Henry Hagg Lake near Forest Grove is fully stocked with rainbow trout ranging from 8 inches to 15 pounds.
- Photo by Rick Swart-
- Smelt dipping will be permited in the Sandy River on March 8, 15, and 22 from 6 a.m. to noon. Fishing is by dip net only, with a bag limit of 10 pounds per person.
- Winter steelhead are moving into the Willamette River basin and fishing conditions should improve on the Clackamas, Molalla, Sandy, and Santiam rivers with increased warmer flows.
New salmon, steelhead, sturgeon endorsement
Anglers fishing for salmon, steelhead or sturgeon in the Columbia River and its tributaries are now required to have a Columbia River Basin endorsement. See a map of the Basin and get more information.
If your favorite fishing spot is no longer listed
It’s probably because that river, lake or reservoir is closed for the season, inaccessible due to snow and bad roads, or offers limited fishing opportunities during the winter months. These waterbodies will re-appear in the Recreation Report when they re-open next spring, or when access and/or opportunity improves.
Send us your fishing report
We’d love to hear about your recent fishing experience. Send us your own fishing report through ODFW Fishing Reports -- the information will be forwarded to the local biologist who may use it to update various ODFW resources such as the Weekly Recreation Report.
2014 trout stocking
The 2014 trout stocking schedules for the North Willamette Watershed District and the South Willamette Watershed District are now posted on-line 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
Alton Baker Canoe Canal was stocked in late February with 1,086 legal-sized and 200 larger sized rainbow trout. Fish were scattered at multiple locations along the length of the Canal. Summer steelhead are occasionally caught in this system and anglers are reminded they will need a combined angling tag and a Columbia River Basin Endorsement to legally target or harvest a steelhead. It is legal to fish with two rods in the Alton Baker Canoe Canal, provided the Two-Rod Validation has been purchased.
The canal is located within Alton Baker Park and can be accessed off of Club Road in Eugene. The Canoe Canal is located in downtown Eugene behind Autzen Stadium. 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.
BLUE RIVER: trout, steelhead
Blue River both above and below Blue River Reservoir is closed to fishing until April 26, 2014.
-Photo by Jim Yuskavitch, ODFW-
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.
CANBY POND: rainbow trout
Canby Pond is a 1-acre pond located on the south end of Canby in Canby City Park. The park is south of Hwy 99E and adjacent to the Molalla River. Angling restricted to youth age 17 and under or holders of one of the Disabled Anglers permits.
CARMEN RESERVOIR: trout
Carmen Reservoir is accessed via FS Road 750 off Hwy 126, about 2 miles south of Clear Lake, and is open all year. Motor boats are prohibited on Carmen Reservoir.
CHEADLE LAKE: bass, bluegill
This 60-acre former mill pond in Lebanon provides an excellent warm water fishing experience for the beginner as well as the seasoned angler. Largemouth bass up to 16 inches and panfish up to 9.5 inches were reported in mid-June. To get there take Russell Road east off Main Street about a mile. There is a small boat ramp and ADA fishing dock at the parking lot and foot access most of the way around the pond.
CLACKAMAS RIVER: winter steelhead
Clackamas River is currently running a little high and off-color but should be in good shape for fishing when the river recedes over the next week or so. Dedicated winter steelhead fishermen are braving the high water and are picking up some fish throughout the system, from Gladstone to McIver Park.
Tuesday hydrological data shows flows at 9,600 cfs, a gauge reading in Estacada of 15.88 ft., and the water temperature steady near 42°.
CLEAR LAKE: trout
Clear Lake is open to angling all year. 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 of the Willamette River is open to catch-and-release fishing for trout.
COTTAGE GROVE POND: trout, warmwater species
Cottage Grove Pond was stocked in late February with 1,500 legal-sized and 50 larger sized rainbow trout. To access the pond, travel east from Cottage Grove on Row River Road. Cottage Grove Pond is located behind the truck scales and may be accessed via an asphalt pathway. Only the pond with the dock is stocked with hatchery trout.
COTTAGE GROVE RESERVOIR: trout, warmwater species
Cottage Grove Reservoir was stocked in late February with 4,500 legal sized rainbow trout. Holdover trout are also available to anglers. The reservoir is south of Cottage Grove and is open to angling all year.
