Northeast Zone Overview

The Northeast Zone encompasses all water bodies that feed into the Columbia River east of the Deschutes River, along with all tributaries and water systems draining into the Snake River up to the Hells Canyon Dam. This designation excludes any segments of the Columbia and Snake River mainstems themselves, which are governed by specific regulations found within the Columbia River Zone and Snake River Zone, respectively. This regional classification is critical for anglers and conservationists alike, as it defines the applicable fishing regulations, conservation measures, and management practices specific to this diverse and ecologically significant area.

Northeast Zone Regulations


  • Lakes: 5 per day, with a possession limit of 3 daily limits.
  • Streams: 2 per day, with a possession limit of 3 daily limits.
  • Regulations:
    • Artificial flies and lures only in streams. Exceptions apply for bait use.
    • Minimum length: 8 inches.
    • Only 1 trout over 20 inches may be taken per day in lakes.
    • Rainbow trout over 20 inches are considered steelhead in streams.
    • Kokanee included in trout limits except as noted under Exceptions.
    • Unlimited size or number for brook or brown trout.
    • Bull trout angling is closed. Catch-and-release allowed under specific Exceptions for Imnaha and Wenaha rivers.
  • Season:
    • Lakes: Year-round.
    • Streams: May 22 - Oct 31, with exceptions noted.


  • Refer to Umatilla River under Exceptions for specific regulations.
  • No annual limit on hatchery salmon with the purchase of sufficient Hatchery Harvest Tags.
  • Closed unless specified by species under Exceptions.


  • Bag limit: 3 per day.
  • Only hatchery steelhead are permissible; wild steelhead must be released unharmed.
  • No annual limit on hatchery steelhead with appropriate Hatchery Harvest Tags.


  • Catch-and-release only.
  • Sturgeon cannot be removed from the water and must be released immediately.
  • Only one single-point, barbless hook is allowed.


  • Lakes: 5 per day, with a possession limit of 3 daily limits, unless noted under Exceptions.
  • Streams: No limit.
  • Restrictions: No more than 3 bass over 15 inches in lakes.
  • No minimum length for bass in streams.

Other Species (Bluegill, Catfish, Crappie, Other Sunfish, Walleye, Yellow Perch, Sucker, Carp, Chub, Northern Pikeminnow, Sculpin, Whitefish, Shad, Nongame Fish)

  • No bag or size limits.
  • Closed to take and possession of margined sculpin.

Note: A valid Columbia River Basin Endorsement is required when fishing for salmon, steelhead, or sturgeon in the Northeast Zone.

Exceptions to Northeast Zone Regulations

Aldrich Ponds

  • Trout: 2 per day, minimum length 8 inches.

Big Sheep Creek

  • Trout: Open all year, 5 hatchery rainbow trout per day. Wild rainbow trout release required.
  • Steelhead: Hatchery steelhead fishing open Jan 1 - Apr 30 and Sep 1 - Dec 31. Bait use permitted.

Butter Creek and Tributaries

  • Open year-round with bait allowed.

Catherine Creek

  • Steelhead: Open Jan 1 - Apr 30 and Sep 1 - Dec 31 for hatchery steelhead with bait use allowed.

Deer Creek (Wallowa Co.)

  • Closed.

Grande Ronde River

  • Trout: Open all year, 5 hatchery rainbow trout per day, wild releases required.
  • Steelhead/Coho Salmon: Specific seasons for hatchery steelhead and coho salmon. Bait use allowed.

Granite Creek and Tributaries

  • Closed.

Imnaha River

  • Trout: Open all year, catch-and-release for bull trout. Specific sections for hatchery steelhead with bait allowed.
  • Steelhead: Open seasons for hatchery steelhead.

John Day River

  • Steelhead: Open all year in certain sections with bait allowed. Specific restrictions near Tumwater Falls.

La Grande Reservoir and Upstream Tributaries

  • Trout: Open May 22 - Oct 31, 2 rainbow trout per day, artificial flies and lures only.

Little Sheep Creek

  • Closed within hatchery boundaries.

Lookingglass Creek and Tributaries

  • Hook Size: Restriction on hook-gap size.

Lostine River

  • Hook Size: Restriction on hook-gap size.

McKay Creek

  • Open all year for trout.

McKay Reservoir

  • Bass: 5 per day, only 1 over 15 inches.

Meadow Creek

  • Closed from forest boundary to Smith Cr Rd crossing.

Morgan Lake

  • Open Apr 22 - Oct 31.

Prairie Creek (Wallowa Co.)

  • Bait allowed.

Spring Creek and Pond (Wallowa Hatchery)

  • Closed between Fish Hatchery Rd crossings.

Umatilla River

  • Trout/Chinook Salmon/Steelhead: Specific bag limits and open seasons for hatchery fish. Bait use permitted in certain sections.

Walla Walla River and Tributaries

  • Hook Size: Restriction on hook-gap size.

Wallowa Lake

  • Kokanee: 25 per day in addition to trout limits.

Wallowa River

  • Trout/Steelhead: Open all year for trout and specific seasons for hatchery steelhead. Bait allowed.

Wenaha River

  • Trout/Steelhead: Catch-and-release for bull trout, open seasons for hatchery steelhead.

Willow Creek Reservoir

  • Bass/Crappie: Specific daily limits for bass and crappie.

Willow Creek and Tributaries

  • Open all year with bait allowed.
Wild Advisor Pro


The legal advice provided on Wild Advisor Pro is intended as a summary of the hunting, camping, hiking, and fishing laws and regulations and does not constitute legal language or professional advice. We make every effort to ensure the information is accurate and up to date, but it should not be relied upon as legal authority. For the most current and comprehensive explanation of the laws and regulations, please consult the official government websites or a qualified legal professional. Wild Advisor Pro is not responsible for any misunderstandings or misinterpretations of the information presented and shall not be held liable for any losses, damages, or legal disputes arising from the use of this summary information. Always check with the appropriate governmental authorities for the latest information regarding outdoor regulations and compliance.