OREGON DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND WILDLIFE

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Welcome to the ODFW Recreation Report - February 14, 2017

Fishing, Hunting and Wildlife Viewing

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


Early season trout stocking is underway

It’s not too early to be thinking about trout fishing – in fact, in several North Coast and Willamette Valley fisheries stocking is well underway. Check out the 2017 stocking schedules for west side lakes/ponds and start planning your next fishing trip. East side schedules will be posted in late February or March, once biologists have a better idea when water bodies might be accessible.

Saltwater Sportsmen’s Show comes to Salem Feb. 25 and 26

Feb. 25 & 26 there will be a Saltwater Sportsmen’s Show at the fairgrounds in Salem put on by the Oregon Coalition for Educating Anglers (OCEAN). Lots of good information about fishing for salmon, tuna, bottomfish, and halibut. More information at the show’s website.

Learn to hunt and fish

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

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NORTHWEST ZONE: FISHING

Weekend fishing opportunities:

  • If you haven’t purchased your license yet, now would be a good time to stop by one of our offices or website and get one. With lots of fishing opportunities coming up in 2017 you’ll want to have the paperwork out of the way already.
  • Winter steelhead fishing is in full swing so now’s the time to get out and get after Oregon’s signature winter steelhead. Winter steelhead season is open and hatchery steelhead are available on the Kilchis, Nehalem, Nestucca, Salmon, Siletz, Alsea, Siuslaw, Trask, and Wilson.

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. In addition, 66 early run winter steelhead were released there on Jan. 11. Nehalem hatchery released 200 surplus winter steelhead into Vernonia pond, 57 into Lost Lake and 60 into Lake Lytle. These fish get fairly active in the lake and offer a unique fishing experience, especially when the rivers are blown out. Once in the lake they are considered “trout” and do not require a Combined Angling Tag. Anglers are reminded, however, that only one trout per day over 20 inches may be retained, and these fish will almost all be in that size range.

Trout stocking 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! The trout stocking schedule for 2017 is available online, and printed versions will be out soon.

MID COAST LAKES

The trout stocking schedule for 2017 is available online and trout have been stocked in some lakes. Fishing for the various warm water fish species 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. The river is shaping up after last week’s rain. Fishing is slow. Alsea Hatchery is having a below average return to the hatchery. Casting spinners, drifting bait or using a bobber and jig can be effective.

KILCHIS RIVER: steelhead

The Kilchis blew out Thursday of last week, along with the rest of the North Coast rivers, but was back in shape by Sunday. There should be steelhead throughout the system, and as far as conditions, the Kilchis should fish well this week. These are mostly wild fish, so we recommend using appropriate gear for easy release and handling fish gently.

LOWER COLUMBIA TRIBUTARIES: steelhead

The Big Creek hatchery run is winding down, but a few fish were caught last Sunday as it dropped back into shape. There are a few fish still coming back to the trap, and conditions should be decent this week, both at Big Creek and on the Klaskanine River.

NECANICUM RIVER: steelhead

The Necanicum blew out Thursday of last week, along with the rest of the North Coast rivers, but was back in shape by Sunday. The hatchery run is winding down but there are still fish available.

NEHALEM RIVER: steelhead

The Nehalem peaked at 18.43 ft. on Thursday. As of Monday Feb. 13, it is still muddy. This is a large system that carries heavy sediment loads and it’s hard to say when it will come back in shape. When it does there should be steelhead throughout the system. These are mostly wild fish, so we recommend using appropriate gear for easy release and handling fish gently.

The Salmonberry River blew out Thursday of last week, along with the rest of the North Coast rivers, but was back in shape by Sunday. There should be steelhead throughout the system, and as far as conditions, it should fish well this week. These are mostly wild fish, so we recommend using appropriate gear for easy release and handling fish gently.

The North Fork Nehalem came back into shape on Sunday and a few fish were caught. The hatchery run on the North Fork Nehalem is winding down, but there are still some fish available.

NESTUCCA RIVER AND THREE RIVERS: steelhead

The Nestucca peaked at 13.49 ft. last Thursday, but was dropping back into shape by Monday. This is the time of year to be on the Nestucca and there should be brood stock hatchery fish and wild fish throughout the system. All the usual techniques such as side drifting, float fishing, drift fishing, or pulling plugs or divers and bait should be effective. During high water use brighter colors and larger presentations.

Three Rivers hatchery fish should be winding down this time of year, but Cedar Creek hatchery recycled 53 steelhead to Pacific City on Feb 1, and reported that the fish were still in really good shape. This small tributary will drop and clear much quicker than the Nestucca and could be a good bet for bank angling this week.

SALMON RIVER: steelhead

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

The river is shaping up after last week’s rain. Steelhead fishing is fair. Drift boaters are having fair success from Moonshine Park to Siletz and bank anglers are catching hatchery fish in the Siletz gorge. Casting spinners, drifting bait or using a bobber and jig can be effective.

SIUSLAW RIVER: Chinook, steelhead

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

TRASK RIVER: steelhead

The Trask peaked at 16.84 ft. Thursday, but was back in shape by Monday. There should be plenty of steelhead throughout the system. During high water use brighter colors and larger presentations. The Trask has mostly wild fish, so we recommend using appropriate gear for easy release and handling fish gently.

WILSON RIVER: steelhead

The Wilson peaked at 15.76 ft. on Thursday, but was back in shape by Monday. There should be plenty of broodstock hatchery steelhead and wild steelhead around, and there have been some big fish coming off the Wilson this year. All the usual techniques such as side drifting, float fishing, drift fishing, or pulling plugs or divers and bait should be effective. During high water use brighter colors and larger presentations.

YAQUINA RIVER: steelhead

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


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NORTHWEST ZONE: NORTH COAST HUNTING

OPEN: COUGAR, NW PERMIT GOOSE

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.

The NW Permit Goose season opened again for the third and final period of 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.

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 trees along the edge of Columbia River’s Wolf Bay. The bay also holds a lot of wintering waterfowl, including both dabblers and divers. Great blue herons are also common in the marsh areas. The facility has a good viewing platform that even illustrates some of local history, such as the Lewis and Clark Expedition. Bring your spotting scope to optimize your viewing experience.

Jewell Meadows Wildlife Area

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

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:

  • Several area rivers are in shape and producing good numbers of winter steelhead. They include the North and South Umpqua, Coos and Coquille basin rivers, Illinois and the lower Rogue. River levels are expected to rise later this week through the weekend, so now is the time to get out on the water!
  • Perch fishing has been good around the Umpqua estuary.
  • Garrison Lake usually holds good numbers of holdover trout in the 14 to 18-inch range and ODFW recently planted recycled adult hatchery steelhead into the lake.
  • Some anglers are enjoying ice fishing at Diamond and Fish lakes.
  • REMINDER: The use of two rods is not currently authorized in rivers and streams, but is restricted to standing water bodies like lakes, ponds and reservoirs.

