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

Weekly Recreation Report: Willamette Zone

November 29, 2016

 Willamette Zone Fishing

Steelhead
Steelhead
-Oregon Fish and Wildlife-

Weekend fishing opportunities

  • Brood trout were recently released this week at Timber Linn Lake in Albany, and last week at several locations around the Willamette Valley, including Cottage Grove Pond, Walter Wirth Lake, Waverly Lake, Huddleston Pond, Sheridan Pond, and Blue Lake.
  • Hatchery trout were recently released at Cottage Grove, Henry Hagg Lake, Walter Wirth Lake, and Walling Pond.
  • There are still decent numbers of summer steelhead and coho salmon for anglers to catch on the North Santiam.
  • Winter steelhead are starting to show up in the Clackamas River and Eagle Creek.
  • Catch-and-release sturgeon fishing is good on the lower Willamette River and Multnomah Channel.

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.

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.

2016 trout stocking

The 2016 trout stocking schedules for the North Willamette Watershed (pdf) District and the South Willamette Watershed (pdf) District are posted on the ODFW Trout Stocking Page. Take a look to find out when and where Oregon’s hatchery trout are being released around the state.

High Lakes stocking

ODFW takes very small fish to Oregon’s high lakes by helicopter, mule and river boats. Take a look at where these fish were released in the past and where you might even encounter some of them on your next backpacking trek. It typically takes only a year after stocking for fish to reach catchable size.

Check out our interactive 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 our Google-based stocking map. Click on the fish icons to bring up all the pertinent information about the state’s trout fishing locations.

ALTON BAKER CANOE CANAL: trout

The Alton Baker Canoe Canal was stocked for the last time this season the week of Thanksgiving. Fish releases into the canal will resume in February.

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 two-mile length from Day Island Road in Eugene to Aspen Street in Springfield. The canal is open to fishing all year.

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

Stocked in the spring with 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; the park is located on the south side of the freeway about 1/2 mile west of Multnomah Falls.

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

Stocked in the spring with 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.

Rainbow Trout
Rainbow Trout
-Washington Fish & Wildlife -

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

The lake was stocked with both legal and broodstock trout last week and fish should still be available for anglers fishing from the docks or along the bank near the boat ramp. From October to April private boats are also allowed if under 14 ft. with motors of less than 3.0 horsepower.

This 64-acre lake is located in Blue Lake Regional Park three miles west of Troutdale. Amenities include picnic areas, restrooms, walking trail, and ramp for small boats. Park is maintained by Metro. The cost to enter is $5/car and there is ample parking once inside the park. The park is open from 8 a.m. until legal sunset. For further information call 503-661-6087.

BLUE RIVER: trout

Blue River above Blue River Reservoir was stocked for last time this season in late June. As of Nov. 1, anglers may only use lures and artificial flies. Two wild trout may be harvested per day above Blue River Reservoir only. Otherwise, anglers may keep 5 hatchery trout per day.

BLUE RIVER RESERVOIR: trout, warmwater species

Blue River Reservoir is located east of Eugene near the town of Blue River, north of Hwy. 126 and is open to year-round fishing. The reservoir was stocked in late June for the last time this season. The boat ramps are not accessible at current reservoir elevations.

BREITENBUSH RIVER: trout

Regulation changes for 2016 year allow fishing on this river year-round. Trout stocking finished up in early August with a final release of 1,800 hatchery trout. Anglers may keep up to five trout per day. Note that the river is closed to salmon fishing year-round.

As the fall season approaches, NF-46 paved road along the Breitenbush River and Clackamas River from Detroit to Clackamas via Estacada is a beautiful drive for a two-hour family outing.

CANBY POND: trout, bass, crappie, bluegill

Canby Pond is a one-acre pond located on the south end of Canby, in Canby City Park. This pond is open only to youth 17 years old and under, as well as persons who possess ODFW's Disabled Hunting and Fishing Permits.

CARMEN RESERVOIR: trout

Carmen Reservoir was stocked in early August for the last time this season. Carmen Reservoir is accessed via USFS Road 750 off Hwy. 126, about two miles south of Clear Lake. It is open to fishing all year. Motor boats are prohibited.

CLACKAMAS RIVER: summer steelhead, winter steelhead

It’s still a little early to find good numbers of winter steelhead, and though pressure has been light, a few anglers have reported landing fish between Feldheimer’s and Carver over the past week or two.

Heavy rain over the past weekend brought the river up quite a bit but low snow levels have helped to keep it from totally blowing out. Anglers should catch the river as it drops later this week and get out for some early winter steelhead.

A few summer steelhead are still getting hooked from just above Carver all the way to McIver Park, while the coho run is pretty much over.

Good bank access for can be found in many locations along the river from Gladstone, Cross Park, Riverside Park, along Clackamas River Road, Carver, Barton, and McIver parks. Clackamas River Drive closely follows the river below Carver Park, but be sure to not trespass on private property. If you have a drift boat, you can put in at Riverside Park, Carver Park, Barton Park, Feldheimer’s off Springwater Road, and at both lower and upper McIver Park ramps.

USGS hydrological data for Nov. 28 shows river flows at 3,940 cfs, with a gauge reading of 13.24 feet and the water holding at just over 45° F. All of the readings come from the Estacada gauge near Milo McIver State Park.

Clear Lake
Clear Lake
-Photo by Rick Swart, ODFW

CLEAR LAKE: trout

Clear Lake is open to fishing all year and was stocked in late August for the last time this season. Clear Lake is accessed from Hwy. 126 approximately 70 miles east of Springfield. Linn County’s Clear Lake Resort rents cabins and boats.

