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ODFW WEEKLY RECREATION REPORT
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Willamette Zone Map

Weekly Recreation Report: Willamette Zone

May 26, 2015

 Willamette Zone Fishing

Sturgeon Fishing
Sturgeon fishing on the Willamette.
-Photo by Rick Swart-

Weekend fishing opportunities:

  • The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife will host a family fishing event at Mt. Hood on Saturday, May 30 from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Fishing gear and instruction will be provided by ODFW staff and volunteers.
  • Youth Outdoor Day will be at EE Wilson Pond on Saturday May 30. While the fishing pond will be open to the public, hundreds of youth and their parents will be at the event and many will be at the pond.
  • On May 30 there will be a fishing event for the local Boy Scouts at Timber Linn Pond. While the pond will be open to the public, there will be dozens of youth fishing in the pond between 8 a.m. and noon.
  • As water becomes unseasonably warm in mid-Willamette Valley, trout stocking maybe canceled for some lakes and ponds in the district. Be sure to check the reports on individual lakes, ponds, and rivers for the latest stocking information.
  • Chinook salmon have begun moving into the Clackamas River and Santiam rivers.
  • Trout season opens at many western Oregon locations this weekend, including North Fork Reservoir, Estacada Lake, South Fork Yamhill and North Fork Santiam.
  • Fishing for spring Chinook continues on the lower Willamette River.
  • The following Willamette Valley ponds and lakes are scheduled to receive rainbow trout this week: Estacada Lake, Faraday Lake, Harriet Lake, North Fork Reservoir, St. Louis Pond, Mt. Hood Pond, Breitenbush River, EE Wilson Pond, Junction City Pond, Leaburg Lake, McKenzie River below Leaburh Dam, North Fork Santiam River.
  • Catch-and-release sturgeon fishery continues to provide some steady action in the Willamette River, with the St. Johns area and Milwaukie offering the best chance for success.
  • Anglers curious as to whether their favorite boat ramp is accessible in Willamette Basin Corps Reservoirs should consult the Army Corps Reservoir and river level information webpage.

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 now posted on the ODFW trout stocking page.

Check out the new trout stocking map

Find the location and details about the many lakes ponds and streams that receive hatchery trout from ODFW’s fish hatcheries on the new Google-based stocking map.

ALTON BAKER CANOE CANAL: trout

The Alton Baker Canoe Canal was recently stocked with 965 fish, including 150 larger trout. Fish are released at multiple locations along the length of the Canal, which will be stocked approximately every other week through May, at which time it will be stocked more frequently. The canal is located within Alton Baker Park and can be accessed off of Club Road in Eugene. A 4-acre pond at the midpoint of the canal is a good spot but it can be fished all along its 2-mile length from Day Island Road in Eugene to Aspen Street in Springfield. The Canal is open to angling all year.

rainbow trout
Rainbow Trout
- Photo by Kevin Clawson-

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

Stocked recently with 4,000 legal-sized 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, park is located on the south side of the freeway approx. 1/2 mile west of Multnomah Falls.

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

Stocked the week of May 4 with 1,500 legal-sized rainbow trout. This is a 64-acre lake located in Blue Lake Park 3 miles west of Troutdale. This family-friendly park as picnic areas, restrooms, walking trail, and ramp for small boats. Park is maintained by Multnomah County.

BLUE RIVER: trout, steelhead

Blue River is located east of Eugene near the town of Blue River, north of Highway 126. Blue River upstream of the reservoir was recently stocked. Only the river upstream of the reservoir is stocked with trout during trout season. Wild and hatchery trout are available for harvest upstream of the Reservoir. All wild trout caught in Blue River downstream of the reservoir must be released unharmed.

BLUE RIVER RESERVOIR: trout, warmwater species

Blue River Reservoir is located east of Eugene near the town of Blue River, north of Highway 126 and is open to year-round fishing. The reservoir was recently stocked. Only Saddle Dam boat ramp is accessible at current reservoir levels.

BREITENBUSH RIVER: trout

This fishery is currently open for trout. Trout are scheduled to be stocked (1800) the week of May 26. Holdover and resident trout can be found throughout the river. Anglers may keep up to 5 trout per day. Closed to salmon fishing.

CARMEN RESERVOIR: trout

Carmen Reservoir is accessed via FS Road 750 off Hwy 126, about 2 miles south of Clear Lake, and is open to fishing all year. Motor boats are prohibited on Carmen Reservoir. Carmen Reservoir was recently stocked with 3,000 rainbow trout.

