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Weekly Recreation Report: Southwest Zone

August 27, 2014

 Southwest Zone Fishing

Weekend fishing opportunities

  • Sept. 1 brings big changes to fishing in the upper Rogue, with the regularly scheduled closure of Chinook fishing, and the start of the artificial fly season.  Please see the angling regulations for additional details. 
  • On the lower Rogue, half-pounders have really started to move this week and anglers fishing with flies and spinners are reporting excellent success.
  • Summer trout anglers can have success fishing the deeper waters of Applegate and Lost Creek reservoirs, fishing Lost Creek upstream of the Highway 62 bridge, or fishing the river upstream of Lost Creek Reservoir.
  • Clamming has been excellent during low tides near Charleston, and off Cape Arago Highway and Clam Island. Trout fishing at Lost Creek has been very good recently, with limits on fish to 15-inches reported last week.
  • Several lakes and reservoirs will be stocked this week in time for the Labor Day holiday. They include Hemlock, Clearwater Forebay #2 and Lake Marie.

Warm temperatures increase stress on fish

With summer temperatures heating up throughout the state, anglers should take special care when catching and releasing fish.

  • 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. Anglers who keep the fish in the water when looking for finmarks or taking photos are leaders in stewardship of the resource.
  • Shift your fishing efforts to higher elevation mountain lakes and streams where water temperatures often remain cool.
  • Target warmwater species, such as bass, bluegill and crappie, that are available in many lakes and reservoirs statewide. However, even warmwater fish can feel the effects of the heat and anglers should try to land and release them as quickly as possible.

2014 Coastal coho and fall Chinook seasons
Now available on the ODFW Web site.

2014 trout stocking

The 2014 trout stocking schedule for the SW Zone is available on-line.

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.

-U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service-

AGATE LAKE: largemouth bass, bluegill, crappie, bullhead

The water level is low at Agate, and the weather continues to be hot. Anglers targeting bass and panfish will have the best success early and late in the day, but should be aware that the gate to the boat ramp closes at dusk. Agate Lake is 13 percent full.

APPLEGATE RESERVOIR: largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, trout

Trout anglers will want to fish deep. Fishing for bass should be good. Applegate Reservoir is 44 percent full and all boat ramps are accessible.

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 with a bag limit of two adipose fin-clipped rainbow trout per day. All other trout must be released. The river is closed to fishing for steelhead and salmon.

ARIZONA POND: rainbow trout

Weedy. Early mornings or evenings when the sun is off the water is usually the best time to fish the lake. Bobber fishing with worms or casting flies or spinners all work well. The pond is managed by Oregon Parks and Recreation Department and is open only to youth 17 and under.

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

The reservoir was stocked with about 3,500 trout during March and another 500 trout were stocked in April. Warmwater fishing for bass and crappie will be best around the edges where there is some structure. Jigging with crappie tubes in the electric motor section has been successful recently.

CHETCO RIVER: cutthroat trout, chinook

Temporary regulations have been adopted for the Chetco River starting Sept. 1, 2014. Anglers should check these regulation changes prior to fishing the river.
Chetco River flows near Brookings

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

Cooper Creek has been stocked with about 9,000 trout so far this spring. Trout fishing has slowed with the warmer temperatures. Early morning is the best time to try for trout. Cooper Creek will receive some additional trout for early September fishing. Some of the trout do 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: warmwater fish

Fishing for largemouth bass and bluegills will be best during the mornings and late evenings. Look to find bass and bluegills near cover like weedlines or submerged logs. Summer time is a good time to catch largemouth bass on topwater lures. Small jigs or a worm fished under a bobber are good ways to catch bluegills.

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

Trout season is open in the Coos Basin rivers. Anglers should fish the smaller streams which should have cooler water temperatures. Small spinners, small jigs, and flies all work well to catch trout. In streams and rivers above the head of tide, anglers are restricted to use artificial flies and lures until Sept. 1. The daily limit of trout in streams is 2 fish over 8 inches.

Salmon anglers are catching chinook salmon from the “chip pile” near the BLM Boat ramp up to Marshfield Channel. Anglers are having the best success trolling cut plug herring around slack tides. Remember only chinook and fin clipped coho can be kept right now inside Coos Bay. The wild coho season does not open in the Coos Basin until Sept. 15.

