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ODFW WEEKLY RECREATION REPORT
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Willamette Zone Map

Weekly Recreation Report: Willamette Zone

September 20, 2016

 Willamette Zone Fishing

steelhead
Mark Heney, Summer Steelhead on the South Saniam River.
-Photo by Ron Donovan-

Weekend fishing opportunities

  • Trout stocking resumes this week with planned releases at Henry Hagg Lake, Small Fry Lake, Estacada Lake, Faraday Lake, Alton Baker Canal, Dexter Reservoir, and Foster Reservoir. A release at North Fork Reservoir has been cancelled due to low water levels.
  • Coho are moving into the lower Clackamas and Sandy rivers, with some reports of catches in the lower reaches.
  • Steelhead fishing has been fair to good on the South Santiam River.
  • Summer steelhead have been “recycled” into Faraday Lake.
  • Clear Lake is open to fishing all year and was recently stocked with 2,500 rainbow trout, including 500 larger trout.
  • Rainbow trout will be released this week at Alton Baker Canal, the McKenzie River above Leaburg Lake, and St. Louis Ponds.
  • More than 600 trophy trout (2 lbs. and larger) were recently released in Harriet Lake on the Mt. Hood National Forest.
  • If fishing the rivers for trout or salmon, avoid angling during the hottest part of the day when these cold-water fish are already stressed. Plus, they’re more likely to bite during the cool parts of the day – early morning and late evening.
  • Check the Army Corps reservoir elevations before heading out to make sure your favorite boat ramp still reaches the water.

Use caution when boating in low water conditions

Anglers fishing from boats are reminded that warm water conditions this time of year can be challenging and to take appropriate precautions. Inaccessible boat ramps, gravel bars, log jams, and other hazards are more prevalent during warm water conditions and lead to acccidents, many of which are avoidable. The Oregon State Marine Board has issued some tips for boaters to consider during the summer months for a safe and enjoyable outing.

If your favorite fishing spot is no longer listed

It could be the area is closed, inaccessible due or currently offers limited fishing opportunities. These water bodies will return to the recreation report when conditions change. If you believe something is missing, contact us and we’ll find out why.

Send us your fishing report

We’d love to hear about your recent fishing experience. Send us your own fishing report through ODFW Fishing Reports – the information will be forwarded to the local biologist who may use it to update various ODFW resources such as the Weekly Recreation Report.

2016 trout stocking

The 2016 trout stocking schedules for the North Willamette Watershed (pdf) District and the South Willamette Watershed (pdf) District are posted on the ODFW Trout Stocking Page. Take a look to find out when and where Oregon’s hatchery trout are being released around the state.

High Lakes stocking

ODFW takes very small fish to Oregon’s high lakes by helicopter, mule and river boats. Take a look at where these fish were released in the past and where you might even encounter some of them on your next backpacking trek. It typically takes only a year after stocking for fish to reach catchable size. North Willamette High Lakes Stocking |Mid-Willamette High Lakes Stocking |South Willamette High Lakes Stocking

Check out our interactive trout stocking map

Find the location and details about the many lakes ponds and streams that receive hatchery trout from ODFW’s fish hatcheries on our Google-based stocking map. Click on the fish icons to bring up all the pertinent information about the state’s trout fishing locations.

ALTON BAKER CANOE CANAL: trout

The Alton Baker Canoe Canal will be stocked this week with a total of 965 trout. Fish are released at multiple locations along the canal. The canal will be stocked approximately every other week through mid-November and is a great place to take the kids fishing.

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 the spring with rainbow trout. This is a 40-acre lake located in Benson State Park in the Columbia River Gorge. From Portland, head east on I-84; the park is located on the south side of the freeway about 1/2 mile west of Multnomah Falls.

BETHANY POND: rainbow trout, largemouth bass, crappie, bluegill, bullhead

Stocked this spring with rainbow trout. This is a 10-acre pond located at Bethany west of Portland. The pond is maintained by Tualatin Hills Park and Rec. Amenities include picnic tables, restrooms, and a paved, ADA accessible trail.
Blue Lake
Blue Lake
-Photo by Rick Swart, ODFW-

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

HEALTH ADVISORY: The lake has been closed to swimming, wading and fishing due to a suspected blue green algae bloom. The Oregon Health Authority has issued a public health advisory that will be in place until further notice. For more information, visit Metro.

This 64-acre lake is located in Blue Lake Regional Park three miles west of Troutdale. Amenities include picnic areas, restrooms, walking trail, and ramp for small boats. Park is maintained by Metro.

BLUE RIVER: trout

Blue River above Blue River Reservoir was stocked for the season in late June. Bait use is allowed through Oct. 31. Two wild trout may be harvested per day above Blue River Reservoir only. Otherwise, anglers may keep 5 hatchery trout per day.

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 was stocked in late June for the last time this season. The boat ramps are not accessible at current reservoir elevations.

BREITENBUSH RIVER: trout

Regulation changes for 2016 year allow fishing on this river year-round. Trout stocking finished up in early August with a final release of 1,800 hatchery trout. Anglers may keep up to 5 trout per day. Note that the river is closed to salmon fishing year-round.

As the fall season approaches, NF-46 paved road along the Breitenbush River and Clackamas River from Detroit to Clackamas via Estacada is a beautiful drive for a two-hour family outing.

CANBY POND: trout, bass, crappie, bluegill

Canby Pond will not be stocked again until fall due to warm water temperatures and thick aquatic vegetation. However, warmwater fishing for bass, crappie, and bluegill with jigs and surface lures is still a viable option. Canby Pond is a one-acre pond located on the south end of Canby, in Canby City Park. This pond is open only to youth 17 years old and under, as well as persons who possess ODFW's Disabled Hunting and Fishing Permits.

