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Willamette Zone Map

Weekly Recreation Report: Willamette Zone

December 16, 2014

 Willamette Zone Fishing

Coho Salmon
Coho Salmon
-Photo by Derek Wiley, ODFW-

Weekend fishing opportunities:

  • Extra-large rainbow trout brook trout were released this week into Mt. Hood Pond, Canby Pond, Timber Linn Lake, and Waverly Lake. These fish weigh in at 7-15 pounds apiece. Brood trout were also released the past several weeks at Junction City Pond, St. Louis Ponds, Huddleston Pond and Sheridan Pond.

  • Winter steelhead are starting to show up in the Clackamas and Sandy rivers, where fishing conditions are nearing ideal. It’s early for these fish but flows and color are good for those willing to get out and brave the cold weather.

If your favorite fishing spot is no longer listed

It’s probably because that river, lake or reservoir is closed for the season, inaccessible due to snow and bad roads, or offers limited fishing opportunities during the winter months. These water bodies will re-appear in the Recreation Report when they re-open next spring, or when access and/or opportunity improves.

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 was last stocked for the season in early November. Stocking will resume in early February 2015. 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. The Canal is open to angling all year.

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

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

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 RIVER: trout, steelhead

Blue River both above and below Blue River Reservoir is closed to angling until April 25, 2015.

BLUE RIVER RESERVOIR: trout, warmwater species

Blue River Reservoir has been drawn down for winter flood control. 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 fishery is now closed for the year and will re-open on April 25, 2015

Canby Pond
Canby Pond
- Photo by Rick Swart-

CANBY POND: 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 is accessed via FS Road 750 off Hwy 126, about 2 miles south of Clear Lake, and is open to fishing all year. Motor boats are prohibited on Carmen Reservoir.

CLACKAMAS RIVER: summer steelhead, winter steelhead

Early December is typically an in-between time for the Clackamas with summer steelhead and coho fishing considered about over while a few winter steelhead are making it into the river. Fishing effort has been light with an occasional late summer being picked up above Barton and reports of a handful of winters caught, likely below Carver. Water levels are a bit high but the color is great and the river is very fishable. Rainfall is expected to bring flows up for a day or two later this week but it should be looking very good by the weekend.

Tuesday, Dec. 16 hydrological data shows river flows down at 2,310 cfs, a gauge reading of 12.28 ft., and the water temperature at 43.5°. All of the readings come from the Estacada gauge near McIver Park.


Clear Lake is open to fishing all year and was stocked in late August for the last time this season. 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.

COTTAGE GROVE POND: trout, warmwater species

Cottage Grove Pond was last stocked in spring, but trout or bass may 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 wildlife viewing opportunities and is open to angling all year.

COTTAGE GROVE RESERVOIR: trout, warmwater species

Cottage Grove Reservoir was stocked in mid-October with 1,700 fish, including 200 “pounders.” Holdover trout and warmwater species 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

The pond is located in Garden Lake Park on the east side of I-5 in Creswell and is open to fishing all year. 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. Stocking has resumed for the season; 5,000 legal rainbow trout were planted during the week of Sept. 22 and another 7,000 legal-size rainbow trout were stocked Oct. 7. Currently the reservoir is about 95 feet below full pool. The Low Water boat ramp at Mongold State Park is the only boat ramp available at this time. Check with local outfitters in the town of Detroit for fishing conditions.

DORENA RESERVOIR: trout, warmwater

Dorena Reservoir was stocked in mid-October with 1,700 rainbow trout. The reservoir is east of Cottage Grove on Row River Road and is open to angling all year. Trout and warmwater fish are available.

EAGLE CREEK: coho, winter steelhead

The coho fishery on the creek is likely over for this season, although a handful of fish are still holding just below the hatchery. Any coho caught this late will be very dark and likely inedible. It was a banner year for coho on Eagle Creek with over 16,000 fish processed at Eagle Creek Hatchery through Friday, Dec. 5.

