OREGON DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND WILDLIFE

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Welcome to the ODFW Recreation Report - September 23, 2014

Fishing, Hunting and Wildlife Viewing

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


Best time of year for bay crabbing

August through November are the best months of the year for bay crabbing, and biologists report crabbing is good in most Oregon bays and estuaries. Check out the monthly crabbing report for the most recent data.

Coastal coho and Chinook fishing

Anglers have starting picking up coho and Chinook in bays, tidewater and upstream areas of many coastal streams and rivers. Before you go, check out this season’s special regulations for coastal coho and Chinook.

2014 Big Game and Bird Hunting Forecasts

Field biologists weigh in on what hunters should expect for bird and big game seasons.

Archery hunters beware of fire danger!

Check restrictions by visiting ODF’s web site / Corporate Closure Chart for private timberland; phone numbers of landowners also provided. For public land closures check the U.S. Forest Service, BLM or Oregon State Forest website.

Youth waterfowl season this weekend

A special youth only season is open to hunters age 15 and younger in Oregon this weekend (Sept. 27-28). Remember goose hunting is closed in NW Oregon. See page 22 of the Game Bird Regulations for details.

Adults, families, women pheasant hunting workshops

New to hunting or out of practice? ODFW’s “Learn to Hunt” events can help you be ready for hunting season. No firearm? No problem, we provide all necessary equipment and instruction at these events.

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NORTHWEST ZONE: FISHING

2014 Coastal coho and fall Chinook seasons

Now available on the ODFW Web site.

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.

2014 trout stocking

The 2014 trout stocking schedule for the North Coast Watershed District is now posted on-line on along with other districts on the ODFW trout stocking page.

NORTH COAST LAKES

Lost Lake and Cape Meares Lake were stocked with trophy trout last week. Coffenbury and Sunset lakes were not stocked due to warm water temperatures. Stocking will occur when the lakes cool off. Town Lake was not stocked due to ongoing construction of the new dam. Stocking will occur after construction is complete.

MID COAST LAKES

Trout fishing tends to be slow during the summer months as warm water temperatures can put trout off the bite. Look to fish early in the morning or near cool water zones until water temperatures start to cool off in the fall. This time of year can offer anglers a variety of warm water species to go after. There are numerous lakes in the Florence area that have warm water fish species such as bass, blue gill, perch and brown bullhead. Areas to consider are Siltcoos, Tahkenitch, Sutton, Mercer, Munsel and Woahink lakes. Angling out of a boat is typically the most productive in these lakes but there is some bank / dock access to consider.

ALSEA RIVER: Chinook, coho, cutthroat trout

Fall Chinook fishing is good with anglers catching fish from the mouth of the river all the way up through tidewater. Trolling herring or lures in the lower portion of the bay and near Drift Creek is productive and bobber fishing in the mid to upper section of tide water is also producing well. Fishing the incoming tide or the high and low slack tide tends to produce the best results.

The wild coho salmon season opened on Sept. 15 with anglers having the best results catching coho in the lower bay area. Trolling herring or casting spinners from the bank can be very effective for coho.

Sea run cutthroat trout can be found in the lower to mid section of the mainstem. Resident cutthroat trout are spread out through the basin. The Alsea has many opportunities for bank fishing along Hwy 34 as well as some good riverside camping options.

BIG CREEK: Chinook, coho

Due to large numbers of returning salmon, fishing for fall Chinook and hatchery coho was opened early by temporary rule. Big Creek below the hatchery was opened Sept. 17. Anti-snagging rules (see definition in the angling regulations) are in effect also.

KILCHIS RIVER: cutthroat, Chinook

Fishing for cutthroat should be fair to good. Use light gear in the clear water. Some Chinook are available in tidewater areas below Hwy 101. Bobber and bait will work best in areas the fish hold up.

NEHALEM RIVER: Chinook, coho, cutthroat

Chinook fishing is fair to good. Fish are available through the bay, tidewater and upstream areas. Troll herring near the bottom in the lower bay. Trolling spinners further up the bay or bobber and bait in tidewater and river holes can be effective. Hatchery and wild coho are available in the bay. A few hatchery coho have entered the north fork also.

The wild coho fishery in the bay opened Sept. 15. Check with ODFW for season and bag limit details. Anglers are reminded that fishing for Chinook is closed upstream of the Foss Rd. bridge and all fishing is closed upstream of Hwy 26. Fishing for cutthroat is fair to good, with sea-run cutthroat and resident cutthroat available in most areas of the river open to fishing.

NESTUCCA RIVER AND THREE RIVERS: steelhead, Chinook, cutthroat, coho

Fall Chinook fishing is improving as more fish enter the system and spread into tidewater. Trolling herring near the mouth or bobber fishing around the boat launches below the Pacific City bridges are both popular. Or try diving plugs when the tide is running. Bobber fishing or casting spinners is productive in upper tidewater areas. The wild coho fishery is open Sundays and Mondays through November. Check with ODFW for details on seasons and bag limits.

Summer steelhead fishing is fair. Several hundred summer steelhead have been recycled from Cedar Creek Hatchery in recent weeks (released at Pacific City). Spinners or small baits like crawdad tails are good options. Cutthroat trout fishing should be fair to good. Anglers are reminded that no bait is allowed above Blaine, and the angling deadline is Elk Creek.

SALMON RIVER: cutthroat trout, Chinook

Fall Chinook are moving into the system at a fair to good rate. Anglers are having the best results fishing the incoming tide or focusing around the high or low slack tide. Until the fall rains start, anglers should mostly focus efforts in tidewater.

Cutthroat trout fishing is fair through the mainstem with sea run cutthroat trout found in the lower portion of the river.

SILETZ RIVER: Chinook, coho, steelhead, cutthroat trout

Fall Chinook fishing is producing good numbers of fish with anglers having the good results in the lower to mid sections of tidewater. Trolling spinners or herring is producing well during the incoming tide through the high slack and productive bobber fishing mid to upper tidewater has kicked in recently.

The wild coho fishery opened on Sept. 15 and anglers are having the best results trolling cut plug herring or casting spinners from the bank in the lower river and around the mouth of the bay.

Steelhead fishing has been slow. The best chance to hook into a summer steelhead is in the early mornings from Moonshine Park up to the deadline. However, fire season is in full swing and the upper river above Moonshine Park has been closed to all public entry until further notice. Call 541-336-3819 for the most current land closure information.

