OREGON DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND WILDLIFE

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Welcome to the ODFW Recreation Report - February 2, 2016

Fishing, Hunting and Wildlife Viewing

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


Come visit us at the Pacific Northwest Sportsmen’s show

Stop by our booth at the NW Sportsman’s Show at the Portland Expo Center Feb. 10-14 to renew your license, get your questions answered or just say hi to ODFW staff and commissioners. Meet members of the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commissioner at a reception on Thursday, Feb. 11 from 4:45 p.m. - 6:30 p.m. in the Green Theater at the Portland Expo Center, located at 2060 N Marine Dr., Portland. For more information about Oregon’s largest outdoor industry trade show, visit the NW Sportsmen’s Show website.

Winter steelhead fishing now in full swing

Winter steelhead fishing is in full swing in many parts of Oregon, with good conditions and catch rates reported in many locations throughout Oregon. Alert anglers will keep any eye on their favorite streams to look for the perfect combination of color, temperature, and flow. They also will keep an eye on the weekly Recreation Report to see which rivers are beginning to get fish and where they’re distributed in the river.

Try bottom-fishing on the Oregon coast for a unique winter adventure

During safe weather windows, winter is a great time for bottom fishing: rockfish can be large and daily limits of lingcod are not unusual. Because of El Niño, anglers this winter might also run into uncommon or unusual species. Anglers have been reeling in some limits of very large of bottom fish out of Newport and Winchester Bay.

New year-round trout fishing streams

Anglers rejoice: Many waterbodies are now open to year-round fishing for trout. See the new 2016 Oregon Sport Fishing Regulations for details.

Apply for a spring bear hunt by Feb. 10

Apply online, at a license sales agent or by mail or fax order. SW Oregon tags, which are sold on a first-come, first-serve basis, usually sell out before the draw so get yours now (as of today, about 300 are left). See the spring bear hunting regulations for details.

Learn to fish and hunt at an ODFW class

We’ve got a variety of classes coming up, see our calendar of events for the latest http://www.odfwcalendar.com/

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NORTHWEST ZONE: FISHING

Weekend fishing opportunities:

  • Steelhead fishing is should be fair to good on many North Coast streams as soon as river levels drop from recent rains.

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.

Trout season in coastal river systems will re-open May 22, 2016.

2016 trout stocking schedule

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

NORTH COAST LAKES

Trout stocking will resume in March. Town Lake, Coffenbury Lake, Lost Lake, Lake Lytle, and Lorens Pond have been stocked with surplus hatchery steelhead.

MID COAST LAKES

Stocking of rainbow trout will begin soon in many mid coast water bodies. Look at the stocking report to see the full stocking season.
Fishing for the various warm water fish species tends to be slower during the winter months. There are numerous lakes in the Florence area that can provide good opportunity and have both boat and bank access.

ALSEA RIVER: steelhead

Winter steelhead fishing is good with anglers doing well in the upper to mid river sections. With so much rain this winter, many fish have pushed upstream quickly. During higher flows, the upper river fishes well. During lower clear flows, it’s better to focus efforts in the mid to lower river sections. Casting spinners / spoons, or floating bait or a jig are good options.

KILCHIS RIVER: steelhead

The river is dropping from recent storms. Steelhead fishing has been fair to good depending on conditions, with fish spread out through the river. Use lighter gear as the river clears.

LOWER COLUMBIA TRIBUTARIES: steelhead

Winter steelhead are available in Big Creek, Gnat Creek and the NF Klaskanine rivers. Fishing has been good. The run of hatchery fish will begin to taper off soon, so now is a good time to hit these streams.

NECANICUM RIVER: steelhead

Winter steelhead fishing should be fair to good. Fish are spread through the system. Boaters should watch for downed wood.

NEHALEM RIVER AND BAY: steelhead

Winter steelhead angling in the North Fork Nehalem should be fair to good. Lots of fish are in the system although the number of fresh fish is tapering off. The mainstem Nehalem River should produce fair to good angling depending on flows and river condition. Steelhead are entering the Salmonberry River also.

Anglers who catch a steelhead or salmon with numbered tag(s) are encouraged to report catch information via the internet or by calling ODFW at 503-842-2741 and asking for Derek Wiley. All live tagged fish that are not legal to retain or are voluntarily not kept should be released quickly and unharmed with tags intact.

NESTUCCA RIVER AND THREE RIVERS: steelhead

Steelhead fishing has been fair to good when river conditions are conducive to angling. Fish have been spread out, with fish caught in the mainstem well above Beaver. Three Rivers is still producing fair to good catches also. Use brighter gear in more off color water, and look for seams or other slower moving stretches of water.

OLALLA LAKE: cutthroat trout, rainbow trout

The reservoir reopens Feb. 1 and trout stocking at this location is scheduled to begin the week of Feb. 8 with the release of 2,000 rainbows. This site is a 120-acre reservoir on Olalla Creek about a mile north of Toledo, Ore.

The shoreline and much of the surrounding landscape is owned by Georgia Pacific Corporation and is managed as commercial timberland. The company allows public access to the water, and small boats without motors may be launched.

SALMON RIVER: steelhead

Winter steelhead fishing is fair and fish can be found throughout the mainstem as river conditions allow. Casting lures, bouncing the bottom or drifting jigs or bait under a bobber are good techniques to consider.

SILETZ RIVER: steelhead

Winter steelhead fishing is fair to good with both bank and boat anglers hooking fish through the mainstem as river conditions allow. The river should fish well most of this week. Side drifting, bouncing bottom or bobber fishing can be productive.

SIUSLAW RIVER: steelhead

The winter steelhead fishery is fair to good for both the Siuslaw and Lake Creek systems. With so much rain this winter, anglers have not had that many quality fishing days so get out there when you can because the next few weeks are typically peak season. During higher flows, the Lake Creek basin tends to fish better and clear more quickly. Casting lures, bobber fishing or pulling plugs are good options.

TILLAMOOK BAY: sturgeon

Catch-and-release fishing for sturgeon could be good. Fish the channel edges on the outgoing tides.

TRASK RIVER: steelhead

Winter steelhead fishing should be fair to good. The north and south forks will have steelhead available also.

Anglers who catch a steelhead or salmon with numbered tag(s) are encouraged to report catch information via the internet or by calling ODFW at 503-842-2741 and asking for Derek Wiley. All live tagged fish that are not legal to retain or are voluntarily not kept should be released quickly and unharmed with tags intact.

WILSON RIVER: steelhead, Chinook

Steelhead angling should be good as the river drops from recent high water. Fish are spread out through the system. Angling for Chinook is closed. An error in the 2016 Fishing Regulations mistakenly lists river as open for hatchery Chinook beginning January 1. The correct opening date is April 1.

YAQUINA RIVER: steelhead

The winter steelhead fishery is fair in the Big Elk and should continue to produce over the next few weeks. Look for the next good rain to push in another batch of fish. Anglers are reminded that there is a lot of private property along the Big Elk. Casting lures or bobbers fishing are the best techniques for this river.


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NORTHWEST ZONE: NORTH COAST HUNTING

OPEN: COUGAR, SNIPE, NW PERMIT GOOSE (opens Feb. 6)

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. See regulations for details (pdf).

NW Permit Goose: The next hunt period opens on Feb. 6 and goes through March 10. Hunters are reminded that taking of dusky Canada geese is prohibited, and that there will be no check stations for goose hunters as in previous years.

Wilson’s snipe are found in marshes and on wet areas on old logging landings. These small birds are challenging targets with a shotgun, and the season extends through Feb. 21, 2016.


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NORTHWEST ZONE: NORTH COAST WILDLIFE VIEWING

The canvasback is a unique-looking duck with its gently sloping forehead, red head and white/gray body. A diving duck, it usually occupies lakes and deeper waters of estuaries. There are two locations on the north coast that are generally reliable when it comes to finding them. One is Cape Meares Lake, west of Tillamook and next to the village of Cape Meares. The other is SW end of the Hwy 101 Bridge that crosses Young’s Bay. 1/19/16

The Oregon Coast Birding Trail www.oregoncoastbirding.com is a great resource for all things birding along the Oregon coastline. The website includes lists of trails by region, a planning guide, checklists, a schedule of special events and more. For example, in the north coast region, there are 43 suggested bird trails alone! It’s a resource well worth investigating. 1/25/16

Migratory ducks, as well as loons, grebes and coots, have been present on the north coast now for a while, and offer decent viewing opportunities on most estuaries. Recent freezing weather and iced-up ponds in the valley have driven more birds over to coastal areas. Optics, such as binoculars or spotting scopes, really help in identification of the birds. 1/4/2016

Snowy plovers have been seen on north coast beaches this fall and will likely make more appearances throughout the winter months as well. Also, with the heavy storm season upon us, be on the lookout for unusual birds on beaches and spits that may have been blown ashore after strong sou’wester events.

TILLAMOOK COUNTY

Great egrets have recently been seen in Tillamook area pastures along the Nestucca, Tillamook, Trask and Wilson rivers. These elegant-looking white birds are slightly smaller than their cousins, the great blue herons, but can sometimes be seen foraging together in the same fields. Groups of up to 70 in one field have been seen recently.

Wintering raptors are nothing new to the fields around Tillamook but there have recently been large concentrations of them, sometimes squabbling over voles and field mice. Most of the birds are juvenile red-tailed hawks, but there are also adults and other buteo species present. A good field guide can help distinguish between the similar-looking juveniles, dark- and light-phase adults. 1/4/2016

The Nestucca Bay NWR near Pacific City is host to a variety of Canada geese, including the Aleutian, dusky, western and cackler races. They can easily be seen from Hwy 101, just north of Neskowin. To sort out races of geese, or read neck collars, binoculars or a spotting scope are very helpful. Last year there was a rare visitor, a tundra bean goose; it stayed at the NWR quite a while. The nearly all-white snow goose is an occasional visitor as well.

CLATSOP COUNTY

The Twilight Eagle Sanctuary, located east of Astoria, just off of Hwy 30 is a great place to observe not only bald eagles, but a host of wintering waterfowl. The viewing platform is complete with interpretive panels and provides a great overview of Wolf Bay on the lower Columbia River. Tundra swans are occasional seen there off in the distance near the main river channel. As always, optics are very helpful here.

Jewell Meadows Wildlife Area

Elk viewing has been good at Jewell Meadows Wildlife Area with the winter feeding program under way. Elk have been staying out in the open fields for much of the day. Best viewing times are mornings and evenings. Good places to look are the Fishhawk Tract along Hwy 202 and the Beneke Tract along the first 1.5 miles of Beneke Creek Road.

Visitors are urged to use caution around the main viewing area as construction activities are occurring. The public restrooms are closed for remodeling, and will remain closed though mid-January. Portable restrooms are available. 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, August 1, 2015 to March 15, 2016 (see big game regulations for exceptions). Wildlife Area Parking Permits are required on the wildlife area.

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SOUTHWEST ZONE: FISHING

Weekend fishing opportunities:

  • Winter steelhead fishing on the Rogue River should be good for the next week as the river drops back into shape.
  • The Illinois River is seeing some winter steelhead returns and is currently in good fishing shape.
  • Surplus hatchery steelhead were recently released in Garrison Lake, which also has a fair number of trout and offers viable alternative to streams.
  • Bank anglers have been doing well for trout and landlocked Chinook salmon recently at Lost Creek Reservoir.
  • The middle and upper Rogue are looking good for steelhead fishing this week now that flows are dropping into shape following high water.
  • Bottom-fishing has been good at Winchester Bay.
  • Winter steelhead fishing is now open on the South Umpqua River and anglers have had success when conditions allow.
  • This time of year, winter steelhead anglers should keep an eye on river conditions and be ready to hit the rivers as waters start to drop and clear.

If your favorite fishing spot is no longer listed

It’s probably because that river, lake or reservoir is closed for the season, inaccessible due to snow and bad roads, or offers limited fishing opportunities during the winter months. These water bodies will re-appear in the Recreation Report when they re-open next spring, or when access and/or opportunity improves.

2016 trout stocking schedules

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

Ice-fishing safety

With several water bodies beginning to ice over, it’s a good time to be reminded that anglers should always use caution during first-ice conditions. 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. Vexilar’s Ice Fishing Today website has a quick 2-minute video describing how to be safe during early ice.

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.

APPLEGATE RESERVOIR: largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, trout

Freezing weather can create traction problems at French Gulch, so traction tires or four wheel drive vehicles are helpful. Boat angling is the preferred method at Applegate during winter due to steep banks along the shoreline. Trout are available. Trout anglers will probably do best still fishing with bait or trolling a flasher/lure or flasher/bait combination. Reports indicate fishing has been good over the last few weeks. Applegate Reservoir is 14 percent full.

APPLEGATE RIVER: steelhead, trout

Beginning Jan. 1, the Applegate is open to harvest of hatchery steelhead. Wild steelhead must be released unharmed. The Applegate is dropping and clearing and fish should be distributed throughout the river. Fish have been caught over the last few days on Cleos, and pink rubber worms as well as fly angling.

ARIZONA POND: rainbow trout

Water level in the pond has been lowered to help control aquatic vegetation. The pond is managed by Oregon State Parks for youth-only fishing and is located at Arizona Beach State Recreation Area; approximately halfway between Gold Beach and Port Orford.

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

The first stocking of 2016 is slated for late February/early March. Warmwater fishing for bass, crappie and bluegill can be slow during winter months.

CHETCO RIVER: steelhead

Steelhead fishing should be excellent as flows drop and clear. Steelhead are scattered throughout the river, with the majority of hatchery fish in the lower river. February is a good month to fish the river as angling pressure starts to drop off.

COOS COUNTY LAKES/PONDS: trout

Lakes in Coos County are open all year for trout fishing. Last week 30 hatchery steelhead, that returned to Eel Lake trap, were stocked into Butterfield Lake to provide additional fishing opportunity for trout anglers. These steelhead stocked into Butterfield Lake are no considered trout and may be harvest. The daily trout bag limit in Butterfield is 5 trout per day with only 1 trout over 20 inches per day.

COOS RIVER BASIN: Dungeness crab, steelhead, bay clams

Steelhead anglers are catching lots of steelhead when conditions are right. With the recent rain the river might be fishable today but too high and muddy tomorrow. Anglers are catching steelhead drift fishing corkies or eggs. Jigs fished under a bobber area also catching several steelhead. The West Fork Millicoma River is the first river to clear after a rain followed by the East Fork Millicoma and South Fork Coos rivers. Anglers fishing the South Fork Coos River above Dellwood will need a permit from Weyerhaeuser, which they can pick up at the Dellwood office. In the Coos Basin 1 additional hatchery steelhead may be retained per day for a total aggregate of 3 adult fish harvested daily.

Recreational harvest of crab re-opened from the Columbia River to the California border. It is still recommended you discard the crab viscera (guts/butter) before cooking. Crabbing is best on the incoming tide in Coos Bay due to the amount of freshwater in the bay from the recent rain.

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. Due to low tide exchanges this week, the next good opportunity to dig bay clams will be in a week. Recreational harvest of razor clams is closed for Tillamook Head south to the California border 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: salmon, crab

Steelhead fishing has been good on the North Fork Coquille River at LaVerne Park. Currently the water level is too high to effectively fish the South Fork Coquille. The mainstem Coquille is currently running at or near flood stage so fishing will be difficult. In the Coquille Basin 1 additional hatchery steelhead may be retained per day for a total aggregate of 3 adult fish harvested daily.

Recreational harvest of crab re-opened from the Columbia River to the California border. It is still recommended you discard the crab viscera (guts/butter) before cooking. Crabbing will be slow in the Coquille due to the amount of freshwater in the bay from the recent rain.

DIAMOND LAKE: trout

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

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

Diamond Lake was stocked with over 300,000 trout in 2015. There have been some reports of successful ice fishing trips, but unsafe ice conditions have limited access recently. Ensure safe conditions before venturing onto the ice and review the 2016 Oregon Sport Fishing Regulations on ice fishing.

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

ELK RIVER: steelhead

Steelhead are spread throughout the river. Most Chinook have spawned and/or moved into the tributaries. Anglers are focusing on steelhead; side drifting eggs, running plugs, or fly fishing. Anglers can call Elk River Hatchery (541-332-0405) for river conditions.

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

The park is open during daylight hours in winter, and sources indicate that the boat ramps now appear useable. Bass, panfish and trout are available, though warmwater fishing is slow with the colder weather. The water level in the reservoir is at 40 percent of capacity.

