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

Weekly Recreation Report: Willamette Zone

February 2, 2016

 Willamette Zone Fishing

rainbow trout
Katherine's first Trophy Trout in Grandpa's boat. -Photo by -Nathan Jones-

Weekend fishing opportunities

  • Brood trout were released this week at three Willamette Valley locations. Henry Hagg Lake received 100 of the big ones – weighing in at 8 to 12 pounds apiece. EE Wilson Pond near Corvallis received 250 two-pound trout as tit Timber Linn Lake in Albany. Trout stocking is now in full swing around the valley, with Huddleston, Alton Baker Canal, Dexter Reservoir, Hills Creek Reservoir, Junction City Pond, Row River Nature Park, Sunnyside Park, and Walling Pond also getting fish.
  • Winter steelhead fishing is off to a good start with nice early returns of hatchery fish. Fish are in the streams while anglers and keeping an eye on conditions for the right mix of stream color, temperature, and flow. The next month is the peak of the winter steelhead season so now’s the time to get out and get after them.
  • Regulation changes for 2016 will allow year-round trout fishing on the Blue River, Breitenbush River, Quartzville Creek, Yamhill River, and North Fork Santiam above Detroit Reservoir. Check the new 2016 regulations booklet to see how your fishing area is affected.
  • Henry Hagg Lake is now open year-round and will now be stocked in the winter, with the first stocking scheduled for the week of Jan. 25. Hagg Lake is a premium fishery located near Forest Grove. In addition to resident populations of bass, yellow perch, crappie, bluegill, and brown bullhead, this lake is stocked with trout, including large rainbow trout brood trout released this week.

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. 

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.

North Willamette High Lakes Stocking |Mid-Willamette High Lakes Stocking |South Willamette High Lakes Stocking

Check out the new 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 the new 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

Alton Baker Canoe Canal releases will resume the week of Feb. 8.

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

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.
rainbow trout
Rainbow Trout
- Photo by Kevin Clawson-

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

This is a 64-acre lake located in Blue Lake Park three miles west of Troutdale. This family-friendly park with picnic areas, restrooms, walking trail, and ramp for small boats. Park is maintained by Multnomah County.

BLUE RIVER: trout, steelhead

Blue River is open to fishing using lures and artificial flies as of Jan. 1. Two wild trout may be harvested per day above Blue River Reservoir only. Note that tributaries to Blue River will open to angling May 22.

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 is operated for flood control during the winter months. Neither boat ramp is accessible at the current reservoir elevation.

BREITENBUSH RIVER: trout

Regulation changes for 2016 year will allow fishing on this river year-round. Trout stocking will remain the same, with the first release scheduled for some time in May. Anglers may keep up to 5 trout per day. Note that the river is closed to salmon fishing year-round.

CANBY POND: trout, bass, crappie, bluegill

The pond will be stocked this week with 50 rainbow trout weighing an average of two pounds apiece. 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 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 on Carmen Reservoir.

CLACKAMAS RIVER: winter steelhead

Although the river has been running a bit high for most Clackamas angler’s tastes, it is fishable and the bite on winter steelhead has remained good. Effort from both boat and bank anglers has held up well and they’ve being rewarded with some very good catch days. Anglers were reporting the most success from the mouth of Eagle Creek (near Bonnie Lure Park) downstream. Anglers who pay close attention to the river levels between storms will be able to capitalize on a mid-season return of winter steelhead. The weather forecast for later this week calls for light to moderate rainfall with perhaps a slight bump in flows by Thursday or Friday, but nothing to keep folks off the water.

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 Feb. 1st shows river flows holding fairly steady at 4,910 cfs, with a gauge reading of 13.85 feet and the water temperature near 41°. All of the readings come from the Estacada gauge near Milo McIver State Park.

CLEAR LAKE: trout

Clear Lake is open to fishing all year. The lake is accessed from Hwy. 126 approximately 70 miles east of Springfield.

COAST FORK WILLAMETTE RIVER: trout

The Coast Fork Willamette River is open to angling using lures and artificial flies only. Two wild trout may be kept daily (8” minimum length).

