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ODFW WEEKLY RECREATION REPORT
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Southwest Zone Map

Weekly Recreation Report: Southwest Zone

July 28, 2015

 Southwest Zone Fishing

rogue river
Rogue River above Lost Creek
-Photo by Rick Swart, ODFW-

Weekend fishing opportunities

  • Rogue trout anglers can enjoy good fishing in the river above Lost Creek Reservoir. Cool water temperatures make this reach a place to fish that less stressful on fish than other, warmer areas of the Rogue watershed. Weekly releases of hatchery trout mean plentiful fish, and this reach offers easy access and a beautiful setting.
  • Anglers are catching summer steelhead in the upper Rogue River and in the North Umpqua River around Rock Creek.
  • There have been reports of coho and chinook being caught in the ocean off of Winchester Bay.
  • Reports of fair fishing for warmwater species have been coming in from Agate Lake, Applegate Reservoir, the Coos County lakes, Lake Selmac, Lost Creek Reservoir, Tenmile Lakes and Reinhart Pond.
  • Fishing for smallmouth bass, which remains open under normal rules, should continue to be productive in the mainstem Umpqua (except within 200 feet of tributaries) and South Umpqua Rivers, and trout fishing in the cooler high mountain lakes should offer excellent harvest opportunities.
  • How are water levels doing at Rogue watershed reservoirs this year? As of July 20, Agate Lake is about 3 feet above 2014 levels, while Emigrant is about 7 feet higher. Hyatt Lake is similar to 2014 levels. Fish Lake is about 1.5 feet lower than 2014, while Howard Prairie is 8 feet lower.

Warm temperatures increase stress on fish

However, anglers reduce the stress from catch-and-release fishing by following a few precautions:

  • Fish early in the mornings when water temperatures are lower.
  • Fish in lakes and reservoirs with deep waters that provide a cooler refuge for fish.
  • Use barbless hooks, land fish quickly and keep them in the water as much as possible in order to minimize stress.
  • Shift fishing efforts to higher elevation mountain lakes and streams where water temperatures often remain cooler.

Warmwater fish like bass, crappie and bluegill also feel the effects of the heat, so please follow these precautions in all your summer fishing.

Statewide drought updates

For the latest statewide drought conditions, see the State of Oregon’s Drought Watch.

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.

AGATE LAKE: largemouth bass, bluegill, black crappie

Fishing for warmwater gamefish has been fair, especially early and late in the day. Largemouth bass, crappie, and other warmwater species can be found around structure. Bass are hitting a variety of lures. Bluegill and crappie can be caught with small jigs or bait. Agate Lake is 48 percent full.

APPLEGATE RESERVOIR: largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, trout

Rainbow trout are still available from this spring’s stocking. With the warm weather, anglers will do better by fishing deeper or fishing early or late in the day. Fishing for smallmouth bass has been good for anglers casting lures and artificial baits around rocky structure. Applegate Reservoir is 37 percent full.

The Oregon Health Authority issued an advisory recommending that people limit their consumption of largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, yellow perch, bluegill, and crappie taken from Applegate Reservoir due to elevated levels of mercury. Trout are not included in the advisory and remain a healthy choice for those wanting to retain fish for the table.

APPLEGATE RIVER: rainbow and cutthroat trout, winter steelhead

The Applegate River is open for trout fishing. Anglers may keep two adipose fin-clipped rainbow trout per day. Nonadipose fin-clipped rainbow trout and all cutthroat trout must be immediately released unharmed.

Due to low flows and warm water, trout fishing has been slow. To protect fish from the stress they experience when caught and released in warm water, trout fishing is closed after 2 p.m. each day. The river is currently closed to salmon and steelhead fishing.

ARIZONA POND: rainbow trout

Slow. Good numbers of trout, but weeds are starting to make it tougher to fish. The best time to fish is on cloudy days or when the sun is off the water.

The pond is managed by Oregon State Parks as youth only fishing and is located at Arizona Beach State Recreation Area; approximately halfway between Gold Beach and Port Orford.

BEN IRVING RESERVOIR: rainbow trout, bass, bluegill, yellow perch, crappie

The reservoir has been stocked according to schedule (pdf) with 4,000 rainbow trout. Continue to check the website for the next release date at the end of August. Warmwater fishing for bass and crappie has been slow, but bluegill fishing has been good.

COOPER CREEK RESERVOIR: rainbow trout, bass, bluegill, yellow perch, bullhead

Cooper Creek has been stocked with 8,000 rainbow trout since March. The next scheduled stocking will be at the end of August. Fishing for largemouth bass, bluegill, and yellow perch should be productive especially in the morning and late afternoon/early evening.

We have been getting reports that some of the trout have copepods, which are tiny parasites on their bodies and gills. These are not harmful to humans, but the lesions can be removed and the meat should be thoroughly cooked.

COOS COUNTY LAKES/PONDS: largemouth bass, bluegills

Fishing for largemouth bass and bluegills has been good in many of the Coos County lakes. Fishing for bass will be best in the mornings and late evenings. Fish for bluegills around structure like submerged logs and weed lines.