Crabbing in Coos Bay has been good with boat crabbers picking up limits. The best crabbing has been near the jetties but crabbers are getting legal size crab all the way up to the BLM Boat Ramp.

In a cooperative effort including ODFW and OSU researchers, hundreds of red rock crabs have been tagged with a small blue “floy tag” in Charleston to gain an understanding of their growth, age, movement, population size, and fishery. Red rock crabs are native to Oregon and are found in only a few Oregon estuaries. If you catch a tagged red rock crab please contact the ODFW Charleston office at 541-888-5515.

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. For more information on shellfish in Coos Bay click on the following link: Shellfish Assessment of Coastal Oregon. Before any shellfish harvest trip, make sure to check the Oregon Department of Agriculture website for any updates.

COQUILLE RIVER BASIN: trout, smallmouth bass, salmon, crabbing

Trout season is open in the Coquille Basin rivers. Anglers are having good success fishing the large to medium-size streams for cutthroat trout. Small spinners, small jigs and flies all work well to catch trout. In streams and rivers above the head of tide, anglers are restricted to use artificial flies and lures until Sept. 1. The daily limit of trout in streams is 2 fish over 8 inches.

A few more chinook salmon were caught over the weekend in the lower Coquille River by anglers trolling cut plug herring near Rocky Point Boat Ramp and near Bandon. The wild coho season does not open in the Coquille Basin until Sept. 15.

Anglers are catching a few smallmouth bass in the mainstem and South Fork Coquille rivers. Small spinners or jigs have been working well to catch smallmouth bass. There is no size limit or bag limit on the number of smallmouth bass you can keep in the Coquille River Basin.

Crabbing has been good in the lower Coquille estuary. Dock crabbers are picking up a few legal-sized Dungeness crab at Weber’s Pier along the waterfront in Bandon.


Over 25,000 legal and trophy-sized trout were stocked to improve the summer fishery. Catch rates have improved, particularly near the mouths of Short Cr. and Silent Cr. Most of the fish are 12-inches or larger with a nice 19-inch fish harvested this weekend. Fishing will continue to improve as the water temperatures drop.

In 2013, Diamond Lake was stocked with about 206,000 trout -- 170,000 fingerlings in spring, 16,000 legals in July and 20,000 sub-legals in the fall -- compared to 166,000 in 2012. For 2014, ODFW has moved to a stabilized stocking of 275,000 fingerlings that were stocked in June. These fish will start reaching legal-size in late August, early September and should have a really positive impact on fishing in 2015.

The algae bloom subsided at Diamond Lake and water clarity improved. General cautions signs are still in place as a reminder to anglers should another bloom occur. The blooms have been benign.

For campground information call the Forest Service at 541-498-2531.

Anglers can check fishing conditions at Diamond Lake on their website, or call their toll free number at 1-800-733-7593, ext. 236 or 238 for updates.

ELK RIVER: cutthroat trout

Cutthroat are scattered throughout the river with the estuary or upper river the best. Access to the river is limited in the lower river; the whole upper river runs through Forest Service land.

Emigrant Lake
Boat ramp at Emigrant Reservoir,
Aug. 19, 2014
-Photo by Daniel Vandyke-
Fish Lake

Boat ramp at Fish Lake Resort, Aug. 19
-Photo by Dan VanDyke, ODFW-

Fish Lake

USFS boat ramp on Fish Lake, Aug. 19
-Photo by Dan VanDyke, ODFW-

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

Dropping water levels and increasing temperatures are slowing fishing success and effort. Some anglers are having success on bass at Emigrant recently. A variety of lures and soft-plastic baits have been effective for the bass. The reservoir is currently 23 percent full and the boat ramp at the county campground is still in use.

FISH LAKE: rainbow trout, brook trout, spring Chinook

The Forest Service boat ramp is no longer usable, but smaller boats can still launch at the resort. In addition to stocked rainbow trout, anglers can catch land-locked Chinook salmon, brook trout and tiger trout.

Fish Lake is 14 percent full.

FLORAS LAKE: rainbow, cutthroat trout

Trout fishing is hit or miss depending on the wind. 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. The lake can be very windy, so anglers will want to check the weather prior to heading out.

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.

GALESVILLE RESERVIOR: rainbow trout, bass

Galesville Reservoir is open to fishing year-round. 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, 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 about 8,000 trout this spring. The lake also received some smolts so a few fish may be just shy of legal size for harvest. Fishing with worms in brushy areas has been good for bass and some trout recently.