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
Creswell Pond was stocked in mid-February with 1,750 legal-sized rainbow trout. The pond is located in Garden Lake Park on the east side of I-5 in Creswell and is open to fishing all year, although vegetation can become a problem later in spring.
-Photo by Rick Swart, ODFW
DETROIT RESERVOIR: trout, kokanee
Located 50 miles east of Salem, this large lake (approximately 3,600 acres at full pool) receives over 100,000 trout throughout the year. The reservoir was stocked in mid-October with 7,000 legal-sized rainbow trout. The water elevation has dropped below the toe of most boat ramps but Mongold State Park Low Water Ramp is still available. Check with local outfitters in the town of Detroit to find out more.
DEXTER RESERVOIR: trout
Dexter Reservoir will be stocked this week with 2,900 legal-sized rainbow trout. The reservoir is adjacent to Highway 58 near Lowell and is open all year.
DORENA RESERVOIR: trout, warmwater
Dorena Reservoir will next be stocked in March. The reservoir is east of Cottage Grove on Row River Road and is open all year.
EAGLE CREEK: winter steelhead
The creek is showing good flows and the color is a bit clear but near perfect, giving steelhead anglers a great opportunity to do some bank angling just a short drive from Portland. Fishing for winters requires some flexibility in gear, adjusting color and size to accommodate water conditions. Since last Wednesday the hatchery has had over 200 steelhead return, a relatively low number as a result of reduced smolt releases a couple of 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: trout, bluegill
EE Wilson Pond re-opened for fishing Saturday, Feb. 1. In anticipation of the season opener, the pond was stocked with 500 legal size rainbow trout, as well as 90 large brood trout between 5-10 pounds each. It was stocked again last week with 500 legal and 400 larger size rainbow trout. As a reminder, only one fish over 20 inches may be kept as per zone regulations. Also, be reminded that permits are required when parking anywhere at EE Wilson Wildlife Area.
|Fishing at Fern Ridge
Photo by Kathy Munsel-
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. All boat ramps are currently closed due to low water conditions. For local information regarding the lake, 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 in spring 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 stocked in September with 10,000 rainbow trout. Please remember that kokanee and only adipose fin-clipped trout may be taken and there are no limits on size or number of bass. Sunnyside Park and Gedney boat ramps are available at this time. 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 LAKES: trout, bass, bluegill, crappie
This water-body actually consists of three interconnected ponds and features some good size bass and crappie. A boat ramp is available at East Freeway Lake, and there is good bank access around Middle Freeway Lake. Freeway Lakes is scheduled to be stocked in mid-March with rainbow trout as well. To get there, take the State Police exit in Albany and follow the frontage road south (3 Lakes Road) for several miles.
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. The reservoir has dropped to winter low levels but Thistle Creek boat ramp is open.
HENRY HAGG LAKE: trout, bass, crappie, yellow perch, crappie, bluegill and brown bullhead
Stocked this week with 18,000 legal-sized rainbow trout. This popular 1,110-acre lake near Forest Grove has been closed to fishing since November and reopened to anglers on March 1. This lake also received 125 large brood trout in January and 1,000 2-pounders on Feb. 20, so there are lots of fish to be caught in this premier Northwest Oregon fishing destination. Hagg Lake is located within Scoggins Valley Park. 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
Hills Creek Reservoir is open to fishing all year. This is a great time of year to be fishing the reservoir for trout and salmon. All non-adipose fin-clipped trout and salmon must be released unharmed. This reservoir is stocked annually with 100,000 adipose fin-clipped spring Chinook fingerlings and 200,000 adipose fin-clipped rainbow trout fingerlings. These fish grow to catchable size within a year.
HILLS CREEK above HILLS CREEK RESERVOIR: Closed to fishing until April 26.
HUDDLESTON POND: trout, bass, bluegill
Stocked the week of Feb. 24 with 1,000 legal-sized rainbow trout. This 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
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. It has been stocked several times already this year. It was stocked again last week with 800 legal and 400 larger size rainbow trout. As a reminder, zone regulations apply: five trout daily may be kept and only one over 20 inches.
LEABURG LAKE: trout
Leaburg Lake is closed to fishing until April 26.