EXPO POND: trout

The southern-most pond at Expo is stocked with rainbow trout. Access to this pond is at gate 1.5.

FISH LAKE: rainbow trout, brook trout, spring Chinook

Fish Lake is ice covered but provides a chance for some winter trout ice fishing. Ice is reportedly solid except for the middle of the lake where it is still a bit mushy. Anglers reportedly caught a few nice trout ice fishing over the last weekend. Water levels have rebounded nicely at Fish Lake and the lake is now 34 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

The best method for catching trout is slow trolling flies or wedding ring spinners from a boat. Bank access is limited. This time of year anglers will want to keep an eye on the weather before heading out.

Anglers can launch at an improved boat ramp at Boice Cope County Park. Boat anglers are reminded to clean all aquatic vegetation off their boats and trailers before heading home to help control the spread non-native plants and animals.

GALESVILLE RESERVOIR: rainbow trout, bass, coho smolts

In addition to trout, the reservoir has also been stocked with coho smolts for the last few years. Many people mistakenly think these fish are kokanee. All of the coho smolts are adipose fin-clipped, and please remember to release the ones less than 8-inches long. In Galesville Reservoir, all landlocked salmon are considered trout and are part of the five-per-day trout limit, with only one trout over 20-inches long allowed for harvest. Galesville was stocked with approximately 8,000 rainbow trout in 2015, and the first trout stocking of 2016 should occur late February/early March.

Bass fishing is typically slow in winter months, but there are still opportunities to catch bass and other panfish with the use of bait and artificial lures such as swimbaits. Call 541-837-3302 for information on camping and boat launching conditions.

GARRISON LAKE: rainbow and cutthroat trout

With local rivers high and muddy or low and clear, anglers may want to fish Garrison. The lake has good numbers of carry over trout. In addition, ODFW recently stocked some surplus hatchery adult steelhead in the lake. Anglers can catch and keep these fish under the trout regulations. Slow trolling wedding ring spinners can be very effective. This is the time of year to keep an eye on the weather and fish when weather conditions are good.

HEMLOCK LAKE & LAKE IN THE WOODS & Umpqua High Lakes: trout

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

Hemlock Lake was stocked with approximately 6,000 legal rainbow trout in 2015, and another 1,400 trophy size rainbow trout were stocked the first week of September.

Lake in the Woods was stocked with approximately 1,000 legal rainbow trout in 2015, and an additional 100 trophy size rainbow trout were stocked the first week of September. Stocking for 2016 should begin in April as road/lake conditions allow. Remember only trout over 8-inches may be harvested, and only one trout over 20-inches may be kept per day.

HOWARD PRAIRIE RESERVOIR:

Howard opens on January 1 and will be open year round in 2016. Currently the lake is frozen and snow covered. Anglers wishing to ice fish should exercise extreme caution.

HYATT LAKE:

Hyatt opens on January 1 and will be open year round in 2016. Currently the lake is frozen and snow covered. Anglers wishing to ice fish should exercise extreme caution.

ILLINOIS RIVER: trout, steelhead

Beginning January 1, from Klondike Creek upstream to Pomeroy Dam the Illinois is open for wild steelhead at least 24" in length, 1 per day and 5 per year, as part of daily or annual salmon/steelhead bag limit. The Illinois should be in great shape and fish are around. Reportedly fishing was fair over the weekend but should get better. Please remember the Illinois is artificial flies and lures only.

Consult the 2016 Oregon Sport Fishing Regulations for more regulation information. Nonadipose fin-clipped rainbow trout and all cutthroat trout must be immediately released unharmed.

LAKE MARIE: rainbow trout, yellow perch

The lake was stocked with roughly 5,000 legal rainbow trout in 2015, and an additional 500 legal and 1,300 trophy size rainbow trout were stocked the first week of September. Most anglers use PowerBait or worms. Trout stocking for 2016 should begin in March. Perch fishing should continue to be productive for those using worms on the bottom.

LAKE SELMAC: trout, largemouth bass, bluegill, crappie

Selmac is stocked with rainbow trout.

LEMOLO RESERVOIR: brown trout, rainbow trout

This reservoir is stocked several times a year with rainbow trout of various sizes There are also excellent opportunities to catch large brown trout in Lemolo with many anglers having luck trolling in deeper areas of the reservoir. Contact Lemolo Lake Resort at 541-957-8354 for weather/road conditions and additional information.

LOON LAKE: rainbow trout, bass, bluegill

Loon Lake was stocked with 7,500 trout in 2015, and trout stocking for 2016 should begin late February/early March. The lake should offer decent fishing for crappie, bluegill and bass even in the cooler winter months. Use slow presentations with lures or bait for best results. Visit the BLM and Loon Lake Resort websites for information on opening dates and camping this summer.

LOST CREEK RESERVOIR: rainbow trout, spring Chinook, bass

Lost Creek offers the best opportunity for winter trout fishing in the Rogue watershed currently. Stewart and Takelma boat ramps are both open at this time.

Bank anglers have done well around Takelma and the marina and landlocked spring Chinook anglers did well at 40-50 feet depth recently. Additional reports indicate good success was had trolling a green wedding ring behind a chrome and green dodger. The wedding ring was spiked with a piece of Gulp nightcrawler. An oval egg sinker was used for weight. Fish were also caught on a small lures — a gold Blue fox spinner, and a chrome and blue kastmaster.

The reservoir is 43 percent full.

PACIFIC OCEAN AND BEACHES: bottomfish, Dungeness crab,

Recreational harvest of crab is open along the entire Oregon Coast. It is still recommended you discard the crab viscera (guts/butter) before cooking.

Fishing for bottom fish is open to fishing at all-depths. Fishing for black rockfish and lingcod continues to be very good from Charleston to Bandon when the ocean is calm enough for anglers to get out on the water. The marine fish daily bag limit is seven fish and a separate daily limit for lingcod (two). Anglers can only keep 3 blue rockfish and 1 canary rockfish as part of their daily limit and there will be no harvest of China, quillback, or copper rockfish. Retention of cabezon is prohibited from January 1 through June 30.

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

PLAT I RESERVOIR: rainbow trout, bass

In addition to trout fishing, the lake also has good bass fishing. Bank fishing access is available, though the lake is now drawn down and access for fishing may be very muddy.

Waterfowl hunting is allowed through Janurary 31 each each year on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays.

Anglers may have success catching trout and bass with bait such as PowerBait and nightcrawlers where access is available. The reservoir received about 4,500 rainbow trout last year.

Some of the trout have had 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

Reinhart is stocked with rainbow trout.

Warmwater fishing is slow with the colder weather.

ROGUE RIVER

Rogue River, lower: steelhead

The river is slowly getting into shape and starting to kick out some steelhead. River conditions should improve all week.

Rogue River, middle: steelhead, trout

Beginning Jan. 1, from the mouth to Hog Creek boat ramp, the river is open for wild steelhead at least 24" in length, 1 per day and 5 per year, as part of daily or annual salmon/steelhead bag limit. Consult the synopsis for more regulation information.

The river is dropping into shape and fishing should be good this week. Side drifting soaked yarn balls and bait have reportedly landed fish over the last few days. The flow at Grants Pass as of Tuesday morning was around 7,730 cfs and the water temperature was around 43°.

Rogue River, upper: steelhead, trout

The upper river between the mouth of Big Butte Creek and the hatchery deadline is fishable and can be good when the rest of the river is blown out.

The upper river is currently in decent shape and fish are being caught. Fishing should continue to improve in this section as we progress into February. As of Jan. 27, a total of 3,699 summer steelhead and 17 winter steelhead have been collected at Cole Rivers.

Beginning February 1, the river is open for wild steelhead at least 24" in length from Hog Creek boat ramp upstream to Cole Rivers Hatchery 1 per day and 5 per year, as part of daily or annual salmon/steelhead bag limit. Consult the synopsis for more regulation information.

Rogue River, above Lost Creek Reservoir: trout

Stocked rainbow trout are available near sites stocked this past summer. Naturally produced rainbow and brook trout are available in the tributaries.

SMITH RIVER, Umpqua: sturgeon, striped bass, steelhead

Winter steelhead angling should be productive with the increasing number of steelhead moving into the river. Retention of adipose fin-clipped steelhead is allowed in the Smith River mainstem from the mouth upstream to Sisters Creek and in the North Fork of the Smith River from the mouth upstream to Bridge 10 near the Middle Fork of the North Fork. Sturgeon fishing is catch-and-release only.

SODA SPRINGS RESERVOIR: Closed to fishing.

TENMILE BASIN: trout, steelhead

Streams in the Tenmile Basin are now closed for trout fishing until May 22, 2016. Tenmile Lakes is open all year for trout but trout fishing has been slow.

Steelhead fishing has been slow in Tenmile Creek and Eel Creek. Thirty five hatchery steelhead from the Eel Lake Fish Trap were recycled back into the fishery at Spinreel Park. In the Tenmile Basin 1 additional hatchery steelhead may be retained per day for a total aggregate of 3 adult fish harvested daily.

TOKETEE LAKE: brown trout, rainbow trout

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

UMPQUA HIGH LAKES AND FOREBAYS: trout

Contact the Forest Service at 541-957-3200 for road and trail conditions. Clearwater Forebay 2 was stocked with approximately 3,000 legal rainbow trout in 2015, and an additional 500 trophy size rainbow trout were stocked in this forebay the first week of September. Red Top Pond was also stocked with 2,000 rainbow trout in 2015, and the pond offers excellent bank angling opportunities. Anglers fishing the high lakes in the Umpqua District are encouraged to e-mail fishing reports.

UMPQUA RIVER, MAINSTEM: steelhead

The mainstem Umpqua is closed to wild steelhead harvest, but remains open year-round for adipose fin-clipped steelhead. Winter steelhead fishing should begin to pick-up as river levels recede, and there are opportunities to harvest hatchery steelhead on the mainstem Umpqua. There have been reports of good numbers of hatchery steelhead being harvested on the mainstem, particularly around Cleveland Rapids. The mainstem Umpqua is closed for trout fishing until May 22.

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

The 50 Places to go fishing within 60 minutes of Roseburg,” handout which is available online or at the office, identifies several good places for salmon and steelhead fishing.

UMPQUA RIVER, NORTH: steelhead

Winter steelhead angling is picking up, and the river has remained fishable even at higher water levels. Bank anglers targeting winter steelhead have been having luck around Rock Creek. Remember all wild steelhead must be released unharmed.

Note that from Oct. 1 through Dec. 31 and Jan. 1 through June 30, fishing in the fly water area is restricted to fly angling only with a single barbless fly. Per the new regulation on page 31, 32 of the 2015 Oregon Sport Fishing Regulations booklet, from Feb. 1 – July 31, 2 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.

Remember that from March 1 through July 31 the anti-snagging gear restrictions apply on the North from the Lone Rock boat ramp upstream to the fly area boundary above Rock Creek. The Mainstem from Soda Springs Dam, including Soda Springs Reservoir, up to Slide Creek Dam is closed year-round to fishing.

North Umpqua River water levels at Winchester Dam

UMPQUA RIVER, SOUTH: steelhead

The South Umpqua is currently open to adipose fin-clipped steelhead harvest, and winter steelhead fishing will improve as water levels recede. There will be excellent hatchery steelhead harvest opportunities on the South Umpqua as the season progresses, especially around Stanton Park in Canyonville.

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

Willow Lake offers an opportunity for some winter trout angling. The county park is open during daylight hours.

WINCHESTER BAY: bottomfish, perch

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


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SOUTHWEST ZONE: HUNTING

OPEN: COUGAR

SW Oregon Spring Bear tags are first come first serve and usually sell out by the controlled hunt draw, so purchase yours today if you want to hunt SW Oregon. About 300 are left as of Feb. 2.

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

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 you need 2016 tag to hunt as of Jan. 1.

DOUGLAS COUNTY

Black Bear – Purchase your 2016 SW Oregon Spring Bear Controlled Tag. These 4400 tags are sold over the counter on a first-come, first-serve basis. These popular tags usually sell out early in February. As of Feb. 2, there are approximately 300 tags still available.

Hunters are reminded that for elk seasons extending into this year, they will be required to purchase a 2016 hunting license. Hunters also need to report on big game tags that are valid January 1st through March 31, 2016 by April 15, 2016

Elk - Elk populations are similar to last year so this hunting year will be average. A few controlled elk hunts are currently open. Elk populations are similar to last year so this hunting year will be average. Check with landowners about access before going hunting.

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. 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. Winter weather offers an additional technique to harvest cougar. Many hunters enjoy looking for and following fresh tracks in the newly fallen snow at higher elevations. Hunters will locate fresh tracks and then call animals in using a predator call for best success. Check with landowners about access before going hunting.

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 – Purchase your 2016 SW Oregon Spring Bear Controlled Tag. These 4400 tags are sold over the counter on a first-come, first-serve basis. These popular tags usually sell out early in February.

Furbearers

A reminder to trappers and hunters that specific licenses and tags are required to hunt many furbearer species. Hunters should refer to the Oregon Furbearer Trapping and Hunting Regulations for details. Bobcat and River Otter pelt check in is available on Mondays, 8am until 5pm at the Roseburg office.

Bobcat - Healthy populations throughout Western Oregon. Harvest season is currently open and runs through February 28th, 2016. Pursuit season is currently open for bobcat.

River Otter, Beaver, Mink/Muskrat, Gray Fox & Raccoon – Healthy populations throughout Western Oregon. The harvest season is open for gray fox, mink/muskrat, river otter, beaver and raccoon. Pursuit season is currently open for fox and raccoon.

JACKSON, JOSEPHINE, CURRY COUNTIES

Elk – A few controlled elk season are still going on. These hunts are primarily to deal with damage issues on private lands.

Wilson’s Snipe season continues thru Feb. 21. Snipe is another challenging bird to hunt for they are small, fast and erratic low-flying birds that can be hard to identify. Be sure to know how to differentiate it from killdeer and other shorebirds before you hunt. Snipe may be spooked in areas where there are high numbers of hunters but other times a person can walk up on them. Snipe almost always emit a call when they take off in flight. The best time to hunt snipe will be late fall and winter months. Denman Wildlife Area has decent numbers of snipe.

Denman Wildlife Area: Remember to get your parking permit. Hunters get the permit free with their purchase of an annual hunting license. Display on car dash. Wildlife Area fields are finally starting to fill and ducks are starting to show up.

Cougar season is open statewide year-round or until zone quotas are met. Most cougar hunters’ success comes from predator calls. Cougars travel many miles a day and often use major ridge lines to find prey, these ridge lines are location for predator calls.

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 – Pursuit season is currently open for bobcat, fox and raccoon. A reminder to trappers and hunters that specific licenses and tags are required to hunt many furbearer species, and hunters should refer to the 2014-16 Oregon Furbearer Trapping and Hunting Regulations for details.

Marten, Gray Fox, Muskrat, Mink, Raccoon, River Otter and Beaver is currently open. Population for these animals remains healthy.


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SOUTHWEST ZONE: WILDLIFE VIEWING

COOS COUNTY

Marine Mammals

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

Waterfowl

Coos County is a good place to see large numbers of migratory waterfowl in the fall. October and November are the months when many of these birds move from northern nesting areas through the Pacific Flyway. A large number of these move along the coast and stop in local bays and estuaries.

One of the best places on the Oregon coast to see large congregations of waterfowl in the Coquille Valley. The Audubon Society estimates as many as 50% of the migratory dabbling ducks that migrate along the coast winter in the Coquille Valley.

Due to low water conditions places where tidal inundation occurs in the Coquille estuary are the best places to see waterfowl presently. The Bandon Marsh National Wildlife Refuge, located north of the city of Bandon, may be the best place to see these birds presently. Once the rainy season starts in earnest waterfowl will move into inland valleys in search of flooded agricultural lands.

Seabirds

Recently fishers are reporting seeing large congregations of baitfish in Coos Bay. Seabirds like pelicans, grebes and cormorants can be seen chasing these fish from above and below. At times the water in the bay has been clear enough to actually see the action going on underwater from Point Adams in Charleston. Similar opportunities should exist in Winchester Bay and Bandon, from the docks in those bays.

CURRY COUNTY

Migrant waterfowl are showing up in all the bays. Elegant terns are now seen in the Rogue bay. They are a mid-sized tern with long reddish bill that has a turned down appearance. The tail is forked and short. Their head has a black band along the top and wings are tipped with black other than that they are white.