Commonwealth Lake
Commonwealth Lake
-Photo by Rick Swart, ODFW

COMMONWEALTH LAKE: trout, bass, bluegill, crappie

This is a three-acre lake within the Commonwealth Lake Park in Beaverton, the park is maintained by Tualatin Hills Park and Rec. Amenities include ADA accessible trail, picnic tables, playground and restrooms.

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. This pond also offers wildlife viewing opportunities. Stocking will resume in mid-February (listed as Row River Nature Park on stocking schedule).

COTTAGE GROVE RESERVOIR: trout, warmwater species

Cottage Grove Reservoir is south of Cottage Grove and is open to fishing all year. Only Lakeside Park boat ramp is accessible at current levels. The reservoir will be stocked in early March.

CRESWELL POND (GARDEN LAKE): trout, warmwater species

Garden Lake (Creswell 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. Stocking will resume the week of Feb. 8.

DETROIT RESERVOIR: trout, kokanee

This reservoir receives over 100,000 trout throughout the year. There are plenty of trout available, especially near submerged tree stumps and ledges. Check with local outfitters in the town of Detroit for fishing conditions.

Water storage season has begun which means we might start to see reservoir levels increase over the next few weeks. Mongold boat ramp is currently still usable. Stocking will continue again starting in spring of 2016.

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. Largemouth bass and some smallmouth are 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. Baker Bay boat ramp is accessible at the current reservoir level. Stocking will resume in early-mid March.

DORMAN POND: trout

Stocked with rainbow trout in the spring. This is an eight-acre pond west of Forest Grove at the junction of Hwy. 8 and Hwy. 6.

EAGLE CREEK: winter steelhead

Winter steelhead continue to be hooked throughout the creek, with good flows and water color aiding in some pretty decent catch rates seen from the hatchery all the way down to Hwy 224. Eagle Creek National Fish Hatchery has had several hundred fish return so far this winter, a big improvement over what’s been experienced in the past couple of years. Anglers who pay attention to both snow levels and rain amounts will be able to fish Eagle Creek when most other area waters are unfishable.

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.

EE Wilson Pond
EE Wilson Pond
-Photo by Rick Swart, ODFW-
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: \warmwater, 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 open fishery. It was stocked with 1,250 legal size along with 250 two-pound hatchery rainbow trout last week. A Wildlife Area parking permit is required.

A valid wildlife area parking permit is required.

ESTACADA LAKE: trout

Closed to trout fishing on Nov. 1; open to retention of hatchery (adipose fin-clipped) Chinook salmon and hatchery (adipose fin-clipped) steelhead all year.

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: trout

Open all year for trout, with bait allowed April 22 – Oct. 31. Open all year for hatchery Chinook, hatchery steelhead and wild steelhead greater than 24 inches below Fall Creek Dam.

FALL CREEK RESERVOIR: trout

Fall Creek Reservoir was drained to riverbed to aid with salmon outmigration in late 2015. Boat ramps are closed for the season.

FARADAY LAKE: trout

This 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.

The reservoir produces crappie over 12 inches and bass angling has been very good in recent years. Best time of year for crappie is April to June, 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. At the moment, only Sunnyside Park boat ramp is currently available. It was stocked mid-October with 7,000 hatchery trout. 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 and there are no limits on size or number of bass.

From I-5 take US 20 east from Albany to the town of Sweet Home. The reservoir is 3 miles past the town on the left.

FREEWAY LAKE, EAST: bass bluegill crappie

Trout stocking season for this waterbody will begin in late February. 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.
Fishing on the Green Peter Reservour

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

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. Holdover trout and smallmouth bass can be found near tree stumps and near drop-offs in all parts of the reservoir.

Water is being released through the end of January to make room for flood storage. Currently, Thistle Creek boat ramp is available to launch boats.

HALDEMAN POND: trout

This is a stocked 2-acre pond on the Sauvie Island Wildlife Area that offers good bank access. Ideal for kids. A parking permit is required while on the wildlife area. Permits are available from all ODFW license vendors.

