Oregon Willamette Region Report


by ODFW
4-16-2021
Website

CLACKAMAS RIVER

  • Effective March 1 through August 15, 2021, the two-rod validation is allowed downstream of the Hwy 99E bridge with the following conditions:
    • Is only allowed when open to angling for hatchery Chinook, hatchery steelhead, trout, or warmwater gamefish.  
    • Is not allowed when fishing for sturgeon.
    • Youth anglers under 12 years of age may use 2 rods in these areas without purchasing the Two-Rod Angling Validation.

WILLAMETTE RIVER

  • Effective March 1 through August 15, 2021, the two-rod validation is allowed downstream of Willamette Falls (including the Multnomah Channel) with the following conditions:
    • Is only allowed when open to angling for hatchery Chinook, hatchery steelhead, trout, or warmwater gamefish.  
    • Is not allowed when fishing for sturgeon.

 For more information contact your local ODFW office:

  • Clackamas (971) 673-6000
  • Corvallis (541) 757-4186
  • Springfield (541) 726-3515
RECREATION REPORT

"Roughly 8", just before it wiggled right back into the water." A channel catfish out of Woodburn pond. Photo by Brianna Cantrel

If there’s not a photo, it didn’t happen

Submit your fishing photo  to ODFW and we might use it here or elsewhere on MyODFW.com.

Send us your fishing report

We’d love to hear about your recent fishing experience. Send us your own fishing report through ODFW Fishing Reports―the information will be forwarded to the local biologist who may use it to update various ODFW resources such as the weekly Recreation Report.

LAKES, PONDS, RESERVOIRS

Trout stocking is underway at several area lakes and ponds, including Walling Pond in Salem, Timber Linn and Waverly Pond in Albany, EE Wilson outside of Corvallis, and Junction City Pond, as well as Detroit, Green Peter, and Foster reservoirs. In addition, many of these locations will have holdover trout from last year’s stocking. These fish have been in the water long enough to have put on some size, and to key in on natural food sources. Selecting flies or lures that mimic these food sources can be effective.  

Kokanee fishing is becoming very popular in Detroit Reservoir. This is causing delays at the only current boat ramp available: Mongold boat ramp. Plan your outing accordingly if you plan to launch a boat on Detroit reservoir, and if possible, go on a weekday when the crowds are not quite as large. Crowding at the Mongold should improve once other boat ramps becomes available around Memorial Day weekend.    

With a stretch of warm dry weather behind and in front of us, water temperatures, especially in smaller ponds, should be improving for bass and panfish anglers. Once they reach 50 degrees, you can expect these fish to become more active, and the low 60s will see fish schooling up and feeding aggressively in preparation for spawning. 

Lakes and ponds to fish this week:

  • Trout stocking is underway at mid-Valley lakes and ponds, including Walling Pond in Salem, Timber Linn and Waverly Pond in Albany and Detroit and Foster reservoirs. In addition, many of these locations will have holdover trout from last year’s stocking. 
  • In the north Willamette, Trojan Pond and Hagg Lake have received stockings of multiple sizes of trout. Commonwealth, Dorman, Bethany and Haldeman Lake have all been stocked recently, as well.

RIVERS AND STREAMS

Steelhead anglers should plan for low water conditions this week in several areas.

Dam-regulated rivers are in good shape but for most species the fishing is restricted to catch-and-release.   

As with lakes, ponds and reservoirs, bass and panfish should begin to pick-up as water temperatures warm through the 50s and 60s. Early in the season on sunny days the bite may be best around mid-day when waters have reached their warmest. Try fishing crank baits along steep banks and structure (watch those snags!) in 10-15 feet of water. Fish like an easy meal so look for areas with current (not too much) and current breaks where fish can ambush prey without too much effort. The Tualatin, Molalla and Willamette are all potential options.   

RECENTLY STOCKED

Check out the 2021 trout stocking schedule.

TROUT STOCKING MAPS: Find your place to fish

Check out the ODFW fishing and trout stocking maps to find nearby fishing locations, driving directions and descriptions of amenities. 

ANNOUNCEMENTS: closures, special events, etc.