CARMEN RESERVOIR: trout

Carmen Reservoir was stocked in early August for the last time this season. Carmen Reservoir is accessed via USFS Road 750 off Hwy. 126, about two miles south of Clear Lake. It is open to fishing all year. Motor boats are prohibited

CLACKAMAS RIVER: summer steelhead, spring Chinook

Some pretty decent rain over the weekend helped to move a few coho further up into the river with reliable reports of fish now holding above Carver. In spite of the rainfall the river is dropping quickly and still running low and clear, with this trend continuing for the next several days. The river will remain a drift or pontoon boat fishery with conditions too low to try and navigate in a sled safely, so boaters beware of partially submerged boulders, gravel bars, and logs.

The boat fishery above Rivermill Dam is still producing an occasional fish with anglers finding some action on summer steelhead and a rare spring Chinook when working the water just above the log boom or trolling a bit further upstream from the dam. Boat anglers can access the lake from a boat ramp in McIver Park.

Over 620 hatchery springers have made it up into the PGE trap below North Fork Reservoir; these fish were previously being recycled back downstream to provide additional fishing opportunities but are now transported to Clackamas Hatchery for broodstock and future spawning. Wild spring Chinook have also made it to the trap with that number now exceeding 2,825 fish passed upstream.

A great summer steelhead run is continuing with over 2,250 hatchery summers reaching the North Fork Trap. A number of these fish were getting recycled downstream but recently they’ve been stocked into Faraday Lake for anglers to enjoy. Clackamas Hatchery at McIver Park has their water system back online and has had a large number of summer steelhead and over 900 Chinook worked this summer.

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 Sept. 19 shows river flows up some but dropping at 888 cfs, with a gauge reading of 10.74 feet and the water temperature falling to near 56° F. All of the readings come from the Estacada gauge near Milo McIver State Park.

rainbow trout
So excited to fish.
-Photo by Donny Loudermilk-

CLEAR LAKE: trout

Clear Lake is open to fishing all year and was stocked in late August for the last time this season with 2,500 rainbow trout. Clear Lake is accessed from Hwy. 126 approximately 70 miles east of Springfield. Boat rentals are available from Linn County’s Clear Lake Resort.

COAST FORK WILLAMETTE RIVER: trout

The Coast Fork Willamette River is open to angling and bait use is allowed through Oct. 31. In addition to five hatchery trout, two wild trout may be kept daily. The Coast Fork Willamette River was stocked at several locations near downtown Cottage Grove for the last time this season in early August.

COMMONWEALTH LAKE: trout, bass, bluegill, crappie

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

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

Cottage Grove Ponds are open to year round angling and are accessed via an asphalt pathway behind the truck scales on Row River Road. These ponds also offer wildlife viewing opportunities. The pond with the dock is stocked with trout during the late winter and early spring months. Warmwater fish continue to be available during the summer months.

COTTAGE GROVE RESERVOIR: trout, warmwater species

Cottage Grove Reservoir is south of Cottage Grove and is open to fishing all year. The reservoir was last stocked in mid-late April. It will be stocked again in October.

Warmwater fish are also available. Only Lakeside boat ramp is accessible at the current reservoir elevation.

DETROIT RESERVOIR: trout, kokanee

Reservoir elevation is about 28 feet below normal, and only Mongold boat ramp is currently usable. It was last stocked mid-July with 4,500 legal-sized hatchery rainbow trout. Many of these fish will be holding over in the cooler, deeper water or near drop-offs and other structure, making a late-summer visit to Detroit Reservoir worthwhile. Anglers are reporting kokanee between 12-14 inches, although many are starting to develop their spawning coloration.

DEXTER RESERVOIR: trout

Dexter Reservoir near Lowell is visible from Hwy. 58. Boat and bank access is available from state and county parks. Parking and bank access are also available from the causeway near Lowell. Dexter Reservoir will be stocked with 4,600 rainbow trout this week for the last time this season. Largemouth bass and some smallmouth are also available to anglers in this reservoir.

DORENA RESERVOIR: trout, warmwater

Dorena Reservoir is east of Cottage Grove on Row River Road and is open to fishing all year. Trout and warmwater fish are available. Dorena will be stocked with trout again in October. Only Baker Bay boat ramp is accessible at the current reservoir elevation.

DORMAN POND: trout

Stocked the week of April 25 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
Thomas Butler spends a sunny day fishing on Eagle Creek.
-Photo by Rick Swart-

EAGLE CREEK: coho

The creek came up slightly after a weekend of pretty good rainfall in the Cascade foothills but it’s quickly dropping once again. There was some increased fishing effort on Sunday as anglers turned out in hopes of coho making it up into the creek from the Clackamas River. Reports on catch were not available but with a showery week ahead there’s a good chance a few fish will be moving in and up towards the hatchery.

Keep in mind that long stretches of Eagle Creek run through private property, particularly up near the hatchery and from an area below the lower ladder on down past Bonnie Lure to the mouth. Anglers are advised to pay close attention to where you fish and we encourage you to ask permission prior to accessing or crossing private lands on your way to your favorite fishing hole. See Page 15 of the Oregon Sport Fishing Regulation pamphlet for more information on “Your Rights to Use the Surface, Bed, and Banks of Oregon’s Rivers and Lakes.”

EE WILSON POND: warmwater, trout

This pond is located at EE Wilson Wildlife Area, about a ¼ mile hike from the main parking lot. Recent changes to the fishing regulations now make this a year-round fishery. The pond received a final trout stocking on May 31. Species that may be caught at the pond now are bass, bluegill, and redear sunfish. Be aware that hunting season has started on the wildlife area. A valid wildlife area parking permit is required.