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 92 percent full and the boat ramp is open from dawn until dusk. Fishing for warmwater species is 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 currently much higher than normal for this date and all boat ramp should be accessible but the lake elevation will lower as the Corps of Engineers adjusts back to rule curve.

APPLEGATE RIVER: winter steelhead, trout

The Applegate River is open for trout and steelhead fishing but the river is currently very high and off color. Only hatchery steelhead may be retained and anglers must take care in releasing wild fish. Steelhead fishing in the Applegate is usually slow in February, however, with the high flows we have had this year, fishing could be good once outflow out of the dam decreases and the river clears. 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 was stocked with 5,000 trout in 2016, and there are still opportunities to catch carry-over rainbows from last year’s stockings. Warmwater fishing for bass, crappie and bluegill is likely slow with the cooler temperatures. Ben Irving is scheduled to be stocked in early March.

CHETCO RIVER: winter steelhead

High flows are expected through the week. Bank anglers will have the best chance to start picking up steelhead as flows drop below 10,000 cfs. Steelhead fishing was good prior to the recent high water and should fish well once flows drop.

The angler-caught winter steelhead broodstock program has been very successful this year, with both boat and bank anglers donating steelhead to the Chetco River hatchery program. The program will run until the end of February.

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. Cooper Creek was recently stocked with several hundred trophy size trout and about 1,000 legal-size trout.

COOS COUNTY LAKES/PONDS: trout

A few hatchery male steelhead were stocked into Middle Empire Lake this week to allow anglers for more opportunity. Fishing regulations for these stocked steelhead in Empire Lakes are just like the trout regulations. Anglers can keep 1 fish over 20 inches per day and only need their fishing license.

Fishing for trout in other area lakes has been slow. Trout stocking in area lakes will start at the end of February/early March.

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

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

Currently all steelhead rivers in the Coos Basin are high and muddy. The West Fork Millicoma River will be the first river to clear. When water conditions are good, anglers are still catching fish throughout the Coos Basin. 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 still open inside the Coos Bay estuary. Crabbing has been decent in Coos Bay but crabbers will need to sort through several short crab to find keepers. Crabbing from a boat has been better than crabbing from the dock but dock crabbers are picking up a few legal crabs.

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

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

COQUILLE RIVER BASIN: crab, steelhead, salmon

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

All of the Coquille Basin steelhead rivers were high and muddy this past weekend. Anglers have been catching hatchery steelhead at LaVerne Park on the North Fork Coquille River and on the South Fork Coquille River from Powers downstream to Broadbent. Bank anglers have been plunking with Spin-n-Glos and bait near the town of Coquille. 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 open in the Coquille estuary but crabbing is very slow due to the large amounts of freshwater coming downstream.

DIAMOND LAKE: trout

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

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

There are plenty of legal-sized holdover trout currently in the lake from previous year’s stockings, and there have been reports of anglers catching trout through the ice. Standard ice fishing jigs, bait such as worms, and Powerbait should provide anglers excellent opportunities for catching trout at Diamond. Make sure to contact Diamond Lake Lodge for the most up-to-date report on ice conditions. Diamond Lake was stocked with tiger trout in early June. These fish are intended to assist in controlling illegally introduced tui chub. Tiger trout are catch-and-release only and need to be released immediately and unharmed if caught.

ELK RIVER: steelhead

High. Anglers were picking up good numbers of steelhead prior to the high flows. 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 69 percent of capacity. The Jackson County boat ramp is now useable. Fishing for warmwater species is slow with the 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

Higher water conditions in Floras Creek will probably back water in the lake. Anglers may want to wait until flows recede before fishing the lake. 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 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 was stocked with about 8,000 legal-size trout and 50 five-pound trophy trout in 2016, and a good number of those fish should still be available as holdovers for harvest. Galesville is scheduled to be stocking in early March.

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

GARRISON LAKE: rainbow, cutthroat trout

With local rivers high and muddy, anglers may want to try and catch some hold over rainbow trout or even one of the 40 or so adult steelhead ODFW has planted in the lake over the recent weeks. Additional plantings will occur through the season. These fish range up to 12 pounds and are considered trout. 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 56 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 54 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 (located near Cave Junction); 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 in great shape for fishing. Rain later this week could dirty things briefly but expect great fishing conditions for the weekend.

LAKE MARIE: rainbow trout, yellow perch

Lake Marie was stocked with 5,000 legal trout in 2016. Most anglers use PowerBait or worms to catch trout and yellow perch.

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. Contact Lemolo Lake Resort at 541-957-8354 for weather/road conditions and additional information.

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

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

LOON LAKE: rainbow trout, bass, bluegill

Loon Lake was stocked with 7,500 legal-size rainbow trout in 2016. Loon is scheduled to be stocked in early March. Fishing for crappie, bluegill and bass is likely slow with the cooler temperatures, but there are still opportunities to catch these fish with slower presentations such as jigging. Visit the BLM and Loon Lake Resort websites for information on opening dates and camping.

LOST CREEK: rainbow trout, bass

Trout fishing 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 throughout the lake below Peyton Bridge. Storm runoff has increased turbidity in the upper part of the lake but fish are biting closer to the dam.

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 crab harvesting is OPEN along the entire coast from the Columbia River to the California border.

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

PLAT I RESERVOIR: rainbow trout, bass

Plat I was stocked with 4,500 legal-size trout in 2016. 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. Plat I is scheduled to be stocked in early March.

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 late last fall and fishing should continue to be good. Fishing for warmwater species will slow with cooler weather.

ROGUE RIVER

Rogue River, lower: steelhead

High and muddy.

Rogue River, middle: steelhead, trout

The Rogue is currently dropping into shape with plunking being the preferred method right now. If the forecast rain doesn’t muddy it up again expect all fishing techniques to produce fish this weekend. 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. Consult the 2017 fishing regulations for winter steelhead harvest information.

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: steelhead, trout

The upper Rogue is currently fishable. 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. 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 Feb. 7, a total of 3,795 summer steelhead have entered the hatchery, with 52 new fish entering for the week. The hatchery also collected 29 winter steelhead bringing the total to 51. The average outflow from Lost Creek reservoir as of Feb. 7 is 3,100 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, and there have been recent reports of anglers catching steelhead on the mainstem. Retention is only allowed on adipose fin-clipped steelhead. Fishing should currently be solid with lower water levels but river levels are expected to rise this weekend.

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

SODA SPRINGS RESERVOIR: closed

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. The mainstem has slowly been dropping into shape, and there have been reports of decent numbers of steelhead being caught throughout the mainstem. Steelhead fishing should continue to be solid, but river levels are expected to rise this weekend.

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

UMPQUA RIVER, NORTH: steelhead

Winter steelhead are being caught throughout the North Umpqua, and there were a number of reports of steelhead being caught this past weekend. Watch the river gauges (North Umpqua River water levels at Winchester Dam) as water levels are expected to rise this weekend.