The cutthroat trout fishery is fair with sea run cutthroat being found in the mid to lower section of the river. Using small presentations such as spinners, jigs under a bobber, or fly fishing can produce good results.

SIUSLAW RIVER: Chinook, coho, cutthroat trout

Fall Chinook fishing is producing well with anglers catching a fish from the mouth of the river all the way through tidewater. The best results are still in the lower bay up to the Cushman area. Trolling herring or big spinners behind a flasher seems to be the most productive tactic. Bobber fishing is also starting to turn on with anglers having good results around the slack tide.

The wild coho fishery is now open as of Sept. 15, and anglers are having the best results at catching coho down river of HWY 101. Trolling herring or casting spinners from the bank are effective tactics.

Cutthroat trout fishing is fair with sea run cutthroat trout found in upper tidewater and the lower portions on the Siuslaw and Lake Creek. Small lures such as spinners, spoons, jigs, crank baits or fly fishing can all be very productive.

SIUSLAW RIVER: Chinook, cutthroat trout

Fall Chinook fishing is producing some catch from the lower bay up to the Cushman area. Trolling herring or big spinners behind a flasher seems to be the most productive tactic.

Cutthroat trout fishing is fair with sea run cutthroat trout found in tidewater. Small lures such as spinners, spoons, jigs, crank baits or fly fishing can all be very productive, as well as, trolling for sea run cutthroat in tidewater.

TILLAMOOK BAY: Chinook, coho

Fishing for salmon is fair to good. Fall Chinook and hatchery coho are being caught in throughout the bay. On softer tide series, troll herring in the lower bay. On stronger tide series, trolling herring or spinners in the upper bay is a good bet. Some anglers are finding success casting spinners in the west channel. The wild coho fishery in the bay is open Friday’s and Saturday’s through November. Check with ODFW for season and bag limit details.

TRASK RIVER: steelhead, Chinook, cutthroat

An occasional summer steelhead is being caught. Fishing for cutthroat trout should be fair to good. Some Chinook and hatchery coho are available in tidewater, and a few early hatchery coho have moved upstream as far as the hatchery.

WILSON RIVER: steelhead, Chinook, cutthroat

Summer steelhead are in the river in decent numbers. Fishing is fair, especially in upriver holes. Cutthroat fishing should be fair. Small spinners and flies are good options. Some fall Chinook may be available in tidewater areas. Bobber and bait will be the best bet in the tidal holes where fish hold up.

YAQUINA RIVER: Chinook, coho, cutthroat trout

Fall Chinook fishing has picked up recently with anglers having fair to good success trolling between River Bend and the airport boat launch. Some Chinook are also being caught between Canyon Quarry and Elk City. Trolling herring or large spinners on the incoming tide can be productive especially around the slack tide.

The wild coho salmon fishery opened on Sept. 15. Some coho have now entered the system with the best chances likely to be from trolling herring or spinners in the lower bay up to around the oyster farm.

Cutthroat trout fishing is fair with sea run cutthroat found in upper tidewater and in the lower portions of the Yaquina and Big Elk above the head of tide. Using small lures or fly fishing can be very productive as well as trolling near the head of tide.


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NORTHWEST ZONE: NORTH COAST HUNTING

OPEN: COUGAR, BLACK BEAR, ARCHERY DEER AND ELK, GROUSE, QUAIL, MOURNING DOVE

Use the Oregon Hunting Map to see where to hunt.

See the bird and big game hunting forecasts.

Archery deer hunting should improve with significant precipitation this week.

Industrial forest lands will likely open up for access during this last week of the season.

Archery elk hunting will also improve this week with the rains coming in. It is anticipated that access to industrial forest lands will open soon afterwards for this last week of the season. A reminder for this year is that in the Trask WMU the bag limit will be one bull within the entire unit.

Forest grouse and mountain quail is likely to be fair as it appears that there was not a strong hatch of young that have survived into the fall. If hunting for grouse, look for ruffed grouse on mid-slopes and along riparian areas, and sooty (blue) grouse are usually found at higher elevations on ridge tops. Mountain quail are most often found in brushy clear-cut areas on south or west facing slopes.

Mourning dove season opened on September 1 and continues this fall through October. The north coast typically does not have a lot of these birds, so the hunting for them will be rather slow. However, the Eurasian collared dove that closely resembles the mourning dove is an introduced exotic that is unprotected. It, along with the exotic rock dove, can offer good year-round hunting opportunity where they occur in more developed areas.

Black Bears should be in good numbers in the northern Oregon coast range, especially in the southern portion of the Trask WMU. With warm weather during the day, bears are most active in forest openings in the early morning and late evening hours. Predator calling, especially during the middle of the day, can be very productive. Consider fawn deer or calf elk distress calls earlier in the season. In general, when scouting for bears look for areas with lots of wild berry crops, such as huckleberries, as they are very opportunistic foragers.

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.

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NORTHWEST ZONE: NORTH COAST VIEWING

The website for the Oregon Coast Birding Trail (pdf) for the north coast area offers over 40 different trails to find birds on the north coast. The trails include coastal, river and interior routes, so the variety of birds you can see on them is nearly endless. The website also has directions to the trails, tips on birding and lists facilities available along or near the trail.

TILLAMOOK COUNTY

Steller sea lions are present in good numbers (as usual) at the Three Arch Rocks National Wildlife Refuge near Oceanside with some larger bulls being seen prominently displaying their bulk. This larger cousin to the common California sea lion has been recently delisted along the Pacific Coast, and is locally abundant in some areas of the Oregon coast. Although more numerous on the southern Oregon coast, this haul-out is the most easily viewed one for these sea lions on the north coast.

Some great egrets have returned to Tillamook County where they will be present in farm fields and along estuaries in the county through the winter months. Expect more to arrive in the coming weeks. These large white birds are easy to spot as they usually provide a strong contrast to their surroundings.

CLATSOP COUNTY

Jewell Meadows Wildlife Area

Elk viewing has been good at Jewell Meadows Wildlife Area. The breeding season or “rut” has begun with bulls bugling and battling for dominance. Breeding behavior should continue throughout September and into the first week or so of October. Listen for bugling and antlers clashing in the late evening and just after dark. Elk have been visible most mornings and evenings depending on the weather. The herds tend to stay out longer in the mornings and come out earlier in the evenings on cool cloudy days. On warm sunny days viewing has been limited to very early mornings and late evenings. Best viewing on warm days is about 1 hour before dark. Good places to look are the Fishhawk Tract along Hwy 202 and the Beneke Tract along Beneke Creek Road.