ESTACADA LAKE: trout

Stocked the week of Sept. 19 with 1,750 legal-sized rainbow trout. Estacada Lake has been stocked almost weekly since spring, with releases ranging from 1,800 to 2,000 fish per release. It is also stocked with “recycled” hatchery steelhead and Chinook salmon captured at the PGE trap.

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

FALL CREEK: trout

Open all year for trout, with bait allowed April 22 – Oct. 31. Open all year for hatchery Chinook, hatchery steelhead and wild steelhead greater than 24 inches below Fall Creek Dam. Fall Creek above Fall Creek Reservoir was stocked for the last time this season in late June. Five hatchery trout and an additional two wild trout may be harvested daily.

FALL CREEK RESERVOIR: trout

Fall Creek Reservoir was last stocked in mid-late April and will not be stocked again this season. Only North Shore boat ramp is accessible at the current reservoir elevation.

FARADAY LAKE: trout

Stocked the week of Sept. 19 with 1,750 legal-sized rainbow trout. The lake was also stocked recently with “recycled” summer steelhead from Clackamas hatchery,

Faraday 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.

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. Currently, the reservoir is only a few feet below full pool and all boat ramps are available. The reservoir also produces crappie over 12 inches and bass angling has been very good in recent years.

Foster Reservoir

Foster Reservoir
-Photo by Rick Swart, ODFW-

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 reservoir has been filled and all three boat ramps are currently available. Look for smallmouth bass and yellow perch near underwater structure and drop-offs. Please remember that only kokanee and adipose fin-clipped trout may be kept as part of the trout bag limit, but there are no limits on size or number of bass. Retention of warmwater fish species such as bluegill, catfish, crappie, and yellow perch is also allowed; no limit on size or number. About 5,000 hatchery trout will be stocked this week.

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

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.

GOLD LAKE: brook trout, rainbow trout

Gold Lake is a 100-acre lake located north of the Willamette Pass summit off Hwy. 58 approximately 23 miles southeast of Oakridge. Fishing is restricted to fly angling with barbless hooks. All rainbow trout must be released unharmed, but unlimited brook trout harvest is allowed.

GREEN PETER RESERVOIR: kokanee, trout, bass

Kokanee are still available but some are developing their pinkish colors in preparation for their spawning run. Reservoir elevation is currently about 61 feet below normal and dropping. Thistle Creek boat ramp is currently available for boaters.

Kokanee are still available but some are developing their pinkish colors in preparation for their spawning run. Reservoir elevation is currently about 65 feet below full pool and dropping. Thistle Creek boat ramp is currently available for boaters.

Please be cautious driving along Quartzville Creek Road due to ongoing construction adding wider shoulders, major patching, and three new rest stops. Speed limits have been reduced to 30 m.p.h. in several sections.

HALDEMAN POND: trout

The release of 2,000 rainbow trout scheduled for the week of May 9 has been cancelled.
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 Aug. 29 with 2,000 legal-sized trout and 666 trophy trout. Harriet 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, crappie, bass, catfish

This is a year-round warmwater and spring trout fishing pond in the Columbia River Gorge, with easy access for non-boating anglers just off Interstate 84. It was stocked with legal- and trophy-sized trout in the spring and also supports year-round populations of crappie, bass and catfish.

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
Henry Hagg Lake
-Photo by Rick Swart, ODFW-

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

Stocked the week of Sept. 19 with 3,000 legal-sized rainbow trout. This large lake near Forest Grove is one of Oregon’s premier warmwater fishing locations, with populations of record-class largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, crappie, and bullhead. It also supports a resident population of native cutthroat trout and is frequently stocked with hatchery rainbow trout, including trophy and brood stock.

Henry Hagg Lake is now open year-round and is stocked regularly throughout the spring and fall. This is a 1,110-acre lake and premier fishery located seven miles southwest of Forest Grove. Maintained and operated by Washington County, the park features numerous picnic areas, two boat launching facilities, more than 15 miles of hiking trails, and observation decks for wildlife and bird watching.

HIGH MOUNTAIN LAKES: trout (rainbow, brook, cutthroat)

There are several mountain lakes available in the area for day use or overnight camping that require only a short hike to reach. Many are easy day hikes, perfect for packing in a lunch and doing some fishing then heading home in early evening. Others require a bit more planning and prep as the distance and terrain dictates so a good topographical map should be considered. When hiking into any of the high lakes be prepared for the unexpected from weather, to mosquitos, to accidents. And please pack out what you pack in!

Some of these high lakes get very little use, and anglers will often find the solitude incredible. If you plan to camp keep in mind that overnight temperatures at the higher elevations can be quite chilly, particularly now that more fall-like weather has moved in. Snow levels last week were approaching 7,000 feet so be prepared and watch the local forecast before heading out. Meanwhile the fire season is still in effect so you should check on restrictions regarding open campfires.

Maps should be available from the local U.S. Forest Service office. Lists of stocked Willamette basin high cascade lakes are available on-line – see Willamette Zone, North and South Willamette High Lakes.

HILLS CREEK RESERVOIR: trout, warmwater fish

This reservoir is located about four miles southeast of Oakridge and is open to year round fishing. Hills Creek Reservoir is stocked with 60,000 adipose fin-clipped rainbow trout fingerlings and 100,000 adipose fin-clipped spring Chinook salmon fingerlings annually to provide a harvest fishery the following year. Fingerlings are in addition to spring and late September catchable trout releases. Trout and salmon must be adipose-fin clipped to be harvested. Large native trout are available for catch-and-release fishing. Only Packard boat launch is accessible at the current reservoir elevation.

