Fishing Report for April 13, 2012 / ODFW

April 13, 2012 12:28 pm

Steelhead season coming to a close 


Weekend fishing opportunities

Last call for steelhead fishing on the Imnaha and Wallowa rivers. The season closes Sunday, but in the meantime water levels and fishing have improved significantly.

Hatrock, McNary and Tatone ponds have been stocked with trout and fishing should be good.

Surplus steelhead have been stocked in Peach and Roulet ponds.


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Most of the hatchery steelhead have moved out of the Lower Grande Ronde and into the Wallowa River near hatchery facilities. High water also persists in both the Oregon and Washington sections. Fish are still being caught in the vicinity of Washington hatchery facilities, but steelhead are scarce in the Oregon sections. We expect Grande Ronde flows
will remain challenging for anglers this week.

IMNAHA RIVER:  steelhead

This week is the last chance for to get your steelhead fix for the spring, as steelhead season will close this Sunday, April 15. Fishing improved greatly this past week with declining rivers flows. This past weekend, anglers reported catch rates around 3 hours/fish. Steelhead are well-distributed throughout the Imnaha fishery right now, and fish can be caught from the mouth upstream into Big Sheep Creek. With warm weather and precipitation in the forecast for this week, anglers should check rivers flows before planning a trip to the Imnaha. With steelhead returning to hatchery facilities, anglers should also try and wet a line in Big Sheep Creek. Big Sheep Creek is open for steelhead fishing from the mouth to Little Sheep Creek, and the upper two miles are open to the public thanks to the Nature Conservancy.

MORGAN LAKE: trout, bullheads, bass

Currently closed but will be open for fishing on April 28.     

OLIVE LAKE: rainbow and kokanee

Access to Olive Lake remains blocked by snow.

PEACH POND (Ladd Marsh): rainbow trout

Surplus steelhead have been put in the pond. These are treated as trout so only one over 20 inches may be kept. Legal trout also will be stocked the week of April 16. A parking permit is required to be on the Ladd Marsh Wildlife Area. See link below for more information.

WALLOWA LAKE: rainbow trout, kokanee, lake trout

Anglers are still finding some kokanee and holdover trout near the south end of the lake.  Boaters should be aware that boat docks at the south and north ends of the lake are currently out of the season. With a strong wind, launching and landing boats may hazardous. Please be aware of weather conditions before planning a trip.

WALLOWA RIVER:  steelhead

This week is the last chance for to get your steelhead fix for the spring, as steelhead season will close this Sunday. Steelhead are well-distributed in the Wallowa River between Minam State Park and Enterprise, and are moving into hatchery facilities at Big Canyon and Wallowa Hatchery. Lower river flows over the weekend produced better fishing, as anglers reported catch rates of 7.2 hours/fish. Warm weather and precipitation is in this week’s forecast, so anglers should be prepared for another ‘bump’ of water.



BROWNLEE RESERVOIR: crappie, bass, perch, catfish, bluegill, trout

Water levels are dropping and the only ramp available as of April 9 is Woodhead.  Crappie were biting at Holcomb Park in the Brownlee Arm before the water levels got too low to lauch, so may still be good if you can access the water. 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.

Call the Idaho Power Company’s recording at 1-800-422-3143 to get information on access at recreational sites or visit their website

OXBOW RESERVOIR: trout, crappie, bass, catfish

No recent report.

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 

Steelhead fishing is fair to good.  

Trout fishing has been fair.  

SNAKE RIVER (Above Brownlee Reservoir): channel catfish, flathead catfish, smallmouth bass

Fishing for catfish and smallmouth bass is slow. Flows at the Nyssa gauge averaged 25,043 cubic feet per second and flows at the Weiser gauge averaged 32,841 cubic feet per second (April 8). Water temperature of the Snake River near Weiser was 48˚F (April 8). Boaters should continue to use caution the Snake River is high and turbid—old debris remains in the river channel and new debris maybe enter the river from tributaries.




The reservoir is ice-free. Sampling on Phillips Reservoir shows nice sized trout (12-14 inches). Legal-sized trout also
will be stocked the week of the 16.
Perch are currently spawning close to shore.

PILCHER RESERVOIR: trout, crappie

Currently closed but will be open for fishing April 28.

POWDER RIVER: trout, spring chinook

Catch-and-release for trout is allowed using flies and lures only from Hughes Lane Bridge in Baker City, upstream to Mason Dam. The remaining portions of the Powder River are closed.


Trout fishing has picked up again with 9 to 19-inch fish being common. Some recent sampling showed some 11-13 inch perch in the reservoir as well.  

UNITY RESERVOIR: trout, bass, crappie

Reservoir is ice free. Fishing should be good for trout.

WOLF CREEK RESERVOIR: crappie, trout

Reservoir is ice free. Should be good for rainbow trout.