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ODFW WEEKLY RECREATION REPORT
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Willamette Zone Map

Weekly Recreation Report: Willamette Zone

April 26, 2016

 Willamette Zone Fishing

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

Weekend fishing opportunities
 

  • ODFW will host a free family fishing event at Sheridan Pond on Saturday, April 30, from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. The ponds will be stocked with fish, including trophy-sized trout, and staff will be on hand to provide rods, reels, tackle, bait, and assistance to anyone who wants to come join in the fun. The event is free, although anglers 12 and older require a fishing license.
  • Chinook salmon fishing is slow to fair in Portland Harbor and should continue for the foreseeable future.
  • Trout stocking is in full swing around the region and state. This week’s Willamette Zone stockings include Bethany Pond, Dorman Pond, Haldeman Pond, Henry Hagg Lake, Salmonberry Lake, Silver Creek Reservoir, Timber Lake, Trojan Pond, Alton Baker Canal, Blue River Reservoir, Carmen Reservoir, Clear Lake, Detroit Reservoir, Dexter Reservoir, EE Wilson Pond, Foster Reservoir, Freeway Lake East, Junction City Pond, Leaburg Lake, McKenzie River above Leaburg Dam, Sunnyside Park, Timber Linn Lake.

NOTICE: Due to unsafe conditions, Linn County Parks has temporarily closed the boat ramp at the Stayton-Scio bridge. No time frame has been provided as to its re-opening. More information at 541-967-3917. Serious navigation hazards also have been reported between Shelburn and Green’s Bridge boat ramps on the North Santiam. Boaters are advised not to use that stretch of river.

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 water bodies 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.

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 the new interactive trout stocking map

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

ALTON BAKER CANOE CANAL: trout

The canal will be stocked this week with 1,300 trout. It will be stocked approximately every other week through mid-November.

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.

ODFW’s Springfield staff and volunteers will be hosting a free Family Fishing Event on Sunday, May 1 at Alton Baker Canoe Canal behind Kowloon’s Restaurant. The event will run from 9:30 a.m. until 1:30 p.m. Staff and volunteers will be available to assist young anglers and their families learn to fish. All necessary equipment is provided, although young anglers are welcome to bring their own equipment if they have it. Anglers 12 and older need to purchase a license prior to coming to the event. For information, call the Springfield Field Office at 541-726-3515.

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

Stocked the week of April 18 with 3,000 8-inch “legal” rainbow trout. This is a 40-acre lake located in Benson State Park in the Columbia River Gorge. From Portland, head east on I-84; the park is located on the south side of the freeway about 1/2 mile west of Multnomah Falls.

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

Stocked the week of April 25 with 2,000 legal-sized rainbow trout.

This is a 10-acre pond located at Bethany west of Portland. The pond is maintained by Tualatin Hills Park and Rec. Amenities include picnic tables, restrooms, and a paved, ADA accessible trail.

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

Stocked the week of April 18 with 1,500 8-inch “legal” rainbow trout.

This is a 64-acre lake located in Blue Lake Park three miles west of Troutdale. This family-friendly park with picnic areas, restrooms, walking trail, and ramp for small boats. Park is maintained by Multnomah County.

BLUE RIVER: trout, steelhead

Blue River above Blue River Reservoir will be stocked this week at multiple locations with a total of 750 fish. Fish are released from the reservoir upstream to Quentin Creek. Bait use is allowed through October 31. Two wild trout may be harvested per day above Blue River Reservoir only.

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 will be stocked this week with 2,100 hatchery trout, including 100 larger trout.

BREITENBUSH RIVER: trout

Regulation changes for 2016 year will allow fishing on this river year-round. Trout stocking will remain the same, with the first release scheduled for some time in May. Anglers may keep up to 5 trout per day.

Note that the river is closed to salmon fishing year-round.

CANBY POND: trout, bass, crappie, bluegill

Canby Pond will not be stocked again until fall due to warm water temperatures and thick aquatic vegetation.

Canby Pond is a one-acre pond located on the south end of Canby, in Canby City Park. This pond is open only to youth 17 years old and under, as well as persons who possess ODFW's Disabled Hunting and Fishing Permits.

