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

Weekly Recreation Report: Willamette Zone

May 23, 2017

 Willamette Zone Fishing

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

Weekend fishing opportunities

  • Trophy trout will be released this week at Harriet Lake (125), Timothy Lake (500), and Sheridan Pond (125).
  • Anglers can win a $50 Cabela’s gift certificate by reeling in a trout marked with floy tags as part of the ODFW’s tag reward program in Clear Lake, Cottage Grove Reservoir, and Dorena Reservoir. Between the three lakes there are 730 tagged fish … and 70 winners!
  • Estacada Lake and North Fork Reservoir are now open for trout fishing and have been fully stocked.
  • ODFW will host a free youth-only fishing event Saturday, May 27 from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., at Mt. Hood Pond, located on the Mt. Hood Community College in Gresham.
  • Chinook salmon season is open three days a week on the Willamette River, and anglers have been catching fish.
  • The following locations will be stocked with trout this week: Alton Baker Canal, Blue River above the reservoir, Carmen Reservoir, Faraday Lake, EE Wilson Pond, Fall Creek above the reservoir, Foster Reservoir, Leaburg Lake, McKenzie River below Leaburg Dam, Quartzville Creek, Coast Fork of the Willamette River, Harriet Lake, Henry Hagg Lake, North Fork Reservoir, Sheridan Pond, Small Fry Lake, and South Fork Yamhill River.
  • Kokanee are biting at Green Peter Reservoir.

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.

Updated 2017 Trout Stocking Schedules

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

Will be stocked this week with 965 rainbow trout, including 150 larger trout. The canoe 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 the week of May 8 with 3,000 legal-size 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 the week of May 1 with 1,000 legal-size rainbow trout. This is a 10-acre pond located at Bethany west of Portland. The pond is maintained by Tualatin Hills Park and Rec. Amenities include picnic tables, restrooms, and a paved, ADA accessible trail.

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

Stocked the week of May 8 with 1,500 trout. Try 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

Will be stocked this week with 750 hatchery trout, including 100 larger trout. Two wild trout may be harvested per day above Blue River Reservoir only. Otherwise, anglers may keep 5 hatchery trout per day. Anglers may only use lures and artificial flies.

BLUE RIVER RESERVOIR: trout, warmwater species

Was stocked the week of May 8 with 2,000 legal-size hatchery rainbow trout. 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 boat ramps are not accessible at current reservoir elevations.

Steelhead fishing on the Clackamas River
Britenbush River
-Photo by Rick Swart-

BREITENBUSH RIVER: trout

This river flows through mostly U.S. Forest Service land into Detroit Lake and is open year-round (however salmon fishing is prohibited). During the summer it is stocked fairly regularly with hatchery trout. Stocking is due to begin by the end of May for this current season. Anglers may keep up to five trout per day.

CANBY POND: trout, bass, crappie, bluegill

Stocked the week of May 1 with 800 rainbow trout. 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 will be stocked this week with 3,000 rainbow trout, including 500 larger trout. The reservoir is accessed via USFS Road 750 off Hwy. 126, about two miles south of Clear Lake. It is open to fishing all year. Use of bait is allowed. Motor boats are prohibited on this reservoir.

CLACKAMAS RIVER: summer steelhead, spring Chinook

The recent move into much warmer weather has increased the spring snowmelt and run-off, bumping flows up quite a bit on the Clackamas. The river is in acceptable shape for fishing with good color, but it’s running higher than anglers prefer. Long range hydrological forecasts predict it should settle down by late this week. Regardless of flows the summer steelhead catch was decent last week for the few who chose to give it a try as ODFW personnel checked several summers from Carver up to Dog Creek. The first official spring Chinook catch of the season has happened so it can be verified that at least one springer made it up into the Clackamas River.

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 May 22 shows river flows up at 4,810 cfs, with a gauge reading of 13.84 feet and the water temperature up at around 49°. 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, and was stocked the week of May 8 with 3,431 hatchery trout of various sizes. From this release, 330 fish were marked with floy tags as part of the ODFW’s tag reward program, including 30 tags that can be redeemed for a $50 Cabela’s gift card. 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 will be stocked this week with 1,100 hatchery trout, and is open to fishing all year. Bait use is allowed Apr. 22- Oct. 31, but 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.