New interagency map shows wildfire impacts on recreation

Hunters, anglers and wildlife viewers will be living with the impacts of the 2020 wildfire season for a long time. To help you navigate the status of popular recreation sites, natural resource management agencies in Oregon have released an interagency status map that shows open, closed and reduced service areas on a single map, regardless of reason for closure. 

UPDATES BY WATERBODY

ALTON BAKER CANOE CANAL (ABCC): trout

Will be stocked again this week with 1,000 legal-size and 200 pound-size rainbow trout.

The canoe canal is open to fishing all year and is located within Alton Baker Park. A 4-acre pond at the midpoint of the canal is a good spot, as is directly behind Kowloon Restaurant. However, the canal can be fished all along its two-mile length from Day Island Road in Eugene to Aspen Street in Springfield. Last updated 3/24/21.

BLUE RIVER: trout

Will be stocked with 733 hatchery rainbow trout the week of April 20 for the first time this season.  

Two wild trout may be harvested per day above Blue River Reservoir only. Otherwise, anglers may keep five hatchery trout per day. Use of bait is allowed April 22 through Oct. 31. Beginning Nov. 1 through April 21, only flies and lures are allowed. Last updated 4/14/21.

BREITENBUSH RIVER: trout

The Forest Service Road up the Breitenbush River is closed due to wildfire related damage.  It is unknown when it will re-open to the public.   

This river flows through mostly U.S. Forest Service land into Detroit Lake and is open year-round. Anglers may keep up to five trout per day. Flies and small spinners work well, but bait also is allowed. 

As a reminder, salmon fishing is prohibited. Last updated 12/2/20.

CARMEN RESERVOIR: 

Latest estimates for when access and fish stocking will resume are now 2024 at the earliest. Public access to Carmen Reservoir is prohibited until further notice. Closure is due to operations required by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) resulting in reservoir drawdown over the summer. Last updated 3/3/21.

CLACKAMAS RIVER: steelhead

Steelhead fishing has been pretty slow as the winter steelhead season winds down. That said, there are still some brighter wild winters being caught on the Clackamas. And a few summer fish also have been caught.

During the winter months, flow and visibility on the Clackamas will be affected by each passing front and change in snow levels. 

USGS hydrological data for April 7 shows river levels stable at a stage height of 13.10 ft, with a flow of 2,460 cfs. Current water temperature is about 44.5F. All of the readings come from the Estacada gauge near Milo McIver State Park. Hydrologic data and river forecasts can also be accessed on the NOAA/National Weather Service NW River Forecast Center -- NW River Forecast CenterLast updated 4/7/21.

CLEAR LAKE: trout

Will be stocked this week with 3,150 trout of various sizes (including some big ones).

Clear Lake is accessed from Hwy. 126 approximately 70 miles east of Springfield. Linn County’s Clear Lake Resort rents cabins and boats. Last updated 4/14/21

COAST FORK WILLAMETTE RIVER: Chinook, summer steelhead

Will be stocked this week with 1,500 legal-size rainbow trout. 

The river is open to fishing all year for trout, hatchery Chinook salmon, hatchery steelhead, and wild steelhead over 24 inches. Use of bait allowed April 22 – Oct 31, but beginning Nov. 1 anglers may only use lures and artificial flies. In addition to five hatchery trout, two wild trout may be kept daily. Last updated 3/31/21.

COTTAGE GROVE POND (ROW RIVER NATURE PARK POND): trout, bass, bluegill

Was last stocked the week of April 6 with 733 legal-size rainbow trout. 

Cottage Grove Ponds are open to year-round fishing and via an asphalt pathway behind the truck scales on Row River Road. In addition to fishing, these ponds also offer wildlife viewing opportunities and a fishing dock is available on-site. Last updated 4/14/21.

COTTAGE GROVE RESERVOIR: trout, spotted bass, largemouth bass, crappie, yellow perch, bluegill

Will be stocked this week with 4,500 one-pound rainbow trout. 

Cottage Grove Reservoir is south of Cottage Grove and is open to fishing all year. Updated 4/14/21.

