Go Rogue! 8 Great SW OR Memorial Weekend Fisheries


If your Memorial Day weekend plans include fishing, you’re in luck. Lakes and reservoirs in and near the Rogue Valley are all ice-free, stocked and ready to be fished.

Willow Lake, 43 miles northeast of Medford

One of the best opportunities to get away could be Willow Lake near the city of Butte Falls. “It’s a short drive to enjoy a peaceful day of fishing,” says Dan Van Dyke, Rogue District fish biologist. “It’s already stocked with legal-sized fish, and we’re releasing 1,500 larger trout that are about a pound each just in time for Memorial Day weekend.”

Willow Lake also features warm water game fish including bluegill, black crappie and largemouth bass. Anglers are encouraged to keep yellow perch that have been illegally introduced into the lake. Jackson County Parks offers tent sites, RV hookups and cabin rentals and a boat ramp is located near the campground.

Lost Creek Reservoir, 35 miles northeast of Medford

With a nearly full water level, Lost Creek is heavily stocked with rainbow trout. Spring chinook salmon are also stocked and count as part of the trout bag limit. Bank anglers should use floating bait or worms, while boat anglers can use a variety of techniques.

Fish Lake, 40 miles northeast of Medford

Fish Lake, near the summit of Highway 140 between Medford and Klamath Falls features excellent fishing for stocked rainbow trout and naturally produced brook trout. It’s a great place to take kids fishing, especially along the bank between two U.S. Forest Service campgrounds.

Spring chinook salmon are being stocked to feed on tui chub and fathead minnows that were illegally put into the lake. Currently, the water level is filling and anglers may launch boats at either the Forest Service boat ramp or at Fish Lake Resort.

Emigrant Lake, 20 miles southeast of Medford

Take advantage of the wet spring and fish Emigrant Lake now for rainbow trout while the water temperature is cool. Plenty of trout have been stocked and the best fishing is at the Emigrant Creek inlet and around the county park. Warmwater fish are also available. Anglers should note a health advisory has been issued recommending limits on consumption of all fish from Emigrant except rainbow trout due to mercury levels.

Applegate Reservoir, 23 miles southwest of Medford

The water level is nearly full and trout fishing should be good. Stocked spring chinook salmon count as part of the trout bag limit. The reservoir also offers largemouth and smallmouth bass. Copper and Hart-ish boat ramps are the main boat access sites.

Lake Selmac, 51 miles west of Medford

Near Cave Junction, this reservoir is heavily stocked with trout and is also managed for a trophy largemouth bass fishery. Many warmwater fish can be found along the shoreline. Josephine County Parks offers camping and boat ramps.


Howard Prairie and Hyatt reservoirs, southeast of Medford

About 30 minutes east of Ashland, both reservoirs are good trout fisheries with trout up to 20 inches not uncommon. Camping, boat ramps and resorts are offered at each reservoir.

The mission of the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife is to protect and enhance Oregon’s fish and wildlife and their habitats for use and enjoyment by present and future generations. The agency consists of the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission, a commission-appointed director and a statewide staff of approximately 950 permanent employees. Headquartered in Salem, ODFW has regional offices in Clackamas, Roseburg, Bend, and La Grande with ten district offices located throughout the state. For additional information, please visit http://www.dfw.state.or.us.


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