Fishing at Recreation Lake (Trojan Pond)

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The most developed pond at the former Trojan Nuclear Power Plant is groomed for public use and seasonally stocked with plenty of hatchery rainbow trout.

Recreation Lake (also known as Trojan Pond) also is the year-round home to a variety of warmwater fish that carry the fishing fun well into the summer and early fall months after trout fishing has faded away.

The pond is about 15 acres in size with excellent bank access in Trojan Park, located just off Highway 30 less than 20 minutes northwest of St. Helens.

It’s a nice place to stop for a picnic with the kids and a few casts between Portland and Astoria on a trip along the Columbia River.

Recreation Lake gets the most attention when the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife stocks it with rainbows.

This is a relatively small but busy window of opportunity. In recent years, the stocking trucks have visited several times during March and April.

All together, ODFW can put more than 10,000 trout into this small lake during a spring season. Not only that, but the agency has been in the habit of putting a pretty generous number of larger “trophy” trout into the lake.

Use the trout-stocking link below to help you time your trip, because the fishing is far better the week it is planted than it will be a few later.

If you are still learning the ropes of trout fishing, try our article: Trout Fishing: Basic How-To Techniques and Tips.

Most of the trout will be caught out by late spring. Once the water gets too warm for trout here, it’s time to start thinking about catching warmwater fish.

Fish species reported here include largemouth bass and several types of panfish, such as sunfish, crappie and yellow perch. There also are bullhead catfish.

There are probably better places to catch largemouths (see: Best Largemouth Bass Fishing in Western Oregon), including some of the Columbia River sloughs and Cullaby Lake just south of Astoria.

Nevertheless, you can latch into one of these green meanies here with good-sized lures imitating fish, crayfish, worms, or other prey.

Panfish angling can be pretty good at times here. ODFW indicates that nice catches of crappie and yellow perch catches are possible.

Crappie often strike small jigs or other lures that mimic small fish.

Yellow perch, sunfish and bullheads are usually willing biters when presented with a small piece of worm or other natural bait.

From Portland, expect a little under an hour’s drive northwest on Highway 30. From Astoria, or from Interstate 5 near Longview, Washington, pass through Rainier, Oregon, and go nearly five miles south on Highway 30 to the lake.

The lake is on the Columbia side of the highway. After turning into the access road, it’s the lake on your right. Other waterways in the area aren’t as developed and aren’t stocked with hatchery fish.

Vernonia Pond, another Columbia County water you might be interested in for an outing, has similar fishing opportunities for stocked trout and resident bass and panfish in Columbia County.

Find more fishing spots in Columbia County

Oregon Resources

ODFW trout stocking schedule
ODFW weekly recreation report and regulation updates
ODFW annual fishing regulations
National Weather Service forecasts