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New fishing rules proposed for northeast Oregon

August 14, 2015

LA GRANDE, Ore. – The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife’s recent efforts to simplify fishing regulations include several proposed changes for fisheries in the La Grande and Wallowa districts of eastern Oregon. The new regulations would take effect in 2016.

The proposed changes are part of a statewide effort to streamline and simply fishing regulations for trout and warmwater fish. At the same time, the agency has proposed several changes to some popular steelhead fisheries that could increase angler opportunity.

Among the proposals for 2016:

  • In the Northeast Zone, reduce the daily bag limit for trout in streams from five fish to two, and restrict fishing to artificial flies and lures only.
  • Extend the steelhead fishing season to the end of April in Grande Ronde, Wallowa and Imnaha rivers.
  • Increase the daily steelhead bag limit on the Imnaha River to five hatchery fish.
  • Open the Powder River and Burnt rivers to trout fishing year-round.

According to Jeff Yanke, ODFW fish biologist, the rule changes are designed to condense the number of different special regulations, bag limits and seasons, into fewer, broader categories that would a apply across several fisheries. For example, the rules banning bait and limiting trout harvest in streams are designed to help protect native fish populations in waters where no hatchery fish are present.

“On the other hand, the daily bag limit for hatchery fish will remain five fish in most places, including the Grande Ronde, Imnaha and Wallowa rivers,” Yanke said. In addition, bait will continue to be allowed in both trout and steelhead fisheries in these waters.

Anglers can see the latest draft of the proposed 2016 regulations changes on the ODFW web site. The Fish and Wildlife Commission will be adopting the final 2016 sport fishing regulations at its Sept. 4 meeting in Seaside. Comments on the regulation proposals can be sent to




Jeff Yanke, ODFW Enterprise, (541) 426-3279
Tim Bailey, ODFW La Grande, (541) 962-1829

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