Try waterfowl viewing at Storm Ranch near Langlois. You could find coots, bufflehead, wigeon, mallards, pintail and ringneck ducks.

DOUGLAS COUNTY

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

Winter Raptors - Wintering raptors, especially red-tail hawks, are commonly seen along highways throughout the county. Biologists recently drove through Douglas County surveying for raptors. The 110 mile survey turned up 51 Red-tailed Hawks, 13 American Kestrels, 7 Northern Harriers, 13 Red-Shouldered Hawks, 4 Cooper’s Hawks, 1 Sharp-shinned Hawk, 1 Peregrine Falcon, 3 Golden Eagles, and 5 Bald Eagles.

Bald Eagles – Bald Eagles are now commonly seen along the mainstem portion of the Umpqua River from Roseburg to Reedsport.

Birds – With all of the rain, most of the water bodies are filled and fields are full of puddles and ponds. This brings a greater opportunity to observe different varieties of waterfowl and wading birds more closely. Local turkeys are also gathering in larger flocks as food sources become more limited throughout the winter months.

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. In the past, these small native frogs have made enough noise, that wetland neighbors have actually called ODFW to complain.

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.

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.

Denman Wildlife Area

Hunting season is underway on the Denman Wildlife Area. Other recreational users are encouraged to wear bright orange or other bright colored clothing and to stick to the trail systems.

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WILLAMETTE ZONE: FISHING

Weekend fishing opportunities

  • Brood trout were released this week at three Willamette Valley locations. Henry Hagg Lake received 100 of the big ones – weighing in at 8 to 12 pounds apiece. EE Wilson Pond near Corvallis received 250 two-pound trout as tit Timber Linn Lake in Albany. Trout stocking is now in full swing around the valley, with Huddleston, Alton Baker Canal, Dexter Reservoir, Hills Creek Reservoir, Junction City Pond, Row River Nature Park, Sunnyside Park, and Walling Pond also getting fish.
  • Winter steelhead fishing is off to a good start with nice early returns of hatchery fish. Fish are in the streams while anglers and keeping an eye on conditions for the right mix of stream color, temperature, and flow. The next month is the peak of the winter steelhead season so now’s the time to get out and get after them.
  • Regulation changes for 2016 will allow year-round trout fishing on the Blue River, Breitenbush River, Quartzville Creek, Yamhill River, and North Fork Santiam above Detroit Reservoir. Check the new 2016 regulations booklet to see how your fishing area is affected.
  • Henry Hagg Lake is now open year-round and will now be stocked in the winter, with the first stocking scheduled for the week of Jan. 25. Hagg Lake is a premium fishery located near Forest Grove. In addition to resident populations of bass, yellow perch, crappie, bluegill, and brown bullhead, this lake is stocked with trout, including large rainbow trout brood trout released this week.

If your favorite fishing spot is no longer listed

It’s probably because that river, lake or reservoir is closed for the season, inaccessible due to snow and bad roads, or offers limited fishing opportunities during the winter months. These water bodies will re-appear in the Recreation Report when they re-open next spring, or when access and/or opportunity improves.

Send us your fishing report

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

2016 trout stocking

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

High Lakes stocking

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

North Willamette High Lakes Stocking |Mid-Willamette High Lakes Stocking |South Willamette High Lakes Stocking

Check out the new interactive trout stocking map

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

ALTON BAKER CANOE CANAL: trout

Alton Baker Canoe Canal releases will resume the week of Feb. 8.

The canal is located within Alton Baker Park and can be accessed off of Club Road in Eugene. A 4-acre pond at the midpoint of the canal is a good spot but it can be fished all along its two-mile length from Day Island Road in Eugene to Aspen Street in Springfield. The canal is open to fishing all year.

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

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.

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

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

BLUE RIVER: trout, steelhead

Blue River is open to fishing using lures and artificial flies as of Jan. 1. Two wild trout may be harvested per day above Blue River Reservoir only. Note that tributaries to Blue River will open to angling May 22.

BLUE RIVER RESERVOIR: trout, warmwater species

Blue River Reservoir is located east of Eugene near the town of Blue River, north of Hwy. 126 and is open to year-round fishing. The reservoir is operated for flood control during the winter months. Neither boat ramp is accessible at the current reservoir elevation.

BREITENBUSH RIVER: trout

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

CANBY POND: trout, bass, crappie, bluegill

The pond will be stocked this week with 50 rainbow trout weighing an average of two pounds apiece. Canby Pond is a one-acre pond located on the south end of Canby, in Canby City Park. This pond is open only to youth 17 years old and under, as well as persons who possess ODFW's Disabled Hunting and Fishing Permits.

CARMEN RESERVOIR: trout

Carmen Reservoir is accessed via USFS Road 750 off Hwy. 126, about two miles south of Clear Lake. It is open to fishing all year. Motor boats are prohibited on Carmen Reservoir.

CLACKAMAS RIVER: winter steelhead

Although the river has been running a bit high for most Clackamas angler’s tastes, it is fishable and the bite on winter steelhead has remained good. Effort from both boat and bank anglers has held up well and they’ve being rewarded with some very good catch days. Anglers were reporting the most success from the mouth of Eagle Creek (near Bonnie Lure Park) downstream. Anglers who pay close attention to the river levels between storms will be able to capitalize on a mid-season return of winter steelhead. The weather forecast for later this week calls for light to moderate rainfall with perhaps a slight bump in flows by Thursday or Friday, but nothing to keep folks off the water.

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 Feb. 1st shows river flows holding fairly steady at 4,910 cfs, with a gauge reading of 13.85 feet and the water temperature near 41°. 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. The lake is accessed from Hwy. 126 approximately 70 miles east of Springfield.

COAST FORK WILLAMETTE RIVER: trout

The Coast Fork Willamette River is open to angling using lures and artificial flies only. Two wild trout may be kept daily (8” minimum length).

COMMONWEALTH LAKE: trout, bass, bluegill, crappie

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

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

Cottage Grove Ponds are open to year round angling and are accessed via an asphalt pathway behind the truck scales on Row River Road. This pond also offers wildlife viewing opportunities. Stocking will resume in mid-February (listed as Row River Nature Park on stocking schedule).

COTTAGE GROVE RESERVOIR: trout, warmwater species

Cottage Grove Reservoir is south of Cottage Grove and is open to fishing all year. Only Lakeside Park boat ramp is accessible at current levels. The reservoir will be stocked in early March.

CRESWELL POND (GARDEN LAKE): trout, warmwater species

Garden Lake (Creswell Pond is located in Garden Lake Park on the east side of I-5 in Creswell and is open to fishing all year. The pond and park offer additional wildlife viewing opportunities. Stocking will resume the week of Feb. 8.

DETROIT RESERVOIR: trout, kokanee

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

Water storage season has begun which means we might start to see reservoir levels increase over the next few weeks. Mongold boat ramp is currently still usable. Stocking will continue again starting in spring of 2016.

DEXTER RESERVOIR: trout

Dexter Reservoir near Lowell is visible from Hwy. 58. Boat and bank access is available from state and county parks. Parking and bank access are also available from the causeway near Lowell. Largemouth bass and some smallmouth are available to anglers in this reservoir.

DORENA RESERVOIR: trout, warmwater

Dorena Reservoir is east of Cottage Grove on Row River Road and is open to fishing all year. Trout and warmwater fish are available. Baker Bay boat ramp is accessible at the current reservoir level. Stocking will resume in early-mid March.

DORMAN POND: trout

Stocked with rainbow trout in the spring. This is an eight-acre pond west of Forest Grove at the junction of Hwy. 8 and Hwy. 6.

EAGLE CREEK: winter steelhead

Winter steelhead continue to be hooked throughout the creek, with good flows and water color aiding in some pretty decent catch rates seen from the hatchery all the way down to Hwy 224. Eagle Creek National Fish Hatchery has had several hundred fish return so far this winter, a big improvement over what’s been experienced in the past couple of years. Anglers who pay attention to both snow levels and rain amounts will be able to fish Eagle Creek when most other area waters are unfishable.

Keep in mind that long stretches of Eagle Creek run through private property, particularly up near the hatchery and from an area below the lower ladder on down past Bonnie Lure to the mouth. Anglers are advised to pay close attention to where you fish and we encourage you to ask permission prior to accessing or crossing private lands on your way to your favorite fishing hole.

See Page 15 of the Oregon Sport Fishing Regulation pamphlet for more information on “Your Rights to Use the Surface, Bed, and Banks of Oregon’s Rivers and Lakes.”

EE WILSON POND: warmwater, trout

This pond is located at EE Wilson Wildlife Area, about a ¼ mile hike from the main parking lot. Recent changes to the fishing regulations now make this a year-round open fishery. It was stocked with 1,250 legal size along with 250 two-pound hatchery rainbow trout last week. A Wildlife Area parking permit is required.

A valid wildlife area parking permit is required.

ESTACADA LAKE: trout

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

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

FALL CREEK: trout

Open all year for trout, with bait allowed April 22 – Oct. 31. Open all year for hatchery Chinook, hatchery steelhead and wild steelhead greater than 24 inches below Fall Creek Dam.

FALL CREEK RESERVOIR: trout

Fall Creek Reservoir was drained to riverbed to aid with salmon outmigration in late 2015. Boat ramps are closed for the season.

FARADAY LAKE: trout

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

FERN RIDGE RESERVOIR: largemouth bass, crappie, bluegill, brown bullhead

This 9,000-acre lake just 12 miles west of Eugene is the Willamette Basin’s largest water body. For local information regarding the lake and available boat ramps, contact the Lane County Parks Department at 541-682-2000.

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

FOSTER RESERVOIR: trout, bass, perch, catfish

This scenic 1,200-acre reservoir on the South Santiam River is located just 30 minutes from Interstate 5. There is good bank access at several rest stops and campgrounds, and three seasonal boat ramps. At the moment, only Sunnyside Park boat ramp is currently available. It was stocked mid-October with 7,000 hatchery trout. Look for smallmouth bass and yellow perch near underwater structure and drop-offs.

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

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

FREEWAY LAKE, EAST: bass bluegill crappie

Trout stocking season for this waterbody will begin in late February. This water-body actually consists of three interconnected ponds and features some good size bass and crappie. A boat ramp is available at East Freeway Lake, and there is good bank access around Middle Freeway Lake. Fishing for warmwater gamefish such as bass, bluegill, crappie, and catfish can be very good, especially early and late in the day.

GREEN PETER RESERVOIR: kokanee, trout, bass

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

Water is being released through the end of January to make room for flood storage. Currently, Thistle Creek boat ramp is available to launch boats.

HALDEMAN POND: trout

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

HARRIET LAKE: trout

Stocking at Harriet Lake is completed for the year but there may be some holdovers. This is a 23-acre reservoir on the Oak Grove Fork of the Clackamas River in the Mount Hood National Forest. Boat ramp is just past campground.

HARTMAN POND: trout

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

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

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

Stocked the week of Jan. 25 with 4,000 legal-sized rainbow trout and 100 brood trout weighing an 8 to 12 pounds apiece. Henry Hagg Lake is now open year-round and is stocked regularly throughout the spring and fall. This is a 1,110-acre lake and premier fishery located seven miles southwest of Forest Grove. Maintained and operated by Washington County, the park features numerous picnic areas, two boat launching facilities, more than 15 miles of hiking trails, and observation decks for wildlife and bird watching.

HILLS CREEK RESERVOIR: trout, warmwater fish

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

Only Packard Creek Boat Ramp is accessible at the current reservoir level.

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

Hills Creek and its tributaries above Hills Creek Reservoir are open to angling using lures and artificial flies . Two wild trout 8” or longer may be kept per day. Hills Creek is not stocked.

HUDDLESTON POND: trout, bass, bluegill

Stocked the week of Jan. 25 with 350 legal-sized rainbow trout. Around the same time, the pond was also stocked with large brood trout that may still be available. As a reminder, only one trout over 20-inches can be kept per day.

Huddleston is a 5-acre pond located within Huddleston Pond Park in the city of Willamina, Ore. A former mill pond, it contains good habitat for bass and bluegill. It gets stocked with trout in the spring.

The pond reaches a maximum depth of about 10 feet, with shallow "kid-friendly" edges. It is ADA accessible in places, with a restroom and picnic areas nearby. There is paved parking lot and small ramp for people who want to launch small, non-motorized boats.

JUNCTION CITY POND: trout, crappie

Junction City is a popular stocked trout fishing pond located about two miles south of Junction City on Hwy. 99W on the west side of the highway. There is excellent access around the entire 5-acre pond. It was stocked mid-January with 2,250 legal, 150 larger, and about 350 “pounders”, all hatchery rainbow trout. As a reminder, zone regulations apply: five trout daily may be kept and only one over 20-inches.

LEABURG LAKE: trout

Leaburg Lake is open to angling using lures and artificial flies. Only hatchery fish may be kept. Hatchery trout releases into Leaburg Lake will commence in late April. All wild trout must be released.

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

MCKENZIE RIVER below Leaburg Lake: trout, salmon, steelhead

The McKenzie River below Leaburg Lake is stocked with hatchery trout from the Leaburg Town Landing downstream to Hendricks Bridge from late April through early September. All non-adipose fin-clipped trout must be released unharmed. The river is currently open to angling using lures and artificial flies only.

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

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

MCKENZIE RIVER above Leaburg Lake: trout, steelhead

The McKenzie River above Leaburg Lake is stocked with hatchery trout from Finn Rock to Goodpasture Landing, with some summer releases from Forest Glen boat landing, from late April through mid-September.

All non-adipose fin-clipped trout must be released unharmed. The river is currently open to angling using lures and artificial flies only.

MIDDLE FORK WILLAMETTE RIVER above Hills Creek Reservoir: trout

The Middle Fork Willamette River above Hills Creek Reservoir is open to angling using lures and artificial flies. All wild trout must be released upstream of Lookout Point Reservoir. Bait use is allowed below Dexter Dam.

MOLALLA RIVER: winter steelhead

The Molalla River has been running a bit high but is still in decent fishing condition. The winter steelhead run is just gearing up and passage at Willamette Falls is the indicator of how many fish could be moving up into the Molalla. There’s finally been a good increase in the numbers of steelhead crossing the falls so anglers could find a few winters heading up into the Molalla. Passage at the falls for winter steelhead stood at 1,248 fish through January 31st. The Willamette is a bit high and muddy again but the next sign of improvement should help move more fish upriver.

USGS hydrological data for the Molalla River on February 1st shows flows dropping at 1,880 cfs with a gauge reading of 13.19 feet as measured at the gauge in Canby.

MT HOOD POND: trout, crappie, bluegill

Last stocked in November. The seasonal restriction limiting fishing to youths and disabled anglers was lifted Aug. 31 so the pond is now open to the general public.

Mt. Hood Pond is located on the Mt. Hood Community College campus in Gresham, at 26000 SE Stark St.

NORTH FORK RESERVOIR: trout

Closed to trout fishing until May 22, 2016.

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

OLALLIE LAKE: trout

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

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

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

PROGRESS LAKE: trout, brown bullhead

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

QUARTZVILLE CREEK: trout

This stream above Green Peter Reservoir provides excellent opportunities to fish for trout, with good bank access along most of its length. Regulation changes for 2016 makes this a year-round fishery with a bag limit of 5 trout per day. It will receive its first trout stocking in May. Light gear works best and fly fishing can be very good, but bait is also allowed.

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

SALMON CREEK: trout

Salmon Creek near Oakridge is open to angling using lures and artificial flies only. Two wild trout per day, 8 inch minimum length, may be kept in addition to 5 hatchery trout. Hatchery trout releases into Salmon Creek will resume in late April.

SALT CREEK: trout

Salt Creek is a tributary to the Middle Fork Willamette River east of Oakridge. Salt Creek and its tributaries are open to angling using lures and artificial flies only. Two wild trout may be kept per day, 8 inch minimum length.

SANDY RIVER: winter steelhead

The Sandy River has been producing some good catch days but it’s still a bit high and off-color to suit the regular anglers. Some improvement in these conditions could be coming in the days ahead as our rainfall lessens while freezing levels hold relatively low for the week. When the water is receding and clearing that’s a great time to get out on the river and chase some fresh winter steelhead.

The hatchery has already seen some very good return numbers and began recycling fish back down to the Lewis and Clark boat ramp several weeks ago. They’ve moved over 700 winters back downstream to give anglers another shot at hooking them. Interested anglers can identify a recycled steelhead by a simple hole punch found in the right side gill plate cover of the fish.

