OREGON DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND WILDLIFE

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Welcome to the ODFW Recreation Report - January 10, 2017

Fishing, Hunting and Wildlife Viewing

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


Ice fishing is heating up
(that’s the fishing, not the ice)

Recent reports of good ice fishing in several lake/reservoirs such as Diamond, Fish, Mann and Kinney lakes, Lake of the Woods, and Chickahominy and Bull Prairie reservoirs. Conditions can change rapidly, however, so always test current ice conditions before heading onto the ice. Check out this week’s Recreation Reports for other ice fishing opportunities.

Spring bear hunt application deadline is Feb. 10

Just over half of the 1st come, 1st serve SW Oregon spring bear tags have sold out as of today (Jan. 10).

Shotgun skills class this Saturday, Jan. 14 near Corvallis

ODFW will host a shotgun skills class on Jan. 14 at EE Wilson Wildlife Area from 8 a.m.- 1 p.m. Pre-registration required, visit www.odfwcalendar.com for more information.

Report big game hunt results by Jan. 31, 2017

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

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NORTHWEST ZONE: FISHING

Weekend fishing opportunities:

  • It’s time to don the winter clothes and get out and get after Oregon’s winter steelhead. Winter steelhead season is open and hatchery steelhead are available on the Kilchis, Nehalem, Nestucca, Salmon, Siletz, Trask, and Wilson. Look for favorable river conditions.

Send us your fishing report

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

NORTH COAST LAKES

Town Lake near Pacific City has been stocked with nearly 200 surplus summer steelhead from Cedar Creek hatchery, so far this season. These fish get fairly active in the lake and offer a unique fishing experience, especially when the rivers are blown out. Once in the lake they are considered “trout” and do not require a Combined Angling Tag. Anglers are reminded, however, that only one trout per day over 20 inches may be retained, and these fish will almost all be in that size range.

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

MID COAST LAKES

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

ALSEA RIVER AND BAY: steelhead

Steelhead fishing is open on the Alsea River and listed tributaries. Fishing is fair when river conditions are favorable. Alsea Hatchery is having a near average return to the hatchery. Casting spinners, drifting bait or using a bobber and jig can be effective.

KILCHIS RIVER: steelhead

There haven’t been many reports from the Kilchis River yet, and surely it was slow last week, with the freezing air temps and cold water temps keeping fish lethargic, but based on the wild steelhead showing up in other basins there are probably some steelhead in the system. Better weather and good water conditions will be the key to finding them. The Kilchis gets low and clear quickly, so in those conditions light gear and small presentations are going to be your best bet.

LOWER COLUMBIA TRIBUTARIES: steelhead

Returns to Big Creek and Klaskanine hatcheries have been a little slow this year. Last week the cold temperatures kept fish lethargic and made fishing tough all over the North Coast. The hatchery runs are probably past peak on these systems but there are still some fish around.

NECANICUM RIVER: steelhead

The cold temperatures last week kept fishing pretty slow but we have gotten reports of some steelhead being observed in the Necanicum, and as conditions improve so should the fishing.

NEHALEM RIVER: steelhead

Hatchery steelhead are available on the North Fork Nehalem. The hatchery run should be winding down but there will still be opportunities whenever water and weather conditions are favorable.

There should be wild winter steelhead starting in the Nehalem main stem and the Salmonberry River. These runs should improve over the next couple months as water and weather conditions improve. These are mostly wild fish, so we recommend using appropriate gear for easy release and handling fish gently.

NESTUCCA RIVER AND THREE RIVERS: steelhead

Steelhead season is open and Three Rivers is getting some hatchery steelhead returns. Cedar Creek hatchery continues to recycle fish and fishing should be fair to good whenever the conditions are decent. Drift fishing is usually the go to technique on Three Rivers but casting spinners and float fishing can be effective, also.

All the usual techniques such as side drifting, float fishing, and pulling plugs or divers and bait, should be effective.

Anglers are reminded that fall Chinook season closed Dec. 31 on the Nestucca.

SALMON RIVER: steelhead

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

SILETZ RIVER: steelhead

Steelhead fishing is fair. Winter steelhead opportunities are improving when river conditions are favorable. Casting spinners, drifting bait or using a bobber and jig can be effective.

SIUSLAW RIVER: Chinook, steelhead

The Siuslaw River and Lake Cr. are open for hatchery winter steelhead. Fishing is slow but improving. Most reported harvest is occurring in the Siuslaw River below the forks. Casting spinners, drifting bait or using a bobber and jig can be effective.

TRASK RIVER: steelhead

Steelhead fishing was slow on the Trask last week due to the cold temperatures and lethargic fish, but there are more wild fish showing up and fishing should improve as the weather and water conditions allow. All the usual techniques such as side drifting, float fishing, and pulling plugs or divers and bait, should be effective.

WILSON RIVER: steelhead

Fishing was slow on the Wilson last week due to the cold temperatures, but even at that some nice hatchery broodstock fish were caught and more should be showing up. Fishing should improve as weather warms up and water conditions improve. All the usual techniques such as side drifting, float fishing, and pulling plugs or divers and bait, should be effective.

YAQUINA RIVER: steelhead

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


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NORTHWEST ZONE: NORTH COAST HUNTING

OPEN: COUGAR, FOREST GROUSE, MOUNTAIN AND CALIFORNIA QUAIL, CROW and DUCK

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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NORTHWEST ZONE: NORTH COAST WILDLIFE VIEWING

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

Although the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department’s Whale Watching Spoken Here events along the Oregon coast are officially over for now, people can still see migrating gray whales as they journey southward to the warm waters of Baja California. Many of the viewpoints for watching whales occur on the North Coast, including Cape Kiwanda, Cape Lookout, Cape Meares, Neah-Kah-Nie Mtn., Silver Point and Cape Falcon. For a complete listing of viewpoints where the whale watching programs will be in effect, please look visit the state parks department’s Whale Watching Spoken Here web page.

TILLAMOOK COUNTY

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

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

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

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

CLATSOP COUNTY

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

Jewell Meadows Wildlife Area

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

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. We will continue to provide supplemental feed through February. Reservations for the winter elk feeding tour program have been completely filled for the three-month season.

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

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


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SOUTHWEST ZONE: FISHING

Weekend fishing opportunities:

  • Weekend fishing opportunities:

    • Bank anglers plunking on the lower Rogue River have been picking up a few steelhead.
    • Steelhead are being caught throughout the Umpqua River Basin.
    • Recreational crabbing is now open in all Oregon waters.
    • Perch fishing can be good if the ocean settles down.
    • Garrison Lake usually holds good numbers of holdover trout in the 14 to 18-inch range. Fish late afternoon when temperatures are the warmest.
    • Some anglers are enjoying ice fishing at Diamond and Fish lakes.
    • Trout fishing at Lost Creek Reservoir has been good.
    • The best bet for winter steelhead on the Rogue is the upper river from Big Butte Creek to Cole Rivers Hatchery, which remains fishable even when the rest of the river is blown out.

    Ice-fishing safety

    With several water bodies beginning to ice over, it’s a good time to be reminded that anglers should always use caution during first-ice conditions. Take the following precautions: use the “buddy system,” wear a PFD in case of thin ice, carry a throw-rope, and use a heavy metal staff to check for thin-ice. REMINDER: The state of Oregon does not allow human-made ice holes larger than 12-inches in diameter or length.

    If your favorite fishing spot is no longer listed

    It could be the area is closed, inaccessible due or currently offers limited fishing opportunities. These water bodies will return to the recreation report when conditions change. If you believe something is missing, contact us and we’ll find out why.

    Send us your fishing report

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

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

    The lake is 63 percent full and the boat ramp is open from dawn until dusk. The boat ramp is useable. Fishing for warmwater species will slow with cooler weather.

    APPLEGATE RESERVOIR: largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, trout

    Trout fishing has been fair to good. Anglers have been catching trout up to 16-inches. Trout anglers will want to try trolling, and a good bet will be a wedding ring/bait combination. One angler reported a flasher tipped with a worm produced good results during mid-day hours. Fishing with bait from shore in the upper reservoir should also produce.

    The lake is 16 percent full. French Gulch is the only boat ramp that is currently useable.

    APPLEGATE RIVER: winter steelhead, trout

    Beginning Jan. 1, the Applegate River is open for trout and steelhead fishing but remain closed to Chinook fishing. Only hatchery steelhead may be retained and anglers must take care in releasing wild fish. Steelhead fishing in the Applegate is usually slow in January, however, with the high flows we have had this year, fishing could be good. Wild trout must be released unharmed.

    ARIZONA POND: rainbow trout

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

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

    Ben Irving has been stocked with 5,000 trout this year, and there are still opportunities to catch rainbows from previous year stockings. Warmwater fishing for bass, crappie and bluegill will slow with dropping temperatures.

    CHETCO RIVER: winter steelhead

    Steelhead season has started slow, with a few steelhead picked up by bank anglers. Boat anglers have had mixed results. Anglers can expect steelhead fishing to pick up as January is traditionally a really good month for the Chetco.

    ODFW has started collecting angler caught winter steelhead for the Chetco River hatchery program. Angler caught broodstock have been used for several years. Anglers interested in participating can contact the ODFW Gold Beach District Office at 541-247-7605. Anglers floating or fishing the river may see brood collection live tanks along the river.

    COOPER CREEK RESERVOIR: rainbow trout, bass, bluegill

    Cooper Creek has been stocked with over 10,000 rainbow trout in 2016. Fishing for bass and bluegill will slow with dropping temperatures.

    COOS COUNTY LAKES/PONDS: trout

    Rainbow trout were stocked in Upper Empire, Bradley, Saunders, Powers and Butterfield lakes in October. Fishing for these stocked fish has slowed down. Coos County lakes and ponds will not be stocked again until the spring.

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

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

    A few steelhead have been caught the past few weeks in the West Fork Millicoma, East Fork Millicoma, and South Fork Coos rivers. Anglers are drifting eggs or corkies along the stream bottom or using a jig suspended under a bobber. Anglers fishing the South Fork Coos River above Dellwood will need a permit from Weyerhaeuser, which they can pick up at the Dellwood office. In the Coos Basin 1 additional hatchery steelhead may be retained per day for a total aggregate of 3 adult fish harvested daily.

    Anglers have been catching a few rockfish and surfperch along the jetties and submerged rock piles. Fishing for rockfish in the bay has been spotty. The marine fish daily bag limit for bottom fish (rockfish) is seven fish and a separate daily limit for lingcod (two). The 7 fish marine bag limit will remain in place, with these adjustments for 2017: Create a sub-bag limit of 6 black rockfish, Remove the sub-bag limit for canary rockfish, Add China/quillback/copper rockfishes to the sub-bag limit with blue/Deacon rockfish and change the limit from 3 to 4. Finally remove the 10-inch minimum size for kelp greenling. Retention of cabezon is not allowed until July 1.

    Recreational crabbing is now open in all Oregon waters. Crabbing was decent over the weekend in Coos Bay. Crabbing from a boat has been better than crabbing from the dock but dock crabbers are picking up a few legal crabs.

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

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

    COQUILLE RIVER BASIN: crab, steelhead, salmon

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

    Steelhead anglers have reported catching a few steelhead in the North Fork Coquille at LaVerne Park and the South Fork Coquille rivers. Anglers have had success drifting eggs or corkies. In the Coquille Basin 1 additional hatchery steelhead may be retained per day for a total aggregate of 3 adult fish harvested daily.

    Recreational crabbing is now open in all Oregon waters. Crabbing is very slow in the lower Coquille River due to the large amounts of freshwater coming downstream.

    DIAMOND LAKE: trout

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

    Anglers that are planning on taking a trip to Diamond Lake should check with the Umpqua National Forest (541-498-2531) for information on seasonal camp and ramp closures. Anglers can check fishing and water conditions at Diamond Lake on the Diamond Lake Resort website, or call their toll free number at 1-800-733-7593, ext. 5 for updates. Diamond Lake is open year-round and ice fishing can be a fun pastime during this season.

    Diamond Lake was stocked with around 300,000 fingerling rainbow trout in early June, and there are plenty of legal-sized holdover trout currently in the lake. Diamond Lake was stocked with tiger trout in early June. These fish are intended to assist in controlling illegally introduced tui chub. Tiger trout are catch-and-release only and need to be released immediately unharmed.

    ELK RIVER: Chinook, steelhead

    Slow. Anglers can expect fishing to improve with some additional rain. Anglers can call 541-332-0405 to get the daily river conditions. Best river height is 5.3 feet and dropping.

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

    Emigrant Reservoir is currently at 49 percent of capacity. The Jackson County boat ramp is now useable. Fishing for warmwater species will slow with cooler weather. Trout are still available.

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

    The amphitheater pond at the Expo was stocked with 1,500 legal-sized rainbow trout in late fall and fishing should be good.

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

    FISH LAKE: rainbow trout, brook trout, spring Chinook

    The lake is frozen and anglers have reported catching tiger trout fishing through the ice using a small ice fly and meal worm. Additionally, 900 trophy trout were released the week of Sept. 19-23. The reservoir is now 49 percent full.

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

    FLORAS LAKE: rainbow, cutthroat trout

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

    GALESVILLE RESERVOIR: rainbow trout, bass, coho smolts

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

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

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

    GARRISON LAKE: rainbow, cutthroat trout

    The lake usually holds good numbers of hold over trout in the 14 to 18-inch range. Anglers slow trolling along drops offs can do fairly well. Best fishing is usually in the afternoons when water temperatures have warmed up.

    HEMLOCK LAKE & LAKE IN THE WOODS: trout

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

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

    HOWARD PRAIRIE RESERVOIR:

    The lake is mostly frozen at this time but anglers should use caution until it is completely frozen. The lake is now 49 percent full.

    Fishing has been slow with few big fish showing up in the catch. Try using a threaded nightcrawler under a bobber or Powerbait fished off the bottom. Legal-sized trout have been stocked to complement trout stocked last year.

    Boat ramps at Howard are closed for the season.