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

The lake is pretty weedy, but anglers fishing the deeper parts of the lake are finding some good trout. Early morning or late afternoon is the most productive. Boat anglers will want to keep an eye on the weather and fish the lake when there is no wind. 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

Hemlock has received over 6,000 trout. The lake will also receive some Labor Day Lunkers for this weekend. PowerBait has been effective.

Anglers fishing the high lakes in the Umpqua District are encouraged to e-mail fishing reports to

Howard Prarie
Informal gravel launch at Willow Point Campground on Howard Prairie Reservoir, Aug. 19, 2014
-Photo by Dan VanDyke, ODFW-
Hyatt Lake
Hyatt Lake at the Dam, Aug. 19, 2014
-Photo by Dan VanDyke, ODFW-

HOWARD PRAIRIE RESERVOIR: rainbow trout, bass

Anglers wanting to launch a boat at Howard Prairie can try using an area of rocky shoreline at campsite 11 at Willow Point Campground.

Howard Prairie is 34 percent full.

HYATT LAKE: rainbow trout, largemouth bass

The lake is only 12 percent full, and there is no ramp available for trailered boats. Fishing for largemouth bass has been very good near the dam. Try plastic worms in paler pumpkin seed colors or dark plastic crawdads. Anglers are encouraged to keep largemouth in the 7 to 12-inch range. These fish are part of a stunted group of bass, and are good option to take home to eat. Water temperatures at Hyatt had moderated slightly before the heat wave predicted for this week.  One angler who launched a small pram from shore reported catching some trout at Hyatt recently. 

ILLINOIS RIVER: trout, steelhead

The Illinois River is open to fishing for trout and steelhead. Anglers are restricted to artificial flies and lures only, and only adipose fin-clipped rainbow trout may be retained. Since anglers are unlikely to catch steelhead or fin-clipped trout this time of year, the Illinois currently offers catch-and-release fishing for cutthroat trout. Illinois River flows at Kerby

LAKE MARIE: rainbow trout

The lake has been stocked with about 5,000 trout. The lake will receive some Labor Day Lunkers and legal-sized trout the end of August and early September. Most anglers use PowerBait or worms.

LAKE SELMAC: trout, largemouth bass, bluegill, crappie

Fishing for largemouth bass, bluegill, crappie, and other warmwater species should be good early and late in the day. Anglers can catch many of the warmwater species by suspending a worm below a bobber. Crappie can be targeted with crappie jigs or small soft-plastic baits.

LEMOLO RESERVOIR: rainbow trout, brown trout, kokanee

Lemolo will receive about 1,500 trophy trout for Labor Day weekend. The daily trout limit is 5 per day. Brown trout can now be retained as part of the daily trout limit through Oct. 31. In addition to brown trout, Lemolo has rainbow trout and kokanee. People targeting kokanee have been successful recently. Lemolo was stocked with 5,000 trout this year.

The Forest Service campgrounds are now open. Lemolo Lake Resort is also open and can provide information on the latest conditions and fish tips. View their Web site or call 541-957-8354.

The algae bloom subsided at Lemolo and water clarity improved. General cautions signs are still in place as a reminder to anglers should another bloom occur. The blooms have been benign.

LOON LAKE: rainbow trout, bass, bluegill

Loon Lake was stocked with about 7,500 trout this spring. The lake can also provide good fishing for crappie, bluegill and bass as the water warms up. For information about camping call the Loon Lake resort at 541-599-2244 or BLM at 541-599-2254.

LOST CREEK RESERVOIR: rainbow trout, spring Chinook, bass

Some very good reports have come in from trout anglers at Lost Creek recently.  Wind drifting with bait at various locations around the reservoir produced good numbers of trout to 15 inches. Another boat caught and released 20 trout in addition to their limits while still-fishing with PowerBait about a mile upstream of the Hwy 62 bridge. Trollers caught trout as well but at a lower rate. During hot weather, the area upstream of the Highway 62 bridge generally provides excellent success, although trout should also be available in deeper water throughout the reservoir. Bass and panfish are also available. Fishing for largemouth bass has improved in recent years due to habitat projects and fish transfers conducted cooperatively by the Oregon Black Bass Action Committee, local bass clubs, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife. Lost Creek Reservoir is 54 percent full and the surface temperature is 73oF.

All boat ramps are accessible.