DETROIT RESERVOIR: trout, kokanee

Hwy. 22 has reopened, but expect delays and reduced speed limits from Gates through Marion Forks. The lake will get stocked this week for the first time all year with 2,100 one-pound trout. The reservoir is slowly beginning to fill again, now that we are in the second half of the winter. Boaters are able to use Mongold State Park boat ramp to launch boats.  

Anglers with boats might want to consider visiting during the week, as it can get very crowded this time of year, especially on weekends when the weather is nice, and only one boat ramp available. For the latest information on water levels at Detroit Reservoir check with the Army Corps of Engineers’ website for more information.

This time of year, and throughout the winter, trout are going to be the main fish to pursue.  Anglers will catch some kokanee during the winter but their feeding activity is hard to predict. 

Anglers have reported catching lots of small chinook salmon in pursuit of kokanee and trout. Please take extra care in releasing these fish back into the water unharmed, as they are listed species and are only in the reservoir temporarily before they migrate downstream and out the ocean.    

As a reminder to anglers, fishing for and harvesting chinook in the lake and the rivers above is prohibited. Any chinook caught in Detroit must be released unharmed. 

Anglers are encouraged to report their catch on forms available at signs and kiosks which have been installed at key locations around the lake. Simply fill out the form and return in the designated drop boxes. There is also an on-line form. Remember to indicate whether the fish you catch have their adipose fin or not. This information will allow ODFW to manage the fishery for the benefit of both recreational anglers and the resource. Last updated 4/7/21.

DEXTER RESERVOIR: trout

Will be stocked this week 2,000 pounder-size rainbow trout. Dexter Reservoir near Lowell is visible from Hwy. 58. Boat and bank access is available through state and county parks. Parking and bank access are also available from the causeway near Lowell. Largemouth bass and some smallmouth are also available to anglers in this reservoir. Last updated 3/24/21.

DORENA RESERVOIR: trout, largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, yellow perch, crappie, bluegill

Was last stocked the week of April 6 with 2,000 pound-size rainbow trout. 

Dorena Reservoir is east of Cottage Grove on Row River Road and is open to fishing all year. Trout and warmwater fish are available. Baker Bay Park (Lane County) is open seasonally from April – October. The park has a boat ramp, ADA restrooms, showers, picnic and camp spots. Last update 4/14/21.

EAGLE CREEK: steelhead

The creek is currently too low and clear to offer much fishing opportunity.

Bonnie Lure State Recreation Area has reopened but visitors are advised to watch for hazardous trees.

Keep in mind that long stretches of Eagle Creek do run through private property, particularly up near the hatchery and from an area below the lower ladder on down near Bonnie Lure to the mouth. Anglers are advised to pay close attention to where you fish and we encourage you to ask permission prior to accessing or crossing private lands on your way to your favorite fishing hole. Last updated 3/31/21.

EE WILSON POND: warmwater species, trout

Trout stocking occurs from February through May. It will be stocked this week with about 1,600 hatchery trout. In the spring and summer anglers can also pursue, bass, bluegill and crappie. 

This pond is located inside EE Wilson Wildlife Area. To get to it requires a 1/3-mile hike from the parking area. It has three newly installed fishing piers including one that is ADA complaint.  

A parking permit is required and one can be purchased online or at any ODFW office. Last updated 4/14/21.

FALL CREEK: trout

Will be stocked this week for the first time this year with 1,333 legal-size rainbow trout.

Fall Creek is open all year for trout. Bait is allowed from April 22 through Oct. 31; however, beginning Nov. 1, anglers may only use lures and artificial flies. Five hatchery trout and an additional two wild trout may be harvested daily in the river.

Fishing for salmon upstream of Fall Creek Dam is prohibited. Below Fall Creek Dam the creek is open all year for hatchery Chinook, hatchery steelhead and wild steelhead greater than 24 inches. Last updated 4/14/21. 

FALL CREEK RESERVOIR: trout

Will be stocked this week with 4,667 legal-size and 667 pound-size rainbow trout. Last updated 3/31/21.

