OREGON DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND WILDLIFE

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Welcome to the ODFW Recreation Report - March 28, 2017

Fishing, Hunting and Wildlife Viewing

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


First of several Free Fishing Days will take place April 22-23

Anglers and would-be anglers can enjoy a weekend of free fishing on April 22-23. On these two days, Oregonians and visitors can fish, crab and clam for free anywhere in Oregon without a license, tag or endorsement. This is the first of eight Free Fishing days in Oregon this year. Additional free days are June 3-4, Nov. 25-26, and Dec. 31-Jan. 1.

Spring bear hunting season begins

Seasons open April 1 and April 15. With the above average snow pack this year, biologists expect hunting to be slow in the early part of the season.

Reel in trout with the family at an ODFW Family Fishing Event

ODFW’s Outdoor Skills Program will host 28 Family Fishing Events at locations across Oregon this year. These events offer personalized fishing opportunities at stocked ponds across Oregon, with ODFW staff and volunteers on-site to provide equipment and instruction tailored to beginning anglers, all free of charge. Check out the online schedule for an event near you.

Put coastal spring Chinook on your radar

Late March and early April is when spring Chinook begin to enter the Umpqua and Rogue rivers. Keep an eye out for updates in the SW Zone.

Learn to hunt and fish

Steelhead fishing, turkey hunting clinics coming up. See www.odfwcalendar.com for latest classes.

Tips for ethical shed hunting

Oregon had a real winter this year so it’s more important than ever to shed hunt ethically. Respect access closures and motor vehicle restrictions or even consider delaying shed hunting till spring. More information here

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NORTHWEST ZONE: FISHING

Weekend fishing opportunities:

  • The Nestucca, Trask, and Wilson rivers are dropping into shape and may offer some decent steelhead fishing by the weekend.
  • The following North Coast locations were stocked last week with hatchery trout: Cape Meares Lake, Coffenbury Lake, Cullaby Lake, Devil’s Lake, Hebo Lake, Lake Lytle, Loren’s Pond, Nedonna Pond, Seaview Lake, Smith Lake, South Lake, Spring Lake, Tahoe Lake, Town Lake, and Vernonia Pond. Lorens Pond was stocked this week, and access has been restored.

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.

NORTH COAST LAKES

Most of the North Coast lakes were stocked with trout this week. Water temps are great and fish should be hungry, so go catch them!

So far this season, Town Lake near Pacific City has been stocked with nearly 200 surplus summer steelhead from Cedar Creek Hatchery. In addition, 66 early run winter steelhead were released there on Jan. 11. Nehalem Hatchery released 200 surplus winter steelhead into Vernonia pond, 57 into Lost Lake and 60 into Lake Lytle. 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 began the week of March 20 in most district lakes. The 2017 trout stocking schedule is available online.

MID COAST LAKES

The trout stocking schedule for 2017 is available online and trout have been stocked in some lakes. Fishing for the various warm water fish species are slow as water temperatures remain cold. There are numerous lakes in the Florence area that can provide good opportunity.

ALSEA RIVER AND BAY: steelhead

Steelhead fishing is open on the Alsea River and listed tributaries. Fishing has picked up on the north fork around the hatchery. Casting spinners, drifting bait or using a bobber and jig can be effective.

KILCHIS RIVER: steelhead

The Kilchis is in good shape. Fishing has been a little slow but there are steelhead throughout the system.

NECANICUM RIVER: steelhead

The Necanicum should be in decent shape this week. Mostly wild fish are in the catch this time of year, along with a few dark hatchery fish.

NEHALEM RIVER: steelhead

This year’s weather is definitely putting the “winter” in winter steelhead fishing. The Nehalem is high and muddy and may be that way through the weekend. Check current river levels before heading out. Steelhead should be well distributed in the system by now.

The Salmonberry River should produce some good fishing opportunity as we approach the peak of the run. Anglers are reminded to check with the Port of Tillamook Bay about access along the railroad right of way.

The North Fork Nehalem has some opportunity for mostly wild steelhead this time of year, although the occasional hatchery fish is still present.

NESTUCCA RIVER AND THREE RIVERS: steelhead

The Nestucca is high and off color again but should be dropping into shape for the weekend. This is generally a good time of year to be on the Nestucca and there should be hatchery fish and wild fish throughout the system. All the usual techniques such as side drifting, float fishing, drift fishing, or pulling plugs or divers and bait should be effective. During high water use brighter colors and larger presentations.

Three Rivers hatchery fish should be winding down this time of year but this small tributary will drop and clear much quicker than the Nestucca and could be a good option for bank fishing this week.

SALMON RIVER: steelhead

The Salmon River is open for wild and hatchery steelhead. Fishing is fair. 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

Steelhead fishing is fair. Drift boaters are having success from Moonshine Park to Siletz and bank anglers are catching hatchery fish in the Siletz gorge. Casting spinners, drifting bait or using a bobber and jig can be effective.

SIUSLAW RIVER: Chinook, steelhead

The Siuslaw River and Lake Cr. are open for hatchery winter steelhead. Fishing is fair. Casting spinners, drifting bait or using a bobber and jig can be effective.

TRASK RIVER: steelhead

When conditions have been good, the Trask has been fishing well this season. It should be dropping into shape mid-week and through the weekend. Check the river levels before heading out this weekend. There are steelhead throughout the system. During high water use brighter colors and larger presentations. The Trask has mostly wild fish, but the occasional hatchery fish is caught.

WILSON RIVER: steelhead

Fishing has been a little slow the past week, mostly due to the high water (again!), but the Wilson should be dropping into prime shape by mid-week and into the weekend, and there are plenty of hatchery and wild fish throughout the system. It’s always a good idea to check the river levels before heading out. There are still some big fish coming off the Wilson this year. All the usual techniques such as side drifting, float fishing, drift fishing, or pulling plugs or divers and bait should be effective. During high water use brighter colors and larger presentations.

YAQUINA RIVER: steelhead

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


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NORTHWEST ZONE: NORTH COAST HUNTING

OPEN: COUGAR

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.


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NORTHWEST ZONE: NORTH COAST WILDLIFE VIEWING

Wintering ducks, geese, coots and grebes are on North Coast estuaries and lakes are still present in good numbers. Most of the ducks are dabblers, such as pintails, widgeon and mallards, and are usually seen on mudflats or in shallow tidal areas during lower stages of the tides. When pastures are flooded, many of these dabblers will seek them out for foraging. Look for diving ducks (e.g. scaup, buffleheads and ring-necked ducks) on lakes or deeper parts of estuaries. Last, but not least, are the sea ducks, such as scoters, which are found on the lowest parts of the estuaries, near the confluence with the ocean. A good pair of binoculars are generally all that is needed to find and identify the birds by species.

Late March kicks off the spring whale-watching season, when gray whales start their migration from the warm waters of southern California and Baja to the food-rich waters of the Bering Sea. There are many locations on the north coast to observe these migrating giants of the sea, including (but not limited to) Cape Kiwanda and Cape Lookout (near Pacific City), Cape Meares (near Oceanside), Neah-Kah-Nie Mtn. and Cape Falcon (north of Manzanita), and Silver Point and Tillamook Head (near Cannon Beach). During the last week of March, the Oregon Parks and Recreation Dept. hosts Whale Watching Spoken Here, a program where trained volunteers help visitors find whales from some the above-mentioned sites and others. Regardless of how you go about it, if you’re interested in watching the whales, bring a good pair of binoculars and/or a spotting scope. Whales can be seen off of the Oregon coast well into April.

TILLAMOOK COUNTY

Brant are a type of goose that are only seen in shallow estuaries where there is a lot of eelgrass – their favorite food. On the north coast, they prefer Netarts Bay because of its relatively undeveloped nature, where you can find them in the far southwestern corner of the estuary. Brant also use the more remote western portion of Tillamook Bay on occasion where eelgrass flats are abundant. A spotting scope is a must for viewing these birds.

Three Arch Rocks National Wildlife Refuge near Oceanside is often home to bald eagles and peregrine falcons roosting there during the winter months, looking for prey. Another common resident to the refuge on the small rock on the east side of the refuge (Seal Rock) is a group of Steller sea lions. A cousin to the smaller and darker California sea lion, they spend almost all of their time there when they’re not feeding in ocean waters. Binoculars are generally adequate for viewing, but spotting scopes are helpful in finding the peregrines.

CLATSOP COUNTY

The Twilight Bald Eagle Sanctuary is located just off Hwy. 30 on Burnside Road, near the community of Svensen. During the winter, bald eagles can be seen roosting in large trees along the edge of Columbia River’s Wolf Bay. The bay also holds a lot of wintering waterfowl, including both dabblers and divers. Great blue herons are also common in the marsh areas. The facility has a good viewing platform that even illustrates some of local history, such as the Lewis and Clark Expedition. Bring your spotting scope to optimize your viewing experience.

Jewell Meadows Wildlife Area

Elk viewing has been excellent at Jewell Meadows Wildlife Area. Although elk have been visible throughout the day on the Fishhawk Tract, best viewing times are from about 9 a.m. to noon. Good places to look are the Fishhawk Tract along Hwy. 202 and the Beneke Tract along the first 1.5 miles on Beneke Creek Road. Brochures with maps of the area are available at the main viewing area kiosk along Hwy. 202.

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

Wildlife Area Parking Permits are required on the Jewell Meadows Wildlife Area.

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SOUTHWEST ZONE: FISHING

Weekend fishing opportunities:

  • Spring Chinook season on the mainstem Umpqua River should be starting up soon – a few anglers already are trying their luck.
  • April is when we usually see good numbers of spring chinook entering the lower Rogue.
  • Trout fishing has been good on Garrison Lake, where this past weekend both boat and bank anglers were catching trout up to 3 pounds.
  • Several area lakes have been stocked already this year. Check the SW Zone stocking schedules for details.

Ice-fishing safety

The moderating weather conditions have been having an impact on ice conditions in many areas. With ice thinning and starting to pull away from shore, anglers should be increasingly cautious when stepping out on the ice. Take the following precautions: use the “buddy system,” wear a PFD in case of thin ice, carry a throw-rope, and use a heavy metal staff to check for thin-ice. REMINDER: The state of Oregon does not allow human-made ice holes larger than 12-inches in diameter or length.

If your favorite fishing spot is no longer listed

It could be the area is closed, inaccessible due to mud or snow, 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

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

The lake is 100 percent full and the boat ramp is open from dawn until dusk. Fishing for warmwater should start picking up with the warmer weather.

APPLEGATE RESERVOIR: largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, trout

Trout fishing has been fair to good. Anglers have been catching trout up to 16-inches. 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 currently filling and all boat ramps are accessible.

APPLEGATE RIVER: winter steelhead, trout

The Applegate River is open for trout and steelhead fishing until the end of March. Unfortunately, releases from the dam have increased, making it difficult to fish. Only hatchery steelhead may be retained and anglers must take care in releasing wild fish. Wild trout must be released unharmed.

ARIZONA POND: rainbow trout

The pond level is back to full and ODFW has stocked some trophy trout. The pond is scheduled to receive numerous stockings through the spring. This pond is managed by Oregon State Parks for youth-only fishing. It is located at Arizona Beach State Recreation Site, approximately half way between Gold Beach and Port Orford.

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

Ben Irving has been stocked two times this year totaling over 4,000 legal-size trout. There are still opportunities to catch carryover fish, as well. Warmwater fishing for bass, crappie and bluegill will improve with increasing temperatures.

CHETCO RIVER: winter steelhead

Anglers have only a couple of more days before steelhead season closes on the river. The river closes to fishing April 1 until it re-opens May 22.

COOPER CREEK RESERVOIR: rainbow trout, bass, bluegill

Cooper Creek has been stocked several times this year, including several hundred trophy trout. Fishing for bass and bluegill will improve with increasing temperatures. Cooper Creek was recently stocked with several hundred trophy-size trout and received another stocking this past week with legal-size trout.

COOS COUNTY LAKES/PONDS: trout

Excess hatchery steelhead have been stocked into Saunders Lake, Middle Empire, and Lower Empire lakes. Fishing regulations for these stocked steelhead in Empire Lakes and Saunders Lake are just like the trout regulations: anglers can keep 1 fish over 20-inches per day and only need their fishing license.

Trophy trout were stocked last week in Bradley Lake, Empire lakes, and Johnson Mill Pond. Fishing for trophy trout was good in Empire Lakes this past week for anglers using small spinners or using Powerbait.

ODFW is implementing a tag reward trout study on Empire Lakes for 2017 in which anglers will be asked to report tagged trout that are caught. Anglers can report tags on the ODFW website. Some of the tags will be worth a $50 gift card. This study is an effort by ODFW to compare stocking of “larger” trout to last year’s stocking of “legal” size trout.

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

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

A few steelhead are still being caught in the Coos basin. Most fish are dark and ready to spawn. Rivers in the Coos basin are open to steelhead fishing until April 30. Anglers fishing the South Fork Coos River above Dellwood will need a permit from Weyerhaeuser and should check with the Dellwood office on how long the fishing permits are valid. In the Coos basin, one additional hatchery steelhead may be retained per day for a total aggregate of three adult fish harvested daily.

Anglers are still catching a few rockfish and surfperch 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). The 7 fish marine bag limit will remain in place, with these adjustments for 2017: Create a sub-bag limit of 6 black rockfish, Remove the sub-bag limit for canary rockfish, Add China/quillback/ copper rockfishes to the sub-bag limit with blue/Deacon rockfish and change the limit from 3 to 4. Finally remove the 10-inch minimum size for kelp greenling. Retention of cabezon is not allowed until July 1.

Recreational crabbing is open inside the Coos Bay estuary. Crabbing has been slow to decent in Coos Bay but crabbers will need to sort through several short crab to find keepers. Crabbing from a boat has been better than crabbing from the dock but dock crabbers are picking up a few legal crabs.

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 closed until May 22.

Steelhead fishing is open in the Coquille Basin rivers until April 30. Anglers have been catching a few steelhead yet on the South Fork Coquille River. In the Coquille basin, one additional hatchery steelhead may be retained per day for a total aggregate of three adult fish harvested daily.

Recreational crabbing is open in the Coquille estuary but crabbing is very slow due to the large amounts of freshwater coming downstream.

DIAMOND LAKE: trout

As part of the 2016 regulation simplification process, Diamond Lake is now back to the Southwest Zone regulation of 5 rainbow trout per day.

Anglers that are planning on taking a trip to Diamond Lake should check with the Umpqua National Forest (541-498-2531) for information on seasonal camp and ramp closures. 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. Diamond Lake is open year-round and ice fishing can be a fun pastime during this season.

There are plenty of legal-sized holdover trout currently in the lake from previous years’ stockings, and there have been reports of anglers catching trout through the ice. Standard ice fishing jigs, bait such as worms, and Powerbait should provide anglers excellent opportunities for catching trout at Diamond. Make sure to contact Diamond Lake Lodge for the most up-to-date report on ice conditions. 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 and unharmed if caught.

ELK RIVER: steelhead

Anglers have only a couple of more days before steelhead season closes on the river. The river closes to fishing April 1 until it re-opens May 22. River conditions continue to be excellent for some late season steelhead fishing. Boat anglers are reporting a mix of fresh and spawned out steelhead. Anglers can call 541-332-0405 to get the daily river conditions. Best river height is 5.3 feet and dropping.

