Trout Fish Stocking STOCK

A pair of rainbow trout fly through the air as they are stocked in 2016.

SOUTH COAST — Over the Presidents Day weekend, the Oregon Department Fish and Wildlife will be holding one of its bi-annual free fishing weekends.

On Feb. 16 and 17, folks will be allowed to fish throughout Oregon without licenses or tags. Both residents and non-residents will be able to fish, crab or clam anywhere in the state.

Although no licenses or tags are required, all other fishing regulations apply including closures, bag limits and size restrictions.

ODFW says that this time of year the best opportunities will be winter steelhead on the coast, stocked hatchery rainbow trout in the Willamette Valley and mid-coast lakes, and ice-fishing in northeast and southeast Oregon.

According to ODFW’s fishing report, there are several opportune places around Oregon’s Bay Area to throw in a line.

The report says the Coos River Basin’s steelhead fishing conditions should hold up until higher elevation snow melts off.

At the Coquille River Basin, recent snowy weather should maintain good steelhead fishing conditions.

Eel Lake trout fishing has been decent in deep water near the boat ramp. Eel Lake has some holdover trout in excess of 15 inches long.

Upper Empire Lake was stocked with fall trophy trout in mid-October. Warm water species are present year-round, but may be lethargic in colder weather.

Bluegill and largemouth bass are available at Mingus Park pond year-round.

At Tenmile Lake, trout can be caught year-round, but fish may not be too aggressive in cold water. Some holdover trout measure over 17 inches long. Yellow perch can be found in the deeper mudflats in the lake.

For fishing reports on other local waterways, and throughout the state see ODFW’s fishing report.

The next ODFW free fishing weekend will be June 1 and 2.

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Nicholas A. Johnson can be reached at 541-266-6049, or by email at nicholas.johnson@theworldlink.com.