MEDCO POND: rainbow trout, largemouth bass, bluegill

Fishing for bluegill and bass should be good early and late in the day.

Chinook Salmon
Chinook Salmon
-Photo courtesy Dr. Tom Danelski-

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

Crabbing has been good in the ocean from Bandon to Winchester Bay.

Fishing for bottom fish including rockfish, and lingcod is now closed outside of the 30-fathom curve until the end of September. Fishing for bottom fish continues to be a little slow near Coos Bay. The marine fish daily bag limit is seven fish and a separate daily limit for lingcod (two). Retention of cabezon is now allowed but only one cabezon per day per angler.

The non-selective coho fishery opens up on Aug. 30 in the ocean from Cape Falcon to OR/CA border. Ocean fishing for chinook is still open. Chinook fishing has been good outside of Bandon and Coos Bay.

As of Aug. 17 there is still 49% of the nearshore halibut quota remaining.  The nearshore halibut is open 7 days a week inside the 40 fathom line through the earlier of the quota being met or Oct. 31.  The All-depth halibut season is closed for the year.

PLAT I RESERVOIR: rainbow trout, warmwater fish

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


Rogue River, lower: half-pounders, steelhead, Chinook

Anglers have continued to pick up Chinook at a fairly regular pace in the estuary. Good numbers of Chinook are in the bay as this is only the beginning of the salmon fishery which will continue into October. Chinook have been moving upriver in good numbers but warm river temperatures is making it a little tough to get them to bite.  

Half-pounders are spread throughout the river.  Half-pounders are immature steelhead that move back into freshwater after spending 3 to 4 months in the ocean. These fish will return to the ocean in the spring to continue feeding until maturing as adult steelhead. The best time to fish is in the morning or evening.

Rogue River, middle: steelhead, trout, fall Chinook

With hot weather in the forecast during this drought year, anglers are reminded to be extremely careful when handling fish. Fishing early in the day when water temperatures are cooler reduces stress. Always keep the fish in the water when looking for finmarks or taking photos and release fish quickly.

Fishing for fall Chinook is picking up downstream of Gold Hill on plugs or corkies.  Summer steelhead are also available. Early season catches of summer steelhead at ODFW’s Huntley Park seining project on the lower river remain very good, and hint at a good steelhead season for anglers this year. Try night crawlers and corkies, or a Panther Martin with black body and gold blades. The flow at Grants Pass was 1960 cfs on August 26. The water temperature was averaging 66F, with a peak of 68F.

Rogue River, upper: steelhead, trout

With hot weather in the forecast during this drought year, anglers are reminded to be extremely careful when handling fish. Fishing early in the day when water temperatures are cooler reduces stress. Always keep the fish in the water when looking for finmarks or taking photos and release fish quickly.

Sept. 1 brings big changes to fishing in the upper Rogue, with the regularly scheduled closure of Chinook fishing, and the start of the artificial fly season. Beginning Sept. 1, the river above the Gold Ray dam site is closed to fishing for Chinook salmon. In addition, fishing between Gold Ray and Cole Rivers Hatchery is limited to artificial flies only, any type rod and reel permitted.  Please see the angling regulations for additional details. 

Summer steelhead fishing is fair to good in the river from Gold Hill upstream to Cole Rivers Hatchery. Anglers may want to try nymph patterns, or a big stonefly pattern in combination with a smaller nymph, or standard steelhead patterns. Trout fishing should be very good as well.  Anglers may keep up to five adipose fin-clipped rainbow trout per day. All other trout must be released unharmed.

The release from Lost Creek Reservoir was 1950 cfs and the water temperature was 56°F the morning of Aug. 26. The water temperature at Dodge Bridge was averaging about 60F with a peak of 64F. The water temperature at Gold Ray was averaging about 63F with a peak of 66F. As of Aug. 20, 977 summer steelhead had entered Cole Rivers Hatchery (83 new for the week), and over 631 had been returned to the fishery downstream at the Gold Hill boat ramp.

Brown Trout
Brown Trout and Leach
-Photo by Roger Smith-

Rogue River, above Lost Creek Reservoir: trout

Major public access sites on the Rogue River between Prospect and Minnehaha Creek are being stocked with legal-sized rainbow trout each week. Fishing has been good. Anglers can fish bait like single salmon eggs or worms, or cast small spinners like a Panther Martin or Rooster tail, or let a fly drift downstream below a bobber. In addition to the stocked trout, naturally produced rainbow, cutthroat, brown, and brook trout are available in the river and in many tributaries. Plentiful trout, beautiful scenery, easy access, and an abundance of Forest Service campgrounds and day-use areas make this a great place to go trout fishing.

