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Fishing Seasons Oregon

Ocean Salmon Sport Groundfish Sport Halibut Sport shellfish Fishery Regulation Maps Guided Fishing in the Columbia River Gorge
Ocean Salmon


Sport Halibut Sport Shellfish Fishery Regulation Maps Columbia and Willamette Rivers

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Fishing Seasons Washington

More information on Washington salmon, halibut, sturgeon, ocean salmon and halibut seasons.

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503-720-9033 E-mail  Request a fishing guide referral



ODFW Recreation Report

Ocean Salmon: For season details about sport ocean salmon fishing visit http://www.dfw.state.or.us/MRP/salmon/Regulations/OceanSport2009.asp

Halibut: For more information on the halibut season, go to

Deschutes River: Anglers can check the trap the seasons catch at Sherars Falls as an indicator of fish movement in the Deschutes River at: http://www.dfw.state.or.us/fish/fish_counts/sherars_falls/index.asp


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Anglers will have plenty of opportunities throughout the state to hook into winter and summer steelhead. This forecast is intended to help anglers identify productive river systems, target specific locations for pursuing winter steelhead, and highlight recent fishing regulation changes.

“Summer” and “Winter” steelhead

There are two main runs of steelhead in Oregon, a “summer” and a “winter” run. Some river systems have both types of runs while other streams may have one or the other. On the eastern side of Oregon, all steelhead are considered summer run fish. On average, winter steelhead tend to be bigger than their summer relatives. As early as May, summer steelhead enter fresh water in a reproductively immature state—they do not spawn for many months. Winter steelhead migrate when they are closer to reproductive maturity.

Summer and winter run steelhead spawn in the spring. Like their name suggests, summer steelhead begin migrating to their birth streams during the summer months. This migration may take place as early as May on some rivers and can last until late fall/early winter. Summer fish generally travel much further to spawn than the winter-run fish. Likewise, winter steelhead begin their migration early winter with some fish continuing to migrate well into spring. Unlike the other salmonids, steelhead are not pre-determined to die after spawning and may live to spawn multiple times. After the eggs have been deposited in the spring, the fry emerge in summer and may spend the next 1 to 3 years in fresh water prior to migrating to the ocean.

Catch Statistics

Catch statistics provide anglers with information on timing of steelhead harvest and also which streams are producing high steelhead catches. Like a personal standing desk full of useful knowledge these catch statistics are only meant to help every angler be successful out on the water. The new steelhead broodstocks being used for many of ODFW’s steelhead program may have different run timing than the stocks of steelhead anglers are accustomed to. The newer broodstocks can have later, more expanded run timing which is similar to wild steelhead they originated from. The catch statistics tables shown below were compiled using information collected from the Combined Angling Harvest cards, also known as “punch cards.”

Anglers are required to record each fish kept and asked to return these cards at the end each year. ODFW uses the returned cards to estimate harvest within each of the water bodies of the state, identified by unique codes. Because anglers are not required to return their harvest cards, ODFW expands the data from the harvest cards returned to estimate annual harvest. Since the 1990s, return rates of the harvest cards varies from about 15– 25%.

To encourage return of harvest cards, ODFW has drop boxes at ODFW offices and point-of-sale (POS) terminals in sporting goods stores, displays at sportsmen’s shows, and issues news releases. To further improve return rates, harvest cards returned by June 1 of the following year are entered in a drawing for boats and other sporting goods.

Return of harvest cards is important for ODFW’s understanding of the harvest of fish. The harvest card information is a valuable tool for managing fishery resources as ODFW balances harvest opportunities and fish conservation. This information is used in management decisions and setting angling regulations. In some cases, ODFW has on-the-ground creel surveys, but these are more expensive and difficult to conduct, so for many rivers, the punch card information is the only tool ODFW managers have available to estimate harvest. It is important that angler return their harvest cards soon after the end of the year to help maintain this valuable information source.

Five-year Average Catch of Winter Steelhead in Columbia Basin, 2001-2005 (jpg)

Five-year Average Catch of Winter Steelhead in Oregon Coastal Streams, 2001-2005 (jpg)

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Steelhead hatchery programs in Oregon

Oregon has many steelhead hatchery programs around the state. Almost all of them have the single objective of providing fish for recreational fisheries; however, some hatcheries are conservation hatcheries which supplement local wild stocks using local broodstock to provide eggs. Steelhead hatchery programs in Oregon are designed to maximize the contribution of hatchery fish to the fishery while minimizing the potential negative impacts of the program to wild fish. Practices that are used to maximize harvest include: releasing hatchery smolts (1 year old steelhead) at a time and size that ensures the highest survival to adult; allowing fish to volitionally leave the hatchery to reduce harmful stress from handling; releasing steelhead smolts in areas with good access for anglers; or using local broodstocks.

