OREGON DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND WILDLIFE

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Welcome to the ODFW Recreation Report - April 14, 2015

Fishing, Hunting and Wildlife Viewing

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


Spring Chinook seasons continue

Fishing will continue to improve on the Willamette and on the Umpqua, Rogue and other coastal rivers. The season opens on the Hood and Umatilla rivers in mid-April. And anglers are still catching fish in the ocean.

Check out the zone reports for more information.

Hone your trout and steelhead fishing skills

At one of three ODFW fishing workshops in May:

Registration required. All classes include instruction, use of rod, reel and tackle, and lunch.

Low tides this weekend good for razor clammers

The upcoming set of low tides from April 18-23 will be large in strength and duration. Harvesters should pay close attention to the surf forecasts and be on the beach one to two hours before low tide. See the Marine Zone update for more tips.

Sauvie Island Wildlife Area reopens April 16

It’s a good time to see bald eagles, northern harriers, red-tailed hawks, osprey, sandhill cranes and many other species. See the Wildlife Viewing section of the Willamette Zone.

Spring turkey hunting opens April 15
See the turkey hunting forecast for tips, tactics and reports from local districts.

Free archery instruction, EE Wilson Wildlife Area, April 18

Volunteers from Oregon Bow Hunters will be on hand to teach beginners and intermediate level new archers on April 18 and the 3rd Saturday of every month. No RSVP or pre-registration required. Free but parking permit required; for sale online or at license sales agent but not at wildlife area so get it before you visit.

Controlled Hunts 101 Seminar, ODFW HQ Salem, April 16, 6:30-7:30 p.m.

Learn how the draw works and tips on selecting the right hunt.


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NORTHWEST ZONE: FISHING

Send us your fishing report

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

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

NORTH COAST LAKES

Cape Meares, Lytle, Smith, and Tahoe lakes, and Lorens and Nedonna ponds were stocked the week of April 6. A small stocking of trout was made in Seaview Lake in Rockaway Beach prior to spring break. Town, Hebo, South, and North lakes are scheduled to be stocked the week of April 13. The latest trout stocking schedule

A family fishing event is scheduled for Hebo Lake on Saturday April 18th.

MID COAST LAKES

The rainbow trout stocking program is in full swing and most water bodies have been stocked recently or will be soon again. Most areas will be stocked multiple times until early June. Be sure to check out the 2015 stocking schedule for the most up to date information. Fishing for the various warm water fish species can be productive during the spring months as lake temperatures start to rise and fish begin spawning. Anglers will start finding more fish up in the shallows over the next month.

ALSEA RIVER: steelhead

The winter steelhead fishery is slow and will remain so for the rest of the season. Native fish tend to be prevalent this time of year. Casting lures, bobber and jig/bait or drifting beads along the bottom can be effective techniques.

NEHALEM RIVER AND NORTH FORK: steelhead

Fishing should be fair for winter steelhead in the mainstem Nehalem River basin. The north fork and the Nehalem upstream of Hwy. 26 closed to fishing March 31. The Salmonberry River is closed also.

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

NESTUCCA RIVER AND THREE RIVERS: steelhead, Chinook

Winter steelhead fishing should be fair. Flows are dropping and clearing, so match your gear to the conditions by using lighter lines and small presentations. A few bright winter steelhead are still showing in the catch, along with an occasional summer steelhead. Fishing is slow for spring Chinook. The best chance at early arriving fish will be in the bay.

SALMON RIVER: steelhead

The river is closed to fishing until May 23, when it opens for cutthroat trout.

SILETZ RIVER: steelhead

Steelhead fishing is slow to fair. Fish are being caught in most sections depending on river conditions. This time of year tends to produce a good percent of native fish and/or post spawn fish. Typical steelhead tactics apply such as side drifting, bobber and jig / bait, or casting spoons or spinners.

SIUSLAW RIVER: steelhead

The winter steelhead fishery is slow. The Whittaker Creek area is the only location open to steelhead fishing this time of year. All other areas are closed to all fishing until May 23 when cutthroat trout season opens.

TILLAMOOK BAY: sturgeon, Chinook

Catch-and-release fishing for sturgeon should be fair. Fish the channel edges on the outgoing tides and move often until you find fish. Sand shrimp on the bottom is a good bet. Spring Chinook angling is slow. Fishing should improve later in the month as more fish arrive.

TRASK RIVER: steelhead, Chinook

Winter steelhead fishing should be fair. The catch is a mix of hatchery and wild fish, with some bright, but mostly dark fish. The north and south forks closed to fishing March 31. Spring Chinook angling is slow but an occasional fish is being reported.

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

WILSON RIVER: steelhead, Chinook

Winter steelhead fishing should be slow to fair. Fish will be holding in deeper holes as flows are low. Use lighter gear in the clear water. Spring Chinook fishing is slow. More fish will arrive in May.

YAQUINA RIVER: steelhead

The river is closed to all fishing and will reopen on May 23 with the cutthroat trout season opener.


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NORTHWEST ZONE: NORTH COAST HUNTING

OPEN: COUGAR, SPRING BEAR, SPRING TURKEY (opens April 15)

Use the Oregon Hunting Map to see where to hunt.

See the turkey hunting forecast.

Cougar are most effectively taken by using predator calls. However, cougar densities are relatively low on the north coast. Successful hunters, remember you must check in cougar (hide and skull) at an ODFW office within 10 days of harvest and bring them in unfrozen. It’s also a good idea to prop their mouths open with a stick after harvest for easier tissue sampling, teeth collection and tagging. See regulations for details.

Spring bear season opened April 1 for those hunters with a controlled tag and continues through the end of May. Bears should be active this spring due to the exceptionally mild winter and spring so far. Look for signs of recent bear activity in the forest, such as skunk cabbage with evidence of foraging on it, torn up old logs and young conifer trees with bark peeling near the base. Predator calling is generally your best bet, especially during the day when bears are not very active in forest openings.


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NORTHWEST ZONE: NORTH COAST WILDLIFE VIEWING

April and May are months when migrating shorebirds show up on north coast beaches. Of course, they’re on their annual migration to northern nesting areas, but stopping along the way to rest and forage. They typically are not shy of humans, but having binoculars handy to watch them from a distance minimizes disturbance to them.

Migrating gray whales are moving up the Oregon coastline on their annual pilgrimage up to the Bearing Sea. Some great spots to view them on the north coast include Cape Kiwanda near Pacific City, Cape Lookout and Cape Meares near Netarts, Neah-Kah-Nie Mtn. and Cape Falcon near Manzanita, and Silver Point near Cannon Beach. Bring your binoculars or spotting scope for best viewing!

TILLAMOOK COUNTY

Brant geese are common inhabitants of Netarts Bay during the winter months. This small, dark goose is generally rare in Oregon, wintering only in a few estuaries including Yaquina and Tillamook Bays as well. They feed exclusively on eelgrass that grows on tidal flats in the estuaries, and are generally shy of human activity. In Netarts Bay, look for them in the southwestern corner of the bay, along the base of Netarts Spit. For best viewing, bring your spotting scope.

Netarts Bay is home to sea ducks that are usually not seen in estuaries. Perhaps due to its high salinity levels throughout the year, scoters of various types are often seen in the late winter and early spring months along the eastern edge of the bay, easily visible from the paved road. Loons and grebes, now in breeding plumage, can also be seen for a while before they move north or inland to breed. Bringing binoculars along to view ensures great bird watching success.

CLATSOP COUNTY

Jewell Meadows Wildlife Area

Elk viewing continues to be good. Best viewing times are mornings and evenings, but elk may be visible throughout the day depending on weather. As spring progresses and temperatures start to warm, elk will use the timbered areas more during the middle of the day.

Bull elk have been shedding their antlers, and will continue through April. New antler growth is visible within about 2 weeks after losing their old antlers. Other wildlife to watch for include: coyotes in the fields, bald eagles perched in tall trees near creeks or soaring overhead, and songbirds near the viewing areas.

Additional species that should start showing up this month include band-tailed pigeons, swallows, and numerous species of migrant songbirds. Visitors are reminded that areas posted as Wildlife Refuge are closed to public access. Posted portions of the Beneke Tract are open to the public starting March 16 and will remain open until August 1. Wildlife Area Parking Permits are required on the wildlife area.

Ft. Steven’s State Park

The viewing bunker at Trestle Bay within the Ft. Steven’s State Park is a great place to view waterfowl and shorebirds, especially at lower tides. The bunker provides good shelter from rain, wind and storms, and viewing optics, such as binoculars or a spotting scope are highly recommended for best viewing.

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SOUTHWEST ZONE: FISHING

Weekend fishing opportunities

  • Several are lakes and ponds will be stocked this week, including Empire, Bradley and Eel lakes.
  • Arizona Pond and Garrison Lake were recently stocked and fishing should be good.
  • Boat and bank anglers are continuing to pick up spring Chinook on the lower Rogue River.
  • Winter steelhead fishing continues to be good on the middle and upper Rogue, with a few Chinook up as far as the Grants Pass area.

If your favorite fishing spot is no longer listed

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

Send us your fishing report

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

AGATE LAKE: largemouth bass, bluegill, black crappie

Agate Lake is full and should provide fairly good fishing for largemouth bass and other warmwater fish when the weather improves.

APPLEGATE RESERVOIR: largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, trout

Applegate offers a quality trout fishing opportunity but reports indicate trout fishing has only been fair. Anglers have reported fair success where the creeks enter the reservoir. Boat anglers can launch at the French Gulch low water ramp.

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

APPLEGATE RIVER: rainbow and cutthroat trout, winter steelhead

The Applegate River closed to all fishing on April 1, but will reopen for trout fishing on May 23.

ARIZONA POND: rainbow trout

Warmer weather and some newly stocked trout should make for excellent trout fishing. The pond is managed by Oregon State Parks as youth only fishing and is located at Arizona Beach State Recreation Area; approximately halfway between Gold Beach and Port Orford.

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

The reservoir was stocked with about 2,500 trout last week and will be stocked again before spring break. Warmwater fishing for bass and crappie may improve with the recent water temperatures.

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

Cooper Creek was stocked just before spring break and will continued to be stocked according to the schedule. Last year, some of the trout did 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.

COOS COUNTY LAKES/PONDS: trout,

Empire Lakes, Bradley Lake, and Eel Lake will all be stocked this week with legal-sized trout. Both legal and trophy trout were stocked last week in Empire Lakes and Powers Pond. Legal-size trout were also stocked in Butterfield Lake, Saunders Pond, and Johnson Mill Pond last week. Legal-size trout were stocked in the past month in Mingus Park Pond. Trout are biting on bait fished near the bottom or lures like spinners or spoons.

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

Steelhead fishing is open until April 30 in the Coos Basin.

Fishing has been good for rockfish inside lower Coos Bay around the jetties. The marine fish daily bag limit (which includes fishing in estuaries) is 7 fish and a separate daily limit for lingcod (two). Anglers will be able to keep only 3 blue rockfish and 1 canary rockfish as part of their daily limit and there will be no harvest of China, quillback or copper rockfish.

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

Crabbing has been decent in the lower bay. The best crabbing will be near the jetties and close to high tide. Clamming is excellent during low tides near Charleston, off Cape Arago Highway, and Clam Island. There are also good places to dig clams even on positive low tides in Coos Bay. Before any shellfish harvest trip, make sure to check the Oregon Department of Agriculture website for any updates.

COQUILLE RIVER BASIN: steelhead

Steelhead fishing is open in the Coquille Basin until April 30.

DIAMOND LAKE: trout

The warmer temperatures have melted all of the snow and ice, and the entire lake is now open. Since the North and South boat ramps are not currently snowed in, there is an opportunity for boat fishing. Anglers have been catching fish in the 12-15 inch range. The water is still very cold so the fish are biting lightly. Recently the weather has been cold and snowy. The Forest Service campgrounds are closed for the season. Anglers can check fishing conditions at Diamond Lake on their website, or call their toll free number at 1-800-733-7593, ext. 5 for updates. The Marina is open and has boats and charter trips available.

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

Emigrant will be stocked with another 3,500 legal-sized rainbow trout this week. The water is still turbid, so fishing with bait or using lures that that will put off vibrations in the water will be most effective. Angling for bass and other warmwater fish should improve as the weather warms later in the week. The water level in the reservoir is at 80 percent of capacity.

EXPO POND: trout

Expo Pond will be stocked with 1,500 legal-sized rainbow trout again this week. Still fishing with PowerBait or worms will likely provide the best success. Angling for bass and other warmwater fish should improve as the weather warms later in the week. Expo Pond is located directly adjacent to the access road at gate 5.

FISH LAKE: rainbow trout, brook trout, spring Chinook

Fish Lake will be stocked this week with 5,000 legal-sized rainbow trout. Chinook salmon and brook trout are also available. In addition, tiger trout have been stocked into the lake, but must be released unharmed if caught. Fish Lake is 59 percent full and is free of ice. The Forest Service boat ramp is open.

FLORAS LAKE: rainbow, cutthroat trout

Trout fishing is hit or miss depending on the wind. The best method for catching trout is slow trolling flies or wedding ring spinners from a boat. Bank access is limited. Anglers can launch at an improved boat ramp at Boice Cope County Park. The lake can be very windy, so anglers will want to check the weather prior to heading out. Boat anglers are reminded to clean all aquatic vegetation off their boats and trailers before heading home to help control the spread non-native plants and animals.

GALESVILLE RESERVIOR: rainbow trout, bass

In addition to trout, the reservoir has also been stocked with coho smolts for the last couple of years. Many people mistakenly think these fish are kokanee. All of the coho smolts are adipose fin-clipped, remember to release the ones less than 8-inches long. In Galesville Reservoir, all landlocked salmon are considered trout and are part of the five-per-day trout limit, with only one trout over 20-inches long allowed for harvest. By early April, Galesville should be stocked with about 6,000 trout. Anglers are reminded all bass between 12 and 15-inches must be released, and only one bass over 15-inches may be taken per day. The reservoir is currently low. Call 541-837-3302 for information on camping and boat launching conditions.

GARRISON LAKE: rainbow trout, cutthroat

Warmer weather and some newly stocked trout should make for some good trout fishing. Access for bank anglers is best at the 12th Street boat ramp, Arizona Street, or along the foredune accessed through Tseriadun State Park. Garrison Lake is located in the middle of Port Orford. Boat anglers are reminded to clean all aquatic vegetation off their boats and trailers before heading home to help control the spread non-native plants and animals.

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

Anglers fishing the high lakes in the Umpqua District are encouraged to e-mail fishing reports. Most of the Umpqua’s high lakes are off of roads that are not plowed during the winter, but the lack of snowfall may allow access earlier than normal. The Little River Road (27) had a slide that prevents access to Hemlock and Lake in the Woods. Folks would have to go up Apple Creek for access. Contact the Forest Service at 541-496-3532 for road conditions.

ILLINOIS RIVER: trout, steelhead

The Illinois River is closed to all fishing until May 23. Illinois River flows at Kerby

LAKE MARIE: rainbow trout

The lake was stocked with over 5,000 trout in 2014. It will receive 2,000 trout for spring break. Most anglers use PowerBait or worms.

LAKE SELMAC: trout, largemouth bass, bluegill, crappie

Lake Selmac will be stocked with another 5,000 legal-sized rainbow trout this week. These fish, along with those previously stocked, should create good fishing for trout anglers. Still fishing with PowerBait or worms, or trolling lures should be productive techniques. Fishing for bass and other warmwater fish should improve once the weather improves.

LEMOLO RESERVOIR: Closed for fishing until April 1

Even though the reservoir is ice-free, Leomolo is closed to fishing until April 1. Contact Lemolo Lake Resort at 541-957-8354 for conditions and addition information. The Forest Service campgrounds remain closed. When Lemolo opens, it will be catch and release for brown trout from April 1 to 24.

LOON LAKE: rainbow trout, bass, bluegill

Loon Lake was stocked with nearly 8,000 trout in 2014. Loon Lake was stocked with trout before spring break. The lake also has good fishing for crappie, bluegill and bass during warmer months. The boat ramps are closed for the season. Visit the BLM and Loon Lake Resort websites for information on opening dates and camping this summer.

LOST CREEK RESERVOIR: rainbow trout, spring Chinook, bass

Lost Creek offers very good winter trout fishing, and the lake has been stocked with legal-sized rainbow trout already this year. Water clarity remains good near the dam and the main body of the reservoir, but be mindful of all the floating debris that has accumulated over the winter. Fishing for largemouth and smallmouth bass should pick up when the weather improves. Bank anglers may want to try fishing the shoreline at the Takelma parking area. Trollers may want to try fishing the lower portion of the reservoir while keeping an eye out for floating debris from the storm. Limits have been reported from the middle of the reservoir down to the dam over the last few weeks. The reservoir is 86 percent full, and the surface temperature is 51oF.

MEDCO POND: rainbow trout, largemouth bass, bluegill

Medco is a great place for spring fishing. Trout are available. Anglers are asked to check trout this year for adipose fin clips, and report Medco trout catches back to ODFW at 541-826-8774.

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

The ocean is open for harvest of Dungeness crab.

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

Recreational ocean salmon season from Cape Falcon to Humbug Mt. opened on March 15. The season is open for all salmon except coho salmon, with a bag limit of two salmon per day, and a minimum size for Chinook salmon at 24 inches or larger.

