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Weekly Recreation Report: Northwest Zone

May 19, 2015

 Northwest Zone Fishing

Coffenbury Lake

Fishing on Coffenbury Lake

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.

Very low water levels in coastal streams will present some challenging fishing conditions. Scale down your gear, using smaller weights and baits, and lighter leaders. Look for fish, especially steelhead, to hold in different parts of the river than they normally would.

Most rivers and streams will re-open to trout on May 23, 2015.


Coffenbury, Lost, Cape Meares, Hebo, and Town lakes are scheduled to be stocked the first week of June prior to Free Fishing Weekend. Trout fishing should be fair in most lakes. Low water levels and warming lake temperatures will likely lead to changes in trout stocking schedule. Keep checking the schedule for updates. Warming water temperatures will get warmwater fish more active. Coffenbury, Cullaby, Sunset, Lytle, Cape Meares, and Town lakes, and Vernonia Pond all offer opportunity for largemouth bass.

The latest trout stocking schedule.


Youth fishing at Eckman Lake – A youth fishing event and carnival will take place on Saturday May 16 at Eckman Lake near Waldport. The event will take place from 8:30 to 2 p.m. for youths ages 17 and younger. Fishing gear and bait will be provided, and youths will be allowed to keep up to two fish. Eckman Lake is located about 2.5 miles east of Waldport on Hwy. 34. Fishing for the various warm water fish species can be productive during the spring months as lake temperatures start to rise and fish begin spawning. Anglers will start finding more fish up in the shallows over the next month.

Trout stocking continues

The rainbow trout stocking program is in full swing and most water bodies have been stocked recently or will be soon again. Most areas will be stocked multiple times until early June. Be sure to check out the 2015 trout stocking schedule for the most up to date information.

ALSEA RIVER: steelhead

Reopens cutthroat trout beginning May 23.

KILCHIS RIVER: cutthroat

Opens for trout fishing May 23.

NESTUCCA RIVER AND THREE RIVERS: steelhead, Chinook, cutthroat

Fishing is mostly fair for spring Chinook. Fish are available through tidewater and into the lower river, including Three Rivers. Special gear restrictions went into effect in Three Rivers beginning May 1. Steelhead angling is slow. Fishing for cutthroat trout opens May 23.


The river is closed to fishing until May 23, when it opens for cutthroat trout.

Williams Family

Steve Williams with his daughter and son, Kathyrn and Kyle after a day of steelhead fishing on the Siletz River.
-ODFW Photo-

SILETZ RIVER: steelhead

Steelhead fishing is slow but should continue to improve on a weekly basis. The winter steelhead run is over with only a few post spawn fish remaining. The summer steelhead run is just getting started with initial signs indicating a decent early run compared to most years. Typical steelhead tactics apply such as side drifting, bobber and jig / bait, or casting spoons or spinners.

SIUSLAW RIVER: steelhead

The river, above tidewater, is closed to all fishing until May 23 when cutthroat trout season opens.

TILLAMOOK BAY: sturgeon, Chinook

Spring Chinook fishing is fair overall, but some good bites are being reported at times. Fish the lower bay on softer tide series, and the upper bay on the bigger swings. Trolling herring or large bladed spinners are the two most popular techniques. Catch-and-release fishing for sturgeon should be fair.

TRASK RIVER: steelhead, Chinook, cutthroat

Spring Chinook fishing is fair but steady with some days better than others. Fish are being caught from tidewater up to the hatchery area. Gear restrictions are now in effect from the Cedar Creek boat slide down to the Lorens Drift wooden boat slide. An occasional summer steelhead is being caught. Fishing for cutthroat trout opens May 23, including in the north, south, and east forks.

Anglers who catch a steelhead or salmon with numbered tag(s) are encouraged to report catch information via the internet or by calling ODFW at 503-842-2741 and asking for Derek Wiley. All live tagged fish that are not legal to retain or are voluntarily not kept should be released quickly and unharmed with tags intact.

WILSON RIVER: steelhead, Chinook, cutthroat

Summer steelhead fishing is slow to fair. Fish will be holding in deeper holes as flows are low. Use lighter gear in the clear water. Spring Chinook fishing is still slow, but a few more fish are showing up. Concentrate on deeper holes in the lower river. Fishing for cutthroat trout opens May 23.

YAQUINA RIVER: steelhead

The river is closed to all fishing and will reopen on May 23 with the cutthroat trout season opener.

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  Northwest Zone Hunting


Use the Oregon Hunting Map to see where to hunt.

See the turkey hunting forecast.

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. See regulations for details.

Spring bears should be active this spring due to the exceptionally mild winter and spring so far. Look for signs of recent bear activity in the forest, such as torn up old logs and young conifer trees with bark peeling near the base. Predator calling is generally your best bet, especially during the day when bears are not very active in forest openings.

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 Northwest Zone Wildlife Viewing

It’s spring and songbirds are starting to get serious about nesting. Year-round residents, such as the winter wren, are already very vocal and their melodic singing can be heard often when walking through north coast forests. Soon, neo-tropical migrants will show up and the forest will be filled with the songs of male birds declaring their nesting territories.


Steller sea lions are common on the smaller nearshore rocks on the eastern edge of the Three Arch Rocks NWR, located just west of Oceanside. Both adults and pups are present and can be distinguished by size and coloration. The refuge is home to these marine mammals nearly year-round except in the fall when they take a brief hiatus. Bring binoculars or a spotting scope for best viewing.

May is still a good month to view migrating shorebirds along ocean beaches as they make their way to nesting areas in the Arctic and other far-north regions. In Tillamook County, the whimbrel is a usual and conspicuous visitor each May. It’s a large brownish bird with a downturned bill that can be seen flying over and on farm pastures as well as the ocean beaches.


Jewell Meadows Wildlife Area

Roosevelt Elk
Roosevelt Elk
-Photo by Jim Yuskavitch, ODFW-

Visitors should take caution around the main viewing area over the next few months. Several construction projects including paving and restroom remodel will impact public use. The main view area may be closed intermittently to traffic during the paving portion of the project scheduled for late April and early May. The public restrooms will be closed in June for remodeling. Portable restrooms will be available.

Elk viewing continues to be good. Best viewing times are mornings and evenings, but elk may be visible throughout the day depending on weather. As spring progresses and temperatures start to warm, elk will use the timbered areas more during the middle of the day.

Most bulls have shed their antlers and new growth is already visible. Band-tailed pigeons have been seen near area bird feeders and along gravel roadways. Swallows have arrived and are visible gliding over meadow areas and checking out nest boxes along view area fences. Other wildlife to watch for include: coyotes in the fields, bald eagles perched in tall trees near creeks or soaring overhead, and songbirds near the viewing areas.

Visitors are reminded that areas posted as Wildlife Refuge are closed to public access. Posted portions of the Beneke Tract are open to the public starting March 16 and will remain open until August 1.

Wildlife Area Parking Permits are required on the wildlife area.

Ft. Steven’s State Park

The viewing bunker at Trestle Bay within the Ft. Steven’s State Park is a great place to view waterfowl and shorebirds, especially at lower tides. The bunker provides good shelter from rain, wind and storms, and viewing optics, such as binoculars or a spotting scope are highly recommended for best viewing.

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