OREGON DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND WILDLIFE

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Welcome to the ODFW Recreation Report - December 6, 2016

Fishing, Hunting and Wildlife Viewing

Northwest | Southwest | Willamette | Central | Southeast | Northeast | Snake | Columbia | Marine


Start planning for 2017

The 2017 Big Game Hunting and Sport Fishing Regulations are in stores this week and 2017 licenses and tags are on sale.

First winter steelhead arrive in some coastal rivers

Thanksgiving is the traditional “start” of the winter steelhead fishing on many coastal rivers. Rains and higher water levels will bring fish into the rivers but the best fishing will be when water levels start to drop. Keep an eye on water levels and the weekly Recreation Report, and be ready to hit the water when conditions are right.

See elk herds in the meadows now at Jewell Meadows Wildlife Area

Elk viewing has been good at Jewell Meadows Wildlife Area. Best viewing has been in the mornings and evenings until dark. The elk breeding season or “rut” is over for the season and elk have gathered into larger groups. With the cooler and wetter weather, elk are spending more time in the open fields and recently some elk have been visible throughout day.

Winter range closures, motor vehicle restrictions in effect

New this year, White River Wildlife Area lands north of Forest Rd 27 are closed to the public from Dec. 1-March 31 and Wenaha Wildlife Area is closed Jan. 1-March 30 (with some exceptions including designated camping areas). See the 2017 Big Game Hunting Regulations pages 108-111 for a full list of closures.

Report big game hunt results by Jan. 31, 2017

Remember to complete a report for each 2016 deer, elk, bear, cougar and pronghorn tag you purchased—even if you didn’t hunt or weren’t successful. Report online at www.reportmyhunt.com or call 1-866-947-6339.

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NORTHWEST ZONE: FISHING

Weekend fishing opportunities:

  • It’s still not too late to catch fall Chinook on the Kilchis and Wilson Rivers.
  • It’s time to target winter steelhead on the Nestucca, Three Rivers, the Wilson, and the North Fork Nehalem River.

Send us your fishing report

We’d love to hear about your recent fishing experiences. 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 schedule

The 2016 trout stocking schedules for the North Coast Watershed (pdf) are 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.

NORTH COAST LAKES

Town Lake near Pacific City was recently stocked with 170 surplus summer steelhead from Cedar Creek hatchery, and more should be released soon. These fish get fairly active in the lake and offer a unique fishing experience, especially when the rivers are blown out. Once in the lake they are considered “trout” and do not require a Combined Angling Tag. Anglers are reminded, however, that only one trout per day over 20 inches may be retained, and these fish will almost all be in that size range.

Trout stocking is complete in the other North Coast lakes, but there are still hold over trout available and winter can be a great time to fish for them as these trout will be larger now, and getting hungry!

MID COAST LAKES

Holdover trout will be available in most lakes. Fishing for the various warm water fish species will slow as water temperatures cool. There are numerous lakes in the Florence area that can provide good opportunity.

Siltcoos and Tahkenitch lakes are open for wild coho until December 31. Fishing has been fair to slow. Casting spinners near the weed lines and trolling plugs or spinners can be effective on fish that recently entered the lake.

ALSEA RIVER AND BAY: Chinook, steelhead

The Alsea River and bay is open for Chinook salmon. Fishing is slow. Fish are throughout the bay and river. Eggs and bobber can be productive in the upper bay and river as the season progresses.

Steelhead fishing opened on the Alsea River on Nov. 1. Fish are entering the mainstem. Steelhead are up to the town of Alsea. Casting spinners, drifting bait or using a bobber and jig can be effective.

  • Open for hatchery steelhead Jan 1 – Apr. 30 and Nov 1 – Dec. 31.
  • No fishing from a floating device upstream from Mill Creek.

The North Fork Alsea, Five Rivers and Drift Cr. will open for hatchery steelhead up to their respective deadlines on Dec. 1, 2016.

NOTICE: DEC. 5 PUBLIC MEETING ABOUT ALSEA RIVER BOAT RAMP

The possible development of a recreational boating facility at Don Lindly Park on the Alsea River will be the topic of a public meeting scheduled for Dec. 15 from 4-6 p.m. at Waldport City Hall. Lincoln County and the Oregon State Marine Board will host the event and are asking for input on development of a public boat ramp, docks, parking and sanitation at Don Lindly Park on the Alsea River at Hwy. 34 milepost 7. For more information, contact Keith Andresen, Lincoln County Parks Superintendent at 541-574-1215, or Janine Belleque, Oregon State Marine Board Boating Facilities Manager, at 503-378-2628.

KILCHIS RIVER: Chinook , steelhead

The Kilchis looked great by the middle of last week, and although it bumped back up a little Saturday night, it’s probably going to be in better condition than most of the North Coast Rivers this week.

Most of the North Coast Rivers are about done for fall Chinook but the Kilchis is known for having some later fish, and it’s not uncommon to catch bright salmon well into December on this river. All of the usual techniques, such as bobber fishing, divers and bait, and back bouncing should be effective.

Anglers are reminded that catch-and-release chum fishing is now closed.

It’s a little early for winter steelhead on the Kilchis but there should be a few showing up this month.

LOWER COLUMBIA TRIBUTARIES: steelhead

It’s still early but some fish have returned to the Big Creek and Klaskanine hatcheries the past couple weeks, and a handful have been caught.

NEHALEM RIVER: steelhead

Steelhead fishing on the North Fork Nehalem was slow last week despite a fair amount of pressure. A handful of fish have already been recycled from the hatchery, and more should be on the way. This river has a good run of December hatchery fish and should just get better throughout the month.

The main stem bumped back up Saturday night and is probably going to be too high for much fishing this week. Fall Chinook is pretty much over, and it’s a little early for winter steelhead on the main stem.

NESTUCCA RIVER AND THREE RIVERS: steelhead

The Nestucca dropped into fishable condition late last week but bumped back up on Saturday. It looks like it’s going to be on the drop for the next couple days and may get in shape towards the end of the week, then back up again.

Three Rivers is getting a handful of winter steelhead and Cedar Creek hatchery has recycled a few already. With high water on the North Coast this week, Three Rivers is probably a good bet for steelhead.

The lower main stem Nestucca should be picking up for these early hatchery steelhead as well, but this week high water conditions could be challenging. Chinook fishing is mostly done on the Nestucca although there may still be a few late fish around.

SALMON RIVER: Chinook, steelhead

The Salmon River and bay is open for Chinook salmon. The run is near the end but a few fish are still entering the system. Trolling herring in the lower bay is an effective technique. Eggs and bobber can be productive in the upper bay and river as the season progresses. Parking can be limited at Knight Park during the fall salmon return. Anglers are reminded that from Knight Park boat ramp to Sulphur Creek from Sept. 1 to Dec. 31, fishing is restricted to single point hook metal lures, fly, or salmon bobber angling.

The Salmon River opens for wild and hatchery steelhead Dec. 1. Wild winter steelhead can be retained on the Salmon River. Daily and annual bag limit on wild winter steelhead are 1/day and 3/year. Casting spinners, drifting bait or using a bobber and jig can be effective.

SILETZ RIVER: steelhead, Chinook

The Siletz River and bay is open for Chinook salmon. Fishing is slow. Fish are throughout the bay and river. Trolling herring in the lower bay is an effective technique. Eggs and bobber or drifting eggs can be productive in the upper bay and river as the season progresses. Consult the regulations for changes in deadline locations through the season.

Steelhead fishing is slow. Winter steelhead opportunities will improve in December. Casting spinners, drifting bait or using a bobber and jig can be effective.

SIUSLAW RIVER: Chinook, steelhead

The Siuslaw River and bay is open for Chinook salmon. Fishing is slow. Trolling herring in the lower bay is an effective technique. Eggs and bobber can be productive in the upper bay and river.

The Siuslaw River and Lake Cr. open for steelhead Dec. 1. Casting spinners, drifting bait or using a bobber and jig can be effective.

TRASK RIVER: steelhead

The Trask dropped into fishable condition late last week but bumped back up on Saturday. It looks like it’s going to be on the drop for the next couple days and may get in shape towards the end of the week, before going back up again.

A handful of winter steelhead showed up at the Trask hatchery already. However, this week high water conditions could be challenging. Chinook fishing is mostly done on the Trask, although there may still be a few late fish around.

WILSON RIVER: Chinook, steelhead

The Wilson dropped into fishable condition late last week but rose again on Saturday. It looks like it’s going to be on the drop for the next couple days and may get in shape towards the end of the week.

The lower Wilson should start to pick up for early hatchery steelhead as soon as high water conditions resolve. When the river does green up, pulling divers and bait, plugs, and side drifting or drift fishing should all be good options.

Most North Coast rivers are about done for fall Chinook. However, the Wilson is known for having some later fish, and it’s not uncommon to catch bright salmon well into December on this river.

YAQUINA RIVER: Chinook, steelhead

The Yaquina River and bay is open for Chinook salmon. Fishing is slow. Trolling herring in the lower bay is an effective technique. Eggs and bobber can be productive in the upper bay and river as the season progresses.

The Yaquina River and Big Elk Cr. open for steelhead on December 1. Wild winter steelhead can be retained on Big Elk Cr. with a daily and annual bag limit of 1/day and 3/year. Casting spinners, drifting bait or using a bobber and jig can be effective.


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NORTHWEST ZONE: NORTH COAST HUNTING

OPEN: COUGAR, BEAR, ARCHERY DEER (until Dec. 11 in some units) FOREST GROUSE, MOUNTAIN AND CALIFORNIA QUAIL, CROW, DUCK, NW PERMIT GOOSE, BRANT

Black Bear season continues through Dec. 31 on the north coast. With the onset of colder temperatures, stormy weather and the general lack of food sources, most bears will likely be denned up by now.

Cougar are most effectively taken by using predator calls. However, cougar densities are relatively low on the north coast. Successful hunters, remember you must check in cougar (hide and skull) at an ODFW office within 10 days of harvest and bring them in unfrozen. It’s also a good idea to prop their mouths open with a stick after harvest for easier tissue sampling, teeth collection and tagging.

California quail season is ongoing, but these birds are rare along the north coast. The best prospects are along agricultural areas on the eastern flanks of the coast range.

Mountain quail appear to have had a good hatch this spring as they seemed to be plentiful this summer. In general, the eastern slope of the coast range is generally better than areas closer to the coast for finding birds. Look for these forest-dwelling quail on south and west-facing slopes around brushy clearcuts. ODFW is looking for hunters willing to collect and mail in wings and tails from harvested birds. You can obtain some collection envelopes from the Tillamook office of ODFW by stopping by during regular business hours or calling 503-842-2741.

Forest grouse (ruffed and blue varieties) hunting season continues until Jan. 31. There appears to have been a good hatch of young this year, so hunting prospects are looking very good. Blue grouse are found on higher elevation ridges, along with a few ruffed grouse. Ruffed grouse are usually found on mid-slopes and riparian areas. ODFW is looking for hunters willing to collect and mail in wings and tails from harvested birds. You can obtain some collection envelopes from the Tillamook office of ODFW during regular business hours or by calling 503-842-2741.

Crow season goes through Jan. 31, 2017. These birds are plentiful, especially in agricultural settings, but can also be found almost anywhere people live or along forest stand edges.

Duck season in Zone 1 runs through Jan. 29, 2017. Additional migrants (e.g. mallards, wigeons and various diving ducks) have shown up in most of the north coast estuaries, including the lower Columbia River. Generally, the best time to hunt at the onset of a storm when birds get pushed off of larger waters and seek more protected, marshy areas. See the 2016-17 Oregon Game Bird Regulations for details.

The second period of the NW Permit Goose season goes through Jan. 9, 2017. After another closure, the season opens up again for the 3rd and final period of Feb. 4 through March 10, 2017. Large numbers of geese have been showing up on north coast estuaries and surrounding private lands; moving to grass pastures during the day and then back to the estuary before evening. Hunters are reminded that again this year dusky Canada geese are completely protected and there is no check station requirement. See pages 22-23 in the 2016-17 Oregon Game Bird Regulations for details.

Brant season opens closes Dec. 11. Most brant on the north coast will be found in Netarts and Tillamook bays. These shy and elusive birds are challenging to hunt, and generally require a skull boat or other low profile craft to sneak up on them on the water or on mud flats.

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NORTHWEST ZONE: NORTH COAST WILDLIFE VIEWING

Migrating ducks, geese, coots and grebes are on north coast estuaries and lakes in good numbers. Most of the ducks are dabblers, such as pintails and mallards, which can be seen on mudflats or in shallow tidal areas during lower stages of the tides. Look for diving ducks on lakes or deeper parts of estuaries. A good pair of binoculars are generally all that is needed to find and identify the birds by species.

TILLAMOOK COUNTY

In estuaries and pastures it’s not too difficult to find the large white wading bird that spends the fall, winter and spring in Tillamook County. It’s the great egret, and it has been in the county in seemingly increasing numbers in recent years. The only known roost site for these birds in the county is Hathaway Slough, located along Hwy 101 between Tillamook and Bay City. The birds typically start flying into roost site near dusk, and create a stark contrast to the dark green spruce trees they occupy.

Cape Meares Lake, located west of Tillamook on Bayocean Spit, is a great place to watch diving ducks, including canvasbacks, ruddy ducks, and ring-necked ducks. Generally, binoculars are sufficient, but bring your spotting scope just in case.

Nestucca Bay NWR is a place where you can see a variety of races, or subspecies, of Canada geese. Situated right along Hwy 101, just east of Pacific City, it was established originally to conserve Aleutian and Dusky Canada geese, which still occupy the refuge in good numbers. Other races of Canada geese known to be there include Western, Lesser and Cackling. Binoculars are all you should need to view them.

Wintering bald eagles occur in good numbers the upper reaches of Tillamook Bay, and can best be seen Bayocean Road, which skirts the upper end of the bay. Spotting scopes are almost a requirement to find the birds in the distant spruce trees along the various rivers and sloughs that feed into the bay.

CLATSOP COUNTY

Jewell Meadows Wildlife Area

Elk viewing has been very good at Jewell Meadows Wildlife Area. Elk have gathered into larger groups and are generally visible in the fields throughout day. Good places to look are the Fishhawk Tract along Hwy 202 and the Beneke Tract along the first 1.5 miles of Beneke Creek Road.

Visitors are reminded that areas posted as Wildlife Refuge are closed to public access. Additionally, posted portions of the Beneke Tract are closed to public entry during any Saddle Mt. unit elk season. Closure dates are Aug. 1 through March 15 (see big game regulations for exceptions).

Wildlife Area Parking Permits are required on the Wildlife Area.


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SOUTHWEST ZONE: FISHING

Weekend fishing opportunities:

  • Several streams and lakes remain open for year-round fishing. Check the sport fishing regulations or the reports below to see what’s open.
  • Coho have moved in the upper Umpqua; only hatchery coho may be retained.
  • The upper Rogue has been fishing very well for summer steelhead with little pressure from anglers.
  • Five hundred large-size rainbow trout were stocked at Reinhardt Pond recently and fishing should still be good.

Please check online regulations for the most up-to-date information.

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.

2016 trout stocking schedules

For detailed information about when and where hatchery trout are going to be released, please refer to the 2016 ODFW Trout Stocking Schedules page.

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

AGATE LAKE: largemouth bass, black crappie, bluegill, bullheads

The lake is 27 percent full and the boat ramp is open from dawn until dusk. The boat ramp is useable. Fishing for warmwater species will slow with cooler weather.

APPLEGATE RESERVOIR: largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, trout

Fishing for trout should start picking back up with the decreasing reservoir temperatures. Trout anglers will want to try trolling, and a good bet will be a wedding ring/bait combination. One angler reported a flasher tipped with a worm produced good results during mid-day hours. Fishing with bait from shore in the upper reservoir should also produce. The lake is 12 percent full. French Gulch is the only boat ramp that is currently useable.

APPLEGATE RIVER: trout

The Applegate River is open for trout angling but closed to Chinook and steelhead angling. Wild trout must be released unharmed. Rainbow trout over 16 inches are considered steelhead and must be released through Dec. 31.

ARIZONA POND: rainbow trout

The pond has been lowered to help control aquatic vegetation. This pond is managed by Oregon State Parks for youth-only fishing. It is located at Arizona Beach State Recreation Area, approximately half way between Gold Beach and Port Orford.

BEN IRVING RESERVOIR: rainbow trout, bass, bluegill, yellow perch, crappie

Ben Irving has been stocked with 5,000 trout this year, and there are still opportunities to catch rainbows from previous year stockings. Warmwater fishing for bass, crappie and bluegill will slow with dropping temperatures. Try using soft-plastics and swimbaits around structure for positive results.

CHETCO RIVER: Chinook, winter steelhead

Chinook fishing has slowed with some fish moving into the tributaries and the upper river to spawn. Anglers may want to start side drifting eggs as a few steelhead have moved into the system.

COOPER CREEK RESERVOIR: rainbow trout, bass, bluegill

Cooper Creek has been stocked with over 10,000 rainbow trout in 2016. Fishing for bass and bluegill will slow with dropping temperatures. Dropping soft plastics in clear areas among weeds should yield positive results.

COOS COUNTY LAKES/PONDS: trout

Rainbow trout were stocked in Upper Empire, Bradley, Saunders, Powers and Butterfield lakes in October. There are still a few trout in these lakes and anglers have been catching them on Powerbait, flies, or by trolling spinners. This was the last stocking of these lakes until the spring. Trout anglers are also catching trout in Eel and Tenmile lakes. Trolling wedding ring spinners tipped with nightcrawlers have been really effective.

COOS RIVER BASIN: Dungeness crab, bay clams, rockfish, steelhead

Trout fishing in streams is now closed until May 22, 2017.

A few steelhead have been caught in the West Fork and East Fork Millicoma rivers this past week. Anglers are drifting eggs or corkies along the stream bottom or using a jig suspended under a bobber.

Anglers have been catching a few rockfish along the jetties and submerged rock piles. Fishing for rockfish in the bay has been spotty. The marine fish daily bag limit for bottom fish (rockfish) is seven fish and a separate daily limit for lingcod (two). Anglers can only keep 3 blue rockfish and 1 canary rockfish as part of their daily limit and there will be no harvest of China, quillback, or copper rockfish. Retention of one cabezon per day is allowed as of July 1.

Recreational crabbing has been closed from Tillamook Head to Floras Creek due to elevated levels of domoic acid. This includes Dungeness and red rock crabs harvested in bays, estuaries and the ocean.

Recreational harvest of bay clams remains open along the entire Oregon coast. Clamming is excellent during low tides near Charleston, off Cape Arago Highway, and Clam Island. There are also good places to dig clams even on positive low tides in Coos Bay.

Recreational harvest of razor clams and mussels is closed from the entire Oregon coast due to elevated levels of domoic acid. This includes all beaches and all bays. Before any shellfish harvest trip, make sure to check the Oregon Department of Agriculture website for any updates.

COQUILLE RIVER BASIN: crab, steelhead, salmon

Trout fishing in streams is now closed until May 22, 2017.

Steelhead anglers have been fishing the North Fork Coquille at LaVerne Park. Anglers have had success drifting eggs or corkies. Anglers fishing the mainstem Coquille have been plunking with a spin-n-glo and bait like salmon eggs or sand shrimp.

Recreational crabbing has been closed from Tillamook Head to Floras Creek due to elevated levels of domoic acid. This includes Dungeness and red rock crabs harvested in bays, estuaries, and the ocean.

DIAMOND LAKE: trout

As part of the new regulation simplification process, Diamond Lake is now back to the Southwest Zone regulation of 5 trout/day.

Anglers that are planning on taking a trip to Diamond Lake should check with the Umpqua National Forest (541-498-2531) or Diamond Lake Resort for information on seasonal camp and ramp closures.

Fishing has been good. Most anglers have had success using Powerbait or trolling small lures. Diamond Lake was stocked with around 300,000 fingerling rainbow trout in early June, and there are plenty of legal-sized holdover trout currently in the lake. Diamond Lake was stocked with Tiger Trout in early June. These fish are intended to assist in controlling illegally introduced Tui Chub. Tiger Trout are catch-and-release only and need to be released immediately unharmed.

Anglers can check fishing and water conditions at Diamond Lake on the Diamond Lake Resort website, or call their toll free number at 1-800-733-7593, ext. 5 for updates.

ELK RIVER: Chinook

Slow. Anglers can expect fishing to improve with rain this week. Anglers can call 541-332-0405 to get the daily river conditions.

EMIGRANT RESERVOIR: rainbow trout, largemouth and smallmouth bass, crappie

Emigrant Reservoir is currently at 24 percent of capacity. The Jackson County boat ramp is now useable. Fishing for warmwater species will slow with cooler weather. Trout are still available.

EXPO POND: rainbow trout, largemouth bass, bluegill, black crappie

The amphitheatre pond at the Expo was stocked with 1,500 legal-sized rainbow trout last week and fishing should be good.

Access from Gate 1.5 will get you to the southernmost pond, which was stocked earlier this year with rainbow trout. Gate 5, which leads to the RV park is open as well. A day use fee to park here is now $4. An annual parking permit can be purchased from Jackson County Parks Department for $30.

FISH LAKE: rainbow trout, brook trout, spring Chinook

Nine hundred trophy trout were released the week of Sept. 19-23. The reservoir is now 40 percent full. The USFS ramp at Fish Lake is mostly useable by trailered boats but the marina is closed until mid-November.

FLORAS LAKE: rainbow, cutthroat trout

As waters cool this fall, anglers can expect trout fishing to improve. Look for trout to move from deeper waters and start feeding along weed lines. This lake is best fished by boat. Anglers can launch at an improved boat ramp at Boice Cope County Park. Boat anglers are reminded to clean all aquatic vegetation off their boats and trailers before heading home to help control the spread non-native plants and animals.

GALESVILLE RESERVOIR: rainbow trout, bass, coho smolts

In addition to trout, the reservoir has also been stocked with coho smolts for the last few years and there have been reports of them being caught in good numbers on the lake. Many people mistakenly think these fish are kokanee. The coho smolts should be adipose fin-clipped, and please remember to release the ones less than 8-inches long.

In Galesville Reservoir, all landlocked salmon are considered trout and are part of the five-per-day trout limit, with only one trout over 20-inches long allowed for harvest. Galesville has been stocked with about 8,000 legal-size trout and 50 five-pound trophy trout this year.

Fishing for bass and other panfish with the use of bait and artificial lures such as swimbaits around structure should give positive results but will slow with dropping temperatures. Call 541-837-3302 for information on camping and boat launching conditions.

GARRISON LAKE: rainbow, cutthroat trout

Slow. Anglers should check the weather before heading out as it can be very windy.

HEMLOCK LAKE & LAKE IN THE WOODS: trout

Anglers fishing the high lakes in the Umpqua District are encouraged to e-mail fishing reports. Contact the Forest Service at 541-496-3532 for road conditions.

Hemlock Lake was stocked with approximately 6,000 legal size plus rainbow trout in 2016, and Lake in the Woods was stocked with approximately 1,000 legal size plus rainbow trout as well. In addition, there are opportunities to catch holdover rainbow trout that were stocked in previous years. Remember only trout over 8-inches may be harvested, and only one trout over 20-inches may be kept per day.

HOWARD PRAIRIE RESERVOIR:

The lake is now 48 percent full. Visibility in the lake is improving and shouldn’t significantly affect fishing. With dropping lake elevation, boaters should be aware of submerged stumps and islands posing a hazard particularly around Buck Island. Not all water hazards can be marked with dropping reservoir levels.

Fishing has been slow with few big fish showing up in the catch. Try using a threaded nightcrawler under a bobber or Powerbait fished off the bottom. When water clarity is good, trolling with a wedding ring/bait combination and sliding sinker is a tried and true method on this lake. Legal-sized trout have been stocked to complement trout stocked last year.

Boat ramps at Howard are closed for the season.

HYATT LAKE: rainbow trout

Stocked legals and some trophy trout are still being caught. Anglers fishing from shore will want to concentrate on the deeper water near the dam if they are targeting trout. Some fly anglers have been having good success stripping leeches on mid-range sink tips.

The reservoir is 46 percent full. Boat ramps are closed for the season.