COMMONWEALTH LAKE: rainbow trout, bass, bluegill, crappie

Stocked the week of May 1 with 1,000 hatchery trout. This is a three-acre stocked lake within the Commonwealth Lake Park in Beaverton, Oregon. Commonwealth Park is maintained by Tualatin Hills Park and Rec. Amenities include ADA accessible trail, picnic tables, playground, and restrooms.

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

Stocked the week of April 3 with 1,900 trout. Cottage Grove Ponds are open to year-round fishing and are accessed via an asphalt pathway behind the truck scales on Row River Road. The pond was stocked with a total of 3,250 legal-size hatchery trout the past two weeks. In addition to fishing, these ponds also offer wildlife viewing opportunities. A fishing dock is available on-site.

COTTAGE GROVE RESERVOIR: trout, warmwater species

Was stocked the week of April 24 with 4,250 legal-size hatchery trout. From this release, 200 fish were marked with floy tags as part of the ODFW’s tag reward program, including 20 tags that can be redeemed for a $50 Cabela’s gift card. Cottage Grove Reservoir is south of Cottage Grove and is open to fishing all year.

Detroit Reservoir
Detroit Reservoir
-Photo by Rick Swart, ODFW

DETROIT RESERVOIR: trout, kokanee

The reservoir is now completely full and all boat ramps are in the water, although some may not yet be open for use. It appears the reservoir will be in good shape all summer. Water temperature is beginning to warm up and anglers are reporting good catches of trout and kokanee. The reservoir was stocked on May 16 with 10,000 legal rainbows with the possibility of more fish by the end of the month. Mongold boat ramp is available for launching boats.

DEXTER RESERVOIR: trout

Stocked the week of April 3 with 2,800 legal-size rainbow 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 also available to anglers in this reservoir.

DORENA RESERVOIR: trout, warmwater

Was stocked the week of April 24 with 6,000 legal-size rainbow trout. From this release, 200 fish were marked with floy tags as part of the ODFW’s tag reward program, including 20 tags that can be redeemed for a $50 Cabela’s gift card. Dorena Reservoir is east of Cottage Grove on Row River Road and is open to fishing all year. Trout and warmwater fish are available. It was also stocked the week of March 27 with 6,000 legal-size rainbow trout.

DORMAN POND - trout

Stocked the week of May 1 with 1,000 legal-size hatchery trout. This is an 8-acre pond west of Forest Grove at the junction of Hwy. 8 and Hwy. 6

EAGLE CREEK: winter steelhead

Eagle Creek has been flowing high after all of the spring rains, although the color is good. The winter steelhead season is essentially over on the creek so fishing effort is very low. Anglers should give it a few more weeks before thinking about seeking out any spring Chinook in the creek, providing the decent water levels hold up.

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: warmwater species, trout

This pond is located at EE Wilson Wildlife Area, about a quarter mile hike from the main parking lot. Recent changes to the fishing regulations now make this a year-round fishery. The pond received 1,200 legal-size rainbows on May 15 and is scheduled again this week for another 1,200 rainbow trout, 200 of them will be of the larger variety. A valid wildlife area parking permit is required.

ESTACADA LAKE: trout, steelhead

Estacada Lake is open for fishing and has been stocked with rainbow trout.

This is a 150-acres reservoir on the Clackamas River behind River Mill Dam. Fishing dock and ADA-accessible fishing platform provide the only non-boating access. Boat ramp in Milo McIver State Park at lower end of reservoir, picnic areas, restrooms. Park fee.

FALL CREEK: trout

Fall Creek above Fall Creek Reservoir will be stocked this week with 1,750 hatchery trout including 250 larger trout. Open all year for trout. Bait use is allowed Apr 22- Oct 31, but 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. Five hatchery trout and an additional two wild trout may be harvested daily in the river.

