OREGON DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND WILDLIFE

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Welcome to the ODFW Recreation Report - January 27, 2015

Fishing, Hunting and Wildlife Viewing

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


Adult spring chinook fishing workshop Feb. 14

Join the NW Steelheaders and ODFW to learn how to catch these hard-fighting, good-eating fish. The focus will be on bank and boat fishing techniques for the Sandy and Clackamas rivers. Registration is $52 per person and includes instruction, program materials, use of ODFW equipment and a one-year membership to the NW Steelheaders. Find more information, including how to register.

Only a few days left to report big game and turkey tags

Don’t forget to report your hunt results no later than Jan. 31, 2015 for most hunts. Report online or by phone (1-866-947-6339).

Hunters need to complete a report for each deer, elk, cougar, bear, turkey and pronghorn tag purchased (or picked up as part of a Sports Pac)—even if they didn’t hunt or weren’t successful. Deer and elk hunters who don’t report will have to pay a $25 fine to get a 2016 hunting license.

Winter steelhead season continues

For the best fishing, keep an eye on the weather and water levels (and the weekly Recreation Report) and be ready to hit the river when water levels start to fall. To help plan your trip, including access and fishing tips, check out the 2014 Annual Fishing Guide.

Spring bear hunting applications due Feb. 10

See the bear hunting page for more information.

Visit us at the Pacific NW Sportsman Show Feb. 4-8, PDX

ODFW will host several seminars about controlled hunts during the show; see the ODFW Calendar “Learn to Hunt” tab for details.

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NORTHWEST 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.

Most rivers and streams will re-open to trout on May 23, 2015.

NORTH COAST LAKES

Trout stocking is scheduled to resume in March. Some surplus hatchery steelhead have been released in Town Lake, Lorens Pond, Coffenbury Lake, and Vernonia Pond this winter.

MID COAST LAKES

The rainbow trout stocking program will begin in many mid coast lakes in early February. Be sure to check out the 2015 stocking schedule for the most up to date information. Fishing for the various warm water fish species can still be productive during the winter months but anglers may need to target different areas of a lake (typically deeper) versus when fishing in the spring or summer.

ALSEA RIVER: steelhead

The winter steelhead fishery is fair to good throughout most of the river. This week should see flows continue to drop and clear. Fishing from the lower north fork down to around the Mike Bauer plunking shack should be productive. Casting lures, bobber and jig / bait or drifting beads along the bottom can be effective techniques this time of year.

BIG CREEK, GNAT CREEK, NF KLASKANINE: steelhead

Fishing for winter steelhead has been good. Dropping flows will make fishing tougher. Use light lines and small baits for best success. Good numbers of fish are still available, but more dark hatchery fish are showing in the catch.

KILCHIS RIVER: steelhead

Winter steelhead fishing has slowed due to low, clear water conditions. The best opportunity will be in the lower river where fresh fish are likely to hold up until more rain comes. Scale your gear to the water conditions.

NECANICUM RIVER: steelhead

Winter steelhead fishing should be fair. Fish are spread through the system, but dropping flows will create tougher fishing conditions. Adjust your gear to the conditions. Boaters should use caution as woody debris can impede passage.

NEHALEM RIVER AND NORTH FORK: steelhead

Winter steelhead are being caught in the north fork up to and above the hatchery. Fishing has generally been good, but low clear water this week may slow the action. Drift fishing, bobber and jig, or spinners have all produced some fish. Fishing is improving in the mainstem Nehalem River basin also. This river will have the best fishing conditions this week due to its size.

NESTUCCA RIVER AND THREE RIVERS: steelhead

Winter steelhead fishing has been good. Fishing conditions were good early in the week, but dropping flows will lead to clearer water by the weekend. Fish are being caught on a variety of techniques depending on the conditions. Angling pressure has been heavy.

SALMON RIVER: steelhead

Winter steelhead fishing is fair to good in many coastal basins and the Salmon River typically follows this trend. As river flows continue to drop and clear this week, the mid to lower river should produce the best results. The river is open to harvest of wild winter steelhead (Jan 1 – March 31). Anglers are advised to read the new regulations as there are harvest restrictions and new deadlines in effect. The deadline for steelhead fishing is at the confluence with Prairie Creek which enters the Salmon River west of the Van Duzer rest area at the same point as where Sulpher Creek enters the Salmon River.

SILETZ RIVER: steelhead

Steelhead fishing is fair with a high proportion of wild fish mixed into the catch this season. As river levels continue to drop and clear this week, anglers should focus on the mid to lower river when fishing from a boat and above Moonshine Park from the bank. Typical steelhead tactics apply such as side drifting, bobber and jig / bait, or casting spoons or spinners. River conditions should be good through the weekend.

SIUSLAW RIVER: steelhead

The winter steelhead fishery is producing fair to good results in both the Siuslaw and Lake Creek for boat and bank anglers. Peak season typically starts in the coming weeks and as river levels continue to drop and clear; anglers should focus on the mid to lower reaches. River conditions should remain good through the weekend. Typical steelhead angling tactics apply.

TILLAMOOK BAY: sturgeon

Catch-and-release fishing for sturgeon should be fair to good. Fish the channel edges on the outgoing tides and move often until you find fish. Sand shrimp on the bottom is a good bet.

TRASK RIVER: steelhead

Winter steelhead fishing has been good, but dropping flows may create more challenging conditions this week. The catch is a mixture of hatchery and wild fish. Fish are spread out, with some fish available in the north and south forks. Drift fishing and bobber and jig or pink worm are good bets, with boaters also scoring fish side drifting.

WILSON RIVER: steelhead

Winter steelhead fishing has been good. Low, clear flows this week will likely reduce success. Look for fish to be spread out throughout the river, with fresh fish concentrated in the lower river. Bobber and jig or spinners/spoons are good options in the upper river. Drift fishing, side drifting, bobber doggin’, or plugs have been producing fish for anglers in the lower river.

YAQUINA RIVER: steelhead

The winter steelhead fishery is fair in the Big Elk. River conditions are low and clear this week and anglers should focus on the deeper holes and runs in the mid to lower reaches. Anglers are advised to watch for private property. Typical steelhead fishing tactics apply but the Big Elk is bed rock dominated and does have a lot of snags.


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NORTHWEST ZONE: NORTH COAST HUNTING

OPEN: COUGAR, GROUSE, QUAIL (Upland bird closes Jan. 31)

Use the Oregon Hunting Map to see where to hunt.

Forest grouse and mountain quail closes Jan. 31.

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. Remember to pick up a 2015 tag if hunting as of Jan. 1.


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NORTHWEST ZONE: NORTH COAST WILDLIFE VIEWING

Beach walkers are reminded that seabirds such as Cassin’s auklets and common murres have been washing up dead on north coast beaches in higher-than-normal numbers this fall and winter. All birds sent in for necropsy work have shown them to be extremely emaciated. Colored zip ties on these birds indicate that the University of Washington research staff has already marked them, making reporting to ODFW or USFWS unnecessary.

TILLAMOOK COUNTY

Nestucca Bay National Wildlife Refuge is located east of Pacific City and is situated along Hwy 101. It is host to a wide variety of wintering Canada geese, many of which are the relatively rare Dusky variety. For best viewing, go to the refuge’s viewing area off Christensen Rd. and bring your optics.

CLATSOP COUNTY

Jewell Meadows Wildlife Area

Elk viewing has been excellent at Jewell Meadows Wildlife Area. Elk have been visible throughout the day on the Fishhawk Tract. Best viewing times are from about 9:00 AM to Noon. There have also been elk visible on the Beneke Tract. Brochures with maps of the area are available at the main viewing area along Hwy 202. Elk are currently being fed a supplemental diet of alfalfa hay. Staff try to feed close to the viewing areas especially on weekends to enhance viewing opportunities.

Reservations for the winter elk feeding tours have been completely filled for the three month season. Please remember that areas posted as wildlife refuge are closed to public access and areas along Beneke Creek posted closed to entry during any Saddle Mountain elk season are also closed during those hunting seasons.

Wildlife Area Parking Permits are now required on the wildlife area (as of Jan. 1, 2014) including during the elk feeding tours.

The Twilight Eagle Sanctuary located just off of Hwy 30, east of Astoria, is a great place to view waterfowl and other water birds that frequent the lower Columbia River in the winter months. An ADA accessible viewing platform allows for sweeping views of Wolf Bay and surrounding areas, especially if you have a spotting scope. Often times, tundra swans can be seen from the platform out on the Columbia River.

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SOUTHWEST ZONE: FISHING

Weekend fishing opportunities

  • Anglers are catching rockfish and lingcod along the jetties and submerged jetties in Coos Bay.
  • Even with lower flows, plunkers are still picking up steelhead in the lower Rogue River.
  • Continued reports of success hint at a good winter steelhead fishery on the Rogue in 2015.
  • Winter steelhead are arriving in the mainstem Umpqua River. While the bulk of the run is wild fish, a fair number of hatchery fish were reported caught last weekend.
  • A few anglers have been catching surf perch from the beaches near Bandon and Coos Bay.

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.

APPLEGATE RESERVOIR: largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, trout

Applegate offers a winter trout fishing opportunity. Boat anglers can launch at the French Gulch low water ramp.

The Oregon Health Authority issued an advisory recommending that people limit their consumption of largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, yellow perch, bluegill, and crappie taken from Applegate Reservoir due to elevated levels of mercury. Trout are not included in the advisory and remain a healthy choice for those wanting to retain fish for the table.

APPLEGATE RIVER: rainbow and cutthroat trout, winter steelhead

With the New Year, the Applegate River opens to fishing for steelhead. Only adipose fin-clipped hatchery steelhead may be kept, while all non-adipose finclipped steelhead must be immediately released unharmed. Fishing has reportedly been good on the Applegate over the weekend. Expect fish to find their way into the upper river over the next week providing good opportunities upstream of Ruch.

ARIZONA POND: rainbow trout

Pond levels have been lowered to help control aquatic vegetation.

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

The reservoir was stocked with about 4,000 trout in the spring. An additional 1,000 trout were stocked the first week of September. Warmwater fishing for bass and crappie is winding down with the cooler water temperatures.

CHETCO RIVER: steelhead

Slow. Low and clear water is making for some tougher fishing conditions. This is a good time for bank anglers to fish the river as there are fewer boats and anglers can access more of the gravel bars wading.

The ODFW and local volunteers are collecting angler caught winter steelhead for the hatchery program on the Chetco River. Adult steelhead donated by anglers are placed in holding pens along the river each day before they are taken to the hatchery. Anglers interested in participating in the program can contact the ODFW Gold Beach Office at 541-247-7605 for more information. 

Chetco River flows near Brookings

COOPER CREEK RESERVOIR: rainbow trout, bass, bluegill, yellow perch, bullhead

Cooper Creek was stocked with about 9,000 trout and received an 2,000 additional trout for fall fishing. Some of the trout do have copepods which are tiny parasites on their bodies and gills. These are not harmful to humans, but the lesions can be removed and the meat should be thoroughly cooked. The main boat ramp will be congested with buses and boats on Thursday, Jan. 29, from 8 a.m. until 1 p.m. Angers are advised to use the other end of the reservoir that day until after 1 p.m. Cooper Creek will be stocked with a few hundred trout at the end of the month.

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

Steelhead rivers in the Coos Basin are running low. The best steelhead fishing will be on the lower sections of the rivers near the head of tidewater. 

There is bank access on the West Fork Millicoma at the Millicoma Interpretive Center and on the East Fork Millicoma at Nesika Park. Access to the South Fork Coos River is through Weyerhaeuser property and anglers must have the appropriate permit from Weyerhaeuser. In the Coos Basin starting on Dec. 1 one additional fin-clipped steelhead may be retained per day for a total aggregate of 3 adult fish harvested daily.

Anglers are catching rockfish and lingcod along the jetties and submerged jetties in Coos Bay. The marine fish daily bag limit (which includes fishing in estuaries) is seven fish and a separate daily limit for lingcod (two). Starting on Jan. 15 anglers will only be able to keep 3 blue rockfish as part of their daily limit and there will be no harvest of China, quillback or copper rockfish.

Crabbing was good over the weekend for with boats in Coos Bay. The best crabbing will be near the jetties and close to high tide. 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. Before any shellfish harvest trip, make sure to check the Oregon Department of Agriculture website for any updates.

COQUILLE RIVER BASIN: steelhead

The Coquille Basin steelhead rivers are running low and the best fishing will be in the lower sections of the rivers and in the upper sections of tidewater.  There is good bank access on the North Fork Coquille at LaVerne Park. Bank and boat access is spread out along the South Fork Coquille River from Broadbent to Powers. In the Coquille Basin starting on Dec. 1 one additional fin-clipped steelhead may be retained per day for a total aggregate of 3 adult fish harvested daily.

DIAMOND LAKE: trout

The warmer temperatures have caused much of the snow to melt and some openings in the ice. However, conditions can change. When conditions are good there is opportunity for a variety of winter sports. The Forest Service campgrounds are closed for the season. Anglers can check fishing conditions at Diamond Lake on their website, or call their toll free number at 1-800-733-7593, ext. 5 for updates.

ELK RIVER: Steelhead

Low and clear.  Anglers can call Elk River Hatchery information line (541) 332-0405 for river height and color. The river fishes best at 5 feet and dropping.

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

The water level in the reservoir is at 45 percent, sufficient to allow boats to launch. Trout anglers may want to give Emigrant a try early in the New Year.

EXPO POND: trout

Expo Pond was stocked with 100 one-pound and 500 legal-sized trout in October. Fishing should be good through winter. Still fishing with PowerBait or worms will likely provide the best success.

FISH LAKE: rainbow trout, brook trout, spring Chinook

The first layer of ice means that Fish Lake is not safely fishable at this time.

FLORAS LAKE: rainbow, cutthroat trout

Trout fishing is hit or miss depending on the wind. The best method for catching trout is slow trolling flies or wedding ring spinners from a boat. Bank access is limited. Anglers can launch at an improved boat ramp at Boice Cope County Park. The lake can be very windy, so anglers will want to check the weather prior to heading out. 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 RESERVIOR: rainbow trout, bass

In addition to trout, the reservoir has also been stocked with coho smolts for the last couple of years. Many people mistakenly think these fish are kokanee. All of the coho smolts are adipose fin-clipped, 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 about 8,000 trout this spring. Anglers are reminded all bass between 12 and 15-inches must be released, and only one bass over 15-inches may be taken per day. The reservoir is currently low. Call 541-837-3302 for information on camping and boat launching conditions.

GARRISON LAKE: rainbow trout, cutthroat

When rivers are blown out or low and clear, anglers may want to try fishing for some good sized carry over trout. This time of year trout are usually feeding along deeper weed lines. Boat anglers will want to keep an eye on the weather and fish the lake when there is no wind. Access for bank anglers is best at the 12th Street boat ramp, Arizona Street, or along the foredune accessed through Tseriadun State Park. Garrison Lake is located in the middle of Port Orford. 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.

