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Weekly Recreation Report: Willamette Zone

November 24, 2015

 Willamette Zone Fishing

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

#OptOutside Friday opportunities

  • Brood trout weighing up to 12 pounds are scheduled for release Nov. 25 at Walter Wirth and Walling ponds and Nov. 30 at Canby, Huddleston, and Sheridan ponds. These large trout offer anglers a unique opportunity to catch a very nice size trout on light gear.
  • Henry Hagg Lake is now open year-round! This 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 in mid-November.
  • Coho are moving into Columbia River tributaries
  • A recent surge in migrating adult summer steelhead over Willamette Falls provide some action in lower sections of the Santiam river.

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.

2015 trout stocking

The 2015 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 was recently stocked for the last time this year with a total of 555 rainbow trout, including 55 larger trout. The canal is located within Alton Baker Park and can be accessed off of Club Road in Eugene. A 4-acre pond at the midpoint of the canal is a good spot but it can be fished all along its two-mile length from Day Island Road in Eugene to Aspen Street in Springfield. The canal is open to fishing all year.

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

Stocked in June with 4,000 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.

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 closed to fishing both above and below the reservoir. The river will again open to fishing Jan. 1, 2016.

-Oregon Fish and Wildlife-

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.


This fishery closed on Oct. 31. 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

Brood trout weighing up to 12 pounds scheduled for release Nov. 30. As a reminder, only one trout over 20 inches can be kept per day.

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 is accessed via FS 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. Carmen Reservoir was last stocked for the season in late July.

CLACKAMAS RIVER: summer steelhead, coho

River flows are finally holding their own with snow runoff and fall rains doing the job. This has done little to bring in any fresh coho and it’s safe to say that approaching the end of November that run is about over.

Angling has been a challenge this fall for both coho and late summer steelhead, although there were fish caught. We’re nearing the end of the run for both species and the overall returns were disappointing to say the least, further affected by the extremely low water this summer and early fall. It’s likely there are a few winter steelhead around but that run won’t really kick in until later in December, but even so it’s worth it for anglers to go out on the water and give it a shot.

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 November 24 shows river flows at 2,260 cfs, with gauge reading of 12.20 feet and the water temperature down near 43°. All of the readings come from the Estacada gauge near Milo McIver State Park.


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


The Coast Fork Willamette River is currently open to catch-and-release fishing using artificial flies and lures only.

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 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. 

COTTAGE GROVE RESERVOIR: trout, warmwater species

Cottage Grove Reservoir was stocked in mid-October with 1,500 legal sized rainbow trout. The reservoir is south of Cottage Grove and is open to fishing all year. Only Lakeside Park boat ramp is accessible at current levels.

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.

Detroit Lake
Detroit Lake
-Photo by Jerry Korson-

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.

Currently there are no longer any boat ramps available as reservoir levels have now dropped below the toe slopes of all boat ramps including the one at Mongold State Park. Storage will begin Dec. 1, but it will take some time before water levels rise high enough for boat ramps to become submerged.


Dexter Reservoir was stocked in late September for the last time this season.

Boat and bank access is available from state and county parks. Parking and bank access are also available from the causeway near Lowell. The reservoir near Lowell is visible from Hwy. 58. Largemouth bass and some smallmouth are available to anglers in this reservoir.

DORENA RESERVOIR: trout, warmwater

Dorena Reservoir was stocked for the last time this season in early October The 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.


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 flows are back up and looking good, however coho returns continue to be low without much chance of recovering this late into the season. As a result the creek closed to retention of coho effective Sunday, Nov. 8. With coho returns well below production needs, fishery managers determined that it was in the best interest of the hatchery to do everything possible to allow returning adult fish to swim in unimpeded by angler catch. The creek does remain open for steelhead, although it’s a bit early for returning winter fish.

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.”


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 is closed to angling for trout above the reservoir, but is open to catch and release trout fishing below Fall Creek Dam through the end of the year. The river is open to steelhead below the Dam.


