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Fish with care during heat wave

June 24, 2021

SALEM, Ore.—It's going to be a scorcher out there, and fish will be feeling the heat too.

ODFW urges anglers take extra steps to help fish during the heat wave that is forecast:

  • Fish early in day when water temperatures are cooler.
  • Look for trout in deep, high elevation lakes or shaded streams near headwaters. These places are often cooler. More tips on high lakes fishing
  • Warmwater fishing is also a good choice right now, see ODFW's guide
  • Use your judgement. If conditions where you want to fish seems especially severe (low, hot water), consider fishing somewhere else where water conditions are better.

When fishing in areas that may require you to release the fish:

  • Use appropriate gear and land fish quickly. The longer the fight, the less likely the fish will survive.
  • Avoid removing the fish from the water.
  • If taking a photo, cradle the fish at water level and quickly take the picture.
  • Remove hooks quickly and gently while keeping the fish under water.
  • Use long-nosed pliers or hemostats to back out a hook.
  • If a fish is hooked deeply, cut the line near the hook.
  • Revive fish (point them into slow current or move them back and forth until gills are working).
  • When possible, let the fish swim out of your hands.

With much of Oregon facing a severe to extreme drought this year, ODFW may implement emergency regulations this summer and fall to help fish. You can always find the latest regulations ( and the latest on trout stocking which may also change due to the drought) at Recreation Report / Fishing Report,


Don't take a fish you will release out of the water and take other steps to handle them with care during the heat wave and drought this year. Jon B. releasing a wild steelhead on the Deschutes River, August 2020.

Howard Prairie Reservoir in June 2021. Oregon is facing an extreme drought this year and trout stocking may change due to low water. See ODFW's Recreation Report for the latest regulations and stocking information.




Michelle Dennehy, (503) 931-2748,

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