Oregon’s Best Kokanee Fishing

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Kokanee, a feisty and tasty land-locked sockeye salmon, are among Oregon’s most prolific gamefish.

In selected waters, including Odell Lake and Green Peter Reservoir, fat kokes grow to such abundance that anglers who learn the tricks have a reasonable shot at reaching 25-fish bonus bag limits.

Northeast Oregon is home to Wallowa Lake, which in 2010 produced the world’s largest kokanee, the 9-pound, 10.72-ounce brute in the photo at right.

Oregon also has a smattering of fishing opportunities for other land-locked salmon species. See below for details.

Use these links for the best kokanee salmon fishing in Oregon.

Willamette Zone

Green Peter Reservoir

Additional zone waters have fair kokanee fishing and can be found on this page: Best Kokanee Fishing Outside Central Oregon

Central Zone

Crescent Lake
East Lake
Lake Billy Chinook
Odell Lake
Paulina Lake
Suttle Lake
Wickiup Reservoir

For additional information about these and other Central Oregon kokanee fishing spots: Best Kokanee Fishing in Central Oregon

Southeast Zone

Several zone waters have fair kokanee fishing and can be found on this page: Best Kokanee Fishing Outside Central Oregon

Northeast Zone

Wallowa Lake

More Land-Locked Salmon in Oregon

Chinook and Coho

Landlocked versions of these popular migratory species are available in several west-slope Cascade Mountain reservoirs in Willamette and Southwest zones.

In most cases, they are a secondary fishery behind to more abundant trout and/or kokanee found in these same waters.

See some of your options for catching land-locked Chinook salmon with our articles covering fishing at Detroit Lake, Green Peter Reservoir and Hills Creek Reservoir, all in the Willamette Valley, and Applegate LakeFish Lake and Lost Creek Lake in Southern Oregon.

Cooper Creek Reservoir near Sutherlin in Douglas County (north of Roseburg) is a spot where you might catch land-locked coho salmon.

Note: To find abundant anadromous (ocean-going) runs of these large salmon, start here: Oregon Salmon Fishing page.

Atlantic Salmon

Formerly stocked on a limited basis, most famously in Hosmer Lake (a fly-fishing only location) Oregon has now discontinued its Atlantic salmon stocking programs and there are few if any remaining in these lakes.

Return to Best Fishing in Oregon page

For month-by-month ideas of when and where salmon and other types of fishing are best, see our Oregon Fishing Calendar.

For regulation information, consult the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife’s annual regulations booklet or website.