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Weekly Recreation Report: Willamette Zone

July 29, 2014

 Willamette Zone Fishing

rainbow trout
Rainbow Trout
-Photo by Kathy Munsel-

Weekend Fishing opportunities:

  • The McKenzie River below Leaburg Lake will be boat stocked this week with 3,000 rainbow trout. Fish are released from Leaburg Town Landing down to Hendricks Bridge. Gear use is restricted to flies and lures below Hendricks Bridge. Use of bait is allowed from Hendricks Bridge upstream to Leaburg Dam through the end of the year.
  • The kokanee fishery is in Green Peter Reservoir is heating up as fish become more active with the warming temperatures. This is a premiere kokanee fishery with a bag limit of 25 fish per day.
  • The bag limit on trout has increased to five adipose fin-clipped fish in the Santiam River basin, and there is no restriction on the size of fish kept.
  • The bag limit on fin-clipped steelhead has increased by one fish on the lower Santiam.
  • Spring chinook and steelhead are still available on the Clackamas, Sandy and Santiam rivers, although action is slow due to low water levels. Best best are early morning and evening fishing.
  • Trail Bridge Reservoir will receive its last stocking of the season this week with the release of 2,000 rainbow trout.
  • If you can stand the mosquitoes, trout are available in Oregon’s cascade lakes. See a list of Willamette Zone stocked mountain lakes for possible destinations.

Sign up now for salmon fishing workshop – Aug. 9

Just in time for the fall salmon fishing, ODFW is partnering with the Association of Northwest Steelheaders on an adult salmon fishing workshop on Saturday, Aug. 9 on the Sandy River in Troutdale. More information

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.
  • 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.

New salmon, steelhead, sturgeon endorsement

Anglers fishing for salmon, steelhead or sturgeon in the Columbia River and its tributaries are now required to have a Columbia River Basin endorsement. See a map of the Basin and get more information.

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.

2014 trout stocking

The 2014 trout stocking schedules for the North Willamette Watershed (pdf) District and the South Willamette Watershed (pdf) District are now posted on-line on the ODFW trout stocking page.

Check out the new trout stocking map

Find the location and details about the many lakes ponds and streams that receive hatchery trout from ODFW’s fish hatcheries on the new Google-based stocking map.


The Alton Baker Canoe Canal will be stocked at weekly intervals through the summer and will be stocked at multiple locations with a total of 965 fish this week, including 150 larger fish. Summer steelhead are occasionally caught in this system and anglers are reminded they will need a combined angling tag and a Columbia River Basin Endorsement to legally target or harvest a steelhead. It is legal to fish with two rods in the Alton Baker Canoe Canal, provided the Two-Rod Validation has been purchased.

The canal is located within Alton Baker Park and can be accessed off of Club Road in Eugene. A 4-acre pond at the midpoint of the canal is a good spot but it can be fished all along its 2-mile length from Day Island Road in Eugene to Aspen Street in Springfield.

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

BENSON LAKE: rainbow trout, white crappie, largemouth bass, brown bullhead

Stocked the week of June 2 with 4,000 legal-sized rainbow trout. This is a 40-acre lake located in Benson State Park in the Columbia River Gorge. From Portland, head east on I-84, park is located on the south side of the freeway approx. 1/2 mile west of Multnomah Falls.


BETHANY POND: rainbow trout, largemouth bass, crappie, bluegill, bullhead

Stocked the week of May 5 with 2,000 legal sized rainbow trout. This is a 10-acre pond located at Bethany west of Portland. The pond is maintained by Tualatin Hills Park and Rec. Amenities include picnic tables, restrooms, and a paved, ADA accessible trail.

BLUE LAKE: rainbow trout, largemouth bass, brown bullhead, black crappie, bluegill

Stocked the week of April 14 with 1,500 legal-sized rainbow trout. This is a 64-acre lake located in Blue Lake Park 3 miles west of Troutdale. This family-friendly park as picnic areas, restrooms, walking trail, and ramp for small boats. Park is maintained by Multnomah County.

The lake was also stock with approximately 2,000 legal-sized rainbow trout raised by Mount Hood Community College Fisheries program students. Please be aware that some of the fish may be smaller than 8” due to challenges growing the fish this year in very cold water. Angling regulations require that any trout under 8-inches be released unharmed.

BLUE RIVER: trout, steelhead

Blue River above Blue River Reservoir was stocked for the last time this season the week of June 30 with a total of 1,050 rainbow trout. Fish are released at several locations from the bridge above Mona Campground to the mouth of Quentin Creek. Steelhead are only available below the reservoir.

BLUE RIVER RESERVOIR: trout, warmwater species

Blue River Reservoir was stocked for the last time this season the week of June 30 with 3,000 legal sized rainbow trout. Blue River Reservoir is located east of Eugene near the town of Blue River, north of Highway 126 and is open to year-round fishing.


This scenic river flows for approximately 30 miles into Detroit Reservoir. It is open from April 26 to October 31. Along with cutthroat trout this river gets stocked fairly regularly, including another 1,800 legal size rainbow trout to be released this the week. Because the water runs cold throughout the year there are usually good numbers of fish throughout the summer.

Forest Road 46 runs along most of its length so access is very good despite some steep and brushy sections. With the recent rains and ongoing snowmelt, the river is running higher than usual at the moment. Daily limit is five trout over 8 inches, no limit on brook trout and the use of bait is allowed. The river is closed to salmon fishing.

CANBY POND: rainbow trout

Stocked the week of April 28 with 1,400 legal-sized and 250 larger rainbow trout.

