Some Fish Should Be Starting to Trickle In

Applegate River - Applegate, OR

by OR Department of Fish & Wildlife Staff

The majority of the winter steelhead do not typically show in the Applegate River until March. However, with the nice storms so far this winter, reports of some fish starting to show here are trickling in. Most of the fish being caught are likely small summer-run steelhead. The winter run should be starting to trickle in.

The Applegate is open to the retention of hatchery winter steelhead and hatchery rainbow trout. Wild steelhead and trout must be released immediately and unharmed. It is illegal to fish from a floating device on the Applegate, but bait is allowed.

Anglers should do their part to harvest and remove non-local pikeminnow they encounter on the Applegate River. All tributaries are closed below Applegate Dam, except Glade Creek. Tributaries upstream of Applegate reservoir are open year-round for trout and bait is allowed. 

Releases from the reservoir have increased in the last week and the river continues to be slowly dropping and clearing from last week’s rain. Water conditions are very good though with the Wilderville guage reading 786 cfs on Wednesday morning. Most river users tend to fish from the bank. If choosing to float, a small pontoon boat or inflatable kayak is the preferred method for navigating to public parcels along the Applegate. Remember, fishing from the boat itself is not allowed. Flows from 600-1000 are ideal conditions for floating and generally good water conditions for winter steelhead.

There are good bank access around the Hwy 199 bridge, Fish Hatchery Park, Cantrall Buckley Park, upstream of Murphy, and near McKee Bridge. There are also scatterings of BLM lands in the upper river around McKee Bridge. You can check the flows on the Applegate when planning a trip.

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