Recreation Report

Willamette Zone

Regulation Updates

Regulation Updates as of Feb. 13, 2018

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

CLACKAMAS & WILLAMETTE RIVERS:

  • Effective March 1 through Aug. 15, anglers with a two-rod validation will be able to use two rods while fishing the lower Willamette River below Willamette Falls and the Clackamas River.
  • Anglers may use two rods for all species except sturgeon.
  • Applies only to waters already open to fishing, all other Willamette Zone rules and regulations remain in effect.

For more information contact your local ODFW office:

  • Clackamas (971) 673-6000
  • Corvallis (541) 757-4186
  • Springfield (541) 726-3515
Recreation Report

Weekend fishing opportunities

  • This weekend (Feb. 17 & 18) is a Free Fishing Weekend. You won’t need a license, tag or endorsement to fish, crab or clam anywhere is Oregon. But remember, all other regulations and area closures still apply.
  • Steelhead fishing has been fair to good in the Sandy and Clackamas rivers, and water levels should be fishable into the weekend.
  • In Detroit Lake, trout are active year-round and water temperatures have been slowly climbing – look for fishing to be surprisingly good this time of year.
  • Several waterbodies will be stocked this week including Walling, Junction City and EE Wilson ponds, and Walter Wirth Lake.
  • Alton Baker Canoe Canal, Cottage Grove Pond and Dexter Reservoir will be stocked with various sizes of trout this week (including trophies).

2018 Stocking Schedule and Map

The trout stocking schedule has been posted online.

SPECIAL NOTE TO SOUTH WILLAMETTE ANGLERS

These waterbodies will be stocked by a third party under contract with the US Army Corps of Engineers. Anglers should visit this USACE website to find out more about when and what is being stocked.

Once you know where you want to go, use this Google map to get directions and more details about your fishing destination.

If your favorite fishing spot is no longer listed

It’s probably because that river, lake or reservoir is closed for the season, inaccessible due to snow and bad roads, or offers limited fishing opportunities during the winter months. These waterbodies will re-appear in the Recreation Report when they re-open next spring, or when access and/or opportunity improves.

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.

ALTON BAKER CANOE CANAL: trout

Will be stocked the week of Feb. 12 with 950 legal, 165 trophy and 32 trophy+ sized trout, and was also stocked Feb. 5, 2018 with 600 pounder hatchery trout.

The canoe canal is located within Alton Baker Park and can be accessed off of Club Road in Eugene. A 4-acre pond at the midpoint of the canal is a good spot but it can be fished all along its two-mile length from Day Island Road in Eugene to Aspen Street in Springfield. The canal is open to fishing all year.

BENSON LAKE: rainbow trout, white crappie, largemouth bass, brown bullhead

Stocked in the spring with 4,000 legal-size rainbow trout. This is a 40-acre lake located in Benson State Park in the Columbia River Gorge. From Portland, head east on I-84; the park is located on the south side of the freeway about 1/2 mile west of Multnomah Falls.

BETHANY POND: rainbow trout, largemouth bass, crappie, bluegill, bullhead

Stocked in the spring with 1,000 legal-size rainbow trout. This is a 10-acre pond located at Bethany west of Portland. The pond is maintained by Tualatin Hills Park and Rec. Amenities include picnic tables, restrooms, and a paved, ADA accessible trail.

BLUE LAKE: rainbow trout, largemouth bass, brown bullhead, black crappie, bluegill

Stocked in the spring with 1,500 trout. Another 75 brood trout will be stocked the week of Dec. 4. Try fishing from the docks or along the bank near the boat ramp. From October to April private boats are also allowed if under 14 ft. with motors of less than 3.0 horsepower.

This 64-acre lake is located in Blue Lake Regional Park three miles west of Troutdale. Amenities include picnic areas, restrooms, walking trail, and ramp for small boats. Park is maintained by Metro. The cost to enter is $5/car and there is ample parking once inside the park. The park is open from 8 a.m. until legal sunset. For further information call 503-661-6087.

BLUE RIVER: trout

Upstream of Blue River Reservoir was last stocked for the season in early July. Two wild trout may be harvested per day above Blue River Reservoir only. Otherwise, anglers may keep five hatchery trout per day. Use of bait is allowed April 22 through Oct. 31. Beginning Nov. 1 through April 21, only flies and lures are allowed.

BLUE RIVER RESERVOIR: trout, warmwater species

Last stocked for the season the week of June 26. Blue River Reservoir is located east of Eugene near the town of Blue River, north of Hwy. 126 and is open to year-round fishing. Blue River Reservoir boat ramps are no longer accessible.