Visitors are reminded that areas posted as “Wildlife Refuge” are closed to public entry and posted portions of the Beneke Tract are closed to entry during elk seasons including the general archery season. Consult the 2013 Big Game Regulations for additional information and exceptions. Wildlife Area Parking Permits are now required on the wildlife area.

Pelicans

Both brown and white pelicans can be seen this time of year on the lower Columbia River. The more common brown pelican is seen most frequently at the mouth of the river, up to Astoria. A great place to view them is from the South Jetty viewing platform at Ft. Stevens State Park. The larger white pelicans are a relative newcomer, and spend most of their time above Tongue Point on Miller Sands Island and other nearby ones. The white pelicans have traditionally been associated with far inland areas, but drought, particularly southeastern Oregon, may have encouraged them to nest on the river in recent years.


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SOUTHWEST ZONE: FISHING

Weekend fishing opportunities

  • This fall is the time to fish Rogue watershed reservoirs by float tube, kayak or raft! Fish are still available despite very low water levels at sites managed by the Bureau of Reclamation. Cooling water temperatures should mean good fishing over the next month or more.
  • On the lower Rogue, half-pounders are spread throughout the river and with new Chinook entering the river day, salmon fishing also is picking up.
  • Summer trout anglers can have success fishing the deeper waters of Applegate and Lost Creek reservoirs, fishing Lost Creek upstream of the Highway 62 bridge, or fishing the river upstream of Lost Creek Reservoir.
  • Clamming has been excellent during low tides near Charleston, and off Cape Arago Highway and Clam Island.
  • Chinook salmon fishing continues to be good on the Coos with anglers catching Chinook from the Highway 101 Bridge all the way up to the forks of the Millicoma and South Coos rivers.

Warm temperatures increase stress on fish

With summer temperatures heating up throughout the state, anglers should take special care when catching and releasing fish.

  • Fish early in the mornings when water temperatures are lower.
  • Fish in lakes and reservoirs with deep waters that provide a cooler refuge for fish.
  • Use barbless hooks, land fish quickly and keep them in the water as much as possible in order to minimize stress. Anglers who keep the fish in the water when looking for finmarks or taking photos are leaders in stewardship of the resource.
  • Shift your fishing efforts to higher elevation mountain lakes and streams where water temperatures often remain cool.
  • Target warmwater species, such as bass, bluegill and crappie, that are available in many lakes and reservoirs statewide. However, even warmwater fish can feel the effects of the heat and anglers should try to land and release them as quickly as possible.

2014 Coastal coho and fall Chinook seasons

Now available on the ODFW Web site.

2014 trout stocking

The 2014 trout stocking schedule for the SW Zone is available on-line.

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, crappie, bullhead

Agate Lake is down to 3 percent full and the boat ramp is no longer usable. An estimated 130-acre feet of water remains for anglers wanting to fish for bass and panfish from shore. Jackson County Parks closes the park at 8pm at this time of year.

APPLEGATE RESERVOIR: largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, trout

Applegate Reservoir is 31 percent full. The Hart-tish facility and boat ramp are closed for the season. Based on the elevation of the reservoir on Sept. 16, the Copper ramp may not be usable, but the low water ramp at French Gulch will still be accessible. Cooling temperatures should mean improving conditions for trout anglers now and into the fall.

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 is open for trout fishing with a bag limit of two adipose fin-clipped rainbow trout per day. All other trout must be released. The river is closed to fishing for steelhead and salmon.

ARIZONA POND: rainbow trout

Pond levels have been lowered to help control aquatic vegetation.

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

The reservoir was stocked with about 3,500 trout during March and another 500 trout were stocked in April. An additional 1,000 trout were stocked the first week of September. Warmwater fishing for bass and crappie will be best around the edges where there is some structure. Jigging with crappie tubes in the electric motor section has been successful recently.

CHETCO RIVER: cutthroat trout, chinook

Temporary regulations have been adopted for the Chetco River starting Sept. 1, 2014. Anglers should check these regulation changes prior to fishing the river.

Chetco River flows near Brookings

The temorary regulations do not effect the tributaries, and with cooler water conditions anglers may want to fish some of the bigger tributaries for cutthroat that can reach 18 to 20-inches. Both casting spinners or fly fishing can be really good.

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

Cooper Creek has been stocked with about 9,000 trout so far this spring. Trout fishing has slowed with the warmer temperatures. Early morning is the best time to try for trout. Cooper Creek will receive 2,000 additional trout for early September fishing. Some of the trout do have copepods which are tiny parasites on their bodies and gills. These are not harmful to humans, but the lesions can be removed and the meat should be thoroughly cooked.

COOS COUNTY Lakes/Ponds: trout

Bradley Lake is scheduled to be stocked with fall “trophy” trout during the week of Sept. 29. Saunders Lake, Powers Pond, and Empire Lakes are scheduled to be stocked during the week of Oct. 6.

COOS RIVER BASIN: Dungeness crab, bay clams, trout, salmon

Trout season is open in the Coos Basin rivers until Oct. 31. The daily limit of trout in streams is 2 fish over 8-inches and anglers can now use bait in all streams and rivers in the Coos Basin.

Chinook salmon fishing has been good on the incoming tide the past week for anglers trolling cut plug herring. The best fishing for chinook has been from the Highway 101 Bridge all the way up to the forks of the Millicoma and South Coos rivers. There were lots of jacks caught over the past week but several 20-30 pound Chinook also. The wild coho season opened in the Coos Basin on September 15. There are several coho from the jetties to near the railroad bridge on the north side of the bay. Trolling a pink spinner is a good way to catch coho. The daily bag limit for wild (unclipped) coho is 1 per day and 2 for the season.

Crabbing in Coos Bay has been good with boat crabbers picking up limits. The best crabbing has been near the jetties but crabbers are getting legal size crab all the way up to the BLM Boat Ramp.

In a cooperative effort including ODFW and OSU researchers, hundreds of red rock crabs have been tagged with a small blue “floy tag” in Charleston to gain an understanding of their growth, age, movement, population size, and fishery. Red rock crabs are native to Oregon and are found in only a few Oregon estuaries. If you catch a tagged red rock crab please contact the ODFW Charleston office at 541-888-5515.

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. For more information on shellfish in Coos Bay click on the following link: Shellfish Assessment of Coastal Oregon. Before any shellfish harvest trip, make sure to check the Oregon Department of Agriculture website for any updates.