HARRIET LAKE: trout

Stocking at Harriet Lake is completed for the year but there may be some holdovers. This is a 23-acre reservoir on the Oak Grove Fork of the Clackamas River in the Mount Hood National Forest. Boat ramp is just past campground.

HARTMAN POND: trout

This is a year-round warmwater and spring trout fishing pond in the Columbia River Gorge. Excellent for non-boating anglers.

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 the week of Jan. 25 with 4,000 legal-sized rainbow trout and 100 brood trout weighing an 8 to 12 pounds apiece. Henry Hagg Lake is now open year-round and is stocked regularly throughout the spring and fall. This is a 1,110-acre lake and premier fishery 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 catchable trout releases, the first of which will take place in late February. Trout and salmon must be adipose-fin clipped to be harvested. Large native trout are available for catch-and-release fishing.

Only Packard Creek Boat Ramp is accessible at the current reservoir level.

HILLS CREEK and Hills Creek Tributaries above HILLS CREEK RESERVOIR: trout

Hills Creek and its tributaries above Hills Creek Reservoir are open to angling using lures and artificial flies . Two wild trout 8” or longer may be kept per day. Hills Creek is not stocked.

HUDDLESTON POND: trout, bass, bluegill

Stocked the week of Jan. 25 with 350 legal-sized rainbow trout. Around the same time, the pond was also stocked with large brood trout that may still be available. As a reminder, only one trout over 20-inches can be kept 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 good habitat for bass and bluegill. It gets stocked with trout in the spring.

The pond 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.

Rainbow Trout
Rainbow Trout
-Washington Fish & Wildlife -

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. It was stocked mid-January with 2,250 legal, 150 larger, and about 350 “pounders”, all hatchery rainbow trout. As a reminder, zone regulations apply: five trout daily may be kept and only one over 20-inches.

LEABURG LAKE: trout

Leaburg Lake is open to angling using lures and artificial flies. Only hatchery fish may be kept. Hatchery trout releases into Leaburg Lake will commence in late April. All wild trout must be released.

Leaburg Dam is scheduled to remain open without restrictions to vehicular and pedestrian traffic until construction work resumes in June 2016.

MCKENZIE RIVER below Leaburg Lake: trout, salmon, steelhead

The McKenzie River below Leaburg Lake is stocked with hatchery trout from the Leaburg Town Landing downstream to Hendricks Bridge from late April through early September. All non-adipose fin-clipped trout must be released unharmed. The river is currently open to angling using lures and artificial flies 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 McKenzie.

Leaburg Dam is scheduled to remain open without restrictions to vehicular and pedestrian traffic until construction work resumes in June 2016.

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 from Forest Glen boat landing, from late April through mid-September.

All non-adipose fin-clipped trout must be released unharmed. The river is currently open to angling using lures and artificial flies only.

MIDDLE FORK WILLAMETTE RIVER above Hills Creek Reservoir: trout

The Middle Fork Willamette River above Hills Creek Reservoir is open to angling using lures and artificial flies. All wild trout must be released upstream of Lookout Point Reservoir. Bait use is allowed below Dexter Dam.

MOLALLA RIVER: winter steelhead

The Molalla River has been running a bit high but is still in decent fishing condition. The winter steelhead run is just gearing up and passage at Willamette Falls is the indicator of how many fish could be moving up into the Molalla. There’s finally been a good increase in the numbers of steelhead crossing the falls so anglers could find a few winters heading up into the Molalla. Passage at the falls for winter steelhead stood at 1,248 fish through January 31st. The Willamette is a bit high and muddy again but the next sign of improvement should help move more fish upriver.

USGS hydrological data for the Molalla River on February 1st shows flows dropping at 1,880 cfs with a gauge reading of 13.19 feet as measured at the gauge in Canby.

MT HOOD POND: trout, crappie, bluegill

Last stocked in November. The seasonal restriction limiting fishing to youths and disabled anglers was lifted Aug. 31 so the pond is now open to the general public.

Mt. Hood Pond is located on the Mt. Hood Community College campus in Gresham, at 26000 SE Stark St.

NORTH FORK RESERVOIR: trout

Closed to trout fishing until May 22, 2016.

