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ODFW WEEKLY RECREATION REPORT
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Southeast Zone Map

Weekly Recreation Report: Southeast Zone

October 14, 2014

 Southeast Zone Fishing

Brown Trout
BrownTrout
-U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service-

Weekend fishing opportunities

  • Trout are active and fishing pressure is light on Ana Reservoir.
  • The Klamath River below Keno Dam has reopened. This area typically provides excellent fishing for large redband trout.
  • Fly fishers have done well at Cottonwood Meadows and Lofton Reservoir.
  • Fishing for brook trout is excellent in many streams and rivers of the Sprague and Sycan watersheds.

2014 trout stocking for the Southeast Zone

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

Although fishing pressure at Ana Reservoir is typically low this time of year, fish are active with cooling temperatures. Hybrid bass are traditionally targeted using crank baits, however they are caught in the reservoir using various methods including bait. Trout are averaging 12 to 14-inches and hybrid bass larger than 20-inches are not uncommon.

ANA RIVER: hatchery rainbow trout

The Ana River is spring fed and rainbow trout are active throughout the year. The river was sampled on June 5 to evaluate the current stocking strategy and size of trout in the river. We found smaller trout (8 to 10-inches) were dominant from the dam for about 2 miles downstream. Larger trout up to 14-inches are more common in areas where access is more difficult.

Anglers can access these trout by floating the river in a pontoon or float tube. Caddis flies are the dominant invertebrate.

ANNIE CREEK: brook trout, brown trout and rainbow trout

Fishing is slow due to the small population size of brook trout. Public access is available on USFS and Oregon Department of Forestry land at the winter snow park area off highway 62 on your way to Crater Lake.

ANTHONY LAKE: rainbow trout, brook trout

The lake was stocked several times in July with legal and trophy-sized rainbow trout. Fall is a special time to fish this lake as fishing presure is light and the bite picks up with cooler water temps.

BALM CREEK RESERVOIR: rainbow trout, smallmouth bass, crappie

The reservoir is presently quite low, but was stocked with legal-sized rainbow trout the last week of May. Six to 7-inch crappie are very abundant and easy to catch.

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

No recent fishing report. The reservoir water level is declining with irrigation use and boat ramps are not useable. USBR crews have been tagging fish populations in the reservoir over the last several years. If you catch a tagged trout report it to the Hines office at 541-573-6582.

BLITZEN RIVER: trout

No recent fishing report. The Little Blitzen River is catch-and-release for trout all year.

rainbow trout
Rainbow Trout
- Photo by Kevin Clawson-

BLUE LAKE: hatchery rainbow trout

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 is a 1-2 hour hike.  Fish were sampled by net and hook and line sampling. Rainbow trout ranged from 6 to 17-inches and were in healthy condition. The trout at this lake see little pressure and are easy to catch using flies, lures or bait.

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

The reservoir water level continues to decline with irrigation withdrawal. Boat ramp is not usable. No recent fishing report but anglers had been catching lots of crappie around 4-inches. The reservoir has been stocked with trout this spring but trout fishing will begin to fade as water levels decline and temperatures increase.

BURNS POND: trout, bass

About 2,000 legal (8 to 11-inches) rainbow trout were stocked in the pond the week of Oct. 3. Fishing should be good for rainbow trout over the next few weeks and consistent throughout the winter.

BURNT RIVER: rainbow trout

The South Fork of the Burnt River was stocked in late May.

CAMPBELL LAKE: brook trout, rainbow trout

Fishing should be very good as fish begin to feed heavily in preparation for overwintering.

CHEWAUCAN RIVER: redband trout

The river downstream of Paisley closes to trout fishing after Oct. 31. The river upstream of Hwy 31 at Paisley is open and the use of bait in this section of the river is PROHIBITED! Access across property owned by the J-Spear Ranch will be closed to anglers beginning after July 7, 2014. The ranch is taking this action as a fish conservation measure to protect fish during months when the water becomes warmer.

CHICKAHOMINY RESERVOIR: trout

The reservoir is low and the boat ramp is out of the water. Trout numbers will be down this fall, but anglers may be able to catch some trout as temperatures decline.

COTTONWOOD MEADOWS: rainbow trout, brook trout

Fly anglers have experienced excellent late season trout fishing in recent years. Keep an eye out for flying carpenter ants and be able to match them with flies if they hitting the water surface in great numbers. Fishing from a boat with olive colored flies can be very productive. Rainbow trout and brook trout also feed on fat head minnows along the shoreline especially in the fall months. Casting flies that mimic minnows on a very fast retrieve can work well. Lures that mimic small bait fish also work great.

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

The upper lake is full and the lower one is dry.

As of 2013, the lakes will no longer be stocked with rainbow trout due to poor habitat quality. Ice fisherman reported poor success for warm water species and trout.

Deadhorse Lake
Deadhorse Lake
-Photo by David Banks, ODFW-

DEADHORSE LAKE: rainbow trout

Fishing should be good.

DELINTMENT LAKE: trout

No recent reports, but fishing should become better as water temperatures decline during the fall.

DEMING CREEK: redband trout

Most redband trout in the stream are less than eight-inches long. Fishing is closed for bull trout.

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

Water levels are unknown but fishing at Devils Lake should be fair for warmwater fish. Sampling in 2012 showed good numbers of 10 to 11-inch crappie. There also should be a good age class of 4 year old largemouth bass that average 10-inches.

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

Sampling in June confirmed that brown bullheads are dominating the fishery this year. The bullheads range in size from 8 to 14-inches and are a great fish for kids.
Bass anglers have reported the best bass fishing at the reservoir in years with fish of various sizes caught. Bank and boat access is excellent at the lake.

DUNCAN RESERVOIR: rainbow trout

Water temperatures are cooling and fishing should improve.

EAGLE CREEK: rainbow trout, brook trout

Eagle Creek was stocked with legal-sized rainbow trout in the vicinity of the USFS Campgrounds and West Eagle Meadows the week of June 23. Many of these fish likely moved downstream due to high flows the last week of June.