The Eagle Creek winter steelhead stock is a later returning fish from what anglers may remember several years ago so it’s a bit early to see any winters coming back in decent numbers yet. As well, the reduced smolt releases in recent years have had an impact on numbers of adult steelhead returning. Reliable reports indicate that a few winters are in the creek and there was some angling effort this past weekend. Conditions on the creek are good with water a nice greenish color and moderate flows.

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.”


Closed to trout fishing until May 23, 2015. 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 is closed to fishing until April 25, 2015. Anglers may continue to enjoy catch-and-release fishing until then below the dam. Fall Creek and Reservoir are northeast of Lowell.


Fall Creek Reservoir is drained to streambed over the winter. Flowing water above the dam is closed to fishing. Fall Creek and Reservoir are northeast of Lowell.

Faraday Lake

Faraday Lake
-Photo by Rick Swart, ODFW


Stocked in October with 3,800 legal- and larger-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 12 feet below full pool at this time, so there are no longer any boat ramps 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 has dropped significantly over the last few weeks.

The only boat ramp available is at Sunnyside County Park. This popular fishing destination has received 10,000 legal rainbow trout this fall. 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.

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. Kokanee fishing is done for the year, but bass and trout are still available. Smallmouth bass can be found near underwater structure and at drop-offs. The reservoir level has dropped 80 ft. below full pool – only Thistle Creek boat ramp is currently available. Storage season begins Dec. 1 after which the water levels will begin to rise.

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

Hagg Lake is closed and will re-open Saturday, March 7.

HILLS CREEK RESERVOIR: trout, warmwater fish

Hills Creek Reservoir is open to fishing all year and was stocked in mid-October with 2,500 legal-sized and 1,200 trophy-sized rainbow trout. 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 to provide a harvest fishery. All non-adipose fin-clipped trout and salmon must be released unharmed.


Hills Creek above Hills Creek Reservoir is closed to all fishing and will re-open April 25, 2015.

HUDDLESTON POND: trout, bluegill

Stocked in November with 60 rainbow trout brood trout, weighing from 7 to 15 pounds. Anglers are reminded that the bag limit on trout over 20 inches is one per day. 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.

JUNCTION CITY POND: trout, crappie

Junction City is a popular stocked trout fishing pond located about 2 miles south of Junction City on 99W on the west side of the highway. There is excellent access around the entire 8-acre pond. It will be stocked this week with 350 “pounders” averaging about 14 inches. There may also be a few large brood trout and steelhead around from previous stockings. As a reminder, zone regulations apply: five trout daily may be kept and only one over 20-inches.


Leaburg Lake is closed to all fishing and will re-open April 25, 2015. Vehicular and pedestrian access across Leaburg Dam is currently restricted weekdays from 8 a.m.-noon and 1-4 p.m. Check EWEB’s website for updates.

McKenzie River
McKenzie River
-ODFW Photo-

MCKENZIE RIVER below Leaburg Lake: trout, salmon, steelhead

MCKENZIE RIVER below Leaburg Lake: trout, salmon, steelhead

The McKenzie River below Leaburg Lake is open to fishing through the end of the year. 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.

MCKENZIE RIVER above Leaburg Lake: trout, steelhead

The McKenzie River above Leaburg Lake is closed to all fishing until April 25, 2015.


The Middle Fork Willamette River above Hills Creek Reservoir is closed to all fishing until April 25, 2015.

MOLALLA RIVER: coho, summer steelhead

The Molalla is running slightly high but with good color and very fishable conditions. There could still be a few coho holding out in deeper pools but quality this late into the season is questionable. The same could be said for any summer steelhead that made their way into the river earlier this summer. Winter steelhead passage at Willamette Falls is just getting started so very few winters will likely be found in the river.