    HYATT LAKE: rainbow trout

    Hyatt is frozen but anglers should test the ice before venturing out. Various techniques including bait fishing and ice flies should provide some action while enjoying some high mountain ice fishing.

    The reservoir is 49 percent full. Boat ramps are closed for the season.

    ILLINOIS RIVER: trout, steelhead

    Wild steelhead over 24-inches long may be harvested in the Illinois between Klondike Creek and Pomeroy Dam; 1 per day and 5 per year. Fishing is restricted to artificial flies and lures. The Illinois River is open for trout fishing. The Illinois is currently high and turbid but when the rain stops it clears quickly, and is fishable at higher flows.

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

    LAKE MARIE: rainbow trout, yellow perch

    Lake Marie was stocked with 5,000 legal trout this year. Most anglers use PowerBait or worms.

    LAKE SELMAC: trout, largemouth bass, bluegill, crappie

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

    LEMOLO RESERVOIR: brown trout, rainbow trout, kokanee

    The Reservoir may be difficult to access due to snow conditions.

    This reservoir is stocked several times a year with rainbow trout of various sizes, and the lake was stocked with 4,500 rainbow trout in 2016. There are also excellent opportunities to catch large brown trout in Lemolo.

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

    LOON LAKE: rainbow trout, bass, bluegill

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

    LOST CREEK: rainbow trout, bass

    Trout fishing is still good at Lost Creek. Lost Creek reservoir was recently stocked with legal and trophy-sized fish. Recent reports have been encouraging. One angler caught seven trout in about 6 hours fishing a green wedding ring/worm behind an oval egg sinker and dodger. Anglers were successful trolling around the dam and up at the red rock area upstream of the Hwy 62 bridge.

    Surface water temperatures have dropped to 43 degrees and the winter months are shaping up to continue the good trout fishing here. Bank anglers are catching fish near the Takelma ramp and near the marina and spillway using Powerbait or threading a nightcrawler below a bobber.

    MEDCO POND: rainbow trout, largemouth bass, bluegill

    Four hundred trout pounders were stocked in Medco in the fall and fishing should be good. Boat anglers are reminded that gas engines are not allowed on Medco Pond.

    PACIFIC OCEAN AND BEACHES: bottomfish, surf perch, crab

    Recreational crabbing is now open in all Oregon waters.

    Bottom fishing has been good when the ocean conditions allow.

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

    Surf perch fishing was decent this past weekend. Surf perch anglers will do the best fishing with sand shrimp when ocean swells are small.

    PLAT I RESERVOIR: rainbow trout, bass

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

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

    REINHART POND: trout, largemouth bass, bluegill

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

    ROGUE RIVER

    Rogue River, lower: steelhead

    Bank anglers have been picking up a few steelhead plunking.

    Rogue River, middle: coho, steelhead, trout

    The Rogue is currently high and turbid but should begin clearing later this week. Try fishing with nightcrawlers, spinners, and side drifted roe. Nymphing flies is also very effective. Pressure has been light and fishing has been slow to fair. Only hatchery steelhead may be retained upstream of the boat ramp at Hog Creek. However, from the mouth of the Rogue upstream to Hog Creek, wild steelhead greater than 24-inches in long may be retained.

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

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

    Up-to-date flow and temp info

    Rogue River, upper: coho, steelhead, trout

    The upper river is currently high and turbid but remember that the river is much clearer from Big Butte Creek to Cole Rivers Hatchery providing an opportunity to fish for steelhead and trout when the rest of the river is not fishable. Anglers can keep 5 hatchery rainbow trout per day. Non-adipose fin-clipped rainbow trout and all cutthroat trout must be immediately released unharmed.

    Note that beginning Jan. 1, the upper Rogue is open to bait, lures and flies from Fishers ferry boat ramp to the deadline at Cole Rivers hatchery. However, only fin-clipped fish may be retained and all un-marked fish must be released unharmed throughout the upper river. Consult the 2017 Oregon Sport fishing Regulations for more information.

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

    As of Jan 4, a total of 3,652 summer steelhead have entered the hatchery, with 13 new fish entering for the week. The average outflow from Lost Creek reservoir as of Jan. 10 is 2,150 cfs. For more flow and temp information, see link below.

    Up to date flow and temp information

    Rogue River, above Lost Creek Reservoir: trout

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

    SMITH RIVER, Umpqua: striped bass, steelhead

    The Smith often clears before others in the Umpqua Basin after high flows.

    Winter steelhead fishing opened on Dec. 1 upstream to bridge 10 (approx. 14.5 miles up the N.F. Smith R. rd.) on the North Fork Smith and upstream to Sisters Creek on the mainstem. Retention is only allowed on adipose fin-clipped steelhead. Fishing should improve as the river falls into shape.

    Retention of adipose fin-clipped steelhead is allowed in tidewater. Sturgeon fishing is catch-and-release only. The daily limit for striped bass is two per 24-hour period. Trout is closed. Chinook closed Dec. 31.

    SODA SPRINGS RESERVOIR: closed

    TENMILE BASIN: trout, bass, steelhead

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

    A few steelhead have been reported in Tenmile Creek. Anglers will have success plunking near the acclimation sites or fishing a jig under a bobber. Eel Creek is now open to steelhead fishing. In the Tenmile Basin 1 additional hatchery steelhead may be retained per day for a total aggregate of 3 adult fish harvested daily.

    Largemouth bass fishing has been slow. Anglers are catching bass near structure or on the deep end of the weed lines using jigs or rubber worms.

    TOKETEE LAKE: brown trout, rainbow trout

    Fishing is open in Toketee year-round, but weather conditions may prevent access. For more information call the U.S. Forest Service at 541-498-2531.

    UMPQUA HIGH LAKES AND FOREBAYS: trout

    Lakes accessible from hiking trails and that were recently stocked are: Calamut, Connie, Bullpup, Fuller, Cliff, Buckeye, Maidu, Twin “b”, Pitt lake and Skookum. Anglers fishing the high lakes in the Umpqua District are encouraged to e-mail fishing reports. Contact the Forest Service at 541-496-3532 for road conditions as many lakes are likely difficult to access do to snow.

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

    UMPQUA RIVER, MAINSTEM: steelhead

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

    Winter steelhead should start to pick up when the river drops, but plunking will be successful in the higher water conditions.

    UMPQUA RIVER, NORTH: steelhead

    Winter steelhead are being caught and fishing should pick up once the river drops back into shape.

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

    North Umpqua River water levels at Winchester Dam

    UMPQUA RIVER, SOUTH: steelhead

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

    Steelhead are being caught up to Canyonville and anglers are hooking into a few hatchery fish. Fishing may slow with higher flows.

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

    The lake was stocked this fall with 450 rainbow trout pounders. Fishing with a nightcrawler under a bobber should produce throughout the day, and is a great and easy way to get youngsters in on the action. Willow Lake has received a good amount of snow and the County is reporting downed trees throughout the park. The paved ramp should be snow-covered but open as water levels have rebounded nicely.

    WINCHESTER BAY: bottomfish, perch

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

    WINCHUCK RIVER: winter steelhead

    A few steelhead have been picked up in the lower river. The river clears pretty quickly after a storm and can be a good spot to hit if all other rivers are unfishable.


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SOUTHWEST ZONE: HUNTING

OPEN: COUGAR, UPLAND BIRD, WATERFOWL (see regs)

SW Spring bear tags: Just over half of the 4,400 first come first serve tags have been sold as of today (Jan. 10).

Wolves and coyotes can look alike

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

Use the Oregon Hunting Map to see where to hunt.

COOS COUNTY

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

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

It may be hard for those hunters who live in Coos County to believe that duck numbers are relatively high in the flyway and, specifically, Coos County but they are. Due to the large amount of precipitation that has occurred in western Oregon there are many inundated agricultural fields that allow for good feeding opportunities for those birds. As a result the birds have a broad array of choices of places to feed and loaf. So, ducks are widely scattered throughout the county.

The key to finding good duck hunting in the present conditions is scouting. Most ducks move up into the creek drainages as inundation occurs. The best hunting presently should be in the upper reaches of the tributaries of the Coquille and Coos River systems near the upper extend of agriculture in those drainages. Very little good habitat exists in the forested reaches of these drainages.

Other places hunters should evaluate in their scouting are the Coquille Valley Wildlife Area, located near Coquille, the Bandon Marsh National Wildlife Refuge, located near Bandon and the islands in Coos Bay that are located within that portion of the city limits where hunting is allowed. To get answers to questions related to these areas, especially that part within Coos Bay city limits contact the ODFW office in Charleston (541)888-5515.

Wilson’s Snipe season is open until Feb. 19. Snipe move into Coos County in late fall and winter. At times they can be found in good numbers. They generally like flooded grass fields and tidal flats with standing vegetation. Also, they can be found in clear cuts and other forest openings where standing water exists. Their primary foods are invertebrates like earth worms and insects. While they are considered shorebirds (the only shorebird we hunt in Oregon) they are best hunted like upland birds. They hold like quail, even better often times. A bird dog with a keen nose is very valuable for hunting snipe especially when it comes to finding downed birds. The call they make upon flushing and the habitat they inhabit make them easy to distinguish from other shorebirds. If you want information to help you recognize these birds please contact your local ODFW office.

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

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

Cougar - Hunters can expect an average year. Cougars are abundant throughout with indicators pointing to stable or increasing numbers. Hunting cougar is a challenge because these animals are very secretive, but harvest success is greatest adjacent to private land with high deer populations using a predator call. Remember a 2017 cougar tag and license is needed to hunt as of Jan. 1.

DOUGLAS COUNTY

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

Deer - There are a few controlled deer hunts taking place through the month of January.

Cougar – The cougar season is currently open. Hunters can expect an average year. Cougars are abundant throughout with indicators pointing to stable or increasing numbers. With lower snow levels, hunters can find higher success by finding fresh tracks and then calling in these big cats. Hunting cougar is a challenge because these animals are very secretive, but harvest success is greatest adjacent to private land with high deer populations using a predator call. Remember a 2017 cougar tag and license is needed to hunt as of Jan. 1.

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

Black Bear – General bear season is closed. SW Limited Spring Bear tags are being sold now, so now is a great time to plan for a spring bear hunt in Southwest Oregon. There are a total of 4400 SW Limited Spring Bear tags that will be sold this year on a first - come, first - served basis. These tags usually sell out early in February.

Grouse & Quail - Upland Gamebird season is currently open through Jan. 31, 2017. Hunters that kill grouse and Mountain quail are asked to drop off, in a paper bag, the frozen wing and tail of each grouse at the local ODFW office. Please use one bird per bag with each frozen bag of grouse parts including the species, sex, age, unit and general area of harvest for proper analysis. Upland gamebird hunters may want to consider attending one of 3 Grouse Wing Bees. This is a great opportunity to learn more about the birds that we love to hunt. The Westside Forest Grouse Wing Bee will take place on February 1, 2017 at the Umpqua Watershed District Office in Roseburg. Call 541-440-3353 for information about attending.

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

Furbearers – Red fox, gray fox, marten, mink, muskrat, river otter, bobcat, and beaver harvest seasons are currently open. Bobcat and river otter pelts can be checked in at the Roseburg Field Office on Mondays from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm. An appointment is necessary to insure we can provide the best customer service. Call 541-440-3353 to set up an appointment.

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

Furbearers – Red fox, gray fox, marten, mink, muskrat, river otter, bobcat, and beaver harvest seasons are currently open. Bobcat and river otter pelts can be checked in at the Roseburg Field Office on Mondays from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm. An appointment is necessary to insure we can provide the best customer service. Call 541-440-3353 to set up an appointment.

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. Reminder, starting April 1 bird dog training will be restricted to within the “dog training area” along Touvelle road except for organized permitted events. Remember to place your parking permit on the dash of your vehicle.

As of Nov. 1 hunting on the Hall Tract is restricted to Wednesdays, Saturdays, Sundays, Thanksgiving Day, and Christmas Day. In addition on the Military Slough unit at the end of Touvelle Rd there are some fields that have started to flood of which were also planted this past summer. On this section of Denman hunting is open seven days a week. For more information consult the 2016 Oregon Game Bird Regulations.

Upland Game Birds: Grouse season is open, the daily bag limit is 3 of each of the two species. Both Grouse and Quail season close Jan. 31. Refer to the 2016 Oregon Game Bird Regulations for more information.

Waterfowl: This season has been an average harvest year up to this point and will continue thru Jan. 29. However it appears that the harvest in the past week has dropped possibly due to the extreme weather we have been having; this could be an indication that the season is starting to slow down for the year. Ponds on the Denman Wildlife Area are full, and the planted fields have been mostly eaten by the waterfowl at this point in the year. In order to improve your harvest success try to find landowners willing to let you hunt their private ponds this season. Consult page 20 of the Oregon Game Bird Regulations for more information.

Wilson’s Snipe season continues thru Feb. 19. 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. Almost all cougars are harvested when hunters are in pursuit of other species so be prepared and purchase a cougar tag this hunting season. Cougars travel many miles a day and often use major ridge lines to find prey, these ridge lines are location for predator calls. Unlike other predators, cougars will usually take longer to come in to predators calls so be prepared to sit for 1 hour or more. Remember a 2017 cougar tag and license is needed to hunt 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: November marks the beginning of trapping season throughout Oregon, and many of these seasons will continue until March 31 of next year. All furbearer populations in our area remain at healthy levels. Hunters should be aware that there are traps in the area and remember that it is against the law to disturb a legally set trap.


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SOUTHWEST ZONE: WILDLIFE VIEWING

COOS COUNTY

Viewing Note: Mute Swan

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

Marine Mammals

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

Waterfowl

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

Seabirds

Seabird abundance seem to have declined recently in the coastal portions of Coos County. This may be due to the large amount of precipitation this fall. However, there are still birds here to view. The Charleston Marina and the lower Coquille River at Bullards Beach Park are good places to spend time looking. 12/20/2016

DOUGLAS COUNTY

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

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

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

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

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

Wading Shore Birds and Pelicans – Wading Shore Birds– Plat I Reservoir, Ford’s Pond, Cooper Creek Reservoir and other bodies of water in Douglas County are great places to watch for wading shore birds.