Black Rockfish
Black Rockfish
-Photo by Bob Swingle-

COOS RIVER BASIN: Dungeness crab, salmon, bay clams, rockfish, trout

Streams in the Coos Basin are open for trout although there is a 2 p.m. fishing closure for trout, salmon, and steelhead in streams above tidewater. Most of the larger rivers will be too warm for trout and the water level in many of the smaller streams is extremely low. Fishing is restricted to artificial flies and lures in streams above tidewater.

A few chinook salmon have been caught in between the jetties on Coos Bay and also near the airport. Mooching with herring or trolling a cut-plug herring work well for catching salmon. This looks to be the start of the fall chinook run into Coos Bay. Fishing will continue to get better in the next couple of months.

Fishing for rockfish inside lower Coos Bay around the jetties has been a little slow this past week. The best fishing has been around the slack tides. The marine fish daily bag limit (which includes fishing in estuaries) is 7 fish and a separate daily limit for lingcod (two). Anglers will be able to keep only 3 blue rockfish and 1 canary rockfish as part of their daily limit and there will be no harvest of China, quillback or copper rockfish.

To help anglers identify common species and comply with the regulations, ODFW has produced several sheets of ID Tips for blue vs. black rockfish and for China, copper and quillback rockfish, as well as a handout titled “What Can I Keep, and How Many?”

Crabbing continues to be very good in the lower bay with crabbers catching mostly hard shell crab with a couple soft shell crabs in the mix. Crabbing has been good all the way up to the BLM Boat Ramp but the best crabbing will be near the jetties and close to slack tides. A few legal crabs have been caught off the Charleston docks.

Clamming is excellent during low tides near Charleston, off Cape Arago Highway, and Clam Island. There are also good places to dig clams even on positive low tides in Coos Bay. Recreational harvest of razor clams is closed for the entire Oregon coastline from the Columbia River to the California border due to elevated levels of domoic acid. This includes all beaches and all bays. Before any shellfish harvest trip, make sure to check the Oregon Department of Agriculture website for any updates.

COQUILLE RIVER BASIN: trout, smallmouth bass, crab

Streams in the Coquille Basin are open for trout although there is a 2 p.m. fishing closure for trout, salmon, and steelhead in streams above tidewater. Most of the larger rivers will be too warm for trout and the water level in many of the smaller streams is extremely low. Fishing is restricted to artificial flies and lures in streams above tidewater.

The 2 p.m. stream closure does not affect anglers fishing for smallmouth bass or other warmwater fish species. Smallmouth bass fishing has been good in the Coquille Basin. The best fishing is in the South Fork and upper mainstem Coquille rivers. Anglers are reporting catching 20-40 smallmouth bass per day on jigs, crankbaits, spinner, and worms (bait is legal in tidewater). There is no size limit or bag limit on smallmouth bass in the rivers of the Coquille Basin.

Crabbing has been good from a boat in the Coquille River near Bandon. Crabbing should continue to pick up throughout the summer. If you don’t have a boat Weber’s Pier is a great place to throw out you crab pots.

DIAMOND LAKE: trout

Anglers have been catching fish predominately in the 12 to 17-inch range mostly by trolling lures and using a combination of PowerBait and lures on anchor around the south-end creek inlets and springs. Fly fishing has also been productive, particularly around the south end of the lake.

Diamond Lake was stocked with approximately 300,000 rainbow trout fingerlings during Memorial Day week. An additional 3,500 legal-size and 3,500 trophy trout have been stocked.

Anglers can check fishing conditions at Diamond Lake on the Diamond Lake Resort website, or call their toll free number at 1-800-733-7593, ext. 5 for updates. The Marina is open and has boats and charter trips available.

EMIGRANT RESERVOIR: rainbow trout, largemouth and smallmouth bass, crappie

Fishing for bass and other warmwater fish has been fair. With the hot, sunny weather fishing has been best early and late in the day when temperatures are cooler. Most of the fish will be found in deeper water at this time of year. An angler recently reported catching rainbow trout at about 40 feet of water depth near the dam, with black crappie being found in similar water. The water level in the reservoir is at 48 percent of capacity.

EXPO POND: trout

Fishing for bass, crappie, and other warmwater fish has been fair. With the hot weather, the best fishing will be early and late in the day. Expo Pond is located directly adjacent to the access road at gate 5.

FISH LAKE: rainbow trout, brook trout, spring Chinook

Fish Lake is stocked with legal-sized and larger rainbow trout. Brook trout, Chinook salmon, and tiger trout are also available. The tiger trout must be released unharmed if caught.

Anglers wanting to launch trailered boats at Fish Lake will need to hurry. The USFS boat ramp is nearing the point where it is not usable due to dropping water levels. An unimproved ramp at the resort should still be usable.

Fishing has been fair, with the best success coming early and late in the day. Landlocked salmon to 16-inches were caught on rainbow PowerBait recently by anglers still fishing in a boat near the resort. Some rainbow trout were caught by bank anglers between the resort and Doe Point Campground this past weekend. Shallow water and weed fragments make trolling a bit challenging; but trout were caught on a red wedding ring spiked with a worm fished behind a small split shot weight recently. Fish Lake is 34 percent full.

Anglers are encouraged to report catches of larger spring Chinook or tiger trout to the local ODFW district office at 541-826-8774.