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

Trout fishing at Emigrant got a jump start last week when it was stocked with 1,000 legal-sized rainbow. Emigrant Reservoir is currently at 90 percent of capacity. Fishing for warmwater species should start picking up with the warmer weather.

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

Expo was stocked with 1,500 legal-sized rainbow recently and was stocked with 1,500 legal-sized rainbow trout in late fall. Fishing should be good.

ODFW will be stocking rainbow trout in the pond that is located directly adjacent to the access road at Gate 5. This is the site that has been stocked with trout for many years. Last year, because of construction, ODFW was forced to stock a different pond.

Anglers at Expo Pond will now be fishing within an RV Park developed by Jackson County. Parking is available to the right as you drive in at Gate 5 at the fairgrounds.

Access from Gate 1.5 will get you to the southernmost pond, which was stocked earlier this year with rainbow trout. 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

The lake is partially frozen and the ice is beginning to melt. However, 900 trophy trout were released last fall and fishing should get better as the weather warms. The reservoir is now 59 percent full.

Anglers must remember that Sno-Park permits are needed between Nov. 1 and April 30. Rainbow trout, brook trout, landlocked spring Chinook salmon and tiger trout are available. Anglers are encouraged to report catches of larger spring Chinook or tiger trout to the local ODFW district office at 541-826-8774. Tiger trout must be released unharmed.

FLORAS LAKE: rainbow, cutthroat trout

Trout fishing is picking up with warmer water and better weather conditions. The 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

Galesville has been stocked three times in 2017 with legal-size trout and with a few trophy-size trout. In addition to trout, the reservoir has been stocked with coho smolts 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.

Fishing for bass and other panfish will improve with increasing temperatures. Call 541-837-3302 for information on camping and boat launching conditions.

GARRISON LAKE: rainbow, cutthroat trout

Trout fishing was good over the weekend. Both boat and bank anglers were picking up a mix of trout up to 3 pounds.

ODFW is implementing a tag reward trout study for 2017 in which anglers will be asked to report tagged trout that are caught. Some of the tags will be worth money. Anglers can report the tag number to the ODFW Gold Beach office (541) 247-7605 or on ODFW’s website. Tags can be cut off or pulled out of fish being released. The study is an effort by ODFW to see what size of trout contribute to the fishery the best. Garrison is always an excellent trout fishery, and this study will only help improve it.

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. The lakes are likely inaccessible due to snow.

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 ice is currently melting and open water is becoming more prevalent. The lake is now 79 percent full. 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. 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

Hyatt is melting quickly and the ice is likely not safe. Anglers fishing the open water will want to try bait fished off the bottom while the water is still very cold. The reservoir is 60 percent full. Boat ramps are closed for the season.

ILLINOIS RIVER: trout, steelhead

Wild steelhead more than 24 inches long may be harvested in the Illinois between Klondike Creek and Pomeroy Dam (located near Cave Junction); 1 per day and 5 per year. Fishing is restricted to artificial flies and lures. Illinois is currently a little high but should be fishable for the final week of the season. Fish were caught around Kerby two weeks ago before the rain. The Illinois will close to fishing March 31.

LAKE MARIE: rainbow trout, yellow perch

Lake Marie has been stocked once this year with legal-size trout. Most anglers use PowerBait or worms to catch trout and yellow perch.

LAKE SELMAC: trout, largemouth bass, bluegill, crappie

Selmac will be stocked with 5,000 legal-sized trout this week, complementing the 5,000 legal-sized trout stocked a month ago. Trout fishing should good; however, be advised there are a lot of aquatic weeds. The lake was stocked with 600 pounders last fall and fishing should be good.

LEMOLO RESERVOIR: brown trout, rainbow trout, kokanee

The reservoir may be difficult to access due to snow conditions. Contact Lemolo Lake Resort at 541-957-8354 for weather/road conditions and additional information.

The reservoir was stocked with 4,500 rainbow trout in 2016. There are also excellent opportunities to catch large brown trout. Lemolo is scheduled to be stocked with rainbow trout in early March, pending access to the boat launch.

Kokanee in Lemolo are considered trout and therefore fall under the daily limit for trout of five per day with only one of those measuring over 20-inches.

LOON LAKE: rainbow trout, bass, bluegill

Loon Lake has been stocked three times in 2017 with legal-sized trout. Fishing for crappie, bluegill and bass will improve with increasing temperatures, but there are still opportunities to catch these fish with slower presentations such as jigging.

Visit the BLM and Loon Lake Resort websites for information on opening dates and camping.

LOST CREEK: rainbow trout, bass

Trout fishing got a boost last week as 20,000 legal-sized rainbows were stocked, complementing the legal and trophy-sized fish stocked last fall. Recent reports have been encouraging as fish in the 12-16 inch range have been caught. Trolling a wedding ring/worm behind an oval egg sinker and dodger has produced fish. Anglers were also successful trolling around the dam and throughout the lake above and below Peyton Bridge.

The spring 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 spinners, Powerbait or threading a nightcrawler below a bobber.

MEDCO POND: rainbow trout, largemouth bass, bluegill

Four hundred trout pounders were stocked in Medco in the fall 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, crab

Recreational crabbing is open along the entire Oregon coast.

Bottom fishing has been good when the ocean conditions allow. Fishing for bottom fish will be restricted to inside of the 30-fathom curve starting on April 1.

Recreational harvest of razor clams is CLOSED on the entire Oregon coast due to elevated levels of domoic acid. The recreational harvest of mussels is CLOSED from Cape Arago (south of Coos Bay) to the California border. Before any shellfish harvest trip, make sure to check the Oregon Department of Agriculture website for any updates.

Surf perch fishing has been good when ocean swells are small. Surf perch anglers will do the best fishing with sand shrimp or Berkely Gulp sand worms.

PLAT I RESERVOIR: rainbow trout, bass

Plat I has been stocked twice this year legal-size trout. 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 300 legal-sized trout last week and was stocked with 300 legal-sized rainbow three weeks ago. Fishing should continue to be good. Fishing for warmwater species will begin to pick up with the warmer weather.

ROGUE RIVER

Rogue River, lower: steelhead, spring Chinook

River conditions should steadily improve through the week. Bank anglers should have the best opportunity at picking up a spring chinook or steelhead as flows drop. April is when we usually see good numbers of spring chinook entering the river.

Rogue River, middle: steelhead, trout

The river is a little high but steelhead have been caught around Grants Pass so try fishing with nightcrawlers, spinners, and side drifted planers and roe. Nymphing flies can also be very effective. Consult the 2017 Oregon Sport Fishing Regulations for winter steelhead harvest information.

The Rogue River is open to trout fishing through the end of March. 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: steelhead, trout

The river is a little high and steelhead fishing has been fair. Remember that the river is much clearer from Big Butte Creek to Cole Rivers Hatchery providing an opportunity to fish for steelhead and trout when the rest of the river is not fishable. Anglers can keep 5 hatchery rainbow trout per day through March 31. Non-adipose fin-clipped rainbow trout and all cutthroat trout must be immediately released unharmed.

Note that beginning Jan. 1, the upper Rogue is open to bait, lures and flies from Fishers ferry boat ramp to the deadline at Cole Rivers hatchery. Consult the 2017 Oregon Sport fishing Regulations for more information.

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

As of March 22, a total of 4,072 summer steelhead have entered the hatchery, with 18 new fish entering for the week. The hatchery also collected 197 winter steelhead bringing the total to 695. The average outflow from Lost Creek reservoir as of March 28, is 4,500 cfs. For more flow and temp information, see link below.

Up to date flow and temp information

Rogue River, above Lost Creek Reservoir: trout

The upper Rogue is currently covered in snow; however, that snow is beginning to melt and there are fish. If you find a safe place to do some fishing, try using bait as the trout are slow to move due to very cold water temperatures.

SMITH RIVER, Umpqua: striped bass, steelhead

The Smith often clears before others in the Umpqua Basin after high flows. Steelhead season has been difficult with high flows most of the year. Winter steelhead fishing opened on Dec. 1 upstream to Bridge 10 (approx. 14.5 miles up the N.F. Smith R. rd.) on the North Fork Smith and upstream to Sisters Creek on the mainstem, and there have been recent reports of anglers catching steelhead on the mainstem. Retention is only allowed on adipose fin-clipped steelhead.

Sturgeon fishing is catch-and-release only. The daily limit for striped bass is two per 24-hour period. Trout and Chinook are closed.

SODA SPRINGS RESERVOIR: closed

Soda Springs remains CLOSED. There has been some recent articles stating that the reservoir is open to fishing. The reservoir is closed to evaluate its use by salmon and steelhead.

TENMILE BASIN: trout, bass, steelhead

Trout fishing in the streams of the Tenmile Basin are closed until May 22. Trout fishing in Tenmile Lakes, Eel Lake, Saunders Lake are open all year.

Steelhead season is open in Tenmile Creek and Eel Creek until April 30. Steelhead fishing has been very slow in the Tenmile Basin. In the Tenmile Basin, one additional hatchery steelhead may be retained per day for a total aggregate of three adult fish harvested daily.

Largemouth bass fishing has been slow but will be picking up as the water temperatures warm up. Anglers are catching bass near structure or on the deep end of the weed lines using jigs or rubber worms.

TOKETEE LAKE: brown trout, rainbow trout

Fishing is open in Toketee year-round, but weather conditions may prevent access. 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 are: Calamut, Connie, Bullpup, Fuller, Cliff, Buckeye, Maidu, Twin “b”, Pitt lake and Skookum. 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 as many lakes are likely difficult to access do to snow.

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, spring Chinook

The mainstem Umpqua is closed to wild steelhead harvest but remains open year-round for adipose fin-clipped steelhead. The mainstem has been high and it looks like it will be for the weekend. Late winter steelhead should be decent with dropping river levels, with “plunkning” being a good strategy. Spring Chinook season should be starting up with a few anglers already trying their luck.

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.

UMPQUA RIVER, NORTH: steelhead

Winter steelhead are being caught in the North when the river is in shape. Watch the river gauges (North Umpqua River water levels at Winchester Dam) as water levels having been chronically high this year. Conditions are unfavorable, and it looks like the river will be high again this weekend.

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, 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.

UMPQUA RIVER, SOUTH: steelhead

The South Umpqua opened to winter steelhead fishing on Dec. 1 upstream to Jackson Creek. Only adipose fin-clipped steelhead may be retained. Good numbers of steelhead are being caught up to and above Canyonville and anglers are hooking into a few hatchery fish. Pay attention to river gages for the South as it has been high and unfishable a large portion of the time this season. The South Umpqua will likely be a little high for most anglers this weekend.

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

The lake is full, and was stocked was week with 4,000 legal-sized trout. It was also stocked last 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 currently open as water levels have rebounded nicely.

WINCHESTER BAY: bottomfish, perch

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

WINCHUCK RIVER: winter steelhead

Anglers have only a couple of more days before steelhead season closes on the river. The river closes to fishing April 1 until it re-opens May 22.


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SOUTHWEST ZONE: HUNTING

OPEN: COUGAR, COYOTE, SPRING BEAR (opens April 1)

SW Oregon 1st come, 1st serve spring bear tags are sold out.

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

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.

Spring Black Bear- The spring Black Bear season opens April 1. The hunt that pertains to Coos County is the SW Oregon Limited hunt. Tags for this hunt are sold out now. For those who do have tags and plan to hunt the beginning of the season it is likely to be too early to find good numbers of active bears, although some will be out and about. Generally, bear activity increases as the weather improves. As anyone from Oregon can attest we have seen a lot of bad weather this spring. This kind of weather generally makes bears unlikely to move far from their dens. When they do they will be in search of green grass as this is the food they generally key in on when their digestive system is becoming active after a long period of inactivity. The best feed will be found on south or west slopes in places where there are openings in the forest canopy. Clear cuts and land slide areas on hill sides are where this kind of feed can be found in abundance.

Bear hunters should spend late afternoon hours glassing likely habitats from vantage points. Take your time glassing these places as bears are surprisingly hard to see, especially when there are burned stumps in the area they are feeding. Bear activity, even in their most active times, is generally low in mid-day. Mornings can be good for seeing bears but they generally are only out for a short time after daylight. Afternoons tend to be best.

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. Remember a 2017 cougar tag and license is needed to hunt as of Jan. 1.

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.

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 –If you purchased one of the Southwest Limited Spring Bear tags, start to scout for the earliest green up areas for the hunt that starts April 1. Look towards south facing grassy slopes and ridgelines and lush meadow/creek bottom areas where the skunk cabbage grows the thickest. Bear activity has been quiet so far in Douglas County. Areas within the coast range are greening up nicely. South facing green areas and ridgeline forest roads will be the first to show bear activity. Bears will be feeding on grasses and new shrub growth. The Cascade Range’s higher elevation habitats are a little slower to produce good forage for the April 1 opener, so coast range units will be your best bet for seeing bears early.

Grouse & Quail - Upland Gamebird season is currently closed.

Waterfowl - Duck and goose seasons are closed.

Furbearers – Mink and muskrat harvest seasons are currently open.

JACKSON, JOSEPHINE, CURRY COUNTIES

Spring Bear season opens April 1 here in Southern Oregon. All of the SW spring bear tags are sold out. Bear numbers are very good here in Southern Oregon, especially in the Applegate and Rogue units which have some of the highest bear harvest numbers in the state. Typically the harvest improves as the season progresses; this may be especially true this year after our severe winter. Typically boars emerge from their dens earlier than sows and cubs. Remember that it is illegal to harvest a sow with cubs. In general it is good to start off the season glassing open hillsides during sunny mornings and evenings. Bears will most likely be out at this time feeding on grasses and anything else they can fill their bellies with. As the season continues into May another useful method of hunting is using a fawn distress call. There are many newborn fawns this time of year so you are imitating a natural food source. Other predator calls can be successful as well. Remember that within 10 days of harvest you are required to check your bear skull in at an ODFW office, the skull must be unfrozen and preferable have the mouth propped open. For more information refer to page 30 of the 2017 Oregon Big Game Hunting Regulations.

Spring Turkey season opens April 15th, the daily bag limit is one male turkey or a turkey with a visible beard. Turkey season continues through May 31st.

The weekend of April 8th-9th is a youth spring turkey hunt; this hunt is open to all youth 17 years of age and younger.

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.

Cougar season is open statewide year-round or until zone quotas are met (see zone quota page). 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. It is a good idea to use specific cougar sounds in conjunction with a general prey distress sound, cougar whistles can be one of these very useful sound while calling. Unlike other species cougars will come in slowly and spend lots of time looking for the source of the sound. So be sure to remain very still and keep your eyes open for the cougars head only, as they will often peer around an obstacle to get a better view while remaining hidden.

This time of year can be productive by driving roads after a fresh snow and looking for cougar tracks. By doing this you can narrow down the area worth setting up and calling. There is a mandatory check in of all cougars harvested within 10 days of the after harvest; the unfrozen skull, hide, and proof of sex must be taken to an ODFW office during normal business hours. If a female cougar is harvested it is also mandatory to bring in the reproductive tract in order to gain valuable population data. For more information refer to page 34 of the 2017 Oregon Big Game Hunting Regulations.

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: 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.

Muskrat/mink season closes March 31.


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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.

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. Presently, large numbers of Steller and California sea lions are using the haul out. Also, large numbers of harbor seals are present. It is likely that Northern elephant seals are there too. All of these animals are visible from the look out at Simpson Reef located along Cape Arago Hwy. Do not approach seals and sea lions you may find on Oregon beaches.

