What’s Fishin’ In OR (3-16-11)

All right, whomever was googling “world record kokanee” and “9 pounds, 10.7 ounces” last week, you got me all fired up.

When those search terms led to our site, I thought, Holy smokes, has someone topped Ron Campbell’s mark?!?!!?

In a panic I called biologist Bill Knox to find out if Wallowa Lake had yielded yet another behemoth of a landlocked sockeye.

No new record that he knew of, though Knox, stationed at ODFW Enterprise, did hear a report of an 8-pounder caught earlier this winter. Another tweetie bird reported a 6-pounder of late.

I’d kinda assumed all the big ones had spawned last season, so will we see another spring of stupendous sox?

That remains to be seen.

But for now, other opportunities abound around Oregon (sheesh, Andy, any way to allay all the alliteration already?), as highlights from ODFW’s weekly Recreation Report show:

SOUTHWEST ZONE

  • Several area lakes and reservoirs have been stocked this spring – just in time to take the family fishing over Spring Break.
  • Striped bass, stripers, are moving into tidewaters for spawning on the Coquille, Smith and Umpqua rivers.
  • High water levels have slowed steelhead and spring chinook fishing on many rivers. Fishing should improve when river levels drop.

NORTHWEST ZONE

  • North Coast lakes: Cape Meares, Smith, Tahoe, Spring, Lytle, South, Town, Hebo, Coffenbury, Cullaby, and Lost lakes, and Vernonia, Lorens and Nedonna ponds were scheduled to be stocked this week. Weather (snow) could affect stocking of higher elevation lakes.
  • Mid-Coast Lakes: The 2011 trout stocking schedule is available online. The first stocking of rainbow trout started in February and will extend into June. The week of March 14th will see many water bodies stocked and can be a good time to get out and catch a few trout. The schedule can change with out warning depending on equipment availability and weather conditions.
  • Tillamook Bay: Sturgeon fishing is fair. Higher flows may attract more fish to the bay. Fish sand shrimp on the bottom near the channel edges during the outgoing tide. Move often to find fish if you are not getting bites.

WILLAMETTE ZONE

  • The trout stocking program is now in full swing, and several local ponds are scheduled to receive some two-pound trout this week. Those ponds receiving the larger fish are: Canby, EE Wilson, East Freeway, Junction City, Huddleston, Mount Hood, Roaring River, Walling and Walter Wirth.
  • A few confirmed reports of spring chinook landings in the Willamette River have been reported and angler effort is increasing.
  • While sturgeon retention on the Willamette River closed March 17, the river remains open to catch-and-release fishing.

CENTRAL ZONE

  • 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.
  • Spring hatches have begun on the lower Deschutes River near Maupin, offering good dry fly opportunities during mid-day.

SOUTHEAST ZONE

  • 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.
  • The ice is breaking up on many area reservoirs, which can lead to some good fishing in open waters but dangerous conditions on unsafe ice. Anglers should use caution.

NORTHEAST ZONE

  • Steelhead fishing on the John Day River has been good between rainstorms.
  • Steelhead fishing on the Umatilla River continues to be good.
  • Spring trout stocking was started last week at McNary, Hatrock and Tatone ponds — all should provide good trout fishing though out the spring months.

COLUMBIA ZONE

  • Spring chinook angling should improve once the water temperature rises a few degrees and the local tributaries drop and clear. The area between the I-5 Bridge and Rooster Rock opened to boat angling on Tuesday March 1, and bank angling is currently allowed between Buoy 10 and Bonneville Dam.
  • Sturgeon angling remains slow in The Dalles and John Day pools, but should improve as the water temperature increases.
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