Oregon’s rivers, lakes, and coastal streams boast some of the most sought after species by anglers the world over. Many passionate anglers gather around these natural habitats trying to catch trout as a fun activity for the whole family. Trout fishing has become a family event. In Oregon, you are likely to catch rainbow, redband rainbow, brown, brook, bull, lake and cutthroat trout to name but a few.

Rainbow Trout

The most favorite and widely distributed in Oregon, rainbow trout is native species to North America. Rainbows occur naturally in cold streams and rivers and the most universally cultivated fish globally. Wild and farmed trouts have a red band along their sides and variations of colors, often silvery.

Lure and tackle: bobber, spinner, fly fishing, night crawlers and powerbait.

Redband Trout

Native rainbow trout that have adapted to desert conditions of eastern Oregon. The fish have a pink band that runs the length of the body, large, profuse black spots and orange - yellow tints along the belly.

Lure and tackle: artificial flies and lures, a few places allow bait.

Cutthroat Trout

There are two forms of cutthroat trout: freshwater and anadromous.

The freshwater coastal cutthroat is resident in the streams, rivers, and ponds of the Pacific basin. They are stocked in high mountain cold-water lakes. The species is heavily spotted with dark green backs, olive-green sides, and silvery bellies. The red or pink-orange slashes on the lower jaw are responsible for the name "cutthroat". The upper jaw extends the back edge of the eye. The size range is 7-9 inches.

The sea-run (anadromous) strain of the coastal cutthroat that travels into the saltwater for a few months of the year and return to freshwater to spawn in late summer – July and August. After returning to fresh water the fish is bright silver with bluish back and sparse spots. They can grow up to 18-inches long.

Lure and tackle: still fishing, trolling, spinner, fly fishing, artificial flies, and lures.


Brown Trout

Closely related to Atlantic salmon, non-native brown trout are of European origin. Could be found in cold spring-fed rivers and streams, and cold-water lakes. However, the fish can tolerate warmer waters. Brown trout can be readily distinguished from other species by dark spots that are surrounded by light halos and the absence of spots on the tail. Size can range from 12 to over 30 inches.

Lure and tackle: spinners or flies that mimic minnows, worms, power bait.

Lake Trout

The largest char in North America. It can grow to 100 pounds. Gray with large pale spots. The fish-eaten predator is found in deep cold high lakes. The best time for fishing is the spring when they come closer to the surface. In the summer, water temperature is higher and lake trout move into the deepest parts of the lake. This is popular sports fish, eagerly take bait or lures.

Lure and tackle: spoons and spinner, fly fishing, worms, power bait.

Brook Trout

Char, closely related to lake trout, can be found in high mountain lakes and rivers. Brook trout have a large mouth, red spots surrounded by blue halos, dark wavy marks on their backs and dorsal fins. Average size is 12-16 inches but wild fish can grow up to 25 pounds. Brook trout is considered to be one of the easiest trout to catch because they are aggressive and attack lures or bait.

Lure and tackle: spoons and spinner, fly fishing, worms, power bait.

Bull Trout

Listed as a threatened species in Oregon and Washington. Bull trout must be released unharmed and even not be taken out of the water. The species feature is a large mouth, small white or pale yellow spots on an olive-green background lower fins are often orange or reddish.

Steelhead Trout

Steelhead trout is oceangoing rainbow trout that adopted the anadromous salmon life-style.


License Requirements

Whether you decide to take to the river, lake or stream it is important to get an angling license. Youth between 14 and 17 get a juvenile angling license while younger kids are allowed to catch trout for free. You can obtain two-rod tag that gives the permission to fish with two rods at a time in lakes, ponds and reservoirs only. If you fish in the rivers and the ocean, you must use one rod only.


Hatchery Trout Stocking Schedule

Owing to overfishing, predators and other challenges facing trout in Oregon, the authorities decided to create hatcheries where trout can breed and grow safely in a bid to preserve their numbers. Once the trout have been successfully raised they are stocked in ponds, streams, lakes, and rivers where people go to find them. Anglers need to check the official stocking schedule to make sure that they are catching trout at the right spot at the right time. Oregon Department of Fisheries and Wildlife stocks more than 7 million trout in reservoirs, ponds or lakes annually, for people to catch and take some home for indulgence.

Oregon Hatchery Trout Limit

You can catch as much hatchery trout as you like in Oregon but you are not allowed to take everything home. The rules clearly state that anglers should only take home 5 small trout that are between 8-20 inches long. Trout measuring anything from 20 inches and above is a trophy and you are only allowed to take one home each day. This limit is not meant to spoil your fun but rather as a way of preventing overfishing of the precious trout species.

Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife


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