Turkeys – Turkeys are abundant on the Umpqua Valley floor. With the colder weather, their numbers will be concentrated around limited food sources. Look for these birds within the oak savannah habitat and surrounding oak woodlands where food and roosting resources are available. ODFW does not recommend feeding turkeys as these concentrated birds do a significant amount of damage to properties and buildings when concentrated around baited sites within residential and agricultural areas.

JACKSON and JOSEPHINE COUNTIES

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

Denman Wildlife Area

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

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

A prescribed burn was conducted on the Denman Wildlife Area near Little Butte Creek last fall for habitat restoration and enhancement. This newly opened area could potentially be a good spot to view wildlife frequenting the area and benefiting from the habitat improvement. 1/10/2017

Bohemian Waxwing

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

Snipe

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

Crows

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

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

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WILLAMETTE ZONE: FISHING

Weekend fishing opportunities

  • The last group of rainbow trout brood trout were released the first week of January at the following locations and amounts: Timber Linn Lake (50), Junction City Pond (50), Walter Wirth Lake (50), and Henry Hagg Lake (93). These fish have been averaging 8 pounds apiece. Remember, the bag limit on trout over 20 inches in length is one a day.
  • Henry Hagg Lake was stocked in late November with 8,000 hatchery trout and 80 extra-large hatchery brood trout. It was stocked this week with 93 rainbow trout brooders.
  • It’s time to target winter steelhead in the lower Clackamas, Sandy, Eagle Creek, and Santiam.
  • Catch-and-release sturgeon fishing is good on the lower Willamette and Multnomah Channel.

If your favorite fishing spot is no longer listed

It could be the area is closed, inaccessible due or currently offers limited fishing opportunities. These water bodies will return to the recreation report when conditions change. If you believe something is missing, contact us and we’ll find out why.

Send us your fishing report

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

High Lakes stocking

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

Check out our interactive trout stocking map

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

ALTON BAKER CANOE CANAL: trout

The canoe canal is located within Alton Baker Park and can be accessed off of Club Road in Eugene. A 4-acre pond at the midpoint of the canal is a good spot but it can be fished all along its two-mile length from Day Island Road in Eugene to Aspen Street in Springfield. The canal is open to fishing all year. Stocking is scheduled to resume in early February, although a few holdover fish from December stockings may still be available.

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

Stocked every spring with rainbow trout. This is a 40-acre lake located in Benson State Park in the Columbia River Gorge. From Portland, head east on I-84; the park is located on the south side of the freeway about 1/2 mile west of Multnomah Falls.

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

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

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

Stocked the week of Dec. 12 with 50 rainbow trout brood fish, ranging from 5-15 pounds. This is in addition to 60 brooders and several hundred 13-inchers released in late November. Try fishing from the docks or along the bank near the boat ramp. From October to April private boats are also allowed if under 14 ft. with motors of less than 3.0 horsepower.

This 64-acre lake is located in Blue Lake Regional Park three miles west of Troutdale. Amenities include picnic areas, restrooms, walking trail, and ramp for small boats. Park is maintained by Metro. The cost to enter is $5/car and there is ample parking once inside the park. The park is open from 8 a.m. until legal sunset. For further information call 503-661-6087.

BLUE RIVER: trout

Two wild trout may be harvested per day above Blue River Reservoir only. Otherwise, anglers may keep 5 hatchery trout per day. The river above the reservoir was last stocked in June 2016. Stocking will resume in April. Anglers may only use lures and artificial flies.

BLUE RIVER RESERVOIR: trout, warmwater species

Blue River Reservoir is located east of Eugene near the town of Blue River, north of Hwy. 126 and is open to year-round fishing. The boat ramps are not accessible at current reservoir elevations. Stocking will resume in March.

BREITENBUSH RIVER: trout

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

The NF-46 paved road along the Breitenbush River and Clackamas River from Detroit to Clackamas via Estacada is a beautiful drive for a two-hour family outing.

CANBY POND: trout, bass, crappie, bluegill

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

CLACKAMAS RIVER: winter steelhead

Winter steelhead anglers are starting to venture out, now that the river is moving into fishing shape following recent storms. Numbers of winter fish in the river aren’t exceptional yet but anglers have reported landing fish between Feldheimer’s above Barton and Cross Park in Gladstone.

Cold weather including a couple days of snow will keep the Clackamas flows running basically steady for the next week. At current flows and clarity, the river is very fishable, so, anglers should definitely get out and search for that elusive winter steelhead.

During the early portion of the winter steelhead run, fish tend to stay low in the system, downstream of Barton. At this time water tends to be higher and more turbid. Under these conditions, try using bait such as salmon eggs and sand/coon shrimp or hardware with attractive blades (spoons/spinners) as the angler will need something to attract fish. As the water drops and clears, try switching to smaller gear such as jigs and beads/single eggs drifted under a bobber.

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

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

Good bank access for can be found in many locations along the river from Gladstone, Cross Park, Riverside Park, along Clackamas River Road, Carver, Barton, and McIver parks. Clackamas River Drive closely follows the river below Carver Park, but be sure to not trespass on private property. If you have a drift boat, you can put in at Riverside Park, Carver Park, Barton Park, Feldheimer’s off Springwater Road, and at both lower and upper McIver Park ramps.

USGS hydrological data for Jan. 10 shows river flows holding around the 2,000 cfs mark, with a gauge reading of 11.99 feet and the water temperature at a chilly 33°. All of the readings come from the Estacada gauge near Milo McIver State Park.

CLEAR LAKE: trout

Clear Lake is open to fishing all year and was last stocked in August. Clear Lake is accessed from Hwy. 126 approximately 70 miles east of Springfield. Linn County’s Clear Lake Resort rents cabins and boats.

COAST FORK WILLAMETTE RIVER: trout

The Coast Fork Willamette River is open to fishing all year. As of Nov. 1, anglers may only use lures and artificial flies. In addition to five hatchery trout, two wild trout may be kept daily.

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

Cottage Grove Ponds are open to year-round fishing and are accessed via an asphalt pathway behind the truck scales on Row River Road. The pond received a special stocking of 60 brood trout and additional 13-inchers for free fishing days on Dec. 31 and Jan. 1. In addition to fishing, these ponds also offer wildlife viewing opportunities. A fishing dock is available on-site.

COTTAGE GROVE RESERVOIR: trout, warmwater species

Cottage Grove Reservoir is south of Cottage Grove and is open to fishing all year. The reservoir was last stocked in mid-October. Stocking will resume in March. Warmwater fish are also available. Only Lakeside boat ramp is accessible at the current reservoir elevation.

DETROIT RESERVOIR: trout, kokanee

Reservoir elevation is about 120 feet below conservation pool. Currently all boat ramps are out of the water. Water levels are being kept low all month to provide for flood storage starting in February when the reservoir will begin to fill back up. Stocking will resume in the spring and there are plenty of holdover trout near drop-offs and other structure.

DEXTER RESERVOIR: trout

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

DORENA RESERVOIR: trout, warmwater

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

EAGLE CREEK: winter steelhead

With the low elevation snowfall the creek has held up in great fishing shape, and despite the snow and frigid cold there were a number of anglers out over the weekend looking for winter steelhead. There’s no report on catch but given the increased angler effort there must be a few fish around.

Keep in mind that long stretches of Eagle Creek run through private property, particularly up near the hatchery and from an area below the lower ladder on down past Bonnie Lure to the mouth. Anglers are advised to pay close attention to where you fish and we encourage you to ask permission prior to accessing or crossing private lands on your way to your favorite fishing hole. See Page 15 of the Oregon Sport Fishing Regulation pamphlet for more information on “Your Rights to Use the Surface, Bed, and Banks of Oregon’s Rivers and Lakes.”

EE WILSON POND: warmwater species, trout

This pond is located at EE Wilson Wildlife Area, about a ¼ mile hike from the main parking lot. Recent changes to the fishing regulations now make this a year-round fishery. Species that may be caught at the pond now are bass, bluegill, and redear sunfish. Trout stocking will continue later this winter. Be aware that hunting season has started on the wildlife area. A valid wildlife area parking permit is required.

ESTACADA LAKE: trout

Stocked almost weekly from spring through September.

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

FALL CREEK: trout

Fall Creek Reservoir boat ramps are closed for the season. The reservoir is scheduled to be stocked this spring.

FALL CREEK RESERVOIR: trout

Fall Creek Reservoir was stocked in the spring and won’t be stocked again this year. Boat ramps are closed for the season.

FARADAY LAKE: trout

Stocked in September with rainbow trout and recycled summer steelhead. Faraday is a 25-acre reservoir located 1.1 miles southeast of Estacada on Hwy. 224 next to a PGE hydro plant. No boats, walk-in only bank fishing.

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

This 9,000-acre lake just 12 miles west of Eugene is the Willamette Basin’s largest water body. For local information regarding the lake and available boat ramps, contact the Lane County Parks Department at 541-682-2000. This scenic 1,200-acre reservoir on the South Santiam River is located just 30 minutes from Interstate 5. There is good bank access at several rest stops and campgrounds, and three seasonal boat ramps. Reservoir levels are low in order to provide winter storage and all boat ramps are out of the water.

FOSTER RESERVOIR: trout, bass, perch, catfish

This scenic 1,200-acre reservoir on the South Santiam River is located just 30 minutes from Interstate 5. There is good bank access at several rest stops and campgrounds, and three seasonal boat ramps. Reservoir levels are dropping in order to provide winter storage. At the moment only the boat ramp at Sunnyside Park is available to launch boats.

Look for smallmouth bass and yellow perch near underwater structure and drop-offs. Please remember that only kokanee and adipose fin-clipped trout may be kept as part of the trout bag limit, but there are no limits on size or number of bass. Retention of warmwater fish species such as bluegill, catfish, crappie, and yellow perch is also allowed; no limit on size or number. A final stocking of 5,000 hatchery trout was released the last week of September.

FREEWAY LAKE, EAST: bass bluegill crappie

This water-body actually consists of three interconnected ponds and features some good size bass and crappie. A boat ramp is available at East Freeway Lake, and there is good bank access around Middle Freeway Lake. Fishing in the spring for warmwater gamefish such as bass, bluegill, crappie, and catfish can be very good, especially early and late in the day. Hatchery trout are stocked during the spring as well.

GOLD LAKE: brook trout, rainbow trout

Gold Lake is a 100-acre lake located north of the Willamette Pass summit off Hwy. 58 approximately 23 miles southeast of Oakridge. The lake closed to angling Nov. 1 and will re-open to anglers May 22.

GREEN PETER RESERVOIR: kokanee, trout, bass

Trout as well as bass are good option for anglers this time of year. Look for them near ledges and drop-offs as well as near underwater structure. Reservoir water levels have dropped very low and will stay low through January. Thistle Creek boat ramp is currently available for boaters, but this can change quickly as water levels fluctuate.

HALDEMAN POND: trout

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

HARTMAN POND: trout, crappie, bass, catfish

This is a year-round warmwater and spring trout fishing pond in the Columbia River Gorge, with easy access for non-boating anglers just off Interstate 84. It was stocked with legal- and trophy-sized trout in the spring and also supports year-round populations of crappie, bass and catfish. From I-84, take the Benson State Park exit. The pond is adjacent to the Columbia River adjoining Benson State Recreation Area.

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

Stocked this week with 93 rainbow trout hatchery brood fish weighing an average of 8 pounds apiece. The lake was also stocked in November with 8,000 legal-sized rainbow trout.

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

The lake is now open year-round and is stocked regularly throughout the spring and fall. This is a 1,110-acre lake waterbody located seven miles southwest of Forest Grove. Maintained and operated by Washington County, the park features numerous picnic areas, two boat launching facilities, more than 15 miles of hiking trails, and observation decks for wildlife and bird watching.

HILLS CREEK RESERVOIR: trout, warmwater fish

This reservoir is located about four miles southeast of Oakridge and is open to year round fishing. Hills Creek Reservoir is stocked with 60,000 adipose fin-clipped rainbow trout fingerlings and 100,000 adipose fin-clipped spring Chinook salmon fingerlings annually to provide a harvest fishery the following year. Fingerlings are in addition to spring and fall catchable trout releases. Catchable trout will next be released in late February.

Trout and salmon must be adipose-fin clipped to be harvested. Large native trout are available for catch-and-release fishing. Only Packard boat launch is accessible at the current reservoir elevation.

HILLS CREEK and Hills Creek Tributaries

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

HORSESHOE LAKE: trout

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

HUDDLESTON POND: trout, bass, bluegill

Stocked the week of Dec. 19 with 350 rainbow trout “pounders.” The pond also had two brood stock releases, in late November and early December.

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

JUNCTION CITY POND: trout, crappie

Junction City is a popular stocked trout fishing pond located about two miles south of Junction City on Hwy. 99W on the west side of the highway. There is excellent access around the entire 5-acre pond. It was stocked before the holidays with 350 larger hatchery trout averaging about 14 inches and one pound each. Last week it also received about 50 large hatchery brood trout averaging about 8 pounds each.

As a reminder, normal trout regulations apply to these fish: Five fish per day, but only one fish over 20 inches may be kept.

LEABURG LAKE: trout

Leaburg Lake is open to fishing all year. As of Nov. 1, anglers may only use lures and artificial flies. Only hatchery fish may be kept. All wild trout must be released.

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

MCKENZIE RIVER below Leaburg Lake: trout, salmon, steelhead

The McKenzie River below Leaburg Lake is stocked with trout from Leaburg Town Landing downstream to Hendricks Bridge from late April through early September. All non-adipose fin-clipped trout must be released unharmed. As of Nov. 1, anglers may only use lures and artificial flies. The lower McKenzie River is open to retention of adipose fin-clipped salmon and steelhead and non-adipose fin-clipped steelhead greater than 24 inches in length. A Columbia River Basin Endorsement is required for anglers targeting salmon and steelhead in the McKenzie.