ILLINOIS RIVER: trout, steelhead

The Illinois River is open for trout angling. Since only hatchery trout may be retained, and hatchery trout are not likely to be to be found in the Illinois River at this time of year, fishing will be primarily catch-and-release for the native cutthroat trout.

LAKE MARIE: rainbow trout, yellow perch

Lake Marie was stocked with 5,000 legal trout this year. Most anglers use PowerBait or worms. Perch fishing has been somewhat slow, but should continue to be productive for those using worms on the bottom.

LAKE SELMAC: trout, largemouth bass, bluegill, crappie

Trout fishing should be improving with decreasing water temperatures however there is a lot of aquatic weeds. The lake was stocked with 600 pounders this fall and fishing should be good.

LEMOLO RESERVOIR: brown trout, rainbow trout, kokanee

This reservoir is stocked several times a year with rainbow trout of various sizes, and the lake was stocked with 4,500 rainbow trout in 2016. There are also excellent opportunities to catch large brown trout in Lemolo with many anglers having luck trolling in deeper areas of the reservoir or casting spinners from shore.

Kokanee in Lemolo are considered trout and therefore fall under the daily limit for trout of 5 per day and 1 over 20 inches. Contact Lemolo Lake Resort at 541-957-8354 for weather/road conditions and additional information.

LOON LAKE: rainbow trout, bass, bluegill

Loon Lake was stocked with 7,500 legal size rainbow trout this year. The lake should offer decent fishing for crappie, bluegill and bass. Anglers should use slow presentations with lures or bait for best results. Visit the BLM and Loon Lake Resort websites for information on opening dates and camping.

LOST CREEK: rainbow trout, bass

Trout fishing is still good at Lost Creek. Lost Creek reservoir was recently stocked with legal and trophy-sized fish and fishing should be good. Recent reports have been encouraging. One angler caught seven trout in about 6 hours fishing a green wedding ring/worm behind an oval egg sinker and dodger. Best success was up at the red rock area upstream of the Hwy 62 bridge. Surface water temperatures have dropped to 47 degrees and the fall months are shaping up to continue the good trout fishing here. Bank anglers are catching fish near the Takelma ramp and near the marina and spillway using Powerbait or threading a nightcrawler below a bobber.

MEDCO POND: rainbow trout, largemouth bass, bluegill

400 trout pounders were recently stocked in Medco and fishing should be good. Boat anglers are reminded that gas engines are not allowed on Medco Pond.

PACIFIC OCEAN AND BEACHES: bottomfish, surf perch

The ocean is closed for recreational harvest of crabs from Tillamook Head to Floras Creek.

Recreational harvest of razor clams is closed on the entire Oregon coast due to elevated levels of domoic acid. Harvest of mussels is open on the entire Oregon Coast. Before any shellfish harvest trip, make sure to check the Oregon Department of Agriculture website for any updates.

Both the All Depth and the Nearshore Halibut seasons are now closed.

As of Oct. 1, fishing for bottom fish opened back up to all-depths.

Fishing for black rockfish has been good from Coos Bay south to Bandon. Fishing for ling cod has been decent. The marine fish daily bag limit is seven fish and a separate daily limit for lingcod (two). Anglers can only keep 3 blue rockfish and 1 canary rockfish as part of their daily limit and there will be no harvest of China, quillback, or copper rockfish. Anglers may harvest one cabezon per day.

To help anglers identify common species and comply with the regulations, ODFW has produced several sheets of ID Tips for blue vs. black rockfish and for China, copper and quillback rockfish, as well as a handout titled “What Can I Keep, and How Many?”

PLAT I RESERVOIR: rainbow trout, bass

Plat I was stocked with 4,500 legal-size trout this year. In addition to trout fishing, the lake also has good bass fishing. Anglers may have success catching trout and bass with bait such as PowerBait and nightcrawlers where access is available.

Some of the trout may have copepods which are tiny parasites on their bodies and gills. These are not harmful to humans, but the lesions can be removed and the meat should be thoroughly cooked.

REINHART POND: trout, largemouth bass, bluegill

Reinhardt was stocked with 500 “pounder” rainbow trout last week and fishing should continue to be good. Fishing for warmwater species will slow with cooler weather.

ROGUE RIVER

Rogue River, lower: winter steelhead

Slow.

Rogue River, middle: coho, steelhead, trout

Beginning Oct. 1, fishing for Chinook is closed upstream of Hog Creek boat ramp to Cole Rivers Hatchery Dam. Try fishing with nightcrawlers, spinners, and side drifted roe. Nymphing flies is also very effective. Fishing for summer steelhead in the middle Rogue can be good about this time of year.

The Rogue River is open to trout fishing. Only hatchery trout can be retained and wild trout must be released unharmed. Rainbow trout over 16-inches are considered steelhead and must be tagged as part of the daily salmon/steelhead catch as per zone regulations.

For those interested in checking conditions before getting on the river, the City of Grants Pass Water Division’s website offers information on river conditions at Grants Pass as well as a link to a river camera.

Up-to-date flow and temp info

Rogue River, upper: coho, steelhead, trout

As per zone regulations: Anglers are reminded that beginning Sept. 1 through Dec. 31, all Chinook fishing is closed from Fishers Ferry Boat Ramp upstream to Cole Rivers Hatchery Dam.

Note that beginning Nov. 1, the Rogue from Shady Cove to the deadline at Cole Rivers Hatchery opens to bait, lures and flies. Additionally, from Fishers Ferry boat ramp to the boat ramp at Shady Cove is open to flies and lures, but no bait. However, only fin-clipped fish may be retained and all un-marked fish must be released unharmed throughout the upper river. Consult the 2016 Oregon Sport fishing Regulations for more information.

Fishing pressure has been moderate in the upper Rogue and fishing has been very good. Anglers can keep five hatchery rainbow trout per day. Non-adipose fin-clipped rainbow trout and all cutthroat trout must be immediately released unharmed.

Track the fish returns to Cole Rivers Fish Hatchery by the collection pond tally.

As of Nov. 30, a total of 2,670 summer steelhead have entered the hatchery, with 116 new fish entering for the week. Also, 1,307 coho have made their way back to the hatchery. Coho fishing can be decent between the hatchery and Casey. Only hatchery coho may be harvested. The outflow from Lost Creek reservoir as of Dec. 5 is 1,551 cfs. For more flow and temp information, see link below.

Up to date flow and temp information

Rogue River, above Lost Creek Reservoir: trout

This area offers good trout fishing, easy access, beautiful scenery, numerous Forest Service campgrounds, and cooler temperatures making this a great destination throughout the week and weekends. Spinners tipped with nightcrawler, or fished by themselves work great up here. It is also a good place for the novice fly angler to try their luck at nymph fishing under an indicator.

SMITH RIVER, Umpqua: striped bass, Chinook salmon, steelhead

Retention of adipose fin-clipped steelhead is allowed in tidewater. Sturgeon fishing is catch-and-release only. The daily limit for striped bass is two per 24-hour period. Trout is closed. Chinook opened Aug. 1 in the North Fork up to Johnson Creek and in the mainstem up to Spencer Creek.

Winter steelhead fishing opens on Dec. 1 upstream to bridge 10 on the North Fork Smith and upstream to Sisters Creek. Retention is only allowed on adipose fin-clipped steelhead.

SODA SPRINGS RESERVOIR: closed

TENMILE BASIN: trout, bass, yellow perch, coho

Trout fishing in the streams of the Tenmile Basin are now closed until May 22, 2017. Trout fishing in Tenmile Lakes is open all year.

There is no wild coho fishery in Tenmile Lakes this fall.

Largemouth bass fishing has been decent over the past couple weeks. Anglers are catching bass near structure or on the deep end of the weed lines using spinner baits, jigs, or rubber worms.

Fishing for yellow perch has picked up in Tenmile Lakes. Anglers have been catching a few yellow perch measuring 14 to 15-inches long. Worms fished near the lake bottom work very well for catching yellow perch. Anglers should fish in water depths of 15 feet or deeper to consistently find the bigger yellow perch.

TOKETEE LAKE: brown trout, rainbow trout

Fishing is open in Toketee year-round. For more information call the U.S. Forest Service at 541-498-2531.

UMPQUA HIGH LAKES AND FOREBAYS: trout

Lakes accessible from hiking trails and that were recently stocked were: Calamut, Connie, Bullpup, Fuller, Cliff, Buckeye, Maidu, Twin “b”, Pitt lake and Skookum.

Contact the Forest Service at 541-957-3200 for road and trail conditions. Red Top Pond, which offers excellent bank fishing opportunities, was stocked with 1,500 legal size plus rainbow trout in 2016. In addition, there should be plenty of holdover legal-sized trout from previous stockings in these waterbodies. Anglers fishing the high lakes in the Umpqua District are encouraged to e-mail fishing reports.

UMPQUA RIVER, MAINSTEM: steelhead

The mainstem Umpqua is closed to wild steelhead harvest but remains open year-round for adipose fin-clipped steelhead. Please note the changes in regulations this year on page 33 of the 2016 Oregon Sport Fishing Regulations booklet. On the Main, anglers can harvest 2 wild spring Chinook per day and up to 5 wild springers from Feb. 1 – June 30. From July 1– Dec. 31, you can harvest 2 wild Chinook per day, and in combination with the other salmon/ steelhead recorded on your salmon tag, up to 20 fish total. Fin-clipped hatchery fish can be recorded on a separate hatchery harvest tag that is available. There is no limit on the number of hatchery tags that can be purchased. Daily limits still apply.

There have been reports of some coho being caught in the upper Umpqua. Please remember that only hatchery coho may be harvested.

UMPQUA RIVER, NORTH: steelhead

Winter steelhead will begin migrating into the North Umpqua and fishing will improve as winter progresses.

Note that from Oct. 1 through Dec. 31 and Jan. 1 through June 30, fishing in the fly water area is restricted to fly fishing only with a single barbless fly. Per the new regulation on page 31, 32 of the 2016 Oregon Sport Fishing Regulations booklet, from Feb. 1 – June 30, two wild Chinook per day can be harvested. Ten wild Chinook may be harvested in the North during this time frame in aggregate with wild Chinook harvested in the Main.

North Umpqua River water levels at Winchester Dam

UMPQUA RIVER, SOUTH: steelhead

The South Umpqua opens to winter steelhead fishing on Dec. 1 upstream to Jackson Creek. Only adipose fin-clipped steelhead may be retained.

WILLOW LAKE: rainbow trout, largemouth bass, black crappie, brown bullhead

Fishing for warmwater species will slow with cooler weather. Trout fishing should be picking back up with the cooling temperatures. The lake was stocked this fall with 450 rainbow trout pounders. Fishing with a nightcrawler under a bobber should produce throughout the day, and is a great and easy way to get youngsters in on the action. The paved ramp is closed due to low water, but a temporary ramp is available for small boats.

WINCHESTER BAY: bottomfish, perch

Fishing for bottom fish in the Triangle and South jetty has been successful.

WINCHUCK RIVER: Chinook

Slow. Salmon are spread through the system, but clear water is making for some tough fishing.

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SOUTHWEST ZONE: HUNTING

OPEN: COUGAR, BEAR, UPLAND BIRD, WATERFOWL (South Coast goose closed until Dec. 17), TURKEY

Wolves and coyotes can look alike

Most wolves in the state today are in northeast Oregon but a few have dispersed further west and south. Wolves are protected by state and/or federal law and it is unlawful to shoot them. Coyote hunters need to take extra care to identify their target as wolves can look like coyotes, especially wolf pups in the mid-summer and fall. Please report any wolf sightings or wolf sign to ODFW using the online reporting system.

Use the Oregon Hunting Map to see where to hunt.

COOS COUNTY

Elk seasons are still underway in Coos County. Most of the bull seasons are done but antlerless elk hunts are just getting going. Most elk will be found where feeding opportunities are best. This time of year that means clear cuts or meadows on south slopes and agricultural lands. Hunters may be successful in getting access permission to private lands if the landowner is suffering damage from elk. Scouting in early mornings and late evenings to determine where this damage may be occurring would be helpful to the hunter. Ask for permission to access lands where elk frequently enter private fields.

Hunters need to be aware that ownership of several timber land parcels in Coos County has recently changed. In some cases the new owners have different access policies than their predecessors. Make sure you know what the policy is before accessing private land and don’t assume the policy is the same as prior years.

Deer general bow seasons closed Dec. 4.

Waterfowl - The South Coast Goose Zone is closed until Dec. 17. Southwest zones is currently open for hunting. Western Canada goose numbers are good in both zones. Most birds will be found feeding on green grass on private lands. Some landowners may be willing to allow access to their lands for hunting geese to reduce the loss of green feed normally reserved for livestock. Ask before you hunt. Other geese like lesser and cackling Canada geese are moving through the county. Scouting for these birds using agricultural fields may result in good hunting on private land, as well.

The US Fish and Wildlife Service reports that most populations of ducks did well nesting this summer so it is expected that hunting will be good this fall and winter. Duck numbers locally begin to increase in the fall when the first significant storms begin to make landfall. Recent rain on the coast has caused agricultural fields to have puddles that are very attractive to ducks and geese. As a result the ducks that are here seem to be scattered widely.

Wilson’s Snipe season is open. Snipe move into Coos County in late fall and winter. At times they can be found in good numbers. They generally like flooded grass fields and tidal flats with standing vegetation. Also, they can be found in clear cuts and other forest openings where standing water exists. Their primary foods are invertebrates like earth worms and insects. While they are considered shorebirds (the only shorebird we hunt in Oregon) they are best hunted like upland birds. They hold like quail, even better often times. A bird dog with a keen nose is very valuable for hunting snipe especially when it comes to finding downed birds. The call they make upon flushing and the habitat they inhabit make them easy to distinguish from other shorebirds. If you want information to help you recognize these birds please contact your local ODFW office.

Grouse & Quail – All upland bird seasons are now open. Both ruffed and “blue” grouse can be found on the coast but in low densities. Hunters chasing blue grouse should concentrate their efforts at higher elevations, along ridgelines, with open understories; hunting tends to be more productive in older growth forested land. Ruffed grouse can be found at lower elevations, along creek and valley bottoms. These birds can also be seen foraging along forest roads in the early morning and evening. Quail production has been down but above our 10-year average. Both California and mountain quail can be found on the coast. Hunters should target older clear-cuts, young forest stands, closed forest roads, and areas with open thickets and mixed timber.

Black Bear – The fall hunting season will run through Dec. 31. Early mornings and late evenings will see the majority of bear activity but individual animals can be found throughout the day. Bear activity will begin to slow significantly as we head into November; this decrease in opportunity coincides with bears entering their dens for the winter. Many bears have moved down into residential orchards to fatten up on apples but should be returning to the forests once those resources are gone. A word of caution to hunters, with large changes in private timber ownership throughout the county users need to be aware that access to many areas may have changed. Please contact the appropriate landowners for more information.

Coyote - Numbers are strong throughout Coos County. Using predator calls to lure them in can be an effective method for harvesting coyotes. Try calling in early morning and late afternoon. Be sure to ask permission before hunting on private land.

Cougar - Hunters can expect an average year. Cougars are abundant throughout with indicators pointing to stable or increasing numbers. Hunting cougar is a challenge because these animals are very secretive, but harvest success is greatest adjacent to private land with high deer populations using a predator call.

DOUGLAS COUNTY

Elk - A few controlled elk hunts are currently open. Elk populations are similar to last year so this hunting year will be average. Elk numbers are highest in the Tioga with lower levels in the Dixon, S. Indigo and Melrose units.

Deer - The late bow season closed Dec. 4.

Cougar – The cougar season is currently open. Hunters can expect an average year. Cougars are abundant throughout with indicators pointing to stable or increasing numbers. With lower snow levels, hunters can find higher success by finding fresh tracks and then calling in these big cats. Hunting cougar is a challenge because these animals are very secretive, but harvest success is greatest adjacent to private land with high deer populations using a predator call.

Coyote - Numbers are strong throughout Douglas County. Using predator calls to lure them in can be an effective method for harvesting coyotes. Try calling in early morning and late afternoon. Be sure to ask permission before hunting on private land.

Black Bear – General bear season is open. Hunters can expect an average year. Glass clear cuts and meadows early mornings and late evenings to find bears taking advantage of food sources. Bears are trying to fatten up before heading towards their dens, so they are taking advantage of any remaining food sources available. At higher elevations, bears are eating manzanita berries and madrone berries where available. At lower elevations, bears are cleaning up remaining apple crops and other easier to find food sources around agricultural areas. Bear numbers are good with the highest numbers in the coast range with smaller populations in the Cascades.

Grouse & Quail - Upland Gamebird season is currently open. Hunters are finding good numbers of grouse and quail this fall. Blue grouse success is best in mid to high elevations of the Cascades in partly open conifer stands. Ruffed grouse can be found near creeks mostly at mid elevations of both the Cascades and Coast Range. For quail, success is best in the lower elevation agricultural lands for California quail and mid-elevations of the Cascades and Coast Range near brushy clear cuts on secondary forest roads for Mountain quail. Hunters that kill grouse and Mountain quail are asked to drop off, in a paper bag, the frozen wing and tail of each grouse at the local ODFW office. Please use one bird per bag with each frozen bag of grouse parts including the species, sex, age, unit and general area of harvest for proper analysis.

Fall Turkey - The season is open and runs thru Dec. 31. Hunters can expect a good year. The 2016 summer chick counts showed good production with excellent carryover from the last year. Most turkeys are on or adjacent to low-mid elevation private lands associated with oak savannah habitat. Good turkey numbers can be found on National Forest lands around Toketee in the Diamond Lake Ranger District and around Tiller in the Tiller Ranger District. These birds are enjoying great higher elevation oak savannah habitat and are producing well. These populations are supplemented yearly through releases of turkeys removed from private lands, where they were causing property damage and general nuisance.

Waterfowl - Duck and goose seasons are open through Jan. 29, 2017. Check with landowners of flooded/puddled fields before hunting.

Furbearers – Red fox harvest season opened Oct. 15. Pursuit season is currently open for bobcat, fox and raccoon. Marten harvest season opened Nov. 1. Mink, muskrat, river otter, gray fox and beaver harvest seasons started Nov. 15.

JACKSON, JOSEPHINE, CURRY COUNTIES

Deer: The controlled youth deer seasons in our area open Dec. 15 and continues through Jan. 5. These hunts are open across the entire unit. Remember that these youth tags require an adult 21 years or older to accompany the youth hunter while hunting. See page 63 of the 2016 Oregon Big Game Hunting Regulations.

Bear: Fall black bear season continues until Dec. 31.This fall bear season is starting to slow down as more bears are becoming inactive for the winter; however you still have a chance to harvest a bear if you put in your time. The Applegate unit has historically had some of the highest harvest in the state so focus your efforts there, however the Rogue and Evans Creek can also be very productive. Bears are eating huge amounts of food right now before they go to sleep in a few weeks for the winter. This is a good opportunity to hunt in oak patches where there are lots of acorns on the ground for them to eat. Remember that there is a mandatory check in of your bear skull at an ODFW office or designated collection site within 10 days of harvest, the skull must be unfrozen. See page 29 in the 2016 Oregon Big Game hunting regulations for more information.

Youth Elk season is currently open for units in our area and most continue through Dec. 31. This is a great opportunity for the youth to harvest an elk. These hunts are designed to provide young hunters with a safe, well supervised, low-stress setting where they can enjoy the hunt while building fundamental skills. A reminder that youth are required to wear hunter orange. For more information see page 86 of the 2016 Oregon Big Game Hunting Regulations

Denman Wildlife Area: Remember to get your parking permit. Hunters get the permit free with their purchase of an annual hunting license. Reminder, starting April 1 bird dog training will be restricted to within the “dog training area” along Touvelle road except for organized permitted events. Remember to place your parking permit on the dash of your vehicle.

Seasonal ponds on the wildlife area are filled with water bringing in the ducks and geese. There are several fields that flood on the Hall Tract behind Whetstone pond, these fields were planted with a variety of grains and grasses for waterfowl to feed on once they fill with water. As of Nov. 1 hunting on the Hall Tract is restricted to Wednesdays, Saturdays, Sundays, Thanksgiving Day, and Christmas Day. In addition on the Military Slough unit at the end of Touvelle Rd there are some fields that have started to flood of which were also planted this past summer. On this section of Denman hunting is open seven days a week. For more information consult the 2016 Oregon Game Bird Regulations.

Upland Game Birds: Grouse season is open, the daily bag limit is 3 of each of the two species. Both California Quail and Mountain Quail season opened Sept. 1, the daily bag limit is 10 Quail total. General pheasant season started Oct. 8 with a daily bag limit of 2 birds and continues through Dec. 31. Refer to the 2016 Oregon Game Bird Regulations for more information.

Waterfowl: This season has been an above average harvest year up to this point, as we progress into winter the season should become even more productive. Ponds on the Denman Wildlife Area are full, and the planted fields are being eaten by the waterfowl as soon as they are submerged. In order to improve your harvest success try to find landowners willing to let you hunt their private ponds this season. Consult page 20 of the Oregon Game Bird Regulations for more information.

Fall Turkey: Fall turkey season continues through Dec 31. There are a maximum of 4,000 tags issued on a first-come, first-served basis. If you were successful harvesting your first turkey you may purchase a second tag and continue to try and harvest a second. This fall turkey season has been very productive here in the Southwest Oregon, this is most likely due to the abundant turkey population we have in our area. Consult page 18 of the Oregon Game Bird Regulations for more information. The season continues to be productive with many birds being harvested by hunters.

Cougar season is open statewide year-round or until zone quotas are met. Almost all cougars are harvested when hunters are in pursuit of other species so be prepared and purchase a cougar tag this hunting season. Cougars travel many miles a day and often use major ridge lines to find prey, these ridge lines are location for predator calls. Unlike other predators, cougars will usually take longer to come in to predators calls so be prepared to sit for 1 hour or more.

Western Gray Squirrel is currently open for the part of the Rogue Unit south of Rogue River and S. Fork Rogue River and North of Hwy 140 where the season remains open year round with no bag limit. Squirrels can be found in oak or mixed conifer stands. This is a great animal to hunt for first time hunters.

Coyotes are abundant in our area. 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. Predator calls are very useful when used in conjunction to known prey base.

Furbearers: November marks the beginning of trapping season throughout Oregon, and many of these seasons will continue until March 31 of next year. All furbearer populations in our area remain at healthy levels. Hunters should be aware that there are traps in the area and remember that it is against the law to disturb a legally set trap.


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SOUTHWEST ZONE: WILDLIFE VIEWING

COOS COUNTY

Viewing Note: Mute Swan

“There have been unconfirmed reports of a mute swan in Coos County outside of Coquille near Johnson Mill Pond (log pond).” If you see this bird, please take pictures and call your local ODFW office. Mute swans are considered invasive species in Oregon.

Fish Viewing

Fall Chinook salmon spawn through mid-December with peak viewing in mid-November. Best viewing areas include Millicoma Interpretive Center, LaVerne Park on the North Fork Coquille (look for them in the swimming hole and jumping at the falls), Frona Park on the East Fork Coquille River, and Baker Creek Boat Ramp on the South Fork Coquille River.

Marine Mammals

Seal and sea lion abundance in coastal waters around Coos County is high at this time of year, especially south of Coos Bay. At Simpson Reef, a heavily used haul out exists. From the lookout, viewers can see California sea lions, Steller sea lions, harbor seals and elephant seals. Do not approach seals and sea lions you may find on Oregon beaches. If you think an animal you find is in trouble, contact your local ODFW office to report the animal or contact the Marine Mammal Stranding Network an (800) 452-7888.

Waterfowl

Waterfowl numbers are increasing on the south coast presently. Very large numbers of scoters and and other birds like western/Clark’s grebes can be found in Coos Bay near Charleston. An observer with a spotting scope or binoculars should be able to pick out surf scoters, black scoters and white-winged scoters. There also may be ruddy ducks and greater scaup. A good vantage point can be found at the end of Point Adams, located on Boat Basin Drive, just past the ODFW office.

