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Weekly Recreation Report: Central Zone

October 21, 2014

 Central Zone Fishing

Wilson River Winter Steelhead
-Photo by Ross Henshaw-

Weekend fishing opportunities

  • Just two more weeks before several popular central Oregon lakes close to fishing for the season.

2014 trout stocking for the Central Zone

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No recent reports. The ramp is not usable for trailered boats but there is plenty of shoreline available for bank fishing or for launching pontoon boats.

BIG LAVA LAKE: rainbow trout

No recent reports. Big Lava Lake closes for fishing on Oct 31.

BIKINI POND: rainbow trout

No recent reports.

CLEAR LAKE: rainbow trout

Water levels continue to get lower in Clear Lake. No recent reports on fishing.

CRANE PRAIRIE RESERVOIR: rainbow and brook trout, kokanee, largemouth bass

No recent reports. Closed from 1 hour after sunset until 1 hour before sunrise. Crane Prairie Reservoir closes for fishing on Oct 31.

CRESCENT LAKE: rainbow trout, brown trout, lake trout and kokanee

No recent reports.

CROOKED RIVER BELOW BOWMAN DAM: redband trout and mountain whitefish

Trout fishing has been excellent. The use of bait is only allowed through the end of October after which the regulations will revert back to lures and flies only until May 23, 2015. Anglers are reminded that trout over 20-inches are considered steelhead and must be released unharmed.

Flows below Bowman Dam

CULTUS LAKE: rainbow trout, lake trout

No recent reports.

DAVIS LAKE: largemouth bass, redband trout

No recent reports. Restricted to fly-fishing only with barbless hooks.

Fly-fishing on the Deschutes near Lava Island Falls
-Video by Bob Swingle, ODFW-

DESCHUTES RIVER, Mouth to the Pelton Regulating Dam: fall Chinook, summer steelhead, redband trout, whitefish

Steelhead fishing on the lower Deschutes has been good throughout the season. Now that fall is here, anglers can expect fish to be spread out from the mouth all the way to Warm Springs. Good fishing can be found just about anywhere, but good fishing has been reported from Macks Canyon to South Junction.

No recent reports on trout fishing.

Chinook anglers are still catching fish below Sherars Falls. Anglers are reminded that Chinook season closes on Oct. 31. The river is open for Chinook from from the mouth at the I-84 bridge upstream to Sherars Falls. The catch limit is two adult Chinook salmon, and 5 jack Chinook salmon per day. Anglers should pay attention to counts at Columbia River Dams, in order to time when these fish will begin arriving in the Deschutes. Anglers should expect another large return this season.

Anglers, who catch a tagged hatchery steelhead with an orange anchor tag, are encouraged to report catch information to ODFW at 541-296-4628. Anglers catching a tagged wild fish should release it immediately without recording any information.

Check the trap the seasons catch at Sherars Falls as an indicator of fish movement in the Lower Deschutes at river mile 43. The trap is only in operation from July to the end of October.

Lake Billy Chinook to Bend: rainbow trout, brown trout

No recent fishing reports. Fishing restricted to artificial flies and lures.

Bend to Wickiup Dam: rainbow trout, brown trout

Anglers report fair fishing for rainbow trout.

EAST LAKE: rainbow trout, brown trout, Atlantic salmon, kokanee

Anglers report fair fishing. Catch-and-release for all rainbow trout that DO NOT have an adipose-fin clip. East Lake closes for fishing on Oct. 31.

FALL RIVER: rainbow trout

Anglers report good fishing. Fall River downstream of the falls is closed to fishing. Fishing upstream of the falls is open all year. Restricted to fly-fishing only with barbless hooks.

FROG LAKE: rainbow trout

No recent reports on fishing.

HAYSTACK RESERVOIR: rainbow trout, brown trout, kokanee, largemouth bass, black crappie, bluegill

No recent reports.

HOOD RIVER: summer steelhead, trout

The mainstem and most tributaries are open to catch-and-release trout fishing. A few hatchery origin stray, along with wild summer steelhead, are entering the river and should provide anglers with some opportunity.

Anglers are reminded that all non fin-clipped steelhead must be released.

HOSMER LAKE: Atlantic salmon, brook trout, rainbow trout, cutthroat

Anglers report fair fishing for trout. Restricted to fly angling only with barbless hooks.

