USDA - Forest Service Bureau of Land Management
North Umpqua Fisheries

The waters of the North Umpqua are rich in fly-fishing history. The North Umpqua serves as needed habitat for a variety of resident and anadromous fish species, including summer and winter steelhead, fall and spring Chinook salmon, Coho salmon, and sea-run cutthroat trout.

This river is distinguished from others by large and consistent numbers of native (non-hatchery) steelhead in the run. The winter run is entirely wild. The summer run attracts anglers from around the world.

What you Need to Know

Fly-fishing-only regulations apply to the entire North Umpqua Wild and Scenic River Corridor, from Rock Creek to the Soda Springs Dam, 33.8 miles. Fishing from any floatation device is prohibited. Steamboat Creek is closed to all fishing.

Sea-run Cutthroat Trout

The sea-run cutthroat trout population in the North Umpqua River has been steadily declining over the last several decades. If you catch one of these large fish, please release it carefully to ensure its survival and contribution to the recovery of this species.

Releasing Wild Fish

If possible, do not handle fish at all. Do not remove the fish from the water. If you must remove it from the water:

  • Make sure your hands are wet.
  • Do not squeeze the fish.
  • Use both hands to support the fish.
  • Return the fish to the water gently, supporting its mid-section and tail until it swims away.
  • Resuscitate an exhausted fish by gently moving it forward and backward in the water until it swims away under its own power.

Wild or Hatchery-raised Steelhead

Hatchery-reared fish, which are meant to be caught and kept, are used to supplement wild steelhead fish numbers. Hatchery fish are protected in a hatchery pond for a portion of their lives, while native fish must survive stream disturbances and predators. Wild fish are better adapted to survive the wide range of conditions found in nature. Returning wild fish to the stream allows them to spawn and pass the genetic ability of survival to their offspring. This encourages healthier populations.

How to Tell the Difference

Wild and hatchery-raised steelhead can be identified by the adipose fin. Wild fish will have the fin intact, while a hatchery-raised fish will have a clipped fin.

Download the North Umpqua Wild and Scenic River Brochure

Illustration of a steelhead salmon

Chinook or Coho? An illustration of the differences between these fish.

Wild or Hatchery-raised salmon? An illustration to show how to tell the difference between wild and hatchery raised salmon.

Lots of salmon

Steelhead Chinook or Coho Wild or Hatchery Multiple Salmon