Fall Creek Reservoir has been drained to riverbed to aid with salmon outmigration and is not currently fishable.

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


Stocked with rainbow trout in August. 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.

Water is being released now to allow for water storage to prevent winter flooding. All boat ramps are currently out of the water and will likely remain so until January. This lake is mostly shallow with a band of deep water from the original channel of the Long Tom River.

The reservoir produces crappie over 12 inches and bass angling has been very good in recent years. Best time of year for crappie is 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. The water level is dropping rapidly due to downstream flow needs. At the moment, only the boat ramp at Sunnyside Park 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 is over for Freeway Lake this year, although there could be some holdovers. 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.

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.

NOTICE: As of Sept. 28, all boat ramps are no longer in the water. Water is currently being released for power generation and for downstream needs and it is not advisable to launch large boats from this boat ramp. Water levels are not expected to rise until Dec. 1.


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.


Stocked the week of Aug. 24 with 334 trophy-sized rainbow 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.

Rainbow Trout

Rainbow Trout
-Photo by Jim Yuskavitch, ODFW-


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

The lake was recently stocked with brood trout. These fish can run up to 12 pounds in size, offering anglers a unique opportunity to catch a very nice size trout on light gear. As a reminder, only one trout over 20 inches can be kept per day.

Henry Hagg Lake is now open year-round. 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. The reservoir was stocked in late September with approximately 5,600 better-than-legal sized fish, the final release of catchable sized trout this year. Legal trout releases are in addition to the 60,000 adipose fin-clipped rainbow trout fingerlings and 100,000 adipose fin-clipped spring Chinook salmon fingerlings released annually to reach harvestable size the following year. 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 above Hills Creek Reservoir is closed to fishing until Jan. 1, 2016.

HUDDLESTON POND: trout, bass, bluegill

Brood trout weighing up to 12 pounds scheduled for release Nov. 30. 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.

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. A number of very large brood trout became available this week and about 100 of these will be stocked sometime this week. As a reminder, zone regulations apply: five trout daily may be kept and only one over 20-inches.


Leaburg Lake is closed to fishing until Jan. 1, 2016.

Leaburg Dam is scheduled to remain open until June 2016.

McKenzie River
McKenzie River
-ODFW Photo-

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. This stretch of river was boat stocked for the last time this season in early September. All non-adipose fin-clipped trout must be released unharmed.

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. Gear is restricted to flies and lures, except bait use is allowed upstream of Hendricks Bridge through the end of the year.

Leaburg Dam is generally closed to all vehicle and pedestrian traffic from 8am-noon and 1pm-4pm Monday to Friday. For the week of Nov. 16, the Dam is scheduled to be open Monday and Tuesday without restrictions, but will be closed Wednesday through Friday 8am-noon and 1pm-4pm. Check EWEB’s website for current information and updates regarding dam access.

MCKENZIE RIVER above Leaburg Lake: trout, steelhead

The McKenzie River above Leaburg Lake is closed to fishing until Jan. 1, 2016.

MIDDLE FORK WILLAMETTE RIVER above Hills Creek Reservoir: trout

The Middle Fork Willamette River above Hills Creek Reservoir is closed to fishing until Jan. 1, 2016.


The Molalla River is fishable now that the fall rains have improved flows but numbers of available fish are certainly low. Depressed coho numbers at Willamette Falls could be limiting the movement of fish into the Molalla but it’s worth giving it a shot.

The winter steelhead run is way too early for anglers to begin targeting those fish. USGS hydrological data for the Molalla River on Nov. 16 shows flows at 872 cfs with a gauge reading of 11.93 feet as measured at the gauge in Canby.

MT HOOD POND: trout, crappie, bluegill

The pond will be stocked with 1,500 legal size rainbow trout and 150 larger rainbow trout during the week of November 16th. These are the fish originally intended for the cancelled Family Fishing Event that was scheduled for mid-October. That event will not be rescheduled but anglers can still have the opportunity to catch these trout now that water conditions have improved at the pond.