CLACKAMAS RIVER: summer steelhead, spring Chinook

It should come as no surprise that Clackamas River flows remain low, making travel by sled tough, limiting anglers to drift boats or bank fishing. Fishing conditions are challenging and will hold this way for a few more days. Try fishing early or late in the day when the sun is off the water for increased chances of success. The low, clear water has led anglers to put little effort into fishing, however for those that do go fishing, catch has been slow to fair. A few summer steelhead are around while anglers are finding an occasional springer in the lower river. If you’re interested in catching steelhead concentrate below Barton Park. If spring Chinook are your target species concentrate your effort below Carver Park. Fish are acclimated near these locations. Of note is the hatchery at McIver Park has already seen about 300 spring Chinook show up in their trap, much earlier than normal.

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 landowners properties. If you have a 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.

Tuesday, May 26 hydrological data shows river flows at 1,160 cfs, a gauge reading of 11.21 feet and the water temperature near 54°. All of the readings come from the Estacada gauge near McIver Park.

Rainbow Trout
Rainbow Trout
-Washington Fish & Wildlife -

CLEAR LAKE: trout

Clear Lake is open to fishing all year and was recently stocked with 3,635 rainbow trout. In addition to seasonally stocked hatchery rainbow trout, naturally reproducing brook trout are also available. The lake is accessed from Highway 126 approximately 70 miles east of Springfield. Cabins and row boats are available for rent from Clear Lake Resort.

COAST FORK WILLAMETTE RIVER: trout

The Coast Fork Willamette River was last stocked for the season in mid-May. Fish are released from approximately Harrison Avenue Bridge to Bennett Creek Road. Both native and hatchery trout are available for harvest from April 25 through Oct. 31. Bait use is allowed during the same period.

COMMONWEALTH LAKE: trout, bass, bluegill, crappie

Stocked the week of May 11 with 3,000 legal-sized rainbow trout.

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

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

Cottage Grove Pond in the Row River Nature Park was last stocked for the season in early April. Trout and warmwater fish will continue to be available to anglers. To access this family-friendly fishery, travel east from Cottage Grove on Row River Road. The pond is located behind the truck scales and may be accessed via an asphalt pathway. Only the pond with the dock is seasonally stocked with hatchery trout. This pond also offers wildlife viewing opportunities and is open to fishing all year.

COTTAGE GROVE RESERVOIR: trout, warmwater species

Cottage Grove Reservoir was last stocked for the season in mid-April. The reservoir will be stocked again in October. The reservoir is south of Cottage Grove and is open to fishing all year. Wilson Creek and Lakeside Park boat ramps should be accessible at the current reservoir elevation.

NOTICE: The Oregon Health Authority has issued a health advisory updating information about eating fish caught in Cottage Grove Reservoir. Under the advisory issued June 5, 2012 people can safely consume up to nine meals per month of hatchery-grown rainbow trout month that are 12 inches in length or less. People can distinguish hatchery-grown rainbow trout by the absence of the adipose fin, which is clipped before hatchery fish are released into streams and reservoirs. Despite the new exception for rainbow trout, mercury contamination for resident warm-water fish, including bass, bluegill, crappie and bullhead continues to be a concern. Women of childbearing age, particularly pregnant or breastfeeding women, children under six years of age and persons having liver or kidney ailments should avoid eating any fish from this reservoir other than rainbow trout. Healthy women beyond childbearing age, other healthy adults and healthy children six years of age and older should eat no more than one 8-ounce meal of fish other than rainbow trout per month.

CRESWELL POND (GARDEN LAKE): trout, warmwater species

Garden Lake (Creswell Pond) was stocked for the last time this season in early April. Trout and warmwater fish should continue to be available, although aquatic vegetation can be a challenge for anglers. This family-friendly fishing 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 RESERVOIR: trout, kokanee

This reservoir receives over 100,000 trout throughout the year. It will receive another 10,000 legal size rainbow trout this week. There are plenty of holdover trout from last year as well as kokanee, mostly in the 10-13 inch range. Currently the reservoir is about 60 feet below full pool. Only Mongold State Park boat ramp is available. Check with local outfitters in the town of Detroit for fishing conditions.

NOTICE: As of May 21, he health advisory issued on May 5, 2015 for Detroit Reservoir for blue green algae has been lifted. However, anyone using the reservoir should be cautious and avoid swallowing or inhaling water. Skin contact may cause a rash for those with skin sensitivities. Be particularly vigilant with dogs; drinking blue green algae can be fatal to dogs. Visit the OHA website for more information.

DEXTER RESERVOIR: trout

Dexter Reservoir was last stocked for the season in late April. It will be stocked again in late September. 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 Highway 58.

