Applegate River Report

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 more rain forecast later this week and weekend, fish should be moving. Most of the fish still being caught are likely small summer-run steelhead, but there are reports of some winter fish being caught last weekend. Zero winter fish have shown at the trap near the dam so far.

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 been dropping this week from 600cfs last week to approximately 400 cfs this week. Water conditions are very good with the Wilderville gage was reading 1800 cfs on Wednesday morning and looking to crest shortly. It should be dropping the rest of the week and be around 700 cfs by the weekend. Most anglers 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 is 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.