Canby Pond is a 1-acre pond located on the south end of Canby in Canby City Park. The park is south of Hwy 99E and adjacent to the Molalla River. Angling restricted to youth age 17 and under or holders of one of the Disabled Anglers permits.


Carmen Reservoir will be stocked this week with 2,250 rainbow trout. The reservoir is accessed via FS Road 750 off Hwy 126, about 2 miles south of Clear Lake, and is open all year. Motor boats are prohibited on Carmen Reservoir.

Chinook Salmon
Nice summer buck from the upper Clackamas
-Photo by Nick Lewton-

CLACKAMAS RIVER: summer steelhead, spring Chinook

The Clackamas flows dipped a bit more in the past week with dry summer weather keeping a solid grip on the river and no end in sight. The river is mainly a drift boat fishery but very few boat anglers are out these days and those that try will likely need to push their boats through the thin spots. With summer in full swing the recreational rafters have been out in big numbers so fishing should be done at first light in the morning or late evening around dusk.

Summer steelhead and spring Chinook are the primary target in late July; summers can be found throughout the river, particularly in the reach from Carver up to McIver Park where acclimation ponds are found and recycled fish are available. Folks fishing up around McIver Park have been hooking a few summers and springers, mainly near Dog Creek and just below the dam; the small number of boat anglers out have had fair success drifting from McIver to Barton. The warm water and low flows make it a very challenging fishery this time of year and it’s become a hardware fishery of late with spoons or spinners producing results. Bank anglers working above Faraday are also landing a few fish. Anglers should make note that an angling deadline is clearly marked up near Rivermill Dam and the fishway; it is illegal to fish or even cast above this deadline.

Of note for anglers is that recycled fish are captured at the Norh Fork fish trap or Clackamas Hatchery and taken downstream and released at Riverside and Carver parks, typically, every week through July. There have been several reports come in of these recycled summers being caught since these fish are typically marked with “floy” tags near their dorsal fin and have an ODFW phone number and the point of origin of the fish. Anglers who catch these fish are asked to call the information in; though it is not required, it is appreciated.

Monday hydrological data shows flows down to 993 cfs, a gauge reading in Estacada of 10.99 ft., and the water temperature now around 64°.


Clear Lake is open to fishing all year and will be stocked this week with 3,625 rainbow trout, including 1,125 larger sized trout. Naturally reproducing brook trout are also available. The lake is accessed from Highway 126 approximately 70 miles east of Springfield. Cabins and row boats are available for rent from Clear Lake Resort.


The Coast Fork of the Willamette River was last stocked for the season in mid-May at several locations within Cottage Grove.

Coast Fork basin-specific regulations and stocking schedule.

COMMONWEALTH LAKE: trout, bass, bluegill, crappie

Stocked the week of May 5 with 1,500 legal-sized rainbow trout. This is a three-acre stocked lake within the Commonwealth Lake Park in Beaverton, Oregon. Commonwealth Park is maintained by Tualatin Hills Park and Rec. Amenities include ADA accessible trail, picnic tables, playground, restrooms.

COTTAGE GROVE POND: trout, warmwater species

Cottage Grove Pond was last stocked for the season in early-April. Warmwater fish continue to be available.

To access the pond, travel east from Cottage Grove on Row River Road. Cottage Grove Pond is located behind the truck scales and may be accessed via an asphalt pathway. Only the pond with the dock is stocked with hatchery trout. This pond also offers terrific bird-watching opportunities, with bald eagles, various ducks, red-winged blackbirds, and other migratory songbirds frequently observed in spring.

COTTAGE GROVE RESERVOIR: trout, warmwater species

Cottage Grove Reservoir was last stocked for the season in mid-April. The Reservoir will be stocked again in mid-October. Holdover trout are also available to anglers. The reservoir is south of Cottage Grove and is open to angling all year.

NOTICE: The Oregon Health Authority has issued a health advisory updating information about eating fish caught in Cottage Grove Reservoir. Under the advisory issued June 5, 2012 people can safely consume up to nine meals per month of hatchery-grown rainbow trout month that are 12 inches in length or less. People can distinguish hatchery-grown rainbow trout by the absence of the adipose fin, which is clipped before hatchery fish are released into streams and reservoirs. Despite the new exception for rainbow trout, mercury contamination for resident warm-water fish, including bass, bluegill, crappie and bullhead continues to be a concern. Women of childbearing age, particularly pregnant or breastfeeding women, children under six years of age and persons having liver or kidney ailments should avoid eating any fish from this reservoir other than rainbow trout. Healthy women beyond childbearing age, other healthy adults and healthy children six years of age and older should eat no more than one 8-ounce meal of fish other than rainbow trout per month.

CRESWELL POND (GARDEN LAKE): trout, warmwater species

Garden Lake was last stocked for the season in early April. The pond is located in Garden Lake Park on the east side of I-5 in Creswell and is open to fishing all year, although vegetation can become a problem as the weather warms up. The pond and park offer additional wildlife viewing opportunities.
Detroit Lake
Detroit Lake
-Photo by Jerry Korson-

DETROIT RESERVOIR: trout, kokanee

This reservoir receives over 100,000 trout throughout the year. It was stocked in mid-July with 4,500 egal size rainbow trout. Anglers report good catches of kokanee below 35 feet as well as trout in the top 30 feet or so. Currently the reservoir is 10 feet below full pool. All boat ramps including Mongold boat ramp are available. Check with local outfitters in the town of Detroit for fishing conditions.