COAST FORK WILLAMETTE RIVER: trout

The Coast Fork Willamette River is open to angling all year. As of Nov. 1, anglers may only use lures and artificial flies. In addition to five hatchery trout, two wild trout may be kept daily. The Coast Fork Willamette River was stocked at several locations near downtown Cottage Grove for the last time this season in early August.

COTTAGE GROVE POND (ROW RIVER NATURE PARK POND): trout, warmwater species

Cottage Grove Ponds are open to year round angling and are accessed via an asphalt pathway behind the truck scales on Row River Road. The pond with the dock received a special stocking the week of Thanksgiving of approximately 670 larger fish, including 70 brood trout that come in at 20-inches plus! In addition to fishing, these ponds also offer wildlife viewing opportunities.

COTTAGE GROVE RESERVOIR: trout, warmwater species

Cottage Grove Reservoir is south of Cottage Grove and is open to fishing all year. The reservoir was stocked for the last time this season in mid-October. Warmwater fish are also available. Only Lakeside boat ramp is accessible at the current reservoir elevation.

DETROIT RESERVOIR: trout, kokanee

Reservoir elevation is about 70 feet below conservation pool and only Mongold low-water boat ramp is currently usable. Water levels are tracking very close to the anticipated USACE ‘Rule Curve’. The reservoir was last stocked Oct. 10 with 7,000 legal rainbow trout. Many of these fish will be holding over in the cooler, deeper water or near drop-offs and other structure, making a fall visit to Detroit Reservoir worthwhile.

DEXTER RESERVOIR: trout

Dexter Reservoir near Lowell is visible from Hwy. 58. Boat and bank access is available from state and county parks. Parking and bank access are also available from the causeway near Lowell. Dexter Reservoir was last stocked for the season in late September. Largemouth bass and some smallmouth are also available to anglers in this reservoir.

DORENA RESERVOIR: trout, warmwater

Dorena Reservoir is east of Cottage Grove on Row River Road and is open to fishing all year. Trout and warmwater fish are available. Dorena was stocked in mid-October for the last time this season with 1,750 fish, including 200 larger fish. Only Baker Bay boat ramp is accessible at the current reservoir elevation.

EAGLE CREEK: coho

The creek is in great fishing shape right now but it’s still a bit early to think winter steelhead. There could be a few in the lower creek but give it about a month. Some late, dark coho are lingering up near the hatchery but that run is about over.

Keep in mind that 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.”

EE Wilson Pond
EE Wilson Pond
-Photo by Rick Swart, ODFW-

EE WILSON POND: warmwater species, trout

This pond is located at EE Wilson Wildlife Area, about a ¼ mile hike from the main parking lot. Recent changes to the fishing regulations now make this a year-round fishery. Species that may be caught at the pond now are bass, bluegill, and redear sunfish. Trout stocking will continue later this winter. Be aware that hunting season has started on the wildlife area. A valid wildlife area parking permit is required.

ESTACADA LAKE: trout

Stocked almost weekly from spring through September with hatchery trout and “recycled” hatchery steelhead.

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. An ADA-accessible fishing dock next to the boat ramp provides non-boating access to the lake.

FALL CREEK: trout

Open all year for trout. As of Nov. 1, anglers may only use lures and artificial flies. Below Fall Creek Dam the creek is open all year for hatchery Chinook, hatchery steelhead and wild steelhead greater than 24-inches. Fall Creek above Fall Creek Reservoir was stocked for the last time this season in late June. Five hatchery trout and an additional two wild trout may be harvested daily.

FALL CREEK RESERVOIR: trout

Fall Creek Reservoir was stocked in the spring and won’t be stocked again this year. North Shore boat ramp is closed for the season.

FARADAY LAKE: trout

Stocked in September with rainbow trout and recycled summer steelhead.

Faraday is a 25-acre reservoir located 1.1 miles southeast of Estacada on Hwy. 224 next to a PGE hydro plant. No boats, walk-in only.

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. For local information regarding the lake and available boat ramps, contact the Lane County Parks Department at 541-682-2000. 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. Reservoir levels are low in order to provide winter storage and all boat ramps are out of the water.

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. Reservoir levels are dropping in order to provide winter storage. At the moment only the boat ramp at Sunnyside Park is available to launch boats.

Look for smallmouth bass and yellow perch near underwater structure and drop-offs. Please remember that only kokanee and adipose fin-clipped trout may be kept as part of the trout bag limit, but there are no limits on size or number of bass. Retention of warmwater fish species such as bluegill, catfish, crappie, and yellow perch is also allowed; no limit on size or number. A final stocking of 5,000 hatchery trout was released the last week of September.

FREEWAY LAKE, EAST: bass bluegill crappie

This water-body actually consists of three interconnected ponds and features some good size bass and crappie. A boat ramp is available at East Freeway Lake, and there is good bank access around Middle Freeway Lake. Fishing for warmwater gamefish such as bass, bluegill, crappie, and catfish can be very good, especially early and late in the day.

GOLD LAKE: brook trout, rainbow trout

Gold Lake is a 100-acre lake located north of the Willamette Pass summit off Hwy. 58 approximately 23 miles southeast of Oakridge. The lake closed to angling Nov. 1 and will re-open to anglers May 22.