CARMEN RESERVOIR: trout

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

CLACKAMAS RIVER: winter steelhead, summer steelhead

Clackamas River water conditions have changed some in the past few days after a weekend of heavy showers and cool temperatures, with increased flows and colder water temperatures. Winter steelhead catches have slowed down considerably as the run seems to be coming to an end, although a few fish have been landed around Dog Creek near the hatchery at McIver Park. Summer steelhead are appearing more regularly in the catch but this fishery will only improve as we head further into May. It’s still early to expect any springers to show up in the catch.

It’s been an exceptional season for winter steelhead on most local streams and Clackamas Hatchery at McIver Park has had nearly 4,000 winters swim in, a return that obliterates the previous season record 1,947 set in 2013. The sensational return allowed the hatchery to complete their spawning of winter steelhead earlier than normal, with all of the excess fish now going to community food banks or stream nutrient enrichment.

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 April 25 shows river flows up at 3,450 cfs, with a gauge reading of 13.05 feet and the water temperature steady near 48° F. All of the readings come from the Estacada gauge near Milo McIver State Park.

CLEAR LAKE: trout

Clear Lake is open to fishing all year and will be stocked this week with 3,625 rainbow trout, including 1,125 larger trout. The lake is accessed from Hwy. 126 approximately 70 miles east of Springfield.

COAST FORK WILLAMETTE RIVER: trout

The Coast Fork Willamette River is open to angling. Bait use is allowed through Oct. 31. The river was recently stocked with 1,000 hatchery trout at several locations near town. In addition to 5 hatchery trout, two wild trout may be kept daily.

Commonwealth Lake
Commonwealth Lake
-Photo by Rick Swart, ODFW

COMMONWEALTH LAKE: trout, bass, bluegill, crappie

Stocked the week of April 18 with 1,500 rainbow trout.

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 offers wildlife viewing opportunities. The pond with the dock was recently stocked for the last time this season with 2,000 fish (listed as Row River Nature Park on stocking schedule).

COTTAGE GROVE RESERVOIR: trout, warmwater species

Cottage Grove Reservoir is south of Cottage Grove and is open to fishing all year. Both boat ramps should be accessible. The reservoir will be stocked this week with 4,250 rainbow trout.

CRESWELL POND (GARDEN LAKE): trout, warmwater species

Stocked the week of March 28 with 1,500 rainbow trout. This was the last stocking of the season. Warmwater fish will continue to be available.

Garden Lake (Creswell Pond) is located in Garden Lake Park on the east side of I-5 in Creswell and is open to fishing all year. The pond and park offer additional wildlife viewing opportunities.

DETROIT RESERVOIR: trout, kokanee

This reservoir receives over 100,000 trout throughout the year. There are plenty of trout available, especially near submerged tree stumps and ledges. Check with local outfitters in the town of Detroit for fishing conditions.

Water storage season has begun which means we are starting to see reservoir levels increase. Reservoir elevation is about 17 feet below full pool and rising. Mongold boat ramp and several others, including Kane’s Marina, are currently usable. It will be stocked this week with 20,000 legal-sized hatchery rainbow trout.

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 this week with 3,000 catchable rainbow trout. 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. Both boat ramps are accessible. Dorena was stocked the week of April 18th with 6,000 hatchery trout. It will be stocked again in October.

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 October day fishing for coho on Eagle Creek.
-Photo by Rick Swart-

EAGLE CREEK: winter steelhead

The winter steelhead run on Eagle Creek is about over after a very good season was enjoyed by local anglers. Fishing effort has been nearly non-existent, a good indication that things have slowed quite a bit although rain over the weekend has improved fishing conditions.

Eagle Creek National Fish Hatchery had a great return this winter with over 2,800 steehead coming back, a big improvement over what’s been experienced in the past couple of years. If flows exist in May or June the creek could see a return of spring Chinook from smolt releases at the acclimation pond and 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 open fishery. It will be stocked this week with 2,000 legal, 300 larger, and 25 trophy size hatchery trout. A valid wildlife area parking permit is required.

ESTACADA LAKE: trout

Closed to trout fishing on Nov. 1; open to retention of hatchery (adipose fin-clipped) Chinook salmon and hatchery (adipose fin-clipped) steelhead all year.

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

FALL CREEK: 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 was stocked at multiple locations above Fall Creek Reservoir with a total of 1,750 hatchery trout the week of April 18. Five hatchery trout and an additional 2 wild trout may be harvested daily.

