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Effective 9/19 to 12/31, Chinook and coho retention are open from Buoy 10 to the Hwy 395 bridge.

Beginning March 23, all ODFW offices will be closed to visitors. ODFW staff will be available by phone and email.

Effective March 18, all state-owned fish hatcheries are closed to public access and visitors. Trout stocking in lakes and ponds continues for now.

Recreation Report

Northeast Zone

Regulation Updates

Regulation Updates as of June 17, 2020

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

John Day River (downstream of Tumwater Falls)

  • June 16 – August 31:  one hatchery steelhead allowed in the adult salmonid daily limit
  • September 1 – December 31: closed to steelhead retention

Lower John Day River map

Snake River Basin

  • September 1 – December 31: For hatchery steelhead, the daily bag limit is two (2) in the following locations: 
    • Grande Ronde River and Tributaries
      • Grande Ronde River downstream of Meadow Creek
      • Catherine Creek from the mouth upstream to the Hwy 203 bridge above Catherine Creek State Park
      • Wallowa River downstream of Trout Creek
      • Wenaha River downstream of Crooked Creek
    • Imnaha River and Tributaries
      • Imnaha River downstream of Big Sheep Creek
      • Big Sheep Creek downstream of Little Sheep Creek

Grande Ronde and Tributaries

  • September 1 – December 31: For hatchery steelhead, the daily bag limit is two (2) in the following locations: 
    • Grande Ronde River downstream of Meadow Creek
    • Catherine Creek from the mouth upstream to the Hwy 203 bridge above Catherine Creek State Park
    • Imnaha River downstream of Big Sheep Creek
    • Wallowa River downstream of Trout Creek
    • Big Sheep Creek downstream of Little Sheep Creek
    • Wenaha River downstream of Crooked Creek
  • October 1 – November 30: For coho salmon, the daily bag limit is two (2) adult and five jacks in the Grande Ronde River from the Oregon-Washington border upstream to the Grande Ronde River Road Bridge (approximately 7 miles above the town of Troy). The daily bag limit for coho salmon in this area is in addition to the steelhead daily bag limit. 
Recreation Report

Wallowa River rainbow
A nice Wallowa River rainbow trout. Photo by Kyle Bratcher

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.

 

Send us your fishing report

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.

LAKES, PONDS, RESERVOIRS

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.

Fall can be an excellent time to visit the high lakes in the Wallowa Mountains (Eagle Cap Wilderness Area) only accessible by trail. For the adventurous angler, these lakes provide a great opportunity for some solitude, spectacular scenery, and good fishing for scrappy brook and rainbow trout. Learn more about this fishery.

Lakes and ponds to fish this week:

  • The Wallowa County ponds all have been stocked recently and trout fishing should be good. 9/30/20
  • At Magone Lake, aquatic weeds should be dying back thanks to some cooler water temperatures, and trout fishing should be picking up. 9/20/20
  • Fishing for rainbow trout in Wallowa Lake continues to be good. With no recent stocking events, look for fish to have transitioned in diet to natural foods. 9/30/20

RIVERS AND STREAMS

River conditions in the Grande Ronde and Imnaha basins are currently good for fishing. With some recent rain and cooling temperatures fishing should be good for trout, whitefish and steelhead

River levels in the John Day remain at summer lows, making boating and rafting very difficult.

Rivers and streams to fish this week:

  • The Grande Ronde opens to harvest of coho on Oct. 1. You heard that right. This is the first time in 40 years there has been a coho fishery in the Grande Ronde.
  • Fishing for whitefish in the upper reaches of the Imnaha can be good as fish move upstream to spawn in the fall.

RECENTLY STOCKED

We have taken down the online trout stocking schedule in order to prevent public crowding at waterbodies when we deliver hatchery fish. We will continue stocking trout but we will deliver on a slightly different schedule and at some different locations to avoid a rush of anglers showing up along with the hatchery truck.

NOTE: Local ODFW offices do not have access to the trout stocking schedule either.

TROUT STOCKING MAPS: Find your place to fish

Check out the ODFW fishing and trout stocking maps to find nearby fishing locations, driving directions and descriptions of amenities.

ANNOUNCEMENTS: closures, special events, etc.

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 central location on MyODFW.com. 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 how to recreate responsibly.

UPDATES BY WATERBODY

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

Fishing for trout on the Grande Ronde has been good for large wild and hatchery rainbow trout.

Steelhead have started making an appearance, with reports of fish being caught with flies, spinners, and bait. The bag limit has been reduced to 2 hatchery steelhead per day to ensure enough broodstock can be collected at hatchery facilities. The steelhead run has improved from last year, but is still well below the 10-year average.

The Grande Ronde will be open to harvest of coho from Oct.1 to 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 species ID 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 9/30/20.

IMNAHA RIVER: trout, whitefish, bass, steelhead

Fishing for whitefish in the upper reaches of the Imnaha can be good as fish move upstream to spawn in the fall.

Imnaha steelhead are moving through the mainstem Snake and Columbia. There should be a few fish already in the river and fall fishing can be great in the Lower river. Look for fish numbers to increase later in the month.

The bag limit has been reduced to 2 hatchery steelhead per day to ensure enough broodstock can be collected at hatchery facilities.  

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 9/02/20.

JOHN DAY RIVER: steelhead, bass

No recent fishing reports. River flows have increased to near 300 cfs and will remain steady over the next week. Cooler temperatures and recent rains will help boating conditions. Single person float tubes are still useful, but larger drift boats and rafts are not recommended at current flows.

Smallmouth bass fishing will begin to slow down with decreasing water temperatures.   Steelhead are moving into the lower river and fishing should pick up. Fishing in the lower river around Cottonwood Canyon State Park will be the best bet during this early season.

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.  BLM permit information is available at recreation.gov  Last updated 10/14/20.

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. Early morning and late evening will be best times to fish. Last updated 9/30/20.

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

These ponds were recently stocked with a small number of fish and fishing should be good. Honeymoon Pond, Kinney Lake, Marr Pond, Mcgraw Pond, Salt Creek Summit Pond, Teepee Pond, Victor Pond, Weaver Pond. Kinney Lake will be stocked in October to provide fish for the upcoming ice fishery. Last updated 9/30/20.

WALLOWA LAKE: rainbow trout, kokanee, lake trout

Fishing for rainbow trout in Wallowa Lake continues to be good. Boats are helpful but fishing from the east shore can be productive. With no recent stocking events, look for fish to have transitioned in diet to natural foods. Fish with artificial flies and lures that mimic natural organisms in the lake. Use baits such as night crawlers, maggots and eggs.

Kokanee fishing has dropped off with and we’ve received reports that fish are staging to spawn. This presents a good viewing opportunity in the Wallowa River above the lake over the next two months. Last updated 8/26/20.

WALLOWA RIVER: whitefish, trout, steelhead

The Wallowa River will continue to be good for trout and whitefish throughout the fall. Fish will likely be keying in on October caddis patterns and can be caught on both nymphs and dry flies. Recent reports indicate rainbow trout up to 18 inches have been common.

Steelhead season opened on Sept. 1 but fish aren’t generally available until later in the fall/early winter. 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 9/30/20.

WILLOW CREEK RESERVOIR: trout

No recent report.