This smaller county on the west side of the Willamette River might be better known for its Beavers (as in those at Oregon State University in Corvallis), but it also has some excellent places to catch steelhead, trout and other fish.
This article will briefly describe some of the major fishing destinations within Benton County. It also will link you to more resources on this website and elsewhere for additional details on your favorite topics. Check out the links within the article below, beneath it (including links to productive fishing in neighboring counties) and in the blue box on this page.
For regulations, look to the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife’s Willamette Zone for most waters but the Northwest Zone for the Alsea River drainage.
Benton County’s incorporated cities are Adair Village, Corvallis, Monroe, Philomath and a small part of Albany. Unincorporated communities here include Alsea, Blodgett and Kings Valley.
Listed alphabetically, here are some of the best fishing spots in Benton County:
This 6-acre pond on the south side of Adair Village, behind the ODFW office on Vandenberg Avenue, is a nice spot to catch largemouth bass and panfish, primarily bluegill and red-ear sunfish. This also is one of the Willamette Valley waters that is stocked with channel catfish, and though not plentiful here they can be quite large and tasty. There are restricted limits for several species, so check regulations before keeping anything.
This coastal river reaches up into Benton County, which includes some of the system’s most productive winter steelhead fishing. In particular, the North Fork of the Alsea along Highway 34 offers excellent steelhead fishing up to the hatchery and is on our list of northwest Oregon’s best small winter steelhead streams. The mainstem below the community of Alsea also has some very good winter steelheading. The best steelhead fishing is from late December into February. See our article about Alsea River steelhead fishing. After the steelhead season, trout fishing opens in late May and can be productive. The Alsea also has a strong fall chinook salmon run, but the fishing takes place in the lower watershed in Lincoln County. (See ODFW’s Northwest Zone for regulations.)
E.E. Wilson Pond
This pond in the wildlife management area of the same name near Adair Village in the northeast county, off Highway 99W about midway between Corvallis and Monmouth, is most popularly fished in late winter and spring for stocked rainbow trout. There also are some modest bass and panfish opportunities. It has transitioned to all-year angling and is typically stocked with trout early in the season. It also requires an ODFW wildlife area parking permit. See: E.E. Wilson Pond Fishing.
This stream is open all year now, but limited harvests begin in late May. Bait fishing is no longer allowed here. This stream is located just north of Corvallis, heading in the McDonald-Dunn Forest.
Long Tom River (shared with Lane County)
The lower river section inside Benton County is primarily fished for the same warmwater species found in the Willamette River, including bass and crappie. Anglers also report large numbers of suckers and carp. Bank access spots include Monroe, where it’s popular to fish below the short dam.
Most of this stream is in Polk County, but a section of the upper drainage in northern Benton County near Kings Valley and Kopplein may be fished for native cutthroat trout. There is a no-bait rule and a seasonal two-trout daily limit.
The stream is open to trout fishing all year, but you can only keep a couple seasonally. It headwaters in the Coast Range north of Summit and flows down toward Philomath and Corvallis.
There is some pretty good bass fishing in this reach of the river, both for smallmouth and largemouth, as well as other warmwater species. Check out some of the many sloughs, as well as the mainstem for smallmouth. Most of this water is best reached by boat, but there are bank opportunities, especially around Corvallis, and a couple of good launch sites. The Irish Bend and Anderson Point parks in the southeast county is a spot to try bank fishing or launch your boat. You might also find some trout in the Willamette in this reach, as it begins to transition into more of a trout fishery upriver toward Harrisburg and Eugene. Salmon and steelhead pass through and can be caught in this section. Look for the highest numbers in May through June or early July, when hatchery spring chinook salmon and summer steelhead are migrating toward the McKenzie River and Middle Fork Willamette River in the upper watershed. Also read: Willamette River Fishing.
Fishing in Neighboring Counties
Polk County: To the north, includes several opportunities for small-stream trout fishing for native cutthroats and one with stocked rainbow trout.
Linn County: To the east, home of great salmon and steelhead runs into the South Santiam River and some of Oregon’s best kokanee fishing in Green Peter Reservoir.
Lane County (east): To the southeast, the inland part of this big county includes the famous McKenzie and upper Willamette rivers and reservoirs for trout, steelhead and salmon, plus some notable bass and panfish fisheries.
Lane County (west): To the southwest, the coastal portion of this county includes the Siuslaw River’s excellent salmon and steelhead streams and coastal lakes packed with stocked trout and resident bass and panfish.
Lincoln County: To the west, offers a wide variety of salmon, trout and steelhead fishing options, plus excellent ocean fishing, crabbing and clamming.
More Fishing Resources:
In addition to other sources, the following websites were very helpful while compiling these county fishing pages, and the information there is valuable to all Oregon anglers.
For current regulations, trout stocking, weekly angling reports and more, find links on the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife’s Fishing Resources Page.
For boating information about these waters, see the Oregon State Marine Board’s launch locator map.