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

Hemlock has received over 6,000 trout this season, including some large fish just before the Labor Day holiday. Anglers fishing the high lakes in the Umpqua District are encouraged to e-mail fishing reports. Most of the Umpqua’s high lakes are off of roads that are not plowed during the winter. Contact the Forest Service at 541-496-3532 for road conditions.

ILLINOIS RIVER: trout, steelhead

The Illinois River is open to fishing for trout and steelhead below Pomeroy Dam. Anglers are restricted to artificial flies and lures only. Between Klondike Creek and Pomeroy, anglers have a limited opportunity to harvest a wild winter steelhead. Non adipose fin-clipped winter steelhead at least 24-inches long may be harvested, one per day and up to five per year. Winter steelhead fishing has been good on the Illinois around the Kerby area. For those of you wanting entire sections of a Scenic river to yourself, try the Illinois downstream of Eight Dollar Mountain. 

Illinois River flows at Kerby

LAKE MARIE: rainbow trout

The lake was stocked with over 5,000 trout this year. Most anglers use PowerBait or worms. The lake also received some Labor Day lunkers and was stocked again the first week of September.

LAKE SELMAC: trout, largemouth bass, bluegill, crappie

Releases last fall should mean that good numbers of rainbow trout are available for winter anglers at Lake Selmac. County park staff report that a good number of anglers have been fishing recently.

LEMOLO RESERVOIR: Closed for fishing until April 1

Leomolo is closed to fishing until April 1, but there is opportunity for other winter sports, contact Lemolo Lake Resort at 541-957-8354 for conditions and addition information. The Forest Service campgrounds are closed for the season.

LOON LAKE: rainbow trout, bass, bluegill

Loon Lake has been stocked with nearly 8,000 trout. The lake is also providing good fishing for crappie, bluegill and bass. The boat ramps are closed for the season.

LOST CREEK RESERVOIR: rainbow trout, spring Chinook, bass

The Oregon Health Authority has issued a health advisory for Lost Creek Reservoir due to high levels of blue green algae. Visit the OHA website for more information.

Lost Creek offers very good winter trout fishing. Water clarity remains good near the dam and the main body of the reservoir. In the upper reservoir near the bridge, turbid water is present, along with quite a bit of woody debris in the water. This material comes from the pre-Christmas storm.

Bank anglers may want to try fishing the shoreline at the Takelma parking area. Trollers may want to try fishing the lower portion of the reservoir while keeping an eye out for floating debris from the storm. Limits have been reported from the middle of the reservoir down to the dam over the last few weeks.

MEDCO POND: rainbow trout, largemouth bass, bluegill

Medco is ice free and very fishable. Trout are available. Anglers are asked to check trout this year for adipose fin clips, and report Medco trout catches back to ODFW at 541-826-8774.

PACIFIC OCEAN AND BEACHES: bottomfish, Dungeness crab, surf perch

The ocean is open for harvest of Dungeness crab.

Anglers continue to catch surf perch from the beaches near Bandon and Coos Bay. The best fishing is usually on the incoming tide. Sand shrimp is one of the best baits to use when fishing for surf perch.

Fishing for bottom fish, including rockfish and lingcod is open to all depths. The marine fish daily bag limit is seven fish and a separate daily limit for lingcod (two). Starting on January 15 anglers will only be able to keep 3 blue rockfish as part of their daily limit and there will be no harvest of China, quillback, or copper rockfish. Sometime in March, once a parallel federal rule is adopted, ODFW will announce that anglers can retain one canary rockfish as part of the marine fish daily bag limit. Retention of cabezon is not allowed Jan. 1 – June 30.

PLAT I RESERVOIR: rainbow trout, warmwater fish

In addition to trout fishing, the lake also has good bullhead fishing. Bass can be harvested from March 1 to Oct. 31 and are catch-and-release only from Nov. 1-Feb. 29. The reservoir received about 4,500 trout this year. The water level in the reservoir is currently low.

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

REINHARDT POND: trout

Reinhardt Pond was stocked with 100 one-pound and 250 legal-sized trout in October. Fishing should be good.

ROGUE RIVER

Rogue River, lower: winter steelhead

Lower flows, but bank anglers are still picking up steelhead plunking. Boat anglers are picking up a few steelhead running plugs.

Rogue River, middle: steelhead, trout

Anglers in the Grants Pass area reported continued success for early winter steelhead last week with a good number of hatchery fish in the mix. Anglers are catching fish with plugs or yarn balls. The water temperature was 45F, with a flow of 2,400 cfs on Tuesday. For those interested in checking conditions before getting on the river, the City of Grants Pass Water Division’s website offers information on NTU’s at Grants Pass as well as a link to a river camera.

Rogue River, upper: steelhead, trout

The release from Lost Creek Reservoir is holding steady at 1500 cfs. The good news for upper Rogue anglers is the water coming out Lost Creek is the cleanest it has been since the pre-Christmas rain event. Late summer steelhead and some early winter steelhead are available for anglers.

The flow at Gold Ray was 2,260 cfs on Tuesday morning. The peak temperature was 45F on Monday.

As of Jan. 21, a total of 3,352 summer steelhead have entered Cole Rivers Hatchery, with 39 new for the week. A total of 36 winter steelhead have been collected with 24 new for the week.

Rogue River, above Lost Creek Reservoir: trout

The river above Lost Creek is open for trout fishing year round.

SIXES RIVER: steelhead

Steelhead are spread throughout the river, but lower flows are making are making for tough fishing conditions.  

SMITH RIVER, Umpqua: steelhead, sturgeon, striped bass

Winter steelhead will start arriving in the Smith River basin. Most of the steelhead will be wild, therefore fishing will be primarily catch-and-release.

SODA SPRINGS RESERVOIR:

Closed to fishing.

TENMILE BASIN: steelhead, largemouth bass

Anglers picked up a few steelhead on Tenmile and Eel creeks over the past week. Anglers are picking up fish plunking or back-bouncing crankbaits from a boat. In the Tenmile Basin starting on Dec. 1 one additional fin-clipped steelhead may be retained per day for a total aggregate of 3 adult fish harvested daily. 

Bass anglers have been catching a few largemouth bass in Tenmile Lakes. Water temperatures in the shallow water is warmer than usual for this time of the year because of several unseasonably warm days. 

TOKETEE LAKE: brown trout, rainbow trout

Fishing is open in Toketee year-round. The boat ramp is currently closed and the reservoir is partially drawn down. For more information call the U.S. Forest Service at 541-498-2531.

UMPQUA HIGH LAKES AND FOREBAYS: trout

Most of these lakes are off Forest Service Roads that are not plowed during the winter. Contact the Forest Service at 541-957-3200 for road and trail conditions.

UMPQUA RIVER, MAINSTEM: steelhead

The mainstem Umpqua is closed to wild steelhead harvest, but remains open year-round for adipose fin-clipped steelhead. This fishery is primarily catch-and-release since the number of hatchery fish is relatively low compared to the number of wild fish. However, anglers have been catching some hatchery fish for the last couple of weeks. The number of steelhead will increase in the Main throughout the rest of the month. The recent rain has caused the river to rise, but it will be dropping steadily to below 6 feet by the weekend. Plunkers should have some success throughout the season following rain events that cause the steelhead to hug the shoreline.

The Umpqua Fishery Enhancement Derby will be taking place on Jan. 30 and 31. This event raises thousands of dollars for fisheries projects in the Umpqua Basin. There may be more boats than usual on the river.

Spring chinook will start arriving in February and March. Please note the changes in regulations this year on page 40 of the 2015 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 – July 31. From Aug. 1 – Dece. 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

Remember all wild steelhead must be released unharmed. Fishing for winter steelhead will continue to improve, peaking in February through March. Most of the fish returning to the North are wild so the fishing is mostly catch-and-release. The river should be steadily dropping back to about 4 feet this weekend. The Umpqua Fishery Enhancement Derby will be taking place on Jan. 30 and 31. This event raises thousands of dollars for fisheries projects in the Umpqua Basin. There may be more boats than usual on the river.

Note that from Oct. 1 through June 30, fishing in the fly water area is restricted to a single barbless artificial fly which can be dressed with conventional fly tying material. Spring chinook will start arriving in March. Per the new regulation on page 40 of the 2015 Oregon Sport Fishing Regulations booklet, from Feb. 1 – July 31, 2 wild chinook per day can be harvested and up to 10 wild chinook during this time frame in combination with wild chinook harvested in the Main. Remember that from March 1 through July 31 the anti-snag 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.

The new RockEd facility is lacking displays, but can be opened on request by calling the hatchery at 541-496-3484.

North Umpqua River water levels at Winchester Dam

UMPQUA RIVER, SOUTH: steelhead

Although the peak numbers of fish normally show up from February to late March, the recent rains have moved fish into the Canyonville area and hatchery fish have been reported. The South Umpqua offers the best chance for catching an adipose-fin clipped steelhead for harvest. The hatchery program for winter steelhead is centered in the South Umpqua.

Most hatchery fish are caught from Canyonville downstream. All wild fish must be released unharmed. Plunking should be good at places such as Lawson Bar, Myrtle Creek and behind Seven Feathers. The Umpqua Fishery Enhancement Derby will be taking place on Jan. 30 and 31. This event raises thousands of dollars for fisheries projects in the Umpqua Basin. There may be more boats than usual on the river.

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

Willow Lake is 95 percent full and offers access for some winter trout fishing.

WINCHESTER BAY: bottomfish

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

WINCHUCK RIVER: steelhead

Slow. Most of the lower river is private, but the upper river is Forest Service and foot access is pretty good.


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SOUTHWEST ZONE: HUNTING

OPEN: GROUSE & QUAIL (closes Jan. 31), 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.

COOS COUNTY

Wilson’s snipe abundance is increasing with the coming of winter. Wilson’s snipe could be considered the woodcock of the west because they are very similar to woodcock in appearance. Presently snipe can be found in huntable numbers around wetlands, flooded agricultural fields and in some clear cuts. Any place where water ponds there will be habitat for these birds and the potential to find them. Snipe feed on worms and other invertebrates that are found just under the soil’s surface. When soil is moistened by precipitation these birds are able to poke their flexible bill in to the soil to catch their food. While they like open fields and wetlands they can be found in reforested clear cuts where water ponds, as well.

Elk controlled hunts are the only ones open at this time. Populations and bull ratios are at or above management objectives in many units in the local area. Hunters will find that as hunting pressure occurs elk will move away from roads and into more secluded locations such as un-roaded creek drainages. Still hunting places with low road densities or behind gated roads where access is allowed is the best method to score on a bull. While elk use clearcuts extensively for feeding, hunting pressure will cause them to become more secretive and less likely to be found during daylight hours there. Elk hunters who will be hunting units in Coos County and the western portion of Douglas County need to be aware that access may have changed for some private lands. Hunters need to contact landowners to ensure lands are open even if the hunter has hunted there in past years. Don’t assume private land is open, check to make sure that it is.

Cougar hunting is 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.

DOUGLAS COUNTY

A few elk controlled hunts are open at this time. Elk populations are similar to last year so this hunting year will be average.

Cougar season is open. Hunting cougar is most successful adjacent to private land with high deer populations.

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.

UPLAND GAMEBIRDS:

Grouse & Quail

The season ends on January 31, 2015.

MIGRATORY GAMEBIRDS:

Crow- The season ends on January 31, 2015.

TRAPPING:

Bobcat & Gray Fox are open. Healthy populations throughout Western Oregon. The last day of the season for these species is February 28, 2015.

River Otter, Beaver, & Raccoon are open. Healthy populations throughout Western Oregon. The last day of the season for these species is March 15, 2015 except red fox which is January 15, 2015.

Mink & Muskrat are open. Healthy populations throughout Western Oregon. The last day of the season for mink and muskrat is March 31, 2015.

Marten are open. Good populations at higher elevations of the Cascades. The last day of the season is January 31, 2015.

JACKSON, JOSEPHINE, CURRY COUNTIES

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.

Elk West Rogue Bow controlled hunt is open until February 28. This season is mostly on private land intended for elk causing landowner damage.

Crow season is open until January 31. No limit on harvest.

Grouse and Quail season will end January 31, 2015.

Wilson’s Snipe season is open until February 15. 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.

Cougar season is open statewide year-round or until zone quotas are met. Most cougar hunters’ success comes from predator calls. Remember 2015 tag and hunting license needed as of Jan. 1.

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. Season will close for bobcat and fox February 28. Raccoon pursuit will go to March 15. 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.

Bobcat & Gray Fox- Healthy populations for bobcats throughout Western Oregon. Gray fox numbers are down due to distemper for the past two years. Last day of the season is Feb. 28, 2015.

River Otter, Beaver, & Raccoon – Healthy populations throughout Western Oregon. Last day of the season is Mar. 15, 2015.

Mink/Muskrat- Healthy populations throughout Western Oregon. Last day of the season is March 31, 2015.

Marten – Good populations at higher elevations of the Cascades. Last day of the season is Jan. 31, 2015.


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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.

Shorebirds

Shore birds found along the coast now are here for winter. In places fairly large numbers can be seen. Bandon Marsh National Wildlife Refuge is probably the best place in Coos County to see these birds. The Bandon Marsh Unit is located immediately north of Bandon and is probably the best part of the refuge to visit for shore bird observation. Otherwise mud flats in Coos Bay, Winchester Bay (Douglas County) and the Coquille Bay are great places to check. Recently large flocks of shore birds have been seen on the Coos Bay North Spit beaches and other beaches in the area.

Waterfowl

Waterfowl abundance is high presently in Coos County. The birds in Coos County now are primarily here to spend the winter. The Coquille Valley is a great place to see dabbling ducks in large numbers. As many as 95% of the pacific coast dabblers stopover in the Coquille Valley during the migration. A large number of them spend the winter there.

For those interested in seeing large numbers of diving ducks Coos Bay in the vicinity of Cape Arago Hwy. and Clam Island, on the Coos Bay North Spit, are good places to look. Also, sea ducks like surf scoters are easy to find right now in all the coastal bays.

Black Brant are in Coos Bay in large numbers, as well. These marine geese have recently been spending time in the same general areas as the diving ducks in Coos Bay. Observant viewers may see neck collars on brant. If you can see the color of the collar and read the numbers on it report this information to your local ODFW office. This type of information is useful to waterfowl managers. 1/20/15.

CURRY, JACKSON, JOSEPHINE COUNTIES

Curry County

For a great birding trail along the southern coast, visit Oregon Birding Trails

Whale watching is occurring along the coast through end of May with one migration heading south until February. This migration is occurring two mile off shore. March through May is their northern migration when they will be cruising closer to shore. Viewing points within Curry County from north to south are Battle Rock, Cape Sebastian, Cape Ferrelo, and Harris Beach State Park.

Jackson and Josephine Counties

Jackson and Josephine counties are full of flocks of blackbirds, meadowlarks and a variety of sparrows, so take the opportunity to do some bird watching.

Cackling Canada Geese

Rogue Valley has had an increase in cackling Canada geese (Cacklers). They are the smallest subspecies of Canada geese, weighing around 3-5 pounds with a distinctive high pitched call. Other identifying features would be the darker brown breast and shorter bill. They nest in western Alaska and typically spend the winters in California Central Valley. Now more and more are wintering in western Oregon.