Dexter Reservoir was last stocked in late April and will next be stocked in late September. In addition to trout, some warmwater fish are also available. The reservoir is adjacent to Highway 58 near Lowell and is open all year.

DORENA RESERVOIR: trout, warmwater

Dorena Reservoir was last stocked in late April and will be stocked next in mid-October. The reservoir is east of Cottage Grove on Row River Road and is open all year. Trout and warmwater fish are available.


Stocked the week of May 5 with 1,500 legal-sized rainbow trout. This is an 8-acre pond west of Forest Grove at the junction of Hwy. 8 and Hwy. 6.

EAGLE CREEK: spring Chinook

Eagle Creek has gotten very low, typical for late July with the water clear and warming. A scattering of spring Chinook can be found in several deep, shaded pools from below Eagle Fern Park on up to the canyon below the hatchery, but their quality at this stage will be questionable. A few Eagle Creek springers have also been caught below the mouth of the creek in the Clackamas River. Anglers can identify an Eagle Creek acclimation released springer from it’s unique fin-clips; not only are they adipose fin-clipped but they are also missing a right maxillary fin.

Long stretches of Eagle Creek run through private property, particularly up near the hatchery and from an area below the lower ladder on down past Bonnie Lure to the mouth. Anglers are advised to pay close attention to where you fish and we encourage you to ask permission prior to accessing or crossing private lands on your way to your favorite fishing hole. See Page 15 of the Oregon Sport Fishing Regulation pamphlet for more information on “Your Rights to Use the Surface, Bed, and Banks of Oregon’s Rivers and Lakes.”


Stocked the week of July 14 with 2,000 legal-sized rainbow trout. Estacada Lake is a 150-acre reservoir on the Clackamas River behind River Mill Dam. There is a boat ramp in Milo McIver State Park at the lower end of the reservoir. A fishing dock next to the boat ramp provides non-boating access to the lake.


Fall Creek above Fall Creek Reservoir was last stocked for the season the week of June 16 with 1,750 rainbow trout at multiple locations up to Gold Creek. Wild trout continue to be available. Fall Creek and Reservoir are northeast of Lowell.


Fall Creek Reservoir north of Lowell was last stocked for the season in late April.

Faraday Lake

Faraday Lake
-Photo by Rick Swart, ODFW


Stocked the week of July 14 with 2,000 legal-sized rainbow trout. This is a 25-acre reservoir located 1.1 miles southeast of Estacada on Hwy. 224 next to a PGE hydro plant.

FERN RIDGE RESERVOIR: largemouth bass, crappie, bluegill, brown bullhead

This 9,000 acre lake just 12 miles west of Eugene is the Willamette Basin’s largest water body. This reservoir is still completely full at this time, and all boat ramps should be available. For local information regarding the lake and available boat ramps, contact the Lane County Parks Department at 541-682-2000.

This lake is mostly shallow with a band of deep water from the original channel of the Long Tom River. The reservoir produces crappie over 12 inches and bass angling has been very good in recent years. Best time of year for crappie is in spring after the water temperature reaches the mid-50s, but fish can still be found in deeper water year round. July and August are peak months for largemouth bass. Fish the shoreline along the southern part of the reservoir, especially the sloughs and inlets where there is underwater structure.

FOSTER RESERVOIR: trout, bass, perch, catfish

This scenic 1,200-acre reservoir on the South Santiam River is located just 30 minutes from Interstate 5. There is good bank access at several rest stops and campgrounds, and three seasonal boat ramps. The water level is approximately 5 feet below full pool at the moment, with all three boat ramps available at this time. It was stocked on May 20 with 4,000 rainbow trout. Please remember that only kokanee and adipose fin-clipped trout may be kept and there are no limits on size or number of bass. From I-5 take US 20 east from Albany to the town of Sweet Home. The reservoir is 3 miles past the town on the left.

FREEWAY LAKES: trout, bass, bluegill, crappie

This water body actually consists of three interconnected ponds and features some good size bass and a few very large crappie. A boat ramp is available at East Freeway Lake, and there is good bank access around Middle Freeway Lake. Now that it is summer, the bass, crappie and other warmwater fish are the prize for most anglers. To get there, take the State Police exit in Albany and follow the frontage road south (3 Lakes Road) for several miles.

GREEN PETER RESERVOIR: kokanee, trout, bass

This large reservoir east of Sweet Home is a premier kokanee fishery with a bag limit of 25 fish per day. It also supports stocked rainbow trout and a good population of smallmouth bass. It was stocked in early May with 6,000 legal size rainbow trout. The kokanee fishery is heating up as fish become more active with the warming temperatures. Plenty of kokanee are being caught between 40-60 feet down. Smallmouth bass can be found near underwater structure and at drop-offs. The reservoir level is currently 30 feet below full pool. Both Thistle Creek and Whitcomb boat ramps are open. 


Stocked the week of May 5 with 2,000 legal-sized rainbow trout. This is a 2-acre pond located within the Sauvie Island Wildlife Area. From the Sauvie Island bridge, take Sauvie Island Rd. to NW Reeder Rd, then Oak Island Rd.
Harriet Lake

Harriet Lake
-Photo by Rick Swart, ODFW


Stocked the week of June 14 with 3,000 legal-sized rainbow trout and 250 one-pounders.

Harriet Lake is located on Forest Road 56 up the Clackamas River drainage. Forest Road 56 is a left turn approximately 2 miles past the Ripplebrook Ranger Station. The lake scheduled to be stocked the week of May 12 with 500 one-pounders and 25 “trophy” trout which should provide for some exciting angling action.

