Regulation help

Sorry i am a new and i can't really tell. I was looking for a campground for this weekend heading towards the cost. I Found elk creek campground along elk creek and the wilson river according to there website.

however when i look for the regulations it shows elk creek flowing into the nestucca river not the wilson. That creek is closed year round. So I was wondering if it is closed or not? Page 26 of regulations first diagram Northwest Zone

Also was looking at gales creek and jones creek.. can't seem to find that at all on the regulations.
are they to small? are they closed? can i fish everything will be C&R

I am confused thanks.

Thanks in advance for the help!
4. Tributaries not listed • Closed

My interpretation is that the tributaries of the Wilson are closed to angling.
Agreed. Any tribs not listed in the "special regulations" section (for the NW Zone), are all closed.

In addition, any trout over 16" in any and all NW Zone streams must be tagged as Steelhead. Do you have a Salmon/Steelhead tag? If not, you'll have to release any trout over 16".

Also, most NW Zone streams are restricted to Artificial Flies and Lures bait. But, there may be a few streams--where bait is allowed--under the "special reg's listings.

"Bait" is defined on pg. 8 of the regs.

Good luck.
I have not looked at the regs or maps recently but your statement about elk creek sounds familiar. I’m pretty sure the Elk runs into the Nestucca. If so then I recall that you can not fish it or any further east on the Nestucca only west towards the coast. Maybe two Elks?

Obviously this is the wrong Elk Creek
Last edited:
Matt G
I'm sure there's another "Elk Creek" somewhere, but the creek at the Elk Creek Campground on Hwy 6 (just a few miles above the Tillamook Forestry Center) flows into the main stream of the Wilson. The main stream can be fished per the regs mentioned by others above, but the creek is closed.
OK, I've not been to any of these places, but I checked some things and this is what I've found:

The Elk Creek Campground appears to be located off what is listed on the Regs map as the Devil's Lake Fk of the Wilson; that fork is closed and as others have mentioned, all unlisted tribs of the Wilson are closed to angling, which includes Jones Creek.

Gales Creek however, is a trib of the Tualatin River. It is open for trout this year May 28 to October 31. Only artificial flies and lures may be used, no bait.
regs can be had to figure out sometimes...

regs can be had to figure out sometimes...

Tribal16, welcome to OFF. RWS has it right. A good rule of thumb that I've discovered is that if you are wondering about a certain stream, first look in that ZONE under Special Regulations. If the stream is not listed by name, then the Zonewide Regs apply. For example, let's say you look under Special Regs for Elk Creek, find zip, then look under Zonewide Regs. A person could conclude that Elk Creek, which you say flows into the Wilson, being not listed under Special Regs in BOLD face type, would then fall under Zonewide Regs and be open for Trout May 28th to Oct. 31st, as the Zonewide Regs do state. However, you may have to dig deeper into Special Regs to see that the listing for the Wilson River carries a mention that any tributary of the Wilson that is NOT listed is closed. Period.
Now Elk Creek on the Nestucca is not listed by name under Special Regs. But the listing for the Nestucca is and it says ALL tributaries of the Nestucca are closed.
You asked two other questions. Even if you C & R on a stream that is closed you will still get a ticket from the Game Warden when he/she catches you doing so. If the Regs say closed to fishing it means EXACTLY that, including catch & release.
Now Jones and Gales Creeks. I don't know of a Jones Creek but there is a Gales Creek which is to the east of the Wilson/Trask/Nestucca drainages and listed under Special Regs in adjoining Zone to the east which is the Willamette Zone. Gales flows into the Tualitin River which flows into the Willamette river henceforth Gales is listed under the Willamette Zone since the water in Gales Creek eventually flows into the Willamette via the Tualitin.
Hope this helps.

Last edited:
Ok, here is the lowdown from a Forest Grove native who spends too much, but not enough time in the Tillamook State Forest. Elk Creek campground is indeed located at the confluence of "AN" Elk Creek, just not the one listed in regs, and the Main Fork Wilson River. The little creek that runs along the west side of the CG is Elk Creek and is closed. The river that runs along the south side is the Wilson and is open. If you follow the Wilson east it will bend and go under a bridge. Just past that is where the South Fork comes in. It is fishable for Steelies early and late. Further east from there is Devils Fork and it's closed.

Gales Creek campground is on Gales Creek and is open according to this years regs. But unless you like fishing in puddles you will not find much to do around the actual campground. The deepest hole within a mile is about 2 feet deep and could be hurdled by a long jumper.

Jones Creek campground is right next to the Tillamook Forestry Center and has some prime spots. However, during the summer those spots are nearly always full of people and their pets. I actually spent some time talking to a guy this weekend who was trying to fish there at 8AM Saturday when a group of people showed up and started jumping in the water.

Another campground is Keening Creek, it's just past the Jordan Creek bridge, around mp 17 I think, on the Wilson and opened up this year. The hole below C loop is awesome, but again go during the week cause it's an area flooded with swimmers on the weekends.
troutdude said:
In addition, any trout over 16" in any and all NW Zone streams must be tagged as Steelhead. Do you have a Salmon/Steelhead tag? If not, you'll have to release any trout over 16".

One point of clarification, the 16" rule applies to Rainbows. A nice big sea run Cuttie would not need to be tagged as Steelhead.
Nice catch there HB. Thanks for the assist! He just might pick up an early blue back or two.
Top Bottom