FALL CREEK RESERVOIR: trout

Fall Creek Reservoir was stocked the week of April 18 with 3,400 larger trout, including 400 one-pounders. North Shore and Winberry Creek Park boat ramps are open.

FARADAY LAKE: trout

This is a 25-acre reservoir located 1.1 miles southeast of Estacada on Hwy. 224 next to a PGE hydro plant. No boats, walk-in only.

FERN RIDGE RESERVOIR: 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.

The reservoir produces crappie over 12 inches and bass angling has been very good in recent years. Best time of year for crappie is April to June, after the water temperature reaches the mid-50s, but fish can still be found in deeper water year round. July and August are peak months for largemouth bass. Fish the shoreline along the southern part of the reservoir, especially the sloughs and inlets where there is underwater structure. Currently, all boat ramps are available.

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. At the moment, only Sunnyside Park boat ramp is currently available. It will be stocked this week with another 10,000 legal-size hatchery rainbow trout. Look for smallmouth bass and yellow perch near underwater structure and drop-offs.

Please remember that only kokanee and adipose fin-clipped trout may be kept and there are no limits on size or number of bass.

From I-5 take US 20 east from Albany to the town of Sweet Home. The reservoir is 3 miles past the town on the left.

FREEWAY LAKE, EAST: bass bluegill crappie

About 800 legal and 100 larger size hatchery rainbow trout will be released into the pond this week. This water-body actually consists of three interconnected ponds and features some good size bass and crappie. A boat ramp is available at East Freeway Lake, and there is good bank access around Middle Freeway Lake. Fishing for warmwater gamefish such as bass, bluegill, crappie, and catfish can be very good, especially early and late in the day.

GREEN PETER RESERVOIR: kokanee, trout, bass

This large reservoir east of Sweet Home is a premier kokanee fishery with a bag limit of 25 fish per day. It also supports stocked rainbow trout and a good population of smallmouth bass. Holdover trout and smallmouth bass can be found near tree stumps and near drop-offs in all parts of the reservoir. It will be stocked this week with 6,000 legal size hatchery trout.

Water storage season has begun and the reservoir is starting to fill up again. Reservoir elevation is currently about 17 feet below full pool. At the moment, both Whitcomb Creek and Thistle Creek boat ramps are available to launch boats.

HALDEMAN POND: trout

Stocked with 2,000 rainbow trout the week of April 25.

This is a stocked 2-acre pond on the Sauvie Island Wildlife Area that offers good bank access. Ideal for kids. A parking permit is required while on the wildlife area. Permits are available from all ODFW license vendors.

HARRIET LAKE: trout

Stocked the week of April 18 with more than 4,000 trout, including several dozen trophy-sized fish.

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

Stocked the week of April 18 with 1,750 legal-sized rainbow trout.

This is a year-round warmwater and spring trout fishing pond in the Columbia River Gorge. Excellent for non-boating anglers.

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

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

The lake will receive an additional 5,500 rainbow trout this week, bringing to 30,500 the total number of trout released so far this year.

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.

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 catchable trout releases, including 4,100 trout released the week of April 4. Trout and salmon must be adipose-fin clipped to be harvested. Large native trout are available for catch-and-release fishing.

All three boat ramps are accessible.

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.

Huddleston Pond
Huddleston Pond
-Photo by Rick Swart, ODFW-

HUDDLESTON POND: trout, bass, bluegill

Stocked the week of April 18 with 750 legal-size rainbow trout and 25 trophies.

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. It will be stocked again this week with 2,250 legal-size, and 150 larger-size hatchery 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 open to angling all year. Bait use is allowed April 22-October 31. Only hatchery fish may be kept. All wild trout must be released. The lake will be stocked with 1,400 trout this week, and will be stocked more or less weekly through the summer.

Leaburg Dam is scheduled to remain open without restrictions to vehicular and pedestrian traffic until construction work on the dam resumes in June 2016.

MCKENZIE RIVER below Leaburg Lake: trout, salmon, steelhead

The McKenzie River below Leaburg Lake is stocked with hatchery trout from the Leaburg Town Landing downstream to Hendricks Bridge from late April through early September. All non-adipose fin-clipped trout must be released unharmed. The lower McKenzie River was stocked the week of April 18th with 9,000 trout from about 1.4 miles below Greenwood Landing to Hendricks Bridge. Bait use is allowed April 22 through October 31.