BREITENBUSH RIVER: trout

This river flows through mostly U.S. Forest Service land into Detroit Lake and is open year-round (however salmon fishing is prohibited). During the summer it is stocked fairly regularly with hatchery trout. Anglers may keep up to five trout per day.

CANBY POND: trout, bass, crappie, bluegill

Stocked in the spring with 800 rainbow trout. Canby Pond is a one-acre pond located on the south end of Canby, in Canby City Park. This pond is open only to youth 17 years old and under, as well as persons who possess ODFW's Disabled Hunting and Fishing Permits.

CARMEN RESERVOIR: trout

Carmen Reservoir was stocked for the last time this season in early August. Carmen Reservoir is accessed via USFS Road 750 off Hwy. 126, about two miles south of Clear Lake. It is open to fishing all year. Motor boats are prohibited.

CLACKAMAS RIVER: winter steelhead

This ongoing stretch of dry February weather has allowed Clackamas River flows to drop considerably in the past week, almost to the point of being a bit too low, and the long range forecast into the weekend calls for more of the same. However the water color is great and anglers continue to pick up a decent number of fish, hooking both wild and hatchery winter steelhead. Mid-to-late February is when the Clackamas winter steelhead typically move into the river so if you haven’t already, it’s time to get out there and land a fish or two.

Good bank access for can be found in many locations along the river from Gladstone, Cross Park, Riverside Park, along Clackamas River Road, Carver, Barton, and McIver parks. Clackamas River Drive closely follows the river below Carver Park, but be sure to not trespass on private property. If you have a drift boat, you can put in at Riverside Park, Carver Park, Barton Park, Feldheimer’s off Springwater Road, and at both lower and upper McIver Park ramps.

USGS hydrological data for Feb. 12 shows river flows down to 2,760 cfs, with a gauge reading of 12.60 feet and the water temperature near 42°F. All of the readings come from the Estacada gauge near Milo McIver State Park. Hydrologic data and river forecasts can also be accessed on the NOAA/National Weather Service NW River Forecast Center -- NW River Forecast Center.

CLEAR LAKE: trout

Clear Lake is open to fishing all year. The last release of fish for 2017 was the week of Aug 21, and 2,167 trout were released of various sizes. Some of the fish were tagged as part of ODFW’s tag reward program, and you can still can still catch a fish with a tag that could win you a $50 gift card! Clear Lake is accessed from Hwy. 126 approximately 70 miles east of Springfield. Linn County’s Clear Lake Resort rents cabins and boats.

COAST FORK WILLAMETTE RIVER: trout

The Coast Fork Willamette River was last stocked for the season in early August. The river is open to fishing all year for trout, hatchery Chinook salmon, hatchery steelhead, and wild steelhead over 24-inches. Use of bait allowed April 22 – Oct 31, but beginning Nov. 1 anglers may only use lures and artificial flies. In addition to five hatchery trout, two wild trout may be kept daily.

COMMONWEALTH LAKE: rainbow trout, bass, bluegill, crappie

Stocked in May with 1,000 hatchery trout. This is a three-acre stocked lake within the Commonwealth Lake Park in Beaverton, Oregon. Commonwealth Park is maintained by Tualatin Hills Park and Rec. Amenities include ADA accessible trail, picnic tables, playground, and restrooms.

COTTAGE GROVE POND (ROW RIVER NATURE PARK POND): trout, warmwater species

Will be stocked the week of Feb. 12 with 1,250 legal and 250 trophy sized trout, and was also stocked Feb. 5, 2018 with 200 pounder hatchery trout. Cottage Grove Ponds are open to year-round fishing and are accessed via an asphalt pathway behind the truck scales on Row River Road. In addition to fishing, these ponds also offer wildlife viewing opportunities and a fishing dock is available on-site.

COTTAGE GROVE RESERVOIR: trout, warmwater species

Was last stocked in October with over 5,000 trout. In Cottage Grove Reservoir, you could catch a fish with a tag that could win you a $50 gift card as part of ODFW’s tag reward program. Cottage Grove Reservoir is south of Cottage Grove and is open to fishing all year. Lakeside boat ramp remains accessible.

DETROIT RESERVOIR: trout, kokanee

The reservoir water level is low in order to provide for winter flood storage, but Mongold boat ramp is still available for use.  Winter refilling began Feb. 1. Trout stocking will begin in March. Trout are active year round and with the reservoir beginning to fill and water temperatures slowly climbing, fishing can be surprisingly productive this time of year. Trolling slowly near drop–offs can be an effective technique. 

NOTICE: Anglers are encouraged to report their catch on forms available at signs and kiosks which have been installed at key locations around the lake. Simply fill out the form and return in the designated drop boxes. There is also an on-line form.