FLORAS LAKE: rainbow, cutthroat trout

Warmer water and increased weed growth has slowed fishing. Anglers fishing early or late evening are faring the best. Always check the weather before heading out, as it can be windy. The best method for catching trout is slow trolling flies or wedding ring spinners from a boat. Bank access is limited. Anglers can launch at an improved boat ramp at Boice Cope County Park. Boat anglers are reminded to clean all aquatic vegetation off their boats and trailers before heading home to help control the spread non-native plants and animals.

Large-mouth Bass
Ashley Abbot, 10, with her 7 # Large-mouth Bass
-Oregon Fish and Wildlife-

GALESVILLE RESERVIOR: rainbow trout, bass

In addition to trout, the reservoir has also been stocked with coho smolts for the last couple of years. Many people mistakenly think these fish are kokanee. All of the coho smolts are adipose fin-clipped, and please remember to release the ones less than 8-inches long. In Galesville Reservoir, all landlocked salmon are considered trout and are part of the five-per-day trout limit, with only one trout over 20-inches long allowed for harvest. Galesville has been stocked with approximately 8,000 rainbow trout since March.

Bass fishing should be productive particularly in the morning and late afternoon/early evening. Anglers are reminded all bass between 12 and 15-inches must be released, and only one bass over 15-inches may be taken per day. Call 541-837-3302 for information on camping and boat launching conditions.

GARRISON LAKE: rainbow trout, cutthroat trout

Slow. This time of year boat anglers tend to do best fishing the deeper weed lines.

Access for bank anglers is best at the 12th Street boat ramp, Arizona Street, or along the foredune accessed through Tseriadun State Park. Garrison Lake is located in the middle of Port Orford. Boat anglers are reminded to clean all aquatic vegetation off their boats and trailers before heading home to help control the spread non-native plants and animals.

HEMLOCK LAKE & LAKE IN THE WOODS & Umpqua High Lakes: trout

Anglers fishing the high lakes in the Umpqua District are encouraged to e-mail fishing reports. Contact the Forest Service at 541-496-3532 for road conditions.

Hemlock Lake has been stocked with approximately 6,000 rainbow trout in 2015, and Lake in the Woods has been stocked with approximately 1,000 rainbow trout in 2015. Remember only trout over 8-inches may be harvested, and only one trout over 20-inches may be kept per day.

HOWARD PRAIRIE RESERVOIR: rainbow trout, largemouth bass, smallmouth bass

Despite low water levels and a lack of paved boat ramps, anglers are still able to launch boats at the rocked road near the resort. Still anglers should take advantage of the opportunity now to fish Howard Prairie.

Trout fishing has been fair. Most of the trout have averaged 11 to 12-inches, but trout to 18-inches have been caught. Trout anglers will probably want to fish deep, but will still want to be above the weeds. Fishing for largemouth and smallmouth bass has been good, with a number of nice-sized fish being caught. Due to the warm weather, fishing for all species will be best early or late in the day.

The reservoir is 25 percent full and the water level is dropping. The marina area is dry, and boat rentals are not available.

HYATT LAKE: rainbow trout, largemouth bass

Rainbow trout are available, and fishing for largemouth bass should be good. Due to the warm weather, fishing for all species will be best early or late in the day. The lake is only 24 percent full. Anglers fishing from the shore or wanting to launch small watercraft will find adequate opportunities.

ILLINOIS RIVER: trout, steelhead

Trout fishing has been slow. Anglers can keep five adipose fin-clipped rainbow trout per day. Nonadipose fin-clipped rainbow trout and all cutthroat trout must be immediately released unharmed. The river is not stocked, so it will primarily offer anglers the opportunity to catch and release cutthroat trout. Due to the stress fish experience when caught and released in warm water, steelhead and trout fishing is closed after 2 p.m. each day.

LAKE MARIE: rainbow trout

The lake has been stocked with roughly 5,000 rainbow trout in 2015. Most anglers use PowerBait or worms. Perch fishing has been fair for those using worms on the bottom.

LAKE SELMAC: trout, largemouth bass, bluegill, crappie

Fishing for bass and other warmwater fish has been fair, especially early or late in the day. Largemouth bass can be caught on a variety of lures. Rubber worms fished in and around the weedbeds work well. Many of the other species of warmwater fish can be caught by fishing with a worm under a bobber or by casting and retrieving small jigs.

LEMOLO RESERVOIR: brown trout, rainbow trout

Brown trout may be harvested as of April 25. So far in 2015 the reservoir has been stocked with 5,000 rainbow trout and brown trout fishing has been productive. The Forest Service has opened Poole Creek Campground. Contact Lemolo Lake Resort at 541-957-8354 for conditions and additional information. There have been reports of wildfires in the vicinity of Lemolo Reservoir, and anglers should check fire information at 541-787-4332 before making fishing and camping plans.

LOON LAKE: rainbow trout, bass, bluegill

Loon Lake has been stocked with 7,500 trout in 2015. The lake also has good fishing for crappie, bluegill and bass during warmer months. Visit the BLM and Loon Lake Resort websites for information on opening dates and camping this summer.