FARADAY LAKE: trout

Faraday Lake is now closed while PGE updates its powerhouse at Rivermill Dam. This closure is expected to continue until spring 2022. For more information, visit PGE’s Parks and Recreation webpage.

FERN RIDGE RESERVOIR: largemouth bass, crappie, bluegill, brown bullhead

This 9,000-acre lake just 12 miles west of Eugene is the Willamette Basin’s largest water body. Water levels have slowly begun to rise now that we are in the second half of winter, and Orchard Park boat ramp should be available to launch boats. 

For local information regarding the lake and available boat ramps, contact the Lane County Parks Department at 541-682-2000.

Bass and crappie are available throughout the summer. Look for crappie along the weedy edges on the south side of the reservoir. The south shore around Perkins Peninsula as well as along the face of the dam are good spots. 

There is good bank access at several rest stops and campgrounds, and three seasonal boat ramps. Last updated 3/10/21. 

FOSTER RESERVOIR: trout, bass, perch, catfish

The reservoir will be stocked again this week with about 3,300 trout.  

Besides trout, look for smallmouth bass and yellow perch near underwater structure and drop-offs. Please remember that only kokanee and adipose fin-clipped trout may be kept as part of the trout bag limit, but there are no limits on size or number of bass. Retention of warmwater fish species such as bluegill, catfish, crappie, and yellow perch is also allowed -- no limit on size or number. Anglers report good success in the two arms of the reservoir, as well as the shoreline in between.  

The reservoir water level will slowly rise throughout the spring. Sunnyside County Park and Gedney boat ramp on the north shore are currently available to launch boats.  

This scenic 1,200-acre reservoir on the South Santiam River is located just 30 minutes from Interstate 5. There is good bank access at several rest stops and campgrounds, and three seasonal boat ramps. Last updated 4/7/21.

GOLD LAKE: brook trout, rainbow trout

Gold Lake is currently closed to fishing. Gold lake is open for fishing from May 22 – Oct 31 annually, and has special fishing regulations in place that include no retention of rainbow trout, no limit on brook trout, fly-fishing only (has to be a fly rod, no spinning rigs) and barbless hooks. Oregon State Marine Board passed a new regulation in 2020 that allows ELECTRIC motors only on Gold Lake. 

Gold Lake is a 100-acre lake located north of the Willamette Pass summit off Hwy. 58 approximately 23 miles southeast of Oakridge. Last updated 11/4/20.

GREEN PETER RESERVOIR: kokanee, trout, bass

This large reservoir gets stocked annually with 20,000 hatchery trout. It will be stocked this week with about 7,300 hatchery trout. Look for them in cooler, deeper water and around ledges, drop-offs and underwater structure.

Smallmouth bass for the most part go dormant in the winter. Once the spring rolls around, look for them near ledges and drop-offs as well as near underwater structure such as submerged logs. 

The water elevation in the reservoir is slowly starting to rise now that we are in the second half of winter. Water elevation will slowly rise throughout the spring. At the moment, both Thistle Creek and Whitcomb boat ramps are available to launch boats. 

Kokanee fishing is still slow but will begin to heat up this spring with rising water temperatures. Trout and smallmouth bass are also available year-round. Anglers may keep up to 25 kokanee per day in addition to the 5-trout limit. 

Best bet for anglers without a boat is to drive to the top of the reservoir where Quartzville Creek enters the reservoir. Large trout will sometimes forage where the river brings in food swept down from upstream. Last updated 4/14/21.

HARRIET LAKE: trout

Lake Harriet is closed due to the effects of the 2020 wildfires. The reopening date depends on wildfire recovery efforts. For more information, visit PGE’s Parks and Recreation webpage

Harriet Lake is a 23-acre reservoir on the Oak Grove Fork of the Clackamas River in the Mount Hood National Forest. Boat ramp is just past campground. Last updated 3/10/21.

HENRY HAGG LAKE: rainbow trout, smallmouth bass, yellow perch, largemouth bass, crappie, bluegill, brown bullhead, yellow bullhead, native cutthroat trout

Hagg Lake continues to receive regular stockings of catchable-size trout including this week. The bite for other species (bass, panfish, etc.) should pick up as water temperatures warm. Shallow bays and creek arms should respond more quickly to sunny weather than the main lake.

