The Snake River and its impoundments offer first class fishing for warmwater species such as channel catfish, crappie and smallmouth bass. That part of the river running through the spectacular Hells Canyon Wilderness may have some of the best summer steelhead fishing in the state.
Always check the Sport Fishing Regulations for exceptions to these rules.
Six fish per day, no minimum length limit, open all year
Closed unless a special season is announced
Three hatchery fish per day, open Sept. 1 to April 30
Six per day, no more than three over 15-inches
Crappie and catfish
Fishing in the Snake Zone
The Snake River is often closed to salmon fishing, but some years returns are hefty enough to allow some spring and/or fall Chinook fishing from Hells Canyon Dam downstream to the Oregon/Washington border.
A good number of hatchery fish are released into Snake River tributaries and at the base of Hells Canyon Dam to provide a good summer steelhead fishery from October through March. This area is in the heart of the Hells Canyon Wilderness and access is tough – usually by foot or by boat. Determined anglers can be rewarded with some of the best steelhead fishing in the state.
The best crappie fishing in the state is often found in the Snake River Reservoirs – Hells Canyon, Oxbow and Brownlee. Brownlee is a well-known destination crappie fishery, though it also attracts anglers after smallmouth bass and catfish.