Trout Seasons Past and Present


In honor of trout season opening this week, we'd like to share some highlights from an Oregon Journal article written by William Finley and Ed Averill from 1940, which also celebrated the opening of trout season:

  • The trout season in 1940 in Oregon opened in April.

  • About 13% of the people living in Oregon went trout fishing at some point during that season.

  • The creel limit was 15 fish or 15 lbs/day (down from 20 in 1939) and 30 fish or 30 lbs + 1 fish/7 consecutive days.

  • The limit was reduced to protect trout populations in the McKenzie and upper Willamette, which were already declining by 1940.

  • Tualatin River tributaries Dairy, Scroggins, and Gales creeks were hailed as prime trout fishing locations.

  • It was noted that fly fishing on the Deschutes was often “very good by April 15,” but the authors lamented that conditions in 1940 meant it likely wouldn’t be in form until late May.

An excerpt from the 1940 article about the opening of the trout season, Oregon Historical Society.

With the beginning of trout season heralding warmer days and reminding us that summer steelhead season isn’t far behind, we’re gently reminding anglers to always follow best practices for catch and release fishing:

Before you make your first cast

  • Check fishing regulations

  • Don’t target spawning fish

  • Check if the water is over 68F

  • Use barbless hooks/crush your barbs

  • Use artificial lures/flies

  • Use a rubber net

  • Have a tool for hook removal

On the water

  • Limit fight time

  • Hold fish in or over water

  • Grip fish carefully

  • Photograph fish while keeping them wet

  • Only revive fish that cannot swim 

For more tips on limiting the impact of your angling, check out Keep Fish Wet 

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