SALEM, Ore. -- While snow, rain and the resulting high water levels delayed the start of the winter steelhead season for many anglers, the recent dry weather has brought water levels down and fishing participation up.
To help guide both novice and experienced anglers, ODFW has released The 2009 Winter Steelhead Forecast, an overview of fishing opportunities and management updates on dozens of winter steelhead rivers.
The report is compiled by district fisheries biologists and includes where to find bank and boat access, management and regulation changes, and even suggested techniques for catching steelhead.
The Winter Steelhead Forecast focuses on rivers in the Northwest, Southwest and Willamette Zones that have returning populations of steelhead from late fall to early spring. A second forecast featuring rivers with summer steelhead populations, including all steelhead rivers east of the Cascades, will be available later this year.
The forecast is available on the ODFW website at Winter Steelhead Forecast as are two companion documents. The first lists steelhead fishing tips, and the second outlines stocking schedules and catch rates for many rivers.
NOTE: The rivers in the Winter Steelhead Forecast are organized by Zone, which should make it easy to highlight those rivers of most interest to local audiences.