LOST CREEK RESERVOIR: rainbow trout, spring Chinook, bass

Trout fishing has been fair to good at Lost Creek Reservoir. Trout are spread out around the lake. Legal-sized trout are plentiful, but trout 15-18 trout are being caught as well. The lake surface temperature is 72oF on Monday but will climb with the heat wave this week. Consequently, the trout are holding deeper. Anglers have had better success by trolling 40 feet deep or deeper. Fishing upstream of the Highway 62 bridge also should be good. Bank anglers will likely do best early or late in the day.

Fishing for largemouth and smallmouth bass has been good for anglers casting lures around cover. The reservoir is 47 percent full.

MEDCO POND: rainbow trout, largemouth bass, bluegill

Fishing for largemouth bass and bluegill has been fair with the best success occurring early or late in the day.

Dungeness Crab
Dungeness Crab
-Photo by Kathy Munsel, ODFW-

PACIFIC OCEAN AND BEACHES: bottomfish, salmon, Dungeness crab, tuna

The ocean is open for harvest of Dungeness crab. Crabbing has been good outside of Coos Bay and Winchester Bay.

Recreational ocean salmon season from Cape Falcon to Humbug Mt. is open for Chinook salmon and fin-clipped coho. The bag limit is two salmon per day, and a minimum size for Chinook salmon at 24 inches or larger and a minimum size for coho salmon at 16 inches or larger. Fishing for chinook from Bandon to Winchester Bay has been slow. Fishing for coho has been decent but only about a third of the coho caught were fin-clipped. As of July 19, there is still 85 percent of the fin-clipped coho quota remaining.

Tuna fishing over the weekend along the south coast was spotty. Some boats did very well on tuna but many others came in with only single digit catches. Some fish are being caught within 15 miles but most fish caught were 20-30 miles off shore.

The nearshore halibut season opened on July 1. The fishery is open 7 days per week inside the 40-fathom line. Anglers were catching a few halibut near Bandon inside 40-fathoms this past weekend. As of July 19, 83 percent of the nearshore halibut quota remains.

Fishing for bottom fish is restricted to inside the 30 fathom curve. Fishing for black rockfish continues to be very good from Charleston to Bandon. Fishing for lingcod has slowed down inside 30-fathoms. The marine fish daily bag limit is seven fish and a separate daily limit for lingcod (two). Anglers can only keep 3 blue rockfish and 1 canary rockfish as part of their daily limit and there will be no harvest of China, quillback, or copper rockfish. Retention of cabezon is now allowed at 1 fish per day and at least 16-inches long.

To help anglers identify common species and comply with the regulations, ODFW has produced several sheets of ID Tips for blue vs. black rockfish and for China, copper and quillback rockfish, as well as a handout titled “What Can I Keep, and How Many?”

PLAT I RESERVOIR: rainbow trout, warmwater fish

In addition to trout fishing, the lake also has good bass fishing. Bass can be harvested from March 1 to Oct. 31 and are catch-and-release only from Nov. 1-Feb. 29. The reservoir has received about 4,500 trout since the beginning of March.

Some of the trout have had copepods which are tiny parasites on their bodies and gills. These are not harmful to humans, but the lesions can be removed and the meat should be thoroughly cooked.

REINHART POND: trout, largemouth bass, bluegill

Fishing for bass, and bluegill has been fair.

ROGUE RIVER

Rogue River, lower: Chinook, summer steelhead

The Rogue Bay continues to produce good catches of chinook. The numbers of chinook should continue to build as this is just the beginning of the fall chinook run. The majority of fish are being caught downstream of the Highway 101 bridge.

Summer steelhead fishing is slow, but cooler river conditions should make for some good early summer steelhead fishing

Rogue River, middle: Chinook salmon, steelhead, trout

A few Chinook and summer steelhead are passing through the middle Rogue; however, fishing has been slow. Due to the stress fish experience when caught and released in warm water; salmon, steelhead, trout, and sturgeon fishing is closed after 2 p.m. each day in the Rogue River downstream from the Fishers Ferry Boat Ramp. This is intended to protect the fish the fish from being stressed during the warmest part of the day.

As of Monday, the flow at Grants Pass was 1,560 cfs and the water temperature averaged 65oF. Water temperatures will climb with the heat wave this week. For those interested in checking conditions before getting on the river, the City of Grants Pass Water Division’s website offers information on NTU’s at Grants Pass as well as a link to a river camera.

Rogue River, upper: Chinook salmon, steelhead, trout

The spring chinook fishery is winding down on the upper river. The river between Dodge Bridge and Cole Rivers Hatchery closes to fishing for chinook on Aug. 1. Anglers can continue to fish for chinook between the Fishers Ferry boat ramp and the Dodge Bridge boat ramp until Aug. 31.

Summer steelhead are available but are scattered throughout the upper river.

The river is also open for trout fishing. This might be a good time to fish for trout on the upper Rogue at places like Rogue Elk County Park, Casey State Park, and McGregor Park. Anglers can cast flies, rooster tails, or worms for the next several weeks. Anglers can keep five adipose fin-clipped rainbow trout per day. Non-adipose fin-clipped rainbow trout and all cutthroat trout must be immediately released unharmed.