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.


Closed to trout fishing until May 22, 2016.

Fishermen are reminded that the boat ramp and marina at Promitory 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. All other access points to North Fork Reservoir are open, and ODFW will stock the lake with hatchery trout as in the past. For more information about the closure, visit PGE’s website (pdf)


Stocked in June with 2,800 legal-sized rainbow trout. 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.


Stream above Green Peter Reservoir provides excellent opportunities to fish for trout, with good bank access along most of its length. This river is now closed to fishing until Jan. 1. Regulation changes for 2016 will make 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 is open to catch-and-release fishing using artificial flies and lures only.


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

Coho Salmon
Joey Powers with a limit of coho he caught on the Sandy River
-Photo by Rick Swart-

SANDY RIVER: summer steelhead, coho

Despite the fall rains and great flows the coho catch has proven to be mediocre at best. There are a few fish around but not in numbers that Sandy River anglers are typically accustomed to. As of this past weekend Sandy Hatchery has had about 2,100 coho return with nearly one-quarter of them being jacks. Fortunately, the hatchery was able to meet its egg production goals for the season and is actually securing eggs for other hatcheries that have fallen short. They also continue to see some fairly nice summer steelhead swim, although those numbers are declining as we move later into November.

USGS hydrological data for the Sandy River on November 24 shows flows at 1.950 cfs with a gauge reading of 9.54 feet. The water temperature is now down around 40°.

SANTIAM RIVER (NORTH FORK): steelhead, Chinook

Summer steelhead continue to be present throughout the river and although coho numbers are below average this year, there are still some fresh adults arriving in the basin. As of Nov. 5, about 3,250 coho have passed above Willamette Falls. Recent rains have pushed more fish into the basin. Best bets are from Gates down to Mehama for steelhead and below Mehama for coho salmon.

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 fishing is now closed.

River levels best for fishing are below 3,000 cfs at the Mehama gauge (currently the Mehama gauge is around 2,400 cfs as of Nov. 9. Current conditions


This section of the river is now closed to fishing. Regulation changes for 2016 will make this section a year-round fishery so it will be open to trout fishing on Jan. 1, 2016. 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

Chinook fishing on the South Santiam re-opened Oct. 15. There are still summer steelhead available to the angler, including several hundred new fish that have only recently arrived in the basin. Coho are also found in the river below Lebanon.

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. Current flows are around 1,040 cfs as measured at Waterloo and should remain so for the next week.


Brood trout weighing up to 12 pounds scheduled for release Nov. 30. As a reminder, only one trout over 20 inches can be kept per day.

To get there take Hwy. 18 to Exit 33 onto Balston Rd. Go south on Balston Rd. approximately half a mile and turn left onto a gravel road leading about a quarter mile to the pond.


Stocked in August with legal- and larger-sized rainbow trout. This is a 65-acre reservoir on Silver Creek 2.5 miles south of Silverton on Hwy. 214.


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


Closed to fishing Nov. 1.

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

St. Louis Pond
St. Louis Pond
- Photo by Rick Swart-

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.

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

St. Louis Ponds is located 13 miles north of Salem and west of I-5. To get to there from the north, take the Woodburn exit off I-5. Then go east to Hwy. 99E. At Hwy. 99E, head south to the town of Gervais. At the light, go west on Gervais Rd. through Gervais. Gervais Rd. changes to St Louis Rd. Continue west on St Louis Rd. as it crosses over I-5 to Tesch Lane, at the railroad crossing. Go left on Tesch Lane and follow the signs to the ponds, about a mile to the main parking lot.

SUNNYSIDE PARK POND: bass, bluegill

This 4-acre pond is located 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.


Stocked in June with 11,000 rainbow trout. Timothy Lake is a 1,400-acre lake about 80 miles east of Portland past Mt. Hood. From Hwy 26 turn onto Forest Rd 42 (Skyline Rd), and then west to Forest Rd 57.