A typical rule of thumb for the Sandy River is if snow levels are above 4,000 feet it could be a bit off but when below 4,000 feet angling conditions get good. With snow levels expected to hover right in the 4,000 feet range into the weekend now should be the time for hooking into a few winter steelhead on the Sandy.

USGS hydrological data for the Sandy River on February 1st shows flows down a bit at 4,140 cfs with a gauge reading of 10.46 feet. The water temperature has settled in at 41°.

SANTIAM RIVER (NORTH FORK): steelhead, Chinook

Summer steelhead continue to be present throughout the river, mostly between Mehama and Packsaddle Park. Winter steelhead numbers at Willamette Falls are starting to pick up and a few have made it into the Santiam basin. Recent rains have swelled the river making for challenging fishing conditions.

When the ‘bite’ is on, bobbers and jigs are the preferred angling method with spoons, spinners and egg clusters also being effective. Currently the entire river below Packsaddle Park (near the Minto Fish Facility) is open year-round to hatchery steelhead. Trout harvest season begins May 22.

River levels best for fishing are below 3,000 cfs at the Mehama gauge (the Mehama gauge was at 6,860 cfs as of Feb. 2). Current conditions

SANTIAM RIVER (NORTH FORK) above DETROIT:

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

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

Flows have increased again due to recent rains with a corresponding increase in turbidity making fishing conditions difficult. Current flows (as of Feb. 2) are around 6,900cfs as measured at Waterloo. When flows do return to normal anglers can target summer steelhead, which can still be found in fair numbers in the upper sections. A few newly arrived winter steelhead may also be available. Best sections to fish are from Wiley Creek to Pleasant Valley boat ramps, around Waterloo County Park, and from Lebanon down to the confluence with the North Santiam.

SHERIDAN POND: trout

Stocked the week of Jan. 25 with 500 legal-sized rainbow trout. Sheridan Pond is a 2 1/2-acre pond located on the edge of town. It provides excellent access for families and kids. Good parking. There is an outhouse provided. It is stocked throughout the year with hatchery trout.

To get there take Hwy. 18 to Exit 33 onto Balston Rd. Go south on Balston Rd. approximately half a mile and turn left onto a gravel road leading about a quarter mile to the pond.

SILVER CREEK RESERVOIR: trout, catfish

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

SMITH RESERVOIR: trout

Smith Reservoir is north of Trail Bridge Reservoir and is accessed by turning off Hwy. 126 at Trail Bridge Reservoir and following USFS Road 730 north to Smith Dam. The reservoir is not visible from the highway and is open to year-around fishing. Smith River and its tributaries above Smith Reservoir are open to two wild trout per day, 8 inch minimum length, using lures and artificial flies only.

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

Pond 6 will receive 300+ rainbow trout this week weighing an average of two pounds apiece.

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.

The ponds are open to fishing year round. However, the main gate to the pond is closed Oct. 1 – March 1, although anglers can still access the ponds via the dirt road from the gate to the parking area.

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

SUNNYSIDE PARK POND: bass, bluegill

This 4-acre pond is located 2 miles above the upper end of Foster Reservoir. Trout stocking season has ended for Sunnyside Pond although a few holdovers may remain. The pond also offers bluegill and largemouth bass year round.

The park has a campground and picnic area and is a great place to take kids fishing. There is also boat ramp access to the Middle Fork arm of Foster Reservoir. To get there from I5, take US 20 through the town of Sweet Home and continue around Foster Reservoir to Quartzville Creek road. Take a left and follow this road for two miles to the park.

TIMBER LINN LAKE: rainbow trout

Stocked on Jan. 21 with 250 rainbow trout brood fish weighing about two pounds apiece. This beautiful, family-friendly fishing pond is located within the 8-acre Timber-Linn Memorial Park in Albany. It was also stocked in mid-December with about 60 very large brood trout weighing up to 12 pounds, and one or two of those may still be around. Please keep in mind that only one fish over 20-inches may be taken per day. Timber-Linn Lake can be reached by turning east off I-5 onto the Santiam Highway (Hwy. 20), then immediately turning north onto Price Road and proceeding to the park entrance.

TRAIL BRIDGE RESERVOIR: trout

Trail Bridge Reservoir is open to year-round fishing. This waterbody is adjacent to Hwy 126 and is approximately 60 miles east of Springfield. Only adipose fin-clipped trout may be harvested from Trail Bridge Reservoir. Only flies and lures may be used. Stocking will resume in May.

TROJAN PONDS: 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.

TUALATIN RIVER and tribs: trout

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

WALLING POND: trout, crappie, bass

This pond was stocked on Jan. 12 with 400 legal and 50 larger size hatchery rainbow trout. There may still be a few surviving large brood trout weighing several pounds in there. As a reminder, only one trout over 20-inches can be kept per day.

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

WALTER WIRTH LAKE: trout, crappie, bass

This pond was stocked on Jan. 12 with 1,700 legal size and 150 larger hatchery rainbow trout. As a reminder, only one trout over 20-inches can be kept per day. Walter Wirth is a 20-acre lake located within the City of Salem’s Cascades Gateway Park.

WAVERLY POND: trout, bluegill, catfish

Waverly Pond is located in Albany and is regularly stocked in fall, winter and spring. It was stocked just before Christmas with 90 or so very large brood trout between 3 and 12 pounds each.

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

WILLAMETTE RIVER: sturgeon, winter steelhead

The Willamette started to settle down late last week but rain over the weekend has bumped flows back up a bit, likely making things tough on anglers for a few more days. The best bet would be to fish the “seam” where cleaner Clackamas River water meets the Willamette, attracting the fish to hug the eastern bank in search of better conditions as they either turn left up the Clackamas or make their way further up the Willamette. This includes the area around Meldrum Bar as well as the mouth of the Clackamas River.

Steelhead crossings had shown significant improvement as flows had been declining and clearing but this could temporarily slow down some. Winters moving above the falls as of January 31 have reached a total of 1,248, not a great number for late January but improving.

USGS hydrological data for the Willamette River on February 1st shows flows at 63,400 cfs, the water temperature near 45°, and visibility still sitting at less than 1.0 foot.
YAMHILL RIVER and tributaries: trout

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


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WILLAMETTE ZONE: HUNTING

OPEN: CONTROLLED ANTLERLESS ELK, COUGAR AND FURBEARER hunting and trapping

UpCOMING: Period 3 Northwest permit ZONE goose (Feb. 6 – Mar. 10, 2016)

CONTROLLED HUNT SEMINARS AND OTHER EVENTS COMING UP IN FEBRUARY, SEE ODFWCALENDAR.COM

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

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

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

BIG GAME

CONTROLLED ANTLERLESS ELK rifle seasons will open on Jan. 1, 2016 in the Scappoose, northeast portions of the Trask and northern portion of the Santiam Unit. Check the 2015-16 Oregon Big Game Regulations for the specific dates and boundaries of your hunt. Hunters who have access to private agriculture lands will need to be in the field well before daylight to catch moving elk.

On private timberlands hunters may want to glass clear cuts early in the morning and late in the afternoon. Elk will often bed down during the day in larger timber or timber reproduction stands. Some private timberlands may be open for hunting during this season. Please check with the landowner before hunting on private lands.

PLEASE REPORT OBSERVATIONS OF ELK WITH HOOF DISEASE

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

  • Remove and save the affected hoof/hooves in a plastic bag and place in a cool area for further evaluation by ODFW
  • Collect GPS locations
  • Take digital photos of affected hooves

 

COUGAR season is open. Hunters wanting to hunt cougar in 2016 will need a 2016 tag. With winter snow at the higher elevations, hunters may want to try to find a fresh cougar track and follow it. Another technique is to use predator calls to mimic a distressed deer fawn or elk calf. Approaching cougars can be difficult to see when you are predator calling so hunting with a partner is advised. Most deer and elk have moved into their wintering areas and cougars will spend time in these areas while they hunt. For the best success, cougar hunters will want to concentrate their effort in areas with abundant deer and elk sign.

Successful cougar hunters will need to check-in any cougar taken at an ODFW office within 10 days of the kill. Hunters are reminded that biologists located in field offices may be out in the field handling other issues so call ahead to make arrangements to have your cougar checked-in. The hide and skull must be unfrozen and the skull and proof of sex must be attached to the hide.

Cougar hunters are reminded that it is required to submit the reproductive tract of any female cougar taken. The reproductive tract provides valuable information on the number and frequency of kittens born annually in Oregon and is a critical part of ODFW’s cougar population models. Pick up the Big Game Hunting Regulations before your hunting trip to ensure that you are familiar with all of the requirements.

FURBEARERS - Bobcat, gray fox, red fox, marten, muskrat, mink, raccoon, river otter and beaver trapping and/or hunting is currently open. Pelts should be in prime conditions with the onset of cold weather. Please review the Furbearer Trapping and Hunting Regulations before your nest trip to ensure that you are familiar with all of the requirements.

COYOTE hunters should be having good success using prey animal distress calls. Remember to keep the volume low when you start to avoid scaring any animals near your stand, then increase the volume. Hunters are advised to keep a close watch downwind of their positions when predator calling. While bobcats are less disturbed by human scent, coyotes and fox will tend to circle downwind and once they have your scent – it is all over.

MIGRATORY GAME BIRDS

GOOSE Opens Feb. 6 – Mar. 10 for Period 3 in the Northwest Permit Zone (See pages 20-23 of the 2015-2016 Oregon Game Bird Regulations for details). Goose numbers continue to increase and hunters should find good hunting opportunities in the northwestern portion of the state. Hunters who have scouted out fields with actively feeding geese will experience the best success. Goose hunters are still required to pass the Northwest Oregon Goose Identification Test to hunt. Please review the information provided in the 2015-2016 Oregon Game Bird Regulations for more details on the major changes to goose hunting regulations in Northwest Oregon.

  • The season for Dusky Canada geese has been closed. It is a wildlife violation to shoot a Dusky Canada goose.
  • There is no quota for Dusky Canada geese, since no harvest is allowed.
  • There are no longer goose check stations.
  • Northwest Oregon Goose Permits are still required but harvest cards are not required.
  • The former Northwest General Goose Zone has been combined with the Northwest Permit Zone.
  • Legal shooting hours for geese in the Northwest Permit Zone have been changed to 15 minutes after sunrise to 15 minutes before sunset (see shooting hours table in regulations).
  • All days of the week (during the open NW Permit season) are open to goose hunting.
  • Geese must be intact and fully feathered in the field and while in transit to the place of permanent residence of the possessor.

Waterfowl hunting at Sauvie Island was below average for this last full week of the season. Average hunter success dropped to 1.3 birds per hunter (bph) in the Eastside Units, and 1.6 bph in the Westside Units with an overall success rate for the Wildlife Area of 1.4 bph.

BE PREPARED

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

Field care of harvested wildlife

The proper handling of harvested wildlife is the most important criteria to ensure its value as table fare. After properly tagging the animal, the hunter should remove the entrails and get the hide off to start the cool-down process. Wipe down the carcass with a dry cloth to remove any foreign material and keep the carcass sanitary by placing it into a clean dry cloth game bag.

Hunters are reminded to be prepared for emergencies by keeping survival equipment such as food, water, signal mirror, whistle, sleeping bag and first aid kit with you and in your vehicle during your outdoor adventures. Don’t forget to wear the proper clothing; it is your first defense against the elements. Let someone know where you will be and when you expect to return just in case your vehicle becomes stuck or breaks down.

Hunters should be preparing now for upcoming rifle big game hunting seasons this fall. Sight-in and practice with your firearms to ensure that when you do get the chance to harvest an animal you are confident in your shooting skills. Many of the local gun ranges will have public sight-in days where you can practice your shooting

Be safe, be responsible and be legal.

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WILLAMETTE ZONE: WILDLIFE VIEWING

EVENTS

Raptor Road Trip, Feb. 6, 9 a.m. – 2 p.m., Sauvie Island

Explore Sauvie Island in search of eagles, hawks and falcons. Naturalists and hawk experts host activities at four sites around the island. Enjoy guided bird viewing, meet live raptors, and see hawk identification displays. Cost is $10 per car. The trip begins with hot drinks, donuts, maps, and a parking permit at Kruger’s Farm Market, located at 17100 NW Sauvie Island Road, Portland. Call 503-292-6855, ext. 122 for more information.

Valleywide

NEW: The Willamette Valley is a significant wintering area for bald eagles, other birds of prey and waterfowl including tundra swans. Excellent viewing opportunities for these fascinating birds can be found at Ankeny, Baskett Slough or Finley National Wildlife refuges and at the Fern Ridge and EE Wilson Wildlife Management Areas. Resident bald eagles begin their pre-nesting and mating behavior this time of year. The resident population of bald eagles has increased dramatically in the Willamette Valley over that last couple of decades. Nesting is becoming common in large cottonwood trees along the Willamette River with nests spaced roughly 5 to 10 miles apart along much of the mainstem Willamette River.

Concentrations of shorebirds such as dunlin, killdeer, sandpipers, snipe, yellowlegs, and others may be seen probing the mud flats for invertebrates in the drawdown zone of any of the reservoirs within the district. These birds are also often seen in muddy areas of flooded-out portions of grass seed fields. Seasonal ponds are also a good bet for shorebirds later in the spring.

Late January and early February is also a good time to see large masses of starlings around the bridges in downtown Portland. Drive over the Broadway Bridge or Steel Bridge around sunset this time of years and you’re liable to see thousands of starlings settling in for the night.

Swans and other waterfowl can be found at Wapato Lake near Gaston and wetlands near Trojan Pond along Highway 30 north of Goble.

Bald eagles, diving ducks and other bird species can be found concentrated along the Columbia River this time of year. More than 40 bald eagles were observed during the mid-winter bald eagle count from Scappoose Bay to Puget Island (WA). Scaup, redhead, canvasback, bufflehead and goldeneye ducks were recently observed in the Columbia River, adjacent lakes and ponds along Interstate 84 from the Sandy River to Bonneville Dam.

EE Wilson Wildlife Area

Bare trees bird watching for perching birds (such as raptors, and hawks) more accessible. Waterfowl and shorebirds numbers will build with the wetter weather.

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

Fern Ridge Wildlife Area

Wintering concentrations of waterfowl can be observed on the lake and surrounding mudflats and wetlands. Thousands of Canada geese use Fern Ridge Lake for an evening roost site, and the sunset and sunrise departures and arrivals of the large flocks of geese provides an outstanding viewing opportunity. Observant visitors may also catch a glimpse of black tailed deer and furbearers including beaver and otter, mink, red fox and coyotes.

Royal Avenue and the trail to the Fisher Butte viewing platform remain open all day every day year round. There is a second elevated viewing platform in the Fisher Butte unit located 1/4 mile north of the Fisher Butte unit parking lot on Hwy 126.

The majority of Fern Ridge Wildlife Area is open daily for public use providing great wildlife viewing opportunities. Visitors are reminded there are seasonal access restrictions in place in five units during the fall and winter to provide wildlife sanctuary. The East and West Coyote units are closed to all public use until the end of January except for a limited 3 day per week reservation waterfowl hunt program. The Fisher Butte and Royal Amazon units are open daily through the end of duck season; however the units are closed to hunting at 1 p.m. daily and closed to all public use at 2 p.m. daily to provide rest periods for waterfowl. 

The Kirk Park unit is open daily for public use and hunting is limited to 3 days per week plus holidays. The entire Fern Ridge lake water area and surrounding mudflats remain open daily year-round. The mudflats surrounding the lake low winter pool can provide for excellent hiking on a sand-bar type lake bottom that extends for miles.

Visitors are cautioned that there have been recent vehicle break-ins at Fern Ridge and in local parks, so please secure your valuables before departing your vehicle. Parking areas are located along Highway 126, Nielson Road, Cantrell Road, Territorial Road, and Clear Lake Road. Contact the wildlife area headquarters, (541) 935-2591 if you have any questions.

Sauvie Island

Sauvie Island Wildlife Area

A record number of eagles were observed during the mid-winter eagle survey. Staff counted 205 eagles this year. The old record was 99 eagles.

Waterfowl and other bird species are plentiful on Sauvie Island this time of year. While much of the Wildlife Area is closed so as not to disturb the birds, there are viewing opportunities at Coon Point, Eastside Viewing Platform and Rentenaar Road. All three require a Sauvie Island Parking Permit.