FARADAY LAKE: trout

Stocked the week of May 22 with 2,000 legal-size rainbow 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
Fern Ridge Reservoir
-Photo by Kathy Munsel, ODFW-

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. Currently all boat ramps are available to launch boats.

There is good bank access at several rest stops and campgrounds, and three seasonal boat ramps. Reservoir is pretty much filled up and the boat ramps at Orchard Point, Perkins, and Richardson Park are currently available.

FOSTER RESERVOIR: trout, bass, perch, catfish

Foster Reservoir was stocked on May 15 with 5,000 legal-size hatchery rainbow trout with another 4,000 due to go in this week. 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, all boat ramps including Calkins Park are 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. This reservoir receives hatchery trout in the spring and fall.

FREEWAY LAKE, EAST: trout, 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 in the spring for warmwater gamefish such as bass, bluegill, crappie, and catfish can be very good, especially early and late in the day. It was stocked last week with 900 hatchery rainbow trout.

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 will re-open to anglers May 22.

GREEN PETER RESERVOIR: kokanee, trout, bass

Trout as well as bass are good options for anglers this time of year. Look for them near ledges and drop-offs as well as near underwater structure. Kokanee have also begun to bite as the plankton has started to bloom. Reservoir water levels are in very good shape for this time of year. Currently the reservoir is completely full. Both Thistle Creek and Whitcomb Island boat ramps are currently available for boaters. It was stocked on May 8 with 5,750 hatchery rainbow trout but doesn’t come up again on the schedule for a while; now is the time to get out on the water!

HALDEMAN POND: trout

Stocked the week of April 24 with 2,000 legal-size rainbow 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-size trout in the spring and also supports year-round populations of crappie, bass and catfish. It will be stocked again this week with 1,750 legal-sized rainbow trout. From I-84, take the Benson State Park exit. The pond is adjacent to the Columbia River adjoining Benson State Recreation Area.

HARRIETT LAKE: trout

Stocked the week of May 22 with 2,000 legal-sized rainbow trout and 125 trophy trout. 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.
Trout Fishing on Henry Hagg Lake
Trout Fishing on Henry Hagg Lake
-Photo by Jessica Sall-

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

Stocked the week of May 22 with 3,000 legal-size rainbow trout. The lake has been stocked several other times this spring as well.

Hagg Lake, located 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 with hatchery trout.

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

Was stocked the week of May 1 with 3,000 legal-size hatchery rainbow trout. This reservoir is located about four miles southeast of Oakridge and is open to year round fishing. It 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.

Trout and salmon must be adipose-fin clipped to be harvested. Large native trout are available for catch-and-release fishing.

HUDDLESTON POND: trout, bass, bluegill

Stocked the week of May 15 with 1,325 trout, including 125 trophies weighing two pounds or more. 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 Pond was stocked on May 19 with 2,600 hatchery trout varying in size from legals to 2-pounders. There should also be plenty of holdover trout available from previous stockings. On May 20, the Junction City Moose Lodge held its annual Youth Fishing Derby., but count on fish being left over and still available. As a reminder, normal trout regulations apply to these fish: Five fish per day, but only one fish over 20-inches may be kept.

LEABURG LAKE: trout

Leaburg Lake will be stocked with 1,750 hatchery trout this week, including 250 larger trout. Leaburg Lake is open to fishing all year. Bait use is allowed Apr. 22- Oct. 31, but as of Nov. 1, anglers may only use lures and artificial flies. All wild trout must be released. Only hatchery fish may be kept. 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 will be stocked this week with 6,010 hatchery trout from Leaburg Town Landing downstream to Hendricks Bridge. 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 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.

steelhead
Summer Steelhead on the Mckenzie
-Photo by Brandon Nash-

MCKENZIE RIVER above Leaburg Lake: trout, steelhead

The McKenzie River above Leaburg Lake was stocked the week of May 15 with 1,250 hatchery trout from Finn Rock to Goodpasture Landing, with some summer releases beginning at Forest Glen boat landing, from late April through 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. Reminder: Restrictions from Dexter Dam to appoximately 700 ft downstream to the markers: No angling from the north shore, from a floating device, or while wading (pg 44 in regulations). 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.