Starting on April 1, fishing for bottom fish is restricted to inside the 30 fathom curve. Fishing for black rockfish has been decent. The marine fish daily bag limit is seven fish and a separate daily limit for lingcod (two). Anglers can only keep 3 blue rockfish and 1 canary rockfish as part of their daily limit and there will be no harvest of China, quillback, or copper rockfish. Retention of cabezon is not allowed Jan. 1 – June 30.

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

PLAT I RESERVOIR: rainbow trout, warmwater fish

In addition to trout fishing, the lake also has good bullhead fishing. Bass can be harvested from March 1 to Oct. 31 and are catch-and-release only from Nov. 1-Feb. 29. The reservoir received about 1,500 trout last week and should receive more before spring break. The water level in the reservoir may still be low.

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

REINHARDT POND: trout

Reinhardt Pond has been stocked with legal-sized rainbow trout, and trout fishing should be good. Fishing for bass and bluegill should improve as the weather warms.

ROGUE RIVER

Rogue River, lower: winter steelhead, spring Chinook

Boat and bank anglers are continuing to pick up spring Chinook, with a good number of hatchery fish being caught. Rains this week increased flows and improved fishing conditions.

Rogue River, middle: steelhead, trout

Fishing has been good for winter steelhead throughout the middle Rogue for anglers side-drifting bait and back-trolling plugs. A few spring chinook have also made it to the Grants Pass area. The water temperature dropped to 48°F as of Monday with a flow of 1,470 cfs. For those interested in checking conditions before getting on the river, the City of Grants Pass Water Division’s website offers information on NTU’s at Grants Pass as well as a link to a river camera.

Rogue River, upper: steelhead, trout

Winter steelhead are spread throughout the upper Rogue in good numbers, and are providing good fishing for anglers using a variety of techniques. The flow at Gold Ray was 1,530 cfs and the water temperature was 46oF on Monday morning. The outflow from Lost Creek Reservoir was 800 cfs at 46oF. As of April 1, a total of 2,047 winter steelhead and 2 spring chinook have been collected at Cole Rivers Hatchery.

Rogue River, above Lost Creek Reservoir: trout

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

SMITH RIVER, Umpqua: steelhead, sturgeon, striped bass

Most of the steelhead will be wild, therefore fishing will be primarily catch-and-release. Striped bass fishing will pick up as spring progresses.

SODA SPRINGS RESERVOIR: Closed to fishing.

TENMILE BASIN: steelhead, largemouth bass, yellow perch

Steelhead fishing is open in the Tenmile Basin until April 30.

Bass anglers have been catching several largemouth bass in Tenmile Lakes. Bass can be found this time of the year in shallow water near structure like logs or weed lines.

A few anglers have been catching yellow perch from the fishing dock at the County Boat Ramp. A worm or piece of cut bait fished near the bottom works well for catching yellow perch.

TOKETEE LAKE: brown trout, rainbow trout

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

UMPQUA HIGH LAKES AND FOREBAYS: trout

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

UMPQUA RIVER, MAINSTEM: steelhead, spring Chinook

The mainstem Umpqua is closed to wild steelhead harvest, but remains open year-round for adipose fin-clipped steelhead. This fishery is primarily catch-and-release since the number of hatchery fish is relatively low compared to the number of wild fish. Plunkers should have some success throughout the season following rain events that cause the steelhead to hug the shoreline. Spring chinook have now been caught on the Umpqua. Low water conditions makes some boating access difficult.

Please note the changes in regulations this year on page 40 of the 2015 Oregon Sport Fishing Regulations booklet. On the Main, anglers can harvest 2 wild spring chinook per day and up to 5 wild springers from Feb. 1 – July 31. From Aug. 1 – Dec. 31, you can harvest 2 wild chinook per day, and in combination with the other salmon/steelhead recorded on your salmon tag, up to 20 fish total. Fin-clipped hatchery fish can be recorded on a separate hatchery harvest tag that is available. There is no limit on the number of hatchery tags that can be purchased. Daily limits still apply.

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

UMPQUA RIVER, NORTH: steelhead, spring Chinook

Remember all wild steelhead must be released unharmed. Fishing for winter steelhead will continue to improve, peaking in February through March. Most of the fish returning to the North are wild so the fishing is mostly catch-and-release. Spring chinook have reached Winchester dam and some are being caught. Fishing should continue to improve throughout April. Reports from the Idleyld Park Store have had a few anglers come in a have their photos taken with their fish, but overall the start of the season has been pretty slow.

Note that from Oct. 1 through June 30, fishing in the fly water area is restricted to a single barbless artificial fly which can be dressed with conventional fly tying material. Spring chinook will start arriving in late March or early April. Per the new regulation on page 40 of the 2015 Oregon Sport Fishing Regulations booklet, from Feb. 1 – July 31, 2 wild chinook per day can be harvested and up to 10 wild chinook during this time frame in combination with wild chinook harvested in the Main. Remember that from March 1 through July 31 the anti-snag gear restrictions apply on the North from the Lone Rock boat ramp upstream to the fly area boundary above Rock Creek. The Mainstem from Soda Springs Dam, including Soda Springs Reservoir, up to Slide Creek Dam is closed year-round to fishing.

Rock Creek Hatchery and new RockEd facility will be closed to visitors from March 16 through June.

North Umpqua River water levels at Winchester Dam

UMPQUA RIVER, SOUTH: steelhead

Reports are that steelhead fishing is just about done. The peak numbers of fish normally show up from February to late March. Fish have been caught in the Canyonville area and hatchery fish have been reported. The hatchery program for winter steelhead is centered in the South Umpqua, which offers the best chance for catching an adipose-fin clipped steelhead for harvest. Most hatchery fish are caught from Canyonville downstream. All wild fish must be released unharmed. Plunking should be good at places such as Lawson Bar, Myrtle Creek and behind Seven Feathers. The water has been low making it harder for long boat drifts, but still suitable for bank anglers.

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

Willow Lake will be stocked this week with another 4,500 legal-sized rainbow trout. Bank anglers should do well fishing bait, while boat anglers should catch fish by trolling with bait or lures or by still fishing with bait. The bass and other warmwater species should get more active once the weather improves and the water warms. Willow Lake is 100 percent full.

WINCHESTER BAY: bottomfish, perch

Fishing for bottomfish in the Triangle and South jetty has been successful. It was reported that striped perch were caught along the jetty and they were of good size. Crabbing has been slow recently.

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SOUTHWEST ZONE: HUNTING

OPEN: COUGAR, SPRING BEAR, SPRING TURKEY (opens April 15)

SW Oregon spring bear tags sold out Feb. 9, 2015.

See the turkey hunting forecast.

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

Bear – The black bear population in Coos County is healthy. In general terms, the population is denser toward the coast. This does not mean the only good hunting is closer to the coast, though. Hunters should look for forest openings that will attract bears such as clear cuts and slides where grass it growing. As bears become active in the spring they are most interested in eating green, vigorously growing grass. They are generally most active in early morning or late afternoon. Hunters will have the best success if they take their time glassing these areas meticulously. Once a bear is located spend time to verify it is not a sow with cubs before attempting to harvest the bear.

Due to warm conditions this winter and spring, green-up is well under way and bears are becoming active. Unlike most years hunting bears in the early part of the spring season is a good tactic this year.

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 hunting is open. Hunters can expect an average year. Cougars are abundant throughout with indicators pointing to stable or increasing numbers. Hunting cougar is a challenge because these animals are very secretive, but harvest success is greatest adjacent to private land with high deer populations using a predator call.

DOUGLAS COUNTY

HUNTING:

GAME:

Cougar – Opened on January 1st. 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.

Bear – Opened on April 1st and continues through May 31st. Bear numbers are good with the highest numbers at lower elevations in the coast range with lower numbers elsewhere in the coast range and Cascades. Hunters can focus on open meadows early in the morning or late in the afternoon. Successful bear hunters are required to check in the skull within 10 days of the kill.

Turkey – For all others general spring turkey season starts April 15th so start practicing your calling. Last year’s chick/poult counts showed above average production so hunters can expect the spring gobbler hunt this year to be excellent. Over the last 14 years all indicators point to a healthy turkey population in Douglas County. While the hens are off nesting the first part of the season most toms are found on private land sometimes adjacent to public lands. In general, most turkeys are found on or adjacent to low-mid elevation private lands associated with oak savannah habitat. Hunters are reminded to obtain permission before hunting on private lands. Local public lands augmented with turkeys last winter include Tallow Butte in the South Umpqua and Toketee Airstrip in the North Umpqua drainage.

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.

JACKSON, JOSEPHINE, CURRY COUNTIES

The Jackson Cooperative Travel Management Area is in effect until April 30. This agreement between government agencies and private partners provides hunters with access to a variety of lower elevation areas to hunt. Now that hunting seasons are over, the roads continue to remain closed within designated areas unless posted to provide very little disturbance to wildlife, especially deer and Elk. Maps can be obtained online through ODFW’s website; click on the Oregon Hunting Access Map

TURKEY season will open statewide April 15. See regs for details. After last year’s successful nesting season, we have an increase in turkey numbers allowing this season to be better than those of the past few years. Turkey flocks continue to be found in a wide variety of places in our counties. Plenty of public lands have turkey, often found in grassy/oak savannas on BLM lands and lower elevation timber/meadow lands of the Rogue National Forest, although most will be found on private land where permission will needed to be acquired before hunting. Turkeys will be feeding on green grasses and insects. Use locator calls before light or after dark to locate roosting trees; then set up in an area of their travel and begin calling as light approaches.

BEAR season is open and continues thru May 31. All spring bear tags are sold out. Typically spring bear hunting improves as the season goes along. Boars are usually first to show and sows show later. This is what usually occurs when we have a normal winter season. This year may be a bit different with very little winter and warm sunny days. Bear activity may occur earlier. Bear number continue to be high. When bears are out they will be feeding in grassy openings. Focus on south facing hillsides in the early mornings and evenings. Good spots to check are skid roads and side roads that are untraveled with lots of grassy margins and bear sign. Remember successful bear hunters need to checking in an unfrozen skull; otherwise tooth collection, measurement and tagging is difficult. Biologists recommend propping the bear’s mouth open with a stick after harvest; it makes for easier tooth collection and measuring. Weyco permits for bear hunting information

Shed Antlers

The season is here to find antler sheds. A few of the deer have already lost their antlers, within the next month most will lose them. Most deer sheds will be found in deer winter range which is usually below 3500 feet, often around oak trees and buck brush. Most deer winter range in Jackson county has road closures found in the Jackson Cooperative Travel Management Areas Maps (refer to ODFW Maps). Elk will begin losing their antlers next month. Elk can have a higher elevation winter range up to 5000 feet and sheds are often found around meadows and clearings.

Denman Wildlife Area: Remember to get your parking permit. Hunters get the permit free with their purchase of an annual hunting license. Display on car dash.

Cougar season is open statewide year-round or until zone quotas are met. Most cougar hunters’ success comes from predator calls.

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

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

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SOUTHWEST ZONE: WILDLIFE VIEWING

COOS COUNTY

Elk

Due to green up of grass in Coos County elk are very visible right now. These animals move in to clear cuts and other forest openings to feed on the grass there. Those interested in seeing these animals should concentrate their search on south slopes. Many bulls have shed their antlers. Now, they will start the process of regrowing antlers. By July, some will have a significant amount of their antlers visible. By mid-August most will have the majority of their antlers regrown.

Marine Mammals

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

Shorebirds

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

Waterfowl

Waterfowl abundance is high presently in Coos County. The birds in Coos County now are primarily here to spend the winter. The Coquille Valley is a great place to see dabbling ducks in large numbers. As many as 95% of the pacific coast dabblers stopover in the Coquille Valley during the migration. A large number of them spend the winter there. For those interested in seeing large numbers of diving ducks Coos Bay in the vicinity of Cape Arago Hwy. and Clam Island, on the Coos Bay North Spit, are good places to look. Also, sea ducks like surf scoters are easy to find right now in all the coastal bays. 3/31/15

CURRY, JACKSON, JOSEPHINE COUNTIES

Curry County

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

Whale watching is occurring along the coast through end of May with one migration heading south until February. This migration is occurring two miles off shore. March through May is their northern migration when they will be cruising closer to shore.

Viewing points within Curry County from north to south are Battle Rock, Cape Sebastian, Cape Ferrelo, and Harris Beach State Park.

Jackson and Josephine Counties

Check out Roxy Ann Peak trail as an area to view the Rogue Valley and the various wildlife found along the way. Roxy Ann Peak

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

Killdeer

A bird known by its shape and behavior as plover. They have a distinct double black band on their breast and a loud piercing call: kill-dee or dee-dee-dee. They are found in low to no vegetation areas such as lawns, golf courses, driveways, parking lots, and gravel-covered roofs, as well as pastures, fields, sandbars and mudflats. They protect their nest by leading predators away by acting like they have a broken wing. Be aware of their nest which are often found in gravel driveways. Found throughout Oregon.

Shed Antlers

The season is approaching to find antler sheds. Few of the deer have already lost their antlers, within the next month most will lose their antler. Most deer sheds will be found in deer winter range which is usually below 3500 feet, often around oak trees and buck brush. Most deer winter range in Jackson county have road closures found in the Jackson Cooperative Travel Management Areas Maps refer to ODFW Maps. Elk will begin losing their antlers next month. Elk can have a higher elevation winter range up to 5000 feet and sheds are often found around meadow and clearing.

Denman Wildlife Area

Swallows have returned to Denman Wildlife Area to inhabit our song bird boxes, come watch them soar around and begin staking out their new home.

Many people are visiting the area for fishing opportunities where bass, blue gills and bull head cat fish are caught. School and scout groups are scheduling appointments where Area staff has provided presentations and tours of the area.

DOUGLAS COUNTY

EVENT
Umpqua Valley Migratory Bird Festival
The Umpqua Valley bird day is at the Douglas County Fairgrounds (exit 123 on I-5) on Saturday April 18, 2015 at the Earth Day Celebration. Admission is free.

Songbirds

Various songbirds like Western Bluebirds, Black-headed Grosbeaks, House Wrens, thrushes and various sparrows are present at Stewart Park Duck Pond and Stewart Park trail in Roseburg. Remember to clean out your songbird nesting boxes or put up new boxes now since courtship, nest building and raising nestlings happens for many birds in April and May.

Purple Martin

The early arrivals (scouts) have arrived at Plat-I reservoir in Sutherlin and Ten Mile Lakes near Lakeside. The best opportunity to view North America’s largest swallow is in the early morning flying high above the water capturing insects or checking out nesting cavities, nesting boxes or gourds.

Ospreys

Ospreys have returned to the Umpqua Valley from their wintering areas in Central and South America. Ospreys are also know as fish hawks and can be seen flying above rivers or lakes looking for fish in the water. This time of the year look for male ospreys diving into the water capturing fish, and taking the captured fish back to the female on the nest.

Fish Passage

Winter steelhead and spring Chinook migrating upstream passing through Winchester dam fish ladder on the N. Umpqua River which is free and open to the public. To view the migrating steelhead go to exit 129 on I-5, proceed southeast on 99 to the fish ladder on the north side of the river.

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WILLAMETTE ZONE: FISHING

Weekend fishing opportunities:

  • The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife will host a family fishing event at St. Louis Ponds on Saturday, April 18 from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Ponds 1,3 and 6 will be stocked with a total of 2,275 rainbow trout ranging from 10 inches to three pounds. Staff and volunteers will be present to hand out loaner rods, reels, tackle and bait and provide instruction in good fishing techniques.
  • Fishing for spring Chinook is showing steady improvement on the lower Willamette River.
  • The following Willamette Valley ponds and lakes are scheduled to receive rainbow trout this week: Benson Lake, Blue Lake, Haldeman Pond, Harriet Lake, Hartman Pond, Henry Hagg Lake, Mt. Hood Pond, Sheridan Pond, St. Louis Ponds, Trojan Ponds, Cottage Grove Reservoir, EE Wilson Pond, Foster Reservoir, Green Peter Reservoir, Hills Creek Reservoir, Junction City Pond, Roaring River Park Pond, Timber Linn Lake, Walling Pond, Walter Wirth Lake and Waverly Lake.
  • Winter steelhead fishing continues on the North Fork Santiam, Sandy and Clackamas rivers.
  • Catch-and-release sturgeon fishery continues to provide some steady action in the Willamette River, with the St. Johns area and Milwaukie offering the best chance for success.

Send us your fishing report

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

2015 trout stocking

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

Check out the new trout stocking map

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

ALTON BAKER CANOE CANAL: trout

The Alton Baker Canoe Canal was recently stocked with a total of 965 rainbow trout, including 150 larger fish. Fish are released at multiple locations along the length of the Canal, which will be stocked approximately every other week through May, at which time it will be stocked more frequently.

The canal is located within Alton Baker Park and can be accessed off of Club Road in Eugene. A 4-acre pond at the midpoint of the canal is a good spot but it can be fished all along its 2-mile length from Day Island Road in Eugene to Aspen Street in Springfield. The Canal is open to angling all year.

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

Stocked the week of April 13 with 4,000 legal-sized 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, park is located on the south side of the freeway approx. 1/2 mile west of Multnomah Falls.

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

Stocked the week of March 23 with 1,000 legal-sized rainbow trout. This is a 10-acre pond located at Bethany west of Portland. The pond is maintained by Tualatin Hills Park and Rec. Amenities include picnic tables, restrooms, and a paved, ADA accessible trail.

