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Weekly Recreation Report: Southeast Zone

November 29, 2016

 Southeast Zone Fishing

Cottonwood Meadows Lake
Cottonwood Meadows Lake
-Photo by Jessica Sall, ODFW-

Weekend Fishing Opportunities:

  • Trout fishing in Cottonwood Meadows, and Duncan and Lofton reservoirs has been great recently!
  • Also, check out Balm Creek, Pilcher Creek and Unity reservoirs where there are good numbers of fish in the 12 to 20-inch range. But go soon as we expect these reservoirs could be iced over by mid-December.
  • Fishing on The Klamath River for large redband trout from Keno Dam to J.C. Boyle Reservoir continues to be very good.
  • Ana River was recently stocked with larger rainbow trout that should be biting.
  • Reinhart Park and Expo ponds were stocked last week.

If your favorite fishing spot is no longer listed

It could be the area is closed, inaccessible due or currently offers limited fishing opportunities. These water bodies will return to the recreation report when conditions change. If you believe something is missing, contact us and we’ll find out why.

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.

ANA RESERVOIR: hatchery rainbow trout, hybrid bass

This lake is open year round, providing a great opportunity to catch hybrid bass and rainbow trout. There have been no recent fishing reports but bass fishing should start picking up during this fall. Hybrid bass are traditionally targeted using crank baits; however, they can be caught in the reservoir using various methods including bait. Hybrid bass larger than 20-inches are not uncommon. A new state record hybrid bass (white and striped bass cross) was caught in Ana Reservoir on Dec. 10, 2014. The fish was caught using a Rapala crankbait on 10 lb. test line and measured 31½ inches with a girth of 24 inches. The fish weighed 19 lbs. 12 oz. The potential new state record is 1 ½ inches longer and 1 lb. heavier than the previous record of 18 lbs. 9 oz. caught in 2009.

ANA RIVER: hatchery rainbow trout, brown trout

Ana River is open year round and was recently stocked with larger rainbow trout 10 to 13-inches. Fingerlings were also released in the spring and should be approximately 8-inches. The Ana River is spring fed and rainbow trout are active throughout the year. Anglers can access these trout by floating the river in a float tube or by walking the banks. Bait is allowed.

Caddis flies are the dominant invertebrate. Small blue winged olive (size 18) mayflies should be hatching. Ana River is a great match the hatch fly fishing river with good hatches throughout the winter. Hatches typically occur during the afternoon from 12-3 p.m. the best time. Small mayfly hatches are typically best on overcast days with light rain or snow. Tui chub and pit roach are abundant in the river therefore casting large flies or lures can be effective for catching larger fish.

Ana River is a good TROUT 365 fishery – good trout fishing 365 days a year.

ANNIE CREEK: brook trout, brown trout and rainbow trout

Annie Creek is a large spring-fed stream with approximately 50 cfs or more in the late fall due to run off from snow melt. Annie Creek turns turbid quickly due to the large watershed and snow in the upper elevations. Access is available off Hwy. 62 at the USFS snow park. There is plenty of public property on USFS, State Forest and Crater Lake National Park -- fishing is regulated by the National Park (541-594-3000). Several waterfalls occur on the creek inside Crater Lake National Park offering exceptional views. Fishing is slow due to very cold (33 degrees) and low productivity water. Fishing with bait allowed. Brook and brown trout are beginning to spawn and are a little easier to catch. Open year-round.

ANTHONY LAKE: rainbow trout, brook trout

Winter has now arrived at Anthony Lake. While accessible, winter conditions now exist.

BALM CREEK RESERVOIR: rainbow trout, smallmouth bass, crappie

Balm Creek Reservoir was stocked with fingerling, legal-sized and trophy rainbow trout in May. The fall reservoir level is good. Recent fish sampling by ODFW indicates that the fingerlings planted this spring have survived and grown well. Fishable numbers of the legal and trophy-sized fish are available as well. Recent reports indicate fishing is good for fat 10 to 16-inch rainbow trout. The reservoir will usually ice over by mid-December.

BEULAH RESERVOIR: redband trout, hatchery rainbow trout, whitefish, bull trout

No recent fishing reports. The reservoir is currently at 14 percent of capacity and the boat ramp is not useable based on the Bureau of Reclamation website.

USBR crews completed a tagging program in Beulah in 2011 and there may still be tagged fish in the reservoir. If you catch a tagged trout, please report it to the Hines office at 541-573-6582.

BLITZEN RIVER: redband trout

The Blitzen River is currently flowing around 35 cfs with water temperatures fluctuating around 36oF. The current conditions for the Blitzen can be checked here. Recent reports indicate that fishing has been productive all throughout the Blitzen system with the best areas being around the Page Springs Campground and the Page Springs Weir. Recently, a small mid-day hatch has been occurring and fishermen have had success with small gray dry flies. Nymphing with large wooly buggers has also been productive in the deep water.

The South Loop Steens Road is currently open to the South Steens Campground so anglers can still access the upper portions of the Blitzen, and Big Indian and the Little Blitzen gorges. These tributaries to the Blitzen support healthy populations of redband trout for anglers willing to fish them. The North Loop Steens Road is open to Jackman Park. The Steens Mountain did receive snow over the weekend and the Burns BLM may decide to close more of the loop roads so check with them before planning a trip to the upper Blitzen.

The Blitzen and Little Blitzen Rivers are open year round for catch-and-release only starting in 2016. Retention is still allowed in other tributaries. Please check the 2016 fishing regulations for changes in the Blitzen River system as it pertains to rainbow versus redband trout. The regulations for the Blitzen River treat redband trout and rainbow trout as the same species. The confusion comes up because the new regulation states catch-and-release for rainbow trout and says nothing about redband trout.

rainbow trout
Rainbow Trout
- Photo by Kevin Clawson-

BLUE LAKE: hatchery rainbow trout

There have been no recent fishing reports, but access is probably limited by snow. Fly fishing from a float tube is very productive casting or trolling flies. Fish are oriented towards the surface in the morning and evening during aquatic insect or flying ant hatches, but quite frequently jump throughout the day. Blue Lake is a fantastic high elevation lake located in the Gearhart Wilderness between Bly and Lakeview. A three-mile trail leads to the lake and it’s a 1-2 hour hike.

BIG ROCK RESERVOIR: hatchery rainbow trout

The reservoir was dry last year, but was stocked with fingerling rainbow trout this spring. Fishing for 7-9 inch fish has been excellent using flies. There is quite a bit of algae along the margins making casting challenging, but a small john boat or float tube would work well. These fish are healthy and will hopefully survive throughout the winter to provide a great fishery for next year.

BULLY CREEK RESERVOIR: bass, crappie, yellow perch, catfish, trout

No recent fishing reports. The reservoir is at 14 percent of capacity and the boat ramp is not useable based on the Bureau of Reclamation website (although it may still be possible to launch small boats that can navigate the terrain below the boat launch). Bully Creek Reservoir was stocked this past spring with trophy sized rainbow trout so these and hold-overs from last year should be available for fishermen.

BURNS POND: trout, bass

Fishing has been good for legal-sized rainbow trout recently on the Burns Pond. The pond was stocked with legal-sized rainbow trout this past month so these fish and holdovers from this past summer are available for anglers. The pond is experiencing an algal bloom around the edges and fish appear to be using these for shade/cover so fishing along the algae rim has been productive. The cooler temperatures in the region should help to thin out the algae in the pond and fall and winter fishing should be productive.

CALAHAN CREEK (LONG CREEK-SYCAN AREA): brook trout and redband trout

Access is likely blocked by snow or very muddy roads. Calahan Creek is a very small tributary to Long Creek. Most of the creek flows through a low gradient meadow. Flows this time year are approximately 1-2 cfs. Water levels are excellent for fishing. Access is available but the trip takes two hours from Klamath Falls. Mosquitoes are gone and has good access area for camping near the meadows.

The most productive fishing area is near the lower 400-00 road crossing and upstream. All of Calahan Creek is on Green Diamond property so please respect this private property and their rules. Bait is allowed. Fishing is excellent for small brook trout mostly under 8-inches. Open all year.

CAMPBELL LAKE: hatchery rainbow trout, brook trout

Recent fishing reports indicate 12 to 13-inch trout being caught, but access is probably limited by snow. The lake was stocked the week of Aug. 29 with 10 to 13-inch rainbow trout.

CAMPBELL RESERVOIR: redband trout, largemouth bass, crappie

Water levels in the reservoir are surprisingly high. There are no boat ramps on the reservoir therefore a small pontoon, john boat, or float tube is recommended. The southeastern part of the reservoir is on BLM property. The reservoir is fed by water from Deming Creek.