Trail Bridge Reservoir is open to year-round fishing. This reservoir was stocked for the last time this season in late July. 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.


Stocked Sept. 30 with 6,000 legal-sized rainbow trout. Trillium Lake 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.


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

Brood trout weighing up to 12 pounds scheduled for release Nov. 25. 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

Brood trout weighing up to 12 pounds scheduled for release Nov. 25. 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 will be stocked this week with 500 legal and 25 larger size rainbow trout. In addition, approximately 70 very large brood trout will be stocked this week. 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, coho, winter steelhead

It’s fair to say that moving into late November the coho run on the Sandy can be declared over for 2015. Despite the fall rains and great flows the coho catch has proven to be mediocre at best and though there are a few late stragglers left, the quality of fish around will be poor at best. As of this past weekend Sandy Hatchery has had about 2,300 coho return with nearly one-quarter of them being jacks. Fortunately, the hatchery was able to meet its egg production goals for the season and is actually securing eggs for other hatcheries that have fallen short.

Hatchery personnnel continue to see a few fairly nice summer steelhead swim, although those numbers are declining as we move later into November. It can be noted that some early hatchery winter steelhead swam into the holding ponds last week, so there’s likely winters to be found out in the lower Sandy. It’s early but perhaps this is a precursor to a great upcoming winter steelhead season on the Sandy River.

USGS hydrological data for the Sandy River on November 24 shows flows down a bit at 1,970 cfs with a gauge reading of 9.55 feet. The water temperature is now down around a chilly 40°.

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  Willamette Zone Hunting

Elk Hunt
Practice equals clean and accurate shot. 2015 Bull Elk
-Photo by Chace Arnold-


2015 Big Game Hunting Forecast

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

COAST 2nd SEASON BULL ELK CENTERFIRE FIREARMS Elk tend to feed during the night so hunters will want to target open grassy areas at dawn and dusk. During the day hunters will have the best success targeting bedding areas such as timber stands adjacent to clear cuts or open areas. The majority of leaves have dropped and weather conditions are good for hunting. Bull numbers should be good in both the Trask and Scappoose Units.

Hopefully, hunters found a little time to scout for elk during the black-tailed deer season, which should reduce the time it takes to find elk on opening morning. Please review the 2015 Big Game Hunting Regulations before your hunting trip to ensure that you are familiar with all of the requirements. Please remember, for the 2nd season the bag limit is “one spike elk” in the Wilson, Trask, and Siuslaw units. Please review the 2015 Big Game Hunting Regulations before your hunting trip to ensure that you are familiar with all of the requirements.

The late period of GENERAL DEER BOW season is open Nov. 21 – Dec. 13 in some northwest units. Please refer to the 2015 Big Game Hunting Regulations as not all units are open and bag limits vary by unit. Black-tailed deer are currently heavy in the rut. Bucks are either with does or they are looking for a receptive doe. Rattling and grunting can be effective this time of year. Bucks looking for does tend to travel ridge tops and saddles trying to catch the scent of a doe. Hunters may want to still hunt or hunt from a tree stand in these areas.

CONTROLLED ANTLERLESS DEER seasons are currently open for those hunters that have drawn tags. Hunters should check the 2015 Oregon Big Game Regulations for hunt dates and boundaries. Hunters are encouraged to voluntarily bring the heads from any harvested deer or elk into the ODFW offices in Clackamas or Sauvie Island so that samples can be taken for ongoing Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) monitoring. Call ahead to ensure someone will be around to collect the sample or to make an appointment for another day.

Return black-tailed deer teeth!

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

YOUTH ELK (limited entry) hunts opened on August 1 as part of a program to encourage youth participation in big game hunting. Youths must be accompanied by an adult at least 21 years of age. Youth hunters are required to wear a hunter (fluorescent) orange exterior garment or hat when hunting game mammals or upland game birds (except turkey) with any firearm.