DEXTER RESERVOIR: trout

Will be stocked the week of Feb. 12 with 1,400 legal and 1,200 trophy-size rainbow trout. Last week a handful of walleye were caught below Dexter Dam, and two weeks ago good numbers of fish between 10- to 15-inches long were being caught by bank anglers in the reservoir. Dexter Reservoir is also a location where ODFW released tag reward fish, so you could catch a fish with a tag that could win you a $50 gift card. Dexter Reservoir near Lowell is visible from Hwy. 58. Boat and bank access is available from state and county parks. Parking and bank access are also available from the causeway near Lowell. Largemouth bass and some smallmouth are also available to anglers in this reservoir.

DORENA RESERVOIR: trout, warmwater

Was last stocked in October with 3,500 fish, including 250 larger fish.  Dorena Reservoir is a location where ODFW released tag reward fish, so you could catch a fish with a tag that could win you a $50 gift card.

Dorena Reservoir is east of Cottage Grove on Row River Road and is open to fishing all year. Trout and warmwater fish are available. Baker Bay boat ramp is accessible at the current reservoir elevation.

DORMAN POND - trout

This is an 8-acre pond west of Forest Grove at the junction of Hwy. 8 and Hwy. 6

EAGLE CREEK: winter steelhead

The Eagle Creek winter steelhead catch rate could be described as slow-to-fair at best while anglers await a push of fish in the coming days. About 50 winters have returned to the hatchery so far indicating there’s at least a few fish moving through and with the catch on the Clackamas improving the fishing should pick up on the creek in the coming days. There was some fairly good fishing effort along the creek this past weekend but no word on any type of hot bite taking place.

Keep in mind that long stretches of Eagle Creek do indeed run through private property, particularly up near the hatchery and from an area below the lower ladder on down near Bonnie Lure to the mouth. Anglers are advised to pay close attention to where you fish and we encourage you to ask permission prior to accessing or crossing private lands on your way to your favorite fishing hole. See Page 15 of the Oregon Sport Fishing Regulation pamphlet for more information on “Your Rights to Use the Surface, Bed, and Banks of Oregon’s Rivers and Lakes.”

EE WILSON POND: warmwater species, trout

The pond will be stocked this week with about 1,000 hatchery rainbow trout. Bag limit is 5 fish per day, with only one fish over 20-inches allowed. The pond is located about a quarter mile from the parking lot down a paved and partially graveled path. A parking permit is required and one can be purchased on-line or at any ODFW office.

ESTACADA LAKE: trout, steelhead

Stocked recently with 1,500 legal-size rainbow trout, and several times earlier in this fishing season.

FALL CREEK: trout

Fall Creek above Fall Creek Reservoir was last stocked for the season in June. Open all year for trout. Beginning Nov. 1, anglers may only use lures and artificial flies. Below Fall Creek Dam the creek is open all year for hatchery Chinook, hatchery steelhead and wild steelhead greater than 24-inches. Five hatchery trout and an additional two wild trout may be harvested daily in the river.

FARADAY LAKE: trout

Stocked recently with 1,500 legal-size rainbow trout.

This is a 25-acre reservoir located 1.1 miles southeast of Estacada on Hwy. 224 next to a PGE hydro plant. No boats, walk-in only.

FERN RIDGE RESERVOIR: largemouth bass, crappie, bluegill, brown bullhead

This 9,000-acre lake just 12 miles west of Eugene is the Willamette Basin’s largest water body. For local information regarding the lake and available boat ramps, contact the Lane County Parks Department at 541-682-2000.

There is good bank access at several rest stops and campgrounds, and three seasonal boat ramps. Currently the reservoir level has dropped 18 feet and the boat ramps are all out of the water. Check with Lane County Parks to see when boat ramps will become available.

FOSTER RESERVOIR: trout, bass, perch, catfish

Foster Reservoir was stocked twice last September with a total of 10,000 hatchery trout. This scenic 1,200-acre reservoir on the South Santiam River is located just 30 minutes from Interstate 5. There is good bank access at several rest stops and campgrounds, and three seasonal boat ramps. At the moment, only the Sunnyside boat ramp is available to launch boats.

Look for smallmouth bass and yellow perch near underwater structure and drop-offs. Please remember that only kokanee and adipose fin-clipped trout may be kept as part of the trout bag limit, but there are no limits on size or number of bass. Retention of warmwater fish species such as bluegill, catfish, crappie, and yellow perch is also allowed; no limit on size or number. This reservoir receives hatchery trout in the spring and fall.

