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

Weekly Recreation Report: Northwest Zone

August 22, 2017

 Northwest Zone Fishing

2017 Family Fishing at McNary Ponds
A nice trout
-Photo by Kathy Munsel-

Weekend fishing opportunities:

  • Steelhead fishing has been fair to good on the Nestucca, Wilson and Trask rivers, and there should also be some nice cutthroat around.
  • Thousands of 15-inch and larger “trophy trout” are available in waters through Oregon and these coastal lakes and reservoirs: Alder Lake, Cleawox Lake, Dune Lake, Munsel Lake, Siltcoos Lagoon, Olalla Creek Reservoir, Big Creek Reservoirs #1 & #2, Thissell Pond, and Eckman Lake
  • Trout season is open on some rivers and streams with a two fish per day limit.

Send us your fishing report

We’d love to hear about your recent fishing experiences. 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.

NORTH COAST LAKES,

Most North Coast lakes have been stocked with trout throughout the spring. Trout stocking is over until the fall but there still should be fish around to catch. Water temps are warming but are not too warm yet and fish should be hungry and willing to bite. Lakes like Coffenbury, Cullaby, Lytle, Cape Meares, and Vernonia offer opportunity for warmwater species, particularly largemouth bass. Fishing should be good as the water warms up.

MID COAST LAKES

Olalla Reservoir has been stocked with about 100 surplus summer steelhead from the Siletz Falls trap, this season. These fish get fairly active in the lake and offer a unique fishing experience. Once in the lake they are considered “trout” and do not require a Combined Angling Tag. Anglers are reminded, however, that only one trout per day over 20 inches may be retained, and these fish will almost all be in that size range.

Mid Coast lakes been stocked with trout throughout the spring. Trout stocking is over until the fall but there still should be fish around to catch. Water temps are great and fish should be hungry, so go catch them!

ALSEA RIVER: Chinook, trout

Fall Chinook opened Aug. 1 and fishing is starting to pick up in the bay. Trout season opened May 22, and there should be some nice cutthroat around. Remember the limit on streams and rivers is two per day over 8-inches.

KILCHIS RIVER: trout

Trout season opened May 22, and there should be some nice cutthroat around. Sea-run cutthroat should be entering the lower river now, too. Remember, the limit is two per day over 8-inches, and no bait is allowed through Aug. 31. The Kilchis River opened for Fall Chinook on Aug. 1, but realistically it will be a couple of months before they start showing up in the river.

NEHALEM: trout, Chinook

There are a few summer/fall Chinook being caught on Nehalem bay but the action has been fairly slow and sporadic thus far. The Nehalem River is open for Chinook, but there haven’t been any reports of Chinook caught above tidewater yet. Anglers are reminded that though Sept. 15 only one wild Chinook may be retained per day.

Notice: In water construction activities on the Miami Foley Road bridge at Foss, will be restricting boat access on the Nehalem River. Boaters going downstream from Roy Creek should use caution.

Trout season opened May 22, and there should be some nice cutthroat around. Remember the limit on streams and rivers is two per day over 8-inches.

NESTUCCA RIVER AND THREE RIVERS: steelhead, trout

Summer steelhead fishing has been moderate to slow, but there are fish throughout the system. Cedar Creek hatchery recycled 132 summer steelhead to Pacific City on the 16th, so those fish should be making their way back up the lower river. Late August and September can be a great time to target these fish as cooler nights lower water temps, and fish that have been holding get more active. Fish are throughout the system. Target riffles and the top of pools during first and last light, and concentrate on deeper holding pools once the sun is on the water. Fishing stealthy, with light gear, and targeting first and last light is often the key to success with these fish.

Trout season is open, and there should be some nice cutthroat throughout the system, and sea run cutthroat should be entering the lower River now, too. Remember the limit on streams and rivers is two per day over 8-inches.

Three Rivers is closed to all angling downstream of the hatchery through Sept. 30. Nestucca Bay opened for fall Chinook on Aug. 1, and there are rumors of a few fish being caught. That said, it is still pretty early for this fishery. Anglers are reminded that the Nestucca River upstream of the Cloverdale Bridge is closed to Chinook angling through Sept. 15.

SALMON RIVER: Chinook, trout

Fall Chinook opened Aug. 1 and fishing is starting to pick up in the estuary. Trout season opened May 22, and there should be some nice cutthroat around. Remember the limit on streams and rivers is two per day over 8-inches.
Fishing the Siletz
Fishing on the Siletz River
-Photo by Andy Walgamott-

SILETZ RIVER: steelhead, Chinook, trout

The Siletz River opened for fall Chinook on Aug. 1 and fishing is starting to pick up in the bay. Spring Chinook and summer steelhead are being caught, and fishing should continue to improve. Recycling hatchery summer steelhead from the Siletz Falls trap has ended for the season. Casting spinners, drifting bait or using a bobber and jig can be effective.

Trout season opened May 22, and there should be some nice cutthroat around. Remember the limit on streams and rivers is two per day over 8-inches.

SIUSLAW RIVER: Chinook, trout

Fall Chinook opened Aug. 1 and fishing is starting to pick up in the bay. Trout season opened May 22, and there should be some nice cutthroat around. Remember the limit on streams and rivers is two per day over 8-inches.

TILLAMOOK BAY: Chinook

There are a hand full of fall Chinook being caught in the bay, but it’s still early and the action is sporadic. There’s rumors a few have been caught on the upper bay, but the lower bay is going to be the best bet during this early part of the season.

TRASK RIVER: steelhead, trout

Trout season opened May 22, and there should be some nice cutthroat around. Remember the limit on streams and rivers is two per day over 8-inches. Anglers are reminded that no bait is allowed in the North, South, and East forks of the Trask through August 31.