MT HOOD POND: trout, crappie, bluegill

Stocked Dec. 15 with 95 extra-large rainbow brood trout. This is a 5-acre pond on the campus of Mt. Hood Community College in Gresham. Angling is restricted to youths age 17 and under and holders of ODFW's Disabled Anglers permits from April 1 - Aug. 31.


This fishery is closed until May 23, 2015.


Quartzville Creek
Quartzville Creek
-Photo by Rick Swart, ODFW-

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.


This fishery is closed until April 25, 2015.


Salmon Creek is a tributary to the Middle Fork Willamette River east of Oakridge and is currently open to catch-and-release angling only while using flies or lures.


Salt Creek is a tributary to the Middle Fork Willamette River east of Oakridge and is currently open to catch-and-release angling only while using flies or lures.

SANDY RIVER: coho, summer steelhead, winter steelhead

The Sandy is in great fishing condition and should remain that way after a slight bump in flows around mid-week. The forecast shows some decent rainfall Tuesday and Wednesday but the river should be looking good later into the week and weekend. This time of year the Sandy starts to see a lull in fishing opportunity as the coho and summer steelhead fisheries come to a close. There’s maybe a few coho lingering around but these fish are likely to be dark and suspect as far as food quality is concerned. It’s still possible to hook into a summer steelhead but it’s getting late for them also and quantity and quality again come into play.

Although it’s probably happened, there haven’t been any confirmed reports of winter steelhead landed on the Sandy yet. The Sandy River winter steelhead are a later returning fish in recent years due to the broodstock fishery management program. This fishery doesn’t usually get cranked up until after the first of the year, but there could be a few early returners looking to get hooked.

The Oxbow to Dabney drift remains a good bet by drift boat. If you’re bank fishing, try Oxbow Park, Dodge Park, and the confluence of the Sandy and Cedar Creek below the Sandy hatchery. Be very cautious if you decide to ford the river – PFDs, good footwear, and walking sticks are always a good idea, especially during periods of higher flows we can expect over the next several months.

Hydrological data for the Sandy River on Dec. 16 shows flows down from last week at 2,020 cfs, a gauge reading of 9.59 ft. and the water temperature holding at 44°.

SANTIAM RIVER (NORTH FORK): steelhead, Chinook

Fish can be found throughout the river, but are more concentrated in the upper sections (Mehama to Packsaddle). Counts at Willamette Falls as of Dec. 7 show around 22,900 summer steelhead and over 21,400 coho had entered the upper basin. Of those, around 4,263 steelhead and 1,009 coho made it above Stayton on the North Santiam through Nov. 30.

The coho salmon run has slowed to a crawl and most fish are going to be pretty dark by mid-December. The next fish to arrive in the will be winter steelhead. So far fewer than 200 have passed above Willamette Falls, but those numbers will start to rise over the next few weeks and months. Summer steelhead are still available to the hardy angler, primarily above Stayton. 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 adipose fin-clipped steelhead. Trout fishing is closed until May 23, 2015. River levels best for fishing are below 3,000 cfs at the Mehama gauge (currently the gauge is around 4,360 cfs. Current conditions

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 gate at Green’s Bridge near Jefferson has been opened and will remain open until the next seasonal closure in June 2015.

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


This section of the river is closed to trout fishing until April 25, 2015. This section of river is closed to salmon fishing.

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

Flows in the South Santiam below Foster dam are at 3,150 cfs as of Dec. 15. Summer steelhead can be found primarily in the upper river. Below Lebanon, however, there are still a few fresh coho salmon moving in and fishing for these wild fish can be very good. 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. There are still quite a few summer steelhead in the upper reaches. Closed to trout fishing until May 23, 2015.


Stocked in November with 60 rainbow trout nbrood trout ranging from 7 to 15 pounds apiece. 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.


This is a 65-acre reservoir on Silver Creek 2.5 miles south of Silverton on Hwy. 214.


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. Native fish are available for harvest.


This fishery is closed until May 23, 2015.