California grey whales, humpback whales and others tend to migrate through Oregon waters in spring as they head back to the North Pacific and the Bearing Sea. March and early April are great times to see these animals. At times several whales can be seen at once from one vantage point. California grey whales will often come very close to shore feeding. It is not uncommon to see these huge animals next to jetties and nearshore rocks or just outside of the furthest breaking waves on beaches.

Cape Arago is a wonderful place to see these animals, for those wanting to see them. Occasionally these whales will even enter Coos Bay. Generally, the best time is at or near high tide, when the water next to shore is deepest.

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 high presently in the Coos and Coquille drainage systems, but that may be hard to believe due to the fact that these birds are widely scattered. Large amounts of precipitation lately has resulted is extensively inundated agricultural lands throughout Coos County and other parts of the coast. Those who are interested in seeing these birds should spend their time searching the upper extents of tributaries of the Coos and Coquille drainages where agricultural lands exist. Birds will, generally not move into the forested extent of these drainages in large numbers.

Coquille Valley Wildlife Area (CVWA) is located near the town of Coquille. To access CVWA area take Hwy. 42 from Coquille toward Coos Bay. From there take North Bank Rd. to the west. The public parking area for CVWA is located about ½ mile west from the intersection of Hwy. 42 and North Bank Rd. along North Bank Rd. Beaver Slough Tract, located north of the public parking area, is open to public access. It is a great place to paddle a canoe in the spring when water inundation makes that form of travel easy. Wildlife Viewing opportunity abound along Beaver Slough. Refer to the map posted at the public parking area to make sure you stay on your public land. Permits are required for anyone who accesses CVWA. The permits are available at the parking area and are free of charge. Make sure you put the “A” half in the appropriate box at the parking area and carry the “B” half with you. At the end of the trip put this half in the same box after filling it out. Enjoy this newly acquired wildlife area.

Seabirds

Winter storms bring seabirds in close to shore. Many even move into the bays to forage on fish and crustaceans. On occasion over the past few years, herring, a small schooling fish, have, spawned in the rocks and vegetation found close to the bar but within Coos Bay. This causes a great congregation of a variety of seabirds. A great place to view these birds is the parking area next to a pump station at Fossil Point in Coos Bay. This pump station is located next to Cape Arago Hwy. When this spawning event occurs hundreds of scoters, scaup and a variety of other birds often found in the marine environment will congregate there to feed on herring eggs. Precisely when herring spawn seems to be variable but when they do thousands of eggs are attached to vegetation in rocky areas during a single night. 3/28/2017

DOUGLAS COUNTY

Turkey Vultures - The turkey vultures have arrived in the Umpqua Valley. Watch for roosted turkey vultures with wings wide open, warming in the morning sun and watch out for turkey vultures as you drive the local roads. Many vultures are hit and killed by vehicles as they forage on road struck animals.

Winter Raptors – Many different raptors are still in 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.

Deer – Columbian White-tailed deer and black-tailed deer can be seen throughout much of the Umpqua Valley’s agricultural lands in strong numbers.

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– 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.

Turkeys – Turkeys are abundant on the Umpqua Valley floor. As spring approaches, watch for toms strutting and gathering hens for spring breeding. Look for these birds within the oak savannah habitat and surrounding oak woodlands where food and roosting resources are available. ODFW does not recommend feeding turkeys as these concentrated birds do a significant amount of damage to properties and buildings when concentrated around baited sites within residential and agricultural areas.

Amphibians - As temperatures start to warm up on the valley floor, pacific (chorus) tree frogs will start to vocalize around ponds, puddles and ditches as they prepare for breeding. Listen for them on warmer days and evenings.

Owls - Start to listen for Great Horned Owls and smaller owls calling in the evenings and early morning near local wooded habitats.

JACKSON and JOSEPHINE COUNTIES

Project Feeder Watch is a continent-wide citizen science program that uses citizen to count and identify birds visiting backyard bird feeders and other location. This program continues through March. If interested visit web page for more info.

Rogue Valley Audubon Society

First Wednesday of the month bird counts at Agate Lake. On the first Wednesday of every month the Rogue Valley Audubon Society gathers at Agate Lake outside of White City to conduct a bird count. The event is open to the public and starts at 8:30am.

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 fall 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

Thanks to a couple of high school seniors from a Medford school, several sections of trail have been improved upon by putting a thick layer of bark down to prevent excess water and mud. The students completed their project last week and now a large section of the Denman Interpretive trail should be much more enjoyable to hike. The Denman Interpretive trail provides a great opportunity to view many different species of wildlife. Deer, beavers, river otters, and a large variety of bird species are just some of the many species you have the chance of running into.

Red-naped Sapsucker

The Red-naped Sapsucker is a member of the woodpecker family; it is characterized by the red on its nape as well as its throat. They are short distance migrants that winter in woodlands and aspen groves. Common in the Rocky Mountains and low lying state lands it is seldom seen as far west as the Rogue Valley, however during the past few weeks there have been sightings near Emigrant Lake in Ashland. It gets its name from its coloration as well as its feeding behavior. The Red-naped Sapsucker will drill tiny holes in tree bark in neat rows, then return to feed on the sap that leaks out.

Bohemian Waxwing

There have been recent sightings of Bohemian Waxwings along the Pacific Crest Trail and in the Soda Mountain National Monument outside of Ashland. This is a very interesting looking bird that is not commonly seen in our area.

Snipe

Snipe are small, fast and erratic low-flying birds that can be hard to identify. They can be easily confused with killdeer and other shorebirds. Snipe are found in muddy or shallow water areas feeding on insects. Snipe almost always emit a call when they take off in flight. Denman Wildlife Area has decent numbers of snipe.

Crows

Crows and Raven are similar to each other. Crows are smaller in size (17.5 inches) with smaller beaks with fan shape tail in flight and they make a caw sound. Whereas ravens are larger (24 inches) with long heavy bills, wedge shaped tail, with a low, drawn-out croak call and are protected.

For a great birding trail along the southern coast, visit Oregon Birding Trails. (1/17/2017)


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WILLAMETTE ZONE: FISHING

Weekend fishing opportunities

  • Rainbow trout are being released this week at the following locations: Alton Baker Canal, Dexter Reservoir, Dorena reservoir, Foster Reservoir, Freeway Lake East, Sunnyside Park Pond, Timber Linn Lake, Walling Pond, Walter Wirth Lake, and Waverly Lake.
  • Spring Chinook have yet to pass Willamette Falls but a couple of confirmed catches recently means there are Springers to be had on the lower Willamette which should start seeing Chinook any time.
  • High flows and turbid waters in area streams will likely put a damper on winter steelhead fishing for at least a few more days until streams recede again, possibly by the weekend or early next week.
  • Catch-and-release fishing for sturgeon in the lower Willamette is good this time of year in the lower Willamette.

If your favorite fishing spot is no longer listed

It could be the area is closed, inaccessible due to mud or snow, 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.

Updated 2017 Trout Stocking Schedules

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

Will be stocked this week with 965 rainbow trout, including 150 larger trout. The canoe 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 the week of March 13 with 2,000 legal-size rainbow trout. This is a 40-acre lake located in Benson State Park in the Columbia River Gorge. From Portland, head east on I-84; the park is located on the south side of the freeway about 1/2 mile west of Multnomah Falls.

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

Stocked the week of March 13 with 1,000 legal-sized rainbow trout. This is a 10-acre pond located at Bethany west of Portland. The pond is maintained by Tualatin Hills Park and Rec. Amenities include picnic tables, restrooms, and a paved, ADA accessible trail.

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

Stocked the week of March 13 with 1,500 trout. Try 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

Two wild trout may be harvested per day above Blue River Reservoir only. Otherwise, anglers may keep 5 hatchery trout per day. Stocking into the river above the reservoir will resume in April. Anglers may only use lures and artificial flies.

BLUE RIVER RESERVOIR: trout, warmwater species

Stocked the week of March 13 with 3,500 legal-sized hatchery trout. 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 boat ramps are not accessible at current reservoir elevations. Stocking will resume in March.

BREITENBUSH RIVER: trout

This river flows through mostly U.S. Forest Service land into Detroit Lake and is open year-round (however salmon fishing is prohibited). During the summer it is stocked fairly regularly with hatchery trout. Anglers may keep up to five trout per day.

CANBY POND: trout, bass, crappie, bluegill

Stocked the week of March 13 with 450 legal- and larger-sized rainbow trout. 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.

CLACKAMAS RIVER: winter steelhead

The Clackamas was holding high and muddy for a third straight week now, again keeping fishing effort to a minimum. The weather forecast calls for off and on rain in the next few days but drying in the forecast for late in the week could bode well for anglers.

Early in the winter steelhead run fish tend to stay low in the system, downstream of Barton. When the water drops and clears, try switching to smaller gear such as jigs and beads/single eggs drifted under a bobber.

Be willing to move around on your day of fishing as staying in one spot may lead you to miss fish all together. Barton Park provides access to substantial bank fishing throughout winter. There is also access to the river upstream of Barton Park from Eaden Road.

Boat anglers also should concentrate on the lower river from Barton to Carver and Carver to Clackamette as large groups of fish are known to hold in deeper pools. As winter progresses through February begin to move upstream to the Feldheimer to Barton and Barton to Carver section. March is typically the best month for fishing in the upper section of the lower river from McIver Park to Feldheimer.

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 March 20 shows river flows still up at 7,810 cfs, with a gauge reading of 15.17 feet and the water temperature steady around 43°. 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. Stocking will resume in April. 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 fishing 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. Stocking will resume in April.

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

Stocked the week of March 20 with 1,500 legal-sized hatchery trout and 50 larger trout.

Cottage Grove Ponds are open to year-round fishing and are accessed via an asphalt pathway behind the truck scales on Row River Road. The pond was stocked with a total of 3,250 legal-sized hatchery trout the past two weeks. In addition to fishing, these ponds also offer wildlife viewing opportunities. A fishing dock is available on-site.

COTTAGE GROVE RESERVOIR: trout, warmwater species

Stocked the week of March 13 with 4,500 legal-sized hatchery trout. Cottage Grove Reservoir is south of Cottage Grove and is open to fishing all year.

DETROIT RESERVOIR: trout, kokanee

Reservoir elevation is about 18 feet below conservation pool. Now that storage season has begun, reservoir levels will rise throughout the rest of the winter and into the spring. Stocking will resume in April but there are plenty of holdover trout near drop-offs and other structure. Anglers report kokanee biting as well. Mongold boat ramp is available for launching boats.

DEXTER RESERVOIR: trout

Stocked the week of March 27 with 2,800 legal-sized rainbow 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. Largemouth bass and some smallmouth are also available to anglers in this reservoir.

DORENA RESERVOIR: trout, warmwater

Will be stocked this week with 6,000 legal-sized rainbow trout. Dorena Reservoir is east of Cottage Grove on Row River Road and is open to fishing all year. Trout and warmwater fish are available. It was also stocked the week of March 6 with 5,500 legal-sized rainbow trout.

DORMAN POND - trout

Stocked the week of March 13 with 1,500 legal-sized hatchery trout. This is an 8-acre pond west of Forest Grove at the junction of Hwy. 8 and Hwy. 6

EAGLE CREEK: winter steelhead

It’s been pretty slow fishing for winter steelhead on the creek, and high water in recent days has contributed to a drop in effort and catch. The creek was actually somewhat fishable over the weekend but few anglers went out as the winter steelhead run begins to slowly come to a close. The hatchery had a good push of fish show up early in the season with several hundred swimming in, but in the past weeks the returns have slowed down dramatically.

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 quarter mile hike from the main parking lot. Recent changes to the fishing regulations now make this a year-round fishery. It was stocked last week with 1,050 hatchery trout. A valid wildlife area parking permit is required.

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. Five hatchery trout and an additional two wild trout may be harvested daily in the river. Stocking above the reservoir will resume in April.

FALL CREEK RESERVOIR: trout

Fall Creek Reservoir will be stocked again this spring. Boat ramps are 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 bank fishing.

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. Currently Orchard Point boat ramp is available to launch boats.

There is good bank access at several rest stops and campgrounds, and three seasonal boat ramps. Reservoir levels have risen and the boat ramp at Orchard Point is currently available.

FOSTER RESERVOIR: trout, bass, perch, catfish

Foster Reservoir will be stocked this week with 4,000 legal size trout. This scenic 1,200-acre reservoir on the South Santiam River is located just 30 minutes from Interstate 5. There is good bank access at several rest stops and campgrounds, and three seasonal boat ramps. At the moment only 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. This reservoir receives hatchery trout in the spring and fall.

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 in the spring for warmwater gamefish such as bass, bluegill, crappie, and catfish can be very good, especially early and late in the day. It will be stocked this week with 900 hatchery rainbow trout.

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 will re-open to anglers May 22.

GREEN PETER RESERVOIR: kokanee, trout, bass

Trout as well as bass are good options for anglers this time of year. Look for them near ledges and drop-offs as well as near underwater structure. Reservoir water levels are starting to rise now that storage season has begun. Currently the reservoir is about 20 feet below full pool. Both Thistle Creek and Whitcomb Island boat ramps are currently 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 the week of Feb. 27 with 18,000 legal-sized rainbow trout.

Hagg Lake, located near Forest Grove, is one of Oregon’s premier warmwater fishing locations, with populations of record-class largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, crappie, and bullhead. It also supports a resident population of native cutthroat trout and is frequently stocked with hatchery trout.

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

Catch rates for rainbow trout have been good the past couple of weeks in both the Hills Creek and Middle Fork arms. Stocked the week of Feb. 20 with 4,600 rainbow trout of various sizes. This reservoir is located about four miles southeast of Oakridge and is open to year round fishing. It 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.

Trout and salmon must be adipose-fin clipped to be harvested. Large native trout are available for catch-and-release fishing.

HILLS CREEK and Hills Creek Tributaries

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

HORSESHOE LAKE: trout

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

HUDDLESTON POND: trout, bass, bluegill

Stocked the week of March 13 with 700 trout ranging in size from 8 inches to more than two pounds. 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

This pond was stocked last week with 1,700 legal, 400 larger, and about 25 very large hatchery rainbow trout. As a reminder, normal trout regulations apply to these fish: Five fish per day, but only one fish over 20-inches may be kept.

LEABURG LAKE: trout

Leaburg Lake is open to fishing all year. As of Nov. 1, anglers may only use lures and artificial flies. All wild trout must be released. Only hatchery fish may be kept. Hatchery releases will resume in April. 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 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. 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. Reminder: Restrictions from Dexter Dam to appoximately 700 ft downstream to the markers: No angling from the north shore, from a floating device, or while wading (pg 44 in regulations). This river reach is open to retention of adipose fin-clipped salmon and steelhead and non-adipose fin-clipped steelhead greater than 24 inches in length. A Columbia River Basin Endorsement is required for anglers targeting salmon and steelhead in the Middle Fork Willamette below Dexter Dam.

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

Flows have remained high on the Molalla but anglers should expect these conditions to improve as it appears the weekend could see a drying out period. So far this year winter steelhead have been slow to move across Willamette Falls and into upper basin tributaries. Steelhead passage at Willamette Falls through March 25 shows only 622 winters passing and moving upstream, a very low number for this date. USGS hydrological data for March 27 shows river flows up at 3,530 cfs and a gauge reading of 14.68 feet. All of the readings come from the Canby gauge.

