SW Oregon Fishing Report

From the ODF&W recreation report:

CHETCO RIVER: Chinook, winter steelhead

Chinook are scattered throughout the river and anglers are enjoying excellent river conditions.

Temporary regulations, except the low water closure (see below) are still in effect. Anglers are entering into the second year of a restrictive in-river Chinook fishery as the river’s chinook population re builds from some tough ocean conditions. Good numbers of younger age chinook will be returning which bodes well for the future, but larger, older age Chinook are still below conservation status.

Anglers will want to take note of temporary regulations (see Regulation Update section above) before heading out. The big change this year is that anglers can no longer fish once they have retained a single adult hatchery or wild Chinook. Anglers can still keep 5 hatchery or wild Chinook jacks a day.

The low flow water closure on the Chetco was lifted on Nov. 17. Last updated 11/18/20.

COOPER CREEK RESERVOIR: rainbow trout, bass, bluegill, coho and Chinook smolts

With cooler dry weather this week, the bite might be light. There should be some trout still in Cooper.

Beginning in 2016, Cooper has been stocked with coho and Chinook salmon juveniles (20,000 coho in 2019). These are often mistaken for kokanee. Anglers may retain up to 5 salmon juveniles in the reservoir as part of their daily trout bag limit. Please remember to release salmon and trout less than 8 inches.Last updated 12/2/20.

COOS RIVER BASIN: marine perch species, salmon, steelhead

The lower Coos Bay estuary has been a little rough from the recent ocean swells but anglers can still catch rockfish along the jetty and submerged rock structures when the bay is calmer. Smaller jigs with a twister tail or 1-ounce jigging spoons have been working to catch rockfish and greenling. The daily bag limit for marine fish was recently increased to 7, which for boat anglers cannot include any copper, quillback, China rockfish, or cabezon.

Bank anglers can still retain one copper, quillback or China rockfish and 1 cabezon as part of their daily bag limit. Boat and bank anglers are also allowed 2 lingcod per day.     

Temporary wild fall Chinook regulations are in effect starting Aug. 1 for salmon anglers fishing in Coos Bay. Anglers cannot harvest no more than one (1) adult wild Chinook salmon daily / five (5) for the period of Aug 1 – Dec 31 from all waters of Coos River basin, Floras Creek/New River, and Sixes River. See specific rules for Floras/New River and Sixes. 

A couple steelhead anglers tried to catch the first hatchery steelhead of the season over the Thanksgiving weekend. We have not received any reports of any fish caught. Steelhead should start to return to the Coos Basin rivers with the next significant rain, which looks to be over a week away. Steelhead anglers wanting to fish the South Fork Coos River above Dellwood will need a fishing permit from Weyerhaeuser.

Trout fishing in streams and rivers is now closed until next spring. Last updated 12/2/20. 


Temporary wild fall Chinook regulations are in effect starting Aug. 1 for salmon anglers fishing in the Coquille Basin. The entire Coquille Basin is closed to retention of adult wild Chinook Aug 1 – Dec 31. Anglers may harvest hatchery Chinook but must fish downstream of Hwy 101 bridge or can angle from the bank in Randolph Slough between sign markers located at the West and East ends of the slough. 

Steelhead anglers should start fishing near the town of Coquille.  Anglers fishing this part of the river have the best luck plunking with Spin-glos along with eggs or shrimp.

Trout fishing in streams and rivers is now closed until next spring Last updated 12/2/20.


It appears the lake is beginning to ice over, which means anglers might not be able to access the lake until it thaws or freezes over completely.

Anglers should check with the Umpqua National Forest (541-498-2531) for information on camps and ramps. Seasonal closures are occurring for campgrounds and boat launches. Anglers can check fishing and water conditions at Diamond Lake on the Diamond Lake Resort Facebook page, or call 541-793-3333 for updates. Diamond Lake is open year-round.

Diamond Lake has been stocked with tiger and brown trout. These fish are intended to assist in controlling illegally introduced tui chub. These trout are catch-and-release only and need to be released immediately and unharmed if caught. Last updated 12/2/20.

ELK RIVER: Chinook

Very good. Anglers have been enjoying excellent river conditions for Chinook and doing very well. The best fishing has been for drift boat anglers floating from Elk River Hatchery to Ironhead boat ramp.