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

MCKENZIE RIVER above Leaburg Lake: trout, steelhead

The McKenzie River above Leaburg Lake is stocked with hatchery trout from Finn Rock to Goodpasture Landing, with some summer releases beginning at Forest Glen boat landing, from late April through mid-September. All non-adipose fin-clipped trout must be released unharmed. As of Nov. 1, anglers may only use lures and artificial flies.

MIDDLE FORK WILLAMETTE RIVER: trout, salmon, steelhead

The Middle Fork Willamette River is open to bait below Dexter Dam only. This river reach is open to retention of adipose fin-clipped salmon and steelhead and non-adipose fin-clipped steelhead greater than 24 inches in length. A Columbia River Basin Endorsement is required for anglers targeting salmon and steelhead in the Middle Fork Willamette below Dexter Dam.

The Middle Fork Willamette above Lookout Point and Hills Creek reservoirs is open to fishing using lures and artificial flies. All wild trout must be released upstream of Lookout Point Reservoir. The Middle Fork Willamette River is not stocked with hatchery trout.

MOLALLA RIVER: winter steelhead

Flows are fairly low and temperatures are holding on the cold side, both things will improve as the weather moderates in a few days. Winter steelhead counts at Willamette Falls have just gotten underway, while the coho season has about wrapped up for 2016. USGS hydrological data for Jan. 3 shows river flows at 872 cfs and a gauge reading of 11.79 feet. All of the readings come from the Canby gauge.

MT HOOD POND: trout, crappie, bluegill

Stocked Dec. 12 with 25 extra-large rainbow trout brooders. The pond was also stocked in October with legal-sized trout. Please remember the bag limit on trout over 20-inches is one per day. Mt. Hood Pond is located on the Mt. Hood Community College campus in Gresham, at 26000 SE Stark St.

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

NORTH FORK RESERVOIR: trout

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

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

QUARTZVILLE CREEK: trout

This river is open all year for trout and anglers may keep up to five trout per day. There are two BLM campgrounds as well as numerous designated campsites along the road. To get there, follow the directions to Green Peter Reservoir and continue around the lake until the river begins. Recent rain and snow has swollen the river - current flows (as of Jan. 9) are around 1400 cfs, and should remain fairly high throughout the week.

SALISH POND: trout, warm water species

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

SALMON CREEK: trout

Salmon Creek near Oakridge is open to fishing all year. As of Nov. 1, anglers may only use lures and artificial flies. Hatchery releases will resume in April. Trout are released at multiple locations upstream to Black Creek. Two wild trout per day, 8-inch minimum length, may be kept in addition to five hatchery trout.

SALT CREEK: trout

Salt Creek is an unstocked tributary to the Middle Fork Willamette River east of Oakridge. Salt Creek and its tributaries are open to angling all year. As of Nov. 1, anglers may only use lures and artificial flies. Two wild trout may be kept per day, 8-inch minimum length.

SANDY RIVER: winter steelhead

Sandy River fishing conditions are holding steady with low snow levels helping to keep the river in decent fishing shape, although the water is a bit too cold. The chilly east winds, snow, and ice kept most anglers off the river but a few folks have been out trying for early winter steelhead. Increased effort was seen in the hatchery parking lot, which is usually an indicator that a few fish have been landed. The Sandy fish are a later returning stock so it will be later into January before we see good numbers of winter fish in the river. The hatchery has its trap open and several winters have come in so far, both hatchery and wild.

USGS hydrological data for Jan. 10 shows the Sandy flows at 1,470 cfs, with a gauge reading of 9.15 feet and the water temperature down near 35° F. The weather is expected to warm up by late in the weekend so conditions will improve.

SANTIAM RIVER (NORTH FORK): steelhead, Chinook

Recent rain and snow has caused the river to rise with more rain forecasted. River levels best for fishing are below 3,000 cfs at the Mehama gauge; as of Jan. 3 the river flow at Mehama is at 3,130 cfs, and is expected to stay more or less at this level over the next week.

A few late remaining summer steelhead are still around and the winter steelhead run is just getting started. The most recent counts at Bennett dam fish ladders indicate that more than 5,400 hatchery steelhead have passed into the upper river above Stayton so far. A few winter steelhead have entered the Willamette, but decent numbers will probably not be in the Santiam River until later this month. When the ‘bite’ is on, bobbers and jigs are the preferred fishing method with spoons, spinners and egg clusters also being effective. Currently the entire river below Packsaddle Park (near the Minto Fish Facility) is open year-round to hatchery steelhead.

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

SANTIAM RIVER (NORTH FORK) above DETROIT:

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

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

Recent rain and snow has caused the river to swell. Flows as of Jan. 9 are approximately 3,850 cfs as measured at Waterloo. A few late summer steelhead are still in the river and winter steelhead will begin to arrive into the basin by late January. Current conditions

SHERIDAN POND: trout

Stocked the week of Dec. 12 with rainbow trout brood fish averaging 10 pounds apiece. Please remember the bag limit on trout over 20-inches is one per day.

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

SILVER CREEK RESERVOIR: trout, catfish

Stocked in June with 2,600 legals and 200 “pounders.” This is a 65-acre reservoir on Silver Creek 2.5 miles south of Silverton on Hwy. 214.

SMITH RESERVOIR: trout

Smith Reservoir is north of Trail Bridge Reservoir and is accessed by turning off Hwy. 126 at Trail Bridge Reservoir and following USFS Road 730 north to Smith Dam. The reservoir is not visible from the highway and is open to year-around bait fishing.

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

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

Stocked twice in October with rainbow trout.

St. Louis Ponds is a 240-acre fishing complex of seven ponds owned and managed jointly by the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife and Marion County Parks Department. The site has a 2,300-foot paved ADA footpath with turnouts, fishing platforms, restrooms and picnic tables. It is stocked throughout the year with hatchery trout and has many other species of warmwater fish.

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

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

SUNNYSIDE PARK POND: bass, bluegill

This 4-acre pond is located two miles above the upper end of Foster Reservoir. The stocking season at Sunnyside Pond has ended for the remainder of the year but there may still be a few trout left. The pond also offers bluegill and largemouth bass year round. The park has a campground and picnic area and is a great place to take kids fishing. There is also boat ramp access to the Middle Fork arm of Foster Reservoir. To get there from I-5, take US 20 through the town of Sweet Home and continue around Foster Reservoir to Quartzville Creek road. Take a left and follow this road for two miles to the park.

TIMBER LINN LAKE: rainbow trout

This is a family-friendly fishing pond located within Timber-Linn Memorial Park in Albany. It was stocked last week with about 45 large hatchery brood trout. Please keep in mind that only one fish over 20-inches may be taken per day. Timber-Linn Lake can be reached by turning east off I-5 onto the Santiam Highway (Hwy. 20), then immediately turning north onto Price Road and proceeding to the park entrance.

TRAIL BRIDGE RESERVOIR: trout

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

WALLING POND: trout, crappie, bass

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

WALTER WIRTH LAKE: trout, crappie, bass

The lake was stocked several times in recent weeks with both legal size and very large brood trout. Last week it was stocked with another batch of about 50 large hatchery brood trout. As a reminder, the bag limit is five trout per day, but only one over 20 inches.  Walter Wirth is a 20-acre lake located within the City of Salem’s Cascades Gateway Park. Good fishing opportunities remain for warm water species and that occasional larger hold-over trout.

WAVERLY POND: trout, bluegill, catfish

Waverly Pond is located in Albany and is regularly stocked in fall, winter and spring. The pond was stocked right before the holidays with about 45 hatchery brood trout averaging 10 pounds apiece. It was also stocked mid-November with 500 legal and about 25 larger size rainbow trout. As a reminder, the bag limit is five fish per day, but only one over 20 inches. From I-5 take exit 234 west towards Albany. The pond is located a quarter mile down Pacific Boulevard on the right. A paved ADA-accessible path runs all the way around the pond.

WILLAMETTE RIVER: winter steelhead, sturgeon

We’re at a bit of an in-between time for anglers on the Lower Willamette with both coho and summer steelhead fisheries over, while improving numbers of winter steelhead should happen soon. The water temperatures are running very cold right now, along with the weather, so fishing has been slow this past week. Warmer weather and water should improve things by early next week.

The summer steelhead counts came to a close on Oct. 31 at Willamette Falls with the cumulative passage for the season showing 21,732 while adult coho passage was unchanged at 2,559 through Dec. 31 and early winter steelhead passage stood at 132 fish through that date.

USGS hydrological data for the Willamette River on Jan. 10 has flows at 47,000 cfs, the water temperature down near 34°F, and visibility improved at 3.6 ft.

YAMHILL RIVER and tributaries: trout

The Yamhill and its tributaries are now open year-round for trout under the 2017 Oregon Sport Fishing Regulations. Fishing shifts to catch-and-release for trout from Nov. 1 to May 21. Fishing and harvest of warmwater fish is also allowed during this period.


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WILLAMETTE ZONE: HUNTING

OPEN: COUGAR, FOREST GROUSE, QUAIL, CROW, SNIPE, DUCK

UPCOMING: Reporting deadlines

Don’t forget to report your hunt results. Anyone who purchases a big game or turkey tag must report hunt results online or by phone. Reporting is required even if you did not fill your tag or go hunting. More information

Deadline is Jan. 31: For all turkey and big game hunts with seasons ending between April 1 and Dec. 31 of previous year.

Deadline is April 15: For all hunts ending between Jan. 1 and March 31 of that year.
Report at www.reportmyhunt.com

Please remember to check with the landowner for access restrictions prior to entering private lands. Private timberlands access policy. Hunters are reminded to have permission to hunt or make sure hunting is allowed before accessing private lands.

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

BIG GAME

PLEASE REPORT OBSERVATIONS OF ELK WITH HOOF DISEASE

Please report observations of live elk, hunter-harvested or dead elk showing signs of elk hoof disease that may include lame or limping elk or elk with damaged, injured, missing or deformed hooves. The best information can be provided if you take the following steps:

  • Collect GPS locations
  • Take digital photos of affected hooves
  • Contact ODFW at the toll-free wildlife health lab at 866-968-2600 or email Veterinarians at Wildlife.Health@state.or.us.
  • Report your observation by filling out online form

If you harvest an elk with suspected hoof disease, please take the following additional step:

  • Remove and save all four hooves in a plastic bag and place in a cool area (i.e. Cooler with ice) for further evaluation by ODFW

The 615 Willamette Unit CONTROLLED ANTLERLESS DEER hunt is open through February 28, 2017 for those hunters that drew a tag. All other deer hunts are now closed in this zone. Hunters that did not purchase their tag before the hunt began can still purchase a tag from some ODFW offices provided they sign an affidavit and pay the after-the-deadline fee. Please review the 2016 Big Game Hunting Regulations before your hunting trip to ensure the dates of the hunt you drew and to ensure that you are familiar with all of the requirements.

RETURN BLACK-TAILED DEER TEETH!

Successful black-tailed deer hunters are asked to return a tooth from their deer. See how to properly remove black-tailed deer teeth. Postage-paid envelopes are available at license sales agents or ODFW offices. If you can’t pick up an envelope, send the tooth to ODFW, Wildlife Population Laboratory, 7118 NE Vandenberg Ave, Adair Village, OR 97330. Include the following information with the tooth: Your name and address, sex and species of animal (e.g. buck deer), antler points, hunter ID#, date harvested, Wildlife Management Unit or Hunt where harvested, drainage or landmark. ODFW staff use the teeth to determine the age of the animals, which is needed for population modeling and management efforts. Hunters will receive an age card in the mail telling them how old the harvested animal was. Age cards may take up to 12 months to receive.

Voluntary Hunter CWD Samples Wanted!

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

The 2017 COUGAR season is now open until Dec. 31 or the zone quota is met. Remember to purchase a 2017 Hunting License and 2017 Cougar Tag if you are planning to hunt for cougar in the new year. A productive hunting technique is to use predator calls to mimic a distressed prey species. Approaching cougars can be difficult to see when you are predator calling so hunting with a partner is advised. Most deer and elk have moved out of their wintering areas and cougars will spend more time moving around their territories looking for prey so hunters need to be mobile.

Successful cougar hunters will need to check-in any cougar taken at an ODFW office within 10 days of the kill. Hunters are reminded that biologists located in field offices may be out in the field handling other issues so call ahead to make arrangements to have your cougar checked-in. The hide and skull must be unfrozen and the skull and proof of sex must be attached to the hide. Cougar hunters are reminded that it is required to submit the reproductive tract of any female cougar taken.The reproductive tract provides valuable information on the number and frequency of kittens born annually in Oregon and is a critical part of ODFW’s cougar population models. Please review the 2016 Big Game Hunting Regulations before your hunting trip to ensure that you are familiar with all of the requirements.

See 2016 Cougar Regulations for details

COYOTES Remember to ask for permission to hunt on private lands. Hunter can find coyotes around meadows and brush piles where mice and rabbits are found. Use predator calls to lure coyotes in close can be an effective method for harvesting coyotes. Try calling in the early morning or late afternoon when temperatures are cool. Hunters need a valid hunting license to hunt coyotes on public property.

GAME BIRD

GOOSE season is now closed but will reopen Feb. 4-March 10 in the Northwest Permit Zone. Goose numbers continue to increase and hunters should find good hunting opportunities in the northwestern portion of the state. Hunters who have scouted out fields with actively feeding geese will experience the best success. Goose hunters are still required to pass the Northwest Oregon Goose Identification Test to hunt. Please review the information provided in the 2016-2017 Oregon Game Bird Regulations for more details on the major changes to goose hunting regulations in Northwest Oregon.

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

DUCK season in Zone 1 is open Nov. 2 – Jan. 29, 2017. Please review the 2016-2017 Oregon Game Bird Regulations for more information including legal shooting hours. See there are good numbers of ducks in the Willamette Valley but there is also a lot of sheet water available to draw ducks away from previous feeding locations. Rainy and windy weather is the best time to be in the field so hunters will want to pay close attention to upcoming weather forecasts to find the best dates for hunting. Remember that the head or one fully feathered wing must be left attached to all game birds in the field or while in transit to the place of permanent residence of the possessor.