Fishermen are reminded that the boat ramp and marina at Promontory Park is closed to all public access until the summer of 2016 while PGE constructs a surface collector to improve the downstream passage of native salmon and steelhead juveniles at North Fork Dam. For more information about the closure, visit PGE’s website (pdf)

Olallie Lake
Olallie Lake
-Photo by ODFW-

OLALLIE LAKE: trout

Stocking has been completed for the season. This is the largest of more than 200 lakes within the Olallie Lake Scenic Area. Located on the southern edge of the Mt. Hood National Forest it is a popular summer recreational destination for people from Portland and Salem, Ore.

There are three campgrounds and a rustic cabin resort on this lake as well as a hiking trail that encircles the perimeter. Yurts, cabins, and boat rentals are available at Olallie Lake Resort. There is a boat ramp at Peninsula Campground on the southwest shore of the lake. Camping is also available at Olallie Meadows Campground and Paul Dennis Campground.

Olallie Lake is also a popular jumping off point for backpackers who want to fish the surrounding high lakes or access the Pacific Crest Trail.

PROGRESS LAKE: trout, brown bullhead

This is a 4-acre pond next to the Progress Ridge Town Center in Beaverton, Oregon. The pond is an old rock pit and has a maximum depth of 54 feet. There is a sidewalk, fishing platform and viewing platform on one side of the lake. Boating and swimming are not allowed.

QUARTZVILLE CREEK: trout

This stream above Green Peter Reservoir provides excellent opportunities to fish for trout, with good bank access along most of its length. Regulation changes for 2016 makes this a year-round fishery with a bag limit of 5 trout per day. It will receive its first trout stocking in May. Light gear works best and fly fishing can be very good, but bait is also allowed.

There are two BLM campgrounds as well as numerous designated campsites along the road. To get there, follow the directions to Green Peter Reservoir and continue around the lake until the river begins.

SALMON CREEK: trout

Salmon Creek near Oakridge is open to angling using lures and artificial flies only. Two wild trout per day, 8 inch minimum length, may be kept in addition to 5 hatchery trout. Hatchery trout releases into Salmon Creek will resume in late April.

SALT CREEK: trout

Salt Creek is a tributary to the Middle Fork Willamette River east of Oakridge. Salt Creek and its tributaries are open to angling using lures and artificial flies only. Two wild trout may be kept per day, 8 inch minimum length.

SANDY RIVER: winter steelhead

The Sandy River has been producing some good catch days but it’s still a bit high and off-color to suit the regular anglers. Some improvement in these conditions could be coming in the days ahead as our rainfall lessens while freezing levels hold relatively low for the week. When the water is receding and clearing that’s a great time to get out on the river and chase some fresh winter steelhead.

The hatchery has already seen some very good return numbers and began recycling fish back down to the Lewis and Clark boat ramp several weeks ago. They’ve moved over 700 winters back downstream to give anglers another shot at hooking them. Interested anglers can identify a recycled steelhead by a simple hole punch found in the right side gill plate cover of the fish.

A typical rule of thumb for the Sandy River is if snow levels are above 4,000 feet it could be a bit off but when below 4,000 feet angling conditions get good. With snow levels expected to hover right in the 4,000 feet range into the weekend now should be the time for hooking into a few winter steelhead on the Sandy.

USGS hydrological data for the Sandy River on February 1st shows flows down a bit at 4,140 cfs with a gauge reading of 10.46 feet. The water temperature has settled in at 41°.

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

SANTIAM RIVER (NORTH FORK): steelhead, Chinook

Summer steelhead continue to be present throughout the river, mostly between Mehama and Packsaddle Park. Winter steelhead numbers at Willamette Falls are starting to pick up and a few have made it into the Santiam basin. Recent rains have swelled the river making for challenging fishing conditions.

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. Trout harvest season begins May 22.

River levels best for fishing are below 3,000 cfs at the Mehama gauge (the Mehama gauge was at 6,860 cfs as of Feb. 2). Current conditions

SANTIAM RIVER (NORTH FORK) above DETROIT:

Regulation changes for 2016 makes this section a year-round fishery. The river will be stocked as in previous years starting in May. 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

Flows have increased again due to recent rains with a corresponding increase in turbidity making fishing conditions difficult. Current flows (as of Feb. 2) are around 6,900cfs as measured at Waterloo. When flows do return to normal anglers can target summer steelhead, which can still be found in fair numbers in the upper sections. A few newly arrived winter steelhead may also be available. 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.