Denman Wildlife Area

Bird watchers are welcome to visit the area to see variety of local waterfowl and hawks. A bald eagle has been sighted regularly around Wheatstone Pond. Many Northern Harriers, Red-tailed hawks, and Rough-legged hawks have been seen hunting throughout the valley.

For information on the Wildlife Area, visit ODFW’s Web site.

Time to clean out birdhouses and wood duck boxes out for spring.

Denman Wildlife Area

Bird watchers are welcome to visit the area to see variety of local waterfowl and hawks. A bald eagle has been sighted regularly around Wheatstone Pond. Many Northern Harriers, Red-tailed hawks, and Rough-legged hawks have been seen hunting throughout the valley.

For information on the Wildlife Area, visit ODFW’s Web site.

DOUGLAS COUNTY

Peregrine Falcons

Peregrine Falcons are now commonly seen on the Umpqua Valley floor especially near Melrose, Lookinglass, Umpqua and other open areas close to the Umpqua River.

Songbirds

Winter songbirds including Western Bluebirds can be seen at Stewart Park and Stewart Park trail in Roseburg. Viewing is best in the late morning to early afternoon.

Tax Time

When completing your taxes for calendar year 2014 don’t forget to make your donation for the nongame tax check-off on your Oregon return. 12/29/14.


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WILLAMETTE ZONE: FISHING

Weekend fishing opportunities:

  • Trout stocking resumes in the Willamette Valley this week, with releases at Huddleston Pond, Mt. Hood Pond, Sheridan Pond, EE Wilson Pond, Junction City Pond, Walling Pond and Walter Wirth Lake. These stockings are in addition to the release of extra-large brood trout Jan. 5 at Huddleston, Sheridan, Timber Linn pones and Waverly Lake.
  • An unscheduled release of 9,300 one-pound rainbow trout took place Monday, Dec. 29 at six Willamette Valley fishing sites as the result unexpected low water levels at Leaburg Hatchery. The fish were distributed as follows: Cottage Grove Reservoir – 2,000, Dorena Reservoir – 2,000, Hills Creek Reservoir – 2,000, Junction City Pond – 1,700, Walter Wirth Lake – 1,200, and Walling Pond – 400.
  • Walter Wirth Lake will be stocked with 100 7 to 10 pound brood trout this week for a little bonus fishing opportunity.
  • Winter steelhead fishing is heating up on the Clackamas and Sandy rivers and Eagle Creek, with a sizeable uptick in angler effort and some nice catches being reported.
  • It’s not too early to consider spring Chinook fishing in the Willamette River, as a few of these prized fish have already been caught.

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.

2015 trout stocking

The 2015 trout stocking schedules for the North Willamette Watershed (pdf) District and the South Willamette Watershed (pdf) District are now posted on the ODFW trout stocking page.

Check out the new trout stocking map

Find the location and details about the many lakes ponds and streams that receive hatchery trout from ODFW’s fish hatcheries on the new Google-based stocking map.

ALTON BAKER CANOE CANAL: trout

The Alton Baker Canoe Canal was last stocked for the season in early November. Stocking will resume in early February 2015. 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 2-mile length from Day Island Road in Eugene to Aspen Street in Springfield. The Canal is open to angling 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, park is located on the south side of the freeway approx. 1/2 mile west of Multnomah Falls.

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

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

BLUE RIVER: trout, steelhead

Blue River both above and below Blue River Reservoir is closed to angling until April 25, 2015.

BLUE RIVER RESERVOIR: trout, warmwater species

Blue River Reservoir has been drawn down for winter flood control. Blue River Reservoir is located east of Eugene near the town of Blue River, north of Highway 126 and is open to year-round fishing.

BREITENBUSH RIVER: trout

This fishery is now closed for the year and will re-open on April 25, 2015

CANBY POND: rainbow trout

Canby Pond is a 1-acre pond located on the south end of Canby in Canby City Park. The park is south of Hwy 99E and adjacent to the Molalla River. Angling restricted to youth age 17 and under or holders of one of the Disabled Anglers permits.

CARMEN RESERVOIR: trout

Carmen Reservoir is accessed via FS Road 750 off Hwy 126, about 2 miles south of Clear Lake, and is open to fishing all year. Motor boats are prohibited on Carmen Reservoir.

CLACKAMAS RIVER: winter steelhead

The river has settled down considerably in the last week and the good fishing conditions have really bumped up the effort. All of the boat ramps along the Clackamas were busy over the weekend with the overall catch rating in the fair to good category. The forecast shows little significant rain in coming days so the river could actually get a bit too low and clear for some folk’s taste.

Good bank access for winters can be found in many locations along the river from Gladstone, Cross Park, Riverside Park, along Clackamas River Road, Carver, Barton, and McIver Parks. If you’ve got a 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.

Monday, Jan. 26 hydrological data shows river flows at 2,820 cfs, a gauge reading of 12.60 ft., and the water temperature up some at 44°. All of the readings come from the Estacada gauge near McIver Park.

CLEAR LAKE: trout

Clear Lake is open to fishing all year. In addition to seasonally stocked hatchery rainbow trout, naturally reproducing brook trout are also available. The lake is accessed from Highway 126 approximately 70 miles east of Springfield.

Cabins and row boats are available for rent from Clear Lake Resort.

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

To access Cottage Grove Pond, travel east from Cottage Grove on Row River Road. The pond is located behind the truck scales and may be accessed via an asphalt pathway. Only the pond with the dock is stocked with hatchery trout. This pond also offers wildlife viewing opportunities and is open to fishing all year. The pond will be stocked in early February.

COTTAGE GROVE RESERVOIR: trout, warmwater species

This reservoir was stocked on Monday, Dec. 29 with 2,000 one-pound rainbow trout during an unplanned release prompted by unusually low water levels at Leaburg Hatchery. The reservoir is south of Cottage Grove and is open to fishing all year.

NOTICE: The Oregon Health Authority has issued a health advisory updating information about eating fish caught in Cottage Grove Reservoir. Under the advisory issued June 5, 2012 people can safely consume up to nine meals per month of hatchery-grown rainbow trout month that are 12 inches in length or less. People can distinguish hatchery-grown rainbow trout by the absence of the adipose fin, which is clipped before hatchery fish are released into streams and reservoirs. Despite the new exception for rainbow trout, mercury contamination for resident warm-water fish, including bass, bluegill, crappie and bullhead continues to be a concern. Women of childbearing age, particularly pregnant or breastfeeding women, children under six years of age and persons having liver or kidney ailments should avoid eating any fish from this reservoir other than rainbow trout. Healthy women beyond childbearing age, other healthy adults and healthy children six years of age and older should eat no more than one 8-ounce meal of fish other than rainbow trout per month.

CRESWELL POND (GARDEN LAKE): trout, warmwater species

The 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. The pond will be stocked in early February.

DETROIT RESERVOIR: trout, kokanee

This reservoir receives over 100,000 trout throughout the year. Over 12,000 legal-size trout were stocked during Sept.-Oct., and further stocking will resume come spring. Currently the reservoir is about 95 feet below full pool. There are no boat ramps open for use as of this time (1-26-15). Check with local outfitters in the town of Detroit for fishing conditions.

DORENA RESERVOIR: trout, warmwater

This reservoir was stocked on Monday, Dec. 29 with 2,000 one-pound rainbow trout during an unplanned release prompted by unusually low water levels at Leaburg Hatchery. The reservoir is east of Cottage Grove on Row River Road and is open to angling all year. Trout and warmwater fish are available.

EAGLE CREEK: winter steelhead

The creek is in great fishing shape but starting to get a bit low and clear for some anglers preference. Effort was up over the weekend with several rigs parked in the usual roadside turnouts and at Eagle Fern Park. Spot checks by ODFW are finding several fish being landed.

The Eagle Creek winter steelhead stock is a later returning fish from what anglers may remember several years ago so it’s a bit early to see any winters coming back in big numbers yet. As well, the reduced smolt releases in recent years have had an impact on numbers of adult steelhead returning.

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

Following a complete draining over the summer to facilitate removal of aquatic vegetation and reworking of the levee, the pond has recently been refilled to within 4 feet of full pool. This popular fishing pond will reopen on Feb. 1 and will be stocked with 800 legal-sized trout just prior to opening. Please respect the regulation -- no angling until Sunday, Feb. 1.

ESTACADA LAKE: trout

Closed to trout fishing until May 23, 2015. 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.

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. This reservoir is 15 feet below full pool at this time, so there are no longer any boat ramps available. For local information regarding the lake and available boat ramps, contact the Lane County Parks Department at 541-682-2000. This lake is mostly shallow with a band of deep water from the original channel of the Long Tom River.

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

FOSTER RESERVOIR: trout, bass, perch, catfish

This scenic 1,200-acre reservoir on the South Santiam River is located just 30 minutes from Interstate 5. There is good bank access at several rest stops and campgrounds, and three seasonal boat ramps. Currently, only the boat ramp at Sunnyside County Park is barely in the water, exercise caution if using.

This popular fishing destination has received 10,000 legal rainbow trout this fall. Further trout stocking is scheduled to resume around mid-March, 2015. 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.

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. Kokanee fishing is done for the year, but bass and trout are still available. Smallmouth bass can be found near underwater structure and at drop-offs. The reservoir level has dropped to approximately 85 ft. below full pool – only Thistle Creek low-water boat ramp is currently available. Storage season begins Dec. 1 after which the water levels will begin to rise but will remain lower than normal during the ongoing spill gate repairs.

HILLS CREEK RESERVOIR: trout, warmwater fish

This reservoir was stocked on Monday, Dec. 29 with 2,000 one-pound rainbow trout during an unplanned release prompted by unusually low water levels at Leaburg Hatchery. This reservoir is located about 4 miles southeast of Oakridge. Catch rates on these fish have improved as the reservoir water clarity has improved.

HILLS CREEK above HILLS CREEK RESERVOIR: trout

Hills Creek above Hills Creek Reservoir is closed to all fishing and will re-open April 25, 2015.

HUDDLESTON POND: trout, bluegill

Stocked the week of Jan. 26 with 300 legal-sized rainbow trout. The pond was also stocked Dec. 5 with 80 rainbow trout brood trout, weighing from 7 to 15 pounds, and some of those fish should still be available.  Anglers are reminded that the bag limit on trout over 20 inches is one 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 woody debris that provides habitat for bass and bluegill. It reaches a maximum depth of about 10 feet, with shallow "kid-friendly" edges. It is ADA accessible in places, with a restroom and picnic areas nearby. There is paved parking lot and small ramp for people who want to launch small, non-motorized boats.

JUNCTION CITY POND: trout, crappie

Junction City is a popular stocked trout fishing pond located about 2 miles south of Junction City on 99W on the west side of the highway. There is excellent access around the entire 8-acre pond. It was stocked Monday Dec. 29 with 2,250 larger size rainbow trout and is scheduled for 700 legals during the week of JAN 26. There may also be a few large brood trout and steelhead around from previous stockings. As a reminder, zone regulations apply: five trout daily may be kept and only one over 20-inches.

LEABURG LAKE:

Leaburg Lake is closed to all fishing until April 25, 2015.

MCKENZIE RIVER below Leaburg Lake: trout, salmon, steelhead

The McKenzie River below Leaburg Lake is open to catch and release trout fishing. This river reach is open to retention of adipose fin-clipped 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. Gear use is restricted to flies and lures.

Leaburg Dam is currently scheduled to be open before 8am, after 4 p.m. and from noon to 1 p.m. Jan 26 through Jan. 28. The dam is open on weekends. Check EWEB’s website for updated information.

MCKENZIE RIVER above Leaburg Lake: trout, steelhead

The McKenzie River above Leaburg Lake is closed to all fishing until April 25, 2015.

MOLALLA RIVER: winter steelhead

The Molalla is in great shape and anglers should anticipate improved fishing once the Willamette settles down and winter steelhead begin passing through the falls ladder again.

Winter steelhead passage at Willamette Falls is still in its early stages but has shown recent improvement when the flows are stable. Reliable reports indicate a few winter steelhead have been hooked down low in the Molalla River.

MT HOOD POND: trout, crappie, bluegill

Stocked the week of Jan. 26 with 500 trout weighing approximately a pound apiece. The pond was also stocked Dec. 15 with 95 extra-large rainbow brood trout, and some of those fish may still be available.

This is a 5-acre pond on the campus of Mt. Hood Community College in Gresham. Angling is restricted to youths age 17 and under and holders of ODFW's Disabled Anglers permits from April 1 - Aug. 31.

SALMON CREEK: trout

Salmon Creek is a tributary to the Middle Fork Willamette River east of Oakridge and is currently open to catch-and-release angling only while using flies or lures.

SALT CREEK: trout

Salt Creek is a tributary to the Middle Fork Willamette River east of Oakridge and is currently open to catch-and-release angling only while using flies or lures.

SANDY RIVER: winter steelhead

The Sandy River is very susceptible to freezing levels and run-off due to its headwaters coming off the slopes of Mt. Hood. Anglers can typically expect that when the snow level is over 4,000 ft. the river could be off-color, while if under 4,000 ft. conditions should be good. The lack of any significant rain or snow has led to the river getting low and clear with no change in sight.

The catch for winter steelhead on the Sandy has improved in recent days, with some good catch seen at Cedar Creek and it should get better as the weeks go by, but the overall numbers of fish have yet to arrive. The Sandy River winter steelhead are a later returning fish in recent years due to the broodstock fishery management program. This fishery doesn’t usually get cranked up until late January or February, but the hatchery has had a decent number of fish already swim into the holding ponds.

The Oxbow to Dabney drift remains a good bet by drift boat. If you’re bank fishing, try along the Old Columbia River Hwy between Lewis and Clark Park and Dabney Park, Oxbow Park, Dodge Park, and the confluence of the Sandy and Cedar Creek below the Sandy hatchery. Be very cautious if you decide to ford the river – PFDs, good footwear, and walking sticks are always a good idea, especially during periods of higher flows we can expect over the next several months.

Hydrological data for the Sandy River on Jan. 20 shows flows up considerably at 5,860 cfs, a gauge reading of 11.64 ft. and the water temperature steady near 41°.

SANTIAM RIVER (NORTH FORK): steelhead, Chinook

Recent rains have brought river levels up again, making for challenging conditions. Some summer steelhead are still being caught, mostly in the upper sections above Stayton. Winter steelhead numbers are still low at Willamette Falls, but are beginning to ramp up. Numbers of winter steelhead passing above Willamette Falls stand at 839 as of Jan. 24 when 96 fish were counted. They should arrive in good numbers in the Santiam basin by February.

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 adipose fin-clipped steelhead. Trout fishing is closed until May 23, 2015.

River levels best for fishing are below 3,000 cfs at the Mehama gauge (currently the gauge is around 5,230 cfs as of Jan. 26).

Current conditions

CAUTION: The section between Shelburn and Green’s Bridge remains hazardous for boaters because of downed trees and multiple side channels. Better bets are the floats below Green’s Bridge and above Stayton.