Anglers will want to check temporary regulations in effect for Chinook this year for the Elk. The big change this year is anglers are only allowed to keep hatchery adult Chinook along with their jack limit. ODFW is expecting an above average return of hatchery Chinook. Last updated 11/18/20.

EMIGRANT RESERVOIR: largemouth and smallmouth bass, crappie, bluegill, bullhead, catfish, rainbow trout

The RV Park is open but tent camping has closed for the season. All boat ramps are currently unusable due to extremely low reservoir levels. There is very little fishing pressure here.

For more information on park facilities closures visit the Jackson County Parks website.

Fishing should be good on Emigrant if you can drag a kayak out here. It is ridiculously low.

The reservoir is still 2 percent — barely a puddle. Expect muddy banks with the recent wet weather, but clear weather is in the foreseeable future. Last updated 12/2/20. 

EXPO POND: rainbow trout, largemouth bass, bluegill, black crappie

Weather should be great for the foreseeable future. Day use permits are required. No trout are planned to be stocked here until March 2021.

Bass fishing should still be fair to good from the bank, especially on the most northern pond, and trout are available both in the middle Pond, and the pond to the south of the Expo Amphitheatre. PowerBait and worms work here. If you have access to personal watercraft, trout fishing can be best along the steep, blackberry-laden bank. This area is tough to access from the bank. 

Chinese mystery snails are present here in the most northern pond. Please do not move these creatures and drain and dry any personal water craft before using them in another waterbody. Last updated 12/2/20.

FISH LAKE: rainbow trout, brook trout, spring Chinook

Fish Lake Marina and store are open on their winter schedule, Fridays through Sunday. The lake is steadily rising and currently at 27 percent full. Any hope of ice fishing is a ways out, but there should be some open water available.

Fish Lake was stocked with trophy trout in early October, and fall fingerling tiger trout. 

More information on National Forest Developed recreation sites and campground closures for the Rogue Siskiyou Forest please visit here.

Tiger trout, Chinook salmon, brook trout, and larger rainbow trout are available. Remember that tiger trout must be immediately released unharmed. Anglers are encouraged to report their catch of tiger trout to fish district staff at 541-826-8774 ext 234 or 226. Last updated 12/2/20.


Temporary regulations are in effect that started Aug. 1. The big change from last year is anglers will be allowed to retain a single wild adult Chinook as part of an aggregate bag limit for the year. Last year, the river was closed to fishing. Last updated 10/28/20.

Temporary fall Chinook regulations started Aug. 1. The special regulations for 2020 can be found here.

FLORAS LAKE: rainbow trout, cutthroat trout

No recent fishing reports.

October can be an excellent month to fish the lake. Lower water temperatures and usually light winds can make for a great day on the lake. There is limited bank access, so the lake is best accessed by boat. There’s a public boat ramp is available at Boice-Cope Park. Anglers will want to watch the weather forecast and try to fish when the wind is light. Last updated 9/23/20.

GALESVILLE RESERVOIR: rainbow trout, bass

No recent reports from Galesville. Cooler, dry weather likely means a light bit at Galesville.

The current info from Douglas County Parks is the parks are open. Call 541-837-3302 for information on camping and boat launching conditions. Check out the Lake Level Gage for more information.

In Galesville Reservoir, all landlocked salmon are considered trout and are part of the five-per-day trout limit, with only one trout over 20 inches long allowed for harvest. Last updated 12/2/20.

GARRISON LAKE: bass, trout

Bank anglers can find access at the 12th street or Pinehurst boat ramps and off Paradise Point Road. The lake can be very windy so anglers will want to check the weather before heading out. Last updated 11/18/20.

HEMLOCK LAKE & LAKE IN THE WOODS (Douglas County): trout

There may be some snow that makes access more difficult, but there should still be some trout around for anglers to target.

The USFS has closed the campgrounds at these sites due to COVID-19. Anglers should be able to access the lakes from other areas. Anglers should check with the Umpqua National Forest (541-496-3532) for information on camp and ramp closures.

Anglers fishing the high lakes in the Umpqua District are encouraged to e-mail fishing reports. Remember to only keep trout at least 8 inches long, and only one trout over 20 inches per day. Last updated 12/2/20.