Fall Bear Fall rains have caused most of the berries to mold and bears will start looking for other food sources such as fruits and insects. Hunters can increase their odds of success by finding fruit trees which are still producing apples, pears or plums. It is best to find a good vantage point to sit and wait for the bear to return. As the berries disappear for the year it will become increasing hard to target bears.

As other big game seasons are starting this fall be sure to have a fall bear tag with you while in the field to avoid missed opportunities. Many of the hunters that take late season bears find them while hunting for other species such as deer or elk.

Successful bear hunters will need to check-in any bear taken at an ODFW office within 10 days of harvest. Hunters are reminded that biologists located in field offices may be out in the field handling other issues so call ahead to make arrangements to have your bear checked-in. Be sure to bring in the skull (The skull must be unfrozen 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 2015 Big Game Hunting Regulations before your hunting trip to ensure that you are familiar with all of the requirements.

Cougar Success rates are expected to improve as Black-tailed deer and elk hunters spend many hours afoot in the field this season, keeping cougars on the move and vulnerable to detection. Biologists are checking in a few cougars harvested by hunters participating in other big game seasons. Hunters will have success calling cougars to them with predator calls that mimic a distressed deer fawn or elk calf. Approaching cougar can be difficult to see when you are predator calling so hunting with a partner is advised.

Dry weather conditions will concentrate the cougars prey species where food sources are more abundant and palatable such as around lakes, ponds, streams and wetlands. Hunters should spend time scouting these areas to increase their opportunity for success. As other big game seasons are starting this fall be sure to have a cougar tag with you while in the field to avoid missed opportunities.

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.

California Quail

California Quail
-Photo by Charlotte Ganskopp-

Upland Game Bird

Mountain and California Quail – Open from Sept. 1 to Jan 31 in Western Oregon. These brush loving birds are often found running between hiding and feeding areas in both brushy uplands and riparian zones. Clear-cuts that are under 10 years old provide good cover for Mountain Quail while California Quail prefer brushy fence rows near agricultural fields. A well trained dog will greatly improve your odds in locating and flushing birds. The best hunting will be found along the forest edges and across the Willamette Valley and hunters are reminded to obtain permission to hunt before entering private land. Please remember that the daily bag limit is 10 birds and the possession limit is 30 birds singly or in aggregate when both California and mt. quail seasons are concurrent. Remember that the head or one fully feathered wing must be left attached while you are in the field or transporting the bird(s) home. ODFW is conducting a survey to determine Mountain Quail locations east of the Cascade Mountains in Oregon. Please report and observations, including the date, specific location, county of observation, and number of quail to your local ODFW office.

Forest Grouse – Open from Sept. 1 - Jan 31 in Western Oregon. The forest grouse group collectively includes the Ruffed and Blue (dusky/sooty) grouse species. Look for grouse along the edges of timber patches during morning and evening times. Forest grouse will be out feeding on dry days and hunters should be concentrating their efforts where food sources are most abundant. Walking abandoned or closed roads is a good strategy for increasing your success rates Remember that the daily bag limit is 3 of each species and possession limit is 9 of each species. Remember that the head or one fully feathered wing must be left attached while you are in the field or transporting the bird(s) home. Review the information provided in the 2015-2016 Oregon Game Bird Regulations for more details.

Your participation is greatly needed

ODFW would appreciate your help in obtaining important information about the health of grouse and mountain quail populations. To do so ODFW would like the tail and one whole wing from any grouse or mountain quail harvested. Grouse and mt. quail wings and tails provide ODFW biologist important information about the health of populations. What to do; remove one entire wing and whole tail including small feathers, place in paper collecting bag provided at ODFW officers or use your own (1 bird per bag), mark the bag with species, date harvested, county of harvest and general location, and drop it off at local ODFW offices or at designated collection sites within the Mt. Hood National Forest. If there is a delay in dropping off your specimen, please freeze it.

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

Migratory Game Birds

GOOSE season will re-open for Period 2 Nov. 21 – Jan. 12, 2016. 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.