NOTE: The gate at Green’s Bridge near Jefferson has been opened and will remain open until the next seasonal closure in June 2015.

SANTIAM RIVER (NORTH FORK) above DETROIT:

This section of the river is closed to trout fishing until April 25, 2015. This section of river is closed to salmon fishing.

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

Flows in the South Santiam below Foster dam are at 4,760 cfs as of Jan. 26. The flows are dropping a bit and fishing conditions will continue to improve. Summer steelhead can be found primarily in the upper river. 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. There are still quite a few summer steelhead in the upper reaches. Closed to trout fishing until May 23, 2015.

SHERIDAN POND: trout

Stocked the week of Jan. 26 with 500 legal-sized rainbow trout. The pond was also stocked Dec. 5 with 80 rainbow trout brood trout, weighing from 7 to 15 pounds, and some of those fish may still be available.

Sheridan Pond is a 2 ½-acre pond located on the edge of town. An old mill pond, it has plenty of bank access, parking, and a restroom. 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.

SMITH RESERVOIR: trout

Smith Reservoir is north of Trail Bridge Reservoir and is accessed by turning off Hwy 126 at Trail Bridge Reservoir and following FS Road 730 north to Smith Dam. The reservoir is not visible from the highway and is open to year-around fishing. Native fish are available for harvest.

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

Stocked in November with 90 brood trout weighing 10-plus pounds each. The fish were released in Pond #6. Anglers are reminded the gate to the park is closed for the season but the site is still open to fishing for those who are willing to hike in. Hikers are encouraged to follow the road from the gate to the main parking lot to avoid areas that may be inundated with water following cross-country paths. 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.

TIMBER LINN POND: rainbow trout

This beautiful, family-friendly fishing pond is located within the 8-acre Timber-Linn Memorial Park in Albany. It was stocked recently with over 140 brood rainbow trout between 5 to 15 pounds each. Please keep in mind that only one fish over 20-inches may be taken per day. Timber-Linn Lake can be reached by turning east off I-5 onto the Santiam Highway (Hwy. 20), then immediately turning north onto Price Road and proceeding to the park entrance.

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. Flies and lures only may be used.

WALLING POND: trout, crappie, bass

Another batch of brood trout has become available and 50 were released in the pond on Monday, Dec. 22. These very large 8 to 12-pound rainbow trout were stocked at the same time as 400 legal and 50 larger size trout. It was also stocked again Monday, Dec. 29 with 400 one-pound rainbow trout. As a reminder, zone regulations apply: five trout daily may be kept and only one may be over 20 inches. 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

The lake will be stocked this week with 100 7 to 10 pound brood trout for a little bonus fishing opportunity. This is in addition to 50 brood trout that were released in the lake on Monday, Dec. 22 and 1,700 one-pound trout that were stocked on Monday, Dec. 29.

As a reminder, only one fish over 20-inches may be kept. 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 recently with 140 extra-large brood rainbow trout averaging between 5-15 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, coho, winter steelhead

For anglers interested in sturgeon fishing, the “catch-and-release” sturgeon fishery continues to provide some steady action with the St. Johns area and Milwaukie offering the best chance for success. The winter Willamette water conditions don’t really have an impact on the sturgeon fishery and some say the turbid water improves catch.

Conditions are gradually improving after the rains from a week ago so anglers can anticipate better angling as fresh winter steelhead make their way towards the Clackamas River; an occasional winter steelhead has been landed along Meldrum Bar and near the Clackamas River mouth at the “blacktop.” Also of considerable interest is the fact that a handful of spring Chinook has already been recorded in the catch.

Passage counting at Willamette Falls for coho is about over, although a late straggler or two could swim by. There has been one coho pass at the falls in the past month. Counts are well underway for winter steelhead and are were showing renewed signs of life now that the turbid conditions are subsiding. The total passage of winter steelhead through January 24 stands at.

Hydrological numbers for the Willamette on Jan. 26 show flows down at 51,600 cfs, a water temperature in Oregon City near 47°, and visibility much improved at 2.2 ft.


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WILLAMETTE ZONE: HUNTING

OPEN: COUGAR, GROUSE & QUAIL (closes Jan. 31)

EVENTS:

See ODFW’s calendar and sign up now for upcoming Learn to Hunt events, including several Controlled Hunt seminars at the Pacific Northwest Sportsman Show in Portland in early February.

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.

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. In addition, many private timberlands use the following link to provide information regarding the access policy for their private lands. Hunters need to have permission to hunt or make sure hunting is allowed before accessing private lands.

BE PREPARED

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.

Upland Game Birds

Quail, Mountain / California – Open season from Sept. 1 to Jan 31. Mountain quail can be found scattered through brushy clearcuts in the coast range. These brush loving birds are often found running between hiding and feeding areas in both brushland and riparian zones. While the use of dogs will improve your chances of locating and quickly recovering birds, hunters without dogs can easily get into the action with a little extra hiking. California quail are typically located in lower elevation agricultural fields and clear cuts that provide both cover and food sources. Please respect private landowners and ask for permission before entering their lands to hunt. Please remember that the daily bag limit is 10 birds singly or in aggregate when both California and mt. quail seasons are concurrent and the possession limit is 30 birds singly or in aggregate when both California and mt. quail seasons are concurrent.

Remember that wildlife laws state that the feathered head must be left attached while you are in the field or transporting the bird(s) home.

ODFW is conducting a survey to determine Mountain Quail locations east of the Cascade Mountains in Oregon. Please report and observations, including the date, specific location, county of observation, and number of quail to your local ODFW office.

Forest Grouse open until Jan 31. The forest grouse group collectively includes the Ruffed and Blue (dusky/sooty) grouse species. Forest grouse hunting success has slowed as rainy and stormy weather conditions persist. Look for grouse along the edges of timber patches and riparian areas during morning and evening times. Blue grouse will begin to move towards higher elevation timber stands to winter so hunters shouldn’t overlook those habitats. Hunters are reporting good numbers of Blue and Ruffed grouse in the Mt. Hood National Forest. Remember that the daily bag limit is 3 of each species and possession limit is 9 of each species.

Remember that wildlife laws state that the feathered head must be left attached while you are in the field or transporting the bird(s) home.

Your participation is greatly needed

ODFW would appreciate your help in obtaining important information about the health of populations grouse and mountain quail populations. To do so we would like the tail and one whole wing off of any grouse or mountain quail you harvest. Look in the 2014/15 Oregon Game Bird Regulations for specific instructions for removing wings/tails and sending them in.

Turkey -- Staff started an emergency turkey hunt just north of Veneta. There were two other landowners that requested a turkey emergency hunt for properties near Marcola and Eugene. It is likely that turkey emergency hunts will be initiated on these properties next week. Only 19 hunters signed up for the Lane County emergency hunt list for turkeys this year. It is possible the list could be exhausted.

Migratory Birds

Duck hunting is now closed. The Northwest General Zone and Northwest Permit Zone will reopen February 7, 2 015. Reports suggest average hunting conditions and success this season. Hunters are reminded that a NW Goose Permit is required to hunt either of these zones. Please refer to pages 16 – 19 of the 2014-2015 Oregon Game Bird Regulations for bag limit, open area, and other restrictions. Remember to obtain permission before hunting on private lands.

Big Game

The 2015 Cougar season opened on January 1, 2015. Snow at the higher elevations provides hunters a chance to try and track a cougar. The best time to track a cougar is following a fresh snow. Hunters can use predator calls that mimic an animal in distress to draw cougar into the open. Approaching cougar can be difficult to see when you are predator calling so hunting with a partner is advised.

Hunters will need to purchase a 2015 hunting license and a 2015 cougar tag to hunt cougars. Successful cougar hunters will need to check-in any cougar taken at an ODFW office within 10 days of the kill. Hunters are reminded that biologists located in field offices may be out in the field handling other issues so call ahead to make arrangements to have your cougar checked-in. The hide and skull must be unfrozen and the skull and proof of sex must be attached to the hide. Hunters are required to submit the reproductive tract of any female cougar taken. Pick up the Big Game Hunting Regulations before your hunting trip to ensure that you are familiar with all of the requirements.

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 clean by placing it into a cloth game bag. Warm weather conditions (greater than 50 degrees) can increase bacteria loads so hunters need to get the carcass cooled/refrigerated as soon as possible. Never place the carcass inside of a plastic bag, tarp or in water since wet or damp meat spoils more quickly. Talk to your local meat processor or butcher to get additional information concerning the proper care of wildlife or go online to find websites that cover this topic.

FURBEARER trapping and hunting season for bobcat opened Dec. 1. Gray fox, red fox, muskrat, mink, raccoon and river otter are currently open. Trappers and hunters are reminded that all bobcat and river otter pelts need to be checked-in at an ODFW office within five (5) business days after the season ends to obtain an ownership tag. The lower jawbone, including both canine teeth, must be surrendered to ODFW and information on sex, date of catch, and county of harvest must accompany each individual bobcat or river otter to qualify for an ownership tag. A record card with required species, sex, date of possession and county must be presented to obtain an ownership tag. See page 5 of the Oregon Furbearer Trapping and Hunting Regulations (July 1, 2014 through June 30, 2016).

Trappers are reminded that waters within the exterior boundaries of the Mt. Hood National Forest are closed to beaver trapping (see page 4 of the Oregon Furbearer Trapping and Hunting Regulations).

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WILLAMETTE ZONE: WILDLIFE VIEWING

Watch for Bald Eagles

This is a great time to see bald eagles. Several eagles are active in the lower Columbia River near Sauvie Island and Deer Island. Bald eagles are often found near water with large numbers of waterfowl or fish.

In the South Willamette Watershed, bald eagles can be seen in the Harrisburg, Halsey, and Brownsville areas. Eagles are generally seen sitting in grass fields or in trees. Viewers driving on rural roads can often spot eagles in these areas. Bring along good optics as viewing often occurs from a long distance.

ODFW staff recently completed the mid-winter bald eagle surveys along the Columbia River. The survey route extends from Scappoose Bay to Wauna, and a total of 79 bald eagles were observed throughout this stretch of the river. Most observed adults were pair bonding and in close proximity to their nests. Surveys in 2015 documented 91 bald eagles in this area, while 55 eagles were observed in 2013.

Winter is a good time to see wintering raptors in the Willamette Valley. Raptors, which include hawks, eagles, falcons and harriers, are easily recognized by their talons and distinctive hooked beaks. Seeing raptors can be as easy as driving through farmland or even down I-5.

Large concentrations of Canada geese can be seen in grass fields ponds and parks throughout the Willamette Valley. Although they look very similar, there are actually 7 different subspecies of Canada geese that winter in the valley. The smallest subspecies, the Cackling Canada goose, is darkly colored and only half again bigger than a duck. The Western Canada goose is very light colored and is about twice as big as the Cackler. There are more geese wintering in the Valley now than at any other time in recorded history. Although most people enjoy the sights and sounds of these abundant birds, under certain conditions geese can do a lot of crop damage. Farmers are concerned about the growing goose populations and the increasing damage problems.

Corvallis Area

EE Wilson Wildlife Area

ODFW staff observed several turkey vultures on a carcass near the Adair Village district office on Jan. 12. They are being observed elsewhere in the valley as well. The turkey vulture’s yearly appearance from the wintering grounds signals the hope of spring.

Many wintering waterfowl are taking advantage of the full ponds at EE Wilson Wildlife area. The close of duck season on Jan. 25 should improve viewing conditions.

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

Chip Ross Park

This is 125 acres of forested hilltop, mainly in oak and conifers, which adjoins the southeast corner of McDonald State Forest. The oak trees with mistletoe in the canopy should be checked for bluebirds during the winter. Rare sightings include ruffed grouse, an immature spotted owl and a red-naped sapsucker which is rare west of the Cascades. Other birds that can be seen include sharp-shinned hawk, hairy and pileated woodpecker, olive-sided flycatcher, brown creeper and wrentit. Drive west on Lester Avenue off NW Highland Drive, where you will find ample parking space at the park boundary. A superb view of the city is to the south.

Eugene Area

Fern Ridge Wildlife Area

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

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

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

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

Delta Ponds

Many different types of waterfowl and raptors currently use the area. With the higher water and earlier dusk, now is a good time to see beaver and muskrat. Best viewing time is around 4:30 p.m. When viewing wildlife, please remember to be respectful and try not to disturb the animals’ natural behaviors. Sometimes, the best way to view animals is from inside your vehicle as to not frighten the birds/animals away. For more information on Delta Ponds visit the City of Eugene website.

Golden Gardens Park

River otters may be found in ponds and canals around Eugene. Last week two river otters were observed in the pond at Golden Gardens Park in northwest Eugene. For more information on Golden Gardens Park visit the City of Eugene website.

Salem Area

Walling Pond

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

Portland Area

Mid-winter waterfowl counts

ODFW staff recently completed mid-winter waterfowl surveys in Multnomah County.  The total number of dabbling ducks (2,092) and geese (3,565) observed this year were nearly half that seen in 2014.  Diving species comprised the majority of ducks with nearly four times as many birds observed in 2015 than in the previous year, and was the highest number recorded over a 10- year period (2005-15).

Rooster Rock State Park

It is fairly common to see large groups of swans and a plethora of pintails at Mirror Lake across from the park this time of year. Just remember to bring your valuables with you.

Sauvie Island Wildlife Area

Waterfowl viewing is phenomenal at the Sauvie Island Wildlife Area. More than 100,000 waterfowl are wintering on the island, and huge flocks can be seen on Sturgeon Lake from ODFW’s Coon Point viewing station. The recent cold weather and shortage of rain has reduced the usual abundance of open water and wetlands available to birds. As a result, huge flocks are finding refuge on the 3,000 acres of water available to them at Sturgeon Lake.

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

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

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


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CENTRAL ZONE: FISHING

Weekend fishing opportunities

  • The lower Deschutes around Maupin can offer good trout fishing in the winter. Fly fishers should look for mid-day hatches when air temperatures start warming.
  • The first bright winter steelhead have entered the Hood River. Look for fishing to continue to get better as season progresses.
  • Taylor Lake has been stocked and is a good bet for a limit of trout.

 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.

ANTELOPE FLAT RESERVOIR: rainbow trout

No recent reports. Current road conditions are unknown.

BIKINI POND: rainbow trout

No recent reports.

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

Open to fishing all year.

CROOKED RIVER BELOW BOWMAN DAM: redband trout, mountain whitefish

The flows are high in order to maintain Prineville Reservoir at the appropriate level for flood control. Like in the spring, fishing will be off until the flows have stabilized for a few days. Fishing will be slower than normal for this time of year as there is more water to cover and the fish will be holding in different areas. Keep an eye on the flows to see if the fishing will be impacted. The use of bait is no longer allowed until May 23, 2015. Only artificial lures and flies may be used. Anglers are reminded that trout over 20-inches are considered steelhead and must be released unharmed.

Flows below Bowman Dam

CULTUS LAKE: rainbow trout, lake trout

Open to fishing all year.