Bull Trout
Bull Trout, Lake Billy Chinook
-Photo by Joseph D Cima-

LAKE BILLY CHINOOK: bull, brown and rainbow trout, kokanee, smallmouth bass

Anglers are still doing well on kokanee. Anglers are reminded there are small numbers of spring Chinook and summer steelhead in Lake Billy Chinook as part of the reintroduction effort. Please release these fish unharmed.

LAKE SIMTUSTUS: bull trout, rainbow trout, smallmouth bass

No recent reports. As a reminder, the lake is now open all year.

LAURANCE LAKE: Rainbow trout, cutthroat trout

No recent reports, however, creel studies in past years have shown some of the best fishing in the lake is in October.

LITTLE LAVA LAKE: rainbow trout, brook trout

No recent fishing reports.

LOST LAKE: rainbow trout, brown trout

No recent report.

METOLIUS RIVER: redband trout, bull trout

Fly-fishing only above Bridge 99. Metolius River upstream of Allingham Bridge closes for fishing on Oct. 31.

NORTH TWIN: rainbow trout

No recent reports.


Angling is restricted to artificial flies and lures only; two trout per day with an 8-inch minimum length. Trout over 20-inches are considered steelhead and must be released unharmed.

OCHOCO RESERVOIR: rainbow trout, black crappie, smallmouth bass

No recent reports. Recent sampling revealed good numbers of trout ranging from 12 to 16-inches long. There were also some smallmouth bass up to 15-inches long.

ODELL LAKE: kokanee, lake trout, rainbow trout

No recent fishing reports. Twenty-five kokanee per day (no size limits) in addition to other trout species catch limit. Trout daily catch limit may include only 1 lake trout, 30 inch minimum length. Odell Lake closes for fishing on Oct. 31.

PAULINA LAKE: brown trout, rainbow trout, kokanee

Anglers report fair fishing. Catch-and-release for all rainbow trout that DO NOT have an adipose-fin clip. Paulina Lake closes for fishing on Oct. 31.

PINE HOLLOW RESERVOIR: rainbow trout, largemouth bass

The reservoir has been stocked and should offer good fishing this fall.

PRINEVILLE RESERVOIR: rainbow trout, largemouth and smallmouth bass, crappie

No recent reports. Fishing should be good as the fish are feeding heavily to get ready for winter.

PRINEVILLE YOUTH FISHING POND: rainbow trout and largemouth bass

The pond will receive a load of trout the week of Oct. 20. Anglers are reminded that fishing is limited to kids 17 years old and younger. There is also a 2 fish bag limit.


No recent reports, but irrigation withdrawals have drawn the reservoir to a low level that will limit good fishing.


Two trout per day, 8 inch minimum length. Fishing restricted to juvenile anglers 17-years-old and younger.

SOUTH TWIN LAKE: rainbow trout

No recent reports. South Twin Lake closes for fishing on Oct. 31.

SUTTLE LAKE: brown trout, kokanee

No recent fishing reports.

rainbow trout
Rainbow Trout
-Photo by Jim Walker-

TAYLOR LAKE: rainbow trout, largemouth bass

The lake has been stocked recently and should be a good opportunity for fall trout.

THREE CREEK LAKE: rainbow trout, brook trout

No recent fishing reports.

WALTON LAKE: rainbow trout

No recent reports.

WICKIUP RESERVOIR: rainbow trout, brown trout, kokanee, largemouth bass.

The Deschutes River arm, upstream of ODFW marker located near West South Twin boat ramp, closed to angling from Sept. 1 to Oct. 31. The reservoir is closed from 1 hour after sunset until 1 hour before sunrise. Wickiup Reservoir closes for fishing on Oct. 31.

A blue green algae advisory has been issued for Wickiup Reservoir. The lake remains open for fishing, but the Department of Human Services provides recommendations for how the public can protect themselves and their pets.

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  Central Zone Hunting


See the bird and big game hunting forecasts.

Hunters planning to hunt new area open on Columbia River (from the railroad bridge at Celilo to Arlington) – reminder that most Corps of Engineer lands are closed to hunting.

Wolf coyote identificationWolves and coyotes can look alike

Most wolves in the state today are in northeast Oregon but a few have dispersed further west and south. Wolves are protected by state and/or federal law and it is unlawful to shoot them. Coyote hunters need to take extra care to identify their target as wolves can look like coyotes, especially wolf pups in the mid-summer and fall. ODFW appreciates hunters’ assistance to establish wolves’ presence in Oregon; please report any wolf sightings or wolf sign to ODFW using the online reporting system.