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 scheduled to remain open without restrictions to vehicular and pedestrian traffic until construction work on the dam resumes in June 2016.

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 from Forest Glen boat landing, from late April through mid-September. The upper McKenzie River will be boat stocked from Finn Rock to Goodpasture Bridge this week with a total of 9,250 fish.

All non-adipose fin-clipped trout must be released unharmed. Bait use is allowed April 22 through October 31.

MIDDLE FORK WILLAMETTE RIVER above Hills Creek Reservoir: trout

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

MOLALLA RIVER: winter steelhead

The Molalla River flows jumped considerably after a few days of heavy showers, providing improved angling conditions for late winter steelhead. The steelhead numbers moving upriver at Willamette Falls have seen some increase with fish moving through at a rate of 50 and 65 fish per day; this number is 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. With the counts continuing to plug along, passage at the falls for winter steelhead has reached 5,092 fish through April 22. As the spring Chinook counts improve there should be springer fishing available from acclimation pond returns.

USGS hydrological data for the Molalla River on April 22 shows flows increased at 1,620 cfs with a gauge reading of 12.59 feet, as measured in Canby.

Fishing at Mt. Hood Pond
Fishing at Mt. Hood Pond
-Oregon Fish and Wildlife-

MT HOOD POND: trout, crappie, bluegill

Stocked the week of April 18 with 1,000 legal-sized rainbow trout. 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

Closed to trout fishing until May 22, 2016.

Fishermen are reminded that the boat ramp and marina at Promontory Park is closed to all public access until the summer of 2016 while PGE constructs a surface collector to improve the downstream passage of native salmon and steelhead juveniles at North Fork Dam. For more information about the closure, visit PGE’s website (pdf)

OLALLIE LAKE: trout

Stocking has been completed for the season. This is the largest of more than 200 lakes within the Olallie Lake Scenic Area. Located on the southern edge of the Mt. Hood National Forest it is a popular summer recreational destination for people from Portland and Salem, Ore.

There are three campgrounds and a rustic cabin resort on this lake as well as a hiking trail that encircles the perimeter. Yurts, cabins, and boat rentals are available at Olallie Lake Resort. There is a boat ramp at Peninsula Campground on the southwest shore of the lake. Camping is also available at Olallie Meadows Campground and Paul Dennis Campground.

Olallie Lake is also a popular jumping off point for backpackers who want to fish the surrounding high lakes or access the Pacific Crest Trail.

PROGRESS LAKE: trout, brown bullhead

Stocked with 1,000 rainbow trout the week of April 18. The pond was also stocked with trout two weeks ago and some of those should still be available.

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 will receive its first trout stocking in May. Light gear works best and fly fishing can be very good, but bait is also allowed.

There are two BLM campgrounds as well as numerous designated campsites along the road. To get there, follow the directions to Green Peter Reservoir and continue around the lake until the river begins.

ROARING RIVER PARK POND: trout

This is a small one acre pond in Roaring River County Park near ODFW’s Roaring River fish hatchery. To get there, drive highway 226 east out of Albany and turn right onto Fish Hatchery Road and continue for about seven miles. Park is on the right. It will be stocked this week with 160 legal and 20 larger size rainbow trout.

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

SANDY RIVER: winter steelhead, summer steelhead

The winter steelhead fishery on the Sandy River should be considered over for spring 2016 as virtually no effort has been seen up near Cedar Creek and the hatchery. There could be a very small number of fish left to be found but for the most part the excellent winter steelhead run is about done. A few nice summer steelhead have been landed however, so as the winter steelhead fishery comes to a close anglers now have the opportunity to get in on the start of a summer steelhead run.

The Sandy Hatchery at Cedar Creek had excellent winter return numbers and began recycling fish back down to the Lewis and Clark boat ramp several weeks ago. They’ve had over 3,800 steelhead return to the hatchery total for the season and earlier had recycled over 2,200 of these winters back downstream to give anglers another shot at hooking them. Interested anglers can identify a recycled steelhead by a simple hole punch found in the right side gill plate cover of the fish.

A typical rule of thumb for the Sandy River is if snow levels are above 4,000 feet it could be a bit off but when below 4,000 feet angling conditions get good. With snow levels moving up some this week we should see conditions looking more typical of springtime.