Sauvie Island Wildlife Area is located on Sauvie Island, only 10 miles north of Portland off Highway 30. A parking permit is required for the Sauvie Island Wildlife Area and can be purchased at ODFW License vendors or at the Sauvie Island ODFW office, Monday through Friday during office hours. For more information, call (503) 621-3488.

Directions to Sauvie Island Wildlife Area


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CENTRAL ZONE: FISHING

Weekend fishing opportunities

  • Kokanee fishing has been good lately in Lake Billy Chinook
  • Trout fishing on the Fall River has been fair. Sleep in cause the best fishing will be during the warmest part of the day, usually mid-afternoon.
  • Anglers have been catching a good number of lake trout on Crescent Lake.
  • Nymphs and streamer have been taking trout on the Metolius, where fishing has been fair.
  • Some lakes are now frozen over with thin ice and roads blocked by snow. Check on access before heading out.
  • Quite a few winter steelhead are entering the Hood River, and fishing should be good once high water levels begin to recede.
  • Pine Hollow has been stocked for some winter fishing.
  • Winter can be a good time to find the larger trout hanging out in Ochoco Reservoir.

If your favorite fishing spot is no longer listed

It’s probably because that river, lake or reservoir is closed for the season, inaccessible due to snow and bad roads, or offers limited fishing opportunities during the winter months. These water bodies will re-appear in the Recreation Report when they re-open next spring, or when access and/or opportunity improves.

Ice-fishing safety

With several water bodies beginning to ice over, it’s a good time to be reminded that anglers should always use caution during first-ice conditions. 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. Vexilar’s Ice Fishing Today website has a quick 2-minute video describing how to be safe during early ice.

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

Be prepared for hazardous road conditions as snow and ice may limit accessibility. The reservoir is covered in ice of unknown thickness.

BEND PINE NURSERY: rainbow trout

Open to fishing all year. Pond may be frozen during extended cold weather. Limit 2 fish per day.

BIKINI POND: rainbow trout

Ice will hinder angler access, and is not likely safe for angling. The pond has been stocked, and should provide good fishing when the ice melts.

CRANE PRAIRIE RESERVOIR: Closed to fishing until April 22, 2016.

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

Open to fishing all year.

CROOKED RIVER BELOW BOWMAN DAM: redband trout, mountain whitefish

Fishing has been fair. The flows are very low, which can be very stressful to the fish. Anglers are encouraged to take measures to reduce stress by quickly landing a fish, minimize handling and to not remove the fish from the water.

As a reminder, all trout over 20-inches are considered steelhead and must be immediately released unharmed. Please report any tagged fish to the Prineville Office (541) 447-5111.

Flows below Bowman Dam

CULTUS LAKE: rainbow trout, lake trout

Open to fishing all year.

DAVIS LAKE: largemouth bass, redband trout

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

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

New 2016 regulations open the river the entire year from the I84 bridge upstream to Pelton Regulating Dam.

Steelhead are dispersed throughout the river from the mouth upstream to Warm Springs. Winter steelhead fishing can still be good on the Deschutes, but freezing temperatures may limit success. Angers will likely find best success upstream from Maupin.

Trout fishing also continues to be productive during the winter months throughout the entire reach

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.Trap operation has ended for the season, but will resume again next summer.

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

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

Benham Falls upstream to Wickiup Reservoir:

Closed to fishing until May 22, 2016

EAST LAKE:

Open to fishing all year. Lake may be frozen during extended cold weather. Check road closure information prior to driving to lake.

ELK LAKE: brook trout, kokanee, cutthroat trout

Open to fishing all year. Winter road closure information.

FALL RIVER: rainbow trout

Open to fishing all year. Anglers report fair fishing during the warmer parts of the day. Restricted to fly-fishing only with barbless hooks.

Forest Service Road 4060 is not maintained during winter months.

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

The reservoir is ice free. The westside campground/boat ramp has been closed until April 1. Parking is allowed near the handicap fishing pier and walk-in access around the reservoir is permitted. Parking in front of the gate or along the road is not permitted. For more information call the Bureau of Reclamation at (541) 389-6541.

HOOD RIVER: winter steelhead

Fishing for bright winter steelhead has been improving with good numbers of fresh fish entering the river. Anglers will want to pay close attention to river levels, as fishing should be excellent when flows recede.

HOSMER LAKE: brook, rainbow and cutthroat trout, Atlantic salmon

Open to fishing all year. Lake may be frozen during extended cold weather. Winter road closure information. New fishing regulations beginning on Jan. 1, 2016 call for catch-and-release for all species.

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

Metolius River Arm is closed until March 1 but the Deschutes and Crooked River Arms are open year round. Trout limit may include one bull trout with a 24 inch minimum length limit. Rainbow trout over 20 inches and kokanee over 16 inches must be released unharmed. There are no limits on bass or brown trout.

Fishing has been good lately, especially for kokanee. Opportunities for bull trout are expected to be good this year. Anglers are reminded there are small numbers of spring Chinook and summer steelhead in Lake Billy Chinook as part of the reintroduction effort. Please release these fish unharmed.

LAKE SIMTUSTUS: bull trout, rainbow trout, smallmouth bass

Open year-round.

LAURANCE LAKE: Rainbow trout, cutthroat trout

Closed to fishing until May 22, 2016.

LAVA LAKE (BIG):

Open to fishing all year. Winter road closure information.

LAVA LAVE (SMALL): rainbow trout, brook trout

Open to fishing all year. Winter road closure information.

LOST LAKE: rainbow trout, brown trout

Snow will likely block access to Lost Lake until next spring.

METOLIUS RIVER: redband trout, bull trout

Mainstem upstream of Allingham Bridge is closed to fishing until May 22. Allingham Bridge downstream to mouth open to fishing all year. Anglers report fair fishing using nymphs and egg patterns. Catch-and-release for all species, including bull trout. Special fishing regulations apply to the Metolius River.

NORTH TWIN LAKE: rainbow trout

Lake is currently fishless. North Twin Lake will be closed until ODFW can access the lake to assess recent treatment to remove illegally introduced catfish. Contact Erik Moberly (541) 388-6145 if you have any questions.

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

Fishing has been fair for trout averaging 16 inches in length. The reservoir is free of ice. The water level is to the bottom of the paved portion of the boat ramp and the gate to the ramp is open.

ODELL LAKE: Closed to fishing after Oct. 31.

Open to fishing all year. All tributaries to Odell Lake are closed to fishing.

PAULINA LAKE:

Open to fishing all year. Lake may be frozen during long stretches of cold weather. Check road closure information prior to driving to lake.

PINE HOLLOW RESERVOIR: rainbow trout, largemouth bass

Pine Hollow should offer excellent winter fishing, as the lake has received its winter stocking.

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

The upper portion of the reservoir is still covered in a thin layer of ice. There is open water near the dam.

PRINEVILLE YOUTH FISHING POND: rainbow trout and largemouth bass

The pond is closed when covered with ice.

ROCK CREEK RESERVOIR: rainbow trout

Recent rains should improve water levels and fishing in the lake. Ice will limit success, and anglers should use extreme caution on the ice.

SHEVLIN YOUTH FISHING POND: rainbow trout

Open to fishing all year. Limit is 2 trout per day, 8-inch minimum length. Fishing restricted to juvenile anglers 17-years-old and younger.

SOUTH TWIN LAKE: rainbow trout

Open to fishing all year. Lake may be frozen during long stretches of cold weather. Check road conditions prior to driving to lake.

SUTTLE LAKE: brown trout, kokanee

Open to fishing all year.

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

Taylor Lake should offer excellent winter trout fishing opportunity, as the lake has received its winter stocking allocation.

THREE CREEK LAKE: rainbow trout, brook trout

Open to fishing all year. Check road closure information before driving to lake.

WALTON LAKE: rainbow trout

The lake is covered in ice of unknown thickness.

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

Closed to fishing until April 22, 2016.



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CENTRAL 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.

PRINEVILLE/OCHOCO WILDLIFE DISTRICT

Please be aware of fire restrictions and closures in the area. Consult appropriate land management agency for details.

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. Remember you need 2016 tag to hunt as of Jan. 1.

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: There are good numbers of coyotes in Hood River, Wasco and Sherman Counties. Those wishing to pursue will find the best success near agricultural lands. Be sure to ask permission to hunt private lands.

Cougar: Cougars can be found in the same areas as deer and elk as they follow them through their migration routes. Calling with fawn in distress can be effective this time of year. Cougars have large home ranges so remember to be patient and persistent. Remember you need 2016 tag to hunt as of Jan. 1.

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

WHITE RIVER WILDLIFE AREA

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.

Road Closures: Green-dot seasonal roads are now closed to all motorized vehicles for the winter. These closures help prevent road damage and protect wintering wildlife. Walk-in access is still permitted once the roads are closed. The green-dot seasonal roads will reopen April 1.

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

Eurasian Collared Doves are UNPROTECTED with no season or bag limit restrictions. Hunters only need a hunting license to harvest these birds. Often found in urban areas, make sure you are outside city limits when discharging a weapon.

Cougar is open all year or until zone mortality quotas have been met. Winter is a great time to focus on cougar hunting. The annual migration of deer from higher in the Cascades will entice cougars to follow, concentrating the number of cougars at lower elevations. Use weather to your advantage; look for tracks in snow, mud, and dirt. Locating fresh tracks in the snow in conjunction with predator calling can be effective. Remember you need 2016 tag to hunt as of Jan. 1.

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


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CENTRAL ZONE: WILDLIFE VIEWING

CROOK COUNTY

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

Prineville Reservoir Wildlife Area

The Prineville Reservoir Wildlife Area offers walk-in 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.

Deschutes County

Higher than average snowfall is good news for fish and wildlife and the habitats they rely on, but wildlife watchers wishing to drive into the mountains should check conditions at ODOT’s Trip Check site (https://www.tripcheck.com/Pages/RCMap.asp ) before heading out. ODOT closed the Cascade Lakes Highway west of Mount Bachelor and highway 242 west of Sisters. Neither highway is ploughed and both will remain closed until the snow has melted.

Late January brought Deschutes County’s first turkey vulture sighting of the year. This is a few weeks earlier than usual, but more should soon be flying in our skies.

Winter is an excellent time to view raptors. Red-tailed hawks are one of the most numerous birds of prey and commonly seen on fence and power poles scanning meadows, sagebrush shrub steppe, and other open areas for a tasty rodent.

Stella’s jays, white-headed woodpeckers, junco’s, several sparrow species, ravens, spotted towhee, hairy woodpecker, cedar waxwings and red-cross bills are just a few of the species that can be found in the Deschutes National Forest and BLM managed lands. Good sites to look for birds include forest edges surrounding meadows and wetland areas. Those with patience and stealth may be rewarded by the call and possible sighting of a Virginia rail moving through thickets of cat tails.

Specific 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), where you can expect to see. Canada geese, American widgeon, green-winged teal, bufflehead, ring-necked ducks, northern shovelers, lesser scaup, common and Barrow’s goldeneye, multiple gull species, and various grebes including horned, eared, western, and Clark’s. 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. Oregon Birding Locations by County

This winter’s great snowfall provides a great opportunity to find and identify mammal tracks. You might run into a black-tailed jackrabbit in areas where sagebrush abounds and it’s not uncommon to see coyotes cross open spaces in a variety of habitats. Squirrels can be observed conducting their winter activities on national forest and BLM lands.

Some amphibian activity is occurring beneath the frozen surface of ponds, but for the most part, they will be absent from view for the next month or so. Likewise, reptiles are sequestered in their underground winter quarters and will remain there until warmer days return in March or April. We’ll know spring is back when the chirrups of tree frogs can be heard once again. 02/02/16

WASCO AND SHERMAN COUNTIES

The Lower Deschutes River provides ample wildlife viewing opportunities.

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

Many different raptor species can be seen in the Deschutes River Canyon this time of year including Red-tailed Hawks, Northern Harriers, American Kestrels, Prairie Falcons, Peregrine Falcons, and Golden and Bald Eagles. Migrating raptors have been showing up in large numbers, focus on high ridgelines where migrating birds travel.

Migrating Bald eagles have arrived and can often be observed along the Columbia River. The eagles can be observed throughout the Columbia Gorge with common places below The Dalles Dam and at the confluence of the Klickitat River. 12/22/15

White River Wildlife Area

There are many different animals on White River Wildlife Area ranging from Deer and Elk to coyotes, bears, and the occasional cougar. Some of these animals are much harder to find than others. Deer that winter on the wildlife area are now showing up and can be spotted in open fields and meadows early in the morning or in the evenings. Remember when driving around the Wildlife Area or rural roads, watch carefully for deer along the edges ready to jump out in front of you. There are many deer mortalities every year from vehicle collisions. Not only is it bad for the deer but can cause serious injuries or be fatal to the driver and passengers.

The best time to view elk is also in the morning and evenings. They are very wary animals and don’t like hanging around when people are nearby.

It is also possible to see bald and golden eagles on the Wildlife Area. Other raptors such as red-tailed hawks and rough-legged hawks are common sights. American kestrels and northern harriers are also easily seen hunting for food.

Lewis’s woodpeckers, pileated woodpeckers, flickers, western meadowlarks, Steller’s jays, scrub jays, gray jays, Townsend’s solitaire, horned larks, golden-crowed kinglets, and robins are all at home on the Wildlife Area. There have also been lots of magpies spotted flying around this year.

Look on ponds, lakes and streams to see a variety of ducks and geese, as well as western grebes, coots, and mergansers. 12/15/2015



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SOUTHEAST ZONE: FISHING

Weekend Fishing Opportunities:

  • Ice fishing is fair in Lake of the Woods for yellow perch with a few nice brown trout being caught as well.
  • Some lakes are frozen and access blocked by snow. Check for access before heading out.
  • Trout fishing on the Blitzen River near Page Springs has been good.
  • The best fall-winter fishing opportunity in the Klamath Basin is the Klamath River from Keno Dam downstream to the J. C. Boyle Powerhouse.
  • Ana reservoir and river is a great place to fish during the winter. Ana reservoir is spring fed and remains open all winter. It’s also the only place in Oregon to fish for Wipers (hybrid bass). For trout fisherman, the river was just recently stocked with trophy-size rainbows.

If your favorite fishing spot is no longer listed

It’s probably because that river, lake or reservoir is closed for the season, inaccessible due to snow and bad roads, or offers limited fishing opportunities during the winter months. These water bodies will re-appear in the Recreation Report when they re-open next spring, or when access and/or opportunity improves.

Ice-fishing safety

With several water bodies beginning to ice over, it’s a good time to be reminded that anglers should always use caution during first-ice conditions. 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. Vexilar’s Ice Fishing Today website has a quick 2-minute video describing how to be safe during early ice.

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

Hybrid bass are traditionally targeted using crank baits; however they can be caught in the reservoir using various methods including bait. Trout are averaging 12 to 14-inches and hybrid bass larger than 20-inches are not uncommon.

A new state record hybrid bass (white and striped bass cross) was caught in Ana Reservoir on Dec. 10, 2014. The fish was caught using a Rapala crankbait on 10 lb. test line and measured 31½ inches with a girth of 24 inches. The fish weighed 19 lbs. 12 oz. The potential new state record is 1 ½ inches longer and 1 lb. heavier than the previous record of 18 lbs. 9 oz. caught in 2009.

ANA RIVER: trout

Ana River was stocked with trophy rainbow trout in late October. 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.

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

Open to fishing but not recommended at this time Fishing will be very slow on opening day due to cold water temperatures, high flows and movement of ice. Access is difficult due to snow depth.

BALM CREEK RESERVOIR: rainbow trout, smallmouth bass, crappie

Balm Creek Reservoir was treated this fall with the chemical fish toxicant, rotenone, killing all fish in the reservoir. The reservoir will be restocked with rainbow trout in May 2016.

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

No recent fishing reports. The reservoir is currently at 24 percent of capacity and none of the boat ramps are useable based on the Bureau of Reclamation website.

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

BLITZEN RIVER: redband trout

The Blitzen River has been flowing around 70 cfs with water temperatures fluctuating around 2oC or below. Recent weather has brought a lot of snow to the area so flows may fluctuate throughout the day. Flows can be checked on the USGS website located here.

Recent reports indicate that fishing has been fair to good on the Blitzen River around Page Springs. Fishermen have reported success swinging weighted streamers or other nymphs. Large redband trout are being found in deeper water along the banks where cover is available.

The South Steens Loop Road is currently closed at the first gate and the North Loop Road is closed at Page Springs.