One of western Oregon’s largest lakes, Henry Hagg is stocked regularly with trout throughout the spring and summer. The lake and lake park are currently open, although users are encouraged to check the Hagg Lake Park website, as conditions can change.

Located near Forest Grove, Hagg Lake is one of Oregon’s premier warmwater fishing locations, with populations of record-class largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, crappie and bullhead. 

The lake is now open year-round and is stocked regularly throughout the spring and fall. Henry Hagg is a 1,110-acre lake waterbody located seven miles southwest of Forest Grove. 

Maintained and operated by Washington County, the park features numerous picnic areas, two boat launching facilities, more than 15 miles of hiking trails, and observation decks for wildlife and bird watching. Last updated 4/14/21.

HILLS CREEK RESERVOIR: trout, crappie, bass

Was last stocked the week of April 6 with 3,200 legal-size rainbow trout. Don’t forget that you can also keep hatchery Chinook in the reservoir as mentioned below.  

Hills Creek Reservoir is located about four miles southeast of Oakridge and is open to year-round fishing. In addition to catchable-size trout, the reservoir is stocked with 60,000 adipose fin-clipped rainbow trout fingerlings and 100,000 adipose fin-clipped spring Chinook salmon fingerlings annually to provide a harvest fishery the following year. 

Trout and salmon must be adipose-fin clipped to be harvested. Large native trout are available for catch-and-release fishing. Packard Boat Ramp (USFS) remains accessible at current reservoir elevation. Last updated 4/14/21.

JUNCTION CITY POND: trout, crappie

The pond will be stocked this week with about 2,100 hatchery trout. As a reminder, anglers are allowed to keep only one trout over 20 inches as part of the five fish bag limit. This pond is stocked regularly throughout the winter and spring. Last updated 4/14/21.  

LEABURG LAKE: trout

Trout stocking will resume in the spring of 2021 as usual. 

Leaburg Lake is open to fishing all year. Bait can be used from April 22 – Oct. 31, but beginning Nov. 1, anglers may only use lures and artificial flies. All wild trout must be released. Only hatchery fish may be kept. Last updated 2/10/21.

MCKENZIE RIVER below Leaburg Lake (R1): trout, salmon, steelhead

Stocking of the lower McKenzie will resume in the spring. 

The Leaburg Dam fish counts are a great spring salmon and summer steelhead resource, and information is back online. Counts are updated by the Corps of Engineers weekly. These resources are most useful to anglers from May – September.

All non-adipose fin-clipped trout must be released unharmed. Check page 46 of the 2021 Sport Fishing Regulations for bait restrictions in the segment you plan to fish. Beginning Nov. 1, anglers may only use lures and artificial flies.

The lower McKenzie River is open to retention of adipose fin-clipped salmon and steelhead and non-adipose fin-clipped steelhead greater than 24 inches long. A Columbia River Basin Endorsement is required for anglers targeting salmon and steelhead in the McKenzie. Last updated 1/20/21.

MCKENZIE RIVER above Leaburg Lake (R2): trout, steelhead

ODFW will resume stocking in the upper McKenzie in late April, consistent with previous years although release numbers will be slightly lower. Currently, there are still considerable fire-related cleanup efforts being conducted in this area.

No recent fishing reports.

All non-adipose fin-clipped trout must be released unharmed. Bait is allowed from Leaburg Dam to Forest Glen Boat Ramp from April 22 – Oct 31. As of Nov. 1, anglers may use only lures and artificial flies. Last updated 2/10/21.

MIDDLE FORK WILLAMETTE RIVER: trout, salmon, steelhead

No recent fishing reports.

The Middle Fork Willamette River is open to bait below Dexter Dam only. Reminder: Restrictions from Dexter Dam to approximately 700 feet downstream to the markers: No angling from the north shore, from a floating device, or while wading (page 44 in regulations). This river reach is open to retention of adipose fin-clipped salmon and steelhead and non-adipose fin-clipped steelhead greater than 24 inches long.