FISH LAKE (Steens Mountain): rainbow trout, brook trout

Fish are available for anglers to catch. Contact Burns BLM for updates on road access this summer (541 573-4400).

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

Stocked with rainbows the last week of June. Fishing should pick up with cooler fall temperatures and light fishing pressure.

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

Fourmile Creek off Westside road just north of Cherry Creek is open all year with bait allowed. Fishing should be good for brook trout. A few large brown trout occur in the stream. Fishing should also be good for yellow perch in Fourmile Canal.

rainbow trout
Rainbow Trout
-Photo by Roger Smith-

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

The lake was stocked during Labor Day weekend with 12 to 14-inch rainbow trout. Brook trout and lake trout are more numerous near the deeper water along the west shoreline and at the north end of the lake. Fishing should be very good for lake trout and brook trout as they actively spawning along the shoreline.

The boat ramp at Fourmile Lake is accessible; however, it is unimproved and launching boats might be challenging due to low water levels. The lake is currently at dead pool.

Fourmile Lake levels

Fourmile Lake is very windy in the afternoon therefore angling is best in early morning and evenings. The wind also blows towards the boat ramp making it difficult to place the boat on a trailer. There is an improved campground and numerous trails nearby that lead to other lakes that are stocked. Lakes within a mile of Fourmile Lake that are stocked by helicopter are Squaw, Woodpecker and Badger. Badger Lake is the most productive. Bring your mosquito repellant.

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

The lake is only 2 percent full, which makes launching boats challenging if possible. Fishing is slow.

HAINES POND: rainbow

The pond was recently stocked with trophy-sized rainbow trout.

HEART LAKE: rainbow trout, kokanee

No recent reports.

HOLBROOK RESERVOIR: rainbow trout

Bag and size limits have been lifted at the reservoir to enable anglers to harvest rainbow trout before it goes dry. Anglers can also try fishing Lofton Reservoir or Heart Lake.

HWY 203 POND: trout, bass, bluegill

Fishing for trout and warmwater fish should improve with cooler fall temperatures.

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

Fishing is fair for warmwater fish such as crappie, pumpkinseed sunfish and brown bullhead catfish. Dense aquatic vegetation makes fishing challenging. The reservoir is turbid therefore anglers should try lures with high visibility and scent.

Access is great here with a BLM campground with fishing pier and boat launch. Boats can be launched in several locations in the reservoir. Unimproved ramps occur just north and south of the 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 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.

JUNIPER LAKE: cutthroat trout

The lake is very low (reduced to two small pools). The lake can be accessed on public land off the East Steens Loop Rd. on the SE side. A large portion of the lake is privately owned, as indicated by the fence lines; however, bank access is permitted. Please be respectful of private property.

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

Fishing is generally slow with catch rates averaging 7 hours per redband from boat and 30 hours per redband from the shore. Most fishing takes place from a boat this time of year but fishing from the shore begins to improve as November approaches. Redband trout are scattered sparsely around the lakes fishing will be slow. Water temperature is currently approaching 60 degrees near the surface. Water temperatures around 58-60 degrees are ideal for redband trout activity. The lake is 5.1 feet below full pool.

Fishing should be fair in Crystal and Recreation Creeks for yellow perch. Small pieces of bait are the best method for capturing perch. A boat is needed to access most areas of perch concentration. However, some perch can be captured from the Rocky Point Resort Dock. Fourmile Canal is also a good bet to find concentrations of yellow perch. Most perch are 8-10 inches with a rare perch up to 14 inches.

ODFW encourages catch and release as this fishery is managed for trophy trout. Redband trout captured should not be removed from the water, resuscitated by cradling and pumping gills by moving fish back and forth through the water. It is unlawful to continue to fish for the same type of fish after taking and retaining a catch or possession limit.

Redband Trout
Klamath Redband Trout
-Photo by Roger Smith-

KLAMATH RIVER: native rainbow-redband trout

The section from Keno Dam to J.C. Boyle Reservoir (Topsy Reservoir) opened to fishing Oct. 1. Currently river flows are 698 cfs. Most fish being captured are less than 16 inches. Most fish are feeding on minnows.

The Klamath River between JC Boyle Dam to JC Boyle Powerhouse offers excellent spinner fishing as well as good dry fly-fishing with small flies. Most fish in this section are small and average 10 inches. Below the springs this section remains near a constant 360 cfs of flow. Fishing is best below the spring inputs. The most effective method this time of year it to cast black spinners upstream into the pools. Fishing with dry flies is also very good. Most attractor dry flies will work well. This section of river requires a hike down steep grade to the river with the exception of the area just above the powerhouse. Caddisfly imitations are working well.

Below the JC Boyle powerhouse the fish get slightly larger than the aforementioned reach and average 12 inches but rarely exceed sixteen inches. River flows in this section are typically quite high during the day but expect flows to be low this week during the afternoon Fishing should be excellent during the low flow period.

If flow levels are 900 cfs or lower the river is fishable. Dead drifting rubber legged stonefly patterns and/or bead head pheasant tails can be good. Caddisfly imitations work well this time of year. Casting leech or wooly buggers upstream into fast water pockets and pools and stripping can be very effective. Look for blue winged olive mayfly hatches in the afternoon. Most fish are in the 6-8 inch range but numerous 12 inch fish can be caught with 16 inches the maximum.

Flows will be high through most daylight hours. Flow release estimates are now available by PacifiCorp.

KRUMBO RESERVOIR: trout, bass

No recent fishing reports. Water remains high and boats can be launched at the boat ramp.

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

Call Lake of the Woods Resort for recent reports Toll Free at 866-201-4194. Lake of the Woods was stocked recently with 12 to 14-inch rainbow trout. Most trout have moved to deeper water and occur around 15 feet. Trolling with lead core line, downriggers or other gear to get down to the fish will be most effective.