FOREST GROUSE and QUAIL seasons continue through Jan. 31 in Western Oregon. The forest grouse group collectively includes the Ruffed and Blue (dusky/sooty) grouse species. Look for grouse along the edges of timber patches during morning and evening times. Hunters will want to target hardwood riparian areas for ruffed grouse and mature timber areas or ridge tops for blue grouse. Remember that the head or one fully feathered wing must be left attached to all game birds in the field or while in transit to the place of permanent residence of the possessor. Review the information provided in the 2016-17 Oregon Game Bird Regulations for more details.

YOUR PARTICIPATION IS GREATLY NEEDED!

ODFW would appreciate your help in obtaining important information about the health of grouse and mountain quail populations. Hunters can help by donating a wing and tail from harvested grouse and mountain quail. Grouse and mountain quail wings and tails provide ODFW biologist important information about the health of populations. What to do; remove one entire wing and whole tail including small feathers, place in paper collecting bag provided at ODFW officers or use your own (1 bird per bag), mark the bag with species, date harvested, county of harvest and general location, and drop it off at local ODFW offices. If there is a delay in dropping off your specimen, please freeze it.

FIELD CARE OF HARVESTED WILDLIFE

The proper handling of harvested wildlife is the most important criteria to ensure its value as table fare. After properly tagging the animal, the hunter should remove the entrails and get the hide off to start the cool-down process. Wipe down the carcass with a dry cloth to remove any foreign material and keep the carcass sanitary by placing it into a clean dry cloth game bag. Never place the carcass in plastic bags.

BE PREPARED

Hunters who drew a controlled tag in the controlled draw applications are reminded to purchase it no later than the day before the hunt begins.

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

Be safe, be responsible and be legal.


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WILLAMETTE ZONE: WILDLIFE VIEWING

Valleywide

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

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

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

Corvallis area

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Eugene area

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

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

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

Portland area

Sauvie Island Wildlife Area has excellent waterfowl viewing this time of year. 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 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 agents or at the Sauvie Island ODFW office, Monday through Friday during office hours. For more information, call (503) 621-3488.

Directions to Sauvie Island Wildlife Area

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

Salem area

Ankeny National Wildlife Refuge, located at the confluence of the Santiam and Willamette rivers about 12 miles southeast of Salem. This refuge provides winter habitat for the dusky Canada goose and many other species of migratory waterfowl, shorebirds, wading birds, passerines and raptors. Extensive croplands are managed to provide winter forage for the geese to reduce depredation of private fields. Wetlands and riparian woodland provide sanctuary for migratory and resident wildlife.
Located just off of Interstate 5, the refuge offers convenient access to miles of boardwalk and dirt trails as well as handicap and stroller accessible viewing platforms. Refuge kiosks and trails provide an interpretive and informative experience for visitors along the way to learn more about the refuge habitats and how they are maintained for wildlife.

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

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

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

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

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


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CENTRAL ZONE: FISHING

Weekend fishing opportunities:

  • A few hatchery winter steelhead have been reported in the Hood River. Anglers should expect increasing numbers of steelhead as January progresses.
  • Reports of fair fishing for bull trout on the Metolius River.
  • Snow and ice will limit access to many fisheries in this zone. For hardy anglers who venture out, be prepared for cold winter conditions with good cold weather gear and respect for changing weather conditions.

Ice-fishing safety

With several water bodies beginning to ice over, it’s a good time to be reminded that anglers should always use caution during first-ice conditions. Take the following precautions: use the “buddy system,” wear a PFD in case of thin ice, carry a throw-rope, and use a heavy metal staff to check for thin-ice. REMINDER: The state of Oregon does not allow human-made ice holes larger than 12-inches in diameter or length.

If your favorite fishing spot is no longer listed

It could be the area is closed, inaccessible due or currently offers limited fishing opportunities. These water bodies will return to the recreation report when conditions change. If you believe something is missing, contact us and we’ll find out why.

Send us your fishing report

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

ANTELOPE FLAT RESERVOIR: rainbow trout

The reservoir is frozen over but the ice thickness is unknown. Please contact the U.S. Forest Service for road conditions at (541) 416-6500.

BEND PINE NURSERY: rainbow trout, bluegill, bass

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

BIKINI POND: rainbow trout

The pond is frozen,

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

Closed to fishing for the season.

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

Open all year.

CROOKED RIVER BELOW BOWMAN DAM: redband trout, mountain whitefish

The water level will be maintained at winter levels since irrigation season is over. The river is mostly ice free, especially closer to the dam and in the faster flowing water. Fishing has been slow in the cold weather and trout numbers per mile are down significantly from recent years. As a REMINDER, bait is no longer allowed on the river and all trout over 20-inches are considered steelhead and must be immediately released unharmed.

Flows below Bowman Dam

CULTUS LAKE: rainbow trout, lake trout

Open to fishing all year.

DAVIS LAKE: largemouth bass, redband trout

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

DESCHUTES RIVER, MOUTH TO THE PELTON REGULATING DAM: summer steelhead, redband trout, whitefish

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

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

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

LAKE BILLY CHINOOK TO BENHAM FALLS: rainbow trout, brown trout

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

BENHAM FALLS UPSTREAM TO LITTLE LAVA LAKE:

Closed to fishing for the season.

DEVILS LAKE: rainbow trout

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

EAST LAKE: rainbow trout, brown trout, kokanee

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

ELK LAKE: brook trout, kokanee, cutthroat trout

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

FALL RIVER: rainbow trout

Forest Service road 4060 is not plowed during the winter. Anglers report fair fishing. Open to fishing all year. Restricted to fly-fishing only with barbless hooks.

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

The reservoir is currently frozen over but conditions can change quickly at this lower elevation reservoir.

HOOD RIVER: summer steelhead, winter steelhead

A few hatchery winter steelhead have been reported in the last week. Anglers should expect increasing numbers of steelhead as January progresses. Ice and snow will limit access.

HOSMER LAKE: brook, rainbow and cutthroat trout

Cascade Lakes Highway snow gates closed. Open to fishing all year. Restricted to fly-fishing only with barbless hooks. Catch-and-release for all species.

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

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

LAKE SIMTUSTUS: bull trout, rainbow trout, smallmouth bass

Open year-round.

LAVA LAKE (BIG): rainbow trout

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

LAVA LAKE (SMALL): rainbow trout, brook trout

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

METOLIUS RIVER: redband trout, bull trout

Anglers report fair fishing for bull trout. Closed to fishing above Allingham Bridge. Fly fishing only upstream of Bridge 99.

NORTH TWIN LAKE: rainbow trout

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

OCHOCO CREEK UPSTREAM TO OCHOCO DAM: rainbow trout

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

OCHOCO RESERVOIR: rainbow trout, black crappie, smallmouth bass

The reservoir is completely frozen over but the ice thickness is unknown. Anglers should be wary of cracks and weak spots. When the ice is safe, anglers usually do very well for large trout.

ODELL LAKE: lake trout, kokanee, rainbow trout

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

PAULINA LAKE: brown trout, rainbow trout, kokanee

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

PINE HOLLOW RESERVOIR: rainbow trout, largemouth bass

Ice and snow will limit access.

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

The reservoir is mostly frozen over with spots of open water. The thickness of the ice is unknown.

PRINEVILLE YOUTH FISHING POND: rainbow trout and largemouth bass

For safety reasons, people are not allowed on the ice when the pond is frozen over.

ROCK CREEK RESERVOIR: rainbow trout

Ice and snow will limit access

SHEVLIN YOUTH FISHING POND: rainbow trout

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

SOUTH TWIN LAKE: rainbow trout

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

SPARKS LAKE: cutthroat trout

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

SUTTLE LAKE: brown trout, kokanee

Open to fishing all year.

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

Lake is frozen over.

THREE CREEK LAKE: rainbow trout, brook trout

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

WALTON LAKE: rainbow trout

Fall sampling indicated good numbers of 12 to 14-inch long trout with some up to 18-inches available. Walton is open to fishing year-round, but access to the lake may be impeded by snow. The gate is closed this time of year so anglers will have to walk to the lake. Check with Ochoco National Forest at 541-416-6500 for information on road conditions.

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

Closed to fishing for the season.


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CENTRAL ZONE: HUNTING

OPEN: COUGAR, UPLAND BIRD, WATERFOWL

Wolves and coyotes can look alike

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

Use the Oregon Hunting Map to see where to hunt.

PRINEVILLE/OCHOCO WILDLIFE DISTRICT

Waterfowl season is open. Popular spots include Prineville Reservoir, where water levels are low and partially frozen, and the BLM portions of the Lower Crooked River. Most Canada geese in the district are found on private land, where permission is required to hunt. Hunters are reminded that they need a federal waterfowl stamp in addition to the state waterfowl validation, and a 2017 hunting license.

Cougar are present throughout the Maury, Ochoco, and Grizzly units. The Maury and Ochoco units are recommended because of their greater amounts of public lands and better accessibility. Fresh snowfall can help with locating and tracking. Cougars 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. Remember a 2017 cougar tag and license is needed to hunt as of Jan. 1.

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

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

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

THE DALLES DISTRICT

Waterfowl: Season dates are Nov. 2- Jan. 29. Large rafts of ducks can be seen all throughout the Columbia in our district as waterfowl numbers are likely at the peak for the season. The Columbia River can be hunted below high water mark as long as you are outside of city limits. Mayer State Park and Taylor Lake are two popular areas to hunt waterfowl in our district.

Upland birds: Early bird surveys indicated bird numbers appear to be higher than last bird hunting season. Forest Grouse and Mountain Quail hunters are encouraged to put a wing and tail feathers in one of several “grouse wing barrels” located throughout the White River and Hood Units. Most of our grouse wing barrels have been removed due to high elevation snow. Hunters looking for areas to hunt can explore the UCAP properties and public properties in the Deschutes and John Day river canyons. Pheasant closed Dec. 31.

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

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

Hunters are required to check-in the unfrozen hide and skull, with proof of sex attached to an ODFW office within 10 days. Hunters are also required to provide the reproductive tract of harvested female cougars. See pg. 42 of the regulations for details. Remember a 2017 cougar tag and hunting license is needed to hunt as of Jan. 1.

WHITE RIVER WILDLIFE AREA

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

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

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

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

Cougar is open all year or until zone mortality quotas have been met. Calling with distress calls or cougar vocalizations can be effective. However, locating a fresh, naturally made kill has the best chance of success. Remember a 2017 cougar tag and hunting license is needed to hunt as of Jan. 1.

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


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CENTRAL ZONE: WILDLIFE VIEWING

CROOK COUNTY

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

Prineville Reservoir Wildlife Area

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

Deschutes County

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

Recent birding reports from the Deschutes River in Bend include sightings of Canada Goose, Common Goldeneye, California Quail, Anna's Hummingbird, Hermit Thrush, Western Bluebird, Cedar Waxwing, Golden-crowned Sparrow, Lesser Goldfinch, American Goldfinch, Merlin, Pied-billed Grebe, Lesser Scaup, Hooded Merganser, and Great Blue Heron to list but a few. Winter is an excellent time to view raptors, such as Red-tailed Hawks, American kestrel, Northern Harrier, Rough-legged Hawk, Bald Eagles and Golden Eagles sitting on power poles and fence posts scanning open spaces for a potential meal.

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

Most of our summer birds have left for warmer climes, however, year round resident birds, such as California quail, house finches, and pine siskins are still plentiful. Other species, such as robins and red-tailed hawks have migratory “shifts” meaning that individuals present during the spring and summer migrate south, while other individuals that summer north of Oregon move here to overwinter.

Whether you’re interested in song birds, waterfowl, or raptors and prefer remote birding locations, or those closer to urban areas, directions to a long list of great birding locations can be found at East Cascades Audubon Society. Birding locations

Mammals can be harder to find during the winter, but this is a good time to brush up on your snow tracking skills. At lower elevations you might run into a black-tailed jackrabbit in areas where sagebrush abounds and it’s not uncommon to see coyotes cross open spaces in a variety of habitats. Squirrels can be observed, when temperatures are mild, conducting their winter activities on national forest and BLM lands, but expect to see less activity at higher colder elevations. Reptiles are now sequestered in underground winter quarters that protect them from freezing conditions. And although amphibians can be active at colder temperatures, they will be much harder to find until next spring. We’ll know spring is back when the chirrups of tree frogs can be heard once again. 12/27/16

WASCO AND SHERMAN COUNTIES

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

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

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

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

White River Wildlife Area

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

There is a variety wildlife viewing opportunities on White River Wildlife Area ranging from Deer and Elk to coyotes, bears, and the occasional cougar. Some of these animals are much harder to find than others. Wintering deer can easily be found throughout the wildlife area. Elk can sometimes be viewed from our wildlife viewing area near the Cody ponds. Please be quiet and courteous to the wildlife and other viewers.

Remember when driving around the Wildlife Area or rural roads, watch carefully for deer along the edges ready to jump out in front of you. There are many deer mortalities every year from vehicle collisions. Not only is it bad for the deer but can cause serious injuries or be fatal to the driver and passengers.

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

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

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

Look on ponds, lakes and streams to see a variety of ducks and geese, as well as western grebes, coots, and mergansers. 1/10/16

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SOUTHEAST ZONE: FISHING

Weekend Fishing Opportunities:

  • Fishing on The Klamath River for large redband trout from Keno Dam to J.C. Boyle Reservoir is slow but remains one of the best fishing opportunities in the Klamath Basin.
  • Ana River and Ana Reservoir do not freeze during the winter and offer great opportunities to catch rainbow trout and hybrid bass.
  • Ice fishing for yellow perch is picking up at Lake of the Woods.