Due to the cool water being released from Lost Creek Reservoir, the Rogue River upstream from the Fishers Ferry Boat Ramp is not subject to the 2 p.m. fishing closure and remains open to fishing during the hours specified in the 2015 Oregon Sport Fishing Regulations.

The flow at Gold Ray was 1,620 cfs and the water temperature averaged 61oF on Monday. The outflow from Lost Creek Reservoir was 1,500 cfs at 54oF. As of July 15, a total 7,466 spring Chinook (145 new for the week) and 562 summer steelhead (104 new for the week) have been collected at Cole Rivers Hatchery.

Rogue River, above Lost Creek Reservoir: trout

The premier summer trout fishery in the Rogue watershed is the river upstream of Lost Creek Reservoir. Anglers can escape the heat of the Rogue Valley, enjoy beautiful scenery and catch fish. Campgrounds and other public access sites along Highway 62 and Highway 230 are stocked with rainbow trout on a weekly basis between Memorial Day and Labor Day.

Anglers should note that two stocking sites have been dropped for this year: Foster Creek and Woodruff Creek at Abbott Campground. Hamaker Campground will not be stocked directly but will receive trout from a release upstream at Minnehaha Creek.

Due to lower water temperatures, the Rogue River and its tributaries upstream from Lost Creek Reservoir are not subject to the 2 p.m. fishing closure and remain open to fishing during the hours specified in the 2015 Oregon Sport Fishing Regulations.

SMITH RIVER, Umpqua: sturgeon, striped bass, steelhead, trout

Smith River, including all tributaries, is closed to fishing for trout, steelhead, salmon and sturgeon from 2 p.m. until an hour before sunrise except in tidewater.

As of May 23, retention of adipose fin-clipped steelhead is allowed in the Smith River mainstem from the mouth upstream to Spencer Creek and in the North Fork of the Smith River from the mouth upstream to Johnson Creek. The use of bait is allowed in tidewaters. Trout fishing on the Smith River and tributaries also opened on May 23, and anglers should pay close attention to catch and release, harvest, and artificial fly use deadlines outlined in the regulation manual. Sturgeon fishing is catch-and-release only.

SODA SPRINGS RESERVOIR: Closed to fishing.

TENMILE BASIN: trout, largemouth bass, yellow perch

Streams in the Tenmile Basin are open for trout although there is a 2 p.m. fishing closure for trout, salmon, and steelhead in streams above tidewater. Most of the larger rivers will be too warm for trout and the water level in many of the smaller streams is extremely low. Fishing is restricted to artificial flies and lures in streams above tidewater.

The water level in Tenmile Lakes is extremely low and boat anglers should use caution when boating in the lakes. Tenmile Lakes is open all year for trout but trout fishing has been slow.

Bass anglers have been catching several largemouth bass in Tenmile Lakes. Bass can be found this time of the year in shallow water near structure like logs or weed lines.

A few anglers have been catching yellow perch from the fishing dock at the County Boat Ramp and near the edge of the weedlines. A worm or piece of cut bait fished near the bottom works well for catching yellow perch.

TOKETEE LAKE: brown trout, rainbow trout

Fishing is open in Toketee year-round. The boat ramp is currently open but water levels remain low making it difficult to launch boats. For more information call the U.S. Forest Service at 541-498-2531.

UMPQUA HIGH LAKES AND FOREBAYS: trout

Access is good with the limited snow received over the winter. Contact the Forest Service at 541-957-3200 for road and trail conditions. Clearwater Forebay 2 has been stocked with approximately 3,000 rainbow trout in 2015. Anglers fishing the high lakes in the Umpqua District are encouraged to e-mail fishing reports. 

UMPQUA BASIN

Fishing for trout, steelhead, salmon and sturgeon in all waterbodies defined as streams in the 2015 Oregon Sport Fishing Regulations is restricted to an hour before sunrise to 2 p.m. throughout the entire Umpqua Basin except in tidewaters.

Additionally in the mainstem Umpqua River from the Scottsburg Bridge on Highway 38 to the River Forks Park boat ramp, fishing is prohibited within 200 feet of all mainstem Umpqua tributaries including the tributaries themselves from the mouth to 200 feet upstream.

UMPQUA RIVER, MAINSTEM: steelhead, spring Chinook

The mainstem Umpqua, including all tributaries, is closed to fishing for trout, steelhead, salmon, and sturgeon from 2 P.M. until an hour before sunrise except in tidewater.

Beginning June 23 through Oct. 1, 2015, fishing is also prohibited within 200 feet of all tributaries including no angling in the tributaries themselves from the mouth to 200 feet upstream.

The mainstem Umpqua is closed to wild steelhead harvest, but remains open year-round for adipose fin-clipped steelhead. Spring Chinook fishing has essentially ended with the low water conditions making some boating access difficult, but fall Chinook fishing should begin to pick-up particularly in lower river. Catch-and-release trout fishing on the mainstem Umpqua opened May 23. Trout fishing in Umpqua tributaries also opened on May 23, with fishing restricted to the use of artificial flies and lures except for in tidewater areas where bait is allowed.