Fishing on the Green Peter Reservour

Fishing on the Green Peter Reservour
-Photo by Kathy Munsel-

GREEN PETER RESERVOIR: kokanee, trout, bass

Trout as well as bass are good option for anglers this time of year. Look for them near ledges and drop-offs as well as near underwater structure. Reservoir elevation is still dropping in order to provide winter storage but Thistle Creek boat ramp remains available for boaters.

HALDEMAN POND: trout

This is a stocked two-acre pond on the Sauvie Island Wildlife Area that offers good bank access. This site is ideal for kids. A parking permit is required while on the wildlife area. Permits are available from all ODFW license vendors.

HARTMAN POND: trout, crappie, bass, catfish

This is a year-round warmwater and spring trout fishing pond in the Columbia River Gorge, with easy access for non-boating anglers just off Interstate 84. It was stocked with legal- and trophy-sized trout in the spring and also supports year-round populations of crappie, bass and catfish. From I-84, take the Benson State Park exit. The pond is adjacent to the Columbia River adjoining Benson State Recreation Area.

HENRY HAGG LAKE: rainbow trout, smallmouth bass, yellow perch, largemouth bass, crappie, bluegill, brown bullhead, yellow bullhead, native cutthroat trout

Stocked on in mid-November with 8,000 legal-sized rainbow trout. This release included 4,000 trout previously scheduled for December. This large lake near Forest Grove is one of Oregon’s premier warmwater fishing locations, with populations of record-class largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, crappie, and bullhead. It also supports a resident population of native cutthroat trout and is frequently stocked annually throughout the year with more than 55,000 hatchery rainbow trout, including trophy and brood stock.

In addition to trout, this large lake near Forest Grove supports resident populations of record-class largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, crappie, and bullhead. It also has a resident population of native cutthroat trout and is frequently stocked with hatchery rainbow trout, including trophy and brood stock.

The lake is now open year-round and is stocked regularly throughout the spring and fall. This is a 1,110-acre lake waterbody located seven miles southwest of Forest Grove. Maintained and operated by Washington County, 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

This reservoir is located about four miles southeast of Oakridge and is open to year round fishing. Hills Creek Reservoir is stocked with 60,000 adipose fin-clipped rainbow trout fingerlings and 100,000 adipose fin-clipped spring Chinook salmon fingerlings annually to provide a harvest fishery the following year. Fingerlings are in addition to spring and fall catchable trout releases.

Trout and salmon must be adipose-fin clipped to be harvested. Large native trout are available for catch-and-release fishing. Only Packard boat launch is accessible at the current reservoir elevation.

HILLS CREEK and Hills Creek Tributaries

Hills Creek is not stocked with hatchery fish. The stream is open to angling all year and anglers may keep up to two wild trout per day, 8-inch minimum length. As of Nov. 1, anglers may only use lures and artificial flies.

HORSESHOE LAKE: trout

This 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.

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

HUDDLESTON POND: trout, bass, bluegill

The pond was stocked Thanksgiving week with 44 extra-large rainbow brood trout. Anglers are reminded the bag limit on trout over 20 inches is one per day.

This is a 5-acre pond located within Huddleston Pond Park in the city of Willamina, Ore. A former mill pond, this venue has "kid-friendly" edges, is ADA accessible in places, with a restroom and picnic areas nearby.

JUNCTION CITY POND: trout, crappie

Junction City is a popular stocked trout fishing pond located about two miles south of Junction City on Hwy. 99W on the west side of the highway. There is excellent access around the entire 5-acre pond. About 145 excess hatchery steelhead were stocked during the month of November. As a reminder, normal trout regulations apply to these fish: Only one fish over 20 inches may be kept. The next trout stocking is scheduled for December.

LEABURG LAKE: trout

Leaburg Lake is open to angling all year. As of Nov. 1, anglers may only use lures and artificial flies. The lake was stocked in late August for the last time this season. Only hatchery fish may be kept. All wild trout must be released.

Leaburg Dam closures have ended and the dam should be open as usual.

MCKENZIE RIVER below Leaburg Lake: trout, salmon, steelhead

The McKenzie River below Leaburg Lake is stocked with trout from Leaburg Town Landing downstream to Hendricks Bridge from late April through early September. All non-adipose fin-clipped trout must be released unharmed. As of Nov. 1, anglers may only use lures and artificial flies. The lower McKenzie River was last boat-stocked in early September. This river reach is open to retention of adipose fin-clipped salmon and steelhead and non-adipose fin-clipped steelhead greater than 24 inches in length. A Columbia River Basin Endorsement is required for anglers targeting salmon and steelhead in the McKenzie.

Leaburg Dam closures have ended and the dam should be open as usual.

MCKENZIE RIVER above Leaburg Lake: trout, steelhead

The McKenzie River above Leaburg Lake is stocked with hatchery trout from Finn Rock to Goodpasture Landing, with some summer releases beginning at Forest Glen boat landing, from late April through mid-September. The upper McKenzie River was last boat-stocked for the season in mid-September. All non-adipose fin-clipped trout must be released unharmed. As of Nov. 1, anglers may only use lures and artificial flies.

MIDDLE FORK WILLAMETTE RIVER: trout, salmon, steelhead

The Middle Fork Willamette River is open to bait below Dexter Dam only. This river reach is open to retention of adipose fin-clipped salmon and steelhead and non-adipose fin-clipped steelhead greater than 24 inches in length. A Columbia River Basin Endorsement is required for anglers targeting salmon and steelhead in the Middle Fork Willamette below Dexter Dam. Steelhead anglers continue to be successful below Dexter Dam.