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

Stocked the week of April 13 with 1,500 legal-sized rainbow trout. This is a 64-acre lake located in Blue Lake Park 3 miles west of Troutdale. This family-friendly park as picnic areas, restrooms, walking trail, and ramp for small boats. Park is maintained by Multnomah County.

BLUE RIVER: trout, steelhead

Blue River is located east of Eugene near the town of Blue River, north of Highway 126 and will open to angling Sat. April 25th. Only the river above the reservoir is stocked with trout during trout season.

BLUE RIVER RESERVOIR: trout, warmwater species

Blue River Reservoir is located east of Eugene near the town of Blue River, north of Highway 126 and is open to year-round fishing. The reservoir was recently stocked with 6,500 fish.

BREITENBUSH RIVER: trout

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

CANBY POND: rainbow trout

Stocked the week of March 30 with 825 legal- and larger-sized rainbow trout. It was also stocked with 100 3-pound trout on March 6, and some of those fish should still be available. Fishing at Canby Pond is restricted to youth age 17 and under or anglers with one of the ODFW Disabled Angling permits. 

CARMEN RESERVOIR: trout

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

CLACKAMAS RIVER: winter steelhead

The Clackamas River has been remarkably unchanged for about two weeks now and should hold onto that stability for another week at least. It’s still in near perfect shape for winter steelhead fishing and the word is a few summers are showing up now. Anglers continued to hook a few winters from Carver up to McIver but the catch slowed in the past week. It’s still just a bit too early to begin chasing after spring Chinook.

Good bank access for winters can be found in many locations along the river from Gladstone, Cross Park, Riverside Park, along Clackamas River Road, Carver, Barton, and McIver parks. If you’ve got a boat you can put in at Riverside Park, Carver Park, Barton Park, Feldheimer’s off Springwater Road, and at both lower and upper McIver Park ramps.

Monday, April 13 hydrological data shows river flows nearly unchanged at 2,090 cfs, a gauge reading of 12.13 ft., and the water temperature near 47°. All of the readings come from the Estacada gauge near McIver Park.

CLEAR LAKE: trout

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

COMMONWEALTH LAKE: trout, bass, bluegill, crappie

Stocked the week of April 6 with 1,500 legal-sized rainbow trout.

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

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

Cottage Grove Pond in the Row River Nature Park was recently stocked with 2,000 fish. This was the last trout stocking of the Row River Nature Park Pond this season, although trout and warmwater fish will continue to be available to anglers.

To access this family-friendly fishery, travel east from Cottage Grove on Row River Road. The pond is located behind the truck scales and may be accessed via an asphalt pathway.

Only the pond with the dock is stocked with hatchery trout. This pond also offers wildlife viewing opportunities and is open to fishing all year.

COTTAGE GROVE RESERVOIR: trout, warmwater species

Cottage Grove Reservoir will be stocked this week with 4,500 rainbow trout. The reservoir is south of Cottage Grove and is open to fishing all year.

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

CRESWELL POND (GARDEN LAKE): trout, warmwater species

Garden Lake (Creswell Pond) was stocked for the last time this season in early April. Trout and warmwater fish should continue to be available. This family-friendly fishing pond is located in Garden Lake Park on the east side of I-5 in Creswell and is open to fishing all year. The pond and park offer additional wildlife viewing opportunities. As we get further into the spring, aquatic vegetation can become a challenge for anglers fishing Garden Lake.

DETROIT RESERVOIR: trout, kokanee

This reservoir receives over 100,000 trout throughout the year. Its first stocking of 10,000 legal size rainbow trout occurred last week. In the meantime, there are plenty of holdover trout from last year as well as kokanee, mostly in the 10-13 inch range. Currently the reservoir is about 64 feet below full pool. Only Mongold State Park boat ramp is available. Check with local outfitters in the town of Detroit for fishing conditions.

DEXTER RESERVOIR: trout

Dexter Reservoir was recently stocked with 2,900 rainbow trout. Boat and bank access is available from state and county parks. Parking and bank access are also available from the causeway near Lowell. The reservoir near Lowell is visible from Highway 58.

DORENA RESERVOIR: trout, warmwater

Dorena Reservoir was stocked in early April with 6,000 rainbow trout. The reservoir is east of Cottage Grove on Row River Road and is open to angling all year. Trout and warmwater fish are available.

DORMAN POND: trout

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

EAGLE CREEK: winter steelhead

Eagle Creek looks to be in good fishing shape but the winter steelhead run should be considered about over on the creek. The effort has been very light and catch has been low. The hatchery completed spawning of returning adult winters several weeks ago. Anglers should keep in mind that reduced steelhead smolt releases in recent years have had an impact on numbers of adult steelhead returning. It’s still a bit early but look for some spring Chinook to enter the creek in May as fish return from acclimation releases of two years ago.

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

EE WILSON POND: warmwater, trout

Dissolved oxygen levels are rebounding well but a windmill that will mix the water and provide more oxygen to the bottom is being installed. Nevertheless, the pond will receive 1,000 legal- and 25 trophy-size rainbow trout this week. This pond is located at EE Wilson Wildlife Area, about a ¼ mile hike from the main parking lot. A Wildlife Area parking permit is required. A valid wildlife area parking permit is required.

ESTACADA LAKE: trout

Closed to trout fishing until May 23, 2015. Estacada Lake is a 150-acre reservoir on the Clackamas River behind River Mill Dam. There is a boat ramp in Milo McIver State Park at the lower end of the reservoir. A fishing dock next to the boat ramp provides non-boating access to the lake.

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

This 9,000 acre lake just 12 miles west of Eugene is the Willamette Basin’s largest water body. This reservoir is 3 feet below full pool at this time. All four boat ramps are available at this time. For local information regarding the lake and available boat ramps, contact the Lane County Parks Department at 541-682-2000. This lake is mostly shallow with a band of deep water from the original channel of the Long Tom River. The reservoir produces crappie over 12 inches and bass angling has been very good in recent years. Best time of year for crappie is in spring after the water temperature reaches the mid-50s, but fish can still be found in deeper water year round. July and August are peak months for largemouth bass. Fish the shoreline along the southern part of the reservoir, especially the sloughs and inlets where there is underwater structure.

FOSTER RESERVOIR: trout, bass, perch, catfish

This scenic 1,200-acre reservoir on the South Santiam River is located just 30 minutes from Interstate 5. There is good bank access at several rest stops and campgrounds, and three seasonal boat ramps. It will be stocked again this week with 5,000 legal size rainbow trout. Water level is still 27 feet below full pool so only Sunnyside Park boat ramp is available at this time.

Please remember that only kokanee and adipose fin-clipped trout may be kept and there are no limits on size or number of bass. From I-5 take US 20 east from Albany to the town of Sweet Home. The reservoir is 3 miles past the town on the left.

FREEWAY LAKE, EAST: trout

It will be stocked again this week with 800 legal and 100 larger-sized rainbow trout. 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. To get there, take the State Police exit in Albany and follow the frontage road south (3 Lakes Road) for several miles.

GREEN PETER RESERVOIR: kokanee, trout, bass

This large reservoir east of Sweet Home is a premier kokanee fishery with a bag limit of 25 fish per day. It also supports stocked rainbow trout and a good population of smallmouth bass. It will be stocked this week with 6,000 legal size rainbow trout. This is in addition to the 9,000 rainbow trout that went in last week.

Kokanee fishing has returned and with the warming temperatures the fish are becoming active. Most fish including holdover trout are being caught between 20-40 feet below the surface.

Smallmouth bass can be found near underwater structure and at drop-offs. The reservoir level is currently about 35 ft. below full pool – both Thistle Creek and Whitcomb Island boat ramps are currently available. Water releases below the reservoir are being reduced to fill the reservoir more quickly. The lack of rain and snow pack, however, might not bring the reservoir to full pool by the beginning of summer.

HALDEMAN POND: trout

Stocked the week of April 13 with 1,500 legal-sized rainbow trout. This is a stocked 2-acre pond on the Sauvie Island Wildlife Area that offers good bank access. Ideal for kids. A parking permit is required while on the wildlife area. Permits are available from all ODFW license vendors.

HARRIET LAKE: trout

Stocked the week of April 13 with 4,000 legal-sized rainbow trout. This is a 23-acre reservoir on the Oak Grove Fork of the Clackamas River in the Mount Hood National Forest. Boat ramp is just past campground.

HARTMAN POND: trout

Stocked the week of April 13 with 1,750 legal-sized rainbow trout. This is a year-round warmwater and spring trout fishing pond in the Columbia River Gorge. Excellent for non-boating anglers. From I-84, take the Benson State Park exit. The pond is adjacent to the Columbia River adjoining Benson State Recreation Area.

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

Stocked the week of April 13 with 7,000 legal-sized rainbow trout. This is a 1,110-acre lake and premier fishery located seven miles southwest of Forest Grove. Maintained and operated by Washington County, the park features numerous picnic areas, two boat launching facilities, more than 15 miles of hiking trails, and observation decks for wildlife and bird watching.

HILLS CREEK RESERVOIR: trout, warmwater fish

This reservoir is located about four miles southeast of Oakridge and is open to year round angling. Hills Creek Reservoir is scheduled to be stocked this week with 6,767 legal-sized rainbow trout.

These are in addition to the 60,000 adipose fin-clipped rainbow trout fingerlings and 100,000 adipose fin-clipped spring Chinook salmon fingerlings released annually to be harvestable size the following year. Trout and salmon must be adipose-fin clipped to harvest. Warmwater fish are also available for harvest. Large native trout are available for catch and release.

HILLS CREEK above HILLS CREEK RESERVOIR: trout

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

HUDDLESTON POND: trout, bluegill

The planned release of 25 two-pounders has been postponed until the week of April 27. Huddleston is a 5-acre pond located within Huddleston Pond Park in the city of Willamina, Ore. A former mill pond, it contains woody debris that provides habitat for bass and bluegill. It reaches a maximum depth of about 10 feet, with shallow "kid-friendly" edges. It is ADA accessible in places, with a restroom and picnic areas nearby. There is paved parking lot and small ramp for people who want to launch small, non-motorized boats.

JUNCTION CITY POND: trout, crappie

It will be stocked again this week with 3,000 legal, 300 larger, and 50 trophy size rainbow trout. Junction City is a popular stocked trout fishing pond located about 2 miles south of Junction City on 99W on the west side of the highway. There is excellent access around the entire 8-acre pond. A few large brood trout may still be available as well. As a reminder, zone regulations apply: five trout daily may be kept and only one over 20-inches.

LEABURG LAKE:

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

MCKENZIE RIVER below Leaburg Lake: trout, salmon, steelhead

The McKenzie River below Leaburg Lake is open to catch and release trout fishing. This river reach is open to retention of adipose fin-clipped steelhead and non-adipose fin-clipped steelhead greater than 24 inches in length.

A Columbia River Basin Endorsement is required for anglers targeting salmon and steelhead in the McKenzie. Gear use is restricted to flies and lures.

MOLALLA RIVER: winter steelhead

The Molalla River is in fine shape for fishing and with over 3,600 winter steelhead passing Willamette Falls there are likely a few in the Molalla to be hooked. We’ve now had over 1,100 spring Chinook pass at Willamette Falls so there could be early springers in the Molalla also. The Chinook fishing will only improve as more pass through the falls ladder.

Hydrological data for Monday, April 13 shows flows down at 866 cfs and a gauge reading of 12.0 ft. These measurements come from a station near Canby.

MT HOOD POND: trout, crappie, bluegill

Stocked the week of April 13 with 1,000 rainbow trout. This is a 5-acre pond on the campus of Mt. Hood Community College in Gresham. Angling is restricted to youths age 17 and under and holders of ODFW's Disabled Anglers permits from April 1 - Aug. 31.

PROGRESS LAKE: trout, brown bullhead

Stocked the week of April 6 with 1,000 legal-sized rainbow trout. This is a 4-acre pond next to the Progress Ridge Town Center in Beaverton, Oregon. The pond is an old rock pit and has a maximum depth of 54 feet. There is a sidewalk, fishing platform and viewing platform on one side of the lake. Boating and swimming are not allowed.

ROARING RIVER PARK POND: trout

This is a small one acre pond in Roaring River County Park near ODFW’s Roaring River fish hatchery. To get there, drive highway 226 east out of Albany and turn right onto Fish Hatchery Road and continue for about 7 miles. Park is on the right. It will be stocked again this week with 160 legal and 20 larger size rainbow trout.

SALMON CREEK: trout

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

SALT CREEK: trout

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

SANDY RIVER: winter steelhead, spring Chinook

The Sandy River flows are virtually the same as last week while moderate rain and low snow levels have kept the river in great shape for anglers; these conditions should hold through the weekend. A few late winter steelhead continue to be hooked, both hatchery and wild, so there’s still a chance to get out and land some fish. The best areas for catching winters are still near Cedar Creek, Dodge Park, and Revenue. There are also rumors of spring Chinook seen in the lower river.

Hydrological data for the Sandy River on April 13 shows flows at 2,060 cfs, a gauge reading of 9.63 ft. and the water temperature near 44°.

SANTIAM RIVER (NORTH FORK): steelhead, Chinook

River conditions are very good at the moment and should remain so for the next week. Steelhead are entering the basin in good numbers. Over 663 winter steelhead as well as13 summer steelhead and 4 spring chinook have navigated Upper Bennett dam as of April 11. Best bets for these fish are in the lower river, from Green’s Bridge down to Jefferson, along the mainstem around the I5 Rest Stop boat ramp, and from Mehama down to Stayton.

More fish are on the way. Counts at Willamette Falls stand at 187 summer steelhead, 1,152 spring Chinook, and 3,649 winter steelhead as of April 11.

When the ‘bite’ is on, bobbers and jigs are the preferred angling method with spoons, spinners and egg clusters also being effective. Currently the entire river below Packsaddle Park (near the Minto Fish Facility) is open year-round to adipose fin-clipped steelhead. Trout fishing is closed until May 23, 2015.

River levels best for fishing are below 3,000 cfs at the Mehama gauge (currently the gauge is around 2,750 cfs as of Apr. 14). Current conditions

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

NEW CAUTION: There is a large tree across the entire river between Green’s Bridge and the confluence with the South Santiam above Jefferson making this stretch of river extremely hazardous for boaters. Oregon State Marine Board is aware of this and are working on removing it. Better sections for boaters are below Jefferson and from Stayton to Shelburn.

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

SANTIAM RIVER (NORTH FORK) above DETROIT:

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

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

Flows in the South Santiam below Foster dam have been fluctuating around 1,400 cfs at Waterloo as of April 11. Water releases out of Green Peter reservoir are being reduced for the next few weeks to ensure adequate filling before the summer, which should make for excellent fishing conditions in the interim below Foster dam.

New summer steelhead and spring Chinook have begun to arrive at Willamette Falls but it will take a few weeks before they arrive in the basin. Winter steelhead are in the basin now and can be found throughout the river. So far, 73 winter steelhead and 15 summer steelhead have entered the trap below Foster. Best sections to fish are from Wiley Creek to Pleasant Valley boat ramps, around Waterloo County Park, and from Lebanon down to the confluence with the North Santiam.

Closed to trout fishing until May 23, 2015.

SHERIDAN POND: trout

Stocked the week of April 13 with 1,100 legal- and larger-sized rainbow trout. Sheridan Pond is a 2 ½-acre pond located on the edge of town. An old mill pond, it has plenty of bank access, parking, and a restroom. To get there take Hwy. 18 to Exit 33 onto Balston Rd. Go south on Balston Rd. approximately half a mile and turn left onto a gravel road leading about a quarter mile to the pond.

SHORTY’S POND: trout

The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife will host a free family fishing event at Shorty’s Pond in Molalla on Saturday, April 11 from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. The department will loan out rods, reels, tackle and bait, on a first-come, first-served, basis to anglers who do not have their own gear. The pond will be stocked with 800 rainbow trout from 10 inches to over two pounds. Volunteer members of the Molalla chapter of the Association of Northwest Steelheaders will be on site to provide instruction in good fishing techniques. This 4-acre pond is located within Ivor Davies Nature Park in Molalla, across from Heckard Football Stadium. It can be accessed by the Fifth St. Trailhead. The fishing is free for kids 13 years of age. All others will need to have fishing licenses to participate.

SMITH RESERVOIR: trout

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

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

The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife will host a family fishing event at St. Louis Ponds on Saturday, April 18 from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Ponds 1,3 and 6 will be stocked with a total of 2,275 rainbow trout ranging from 10 inches to three pounds. Staff and volunteers will be present to hand out loaner rods, reels, tackle and bait and provide instruction in good fishing techniques.

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

TIMBER LINN POND: rainbow trout

This beautiful, family-friendly fishing pond is located within the 8-acre Timber-Linn Memorial Park in Albany. It will be stocked again this week with 250 legal and 25 larger size rainbow trout. Please keep in mind that only one fish over 20-inches may be taken per day. Timber-Linn Lake can be reached by turning east off I-5 onto the Santiam Highway (Hwy. 20), then immediately turning north onto Price Road and proceeding to the park entrance.

TRAIL BRIDGE RESERVOIR: trout

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

TROJAN PONDS: trout

Stocked the week of April 13 with 3,500 legal-sized rainbow trout. This is a 15-acre pond just east of Rainier on the north side of Hwy. 30 at the Trojan nuclear facility. The pond is located on the right side of the road as soon as you turn onto the Trojan Access Road.