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

Stocked in November with 90 brood trout weighing 10-plus pounds each. The fish were released in Pond #6. Anglers are reminded the gate to the park is closed for the season but the site is still open to fishing for those who are willing to hike in. Hikers are encouraged to follow the road from the gate to the main parking lot to avoid areas that may be inundated with water following cross-country paths.

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.

TIMBER LINN POND: rainbow trout

This beautiful, family-friendly fishing pond is located within the 90-acre Timber-Linn Memorial Park in Albany. It will be stocked this week with 80 brood rainbow trout between 5-15 lbs each. 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, brook trout, cutthroat trout, kokanee

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 mph 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 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. Flies and lures only may be used.
Trillium Lake

Trillium Lake
-Photo by Rick Swart, ODFW


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.

WALLING POND: trout, crappie, bass

Another batch of brood trout has become available and 110 have been designated for this pond. These very large 8 to 12-pound rainbow trout were stocked last week, in addition to 400 legal and 50 larger size trout. As a reminder, zone regulations apply: five trout daily may be kept and only one may be over 20 inches. This is an 8-acre privately owned pond located in Salem at the northeast corner of McGilchrist and 16th Streets, S.E.

WALTER WIRTH LAKE: trout, crappie, bass

This popular Salem lake in Cascade Gateway Park receives thousands of hatchery trout annually. It was stocked last week with 1,300 legal and 100 larger size rainbow trout. In addition, 110 brood trout averaging between 8-12 pounds were stocked as well. As a reminder, only one fish over 20-inches may be kept. Walter Wirth is a 20-acre lake located within the City of Salem’s Cascades Gateway Park.

WAVERLY POND: trout, bluegill, catfish

Waverly Pond is located in Albany and is regularly stocked in fall, winter and spring. It will be stocked this week with 80 extra-large brood rainbow trout averaging between 5-15 pounds each. Please keep in mind that only one fish over 20-inches may be taken per day. 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.

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: sturgeon, coho, winter steelhead

For anglers interested in sturgeon fishing, the “catch-and-release” sturgeon fishery has been very good with the St. Johns area and Milwaukie putting out fish.

Passage numbers at Willamette Falls are slowing down for coho with just 14 fish passing during the month of December while counts are just getting started for winter steelhead, with 149 crossings through Dec. 15.

Hydrological numbers for the Willamette on December 16 show flows down at 27,400 cfs, a water temperature in Oregon City of 48°, and visibility at 1.5 ft.

Back to the top

  Willamette Zone Hunting


See the bird and big game hunting forecasts.

See ODF’s webpage for the latest on restrictions (click Landowner/Corporate Closure Chart for private land closures)


See ODFW’s calendar and sign up now for upcoming Learn to Hunt events including several in January in Tualatin:

Waterfowl Hunting 101, Dec. 14, Cabela’s Tualatin, 9 a.m. - 1 p.m.
Waterfowl Hunting 101, Dec. 27, Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge, 11 a.m. - 5 p.m.

The Introduction to Hunting in Oregon series will include five classes and focus on opportunities within a 50-mile-radius of Portland. Sign up for one class or all five.

Getting Started Hunting in the Portland Area, Jan. 3, Cabela’s Tualatin, 2 – 4 p.m.
Navigating the Controlled Hunt Process, Jan. 10, Cabela’s Tualatin, 2 – 4 p.m.
Finding and Evaluating Places to Hunt, Jan. 17, Cabela’s Tualatin, 2 - 5 p.m.
Gearing Up for Big Game Hunting, Jan. 24, Cabela’s Tualatin, 2 – 4 p.m.
Field Dressing, Jan. 31, Cabela’s Tualatin, 2 - 6 p.m.