COQUILLE RIVER BASIN: trout, smallmouth bass, salmon, crabbing

Trout season is open in the Coquille Basin rivers until Oct. 31. The daily limit of trout in streams is 2 fish over 8-inches and anglers can now use bait in all streams and rivers in the Coquille Basin.

Chinook salmon fishing has been slow/decent in the lower Coquille River up to Bear Creek for anglers trolling cut plug herring. The wild coho season opened in the Coquille Basin on Sept. 15. Fishing should pick up in the next couple of weeks.

Anglers are catching a few smallmouth bass in the mainstem and South Fork Coquille rivers. Small spinners or jigs have been working well to catch smallmouth bass. There is no size limit or bag limit on the number of smallmouth bass you can keep in the Coquille River Basin.

Crabbing has been good in the lower Coquille estuary. Dock crabbers are picking up a few legal-sized Dungeness crab at Weber’s Pier along the waterfront in Bandon.

DIAMOND LAKE: trout

Fishing has been improving. The lake is cooling down and the fish are moving around more. Most of the fish are 12 to 14-inches, but larger fish are also being caught. The fish are very plump and healthy! They’ve been holding in deeper water lately or the cooler water near Short and Silent Creeks on the south end.

The algae blooms have been off and on. General cautions signs are still in place as a reminder to anglers should another bloom occur. The blooms have been benign.

For campground information call the Forest Service at 541-498-2531. Anglers can check fishing conditions at Diamond Lake on their website, or call their toll free number at 1-800-733-7593, ext. 236 or 238 for updates.

ELK RIVER: cutthroat trout

Cutthroat are scattered throughout the river with the estuary or upper river the best. Access to the river is limited in the lower river; the whole upper river runs through Forest Service land.

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

The reservoir is currently 11 percent full and the boat ramp at the county campground is no longer in use. Anglers fishing from personal watercraft like float tubes or fishing from shore should be able to have luck on trout, bass and panfish now and into the fall.

FISH LAKE: rainbow trout, brook trout, spring Chinook

Water levels at Fish Lake have dropped below the Bureau of Reclamation measuring gauge, and trailered boats can no longer launch at the lake. Fish Lake was a natural lake before the dam was built, however, so fishable water will remain through the fall. Surface temperatures along the shoreline last week ranged from 42F near two springs at the resort to 59F at the dam. Trout anglers may want to give places like Fish Lake a try from the shore or from small watercraft or float tubes. In addition to stocked rainbow trout, anglers can catch land-locked Chinook salmon, brook trout and tiger trout.

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

Galesville Reservoir is open to fishing year-round. In addition to trout, the reservoir has also been stocked with coho smolts for the last couple of years. Many people mistakenly think these fish are kokanee. All of the coho smolts are adipose fin-clipped, remember to release the ones less than 8-inches long. In Galesville Reservoir, all landlocked salmon are considered trout and are part of the five-per-day trout limit, with only one trout over 20-inches long allowed for harvest. Galesville has been stocked with about 8,000 trout this spring. The lake also received some smolts so a few fish may be just shy of legal size for harvest. Fishing with worms in brushy areas has been good for bass and some trout recently.

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. Call 541-837-3302 for information on camping and boat launching conditions.

GARRISON LAKE: rainbow trout, cutthroat

The lake is pretty weedy, but anglers fishing the deeper parts of the lake are finding some good trout. Early morning or late afternoon is the most productive. Boat anglers will want to keep an eye on the weather and fish the lake when there is no wind. Access for bank anglers is best at the 12th Street boat ramp, Arizona Street, or along the foredune accessed through Tseriadun State Park. Garrison Lake is located in the middle of Port Orford. Boat anglers are reminded to clean all aquatic vegetation off their boats and trailers before heading home to help control the spread non-native plants and animals.

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

Hemlock has received over 6,000 trout this season, including some large fish just before the Labor Day holiday. PowerBait has been effective. Anglers fishing the high lakes in the Umpqua District are encouraged to e-mail fishing reports to greg.f.huchko@state.or.us.

HOWARD PRAIRIE RESERVOIR: rainbow trout, bass

Howard Prairie is 30 percent full. Anglers wanting to launch a boat at Howard Prairie can try using an area of rocky shoreline at campsite 11 at Willow Point Campground, but conditions are difficult at best. Trout anglers may want to give places like Howard a try from the shore or from small watercraft or float tubes. Fishing for trout should improve as water temperatures cool through the next several weeks.

HYATT LAKE: rainbow trout, largemouth bass

The lake is 8 percent full, and there is no ramp available for trailered boats, but the reservoir is still producing fish. Fishing for largemouth bass remains good near the dam. Anglers are encouraged to keep largemouth in the 7 to 12-inch range. These fish are part of a stunted group of bass, and are a good option to take home to eat. Trout are being caught as well. Most of the trout are being caught using bait from shore, but trolling and fly-fishing from float tubes or small watercraft should produce. Trout anglers planning to release most of the fish are reminded to handle the fish carefully, keeping them in the water at all times, and remember that fishing with dough bait on treble hooks can make a safe release very challenging. The irrigation district reports that the water level at Hyatt may drop another foot in the next week before leveling off for the year.

ILLINOIS RIVER: trout, steelhead

The Illinois River is open to fishing for trout and steelhead. Anglers are restricted to artificial flies and lures only, and only adipose fin-clipped rainbow trout may be retained. Since anglers are unlikely to catch steelhead or fin-clipped trout this time of year, the Illinois currently offers catch-and-release fishing for cutthroat trout.

Illinois River flows at Kerby

LAKE MARIE: rainbow trout

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

LAKE SELMAC: trout, largemouth bass, bluegill, crappie

Fishing for largemouth bass, bluegill, crappie, and other warmwater species should be good early and late in the day. Anglers can catch many of the warmwater species by suspending a worm below a bobber. Crappie can be targeted with crappie jigs or small soft-plastic baits.

LEMOLO RESERVOIR: rainbow trout, kokanee

Lemolo was stocked last week with about 8,000 trout. About 90 percent of these are legal-sized and ready for the anglers. Lemolo received about 1,500 nice 14-inch trout in time for Labor Day. Fishing has been good. Brown trout are being caught and the rainbows are 12 to 16-plus inches depending on the stock. People are also catching kokanee, by trolling deeper water with a small spoon and single hook. The boat ramps are open as East Lemolo and Poole Creek Campgrounds.