The Middle Fork Willamette above Lookout Point and Hills Creek reservoirs is open to fishing 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: winter steelhead, spring Chinook

River flows have held steady in the past week on the Molalla and anglers will find very good conditions for chasing those elusive late winter steelhead or early spring Chinook.

Unfortunately so far this year steelhead and Chinook passage has been extremely slow across Willamette Falls and into upper basin tributaries. Steelhead passage at Willamette Falls through May 21 shows only 786 winters passing and moving upstream, a very low number for this date, while spring Chinook passage has improved some at 5,168. A few of these Chinook could be making their way into the Molalla from acclimation pond releases of a couple years ago. USGS hydrological data for May 22 has river flows up slightly at 1,410 cfs and a gauge reading of 12.31 feet. All of the readings come from the Canby gauge.

MT HOOD POND: trout, crappie, bluegill

ODFW will host a free youth-only fishing event Saturday, May 27 from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., at Mt. Hood Pond, located on the Mt. Hood Community College in Gresham. The pond will be stocked just prior to the event, and staff and volunteer instructors will be present to help youngsters with gear, bait, and fishing technique. Fishing licenses are not required for youths 11 and under but are required for those ages 12-17.

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

Fishing at this location is restricted to youths age 17 and under and Disabled Angler licensees from April 1 - Aug. 31.

NORTH FORK RESERVOIR: trout, steelhead, salmon

Will be stocked again this week with another 8,000 trout. The reservoir was also stocked last week with 10,000 trout. Trout season on the reservoir opened May 22.

This is a 350-acre reservoir of the Clackamas River behind North Fork Dam approximately 5.2 miles east of Estacada, Ore. This reservoir has two boat ramps, boat moorage, 50 campsites, picnic areas, boat rentals, grocery story, fueling station, and ADA-accessible fishing platforms.

PROGRESS LAKE – rainbow trout, brown bullhead

Stocked the week of May 1 with 1,000 legal-size rainbow trout. This is a 4-acre pond next to the Progress Ridge Town Center in Beaverton. 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.
Quartzville Creek
Quartzville Creek
-Photo by Rick Swart, ODFW-

QUARTZVILLE CREEK: trout

Hatchery trout are stocked in late spring and summer. In winter and early spring there are resident trout and very few anglers. It was stocked May 15 with 2,750 hatchery trout and comes up again this week for another 3,000. Stream flows have come down since last week and are currently just under 700 cfs, so fishing conditions remain a bit challenging but are improving (conditions best for fishing are below 500 cfs). Anglers may keep up to 5 trout per day all year.

ROARING RIVER PARK POND: trout

This is a small one acre pond in Roaring River County Park near ODFW’s Roaring River fish hatchery. To get there, drive highway 226 east out of Albany and turn right onto Fish Hatchery Road and continue for about seven miles. Park is on the right. The pond was stocked the week of May 8 with 180 hatchery rainbow trout and is a perfect, easy venue for small children on their first fishing adventure.

SALISH POND: trout, warm water species

West Salish Pond will be stocked this week with 500 hatchery trout as efforts get underway to bring the pond back into the regular ODFW stocking rotation. Most local anglers know it’s been quite some time since the pond was stocked with hatchery trout and both The City of Fairview and ODFW are very happy to bring trout fishing back to West Salish Pond. 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’s shoreline.

SALMON CREEK: trout

Salmon Creek near Oakridge will be stocked with 1,750 hatchery trout, including 250 larger trout. Salmon Creek is open to fishing all year. Bait is allowed Apr. 22 – Oct .31, but as of Nov. 1 anglers may only use lures and artificial flies. 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.

SALMONBERRY LAKE: trout, sunfish

Stocked the week of April 24 with 1,500 trout. Salmonberry Lake is owned by the city of St. Helens and is about three acres in size. It is a former municipal water supply secluded in the woods off of Pittsburgh Road. The road to the pond is gated and anglers must walk about 1/3 mile to access this pond.

