|Wan Teece with her kokanee
-Photos by Jack Teece-
Weekend fishing opportunities
- Kokonee fishing on Lake Billy Chinook continues to be excellent!
- This is a great time of year to find trout feeding on the surface of the lower Deschutes River.
- It’s peak winter steelhead season on the Hood River.
- Pine Hollow and Rock Springs reservoirs have been stocked and, with water temperatures getting warmer, fishing should be good.
New salmon, steelhead, sturgeon endorsement
Beginning Jan. 1, 2014 anglers fishing for salmon, steelhead or sturgeon in the Columbia River and its tributaries will be required to have a Columbia River Basin endorsement.
See a map of the Basin and get more information.
2014 trout stocking
The 2014 trout stocking schedule (pdf) for the High Desert districts have been posted on-line.
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
Fishing has been fair due to the turbid water. Using scent or lots of flash will help the fish find your offering. The majority of the fish range from 12 to 14-inches long.
BEND PINE NURSERY POND: trout
The pond was stocked with rainbow trout in early April and current regulations allow for a limit of 2 fish per day, 8 inch minimum length. Fishing should be fair for the next few weeks.
BIG LAVA LAKE: Closed to fishing until April 26.
BIKINI POND: rainbow trout
The pond has been stocked and should be a great place to go this spring and catch some rainbow trout. Bikini pond is a great place to take kids.
CLEAR LAKE: Snow will limit access until late April or early May.
CRANE PRAIRIE RESERVOIR: Closed to fishing until April 26.
CRESCENT LAKE: rainbow trout, brown trout, lake trout and kokanee
No recent reports
CROOKED RIVER BELOW BOWMAN DAM: redband trout and mountain whitefish
Keep an eye on the gauge to see if the flow is being adjusted. The fishing is usually poor until the flow has had a few days to stabilize. Please be mindful to not trample any redds.
Flows below Bowman Dam
CULTUS LAKE: rainbow trout, lake trout
No recent reports.
DAVIS LAKE: largemouth bass, redband trout
No recent reports.
The Deschutes River
DESCHUTES RIVER, Mouth to the Pelton Regulating Dam: steelhead, redband trout, whitefish
Some great hatches of early stoneflies, mayflies and caddis should be occurring on the lower Deschutes. This is the best time if the year to find trout feeding on the surface. Good access to fishing can be found in the Maupin area, from Macks Canyon upstream to the Locked Gate. The highest densities of trout are from Oak Springs upstream to the Locked Gate.
Trout fishing closed Oct. 31 and steelhead fishing closed Dec. 31 from the Northern boundary of the Warm Springs Reservation upstream to Pelton Regulating Dam. This area will re-open to trout fishing on April 26.
The Deschutes will open for adipose fin-clipped Chinook from April 15, 2014 through July 31, 2014 from the mouth of the I-84 bridge upstream to Sherars Falls. The catch limit will be two adult adipose fin-clipped salmon per day, and five adipose fin-clipped jack salmon per day.
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.
Anglers can check the trap the seasons catch at Sherars Falls as an indicator of fish movement in the Middle Deschutes.
Lake Billy Chinook to Bend: rainbow trout, brown trout
Water levels should be dropping as irrigation season begins in mid-Apirl. Open year-round; however, gear is restricted to artificial flies and lures only.
EAST LAKE: Closed to fishing until April 26.
FALL RIVER: rainbow trout
River was stocked with rainbow trout the week of April 14. Depending on weather conditions, some good mid-day hatches have been reported. Restricted to fly fishing only with barbless hooks. Open all year upstream of the falls.
FROG LAKE: Snow will limit access until mid May.
-Photo by Patti Abbot-
HAYSTACK RESERVOIR: rainbow trout, brown trout, kokanee, largemouth bass, black crappie, bluegill
No recent reports. The reservoir will receive a load of legal-sized trout the week of April 14.
HOOD RIVER: winter steelhead
Winter steelhead fishing on the Hood is at its peak for the season. Lots of fresh fish have been coming over Bonneville and good river conditions should make a good combo for great fishing the remainder of April.
The Hood River will open for adipose fin-clipped chinook from April 15, 2014 through June 30, 2014 from the mouth to mainstem confluence with the East Fork, and the West Fork from the confluence with the mainstem upstream to the angling deadline 200 feet downstream of Punchbowl Falls.
The catch limit will be two adult adipose fin-clipped salmon per day, and five adipose fin-clipped jack salmon per day.
HOSMER LAKE: Atlantic salmon, brook trout, rainbow trout, cutthroat
No recent reports
LAKE BILLY CHINOOK: bull trout, brown trout, rainbow trout, kokanee, smallmouth bass
Anglers are still reporting easy limits of kokanee throughout the entire reservoir. Bull trout fishing has been fair with anglers mostly catching undersized fish.
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.
LITTLE LAVA LAKE: rainbow trout, brook trout
No recent reports.
LOST LAKE: rainbow trout, brown trout
Snow will limit access.