From now through Nov. 1, Lemolo has a 5 trout per day, daily limit. A combination of brown trout, rainbow trout and kokanee can be harvested to make up this 5 trout limit. Only 1 trout over 20 inches can be harvested per day. For information on fishing conditions, contact Lemolo Lake Resort at 541-957-8354. For information on campgrounds contact the USFS at 541-498-2515.

LOON LAKE: rainbow trout, bass, bluegill

Loon Lake has been stocked with nearly 8,000 trout. The lake is also providing good fishing for crappie, bluegill and bass. The boat ramps will be open through early fall. For additional information call the BLM at: 541-599-2254.

LOST CREEK RESERVOIR: rainbow trout, spring Chinook, bass

The surface temperature was 64F on Tuesday morning. Trout anglers will probably want to fish deep in the main body of the reservoir. Trout fishing is probably still best upstream of the Hwy 62 Bridge. Water temperatures will continue to improve for trout anglers in September and October. Anglers caught smallmouth on spinners and crankbaits recently. Lost Creek Reservoir is 43 percent full. All boat ramps are accessible.

MEDCO POND: rainbow trout, largemouth bass, bluegill

Fishing for bluegill and bass should be good early and late in the day.

PACIFIC OCEAN AND BEACHES: bottomfish, Dungeness crab, salmon, halibut,

Crabbing has been good in the ocean from Bandon to Winchester Bay.

Fishing for bottom fish, including rockfish and lingcod is now closed outside of the 30-fathom curve until the end of September. The marine fish daily bag limit is seven fish and a separate daily limit for lingcod (two). Retention of cabezon is now allowed but only one cabezon per day per angler.

The non-selective coho fishery closed last Friday after reaching the quota. Ocean fishing for Chinook is still open.

As of Sept. 14 there is still 36 pecent of the nearshore halibut quota remaining. The nearshore halibut is open 7 days a week inside the 40 fathom line through the earlier of the quota being met or Oct. 31. The all-depth halibut season is closed for the year.

PLAT I RESERVOIR: rainbow trout, warmwater fish

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

ROGUE RIVER

Rogue River, lower: half-pounders, steelhead, Chinook

Anglers have continued to pick up Chinook at a fairly regular pace in the estuary. Coho are just starting to show in the estuary. Anglers can only keep adipose fin marked coho. The bay coho fishery will continue to get better through the end of the month and early October. Chinook are spread throughout the lower river and new fish are moving in every day. Cooler river temperatures and less boat traffic this time of year can make for some good salmon fishing. Side drifting or back bouncing eggs, running plugs, or casting spinners are all good techniques for catching salmon.

Half-pounders are spread throughout the river, along with adult summer steelhead. Half-pounders are immature steelhead that move back into freshwater after spending 3 to 4 months in the ocean. These fish will return to the ocean in the spring to continue feeding until maturing as adult steelhead. The best time to fish is in the morning or evening.

Rogue River, middle: steelhead, trout, fall Chinook

Anglers are reminded to be extremely careful when handling fish during this drought year. Fishing early in the day when water temperatures are cooler reduces stress. Always keep the fish in the water when looking for finmarks or taking photos and release fish quickly. Fishing for fall Chinook is picking up in the Grants Pass area.

Releases from Lost Creek Reservoir have dropped for the fall, and the flow at Grants Pass was down to 1100 cfs on Tuesday morning. The water temperature was averaging 64F, with a peak of 67F. Fall chinook and summer steelhead are available, and fishing should be good.

Rogue River, upper: steelhead, trout

Anglers are reminded to be extremely careful when handling fish during this drought year. Fishing early in the day when water temperatures are cooler reduces stress. Always keep the fish in the water when looking for finmarks or taking photos and release fish quickly.

The artificial fly season is underway on the upper Rogue, and summer steelhead fishing should be good. Anglers may want to try nymph patterns, or a big stonefly pattern in combination with a smaller nymph, or standard steelhead patterns. Trout fishing should be very good as well. Anglers may keep up to five adipose fin-clipped rainbow trout per day. All other trout must be released unharmed.

Releases from Lost Creek Reservoir have dropped for the fall The release from Lost Creek Reservoir was 1100 cfs and the water temperature was 53°F the morning of September 16th. The water temperature at Dodge Bridge was averaging about 57F with a peak of 62F. The water temperature at Gold Ray was averaging about 61F with a peak of 65F. As of Sept. 9th, 1,136 summer steelhead had entered Cole Rivers Hatchery (58 new for the week), and over 631 had been returned to the fishery downstream at the Gold Hill boat ramp.

Rogue River, above Lost Creek Reservoir: trout

Fish stocking has ended for the year upstream of Lost Creek, but fishing remains open and should be very good. Anglers can fish bait like single salmon eggs or worms, or cast small spinners like a Panther Martin or Rooster tail, or let a fly drift downstream below a bobber. In addition to the stocked trout, naturally produced rainbow, cutthroat, brown, and brook trout are available in the river and in many tributaries. Plentiful trout, beautiful scenery, easy access, and an abundance of Forest Service campgrounds and day-use areas make this a great place to go trout fishing.

SIXES RIVER: cutthroat trout

Cutthroat fishing has been good in the estuary when the weather has cooperated. Best access is at Cape Blanco State Park, but it can be very windy so anglers should check the weather and try to fish early morning.

SMITH RIVER, Umpqua: steelhead, sturgeon, striped bass

Trout season closes in the Smith River basin Sept. 16. Fall Chinook will move up the Smith as fall progresses.

SODA SPRINGS RESERVOIR:

Closed to fishing.

TENMILE BASIN: yellow perch, largemouth bass

A blue green algae advisory has been issued for Tenmile Lakes. The lake remains open for fishing, but the Department of Human Services provides recommendations for how the public can protect themselves and their pets.

Yellow perch are biting on nightcrawlers or jigs tipped with a worm in Tenmile Lakes. Yellow perch will be moving towards the deep water (20 feet) and concentrating in big schools. Sometimes anglers need to try several spots before finding the bigger fish. There are lots of smaller yellow perch that anglers have to sort through to catch enough keepers for a meal. Some of the keeper yellow perch are over 12-inches long.

Largemouth bass fishing has been good. Most of the bass are being caught in deep water associated with cover like submerged logs or vegetation. Crankbaits and plastics like senkos or brushhogs have been working to catch bass. As the water temperatures cool the bass will move into shallower water will bite all day long.

