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

Weekly Recreation Report: Southwest Zone

June 28, 2016

 Southwest Zone Fishing

Father & Daughter
Father and Daughter fishing at Diamond Lake

Weekend fishing opportunities:

  • Summer steelhead fishing picked up over the weekend on the upper Rogue. Spring Chinook are also available and trout fishing should be good. Some hatchery spring Chinook and summer steelhead were recycled back into the fishery in Grants Pass last Friday.
  • Spring Chinook and Summer Steelhead are available on the North Umpqua.
  • Fishing for trout is very good at Lost Creek Reservoir for trollers and bank anglers.
  • Spring Chinook fishing has been decent around Rock Creek on the North Umpqua and spotty on the mainstem Umpqua.
  • Diamond Lake trout fishing has been good.
  • Warmwater fishing is showing improvement at many areas.
  • Bottom-fishing as well as surf perch fishing has been good at Winchester Bay.
  • Bass fishing in Tenmile Lakes and on the Coquille River have been heating up the past couple of weeks.

Please check online regulations for the most up-to-date information.

If your favorite fishing spot is no longer listed

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

2016 trout stocking schedules

For detailed information about when and where hatchery trout are going to be released, please refer to the 2016 ODFW Trout Stocking Schedules page.

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.

Bluegill
Bluegill
-U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service-

AGATE LAKE: largemouth bass, black crappie, bluegill, bullheads

Fishing for warmwater gamefish should be good, with the best fishing occurring early and late in the day. The lake is 81 percent full and the boat ramp is open from dawn until dusk.

APPLEGATE RESERVOIR: largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, trout

Fishing is good for rainbow trout, spring Chinook salmon, largemouth bass and smallmouth bass. Trout anglers will want to try trolling, with a good bet being a wedding ring/bait combination. Fishing with bait from shore in the upper reservoir should also produce. Smallmouth bass fishing is good on small and regular Senkos fished off the points and boulder areas. The lake is 92 percent full. The Hart-Tish, Copper, and French Gulch boat ramps are available.

APPLEGATE RIVER: steelhead, trout

The Applegate River is open for trout angling. Two hatchery trout may be harvested per day. Wild trout must be released unharmed.

ARIZONA POND: rainbow trout

Fishing has been good, but aquatic vegetation is starting to make things a little tougher. Best time to fish is when the sun is off the water and trout move out of the vegetation and into the open water. Some of the best techniques for catching these trout are bobber and worm, spinners, or flies. The pond is managed by Oregon State Parks for 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

Ben Irving has been stocked with 4,500 legal trout this year, and there are still opportunities to catch rainbow trout from previous year’s stockings. Warmwater fishing for bass, crappie and bluegill has begun to pick up as water temperatures increase and fish move into shallower areas to spawn. The use of soft-plastics and swimbaits around structure should warrant positive results.

CHETCO RIVER: Cutthroat

Cutthroat are spread throughout the river, but anglers have been doing best in the estuary or tributaries.

rainbow trout
Jay's biggest rainbow on a fly!
-Photo by -Sarah Hanson-

COOPER CREEK RESERVOIR: rainbow trout, bass, bluegill

Cooper Creek has been stocked with approximately 7,500 legal and 100 “pounder” size rainbow trout in 2016. Fishing for bass and bluegill has been improving as water temperatures increase and fish move into shallower areas.

COOS COUNTY LAKES/PONDS: trout, warmwater fish

Fishing for trout has been decent in Upper Empire Lake using Powerbait fished near the bottom. Empire and Tenmile lakes were stocked with trout earlier this month. This was the last trout stocking until fall. With the warmer water temperatures, trout will be in deeper, cooler water.

Anglers that catch a tagged trout in Empire Lakes can report the tag number to ODFW by stopping by the Charleston Office, calling 541-888-5515, or report tags online. A few of these tags are worth a $50 gift card. Fishing in the area lakes for trout has been ok with anglers having the best success using small spinners, spoons, or garlic flavored Powerbait. The daily trout bag limit in these lakes is five trout per day with only one trout over 20 inches.