Ice-fishing safety

With several water bodies beginning to ice over, it’s a good time to be reminded that anglers should always use caution during first-ice conditions. Take the following precautions: use the “buddy system,” wear a PFD in case of thin ice, carry a throw-rope, and use a heavy metal staff to check for thin-ice. REMINDER: The state of Oregon does not allow human-made ice holes larger than 12-inches in diameter or length.

If your favorite fishing spot is no longer listed

It could be the area is closed, inaccessible due or currently offers limited fishing opportunities. These water bodies will return to the recreation report when conditions change. If you believe something is missing, contact us and we’ll find out why.

Send us your fishing report

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

ANA RESERVOIR: hatchery rainbow trout, hybrid bass

This lake is open year round, providing a great opportunity to catch hybrid bass and rainbow trout. There have been no recent fishing reports but bass fishing should start picking up during winter. Hybrid bass are traditionally targeted using crank baits; however, they can be caught in the reservoir using various methods including bait. Hybrid bass larger than 20-inches are not uncommon.

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

ANA RIVER: hatchery rainbow trout, brown trout

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

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

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

ANNIE CREEK: brook trout, brown trout and rainbow trout

Fishing in Annie Creek not recommended at this time due to high flows with ice moving through. Annie Creek turns turbid quickly due to the large watershed and snow in the upper elevations. Access is available off Hwy. 62 at the USFS snow park. There is plenty of public property on USFS, State Forest and Crater Lake National Park -- fishing is regulated by the National Park (541-594-3000). Several waterfalls occur on the creek inside Crater Lake National Park offering exceptional views. Fishing is very slow due to very cold (34 degrees) and low productivity water. Fishing with bait allowed. Open year-round.

ANTHONY LAKE: rainbow trout, brook trout

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

BALM CREEK RESERVOIR: rainbow trout, smallmouth bass, crappie

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

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

No recent fishing reports and no reports on ice formation and thickness. The reservoir is currently at 22 percent of capacity and the boat ramp is not useable based on the Bureau of Reclamation website.

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

BIG ROCK RESERVOIR: hatchery rainbow trout

Access is limited due to snow and ice thickness is unknown.

BLITZEN RIVER: redband trout

The Blitzen River is currently flowing around 42 cfs with water temperatures fluctuating around 32oF. The current conditions for the Blitzen can be checked here. Recent reports indicate that fishing is fair in areas of the river that are not currently frozen over. Most of the deeper pools that hold a lot of fish are frozen over so look for fish in any open areas that offer access to deeper water.

The cold weather has shifted fly-fishing to a nymph and streamer show. Bead-headed wooly buggers in brown and olive are great winter flies to use on the Blitzen. Using larger leaders will also help to pull fish out of tough to reach areas and the redband trout on the Blitzen are not know to be leader shy. The Page Springs area is going to offer the best for winter access and there is open water downstream of the bridge below Page Springs Dam. This section has a series of riffles and pools that hold trout. Heading upstream from the campground will also offer some open water.

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

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

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

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

CAMPBELL LAKE: hatchery rainbow trout, brook trout

Access is blocked by snow.

CAMPBELL RESERVOIR: redband trout, largemouth bass, crappie

The reservoir is frozen but ice thickness is unknown.

Water levels in the reservoir are surprisingly high. There are no boat ramps on the reservoir. The southeastern part of the reservoir is on BLM property. The reservoir is fed by water from Deming Creek.

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

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

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

CHICKAHOMINY RESERVOIR: trout

Recent fishing reports indicate that fishing is fairly good right now at Chickahominy with consistent catches of 10-14 inch rainbow trout. The ice is around 11 inches thick and has a lot of snow on top. The fish appear to be moving in schools so the bite is sometimes sporadic. The water below the ice is still fairly murky so using bright lures that make noise will increase your chances of success.

The fishery in Chickahominy Reservoir was jump-started this year with stockings of fingerling and legal-sized rainbow trout following years of drought conditions that adversely affected the fishery. Following the fish stockings last spring, ODFW sampled the reservoir and found plenty of healthy rainbow trout up to 14-inches. Hopefully this indicates that the fishery is on the rebound.

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

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

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

Access is blocked by snow.

COTTONWOOD RESERVOIR (Lake County): redband trout

No recent fishing reports, access is limited due to snow and ice thickness is unknown. One rainbow trout per day, 15-inch minimum length may be harvested.

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

No recent reports on ice formation or thickness but the Cow Lakes should be frozen over. A fishing report from this past summer indicates that fishing is poor in the Cow Lakes this year. As of 2013, the lakes has not longer been stocked with rainbow trout due to poor habitat quality. When habitat conditions improve, the trout stocking program will be reinstated.

This past summer, ODFW and volunteers sampled the Upper Cow Lake and found an overabundance of brown bullheads. White crappie, bluegill, and large scale suckers were also found with a few of the crappie being very large. Water clarity was poor at the time of sampling. ODFW will continue to monitor conditions in the Cow Lakes to hopefully improve the fishery.

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

Closed to fishing until May 22.

CRYSTAL CREEK redband trout and yellow perch

Closed to fishing until May 22.

DEADHORSE LAKE: hatchery rainbow trout

Access is blocked by snow.

DELINTMENT LAKE: trout

No recent reports on ice formation and thickness but Delintment Lake should be frozen over and the ice may be thick enough for ice fishing. The roads to Delintment Lake have not been plowed all the way to the lake and it may not be possible to get there. Anyone attempting to drive to the lake should take a 4-wheel drive vehicle and carry chains and shovels. Fishing this past summer and fall was good at Delintment Lake and there should be plenty of healthy rainbow trout for those that find a way to access the lake this winter.

DEMING CREEK: redband trout and bull trout

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

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

No recent report.

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

There have not been any recent fishing reports, access is limited due to snow and ice thickness was 8-inches this past weekend. With warmer temperatures and water standing on the ice, safety is a concern. Yellow perch are the best species to target on this lake in the winter, but crappie, brown bullhead and bass are present. Only one rainbow trout per day, 15-inch minimum length may be harvested.

DUNCAN RESERVOIR: hatchery rainbow trout

There have been no recent reports, access might be blocked by snow and ice thickness is unknown. A recent illegal introduction of brown bullhead will negatively impact the trout fishery in the future.

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

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

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

The North Loop Steens Road is closed for winter making accessing Fish Lake difficult. The Burns District BLM office does issue keys to the North Loop Steens Road on a first-come-first-served basis and those people with a snowmobile may be able to make it to the lake and ice fish. Contact the Burns District BLM with any questions regarding accessing the North Loop Steens Road during the winter.

FORT CREEK: brown, redband and brook trout

Fort Creek is closed to fishing until May 22.

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

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

Access is blocked by snow. Water levels in the Lake are low. Fourmile Lake is currently 0 percent full based on water used for irrigation.

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

The reservoir is frozen. Ice conditions are unknown. Water levels are very low. The reservoir is 19 percent full. Access is good as BLM maintains campgrounds at the reservoir. Fishing is slow. Best fishing is for yellow perch.

GRANDE RONDE LAKE: rainbow trout, brook trout

Winter has now arrived at Grande Ronde Lake.

HAINES POND: rainbow

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

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

Access is blocked by snow.

HOLBROOK RESERVOIR: hatchery rainbow trout

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

HWY 203 POND: trout, bass, bluegill

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

JACKSON CREEK (UPPER WILLIAMSON RIVER): brook trout

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

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

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

Fishing can be good on days when the water warms quickly during the afternoon. Water temperature is currently peaking at 34 degrees. Fishing for largemouth bass is slow. The reservoir is turbid and likely frozen in many placestherefore anglers should try scent and lures with high visibility. The reservoir is not safe for ice fishing.

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

Upper Klamath Lake is frozen; however, ice fishing not recommended. Anglers can fish at the outlet of the lake near Pelican Marina. Water levels in the lake have increased slightly. The lake is 3 feet below full pool.

KLAMATH RIVER: native rainbow-redband trout

Keno Dam to J.C Boyle Reservoir

Water levels in the Keno Reach of the Klamath River have declined to an extreme low of 388 cfs. This flow is good for fishing. Water temperatures are peaking around 34 degrees.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

J.C. Boyle Powerhouse to State Line with California

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

KRUMBO RESERVOIR: trout, bass

No recent fishing reports for Krumbo Reservoir but it is expected to be frozen over following the colder weather in the area. The Malheur National Wildlife Refuge does not allow ice fishing on Krumbo Reservoir so please respect these regulations and stay off the ice. This is a safety regulation because there are numerous springs in Krumbo that can alter the ice conditions and make it dangerous for people to be on. The refuge will also close the gate at the top of Krumbo Hill when conditions are unsafe for vehicles so please check with the refuge headquarters before heading out to Krumbo.

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

The lake is frozen. Anglers are ice fishing, but the recent warm spell with rain might have weakened the ice. Please use extreme caution when ice fishing. Fishing can be excellent for yellow perch with the occasional large brown trout. Check with Lake of the Woods Resort for recent updates.

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

LOFTON RESERVOIR: hatchery rainbow trout

Access is blocked by snow.

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

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

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

The River is frozen and ice fishing not recommended.

LUCKY RESERVOIR: hatchery rainbow trout

Access is blocked by snow. Fingerlings released this spring should overwinter and create a great fishery for next year.

MALHEUR RESERVOIR: hatchery rainbow trout

No recent fishing reports or reports of ice formation on Malheur Reservoir.

The reservoir dam was repaired and started holding water again in November of 2015. The reservoir was stocked with legal-sized and fingerling rainbow trout this past spring to jump start the fishery following prolonged drought conditions in the region.

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

No recent fishing reports.

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

No recent fishing reports.

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

No recent fishing reports.

MANN LAKE: cutthroat trout

No recent fishing reports but Mann Lake is frozen over with about 5 to 7 inches of ice. The lake is still fairly low and the water below the ice is shallow so look for any deeper area and that is probably where you will find the fish.

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

MILL FLAT POND: hatchery rainbow trout, largemouth bass

Access is blocked by snow. Bass have been illegally introduced and are negatively impacting the hatchery rainbow trout.

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

Access to the lake is blocked by snow.

MUD LAKE: hatchery rainbow trout

Access is blocked by snow.

MURRAY RESERVOIR: trout

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

NORTH POWDER POND: rainbow trout

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

OVERTON RESERVOIR: hatchery rainbow trout

Access is blocked by snow.

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

The Owyhee Reservoir is currently at 31 percent of capacity. There have been no reports of ice formation on the lake but the cold weather in the area should have frozen up some portions of the lake, but probably not enough for ice fishing.

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

The Owyhee Dam boat ramp is permanently closed due to safety concerns and the Gordon Gulch ramp is closed due to low water so users need to launch at the Indian Creek Boat Launch if the lake is open and not frozen over.

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

Water releases below the dam have been around 23 cfs according to the USGS stream data and the water clarity has been fluctuating throughout the day. The colder weather has caused some portions of the river to freeze over so this may limit access to the river. Prior to the cold weather, fishermen reported having success using really small dry flies during a mid-day hatch. Nymph and lure fishing had also been productive but there have been no recent fishing reports.

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

OWYHEE RIVER (Upper): smallmouth bass and channel catfish

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

PIUTE RESERVOIR:hatchery rainbow trout and Lahontan cutthroat

Access is blocked by snow and ice thickness is unknown. Over winter survival should be higher than previous years due to water level.

PHILLIPS RESERVOIR: trout, perch

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

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

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

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

PILCHER RESERVOIR:

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

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

Pine Creek and tributaries are open to trout fishing year-round, with a five-rainbow trout bag limit. This was a new regulation in 2017.

POISON CREEK RESERVOIR: hatchery rainbow trout

No recent fishing reports or reports of ice formation and thickness. Poison Creek Reservoir is likely frozen over but the ice may not be safe to fish on yet. Fishing this past summer and spring in Poison Creek Reservoir was slow but anglers did report catching large rainbow trout. The reservoir is unique in that it has a very robust population of large macroinvertebrates and this helps the trout to grow big rather quickly. The abundance of food for these trout may also be the reason that fishing is slow because the fish do not need to go far to find food so they move around less.

POLE CREEK RESERVOIR: hatchery rainbow trout, crappie

No recent fishing reports or reports of ice formation and thickness.

POWDER RIVER: rainbow trout

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

PRIDAY RESERVOIR: hatchery rainbow trout

Access is limited due to snow and ice thickness is unknown. Priday Reservoir is a reservoir mostly on BLM property between Plush and Adel. Please respect the private property on the reservoir.

ROGGER POND: hatchery rainbow trout

Access is blocked by snow.

SAND AND SCOTT CREEKS: brook trout and brown trout

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

SEVENMILE CREEK: brook trout, brown trout, redband trout

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

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

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

SHERLOCK GULCH RESERVOIR: hatchery rainbow trout

Access is blocked by snow.

SID LUCE RESERVOIR: hatchery rainbow trout

Access is blocked by snow.

SPAULDING RESERVOIR: hatchery rainbow trout

The reservoir was dry in 2015 and surprisingly remains dry.

SPENCER CREEK: redband trout and brook trout

Spencer Creek is closed to fishing until May 22.

SPRING CREEK: redband trout, brown trout, brook trout

Spring Creek is closed to fishing until May 22. Spawning redband trout can be observed in the picnic area upstream of the Logging Museum at Collier State Park.

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

Fishing is slow. River flows are increasing rapidly and are currently around 650 cfs. Water temperature is peaking at 32 degrees at the mouth. The river is mostly frozen with large rafts of ice coming down.

Yellow perch fishing should be fair if you can find them. Fishing is allowed year-round. ODFW encourages the release of redband trout spawners and the use of barbless, single hooks when fishing the Sprague River this time of year.

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

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

Fishing through the canyon is slow. Access to this area is challenging as is wading through the high gradient areas. Open all year. Flow has increased through the canyon to 56 cfs. Larger brown trout and redband trout occur in this section.

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

Access is limited due to snow. The South Fork Sprague River is open to fishing. Fishing is very slow in most areas due to low fish densities and a frozen channel. Open all year.

SUMMIT PRAIRIE POND: hatchery rainbow trout

Access is blocked by snow.