Please note the changes in regulations this year on page 40 of the 2015 Oregon Sport Fishing Regulations booklet. On the Main, anglers can harvest 2 wild spring Chinook per day and up to 5 wild springers from Feb. 1 – June 30. From July 1– Dec. 31, you can harvest 2 wild Chinook per day, and in combination with the other salmon/steelhead recorded on your salmon tag, up to 20 fish total. Fin-clipped hatchery fish can be recorded on a separate hatchery harvest tag that is available. There is no limit on the number of hatchery tags that can be purchased. Daily limits still apply.

Fishing for smallmouth bass, which remains open under normal rules except in regards to the 200ft tributary regulation, should continue to be productive especially in the morning and late afternoon/early evening. Smallmouth bass fishing using a variety of lures such as twister-tails and worms should be good throughout the summer months.

The 50 Places to go fishing within 60 minutes of Roseburg,” handout which is available online or at the office, identifies several good places for salmon and steelhead fishing.

North Umpqua River
North Umpqua River
-ODFW Photo-

UMPQUA RIVER, NORTH: steelhead, spring Chinook

The North Umpqua River, including all tributaries, is closed to fishing for trout, steelhead and salmon from 2 p.m. until an hour before sunrise. Good numbers of summer steelhead are in the North Umpqua. Remember all wild steelhead must be released unharmed. Trout fishing on portions of the mainstem North Umpqua and tributaries opened on May 23, and anglers should pay close attention to which sections and streams are open to catch and release, harvest, and artificial fly use outlined in the regulation manual. Spring Chinook fishing has been extremely slow and ends July 31.

Note that from Oct. 1 through June 30, fishing in the fly water area is restricted to a single barbless artificial fly which can be dressed with conventional fly tying material. Per the new regulation on page 40 of the 2015 Oregon Sport Fishing Regulations booklet, from Feb. 1 – July 31, 2 wild Chinook per day can be harvested and up to 10 wild Chinook during this time frame in combination with wild Chinook harvested in the Main. Remember that from March 1 through July 31 the anti-snagging gear restrictions apply on the North from the Lone Rock boat ramp upstream to the fly area boundary above Rock Creek. The Mainstem from Soda Springs Dam, including Soda Springs Reservoir, up to Slide Creek Dam is closed year-round to fishing.

Rock Creek Hatchery is closed until further notice due to construction and high water temperatures.

North Umpqua River water levels at Winchester Dam

UMPQUA RIVER, SOUTH: steelhead

The South Umpqua River, including all tributaries, is closed to fishing for trout, steelhead, and salmon from 2 p.m. until an hour before sunrise. The mainstem South Umpqua upstream to Jackson Creek Bridge opened to fishing on May 23, with trout fishing being strictly catch and release. Catch and release trout fishing in South Umpqua tributaries below Jackson Creek Bridge also opened on May 23, with fishing restricted to the use of artificial flies and lures.

Smallmouth bass fishing, which remains open under normal rules, should be productive especially in the morning and late afternoon/early evening.

WILLOW LAKE: rainbow trout, largemouth bass, black crappie, brown bullhead

Willow Lake remains the Rogue reservoir with the highest water levels at 86 percent full. Willow has been stocked with legal and larger-sized rainbow trout. Trout fishing will be best early and late in the day, and for those fishing in the deeper areas of the lake.

A local fishing club had an outing at Willow in mid-July. A group of 11 anglers caught 12 trout in late morning, along with yellow perch and largemouth bass. The group was trolling flashers with wedding rings and worms.

WINCHESTER BAY: bottomfish, perch

Fishing for bottomfish in the Triangle and South jetty has been successful. Perch fishing has been productive in the bay, and it was reported that good size striped perch were being caught along the jetty.

Crabbing has been improving, and there have been reports of coho and Chinook being caught in the ocean off of Winchester Bay.

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  Southwest Zone Hunting

OPEN: COUGAR, BLACK BEAR (opens Aug. 1)

Coyote
Young Coyote
-Photo by Simeon Eichmann-

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.

COOS COUNTY

Coyote - Numbers are strong throughout Coos County. Using predator calls to lure them in can be an effective method for harvesting coyotes. Try calling in early morning and late afternoon. Be sure to ask permission before hunting on private land.

Cougar hunting is open. Hunters can expect an average year. Cougars are abundant throughout with indicators pointing to stable or increasing numbers. Hunting cougar is a challenge because these animals are very secretive, but harvest success is greatest adjacent to private land with high deer populations using a predator call.

DOUGLAS COUNTY

GAME:

Black Bear – General bear season opens August 1st. Hunters can expect an average year. The dry weather conditions will concentrate bears near streams where foraging will be better. Berry crops are coming in earlier this year. Glass clear cuts and meadows early mornings and late evenings to find bears taking advantage of these food sources. Bear numbers are good with the highest numbers in the coast range, and with smaller populations in the Cascades. Successful bear hunters are reminded there is a mandatory check-in for all harvested bear within 10 days of harvest (see regulations for details). Keep track of industrial fire closures and landowner restrictions when entering the woods and take all required precautions to reduce potential fire. Fire closure information

Cougar

Cougar
- Oregon Fish and Wildlife-

Cougar – The cougar season is currently open. Hunters can expect an average year. Cougars are abundant throughout with indicators pointing to stable or increasing numbers. Hunting cougar is a challenge because these animals are very secretive, but harvest success is greatest adjacent to private land with high deer populations using a predator call.