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

UMPQUA RIVER, SOUTH: steelhead

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

Good numbers of steelhead are being caught up to and above Canyonville and anglers are hooking into a few hatchery fish. The river just recently dropped into shape, and water levels are expected to rise this weekend into.

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. The paved ramp is currently open as water levels have rebounded nicely.

WINCHESTER BAY: bottomfish, perch

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

WINCHUCK RIVER: winter steelhead

High and muddy. The river clears pretty quickly and may be fishable by the end of the weekend or early next week.


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SOUTHWEST ZONE: HUNTING

SOUTHWEST ZONE HUNTING

OPEN: COUGAR

SW Oregon 1st come, 1st serve spring bear tags sold out Jan. 30.

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.

Wilson’s Snipe season closes 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.

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.

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

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

Black Bear – General bear season is closed. If you purchased one of the Southwest Limited Spring Bear tags, start to scout for the earliest green up areas for the hunt that starts April 1st. Look towards south facing grassy slopes and ridgelines and lush meadow/creek bottom areas where the skunk cabbage grows the thickest.

Grouse & Quail - Upland Gamebird season is currently closed.

Waterfowl - Duck and goose seasons are closed.

Furbearers – Gray fox, 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.

Wilson’s Snipe season closes 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 (see zone quota page). Cougars travel many miles a day and often use major ridge lines to find prey, these ridge lines are location for predator calls. Unlike other predators, cougars will usually take longer to come in to predators calls so be prepared to sit for 1 hour or more. It is a good idea to use specific cougar sounds in conjunction with a general prey distress sound, cougar whistles can be one of these very useful sound while calling. Unlike other species cougars will come in slowly and spend lots of time looking for the source of the sound. So be sure to remain very still and keep your eyes open for the cougars head only, as they will often peer around an obstacle to get a better view while remaining hidden. This time of year can be productive by driving roads after a fresh snow and looking for cougar tracks. By doing this you can narrow down the area worth setting up and calling. There is a mandatory check in of all cougars harvested within 10 days of the after harvest; the unfrozen skull, hide, and proof of sex must be taken to an ODFW office during normal business hours. If a female cougar is harvested it is also mandatory to bring in the reproductive tract in order to gain valuable population data. For more information refer to page 34 of the 2017 Oregon Big Game Hunting Regulations.

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

Coyotes are abundant in our area. Remember to ask for permission to hunt on private lands. Hunter can find coyotes around meadows and brush piles where mice and rabbits are found. Predator calls are very useful when used in conjunction to known prey base.

Furbearers: 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

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.

Rogue Valley Audubon Society

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

Denman Wildlife Area

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

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

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

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

Red-naped Sapsucker

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

Bohemian Waxwing

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

Snipe

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

Crows

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

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

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WILLAMETTE ZONE: FISHING

Weekend fishing opportunities

  • Effective Feb. 1, 2017, the use of barbed hooks is allowed when fishing for salmon, steelhead, or trout in Willamette River downstream of Willamette Falls (including Multnomah Channel and Gilbert River) and in lower Clackamas River upstream to Highway 99E Bridge. Barbless hooks are still required when angling for sturgeon.
  • Rivers are dropping into shape nicely following the recent storms, so now would be an ideal time to get out and do some winter steelhead fishing.
  • Alton Baker Canal will be stocked for the first time of the year this week this year with the release of 1,600 one-pound trout. Cottage Grove Ponds at Row River Nature Park will also receive trout this week and again next week.
  • Get the maximum value out of your fishing license! If you haven’t purchased your license yet, now would be a good time to stop by one of our offices or website and get one. With lots of fishing opportunities coming up in 2017 you’ll want to have the paperwork out of the way already.
  • REMINDER: The use of two rods is not currently authorized in rivers and streams but is allowed on most standing water bodies like lakes, ponds and reservoirs.

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 first Alton Baker Canoe Canal stocking of the season will take place this week. As a special treat for anglers, ODFW is stocking 1,600 pounders to start the season off right! The canoe canal is located within Alton Baker Park and can be accessed off of Club Road in Eugene. A 4-acre pond at the midpoint of the canal is a good spot but it can be fished all along its two-mile length from Day Island Road in Eugene to Aspen Street in Springfield. The canal is open to fishing all year.

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

Stocked 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 in December 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. Stocking into the river above the reservoir will resume in April. Anglers may only use lures and artificial flies.

BLUE RIVER RESERVOIR: trout, warmwater species

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

BREITENBUSH RIVER: trout

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

CANBY POND: trout, bass, crappie, bluegill

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

After record rainfall over the weekend the river has been running a bit high and off color, keeping many anglers off the water. Some pretty good rain expected this week will likely continue the trend until things settle down by the coming weekend. Fish are starting to move in, and numbers should increase into March. Accounts of winter fish still are not exceptional but anglers have reported landing fish between Feldheimer’s above Barton and Cross Park in Gladstone. Returns to Clackamas Hatchery are showing no fish in the holding ponds but this will change soon with the higher flows.

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

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

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

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

USGS hydrological data for Feb. 6 shows river flows high at 6,710 cfs, with a gauge reading of 14.61 feet and the water temperature holding around 40°. All of the readings come from the Estacada gauge near Milo McIver State Park.

CLEAR LAKE: trout

Clear Lake is open to fishing all year. Stocking will resume in April. Clear Lake is accessed from Hwy. 126 approximately 70 miles east of Springfield. Linn County’s Clear Lake Resort rents cabins and boats.

COAST FORK WILLAMETTE RIVER: trout

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

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

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 its first stocking of the year this week with the release of 1,750 legal-sized rainbow trout. 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 60 feet below conservation pool. Now that storage season has begun, reservoir levels will rise throughout the rest of the winter and into the spring. Stocking will resume in the spring but 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 late 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

The creek was high and muddy earlier this week but has come back into shape quickly with cold weather and low snow levels. Angling conditions could deteriorate due to rising snow levels and heavy rainfall in the forecast but by the weekend the creek should be looking very good. Reports indicate there are winter steelhead being landed from below Eagle Fern Park on up to the hatchery and a few hundred fish have made it back to the holding ponds. The hatchery is actually expecting to spawn it’s first group of steelhead sometime later this week.

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. The pond was stocked in early February with 1,000 legal-sized rainbow trout. Be aware that there also is hunting on the wildlife area. A valid wildlife area parking permit is required.

FALL CREEK: trout

Open all year for trout. As of Nov. 1, anglers may only use lures and artificial flies. Below Fall Creek Dam the creek is open all year for hatchery Chinook, hatchery steelhead and wild steelhead greater than 24-inches. Five hatchery trout and an additional two wild trout may be harvested daily in the river. Stocking above the reservoir will resume in April.

FALL CREEK RESERVOIR: trout

Fall Creek Reservoir will be stocked again this spring. Boat ramps are closed for the season.

