These small reservoirs located in Newport on Oregon’s central coast are heavily stocked with hatchery rainbow trout from late winter well into spring.
During that period, trout catches will be excellent at these reservoirs, located in the Agate Beach area on the north side of town.
These are similar-sized reservoirs, the biggest of which is 20 acres, and impound the waters of Big Creek to provide municipal water supplies for the area.
The lower Big Creek Reservoir 1 is sometimes called Newport Reservoir.
Besides typical pan-sized “legal” rainbows, this is one of the locations where the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife is fond of stocking fat “trophy” sized rainbow trout.
These thick trophy trout fight hard and make a bigger meal.
Big Creek Reservoir 2, the upper reservoir, tends to be stocked more heavily and has very good bank access. Shore access is fair on the lower reservoir.
While bank fishing predominates here, some anglers launch small human-powered craft including float tubes. No motors are allowed to help preserve water quality.
Trout are clearly the main fishery here, but there is a decent population of yellow perch and bullhead catfish that are easy to catch with a worm or other bait fished close to the bottom.
The yellow perch can be caught in sizes roughly equaling the size of the typical stocked trout, and these fish are often under-appreciated but have a flaky, firm white meat that this angler easily prefers to stocked trout. And their fun to catch.
Some largemouth bass and sunfish also are in the reservoirs, but these are of mostly modest interest to most anglers.
Warmwater fishing will likely be the only game here by mid-summer, as these shallow reservoirs get pretty warm for trout, which tend to be mostly fished out by then anyway.
You might luck into a trout or two when the water cools again in the fall, if any survive the angling pressure and summer heat, but catching the perch or other resident fish is probably a likelier proposition unless ODFW plants trout in the fall.
To reach the reservoirs, follow the signs on Highway 101 just north of Walmart and Best Western directing you to Big Creek Road on the east side of the highway. You’ll turn on Northeast 31st Street and then Northeast Harney Street before heading east on Big Creek Road.
You’ll reach Reservoir 1 right away or just follow the road a short distance to get to the second reservoir just upstream.
New to trout fishing? Check out Trout Fishing: Basic How-To Techniques and Tips.