HOWARD PRAIRIE RESERVOIR: rainbow trout, smallmouth bass, largemouth bass

Parts of the lake are frozen over, but some open water still exists here. The road to the dam is accessible. Expect cold but clear weather here for the next week at least. The improvements to the gravel ramp should make launching a drift boat easier, but there is still a good foot or so of water needed before a small boat trailer can launch easily. Fishing for trout with PowerBait off the bottom would probably be the best tactic on the dam side of Buck Island or near the dam itself.

There is a Hwy 66 and Hyatt Lake Rd webcam that may help if you’re planning an adventure up here. We recommend using Dead Indian Memorial Rd. to access Howard Prairie as the road between Hyatt and Howard has much more snow on it. Also, ODOT trip check is worth looking at.

All campgrounds and facilities are currently closed until further notice. More information on facilities can be found on Jackson County Parks website.

The reservoir is hovering at 7 percent full. This is the lowest that any current ODFW staff can remember seeing it. Last updated 12/2/20.

HUNTER CREEK:  Closed to all fishing Oct. 1 to Dec. 31.

HYATT LAKE: rainbow trout, largemouth bass

The Mountain View boat ramp and all campgrounds are closed and inaccessible. The ramp by the dam is pretty much limited to personal water craft as well. Bank access is readily available.

If you can get a personal water craft onto Hyatt, fishing can be very good this time of year, but the cold snap this weekend may turn fish off for a bit. Still may be worth a try. Expect snow off the main road.  Expect snow and some open water with the clear weather the next week.

There is a Hwy 66 and Hyatt Lake Rd webcam that may help you if you are planning an adventure up here. Also, ODOT trip check is worth looking at.

The reservoir is 4 percent full. The deepest portion of Howard is over near the dam, which would be your best bet for trout, fished as deep as you can get. Last updated 12/2/20.

ILLINOIS RIVER: rainbow trout, cutthroat trout

Emergency regulations on the the Illinois River have been lifted. The river is open to zone regulations and currently hatchery Steelhead and hatchery trout downstream of Pomeroy is open. The River and tributaries above Pomeroy are always closed.

There is good public access along 8 Dollar Rd.

Check the USGS Kerby guage which provides up to date river flow information. Last updated 12/2/20. 

LAKE SELMAC (Selmac Lake): trout, largemouth bass, bluegill, crappie

Trout should still be available at Selmac, and with the cooler temperatures should be more apt to bite. A simple setup of a nightcrawler under a bobber or PowerBait from the bottom should work for trout. Trolling can be very good out here this time of the year. Selmac did just receive an additional 5,000 fall fingerling trout that should over winter nicely and be ready for anglers in the spring.

Lake Selmac facilities operated by Josephine County Parks are currently open. More information about Josephine County Parks can be found on their website.

Lake Selmac also has a recent non-native introduction of a bryozoan. Bryozoans are mossy like creatures that usually help to clean water and that are not typically harmful to humans.  However, this particular species has been known to harbor a disease that can be transmitted to salmon and steelhead. Please drain and dry your vessel if you are going to another water body and help stop Oregon’s aquatic hitchhikers!

Bass and panfish are available here year-round. Last updated 11/18/20.

LEMOLO RESERVOIR: brown trout, rainbow trout, kokanee

Anglers should check with the Umpqua National Forest (541-498-2531) for information on camp and ramp closures. Contact the resort at 541-643-0750 for weather/road conditions and additional information. The latest info is that both the resort and the campgrounds are closed

Accessing the reservoir might tough, as well, due to winter conditions. Fishing is likely slow, but some fish should be in the upper portions of the reservoir. Kokanee in Lemolo are considered trout and therefore fall under the daily limit for trout of 5 per day, with only one of those measuring over 20 inches. Last update 12/2/20.

LOST CREEK RESERVOIR: rainbow trout, bass

Lost Creek will be the main focus for lake anglers through the rest of the fall and winter as many of the higher lakes become inaccessible due to snow or still low water levels. The Takelma ramp is open and usable.

Lost Creek Reservoir was recently stocked with legal and trophy trout in late September and early October. Trolling a wedding ring tipped with a nightcrawler and sliding egg sinker above your wedding ring leader is a very effective setup here. Also, don’t be afraid to row if you have a small boat to change up the presentation. PowerBait fished from the shore near the dam and boat ramp tend to do well also.