DORENA RESERVOIR: trout, warmwater

Dorena Reservoir was last stocked for the season in late April. It will be stocked again in mid-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. Both Baker Bay and Harms Park boat ramps are accessible at current reservoir levels.

DORMAN POND: trout

Stocked the week of April 27 with 2,000 legal-sized rainbow trout. This is an eight-acre pond west of Forest Grove at the junction of Hwy. 8 and Hwy. 6.

EAGLE CREEK: spring Chinook

Eagle Creek is low and clear, like just about every water body in the state. It’s still a bit early but look for some spring Chinook to enter the creek in late May or early June if there’s decent flow at the mouth, as fish return from acclimation releases of two years ago.

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, trout

Youth Outdoor Day will be at EE Wilson Pond on Saturday May 30. While the fishing pond will be open to the public, hundreds of youth and their parents will be at the event and many will be at the pond.

Dissolved oxygen levels are rebounding well after a windmill that will mix the water and provide more oxygen to the bottom has been installed. The pond will receive another 1650 legal-sized, 100 larger, and 25 trophy size rainbow trout. This pond is located at EE Wilson Wildlife Area, about a ¼ mile hike from the main parking lot. A valid wildlife area parking permit is required.

ESTACADA LAKE: trout

Stocked the week of May 25 with 1,500 legal-sized rainbow trout.

Estacada Lake is a 150-acre reservoir on the Clackamas River behind River Mill Dam. There is a boat ramp in Milo McIver State Park at the lower end of the reservoir. A fishing dock next to the boat ramp provides non-boating access to the lake.

FALL CREEK: trout

Fall Creek upstream of Fall Creek Reservoir (northeast of Lowell) was recently stocked with 1,750 rainbow trout. Fish are released at multiple locations on the stream upstream of the reservoir up to Gold Creek. Native trout are legal to harvest in Fall Creek upstream and downstream of the dam through October.

Fishing
Fishing in Oregon
-Oregon Fish and Wildlife-

FALL CREEK RESERVOIR: trout

Fall Creek Reservoir is open to fishing all year, but boat access is limited due to low flows this spring. The North Shore boat ramp near the dam is unlocked from approximately 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. and is currently the only accessible boat ramp.

FARADAY LAKE: trout

Stocked the week of May 25 with 3,000 legal-sized rainbow trout. This is a 25-acre reservoir located 1.1 miles southeast of Estacada on Hwy. 224 next to a PGE hydro plant.

FERN RIDGE RESERVOIR: largemouth bass, crappie, bluegill, brown bullhead

This 9,000 acre lake just 12 miles west of Eugene is the Willamette Basin’s largest water body. This reservoir is just shy of full pool and all four boat ramps are available at this time.

For local information regarding the lake and available boat ramps, contact the Lane County Parks Department at 541-682-2000. This lake is mostly shallow with a band of deep water from the original channel of the Long Tom River.

The reservoir produces crappie over 12 inches and bass angling has been very good in recent years. Best time of year for crappie is 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. It was last stocked the week of May 18 with 4,000 legal-size and 300 larger rainbow trout. Water released from Green Peter has filled up this reservoir to about 6 feet below full pool. All boat ramps are currently available.

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: trout

It was last stocked May 5 with 700 legal and 50 larger-sized rainbow trout. 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 should be improving at Freeway Lakes as the water warms and the fish become more active.

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. It was stocked again the first week of May with 6,000 legal-size rainbow trout.

Kokanee fishing has returned and with the warming temperatures the fish are becoming active. Most fish, including holdover trout, are being caught between 20-40 feet below the surface.

Smallmouth bass can be found near underwater structure and at drop-offs. The reservoir level is currently about 40 ft. below full pool – both Thistle Creek and Whitcomb Island boat ramps are currently available.

Water releases below the reservoir are being reduced to fill the reservoir more quickly. The lack of rain and snow pack, however, might not bring the reservoir to full pool by the beginning of summer.

HALDEMAN POND: trout

Stocked the week of May 4 with 2,000 legal-sized rainbow trout. This is a stocked 2-acre pond on the Sauvie Island Wildlife Area that offers good bank access. Ideal for kids. A parking permit is required while on the wildlife area. Permits are available from all ODFW license vendors.

HARRIET LAKE: trout

Stocked the week of April 13 with 2,00May 25 withy 2,000 legal-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.

HARTMAN POND: trout

Stocked the week of May 4 with 1,750 legal-sized rainbow trout. This is a year-round warmwater and spring trout fishing pond in the Columbia River Gorge. Excellent for non-boating anglers.

From I-84, take the Benson State Park exit. The pond is adjacent to the Columbia River adjoining Benson State Recreation Area.

