This 8-acre pond just south of Junction City is a good destination for stocked rainbow trout during winter and spring.
Trout range from legal to larger fish, sometimes even batches of brood trout and winter steelhead that can tip the scales at over 10 pounds.
Warmwater fishing is a smaller draw. It’s a very accessible place to fish for kids and people with disabilities.
Trout are the big draw at Junction City Pond.
The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife plants plenty of hatchery-reared rainbows here, often putting fresh fish here every few weeks during the cooler season, typically from November clear into May.
Back in college at the University of Oregon, I’d show up at the pond on nicer weekdays with my fishing gear and my homework.
I’d bait the hook and prop up the rod while I read. If the pond was freshly stocked, the action was swift, and I got very little homework done those days.
Trout fishing will be at its best during the days to the first week or so after the last stocking and then shift from fair to slow over the next few weeks.
Check our stocking schedule below based on ODFW’s annual plan. We also recommend anglers check the weekly recreation report link below to get updates. We’ve all planned trips around stocking schedules only to find out the truck didn’t make it that week.
ODFW has frequently planted at least moderate numbers of “trophy” rainbows at Junction City Pond. These are quite a bit larger and full of fight.
Also, keep an eye on ODFW’s weekly recreation report for special plantings that may include small batches of extra-large brood trout.
These fish are often over 5 pounds and at times can be 10 pounds or more. Consider beefing up your tackle if targeting the brooders.
How to Catch Trout
As with stocked trout fishing anywhere, Junction City’s rainbows will often respond well to bait.
Berkley PowerBait is very commonly used. I suggest bringing a couple of jars with different colors and scents because the hot bait tends to change whenever you only show up with what worked last time.
Other jarred doughs, salmon eggs and similar jarred baits also will catch fish, and nightcrawlers are nearly always up for the job.
Live baits also will increase your odds of catching some of the warmwater fish species that live in Junction City Pond, including bass.
My caveat to bait fishing is that it’s best to do it when you plan to keep trout. Fish tend to swallow bait deeply. A quicker hook set will help, but you’ll still catch fish that won’t survive.
For catch-and-release fishing, artificial lures and flies are the safer bet.
Kastmaster spoons are a great option here, since as the name suggests, they are easier to cast some distance. Kastmasters are basically a wedge of metal, and they sink faster than most lures and have an enticing wounded minnow action.
I often throw spinners, including Rooster Tails, Panther Martin, Mepps, and Blue Fox. Lately, I’ve been having fun with Thomas Buoyant spoons.
Fly anglers don’t have to be too advanced here, as stocked trout aren’t as sophisticated as their wild cousins.
Honestly, you can’t go too wrong slowly stripping a streamer, and I generally keep a nice handful of woolly buggers to do the job.
Of course, you can use a fly rod if you have the ability and some room. You also can fish them behind a clear casting bubble using spinning gear. Dry flies are fun if fish are rising.
You can’t use motorized boats at Junction City Pond, but some anglers will bring kayaks, float tubes, or other means of getting out on the water to reach more fish.
Slowly dragging a sinking fly or, moving a bit faster, trolling a lure or bait, is often a way to get into lots of action when the pond is well-stocked.
Catch More Trout
If you are a fairly new trout angler, or need some reminders, this article is a starting point: Trout Fishing: Basic How-To Techniques and Tips.
During reasonably good run years, ODFW will plant excess steelhead not needed for hatchery propagation at Junction City Pond.
These fish are often over 5 pounds and at times can be closer to 10 pounds. They are longer and more slender than their brood rainbow trout kin.
These plantings are not scheduled out months in advance because they depend on actual fish returns, which are hard to predict accurately.
At times, hatchery staff bring excess summer steelhead in the second half of fall. These are most likely to come from the upper Willamette River system hatcheries.
Later in the winter, as hatcheries at the coast gather their winter steelhead returnees, they might bring the tank truck over one or more times to deposit extra fish at Junction City Pond.