Access is available off the FS 34 (Dairy Creek road) and 335 roads near Bly. Much of the reservoir is on private property so please respect this area.

Largemouth bass are moving into the shallows and feeding actively to prepare for winter. Bass fishing should be good. Crappie and redband trout are also available and feeding actively. The redband trout population in the reservoir is sparse.

CHEWAUCAN RIVER: native redband trout, largemouth bass, brown bullhead

The entire river is open all year and flyfishing for redband trout 6 to 12-inches should be good. Dry flies and nymphs are very productive. Redband trout and brook trout are in the headwaters (Dairy and Elder Creeks) and are readily available using flies and lures as well. Bait is allowed downstream of Hwy 31 at Paisley, however the use of bait is prohibited upstream of highway 31. Largemouth bass and brown bullhead are available to anglers at the first Hwy. 31 crossing just north of Valley Falls. Small boats can be launched at this site.


No recent fishing reports but fishing is expected to be slow to fair. Chickahominy was stocked with 2044 legal-sized trout during the week of May 16, 2016 and again this fall. The reservoir was not stocked in 2015 due to poor habitat conditions resulting from the prolonged drought conditions in the region.

ODFW sampled the reservoir this past summer and found healthy rainbow trout up to 14-inches so hopefully that indicates that the fishery is on the rebound. The boat ramp is currently useable for small boats but requires driving the trailer past the end of the cement launch ramp and onto the rocks. The water clarity in Chickahominy is very low and the water is very muddy. High winds have also been present. The algal bloom is still occurring but should decrease with the colder weather and shorter days.

CORRAL CREEK (SF Sprague): brook trout and brown trout

Access likely limited due to snow. The road is paved all the way to the creek. Water levels are low, approximately 2-3 cfs, but excellent for fishing. Access is available from the FS 34 road (Dairy Creek Road). Look for signs to Corral Creek Campground and Gearhart Wilderness. The campground is near the confluence of Corral Creek and South Fork Sprague River. The campground is maintained by the USFS. Fishing is excellent for small brook trout up to 8 inches. Occasionally brown trout can be captured. Bait is allowed.

Rainbow Trout
Cottonwood Meadows has been producing 14-18” trout recently, like this one caught on a fly Oct. 25. Fishing has been excellent lately but anglers need to target this lake before snow prohibits access.
-Photo by Justin Miles, ODFW-

COTTONWOOD MEADOWS: hatchery rainbow trout, redband trout, brook trout

Fly fishing for rainbow trout has been fantastic recently! Snow may limit access, chains are recommended. Trolling flies that imitate fathead minnows and leeches worked really well for larger trout 12 to 22-inches. Stomach contents included: damsel and dragonfly nymphs and water boatmen. Bait fishermen were picking up fish in the 17-inch range as well. This is one of the best times of year to catch fat healthy rainbows in this reservoir. There were trout rising throughout the day. Be sure to take a trip to this reservoir before the snow restricts fishing access.

COTTONWOOD RESERVOIR (Lake County): redband trout

No recent fishing reports but fish have been observed rising near the boat launch. One rainbow trout per day, 15-inch minimum length may be harvested.

COW LAKES: largemouth bass, white crappie, brown bullheads, rainbow trout

A recent fishing report indicates that fishing is poor in the Cow Lakes this year. As of 2013, the lakes will no longer be stocked with rainbow trout due to poor habitat quality. When habitat conditions improve, the trout stocking program will be reinstated. This past summer, ODFW and volunteers sampled the Upper Cow Lake and found an overabundance of brown bullheads. White crappie, bluegill, and large scale suckers were also found with a few of the crappie being very large. Water clarity was poor at the time of sampling. ODFW will continue to monitor conditions in the Cow Lakes to hopefully improve the fishery.

CROOKED CREEK (Klamath Co): redband trout, brook trout and brown trout

Closed to fishing until May 22.

CRYSTAL CREEK redband trout and yellow perch

Closed to fishing until May 22.


Delintment Lake was stocked with legal-sized rainbow trout in the spring and anglers have reported catching these fish and holdovers from last year in consistent numbers, although fishing has appeared to be slowing down as the fall/winter season arrives. Fishing around the dock has been productive and fly-fisherman have reported good fishing from float tubes and other small watercraft.

DEMING CREEK: redband trout and bull trout

Open to fishing but closed to angling for bull trout. Any bull trout captured should not be removed from the water.

DEVILS LAKE (FISHHOLE CREEK): largemouth bass, black crappie, yellow perch, brown bullhead

No recent report.

Black Crappie
Black Crappie
-U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service-

DOG LAKE: largemouth bass, yellow perch, black crappie, brown bullhead, redband trout

There have not been any recent fishing reports. Only one rainbow trout per day, 15-inch minimum length may be harvested.

DUNCAN RESERVOIR: hatchery rainbow trout

Bait fishing has been really productive recently. Trout recently sampled were 7 to 21-inches long and very healthy; eating damsel nymphs, water boatmen, leeches and snails. This reservoir was stocked with legal- and trophy-sized rainbow trout in June. There have been reports of 16 and 17-inch trout being caught this summer. More fingerlings have been released this spring. A recent illegal introduction of brown bullhead will negatively impact the trout fishery in the future.

FISH LAKE (Wallowa Mountains): rainbow trout, brook trout

Winter has now arrived at Fish Lake and the lake is not accessible by automobiles or pickups.
FISH LAKE (Steens Mountain): rainbow trout, brook trout

The North Loop Steens Road is still open, and Fish Lake was stocked with legal-sized and trophy rainbow trout this past summer. Fisherman have reported good catches of rainbow and brook trout this summer with some rainbow trout in the 18 to 20-inch range being caught. Reports indicate that fishing has slowed down some this fall but that anglers are still catching fish. Fly-fishing from a float tube or other non-motorized watercraft has been the best method at Fish Lake. Recent snow on the Steens Mountain may prompt the Burns District BLM to close the North Loop Road at Page Springs which would prevent access to Fish Lake. Please check with them before planning a trip to Fish Lake.

ODFW sampled Fish Lake this past summer and found plenty of healthy rainbow and brook trout throughout the lake. Brook trout were around 12-inches or smaller and the rainbows were around 15-inches. There are some remaining “trophy” sized trout in the lake from the summer stocking. The brook trout are currently in spawning mode and were most abundant on the side of the lake with the boat launch.

FORT CREEK: brown, redband and brook trout

Fort Creek is closed to fishing until May 22.

FOURMILE CREEK (tributary to Agency Lake): brook, brown, and redband trout.

Open all year. Fishing should be good for brook trout using bait below Fourmile Springs along Westside Road.

Lake Trout
Meghan Grant with a Lake trout caught in Fourmile Lake, Klamath County
-Photo by Roger Smith, ODFW-

FOURMILE LAKE: hatchery rainbow trout, lake trout, kokanee, brook trout

Access likely blocked by snow and you might encounter snow at the lake. Water levels in the Lake are low. Fourmile Lake is currently 0 percent full based on water used for irrigation. The lake has a large amount of dead pool storage. The fuller the lake the easier launching boats. As the lake recedes to dead pool storage launching boats becomes very difficult. The boat ramp is unimproved and involves launching on a sandy beach with no boat docks. Launching a boat might become more difficult as water levels drop. Access to the lake is from Highway 140 near Lake of the Woods. The six mile dirt road is rough and has numerous washboards. Campground facilities exist on the lake.

The lake was stocked just before Labor Day with 12-14” rainbow trout. Fishing should be good from bank and boat. Angling from shore is typically best near the deeper water along the campground site or near the north end of the lake. Brook trout and lake trout are cruising the shoreline looking for places to spawn. If you can find their spawning areas fishing can be excellent. Access is also available by trail to the high lakes that are stocked by helicopter. These trails are likely covered in snow. Badger Lake is the most productive. Woodpecker, Squaw and Long Lake are all stocked but fishing is typically very slow on these waterbodies.

GERBER RESERVOIR: crappie, yellow perch, brown bullhead and largemouth bass

Water levels are very low and launching a boat might be impossible or extremely challenging. The reservoir is 12 percent full. Access to the reservoir is good as BLM maintains campgrounds at the reservoir. Fishing is very slow. Best fishing is for brown bullhead.

Grande Ronde Lake: rainbow trout, brook trout

Winter has now arrived at Grande Ronde Lake.

HAINES POND: rainbow

The pond was stocked with pounder and legal-sized rainbow trout mid-October.