HARTMAN POND: trout, bass, crappie, perch

Stocked the week of June 2 with 2,350 legal-sized rainbow trout. This pond is adjacent to the Columbia River adjoining Benson State Recreation Area.

HENRY HAGG LAKE: trout, bass, crappie, yellow perch, bluegill and brown bullhead

Stocked the week of June 2 with 6,000 legal-sized rainbow trout. This popular fishery has been stocked several times this spring and there should be plenty of fish for anglers who are willing to get out and work for them. Hagg Lake is located within Scoggins Valley Park. The park features numerous picnic areas, two boat launching facilities, more than 15 miles of hiking trails, and observation decks for wildlife and bird watching.

HILLS CREEK RESERVOIR: trout, warmwater fish

Hills Creek Reservoir is open to fishing all year and was stocked in mid-April with legal-sized rainbow trout. This release is in addition to annual fingerling releases into the reservoir. Additional legal-sized trout will be released in late September. This reservoir is also stocked annually with 100,000 adipose fin-clipped spring Chinook fingerlings and 200,000 adipose fin-clipped rainbow trout fingerlings. These fish grow to catchable size within a year. All non-adipose fin-clipped trout and salmon must be released unharmed.


Native trout are available for harvest and bait may be used through Oct. 31 in Hills Creek. Hatchery fish released into Hills Creek in previous years will now be released into Hills Creek Reservoir.


The planned release of 2,000 trout the week of June 30 has been cancelled due to a wash-out in the access road to the lake. Horseshoe is a 14-acre lake located in the Olallie Lake Basin on the Mt. Hood National Forest. There are a few campsites available at Horseshoe Lake Campground.

HUDDLESTON POND: trout, bass, bluegill

Stocked the week of June 2 with with 1,000 legal-sized rainbow trout. This is in addition to 750 legal-sized rainbow trout and 200 one-pounders released the week of April 21. Huddleston is a 5-acre pond located within Huddleston Pond Park in the city of Willamina, Ore. A former mill pond, it contains woody debris that provides habitat for bass and bluegill. It reaches a maximum depth of about 10 feet, with shallow "kid-friendly" edges. It is ADA accessible in places, with a restroom and picnic areas nearby. There is paved parking lot and small ramp for people who want to launch small, non-motorized boats.


Leaburg Lake will be stocked weekly through July. This week Leaburg Lake will receive 1,500 rainbow trout. All non-adipose fin-clipped trout must be released unharmed. The use of bait is allowed.

The trout and sturgeon show pond at Leaburg Hatchery will be closed for renovations beginning July 14 until further notice. The goal of the project is to increase ADA accessibility and upgrade existing facilities. The renovations should take 4 to 6 weeks and during that time the show pond will be off limits to the public. However, the rest of the hatchery will be open as usual during daylight hours, as will the boat launch area below Leaburg Dam.
McKenzie River
McKenzie River
-ODFW Photo-

MCKENZIE RIVER below Leaburg Lake: trout, salmon, steelhead

The McKenzie River below Leaburg Lake will be boat stocked this week with 3,000 rainbow trout. Fish are released from Leaburg Town Landing down to Hendricks Bridge. Gear use is restricted to flies and lures below Hendricks Bridge. Use of bait is allowed from Hendricks Bridge upstream to Leaburg Dam through the end of the year. A Columbia River Basin Endorsement is required for anglers targeting salmon and steelhead in the McKenzie. Anglers should check salmon and steelhead counts over Willamette Falls and allow 10-14 days for fish to arrive in the Eugene-Springfield area.

See the EWEB website for for possible Leaburg Dam closures. Currently, no closures are expected through Aug. 3.

MCKENZIE RIVER above Leaburg Lake: trout, steelhead

The McKenzie River will be truck stocked at boat landings from Finn Rock to Ben and Kay Dorris Wayside with a total of 1,250 rainbow trout. All non-adipose fin-clipped trout must be released unharmed.

McKenzie basin-specific regulations and stocking schedule.


The Middle Fork Willamette River above Hills Creek Reservoir is open to catch-and-release fishing. Angling is restricted to flies and lures. The Middle Fork above Hills Creek Reservoir will not be stocked this year. Those fish will instead be released into Hills Creek Reservoir for anglers.

Middle Fork basin-specific regulations and stocking schedule.

MOLALLA RIVER: spring Chinook, summer steelhead

The Molalla is low yet fishable by drift boat or from the bank and with passage of spring Chinook continuing at the falls there should be some springers to be found in the Molalla. These Chinook are returning from direct releases of 100,000 smolts done every year above Feyrer Park; it’s also not unheard of for a few hatchery summer steelhead to poke their way into the lower river escaping the warmer waters of the Willamette.

MT HOOD POND: trout, crappie, blugill

Stocked the week of May 26 with 1,625 trout, including 125 two-pounders. The pond also offers angling for several different species of warm water fish including crappie, bluegill, and catfish. Anglers are reminded that from April 1 through Aug. 31 fishing at Mt. Hood Pond is restricted to youths 17 and under as well as individuals who possess a valid Oregon Disabilities Fishing Permit.
North Fork Reservoir

North Fork Reservoir
-Photo by Rick Swart, ODFW


Stocked the week of July 14 with 3,500 rainbow trout. This is a 350-acre reservoir of the Clackamas River behind North Fork Dam approximately 5.2 miles east of Estacada.

