SALEM, Ore. - Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife officials today announced the 2009 Spring Fishing Forecast, a statewide overview of conditions and fishing opportunities throughout Oregon. The forecast is available on the ODFW website.
Trout season opens April 25 in most parts of the state, kicking off the spring and summer trout fishing season for thousands of Oregon families and fishing enthusiasts. In the meantime, ODFW has been stocking dozens of lakes, ponds and reservoirs that are open year-round with legal-sized trout and many anglers already have enjoyed some very productive days on the water.
While many state waters will be open to trout fishing on April 25, several other rivers and streams won’t open to trout fishing until May 23 in order to protect young salmon and steelhead smolts that are still migrating to the ocean. Anglers should check the 2009 Oregon Sport Fishing Regulations for details.
New for 2009 are several changes to the fishing regulations that have created new fishing opportunities, including:
- In the Northwest Zone anglers will be able to keep two cutthroat trout at least 8 inches long in rivers and streams throughout the zone. This is similar to regulations that have been in place in the Southwest Zone for several years. The rivers and streams in the Northwest Zone are some of those that don’t open until May 23 in order to protect migrating steelhead smolts.
- In some select waterbodies within the Willamette Zone, anglers will now have the opportunity to keep ummarked steelhead greater than 24 inches. The regulation will allow the harvest of mismarked and naturally reproducing summer steelhead. Summer steelhead are not native to the basin and harvesting these fish before they spawn will be a benefit to wild rainbow trout. Consult the fishing regulations for specific restrictions within the Willamette zone.
- Also in the Willamette Zone, the South Fork of the Yamhill will now be open to the retention of five adipose fin-clipped (stocked) trout per day.
- Several new “youth only” fisheries have been created, including Canby and Mt. Hood ponds in the Willamette Zone. These fisheries are open to youth under 17-years-old and to anglers who have an Oregon Disabled Angler fishing permit.
In the forecast, ODFW district fish biologists have described snowpack conditions, available access for boats and bank anglers, water levels, recent regulation changes, nearby conveniences, and general fishing conditions for hundreds of rivers, streams, lakes, ponds and reservoirs throughout the state.
In several cases, the biologists also have shared the best time of year to fish, where to target your efforts, and tips on gear, lures and techniques.
In addition to the season forecast, anglers will find weekly updates on fishing conditions in the Recreation Report on the ODFW website. Families looking for a good place to take children or other novice anglers should check out “Easy Angling Oregon” (also on the website) that offers tips and information on more than two dozen statewide angling opportunities that are easy to reach and do not require a boat or specialized gear.
ODFW also sponsors events for youths or novice anglers to learn to fish. Free Fishing Weekend occurs June 6-7, 2009. A license is not needed to fish in Oregon that weekend and more than 50 fishing clinics are planned at hatcheries, lakes and ponds in Oregon. The statewide Youth Angling Enhancement Program (YAEP) teaches young people to learn how to fish and enjoy the outdoors. For more information about Free Fishing Weekend and YAEP call ODFW’s Information and Education Division at 503-947-6002 or check the ODFW website.
Anglers are reminded to review the 2009 Sport Fishing Regulations and remember that using live fish for bait is illegal in most places in Oregon.
The mission of the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife is to protect and enhance Oregon's fish and wildlife and their habitats for use and enjoyment by present and future generations. For additional information.