USGS hydrological data for the Sandy River on April 25 shows flows up at 2,520 cfs, a gauge reading of 9.94 feet, and the water temperature falling down to 46°.

SANTIAM RIVER (NORTH FORK): steelhead, Chinook

Returns of adult steelhead and Chinook are in full swing at Willamette Falls and some of them have started to show up in the Santiam basin. The first Chinook arrived last week at Upper Bennett dam in Stayton, along with a handful of summer steelhead. As of April 14, they have counted 625 summer steelhead and 1,214 spring Chinook at the Willamette Falls fish ladder. Flows are coming down making for improved fishing conditions.

When the ‘bite’ is on, bobbers and jigs are the preferred angling method with spoons, spinners and egg clusters also being effective. Currently the entire river below Packsaddle Park (near the Minto Fish Facility) is open year-round to hatchery steelhead. Trout harvest season begins May 22. River levels best for fishing are below 3,000 cfs at the Mehama gauge (the Mehama gauge was at 2,450 cfs as of April 18). Current conditions

SANTIAM RIVER (NORTH FORK) above DETROIT:

Regulation changes for 2016 makes this section a year-round fishery. The river will be stocked as in previous years starting in May. Anglers may keep up to 5 trout per day. This section of river is closed to salmon fishing.

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

Flows have moderated lately and will continue to decrease throughout the week as nicer weather moves in. This will make for improved fishing conditions – just in time, as more steelhead are moving into the basin. Current flows (as of April 18) are around 1,780 cfs as measured at Waterloo. Current conditions

Anglers can target winter and summer steelhead, which can be found in fair numbers in the upper sections. Best sections to fish are from Wiley Creek to Pleasant Valley boat ramps, around Waterloo County Park, and from Lebanon down to the confluence with the North Santiam.

The first few summer steelhead and spring Chinook of 2016 have been reported at Foster dam fish ladder.

SHERIDAN POND: trout

Stocked with trout the first week of April.

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.

SHORTY’S POND: trout

Stocked the week of April 4 for a free family fishing event. Holdover trout should still be available.

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

SILVER CREEK RESERVOIR: trout, catfish

Stocked the week of April 25 with 3,500 legal-sized rainbow trout and 200 half-pounders.

This is a 65-acre reservoir on Silver Creek 2.5 miles south of Silverton on Hwy. 214.

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 the week of April 18 with 4,000 rainbow trout.

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

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

The ponds will be stocked this week with 700 trout, including some half-pounders.

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. It was stocked March 25 with 1,000 legal and 50 larger size hatchery rainbow trout. The pond also offers bluegill and largemouth bass year round.

The park has a campground and picnic area and is a great place to take kids fishing. There is also boat ramp access to the Middle Fork arm of Foster Reservoir. To get there from 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 LAKE: rainbow trout

Stocked the week of April 25 with 2,000 trout of various sizes.

This beautiful, family-friendly fishing pond is located within the 8-acre Timber-Linn Memorial Park in Albany. It will be stocked this week with 250 legal and 25 trophy size hatchery rainbow trout. 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.

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. Stocking will resume in May.

TROJAN POND: trout, panfish

Trojan Pond will receive another 2,000 trophy trout this week.

ODFW staff and volunteers will be on site to hand out loaner gear and provide instruction. Kids 11 and younger fish free while everybody else needs a license.

Trojan Pond 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

This pond will be stocked this week with 400 legal and 50 larger size hatchery rainbow trout. There may still be a few surviving large brood trout weighing several pounds in there. As a reminder, only one trout over 20-inches can be kept per day.

This is an 8-acre privately owned pond located in Salem at the northeast corner of McGilchrist and 16th Streets, S.E.

WALTER WIRTH LAKE: trout, crappie, bass

This pond will be stocked this week with 2,200 legal-size and 150 larger hatchery rainbow trout. As a reminder, only one trout over 20-inches can be kept per day. Walter Wirth is a 20-acre lake located within the City of Salem’s Cascades Gateway Park.

Wallowa Lake
Waverly Lake
- Photo by Rick Swart-

WAVERLY POND: trout, bluegill, catfish

Waverly Pond is located in Albany and is regularly stocked in fall, winter and spring. It will be stocked again this week with 750 legal size hatchery rainbow trout.