Seabirds

A variety of seabirds are easily seen along the coast when storms begin to come onshore. Many are only seen close to shore when they congregate in the lee of headlands, rocks and points. Large numbers of Western grebes, common murres and others less common birds like rhinoceros auklets and marbled murrelets are easily seen during these weather events. Those interested in seeing these birds need to know what the surf conditions are and they need to never turn their back to the ocean if they venture close to the shore. Unexpected waves are possible. Also beware of slippery rocks and soil on cliffs.11/15/2016

DOUGLAS COUNTY

Acorn Woodpecker –Look for this loud and vocal woodpecker in Roseburg at River Forks Park, N. Bank Mgt. area and Whistlers Park. Since this woodpecker is a hoarder, look for signs of a granary in the bark of large pine trees that are used to store insects and acorns in cracks and crevices.

Hummingbirds –Most hummingbirds will be looking to migrate south to warmer climates this time of year. If food is reliable, some species, such as the Anna’s Hummingbird, will hang around locally. Avoid the commercial hummingbird mixture you can buy in the store since the red dye can produce digestive problems for these small birds. Remember that you can make your own hummingbird food utilizing 4 parts water to 1 part sugar ratio but always make sure the sugar goes completely into solution before hanging up for use.

Migrating Birds - Many species of birds have migrated or are starting their southward migration so look for species congregating at roosts and feeders or in the air just before or during migration. Some migratory species to watch are: ospreys, turkey vultures, swifts, swallows, cedar waxwings, and some species of flycatchers, warblers, finches and shorebirds.

Winter Raptors – Many different raptors are starting to move into the Umpqua Valley for the season. These birds of prey will winter in the valley and can be viewed by traveling rural roads and watching trees, perches and fence lines. Watch for Bald Eagles, golden eagles, red-tailed hawks, harriers, kites, peregrine falcons, kestrels and more as they hunt and hunker down in our valley’s moderate winter climate.

Gamebirds –Coveys of California quail are common on the Umpqua Valley floor usually associated with blackberry cover and water. Many blue and ruffed grouse and their young are found in mid to high elevation forested areas in our local mountains. Wild turkeys are very common throughout the Umpqua Valley, usually on private lands in oak savannah habitat. Most pheasants are found in central Douglas County associated with pastures and ranches.

Deer – Columbian White-tailed deer and black-tailed deer can be seen throughout much of the Umpqua Valley’s agricultural lands in strong numbers. Watch for bucks chasing does as the rutting season approaches. Be careful driving roads through deer habitat during the rut, since deer can be more focused on breeding than on their safe crossing of roads.

Elk – Roosevelt elk can be viewed taking advantage of the Umpqua Valley’s agricultural lands. Many local grass producers are visited nightly by large herds of elk that can be viewed during early morning and evening hours as they move between food and cover.

Waterfowl – Ducks and geese are concentrating around ponds, lakes, wetlands and flooded fields throughout Douglas County. Trying to identify which of the 11 different varieties of Canadian Geese present can be challenging to both seasoned goose hunters and bird watchers.

Wading Shore Birds and Pelicans – Plat I Reservoir, Ford’s Pond, Cooper Creek Reservoir and other bodies of water in Douglas County are great places to watch for wading shore birds. White Pelicans have become yearly visitors to Plat I Reservoir and have been spotted in recent weeks.

JACKSON and JOSEPHINE COUNTIES

Rogue Valley Audubon Society

The Rogue Valley Audubon Society will be having their annual Medford Christmas bird count on Saturday, Dec. 17. In addition the Ashland Christmas bird count will be held on Thursday, Dec. 29. More information

Denman Wildlife Area

Take one of two trails off Touvelle Road and enjoy birdwatching and sightseeing. This is the time of year when the wildlife area greens up with variety of flowers and wildlife. Below the fourth pond and to the north, you will find the newly built horse trail (2.5 mile) that provides great views of the Upper Table Rock and opportunities to see birds that live in oak trees, wedge leaf ceanothus and areas of riparian vegetation along the Little Butte Creek. The trail to the south that runs along the forth pond dike is our interpretive trail, come in to the office and pick up and interpretive trail guide. You will learn of some of the history of the wildlife area and the different environment unique to our area. A wide variety of wildlife can be found along this 1 ½ mile trail.

A covered viewing station on the Denman Wildlife Area provides a good opportunity to view waterfowl, egrets, raptors and songbirds. The structure was built by the Oregon Hunters Association and is accessed by a paved, ADA-accessible pathway. Two additional fishing dikes have been created on Whetstone pond to provide more fishing access, it is possible to catch bass, bluegill, bullhead catfish, and carp. The pond is located just north of the ODFW Rogue Watershed Field Office in Central Point.

A prescribed burn was conducted on the Denman Wildlife Area near Little Butte Creek last month for habitat restoration and enhancement. This newly opened area could potentially be a good spot to view wildlife frequenting the area and benefiting from the habitat improvement.

Seasonal ponds on the wildlife area almost full with water bringing in the ducks, geese, and other birds. There are several fields that flood on the Hall Tract behind Whetstone pond, these fields were planted with a variety of grains and grasses for waterfowl to feed on once they fill with water. In addition on the Military Slough unit at the end of Touvelle Rd there are some fields that have started to flood of which were also planted this past summer. 11/15/2016

Waterfowl

This is the time of year that many different species of waterfowl are migrating through our area. Look for them near rivers and other bodies of water. Wetlands and marsh areas can also be a great place to seen geese feeding. There is a wide variety of duck species to observe as well as a few species of geese.

On the Coast

Shorebirds are currently migrating south and can be observed on area beaches and the Rogue Bay. Ospreys are actively fishing in the Rogue estuary and also nesting on the Lower Rogue. Several nests are observable from the Jerry Flat Road along the Rogue River.

For a great birding trail along the southern coast, visit Oregon Birding Trails. 11/15/2016

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WILLAMETTE ZONE: FISHING

Weekend fishing opportunities

  • About 30 surplus steelhead have been released in Walling Pond in Salem.
  • Winter steelhead fishing is picking up on the Clackamas River, with a few reported landings recently between Feldheimer’s and Carver.
  • Brood trout were released last week at Timber Linn Lake in Albany. The week of Thanksgiving, brooders were also released at Cottage Grove Pond, Walter Wirth Lake, Waverly Lake, Huddleston Pond, Sheridan Pond, and Blue Lake. No brood trout releases are planned for the week of Dec. 5.
  • Legal- and larger-sized hatchery trout were recently released at Cottage Grove, Henry Hagg Lake, Walter Wirth Lake, and Walling Pond.
  • Catch-and-release sturgeon fishing is good on the lower Willamette River and Multnomah Channel.

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.

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 was stocked for the last time this season the week of Thanksgiving. Fish releases into the canal will resume in February.

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 in the 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: rainbow trout, largemouth bass, brown bullhead, black crappie, bluegill

The lake was stocked with both legal and broodstock trout last week and fish should still be available for anglers fishing from the docks or along the bank near the boat ramp. From October to April private boats are also allowed if under 14 ft. with motors of less than 3.0 horsepower. 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. The cost to enter is $5/car and there is ample parking once inside the park. The park is open from 8 a.m. until legal sunset. For further information call 503-661-6087.

BLUE RIVER: trout

Blue River above Blue River Reservoir was stocked for last time this season in late June. As of Nov. 1, anglers may only use lures and artificial flies. 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 five trout per day. Note that the river is closed to salmon fishing year-round.

The 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 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, winter steelhead

Steelhead fishing effort picked up last week but it’s still a bit early to find good numbers of winter steelhead. Although a few anglers have reported landing fish between Feldheimer’s and Carver. Rainfall has kept the flows up but a cold drying trend could help to drop the river level so anglers should hit the river as it drops later this week and get out for some early winter steelhead.

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 Nov. 5 shows river flows at 3,560 cfs, with a gauge reading of 13.03 feet and the water holding at 44° 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 was stocked in late August for the last time this season. Clear Lake is accessed from Hwy. 126 approximately 70 miles east of Springfield. Linn County’s Clear Lake Resort rents cabins and boats.

COAST FORK WILLAMETTE RIVER: trout

The Coast Fork Willamette River is open to angling all year. As of Nov. 1, anglers may only use lures and artificial flies. 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.

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. The pond with the dock received a special stocking the week of Thanksgiving of approximately 670 larger fish, including 70 brood trout that come in at 20-inches plus! In addition to fishing, these ponds also offer wildlife viewing opportunities.

COTTAGE GROVE RESERVOIR: trout, warmwater species

Cottage Grove Reservoir is south of Cottage Grove and is open to fishing all year. The reservoir was stocked for the last time this season in mid-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 100 feet below conservation pool and only Mongold low-water boat ramp is currently usable. Water levels are tracking very close to the anticipated USACE ‘Rule Curve’. The reservoir was last stocked Oct. 10 with 7,000 legal rainbow trout. Many of these fish will be holding over in the cooler, deeper water or near drop-offs and other structure, making a fall visit to Detroit Reservoir worthwhile.

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 was last stocked for the season in late September. 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 was stocked in mid-October for the last time this season with 1,750 fish, including 200 larger fish. Only Baker Bay boat ramp is accessible at the current reservoir elevation.

EAGLE CREEK: coho, winter steelhead

The creek is in great fishing shape right now but it’s still a bit early to think winter steelhead. There could be a few in the lower creek but give it about a month. Anglers were out over the weekend testing the waters but as of now there’s no reports of confirmed catch.

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 species, 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. Species that may be caught at the pond now are bass, bluegill, and redear sunfish. Trout stocking will continue later this winter. Be aware that hunting season has started on the wildlife area. A valid wildlife area parking permit is required.

ESTACADA LAKE: trout

Stocked almost weekly from spring through September with hatchery trout and “recycled” hatchery steelhead.

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. An ADA-accessible fishing dock next to the boat ramp provides non-boating access to the lake.

FALL CREEK: trout

Open all year for trout. As of Nov. 1, anglers may only use lures and artificial flies. Below Fall Creek Dam the creek is open all year for hatchery Chinook, hatchery steelhead and wild steelhead greater than 24-inches. 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 stocked in the spring and won’t be stocked again this year. North Shore boat ramp is closed for the season.

FARADAY LAKE: trout

Stocked in September with rainbow trout and recycled summer steelhead.

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.

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. Reservoir levels are low in order to provide winter storage and all boat ramps are out of the water.

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. Reservoir levels are dropping in order to provide winter storage. At the moment only the boat ramp at Sunnyside Park is available to launch boats.

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. A final stocking of 5,000 hatchery trout was released the last week of September.

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. The lake closed to angling Nov. 1 and will re-open to anglers May 22.

GREEN PETER RESERVOIR: kokanee, trout, bass

Trout as well as bass are good option for anglers this time of year. Look for them near ledges and drop-offs as well as near underwater structure. Reservoir elevation is still dropping in order to provide winter storage but Thistle Creek boat ramp remains available for boaters.

HALDEMAN POND: trout

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

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

Stocked on in mid-November with 8,000 legal-sized rainbow trout. This release included 4,000 trout previously scheduled for December. 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 annually throughout the year with more than 55,000 hatchery rainbow trout, including trophy and brood stock.

In addition to trout, this large lake near Forest Grove supports resident populations of record-class largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, crappie, and bullhead. It also has a resident population of native cutthroat trout and is frequently stocked with hatchery rainbow trout, including trophy and brood stock.

The lake is now open year-round and is stocked regularly throughout the spring and fall. This is a 1,110-acre lake waterbody 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 spring and fall 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

Hills Creek is not stocked with hatchery fish. The stream is open to angling all year and anglers may keep up to two wild trout per day, 8-inch minimum length. As of Nov. 1, anglers may only use lures and artificial flies.

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

The pond was stocked Thanksgiving week with 44 extra-large rainbow brood trout. Anglers are reminded the bag limit on trout over 20 inches is one per day.

This is a 5-acre pond located within Huddleston Pond Park in the city of Willamina, Ore. A former mill pond, this venue has "kid-friendly" edges, is ADA accessible in places, with a restroom and picnic areas nearby.

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. About 145 excess hatchery steelhead were stocked during the month of November. As a reminder, normal trout regulations apply to these fish: Only one fish over 20 inches may be kept. The next trout stocking is scheduled for December.

LEABURG LAKE: trout

Leaburg Lake is open to fishing all year. As of Nov. 1, anglers may only use lures and artificial flies. The lake was stocked in late August for the last time this season. Only hatchery fish may be kept. All wild trout must be released.

Leaburg Dam closures have ended and the dam should be open as usual.

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. As of Nov. 1, anglers may only use lures and artificial flies. The lower McKenzie River was last boat-stocked in early September. 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 closures have ended and the dam should be open as usual.

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 was last boat-stocked for the season in mid-September. All non-adipose fin-clipped trout must be released unharmed. As of Nov. 1, anglers may only use lures and artificial flies.

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. Steelhead anglers continue to be successful below Dexter Dam.

The Middle Fork Willamette above Lookout Point and Hills Creek reservoirs is open to fishing 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: coho, steelhead

The Molalla River flows have settled down in the past week and conditions look favorable. 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. Winter steelhead counts have just gotten underway.

This is a tough time for Molalla anglers as both coho and summer steelhead seasons are over and it’s a bit early to see decent numbers of winter steelhead in the lower river based on Willamette Falls counts.

After several weeks of maintenance the gauge station is back up and running with USGS hydrological data for Dec 5 showing river flows at 2,030 cfs and a gauge reading of 13.21 feet. All of the readings come from the Canby gauge.

MT HOOD POND: trout, crappie, bluegill

The pond was also stocked in October with legal-sized trout, and some of those fish should still be available. Mt. Hood Pond is located on the Mt. Hood Community College campus in Gresham, at 26000 SE Stark St.

Fishing is restricted to youths age 17 and under and holders of ODFW's Disabled Angler permits from April 1 - Aug. 31. It is currently open to anglers of all ages.

NORTH FORK RESERVOIR: trout

The Promontory Marina boat ramp and lower boat ramp are now closed for the season.

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

QUARTZVILLE CREEK: trout

This river is open all year for trout and anglers may keep up to five trout per 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. Current flows (as of Dec. 5) are around 1,000 cfs, and should remain fairly high over the next week.

SALISH POND: trout, warm water species

West Salish Pond was stocked with trout last week. Parking is available at the school after 5 p.m. weekdays and all weekend. Parking is no longer available adjacent to the pond along Glisan St. Informational signs regarding use of the area have been posted by the City of Fairview around the pond’s shoreline.

SALMON CREEK: trout

Salmon Creek near Oakridge is open to fishing all year. As of Nov. 1, anglers may only use lures and artificial flies. 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. As of Nov. 1, anglers may only use lures and artificial flies. Two wild trout may be kept per day, 8-inch minimum length.

SANDY RIVER: summer steelhead, coho

Sandy River fishing conditions are far from ideal but low snow levels have helped to keep the river in some kind of fishing shape. There are still a few folks out trying for early winter steelhead but the Sandy fish are a later returning stock. The hatchery has its trap open and two winters have come in so far.

USGS hydrological data for Dec 5 shows the Sandy flows at 4,920 cfs, with a gauge reading of 11.23 feet and the water temperature holding near 42° F.

SANTIAM RIVER (NORTH FORK): steelhead, Chinook

Recent rains and water releases from storage dams are causing river levels to remain high and difficult to fish. River levels best for fishing are below 3,000 cfs at the Mehama gauge; as of Dec. 5 the river flow at Mehama is at 7,100 cfs, and is expected to stay high over the next week.

The most recent counts at Bennett dam fish ladders indicate that more than 5,400 hatchery steelhead and over 600 coho salmon have passed into the upper river above Stayton so far. When the ‘bite’ is on, bobbers and jigs are the preferred fishing 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.

The river is now closed to trout harvest and any trout caught must be released. Trout harvest will re-open in May.

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

Recent rains have brought flows back up and with more rain in the forecast, conditions will remain challenging over the next week. Current flows as of Nov. 28 are approximately 10,700 cfs as measured at Waterloo. Winter steelhead will begin to arrive into the basin by January. Current conditions

SHERIDAN POND: trout

Stocked several times in the spring with trout of various sizes, and stocked in mid-November with 45 extra-large rainbow trout brood fish, ranging from 5-15 pounds. Please remember the bag limit on trout over 20-inches is one per day.

To get to Sheridan Pond, 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.

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 fishing all year. Two wild fish (8-inch minimum length) may be harvested per day. As of Nov. 1, anglers may only use lures and artificial flies in Smith River and its tributaries above Smith Reservoir.

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

Stocked twice in October with a total of 1,300 rainbow 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.

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

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

SUNNYSIDE PARK POND: bass, bluegill

This 4-acre pond is located two miles above the upper end of Foster Reservoir. The stocking season at Sunnyside Pond has ended for the remainder of the year 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.

TIMBER LINN LAKE: rainbow trout

This beautiful, family-friendly fishing pond is located within Timber-Linn Memorial Park in Albany. It was stocked again last week with about 45 large hatchery brood 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.

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 Sept. 26 with 3,000 rainbow trout. Trillium is a 60-acre lake located approximately three miles east of Government Camp off of Hwy. 26. This lake is popular for fishing, camping and photography, often clearly reflecting Mount Hood. Adjacent Trillium Lake Campground is administered by the Zigzag Ranger District of the Mount Hood National Forest. The large campground features a seasonal boat ramp and wheelchair-accessible floating dock.

WALLING POND: trout, crappie, bass

The pond was stocked in late November with 400 legal and 50 larger rainbow trout. About 30 or so excess hatchery steelhead became available late last week and were put into the pond. As a reminder, the daily bag limit for trout is five fish per day, but only one trout may be over 20 inches. This is an eight-acre privately owned pond located in Salem at the northeast corner of McGilchrist and 16th Streets, S.E.

WALTER WIRTH LAKE: trout, crappie, bass

The lake was stocked in late November with 1,300 legal and 100 larger rainbow trout. In addition, it received approximately 75 very large hatchery brood trout weighing between 5-15 pounds each. As a reminder, the bag limit is five fish per day, but only one over 20 inches. 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 larger hold-over trout.

WAVERLY POND: trout, bluegill, catfish

Waverly Pond is located in Albany and is regularly stocked in fall, winter and spring. The pond was stocked in late November with about 45 very large hatchery brood trout averaging 10 pounds apiece. It was also stocked mid-November with 500 legal and about 25 larger size rainbow trout. As a reminder, the bag limit is five fish per day, but only one over 20 inches. 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, warm water species

Now is an in-between time for anglers on the Lower Willamette with both coho and summer steelhead fisheries over, yet it’s a bit early for decent numbers of winter steelhead to show up. The long Thanksgiving weekend has traditionally been the kick-off for winter steelies as the crowds gather along Melrum Bar and near the mouth of the Clackamas River. So far the catch has been slow but should improve moving later into December.

The summer steelhead counts came to close on Oct. 31 at Willamette Falls with the cumulative passage for the season showing 21,732 while adult coho passage was at 2,558 through Dec. 1 while early winter steelhead passage stood at 32 fish through that date.

USGS hydrological data for the Willamette River on Dec. 5 has flows dropping to 41,500 cfs, the water temperature steady near 48°F, and visibility poor at about 1.0 ft.

YAMHILL RIVER and tributaries: trout

The Yamhill and its tributaries are now open year-round for trout under the 2016 Oregon Sport Fishing Regulations. Fishing shifts to catch-and-release for trout from Nov. 1 to May 21. Fishing and harvest of warmwater fish is also allowed during this period.


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WILLAMETTE ZONE: HUNTING

OPEN: COUGAR, BLACK BEAR, GENERAL ARCHERY DEER (Late Season closesDec. 11), AND NW PERMIT ZONE GOOSE (Nov. 19-Jan. 9, 2017), FOREST GROUSE, QUAIL, CROW, FALL GENERAL TURKEY, PHEASANT, DUCK SNIPE, AND SCAUP

UPCOMING:

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.

BIG GAME

CONTROLLED YOUTH ANTLERLESS ELK (limited entry) hunt continues thru end of year 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.

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

GENERAL ARCHERY DEER late season is open until Dec. 11 in some northwest units. Please refer to the 2016 Big Game Hunting Regulations as not all units are open and bag limits vary by unit. Black-tailed deer are currently heavy in the rut. Bucks are either with does or they are looking for a receptive doe. Rattling and grunting can be effective this time of year. Bucks looking for does tend to travel ridge tops and saddles trying to catch the scent of a doe. Hunters may want to still hunt or hunt from a tree stand in these areas. Please review the 2016 Big Game Hunting Regulations before your hunting trip to ensure that you are familiar with all of the requirements.

CONTROLLED ANTLERLESS DEER hunts are currently open for those hunters that have drawn controlled tags. 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 the dates of the hunt you drew and to ensure that you are familiar with all of the requirements.

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.

Voluntary Hunter CWD Samples Wanted!

Hunters are encouraged to voluntarily bring the heads from any harvested deer or elk into the ODFW offices in Clackamas or Sauvie Island so that samples can be taken for ongoing Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) monitoring. Call ahead to ensure someone will be around to collect the sample or to make an appointment for another day.

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 until Dec. 31. Most of the wild berry crops are disappearing for the year which makes it increasingly difficult for hunters to target bears. Hunters targeting bears will want to look for abandoned homesteads with old fruit trees remaining or look for nut producing trees such as oak. Many of the bears taken during the remainder of the season will be found incidentally by hunters targeting deer or elk.

Successful bear hunters will need to check-in any bear taken at an ODFW office within 10 days of harvest. Hunters are reminded that biologists located in field offices may be out in the field handling other issues so call ahead to make arrangements to have your bear checked-in. Be sure to bring in the skull (The skull must be unfrozen) 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.

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

GOOSE season opens Nov. 19 – Jan. 9, 2017 in the Northwest Permit Zone. Goose numbers continue to increase and hunters should find good hunting opportunities in the northwestern portion of the state. Hunters who have scouted out fields with actively feeding geese will experience the best success. Goose hunters are still required to pass the Northwest Oregon Goose Identification Test to hunt. Please review the information provided in the 2016-2017 Oregon Game Bird Regulations for more details on the major changes to goose hunting regulations in Northwest Oregon.

  • The season for Dusky Canada geese has been closed. It is a wildlife violation to shoot a Dusky Canada goose.
  • There is no quota for Dusky Canada geese, since no harvest is allowed.
  • There are no longer goose check stations.
  • Northwest Oregon Goose Permits are still required but harvest cards are not required.
  • The former Northwest General Goose Zone has been combined with the Northwest Permit Zone.
  • Legal shooting hours for geese in the Northwest Permit Zone is listed on page 23 of the 2016-2017 Oregon Game Bird Regulations.
  • All days of the week (during the open NW Permit season) are open to goose hunting.
  • Geese must be intact and fully feathered in the field and while in transit to the place of permanent residence of the possessor.

DUCK and GOOSE seasons are open; see regs. Rainy, windy weather is the best time to. 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. Please review the 2016-2017 Oregon Game Bird Regulations for more information including legal shooting hours.

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

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. Local sight-in day

Be safe, be responsible and be legal.


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WILLAMETTE ZONE: WILDLIFE VIEWING

EVENTS

Dec. 8 -- Dawson Creek Park Bird Walk, 9-11 a.m. Join Richard Arnold and the Audubon Society of Portland for a walk through Dawson Creek Park. This is an excellent time to see acorn woodpeckers on the back side of the park, as well as wood ducks, common mergansers and other ducks up close. Meet at the north end of the parking lot of the main Hillsboro Library at 2850 NE Brookwood Parkway. Hillsboro. For more information, contact Richard Arnold, 503-746-4640.

Valleywide

It’s now winter sanctuary season on in the Willamette Valley when geese and other waterfowl rest to replenish the energy they need for nesting and migration. There are a number of wildlife areas that provide sanctuary for overwintering birds and viewing areas and platforms from which to observe the birds without disturbing them.

Where there are waterfowl, raptors are sure to follow. Now is a good time to see bald eagles, hawks, and peregrine falcons on the hunt.

Blinds are available for photographers by reservation at several wildlife areas, including Ankeny National Wildlife Area, EE Wilson Wildlife Area, and Fern Ridge Wildlife Area.