FARADAY LAKE: trout

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

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

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

FREEWAY LAKE, EAST: bass bluegill crappie

This water-body actually consists of three interconnected ponds and features some good size bass and crappie. A boat ramp is available at East Freeway Lake, and there is good bank access around Middle Freeway Lake. Fishing in the spring for warmwater gamefish such as bass, bluegill, crappie, and catfish can be very good, especially early and late in the day. 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 will re-open to anglers May 22.

GREEN PETER RESERVOIR: kokanee, trout, bass

Trout as well as bass are good options for anglers this time of year. Look for them near ledges and drop-offs as well as near underwater structure. Reservoir water levels are starting to rise now that storage season has begun. Currently the reservoir is about 60 feet below full pool. Thistle Creek boat ramp is currently available for boaters.

HALDEMAN POND: trout

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

HARTMAN POND: trout, crappie, bass, catfish

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

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

Stocked over the holidays with 8,000 legal-sized rainbow trout and 93 brood trout. It will be stocked again the end of February.

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 Jan. 30 with 350 legal-sized rainbow trout. The pond also had two brood stock releases, in late November and early December, and some of those fish may still be available.

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 Jan. 10 with 2,250 legal-size hatchery rainbow trout, 150 larger, and about 350 “pounders,” and received an additional 800 fish in early February. Last week it was stocked with about 1,600 “trophies” weighing about one pound 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. All wild trout must be released. Only hatchery fish may be kept. Hatchery releases will resume in April.

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

MCKENZIE RIVER below Leaburg Lake: trout, salmon, steelhead

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

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

MCKENZIE RIVER above Leaburg Lake: trout, steelhead

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

MIDDLE FORK WILLAMETTE RIVER: trout, salmon, steelhead

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

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

MOLALLA RIVER: winter steelhead

Flows have stabilized on the Molalla following the recent snowstorms and melting snow. Winter steelhead are just starting to move across Willamette Falls and into upper basin tributaries. USGS hydrological data for Jan. 31 shows river flows at 786 cfs and a gauge reading of 11.65 feet. All of the readings come from the Canby gauge.

MT HOOD POND: trout, crappie, bluegill

Stocked the week of Jan. 30 with 500 13-inch trout. The pond was also stocked in October with legal-sized trout. Mt. Hood Pond is located on the Mt. Hood Community College campus in Gresham, at 26000 SE Stark St.

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

QUARTZVILLE CREEK: trout

This river is open all year for trout and anglers may keep up to five trout per day. There are two BLM campgrounds as well as numerous designated campsites along the road. To get there, follow the directions to Green Peter Reservoir and continue around the lake until the river begins. Hatchery trout are stocked in late spring and summer. In winter and early spring there are resident trout and very few anglers. River levels (1,000 cfs as of Feb. 13) are still quite high from recent heavy rains and will take some time to recover.

SALISH POND: trout, warm water species

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

SALMON CREEK: trout

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

SALT CREEK: trout

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

SANDY RIVER: winter steelhead

Fishing conditions on the Sandy aren’t the best right now with extremely high water still in place and likely to stay that way for the next few days. Before the high water there was plenty of effort and winter steelhead were being landed, however things have tailed off this week as indicated by the decline in anglers below Sandy Hatchery at Cedar Creek. Once the conditions settle down and improve it would be a great time to get back out on the river.

There have been a good number of fish swim into the hatchery already so there is opportunity out there.

USGS hydrological data for Feb. 6th shows the Sandy flows at 5,770 cfs, with a gauge reading of 11.60 feet and the water temperature on the Little Sandy at Bull Run around 39° F.

SANTIAM RIVER (NORTH FORK): steelhead, Chinook

As of Feb. 13 flows are at 4,500 at the Mehama gauge. River levels best for fishing are below 3,000 cfs.

At the moment there are very few fish available for anglers to catch. A few late remaining summer steelhead are still around, but the winter steelhead run is just getting started and the spring Chinook run is still two months away. 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

High flows have subsided somewhat and are currently around 5,100 cfs (as of Feb. 13). Few late summer steelhead are still in the river and winter steelhead will begin to arrive into the basin by late February. Current conditions

SHERIDAN POND: trout

Stocked the week of Jan. 30 with 500 legal-sized rainbow trout. Brood fish averaging 10 pounds apiece were released over the holidays and some of those may still be available. 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

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

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

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

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 first trout stocking of the season at Sunnyside Pond is scheduled for late February. The pond also offers bluegill and largemouth bass year round. The park has a campground and picnic area and is a great place to take kids fishing. There is also boat ramp access to the Middle Fork arm of Foster Reservoir.

To get there from I-5, take US 20 through the town of Sweet Home and continue around Foster Reservoir to Quartzville Creek road. Take a left and follow this road for two miles to the park.

TIMBER LINN LAKE: rainbow trout

This is a family-friendly fishing pond located within Timber-Linn Memorial Park in Albany. It was stocked in late December with about 45 large hatchery brood trout. Please keep in mind that only one fish over 20-inches may be taken per day.

Timber-Linn Lake can be reached by turning east off I-5 onto the Santiam Highway (Hwy. 20), then immediately turning north onto Price Road and proceeding to the park entrance.

TRAIL BRIDGE RESERVOIR: trout

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

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

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

WALLING POND: trout, crappie, bass

The pond was stocked in early February 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 in early February with 1,700 legal-sized rainbow trout and 150 larger trout. These fish are in addition to approximately 2,000 trout released in the past several weeks. 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 in December with about 100 large brood trout, and there should still be some smaller hold-over trout from earlier releases. 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

The record rainfall this past weekend has left the Willamette high, on the rise, and very muddy. When conditions reach this point it can take several days for the river to round back into shape. With more heavy rain in the forecast before the weekend it will likely be early next week before we see fishable conditions on the Lower Willamette again.

Winter steelhead passage has been slow so far this season and the high, turbid water has brought fish movement to a near standstill. Chinook are still nowhere to be seen but the first ones are usually caught in early to mid-February. Trolling or plunking near the mouth of the Clackamas for steelhead is one good option in the Willamette right now, as is catch and release sturgeon fishing. One thing to say for the muddy water conditions is that the sturgeon don’t mind it one bit.

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

USGS hydrological data for the Willamette River on Feb. 7 has flows way up and rising at 80,000 cfs, the water temperature at 42°F, and visibility extremely poor at less than 1.0 ft.

YAMHILL RIVER and tributaries: trout

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


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WILLAMETTE ZONE: HUNTING

OPEN: COUGAR, NW PERMIT GOOSE

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 this year. A productive hunting technique is to use predator calls to mimic a distressed prey species. Approaching cougars can be difficult to see when you are predator calling so hunting with a partner is advised. Most deer and elk have moved out of their wintering areas and cougars will spend more time moving around their territories looking for prey so hunters need to be mobile.

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

See 2016 Cougar Regulations for details

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 open through 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.

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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.

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.

