Table of Contents
March 15, 2023
If there’s not a photo, it didn’t happen
Submit your fishing photo to ODFW and we might use it here or elsewhere on MyODFW.com.
Best bets for weekend fishing
- Anglers have been catching steelhead on the Grande Ronde River.
- It’s starting to be prime time for steelhead fishing on the Wallowa and Imnaha rivers.
- Fishing for rainbow trout on Wallowa Lake can be good in the spring especially near the south end of the lake.
Trout stocking is scheduled to resume in March 2023.
Check the 2023 trout stocking schedule.
Trout stocking maps
Check out the ODFW fishing and trout stocking maps to find nearby fishing locations, driving directions and descriptions of amenities.
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.
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.
Sign up for the latest information on boater access
Marine Board’s Opportunities and Access Report incorporates information from federal and state agencies, local facility operators and fellow boaters to provide up-to-date information so boaters can decide where to recreate and what to expect this season. Subscribe to receive email updates.
Updates by waterbody
ALDRICH PONDS (Roosevelt and Stewart Lakes): trout (2 fish limit)
The access road to the ponds is now closed to motor vehicles at the lower ash field, making for a very long hike to the ponds which essentially closes fishing for the season. The road reopens on April 15, 2023.
GRANDE RONDE RIVER: trout, whitefish, steelhead
Anglers have been catching steelhead on the Grande Ronde River. For steelhead, anglers can try using flies or casting jigs under bobbers. Trout and whitefish can also be caught throughout the winter when weather conditions allow.
Anglers are reminded that wild steelhead and bull trout cannot be harvested and must be released. Last updated 2/22/23.
HAT ROCK POND: trout
No recent reports. The pond was stocked in April. Last updated 4/20/22.
IMNAHA RIVER: trout, whitefish, bass, steelhead
We are approaching the best time of year for steelhead fishing on the Imnaha River. From mid-March through the end of April, fish will be moving through the lower Imnaha River up from the Snake River. Fishing can be good throughout the open section and fish can also be caught as they move up the lower portion of Big Sheep Creek.
The best public access is downstream of Horse Creek. Anglers fishing upstream of Horse Creek to the town of Imnaha need to make sure they are aware of land ownership boundaries and always ask for permission before fishing on private lands.
Anglers should remember that wild steelhead and bull trout may be encountered in the Imnaha River. They cannot be harvested and must be released. Last updated 3/15/23.
JOHN DAY RIVER:
Steelhead fishing is closed in the John Day River. Bass, catfish, and warmwater fishing will open Jan. 1, 2023, although it will likely be March or April before the warmwater fishing conditions improve.
LOOKINGGLASS CREEK: trout
Lookingglass Creek closed to fishing on Oct. 31. It will reopen to trout fishing on May 22, 2023. Last updated 11/2/22.
MAGONE LAKE: rainbow and brook trout
Winter road conditions may prevent vehicles from accessing the lake at this time, but ice fishing is usually good for those who can reach the lake via snowmobile. Ice conditions may not be safe for fishing at this time. Last updated on 12/7/22.
McNARY PONDS: walleye, bass and trout.
The McNary Ponds were stocked in spring 2022. With water temperatures starting to warm up and the forecast looking good all week, get out and enjoy some early trout fishing. Trout are likely to be the most active in the early morning and late evening hours. Anglers should find success using PowerBait, worms or spinning lures. All ponds were stocked evenly so there should be fish to catch in each. Last updated 6/22/22.
MORGAN LAKE: rainbow trout and bass
Morgan Lake closed to fishing on Oct. 31, 2022. It will reopen for fishing on April 22, 2023. Follow this link for more information about recreation at Morgan Lake. Last updated 3/15/22.
UMATILLA RIVER: summer steelhead, trout, bass, walleye
With the predicated increase in flows on the Umatilla River this week from predicated rains and increased temperatures look for the fishing to pick up once the flows are on the drop. Most anglers are concentrating their efforts near Pendleton, however new fish should push into the system with the increased flows as March is typically the month where the most fish return.
Most anglers have been finding success with a boober and jig set up, using corkies or a bead set up. Fly anglers are using sinking tips with larger winter marabou or rabbit flies in slower water. Anglers should handle wild fish with care this time of year as they are beginning to spawn, playing the fish as quickly as possible, as well as releasing, while keeping the fish in the water to remove the hook.
To date there have been 1,463 steelhead counted at Three Mile Falls Dam, with 423 being hatchery, 887 being wild and a total of 1,305 fish released above the TMFD. Last updated 3/15/23.
WALLA WALLA RIVER:
Trout fishing on the Walla Walla, and its tributaries, will reopen May 22. It is illegal to target bull trout in this stream and anglers must immediately release a bull trout if caught.
Due to very low predicated returns in 2022-23 and low returns for the past five years to the Walla Walla River, steelhead fishing will not be open on the river during the 2022-23 season. Last updated 11/2/22.
WALLOWA COUNTY PONDS: rainbow trout
Overwinter, ice has formed on many local ponds limiting access for bank anglers.
We haven’t received a recent report on the ice conditions at Kinney Lake so anglers should use caution and test ice stability before fishing. As the ice melts, bank angling will be a good way of fishing Kinney Lake. Fishing at Marr Pond may also be good throughout the spring, and it will be stocked with trout in April. Surplus steelhead have recently been stocked in Marr Pond and releases will continue throughout the spring as extra steelhead are available. Last updated 3/15/23.
WALLOWA LAKE: rainbow trout, kokanee, lake trout
Wallowa Lake was stocked with rainbow trout throughout 2022. Some of these fish should continue to be available throughout the winter. Anglers may find good success fishing for trout near the mouth of the Wallowa River on the south end of the lake.
During periods of colder weather patchy ice has formed around Wallowa Lake this winter. The ice may be very thin, and visitors to the lake should use extreme caution around any thin ice. Last updated 2/22/23.
WALLOWA RIVER: whitefish, trout, steelhead
Trout fishing has been good on the Wallowa River this winter with some anglers catching rainbows as large as 19 inches. Mountain whitefish can also provide some fun fishing opportunities. Drifting flies or casting spinners are effective ways to catch trout in this river.
When water levels have come up a bit from winter lows, steelhead fishing has been quite good on the Wallowa River. There should be good steelhead fishing opportunities throughout the spring before the flows really increase from snow melt. Drifting jigs under bobbers can be an effective way of catching steelhead in the Wallowa River.
Anglers are reminded that wild steelhead and bull trout cannot be harvested and must be released. Last updated 3/1/23.
WILLOW CREEK RESERVOIR: trout, crappie, bass
In warmer months, this is great place for anglers looking to get out and catch trout, bass and crappie. There is lots of bank access and also a fishing dock. Last updated 7/11/22.
Regulation updates as of Jan. 4, 2023.
The following regulations reflect changes or additions to the permanent regulations listed in the 2023 Oregon Sport Fishing Regulations. All other permanent regulations remain in effect. Please see e-regulations.
John Day River
Jan 1 - Apr 31: The Mainstem John Day and all tributaries, angling for and retention of steelhead is closed. The closure applies from the mainline railroad bridge to Tumwater Falls and from Tumwater Falls up to and including all tributaries of the John Day River basin.
Walla Walla River
Jan 1 - April 30: Both angling for and retention of steelhead is closed from the state line to the confluence of the North and South Forks.
For more information contact your local ODFW office:
- Enterprise (541) 426-3279
- John Day (541) 575-1167
- La Grande (541) 963-2138
- Pendleton (541) 276-2344