Summer steelhead angling is slow, with relatively small numbers of fish available.

The Trask River doesn’t open above tidewater (Hwy. 101 bridge) until Sept. 16, and anglers need to remember that the dam hole (MP 7 on Trask River Rd up to Blue Ridge Creek) is closed to angling Sept. 1 - Nov. 30.

Anglers are reminded that, 200 feet upstream and 900 feet downstream of Gold Creek at Trask Hatchery (which includes the Hatchery hole) is closed to angling July 16 – Oct. 15.

WILSON RIVER: steelhead, trout

Summer steelhead fishing on the Wilson has been moderate to slow, but there are fish throughout the system. Late August and September can be a great time to target these fish as cooler nights lower water temps, and fish that have been holding get more active. Target riffles and the top of pools during first and last light, and concentrate on deeper holding pools once the sun is on the water. Fishing stealthy, with light gear, and targeting first and last light is often the key to success with these fish.

The Wilson doesn’t open for fall Chinook above tide water (Hwy 101 bridge) until Sept 16.

Trout season opened May 22, and there should be some nice cutthroat around. Remember, the limit on streams and rivers is two per day over 8 inches.

YAQUINA RIVER: Chinook, trout

Trout season opened May 22, and there should be some nice cutthroat around. Remember, the limit on streams and rivers is two per day over 8-inches.

  Northwest Zone Hunting

OPEN: COUGAR, BLACK BEAR, ARCHERY DEER AND ELK (opens Aug. 26)

Hunting and fire danger in Oregon
ODFW does not close hunting seasons due to fire danger. However, hunters may face restrictions due to fires burning on public land and reduced access to private lands during fire season. More info including list of private land closures

Black Bear
Black Bear, by trail camera
-Photo provided by Greg Robinson-

Cougar are most effectively taken by using predator calls. However, cougar densities are relatively low on the north coast. Successful hunters, remember you must check in cougar (hide and skull) at an ODFW office within 10 days of harvest and bring them in unfrozen. It’s also a good idea to prop their mouths open with a stick after harvest for easier tissue sampling, teeth collection and tagging.

Fall Black Bear season opened Aug. 1. Bears early in the season may be widely distributed as they forage for berry crops wherever they occur. Scout seldom-travelled or grown-in roads for fresh sign to key in on areas bears are frequenting. Successful hunters, remember you must check in bear (skull at a minimum) at an ODFW office within 10 days of harvest and bring them in unfrozen. It’s also a good idea to prop their mouths open with a stick after harvest for easier tissue sampling, teeth collection and tagging.

Archery Deer and Elk seasons open Aug. 26. Scout early and be sure to check for restricted access on some private lands due to fire danger (see link above). Early season hunting can be tough during hot days. Elk are likely to be in cool shaded areas near water and be visible in clear cuts for only a short time in the morning and evenings. Some early reports of bugling bull have been received although peak breeding is usually around Sept. 15.

 Northwest Zone Wildlife Viewing

Pileated Woodpecker

Pileated Woodpecker
- Photo by Greg Gillson-

The many hiking trails on State Forest land on the north coast (Tillamook and Clatsop State Forests) offer the chance to traverse a variety of forest stand types and ages from young open stands to mature timber ranging in elevation from near sea level to over 3,000 feet. Birds of the Coast Range include pileated woodpecker, brown creeper, pygmy owl, varied thrush, winter wren and an assemblage of warblers, among others.

Early southward migrants have been reported for a number of shorebird species on north coast estuaries and beaches. The very first of breeding shorebirds and waterfowl have been spotted recently migrating south. Additionally, the first great egrets have also been spotted around the Tillamook valley.

TILLAMOOK COUNTY

Wilson School on Third Street in Tillamook provides an evening opportunity to view Vaux’s swifts as they enter their nest for the night. These birds spend much of their life in flight to collect nesting materials, forage, drink, court and copulate. Although Vaux’s swifts typically next in old growth snags, they have transitioned to using chimneys.

CLATSOP COUNTY

The Coast Natural History Center is located at the confluence of Neacoxie and Neawanna Creeks on the north end of Seaside. The center offers birders information, a public trail, and local birding guides. Visit their viewing deck in the next several weeks during peak migration. Bald eagle, green heron, greater yellowlegs, semipalmated plover, great blue heron, osprey and coastal waterfowl are frequently seen here.

Jewell Meadows Wildlife Area

Roosevelt Elk

Jewell Meadows Wildlife Area
-Photo by Rick Swart, ODFW-

Elk viewing has been good at Jewell Meadows Wildlife Area. Best viewing has been in the evenings until dark on warm sunny days. Elk tend to be in the open areas a little longer in the mornings and evenings on cool cloudy days. Most of the meadows have been mowed so elk should be easier to spot. Good places to look are the Fishhawk Tract along Hwy. 202 and the Beneke Tract along the first 1.5 miles of Beneke Creek Road.

The elk breeding season or “rut” should start at the end of August and continue until the first part of October with the peak about mid-September. This is a good time to visit the wildlife area to see breeding activity including bulls bugling and battling for dominance. Tree and violate green swallows can still be seen gliding over fields and resting on fence lines near viewing areas. Band-tailed pigeons have been observed near area bird feeders and frequenting the many cascara trees throughout the wildlife area. Many other song bird species can be seen in and around viewing areas. Check out the new white board at the Kiosk for daily updates on viewing opportunities.

Visitors are reminded that areas posted as Wildlife Refuge are closed to public access. Additionally, posted portions of the Beneke Tract are closed to public entry during any Saddle Mt. unit elk season including Archery season. Closure dates are Aug. 1 through March 15 (see big game regulations for exceptions).

Wildlife Area Parking Permits are required on the Wildlife Area. (Updated 8/22/17)


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