EVENT on MARCH 1: Come share your memories of Camp Adair, the U.S. Army training base, hospital and Prisoner of War Camp during World War II that later became EE Wilson Wildlife Area. Help ODFW conserve its history by joining us at a public meeting on Wednesday, March 1 from 6-8 p.m. at the Siuslaw National Forest Headquarters, Room 20, 3200 SW Jefferson Way, Corvallis.

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:

  • Reports of fair fishing for bull trout on the Metolius River and rainbows on the Fall River. Access is limited on both rivers due to snow.
  • 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 expect 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. Anglers should avoid ice fishing in the Mid-Columbia area, as the ice is not safe.

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, but the ice is not safe for fishing.

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

Snow will continue to limit access along much of the river. Fishing and access will improve when temperatures warm.

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

Anglers report fair fishing but access is limited due to snow. Forest Service road 4060 is not plowed during the winter. 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: winter steelhead

Winter steelhead are beginning to pass over Bonneville, and should be showing in the Hood River in decent numbers. Extreme cold air, and water temperatures have delayed the run, and made fishing difficult. Predicted warming temperatures should improve success. Ice and snow will continue to 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 but access is limited due to snow. 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

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

Wolves and coyotes can look alike

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

Use the Oregon Hunting Map to see where to hunt.

PRINEVILLE/OCHOCO WILDLIFE DISTRICT

Cougar are present throughout the Maury, Ochoco, and Grizzly units. The Maury and Ochoco units are recommended because of their greater amounts of public lands and better accessibility. 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.

THE DALLES DISTRICT

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

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

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

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

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


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CENTRAL ZONE: WILDLIFE VIEWING

CROOK COUNTY

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

Prineville Reservoir Wildlife Area

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

Deschutes County

There is still a lot of snow in Deschutes County. A recent warming trend has begun to melt the impressive amount received since Thanksgiving, but winter is far from over and more snow is likely. The Cascade Lakes Highway west of Mount Bachelor and highway 242 west of Sisters remain closed for the season. Neither highway is plowed and both will be closed until the snow has melted. Other mountain highways remain open, but most of the lakes are inaccessible by vehicle. If you’re planning a wildlife viewing trip to the high country, we recommend visiting ODOT’s Trip Check site for the most current conditions before heading out.

It’s still a bit early in the year, but if you scan the sky and see large birds with a “V” shaped wing pattern you may be looking at turkey vultures soaring above you. They typically start to arrive back to the county around the middle of February, but you’re chances of seeing them goes up as we approach March.

Winter is an excellent time to view raptors, such as Red-tailed Hawk, American Kestrel, Northern Harrier, Rough-legged Hawk, Bald Eagles and Golden Eagles sitting on power poles and fence posts scanning open spaces for a potential meal. Smith Rock State Park in Terrebonne is a great place to see both Bald and Golden Eagles. Nesting pairs of both species are easily seen gliding over the magnificent hills and slopes within the park. A flock of Pinion Jays has been regularly reported in the Camp Polk Meadow Preserve near Sisters, and recent birding reports from the Deschutes River in Bend include sightings of Canada Goose, Common Goldeneye, American Wigeon, Green-winged Teal, Lesser Scaup, Ring-necked Duck, Hooded and common Merganser, Bufflehead, Canvasback, American Goldfinch, Northern Flicker, American Crow, Western Scrub-Jay, and Great Blue Heron to list but a few.

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

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

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 see black-tailed jackrabbit, cottontail rabbit, squirrel, and coyote tracks and it’s not uncommon to see coyotes cross open spaces in a variety of habitats. Don’t expect to see any reptiles yet this year, but if the weather warms towards the end of the month, it might be possible to see a western fence lizard on a rock soaking up the sun. 02/06/17

WASCO AND SHERMAN COUNTIES

The Lower Deschutes River provides ample wildlife viewing opportunities. California bighorn sheep are frequently observed in the canyon and can provide fantastic viewing all times of the year. The best spot to view sheep is from the BLM access road just downstream and across the river from 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. Wintering deer can easily be found throughout the wildlife area. Elk can 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.

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. 2/14/17

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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.
  • The Ana River is turning out trout over 25-inches.
  • Ice fishing for yellow perch is excellent at Lake of the Woods.
  • The Sprague River is closed to fishing until April 22.

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 anglers have been increasing in numbers. Hybrid bass are targeted successfully using crank baits and fishing bait along the bottom. Hybrid bass larger than 20-inches are not uncommon.

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

ANA RIVER: hatchery rainbow trout, brown trout

Fishermen have reported catching trout over 25-inches in Ana River this past weekend. Ana River is open year round and was stocked in November with larger rainbow trout 10 to 13-inches. Fingerlings were also released in the spring and should be approximately 8 to 10-inches. The Ana River is spring fed and rainbow trout are active throughout the year. Anglers can access these trout by floating the river in a float tube or by walking the banks. Bait is allowed.

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

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

ANNIE CREEK: brook trout, brown trout and rainbow trout

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

BALM CREEK RESERVOIR: rainbow trout, smallmouth bass, crappie

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

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

No recent fishing reports and no reports on ice formation and thickness. The reservoir is currently at 28 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

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

BLITZEN RIVER: redband trout

The Blitzen River is currently flowing around 74 cfs with water temperatures fluctuating around 32oF. The Blitzen reached close to 150 cfs over the weekend so that may have broken up some of the ice on the river. The current conditions for the Blitzen can be checked here. Fishing on the Blitzen has been a little slow lately but that was mostly because of the iced over sections of the river limiting access.

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

BURNS POND: trout, bass

Fishing has been good for legal-sized rainbow trout recently on the Burns Pond. There is currently around 8 inches of ice on the pond and people have reported consistent catches of 12-inch rainbow trout. Stomach contents from recently harvested trout show that they are feeding on juvenile green sunfish present in the pond so fishing around the edges may be productive or anywhere near some underwater vegetation that holds the juvenile green sunfish.

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. With warming temperatures and high winds the ice might be unfit to walk on.

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

The water levels are dropping from recent flooding this past week. The entire river is open all year and fly-fishing for redband trout 6 to 12-inches should be fair upstream of Paisley. Best time to fish is mid-day and dry flies and nymphs are very productive. Bait is allowed downstream of Hwy 31 at Paisley, however the use of bait is prohibited upstream of highway 31. Largemouth bass and brown bullhead are available to anglers at the first Hwy. 31 crossing just north of Valley Falls. Small boats can be launched at this site.

CHICKAHOMINY RESERVOIR: trout

Recent fishing reports indicate that fishing is fairly good right now at Chickahominy with consistent catches of 10-14 inch rainbow trout. The ice was around 11 inches thick and had a lot of snow on top but the ice may have decreased following a warm spell in the area. 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

Access is blocked by 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. 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. 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 fishing report.

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

There have been reports of yellow perch caught recently, but access and ice thickness might be limited due to warm temperatures. 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 (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.

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

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

Access is blocked by snow.