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

Hills Creek and its tributaries above Hills Creek Reservoir are open all year. Bait is allowed April 22 through October 31. Two wild trout 8” or longer may be kept per day. Hills Creek is not stocked.

HORSESHOE LAKE: trout

This is a 14-acre lake located in the Olallie Lake Basin on the Mt. Hood National Forest. There are a few campsites available at Horseshoe Lake Campground.

HUDDLESTON POND: trout, bass, bluegill

Stocked in the spring with legal- and trophy-sized rainbow trout.

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. Trout stocking is over for the season but the pond still offers warmwater fishing.

Rainbow Trout
A string of trout
-Photo by Kathy Munsl -

LEABURG LAKE: trout

Leaburg Lake is open to angling all year. Bait use is allowed April 22-Oct. 31. The lake was stocked in late August for the last time this season with 1,500 trout. Only hatchery fish may be kept. All wild trout must be released. Leaburg Dam is closed to vehicular and pedestrian traffic weekdays from 8 a.m.-noon and 1 p.m. – 4 p.m. through September. Check EWEB’s website for updates.

MCKENZIE RIVER below Leaburg Lake: trout, salmon, steelhead

The McKenzie River below Leaburg Lake is stocked with trout from Leaburg Town Landing downstream to Hendricks Bridge from late April through early September. All non-adipose fin-clipped trout must be released unharmed. Bait use is allowed April 22 through Oct. 31. The lower McKenzie River was recently boat-stocked with 3,000 catchable trout and an additional 200 “pounders.” This is the last stocking of the season.

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

Leaburg Dam is closed to vehicular and pedestrian traffic weekdays from 8 a.m. - noon and 1 - 4 p.m. through September. Check EWEB’s website for updates.

MCKENZIE RIVER above Leaburg Lake: trout, steelhead

The McKenzie River above Leaburg Lake is stocked with hatchery trout from Finn Rock to Goodpasture Landing, with some summer releases beginning at Forest Glen boat landing, from late April through mid-September. The upper McKenzie River will be boat-stocked this week from Finn Rock downstream to Goodpasture Landing with a total of 2,750 larger rainbow trout, including 185 “pounders”. This is the last stocking of the season. All non-adipose fin-clipped trout must be released unharmed. Bait use is allowed April 22 through Oct. 31.

MIDDLE FORK WILLAMETTE RIVER: trout, salmon, steelhead

The Middle Fork Willamette River is open to bait below Dexter Dam only. This river reach is open to retention of adipose fin-clipped salmon and steelhead and non-adipose fin-clipped steelhead greater than 24 inches in length. A Columbia River Basin Endorsement is required for anglers targeting salmon and steelhead in the Middle Fork Willamette below Dexter Dam.

The Middle Fork Willamette above Lookout Point and Hills Creek reservoirs is open to angling using lures and artificial flies. All wild trout must be released upstream of Lookout Point Reservoir. The Middle Fork Willamette River is not stocked with hatchery trout.

MOLALLA RIVER: spring Chinook

The Molalla River water levels came up slightly but have once again begun dropping, presenting tough conditions for anglers seeking late spring Chinook. Chinook passage has ended at Willamette Falls with springer counting over for the season; these count numbers were an indicator of how many fish could be available to catch as a few turn into the Molalla instead of heading further up the Willamette.

Late hatchery springers should still be pooled up in the Molalla along with some hatchery summer steelhead that slip into the lower river seeking cooler water, but quality of these fish at this late date will be highly questionable. Spring Chinook passage numbers at the Willamette Falls ladder reached 30,317 through Aug. 15, the final day for springer counts in 2016. At this date of the season there could be some late springer fishing available from the Trout Creek acclimation pond returns.

USGS hydrological data for the Molalla River on September 19 was still unavailable due to ongoing maintenance being performed on the river data collection site.

MT HOOD POND: trout, crappie, bluegill

Stocked the week of Sept. 19 with 450 rainbow trout. Pond also supports populations of crappie and bluegill. Angling is restricted to youths age 17 and under and holders of ODFW's Disabled Anglers permits from April 1 - Aug. 31. Mt. Hood Pond is located on the Mt. Hood Community College campus in Gresham, at 26000 SE Stark St.

NORTH FORK RESERVOIR: trout

Due to low water levels, the release of 3,500 trout scheduled for the week of Sept. 19 has been redirected to Estacada and Faraday lakes.

The Promontory Marina boat ramp and lower boat ramp are now closed due to low water. The reservoir has been lowered below the ramps to allow PGE to conduct a salmon habitat restoration project. Both boat ramps are expected to reopen Oct. 24.

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

Olallie Lake
Olallie Lake
-Photo by ODFW-

OLALLIE LAKE: trout

Olallie Lake has been stocked with trout numerous times this season. 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. 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. A boat ramp is available at Peninsula Campground on the southwest shore of the lake. Camping are available at Olallie Meadows Campground and Paul Dennis Campground.

PROGRESS LAKE: trout, brown bullhead

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

QUARTZVILLE CREEK: trout

This stream above Green Peter Reservoir provides excellent opportunities to fish for trout, with good bank access along most of its length. Regulation changes for 2016 makes this a year-round fishery with a bag limit of 5 trout per day. It was stocked for the last time in late July with 2,000 legal-size hatchery rainbow trout. Light gear works best and fly fishing can be very good, but bait is also allowed. Best times for fishing are early and late in the day.

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. Please be cautious driving along Quartzville Creek Road due to ongoing construction adding wider shoulders, major patching, and three new rest stops. Speed limits have been reduced to 30 m.p.h. in several sections.