Use the Oregon Hunting Map to see where to hunt.


Cougar are present throughout the Maury, Ochoco, and Grizzly units. The Maury and Ochoco units are recommended because of their greater amounts of public lands and better accessibility. Remember cougars must be checked in at an ODFW office within 10 days of harvest. Please consult the synopsis for all required parts and be sure to call first to make an appointment.

Ground squirrels are active in agricultural fields throughout Crook and Jefferson counties. Higher numbers are in Crook County on private lands along the Crooked River between Prineville and Paulina. Permission from landowners is necessary to access and hunt these lands.

Coyotes can offer an exciting challenge and will be closely associated with deer and antelope during the fawning time of year. Both the Maury and Ochoco have sizeable areas of public lands that provide hunting opportunities. Hunters should use caution, be properly equipped and prepared for whatever the weather might bring.


General Rocky Mountain Elk 1st Season - October 29th – November 2nd: Elk numbers remain stable or increasing throughout the district. Hunting public lands will be competitive during the general season. Hunter may increase odds of success by keying in on roadless areas and looking for fresh sign. Please remember to ask permission to hunt on private lands.

Upland Game Birds:

Chukar and Hungarian Partridge - October 11th – January 31st: Chukar numbers continue to be low throughout the district. Hunters can expect chukar and Hungarian partridge to be similar to last season.

Ringneck Pheasant - October 11th- December 31st: Pheasants numbers continue to be stable but at low levels.

Forest Grouse and Quail – Sept. 1- Jan 31, 2105. Hunters are encouraged to place Grouse and Mountain quail wings in ODFW grouse wing barrels located along select roads in the district. Grouse and quail numbers are good throughout the district.

Mourning Dove - Sept.1- Oct 31. The season is now 2 months long with a daily bag limit of 15 doves/day. Hunters seeking doves should seek areas with open spaces and water.

Note: Eurasian Collared Doves are UNPROTECTED with no season or bag limit restrictions. Hunters only need a hunting license to harvest these birds. Often found in urban areas, make sure you are outside city limits when discharging a weapon.

Black Bear
Black Bear
-Oregon Fish and Wildlife-

General Bear – Open August 1st through November 30st. Bears are focusing on adding critical energy reserves in the last couple months before winter. Bears can still be found on open hillsides and clearcuts with good glassing opportunities. Hawthorn patches, acorns, and pine nuts can draw in bears with most berry crops having ended.. Look for browsing, rolled rocks, torn apart logs, and fresh scat. Hunting these areas during twilight hours can increase success. All harvested bears are required to be checked in to a local ODFW office within 10 days of harvest. Please make an appointment to check in the harvested bear. ODFW field office phone (541) 296-4628.

Coyote –There are high numbers of Coyotes in Hood River and Wasco Counties. Those wishing to pursue will find the best success near agricultural lands. Success can be increased if you locate dogs the night before hunting with a howl call and come back to that area with a predator call in the early morning. Be sure to ask permission to hunt private lands. Limited opportunities may also be found at White River Wildlife area, and on lower elevation forest service lands.

Cougar – Hunters wishing to pursue cougar will find best success near areas of deer and elk concentrations, or in canyons near bighorn sheep. Using predator calls in early summer is also highly effective. Hunters are required to check-in the unfrozen hide and skull, with proof of sex attached to an ODFW office within 10 days. Hunters are also required to provide the reproductive tract of harvested female cougars. See pg. 42 of the regulations for details.


A parking permit is now required to use/park on the White River Wildlife Area along with other ODFW wildlife areas. Camping is allowed only in designated areas.

General Rocky Mt. Elk 1st Season: Oct.29–Nov.2, 2nd Season: Nov.8–Nov. 16  Bag Limit: One Bull Elk with visible antler. Elk can be found spread around the Wildlife Area. They move back and forth from the Wildlife Area to the Mt. Hood National Forest. Elk numbers in the White River Unit have been on the increase recently giving hunters a better chance of successfully tagging a bull elk.