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

The reservoir is frozen. Ice conditions are unknown. Water levels are low. The reservoir is 24 percent full. Access is good as BLM maintains campgrounds at the reservoir. Fishing is slow. Best fishing is for yellow perch.

HAINES POND: rainbow

The pond is covered with ice and snow. The parking area is impassable due to snow. 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 is covered with ice and snow. Parking areas and access roads are impassable due to snow.

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 36 degrees. Fishing for largemouth bass is slow. The reservoir is turbid and likely frozen in many places,therefore anglers should try scent and lures with high visibility. The reservoir is not safe for ice fishing. The reservoir should thaw soon.

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. There also is open water near Hagelstein Park and Sucker Springs. The lake is 2.2 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 increased to 1190 cfs. Expect variable daily flows in this section and ODFW recommends checking flows before fishing. This flow is fair for fishing. Water temperatures are peaking around 36 degrees.

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

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

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

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

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

Fishing on the Klamath River between JC Boyle Dam to JC Boyle Powerhouse is slow. 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 or at least partially frozen 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 and catch rates of yellow perch can be high. 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.

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

The River is frozen and ice fishing not recommended. The river should thaw soon.

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 more than likely blocked by snow or muddy roads.

MURRAY RESERVOIR: trout

The reservoir is ice-covered. Limited parking is available along Hwy. 26 at the south end of the reservoir.

NORTH POWDER POND: rainbow trout

The pond is covered with ice and snow. Parking areas and access roads are impassable due to snow. 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 36 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 32 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 conducted brown trout spawning surveys on the Lower Owyhee River earlier this winter 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

There have not been any recent fishing reports and ice thickness is unknown due to warm weather. Over winter survival should be higher than previous years due to higher water level.

PHILLIPS RESERVOIR: trout, perch

Reservoir is covered with ice and snow, and storage is at 8 percent of capacity. Snow has been removed from the access road to the boat launch adjacent to Mason Dam providing access to ice fishers. Ice fishing for rainbow trout has been good.

A total of 4,000 trophy-sized and approximately 10,500 legal-sized rainbow trout were released spring 2016. September sampling by ODFW indicated that good numbers of the trophies are available and they are in very good condition. Good numbers of carryovers from past stocking of legal-sized trout are also available averaging 12-14 inches and are also in very good condition. To measure the catch rate of the trophy’s, ODFW marked approximately 400 of these with an orange colored tag, just under the dorsal fin. If you catch one of these tagged fish, please report the tag number to Tim Bailey, District Fish Biologist at 541-962-1829. Some of these tags will have a $50 reward available.

PILCHER RESERVOIR:

Due to a rule change in 2016, the reservoir is open to fishing year-round. The reservoir is covered with ice and snow. County crews have plowed snow from Tucker Flat Road and from the access road and parking area at the reservoir. However, there is 3-4 feet of snow at the reservoir, so getting from the parking area to the reservoir will require snowmobile, ski’s or snowshoes.

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

Pine Creek and tributaries are open to trout fishing year-round, with a five-rainbow trout bag limit.

POISON CREEK RESERVOIR: hatchery rainbow trout

No recent fishing reports or reports of ice formation and thickness. Poison Creek Reservoir is likely frozen over like many nearby reservoirs. 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, but fishing is expected to be slow.

PRIDAY RESERVOIR: hatchery rainbow trout

Access is limited due to muddy conditions and ice thickness is dangerous due to warm conditions. Priday Reservoir is a reservoir mostly on BLM property between Plush and Adel. Please respect the private property on the reservoir and do not make a mess of the muddy road.

ROGGER POND: hatchery rainbow trout

Access is blocked by snow.

SAND AND SCOTT CREEKS: brook trout and brown trout

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

SEVENMILE CREEK: brook trout, brown trout, redband trout

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

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

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

SHERLOCK GULCH RESERVOIR: hatchery rainbow trout

Access is blocked by wet and muddy roads.

SID LUCE RESERVOIR: hatchery rainbow trout

Access is blocked by snow and muddy roads.

SPAULDING RESERVOIR: hatchery rainbow trout

The reservoir was dry in 2015 and 2016.

SPENCER CREEK: redband trout and brook trout

Spencer Creek is closed to fishing until May 22.

SPRING CREEK: redband trout, brown trout, brook trout

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

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

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

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

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

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 87 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

Flow is high (173 cfs) at the USFS day use park east of Bly. 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. 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 129 cfs. Snow is blocking access to the upper river.

THOMPSON VALLEY RESERVOIR: hatchery rainbow trout, largemouth bass

Access is blocked by snow and ice thickness is unknown.

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 mid-April 2017.

UNITY RESERVOIR: trout, bass, crappie

The reservoir is fully ice-covered and the access road and parking area have been plowed of snow. Unity has been one of the best producers for ice fishers in recent years with trout available up to 20-inches.

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 7 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 might be blocked by snow, but the ice thickness is not suitable for ice fishing due to warmer weather.

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

The reservoir is covered with ice and snow. Access to the parking area has been plowed of snow. Fishing has been good for rainbow trout 11 to 14-inches.

WOOD RIVER: redband, brown, brook and bull trout

The Wood River is closed to fishing until April 22.

YELLOWJACKET LAKE: trout

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, GOOSE (see regs)

Wolves and coyotes can look alike

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

Use the Oregon Hunting Map to see where to hunt.

HARNEY COUNTY

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

Bobcat season remains open through February 28, 2017.

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.

Late Snow Goose/White Front Season runs through March 10, 2017. Unfortunately spring migration has not yet begun therefore no birds have arrived yet and there is little to no open water in the area due to the continued cold temperatures and heavy snow pack. Hunters are reminded that almost all of the spring use areas are private land and permission is required before hunting.

Shed Hunting. Mule deer bucks are losing their antlers. With the continued snow conditions deer are still restricted to traditional winter ranges. Just as antlers begin to drop, deer and elk are often in a situation where they are experiencing a calorie deficit. They are expending more energy than poor winter foraging conditions can replace. So when shed hunters inadvertently push or spook animals that energy expenditure might be enough to push them over the edge. You might consider doing the deer and elk a favor by waiting to search for dropped antlers until later in the spring. Shed hunters are reminded that once an antler falls off it legally becomes the property of the landowner. Therefore shed hunters need to get permission from private landowners to access their property and pick up sheds.

KLAMATH COUNTY

Goose - White-fronted, snow, and Ross’ goose seasons are open. There have been some movements of geese back into the Klamath Basin over the past week. Hunting opportunities are limited at this point, but will improve over the next few weeks. In addition to private lands, public lands and waterbodies are open with exception of federal refuges and Klamath Wildlife Area.

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 Feb. 07, 2017

Miller Island Unit

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

Posted safety zones are closed to all hunting.

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.