Jennifer Osgood

Jennifer Osgood with her 1st buck.
– Photo by Jennifer Osgoodr–

Hunter orange required for youth

Don’t forget: hunters age 17 and under must wear a fluorescent orange upper garment OR hat when hunting upland game birds (except turkey) and game mammals (deer, elk, bear, cougar, pronghorn, goat, sheep, and western gray squirrel) with a firearm.

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. In addition, many private timberlands use the following link to provide information regarding the access policy for their private lands. Hunters need to have permission to hunt or make sure hunting is allowed before accessing private lands.


Quail, Mountain / California – Open season from Sept. 1 to Jan 31. Mountain quail can be found scattered through brushy clearcuts in the coast range. These brush loving birds are often found running between hiding and feeding areas in both brushland and riparian zones. While the use of dogs will improve your chances of locating and quickly recovering birds, hunters without dogs can easily get into the action with a little extra hiking. California quail are typically located in lower elevation agricultural fields and clear cuts that provide both cover and food sources. Please respect private landowners and ask for permission before entering their lands to hunt. Please remember that the daily bag limit is 10 birds singly or in aggregate when both California and mt. quail seasons are concurrent and the possession limit is 30 birds singly or in aggregate when both California and mt. quail seasons are concurrent.

Remember that wildlife laws state that the feathered head must be left attached while you are in the field or transporting the bird(s) home.

ODFW is conducting a survey to determine Mountain Quail locations east of the Cascade Mountains in Oregon. Please report and observations, including the date, specific location, county of observation, and number of quail to your local ODFW office.

Forest Grouse – Open season Sept. 1 - Jan 31. The forest grouse group collectively includes the Ruffed and Blue (dusky/sooty) grouse species. Forest grouse hunting success has slowed as rainy and stormy weather conditions persist. Look for grouse along the edges of timber patches and riparian areas during morning and evening times. Blue grouse will begin to move towards higher elevation timber stands to winter so hunters shouldn’t overlook those habitats. Hunters are reporting good numbers of Blue and Ruffed grouse in the Mt. Hood National Forest. Remember that the daily bag limit is 3 of each species and possession limit is 9 of each species.

Remember that wildlife laws state that the feathered head must be left attached while you are in the field or transporting the bird(s) home.

Your participation is greatly needed

Duck Hunting
Toby the yellow lab shows off his work
-Photo by Troy Rodakowski-

ODFW would appreciate your help in obtaining important information about the health of populations grouse and mountain quail populations. To do so we would like the tail and one whole wing off of any grouse or mountain quail you harvest. Look in the 2014/15 Oregon Game Bird Regulations for specific instructions for removing wings/tails and sending them in.

Migratory Birds

Waterfowl seasons are open; see regs for specific dates. Duck hunters did well during the recent cold weather period but success has slowed since then. While birds continue to move into ponds, lakes, sloughs and fields to feed in the early morning hours, some hunters are reporting better success in the afternoon. Cold and stormy weather is needed to move new birds into the area.

Goose hunting reopened for the second period in both the Northwest General Zone and Northwest Permit Zone on November 15 and will close on January 10, 2015. Reports suggest average hunting conditions and success this season. Hunters are reminded that a NW Goose Permit is required to hunt either of these zones.

Please refer to pages 16 – 19 of the 2014-2015 Oregon Game Bird Regulations for bag limit, open area, and other restrictions. Remember to obtain permission before hunting on private lands.

Big Game

Late season Archery Deer is now closed.

Cougar season is open in all zones beginning on Jan. 1, 2014. Biologists are checking in a few cougars harvested by hunters participating in other big game seasons. Hunters that specifically target cougar are still waiting for snow which will help them locate cougar and improve their chance for success. Until the snows arrive, hunters can use predator calls that mimic an animal in distress to draw cougar into the open. Approaching cougar can be difficult to see when you are predator calling so hunting with a partner is advised. 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 is open but success has dropped significantly and few bears are being checked in at ODFW offices. Many of the berry food sources are gone for the season. Bears are looking for those last few meals before winter arrives so hunters need to locate food sources, such as nuts, apples and pears that remain. Abandoned orchards or old homesteads can be productive this time of year. Bears will be feeding primarily in the early morning hours so hunters will need to be up and on stands before daylight. Please present the unfrozen skull (no hide attached) so that biologists can properly affix a seal. While hunters are NOT required to submit the reproductive track of female bear, the voluntary information is valuable for population modeling.