Fishing for brown bullhead and yellow perch is a good backup plan if the trout are not cooperating. Small lures and bait will catch the numerous stunted yellow perch in the lake. Smallmouth bass should be active but most will be less than 14 inches as bass grow very slowly in the lake. Fishing for largemouth bass is very good around the many docks and large wood in the lake. Fishing is best in very early mornings and very late evenings. The lake is very busy with other recreational watercraft. The emergent vegetation north of the Sunset boat ramp is also productive.

LOFTON RESERVOIR: rainbow trout

Fly anglers have reported good fishing early and late. Nearshore vegetation is thick and water levels are low.

LONG CREEK: brook trout, redband trout, bull trout

Fishing for brook trout is excellent on Long Creek. Fly fisherman will have good success with grasshopper imitations as there are abundant grasshoppers this year. Fishing is best near the meadow areas above the 27 road crossing. Brook trout are actively spawning and easy to catch.

LOST RIVER: largemouth bass, brown bullhead, yellow perch

Public access is available at Crystal Springs day use area. Anglers can fish from the specifically designed bridge for fishing at this location. Boats can be launched from an improved boat ramp at Crystal Springs.

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

MALHEUR RESERVOIR: hatchery rainbow trout

The reservoir is low and fishing is slow. Please handle smaller fish with care when releasing them; they are next year’s holdover trout.

MALHEUR RIVER (Warm Springs Reservoir downstream to South Fork Malheur River): redband trout and hatchery rainbow trout

Water releases from Warm Springs Reservoir are 3 cfs as of Sept. 22 and the reservoir is at dead-pool. Fishing is poor.

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

Fishing is slow and water temperatures are warm.

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

No recent reports. Trout fishing will begin to improve as water temperatures decrease.

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

No recent reports.

Trout fishing will begin to improve as water temperatures decrease.

MANN LAKE: trout

No recent fishing reports, but anglers had been catching good numbers of large cutthroat trout this spring. Most fish are 14 to 16-inches long, with several over 20-inches being caught. Expect water levels to be low.

Brown Trout
Brown Trout
-Photo by Patti Abbot-

MILLER LAKE: brown trout, kokanee, rainbow trout

Fishing is fair for brown trout but will be improving as brown trout begin to cruise the shoreline looking for places to spawn. Please report any circular wounds on trout that might be caused by lamprey to the Klamath Falls ODFW office at 541-883-5732.

Miller Lake has an improved USFS campground with running water, a nice boat ramp and great swimming beach. The 12 mile gravel road into Miller Lake is in horrible condition with numerous washboards. Fishing bait from shore can be effective at capturing recently planted rainbow trout. Most anglers use a boat and troll deep to capture brown trout in the lake. Good places to try for brown trout are Evening Creek and near the outlet at Miller Creek.

MOON RESERVOIR: bass, trout

The reservoir is very low with warm water and the boat ramp is out of the water. Carp remain available.

MUD LAKE: trout

No recent reports.

MURRAY RESERVOIR: trout

Stocked with legal-sized rainbows the week of April 28. Fishing should improve with cooler fall temperatures.

NORTH POWDER POND: rainbow trout

The pond was recently stocked with trophy-sized rainbow trout.

OVERTON RESERVOIR: rainbow trout

Anglers can access the reservoir, but duck weed is beginning to present problems for bank anglers. It is best to take a boat, float tube, or pontoon boat this time of year so you can fish the open water. Trout up to 14-inches are available.

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

No recent reports, but angling is expected to be slow. No boat ramps are useable based on the Bureau of Reclamation webpage.

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

Water releases below the dam were at 143 cfs as of Sept. 22. Please use ethical angling practices; be respectful of other fisherman, use barbless hooks, land fish quickly and keep fish in the water at all times.

OWYHEE RIVER (Upper): smallmouth bass and channel catfish

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

PHILLIPS RESERVOIR: trout, perch

The reservoir is at 15 percent of capacity. Fishing for rainbow trout and yellow perch should improve with cooler fall temperatures.

A second batch of tiger muskie were released into the reservoir in early July of 2014. Anglers are reminded that tiger muskie are restricted to catch-and-release only. No harvest or removal from the reservoir is allowed. The last stocking of legal-sized rainbow trout occurred late June. Fishing for legal-sized rainbows should be fair to good until the water heats up. In early May, 7,500 tiger trout were released. These fish will be 8 to 10-inches when released and should be much larger by fall. As with the tiger muskie, fishing for tiger trout is restricted to catch and release only.

Launching boats at the Union Creek Campground boat launch is not possible. Launching at the boat launch adjacent to the dam is feasible, but rough due to pot holes in the ramp.

PILCHER RESERVOIR: trout

The reservoir water level is low, but the low water launch is functional.

POISON CREEK RESERVOIR: hatchery rainbow trout

Trout fishing has been slow, but should improve as water temperatures cool. The limit is 2 per day, please respect the fishing regulations for the reservoir.

POLE CREEK RESERVOIR: hatchery rainbow trout

The reservoir is less than half-full. Catch rates remain fair for holdover trout; however, several fish up to 17-inches have been caught recently using bait. The reservoir was stocked with legal-sized trout earlier this spring.

POWDER RIVER: trout, spring Chinook

The Powder River below Mason Dam was last stocked in June.

Bull Trout
Brook Trout
-Oregon Fish and Wildlife-

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

Flows will be low and ideal for a successful fishing outing. Access is available to the public upstream of Nicholson Road. Fishing above Nicholson Road is very good for 6 to 8-inch brook trout. Fly fishing with dry flies can be very good. ODFW encourages the harvest of brook trout in the stream. Larger brown trout can be found on Sevenmile Creek lower in the system but the only public property is on Sevenmile Canal near the mouth with Agency Lake.