SHERIDAN POND: trout

Stocked the week of Jan. 25 with 500 legal-sized rainbow trout. Sheridan Pond is a 2 1/2-acre pond located on the edge of town. It provides excellent access for families and kids. Good parking. There is an outhouse provided. It is stocked throughout the year with hatchery trout.

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.

SILVER CREEK RESERVOIR: trout, catfish

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 fishing. Smith River and its tributaries above Smith Reservoir are open to two wild trout per day, 8 inch minimum length, using lures and artificial flies only. 

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

Pond 6 will receive 300+ rainbow trout this week weighing an average of two pounds apiece.

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.

The ponds are open to fishing year round. However, the main gate to the pond is closed Oct. 1 – March 1, although anglers can still access the ponds via the dirt road from the gate to the parking area.

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 2 miles above the upper end of Foster Reservoir. Trout stocking season has ended for Sunnyside Pond although a few holdovers may remain. 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 I5, take US 20 through the town of Sweet Home and continue around Foster Reservoir to Quartzville Creek road. Take a left and follow this road for two miles to the park.

Timber Linn Lake
Timber Linn Lake
-Photo by Rick Swart, ODFW

TIMBER LINN LAKE: rainbow trout

Stocked on Jan. 21 with 250 rainbow trout brood fish weighing about two pounds apiece. This beautiful, family-friendly fishing pond is located within the 8-acre Timber-Linn Memorial Park in Albany. It was also stocked in mid-December with about 60 very large brood trout weighing up to 12 pounds, and one or two of those may still be around. 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.

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. Stocking will resume in May.

 

TROJAN PONDS: trout

This is a 15-acre pond just east of Rainier on the north side of Hwy. 30 at the Trojan nuclear facility. The pond is located on the right side of the road as soon as you turn onto the Trojan Access Road.

TUALATIN RIVER and tribs: trout

These are now year-round fishing streams under the 2016 Oregon Sport Fishing Regulations. Open all year for catch-and-release trout fishing. Harvest allowed May 22-Oct. 31.

WALLING POND: trout, crappie, bass

This pond was stocked on Jan. 12 with 400 legal and 50 larger size hatchery rainbow trout. There may still be a few surviving large brood trout weighing several pounds in there. As a reminder, only one trout over 20-inches can be kept per day.

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 pond was stocked on Jan. 12 with 1,700 legal size and 150 larger hatchery rainbow trout. As a reminder, only one trout over 20-inches can be kept per day. 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 was stocked just before Christmas with 90 or so very large brood trout between 3 and 12 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.

WILLAMETTE RIVER: sturgeon, winter steelhead

The Willamette started to settle down late last week but rain over the weekend has bumped flows back up a bit, likely making things tough on anglers for a few more days. The best bet would be to fish the “seam” where cleaner Clackamas River water meets the Willamette, attracting the fish to hug the eastern bank in search of better conditions as they either turn left up the Clackamas or make their way further up the Willamette. This includes the area around Meldrum Bar as well as the mouth of the Clackamas River.

Steelhead crossings had shown significant improvement as flows had been declining and clearing but this could temporarily slow down some. Winters moving above the falls as of January 31 have reached a total of 1,248, not a great number for late January but improving.

USGS hydrological data for the Willamette River on February 1st shows flows at 63,400 cfs, the water temperature near 45°, and visibility still sitting at less than 1.0 foot.

YAMHILL RIVER and tributaries: trout

These are now year-round fishing streams under the 2016 Oregon Sport Fishing Regulations. Open all year for catch-and-release trout fishing. Harvest allowed May 22-Oct. 31.