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, spring Chinook

Sandy River steelhead
Sandy River Steelhead
-Photo by Jessica Sall-

The Sandy flows moved up in the past week with snowmelt and run-off all keeping the river fairly high. Flows are higher than veteran Sandy River anglers prefer but it’s still fishable, although effort has been light with the winter steelhead run coming to a close and the summer run slow to get geared up. As well, much of the fishing pressure had been out on the Willamette River where spring Chinook can be found. Once the water levels recede some there should be some springers around, likely down in the lower stretch of the river below Dabney.

A few summer steelhead have been hooked but the overall catch has continued to be fair. Hatchery personnel do say they’ve seen summers come out daily but not in exceptionally large numbers; there are no reliable reports of spring Chinook being landed yet. More than 1,900 winters were collected at ODFW’s Sandy River Hatchery this season and more than 800 of them were recycled back down to Lewis and Clark boat ramp in February. There have been a small number of summer steelhead swim into the hatchery also.

USGS hydrological data for May 22 shows the Sandy flows at 3,590 cfs, with a gauge reading of 10.57 feet and the water temperature in the 49°F range.

SANTIAM RIVER (NORTH FORK): steelhead, Chinook

With mountain snow melting and the reservoirs full the North Santiam is running higher than normal. As of May 22, flows are around 5,700 cfs at the Mehama gauge. Both spring Chinook and summer steelhead numbers over Willamette Falls are low for this time of year. River levels best for fishing are below 3,000 cfs.

When the ‘bite’ is on, bobbers and jigs are the preferred fishing 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.

As of May 22, the river has reopened for the harvest of trout, time to enjoy the comfortable change in the weather and catch some dinner!

SANTIAM RIVER (NORTH FORK) above DETROIT:

This section of the river is open year-round for trout. It is stocked regularly in the summer and anglers may keep up to five trout per day. Regular stocking will begin by the end of the month (May). This section of river is closed to salmon fishing.

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

Flow levels are currently around 4,200 cfs (as of May 22), reduced from last week but still flowing energetically. Numbers of steelhead and salmon coming over the falls in Oregon City have increased recently, but are still below the average for this time of year.

Current conditions

SHERIDAN POND: trout

Stocked again this week with 1,050 trout of various sizes.

ODFW will provide equipment for the event including rods, reels and bait. Angling Education Instructors and volunteers will be present to answer questions and offer assistance to less experienced anglers. The pond will be stocked just prior to the event with 8-inch, 13-inch, and two-pound hatchery trout.

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.

SHORTY’S POND: trout

Shorty's Pond
Shorty's Pond
-Photo by Rick Swart, ODFW-

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

SILVER CREEK RESERVOIR: trout, catfish

Stocked the week of May 1 with 6,300 rainbow trout. This is a 65-acre reservoir on Silver Creek 2.5 miles south of Silverton on Hwy. 214.

SMALL FRY LAKE: trout

Stocked the week of May 22 with 300 trout. This is a small youth-only fishing pond located next to Promontory Park and North Fork Reservoir near Estacada.

SMITH RESERVOIR: trout

The Eugene Water & Electric Board has begun a five-year construction project to retrofit, refurbish and upgrade capital equipment at its Carmen-Smith Hydroelectric Project. The work is being conducted in anticipation of a new federal operating license for the project.

The capital construction projects planned for the 2017-2021 time frame will create significant public access constraints due primarily to safety concerns. In order to keep the public and construction personnel safe during the five-year project, EWEB and the Forest Service agreed to close access to Forest Road 730 at the Powerhouse. The closure will deny public access to Trail Bridge Campground, Smith Reservoir and Lake’s End Campground. The closure of the road to the public will begin in March 2017 and continue through 2021.

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

Stocked twice in April with rainbows of various sizes.

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 open March 1-Sept. 30, although anglers are still permitted to walk in to fish during the seasonal gate closure. March/April hours are 7 a.m. – 8 p.m.

