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Effective Thursday, June 25 at 12:01 a.m., the mainstem Columbia River downstream of the OR/WA border will close to sockeye and hatchery steelhead fishing.

Effective June 10, 2020 through September 30, 2020, size and harvest limits of game fish are lifted on Howard Prairie Reservoir.

Under emergency regulations effective June 3, the Cole Rivers hatchery hole is closed to all fishing through July 31.

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.

Effective Feb 1 through June 30, 2020, retention of hatchery Chinook salmon is allowed on the mainstem Umpqua River.  Retention of wild Chinook salmon is prohibited.

Recreation Report

Northeast Zone

Regulation Updates

Regulation Updates as of May 4, 2020

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

GRANDE RONDE RIVER and tributaries

  • Effective through April 30, 2020; the daily bag limit is one hatchery steelhead:
    • The Grande Ronde River upstream to Meadow Creek; 
    • The Imnaha River downstream of Big Sheep Creek;
    • The Wallowa River from the mouth upstream to Trout Creek;
    • Big Sheep Creek downstream of Little Sheep Creek;
    • The Wenaha River downstream of Crooked Creek.

JOHN DAY RIVER

  • Effective through April 30, 2020; the daily bag limit is one hatchery steelhead for the John Day River downstream of Tumwater Falls.

UMATILLA RIVER

  • Effective April 16 through June 10, the Umatilla River is closed to both Chinook and steelhead.
  • The closure will be in effect from the Hwy 730 bridge to the CTUIR reservation boundary (approximately 0.7 miles above Hwy 11 bridge).

WALLA WALLA RIVER

  • Effective through April 30, 2020; the daily bag limit is one hatchery steelhead

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

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.

LAKES, PONDS, RESERVOIRS

 

As trout fishing slows with warming summer temperatures at mid to low elevation lakes, ponds and reservoirs, fishing opportunities are just opening up at higher elevations.  Over the next few weeks access will open up to 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.

3 places to fish for trout this week:

  • Wallowa Lake has been stocked recently and fishing is good.
  • Marr Pond is a great place to get the kids out fishing and is close to home. Some fish have tags that reward the lucky angler with a small prize (curtesy of Video Buffs in Enterprise, or R&R in Joseph).
  • Magone Lake will be a good bet for the next few weeks as lake temperatures remain cool, and fish are plentiful.

RIVERS AND STREAMS

River conditions in the Grande Ronde and Imnaha basins may start high this week but will drop to good fishing levels by the weekend or early next week. Some areas are experiencing good bug hatches that will result in trout actively feeding. Also, look for bass fishing to start heating up in the lower ends of Snake River tributaries. In headwater areas, fishing for small wild trout can be good.

2 rivers and some streams to fish this week:

  • The Wallowa River golden stonefly hatch can result in some great dry fly action.  Public access is good in the canyon along Hwy. 82 above Minam.
  • The John Day smallmouth bass fishery is heating up. Catches of larger fish are being reported, and flows remain good for floating.

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

Recreation Report gets a new look

We’re asking our local biologist to focus more on highlighting the best fishing opportunities on specific waterbodies, while shortening the long list of individual locations, many of which were rarely updated. 

Each zone report begins with an update of general conditions for lakes/ponds and rivers/streams, a list of best bets for the upcoming week, and announcements. We’ve kept the alphabetical list of waterbodies, but shortened it to include those waterbodies that are 1) popular with anglers looking for updates for a specific location, and 2) updated regularly (but not necessarily weekly) with stocking, fishing, access and water/ice conditions information.

This is a work in progress, and we expect it will take time for everyone (ODFW staff and customers) to find their way around the new format.

So, thank you for your patience. And let us know what you think – send an email to ODFW.Info@state.or.us and put “Web comment” in the subject line.

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)

The ponds will be stocked in the next few weeks. We received reports of some trophy fish being caught earlier in the year. Recent warmer weather will begin affecting fishing due to growth of aquatic weeds. Last updated 6/24/20.

BULL PRAIRIE RESERVOIR: rainbow trout

No recent report.

GRANDE RONDE RIVER: trout, whitefish, bass

The Grande Ronde River flows will continue to drop over the next few weeks. As flows drop look for good fly fishing in the section between the mouth of the Wallowa and Troy. Golden stoneflies are currently hatching and trout will be keyed in on these large meals. Dry fly-fishing can be fantastic.

As flows continue to drop and water temperatures warm, bass fishing below Troy can be good with great public access.  updated 7/1/20.

IMNAHA RIVER: trout, whitefish, bass, steelhead

Warming conditions have resulted in increased flows and the river will be high and fishing will be difficult for a bit. Success may still be found depending on water clarity. Use natural baits or large dark artificials until water quality improves. 

Remember that Chinook salmon and bull trout are present in the system and may not be retained. If caught, please remember to handle these fish with care and release them unharmed. Last updated 7/1/20.

JOHN DAY RIVER: steelhead, bass

River flows are still holding well, making floating a viable option. Anglers should be targeting smallmouth bass, and recent reports suggest higher numbers of larger bass are being caught. Please note the BLM has a new boater permit system for the John Day, and there are limited numbers of overnight trips available.

MAGONE LAKE: rainbow and brook trout

The lake has been stocked, and fishing should be really good. Last update 6/24/20.

McNARY PONDS: walleye

No recent report. The ponds have been stocked with trout.

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

No recent report.

WALLOWA COUNTY PONDS: rainbow trout

These Wallowa County ponds are stocked in spring/early summer: Honeymoon Pond, Kinney Lake, Marr Pond, Mcgraw Pond, Salt Creek Summit Pond, Teepee Pond, Victor Pond, Weaver Pond. All these ponds have been recently stocked and fishing should be good. Last updated 6/24/20.

WALLOWA LAKE: rainbow trout, kokanee, lake trout

Fishing has been good at Wallowa Lake for kokanee, rainbow trout and lake trout. Kokanee over 12 inches have been common with a few very large fish available. Anglers targeting lake trout have had fair success with some very large fish being boated.  Rainbow trout have been recently stocked and fishing at the south end of the lake has been good. Last updated 6/24/20.

WALLOWA RIVER: whitefish, trout

The Wallowa River flows will continue to drop over the next few weeks. As flows drop look for good fly fishing in the canyon section above Minam. Golden stoneflies are currently hatching and trout will be keyed in on these large meals. Dry fly fishing can be fantastic. Last updated 7/1/20.

WILLOW CREEK RESERVOIR: trout

No recent report.