Walleye population increasing in the Upper Willamette

A growing Walleye population could spell trouble for salmon, trout and steelhead in the Upper Willamette River. Walleye, invasive predators from the Midwest, have been found as far upriver as Lookout Reservoir.

Biologists say it is improbable that the fish moved upstream from past the Dexter and Lookout Dams, but instead were likely introduced by local jackasses. According to the Register-Guard, biologists estimate 300-900 walleye have migrated past the fish trap at Lookout Dam between mid-November and the end of January.

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4 Responses to Walleye population increasing in the Upper Willamette

  1. Jeremy cooper says:

    I understand they are bad news for spring salmon but is there any chance i could catch one? and if i did could i keep it?I would gladly go catch em all for ya. deos anyone know where i should fish for them and how i would go about doing so?

  2. Gary G. says:


    No limit. • No minimum length.
    • Angling restricted to artificial flies and lures in streams. See exceptions
    under Special Regulations where use of bait is allowed.
    Lakes: Open all year.
    Streams: Open during trout, salmon or steelhead
    seasons, except mainstem Willamette River and sloughs
    and tidewater areas of Columbia River tributaries
    downstream from Bonneville Dam are
    open all year.
    No special regulations for Dexter or Lookout. Below Willamette Falls to the mouth there are limits, as follows. 10 walleye per day, no more than 5 per day over 18 inches and only one may be over 24 inches, 2 daily limits in possession.

    from Oregon fish regulations book in the Willamette Zone.

  3. Tom says:

    I live in the Newberg area of the Willamette river anyone know for sure if walleye are present in that system

  4. Keith Mainwaring says:

    I am to understand that the entire Willamette river has them. They have followed the Salmon and Steelhead upstream for years. I have caught walleyes at Harrisburg and Junction City in the 1990’s. There has been some real nice walleyes caught below Dexter for the last 3 years, some over 8 pounds. I have even heard of a few walleyes being caught out of Fern Ridge. ODFW saying that someone else planted them is what they always say until it becomes a profitable fishery, and then they claim they did it. ODFW did the same thing with the Largemouth bass in the central Oregon lakes. Walleyes are not any easy fish to catch but sure a tasty on the dinner table. Look for deep holes with ambush points, using worms or smallmouth bass lures will help your success.

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