SUN CREEK: brook trout, bull trout, brown trout

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

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

Access is very challenging to the lower river. Fishing is very slow below the marsh as most of the river desiccated in summer of 2015. Flows are have increased to 27 cfs. Snow is blocking access to the upper river.

THOMPSON VALLEY RESERVOIR: hatchery rainbow trout, largemouth bass

Access is blocked by snow.

THIEF VALLEY RESERVOIR: trout

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

UNITY RESERVOIR: trout, bass, crappie

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

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

VEE LAKE: hatchery rainbow trout

Access is blocked by snow.

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

No recent fishing reports or reports of ice formation and thickness. The reservoir is currently at 6 percent of capacity. The roads into Warm Springs Reservoir can become unpassable when they are muddy or snowy so use caution when venturing out to this reservoir and always carry chains and other emergency equipment.

WARNER POND: hatchery rainbow trout

Access is blocked by snow.

UPPER WILLIAMSON RIVER: redband trout and brook trout

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

LOWER WILLIAMSON RIVER: redband trout and brown trout

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

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

There have been no recent fishing reports. The reservoir is frozen and ice fishing is not recommended.

WOLF CREEK RESERVOIR: crappie, trout

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

WOOD RIVER: redband, brown, brook and bull trout

The Wood River is closed to fishing until April 22.

YELLOWJACKET LAKE: trout

No recent fishing reports or reports of ice formation and thickness. Yellowjacket Lake is likely frozen over but snow and ice may make it difficult to access the lake. Forest Road 47 (Hines Logging Road) is plowed to the turn-a-round near the start of Sawtooth Creek Canyon. From here, it is a little over 7 miles into Yellowjacket so it may not be possible to reach the lake with a vehicle.


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SOUTHEAST ZONE: HUNTING

OPEN: COUGAR, WATERFOWL (see regulations), and UPLAND BIRD

WHITE-FRONTED GOOSE season is closed until Jan. 16

Wolves and coyotes can look alike

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

Use the Oregon Hunting Map to see where to hunt.

HARNEY COUNTY

WATERFOWL hunting may be limited in the Harney Basin due to low water conditions in Malheur Lake and most local reservoirs. Best hunting opportunities will be for Canada geese on private lands, hunters are reminded to get permission from the landowner before hunting on private lands. Check out the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge website for detailed maps.

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

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

Cougar hunting is open year around. Don’t forget to pick up a tag for 2017. Populations are healthy and distributed throughout the district in any area with a big game prey base. Cougars at this time of year are generally concentrated along with their primary prey of deer and elk. Don’t forget successful hunters must check-in cougars no more than 10 days after harvest; please bring cougar in thawed and with mouth propped open so that field staff can quickly process the animal and get you on your way.

KLAMATH COUNTY

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

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

California and Mountain Quail seasons remain open through Jan. 31. California quail can be found in foothill areas around the basin while best prospects for mountain quail are found in the southern portion of the Keno WMU.

Cougar - Hunting is open. Populations are healthy and distributed throughout the district in any area with a big game prey base. Deer and elk are now occupying lower elevation winter ranges, and cougars often follow this prey base and become more concentrated themselves in these lower elevation areas. Use of predator calls and snow tracking are great hunting techniques during the winter period. Don’t forget successful hunters must check-in cougars no more than 10 days after harvest; please bring cougar in thawed and with mouth propped open so that field staff can quickly process the animal and get you on your way. Remember a 2017 cougar tag and hunting license is needed to hunt.

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

KLAMATH WILDLIFE AREA

Updated Jan. 10, 2016

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

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

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

Posted safety zones are closed to all hunting.

Miller Island Unit

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

Jan. 1-31

Open to public use daily; open to hunting during authorizes gamebird seasons. From January 30 to March 10th all goose hunting is closed on Miller Island Unit of Klamath Wildlife Area.

Gorr Island Unit

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

Shoalwater Bay Unit and Sesti Tgawaals Unit

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

Waterfowl and Upland Hunting Information

WATERFOWL hunters are reminded that white goose and white-fronted goose seasons are closed thru Jan. 15.

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

There was almost no waterfowl hunting during the 13th week of the season. Waterfowl numbers on Miller Island Unit are very low due to frozen conditions. Approximately 99% of the area was frozen during the week. Decent duck hunting is most likely done for the year, however Canada goose hunting could get better as the season progresses. Pheasant season is closed.

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

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

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

LAKE COUNTY

Winter Conditions: The entire county received significant snow fall last week, followed by a rain on snow event. Motorized access is limited to plowed roads due to mud and/or snow.

Cougar populations are good and most individuals have moved to lower elevations as deer migrate to winter range. Finding a fresh kill and then calling in the vicinity is the best option for harvesting a cougar.

Coyote hunting is available throughout the district. Be aware that bobcats and cougars may respond to predator calls, and separate licensing and season limitations exist for these species.

Waterfowl season continues though there are intermittent goose closures for the next few weeks, see regulations. All of the lakes and ponds in the county are frozen or have only minor openings. Most of the major lakes in the county were dry or very low prior to freeze up. There are a few Canada Geese and ducks using the fresh water springs along the edge of Lake Abert.

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

SUMMER LAKE WILDLIFE AREA

Updated Jan. 10, 2017

Thirteenth week of the game bird hunting season success was well above average for ducks and Canada goose hunting (seasons for snow and white-fronted geese remains closed). Hunter harvest was also above average for upland game birds.

A total of 42 hunters checked-in, which was down 36.4% from the same week last year.

They reported (with 92.9% check-out) the total harvest of 103 birds (88 ducks [49 mallards, 19 gadwall, 7 bufflehead, 6 Am. wigeon, 3 N. Pintail, 1 ringneck and 1 merganser], 7 Canada geese and 8 California quail.

This resulted in a bird per hunter average of 2.86 for the thirteenth week which was nearly triple last year’s bird per hunter ratio. Duck per hunter average was 2.44 compared to the previous year of harvest at 0.68 ducks per hunter. Canada goose harvest (7) was up considerably from last year’s harvest of 3 geese.

Temperatures varied through the week, but most of the wildlife area wetland units remain frozen. A considerable amount of snow has been accumulating at the wildlife area making access difficult without a four wheel drive vehicle. Warming temperatures are predicted early this week and should reduce snow pack levels.

Prospects for the upcoming week should be fair to good. Forecasted weather calls for snow and mostly mild temperatures throughout the week. Cold day time temperatures during midweek should increase waterfowl feeding activity and hunters locating open water areas and willing to sit over decoys for most of the day should experience fairly good success. Average numbers of ducks and geese are present for this time of the year, based on the last weekly count and field observations. The wildlife area waterfowl population remains at a relatively stable level after the fall migration slows down.
Duck, snipe and coot hunting season remains open through Jan. 22, 2017, but, Scaup season closed on Jan. 03, 2017.

Canada goose season remains open through January 29, 2017. White-fronted and snow goose season remains closed and will not reopen until January 16, 2017.
Pheasant season closed on December 31, 2016, quail season remains open through January 31, 2017.

The last weekly bird count (Jan. 04) found about 2,982 ducks and 269 geese on the Wildlife Area. Some areas could not be accessed during the count due to drifting snow on the wildlife area dikes. The next weekly count will occur Wednesday; January 11, 2017. Count information will be placed on the telephone answering machine and ODFW website that evening or the following day.

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

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

Please remember, BEGINNING ON SUNDAY, JANUARY 1, 2017 HUNTERS WILL NEED TO HAVE A 2017 HUNTING LICENSE! HIP, Upland and Waterfowl validations from 2016 will remain in effect, as will the Federal Duck Stamp.

Federal Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamps (duck stamps) are required for hunters over 16 years and are available from US Post Offices and sometimes license agents. Stamps must be signed across the face in ink to be valid for hunting.

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

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

MALHEUR COUNTY

Winter Conditions

The northern portion of Malheur County is covered in a foot of snow and snow drifted. These conditions have severely limited access off the main roads. While the long term forecast calls for below freezing day time high temperatures for the reminder of the week. Thus access for chukar hunting is very limited. Additionally the Snake River below Porter Island is frozen over while chunks of ice may limit motor boats it areas between Porter Island and the state line. Many of the boat launches are frozen in as well.

Chukar

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

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

California quail

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

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

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

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


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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.

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 Hwy 205 along Catlow Valley or along the East Steens Road.

Winter recreation opportunities on Steens Mt. are also becoming available as snow levels increase. Cross country skiing along the North Loop Road can provide excellent access to an abundance of winter wildlife viewing, as well as spectacular views of the high desert in winter. 12/20/2016

Klamath Falls Area

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

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

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

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

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

KLAMATH WILDLIFE AREA (Miller Island Unit)Updated Jan. 10, 2017

Jan. 1-31  Open to public use daily.

Waterfowl

Flocks of Western Canada Geese can be found scattered across the area. Dabbling ducks are becoming uncommon as frozen conditions persist, Diver species such as canvasback, bufflehead, goldeneye, ruddy duck, ring-necked duck and scaup species can still occasionally be found on the adjacent Klamath River.

Shorebirds, waders and other waterbirds

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

Great blue herons and American bitterns can still be located where this is open water.

Virginia rails heard more often than seen can also be located where open water exists.

Raptors

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

Eagle species numbers continue to increase and are becoming quite common.

Upland Game Birds

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

Passerines

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

Black phoebe are becoming more common as winter progresses and can found perched in trees especially along the Klamath River.

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

Some birds that have been seen recently on the area include hermit thrush and spotted towhee.

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

Winter resident raptors and passerines are about the only avian viewing opportunity remaining in the county. Rough legged hawks, red tailed hawks and bald eagles are fairly common throughout the Goose Lake, Chewaucan and Warner valleys. The best passerine viewing opportunities are along riparian areas with willows.

Deer are concentrating near winter areas and although the rut is over there are good viewing opportunities. Be advised that most of the winter ranges and accessible areas in the valleys are privately owned and viewers should get permission prior to entering private land.

SUMMER LAKE WILDLIFE AREA

This section was updated on Jan. 10, 2017.

New 2017 Wildlife Area Parking permits are required for all users of Summer Lake Wildlife Area. Parking permits can be purchased at any ODFW license agent (pdf) or through the ODFW website. The cost is $10.00 daily or $30.00 annually and is valid on all ODFW Wildlife Areas. Locally, parking permits can be purchased at the Summer Lake Store, 1.3 miles north of Headquarters.

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

Wildlife viewing opportunities are somewhat limited at this time due to game bird hunting seasons that are underway and somewhat harsh winter conditions. Wintering wildlife species are prevalent now.

Waterfowl

Waterfowl populations remain fairly strong for this time of year, although most species have already departed towards wintering areas further south. Migrant swan numbers have begun decreasing, but a large number of wintering trumpeter and tundra swans remain on the wildlife area.

Western Canada geese are widely distributed across the area, but greater white-fronted and snow geese were not found during the weekly count.
Most waterfowl are found in refuge/sanctuary areas or at the head of Summer Lake where viewing is difficult. Schoolhouse viewing blind provides a great opportunity to view a large variety of waterfowl and is located within an accessible portion of the refuge.

Migrant swan numbers have decreased considerably. A few resident and non-breeding trumpeter swans remain widely scattered across the wildlife area, about 60 were detected on the count. Some of these birds are part of restoration efforts and will be neck-banded with green collars and white alphanumeric symbols. Viewers are encouraged to “read” the collars and report them to wildlife area personnel. Collars will have the Greek letter Theta (Ѳ) or the symbol “@” and two numerals that are read from the body toward the head.

Shorebirds, waders and other waterbirds

Very few wintering shorebird species are still present. Greater yellowlegs, killdeer and Wilson’s snipe were observed over the past week. American coot numbers have dropped drastically after a majority of the wildlife area froze solid early in the month Virginia rails were found in low numbers during the Christmas Bird Count several weeks ago.

Very few grebes remain, but the occasional stragglers can be still be found; 4 species (eared, horned, pied-billed and Western) were found during the Christmas Bird Count and are best viewed at Ana Reservoir and from the Schoolhouse Lake Viewing Blind.

Black-crowned night-herons and great egrets have largely departed and occasional stragglers can sometimes be found. Great blue herons are still present in average numbers. American bittern have been seen on a regular basis.

Raptors and others

Northern harriers and red-tailed and rough-legged hawks are common this time of the year. Sharp shinned and coopers hawks have also recently been observed. Bald and golden eagles, American kestrel, peregrine and prairie falcons can occasionally be found. Accipiters are sometimes found around Headquarters where other birds are being fed.
Great horned owls are found scattered across the entire wildlife area, especially in the trees at campgrounds. Common barn and sometimes short-eared owls can occasionally be observed near dusk.

Upland game birds

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

Passerines

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

American and lesser goldfinches are occasionally observed at headquarters. American robins, loggerhead and northern shrikes, Stellar’ s and scrub jays, and cedar waxwings are being observed in varied numbers across the wildlife area. Recently, an American tree sparrow and spotted towhee were observed.

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

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

Blackbirds have largely departed the area, but a few individuals can still be found.

Facilities and Access

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

Summer Lake Wildlife Area requires a $10 daily parking permit or a $30 annual parking permit. Parking permits can be purchased at any Point of Sale Agent or through the ODFW website. Locally, parking permits can be purchased at the Summer Lake Store, 1.3 miles north of Headquarters.

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

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

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

Habitat

The Area’s wetland units remain fairly well flooded, although 80-90% are frozen over at this time. Ana Reservoir and Ana River, with the relatively warm and moving water does not freeze and provides habitat to a variety of birds. Also, moving water below water control structures remains open which provides access to food resources scattered across the wildlife area.

Emergent marsh vegetation is well into senesce now and recent strong winds have lodged-over bulrush and cattail stands.

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

Summer Lake continues to slowly increase in size at this time.

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

A majority of the wildlife area wetland units have a somewhat thick layer of ice. A recent storm system has brought snowfall to the valley floor with the accumulation of 6-8 inches found at this time.