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 18 with 3,000 legal-sized rainbow trout. 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 angling. Hills Creek Reservoir was stocked in mid-April with 6,767 legal-sized rainbow trout. These legal-sized trout 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. Adipose fin-clipped fingerlings get to good size and fight well! Trout and salmon must be adipose-fin clipped to be harvested. Warmwater fish are also available for harvest. Large native trout are available for catch-and-release fishing.

Packard Creek and CT Beach boat ramps are accessible at current reservoir levels.

HILLS CREEK above HILLS CREEK RESERVOIR: trout

Hills Creek above Hills Creek Reservoir is no longer stocked, but native fish are available for harvest. Use of bait is allowed April 25 through Oct. 31.

HUDDLESTON POND: trout, bluegill

Stocked the week of May 11 with 1,200 legal-sized rainbow trout ande 25 trophy trout. Huddleston is a 5-acre pond located within Huddleston Pond Park in the city of Willamina, Ore. A former mill pond, it contains woody debris that provides habitat for bass and bluegill. It reaches a maximum depth of about 10 feet, with shallow "kid-friendly" edges. It is ADA accessible in places, with a restroom and picnic areas nearby. There is paved parking lot and small ramp for people who want to launch small, non-motorized boats.

JUNCTION CITY POND: trout, crappie

It will be stocked this week with 1650 legal, 100 larger sized, and 25 trophy rainbow trout. Junction City is a popular stocked trout fishing pond located about 2 miles south of Junction City on 99W on the west side of the highway. There is excellent access around the entire 8-acre pond. A few large brood trout may still be available as well. As a reminder, zone regulations apply: five trout daily may be kept and only one over 20-inches.

LEABURG LAKE: trout

Leaburg Lake will be stocked this week with 1,450 trout, including 250 larger fish. Only adipose fin-clipped trout may be retained; all wild trout must be released unharmed. Leaburg Lake will be stocked weekly through July, and then every other week through Labor Day. This waterbody also benefits from upriver stockings. Use of bait is allowed during trout season (through October).

Fishing
Fly Fishing
-Royalty Free Image-

MCKENZIE RIVER below Leaburg Lake: trout, salmon, steelhead

The McKenzie River below Leaburg Lake will be boat stocked this week from Leaburg Landing to Hendricks Bridge with a total of 6,010 hatchery trout, including 1,750 larger trout. All non-adipose fin-clipped trout must be released unharmed.

This river reach is open to retention of adipose fin-clipped 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.

MCKENZIE RIVER above Leaburg Lake: trout, steelhead

The McKenzie River above Leaburg Lake is stocked with hatchery trout from the Goodpasture Bridge boat landing upstream to Finn Rock (through mid-June) or Forest Glen boat landing near the town of Blue River (beginning in late June). The upper McKenzie River was recently boat stocked with 9,100 rainbow trout, including 2,250 larger trout. All non-adipose fin-clipped trout must be released unharmed.

The river is open to retention of adipose fin-clipped steelhead and non-adipose fin-clipped steelhead greater than 24 inches in length up to Trail Bridge Dam. A Columbia River Basin Endorsement is required for anglers targeting salmon and steelhead in the McKenzie.

Bait use is allowed up to Forest Glen boat ramp, which coincides with the stocked portion of the river.

MIDDLE FORK WILLAMETTE RIVER above Hills Creek Reservoir: trout

The Middle Fork Willamette River above Hills Creek Reservoir is open to catch-and-release fishing for trout through Oct. 31. This reach of river is no longer stocked, although there may be some adipose fin-clipped trout originating from the reservoir available for harvest in the lower river reach. Gear use is limited to flies and lures.

MOLALLA RIVER: winter steelhead, spring Chinook

The Molalla River is running very low and clear, making for some tougher fishing conditions. For increased success, try early and late in the day when the sun is off the water. Spring Chinook passage is still high at Willamette Falls so there should be springers in the Molalla. These fish would be returning adults from the 100,000 smolts released upstream at the Trout Creek acclimation site a couple years ago.

MT HOOD POND: trout, crappie, bluegill

The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife will host a family fishing event at Mt. Hood Pond on Saturday, May 30 from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Fishing gear and instruction will be provided by ODFW staff and volunteers. The pond will be stocked with trout beforehand. This venue is open only to youths 17 and under and individuals with a valid Oregon Disabilities Fishing Permit.

This is a 5-acre pond on the campus of Mt. Hood Community College in Gresham. Angling is restricted to youths age 17 and under and holders of ODFW's Disabled Anglers permits from April 1 - Aug. 31.