SIXES RIVER: cutthroat trout

Cutthroat fishing has been good in the estuary when the weather has cooperated. Best access is at Cape Blanco State Park, but it can be very windy so anglers should check the weather and try to fish early morning.

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

The mainstem Smith from the mouth to Spencer Creek and the North Fork to Johnson Creek is open for Chinook, adipose fin-clipped steelhead and trout. Trout is catch-and-release only in the mainstem Smith. Trout season will end Sept. 15 in the Smith River basin. Check regulations for harvest and gear restrictions.


Closed to fishing.

TENMILE BASIN: yellow perch, largemouth bass

Yellow perch are biting on nightcrawlers or jigs tipped with a worm in Tenmile Lakes. The best fishing will be in over 10 feet of water and along weed lines. Sometimes anglers need to try several spots before finding the bigger fish. There are lots of smaller yellow perch that anglers have to sort through to catch enough keepers for a meal. Some of the keeper yellow perch are over 12-inches long.

Largemouth bass fishing has been good. Most of the bass are being caught in deep water associated with cover like submerged logs or vegetation. Crankbaits and plastics like senkos or brushhogs have been working to catch bass. Early mornings and late evenings are a good time to throw topwater lures for bass.

TOKETEE LAKE: brown trout, rainbow trout

Fishing is open in Toketee year-round. Fishing for brown trout has been good with the recent warmer tempertures. Water levels are currently too low to allow launching boats at the boat ramp. This condition may persist for several weeks. Contact the Forest Service at 541-498-2531 for additional information.


Clearwater Forebay #2 was recently stocked with 3,000 rainbow trout so far this year and will receive some Labor Day lunkers this week.

For brook trout anglers should try Cliff, Buckeye, Skookum (North Umpqua), Maidu, Twin and Wolf lakes. Linda, Pitt Lake, and Calamut have been stocked with a native rainbow stock for the last couple of years. Bullpup and Fuller still have brook trout, but were also recently stocked with some fingerling native rainbows. Contact the Forest Service at 541-957-3200 for road and trail conditions.

UMPQUA RIVER, MAINSTEM: steelhead, smallmouth bass, trout, Chinook

The mainstem Umpqua is closed to wild steelhead harvest, but remains open year-round for adipose fin-clipped steelhead. This fishery is primarily catch-and-release since the number of hatchery fish is relatively low compared to the number of wild fish. People interested in harvesting a steelhead should fish the North Umpqua for summer steelhead.

Smallmouth bass fishing is good, but the river level is low. Boaters will want to check flows or consider using rubber crafts. River Forks boat ramp will be closed for repairs until about Aug. 14. The mainstem Umpqua opens for catch and release trout on May 24. Tributaries are also open. Check regulations for harvest and gear restrictions.

Fall Chinook will start moving upstream and are available for anglers. There are fishing opportunities for both boat and bank anglers to catch Chinook.

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.

Umpqua River flows near Elkton


Rock Creek Hatchery is once again open for visitors. The hatchery is open to visitors from 7:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. The new RockEd facility is lacking displays, but can be opened on request by calling the hatchery at 541-496-3484.

Remember all wild steelhead must be released unharmed. Anglers are getting some summer steelhead in the Narrows and Swiftwater areas. Steelhead are also up in the fly waters and anglers are fishing the area more.

Note that from Oct. 1 through June 30, angling in the fly water area is restricted to a single barbless artificial fly which can be dressed with conventional fly tying material. Remember that from March 1 through July 31 the anti-snag 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.

North Umpqua River water levels at Winchester Dam

UMPQUA RIVER, SOUTH: trout, smallmouth bass

The South Umpqua opens for trout and smallmouth bass fishing May 24. Check the regulations for gear and harvest restrictions. Water levels are low, so boaters will want to check the flows or consider using rubber rafts. The South Umpqua will be closed for all fishing from Sept. 16 through Nov. 30.