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  Willamette Zone Hunting

Roosevelt Elk
Antlerless Elk
- Photo by Robert Mutch -

OPEN: CONTROLLED ANTLERLESS ELK, COUGAR AND FURBEARER hunting and trapping

UpCOMING: Period 3 Northwest permit ZONE goose (Feb. 6 – Mar. 10, 2016)

CONTROLLED HUNT SEMINARS AND OTHER EVENTS COMING UP IN FEBRUARY, SEE ODFWCALENDAR.COM

Please remember to check with the landowner for access restrictions prior to entering private lands. Private timberlands access policy.

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.

Hunters are reminded to have permission to hunt or make sure hunting is allowed before accessing private lands.

BIG GAME

CONTROLLED ANTLERLESS ELK rifle seasons will open on Jan. 1, 2016 in the Scappoose, northeast portions of the Trask and northern portion of the Santiam Unit. Check the 2015-16 Oregon Big Game Regulations for the specific dates and boundaries of your hunt. Hunters who have access to private agriculture lands will need to be in the field well before daylight to catch moving elk.

On private timberlands hunters may want to glass clear cuts early in the morning and late in the afternoon. Elk will often bed down during the day in larger timber or timber reproduction stands. Some private timberlands may be open for hunting during this season. Please check with the landowner before hunting on private lands.

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 the affected hoof/hooves in a plastic bag and place in a cool area for further evaluation by ODFW
  • Collect GPS locations
  • Take digital photos of affected hooves
Cougar

Cougar
- Oregon Fish and Wildlife-

COUGAR season is open. Hunters wanting to hunt cougar in 2016 will need a 2016 tag. With winter snow at the higher elevations, hunters may want to try to find a fresh cougar track and follow it. Another technique is to use predator calls to mimic a distressed deer fawn or elk calf. 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 into their wintering areas and cougars will spend time in these areas while they hunt. For the best success, cougar hunters will want to concentrate their effort in areas with abundant deer and elk sign.

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

FURBEARERS - Bobcat, gray fox, red fox, marten, muskrat, mink, raccoon, river otter and beaver trapping and/or hunting is currently open. Pelts should be in prime conditions with the onset of cold weather. Please review the Furbearer Trapping and Hunting Regulations before your nest trip to ensure that you are familiar with all of the requirements.

COYOTE hunters should be having good success using prey animal distress calls. Remember to keep the volume low when you start to avoid scaring any animals near your stand, then increase the volume. Hunters are advised to keep a close watch downwind of their positions when predator calling. While bobcats are less disturbed by human scent, coyotes and fox will tend to circle downwind and once they have your scent – it is all over.

MIGRATORY GAME BIRDS

Canada Goose
Canada Goose
- Photo by Dave Budeau -

GOOSE Opens Feb. 6 – Mar. 10 for Period 3 in the Northwest Permit Zone (See pages 20-23 of the 2015-2016 Oregon Game Bird Regulations for details). 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 2015-2016 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 have been changed to 15 minutes after sunrise to 15 minutes before sunset (see shooting hours table in 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.

Waterfowl hunting at Sauvie Island was below average for this last full week of the season. Average hunter success dropped to 1.3 birds per hunter (bph) in the Eastside Units, and 1.6 bph in the Westside Units with an overall success rate for the Wildlife Area of 1.4 bph.

BE PREPARED

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.

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.

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

Be safe, be responsible and be legal.

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 Willamette Zone Wildlife Viewing

American Bald Eagle
American Bald Eagle
-Photo by Chuck Gardner-

EVENTS

Raptor Road Trip, Feb. 6, 9 a.m. – 2 p.m., Sauvie Island
Explore Sauvie Island in search of eagles, hawks and falcons. Naturalists and hawk experts host activities at four sites around the island. Enjoy guided bird viewing, meet live raptors, and see hawk identification displays. Cost is $10 per car. The trip begins with hot drinks, donuts, maps, and a parking permit at Kruger’s Farm Market, located at 17100 NW Sauvie Island Road, Portland. Call 503-292-6855, ext. 122 for more information.