FREEWAY LAKE, EAST: trout, bass bluegill crappie

This water-body actually consists of three interconnected ponds and features some good size bass and crappie. A boat ramp is available at East Freeway Lake, and there is good bank access around Middle Freeway Lake.

Fishing in the spring for warmwater gamefish such as bass, bluegill, crappie, and catfish can be very good, especially early and late in the day. It was stocked in May with 900 hatchery rainbow trout.

GOLD LAKE: brook trout, rainbow trout

Gold Lake is closed to fishing until May 22, 2018.  Gold Lake is a 100-acre lake located north of the Willamette Pass summit off Hwy. 58 approximately 23 miles southeast of Oakridge. Gold Lake has special fishing regulations in place which include no retention of rainbow trout, no limit on brook trout, no motorboats, fly-fishing only (has to be a fly rod, no spinning rigs) and barbless hooks.

GREEN PETER RESERVOIR: kokanee, trout, bass

Trout as well as bass are good options for anglers this time of year. Look for them near ledges and drop-offs as well as near underwater structure. This year’s spawning adult kokanee are gone, but the next generation of fish are already larger than legal-size. Currently the water elevation of the reservoir is about 58 feet below full pool, but Thistle creek boat ramp is available to launch boats. The reservoir will begin to refill in earnest starting Feb. 1.

HALDEMAN POND: trout

Stocked in the spring with 2,000 legal-size rainbow trout. This is a stocked two-acre pond on the Sauvie Island Wildlife Area that offers good bank access. This site is ideal for kids. A parking permit is required while on the wildlife area. Permits are available from all ODFW license vendors.

HARTMAN POND: trout, crappie, bass, catfish

This is a year-round warmwater and spring trout fishing pond in the Columbia River Gorge, with easy access for non-boating anglers just off Interstate 84. It was stocked with legal- and trophy-size trout in the spring and also supports year-round populations of crappie, bass and catfish. It will be stocked again this week with 1,250 legal-size rainbow trout. From I-84, take the Benson State Park exit. The pond is adjacent to the Columbia River adjoining Benson State Recreation Area.

HARRIET LAKE: trout

Stocked in late August with 2,000 8-inch trout and 667 trophies, weighing two pounds or more apiece. Get in and get them soon because Harriet is scheduled to close to public access from Sept. 11 through mid-October for campground and parking upgrades.

HENRY HAGG LAKE: rainbow trout, smallmouth bass, yellow perch, largemouth bass, crappie, bluegill, brown bullhead, yellow bullhead, native cutthroat trout

Stocked the week of Sept. 25 with 8,000 hatchery trout, and stocked previously several times in the spring.

Hagg Lake, located near Forest Grove, is one of Oregon’s premier warmwater fishing locations, with populations of record-class largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, crappie, and bullhead. It also supports a resident population of native cutthroat trout and is frequently stocked with hatchery trout.

The lake is now open year-round and is stocked regularly throughout the spring and fall. This is a 1,110-acre lake waterbody located seven miles southwest of Forest Grove.

Maintained and operated by Washington County, the park features numerous picnic areas, two boat launching facilities, more than 15 miles of hiking trails, and observation decks for wildlife and bird watching.

HILLS CREEK RESERVOIR: trout, warmwater fish

Fishing has been red-hot the past couple of weeks, from a boat or the bank even though water levels are down. Several anglers are catching limits of holdover fish from previous releases ranging from 12- to 18-inches. The reservoir last stocked in late September with 4,600 rainbow trout and a “bonus” release of 7,500 rainbow trout in October. Hills Creek Reservoir is located about four miles southeast of Oakridge and is open to year-round fishing. In addition to catchable-size trout, the reservoir is stocked with 60,000 adipose fin-clipped rainbow trout fingerlings and 100,000 adipose fin-clipped spring Chinook salmon fingerlings annually to provide a harvest fishery the following year.

Trout and salmon must be adipose-fin clipped to be harvested. Large native trout are available for catch-and-release fishing. Packard Boat Ramp remains accessible at current reservoir elevation.

HUDDLESTON POND: trout, bass, bluegill

Stocked recently with 1,350 trout, including 50 trophies weighing two pounds or more. Another 76 large brood stock will be released the week of Dec. 4. This is a 5-acre pond located within Huddleston Pond Park in the city of Willamina, Ore. A former mill pond, this venue has "kid-friendly" edges, is ADA accessible in places, with a restroom and picnic areas nearby.

JUNCTION CITY POND: trout, crappie

This pond will be stocked this week with about 1,000 hatchery rainbow trout. As a reminder the trout bag limit is five fish per day, but only one fish over 20-inches is allowed.  