WALLING POND: trout, crappie, bass

This pond will be stocked again this week with 400 legal and 50 larger size rainbow trout. As a reminder, zone regulations apply: five trout daily may be kept and only one may be over 20 inches. This is an 8-acre privately owned pond located in Salem at the northeast corner of McGilchrist and 16th Streets, S.E.

WALTER WIRTH LAKE: trout, crappie, bass

Stocked the week of April 13 with 2,200 legal and 150 larger size rainbow trout. As a reminder, only one fish over 20-inches may be kept. Walter Wirth is a 20-acre lake located within the City of Salem’s Cascades Gateway Park.

WAVERLY POND: trout, bluegill, catfish

Waverly Pond is located in Albany and is regularly stocked in fall, winter and spring. It will be stocked again this week with 800 rainbow trout. Please keep in mind that only one fish over 20-inches may be taken per day. From I-5 take exit 234 west towards Albany. The pond is located a quarter mile down Pacific Boulevard on the right. A paved ADA-accessible path runs all the way around the pond.

WILLAMETTE RIVER: sturgeon, winter steelhead, spring Chinook

Spring Chinook fishing in the lower Willamette has seen slight improvement from last week as water conditions improved, with some fairly decent catch days followed by some pretty slow days. Chinook were caught from Multnomah Channel up to Oregon City over the weekend, but no one spot seemed to dramatically outshine another. There was a definite increase in Willamette effort on Sunday as the Columbia River closed to Chinook retention. Anglers should find continued improvement in catch as the month of April moves along, providing water conditions hold up.

Daily counts at the Willamette Falls fish ladder continue, with the total passage for winter steelhead through April 11 standing at 3,649. As of April 11 a total of 1,145 spring Chinook have passed through the ladder.

For anglers interested in sturgeon fishing, the “catch-and-release” sturgeon fishery remains a decent bet for hooking into fish and finding steady action with the St. Johns area and Milwaukie offering the best chance for success.

Hydrological numbers for the Willamette on April 13 show flows at 13,700 cfs, a water temperature in Oregon City near 54°, and visibility very good at 5.4 ft.

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WILLAMETTE ZONE: HUNTING

OPEN: COUGAR, COYOTE, SPRING BEAR, YOUTH SPRING TURKEY (April 11-12)

See the turkey hunting forecast.

EVENT:

Free archery instruction, EE Wilson Wildlife Area, April 18 and every third Saturday of the month. Volunteers from Oregon Bow Hunters will be on hand to teach beginners and intermediate level new archers. No RSVP or pre-registration required. Free but parking permit required; for sale online or at license sales agent but not at wildlife area so get it before you visit.

Controlled Hunts 101 Seminar, April 16, ODFW Headquarters, 6:30-7:30 pm. Learn how the draw works and tips on selecting the right hunt.

Basic Archery class with Benton Bowman in Philomath, June 20. Learn the art of archery at a workshop designed for beginners.

Upcoming Hunting Seasons

Spring Turkey season opens on April 15. Gobblers are already actively strutting and gobbling. With a favorable weather forecast, expect a good first week of turkey hunting. Most turkey hunting in the Willamette Zone occurs on private lands. Hunters wishing to have the best chance for success should meet landowners and secure access to a place to hunt prior to the start of the season. If you didn’t secure access before the season should work to secure access early in the season. Turkeys are abundant in the foothills surrounding the Willamette Valley and hunting can be very good for the hunters that have access to private lands that hold turkeys. Hone your turkey calling skills by listening to the sounds of live wild turkeys.

Big Game

Spring BEAR season opened April 1 in NW Oregon for those with a controlled tag. Biologists report that a handful of bears have been checked in but hunting slowed down with the cool, wet weather. Hunting should improve when the weather improves. Bears feed heavily on grasses and other plants in the early spring and hunters should concentrate their scouting around meadows, low elevation riparian zones, and open hillsides. Bears also feed on insects and grubs which they find in rotting logs and stumps. Look for freshly disturbed logs and stumps to determine if a bear is feeding in the area. Tracks, scat and other bear sign should be easily located in areas where bears are frequenting. Glassing clearcuts and other openings early in the morning can be another productive method to locate bears. Please review the 2015 Big Game Hunting Regulations before your hunting trip to ensure that you are familiar with all of the requirements.

Successful bear hunters will need to check-in any bear taken at an ODFW office within 10 days of harvest. Hunters are reminded that biologists located in field offices may be out in the field handling other issues so call ahead to make arrangements to have your bear checked-in. Be sure to bring in the skull (The skull must be unfrozen) without the hide, the spring bear tag (or a copy), and harvest location information. Biologists recommend propping the bear’s mouth open with a stick after harvest; it makes for easier tooth collection and measuring. Please review the 2015 Big Game Hunting Regulations before your hunting trip to ensure that you are familiar with all of the requirements.

The 2015 Cougar season opened on January 1, 2015. Snow at the higher elevations provides hunters a chance to try and track a cougar. The best time to track a cougar is following a fresh snow. Hunters can use predator calls that mimic an animal in distress to draw cougar into the open. Approaching cougar can be difficult to see when you are predator calling so hunting with a partner is advised. Successful cougar hunters will need to check-in any cougar taken at an ODFW office within 10 days of the kill. Hunters are reminded that biologists located in field offices may be out in the field handling other issues so call ahead to make arrangements to have your cougar checked-in. The hide and skull must be unfrozen and the skull and proof of sex must be attached to the hide. Hunters are required to submit the reproductive tract of any female cougar taken. Pick up the Big Game Hunting Regulations before your hunting trip to ensure that you are familiar with all of the requirements.

Hunter orange required for youth

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

Industrial forestland owners will usually have information regarding access to their property posted on their gates and usually have a “hotline” devoted to providing up-to-date access for hunters. In addition, many private timberlands use the following link to provide information regarding the access policy for their private lands.

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

BE PREPARED

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

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WILLAMETTE ZONE: WILDLIFE VIEWING

Valleywide

Amphibian eggs are hatching

Most native frogs and salamanders in the Willamette Valley have already laid their eggs. Eggs are hatching. Frog tadpoles and salamander larvae are now visible. Can be observed in sunny, shallow water areas of natural wetlands and manmade ponds. Frog tadpoles are herbivores, grazing on algae and other plant material while salamander larvae are carnivorous, eating zooplankton, invertebrates, and sometime even other salamander larvae. Some native amphibians like the Pacific treefrog and rough-skinned newt are still courting and laying eggs. Observe and listen to native amphibians, but leave them in the wild. Moving/relocation of native amphibians is not permitted due to concerns related to the spread of amphibian disease.

Call of the sandhill cranes

Spring is a good time to hear the musical call of sand hill cranes as they pass through the valley on their way north. Large flocks can be seen flying very high. They occasionally land in fields east and north of Salem and near Sauvie Island for a few days of rest. 

Ruffed grouse – drummers of the forest

Listen for a rhythmic drumming as you hike the forests this spring―male ruffed grouse are out courting females and their rhythmic wing beating (drumming) is used to advertise their presence and draw females into their territories. Drumming starts with a slow but powerful wing beat every second, rapidly speeding up, and ending 8 to 11 seconds later. This acoustic “calling card” is repeated every 3 to 5 minutes in the early morning and late afternoon during the breeding season. Ruffed grouse are native to Oregon and can be easily identified by their relatively long, fan-shaped and distinctively banded tail in addition to their neck ruffs. Look and listen for these 16-19 inch long, brown or gray-brown, chicken sized birds in deciduous and mixed forest communities in western Oregon.

Turkeys strut their stuff this time of year

Wild turkeys are actively strutting and courting during this time of year. These birds were introduced into Oregon from other parts of the US where they are native. These birds are widely established in the foothills around the edge of the Willamette Valley. Look for them where there is a mix of wooded areas and pastures. Mixed hardwoods, especially oaks, are preferred over conifers. Tall pines or fir trees are often used for night roosts. Fortunately, turkeys are most active and easiest to see on warm sunny days! Landowners beware! While turkeys are fun to watch and have around, if you feed them you may create a serious problem for yourself and your neighbors. Turkeys will often become a serious nuisance when they concentrate in an area because they are being fed. Turkeys that are not fed will range widely and rarely cause such problems.

Sea lions active in Portland harbor

California and Stellar sea lions are now foraging for fish in the Willamette River below Willamette Falls. Awkward on land, in the water sea lions are powerful and graceful swimmers. Their presence during the spring Chinook season raises some challenging management issues. Nevertheless, this is animal behavior worth watching.

The Osprey Returns

Each spring, osprey make their return to Oregon in preparation for the breeding season. Ospreys were first documented in Oregon in 1855 and historically were very numerous. In the 1970s, they experienced drastic declines as a side effect of widespread pesticide use. With environmental regulations that banned these chemical and the Federal Migratory Bird Treaty Act that offers protection to all native migratory birds, including osprey, ospreys have made a remarkable comeback.

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

For more on ospreys, please visit ODFW’s Living with Wildlife section on-line at

Leave young owls where you find them

Don't be surprised if you see a baby owl on the ground this spring. Owls are one of earliest nesting birds in the Willamette Valley and this is the time of the year when they are leaving the nest. 

It is a natural occurrence for young owls to spend much of their time on the ground being fed by their parents. Please do not interfere. If you come across a baby owl on the ground, assume its parents are in the vicinity and are feeding it. This is a normal stage of development. Leave the area quietly and do not disturb the young owl. When in doubt, call your local ODFW office for assistance. 

Remember, nothing can quite take the place parental owls in feeding and raising young owls — help keep wildlife wild!

EE Wilson Wildlife Area

Bare trees bird watching for perching birds (such as raptors, and hawks) more accessible.

Wildlife viewing will be improving over the next several months. A waterfowl blind is available to photographers. Call the office at 541-745-5334 to reserve the blind.

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

Fern Ridge Wildlife Area

The East Coyote, West Coyote Fisher Butte and Royal Amazon units are now closed to public access six days a week to provide sanctuary for ducks, geese and other birds that are nesting in preparation for the upcoming migration. The closure will be in effect, except on designated trails, through April 30. These areas are open to public access on Saturdays.

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

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

The majority of Fern Ridge Wildlife Area is open daily for public use providing great wildlife viewing opportunities. Visitors are reminded there are seasonal access restrictions in place in five units during the fall and winter to provide wildlife sanctuary.

The entire Fern Ridge lake water area and surrounding mudflats remain open daily year-round. The mudflats surrounding the lake low winter pool can provide for excellent hiking on a sandbar type lake bottom that extends for miles. Dogs are allowed on the Wildlife Area but now that hunting season is closed must be leashed.

Parking areas are located along Highway 126, Nielson Road, Cantrell Road, Territorial Highway, and Clear Lake Road. Contact the wildlife area headquarters, (541) 935-2591 if you have any questions.

Sauvie Island Wildlife Area

Sauvie Island Wildlife Area reopens to the public on April 16.

Many of the geese and ducks that have been wintering on the wildlife area have begun the migration to their summer breeding grounds. However, an abundance of birds are still on the island and make for good wildlife viewing. Now is a good time to see sandhill cranes, which are still hanging around and normally stay until mid-April. Bald eagles, northern harriers, red-tailed hawks, and American kestrel may still be seen on the wildlife area and other points on the island.

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.

Sauvie Island Wildlife Area is located on Sauvie Island, only 10 miles north of Portland off Highway 30. A parking permit is required for the Sauvie Island Wildlife Area and can be purchased at ODFW License vendors or at the Sauvie Island ODFW office, Monday through Friday during office hours.

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

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CENTRAL ZONE: FISHING

Weekend fishing opportunities

  • The southern portion of Cascade Lakes Highway will open May 18, 2.5 months ahead of the normal opening. It will allow vehicle access to Elk Lake, Little Lava Lake, and more importantly, Hosmer Lake.
  • The following water bodies were stocked last week and fishing for trout should be good: Pine Hollow and Rock Creek reservoirs, Taylor (Wasco Co.) and Baker lakes and Bikini Pond.
  • The following are scheduled to be stocked this week: Haystack Reservoir, Fall River and Shevlin Pond.
  • Winter steelhead fishing has been good on the Hood River.
  • Kokanee fishing has been good on Lake Billy Chinook.
  • In Prineville and Ochoco reservoirs, warmwater fish are in prespawn mode and can be aggressive biters.

If your favorite fishing spot is no longer listed

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

Send us your fishing report

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

ANTELOPE FLAT RESERVOIR: rainbow trout

Access to the reservoir is good. The reservoir isn’t completely full but there is enough water to launch a boat from the ramp. The water is very dirty and fishing has been slow.

BEND PINE NURSERY: rainbow trout

Limit is 2 fish per day, 8-inch minimum length.

BIKINI POND: rainbow trout

The pond has been stocked and fishing for trout should be good.

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

Open to fishing all year.

CROOKED RIVER BELOW BOWMAN DAM: redband trout, mountain whitefish

The flows have been increased to irrigation level. Fishing for trout and whitefish was good before the increase in flow. Trout are actively spawning, so please be mindful of where you are wading so as to not trample any redds. Anglers are reminded that trout over 20-inches are considered steelhead and must be released unharmed.

Flows below Bowman Dam

CULTUS LAKE: rainbow trout, lake trout

Open to fishing all year.

DAVIS LAKE: largemouth bass, redband trout

Open to fishing all year. Lake is accessible but low water has impacted boat ramp access. Restricted to fly-fishing only with barbless hooks.

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

Anglers are reminded that steelhead fishing from the northern boundary of the Warms Springs Reservation upstream to Pelton Dam closed Dec. 31. Trout season will re-open on this stretch on April 25.

Steelhead and trout angling is permitted year round from the Reservation boundary downstream to the Columbia River. No recent reports lately on trout fishing, but the lower Deschutes around Maupin should be good.

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

Check the trap the seasons catch at Sherars Falls as an indicator of fish movement in the Lower Deschutes at river mile 43. The trap is only in operation from July to the end of October.

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

Fishing restricted to artificial flies and lures.

ELK LAKE: brook trout, kokanee, cutthroat trout

The southern portion of Cascade Lakes Highway is open up to Elk Lake. More information

FALL RIVER: rainbow trout

Fall River will be stocked with rainbow trout this week. Downstream of the falls is closed to fishing. Fishing upstream of the falls is open all year. Restricted to fly-fishing only with barbless hooks.

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

Scheduled to be stocked with 7,700 legal-sized rainbow trout this week.

HOOD RIVER: summer steelhead, trout

Bright winter steelhead are entering the lower Hood and fishing has been good. Anglers should watch for good flows after high water events. Good numbers of winter steelhead should continue into late April.

The 2015 spring Chinook season on the Hood River opens on April 15 and will close on June 30.

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

Anglers report good fishing with reports of large fish being caught. The southern portion of Cascade Lakes Highway is open up to Elk Lake. Lake may be frozen during colder weather patterns.

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

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

LAKE SIMTUSTUS: bull trout, rainbow trout, smallmouth bass

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

LAURANCE LAKE: Rainbow trout, cutthroat trout

Closed to fishing until April 25, 2015.

LITTLE LAVA LAKE: rainbow trout, brook trout

The southern portion of Cascade Lakes Highway is open up to Elk Lake. Lake may be frozen during colder weather patterns.

LOST LAKE: rainbow trout, brown trout

No recent report. The lake may be accessible due to lack of snow; however, the lake won’t be stocked until the week of May 11. For anglers who can make their way to the lake, there is opportunity to catch holdover fish from last year’s stocking.

METOLIUS RIVER: redband trout, bull trout

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

NORTH TWIN: rainbow trout

No recent reports. Open to fishing all year.

OCHOCO CREEK UPSTREAM TO OCHOCO DAM: rainbow trout

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

OCHOCO RESERVOIR: rainbow trout, black crappie, smallmouth bass

Fishing has been good for trout that average 14 to 16 inches. The warmwater fish should be in pre-spawn mode right now.

PINE HOLLOW RESERVOIR: rainbow trout, largemouth bass

The reservoir has been stocked and good fishing has been reported.

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

Fishing for trout has been slow. The warmwater fish should be in pre-spawn mode right now.

PRINEVILLE YOUTH FISHING POND: rainbow trout and largemouth bass

No recent reports.

ROCK CREEK RESERVOIR: rainbow trout

The reservoir has been stocked and should offer good fishing this spring.

SHEVLIN YOUTH FISHING POND: rainbow trout

Shevlin Pond will be stocked with rainbow trout this week. Open to fishing all year. Limit is 2 trout per day, 8-inch minimum length. Fishing restricted to juvenile anglers 17-years-old and younger.

SUTTLE LAKE: brown trout, kokanee

Open to fishing all year.

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

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



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CENTRAL ZONE: HUNTING

OPEN: COUGAR, SPRING BEAR (see regs), SPRING TURKEY (opens April 15)

See the turkey hunting forecast.

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

Spring turkey season opens April 15 and there is as season for hunters age 17 and under only this weekend (April 11-12). Winter conditions were favorable for turkey survival so we hope to see a good number of birds this spring. Early scouters will find much of the district open due to minimal snowfall this winter. Consult with local land management agencies on travel management rules. Resource damage can occur this time of year with offroad travel due to moist soils.

Cougar are present throughout the Maury, Ochoco, and Grizzly units. The Maury and Ochoco units are recommended because of their greater amounts of public lands and better accessibility. Remember cougars must be checked in at an ODFW office within 10 days of harvest. Please consult the synopsis for all required parts and be sure to call first to make an appointment.