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

This is a great time to visit the Wilderness lakes as most mosquitoes are gone. Access is available to all the lakes. Thirty-five lakes are stocked with fingerling rainbow or brook trout in the Sky Lakes and Mountain Lakes Wilderness. Several other lakes are not stocked and have natural reproduction of brook trout. Concentrate fishing efforts on the larger mountain lakes such as Como, South Pass and Harriette. Contact the ODFW Klamath Falls office for a list of lakes with fish. Fishing should be excellent in most lakes with brook trout as they are seeking to spawning in the edges of the lakes

SHERLOCK GULCH RESERVOIR: rainbow trout

No recent reports, but fish should be available for anglers to catch.

SPRING CREEK: redband trout, brown trout and brook trout

Fishing is always slow on Spring Creek as the creek is a spring fed system that is cold and clear with low catchable fish density. ODFW encourages the release of large, spawning redband trout.

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

Fishing is good for bass and yellow perch if you can find where they are concentrated. Fishing is slow for trout the Sprague River. Large trout are moving into the Sprague River from the Williamson River in good numbers.

The river is low and visibility will be good. Public access is available at numerous USFS properties along Sprague River highway, near the town of Sprague River, two county parks off Drews Road and just upstream of Beatty. Small boats can be launched at all these locations.

A boat is recommended for fishing most of the Sprague River as angling from shore is difficult. Best fishing is near the town of Beatty where numerous cold water springs enter the river. Look for blue winged olive hatches in the afternoon.

Most fish caught are redband trout that range from 10 to 14-inches.

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

Fishing remains very good throughout the North Fork Sprague. Fishing with dry flies can be good around the Sandhill Crossing campground and wading this stretch is relatively easy. The river from Sandhill Crossing campground to near the headwaters is a low gradient, meadow type stream. Brook trout are spawning in large concentrations in the upper sections of the NF Sprague and Tributaries. Fishing can be excellent for brook and brown trout this time of year.

Brook and brown trout dominate the catch above Lee Thomas Crossing while redband trout dominate the catch above the first 3411 crossing. Large brown trout are available near the first 3411 crossing. Bring your mosquito repellant. Caddisflies are hatching and caddisfly dry fly imitations work very well. Brown trout fishing is very good in the late evening as they come out of hiding.

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

Angling will be slow due to low fish numbers from drought in the years 2009-2010 and 2012-2013. Access to the South Fork Sprague occurs at a very nice picnic area off highway 140 and near Corral Creek campground. Flows will be ideal for fishing. Best fishing will be near the Corral Creek campground. Bring your mosquito repellant.

SUN CREEK: brook trout, bull trout, brown trout

Anglers need to concentrate efforts below the bridge crossing on Sun Creek as the area above the road was treated in 2012 and 2013 to remove brook trout to benefit native redband trout and bull trout. The section of Sun Creek above the barriers upstream of the road crossing had bull trout only. Angling for bull trout is closed in the Klamath Basin. Anglers should be able to identify brook, brown and bull trout. Various signs and trout identification cards are available around the Wood River and Sun Creek access points.

SYCAN RIVER: brook trout, redband trout

Fishing was slow for redband trout below the marsh due to low fish density caused by the 2013 drought. The Sycan River above Pikes crossing should be excellent for brook trout and redband trout. Expect flows to be low and ideal. Large concentrations of brook trout up to 10 inches can be observed spawning near the Hanan Trailhead on the Upper Sycan River.

THOMPSON RESERVOIR: rainbow trout, largemouth bass

Water levels at the reservoir are lower than normal, but trout and bass are still available for anglers. No recent reports.

THIEF VALLEY RESERVOIR: trout

The reservoir was recently drained by the Lower Powder River Irrigation District. The reservoir will be restocked with sub-legal rainbow trout in November. These fish will not be to legal-size until spring of 2015. Until then no fishing opportunity exists at this reservoir.

TWIN LAKES: rainbow trout, brook trout

The lake at the campground was stocked with legal-sized rainbows the last week of June. Fishing should improve with cooler fall temperatures.

UNITY RESERVOIR: trout, bass, crappie

The reservoir is at about 5 percent of capacity. Anglers are reminded that a new regulation restricts the harvest of bass to those under 15-inches long.

VEE LAKE: rainbow trout

Anglers can access the reservoir, but vegetation is beginning to present problems for bank anglers. It is best to take a boat, float tube, or pontoon boat this time of year so you can fish the open water.

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

The reservoir is at dead-pool and fishing is slow.

LOWER WILLIAMSON RIVER: redband and brown trout

The Williamson River switched to catch-and-release for rainbow trout on Aug. 1. A recent float of the Williamson River above Chiloquin observed few trout.

Fishing remains good below Chiloquin but much more challenging above town. Most fish captured so far this year have been small (less than 20 inches.

Flows are extremely low and water clarity is very good for this time of year as currently no flow of dark, tannin colored water is coming from the Klamath Marsh.

ODFW encourages catch and release in this fishery to promote trophy sized fish as the Williamson River is managed for trophy redband trout. Hatches of small mayflies in the evening with some surface activity occurring especially above the town of Chiloquin.

Fishing for redband trout is best from the confluence of the Sprague River to slack water above Modoc Point Bridge. Most effective fishing occurs from a drift boat as little public access occurs. Most anglers hire a guide to fish this river due to the challenge of catching fish. Most anglers fly fish this section of river.

Numerous insect hatches are occurring including various very small mayflies (BWO, Trico, Mahogany duns) and caddis including the large October caddisflies. Look for hatches of small mayflies in the evening with some surface activity occurring especially above the town of Chiloquin. Large brown trout can be stalked in the small pools above Spring Creek.

Redband Trout
Redband Trout
-Photo by Roger Smith-

UPPER WILLIAMSON RIVER: redband and brook trout

Upper Williamson is a slow, meandering spring fed river. The best time to fish is when fish are rising steadily to insect hatches.Numerous other small mayflies are hatching on the Williamson River with 6-8 inch brook and redband trout rising. Anglers can pay to fish Yamsi or Sand Creek Ranches and the fishing is exceptional especially for abundant brook trout. A few large redband trout exceeding 20-inches are also available. River flows are low.