The Blitzen and Little Blitzen Rivers are open year round for catch and release only starting in 2016. Retention is still allowed in other tributaries. Please check the 2016 fishing regulations for changes in the Blitzen River system.

BLUE LAKE: hatchery rainbow trout

Access is limited due to snow. Blue Lake is a fantastic high elevation lake located in the Gearhart Wilderness between Bly and Lakeview. A three mile trail leads to the lake and it’s a 1-2 hour hike.

Fish were sampled by net and hook and line sampling the summer of 2015. Rainbow trout ranged from 6 to 16-inches and were in healthy condition. The trout at this lake see little pressure and are easy to catch using flies, lures or bait. Fishing is excellent in June with rainbow trout targeting blue damselfly adults.

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

The reservoir is at 35 percent of capacity and the boat ramp is useable based on the Bureau of Reclamation website.

BURNS POND: trout, bass

Fishing has been good for legal-sized rainbow trout. The pond was stocked with legal-sized rainbow trout last spring and throughout the summer and anglers have been catching these fish and some holdovers from last year. Currently, the pond is frozen over but the ice thickness is unknown.

Please note that it is illegal to angle through a man-made hole bigger than 12-inches in diameter. It is highly recommended that you carry safety equipment. Please see the top of this report for a link to ice fishing safety videos.

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

Access is blocked by snow.

CAMPBELL LAKE: brook trout, rainbow trout

Access blocked by snow

CAMPBELL RESERVOIR: redband trout, largemouth bass, crappie

The reservoir is just outside of Bly on the road to Dairy Creek. Deming Creek irrigation ditch feeds the reservoir. Campbell Reservoir is likely covered in ice. Thickness of ice is unknown.

CHEWAUCAN RIVER: redband trout, largemouth bass, brown bullhead

The entire Chewaucan River is now open all year. Bait is allowed downstream of Hwy 31 at Paisley, however the use of bait is prohibited upstream of highway 31. Largemouth bass and brown bullhead are available to anglers at the first Hwy. 31 crossing just north of Valley Falls. Small boats can be launched at this site.

CHICKAHOMINY RESERVOIR: trout

No recent fishing reports but fishing is expected to be slow. The reservoir is frozen over but the ice thickness is unknown at this time. The water level is very low. Due to poor habitat conditions in Chickahominy Reservoir over the last year and projected poor conditions next year, ODFW will not be stocking the reservoir. If conditions improve, then the stocking program in this reservoir will be reinstated.

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

Access blocked by snow. Open to fishing.

COTTONWOOD MEADOWS: rainbow trout, brook trout

Access blocked by snow.

COTTONWOOD RESERVOIR (Lake County): native redband trout

No fishing reports but likely blocked by snow.

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

No recent fishing reports. As of 2013, the lakes will no longer be stocked with rainbow trout due to poor habitat quality.

DEADHORSE LAKE: rainbow trout

Access to the lake blocked by snow.

DELINTMENT LAKE: trout

No recent fishing reports. With the recent cold weather, the road to Delintment is covered in snow and chains may be needed. Also, the lake should have some ice on it but it is unknown whether or not it is safe for fishing.

DEMING CREEK: redband trout and bull trout

Open to fishing. Access blocked by snow.

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

No recent report.

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

There have not been any current fishing reports but the lake is frozen over. Ice thickness is unknown but ice fishing is occurring. The road is currently plowed. Anglers will need to hike a short distance to the lake through deep snow.

DUNCAN RESERVOIR: rainbow trout

Duncan Reservoir is low and there have not been any recent fishing reports. The reservoir is frozen. Access is available to the reservoir.

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

The North Loop Steens Road is closed for the winter making access to Fish Lake almost impossible.

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

Open to fishing all year. Fourmile Creek off Westside road just north of Cherry Creek is open all year with bait allowed. A few large brown trout occur in the stream. 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.

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

Access is blocked due to snow. The lake can be reached by snowmobile and ice fishing should be good.

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

No recent report. The lake is only 6 percent full. The reservoir is covered with ice. Ice thickness is unknown but anglers are ice fishing with limited success.

HAINES POND: rainbow

The pond is now ice covered.

HEART LAKE: rainbow trout, kokanee

Access is blocked by snow.

HOLBROOK RESERVOIR: rainbow trout

Access is blocked by snow. All fish likely died the summer of 2015 due to drought. Holbrook will be stocked again in 2016 with fingerling, legal and trophy rainbow trout.

HWY 203 POND: trout, bass, bluegill

The pond is now ice-covered.

JACKSON CREEK (UPPER WILLIAMSON RIVER): brook trout

Access is blocked by snow. Fishing is open and bait allowed.

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

Fishing is very slow for warmwater fish such as crappie, pumpkinseed sunfish and brown bullhead catfish with water temperatures increasing. Water temperature is currently peaking at 32 degrees.

Fishing for largemouth bass is slow. The reservoir is turbidtherefore anglers should try lures with high visibility and scent. Boats can be launched in several locations in the reservoir. Unimproved ramps occur just north and south of the Highway 66 bridge crossing. No fees are required to launch at these locations.

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

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

Most of Upper Klamath Lake is ice free. The outlet of Upper Klamath Lake is where most effort occurs at this time. Anglers are also fishing at areas where water is being pumped into lake.

KLAMATH RIVER: native rainbow-redband trout

Keno Dam to J.C Boyle Reservoir

The section from Keno Dam to J.C. Boyle Reservoir opened to fishing on Oct. 1. Flows of 514 cfs are ideal for successful fishing outing. Access is very challenging due to muddy road conditions. Redband are typically feeding on sculpins and minnows this time of year. Water temperature is currently peaking at 37 degrees.

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

Fishing on the Klamath River between JC Boyle Dam to JC Boyle Powerhouse is slow at this time but likely your best bet for catching trout in the Klamath Basin.

Most fish in this section are small and average 10-inches. Below the springs this section remains near a constant 360 cfs of flow and water temperatures are warmer in this section in the fall and winter. 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.

J.C. Boyle Powerhouse to State Line with California

Below the JC Boyle powerhouse the fish get slightly larger than the aforementioned reach and average 12-inches but rarely exceed 16-inches. Most fish are in the 6 to 8-inch range. River flows in this section are typically quite high during the day. If flow levels are 900 cfs or lower the river is fishable. Dead drifting rubber legged stonefly patterns and/or bead head pheasant tails can be good.

Flows below the powerhouse will typically be high during all daylight hours. Flow release estimates are no longer available and will be posted again next May 2016. Check the USGS website for flow information. Klamath River is a good TROUT 365 fishery – good trout fishing 365 days a year.

KRUMBO RESERVOIR: trout, bass

No recent fishing reports. Recent cold weather may have resulted in Krumbo freezing over. The Malhuer National Wildlife Refuge does not allow ice fishing on Krumbo Reservoir so please respect the regulations and stay off the ice.

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

Lake of the Woods is frozen. Angling is fair for yellow perch using small, bright jigs with live bait such as meal worms. Most perch are running 8-10 inches. A few nice brown trout are also being captured. Yellow perch are being caught right next to the Lake of the Woods Lodge. A few brown trout were caught off the northwest shoreline heading towards Aspen Point Boat Ramp from the Lodge. Angler should take all precautions when fishing from the ice as the top layer of ice is very slushy. Lake of the Woods Resort has everything you need for ice fishing.

Take an active role in the management of Oregon fisheries! If you catch a tagged rainbow trout, please report it ODFW. Some tags include rewards of up to $50, and fish can be kept or released. If you release a fish, please write down the tag number and release the fish with the tag intact. If the tag includes a reward, the tag must be removed from the fish and returned to ODFW to receive the reward. Anglers should report and return tags to ODFW Klamath Falls Field Office at 1850 Miller Island Road West Klamath Falls, OR 97603. Phone number is (541) 883-5732. Anglers can also report tagged fish online. Reporting forms will also be available at Lake of the Woods Resort and Store. Fourteen anglers have returned tags worth $50 each.

Call Lake of the Woods Resort for recent reports Toll Free at 866-201-4194.

LOFTON RESERVOIR: rainbow trout

Access is blocked by snow.

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

Access is blocked by snow

LOST RIVER: largemouth bass, brown bullhead, yellow perch

Lost River is open to fishing all year. Public access is available at Crystal Springs day use area.

Boats can be launched from an improved boat ramp at Crystal Springs.

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

MALHEUR RESERVOIR: hatchery rainbow trout

No recent fishing reports. The reservoir dam was repaired and starting holding water again in November of 2015 but very few fish are expected to be in the reservoir. This is because the reservoir completely dried up this past summer.

MALHEUR RIVER (Warm Springs Reservoir downstream to South Fork Malheur River): redband trout and hatchery rainbow trout

Water releases from Warm Springs Reservoir have been less than 1 cfs according to the USGS stream data. Fishing is expected to be poor with the low flows but decreasing water temperatures might improve the trout fishery. Fisherman should look for deeper water and overhanging banks where fish can find cover. Ice is present on the river and may make fishing some sections problematic. Please use caution when fishing around ice.

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

Mann Lake is currently frozen but the ice thickness in unknown at this time. In mid-January, one group of anglers reported catching 2 cutthroat trout in the first 15 minutes of fishing and then nothing for the next 4 hours.

Fishing is expected to continue to be slow but there are large cutthroat trout in the lake that exceed 20 inches.

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

Access is blocked by snow. Access is available by snowmobile.

MUD LAKE: hatchery rainbow trout

The reservoir is dry.

MURRAY RESERVOIR: trout

No report.

NORTH POWDER POND: rainbow trout

The pond is now ice-covered and the access road is drifted over with snow.

OVERTON RESERVOIR: rainbow trout

Access is blocked by snow.

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

The reservoir is at 14 percent of capacity and no boat ramps are useable based on the Bureau of Reclamation information. The county boat ramp will be closed indefinitely due to low water levels creating unsafe conditions. The Indian Creek boat ramp is closed for construction beginning Nov. 1. Construction is expected to continue until April 1.

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

Water releases below the dam have been around 11 cfs. Fishing has been fair to slow depending on the time of day and location. Brown and rainbow trout over 20-inches have been caught recently. Water clarity has been poor to fair depending on the day and fly fisherman have been having success on both dry flies and nymphs.

OWYHEE RIVER (Upper): smallmouth bass and channel catfish

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

Paiute Reservoir: hatchery rainbow trout and Lahontan cutthroat

The reservoir is nearly dry and likely frozen.

PHILLIPS RESERVOIR: trout, perch

Reservoir storage is at 6 percent of capacity, and is ice-covered. The access to the Mason Dam launch has been cleared of snow, but a 4-wheel drive vehicle is recommended as it is not plowed regularly. Fishing has been good for yellow perch averaging 8-8.5 inches long, a little better than in recent years. Anglers report that trout are in good condition with robust bodies, but few are being caught.

PILCHER RESERVOIR:

Due to a rule change for 2016, the reservoir is open to fishing, effective on Jan. 1 and is open to fishing year-round. Access to the reservoir is good as both the Tucker Flat R and access to the campground have been plowed of snow.. However, there is still a 200-300 yard walk to the reservoir due to the low water level. The reservoir is ice-covered.

Pine Creek and tributaries (Snake River tributary): rainbow trout, brook trout

Beginning January 1, Pine Creek and tributaries will be open to trout fishing year-round, with a 5 rainbow trout bag limit. This is a new regulation for 2016.

POLE CREEK RESERVOIR: hatchery rainbow trout

Pole Creek is currently frozen over, although the ice thickness is unknown at this time. Fishing has been fair to good around the dam.

POWDER RIVER: rainbow trout

Effective January 1, the Powder River is open to trout fishing year-round, with a 5 trout bag limit. This is a new regulation for 2016.

PRIDAY RESERVOIR: hatchery rainbow trout

The reservoir is dry. This is great news as several illegally introduced species occurred in the reservoir and have now perished. This very productive reservoir will be stocked again in 2016.

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

Fishing is open. Access will be challenging due to snow but anglers can access Sevenmile Creek at Nicholson Road and fish upstream of Nicholson Road. Bait is allowed upstream of Nicholson Road.

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

Access to the wilderness lakes is blocked by snow

ODFW District staff sampled Como, Harriette, Echo and South Pass Lakes in the Mountain Lakes Wilderness this summer. Como Lake is the first lake encountered from the Varney Creek Trail and is a 5.5 mile hike up a moderate incline. Best fishing appeared to be using spinners particularly size two panther martins in black with gold blades. Six to 10-inch brook trout seemed common along the shoreline and are easily accessible by fly fisherman. Fish in all lakes were feeding on water boatmen/ back swimmers. Brook trout in Echo Lake were very common and schools of four to five could be observed feeding. Some large rainbow trout mortalities were observed on the shoreline of Como and Harriette. Como Lake appeared to have had a minor fish die off during the summer.

District staff also sampled Badger, Woodpecker and Long lakes off the Fourmile Lake trailhead. No fish were observed in Long Lake. Numerous brook trout were observed in the spring fed pond feeding Badger Lake. Fishing was good in this pond. A large school of 14-inch brook trout were observed in Badger Lake under a large tree that had fallen in the lake. Fishing was very slow in Badger and Woodpecker lakes.

SHERLOCK GULCH RESERVOIR: hatchery rainbow trout

The reservoir is currently low. There have been no fishing reports.

Spaulding Reservoir: hatchery rainbow trout

The reservoir is dry.

SPRING CREEK: redband trout, brown trout, brook trout

Closed to fishing until May 22, 2016. Large redband trout can be observed spawning.

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

Fishing is very slow. River flows are high at 1260 cfs and water is turbid. ODFW encourages the release of spawning redband trout.

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

The North Fork Sprague River is open to angling. Access on public property blocked by snow.

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

The South Fork Sprague River is open to angling. Access on public property 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. The road into Sun Creek is closed.

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

The Sycan River is open to angling. Access is very challenging. Access on public property blocked by snow.

THOMPSON VALLEY RESERVOIR: rainbow trout, largemouth bass

Access is blocked by snow.

THIEF VALLEY RESERVOIR: trout

The reservoir was drained over the summer of 2015 and has not been restocked with rainbow trout due to very little water in the reservoir at the fall stocking time. Plans are to stock legal-sized rainbows in April and May of 2016.

UNITY RESERVOIR: trout, bass, crappie

Unity Reservoir is ice-covered with good access. The road and parking area at Unity State park is being plowed and maintained well. Fish are running 10”-19”, but the catch rate is low. The reservoir is at 33 percent of capacity.

VEE LAKE: rainbow trout

Access is blocked by snow.

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

No recent fishing reports but fishing is expected to be slow. The reservoir is currently at 9 percent of capacity. The reservoir is expected to be frozen over but the thickness and condition of the ice is unknown. The roads to Warm Springs Reservoir can be treacherous during the winter months with snow and mud making it difficult to reach the reservoir.

UPPER WILLIAMSON RIVER:

Closed to fishing until May 22, 2016. When the Upper Williamson River opens catch and release will be required for redband trout the entire season. No bait is allowed.

LOWER WILLIAMSON RIVER:

Closed to fishing until May 22, 2016. When the Lower Williamson River opens catch and release will be required for redband trout the entire season. No bait is allowed.

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

The reservoir is ice covered and not safe for ice fishing.

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

The reservoir is ice covered and thickness of ice is unknown.

WOLF CREEK RESERVOIR: crappie, trout

The reservoir is now ice-covered. No recent fishing reports.

WOOD RIVER: redband, brown, brook and bull trout

Closed to fishing until April 22, 2016.

YELLOWJACKET LAKE: trout

Yellowjacket is frozen over but access may be blocked by snow and ice. Yellowjacket Lake is a great place to take the family for some trout fishing and is an excellent place to ice fish when accessible.


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SOUTHEAST ZONE: HUNTING

OPEN: COUGAR, CONTROLLED ELK

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

Elk – Only one cow ELK hunt remains open through the end of January 2016. Elk populations are stable, with good numbers of yearling bulls available due to good recruitment last spring. The mild winter experienced throughout southeast Oregon in 2015 has benefited most desert species.

Cougar hunting is open year around. Remember you need a 2016 tag to hunt as of Jan. 1. 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 on big game winter ranges. Some hunters have reported limited success with calling at this time of year.

Don’t forget successful hunters must check-in cougars no more than 10 days after harvest; please bring cougar in thawed and with mouth propped open so that field staff can quickly process the animal and get you on your way.