Fishermen are reminded that the boat ramp and marina at Promitory Park will be closed to all public access until the summer of 2016 while PGE constructs a surface collector to improve the downstream passage of native salmon and steelhead juveniles at North Fork Dam. All other access points to North Fork Reservoir are open, and ODFW will stock the lake with hatchery trout as in the past. For more information about the closure, visit PGE’s website (pdf).


Stocked the week of July 7 with 5,000 legal-sized rainbow trout. This is the largest of more than 200 lakes within the Olallie Lake Scenic Area on the southern edge of the Mt. Hood National Forest.

PROGRESS LAKE: trout, brown bullhead

Stocked the week of May 5 with 1,000 legal-sized rainbow trout. This is a 4-acre pond next to the Progress Ridge Town Center in Beaverton, Oregon. The pond is an old rock pit and has a maximum depth of 54 feet. There is a sidewalk, fishing platform and viewing platform on one side of the lake. The lake is owned by Tualatin Hills Parks and Rec. Boating and swimming are prohibited on this lake.


This beautiful stream is located above Green Peter Reservoir and provides excellent opportunities to fish for trout. There is good bank access along most of its length. Trout season opened April 28 and ends Oct. 31. The river was stocked several times in the last few weeks with over 5,000 rainbow trout. It was stocked one last time for 2014 last week with 2,000 rainbow trout. Wild cutthroat trout can be found here as well. Light gear works best and fly fishing can be very good, but bait is also allowed. There are two BLM campgrounds as well as numerous designated campsites along the road. To get there, follow the directions to Green Peter Reservoir and continue around the lake until the river begins.


Salmon Creek is a tributary to the Middle Fork Willamette River east of Oakridge. It will be stocked the week of July 14 and will be stocked again the first week of August. Fish are released at several locations up to the Black Creek Road bridge. Bait use and both native and hatchery trout harvest are allowed through Oct. 31.


Stocked the week of May 5 with 1,500 legal-sized rainbow trout. This lake is located approximately 9 miles northwest of St. Helens on Pittsburg Rd.


Salt Creek is a tributary to the Middle Fork Willamette River east of Oakridge and is open to harvest of native trout through October 31. Bait use is allowed during trout season. Salt Creek will not be stocked in 2014. Instead, these hatchery fished will be released into Hills Creek Reservoir.
Sandy River steelhead fishing
Sandy River Steelhead fishing
-Photo by Jessica Sall-

SANDY RIVER: summer steelhead, spring Chinook

Sandy River flows have fallen even more over the past several days with summer conditions here to stay for awhile. Anglers who go out will find that there are summer steelhead and spring Chinook in the river and a few fish are being landed, despite the low angler effort and difficult fishing conditions. As expected the river has taken on the glacial melt milky-blue color which some experienced Sandy anglers actually find isn’t a deterrent to hooking fish.

The overall catch reports have been poor to fair, with morning and evening fishing offering the best opportunity to hook a fish. The Oxbow to Dabney trip is a good choice by drift boat and if you’re bank angling try Oxbow Park, Dodge Park, the Cedar Creek area at the hatchery, Revenue Bridge, up around the old Marmot dam site, or near the mouth of the Salmon River. This should be a good year for spring Chinook on the Sandy with fish returning to the hatchery, and several hundred showing up in ODFW traps working throughout the basin.

Please be aware the Lower Sandy River has changed recently with a new channel mouth flowing to the north/northwest about 0.75 miles downstream of I-84. The new channel is shallow and flows are irregular and controlled by the tide along with Columbia and Sandy river flows. Angling is currently allowed in this channel which is also accessible by foot from the Columbia Gorge Scenic Area parking lot on the Sandy Delta (downstream and east side of the I-84 bridge crossing of the Sandy River).

Monday hydrological data shows the river flows below Bull Run lower still to 590 cfs, a gauge reading of 8.18 ft. and the water temperature bouncing up to 60°.

SANTIAM RIVER (NORTH FORK): steelhead, Chinook, trout

Fish can be found throughout the river, but are more concentrated in the upper sections (Mehama to Packsaddle), where summer steelhead and spring Chinook can find cooler water. But plenty of new arrivals are on their way. Counts at Willamette Falls as of July 25 show nearly 31,000 spring Chinook and over 20,000 summer steelhead have entered the upper basin. Of those, over 6,500 spring Chinook and 3,224 summer steelhead have made it above Stayton on the North Santiam through July 26. Warming water temperatures should make fish more active. When the ‘bite’ is on, bobbers and jigs are the preferred angling method with spoons, spinners and egg clusters also being effective. Currently the entire river below the Minto Fish Facility is open to salmon and steelhead fishing.

River levels best for fishing are below 3,000 cfs at the Mehama gauge (currently the gauge is around 1,580 cfs). Current conditions

North Santiam
North Santiam
-Photo by Rick Swart, ODFW-

CAUTION: The section between Shelburn and Green’s Bridge remains hazardous for boaters because of downed trees and multiple side channels. Better bets are the floats below Green’s Bridge and above Stayton.

UPDATE: The new boat slide at Upper Bennett Dam will be closed starting June 20 in order to perform routine maintenance on the dam. It is scheduled to re-open around Labor Day. Boaters can use the boat slide at Lower Bennett dam on the north channel around Geren Island in order to reach the Sayton boat ramp.

UPDATE: The new gate at the Green’s Bridge boat launch site is now closed for the summer through Labor Day. Boat anglers wishing to use the site will need to obtain a key from the ODFW district office in Adair Village. For further information, call 541-757-4183.