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

The current conditions at the reservoir are unknown but launching boats might be impossible.

WOLF CREEK RESERVOIR: crappie, trout

Fishing for 8 to 11-inch rainbow trout is very good. The water level is now below the boat launch so fishing with larger trailered boats is not possible. Try flyfishing with a float tube or trolling with a small car-top type boat.

WOOD RIVER and all tributaries: redband, brown, brook and bull trout

Wood River is one of the best brown trout fisheries in the state. Fishing is good for brown trout and slow for redband trout. Good hatches of blue winged olive mayflies, mahogany dun mayflies, October caddis and other various small caddisflies are getting the interest of brown trout and the occasional large redband trout. Brown trout are near spawning and have moved up higher into the system. The highest density of brown trout in the river occurs below Weed Road in the early season. Anglers should also have success fishing spoons and plugs in the deep pools for brown trout. If brown trout are not rising to insects they are typically holding in deep water or under cover. Flies and lures should be fished deep when no surface activity is observed.

Sculpins are also a favorite food for brown trout. Sculpins live on the bottom of the river which is another reason anglers need to present flies and lures near the bottom.

A boat is recommended to fish the Wood River as little public land occurs on the river. Most anglers use a low profile boat to float under and portage around the many obstacles on the river. A typical drift boat can be used from Weed Road to mouth but can’t be used upstream due to low bridges.

Bank access is limited but public property is available on BLM property at the BLM wetland and the USFS Day use area above Fort Klamath. Small boats can be launched at Kimball State Park (breathtaking headwaters), USFS day use area, Highway 62 bridge crossing and Weed Road. Weed Road has the only semi-improved boat launch for larger boats such as drift boats.

YELLOWJACKET LAKE: trout

About 4,000 legal (8 to 11-inches) rainbow trout were stocked into the lake during the week of Oct. 3. Fishing should be good for the next few weeks and consistent throughout the winter.

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  Southeast Zone Hunting

OPEN: COUGAR, BLACK BEAR, CASCADE ELK (Oct. 18-24, see regs), GROUSE and MOURNING DOVE

See the bird and big game hunting forecasts.

Wolf coyote identificationWolves and coyotes can look alike

Most wolves in the state today are in northeast Oregon but a few have dispersed further west and south. Wolves are protected by state and/or federal law and it is unlawful to shoot them. Coyote hunters need to take extra care to identify their target as wolves can look like coyotes, especially wolf pups in the mid-summer and fall.

ODFW appreciates hunters’ assistance to establish wolves’ presence in Oregon; please report any wolf sightings or wolf sign to ODFW using the online reporting system.

Use the Oregon Hunting Map to see where to hunt.

HARNEY COUNTY

Hunting maps for Harney County

Hunters are reminded of four Travel Management Areas in the Harney district. Two in the Silvies Unit (Dairy Creek and Burnt Cabin) and two in the Malheur River Unit (Conroy Cliff and Devine-Rattlesnake). Maps are available at each major entry point of the travel management area as well as online and at the Hines office. Period of restrictions are Oct. 1 through Oct. 10 and Oct. 26 through Nov. 16.

Deer – Controlled muzzleloader season opens Oct. 18th in the Silvies, Malheur River (north). Harney Basin Agricultural doe hunt also opened on Oct. 18th.

Elk – Controlled muzzleloader season opens Oct. 18th in the High Desert hunt area.

Upland Game Bird season opened on October 11. From late winter through summer of 2014, extremely dry weather persisted across much of SE Oregon which was poor for habitat. Recent precipitation may help bird populations by providing some much needed fall green up. Overall chukar and quail populations are expected to be similar to the past two seasons, and are still below 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.

Waterfowl season opened Oct. 11 as well. 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.

Fall Bear season opened Aug.1. 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.

Youth antlerless Elk hunts also opened Aug. 1. Elk populations are stable in Harney Co.

Mourning Dove season opened Sept. 1 and best prospects will be around agricultural areas or near water sources. Hunters are reminded that Eurasian-collared doves are now unprotected and can be taken year round. As a reminder Mourning Dove season has been extended until Oct. 30 statewide.

Forest Grouse season opened Sept. 1. Grouse can be found in the forested portions of the Silvies and Malheur Units, but population numbers are low.

Cougar hunting is open. The deadline to purchase a general season tag for the 2014 calendar year is Oct.3. 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. 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 populations are fairly low throughout Harney County. Pups have dispersed from the den. Standard predator calls will be effective from now through December. Be aware that bobcats and cougars may respond to predator calls, and separate licensing and season limitations exist for these species.

KLAMATH COUNTY

Cascade ELK season opens Oct. 18, which includes western portions of the Keno, Sprague, and Fort Rock Units. Expected precipitation this week will likely improve hunting conditions. Elk in the Cascade Mountains are at generally low densities and hunter success is typically low. Look to openings in the tree canopy where grasses and shrubs exist that provide forage for elk.

Blue Grouse
Blue Grouse
-Photo by Pat Matthews-

Grouse Season opened Sept. 1 and includes both Blue and Ruffed Grouse with a daily baq limit of 3 per species. For Blue Grouse, hunters should concentrate on semi-open ridge lines. Ruffed grouse are restricted primarily to creek drainages in the Cascades although birds can be found in some areas further east as well.

Fall Black Bear seasons opened Aug. 1. While no formal surveys are done for bear in this area, bear populations appear to be increasing.. Highest concentrations of bears in Klamath County will be found along the eastern slope of the Cascade Mtns. In previous years, hunters have found success with stand hunting near water holes and by glassing open hillsides where bears commonly feed on berries during morning and evening hours. Hunters are reminded that hunter harvested bear MUST be checked in at an ODFW field office for sample collection and measurement. Field office staff are frequently out of the office, so please call ahead to the nearest ODFW field office and make an appointment. Field office locations and contact information can be found on the ODFW website.