Willow Lake
Boat ramp at Willow Lake,
Aug. 20, 2014
-Photo by Daniel Vandyke-

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

At 74 percent of capacity, Willow Lake has the most water among all irrigation reservoirs in the Rogue watershed to date. Anglers are picking up some bass and panfish. Some trout are even being caught in the coves with some tributary inflow. Bait fished on or near the bottom will do best. Small yellow perch can be caught from the shoreline at the campground in big numbers. Fishing for all species will be best early and late in the day.

WINCHESTER BAY: steelhead, Chinook, surfperch, tuna

Fishing the Triangle and South Jetty has been good for rockfish. Ocean fishing out of Winchester Bay has improved as tuna and more salmon have moved inshore. The ocean is now open for Chinook. Some Chinook have already entered Winchester Bay and fishing will continue to improve in the bay area. This will provide some bank fishing opportunity from Halfmoon Bay through Osprey Point. Crabbing is also improving in Winchester Bay.

The Gardiner-Reedsport-Winchester Bay STEP program will be hosting their annual Labor Day Salmon Derby. The event runs Saturday through Monday and includes a prize for the largest salmon, and raffle prizes. Tickets are available at the Stockade Market, Ace Hardware, and Turman’s Tackle, plus some boat ramps. 


The river is closed to all fishing Aug. 1 to Dec. 31, 2014. The river was closed due a forecasted low return of fall Chinook salmon.

Back to the top

  Southwest Zone Hunting


See the big game hunting forecast online.

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. 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.


Black Bear- General Bear season opened August 1. Bear populations are robust in much of Coos County and offer opportunities for hunting. Due to mild weather conditions this spring berry production is very good this summer. Bears will be taking advantage of that food source. Hunters should look for isolated berry stands where vehicle traffic from other people will not disturb bears from feeding on berries. Places like the ends on closed forest roads where berries are growing provide some of the best places to hunt bears that are feeding on them. Walking through these areas in the early morning or late evening or setting up tree stands near these areas are great ways to hunt bears on the Oregon coast.

- Royalty Free Image-

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.



Deer - Bow season opens up August 30. Deer populations are similar to last year, with low levels at upper elevations and high population levels on the Umpqua Valley floor. Most low elevation lands are privately owned so hunters are reminded to obtain permission before hunting on those lands. During the early part of the archery season, hunters should find deer on the northerly slopes and near water and green up areas. Check local fire restrictions for current fire danger before going hunting.

Elk - Bow season opens up August 30. Elk populations are similar to last year so this hunting year will be average. This prediction is a result of ratio increases, good escapement from last hunting season and another mild winter. During the early part of the archery season, hunters should find elk on the northerly slopes and in dense conifer stands. Elk numbers are highest in the Tioga with lower levels in the Dixon, S. Indigo and Melrose units. Hunters are encouraged to contact private timberland owners regarding access restrictions before hunting.

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.

Bear – General bear season is currently open. Hunters can expect an average year. The dry weather conditions will concentrate bears near streams where foraging will be better. Hunters should concentrate their efforts in the berry patches in early morning and late afternoon. 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).

Western Gray Squirrel – Squirrel season opens August 30. Hunters can expect an average year. Squirrels are widely distributed throughout the county with good numbers in areas of oaks and conifers. Many areas of high squirrel populations are on private lands so hunters are reminded to ask for permission on these lands before hunting.


California Quail at EE Wilson

California Quail at EE Wilson
-Photo by Kathy Munsel-

Grouse & Quail - Hunters can expect a slightly lower than average hunt year with the season opening Sept. 1. The overall 2014 brood/chick counts indicate average production so hunters should find good numbers of game birds out in the field.

Hunting availability and success for forest grouse should be good this year even though production was down. Blue grouse success is best in mid to high elevations of the Cascades in partly open conifer stands. Ruffed grouse can be found near creeks mostly at mid elevations of both the Cascades and Coast Range. Hunters that kill grouse are asked to drop off in a paper bag the frozen wing and tail of each grouse at the local ODFW office. Please use one bird per bag with each frozen bag of grouse parts including the species, sex, age, unit and general area of harvest for proper analysis.

Nesting season production was below average for California quail and Mountain quail, but hunting opportunity should still be good. Success is best in the lower elevation agricultural lands for California quail and mid-elevations of the Cascades and Coast Range near brushy clear cuts on secondary forest roads for Mountain quail. Hunters are also asked if they kill a mountain quail to drop off in a paper bag the frozen wing and tail of each mountain quail at the local ODFW office. Please use one bird per bag with each frozen bag of mountain quail parts including the species, sex, age, unit and general area of harvest for proper analysis.


