Table of Contents
Jan. 24, 2023
If there’s not a photo, it didn’t happen
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Best bets for weekend fishing
- Anglers have been catching steelhead on the Wallowa and Grande Ronde Rivers.
- Ice fishing can be good at Kinney Lake when conditions allow (Wallowa County).
- Trout fishing on the Wallowa River has been good, with some anglers catching rainbows up to 19 inches.
Trout stocking is scheduled to resume in March 2023.
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.
Fishing for coho salmon ended on Nov. 30. However, coho may still be present in the watershed. Please do not target or harass coho salmon as they complete their spawning run for the year. Anglers are reminded that wild steelhead and bull trout cannot be harvested and must be released. Last updated 1/25/23.
HAT ROCK POND: trout
No recent reports. The pond was stocked in April. Last updated 4/20/22.
IMNAHA RIVER: trout, whitefish, bass, steelhead
Steelhead fishing may be good throughout the winter when the weather warms, and the lower river near Cow Creek will probably be the best area for fishing until steelhead start moving upriver later in the spring. Fishing for trout and whitefish may also be good at times during the winter.
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 1/25/23.
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 in the spring. Follow this link for more information about recreation at Morgan Lake. Last updated 11/2/22.
UMATILLA RIVER: summer steelhead, trout, bass, walleye
Trout fishing on the Umatilla River, and its tributaries, closed Oct. 31. Bass and other warmwater species remain open all year.
The fall Chinook and coho seasons are closed after Nov. 30. And the steelhead fishing on the Umatilla has picked up with fish being caught from above Three Mile Falls Dam all the way to Pendleton.
Fishing on the Umatilla for fall Chinook and coho was very good this year. Over 5475 fall Chinook and 3209 coho were counted at TMFD. A total of 358 summer steelhead, 3689 fall Chinook and 2810 coho have been released above TMFD. Last updated 11/23/22.
WALLA WALLA RIVER:
Trout fishing on the Walla Walla, and its tributaries, closes Oct. 31. 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
Several local ponds have been stocked this year with rainbow trout including some larger fish over 16 inches. Casting spinners or flies can be effective for catching fish at Marr Pond. Using bait can also be a productive method for fishing for trout at the local Wallowa County ponds.
With the cooler weather, ice has formed on many local ponds limiting access for bank anglers. Early season ice can be thin, and anglers should use extreme caution around thin ice.
We haven’t received a recent report on the ice conditions at Kinney Lake. The weather has been variable lately so anglers should carefully evaluate ice conditions before travelling onto the lake. However, earlier in the year, there was about four inches of ice, and the fishing was good. Effective methods of catching fish through the ice include jigs and bait fished 3 – 6 feet below the ice. Last updated 1/11/23.
WALLOWA LAKE: rainbow trout, kokanee, lake trout
Wallowa Lake was stocked with rainbow trout throughout the year. 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.
We have had some recent reports that ice has begun to form around the edges of the lake. This will make bank fishing difficult. The ice may be very thin, and visitors to the lake should use extreme caution around any thin ice. Last updated 1/25/23.
WALLOWA RIVER: whitefish, trout, steelhead
Trout fishing has been good on the Wallowa River recently 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.
Some steelhead have also been caught in the Wallowa River recently, and fishing should improve as the year progresses and more steelhead move upstream into the Wallowa River from the Grande Ronde River. Drifting jigs under bobbers can be an effective way of catching steelhead in the Wallowa River.
Coho salmon have moved into the Wallowa River watershed to spawn. Please be careful not to disturb spawning salmon. There is no season for coho salmon in the Wallowa River, and anglers cannot fish for them there. Anglers are reminded that wild steelhead, Chinook salmon, coho salmon, and bull trout cannot be harvested and must be released. Last updated 1/11/23.
WILLOW CREEK RESERVOIR: trout, crappie, bass
Willow Creek provides a great opportunity for anglers and the boat ramp is accessible. With the recent warming trend this is great place for anglers looking to get out and catch trout, bass and crappie this time of year. There is lots of bank access and also a fishing dock. Anglers should concentrate on the areas where there is structure early morning and late afternoon.
Fishing has been good for both crappie and bass now that the water temperatures have warmed. Small jigs for crappie and swim baits for bass have been the ticket. 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