MCKENZIE RIVER below Leaburg Lake: trout, salmon, steelhead
-Photo by Derek Wilson-
The McKenzie River below Leaburg Lake is currently open to catch-and-release fishing for trout and fishing for harvest for steelhead. Gear use is restricted to flies and lures. A Columbia River Basin Endorsement is required for anglers targeting salmon and steelhead in the McKenzie.
Leaburg Dam will be closed to all vehicular and pedestrian traffic beginning Monday, February 10 from 8am-noon and 1pm–4pm, Monday through Friday. This closure schedule is expected to continue into March, and then be followed by periodic closures through the summer. Vehicles and pedestrians will be able to cross the dam from noon until 1pm during the week. The closure is necessary for EWEB to repair damage to the facility. See the EWEB website for more information.
MCKENZIE RIVER above Leaburg Lake: Closed to fishing until April 26.
MOLALLA RIVER: winter steelhead
The high flows of recent days have given way to some good fishing conditions with moderate water levels and great color. The problem facing Molalla River steelhead anglers is that very high flows on the Willamette have slowed passage of fish at the falls. When passage numbers increase a portion of the fish will make their way into the Molalla.
Since most of the steelhead passing the falls this time of year are wild winters, anglers should be aware that a majority of fish entering the Molalla will be unmarked wild fish resulting in a predominantly catch-and-release fishery.
MT HOOD POND: trout
Stocked the week of Jan. 13 with 500 rainbow trout ranging in size from 8-13 inches. The pond also offers angling for several different species of warm water fish including crappie, bluegill, and catfish. Anglers are reminded that from April 1 through Aug. 31 fishing at Mt. Hood Pond is restricted to youths 17 and under as well as individuals who possess a valid Oregon Disabilities Fishing Permit.
SALMON CREEK: trout
Salmon Creek is a tributary to the Middle Fork Willamette River east of Oakridge. It is open to catch-and-release angling for trout using flies and lures through April 26, 2014.
SALT CREEK: trout
Salt Creek is a tributary to the Middle Fork Willamette River east of Oakridge. It is open to catch-and-release angling for trout using flies and lures through April 26, 2014.
SANDY RIVER: winter steelhead
The Sandy is running a little high again, following the latest rainy period but should still produce steelhead, which are spread throughout the river from Troutdale up to Cedar Creek.
A limited smelt season will take place on the Sandy on the next three Saturdays – March 8, 15, and 22 – from 6 a.m. to noon. Fishing is by dip net, with a bag limit of 10 pounds per person per day.
Monday morning hydrological data shows the river below Bull Run at 7,440 cfs, a gauge reading of 12.25 ft. and the water temperature up near 43°.
SANTIAM RIVER (NORTH FORK): steelhead, Chinook, trout
-Photo by Charlotte Ganskopp-
Although flows are down from their recent levels, the N. Santiam is still running high and off-color. Best conditions might be found in the lower reaches where new winter steelhead are staging. Warming water temperatures should make fish more active once flows come down to manageable levels. A few summer steelhead are still available throughout, but most of these fish are concentrated in the upper sections. On the North Santiam, approximately 946 summer steelhead have passed above Stayton into the upper river through Dec. 31. So far, 966 winter steelhead have passed Willamette Falls and entered the upper basin. 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 the Minto Fish Facility is open to salmon and steelhead fishing.
River levels best for fishing are below 3,000 cfs at the Mehama gauge (currently the gauge is around 10,000 cfs)
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.
UPDATE: The boat slide at Upper Bennett Dam on the North Santiam was repaired on 1/28/14 and is now ready for use. For boaters, portage around Upper Bennett between Mehama and Stayton should be much easier.
SANTIAM RIVER (SOUTH FORK): steelhead, Chinook, trout, bass
Flows in the South Santiam, currently at 10,000 cfs as measured at Waterloo, dropped down to 7,000 cfs in the past week. Fish should become more active once flows moderate. To increase your chances, cover as much water as you can and get your bait, lure, or fly as close to the fish as possible. Summer steelhead are still available from Waterloo up to Foster dam, and the first few winter steelhead are arriving into the basin as well. Fish counts at the Foster fish ladder have been discontinued due to construction and will re-open in March of 2014.
SHERIDAN POND: trout
Stocked the week of Jan. 13 with 1.000 legal-sized rainbow trout. Sheridan Pond is a 2 1/2-acre pond located on the edge of town. It provides excellent access for families and kids. Good parking. From Hwy. 18, take exit 33 to Balston Rd., turn right and left to the pond.
