Catch of the Day: Ron Harrod, from the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, releases a brightly-colored steelhead into Roulett Pond northeast of Elgin. After hatchery quotas are met, more than 260 hatchery-born steelhead are released in area ponds to provide additional fishing opportunities. Fisherman can log onto the ODFW website to learn of planned releases. JIM WARD photo
May can be an excellent time to go trout fishing
Weekend fishing opportunities
Several area lakes and ponds have been stocked this spring. Combine that with holdover trout from last season and this can be an excellent time to go trout fishing.
Kokanee fishing on Wallowa Lake continues to be variable, while anglers are starting to pick up some holdover rainbow trout and some nice lake trout.
GRANDE RONDE RIVER:
The steelhead season closed April 15. The Grande Ronde River will reopen for fishing on May 26.
IMNAHA RIVER: steelhead
The steelhead season closed April 15. The Imnaha River will reopen for fishing on May 26.
MORGAN LAKE: trout, bullheads, bass
Brown bullhead were the catch of the day at the recent opening day fishing derby.
PEACH POND (Ladd Marsh): rainbow trout legal and trophy-sized trout will be stocked for the family fishing event to be held on May 12. A parking permit is required to be on the Ladd Marsh Wildlife Area.
WALLOWA LAKE: rainbow trout, kokanee, lake trout
Anglers are reporting variable catch rates as kokanee have appeared to disperse from the south end of the lake. Some anglers are also finding holdover trout, and a few nice lake trout are being reported. Surface temperatures were in the upper 40s as of last weekend. The north-end boat dock is now installed, but there is no dock on the south end at the state park.
WALLOWA RIVER: steelhead
The steelhead season closed April 15. The Wallowa River will reopen for fishing on May 26.
PILCHER RESERVOIR: trout, crappie
Water level is at 100 percent full. Gillnet samples indicate rainbows up to 16-inches are available.
POWDER RIVER: trout, spring chinook
Opened for general trout fishing on April 28. The river below Thief Valley Reservoir is a good location to catch large rainbow trout up to 20 inches this time of year. The 1,000 feet of river immediately downstream of the dam is open to public access. Do not trespass on private property without permission.
THIEF VALLEY RESERVOIR: trout
Trout fishing has picked up trout 12 to 20-inches being common. Some recent sampling showed some 11 to 13-inch yellow perch in the reservoir as well.
WOLF CREEK RESERVOIR:
Water level is at 100 percent full. Should be good for rainbow trout.
Current water level is at 2,039 feet and rising. Water has reached the bottom of the paved surface at Hewitt Park and boats are being launched. Boats are being launched at Swede’s Landing and Woodhead Park on the Idaho side. Crappie are biting in the Brownlee Arm and are quite large, averaging 12 inches. Fishing is also good for early spawning smallmouth bass that tend to be larger. Some perch were being caught as well. Trout can usually be caught at stream mouths this time of year. Connor Creek is usually good for trout.
OXBOW RESERVOIR: trout, crappie, bass, catfish
Fishing has been good for early spawning smallmouth.
HELLS CANYON RESERVOIR: trout, crappie, bass, catfish
Trout may be picked up at stream mouths this time of year.
SNAKE RIVER below HELLS CANYON RESERVOIR: trout,
Steelhead season closed April 30. The Snake River upstream of Dug Bar to Hell’s Canyon Dam is currently open for spring chinook, but very few fish have crossed Lower Granite Dam. Anglers are also reminded that new for 2012, only adipose-clipped trout may be kept in the Snake River.
SNAKE RIVER (Above Brownlee Reservoir): channel catfish, flathead catfish, smallmouth bass
Fishing for catfish and smallmouth bass is slow.