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The low water fishing closures on the Chetco, Sixes and Winchuck lifted on Nov. 17.

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 November 16, 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)

  • November 1 – December 31: one hatchery steelhead allowed in the adult salmonid daily limit.

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

coho
"My first Grande Ronde River Coho" -Photo by Christopher Brown-

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.

The Recreation Report will not be updated the week of Nov. 23, but look for a new update the week of Nov. 30. In the meantime, have a great Thanksgiving holiday.

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.

Lakes and ponds to fish this week:

  • Kinney Lake has been fishing well for fish to 18 inches with reports of very high catch rates through the fall. Good catch rates should continue once ice is safe to fish through. 11/18/20.
  • Many of the ponds in Baker and Union counties have been recently stocked and fishing should be good. Once the ice is safe to fish through, these ponds can be quite productive. 11/18/20

RIVERS AND STREAMS

River conditions in the Grande Ronde and Imnaha basis are currently good. Trout fishing has been good overall with some big fish being caught in the Grande Ronde, Wallowa and Imnaha Rivers. Steelhead season is also open though fishing has been slow.

River levels in the John Day are on the rise, making boating more feasible.

Rivers and streams to fish this week:

  • The Grande Ronde is forecasted to get a bump in flows this week. Fishing can be good in the first few days after a spike in flow and may line up well for good steelhead fishing this coming weekend. 11/18/20
  • Water levels in the John Day have come up enough to make boating feasible. Look for steelhead in the lower river to pick up after the recent rains. 11/18/20

RECENTLY STOCKED

Where’s the stocking schedule?

Our plans to begin posting the trout stocking schedule have been scrambled by the recent wildfires in the state. Several state-owned hatcheries were damaged in the fires, and thousands of fish were lost or released early.

It will take us a while to re-figure the current schedule to reflect these changes.

In the meantime, trout stocking is essentially done for 2020, except for a few locations noted in the Recreation Report.

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.

Free Fishing Days – Nov. 27-28

#optoutside for Black Friday

The Friday and Saturday after Thanksgiving are Free Fishing Days in Oregon. That means you can fish, crab or clam for free – no license, tag or endorsement required. Some restrictions apply, as in all current closures, bag limits and other regulations still apply.

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, coho

Catch rates for steelhead and coho have been slow but anglers are finding a few fish. The Grande Ronde is forecasted to get a bump in flows this week. Fishing can be good in the first few days after a spike in flow and may line up well for good steelhead fishing this coming weekend.

Pressure has been relatively light the past two weeks with plenty of water available to fish.  The bag limit for steelhead has been reduced to two fish per day to ensure enough fish return to the hatchery facilities to meet program goals.

As water temperatures continue to cool headed into winter, look for steelhead in slower water where they may move to conserve energy. 

The Grande Ronde will remain open to harvest of coho through 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 skills 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 11/81/20.

IMNAHA RIVER: trout, whitefish, bass, steelhead

Fishing for steelhead on the Imnaha has been slow with the occasional good day. The bag limit has been reduced to 2 hatchery steelhead per day to ensure enough broodstock can be collected at hatchery facilities. Catch rates will be slow through the winter but there’s always a few fish around. Look for catch rates to dramatically improve in late winter and spring.

Some anglers have recently reported finding good-size rainbow trout with good catch rates.

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 11/18/20.

JOHN DAY RIVER: steelhead

River flows are on the rise with recent rains, which makes boating more feasible. Drift boats and rafts are able to float safely when flows are above 400 CFS, although be on the lookout for rocks and shallow riffle areas.

Steelhead are moving into the lower river and fishing should pick up, especially now that  we’re beginning to see some precipitation. Fishing in the lower river around Cottonwood Canyon State Park will be the best bet during this early season, but as flows increase fish will begin to move upriver.

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. Find BLM permit information. Last updated 11/18/20.

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. Snow will begin to impede travel to the lake. Last updated 11/18/20.

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

Forest ponds are becoming difficult to access and the valley ponds will be iced over soon, if they aren’t already. Kinney Lake has been fishing well for fish to 18 inches with reports of very high catch rates through the fall, and good catch rates are expected to continue once ice is safe to fish through. Last updated 11/18/20.

WALLOWA LAKE: rainbow trout, kokanee, lake trout

Fishing Wallowa Lake in the winter can be difficult but pressure is very light. For trout, fish natural baits as stocked fish have typically learned to eat natural food by this time. Last updated 11/18/20.

WALLOWA RIVER: whitefish, trout, steelhead

The Wallowa River will continue to be good for trout and whitefish throughout the fall. As the water cools, use smaller flies and lures as less large food is available during winter months. Mayflies and midges will make up a large portion of a trout diets through winter. Recent reports indicate rainbow trout up to 18 inches have been common.

Steelhead season is open and a few anglers have reported catching fish. 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 11/18/20.

WILLOW CREEK RESERVOIR: trout

No recent report.