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 FS Road 730 north to Smith Dam. The reservoir is not visible from the highway and is open to year-around fishing.
ST. LOUIS PONDS: trout, bass, crappie, bluegill, yellow perch, channel catfish
-Oregon Fish and Wildlife-
Stocked the week of Feb. 24 with 2,750 rainbow trout in preparation for the reopening of the gate to the complex on March 1. St. Louis Ponds is a 260-acre open space owned by ODFW and Marion County Parks. The central portion of this site is a fishing park that boasts seven ponds stocked with a variety of warm water.
The fishing park has a number of ADA-accessible fishing platforms and a paved trail that meanders around some of the ponds. Parking is very limited, so carpooling is encouraged, and when parking lots fill up participants may need to walk in a mile from the gate at the entrance of the complex.
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. For more information, contact Jeff Fulop at (971) 673-6034.
SUNNYSIDE PARK POND: trout, bass, bluegill
This 4-acre pond is located 2 miles above the upper end of Foster Reservoir. It gets stocked with over 2,000 rainbow trout a year starting in February. It will receive its first stocking of 2014 this week with 1,000 legal and 50 larger size rainbow trout. Sunnyside Pond also offers bluegill and largemouth bass year round. The park has a campground and picnic area and is a great place to take kids fishing. There is also boat ramp access to the Middle Fork arm of Foster Reservoir. To get there from I5, take US 20 through the town of Sweet Home and continue around Foster Reservoir to Quartzville Creek road. Take a left and follow this road for two miles to the park.
TIMBER LINN POND: rainbow trout
This beautiful, family-friendly fishing pond is located within the 90-acre Timber-Linn Memorial Park in Albany. It was stocked on Dec. 17 with 54 very large brood trout averaging about 15 pounds each! Please keep in mind that only one fish over 20 inches may be taken per day. Timber-Linn Lake can be reached by turning east off I-5 onto the Santiam Highway (Hwy. 20), then immediately turning north onto Price Road and proceeding to the park entrance.
TIMOTHY LAKE: rainbow trout, brook trout, cutthroat trout, kokanee
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. Timothy is one of the most popular family camping and fishing destinations in the Mt. Hood National Forest. The lake's south shore features four developed campgrounds and boat ramps. Three smaller, less developed campgrounds are found in the north. A trail system for hikers, mountain bikers and equestrians circles the lake. Motorboats are allowed on Timothy Lake, although a 10 m.p.h. speed limit is in place.
TRAIL BRIDGE RESERVOIR: trout
Trail Bridge Reservoir is open to year-round angling. 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.
TRILLIUM LAKE: 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. A large campground at the lake features a seasonal boat ramp and wheelchair-accessible floating dock.
WALLING POND: trout, crappie, bass
In winter, spring, and fall, Walling Pond receives over 5,000 trout ranging in size from legal to multi-pound brooders. It will be stocked this week with 600 legal and 150 larger size rainbow trout. As a reminder, brooders are considered trout so zone regulations apply: five trout daily may be kept and only one may be over 20 inches. The pond is located within the Salem city limits west of I-5. Take Turner Road off Mission Street.
-Photo by Kathy Munsel-
WALTER WIRTH LAKE: trout, crappie, bass
This popular Salem lake was stocked in early January with 200 brood trout averaging 8 pounds each. It will be stocked this week with 750 legal and 150 larger size rainbow trout. As a reminder, only one fish over 20 inches may be kept. This wheelchair accessible lake is located just east of Salem within Cascade Gateway Park, west of I-5 at Hwy. 22. Take Airport Rd. or Turner Rd. to reach the lake.
WAVERLY POND: trout, bluegill, catfish
Waverly Pond receives over 2,500 trout annually, ranging in size from ‘larger’ to trophies. The pond was stocked in mid-December with 54 extra-large brood trout averaging 10 pounds each. It will be stocked next week with 750 legal size rainbow trout. Please be aware, only one fish over 20 inches may be kept. Here is an excellent in-town fishing opportunity. From I-5 take exit 234 west towards Albany. The pond, located a quarter mile down the Pacific Boulevard and on the right, will be found in a beautiful park-like setting.
