What’s Fishin’ In Oregon

Here’s hoping Memorial Day Weekend brings with it memorable fishing across Oregon!

I’ll be among the thousands upon thousands of anglers out in the Beaver State chasing everything from fresh summer-runs to fresh stocker trout to springers to crappie to lings to halibut to … oh, just check out the latest from ODFW’s weekly Recreation Report:


  • Trout season opened May 22 on many area rivers and streams. As the weather gets warmer and water levels drop the cutthroat trout fishing will pick up on rivers such as the Chetco, Elk and Sixes.
  • Many boat anglers have been catching their limit of trout on Fish Lake, with some fish up to 18-inches long being taken.
  • The lower Rogue River (opened) to the retention of wild spring chinook on Saturday, May 22 – about 10 days earlier than normal.


  • Coffenbury, Cape Meares, and Lytle lakes, and Vernonia Pond will receive a supplemental stocking of legal size and larger rainbow trout the week of May 24. These fish are in addition to the fish on the stocking schedule, and should provide good fishing opportunity over the Memorial Day weekend.
  • Nestucca and Three Rivers: Steelhead angling has been fair. More summer steelhead are showing in the catch. Bobber and jigs are working, as are small spinners or corkies/yarn. Spring chinook angling is improving as more fish enter the system. Concentrate on tidewater or lower river areas early in the season. Bobber and eggs is a good technique. Casting spinners in tidewater areas will produce some fish also. Angling for cutthroat trout opened May 22. Angling should be fair to good, with fish spread throughout the river.
  • Tillamook Bay: Angling for adipose fin-clipped spring chinook has improved. Fish are available throughout the bay and tidewater. Try trolling herring along the jetties or near the coast guard station, especially on softer tide series. Spinners usually produce best in the upper bay, with bobber and eggs/shrimp productive in tidewater areas. Angling for sturgeon has been slow. Best catches generally come from the upper bay and Tillamook River tidewater as the spring goes on.


  • Steelhead and spring chinook are starting to show up in the McKenzie and Middle Fork of the Willamette Rivers.
  • Shad fishing is picking up on the Willamette River and Multnomah Channel.
  • Timothy Lake on Mt. Hood has been stocked twice in the past two weeks with a total of 9,000 rainbow trout in preparation for the Memorial Day Weekend holiday.
  • Spring chinook are still being taken on the Willamette River and in the Multnomah Channel.
  • More than 39,000 spring chinook have crossed Willamette Falls and are moving into the upper Willamette and its tributaries. Try fishing at San Salvador and Wheatland Ferry on the Willamette and around the mouths of the Tualatin, Molalla, and Santiam rivers.
  • Steelhead fishing is fair on the Clackamas River, with both summers and winters being caught. A few spring chinook have been caught in the lower river over the past week.


  • There are still good hatches of golden stone and salmonflies on the Deschutes River from Maupin to Warm Springs.
  • Antelope Flat Reservoir has been stocked with trout and is open for fishing.
  • Fishing on Lake Billy Chinook has been good for both kokanee and bull trout.
  • Kingsley Reservoir has been stocked and should offer some excellent spring fishing.


  • Fishing on Klamath and Agency lakes is improving for both bank anglers and those trolling plugs and spoons.
  • Rainbow and brown trout fishing also is improving on the lower Owyhee River.
  • The Powder River is open for spring chinook with a daily bag limit of two fish.


  • Fishing for 8 to 10-inch crappie has been good on McKay Reservoir.
  • Several are lakes and ponds have been recently stocked and should provide some good fishing over the holiday weekend. Check out Kinney Lake and Marr, Honeymoon, Tepee and Wallowa Wildlife Area ponds.


  • Unseasonably cold weather kept many fishers home for the second all-depth halibut weekend. Those who did get out did well out of most ports. As a reminder to anglers: this coming weekend is not an all-depth weekend. The remaining regular all-depth weekend for the central coast, between Cape Falcon near Manzanita and Humbug Mountain south of Port Orford, spring season will be June 3-5. Extra back-up dates of June 17-19, July 1-3, July 15-17, and July 29-31 are available as long as the total catch does not exceed 105,948 pounds. The summer sport halibut season will be every other Friday and Saturday from Aug. 6 to Oct. 30 or until the entire sub-area all-depth catch limit of 141,265 pounds of halibut is harvested. The near-shore season, for ocean waters inside the 40 fathom line, will be open seven days a week from May 1 until Oct. 31 or until the harvest quota of 12,284 pounds is achieved.
  • The bottom fish bite was good out of Depoe Bay and Newport with most anglers landing one or two lingcod and an average rockfish catch of about five. Fishers out of other Oregon ports caught between two and three rockfish and lingcod were scarse. Success in catching lings and most other bottom fish improves as waves moderate.
  • The “All Salmon Except Coho” salmon season from Cape Falcon to Oregon/California  border opens May 29 and runs through Sept. 6. Bag Limit: Two salmon, closed to retention of coho until June 26 when the “Selective Coho Season” also opens. Only marked coho (all coho must have a healed adipose fin clip) may be retained. That season will run through Sept. 6 or until the quota of 26,000 marked coho is met, which ever comes first. The bag limit is two salmon.
  • June has two minus tide series in the afternoon and early evening: June 9-18 and 22-30. Razor clam diggers should watch for days when the marine forecast calls for combined swell and wind waves of less than eight feet.
  • Crabbing was generally poor all along the coast last week with average catches between one and three crab. Crabbing in the ocean this time of year can be very productive, but also dangerous because of wind, sea and bar conditions.

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