HEART LAKE: hatchery rainbow trout, kokanee, brown bullhead catfish

Fishing has been productive for 8 to 17-inch trout this past week trolling flies and lures. Access might be limited due to snow. Trout were rising throughout the day. The lake was stocked with legal rainbow trout and kokanee at the end of June. An illegal introduction of brown bullhead catfish will likely affect survival of trout and kokanee. Expect fewer fish to overwinter due to competition for available food resources.

HOLBROOK RESERVOIR: hatchery rainbow trout

The reservoir’s head gate has been fixed and is currently being filled to store water for next year. There should be enough water to stock rainbow trout in the spring of 2017.

HWY 203 POND: trout, bass, bluegill

The pond was last stocked with legal-sized rainbow trout the first week of June.


Fishing is open and bait allowed. This stream is very small with a large brook trout being 8 inches. Fishing is excellent for brook trout.

J.C. BOYLE RESERVOIR (Topsy Reservoir): Largemouth bass, yellow perch, brown bullhead, pumpkinseed, crappie, goldfish, Sacramento perch, tui chub and blue chub

Water levels generally remain very similar and drop as the day progresses as water is released for power generation. There are numerous points of access on the reservoir as most property surrounding the reservoir is BLM or PacifiCorp property.

Fishing can be good on days when the water warms quickly during the afternoon. Warmwater fish are biting well during warmer days. Water temperature is currently peaking at 57 degrees. Fishing for largemouth bass is fair. Best bass fishing is from boat. The reservoir is turbidtherefore anglers should try lures with high visibility and scent. Boats can be launched in several locations in the reservoir. Unimproved ramps occur just north and south of the Highway 66 bridge crossing. No fees are required to launch at these locations.

Try the bay just south of the BLM campground for crappie and pumpkinseed. Also try the rocky areas near and under the Highway 66 Bridge. Goldfish dominate the fish assemblage in the reservoir. Anglers should mimic the goldfish with bronze or copper lures or plugs to catch largemouth bass in the reservoir.

UPPER KLAMATH AND AGENCY LAKES: native redband trout and yellow perch

Water levels in the lake have increased slightly. The lake is 3.6 feet below full pool. Moore Park 2, Howard Bay and Rocky Point Boat Ramps are usable. The lake is very shallow around the mouth of the Williamson River and Odessa Creek. Most of the algae in the lake is gone.

ODFW and Oregon State University have radio tagged 40 redband trout in Upper Klamath Lake. Any redband trout captured with a radio tag needs to be released immediately unharmed without removing from the water. There will be a long antennae protruding out of the side of the fish. The antennae looks like heavy 50 lb. test fishing line. Please report the catch of these radio tagged redband trout. Page 11 of the Sportfishing Regulation states it is unlawful to retain radio tagged fish.

Fishing is just fair as fish are scattered through Upper Klamath Lake and the Williamson and Wood rivers. Redband trout have moved back into the lake and now some are moving up the tributaries to spawn. Water temperature is peaking at 49 degrees. Anglers are having some success trolling lures. Redband that are going to be released should not be removed from the water. Fishing from the shore is improving around Shoalwater Bay.

There are no recent reports on yellow perch fishing in Pelican Bay. Finding the perch is the biggest challenge. Once you find them fishing can be excellent. Small hooks and bait are recommended as the perch typically do not exceed 14 inches.

Klamath River
Klamath River
-Photo by Bob Swingle, ODFW-

KLAMATH RIVER: native rainbow-redband trout

Keno Dam to J.C Boyle Reservoir

Water levels in the Keno Reach of the Klamath River are 505 cfs. This flow is excellent for fishing. Water temperatures are peaking around 40 degrees.

Access to the river is extremely challenging. Anglers can drive to the river at the base of Keno Dam using Old Wagon Road on the west side of the river. This road is in disrepair. The other access site is at the PacifiCorp Campground on the east side which is currently closed. Access to the lower river is also available at Sportsman Park. Many anglers access the river on the Hwy. 66 side and hike into the canyon.

Fishing this reach of river is extremely challenging. Most areas require a strenuous hike to reach the river. If you are wading, ODFW highly recommends studded wading boots, wading belt and definitely a wading staff. There are bedrock ledges and numerous very slippery boulders. Typically you can’t see where you are wading as the water is turbid. Polarized glasses also help with wading as you can see boulders. A landing net also assists with landing fish in fast water.

Boats are not recommended on this stretch unless you are an expert oarsman. Roe Outfitters provides fly-fishing trips from rafts in this stretch.

Fishing is very good for redband trout in this reach. Condition and size of redband trout in this reach are exceptional. Most anglers use flies and lures that mimic bait fish. However, flies that mimic leeches and caddisfly pupae work well.

J.C. Boyle Dam to J.C Boyle Powerhouse

Fishing on the Klamath River between JC Boyle Dam to JC Boyle Powerhouse continues to be good at this time. Most fish in this section are very small and average 10-inches. Below the springs this section remains near a constant 360 cfs of flow and water temperatures are cooler in this section in the summer.

Fishing is best below the spring inputs. The springs start to discharge into the river approximately 1 mile below J.C. Boyle Dam. This section of river requires a hike down steep grade to the river with the exception of the area just above the powerhouse. Fishing is excellent for small redband for those willing to hike. Nymphs and leech patterns work well during this time of year. Occasional blue winger olive mayfly hatches will occur in mid-day especially during inclement weather. Black spinners cast upstream into the pools is also a great technique. Open all year.

J.C. Boyle Powerhouse to State Line with California

Below the JC Boyle powerhouse the fish get slightly larger than the aforementioned reach and average 12 inches but rarely exceed 16 inches. Most fish are in the 6- to 8-inch range. Fishing will be poor. If flow levels are 900 cfs or lower the river is fishable. Flow release estimates are no longer available. Best fishing is very early in the morning. Check the USGS real time website for flow information. Klamath River is a good TROUT 365 fishery – good trout fishing 365 days a year.


Fishing at Krumbo Reservoir has been fair to good this year with bank and boat anglers reporting rainbow trout over 20 inches being caught. Bass fishing in Krumbo was productive this past summer but there have been no recent reports. It’s possible that bass fishing is slowing as the cooler weather has pushed the bass out into deeper water. With the winter weather approaching, it is important to know that Krumbo is open year-round for fishing but the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge does not allow ice fishing on the Krumbo so please respect the regulations.

Krumbo was stocked with over 11,000 legal-sized rainbow trout in April, and anglers have reported catching these fish in consistent numbers, especially from the rocky areas near the inlet. Krumbo It was also stocked again with legal-sized rainbows this past month. The reservoir can be a spectacular fall fishery and regularly produces rainbow trout over 18-inches.

Lake of the Woods
Lake of the Woods
-ODFW Photo-

LAKE OF THE WOODS: hatchery rainbow trout, kokanee, hatchery brown trout, yellow perch, brown bullhead, smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, crappie, tui chub

Lake levels are good and boats can be launched at three different boat ramps.

Lake of the Woods was stocked during Labor Day weekend with 12 to 14-inch rainbow trout. Fishing should be slow for most species in the lake but can be fair for yellow perch. Best fishing for stocked trout is from a boat. Best success from shore is fishing small baits for small yellow perch especially near dusk.

This is the best time to fish for large brown trout as they cruise the shallows. Fishing for largemouth and smallmouth bass is slow.

Call Lake of the Woods Resort for recent reports Toll Free at 866-201-4194.

LOFTON RESERVOIR: hatchery rainbow trout

Fishing has been great, but snow might limit access. Trolling flies imitating leaches and damsel flies was very productive. Fish were feeding on dragon nymphs, snails and damsel nymphs. There were trout rising throughout the day as well.

This reservoir was stocked three times in the month of June and judging by the number of sampled fish, there are a lot of trout in the reservoir! The vegetation might still be an issue for some fishermen, but just remember to fish the top of the water column where fish are feeding.

LONG CREEK (Sycan River): brook trout, redband trout, bull trout

Access is limited due to snow and very muddy roads. Fishing is likely slow due to very cold water temperatures approaching freezing. Access is available just upstream of the 27 road crossing on Green Diamond property. Fly fishing can be. Please report any bull trout captured to ODFW office at 541-891-4625.

LOST RIVER: largemouth bass, brown bullhead, yellow perch, Sacramento perch

Fishing for largemouth is slow. Lost River is open to fishing all year. Public access is available at Crystal Springs day use area. Boats can be launched from an improved boat ramp at Crystal Springs. Angling for brown bullhead is fair.

Bait fished just off the bottom is the best method to catch fish at this point.

Sacramento perch have been captured below Horseshoe Dam. This is one of the only locations in the state to capture this fish.

LUCKY RESERVOIR: hatchery rainbow trout

Lucky Reservoir is three-fourths full, and should easily overwinter trout this year. Lucky was dry in 2015, but fingerlings have been stocked this spring and should be 8 inches by fall.

