A dozen great rivers pour out of the Coast Range Mountains into tidal bays that welcome runs of salmon and steelhead. Bays are the year-round home to marine perch, rock fish, crabs and clams, while other species come and go with the seasons and tides. A handful of ponds dot the forested slopes, and there are dozens of dune lakes— many stocked with rainbow trout, and some harboring largemouth bass, perch, crappie and brown bullhead.
These are the zone-wide regulations for the zone, but there are exceptions to these rules. Always check the current Sport Fishing Regulations to see if any there are any exceptions to these rules where you want to fish. In-season regulation changes for the NW Zone can be found here.
Lakes and ponds: five fish per day
Rivers and streams: two fish per day, open May 22-Oct. 31
Seasons and bag limits can vary from year to year. Always check for in-season regulation updates before fishing.
Popular species to fish for
In May/June start thinking spring Chinook in rivers and basins from Tillamook south to the Siletz. By August attention turns to fall Chinook and coho. There is a rare opportunity to fish for chum salmon (catch-and-release only) on the Kilchis and Miami rivers beginning in mid-September.
These ocean-going rainbow trout are divided into two runs: winter and summer. For those that prefer frost bite to sunburn, winter steelhead begin entering area rivers and streams from November and December (depending on the timing of the fall rains) and runs can continue through April.
Summer steelhead returns begin in early April to early June in the Nestucca, Siletz, Trask and Wilson rivers. Summer fish will continue to arrive through late summer and early fall, sometimes overlapping with winter returning fish.
Cutthroat trout live in these coastal rivers and streams. Although resident fish may be small, they are feisty and fun to catch. Fishing these cool, shaded waters also can provide a welcome respite from the summer heat. In late summer, look for sea-run cutthroat to migrate from the estuaries back to freshwater to spawn. These can be large, hard-fighting fish.
Dozens of lakes and ponds throughout the zone are stocked with rainbow trout from February through May and, for some, again in October.
Where to fish
- Easy angling Oregon – NW Zone, features 18 family-friendly fishing locations.
- 50 places to fish within 60 minutes of Portland.
- 65 places to go fishing in Lane County.
- Trout stocking map, locate nearby stocking locations, and find your way there, using these interactive Google maps. Combine with the weekly trout stocking schedule to plan for a successful fishing trip.
- Weekly Recreation Report, read up on the latest conditions where you want to fish. This is also the place to learn about great bass and warmwater fishing locations not listed on the trout stocking map.