A Columbia River Basin Endorsement is required for anglers targeting salmon and steelhead in the Middle Fork Willamette below Dexter Dam. 

The Middle Fork Willamette above Lookout Point and Hills Creek reservoirs is open to fishing using lures and artificial flies. All wild trout must be released upstream of Lookout Point Reservoir. The Middle Fork Willamette River is not stocked with hatchery trout. Last updated 8/19/20.

NORTH FORK RESERVOIR: salmon, steelhead, trout

No recent reports.

PGE’s Promontory Park on the reservoir is now open. However, fishing remains closed until May 22. For more information, visit PGE’s Parks and Recreation webpage.

North Fork Reservoir is a 350-acre reservoir of the Clackamas River behind North Fork Dam approximately 5.2 miles east of Estacada, Ore. This reservoir has two boat ramps, boat moorage, 50 campsites, picnic areas, boat rentals, grocery story, fueling station, and ADA-accessible fishing platforms. It is big and deep enough, and is fed by the upper Clackamas River, to stay cool longer into the summer than most of the other lakes and ponds. Last updated 3/10/21.

QUARTZVILLE CREEK: trout

This river above Green Peter Reservoir is usually stocked between May and July. Conditions have improved quite a bit in recent weeks. Currently it’s flowing at around 330 cfs. Best conditions for fishing are below 300 cfs. The main quarry here are trout, both wild and hatchery fish. Light tackle including flies works best.

Trout are active year-round and anglers are allowed to keep up to five fish daily. Last updated 4/14/21.

SALMON CREEK: trout

No recent fishing reports. 

Salmon Creek is open to fishing all year. Bait can be used from April 22 – Oct. 31, but beginning Nov. 1, anglers may only use lures and artificial flies. Trout are released at multiple locations upstream to Black Creek. Two wild trout per day, 8-inch minimum length, may be kept in addition to five hatchery trout. Last updated 1/6/21.

SALT CREEK: trout

No recent fishing reports. Salt Creek is an unstocked tributary to the Middle Fork Willamette River east of Oakridge. Salt Creek and its tributaries are open to fishing all year. As of Nov. 1 anglers may only use lures and artificial flies. Two wild trout may be kept per day, 8-inch minimum length. Last updated 8/19/20.

SANDY RIVER: steelhead

Winter steelhead fishing has been slow as the season is winding down. There are reports of a couple summer steelhead having been caught.

During the winter months, flow and visibility on the Sandy are greatly influenced by each passing front and change in snow levels. Colder temperatures, as well as less precipitation means this glacially fed system will not only be on the drop, but will also clear up much more quickly.

Anglers should confirm access before they go. All Metro Parks and boat ramps (including Dabney and Lewis and Clark) are now open, but may have modified operations. Check conditions at individual parks on Metro’s website. State parks and recreation areas appear open. 

USGS hydrological data for April 7, shows Sandy flows near Bull Run were at 1,670 cfs with a gage height of 9.33. Last updated 4/7/21.

SANTIAM RIVER (NORTH FORK): steelhead, coho, trout

Some access sites on the North Santiam above and below Detroit Reservoir were impacted by last fall’s wildfire. Some of the more popular sites such as Packsaddle Park and Fishermen’s Bend are still closed until crews can remove hazard trees. Anglers can still access the river from Stayton downstream and in a few places above such as the Mehama bridge.  

No recent fishing reports. River levels best for fishing are at or below 3,000 cfs, and the river is currently running at 2,000 cfs at the gage in Mehama. Water clarity is good.  

Anglers should be aware of a new regulation implemented this year. The use of bait is now only allowed April 22 through Oct. 31 from the mouth of the Santiam River up to Minto dam. Outside of those dates, anglers may use only artificial flies and lures. This regulation is in place to protect ESA-listed winter steelhead.  

Fishing for hatchery steelhead is open year-round. A few hundred early summer steelhead have arrived in the upper Willamette and will be making their way into tributaries, including the North Santiam, over the next few weeks. A handful have already reached the Stayton area.

