All  ODFW offices remain closed to visitors. ODFW staff will be available by phone and email.

All state-owned fish hatcheries remain 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 January 19, 2021

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

Snake River Basin

  • January 1 – April 30, 2021: 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

  • January 1 – April 30, 2021: 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
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.

FISHING UPDATES

LAKES, PONDS, RESERVOIRS

Most lakes ponds and reservoirs have frozen over and are now accessible for ice fishing.

RIVERS AND STREAMS

Rivers and streams in the Grande Ronde and Imnaha basins have had good flows for steelhead angling. Look for steelhead fishing to improve as late winter progresses to spring. 

River levels in the John Day are back up to boating levels, but ice is forming in some locations.  

Rivers and streams to fish this week:

  • The Grande Ronde received a bump in flows earlier this week. Once the river drops expect fishing to pick up. As long as conditions are conducive to fishing, spring can be a great time to fish the Grand Ronde. 2/24/21
  • Catch rates for steelhead in the Wallowa River are picking up, which will continue as fish make their way toward hatchery facilities. Late February and March are usually the best times to fish the Wallowa. 2/10/21
  • The Imnaha River will see a push of steelhead out of the Snake soon, and that will likely occur with a bump in flows. Expect catch rates for steelhead to increase through the middle of April when snowmelt will likely put the river out of shape. 2/10/21

RECENTLY STOCKED

Where’s the stocking schedule?

Our plans to begin posting the trout stocking schedule have been scrambled by last summer’s 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, check the waterbody updates for recent stocking activity.

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.

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.

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. Access to the ponds will remain open through January, but a winter range closure will be in effect from Feb. 1 through April 14. Last updated 1/6/21.

GRANDE RONDE RIVER: trout, whitefish, steelhead

The Grande Ronde received a bump in flows earlier this week. Once the river drops expect fishing to pick up. As long as conditions are conducive to angling, spring can be a great time to fish the Grand Ronde.

The bag limit for steelhead has been reduced to two fish per day through the end of April to ensure enough fish return to the hatchery facilities to meet program goals. Last updated 2/24/21.

IMNAHA RIVER: trout, whitefish, bass, steelhead

The Imnaha River will see a push of steelhead out of the Snake soon, triggered by a recent bump in flows. Expect catch rates for steelhead to increase through the middle of April when snowmelt will likely put the river out of shape.

Anglers should be aware that some construction/utility work is occurring on the lower Imnaha, and trucks will be on the road hauling equipment and materials. Anglers should use caution when traveling in the area.

The bag limit has been reduced to 2 hatchery steelhead per day through the end of April 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 early spring.

Remember, if you catch a bull trout it must be released unharmed. Last updated 2/24/21.

JOHN DAY RIVER: steelhead

Recent river flows have been hovering in the 1,000 CFS range, making for good boating conditions. 

Steelhead are moving up river, but we are seeing some ice build-up in sections as cold weather and snow have periodically settled into the region. Fish should be making their way upriver, allowing for good opportunities higher in the system and in the lower North Fork reaches. Last updated 2/24/21.

MAGONE LAKE: rainbow and brook trout

Access to Magone is now limited to snowmobile travel due to snow levels. Current ice conditions are unknown, but presumed to be in good shape for ice fishing. Magone can be a good lake for ice fishing. Last updated 2/24/21.

McNARY PONDS: walleye, bass and trout.

Fishing during the winter months can be slow, but fishing a bobber deep with some PowerBait or worms can produce some action. Approximately 30 to 40 show trout from Irrigon hatchery were released into the Social Security pond during the week of Jan. 25. These show fish are approximately 10 plus pounds and would provide a once in a lifetime catch opportunity, only one trout over 20 inches maybe harvested per day.

A few anglers have reported catching the larger show trout, so there are more opportunities for people looking to get out for Free Fishing Weekend this weekend. Last updated 2/10/21.

UMATILLA RIVER: steelhead

The water clarity and levels have started to drop on the Umatilla. A total of 288 steelhead passed Threemile Dam in January 2021 and 23 have passed so far in February for a total of 831 returning fish to date. Most of the steelhead should be evenly distributed through the system and anglers are finding success with fish moving higher up near Pendleton.

Look for steelhead to be in slow moving water and get your tackle down deep to get to them. With the cold snap happening this weekend, the fish are likely to be in the slowest pools and a bobber/jig set up should get the attention of interested fish. Last updated 2/10/21.

WALLOWA COUNTY PONDS: rainbow trout

Expect ice on Kinney Lake to begin to break up once warmer weather arrives. Spring fishing can be good for hold over rainbow trout that have had all winter to grow. Once the ice is off, fish with natural baits and imitations as most fish will be accustomed to eating whatever is in the lake itself.

Forest ponds are inaccessible because of snow. Last updated 2/24/21.

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. As late winter and spring approach fishing for trout that held over from the previous year’s stocking can pick up. Catching these fish can be difficult, but they are often much larger than the typical stocked trout. Last updated 2/3/21.

WALLOWA RIVER: whitefish, trout, steelhead

Catch rates for steelhead in the Wallowa River are picking up, which will continue as fish make their way toward hatchery facilities. Late February and March are usually the best times to fish the Wallowa.

The bag for steelhead is 2 hatchery fish per day through the end of the season to ensure enough fish arrive at hatchery facilities to meet production goals. Last updated 2/10/21.

WILLOW CREEK RESERVOIR: trout

A few anglers are still fishing Willow Creek, though most have gone home for the year. If you’re looking for some solitude and a lake to yourself, bring your boat and fish the shelves on the east side of the lake. Fish your tackle “low and slow,” making sure that fish have ample time to see your offering. Last updated 1/20/21.