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ODFW WEEKLY RECREATION REPORT
Fishing, Hunting, Wildlife Viewing
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Central Zone Map

Weekly Recreation Report: Central Zone

June 27, 2017

 Central Zone Fishing

The Deschutes River
Fishing the Deschutes River
-Photo by Charlotte Ganskopp-

Weekend fishing opportunities:

  • Lake will be stocked this week with rainbow and cutthroat trout.
  • The entire lower Deschutes River is now open for trout fishing.
  • Bull trout and kokanee fishing has been picking up on Lake Billy Chinook.
  • Reports of good trout fishing on Crane Prairie.
  • Recent sampling of Antelope Flat Reservoir and Walton Lake showed excellent winter survival with most trout in the 12 to 14-inch range.
  • Lost and Clear lakes are now accessible: Both have been stocked and each has received an extra load of trophy-size fish.

Send us your fishing report

We’d love to hear about your recent fishing experience. Send us your own fishing report through ODFW Fishing Reports -- the information will be forwarded to the local biologist who may use it to update various ODFW resources such as the weekly Recreation Report.

ANTELOPE FLAT RESERVOIR: rainbow trout

Access leading to the reservoir is good. Recent sampling indicated excellent over-winter survival of trout. Most trout were in the 12 to 14-inch range with some reaching 20-inches. The trout were in excellent condition and appeared to be feeding on zooplankton and macroinvertebrates. However, the water was very dirty which could negatively impact fishing.

BEND PINE NURSERY: rainbow trout, bluegill, bass

Anglers may keep two fish per day.

BIKINI POND: rainbow trout

No recent reports.

CENTURY POND: rainbow trout

The pond is located ¼ mile west of the junction of USFS Rd 46 (Century Drive) and USFS Rd 4635.

CLEAR LAKE: rainbow trout

The lake is receiving a bunch of stocked trout this week to catch up from the late snow blocking the road. Also, Clear Lake is receiving an extra load of trophy trout!

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

Anglers report good fishing for trout. Wild rainbow trout must be released. Only 1 trout over 20-inches per day.

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

Open to fishing all year. One lake trout per day, 24-inch minimum length.

CROOKED RIVER BELOW BOWMAN DAM: redband trout, mountain whitefish

The flows have stabilized to near average. Fishing is expected to be slow with the low numbers of trout present. As a REMINDER, bait is no longer allowed on the river and all trout over 20-inches are considered steelhead and must be immediately released unharmed.

Flows below Bowman Dam

CULTUS LAKE: rainbow trout, lake trout

Open to fishing all year.

DAVIS LAKE: largemouth bass, redband trout

Open to fishing all year. Restricted to fly-fishing only with barbless hooks. Catch-and-release for trout. No limits on warmwater fish.

Redside Trout
Redside caught in Deschutes River near Maupin
-Photo by Rick Hargrave-

DESCHUTES RIVER, MOUTH TO THE PELTON REGULATING DAM: redband trout, whitefish

Trout fishing has been decent from Maupin to Warm Springs. Anglers are reporting slow dry fly fishing but good nymph fishing.

Unfortunately, due to expected low returns of spring Chinook in the Deschutes basin, spring Chinook fishing will remain closed in 2017. By permanent rule, Chinook fishing will re-open on Aug. 1.

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.

Counts at the Sherars Falls salmon and steelhead trap. The trap is only in operation from July to the end of October. Trapping has ended at Sherars Falls for the season.

Lake Billy Chinook to Benham Falls: rainbow trout, brown trout

Open for trout all year. Fishing restricted to artificial flies and lures. No size or limits on brown trout and no harvest of bull trout.

Benham Falls upstream to Little Lava Lake:

Wild rainbow trout must be released. 2 trout per day (including brook and brown trout, kokanee, and hatchery rainbow trout.

DEVILS LAKE: rainbow trout

Open to fishing all year.

EAST LAKE: rainbow trout, brown trout, kokanee

Lake will be stocked with rainbow trout this week. Road to lake is open but access to lake and campgrounds are limited due to snow. Angler report good fishing for trout. Open to fishing all year. Wild rainbow trout must be released.

