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

Weekly Recreation Report: Southeast Zone

March 3, 2015

 Southeast Zone Fishing

Redband Trout
Redband Trout and Fly Rod
-Photo by Roger Smith-

Weekend fishing opportunities

  • Trout fishing on the Blitzen River around Page Springs has been good.
  • Anglers report good fishing at Mann Lake with fish averaging 14 to 16-inches.
  • The Klamath River from the Keno Dam to the State Line and the Ana River are the best bets for fishing in Klamath and Lake Counties.

If your favorite fishing spot is no longer listed

It’s probably because that river, lake or reservoir is closed for the season, inaccessible due to snow and bad roads, or offers limited fishing opportunities during the winter months. These water bodies will re-appear in the Recreation Report when they re-open next spring, or when access and/or opportunity improves.

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

The reservoir is high and launching boats is possible. 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. A potential new state record hybrid bass (white and striped bass cross) was caught in Ana Reservoir on Dec. 10. 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. 7.5 oz. The potential new state record is 1 ½ inches longer and ½ lb. heavier than the previous record of 18 lbs. 9 oz. caught in 2009.

ANA RIVER: hatchery rainbow trout

Fishing should be good for rainbow trout in Ana River. 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. 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. The roads paralleling the river are likely very muddy. Anglers can park at Ana Reservoir and hike down or park at the lower road crossing and hike up.

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

ANNIE CREEK: brook trout, brown trout and rainbow trout

Closed to fishing until April 25, 2015. Bait will be allowed in Annie Creek beginning this year.

BALM CREEK RESERVOIR: rainbow trout, smallmouth bass, crappie

The reservoir has been drained. Trout will be restocked next spring.

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

No recent fishing reports. The reservoir water level is very low and boat ramps are not useable but recent warmer weather may have melted the ice and opened up water for bank fishing. 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: redband trout

The Blitzen River has been flowing between 50 to 70 cfs with water temperatures around 3oC. The weather has been fluctuating from highs in the low 50s during the day to mid-20s at night.

Recent reports indicate that fishing around the Page Springs Campground has been productive and fish have been taking dry flies when a mid-day hatch is present. Anglers have also had some success swinging weighted streamers. The Blitzen River around Page Springs is a good year-round trout fishery, offering amazing scenery and the chance to catch redband trout up to 20 inches.

The East Canal, Bridge Creek, mainstem Blitzen above Bridge Creek and the Little Blitzen River are open for catch-and-release fishing for trout. The South Loop Road is closed for the winter, which limits access to the upper portions of the Blitzen.

BLUE LAKE: hatchery rainbow trout

Blue Lake is likely frozen and you will probably encounter snow on your way. Fishing is not recommended at this time. 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 is low and the boat ramp is not usable.

No recent fishing reports.

BURNS POND: trout, bass

Fishing has been good for legal-sized rainbow trout. About 2,000 legal (8 to 11-inches) rainbow trout were stocked in the pond the week of Oct. 3. The recent warm weather has cleared the pond of ice and fishing should continue to be good for rainbow trout throughout the winter.

BURNT RIVER: rainbow trout

Closed to fishing until April 25, 2015.

CAMPBELL LAKE: brook trout, rainbow trout

Access could be blocked by snow.

rainbow trout on a stringer
Rainbow Trout on a stringer
-Photo by Bob Swingle-

The reservoir is just outside of Bly on the road to Dairy Creek. Deming Creek irrigation ditch feeds the reservoir. Campbell Reservoir should be fair for redband trout.

CHEWAUCAN RIVER: redband trout

The river downstream of Paisley closed 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

No recent fishing reports. The reservoir is low and the boat ramp is out of the water. Ice has formed on the reservoir but recent warmer weather should open up water for bank fishing.

COTTONWOOD MEADOWS: rainbow trout, brook trout

Access might be blocked by snow and the reservoir could be frozen.

COTTONWOOD RESERVOIR (Harney County): rainbow trout

No recent fishing reports. The reservoir was previously frozen over but recent warmer weather may have opened up water for bank fishing.