There are trout available for kids in the Millicoma Pond at the Millicoma Interpretive Center and fishing is excellent. Millicoma Pond is set aside for kids fishing only and is a great chance for them to hook into fish. Please call before traveling to Millicoma Pond to make sure the gates are open. The phone number is (541)267-2557.

Largemouth bass is best in mornings and late evenings. Bass will be found in a little deeper water associated with cover, like weedlines or other structure. Bluegill fishing is picking up with many fish found in or near shallow water. Plastic worms, shallow crankbaits, and spinner baits are good to use for bass. Bluegills will bite on worms, small jigs, or flies.

COOS RIVER BASIN: Dungeness crab, bay clams, rockfish

Angling is restricted to artificial flies and lures in streams above tidewater.

Anglers have been catching a few rockfish along the jetties and submerged rock piles. The marine fish daily bag limit for bottom fish (rockfish) 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 prohibited from January 1 through June 30.

Crabbing has been decent for those crabbing from a boat with the best crabbing near high tide. There has been a mixture of hard shell and soft shell crab in the catch. It is still recommended you discard the crab viscera (guts/butter) before cooking.

Recreational harvest of bay clams remains open along the entire Oregon coast. 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 from Tillamook Head to Cascade Head and from Yachats River south 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: crab, smallmouth bass, shad

Angling is restricted to artificial flies and lures in streams above tidewater, except the use of bait is allowed on the South Fork Coquille.

Fishing for smallmouth bass has been good in the mainstem and South Fork Coquille. Jigs, crawdad crankbaits, and nightcrawlers will all work to catch smallmouth bass.

Crabbing is starting to pick up in the lower Coquille near the town of Bandon. Crabbing will improve in the next few months. It is still recommended you discard the crab viscera (guts/butter) before cooking.

DIAMOND LAKE: trout

As part of the new regulation simplification process, Diamond Lake is now back to the Southwest Zone regulation of 5 trout/day.

Anglers that are planning on taking a trip to Diamond Lake should check with the Umpqua National Forest (541-498-2531) or Diamond Lake Resort for information on seasonal camp and ramp closures.

Fishing has been good. Most anglers have had success using Powerbait or trolling small lures. Diamond Lake is expected to be stocked with around 300,000 fingerling rainbow trout in early June, and there are plenty of legal-sized holdover trout currently in the lake. Diamond Lake was stocked with Tiger Trout in early June. These fish are intended to assist in controlling illegally introduced Tui Chub. Tiger Trout are catch-and-release only and need to be released immediately unharmed.

Anglers can check fishing and water 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.

ELK RIVER: Cutthroat

Cutthroat are spread throughout the river but access is very limited in the lower river.

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

Fishing for bass, crappie, and other warmwater fish should be good. Look for these species around the flooded willows and other structure along the shore early and late in the day. Emigrant Reservoir is currently at 82 percent of capacity.

EXPO POND: rainbow trout, largemouth bass, bluegill, black crappie

Due to construction, public fishing access has been switched to the southern-most pond at the Jackson County Expo, which can be accessed from gate 1.5. Fishing for largemouth bass, bluegill, and crappie has been good.

Fish Lake
Fish Lake
-Photo by Daniel Vandyke-

FISH LAKE: rainbow trout, brook trout, spring Chinook

Fishing conditions have been good at Fish Lake with good water clarity. Trout fishing is good with limits being reported. With its higher elevation and cooler temperatures, Fish Lake would be a good destination for those looking to go fishing over the holiday weekend.

The lake is 69 percent full. Anglers are encouraged to report catches and send photos of larger spring Chinook or tiger trout to the local ODFW district office at 541-826-8774. Tiger trout must be released unharmed.

FLORAS LAKE: rainbow, cutthroat trout

Warmer water and increased vegetation growth has slowed trout fishing. Best times to fish is early morning or late evening. The best method for catching trout is slow trolling flies or wedding ring spinners from a boat. Bank access is limited. This lake can be very windy. Anglers should check the weather before heading out.