DAVIS LAKE: largemouth bass, redband trout

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

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

Anglers are reminded that steelhead angling from the northern boundary of the Warms Springs Reservation upstream to Pelton Dam closed Dec. 31. Steelhead and trout angling is permitted year round from the Reservation boundary downstream to the Columbia River. No recent reports lately on trout fishing, but the lower Deschutes around Maupin can be good in the winter. Trout anglers should be looking for mid-day hatches when air temperatures start warming.  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. Check the trap the seasons catch at Sherars Falls as an indicator of fish movement in the Lower Deschutes at river mile 43. The trap is only in operation from July to the end of October.

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

Fishing restricted to artificial flies and lures.

FALL RIVER: rainbow trout

Fall River downstream of the falls is closed to fishing. Fishing upstream of the falls is open all year. Restricted to fly-fishing only with barbless hooks.

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

No recent reports.

HOOD RIVER: summer steelhead, trout

Bright winter steelhead are entering the lower Hood. Anglers should watch for good flows after high water events. Fishing will continue to get better as winter progresses.

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

No recent reports. 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

No recent reports. As a reminder, the lake is now open all year.

LAURANCE LAKE: Rainbow trout, cutthroat trout

Closed to fishing until April 25, 2015.

LITTLE LAVA LAKE: rainbow trout, brook trout

Open to fishing all year.

LOST LAKE: rainbow trout, brown trout

No recent report. Ice and snow will limit access.

METOLIUS RIVER: redband trout, bull trout

Metolius River upstream of Allingham Bridge closed to fishing until May 23, 2015. Metolius River downstream of Allingham Bridge open all year. Special regulations in effect for this section.

NORTH TWIN: rainbow trout

Open to fishing all year.

OCHOCO CREEK UPSTREAM TO OCHOCO DAM: rainbow trout

Angling is restricted to artificial flies and lures only; two trout per day with an 8-inch minimum length. Trout over 20-inches are considered steelhead and must be released unharmed.

OCHOCO RESERVOIR: rainbow trout, black crappie, smallmouth bass

No recent reports.

PINE HOLLOW RESERVOIR: rainbow trout, largemouth bass

No recent reports. Ice on the lake will limit access.

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

No recent reports.

PRINEVILLE YOUTH FISHING POND: rainbow trout and largemouth bass

The pond is currently iced over. For safety reasons, the pond is closed when iced over. Ice fishing is not allowed.

ROCK CREEK RESERVOIR: rainbow trout

No recent reports.

SHEVLIN YOUTH FISHING POND: rainbow trout

Open all year to angling. Two trout per day, 8 inch minimum length. Fishing restricted to juvenile anglers 17-years-old and younger.

SUTTLE LAKE: brown trout, kokanee

Open to fishing all year.

TAYLOR LAKE: rainbow trout, largemouth bass

The lake has been stocked and there should be a good opportunity to catch a limit of trout.

THREE CREEK LAKE: rainbow trout, brook trout

Open to fishing all year.

WALTON LAKE: rainbow trout

No recent reports.


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CENTRAL ZONE: HUNTING

OPEN: COUGAR, GROUSE (closes Jan. 31)

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

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 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 and will be closely associated with deer and antelope during the fawning time of year. 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.

Furbearer harvest seasons have opened. Refer to the Oregon Furbearer Trapping and Hunting Regulations 2014- 2016.

THE DALLES DISTRICT

Upland Game Birds:

Chukar and Hungarian Partridge are open until Jan. 31: Chukar numbers continue to be low throughout the district. Hunters can expect chukar and Hungarian partridge to be similar to last season.

There are high 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. Limited opportunities may also be found at White River Wildlife area, and on lower elevation forest service lands.

Hunters wishing to pursue cougar will find best success near areas of deer and elk concentrations, or in canyons near bighorn sheep. Using predator calls throughout the year can be highly effective. 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. Don’t forget to pick up a 2015 tag.

Furbearers: Most harvest seasons for furbearing mammals have opened. Refer to the Oregon Furbearer Trapping and Hunting Regulations 2014- 2016.

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.

Forest Grouse and Quail are open until Jan 31, 2105. Hunters must possess an upland game bird validation to hunt these species. Hunters seeking forest grouse will find grouse activity typically increases following recent rains. Grouse prefer sites that transition from thick timber to open areas particularly with a forage component such as wild rose or snowberry. Quail densities increase in brushy areas adjacent to water. Hunters are also encouraged to place Grouse and Mountain quail wings in ODFW grouse wing barrels located along roads in district.

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.

Vehicle Access: New rules took affect that prohibit all recreational ATV use on the Wildlife Area, also camping is only allowed in designated camping areas. A parking permit is now required to use/park on the White River Wildlife Area along with other ODFW wildlife areas.

Cougar is all year or until zone mortality quotas have been met. Cougar can be found on White River Wildlife Area but are seldom seen. The annual migration of deer from higher in the Cascades will entice cougars to follow. Use weather to your advantage; look for tracks in snow, mud, and dirt. Remember to pick up a 2015 tag.

There are many coyotes prowling about this year. Try calling for them from open fields, meadows, and pastures. The best areas to find them will be near farm grounds on the eastern boundary.


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CENTRAL ZONE: WILDLIFE VIEWING

CROOK COUNTY

The Ochoco National Forest in wintertime is a great place for fresh air, scenery and deciphering animal tracks. Bring your snowshoes and be prepared to encounter tracks of many shapes and sizes. Also, be prepared for severe winter weather and driving conditions.

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.

The area is closed to motor vehicle access each winter until April 15. Maps of the wildlife area are available at the Prineville ODFW office, at Prineville Reservoir State Park office and the ODFW website. 12/29/14.

Deschutes County

Winter is an excellent time to view raptors around Deschutes County. Red-tailed hawks are one of the most numerous birds of prey and are commonly seen on fence and power poles scanning meadows, sagebrush, and other open areas for their next meal.

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 cattails.

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.

Mammal activity is minimal during the winter, but this is a good time to brush up on your snow tracking skills. 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. 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 couple of months. Likewise, reptiles are sequestered in their underground winter quarters and will remain there until warmer days return in March or April. 12/29/14.

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 Eagles. Bald eagles have returned and can be seen congregating at The Dalles Dam. The Dalles Dam Visitors Center is an excellent observation point where upwards of 40 eagles can be seen from that point.

A large variety of songbird species can be viewed in riparian areas along the river also. It is best to go birding in the early morning hours before it gets too hot for birds to be very active. Some common species seen include Bullock’s Oriole, Lazuli Bunting, Mourning Dove, Violet-green Swallow, and Cliff Swallow. 1/6/2015

White River Wildlife Area

Many deer have migrated out of the higher Cascades and onto the Wildlife Area. They are scattered and can be seen grazing and looking for food in many places. Some bucks have started dropping their antlers but most of them will lose them later in February and March. This is a good time of the year to get photos of some of the larger bucks that normally live higher in the mountains where they are seldom seen. 

Elk are being seen around the Wildlife Area in groups of 50 to 60 animals and sometimes more than 100 animals. When the weather is cold or snowy they can occasionally be seen from the viewing site off Rock Creek Rd./Hwy 48.  You will have to get up early in the morning just before daylight or later in the evening to see them. These elk are wild and do not normally stand around very long after they have been spotted.

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, 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. 1/27/15.


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SOUTHEAST ZONE: FISHING

Weekend fishing opportunities

  • The Klamath River below Keno Dam is open. This area typically provides excellent fishing for large redband trout.
  • Trout fishing has been good in Burns Pond.

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.

ANA RESERVOIR: hatchery rainbow trout, hybrid bass

The reservoir is extremely low. Launching boats is unlikely. Although fishing pressure at Ana Reservoir is typically low this time of year, fish are active with cooling temperatures. Hybrid bass are traditionally targeted using crank baits, however they are 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 potential new state record hybrid bass (white and striped bass cross) was caught in Ana Reservoir on Dec. 10. 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. 7.5 oz. The potential new state record is 1 ½ inches longer and ½ lb. heavier than the previous record of 18 lbs. 9 oz. caught in 2009.

ANA RIVER: hatchery rainbow trout

Fishing should be good for rainbow trout in Ana River. The Ana River is spring fed and rainbow trout are active throughout the year. The river was sampled on June 5 to evaluate the current stocking strategy and size of trout in the river. We found smaller trout (8 to 10-inches) were dominant from the dam for about 2 miles downstream. Larger trout up to 14-inches are more common in areas where access is more difficult. Anglers can access these trout by floating the river in a pontoon or float tube. 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. The roads paralleling the river are likely very muddy. Anglers can park at Ana Reservoir and hike down or park at the lower road crossing and hike up. Ana River is a good TROUT 365 fishery – good trout fishing 365 days a year.

ANNIE CREEK: brook trout, brown trout and rainbow trout

Closed to fishing until April 25, 2015. Bait will be allowed in Annie Creek beginning this year.

BALM CREEK RESERVOIR: rainbow trout, smallmouth bass, crappie

The reservoir has been drained. Trout will be restocked next spring.

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

No recent fishing report. The reservoir water level is very low with irrigation use and boat ramps are not useable. The reservoir may be partially or completely frozen over but the ice may not be safe for fishing. USBR crews have been tagging fish populations in the reservoir over the last several years. If you catch a tagged trout report it to the Hines office at 541-573-6582.

BLITZEN RIVER: redband trout

The Blitzen River has been flowing between 60 to 75 cfs with water temperatures below 5oF. Recent reports indicate that fishing around the Page Springs Campground has been slow and the water clarity has been poor following recent rain/snow on the Steens Mountain. The East Canal, Bridge Creek, mainstem Blitzen above Bridge Creek and the Little Blitzen River are open for catch-and-release fishing for trout. The South Loop Road is closed for the winter, which limits access to the upper portions of the Blitzen.

BLUE LAKE: hatchery rainbow trout

Blue Lake is likely frozen and you will probably encounter snow on your way. Fishing is not recommended at this time. 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 is a 1-2 hour hike. Fish were sampled by net and hook and line sampling. Rainbow trout ranged from 6 to 17-inches and were in healthy condition. The trout at this lake see little pressure and are easy to catch using flies, lures or bait.

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

The reservoir water level continues to decline and appears to be at about 25 percent capacity, as of Dec. 23. Boat ramp is not usable. No recent fishing report.

BURNS POND: trout, bass

Fishing has been good for legal-sized rainbow trout. About 2,000 legal (8 to 11-inches) rainbow trout were stocked in the pond the week of Oct. 3. Ice is present on the pond but do NOT expect it to be safe. Fishing should continue to be good for rainbow trout throughout the winter.

BURNT RIVER: rainbow trout

Closed to fishing until April 25, 2015.

CAMPBELL LAKE: brook trout, rainbow trout

Access could be blocked by snow and the lake is likely frozen.

CHEWAUCAN RIVER: redband trout

The river downstream of Paisley closed to trout fishing after Oct. 31. The river upstream of Hwy 31 at Paisley is open and the use of bait in this section of the river is PROHIBITED! Access across property owned by the J-Spear Ranch will be closed to anglers beginning after July 7, 2014. The ranch is taking this action as a fish conservation measure to protect fish during months when the water becomes warmer.

CHICKAHOMINY RESERVOIR: trout

No recent fishing reports. The reservoir is low and the boat ramp is out of the water by 10-15 feet. Ice has formed on the reservoir, BUT it is unknown whether it is safe for ice fishing or not.

COTTONWOOD MEADOWS: rainbow trout, brook trout

Access might be blocked by snow and the reservoir could be frozen.

COTTONWOOD RESERVOIR (Harney County): rainbow trout

No recent fishing reports. The reservoir is completely frozen over but it is not safe for fishing. Access to the reservoir may be limited when the temperature is above freezing and the road is muddy.

COTTONWOOD RESERVOIR (Lake County): native Redband Trout

No recent fishing reports.

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

No recent fishing reports. The upper lake is full and the lower one is dry. As of 2013, the lakes will no longer be stocked with rainbow trout due to poor habitat quality. Ice fisherman reported poor success for warm water species and trout in the winter of 2013/2014.

DEADHORSE LAKE: rainbow trout

Access might be blocked by snow and the lake is likely frozen. If the lake is accessible, fishing should be good.

DELINTMENT LAKE: trout

No recent fishing reports. Ice has formed on the reservoir, BUT it is unknown whether it is safe for ice fishing or not. Access to the lake may be limited with recent snowfall. Carry chains and a shovel when attempting to access the lake.

DEMING CREEK: redband trout

Fishing is closed until April 25, 2015.

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

No reports but the lake is likely frozen.

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

No recent reports. The lake is likely starting to freeze but the ice is likely still unsafe for ice fishing.

DUNCAN RESERVOIR: rainbow trout

No recent reports.

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. Fishing should be good for brook trout. 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

Conditions at the lake are cold and snowy. The road into Fourmile might be blocked by snow. Anglers can call Lake of the Woods Resort for more information. The lake is 28 percent full. Fourmile Lake levels

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

No recent report but the reservoir is likely frozen. The lake is only 10 percent full, which makes launching boats challenging if possible. Fishing is slow. No recent reports but Gerber Reservoir is likely beginning to freeze but currently unsafe for ice fishing.

HAINES POND: rainbow

The pond was stocked with trophy-sized rainbow trout in late September. The pond is now ice-covered.

HEART LAKE: rainbow trout, kokanee

No recent reports.

HOLBROOK RESERVOIR: rainbow trout

The reservoir is likely frozen and inaccessible.

HWY 203 POND: trout, bass, bluegill

The pond is now ice-covered.

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

J.C. Boyle Reservoir is ice free. Fishing is slow for warmwater fish such as crappie, pumpkinseed sunfish and brown bullhead catfish. The reservoir is turbid therefore 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

Both lakes are ice free. The lakes are still turbid but have been clearing with the calm weather. A few fish are being caught by shore anglers using bait. Fishing is generally slow with catch rates averaging 7 hours per redband from boat and 30 hours per redband from the shore. The lake is 2.3 feet below full pool. Water temperature has increased to 40 degrees. Fishing should improve with the continuing warmer weather. ODFW encourages catch and release as this fishery is managed for trophy trout. Redband trout average 21 inches in the fishery. Redband trout captured should not be removed from the water, resuscitated by cradling and pumping gills by moving fish back and forth through the water. It is unlawful to continue to fish for the same type of fish after taking and retaining a catch or possession limit.

Upper Klamath Lake is a good TROUT 365 fishery – good trout fishing 365 days a year.

KLAMATH RIVER: native rainbow-redband trout

The section from Keno Dam to J.C. Boyle Reservoir is open to fishing. Fishing is slow but is the best bet for winter fishing in the Klamath Area. The current flow is 468 cfs. Water clarity is good for this area. Water temperatures are averaging around 40 degrees. Flows are ideal for a successful fishing winter outing. The Klamath River is a rugged river with extremely difficult wading. The river is also always turbid. ODFW recommends wearing studded wading shoes, wading belt, and polarized glasses to observe boulders. Fish can also be landed easier with a landing net in the fast pocket water. Most fish being captured are less than 16 inches. Most fish are feeding on minnows. Fishing remains open throughout the fall and winter.