Corvallis area

William L. Finley National Wildlife Refuge – The 5,325 acres of William L. Finley NWR protect fine examples of many of the Willamette Valley’s historic habitats. Fields of wildlife food crops are interspersed with Oregon white oak savanna, meandering creeks with bottomland Oregon ash forest, mature big-leaf maple in mixed coniferous forest and native prairie.

With the depleting number of wetland habitats elsewhere in the Willamette Valley, William L. Finley NWR is a great way to see what the valley once looked like. The wetlands on the refuge provide a sanctuary for wintering waterfowl, wading birds and shorebirds. Bird species present this time of year include Canada geese, mallard, Northern pintail, great herons, and bald eagles. Wildlife species include red-legged frogs, Pacific tree frogs, beaver and Roosevelt elk. Trails, observation blinds and kiosks on the refuge allow excellent vantage points to see and photograph these wildlife.

The Finley National Wildlife Refuge is located 16 miles south of Corvallis, Ore., via Hwy. 99W, at 26208 Finley Refuge Rd., Corvallis, OR 97333.

EE Wilson Wildlife Area, 29555 Camp Adair Rd., Monmouth, OR 97361 – Now that the leaves have fallen, look for perching birds such as raptors, and hawks that are easier to see when the trees are bare. Waterfowl and shorebirds are moving in and their numbers will continue to build with the wetter weather.

Once the site of the U.S. Army's Camp Adair during World War II, the wildlife area offers many miles of abandoned roads which provide a unique opportunity for access, including easy access for persons with disabilities. Biking and horseback riding on area roads are also permitted.

Two photography blinds are available; one overlooking a wetland and the other offering photo opportunities for songbirds. Arrangements for use of the blinds can be made at the wildlife area headquarters. Ph. (541) 745-5334.

Directions: From Albany, take Hwy. 20 toward Corvallis and after five miles turn right on Independence Highway. Go three miles and turn left on Camp Adair Road, then proceed two miles to the wildlife area. For detailed information, including maps, photos, and additional recreational opportunities, visit EE Wilson Wildlife Area on-line.

An ODFW wildlife area parking permit is required for vehicles on this property. Parking permits can be purchased from any ODFW office or license agent.

Eugene area

Fern Ridge Wildlife Area has extensive wildlife habitat that can be accessed from many access points including Royal Avenue which extends from west Eugene to the reservoir and ends at a gated access point. This is an excellent place to observe wildlife. Berms were built in this area during 2000 and 2001 to retain water along the edge of the reservoir during the winter months when the reservoir is drawn down for flood control. These ponded areas are very attractive to wildlife at this time of year. Also accessible from this access point are natural prairie habitats (to the north and south) that are very rare in the Willamette Valley. Where there are waterfowl, raptors are sure to follow, and these can be seen in this area as well. Look for short-eared owls and peregrine falcons. Also visible from this area are wading birds, such as egrets and herons and various shorebirds.

Fern Ridge Wildlife Area is located five miles west of Eugene on either side of Hwy. 126. The address is 26969 Cantrell Rd., Eugene, OR 97402. A parking permit is required for the wildlife area and can be purchased at ODFW license vendors or any ODFW field office.

Additional Eugene area wildlife viewing locationsAlton Baker Park, Delta Ponds, Mount Pisgah Arboretum, Spencer Butte, and Skinner’s Butte.

Portland area

Sauvie Island Wildlife Area, 18330 NW Sauvie Island Road, Portland, OR 97231, appr. 10 miles north of Portland on Hwy. 30 – The fall migration of waterfowl is in full swing. Snow geese have moved in with approximately 15,000 on the wildlife area. Pelicans are still hanging around and best seen on Coon Point. Bald eagle numbers continue to increase as more winter waterfowl arrive. Duck numbers are increasing along with tundra swans. Approximately 1,200 to 1,600 sandhill cranes will remain on the wildlife area all winter. Viewing is plentiful so be sure to bring your binoculars and dress for the weather.

The Sauvie Island Wildlife Area Eastside units and Westside, Oak Island and North units closed 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, which can be purchased from any ODFW license agent or field office.

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

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.

Bird watchers are reminded to keep safety first. While the Sauvie Island Wildlife Area is a tremendous bird watching area, unfortunately, some bird watcher become so excited by a sight that they stop in the middle of the road to observe. Obviously, this creates an unnecessary hazard and is extremely dangerous because the road is narrow and has blind curves. So please be safe and park only in designated areas.

Sauvie Island Wildlife Area is located on Sauvie Island, about 10 miles north of Portland via Hwy. 30. A parking permit is required for the Sauvie Island Wildlife Area and can be purchased from ODFW offices and license agents.

Additional Portland area wildlife viewing locationsSmith and Bybee Wetlands Natural Area in north Portland for waterfowl, herons, raptors and amphibians; Oaks Bottom Wildlife Refuge in SE Portland for great blue heron, hawks, and quail; Jackson Bottom Wetlands Preserve in Hillsboro, Ore., for deer, coyote, beaver, raccoon, and more than 130 species of birds; Oxbow Regional Park near Sandy, Ore., along the banks of the Sandy River and its salmon and steelhead runs.

Salem area

Ankeny National Wildlife Refuge, located at the confluence of the Santiam and Willamette rivers about 12 miles southeast of Salem. This refuge provides winter habitat for the dusky Canada goose and many other species of migratory waterfowl, shorebirds, wading birds, passerines and raptors. Extensive croplands are managed to provide winter forage for the geese to reduce depredation of private fields.

Wetlands and riparian woodland provide sanctuary for migratory and resident wildlife.
Located just off of Interstate 5, the refuge offers convenient access to miles of boardwalk and dirt trails as well as handicap and stroller accessible viewing platforms. Refuge kiosks and trails provide an interpretive and informative experience for visitors along the way to learn more about the refuge habitats and how they are maintained for wildlife. 

Nature photographers are welcome to use of these observation blinds and trails, and the refuge offers photographers access to a refuge photography blind that overlooks Frog Pond. The photography blind is available for reservation during the winter sanctuary season. Refuge boardwalks and kiosks are open year-round, but all other trails are closed Oct. 1-March 31 to provide sanctuary for wintering dusky Canada geese and other waterfowl.

Baskett Slough National Wildlife Refuge near Dallas, Ore., provides habitat for a wide variety of wildlife and plants. Populations of several endangered and threatened animal and plant species can be found on the refuge, and wildlife/wildlands observation, photography, hiking, and environmental education and interpretation are some of the visitor activities allowed on the refuge.

It’s now Winter Sanctuary Season on the refuge, and many areas are closed to allow wintering geese time alone to replenish the energy required for nesting and migration. A wildlife viewing kiosk is located adjacent to state Hwy. 22, which offers visitors excellent wildlife viewing opportunities and is complete with interpretive panels, a viewing scope, benches, and picnic tables. The kiosk is fully accessible and is open year-round from sunrise to sunset.

Baskett Slough NWR is located 14 miles west of Salem via Hwy. 22.

Additional Salem area wildlife viewing locations – the undeveloped areas around the airport, Cascade Gateway Park and Minto-Brown Island Park for waterfowl, raptors and wintering songbirds.


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CENTRAL ZONE: FISHING

Weekend fishing opportunities:

  • Deschutes County and the US Forest Service will be losing both the road to Newberry Crater and the Cascade Lakes Highway this Thursday, Nov. 17. This will close access to East and Paulina lakes and lakes at the north end of the Cascade Highway. Anglers will continue to have access to Elk, Lava, Hosmer and a few other lakes from the south.
  • The Fall, Crooked, Metolius and Deschutes rivers are great destinations for a little winter fishing.
  • Trout fishing on the lower Deschutes River has been excellent.

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.

Cascade Lakes Highway and access road to East and Paulina Lakes are currently open but will most likely close after the next significant snowfall. Deschutes County will issue a statement prior to an anticipated road closing.

Visit Deschutes County’s website for current information.

ANTELOPE FLAT RESERVOIR: rainbow trout

Fall sampling indicated good numbers of 12 to 14 inch fish. Water level is higher than normal for this time of year.

BEND PINE NURSERY: rainbow trout, bluegill, bass

Pine Nursery Pond is located in northeast Bend between Purcell, Deschutes Market and Yeoman Road. From Hwy 97, take Empire Blvd exit, head east on Empire Blvd 1.5 miles, turn left on Purcell 1900 feet, turn right on Rock Creek Park Drive at sign to Pine Nursery Community Park.

BIKINI POND: rainbow trout

The pond has received its fall stocking, and should offer good fishing opportunity.

CRANE PRAIRIE RESERVOIR: rainbow trout, brook trout, largemouth bass, kokanee

Closed to fishing for the season.

CRESCENT LAKE: rainbow trout, brown trout, lake trout and kokanee

Open all year.

CROOKED RIVER BELOW BOWMAN DAM: redband trout, mountain whitefish

The water level will be maintained at winter levels since irrigation season is over. Winter can be a great time to fish the Crooked. The whitefish should start spawning soon, which can improve trout fishing. Trout numbers per mile are down significantly from recent years; however, anglers are reporting catching fair numbers of healthy fish. As a REMINDER, bait is no longer allowed on the river and all trout over 20-inches are considered steelhead and must be immediately released unharmed. Please report any tagged fish to the Prineville Office (541) 447-5111. Flows below Bowman Dam

CULTUS LAKE: rainbow trout, lake trout

Open to fishing all year.

DAVIS LAKE: largemouth bass, redband trout

Open to fishing all year. Restricted to fly-fishing only with barbless hooks. Catch and release for trout. No limits on warmwater fish.

DESCHUTES RIVER, Mouth to the Pelton Regulating Dam: summer steelhead, redband trout, whitefish

Steelhead are now distributed throughout the entire lower 100 miles of the river.
While overall run size is down this year, anglers are still able to find success. Recent warm weather has improved success in the area from Maupin upstream to Warm Springs.

Trout fishing has been excellent with the recent warm weather. Anglers will want to focus their efforts during the warmer parts of the day.

Anglers who catch a tagged hatchery steelhead with an orange anchor tag, are encouraged to report catch information to ODFW at 541-296-4628. Anglers catching a tagged wild fish should release it immediately without recording any information.

Counts at the Sherars Falls salmon and steelhead trap. The trap is only in operation from July to the end of October. Trapping has ended at Sherars Falls for the season.

Lake Billy Chinook to Benham Falls: rainbow trout, brown trout

Open for trout all year. Fishing restricted to artificial flies and lures. No size or limits on brown trout and no harvest of bull trout.

Benham Falls upstream to Little Lava Lake:

Closed to fishing for the season.

DEVILS LAKE: rainbow trout

Open to fishing all year.

EAST LAKE: rainbow trout, brown trout, kokanee

Open to fishing all year. Wild rainbow trout must be released.

ELK LAKE: brook trout, kokanee, cutthroat trout

Open to fishing all year.

FALL RIVER: rainbow trout

Anglers report fair fishing. Open to fishing all year. Restricted to fly-fishing only with barbless hooks.

HAYSTACK RESERVOIR: rainbow trout, brown trout, kokanee, largemouth bass, black crappie, bluegill

Water levels may be fluctuating this time of year so check the levels before you head out. Trout are averaging 12 to 14 inches long. Some nice sized bullhead were caught on the south shore. Good numbers of bass and crappie were found along the rocky shoreline to the north but most were smaller individuals.

HOOD RIVER: summer steelhead, winter steelhead

Early winter steelhead have been reported at Bonneville Dam, and soon should be entering the Hood River. A few stray hatchery summer steelhead will also still be available in the river. Anglers are reminded that the river is currently closed for Chinook angling.

HOSMER LAKE: brook, rainbow and cutthroat trout

Open to fishing all year. Restricted to fly-fishing only with barbless hooks. Catch-and-release for all species.

LAKE BILLY CHINOOK: bull, brown and rainbow trout, kokanee, smallmouth bass

Angling has been fair for bull trout. Opportunities should improve as adults return to the reservoir after spawning in the Metolius River tributaries. Anglers are reminded there are small numbers of spring Chinook, Sockeye Salmon and summer steelhead in Lake Billy Chinook as part of the reintroduction effort. Please release these fish unharmed.

LAKE SIMTUSTUS: bull trout, rainbow trout, smallmouth bass

Open year-round.

LAVA LAKE (BIG): rainbow trout

Open to fishing all year.

LAVA LAVE (SMALL): rainbow trout, brook trout

Open to fishing all year.

METOLIUS RIVER: redband trout, bull trout

Closed to fishing above Allingham Bridge. Fly fishing only upstream of Bridge 99.

NORTH TWIN LAKE: rainbow trout

Open to fishing all year.

OCHOCO CREEK UPSTREAM TO OCHOCO DAM: rainbow trout

Angling is restricted to artificial flies and lures only; two trout per day with an 8-inch minimum length. Trout 20-inches and greater must be released unharmed. Fishing season on Ochoco Creek closes Nov 1.

OCHOCO RESERVOIR: rainbow trout, black crappie, smallmouth bass

Fall sampling showed good numbers of healthy rainbow trout measuring up to 18-inches long. Good numbers of bass and crappie were found along the rocky shoreline near the dam but most were smaller, around 8-inches long. The water level at the ramp is low but irrigation season is over so the reservoir should slowly start to fill with fall precipitation.

ODELL LAKE: lake trout, kokanee, rainbow trout

Open to fishing all year. All tributaries to Odell Lake are closed to fishing. All bull trout must be released unharmed.

PAULINA LAKE: brown trout, rainbow trout, kokanee

Open to fishing all year. Wild rainbow trout must be released.

PINE HOLLOW RESERVOIR: rainbow trout, largemouth bass

Water levels in the reservoir should be improving with recent rains. The reservoir was recently stocked with rainbow trout and anglers should find good fishing.

PRINEVILLE RESERVOIR: rainbow trout, largemouth and smallmouth bass, crappie

Trout fishing has been fair near the dam. Fishing for warmwater fish has been good, especially for smallmouth bass. The water level is low at the State Park ramp but the irrigation season is over so the reservoir should start to fill with fall precipitation.

PRINEVILLE YOUTH FISHING POND: rainbow trout and largemouth bass

Fishing for trout should be good as the pond was recently stocked.

ROCK CREEK RESERVOIR: rainbow trout

No recent reports.

SHEVLIN YOUTH FISHING POND: rainbow trout

Open to fishing all year. Limit is two trout per day, 8-inch minimum length. Fishing restricted to juvenile anglers 17-years-old and younger.

SOUTH TWIN LAKE: rainbow trout

Open to fishing all year.

SPARKS LAKE: cutthroat trout

Open to fishing all year. Fly fishing only, barbless hooks required.

SUTTLE LAKE: brown trout, kokanee

Open to fishing all year.

TAYLOR LAKE (Wasco County): rainbow trout, largemouth bass

Trout fishing should be improving on recently stocked rainbow, as water conditions should be excellent for fishing.

THREE CREEK LAKE: rainbow trout, brook trout

Open to fishing all year.

WALTON LAKE: rainbow trout

Fall sampling indicated good numbers of 12 to 14-inch long trout with some up to 18-inches available. Walton is open to fishing year-round, but access to the boat ramp may be closed by gate. Check with Ochoco National Forest at 541-447-6500.

WICKIUP RESERVOIR: kokanee, brown trout, rainbow trout, largemouth bass

Closed to fishing for the season.


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CENTRAL ZONE: HUNTING

OPEN: COUGAR, UPLAND BIRD, WATERFOWL

Wolves and coyotes can look alike

Most wolves in the state today are in northeast Oregon but a few have dispersed further west and south. Wolves are protected by state and/or federal law and it is unlawful to shoot them. Coyote hunters need to take extra care to identify their target as wolves can look like coyotes, especially wolf pups in the mid-summer and fall. Please report any wolf sightings or wolf sign to ODFW using the online reporting system.

Use the Oregon Hunting Map to see where to hunt.

PRINEVILLE/OCHOCO WILDLIFE DISTRICT

Waterfowl season is open. Popular spots include Prineville Reservoir, where water levels are low, and the BLM portions of the Lower Crooked River. Most Canada geese in the district are found on private land, where permission is required to hunt. Hunters are reminded that they need a federal waterfowl stamp in addition to the state waterfowl validation.

Bear season closed Nov. 30 in all eastern Oregon units.

Cougar are present throughout the Maury, Ochoco, and Grizzly units. The Maury and Ochoco units are recommended because of their greater amounts of public lands and better accessibility. Fresh snowfall can help with locating and tracking. Cougars Cougars must be checked in at an ODFW office within 10 days of harvest. Please consult the synopsis for all required parts and be sure to call first to make an appointment.

Coyotes can offer an exciting challenge. Both the Maury and Ochoco have sizeable areas of public lands that provide hunting opportunities. Hunters should use caution, be properly equipped and prepared for whatever the weather might bring.

Mourning Dove season closed on Oct. 30. However, hunters are reminded that Eurasian-collared doves are unprotected and can be taken year round.

Grouse Season includes both Blue and Ruffed Grouse w/ a daily baq limit of 3 of each species. Blue Grouse are typically found on semi-forested ridge lines, while ruffed grouse can be found along creek drainages.

THE DALLES DISTRICT

Black Bear: Bear season ended Nov. 30.

Waterfowl: Season dates are Nov. 2- Jan. 29. Birds are starting to arrive from up north as we are starting to observe large “rafts” of ducks along the Columbia. The Columbia River can be hunted below high water mark as long as you are outside of city limits. Mayer State Park and Taylor Lake are two popular areas to hunt waterfowl in our district.

Upland birds: Early bird surveys indicated bird numbers appear to be higher than last bird hunting season. Forest Grouse and Mountain Quail hunters are encouraged to put a wing and tail feathers in one of several “grouse wing barrels” located throughout the White River and Hood Units. Most of our grouse wing barrels have been removed due to high elevation snow. Hunters looking for areas to hunt can explore the UCAP properties and public properties in the Deschutes and John Day river canyons.

Coyotes: Try calling for them from open fields, meadows, and pastures. The best areas to find them will be near farm grounds on the eastern boundary. Look for them in early morning or evening and pay close attention to wind direction.

Cougar: Cougars can be found in the same areas as deer and elk as they follow them through their migration routes.

Hunters are required to check-in the unfrozen hide and skull, with proof of sex attached to an ODFW office within 10 days. Hunters are also required to provide the reproductive tract of harvested female cougars. See pg. 42 of the regulations for details.

WHITE RIVER WILDLIFE AREA

NEW: The Wildlife Area lands north of Forest Road 27 are closed to the public from December 1 through March 31, except by access permit issued by ODFW.

A parking permit is now required to use/park on the White River Wildlife Area along with other ODFW wildlife areas. Camping is allowed only in designated areas.

Upland Bird: Forest Grouse and Mountain Quail are open now and run through Jan. 31. Forest grouse and mountain quail numbers are poor within the White River Wildlife Area but can be found in other parts of the White River Unit. Pay close attention to the 2016 game bird regulations for all bird hunting.

Waterfowl: Season is open, and will remain open until Jan. 29. Waterfowl hunting is scarce on the wildlife area but ducks and geese can be found on bodies of water on the wildlife area such as Baker pond, Smock Reservoir, and the Cody ponds.

Black Bear season now closed.

Cougar is open all year or until zone mortality quotas have been met. Calling with distress calls or cougar vocalizations can be effective. However, locating a fresh, naturally made kill has the best chance of success.

Coyotes: Try calling for them from open fields, meadows, and pastures. Using distress calls can be quite productive throughout the winter. The best areas to find them will be near farm grounds on the eastern boundary. Look for them in early morning or evening and pay attention to wind direction.


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CENTRAL ZONE: WILDLIFE VIEWING

CROOK COUNTY

Red-tailed, rough-legged and ferruginous hawks, northern harriers, American kestrels, prairie falcons and golden eagles can be found throughout Crook County and are usually associated more closely with open/agricultural areas. Bald eagles and osprey can be found associated with water bodies. Northern goshawks can be located throughout the Ochoco National Forest.

Prineville Reservoir Wildlife Area

The Prineville Reservoir Wildlife Area offers access to view a wide variety of wildlife, including deer, coyotes, otter, beaver, raptors, shorebirds and waterfowl. Maps of the wildlife area are available at the Prineville ODFW office, at Prineville Reservoir State Park office and the ODFW website. Note: The interior gates will close Nov. 15 to protect wintering mule deer. Walk-in access is still permitted.

Deschutes County
The Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) has closed the Cascade Lakes Highway west of Mount Bachelor and highway 242 west of Sisters for the season. Neither highway is ploughed and both will remain closed until the snow has melted. Other mountain highways will remain open, but more snow is on the way and conditions can change rapidly If you’re planning a wildlife viewing trip into the high country make sure you know the current weather conditions and it’s a good idea to look at the ODOT’s Trip Check site (https://www.tripcheck.com/Pages/RCMap.asp ) before heading out.  

Recent birding reports from the Sisters area include sightings of Canada Goose, Common Goldeneye, California Quail, Bald Eagle, Mourning Dove, Downy Woodpecker, Hairy Woodpecker, White-headed Woodpecker, Northern Flicker, Steller's Jay, Black-billed Magpie, White-breasted and Pygmy Nuthatch, Varied Thrush, and American Goldfinch to list but a few. Waterfowl are found at many locations and can be readily seen by Visitors to Bend along the Deschutes River in the Old Mill District. Common species include; Wood Duck, Mallard, Ring-necked Duck, Lesser Scaup, Bufflehead, Common Merganser, and Horned Grebe. Winter is an excellent time to view raptors, such as Red-tailed Hawks, American Kestrel, Northern Harrier, Rough-legged Hawk, Bald Eagles and Golden Eagles sitting on power poles and fence posts scanning open spaces for a potential meal.

Other birding destinations to consider include Tumalo Reservoir (west of Highway 20 between Sister and Bend), Pelton Dam wildlife overlook and Lake Simstustus (Deschutes River northwest of Madras), and Hatfield Lakes (just north of the Bend airport).

Most of our summer birds have left for warmer climes, however, year round resident birds, such as California quail, house finches, and pine siskins are still plentiful. Other species, such as robins and red-tailed hawks have migratory “shifts” meaning that individuals present during the spring and summer migrate south, while other individuals that summer north of Oregon move here to overwinter.
Whether you’re interested in song birds, waterfowl, or raptors and prefer remote birding locations, or those closer to urban areas, directions to a long list of great birding locations can be found at East Cascades Audubon Society. Birding locations

Mammals can be harder to find during the winter, but this is a good time to brush up on your snow tracking skills. At lower elevations you might run into a black-tailed jackrabbit in areas where sagebrush abounds and it’s not uncommon to see coyotes cross open spaces in a variety of habitats. Squirrels can be observed, when temperatures are mild, conducting their winter activities on national forest and BLM lands, but expect to see less activity at higher colder elevations. Reptiles are now sequestered in underground winter quarters that protect them from freezing conditions. And although amphibians can be active at colder temperatures, they will be much harder to find until next spring. We’ll know spring is back when the chirrups of tree frogs can be heard once again.  11/29/16

WASCO AND SHERMAN COUNTIES

The Lower Deschutes River provides ample wildlife viewing opportunities. California bighorn sheep are frequently observed in the canyon and can provide fantastic viewing all times of the year. The best spot to view sheep is from the BLM access road just downstream and across the river from Sherar’s Falls (along Hwy 216). Focus your efforts near large cliff complexes for best viewing.

Many different raptor species can be seen in the Deschutes River Canyon this time of year including Red-tailed Hawks, Northern Harriers, American Kestrels, Prairie Falcons, Peregrine Falcons, Golden Eagles, and Osprey.

Migrating American White Pelicans can be observed this time of the year along the Columbia River from the confluence of the Deschutes River upstream to The Dalles Dam.

A large variety of songbird species can be viewed in riparian areas along the river. Some common species seen include Bullock’s Oriole, Lazuli Bunting, Mourning Dove, Violet-green Swallow, and Cliff Swallow.

White River Wildlife Area

Lands north of Forest Rd 27 are closed to the public from Dec. 1-March 31 to protect wintering big game.

Get your cameras ready! White River Wildlife Area is an excellent place to capture mature black-tail bucks engaged in rutting activity. Deer have been rutting for several weeks now and not much time remains before they begin dropping their antlers. Lots of opportunities exist for photographers. Snow covered landscapes, waterfalls, and all kinds of wildlife are abundant on the Area.