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.

GALESVILLE RESERVOIR: rainbow trout, bass, coho smolts

In addition to trout, the reservoir has also been stocked with coho smolts for the last few years and there have been reports of them being caught in good numbers on the lake. Many people mistakenly think these fish are kokanee. The coho smolts should be 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 about 8,000 legal size trout and 50 trophy trout over five pounds each this year.

Bass fishing should improve as we move forward into warmer early-summer temperatures. Fishing for bass and other panfish with the use of bait and artificial lures such as swimbaits around structure should give positive results. Call 541-837-3302 for information on camping and boat launching conditions.

GARRISON LAKE: rainbow, cutthroat trout

Increased vegetation growth this time of year makes fishing a little tougher, but anglers are reporting good success. Anglers with boats that can fish the deeper weed lines are doing the best. This is the time of year to keep an eye on the weather and fish when conditions are good.

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 4,000 rainbow trout that are all roughly 12” in size so far in 2016, and Lake in the Woods has been stocked with approximately 1,000 rainbow trout that are all roughly 12” in size as well. In addition, there are still opportunities to catch holdover rainbow trout that were stocked in previous years. Remember only trout over 8-inches may be harvested, and only one trout over 20-inches may be kept per day.

HOWARD PRAIRIE RESERVOIR:

Fishing for trout has been good at Howard Prairie. Legal-sized trout have been stocked to complement trout stocked last year and a good number of 15-20 inch holdovers. Fishing for largemouth and smallmouth bass should also be good. The lake is now 64 percent full.

Hyatt Reservoiir
Carl Cole with a “trophy trout” caught at Hyatt Lake
-Photo courtesy of Ron Lefleur, Middle Rogue Steelheaders-

HYATT LAKE:

Hyatt Lake has been stocked with legal-sized and trophy-sized rainbow trout, and fishing for these stocked trout has been good. Trolling, casting lures and still fishing with bait should all produce trout. Fishing for largemouth bass has been slow. The reservoir is 66 percent full.

ILLINOIS RIVER: trout, steelhead

The Illinois River is open for trout angling. Since only hatchery trout may be retained, and hatchery trout are not likely to be to be found in the Illinois River at this time of year, fishing will be primarily catch-and-release for the native cutthroat trout.

LAKE MARIE: rainbow trout, yellow perch

Lake Marie has been stocked with 4,500 legal trout this year. Most anglers use PowerBait or worms. Perch fishing should continue to be productive for those using worms on the bottom.

LAKE SELMAC: trout, largemouth bass, bluegill, crappie

Fishing for black crappie has been very good at Selmac this year, with some good-sized crappie being caught. Good techniques include crappie jigs, worms, and flies retrieved slowly behind a casting bubble (fished a couple of feet below the surface). Bass fishing is also good. Only one bass may be harvested per day at Lake Selmac.

Remember that many warmwater species can be found close to shore near structure, and it is possible to cast out too far to catch fish.

LEMOLO RESERVOIR: brown trout, rainbow trout, kokanee

This reservoir is stocked several times a year with rainbow trout of various sizes, and the lake has been stocked with 3,000 rainbow trout so far in 2016. There are also excellent opportunities to catch large brown trout in Lemolo with many anglers having luck trolling in deeper areas of the reservoir or casting spinners from shore. Kokanee in Lemolo are considered trout and therefore fall under the daily limit for trout of 5 per day and 1 over 20 inches. Contact Lemolo Lake Resort at 541-957-8354 for weather/road conditions and additional information.

LOON LAKE: rainbow trout, bass, bluegill

Loon Lake has been stocked with 7,500 legal size rainbow trout this year. The lake should offer decent fishing for crappie, bluegill and bass. Anglers should use slow presentations with lures or bait for best results as water temperatures increase.

Visit the BLM and Loon Lake Resort websites for information on opening dates and camping this summer.

