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Northeast Zone weekly fishing update, Sept. 5

NORTHEAST ZONE FISHING

Weekend fishing opportunities

  • The upper Umatilla River should provide good catch-and-release angling for rainbow trout.
  • Fall chinook fishing opened on the Snake River on Sept. 1.
  • McKay Reservoir offers good warm water angling all summer. Use electronics to locate suspended schools of crappie, or slow troll a different depths until you find fish.
  • There are reports of 20 pound or more lake trout being caught in Wallowa Lake.

Warmwater fishing

While trout fishing has slowed in many locations due to high air and water temperatures, warmwater fish like bass, bluegill and yellow perch continue to offer opportunities for good fishing. Our warmwater fishing webpage is a great place to get started, and you’ll find the latest condition updates here in the Recreation Report.

Check fire restrictions before heading afield!

Fire danger is at record levels according to the Oregon Dept of Forestry, which also reports that 35K acres of land under its protection are burning, mostly in SW Oregon. Follow all fire restrictions while hunting, fishing or viewing wildlife and see ODF’s webpage for the latest on restrictions.

Warm water temperatures increase stress to fish

With the advent of warm summer water temperatures (70 degrees and more), anglers can reduce the stress to fish by taking the following precautions when catching and releasing fish:

Fish during the cooler times of the day, usually mornings and evenings

Use barbless hooks, play and land the fish quickly

When releasing wild fish, keep them in the water as much as possible

Shift your fishing efforts to higher elevation mountain lakes and streams where water temperatures often remain cool.

Check out trout stocking map

Find the location and details about the many lakes ponds and streams that receive hatchery trout from ODFW’s fish hatcheries on the new Google-based stocking map.

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.

Aldrich ponds: rainbow trout

Fishing is good for rainbows up to 15-inches on bait, lures and flies. The bag limit is two fish per day. It is a 1.5 mile hike into the ponds. Weed growth is inhibiting fishing access at the lower pond but fish to 18-inches can be caught, especially from a float tube or raft. The upper pond has fewer weeds and is better suited to bank fishing. Fingerling rainbow stocked last year at the upper pond are now 12 to 15-inches.

BULL PRAIRIE RESERVOIR: rainbow and brook trout

Fishing is fair right now. A campground and a boat launch are available. Bait, lures and flies are all producing. Rainbow stocked last year are 10 to 12-inches. Brook trout average 8 to 10-inches.

GRANDE RONDE RIVER: trout, whitefish, bass

The Grande Ronde River is open for trout, whitefish and bass. Anglers are finding success on the lower river fishing for smallmouth. Traditional bass gear will do the trick and for fly anglers, large streamers and poppers work well. As temperatures rise trout fishing will become more difficult. Try fishing early in the day when water temperatures are still cool and late when the sun is off the water. Remember only adipose fin clipped trout can be retained, and bull trout are present and should be immediately released unharmed. Floating the stretch from Minam to Troy may be difficult under current flows.

Steelhead may start entering the river soon as just a few fish have crossed Lower Granite Dam. Steelhead will start showing up in catchable number toward the end of the month.

Check river flows

HOLLIDAY PARK POND: trout

Fishing is restricted by warm temperatures and aquatic weed growth.

HUNTER POND: trout

The pond was stocked in May with legal-sized rainbow trout. Hunter Pond is located about 3 miles south of Hwy 244 off of USFS Rd 5160. The pond is located on the 710 spur just west of 5160.

IMNAHA RIVER: trout, whitefish, bass

Trout anglers have found recent success on the Imnaha. Lures, bait and flies have all been successful. Whitefish are abundant in the river and can provide a great opportunity for young anglers and can save a day when the trout fishing is slow. Target whitefish in deep runs with small spinners or dead drifted nymphs. Bull trout are also moving up through the system and can be caught on large fish imitations and streamers. Remember, bull trout must be released unharmed. In the lower reaches, anglers are finding some success catching smallmouth bass.

Steelhead will start entering the river in the next few months; however, later in the fall will be more productive as only a few fish have crossed the Snake River dams.

On the upper river anglers may see spawning chinook. Please do not harass these fish and allow them to spawn and produce the next generation.

Check Imnaha River flows.

JOHN DAY RIVER: resident rainbow trout, smallmouth bass

River flow levels are very low and water temperatures are limiting trout activity. Fishing is recommended only in the higher elevation tributaries of the John Day River.

The North and Middle forks above Hwy 395 are presently closed to fishing with spinning lures and hooks with a gap larger than ¼ inch. This will lessen the chance of hooking spring Chinook salmon which cannot be fished for.

Bass fishing is good on the river below Kimberly and on the North Fork up to Monument. Most bass are 8 to 10-inches with a few up to 15-inches. River flows have now dropped to 80 cfs making boat travel impossible. Channel catfish are now being caught in the John Day River up to Spray.

JUBILEE LAKE: rainbow trout

The campground is open and the lake has been stocked. Angling has been good for rainbow trout.

LONG CREEK POND, CAVENDER POND: trout

Fishing is restricted by warm temperatures and aquatic weed growth.

