Features: They are orange red to orange yellow with a bright yellow eyes. Their fin tips may be black. On the top of their head they have a pair of rough ridges. Yelloweye, canary and vermilion rockfish can look similar. See this rockfish identification article for distinguishing features of each species Take the "Yelloweye Rockfish or Not?" quiz Habitat: Juveniles and subadults prefer shallower water than adults, and are associated with rocky reefs,and kelp canopies. Adults move into deeper water as they grow, and prefer rocky bottoms. Technique: Yelloweye rockfish are currently prohibited in the catch. Anglers are required to
Features: These fish are olive green to dusky-brown with some light mottling towards their top sides. Their fin membranes are yellow. Habitat: Yellowtail rockfish will usually be found in offshore waters and often suspended over deep reefs and rocky habitat to as deep as 900 feet. Technique: Best success will be by first locating suspended schools of yellowtail rockfish in offshore areas during periods open for fishing offshore, and then working rubber tail jigs or shrimp flies through the schools.
Features: Blue sharks are named for their brilliant blue color. They are slender with a long, pointed nose. They can grow to be 12-feet long, though they rarely get over 10-feet. Habitat: Blue sharks are found in all the world’s temperate and tropical oceans. They have been spotted as far north as Norway and as far south as Chile. They roam both open and coastal waters in search of octopuses, squid, cuttlefish, and fish. Technique: Typically chumming the water will attract blue sharks. You will need a wire leader to protect your line from the blue shark's saber-shaped teeth. Fins
Features: Great whites are blue to gray on top and white underneath. They can grow as large as 20-feet long and weigh in excess of 4000 pounds! They have several rows of teeth in their large mouths. Habitat: Great whites stay in temperate ranges with water temperatures between 54- and 75-degrees Fahrenheit, including waters off the west coast. Technique: Great white sharks are protected under federal and state laws making them illegal to target or keep.
Features: Spiny dogfish are gray or brown with white spots on their back and a white belly. They can grow to be 5-feet long. They are called "spiny" as they have a spine behind each of the fins on their backs. Habitat: Spiny dogfish are widely dispersed, traveling from Alaska to Chile, and from intertidal waters down to 3,000 feet. They mostly eat small fish, squid, and octopus. Techniques: Being relatively small, spiny dogfish can be taken with light tackle. They tend to school around prey over soft bottoms. A good amount of weight will probably be necessary to keep
Features: Green sturgeon have olive to dark green backs and a yellowish, green-white belly. They also have a green strip down the middle of their stomachs. This fish will grow to 7-feet long and, as with white sturgeon, have bony body armor along their backs and are covered in sandpaper-like skin. Habitat: Green sturgeon are bottom dwellers, travelling all along the Pacific coast of North America. They spawn in deep pools in turbulent freshwater from March to July. Technique: Green Sturgeon may not be targeted for retention or catch-and-release angling. Any Green Sturgeon caught incidentally, for instance during White Sturgeon
Features: There's no mistaking a sturgeon. This primitive looking fish has large bony plates running down its back, a long flat snout, and a deeply-forked tail. It's also covered in rough, scale-less skin, similar to a shark. Though they can reach lengths of 20 feet, most white sturgeon rarely get over 10-feet long, which seems plenty long to us. Some populations migrate between the ocean and freshwater, but not necessarily with the same consistency as salmon or steelhead. These prehistoric fish may live well over 100 years, and may not mature until they are 25-years-old. Habitat: White sturgeon are primarily
Features: Bluegills are distinguished from other panfish by the black ear flap and black spot at the rear base of the dorsal fin. Five to eight greenish, vertical bars are faintly visible on their sides. The body is olive-green in color, bluish above and silvery below. Breeding males develop a bright orange to red flush on the throat area. Adults in most waters measure 5- to 8-inches, but the state record bluegill exceeded 12-inches. Habitat: Bluegills prosper in clear, clean ponds, lakes and backwaters of slow streams with abundant vegetation. They feed on both plant and animal life, but primarily
Features: Green sunfish have more of a bass-shaped body and a larger mouth than the other sunfishes, other than the warmouth. Also, unlike other sunfish except the warmouth, the pectoral fin is rounded, rather than pointed. Green sunfish are olive green on the back and sides with a yellowish-copper or brassy hue on the lower sides of the belly. Dusky, vertical bars are often present. Turquoise mottling, often in the form of bars, radiates backward from the snout and eye. They have a dark spot at the base of the rear lobe of the dorsal fin. Habitat: Green sunfish are