The Klamath River between JC Boyle Dam to JC Boyle Powerhouse offers fair spinner fishing. 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 much warmer in this section. Fishing is best below the spring inputs. This section of river requires a hike down steep grade to the river with the exception of the area just above the powerhouse.

Below the JC Boyle powerhouse the fish get slightly larger than the aforementioned reach and average 12 inches but rarely exceed sixteen inches. 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. Most fish are in the 6-8 inch range but numerous 12 inch fish can be caught with 16 inches the maximum. Flows will be high through most daylight hours and unpredictable. The past week the fishable flows have occurred around 2- 3 pm. Flow release estimates have been discontinued until next spring.

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

KRUMBO RESERVOIR: trout, bass

A recent change in Malheur National Wildlife Refuge policy has allowed year-round fishing at this reservoir. However, no ice-fishing is allowed. The 2015 angling regulations will note the year-round angling regulation. Anglers have reported moderate success for rainbow trout up to 19-inches on Dec. 23. For information regarding winter conditions on Krumbo Reservoir, please contact the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge.

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

Call Lake of the Woods Resort for recent reports Toll Free at 866-201-4194. The lake is frozen. Call Lake of the Woods for ice conditions. The ice might be unsafe for ice fishing. Fishing for brown trout can be fair this time of year as they move into the shallows and also feed aggressively after the spawn. Yellow perch can also be caught using small bait.

LOFTON RESERVOIR: rainbow trout

No recent reports. The lake is likely frozen. Snow and mud will make accessing the reservoir challenging.

LONG CREEK: brook trout, redband trout, bull trout

Long Creek is closed to fishing until April 25, 2015.

LOST RIVER: largemouth bass, brown bullhead, yellow perch

Lost River is open to fishing all year. All of the Lost River is ice-free. Public access is available at Crystal Springs day use area. Anglers can fish from the specifically designed bridge for fishing at this location. 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. The Lost River is open to fishing year round.

MALHEUR RESERVOIR: hatchery rainbow trout

Recent reports indicate that the reservoir is dry.

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

Water releases from Warm Springs Reservoir are less than 1 cfs as of Jan. 27 and the reservoir is at dead-pool. Fishing is poor.

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

No recent fishing reports. Ice is present on portions of the river which may limit access for fishing.

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: trout

No recent fishing reports, but anglers had been catching good numbers of large cutthroat trout this spring. Most fish are 14 to 16-inches long, with several over 20-inches being caught. Ice may be present on the lake BUT it is not safe for ice fishing.

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

No recent reports. Access might be blocked by snow and the lake could be frozen. Anglers can call the Chemult Ranger District of the USFS (541-365-7001) for more information. The 12 mile gravel road into Miller Lake is in horrible condition with numerous washboards. The dock has been taken out for the winter and the bathrooms with running water have been closed.

MUD LAKE: hatchery rainbow trout

No recent fishing reports. Mud Lake is frozen. Road is likely very muddy

MURRAY RESERVOIR: trout

Fishing should improve with cooler fall temperatures.

NORTH POWDER POND: rainbow trout

The pond was stocked with trophy-sized rainbow trout in late September. The pond is not yet ice-covered.

OVERTON RESERVOIR: rainbow trout

No recent reports but the reservoir is likely frozen. Access to the reservoir is likely difficult due to snow or mud.

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

No recent fishing reports, but angling is expected to be slow. Two boat ramps are useable based on the Bureau of Reclamation webpage.

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

Water releases below the dam have been around 12 cfs as of Jan 27. The river was clear of ice on Dec. 23 but was very cloudy from the dam downstream to the tunnel. There were lots of fisherman on the river during the week of Dec. 22 and reports indicate that fishing was slow but there were a lot of fish present. A small mid-day insect hatch was observed and fisherman reported using small (size 20 and smaller) flies with some success.

OWYHEE RIVER (Upper): smallmouth bass and channel catfish

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

PHILLIPS RESERVOIR: trout, perch

The reservoir is at 20 percent of capacity. The reservoir is now ice-covered. A second batch of tiger muskie were released into the reservoir in early July of 2014. Anglers are reminded that tiger muskie are restricted to catch-and-release only. No harvest or removal from the reservoir is allowed. The last stocking of legal-sized rainbow trout occurred late June. In early May 2014, 7,500 tiger trout were released. These fish were 8 to 10-inches when released and should be much larger by winter. As with the tiger muskie, fishing for tiger trout is restricted to catch-and-release only.

PILCHER RESERVOIR: trout

The reservoir closed to fishing until April 25, 2015.

POISON CREEK RESERVOIR: hatchery rainbow trout

Ice has formed on the reservoir and was around 5 to 7-inches thick near the dam but recent warm weather has decreased the quality and thickness of the ice making it unsafe for fishing. The limit is 2 per day; please respect the fishing regulations for the reservoir.

POLE CREEK RESERVOIR: hatchery rainbow trout

No recent fishing reports. Access to the reservoir may be difficult due to snow, mud or ice.

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

Closed to fishing until April 25, 2015. Sevenmile Creek above Nicholson road will be open to the use of bait beginning this year.

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

Access is blocked by snow and all lakes are frozen.

SHERLOCK GULCH RESERVOIR: rainbow trout

No recent reports, but fish should be available for anglers to catch.

SPRING CREEK: redband trout, brown trout and brook trout

Closed to fishing until May 23, 2015. Large numbers of redband trout continue to spawn on Spring Creek at Collier State Park and make for great fish watching. Spawning by redband trout is peaking right now with over 300 redband trout spawning at Collier State Park.

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

Closed to fishing until April 25, 2015.

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

Closed to fishing until April 25, 2015. The North Fork Sprague above the 3372 road will be open for bait beginning this year.

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

Closed to fishing until April 25, 2015.

SUN CREEK: brook trout, bull trout, brown trout

Closed to fishing until April 25, 2015.

SYCAN RIVER: brook trout, redband trout

Closed to fishing until April 25, 2015.

THOMPSON RESERVOIR: rainbow trout, largemouth bass

No recent fishing reports but the reservoir is likely frozen. Water levels at the reservoir are lower than normal, but trout and bass are still available for anglers.

THIEF VALLEY RESERVOIR: trout

The reservoir was drained by the Lower Powder River Irrigation District in September 2014. The reservoir was not restocked with rainbow trout in November due to low water. No opportunity for ice fishing will exist this winter. Stocking plans for spring 2015 will be dependent on water supply.

UNITY RESERVOIR: trout, bass, crappie

The reservoir is at about 31 percent of capacity and is now ice-covered. Anglers are reminded that a new regulation restricts the harvest of bass to those under 15-inches long.

VEE LAKE: rainbow trout

The lake is likely frozen and inaccessible.

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

No recent fishing reports. The reservoir is at dead-pool. Mud, snow or ice will make accessing the reservoir difficult.

LOWER WILLIAMSON RIVER: redband and brown trout

Closed to fishing until May 23, 2015 to protect spawning redband trout.

UPPER WILLIAMSON RIVER: redband and brook trout

Closed to fishing until April 25, 2015.

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

No recent reports. You can access the reservoir but fishing will likely be slow for warmwater fish.

WOLF CREEK RESERVOIR: crappie, trout

The reservoir is now covered with 6-8 inches of ice. Fishing has been fair for 9 to 12-inch rainbows.

WOOD RIVER and all tributaries: redband, brown, brook and bull trout

Closed to fishing until April 25, 2015.

YELLOWJACKET LAKE: trout

About 4,000 legal (8 to 11-inches) rainbow trout were stocked into the lake during the week of Oct. 3. Ice has formed on the lake and was around 5-7 inches thick near the boat launch but recent warm weather may have decreased the quality and thickness of the ice making it unsafe for fishing. Prior fishing reports from Jan. 12 indicate that fishing was good with catches of around 4-6 fish per hour in 11-12 feet of water. Fish sizes were 10 to 12-inches. Pink was the color of choice for these trout.


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SOUTHEAST ZONE: HUNTING

OPEN: COUGAR, UPLAND BIRD (remaining seasons close Jan. 31)

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

Hunting maps for Harney County

Upland Game Bird season continues through January 31, 2015. From late winter through summer of 2014, extremely dry weather persisted across much of SE Oregon which was poor for habitat. Recent precipitation may help bird populations by providing some much needed fall green up. Overall chukar and quail populations are expected to be similar to the past two seasons, and are still below the 10 year average. Pheasant season closed Dec. 31.

Only one antlerless ELK hunt is still open through January 31, 2015.

Cougar hunting is open. Populations are healthy and distributed throughout the district in any area with a big game prey base. Successful hunters must check-in cougars no more than 10 days after harvest; please bring cougar in thawed and with mouth propped open for easier tissue sampling, teeth collection and tagging. Remember to pick up a 2015 tag.

Coyote populations are fairly low 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

Duck and Canada goose seasons are now closed.

Mountain quail season closes Jan. 31.

Cougar hunting is open year around. Populations are healthy and distributed throughout the district in any area with a big game prey base. Cougars at this time of year are generally concentrated along with their primary prey of deer and elk 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 fairly low throughout Klamath County. Be aware that bobcats and cougars may respond to predator calls, and separate licensing and season limitations exist for these species.

KLAMATH WILDLIFE AREA

Klamath Wildlife Area is open to hunting during the general waterfowl and upland game bird seasons. Please see the regulations for specific hunt information about hunting at Klamath Wildlife Area. Federally approved non-toxic shot is required for all game bird hunting on the Klamath Wildlife Area.

About half of the wildlife area is frozen at present and should continue to thaw as warm temperatures continue to be expected. (1/21/2015)

Gorr Island Unit

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

Shoalwater Bay Unit and Sesti Tgawaals Unit

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

Miller Island Unit

The Miller Island Unit is located 6 miles south and west of Klamath Falls. The Miller Island Unit is open to hunting on authorized hunt days (please see the 2014-15 Oregon Game Bird Regulations for more information). All three Units of Klamath Wildlife Area are now open during the designated 2014-15 shooting hours. A self-serve permit is required and can be obtained at the check station. Federally approved non-toxic shot is required for all hunting.

Waterfowl Hunting

Klamath Basin waterfowl numbers are available on the US Fish and Wildlife website.

For weekly updated hunt statistics please see ODFW Klamath Wildlife Area Harvest Summaries for more information.

A Wildlife Area Parking Permit is now required to park on the Wildlife Area. Cost is $7 daily or $22 annually. Free with purchase of hunting license; just be sure to put it on your dashboard. Buy online or at an ODFW office that sells licenses or at a license sales agent.

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

LAKE COUNTY

Cougar hunting is open. 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. January has started out wet and mild. Throughout the county deer are using transition ranges between 5800 and 6500 feet. These areas are predominately forest vegetation.

Upland Bird – Chukar and quail seasons close Jan. 31.

Coyote Calls mimicking prey distress sounds will be effective through the fall and early winter. Be aware that bobcats and cougars may respond to predator calls, and separate licensing and season limitations exist for these species.

SUMMER LAKE WILDLIFE AREA

This section was updated on January 27, 2015

The fifteenth week of hunting season was good for migratory and fair for upland birds. Hunter participation was down compared to the same week of the season last year. Decoy hunters willing to spend time in the field did good, while pass shooters did very poorly. Upland bird hunting pressure remains very light.

Weather conditions were generally mild all of the past week. Temperatures were mild all week; high temperatures in the 40s to mid-50s and the lows ranged from 17 to 24 degrees F. Winds were exceptionally calm all week. Mild temperatures has resulted in open water conditions and very little ice cover across the wildlife area by the weekend.

For the 15th week of the season, hunter participation (82 check-in) was down (-18.8%) from last year and reported harvest (96.3% check-out) of 135 birds (102 ducks, 20 Canada geese, 3 coots and 10 quail) was up  considerably (66.7%) from the same week of the season last year. The bird per hunter average of 1.34 was down -17.8% from 2014.

Duck harvest was reported to consist of 47 mallards, 13 bufflehead, 22 American wigeon, 7 ringneck, 3 gadwall, 4 northern pintail, 2 N. shoveler, 1 wood duck and 3 canvasback.. The duck per hunter average of 1.34 was up 75.8% from the same week last year.

Twenty (20) Canada geese were reported taken during the week which was up by 4 times from the same week last year when 5 were harvested. Snow and white-fronted geese are now closed for the remainder of the season.

Ten (10) California quail and 3 Am. Coots were harvested.

ALL MIGRATORY BIRD (Ducks, Geese, Coots and snipe) HUNTING SEASONS ARE NOW CLOSED.

CALIFORNIA QUAIL SEASON WILL REMAIN OPEN THROUGH SATURDAY JANUARY 31ST.

Habitat conditions remain good, there is no snow cover and considerable green-up is evident. 

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

The Check Station lobby area is open and daily hunting permits are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Hunters will need current year hunting licenses with appropriate HIP and Game Bird validations. PLEASE REMEMBER: 2015 HUNTING LICENSES ARE NOW REQUIRED. Federal Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamps (duck stamps) are required for hunters over 16 years and are available from US Post Offices and sometimes license agents. Stamps must be signed across the face in ink to be valid for hunting.

Youths under 18 year of age must have a hunter education card (or certification on their hunting license) in their possession. Please consult the 2014-2015 Oregon Game Bird Regulations for licensing requirements and bag limits.

Please remember, posted refuges are closed to all hunting. Non-toxic shot is required for all game bird hunting on the wildlife area. Please contact Summer Lake Wildlife Area at (541) 943-3152 or email martin.j.stlouis@state.or.us for additional information.

MALHEUR COUNTY

Mild weather in recent weeks has resulted in slow hunting for waterfowl and difficult access off of improved roads. Forecasted cold weather this week should improve waterfowl hunting and access for chukar hunting.

Cougar hunting is open. Populations are healthy and distributed throughout the district in any area with a big game prey base. Successful hunters must check-in cougars no more than 10 days after harvest; please bring cougar in thawed and with mouth propped open for easier tissue sampling, teeth collection and tagging. Remember to pick up a 2015 tag.

Coyote hunting is available throughout the district. Areas with livestock feeding and calving operations are strong attractors for coyotes this time of year.

UPLAND BIRDS

Remaining seasons end Jan. 31.


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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 have moved onto lower elevations as daylight hours have dwindled. Mule deer can be found in foothill areas around the basin.

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. 12/29/14.

KLAMATH COUNTY

With winter setting in, it’s a good time to stock your bird feeders. It’s also a good idea to clean your feeder periodically through the winter to reduce spread of diseases.

Swans have arrived in the Klamath Basin offering excellent viewing and photographing opportunity. While the vast majority of the individuals present are tundra swans, occasionally a trumpeter swan can be observed. Flooded fields north of Klamath falls adjacent to the Running Y ranch/resort have recently held several hundred swans. Limited highway pull-offs exist. Please use caution on this often icy stretch of highway.

A great opportunity for wildlife viewing is right in Klamath Falls with several options available. The Wingwatchers Trail starts right at Veterans Park along Lake Ewauna in downtown and the Link River Trail is accessed from Lakeshore Drive. Many aquatic birds can viewed as well as passerine species.