MALHEUR RESERVOIR: hatchery rainbow trout

No recent fishing reports.

The reservoir dam was repaired and started holding water again in November of 2015 but very few fish were expected to survive in the reservoir from last year. This is because the reservoir completely dried up this past summer. The reservoir was stocked with legal-sized and fingerling rainbow trout this past spring to jump start the fishery following prolonged drought conditions in the region.

MALHEUR RIVER (from the South Fork Malheur River near Riverside, downstream to Gold Creek): redband trout and hatchery rainbow trout.

No recent fishing reports.

MALHEUR RIVER, NORTH FORK: redband trout, whitefish, and bull trout

No recent fishing reports.

MALHEUR RIVER, MIDDLE FORK: redband trout, brook trout, and bull trout

No recent fishing reports.

MANN LAKE: cutthroat trout

The Oregon Dept. of Fish & Wildlife stocked Mann Lake with cutthroat trout this spring and anglers are starting to see these fish in the lake. Some fishermen have reported catching consistent numbers of cutthroat trout this past spring/summer -- all in the 18 to 24-inch range. Currently the lake is low and muddy, and recent reports indicate fishing is slow mainly because the low water makes it difficult to walk around the shoreline. Float tube fisherman have had trouble with the low lake level making it difficult to paddle around near the shore. Larger fly patterns pulled in a jerking motion worked well this spring/summer at Mann Lake. ODFW staff sampled Mann Lake earlier this year in the spring and found plenty of large cutthroat trout available for fisherman.

Fathead minnows were also found in Mann Lake and have been giving fisherman concern. At the moment, it does not appear that the population of fathead minnows is negatively affecting the fishery but ODFW will continue to monitor the lake.

The Oregon Dept. of Fish & Wildlife stocked Mann Lake with cutthroat trout this spring so anglers should start to see these fish in the lake.

MILL FLAT POND: hatchery rainbow trout, largemouth bass

This reservoir is located northwest of Lakeview on the Fremont National Forest. Largemouth bass have been sampled this summer weighing up to 6 lbs. and measuring over 19 inches long! Crayfish were found to be the preferred diet of large bass in this pond. There were also hatchery trout collected in the 10- to 12-inch range, but very few. Bass have been illegally introduced and are negatively impacting the hatchery rainbow trout.

Brown Trout
Brown Trout
-Photo by Patti Abbot-

MILLER LAKE: brown trout, kokanee, rainbow trout, brook trout

Access to the lake will be challenging due to snow. The lake was stocked with rainbow trout in September. Fishing should be fair. Miller Lake has campground facilities and an excellent boat ramp. The 12-mile dirt road into the lake can be very rough.

Fishing should be excellent for brown trout as last year’s sampling showed numerous brown trout in the 18-22 size class. Brown trout of this size begin to feed heavily on kokanee and stocked fingerling rainbow trout so mimicking these baits will provide you with successful results. If fishing is slow, try the outlet of the lake in Miller Creek for small brook trout, brown trout and rainbow trout. Bait is allowed in Miller Creek.

MUD LAKE: hatchery rainbow trout

All fish died in the drought last year. Fingerling rainbow trout were stocked this spring, but once again water levels are very low.


The reservoir was stocked with legal and trophy-sized rainbow trout in April. The fall water level is fair. Some hold-over trout should be available, but the reservoir will soon begin to ice over.

NORTH POWDER POND: rainbow trout

The pond was stocked with pounder-sized rainbow trout mid-October.

OVERTON RESERVOIR: hatchery rainbow trout

There have been no recent fishing reports, but there should be holdovers from previous fingerling stockings. Fingerling rainbow trout were stocked again this spring and should be 8-inches by fall.

OWYHEE RESERVOIR: largemouth and smallmouth bass, crappie, yellow perch, catfish

The Owyhee Reservoir is currently at 27 percent of capacity and that is up some due to recent precipitation in the region. There is still a lot of algae present in the upper portions of the lake but the shorter days and colder weather should help to clear things up. There have been recent reports of anglers catching trout up to 20-inches in the reservoir this fall. Bass and crappie fishing is slowing down as we move into fall/winter months and the fish move into deeper water.

Reports over the summer indicated that there were a lot of dead carp in the reservoir but there were no reports of other fish species dying. ODFW investigated and took water samples and found areas that contained lethal dissolved oxygen levels so this was likely the cause of dying carp. Since carp were actively spawning, they were moving into the shallower areas where there was more algae and less oxygen and getting trapped while other species moved into areas that contained adequate oxygen.

The Owyhee Dam boat ramp is permanently closed due to safety concerns and the Gordon Gulch ramp is closed due to low water so users need to launch at the Indian Creek Boat Launch.

rainbow trout
Rainbow Trout
-Photo by Roger Smith-

OWYHEE RIVER (Lower): brown trout and hatchery rainbow trout

Water releases below the dam have been around 29 cfs according to the USGS stream data and the water clarity has been fairly good when it isn’t raining or snowing. Fly-fishing higher up in the canyon has been productive and some have had success with small dry flies matching the hatches that have been occurring. Water clarity can fluctuate throughout the day so having a ride range of flies or lures can increase success during fall/winter fishing on the Owyhee River.

ODFW and volunteers recently conducted brown trout spawning surveys on the Lower Owyhee River and found brown trout actively spawning. The majority of the spawning is occurring higher up in the river but there were fish spawning down as low as the concrete bridge hole so users are asked to avoid walking in and around actively spawning trout and redds. Spawning areas can be easily identified by the cleaned up gravel in riffles and in other areas that contains smaller gravel.

OWYHEE RIVER (Upper): smallmouth bass and channel catfish

No recent fishing reports, but fishing is expected to be slow.

Piute Reservoir: hatchery rainbow trout and Lahontan cutthroat

Fingerlings released this spring have reached 7 to 8-inches. Fly fishing near the shoreline along the dam has been productive. The reservoir is very low and there currently are only approximately 1-2 surface acres of water. Most fish likely perished last year due to drought. Overwinter survival may be low again this year unless the reservoir receives more water before it freezes.


Winter conditions have now found their way to eastern Oregon and it is anticipated that the reservoir will ice-over by mid-December.

Reservoir storage is at 4 percent of capacity, but still plenty of water for some good fishing. Launching boats at the Union Creek launch is not possible. Boats can be launched at the Mason Dam launch at very low reservoir levels, but the ramp surface is in disrepair and launching of large boats is not advisable.

The last stocking for the summer of legal and trophy-sized rainbow trout occurred the week of June 1. A total of 4,000 trophy-sized and approximately 10,500 legal-sized rainbow trout were released this spring. September sampling by ODFW indicates that good numbers of the trophies are still available and they are in very good condition. Good numbers of carryovers from past stocking of legal-sized trout are also available averaging 12-14 inches and are also in very good condition. To measure the catch rate of the trophy’s, ODFW marked approximately 400 of these with an orange colored tag, just under the dorsal fin. If you catch one of these tagged fish, please report the tag number to Tim Bailey, District Fish Biologist at 541-962-1829. Some of these tags will have a $50 reward available.

Fall fishing reports indicate that anglers have done well catching both rainbow trout and yellow perch. Don’t let the low water be a deterrent, some good fishing is to be had at Phillips Reservoir.

Pilcher Creek Reservoir
Pilcher Creek Reservoir
-Photo by Rick Swart-


Due to a rule change for 2016, the reservoir is open to fishing year-round. Fishing for rainbow trout up to 16 inches is good. The low water ramp is not functional.  Winter conditions have now arrived in eastern Oregon and it is anticipated the reservoir will ice-over by mid-December.

PINE CREEK and tributaries (Snake River tributary): rainbow trout, brook trout

Pine Creek and tributaries are open to trout fishing year-round, with a five-rainbow trout bag limit. This is a new regulation for 2016.

POISON CREEK RESERVOIR: hatchery rainbow trout

Recent reports indicate that fishing has been slow at Poison Creek Reservoir. Fishing can be slow but those fishermen that are willing to put in the time often catch trout over 20 inches. The reservoir has an abundant macroinvertebrate community and a population of especially large freshwater shrimp. If you can find out what the fish are feeding on and then match your flies or lures to that, it will greatly increase your chances of catching fish at Poison Creek Reservoir.

POLE CREEK RESERVOIR: hatchery rainbow trout, crappie

No recent fishing reports. The reservoir was stocked this past spring so these fish still should be available to anglers. Efforts were recently made to stock Pole Creek but the low water prevented the fish stocking truck from getting close enough to the water so Pole Creek will not be stocked this fall.