WEST SALISH POND: panfish, trout
The Salish Ponds Wetlands Park restoration project is far enough along that anglers are able to go in and fish both the east and west ponds. A variety of resident warm water species can be found in both ponds, with the east offering the greatest opportunity.
The City of Fairview would like to give young plantings in the park another season to establish themselves before large numbers of anglers begin fishing there again; as a result ODFW likely won’t resume stocking West Salish Pond with trout until late 2014.
WILLAMETTE RIVER: sturgeon, winter steelhead
The Willamette is still running very high and muddy. Anglers should continue to expect some tough conditions, with dangerous debris and currents for several more days. A bulk of the effort for winters takes place near the mouth of the Clackamas River in Gladstone at Dahl Park and along Meldrum Bar where an occasional winter steelhead has been landed. Steelhead are often hooked by Meldrum Bar anglers regardless of the high, turbid water. Some of the popular parks and boat ramps have been closed due to the dangerous water levels, including Clackamette Park in Oregon City.
Winter steelhead passage at Willamette Falls continues to be very low with only 986 counted through February 27. As flows dropped this week, however, the daily count did increase with 141 fish passing in a four day period. Total passage to date continues to be about 35 percent of the previous ten year average.
NOTICE: Oregon City has closed the Clackamette boat launch.
OPEN: GOOSE, FURBEARER, COUGAR
Use the Oregon Hunting Map to see where to hunt.
Hunters are reminded to prepare for cold temperatures: dress appropriately and keep survival equipment such as food, water, sleeping bags with you and in your vehicle during the winter months. Let someone know where you will be and when you expect to return just in case your vehicle becomes stuck.
- Photo by Dave Budeau -
Goose hunters are reminded to check their 2013-14 Game Bird Regulations for information on open periods and areas. Both the NW Oregon General Zone and NW Permit Zone are open for three periods this year. The third period began on Feb. 1, 2014 and closes on March 10, 2014. Remember, NW area hunters are required to possess a NW Oregon Goose permit to hunt in either the general or permit zones.
Cougar season is open in all zones beginning on January 1, 2014. Hunters will need to purchase a 2014 hunting license and a 2014 cougar tag to hunt cougars. The recent heavy snow events in the Cascade Mountains have made it easier to track cougars in the snow.
Cougars are challenging to hunt due to their secretive nature, penchant for traveling great distances, and characteristic low population density, but can bring large rewards for successful hunters. Some hunters have had luck calling cougars to them with predator calls that mimic a deer fawn or elk calf. The key to successful calling is to get within hearing range of a cougar, which will require that hunters be familiar with the local landscape characteristics, be aware of deer and elk patterns in the area, and understand cougar habits. Hunting with a partner is recommended for those hunters attempting to call cougars, since these animals can be difficult to see and hear as they approach. Calling for at least an hour from each calling location is important. Using a tree stand or sitting back-to-back is a good technique to cover all potential entry points.
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. Hunters are required to submit the reproductive tract of any female cougar taken.
Pick up the Big Game Hunting Regulations before your hunting trip to ensure that you are familiar with all of the requirements.
-Royalty Free Image-
Furbearers – Bobcat and gray fox seasons closed on February 28. Raccoon, beaver and river otter seasons will close on March 15 and muskrat and mink season will close on March 31. Pelts should be in prime conditions with the onset of cold weather. Bobcat and river otter record card holders are reminded that they have five (5) business days after the season closes to check in their harvested animals to qualify for ownership tags. The lower jawbone (with sex, date of catch, county of harvest) must be surrendered at check-in so keep your jaws in a secure location so they are ready when you check-in your pelts. Please remember that wildlife biologists maybe in the field so please contact the local office and make an appointment to have your pelts tagged.
Coyote Paired coyotes are very territorial during the February breeding season and hunters should typically see more than one coyote respond to their calling. Hunters should start experimenting with coyote vocalization sounds such as challenge and interrogation howls to have the best chance of success.