LOST CREEK: rainbow trout, bass

Trout fishing is terrific at Lost Creek. Trollers have caught fish along the dam, along the shoreline to the right of the marina, and upstream of the Highway 62 bridge. Bank anglers are catching fish as well fishing with bait from shore near the Takelma ramp and near the marina. Fishing for largemouth bass and smallmouth bass should be good as well. The lake is 79 percent full, and the lake surface temperature was 69oF on Monday.

MEDCO POND: rainbow trout, largemouth bass, bluegill

Medco Pond has been stocked with rainbow trout, which should still offer good fishing. Fishing for largemouth bass and bluegill should be good as well.

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

Recreational harvest of crab is open along the entire Oregon Coast. It is still recommended you discard the crab viscera (guts/butter) before cooking.

Anglers fishing the beaches from Coos Bay to Bandon have been catching redtail surf perch. Sand shrimp or Berkley Gulp sand worms have been working the best for bait. Surf perch fishing is usually best on the incoming tide.

Recreational ocean salmon fishing from Cape Falcon to Humbug Mt. is open for all salmon except coho salmon. Anglers are allowed two salmon per day with a minimum size for Chinook at 24 inches or larger. The selective coho (fin-clipped) season opened on June 25 with a quota of 26,000 coho. Fishing for salmon in the ocean has been very slow.

Anglers have been catching tuna about 20-30 miles out from Coos Bay.
The Nearshore Halibut season is open seven days a week from Cape Falcon to Humbug Mt. As of June 19, 85 percent of the nearshore quota remains.  

Fishing for bottom fish is now closed outside of a line approximating the 30-fathom curve.

Fishing for black rockfish has been good from Coos Bay south to Bandon. Fishing for ling cod has been decent. 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. Anglers may harvest one cabezon per day starting on July 1.

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?”

Reinhart Pond
Plat 1 Reservoir
-Photo by Rick Swart, ODFW-

PLAT I RESERVOIR: rainbow trout, bass

Plat I has been stocked with 4,500 legal size trout this year. In addition to trout fishing, the lake also has good bass fishing.

Anglers may have success catching trout and bass with bait such as PowerBait and nightcrawlers where access is available.

Some of the trout may 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.

REINHART POND: trout, largemouth bass, bluegill

Angling for bass and other warmwater gamefish should be good.

ROGUE RIVER

Rogue River, lower: steelhead, spring Chinook, surf perch

Spring Chinook fishing continues to be good in the Lower Rogue. Most fish are being caught on anchovies or spinners. Anglers can expect the bite to continue as long as water temperatures stay in the 60’s.    

Perch have been starting to show in good numbers at the mouth of the Rogue. One of the best spots to try is the sand spit extending from the south jetty into the mouth of the river. Anglers should check the marine forecast before heading out and fish when ocean swells are small and light winds are forecasted.

Rogue River, middle: Chinook salmon, steelhead, trout

Summer steelhead and spring Chinook are available. On June 17 some excess hatchery fish were recycled back into the fishery in Baker Park in Grants Pass. A total of 19 hatchery spring Chinook and 63 hatchery summer steelhead were released.

The Rogue River is open to trout angling. Only hatchery trout can be retained. Wild trout must be released unharmed.

The flow at Grants Pass as of Monday morning was 2,460 cfs, the water temperature averaged 63oF. For those interested in checking conditions before getting on the river, the City of Grants Pass Water Division’s website offers information on river conditions at Grants Pass as well as a link to a river camera.

Fishing the Rogue River
Fishing the Rogue River
-Oregon Fish and Wildlife-

Rogue River, upper: Chinook salmon, steelhead, trout

Anglers are catching a few spring Chinook by drifting or back-bouncing bait or drift-bobbers. Beginning on July 1, anglers will be able to keep both hatchery and wild Chinook per zone regulations downstream from Dodge Bridge. Upstream from that point, only hatchery Chinook with clipped adipose fins may be retained.

Anglers are starting to catch summer steelhead more frequently as additional fish move into the upper Rogue. This fishery should improve significantly over the next few weeks. Anglers can keep two hatchery steelhead per day.