Coyote populations are good throughout Harney County. Pups have dispersed from the den. Standard predator calls will be effective from now through December. Be aware that bobcats and cougars may respond to predator calls, and separate licensing and season limitations exist for these species.

KLAMATH COUNTY

Cougar hunting is open year around. Remember you need 2016 tag to hunt as of Jan. 1. 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 on big game winter ranges. With recent snowfall, hunters can find tracks much easier and do some calling when they find fresh sign. Don’t forget, successful hunters must check-in cougars no more than 10 days after harvest; please bring cougar in thawed and with mouth propped open so that field staff can quickly process the animal and get you on your way.

Coyote populations are average throughout Klamath County. At this time of year, mimicking prey distress sounds can be an effective tool to bring coyotes within range. Be aware that bobcats and cougars may respond to predator calls, and separate licensing and season limitations exist for these species.

KLAMATH WILDLIFE AREA

This section was updated on Feb. 02, 2016.

Miller Island Unit

All Hunting seasons are now closed on the Miller Island Unit of the Klamath Wildlife Area.

Hunting for White Geese and White-Fronted Geese is allowed during the Klamath, Lake, Harney & Malheur Cos. Zone White and White-Fronted Goose season (Jan. 24-Mar. 10, 2016), only in the Gorr Island, Shoalwater Bay and Sesti Tgawaals Units of the Klamath Wildlife Area.

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.

The Gorr Island Unit is open for hunting during the Klamath, Lake, Harney & Malheur Cos. Zone White and White-Fronted Goose season (Jan. 24-Mar. 10, 2016).

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 Unit are both open for hunting daily with no permit required during authorized seasons.

Shoalwater Bay and Sesti Tgawaals Units are open for hunting during the Klamath, Lake, Harney & Malheur Cos. Zone White and White-Fronted Goose season (Jan. 24-Mar. 10, 2016).

Federally approved non-toxic shot is required for all hunting.

Klamath Basin waterfowl numbers are available on the US Fish and Wildlife website Recent Aerial Surveys - Tule Lake - U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

LAKE COUNTY

Cougar hunting is open. Remember you need 2016 tag to hunt as of Jan. 1. Populations are healthy due to good habitat and prey base. If hunters can find a fresh cougar kill, calling within a ½ mile of that kill can be very effective.

Coyote are forming pair bonds and coyote vocalization calls will be effective through late winter and spring. Be aware that bobcats and cougars may respond to predator calls, and separate licensing and season limitations exist for these species.

Waterfowl Snow and White Fronted goose seasons re-opened January 24th and will run through March 10th. The bag limit for White-fronted geese in Lake County is 1 bird per day. The spring migration which usually starts in late January may be delayed due to more severe winter weather.

SUMMER LAKE WILDLIFE AREA

This section was updated on February 2, 2016

The sixteenth and final week of game bird hunting season was fair for goose hunting (duck season closed 1 week prior) and upland game birds. Little effort was expended during this last week of game bird hunting. A total of 31 hunters checked-in. During the same week last year, only quail season was open.

They reported (100% check-out) the total harvest of 22 birds, 21 geese (11 Canada, 9 snow, 1 white-fronted) and 1 California quail.

This resulted in a bird per hunter average of 0.70.

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

Bighorn sheep: There will be no tags for the Owyhee Unit in 2016 due to a disease outbreak. Learn more

Cougar hunting is open. Remember you need 2016 tag to hunt as of Jan. 1. 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. Areas with livestock feeding and calving operations are always strong attractors for coyotes.


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SOUTHEAST ZONE WILDLIFE VIEWING

HARNEY COUNTY

Wintering raptors have returned to 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.

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

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. 1/25/16

KLAMATH COUNTY

A few open water areas including Ling River can provide great viewing opportunities for diving ducks such as common goldeneye, lesser scaup, common merganser, and bufflehead.

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

Rough-legged and Ferruginous hawks are often found foraging around agricultural areas throughout the basin. Redtail hawks and Northern harriers are very common and can be observed in agricultural areas as well.

Please watch for game and use caution while traveling on area highways and county roads. Recent research indicates that highway collisions are a significant source of mortality for migrating deer. Traffic volumes on Highway 97 are increasing over time with corresponding effects on big game populations. PLEASE USE CAUTION WHILE TRAVELING. 1/5/16

KLAMATH WILDLIFE AREA

This section was updated on Feb. 2, 2016

From February 1-April 30 public use is restricted to public roads and parking areas to minimize disturbance to migrating waterfowl. The short birding trail next to check station will remain open.

Running or training of dogs is prohibited from February 1-July 31, except on the designated dog training area.

Most of the areas wetlands are still frozen over, but warming temperatures have thinned the ice and melted most of the snow. A Wildlife Area Parking Permit is required to park on the Wildlife Area. Cost is $7 daily or $22 annually. Free with purchase of hunting license. Buy online or at an ODFW office that sells licenses or at a license sales agent.

Waterfowl

Spring migration is just underway with significant numbers of tundra swan, ross’s, snow, and white-fronted geese starting to use the area. Their numbers should continue to increase over the following weeks. Canada geese are starting to pair up, they can be found scattered across the area. Many different diver species have been recently observed using the Klamath River along the Miller Island Unit stretch.

Shorebirds, waders and other waterbirds

Great blue herons and American bitterns are also occasionally observed on the area.

Raptors

Great horned and barn owls can be seen at dusk. Red-tailed hawks, rough-legged hawk, northern harriers, cooper hawks, sharp-shinned, American kestrels, prairie falcons can be seen foraging throughout the wildlife area.

The numbers of Bald eagles using the area has increased over the past few weeks. The red-shouldered hawk is another that has been recently seen.

Upland Game Birds

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

Passerines

Mourning and Eurasian collared dove can be found scattered over the area. American and lesser goldfinches, house finches, American robins, white crowned sparrows, golden-crowned sparrows, dark eyed juncos, western meadowlark, spotted towhee and Northern flickers continue to be a common site throughout the area. Marsh wrens and song sparrows can be found in dense stands of tall emergent hard stem bulrush and broad-leaf cattail and are very numerous. Black Phoebes can be common in the willows along the Klamath River.

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

LAKE COUNTY

Spring migration hasn’t started but snow geese and white-fronted geese usually start arriving in late January. Although the county has received above average snow fall most of the major lakes and wetlands were dry last fall. Until we get a prolonged warming trend these areas will remain dry. Through February there should be an increase in waterfowl and the larger water birds, and a subsequent increase in Bald Eagles which follow the waterfowl migration. The shorebird migration usually starts in mid to late March. Viewing opportunities at this time are restricted to winter raptors which are most abundant in the valleys; and winter passerines most commonly found along the riparian habitats. 1/26/2016

SUMMER LAKE WILDLIFE AREA

This section was updated on February 2, 2016.

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

Motor vehicle access on major dike roads (Bullgate, Windbreak and Work Road) is now open. The Wildlife Viewing Loop is temporarily closed due to major maintenance activities along the southeast corner. Access is available along Upper Link Canal to about ½ mile east of Bullgate Campground and to Link Corner on the north end.

Wildlife viewing is somewhat limited at this time due to generally low numbers of wintering birds; however northward migrants are beginning to appear.

The Area’s wetlands are moving back and forth from open and frozen-over conditions due to changing and unsettled weather patterns.

Waterfowl

Waterfowl populations are starting to increase with the arrival of early spring migrants. Total duck numbers are approaching 12,000 with 13 species represented. Western Canada geese (about 600) are widely distributed across the area and many pairs are beginning to disperse to breeding territories. Lesser snow and greater white-fronted geese are increasing as these northward migrants disperse from wintering areas in California. About 2,400 and 50, respectively were present on the weekly count.

A few resident trumpeter swans remain widely scattered across the wildlife area. Most of these birds a 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.

Migrant tundra and trumpeter swans continue to winter in good numbers and are being joined by northward migrants. About 675 were present during the weekly count.

Shorebirds, waders and other waterbirds

Only a few lingering and wintering individual shorebirds can sometimes be found. A small number of greater yellowlegs, killdeer and Wilson’s snipe are present throughout winter.

American coot numbers remain low, about 100 were found during the weekly survey. Virginia rails continue to be found occasionally seen and/or heard and are scattered in very low numbers across the entire wildlife area.

Very few grebes remain, but the occasional stragglers can be still be found. Ana Reservoir is a good location to view a variety of grebes and other waterbirds.

A small number of American bitterns and great blue herons continue to be observed during the weekly survey and past week.

Raptors and others

Northern harriers and red-tailed hawks are common this time of the year. Bald and golden eagles, American kestrel, peregrine and prairie falcons as well as accipiters (Cooper’s and sharp-shinned hawk) can occasionally be found. Migrant and wintering rough-legged hawks are present in low numbers now.

Great horned owls were found scattered across the entire wildlife area, especially in the trees at campgrounds and remain very vocal at night.

Upland game birds

Fair numbers of California quail can be found and 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.

American goldfinches and sometimes lesser goldfinches are observed at Headquarters. Song, golden-crowned and Lincoln’s sparrows have been observed recently. American robins remain fairly common and occasionally Townsend’s solitaire and cedar waxwings are observed around Headquarters. Steller’s jays can usually be found around Headquarters.

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

Blackbirds (Brewer’s and red-winged) can still be found but are not very numerous. European starlings are present in low numbers as well.

Facilities and Access

Please remember: Calendar year 2016 parking permits will be required beginning on January 1, 2016! 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 to major dike roads (Bullgate, Windbreak and Work Road) is now open, but the Wildlife Viewing Loop remains temporarily closed due to major maintenance activities along Upper Link Canal. .

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 beginning to open up due to generally mild temperatures, rain and sometimes strong winds. This is resulting in considerable shallowly flooded areas for the relatively small number of wintering birds to disperse to. However, cold night temperatures are causing many of the larger ponds and still water areas to freeze-over. Spring migrants are expected to continue to arrive as temperatures and conditions moderate. Emergent marsh vegetation is largely lodged-over due to wind and snow. Muskrat houses are very prevalent at this time.

Summer Lake is continues to slowly increase in size at this time.Upland habitat remains in fair condition, especially in locations sheltered from heavy snow and drifts. Planted tree and shrub plots are providing excellent sheltered sites and food resources for many wildlife species. There is no snow cover at this time.

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


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NORTHEAST ZONE: FISHING

Weekend fishing opportunities:

  • Angling effort and catch feel off last week on the Umatilla River with high river flows, the river is dropping back into very fishable conditions, fish should be well distributed throughout the system.
  • Steelhead anglers are still picking up fish on the Grande Ronde River and Imnaha below Horse Creek.

If your favorite fishing spot is no longer listed

It’s probably because that river, lake or reservoir is closed for the season, inaccessible due to snow and bad roads, or offers limited fishing opportunities during the winter months. These water bodies will re-appear in the Recreation Report when they re-open next spring, or when access and/or opportunity improves.

Ice-fishing safety

With several water bodies beginning to ice over, it’s a good time to be reminded that anglers should always use caution during first-ice conditions. 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. Vexilar’s Ice Fishing Today website has a quick 2-minute video describing how to be safe during early ice.

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.

GRANDE RONDE RIVER: trout, whitefish, bass

The Grande Ronde River is no longer locked in ice and flows are at a desirable range for catching steelhead. Water temperatures are still cold so look for fish in slow tail outs where fish can rest. This year’s run of steelhead is one of the best in recent years and catch rates have been good throughout the season.

Remember, the new closure date for the Grande Ronde River steelhead fishery is now April 30. Year-round fishing for hatchery trout will also be allowed beginning Jan. 1, 2016.

HOLLIDAY PARK POND: rainbow trout

Pond was stocked in September with trophy-sized trout. An ADA fishing dock for anglers with disabilities is available. The pond may be ice covered and unsafe for ice fishing.

HUNTER POND: hatchery rainbow trout

This pond was stocked with 150 trophy-sized rainbow trout the lost week of September. The pond will now be ice covered. From I-84 take Hwy 244 towards Ukiah. At the Blue Mtns summit, turn left onto USFS Rd 5160. Proceed for approximately 3 miles to the Jct. of roads 5160 and 5155. Stay on 5160. Just past this Jct. on the right will be spur 710. Take this spur. The pond is just off 5160.

IMNAHA RIVER: Steelhead

Anglers are still finding success for steelhead on the Imnaha River. Most of the success is currently below Horse Cr. however a few fish have been caught just below the town of Imnaha. Fishing will pick up as winter progresses into spring Remember, the new closure date for the Imnaha River steelhead fishery is now April 30. Year-round fishing for hatchery trout will also be allowed beginning Jan. 1, 2016.

JOHN DAY RIVER: steelhead

Steelhead fishing has been slow on the John Day River since flows are high and water clarity poor. Flows are near 2,800 cfs at Service Creek and are predicted to increase by the weekend. Steelhead have dispersed throughout the system and numbers are increasing above Service Creek in the upper John Day. Anglers have success primarily drifting with jigs, shrimp or eggs with a bobber. Another popular method is drifting a worm along the bottom. Fly anglers are primarily nymphing with lower success.

ODFW encourages all anglers to keep any ad-clipped steelhead taken in this fishery. All wild (adipose intact) steelhead must be released unharmed.

John Day River flows

LONG CREEK POND, CAVENDER POND: trout

Both ponds may be iced over so proceed with caution for ice fishing. Cavender Pond was stocked last fall with trophy trout.

LUGER POND: hatchery rainbow trout

Luger Pond was treated with the chemical fish toxicant rotenone in the fall and all fish were removed. The pond with be restocked with legal-sized rainbow trout in May 2016.

MAGONE LAKE: rainbow and brook trout

Lake is iced over so use caution for ice fishing. Access road to lake is covered with a foot or more of snow and will require 4-wheel drive to reach.

McHALEY POND: rainbow trout

Pond was recently excavated to improve capacity and to remove aquatic weeds. Very few fish are in the pond post excavation treatment and fishing will be poor.

McKAY RESERVOIR:

Closed to fishing until March 1, 2016.

MORGAN LAKE: rainbow trout

Closed to fishing as of Nov. 1.

OLIVE LAKE: rainbow trout, brook trout, and kokanee

Lake has been stocked with both legal and trophy-sized rainbow trout. Lake is iced over and the access road is covered with several feet of snow. It will require a snowmobile to reach lake.

PEACH POND (Ladd Marsh): rainbow trout

Peach Pond was treated with the chemical fish toxicant rotenone in the fall and all fish were removed. The pond with be restocked with legal-sized rainbow trout in May 2016.

ROULET POND: rainbow trout

The pond was last stocked with rainbow trout late September 2016 and is now ice covered.

ROWE CREEK RESERVOIR: rainbow trout

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

TAYLOR GREEN POND: hatchery rainbow trout

Was stocked with 150 trophy-sized rainbow trout the last week of September. The pond will now be ice covered.

From Hwy 203 at Union, turn left staying on Hwy 203 towards Medical Springs. At the summit between Union and Medical Springs, turn left onto USFS Road 7700 (opposite snowpark area). Proceed East on 7700 road for about 9 miles to USFS Road 7740 on the right. Proceed on the 7740 road for about 1/4 mile. The rock pit pond are on the right.

UMATILLA/WALLA WALLA FOREST PONDS: trout

Boundary, Keyhole, Yellowjacket, Granite Meadows, Goldfish and Windy Springs ponds are closed to angling until Dec. 31 due to pesticide applications to remove unwanted fishes. These ponds are closed to access by the public until all signage is removed. Stocking of these ponds will resume during the spring of 2016.

UMATILLA RIVER: steelhead

Steelhead fishing on the upper Umatilla was slow last week (Jan.25-29) with light angler effort. Steelhead are spread throughout the river system, creel surveys are now concentrated on the upper river area, but good angling opportunities are still available in the lower river.

Water levels are dropping after last week’s higher flows, drift fishing techniques can be effective during high flow conditions. Anglers can access fish counts at updated Threemile Dam fish counts. Flow data is available

WALLOWA COUNTY PONDS: rainbow trout

Kinney Lake was treated with a pesticide on Oct. 5 to remove unwanted fishes. ODFW testing has determined the area is safe to entry and the reservoir has been filled.

New regulations for Kinney Lake will be in effect for 2016. ODFW, Triple Creek Ranch, and the Wallowa Valley Improvement District #1 (WVID#1) have collaborated to open Kinney Lake for year-round fishing starting Jan. 1, 2016. However, catchable trout will not be available until the lake is stocked in the spring.