POWDER RIVER: rainbow trout

The river below Mason Dam was last stocked with legal-sized rainbow trout on June 21. Some holdover trout should be available for fall fishing.

PRIDAY RESERVOIR: hatchery rainbow trout

Priday Reservoir is a reservoir mostly on BLM property between Plush and Adel. Please respect the private property on the reservoir. Bait fishing sounds like it is slow, but fishermen are constantly seeing trout rising near the shore. Water boatman and freshwater shrimp are great insects to try within 2-10 feet of the bank. Sometimes trout specifically feed on water boatman, which make up 90 percent of their daily diet this time of year.

The reservoir was dry in 2015. This is great news as several illegally introduced species, crappie and brown bullhead catfish, occurred in the reservoir and have now perished. This very productive reservoir was stocked again with fingerlings, legals and trophy rainbow trout during spring break.

ROGGER POND: hatchery rainbow trout

Fishing for rainbow trout should be picking up this fall at this old borrow pit located along the Twin springs road in the South Warner mountains. Fly fishing out of a small float tube would be very beneficial. Fingerlings planted this spring should be eight inches by now. This is a very scenic location and a good place to take children to fish near Lakeview.

SAND AND SCOTT CREEKS: brook trout and brown trout

Sand and Scott creeks are very small spring fed streams west of Hwy 97 near the Silver Lake highway junction. Fishing on these small streams is open year-round with bait allowed. Most fish are less than 8-inches long.

SEVENMILE CREEK: brook trout, brown trout, redband trout

Anglers can access Sevenmile Creek at Nicholson Road and fish upstream of Nicholson Road. Bait is allowed upstream of Nicholson Road. Flows are fishable. Angling is best in the beaver dam pools above Nicholson Road. The bridge crossing Sevenmile Creek at Nicholoson Road is closed. Angling can be good for 6- to 8-inch brook trout. Open all year.

SKY LAKES AND MOUNTAIN LAKE WILDERNESS: brook trout and rainbow trout

You will likely encounter snow at all trails. Fishing is not recommended at this time.

Claire with her rainbow
Claire with her 21-inch rainbow trout
-Photo by Robert Bradley, ODFW-

SHERLOCK GULCH RESERVOIR: hatchery rainbow trout

The reservoir is half full. Due to drought the reservoir went dry last year, but fingerling rainbow trout were stocked this spring and should be 8 inches by now.

Sid LUCE ReSERVOIR: hatchery rainbow trout

Fishing was good in October for trout 8 to 14-inches, but access might be limited by snow. It seemed like the calmer the water the better fishing was. Most of the fish caught were along the northern shoreline where the creek comes in with leach patterns. The water was 51 degrees Fahrenheit. Sub-legals were stocked in May and fish from previous stockings in 2015 were seen jumping. Lures or flies that mimic crayfish work well.

Spaulding Reservoir: hatchery rainbow trout

The reservoir was dry in 2015 and surprisingly remains dry.

SPENCER CREEK: redband trout and brook trout

Spencer Creek is closed to fishing until May 22.

SPRING CREEK: redband trout, brown trout, brook trout

Spring Creek is closed to fishing until May 22

SPRAGUE RIVER: redband trout, brown trout, largemouth bass and yellow perch

Fishing is improving as redband trout are moving in from the Williamson River. Best fishing is upstream of Beatty in the area fed by numerous springs. River flows are 238 cfs at the mouth. Water temperature is peaking at 48 degrees at the mouth. Yellow perch fishing should be excellent if you can find them. Fishing is allowed year-round. In some areas redband trout are feeding actively on very small mayfly adults particularly in the late evening.

NORTH FORK SPRAGUE RIVER AND ALL TRIBUTARIES: brook trout, redband trout, brown trout, bull trout

Access to the Upper portions of the river is challenging. Fishing is slow above and below Sandhill crossing for small brook trout and a few redband trout. Bait is allowed above the lowermost 3372 road crossing. Campground facilities exist at Lee Thomas and Sandhill.

Fishing through the canyon is slow. Access to this area is challenging as is wading through the high gradient areas. Caddisflies and golden stoneflies are common in the canyon area. Open all year.

Flow has increased through the canyon (52 cfs). Larger brown trout and redband trout occur in this section. Large brown trout are beginning to move in to spawn and will move past the lowermost 3411 road.

SOUTH FORK SPRAGUE RIVER AND ALL TRIBUTARIES: brook trout, redband trout, brown trout, bull trout

The South Fork Sprague River is open to angling. Fishing is very slow in most areas due to low fish densities. Fishing is best near Camp Creek and Corral Creek campground. Flow is very low and fishable (16 cfs). Open all year.

rainbow trout
Katherine's first Trophy Trout in Grandpa's boat.
-Photo by Nathan Jones-

SUMMIT PRAIRIE POND: hatchery rainbow trout

Fishing for rainbow trout should be picking up this fall at this old borrow pit located along the Twin Springs road in the South Warner Mountains. Fingerlings planted this spring should be eight inches by now. This is a good place to take children to fish near Lakeview.

SUN CREEK: brook trout, bull trout, brown trout

Sun Creek is closed to fishing for bull trout. Only bull trout occur in upper Sun Creek just above the Sun Pass Forest bridge crossing. Angling not recommended at this time. Redband trout were reintroduced to Sun Creek. These redband trout were small, most less than four inches, and salvaged from the Wood River irrigation system. The Sun Creek channel will be rerouted into the historic channel next summer.

SYCAN RIVER: brook trout, redband trout, brown trout (below marsh)

Access is very challenging to the lower river. Angling is very slow below the marsh as most of the river desiccated in summer of 2015. Flows are very low at 9 cfs. Above the Sycan Marsh angling can be excellent for brook trout and redband trout near the Rock Creek campground and Hanan Trailhead.

Above Rock Creek campground is dominated by small brook trout. Excellent brook trout fishing continues to near the headwaters. Near Pikes Crossing redband trout begin to dominate but fishing is typically slow in this area due to low redband trout densities at this time. The river is open year around.

THOMPSON VALLEY RESERVOIR: hatchery rainbow trout, largemouth bass

This reservoir was stocked with 1,700 sub-legal trout two weeks ago, some over 8-inches long. The reservoir has filled some with these recent rains and should overwinter trout for next year. Angling for largemouth bass should be fair but there have been no recent reports. The best fishing for bass and trout are along the shorelines near the dam at the rocky northeast side.


The reservoir was drained completely by the Lower Powder River Irrigation District in mid-August 2016. ODFW will not restock the reservoir with rainbow trout until spring 2017.

UNITY RESERVOIR: trout, bass, crappie

Winter conditions have now arrived in eastern Oregon and it is anticipated the reservoir will ice-over by mid-December.

Reservoir storage is at 18 percent of capacity and refilling. Fishing has been fair for rainbow trout, with the average size being 14 to 16-inches. The water level is now below the bottom of the boat launch, but small boat can be launched.

rainbow trout
Rainbow Trout
-Photo by Wes Niestrath-

VEE LAKE: hatchery rainbow trout

There have been 12 to 15-inch trout caught recently at this small lake. Trout stocked as fingerlings also should be in the 8-inch range and start biting. Legal and fingerling rainbow trout were stocked in June. The lake was very low last year due to drought, but is currently at 75 percent pool level. There is a primitive boat ramp available and electric motors can be used.

WARM SPRINGS RESERVOIR: smallmouth bass, crappie, catfish, perch, rainbow trout

No recent fishing reports but fishing is expected to be slow. The reservoir is currently at 4 percent of capacity. The roads into Warm Springs Reservoir can become unpassable when they are muddy or snowy so use caution when venturing out to this reservoir and always carry chains and other emergency equipment.

WARNER POND: hatchery rainbow trout

There have not been any recent fishing reports. The easiest way to effectively fish this small pond is with a float tube and flies, but fish can be caught with lures and bait as well. Fishing is better in the fall when the vegetation starts to recede.

UPPER WILLIAMSON RIVER: redband trout and brook trout

The Upper Williamson River is closed to fishing until April 22.

LOWER WILLIAMSON RIVER: redband trout and brown trout

The lower Williamson is closed to fishing until May 22.

WILLOW VALLEY RESERVOIR: largemouth bass, crappie, yellow perch, bluegill, Lahontan cutthroat

There have been no recent fishing reports. Fishing is best for largemouth bass. The reservoir is very turbid and not a good shoreline fishery. Bluegill, crappie and yellow perch are rare in the catch. The crappie that are caught are typically large.

WOLF CREEK RESERVOIR: crappie, trout

Winter conditions have now arrived in eastern Oregon and it is anticipated the reservoir will ice-over by mid-December. The reservoir is less than half capacity. The boat launch is out of the water and not functional.

