Free Fishing, Big Broodstockers On Tap For NW Sportsmen Who #OptOutside

Northwest fishery managers are trying to lure anglers to the water with a mix of just-released lunker rainbows and free days this holiday weekend.

Ahead of Black Friday, both Oregon and Washington have been busy stocking lakes with trout from 15 inches to a whopping 15 pounds, and the Beaver State is also waiving license fees for fishing, crabbing and clamming that day and Saturday.


ODFW reports that it has released 400 broodstockers from 5 to 15 pounds at Blue Lake (Fairview), Huddleston Pond (Willamina), Junction City Pond, Sheridan Pond, Timber Linn Pond (Albany) and Walter Wirth Lake (Salem) over the past two weeks.

Timber Linn and Walter Wirth were also on the receiving end of a mess of 1-pounders, as were Canby, Cottage Grove, Junction City, Mt. Hood (Gresham) and West Salish (Fairview) Ponds.

If you prefer clams, Friday and Saturday evenings will see minus tides on Yaquina and other bays. Just remember that Clatsop County beaches are closed for razor clams until next March and that crabbing is closed from Cape Blanco to California, but open inside bays up the rest of the coast.

North of the Columbia, WDFW was releasing trout from 15 inches to 3 pounds at American, Battle Ground, Black, Kress, Long, Offut, Rowland and Tanwax Lakes and Cases, Fort Borst, Klineline, North Elton and South Lewis County Park Ponds specifically for the day after Thanksgiving.

Other lakes including Beaver in Sammamish will receive a fresh slug of fish too for the weekend.

For details, see WDFW’s weekly stocking report.

And remember that three Washington ocean beaches will see clam digs starting tomorrow.

Yes, the weather forecast could be better — rain pretty much a guarantee west of the Cascades in both states on Friday and clearing on Saturday — but Thanksgiving storms will actually bring much-needed precipitation to the region.

The USGS daily streamflow maps for both states looks like somebody spilled cranberry sauce all over them so many rivers are running at flows below the 10th percentile for this time of year.


Somewhere on the Facebookopshere I saw that the Alsea this morning set a new low for the date when it briefly slipped below 90 cubic feet per second overnight.

Ninety cfs in November?!?!

In days of yore, Turkey Day marked the kickoff of winter steelhead saeson, and on a few select rivers catching a chromer is still possible, namely those around Forks, Willapa Bay and the Skykomish.

In Oregon, ODFW points to the Alsea, John Day and Rogue, but other options include the Ana, Crooked, Klamath and Metolius for a mix of trout and whitefish.

Yes, it’ll be tempting to just ooze onto the couch and digest while it rains outside and the Apple Cup and Civil War rage on, but there’s plenty to do this long weekend if you optoutside, as the hash tag goes.

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