Home ยป Urban Fishing in Portland: Best Spots and Catches

Urban Fishing in Portland: Best Spots and Catches

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Portland is not only famous for its activism, commitment to social justice and craft beers but also for its diverse and accessible urban fishing opportunities. With numerous rivers, lakes, and ponds scattered throughout the city, anglers can enjoy a unique blend of urban convenience and natural beauty. In this article, we will explore the best places to go urban fishing in Portland and discuss the variety of fish species you can expect to catch.

  1. The Willamette River:

The Willamette River is the lifeblood of Portland, flowing through the heart of the city. This iconic waterway provides excellent urban fishing opportunities, with easy access from various points along its banks. Popular fishing spots along the Willamette include Waterfront Park, Cathedral Park, and the Eastbank Esplanade.

Fish to Catch: The Willamette is home to a variety of fish species, Including smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, walleye, catfish, and, during certain seasons, salmon and steelhead.

  1. Johnson Lake:

Located in the heart of Northeast Portland, Johnson Lake is a hidden gem for urban anglers seeking tranquility. The lake is stocked regularly, providing a consistent opportunity to catch a variety of fish.

Fish to Catch: Johnson Lake offers the chance to catch rainbow trout, largemouth bass, bluegill, and crappie.

  1. Laurelhurst Park Pond:

Laurelhurst Park, situated in Southeast Portland, is not only a beautiful destination for a leisurely stroll but also a prime location for urban fishing. The pond within the park is regularly stocked, making it an ideal spot for anglers of all skill levels.

Fish to Catch: Common catches in Laurelhurst Park Pond include rainbow trout, largemouth bass, and bluegill.

  1. Trillium Lake:

While not directly in Portland, Trillium Lake is just a short drive from the city and offers a serene escape for anglers seeking a more natural setting. Nestled against the backdrop of Mount Hood, this alpine lake is a popular destination for fishing year-round.

Fish to Catch: Trillium Lake has plenty of rainbow trout, and anglers can also target brook trout, kokanee salmon, and even the elusive bull trout.

  1. Columbia Slough:

The Columbia Slough, a network of waterways in North Portland, provides unique urban fishing opportunities. This brackish water system supports a variety of fish species, making it a favorite spot for local anglers.

Fish to Catch: Anglers can target species such as largemouth bass, catfish, crappie, and, in certain areas, even sturgeon.


Portland offers a unique blend of convenience and natural beauty, making it an ideal destination for anglers of all levels. Whether casting a line into the Willamette River, exploring the peaceful ponds within city parks, or venturing slightly beyond the city limits to Trillium Lake, Portland provides a diverse range of fishing experiences. So, grab your gear, check the regulations, and discover the joy of urban fishing in the City of Roses.

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