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

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

Fall migration has concluded for mule deer and they are now readily observed on lower elevation winter ranges. Please note that many high density winter ranges are closed to motorized travel to protect wintering big game, which are particularly vulnerable to disturbance during this difficult time of year. Foot traffic, cross country skiing, and snowshoeing are great ways of accessing these restricted areas on public land, but be aware that private lands may not be posted.

Ask for permission from the landowner before entering private lands. Please watch for game and use caution while traveling on area highways and county roads. 1/20/15.

Klamath Wildlife Area (Miller Island)

This section was updated on January 26, 2015.

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. Learn more.

The majority of the wildlife area is ice free except for some areas early in the morning. Conditions should remain similar with the mild forecasted weather for this coming week.

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

Waterfowl

Great Basin Canada geese continue to be a common site on the area, while white-fronted and snow geese can also now be found, but are still in small numbers. Canvasback, scaup, ruddy duck, bufflehead and common and barrows goldeneye are now concentrated on the Klamath River.

Large numbers of Tundra swans along with the occasional Trumpeter swan are also using the area. Some dabbler species can be seen on the area as they have started their northern migration.

Shorebirds, waders and other waterbirds

Ring-billed gulls continue to be a common site on the area, but continue to decline in numbers as winter progresses.

Raptors

Great horned and barn owls can be seen at dusk. Red-tailed hawks, northern harriers, cooper hawks, prairie falcons and American bald eagles can be seen foraging throughout the wildlife area.

Upland Game Birds

California quail are scattered around the old homesteads and the headquarters area.

Passerines

Mourning and Eurasian collared dove can still be found scattered over the area. American goldfinches, house finches, white crowned sparrows 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-leaved cattail and are very numerous.

Klamath Basin waterfowl numbers are available on the US Fish and Wildlife website.

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

Swans and Snow Geese started moving into the county this weekend. These are the earliest spring migrants and indicate the start of spring migration. If the mild wet conditions persist spring staging habitat should be substantially better than last year.

Winter resident raptors are common throughout the major valleys in the county. Bald and golden eagles are common. 1/13/15.

Summer Lake Wildlife Area

This section was updated on January 27, 2015.

Summer Lake Wildlife Area requires a calendar year 2015 $7 daily parking permit or a $22 annual parking permit. Parking permits can be purchased at any ODFW license agent or through the ODFW website. Locally, parking permits can be purchased at the Summer Lake Store, 1.3 miles north of Headquarters.

CALENDAR YEAR 2015 PARKING PERMITS ARE NOW REQUIRED.

Vehicle access to the Wildlife Viewing Loop and major dike roads (Windbreak and Work Road) is now open. Lateral/spur dikes and levees remain closed to motor vehicles but are open for other access.

Wetland conditions are good; a majority of the area’s wetlands are open and very little ice cover remains. Emergent vegetation is lodged-over due to recent strong winds.

Waterfowl

Waterfowl populations are beginning to increase from low wintering numbers as spring migration is starting. Following the end of hunting season, birds are widely dispersed across the entire wildlife area. The weekly count conducted on January 21 found about 4,800 ducks representing 14 species, over 1,500 geese (Canada, lesser snow and greater-white fronted) and nearly 1,700 swans.

Lesser snow goose numbers continue to increase with the arrival of northward migrants; over 500 were found on the weekly survey.
Swan numbers doubled from the previous week.

Migrant trumpeter swan numbers remain fairly strong with nearly 60 present on the weekly count. A few 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) and two side-ways laying numerals that are read from the body toward the head.

Shorebirds, waders and other waterbirds

Shorebird numbers are at their low wintering levels now, no early migrants have been detected. Only three species (killdeer, greater yellowlegs and Wilson’s snipe) can be expected to be found at this time.

American coot numbers are increasing, over 100 were tallied on the weekly count. Grebes remain at low number now, but a few species can still be found. American bittern and great blue herons can still be found.

Raptors and others

Wintering raptors, especially northern harriers, red-tailed hawks, bald eagles and rough-legged hawk can be found scattered throughout the Wildlife Area as well as on private lands along Hwy 31. Red-shouldered hawks, golden eagles, American kestrel and prairie falcons as well as accipiters (Cooper’s and sharp-shinned hawk) can sometimes be observed.

Great horned owls were found scattered across the entire wildlife area, especially in the trees at campgrounds and are becoming fairly vocal now.

Upland game birds

Fair numbers of California quail can be found and pheasants are difficult to observe at this time.

Passerines

Eurasian collared doves remain very numerous at Headquarters Complex. Mourning doves are occasionally observed.

American and lesser goldfinches continue to be observed in good numbers at Headquarters. Song sparrows are very common along dikes and levees. A brown creeper, bushtits and a mountain chickadee was observed at the Headquarters feeder over the past week.  The Harris’ sparrow returned, and several golden-crowned sparrows were observed.

Of interest was the very early report of a migrant tree swallow at the River Ranch Barn early in the week.

Wintering Townsend’s solitaires, American robins, evening grosbeaks and sometimes cedar waxwings are fairly abundant around Headquarters now. Marsh wrens and song sparrows can be found in dense stands of tall emergent hardstem bulrush and broad-leaved cattail and are very numerous.

Blackbird numbers are low at this time, although a few small flocks and scattered individuals continue to be observed.

Facilities and Access

Please remember: Calendar year 2015 parking permits are required beginning on January 1, 2015!

Summer Lake Wildlife Area requires a $7 daily parking permit or a $22 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.

The Wildlife Viewing Loop and major dike roads (Windbreak and Work Road) are now open for motor vehicle traffic.

Lateral dikes and spur levees remain closed to motor vehicles but other access is permitted.

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

Currently most of the wildlife area’s wetlands are open and ice-free due to recent moderating temperatures.

Summer Lake continues to increase in size at this time. A good amount of water is flowing into the northern portion of the lake now.

Emergent wetland vegetation remains fairly robust across all wetland areas now and much of it is lodged over due to recent strong winds.

Upland habitat remains in excellent condition with considerable residual vegetation that is providing high quality food and cover for many wildlife species. The ground is snow free at this time. Planted tree and shrub plots are providing excellent sheltered sites for many wildlife species.

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


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NORTHEAST ZONE: FISHING

Weekend fishing opportunities:

  • Steelhead fishing on the upper Umatilla River continues to be good and angler effort is picking up in the Pendleton area.  
  • Anglers are still making successful steelhead trips to the lower Imnaha. Flows have maintained and are still providing some great conditions for catching steelhead.

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 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.

BULL PRAIRIE RESERVOIR: rainbow and brook trout

Remains open to fishing all year. The reservoir has frozen but proceed with caution as the ice may be too thin to support anglers. Approximately 200 trophy rainbow trout were stocked last fall and should provide fishing all winter. Brook trout are also available.

GRANDE RONDE RIVER: steelhead

The Grande Ronde River flows jumped last week but anglers were still finding a few fish. If flows continue to drop, this great year of fishing should continue. Look for angling to continue to be good into March when flows and water conditions make fishing difficult. With cooling water temps look for fish to move to calmer water where they can conserve energy while holding. A healthy proportion of two salt fish has resulted in a large average size this year. So, expect a few larger fish and some screaming drags! Remember, only adipose-fin clipped rainbow trout may be retained and all bull trout must be released unharmed.

HOLLIDAY PARK POND: rainbow trout

Remains open all year. Trophy trout were stocked last fall and should provide good fishing for the remainder of the winter. Proceed with caution if pond is iced over. Ice may be too thin to support anglers.

IMNAHA RIVER: steelhead

Anglers are still making successful steelhead trips to the lower Imnaha. Flows have maintained and are still providing some great conditions for catching steelhead. Angling will pick up in late February and March. Both fly and gear fisherman have fared well all winter.

JOHN DAY RIVER: steelhead

Below zero temperatures have frozen the river. Warmer temperatures are predicted and should melt the ice by this weekend. However this may result in water that is too muddy for fishing. Steelhead are scattered from the mouth up to Kimberly. ODFW encourages all anglers to keep any ad-clipped steelhead taken in this fishery. All wild (adipose intact) steelhead must be released unharmed.

Check John Day River flows

LONG CREEK POND, CAVENDER POND: trout

Remains open all year. Proceed with caution if pond is iced over. Ice may be too thin to support anglers. Trophy trout were stocked last fall and should provide fishing all winter.

MAGONE LAKE: rainbow and brook trout

Remains open all year. Proceed with caution if lake is iced-over. Ice may be too thin to support anglers.

PEACH POND (Ladd Marsh): rainbow trout

The pond was stocked with trophy-sized rainbow trout in late September. The pond has no ice cover yet.

ROULET POND: rainbow trout

The pond was stocked with trophy-sized rainbow trout in late September. The pond has no ice cover yet.

ROWE CREEK RESERVOIR: rainbow trout

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

UMATILLA FOREST PONDS: trout

The forest ponds remain open to angling year around and can provide a good opportunity for ice fishing during the winter months.

UMATILLA RIVER: steelhead

Steelhead fishing was good last weekend with upper river anglers averaging 4.1 hours per steelhead caught. Flows have been up and down for the past several week, when the river is fishable catch rates have been good. River conditions are currently good, with flows in the Pendleton area below 1,000 cfs.

Steelhead are distributed though out the system. Anglers are find best success using bobbers and jigs and drift fishing for steelhead. Anglers should consult the synopsis for detailed regulations. Threemile Dam fish counts

WALLOWA LAKE: rainbow trout, kokanee, lake trout

Some rainbow trout are still available and tagged fish are occasionally being reported. Trout have been caught with a variety of methods but a simple rig with PowerBait has been most effective. If the cold weather continues and the lake freezes, ice fishing can be good for both kokanee and trout.

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.

WALLOWA RIVER: steelhead, mountain whitefish

Reports of successful steelhead trips have been surprisingly consistent for steelhead. The best time to catch steelhead on the Wallowa is normally late winter or early spring, but there are enough fish being caught currently to keep anglers interested. Keep an eye on the weekly recreation report for more information on river conditions.
Remember the Wallowa River is a whitefish factory.

Whitefish can be a great way to keep kids interested while steelhead fishing and can be great table fair. Simply tie in a small bead-head nymph dropper while fishing under a bobber rig and let the fun begin. Also, steelhead will often take a bead head nymph hanging under a jig.


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NORTHEAST ZONE: HUNTING

OPEN: COUGAR, UPLAND BIRD (remaining seasons close Jan. 31)

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

Closure of Wallowa Mountain Loop Road (Forest Road 39)

Chukar, Hun, and California Quail season end Jan. 31, 2015.

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 2015 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. 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 2015 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. With snow coming, tracking down a cougar is a possibility. However, locating a fresh, naturally made kill has the best chance of success.

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

UMATILLA COUNTY

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

Coyote are numerous throughout the District 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 2015.

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

Ladd Marsh Wildlife Area is open Saturday, Sunday, Wednesday and federal holidays Waterfowl seasons are closed. Quail season is open through January 31. Ladd Marsh Wildlife Area is open Saturday, Sunday, Wednesday and federal holidays during pheasant, quail, partridge and waterfowl seasons. Visitors are advised to carefully read posted signs and consult game bird regulations before entering the wildlife area.

Ladd Marsh harvest statistics

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. Wildlife hunters, viewers and anglers also need a parking permit to park on the wildlife area. Hunters receive a free parking permit with their hunting license. The $7 daily or $22 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. Parking permits are to be displayed on the vehicle dash. More information

WALLOWA COUNTY

Closure of Wallowa Mountain Loop Road (Forest Road 39)

Elk - Numbers of elk are strong throughout most of Wallowa County with good bull to cow ratios in all units. Most animals are now on winter ranges at lower elevations. Our last antlerless elk season for the year closed on Friday January 16th and success was moderate to high. While some elk have begun to move back out onto the Zumwalt Prairie, most are on the canyon slopes along the eastern edge of the Prairie where they are less accessible.

Chukar hunting is closing Jan. 31.

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 strong 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.


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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.

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

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

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. 12/30/14

GRANT COUNTY

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, 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.

Watch for deer and elk crossing the highways. 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.

Sandhill cranes have started to migrate through the valley. They are best viewed early in the morning along the John Day River. 12/29/14.

MORROW, GILLIAM and WHEELER COUNTIES

The first of our winter migrants has been spotted, a rough-legged hawk. As winter’s bite increases so will the number of rough-legged hawks in the area. Try any of the areas in the northern portion of the District to see one in the grasslands. As raptors continue their migration into winter, take a longer look at any hawks you spot on power poles, occasionally it is a rare species. Short-eared owls can be seen along most of the grasslands along the foothills of the District. Watch for the irregular wing beat of the owl, it is quite distinctive. We have had reports of a snowy owl near the Boardman Conservation Area. Access is limited but one may be able to see the owl from Immigrant Lane.

Deer are grouped for the winter and anywhere in the foothills is a good place to watch deer, river bottoms are best.

Waterfowl are starting to show up on the waterways of the District. Canada and snow geese can be seen along the Columbia in moderate numbers. While on the Columbia you can see, mallards, buffle-heads, teal, northern shovelers, scaup, American wigeon, and gadwall. 12/23/14.

UMATILLA COUNTY

Deer and elk are starting to orient to green-up areas of annual grass in the low and mid slope areas of the Blue Mountains. Large herds of elk will be intermingled in the trees at mid elevation areas. Deer will be more widespread with small groups present from near field edge to upper forest areas.

UNION COUNTY

Ladd Marsh Wildlife Area

Note: New this year: 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 $7 daily or $22 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 autoroute is closed to vehicles. The Tule Lake unit and most of the wildlife will close to all public entry Sunday, February 1 with the closing of the quail hunting season. Tule Lake will re-open March 1. The Glass Hill Unit will also be closed to all public entry beginning February 1.  Glass Hill will be closed through March 30 to benefit wintering wildlife. 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 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.

Water levels in ponds and wetlands are good. Waterfowl present in the area include Canada goose, greater white-fronted goose, common merganser and many duck species. About a dozen tundra swans were seen recently west of Hwy 203. More swans should arrive soon.

Large numbers of white-crowned sparrows have been found in shrubby areas along with song sparrows. Northern shrikes continue in several locations across the area. Feeders at HQ are hosting goldfinch, house finch, Cassin’s finch, black-capped chickadee, dark-eyed junco, song sparrow, flicker, collared-dove, house sparrow and California quail. A flock of evening grosbeaks have been at the feeders intermittently.

Raptors include Red-tailed Hawk, Northern Harrier, Rough-legged Hawk, Great horned and Barn Owls, Cooper’s and Sharp-shinned Hawks and American Kestrel.

A few warm, windless afternoons have given the place a spring feeling including Canada geese apparently checking out and claiming nest sites.

For more information on access rules for Ladd Marsh Wildlife Area, please consult the Oregon Game Bird Regulations or call the wildlife area (541) 963-4954. 1/20/14.

WALLOWA COUNTY

Winter is a good time to find raptors in the Wallowa Valley. Particularly common are red-tailed hawks, with many rough-legged hawks and bald eagles also present.