Cougar - Hunting is open year round. Populations are healthy and distributed throughout the district in any area with a big game prey base. 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 populations are fairly low throughout Klamath County. Pups have now left their dens, however adults are still very territorial. Coyote vocalization calls still work best until the pups start to disperse, which will be mid to late August. Be aware that bobcats and cougars may respond to predator calls, and separate licensing and season limitations exist for these species.

KLAMATH WILDLIFE AREA

Dove season is open through Oct. 30. Hunters must obtain a self-serve permit available at the check station on Miller Island Road if hunting on the Miller Island Unit otherwise hunting is open on the Shoalwater Bay, Sesti Tgawaals, and Gorr Island Units without permit. Dove hunting has slowed on the Miller Island Unit due to doves migrating south for the winter. Federally approved non-toxic shot is required for all game bird hunting on the Klamath Wildlife Area.

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 Unit are both open for hunting daily with no permit required during authorized seasons.

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 (please see the 2013-14 Oregon Game Bird Regulations for more information) on a first-come, first-served basis by permit.

Waterfowl Hunting

Waterfowl hunting is now closed. Klamath Basin waterfowl numbers are available on the US Fish and Wildlife website.

Upland Game Bird Hunting is now closed.

A Wildlife Area Parking Permit is now required to park on the Wildlife Area. Cost is $7 daily or $22 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

LAKE COUNTY

Rifle Elk Elk populations throughout the county are very low compared to other parts of Oregon. Hunter success usually ranges from 2 to 6%. All rifle elk hunts in the county are under limited entry rules with a bull only bag limit.

Bear season opened on 1 August and populations in the county are low compared to western Oregon or the Blue Mountain zone. Hunters are finding the best success in forest openings that have berry producing shrubs. 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.

cougar
Cougar
- Royalty Free Image-

Cougar hunting is open. Populations are healthy due to good habitat and prey base. If hunters can find a fresh cougar kill, calling within a ½ mile of that kill can be very effective. Mule deer herds are still using spring green up, but are starting to move toward summer ranges. Cougar hunting near big game herds increases the chance for success.

Coyote Pups have dispersed. Calls mimicking prey distress sounds will be effective through the fall.

Forest Grouse season opened on 1 September. There are very few Ruffed Grouse in the county and Blue Grouse populations are restricted to the higher elevation forest openings with berry producing shrubs or aspen. Hunters are asked to provide one wing and the tail of each bird harvested for population monitoring. Contact the Lakeview Office at 541-947-2950 for collection bags.

Upland Bird – Chukar and quail seasons opened on 11 October. The chukar hatch appears to be better than last year. Hunters should focus on the major rims with desert vegetation in the Beatys Butte, Juniper, Wagontire and Warner units. Almost all quail populations are restricted to private land and hunters must get permission before hunting. Hunting opportunity for quail on public land are restricted to the Warner Wetlands and Summer Lake Wildlife Area.

Waterfowl - Season opened on 11 October and hunting conditions are poor throughout most of the county. All the Warner Valley lakes are primarily dry, with the only water being associated with springs or at the mouths of the creeks. Lake Abert has approximately 800 acres of shallow water. The areas with water are at the springs along the lake edge or in a couple long channels out near the middle. Goose Lake is dry.

SUMMER LAKE WILDLIFE AREA

This section was updated on October 14, 2014

Controlled buck mule deer season within the Wagontire Unit ended on Friday Oct. 10 when game bird hunting seasons opened. A small portion (west of Hwy. 31) the wildlife area in the Silver Lake Unit remains open through the end of the season on Wednesday Oct. 15. Hunting pressure was light; seven hunters reported the harvest of one buck.

Opening weekend of game bird hunting season was good for ducks, poor for geese and fair for upland game birds. A total of 580 hunters checked-in for opening day and 487 were present on Sunday, down slightly from last year. They reported (96.2% check-out) the total harvest of 2,775 birds (2,430 ducks (754 mallards, 498 gadwall, 402 Am. Green-winged teal, 295 Am. Wigeon, 217 N. shoveler, 155 N. pintail, 34 ringneck, 23 cinnamon/blue-wing teal, 11 scaup, 10 bufflehead, 9 redheads and 11 individuals of 4 other species), 174 geese (84 white-fronts, 60 snow and 30 Canada geese), 96 upland birds (85 California quail and 11 ring-necked pheasants) and 75 other species (73 Am. Coots and 2 Wilson’s snipe). This resulted in a bird per hunter average of 3.05 over the weekend (2.67 and 0.19, ducks and geese per hunter, respectively.

Prospects for the upcoming week are fair, especially if the forecasted stormy weather conditions materialize. Showers and cloudy skies could result in increased bird movement. Good numbers of birds were present before Opening weekend and while some depart the area following the start of hunting season, many will remain.

The last weekly bird count (Oct. 8th) found about 43,000 ducks and 3,500 geese on the Wildlife Area. The next weekly count will occur on Oct. 15th. Count information will be placed on the telephone answering machine and ODFW website that evening or the following day.

Hunters need to be aware of dry conditions along the westside of Bullgate Dike. Wetland restoration activities in Bullgate Refuge are winding down, and flooding is underway. The area remains open for field hunting and access to the head of Summer Lake and east side of Between the Dikes areas.

Hunter 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.

The Check Station lobby area is open and daily hunting permits are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week..

Hunters will need current year hunting licenses with appropriate HIP and Game Bird validations. 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.

Youths under 18 must have a hunter education card (or certification on their hunting license) in their possession. Please consult the 2014-2015 Oregon Game Bird Regulations for licensing requirements and bag limits.

Mourning dove season remains open through Oct. 30.

Please remember, posted refuges are closed to all hunting. Non-toxic shot is required for all game bird hunting on the wildlife area. Please contact Summer Lake Wildlife Area at (541) 943-3152 or email martin.j.stlouis@state.or.us for additional information.

MALHEUR COUNTY

Fire and Drought Most of SE Oregon is in extreme drought conditions however timely spring rains in March and April resulted in good growth of annual grasses creating prime conditions for wildfire. Hunters are reminded to check with the appropriate land management agency for fire restrictions and to follow those restrictions.