Brook Trout
Brook Trout
-Photo by Kevin Clawson-

WOOD RIVER: redband, brown, brook and bull trout

The Wood River is closed to fishing until April 22.


Fishermen have reported consistent catches of rainbow trout in the 12 to 15-inch range with an occasional bigger fish being caught. Yellowjacket Lake was stocked with trophy-sized rainbow trout this past spring. Yellowjacket Lake received some snow over the weekend but it should still be accessible.

There is quite a bit of algae present in upper portions of the lake so fishing around the dam has been more productive from the bank. Recent cooler weather in the region should help to thin out the algae and open up more bank access this fall. Boat anglers have had success throughout the lake all summer and into the fall.

Yellowjacket Lake is a great place to fish all throughout the year unless snow makes accessing the lake difficult. It is a great family destination with a nice campground, plenty of bank access and a boat launch that can handle smaller watercraft.

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  Southeast Zone Hunting


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. 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.

Sooty Grouse

Sooty Blue Grouse
- Wikipedia-


UPLAND GAME BIRD season is open. From late winter through summer of 2016, good snow pack followed by decent spring precipitation occurred across much of SE Oregon which was good for habitat. Overall chukar and quail populations are expected to be similar to the past two seasons, but are trending closer to the 10 year average. PHEASANT hunting opportunities are limited in Harney County. Check out the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge website for pheasant and quail hunt areas open to the public.

Fall rains and mild weather conditions in November have led to an excellent fall green-up, especially in the north end of Harney County. Expect chukars to be scattered at all elevations until snow begins to concentrate birds later in the season.

WATERFOWL hunters are reminded that duck season is closed from Nov. 28-29 and goose season is closed from Nov. 28 through Dec. 11. Hunting may be limited in the Harney Basin due to low water conditions in Malheur Lake and most local reservoirs. Best hunting opportunities will be for Canada geese on private lands, hunters are reminded to get permission from the landowner before hunting on private lands. Check out the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge website for detailed maps.

Forest GROUSE season open until Jan. 31. Grouse can be found in the forested portions of the Silvies and Malheur Units, but population numbers are low.

Fall BEAR season open until Nov. 30. Bear populations in Harney County are generally low. While no formal surveys are done for bear in this area, bear populations appear to be stable. Hunters are reminded that hunter harvested bear MUST be checked in at an ODFW field office within 10 days of harvest; please bring bear in thawed and with mouth propped open for easier tissue and tooth collection.

Coyote populations are good throughout Harney County. Coyote appear to have had excellent production this year due to strong small mammal populations in the County.

Cougar hunting is open year around. The deadline to purchase a general season tag for the 2016 calendar year was Sept. 30. If you have already purchased the general season tag you may purchase an additional cougar tag at any time. Populations are healthy and distributed throughout the district in any area with a big game prey base. Cougars at this time of year are generally concentrated along with their primary prey of deer and elk. Don’t forget successful hunters must check-in cougars no more than 10 days after harvest; please bring cougar in thawed and with mouth propped open so that field staff can quickly process the animal and get you on your way.


Canada Geese
Canada Geese
- Photo by Robert Mutch -

WATERFOWL densities continue to decrease with temperatures consistently dipping below freezing at night creating fewer and fewer open water bodies.  Diving duck species such as bufflehead, golden eye, and lesser scaup can still be found in significant numbers on Upper Klamath Lake.  Canada geese remain in the Basin as well and can be found near open water bodies and warm water springs.  Check regulations for intermittent duck and goose season closures at this time of year.

Forest Grouse season continues through Jan. 31. Best prospects are in the Cascade Mountains for both blue and ruffed grouse, although fair numbers of blue grouse can be found in forested habitat in eastern Klamath County.

Cougar - Hunting is open. Populations are healthy and distributed throughout the district in any area with a big game prey base. Deer and elk are now occupying higher elevation summer ranges. Deer fawns and elk calves will be born over the next several weeks in these areas and hunters may find success calling cougars using fawn in distress vocalizations. Don’t forget successful hunters must check-in cougars no more than 10 days after harvest; please bring cougar in thawed and with mouth propped open so that field staff can quickly process the animal and get you on your way.

COYOTE hunting opportunities are improving as coyotes are now more concentrated at lower elevation areas where big game animals are wintering. Be aware that bobcats and cougars may respond to predator calls, and separate licensing and open season limitations exist for these species.  Please consult the annual hunting synopsis for further information.


Updated Nov. 29, 2016

Hunters must obtain a self-serve permit available at the check station on Miller Island Road if hunting on the Miller Island Unit. The “B” half of the permit must be filled out completely and returned when done hunting for the day.

Deer season is closed on Klamath Wildlife Area Miller Island Unit.

No permit is required if hunting on Shoalwater Bay, Sesti Tgawaals, or Gorr Island. Non-toxic shot is required for hunting on all units of the Klamath Wildlife Area.

Posted safety zones are closed to all hunting.

Miller Island Unit

The Miller Island Unit is located 6 miles south and west of Klamath Falls. The Miller Island Unit is open to hunting on authorized hunt days, every Monday, Wednesday and Saturday (please see the 2016-17 Oregon Game Bird Regulations for more information) on a first-come, first-served basis by permit.

Gorr Island Unit

Gorr Island is located four miles south of the Miller Island Unit in the Klamath River, accessible only by boat. Gorr Island is open daily with no permit required during authorized seasons.

Shoalwater Bay Unit and Sesti Tgawaals Unit

Shoalwater Bay and Sesti Tgawaals are both located on the west side of Upper Klamath Lake approximately 10 miles to the north and west of Klamath Falls. Shoalwater Bay and Sesti Tgawaals Units are both open for hunting daily with no permit required during authorized seasons.

Waterfowl and Upland Hunting Information

Weekly harvest statistics can be found at: ODFW Klamath Wildlife Area Harvest Summaries

Waterfowl hunting during the seventh week of the season was good for this late in the season with a 2.31 waterfowl/hunter average. Waterfowl numbers on Miller Island Unit did increase due to stormy weather conditions, however waterfowl numbers are expected to decrease again as we progress later into winter. Pheasant hunting for the week ended with a 0.14 upland/hunter average. There are no more pheasant releases planned.

A Wildlife Area Parking Permit is now required to park on the Wildlife Area. Cost is $10 daily or $30 annually. Free with purchase of hunting license; just be sure to put it on your dashboard. Buy online or at an ODFW office that sells licenses or at a license sales agent.

Overnight camping is not allowed on the Miller Island Unit. If you have any questions, please contact Klamath Wildlife Area at (541) 883-5734.

If you have any questions, please contact Klamath Wildlife Area at (541) 883-5734.


Did you know there are some rules for using a hunting blind on BLM land? Here’s more info

Fall BEAR season closes Nov. 30.

Youth antlerless ELK hunts runs through Dec. 31. All Rifle Elk seasons in the county are limited entry. The second season opened Nov. 5th. Elk populations throughout the county are low when compared to the rest of the state. Due to those low numbers, hunter success has also been correspondingly low.

Cougar populations are good and most individuals are still at higher elevation summer range along with deer, their primary prey item. Cougars will move to lower elevations as deer migrate to winter range. Finding a fresh kill and then calling in the vicinity is the best option for harvesting a cougar.

Coyote hunting is available throughout the district. The effectiveness of prey distress calls will increase through the fall. Be aware that bobcats and cougars may respond to predator calls, and separate licensing and season limitations exist for these species.

Waterfowl season continues. The larger lakes on Fremont National Forest have good water and will hold birds until freeze up. Most of the major lakes in the county are dry or very low. Crump Lake has average water levels for this time of year and there is a little water on the north end of Hart Lake, but access is limited due to extensive mud flats. The Warner Wetlands and all the Lakes north of Hart Bar are dry. Lake Abert water levels are very low which results in high salinity. There are a few Canada Geese and ducks using the fresh water springs along the edge of Lake Abert.

Upland Bird seasons continue. Early reports from Chukar hunters is of bird numbers better than last year. California Quail numbers appear to be slightly lower than last year. Most quail are found on private land and hunters must get prior permission for access.

Opening day of the waterfowl hunting season at Summer Lake, October 8, 2016.
- Video by Keith Kohl -


Updated Nov. 28, 2016

Seventh week of the game bird hunting season success was fair for ducks, good for geese and fair upland game birds.

A total of 211 hunters checked-in, which was up 22.0% from the same week last year.