Trout fishing has been good. Anglers can keep five hatchery rainbow trout per day. Non-adipose fin-clipped rainbow trout and all cutthroat trout must be immediately released unharmed.

As of June 21 a total of 1,172 spring Chinook had been collected at Cole Rivers, with 153 new for the week. A total of 136 early run summer steelhead have also entered the hatchery. The flow at Gold Ray was 2,520 cfs and the water temperature was 60o F on Tuesday morning. The release from Lost Creek Reservoir was 2,408 cfs at 52oF.

Rogue River, above Lost Creek Reservoir: trout

The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife is stocking legal-sized rainbow trout each week in the Rogue River upstream of Lost Creek Reservoir. Trout are stocked at most of the campgrounds and bridge crossings between Prospect and Minnehaha Creek. This area offers good trout fishing, easy access, beautiful scenery, numerous Forest Service campgrounds, and cooler temperatures making this a great destination for the holiday weekend.

SMITH RIVER, Umpqua: striped bass, trout

Angling is restricted to artificial flies and lures above tidewater. Retention of adipose fin-clipped steelhead is allowed in tidewater. Sturgeon fishing is catch-and-release only. The daily limit for striped bass is 2 per 24 hour period. Trout is catch-and-release up to Sisters Creek.

SODA SPRINGS RESERVOIR: closed

TENMILE BASIN: trout, steelhead, bass

Anglers have been catching rainbow trout trolling wedding ring spinners. Trout anglers should fish in the deep water and fishing is usually best in the mornings.

Largemouth bass fishing has been good over the past month. Anglers are catching bass near structure or on the deep end of the weed lines using spinner baits, jigs, or rubber worms. Top water lures have been effective in the early mornings or evenings. The water level in the lakes is very low, so boat anglers should use caution.

TOKETEE LAKE: brown trout, rainbow trout

Fishing is open in Toketee year-round. For more information call the U.S. Forest Service at 541-498-2531.

UMPQUA HIGH LAKES AND FOREBAYS: trout

Contact the Forest Service at 541-957-3200 for road and trail conditions. Red Top Pond, which offers excellent bank fishing opportunities, was stocked with an additional 500 rainbow trout last week for a total of 1,000 so far in 2016. In addition, there should be plenty of holdover legal-sized trout from previous stockings in those waterbodies. Anglers fishing the high lakes in the Umpqua District are encouraged to e-mail fishing reports.

UMPQUA RIVER, MAINSTEM: steelhead, spring Chinook, shad, trout

The mainstem Umpqua is closed to wild steelhead harvest, but remains open year-round for adipose fin-clipped steelhead.

Spring Chinook are being caught in the Scottsburg to Elkton area but angling has been pretty slow. Please note the changes in regulations this year on page 33 of the 2016 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.

Shad fishing is slowing with the typical season stretching from May-July, and smallmouth bass angling should offer excellent harvest opportunities as water temperatures warm up.

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.

Trout fishing is catch-and-release only in the mainstem; open for retention in the tributaries.

steelhead
My first steelhead 34" 13.6lbs
-Photo by Uriah Kuehl-

UMPQUA RIVER, NORTH: steelhead, spring Chinook, trout

Chinook fishing will close on June 30.

Summer steelhead angling will be picking up as we move further into the summer months. Remember all wild steelhead must be released unharmed. Spring Chinook fishing has been decent.

Note that from Oct. 1 through Dec. 31 and Jan. 1 through June 30, fishing in the fly water area is restricted to fly angling only with a single barbless fly. Per the new regulation on page 31, 32 of the 2016 Oregon Sport Fishing Regulations booklet, from Feb. 1 – June 30, two wild Chinook per day can be harvested. Ten wild Chinook may be harvested in the North during this time frame in aggregate 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.

North Umpqua River water levels at Winchester Dam

UMPQUA RIVER, SOUTH: bass

Trout fishing is catch-and-release only in the South Umpqua and tributaries. Bass fishing should be good with warming water temperatures.

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

An additional 1,000 rainbow trout averaging one pound each were stocked recently, so trout fishing should be good. Fishing for bass and pan fish should also be good. With the lake warming up, fishing will likely be best early and late in the day. Anglers are encouraged to keep small stunted yellow perch.

