What’s Fishin’ In OR (3-9-11)

They read like names from a phone book, and if you’re a Western Oregon angler,  we suggest you call on Benson, Coffenbury, Garrison, Hagg, Huddleston and Sheridan.

They’ve all been recently planted or will be stocked this week with trout.


But if bigger beasts be what yer after, may we also suggest springers on the Columbia, Willamette/Multnomah and Rogue and steelhead in Northeast Oregon?

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


  • Bradley Lake, Powers Pond, Empire Lakes, Saunders Lake and Johnson Mill Pond were all stocked with legal-sized trout the first week of March.
  • The first spring chinook of the year have been caught on the lower Rogue River; the bite will pick up again once water levels drop.
  • The upper Rogue River above Big Butte Creek is in great shape for winter steelhead fishing.
  • Several lakes and reservoirs in the Umpqua district have received their first stocked trout of the year including Lake Marie, and Ben Irving, Plat I and Cooper Creek reservoirs.


  • Henry Hagg Lake near Forest Grove is now open to fishing and was stocked last week with 18,000 legal-sized rainbow trout. Large brood trout released earlier in the year should also be available.
  • Sturgeon retention fishing is now open on the Willamette and anglers have reported that the fish are hungry and biting. The daily bag limit is one white sturgeon with a fork length of 38 to 54 inches.
  • A few confirmed reports of spring chinook landings in the Willamette River have been reported and angler effort is increasing.


  • Relatively consistent flows and possible blue wing olive hatches make the Crooked River a good destination for trout and whitefish. But be sure to check river levels before making a trip.
  • March can be a great month to fish Haystack Reservoir near Madras.


  • The lower Owyhee River is ice free. While fishing has been slow, a March skwala hatch could ignite the bite.
  • The ice is clearing on Thief Valley Reservoir and there are reports of some very large trout being caught.


  • Steelhead fishing on the John Day River has been good between rainstorms.
  • Steelhead fishing on the Umatilla River in the Pendleton “urban” fishery has been good with folks fishing before and after work. It’s some of the best steelhead fishing on the Umatilla in years.
  • Water levels in the Wallowa and Imnaha rivers have been at fishable levels and steelhead fishing has been good despite the cold weather.


  • Salmonid angler effort continues to rise; however, catch rates slowed down this past weekend due to the cold water temperature.  On Saturday’s (3/5) flight, 475 salmonid boats and 115 Oregon bank anglers were counted.  Most of the effort continues to be upstream of St. Helens.
  • Troutdale Boats: Weekend checking showed 11 adipose fin-clipped spring chinook kept, plus three unclipped spring chinook released for 51 boats (111 anglers).
  • Portland to Longview Boats: Weekend checking showed 25 adipose fin-clipped spring chinook kept, plus six unclipped spring chinook released for 211 boats (501 anglers).



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