Coyotes can offer an exciting challenge and will be closely associated with deer and antelope during the fawning time of year. Both the Maury and Ochoco have sizeable areas of public lands that provide hunting opportunities. Hunters should use caution, be properly equipped and prepared for whatever the weather might bring.

THE DALLES DISTRICT

Spring Bear – Controlled Spring Bear Open April 1st – May 31st Spring weather arrived early this year, allowing bears to come out of hibernation early and in good shape. Hunters should focus on clear-cuts, meadows and grassy slopes where bears are feeding on fresh tender shoots of grasses and forbs. Good optics and patience glassing these areas are key to a successful hunt.

White River Unit- Bear numbers are good in the White River unit. Despite healthy bear numbers, success rates have been fairly low in the spring and hunters tend to have a tough time finding bears for this hunt. The edges of the major drainages, such as the White River, Badger and Tygh Creeks, should be good places to find bears in the eastern edge of the unit. Areas south of Mosier provide plenty of open areas in the northwestern portion of the unit.

Hood Unit- Bear densities are good in the Hood Unit. Focus on higher elevation areas with grassy slopes and good vantage points.

Turkey- General Spring Turkey Open April 15th- May 31st. Turkeys can be found throughout the White River Unit with many public land hunting opportunities. The dispersed turkeys can be difficult to locate during the season especially after pressured by other hunters. The key to a successful turkey hunt is good pre-season scouting. Identify where they roost, travel and feed and you will be more likely to bag one of these wary birds. The White River unit came in third overall in terms of turkey harvest last year, but remains a heavily-hunted unit with lower success rates per hunter. Be aware of other hunters in the area and take necessary safety precautions.

There are high numbers of Coyotes in Hood River, Wasco and Sherman Counties. Those wishing to pursue will find the best success near agricultural lands. Be sure to ask permission to hunt private lands. Limited opportunities may also be found at White River Wildlife area, and on lower elevation forest service lands.

Hunters wishing to pursue cougar will find best success near areas of deer and elk concentrations, or in canyons near bighorn sheep. Using predator calls throughout the year can be highly effective. Hunters are required to check-in the unfrozen hide and skull, with proof of sex attached to an ODFW office within 10 days. Hunters are also required to provide the reproductive tract of harvested female cougars. See pg. 42 of the regulations for details. Don’t forget to pick up a 2015 tag.

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

WHITE RIVER WILDLIFE AREA

SPRING TURKEY opens April 15.

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.

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

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

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

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


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CENTRAL ZONE: WILDLIFE VIEWING

CROOK COUNTY

The Ochoco National Forest in wintertime is a great place for fresh air, scenery and deciphering animal tracks. Bring your snowshoes and be prepared to encounter tracks of many shapes and sizes. Also, be prepared for severe winter weather and driving conditions. Red-tailed, rough-legged and ferruginous hawks, northern harriers, American kestrels, prairie falcons and golden eagles can be found throughout Crook County and are usually associated more closely with open/agricultural areas. Bald eagles and osprey can be found associated with water bodies. Northern goshawks can be located throughout the Ochoco National Forest.

Prineville Reservoir Wildlife Area

The Prineville Reservoir Wildlife Area offers walk-in access to view a wide variety of wildlife, including deer, coyotes, otter, beaver, raptors, shorebirds and waterfowl. The area is closed to motor vehicle access each winter until April 15. Maps of the wildlife area are available at the Prineville ODFW office, at Prineville Reservoir State Park office and the ODFW website. 12/29/14.

Deschutes County

Snowpack in the Upper Deschutes basin is way below normal for this time of year. This does not bode well for late summer stream flows or the fish and wildlife that rely on them, but on the plus side, many of the Cascade Mountain lakes that would normally be unattainable by road at this time of year are currently accessible. However, late season snow events can change conditions rapidly, so it is always best to check with the Oregon Department of Transportation’s trip check web site before venturing into the mountains.

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

Specific birding destinations to consider include Tumalo Reservoir (west of Highway 20 between Sister and Bend), Pelton Dam wildlife overlook and Lake Simstustus (Deschutes River northwest of Madras), and Hatfield Lakes (just north of the Bend airport), where you can expect to see Canada geese, American widgeon, green-winged teal, bufflehead, ring-necked ducks, northern shovelers, lesser scaup, common and Barrow’s goldeneye, multiple gull species, and various grebes including horned, eared, western, and Clark’s.

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

The warmer weather has started to bring reptiles out from their winter slumber. Western fence lizards can be commonly found in the mornings on rocky outcroppings soaking up the sun’s rays, and several snake species are now active in a variety of habitats usually associated with water. Amphibians, such as the ubiquitous tree frog are busily breeding and the eggs of some early breeders, such as Long-toed salamanders, have already begun to hatch. Soon many of the area ponds and wetlands will be alive with small tadpoles and salamander larva. 3/30/15

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). California bighorn sheep can begin lambing in early April. Look near large cliff complexes for a single female, called a ewe, below rimrocks. Bighorns ewes will isolate themselves in these cliff complexes before and after they lamb to provide protection from predators. A single ewe with her lamb can be the hardest time of year to see, so bring good optics and have patience scanning these areas and you may witness a lamb nurse from its mother.

Many different raptor species can be seen in the Deschutes River Canyon this time of year including Red-tailed Hawks, Northern Harriers, American Kestrels, Prairie Falcons, Peregrine Falcons and Golden Eagles. Bald eagles have returned and can be seen congregating at The Dalles Dam.

One of the earliest species to begin nesting, the great horned owl can begin breeding as early as January. Pay close attention to nests made of large twigs, often made by other birds, as you may start to see young owlet heads peering over the edge.

A large variety of songbird species can be viewed in riparian areas along the river. It is best to go birding in the early morning hours before it gets too hot for birds to be very active. Some common species seen include Bullock’s Oriole, Lazuli Bunting, Mourning Dove, Violet-green Swallow, and Cliff Swallow. 4/6/2015.

White River Wildlife Area

The deer are starting their move back up to the summer ground most of the bucks have lost their horns by now and you may see a few that are starting grow their new antlers. They are starting to lose their winter coat and may look shaggy with patches of hair missing. This doesn’t always mean they are sick.

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

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

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

Look on ponds, lakes and streams to see a variety of ducks and geese. 3/09/15.


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SOUTHEAST ZONE: FISHING

Weekend fishing opportunities

  • Trout fishing on the Blitzen River around Page Springs continues to be good with fish taking dry flies when a mid-day hatch is present.
  • Ana and Krumbo reservoirs were recently stocked with rainbow trout.
  • New for 2015, several small creeks in the Klamath district will allow the use of bait when they open on April 25. Check the 2015 Sport Fishing Regulations and the updates below to learn more.
  • With warm weather in the forecast, fishing for largemouth bass in Willow Valley Reservoir could pick up later this week.

If your favorite fishing spot is no longer listed

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

Send us your fishing report

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

ANA RESERVOIR: hatchery rainbow trout, hybrid bass

The reservoir is high and launching boats is possible. Hybrid bass are traditionally targeted using crank baits; however they can be caught in the reservoir using various methods including bait. Trout are averaging 12 to 14-inches and hybrid bass larger than 20-inches are not uncommon. The reservoir was stocked last week with 12 to 14-inch rainbow trout.

A potential new state record hybrid bass (white and striped bass cross) was caught in Ana Reservoir on Dec. 10. The fish was caught using a Rapala crankbait on 10 lb. test line and measured 31½ inches with a girth of 24 inches. The fish weighed 19 lbs. 7.5 oz. The potential new state record is 1 ½ inches longer and ½ lb. heavier than the previous record of 18 lbs. 9 oz. caught in 2009.

ANA RIVER: trout

Fishing should be good for rainbow trout in Ana River. The Ana River is spring fed and rainbow trout are active throughout the year. The river was sampled on June 5, 2014 to evaluate the current stocking strategy and size of trout in the river. We found smaller trout (8 to 10-inches) were dominant from the dam for about 2 miles downstream. Larger trout up to 14-inches are more common in areas where access is more difficult. Anglers can access these trout by floating the river in a pontoon or float tube.

Caddis flies are the dominant invertebrate. Small blue winged olive (size 18) mayflies should be hatching. Ana River is a great match the hatch fly fishing river with good hatches throughout the spring. 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. The roads paralleling the river are likely very muddy. Anglers can park at Ana Reservoir and hike down or park at the lower road crossing and hike up.

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

ANNIE CREEK: brook trout, brown trout and rainbow trout

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

BALM CREEK RESERVOIR: rainbow trout, smallmouth bass, crappie

The reservoir was drained October 2014. Trout will be restocked in May, if the water level is adequate.

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

No recent fishing reports. The reservoir water level is low but one boat ramp is useable based on the Bureau of Reclamation website. USBR crews have been tagging fish populations in the reservoir over the last several years. If you catch a tagged trout report it to the Hines office at 541-573-6582.

BLITZEN RIVER: redband trout

The Blitzen River has been flowing between 90 and 100 cfs with water temperatures around 8oC. Recent precipitation in the Steens Mountain area has caused the river to rise and become slightly murky at times.

Recent reports indicate that fishing around the Page Springs Campground has been productive and fish have been taking dry flies when a mid-day hatch is present. Anglers have also had some success swinging weighted streamers. The Blitzen River around Page Springs is a good year-round trout fishery, offering amazing scenery and the chance to catch redband trout up to 20 inches.

The East Canal, Bridge Creek, mainstem Blitzen above Bridge Creek and the Little Blitzen River are open for catch-and-release fishing for trout. Anglers willing to hike/bike the 3 miles into Bridge Creek have reported good success near the lower canyon. The South Loop Road is still closed for the winter (generally opens near the end of April), which limits access to the upper portions of the Blitzen.

BLUE LAKE: hatchery rainbow trout

Blue Lake is likely inaccessible due to snow. Fishing is not recommended at this time. Blue Lake is a fantastic high elevation lake located in the Gearhart Wilderness between Bly and Lakeview. A three mile trail leads to the lake and is a 1-2 hour hike.

Fish were sampled by net and hook and line sampling in the summer of 2014. Rainbow trout ranged from 6 to 17-inches and were in healthy condition. The trout at this lake see little pressure and are easy to catch using flies, lures or bait.

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

The reservoir water level is on the rise and the boat ramp is useable based on the Bureau of Reclamation website. No recent fishing reports.

BURNS POND: trout, bass

Fishing has been good for legal-sized rainbow trout. About 2,000 legal (8 to 11-inches) rainbow trout were stocked in the pond the week of Oct. 3, 2014 and you can expect a lot of holdover fish resulting from a mild winter. The pond is about halfway full and should continue to fill up as the spring progresses and irrigation season starts. Fishing should continue to be good throughout the spring and summer.

BURNT RIVER: rainbow trout

Closed to fishing until April 25, 2015.

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

Calahan Creek will open April 24. The fishing regulation has changed from flies and lures only to bait allowed.

CAMPBELL LAKE: brook trout, rainbow trout

Access could be blocked by snow.

CAMPBELL RESERVOIR: redband trout, largemouth bass, crappie

The reservoir is just outside of Bly on the road to Dairy Creek. Deming Creek irrigation ditch feeds the reservoir. Campbell Reservoir should be fair for redband trout. Fishing for crappie should improve with warming weather.

CHEWAUCAN RIVER: redband trout

The river downstream of Paisley closed to trout fishing after Oct. 31. The river upstream of Hwy 31 at Paisley is open and the use of bait in this section of the river is PROHIBITED! River flow near the town of Paisley is 123 cfs. Flows are a little high for good fishing.

CHICKAHOMINY RESERVOIR: trout

No recent fishing reports but fishing is expected to be slow. The reservoir is low but the boat ramp may be useable. The bottom portion of the boat ramp is submerged in water but use caution when launching here during low water as unforeseen obstacles may be present. The reservoir may be murky following recent high winds in the area.

Due to poor habitat conditions in Chickahominy Reservoir over the last year and projected poor conditions this year, ODFW will not be stocking the reservoir. If conditions improve, then the stocking program in this reservoir will be reinstated.

COTTONWOOD MEADOWS: rainbow trout, brook trout

The reservoir is fully accessible by road. Fishing should be good from the shore. Flies and lures that mimic fat head minnows are productive. Fish are also feeding heavily on small, black midges this time of year.

COTTONWOOD RESERVOIR (Harney County): rainbow trout

No recent fishing reports but this is generally a good place to fish in the late spring/early summer.

COTTONWOOD RESERVOIR (Lake County): native redband trout

No recent fishing reports. The reservoir is accessible and ice-free. Redband trout exceeding five pounds are available. Fishing is typically slow but casting lures or flies that mimic fat minnows can be productive. Cast lures or flies to the shoreline. Many redband trout are currently spawning in Cottonwood Creek and tributaries.

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

No recent fishing reports. The upper lake is full and the lower one is dry. As of 2013, the lakes will no longer be stocked with rainbow trout due to poor habitat quality.

Ice fisherman reported poor success for warm water species and trout in the winter of 2013/2014.

DEADHORSE LAKE: rainbow trout

No recent fishing reports. Access might be blocked by snow. If the lake is accessible, fishing should be good.

DELINTMENT LAKE: trout

No recent fishing reports but Delintment Lake is generally a good place to catch holdover trout in the spring.

DEMING CREEK: redband trout

Fishing is closed until April 25, 2015.

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

No recent report but the reservoir is ice free.

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

No recent reports. Fishing should improve later this week for warmwater fish such as crappie, largemouth bass and brown bullhead with increasing water temperatures.

DUNCAN RESERVOIR: rainbow trout

No recent reports but water level is up to the boat ramp.

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

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

Access is available off Westside Road at Fourmile Springs. A small car topper boat or canoe can improve fishing access at this area.

Anglers should be aware of private property around this area and can check Klamath County Land Ownership for information.

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

The road into Fourmile is no longer blocked by snow but might be closed to motor vehicles by the USFS. Call the USFS for more information at 541-883-6714.
Anglers can call Lake of the Woods Resort for more information.

The lake is 48 percent full. Fourmile Lake levels

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

No recent report and the reservoir is ice free. The lake is only 17 percent full, which makes launching boats challenging if possible. Fishing is slow.

HAINES POND: rainbow

The pond is now ice-free. Scheduled to be stocked with trout for the first time this spring during the first full week of April.

HEART LAKE: rainbow trout, kokanee

Access is available. Fishing should be fair for rainbow trout. No recent reports.

HOLBROOK RESERVOIR: rainbow trout

Access is available. Fishing is not recommended as the reservoir was dry last year.

HWY 203 POND: trout, bass, bluegill

The pond is now ice-free. Scheduled to be stocked with trout for the first time this spring during the second full week of April.

JACKSON CREEK (UPPER WILLIAMSON RIVER): brook trout

Jackson Creek will open April 25 with the use of bait allowed. A primitive USFS campground exists on the creek.

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

Fishing should improve later this week for warmwater fish such as crappie, pumpkinseed sunfish and brown bullhead catfish with water temperatures increasing. Water temperature is currently around 50 degrees. The reservoir is turbidtherefore anglers should try lures with high visibility and scent. Boats can be launched in several locations in the reservoir. Unimproved ramps occur just north and south of the Highway 66 bridge crossing. No fees are required to launch at these locations.

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

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

Fishing should improve later this week with better weather and light winds. Fishing is slow from both boat (trolling) and bank (minnows or worms). Fishing is generally slow with catch rates averaging 7 hours per redband from boat and 30 hours per redband from the shore. The lake is 0.4 feet below full pool. Water temperature has decreased to around 50 degrees. Fishing success should decrease with the cold front moving in on Wednesday. Redband trout average 21 inches in the fishery.

Redband trout to be released should not be removed from the water; revive by cradling and moving fish back and forth through the water to pump water over the gills. If redband swallow your lure or bait, cut the line. ODFW also encourages use of single, barbless hooks if fish are going to be released. It is unlawful to continue to fish for the same type of fish after taking and retaining a catch or possession limit. Yellow perch are beginning to spawn. If anglers can find yellow perch, fishing can be good.

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

KLAMATH RIVER: native rainbow-redband trout

Keno Dam to J.C Boyle Reservoir

The section from Keno Dam to J.C. Boyle Reservoir is open to fishing. Fishing is fair but is the one of the only options for fishing in rivers in the early spring in the Klamath Area. The current flow is 885 cfs. Water temperatures are averaging around 51 degrees. Flows are good for a successful fishing outing.

The Klamath River is a rugged river with extremely difficult wading. The river is also always turbid. ODFW recommends wearing studded wading shoes, wading belt, and polarized glasses to observe boulders. Fish can also be landed easier with a landing net in the fast pocket water. Most fish being captured are less than 16 inches. Most fish are feeding on minnows. Fishing remains open throughout the fall and winter. Many redband trout are returning from spawning. Redband trout typically do not spawn in this section of river.

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

The Klamath River between JC Boyle Dam to JC Boyle Powerhouse offers good spinner fishing. Fly fishing should be good as well with stonefly and mayfly nymphs working well. Most fish in this section are small and average 10 inches. Below the springs this section remains near a constant 360 cfs of flow and water temperatures are much warmer in this section. Fishing is best below the spring inputs. 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. This is your best bet for fishing in the Klamath Basin due to fishable flows.