Good numbers of Chinook will begin to arrive in the basin in late April. The first spring chinook of the year migrated into the Willamette recently and the numbers will begin to climb over the next few weeks. Forecasts are for a run year about as high as last year or perhaps a bit higher.

Anglers should be aware that trout harvest is now closed and will not re-open until May 22. Last updated 4/14/21.

NOTICE: Packsaddle County Park, Niagara County Park, and Minto County Park are closed due to wildfire damage.

WARNING: There are several large downed trees in the river creating some very dangerous hazards for boaters. For more information check out the Oregon State Marine Board website.

SANTIAM RIVER (NORTH FORK) above DETROIT: trout

The highway along the upper North Santiam has re-opened but many places will look a lot different. Traffic delays are common because of hazard tree removal. Be aware that there are still many dangerous tree snags around with root structures weakened by fire and that could come down at any moment. It will be safer to fish in unburned areas further upstream (above Whitewater Creek).  

In general, this river is open year-round to fishing. It was stocked several times during the summer. Most trout can be found from Marion Forks down to the mouth and are fairly well distributed. Flies and spinners work best, but bait is allowed.

The river is still pretty high at the moment, flowing at around 820 cfs where it comes into Detroit Lake. With rain and snow melt through the spring, it usually takes a while before this river gets into shape. 

Anglers may keep up to five trout per day. Remember, this section of river is closed to salmon fishing. Last updated 4/14/21.

SANTIAM RIVER (SOUTH FORK): Chinook, steelhead, bass, trout

Fishing is generally best when flows are below 3,000 cfs. Currently flows are at 1,400 cfs at the Waterloo gauge. Anglers are awaiting the arrival of the spring Chinook and summer steelhead run. Some early fish have arrived over the ladder at Willamette Falls, but the bulk of the run is still a few weeks away.    

Chinook will begin to arrive in the basin in April and May, along with summer steelhead. Fishing for smallmouth bass can be very good during the warm months below Lebanon. 

Anglers should be aware of a new regulation implemented this year. The use of bait is now only allowed April 22 through Oct. 31 from the mouth of the Santiam River up to Minto dam. Outside of those dates, anglers may only use artificial flies and lures.

Trout fishing will reopen May 22. Last updated 4/14/21.

SMITH RESERVOIR: trout

Latest estimates for when access and fish stocking will resume are now 2024 at the earliest. The Eugene Water & Electric Board is enveloped in a construction project to retrofit, refurbish and upgrade capital equipment at its Carmen-Smith Hydroelectric Project. 

The capital construction projects planned for the 2017-2024 time frame will create significant public access constraints due primarily to safety concerns. In order to keep the public and construction personnel safe during the five-year project, EWEB and the Forest Service agreed to close access to Forest Road 730 at the Powerhouse. The closure will deny public access to Trail Bridge Campground, Smith Reservoir and Lake’s End Campground. The closure of the road to the public will begin in March 2017 and continue through 2024. Last updated 3/3/21.

SUNNYSIDE PARK POND: trout, bass, bluegill

It will be stocked this week with about 1,500 legal and larger trout. 

This 4-acre pond is located two miles above the upper end of Foster Reservoir. The pond also offers bluegill and largemouth bass year-round. The park has a campground and picnic area and is a great place to take kids fishing. There is also boat ramp access to the Middle Fork arm of Foster Reservoir. Please keep in mind that only one fish over 20 inches may be kept per day.

To get there from I-5, take US 20 through the town of Sweet Home and continue around Foster Reservoir to Quartzville Creek road. Take a left and follow this road for two miles to the park. Last updated 4/14/21.

TIMBER LINN LAKE: rainbow trout

Will be stocked this week with around 1,000 legal-size trout and about 40 larger ones. As a reminder to anglers, only one fish over 20 inches is allowed as part of the 5 fish bag limit. 

This is a family-friendly fishing pond located within Timber-Linn Memorial Park in Albany. Timber-Linn Lake can be reached by turning east off I-5 onto the Santiam Highway (Hwy. 20), then immediately turning north onto Price Road and proceeding to the park entrance. Last updated 4/7/21.