Access to the reservoir may be limited when the temperature is above freezing and the road is muddy.

COTTONWOOD RESERVOIR (Lake County): native Redband Trout

No recent fishing reports.

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

No recent fishing reports. 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 in the winter of 2013/2014.

DEADHORSE LAKE: rainbow trout

Access might be blocked by snow. If the lake is accessible, fishing should be good.

DELINTMENT LAKE: trout

No recent fishing reports. Ice has formed on the reservoir, BUT it is unlikely that it is safe for ice fishing following the recent warm weather. Access to the lake may be limited with recent snowfall. Carry chains and a shovel when attempting to access the lake.

DEMING CREEK: redband trout

Fishing is closed until April 25, 2015.

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

No recent report but the reservoir is ice free.

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

No recent reports.

DUNCAN RESERVOIR: rainbow trout

No recent reports.

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

Open to fishing all year. 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.

Access is available off Westside Road at Fourmile Springs. A small car topper boat or canoe can improve fishing access at this area.

Anglers should be aware of private property around this area and can check Klamath County Land Ownership for information.

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

Conditions at the lake are cold and snowy. The road into Fourmile might be blocked by snow. Anglers can call Lake of the Woods Resort for more information. The lake is 28 percent full. Fourmile Lake levels

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

No recent report and the reservoir is ice free. The lake is only 15 percent full, which makes launching boats challenging if possible.

Fishing is slow. No recent reports.

rainbow trout
Rainbow Trout
-Photo by Roger Smith-

HAINES POND: rainbow

The pond was stocked with trophy-sized rainbow trout in late September. The pond is now ice-free due to unseasonably warm weather.

HEART LAKE: rainbow trout, kokanee

No recent reports.

HOLBROOK RESERVOIR: rainbow trout

No recent reports.

HWY 203 POND: trout, bass, bluegill

The pond is now ice-free due to unseasonably warm weather.

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

Fishing is slow for warmwater fish such as crappie, pumpkinseed sunfish and brown bullhead catfish. The reservoir is turbid therefore 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 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

The lakes are very turbid. A few fish are being caught by shore anglers using bait (worms or dead minnows). Fishing is generally slow with catch rates averaging 7 hours per redband from boat and 30 hours per redband from the shore. The lake is 1 feet below full pool. Water temperature has decreased to 42 degrees but should increase with expected warmer weather. Fishing should improve with the continuing warmer weather and a reduction in turbidity. Redband trout average 21 inches in the fishery.

Redband trout to be released should not be removed from the water; revive by cradling and moving fish back and forth through the water to pump water over the gills. It is unlawful to continue to fish for the same type of fish after taking and retaining a catch or possession limit. Yellow perch are beginning to spawn. If anglers can find yellow perch, fishing can be good. Upper Klamath Lake is a good TROUT 365 fishery – good trout fishing 365 days a year.

KLAMATH RIVER: native rainbow-redband trout

Keno Dam to J.C Boyle Reservoir

The section from Keno Dam to J.C. Boyle Reservoir is open to fishing. Currently, this is the best option for fishing in the basin. Fishing is slow but is the best bet for winter fishing in the Klamath Area. The current flow is 514 cfs. Water temperatures are averaging around 43 degrees. Flows are ideal for a successful fishing winter outing.
The Klamath River is a rugged river with extremely difficult wading. The river is also always turbid. ODFW recommends wearing studded wading shoes, wading belt, and polarized glasses to observe boulders. Fish can also be landed easier with a landing net in the fast pocket water. Most fish being captured are less than 16 inches. Most fish are feeding on minnows. Fishing remains open throughout the fall and winter. Many redband trout are currently spawning thus there are fewer fish in this reach of river. Redband trout typically do not spawn in this section of river.

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

The Klamath River between JC Boyle Dam to JC Boyle Powerhouse offers good spinner fishing. Fly fishing should be good as well with stonefly and mayfly nymphs working well. Most fish in this section are small and average 10 inches. Below the springs this section remains near a constant 360 cfs of flow and water temperatures are much warmer in this section. 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.