SALMON CREEK: trout

Salmon Creek near Oakridge is open to angling all year. Bait use is allowed April 22 - October 31. Salmon Creek was stocked in mid-August for the last time this season. Trout are released at multiple locations upstream to Black Creek. Two wild trout per day, 8-inch minimum length, may be kept in addition to five hatchery trout.

SALT CREEK: trout

Salt Creek is an unstocked tributary to the Middle Fork Willamette River east of Oakridge. Salt Creek and its tributaries are open to angling all year. Bait use is allowed April 22-Oct. 31. Two wild trout may be kept per day, 8-inch minimum length.

SANDY RIVER: summer steelhead, spring Chinook

Sandy River water conditions took a turn for the worse recently after heavy rainfall in the Cascade foothills turned the river silty and muddy once again, while moving the flows up a fair amount also. Sandy Hatchery personnel report that fishing effort remains light at Cedar Creek as evidenced by the volume of cars in the hatchery parking lot, although there was an uptick in angler numbers after the rains. A handful of summer steelhead are still being hooked while coho have finally hit the river with reliable reports of some decent catches from the Dabney Park area down to the mouth.

Of note, ODFW fish sorting traps have been in place all summer on the Bull Run River, Zig Zag River, and Salmon River as a means of collecting broodstock hatchery fish while passing wild fish upstream. These traps get worked 7 days a week by ODFW personnel and there have been hatchery and wild Chinook moving into the traps for several weeks now.

USGS hydrological data for the Sandy River on September 19 shows flows jumping up to 714 cfs, a gauge reading of 8.33 feet, and the morning water temperature down near 54°F.

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

SANTIAM RIVER (NORTH FORK): steelhead, Chinook

Returns of adult steelhead have all but ceased this late in the season at Willamette Falls but the overall numbers show a huge improvement from last year, especially with summer steelhead. Many of these fish are destined for the Santiam basin. About 5,200 summer steelhead have passed the Bennett dams in Stayton. Coho salmon should be arriving in the next few weeks and represent the next opportunity for anglers to catch large salmon. As a reminder, angling for coho above the Stayton-Scio highway bridge is closed until Oct. 15. Chinook season is closed until Oct. 15 on the entire river.

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. River levels best for fishing are below 3,000 cfs at the Mehama gauge; the river flow is at 1,830 cfs as of Sept. 19. Current conditions

Anglers may keep up to 5 hatchery trout from the mouth to Big Cliff dam through Oct. 31.

SANTIAM RIVER (NORTH FORK) above DETROIT:

Regulation changes for 2016 makes this section a year-round fishery. The river was stocked one final time in early August with 3,000 hatchery rainbow trout. 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

A little bit of extra water is being spilled out of Foster dam to facilitate salmon spawning. Current flows (as of Sept. 12) are approximately 1,230 850 cfs as measured at Waterloo and are likely to stay that way through September. Current conditions

Chinook season is now closed until Oct. 15. There are still plenty of summer steelhead in the river, however, with most fish found above Waterloo. Further downstream below Lebanon there is solitude, smallmouth bass and perhaps the occasional coho salmon waiting for the intrepid angler. Recycling of fish downstream has ended for the season. Best times to catch these fish are early and late in the day. Anglers may keep up to five hatchery trout below Foster dam through Oct. 31.

SHERIDAN POND: trout

Stocked several times in the spring with trout of various sizes. Sheridan Pond is a 2 1/2-acre pond located on the edge of town. It provides excellent access for families and kids. Good parking. There is an outhouse provided. It is stocked throughout the year with hatchery trout. To get there take Hwy. 18 to Exit 33 onto Balston Rd. Go south on Balston Rd. approximately half a mile and turn left onto a gravel road leading about a quarter mile to the pond.

SILVER CREEK RESERVOIR: trout, catfish

Stocked in June with 2,600 legals and 200 “pounders.” This is a 65-acre reservoir on Silver Creek 2.5 miles south of Silverton on Hwy. 214.

SMALL FRY LAKE: trout

Stocked the week of Sept. 5 with 200 trout. This is a youth-only fishing pond that was stocked earlier this season, and some of those fish may still be available, although anglers can expect heavy aquatic vegetation this time of year. Small Fry is located next to Promontory Park and North Fork Reservoir near Estacada. Fishing restricted to youths 17 and under. Cleaning station, restroom nearby.

SMITH RESERVOIR: trout

Smith Reservoir is north of Trail Bridge Reservoir and is accessed by turning off Hwy. 126 at Trail Bridge Reservoir and following USFS Road 730 north to Smith Dam. The reservoir is not visible from the highway and is open to year-around bait fishing. Smith Reservoir was stocked in late June for the last time this season. Smith River and its tributaries above Smith Reservoir are open to angling all year. Two wild fish (8-inch minimum length) may be harvested per day and bait use is allowed through Oct. 31.

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

Rainbow Trout

Andrea with a nice rainbow trout she caught
-Photo by Douglas E Osbon-

Stocked the week of Sept. 12 with 500 trout. St. Louis Ponds is a 240-acre fishing complex of seven ponds owned and managed jointly by the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife and Marion County Parks Department. The site has a 2,300-foot paved ADA footpath with turnouts, fishing platforms, restrooms and picnic tables. It is stocked throughout the year with hatchery trout and has many other species of warmwater fish.

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. The stocking season at Sunnyside Pond has ended for the summer but there may still be a few trout left. The pond also offers bluegill and largemouth bass year round. The park has a campground and picnic area and is a great place to take kids fishing. There is also boat ramp access to the Middle Fork arm of Foster Reservoir. To get there from I-5, take US 20 through the town of Sweet Home and continue around Foster Reservoir to Quartzville Creek road. Take a left and follow this road for two miles to the park.