Isabella's Turkey

Turkey Hunting
- Photo by ODFW-

Fall turkey hunting prospects in the northern Willamette Valley will be similar to last year. Turkeys are primarily found on private lands in Yamhill County and are not readily available to the public. Hunters with access to private lands should have moderate to high success rates. In the southern Willamette district, hunting success is dependent on access to private lands with turkeys and early scouting. Turkeys are most often found on private lands in the foothills along the west side of these units. It is uncommon to find turkeys in the Douglas fir forests at higher elevations.

Hunting can be very good in the McKenzie and southern portions of the Santiam Units for hunters that have done their homework and obtained access to private lands. Turkey are not abundant in the northern portions (north of Silverton) of the Santiam Unit and hunters will have difficulty finding the few scattered flocks.

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 clean by placing it into a cloth game bag.

Warm weather conditions (greater than 50 degrees) can increase bacteria loads so hunters need to get the carcass cooled/refrigerated as soon as possible. Never place the carcass inside of a plastic bag, tarp or in water since wet or damp meat spoils more quickly. Talk to your local meat processor or butcher to get additional information concerning the proper care of wildlife or go online to find websites that cover this topic.

FURBEARER trapping and hunting season for bobcat opened Dec. 1. Gray fox, red fox, muskrat, mink, raccoon and river otter are currently open. Trappers and hunters are reminded that all bobcat and river otter pelts need to be checked-in at an ODFW office within five (5) business days after the season ends to obtain an ownership tag. The lower jawbone, including both canine teeth, must be surrendered to ODFW and information on sex, date of catch, and county of harvest must accompany each individual bobcat or river otter to qualify for an ownership tag. A record card with required species, sex, date of possession and county must be presented to obtain an ownership tag. See page 5 of the Oregon Furbearer Trapping and Hunting Regulations (July 1, 2014 through June 30, 2016).
Trappers are reminded that waters within the exterior boundaries of the Mt. Hood National Forest are closed to beaver trapping (see page 4 of the Oregon Furbearer Trapping and Hunting Regulations).

Fern Ridge Wildlife Area

Access regulations for five units at Fern Ridge Wildlife Area change concurrent with hunt season dates. Visitors are advised to carefully read posted signs and consult game bird regulations before entering the wildlife area. The Fisher Butte and Royal Amazon units are open to hunting 7-days/week during duck season with hunting ending at 1:00 PM each day. These units are closed to all public use at 2:00 PM each day to provide wildlife sanctuary. Trails to and from designated viewing platforms remain open year- round. The Kirk Park unit remains open to public use daily year-round, however during duck season, hunting is only authorized on Saturdays, Sundays, Wednesdays, and holidays. Free daily hunt permits are required for hunting in these five units. The permits are available on-site at area parking lots.

All other units at Fern Ridge lake and wildlife area are open to hunting daily according to authorized seasons and posted access restrictions (for example hunting is not allowed in designated park areas or administrative areas near Fern Ridge dam).

Hunters are reminded that the entire Fern Ridge area is closed to goose hunting during the general season and NW Oregon Goose Permit Zone hunts. All hunters should pack out all litter, including spent shotgun shell casings. We appreciate your effort to keep the area clean and presentable for all visitors.

Parking areas are located along Royal Avenue, Highway 126, Nielson Road, Cantrell Road, Territorial Highway, and Clear Lake Road. A state Wildlife Area Parking Permit is now required to park in any ODFW parking lot. 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.