Mourning Doves - Hunters can expect an above average year. The dove season opens up on Sept. 1. Most mourning doves have not migrated south since no rains have occurred in the last few weeks so their numbers are currently high. In addition, keep in mind the non-migratory Eurasian collared doves numbers are on the increase throughout the state and our county, and they are NOT part of the mourning dove bag limit. Check the 2014 game bird regulations for details. Also, don’t forget to ask for permission from local landowners before hunting doves on private land.

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.

Black Bear
Black Bear
-Oregon Fish and Wildlife-

Bear general season opened August 1. Hunters can expect another average year. Bear numbers continue to be abundant. The Applegate unit has one of the highest harvests for the fall season in the state for the past several years. With hot dry weather which is typical for this time of year, bears will be found around cooler wet drainages. As the berry crops become ripe hunters should locate these areas to find bears. The best times to look for bears are in the early morning and late evenings. Successful bear hunters are reminded there is a mandatory check-in for all harvested bear within 10 days of harvest (see regulations for details).

Youth Elk season started August 1 for units in our area and runs to the end of December. This is a great opportunity for the youth to harvest an elk. These hunts are designed to provide young hunters with a safe, well supervised, low-stress setting where they can enjoy the hunt while building fundamental skills. Remember youth must wear hunter orange.

DEER bow season opens August 30. Black tailed deer populations in Jackson, Josephine and Curry counties remain strong. The end of last year’s season showed a good buck ratio with high fawn ratios. This season will again be dependent on weather conditions. Because of the calendar year, season is set back a week potentially providing cooler temperatures.  However we have recently been observing mortalities due to Adenovirus (ADHD), this is a natural disease that only affects deer and it could have some impact on hunting seasons in areas where natural mortality has occurred.  We would like to hear from hunters this season if they have found dead deer in the woods.  Black-tailed deer in Jackson County mostly migrate from high elevation to lower elevations of the valley floor.  Most deer will be in high elevations through September.  Although there is a growing population of deer that remain in the valley floor, hunters need to be aware of private property. In Josephine and Curry Counties deer migrate very little and hunters can find deer at all elevations. This year we have a heavy acorn crop, deer will take advantage of the acorns in our late fall season.  Fire levels are set at extreme and IFPL 3, which imposes restrictions on camp fires and vehicle activities.  Check local Forest Service and State Forest web sites for updated fire restrictions. State forestry link list all private timber land closure.

ELK bow season opens August 30. Cascade elk season will be latter this year; this could provide a cooler hunt. Archery hunters will again need to pre-scout areas near water sources to find elk.   From our spring elk surveys we had good bull ratios. Season should be average for the hunters.  Due to the typical hot weather for our area elk are likely to be found in higher elevation or areas of cooler draws where they can retreat to in the heat of the day.  Known water sources or wallow can be good location to start your hunting activities.  With the high temperatures it is very important to take quick care of your downed animal and get it cooled off as soon as possible.  Fire levels are set at high, which imposes restrictions on camp fires and vehicle activities. Check local Forest Service and State Forest web sites for updated fire restrictions. State forestry link list all private timber land closure.

Migratory DOVE season opens September 1. New regulation changes allow for 15 doves and season goes to October 30.  Dove season is very weather dependent—when the weather is hot the doves tend to be here; if it’s cold they tend to move to warmer climates. Hunters can expect a fair season for doves. Eurasian collared doves are continuing to increase in abundance and are found statewide. The Eurasian collared doves look similar to mourning doves but are considerably larger in size. These new arrivals, which are not native to the state, have no bag limit and can be hunted year round.

Both mountain quail and forest grouse numbers are higher this year due to the mild spring, so hunters can expect a good year. Forest grouse can be found in timbered creek draws and mountain quail will be found in brushy clear cuts near water.  A good bird dog will aid greatly in bird retrieval.

Cougar season is open statewide year-round or until zone quotas are met. Hunters are encouraged to carry a cougar tag while hunting other animals; you never know when an opportunity will come available. Most cougar hunters’ success comes from predator calls.

Western Gray Squirrel season remains open year round with no bag limit in that part of the Rogue Unit south of Rogue River and S. Fork Rogue River and North of Hwy 140. 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. This is the time of years rancher will welcome hunters to come onto their property to take coyotes that are cause problems with live stock.