MT HOOD POND: trout, crappie, bluegill

Stocked the week of March 13 with 1,000 legal-sized rainbow trout. 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.

PROGRESS LAKE – rainbow trout, brown bullhead

Stocked the week of March 13 with 1,000 legal-sized rainbow trout. This is a 4-acre pond next to the Progress Ridge Town Center in Beaverton. The pond is an old rock pit and has a maximum depth of 54 feet. There is a sidewalk, fishing platform and viewing platform on one side of the lake.

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.

Hatchery trout are stocked in late spring and summer. In winter and early spring there are resident trout and very few anglers. River levels are fluctuating but were around 2,900 cfs as of March 27.

ROARING RIVER PARK POND: trout

This is a small one acre pond in Roaring River County Park near ODFW’s Roaring River fish hatchery. To get there, drive highway 226 east out of Albany and turn right onto Fish Hatchery Road and continue for about seven miles. Park is on the right. It was stocked in mid-March with 180 hatchery rainbow trout.

SALISH POND: trout, warm water species

West Salish is periodically stocked with trout. 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. Hatchery releases will resume in April. 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: winter steelhead

The Sandy has been marginally fishable but is still far too high and somewhat off-color for the veteran local anglers. There was light fishing activity over the weekend with an occasional wild and hatchery winter steelhead hooked but overall catch and effort remains low. Drying later this week should go a long way towards improving conditions and providing opportunity for anglers to get out and try some early April steelhead fishing. More than 1,800 winters have now been collected at ODFW’s Sandy River Hatchery and more than 800 of them were recycled back down to Lewis and Clark boat ramp in February.

USGS hydrological data for March 27 shows the Sandy flows up a bit at 6,660 cfs, with a gauge reading of 11.96 feet and the water temperature on the Little Sandy at Bull Run around 41° F.

SANTIAM RIVER (NORTH FORK): steelhead, Chinook

As of Mar. 27 flows are around 3,000 cfs at the Mehama gauge, however flow levels are fluctuating. River levels best for fishing are below 3,000 cfs.

At the moment there are very few fish available for anglers to catch. A few winter steelhead have entered the river but the Chinook and summer steelhead are still a few weeks away from returning.

The first few summer steelhead have entered the Willamette but the bulk of the population will probably not be in the Santiam River until May. 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:

This section of the river is open year-round for trout. It is stocked regularly in the summer and anglers may keep up to five trout per day. This section of river is closed to salmon fishing.

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

Flow levels have dropped some recently but are still not ideal for fishing. River flows are currently around 8,700 cfs (as of Mar. 27). Summer steelhead are beginning to enter the Willamette but it will be several more weeks before the bulk of these fish will arrive in the Santiam basin. Current conditions

SHERIDAN POND: trout

Stocked the week of March 13 with 1,000 rainbow trout.

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

The Eugene Water & Electric Board in the spring of 2017 will begin a five-year construction project to retrofit, refurbish and upgrade capital equipment at its Carmen-Smith Hydroelectric Project. The work is being conducted in anticipation of a new federal operating license for the project.

The capital construction projects planned for the 2017-2021 time frame will create significant public access constraints due primarily to safety concerns. In order to keep the public and construction personnel safe during the five-year project, EWEB and the Forest Service agreed to close access to Forest Road 730 at the Powerhouse. The closure will deny public access to Trail Bridge Campground, Smith Reservoir and Lake’s End Campground. The closure of the road to the public will begin in March 2017 and continue through 2021.

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

The gate to the ponds is now open, and the ponds have been stocked with rainbow trout several times since stocking began in February. In addition to trout, warmwater species including largemouth bass are available.

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 open March 1-Sept. 30, although anglers are still permitted to walk in to fish during the seasonal gate closure. March/April hours are 7 a.m. – 8 p.m.

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. It will be stocked this week with 1,050 hatchery trout. The pond also offers bluegill and largemouth bass year round. The park has a campground and picnic area and is a great place to take kids fishing. There is also boat ramp access to the Middle Fork arm of Foster Reservoir.

To get there from 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 is a family-friendly fishing pond located within Timber-Linn Memorial Park in Albany. It was stocked in late December 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.

TRAIL BRIDGE RESERVOIR: trout

The Eugene Water & Electric Board in the spring of 2017 will begin a five-year construction project to retrofit, refurbish and upgrade capital equipment at its Carmen-Smith Hydroelectric Project. The work is being conducted in anticipation of a new federal operating license for the project.

The capital construction projects planned for the 2017-2021 time frame will create significant public access constraints due primarily to safety concerns. In order to keep the public and construction personnel safe during the five-year project, EWEB and the Forest Service agreed to close access to Forest Road 730 at the Powerhouse. The closure will deny public access to Trail Bridge Campground, Smith Reservoir and Lake’s End Campground. The closure of the road to the public will begin in March 2017 and continue through 2021.

Trail Bridge Reservoir will remain accessible to anglers from Highway 126 during the construction period, although few hatchery fish will be available. Only adipose fin-clipped trout may be harvested from Trail Bridge Reservoir. Only flies and lures may be used.

TROJAN POND – trout, panfish

Stocked the week of March 13 with 1,000 hatchery trout. This is a 15-acre pond just east of Rainier on the north side of Hwy. 30 at the Trojan nuclear facility. The pond is located on the right side of the road as soon as you turn onto the Trojan Access Road.

WALLING POND: trout, crappie, bass

Walling pond will be stocked this week with 450 hatchery trout. 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 will be stocked this week with 2,350 hatchery rainbow trout. As a reminder, the bag limit is five trout 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 fishing opportunities remain for warm water species.

WAVERLY POND: trout, bluegill, catfish

Waverly Pond is located in Albany and is regularly stocked in fall, winter and spring. The pond will be stocked this week with about 800 hatchery 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: spring Chinook, winter steelhead, sturgeon

The Lower Willamette anglers endured another week of essentially unfishable conditions for salmon with high flows, high turbidity, and plenty of debris moving down. It can take several days for the Willamette to clean up when this high, turbid water takes hold so anglers shouldn’t expect to see much improvement for several more days once the rainfall subsides a bit. Another problem contributing to the high water levels is that the Columbia River is still at flood stage and it tends to push water up into the Willamette. Although these water conditions will affect salmon angling there is still some sturgeon fishing taking place with ODFW personnel recording many sublegals and oversize in the catch. As a reminder to sturgeon anglers, fishing is catch and release only.

Winter steelhead passage continues to be very slow, and the turbid water still has a hold on fish passage at Willamette Falls. Not a single Chinook has passed at the falls so far this spring but there were a couple of confirmed catches prior to the high water moving in so there are some fish out there. Trolling or plunking near the mouth of the Clackamas for steelhead is one possible option in the Willamette right now as fish seek out the slightly cleaner Clackamas River water but an oft blown out Clackamas has made this a tough opportunity also. Due to the extreme high water many boat ramps on the Willamette have been closed periodically including Sportcraft, Meldrum, and Gilbert.

Beginning Feb. 1, 2017, the use of barbed hooks is allowed when fishing for salmon, steelhead, or trout in Willamette River downstream of Willamette Falls (including Multnomah Channel and Gilbert River) and in lower Clackamas River upstream to Highway 99E Bridge. Barbless hooks are still required when fishing for sturgeon.

USGS hydrological data for the Willamette River on March 27 has flows at 65,400 cfs, the water temperature holding near 48°F, and visibility at over 1.0 ft.

YAMHILL RIVER and tributaries: trout

The Yamhill and its tributaries are now open year-round for trout under the 2017 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, SPRING BEAR (opens April 1)

UPCOMING: YOUTH SPRING TURKEY (APRIL 8-9), AND SPRING GENERAL TURKEY (APRIL 15-MAY 31, 2017)

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

The 2017 COUGAR season is now open until Dec. 31 or the zone quota is met. Remember to purchase a 2017 Hunting License and 2017 Cougar Tag if you are planning to hunt for cougar this year. 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. 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

CONTROLLED SPRING BEAR season is open April 1 through May 31 for those hunters who drew a controlled spring bear tag. Tags were allocated through the controlled spring hunt drawing for all hunts except SW Oregon, which is a limited first-come, first-served hunt that sold out in late January this year. Hunters are reminded to check the 2017 Big Game Regulations for their exact hunt boundaries, season dates and requirements for checking in their bear. Skunk cabbage and green grasses are preferred forage items for bears in spring. Early in the season hunters will want to focus on coastal areas or low elevation riparian areas. The key to early success is to target days with some sun and mild weather. Hunters will want to look for areas with abundant green grass or skunk cabbage. Freshly torn up stumps also indicates a bear is in the area.

Spring bear hunting improves later in the season as the bear activity increases. Cascade area hunters will want to pay attention to snow levels in the area they want to hunt. With the above average snow pack this year, biologists expect hunting to be slow in the Cascades until later in April or May.

Successful bear hunters will need to check-in any bear taken at an ODFW office within 10 days of harvest. Hunters are reminded that biologists located in field offices may be out in the field handling other issues so call ahead to make arrangements to have your bear checked-in. Be sure to bring in the skull (The skull must be unfrozen and without the hide), the spring bear tag, and harvest location information. Biologists recommend propping the bear’s mouth open with a stick after harvest; it makes for easier tooth collection. Bear hunters are reminded that it is helpful to submit the reproductive tract of any female bear taken. The reproductive tract provides valuable information on the number and frequency of cubs born annually in Oregon and is a critical part of ODFW’s black bear population models. Please review the 2017 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.


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WILLAMETTE ZONE: WILDLIFE VIEWING

Return of the osprey

March 21 not only marks the first day of spring, it also marks the day when many osprey make their return to Oregon in preparation for the breeding season. Ospreys were first documented in Oregon in 1855 and historically were very numerous. In the 1970s, they experienced drastic declines as a side effect of widespread pesticide use. With environmental regulations that banned these chemical and the Federal Migratory Bird Treaty Act that offers protection to all native migratory birds, including osprey, ospreys have made a remarkable comeback.

Osprey can be seen throughout the Willamette Valley, nesting on the very top of dead/dying trees, cell phone towers, power poles, river pilings, and even on abandoned human structures such as cranes. Ospreys are excellent fishers and can be seen diving from their perches to grab fish below. Enjoy watching the osprey, but be careful not to disturb them during their critical nesting time (March – August).

Signs of spring

Look for signs of spring. Indicators include the first blooms on trees and the arrival of sparrows, tree swallows, robins and turkey vultures.

Tree frogs are the most abundant frog in Willamette Valley wetlands. They can be heard this time of year on wet nights especially if the temperature is above 40° F. These frogs are only about an inch long and can be hard to see even where they are plentiful. Although tree frogs are excellent climbers they are rarely found in trees. They can be found at night with a flashlight by quietly following the sound to the source although they will quit calling when you get close. During the day they can often be found under boards or other cover in or near wetlands. They are not common in deeper ponds and permanent water bodies, which are occupied by bullfrogs that will eat the smaller tree frogs. Just about any wetland habitat that has shallow standing water that does not dry up before June is a good place to hear and find these frogs. Their eggs can be located in shallow water seasonal ponds during the month of March. Eggs are about the size of a grape and are actually a cluster of eggs that often appear as one large egg. These egg masses are usually attached to a blade of grass or a twig.

Signs of spring – Now is a good time to watch for signs of spring. Indicators include the first blooms on trees and the arrival of sparrows, tree swallows, robins and turkey vultures.

Spring cleaning for the birds

Spring is just around the corner. Now is just a good time to clean out your songbird and wood duck boxes. Always remove old nesting material to encourage birds to take up residence. The most common birds that use songbird nest boxes are bluebird, swallow, chickadee, nuthatch and wren. Other species that can use other types of nesting boxes and nesting structures are wood duck, Canada goose, purple martin, robin, flicker, downy woodpecker, screech and barn owl and sparrow hawk.

Get ready for summer hummers

It’s time to hang up your feeders for our summer hummers. Avoid the commercial hummingbird mixture you can buy in the store as the red dye can produce digestive problems for these small birds. You can make your own hummingbird food utilizing a 4 parts water to 1 part sugar ratio but always make sure the sugar goes completely into solution before hanging up for use.

ODFW Willamette Valley Wildlife Areas

Corvallis: EE Wilson Wildlife Area

E.E. Wilson Wildlife Area offers a diversity of Willamette Valley habitat types within its 1,788 acres in the mid-Willamette Valley 10 miles north of Corvallis. Easy non-motorized access is available via a grid of paved a gravel roads dating back to the 1940s when the area as used as an Army training base, now managed to preserve wildlife.

A variety of upland gamebirds can be viewed all year along the E.E. Wilson Interpretive Trail. Species to discover along the trail include the dusky-footed wood rat, deer mice, beaver, muskrat, western pond turtles, chickadees, wrens, trumpeter swans, screech owls, squirrels.

Wildlife viewing is seasonal. This time of year is a good time to see raptors and perching birds, which are more visible. Waterfowl are still present in large numbers, and a blind is available to photographers. Call the office at 541-745-5334 to reserve the blind.

Directions to EE Wilson Wildlife Area: From Albany, take Highway 20 toward Corvallis and after 5 miles turn right on Independence Highway. Go 3 miles and turn left on Camp Adair Road, then proceed 2 miles to the wildlife area.

Eugene: Fern Ridge Wildlife 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.

The East Coyote, West Coyote, Fisher Butte, and Royal Amazon units are closed to access except on Saturdays through April 30. The viewing platforms accessible from the Royal Avenue, Hwy 126 and Neilson Road parking lots remain open to public use daily, year-round.

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.

Portland: Sauvie Island Wildlife Area

Most of the Sauvie Island Wildlife Area is closed until April 15 to protect wintering waterfowl.

Despite the seasonal closure in sensitive nesting areas, waterfowl viewing is phenomenal on the wildlife area at designated viewing areas, which remain open. Tens of thousands of waterfowl are wintering on the island, and huge flocks can be seen on Sturgeon Lake from ODFW’s Coon Point viewing station. Sandhill cranes are also abundant on the wildlife area this time of year, as are raptors, including bald eagles.

Access to the lake itself is closed this time of year in an effort in an effort to minimize any human impacts on the birds. However, they are still quite visible from the viewing station, which is located next to Reeder Road across from Sauvie Island Kennels. An abundance of ducks and geese can likewise be seen from many other points around the island, as can raptors, including bald eagles, northern harriers, sandhill cranes, red-tailed hawks and American kestrel.

Sauvie Island is a main stopping point for migratory birds as they travel along the Pacific Flyway, and ODFW actively manages the Wildlife Area to provide food and cover for these creatures.

In addition to Coon Point, the best viewing opportunities can be found at the Eastside Viewing Platform and Rentenaar Road. All three require a Sauvie Island Parking Permit.

Sauvie Island Wildlife Area is located on Sauvie Island, only 10 miles north of Portland off Highway 30. A parking permit is required for the Sauvie Island Wildlife Area and can be purchased at ODFW License agents, ODFW offices, or online.

For more information, call (503) 621-3488.