Coyote - Numbers are strong throughout Douglas County. Using predator calls to lure them in can be an effective method for harvesting coyotes. Try calling in early morning and late afternoon. Be sure to ask permission before hunting on private land.

JACKSON, JOSEPHINE, CURRY COUNTIES

Denman Wildlife Area: Remember to get your parking permit. Hunters get the permit free with their purchase of an annual hunting license. Display on car dash.

Cougar season is open statewide year-round or until zone quotas are met. Most cougar hunters’ success comes from predator calls.

Western Gray Squirrel is currently open for the part of the Rogue Unit south of Rogue River and S. Fork Rogue River and North of Hwy 140 where the season remains open year round with no bag limit. Squirrels can be found in oak or mixed conifer stands. This is a great animal to hunt for first time hunters.

Coyotes are abundant in our area. Remember to ask for permission to hunt on private lands. Hunter can find coyotes around meadows and brush piles where mice and rabbits are found. Predator calls are very useful when used in conjunction to known prey base.

Wildlife pre-scouting

Now is the time for archers to begin their annual pre-scouting trips to the woods. August 29 is not far away, hunters should be spending this next month locating the elk and deer herds. Much of the animals found now will be in that general locations come opening season. High elevations of National Forest lands and BLM lands are the place to look. Besides, it’s a great time to be in the woods to avoid most of the heat found in the valleys. Fire restriction for most private timber lands are closed to use during fire season (pdf).

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 Southwest Zone Wildlife Viewing

Black-tail Fawn
Black-tail Fawn
-Photo by Kathy Munsel-

COOS COUNTY

Elk Calves and Deer Fawns

Elk calves and deer fawns are generally born in late May and early June, so they will be becoming easier to see now that they have been up and going for a while. With vegetation becoming taller they are still difficult to see but those who are patient will see these babies if they are patient enough. Often elk cows and deer does will park their young in places where they feel they are safe and come back from time to time to allow the calf or fawn to nurse. As the young animal becomes more physically capable it will stick closer to its mother. If you find one of these “parked” babies leave them alone and move away. Never pick up deer fawns of elk calves.

Black bear

Believe it or not, Black bears have a rutting season much like elk and deer do. That season is in in June. As a result bears will become very active. Those interested seeing these animals should use binoculars and spotting scopes to watch clear cuts and other forest openings where grass is growing. This time of year bears are attracted to these places to feed of grass and some brush. Commonly what is seen is a smaller female bear will be seen moving around the forest opening followed by a much larger male.

Marine Mammals

Seal and sea lion abundance in coastal waters around Coos County is high at this time of year, especially south of Coos Bay. At Simpson Reef, a heavily used haul out exists. From the lookout, viewers can see California sea lions, Steller sea lions, harbor seals and elephant seals.

Do not approach seals and sea lions you may find on Oregon beaches. If you think an animal you find is in trouble, contact your local ODFW office to report the animal or contact the Marine Mammal Stranding Network an (800) 452-7888.

Quail broods

Oregon has two species of native quail; mountain and California quail. Mountain quail generally live at higher elevation in the Coast Range, as their name might imply. They are most often found along exposed ridges and around clear cuts. California quail, sometimes referred to as valley quail, are often found around agricultural areas. In both cases their broods hatch in June and they are not much larger than bumble bees at the time they hatch. Soon these birds will be seen along road ways, under bird feeders and in other places.

The warm sunny weather that Coos County has experienced lately is good for chicks as they are very susceptible to becoming hypothermic when it rains, even if the weather is relatively warm. Once the chicks grow feathers they are more able to deal with precipitation.

JACKSON and JOSEPHINE COUNTIES

Trail hikes at this time of year and with the high heat can be unpleasant walks. Try areas of higher elevation and early morning short walks when temperatures are lower and wildlife are more active. Traveling trails in early morning of the Sky lakes Wilderness and Crater Lake national parks provide slightly cooler temps and various wildlife. Animals that can be seen are ground squirrels, chipmunks, humming birds, stellar Jays, deer and perhaps a bear.

Killdeer
Killdeer feigning broken wing
- Photo by Patti Abbot-

Killdeer

A bird known by its shape and behavior as plover. They have a distinct double black band on their breast and a loud piercing call: kill-dee or dee-dee-dee. They are found in low to no vegetation areas such as lawns, golf courses, driveways, parking lots, and gravel-covered roofs, as well as pastures, fields, sandbars and mudflats. They protect their nest by leading predators away by acting like they have a broken wing. Be aware of their nest which are often found in gravel driveways. Found throughout Oregon.

Mourning Doves

Mourning doves are found throughout the valley where ever there are open grain fields, neighbor hoods with roosting trees and plenty of water. They are currently found nesting in trees or other shaded structures. They can have multiple nests throughout the spring time. They are a fast flying, graceful, wing whistling birds. They feed on small seeds of weeds and various grains. A species that is similar but larger and is not a native of our area is the Eurasian collared dove. They are seen around residential areas and have known to visit bird feeders. They have similar behavior habits. Unlike the pointed tail of the Mourning dove their tail will be square shaped.