The Middle Fork Willamette above Lookout Point and Hills Creek reservoirs is open to angling using lures and artificial flies. All wild trout must be released upstream of Lookout Point Reservoir. The Middle Fork Willamette River is not stocked with hatchery trout.

MOLALLA RIVER: coho, steelhead

The Molalla River flows are up in the past week but should begin to fall by the weekend.  Chinook passage has ended at Willamette Falls with springer counting over for the season; these count numbers were an indicator of how many fish could be available to catch as a few turn into the Molalla instead of heading further up the Willamette.

It’s doubtful that any late hatchery springers are still pooled up in the Molalla, although hatchery summer steelhead and perhaps coho may have slipped into the lower river seeking cooler water, but quality of these fish at this late date will be questionable. Spring  Chinook passage numbers at the Willamette Falls ladder reached 30,317 through Aug. 15, the final day for springer counts in 2016.

After several weeks of maintenance the gauge station is back up and running with USGS hydrological data for Nov. 28 showing river flows at 2,480 cfs and a gauge reading of 13.63 feet. All of the readings come from the Canby gauge.

MT HOOD POND: trout, crappie, bluegill

The pond was also stocked in October with legal-sized trout, and some of those fish should still be available. Mt. Hood Pond is located on the Mt. Hood Community College campus in Gresham, at 26000 SE Stark St.

Fishing is restricted to youths age 17 and under and holders of ODFW's Disabled Anglers permits from April 1 - Aug. 31. It is currently open to anglers of all ages.

North Fork Reservoir
North Fork Reservoir
-Photo by Rick Swart, ODFW-

NORTH FORK RESERVOIR: trout

The Promontory Marina boat ramp and lower boat ramp are now closed for the season.

This is a 350-acre reservoir of the Clackamas River behind North Fork Dam approximately 5.2 miles east of Estacada, Ore.

QUARTZVILLE CREEK: trout

This river is open all year for trout and anglers may keep up to five trout per day. 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. Current flows (as of Nov. 28) are around 2,000 1,000 cfs, and should remain fairly high over the next week.

SALISH POND: trout, warm water species

West Salish Pond was stocked with trout last week. Parking is available at the school after 5 p.m. weekdays and all weekend. Parking is no longer available adjacent to the pond along Glisan St. Informational signs regarding use of the area have been posted by the City of Fairview around the pond shoreline.

SALMON CREEK: trout

Salmon Creek near Oakridge is open to angling all year. As of Nov. 1, anglers may only use lures and artificial flies. Salmon Creek was stocked in mid-August for the last time this season. Trout are released at multiple locations upstream to Black Creek. Two wild trout per day, 8-inch minimum length, may be kept in addition to five hatchery trout.

SALT CREEK: trout

Salt Creek is an unstocked tributary to the Middle Fork Willamette River east of Oakridge. Salt Creek and its tributaries are open to angling all year. As of Nov. 1, anglers may only use lures and artificial flies. Two wild trout may be kept per day, 8-inch minimum length.

SANDY RIVER: summer steelhead, coho

The Sandy fishing conditions have held fairly steady for anglers seeking some late coho or summer steelhead but the effort is now nearly non-existent, usually a good indicator of how fishing has been lately. There are still a few folks out trying but both interest and catch have declined considerably.

There should be a few coho in the system, mainly above Dabney Park on up to Cedar Creek. More than 3,550 fish have come into the hatchery trap with over 2,350 being donated to the local food banks. Recent returns to the hatchery have slowed down so it may be that the fish all returned in a short period of time when the water levels were up.

USGS hydrological data for Nov. 22 shows the Sandy flows falling to 1,360 cfs, with a gauge reading of 9.05 feet and the water temperature holding near 45° F.

SANTIAM RIVER (NORTH FORK): steelhead,  Chinook

Recent rains and water releases from storage dams are causing river levels to remain high and difficult to fish. River levels best for fishing are below 3,000 cfs at the Mehama gauge; as of Nov. 28 the river flow at Mehama is at 9,300 cfs, and is expected to stay high over the next week.

The most recent counts at Bennett dam fish ladders indicate that more than 5,400 hatchery steelhead and over 600 coho salmon have passed into the upper river above Stayton so far. 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 Packsaddle Park (near the Minto Fish Facility) is open year-round to hatchery steelhead.

Anglers may keep up to five hatchery trout from the mouth to Big Cliff dam through Oct. 31.

SANTIAM RIVER (NORTH FORK) above DETROIT:

Regulation changes for 2016 makes this section a year-round fishery. The river was stocked one final time in early August with 3,000 hatchery rainbow trout. Anglers may keep up to 5 trout per day. This section of river is closed to salmon fishing.

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

Recent rains have brought flows back up and with more rain in the forecast, conditions will remain challenging over the next week. Current flows as of Nov. 28 are approximately 10,700 cfs as measured at Waterloo. Winter steelhead will begin to arrive into the basin by January.

Current conditions

Sheridan Pond
Sheridan Pond
-Photo by Rick Swart, ODFW-

SHERIDAN POND: trout

Stocked several times in the spring with trout of various sizes, and stocked in mid-November with 45 extra-large rainbow trout brood fish, ranging from 5-15 pounds. Please remember the bag limit on trout over 20-inches is one per day.

To get to Sheridan Pond, 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.