Controlled Fall Turkey – Oct.11–Oct.26. Bag Limit: One turkey of either sex.
There are quite a few turkeys on the Wildlife Area this time of year. Look for them eating acorns under oak trees or in wheat fields that are grown for the animals to use. If you find the turkeys they will probably be in large groups. Some groups can have as many as 100 or more birds in them. Picking out one turkey to shoot especially a tom can be difficult at times. Remember: You have to have a controlled K-41 White River tag to hunt this area.

Forest Grouse and Quail –Sept 1- Jan 31, 2105. Hunters must possess an upland game bird validation to hunt these species. Hunters seeking forest grouse will find grouse activity typically increase following recent rains. Grouse prefer sites that transition from thick timber to open areas particularly with a forage component such as wild rose or snowberry. Quail densities increase in brushy areas adjacent to water. Hunters are also encouraged to place Grouse and Mountain quail wings in ODFW grouse wing barrels located along roads in district.

Mourning Dove – Sept.1- Oct 31. The season is now 2 months long with a daily bag limit of 15 doves/day. Hunters seeking doves should seek areas with open spaces and water. Note: Eurasian Collared Doves are UNPROTECTED with no season or bag limit restrictions. Hunters only need a hunting license to harvest these birds. Often found in urban areas, make sure you are outside city limits when discharging a weapon.

Black Bear – Aug. 1 to Nov. 30 – Bag Limit: One black bear per tag, except that it is unlawful to take cubs less than one year old or sows with cubs less than one year old. Bears utilize the Wildlife Area quite often but are difficult to hunt. To see if bears are using an area look for tracks on trails and dirt roads and if you start finding rocks rolled over you know you are in a good area. Finding the bears favorite foods; grass, berries, or acorns will help in locating a bear.

Vehicle Access: New rules took affect that prohibit all recreational ATV use on the Wildlife Area, also camping is only allowed in designated camping areas.

A parking permit is now required to use/park on the White River Wildlife Area along with other ODFW wildlife areas.

Cougar – Open all year or until zone mortality quotas have been met. Cougar can be found on White River Wildlife Area but are seldom seen. The annual migration of deer from higher in the Cascades will entice cougars to follow. Use weather to your advantage; look for tracks in snow, mud, and dirt.

Coyote – There are many coyotes prowling about this year. Try calling for them from open fields, meadows, and pastures. The best areas to find them will be near farm grounds on the eastern boundary.

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 Central Zone Viewing


The Prineville Reservoir Wildlife Management Area (WMA) north shore road opened to motorized traffic on April 15. The WMA offers camping, shoreline angling and opportunities to see a wide variety of wildlife, including deer, coyotes, otter, beaver, raptors, shorebirds and waterfowl. Maps of the wildlife area are available at the Prineville ODFW office and at Prineville Reservoir State Park office.

Spring waterfowl migration is nearing its end. Resident nesting species such as mallards, gadwall and cinnamon teal are still numerous, but will be harder to locate as nesting begins. American wigeon, shoveler, green-winged teal and wood duck can still be seen, but are less common as most have migrated through. Numerous Canada Goose broods have been seen and can be found throughout Crook County.

Caspian Tern

Caspian Tern
- Photo by Greg Gillson-

Shorebird migration is in full swing a few that have been seen include American avocets, black-necked stilts and killdeer. Common loons, pied-billed, eared and western grebe, American white pelicans, Caspian terns and a variety of gull species can also be seen around Prineville and Ochoco reservoirs.

Spring passerine migrants continue to increase in diversity and numbers as the season progresses. Common bird species that can be seen this time of year include American robin, common flicker, red-winged and brewers blackbirds, western kingbirds, American and lesser goldfinches, house finches, mountain bluebirds, spotted towhees and tree, cliff and rough-winged swallows.

Red-tailed, rough-legged and ferruginous hawks, northern harriers, American kestrels, prairie falcons and golden eagles can be found throughout Crook County and are usually associated more closely with open/agricultural areas. Bald eagles and osprey can be found associated with water bodies. Northern goshawks can be located throughout the Ochoco National Forest.

Deer, elk, and antelope become harder to find this time of year as they become more secretive as fawning/calving nears. 5/20/14.

Deschutes County

The first snowfall is unlikely to hit the ground before Thanksgiving, and we are still enjoying warm days, but the nights are cooler and signs of bird migration is heralding the transition from summer into fall. This is a very good time to enjoy the higher elevation lakes in the Cascade Mountains, numbers of mosquitoes and other biting insects are waning. Lake visitors may be treated to the sight of thousands of newly metamorphosed western toads feeding on insects around the shoreline and preparing to head into the forest to find terrestrial homes for the winter. In some instances, numbers of these little animals can be very impressive and you will need to tread lightly and carefully.