Turtles

Turtles during harsh summer conditions when it is hot and dry are known to go through an aestivation period. Aestivation is equivalent of hibernation or a form of torpor, dormancy or “sleep”. Western pond turtles are known to aestivate on land during periods of hot dry weather. This aestivation is triggered by drying up of aquatic habitat. This period of aestivation can last from a couple of days to several weeks.

Turkeys and grouse

Young turkeys and grouse are now being seen throughout the area. Hens are often seen near roadways in low elevation for turkeys and higher timber areas for grouse. Look carefully when around the adults for movement or grass moving which indicates young.

Denman Wildlife Area

Many people are visiting the area for fishing opportunities where bass, blue gills and bull head cat fish are caught. Many other people are coming to the Denman to look for agates (which requires a permit). Brown pelicans have been using Whetstone pond for the last two weeks. 7/07/15

DOUGLAS COUNTY

Common nighthawk

Common Nighthawk
-Photo by Charlotte Ganskopp-

Common Nighthawk

The nighthawk is part of the nightjar family that also includes poor wills in Western Oregon. Nighthawks are a darkish colored bird 9.5 inch long with long pointed wings and white wing patches. Nighthawks are commonly observed flying high in the evening sky catching insects on the wing emitting a nasal peent call. The national nighthawk surveys are conducted in Oregon from June 19th to July 4th. The best opportunity for observing nighthawks is from 1 hour before sunset and as the full moon rises above the horizon until 1 hour after sunset, no clouds or overcast skies, no more than a light (<15mph) wind and no rain, usually over valley floor agricultural areas with ample insects.

Gamebirds

The young chicks of California and mountain quail, blue and ruffed grouse, wild turkey and pheasants are now being seen throughout the county. Coveys of California quail are common on the Umpqua Valley floor usually associated with blackberry cover and water. Many blue and ruffed grouse and their young are found in mid to high elevation forested areas in our local mountains. Wild turkeys and their poults are very common throughout the Umpqua Valley usually on private lands in oak savannah habitat. Most pheasants are found in central Douglas County associated with pastures and ranches.

Bats

With the current hot weather, gather around the air conditioner during the day. When it starts to cool down in the evening, get outside and enjoy the acrobatic flying of bats as they hunt the night skies for insects. Look for bats at dawn and dusk. Watch street lights and water bodies, where insects concentrate, bats may show up to eat up to 1000 insects per hour.

Osprey

Osprey chicks are starting to fledge (leave nests) in Douglas County with an estimated 250 nesting pairs. You can locate the osprey’s classic large stick nest usually on a dead tree or electric pole near a river, creek or lake. Then, look for the nestlings standing on the edge of the nest practicing their lift by flapping their wings just before they take flight.

Fish Passage

Now is a good time to see Summer Steelhead migrating upstream passing through Winchester dam fish ladder on the N. Umpqua River which is open to the public. To view the migrating Steelhead go to exit 129 on I-5, proceed southeast on 99 to the fish ladder on the north side of the river.

7/28/15

JACKSON AND JOSEPHINE COUNTIES

Check out Roxy Ann Peak trail as an area to view the Rogue Valley and the various wildlife found along the way. Roxy Ann Peak

American Bald Eagle
American Bald Eagle
-Photo by Cathy Nowak-

LAKE SELMAC is a great place to see waterfowl, eagles, osprey and other lake shore birds. Directions from Grants Pass, take Hwy 199 west about 12 miles to lake turn off sign at Lakeshore Drive. Turn left, follow to lake.

Lost Creek Lake provides 30 miles of trails which includes portions of the Rogue River National Recreation Trail. Along the lake and riverbanks, a wide variety of wildlife and wild flowers can be observed. Deer may be seen early in the morning and late evenings along waterways. A brochure of the trail system can be picked up at federal land agency and visitor centers in the area.

Killdeer

A bird known by its shape and behavior as plover. They have a distinct double black band on their breast and a loud piercing call: kill-dee or dee-dee-dee. They are found in low to no vegetation areas such as lawns, golf courses, driveways, parking lots, and gravel-covered roofs, as well as pastures, fields, sandbars and mudflats. They protect their nest by leading predators away by acting like they have a broken wing. Be aware of their nest which are often found in gravel driveways. Found throughout Oregon.

Mourning Doves

Mourning doves are found throughout the valley where ever there are open grain fields, neighbor hoods with roosting trees and plenty of water. They are currently found nesting in trees or other shaded structures. They can have multiple nests throughout the spring time. They are a fast flying, graceful, wing whistling birds. They feed on small seeds of weeds and various grains. A species that is similar but larger and is not a native of our area is the Eurasian collared dove. They are seen around residential areas and have known to visit bird feeders. They have similar behavior habits. Unlike the pointed tail of the Mourning dove their tail will be square shaped.

Denman Wildlife Area

Swallows have returned to Denman Wildlife Area to inhabit our song bird boxes, come watch them soar around the Wildlife Area. They are a very beneficial bird to have around because of their food diet of eating fly insects such as mosquitoes.

Many people are visiting the area for fishing opportunities where bass, blue gills and bull head cat fish are caught. School and scout groups are scheduling appointments where Area staff has provided presentations and tours of the area.

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