Please keep in mind that only one fish over 20-inches may be taken per day. From I-5 take exit 234 west towards Albany. The pond is located a quarter mile down Pacific Boulevard on the right. A paved ADA-accessible path runs all the way around the pond.

WILLAMETTE RIVER: sturgeon, winter steelhead, spring Chinook

The Willamette River spring Chinook fishery is struggling to get going with both effort and catch down from what’s typically found in April. The boating effort has been pretty evenly spread out from Oregon City on down to the mouth of Multnomah Channel.

To date the catch has been disappointing considering we’re approaching the end of April with only an occasional decent bite popping up but slow fishing on most days. The lower Multnomah Channel continues to produce the best catch, mainly out of the Bayport Marina boat launch, but heading upriver the catch drops off all the way into Oregon City.

Moving through the last week of April and into early May it should be prime springer fishing time when fish should be found riverwide as long as decent water conditions hold up. The water is a few degrees warmer than normal for late April, but conditions are still pretty good for spring Chinook fishing and will hold this way into next weekend. On a positive note the catch and release sturgeon fishing in the Willamette has been very good for those looking to sturgeon action.

Fish crossings at Willamette Falls had a bit of a resurgence after some rainfall and slightly warmer water seemed to trigger movement. Total passage at the falls for winter steelhead through April 22 now reads 5,092. This winter steelhead passage number is running about in line with the ten year annual average. We’ve also had 997 summer steelhead pass upstream through April 22. There’s finally been a bump in Chinook passage with 3,352 adult springers passing so far through April 22. Given the warmer water temperatures and low flows that Chinook passage number should show a steady increase over the next couple of weeks.

USGS hydrological data for the Willamette River on April 25 shows flows at 18,500 cfs, the water temperature moving up to 59° F and visibility still very good at 5.8 feet.

YAMHILL RIVER and tributaries: 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.

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  Willamette Zone Hunting

OPEN: CONTROLLED Spring Bear, COUGAR, AND SPRING TURKEY

EVENTS: Big game hunting workshops coming up in June:

  • Finding and Evaluating Places to Hunt June 12 at Cabela’s Tualatin
  • How to Hunt Big Game Workshop June 12 at Albany Sportsman’s Warehouse
  • Finding and Evaluating Places to Hunt June 16 at Albany Sportsman’s Warehouse

Please remember to check with the landowner for access restrictions prior to entering private lands. Private timberlands access policy.

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

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

2016 Spring Turkey Hunting Forecast

2016 Spring Bear Hunting Forecast

turkey
Wild Turkey
-National Wild Turkey Federation-

SPRING TURKEY

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

BIG GAME

CONTROLLED SPRING BEAR season is open April 1 through May 31 for those hunters who drew a controlled spring bear tag. Tags were allocated through the controlled spring hunt drawing for all hunts except SW Oregon, which is a limited first-come, first-served hunt. Hunters are reminded to check the 2016 Big Game Regulations for their exact hunt boundaries, season dates and requirements for checking in their bear. Skunk cabbage and green grasses are preferred forage items for bears in spring. Early in the season hunters will want to focus on coastal areas or low elevation riparian areas. The key to early success is to target days with some sun and mild weather. Hunters will want to look for areas with abundant green grass or skunk cabbage. Freshly torn up stumps also indicates a bear is in the area.

Spring bear hunting improves later in the season as the bear activity increases. Cascade area hunters will want to pay attention to snow levels in the area they want to hunt. With warm weather dominating the forecast for early April, it is expected some hunters will have early success but biologists still expect the majority of spring bear harvest to occur in May.

Successful bear hunters will need to check-in any bear taken at an ODFW office within 10 days of harvest. Hunters are reminded that biologists located in field offices may be out in the field handling other issues so call ahead to make arrangements to have your bear checked-in.Be sure to bring in the skull (The skull must be unfrozen and without the hide), the spring bear tag, and harvest location information. Biologists recommend propping the bear’s mouth open with a stick after harvest; it makes for easier tooth collection. Bear hunters are reminded that it is helpful to submit the reproductive tract of any female bear taken. The reproductive tract provides valuable information on the number and frequency of cubs born annually in Oregon and is a critical part of ODFW’s black bear population models. Please review the 2016 Big Game Hunting Regulations before your hunting trip to ensure that you are familiar with all of the requirements.