-Washington Dept. of Fish & Wildlife -
Tree frogs are the most abundant frog in Willamette Valley wetlands. They can be heard this time of year on wet nights especially if the temperature is above 40° F. These frogs are only about an inch long and can be hard to see even where they are plentiful. Although tree frogs are excellent climbers they are rarely found in trees. They can be found at night with a flashlight by quietly following the sound to the source although they will quit calling when you get close. During the day they can often be found under boards or other cover in or near wetlands. They are not common in deeper ponds and permanent water bodies, which are occupied by bullfrogs that will eat the smaller tree frogs. Just about any wetland habitat that has shallow standing water that does not dry up before June is a good place to hear and find these frogs. Their eggs can be located in shallow water seasonal ponds during the month of March. Eggs are about the size of a grape and are actually a cluster of eggs that often appear as one large egg. These egg masses are usually attached to a blade of grass or a twig.
Now is a good time to watch for signs of spring. Indicators include the first blooms on trees and the arrival of sparrows, tree swallows, robins and turkey vultures.
|Merlin, EE Wilson Wildlife Area
-Photo by Kathy Munsel, ODFW-
EE Wilson Wildlife Area
Bare trees make bird watching for perching birds (such as raptors, and hawks) more accessible. Waterfowl and shorebirds numbers will build with wetter weather.
From Albany, take Highway 20 toward Corvallis and after 5 miles turn right on Independence Highway. Go 3 miles and turn left on Camp Adair Road, then proceed 2 miles to the wildlife area. Directions to EE Wilson Wildlife Area.
Fern Ridge Wildlife Area
Wintering concentrations of waterfowl can be observed on the lake and surrounding mudflats and wetlands. 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 and otter, mink, red fox and coyotes.
Royal Avenue and the trail to the Fisher Butte viewing platform remain open all day every day year round. There is a second elevated viewing platform in the Fisher Butte unit located 1/4 mile north of the Fisher Butte unit parking lot on Hwy 126.
View from the trail at Royal Ave. on the Fern Ridge Wildlife Area
- Photo by Chris Schubothe, ODFW-
The majority of Fern Ridge Wildlife Area is open daily for public use providing great wildlife viewing opportunities. Visitors are reminded there are seasonal access restrictions in place in five units during the fall and winter to provide wildlife sanctuary. The East and West Coyote units are closed to all public use until the end of January except for a limited 3 day per week reservation waterfowl hunt program. The Fisher Butte and Royal Amazon units are open daily through the end of duck season; however the units are closed to hunting at 1 PM daily and closed to all public use at 2 PM daily to provide rest periods for waterfowl.
The Kirk Park unit is open daily for public use and hunting is limited to 3 days per week (Sat-Sun-Wed) plus holidays. The entire Fern Ridge lake water area and surrounding mudflats remain open daily year-round. The mudflats surrounding the lake low winter pool can provide for excellent hiking on a sand-bar type lake bottom that extends for miles.
Visitors are cautioned that there have been recent vehicle break-ins at Fern Ridge and in local parks, so please secure your valuables before departing your vehicle. Parking areas are located along Highway 126, Nielson Road, Cantrell Road, Territorial Road, and Clear Lake Road. Contact the wildlife area headquarters, (541) 935-2591 if you have any questions.
Sauvie Island Wildlife Area
Snow Geese at Sauvie Island WA
-Photo by Kathy Munsel, ODFW-
Waterfowl viewing is excellent at the Sauvie Island Wildlife Area. More than 100,000 waterfowl are wintering on the island, and huge flocks can be seen on Sturgeon Lake from ODFW’s Coon Point viewing station. The recent cold weather and shortage of rain has reduced the usual abundance of open water and wetlands available to birds. As a result, huge flocks are finding refuge on the 3,000 acres of water available to them at Sturgeon Lake.
Access to the lake itself is closed this time of year in an effort to minimize any human impacts on the birds. However, they are still quite visible from the viewing station, which is located next to Reeder Road across from Sauvie Island Kennels. Huge flocks of ducks and geese can likewise be seen from many other points around the island, as can raptors, including bald eagles, northern harriers, red-tailed hawks and American kestrel.
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.
In addition to Coon Point, the best viewing opportunities can be found at the Eastside Viewing Platform and Rentenaar Road. All three require a Wildlife Area Parking Permit.
Sauvie Island Wildlife Area is located on Sauvie Island, only 10 miles north of Portland off Highway 30. A parking permit is required for the Sauvie Island Wildlife Area and can be purchased at ODFW License vendors or at the Sauvie Island ODFW office, Monday through Friday during office hours. For more information, call (503) 621-3488.
Directions to Sauvie Island Wildlife Area