This gorgeous section of the river is open to fishing April 26 to Oct. 31. It will be stocked again this week with 3,000 legal size rainbow trout. Up to five trout of 8 inches or larger are allowed per day, but please be aware that this section of river is closed to salmon fishing.

SANTIAM RIVER (SOUTH FORK): steelhead, Chinook, trout, bass

Flows in the South Santiam below Foster dam have dropped to around 1,040 are cfs and should remain fairly stable for the next few weeks. These are excellent conditions coinciding with a large influx of new fish into the basin. Spring Chinook and summer steelhead numbers at Willamette Falls indicate an improved run this year, and so far fish have showed up in good numbers to the base of Foster dam. Best sections to fish are from Wiley Creek to Pleasant Valley boat ramps, around Waterloo County Park, and from Lebanon down to the confluence with the North Santiam. So far, 1,995 spring Chinook and 2,449 summer steelhead have entered the fish ladder, as of July 28. Most of these fish are being recycled downstream to allow anglers another shot at them.


Stocked the week of June 9 with 1,000 rainbow trout. Sheridan Pond is a 2 ½-acre pond located on the edge of town. An old mill pond, it has plenty of bank access, parking, and a restroom. To get there take Hwy. 18 to Exit 33 onto Balston Rd. Go south on Balston Rd. approximately half a mile and turn left onto a gravel road leading about a quarter mile to the pond.


Stocked the week of April 7 with 1,000 rainbow trout ranging in size from 10 inches to over two pounds each. A family fishing event was held April 12 but some holdover fish should still be available.

This is a 4-acre pond located within Ivor Davies Nature Park in the city of Molalla. It can be accessed by the Fifth St. Trailhead across from Heckard Football Stadium.

rainbow trout
Rainbow Trout
-Photo by Roger Smith-


Stocked the week of June 23 with 2,600 legal-sized rainbow trout and 250 half-pounders. This is a 65-acre reservoir on Silver Creek 2.5 miles south of Silverton on Hwy. 214.


Stocked the week of June 16 with 300 rainbow trout. This is a small pond located next to Promontory Park and North Fork Reservoir near Estacada.


Stocked for the last time this season in late June with 5,000 legal-sized rainbow trout. Smith Reservoir is north of Trail Bridge Reservoir and is accessed by turning off Hwy 126 at Trail Bridge Reservoir and following FS Road 730 north to Smith Dam. The reservoir is not visible from the highway and is open to year-around fishing.


Stocked the week of June 9 with 2,000 rainbow trout. The South Fork Yamhill from its confluence with the North Yamhill near McMinnville, upstream about 20 miles to Rock Creek near Grand Ronde is stocked with rainbow trout. Trout are released in multiple locations between Gold Creek Road Bridge and Willamina.Yamhill River Road runs parallel to much of this section and provides adequate turnouts and parking at several locations near the river. The remaining 15 miles of river open to trout fishing has some public access but also meanders across private lands. ODFW reminds anglers to be aware of and respectful toward private property rights along the river.

ST. LOUIS PONDS: trout, bass, crappie, bluegill, yellow perch, channel catfish

Stocked the week of June 16 with 4,000 legal-sized rainbow trout. St. Louis Ponds is a 260-acre open space owned by ODFW and Marion County Parks. The central portion of this site is a fishing park that boasts seven ponds stocked with a variety of warm water.

The fishing park has a number of ADA-accessible fishing platforms and a paved trail that meanders around some of the ponds. Parking is very limited, so carpooling is encouraged, and when parking lots fill up participants may need to walk in a mile from the gate at the entrance of the complex.

St. Louis Ponds is located 13 miles north of Salem and west of I-5. To get to there from the north, take the Woodburn exit off I-5. Then go east to Hwy. 99E. At Hwy. 99E, head south to the town of Gervais. At the light, go west on Gervais Rd. through Gervais. Gervais Rd. changes to St Louis Rd. Continue west on St Louis Rd. as it crosses over I-5 to Tesch Lane, at the railroad crossing. Go left on Tesch Lane and follow the signs to the ponds. More information: Jeff Fulop, (971) 673-6034.

SUNNYSIDE PARK POND: trout, bass, bluegill

This 4-acre pond is located 2 miles above the upper end of Foster Reservoir. It was stocked in early June with 334 legal-sized rainbow trout. Sunnyside Pond also offers bluegill and largemouth bass year round. The park has a campground and picnic area and is a great place to take kids fishing. There is also boat ramp access to the Middle Fork arm of Foster Reservoir. To get there from I5, take US 20 through the town of Sweet Home and continue around Foster Reservoir to Quartzville Creek road. Take a left and follow this road for two miles to the park.

Timothy Lake

Timothy Lake
-Photo by Rick Swart, ODFW

TIMOTHY LAKE: rainbow trout, brook trout, cutthroat trout, kokanee

Stocked the week of June 30 with with 2,000 legals-sized rainbow trout and 50 trophies (3-pounders).

Timothy is a 1,400-acre lake about 80 miles east of Portland past Mt. Hood. From Hwy 26 turn onto Forest Rd 42 (Skyline Rd), and then west to Forest Rd 57. Timothy is one of the most popular family camping and fishing destinations in the Mt. Hood National Forest. The lake's south shore features four developed campgrounds and boat ramps. Three smaller, less developed campgrounds are found in the north. A trail system for hikers, mountain bikers and equestrians circles the lake. Motorboats are allowed on Timothy Lake, although a 10 m.p.h. speed limit is in place. The lake is currently accessible via Highway 26 as well as Forest Road 56 up the Clackamas River.