J.C. Boyle Powerhouse to State Line with California

Below the JC Boyle powerhouse the fish get slightly larger than the aforementioned reaches and average 12 inches but rarely exceed sixteen inches. River flows in this section are typically quite high during the day. 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. Blue winged olive mayflies are hatching but few fish were observed rising. Look for backeddies and foam lines for rising fish. Most fish are in the 6-8 inch range but numerous 12 inch fish can be caught with 16 inches the maximum. The past week the fishable flows have occurred around 4 pm and fishing should be good after flows subside. Flow release estimates have been discontinued until next spring. Check out the USGS website for flow information.

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

KRUMBO RESERVOIR: trout, bass

A recent change in Malheur National Wildlife Refuge policy has allowed year-round fishing at this reservoir. However, no ice-fishing is allowed. The 2015 angling regulations will note the year-round angling regulation. Anglers have reported moderate success for rainbow trout up to 19-inches this winter and recent reports indicate that the reservoir is free of ice and boat and bank access may be available. For information regarding winter conditions on Krumbo Reservoir, please contact the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge.

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

The lake is ice free. Fishing is fair for yellow perch. Yellow perch can also be caught using small bait. Fishing for brown bullhead should also be fair. A few large holdover rainbow trout are being captured. Trophy brown trout are available.

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

LOFTON RESERVOIR: rainbow trout

No recent reports. Snow and mud will make accessing the reservoir challenging.

LONG CREEK: brook trout, redband trout, bull trout

Long Creek is closed to fishing until April 25, 2015.

LOST RIVER: largemouth bass, brown bullhead, yellow perch

Lost River is open to fishing all year. All of the Lost River is ice-free. Public access is available at Crystal Springs day use area. Anglers can fish from the specifically designed bridge for fishing at this location. Currently, your best option on the Lost River is to fish for brown bullhead. Brown bullhead can be caught by fishing baits near the bottom Boats can be launched from an improved boat ramp at Crystal Springs. Sacramento perch have been captured below Horseshoe Dam. This is one of the only locations in the state to capture this fish. The Lost River is open to fishing year round.

MALHEUR RESERVOIR: hatchery rainbow trout

Recent reports indicate that the reservoir is dry.

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

Water releases from Warm Springs Reservoir are less than 1 cfs as of March 3 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.

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: trout

Anglers have reported fair to good fishing on Mann Lake recently with fish taking nymphs and spinners. Most fish are 14 to 16-inches long, with some trout over 20-inches being caught.

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

No recent reports. Access might be blocked by snow. Anglers can call the Chemult Ranger District of the USFS (541-365-7001) for more information. The 12 mile gravel road into Miller Lake is in horrible condition with numerous washboards. The dock has been taken out for the winter and the bathrooms with running water have been closed.

MUD LAKE: hatchery rainbow trout

No recent fishing reports. Road is likely very muddy

MURRAY RESERVOIR: trout

No recent report.

NORTH POWDER POND: rainbow trout

The pond is now ice-free.

OVERTON RESERVOIR: rainbow trout

No recent reports. Access to the reservoir is likely difficult due to snow or mud.

The Owynee River
The Owyhee River
-Photo by Jessica Sall-

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

No recent fishing reports, but angling is expected to be slow. Three 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 have been around 13 cfs as of March 3. Fishing has been fair to slow depending on the time of day and location. Fish over 20-inches have been caught recently.

OWYHEE RIVER (Upper): smallmouth bass and channel catfish

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

PHILLIPS RESERVOIR: trout, perch

The reservoir is at 32 percent of capacity. The reservoir is now ice-covered, but recent warm weather has ice conditions unsafe for ice fishing. There is a band of open water around much of the reservoir. The Powder River inlet area is ice-free. Anglers are reminded that tiger muskie are restricted to catch-and-release only. No harvest or removal from the reservoir is allowed. In early May 2014, 7,500 tiger trout were released. These fish were 8 to 10-inches when released and should be much larger by winter. As with the tiger muskie, fishing for tiger trout is restricted to catch-and-release only.