TOKETEE LAKE: brown trout, rainbow trout

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

UMPQUA HIGH LAKES AND FOREBAYS: trout

Clearwater Forebay #2 received nice 14-inch trout in time for Labor Day. For brook trout anglers should try Cliff, Buckeye, Skookum (North Umpqua), Maidu, Twin and Wolf lakes. Linda, Pitt Lake, and Calamut have been stocked with a native rainbow for the last couple of years. Bullpup and Fuller still have brook trout, but were also recently stocked with some fingerling native rainbows.

Contact the Forest Service at 541-957-3200 for road and trail conditions. For information on road and campground closures due to fire, go to: www.fs.usda.gov/umpqua under fire info, or http://inciweb.org/incident/3562.

UMPQUA RIVER, MAINSTEM: steelhead, smallmouth bass, trout, 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. People interested in harvesting a steelhead should fish the North Umpqua for summer steelhead. Trout fishing in the tributaries to the mainstem closes Sept. 16. The mainstem will continue to be open for catch-and-release trout fishing through Oct. 31.

Smallmouth bass fishing is good, but the river level is low. Boaters will want to check flows or consider using rubber crafts. River Forks boat ramp will be closed for repairs until about Aug. 14. The mainstem Umpqua opens for catch and release trout on May 24. Tributaries are also open. Check regulations for harvest and gear restrictions.

Fall Chinook are moving upstream and are available for anglers. Chinook have been caught up to River Forks Park. There are fishing opportunities for both boat and bank anglers to catch Chinook along the mainstem.

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 flows near Elkton

UMPQUA RIVER, NORTH: steelhead

Rock Creek Hatchery is once again open for visitors. The hatchery is open to visitors from 7:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. The new RockEd facility is lacking displays, but can be opened on request by calling the hatchery at 541-496-3484.

Remember all wild steelhead must be released unharmed. Anglers are getting some summer steelhead in the Narrows and Swiftwater areas. Steelhead are also up in the fly waters and anglers are fishing the area more. Trout fishing in the tributaries to the North closes Sept. 16. The mainstem of the North will continue to be open for catch-and-release trout fishing through Oct. 31.

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. 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.

North Umpqua River water levels at Winchester Dam

UMPQUA RIVER, SOUTH: trout, smallmouth bass

The South Umpqua is open for trout and smallmouth bass through Sept. 15. Check the regulations for gear and harvest restrictions. Water levels are low, so boaters will want to check the flows or consider using rubber rafts.

The South Umpqua will be closed for all fishing from Sept. 16 through Nov. 30.

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

At 55 percent of capacity, Willow Lake has the most water among all irrigation reservoirs in the Rogue watershed to date. Fishing for all species will be best early and late in the day.

WINCHESTER BAY: chinook

The wild coho retention from the jetty to the Scottsburg Bridge opened Sept. 15, with a one per day, 2 in the aggregate limit. The season has a 2,000 coho quota, so will be open until the quota is filled or through Nov. 30. Harvest information will be posted regularly on the ODFW website.

Winchester Bay has been good for chinook and coho fishing in the ocean. The fish have entered the river too and good numbers and chinook are being caught up to Dean Creek. Some chinook are also already moving upstream.

Bank anglers at Half Moon Bay and Osprey Point are beginning to have good success.

The 2014 Crab Bounty Hunt is now running in Winchester Bay until 2 p.m., Sept. 30. A valid shellfish license is required and tagged crab need to be taken to the Sportsman Cannery to be registered. Fishing for bottomfish in the Triangle and South jetty has been successful. Crabbing has been good recently.

WINCHUCK RIVER: closed

The river is closed to all fishing Aug. 1 to Dec. 31, 2014. The river was closed due a forecasted low return of fall Chinook salmon.

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SOUTHWEST ZONE: HUNTING

OPEN: COUGAR, BLACK BEAR, ARCHERY DEER AND ELK, GROUSE, QUAIL, MOURNING DOVE

See the bird and big game hunting forecasts.

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. ODFW appreciates hunters’ assistance to establish wolves’ presence in Oregon; 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

Deer populations have been showing recovery in much of Coos County. The General Deer Bow season opened August 30 and will continue through September 28th. Due to warm and extremely dry conditions most timber companies have closed their lands to public access. There is no expectation that they will open their lands until significant rain falls. Fire danger is extremely high. Those wanting to hunt deer locally will have to concentrate on public lands like the Elliott State Forest, National Forest lands, Coos County Forest and BLM lands. Deer can be found on these ownerships if the hunter finds habitats that are attractive to deer. The best places will be near ridge tops and on a south slope where brush is growing that has not been overtaken be trees.

Elk populations are high in the Sixes Unit and increasing in the Tioga. Powers Unit elk have been stable for many years. General Bow seasons for elk also opens August 30 and runs through September 28 as does deer. As with deer, restrictions on accessing private timber lands will affect opportunity there so hunters will have to hunt public lands. Elk will be distributed based on human activity. Look for out-of-the-way drainages with no road access or other places elk may move to in order to escape humans.

Grouse and Quail seasons opened September 1. This summer was a good one for grouse and quail production. Broods seemed to have survived well. However, the past several years of poor survival for these young birds has resulted in populations that are low and that will need several good years of reproductive success to rebound. Hunters will find the best hunting for both quail and grouse on closed roads on public land. Grouse will generally be found near streams and quail will generally be found neat ridge tops, with the exception of Valley quail which are usually found near agricultural lands.

Black Bear- General Bear season opened August 1. Bear populations are robust in much of Coos County and offer opportunities for hunting. Due to mild weather conditions this spring berry production is very good this summer. Bears will be taking advantage of that food source. Hunters should look for isolated berry stands where vehicle traffic from other people will not disturb bears from feeding on berries. Places like the ends on closed forest roads where berries are growing provide some of the best places to hunt bears that are feeding on them. Walking through these areas in the early morning or late evening or setting up tree stands near these areas are great ways to hunt bears on the Oregon coast.

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

DEER - Bow season is currently open. Also, open are N. Bank Habitat Bow (thru Sept. 28th) and Umpqua Bow (thru Sept. 28th). Deer populations are similar to last year, with low levels at upper elevations and high population levels on the Umpqua Valley floor. Most low elevation lands are privately owned so hunters are reminded to obtain permission before hunting on those lands. During the early part of the archery season, hunters should find deer on the northerly slopes and near water and green up areas. Check local fire restrictions for current fire danger before going hunting. Western Oregon General Rifle season opens up on Saturday October 4th.

