Feather River Update

Feather River - Oroville, CA

by Craig Bentley

Steelhead fishing remains slow on the upper Feather River as flows are lowered again this week.

* The Feather River, from the Hwy 70 Bridge up stream to the Table Mountain Bicycle Bridge in Oroville, will re-open to fishing Friday, Jan. 1st, 2016 for Steelhead.
* Barbless hooks and a 2016 Steelhead Report Card are required.
* Salmon season closes on the lower Feather River from Live Oak to its mouth at Verona, today Dec.16th.
* 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.
* 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 any water is closed to salmon fishing.
* 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 795 cfs in the Low flow at Oroville, with 400 cfs being released from the Thermalito Afterbay Outlet, for a total of 1195 cfs below the Outlet. The project total outflow is 1380 cfs. The Gridley gauge data showed 994 cfs at the time of this writing, which is too low for safe powerboat operation and technical for those rowing drift boats. Remember that release changes can occur without notice.

The water temperature is now at 49 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 six feet of visibility and below the Thermalito Afterbay Outlet, the water is clear with about four feet of visibility.
The river at lower flows allows wading anglers after steelhead to access nearly the entire river.

The river is now in a winter pattern with some trout and small steelhead biting best in the afternoons in the tops of riffles or runs below drop-offs. Local anglers have been trying for trout averaging 14 inches with an occasional adult steelhead, while fishing in the "Low Flow.' Reports from anglers have been few.

For trout or steelhead try side drifting Glo-bugs, single eggs, small clusters of cured roe, nightcrawlers with a 4mm fluorescent red bead, or size 14 Corky; or try soaking roe in the deeper pools, midday. Fly fishers can try Glo-bugs, egg patterns, or trout beads followed by a size 14 Birdsnests, Fox Poohpah, Prince Nymph, or Soft Hackle Emergers, in green, olive, or tan and San Juan Worms, in red or tan. There have been some good blue wing olive Mayfly hatches on most cloudy days with the right air temps.

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 swinging 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 Wednesday, December 16th, 2015
Lake Oroville: Lake Oroville Update
Diversion Pool: Diversion Pool Update
Thermalito Forebay: Thermalito Forebay Update
Thermalito Afterbay: Thermalito Afterbay Update

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
Feather River: Feather River Fish Report