The north Willamette area includes the Columbia River from Bonneville downstream to St. Helens and the lower Willamette Basin north of Salem. The Columbia and Willamette both offer outstanding warmwater fishing for bass and a variety of panfish including crappie. Good fishing is also available in the area's lakes and reservoirs such as Henry Hagg Lake which has produced state record smallmouth bass and brown bullhead catfish.
The south Willamette area covers the upper Willamette Basin south of Salem and includes the communities of Albany, Corvallis, Eugene, Springfield and Cottage Grove. Fishing for bass and panfish can be outstanding in the Willamette River and its many sloughs, but you'll need a boat for most locations because much of the banks are privately-owned. There also is good warmwater fishing in the area’s larger lakes such as Cottage Grove, Dorena, Foster, and Fern Ridge reservoirs, where crappie and large bass attract both seasoned and causal anglers. There are many smaller ponds inside and near the urban communities that offer
Oregon's Klamath and Lake counties offer outstanding warmwater fishing in the region's lakes and reservoirs, and even in the lower reaches of some of the rivers and streams. The area covers the Upper Klamath Basin and extends east to include the Chewaucan and Warner Lakes Basins.
The central area follows the Deschutes River Basin along the eastern slope of the Cascades, and includes the middle reaches of the Columbia River from Bonneville upstream to the mouth of the John Day River. The warm and dry summer months help to create productive warmwater fisheries in the area's larger reservoirs including Crane Prairie Reservoir, a consistent producer of sizeable largemouth bass, and Prineville Reservoir which is renowned for its crappie. In the Columbia River, outstanding fishing for bass and walleye can be found in Bonneville Pool and The Dalles Pool.
The John Day – Umatilla area includes the John Day River and Umatilla River basins, and Oregon’s upper reaches of the Columbia River. The John Day Pool and McNary Pool of the Columbia offer outstanding fishing for bass and walleye, and many fishing tournaments are held here. Anglers also will find good fishing for bullhead catfish, crappie and other panfish in McKay Reservoir near Pendleton and Willow Creek Reservoir just outside of Heppner. For those who enjoy fishing for smallmouth, the John Day River offers one of the finest bass fisheries in the country and a unique opportunity for an
Most warmwater anglers traveling to the northeast area are probably heading to Brownlee Reservoir, a huge 15,000 acre waterbody located along the Oregon-Idaho Reservoir on the Snake River. Brownlee offers outstanding fishing for bass and catfish, but might be best known for its crappie fishery which attracts anglers from throughout the country. However, anglers shouldn't overlook the other fishing opportunities located further downstream below Brownlee in Oxbow and Hells Canyon Reservoirs, and in the Snake River itself. Even in the lower Grand Ronde, a river better known for trout and steelhead, anglers will find good smallmouth bass fishing during the
The southeast area covers the high desert country of Harney and Malheur counties and is the most arid region of Oregon. Extended dry periods or droughts can affect the warmwater fisheries in this area, but these can be quick to rebound when water returns. The area’s most popular warmwater fishery is found in Owyhee Reservoir, a huge nearly 14,000 acre reservoir located on the Owyhee River south of Ontario that offers outstanding fishing for bass, crappie and catfish. There are few roads to and along Owyhee, but those with a boat will be rewarded with remote and spectacular scenery. Other
The southwest area follows Interstate 5 from Drain south to the Oregon-California border and includes the communities of Grants Pass, Medford and Ashland. In this area, anglers can fish the famed lower Umpqua River, which offers one of the finest smallmouth bass fisheries in the country. Outstanding warmwater fishing for bass and panfish can also be found in the area's many lakes and reservoirs including Cooper Creek, Galesville and Emigrant Reservoirs, and Selmac Lake. Smaller ponds near Sutherlin, Grants Pass and Medford including those at ODFW's Denman Wildlife Area are also good bets, particularly for families or young anglers.
A Waterway Access Permit is required for non-motorized boats 10 feet and longer. The Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) Permit is included in Waterway Access Permits are required for paddlecraft 10 feet and longer, and an out-of-state aquatic invasive species permit is required for motorized boats operating in Oregon waterways.
The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife owns or manages nearly 200,000 acres of land set aside for wildlife use and public recreation. The ODFW Wildlife Area Parking Permit helps fund habitat improvements and visitor amenities such as parking, restrooms and interpretive signs at these wildlife refuges.
All anglers fishing for salmon, steelhead or sturgeon (catch-and-release and retention) on all rivers and tributaries in the Columbia River Basin need to have a Columbia River Basin Endorsement (CRBE).
Step-by-step directions for applying for a controlled hunt online and how to change your hunt choices. The deadline to apply for a big game controlled hunt remains May 15. Apply for a controlled hunt Landowner preference guide
Two commonly caught species of salmon are coho and Chinook. Fishing regulations require anglers to correctly identify salmon species as restrictions such as legal lengths and seasons often vary based on the species. Anglers who incorrectly identify their catch and thus do not follow regulations, may have their fish confiscated and have to pay a fine.