SILVER CREEK RESERVOIR: trout, catfish

Stocked in June with 2,600 legals and 200 “pounders.” This is a 65-acre reservoir on Silver Creek 2.5 miles south of Silverton on Hwy. 214.

SMITH RESERVOIR: trout

Smith Reservoir is north of Trail Bridge Reservoir and is accessed by turning off Hwy. 126 at Trail Bridge Reservoir and following USFS Road 730 north to Smith Dam. The reservoir is not visible from the highway and is open to year-around bait fishing.

Smith Reservoir was stocked in late June for the last time this season. Smith River and its tributaries above Smith Reservoir are open to angling all year. Two wild fish (8-inch minimum length) may be harvested per day. As of Nov. 1, anglers may only use lures and artificial flies in Smith River and its tributaries above Smith Reservoir.

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

Stocked twice in October with a total of 1,300 rainbow trout.

St. Louis Ponds is a 240-acre fishing complex of seven ponds owned and managed jointly by the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife and Marion County Parks Department. The site has a 2,300-foot paved ADA footpath with turnouts, fishing platforms, restrooms and picnic tables. It is stocked throughout the year with hatchery trout and has many other species of warmwater fish.

A gate providing access to the last mile of dirt road to the complex is closed Oct. 1 - March 1, although anglers are still permitted to walk in to fish.

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, about a mile to the main parking lot.

SUNNYSIDE PARK POND: bass, bluegill

This 4-acre pond is located two miles above the upper end of Foster Reservoir. The stocking season at Sunnyside Pond has ended for the remainder of the year but there may still be a few trout left. The 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 I-5, 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.

TIMBER LINN LAKE: rainbow trout

This beautiful, family-friendly fishing pond is located within Timber-Linn Memorial Park in Albany. It will be stocked again this week with about 45 very large hatchery brood trout. Please keep in mind that only one fish over 20-inches may be taken per day. Timber-Linn Lake can be reached by turning east off I-5 onto the Santiam Highway (Hwy. 20), then immediately turning north onto Price Road and proceeding to the park entrance.

TIMOTHY LAKE: rainbow trout

Timothy Lake is one of five Oregon fishing venues around the state selected this year for a pilot “trophy trout” program. As such, it was stocked with 5,000 trophy-sized trout this year. Timothy also produced some nice catches of kokanee this year. Timothy is one of Oregon’s most beautiful lakes, spanning 1,400-acre acres within the Mount Hood National Forest, 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. It is a good destination to consider anytime mountain roads are clear but especially during the summer when looking for a place to escape the heat.

TRAIL BRIDGE RESERVOIR: trout

Trail Bridge Reservoir is open to year-round fishing. 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. Only flies and lures may be used. Trail Bridge Reservoir was stocked in late July for the last time this season.

Trillium Lake
Trillium Lake
-Photo by Rick Swart, ODFW-

TRILLIUM LAKE: trout

Stocked the week of Sept. 26 with 3,000 rainbow trout. 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. Adjacent Trillium Lake Campground is administered by the Zigzag Ranger District of the Mount Hood National Forest. The large campground features a seasonal boat ramp and wheelchair-accessible floating dock.

WALLING POND: trout, crappie, bass

The pond was stocked last week with 400 legal and 50 larger rainbow trout. This is an eight-acre privately owned pond located in Salem at the northeast corner of McGilchrist and 16th Streets, S.E.

WALTER WIRTH LAKE: trout, crappie, bass

The lake was stocked last week with 1,300 legal and 100 larger rainbow trout. In addition, it received approximately 75 very large hatchery brood trout weighing between 5-15 pounds each. As a reminder, the bag limit is five fish per day, but only one over 20 inches.

Walter Wirth is a 20-acre lake located within the City of Salem’s Cascades Gateway Park. Good angling opportunities remain for warm water species and that occasional larger hold-over trout.

WAVERLY POND: trout, bluegill, catfish

Waverly Pond is located in Albany and is regularly stocked in fall, winter and spring. The pond was stocked last week with about 45 very large hatchery brood trout averaging 10 pounds apiece. It was also stocked mid-November with 500 legal and about 25 larger size rainbow trout. As a reminder, the bag limit is five fish per day, but only one over 20 inches. From I-5 take exit 234 west towards Albany. The pond is located a quarter mile down Pacific Boulevard on the right. A paved ADA-accessible path runs all the way around the pond.

WILLAMETTE RIVER: sturgeon, warm water species

Now is an in-between time for anglers on the Lower Willamette with both coho and summer steelhead fisheries coming to a close, yet it’s a bit too early for decent numbers of winter steelhead to show up. The long Thanksgiving weekend has traditionally been the kick-off for winter steelies as the crowds gather along Melrum Bar and near the mouth of the Clackamas River.

Anglers will find there are still 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. Catch-and-release fishing for sturgeon remains as another option for Willamette River anglers.

The summer steelhead counts came to close on Oct. 31 at Willamette Falls with the cumulative passage for the season showing 21,732 while adult coho passage was at 2,557 through Nov. 26.

USGS hydrological data for the Willamette River on Nov. 28 has flows up to 56,400 cfs, the water temperature down near 48°F, and visibility poor below 1.0 ft.

YAMHILL RIVER and tributaries: trout

The Yamhill and its tributaries are now open year-round for trout under the 2016 Oregon Sport Fishing Regulations. Angling shifts to Catch and Release for trout from Nov. 1 to May 21. Angling and harvest of warmwater fish is also allowed during this period.