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CENTRAL ZONE: FISHING

Weekend fishing opportunities:

  • Spring is in the air on the lower Deschutes River. Trout should start getting active and feeding, generally in the middle of the day when air and water temperature peak.
  • The Metolius River is running a little high, but anglers still have been having some success catching bull trout.
  • Bull trout and kokanee fishing has been picking up on Lake Billy Chinook.
  • Trout stocking is well-underway in the Central Zone. Check the reports that follow for a location near you.

Ice-fishing safety

The moderating weather conditions have been having an impact on ice conditions in many areas. With ice thinning and starting to pull away from shore, anglers should be increasingly cautious when stepping out on the ice. Take the following precautions: use the “buddy system,” wear a PFD in case of thin ice, carry a throw-rope, and use a heavy metal staff to check for thin-ice. REMINDER: The state of Oregon does not allow human-made ice holes larger than 12-inches in diameter or length.

If your favorite fishing spot is no longer listed

It could be the area is closed, inaccessible due to mud or snow, 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.

ANTELOPE FLAT RESERVOIR: rainbow trout

Current condition of the reservoir is unknown. Please contact the U.S. Forest Service for road conditions at (541) 416-6500.

BEND PINE NURSERY: rainbow trout, bluegill, bass

Pond was stocked last week with rainbow trout, including 300 one-pounders. Two fish per day.

BIKINI POND: rainbow trout

The pond has been stocked and should be good fishing. Great spot to take kids.

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 to fishing all year.

CROOKED RIVER BELOW BOWMAN DAM: redband trout, mountain whitefish

Trout fishing has been poor as the flows are still high and the trout population is low. Fishing will remain poor until the flows subside and stabilize, and the fish population increases. 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.

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

Spring is in the air on the lower Deschutes. Trout should start getting active and feeding, generally in the middle of the day when air and water temperature peak.

District staff recently completed the fourth consecutive year of sampling to evaluate the relative health of redband trout in the river. The data collected has been similar to historic date collected in the 1980s, generally indicating a stable, healthy redband population in the lower Deschutes River. The sampling also indicated favorite trout foods have been stonefly nymphs and crayfish.

Unfortunately, due to expected low returns of spring Chinook in the Deschutes basin, spring Chinook fishing will remain closed in 2017. By permanent rule, Chinook fishing will re-open on Aug. 1.

Anglers are reminded that the Deschutes River, from the northern border of the Warm Springs Reservation upstream to Pelton Dam, closed Dec. 31 to steelhead and trout fishing. Trout fishing will re-open on April 22.

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

Water is a little high but fishable. 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

Cascade Lakes Highway snow gates closed. Open to fishing all year.

EAST LAKE: rainbow trout, brown trout, kokanee

Snow gate at 10 mile Snow Park closed. Open to fishing all year. Wild rainbow trout must be released.

ELK LAKE: brook trout, kokanee, cutthroat trout

Cascade Lakes Highway snow gates closed. Open to fishing all year.

FALL RIVER: rainbow trout

River was stocked last week with rainbow trout. Anglers report good fishing. Open to fishing all year. Restricted to fly-fishing only with barbless hooks.

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

The gate to the boat ramp on the west shore is now open. No recent fishing reports.

HOOD RIVER: winter steelhead

Winter steelhead are beginning to pass over Bonneville, and should be showing in the Hood River in decent numbers. In fact, a few bright winter steelhead already have been reported. Predicted warming temperatures should improve success.

HOSMER LAKE: brook, rainbow and cutthroat trout

Cascade Lakes Highway snow gates closed. 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

Bull trout and kokanee fishing has been picking up.

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

No recent reports but the lake is open year-round. Smallmouth bass fishing should start to pick up as the water warms.

LAVA LAKE (BIG): rainbow trout

Cascade Lakes Highway snow gates closed. Open to fishing all year.

LAVA LAKE (SMALL): rainbow trout, brook trout

Cascade Lakes Highway snow gates closed. Open to fishing all year.

METOLIUS RIVER: redband trout, bull trout

River is running a little high due to Lake Creek influence. Anglers report fair fishing for bull trout. Closed to fishing above Allingham Bridge. Fly fishing only upstream of Bridge 99.

NORTH TWIN LAKE: rainbow trout

Highway 42 not plowed west of junction with Highway 43. 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.

OCHOCO RESERVOIR: rainbow trout, black crappie, smallmouth bass

No recent reports.

ODELL LAKE: lake trout, kokanee, rainbow trout

Access may be limited. 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

Snow gate at 10 mile Snow Park closed. Open to fishing all year. Wild rainbow trout must be released.

PINE HOLLOW RESERVOIR: rainbow trout, largemouth bass

The lake has been stocked and fishing should be good.

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

No recent reports.

PRINEVILLE YOUTH FISHING POND: rainbow trout and largemouth bass

The pond was stocked last week with 300 one-pound trout.

ROCK CREEK RESERVOIR: rainbow trout

The lake is full of water and has been stocked, should be good fishing.

SHEVLIN YOUTH FISHING POND: rainbow trout

Pond was stocked last week with rainbow trout, including 200 two-pounders. Great place for small children to learn how to fish. Open to youth only (17 years and under) and disabled anglers. Limit is two fish per day.

SOUTH TWIN LAKE: rainbow trout

Highway 42 not plowed west of junction with Highway 43. Open to fishing all year.

SPARKS LAKE: cutthroat trout

Cascade Lakes Highway snow gates closed. Open to fishing all year. Fly fishing only, barbless hooks required.

SUTTLE LAKE: brown trout, kokanee

Open to fishing all year. 25 kokanee per day in addition to daily trout limit. No size limits on kokanee.

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

The lake has been stocked and fishing should be good.

THREE CREEK LAKE: rainbow trout, brook trout

Snow gate is closed to lake. Open to fishing all year.

WALTON LAKE: rainbow trout

Walton is open to fishing year-round, but access to the lake may be impeded by snow. The gate is closed this time of year so anglers will have to walk to the lake. Check with Ochoco National Forest at 541-416-6500 for information on road conditions.

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

Closed to fishing for the season.


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CENTRAL ZONE: HUNTING

OPEN: COUGAR, COYOTE, SPRING BEAR (opens April 1 in some areas, see regs)

EVENTS: Youth turkey hunting clinic, April 1, White River Wildlife Area—Register now

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.

White River Wildlife Area

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.

Coyotes: Calling using a dying rabbit simulation or other distress calls around dawn and dusk are usually most successful. In the spring is a good time to use calls such as fawn and cow calf distress calls as well as coyote pup distress calls.

Cougar: Following deer and elk migrations will help find cougar. If you can locate a fresh kill site, watching the site for the next 12 hours will improve your odds of seeing a cougar. As calving season approaches for elk, using a calf call may call in a cougar.

PRINEVILLE/OCHOCO WILDLIFE DISTRICT

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. 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.

THE DALLES DISTRICT

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. Remember a 2017 cougar tag and hunting license is needed to hunt as of Jan. 1.

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.


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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 exterior gates are closed until April 15 to protect wintering mule deer. Non-motorized walk-in access is still permitted.

Deschutes County

Most of the lower elevation sites in Deschutes County are snow free, and some mountain roads are accessible by vehicle, however, the high country still has lots of deep snow. The Cascade Lakes Highway west of Mount Bachelor and highway 242 west of Sisters remain closed for the season. Neither highway is plowed and both will be closed until the snow has melted. If you’re planning a wildlife viewing trip, we recommend visiting ODOT’s Trip Check site for the most current conditions before heading out.

With snow absent from mid and lower level elevations, small mammal activity is abundant. Tree squirrels and chipmunks are common in forested habitats and forest edges that transition into open areas. One such area on the Deschutes National Forest is located at Lava Butte, a few miles south of Bend and west of Highway 97. Cottontail rabbits and black-tailed jackrabbit can be found in areas where sagebrush abounds. A good area to look for all of the mammals mentioned here is on BLM land either side of Highway 20, east of Bend where hiking trails can take you miles into a mixture of sagebrush and juniper/pine woodlands.

Although warm days have been few and far between so far this year, conditions have warmed enough to encourage reptiles out from their winter slumber. Western fence lizards can be found in the mornings on rocky outcroppings soaking up the sun’s rays, and several snake species are now active in a variety of habitats usually associated with water.
Amphibians, such as the ubiquitous tree frog are busily breeding and the eggs of some early breeders, such as Long-toed salamanders, have already begun to hatch. Soon many of the area ponds and wetlands will be alive with small tadpoles and salamander larva.
This is an excellent time to view raptors, such as Red-tailed Hawk, 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. Scan the skies for a glimpse of large birds with a “V” shaped wing pattern and you are likely to be looking at turkey vultures that began returning to Deschutes County in early March. Smith Rock State Park in Terrebonne is a great place to see both Bald and Golden Eagles. Nesting pairs of both species are easily seen gliding over the magnificent hills and slopes within the park. Camp Polk Meadow Preserve near Sisters, is an excellent site to see white-headed woodpecker’s and recent birding reports from the Deschutes River in Bend include sightings of Canada Goose, Common Goldeneye, American Wigeon, Green-winged Teal, Lesser Scaup, Ring-necked Duck, Hooded and common Merganser, Bufflehead, Canvasback, American Goldfinch, Northern Flicker, American Crow, Western Scrub-Jay, and Great Blue Heron to list but a few. 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)

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 web site. 3/27/17

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 Sherars 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.

Great wildlife and wildflower viewing opportunities also exist on the River Ranch tract of Lower Deschutes Wildlife area. Wildflowers are just now starting to bloom on the area and will be quite impressive later in the spring. Spring migrants will be showing up soon and oak canyon is a great place to view many unique species. Many bighorn sheep also use the area. The area can be accessed through BLM lands at the mouth of Oak, Ferry, or Ward canyons. You will need a boat to access the area, which provides a very remote experience, with usually very few other people around, if any. Please call The Dalles district office at 541 296 4628 with any questions about accessing the area. 3/14/2017

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. Roads that are open to motorized vehicles will be opened April 1. Remember that no off road vehicles are permitted anywhere on the wildlife area and vehicles must stay on designated roads.

All snow has finally melted off except for higher elevations. Roads can be very soft so keep that in mind when traveling. 3/21/2017


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SOUTHEAST ZONE: FISHING

Weekend Fishing Opportunities:

  • A 16-pound hybrid bass was caught at Ana Reservoir recently!
  • The Ana River is turning out trout over 25-inches and is one of the better options for fly-fishing over spring break.
  • The Sprague River is closed to fishing until April 22.
  • Priday and Ana Reservoir will be stocked with trout the week of March 27-31 for Spring Break.
  • The ice is off Krumbo Reservoir and anglers are catching some large trout from the dock and other areas.

Ice-fishing safety

The moderating weather conditions have been having an impact on ice conditions in many areas. With ice thinning and starting to pull away from shore, anglers should be increasingly cautious when stepping out on the ice. Take the following precautions: use the “buddy system,” wear a PFD in case of thin ice, carry a throw-rope, and use a heavy metal staff to check for thin-ice.

REMINDER: The state of Oregon does not allow human-made ice holes larger than 12-inches in diameter or length.

If your favorite fishing spot is no longer listed

It could be the area is closed, inaccessible due to mud or snow, 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. A 16-pound hybrid bass was caught recently! Anglers have also been catching rainbow trout as well. The reservoir will be stocked with 3,000 legal trout the Week of March 27. The water level has been lowered due to head gate inspection by the Summer Lake irrigation district, please be careful around any of the water control structures within the reservoir. Water levels should be back to normal by the first week of April. Hybrid bass are targeted successfully using crank baits and fishing bait along the bottom. 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 new state record is 1 ½ inches longer and more than 1 lb. heavier than the previous record of 18 lbs. 9 oz. caught in 2009.

ANA RIVER: hatchery rainbow trout, brown trout

Fishermen have reported catching trout over 25-inches in Ana River recently. Ana River is open year-round and was stocked in November with larger rainbow trout 10 to 13-inches. Fingerlings were also released in the spring and should be approximately 8 to 10-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

Fishing in Annie Creek not recommended at this time due to high flows with ice moving through. 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. Open year-round.

BALM CREEK RESERVOIR: rainbow trout, smallmouth bass, crappie

The reservoir is ice-covered with access only by snowmobile. Fall fish sampling by ODFW indicated that the fingerlings planted last spring have survived and grown well. Fishable numbers of the legal and trophy-sized fish are available as well.

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

No recent fishing reports. The reservoir is currently at 87 percent of capacity and the boat ramp is useable based on the Bureau of Reclamation website. With the recent rains and warmer weather in the area, the reservoir is very murky and the dam has been opened up to accommodate continued snow melt in the basin.

BIG ROCK RESERVOIR: hatchery rainbow trout

Trout will likely not overwinter due to extremely low water levels.

BLITZEN RIVER: redband trout

The Blitzen River is currently flowing around 210 cfs with water temperatures fluctuating around 41oF. The current conditions for the Blitzen can be checked here. Fishing on the Blitzen is expected to be slow due to recent rains causing the river to run high and the water clarity to be low but recent observations indicate it’s still fishable. Spring is approaching and this will get some of the larger redband moving upstream in search of the spawning grounds so that will bring some new fish into the Page Springs area.

Throughout the winter and early spring, large nymphs and streamers can be used for the larger redband trout. Bead-headed wooly buggers in brown and olive are great winter flies to use on the Blitzen, and a lot of people fish them under a strike indicator. Using larger leaders will also help to pull fish out of tough to reach areas and the redband trout on the Blitzen are not know to be leader shy.

The South Loop Steens Road is still closed for the winter making it difficult to access the upper portions of the Blitzen.

BURNS POND: trout, bass

Fishing has been good for legal-sized rainbow trout recently on the Burns Pond but there have not been any recent reports. There was around 8 inches of ice on the pond and people had reported consistent catches of 12-inch rainbow trout. However, the ice has started to recede and currently, there is around an inch of ice near the middle of the pond with open water surrounding it. Fishing is currently possible with the amount of open water and recent flooding nearby is a good indication that more water will be opening up and the pond will fill this year.

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

Access is blocked by snow. Open all year.

CAMPBELL LAKE: hatchery rainbow trout, brook trout

Access is blocked by snow.

CAMPBELL RESERVOIR: redband trout, largemouth bass, crappie

There are no recent reports on the reservoir.

There are no boat ramps on the reservoir. 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.

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

The entire river is open all year and fly-fishing for redband trout 6 to 12-inches should be fair upstream of Paisley once the river comes down. Best time to fish is mid-day and dry flies and nymphs are very productive. 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

Fishing reports from last month indicated that fishing was fairly good at Chickahominy with consistent catches of 10-14 inch rainbow trout. There have been no recent fishing reports but the boat ramp is currently useable with all but a few sections of the boat ramp floating. Chickahominy is currently fuller than it has been since 2013/2014 so hopefully this will help to restore the fishery following the prolonged drought in the region.

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

Access is blocked due to snow.

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

Access is blocked by snow.

COTTONWOOD RESERVOIR (Lake County): redband trout

Access is blocked by snow. One rainbow trout per day, 15-inch minimum length may be harvested. The reservoir is nearly full and close to spilling.

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

No recent reports on ice formation or thickness but the Cow Lakes may be frozen over but should be starting to clear up following warmer weather in the region.

A fishing report from last year indicated that fishing was poor in the Cow Lakes. 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.

DEADHORSE LAKE: hatchery rainbow trout

Access is blocked by snow.