PILCHER RESERVOIR: trout

The reservoir closed to fishing until April 25, 2015.

Piute Reservoir: hatchery rainbow trout and lahontan cutthroat

The reservoir is nearly dry.

POISON CREEK RESERVOIR: hatchery rainbow trout

Ice has formed on the reservoir and was around 5 to 7-inches thick near the dam but recent warm weather has decreased the quality and thickness of the ice making it unsafe for fishing. If the warming trend continues, the reservoir may offer bank fishing in the near future. Reports from January suggest that fishing has been slow. The limit is 2 per day; please respect the fishing regulations for the reservoir.

POLE CREEK RESERVOIR: hatchery rainbow trout

The reservoir was partially frozen over on Feb. 5 but recent reports indicate that the reservoir is now clear of ice and that fishing is very slow.

PRIDAY RESERVOIR: hatchery rainbow trout

The reservoir is dry. This is great news as several illegally introduced species occurred in the reservoir and have now perished.

This very productive reservoir will be stocked again was water is available.

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

Closed to fishing until April 25, 2015. Sevenmile Creek above Nicholson road will be open to the use of bait beginning this year.

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

Access is blocked by snow and all lakes are frozen.

SHERLOCK GULCH RESERVOIR: rainbow trout

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

Spaulding Reservoir: hatchery rainbow trout

The reservoir is dry.

SPRING CREEK: redband trout, brown trout and brook trout

Closed to fishing until May 23, 2015. Large numbers of redband trout continue to spawn on Spring Creek at Collier State Park and make for great fish watching. Numbers of spawning by redband trout is still high with over 150 redband trout spawning at Collier State Park.

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

Closed to fishing until April 25, 2015.

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

Closed to fishing until April 25, 2015. The North Fork Sprague above the 3372 road will be open for bait beginning this year.

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

Closed to fishing until April 25, 2015.

SUN CREEK: brook trout, bull trout, brown trout

Closed to fishing until April 25, 2015.

SYCAN RIVER: brook trout, redband trout

Closed to fishing until April 25, 2015.

THOMPSON RESERVOIR: rainbow trout, largemouth bass

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

THIEF VALLEY RESERVOIR: trout

The reservoir was drained by the Lower Powder River Irrigation District in September 2014. The reservoir was not restocked with rainbow trout in November 2014 due to low water.

No opportunity for ice fishing will exist this winter. Stocking plans for spring 2015 will be dependent on water supply.

UNITY RESERVOIR: trout, bass, crappie

The reservoir is at about 75 percent of capacity and is now ice-covered, but current unseasonably warm weather has the ice conditions unsafe for ice fishing.

Anglers are reminded that a new regulation restricts the harvest of bass to those under 15-inches long.

VEE LAKE: rainbow trout

No recent reports.

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

No recent fishing reports. The reservoir is at dead-pool. Mud, snow or ice will make accessing the reservoir difficult.

Brown Trout
Brown Trout
-Photo by Patti Abbot-

LOWER WILLIAMSON RIVER: redband and brown trout

Closed to fishing until May 23, 2015 to protect spawning redband trout.

UPPER WILLIAMSON RIVER: redband and brook trout

Closed to fishing until April 25, 2015.

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

No recent reports.

You can access the reservoir but fishing will likely be slow for warmwater fish.

WOLF CREEK RESERVOIR: crappie, trout

The reservoir is now partly ice-covered, but unseasonably warm weather has ice conditions unsafe for ice fishing. There is a band of open water around much of the reservoir. Fishing has been fair for 9 to 12-inch rainbows.

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

Closed to fishing until April 25, 2015.

YELLOWJACKET LAKE: trout

About 4,000 legal (8 to 11-inches) rainbow trout were stocked into the lake during the week of Oct. 3. Ice has formed on the lake and was around 5-7 inches thick near the boat launch but recent warm weather has decreased the quality and thickness of the ice making it unsafe for fishing.