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  Willamette Zone Hunting

OPEN: COUGAR, BLACK BEAR, GENERAL ARCHERY DEER (Late Season Nov. 19-Dec. 11), AND NW PERMIT ZONE GOOSE (Nov. 19-Jan. 9, 2017), FOREST GROUSE, QUAIL, CROW, FALL GENERAL TURKEY, PHEASANT, DUCK SNIPE, AND SCAUP

UPCOMING:

Please remember to check with the landowner for access restrictions prior to entering private lands. Private timberlands access policy. Hunters are reminded to have permission to hunt or make sure hunting is allowed before accessing private lands.

In addition, industrial forestland owners will usually have information regarding access to their property posted on their gates and usually have a “hotline” devoted to providing up-to-date access for hunters.

Cow Elk

I got a cow elk with my youth hunt.
-Photo by Jacob Lehrback-

BIG GAME

CONTROLLED YOUTH ANTLERLESS ELK (limited entry) hunt continues thru end of year as part of a program to encourage youth participation in big game hunting. Youths must be accompanied by an adult at least 21 years of age. Youth hunters are required to wear a hunter (fluorescent) orange exterior garment or hat when hunting game mammals or upland game birds (except turkey) with any firearm. Hunters that did not purchase their tag before the hunt began can still purchase a tag from some ODFW offices provided they sign an avadavat and pay the after-the-deadline fee. Please review the 2016 Big Game Hunting Regulations before your hunting trip to ensure that you are familiar with all of the requirements.

PLEASE REPORT OBSERVATIONS OF ELK WITH HOOF DISEASE

Please use the online form below to report observations of live elk, hunter-harvested or dead elk showing signs of elk hoof disease that may include lame or limping elk or elk with damaged, injured, missing or deformed hooves. If you harvest an elk or locate a dead animal with suspected hoof disease, please take the following steps:

  • Remove and save all four hooves in a plastic bag and place in a cool area (i.e Cooler with ice) for further evaluation by ODFW
  • Collect GPS locations
  • Take digital photos of affected hooves
  • Contact ODFW at the toll-free wildlife health lab at 866-968-2600 or email Veterinarians at Wildlife.Health@state.or.us.
  • Report your observation by filling out online form

GENERAL ARCHERY DEER late season opens Nov. 19 – Dec. 11 in some northwest units. Please refer to the 2016 Big Game Hunting Regulations as not all units are open and bag limits vary by unit. Black-tailed deer are currently heavy in the rut. Bucks are either with does or they are looking for a receptive doe. Rattling and grunting can be effective this time of year. Bucks looking for does tend to travel ridge tops and saddles trying to catch the scent of a doe. Hunters may want to still hunt or hunt from a tree stand in these areas. Please review the 2016 Big Game Hunting Regulations before your hunting trip to ensure that you are familiar with all of the requirements.

CONTROLLED ANTLERLESS DEER hunts are currently open for those hunters that have drawn controlled tags. Hunters that did not purchase their tag before the hunt began can still purchase a tag from some ODFW offices provided they sign an avadavat and pay the after-the-deadline fee. Please review the 2016 Big Game Hunting Regulations before your hunting trip to ensure the dates of the hunt you drew and to ensure that you are familiar with all of the requirements.

RETURN BLACK-TAILED DEER TEETH!

Successful black-tailed deer hunters are asked to return a tooth from their deer. See how to properly remove black-tailed deer teeth. Postage-paid envelopes are available at license sales agents or ODFW offices. If you can’t pick up an envelope, send the tooth to ODFW, Wildlife Population Laboratory, 7118 NE Vandenberg Ave, Adair Village, OR 97330. Include the following information with the tooth: Your name and address, sex and species of animal (e.g. buck deer), antler points, hunter ID#, date harvested, Wildlife Management Unit or Hunt where harvested, drainage or landmark. ODFW staff use the teeth to determine the age of the animals, which is needed for population modeling and management efforts. Hunters will receive an age card in the mail telling them how old the harvested animal was. Age cards may take up to 12 months to receive.

Voluntary Hunter CWD Samples Wanted!

Hunters are encouraged to voluntarily bring the heads from any harvested deer or elk into the ODFW offices in Clackamas or Sauvie Island so that samples can be taken for ongoing Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) monitoring. Call ahead to ensure someone will be around to collect the sample or to make an appointment for another day.

COUGAR season is open. A productive hunting technique is to use predator calls to mimic a distressed prey species. Approaching cougars can be difficult to see when you are predator calling so hunting with a partner is advised. Most deer and elk have moved out of their wintering areas and cougars will spend more time moving around their territories looking for prey so hunters need to be mobile.

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. Cougar hunters are reminded that it is required to submit the reproductive tract of any female cougar taken.The reproductive tract provides valuable information on the number and frequency of kittens born annually in Oregon and is a critical part of ODFW’s cougar population models. As other big game seasons are starting this fall be sure to have a cougar tag with you while in the field to avoid missed opportunities. Please review the 2016 Big Game Hunting Regulations before your hunting trip to ensure that you are familiar with all of the requirements.

See 2016 Cougar Regulations for details

GENERAL FALL BLACK BEAR season is open until Dec. 31. Most of the wild berry crops are disappearing for the year which makes it increasingly difficult for hunters to target bears. Hunters targeting bears will want to look for abandoned homesteads with old fruit trees remaining or look for nut producing trees such as oak. Many of the bears taken during the remainder of the season will be found incidentally by hunters targeting deer or elk.