DELINTMENT LAKE: trout

No recent reports on ice formation and thickness. The roads to Delintment Lake have not been plowed so snowmobiles may be the only way to access it until the warmer weather clears things up. Fishing this past summer and fall was good at Delintment Lake but there is a possibility that a fish kill occurred following the heavy snows from this winter. Because of the location and ecology of the lake, fish kills often happen at Delintement and ODFW will monitor the lake when it becomes accessible and jump start the fishery when hatchery fish releases start to occur in the region.

DEMING CREEK: redband trout and bull trout

Access 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 fishing report.

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

There have been reports of yellow perch caught recently. Yellow perch are the best species to target on this lake in the winter, but crappie, brown bullhead and bass are present. Only one rainbow trout per day, 15-inch minimum length may be harvested.

DUNCAN RESERVOIR: hatchery rainbow trout and brown bullhead catfish

The reservoir is open and was recently spilling. Typically, Duncan Reservoir provides one of the better fishing options during spring break. Fly fishers should fish extremely slow and deep with black midge patterns, which can be effective in late March and early April. A recent illegal introduction of brown bullhead will negatively impact the trout fishery in the future. ODFW encourages the retention of all brown bullhead captured in this fishery.

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

The North Loop Steens Road is still closed for the winter making accessing Fish Lake difficult. The Burns District BLM office will open the road when things dry out and mud is not an issue. This may be later than usual this year with the heavy rains the region is experiencing.

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.

Access is available off Westside Road at Fourmile Springs. A small car topper boat or canoe can improve fishing access at this area. Anglers should be aware of private property around this area and can check Klamath County Land Ownership for information. Bait is allowed.

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

Access is blocked by snow.

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

The reservoir is frozen. Ice conditions are unknown. The reservoir is 76 percent full. Access is good as BLM maintains campgrounds at the reservoir. Fishing is slow. Best fishing is for yellow perch.

HAINES POND: rainbow

The pond is now ice free. There is report of some winterkill. The pond was stocked with pounder and legal-sized rainbow trout mid-October, 2016. First stocking for 2017 will be early to mid-April.

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

Access is blocked by snow.

HOLBROOK RESERVOIR: hatchery rainbow trout

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

HWY 203 POND: trout, bass, bluegill

The pond is now ice free. First stocking for 2017 will be mid-April.

JACKSON CREEK (UPPER WILLIAMSON RIVER): brook trout

Access likely blocked by snow. Fishing is open and bait allowed. This stream is very small with a large brook trout being 8 inches.

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. Water temperature is currently peaking at 50 degrees. Fishing for largemouth bass is slow. The reservoir is turbid,therefore anglers should try scent and highly visible lures. Fishing for brown bullhead catfish is likely your best bet and catch rates are currently fair.

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

All of Upper Klamath and Agency Lakes are ice-free. Boats can be launched at all boat ramps. Many boat docks have not been placed in the water such as Henzel and Shoalwater Bay. The lake is 0.7 feet below full pool. Water temperature is peaking at 49 degrees. Fishing is slow but anglers from shore and boat captured fish over the weekend. Water clarity is 1.5 to 2 feet depending on location. Redband trout are scattered. Best success is trolling from a boat. Anglers typically use spoons or plugs that mimic bait fish in the lake such as blue chub, tui chub, fat head minnows or sculpin species. Schools of fat head minnows were observed in some locations in the lake along the bull rush or under overhanging willows. Many anglers fish from shore using dead minnows or night crawlers. Anglers can fish from shore along Howard Bay, Shoalwater Bay, near Link River Trail and Lakeshore Landing.

Petric Park boat ramp is frozen.

KLAMATH RIVER: native rainbow-redband trout

Keno Dam to J.C Boyle Reservoir

Currently, fishing is very slow as fish are likely moving to spawning grounds. Water levels in the Keno Reach of the Klamath River are extremely high at 6,350 cfs. Expect variable daily flows in this section and ODFW recommends checking flows before fishing. This flow is very high for fishing. Water temperatures are increasing slightly and peaking around 49 degrees. Most redband trout are migrating to spawning grounds or spawning at this time.

Access to the river is extremely challenging especially considering the snow. 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 larvae work well.

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

Fishing on the Klamath River between JC Boyle Dam to JC Boyle Powerhouse is slow. Flows are extremely high below JC Boyle Dam and currently 3,753 cfs. 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

Fishing is very slow due to very high flows, 6,360 cfs. 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. 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

Recent reports indicate the ice is off Krumbo and that anglers are starting to catch some large trout from the dock and other areas. Krumbo can be a great later winter and spring fishery and often produces rainbow trout up to 18-inches long. Please note that only manual or electric powered boats are allowed on Krumbo so please do not use gas powered motors on the reservoir.

The Malheur National Wildlife Refuge does not allow ice fishing on Krumbo Reservoir so please respect these regulations and stay off the ice if it freezes over again. This is a safety regulation because there are numerous springs in Krumbo that can alter the ice conditions and make it dangerous for people to be on.

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

The lake is frozen but the ice is not safe for ice fishing.

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

Access is blocked by snow.

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

Access is limited due to snow.

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

The river is ice-free. Fishing for brown bullhead catfish is very slow.

LUCKY RESERVOIR: hatchery rainbow trout

Access is limited to 4-wheel drive vehicles. There have been no recent fishing reports, but fishing will pick up with warming water temperatures. Fingerlings released in 2016 should overwinter and create a great fishery for 2017.

MALHEUR RESERVOIR: hatchery rainbow trout

No recent fishing reports or reports of ice formation on Malheur Reservoir, but the reservoir was accessible last week and is holding water well. It should continue to fill as the warmer weather and rains in the area are expected to continue.

The reservoir dam was repaired and started holding water again in November of 2015. The reservoir was stocked with legal-sized and fingerling rainbow trout in the spring of 2016 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

No recent fishing reports but the lake is free of ice. Mann Lake and the rest of the east Steens region is still fairly dry and has not been experiencing the same flooding and wet conditions the rest of the region has. Reports indicate that there is still a decent amount of snow in the watershed and we are expecting conditions to improve as we move into the spring. Reports from earlier this winter indicated that the water was very low and there was only a foot of water below the ice in most places. The delayed filling of Mann Lake may be partially due to the depleted groundwater storage following prolonged drought conditions in the region. Hopefully this winter was enough to recharge things and restore the lake and provide better conditions for the fishery.

Currently, there are only two different age classes of cutthroat trout in Mann Lake. It was stocked in 2012 following the removal of invasive goldfish and it was slated to be stocked again in 2014 but a disease outbreak at the hatchery prevented these fish from being stocked. It was stocked with fingerling cutthroat trout in the spring of 2016 so these fish should be available to anglers this spring. ODFW will continue to monitor the lake this spring to determine how the fishery has responded to the less than ideal conditions.

Fathead minnows were found in Mann Lake this past summer 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.

MILL FLAT POND: hatchery rainbow trout, largemouth bass

Access is probably limited due to snow. Bass have been illegally introduced and are negatively impacting the hatchery rainbow trout. Bass up to 6 pounds have been caught in 2016.

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

Access to the lake is blocked by snow.

MUD LAKE: hatchery rainbow trout

The reservoir was reported spilling this past week. It is likely no fish survived from 2016, but the reservoir will be stocked with fingerlings again in 2017.

MURRAY RESERVOIR: trout

No recent reports on ice conditions.

NORTH POWDER POND: rainbow trout

No recent reports on ice conditions. The access road remains impassable due to snow drifts. The pond was stocked with pounder-sized rainbow trout mid-October. First stocking for 2017 will be mid-April.

OVERTON RESERVOIR: hatchery rainbow trout

Access is blocked by snow.

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

The Owyhee Reservoir is currently at 93 percent of capacity and the managers have been releasing extra water through the dam and the glory hole spillway in an attempt to accommodate heavy flows entering the reservoir. There have been no recent fishing reports for the Owyhee Reservoir but fishing is expected to be slow in these conditions.

Reports from the summer of 2016 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. The Gordon Gulch boat ramp is currently open and the Indian Creek boat ramp is likely open as well.

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

Water releases below the dam have been increased to around 1,920 cfs according to the USGS stream data. Fishing will be difficult or impossible with these conditions. There is an abundance of water entering the reservoir so it is expected that river flows will remain high in an attempt to control the reservoir.

OWYHEE RIVER (Upper): smallmouth bass and channel catfish

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

PIUTE RESERVOIR: hatchery rainbow trout

There have not been any recent fishing reports, but there should be open water this weekend. Over winter survival should be higher than previous years due to higher water level.

PHILLIPS RESERVOIR: trout, perch

Reservoir is covered with ice but there is a narrow band of open water around the perimeter due to rising water level. Ice cover will likely remain on the lake until mid-April. Storage is at 17 percent of capacity and increasing. Snow has been removed from the access road to the boat launch adjacent to Mason Dam.

A total of 4,000 trophy-sized and approximately 10,500 legal-sized rainbow trout were released spring 2016. September sampling by ODFW indicated that good numbers of the trophies are 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.

PILCHER RESERVOIR:

Due to a rule change in 2016, the reservoir is open to fishing year-round. The reservoir is covered with ice, but perimeter ice is softening. County crews have plowed snow from Tucker Flat Road and from the access road and parking area at the reservoir. However, there is 2-3 feet of snow at the reservoir, so getting from the parking area to the reservoir will require some effort.

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.

POISON CREEK RESERVOIR: hatchery rainbow trout

No recent fishing reports or reports of ice formation and thickness. Poison Creek Reservoir likely has a small amount of ice on it but the warmer weather and rain in the region should open things up soon.

Fishing in the summer of 2016 on Poison Creek Reservoir was slow but anglers did report catching large rainbow trout. The reservoir is unique in that it has a very robust population of large macroinvertebrates and this helps the trout to grow big rather quickly. The abundance of food for these trout may also be the reason that fishing is slow because the fish do not need to go far to find food so they move around less.

POLE CREEK RESERVOIR: hatchery rainbow trout, crappie

No recent fishing reports. Pole Creek is filling up and the conditions are expected to be better this year than the last two years.

PRIDAY RESERVOIR: hatchery rainbow trout

The reservoir will be stocked with trophy trout on the week of March 27. Legal and fingerling rainbow trout stocked in 2016 should have overwintered and create a good fishery this year. Priday Reservoir is mostly on BLM property between Plush and Adel. Please respect the private property on the reservoir and stay on the main road.

ROGGER POND: hatchery rainbow trout

Access is blocked by snow.

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

Flows are high. Fishing is slow for 6- to 8-inch brook trout. Anglers can access Sevenmile Creek at Nicholson Road and fish upstream of Nicholson Road. Bait is allowed upstream of Nicholson Road. Flows are high and water temperatures are cold. Fishing is best in the beaver dam pools above Nicholson Road. The bridge crossing Sevenmile Creek at Nicholson Road is closed. Open all year.

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

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

SHERLOCK GULCH RESERVOIR: hatchery rainbow trout

There have been no fishing reports this year. Fingerling rainbow trout were stocked in 2016 and should be in the 8- to 12-inches range this spring.

SID LUCE RESERVOIR: hatchery rainbow trout

Access is blocked by muddy roads and possibly high water on both Colvin and Snyder Creeks. There have been no recent fishing reports, but it has been spilling for some time now.

SPAULDING RESERVOIR: hatchery rainbow trout

The reservoir was dry in 2015 and 2016. Recent reports indicate the reservoir is full. If so, it will likely get stocked with fingerling rainbow trout in 2017.

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. Spawning redband trout can be observed in the picnic area upstream of the Logging Museum at Collier State Park.

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

The Sprague River is closed to fishing until April 22 to protect spawning redband trout. All tributaries to the Sprague River including Trout Creek, Sycan River, NF Sprague, Fivemile Creek, and SF Sprague remain open to fishing.

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 due to snow.

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 to 367 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

Access is limited due to snow. The South Fork Sprague River is open to fishing all year. Fishing is very slow in most areas due to low fish densities. Flow is very high (416 cfs) at the USFS day use park east of Bly.

SUMMIT PRAIRIE POND: hatchery rainbow trout

Access is blocked by snow.

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 this summer.

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

Access is very challenging to the lower river and snow is blocking access to the upper river. Fishing is very slow below the marsh as most of the river desiccated in summer of 2015. Flows are very high and have increased to 2,410 cfs.

THOMPSON VALLEY RESERVOIR: hatchery rainbow trout, largemouth bass

Access is blocked by snow on FS road 27, but you might be able to drive up FS road 28 and hike a short way into this reservoir.

THIEF VALLEY RESERVOIR: trout

The reservoir was drained completely by the Lower Powder River Irrigation District in mid-August 2016. While the reservoir is now at capacity, ODFW will not restock the reservoir with rainbow trout until mid-April 2017.

UNITY RESERVOIR: trout, bass, crappie

The ice cover is beginning to melt and reservoir water level is increasing rapidly due to inflow. There is a band of open water around the perimeter and larger areas of open water at inlets. Open water during ice-out can provide some very productive trout fishing. Reservoir storage is at 70 percent of capacity.

VEE LAKE: hatchery rainbow trout

Access is blocked by snow.

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

No recent fishing reports but the reservoir is clear of ice. The reservoir is currently at 84 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

Access is available. This pond is very productive and should be fished earlier in the season before vegetation takes over.

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. The Reservoir is spilling. Fishing for largemouth bass can be good in late March in the Creek channel. Best fishing is from a boat. Launching a boat might be problematic due to high reservoir levels. Bring waders or rubber boots to launch. Crappie are rare in the reservoir but can be found suspended near the large wood placement and spider block structures. Bluegill are abundant in the shallows but typically small and difficult to capture. Lahontan cutthroat are very rare. Yellow perch can be the most dominant fish in the reservoir but tend to stunt resulting in very small adult size (6 inches). The reservoir is turbid.

WOLF CREEK RESERVOIR: crappie, trout

The reservoir is covered with ice but there is a band of open water around the perimeter. Access to the parking area has been plowed of snow. Fishing has been good for rainbow trout 11 to 14 inches.

WOOD RIVER: redband, brown, brook and bull trout

The Wood River is closed to fishing until April 22.

YELLOWJACKET LAKE: trout

Recent reports indicate that fishing is very slow at Yellowjacket Lake. A few people used snowmobiles to access the lake in early February and did not catch any fish in a few different locations. ODFW will monitor Yellowjacket Lake when access improves to evaluate any negative effects of winter.


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SOUTHEAST ZONE: HUNTING

OPEN: COUGAR

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

Winter conditions: Motorized access is limited to plowed roads due to mud and/or snow.

Coyote populations are good throughout Harney County. Pair bonds have formed and calls mimicking coyote vocalizations are most effective.

Cougar hunting is open year around. 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.

Shed Hunting. Mule deer bucks have lost their antlers. Shed hunters are reminded that once an antler falls off it legally becomes the property of the landowner. Therefore shed hunters need to get permission from private landowners to access their property and pick up sheds.

Ground squirrels are becoming more active on warmer days. Be sure to obtain permission when entering private lands.

KLAMATH COUNTY

Ground Squirrels – squirrels are starting to emerge on warmer days. Be sure to obtain permission before entering private lands.

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 lower elevation winter ranges, and cougars often follow this prey base and become more concentrated themselves in these lower elevation areas. Use of predator calls and snow tracking are great hunting techniques during the winter period. 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. Remember a 2017 cougar tag and hunting license is needed to hunt.

