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

Weekly Recreation Report: Central Zone

December 16, 2014

 Central Zone Fishing

Walton Lake
Walton Lake
-Photo by ODFW-

Weekend fishing opportunities

  • Several rivers and lakes remain open for trout fishing year-round including the Deschutes and Metolius rivers, and Hosmer and Walton lakes. As long as access remains open, fishing can be very good in the fall.
  • Fishing has been excellent on the Crooked River, where the whitefish are spawning and trout are keying in on the eggs.
  • Anglers have been catching 14 to 16-inch trout on Ochoco Reservoir.

If your favorite fishing spot is no longer listed

It’s probably because that river, lake or reservoir is closed for the season, inaccessible due to snow and bad roads, or offers limited fishing opportunities during the winter months. These water bodies will re-appear in the Recreation Report when they re-open next spring, or when access and/or opportunity improves.

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

No recent reports. Current road conditions are unknown.

BIG LAVA LAKE: rainbow trout

Closed to fishing until April 25, 2015.

BIKINI POND: rainbow trout

No recent reports. Ice likely a problem.

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

Closed to fishing until April 25, 2015.

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

Open to fishing all year. Anglers report fair catches of lake trout.

CROOKED RIVER BELOW BOWMAN DAM: redband trout and mountain whitefish

Trout fishing has been excellent. The whitefish are spawning and the trout will be keying in on the eggs. The use of bait is no longer allowed until May 23, 2015. Only artificial lures and flies may be use. 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

Open to fishing all year.

DAVIS LAKE: largemouth bass, redband trout

Open to fishing all year. Restricted to fly-fishing only with barbless hooks.

Fly-fishing on the Deschutes
-Video by Bob Swingle, ODFW-

DESCHUTES RIVER, Mouth to the Pelton Regulating Dam: 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. Anglers are reminded that Chinook season closed on the Deschutes River on Oct. 31, 2014. 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 Benham Falls: rainbow trout, brown trout

Fishing restricted to artificial flies and lures.

Benham Falls to Wickiup Dam: rainbow trout, brown trout

Closed to fishing until May 23, 2015

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

Closed to fishing until April 25, 2015.

FALL RIVER: rainbow trout

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

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.

rainbow trout
Rainbow Trout
-Photo by Wes Niestrath-

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

Open to fishing all year. Restricted to fly angling only with barbless hooks.

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

No recent reports.

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

Closed to fishing until April 25, 2015.

LITTLE LAVA LAKE: rainbow trout, brook trout

Open to fishing all year.

LOST LAKE: rainbow trout, brown trout

No recent report. Ice and snow will limit access.

METOLIUS RIVER: redband trout, bull trout

Metolius River upstream of Allingham Bridge closed to fishing until May 23, 2015. Metolius River downstream of Allingham Bridge open all year.

Special regulations in effect for this section.

NORTH TWIN: rainbow trout

Open to fishing all year.

OCHOCO CREEK UPSTREAM TO OCHOCO DAM: rainbow trout

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

Anglers are doing well catching 14 to 16-inch trout.

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

Closed to fishing until April 25, 2015.

PAULINA LAKE: brown trout, rainbow trout, kokanee

Closed to fishing until April 25, 2015.

Large-mouth Bass
Large-mouth Bass
-U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service-

PINE HOLLOW RESERVOIR: rainbow trout, largemouth bass

No recent reports. Ice on the lake will limit access.

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

No recent reports.

PRINEVILLE YOUTH FISHING POND: rainbow trout and largemouth bass

The pond is currently iced over. For safety reasons, the pond is closed when iced over. Ice fishing is not allowed.

ROCK CREEK RESERVOIR: rainbow trout

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

SHEVLIN YOUTH FISHING POND: rainbow trout

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

SOUTH TWIN LAKE: rainbow trout

Closed to fishing until April 25, 2015.

SUTTLE LAKE: brown trout, kokanee

Open to fishing all year.

TAYLOR LAKE: rainbow trout, largemouth bass

The lake is covered with ice.

THREE CREEK LAKE: rainbow trout, brook trout

Open to fishing all year.

WALTON LAKE: rainbow trout

No recent reports.

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

Closed to fishing until April 25, 2015.

Back to the top

  Central Zone Hunting

OPEN: COUGAR, GROUSE, WATERFOWL (see regs)

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.

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. 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.

THE DALLES DISTRICT

Waterfowl- Large numbers of Canada Geese have been showing up throughout Sherman and Wasco counties. Most areas of concentrated birds are on private grounds, please ask permission to hunt on private ground. See Oregon Game Bird Regulations for all waterfowl season dates.

Upland Game Birds:

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

Ringneck Pheasant Oct. 11-Dec. 31: Pheasants numbers continue to be stable but at low levels.

Forest Grouse and Quail – Sept. 1- Jan 31, 2105. Grouse and quail numbers are good throughout the district.

Coyote –There are high numbers of Coyotes in Hood River, Wasco and Sherman Counties. Those wishing to pursue will find the best success near agricultural lands. 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 throughout the year can be 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.

Furbearers: Most harvest seasons for furbearing mammals have opened. Refer to the Oregon Furbearer Trapping and Hunting Regulations 2014- 2016.

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.

Ruffed Grouse
Ruffed Grouse
-Oregon Fish and Wildlife-

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 increases 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 – Closed Oct. 30. 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.

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.

Back to the top

 Central Zone Viewing

Rough-legged Hawk
Rough-legged Hawk
-Cathy Nowak-

CROOK COUNTY

The Prineville Reservoir Wildlife Management Area (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.

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.

Deschutes County

Winter is an excellent time to view raptors around Deschutes County. Red-tailed hawks are one of the most numerous birds of prey and are commonly seen on fence and power poles scanning meadows, sagebrush shrub steppe, and other open areas for their next meal.

Snow has blanketed the higher elevations. Travel conditions and accessibility to high mountain lakes is tentative and drivers should check conditions before heading out, but visitors to lakes such as, Wickiup and Crane Prairie are likely to see common loons, Canada geese, American widgeon, green-winged teal, bufflehead, ring-necked ducks, northern shovelers, lesser scaup, common and Barrow’s goldeneye, multiple gull species, and various grebes including horned, eared, western, and Clark’s. In addition to the water birds, you can expect to see bald eagles, hermit thrushes, Williamson’s, hairy and black-backed woodpeckers, gray jay, northern flicker, mountain chickadee, red-breasted nuthatch, red crossbill, and many other species.

Other birding destinations 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).

Black-tailed jackrabbits can be seen in many areas where sagebrush abounds, and squirrels can still be observed conducting their winter activities on national forest and BLM lands, but expect to see less activity at higher elevations. Reptiles are now sequestered in underground winter quarters that protect them from freezing conditions. And although amphibians can be active at colder temperatures (even under ice!), they will be much harder to find until next spring. We’ll know spring is back when the chirrups of tree frogs can be heard once again. 12/01/14

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 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. 12/8/2014

Mule Deer

Mule Deer Pair
-Photo by Charlotte Ganskopp-

White River Wildlife Area

Deer are starting into the rut which provides a good opportunity for viewing and photographs with some of the large bucks showing up. Best time to see them is early in the mornings or later in the evening hours grazing in fields and pastures.

There are several groups of elk using the Wildlife Area and much like the deer, elk will be more active in the mornings and evenings. They are just coming out of the rut and may still be seen in large groups but some of the larger bulls have pulled back away from the herds.

If you can find their food sources in the mornings or evenings your chances of spotting them will greatly increase.

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. 11/3/14

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