PNW Outdoors

#PNWOutdoors: @myODFW Has Area Waters Stocked & Ready To Rock

EUGENE – With the impending extreme heat wave event this weekend, many are already crowding highways headed to the coast as parking lots emptied from many office buildings after lunch today.

Finding an open hotel with a vacancy is likely an effort in futility at this point well into Friday afternoon as we write this, but no need to worry, we checked in with the folks at the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife who say there will be plenty to do here at home.

Here in Eugene at Alton Baker, trout were stocked the week of June 14 and according to the department, again Wednesday, June 23. This week they planted over 1700 trout with 200 trophy-sized fish. Though before this week’s stocking below, anglers spotted several 14-18 inch trout holding in the pond next to the radio towers in the upper canal.

For best results fish before 10:00 a.m. as the trout are forced to hide in the heat of the day. Olive woolly buggers did okay, but most fly fisherman were matching the ones buzzing around their heads. Panther Martins and various spoons have been effective, though trolling can be an exercise in patience with the invasive plants now into June growth cycles.

The larger fish preferred the trolled presentation.

About and hour and a half outside Springfield, Leaburg Lake along the McKenzie River was just stocked with several thousand catchables along with with the river above and below the dam.

If you’ve fished into the sunset at Leaburg, you may have noticed department employees working a fish ladder. They are sorting wild and hatchery brood stock, releasing the wild fish safely above the dam.

Several anglers were spotted tossing spinners inside the orange buoy line above the dam where the ladder releases fish, but anglers were told (and you should be aware) that is not allowed. There is plenty of bank access with picnic tables next to the parking lot and down along the walking path to a fishing dock that leads a little further up river from the dam.

The best fishing is via kayak or drift boat trolling spoons and spinners. If paddling across the length in front of the orange buoys, larger fish will rise from the dark as you turn to go back upriver. Be mindful not to float into buoy line as you reel in your catch, which can take longer with the larger fish.

Make sure to check the different regulations for each body of water, they do vary.

While fishing near the launch can be effective, it is often very crowded. Troll upriver, but notice there are a few tree stumps as you zig zag across. Best bet is to have the drag set super light, so you won’t snap off your favorite spoon.

ODFW says Desert Springs Trout Farm will handle stocking through the summer until September.

Here in town there are more than just trout to target, with several nice bass and crappie holes in the Willamette River. Portions of the river in town will be clogged with part floaters, so keep that in mind as well. After lunch you might as well float for fun, the fish will be less active as the heat rises this weekend.

You can always try the largest body of water around town, Fern Ridge. While the stretch near Highway 126 is muddy, the bass don’t care. Top water poppers and dry flies do very well along the shoreline.

ODFW STOCKING: Catchables/Trophy/Brooders/Total

MCKENZIE R-1 (below Leaburg Dam) Willamette / Springfield 3,800 0 0 3,800

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GREEN PETER RES Willamette / Corvallis 1,250 0 0 1,250
LEABURG LK Willamette / Springfield 1,050 0 0 1,050
ALTON BAKER CANAL Willamette / Springfield 1,743 200 0 1,943
BLUE RIVER RES Willamette / Springfield 3,400 50 0 3,450
MCKENZIE R-2 (above Leaburg Dam) Willamette / Springfield 5,000 0 0 5,000