Elk Lake
Elk Lake
-Photo by Jessica Sall-

ELK LAKE: brook trout, kokanee, cutthroat trout

Open to fishing all year. 25 kokanee per day in addition to daily trout limit. No size limits on kokanee

FALL RIVER: rainbow trout

River will be stocked with rainbow trout this week. Open to fishing all year. Restricted to fly-fishing only with barbless hooks.

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

Fishing should be good this year. The reservoir was stocked with 9,500 legal-size trout and 75 brood fish. Warmwater fish are plentiful but tend to be on the smaller side.

HOOD RIVER: spring Chinook

Anglers are reporting good catches of spring Chinook.

The limit for spring Chinook in the Hood River, in 2017, is one adult and five jacks hatchery fish.

HOSMER LAKE: brook, rainbow and cutthroat trout

Open to fishing all year. Restricted to fly-fishing only with barbless hooks. Catch-and-release for all species.

KINGSLEY RESERVOIR: rainbow trout

The lake has been stocked and should be good fishing. Bank anglers are having success along the dam.

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

Bull trout and kokanee fishing has been picking up.

Anglers are reminded there are small numbers of spring Chinook, Sockeye Salmon 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

Fishing should be good this year as the reservoir receives 30,000 legal-size rainbow trout. There is a good population of smallmouth bass.

2017 Family Fishing at McNary Ponds
Fishing with family
-Photo by Kathy Munsel-

LAVA LAKE (BIG): rainbow trout

Anglers report fair fishing for trout. Open to fishing all year.

LAVA LAKE (SMALL): rainbow trout, brook trout

Lake will be stocked with rainbow trout this week. Open to fishing all year.

LOST LAKE: rainbow trout

The lake has been stocked and should be good fishing at one of Oregon’s most famous lakes. Additionally, Lost Lake received an extra stocking of trophy trout!

METOLIUS RIVER: redband trout, bull trout

Fishing is restricted to fly fishing only upstream of Bridge 99. Catch-and-release for trout including bull trout.

NORTH TWIN LAKE: rainbow trout

Lake will be stocked this week with rainbow trout. Open to fishing all year.

OCHOCO CREEK UPSTREAM TO OCHOCO DAM: rainbow trout

There are usually some nice-size trout in the creek during the spring.

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

OCHOCO RESERVOIR: rainbow trout, black crappie, smallmouth bass

The reservoir is nearly full, which further restricts the already limited bank access. Boat anglers can do well trolling slowly. Fishing should be excellent this year as there are good numbers of large trout and abundant warmwater populations. The reservoir is stocked annually with 50,000 fingerling trout that grow well.

ODELL CREEK: rainbow trout

Catch-and-release for trout including bull trout.

ODELL LAKE: lake trout, kokanee, rainbow trout

Open to fishing all year. All tributaries to Odell Lake are closed to fishing. All bull trout must be released unharmed.

PAULINA LAKE: brown trout, rainbow trout, kokanee

Lake will be stocked with rainbow trout this week. Road to lake is open but access to lake and campgrounds are limited due to snow. No campgrounds are open. Anglers report good fishing for brown trout and kokanee. Open to fishing all year. Wild rainbow trout must be released.

Rainbow Trout
Rainbow caught in Pine Hollow Reservoir, Wamic, Oregon
-Photo by Rick Hargrave-

PINE HOLLOW RESERVOIR: rainbow trout, largemouth bass

The lake has been stocked and fishing has been good, especially for trophies.

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

The reservoir is full and the fish well-dispersed. Fishing should be good this year. The reservoir is stocked annually with 150,000 fingerling trout, and the warmwater fish populations are abundant.

PRINEVILLE YOUTH FISHING POND: rainbow trout and largemouth bass

Fishing should be good for the recently stocked trout.

ROCK CREEK RESERVOIR: rainbow trout

The lake is full of water and has been stocked, should be good fishing.

SHEVLIN YOUTH FISHING POND: rainbow trout

Pond will be stocked with rainbow trout this week. Open to youth only (17 years and under) and disabled anglers. Limit is two fish per day.

SOUTH TWIN LAKE: rainbow trout

Open to fishing all year.

SPARKS LAKE: cutthroat trout

Open to fishing all year. Fly fishing only, barbless hooks required.