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 March 21, 2017

Miller Island Unit

The Miller Island Unit is located 6 miles south and west of Klamath Falls.

Posted safety zones are closed to all hunting.

Feb. 1-April 30

Public use is restricted to public roads, parking areas, boat ramp, designated birding trail and designated dog training area to minimize disturbance to migrating waterfowl.

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.

Non-toxic shot is required for hunting on all units of the Klamath Wildlife Area.

Waterfowl and Upland Hunting Information

Currently all waterfowl and upland hunting seasons are closed.

Weekly and summarized harvest statistics can be found at: ODFW Klamath Wildlife Area Harvest Summaries

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) 883-5732.

LAKE COUNTY

Winter Conditions: Motorized access is limited to paved or all weather gravel roads due to mud and/or snow.

Cougar populations are good and most individuals have moved to lower elevations as deer are still on 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. Be aware that bobcats and cougars may respond to predator calls, and separate licensing and season limitations exist for these species.

Shed Hunting. Mule deer bucks are losing their antlers. With the continued snow conditions deer are still restricted to traditional winter ranges. Just as antlers begin to drop, deer and elk are at their poorest physical condition. They are using more energy than poor winter forage can replace. So when shed hunters inadvertently push or spook animals the additional energy expenditure could be enough to cause death due to malnutrition. You might consider doing the deer and elk a favor by waiting to search for dropped antlers until later in the spring. Shed hunters are reminded that once an antler falls off it legally becomes the property of the landowner. Therefore shed hunters need to get permission from private landowners to access their property and pick up sheds.

SUMMER LAKE WILDLIFE AREA

Updated March 7, 2017

ALL GENERAL HUNTING SEASONS ARE NOW OVER, AND DISCHARGING FIREARMS IS PROHIBITED, except by special access permit.

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

MALHEUR COUNTY

The northern portion of Malheur County is still covered in snow and access off main roads is very limited.

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.

Ground squirrels are becoming more active on warmer days. Be sure to obtain permission when entering private lands.


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SOUTHEAST ZONE WILDLIFE VIEWING

HARNEY COUNTY

EVENT

The 36th Annual John Scharff Migratory Bird Festival, April 6-9 2017, Burns

Spend an amazing weekend witnessing the spectacular spring migration in the Harney Basin of Southeast Oregon. View thousands of migratory birds as they rest and feed in the wide open spaces of Oregon's high desert. From waterfowl to shorebirds, cranes to raptors, wading birds to songbirds, you'll see it all!

The festival offers non-stop birding activities as well as historical and cultural information sure to entertain you and your family. So whether you're a beginner or a life-long wildlife enthusiast, the festival has something for everyone. More information

Spring migration is well underway and large numbers of snow geese, Ross’s geese, and sandhill cranes can be found in agricultural fields throughout the Harney Basin. Pintail, shoveler, wigeon, goldeneye, mallard, green-winged teal and cinnamon teal can also be found throughout the basin.

Shorebird migration is just beginning and should improve over the next few weeks as spring migration progresses. Lesser yellow legs and killdeer are some species that have already arrived.

Wintering passerine species (dark eyed juncos and house finches) are still fairly active around the county. Spring passerine migrants should be increasing in diversity and number as the season progresses. Spotted towhees, red-winged blackbirds and white-crowned sparrows are a few that have already started to show up.

Raptors continue to be found throughout the area. You should be able to view golden eagles, bald eagles and a variety of hawks perching on telephone poles and fence posts throughout the district. Resident raptors such as northern harriers and red-tailed hawks are very easily observed in open agricultural areas along with rough-legged hawks and an occasional ferruginous.

Sage grouse are actively attending leks. Binoculars or spotting scopes are needed to observe sage grouse as getting close to the leks will flush the birds.

Viewing opportunities around Burns/Hines and at Malheur National Wildlife Refuge will continue to improve as migration continues to develop and more species of passerines and breeding water birds arrive in the area.

Many of the bighorn sheep will be using lower elevation slopes and can often be seen from the highways. Bighorn sheep may be seen from highway 205 along Catlow Valley or along the East Steens Road. 3/20/2017

Klamath Falls Area

Spring migration is in full swing with new arrivals daily in the Klamath Basin. Lower Klamath National Wildlife Refuge offers great viewing opportunities for tundra swans, white-fronted, snow, and Ross’ geese. In addition, county access roads between Miller Island Rd and Stateline Rd may offer opportunities to observe large numbers of migratory geese foraging in agricultural fields or roosting on ponds and rivers in the area. Numbers of migrating geese within the basin are increasing weekly.

Wintering raptors can be found around the Lower Klamath Basin including bald eagles, golden eagles, rough-legged hawks and red-tailed hawks. Best viewing opportunities are near the state line area or around Yonna, Poe, and Langell Valleys east of Klamath Falls.

The Link River Trail offers great viewing opportunities for aquatic birds including great blue-heron, common goldeneye, Canada geese, bufflehead, and common merganser.

Mule 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. 3/14/2017

KLAMATH WILDLIFE AREA (Miller Island Unit)

Updated March 21, 2017

Viewers need to be aware road conditions can be poor at this time due to recent snow and rainfall events. Please use extreme caution because of the soft and muddy conditions especially along road edges.

Feb. 1 – Apr. 30

Public use is restricted to public roads, parking areas, boat ramp, designated birding trail and designated dog training area to minimize disturbance to migrating waterfowl.

Waterfowl

Flocks of Western Canada Geese can be found scattered across the area, many are starting to pair up and stake out nesting territories. White (Ross’s and Snow) and White-fronted geese have started to show up on their migration north. Approximately 20,000 white and 10,000 white-fronted geese were observed using the area over the past week. Majority of the white geese counted were Ross’s geese. Spring migratory goose numbers and use of the area should continue to stay the same during the following weeks.

Tundra swan numbers are decreasing, but some can still be found scattered around the area. The Occasional trumpeter swan can be located on the Miller Island Unit.

Numbers of dabbling ducks are still increasing, as migrants continue to show up. Pintail, mallard, wigeon, gadwall, American green-winged teal and northern shovelers can be seen in good numbers scattered across the area. Cinnamon teal continue to increase in numbers. Diver species such as: canvasback, bufflehead, common and barrows goldeneye, ruddy duck, ring-necked duck and scaup species are becoming a common sight on the area, and can be found most anywhere. Common and hooded mergansers can sometimes be observed using the Klamath River.

Shorebirds, waders and other waterbirds

Shorebird numbers remain low. Killdeer, yellow-legged species and black-necked stilts are becoming more abundant around the area. Dunlin and western sandpipers have been observed recently. Great blue heron, black-crowned night heron and American bitterns can be seen scattered around the area. American white pelicans have started to show up, but are still in low numbers. Sandhill cranes continue to increase in numbers. Virginia rails heard more often than seen can also be located.

Raptors

Great horned and barn owls can be seen at dusk. Red-tailed hawks, rough-legged, northern harriers, cooper hawks, Ferruginous hawks, sharp-shinned, American kestrels, prairie falcons can all be seen foraging throughout the wildlife area. The occasional peregrine falcon can also be observed using old power poles overlooking the wetlands. Common ravens are quite numerous at this time. Eagle species numbers continue to increase and are becoming quite common. Osprey have been recently observed using Miller Island.

Turkey vultures were observed during the week.

Upland Game Birds

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

Passerines

Eurasian collared dove can be found scattered over the area. Over the last couple of weeks large numbers of mourning dove have shown up.

American and lesser goldfinches, house finches, mountain chickadees, American robins, both brewers and red-winged black birds, spotted towhees, white-breasted nuthatches, black-billed magpies, western meadow larks and Northern flickers continue to be a common site throughout the area. Dark-eyed juncos, white-crowned and golden crowned sparrows are also common sites on the wildlife area. Tree swallow numbers continue to increase as they have already started squabbling over the best bird houses. Swallow species and numbers should continue to increase as spring progresses. The occasional Says phoebe can be spotted fly catching from fences and shrubs.

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

The occasional horned lark can be spotted on the wildlife areas agricultural fields.

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) 883-5732.

LAKE COUNTY

Tundra Swans, Snow Geese and White-fronted Geese are concentrated in flooded hay meadows in the Chewaucan, Goose Lake and Warner Valleys as well as Paulina Marsh. Early migrant ducks, Lesser Sandhill Crane and the larger gulls and terns are starting to show up. It is the time of year when new species are arriving every day.

The spring green up has started and deer are concentrated on lower elevation winter ranges. Be advised that most of the winter ranges and accessible areas in the valleys are privately owned and viewers should get permission prior to entering private land.

SUMMER LAKE WILDLIFE AREA

This section was updated on March 27, 2017.

New 2017 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) closed on March 15, 2017, but the Wildlife Viewing Loop remains open. The Wildlife Viewing Loop road now follows the main route on the south side of Link Canal from Bullgate Campground out to Link Corner. Viewers need to be aware road conditions can be poor this time of year due to snow and rainfall events. Please use caution because of the soft and muddy conditions especially along road edges. Roads leading into campgrounds are generally good. Road work improvements are being conducted along link canal, deepwater canal and Schoolhouse Lake. Parking areas are also being developed and caution should be used around heavy equipment.

Wildlife viewing is improving with the arrival northward migrants, especially migrating waterfowl.

Waterfowl

Waterfowl populations continue to stage and migrate through the area in good numbers.
Western Canada geese are widely distributed across the wildlife area, and many are beginning to form breeding pairs and establish nesting territories. Canada geese have begun to actively sit on nests.

Lesser snow and greater white-fronted geese are beginning to decrease in abundance as these migrants disperse further north to other staging areas and breeding grounds. White-fronted geese numbers should remain relatively high until mid to late April.

Duck numbers continue to increase as the spring migration continues. In addition to northern pintail, migrant canvasback, northern shoveler and ruddy ducks are staging in large numbers. Last week, 15 species of ducks were observed. Cinnamon and green-wing teal numbers are also increasing in abundance. American wigeon numbers have steadily been increasing and mallard pairs are establishing nesting sites.

Migrant swan numbers have decreased substantially, 232 were found last week. Swan numbers are beginning to drop as these early migrants depart enroute to more northerly staging areas. A few resident and non-breeding trumpeter swans remain widely scattered across the wildlife area. 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

Early migrant shorebirds are beginning to arrive. Greater yellowlegs were observed as well as a good number of killdeer. Shorebird diversity is increasing with American avocets, black-necked stilts, dunlins and a marbled godwit observed over the last week. American avocet numbers are increasing and the first Long-billed curlew was observed over the weekend. The overall number of shorebirds still remains low, but viewing opportunities will continue to improve.

American coot numbers are increasing at this time, nearly 2,700 were found on the weekly count. Sandhill cranes continue to arrive and disperse onto traditional nesting territories and several pairs are becoming vocal.

Gull numbers are increasing and are widespread across the wildlife area. Ring-billed gulls are the predominant species, but California gulls have also been observed. The tern island in east link, on the east side of the viewing loop is a good spot to view higher concentrations of gulls. American white pelicans have also arrived and smaller flocks are being observed on the north end of the wildlife area.

Very few migrant or returning grebes are present, but the occasional wintering individual can be still be found; 4 species (eared, horned, pied-billed and Western) should be present and are best viewed at Ana Reservoir and from the Schoolhouse Lake Viewing Blind. A Clark’s grebe was also observed in Gold Dike Impoundment during the weekly count.

Great blue and black-crowned night herons are still present in average, but low numbers. American bittern have been seen on a fairly regular basis over the past week.

Raptors and others

Northern harriers and red-tailed and rough-legged hawks are common this time of the year. Sharp-shinned and coopers hawks have also recently been observed. Bald and golden eagles, American kestrel, peregrine and prairie falcons can occasionally be found. Bald and golden eagle numbers are fairly high now as they are attracted to the large number of staging waterfowl, one of their preferred food sources.

Accipiters are frequently found around Headquarters where other birds are being fed.
Great horned owls are found scattered across the entire wildlife area, especially in the trees at campgrounds. Breeding season is well underway for great-horned owls and hooting is very common in the evening hours. 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 present in low numbers at Headquarters. Very few migrant sparrows are present at this time, but sparrow observations are increasing and the first Savannah sparrow was recently observed at Avey Channel. Tree swallows are widely distributed across the wildlife area and Cliff swallows were observed for the first time last week. Swallow numbers and diversity continue to increase. The first white-crowned and golden-crowned sparrows were recently observed at the headquarters complex.

Say’s phoebes continue to be observed, other early migrants should be appearing soon.

American robins, loggerhead and northern shrikes, Stellar’ s and scrub jays, and cedar waxwings are being observed in varied numbers across the wildlife area.

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

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

Red-winged blackbirds have returned to the area, moderate sized flocks were found last week and increasing numbers have returned to the feeder at Headquarters. Yellow-headed blackbirds have also returned and are quickly increasing in abundance.

European starlings are increasing number and are actively singing and exploring nest cavities.

Facilities and Access

Please remember: Calendar year 2017 parking permits are required beginning on January 1, 2017!

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) closed on March 15, 2017, but the Wildlife Viewing Loop remains open. The Wildlife Viewing Loop road has reopened on the south side of link canal from Bullgate Campground out to Link Corner.

Please be aware road conditions can be poor at this time of year due to snow and rainfall events. Roads may be soft and muddy, especially along edges. However, roads leading to campgrounds are in good condition.

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.

Habitat

The Area’s wetland units are very well flooded at this time. Extensive shallowly flooded sheetwater areas are providing excellent foraging opportunities for a variety of waterfowl.

Emergent marsh vegetation has lodged-over allowing for good visibility into the interior of many wetland units.

Muskrat houses are very obvious now and are frequently used by many species of birds.

Summer Lake continues to increase in size at this time.

Upland habitat remains in very good condition, forbs and grasses remain erect with an abundance of seeds. Green-up of several grass and small forb species is very apparent. Planted tree and shrubs in plots and the orchard have produced a good amount of fruit and are providing excellent sheltered sites and food resources for wildlife. Trees and shrubs are beginning to bud with warming temperatures and longer days.

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:

  • Weaver Pond, near Enterprise, and Roulette Pond, near Elgin, were stocked with surplus steelhead for an additional fishing opportunity.
  • The Imnaha River should continue to drop and fishing should start to improve this week.

Ice-fishing safety

The moderating weather conditions have been having an impact on ice conditions in many areas. With ice thinning and starting to pull away from shore, anglers should be increasingly cautious when stepping out on the ice. Take the following precautions: use the “buddy system,” wear a PFD in case of thin ice, carry a throw-rope, and use a heavy metal staff to check for thin-ice. REMINDER: The state of Oregon does not allow human-made ice holes larger than 12-inches in diameter or length.

If your favorite fishing spot is no longer listed

It could be the area is closed, inaccessible due to mud or snow, 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 which is currently closed to all access from Feb. 1 –April 14 to protect big game wintering.

BULL PRAIRIE RESERVOIR: rainbow and brook trout

The reservoir has frozen and ice fishing is available. Fishing should be fair since trophy sized trout were stocked in September but no reports have been received. Road access may be limited due to snow.

GRANDE RONDE RIVER: trout, whitefish, bass, steelhead

The Grande Ronde is very high and fishing will be difficult.

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 and fishing should be fair. An ADA fishing dock for anglers with disabilities is available.

IMNAHA RIVER: steelhead, trout, bass

Flows have made for a tough spring fishing the Imnaha. The river should continue to drop and fishing should start to improve this week.