DUCK Open Oct. 17 – Jan 31, 2016 in Zone 1. Hunters are finding improved success as the rainy and stormy weather pushes ducks to protected ponds, lakes, and rivers. Forecasted weather conditions for the weekend shows a potential for rainy and windy conditions which typically keep birds moving during the day. Please review the 2015-2016 Oregon Game Bird Regulations for more information including legal shooting hours.

For the novice, ODFW suggests the reference, "A Beginner's Guide to Waterfowl Hunting" – a guide to the Sauvie Island Wildlife Area, which is packed with information about license requirements, seasons, access, how to hunt and maps.

Phesant hunting

Grant, Peter and Jason Spies 2011 Denman Reserve Hunt
- Photo by Debbie Spies-


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.

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

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

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

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

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

Be safe, be responsible and be legal.

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 Willamette Zone Wildlife Viewing

Corvallis Area

River Otter
River Otter
-Photo by Pat Matthews, ODFW-

EE Wilson Wildlife Area

Look and listen for songbirds and game birds—quail, doves and pheasants – on the wildlife area. Fall is a good time to see deer, especially at dawn and dusk, as well as rabbits, and an occasional river otter.

Waterfowl and shorebirds are building and will continue to increase as we move into winter. I a photo blind is available on the refuge for photographers seeking fall wildlife photos. It can be reserved by calling the refuge at 541-745-5334.

The wildlife area offers easy access via a grid of paved and gravel roads, dating back to the 1940s when the property was a military base during WWII. When visiting the E.E. Wilson Wildlife Area, be sure and tune your radio to 1140 AM for area information that is broadcast 24 hrs a day. The recording is updated seasonally.

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

Fern Ridge Wildlife Area is open daily for public use providing great wildlife viewing opportunities. Observant visitors may catch a glimpse of black tailed deer and furbearers including beaver and otter, mink, red fox and coyotes. Some of the unusual and special bird species to be on the lookout for include white pelicans, black terns, band-tailed pigeons, yellow-headed blackbirds, osprey and bald eagles. This is a great time of year to look for waterfowl, shore birds, wading birds, songbirds, raptors, reptiles, and amphibians. 

There is an elevated viewing platform in the Fisher Butte unit just south of Royal Avenue that is open year-round. A second viewing platform is located 1/4 mile north of the Fisher Butte unit parking lot on Hwy 126.

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.

Directions to Fern Ridge Wildlife Area.

Portland Area

Audubon Nature Sanctuary, Forest Park

Nestled against Forest Park, five minutes from downtown Portland, is Audubon’s 150-acre, free-to-the-public Nature Sanctuary—a showcase for native flora and fauna. It has over four miles of forested hiking trails for you to enjoy year 'round. More information. Trails are open dawn to dusk every day. Get directions.

American Dipper

American Dipper
- Photo by Greg Gillson-

Salem Area

Silver Creek Falls State Park

There are lots of birds to see and hear including American dippers and mountain quail. Listen for owls in the evening.

See the Silver Falls State Park Web site for directions, maps and a bird list.

Sauvie Island

Sauvie Island Wildlife Area

The Sauvie Island Wildlife Area Eastside and Westside Units, Oak Island and North Units closed Oct. 1 and will remain closed through April 15, 2016. Rentenaar Road, Eastside Viewing Platform and Coon point will remain open for viewing as well as the Columbia River beaches. The trail to Warrior Rock Lighthouse remains open and offers a great hike along with bird viewing. All open areas are on Reeder Road and require a parking permit.

Viewing opportunities are plentiful as the fall migration is upon us with a variety of waterfowl and migratory birds currently returning to the island, including geese, pelicans, tundra swans and peak numbers of sandhill cranes. Bald Eagles are starting to show up on the Island. Make sure you bring your binoculars.

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, and ODFW actively manages the Wildlife Area to provide food and cover for these creatures.

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.

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