There is year-round salmon, steelhead, trout and smallmouth bass in the Southwest Zone. Rainbow trout are stocked in the upper Rogue River and in lakes nestled among fir forests and wind-swept dunes. Big reservoirs provide fishing for trout and for thriving populations of largemouth bass, catfish, perch and crappie. Coastal bays serve as gateways to rich offshore reef fisheries, and miles of public beach allow anglers to fish for surfperch against a backdrop of rugged capes.
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 in the SW Zone can be found here.
Lakes and ponds: five fish per day, open all year.
Rivers and streams: two fish per day, open May 22-Oct. 31. No bait allowed above tidewater.
Seasons and bag limits can vary from year to year. Always check for in-season regulation updates before fishing.
Both spring and fall Chinook fishing can be excellent in this zone. Look for good spring Chinook runs on the Umpqua and Rogue rivers from April through July. Fall Chinook and hatchery coho will return to these and other rivers beginning in August through October or November.
A unique salmon fishery in this zone is the wild coho fishery in Tenmile Lakes, which allows limited harvest of wild coho each fall.
The winter steelhead season kicks off in December on the Coos, Coquille, Tenmile, Umpqua, Rogue and several smaller rivers. The season typically lasts through April or May.
The Rogue River and the North Fork of the Umpqua Rivers host renowned summer steelhead runs beginning in July on the Rogue and May on the Umpqua. The outdoor writer Zane Grey popularized summer steelhead fishing on the Rogue in the late 1920s and early 30s.
Rainbow trout are stocked from February through May in lakes and ponds from the coast to higher elevations in the Cascades. Diamond Lake may be one of the best-known trout fisheries in the zone, but don’t overlook other stocked and scenic waterbodies.
If you prefer fishing moving waters, the Rogue River above Lost Creek Reservoir is stocked at several locations throughout the summer.
The mainstem of the Umpqua River has a growing reputation as a world-class smallmouth bass fishery. Both largemouth and smallmouth bass can be found in many of the lakes and ponds in the Southwest Zone. Target these warmwater fish starting in April or May when water temperatures begin to warm and fish move into the shallows looking for food.
Where to fish
- Easy angling Oregon – SW Zone, features 19 family-friendly fishing locations.
- 50 places to go fishing on Oregon’s south coast.
- 50 places to go fishing within 60 minutes of Roseburg.
- 50 places to go fishing within 60 minutes of Medford.
- 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.