J.C. Boyle Powerhouse to State Line with California

Below the JC Boyle powerhouse the fish get slightly larger than the aforementioned reaches and average 12 inches but rarely exceed sixteen inches. River flows in this section are typically quite high during the day. If flow levels are 900 cfs or lower the river is fishable. Dead drifting rubber legged stonefly patterns and/or bead head pheasant tails can be good. Blue winged olive mayflies are hatching but few fish were observed rising. Look for backeddies and foam lines for rising fish. Most fish are in the 6-8 inch range but numerous 12 inch fish can be caught with 16 inches the maximum. Flows below the powerhouse will typically be high during all daylight hours. Flow release estimates have been discontinued until next spring. Check out the USGS website for flow information. Fishing will be slow due to high flows.

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

KRUMBO RESERVOIR: trout, bass

A recent change in Malheur National Wildlife Refuge policy has allowed year-round fishing at this reservoir. However, no ice-fishing is allowed. The 2015 fishing regulations will note the year-round fishing regulation. Anglers have reported moderate success for rainbow trout up to 19-inches this spring. Krumbo was stocked with legal-sized trout during the week of April 6, 2015.

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 ice-free. Fishing is fair for yellow perch. Yellow perch can also be caught using small bait. Fishing for brown bullhead should also be fair. A few large holdover rainbow trout are being captured. Trophy brown trout are available. The lake will be stocked with trophy rainbow trout the week before opening day on April 25.

Take an active role in the management of Oregon fisheries! ODFW will be releasing rainbow trout with bright orange tags near the dorsal fins throughout the year beginning next week to evaluate, harvest, survival, and growth, but we need your help. If you catch a tagged fish, please report it ODFW. Some tags include rewards of up to $50, and fish can be kept or released. If you release a fish, please write down the tag number and release the fish with the tag intact. If the tag includes a reward, the tag must be removed from the fish and returned to ODFW to receive the reward. Anglers should report and return tags to ODFW Klamath Falls Field Office at 1850 Miller Island Road West Klamath Falls, OR 97603. Phone number is (541) 883-5732. Anglers can also report tagged fish online at the ODFW web site. Reporting forms will also be available at Lake of the Woods Resort and Store.

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

LOFTON RESERVOIR: rainbow trout

No recent reports, however water level is up to boat ramp and fishing is rumored to be good.

LONG CREEK: brook trout, redband trout, bull trout

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

LOST RIVER: largemouth bass, brown bullhead, yellow perch

Lost River is open to fishing all year. Public access is available at Crystal Springs day use area. Anglers can fish from the specifically designed bridge for fishing at this location. Currently, your best option on the Lost River is to fish for brown bullhead. Brown bullhead can be caught by fishing baits near the bottom Boats can be launched from an improved boat ramp at Crystal Springs. Sacramento perch have been captured below Horseshoe Dam. This is one of the only locations in the state to capture this fish.

MALHEUR RESERVOIR: hatchery rainbow trout

No recent fishing reports but the reservoir is expected to be low and fishing should continue to be very slow.

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

Water releases from Warm Springs Reservoir are less than 0.01 cfs as of April 7. Fishing is expected to be poor but may pick up with increased spring flows.

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

Anglers have reported slow fishing on Mann Lake recently with fish occasionally taking nymphs and spinners. Most fish are around 18-inches long, with some trout over 20-inches being caught. Water temperatures in Mann Lake have been around 46-48oF. Recent high winds may have mixed the lake, resulting in murky colored water.

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

The lake is accessible. Trophy brown trout are available but fishing is typically slow. Anglers can call the Chemult Ranger District of the USFS (541-365-7001) for more information.

The 12 mile gravel road into Miller Lake is in horrible condition with numerous washboards. The dock has been taken out for the winter and the bathrooms with running water have been closed.

MUD LAKE: hatchery rainbow trout

The reservoir is dry.

MURRAY RESERVOIR: trout

The reservoir is ice free and low for this time of year.

Fishing for rainbows has been fair. Scheduled to be stocked with trout for the first time this spring during the third full week of April.

NORTH POWDER POND: rainbow trout

The pond is now ice-free. Scheduled to be stocked with trout for the first time this spring during the first full week of April.

OVERTON RESERVOIR: rainbow trout

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

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

Recent reports indicate that some smallmouth and largemouth bass have already been caught in the reservoir in water depths less than 20ft, but overall, fishing has been slow. Three boat ramps are useable based on the Bureau of Reclamation page.

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

Water releases below the dam have been around 13 cfs as of April 7. Fishing has been fair to slow depending on the time of day and location. Fish over 20-inches have been caught recently.

OWYHEE RIVER (Upper): smallmouth bass and channel catfish

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

Paiute Reservoir: hatchery rainbow trout and Lahontan cutthroat

The reservoir is nearly dry.

PHILLIPS RESERVOIR: trout, perch

The reservoir is at 38 percent of capacity. The reservoir is now ice-free. Yellow perch are spawning in the shallows.

Anglers are reminded that tiger muskie are restricted to catch-and-release only. No harvest or removal from the reservoir is allowed. In early May 2014, 7,500 tiger trout were released. These fish were 8 to 10-inches when released and should be much larger by now. As with the tiger muskie, fishing for tiger trout is restricted to catch-and-release only.

PILCHER RESERVOIR: trout

The reservoir closed to fishing until April 25, 2015.

POISON CREEK RESERVOIR: hatchery rainbow trout

Recent reports indicate that fishing is slow but that some 14-inch holdovers were caught. The limit is 2 per day; please respect the fishing regulations for the reservoir.

POLE CREEK RESERVOIR: hatchery rainbow trout

Recent reports indicate that fishing is slow but that some trout around 12-inches have been caught.

PRIDAY RESERVOIR: hatchery rainbow trout

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

SAND AND SCOTT CREEKS: brook trout and brown trout

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

SEVENMILE CREEK: brook trout, brown trout, redband trout

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

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

Access is blocked by snow.

SHERLOCK GULCH RESERVOIR: hatchery rainbow trout

No recent reports, but fish should be available for anglers to catch. The reservoir is nearly dry.

Spaulding Reservoir: hatchery rainbow trout

The reservoir is dry.

SPRING CREEK: redband trout, brown trout and brook trout

Closed to fishing until May 23, 2015. Large numbers of redband trout continue to spawn on Spring Creek at Collier State Park and make for great fish watching. Number of spawning redband trout is around 50 and still can be observed on redds. Check out the Herald and News story and video.

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

Closed to fishing until April 25, 2015.

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

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

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

Closed to fishing until April 25, 2015.

SUN CREEK: brook trout, bull trout, brown trout

Closed to fishing until April 25, 2015.

SYCAN RIVER: brook trout, redband trout

Closed to fishing until April 25, 2015. Bait will be allowed in the South Fork of the Sycan River this year. The mainstem Sycan River is still restricted to flies and lures only.

THOMPSON RESERVOIR: rainbow trout, largemouth bass

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

THIEF VALLEY RESERVOIR: trout

The reservoir was drained by the Lower Powder River Irrigation District in September 2014. The reservoir was not restocked with rainbow trout in November 2014 due to low water. Stocking plans for spring 2015 will be dependent on water supply.

UNITY RESERVOIR: trout, bass, crappie

The reservoir is ice free and at 97 percent of capacity. No recent fishing report.

VEE LAKE: rainbow trout

No recent reports.

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

No recent fishing reports. The reservoir is about halfway full and fishing should improve as we move into the early summer. Mud, snow or ice may make accessing the reservoir difficult during the early spring months.

LOWER WILLIAMSON RIVER: redband and brown trout

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

UPPER WILLIAMSON RIVER: redband and brook trout

Closed to fishing until April 25, 2015.

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

No recent reports.

You can access the reservoir and fishing is improving for warmwater fish. Fishing should be good for largemouth bass later this week. The reservoir is primarily a bass fishery as other species are either too small or density is low. Typically shore fishing is very slow. The reservoir is always turbid. Launching a boat is possible now that the boat ramp is in the water.

WOLF CREEK RESERVOIR: crappie, trout

The reservoir is ice-free. The boat ramp is functional, and the dock is installed. Fishing has been fair for 9 to 12-inch rainbows.

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

Closed to fishing until April 25, 2015.

YELLOWJACKET LAKE: trout

About 4,000 legal (8 to 11-inches) rainbow trout were stocked into the lake during the week of Oct. 3, 2014. Fishing has been fair for holdover trout in the 12-16 inch range with one report of anglers catching their limit in less than 1.5 hours of fishing.


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SOUTHEAST ZONE: HUNTING

OPEN: COUGAR, SPRING TURKEY (opens April 15)

See the turkey hunting forecast.

Wolves and coyotes can look alike

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

Use the Oregon Hunting Map to see where to hunt.

HARNEY COUNTY

Hunting maps for Harney County

Spring TURKEY season will open April 15th. Turkeys can be found in the northern portion of the county on or near national forestland.

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

Coyote populations are fairly low throughout Harney County. Be aware that bobcats and cougars may respond to predator calls, and separate licensing and season limitations exist for these species.

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

KLAMATH COUNTY

Spring TURKEY opens on April 15. Hunting is expected to be good as survival and reproduction have been good for the past few years. Best prospects will be in the southern portion of the Keno Unit.

Controlled spring BEAR season opens on April 15. Bears have been active earlier this year due to the very mild winter. Best prospects are in the Interstate Unit and also along the east side of the Cascades. Successful hunters are reminded to check-in their bear within 10 days of harvest.

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

Coyote populations are fairly low throughout Klamath County. Be aware that bobcats and cougars may respond to predator calls, and separate licensing and season limitations exist for these species.

KLAMATH WILDLIFE AREA

This section was updated on April 14, 2015.

All game bird hunting seasons are now closed.

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

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

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

LAKE COUNTY

Spring Turkey season opens April 15th. There are very few turkey in Lake County and harvest is very low.

Spring Bear season opens April 15th. With the mild winter conditions Bear have been active since February. Access is generally good to all but the highest elevations. Hunters are asked to not drive on the few roads that remain wet and muddy. Bear must be checked in within 10 days of harvest at any ODFW field office.

Shed Hunting. Most Mule deer bucks have lost their antlers. With the mild winter weather deer are widely distributed at elevations up to 6500 feet and are not restricted to traditional winter ranges. 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.

Cougar hunting is open. Populations are healthy due to good habitat and prey base. If hunters can find a fresh cougar kill, calling within a ½ mile of that kill can be very effective.

Coyote pair bonds have formed and calls mimicking coyote vocalizations are most effective. Be aware that bobcats and cougars may respond to predator calls, and separate licensing and season limitations exist for these species.

SUMMER LAKE WILDLIFE AREA

This section was updated on April 14, 2015

All hunting seasons on the wildlife area are closed.

Please be aware: It is unlawful to discharge firearms between February 1 and August 31 except by permit issued by ODFW.

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

MALHEUR COUNTY

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

Coyote hunting is available throughout the district. Areas with livestock feeding and calving operations are strong attractors for coyotes. Howling and territorial challenges are typically the most effective calls this time of year.


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SOUTHEAST ZONE: WILDLIFE VIEWING

HARNEY COUNTY

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

Shorebird migration is just beginning and should improve over the next few weeks as spring migration progresses. Lesser yellow legs, killdeer, avocets, black-necked stilts, white-faced ibis, curlews, willets, pelicans and western grebes are some species that have arrived. A large number of franklins, ring-billed and California gulls can also be found.

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

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

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

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

Bighorn sheep have moved up into the steeper country to begin lambing. Sheep can be viewed with a good pair of binoculars or spotting scope along rocky outcroppings south of Frenchglen and along the east side of the Steens. 4/13/15.

KLAMATH COUNTY

Big game migrations are well underway as deer, elk, and pronghorn move from lower elevation winter range to summer range. Motorists are reminded to use caution especially along Highway 97 from Chiloquin to Bend and along Highway 140 East from Dairy to Lakeview.

Spring migration in the Klamath Basin is in full swing with white-fronted geese, lesser snow geese, Ross’ geese and tundra swans now returning in large numbers. Greater sandhill cranes have returned from southern wintering areas. Best viewing opportunities are at Lower Klamath National Wildlife Refuge. Several large flocks of cranes have recently been observed in the Alkali Lake area and Langell Valley.

Western and Clark’s grebes have returned from southern wintering areas. Best viewing opportunities are around Upper Klamath Lake. Watch for fantastic courtship displays for these birds. These aquatic water birds nest along shorelines on floating nests constructed of old emergent vegetation.

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

Ask for permission from the landowner before entering private lands. Please watch for game and use caution while traveling on area highways and county roads. 4/14/15.

Klamath Wildlife Area (Miller Island)

This section was updated on April 14, 2015.

A Wildlife Area Parking Permit is required to park on the Wildlife Area. Cost is $7 daily or $22 annually. Free with purchase of hunting license. Buy online or at an ODFW office that sells licenses or at a license sales agent. Learn more.

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

Spring conditions are occurring on the area and are expected to continue according to recent weather updates.

Waterfowl

Great Basin Canada geese broods are being observed all across the area. There are still decent numbers of white-fronted, lesser snow geese and Ross’s geese using the wildlife area; large flocks can be seen on the areas agricultural fields. Their numbers are continually dropping as they head further north to their nesting grounds. Canvasback, scaup, ruddy duck, ring-necked, bufflehead and common and barrows goldeneye along with other diver species can be seen in the deeper ponds/canals and Klamath River. Many different dabbler species can now be found on the area. Some of the more common species included mallard, northern pintail, northern shoveler, cinnamon teal, wigeon and gadwall. Many of the early nesting duck species have started nesting. Dabbler species are spread uniformly across the entire area. American coot abundance on the wildlife area continues to be very high and they can be found throughout the area.

Shorebirds, waders and other waterbirds

Ring-billed gulls are still observed on the area. Sandhill cranes can be observed scattered across the area and their very audible calls are becoming quite common. Killdeer, common snipe, yellow legs, American avocets and black-necked stilts are becoming an increasingly common site on the area. Several white-faced ibis were observed using the south end of the area on 3-30-15. Flocks of dunlin were observed on the area over the past week utilizing some exposed mud flats. American white pelican and double-crested cormorant are occasionally seen flying by or loafing on some of the area’s ponds. Western and pied-billed grebes are also being observed on a more regular basis. Great blue herons, great egrets, black-crowned night-herons and American bitterns are also occasionally observed on the area and should become a more common sight as the weeks go on.

Raptors

Great horned and barn owls can be seen at dusk. Red-tailed hawks, northern harriers, cooper hawks, American kestrels, prairie falcons and eagles can be seen foraging throughout the wildlife area. Ospreys are occasionally observed sitting on abandoned power poles close to the river and canals.

Upland Game Birds

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

Passerines

Mourning and Eurasian collared dove can be found scattered over the area. American goldfinches, house finches, white crowned sparrows and Northern flickers continue to be a common site throughout the area. Tree swallows have become a very common sight across the area over the past several weeks. Marsh wrens, song sparrows, yellow-headed and red-winged blackbirds can be found in dense stands of tall emergent hard stem bulrush and broad-leaved cattail and are very numerous.

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

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

LAKE COUNTY

Spring migration continues and there are new species of birds arriving almost daily. Waterfowl are abundant anywhere there is shallow flooded fields and eagle numbers have increased along with the waterfowl. The spring passerine migration appears to be early this year. Shore bird numbers are expected to be low because all of the major closed basin lakes were dry last year and have limited water this spring. That said most of the common summer resident shore birds are arriving, albeit in reduced numbers. 3/30/15.

Summer Lake Wildlife Area

This section was updated on April 13, 2015.

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

CALENDAR YEAR 2015 PARKING PERMITS ARE NOW REQUIRED.

Vehicle access to the Wildlife Viewing Loop remains open. Major dike roads (Bullgate, Windbreak and Work Road) are now closed to motor vehicles to reduce disturbance to migrating waterbirds. Non-motorized access is permitted and should afford good viewing opportunities.

Wetland conditions are good; a majority of the area’s wetlands are open and remain ice-free, viewing opportunities are very good.

Waterfowl

Waterfowl populations continue to remain strong as spring migration continues. The weekly bird count conducted last week on April 9 found about 12,700 ducks and 1,100 geese. Migrant waterfowl numbers remain fairly strong although many individuals of several species have departed the area over the past several weeks. Ducks were widely scattered across the entire wildlife area, and were especially numerous in seasonally and intermittently flooded wetland areas. A total of 14 species were found on the weekly count.

Lesser snow goose numbers have declined dramatically with only 300 detected, greater white-fronted geese remain fairly numerous (~800) and nesting Canada geese are fairly abundant as well, but widely distributed on nesting territories. Viewers will find arctic nesting goose (snow and white-fronted) numbers decreasing over the next several weeks. Tundra swans have departed the area, none were found on the weekly count.

Resident Western Canada geese are well into breeding season with numerous pairs and attending ganders scattered widely across the entire area. The season’s first goslings should be appearing soon.

Migrant trumpeter swans have largely moved past the area, but a few resident birds remain widely scattered across the wildlife area. A few of these birds a part of restoration efforts and will be neck-banded with green collars and white alphanumeric symbols. Viewers are encouraged to “read” the collars and report them to wildlife area personnel. Collars will have the Greek letter Theta (Ѳ) and two side-ways laying numerals that are read from the body toward the head.

Shorebirds, waders and other waterbirds

Shorebird numbers continue to increase. Last week saw nearly 450 American avocets, over 200 black-necked stilts. Killdeer are increasing across the entire area and nesting should begin soon. Wilson’s snipe are commonly heard winnowing during the evening and early morning hours. The season’s first dunlin and long-billed dowitchers were observed during the weekly count, and over the weekend, western sandpiper and western willet were found. Other migrant and breeding species should be arriving soon.