NORTH FORK RESERVOIR: trout

Stocked the week of May 25 with 6,000 legal-sized rainbow trout; this is in addition to 10,000 trout that were released into the reservoir the previous week.

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

Fishermen are reminded that the boat ramp and marina at Promitory Park will be 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)

PROGRESS LAKE: trout, brown bullhead

Stocked the week of April 27 with 1,000 legal-sized rainbow trout. This is a 4-acre pond next to the Progress Ridge Town Center in Beaverton, Oregon. The pond is an old rock pit and has a maximum depth of 54 feet. There is a sidewalk, fishing platform and viewing platform on one side of the lake. Boating and swimming are not allowed.

QUARTZVILLE CREEK: trout

This beautiful stream is located above Green Peter Reservoir and provides excellent opportunities to fish for trout. There is good bank access along most of its length. Trout season is currently open. The river was last stocked the week of May 18 with 3,000 rainbow trout. There are opportunities to catch some nice wild cutthroat trout as well. 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.

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 7 miles. Park is on the right. It was stocked again on May 5 with 160 legal and 20 larger-size rainbow trout. Due to deteriorating water quality conditions, Roaring River Pond will no longer be stocked in 2015.

SALMON CREEK: trout

Salmon Creek is a tributary to the Middle Fork Willamette River east of Oakridge and is open to trout harvest through October. Salmon Creek was recently stocked at multiple locations up to the Black Creek Road bridge crossing with a total of 1,750 hatchery rainbow trout. Bait use is allowed through Oct. 31. Both native and hatchery trout are available for harvest.

SALT CREEK: trout

Salt Creek is a tributary to the Middle Fork Willamette River east of Oakridge and is open to trout harvest through October. This stream is not stocked, but native trout are available for harvest and bait use is allowed during trout season (April 25 through Oct. 31).

SANDY RIVER: spring Chinook, summer steelhead

The Sandy River flows are low and angler effort is light. Fresh summer steelhead should be in the river from Cedar Creek downstream. Best areas for hooking steelhead are near Cedar Creek, Dodge Park, and Revenue. There’s also been a few spring Chinook caught in the lower river. This fishery should begin to pick up in the near future. If spring Chinook are your target species, concentrate your efforts in the lower river below Dodge Park. Springers are acclimated near the mouth of the Bull Run River and dropping flows should cause fish to begin to hold below Dodge Park.

Hydrological data for the Sandy River on May 26 shows flows at 1,010 cfs, a gauge reading of 8.70 feet, and the water temperature at 52°.

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

SANTIAM RIVER (NORTH FORK): steelhead, Chinook

River conditions are very good at the moment and should remain so for the next week. Steelhead and Chinook are entering the basin in good numbers. Over 120 summer steelhead and 1800 hatchery spring Chinook have navigated Upper Bennett dam as of May 26. Best bets for these fish are in the lower river, from Green’s Bridge down to Jefferson, from Packsaddle to Fishermen’s Bend, and from Mehama down to Stayton.

More fish are on the way. Counts at Willamette Falls fish ladder show over 1200 summer steelhead, over 33,500 spring Chinook, and about 4,300 winter steelhead have passed into the upper Willamette as of May 11.

When the ‘bite’ is on, bobbers and jigs are the preferred angling method with spoons, spinners and egg clusters also being effective. Currently the entire river below Packsaddle Park (near the Minto Fish Facility) is open year-round to adipose fin-clipped steelhead. Trout fishing opens this Saturday May 23, 2015.

River levels best for fishing are below 3,000 cfs at the Mehama gauge (currently the Mehama gauge is around 1,400 cfs as of May 18. Current conditions

CAUTION: The section between Shelburn and Green’s Bridge remains hazardous for boaters because of downed trees and multiple side channels. Better bets are the floats below Green’s Bridge and above Stayton.

NEW CAUTION: There is a large tree across the entire river between Green’s Bridge and the confluence with the South Santiam above Jefferson making this stretch of river extremely hazardous for boaters. Oregon State Marine Board is aware of this and are working on removing it. Better sections for boaters are below Jefferson and from Stayton to Shelburn.

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

SANTIAM RIVER (NORTH FORK) above DETROIT:

This section of the river is currently open to trout fishing. The river will be stocked with 3000 trout the last week of May. Holdover and resident trout can be found throughout the river. Anglers may keep up to 5 trout per day.

Closed to salmon fishing.

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

New summer steelhead and spring Chinook are arriving every day at Willamette Falls but it will take a few weeks before the majority of them arrive in the basin. Spring Chinook and a few summer steelhead are in the basin now and can be found throughout the river. So far, 122 summer steelhead and 1,700 spring Chinook have entered the trap below Foster as of May 26. 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.