SPRAGUE POND: rainbow trout

Turn at Cow Meadow sign off USFS Rd 40. Take first left at first dirt road and follow road to pond.

SUTTLE LAKE: brown trout, kokanee

Open to fishing all year. 25 kokanee per day in addition to daily trout limit. No size limits on kokanee.

TAYLOR LAKE (Wasco County): rainbow trout, largemouth bass

The lake has been stocked and fishing should be good.

THREE CREEK LAKE: rainbow trout, brook trout

Vehicle access to lake is restricted due to snow drifts about ½ mile from lake but lake is almost ice free. Open to fishing all year.

WALTON LAKE: rainbow trout

Recent sampling indicated excellent over-winter survival of trout. Most trout were in the 12 to 14-inch range with some reaching 18-inches. The trout were in excellent condition and appeared to be feeding on zooplankton and macroinvertebrates.

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

Twenty-five kokanee per day in addition to daily trout limit. No size limits on kokanee.

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  Central Zone Hunting

OPEN: COUGAR, COYOTE

Snake River wolf
Gray Wolf in Northeast Oregon
-Oregon Fish and Wildlife-

Wolves 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. 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.

PRINEVILLE/OCHOCO WILDLIFE DISTRICT

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. 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.

Coyotes can offer an exciting challenge. 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.

THE DALLES DISTRICT

Coyotes: 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. Look for them in early morning or evening and pay close attention to wind direction.

cougar
Cougar
- Royalty Free Image-

Cougar: Cougars can be found in the same areas as deer and elk as they follow them through their migration routes.

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. Remember a 2017 cougar tag and hunting license is needed to hunt as of Jan. 1.

White River Wildlife Area

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.

Cougar: Cougar season is open Jan. 1- Dec. 31 or until Zone Mortality Quotas have been met. Calling with distress calls or cougar vocalizations can be effective. However, locating a fresh, naturally made kill has the best chance of success.

Coyotes: Populations are good throughout the wildlife area. Coyote vocalization calls still work best until the pups start to disperse, which will be mid to late August Be aware that bobcats and cougars may respond to predator calls, and separate licensing and season limitations exist for these species.

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 Central Zone Wildlife Viewing

Golden Eagle
Golden Eagle
Photo by Nick Myatt, ODFW

CROOK COUNTY

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.

Prineville Reservoir Wildlife Area: The Prineville Reservoir Wildlife Area offers access to view 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, at Prineville Reservoir State Park office and the ODFW website. Note: The exterior gates are now open, after being closed all winter to protect wintering mule deer. Vehicles must remain on open roads, designated by a green dot, and cross-country motorized travel is prohibited.

Deschutes County

June in the high desert typically brings a transition from changeable conditions to stable warmer weather patterns, however, nighttime temperatures can dip below freezing and days can be cool. On warmer days look for snakes and lizards in a variety of habitats. Lizards and some snakes are often associated with sites that include rocky outcrops or bluffs, while other snakes prefer to hunt for food around the edges of ponds and wetlands where you are also likely to see small packets of Pacific tree frog eggs and free swimming tadpoles. Amorous male frogs can be heard filling the air with their cricket like proclamations of love and territorial defense.

Reptiles you are likely to encounter in Deschutes County include the common western fence lizards, sagebrush lizards, western skinks, short-horned lizards, two species of garter snakes, racer, rubber boa, gopher snake and night snake. Be careful if you come across a rattlesnake. Never try to pick one up and if you hear the warning rattle, but cannot see the snake; locate the sound and move in an opposite direction. At this time of year with relatively mild temperatures, reptiles like to bask in the morning sun and will be active all day long. Their activity patterns will change as the days become hotter, with most activity shifting away from the heat of the day to early morning, the early evening hours.

Most of the Cascade lakes are now snow free. Wickiup and Crane Prairie Reservoirs are good areas to see bald eagles, Canada geese, mallards, bufflehead, ring-necked ducks and tree swallows. Both bald and golden eagles can be seen at Smith Rock State Park in north east Deschutes County, and yellow-bellied marmots (a favorite food item for golden eagles) will be active on warm sunny days. Other good birding locations include Camp Polk Meadows, located a few miles north east of Sisters on Camp Polk Road, where a wide variety of birds can be seen this time of year. Visitors to the meadows are likely to see American kestrel, great horned owl, multiple warbler species, kingfisher, Virginia rail, Wilson’s snipe, California quail, hairy and downy woodpeckers, pygmy nuthatches, mourning doves and western bluebirds to name just a few.

