There are still some good-looking winter steelhead to be caught

Illinois River - Cave Junction, OR


by OR Department of Fish & Wildlife Staff
3-24-2022
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There are still some good-looking winter steelhead to be caught in the remaining week of the season on the Illinois. The warm weather should keep the river levels around 625 cfs for the next week or so as snow is melting in the higher elevations. The river was on a slight rise on Wednesday morning and churning out 660 cfs. The river color should be back to being pretty clear, so small presentations are key if using jigs or yarn balls.

Anglers are reminded that no bait is allowed on the Illinois River, and soft plastic imitations of eggs or worms are considered bait. Hence, leave your rubber pink worms or soft beads at home.

Illinois downstream of Pomeroy Dam is open to fishing for steelhead and trout, but closed year-round to salmon fishing. Upstream of Pomeroy Dam and all tributaries are also closed year-round. All fishing is closed from Fall Creek to 400 feet above Illinois Falls (just above Swinging Bridge). Fall creek is the first creek upstream of the swinging bridge (accessed via road NF-087).  If you suspect illegal activity, please call OSP or the local ODFW District Office.

Trout fishing is mostly catch-and-release for wild trout as there is no hatchery on the Illinois system. 

Wild steelhead may be retained between Klondike Creek to Fall Creek and from 400 feet above Illinois Falls, upstream to Pomeroy Dam. Wild steelhead must be at least 24 inches long to harvest and the bag limit is 1 per day/3 per year in aggregate for the Southwest Zone rivers where wild steelhead harvest is allowed (consult SW Zone regulations).  

There is also good bank access along the Illinois River Rd. outside of Selma, all the way downstream to Miami Bar and Briggs Creek. Expect to hike to some of the better fishing spots. Please park outside of the white lines to keep roads clear. Do your part and pack out what you pack in, as well as someone else’s trash. There is trash service available at the Siskiyou Field Institute outside of Selma. 8-dollar road, just north of Kerby, also has good public access, but make sure not to leave valuables in your vehicle.

Much of the publicly accessible reaches of the Illinois River fall under the USFS Wild Rivers Ranger District. More information can be found on their website. For up-to-date flows check the USGS Kerby gauge.




More Reports

OR Department of Fish & Wildlife Reports
for Thursday, March 24th
Ana Reservoir: The reservoir is currently filling up
Chewaucan River: Fishing will start picking up as the water warms this spring
Phillips Reservoir: The ice is beginning to melt, and there now is a substantial amount of open water
Pilcher Reservoir: The reservoir is mostly covered by slush
Thief Valley Reservoir: Thief Valley Reservoir is now ice-free
Thompson Valley Reservoir: Access is available and the water is very low
Unity Reservoir: The ice has begun to melt at Unity Reservoir
Wolf Creek Reservoir: There is still ice over much of Wolf Creek Reservoir
Brownlee Reservoir: Anglers in the Powder River arm have recently had good catches
Imnaha River: Mid-March through mid-April often is one of the best periods for steelhead
Umatilla River: The flows in the Umatilla have come up in the last week
Detroit Reservoir: Water level is about 75 feet above the bottom of Mongold boat ramp
EE Wilson Angling Pond: Will be stocked this week
Green Peter Reservoir: This reservoir is slowly filling again
Santiam River ( North Fork) : Next run of spring Chinook and summer steelhead won’t arrive until late April/early May
Santiam River (South Fork): Trout harvest is now closed until May 22
Alsea River: Winter steelhead fishing is starting to slow down on the Alsea
Kilchis River: The Kilchis River is a little on the low side
Necanicum River: The Necanicum will be low and clear this week but should still be fishable
Nehalem River: The Nehalem is a little on the high side but is still green and is on the drop
Nestucca River: The Nestucca is in good shape and still dropping
Siuslaw River: Winter steelhead fishing is starting to slow down for the season on the Siulsaw
Trask River: The Trask is in prime condition and dropping
Wilson River: The Wilson is in decent shape and dropping
Ben Irving Reservoir: Ben Irving remains cloudy for a long time after rains
Chetco River: As the flows drop, anglers will have a good shot at some steelhead
Diamond Lake: People are still ice-fishing at Diamond
Elk River: Later season steelhead fishing can be excellent on the Elk
Emigrant Reservoir: Water temperatures are increasing and warmwater fishing should be picking up
Galesville Reservoir: The boat ramp is just usable and anglers are taking advantage of it
Hyatt Lake: Open water is available but the reservoir still extremely low

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