TIMOTHY LAKE: trout

Forest Service Rd. 57 is closed along the south shore of Timothy Lake due to area wildfires. Snow levels determine road access during the winter months. PGE will open the Timothy Lake campgrounds on May 28, 2021. For more information, visit PGE’s Parks and Recreation webpageLast updated 3/10/21.

TRAIL BRIDGE RESERVOIR: trout

The Eugene Water & Electric Board is implementing a construction project to retrofit, refurbish and upgrade capital equipment at its Carmen-Smith Hydroelectric Project. Latest estimates for when access and fish stocking will resume are now 2024 at the earliest. The capital construction projects planned for the 2017-2024 timeframe will create significant public access constraints due primarily to safety concerns. In order to keep the public and construction personnel safe during the project, EWEB and the Forest Service agreed to close access to Forest Road 730 at the Powerhouse. 

The closure will deny public access to Trail Bridge Campground, Smith Reservoir and Lake’s End Campground. The closure of the road to the public started in March 2017 and will continue at least through 2024. 

ODFW has discontinued stocking of Trail Bridge reservoir for the duration of the closure – hatchery fish allocated to the reservoir are being redistributed to other stocked waterbodies. Only adipose fin-clipped trout may be harvested from Trail Bridge Reservoir. Only flies and lures may be used. Last updated 03/3/21.

TURNER LAKE: bass, panfish, some trout

This approximately 70-acre lake just north of Turner is open to the public fishing along the southern half. It is an old borrow pit and features largemouth bass, panfish such as bluegill, and a few trout. There’s a boat ramp in the southwest corner of the lake. To get there take Turner Rd south from Salem and take a left onto Holly St before you get to downtown Turner. No gas-powered motors are allowed. Last updated 1/6/21.

WALLING POND: trout, crappie, bass

About 1,600 trout are going to be stocked in this pond this week. As a reminder, only one fish over 20 inches is allowed as part of a 5 fish bag limit.  

This is an eight-acre privately-owned pond with public access in Salem at the northeast corner of McGilchrist and 16th Streets, S.E.  There is no trash service out there so please pack out what you packed in. Last updated 4/14/21.

WALTER WIRTH LAKE: trout, bass, bluegill

This waterbody usually gets stocked between November and May with trout; however, due to unsafe conditions because of a large homeless encampment, this waterbody will not be stocked this spring. Most of the stocked trout are planned to be released at Walling Pond instead. During the warmer months it is primarily a warmwater fishery. Anglers are allowed to only keep one trout over 20 inches as part of a five trout bag limit. 

Walter Wirth is a 20-acre lake located within the City of Salem’s Cascades Gateway Park with good access all the way around. Last updated 2/24/21.

WAVERLY LAKE: trout, bluegill, catfish

This lake will be stocked this week with about 1,30 legal-size trout. Anglers may keep only one fish over 20 inches as part of their 5 trout bag limit.

From I-5 take exit 234 west towards Albany. The pond is located a quarter mile down Pacific Boulevard on the right. A paved ADA-accessible path runs all the way around the pond. Last updated 4/14/21.

WILLAMETTE RIVER: catch-and-release sturgeon, steelhead, spring Chinook

Anglers should confirm access before they go. All Metro Parks and boat ramps are now open, but may have modified operations. Check conditions at individual parks on Metro’s website. State parks and recreation areas appear open.

Check Willamette Falls fish counts.

The upstream section between Albany and Harrisburg is open year-round for trout fishing, which can be very good when flows are cooperating. Anglers may keep two trout per day. Smallmouth bass also can be a lot of fun to catch and are plentiful between Salem and Corvallis.

The river is ideal for small boats such as canoes and kayaks, but there are enough public access points for bank anglers as well. Consult Oregon Parks and Recreation Department for specific locations.  

The Willamette often gets overlooked because it is so close. But this river offers convenience, fairly good access and variety. 

As of April 7, the instantaneous reading below the falls at Oregon City showed a gage height 5.24 ft. Water 




More Reports

Oregon North West Report

4-16-2021
Bottom fishing Anglers were successful up and down the coast last week, particularly for lingcod.  Out of Garibaldi, big boats went beyond the...... Read More