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

Recent above freezing temperatures have opened up the majority of the river for fishing access. The majority of steelhead are scattered from the mouth up to Kimberly. Most 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.

Check river levels.

LONG CREEK POND, CAVENDER POND: trout

The pond has frozen but ice is likely to thin to support anglers. Fishing should be fair once ice thaws. Cavender Pond was stocked with trophy-sized trout the last September.

MAGONE LAKE: rainbow and brook trout

The lake is iced over and should provide fair ice fishing. The forest access road to the lake is likely deep snow conditions and not accessible by vehicles.

MARR POND: surplus steelhead

Steelhead collected at the hatchery weirs have been relocated to Marr pond to provide opportunity to catch some large fish. These stockings will occur periodically into March. This is a great chance for young anglers to hook into a “monster.”

Once these fish are stocked into the pond they are legally considered “trout” and do not require a steelhead tag or Columbia Basin Endorsement and do not have to be recorded on a tag. Only one fish over 20-inches may be kept/day.

McKAY RESERVOIR: warmwater/trout

Trout fishing will be fair with the cold water temperatures and muddy conditions as a result of high flow conditions. Angling for yellow perch and brown bullhead will be the main warm water targets in the early spring months.

MORGAN LAKE: rainbow trout

Closed to fishing.

PEACH POND (Ladd Marsh): rainbow trout

The ice cover on the pond has melted. The pond was stocked with pounder and legal-sized rainbow trout mid-October. First stocking for 2017 will occur early to mid-April.

ROULET POND: rainbow trout

The ice cover is melting. The pond was stocked with pounder and legal-sized rainbow trout mid-October. First stocking for 2017 will occur early to mid-April.

ROWE CREEK RESERVOIR: rainbow trout

Remains open all year. Proceed with caution if reservoir is iced-over. Ice may be too thin to support anglers. Trout fishing is fair but the water level is very low.

UMATILLA RIVER: steelhead

The river has been high and unfishable for the last two weeks. Once the high flows subside fish should be spread throughout the system.

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

WALLOWA COUNTY PONDS: rainbow trout

The ice is off Kinney Lake and anglers can drive to the parking lot. Recent reports are that catch rates are good for rainbow trout from 12- to 14-inches. These fish were stocked last fall to provide n winter and early spring fishery.

WALLOWA LAKE: rainbow trout, kokanee, lake trout

Wallowa Lake is now free of ice and accessible for fishing. Boat docks have not been installed so launching a boat will be a creative process. Anglers are reporting finding nice sized rainbow trout to 18-inches.

Anglers have also reported catching kokanee to 13-inches, which is much improved from previous years.

WALLOWA RIVER: steelhead, mountain whitefish

The Wallowa River is hitting full swing for steelhead and anglers are regularly finding fish. However, the river is currently very high and fishing will be difficult. When flows drop, this is a great fishery to get young anglers started on steelhead with easy access and the ability to warm up in a nearby vehicle. Tying a beadhead nymph below a jig or bait can regularly produce whitefish to keep kids interested. These nymphs will also produce steelhead at a surprisingly high rate.

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, COYOTE

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

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. Remember a 2017 cougar tag and hunting license is needed to hunt as of Jan. 1.

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. Remember a 2017 cougar tag and hunting license is needed to hunt as of Jan. 1.

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

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. Remember a 2017 cougar tag and hunting license is needed to hunt as of Jan. 1.

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. Remember a 2017 cougar tag and hunting license is needed to hunt as of Jan. 1.

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

UNION COUNTY

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. Remember a 2017 cougar tag and hunting license is needed to hunt as of Jan. 1.

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

All hunting seasons authorized on Ladd Marsh are closed. Beginning February 1, the wildlife area, including the Glass Hill Unit, is closed to public entry. The Glass Hill Unit will re-open April 1.

WALLOWA COUNTY

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. Remember a 2017 cougar tag and hunting license is needed to hunt as of Jan. 1.

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.

Early in the morning and late in the afternoon are good times to view wildlife.

Elkhorn Wildlife Area

Elkhorn Wildlife Area is known for the Rocky Mountain elk and mule deer herds that frequent the area during the winter. When snow covers the ground, ODFW staff feed elk and deer to encourage them to stay in the higher elevations and out of agricultural fields.

There are two good viewing sites. The Anthony Creek site is located about eight miles west of I-84 on North Powder River Lane. From I-84 take the North Powder Exit (Exit 285). About 150 elk can be seen here on any given day. From the overlook on Auburn Road, watch hundreds of elk and mule deer. It is on the south side of Old Auburn Road, which branches off Highway 7 about six miles south of Baker City.

Grant County

Bald Eagles 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.

UNION COUNTY

Ladd Marsh Wildlife Area

Mark your calendar: Ladd Marsh Bird Festival begins May 19 with Mark Obmascik, author of Big Year: A Tale of Man, Nature and Fowl Obsession, as featured speaker.

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.

At this time all of Ladd Marsh, including the Glass Hill Unit, is closed to public entry. The Tule Lake Public Access Area will open to visitors March 1. 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.

Great horned owls have begun nesting. Watch for the incubating bird’s head showing above the nest. Some red-tailed hawks are “staking out” nest sites and performing nest repairs. Egg laying won’t be far behind. American kestrels remain common throughout the area and are often seen hunting from perch sites and may now be seen in pairs. A single prairie falcon is still using areas along Pierce Rd.

White-crowned sparrows are present in good numbers and song sparrows are widespread and abundant. Northern shrikes, while not common can be found at various locations on the area.

Ponds and wetlands have thawed and are full of bot water and birds. Tundra swans have been using the refuge below Foothill Road as well as Schoolhouse Pond east of Peach Road. Greater white-fronted geese are in and Canada geese are paired up. Canada geese will be on nests soon. Thousands of ducks are utilizing the area including mallard, gadwall, northern pintail, bufflehead, scaup and American green-winged teal.

Elk and deer have remained at lower elevations. They can often be seen from county roads by glassing the slopes of Glass Hill or across the flats to the east. Use caution to avoid spooking wildlife into roads or highways for their safety and the safety of the traveling public. 2/21/2017

UMATILLA COUNTY

Columbia Basin Wildlife Areas

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.

Hermiston area

Locals report seeing American robins, black-billed magpies, belted kingfisher, downy woodpecker, bohemian waxwings, northern flickers, white-crowned sparrow and yellow-rumped warbler. Raptors in the area include American kestrel, bald eagles, northern harriers, and red-tailed hawks. Waterfowl seen include American Coot, American wigeon, Canada geese, common merganser, hooded merganser, northern shoveler and snow geese. Shorebirds and other waterbirds observed include American white pelican, Great blue heron, Black-crowned night-heron, ring-billed gull and Western grebe. 1/3/2017

Umatilla County Uplands

Upland 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. 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 a gyrfalcon. Look for bald eagles perched in the larger trees along Wallowa Lake shore or on power poles near water in the Wallowa Valley and Grande Ronde River in the Troy area. Migrating bald eagles can also be seen in the Prairie Creek and Elk Mt. Road areas east of Enterprise.

A good place to observe mule deer is along the Wallowa Lake highway between Joseph and the south end of Wallowa Lake. Drive slowly and watch along the moraine on the east side of the lake around dawn and dusk. Be careful to use the turnouts when stopping to watch these animals, as there will be other traffic on the road. White-tailed deer can be found throughout the Wallowa Valley on or near agricultural lands.

Many elk are moving back onto the Zumwalt Prairie now, although some are still on the breaks above Little Sheep Creek or the Imnaha River. Try driving the Zumwalt Prairie Road or Lower Imnaha River Road and looking carefully on ridge tops. 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.

While many of our migrant waterfowl have already headed north with the advent of warmer weather, some can still be seen flying into Wallowa Lake in the evenings from the county park at the north end of the lake. Canada geese and several species of ducks can also be seen feeding in agricultural fields and along streams around the county. Other migrants have begun to move into the area including: Say’s phoebes, horned larks, and robins. Mountain bluebirds have returned from their southern haunts and can be seen in the Wallowa Valley and Imnaha Canyon. Two sandhill cranes were located this week along Highway 3 in the Snow Hollow area north of Enterprise. 3/21/17


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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 Sport Fishing Regulations, these are considered trout and no Combined Angling Tag or Columbia Basin Endorsement are required.

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

The Snake River is currently running very high and will be extremely difficult for anglers to catch fish. The likelihood of flows dropping in the near future is very slim while water is let out of the reservoirs to make room for spring runoff.

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 current 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:

  • Spring Chinook angling is open to both boat and bank anglers from Buoy 10 upstream to Beacon Rock, except for the sanctuary at the Lewis River Mouth. Beacon Rock to Bonneville Dam is open to bank angling only. For sanctuary details please follow the Sport Fishing Regulation Update link below.
  • Spring Chinook angling is open from Tower Island powerlines upstream to the Oregon/Washington border above McNary Dam, plus the banks between Bonneville and Tower Island powerlines.
  • The Bonneville Pool is closed to the retention of white sturgeon because the winter catch guideline of sturgeon has been met. Catch-and-release fishing remains an option during the retention closure.
  • The Dalles Pool is closed to the retention of white sturgeon because the catch guideline of 100 sturgeon has been met. Catch-and-release fishing remains an option during the retention closure.
  • The John Day Pool is open to the retention of legal white sturgeon until the guideline of 105 fish is met.
  • The McNary Pool is open to the retention of legal white sturgeon through July 31.
  • White sturgeon retention is closed from Buoy 10 upstream to Bonneville Dam, but remains an option for catch and release fishing.

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

Salmon, Steelhead and Shad

On Saturday’s (3/25) flight, 104 salmonid boats and 95 Oregon bank anglers were counted from the Columbia River estuary to Bonneville Dam. Catch rate and effort remain low due to high, dirty water.

Gorge Bank: No report.

Gorge Boats: No report.

Troutdale Boats: Weekend checking showed no catch for nine boats (17 anglers).

Portland to Westport Bank: Weekend checking showed one steelhead kept, plus one steelhead released for 109 bank anglers.

Portland to Westport Boats: Weekend checking showed no catch for 28 boats (75 anglers).

Estuary Bank (Clatsop Spit to Wauna Powerlines): No report.

Estuary Boats (Tongue Point to Wauna Powerlines): No report.

Bonneville Pool (Bonneville Dam upstream to The Dalles Dam): No report.

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

John Day Pool (John Day Dam upstream to McNary Dam): No report.

STURGEON

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

Bonneville Pool (Bonneville Dam upstream to The Dalles Dam): Closed for retention. Weekly checking showed two legal white sturgeon kept, plus 17 sublegal and one oversize sturgeon released for 32 bank anglers; and 52 sublegal and four oversize sturgeon released for six boats (19 anglers).

The Dalles Pool (The Dalles Dam upstream to John Day Dam): Closed for retention. Weekly checking showed four sublegal sturgeon released for 14 bank anglers; and two sublegal sturgeon released for six boats (14 anglers).

John Day Pool (John Day Dam upstream to McNary Dam): Weekly checking showed three legal white sturgeon kept, plus 29 sublegal and three oversize sturgeon released for 97 bank anglers; and 12 legal white sturgeon kept, plus 59 sublegal, one legal and 15 oversize sturgeon released for 36 boats (96 anglers).

WALLEYE

Troutdale: No report.

Bonneville Pool: No report.

The Dalles Pool: Weekly checking showed 69 walleye kept, plus three walleye released for 18 boats (42 anglers).

John Day Pool: Weekly checking showed nine walleye kept, plus 15 walleye released for 33 boats (61 anglers).


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MARINE ZONE FISHING

Weekend Opportunities
                        

  • NOTICE: Razor clams remain closed along the entire Oregon coast due to elevated levels of domoic acid. This includes all beaches and bays.
  • Fishing for bottomfish in the ocean can be good in the winter, when weather allows.
  • Reminder bottomfish fishing is restricted to inside of the 30 fm regulatory line beginning on April 1.
  • This coming weekend is the first of the morning minus tides and a great time to visit tidepools, or harvest bay clams and mussels. Remember, razor clams remain closed.

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.

OCEAN SALMON

The ocean recreational Chinook salmon fishery off Oregon is currently open from Cape Falcon to Humbug Mt. from March 15 – April 30. Fishing effort and catch have been slow so far.

Ocean salmon fishing seasons for 2017 are still being developed. Please stay tuned for updates on the 2017 seasons. Details, including regulations, and more information on ocean salmon seasons.

BOTTOM FISHING

When the weather allows, fishing in the winter months for lingcod and rockfish can be fun and successful. The ocean fishing is good, private boats had about 5 rockfish per angler and near limits of lingcod for everyone. Charters had near limits of rockfish and at least one lingcod per angler.

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 been declared rebuilt and is now part of the 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 daily 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?” (Updated for 2017) and species identification tips, are available on the ODFW sport bottomfish webpage.

Reminders:

  • Bottomfish is restricted to shoreward of the 30 fathom line (defined by waypoints) beginning April 1.
  • Cabezon season is closed; it will reopen July 1, 2017.

 

Beginning Jan. 1, 2017 vessels fishing for or retaining bottomfish are required (1) to have onboard a functioning rockfish descending device, and (2) use it to descend any rockfish released when fishing outside of the 30 fathom regulatory line. For more information and videos, please see the rockfish recompression webpage.

In addition to the new descending device rule, 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.

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.

PACIFIC HALIBUT

Beginning Jan. 1, 2017 vessels fishing for or retaining halibut are required (1) to have onboard a functioning rockfish descending device, and (2) use it to descend any rockfish released when fishing outside of the 30 fathom regulatory line. For more information and videos, please see the rockfish recompression webpage.

The 2017 halibut quota is up 16.7 percent from 2016, which should allow for some additional fishing days, depending on weather and catch rates.

Columbia River Subarea: The all-depth fishery opens Thursday, May 4, 2017, every Thurs-Sun until the quota is caught or Sept 30. The nearshore fishery opens May 8, 2017 every Mon-Wed until the quota is caught or Sept 30.

Central Oregon Coast Subarea: The nearshore fishery opens June 1, 2017, seven days per week until the quota is caught or Oct. 31. The staff recommended spring all-depth “fixed” dates are: May 11-13, May 18-20, June 1-3, June 8-10, and June 15-17. If quota remains after those dates, back-up days may be available every other week. The summer all-depth fishery opens Friday, Aug 4, 2017, and every other Fri-Sat until the quota is caught or Oct 31.

Southern Oregon Subarea: Opens May 1, seven days per week until the quota is caught or Oct 31.

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 (closed until July 1, 2017), 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 lingcod 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.

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 March 14.

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 remain 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.

Crabs

Ocean and bay crabbing is open coastwide. Bay crabbing has slowed down as it typically does this time of the year. Recent reports are about 2-3 crab per person in the ocean.

MARINE WILDLIFE VIEWING

Travel Oregon has great ideas for Winter Wildlife Watching on the Coast.

If you’re at the coast, you may see small, clear or opaque, gelatinous organisms washing up on the beach – these are called pyrosomes. Pyrosomes are a type of colonial tunicate that is made up of thousands of individuals all working together. They are native to Oregon, and typically live offshore, but can get pushed onshore with winter storms and currents. Pyrosomes are found worldwide and in some places can get quite long.

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!

A king eider was observed in Coos Bay recently – a rare sight. 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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