METOLIUS RIVER: redband trout, bull trout
Fishing has been fair with reports of decent nymphing. On warmer afternoons and evenings, small hatches are being reported.
NORTH TWIN: rainbow trout
Fishing has been fair with moderate pressure on the weekends.
- Photo by Kevin Clawson-
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
No recent reports.
ODELL LAKE: Closed to fishing until April 26.
PAULINA LAKE: Closed to fishing until April 26.
PINE HOLLOW RESERVOIR: rainbow trout
The reservoir is warming up and has been stocked, so fishing should be great.
PRINEVILLE RESERVOIR: rainbow trout, largemouth and smallmouth bass, crappie
Fishing has been slow to fair for trout up to 18-inches long.
PRINEVILLE YOUTH FISHING POND: rainbow trout and largemouth bass
The pond will receive a load of trout the week of April 14.
ROCK CREEK RESERVOIR: rainbow trout
The reservoir has been stocked and should be a great place to go this spring and catch some rainbow trout. The reservoir is warming up and has been stocked, so fishing should be great.
SHEVLIN YOUTH FISHING POND: rainbow trout
Pond was stocked with rainbow trout the week of April 14.
SOUTH TWIN LAKE: Closed to fishing until April 26.
SUTTLE LAKE: brown trout, kokanee
No recent reports.
TAYLOR LAKE: rainbow trout, largemouth bass
Taylor has been stocked and there should be good fishing for rainbows.
WALTON LAKE: rainbow trout
No recent reports.
WICKIUP RESERVOIR: Closed to fishing until April 26.
OPEN: COUGAR, SPRING TURKEY (April 15-May 31) CONTROLLED SPRING BEAR
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. 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
Most Mule Deer bucks have shed their antlers while bull Elk have just started to shed. Due to extremely variable road conditions and the effect of increased harassment on mule deer survival, shed hunters are urged to keep ATV’s on existing roads or trails and minimize disturbance to wintering big game herds. Remember to respect private lands and always ask permission before entering. More about shed hunting
Turkey season opens April 15 and hunters should have better than average opportunities to find birds in the Ochoco, Maury and Grizzly units. Spring is earlier than normal, and green up well advanced so hunters should scout higher elevation areas on BLM and Ochoco National Forest lands. The Trout and Bear Creek drainages in the Grizzly unit and along the southern boundaries of the Lookout Mountain and Paulina Ranger Districts in the Ochoco unit would be good areas to check and scout for birds. The South Boundary Cooperative Travel Management Area (TMA) does have motorized vehicle restrictions in effect. The Prineville BLM and Ochoco National Forest offices should be checked for maps and other motorized access restrictions that could be in effect.
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.
Coyotes offer an exciting challenge and will be closely associated with deer and antelope. 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.
Ground Squirrels are becoming more active as spring progresses and temperatures increase. Be sure to obtain permission before entering private lands.
THE DALLES DISTRICT
Spring Bear – Controlled Spring Bear Open April 1st – May 31st. Spring weather arrived early this year, allowing bears to come out of hibernation early and in good shape. Hunters should focus on clear-cuts, meadows and grassy slopes where bears are feeding on fresh tender shoots of grasses and forbs. Bears often follow the receding snow line in search of the most recent growth. Good optics and patience glassing these areas are key to a successful hunt.
White River Unit – Bear numbers are good in the White River unit. Despite healthy bear numbers, success rates have been fairly low in the spring and hunters tend to have a tough time finding bears for this hunt. The edges of the major drainages, such as the White River, Badger and Tygh Creeks, should be good places to find bears in the eastern edge of the unit. Areas south of Mosier provide plenty of open areas in the northwestern portion of the unit.
Hood Unit – Bear densities are good in the Hood Unit. Focus on higher elevation areas with grassy slopes and good vantage points.
Turkey – General Spring Turkey season is open April 15th- May 31st. Turkeys can be found throughout the White River Unit with many public land hunting opportunities. The dispersed turkeys can be difficult to locate during the season especially after pressured by other hunters. The key to a successful turkey hunt is good preseason scouting. Identify where they roost, travel and feed and you will be more likely to bag one of these wary birds. Harvest in the White River Unit has continued to increase likely due to an increase in hunters. Be aware of other hunters in the area and take necessary safety precautions.
- Royalty Free Image-
Cougar – Hunters wishing to pursue cougar will find best success near areas of deer and elk concentrations. Some hunters have found success tracking cougars in fresh snow and predator calling. 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.
Coyote – Recent reports have indicated high numbers of coyotes in Wasco and Hood River 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.
WHITE RIVER WILDLIFE AREA
Vehicle Access: Last year, 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.
Bear – Controlled Spring Black Bear Season opened on April 1 and runs through May 31. Black bear can be found throughout WRWA but are very elusive and hard to find. Search for tracks on dirt or muddy roads to find areas that they are using. Look for food sources. Bears spend much of their time filling up on grasses, acorns, and other food to fatten up after their winter slumber. Remember to check in any harvested bear skulls at an ODFW office. It is best to make an appointment before you take it in.
