Recreation Report

Northeast Zone

Regulation Updates

Regulation Updates as of Feb. 13, 2018

These are in-season regulation changes adopted on a temporary or emergency basis. Please see e-regulations for permanent regulations.

There are no regulation updates at this time.

For more information contact your local ODFW office:

  • Enterprise (541) 426-3279
  • La Grande (541) 963-2138
  • Pendleton (541) 276-2344
  • John Day (541) 575-1167
Recreation Report

Weekend fishing opportunities:

  • This weekend (Feb. 17 & 18) is a Free Fishing Weekend. You won’t need a license, tag or endorsement to fish, crab or clam anywhere in Oregon. But remember, all other regulations and area closures still apply.
  • Roulet Pond is now ice-free and may offer good fishing for holdover trout.
  • The first early season kokanee are being caught in Wallowa Lake.
  • Steelhead fishing should be improving on the Grande Ronde and Imnaha rivers.
  • Looks like the weather might cooperate for steelhead anglers on the Umatilla this weekend -- steelhead returns are improving and the water conditions should be good at the same time.

If your favorite fishing spot is no longer listed

It’s probably because that river, lake or reservoir is closed for the season, inaccessible due to snow and bad roads, or offers limited fishing opportunities during the winter months. These waterbodies will re-appear in the Recreation Report when they re-open next spring, or when access and/or opportunity improves.

Ice fishing safety

With several water bodies beginning to ice over, anglers need to be cautious during first-ice conditions. Take the following precautions: use the “buddy system,” wear a PFD in case of thin ice, carry a throw-rope, and use a heavy metal staff to check for thin-ice. The Minnesota DNR has developed guidelines for ice thickness and other safety tips.

ALDRICH PONDS (Roosevelt and Stewart Lakes): trout

Phillip Schneider Wildlife Area is under a winter closure to protect big game winter range. Access will reopen to the ponds April 15.

BULL PRAIRIE RESERVOIR: rainbow trout

Fishing is good for stocked and carry-over trout.

GRANDE RONDE RIVER: trout, whitefish, bass, steelhead

After last week’s high flows more steelhead should have come into the river making their push toward the hatchery facilities. Look for flows to drop below 3000 cfs at Troy for the best fishing. From now through spring fishing will be very flow dependent and can be hit or miss so check before heading to the river.

As of the new year, bag limits revert to the 2018 sport fishing regulations which is 3 steelhead per day.

Anglers should be aware that bull trout are currently in the system and may be encountered while steelhead fishing. They should be released immediately. 

HATROCK POND: rainbow trout

The pond was stocked last week with legal-size trout, which should provide a great late winter fishing opportunity.

HOLLIDAY PARK POND: rainbow trout

Recent angler reports suggest fishing is poor, fish may have suffered increased mortality due to high water temperatures during the latter part of the summer.  The pond was drained in November to reduce aquatic vegetation growth and will be restocked with trout in April 2018. 

IMNAHA RIVER: steelhead, trout, bass

A few reports have started to come in of steelhead fishing getting better on the Imnaha. In typical years, fishing picks up toward the end of February with improving catch rates through spring. Watch for flows dropping below 800 cfs at the town of Imnaha for best fishing conditions.

As of the new year, bag limits revert to the 2018 sport fishing regulations which is 3 steelhead per day.

Anglers should be aware that bull trout and fall Chinook are in the system and may be encountered while steelhead fishing. These fish should be released immediately.

JOHN DAY RIVER: bass, steelhead

Smallmouth bass fishing will be poor with colder water temperatures.

Summer steelhead are present throughout the John Day River but we expect below average numbers of steelhead returning to the basin this season. To help reduce stress on wild steelhead anglers are encouraged to play and land fish as quickly as possible, use barbless hooks, and do not remove fish from the water.

Check river levels.

LONG CREEK POND, CAVENDER POND: rainbow trout, largemouth bass

Both ponds were last stocked with trout in spring of 2017, there may be some holdover trout available prior to 2018 stocking in April and May. Largemouth bass are available in Cavender pond.

LOST LAKE: rainbow trout

Fishing for rainbow trout is good. Snow will likely limit winter access for ice anglers.

From Dale, take USFS 053 for about .6 miles to USFS 10.  Stay on USFS 10 for about 20 miles. At USFS 045 turn right, travel for about .3 miles then turn left on USFS 030 and travel .5 miles to USFS 020. Access to the lake is walk in only, hike approximately two miles up USFS 020 to reach the lake.