The boat ramp at Lost Creek Marina and Joseph Steward Park had already become unusable due to the dropping elevation of Lost Creek Lake.  For more information, please visit the Lost Creek Lake Facebook page or the Oregon State Parks website.

Lost Creek Reservoir is about 35 percent full and 1,802 feet elevation.

Anglers can get the latest surface temperatures by calling the US Army Corps Lost Creek Lake and Applegate Reservoir projects information line at 1-800-472-2434. Last updated 12/2/20.

MEDCO POND: rainbow trout, largemouth bass, bluegill

Bluegill fishing from the road can be very productive, and is a great place for taking younger anglers. A simple setup of a small bit of nightcrawler on a #4-#6 hook under a bobber can be very effective here.

Medco Pond is a private pond and access can be revoked at any time.  Medco recently received 15,000 fall fingerling trout that should overwinter and be catchable size by the spring.  To help keep access open, anglers should make sure to pick up their trash, as well as other trash when they are there. The owners of Medco have restricted vehicle access to along the roadway because of vandals and dumpers. If you see someone doing something that may risk access for everyone, please let ODFW know.  Last updated 11/4/2020.

PACIFIC OCEAN AND BEACHES: bottomfish, surfperch

Bottomfishing is open to all depths although the ocean has been pretty rough lately keeping most anglers from getting out on the ocean. The daily bag limit for marine fish was increased to 7 through the end of the year. But anglers must release all cabezon, copper, quillback and China rockfish when fishing from a boat.

Anglers are also allowed 2 lingcod per day.

Anglers may also choose to fish the offshore longleader fishery outside of the 40-fathom regulatory line, which is open year-round. The longleader fishery has a daily bag limit of 10 fish made of yellowtail, widow, canary, blue, deacon, redstripe, greenstripe, silvergray, chillipepper, and bocaccio rockfish. No other groundfish are allowed and offshore longleader fishing trips cannot be combined with traditional bottomfish, flatfish or halibut trips. Find information about a longleader setup here.

Surfperch anglers are having some success on the beaches when the ocean swells are smaller using sand shrimp or Berkley Gulp sand worms.

Ocean Chinook salmon fishing is now closed until next year.   

The Nearshore and All Depth Halibut seasons are now closed for the season. Last updated 12/2/20.

2020 Sport Bottomfish Seasons

PISTOL RIVER:  Closed to all fishing Oct. 1 to Dec. 31

PLAT I RESERVOIR: bass, trout

Angler should plan on cool weather this weekend. So fishing could be good during any part of the day.

Plat I provides some of the best disabled access in the area. Last updated 11/18/20.


Rogue River, lower: winter steelhead

Anglers can expect a few winter steelhead to start showing up in the lower river. One of the best methods to catch a steelhead is plunking a Spin-n-Glo from the bank. Last updated 11/18/20.

Rogue River, middle: Chinook salmon, hatchery coho, steelhead, rainbow trout

Chinook fishing above Hog Creek closed on Sept. 30. 

As of Nov. 1, the artificial fly and lure season is in effect from Fishers Ferry to Shady Cove boat ramp through the end of the year. Bait is allowed in the remainder of the Rogue.

Late-run summer steelhead and half-pounders are being caught in the Galice area and Robertson Bridge area. Between Gold Hill and Rogue River is also a good float for this time of year, as many summer steelhead streams are in this vicinity and fish are currently staging.

Locally-owned and operated tackle stores in Grants Pass have excellent gear and very fresh bait that is specific to the Rogue and to your particular technique. Go check them out and offer them support during this time. A recent report indicated nightcrawlers and corkies have been producing well.

It is illegal to snag and keep a snagged fish, whether it’s wild or hatchery!  Report violations to Oregon State Police by calling *OSP.

As of Wednesday morning, the flow in Grants Pass was approximately 1330 cfs and steady, temperatures in the low to mid 40s and Turbidity at 2 NTU. For those interested in checking conditions before getting on the river, the City of Grants Pass Water Division’s websiteoffers information on river conditions at Grants Pass as well as a link to a river camera. Anglers can check all the USGS gauging stations, which have the most current temperatures and river flows hereLast updated 12/2/20.

