Oregon, the gem of the Pacific Northwest, is renowned for its lush landscapes, diverse wildlife, and rich fishing heritage. Among the many species that call Oregon's waters home, the sturgeon holds a special place. These prehistoric giants, which can live for over a century and grow to immense sizes, offer a unique and thrilling fishing experience. Whether you're a seasoned angler or a beginner, sturgeon fishing in Oregon is an adventure you won't want to miss.

Understanding Sturgeon

Before we dive into the specifics of sturgeon fishing in Oregon, it's important to understand a bit about these fascinating creatures. Sturgeons are among the oldest fish species in the world, with a lineage that dates back over 200 million years. They are known for their distinctive, shark-like bodies and their armored scales.

There are two main species of sturgeon found in Oregon: the White Sturgeon and the Green Sturgeon. The White Sturgeon is the more common of the two and is the primary target for anglers. These fish can reach lengths of up to 20 feet and weights of over 1,800 pounds, making them a formidable catch.

Sturgeon Behavior

Sturgeons are bottom-dwelling fish that feed on a diet of shellfish, crustaceans, and small fish. They are known for their slow growth rate and long lifespan, with some individuals living for over 100 years. Despite their size, sturgeons are generally docile creatures, although they can put up a strong fight when hooked.

Sturgeons are also migratory, moving between freshwater and saltwater environments throughout their lives. In Oregon, sturgeons can be found in the Columbia River and its tributaries, as well as in the Willamette River and the coastal bays.

Where to Fish for Sturgeon in Oregon

Now that you have a basic understanding of sturgeons and their behavior, let's explore some of the best locations for sturgeon fishing in Oregon.

The Columbia River is perhaps the most famous sturgeon fishing location in the state. This mighty river, which forms the border between Oregon and Washington, is home to a healthy population of White Sturgeon. The stretch of the river between Bonneville Dam and the mouth of the Willamette River is particularly popular among anglers.

The Willamette River

The Willamette River, which flows through the heart of Portland, is another excellent location for sturgeon fishing. The deep, slow-moving waters of the Willamette provide ideal habitat for sturgeons, and the river is easily accessible from several points in and around the city.

Finally, the coastal bays of Oregon, such as Tillamook Bay and Coos Bay, also offer good opportunities for sturgeon fishing. These areas are particularly popular during the summer months, when sturgeons migrate to the coast to feed.

How to Fish for Sturgeon in Oregon

Sturgeon fishing in Oregon can be a challenging but rewarding experience. Here are some step-by-step instructions to help you get started.

  1. First, you'll need to obtain a fishing license from the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife. You can purchase a license online or at any licensed agent.
  2. Next, you'll need to gather your fishing gear. Sturgeons are large, powerful fish, so you'll need a heavy-duty rod and reel. You'll also need a variety of baits, such as herring, squid, or shrimp.
  3. Once you've got your gear, it's time to head to your chosen fishing location. Remember to check the local regulations, as some areas may have specific rules or restrictions regarding sturgeon fishing.
  4. When you arrive at your fishing spot, look for deep, slow-moving water. This is where sturgeons are most likely to be found.
  5. Cast your baited hook into the water and wait. Sturgeons are bottom feeders, so your bait needs to be near the riverbed. Be patient - sturgeons can take a while to bite.
  6. Once you've hooked a sturgeon, the real battle begins. These fish are known for their strength and endurance, so be prepared for a lengthy fight.
  7. After landing the fish, remember to handle it with care. Sturgeons are a protected species in Oregon, and it's important to release them back into the water as quickly and gently as possible.

For those who prefer a guided experience, consider booking a fishing charter. Companies like Getmyboat offer a variety of options, from half-day trips to multi-day adventures. Not only will you have the benefit of an experienced guide, but all your gear and bait will be provided for you.


Sturgeon fishing in Oregon is an experience like no other. The thrill of battling these prehistoric giants, the beauty of Oregon's rivers and bays, and the camaraderie of fellow anglers all combine to create a truly unforgettable adventure. Whether you're a seasoned angler or a beginner, sturgeon fishing in Oregon is a bucket-list experience that's not to be missed.

So why wait? Grab your fishing gear, book a charter on Getmyboat, and start planning your Oregon sturgeon fishing adventure today!

Book Your Sturgeon Fishing Adventure

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