Hatchery practices that are used to reduce the potential negative impacts to wild fish include: releasing hatchery steelhead smolts in areas that they can home in on, and return to, a trapping facility (to be removed and reduce competition with wild steelhead); releasing hatchery smolts at a size that they quickly migrate to the ocean and don't compete for food and habitat; or releasing hatchery smolts in areas that are not highly used by wild steelhead.

Winter and Summer Steelhead Hatchery Programs in Oregon.

Rivers where hatchery winter steelhead are released

ODFW Hatchery Steelhead Releases

Release Location Steelhead Run, Brood Stock Production Goals (number of smolt releases)
Alsea River Winter; Alsea stock 120,000
Applegate River (Rogue River tributary) Winter; Local (wild) stock 150,000
Big Creek Winter; Local (wild) stock 60,000
Big Elk Creek (Yaquina River tributary) Winter; Alsea stock 20,000
Chetco River Winter; Local (wild) stock 50,000
Clackamas River Winter: Local (wild) and Eagle Creek stock: Summer: Skamania stock 340,000
Coquille River (East Fork, North Fork and South Fork) Winter; Local (wild) stock 115,000
Deschutes Summer; Local (wild) stock 165,000
Gnat Creek Winter; Big Creek stock 40,000
Hood River Winter and Summer; Local (wild), Skamania stock 150,000
Kilchis River Winter; Alsea stock 40,000
Klaskanine River Winter; Big Creek stock 40,000
Little Sheep Creek (Imnaha River) Summer; Local (wild) stock 330,000
McKenzie River Summer; Skamania stock 108,000
Millicoma River (East and West Forks) Winter; Local (wild), Coos stock 88,000
Necanicum River Winter; North Nehalem stock 40,000
Nestucca River Winter: Alsea stock; Local (wild) stock; Summer: Siletz stock 90,000
North Nehalem River Winter; Local (wild), Big Creek, and Fishhawk Creek stock 90,000
North Santiam River Summer; Skamania stock 162,000
North Umpqua River Summer; Local (wild) stock 120,000
Rogue River Winter; Local (wild) stock 370,000
Sandy River Winter:Local (wild) stock; Summer: Skamania stock 240,000
Siletz River Winter and Summer; Local (wild) stock 130,000
Siuslaw River Winter; Local (wild) stock 100,000
South Fork Coos River Winter; Local (wild) stock 37,000
South Santiam River Summer; Skamania stock 144,000
South Umpqua River Winter; Local (wild) stock 120,000
Tenmile Creek Winter; Local (wild) stock 20,000
Three Rivers (Nestucca River tributary) Summer; Alsea stock 30,000
Umatilla Summer; Local (wild) stock 150,000
Wallowa River Summer; mixture of steelhead returning to the Snake basin stock 800,000
Willamette River, Middle Fork Summer; Skamania stock 115,000
Wilson River Winter and Summer; Local (wild), Alsea, Siletz stock 170,000

Endemic “Local” Broodstocks

Over the past 10 years, many of Oregon’s winter steelhead hatchery programs have converted from conventional hatchery stocks to endemic, or locally adapted steelhead broodstocks derived from wild steelhead. These newer broodstock uses wild fish from the stream in which the hatchery steelhead will be released. This practice has resulted in adult hatchery steelhead returning at the same time as wild steelhead–generally January through April.

In some cases, this return time is as much as two months later than the previously used steelhead broodstock. The use of local steelhead broodstocks has resulted in hatchery runs of steelhead that return at times when rivers are generally much more fishable, and in some cases, hatchery steelhead adults that hold in the rivers longer before returning to trapping facilities. Both of these traits allow for anglers to catch a greater proportion of the returning hatchery steelhead.

“Steelhead Recycling”

In some locations, where staffing and fishery conditions allow, adult hatchery steelhead that return to trapping facilities are transported downstream to swim through the fishery a second time. This practice is called “recycling.” Recycled hatchery steelhead have a second chance to be caught by anglers, although the rate at which they are caught can be low sometimes. Recycled steelhead also have a second chance to stray away from the trapping facility and compete with wild steelhead. For these reasons, not all trapped hatchery steelhead in all locations are recycled.

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