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


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NORTHEAST ZONE: FISHING

Weekend fishing opportunities:

  • Steelhead catch rates on the Umatilla River have been good. The latest creel report shows the few hardy anglers averaged 1.5 hours per steelhead landed.
  • Anglers fishing through the ice at Kinney Lake have reported good catch rates.
  • Recent warm temperatures have melted enough ice on the John Day River for angler to have fishing access.

If your favorite fishing spot is no longer listed

It could be the area is closed, inaccessible due or currently offers limited fishing opportunities. These water bodies will return to the recreation report when conditions change. If you believe something is missing, contact us and we’ll find out why.

Send us your fishing report

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

ALDRICH PONDS (Roosevelt and Stewart Lakes): trout

Aldrich Ponds are located on the Phillips W. Schneider Wildlife Management Area which is currently under vehicle travel restrictions. The road to the ponds is closed to vehicle access Dec. 1- April 15. Non-motorized access is still open with an 8 mile hike in snow conditions to the ponds. The Wildlife Area will be closed to all access from Feb. 1 –April 14 to protect big game wintering. A WMA parking permit is required. Bag limit: 2 trout per day; see pg. 56 in the regulations book.

BULL PRAIRIE RESERVOIR: rainbow and brook trout

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

GRANDE RONDE RIVER: trout, whitefish, bass, steelhead

The Grande Ronde is currently very icy making the river unfishable. Similar to other Columbia basin runs, the Grande Ronde stock is tracking below expectations this year.

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

HOLLIDAY PARK POND: rainbow trout

The pond has frozen but ice is likely to thin to support anglers. Holliday Park Pond was stocked with trophy sized trout the last week of September and fishing should be fair once ice thaws. An ADA fishing dock for anglers with disabilities is available.

HUNTER POND: hatchery rainbow trout

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

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

IMNAHA RIVER: trout, bass

The Imnaha is currently affected by ice and may not be fishable. Similar to other Columbia basin runs, the Grande Ronde stock is tracking below expectations this year. On the upside, a large majority of the returning fish are two-salt, meaning they are larger average size. Harvest is limited to three hatchery steelhead per day and must be recorded on the Combined Angling Tag. A Columbia River Basin Endorsement is also required.

JOHN DAY RIVER: wild steelhead

Recent above freezing temperatures have opened the river up for fishing access. River edge ice and free floating ice are still present in most sections of the river. The majority of steelhead are scattered from the mouth up to Kimberly. Most John Day steelhead are wild and must be released without removal from the water. There are however some hatchery steelhead strays in the river and anglers are encouraged to keep up to three hatchery fish per day. Fish are being caught on flies, jigs, lures and bait.

LONG CREEK POND, CAVENDER POND: trout

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

LUGER POND: hatchery rainbow trout

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

MAGONE LAKE: rainbow and brook trout

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

McKAY RESERVOIR: Warmwater species

Closed for the winter; area reopens March 1, 2017

MORGAN LAKE: rainbow trout

Closed to fishing Nov. 1.

PEACH POND (Ladd Marsh): rainbow trout

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

ROULET POND: rainbow trout

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

ROWE CREEK RESERVOIR: rainbow trout

Remains open all year. 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.

TAYLOR GREEN POND: hatchery rainbow trout

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

UMATILLA RIVER: steelhead

For the week of to Dec. 26 to Jan. 1 steelhead anglers on the lower river averaged 2.1 hours/steelhead landed, and for the week of Jan. 2 – Jan 8 anglers averaged 1.5 hours per steelhead landed. There were a few very successful anglers and a number unsuccessful anglers for the week. Freezing conditions have shut down fishing for several days. Anglers are concentrating on the river downstream of Threemile Dam. Anglers can access fish counts at Threemile Dam fish counts. Flow data

WALLOWA COUNTY PONDS: rainbow trout

Kinney Lake was stocked at the end of September and should fish well throughout the winter. Anglers have recently reported good catch rates through the ice of healthy fish range 12 to 14-inches. This is the first year Kinney has been open for ice fishing and pressure has been very light. While driving access in not possible, a short walk on snowshoes or drive via snow machine will get you there.

WALLOWA LAKE: rainbow trout, kokanee, lake trout

Wallowa Lake has frozen for the first time since 2013.

The ice is a few inches thick and may not quite be ready for ice fishermen. Check in on weekly recreation reports for updates. Kokanee size appears to be improving with reports of fish in the 8 to 9-inch range and some fish as large as 12-inches.

WALLOWA RIVER: steelhead, mountain whitefish

The Wallowa River is currently affected by ice and fishing will likely be difficult.

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

WILLOW CREEK RESERVOIR: trout

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


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NORTHEAST ZONE: HUNTING

OPEN: COUGAR, UPLAND BIRD, WATERFOWL

Wolves in Northeast Oregon

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

Use the Oregon Hunting Map to see where to hunt.

BAKER COUNTY

Chukar, Hun, and California quail - The season ends Jan. 31. Chukar numbers were up for a second year in a row in surveys earlier this year. Conditions will limit access in many areas; check access conditions before heading out.

Grouse season continues. Hunters should expect an average year for grouse.

Cougars can be found throughout Baker County but hunters should target areas with high concentrations of deer and elk. Setting up on a fresh kill or using distress calls can all be productive techniques. Hunters are required to check in the hide of any cougar taken, with skull and proof of sex attached. Remember a 2017 cougar tag and hunting license is needed to hunt as of Jan. 1.

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

GRANT COUNTY

Cougar hunting remains open. Successful hunters should remember that check-in of the hide with skull and proof of sex attached is mandatory; see the regulations for details. Remember a 2017 cougar tag and hunting license is needed to hunt as of Jan. 1.

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

Upland Game Bird number are good this year as brood routes indicate a good production year. Chukars can be found is steep areas along the South Fork John Day River.

MORROW, GILLIAM AND WHEELER COUNTIES

Cougar hunting is open. Cougar are well distributed in our forested areas. Calling with distress calls or cougar vocalizations can be effective. However, locating a fresh, naturally made kill has the best chance of success. Remember a 2017 cougar tag and hunting license is needed to hunt as of Jan. 1.

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

UMATILLA COUNTY

Cougar are well distributed in forested areas of the Walla Walla, Mt. Emily, and Ukiah units. Hunters will have best success by finding a fresh naturally made kill and sitting on it, or by using predator calls. Some success has come from following tracks until the cougar is located. Remember a 2017 cougar tag and hunting license is needed to hunt as of Jan. 1.

WATERFOWL are in the Columbia Basin in adequate numbers when weather permits.

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

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

UNION COUNTY

Cougars are common in Union County. Focus on game rich areas with long ridgelines or saddles that cats typically travel. Setting up downwind of a deer or elk killed by a cougar can be productive. Nonresident hunters can include a cougar tag with others tags for only $14.50. All cougars taken must be checked in within 10 days of harvest; call for an appointment before check in. Remember a 2017 cougar tag and hunting license is needed to hunt as of Jan. 1.

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

Ladd Marsh Wildlife Area

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

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

WALLOWA COUNTY

Cougar: Populations are moderate throughout Wallowa County. Most lions are taken incidental to other hunting; however, calling with fawn bleat, or locating a cougar kill and waiting for a cat to return are often successful techniques. Remember a 2017 cougar tag and hunting license is needed to hunt as of Jan. 1.

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


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NORTHEAST ZONE: WILDLIFE VIEWING

Baker County

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

Winter bird species are starting to migrate through the area.

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

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

Elkhorn Wildlife Area

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

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

Grant County

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

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

UNION COUNTY

Ladd Marsh Wildlife Area

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

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

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

Red-tailed hawks, rough-legged hawks and northern harriers can be seen perched on poles and fences. Great horned owls can often be seen on power poles at dawn or dusk. American kestrels are common throughout the area and are often seen hunting from perch sites. Other raptors using the area include Cooper’s and sharp-shinned hawks, prairie falcons, and both bald and golden eagles.

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

Nearly all ponds and wetlands are locked in ice. Ducks can be seen using grain fields and in flight to and from feeding and loafing areas off the wildlife area.

Elk and deer have moved to lower elevations. They can often be seen from county roads by glassing the slopes of Glass Hill or across the flats to the east. Use caution to avoid spooking wildlife into roads or highways for their safety and the safety of the traveling public. 12/13/2016

UMATILLA COUNTY

Columbia Basin Wildlife Areas

Willow Creek and Coyote Springs Wildlife Areas are both found next to interstate 84 and the Columbia River and have excellent viewing for wetland and riparian obligate bird species. The upland areas are also available for savanna and shrub steppe species of birds. Willow Creek has an ample deer herd and the evidence of beaver activity can be seen on the Willow Creek delta area of the wildlife area.

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

Hermiston area

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

Umatilla County Uplands

Upland and forested riparian areas will have a number of wintering birds using those areas.

ELK will be more common in the early morning and late afternoon in mid and lower elevation areas. Roads moving upslope from the valley floor to the mountain areas would be best to see these animals.

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

WALLOWA COUNTY

Common raptors in the open areas of the county in winter are red-tailed hawks, rough-legged hawks, prairie falcons, golden eagles, and occasionally a gyrfalcon. And a merlin was seen this week in residential Enterprise. Look for bald eagles perched in the larger trees along Wallowa Lake shore or on power poles near water in the valley.

Most elk have left the Zumwalt Prairie now and moved onto the breaks above Little Sheep Creek or the Imnaha River. Try driving the Lower Imnaha River Road and looking carefully on slopes west of the river on Long Ridge. These areas are county roads that run through private property, so please respect the landowner’s privacy and remain on the county road and park out of the traffic lanes while watching the elk. Once you find a herd, use binoculars or a spotting scope to observe the animals.

The breeding season birds have moved south now, but we have a number of interesting migrants from the north still in the area. Wallowa Lake froze over this past week and all water birds there have moved south or to local creeks where there is still some open water. Seen recently on valley creeks or feeding in farm fields were Canada geese, mallards, common mergansers, horned grebes, and pied-billed grebes. Other winter migrants include grey-crowned rosy finches, snow buntings, horned larks and a few Lapland longspurs that regularly winter on the prairie areas north of Enterprise. 1/10/17


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SNAKE RIVER ZONE: FISHING

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

No recent fishing reports.

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

OXBOW RESERVOIR: trout, crappie, bass, catfish

No recent fishing reports.

HELLS CANYON RESERVOIR: trout, crappie, bass, catfish

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

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

The Snake River is open to fishing for steelhead. Snake River steelhead stocks are lagging this year so fishing may be a bit slower. Steelhead will be available into the spring when the fishery closes on April 30.

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

Updated information on flow levels

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

No recent reports.


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COLUMBIA RIVER ZONE: FISHING

Weekend Fishing Opportunities:

  • White sturgeon retention is open from Bonneville Dam upstream to McNary Dam. Anglers are catching a few keepers in the Bonneville Pool.
  • White sturgeon retention is closed from Buoy 10 upstream to Bonneville Dam, but remains an option for catch and release fishing.
  • A few walleye are being caught in the John Day Pool.

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

Salmon, Steelhead and Shad

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

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

STURGEON

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

Bonneville Pool: Weekly checking showed three sublegal sturgeon released for six bank anglers; and one legal white sturgeon kept, plus two oversize and 64 sublegal sturgeon released for 13 boats (43 anglers).

The Dalles Pool: Weekly checking showed three sublegal sturgeon released for 19 bank anglers; and one oversize and one sublegal sturgeon released for two boats (four anglers).

John Day Pool: Weekly checking showed no catch for three boats; and no catch for one boat (two anglers).

WALLEYE

John Day Pool: Weekly checking showed six walleye kept for two boats (five anglers).


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MARINE ZONE: FISHING

Weekend Opportunities

  • Fishing for bottomfish in the ocean can be good in the winter, when weather allows.
  • Coos Bay crabbing has been good.

Saltwater News Bulletins

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

OCEAN SALMON

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

BOTTOM FISHING

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

Reminder the Cabezon season is closed; it will reopen July 1, 2017.

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

In addition to the new descending device rule, ODFW continues to encourage anglers to use a descending device when releasing any rockfish with signs of barotrauma. Signs of barotrauma, such as bulging eyes and a gut protruding from the mouth, are reversible when fish are returned to depth with a descending device. Use a descending device to safely return fish to a depth of 60 feet or more. Even fish that are severely bloated can survive after being released at depth.

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

PACIFIC HALIBUT

The 2017 quota for Pacific halibut will be determined in early January 2017. ODFW staff-recommended season dates will be available in mid-February

SHORE AND ESTUARY FISHING

There are many fishing opportunities from shore and inside the bays and estuaries of the Oregon coast. Public piers provide opportunities to catch surfperch, baitfish and bottomfish, see section above on bottomfish for new bag and sub-bag limits for 2017. Rocky ocean coastline and jetties provide the ideal habitat for greenling, rockfish, cabezon (closed until July 1, 2017), and lingcod. These areas are often fished by boat and from shore, and can be targeted with rod and reel or spear gun.

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

Surfperch

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

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

SHELLFISH

Call the ODA shellfish safety hotline at 1-800-448-2474 before harvesting for the most current information about shellfish safety closures. Additional information is available from ODA’s Food Safety Program at (503) 986-4720 or the ODA shellfish closures website. Openings and closures listed below were accurate on Jan. 10.

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

Mussels

The recreational harvest of mussels is open coastwide.

Razor Clams

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

Bay Clams

Bay clamming is open along the entire Oregon Coast from the Columbia River to the California border. Check the ODFW Shellfish website for where and when to harvest your favorite bivalves. Updated maps on where to clam.

Crabs

Crabbing is open in the ocean and all bays. Crabbing in Coos Bay has been good.


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MARINE WILDLIFE VIEWING

MARINE WILDLIFE VIEWING

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

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

Bird viewing tips are available from the US Fish and Wildlife Service. Another great source for birders is the Oregon Coast Birding Trail website, which includes self-guided itineraries for any area of the Oregon Coast and a species checklist.

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

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


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

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