Prior fishing reports from Jan. 12 indicate that fishing was good with catches of around 4-6 fish per hour in 11-12 feet of water. Fish sizes were 10 to 12-inches. Pink was the color of choice for these trout.

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  Southeast Zone Hunting

OPEN: COUGAR, LATE GOOSE (closes March 10)

Snake River wolf
Gray Wolf from the Snake River Pack
-Oregon Fish and Wildlife-

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.

HARNEY COUNTY

Hunting maps for Harney County

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. Remember to pick up a 2015 tag.

Coyote populations are fairly low throughout Harney County. Be aware that bobcats and cougars may respond to predator calls, and separate licensing and season limitations exist for these species.

KLAMATH COUNTY

White-fronted geese and Snow/Ross’s geese are beginning to arrive in the Basin. Over the past week, significant increases in goose numbers have been observed. Most of the geese are currently using the Klamath Wildlife Area and Straits Unit at Lower Klamath National Wildlife Refuge. Over the next few weeks, geese will begin using more agricultural lands in the southern part of the basin. Late goose seasons are now open through March 10. The Miller Island Unit of the Klamath Wildlife Area and all federal refuge lands are closed, however, all other waters of the state and public lands are open to hunt in addition to private lands. Remember to ask for permission before entering private lands. Hunting will continue to improve as the late season progresses. Season closes March 10.

Cougar hunting is open year around. 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 on big game winter ranges. Some hunters have reported limited success with calling at this time of year. 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. Be aware that bobcats and cougars may respond to predator calls, and separate licensing and season limitations exist for these species.

KLAMATH WILDLIFE AREA

This section was updated on February 09, 2015.

All game bird hunting seasons are now closed on the Miller Island Unit of the Klamath Wildlife Area.

Hunting for White Geese and White-Fronted Geese is allowed during the Klamath, Lake, Harney & Malheur Cos. Zone White and White-Fronted Goose season (Jan. 26-Mar. 10, 2015), only in the Gorr Island, Shoalwater Bay and Sesti Tgawaals Units.

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.

The Gorr Island Unit is open for hunting during the Klamath, Lake, Harney & Malheur Cos. Zone White and White-Fronted Goose season (Jan. 26-Mar. 10, 2015).

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.

Shoalwater Bay and Sesti Tgawaals Units are open for hunting during the Klamath, Lake, Harney & Malheur Cos. Zone White and White-Fronted Goose season (Jan. 26-Mar. 10, 2015).

Miller Island Unit

All game bird hunting seasons are now closed on the Miller Island Unit of the Klamath Wildlife Area.

Waterfowl Hunting

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

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

Late Snow Goose/White Front Season runs through 10 March. The spring migration has started. Snow geese and white-fronted geese are using shallow flooded pastures. Many of the seasonally flooded pastures frequented by spring migrating geese are dry this year. Hunters are reminded that almost all of the spring use areas are private land and permission is required before hunting. Also, In Lake County the bag limit for white-fronted geese (specks) is one bird per day.

Shed Hunting. Mule deer bucks are losing their antlers. With the mild winter weather deer are widely distributed at elevations up to 6500 feet and are not restricted to traditional winter ranges. Once an antler falls off it legally becomes the property of the landowner. Therefore shed hunters need to get permission from private landowners to access their property and pick up sheds.

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. February has started out wet and mild. Throughout the county deer are using transition ranges between 5800 and 6500 feet. These areas are predominately forest vegetation.

Coyote Pair bonds are starting to form and calls mimicking coyote vocalizations are becoming more effective. Be aware that bobcats and cougars may respond to predator calls, and separate licensing and season limitations exist for these species.

SUMMER LAKE WILDLIFE AREA

This section was updated on March 2, 2015

All hunting seasons on the wildlife area are closed.

It is unlawful to discharge firearms between February 1 and August 31 except by permit issued by ODFW.

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

MALHEUR COUNTY

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. Remember to pick up a 2015 tag.