LEABURG LAKE: trout

Stocking last occurred in August of 2017. Leaburg Lake is open to fishing all year. Beginning Nov. 1, anglers may only use lures and artificial flies. All wild trout must be released. Only hatchery fish may be kept.

MCKENZIE RIVER below Leaburg Lake: trout salmon, steelhead

The McKenzie River below Leaburg Lake was stocked for the last time in early September. All non-adipose fin-clipped trout must be released unharmed. Beginning Nov. 1, anglers may only use lures and artificial flies.

The lower McKenzie River is open to retention of adipose fin-clipped salmon and steelhead and non-adipose fin-clipped steelhead greater than 24-inches long. A Columbia River Basin Endorsement is required for anglers targeting salmon and steelhead in the McKenzie.

MCKENZIE RIVER above Leaburg Lake: trout, steelhead

The McKenzie River above Leaburg Lake was last stocked for the season in mid-September. All non-adipose fin-clipped trout must be released unharmed. As of Nov. 1, anglers may use only lures and artificial flies.

MIDDLE FORK WILLAMETTE RIVER: trout, salmon, steelhead

The Middle Fork Willamette River is open to bait below Dexter Dam only. Reminder: Restrictions from Dexter Dam to appoximately 700 ft downstream to the markers: No angling from the north shore, from a floating device, or while wading (pg 44 in regulations). This river reach is open to retention of adipose fin-clipped salmon and steelhead and non-adipose fin-clipped steelhead greater than 24-inches long. A Columbia River Basin Endorsement is required for anglers targeting salmon and steelhead in the Middle Fork Willamette below Dexter Dam.

The Middle Fork Willamette above Lookout Point and Hills Creek reservoirs is open to fishing using lures and artificial flies. All wild trout must be released upstream of Lookout Point Reservoir. The Middle Fork Willamette River is not stocked with hatchery trout.

MOLALLA RIVER: winter steelhead

With very low numbers of winter steelhead passing at Willamette Falls anglers don’t have much to fish for in the Molalla right now and they may want to try their luck on some of the more quality fisheries nearby like the Clackamas or Sandy rivers. Concerns about overall numbers of these fish going upstream could mean another poor fishing season can be expected. The Willamette Falls passage numbers through Feb. 11 show the fish counts at 568 winter steelhead while the final season count was 3,041 adult coho. Approximately 12 sea lions are already setting up to predate upon winter steelhead, sturgeon and spring Chinook once they show up.

USGS hydrological data for Feb. 12 has river flows reading 1,070 cfs and a gauge measurement of 11.57 feet. All of the readings come from the Canby gauge.

MT HOOD POND: trout, crappie, bluegill

Mt. Hood Pond is located on the Mt. Hood Community College campus in Gresham, at 26000 SE Stark St. The pond was stocked the week of Dec. 4 with 25 large brood trout.

Fishing at this location is restricted to youths age 17 and under and Disabled Angler licensees from April 1 - Aug. 31.

NORTH FORK RESERVOIR: trout, steelhead, salmon

Stocked the week of Sept. 18 with 5,100 8-inch trout. The reservoir was also stocked previously this season with more than 20,000 trout.

This is a 350-acre reservoir of the Clackamas River behind North Fork Dam approximately 5.2 miles east of Estacada, Ore. This reservoir has two boat ramps, boat moorage, 50 campsites, picnic areas, boat rentals, grocery story, fueling station, and ADA-accessible fishing platforms.

OLALLIE LAKE: trout

Stocked in mid-July with 125 trophy trout and 2,800 legal-sized rainbows. It was stocked the previous two weeks with 6,800 trout, and some of those fish should still be available.

This is the largest of more than 200 lakes within the Olallie Lake Scenic Area. Located on the southern edge of the Mt. Hood National Forest it is a popular summer recreational destination for people from Portland and Salem, Ore. There are three campgrounds and a rustic cabin resort on this lake as well as a hiking trail that encircles the perimeter. Yurts, cabins, and boat rentals are available at Olallie Lake Resort.

There is a boat ramp at Peninsula Campground on the southwest shore of the lake. Camping is also available at Olallie Meadows Campground and Paul Dennis Campground. Olallie Lake is also a popular jumping off point for backpackers who want to fish the surrounding high lakes or access the Pacific Crest Trail.

PROGRESS LAKE – rainbow trout, brown bullhead

Stocked in spring with 1,000 legal-size rainbow trout. This is a 4-acre pond next to the Progress Ridge Town Center in Beaverton. The pond is an old rock pit and has a maximum depth of 54 feet. There is a sidewalk, fishing platform and viewing platform on one side of the lake.

