Anglers Reported Catching A Few Winter Fish

Applegate River - Applegate, OR

by OR Department of Fish & Wildlife Staff

Anglers have reported catching a few winter fish, mostly down low in the system. March is the month on the Applegate. Zero winter fish have shown at the trap near the dam as of Feb. 23.

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 are finding success throwing spoons and roe.

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 should be steady at 200 cfs for the foreseeable future, as fill season is underway. The Wilderville gauge was 644 cfs on Tuesday evening, and expected to continue slowly dropping into next week.

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.

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