Coyote hunting is available throughout the district. Areas with livestock feeding and calving operations are strong attractors for coyotes. Howling and territorial challenges are typically the most effective calls this time of year.

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 Southeast Zone Wildlife Viewing

HARNEY COUNTY

Early migrant waterfowl are beginning to move north. Tundra swans and snow geese and a variety of duck species have started showing up around the county.

Wintering raptors continue to be found throughout the area. You should be able to view golden eagles, bald eagles and a variety of hawks perching on telephone poles and fence posts throughout the district. Resident raptors such as northern harriers and red-tailed hawks are very easily observed in open agricultural areas.

While much winter season still remains, the recent warming trend, precipitation and increased daylight hours has promoted some significant green up on the winter ranges, look for deer, elk, and antelope to remain active for longer periods of the day. Mule deer can be found in foothill areas around the basin.

Many of the bighorn sheep will be using lower elevation slopes and can often be seen from the highways. Bighorn sheep may be seen from highway 205 along Catlow Valley or along the East Steens Road.

Winter recreation opportunities on Steens Mt. are very limited due to the very little snow fall received so far this winter. 2/17/15.

KLAMATH COUNTY

Tundra Swan
Tundra Swan
- Photo by Kathy Munsel, ODFW-

Swans have arrived in the Klamath Basin offering excellent viewing and photographing opportunity. While the vast majority of the individuals present are tundra swans, occasionally a trumpeter swan can be observed. Flooded fields north of Klamath Falls adjacent to the Running Y ranch/resort have recently held several hundred swans. Limited highway pull-offs exist. Please use caution on this often icy stretch of highway.

Look for lesser snow geese and Ross’s geese to begin arriving in great numbers in coming weeks. Viewing opportunities are abundant along Stateline Rd. and from many county roads in the southern portions of the Basin.

A great opportunity for wildlife viewing is right in Klamath Falls with several options available. The Wingwatchers Trail starts right at Veterans Park along Lake Ewauna in downtown and the Link River Trail is accessed from Lakeshore Drive. Many aquatic birds can viewed as well as passerine species.

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.

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.

Ask for permission from the landowner before entering private lands. Please watch for game and use caution while traveling on area highways and county roads. 2/01/15.

Klamath Wildlife Area (Miller Island)

This section was updated on Feb. 17, 2015.

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.

The majority of the wildlife area is ice-free. Conditions should remain similar with the mild forecasted weather for this coming week.

From February 1-April 30 use is restricted to public roads and parking lots to minimize disturbance to migrating waterfowl. The short birding trail next to check station and the dog training area will remain open.

Waterfowl

Great Basin Canada geese continue to be a common site on the area, many are starting to stake out territories in preparation for nesting. Numbers of white-fronted, lesser snow geese and ross’s geese have increased dramatically from the previous week; large flocks can be seen on the areas agricultural fields. Canvasback, scaup, ruddy duck, bufflehead and common and barrows goldeneye along with other diver species can be seen in the deeper ponds/canals and Klamath River.

There are still some Tundra swans using the area, but their numbers have decreased dramatically over the past week. Dabbler species numbers have increased over the past week and should continue to increase with the northward migration.

Shorebirds, waders and other waterbirds

Ring-billed gulls continue to be a common site on the area, but continue to decline in numbers as winter progresses. Several pairs of sandhill cranes were observed on the area and their very audible calls are becoming quite common.

Raptors

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. Eagle numbers should start to increase dramatically in the basin as they follow migrants northward.

Upland Game Birds

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

Passerines

Mourning and Eurasian collared dove can still be found scattered over the area. American goldfinches, house finches, white crowned sparrows and Northern flickers continue to be a common site throughout the area.

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

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.

LAKE COUNTY

Swans, sandhill cranes and snow geese are moving through the county.These are the earliest spring migrants and indicate the start of spring migration.If the mild wet conditions persist, spring staging habitat should be substantially better than last year.

Winter resident raptors are common throughout the major valleys in the county. Bald and golden eagles are common. 3/3/15.

Summer Lake Wildlife Area

This section was updated on March 2, 2015.

