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To give hunters more time to report their hunts in the new electronic licensing system, the deadline to report 2018 hunts has been extended to April 15, 2019.

The 1 steelhead bag limit on several NE creeks and rivers, set to expire on Dec. 31, has been extended through April 30, 2019.

Recreation Report

Northwest Zone

Regulation Updates

Regulation Updates as of February 13, 2019
These are in-season regulation changes adopted on a temporary or emergency basis. Please see
e-regulations for permanent regulations.

There are no regulation updates in the NW Zone at this time.

For more information contact your local ODFW office:

  • Tillamook North Coast Watershed District Office 503-842-2741
Recreation Report

Weekend fishing opportunities:

  • Overall, steelhead fishing should be good as the rivers drop back into shape this week and into the weekend.
  • Winter steelhead fishing is in peak season on the north coast, and many rivers will be dropping into prime shape by the end of the week. Best bets for hatchery fish are the Nestucca and Wilson.
  • The North Coast Rivers are low, clear, and cold this week, which can make for challenging fishing. Cold water temperatures tend to make steelhead lethargic. If you do head out, try concentrating on deeper pools and water that is slightly slower than normal steelhead water, as fish will likely be holding rather than moving. This is also a good time to fish slowly and really cover the water as you may need to get right in front of a fish to entice a bite. One thing is for sure though, you won’t catch any at home!
  • Winter steelhead fishing is in peak season on the north coast. Best bets for hatchery fish are the Nestucca and Wilson.
  • Low, clear conditions will make steelhead fishing on the Alsea and Siletz. Anglers should focus on small presentations and lighter lines.
  • Several mid-coast lakes are being stocked for the first time in 2019 the week of Feb. 4. They include: Alder and Dune Lake, Cleawox, Lost Lake, Munsel Lake, Thissel Pond, Munsel Lake, Big Creek Reservoirs, and Olalla Creek Reservoir.

2019 STOCKING SCHEDULE AND STOCKING MAP

2019 trout stocking schedule

Get a jump on planning your 2019 trout fishing adventures. The 2019 weekly trout stocking schedule is now posted on MyODFW.com.

NORTH COAST LAKES

The most recent trout stocking were back in September (2019 stockings will begin in March), but some holdover trout are still available in most of the North Coast lakes. Surplus hatchery steelhead have been stocked in Town Lake, Vernonia Pond, and most recently Coffenbury Lake. These fish get fairly active once in the lake, and can create a unique fishing experience. A total of 93 have been released in Town lake (27 this past week), 60 have been released in Vernonia Pond, and 50 to 60 went into Coffenbury so far this winter. Additional fish will be stocked as available.

Check the 2019 trout stocking schedules for these north coast lakes: CAPE MEARES LAKE | COFFENBURY LAKE | CULLABY LAKE | HEBO LAKE | LAKE LYTLE | LOREN’S POND | LOST LAKE | NEDONNA POND | SMITH LAKE | SPRING LAKE | SOUTH LAKE | TAHOE LAKE | TOWN LAKE | VERNONIA LAKE

MID COAST LAKES

Stocking of the mid-coast lakes will begin the first week of February. Check the stocking schedule online for dates and locations of stockings. These early stockings include: Alder and Dune Lake, Cleawox, Lost Lake, Munsel Lake, Thissel Pond, Munsel Lake, Big Creek Reservoirs, and Olalla Creek Reservoir.

Stocking of the mid-coast lakes will begin the first week of February. Check the stocking schedule online for dates and locations of stockings. These early stockings include: Alder and Dune Lake, Cleawox, Lost Lake, Munsel Lake, Thissel Pond, Munsel Lake, and Big Creek Reservoirs.