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 Southwest Zone Viewing


Pigeon Guillemot

Pigeon Guillemot
-Photo by Kathy Munsel, ODFW-

Sea Birds

Sea bird numbers are high along the Oregon coast this time of year. Many of these birds are here to nest and brood young, others are here to feed on fish and other forage that moves close to shore in the summer months. Examples of birds that are here for nesting are common murres and cormorants (three species). The best place to see the birds that are here for nesting are near rocky headlands and offshore islands. Coquille Point in Bandon is a great place to find both of these habitats. The number of common murres, pigeon guillemots, cormorants and other nesting sea birds is impressive.

Birds that are here for foraging include California brown pelicans, cormorants and Western grebes. Great places to watch these birds and their activities are Coos Bay, near Charleston and the Coquille Bay near the harbor in Bandon. Feeding birds can be seen diving on bait fish in the bay and sometimes working in unison to corral fish near shore. Occasionally other animals get in on the action when foraging birds have located bait fish. Seals, sea lions, porpoise, and even whales will go after these fish as birds are mounting attacks from above.

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.

Shore Birds

Early migrating shore birds are already beginning to show up on local beaches and mud flats in the bays. Numbers will increase as fall approaches and species composition of flocks will change. For the birder who wants to maximize the number of species seen in a season now is a good time to start checking areas where shore birds congregate to see the species involved with the early migration. Bandon Marsh National Wildlife Refuge is probably the best place in Coos County to see these birds. The Bandon Marsh Unit is located immediately north of Bandon and is probably the best part of the refuge to visit for shore bird observation. Otherwise mud flats in Coos Bay, Winchester Bay (Douglas County) and the Coquille Bay are great places to check.

Baby Birds

Many species of song birds are beginning to fledge now, which means they are learning to fly and will soon be leaving the nest. When these birds are starting to fly they often fly out of the nest and are not able to fly back in. When you couple this fact with the strong north winds that are common this time of year young birds are commonly encountered on the ground or in vegetation apparently stranded. The fact is, this is a normal situation for them and the parent birds continue to feed them while they work out the details of fledging. If you find birds like this in your yard of on a nature hike the best thing to do is leave them alone so they do not become stressed by human attention. If the birds are in your yard keeping cats and dogs away from them is really important. 7/14/14.


Mourning Dove

Mourning Doves
- Photo by Maxine Wyatt-

Mourning Doves

Mourning doves are found throughout the valley where ever there are open grain fields and roosting trees with plenty of water. 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.

Upper and Lower Table Rocks

Two great hikes take you through habitats that range from oak savanna and chaparral to woodland. On the summit, a diversity of wildflowers and wildlife can be found along the trails. Spring can provide some of the best viewing times. More information

Lost Creek Lake provides 30 miles of trails which includes portions of the Rogue River National Recreation Trail. Along the lake and river banks a wide variety of wildlife and wild flowers can be observed. During spring and early summer months, deer with their young may be seen early in the mornings and late evenings along water ways. A brochure of the trail system can be picked up at federal land agency and visitor centers in the area.

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

Hunting season starts Sept. 1 on the Denman Wildlife Area and will go into February. Other recreational users are encouraged to wear bright orange or other bright colored clothing and to stick to the trail systems.



Bats can be seen foraging for insects from dusk to after well after dark.  Look off into the lighted horizon to see their erratic and uneven flight.  Some of the common species that can be observed are Big Brown Bat, Brazilian Free-tailed Bat and several species of small bats (Myotis group).  Bats are the nighttime equivalent of daytime insect eating birds like swifts, swallows, kingbirds, and etcetera.

Acorn Woodpecker

This is a colorful medium-sized black-and-white clown faced woodpecker with a red crown sought after by birders for their lifetime bird list.  This highly social woodpecker is commonly seen with young this time of the year in the lower elevations of Douglas County in pine-oak woodlands where oak trees are abundant.  Look for this loud and vocal woodpecker in Roseburg at River Forks Park, N. Bank Mgt. area and Whistlers Park.  Since this woodpecker is a hoarder look for signs of a granary in the bark of large pine trees that are used to store insects and acorns in cracks and crevices.

Vaux Swifts

Swifts can be observed at Fir Grove Park, downtown Roseburg and other areas at dusk.  Look for the awesome aerial displays the last hour of daylight with congregating swifts flying in concentrations forming large vortex's before dropping into the top of their night roosting site.

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