WINCHESTER BAY: bottomfish, perch

Fishing for bottom fish in the Triangle and South jetty has been successful.

WINCHUCK RIVER: cutthroat

Cutthroat are spread throughout the river, but the best access is the Oregon State Park property located on the North side of the estuary, or upriver off of Forest Service property.

Back to the top

  Southwest Zone Hunting

OPEN: COUGAR

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.

Coyote
Coyote
-Oregon Fish and Wildlife-

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 - 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

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. Check with landowners about access before going hunting.

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. Reminder, starting April 1 bird dog training will be restricted to within the “dog training area” along Touvelle road except for organized permitted events.

Cougar season is open statewide year-round or until zone quotas are met. Most cougar hunters’ success comes from predator calls. Cougars travel many miles a day and often use major ridge lines to find prey, these ridge lines are location for 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.

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 Southwest Zone Wildlife Viewing

Stellar Sealion
Steller Sea Lions
-Oregon Fish and Wildlife-

COOS COUNTY

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.

Shorebirds

May is the month where we see the greatest number of shorebirds in Coos County. Bandon Marsh National Wildlife Refuge reports the highest concentrations of shorebirds on the west coast at times. Bandon Marsh Unit of the refuge is the place where these high concentrations are visible. Those interested in seeing these birds should visit the viewing platform located along Riverside Dr. on the outskirts on the city of Bandon.

Seabirds

A black-footed albatross was spotted off of the Charleston docks recently by the western-most jetty. They are the most common albatross off the Oregon Coast, foraging off the coast year-round, but are only occasionally seen so close to shore. Their primary breeding grounds are in the along the Hawaiian island chain. The black-footed albatross can have a wingspan up to 7 ft. and are known for their ability to soar long distances across the ocean. The oldest known bird was over 40 years old.

Many sea birds like pigeon guillemots and common murres can be found close to shore along the Oregon coast, right now, because they nest in this area. Since surf tends to be smaller this time of year now is a good time to look for them. Just in case, check surf conditions before you get into places where large waves can be hazardous. Also, even if surf conditions are forecasted to be small always keep an eye on the waves when you are near the ocean and know where your escape route will be if large waves come.

Another interesting bird species to see when you are near the rocky intertidal zone is the black oyster-catcher. These birds are dark brown or black with bright red bills and pink feet. They live their entire lives in or around the splash zone on rocks along the coast. They are non-migratory, so while they are here at any time during the year they are easiest to observe when surf conditions are small. Since they even nest near the splash zone and are extremely protective of their nests they are often seen chasing other birds that get too close to their territory.

DOUGLAS COUNTY

Gamebirds – The young chicks of California 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.

Amphibians - The frogs and salamanders are out. Start to watch for frog and salamander egg masses and tadpoles to show up in ponds, puddles and ditches. This can be a fun experience for kids and their parents to watch the development and metamorphosis processes of these critters.

Reptiles – As we get warmer, longer days, watch for local lizard, snake and turtle populations to become more active. Lizards and snakes will be taking advantage of morning and evening sun and southern exposed rock formations (and roads) to warm themselves. Turtles will be seen basking on logs and banks of local ponds, streams and reservoirs.

Osprey - Ospreys are also known as fish hawks and can be seen flying above rivers or lakes looking for fish in the water. This time of the year look for male ospreys diving into the water capturing fish, and taking the captured fish back to the female on the nest.

Turkey Vultures - Vultures can be seen soaring high in the sky looking for food or on the ground utilizing expired animals. Also, look for them early mornings perched in a tree sunning themselves with their wings spread warming up.

Purple Martin – Purple Martins have arrived so look for them around Plat I Reservoir, Cooper Creek Reservoir and Ten Mile Lake. Purple Martin is our largest swallow in North America and is uncommon & mainly found in Western Oregon communally nesting usually near a large water body.

Waterfowl – Watch local water bodies for all of the new ducklings and goslings following their mothers around as they learn to feed and avoid predators.

