Trout fishing season kicks off in Oregon

Trout fishing season kicks off in Oregon

PORTLAND, Ore. - Time to dig your fishing rods out of the basement, re-stock your tackle box and head out for some good old-fashioned trout fishing.

Trout season opens Saturday in most parts of the state, although several rivers and streams won't open until May 23 to protect young salmon and steelhead smolts that are still migrating to the ocean.

To check if your favorite fishing hole is open, take a look at the 2009 Oregon Sport Fishing Regulations (pdf). Also, new this year are several regulation changes that might be of interest to you:

  • 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 the Willamette Zone, anglers will now have the opportunity to keep unmarked 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.
  • 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 and Arizona Pond in the Southwest Zone.  These fisheries are open to youth under 17 years old and to anglers who have an Oregon Disabled Angler fishing license.
Free Fishing Weekend
Did you know that on June 6-7, 2009, you don't need a fishing license?  And as an added bonus, June 6, 2009 is free camping day at Oregon State Parks!

If you haven't yet purchased your fishing license, you can now do so online.  There is a $2 handling fee. Get details here

If you're new to trout fishing and don't have a clue where to go, head here for a handy map that lists all of the fishing spots.  Cross reference that with the Trout Stocking Schedule, check with the locals on what bait to use and you'll be good to go.