TIMOTHY LAKE: rainbow trout

Timothy Lake is one of five Oregon fishing venues around the state selected this year for a pilot “trophy trout” program. As such, it was stocked with 5,000 trophy-sized trout this year. Timothy also produced some nice catches of kokanee this year. Timothy is one of Oregon’s most beautiful lakes, spanning 1,400-acre acres within the Mount Hood National Forest, 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. It is a good destination to consider anytime mountain roads are clear but especially during the summer when looking for a place to escape the heat.

TRAIL BRIDGE RESERVOIR: trout

Trail Bridge Reservoir is open to year-round fishing. This waterbody is adjacent to Hwy. 126 and is approximately 60 miles east of Springfield. Only adipose fin-clipped trout may be harvested from Trail Bridge Reservoir. Only flies and lures may be used. Trail Bridge Reservoir was stocked in late July for the last time this season.

TRILLIUM LAKE: trout

Stocked the week of Aug. 29 with 3,000 rainbow trout. This is in addition to 4,500 trout released into the laker earlier this season. Trillium is a 60-acre lake located approximately three miles east of Government Camp off of Hwy. 26. This lake is popular for fishing, camping and photography, often clearly reflecting Mount Hood. Adjacent Trillium Lake Campground is administered by the Zigzag Ranger District of the Mount Hood National Forest. The large campground features a seasonal boat ramp and wheelchair-accessible floating dock.

TROJAN POND: trout, panfish

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

TUALATIN RIVER and tribs: trout

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

WALLING POND: trout, crappie, bass

Trout stocking is finished for the season. This is an 8-acre privately-owned pond located in Salem at the northeast corner of McGilchrist and 16th Streets, S.E. Good angling opportunities remain for warm water species and that occasional hold-over trout.

WALTER WIRTH LAKE: trout, crappie, bass

Trout stocking is finished for the season. Walter Wirth is a 20-acre lake located within the City of Salem’s Cascades Gateway Park. Good angling opportunities remain for warm water species and that occasional hold-over trout.

WAVERLY POND: trout, bluegill, catfish

Waverly Pond is located in Albany and is regularly stocked in fall, winter and spring. For summer fishing it has bluegill and catfish available. Good angling opportunities remain for these warm water species and that occasional hold-over trout. 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 Park
The boat ramp at Willamette Park will be closed Sept. 12 – Oct. 31

WILLAMETTE RIVER: sturgeon, warm water species

It remains somewhat of an in-between time for fishing on the lower Willamette as spring Chinook and summer steelhead angling come to a close, although a few coho have begun to show around the mouth of the Clackamas River. Anglers will find there are plenty of warm water fishing opportunities on the Willamette for bass and small pan fish, working the rocky shorelines and around areas with structure, particularly near Cedar Island and Milwaukie. Catch-and-release fishing for sturgeon remains as another option for Willamette River anglers.

As of Aug. 15 the passage count of spring Chinook adults at Willamette Falls stood at 30,317 fish, which is the unofficial final passage number for 2016 as springer counts come to an end. The summer steelhead counts continue at Willamette Falls with the September 17 cumulative passage showing 21,489 while adult coho passage was at 158.

USGS hydrological data for the Willamette River on September 19 has flows up some but still at summer levels of 6,600 cfs, the water temperature near 66°F, and visibility very clear at about 10.0 ft.

NOTICE TO LOWER WILLAMETTE RIVER BOATERS: The boat ramp at Willamette Park will be closed Sept. 12 – Oct. 31 for dredging and boat ramp improvements. For for alternate launches and more information visit City of Portland Parks & Recreation/Willamette Park.

YAMHILL RIVER and tributaries: trout

The South Fork Yamhill was recently stocked with 1,900 rainbow trout. The Yamhill and its tributaries are now year-round fishing streams under the 2016 Oregon Sport Fishing Regulations. They are open all year for catch-and-release trout fishing, with harvest limited to May 22-Oct. 31.

  Willamette Zone Hunting

OPEN: COUGAR, BLACK BEAR, GENERAL ARCHERY DEER AND ELK (closes Sept. 25), CONTROLLED YOUTH ANTLERLESS ELK, FOREST GROUSE, QUAIL, MOURNING DOVE
 
BAND-TAILED PIGEON closes Sept. 23),

UPCOMING: GENERAL WESTERN OREGON DEER SEASON (Open Oct. 1)

Please remember to check with the landowner for access restrictions prior to entering private lands. Private timberlands access policy. Hunters are reminded to have permission to hunt or make sure hunting is allowed before accessing private lands.

In addition, industrial forestland owners will usually have information regarding access to their property posted on their gates and usually have a “hotline” devoted to providing up-to-date access for hunters.

FIRE RESTRICTIONS

Fire danger is High to Extreme in the Willamette Zone and much of Oregon. Hunters are asked to follow all Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) fire restrictions while hunting or scouting. ODF requires each vehicle to be equipped one axe at least 26 inches in length, with a head weighing at least 2 pounds; one shovel at least 26 inches in length, with a blade at least 8 inches wide; and one gallon of water or one fully charged and an operational 2.5 lb. or larger fire extinguisher. Hunters will face fire restrictions and some closures and they need to know what those are before they go. More info. Some good resources for fire information: InciWeb, National Forest webpages, Oregon Dept Forestry

BIG GAME

Elk Hunt

My fate with chance had come to an end that day. Words can’t explain that hunters moment.
-Photo by Trever Niestrath-