Rogue River, upper: steelhead, rainbow trout

All Chinook fishing is closed from Fishers Ferry upstream to Cole Rivers Hatchery. Anglers should be avoiding areas of congregating and spawning Chinook salmon, and avoid casting at them. They are not good eating, let them spawn! Also, please be aware of their gravel nests (redds) and do not step on these. 

Around the confluence of Bear Creek and Little Butte Creek, expect to see the most color due to the first run-off of the season from the fire footprints in the area.

As of Nov. 1, anglers can again use bait, but only above the Shady Cove Boat Ramp.  Downstream from Shady Cove to Fishers Ferry boat ramp, only artificial flies and lures are allowed from Nov 1 through Dec 31. Soft beads and plastic worms are considered bait. 

All boat ramps are open.

Trout anglers are especially encouraged to harvest adipose-fin clipped trout in the upper reach of river. Summer steelhead should continue through at least November in the upper Rogue. Black and black/purple flies have been the ticket for some local fly anglers. Copper johns and egg imitations will begin getting hot as fish start keying into spawning salmon.

As of Nov. 24, 158 new summer steelhead entered the hatchery, bringing the total to 1,222 fish for the year.

The hatchery recycled excess summer steelhead downstream a few weeks ago and these fish are still being caught in the Modoc area as well. Some of these fish are tagged with colored and numbered tags in their backs. Anglers should call 541-826-8774 ext. 226 if they catch these fish.

If you plan on releasing the fish, leave the tag in it, but please try and get a 4 digit number on the tag (please don’t report the phone number!!). Participants will be entered into a raffle for donated prizes including gift cards to a local sporting goods store and even a box of hand tied flies.

Sixty-five coho swam into the hatchery ladder last week. The collection pond is typically sorted on Wednesdays, and new numbers are typically available to the public later in the week. Call into the Lost Creek Reservoir hotline or check the MyODFW.com fish counts page.

For the most current releases of water out of Lost Creek Reservoir, call 1-800-472-2434. For real time streamflow from USGS gauges on the Rogue click hereLast updated 12/2/2020.

Rogue River, above Lost Creek Reservoir: trout

No recent fishing reports. Expect snow above 5,000 feet and a winter weather advisory beginning Thursday morning.  As of Wednesday morning, the Hwy 62 webcam at Union Creek showed bare pavement.

There are no public use restrictions on the Rogue River Siskiyou Ranger District, except for seasonal green dot road closures more around the Butte Falls region for deer winter range protections. 

More information on Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest lands can be found on their website or calling the RRSNF office. 

This reach was stocked from Prospect to Minehaha creek with 3,000 rainbow trout every week from Memorial Day through Labor Day, so there should still be trout around. With folks hunting, you may have the river to yourself!

All tributaries and the mainstem are open to trout fishing year-round with a daily bag limit of 5 trout. Trout are stocked from river bridge/natural bridge area in and above Minnehaha Creek from Memorial Day through Labor Day. Areas around the Union Creek, Farewell Bend and Woodruff Bridge can have pretty swift flows, and anglers should be aware of bedrock crevices when wading.

Above the Hwy 62/234 interchange, the river gradient starts to lessen. Target slower water at the top of a riffle, or pocket water within a riffle, or pools were fish are resting or waiting to ambush.

Flies, small spinners, or even drifting a nightcrawler under a bobber work up here. Pautske eggs on a small hook under a strike indicator work as well, just have some split shot above it. Fishing a bug and bubble will also do well here for anglers that use a spin caster rod.  Presentation is usually the key, get your bait down and free drifting with as little drag as possible. Water temperatures will be extremely cold so get your bait or fly and presentation right in front of trout. Last updated 11/18/2020.


Recent rains have greatly improved fishing conditions. Anglers able to fish when river conditions are good have been doing very good on fall Chinook. The reduced bag limit for wild adult fall Chinook is still in place until Dec. 31. Anglers will want to check all temporary fishing regulations before heading out to fish. 

The low water closure on the Sixes was lifted on Nov. 17. Last updated 11/18/20.

SMITH RIVER, Umpqua: steelhead

The river is running low and clear, so anlgers should focus on deeper sections. Salmon fishing closed at the end of November, which is when steelhead fishing opened.

Trout season ended in the Smith River Basin after Sept. 15.