QUARTZVILLE CREEK: trout

Hatchery trout are stocked in late spring and summer. In winter and early spring there are resident trout and very few anglers. It was last stocked in late June with 2,000 hatchery trout. Stream flows have dropped considerably of late, around 370 cfs as of Feb. 12 (best conditions for fishing are below 300 cfs). Anglers may keep up to five trout per day all year.

SALISH POND: trout, warm water species

West Salish Pond was stocked in May with 500 hatchery trout as efforts get underway to bring the pond back into the regular ODFW stocking rotation. Most local anglers know it’s been quite some time since the pond was stocked with hatchery trout and both The City of Fairview and ODFW are very happy to bring trout fishing back to West Salish Pond.

Parking is available at the school after 5 p.m. weekdays and all weekend. Parking is no longer available adjacent to the pond along Glisan St. Informational signs regarding use of the area have been posted by the City of Fairview around the pond’s shoreline.

SALMON CREEK: trout

Salmon Creek near Oakridge was last stocked for the season in August. Salmon Creek is open to fishing all year. As of Nov. 1 anglers may only use lures and artificial flies. Trout are released at multiple locations upstream to Black Creek. Two wild trout per day, 8-inch minimum length, may be kept in addition to five hatchery trout.

SALMONBERRY LAKE: trout, sunfish

Stocked with trout in the early spring. Salmonberry Lake is owned by the city of St. Helens and is about three acres in size. It is a former municipal water supply secluded in the woods off of Pittsburgh Road. The road to the pond is gated and anglers must walk about 1/3 mile to access this pond.

SALT CREEK: trout

Salt Creek is an unstocked tributary to the Middle Fork Willamette River east of Oakridge. Salt Creek and its tributaries are open to angling all year. As of Nov. 1 anglers may only use lures and artificial flies. Two wild trout may be kept per day, 8-inch minimum length.

SANDY RIVER: winter steelhead                                                                   

The Sandy River winter steelhead fishery has been consistently producing fish for several days with anglers finding good success from Oxbow Park on through Dabney Park and down to Lewis and Clark Park. The crew at Sandy Hatchery reports seeing several fish come out of the Cedar Creek area every day but this has always been a popular spot so expect to be fishing with other anglers. There are confirmed sightings of a sea lion or two working the lower river and having a negative impact on the catch rates but there’s still plenty of water to fish successfully. The peak of the season on the river is during the months of February and early March as hatchery winter steelhead are integrated with wild winter steelhead in the Sandy so they have similar run timing as wild fish (same on the Clackamas). 

The hatchery has seen over 1,000 fish return so far and over 900 of them have been recycled back downstream to Lewis and Clark boat ramp and Dabney boat ramp. These fish can be identified by a “hole punch” in the gill plate should you happen to catch one, and are recycled to give anglers another shot at hooking them.

Anglers can find bank access to the Sandy River in several areas from Troutdale up to Brightwood. Lewis and Clark Park, Dabney Park, Oxbow Park, and Dodge Park all offer good spots for bank fishing as well as having boat ramps if you have a drift boat or sled.

USGS hydrological data for February 12 shows Sandy flows at 2,150 cfs, with a gauge reading of 9.68 feet and the water temperature down near 40°F.

Read about how salmon and steelhead have rebounded on the Sandy since the Marmot Dam was removed 10 years ago.

SANTIAM RIVER (NORTH FORK): steelhead, Chinook

As of Feb. 12, flows are around 2,500 cfs at the Mehama gauge. These moderate flow levels should persist through the week. River levels best for fishing are below 3,000 cfs.

Summer steelhead, though few in number, are still available in the river, particularly above Stayton. A handful of winter steelhead have also been counted at Bennett Dam, but most of the fish runs are still a few months away from their peak. The forecast for the 2018 Willamette spring chinook run calls for similar numbers as this past year, about 35,000 fish. 

The river will reopen to trout fishing on May 22, 2018. 

SANTIAM RIVER (NORTH FORK) above DETROIT:

This section of the river is open year-round for trout. It was stocked the last time in late July with 3,000 legal-size hatchery trout. The river is running clear and is in great shape. Anglers may keep up to five trout per day. This section of river is closed to salmon fishing.

SANTIAM RIVER (SOUTH FORK): steelhead, Chinook, bass

Flows in the river at Waterloo are currently around 2,400 cfs as of Feb. 12. There are still some fish out in the river this time of year that are worth pursuing when conditions allow. Summer steelhead can be found primarliy in the upper sections of the river below Foster.  A few fresh winter steelhead have entered the basin, but we are still in the early stages of their run. 