It’s possible to see bald and golden eagles on the Wildlife Areas well as other raptors such as red-tailed hawks, American kestrels, northern harriers, and the occasional prairie falcon. Look for migratory birds like the rough legged hawk that are now migrating through.

Lewis’s woodpeckers, pileated woodpeckers, flickers, western meadowlarks, Steller’s jays, scrub jays, gray jays, Townsend’s solitaire, horned larks, golden-crowed kinglets, Western Bluebirds and robins are all at home on the Wildlife Area. 12/6/2016



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SOUTHEAST ZONE: FISHING

Weekend Fishing Opportunities:

  • Trout fishing in Cottonwood Meadows, and Duncan and Lofton reservoirs has been good but snow may be limiting access for some vehicles.
  • Fishing on The Klamath River for large redband trout from Keno Dam to J.C. Boyle Reservoir is slow but remains one of the best fishing opportunities in the Klamath Basin.
  • Ana River does not freeze over and was recently stocked with larger rainbow trout.

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.

ANA RESERVOIR: hatchery rainbow trout, hybrid bass

This lake is open year round, providing a great opportunity to catch hybrid bass and rainbow trout. There have been no recent fishing reports but bass fishing should start picking up during this fall. Hybrid bass are traditionally targeted using crank baits; however, they can be caught in the reservoir using various methods including bait. Hybrid bass larger than 20-inches are not uncommon. A new state record hybrid bass (white and striped bass cross) was caught in Ana Reservoir on Dec. 10, 2014. The fish was caught using a Rapala crankbait on 10 lb. test line and measured 31½ inches with a girth of 24 inches. The fish weighed 19 lbs. 12 oz. The potential new state record is 1 ½ inches longer and 1 lb. heavier than the previous record of 18 lbs. 9 oz. caught in 2009.

ANA RIVER: hatchery rainbow trout, brown trout

Ana River is open year round and was recently stocked with larger rainbow trout 10 to 13-inches. Fingerlings were also released in the spring and should be approximately 8-inches. The Ana River is spring fed and rainbow trout are active throughout the year. Anglers can access these trout by floating the river in a float tube or by walking the banks. Bait is allowed.

Caddis flies are the dominant invertebrate. Small blue winged olive (size 18) mayflies should be hatching. Ana River is a great match the hatch fly fishing river with good hatches throughout the winter. Hatches typically occur during the afternoon from 12-3 p.m. the best time. Small mayfly hatches are typically best on overcast days with light rain or snow. Tui chub and pit roach are abundant in the river therefore casting large flies or lures can be effective for catching larger fish.

Ana River is a good TROUT 365 fishery – good trout fishing 365 days a year.

ANNIE CREEK: brook trout, brown trout and rainbow trout

Annie Creek is a large spring-fed stream with approximately 50 cfs or more in the late fall due to run off from snow melt. Annie Creek turns turbid quickly due to the large watershed and snow in the upper elevations. Access is available off Hwy. 62 at the USFS snow park. There is plenty of public property on USFS, State Forest and Crater Lake National Park -- fishing is regulated by the National Park (541-594-3000). Several waterfalls occur on the creek inside Crater Lake National Park offering exceptional views. Fishing is very slow due to very cold (34 degrees) and low productivity water. Fishing with bait allowed. Brook and brown trout are beginning to spawn and are a little easier to catch. Open year-round.

ANTHONY LAKE: rainbow trout, brook trout

Winter has now arrived at Anthony Lake. While accessible, winter conditions now exist.

BALM CREEK RESERVOIR: rainbow trout, smallmouth bass, crappie

Balm Creek Reservoir was stocked with fingerling, legal-sized and trophy rainbow trout in May. The fall reservoir level is good. Recent fish sampling by ODFW indicates that the fingerlings planted this spring have survived and grown well. Fishable numbers of the legal and trophy-sized fish are available as well. Recent reports indicate fishing is good for fat 10 to 16-inch rainbow trout. The reservoir will usually ice over by mid-December.

BEULAH RESERVOIR: redband trout, hatchery rainbow trout, whitefish, bull trout

No recent fishing reports. The reservoir is currently at 16 percent of capacity and the boat ramp is not useable based on the Bureau of Reclamation website.

USBR crews completed a tagging program in Beulah in 2011 and there may still be tagged fish in the reservoir. If you catch a tagged trout, please report it to the Hines office at 541-573-6582.

BLITZEN RIVER: redband trout

The Blitzen River is currently flowing around 21 cfs with water temperatures fluctuating around 32oF. The current conditions for the Blitzen can be checked here. Recent reports indicate that fishing has been productive all throughout the Blitzen system with the best areas being around the Page Springs Campground and the Page Springs Weir. Recently, a small mid-day hatch has been occurring and fishermen have had success with small gray dry flies. Nymphing with large wooly buggers has also been productive in the deep water.

The South Loop Steens Road is currently open to the South Steens Campground so anglers can still access the upper portions of the Blitzen, and Big Indian and the Little Blitzen gorges. These tributaries to the Blitzen support healthy populations of redband trout for anglers willing to fish them. The North Loop Steens Road is open to Jackman Park. The Steens Mountain did receive snow this week and the Burns BLM may decide to close more of the loop roads so check with them before planning a trip to the upper Blitzen.

BLUE LAKE: hatchery rainbow trout

There have been no recent fishing reports, but access is limited by snow. Fly fishing from a float tube is very productive casting or trolling flies. Fish are oriented towards the surface in the morning and evening during aquatic insect or flying ant hatches, but quite frequently jump throughout the day. Blue Lake is a fantastic high elevation lake located in the Gearhart Wilderness between Bly and Lakeview. A three-mile trail leads to the lake and it’s a 1-2 hour hike.

BIG ROCK RESERVOIR: hatchery rainbow trout

The reservoir was dry last year, but was stocked with fingerling rainbow trout this spring. Fishing for 7-9 inch fish has been excellent using flies. Access is limited to 4-wheel drive vehicles due to snow. There is quite a bit of algae along the margins making casting challenging, but a small john boat or float tube would work well. These fish are healthy and will hopefully survive throughout the winter to provide a great fishery for next year.

BULLY CREEK RESERVOIR: bass, crappie, yellow perch, catfish, trout

No recent fishing reports. The reservoir is at 16 percent of capacity and the boat ramp is not useable based on the Bureau of Reclamation website (although it may still be possible to launch small boats that can navigate the terrain below the boat launch). Bully Creek Reservoir was stocked this past spring with trophy sized rainbow trout so these and hold-overs from last year should be available for fishermen.

BURNS POND: trout, bass

Fishing has been good for legal-sized rainbow trout recently on the Burns Pond. The pond was stocked with legal-sized rainbow trout this past month so these fish and holdovers from this past summer are available for anglers. The pond is experiencing an algal bloom around the edges and fish appear to be using these for shade/cover so fishing along the algae rim has been productive. Recently, some ice has been observed on the pond so fishing may not be possible until the ice melts or gets thick enough for ice fishing.

CALAHAN CREEK (LONG CREEK-SYCAN AREA): brook trout and redband trout

Access is likely blocked by snow. Calahan Creek is a very small tributary to Long Creek. Most of the creek flows through a low gradient meadow. Flows this time year are approximately 1-2 cfs. Water levels are excellent for fishing.

The most productive fishing area is near the lower 400-00 road crossing and upstream. All of Calahan Creek is on Green Diamond property so please respect this private property and their rules. Bait is allowed. Fishing is excellent for small brook trout mostly under 8-inches. Open all year.

CAMPBELL LAKE: hatchery rainbow trout, brook trout

Recent fishing reports indicate 12 to 13-inch trout being caught, but access is limited by snow. The lake was stocked the week of Aug. 29 with 10 to 13-inch rainbow trout.

CAMPBELL RESERVOIR: redband trout, largemouth bass, crappie

Water levels in the reservoir are surprisingly high. There are no boat ramps on the reservoir therefore a small pontoon, john boat, or float tube is recommended. The southeastern part of the reservoir is on BLM property. The reservoir is fed by water from Deming Creek.

Access is available off the FS 34 (Dairy Creek road) and 335 roads near Bly. Much of the reservoir is on private property so please respect this area.

Largemouth bass are moving into the shallows and feeding actively to prepare for winter. Bass fishing should be good. Crappie and redband trout are also available and feeding actively. The redband trout population in the reservoir is sparse.

CHEWAUCAN RIVER: native redband trout, largemouth bass, brown bullhead

Snow will be a limiting factor, but the entire river is open all year and flyfishing for redband trout 6 to 12-inches should be good upstream of Paisley. Dry flies and nymphs are very productive. Redband trout and brook trout are in the headwaters (Dairy and Elder Creeks) and are readily available using flies and lures as well. Bait is allowed downstream of Hwy 31 at Paisley, however the use of bait is prohibited upstream of highway 31. Largemouth bass and brown bullhead are available to anglers at the first Hwy. 31 crossing just north of Valley Falls. Small boats can be launched at this site.

CHICKAHOMINY RESERVOIR: trout

No recent fishing reports but fishing is expected to be slow to fair. Chickahominy was stocked with 2044 legal-sized trout during the week of May 16, 2016 and again this fall. The reservoir was not stocked in 2015 due to poor habitat conditions resulting from the prolonged drought conditions in the region.

ODFW sampled the reservoir this past summer and found healthy rainbow trout up to 14-inches so hopefully that indicates that the fishery is on the rebound. The boat ramp is currently useable for small boats but requires driving the trailer past the end of the cement launch ramp and onto the rocks. The water clarity in Chickahominy is very low and the water is very muddy. High winds have also been present. Recently, Chickahominy Reservoir has received some snow and may be experiencing some freezing that may prevent fishing.

CORRAL CREEK (SF Sprague): brook trout and brown trout

Access will be challenging due to snow. The road is paved all the way to the creek. Water levels are low, approximately 2-3 cfs, but excellent for fishing. Look for signs to Corral Creek Campground and Gearhart Wilderness. The campground is near the confluence of Corral Creek and South Fork Sprague River. The campground is maintained by the USFS. Fishing is excellent for small brook trout up to 8 inches. Occasionally brown trout can be captured. Bait is allowed.

COTTONWOOD MEADOWS: hatchery rainbow trout, redband trout, brook trout

Fly fishing for rainbow trout has been fantastic this past month! Snow will limit access; 4-wheel drive is highly recommended. Trolling flies that imitate fathead minnows and leeches worked really well for larger trout 12 to 22-inches. Stomach contents included: damsel and dragonfly nymphs and water boatmen. Bait fishermen were picking up fish in the 17-inch range as well. This is one of the best times of year to catch fat healthy rainbows in this reservoir. There were trout rising throughout the day. Be sure to take a trip to this reservoir before the snow restricts fishing access.

COTTONWOOD RESERVOIR (Lake County): redband trout

No recent fishing reports but fish have been observed rising near the boat launch. One rainbow trout per day, 15-inch minimum length may be harvested.

COW LAKES: largemouth bass, white crappie, brown bullheads, rainbow trout

A recent fishing report indicates that fishing is poor in the Cow Lakes this year. As of 2013, the lakes will no longer be stocked with rainbow trout due to poor habitat quality. When habitat conditions improve, the trout stocking program will be reinstated. This past summer, ODFW and volunteers sampled the Upper Cow Lake and found an overabundance of brown bullheads. White crappie, bluegill, and large scale suckers were also found with a few of the crappie being very large. Water clarity was poor at the time of sampling. ODFW will continue to monitor conditions in the Cow Lakes to hopefully improve the fishery.

CROOKED CREEK (Klamath Co): redband trout, brook trout and brown trout

Closed to fishing until May 22.

CRYSTAL CREEK redband trout and yellow perch

Closed to fishing until May 22.

DELINTMENT LAKE: trout

Delintment Lake was stocked with legal-sized rainbow trout in the spring and anglers have reported catching these fish and holdovers from last year in consistent numbers, although fishing has appeared to be slowing down as the fall/winter season arrives. Fishing around the dock has been productive and fly-fisherman have reported good fishing from float tubes and other small watercraft. Recent snow in the area may make accessing Delintment Lake difficult so travel cautiously and carry chains or traction tires.

DEMING CREEK: redband trout and bull trout

Access likely blocked by snow. Open to fishing but closed to fishing for bull trout. Any bull trout captured should not be removed from the water.

DEVILS LAKE (FISHHOLE CREEK): largemouth bass, black crappie, yellow perch, brown bullhead

No recent report.

DOG LAKE: largemouth bass, yellow perch, black crappie, brown bullhead, redband trout

There have not been any recent fishing reports. Only one rainbow trout per day, 15-inch minimum length may be harvested.

DUNCAN RESERVOIR: hatchery rainbow trout

Bait fishing has been productive this past month. Trout recently sampled were 7 to 21-inches long and very healthy; eating damsel nymphs, water boatmen, leeches and snails. This reservoir was stocked with legal- and trophy-sized rainbow trout in June. There have been reports of 16 and 17-inch trout being caught this summer. More fingerlings have been released this spring. A recent illegal introduction of brown bullhead will negatively impact the trout fishery in the future.

FISH LAKE (Wallowa Mountains): rainbow trout, brook trout

Winter has now arrived at Fish Lake and the lake is not accessible by automobiles or pickups.

FISH LAKE (Steens Mountain): rainbow trout, brook trout

The North Loop Steens Road is still open, and Fish Lake was stocked with legal-sized and trophy rainbow trout this past summer. Fisherman have reported good catches of rainbow and brook trout this summer with some rainbow trout in the 18 to 20-inch range being caught. Reports indicate that fishing has slowed down some this fall but that anglers are still catching fish. Fly-fishing from a float tube or other non-motorized watercraft has been the best method at Fish Lake. Recent snow on the Steens Mountain may prompt the Burns District BLM to close the North Loop Road at Page Springs which would prevent access to Fish Lake. Please check with them before planning a trip to Fish Lake.

ODFW sampled Fish Lake this past summer and found plenty of healthy rainbow and brook trout throughout the lake. Brook trout were around 12-inches or smaller and the rainbows were around 15-inches. There are some remaining “trophy” sized trout in the lake from the summer stocking. The brook trout are currently in spawning mode and were most abundant on the side of the lake with the boat launch.

FORT CREEK: brown, redband and brook trout

Fort Creek is closed to fishing until May 22.

FOURMILE CREEK (tributary to Agency Lake): brook, brown, and redband trout.

Open all year. Fishing should be good for brook trout using bait below Fourmile Springs along Westside Road.

FOURMILE LAKE: hatchery rainbow trout, lake trout, kokanee, brook trout

Access likely blocked by snow. Water levels in the Lake are low. Fourmile Lake is currently 0 percent full based on water used for irrigation. The lake has a large amount of dead pool storage. The fuller the lake the easier launching boats. As the lake recedes to dead pool storage launching boats becomes very difficult. The boat ramp is unimproved and involves launching on a sandy beach with no boat docks. Launching a boat might become more difficult as water levels drop. Access to the lake is from Highway 140 near Lake of the Woods. The six mile dirt road is rough and has numerous washboards. Campground facilities exist on the lake.

The lake was stocked just before Labor Day with 12-14” rainbow trout. Fishing should be good from bank and boat. Angling from shore is typically best near the deeper water along the campground site or near the north end of the lake. Brook trout and lake trout are cruising the shoreline looking for places to spawn. If you can find their spawning areas fishing can be excellent. Access is also available by trail to the high lakes that are stocked by helicopter. These trails are likely covered in snow. Badger Lake is the most productive. Woodpecker, Squaw and Long Lake are all stocked but fishing is typically very slow on these waterbodies.

GERBER RESERVOIR: crappie, yellow perch, brown bullhead and largemouth bass

Water levels are very low and launching a boat might be impossible or extremely challenging. The reservoir is 12 percent full. Access to the reservoir is good as BLM maintains campgrounds at the reservoir. Fishing is very slow. Best fishing is for brown bullhead.

Grande Ronde Lake: rainbow trout, brook trout

Winter has now arrived at Grande Ronde Lake.

HAINES POND: rainbow

The pond was stocked with pounder and legal-sized rainbow trout mid-October.

HEART LAKE: hatchery rainbow trout, kokanee, brown bullhead catfish

Fishing has been productive for 8 to 17-inch trout recently trolling flies and lures. Access will be limited due to snow. Trout were rising throughout the day. The lake was stocked with legal rainbow trout and kokanee at the end of June. An illegal introduction of brown bullhead catfish will likely affect survival of trout and kokanee. Expect fewer fish to overwinter due to competition for available food resources.

HOLBROOK RESERVOIR: hatchery rainbow trout

The reservoir’s head gate has been fixed and is currently being filled to store water for next year. There should be enough water to stock rainbow trout in the spring of 2017.

HWY 203 POND: trout, bass, bluegill

The pond was last stocked with legal-sized rainbow trout the first week of June.

JACKSON CREEK (UPPER WILLIAMSON RIVER): brook trout

Fishing is open and bait allowed. This stream is very small with a large brook trout being 8 inches. Fishing is excellent for brook trout.

J.C. BOYLE RESERVOIR (Topsy Reservoir): Largemouth bass, yellow perch, brown bullhead, pumpkinseed, crappie, goldfish, Sacramento perch, tui chub and blue chub

Water levels generally remain very similar and drop as the day progresses as water is released for power generation. There are numerous points of access on the reservoir as most property surrounding the reservoir is BLM or PacifiCorp property.

Fishing can be good on days when the water warms quickly during the afternoon. Warmwater fish are biting well during warmer days. Water temperature is currently peaking at 37 degrees. Fishing for largemouth bass is fair. Best bass fishing is from boat. The reservoir is turbidtherefore anglers should try lures with high visibility and scent. Boats can be launched in several locations in the reservoir. Unimproved ramps occur just north and south of the Highway 66 bridge crossing. No fees are required to launch at these locations.

Try the bay just south of the BLM campground for crappie and pumpkinseed. Also try the rocky areas near and under the Highway 66 Bridge. Goldfish dominate the fish assemblage in the reservoir. Anglers should mimic the goldfish with bronze or copper lures or plugs to catch largemouth bass in the reservoir.

UPPER KLAMATH AND AGENCY LAKES: native redband trout and yellow perch

Water levels in the lake have increased slightly. The lake is 4 feet below full pool and turbid. The lake should freeze soon. Boaters should proceed with caution and larger boats will have challenges launching at certain boat ramps in particular Henzel boat ramp on Agency Lake. Shoalwater boat ramp might be unusable. Moore Park 2, Howard Bay and Rocky Point Boat Ramps are usable. The lake is very shallow around the mouth of the Williamson River and Odessa Creek. Most of the algae in the lake is gone.

ODFW and Oregon State University have radio tagged 40 redband trout in Upper Klamath Lake. Any redband trout captured with a radio tag needs to be released immediately unharmed without removing from the water. There will be a long antennae protruding out of the side of the fish. The antennae looks like heavy 50 lb. test fishing line. Please report the catch of these radio tagged redband trout. Page 11 of the Sportfishing Regulation states it is unlawful to retain radio tagged fish.

Fishing is slow as fish are scattered through Upper Klamath Lake and the Williamson and Wood rivers. Redband trout have moved back into the lake and now some are moving up the tributaries to spawn. Water temperature is peaking at 36 degrees. Anglers are having some success trolling lures. Redband that are going to be released should not be removed from the water. Fishing from the shore is improving around Shoalwater Bay.

There are no recent reports on yellow perch fishing in Pelican Bay. Finding the perch is the biggest challenge. Once you find them fishing can be excellent. Small hooks and bait are recommended as the perch typically do not exceed 14 inches.

KLAMATH RIVER: native rainbow-redband trout

Keno Dam to J.C Boyle Reservoir

Water levels in the Keno Reach of the Klamath River are 505 cfs. This flow is excellent for fishing. Water temperatures are peaking around 40 degrees.

Access to the river is extremely challenging. Anglers can drive to the river at the base of Keno Dam using Old Wagon Road on the west side of the river. This road is in disrepair. The other access site is at the PacifiCorp Campground on the east side which is currently closed. Access to the lower river is also available at Sportsman Park. Many anglers access the river on the Hwy. 66 side and hike into the canyon.

Fishing this reach of river is extremely challenging. Most areas require a strenuous hike to reach the river. If you are wading, ODFW highly recommends studded wading boots, wading belt and definitely a wading staff. There are bedrock ledges and numerous very slippery boulders. Typically you can’t see where you are wading as the water is turbid. Polarized glasses also help with wading as you can see boulders. A landing net also assists with landing fish in fast water.

Boats are not recommended on this stretch unless you are an expert oarsman. Roe Outfitters provides fly-fishing trips from rafts in this stretch.

Fishing is very good for redband trout in this reach. Condition and size of redband trout in this reach are exceptional. Most anglers use flies and lures that mimic bait fish. However, flies that mimic leeches and caddisfly pupae work well.

J.C. Boyle Dam to J.C Boyle Powerhouse

Fishing on the Klamath River between JC Boyle Dam to JC Boyle Powerhouse continues to be good at this time. Most fish in this section are very small and average 10-inches. Below the springs this section remains near a constant 360 cfs of flow and water temperatures are cooler in this section in the summer.

Fishing is best below the spring inputs. The springs start to discharge into the river approximately 1 mile below J.C. Boyle Dam. This section of river requires a hike down steep grade to the river with the exception of the area just above the powerhouse. Fishing is excellent for small redband for those willing to hike. Nymphs and leech patterns work well during this time of year. Occasional blue winger olive mayfly hatches will occur in mid-day especially during inclement weather. Black spinners cast upstream into the pools is also a great technique. Open all year.

J.C. Boyle Powerhouse to State Line with California

Below the JC Boyle powerhouse the fish get slightly larger than the aforementioned reach and average 12 inches but rarely exceed 16 inches. Most fish are in the 6- to 8-inch range. Fishing will be poor. If flow levels are 900 cfs or lower the river is fishable. Flow release estimates are no longer available. Best fishing is very early in the morning. Check the USGS real time website for flow information. Klamath River is a good TROUT 365 fishery – good trout fishing 365 days a year.

KRUMBO RESERVOIR: trout, bass

Fishing at Krumbo Reservoir has been fair to good this year with bank and boat anglers reporting rainbow trout over 20 inches being caught. Bass fishing in Krumbo was productive this past summer but there have been no recent reports. It’s possible that bass fishing is slowing as the cooler weather has pushed the bass out into deeper water. With the winter weather approaching, it is important to know that Krumbo is open year-round for fishing but the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge does not allow ice fishing on the Krumbo so please respect the regulations.

Krumbo was stocked with over 11,000 legal-sized rainbow trout in April, and anglers have reported catching these fish in consistent numbers, especially from the rocky areas near the inlet. Krumbo It was also stocked again with legal-sized rainbows this past month. The reservoir can be a spectacular fall fishery and regularly produces rainbow trout over 18-inches.

LAKE OF THE WOODS: hatchery rainbow trout, kokanee, hatchery brown trout, yellow perch, brown bullhead, smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, crappie, tui chub

The lake remains ice free but should freeze soon. Lake levels are good and boats can be launched at three different boat ramps.

Lake of the Woods was stocked during Labor Day weekend with 12 to 14-inch rainbow trout. Fishing should be slow for most species in the lake but can be fair for yellow perch. Best fishing for stocked trout is from a boat. Best success from shore is fishing small baits for small yellow perch especially near dusk.

This is the best time to fish for large brown trout as they cruise the shallows. Fishing for largemouth and smallmouth bass is slow.

The Lake of the Wood Resort Marina is open Friday through Sunday. Call Lake of the Woods Resort for recent reports Toll Free at 866-201-4194.

LOFTON RESERVOIR: hatchery rainbow trout

Fishing has been productive, but 4-wheel drive vehicles are needed due to snow. Trolling flies imitating leaches and damsel flies were very productive. Fish were feeding on dragon nymphs, snails and damsel nymphs. There were trout rising throughout the day as well.

This reservoir was stocked three times in the month of June and judging by the number of sampled fish, there are a lot of trout in the reservoir! The vegetation might still be an issue for some fishermen, but just remember to fish the top of the water column where fish are feeding.