American coots continue to increase, nearly 3,000 were observed. Virginia rails are being seen and becoming very vocal now.

Greater sandhill cranes are increasing and breeding pairs (15-20) can be found on nesting territories scattered widely across the entire area. Territorial calling is very common during the early morning hours.

Gull (California and ring-billed) numbers remain strong, over 500 are present and Franklin’s gulls were observed last week. A few Caspian terns can be found, and other species are expected to return soon.

Grebes remain at low number now, but a few species are beginning to return. American bittern and great blue herons can still be found. American white pelicans and double-crested cormorants are increasing in number. The first of spring great egrets were observed during the weekly count, and a few white-faced ibis are present.

Raptors and others

Wintering raptors have mostly departed, but a few migrant red-tailed hawks, bald eagles and rough-legged hawk can still be found scattered throughout the Wildlife Area as well as on private lands along Hwy 31. Northern harriers are beginning their aerial courtship displays and nesting is probably underway. Turkey vultures continue to increase. Ospreys have returned and all three nesting platforms are occupied.

Bald eagle numbers have declined dramatically, but locally nesting pairs can sometimes be viewed. Golden eagles, American kestrel and prairie falcons as well as accipiters (Cooper’s and sharp-shinned hawk) can sometimes be observed. Last week a merlin was observed.

Great horned owls were found scattered across the entire wildlife area, especially in the trees at campgrounds, they remain very vocal and nesting is well underway now, at least one nest has hatched. Common barn owls are sometimes observed around Headquarters. Short-eared owls continue to be observed, especially at dusk.

Upland game birds

Fair numbers of California quail can be found and pheasants can sometimes be observed, especially around old homesteads on the north end of the wildlife area. Crowing and displaying rooster pheasants are frequently heard and seen during calm and still days.

Passerines

Eurasian collared doves remain very numerous at Headquarters Complex and cooing is very commonplace throughout the day. Mourning doves are occasionally observed and are beginning to coo.

American and lesser goldfinches and pine siskins continue to be observed in good numbers at Headquarters. Song sparrows are very common along dikes and levees. The Harris’ sparrow is still present, and over the past week several spotted towhees, mourning dove, golden-crowned, Lincoln’s and white-crowned sparrows were observed and are becoming more numerous.

Tree swallows are very numerous and in preparation for breeding, are exploring nest boxes found throughout the area. The first of spring observations of barn and violet-green swallows was reported over the past weekend.

Wintering Townsend’s solitaires, American robins, evening grosbeaks and sometimes cedar waxwings are sometimes fairly abundant around Headquarters now.

Marsh wrens and song sparrows can be found in dense stands of hardstem bulrush and broad-leaved cattail throughout the wetlands and are very numerous.
Blackbird numbers are increasing dramatically at this time; many are beginning to disperse into wetland breeding areas. Yellow-headed blackbird numbers are slowly increasing.

A scrub jay was observed at the Headquarters feeder over the weekend.

Facilities and Access

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

Summer Lake Wildlife Area requires a $7 daily parking permit or a $22 annual parking permit. Parking permits can be purchased at any Point of Sale Agent or through the ODFW website.

Locally, parking permits can be purchased at the Summer Lake Store, 1.3 miles north of Headquarters.

The Wildlife Viewing Loop remains open, but major dike roads (Bullgate, Windbreak and Work Road) are closed to motor vehicle traffic. Non-motorized access is permitted on all dikes and levees.

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

Habitat

Currently nearly all of the wildlife area’s wetlands are open and ice-free due to the recent unseasonably mild temperatures. Shallowly flooded pond margins are seeing considerable waterbird use. Warm (mid-50’s to low 70’s) daytime temperatures have resulted in a heavy midge hatch and many species of birds are actively feeding on this very important food source. Mosquitos are beginning to appear at this time, providing yet another abundant food source for many bird species.

Summer Lake continues to increase in size at this time, although evaporation rates are increasing with longer days and warmer temperatures. A good amount of water is flowing into the northern portion of the lake now.

Emergent wetland vegetation is lodged over due to recent strong winds allowing for good viewing into many wetland units. Green-up of some sedges, cattail and rushes is starting to occur.

Upland habitat remains in excellent condition with considerable residual vegetation that is providing high quality food and cover for many wildlife species. The ground remains snow free at this time and green-up for nearly all forb and grass species is well underway. Planted tree and shrub plots are providing excellent sheltered sites and food resources for many wildlife species. Several shrub species are beginning to leaf-out and some are flowering.

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:

  • The spring Chinook season opens on April 16.
  • On the John Day, steelhead are being caught between Service Creek and Kimberly.
  • McNary, Hatrock and Tatone ponds have been stocked and fishing should be good.
  • As spring continues, fishing for holdover trout in Wallowa Lake can be good, with fish in the 15 to 20-inch range.

 If your favorite fishing spot is no longer listed

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

Send us your fishing report

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

BULL PRAIRIE RESERVOIR: rainbow and brook trout

Remains open to fishing all year. Approximately 200 trophy rainbow trout were stocked last fall and should provide fair fishing. Brook trout are also available.

GRANDE RONDE RIVER:

The Grande Ronde will be closed to all fishing on April 15 and will re-open on May 23 for trout, whitefish and bass.

HATROCK POND: trout

The Hat Rock State Park provides a trail system with easy angler access to the pond for the entire family. Fishing for rainbow trout should be good.

HOLLIDAY PARK POND: rainbow trout

Pond is scheduled to be stocked on April 17 and fishing should be good for both newly stocked and carryover trout.

IMNAHA RIVER: steelhead

Anglers are still finding fish on the Imnaha with fair success, which should continue until the season closes. Steelhead are making their final push and arriving at the hatchery facility on Little Sheep Creek so, don’t forget to try Big Sheep Creek where catch rates can be fantastic.

Flow data for the Imnaha can be found on the Idaho Power website.

The Imnaha River will close to all fishing after April 15, 2015. The river will reopen for trout and whitefish on May 23, 2015.

JOHN DAY RIVER: steelhead

River flow levels are just right and steelhead are biting on jigs, flies and bait. Fishing for steelhead in the upper rivers above Kimberly will be closed April 16 through Aug. 31. Most of the steelhead being caught are wild and are between Service Creek and Kimberly. ODFW encourages all anglers to keep any ad-clipped steelhead taken in this fishery. All wild (adipose intact) steelhead must be released unharmed.

John Day River flows

A few bass have been caught below Kimberly during the warmest days.

LONG CREEK POND, CAVENDER POND: trout

Both ponds remain open all year. Long Creek Pond was stocked on April 13 and should provide good fishing. Both ponds are now ice-free. Carryover trout up to 18-inches are being caught at Cavender Pond.

MAGONE LAKE: rainbow and brook trout

Remains open all year and is currently accessible by vehicle. Water temperatures are still cold and fishing is slow.

McNARY PONDS: trout

A trail system provides access to both pond and stream fishing and the area also has several handicap accessible fishing platforms. The ponds have been stocked and fishing should be good for rainbow trout. A kids only fishing event will be held on April 18 from 10 am to noon with a family fishing following.

PEACH POND (Ladd Marsh): rainbow trout

The pond has no ice cover. The first spring stocking of rainbow trout is scheduled for the first full week of April.

ROULET POND: rainbow trout

The pond has no ice cover. The first spring stocking of rainbow trout is scheduled for the first full week of April.

ROWE CREEK RESERVOIR: rainbow trout

Remains open all year.

Fishing is fair for carryover trout but the water level is very low.

TATONE POND: trout

The pond has been stocked and fishing should be good for rainbow trout.

UMATILLA FOREST PONDS: trout

The forest ponds remain open to angling year around, with the low snow pack many of these ponds maybe accessible earlier than normal. Anglers should take caution and be prepared to encounter snow drifts and downed trees blocking roads.

UMATILLA RIVER: steelhead

Steelhead season is winding down, but anglers continue to catch good numbers of fish in the Pendleton area. During the three days creeled two weeks ago 34 anglers caught and released 25 native and no hatchery steelhead.

Anglers are find best success using bobbers and jigs and drift fishing for steelhead. Anglers should consult the synopsis for detailed regulations. Anglers are reminded spring Chinook season opens April 16 and steelhead season ends April 15.

Threemile Dam fish counts

WALLOWA LAKE: rainbow trout, kokanee, lake trout

As spring approaches anglers will start to find some stocked trout that held over from last season’s stocking. These fish often range 15 to 20 inches and can be caught in multiples. These fish are normally more common later in the spring; however with the warm weather and early spring anglers have already reported catching a few of these fish and one reward tag worth $50 has been returned from a heavy 18-inch fish.

Some experienced fishermen are picking up large lake trout trolling at depth with downriggers. While lake trout aren’t abundant in Wallowa Lake it’s not uncommon to find fish over 25 pounds.

In 2014 the lake was stocked with tagged rainbow trout in an effort by ODFW to better understand the utilization of this fishery. Tagged fish have been caught at very high rates and over $2,700 in rewards have been paid. Some of these fish have likely held over from last year and are available to anglers. If you catch one of these tagged fish, please report the number, location, date, where in the lake the fish was caught and the size to the ODFW office in Enterprise or online.

WALLOWA RIVER: steelhead, mountain whitefish

Remember the Wallowa River will be closed to all angling after April 15. The river will reopen for trout and whitefish on May 23.

WILLOW CREEK RESERVOIR: trout

Anglers are reporting good catches of rainbow trout from 12 to 20-inches. Best catches are falling for PowerBait and night crawlers fished on the bottom.

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NORTHEAST ZONE: HUNTING

OPEN: COUGAR, SPRING BEAR (see regs), SPRING TURKEY (opens April 15)

See the turkey hunting forecast.

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

Check the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest website or call them for the latest on Forest Service Rd 39 construction and detour route information. Remember it is a designated snowmobile route until April 15 and is not maintained for passenger travel until mid-June. The southern 18 miles may be closed due to construction, please call or check the website ahead of time.

Black Bear The warm and dry winter has left much more country snow free than usual. Green up has begun to appear in the lower elevations. The mild weather will have bears out and more active in the early part of the season. Look for bears close to timber stringers feeding on open ridges. Successful hunters need to remember to check in their bear within ten days of harvest. It cannot be frozen and propping open mouth of bear will help in aiding tooth collection later.

Turkey season is rapidly approaching. Look for spring turkeys to be moving from wintering grounds to their nesting areas. Listen for males to be calling early and late in the evenings to help locate gobblers. With snow levels higher than normal expect turkeys to be at slightly higher elevations this year.

Cougars can be found throughout Baker County but hunters should target areas with high concentrations of deer and elk. Setting up on a fresh kill or using distress calls can all be productive techniques. Hunters are required to check in the hide of any cougar taken, with skull and proof of sex attached. Remember to pick up a 2015 tag.

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

GRANT COUNTY

The P.W. Schneider Wildlife area is closed February 1st through April 14th. Herbicide application to stop spread of invasive annual grasses is happening on the wildlife area, more information.

BLACK BEAR: Most of our snow is gone from mid and low elevation areas of the district, roads can be easily accessed. Bears will begin waking up soon and will be in search of food.

The best strategy for finding them this time of year is to sit on a spot with a good view of open canyon sides and use binoculars or a spotting scope to locate them. The animals will feed off and on during all daylight hours and patience is the order of the day when spotting spring bears. Hunters are reminded all bears are required to be checked in within 10 days of harvest.

TURKEY numbers have been on the rise for the past few years in the district. Most of our snow is gone from mid and low elevation areas of the district. By opening day the turkeys will begin to move from their wintering areas up into nesting areas. The best strategy for finding them this time of year is to travel the forest roads or hike into areas where turkeys might be and call for them or just listen for their calls early in the morning.

Cougar hunting remains open. Successful hunters should remember that check-in of the hide with skull and proof of sex attached is mandatory; see the regulations for details. Remember to pick up a 2015 tag.

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

MORROW, GILLIAM AND WHEELER COUNTIES

Cougar hunting is open. Cougar are well distributed in our forested areas. Calling with distress calls or cougar vocalizations can be effective. With snow coming, tracking down a cougar is a possibility. However, locating a fresh, naturally made kill has the best chance of success.

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

UMATILLA COUNTY

Bears will be distributed in forested stringer areas throughout the mid elevations. Low to mid elevation forest roads are accessible from numerous access points throughout the county, thus providing an earlier opportunity for those mid and upper elevations.. Foraging bears can be observed by glassing open hill slopes with a south/southwestern aspect.

Earlier in the season bears can be observed throughout the day. Bear numbers will begin to increase towards last half of April and should persist until the end of the season. Hunters are reminded all bears are required to be checked in within 10 days of harvest.

Turkeys are scattered throughout the forested areas of Umatilla County, look for turkeys along ridge tops crossing between drainages. Listen for gobbling turkeys within early hours of daylight from atop high elevation spots above those drainages. Less than average snow levels have provided earlier access to mid and upper elevations.

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.

Bears will be distributed in forested stringer areas throughout the mid elevations. Low to mid elevation forest roads are accessible from numerous access points throughout the county, thus providing an earlier opportunity for scouting those mid elevations for upcoming spring bear season. Foraging bears can be observed by glassing open hill slopes with a south/southwestern aspect.

Earlier in the season bears can be observed throughout the day. Bear numbers will begin to increase towards last half of April and should persist until the end of the season. Hunters are reminded all bears are required to be checked in within 10 days of harvest.

Turkeys are scattered throughout the forested areas of Umatilla County, look for turkeys along ridge tops crossing between drainages. Listen for gobbling turkeys within early hours of daylight from atop high elevation spots above those drainages. Less than average snow levels may provide earlier access to mid and upper elevations.

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

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

UNION COUNTY

Bear numbers are strong in all of Union County and hunters have a good chance of filling a tag. Look for bears on open South slopes. Access to national forest lands should be excellent due to the light snow pack this winter. Many forest roads will be soft with early snow melt, take care not to cause unnecessary ruts.

Turkey numbers look good Union County and chances of finding a Gobbler should be better than last year. Early season hunters will increase their chances of success by staying out in the field all day. Walking into hunting areas that are not reachable by vehicles can produce enjoyable, uninterrupted hunts. Snow will limit access only to higher elevations in the early part of the season.

Cougars are common in Union County. Focus on game rich areas with long ridgelines or saddles that cats typically travel. Setting up downwind of a deer or elk killed by a cougar can be productive. Nonresident hunters can include a cougar tag with others tags for only $14.50. All cougars taken must be checked in within 10 days of harvest; call for an appointment before check in. Remember to pick up a tag for 2015.

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

Ladd Marsh Wildlife Area

Hunting now closed. Ladd Marsh harvest statistics

Note: all visitors including hunters must have in their possession a free daily permit to access the wildlife area. Permits and area maps/regulations are available at several self-check-in stations at entry points and parking lots. Wildlife hunters, viewers and anglers also need a parking permit to park on the wildlife area. Hunters receive a free parking permit with their hunting license. The $7 daily or $22 annual permit can be purchased online or at an ODFW office that sells licenses or at a license sales agent. Learn more about ODFW’s Wildlife Area Parking Permit Program. Parking permits are to be displayed on the vehicle dash. More information

WALLOWA COUNTY

Check the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest website or call them for the latest on Forest Service Rd 39 construction and detour route information. Remember it is a designated snowmobile route until April 15 and is not maintained for passenger travel until mid-June. The southern 18 miles may be closed due to construction, please call or check the website ahead of time.

BLACK BEAR: Spring bear season starts this Wednesday (April 15), and a good density of black bears exists throughout the district. Most of our snow is gone from mid and low elevation areas of the district, although more snow is in the forecast for this week. Bears will begin waking up and making forays away from their dens in search of early season foods, such as green grass, ground squirrels, and roots and tubers. In spring, black bears are fair weather fellows and really only venture out of their dens on warm, sunny days. The best strategy for finding them this time of year is to sit on a spot with a good view of open canyon sides and use binoculars or a spotting scope to locate them. The animals feed off and on during all daylight hours and patience is the order of the day when spotting spring bears.

TURKEY: Spring turkey season also starts this Wednesday (April 15). Turkey numbers have increased this year in the district and they over-wintered very well with the warm winter that we had this year. Most of our snow is gone from mid and low elevation areas of the district. Turkeys have spread into nesting areas throughout the forested areas at this time. The best strategy for finding them is to travel the forest roads or hike into areas where turkeys might be and call for them or just listen for their calls early in the morning.

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

Cougar numbers are moderate throughout Wallowa County. Most lions are taken incidental to other hunting; however, calling with fawn bleat, or locating a cougar kill and waiting for a cat to return are often successful techniques.


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NORTHEAST ZONE: WILDLIFE VIEWING

BAKER COUNTY

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

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

Early in the morning and late in the afternoon are good times to view wildlife. Driving through the foothills of the Baker valley and through the Keating valley can turn up good numbers of deer. 4/7/15

GRANT COUNTY

P.W. Schneider Wildlife Area

The P.W. Schneider Wildlife area closes Feb. 1 through April 14.

Countywide

Early mornings wild turkeys can be viewed throughout the county. The best viewing areas for the wild turkeys are around Fields Creek Road off highway 26 and Holmes Creek Road off highway 19.