Trail Bridge Reservoir is open to year-round angling. The last stocking of the season is this week when 2,000 rainbow trout will be released. This waterbody is adjacent to Hwy 126 and is approximately 60 miles east of Springfield. Only adipose fin-clipped trout may be harvested from Trail Bridge Reservoir. Flies and lures only may be used.


Stocked the week of June 30 with with 2,000 legals-sized rainbow trout and 50 trophies (3-pounders).

Trillium is a 60-acre lake located approximately three miles east of Government Camp off of Hwy 26. This lake is popular for fishing, camping and photography, often clearly reflecting Mount Hood. A large campground at the lake features a seasonal boat ramp and wheelchair-accessible floating dock.

TROJAN PONDS: trout, warmwater species

The pond was stocked with 8,000 trout during the month of April, so there should be lots of fish available. Trojan Pond is a 15-acre lake about 4.5 miles southeast of Rainier on the north side of Hwy 30 at the Trojan nuclear facility.

WALTER WIRTH LAKE: trout, crappie, bass

This popular Salem lake in Cascade Gateway Park receives thousands of hatchery trout annually. It was was stocked in early June with 2,000 legal and 250 larger size rainbow trout. As a reminder, only one fish over 20 inches may be kept. This wheelchair accessible lake is located just east of Salem within Cascade Gateway Park, west of I-5 at Hwy. 22. Take Airport Rd. or Turner Rd. to reach the lake.

WEST SALISH POND: panfish, trout

The Salish Ponds Wetlands Park restoration project is far enough along that anglers are able to go in and fish both the east and west ponds. A variety of resident warm water species can be found in both ponds, with the east offering the greatest opportunity.

The City of Fairview would like to give young plantings in the park another season to establish themselves before large numbers of anglers begin fishing there again; as a result ODFW likely won’t resume stocking West Salish Pond with trout until late 2014.
Willamette River Steelhead
A 12+ pound Willamette River Steelhead
- Oregon Fish and Wildlife-

WILLAMETTE RIVER: sturgeon, Chinook salmon, summer steelhead

It’s that time of year when fishing activity on the lower Willamette slows down considerably while the warm weather brings out large numbers of recreational users, as is usual in the summer months. On any given summer day the Willamette River is crowded with boaters and jet skiers, so early morning fishing is the best bet.

The few anglers on the water could pick up an occasional springer since fish are still passing through the ladder at Willamette Falls; the best bet being down in the St Johns area near the head of Multnomah Channel or up closer to the falls. Anglers will also find there are plenty of warm water fishing opportunities on the Willamette for bass and small pan fish, working the rocky shorelines and around areas with structure, particularly near Cedar Island and Milwaukie.

Spring Chinook passage at Willamette Falls dipped in mid July to single digits but has come back some with 30-80 fish per day late last week. The summer steelhead passage has also seen a bounce back over the weekend after posting some great daily counts early this month. As of July 25, a total of 29,463 adult spring Chinook have passed while the summer steelhead have reached 20,070 counted up through the July 25 date

Monday hydrological data shows the Willamette flows remaining steady at 7,450 cfs, the water temperature down to 71°, and visibility still great at 7.5 feet.

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  Willamette Zone Hunting


Use the Oregon Hunting Map to see where to hunt.

Cougar season is open in all zones beginning on Jan. 1, 2014. Hunters will need to purchase a 2014 hunting license and a 2014 cougar tag to hunt cougars. Successful cougar hunters will need to check-in any cougar taken at an ODFW office within 10 days of the kill. Hunters are reminded that biologists located in field offices may be out in the field handling other issues so call ahead to make arrangements to have your cougar checked-in. The hide and skull must be unfrozen and the skull and proof of sex must be attached to the hide. Hunters are required to submit the reproductive tract of any female cougar taken.

Pick up the Big Game Hunting Regulations before your hunting trip to ensure that you are familiar with all of the requirements.

Fall Bear season opens on August 1. Now is the time to get out and scout your favorite bear hunting spots to see if the berries are ripe. Most successful fall bear hunters target natural food sources. To be successful, hunters will want to become familiar with a variety of berry producing plants such as black cap raspberry, Armenian blackberry, trailing blackberry, cascara, blue huckleberry, and elderberry. Hunters that note the location of a variety of berry patches will be able to move throughout the season to stay on the best available food source.

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 Willamette Zone Viewing


western pond turtle
Western Pond Turtle
-Photo by Keith Kohl, ODFW-

Western Painted and Western Pond Turtles

On warm, sunny days Oregon’s two native species of turtles can be seen on basking on logs in ponds, lakes, and side channels of rivers and large streams. Basking is critical to a turtle’s shell health and aids in food digestion.

This is also the time of the year when turtles are often spotted on land, searching for places to lay their eggs. If you see a native turtle that seems to be headed somewhere, remove any hazards in its way and let it continue.

Unfortunately, it is also the time of the year when two non-native turtles can be by observed. Red-eared sliders with characteristic red markings “ears” can be seen basking on logs and coming to land to nest. If you see a very large turtle with a big head, long tail and alligator-like appearance, you’ve found a snapping turtle. Both of these turtles are considered invasive and should not be released into the wild. Please report sightings of non-native turtles to ODFW.

Report a turtle sighting and see turtle photos.

NEWTS, a type of salamander common in the Pacific Northwest, may be observed in their migration from terrestrial environs such as rotten logs and moist soil to their breeding grounds in ponds, small lakes and the edges of streams. These small amphibians may be found if you are hiking in forests during or just after it rains.