LONG CREEK (Sycan River): brook trout, redband trout, bull trout

Access is limited due to snow. Fishing is likely slow due to very cold water temperatures approaching freezing. Access is available just upstream of the 27 road crossing on Green Diamond property. Fly fishing can be. Please report any bull trout captured to ODFW office at 541-891-4625.

LOST RIVER: largemouth bass, brown bullhead, yellow perch, Sacramento perch

Fishing for largemouth is slow. Lost River is open to fishing all year. Public access is available at Crystal Springs day use area. Boats can be launched from an improved boat ramp at Crystal Springs. Angling for brown bullhead is fair.

Bait fished just off the bottom is the best method to catch fish at this point.

Sacramento perch have been captured below Horseshoe Dam. This is one of the only locations in the state to capture this fish.

LUCKY RESERVOIR: hatchery rainbow trout

Lucky Reservoir is three-fourths full, and should easily overwinter trout this year. Lucky was dry in 2015, but fingerlings have been stocked this spring and should be 8 inches by fall. Snow will start to limit access for some vehicles.

MALHEUR RESERVOIR: hatchery rainbow trout

No recent fishing reports.

The reservoir dam was repaired and started holding water again in November of 2015 but very few fish were expected to survive in the reservoir from last year. This is because the reservoir completely dried up this past summer. The reservoir was stocked with legal-sized and fingerling rainbow trout this past spring to jump start the fishery following prolonged drought conditions in the region.

MALHEUR RIVER (from the South Fork Malheur River near Riverside, downstream to Gold Creek): redband trout and hatchery rainbow trout.

No recent fishing reports.

MALHEUR RIVER, NORTH FORK: redband trout, whitefish, and bull trout

No recent fishing reports.

MALHEUR RIVER, MIDDLE FORK: redband trout, brook trout, and bull trout

No recent fishing reports.

MANN LAKE: cutthroat trout

ODFW stocked Mann Lake with cutthroat trout this spring and anglers are starting to see these fish in the lake. Some fishermen have reported catching consistent numbers of cutthroat trout this past spring/summer -- all in the 18 to 24-inch range. Currently the lake is low and muddy, and recent reports indicate fishing is slow mainly because the low water makes it difficult to walk around the shoreline. Float tube fisherman have had trouble with the low lake level making it difficult to paddle around near the shore. Larger fly patterns pulled in a jerking motion worked well this spring/summer at Mann Lake. ODFW staff sampled Mann Lake earlier this year in the spring and found plenty of large cutthroat trout available for fisherman. Recent snow and cold temperatures in the area may have resulted in ice on Mann Lake so use caution when fishing and do not trust any ice this early in the season.

Fathead minnows were also found in Mann Lake and have been giving fisherman concern. At the moment, it does not appear that the population of fathead minnows is negatively affecting the fishery but ODFW will continue to monitor the lake.

The Oregon Dept. of Fish & Wildlife stocked Mann Lake with cutthroat trout this spring so anglers should start to see these fish in the lake.

MILL FLAT POND: hatchery rainbow trout, largemouth bass

This reservoir is located northwest of Lakeview on the Fremont National Forest. Largemouth bass have been sampled this summer weighing up to 6 lbs. and measuring over 19 inches long! Crayfish were found to be the preferred diet of large bass in this pond. There were also hatchery trout collected in the 10- to 12-inch range, but very few. Bass have been illegally introduced and are negatively impacting the hatchery rainbow trout.

MILLER LAKE: brown trout, kokanee, rainbow trout, brook trout

Access to the lake is likely blocked by snow. The lake was stocked with rainbow trout in September. Fishing should be fair. Miller Lake has campground facilities and an excellent boat ramp. The 12-mile dirt road into the lake can be very rough.

Fishing should be excellent for brown trout as last year’s sampling showed numerous brown trout in the 18-22 size class. Brown trout of this size begin to feed heavily on kokanee and stocked fingerling rainbow trout so mimicking these baits will provide you with successful results. If fishing is slow, try the outlet of the lake in Miller Creek for small brook trout, brown trout and rainbow trout. Bait is allowed in Miller Creek.

MUD LAKE: hatchery rainbow trout

All fish died in the drought last year. Fingerling rainbow trout were stocked this spring, but once again water levels are very low.

MURRAY RESERVOIR: trout

The reservoir was stocked with legal and trophy-sized rainbow trout in April. The fall water level is fair. Some hold-over trout should be available, but the reservoir will soon begin to ice over.

NORTH POWDER POND: rainbow trout

The pond was stocked with pounder-sized rainbow trout mid-October.

OVERTON RESERVOIR: hatchery rainbow trout

There have been no recent fishing reports and snow will limit access, but there should be holdovers from previous fingerling stockings. Fingerling rainbow trout were stocked again this spring and should be 8-inches by fall.

OWYHEE RESERVOIR: largemouth and smallmouth bass, crappie, yellow perch, catfish

The Owyhee Reservoir is currently at 27 percent of capacity and that is up some due to recent precipitation in the region. There is still a lot of algae present in the upper portions of the lake but the shorter days and colder weather should help to clear things up. There have been recent reports of anglers catching trout up to 20-inches in the reservoir this fall. Bass and crappie fishing is slowing down as we move into fall/winter months and the fish move into deeper water.

Reports over the summer indicated that there were a lot of dead carp in the reservoir but there were no reports of other fish species dying. ODFW investigated and took water samples and found areas that contained lethal dissolved oxygen levels so this was likely the cause of dying carp. Since carp were actively spawning, they were moving into the shallower areas where there was more algae and less oxygen and getting trapped while other species moved into areas that contained adequate oxygen.

The Owyhee Dam boat ramp is permanently closed due to safety concerns and the Gordon Gulch ramp is closed due to low water so users need to launch at the Indian Creek Boat Launch.

OWYHEE RIVER (Lower): brown trout and hatchery rainbow trout

Water releases below the dam have been around 28 cfs according to the USGS stream data and the water clarity has been fairly good when it isn’t raining or snowing. Fly-fishing higher up in the canyon has been productive and some have had success with small dry flies matching the hatches that have been occurring. Water clarity can fluctuate throughout the day so having a ride range of flies or lures can increase success during fall/winter fishing on the Owyhee River.

ODFW and volunteers recently conducted brown trout spawning surveys on the Lower Owyhee River and found brown trout actively spawning. The majority of the spawning is occurring higher up in the river but there were fish spawning down as low as the concrete bridge hole so users are asked to avoid walking in and around actively spawning trout and redds. Spawning areas can be easily identified by the cleaned up gravel in riffles and in other areas that contains smaller gravel.

OWYHEE RIVER (Upper): smallmouth bass and channel catfish

No recent fishing reports, but fishing is expected to be slow.

Piute Reservoir: hatchery rainbow trout and Lahontan cutthroat

Fingerlings released this spring have reached 8-inches. The reservoir is very low and there currently are only approximately 1-2 surface acres of water. Most fish likely perished last year due to drought. Overwinter survival may be low again this year unless the reservoir receives more water before it freezes.

PHILLIPS RESERVOIR: trout, perch

Winter conditions have now found their way to eastern Oregon and it is anticipated that the reservoir will ice-over by mid-December.

Reservoir storage is at 4 percent of capacity, but still plenty of water for some good fishing. Launching boats at the Union Creek launch is not possible. Boats can be launched at the Mason Dam launch at very low reservoir levels, but the ramp surface is in disrepair and launching of large boats is not advisable.

The last stocking for the summer of legal and trophy-sized rainbow trout occurred the week of June 1. A total of 4,000 trophy-sized and approximately 10,500 legal-sized rainbow trout were released this spring. September sampling by ODFW indicates that good numbers of the trophies are still available and they are in very good condition. Good numbers of carryovers from past stocking of legal-sized trout are also available averaging 12-14 inches and are also in very good condition. To measure the catch rate of the trophy’s, ODFW marked approximately 400 of these with an orange colored tag, just under the dorsal fin. If you catch one of these tagged fish, please report the tag number to Tim Bailey, District Fish Biologist at 541-962-1829. Some of these tags will have a $50 reward available.

Fall fishing reports indicate that anglers have done well catching both rainbow trout and yellow perch. Don’t let the low water be a deterrent, some good fishing is to be had at Phillips Reservoir.

PILCHER RESERVOIR:

Due to a rule change for 2016, the reservoir is open to fishing year-round. Fishing for rainbow trout up to 16 inches is good. The low water ramp is not functional. Winter conditions have now arrived in eastern Oregon and it is anticipated the reservoir will ice-over by mid-December.

PINE CREEK and tributaries (Snake River tributary): rainbow trout, brook trout

Pine Creek and tributaries are open to trout fishing year-round, with a five-rainbow trout bag limit. This is a new regulation for 2016.

POISON CREEK RESERVOIR: hatchery rainbow trout

Recent reports indicate that fishing has been slow at Poison Creek Reservoir. Fishing can be slow but those fishermen that are willing to put in the time often catch trout over 20 inches. The reservoir has an abundant macroinvertebrate community and a population of especially large freshwater shrimp. If you can find out what the fish are feeding on and then match your flies or lures to that, it will greatly increase your chances of catching fish at Poison Creek Reservoir. Recent snow and cold temperatures in the region will likely result in ice forming on Poison Creek Reservoir but it will not be safe for ice fishing yet.

POLE CREEK RESERVOIR: hatchery rainbow trout, crappie

No recent fishing reports. The reservoir was stocked this past spring so these fish still should be available to anglers. Efforts were recently made to stock Pole Creek but the low water prevented the fish stocking truck from getting close enough to the water so Pole Creek will not be stocked this fall.

POWDER RIVER: rainbow trout

The river below Mason Dam was last stocked with legal-sized rainbow trout on June 21. Some holdover trout should be available for fall fishing.

PRIDAY RESERVOIR: hatchery rainbow trout

Priday Reservoir is a reservoir mostly on BLM property between Plush and Adel. Please respect the private property on the reservoir. Bait fishing sounds like it is slow, but fishermen are constantly seeing trout rising near the shore. Water boatman and freshwater shrimp are great insects to try within 2-10 feet of the bank. Sometimes trout specifically feed on water boatman, which make up 90 percent of their daily diet this time of year.

The reservoir was dry in 2015. This is great news as several illegally introduced species, crappie and brown bullhead catfish, occurred in the reservoir and have now perished. This very productive reservoir was stocked again with fingerlings, legals and trophy rainbow trout during spring break.

ROGGER POND: hatchery rainbow trout

Fishing for rainbow trout should be picking up this fall at this old borrow pit located along the Twin springs road in the South Warner mountains although snow will start to limit access. Fly fishing out of a small float tube would be very beneficial. Fingerlings planted this spring should be 8-inches by now. This is a very scenic location and a good place to take children to fish near Lakeview.

SAND AND SCOTT CREEKS: brook trout and brown trout

Sand and Scott creeks are very small spring fed streams west of Hwy 97 near the Silver Lake highway junction. Fishing on these small streams is open year-round with bait allowed. Most fish are less than 8-inches long.

SEVENMILE CREEK: brook trout, brown trout, redband trout

Anglers can access Sevenmile Creek at Nicholson Road and fish upstream of Nicholson Road. Bait is allowed upstream of Nicholson Road. Flows are fishable. Angling is best in the beaver dam pools above Nicholson Road. The bridge crossing Sevenmile Creek at Nicholoson Road is closed. Angling can be good for 6- to 8-inch brook trout. Open all year.

SKY LAKES AND MOUNTAIN LAKE WILDERNESS: brook trout and rainbow trout

Access is likely blocked by snow. Fishing is not recommended at this time.

SHERLOCK GULCH RESERVOIR: hatchery rainbow trout

The reservoir is half full. Due to drought the reservoir went dry last year, but fingerling rainbow trout were stocked this spring and should be 8 inches by now.

Sid LUCE ReSERVOIR: hatchery rainbow trout

Fishing was good in October for trout 8 to 14-inches, but access might be limited by snow. It seemed like the calmer the water the better fishing was. Most of the fish caught were along the northern shoreline where the creek comes in with leach patterns. The water was 51 degrees Fahrenheit. Sub-legals were stocked in May and fish from previous stockings in 2015 were seen jumping. Lures or flies that mimic crayfish work well.

Spaulding Reservoir: hatchery rainbow trout

The reservoir was dry in 2015 and surprisingly remains dry.

SPENCER CREEK: redband trout and brook trout

Spencer Creek is closed to fishing until May 22.

SPRING CREEK: redband trout, brown trout, brook trout

Spring Creek is closed to fishing until May 22

SPRAGUE RIVER: redband trout, brown trout, largemouth bass and yellow perch

Fishing is improving as redband trout are moving in from the Williamson River. Best fishing is upstream of Beatty in the area fed by numerous springs. River flows are 262 cfs at the mouth. Water temperature is peaking at 48 degrees at the mouth. Yellow perch fishing should be excellent if you can find them. Fishing is allowed year-round. In some areas redband trout are feeding actively on very small mayfly adults particularly in the late evening.

NORTH FORK SPRAGUE RIVER AND ALL TRIBUTARIES: brook trout, redband trout, brown trout, bull trout

Access is challenging to most areas of the NF Sprague River.

Fishing through the canyon is slow. Access to this area is challenging as is wading through the high gradient areas. Open all year.

Flow has increased through the canyon (52 cfs). Larger brown trout and redband trout occur in this section.

SOUTH FORK SPRAGUE RIVER AND ALL TRIBUTARIES: brook trout, redband trout, brown trout, bull trout

The South Fork Sprague River is open to angling. Fishing is very slow in most areas due to low fish densities. Fishing is best near Camp Creek and Corral Creek campground. Flow is very low and fishable (16 cfs). Open all year.

SUMMIT PRAIRIE POND: hatchery rainbow trout

Fishing for rainbow trout should be picking up this fall at this old borrow pit located along the Twin Springs road in the South Warner Mountains. Fingerlings planted this spring should be eight inches by now. This is a good place to take children to fish near Lakeview.

SUN CREEK: brook trout, bull trout, brown trout

Sun Creek is closed to fishing for bull trout. Only bull trout occur in upper Sun Creek just above the Sun Pass Forest bridge crossing. Angling not recommended at this time. Redband trout were reintroduced to Sun Creek. These redband trout were small, most less than four inches, and salvaged from the Wood River irrigation system. The Sun Creek channel will be rerouted into the historic channel next summer.

SYCAN RIVER: brook trout, redband trout, brown trout (below marsh)

Access is very challenging to the lower river. Angling is very slow below the marsh as most of the river desiccated in summer of 2015. Flows are very low at 9 cfs. Above the Sycan Marsh angling can be excellent for brook trout and redband trout near the Rock Creek campground and Hanan Trailhead.

Above Rock Creek campground is dominated by small brook trout. Excellent brook trout fishing continues to near the headwaters. Near Pikes Crossing redband trout begin to dominate but fishing is typically slow in this area due to low redband trout densities at this time. The river is open year around.

THOMPSON VALLEY RESERVOIR: hatchery rainbow trout, largemouth bass

This reservoir was stocked with 1,700 sub-legal trout this past month, some over 8-inches long. The reservoir has filled some with these recent rains and should overwinter trout for next year. Angling for largemouth bass should be fair but there have been no recent reports. The best fishing for bass and trout are along the shorelines near the dam at the rocky northeast side.

THIEF VALLEY RESERVOIR: trout

The reservoir was drained completely by the Lower Powder River Irrigation District in mid-August 2016. ODFW will not restock the reservoir with rainbow trout until spring 2017.

UNITY RESERVOIR: trout, bass, crappie

Winter conditions have now arrived in eastern Oregon and it is anticipated the reservoir will ice-over by mid-December.

Reservoir storage is at 18 percent of capacity and refilling. Fishing has been fair for rainbow trout, with the average size being 14 to 16-inches. The water level is now below the bottom of the boat launch, but small boat can be launched.

VEE LAKE: hatchery rainbow trout

There have been 12 to 15-inch trout caught recently at this small lake, but snow is going to limit access for some vehicles. Trout stocked as fingerlings also should be in the 8-inch range and start biting. Legal and fingerling rainbow trout were stocked in June. The lake was very low last year due to drought, but is currently at 75 percent pool level. There is a primitive boat ramp available and electric motors can be used.

WARM SPRINGS RESERVOIR: smallmouth bass, crappie, catfish, perch, rainbow trout

No recent fishing reports but fishing is expected to be slow. The reservoir is currently at 4 percent of capacity. The roads into Warm Springs Reservoir can become unpassable when they are muddy or snowy so use caution when venturing out to this reservoir and always carry chains and other emergency equipment.

WARNER POND: hatchery rainbow trout

There have not been any recent fishing reports. The easiest way to effectively fish this small pond is with a float tube and flies, but fish can be caught with lures and bait as well. Fishing is better in the fall when the vegetation starts to recede.

UPPER WILLIAMSON RIVER: redband trout and brook trout

The Upper Williamson River above Kirk Bridge is closed to fishing until April 22.

LOWER WILLIAMSON RIVER: redband trout and brown trout

The lower Williamson below Kirk Bridge is closed to fishing until May 22.

WILLOW VALLEY RESERVOIR: largemouth bass, crappie, yellow perch, bluegill, Lahontan cutthroat

There have been no recent fishing reports. Fishing is best for largemouth bass. The reservoir is very turbid and not a good shoreline fishery. Bluegill, crappie and yellow perch are rare in the catch. The crappie that are caught are typically large.

WOLF CREEK RESERVOIR: crappie, trout

Winter conditions have now arrived in eastern Oregon and it is anticipated the reservoir will ice-over by mid-December. The reservoir is less than half capacity. The boat launch is out of the water and not functional.

WOOD RIVER: redband, brown, brook and bull trout

The Wood River is closed to fishing until April 22.

YELLOWJACKET LAKE: trout

Fishermen have reported consistent catches of rainbow trout in the 12 to 15-inch range with an occasional bigger fish being caught. Yellowjacket Lake was stocked with trophy-sized rainbow trout this past spring. Yellowjacket Lake received some snow over the weekend but it should still be accessible.

There is quite a bit of algae present in upper portions of the lake so fishing around the dam has been more productive from the bank. Recent cooler weather in the region should help to thin out the algae and open up more bank access this fall. Boat anglers have had success throughout the lake all summer and into the fall.

Yellowjacket Lake is a great place to fish all throughout the year unless snow makes accessing the lake difficult. It is a great family destination with a nice campground, plenty of bank access and a boat launch that can handle smaller watercraft.


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SOUTHEAST ZONE: HUNTING

OPEN: COUGAR, WATERFOWL, UPLAND BIRD

CANADA GOOSE season is closed until Dec. 12 and WHITE-FRONTED GOOSE season is closed until Jan. 16

Wolves and coyotes can look alike

Most wolves in the state today are in northeast Oregon but a few have dispersed further west and south. Wolves are protected by state and/or federal law and it is unlawful to shoot them. Coyote hunters need to take extra care to identify their target as wolves can look like coyotes, especially wolf pups in the mid-summer and fall. Please report any wolf sightings or wolf sign to ODFW using the online reporting system.

Use the Oregon Hunting Map to see where to hunt.

HARNEY COUNTY

UPLAND GAME BIRD season is open. From late winter through summer of 2016, good snow pack followed by decent spring precipitation occurred across much of SE Oregon which was good for habitat. Overall chukar and quail populations are expected to be similar to the past two seasons, but are trending closer to the 10 year average. PHEASANT hunting opportunities are limited in Harney County. Check out the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge website for pheasant and quail hunt areas open to the public.

Fall rains and mild weather conditions in November have led to an excellent fall green-up, especially in the north end of Harney County. Expect chukars to be scattered at all elevations until snow begins to concentrate birds later in the season.

WATERFOWL hunters are reminded that duck season is closed from Nov. 28-29 and goose season is closed from Nov. 28 through Dec. 11. Hunting may be limited in the Harney Basin due to low water conditions in Malheur Lake and most local reservoirs. Best hunting opportunities will be for Canada geese on private lands, hunters are reminded to get permission from the landowner before hunting on private lands. Check out the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge website for detailed maps.

Forest GROUSE season open until Jan. 31. Grouse can be found in the forested portions of the Silvies and Malheur Units, but population numbers are low.

Fall BEAR season open until Nov. 30. Bear populations in Harney County are generally low. While no formal surveys are done for bear in this area, bear populations appear to be stable. Hunters are reminded that hunter harvested bear MUST be checked in at an ODFW field office within 10 days of harvest; please bring bear in thawed and with mouth propped open for easier tissue and tooth collection.

Coyote populations are good throughout Harney County. Coyote appear to have had excellent production this year due to strong small mammal populations in the County.

Cougar hunting is open year around. The deadline to purchase a general season tag for the 2016 calendar year was Sept. 30. If you have already purchased the general season tag you may purchase an additional cougar tag at any time. Populations are healthy and distributed throughout the district in any area with a big game prey base. Cougars at this time of year are generally concentrated along with their primary prey of deer and elk. Don’t forget successful hunters must check-in cougars no more than 10 days after harvest; please bring cougar in thawed and with mouth propped open so that field staff can quickly process the animal and get you on your way.

KLAMATH COUNTY

WATERFOWL densities continue to decrease with temperatures consistently dipping below freezing at night creating fewer and fewer open water bodies. Diving duck species such as bufflehead, golden eye, and lesser scaup can still be found in significant numbers on Upper Klamath Lake. Canada geese remain in the Basin as well and can be found near open water bodies and warm water springs. Check regulations for intermittent duck and goose season closures at this time of year.

Forest Grouse season continues through Jan. 31. Best prospects are in the Cascade Mountains for both blue and ruffed grouse, although fair numbers of blue grouse can be found in forested habitat in eastern Klamath County.

Cougar - Hunting is open. Populations are healthy and distributed throughout the district in any area with a big game prey base. Deer and elk are now occupying higher elevation summer ranges. Deer fawns and elk calves will be born over the next several weeks in these areas and hunters may find success calling cougars using fawn in distress vocalizations. Don’t forget successful hunters must check-in cougars no more than 10 days after harvest; please bring cougar in thawed and with mouth propped open so that field staff can quickly process the animal and get you on your way.

COYOTE hunting opportunities are improving as coyotes are now more concentrated at lower elevation areas where big game animals are wintering. Be aware that bobcats and cougars may respond to predator calls, and separate licensing and open season limitations exist for these species. Please consult the annual hunting synopsis for further information.

KLAMATH WILDLIFE AREA

Updated December 6, 2016

Hunters must obtain a self-serve permit available at the check station on Miller Island Road if hunting on the Miller Island Unit. The “B” half of the permit must be filled out completely and returned when done hunting for the day.

Deer season is closed on Klamath Wildlife Area Miller Island Unit.

No permit is required if hunting on Shoalwater Bay, Sesti Tgawaals, or Gorr Island. Non-toxic shot is required for hunting on all units of the Klamath Wildlife Area.

Posted safety zones are closed to all hunting.

Miller Island Unit

The Miller Island Unit is located 6 miles south and west of Klamath Falls. The Miller Island Unit is open to hunting on authorized hunt days, every Monday, Wednesday and Saturday (please see the 2016-17 Oregon Game Bird Regulations for more information) on a first-come, first-served basis by permit.

Gorr Island Unit

Gorr Island is located four miles south of the Miller Island Unit in the Klamath River, accessible only by boat. Gorr Island is open daily with no permit required during authorized seasons.

Shoalwater Bay Unit and Sesti Tgawaals Unit

Shoalwater Bay and Sesti Tgawaals are both located on the west side of Upper Klamath Lake approximately 10 miles to the north and west of Klamath Falls. Shoalwater Bay and Sesti Tgawaals Units are both open for hunting daily with no permit required during authorized seasons.

Waterfowl and Upland Hunting Information

WATERFOWL hunters are reminded that Canada goose season is closed starting Nov. 28 through Dec. 11 and white goose and white-fronted seasons are closed starting Nov. 28 thru Jan. 15.

Weekly harvest statistics can be found at: ODFW Klamath Wildlife Area Harvest Summaries Waterfowl hunting during the eighth week of the season was extremely poor with a 1.08 waterfowl/hunter average. Waterfowl numbers on Miller Island Unit decreased to very few birds due to stormy/cold weather conditions. Approximately 99% of the area was frozen and conditions are expected to stay the same. Decent duck hunting is most likely done for the year, however Canada goose hunting could get better as the season progresses. . Pheasant hunting for the week ended with a 0.10 upland/hunter average. Pheasants have not been released since November 8, 2016 and no more pheasant releases are planned.