Feb. 1-April 30

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

Gorr Island Unit

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

Shoalwater Bay Unit and Sesti Tgawaals Unit

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

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

Waterfowl and Upland Hunting Information

All hunting is now closed on the Miller Island Unit of Klamath Wildlife Area. Gorr Island, Shoalwater Bay and Sesti Tgawalls units are open during the late/spring White and White-fronted goose season. The Klamath River is also open, but hunters may only step foot onto the Miller Island Unit to retrieve legally taken geese. As of 02-07-17, the boat launch located on Miller Island is ice free, and hunters are able to launch boats. Flocks of White and White-fronted geese have been observed flying over the area, their use should continue to increase during the following weeks.

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

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

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

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

LAKE COUNTY

Winter Conditions: The entire county has received significant snow 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 The late goose season for White Fronts and Snow Geese continues through March 10. The first spring migrating snow geese have arrived. Hunters are reminded that the White Fronted Goose bag limit in Lake County is 1 bird per day. 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.

SUMMER LAKE WILDLIFE AREA

Updated Feb. 14, 2017

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

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

MALHEUR COUNTY

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

Goose - The late white and white-fronted goose season runs through March 10. With the harsh winter conditions the geese have not showed up in the Westside for the Treasure Valley. As the snow melts off and field open up there will be more opportunity to hunt geese.

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

Early migrant waterfowl have not yet begun to show up in the county. Tundra swans and snow geese should start to appear in the next few weeks.

Wintering raptors are still present in 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 maintain. 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. 2-14-17

Klamath Falls Area

Lower Klamath National Wildlife Refuge offers great viewing opportunities for tundra swans, white-fronted, snow, and Ross’ geese. There has been a big influx of birds moving back into the Klamath Basin over the past week.

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

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

Mule deer 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 throughout the winter to reduce spread of diseases. 2/7/2017

KLAMATH WILDLIFE AREA (Miller Island Unit)

Updated Feb. 07, 2017

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

Jan. 1-31

Open to public use daily.

Feb. 1 – Apr. 30

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

Waterfowl

Flocks of Western Canada Geese can be found scattered across the area, many are starting to pair and stake out nesting territories. White (Ross’s and Snow) and White-fronted geese have started to show up on their migration north. Their numbers and use of the area should continue to increase during the following weeks.

Tundra swans have started to become more common. Look for them on Klamath River as a majority of the wildlife area is still frozen.

Numbers of dabbling ducks are increasing, as areas are slowly thawing and opening up. Pintail, mallard and wigeon can be seen along the Klamath River. Diver species such as canvasback, bufflehead, goldeneye, ruddy duck, ring-necked duck and scaup species can still occasionally be found on the open areas 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, Ferruginous hawks, sharp-shinned, American kestrels, prairie falcons can all be seen foraging throughout the wildlife area. The occasional peregrine falcon can also be observed using old power poles overlooking the wetlands. 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

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

American and lesser goldfinches, house finches, mountain chickadees, American robins, both brewers and red-winged black birds, spotted towhees, white-breasted nuthatches, black-billed magpies, western meadow larks and Northern flickers continue to be a common site throughout the area. Dark-eyed juncos, white-crowned and golden crowned sparrows are also common sites on the wildlife area.

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.

Mountain bluebirds were seen foraging on the area.

A shrike was also seen on the island recently.

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 Feb. 14, 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 opened on January 30, 2017. The Wildlife Viewing Loop road follows the north side of Link Canal from Bullgate Campground out to Link Corner until maintenance of the south side road is complete

Viewers need to be aware road conditions are very poor at this time due to recent snow and rainfall events. Please use extreme caution because of the soft and muddy conditions especially along road edges. Roads leading into campgrounds are generally good.

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

Waterfowl

Waterfowl populations are increasing now as migrants from wintering areas further south begin to return.

Western Canada geese are widely distributed across the wildlife area, and many are beginning to form breeding pairs and establish nesting territories.
Lesser snow and greater white-fronted geese are increasing as these northward migrants disperse from wintering areas in California.
Numbers of northern pintail, one of the earliest of spring migrants, has increased dramatically over the past week. Others migrant species continue to arrive and their numbers will continue to build as winter progresses into spring.

Migrant swan numbers have remained consistent. A few resident and non-breeding trumpeter swans remain widely scattered across the wildlife area, about 22 were detected on the count when 474 total swans were found. 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 present. Greater yellowlegs, killdeer and Wilson’s snipe were observed over the past week.
American coot numbers are slowly increasing at this time. Sandhill cranes should make their first of spring arrival very soon.

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

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

Raptors and others

Northern harriers and red-tailed and rough-legged hawks are common this time of the year. Sharp-shinned and coopers hawks have also recently been observed. Bald and golden eagles, American kestrel, peregrine and prairie falcons can occasionally be found. 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. Breeding season is underway for great-horned owls and hooting is very common in the evening hours. Common barn and sometimes short-eared owls can occasionally be observed near dusk.

Upland game birds

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

Passerines

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

American and lesser goldfinches are present in low numbers at Headquarters. Very few migrant sparrows are present at this time, a few golden-crowned sparrows were observed at Headquarters over the weekend.
American robins, loggerhead and northern shrikes, Stellar’ s and scrub jays, and cedar waxwings are being observed in varied numbers across the wildlife area. Red-breasted and sometimes red-naped sapsuckers as well as other woodpeckers can be found in the trees around Headquarters. Northern flickers remain common across most of the area, and wintering Townsend’s solitaires are fairly abundant.

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

Red-winged blackbirds have returned to the area, small flocks and scattered individuals were found last week and fair numbers have returned to the feeder at Headquarters.

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 opened on Jan. 30, 2017. The Wildlife Viewing Loop road follows the north side of Link Canal from Bullgate Campground out to Link Corner until maintenance of the south side road is complete

Please be aware road conditions are very poor at this time due to abundant snow and rainfall over the past several weeks. Most roads are very soft and muddy, especially along edges. However, roads leading to campgrounds are in fairly good condition.

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

Habitat

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

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

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.

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:

  • Wallowa Lake has frozen for the first time since 2013 and anglers have been catching kokanee and trout in good numbers and size.
  • Despite some challenging conditions, anglers continue to catch steelhead on the Umatilla River.
  • Anglers fishing through the ice at Kinney Lake have reported good catch rates.
  • Enough ice has melted on the John Day River that steelhead anglers will have access to most of the river.

If your favorite fishing spot is no longer listed

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

Send us your fishing report

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

ALDRICH PONDS (Roosevelt and Stewart Lakes): trout

Aldrich Ponds are located on the Phillips W. Schneider Wildlife Management Area which is currently closed to all access from Feb. 1 –April 14 to protect big game wintering.

BULL PRAIRIE RESERVOIR: rainbow and brook trout

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

GRANDE RONDE RIVER: trout, whitefish, bass, steelhead

The Grande Ronde ice is beginning to break up and a few anglers are trying their luck and a few fish are being caught. Similar to other Columbia basin runs, the Grande Ronde stock is tracking below expectations this year.