They reported (with 95.7 check-out) the total harvest of 360 birds (264 ducks (49 Am. Wigeon, 65 mallards, 58 gadwall, 16 N. pintail, 17 N. shoveler, 27 Am. Green-winged teal, 19 bufflehead, and 13 individuals of 4 other species), 62 geese (57 snow, 2 ross, 2 white-fronts and 1 Canada geese), 28 upland birds (27 California quail and 1 ring-necked pheasant and 6 Am. coots).

This resulted in a bird per hunter average of 1.90 for the seventh week which was down -39.8%) compared to last year. Duck per hunter average was 1.40 compared to 2.61 last year (down -46.4%) and goose per hunter average was 0.33 compared to 0.20 during the same week in 2015 (up 66.1%).

A majority of the hunters were focused on pass shooting geese, and as a consequence, very little effort was put forth towards hunting ducks which remain fairly numerous on the wildlife area.   Upland hunting pressure is still low, but a few more hunters have begun to take advantage of upland hunting opportunities.  Upland hunting success for pheasant and quail can increase as the cold weather and snow concentrates them into thicker cover.

Prospects for the upcoming week should be fair. Forecasted weather calls for clear conditions throughout the week with cooler temperatures and a mix of clouds and sunshine. Good numbers of ducks and geese are present for this time of the year, based on the last weekly count and observations over the holiday week.  The duck, merganser, snipe and coot hunting season is closed on November 28-29.  The Cananda Goose season also closes on November 28 and remains closed through December 11.  White-fronted and snow goose season closed on November 28 and will not reopen until January 16.  

The last weekly bird count (Nov. 16) found about 24,000 ducks and 5,000 geese on the Wildlife Area. The next weekly count will occur will not occur until Nov. 30 due to the Holiday Weekend. Count information will be placed on the telephone answering machine and ODFW website that evening or the following day.

Habitat conditions remain excellent with nearly all wetland areas full and spilling. The entire area remains open and ice-free at this time.

Hunters must obtain a free daily hunting permit that can be obtained at the Checking Station 1.3 miles south of the Town of Summer Lake. Permits may be obtained for 2 consecutive days (one for each day) at one time and check-out is required daily or at the end of the 2 day period.

Check-out is mandatory and can be accomplished by filling out and dropping the permit off in check-out boxes found at major access areas.

Please remember, if have a Sports-Pac license; you will have had to return to a POS agent in order to update your waterfowl and upland Gamebird validations and complete the HIP validation. Federal Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamps (duck stamps) are required for hunters over 16 years and are available from US Post Offices and sometimes license agents. Stamps must be signed across the face in ink to be valid for hunting.

Non-toxic shot is required for all Game Bird hunting.

Please contact Summer Lake Wildlife Area at (541) 943-3152 or email for additional information.


Upland Bird

Above average snow pack in higher elevations for December and January were favorable for rangelands and good for chukar production. Unfortunately precipitation was below average in March, April and May with above average temperatures, these conditions were not favorable for pheasants and quail in agricultural areas.


Chukar surveys on established routes yielded 116 chukar per 10 miles and excellent production with 13.7 chicks per brood. This is a 159% increase from last year when 45 birds per 10 miles were measured and is 182% above the 10-year average of 40.9 birds per 10 miles.

The Succor Creek/Leslie Gulch area has only experienced limited recovery. The poor range conditions caused by an ongoing invasion of medusahead likely limits the ability of birds in this area to successfully raise broods. The most productive routes were South of Harper in the Cottonwood Canyon, Freezout/Dry Creek (west side of the Owyhee reservoir), Cottonwood Mountain and Brogan Canyon.

Fall green up is in full swing and chukar are scattered across the landscape. Although chukar counts are up birds are still difficult to find in lower elevation.

Ring-necked Pheasant
Ring-necked Pheasant
-Photo by Greg Gillson-


The surveys along established routes yielded 3.9 birds per 10 miles which is a 63% decrease in number of birds observed from last year’s survey and 48% below the 10-year average. Chick production was below average at 3.3 chicks per brood. Hunting prospects will vary depending on the farming practices in the area where you have permission to hunt. The outlying areas around Willow Creek and Vale have higher bird numbers than areas closer to Ontario and Nyssa.

There is very little public land pheasant hunting opportunity in the area and the few parcels that are available tend to get hunted daily. One option for private lands access is the Cow Hollow fundraiser to benefit the Cow Hollow Park.

California quail

Quail production was down in agricultural areas and fair in rangelands. Surveys on established routes showed 40 quail per 10 miles, down 29% over last year and 1% below the 10-year average. Production was good at 8.4 chicks per brood with similar production observed in rangelands. Overall quail populations still remain low in rangelands due to depressed populations from previous years.


Mild weather has waterfowl scattered across the Treasure valley in irrigation ditches and rivers with migrating waterfowl just beginning to show up.

Remember not to pick up horns of bighorn sheep. These can only be taken with a valid tag. More info

Cougar hunting is open. Populations are healthy and distributed throughout the district in any area with a big game prey base. Successful hunters must check-in cougars no more than 10 days after harvest; please bring cougar in thawed and with mouth propped open for easier tissue sampling, teeth collection and tagging.

Coyote hunting is available throughout the district. Reproduction this year appears to be good which should enhance calling opportunities. Be aware that bobcats and cougars may respond to predator calls, and separate licensing and season limitations exist for these species.


East Beulah is an elk de-emphasis zone with liberal hunting seasons designed to control elk populations to help address historic and ongoing elk damage. This is not intended to be a quality hunting opportunity. Due to the open nature of the East Beulah elk move great distances to areas with less hunting pressure, because of this behavior elk may show up anywhere in the hunt unit through the hunting season.

High Desert Elk, for Malheur County most of the elk are found on the western side of the Owyhee unit and through the Malheur River unit. These elk are nomadic and prefer pastures that were not grazed by cattle that year and use distance as cover and avoid areas with higher road densities and use.

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 Southeast Zone Wildlife Viewing


Most migrant shorebirds and sandhill cranes have passed through the area for wintering areas further south. Look to agricultural lands near Burns for viewing opportunities of migrant Canada geese. Colder temperatures will cause remaining water bodies to freeze up nearly completely during the coming weeks, resulting in most waterbirds leaving the area. Wintering raptors have arrived and can be found soaring and feeding around agricultural fields throughout the Harney Basin.

Mule Deer Buck
Mule Deer Buck
-Oregon Fish and Wildlife-

As the fall season progresses, look for deer, elk, and antelope to remain active for longer periods of the day. Mule deer rut has begun and deer will beginning to transition to winter ranges. Deer will begin to move into lower elevations as severe weather events increase in frequency and daylight hours dwindle. This annual transition into winter ranges often makes large animals more visible, and may provide opportunities for viewers and photographers.

The mule deer rut is in full swing. The Malheur National Wildlife Refuge offers excellent viewing and photography of large bucks during this time of year. Viewers are reminded that the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in open, but the headquarters remains closed to visitors until further notice. 11/22/2016

Klamath Falls Area

Swans have arrived in the Klamath Basin offering excellent viewing and photographing opportunity. Swans have been reported on the Miller Island Wildlife Area as well as within the Lower Klamath Wildlife Refuge along State Line Road.

Rough-legged hawks are beginning to show up from northern breeding locations and are easily found foraging around agricultural areas throughout the basin. Red-tailed hawks and northern harriers are very common and can be observed in agricultural areas as well.

Bald eagles have begun moving into the Klamath Basin. Good areas to view wintering bald eagles are along Eagle Ridge and Shoalwater Bay accessed from Eagle Ridge Road from Highway 140. The Lower Klamath National Wildlife Refuge provides great viewing opportunities as well.

The Tule Lake and Lower Klamath National Wildlife Refuges offer excellent viewing opportunities during the fall. Shoalwater Bay located along Eagle Ridge accessed from Highway 140 is a great spot for viewing this time of year. Ducks, geese, and shorebirds are the main attraction now.

Mule deer migration is complete for the season and deer can be found concentrated on lower elevation winter ranges. Some key migration corridors and wintering areas are under restricted motorized access to protect the integrity of those areas during this critical time of year. Use caution driving near wintering areas, and please respect seasonal road closures.

As colder weather arrives, it’s a good time to stock your bird feeders. It’s also a good idea to clean your bird feeder periodically through the winter to reduce spread of diseases. 11/29/16


Updated Nov. 28, 2016

Oct. 1-Dec. 31

Open to public use Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays from 0400 am to 1000 pm. Hunting is allowed only on these days during legal gamebird shooting hours. All other days are closed to all entry, except: public roads, parking areas, boat ramp, designated birding trail and designated dog training area.


