Multnomah Channel.
  • 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.
  • A youth angling event will take place Saturday, April 17 at Junction City Pond from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. All necessary equipment will be provided at this free event, and staff and volunteers will be available to assist young anglers.

CENTRAL ZONE

  • The Crooked River is back. This winter anglers were catching more trout than whitefish. Recently water levels have been up, but fishing has been good.
  • Start making plans for spring chinook fishing on the Deschutes River, which should peak in early May.
  • The Hood River continues to turn out good numbers of winter steelhead.
  • Pine Hollow Reservoir, Rock Creek Reservoir and Taylor Lake all have been recently stocked and offer some great spring trout fishing.

SOUTHEAST ZONE

  • Trout fishing on the Blitzen River has been good and should remain so until flows and turbidity increase during spring runoff.
  • Several area lakes and ponds have been stocked with legal-sized trout including upper Cow Lake, Haines Pond and Hwy 203 Pond.

NORTHEAST ZONE

  • The Wallowa Wildlife Area and Marr Ponds recently have been stocked with legal-sized trout and surplus hatchery steelhead.
  • Anglers are reminded that steelhead season closes on northeast Oregon Rivers April 15 (except the Snake River which is open through April 30).

COLUMBIA ZONE

  • Spring chinook fishing was phenomenal in the lower Columbia River last week.
  • A few legal size sturgeon are being caught by boat and bank anglers in the gorge as well as in the Portland to Longview area.
  • Walleye angling is good in The Dalles Pool.

MARINE ZONE

  • After many days of storm surge, anglers found success when the weather broke. While ling cod catches were down, most anglers limited on large rockfish.
  • A morning minus tide series begins April 14 and continues through April 20 providing opportunity for clam diggers. Razor clam diggers should watch for days when the marine forecast calls for combined swell and wind waves of less than eight feet.
  • The entire Oregon coast is now open to recreational and commercial clam harvesting.
  • Mussel harvesting is open on the entire Oregon coast, from the mouth of the Columbia River to the California border. The consumption of whole, recreationally-harvested scallops is not recommended. However, coastal scallops are not affected by toxins when only the adductor muscle is eaten.

NORTHWEST ZONE

  • Cape Meares, Smith, Tahoe, Lytle, Town, and Hebo lakes, and Lorens Pond and Nedonna Pond were stocked with legal size rainbow trout the week of April 5. South Lake was not stocked due to snow. Stocking will be rescheduled when access to the lake is clear. Coffenbury Lake, Lost Lake, and Vernonia Pond are scheduled to be stocked the week of April 12. North coast lakes on the stocking schedule have all been stocked at least once this spring. Fishing should be fair to good.
  • Fishing in most mid coast lakes has been very good so far this spring and should continue to provide anglers with great opportunities well into June. Stocking has occurred several times in most water bodies of which many received trophy sized trout. Check the online stocking report for specific weeks and lakes to be stocked.
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