Steelhead aren’t easy to catch but might bite several of the lures and perhaps baits that you would use for trout, although I’d suggest using at least an 8-pound line (or heavier) and leaving the ultralight pole in your vehicle.
Some anglers have had success catching these pond steelhead using bait beneath a bobber. Typical steelhead baits include salmon roe clusters, live sand shrimp, or a whole nightcrawler.
Larger spinners or spoons can work quite well, too.
Pick up some more pointers in our simple guide to steelhead fishing techniques and tips. While that article is geared toward river fishing, the same lures and adapted techniques can work in ponds.
Remember that steelhead stocked in most lakes, including Junction City Pond, are then regulated as trout. See below for more details.
Bass and Panfish
Junction City Pond has the types of warm-water fish commonly found in lakes, ponds, and some slow-moving streams in the Willamette Valley.
Anglers have landed some decent-sized bass in the pond, especially in the spring as bigger bass move into the shallows to spawn and are aggressive.
Try long casts along the shorelines rather than walking right up to the spot where bass might be sitting just off the bank.
At other times of the year, bass are likely to be in a bit deeper water for much of the day, often around structure.
In warmer weather, they’ll move into shallow water to feed in the evenings and early mornings.
The typical bass fishing techniques and lures will work at Junction City Pond, including soft plastics, crankbaits and spinnerbaits.
Bring a few topwater lures for low-light fishing in the summer, when bass are more likely to hit them. Having a bass explode on a surface frog or prop bait on a warm summer night is one of my favorite fishing experiences.
Bluegill, crappie and bullhead catfish may also bite, especially in warmer months.
Bluegill are often easy to catch with a simple bobber and bait rig. Use a redworm or mealworm on a small hook about 2 feet below a bobber and cast near overhanging trees, submerged branches, and other structures including the fishing dock, often near shore.
Crappie love eating minnows, and crappie fishing techniques involving a small lure like a crappie jig or little spoon that looks like a small fish will usually get them to bite. They also typically hold around structure.
Planning Your Trip
Junction City Pond is very easy to reach. It’s right along the west side of Highway 99 just a couple miles south of Junction City and a little more than three miles south of the junction of Highways 99W and 99E.
From Eugene, take Highway 99 northbound, about a dozen miles northwest of downtown and a very short drive from West Eugene.
From the north, it’s roughly a half hour to 45 minutes south of Corvallis and Albany via Highways 99W or 99E. There is ample parking in a lot on the north side of the pond.
Good trails ring the pond. There’s a fishing pier providing excellent access for anglers with disabilities next to the parking area.
Open year-round with typical regulations for trout: You may keep five per day, at least 8 inches in length.
It’s important to note with the really big fish occasionally stocked here that you may keep just one trout over 20 inches long per day; this rule would generally apply both to stocked hatchery brood trout and to steelhead in this pond.
Typical warm-water limits also apply: Five bass per day with no more than three over 15 inches, and no limits on other warmwater species typically found in the pond.
2023 Junction City Pond Trout Stocking
|Jan. 9 – 13||1,250|
|Feb. 6 – 10||1,500|
|Feb. 20 – 24||1,250|
|Mar. 6 – 10||1,250|
|Mar. 20 – 24||1,700|
|Apr. 10 – 14||1,040*|
|Apr. 17 – 21||1,000|
|Apr. 24 – 28||1,500|
|May 1 – 5||2,250|
|May 8 – 12||1,500|
|May 15 – 19||1,500|
|May 22 – 26||900|
|May 29 – Jun. 2||1,000|
|Nov. 20 – 24||1,000|
|Dec. 18 – 22||1,300|
Stocked fish are legal-sized rainbow trout unless otherwise noted. Stocking schedules are subject to change for a variety of reasons. The ODFW Weekly Fishing Report linked under Oregon Resources below may provide updated information.