Note*** Olalla Reservoir is operated and owned by Georgia Pacific and is currently closed due to low water and hazardous conditions. The fish that were scheduled to be stocked in Olalla Reservoir this week will be stocked into nearby Big Creek Reservoirs.Check the 2019 trout stocking schedules for these mid coast lakes: ALDER LAKE | BIG CREEK RESERVOIR #1 | BIG CREEK RESERVOIR #2 | BUCK LAKE | CARTER LAKE | CLEAWOX LAKE | DEVIL’S LAKE | DUNE LAKE | ECKMAN LAKE | ELBOW LAKE | ERHART LAKE | GEORGIA LAKE | LOST LAKE (Lane County) | MERCER LAKE | MUNSEL LAKE | NORTH GEORGIA LAKE | OLALLA CREEK RESERVOIR | PERKINS LAKE | SILTCOOS LAGOON | SILTCOOS LAKE | SUTTON LAKE | THISSELL POND | WOAHINK LAKE

ALSEA RIVER: winter steelhead

Winter steelhead fishing on the Alsea has been slow due to the low water but the recent storms have the river full of water again and fishing should be good when the Alsea starts dropping into shape. Numbers back to the Alsea Hatchery trap have been low but should see a big increase with the rise in river levels. The popular NF Alsea fishery should be good the end of this week and into the weekend.

The numbers of later returning right maxillary clipped fish should increase with each rain event for the rest of February through March. The earlier returning left maxillary clipped fish are past peak and will continue to decrease for the rest of the season.

The Alsea still gets a good amount of the early returning stock that peaks in December and January, as well as a later stock that peaks in February and March. Expect more fish to show up with each rise in the river level from now through April. Bobber fishing with jigs/bait, drift fishing, and casting lures are all effective ways to catch these hard fighting fish.

Trout fishing in streams will reopen May 22, 2019.

KILCHIS RIVER: steelhead

The Kilchis is a wild steelhead river with no hatchery steelhead releases. The winter steelhead run is at its best on this system now through early April. The Kilchis can get low and clear, so it fishes the best as the water drops after high water events. It is often one of the first Tillamook Rivers to come back into shape after a rain event.

The Kilchis will be one of the first North Coast Rivers back in shape following the recent high water and could fish as early as tomorrow. Fish should be moving in as the river drops after such a long low water spell.

Trout fishing in streams will reopen May 22, 2019.

LOWER COLUMBIA TRIBUTARIES: steelhead

Steelhead fishing was poor on the lower Columbia tributaries this season, and with the hatchery runs there mostly over it doesn’t look to improve much. Big Creek and Klaskanine hatcheries have only had a few fish back to their traps, and effort has been light.

NECANICUM RIVER: steelhead

The Necanicum has a hatchery winter steelhead release and these tend to be early returning fish. Hatchery fish should be present throughout January, and are probably starting to wind down, however we did observe some hatchery steelhead caught by anglers last week that were still in great shape! There is decent catch-and-release fishing for wild fish in February and March. Fish this small basin on the drop after rain events for the best action.  

The Necanicum should be in shape today and getting better the next couple days. There was a late push of hatchery fish just before the cold dry weather that were still in good shape, so hopefully there will still be some around. There should also be wild fish moving in (catch and release only).

NEHALEM RIVER: steelhead

All of the hatchery steelhead for the Nehalem basin are released in the North Fork, making the mainstem a mostly wild steelhead river. Steelhead should be throughout the system by now, and will be through early April. This is a large river and will fish best when other North Coast Rivers are getting low.

The Nehalem is at 11.78 feet as I write this and hasn’t quite peaked yet. This large river can carry a lot of sediment and takes time to clear. It’s unlikely that it will be in good shape (at least down low) by the weekend. Check conditions before you go, or consider fishing the upper part of the basin.

Trout fishing in streams will reopen May 22, 2019.

NORTH FORK NEHALEM RIVER: steelhead

The North Fork Nehalem has a run of early hatchery winter steelhead, which is definitely winding down. Wild steelhead are in the basin and available for catch-and-release through early April. Fishing has been slow, mostly due to recent conditions. The North Fork blew out with the rest of the North Coast Rivers but is on the drop and should be in shape by tomorrow or the next day. Hopefully there will still be a few hatchery fish around, and there should be wild steelhead moving in (catch and release only).

Trout fishing in streams will reopen May 22, 2019.

NESTUCCA RIVER AND THREE RIVERS: steelhead

The Nestucca River has two different hatchery winter steelhead stocks, one of which is early returning, and most prevalent in the lower river and Three Rivers which return late November through the end of January. In contrast, the broodstock hatchery fish return late December through mid-April, and should now be throughout the basin. The early returning stock will begin winding down this month, but February and March are prime time for broodstock hatchery steelhead and wild fish (catch-and-release only for wilds).

