Regulation Updates as of November 16, 2020
These are in-season regulation changes adopted on a temporary or emergency basis. Please see e-regulations for permanent regulations.
Submit your fishing photo to ODFW and we might use it here or elsewhere on MyODFW.com.
We’d love to hear about your recent fishing experience. Send us your own fishing report through ODFW Fishing Reports―the information will be forwarded to the local biologist who may use it to update various ODFW resources such as the weekly Recreation Report.
The Recreation Report will not be updated the week of Nov. 23, but look for a new update the week of Nov. 30. In the meantime, have a great Thanksgiving holiday.
As water temperatures begin to cool with the onset of fall, look for trout fishing to pick up. In addition to some fall stocked fish (see individual entries), there should be some holdover trout from spring stocking.
River conditions in the Grande Ronde and Imnaha basis are currently good. Trout fishing has been good overall with some big fish being caught in the Grande Ronde, Wallowa and Imnaha Rivers. Steelhead season is also open though fishing has been slow.
River levels in the John Day are on the rise, making boating more feasible.
Our plans to begin posting the trout stocking schedule have been scrambled by the recent wildfires in the state. Several state-owned hatcheries were damaged in the fires, and thousands of fish were lost or released early.
It will take us a while to re-figure the current schedule to reflect these changes.
In the meantime, trout stocking is essentially done for 2020, except for a few locations noted in the Recreation Report.
Check out the to find nearby fishing locations, driving directions and descriptions of amenities.
Free Fishing Days – Nov. 27-28
#optoutside for Black Friday
The Friday and Saturday after Thanksgiving are Free Fishing Days in Oregon. That means you can fish, crab or clam for free – no license, tag or endorsement required. Some restrictions apply, as in all current closures, bag limits and other regulations still apply.
2020 wildfire effects on fishing: Check before you go
ODFW can’t tell you whether to go fishing or not. We will try to steer you to information about fire closures, access issues and air quality considerations so you can make an informed decision about whether to go.
You’ll now find all wildfire information related to hunting, fishing and recreating, on both public and private land, in one . This page will be updated frequently, so be sure to check again before you go.
Tips to recreate responsibly
We continue to urge anglers and others recreating outside to stay close to home, keep your social distance, and travel safely. Here’s more information about
ALDRICH PONDS (Roosevelt and Stewart Lakes): trout (2 fish limit)
No recent fishing reports. Aquatic weed growth may make fishing challenging, but cooler temperatures and recent rains should improve fishing conditions. Last updated 9/30/20.
GRANDE RONDE RIVER: trout, whitefish, bass, steelhead, coho
Catch rates for steelhead and coho have been slow but anglers are finding a few fish. The Grande Ronde is forecasted to get a bump in flows this week. Fishing can be good in the first few days after a spike in flow and may line up well for good steelhead fishing this coming weekend.
Pressure has been relatively light the past two weeks with plenty of water available to fish. The bag limit for steelhead has been reduced to two fish per day to ensure enough fish return to the hatchery facilities to meet program goals.
As water temperatures continue to cool headed into winter, look for steelhead in slower water where they may move to conserve energy.
The Grande Ronde will remain open to harvest of coho through Nov. 30 from the Washington state line upstream to the Grande Ronde River Rd. Bridge approximately 7 miles above the town of Troy. The bag limit is 2 adult coho (>20 inches) and 5 jack coho (≤20 inches) with two daily jack limits in possession. Anglers are encouraged to brush up on their skills before harvesting fish in the Grande Ronde.
Fall Chinook salmon will also be present, but may not be harvested and should be released immediately and unharmed. Last updated 11/81/20.
IMNAHA RIVER: trout, whitefish, bass, steelhead
Fishing for steelhead on the Imnaha has been slow with the occasional good day. The bag limit has been reduced to 2 hatchery steelhead per day to ensure enough broodstock can be collected at hatchery facilities. Catch rates will be slow through the winter but there’s always a few fish around. Look for catch rates to dramatically improve in late winter and spring.
Some anglers have recently reported finding good-size rainbow trout with good catch rates.
Fall Chinook will be very visible in the lower reaches through November. It is not legal to fish for fall Chinook in the Imnaha River and anglers should avoid these fish and allow them to spawn. Remember, if you catch a bull trout it must be released unharmed. Last updated 11/18/20.
JOHN DAY RIVER: steelhead
River flows are on the rise with recent rains, which makes boating more feasible. Drift boats and rafts are able to float safely when flows are above 400 CFS, although be on the lookout for rocks and shallow riffle areas.
Steelhead are moving into the lower river and fishing should pick up, especially now that we’re beginning to see some precipitation. Fishing in the lower river around Cottonwood Canyon State Park will be the best bet during this early season, but as flows increase fish will begin to move upriver.
Please note BLM has a new boater permit system in place for the John Day, and there are now limited overnight fall permits in Segment 1 from Sept. 1 to Nov. 30. Segment 1 is from Cottonwood Bridge to Tumwater Falls. Find . Last updated 11/18/20.
MAGONE LAKE: rainbow and brook trout
No recent fishing reports. Water temperatures are beginning to cool in the lake, which will improve the trout fishing. Snow will begin to impede travel to the lake. Last updated 11/18/20.
McNARY PONDS: walleye
No recent report.
The ponds have a surprisingly good population of walleye, highest numbers are in the Social Security Pond, which also provides good bank access. Look for the deepest areas and use worms fished near the bottom and plastic grubs. The ponds are also open to non-motorized boats.
UMATILLA RIVER: steelhead
Fish began returning to the Threemile Dam facility on the Umatilla River in small numbers last week. Both fall Chinook and steelhead are returning with coho soon to begin. Last updated 9/16/20.
WALLOWA COUNTY PONDS: rainbow trout
Forest ponds are becoming difficult to access and the valley ponds will be iced over soon, if they aren’t already. Kinney Lake has been fishing well for fish to 18 inches with reports of very high catch rates through the fall, and good catch rates are expected to continue once ice is safe to fish through. Last updated 11/18/20.
WALLOWA LAKE: rainbow trout, kokanee, lake trout
Fishing Wallowa Lake in the winter can be difficult but pressure is very light. For trout, fish natural baits as stocked fish have typically learned to eat natural food by this time. Last updated 11/18/20.
WALLOWA RIVER: whitefish, trout, steelhead
The Wallowa River will continue to be good for trout and whitefish throughout the fall. As the water cools, use smaller flies and lures as less large food is available during winter months. Mayflies and midges will make up a large portion of a trout diets through winter. Recent reports indicate rainbow trout up to 18 inches have been common.
Steelhead season is open and a few anglers have reported catching fish. Steelhead season opened with a reduced bag limit of 2 fish per day to ensure enough fish arrive at hatchery facilities to meet production goals. Last updated 11/18/20.
WILLOW CREEK RESERVOIR: trout
No recent report.