Of particular interest, this year is a gyrfalcon that has been wintering in the lower Prairie Creek area east of Enterprise for the last couple of weeks. View from county roads: try Dobbin Road and Bicentennial Lane. It is often seen on telephone poles or trees above ponds. Also, several merlins have been sighted in the area between Joseph and Enterprise. See bald eagles at Wallowa Lake.

Winter is a good time to view mule deer and white-tailed deer as they are more actively feeding during the limited hours of daylight this time of year. 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.

The elk on the Zumwalt Prairie have moved off the open prairie now and are on the slopes of the Imnaha and Snake River Canyons where they are more difficult to view. Once you find a herd, use binoculars or a spotting scope to observe the animals.

Large numbers of migrant 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 be seen feeding in agricultural fields and along streams around the county. Other winter migrants have begun to move into the area including several bald eagles, hooded mergansers, goldfinches, and both cedar and Bohemian waxwings. Of particular interest was a Cape May warbler that has been seen this past week in Enterprise. 1/27/15


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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 recent fishing 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 recent fishing report.

HELLS CANYON RESERVOIR: trout, crappie, bass, catfish

Approximately 800 adult steelhead were released into the reservoir in November. According to current Oregon fishing regulations, adipose fin-clipped steelhead released into Hells Canyon Reservoir are considered trout.

Neither a salmon/ steelhead harvest card nor Columbia Basin Endorsement are required for this fishery. The daily bag limit is three adipose fin-clipped trout over 20-inches.

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

Steelhead and trout fishing below Hells Canyon has been producing. Steelhead will be available throughout the winter and into the closure on April 15, 2015.

Barbless hooks are required when fishing for salmon, steelhead and sturgeon in Hells Canyon. Also remember a Columbia Basin Endorsement is required when fishing for salmon, steelhead and sturgeon in the Snake River.

Most anglers will access the canyon via jet boat launched at Heller Bar or Hells Canyon Dam. Oregon and Idaho regulations require barbless hooks in the Snake River when fishing for salmon, steelhead or sturgeon.

Get updated information on flow levels.

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

Catfish on the Snake River has been good, as is bowfishing for carp. Fishing for bass has been slow, most bass appear to be post-spawn and are trickier to catch. Bass fishing will improve gradually over the next few weeks.


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COLUMBIA RIVER ZONE: FISHING

Notice of Columbia River Compact/Joint State hearing: ODFW & WDFW have scheduled a Joint State hearing for 10 a.m. Wednesday, Jan. 28, 2015 at the Clark Regional Wastewater District office (8000 52nd Court, Vancouver, Washington). The purpose of this hearing is to review salmon and steelhead stock status and consider non-Indian commercial and recreational fishing seasons for spring Chinook in the Columbia River and Select Areas.

Weekend Fishing Opportunities:

  • Steelhead fishing was fair in Bonneville and The Dalles pools, and good in the John Day Pool last week.
  • Effective Jan. 1 through March 1, 2015 sturgeon retention is open in the Bonneville Pool. The catch guideline for Bonneville Pool is 1,100 legal white sturgeon. Boat anglers in the Bonneville Pool are catching a few legals.
  • Effective Jan. 1, 2015 sturgeon retention is open in The Dalles Pool until the respective guideline of 100 legal white sturgeon is met.  Anglers in The Dalles Pool are catching a few legals.
  • Effective Jan. 1, 2015 sturgeon retention is open in the John Day Pool until the respective guideline of 500 legal white sturgeon is met.
  • White sturgeon retention in the Columbia River below Bonneville Dam is closed but remains an option for catch-and-release fishing.

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

Salmon, Steelhead and Shad

The salmonid creel program on the lower Columbia will resume in February 2015.

Bonneville Pool (Columbia River between Bonneville Dam and The Dalles Dam):

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

The Dalles Pool (Columbia River between The Dalles Dam and John Day Dam):

Weekly checking showed no catch for eight bank anglers; and two unclipped steelhead released for three boats (six anglers).

John Day Pool (Columbia River above John Day Dam and John Day Arm):

Weekly checking showed no catch for 13 bank anglers; and one adipose fin-clipped steelhead kept, plus nine unclipped steelhead released for five boats (10 anglers).

STURGEON

Lower Columbia (below Bonneville Dam):

Closed to retention, catch-and-release only. No report.

Bonneville Pool (Columbia River between Bonneville Dam and The Dalles Dam): 

Weekly checking showed 16 sublegal sturgeon released for 49 bank anglers; and seven legal white sturgeon kept, plus two legal and 251 sublegal sturgeon released for 25 boats (69 anglers).

The Dalles Pool (Columbia River between The Dalles Dam and John Day Dam):

Weekly checking showed no catch for 11 bank anglers; and two legal white sturgeon kept, plus three oversize and 25 sublegal sturgeon released for 10 boats (23 anglers).

John Day Pool (Columbia River between John Day Dam and McNary Dam):

Weekly checking showed one oversize and one sublegal sturgeon released for 33 bank anglers; and 14 sublegal sturgeon released for 14 boats (32 anglers).

WALLEYE

Bonneville Pool:

Weekly checking showed no catch for two boats (three anglers).

The Dalles Pool:
Weekly checking showed two walleye kept, plus one walleye released for four boats (seven anglers).

John Day Pool (Columbia River between John Day Dam and McNary Dam):

Weekly checking showed eight walleye kept, plus two walleye released for five boats (eight anglers).


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MARINE ZONE: FISHING

Weekend opportunities:

  • When ocean conditions permit, bottom fishing has been good with many anglers getting limits of good-sized lingcod. With new regulations for blue, copper, quillback and China rockfish in place, ODFW has developed some tools to help anglers correctly identify these species.
  • This weekend will bring good clamming tides in the afternoons.

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

Prohibitions at Oregon’s marine reserves at Cascade Head, Cape Perpetua, Redfish Rocks and Otter Rock are in effect. Fishing, crabbing, clamming, hunting and gathering seaweed are all prohibited.

Beach walking, surfing, bird watching, diving and other non-extractive uses continue to be allowed. See complete details and a map of the boundaries of the reserves:

PACIFIC HALIBUT

The International Pacific Halibut Commission (IPHC) will set 2015 quotas for all areas in late January 2015. More information on the 2015 seasons will be available after that time.

BOTTOM FISHING

The ocean is open to bottom fishing at all depths. This past week was a good one for charter fishing, with trips going out of major ports every day.  Most returned early with rockfish limits and moderate-to-good lingcod catches during the early part of the week.  Private boats that went out during the week did well on both rockfish and lingcod, although some focused just on lingcod.  Larger swells starting last Friday brought bar restrictions, and while charters got out and brought back limits of rockfish, small boat activity in the ocean was limited.  Many anglers out to enjoy the weekend’s beautiful weather opted to try for estuary fish.  In Yaquina Bay, there were some good catches of greenling and sizeable striped surfperch. 

The marine fish daily bag limit is seven fish. China, copper, and quillback rockfish may not be retained; and only three blue rockfish may be retained per day (as part of the 7-fish bag). Sometime in March, once a parallel federal rule is adopted, ODFW will announce that anglers can retain one canary rockfish as part of the marine fish daily bag limit.  Cabezon is closed Jan. 1 through June 30.

There are separate daily limits for lingcod (two) and flatfish other than Pacific halibut (25). Remember: 5 species of rockfish may not be retained: yelloweye, china, copper, quillback, and canary.

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?” All are available on ODFW’s website.

The Stonewall Bank Yelloweye Rockfish Conservation Area, approximately 15 miles west of Newport, and Marine Reserves are closed to the take of rockfish, lingcod, flatfish and other species in the groundfish group (pages 95-98 of the 2015 Oregon Sport Fishing Regulations book). The waypoints (page 97 of the 2015 Oregon Sport Fishing Regulations book) are:

ID       Latitude        Longitude
1        44o 37.46'     124o 24.92'
2        44o 37.46'     124o 23.63'
3        44o 28.71'     124o 21.80'
4        44o 28.71'     124o 24.10'
5        44o 31.42'     124o 25.47'

SHELLFISH

Razor clams

This year’s Clatsop beaches stock assessment survey found the highest number of razor clams since ODFW began conducting the surveys in 2004. About 16 million razor clams inhabit the 18-mile stretch of beach located between the Columbia River south jetty and Tillamook Head. This estimate of clam abundance is significantly greater than the previous peak of 9 million clams in 2005. The average size of clams at the time of the survey was a little over 2 ½ inches, and only a few larger than 4-inches were found. Currently, this very abundant age class has grown to about 4 inches. Razor clams were distributed fairly evenly along the entire stretch of beach.

Due to the large number of small razor clams on the beach, diggers should be highly selective about which shows they pursue. Harvesters are reminded they must retain the first 15 clams regardless of size or condition.

During the fall and winter months, low tide series are in the evening so harvesters should plan ahead. Razor clam harvesters should pay close attention to the surf forecasts and be on the beach one to two hours before low tide. If the forecast calls for combined seas over 8 or 10 feet, razor clamming can be very difficult because the clams tend to show much less in those conditions.

Bay clams

Low tides as high as +1.0 to +2.0 feet can still allow clamming opportunities, especially for purple varnish clams that can sometimes be found when the tide is as high as +4.0 feet. There are limited good clamming tides during daylight hours this month, with some opportunities possible during the last week of January. Evening clamming can be productive and fun – don’t forget your headlamp, and keep an eye on the water, especially on beaches when the surf is up, as is forecast for portions of this week and the coming weekend. When able to get out digging, sport clammers should be able to collect daily limits of cockles, gaper clams and butter clams from the popular sites in Tillamook, Netarts, Siletz, Yaquina, Alsea, and Coos bays and several other locations along the coast.

Recreational shellfish safety status, as of Jan. 27:

  • Razor clams remain closed from the Oregon/California border north to Heceta Head (north of Florence) due to elevated levels of domoic acid. The closure includes razor clams on all beaches, rocks, jetties, and at the entrance to bays in this section of the Oregon Coast. Opportunities to collect razor clams are still available along Oregon beaches north of Heceta Head.
  • Mussels are open along the entire Oregon coast.
  • Due to potential biotoxins, consuming whole scallops is not recommended. However, a scallop’s adductor muscle does not accumulate biotoxins and may be safe for consumption. Scallops are not being sampled for biotoxins at this time.

The Oregon Department of Agriculture's shellfish safety hotline is toll free and provides the most current information regarding shellfish safety closures. Please call the hotline before harvesting: 1-800-448-2474. Press 1 for biotoxin closures and 2 for general safety recommendations. For more information, call ODA’s Food Safety Program at (503) 986-4720 or visit the ODA shellfish closures web page.

Check out the recreational shellfish pages on the ODFW website. The pages contain everything you need to know for identifying and harvesting Oregon’s clams, including maps of individual estuaries that show where to crab and clam.

Crabs

Sport ocean crabbing in the ocean and bay remains slow. Keep in mind that major rain events can dramatically lower the salinity in some bays and prompt crab to move lower in the bay or out to the ocean. Check out the monthly crabbing report for data by port.

Some sport crabbers have difficulty correctly measuring the minimum size for Dungeness crab, which is 5 3⁄4 inches measured in a straight line across the back immediately in front of, but not including, the points. See an illustration showing the correct measurement (jpg).


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MARINE ZONE: WILDLIFE VIEWING

Seabirds

Winter is a great time to see a variety of ducks in bays, estuaries, and sheltered coastal waters. Look for the striking Greater Scaup, Bufflehead, and Hooded Merganser (see photos).

Keep an eye out for snowy owls – scientists tracking these arctic birds report that a seasonal mass southward migration from Canada is occurring, possibly due to boom and bust cycles of arctic lemmings.  So far, the large white birds seem to be concentrated in the western Great Lakes area, but snowy owls have been sighted in several locations on the Oregon coast from Reedsport north in recent years, including the South Beach peninsula in Newport, Salishan Spit in Lincoln City, Netarts Bay, and the Columbia River south jetty.  There have been several snowy owl sightings this month at Fern Ridge Reservoir near Eugene. 

The Audubon Society reports sightings of snowy owls and other rare birds at http://audubonportland.org/local-birding/mrare-bird-alert, and if you are lucky enough to see one, you can submit your report to them.  If you get a photo, we’d love to see it!

Check out the Oregon Coast Birding Trail website for birding hotspots and self-guided itineraries for birders in any area of the Oregon Coast. Some especially great places to view seabirds and perhaps a bald eagle are Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area (the deck behind the lighthouse); Heceta Head State Park (the viewing area in front of the lighthouse); Cape Meares State Scenic Viewpoint (the north deck by the parking lot); and Ecola State Park (the westernmost viewing platform at Ecola Point overlook).

Coastal Wildlife Viewing Highlight: Yaquina Bay South Jetty

Looking for a great place to spend some time outdoors with family? Bird and wildlife watching is easy on the Yaquina Bay South Jetty Road in Newport. This is an ideal excursion in any weather, and is good for all ages. It is very flat (easy walking), and the birds and wildlife are always there! Bring binoculars or a spotting scope for up-close viewing.

To get there, from the South Beach peninsula in Newport turn onto South Jetty road and drive past the residences at the beginning of the roadway. Once clear of the northside buildings, the breakwater makes a cove. Begin to scan the water for harbor seals. You will see a nose, or flipper or a head. Stop and watch them—they seem to like company. A few adults and two or three pups are often spotted there.

To the west of the cove toward the ocean is the first of three boulder breakwaters. If the rocks are visible (low to mid tide), you could see surf scoters, coots, buffleheads, surf scoters, great blue herons, grebes, and two types of cormorants. Between the first and second breakwaters there are usually buffleheads, grebes and loons. Sometimes harbor seals are resting on the rocks, as well.

The second breakwater is usually a fishing spot, but be on the lookout for the same types of birds.

The third breakwater is frequented by brown pelicans. Watch them as they stand into the wind and sleep, stretch; preen and yawn! There will be cormorants and other waterfowl. A ruddy turnstone was there in the morning on Monday.

After the third breakwater look for animals feeding in the water—usually cormorants, surf scoters and sea lions!

As you make your way back toward the bridge, look for the marsh hawk on the south side of the roadway. The marsh hawk can be identified by its tan topside with a white rump patch, and white underneath with black-tipped wings. This bird can hover like a helicopter. The hawk may be roosting at the top of the small trees, or flying over the grasses. Just past the first breakwater, look in the flooded area within the grasses for mallards. Many are there now, and the males are chasing each other to be alone with the females.

For a more active adventure, bring bicycles or running shoes and explore the trails leading off the South Jetty road into South Beach State Park. These trails connect with the South Beach State Park campground and day use area, and offer a mix of paved and packed dirt surfaces, as well as sandy beach access. Raptors and small wildlife abound.

Wildlife Viewing Map

Get more coastal viewing ideas from the ODFW wildlife viewing map. For example, at Cape Blanco, trails lead to the beach and viewpoints where abundant seabirds like loons, grebes and scoters can be seen in winter; and marbled murrelets, rhinoceros auklets and raptors are around all year.


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

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