Other wildlife viewing areas to consider include Tumalo Reservoir (west of Highway 20 between Sister and Bend), Pelton Dam wildlife overlook and Lake Simstustus (Deschutes River northwest of Madras), and Hatfield Lakes (just north of the Bend airport), where you can expect to see a variety of waterfowl, shorebirds and multiple gull species, along with deer, rabbits, and a diversity of other mammals, reptiles and amphibians.

Bird watching is not just limited to wild places, as residents and visitors to Bend can watch an osprey pair nesting adjacent to the Parkway that runs through the city. Other opportunities to view a diversity of bird species (and other wildlife) without leaving Bend can be found along the trails that follow the Deschutes River. And Vaux’s swifts can be seen flying over the former Bend library at 507 NW Wall St., and disappearing into the chimney at dusk.

Whether you’re interested in song birds, waterfowl, or raptors and prefer remote birding locations, or those closer to urban areas, directions to a long list of great birding locations can be found at East Cascades Audubon Society web site 06/05/17

WASCO AND SHERMAN COUNTIES

The Lower Deschutes River provides ample wildlife viewing opportunities. California bighorn sheep are frequently observed in the canyon and can provide fantastic viewing all times of the year. The best spot to view sheep is from the BLM access road just downstream and across the river from Sherars Falls (along Hwy 216). Focus your efforts near large cliff complexes for best viewing. Sheep can also be viewed from The Lower Deschutes Wildlife Area access trail on the east side of the river by hiking up from the mouth of the river. Sheep can be seen about as low as river mile 7 or 8.

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, Golden Eagles, and Osprey.

Great wildlife viewing opportunities also exist on The Woosley Tract of Lower Deschutes Wildlife area. Many unique bird species can be found throughout the area. Bighorn sheep also can be found using the area. It can be accessed through BLM lands at the mouth of Oak, Ferry, or Ward canyons. You will need a boat to access the area, which provides a very remote experience, with usually very few other people around, if any. Please call The Dalles district office at 541 296 4628 with any questions about accessing the area.

Spotted Mule Deer Fawn
Spotted Mule Deer Fawn
-Oregon Fish and Wildlife-

White River Wildlife Area

Deer can be observed commonly throughout the wildlife area, providing ample photo opportunities. Bucks antlers are in velvet and can be seen in different stages of growth for the next few months. Does will be giving birth to fawns soon, if you see fawns make sure that you leave them where you see them, mom is usually not too far away. Many of the deer have moved to higher elevations especially the larger bucks but there is still plenty of viewing opportunities.

Elk can be found throughout White River Wildlife Area roaming around looking for food. Spring weather has produced plenty of grasses, mushrooms, and other forage making the elk harder to find. Elk can still occasionally be found grazing in meadows early in the mornings or late in the evenings.

Turkeys can be found throughout the Wildlife Area. Look for them early in the morning or late in the evening in open fields. You can also look for them in or near oak savannahs foraging for bugs and acorns. Don’t forget to listen for the gobble of the tom turkey telling you they are in the area.

Bald and golden eagles and various other raptors, such as northern harriers, American kestrels, red-tailed and rough-legged hawks, are commonly observed. Other birds to keep an eye out for are Lewis’s Woodpeckers, pileated woodpeckers, western bluebirds, horned larks, western meadowlarks, Townsend’s solitaire, Flickers, and lots of robins.

Other animals that can occasionally be seen are coyotes, badgers, bobcats, bears and cougars. Some of these animals are very secretive and are hard to find. You might get to see a coyote wondering around but the other animals are a lot harder to find. Consider yourself lucky if you get to see one of them.

The wildlife area is a vehicle regulated use area. People using motorcycles and ATVs are reminded that all vehicles are to stay on roads; cross-country travel is prohibited. For more information and directions to the wildlife area, visit ODFW’s website.

With the warmer weather be mindful that wildlife are trying to escape the heat in the middle of the day, so if you see something hiding in the shade please don’t bother it. Also, rattle snakes are out, so be aware. 6/27/2017

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