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

HOLLIDAY PARK POND: rainbow trout

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.

IMNAHA RIVER: trout, bass

The Imnaha is currently affected by ice but a few areas may be fishable. A few steelhead are typically present throughout the winter but the best fishing tends to start in late February and early March. Similar to other Columbia basin runs, the Grande Ronde stock is tracking below expectations this year. On the upside, a large majority of the returning fish are two-salt, meaning they are larger average size. Harvest is limited to three hatchery steelhead per day and must be recorded on the Combined Angling Tag. A Columbia River Basin Endorsement is also required.

JOHN DAY RIVER: wild steelhead

Recent above freezing temperatures have opened up the majority of the river for fishing access. The majority of the North Fork is still iced over but is beginning to break up. Expect river edge and free floating ice to still be 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.

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.

PEACH POND (Ladd Marsh): rainbow trout

Due to unseasonably warm weather over the past week, ice on the pond has partially thawed and now refrozen. Conditions are not safe for ice fishing. Access to the pond is good. The pond was stocked with pounder and legal-sized rainbow trout mid-October.

ROULET POND: rainbow trout

The pond is covered with ice and snow. The parking area is not accessible due to snow. 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.

UMATILLA RIVER: steelhead

The weather has moderated and water temperature are increasing this week, hopefully allowing anglers to get back on the water. With the warmer temperatures and higher river flows fish counts at Threemile Dam picked up this week after a month of no fish movement.

For the week of Jan. 30 to Feb. 5, only two anglers were interviewed on the lower river they caught four steelhead, averaging 1.8 hours fished/steelhead landed. Anglers are concentrating on the river downstream of Threemile Dam. Anglers can access fish counts at Threemile Dam fish counts. Flow data

WALLOWA COUNTY PONDS: rainbow trout

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. Fishermen have started taking advantage of the rare opportunity to ice fish. Trout and kokanee are being caught on bait and jigs. Anglers have reported catching kokanee to 13-inches which is much improved from previous years.

WALLOWA RIVER: steelhead, mountain whitefish

The Wallowa River ice is mostly broken up. A few anglers have tried they’re luck for steelhead with some success. Look for fishing to begin picking up into February. Remember, trout fishing is now available on the Wallowa all year and can produce some large fish.

Harvest is limited to three hatchery steelhead per day and must be recorded on the Combined Angling Tag. A Columbia River Basin Endorsement is also required.

WILLOW CREEK RESERVOIR: trout

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


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NORTHEAST ZONE: HUNTING

OPEN: COUGAR, COYOTE

Wolves in Northeast Oregon

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

Use the Oregon Hunting Map to see where to hunt.

BAKER COUNTY

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

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

GRANT COUNTY

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

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

MORROW, GILLIAM AND WHEELER COUNTIES

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

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

UMATILLA COUNTY

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

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

UNION COUNTY

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

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

Ladd Marsh Wildlife Area

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

WALLOWA COUNTY

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

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


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NORTHEAST ZONE: WILDLIFE VIEWING

Baker County

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

Winter bird species are starting to migrate through the area.

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

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

Elkhorn Wildlife Area

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

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

Grant County

Bald Eagles 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

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

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

Beginning February 1, all of Ladd Marsh, including the Glass Hill Unit, is closed to public entry. The Tule Lake Public Access Area will open to visitors March 1. Visitors are advised to carefully read posted signs and consult the wildlife area administrative rules. Rules that apply to all areas are at the top (at the link), and then scroll down to page 8, #635-008-120, for additional rules specific to Ladd Marsh. Dogs are not permitted within the Wildlife Area, including the Glass Hill Unit, on or off leash except during authorized game bird hunting seasons.

There are numerous quality viewing opportunities from county roads that pass through the area. Binoculars or a spotting scope will help as many animals are best viewed from a distance.

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. 1/23/2017

UMATILLA COUNTY

Columbia Basin Wildlife Areas

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

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

Hermiston area

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 is frozen now 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, widgeon, wood ducks, common mergansers, 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 in Bonneville, The Dalles, John Day and McNary pools until the respective guidelines of 325 (divided between winter and summer fishery), 100 and 105 legal white sturgeon are met. Fishing effort has increased with the improving weather. We advise that anglers check weather conditions before driving to the gorge.
  • White sturgeon retention is closed from Buoy 10 upstream to Bonneville Dam, but remains an option for catch and release fishing.

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

Salmon, Steelhead and Shad

Salmonid catch and effort is low and the water conditions are poor. If you do decide to venture out, be mindful of large woody debris floating down the river.

Gorge Bank: No report.

Gorge Boats: No report.

Troutdale Boats: No report.

Portland to Westport Bank: Weekly checking showed no catch for three bank anglers.

Portland to Westport Boats: Weekend checking showed no catch for one boat (two anglers).

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

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

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

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

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

STURGEON

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

Bonneville Pool (Bonneville Dam upstream to The Dalles Dam): Weekly checking showed two sublegal sturgeon released for four bank anglers; and three legal and 78 sublegal sturgeon released for 11 boats (31 anglers).

The Dalles Pool (The Dalles Dam upstream to John Day Dam): Weekly checking showed one legal white sturgeon kept, plus one sublegal sturgeon released for four bank anglers; and one oversize and 21 sublegal sturgeon released for four boats (13 anglers).

John Day Pool (John Day Dam upstream to McNary Dam): Weekly checking showed no catch for 21 bank anglers; and one oversize and four sublegal sturgeon released for 13 boats (28 anglers).

WALLEYE

The Dalles Pool: Weekly checking showed nine walleye kept, plus one walleye released for five boats (12 anglers).

John Day Pool: Weekly checking showed five walleye kept, plus 23 walleye released for 16 boats (33 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.
  • Pacific herring are in Yaquina Bay.
  • Feb. 25 & 26 there will be a Saltwater Sportsmen’s Show at the fairgrounds in Salem put on by the Oregon Coalition for Educating Anglers (OCEAN). Lots of good information about fishing for salmon, tuna, bottomfish, and halibut.

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

When the weather allows, fishing in the winter months for lingcod and rockfish can be fun and successful.

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

New for 2017 vessels fishing for or retaining halibut 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.

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

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

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

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

SHORE AND ESTUARY FISHING

Large schools of Pacific herring where recently observed in Yaquina Bay. During this time of the year the fish are in the bay to spawn.

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 Feb. 14.

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

Mussels

The recreational harvest of mussels is open coastwide.

Razor Clams

NOTICE: Razor clams 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

Ocean and bay crabbing is open coastwide. Recent tests by the Oregon Department of Agriculture have shown that domoic acid levels in Dungeness crab viscera have dropped below alert levels. Bay crabbing has slowed down as it typically does this time of the year.


MARINE WILDLIFE VIEWING

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

The week of February 13-17, 2017 is NOAA Fisheries Whale Week. Information on many species of whales, on social media under the hashtag #WhaleWeek.

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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