The river will reopen to trout fishing on May 22, 2018. 

Current conditions

SHERIDAN POND: trout

Stocked the first week of June with 1,000 legal-size rainbow trout.

To get to Sheridan Pond, take Hwy. 18 to Exit 33 onto Balston Rd. Go south on Balston Rd. approximately half a mile and turn left onto a gravel road leading about a quarter mile to the pond.

SHORTY’S POND: trout

Shorty’s is a 4-acre pond located within Ivor Davies Nature Park in the city of Molalla. It can be accessed by the Fifth St. Trailhead across from Heckard Football Stadium. Aquatic vegetation can make for challenging conditions during warmer weather.

SILVER CREEK RESERVOIR: trout, catfish

Stocked in June with 5,650 trout. This is a 65-acre reservoir on Silver Creek 2.5 miles south of Silverton on Hwy. 214.

SMALL FRY LAKE: trout

Stocked again last week with another 200 trout. This is a small youth-only fishing pond located next to Promontory Park and North Fork Reservoir near Estacada. It was stocked several times earlier this season.

SMITH RESERVOIR: trout

The Eugene Water & Electric Board has begun a five-year construction project to retrofit, refurbish and upgrade capital equipment at its Carmen-Smith Hydroelectric Project. The work is being conducted in anticipation of a new federal operating license for the project.

The capital construction projects planned for the 2017-2021 time frame will create significant public access constraints due primarily to safety concerns. In order to keep the public and construction personnel safe during the five-year project, EWEB and the Forest Service agreed to close access to Forest Road 730 at the Powerhouse. The closure will deny public access to Trail Bridge Campground, Smith Reservoir and Lake’s End Campground. The closure of the road to the public will begin in March 2017 and continue through 2021.

ST. LOUIS PONDS: trout, bass, crappie, bluegill, yellow perch, channel catfish

St. Louis Ponds is a 240-acre fishing complex of seven ponds owned and managed jointly by the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife and Marion County Parks Department. The site has a 2,300-foot paved ADA footpath with turnouts, fishing platforms, restrooms and picnic tables. It is stocked throughout the year with hatchery trout and has many other species of warmwater fish.

A gate providing access to the last mile of dirt road to the complex is open March 1-Sept. 30, although anglers are still permitted to walk in to fish during the seasonal gate closure. March/April hours are 7 a.m. – 8 p.m.

St. Louis Ponds is located 13 miles north of Salem and west of I-5. To get to there from the north, take the Woodburn exit off I-5. Then go east to Hwy. 99E. At Hwy. 99E, head south to the town of Gervais. At the light, go west on Gervais Rd. through Gervais. Gervais Rd. changes to St Louis Rd. Continue west on St Louis Rd. as it crosses over I-5 to Tesch Lane, at the railroad crossing. Go left on Tesch Lane and follow the signs to the ponds, about a mile to the main parking lot.

SUNNYSIDE PARK POND: bass, bluegill

This 4-acre pond is located two miles above the upper end of Foster Reservoir. The pond also offers bluegill and largemouth bass year round. The park has a campground and picnic area and is a great place to take kids fishing. There is also boat ramp access to the Middle Fork arm of Foster Reservoir.  Some excess brood rainbow trout became available recently and about 100 of these fish were released into Sunnyside Pond. Please keep in mind that only one fish over 20-inches may be kept per day.

To get there from I-5, take US 20 through the town of Sweet Home and continue around Foster Reservoir to Quartzville Creek road. Take a left and follow this road for two miles to the park.

TIMBER LINN LAKE: rainbow trout

This is a family-friendly fishing pond located within Timber-Linn Memorial Park in Albany. It was stocked again before Christmas with about 500 super large brood rainbow trout. Please keep in mind that only one fish over 20-inches may be kept per day.

Timber-Linn Lake can be reached by turning east off I-5 onto the Santiam Highway (Hwy. 20), then immediately turning north onto Price Road and proceeding to the park entrance.

TIMOTHY LAKE: rainbow trout, kokanee, eastern brook, cutthroat trout, crayfish

Stocked this fall with 3,000 legal-size rainbows and 500 trophy trout.

Timothy Lake is located within the Mt. Hood National Forest approximately 75 miles southeast of Portland via Hwy. 26. Designated in 2015 as one of ODFW’s “trophy trout” lakes, it is one of the most popular family camping and fishing destinations in the Mt. Hood National Forest. The lake's south shore features four developed campgrounds and boat ramps. Three smaller, less developed campgrounds are found in the north. A trail system for hikers, mountain bikers and equestrians circles the lake. The Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail also traverses the area along the east side of the lake. Motorboats are allowed on Timothy Lake, although a 10 mph speed limit is in place.