Opens to trout fishing May 23, 2015.

SHERIDAN POND: trout

The pond was stocked last week with 600 legal- sized rainbow trout and 300 larger-sized trout. Sheridan Pond is a 2 ½-acre pond located on the edge of town. An old mill pond, it has plenty of bank access, parking, and a restroom. To get there take Hwy. 18 to Exit 33 onto Balston Rd. Go south on Balston Rd. approximately half a mile and turn left onto a gravel road leading about a quarter mile to the pond.

SILVER CREEK RESERVOIR: trout, catfish

Stocked the week of May 18 with 2,600 legal- and larger-sized rainbow trout and 200 larger trout. This is a 65-acre reservoir on Silver Creek 2.5 miles south of Silverton on Hwy. 214.

SMITH RESERVOIR: trout

Smith Reservoir was recently stocked with 5,000 legal-sized rainbow trout. Smith Reservoir is north of Trail Bridge Reservoir and is accessed by turning off Hwy 126 at Trail Bridge Reservoir and following FS Road 730 north to Smith Dam.

The reservoir is not visible from the highway and is open to year-around fishing. Both native and hatchery trout are available for harvest.

SOUTH FORK YAMHILL RIVER: trout

Stocked the week of May 18 with 1,900 rainbow trout, including 400 half-pounders in preparation for the opening of trout season on Saturday, May 23. The South Fork Yamhill from its confluence with the North Yamhill near McMinnville, upstream about 20 miles to Rock Creek near Grand Ronde is stocked with rainbow trout. Trout are released in multiple locations between Gold Creek Road Bridge and Willamina.

Yamhill River Road runs parallel to much of this section and provides adequate turnouts and parking at several locations near the river. The remaining 15 miles of river open to trout fishing has some public access but also meanders across private lands. ODFW reminds anglers to be aware of and respectful toward private property rights along the river.

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

Stocked the week of May 25 with 500 legal-sized and 200 larger rainbow trout.

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.

SUNNYSIDE PARK POND: trout, bass, bluegill

This 4-acre pond is located 2 miles above the upper end of Foster Reservoir. It was last stocked the week of May 11 with 1,333 legal and 50 larger size rainbow trout. Sunnyside Pond also offers bluegill and largemouth bass year round. Fishing for bass and bluegill should be improving as the water warms and fish become more active.

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.

TIMOTHY LAKE: trout

Stocked the week of May 18 with 5,500 legal-sized rainbow trout. This stocking is in addition to an additional 5,500 the previous week.

Timothy 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.

TIMBER LINN POND: rainbow trout

This beautiful, family-friendly fishing pond is located within the 8-acre Timber-Linn Memorial Park in Albany. It was last stocked the week of May 11 with 250 legal and 25 larger-size rainbow trout. Please keep in mind that only one fish over 20-inches may be taken p.er 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.

On May 30 there will be a fishing event for the local Boy Scouts at Timber Linn Pond. While the pond will be open to the public, there will be dozens of youth fishing in the pond between 8 a.m. and noon.

TRAIL BRIDGE RESERVOIR: trout

Trail Bridge Reservoir is open to year-round fishing. This waterbody is adjacent to Hwy 126 and is approximately 60 miles east of Springfield. Only adipose fin-clipped trout may be harvested from Trail Bridge Reservoir. Flies and lures only may be used. Trail Bridge Reservoir was stocked in mid-May with 3,085 trout.

TRILLIUM LAKE: trout

Stocked the week of May 11 with 4,500 legal-sized rainbow trout

Trillium is a 60-acre lake located approximately three miles east of Government Camp off of Hwy 26. This lake is popular for fishing, camping and photography, often clearly reflecting Mount Hood. Adjacent Trillium Lake Campground is administered by the Zigzag Ranger District of the Mount Hood National Forest. The large campground features a seasonal boat ramp and wheelchair-accessible floating dock.

TROJAN PONDS: trout

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

WALLING POND: trout, crappie, bass

This pond was last stocked first week of May with 300 legal-size rainbow trout. As a reminder, zone regulations apply: five trout daily may be kept and only one may be over 20 inches. This is an 8-acre privately owned pond located in Salem at the northeast corner of McGilchrist and 16th Streets, S.E.

WALTER WIRTH LAKE: trout, crappie, bass

This popular Salem fishery was stocked again the first week of May with 1,700 legal and 150 larger size rainbow trout. As a reminder, only one fish over 20-inches may be kept. Walter Wirth is a 20-acre lake located within the City of Salem’s Cascades Gateway Park.