Features: Pumpkinseeds may be identified by the orange or red spot on the ear flap and the orange cheeks with wavy blue or turquoise stripes. Color is exceedingly brilliant and somewhat variable; olive to brassy-green above, the back finely dusted with gold or emerald. Habitat: Pumpkinseeds are found in the same habitats and often in association with bluegills. Adults often congregate beneath old deadheads and trees that have fallen into the water. Food habits are also similar to bluegill. They consume large numbers of snails by browsing on the stalks of aquatic vegetation. Techniques: Pumpkinseed are found in many of
Features: Redear sunfish are often confused with bluegill, but differ by having a red or orange border around the black ear flap and by lacking the spot on the dorsal fin and the vertical bars on the side. Habitat: In Oregon, redear sunfish are found only in a few ponds in the Willamette Valley and the central part of the state. In their native range, redear sunfish prefer warm, large lakes and reservoirs and bayous with vegetated shallow areas and clear water. They feed primarily on the bottom and seldom take surface insects. The diet consists mostly of zooplankton, insect
Features: Sacramento perch are blackish above with about seven vertical dark bars that are irregular in form and position. They are not a true perch, but a sunfish. It is the only member of the sunfish family native to the west coast and, in Oregon, is found only in the Klamath Basin. Sacramento perch are distinguished from the other sunfish in Oregon by having 12 or 13 dorsal fin spines whereas all the others have 10 or fewer. Maximum size in Oregon is about 12-inches in length and a weight of about 3/4 pound, although in California they have been
Features: Warmouth have more of a bass-shaped body and a larger mouth than the other sunfishes, other than the green sunfish. Warmouth are yellowish brown in color with three or four brownish bars radiating back from the eye over the gill cover. They can be distinguished from the green sunfish by the absence of turquoise mottling on the gill cover and the lack of a dark spot at the rear base of the dorsal fin. Habitat: In Oregon, warmouth are present in a few coastal lakes and widely distributed in the Columbia basin, but are not commonly caught by anglers
Features: Drakes have a reddish head and neck; black breast, lower back and tail coverts; nearly white back, flank, and belly, and dark gray tail. The hen is grayish brown with a darker brown head, neck, breast and tail coverts. Canvasbacks are large; adults in good condition are as heavy as mallards and second in size only to the white-winged scoter among common Oregon ducks. Habitat: Brackish estuarine bays and marshes with abundant submerged aquatic vegetation and invertebrates are ideal wintering habitat for canvasbacks. Techniques: Generally part of a mixed duck bag. These ducks have a reputation as good table
Features: Drakes have a black head with a white spot below and in front of the eye -- rather than the crescent-shaped patch of the barrow's goldeneye -- white neck, breast and flanks and a black back and tail. Hens have a brown head, light neck, breast and belly, brown backs and flanks. Drakes and hens of both common and Barrow's goldeneye have a distinctive golden ring around the pupil. Habitat: It is a common migrant in northeastern Oregon and winter resident of the Snake, Columbia, Klamath, Rogue and Umpqua rivers. Techniques: These ducks travel in small groups of two
Features: Males have a ragged-crested, dark green head, a reddish-brown breast, a dark back and gray sides. Females share the ragged crest; their rufous heads and gray bodies may make it hard to tell them from female common mergansers. Their bills, however, are noticeably slimmer. Habitat: Red-breasted mergansers are common from fall through spring, mostly in coastal bays and estuaries but occasionally on the open ocean. Techniques: Their preferred habitat within dangerous ocean waters makes them inaccessible to hunters.
Features: Similar to the greater scaup in appearance and habits, but smaller and lacking the white on the primaries. In the field, however, the black-and-white drakes and brown hens are very similar to greater scaups. Habitat: In general, the lesser scaup is more likely to be found in interior or freshwater habitats while the greater scaup is more a coastal bird. Techniques: Scaup are rafting birds attracted to large spreads of scaup decoys. Popular hunting destinations include coastal estuaries and lakes, where most hunters hunt from a boat. However, in the marshes of eastern Oregon, there can be good hunting
Features: Males' plumage is entirely black except for a small white teardrop around each eye, and white secondaries that form a conspicuous square wing patch during flight. A black knob graces the males' swollen, white-ridged, orange bills. Females and immatures are dark brown above and pale below with diffuse white patches in front of and behind the eyes. Their bills are dark. Habitat: Abundant along the coast from fall through spring. Techniques: Rarely taken as part of a mixed duck bag, their habit of resting and feeding on open ocean waters makes them inaccessible to most hunters.
Oregon boasts dozens of species of game fish. Trout is the most popular target for anglers, but the state also has iconic salmon and steelhead runs, world-class smallmouth bass fisheries and marine opportunities for both shore and boat anglers.
Oregon has nine fishing zones that combine to create a mosaic of opportunity. Freshwater or saltwater, trout and salmon, or bass and crappie, neighborhood ponds or remote mountain lakes – Oregon has a fishery to appeal to every angler. Visit e-regulations