Cougar

Cougar
- Oregon Fish and Wildlife-

COUGAR season is open. A technique is to use predator calls to mimic a distressed deer fawn or elk calf. 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 into their wintering areas and cougars will spend time in these areas while they hunt. For the best success, cougar hunters will want to concentrate their effort in areas with abundant deer and elk sign.

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

COYOTE

Paired coyotes are very territorial during the 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. Remember to keep the volume low when you start to avoid scaring any animals near your stand, then increase the volume. Hunters are advised to keep a close watch downwind of their positions when predator calling. While bobcats are less disturbed by human scent, coyotes and fox will tend to circle downwind and once they have your scent – it is all over.

BE PREPARED

Remember to apply for your 2016 Big Game Controlled Hunts. Application deadline for fall controlled hunts is May 15, 2016. More Information

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

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 the affected hoof/hooves in a plastic bag and place in a cool area 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.
  • Fill out this online form

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.

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.

Be safe, be responsible and be legal.

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 Willamette Zone Wildlife Viewing

Turkey

Wild Tom Turkey near Winston, Oregon
-Photo by Diana Ranslam-

Valleywide

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

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

Ospreys are now returning to northwest Oregon from their wintering grounds in Central America. Ospreys mate for life and are building nests, which can be observed on the tops of communication towers, power poles, and broken off trees. 

Turkey vultures are also on the move this time of year. Turkey vultures are migrating northward to their breeding grounds. Watch for these large birds on drier days riding the thermals and imagine what our world would look like (and smell like) if there were no turkey vultures to clean up all the dead critters!

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

During April, listen closely for the musical call of sand hill cranes as they pass through the valley on their way north. Large flocks can be seen flying very high. They occasionally land in fields east and north of Salem for a few days of rest. 

Continue to look for signs of spring―blooms on trees and the arrival of sparrows, tree swallows, robins and hummingbirds.

Corvallis Area

EE Wilson Wildlife Area

Many wintering waterfowl are taking advantage of the full ponds at EE Wilson Wildlife area. Waterfowl viewing is good as birds are preparing for breeding season and hunting season is over. Find directions to EE Wilson Wildlife Area.

Bald Hill Park

This park, west of the Benton County Fairgrounds, is home to sharp-shinned and cooper’s hawks that hunt as well as nest in this area. Barn owls have roosted in the sturdy old barn and could nest in the large oaks. Great horned owls and smaller owls are often seen. This is also a good spot for acorn woodpeckers and red-breasted sapsuckers. The willow flycatcher, whose numbers may be declining, has been observed in the riparian areas. The white oak savannas attract white-breasted nuthatches as well as western bluebirds, which can be seen near mistletoe berries in the treetops during winter. Visit the Audubon Society of Corvallis website for parking information and an area map.

Eugene Area

Delta Ponds

Beaver
Beaver
-Oregon Fish and Wildlife-

Many types of waterfowl and raptors currently use the area. With the higher water and earlier dusk, now is a good time to see beaver. Best viewing time is around sunset and sunrise. When viewing wildlife, please remember to be respectful and try not to disturb the animals’ natural behaviors. Sometimes, the best way to view animals is from inside your vehicle as to not frighten the birds/animals away. For more information on Delta Ponds on the Oregon Solutions website.

Salem Area

Walling Pond

Walling Pond in Salem is a fishing pond created by Walling Sand and Gravel near 16th St. and McGilchrist St. It is west of Interstate 5 off the U.S. 22 exit. In addition to good fishing, visitors to the pond can enjoy seeing a good selection of sparrows, swallows and wintering waterfowl.

Portland area

Sauvie Island Wildlife Area

A record number of eagles were observed during the mid-winter eagle survey. Staff counted 205 eagles this year. The old record was 99 eagles. Out of the 205 recorded approximately 75 percent are juvenile eagles.

A huge amount of Snow geese, Tundra swans, and Sandhill cranes as well as other bird species are plentiful on Sauvie Island this time of year. While much of the Wildlife Area is closed, as not to disturb the birds, there are viewing opportunities at Coon Point, Eastside Viewing Platform and Rentenaar Road. All three require a Sauvie Island 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

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   © ODFW. All rights reserved. This page was last updated: 04/27/2016 1:45 PM