Successful bear hunters will need to check-in any bear taken at an ODFW office within 10 days of harvest. 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 bear checked-in. Be sure to bring in the skull (The skull must be unfrozen) without the hide, the spring bear tag, and harvest location information. Biologists recommend propping the bear’s mouth open with a stick after harvest; it makes for easier tooth collection. Bear hunters are reminded that it is helpful to submit the reproductive tract of any female bear taken. The reproductive tract provides valuable information on the number and frequency of cubs born annually in Oregon and is a critical part of ODFW’s black bear population models. As other big game seasons are starting this fall be sure to have a fall bear tag with you while in the field to avoid missed opportunities. Please review the 2016 Big Game Hunting Regulations before your hunting trip to ensure that you are familiar with all of the requirements.

COYOTES 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. Use predator calls to lure coyotes in close can be an effective method for harvesting coyotes. Try calling in the early morning or late afternoon when temperatures are cool. Hunters need a valid hunting license to hunt coyotes on public property.

Canada Goose
Canada Goose
- Photo by Kathy Munsel, ODFW-

GAME BIRD

GOOSE season opens Nov. 19 – Jan. 9, 2017 in the Northwest Permit Zone. Goose numbers continue to increase and hunters should find good hunting opportunities in the northwestern portion of the state. Hunters who have scouted out fields with actively feeding geese will experience the best success. Goose hunters are still required to pass the Northwest Oregon Goose Identification Test to hunt. Please review the information provided in the 2016-2017 Oregon Game Bird Regulations for more details on the major changes to goose hunting regulations in Northwest Oregon.

  • The season for Dusky Canada geese has been closed. It is a wildlife violation to shoot a Dusky Canada goose.
  • There is no quota for Dusky Canada geese, since no harvest is allowed.
  • There are no longer goose check stations.
  • Northwest Oregon Goose Permits are still required but harvest cards are not required.
  • The former Northwest General Goose Zone has been combined with the Northwest Permit Zone.
  • Legal shooting hours for geese in the Northwest Permit Zone is listed on page 23 of the 2016-2017 Oregon Game Bird Regulations.
  • All days of the week (during the open NW Permit season) are open to goose hunting.
  • Geese must be intact and fully feathered in the field and while in transit to the place of permanent residence of the possessor.

DUCK and GOOSE seasons are open; see regs. Rainy, windy weather is the best time to. Remember that the head or one fully feathered wing must be left attached to all game birds in the field or while in transit to the place of permanent residence of the possessor. Please review the 2016-2017 Oregon Game Bird Regulations for more information including legal shooting hours.

FOREST GROUSE and QUAIL seasons continue in Western Oregon. The forest grouse group collectively includes the Ruffed and Blue (dusky/sooty) grouse species. Look for grouse along the edges of timber patches during morning and evening times. Hunters will want to target hardwood riparian areas for ruffed grouse and mature timber areas or ridge tops for blue grouse. Remember that the head or one fully feathered wing must be left attached to all game birds in the field or while in transit to the place of permanent residence of the possessor. Review the information provided in the 2016-17 Oregon Game Bird Regulations for more details.

YOUR PARTICIPATION IS GREATLY NEEDED!

ODFW would appreciate your help in obtaining important information about the health of grouse and mountain quail populations. Hunters can help by donating a wing and tail from harvested grouse and mountain quail. Grouse and mountain quail wings and tails provide ODFW biologist important information about the health of populations. What to do; remove one entire wing and whole tail including small feathers, place in paper collecting bag provided at ODFW officers or use your own (1 bird per bag), mark the bag with species, date harvested, county of harvest and general location, and drop it off at local ODFW offices or at designated collection sites in wing collection barrels. Be on the lookout for these statewide wing collection barrels this fall. If there is a delay in dropping off your specimen, please freeze it.

Turkey hunting continues thru Dec. 31. Finding a place to hunt is challenging in Northwest Oregon. Most turkeys are found on private lands and access is limited. Turkeys are primarily found on private lands in Yamhill County and are not readily available to the public. Those hunters without local contacts should be out talking to landowners to acquire access to the few and widely scattered flocks. Some hunters knock on landowners’ doors where they see turkeys and ask permission to hunt. Remember you must ask permission to hunt on private land and build good relationships with landowners if you expect to come back and hunt next year. To find public land opportunities, consult Bureau of Land Management (BLM) or U.S. Forest Service maps and look for pockets of public land off the main roads, but adjacent to agricultural land and mixed hardwood forests since turkeys key in on acorns, but also feed in meadows on grubs and other insects. Pay special attention to river bottoms in these areas too. At this time of year, turkeys are found at lower elevations in areas with mixed hardwoods (such as oak savannah) and pasture—the type of habitat found mostly on private lands, although some BLM and Forest Service lands feature this habitat.

FIELD CARE OF HARVESTED WILDLIFE

The proper handling of harvested wildlife is the most important criteria to ensure its value as table fare. After properly tagging the animal, the hunter should remove the entrails and get the hide off to start the cool-down process. Wipe down the carcass with a dry cloth to remove any foreign material and keep the carcass sanitary by placing it into a clean dry cloth game bag.

BE PREPARED

Hunters who drew a controlled tag in the controlled draw applications are reminded to purchase it no later than the day before the hunt begins.

Don’t forget to report your hunt results. Anyone who purchases a big game or turkey tag must report hunt results online or by phone. Reporting is required even if you did not fill your tag or go hunting. More information

Hunters are reminded to be prepared for emergencies by keeping survival equipment such as food, water, signal mirror, whistle, sleeping bag and first aid kit with you and in your vehicle during your outdoor adventures. Don’t forget to wear the proper clothing; it is your first defense against the elements. Let someone know where you will be and when you expect to return just in case your vehicle becomes stuck or breaks down.