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. It was stocked last week with more than 300 hatchery trout. 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 is a family-friendly fishing pond located within Timber-Linn Memorial Park in Albany. It was stocked last week with 275 legal-size and larger hatchery rainbow trout and will receive another batch of legals and larger-size trout at the end of the month. 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
Timothy Lake
-Photo by Rick Swart, ODFW

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

The road is now open and the lake has been stocked with 3,000 legal-size rainbow trout and 500 trophy trout.

Timothy Lake is located within the Mt. Hood National Forest approximately 75 miles southeast of Portland via Hwy. 26. It 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. The Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail also traverses the area along the east side of the lake. Motorboats are allowed on Timothy Lake, although a 10 mph speed limit is in place.

TRAIL BRIDGE RESERVOIR: trout

The Eugene Water & Electric Board has begun a five-year construction project to retrofit, refurbish and upgrade capital equipment at its Carmen-Smith Hydroelectric Project. The work is being conducted in anticipation of a new federal operating license for the project.

The capital construction projects planned for the 2017-2021 time frame will create significant public access constraints due primarily to safety concerns. In order to keep the public and construction personnel safe during the five-year project, EWEB and the Forest Service agreed to close access to Forest Road 730 at the Powerhouse. The closure will deny public access to Trail Bridge Campground, Smith Reservoir and Lake’s End Campground. The closure of the road to the public will begin in March 2017 and continue through 2021.

Trail Bridge Reservoir will remain accessible to anglers from Highway 126 during the construction period, although few hatchery fish will be available. Only adipose fin-clipped trout may be harvested from Trail Bridge Reservoir. Only flies and lures may be used.

TRILLIUM LAKE – trout

The lake is still snowed in and has not been stocked with trout. These fish will be released as soon as possible after the lake becomes accessible.

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.

TROJAN POND – trout, panfish

Stocked the first week of May with 500 trophy trout weighing approximately two pounds each. 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.

WALLING POND: trout, crappie, bass

Stocked the first week of May with 300 hatchery 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

Stocked recently with 1,850 hatchery rainbow trout with 150 of those being larger-size. As a reminder, the bag limit is five trout 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 fishing opportunities remain for warm water species.

WAVERLY POND: trout, bluegill, catfish

Waverly Pond is located in Albany and is regularly stocked in fall, winter and spring. The pond was last week with 180 hatchery rainbow trout, including 20 larger-size. As a reminder, the bag limit is five fish per day, but only one over 20 inches. Directions: 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: spring Chinook, winter steelhead, summer steelhead, sturgeon

Willamette Falls
Willamette Falls
-Photo by Kathy Munsel, ODFW-

The Willamette is now subject to a three-day-per-week schedule for spring Chinook and steelhead from Willamette Falls to the mouth of the river, including the Multnomah Channel. Anglers are allowed to fish for these species Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, with a daily adult salmonid bag limit of two hatchery fish, of which only one may be a Chinook.

Spring Chinook anglers on the lower Willamette had another good 3 day fishery last week as flows dropped while water temperatures stayed cool. Springers were again landed from the lower Multnomah Channel all the way up into Oregon City, and all parts in-between. For the past fishing period of Thursday through Saturday the spring Chinook catch checked by ODFW personnel shows 110 Chinook kept for 272 boats in the lower river, 91 Chinook kept for 170 boats in the middle river, and 123 Chinook kept for 248 boats from West Linn up to Willamette Falls. There were also a few sturgeon anglers out doing pretty well on catch-and-release fishing with sublegals, legals, and oversize hooked.

Winter steelhead passage continues to plod along while spring Chinook passage saw a brief jump but has since fallen back and is well behind historical average counts. Through May 21 there have been 786 winter steelhead make their way into the upper Willamette via the fish ladder, a very low number for this date, along with 303 summer steelhead. After a steep decline last week, spring Chinook passage has improved with a cumulative total through May 21 showing 5,168 adult spring Chinook crossing Willamette Falls.

