Feather River Fish Report

Feather River - Oroville, CA

by Craig Bentley

Steelhead fishing remains slow on the upper Feather River despite slight flow increase last week and as flows are lowered again this week.

*The 2015 King salmon season closed Thursday, October 15th, for the water from the boat ramp above the Afterbay Outlet, downstream to 200 yards above the Live Oak boat ramp at Pennington Road.

* The Feather River remains open from Live Oak to the mouth at Verona until December 16th.

* Fishing for the king salmon is closed all year in the Low Flow above the Outlet. There is no allowance for any catch and release fishing that targets salmon when this stretch of river is closed to salmon fishing. The reach of the Feather River above the Hwy 70 Bridge, to the Table Mountain Bicycle Bridge in Oroville is now closed to fishing for all species, from July 15, 2015 to Jan. 1, 2016.

Below the Hwy 70 Bridge, the Feather River is open year around for steelhead, trout, bass, catfish and panfish. Check DFW regulations for species limits, gear restrictions and salmon regulations.

Flows are now 700 cfs in the Low flow at Oroville, with 1200 cfs being released from the Thermalito Afterbay Outlet, for a total of 1900 cfs below the Outlet. The project total outflow is 2200 cfs. The Gridley gauge data showed 1870 cfs at the time of this writing, which is too low for safe powerboat operation and okay for those rowing drift boats. Propeller driven boats are not recommended below 3500 cfs. Remember that release changes can occur without notice.

The water temperature is now at 50 to 52 degrees at station FRA in the Low Flow. Below the Thermalito Afterbay Outlet at station FOW, the sensor remains offline with no current data available. The water is clear green in the Low Flow with about eight feet of visibility and below the Thermalito Afterbay Outlet, the water is clear with about six feet of visibility.

The river at lower flows allows wading anglers after steelhead to access nearly the entire river.

The river is into an early winter pattern with some trout and small steelhead biting best now in the afternoons in the riffles or behind any remaining spawning salmon. Local anglers have been trying for trout and steelhead averaging 14 inches with a few to three pounds, while fishing in the "Low Flow''. Reports of success continue to be few and far between.

For trout or steelhead try side drifting Glo-bugs, single eggs, small clusters of cured roe, nightcrawlers with a 4mm flour, red bead, size 14 Corky, or try soaking roe in the deeper pools, mid-day. Fly fishers can try Glo-bugs, egg patterns, or Trout beads followed by a size 14 Birdsnests, olive or tan Fox Poohpahs, soft hackle emergers and San Juan Worms. There has been some good blue wing olive Mayfly hatches on most days.

Boat traffic is minimal on the river below the Hwy.162 Bridge. Most drift boaters fly fish nymphs or egg patterns under strike indicators, or swing wet flies or streamers when fishing for trout or steelhead in the Low Flow. Some boaters pull plugs or side drift from drift boats on un-crowded days on the low flow.

* Please note that only hatchery trout (those fish less than 16 inches) and hatchery steelhead may be taken from the Feather. Wild fish- (those with an adipose fin) must be released. The daily bag limit is 2 hatchery trout, or steelhead, with a maximum of 4 in possession.

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More Reports

Golden State Guide Service Reports
for Tuesday, December 8th, 2015
Lake Oroville: Lake Oroville Fish Report
Diversion Pool: Diversion Pool Update
Thermalito Forebay: Thermalito Forebay Fish Report
Thermalito Afterbay: Thermalito Afterbay Update

Golden State Guide Service Reports
for Tuesday, November 24th, 2015
Lake Oroville: Fall Bass Bite Continues
Diversion Pool: Fishing is Slow
Thermalito Forebay: Thermalito Forebay Fish Report
Thermalito Afterbay: Steelhead Fishing is Fair
Feather River: Feather River Fish Report