Deer populations are similar to last year. Hunters are reminded to obtain permission before hunting on private lands. Hunters should find deer on the northerly slopes and near water and green up areas. Check local fire restrictions due to fire danger before hunting.

Elk - Bow season and Powers Bow end Sept. 28th. A few controlled elk hunts (Melrose and Elkton) are currently open.

Cougar season is open. Hunters can expect an average year. Cougars are abundant and widely distributed. Hunting success is best around high deer population areas using a predator call.

Bear – General bear season is currently open. Hunters can expect an average year. The dry weather conditions will concentrate bears near streams where foraging will be better. Hunters should concentrate their efforts in the berry patches in early morning and late afternoon. Bear numbers are good with the highest numbers in the coast range, and with smaller populations in the Cascades. Successful bear hunters are reminded there is a mandatory check-in for all harvested bear within 10 days of harvest (see regulations for details).

Western Gray Squirrel – Currently open. Hunters can expect an average year. Squirrels are widely distributed throughout the county with good numbers in areas of oaks and conifers. Many areas of high squirrel populations are on private lands so hunters are reminded to ask for permission on these lands before hunting.

UPLAND GAMEBIRDS:

Grouse & Quail - Hunters can expect an average hunt year with the season currently open. The overall 2014 brood/chick counts indicate average production so hunters should find good numbers of game birds out in the field.

Hunting availability and success for forest grouse should be good this year even though production was down. Blue grouse success is best in mid to high elevations of the Cascades in partly open conifer stands. Ruffed grouse can be found near creeks mostly at mid elevations of both the Cascades and Coast Range. A good place to hunt forest grouse is the Toketee area on the Umpqua Forest where many habitat improvement projects have created a great grouse hunting opportunity. Check with the Diamond Lake ranger station for details on the locations of these projects.

Hunters that kill grouse are asked to drop off in a paper bag the frozen wing and tail of each grouse at the local ODFW office. Please use one bird per bag with each frozen bag of grouse parts including the species, sex, age, unit and general area of harvest for proper analysis.

Nesting season production was below average for California quail and Mountain quail, but hunting opportunity should still be good. Success is best in the lower elevation agricultural lands for California quail and mid-elevations of the Cascades and Coast Range near brushy clear cuts on secondary forest roads for Mountain quail. Hunters are also asked if they kill a mountain quail to drop off in a paper bag the frozen wing and tail of each mountain quail at the local ODFW office. Please use one bird per bag with each frozen bag of mountain quail parts including the species, sex, age, unit and general area of harvest for proper analysis.

MIGRATORY GAMEBIRDS:

Mourning Doves - Hunters can expect an above average year. The dove season is currently open. Most mourning doves have not migrated south since no rains have occurred in the last few weeks so their numbers are currently high. In addition, keep in mind the non-migratory Eurasian collared doves numbers are on the increase throughout the state and our county, and they are NOT part of the mourning dove bag limit. Check the 2014 game bird regulations for details. Also, don’t forget to ask for permission from local landowners before hunting doves on private land.

Waterfowl: The regular goose season opens Oct. 11th. Goose hunters can expect an average to above-average year. Hunting for resident geese in Douglas County should be very good because of an excellent production again this year. Nearly all goose hunting in the Umpqua Valley is on private property and hunters should obtain landowner permission before hunting.

Furbearers: Harvest season is currently closed but pursuit season is currently open for bobcat, fox and raccoon.

JACKSON, JOSEPHINE, CURRY COUNTIES

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

Bear general season opened August 1. Hunters can expect another average year. Bear numbers continue to be abundant. The Applegate unit has one of the highest harvests for the fall season in the state for the past several years. With hot dry weather which is typical for this time of year, bears will be found around cooler wet drainages. As the berry crops become ripe hunters should locate these areas to find bears. The best times to look for bears are in the early morning and late evenings. Successful bear hunters are reminded there is a mandatory check-in for all harvested bear within 10 days of harvest (see regulations for details).

Youth Elk season started August 1 for units in our area and runs to the end of December. This is a great opportunity for the youth to harvest an elk. These hunts are designed to provide young hunters with a safe, well supervised, low-stress setting where they can enjoy the hunt while building fundamental skills. Remember youth must wear hunter orange.

Deer bow season closes September 28. Black tailed deer populations in Jackson, Josephine and Curry counties remain strong. The end of last year’s season showed a good buck ratio with high fawn ratios. This season will again be dependent on weather conditions. Because of the calendar year, season is set back a week potentially providing cooler temperatures. However we have recently been observing mortalities due to Adenovirus (ADHD), this is a natural disease that only affects deer and it could have some impact on hunting seasons in areas where natural mortality has occurred. We would like to hear from hunters this season if they have found dead deer in the woods. Black-tailed deer in Jackson County mostly migrate from high elevation to lower elevations of the valley floor. Most deer will be in high elevations through September. Although there is a growing population of deer that remain in the valley floor, hunters need to be aware of private property. In Josephine and Curry Counties deer migrate very little and hunters can find deer at all elevations. This year we have a heavy acorn crop, deer will take advantage of the acorns in our late fall season. Fire levels are set at extreme and IFPL 3, which imposes restrictions on camp fires and vehicle activities. Check local Forest Service and State Forest web sites for updated fire restrictions. State forestry lists all private timber land closures.

Elk bow season closes September 28. Cascade elk season will be latter this year; this could provide a cooler hunt. Archery hunters will again need to pre-scout areas near water sources to find elk. From our spring elk surveys we had good bull ratios. Season should be average for the hunters. Due to the typical hot weather for our area elk are likely to be found in higher elevation or areas of cooler draws where they can retreat to in the heat of the day. Known water sources or wallow can be good location to start your hunting activities. With the high temperatures it is very important to take quick care of your downed animal and get it cooled off as soon as possible. Fire levels are set at high, which imposes restrictions on camp fires and vehicle activities. Check local Forest Service and State Forest web sites for updated fire restrictions. State forestry lists all private timber land closures.

Migratory Dove season opens September 1. New regulation changes allow for 15 doves and season goes to October 30. Dove season is very weather dependent—when the weather is hot the doves tend to be here; if it’s cold they tend to move to warmer climates. Hunters can expect a fair season for doves. Eurasian collared doves are continuing to increase in abundance and are found statewide. The Eurasian collared doves look similar to mourning doves but are considerably larger in size. These new arrivals, which are not native to the state, have no bag limit and can be hunted year round.