Valleywide

NEW: The Willamette Valley is a significant wintering area for bald eagles, other birds of prey and waterfowl including tundra swans. Excellent viewing opportunities for these fascinating birds can be found at Ankeny, Baskett Slough or Finley National Wildlife refuges and at the Fern Ridge and EE Wilson Wildlife Management Areas. Resident bald eagles begin their pre-nesting and mating behavior this time of year. The resident population of bald eagles has increased dramatically in the Willamette Valley over that last couple of decades. Nesting is becoming common in large cottonwood trees along the Willamette River with nests spaced roughly 5 to 10 miles apart along much of the mainstem Willamette River.

Concentrations of shorebirds such as dunlin, killdeer, sandpipers, snipe, yellowlegs, and others may be seen probing the mud flats for invertebrates in the drawdown zone of any of the reservoirs within the district. These birds are also often seen in muddy areas of flooded-out portions of grass seed fields. Seasonal ponds are also a good bet for shorebirds later in the spring.

Late January and early February is also a good time to see large masses of starlings around the bridges in downtown Portland. Drive over the Broadway Bridge or Steel Bridge around sunset this time of years and you’re liable to see thousands of starlings settling in for the night.
Swans and other waterfowl can be found at Wapato Lake near Gaston and wetlands near Trojan Pond along Highway 30 north of Goble.

Bald eagles, diving ducks and other bird species can be found concentrated along the Columbia River this time of year. More than 40 bald eagles were observed during the mid-winter bald eagle count from Scappoose Bay to Puget Island (WA). Scaup, redhead, canvasback, bufflehead and goldeneye ducks were recently observed in the Columbia River, adjacent lakes and ponds along Interstate 84 from the Sandy River to Bonneville Dam.

EE Wilson Wildlife Area

Bare trees bird watching for perching birds (such as raptors, and hawks) more accessible. Waterfowl and shorebirds numbers will build with the wetter weather.

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

Fern Ridge Wildlife Area

Wintering concentrations of waterfowl can be observed on the lake and surrounding mudflats and wetlands. Thousands of Canada geese use Fern Ridge Lake for an evening roost site, and the sunset and sunrise departures and arrivals of the large flocks of geese provides an outstanding viewing opportunity. Observant visitors may also catch a glimpse of black tailed deer and furbearers including beaver and otter, mink, red fox and coyotes.

Royal Avenue and the trail to the Fisher Butte viewing platform remain open all day every day year round. There is a second elevated viewing platform in the Fisher Butte unit located 1/4 mile north of the Fisher Butte unit parking lot on Hwy 126.

Fern Ridge Wildlife Area

View from the trail at Royal Ave. on the Fern Ridge Wildlife Area
- Photo by Chris Schubothe, ODFW-

The majority of Fern Ridge Wildlife Area is open daily for public use providing great wildlife viewing opportunities. Visitors are reminded there are seasonal access restrictions in place in five units during the fall and winter to provide wildlife sanctuary. The East and West Coyote units are closed to all public use until the end of January except for a limited 3 day per week reservation waterfowl hunt program. The Fisher Butte and Royal Amazon units are open daily through the end of duck season; however the units are closed to hunting at 1 p.m. daily and closed to all public use at 2 p.m. daily to provide rest periods for waterfowl. 

The Kirk Park unit is open daily for public use and hunting is limited to 3 days per week plus holidays. The entire Fern Ridge lake water area and surrounding mudflats remain open daily year-round. The mudflats surrounding the lake low winter pool can provide for excellent hiking on a sand-bar type lake bottom that extends for miles.

Visitors are cautioned that there have been recent vehicle break-ins at Fern Ridge and in local parks, so please secure your valuables before departing your vehicle. Parking areas are located along Highway 126, Nielson Road, Cantrell Road, Territorial Road, and Clear Lake Road. Contact the wildlife area headquarters, (541) 935-2591 if you have any questions.

Sauvie Island

Sauvie Island Wildlife Area

A record number of eagles were observed during the mid-winter eagle survey. Staff counted 205 eagles this year. The old record was 99 eagles.

Waterfowl and other bird species are plentiful on Sauvie Island this time of year. While much of the Wildlife Area is closed so as not to disturb the birds, there are viewing opportunities at Coon Point, Eastside Viewing Platform and Rentenaar Road. All three require a Sauvie Island Parking Permit.

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

Directions to Sauvie Island Wildlife Area

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