TRAIL BRIDGE RESERVOIR: trout

The Eugene Water & Electric Board has begun a five-year construction project to retrofit, refurbish and upgrade capital equipment at its Carmen-Smith Hydroelectric Project. The work is being conducted in anticipation of a new federal operating license for the project.

The capital construction projects planned for the 2017-2021 timeframe will create significant public access constraints due primarily to safety concerns. In order to keep the public and construction personnel safe during the five-year project, EWEB and the Forest Service agreed to close access to Forest Road 730 at the Powerhouse.

The closure will deny public access to Trail Bridge Campground, Smith Reservoir and Lake’s End Campground. The closure of the road to the public started in March 2017 and will continue through 2021.

ODFW has discontinued stocking of Trail Bridge reservoir for the duration of the closure – hatchery fish allocated to the reservoir are being redistributed to other stocked waterbodies. Only adipose fin-clipped trout may be harvested from Trail Bridge Reservoir. Only flies and lures may be used.

TRILLIUM LAKE – trout

Stocked with 3,000 legal-size rainbow trout and 333 trophy-size trout on Aug. 28.

Trillium is a 60-acre lake located approximately three miles east of Government Camp off of Hwy. 26. This lake is popular for fishing, camping and photography, often clearly reflecting Mount Hood. Adjacent Trillium Lake Campground is administered by the Zigzag Ranger District of the Mount Hood National Forest. The large campground features a seasonal boat ramp and wheelchair-accessible floating dock.

TROJAN POND – trout, panfish

Stocked in the spring with 500 trophy trout weighing approximately two pounds each. This is a 15-acre pond just east of Rainier on the north side of Hwy. 30 at the Trojan nuclear facility. The pond is located on the right side of the road as soon as you turn onto the Trojan Access Road.

WALLING POND: trout, crappie, bass

This is an eight-acre privately-owned pond located in Salem at the northeast corner of McGilchrist and 16th Streets, S.E. It will be stocked this week with about 650 hatchery rainbow trout. Some of the large brood trout stocked before Christmas might also be available. As a reminder, the bag limit for trout is 5 per day, only one these fish may be over twenty inches. 

WALTER WIRTH LAKE: trout, crappie, bass

Walter Wirth is a 20-acre lake located within the City of Salem’s Cascades Gateway Park with good access all the way around. It will be stocked this week with about 1,850 legal and larger-size hatchery rainbow trout. As a reminder, the bag limit is five trout per day, but only one over 20-inches.

WAVERLY POND: trout, bluegill, catfish

Waverly Pond is located in Albany and is regularly stocked in fall, winter and spring. The pond was stocked in late November with about 600 trophy-sized hatchery rainbow trout. A batch of 50 extra-large brood trout were released after Christmas as well. These fish average around 12 pounds each. The next scheduled stocking date will be sometime in mid-March. As a reminder, the bag limit is five fish per day, but only one over 20-inches. From I-5 take exit 234 west towards Albany. The pond is located a quarter mile down Pacific Boulevard on the right. A paved ADA-accessible path runs all the way around the pond.

WILLAMETTE RIVER: winter steelhead, sturgeon

The Willamette winter steelhead fishery has yet to get going in earnest but improving conditions should give anglers the break they’ve needed to effectively go after those winter fish. As we move further into February the Meldrum Bar/Dahl Park area and near the mouth of the Clackamas River are your best bets for action as the fish tend to hug the east bank of the river seeking out the cleaner Clackamas River. It’s predominantly a bank fishery here so watch the locals for tips or visit your nearby fishing supply store for information on methods and gear.

Although it’s far too early to switch your fishing tactics over to spring Chinook there were reliable reports of a springer being picked up around the Sellwood/Waverly area last week. It’s not at all unusual to have one caught in February as ODFW records indicate several years when the first fish were landed in January.

The final coho passage numbers at the Willamette Falls fish ladder ended on Jan. 31 at 3,041 adults and 2,682 jacks, while the ongoing winter steelhead counts through February 11 stand at 568 fish moving upstream.

USGS hydrological data for the Willamette River on Feb. 12 had flows down considerably at 16,800 cfs, the water temperature around 46°F, and visibility improved at 4.3 ft.

YAMHILL RIVER and tributaries: trout

The river was stocked in May with 1,900 legal- and larger-size rainbow trout. The Yamhill and its tributaries are now open year-round for trout under the 2017 Oregon Sport Fishing Regulations. Fishing shifts to catch-and-release for trout from Nov. 1 to May 21. Fishing and harvest of warmwater fish is also allowed during this period.