Non-motorized watercraft will also be allowed at Kinney Lake for 2016. Remember, to be respectful of the private land access that the Triple Creek Ranch and WVID#1 have provided and pack out any trash you bring or find.

WALLOWA LAKE: rainbow trout, kokanee, lake trout

Some holdover trout will still be available for the hardy trout fisherman willing to brave the cold weather. Kokanee can also be caught by jigging deep during the winter months. Wallowa Lake does not reliably freeze every year. However, when the lake does freeze, ice fishing can produce good catch rates for trout and kokanee. In 2014 the lake was stocked with tagged rainbow trout in an effort by ODFW to better understand the utilization of this fishery.

Tagged fish have been caught at very high rates and over $2,700 in rewards have been paid. Some of these fish have likely held over from last year and are available to anglers. If you catch one of these tagged fish, please report the number, location, date, where in the lake the fish was caught and the size to the ODFW office in Enterprise or online.

WALLOWA RIVER: steelhead, mountain whitefish

The Wallowa River is free of ice and a few anglers are finding steelhead. As winter progresses and fish move toward the hatchery facilities fishing will improve. This year’s run is one of the best in recent history and catch rates are expected to be high when the peak fishing arrives.

Steelhead season is open on the Wallowa River and anglers are picking up a few fish. Winter fishing between Minam and the mouth at Rondowa can be very good for anglers willing to walk. Remember, the new closure date for the Wallowa River steelhead fishery is now April 30. Year-round fishing for hatchery trout will also be allowed beginning Jan. 1, 2016.

Remember, the Wallowa is also a whitefish factory and can produce some large fish. Whitefish are native to Oregon and are a respected sportfish across the west. Whitefish can be great in the smoker and are a great way to keep kids interested while steelhead fishing. To catch them, use beadhead nymphs a size #12-16 hook and fish for them in quick runs that are knee to waist deep.

WILLOW CREEK RESERVOIR: trout

Winter trout fishing will begin to pick up as reservoir water levels begin to rise.


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NORTHEAST ZONE: HUNTING

OPEN: COUGAR

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 to pick up a 2016 tag.

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. Remember you need 2016 tag to hunt as of Jan. 1. 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 to pick up a 2016 tag.

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 you need 2016 tag 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 you need 2016 tag 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 to pick up a tag for 2016.

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.

Ladd Marsh Wildlife Area

With winter settling in and temperatures regularly below freezing, most of the water on Ladd Marsh has frozen up. Ducks and Geese can still be seen flying over the area. What waterfowl is still sticking around have been seen using some of the food plots around the area. Hunters looking for waterfowl might consider changing their tactics to field hunting. Duck hunting closed Jan. 24 but goose is open until Jan. 31.

Upland bird hunting has been great this year. Pheasant numbers are still good but conditions and the birds are getting more challenging. Hunters can expect birds to run and fly early. There are still lots of hen Pheasants around so hunters should use caution. Season closed Dec. 31.

Glass Hill Unit is open to hunting seven days a week during authorized seasons except closed to all entry Feb 1st through March 31st. Vehicles, camping and fires are prohibited on the wildlife area.

Note: all visitors including hunters must have in their possession a free daily permit to access the wildlife area. Permits and area maps/regulations are available at several self-check-in stations at entry points and parking lots. All area users need a parking permit to park on the wildlife area. Permits can be purchased at any location that sells hunting and fishing licenses. Parking permits are to be displayed on the vehicle dash. For more information about the Ladd Marsh and current conditions, please call 541 963 4954

WALLOWA COUNTY

Elk: Our last antlerless elk season is open now. Success has been mixed on this Zumwalt hunt. Those with permission to hunt on the Little Sheep Creek and Imnaha canyon sides or on The Nature Conservancy property have done fair, while those hunting the top of the prairie have had a hard time finding animals.

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.

Cougar numbers 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 you need 2016 tag to hunt as of Jan. 1.


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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. 10/20/15.

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

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

Sandhill cranes have started to migrate through the valley. They can be best viewed early in the morning along the John Day River.

Bald and Golden eagles can be viewed along the John Day River. The best time to see them is early in the morning. Watch for other raptors including Redtail Hawks and Northern Harriers, roosting in large trees and on power line poles.

For the adventurous person, there is a great opportunity to snowshoe or cross country ski up the trail to Strawberry Lake in the Strawberry Wilderness area to view groups of nanny and kid mountain goats. Or try snowshoeing up Onion Creek trail to view the billies.

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.

Watch for deer and elk crossing the highways. This is the time of year when deer begin to migrate. Dawn and dusk are the most active time for deer and elk and are not easily seen /due to low light conditions by drivers alongside the road. 12/7/2015

MORROW, GILLIAM AND WHEELER COUNTIES

Although the calendar lists Dec. 21 as the start of winter, it feels like winter is here. Hoar frost can be seen in the Condon area and the hills just above Heppner. It does make trees and shrubs look quite majestic in white. Rough-legged hawks can be seen throughout most of the north half of the District. Short-eared owl can be seen along the grasslands of the north end of the District.

Our year-round resident raptors, red-tailed hawks, Northern harriers, and American kestrels are all easily found. The remaining ravens are our resident population, the mobs have headed south. Prairie falcons can also be seen in the area, although much rarer to be found. Sharp-shinned hawks can be seen along the riparian areas of the north half of the District. As raptors continue their migration into winter, take a look at any hawks you spot on power poles, occasionally it is a rare species.

In the yards of the district one can find the common winter song birds around the feeder. Dark-eyed juncos, song sparrows, house sparrows, white-crowned sparrows are all easily found.

Golden eagles can be found along Lost Valley Creek and along the foothills. Bald eagles are starting to show up along the John Day River, try the segment from Spray to Dayville for best chance to see them.

Waterfowl are starting to show up along the Columbia River in greater numbers. The most common to be seen are mallards and Canada geese. But northern shovelers, teals, American widgeon, buffleheads, and common mergansers can also be found. Great blue herons are found along all of our streams that support fish. There are two that can be found most days between Heppner and Lexington along Willow Creek. Tundra Swans can be seen at Willow Creek Reservoir.

The cold weather has mule congested in the valley bottoms. During a quick drive from Heppner to Lexington the average viewer should be able to spot lots of mule deer. Any of the meadows in the forest one can spot bucks chasing does. One can also spot great grey owls in the forest as well. Try the Swale creek area, there is usually one that can be found in that area. Grey-crowned rosy finches, blue birds, western and mountain, grey jay, Steller’s jay, Clark’s nutcracker can all be seen in the forest as well. 11/30/2015

Umatilla County

Winter has come to Umatilla County and winter residents can be seen in the various habitats around the county. Wintering rough-legged hawks will be in grassland areas near the hills and throughout the agricultural areas of north Umatilla County. Juncos can be seen along the riparian and brushy areas. Pigmy owls have made a good showing in riparian areas in timbered and timber stringer habitats.

Flocks of ducks and geese can be seen along the Columbia River and large reservoirs in the County. Elk will still be common along the upper open areas of the west slope of the Blue Mountains. Deer will be seen in herds from the valley floor to the upper Blue Mountains. The riverine and agricultural areas near the base of the mountains will be dominated by white-tailed deer. The desert and mountain areas will be inhabited primarily by mule deer. Elk can be viewed throughout the day while deer will be most visible in the first and last two hours of the day.

Gulls and raptors can be seen along the Columbia River. Visit local wildlife areas to see shore and marsh birds in addition to perching birds and raptors. Wood ducks, mallards and mergansers can be seen traveling in flocks up and down the river systems that have cottonwood trees along the banks. 12/8/2015

UNION COUNTY

Ladd Marsh Wildlife Area

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

The Tule Lake unit, including the auto route, is closed. It will reopen March 1st. The Glass Hill unit is closed to all use and will reopen April 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 above 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, 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.

All ponds and wetlands on the area are frozen. Waterfowl using grain fields off Pierce Rd and Hot Lake Lane can be seen entering those areas in large numbers near dusk. A few tundra swans have been in the area. Canada geese are showing signs of pairing up; the first nests should start within the next few weeks.

A few wintering rough-legged hawks have been using the area in addition to red-tailed hawks, northern harriers and bald eagles. Large concentrations of northern harriers have been seen recently. American kestrels frequently hunt from utility wires along county roads and a single prairie falcon has been seen along Pierce Rd. Sharp-shinned and Cooper’s hawks have also been observed.

Flocks of small birds include song sparrow, white-crowned sparrow, dark-eyed junco, American goldfinch and house finch. Northern shrikes have been seen in a few locations. American tree sparrows frequent shrub and tree rows and can often be seen from roadways.

Elk herds coming down from Craig Mountain and Glass Hill may be seen in fields and meadows. They may also be encountered as they cross roads so use caution in the area.

WALLOWA COUNTY

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

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.

Most of the elk on the Zumwalt Prairie have left the Prairie proper and moved into the canyons. These are county roads that run through private property, so please respect the landowner’s privacy and remain on the county road but 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.

Waterfowl can 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. 1/5/16


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SNAKE RIVER ZONE: FISHING

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.

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

No Report.

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 report.

HELLS CANYON RESERVOIR: trout, crappie, bass, catfish

Approximately 300 steelhead have been released into the reservoir from the Hells Canyon Dam Trap. Anglers are reminded that neither a steelhead harvest card nor Columbia Basin Endorsement are needed to catch these fish in Hells Canyon Reservoir. The daily bag limit is three hatchery trout.

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

Steelhead fishing is in full swing and anglers are finding success throughout the Oregon section and have been doing very well below Hells Canyon Dam.

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

Updated information on flow levels

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

No recent Reports.

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COLUMBIA RIVER ZONE: FISHING

Weekend Fishing Opportunities:

  • In the Bonneville Pool, white sturgeon retention is open through Sunday February 7. Beginning Monday, Feb. 8, the retention of white sturgeon will be prohibited but will remain an option for catch and release. The catch guideline for Bonneville Pool is 325 legal white sturgeon (140 for winter fishery and 185 for summer fishery).
  • White sturgeon retention is open in The Dalles and John Day pools until the respective guidelines of 100 and 500 legal white sturgeon are met. Anglers are catching a few keepers in The Dalles, and John Day pools.
  • White sturgeon retention is closed from Buoy 10 upstream to Bonneville Dam, but remains an option for catch and release fishing.
  • Walleye fishing is good to excellent in The Dalles and John Day pools.

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

Salmon, Steelhead and Shad

Boat anglers are catching a few steelhead in the Bonneville Pool.

Bonneville Pool (Bonneville Dam upstream to The Dalles Dam):

Weekly checking showed two unclipped steelhead released for one boat (two anglers).

The Dalles Pool (The Dalles Dam upstream to John Day Dam):

Weekly checking showed no catch for one bank angler; and no catch for two boats (four anglers).

John Day Pool (John Day Dam upstream to McNary Dam and John Day Arm):

Weekly checking showed no catch for four bank anglers; and no catch for one boat (two anglers).

STURGEON

Bonneville Pool (Bonneville Dam upstream to The Dalles Dam):
Weekly checking showed 14 sublegal sturgeon released for 44 bank anglers; and 14 legal white sturgeon kept, plus three legal, three oversize and 265 sublegal sturgeon released for 42 boats (98 anglers).

The Dalles Pool (The Dalles Dam upstream to John Day Dam):

Weekly checking showed one sublegal sturgeon released for 21 bank anglers; and two legal white sturgeon kept, plus 21 sublegal sturgeon released for nine boats (24 anglers).

John Day Pool (John Day Dam upstream to McNary Dam):

Weekly checking showed no catch for 18 bank anglers; and two oversize and eight sublegal sturgeon released for 12 boats (31 anglers).

WALLEYE

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 six walleye kept, plus two walleye released for two bank anglers; and 82 walleye kept, plus five walleye released for 10 boats (25 anglers).

John Day Pool (John Day Dam upstream to McNary Dam):

Weekly checking showed 11 walleye kept, plus three walleye released for 16 boats (35 anglers).


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MARINE ZONE: FISHING

Weekend opportunities:

  • Crabbing is open along the entire Oregon coast in the ocean and bays.

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.

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.

Marine Reserves and Other Management Designations

Fishing, crabbing, clamming, hunting and gathering seaweed are prohibited at Oregon’s marine reserves. Beginning Jan. 1, 2016, restrictions go into effect at the Cape Falcon Marine Reserve and Marine Protected Area.

Beach walking, surfing, bird watching, diving and other non-extractive uses continue to be allowed at reserves. See complete details and marine reserve maps (listed north to south):

In addition to marine reserves, there are several other management areas to be aware of, such as the Stonewall Bank conservation area (west of Newport) and marine gardens, described in the 2016 Oregon Sport Fishing Regulations (pages 79-83).

BOTTOM FISHING

Cabezon retention is prohibited January-June; this is an annual seasonal closure.

The few boats that were able to get out of Newport last week had limits of large rockfish and nearly one lingcod per angler. Effort in other places was limited due to rough seas. During safe weather windows, winter is a great time for bottom fishing: rockfish can be large and daily limits of lingcod are not unusual. Because of El Niño, anglers this winter might also run into uncommon or unusual species.

There’s a new rockfish on the block. Deacon rockfish is a newly identified species that was formerly referred to as the solid version of blue rockfish. What does that mean for you? Nothing in 2016. Every rule that refers to blue rockfish (like the daily bag limit of 3) now applies to blue rockfish and deacon rockfish combined.

If you’re lucky enough to catch a colorful assortment of fish, keep in mind that the following species of rockfish are prohibited: China, copper, quillback and yelloweye. Several handouts, including “What Can I Keep, and How Many?” and species identification tips, are available on the ODFW sport groundfish webpage.

Although anglers may legally retain one canary rockfish, there is an annual management quota that, if exceeded, could restrict angling opportunities for other species, including black rockfish and lingcod. Therefore, anglers are urged to (1) avoid canary rockfish and (2) retain 1 canary rockfish only if it is bleeding from injury.

What about 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. ODFW encourages anglers to use a descending device when releasing rockfish with signs of barotrauma. An underwater video recorded by ODFW researchers shows the dramatic results of recompressing a fish; another video demonstrates various types of descending devices.

SHELLFISH

A couple of regulations were inadvertently left out of the 2016 Oregon Sport Fishing Regulation booklet. (1) The daily bag limit for shrimp (edible) is 20 lb. in the shell; may be taken by traps, pots or rings. (2) Each razor clam digger (as with all clams) must have his or her own container, must dig his or her own clams, and may not possess more than one limit of clams while in the digging area (except under a Disabled Clam Digger Permit).

Current shellfish harvest closures in the ocean and bays due to elevated levels of domoic acid as of Feb. 1:

  • Razor clams: Closed south of Tillamook Head
  • Bay clams: Open coastwide
  • Crabs: Open coastwide
  • Mussels: Open coastwide

The Oregon Dept. of Agriculture (ODA) will continue testing for shellfish toxins as ocean conditions allow. An area cannot reopen until two consecutive tests indicate toxin levels are safe. Commercial shellfish products sold in restaurants and retail markets are safe to eat.

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.

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.

Clams

Ocean crabbing out of Newport was slow last week; crabbing in the bay for Dungeness crab and red rock crab was up and down.

For bay clammers who don’t mind the dark, there will be minus tides during the evenings of Feb. 6-11. Take a headlamp or flashlight, warm clothing, and a spirit of adventure. Otherwise, during the day, several bay clam species can be found even when low tides aren’t so low: softshell and purple varnish clams occur primarily above +1.0, and cockles, butters and gapers can be found at tides as high as +1.0.

Crabs

Ocean crabbing out of Newport was slow last week; crabbing in the bay for Dungeness crab and red rock crab was up and down.

Bay crabbing is best when there is not a lot of rainwater runoff to dilute salinity.

Red rock crab are caught using the same gear as Dungeness crab but have a larger daily limit (24), and, unlike Dungeness crab, any size or sex of red rock crab may be retained (although most crabbers keep only the largest crabs, which have a lot more meat than small ones). Red rock crab are not present in all Oregon bays; good places to harvest them include the docks in Tillamook, Yaquina and Coos bays.

For Dungeness crab, the correct way to check for minimum size (5 3⁄4 inches) is to measure a straight line across the back immediately in front of, but not including, the points. See an illustration (jpg).

ODA recommends always eviscerating crab before cooking and avoiding consumption of crab guts.


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MARINE WILDLIFE VIEWING

Birds like scoters and buffleheads winter along the coast. 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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