GENERAL ARCHERY DEER AND ELK

As usual for this time of year, temperature plays a major factor in deer and elk activity levels. Hunters are reminded that weather conditions early in the archery season can be very hot and dry so planning ahead to properly handle harvested animals is essential to avoid spoiling meat. The animals can be expected to spend most of their time feeding in the late evenings and early mornings. During the heat of the day, they will typically bed in shady, cool locations such as north slope timber stands. Hunters should use binoculars to glass for animals in the early morning hours and hunt bedding areas during the heat of the day. As the temperatures begin to cool, animal activity during the day will begin to increase. In the fall, Elk become increasingly vocal as they enter their rut. Hunters may have success with cow and bugle calls if they don’t over call. Hunters can expect to find bulls with or near the cow-calf groups, but most bulls are still being fairly quiet and in bachelor groups. Please remember to check with landowners for current access restriction before hunting on private lands. Many private timberland owners have closed access to their lands due to fire danger. National Forest lands have remained open to hunting access and provide an alternative to private lands during fire season. Hunters are reminded that the west slope Cascade units have a “One Bull” bag limit on National Forest lands.

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. 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. Hunters will receive an age card in the mail telling them how old the harvested animal was. Age cards may take up to 12 months to receive.

PLEASE REPORT OBSERVATIONS OF ELK WITH HOOF DISEASE

Please use the online form below to report observations of live elk, hunter-harvested or dead elk showing signs of elk hoof disease that may include lame or limping elk or elk with damaged, injured, missing or deformed hooves. If you harvest an elk or locate a dead animal with suspected hoof disease, please take the following steps:

  • Remove and save all four hooves in a plastic bag and place in a cool area (i.e Cooler with ice) for further evaluation by ODFW
  • Collect GPS locations
  • Take digital photos of affected hooves
  • Contact ODFW at the toll-free wildlife health lab at 866-968-2600 or email Veterinarians at Wildlife.Health@state.or.us.
  • Report your observation by filling out online form
cougar
Cougar
-Oregon Fish and Wildlife-

COUGAR season is open. A productive hunting technique is to use predator calls to mimic a distressed prey species. Approaching cougars can be difficult to see when you are predator calling so hunting with a partner is advised. Most deer and elk have moved out of their wintering areas and cougars will spend more time moving around their territories looking for prey so hunters need to be mobile.

Successful cougar hunters will need to check-in any cougar taken at an ODFW office within 10 days of the kill. Hunters are reminded that biologists located in field offices may be out in the field handling other issues so call ahead to make arrangements to have your cougar checked-in. The hide and skull must be unfrozen and the skull and proof of sex must be attached to the hide. Cougar hunters are reminded that it is required to submit the reproductive tract of any female cougar taken.The reproductive tract provides valuable information on the number and frequency of kittens born annually in Oregon and is a critical part of ODFW’s cougar population models. 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. Please review the 2016 Big Game Hunting Regulations before your hunting trip to ensure that you are familiar with all of the requirements.

See 2016 Cougar Regulations for details

GENERAL FALL BLACK BEAR season is open. To be successful, hunters will want to become familiar with a variety of berry producing plants such as black cap raspberry, Armenian blackberry, trailing blackberry, cascara, blue huckleberry, and elderberry. Hunters that note the location of a variety of berry patches will be able to move throughout the season to stay on the best available food source. Experienced bear hunters may find that the berries in their favorite hunting spots are ripening about three to four weeks earlier than in a typical year. The early season berries, such as black cap raspberry, are already dried out and bears are starting to feed on Armenian blackberries and even blue huckleberries.

Early in the hunting season bears will be spending the majority of their time in cool and shaded areas trying to avoid the heat. Although bears are most active in the mornings and evenings, on relatively cooler days bears may be active all day. They will be feeding on the abundant berry crops primarily in the early morning hours so hunters will need to be up and on stands before daylight. When out scouting, hunters should be looking for bear sign close to streams, lakes and adjacent to cool north slopes of timber.

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, 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. 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. Please review the 2016 Big Game Hunting Regulations before your hunting trip to ensure that you are familiar with all of the requirements.

CONTROLLED YOUTH ANTLERLESS ELK (limited entry) hunt open on August 1st 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. Hunters that did not purchase their tag before the hunt began can still purchase a tag from some ODFW offices provided they sign an avadavat and pay the after-the-deadline fee. Please review the 2016 Big Game Hunting Regulations before your hunting trip to ensure that you are familiar with all of the requirements.

COYOTES Remember to ask for permission to hunt on private lands. Hunter can find coyotes around meadows and brush piles where mice and rabbits are found. Use predator calls to lure coyotes in close can be an effective method for harvesting coyotes. Try calling in the early morning or late afternoon when temperatures are cool. Hunters need a valid hunting license to hunt coyotes on public property.

GAME BIRD

Blue Grouse
Blue Grouse
-Photo by Pat Matthews-

FEE PHEASANT HUNTING runs Sept. 12-Oct. 9 at Fern Ridge Wildlife Area and Sept. 19-Oct. 2 at Sauvie Island Wildlife Area. ODFW releases pheasants during this season; hunters need the $17 Western Oregon Fee Pheasant tag to hunt.

FOREST GROUSE and QUAIL seasons opened on Sept. 1 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. Hunters will want to target hardwood riparian areas for ruffed grouse and mature timber areas or ridge tops for blue grouse. Remember that the head or one fully feathered wing must be left attached to all game birds in the field or while in transit to the place of permanent residence of the possessor. Review the information provided in the 2016-17 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. Hunters can help by donating a wing and tail from harvested grouse and mountain quail. Grouse and mountain 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 in wing collection barrels. Be on the lookout for these statewide wing collection barrels this fall. If there is a delay in dropping off your specimen, please freeze it.