WAVERLY POND: trout, bluegill, catfish

Waverly Pond is located in Albany and is regularly stocked in fall, winter and spring. It was last stocked the week of May 11 with 160 legal and 20 larger size rainbow trout. 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.

Fishing for warmwater gamefish such as bass, bluegill, crappie, and catfish should be improving at Waverly Lake as the water warms and the fish become more active.

WILLAMETTE RIVER: sturgeon, spring Chinook, shad

Despite it being late May spring Chinook anglers continued to get into the fish in the lower Willamette last week as water conditions held steady and more fish entered the river heading upstream. The best catch rates checked by ODFW showed up in the lower Multnomah Channel and a few fish were hooked in the Oregon City area. Shad fishing in Gladstone and Oregon City has been good in recent days also.

Daily counts at the Willamette Falls fish ladder continue with the partial passage for winter steelhead through May 20th standing at over 4,400. The summer steelhead count sits at over 1,100 fish passing, while partial numbers through May 20th now sit at over 35,500 for spring Chinook having passed through the ladder.

For anglers interested in sturgeon fishing, the “catch-and-release” sturgeon fishery remains a decent bet for hooking into fish and finding steady action with the St. Johns area and Milwaukie offering the best chance for success.

Hydrological numbers for the Willamette on May 26 show flows low but steady at 8.920 cfs, a water temperature in Oregon City holding at 63°, and visibility good at 6.5 ft.

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  Willamette Zone Hunting

OPEN: COUGAR, COYOTE, SPRING BEAR, SPRING TURKEY

See the turkey hunting forecast.

EVENT:

Free archery instruction, EE Wilson Wildlife Area every third Saturday of the month. Volunteers from Oregon Bow Hunters will be on hand to teach beginners and intermediate level new archers. No RSVP or pre-registration required. Free but parking permit required; for sale online or at license sales agent but not at wildlife area so get it before you visit.

Basic Archery class with Benton Bowman in Philomath, June 20. Learn the art of archery at a workshop designed for beginners.

Spring Turkey

Spring Turkey season closes May 31 for those with a tag. Gobblers are actively strutting and gobbling this time of year. During the late portion of the seasons, hunters are advised to be more patient as gobblers have heard a variety of calls and may be cautious or slower to respond. Most turkey hunting in the Willamette Zone occurs on private lands. Hunters wishing to have the best chance for success should meet landowners and secure access to a place to hunt prior to the start of the season. If you didn’t secure access before the season you should work to secure access early in the season. Hunters should use a jake and hen decoy in attempt to draw in a tom to within range. Hone your turkey calling skills by listening to the sounds of live wild turkeys. Turkeys are abundant in the foothills surrounding the Willamette Valley and hunting can be very good for the hunters that have access to private lands that hold turkeys.

Big Game

Spring BEAR season closes May 31 in NW Oregon for those with a controlled spring bear tag. Biologists report many successful hunters have recently brought in bears to be checked in. Majority of bears being checked in have been harvested in NE and SW Oregon. NW Oregon bear harvest has been low. Hunting should improve as the weather improves. Bears feed heavily on grasses and other plants in the early spring and hunters should concentrate their scouting around meadows, low elevation riparian zones, and open hillsides. Bears also feed on insects and grubs which they find in rotting logs and stumps. Look for freshly disturbed logs and stumps to determine if a bear is feeding in the area. Tracks, scat and other bear sign should be easily located in areas where bears are frequenting. Glassing clearcuts and other openings early in the morning can be another productive method to locate bears. The bear rut begins to kick in during the later parts of the season and hunters may find boars trailing sows. Please review the 2015 Big Game Hunting Regulations before your hunting trip to ensure that you are familiar with all of the requirements.

Successful bear hunters will need to check-in any bear taken at an ODFW office within 10 days of harvest. Hunters are reminded that biologists located in field offices may be out in the field handling other issues so call ahead to make arrangements to have your bear checked-in. Be sure to bring in the skull (The skull must be unfrozen) without the hide, a copy of 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 and measuring. Please review the 2015 Big Game Hunting Regulations before your hunting trip to ensure that you are familiar with all of the requirements.

cougar
Cougar
-Oregon Fish and Wildlife-

The 2015 Cougar season is currently open in NW Oregon for those with a cougar tag. Opportunities to track cougars in the snow of the Cascade Mountains will be difficult due to the limited snowpack this winter. Hunters can use predator calls that mimic an animal in distress to draw cougar into the open. Hunters will have their best 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.

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.