Beginning Feb. 1, 2017, the use of barbed hooks is allowed when fishing for salmon, steelhead, or trout in Willamette River downstream of Willamette Falls (including Multnomah Channel and Gilbert River) and in lower Clackamas River upstream to Highway 99E Bridge. Barbless hooks are still required when fishing for sturgeon.

USGS hydrological data for the Willamette River on May 22 has flows at 29,700 cfs, the water temperature way up at 58°F, and visibility good at 5.2 ft.

YAMHILL RIVER and tributaries: trout

The river will be stocked this week with 1,900 legal- and larger-sized rainbow trout.

The Yamhill and its tributaries are now open year-round for trout under the 2017 Oregon Sport Fishing Regulations. Fishing shifts to catch-and-release for trout from Nov. 1 to May 21. Fishing and harvest of warmwater fish is also allowed during this period.

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  Willamette Zone Hunting

OPEN: COUGAR, SPRING BEAR, SPRING TURKEY

Bear and turkey hunting close May 31.

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.

Turkey Hunter

Spring Gobbler for Morgan
-Photo by Brett Thomas-

SPRING TURKEY continues until May 31. Turkeys are actively strutting and gobbling. Finding a place to hunt is challenging in Northwest Oregon. Most turkey hunting in the Willamette Zone occurs on private lands. Turkeys are primarily found on private lands 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. 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. Hone your turkey calling skills by listening to the sounds of live wild turkeys.

BIG GAME

The 2017 COUGAR season is now open until Dec. 31 or the zone quota is met. Remember to purchase a 2017 Hunting License and 2017 Cougar Tag if you are planning to hunt for cougar this year. 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. 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

Black Bear
Black Bear, by trail camera
-Photo provided by Greg Robinson-

CONTROLLED SPRING BEAR season is open April 1 through May 31 for those hunters who drew a controlled spring bear tag. Tags were allocated through the controlled spring hunt drawing for all hunts except SW Oregon, which is a limited first-come, first-served hunt that sold out in late January this year. Hunters are reminded to check the 2017 Big Game Regulations for their exact hunt boundaries, season dates and requirements for checking in their bear. Skunk cabbage and green grasses are preferred forage items for bears in spring. Early in the season hunters will want to focus on coastal areas or low elevation riparian areas. The key to early success is to target days with some sun and mild weather. Hunters will want to look for areas with abundant green grass or skunk cabbage. Freshly torn up stumps also indicates a bear is in the area.

Spring bear hunting is starting to pick up and should keep getting better as the weather warms. As expected, hunting in the Cascades has started off very slow. Biologists have finally checked in a handful of Cascade bears but with the high snow pack it is expected that success in the Cascades will remain low for a few more weeks.

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 and 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. Please review the 2017 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.

 Willamette Zone Wildlife Viewing

LEAVE YOUNG WILDLIFE IN THE WILD!

May and June are the months when newborn animals are getting their start in the wild. Help them out by giving them space and leaving them alone. ODFW and Oregon State Police remind everyone that taking young animals out of the wild isn’t just against the law—it’s also bad for the animal. These animals miss the chance to learn important survival skills from their parents like where to feed, what to eat, how to behave as part of a group and how to escape from predators.

Unfortunately, every year about this time, ODFW offices across Oregon get calls from people concerned about orphaned deer fawns, elk calves, bear cubs, seal pups and other animals they find alone. But the mother animal is usually just off feeding not far away. She will return soon, so don’t interfere. “People often pick up animals they find alone out of good intentions, without realizing they may be sentencing the animal to an early death by removing it from its natural environment and its parents,” said Julia Burco, ODFW Wildlife Veterinarian.

Never assume one of a young animal is orphaned unless you saw the parent killed. In almost all cases, the parent will return once it is safe to do so, like when people and dogs aren’t around. Removing or capturing an animal from the wild and keeping it in captivity without a permit is against state law (OAR 635-044-0015), as is transporting animals. Last year, seven people were cited for such offenses (No wildlife holding permit/Take-hold young game mammal).
Be safe, be responsible and be legal.