LUGER POND: trout

The pond was stocked with legal-sized rainbow trout in late April. Anglers are reminded this is a handicap accessible site in a beautiful forest setting.

MAGONE LAKE: rainbow and brook trout

Magone campground was evacuated due to a fire last week but re-opened Aug.12. Fishing for rainbow and brook trout is only fair. Fish have moved into deep water for the summer. Fishing at 30 foot depths with a boat or float tube is recommended.

McKAY RESERVOIR: crappie,yellow perch,bass

Fishing for crappie has been good with the best catches coming at dusk. Yellow perch fishing has been good, but the fish are small. Bass fishing is good. The reservoir is at near full pool making both boat ramps usable. Anglers are reminded of the new bass regulation; 5 bass per day, with only 1 over 15 inches and only 1 may be a largemouth bass.

MORGAN LAKE: trout, bullheads, bass

No recent reports.

OLIVE LAKE: rainbow and kokanee

Fishing for 10- to 12-inch kokanee is fair in the deeper portions of the lake. Fishing for rainbows is fair along the southern weed beds. Fishing with a boat or float tube is recommended.

PEACH POND (Ladd Marsh): rainbow trout

The pond has been stocked with both legal-sized and larger one-pound rainbow trout. Fishing has slowed with the warmer weather.

ROULET POND: rainbow trout

The pond has been stocked with both legal-sized and larger one-pound rainbow trout. Fishing will slow with as the weather warms.

ROWE CREEK RESERVOIR: rainbow trout

The water level is low. Fishing is restricted by warm temperatures and aquatic weed growth.

SCHNEIDER WILDLIFE area ponds: rainbow trout

Wiley Pond is open for those willing to walk the 2 miles. Twelve-inch rainbow are being caught. Aldrich Gulch Pond is also open and requires a 1 mile hike but thick cattail growth prevents bank fishing.

TAYLOR GREEN POND: rainbow trout

This is a new stocking site in 2013 and was stocked with legal-sized rainbow trout in late May. The pond is located in a gravel pit just off USFS Rd. 7740, approximately ½ mile south of the Jct. with USFS Rd. 7700.

TROUT FARM POND: rainbow and brook trout

Fishing for rainbow and brook trout is only fair. Fishing is restricted by aquatic weed growth.

TWIN PONDS: trout

Fishing for rainbow trout should is good.

UMATILLA FOREST PONDS: trout

All of the Umatilla forest ponds have been stocked and should provide good fishing.

UMATILLA RIVER: trout

The upper Umatilla should provide good catch-and-release angling for rainbow trout.

Updated Threemile Dam fish counts can be accessed at http://www.dfw.state.or.us/fish/fish_counts/

WALLOWA LAKE: rainbow trout, kokanee, lake trout

Some anglers are catching limits of kokanee and report finding biters by jigging from 50-100ft. Kokanee are ranging from 6 to 12-inches, and are being caught on a mix of trolling and jigging gear. When angling is slow, try changing up your tactics and using different bait and fishing at different depths. Kokanee will start to enter the river for spawning season and visitors should avoid disturbing these fish or the gravel to allow successful reproduction.

Remember, a temporary rule is in place until Nov. 19 that allows harvest of 20 kokanee per day, no more than 5 over 12-inches.

Fishing for recently stocked and holdover rainbow trout has been good with a number of anglers catching limits regularly. The lake has recently been stocked with catchable and trophy rainbows. A few anglers are targeting lake trout and finding a fair number of fish. Recent reports indicate a few fish over 20 pounds have been caught with one pushing the 30 pound mark.

The Wallowa River above the lake closed up to the falls on the west fork and the PPL intake on the east fork as of Aug. 31 to protect spawning kokanee.

WALLOWA RIVER: trout, whitefish

The Wallowa River is open for trout and whitefish. Fish generally ranged from 8 to 15-inches with a few rare fish pushing that 20-inch mark. Fishing in the late evening when the sun is off the water will produce the best results. Spinners, bait and flies will be effective. Dry flies like humpies and stimulators will produce into the fall. A wooly bugger fished under an indicator has also been effective. Remember, below Rock Cr. only adipose fin-clipped trout may be harvested. Whitefish are abundant in the Wallowa River and can provide a great opportunity for young anglers and can save a day when the trout fishing is slow. Target whitefish in deep runs with small spinners or dead drifted nymphs.

WILLOW CREEK RESERVOIR: crappie, bass, brown bullhead

Angling for warm water species has been good. Anglers are reminded to consult the 2013 angling synopsis for special regulations in place at Willow Creek Reservoir.

A health advisory was issued June 18th due to high levels of blue-green algae in Willow Creek Reservoir. For local information contact the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Willow Creek Natural Resource Management office at 541-676-9009. For health information, contact the Harmful Algae Bloom Surveillance (HABS) program at 971-673-0400. Also contact the Oregon Public Health Division toll-free information line at 1-877-290-6767 or Morrow County Health Department at 541-676-5421.

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