Hunter orange required for youth

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

Industrial forestland owners will usually have information regarding access to their property posted on their gates and usually have a “hotline” devoted to providing up-to-date access for hunters. In addition, many private timberlands use the following link to provide information regarding the access policy for their private lands.

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

BE PREPARED

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.

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 Willamette Zone Wildlife Viewing

Valleywide

Western Meadowlark
Western Medowlark
- Photo by Kathy Munsel, ODFW-

The WESTERN MEADOWLARK was voted Oregon’s state bird by school children in 1927. Meadowlarks are found in grassland-type habitats where they sing from perches such as fence posts, shrubs, trees, or powerlines. Remnant grassland prairie habitats, pastures and even young Christmas tree plantations along the edge of the Willamette Valley are good places to find these birds. Listen for their liquid, melodious song. Western meadowlarks can be seen in fair numbers just north of the east end of Diamond Hill Rd. (Diamond hill road crosses I-5 at the Harrisburg exit). There are untilled pasture lands that still support the native Willamette Valley sunflower and our state bird that has such a beautiful and distinctive call. Although meadowlark populations are abundant in Eastern Oregon, they are declining in the valley because of loss of native prairie to farming and development. s their habitat shrinks nest predators like fox, skunk, raccoon and non-native opossum and house cats have an increasing impact on these grassland birds.

HARLEQUIN DUCKS are Oregon’s only “anadromous” duck. This seaduck winters in the churning rocky intertidal zone at the coast and then moves inland to breed on turbulent mountain streams that mimic the crashing waters of their coastal environment. This bird has adapted to a unique way of life geared to taking advantage of the abundance of food that occurs where water flows fast and frothy. Harlequin ducks can be viewed in the spring and early summer along the middle and upper McKenzie River at Cooks Rapid or Bear Creek Rapid and the Middle Fork Willamette River around the town of Oakridge. They can also be found on the North Santiam River from Mill City upstream to above Marion Forks.

NEWTS, a type of salamander common in the Pacific Northwest, may be observed in their migration from terrestrial environs such as rotten logs and moist soil to their breeding grounds in ponds, small lakes and the edges of streams. These small amphibians may be found if you are hiking in forests during or just after it rains.

Great Blue Heron
Great Blue Heron
-Photo by Maxine Wyatt-

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.

Many animals have young in the nest or den at this time of year. Typically the adult is foraging for food nearby and will return. Please do not pick up young birds or mammals, as this can decrease their chance of survival.

Deer and elk

Elk and deer are beginning to have their fawns and calves. Cow elk and black-tailed deer does carefully select their birthing areas, which are usually in locations close to food, heavy cover for hiding, and water. Deer often give birth along the edge of openings. Elk typically have a single calf, with twins rare, while twins are more common with black-tailed deer. Young of both species are spotted for the first several months of their lives, and are virtually scentless when very young. They rely on hiding and remaining motionless to avoid discovery by predators or man. If you find one in the woods, please leave it alone. The mother is typically feeding nearby.

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

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.

Directions to EE Wilson Wildlife Area: 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.

Fern Ridge Wildlife Area

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

Fern Ridge Wildlife Area

The East Coyote, West Coyote Fisher Butte and Royal Amazon units are now closed to public access six days a week to provide sanctuary for ducks, geese and other birds that are nesting in preparation for the upcoming migration. The closure will be in effect, except on designated trails, through April 30. These areas are open to public access on Saturdays.

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

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

The majority of Fern Ridge Wildlife Area is open daily for public use providing great wildlife viewing opportunities. Visitors are reminded there are seasonal access restrictions in place in five units during the fall and winter to provide wildlife sanctuary.

The entire Fern Ridge lake water area and surrounding mudflats remain open daily year-round. The mudflats surrounding the lake low winter pool can provide for excellent hiking on a sandbar type lake bottom that extends for miles. Dogs are allowed on the Wildlife Area but now that hunting season is closed must be leashed.

Parking areas are located along Highway 126, Nielson Road, Cantrell Road, Territorial Highway, and Clear Lake Road. Contact the wildlife area headquarters, (541) 935-2591 if you have any questions.

Sauvie Island Wildlife Area

American White Pelican
American White Pelican
-Photo by Dave Budeau-

Sauvie Island Wildlife Area is now open.

Bird watching is excellent with spring migrants and summer resident arriving. White pelicans are showing up in larger numbers, as are purple martins and cliff swallows. The bald eagles and osprey are nesting and may be viewed from various observation points. Northern harriers, red-tailed hawks, and American kestrel may still be seen on the wildlife area and other points on the island.

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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   © ODFW. All rights reserved. This page was last updated: 05/27/2015 10:41 AM