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

Weekly Recreation Report: Northwest Zone

May 23, 2017

 Northwest Zone Fishing

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

Weekend fishing opportunities:

  • Trout season opened on May 22 with a two fish per day limit.
  • Spring Chinook fishing is picking on up in coastal waters, including the Nestucca, Siletz, Trask, Three Rivers, and Tillamook Bay.
  • The following locations will be stocked with trout this week: Alder Lake, Buck Lake, Cleawox Lake, Dune Lake, Perkins Lake and Thissell Pond.

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 of the North Coast lakes were stocked with trout recently. Water temps are great and fish should be hungry, so go catch them!

MID COAST LAKES

Most of the North Coast lakes were stocked with trout recently. Water temps are great and fish should be hungry, so go catch them!

The 2017 trout stocking schedule is available online.

ALSEA RIVER AND BAY: steelhead

The Alsea River and listed tributaries closed for hatchery steelhead on May 1 to protect spawning wild steelhead.

KILCHIS RIVER: 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.

NEHALEM: 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.

NESTUCCA RIVER AND THREE RIVERS: steelhead, spring Chinook, trout

The Nestucca is in good shape and spring Chinook fishing has been fair. There’s more water than usual for this time of year, so all of the drifts are available. The water has been a little cold for prime springer fishing, but with the warm weather early this week, it should be improving by the weekend. Bobber fishing bait, back bouncing, pulling divers and bait or plugs are all good techniques. We haven’t heard many reports of summer steelhead, but there should be fish in the system.

Spring Chinook fishing on Three Rivers has picked up a little and there are some fish being caught.

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.

SALMON RIVER: steelhead

The Salmon River closed for wild and hatchery steelhead on March 31 to protect spawning wild steelhead.

Fishing the Siletz
Fishing on the Siletz River
-Photo by Andy Walgamott-

SILETZ RIVER: steelhead, Chinook

The Siletz River opened for wild Chinook on April 1 (1 per day and 2 per season). Spring Chinook and summer steelhead are being caught. Drift boaters are having success from Moonshine Park to Siletz and bank anglers are catching hatchery fish in the Siletz gorge. Casting spinners, drifting bait or using a bobber and jig can be effective.

SIUSLAW RIVER: steelhead

The Siuslaw River closed for hatchery steelhead on April 1 to protect spawning wild steelhead.

TILLAMOOK BAY: spring Chinook

Spring Chinook fishing on the bay has picked up a little, although it is still a little slow, but a few fish are being caught both in the upper and lower bay. Fishing should improve throughout the month. Trolling herring in the lower bay, and spinners in the upper, are usually the go to techniques.

TRASK RIVER: steelhead, spring Chinook, trout

Spring Chinook fishing on the Trask has picked up. There is plenty of water for this time of year. The water has been a little cold for prime springer fishing, but with the warm weather early this week, it should be improving by the weekend. Bobber fishing bait, back bouncing, pulling divers and bait or plugs are all good techniques.

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 from Cedar Creek boat slide (River Mile 10.9) downstream to marker at Loren’s drift (River Mile 9.0) from May 1 – July 31, angling is restricted to fly angling or salmon bobber angling (See diagram on page 16 of the Oregon Sport Fishing Regulations).

WILSON RIVER: steelhead, Spring Chinook, trout

Spring Chinook fishing has been slow on the Wilson, but there should be some fish around and it should improve throughout the month. There should also be some summer steelhead in the system.

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: steelhead

The Yaquina River and Big Elk Cr. closed for steelhead on April 1 to protect spawning wild steelhead.

  Northwest Zone Hunting

OPEN: COUGAR, SPRING BEAR (closes May 31)

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.

Spring bear hunting is done through controlled hunt tags on the north coast. Bear activity has been increasing lately and it’s becoming more likely to see bears out and about, especially on warmer, sunnier days. Hunters are reminded check their harvested bears 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.

 Northwest Zone Wildlife Viewing

Neotropical migrants (songbirds) are starting to make their appearance in the forests, fields and marshy areas of the north coast. In the coming weeks, more will continue to arrive and soon the forests will be alive with male songbirds calling to attract mates and establish territories.

May is typically a good time for observing migrating shorebirds on northern Oregon coast beaches. Many species are moving north from more southerly latitudes, and stop at the beaches to rest and feed before continuing on to the arctic or near-arctic regions.

Brown Pelican
Brown Pelican
-Photo by Patti Barry-

Brown pelicans have been showing up on north coast estuaries and the lower Columbia River. As spring gives way to summer, many more will show up on the north coast. They are closely tied to the ocean and estuaries whereas their cousin, the white pelican, tends to be inland from the coast.

TILLAMOOK COUNTY

The black oystercatcher is a medium-sized, black shorebird with bright orange bills and feet, that inhabits rocky shorelines of the coast. It feeds typically on mussels growing on the rocks, not oysters, as the name implies. You can often hear them before they’re seen as they have a loud and raucous call. A great place to view them is the Short Beach area, just north of Oceanside.

The whimbrels are back in Tillamook County. May is the typical time when these large, nondescript brown shorebirds are seen and heard, not only along the coast, but in other areas in and around Tillamook. They can sometimes be seen foraging in dairy pastures, just as herons and egrets do, and have a characteristic call when flying overhead. They typically leave for their breeding areas in the north by sometime in June.

CLATSOP COUNTY

The Twilight Bald Eagle Sanctuary is located just off Hwy. 30 on Burnside Road, near the community of Svensen. By May, many of the neo-tropical birds that nest there have arrived, and the marsh should be alive with the calls of nesting birds, such as the marsh wren. The facility has a good viewing platform that even illustrates some of local history, such as the Lewis and Clark Expedition. Bring your spotting scope to optimize your viewing experience.

Jewell Meadows Wildlife Area

Viewing opportunities for elk have been good with some animals visible most days. Best times are in the mornings and evenings. As the spring progresses elk should start spending more time in the timbered areas and less time in the open fields especially on warm days. The bulls have shed their antlers and new antler growth is already visible on many of them. Look for bulls on the Fishhawk tract adjacent to Hwy. 202. Other elk may be visible along Hwy. 202 or the first 1.5 miles on Beneke Creek Road. Please remember that areas posted as Wildlife Refuge are closed to public access.

Migratory species that have recently returned to the wildlife area include band-tailed pigeons, violate-green swallows, tree swallows, and wood ducks. Look for band-tailed pigeons near viewing areas. Swallows can be seen gliding over open fields and checking out nest boxes along fences near viewing areas. Wood ducks, hooded mergansers, and mallards have been seen on the shallow pond areas, in fields with standing water, and along creeks.

Wildlife Area Parking Permits are required on the Jewell Meadows Wildlife Area.

(Updated 5/23/17)


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