Great Blue Heron Rookery

Great Blue Heron Rookery
- Photo by Kathy Munsel-

Valleywide

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

Ruffed grouse courting

Listen for a rhythmic drumming as you hike the forests this spring ― male ruffed grouse are out courting females and their rhythmic wing beating (drumming) is used to advertise their presence and draw females into their territories. Drumming starts with a slow but powerful wing beat every second, rapidly speeding up, and ending 8 to 11 seconds later. This acoustic “calling card” is repeated every 3 to 5 minutes in the early morning and late afternoon during the breeding season. Ruffed grouse are native to Oregon and can be easily identified by their relatively long, fan-shaped and distinctively banded tail in addition to their neck ruffs. Look and listen for these 16-19 inch long, brown or gray-brown, chicken sized birds in deciduous and mixed forest communities in western Oregon.

Turkeys strutting

Wild turkeys are actively strutting and courting during this time of year. These birds were introduced into Oregon from other parts of the U.S. where they are native. These birds are widely established in the foothills around the edge of the Willamette Valley. Look for them where there is a mix of wooded areas and pastures. Mixed hardwoods, especially oaks, are preferred over conifers. Tall pines or fir trees are often used for night roosts. Fortunately, turkeys are most active and easiest to see on warm sunny days! Landowners beware! While turkeys are fun to watch and have around, if you feed them you may create a serious problem for yourself and your neighbors. Turkeys will often become a serious nuisance when they concentrate in an area because they are being fed. Turkeys that are not fed will range widely and rarely cause such problems.

Garter Snake
Garter Snake
-Photo by Dave Budeau-

Snakes bask when the sun shines

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

Osprey and turkey vultures are on the move

Ospreys are now returning to northwest Oregon from their wintering grounds in Central America. Ospreys mate for life and are building nests, which can be observed on the tops of communication towers, power poles, and broken off trees. Turkey vultures are also on the move this time of year. Turkey vultures are migrating northward to their breeding grounds. Watch for these large birds on drier days riding the thermals and imagine what our world would look like (and smell like) if there were no turkey vultures to clean up all the dead critters!

Where to hear songbirds

Many of the migratory songbirds will begin returning to the area in the next few weeks. Good places to see these birds include Skinners Butte Park, Spencer Butte, Fern Ridge Wildlife Area, Howard Buford Park, Elijah Bristow Park, Brown and Minto Island Park, and Ankeny, Finley and Baskett Slough National Wildlife Refuges.

EE Wilson Wildlife Area

Waterfowl and shorebirds numbers are building with the wetter weather. Wildlife viewing will be improving over the next several months. A waterfowl blind is available to photographers. Call the office at 541-745-5334 to reserve the blind.

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

Fern Ridge Wildlife Area

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

Eugene: Fern Ridge Wildlife Area

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

The East Coyote, West Coyote, Fisher Butte, and Royal Amazon units are closed to access except on Saturdays through April 30. The viewing platforms accessible from the Royal Avenue, Hwy 126 and Neilson Road parking lots remain open to public use daily, year-round.

Fern Ridge Wildlife Area is located five miles west of Eugene on either side of Hwy. 126. The address is 26969 Cantrell Rd., Eugene, OR 97402. A parking permit is required for the wildlife area and can be purchased at ODFW license vendors or any ODFW field office.

Portland: Sauvie Island Wildlife Area

The Sauvie Island Wildlife Area is now open.

White Pelican
American White Pelican
-Photo by Kathy Munsel-

Bird watching is excellent with spring migrants and summer resident arriving. White pelicans and cliff swallows are showing up in larger numbers. Purple martins are now nesting. The bald eagles and osprey are nesting and may be viewed from various observation points. Over 100 eagles were viewed in front of the Eastside viewing platform a couple of weeks ago. The best opportunities for viewing are Coon Point, Eastside Viewing Platform and Rentenaar Road.

Sauvie Island is a main stopping point for migratory birds as they travel along the Pacific Flyway. ODFW actively manages the area to provide food and cover.

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 agents, ODFW offices, or online.

For more information, call (503) 621-3488.

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   © ODFW. All rights reserved. This page was last updated: 05/24/2017 8:55 AM