A Wildlife Area Parking Permit is now required to park on the Wildlife Area. Cost is $10 daily or $30 annually. Free with purchase of hunting license; just be sure to put it on your dashboard. Buy online or at an ODFW office that sells licenses or at a license sales agent.

Overnight camping is not allowed on the Miller Island Unit. If you have any questions, please contact Klamath Wildlife Area at (541) 883-5734.

If you have any questions, please contact Klamath Wildlife Area at (541) 883-5734.

LAKE COUNTY

Did you know there are some rules for using a hunting blind on BLM land? Here’s more info

Fall BEAR season closes Nov. 30.

Youth antlerless ELK hunts runs through Dec. 31. All Rifle Elk seasons in the county are limited entry. The second season opened Nov. 5th. Elk populations throughout the county are low when compared to the rest of the state. Due to those low numbers, hunter success has also been correspondingly low.

Cougar populations are good and most individuals are still at higher elevation summer range along with deer, their primary prey item. Cougars will move to lower elevations as deer migrate to winter range. Finding a fresh kill and then calling in the vicinity is the best option for harvesting a cougar.

Coyote hunting is available throughout the district. The effectiveness of prey distress calls will increase through the fall. Be aware that bobcats and cougars may respond to predator calls, and separate licensing and season limitations exist for these species.

Waterfowl season continues though there are intermittent goose closures for the next few weeks, see regulations. The larger lakes on Fremont National Forest have good water and will hold birds until freeze up. Most of the major lakes in the county are dry or very low. Crump Lake has average water levels for this time of year and there is a little water on the north end of Hart Lake, but access is limited due to extensive mud flats. The Warner Wetlands and all the Lakes north of Hart Bar are dry. Lake Abert water levels are very low which results in high salinity. There are a few Canada Geese and ducks using the fresh water springs along the edge of Lake Abert.

Upland Bird seasons continue. Early reports from Chukar hunters is of bird numbers better than last year. California Quail numbers appear to be slightly lower than last year. Most quail are found on private land and hunters must get prior permission for access.

SUMMER LAKE WILDLIFE AREA

Updated Dec. 6, 2016

Eighth week of the game bird hunting season success was above average for ducks, geese were closed and fair for upland game birds.

A total of 61 hunters checked-in, which was down 37.1% from the same week last year.

They reported (with 93.4 check-out) the total harvest of 194 birds (184 ducks (30 Am. Wigeon, 66 mallards, 32 gadwall, 17 N. pintail, 13 N. shoveler, 9 Am. Green-winged teal, 10 bufflehead, and 7 individuals of 4 other species), Geese seasons were and remain closed, 9 upland birds (8 California quail and 1 ring-necked pheasant and 1 Snipe).

This resulted in a bird per hunter average of 3.53 for the eighth week which was up 111.2% compared to last year. Duck per hunter average was 3.35 compared to 1.45 last year (up 130.1%) and goose per hunter average was 0.00 compared to 0.06 during the same week in 2015 (Geese seasons were closed this week).

A majority of the hunters were focused on decoy hunting ducks, and as a result the success rate for most hunters was well above average. Upland hunting pressure remains low and only five hunters listed there primary hunting intent as upland for the eighth week. Upland hunting success for pheasant and quail can increase as the cold weather and snow concentrates them into thicker cover.

Prospects for the upcoming week should be fair. Forecasted weather calls for snow and rain throughout the week with cooler temperatures gradually warming into the weekend. Average numbers of ducks and geese are present for this time of the year, based on the last weekly count. A large portion of the wildlife area froze solid early in the week, which may result in decreasing duck numbers. The duck, merganser, snipe and coot hunting season is open again, following last week’s two day closure. The Cananda Goose season remains closed through December 11 and will reopen Monday, December 12. White-fronted and snow goose season remains closed and will not reopen until January 16.

The last weekly bird count (Nov. 30) found about 15,800 ducks and 2,400 geese on the Wildlife Area. The next weekly count will occur Wednesday, Dec. 07. Count information will be placed on the telephone answering machine and ODFW website that evening or the following day.

The majority of the wildlife area is now covered in ice and open areas will be a result of current, springs and waterfowl activity. The upcoming warming trend into the weekend will likely open up more of the wildlife area, as the ice remains thin at this time.

Hunters must obtain a free daily hunting permit that can be obtained at the Checking Station 1.3 miles south of the Town of Summer Lake. Permits may be obtained for 2 consecutive days (one for each day) at one time and check-out is required daily or at the end of the 2 day period.

Check-out is mandatory and can be accomplished by filling out and dropping the permit off in check-out boxes found at major access areas.

Please remember, if you have a Sports-Pac license; you will have had to return to a POS agent in order to update your waterfowl and upland Gamebird validations and complete the HIP validation. Federal Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamps (duck stamps) are required for hunters over 16 years and are available from US Post Offices and sometimes license agents. Stamps must be signed across the face in ink to be valid for hunting.

Non-toxic shot is required for all Game Bird hunting.

Please contact Summer Lake Wildlife Area at (541) 943-3152 or email martin.j.stlouis@state.or.us for additional information.

MALHEUR COUNTY

Upland Bird

Above average snow pack in higher elevations for December and January were favorable for rangelands and good for chukar production. Unfortunately precipitation was below average in March, April and May with above average temperatures, these conditions were not favorable for pheasants and quail in agricultural areas.

Chukar

Chukar surveys on established routes yielded 116 chukar per 10 miles and excellent production with 13.7 chicks per brood. This is a 159% increase from last year when 45 birds per 10 miles were measured and is 182% above the 10-year average of 40.9 birds per 10 miles.

The Succor Creek/Leslie Gulch area has only experienced limited recovery. The poor range conditions caused by an ongoing invasion of medusahead likely limits the ability of birds in this area to successfully raise broods. The most productive routes were South of Harper in the Cottonwood Canyon, Freezout/Dry Creek (west side of the Owyhee reservoir), Cottonwood Mountain and Brogan Canyon.

Fall green up is in full swing and chukar are scattered across the landscape. Although chukar counts are up birds are still difficult to find in lower elevation.

Pheasant

The surveys along established routes yielded 3.9 birds per 10 miles which is a 63% decrease in number of birds observed from last year’s survey and 48% below the 10-year average. Chick production was below average at 3.3 chicks per brood. Hunting prospects will vary depending on the farming practices in the area where you have permission to hunt. The outlying areas around Willow Creek and Vale have higher bird numbers than areas closer to Ontario and Nyssa.

There is very little public land pheasant hunting opportunity in the area and the few parcels that are available tend to get hunted daily. One option for private lands access is the Cow Hollow fundraiser to benefit the Cow Hollow Park.

California quail

Quail production was down in agricultural areas and fair in rangelands. Surveys on established routes showed 40 quail per 10 miles, down 29% over last year and 1% below the 10-year average. Production was good at 8.4 chicks per brood with similar production observed in rangelands. Overall quail populations still remain low in rangelands due to depressed populations from previous years.

Waterfowl

Mild weather has waterfowl scattered across the Treasure valley in irrigation ditches and rivers with migrating waterfowl just beginning to show up.

Remember not to pick up horns of bighorn sheep. These can only be taken with a valid tag. More info

Cougar hunting is open. Populations are healthy and distributed throughout the district in any area with a big game prey base. Successful hunters must check-in cougars no more than 10 days after harvest; please bring cougar in thawed and with mouth propped open for easier tissue sampling, teeth collection and tagging.

Coyote hunting is available throughout the district. Reproduction this year appears to be good which should enhance calling opportunities. Be aware that bobcats and cougars may respond to predator calls, and separate licensing and season limitations exist for these species.

Elk

East Beulah is an elk de-emphasis zone with liberal hunting seasons designed to control elk populations to help address historic and ongoing elk damage. This is not intended to be a quality hunting opportunity. Due to the open nature of the East Beulah elk move great distances to areas with less hunting pressure, because of this behavior elk may show up anywhere in the hunt unit through the hunting season.

High Desert Elk, for Malheur County most of the elk are found on the western side of the Owyhee unit and through the Malheur River unit. These elk are nomadic and prefer pastures that were not grazed by cattle that year and use distance as cover and avoid areas with higher road densities and use.


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SOUTHEAST ZONE WILDLIFE VIEWING

HARNEY COUNTY

Most migrant shorebirds and sandhill cranes have passed through the area for wintering areas further south. Look to agricultural lands near Burns for viewing opportunities of migrant Canada geese. Colder temperatures will cause remaining water bodies to freeze up nearly completely during the coming weeks, resulting in most waterbirds leaving the area. Wintering raptors have arrived and can be found soaring and feeding around agricultural fields throughout the Harney Basin.

As the fall season progresses, look for deer, elk, and antelope to remain active for longer periods of the day. Mule deer rut has begun and deer will beginning to transition to winter ranges. Deer will begin to move into lower elevations as severe weather events increase in frequency and daylight hours dwindle. This annual transition into winter ranges often makes large animals more visible, and may provide opportunities for viewers and photographers.

The mule deer rut is in full swing. The Malheur National Wildlife Refuge offers excellent viewing and photography of large bucks during this time of year. Viewers are reminded that the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in open, but the headquarters remains closed to visitors until further notice. 11/22/2016

Klamath Falls Area

Swans have arrived in the Klamath Basin offering excellent viewing and photographing opportunity. Swans have been reported on the Miller Island Wildlife Area as well as within the Lower Klamath Wildlife Refuge along State Line Road.

Rough-legged hawks are beginning to show up from northern breeding locations and are easily found foraging around agricultural areas throughout the basin. Red-tailed hawks and northern harriers are very common and can be observed in agricultural areas as well.

Bald eagles have begun moving into the Klamath Basin. Good areas to view wintering bald eagles are along Eagle Ridge and Shoalwater Bay accessed from Eagle Ridge Road from Highway 140. The Lower Klamath National Wildlife Refuge provides great viewing opportunities as well.

The Tule Lake and Lower Klamath National Wildlife Refuges offer excellent viewing opportunities during the fall. Shoalwater Bay located along Eagle Ridge accessed from Highway 140 is a great spot for viewing this time of year. Ducks, geese, and shorebirds are the main attraction now.

Mule deer migration is complete for the season and deer can be found concentrated on lower elevation winter ranges. Some key migration corridors and wintering areas are under restricted motorized access to protect the integrity of those areas during this critical time of year. Use caution driving near wintering areas, and please respect seasonal road closures.

As colder weather arrives, it’s a good time to stock your bird feeders. It’s also a good idea to clean your bird feeder periodically through the winter to reduce spread of diseases. 11/29/16

KLAMATH WILDLIFE AREA (Miller Island Unit)

Updated Dec. 6, 2016

Oct. 1-Dec. 31

Open to public use Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays from 0400 am to 1000 pm. Hunting is allowed only on these days during legal gamebird shooting hours. All other days are closed to all entry, except: public roads, parking areas, boat ramp, designated birding trail and designated dog training area.

Waterfowl

Flocks of Western Canada Geese can be found scattered across the area. The occasional white-fronted and snow goose can be found on the area, but most have already migrated south. Dabbling ducks are becoming more uncommon as winter weather has set in, but the occasional Northern shoveler, Northern Pintail, Mallard, Gadwall, American Green-winged Teal and American wigeon can still be seen on the area. Diver species such as canvasback, bufflehead, goldeneye, ruddy duck, ring-necked duck and scaup species are common on the Klamath river.

Several Tundra Swans were observed over the past week on several of the areas ponds.

Shorebirds, waders and other waterbirds

Shorebird numbers are extremely low to rare due to icy conditions. The occasional common snipe, killdeer and yellow species can be observed.

Great blue herons and American bitterns can still be located around open water.

There are still double-crested cormorant using the area, especially along the Klamath River.

American coot can be found scattered across the area.

Pied-billed and earedgrebes are found in some of the areas deeper ponds and along the Klamath River where water is open.

Raptors

Great horned and barn owls can be seen at dusk. Red-tailed hawks, rough-legged, northern harriers, cooper hawks, sharp-shinned, American kestrels, prairie falcons can be seen foraging throughout the wildlife area. The occasional peregrine falcon can also be observed using old power poles overlooking the wetlands.

Eagle species are becoming a more common site, but observations of them should increase as winter progresses.

Upland Game Birds

California quail and ring-necked pheasant can be found scattered around the old homesteads and the headquarters area.

Passerines

Mourning and Eurasian collared dove can be found scattered over the area. American and lesser goldfinches, house finches, mountain chickadees, American robins, black-billed magpies and Northern flickers continue to be a common site throughout the area. White-crowned and golden crowned sparrows are also common sites on the wildlife area.

Marsh wrens and song sparrows can be found in dense stands of tall emergent hard stem bulrush and broad-leaf cattail.

Overnight camping is not allowed on the Miller Island Unit.

If you have any questions, please contact Klamath Wildlife Area at (541) 883-5734.

LAKE COUNTY

The various raptor species present are a mix of summer and winter residents common to the county. The dry lake beds in the Warner Valley are the best place in the county to see these various raptors. Water levels have dropped on Lake Abert and subsequently salinity levels have increased. Most shore birds have moved out of the county Hart and Crump lakes have water this year and will provide some bird viewing opportunities until freeze up. 11/8/2016

SUMMER LAKE WILDLIFE AREA

This section was updated on Nov. 21, 2016.

Wildlife Area Parking permits are required for all users of Summer Lake Wildlife Area. Parking permits can be purchased at any ODFW license agent (pdf) or through the ODFW website. The cost is $10.00 daily or $30.00 annually and is valid on all ODFW Wildlife Areas. Locally, parking permits can be purchased at the Summer Lake Store, 1.3 miles north of Headquarters.

Motor vehicle access on major dike roads (Bullgate and Windbreak) and the Wildlife Viewing Loop closed beginning on Saturday Oct. 1 and will remain closed through the end of waterfowl hunting seasons on January 29, 2017.

Wildlife viewing opportunities are somewhat limited at this time due to game bird hunting seasons that are underway. Fall migration for many species is slowing down with declining numbers of most waterfowl, except for swans that are increasing on a weekly basis. Other waterbird and shorebird numbers are declining as most species have departed to wintering areas to the south.

Waterfowl

Waterfowl populations remain fairly strong, although some species have already departed towards wintering areas further south. Migrant swan numbers are increasing dramatically at this time. The weekly count conducted on Nov. 16th found about 24,000 ducks of 15 species.

Western Canada geese are widely distributed across the area, nearly 600 were counted. Greater white-fronted geese continue to stage in fair numbers, a pulse of migrants increased the count to over 800 during the past week. Lesser snow geese numbers remain fairly good for this time of the year, about 3,600 were present on the weekly count. Unfortunately, most are found in refuge/sanctuary areas or at the head of Summer Lake where viewing is difficult.

Migrant tundra swans continue to arrive and stage in good numbers. Nearly 3,500 were present last week, and their numbers are expected to increase. A few resident and non-breeding trumpeter swans remain widely scattered across the wildlife area, although migrant and wintering trumpeters are beginning to appear. Some of these birds are part of restoration efforts and will be neck-banded with green collars and white alphanumeric symbols. Viewers are encouraged to “read” the collars and report them to wildlife area personnel. Collars will have the Greek letter Theta (Ѳ) or the symbol “@” and two numerals that are read from the body toward the head.

Shorebirds, waders and other waterbirds

Fall migration is nearly over, but a fair variety of species is still present.
American coots are widely scattered across the entire wildlife area and remain numerous at this time, nearly 6,400 were counted. Virginia rails and soras continue to be found and heard in low numbers.

Sandhill cranes have departed the area.

Grebe numbers are low now, but eared, pied-billed, Clark’s and Western are commonly found at this time.

Gulls have largely departed the wildlife area, but a small number of individuals can still be found along with a few migrant Bonaparte’s.
Resident double-crested cormorants and American white pelicans have largely departed, none were found last week.

Black-crowned night-herons, great egret and great blue herons are present in very low numbers. American bittern have been seen on a regular basis.

Raptors and others

Northern harriers and red-tailed and Swainson’s hawks are common this time of the year. Bald and golden eagles, American kestrel, peregrine and prairie falcons can occasionally be found. Wintering rough-legged hawks are beginning to arrive. Migrant accipiters continue to move through the area now.

Great horned owls are found scattered across the entire wildlife area, especially in the trees at campgrounds. Common barn and sometimes short-eared owls can occasionally be observed near dusk.

Upland game birds

Good numbers of California quail can be found and a few pheasants can sometimes be observed, especially around old homesteads on the north end of the wildlife area.

Passerines

Eurasian collared doves remain very numerous at Headquarters Complex. Mourning doves are found in low numbers scattered across the wildlife area.

American and lesser goldfinches are being observed at Headquarters on a regular basis. Migrant passerines, especially sparrows can be found scattered across the entire wildlife area, especially around Headquarters and old homestead sites.

Red-breasted and sometimes red-naped sapsuckers as well as other woodpeckers can be found in the trees around Headquarters. Northern flickers remain very common, and wintering Townsend’s solitaires are becoming more abundant.

Marsh wrens and song sparrows can still be found in fair numbers in dense stands of hardstem bulrush and broad-leaved cattail along dikes and levees throughout the wetlands.

Migrant white-crowned, golden crowned and Lincoln’s sparrows and spotted towhees have been observed recently.

Blackbirds have largely departed the area, but a few individuals can still be found. Brewer’s blackbirds are fairly common at campgrounds and other upland sites.
Facilities and Access

Please remember: Calendar year 2016 parking permits are required through the end of the year! Summer Lake Wildlife Area requires a $10 daily parking permit or a $30 annual parking permit. Parking permits can be purchased at any Point of Sale Agent or through the ODFW website. Locally, parking permits can be purchased at the Summer Lake Store, 1.3 miles north of Headquarters.

Motor vehicle access on major dike roads (Bullgate and Windbreak) and the Wildlife Viewing Loop closed beginning on Saturday Oct. 1 and will remain closed through the end of waterfowl hunting seasons on Jan. 29, 2017.

Camping is permitted at four sites on the Wildlife Area. Campgrounds are primitive but each has vault toilets, trash barrels and a few picnic tables.

The Viewing Blind overlooking Schoolhouse Lake provides excellent opportunities to view waterbirds in this refuge area that is closed to hunting.

Habitat

The Area’s wetland units remain fairly well flooded. Ana River flows have increased and water levels in most wetland units are at high levels, creating ideal foraging conditions for migrant waterbirds, especially waterfowl.

Emergent marsh vegetation is beginning to enter senesce now and recent strong winds are starting to lodge-over bulrush and cattails.

Muskrats are becoming very active in constructing houses that are becoming more obvious by the day.

Summer Lake continues to increase in size due to increased inflow, shorter day length and decreased evapotranspiration. Increased water flow has created a substantial delta that is expanding in size at the head of Summer Lake and is supporting a very large number of migrant waterfowl.

Upland habitat remains in very good condition, forbs and grasses remain erect with an abundance of seeds. Planted tree and shrub species in plots and the orchard have produced a good amount of fruit and are providing excellent sheltered sites and food resources for wildlife.

The entire area remains open and ice/snow free at this time.

Please contact Summer Lake Wildlife Area at (541) 943-3152 or e-mail martin.j.stlouis@state.or.us for additional information.


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NORTHEAST ZONE: FISHING

Weekend fishing opportunities:

  • Steelhead on the Grande Ronde River with anglers now finding fish on a more consistent basis.
  • Fishing for steelhead on the John Day should be good below Service Creek.
  • Fall is a great season for trout and whitefish on the Wallowa River.

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 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.

Aldrich Ponds (Roosevelt and Stewart Lakes): trout

Aldrich Ponds are located on the Phillips W. Schneider Wildlife Management Area, located east of Dayville, OR. A WMA parking permit is required. The ponds are hike in access only (1.75 to 2-mile hike). Bag limit: 2 trout per day; see pg. 53 in the regulations book.

BULL PRAIRIE RESERVOIR: rainbow and brook trout

Bull Prairie Reservoir was stocked with trophy sized trout the last week of September, fishing is good. A campground and a boat launch are available. Bait, lures and flies are all producing.

GRANDE RONDE RIVER: trout, whitefish, bass, steelhead

Steelhead season is in full swing on the Grande Ronde and anglers are finally finding fish consistently with the most recent creel report indicating catch rates of about 10 hours/fish caught. Similar to other Columbia basin runs, the Grande Ronde stock is tracking below expectations this year.

On the upside, a large majority of the returning fish are two-salt meaning larger average size. Harvest is limited to three hatchery steelhead per day and must be recorded on the Combined Angling Tag. A Columbia River Basin Endorsement is also required.

HOLLIDAY PARK POND: rainbow trout

Holliday Park Pond was stocked with trophy sized trout the last week of September, fishing is good. An ADA fishing dock for anglers with disabilities is available.

HUNTER POND: hatchery rainbow trout

Hunter Pond was stocked with 150 one pound rainbow trout the last week of September. Fishing should be good.

From I-84 take Hwy. 244 towards Ukiah. At the Blue Mountains summit, turn left onto USFS Rd 5160. Proceed for approximately 3 miles to the Jct. of roads 5160 and 5155. Stay on 5160. Just past this Jct. on the right will be spur 710. Take this spur. The pond is just off 5160.

IMNAHA RIVER: trout, bass

Anglers are finding steelhead in the lower sections and some PIT-tagged fish have been detected in the river. Similar to other Columbia basin runs, the Grande Ronde stock is tracking below expectations this year. On the upside, a large majority of the returning fish are two-salt, meaning they are larger average size. Harvest is limited to three hatchery steelhead per day and must be recorded on the Combined Angling Tag. A Columbia River Basin Endorsement is also required.

JOHN DAY RIVER: wild steelhead, smallmouth bass

River flows are high enough for boating access on the lower river (John Day River flows). Steelhead are holding in the lower river and fishing will be good below Service Creek. The majority of the John Day steelhead are wild and must be released without removal from the water. There are however some hatchery steelhead strays in the river and anglers are encouraged to keep up to three hatchery fish per day. Fish are being caught on flies, jigs, lures and bait.

LONG CREEK POND, CAVENDER POND: trout

Cavender Pond was stocked with trophy-sized trout the last week of September; fishing is good.

LUGER POND: hatchery rainbow trout

Luger Pond was stocked with 150 one pound rainbow trout the last week of September.

MAGONE LAKE: rainbow and brook trout

The lake was stocked the second week of June with legal and trophy-sized trout and fishing is good.

McHALEY POND: rainbow trout

The pond has been stocked with legal-sized trout and fishing is good.

McKAY RESERVOIR: Warmwater species

Closed for the winter; area reopens March 1, 2017

MORGAN LAKE: rainbow trout

Closed to fishing Nov. 1.

OLIVE LAKE: rainbow trout, brook trout, and kokanee

Umatilla Forest Service has closed portions of Olive Lake due to a mechanical failure in the water release gate on Olive Lake Dam. The area closed to public entry is approximately one-half acre and will be signed, fenced and defined by a string of buoys extending from the dam into the water.

The campground and hiking trail around the lake remain open as well as all other water activities outside the restricted area, however the drop in the lake may impact access to the boat ramp and docks. The gate will remain open until the lake drops to a level where it is safe to repair, approximately 27 feet. ODFW will continue to monitor the situation.

PEACH POND (Ladd Marsh): rainbow trout

The pond was stocked with pounder and legal-sized rainbow trout mid-October.

ROULET POND: rainbow trout

The pond was stocked with pounder and legal-sized rainbow trout mid-October.

ROWE CREEK RESERVOIR: rainbow trout

Remains open all year. Fishing is fair for carryover and stocked trout.

TAYLOR GREEN POND: hatchery rainbow trout

Taylor Green Pond was stocked with 150 one pound rainbow trout the last week of September. Fishing is good. From Hwy. 203 at Union, turn left staying on Hwy. 203 towards Medical Springs. At the summit between Union and Medical Springs, turn left onto USFS Road 7700 (opposite snowpark area). Proceed East on 7700 road for about 9 miles to USFS Road 7740 on the right. Proceed on the 7740 road for about 1/4 mile. The rock pit pond are on the right.