Summer Lake Wildlife Area requires a calendar year 2015 $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.

CALENDAR YEAR 2015 PARKING PERMITS ARE NOW REQUIRED.

Vehicle access to the Wildlife Viewing Loop and major dike roads (Windbreak and Work Road) is now open. Lateral/spur dikes and levees remain closed to motor vehicles but are open for other access.

Wetland conditions are good; a majority of the area’s wetlands are open and ice-free, viewing opportunities are very good.

Waterfowl

Waterfowl populations continue to increase as spring migration continues. A count was conducted on February 25 last week; an increase for nearly all migrant waterfowl species has been noted over the past 10 days. Northern pintail (5,700), canvasback (1,200) and ruddy duck (1,000) are especially numerous at this time.

Lesser snow goose numbers remain good; over 30,000 were noted during the weekly count as well as over 1.200 greater white-fronted geese. Swan numbers remain very substantial and widespread across the entire wildlife area, nearly 2,400 were observed. Because of the unseasonably mild weather conditions, swans and snow geese are beginning to push further north to other parts of the Pacific Flyway.

Migrant trumpeter swan numbers remain fairly strong. The count conducted on Feb. 25 found nearly 65 trumpeters. A few of these birds a 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) and two side-ways laying numerals that are read from the body toward the head.

Shorebirds, waders and other waterbirds

Shorebird numbers remain at their low wintering levels now; although a few early migrants such as killdeer have been observed scattered across the area. Only three species (killdeer, greater yellowlegs and Wilson’s snipe) can be expected to be found at this time.

American coot numbers continue to increase, nearly 1,500 were observed during the weekly count. Virginia rails can be seen or heard, especially along Ana River. Grebes remain at low number now, but a few species can still be found. American bittern and great blue herons can still be found.

American Bald Eagle
American Bald Eagle
-Photo by Blaine Fanning-

Raptors and others

Wintering raptors, especially northern harriers, red-tailed hawks, bald eagles and rough-legged hawk can be found scattered throughout the Wildlife Area as well as on private lands along Hwy 31.

Viewers can expect eagle numbers (especially bald) to build as migrant waterfowl numbers continue to increase. Sick and weak waterfowl are favored food sources for bald eagles.

Red-shouldered hawks, golden eagles, American kestrel and prairie falcons as well as accipiters (Cooper’s and sharp-shinned hawk) can sometimes be observed.

Great horned owls were found scattered across the entire wildlife area, especially in the trees at campgrounds, they remain very vocal and some should be establishing nests now. Common barn owls are sometimes observed around Headquarters.

Upland game birds

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

Passerines

Eurasian collared doves remain very numerous at Headquarters Complex. Mourning doves are occasionally observed.

American and lesser goldfinches continue to be observed in good numbers at Headquarters. Song sparrows are very common along dikes and levees. The Harris’ sparrow has returned, and over the past week several spotted towhees, mourning dove, golden-crowned sparrow and a slate-colored junco were observed.  The first of spring Say’s phoebe was observed recently.

Wintering Townsend’s solitaires, American robins, evening grosbeaks and sometimes cedar waxwings are fairly abundant around Headquarters now.

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

Blackbird numbers are increasing at this time, 20-30 red-winged blackbirds were present at the Headquarters feeder over the past weekend and many are beginning to disperse into wetland breeding areas.

Facilities and Access

Please remember: Calendar year 2015 parking permits are required beginning on January 1, 2015!

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 open for motor vehicle traffic. Lateral dikes and spur levees remain closed to motor vehicles but other access is permitted.

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.

Habitat

Currently most of the wildlife area’s wetlands are open and ice-free due to the recent unseasonably mild temperatures.

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.

Emergent wetland vegetation is lodged over due to recent strong winds allowing for good viewing into many wetland units.

Upland habitat remains in excellent condition with considerable residual vegetation that is providing high quality food and cover for many wildlife species. The ground is snow free at this time. Planted tree and shrub plots are providing excellent sheltered sites for many wildlife species.

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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