The Nestucca peaked at 11.25 feet Tuesday morning and is currently still blown out, but is on the drop and should fish by the weekend. Check conditions before you go. As with all rivers the Nestucca fishes great on the drop, and after the last cold and low spell, we would expect fishing to be good as soon as it turns green. Three Rivers is high and off color, but there is some opportunity at the hatchery hole. Three Rivers should be in prime shape within the next couple days, and even though the early hatchery run should be winding down, there are probably still some around, and brood stock hatchery fish should be showing up.

Trout fishing in streams will reopen May 22, 2019.

SALMON RIVER: winter steelhead

Winter steelhead will continue to enter the Salmon River system through the month of February as the later returning wild fish start to show up from now through March. The Salmon River has no hatchery releases and is entirely a wild run. These fish will start to enter the system in December but the peak is January through March. Bobber fishing with jigs/bait and casting lures are great techniques to catch a Salmon River winter steelhead.

Trout fishing in streams will reopen May 22, 2019.

SILETZ RIVER: winter steelhead

Winter steelhead fishing was slow on the Siletz last week with the cold weather and low water conditions. The recent rains have the river high and off color but fishing should be good when the river drops into shape over the weekend and into next week. Expect fish to be spread throughout the system after this rain providing good opportunities for both boat and bank anglers. Numbers of wild and hatchery fish should continue to improve, as we get closer to the peak of the run in February and March.

Anglers are starting to catch more wild fish in the basin as well, remember to handle these wild fish with care and immediately release them back into the river. January is typically when things heat up and continue through March/April. Side drifting, bobber dogging, bobber fishing with jigs, and casting lures are all great techniques to catch winter steelhead.

Trout fishing in streams will reopen May 22, 2019.

The 4.0 mile bridge (aka Steel Bridge) in the Siletz gorge is open to motorized vehicles, but is only open to public vehicles on the weekend. Anglers can walk/bike in the road during the weekdays. If anglers do walk in they can park at the one mile gate and start from there.

SIUSLAW RIVER: winter steelhead

Winter steelhead fishing has still been good on the Siuslaw with the lower water. This week the river is high, off color, and will take several days to drop back into shape. When the river starts to green up the fishing should be good. The numbers of fish entering the Whitaker Cr. trap increased with the rain this week indicating that fish are moving throughout the system.

Lake Creek steelhead fishing has been fair this year so far. The recent storms and high water will create good water conditions on Lake Cr. this week and fishing should improve. Hatchery fish in the Siuslaw system return to Whitaker Creek (Siuslaw) and Green Creek (Lake Creek). Bobber fishing with bait/jigs, drift fishing, and casting lures are good techniques to catch a Siuslaw winter steelhead.

Trout fishing in streams will reopen May 22, 2019.

TRASK RIVER: steelhead

The Trask River is mostly a wild steelhead River, although it is known to get some hatchery strays. As such, it really hits its peak for steelhead fishing now through early April. The Trask peaked at 12.04 feet Tuesday morning, but is on the drop and should be fishable later in the week.

Trout fishing in streams will reopen May 22, 2019.

WILSON RIVER: steelhead

The Wilson River has two different hatchery winter steelhead stocks, one of which is early returning, and most prevalent in the lower river, and return late November through the end of January. In contrast the broodstock hatchery fish return late December through mid-April, and should now be throughout the basin. The early returning hatchery stock will be winding down this month, but February and March are prime time for broodstock hatchery fish and wild steelhead (catch and release only for wilds).

The Wilson peaked at 7.38 Tuesday morning and is still a little off color today. It is on the drop and should be in prime shape later this week and into the weekend. I would expect to see good fishing, and high effort on the Wilson this weekend

Trout fishing in streams will reopen May 22, 2019.

YAQUINA RIVER: winter steelhead

Winter steelhead are present in the Yaquina and Big Elk. No hatchery fish are released into the Yaquina/Big Elk so most fish caught are wild. January through March is the peak for the wild winter steelhead in the Yaquina/Big Elk. Bobber fishing with bait/jigs, drift fishing and casting lures are effective ways to catch these fish.

Trout fishing in streams will reopen May 22, 2019.