The Smith sees only light pressure for most of the season and can provide a great experience for anglers looking to get away from the crowds. Last updated 12/2/20

SPALDING POND: rainbow trout

Spalding pond recently received its fall fingerling releases. These fish should grow all winter and be ready to catch next spring. There should be trout around. This area is within the Forest Service Wild Rivers Ranger District and is not subject to area fire closures at this time. Last updated 10/7/20.

TENMILE LAKES: trout, warmwater species, largemouth bass, coho

Largemouth bass can be found in deeper water around submerged cover.  Anglers will want to slow down their presentation with the colder water temperatures.

Anglers can still find yellow perch by fishing the mud flats in about 20 feet of water.  Yellow perch are biting on small jigs or a worm on a hook. If you fish and area for 10-15 minutes without a bite, it’s time to move to another location.

The wild coho fishery is open on Tenmile Lake through Dec. 31. Boat anglers have been catching a few wild coho trolling spinners in the upper arms of the lake. Anglers are allowed to harvest 1 wild coho per day and 5 for the season in aggregate with Siltcoos and Tahkenitch lakes. Last updated 12/2/20.


Some areas of the Umpqua National Forest are closed currently due to wildfire impacts in the area. It appears most of the high lakes and forebays were not impacted by the fires directly. Anglers should check with the Umpqua National Forest (541-498-2531) for updates.

Fall can be a fantastic time to fish the high lakes, but with recent snow fall, some lakes may be difficult to access. Lakes typically accessible from hiking trails and that were stocked in the last couple years are: Calamut, Connie, Bullpup, Fuller, Cliff, Buckeye, Maidu, Pitt, Wolfe and Skookum lakes.

Clearwater Forebay Two can be a great place to fish as well with brook trout and rainbow available.

Anglers fishing the high lakes in the Umpqua District are encouraged to e-mail fishing reportsLast updated 12/2/20


Steelhead season starts after Thanksgiving on the Umpqua. Don’t forget to turn in hatchery winter steelhead snouts for a chance to win a gift card. Coho should also be in the river, but only fin-clipped fish are allowed to be retained.

Bass fishing is likely going to slow with cold conditions.

Trout fishing is closed until the opener in May. Last updated 12/2/20

UMPQUA RIVER, NORTH: steelhead, trout

Access to the North Umpqua is limited with the closure of areas in the Umpqua National Forest and on private lands around the fire. No recent fishing reports.

Winter Steelhead should start showing up in the North later in December. Don’t forget to turn in snouts from hatchey Winter Steelhead snouts for a chance to win a gift card.

Some of the North Umpqua and tributaries are open for trout (those above Slide Creek Dam). These areas may be tough to access during the winter month. Check the fishing regulations to see which areas are open.

Note that as of Oct 1, fishing in the fly water area is restricted to the use of a single, barbless, artificial fly. Last updated 12/2/20

UMPQUA RIVER, SOUTH: Winter Steelhead      

Winter Steelhead season usually doesn’t pick up till later in the month, but there should be a few starting to return. Don’t forget to turn in snout from hatchery Winter Steelhead for a chance to win a gift card. Last updated 12/2/20

Umpqua winter steelhead study

Anglers who catch a hatchery winter steelhead in the Umpqua Basin are being asked to turn in the snouts from those fish. Some of these snouts contain small tags. Anglers who turn in snouts that contain these tags will be entered into a raffle for a $50 gift card. Snouts may be turned in at barrels located around the basin, Sportsman’s Warehouse in Roseburg, or the Roseburg ODFW office. Tags obtained from the fish will inform ODFW on the best release strategy for juveniles to provide the most fish back to anglers in the future.

WILLOW LAKE: rainbow trout, largemouth bass, black crappie, brown bullhead, yellow perch

Expect good weather for the foreseeable future. All campgrounds at Willow Lake are currently closed for the season, but boat ramps and day-use areas are open.

Facilities at Willow Lake are managed by Jackson County. For more information please visit their website.

The lake is currently at 57 percent.

There are healthy numbers of illegally introduced yellow perch up here and anglers are always encouraged to take as many of these as they want. Last updated 12/2/2020. 

Webinar Driftboating and bank fishing the Wilson River with Pro Guide Bob Rees January 20th