Songbirds are beginning to arrive here in the valley. Redwing black birds can be seen and heard as you drive from Prairie City to Dayville on Highway 26. Western meadowlarks can be heard singing in and around pasturelands. Great horn owls have begun to nest, when walking through the forest be on the lookout for a “witches broom”, a typical great horn owl nest found in large fir trees.

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

Watch for deer and elk crossing the highways. Dawn and dusk are the most active time for deer and elk and are not easily seen due to low light conditions by drivers alongside the road.

Sandhill cranes have started to migrate through the valley. They are best viewed early in the morning along the John Day River. 3/23/2015

MORROW, GILLIAM and WHEELER COUNTIES

The first of our winter migrants has been spotted, a rough-legged hawk. As winter’s bite increases so will the number of rough-legged hawks in the area. Try any of the areas in the northern portion of the District to see one in the grasslands. As raptors continue their migration into winter, take a longer look at any hawks you spot on power poles, occasionally it is a rare species.

Short-eared owls can be seen along most of the grasslands along the foothills of the District. Watch for the irregular wing beat of the owl, it is quite distinctive. We have had reports of a snowy owl near the Boardman Conservation Area. Access is limited but one may be able to see the owl from Immigrant Lane.

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

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

UMATILLA COUNTY

Spring like conditions through late winter have provided early green up in mid elevations along the Blue Mountains. Deer and elk are distributed throughout the mid and upper elevations foraging on early green-up of annual grasses. Large groups of elk can be viewed for the next few weeks during early and late hours of daylight. These groups will be on or near the boundary of the Forest Service intermingled between open grass slopes and timbered drainages. Deer will be more widespread and dispersed in smaller groups amongst the low to mid elevations. Bears will be distributed in similar areas of the Blue Mountains and are many different colors other than black and provide a unique viewing opportunity.

Migratory birds have been observed in the low to mid elevations habitat of the County. Federal, State and Tribal wildlife areas and refuges along with public road access throughout the county provide good viewing opportunities for Ferruginous, Rough-legged, Red tailed, Coopers and Swainson’s hawks, along with both Bald and Golden eagles. Riparian and wooded corridors and large grassland areas can also provide good viewing opportunity for Warblers, Robins and Sparrows. 4/13/2015.

UNION COUNTY

Ladd Marsh Wildlife Area

Note: New this year: All visitors must have in their possession a free daily permit to access the wildlife area. Permits are available at several self-check-in stations at entry points and parking lots. Wildlife viewers and anglers also need a parking permit to park on the wildlife area. The $7 daily or $22 annual permit can be purchased online or at an ODFW office that sells licenses or at a license sales agent. Learn more about ODFW’s Wildlife Area Parking Permit Program.

The Tule Lake unit, including the autoroute, is now open for the season. Visitors are advised to carefully read posted signs and consult the wildlife area administrative rules. Rules that apply to all areas are at the top (at the above link), and then scroll down to page 8, #635-008-120, for additional rules specific to Ladd Marsh.

Dogs are not permitted within the Wildlife Area, on or off leash except during authorized hunting seasons. There are numerous quality viewing opportunities from county roads that pass through the area. Binoculars or a spotting scope will help as many animals are best viewed from a distance.

Canada geese have begun nesting; goslings will arrive in about 3 weeks. Large numbers of greater white-fronted geese and a few snow and Ross’s geese are on the marsh and in flooded fields throughout the valley. All expected species of waterfowl are present on the area.

Great horned and barn owls are nesting. Great horned owls can be seen sitting in nests at several locations. Other raptors include Red-tailed Hawk, Northern Harrier, Cooper’s and Sharp-shinned Hawks and American Kestrel. Bald and golden eagles have been seen soaring on the thermals.

Resident sandhill cranes are on their territories and non-breeding birds are using meadows and fields. Please report any sandhill cranes wearing leg bands to the Ladd Marsh staff (541-963-4954). If possible, note the color and order of bands on each of the bird’s legs (e.g., pink above white on left leg; silver above black on right leg). The specific combination and order can identify individual birds. 3/23/15.

WALLOWA COUNTY

Spring is a good time to find raptors in Wallowa County, and many of them are incubating eggs now. Particularly common are red-tailed hawks, with rough-legged hawks also present. Many migrating bald eagles are still in the area. Look for them around the agricultural fields as they are primarily feeding on ground squirrels and after-birth from cattle calving operations at this time. A resident pair of bald eagles is again using the nest at the south end of Wallowa Lake. Look for them in a large cottonwood tree near where the Wallowa River runs into the lake.

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

Many elk have returned to the Zumwalt Prairie now. Try driving the Zumwalt and Pine Creek Roads and looking carefully at ridge tops. Once you find a herd, use binoculars or a spotting scope to observe the animals.

While most of our migrant waterfowl have already headed north with the advent of warmer weather, some can still be seen flying into Wallowa Lake in the evenings from the county park at the north end of the lake. Canada geese and several species of ducks can also be seen feeding in agricultural fields and along streams around the county.

Other migrants and summer residents have begun to move into the area including, Say’s phoebes, horned larks, killdeers, and robins. Mountain bluebirds have also arrived back from their southern haunts and can be seen in open grassland areas near trees. 4/13/15.


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SNAKE RIVER ZONE: FISHING

Send us your fishing report

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

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

No recent fishing report. Call the Idaho Power Company’s recording at 1-800-422-3143 to get information on access at recreational sites. Reservoir level information

OXBOW RESERVOIR: trout, crappie, bass, catfish

No recent fishing report.

HELLS CANYON RESERVOIR: trout, crappie, bass, catfish

Approximately 800 adult steelhead were released into the reservoir in November. According to current Oregon fishing regulations, adipose fin-clipped steelhead released into Hells Canyon Reservoir are considered trout. Neither a salmon/ steelhead harvest card nor Columbia Basin Endorsement are required for this fishery. The daily bag limit is three adipose fin-clipped trout over 20-inches.

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

Steelhead fishing below Hells Canyon has been producing plenty of good-sized steelhead. Steelhead will be available throughout April and into the closure on April 30, 2015.

Spring chinook season will open on the Snake River on April, 25 from the Dug Bar boat ramp up river to the boundary below Hells Canyon Dam. The bag limit is 4 chinook salmon per day with no more than 2 adult fish over 24-inches. Barbless hooks and a Columbia Basin Endorsement are required when fishing for salmon, steelhead and sturgeon in Hells Canyon.

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

Updated information on flow levels

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

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

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COLUMBIA RIVER ZONE: FISHING

Weekend Fishing Opportunities:

  • Spring Chinook fishing is open from Tower Island powerlines upstream to the Oregon/Washington border above McNary Dam, plus the banks between Bonneville and Tower Island powerlines.
  • Sturgeon retention is open in The Dalles Pool until the respective guideline of 100 legal white sturgeon is met.
  • Sturgeon retention is open in the John Day Pool until the respective guideline of 500 legal white sturgeon is met.
  • White sturgeon retention is closed from Buoy 10 upstream to The Dalles Dam, but remains an option for catch and release fishing. Anglers are reminded that spawning sanctuaries take effect May 1 (see special regulations for details).
  • Walleye fishing was excellent in the John Day Pool last week.

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 rates decreased in some areas of the lower Columbia River while they improved in others this past weekend. Boat anglers fishing in the gorge below Beacon Rock averaged 1.53 spring Chinook caught per boat, while anglers fishing in Troutdale averaged 0.27 spring Chinook caught per boat.

In the Portland to Westport area, boat anglers averaged 0.52 spring Chinook caught per boat, while anglers fishing in the estuary averaged 0.42 spring Chinook caught per boat.
Bank anglers fishing in the gorge averaged 0.05 spring Chinook caught per angler, while anglers fishing the Portland to Westport area averaged 0.02 spring Chinook caught per angler.

On Saturday’s (4/11) flight, 1,665 salmonid boats and 444 Oregon bank anglers were counted from the Columbia River Estuary to Bonneville Dam.

Gorge Bank:

Weekend checking showed one adipose fin-clipped steelhead kept, plus one unclipped spring Chinook adult released for 20 bank anglers.

Gorge Boats (below Beacon Rock):

Weekend checking showed 21 adipose fin-clipped spring Chinook adults kept, plus two unclipped spring Chinook adults released for 15 boats (50 anglers).

Troutdale Boats:

Weekend checking showed 12 adipose fin-clipped spring Chinook adults kept, plus three unclipped spring Chinook adults released for 56 boats (118 anglers).

Portland to Westport Bank:

Weekend checking showed one adipose fin-clipped spring Chinook adult kept for 45 bank anglers.

Portland to Westport Boats:

Weekend checking showed 74 adipose fin-clipped spring Chinook adults and one adipose fin-clipped spring Chinook jack kept, plus 10 unclipped spring Chinook adults released for 163 boats (444 anglers).

Estuary Bank (Clatsop Spit to Wauna Powerlines):

Weekend checking showed no catch for two bank anglers.

Estuary Boats (Tongue Point to Wauna Powerlines):

Weekend checking showed six adipose fin-clipped spring Chinook adults kept, plus two unclipped spring Chinook adults and two unclipped spring Chinook jacks released for 19 boats (48 anglers).

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

No report.

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

Weekly checking showed no catch for 50 bank anglers.

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

Weekly checking showed two adipose fin-clipped spring Chinook kept for 54 bank anglers; and no catch for four boats (eight anglers).

STURGEON

Lower Columbia (below Bonneville Dam):

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

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

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

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

Weekly checking showed one legal white sturgeon kept, plus four sublegal sturgeon released for 20 bank anglers; and two oversize and 11 sublegal sturgeon released for four boats (10 anglers).

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

Weekly checking showed no catch for nine bank anglers; and three legal white sturgeon kept, plus one oversize and 11 sublegal sturgeon released for seven boats (17 anglers).

WALLEYE

Bonneville Pool:

No report.

The Dalles Pool:

Weekly checking showed no catch for four bank anglers; and two walleye kept for three boats (six anglers).

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

Weekly checking showed no catch for one bank angler; and 207 walleye kept, plus 52 walleye released for 34 boats (65 anglers).


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MARINE ZONE: FISHING

Weekend opportunities:

  • Come to Port Orford and talk about fish! Redfish Rocks on the Docks, an informal get together to share information about Oregon’s Marine Reserves, happens Sunday, April 19 starting at 11 a.m. on the docks in Port Orford. See what ODFW and local fishermen are doing, talk with biologists who are studying the Marine Reserves, and enjoy free hot dogs and soft drinks.
  • Ocean Chinook salmon fishing is open from Cape Falcon to Humbug Mountain, through April 30. See ODFW’s Ocean Salmon webpage for details. Catches have been good in the past several weeks.
  • Several surfperch species often move into bays this time of year.

Send us your fishing report

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

Saltwater News Bulletins

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

Marine Reserves and Other Management Designations

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

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

In addition to reserves, there are several other management areas to be aware of, such as the Stonewall Bank conservation area (west of Newport) and marine gardens, described in the 2015 Oregon Sport Fishing Regulations (pages 94-98). Depth restrictions for bottomfish and Pacific halibut fishing are defined by waypoints.

SALMON

Ocean recreational fishing is open for Chinook salmon from Cape Falcon to Humbug Mt. through April 30, 2015. This season is open for all salmon except coho salmon, with a bag limit of two salmon per day, and minimum sizes for Chinook salmon at 24 inches or larger, and steelhead at 20 inches or larger.

Anglers are restricted to no more than two single-point barbless hooks when fishing for salmon and when fishing for any other species if a salmon is on board the vessel.

Anglers fishing in ocean waters adjacent to Tillamook Bay between Twin Rocks and Pyramid Rock and within the 15-fathom depth contour are reminded that only adipose fin-clipped Chinook salmon may be retained or on board while fishing prior to Aug. 1.

PACIFIC HALIBUT

The 2015 Pacific halibut quota is approximately 1 percent greater than 2014. Therefore, sport halibut seasons are projected to be similar to 2014. The staff-recommended season dates are on the OFDW sport halibut webpage and will be finalized by the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission on April 24.

MISC FISHING

Spring often finds saltwater surfperch species like pile surfperch moving into bays. Redtail and silver surfperch can be caught from ocean beaches. Surfperch fishing tips

BOTTOM FISHING

Brookings area fishermen reported catching numerous lingcod up off the bottom, making it hard to get to bottomfish, although black rockfish and blue rockfish also made a good showing in catches. Conversely, central coast fishers reported low lingcod catch rates last week, and those that were landed had stomachs full of tiny octopuses.

REMINDERS: Cabezon is closed through June 30, and the ocean is open only inside of the 30 fathom regulatory line (30 fathom waypoints) April 1 through Sept. 30.

New for 2015. China, copper, and quillback rockfish (in addition to yelloweye rockfish) may not be retained.

New for 2015. The marine fish daily bag limit is seven fish of which no more than three can be blue rockfish and no more than one can be a canary rockfish.

Anglers are urged to avoid canary rockfish (retaining one only if it is injured and caught incidentally while targeting other species such as black rockfish) and to use a descending device for any that are released. Although canary rockfish numbers are increasing, the population is not fully recovered. Releasing individuals that are not bleeding from the gills or showing signs of injury other than barotrauma will help preserve fishing opportunity for other species such as black rockfish and lingcod throughout the year.

Signs of barotrauma, such as bulging eyes and gut protruding from the fish’s mouth, result from the rapid change in pressure as fish are reeled to the surface. They are reversible when fish are returned to depth with a descending device, and ODFW encourages the release of canary rockfish with a descending device even if they exhibit signs of barotrauma, as long as they are otherwise uninjured. See ODFW’s sport groundfish webpage for an underwater video of a fish recompressed and released by ODFW researchers, and an entertaining and informative video showing several different types of release devices (both videos are at the bottom of the page).

There are separate daily limits for lingcod (2) and flatfish other than Pacific halibut (25).

Several handouts – including “What Can I Keep, and How Many?” and species identification tips – are available on the OFDW sport groundfish webpage.

SHELLFISH

Razor clams

For the tide series of April 5-April 10, razor clam harvesting along the Clatsop Beaches was quite productive for those who participated. Effort over the low tide series was low even with some of the lowest surf seen in the past month. During this tide series harvest was the best at Sunset beach where harvesters had nearly 14 clams per person on average. The Del Rey to the Gearhart beaches was also quite productive with an average of 13 clams per person while the rest of the beach areas averaged between 12-13 clams per person. Clams harvested were mainly medium clams (4 ¼ inches) during the tide series with few larger clams (>5 inches) taken. Currently, the entire Clatsop Beach has a very abundant set of 4 inch clams. Last summer’s stock assessment estimated that there were over 16 million clams on Clatsop Beach.

As encouraging as it is to see this robust population of clams, it can also lead to increased discard issues as some harvesters will be looking for the very large clams that were harvested last year. Staff has observed increasing discard rates (clams replanted) on the Clatsop beaches this past tide series. Staff has also observed harvesters retaining more than a daily limit when the harvesting is good. Harvesters are reminded to keep accurate count of the clams they have retained and need to keep the first 15 clams they dig regardless of size or condition as per permanent regulations.

The next set of low tides begins April 18 – April 23. This is a large low tide series in both strength and duration. Harvesters should pay close attention to the surf forecasts and be on the beach one to two hours before low tide. If the forecast calls for combined seas over 8 or 10 feet, razor clam harvesting can be very difficult because the clams tend to show much less in those conditions. When referencing tide tables, Clatsop beach razor clam harvesters should use the tide gauge at the Columbia River entrance.

Bay clams

Bay clamming in the Charleston area is good with tides. See ODFW’s bay clam webpage for more information on where and how to dig, clam ID, etc.

Bay clams

Starting this weekend, several days of great low tides will provide many opportunities to dig gaper clams, cockles, and butter clams. Coos Bay, Yaquina Bay, Netarts Bay, and Tillamook Bay are four bays where bay clams can be found. Recent stock assessments have revealed abundant populations and that current harvest levels are sustainable. See ODFW’s bay clam webpage for more information on where and how to dig, clam ID, etc.

Recreational shellfish safety status, as of April 14:

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

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

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

Crabs

Ocean crabbing is slow on the central and south coasts, although it has picked up a bit recently, with catch rates up to 2 crabs per pot observed on a recent central coast trip. Bay and ocean crabbers might run into red rock crab as well as Dungeness crab. Red rock crab is a native species but is not present in all of Oregon’s bays. Good places to try are from the docks in Tillamook Bay, Yaquina Bay, and Coos Bay. Red rock crab are caught just like Dungeness and have a larger daily limit (24); check out these “How to Crab” tips. Unlike Dungeness crab, any size or sex of red rock crab can be retained, but most crabbers keep only the largest ones which have much more meat than small ones.

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


MARINE WILDLIFE VIEWING

It’s a great time of year to see gray whales heading north with their calves. On a calm day, their blows can be easy to spot from a high vantage point on the shore, or take advantage of a whale-watching tour to see them from sea level.

Beachcombers

Velella velella are returning to Oregon beaches. These blue or purple “By-the-wind sailors” are small pelagic jellyfish normally found offshore. Strong westerly winds bring them onto our beaches on occasion, mostly in the spring. Did you know that these tiny creatures are found throughout the Pacific, but their “sails” are oriented differently on each side of the ocean and north vs. south of the equator, so that each quadrant’s prevailing wind and current patterns help them stay in their preferred offshore locations?

Learn more in a publication by Oregon Sea Grant.

Seabirds

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

Wildlife Viewing Map

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


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

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