YOUTH UPLAND BIRD HUNTS are coming up soon. E.E. Wilson hunt is Sept. 24-25. These hunts are a great opportunity to introduce young hunters to upland bird hunting.

MOURNING DOVE– Open statewide from Sept. 1 - Oct. 30. Scout for habitat with plenty of perch locations near open areas. Many doves leave Oregon once fall weather starts approaching so hunting is best early in the season. Remember that the head or one fully feathered wing must be left attached to all game birds in the field or while in transit to the place of permanent residence of the possessor. Review the information provided in the 2016-17 Oregon Game Bird Regulations for more details. A larger and similar looking dove – the Eurasian collared dove is an invasive species and can be hunted year-round with just a hunting license.

BAND-TAILED PIGEON – Closes Sept. 23. Pass shooting is the most common method to bag pigeons during the season. Set up in low saddles or off points where pigeons tend to enter and leave clear cuts and other openings. Look for concentrations of elderberry and other fruit bearing plants for the best opportunities. Remember that the head or one fully feathered wing must be left attached to all game birds in the field or while in transit to the place of permanent residence of the possessor. Review the information provided in the 2016-17 Oregon Game Bird Regulations for more details.

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.

BE PREPARED

Hunters who drew a controlled tag in the controlled draw applications 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

Pileated Woodpecker

Pileated Woodpecker
- Photo by Greg Gillson-

The pileated woodpecker, a spectacular sight

Where to see the bird

In the Willamette Zone, look, first, for habitat. There are many places to see pileated woodpeckers. Remember, they prefer the forest, which doesn’t necessarily mean the wilderness. Visit the Audubon Wildlife Sanctuary, which in only ten minutes from downtown Portland or the running trail in Forest Park—last weekend, there was a pileated woodpecker on the trail; access the trail from NW Thurman Street.

East of Salem, Silver Falls State Park provides good habitat for this woodpecker and several others. Hikers on the Bruno Meadows Trail in the Willamette National Forest out of Detroit will enjoy many mountain forest birds and may see or hear a pileated.

At EE Wilson Wildlife Area in Monmouth, focus on the hardwood-conifer forest east of the angling pond where it borders on Forest Service property.

Fern Ridge Wildlife Area, five miles west of Eugene, is another great place. In the Zuwalt Park area you will find several parking areas along Jeans Road. A variety of habitats are available here. Pileated woodpeckers use the older stands of firs towards the north end of this unit. Viewing sites at Fern Ridge.

About the bird

The pileated, or crested, woodpecker was the model for the cartoon character, Woody Woodpecker. It is a large black-and-white bird with a bold red feathered crest and distinctive call. You may hear its powerful drumming before you see it.
In Oregon, look for it in older forests in the Blue Mountains, East and West Cascades, Klamath Mountains, Willamette Valley and Coast Range ecoregion. They prefer mature forests and younger forests with large snags and logs, requiring large diameter snags for nesting and foraging.

The pileated woodpecker eats the carpenter ants, beetles and termites it uncovers while excavating large diameter dead or fallen trees and logs. Once the woodpecker has moved on, its rectangular excavations serve as home to other birds and mammals.

To hear its call, see a photo and more about the pileated woodpecker, Dryocopus pileatus, visit Cornell Lab of Ornithology All About Birds Web site.

To find out where else to see one in Oregon, see the Northwest, Southwest, Northeast and Central Zone viewing reports.

Valleywide Wildlife Viewing

Townsend bat
Townsend bat
-phopto by Durham-

Oregon has 15 species of bats most of which occur in the Willamette Valley. Look for bats foraging for insects at dusk. Anywhere close to water is a good place to see bats and they may even fly over your back yard. These little creatures are good to have around as they can eat up to 600 mosquitoes in an hour! Wildlife refuges, ponds, streams and under bridges are all good places to see these fascinating animals. For more information about bats, visit ODFW’s online Living with Wildlife section under Bats.

Beaver, river otter, mink, muskrats and the introduced non-native nutria are common residents along waterways in the Willamette Valley. They can be seen by quietly floating the Willamette River in a canoe or other non-motorized boat and watching the shoreline. They are most visible early in the morning or in the evening when other boat traffic is minimal. Occasionally these animals are seen in the Delta ponds or from the river bike path in Eugene and Springfield or in many of the farm ponds on the valley floor. The non-native nutria has displaced the muskrat from much of the Willamette Valley.

Corvallis Area

EE Wilson Wildlife Area

There are lots of deer, shorebirds and waterfowl to see on the Wildlife Area — look for goose, mallard, hooded merganser and wood duck broods. Wildlife viewing remains good for waterfowl and shorebirds. Neotropical migrants in the area include yellow-breasted chat, American goldfinch, various swallows, warblers, thrush, kinglet and common yellowthroat.

Spring and summer are great times for birdwatching migrants as well as waterfowl including mallards, wood duck, hooded merganser, western Canada goose. Snipe and other shorebirds are periodically seen.

Note: Dogs are required to be on a leash inside the wildlife area boundary. Rifles and pistols are prohibited year round.

Directions to EE Wilson Wildlife Area.

Sauvie Island Wildlife Area

The Sauvie Island Wildlife Area Eastside units and Westside, Oak Island and North units are scheduled to close Oct 1 and will remain closed through April 15, 2017. Rentenaar Road, Eastside Viewing Platform and Coon Point will remain open for viewing. 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.

When planning your trip to the island please see the current Game Bird Regulations for the hunt schedule and plan accordingly.

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 and peak numbers of sandhill cranes. Be sure to bring your binoculars.

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 Hwy. 30. A parking permit is required for the Sauvie Island Wildlife Area and can be purchased at ODFW license vendors or any ODFW field office.


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