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 Willamette Zone Viewing

American Kestral
American Kestrel
-Photo by Maxine Wyatt-

Be on the lookout for birds of prey

Look for birds of prey on your next road trip. When the weather turns foggy, several raptors including eagles, hawks and falcons leave the tops of trees and look closer to the ground for their next meal. They can be easily seen along highways as they perch on the tops of road signs and power lines watching for mice and other rodents in ditches and empty fields.

Fern Ridge Wildlife Area

Access regulations for five units at Fern Ridge Wildlife Area change concurrent with hunt season dates. Visitors are advised to carefully read posted signs and consult game bird regulations before entering the wildlife area. The Fisher Butte and Royal Amazon units are open to hunting seven days/week during duck season with hunting ending at 1 p.m. each day. These units are closed to all public use at 2 p.m. each day to provide wildlife sanctuary.

Trails to and from designated viewing platforms remain open year-round. The Kirk Park unit remains open to public use daily year-round, however during duck season, hunting is only authorized on Saturdays, Sundays, Wednesdays, and holidays.

Parking areas are located along Royal Avenue, Highway 126, Nielson Road, Cantrell Road, Territorial Highway, and Clear Lake Road. A state Wildlife Area Parking Permit is now required to park in any ODFW parking lot. 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.

Eugene Area

Delta Ponds

There are many different types of waterfowl and raptors currently using the area. With the higher water and earlier dusk, now is a good time to see beaver and muskrat. Best viewing times are around 4:30 p.m.

When viewing wildlife, please remember to be respectful and try not to disturb the animals’ natural behaviors. Sometimes, the best way to view animals is from inside your vehicle as to not frighten the birds/animals away.

More information on the Delta Ponds

Forest Grove Area 

Fernhill Wetlands

Fernhill Wetlands is 243 acres of wetland and moist soil habitats. From November through March, thousands of waterfowl can be seen daily. Currently, the resident American bald eagles can be seen in the tops of cottonwoods.

Portland Area

Smith and Bybee Lakes Wildlife Area

The Smith and Bybee Lakes Wildlife Area is one of the nation's largest urban freshwater wetlands. Located near the confluence of the Columbia and Willamette Rivers, the lakes function as a flood absorption system for the lower Columbia River. Hidden within an industrial area and just minutes from downtown Portland, the wetlands provide for diverse communities of plant and animal life. Numerous local schools use Smith and Bybee Lakes for a variety of outdoor education programs.

A printable wildlife checklist

-Oregon Fish and Wildlife-

Mt. Talbert Nature Park

The nature park includes the top of the former lava dome as well as the west facing slopes visible to the tens of thousands of people that travel I-205 every day or shop at the Clackamas Town Center. The park offers miles of new hiking trails, information about the cultural and natural resources found there and greater access to nature close to home.

A series of interpretive signs along the trails provide visitors information about the plants and animals that can be seen – and heard – at the nature park. Residents and visitors to Mount Talbert include deer, coyotes, raccoons, Western gray squirrel, rubber boa, pileated and hairy woodpeckers, white-breasted nuthatch, Western tanager and many more.

The park is just east of I-205 and south of Sunnyside Road. From Southeast Sunnybrook Boulevard turn south on 97th Avenue and follow until it becomes Mather Road. The park entrance is on the left off of Mather Road.

Sauvie Island Wildlife Area

The Sauvie Island Wildlife Area Eastside units and Westside, Oak Island and North are now closed and will remain so through April 30. The trail to Warrior Rock Lighthouse will remain open for hiking and Rentenaar Road, Eastside Viewing Platform and Coon Point will remain open for viewing. All areas require a Sauvie Island Wildlife Area Parking Permit.

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 and the thousands of birds that stay to spend the winter on the wildlife area. 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.

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, at the Sauvie Island ODFW office, Monday through Friday during office hours or online. For more information, call (503) 621-3488.

Directions to Sauvie Island Wildlife Area

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