Water is extremely limited in places and is impacting distribution of wildlife and livestock. Please avoid camping near limited water sources.

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. Coyote pups are dispersing and can be responsive to calls this time of year.

Malheur County – Record rain fall in the North end of Malheur County in September 2013 resulted in good fall green up, combined with a mild winter and favorable rains early in the spring upland bird production increased significantly from previous years.

Chukar surveys on established routes yielded 47 chukar per 10 miles and very good production with 11.5chicks per brood. This is a 135% increase from last year when 20.2 birds per 10 miles were measured and is 7% below the 10-year average of 50.7 birds per 10 miles. The Succor Creek/Leslie Gulch area has only experienced limited recovery. The poor range conditions caused by ongoing invasion of exotic annual grass (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 a North of Hwy 20.

Pheasant - The surveys along established routes yielded 7.4 birds per 10 miles which is a 21% increase in number of birds observed from last year’s survey and 14% below the 10-year average. Chick production above averaged at 4.4 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 up in agricultural areas and good in rangelands. Surveys on established routes showed 44 quail per 10 miles, up 35% down over last year and 16% above the 10-year average. Production was 9.8 chicks per brood with similar production observed in rangelands. Overall quail populations still remain low in rangelands due to depressed populations from previous years.

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 Southeast Zone Viewing

Greater Yellowlegs

Greater Yellowlegs
- Photo by Greg Gillson-

HARNEY COUNTY

Fall shorebird migration has started to slow. Lesser yellow legs, killdeer, avocets, black-necked stilts, white-faced ibis, curlews, pelicans, egrets and a variety of grebes species are a few of what can be seen.

Fall migrating waterfowl continue to grow in numbers including Northern pintail, Northern shovelers, American wigeon, American green-winged teal, Canvasback and Redhead. We are currently near the peak of waterfowl migration and waterfowl numbers will continue to decline as winter approaches. Sandhill cranes can be found in agricultural fields throughout the Harney Basin.

Fall migrating passerine species continue to show up. White-crowned sparrows, American goldfinches, spotted towhees, Says phoebes and a variety of warbler species are a few that can be found in the basin. A large number of breeding passerine species and woodpeckers can be found in National Forest land throughout the county.

Raptors continue to be found throughout the area. You should be able to view osprey around lakes and reservoirs, golden eagles, a few bald eagles, red-tailed hawks, northern harriers, prairie falcons and ferruginous hawks. 9/30/14.

KLAMATH COUNTY

Klamath Falls Area

Fall migration will offer some excellent viewing opportunities for shorebirds, raptors, waterfowl, and passerines. Check riparian and wetland areas for best prospects.

Wilson's Phalarope

Wilson's Phalarope
- Photo by Greg Gillson-

Shorebird numbers are increasing as fall migration is underway and breeding season is concluded. American avocet, black-necked stilt, killdeer, Wilson’s phalaropes and their chicks are now present in the Basin. A large number of migrants are staging in good number at this time. Least and western sandpipers, lesser and greater yellowlegs, red-necked and Wilson’s phalaropes and long-billed dowitchers are especially numerous. Most long-billed curlews and willets have departed the area.

Now is the time to look for unusual vagrants passing through the area.

Sandhill cranes are now staging in Yonna and Langell Valley. Check harvested grain fields near wetland areas for best viewing opportunities.

American white pelicans can be readily observed on Upper Klamath and Agency Lakes. These large piscivorous (fish-eating) aquatic birds are a colonial nesting species that nest in only a few locations in the Klamath Basin including Clear Lake Refuge, Lower Klamath Refuge, and on Upper Klamath Lake.

Thousands of lesser scaup, bufflehead, goldeneye, and northern shovelor have arrived on Upper Klamath Lake. Rafts of up to several thousand ducks can be seen from either Highway 97 north along Upper Klamath Lake or Highway 140 west near Howards Bay. This is a must see opportunity for any uninitiated to this areas migration. 10/13/14.

Klamath Wildlife Area

A Wildlife Area Parking Permit is required to park on the Wildlife Area. Cost is $7 daily or $22 annually. Free with purchase of hunting license. Buy online or at an ODFW office that sells licenses or at a license sales agent. Learn more.

Due to severe drought conditions a large portion of the Miller Island Unit is dry, however some areas have retained a little water and these areas can be excellent for wildlife viewing.

Waterfowl

Great Basin Canada geese can be found scattered throughout the Miller Island Unit along with mallards, northern pintail, gadwall, northern shoveler, cinnamon teal and American green-winged teal. At the Shoalwater Bay Unit ruddy duck, bufflehead and wood ducks can also be seen.

Shorebirds, waders and other waterbirds

Shorebird numbers continue to increase on the wildlife area as fall progresses. Large numbers of long-billed dowitchers, least and western sandpipers, lesser and greater yellow legs, American avocets, black-necked stilts and white-faced ibis can currently be seen on the wildlife area.

White pelicans and double crested cormorants can be seen in large numbers on the Klamath River.

Pied billed, western and Clark’s grebes can also be found on the wildlife area and Klamath River.

Raptors

Turkey vulture can be seen riding the thermals above the Miller Island Unit. Great horned and barn owls can be seen at dusk. Red-tailed hawks, northern harriers, cooper hawks, prairie falcons and American bald eagles can be seen foraging throughout the wildlife area.

Upland Game Birds

California quail are scattered around the old homesteads and the headquarters area.

American Golcfinch
American Golcfinch Male
- Photo by Dave Budeau-

Passerines

Mourning and Eurasian collared dove can be found scattered over the area. Barn and cliff swallows, American goldfinches, house finches, spotted towhees and yellow rumped warblers continue to be a common site throughout the area.

Marsh wrens and song sparrows can be found in dense stands of tall emergent hardstem bulrush and broad-leaved cattail and are very numerous.

Brewer’s, red-winged and yellow-headed blackbirds remain fairly numerous at this time.