GREAT BLUE HERONS have young in their nests at this time of year. The young are very vocal when the adults arrive with food. One of the most visible colonies in the area is in a large cottonwood tree along the bike path at the east end of Alton Baker Park in Springfield (east side of I-5, north side of the millrace). Herons are usually very sensitive to disturbance and in other areas several instances of nest abandonment are known to have occurred due to human disturbance. This colony is especially acclimated to and tolerant of people. To minimize disturbance to the birds, do not approach the base of the tree from the north side of the millrace. Another very visible colony is in a stand of large cottonwood trees next to a pond on the east side of Delta Hwy, just north of the Valley River Shopping Mall in Eugene.

Many animals have young in the nest or den at this time of year. Typically the adult is foraging for food nearby and will return. Please do not pick up young birds or mammals, as this can decrease their chance of survival.

Garter Snake
Garter Snake
-Photo by David Bronson-

Snakes bask when the sun shines

THREE SPECIES OF GARTER SNAKE occur in the Willamette Valley. They are the most commonly seen snakes. Much variability in coloration exists in garter snakes but the best identifying characteristic is a stripe down the middle of the snake's back. No other snake species in western Oregon has a stripe down the middle. A good place to see these harmless snakes is on gravel roads and trails through wetland areas. Wildlife areas in the Willamette Valley such as Fern Ridge, Finley, EE Wilson, Baskett Slough and Ankeny are all good areas to see these beautiful animals. Best viewing conditions are on warm sunny days.

Delta Ponds

Delta Ponds offers a great opportunity for wildlife viewing near the heart of Eugene. This time of year viewers can observe native western pond turtles as they soak up the sun basking on logs. The best time to observe turtles is mid-mornings on sunny days. The turtles will retreat back into the water if the temperature is too hot. Please try to observe the turtles from a distance to avoid disturbing them. Unfortunately, viewers will likely see Red-eared Sliders in addition to the Western Pond Turtles. The sliders are a non-native invasive species that compete with our native turtles for habitat and food.

Numerous bird species utilize the area and provide viewing opportunities including a variety of warblers, western tanagers, Bullock’s orioles, green herons, great blue herons, osprey, and others.

Viewers can observe broods of ducks and geese. These can be a joy to watch but please resist the temptation to feed since unnatural food sources can cause serious health problems for the young birds.

Delta Ponds is a unique natural area owned by the City of Eugene that borders a stretch of the Willamette River, just downstream from Valley River Center. For many, it is a favorite spot for birdwatching, fishing, and hiking. Location: Goodpasture Island Rd. to Valley River Ctr.

EE Wilson Wildlife Area

Waterfowl and shorebirds numbers are building. A waterfowl blind is available to photographers. Call the office at 541-745-5334 to reserve the blind.

From Albany, take Highway 20 toward Corvallis and after 5 miles turn right on Independence Highway. Go 3 miles and turn left on Camp Adair Road, then proceed 2 miles to the wildlife area.

Fern Ridge Wildlife Area and Reservoir

Fern Ridge Reservoir has extensive wildlife habitat that can be accessed from many access points including Royal Avenue which extends from west Eugene to the reservoir and ends at a gated access point. This is an excellent place to observe wildlife. Berms were built in this area during 2000 and 2001 to retain water along the edge of the reservoir during the winter months when the reservoir is drawn down for flood control. These ponded areas are very attractive to wildlife at this time of year. Also accessible from this access point are natural prairie habitats (to the north and south) that are very rare in the Willamette Valley. In addition to the abundance of waterfowl, many raptors can be seen in this area. Look for short eared owls and peregrine falcons. Also visible from this area are wading birds, such as egrets and herons and various shorebirds.

Fern Ridge Wildlife Area

All units of Fern Ridge Wildlife Area are open to public access for the summer months. There are many access points available and viewing opportunities are excellent for a wide variety of wildlife, particularly birds. Wildlife viewing platforms are available in the Fisher Butte unit located a short walk from parking lots on Royal Avenue and Hwy 126. The viewing platform located north of the Hwy 126 parking lot provides a great overlook of the adjacent wet low prairie. Many varieties of wild flowers are now in bloom and the colors of the landscape are remarkable.

Visitors are reminded that dogs must be kept on leash at all times.

Parking areas are located along Highway 126, Nielson Road, Cantrell Road, Territorial Highway, and Clear Lake Road. Visitors are cautioned that there have been recent vehicle break-ins at area parking lots. Please secure your valuables before leaving your vehicle unattended. Contact the wildlife area headquarters, (541) 935-2591 if you have any questions.

Sauvie Island Wildlife Area

Sauvie Island is a main stopping point for migratory birds as they travel along the Pacific Flyway, and ODFW actively manages the Wildlife Area to provide food and cover for them. An abundance of ducks and geese can be seen from many points around the island, as can raptors, including bald eagles, northern harriers, sandhill cranes, red-tailed hawks and American kestrel. Spring migrants are arriving such as orange-crowned warbler, pacific-slope flycatcher and purple martins. The first Canada goose brood was observed over the weekend.

Sauvie Island Wildlife Area is located on Sauvie Island, only 10 miles north of Portland off Highway 30. A parking permit is required for the Sauvie Island Wildlife Area and can be purchased at ODFW License vendors or at the Sauvie Island ODFW office, Monday through Friday during office hours. For more information, call (503) 621-3488.

Directions to Sauvie Island Wildlife Area

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