Canada Goose
Canada Goose Gosling
-Photo by Leise Wease-

Young Wildlife – As spring births occur, the occasion to notice and watch young wildlife makes for a great learning experience for children and families. Be careful not to get too close however, and don’t take any wildlife from their habitat. If orphans are noticed, if safe or unharmed, leave animal where it is found and contact ODFW or Umpqua Wildlife Rescue (541-440-1196) in Douglas County. Most baby wildlife that is found, believed to be abandoned or orphaned, are simply waiting for mothers to return from foraging. If baby birds are found outside of nests, either return to nest if possible or leave on ground or limb below nest. Mother birds will likely be watching and waiting from a distance for people or predators to leave the area.

Hummingbirds – It time to hang up your feeders for our summer hummers. Avoid the commercial hummingbird mixture you can buy in the store since the red dye can produce digestive problems for these small birds. Remember that you can make your own hummingbird food utilizing 4 parts water to 1 part sugar ratio but always make sure the sugar goes completely into solution before hanging up for use.

Deer – Fawns are starting to be seen on the valley floor. Fawns found hiding in the grass are not abandoned by their mothers or orphaned. Please don’t remove them, as their mothers will return after foraging, usually under the cover of darkness. Please control domestic dogs around deer this time of year. Many fawns are injured or killed each year when found by dogs.

Common Nighthawk – The first nighthawk’s should be arriving from their wintering areas in South America. The nighthawk is 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. This migratory bird is one of the last birds to migrate to North America for nesting. It can be seen and heard in Western Oregon from cities and towns to woodlands and forests.

Killdeer – Most of the local shorebirds are nesting at this time. Shorebirds include oystercatchers, plovers, turnstones, sandpipers and phalaropes. One of the most common shorebirds and plovers in our area is the killdeer. The killdeer is a brown, white and black medium sized shore bird 10.5 inch long with two black neck bands and orange on the upper tail and lower back plus a long tail. Killdeer are commonly seen in pastures, fields, meadows, airports and soccer fields often far from water emitting a killdeer call when startled. This migratory bird has variable nests but commonly makes an unlined depression nest in the gravel. Killdeer are famous for feigning injury near its nest to distract intruders.

JACKSON and JOSEPHINE COUNTIES

Shed Antlers

Now is a good time to get out in the woods and look for shed deer and elk antlers.

Upper and Lower Table Rocks rise 800 feet above the valley floor. Habitat types 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.

Raven
Common Raven
-Photo by Charlotte Ganskopp -

Crows

Crows and Raven are similar to each other. Crows are smaller in size (17.5 inches) with smaller beaks with fan shape tail in flight and they make a caw sound. Whereas ravens are larger (24 inches) with long heavy bills, wedge shaped tail, with a low, drawn-out croak call and are protected.

Denman Wildlife Area

Take one of two trails off Touvelle Road and enjoy birdwatching and sightseeing. This is the time of year when the wildlife area greens up with variety of flowers and wildlife. Below the fourth pond and to the north, you will find the newly built horse trail (2.5 mile) that provides great views of the Upper Table Rock and opportunities to see birds that live in oak trees, wedge leaf ceanothus and areas of riparian vegetation along the Little Butte Creek. The trail to the south that runs along the forth pond dike is our interpretive trail, come in to the office and pick up and interpretive trail guide. You will learn of some of the history of the wildlife area and the different environment unique to our area. A wide variety of wildlife can be found along this 1 ½ mile trail.

Song Birds

Several types of swallows are beginning to nest in our bird boxes around the Denman Wildlife area office. Also the ospreys are back and are currently building their nest.

A covered viewing station on the Denman Wildlife Area provides a good opportunity to view waterfowl, egrets, raptors and songbirds. The structure was built by the Oregon Hunters Association and is accessed by a paved, ADA-accessible pathway. It is on Whetstone Pond, just north of the ODFW Rogue Watershed Field Office in Central Point. For more information about the wildlife area, visit ODFW’s Web site.

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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