Klamath Basin waterfowl numbers are available on the US Fish and Wildlife website.

Overnight camping is not allowed on the Miller Island Unit. If you have any questions, please contact Klamath Wildlife Area at (541) 883-5734. 9/16/14.

LAKE COUNTY

All of the large shallow lakes in the county are dry and therefore most migrating shore birds will bypass the county this fall. There are a few shore birds using the fresh water springs and shallow channels remaining in Lake Abert. Summer resident passerines are starting to leave the county.

Sumer resident raptors are common throughout the county. Winter raptors should be showing up throughout October.

Bighorns are still using the springs on the west side of Crump Lake and can be seen near the boat launch on the Plush-Adel Road. They will continue using the springs until the warm weather breaks. 10/14/14.

SUMMER LAKE WILDLIFE AREA

This section was updated on Oct. 7, 2014.

Summer Lake Wildlife Area requires a new calendar year 2014 $7 daily parking permit or a $22 annual parking permit. Parking permits can be purchased at any ODFW license agent or through the ODFW website. Locally, parking permits can be purchased at the Summer Lake Store, 1.3 miles north of Headquarters.

Vehicle access to the Wildlife Viewing Loop and major dike roads (Windbreak and Work Road) is closed for the remainder of the year.

Wetland conditions are good; semi-permanent marshes and sizeable areas of seasonally flooded wetlands are receiving heavy waterbird use. Water levels in most seasonal wetlands and some semi-permanent marsh units are beginning to increase due to reduced evapotranspiration, cooler temperatures and the end of irrigation season diversions. Emergent vegetation remains very robust and erect.

Waterfowl

Waterfowl populations continue to increase as migrants arrive. Birds are widely dispersed across the entire wildlife area due to excellent habitat conditions.

The weekly count conducted on October 8 found nearly 43,500 ducks on the area. Good numbers of early migrating northern pintail, northern shoveler, American wigeon and American green-winged teal were observed.

Canada geese are widely scattered across the wildlife area’s wetlands. Greater white-fronted geese continue to stage in good numbers; about 500 each were counted last week along with 2,500 lesser snow geese.

Resident trumpeter swans number about 15-20 non-breeders, all part of restoration efforts, can be found scattered across the wildlife area. One pair successfully nested this year and is rearing one cygnet at this time. All of these birds 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) and two side-ways laying numerals that are read from the body toward the head.

Shorebirds, waders and other waterbirds

Shorebird numbers continue to decline at this time as fall migration is winding down.

Very few gulls and terns remain and only a few American white pelican and double-crested cormorants can be found on the area.

A few sandhill cranes are widely scattered across the area, most have migrated south to wintering areas in California.

American coots remain very numerous, almost 16,000 were found during the weekly count.

Several species of grebes (eared, western, pied-billed and Clark’s) can be found scattered across the wildlife area.

A few American bittern, great blue herons, great egrets and a few white-faced ibis continue to be observed.

Raptors and others

Resident raptors, especially red-tailed hawks are scattered throughout the Wildlife Area as well as on private lands along Hwy 31. Northern harriers are commonly observed over marsh and hay meadows. Bald and golden eagle can be occasionally observed. A red-shouldered hawk has been present at the Headquarters Orchard area for the past week, and migrant accipiters are occasionally observed.

Prairie falcons are frequently observed and peregrine falcons have been observed recently hunting migrant waterfowl and shorebirds.

Great horned owls can be found scattered across the entire wildlife area, especially in the trees at campgrounds.

Upland game birds

California quail and ring-necked pheasants are widely scattered across the north end of the wildlife area. Pheasant and quail broods are being seen on a regular basis now.

Passerines

Eurasian collared doves remain very numerous at Headquarters Complex and mourning doves continue to be observed.

American and sometimes lesser goldfinches continue to be observed in fair numbers at Headquarters. Song sparrows are very common along dikes and levees. American robins and sometimes cedar waxwings, are fairly abundant around Headquarters now. Migrant white-crowned sparrows are numerous at this time and a few golden-crowned sparrows and spotted towhees have been observed recently.

Rufous Hummingbird

Rufous Hummingbird
- Photo by Patti Abbott-

Hummingbird activity at the Headquarters feeders is nearly over, although a couple of individual were observed over the past week.

Marsh wrens and song sparrows can be found in dense stands of tall emergent hardstem bulrush and broad-leaved cattail and are very numerous.

Blackbird numbers are declining at this time, although a few large flocks continue to be observed.

Facilities and Access

Please remember: Calendar year 2014 parking permits are required!

Summer Lake Wildlife Area requires a $7 daily parking permit or a $22 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.

The Wildlife Viewing Loop and major dike roads (Windbreak and Work Road) are now closed for the remainder of the year.

The Wildlife Viewing Blind on the edge of Schoolhouse Lake Refuge affords an excellent opportunity to view a wide variety of waterbirds.

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. Due to construction activities in Bullgate Refuge, camping at Bullgate Campground is discouraged.

Habitat

Currently nearly most of the wildlife area’s wetlands are fairly well flooded although several units are have receded due to reduced water supply and evapotranspiration.

Bullgate Refuge remains largely dry from the recently completed wetland enhancement work. Flooding is underway at this time.

Summer Lake continues to increase in size at this time. A good amount of water is flowing into the northern portion of the lake now, but the remainder of the playa is dry. Exposed and newly flooded emergent marsh areas and muddy shorelines will provide good habitat conditions for waterfowl staging.

Emergent wetland vegetation is beginning to move into fall senescence across all wetland areas now.

Upland habitat remains in excellent condition with considerable residual vegetation and extensive new growth of grasses and forbs that is providing high quality food and cover for many wildlife species. Planted tree and shrub plots are providing excellent sheltered sites for many wildlife species. Nearly all shrub species have set an abundant fruit crop.

Please contact Summer Lake Wildlife Area at (541) 943-3152 or e-mail martin.j.stlouis@state.or.us for additional information.

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