Hunters should be preparing now for upcoming rifle big game hunting seasons this fall. Sight-in and practice with your firearms to ensure that when you do get the chance to harvest an animal you are confident in your shooting skills. Many of the local gun ranges will have public sight-in days where you can practice your shooting. Local sight-in day

Be safe, be responsible and be legal.

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 Willamette Zone Wildlife Viewing

EVENTS

Dec. 3 – Brown’s Ferry Park Nature Walk, 9-11 a.m. Join Sarah Swanson, Max Smith and the Audubon Society of Portland on this walk to look for waterbirds, woodpeckers, and songbirds in this compact Clackamas County park. From I-5, take Exit 289, follow SW Nyberg St. east and turn left onto SW Nyberg Lane. The parking area will be on your left at 5855 SE Nyberg Lane, Tualatin, OR 97062.

Dec. 8 -- Dawson Creek Park Bird Walk, 9-11 a.m. Join Richard Arnold and the Audubon Society of Portland for a walk through Dawson Creek Park. This is an excellent time to see acorn woodpeckers on the back side of the park, as well as wood ducks, common mergansers and other ducks up close. Meet at the north end of the parking lot of the main Hillsboro Library at 2850 NE Brookwood Parkway. Hillsboro. For more information, contact Richard Arnold, 503-746-4640.

Portland/Willamette Valley Area

Canada Geese

Canada Geese
- Photo by Dave Budeau -

The Willamette Valley is a significant wintering area for bald eagles, other birds of prey and waterfowl, and fortunately, there are many nice places to see some impressive examples of these species, starting with national wildlife refuges, managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service:

Ankeny National Wildlife Refuge, located at the confluence of the Santiam and Willamette rivers about 12 miles southeast of Salem. This refuge provides winter habitat for the dusky Canada goose and many other species of migratory waterfowl, shorebirds, wading birds, passerines and raptors. Extensive croplands are managed to provide winter forage for the geese, which reduces depredation of surrounding private fields. Wetlands and riparian woodland provide sanctuary for migratory and resident wildlife from the tiny Pacific chorus from to the black-tailed deer.
Located just off of Interstate 5, the refuge offers convenient access to miles of boardwalk and dirt trails as well as handicap and stroller accessible viewing platforms. Refuge kiosks and trails provide an interpretive and informative experience for visitors along the way to learn more about the refuge habitats and how they are maintained for wildlife. 

Nature photographers are welcome to use of these observation blinds and trails, and the refuge offers photographers access to a refuge photography blind that overlooks Frog Pond. The photography blind is available for reservation during the winter sanctuary season. Refuge boardwalks and kiosks are open year-round, but all other trails are closed Oct. 1-March 31 to provide sanctuary for wintering dusky Canada geese and other waterfowl.

William L. Finley National Wildlife Refuge – The 5,325 acres of William L. Finley NWR protect fine examples of many of the Willamette Valley’s historic habitats. Fields of wildlife food crops are interspersed with Oregon white oak savanna, meandering creeks with bottomland Oregon ash forest, mature big-leaf maple in mixed coniferous forest and native prairie.

With the depleting number of wetland habitats elsewhere in the Willamette Valley, William L. Finley NWR is a great way to see what the valley once looked like. The wetlands on the refuge provide a sanctuary for wintering waterfowl, wading birds and shorebirds. Bird species present this time of year include Canada geese, mallard, Northern pintail, great herons, and bald eagles. Wildlife species include red-legged frogs, Pacific tree frogs, beaver and Roosevelt elk. Trails, observation blinds and kiosks on the refuge allow excellent vantage points to see and photograph these wildlife.

Baskett Slough National Wildlife Refugenear Dallas, Ore., provides habitat for a wide variety of wildlife and plants. Populations of several endangered and threatened animal and plant species can be found on the refuge, and wildlife/wildlands observation, photography, hiking, and environmental education and interpretation are some of the visitor activities allowed on the refuge.

It’s now Winter Sanctuary Season on the refuge, and many areas are closed to allow wintering geese time alone to replenish the energy required for nesting and migration. A wildlife viewing kiosk is located adjacent to state Hwy. 22, which offers visitors excellent wildlife viewing opportunities and is complete with interpretive panels, a viewing scope, benches, and picnic tables. The kiosk is fully accessible and is open year-round from sunrise to sunset.

Baskett Slough NWR is located 14 miles west of Salem via Hwy. 22.

Other winter wildlife viewing ideas …

Sauvie Island is the place for early waterfowl and shorebird migrations of sandhill cranes, several species of geese, raptors, and songbirds.

In Salem, try the undeveloped areas around the airport, Cascade Gateway Park, McGilchrist Pond, and Minto-Brown Island Park for waterfowl, raptors and wintering songbirds.

Some of the hottest birding near Eugene will be on Spencer and Skinner buttes, Alton Baker Park, Danebo Pond, Mahlon Airport and Fern Ridge Wildlife Area.

Look for red-tailed and rough-legged hawks on fence posts and utility towers along I-5.

Smith and Bybee lakes in north Portland are a good spot to see waterfowl, herons and raptors. Waterfowl can also be seen at Oaks Bottom, Jackson Bottom wildlife areas, and McIver and Molalla River state parks.

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