Turkey – Spring Turkey Season opens on April 15 and runs through May 31. Turkeys inhabit most of WRWA lands. Preseason scouting can be very helpful in locating the elusive spring gobbler. Use locating calls to find birds roosting in your area. Turkeys can often be found along ridge tops or foraging for food in meadows or oak groves. Be careful and aware that other hunters could possibly be hunting the same turkey that you are after.
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. Tracking a cat in the snow will help increase the odds of spotting one.
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.
|Mule Deer Bucks Grazing
- Royalty Free Image-
The Prineville Reservoir Wildlife Management Area (WMA) north shore road opens 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 well under way. Water bird species that can be seen throughout Crook County, but in higher concentrations around Prineville and Ochoco reservoirs, include mallards, American wigeon, American green-winged teal, Northern pintail, ring-necked ducks, bufflehead, common and barrows goldeneye, Canada geese, killdeer, common and hooded mergansers, pied billed grebes, double-crested cormorants , great blue herons and a number of gull species.
A few of the common passerine species observed throughout Crook County this time of year include common flickers, American robin, American and lesser goldfinches, house finches, white-crowned sparrows, mountain chickadees, spotted towhees, Townsend’s solitaire, mountain bluebirds, cedar waxwings and dark eyed juncos.
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 remain very active. Many populations of deer and elk have moved to lower elevations due to recent greenup. 4/15/14.
Spring has definitely sprung for most raptor species. Great horned owls began their breeding season in January and are now busily tending feathered young. Eagles, hawks, and other raptors have paired up and are focused on renewing pair bonds, and nest building, although rough-legged hawks (that winter in Oregon) will soon be headed to their arctic tundra breeding grounds. Both bald and golden eagles can be seen at Smith Rock State Park in northeast Deschutes County, and one of their potential food sources, yellow-bellied marmots are being seen on warm sunny days. Red-tailed hawks are one of the most numerous birds of prey and commonly seen on fence and power poles scanning meadows, sagebrush shrub steppe, and other open areas for a tasty rodent snack. Other diurnal raptor species you might encounter include kestrels, sharp shinned hawks, cooper’s hawks, northern harriers, prairie falcons, ferruginous hawks, and even though they are not as numerous as prairie falcons, the occasional peregrine falcons may also be seen
Scan the skies for a glimpse of a large bird with a “V” shaped wing pattern and you could be looking at a turkey vulture as they continue to return from their wintering grounds to the south. Northern pintails, mallards, common mergansers, great blue herons and many other wetland bird species can also be found throughout the county.
White-headed woodpeckers, juncos, several sparrow species, ravens, spotted towhee, hairy woodpecker, cedar waxwings and red-cross bills are just a few of the species that can be found in the Deschutes National Forest and BLM managed lands. Good sites to look for birds include forest edges surrounding meadows and wetland areas. Those with patience and stealth may be rewarded by the call and possible sighting of a Virginia rail moving through thickets of cattails.
Specific 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), where you can expect to see bald eagles, 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.
Amphibians are starting to become active and egg laying for some species has already begun. Long-toed salamanders will finish their annual breeding by early April and the earliest laid eggs will hatch his month. Tree frogs and Oregon spotted frogs will begin to lay eggs in lower elevations by early April. It’s still a little cool for reptile activity, but if we get a week of warm weather by the end of the month, snakes and lizards will begin to stir in their underground winter quarters. However, they won’t become really active until warmer days are the rule rather than the exception. 3/3/14
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).
Other wildlife that may be seen along the river includes mule deer, red-tailed hawks, American kestrels, Osprey, and Golden and Bald eagles. Waterfowl are commonly observed on the river, and visitors can usually see many different songbirds and upland game birds that also call the canyon home.
The open agricultural lands, shrub steppe habitat, and meadows also hold a number of different hawks and owls. Although the rough legged hawks will soon be migrating on, you can still find red-tailed hawks, American kestrels, northern harriers, prairie falcons and a variety of owls that are now spending more time hunting in order to feed their nestlings. 3/18/14.
White River Wildlife Area
With the temperature warming up, the deer are starting to move. Deer can still be found digging under oak trees looking for acorns, browsing on bitterbrush and near feed sites.
Elk are starting to move up to their summer ground at higher elevations. You may still find some small herds on the Wildlife Area. The elk have pulled away from the feed sites for the most part. The best time to look for them is in the early morning or late in the afternoon just before it gets too dark to see. The viewing site located about four miles west of Wamic off of Rock Creek Rd. is a good place to occasionally spot elk feeding in the fields. Elk are subsidized with bales of hay at that spot during the winter months.
-Photo by Keith Kohl-
The gates to through traffic on seasonal roads were reopened but some roads may stay closed until May 1 depending on weather and road conditions.
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. 3/10/14.