This five-acre pond in Willamina in western Yamhill County is most enthusiastically fished for the hatchery rainbow trout that Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife plants here during the cooler months.
A former mill pond previously known as Hampton Pond, the park pond also offers a modest fishery for largemouth bass, crappie, sunfish and bullhead catfish.
This is one of the Willamette Valley fishing holes that the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife stocks during the winter months to provide some good off-season fishing during those pleasant breaks in the weather.
Many years the stocking trucks first appear in December or January and continue dropping off fish here throughout much of the winter and spring.
The numbers of fish planted here aren’t always huge, but this is a small water and angling is very good when there are trout to be had. Some of the recent plantings planned here seem more generous than in past years.
Plus, some of the trout stocked here likely will be the larger-sized “trophy” fish. See our stocking schedule below, which is based on ODFW’s annual stocking plan.
Just remember that the schedule can be altered for various reasons, and often without the schedule itself being changed. We always recommend checking the weekly recreation report (linked below) for more recent updates.
Without a doubt, trout fishing will be best shortly after plantings. Those first few days up to about a week from stocking can be red hot, with limits fairly easy to come by.
Expect that action to slow considerably once you get a few weeks beyond the most recent stocking, although persistence can still pay off with some trout on the stringer as long as the water temperature remains cool.
The usual trout-fishing tactics will all work here, with many anglers opting to fish with prepared bait including PowerBait, scented marshmallows and cured salmon eggs.
Natural baits including nightcrawler also will certainly catch trout and may entice other species of fish as well.
Bait-fishing more often results in deeply swallowed hooks that are often fatal to trout, which are more fragile than many types of fish.
So if you want to release your catch for the next anglers to come by, consider using artificial lures and flies, which often result in lip-hooked fish that are simple to release without much handling.
Casting and retrieving lures such as spinners and spoons will catch hatchery rainbow trout, which can be aggressive but not too savvy.
Fly anglers can get in on the act as well, appealing to rainbows’ natural instincts to feed on insects.
Even without a fly rod and reel, conventional anglers can fish artificial flies with a casting bubble or drag sinking streamers slowly behind a kayak or float tube. I often add a very small weight a couple feet above a sinking fly if trout aren’t taking it just below the surface.
For more detail on top methods, check out Trout Fishing: Basic How-To Techniques and Tips.
Don’t expect to catch trout here once summer weather heats the water and most trout have been caught out. Any that somehow avoided anglers likely would not survive warming water temperatures experienced in most shallow Willamette Valley ponds without cold water supplies.
Bass and Panfish
Summer is the time to turn to bass lures, crappie jigs and worms and other natural baits to fool the bass and panfish that are year-round residents but bite most aggressively in warmer weather, starting in mid-spring and tapering off when the leaves start changing color.
Bass often strike lures that resemble smaller fish, crayfish and frogs. They also will aggressively attack lures that put them on the defensive, like spinnerbaits, especially if they are protecting shallow-water nests during the spring spawning season.
Check out our full guide to simple bass fishing techniques and tips for more pointers.
Crappie most reliably chase small lures that look like minnows. Crappie jigs are the classic technique, but many methods also will catch crappie.
Bluegill are among the easiest summertime fish to catch with simple techniques, including just a worm on a hook fished below a bobber.
Take off the bobber to fish a worm on the bottom, where you’ll likely catch bullhead catfish or just about any species of fish in the pond.
Location and Access
Bank access is very good here for all kinds of anglers, including kids and other beginners. Some shoreline also is accessible for people with disabilities.
There is a unimproved boat ramp as well for people who want to launch a small watercraft, which can help you reach more fish. But shore fishing is popular here and catches are good soon after each significant planting.
Huddleston Pond is about a 20-minute drive heading southwest on Highway 18 from McMinnville, and a reasonable drive from the Salem and Portland areas.
From the highway, take Exit 34 at Sheridan, and then continue west on Oregon 18 Business (Sheridan-Willamina Highway) for another five miles to the park, which will be on your left as you’re coming into Willamina.
When you’re out this way during trout-stocking season, another fair bet is Sheridan Pond, near the federal prison just across Highway 18 from Sheridan.
2023 Huddleston Pond Fishing Trout Stocking
|Jan. 9 – 13||232|
|Feb. 27 – Mar. 3||1,001|
|Mar. 6 – 10||466|
|Mar. 27 – 31||932|
|Apr. 3 – 7||25*|
|Apr. 17 – 21||3,088*|
|Apr. 24 – 28||732|
|May 1 – 5||25*|
|May 8 – 12||800|
|May 29 – Jun. 2||1,957*|
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.
Find more fishing spots in Yamhill County
ODFW Weekly Fishing Report
ODFW Trout Stocking Schedule
Oregon Fishing Regulations
National Weather Service