LUGER POND: rainbow trout

The pond should be ice-covered and not accessible by automobile. The pond was stocked with one pound rainbow trout the last week of September. To measure the catch rate of trout stocked this past spring, ODFW marked approximately 50 of these with an orange colored tag just under the dorsal fin. If you catch one of these tagged fish, please report the tag number to Tim Bailey, District Fish Biologist at 541-962-1829. Some of these tags will have a $50 reward available.

Take the Palmer Junction Road north out of Elgin about 10 miles to USFS 63. Follow USFS 63 for about 9 miles, then left on USFS 6306. Luger Pond is 2.5 miles on the right, near Luger Springs campground.

MAGONE LAKE: rainbow and brook trout

Fishing is good for rainbow trout, trout can now be taken almost anywhere in the lake and range from 8- to 16-inches long. We have received no reports on ice conditions but anglers are encouraged to use caution.

McNARY PONDS: rainbow trout

The ponds were stocked last week with legal-size trout, which should provide a great late winter fishing opportunity.   

MORGAN LAKE: rainbow trout

Closed to fishing until April 22, 2018.

OLIVE LAKE: rainbow trout, kokanee

Access to the dam and surrounding area is currently restricted but fishing remains open throughout the rest of the lake.  Snow may limit access to this location.

PEACH POND (Ladd Marsh): rainbow trout

The pond is now free of ice. The pond was stocked in mid-October 2017 with pounder and legal-size rainbow trout.

ROULET POND: rainbow trout

The pond is now free of ice. The pond was stocked in mid-October 2017 with pounder and legal-size rainbow trout.

ROWE CREEK RESERVOIR: rainbow trout

Trout fishing is fair on carry over trout

TAYLOR GREEN POND: rainbow trout

The pond should be ice-covered and not accessible by automobile.  The pond was stocked with one pound rainbow trout the last week of September. To measure the catch rate of trout stocked this past spring at this pond, ODFW marked approximately 25 of these with an orange colored tag, just under the dorsal fin. If you catch one of these tagged fish, please report the tag number to Tim Bailey, District Fish Biologist at 541-962-1829. Some of these tags will have a $50 reward available.

From Hwy 203 at Union, turn left staying on Hwy 203 towards Medical Springs. At the summit between Union and Medical Springs, turn left onto USFS Road 7700 (opposite Snowpark area). Proceed East on 7700 road for about 9 miles to USFS Road 7740 on the right. There is a popular camping area just beyond the 7740 road on the right. Proceed on the 7740 road for about 1/4 mile. The rock pit and pond are on the right.

UMAPINE POND: rainbow trout

The pond should be ice-covered and not accessible by automobile.

From I-84 take Hwy 244 towards Ukiah. At the Blue Mtns. summit, turn left onto USFS Rd 5160. Proceed for approximately 7.9 miles to the Umapine OHV Campground. The pond is within the Campground.

UMATILLA RIVER: steelhead

For the week of Jan. 8-14 anglers reported no catch, the river was high and off color for most of the week. Steelhead daily counts at Threemile Dam, have increased over the last two weeks.

Anglers can access fish counts at Three Mile Dam fish counts. Find flow data.

WALLOWA COUNTY PONDS: rainbow trout

Wallowa County ponds are mostly frozen with Kinney Lake fishing especially well through the ice with 16-inch fish not uncommon. Recent warm temperatures may have made for thin ice conditions so be careful when venturing out.

Biologists recently (11/2/17) sampled Kinney Lake and found good numbers of healthy trout averaging about a pound. Many fish were also observed feeding on the surface. Try baits and flies that mimic natural foods present like mayflies and midges. 

WALLOWA LAKE: rainbow trout, kokanee, lake trout

Some anglers have ventured out for early season kokanee and have had some success with a few larger fish reported. Most fish have been caught jigging during the early morning. 

A few holdover trout are also being caught and can provide high quality catch throughout late winter and early spring.

WALLOWA RIVER: steelhead, mountain whitefish

The Wallowa River is fishing well for small to medium rainbows and large whitefish. Anglers are starting to regularly catch steelhead in the canyon section both above and below the Big Canyon Hatchery. As winter wraps up into spring, look for catch rates to improve.

As of the New Year, bag limits revert to the 2018 sport fishing regulations which is 3 steelhead per day.

WILLOW CREEK RESERVOIR: trout

The reservoir has been stocked with trophy trout. To monitor the success of this stocking, fish have been tagged with floy tags, some of which carry a $50 dollar reward. Anglers have been finding good success fishing for trout.

Please report a caught tagged fish to the ODFW Pendleton office 541-276-2344.