Flocks of Western Canada Geese can be found scattered across the area. The occasional white-fronted and snow goose can be found on the area, but most have already migrated south. Dabbling ducks continue to be common on the area, but most have already started migrating south. Northern shovelers, Northern Pintail, Mallards, Gadwall, American Green-winged Teal and American wigeon can still be seen on the area. Diver species have started to migrate in over the last couple of weeks and canvasback, bufflehead, goldeneye, ruddy duck, ring-necked duck and scaup species are becoming more common.

Several Tundra Swans were observed over the past week on several of the areas ponds.

Shorebirds, waders and other waterbirds

Shorebird species and numbers continue to decline, but there are still be a few around.

Great blue herons and American bitterns are still common on the area.

There are still double-crested cormorant using the area, especially along the Klamath River.

American coot can be found scattered across the area. Virginia rails and soras can be heard throughout the area, but can be hard to spot.

Pied-billed, eared and western grebes are found in some of the areas deeper ponds and along the Klamath River.


Great horned and barn owls can be seen at dusk. Red-tailed hawks, northern harriers, cooper hawks, sharp-shinned, American kestrels, prairie falcons can be seen foraging throughout the wildlife area. Peregrine falcons can also be observed using old power poles overlooking the wetlands.

Eagle species are becoming a more common site, but observations of them should increase as winter progresses.

Upland Game Birds

California quail and ring-necked pheasant can be found scattered around the old homesteads and the headquarters area.

Black-billed Magpie
Black-billed Magpie


Mourning and Eurasian collared dove can be found scattered over the area. American and lesser goldfinches, house finches, mountain chickadees, American robins, black-billed magpies and Northern flickers continue to be a common site throughout the area. White-crowned and golden crowned sparrows are also becoming common sites on the wildlife area.

Marsh wrens and song sparrows can be found in dense stands of tall emergent hard stem bulrush and broad-leaf cattail.

Overnight camping is not allowed on the Miller Island Unit.

If you have any questions, please contact Klamath Wildlife Area at (541) 883-5734.


The mule deer rut is starting and November will be a good month to see breeding behavior. The bighorn rut has also started and with a little hiking through sheep ranges you should be able to find rams head butting. The various raptor species present are a mix of summer and winter residents common to the county. The dry lake beds in the Warner Valley are the best place in the county to see these various raptors. Water levels have dropped on Lake Abert and subsequently salinity levels have increased. Most shore birds have moved out of the county Hart and Crump lakes have water this year and will provide some bird viewing opportunities until freeze up. 11/8/2016


This section was updated on Nov. 21, 2016.

Wildlife Area Parking permits are required for all users of Summer Lake Wildlife Area. Parking permits can be purchased at any ODFW license agent (pdf) or through the ODFW website. The cost is $10.00 daily or $30.00 annually and is valid on all ODFW Wildlife Areas. Locally, parking permits can be purchased at the Summer Lake Store, 1.3 miles north of Headquarters.

Motor vehicle access on major dike roads (Bullgate and Windbreak) and the Wildlife Viewing Loop closed beginning on Saturday Oct. 1 and will remain closed through the end of waterfowl hunting seasons on January 29, 2017.

Wildlife viewing opportunities are somewhat limited at this time due to game bird hunting seasons that are underway. Fall migration for many species is slowing down with declining numbers of most waterfowl, except for swans that are increasing on a weekly basis. Other waterbird and shorebird numbers are declining as most species have departed to wintering areas to the south.

Ducks at Summer Lake

Ducks at Summer Lake
- Photo by Kathy Munsel, ODFW-


Waterfowl populations remain fairly strong, although some species have already departed towards wintering areas further south. Migrant swan numbers are increasing dramatically at this time. The weekly count conducted on Nov. 16th found about 24,000 ducks of 15 species.

Western Canada geese are widely distributed across the area, nearly 600 were counted. Greater white-fronted geese continue to stage in fair numbers, a pulse of migrants increased the count to over 800 during the past week. Lesser snow geese numbers remain fairly good for this time of the year, about 3,600 were present on the weekly count. Unfortunately, most are found in refuge/sanctuary areas or at the head of Summer Lake where viewing is difficult.

Migrant tundra swans continue to arrive and stage in good numbers. Nearly 3,500 were present last week, and their numbers are expected to increase. A few resident and non-breeding trumpeter swans remain widely scattered across the wildlife area, although migrant and wintering trumpeters are beginning to appear. Some of these birds are part of restoration efforts and will be neck-banded with green collars and white alphanumeric symbols. Viewers are encouraged to “read” the collars and report them to wildlife area personnel. Collars will have the Greek letter Theta (Ѳ) or the symbol “@” and two numerals that are read from the body toward the head.

Shorebirds, waders and other waterbirds

Fall migration is nearly over, but a fair variety of species is still present.
American coots are widely scattered across the entire wildlife area and remain numerous at this time, nearly 6,400 were counted. Virginia rails and soras continue to be found and heard in low numbers.

Sandhill cranes have departed the area.

Grebe numbers are low now, but eared, pied-billed, Clark’s and Western are commonly found at this time.

Gulls have largely departed the wildlife area, but a small number of individuals can still be found along with a few migrant Bonaparte’s.
Resident double-crested cormorants and American white pelicans have largely departed, none were found last week.

Black-crowned night-herons, great egret and great blue herons are present in very low numbers. American bittern have been seen on a regular basis.

Raptors and others

Northern harriers and red-tailed and Swainson’s hawks are common this time of the year. Bald and golden eagles, American kestrel, peregrine and prairie falcons can occasionally be found. Wintering rough-legged hawks are beginning to arrive. Migrant accipiters continue to move through the area now.

Great horned owls are found scattered across the entire wildlife area, especially in the trees at campgrounds. Common barn and sometimes short-eared owls can occasionally be observed near dusk.

Upland game birds

Good numbers of California quail can be found and a few pheasants can sometimes be observed, especially around old homesteads on the north end of the wildlife area.


Eurasian collared doves remain very numerous at Headquarters Complex. Mourning doves are found in low numbers scattered across the wildlife area.

American and lesser goldfinches are being observed at Headquarters on a regular basis. Migrant passerines, especially sparrows can be found scattered across the entire wildlife area, especially around Headquarters and old homestead sites.

Red-breasted and sometimes red-naped sapsuckers as well as other woodpeckers can be found in the trees around Headquarters. Northern flickers remain very common, and wintering Townsend’s solitaires are becoming more abundant.

Marsh wrens and song sparrows can still be found in fair numbers in dense stands of hardstem bulrush and broad-leaved cattail along dikes and levees throughout the wetlands.

Migrant white-crowned, golden crowned and Lincoln’s sparrows and spotted towhees have been observed recently.

Blackbirds have largely departed the area, but a few individuals can still be found. Brewer’s blackbirds are fairly common at campgrounds and other upland sites.
Facilities and Access

Please remember: Calendar year 2016 parking permits are required through the end of the year! Summer Lake Wildlife Area requires a $10 daily parking permit or a $30 annual parking permit. Parking permits can be purchased at any Point of Sale Agent or through the ODFW website. Locally, parking permits can be purchased at the Summer Lake Store, 1.3 miles north of Headquarters.

Motor vehicle access on major dike roads (Bullgate and Windbreak) and the Wildlife Viewing Loop closed beginning on Saturday Oct. 1 and will remain closed through the end of waterfowl hunting seasons on Jan. 29, 2017.

Camping is permitted at four sites on the Wildlife Area. Campgrounds are primitive but each has vault toilets, trash barrels and a few picnic tables.

The Viewing Blind overlooking Schoolhouse Lake provides excellent opportunities to view waterbirds in this refuge area that is closed to hunting.

Summer Lake Clouds

Storm Clouds at Summer Lake
-Photo by Dave Budeau-


The Area’s wetland units remain fairly well flooded. Ana River flows have increased and water levels in most wetland units are at high levels, creating ideal foraging conditions for migrant waterbirds, especially waterfowl.

Emergent marsh vegetation is beginning to enter senesce now and recent strong winds are starting to lodge-over bulrush and cattails.

Muskrats are becoming very active in constructing houses that are becoming more obvious by the day.

Summer Lake continues to increase in size due to increased inflow, shorter day length and decreased evapotranspiration. Increased water flow has created a substantial delta that is expanding in size at the head of Summer Lake and is supporting a very large number of migrant waterfowl.

Upland habitat remains in very good condition, forbs and grasses remain erect with an abundance of seeds. Planted tree and shrub species in plots and the orchard have produced a good amount of fruit and are providing excellent sheltered sites and food resources for wildlife.

The entire area remains open and ice/snow free at this time.

Please contact Summer Lake Wildlife Area at (541) 943-3152 or e-mail for additional information.

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