UMATILLA RIVER: steelhead

For the week of Nov. 28 to Dec.4 steelhead anglers on the lower river averaged 5 hours/ steelhead landed. Anglers are concentrating on the river downstream of Threemile Dam.

Anglers can access fish counts at Threemile Dam fish counts. Flow data

WALLOWA COUNTY PONDS: rainbow trout

New to Kinney Lake this year, the lake in now open to fishing year-round and non-motorized watercraft are now allowed. The lake was stocked at the end of September and should fish well throughout the winter.

Salt Creek Summit still has fish available and they were actively rising during a recent visit by the local biologist.

WALLOWA LAKE: rainbow trout, kokanee, lake trout

As the fall and winter progresses the remaining stocked fish will begin switching to more natural food. Try natural baits and natural imitations to attract these fish. Bait should be either hung under a float or set just off bottom. Kokanee size appears to be improving with reports of fish in the 8 to 9-inch range and some fish as large as 12-inches.

WALLOWA RIVER: steelhead, mountain whitefish

Trout fishing should continue to be good through the fall in the Wallowa River. Mountain whitefish are also very abundant in the Wallowa and are readily caught on small bead-head nymphs.

Steelhead season opened Sept. 1. A few steelhead are available in the fall however the best fishing is in late winter and early spring. Harvest is limited to three hatchery steelhead per day and must be recorded on the Combined Angling Tag. A Columbia River Basin Endorsement is also required.

WILLOW CREEK RESERVOIR: trout

Fall and winter provide a good opportunity for trout fishing. The water level is at its lowest of the year, so most fishing is from the shore or with small boat. Anglers fish the lower end of the reservoir, with night crawlers and Powerbait on the bottom.


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NORTHEAST ZONE: HUNTING

OPEN: COUGAR, UPLAND BIRD, WATERFOWL

FALL TURKEY: Hunters with a Blue Mtn or Northeast unfilled fall turkey tag can hunt on private lands by permission from Dec. 1-31. Turkey hunting closef on public land on Nov. 30.

Wolves in Northeast Oregon

Wolves are protected by state law and it is unlawful to shoot them. Coyote hunters in northeastern Oregon need to take extra care to identify their target as wolves can look like coyotes, especially wolf pups in the mid-summer and fall. Please report any wolf sightings or wolf sign to La Grande office (541) 963-2138 or online with the Wolf Reporting Form.

Use the Oregon Hunting Map to see where to hunt.

BAKER COUNTY

Chukar, Hun, and California Quail - The season ends Jan. 31. Hunters should expect a good season similar to last years. Chukar numbers were up for a second year in a row.

Grouse season continues. Blue grouse can be found in the higher elevations while ruffed grouse are more common in wetter areas. Hunters should expect an average year for grouse.

Cougars can be found throughout Baker County but hunters should target areas with high concentrations of deer and elk. Setting up on a fresh kill or using distress calls can all be productive techniques. Hunters are required to check in the hide of any cougar taken, with skull and proof of sex attached.

Bear season ends November 30.

Coyote numbers are good throughout the district. Try calling in early morning and late afternoon. Remember to ask for permission before hunting on private properties.

GRANT COUNTY

Cougar hunting remains open. Successful hunters should remember that check-in of the hide with skull and proof of sex attached is mandatory; see the regulations for details.

Coyote numbers are good in most of the district. Coyotes may respond to distress calls. Try calling in the early morning and late evening.

Upland Game Bird number a good this year as brood routes indicate a good production year. Chukars can be found is steep areas along the South Fork John Day River. Turkeys are doing well but are scattered because of mild and wet condition with good green up throughout the county. The birds have not concentrated on private land like most years.

MORROW, GILLIAM AND WHEELER COUNTIES

Cougar hunting is open. Cougar are well distributed in our forested areas. Calling with distress calls or cougar vocalizations can be effective. However, locating a fresh, naturally made kill has the best chance of success.

The Coyote population is healthy with good numbers of coyotes available for those who wish to pursue them. Watch wind direction to help prevent giving away your location. Calling with game distress calls can be very successful.

UMATILLA COUNTY

Cougar are well distributed in forested areas of the Walla Walla, Mt. Emily, and Ukiah units. Hunters will have best success by finding a fresh naturally made kill and sitting on it, or by using predator calls. Some success has come from following tracks until the cougar is located.

Fall Turkey hunting continues to be good in forested areas of the Walla Walla, Mt. Emily, and Ukiah Units. The season will be closed on public lands on Dec. 1 and hunters will need to seek hunting permission on private lands in December. Good bets during that month would be McKay Creek, Texas Bar Creek, and Pearson Ridge in the Ukiah Unit.

WATERFOWL are in the Columbia Basin in adequate numbers with duck and goose hunting in river blinds producing some results. River hunting produces best when there is some wind to agitate the water. Field blinds near the Columbia River for geese are producing well especially when the river corridor is fogged in.

UPLAND GAME BIRDS including pheasant and quail continue to provide some good hunting as the season winds down. Wintery conditions are making birds set better for flushing dogs.

Coyote are numerous throughout the County and hunters should have good success calling. Remember to ask permission before hunting on private lands.

UNION COUNTY

Rifle Elk hunters can expect to find good numbers of animals in all Union County units. Spike hunters will find yearling bulls with cows in herds. Bull hunters should focus efforts on areas of steep terrain and heavy cover adjacent to water and feed. Older bulls often seek solitude to recover from the rut. All general seasons have ended.

Forest Grouse should be plentiful this season. Look for ruffs in moist canyon bottoms choked with Alder and Hawthorn trees. Blues can be found above 5000 feet elevation on ridge tops.

Fall turkey season continues for those hunters who already have a tag; tags for 2 Eastern Oregon hunts have sold out. Birds are plentiful everywhere in Union County. Hunt around water sources and in areas with wild fruit trees.

Cougars are common in Union County. Focus on game rich areas with long ridgelines or saddles that cats typically travel. Setting up downwind of a deer or elk killed by a cougar can be productive. Nonresident hunters can include a cougar tag with others tags for only $14.50. All cougars taken must be checked in within 10 days of harvest; call for an appointment before check in.

Coyote numbers are high throughout the district. Try calling in early morning and late afternoon. Remember to ask for permission before hunting on private properties.

Ladd Marsh Wildlife Area

Rains and late irrigation water has allowed us to get some water in most of our wetlands. Hunting has been decent with the majority of hunters getting birds and a few getting limits each week. The recent cold snap will extremely limit huntable areas. If La Grande receives a couple days of above freezing weather and wind, water will open up and hunters can have some great opportunities.

For more specific water conditions please call the office at 541 963 4954.

Hunting waterfowl in and around the grain food plots can be an alternative to hunting wetlands. The wildlife area is closed on Non hunt days but birds can be scouted from county roads.

Upland: Hunters are finding pheasants but success has been slow.

WALLOWA COUNTY

Elk: A few antlerless elk season are running now. Some elk have begun to move to winter ranges, however lack of snow cover at mid elevations means that many elk are still on or near their summer ranges.

Forest Grouse: Some ruffed grouse can still be found in draw bottoms with dense brush. Blue grouse are now moving up high into conifer trees to find buds to eat for the winter and so will be hard to find.

Cougar: Populations are moderate throughout Wallowa County. Most lions are taken incidental to other hunting; however, calling with fawn bleat, or locating a cougar kill and waiting for a cat to return are often successful techniques.

Coyote: Good numbers of coyotes can be found throughout Wallowa County. Calling coyotes with rabbit distress type calls has been effective for hunters. It is important to choose areas with abundant coyote sign and little human activity.


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NORTHEAST ZONE: WILDLIFE VIEWING

Baker County

Bighorn sheep can be seen in the Burnt River Canyon west of Durkee or along the Snake River Road south of Richland. The best viewing is in the early morning and late in the evening.

Winter bird species are starting to migrate through the area.

Bald and golden eagles can be seen along the Snake River. Take the Snake River Road between Richland and Huntington.

Deer and elk are returning to the valley to winter. Early in the morning and late in the afternoon are good times to view wildlife. Driving through the foothills of the Baker valley and through the Keating valley can turn up good numbers of deer.

Grant County

Bald Eagles are starting to move into the John Day Valley, they can be observed along Hwy 26 between Prairie City and Dayville.

Bighorn sheep may be viewed from the South Fork near the Murderers Creek road. Early mornings are your best chances for catching them out on the rocky outcrops.

Mule deer are in rut and big bucks can be seen along Hwy 26 just before dark. 11/15/2016

UNION COUNTY

Ladd Marsh Wildlife Area

Note: All visitors must have in their possession a free daily permit to access the wildlife area. Permits are available at several self-check-in stations at entry points and parking lots. Wildlife viewers and anglers also need a parking permit to park on the wildlife area. The $10 daily or $30 annual permit can be purchased online or at an ODFW office that sells licenses or at a license sales agent. Learn more about ODFW’s Wildlife Area Parking Permit Program.

The Tule Lake Unit, including the auto route, is closed to daily access. The area, and the rest of the wildlife area, is open Saturdays, Sundays, Wednesdays and holidays during the pheasant quail and waterfowl hunting seasons. The Glass Hill unit is open 7 days a week to foot and horse traffic only. Visitors are advised to carefully read posted signs and consult the wildlife area administrative rules. Rules that apply to all areas are at the top (at the link), and then scroll down to page 8, #635-008-120, for additional rules specific to Ladd Marsh. Dogs are not permitted within the Wildlife Area, including the Glass Hill Unit, on or off leash except during authorized game bird hunting seasons.

There are numerous quality viewing opportunities from county roads that pass through the area. Binoculars or a spotting scope will help as many animals are best viewed from a distance. As hunting seasons commence, wildlife viewers should be aware of other users and consider avoiding locations where hunters are set up.

Red-tailed hawks and northern harriers are more visible as trees lose their leaves. Great horned owls can often be seen on power poles at dawn or dusk. American kestrels are common throughout the area and are often seen hunting from perch sites.

White-crowned sparrows are present in good numbers and song sparrows are widespread and abundant. The first northern shrikes of the season have been seen along roadsides. A single prairies falcon was also observed using a power pole next to a county road.

As many as 300 tundra swans have been seen on the area recently. They have been using numerous ponds and wetlands across the area. Waterfowl numbers have increased, including a large flock of snow geese that has been using fields and wetlands in and around Ladd Marsh. 11/22/2016

UMATILLA COUNTY

Columbia Basin Wildlife Areas

Now that fall is upon us, the Columbia Basin wildlife areas will provide some quality birding opportunities throughout the day. Willow Creek and Coyote Springs Wildlife Areas are both found next to interstate 84 and the Columbia River and have excellent viewing for wetland and riparian obligate bird species. The upland areas are also available for savanna and shrub steppe species of birds. Willow Creek has an ample deer herd and the evidence of beaver activity can be seen on the Willow Creek delta area of the wildlife area.

The Irrigon Wildlife Area holds riparian and wetland habitat and hosts a number of species of birds associated with each habitat. One can see a number of waterfowl and wading bird species in the pothole pond areas. Painted turtles are also common in the pond areas. White pelicans can be commonly found along the Columbia River as well. Geese and ducks are beginning to build along the Columbia River and will be commonly trading back and forth along the river.

Umatilla County Uplands

Fall migration is over and the uplands and forested riparian areas will have a number of wintering birds using those areas.

Elk will be more common in the early morning and late afternoon in mid and lower elevation areas now that wintering conditions are in place. Roads moving upslope from the valley floor to the mountain areas would be best to see these animals.

WHITE-TAILED DEER are common along the foothills of the Blue Mountains and can be seen either early morning or evening in those areas. Mule deer are found in better numbers in the desert and mountain areas.

WALLOWA COUNTY

Common raptors in the open areas of the county in winter are red-tailed hawks, rough-legged hawks, prairie falcons, golden eagles, and occasionally gyrfalcons or snowy owls. Look for bald eagles and ospreys perched in the larger trees along Wallowa Lake shore or on power poles near water in the valley.

Many elk have returned to the Zumwalt Prairie now. Try driving the Zumwalt Road and looking carefully on distant ridge tops to the east, especially Long Ridge. These areas are county roads that run through private property, so please respect the landowner’s privacy and remain on the county road and park out of the traffic lanes while watching the elk. Once you find a herd, use binoculars or a spotting scope to observe the animals.

Many of the breeding season birds have moved south now, but we are getting a number of interesting migrants coming through from the north. Seen recently on Wallowa Lake were mallards, wigeon, mergansers, common loons, western grebes, pied-billed grebes, as well as both Barrow’s and common goldeneyes. Although the large flock of about 250 tundra swans that was resting on the Wallowa Lake last week has moved on, there are still a dozen or so swans there.  Other winter migrants include a large flock of about 300 grey-crowned rosy finches that was seen this week on Ant Flat Road near Enterprise. 11/29/16


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SNAKE RIVER ZONE: FISHING

BROWNLEE RESERVOIR: crappie, bass, perch, catfish, bluegill, trout

No recent fishing reports.

Call the Idaho Power Company’s recording at 1-800-422-3143 to get information on access at recreational sites. | Reservoir level information

OXBOW RESERVOIR: trout, crappie, bass, catfish

No recent fishing reports.

HELLS CANYON RESERVOIR: trout, crappie, bass, catfish

Approximately 500 steelhead have been outplanted into the reservoir, the expected total for this year. Per the Sportfishing Regulations, these are considered trout and no Combined Harvest Card or Columbia Basin Endorsement are required.

SNAKE RIVER below HELLS CANYON RESERVOIR: trout, steelhead, salmon, bass

The Snake River is closed to angling for fall Chinook salmon as of Nov. 17. Steelhead fishing is on and fish are available to anglers. Most of the Snake River steelhead stocks are lagging this year so fishing may be a bit slower. Steelhead will be available into the spring when the fishery closed on April 30.

Only barbless hooks may be used on this stretch of the Snake River while fishing for salmon, steelhead and sturgeon, and anglers should consult the 2015 Oregon Sport Fishing Regulations for other rules that may apply.

Updated information on flow levels

SNAKE RIVER (above Brownlee Reservoir): channel catfish, flathead catfish, smallmouth bass

No recent reports.

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COLUMBIA RIVER ZONE: FISHING

Weekend Fishing Opportunities:

  • The fall salmon season is open from Buoy 10 upstream to the Oregon/Washington Border above McNary Dam (see Sport Fishing Regulation Updates page for retention details).
  • Steelhead fair has been fair in Bonneville, The Dalles and John Day pools.
  • White sturgeon retention is closed from Buoy 10 upstream to the Oregon/Washington Border above McNary Dam, but remains an option for catch-and-release fishing.
  • Walleye fishing is excellent in the The Dalles and John Day pools.

Current Columbia River regulations for salmon, steelhead, shad and sturgeon can be found at the Sport Fishing Regulation Update page.

Salmon, Steelhead and Shad

The salmonid creel program on the lower Columbia has ended for the year and will resume February of 2017.

Bonneville Pool (Bonneville Dam upstream to The Dalles Dam): Weekly checking showed no catch for two bank anglers.

The Dalles Pool (The Dalles Dam upstream to John Day Dam): Weekly checking showed no catch for six bank anglers; and three steelhead kept, plus two steelhead released for five boats (nine anglers).

John Day Pool (John Day Dam to McNary Dam): Weekly checking showed no catch for three bank anglers; and seven steelhead kept, plus five steelhead released for 11 boats (25 anglers).

John Day Arm: Weekly checking showed one steelhead kept, plus four steelhead released for six boats (14 anglers).

McNary Pool (McNary Dam upstream to Oregon/Washington Border): Weekly checking showed no catch for 13 bank anglers; and no catch for five boats (13 anglers).

STURGEON

Lower Columbia River (below Bonneville Dam): Closed for retention. No report.

Bonneville Pool: Closed for retention. Weekly checking showed two sublegal sturgeon released for two bank anglers.

The Dalles Pool: Closed for retention. Weekly checking showed three sublegal and one legal white sturgeon released for two bank anglers.

John Day Pool: Closed for retention. No report.

WALLEYE

Bonneville Pool: No report.

The Dalles Pool (The Dalles Dam upstream to John Day Dam): Weekly checking showed 39 walleye kept for three boats (six anglers).

John Day Pool (John Day Dam to McNary Dam): Weekly checking showed five walleye kept, plus seven walleye released for one boat (one angler).


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MARINE ZONE: FISHING

Weekend Opportunities

  • Fishing for bottomfish in the ocean can be good in the winter, when weather allows.

Saltwater News Bulletins

You can subscribe to receive e-mails and text message alerts for marine topics you are interested in. It’s easy to unsubscribe at any time. Your phone and e-mail information will remain confidential. Six different lists of interest to ocean enthusiasts are available: Bottomfish (recreational), Halibut (recreational), Ocean Salmon (recreational), Ocean Salmon (commercial troll), Commercial Nearshore Groundfish, and Marine Reserves.

Continuing this week, a subsample of Oregon fishing license holders will be asked to participate in a survey to collect information about their recreational saltwater fishing experiences. Those that are contacted are encouraged to participate. All responses are important, even if you have not been saltwater fishing in the last 12 months. Information from this study will be used to improve the monitoring of Oregon’s fishing activity and improve the stewardship of marine resources. The survey is funded by NOAA’s Marine Recreational Information Program (MRIP) and is being carried out in partnership with Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission (PSMFC).

OCEAN SALMON

The ocean recreational salmon fishery off Oregon is currently closed. Please stay tuned for updates on the 2017 seasons. Details, including regulations, and more information on ocean salmon seasons.

BOTTOM FISHING

Weather has been limiting bottomfish fishing the last several weeks. For those few who have ventured out, there was some success with lingcod and rockfish.

The recreational bottomfish (a.k.a. groundfish) fishery is open at all depths through March, with the exception of the Stonewall Bank Yelloweye Rockfish Conservation area, approximately 15 miles west of Newport, which is closed to bottomfish and halibut fishing year round.

Beginning January 1, 2017 vessels fishing for bottomfish will be required to have onboard a functioning rockfish descending device, and use it to descend any rockfish released when fishing deeper than 30 fathoms. ODFW continues to encourage anglers to use a descending device when releasing any rockfish with signs of barotrauma. Signs of barotrauma, such as bulging eyes and a gut protruding from the mouth, are reversible when fish are returned to depth with a descending device. Use a descending device to safely return fish to a depth of 60 feet or more. Even fish that are severely bloated can survive after being released at depth. For more information and videos, please see the rockfish recompression webpage.

New bag and sub-bag limits for 2017: To stay within Federal allocations, and try to provide for year-round fishing opportunities, there are some changes to daily bag limits. Canary rockfish has rebuilt and is now part of the regular 7 fish marine bag limit (no sub-bag limit). Black rockfish will have a sub-bag limit of 6 fish (out of the 7 fish daily bag, no more than 6 may be black rockfish). There is a 4 fish sub-bag limit for blue/deacon, China, copper, and quillback rockfish combined (out of the 7 fish marine bag, no more than 4 may be these species combined). The bag limit for lingcod remains at 2 fish and flatfish species, other than Pacific halibut, remains at 25 fish. Several handouts, including “What Can I Keep, and How Many?” (which will be updated for 2017 next week) and species identification tips, are available on the ODFW sport bottomfish webpage.

Reminder the Cabezon season closes December 31, 2016. It will reopen July 1, 2017.

Deacon rockfish was formerly referred to as the solid version of blue rockfish. What does that mean for anglers? Nothing in 2016. Every rule that refers to blue rockfish (like the daily bag limit of 3 in 2016) now applies to blue rockfish and deacon rockfish combined.

PACIFIC HALIBUT

Recreational halibut fishing in all Oregon subareas are now closed for the remainder of 2016. This year, anglers were able to catch approximately 95% of the Oregon recreational quota of just over 220,000 pounds. The 2017 quota will be determined in early January 2017.

TUNA

Tuna fishing has basically ceased at this time of year as stormy ocean conditions keep anglers off the ocean, and most fish are now out of range of most recreational anglers.

SHORE AND ESTUARY FISHING

There are many fishing opportunities from shore and inside the bays and estuaries of the Oregon coast. Public piers provide opportunities to catch surfperch, baitfish and bottomfish, see section above on bottomfish for new bag and sub-bag limits for 2017. Rocky ocean coastline and jetties provide the ideal habitat for greenling, rockfish, cabezon, and lingcod. These areas are often fished by boat and from shore, and can be targeted with rod and reel or spear gun.

When fishing from shore or inside estuaries and bays, it is important to check the tide. Many fish that swim into estuaries and bays, including salmon, surfperch, and Pacific herring, tend to come in with the tide. Rockfish, greenling and cabezon generally take cover during strong incoming and outgoing tides. Catch of these species is more likely to occur closer to slack tide. Additionally, the accessibility of some areas can be completely dependent on the tide. Do not allow the incoming tide to become a safety hazard.

Surfperch

Surfperch are a diverse group of fish that provide a variety of angling opportunities. Striped seaperch are found year-round in rocky areas like jetties; and ocean surf is the place to find redtail surfperch and silver perch. Surfperch Fishing (pdf).

The bag limit for surfperch is generous at 15 per day. However, a lot remains unknown about the status of surfperch populations off the Oregon Coast, so, as usual, take only what you will use.

Herring

The many bird species currently in the Yaquina Bay have been observed feeding on baitfish, however the fish were not identified to species.

SHELLFISH

Call the ODA shellfish safety hotline at 1-800-448-2474 before harvesting for the most current information about shellfish safety closures. Additional information is available from ODA’s Food Safety Program at (503) 986-4720 or the ODA shellfish closures website. Openings and closures listed below were accurate on Dec. 6.

For everything you need to know about identifying and harvesting Oregon’s shellfish, including maps of individual estuaries that show where to crab and clam, see the recreational shellfish pages on the ODFW website.

Mussels

The recreational harvest of mussels is open coastwide.

Razor Clams

NOTICE: Razor clams are closed along the entire Oregon coast due to elevated levels of domoic acid. This includes all beaches and bays.

Bay Clams

Bay clamming is open along the entire Oregon Coast from the Columbia River to the California border. Check the ODFW Shellfish website for where and when to harvest your favorite bivalves. Updated maps on where to clam. Beginning Dec. 11, there will be some great “after-work” bay clamming opportunities. Pack a bucket, shovel and a lantern and head to the bay for the evening low tides.

Crabs

Crabbing is closed in the ocean and bays from Tillamook Head, near Seaside, south to Floras Creek (just north of Port Orford) due to elevated levels of domoic acid detected in crab viscera. This closure includes Dungeness and red rock crab harvested in bays and estuaries, off docks, piers, jetties, and the ocean. Testing of Dungeness crab viscera will continue weekly as conditions allow.


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MARINE WILDLIFE VIEWING

Gray whales are always a treat to see and can often be spotted off the central and south coasts. It is common for gray whales to migrate to and from summer feeding grounds in the Bering Sea, passing by the Oregon coast.

Look for whales as they surface to blow, a spout 6-12 feet high, depending on sex. Gray whales usually surface to breath 3-5 times, then make a deep feeding dive, often with tail flukes visible, lasting 3-5 minutes. The best time to view whales is on calm days when whale spouts cannot be confused with whitecaps. Look for whales as they surface to blow air and occasionally flip their tails above the water. Don’t forget to bring binoculars!

Numerous brown pelicans, harlequin ducks, scoters, loons, grebes, guillemots, auklets, and cormorants were recently spotted near the Yaquina Bay south Jetty. This location is also great for observing harbor seals. Bird viewing tips are available from the US Fish and Wildlife Service. Another great source for birders is the Oregon Coast Birding Trail website, which includes self-guided itineraries for any area of the Oregon Coast and a species checklist.

All kinds of wonderful creatures – gumboot chitons and ribbed limpets, for example – can be viewed along the shoreline. The Oregon State Parks tidepools website has information on where and when to explore, what you can expect to see, and safety tips.

Additional coastal viewing ideas for marine wildlife are found on the ODFW wildlife viewing map.


Questions? Contact odfw.info@state.or.us or 503-947-6000 | ODFW Website

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