As mentioned above, many bird species have started to migrate or are preparing for their journey south. Voraciously feeding night hawks are one of the species on the move, and it won’t be long before turkey vultures disappear to warmer climes. However, many species of warbler, Cassin’s vireo, Anna’s hummingbirds and many others, can still be found at Whiskey springs and other birding hotspots around the county. Likewise, Hatfield Pond is a great place to find a full cadre of waterfowl and wetland species, such as Canada geese, northern pintail, wood duck, American bittern, and great blue heron.

Western fence lizards and sagebrush lizards can be seen through most of the day and can be found in many areas around Deschutes County, which have rocky outcrops. If you find yourself in open areas with volcanic soils or in pine woodlands, look for the diminutive short-horned lizards as they sit motionless near active ant mounts in search of their favorite food; ants. Keep your eyes peeled when traveling on dirt roads in the evenings as snakes like to lie along roadway edges and absorb the heat from the ground as it is released to the cool of the evening.

Be careful if you come across a rattlesnake, common in canyon areas, and never try to pick one up. If you hear the warning rattle, but cannot see the snake; locate the sound and move in an opposite direction. Rattlesnakes are not aggressive and will not chase you, but they will defend themselves if threatened.

Both bald and golden eagles can still be seen at Smith Rock State Park in north east Deschutes County, along with one of their potential food sources; yellow-bellied marmots. 9/2/14

Wasco and Sherman counties

The Lower Deschutes River provides ample wildlife viewing opportunities.

bighorn sheep
California Bighorn Sheep
-Photo by Dan Casebier-

California bighorn sheep are frequently observed in the canyon and can provide fantastic viewing all times of the year. Rams are starting to rut and can provide excellent viewing opportunities. Listen for rams butting heads (sounds like two large blocks of lumber being smashed together) along the Deschutes and John Day River corridors. The best spot to view sheep is from the BLM access road just downstream and across the river from Sherar’s Falls (along Hwy 216). Focus your efforts near large cliff complexes for best viewing.

Many different raptor species can be seen in the Deschutes River Canyon this time of year including Red-tailed Hawks, Northern Harriers, American Kestrels, Prairie Falcons, Peregrine Falcons, and Golden Eagles. Migrating raptors have been showing up in large numbers, focus on high ridgelines where migrating birds travel.

A large variety of songbird species can be viewed in riparian areas along the river also. It is best to go birding in the early morning hours before it gets too hot for birds to be very active. Some common species seen include Bullock’s Oriole, Lazuli Bunting, Mourning Dove, Violet-green Swallow, and Cliff Swallow.

Outdoor enthusiasts should always be aware of current fire restrictions and take extra precautions. 10/1/2014

White River Wildlife Area

Hot summer weather has been baking the Wildlife Area for several weeks now, pushing up the fire danger level. Be careful when parking vehicles around dry grass and be aware that regulated closures are in effect. Entry into all lands protected by the Central Oregon Forest Protection District must comply with restrictions (pdf).

Deer can be found early in the mornings or later in the evening hours grazing in fields and pastures. They will be looking for water to drink and a cool place to retreat to in the heat of the day. There is still a bunch of spotted fawns running around with their moms that are fun to watch. Buck deer can often be seen in small bachelor bunches and their antlers are nearly grown but still in velvet.

Much like the deer, elk will be more active during the cooler morning and evening temperatures looking for shade in the timber or creek bottoms in the heat of the day.

If you can find their food sources in the mornings or evenings your chances of spotting them will greatly increase. Cow elk have had calves by now and the bull elk are still working on growing antlers.

It’s also possible to see bald and golden eagles on the Wildlife Area. Other raptors such as red-tailed hawks and rough-legged hawks are common sights. American kestrels and northern harriers are also easily seen hunting for food.

Lewis’s woodpeckers, pileated woodpeckers, flickers, western meadowlarks, Steller’s jays, scrub jays, gray jays, Townsend’s solitaire, horned larks, and robins are all at home on the Wildlife Area. There have also been lots of magpies spotted flying around this year.

Look on ponds, lakes and streams to see a variety of ducks and geese. 9/2/14.

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