Grouse and Quail - Both mountain quail and forest grouse numbers are higher this year due to the mild spring, so hunters can expect a good year. Forest grouse can be found in timbered creek draws and mountain quail will be found in brushy clear cuts near water. A good bird dog will aid greatly in bird retrieval.

Fee Pheasant - Season opens September 22 – October 10. Opening day typically will have many pheasants left over after youth hunt. Pheasants will be released every night during the season. A total of 400 pheasants are set aside for the fee hunt. Parking permits need to be displayed in vehicle window when on the area. Remember to validate your tag while in the field.

Cougar season is open statewide year-round or until zone quotas are met. Hunters are encouraged to carry a cougar tag while hunting other animals; you never know when an opportunity will come available. Most cougar hunters’ success comes from predator calls.

Western Gray Squirrel season remains open year round with no bag limit in that part of the Rogue Unit south of Rogue River and S. Fork Rogue River and North of Hwy 140. 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. This is the time of years rancher will welcome hunters to come onto their property to take coyotes that are cause problems with live stock.


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SOUTHWEST ZONE: VIEWING

COOS COUNTY

Sea Birds

Birds that are here for foraging include California brown pelicans, cormorants and Western grebes. Great places to watch these birds and their activities are Coos Bay, near Charleston and the Coquille Bay near the harbor in Bandon. Feeding birds can be seen diving on baitfish in the bay and sometimes working in unison to corral fish near shore. Occasionally other animals get in on the action when foraging birds have located baitfish. Seals, sea lions, porpoise, and even whales will go after these fish as birds are mounting attacks from above.

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

Shorebird migration is in full swing. A large variety of birds can be found in local bays and along beaches. 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. 9/16/14.

CURRY, JACKSON, JOSEPHINE COUNTIES

Mourning Doves

Mourning doves are found throughout the valley where ever there are open grain fields and roosting trees with plenty of water. They are a fast flying, graceful, wing whistling birds. They feed on small seeds of weeds and various grains. A species that is similar but larger and is not a native of our area is the Eurasian collared dove. They are seen around residential areas and have known to visit bird feeders. They have similar behavior habits.

Turkeys and grouse

Young turkeys and grouse are now being seen throughout the area. Hens are often seen near roadways in low elevation for turkeys and higher timber areas for grouse. Look carefully when around the adults for movement or grass moving which indicates young.

Denman Wildlife area

Hunting season starts Sept. 1 on the Denman Wildlife Area and will go into February. Other recreational users are encouraged to wear bright orange or other bright colored clothing and to stick to the trail systems. Be aware of hunters while watching the wildlife on the area.

Denman Wildlife Area has had an increase of hawks, accipiters and buteos. Many Northern Harriers, Red-tailed hawks, and Rough-legged hawks have been seen hunting throughout the valley.

DOUGLAS COUNTY

Vaux Swifts – can be observed at Fir Grove Park, downtown Roseburg and other areas at dusk. Look for the awesome aerial displays the last hour of daylight with congregating swifts flying in concentrations forming large vortex's before dropping into the top of their night roosting site.

Migrating Birds - Many species of birds are starting their southward migration so look for species congregating at roosts and feeders or in the air just before or during migration. Some migratory species to watch are: ospreys, turkey vultures, swifts, swallows, cedar waxwings, and some species of flycatchers, warblers, finches and shorebirds.

Western Pond Turtles - can be seen basking in the late summer sun in local ponds (Stewart Park) and reservoirs (Cooper Creek, Galesville, Berry Creek. Plat I, etc.).

Turkey Vultures – Starting around the last week in September turkey vultures will start migrating south for the winter to Mexico and Central America. Watch for turkey vulture migration roosts where many vultures congregate in groups in anticipation of the coming migration. Over a three week period and by mid-October all vultures will have migrated south. The vultures migrate in large groups (called a “kettle” of vultures) from 12 to 500 with the average being around 40 by riding hot air updrafts and southern thermals late in the afternoons. You can observe the beginning of the migration by looking very high in the sky in the afternoon to see a kettle of vultures soaring on the thermals heading south.


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WILLAMETTE ZONE: FISHING

Weekend fishing opportunities:

  • Coho are starting to show up at Willamette Falls and should be moving into the tributaries any time.
  • Coho are now being caught in the lower Clackamas River.
  • Alton Baker Canoe Canal will be stocked this week with a total of 1,365 fish, including 110 larger trout. These fish are released at multiple locations along the length of the Canal.
  • Foster Reservoir has been stocked with 10,000 trout over the past two weeks.

Warm temperatures increase stress on fish

With summer temperatures heating up throughout the state, anglers should take special care when catching and releasing fish.

  • Fish early in the mornings when water temperatures are lower.
  • Fish in lakes and reservoirs with deep waters that provide a cooler refuge for fish.
  • Use barbless hooks, land fish quickly and keep them in the water as much as possible in order to minimize stress.
  • Shift your fishing efforts to higher elevation mountain lakes and streams where water temperatures often remain cool.
  • Target warmwater species, such as bass, bluegill and crappie, that are available in many lakes and reservoirs statewide. However, even warmwater fish can feel the effects of the heat and anglers should try to land and release them as quickly as possible.

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.

2014 trout stocking

The 2014 trout stocking schedules for the North Willamette Watershed (pdf) District and the South Willamette Watershed (pdf) District are now posted on-line 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 will be stocked this week with a total of 1,365 fish, including 110 larger trout. These fish are released at multiple locations along the length of the Canal.

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.

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

Stocked the week of June 2 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 May 5 with 2,000 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.

BIG LAKE: brook trout, rainbow trout, cutthroat trout

Here is a high-lake angling opportunity you can drive to! This lake is located at the top of Santiam Pass (same exit as the Hoodoo Ski Resort) off US. 20 and is equipped with restrooms, picnic and camping areas, and a boat ramp. The lake is popular with water skiers and recreational boaters, but receives very little fishing pressure. Trolling lures along the shallow-to-deep drop off can be effective. Brook, cutthroat, and rainbow trout are stocked and catches up to 16 inches have been reported.

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

Stocked the week of April 14 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.

The lake was also stock with approximately 2,000 legal-sized rainbow trout raised by Mount Hood Community College Fisheries program students. Please be aware that some of the fish may be smaller than 8” due to challenges growing the fish this year in very cold water. Angling regulations require that any trout under 8-inches be released unharmed.

BLUE RIVER: trout, steelhead

Blue River above Blue River Reservoir was stocked for the last time this season the week of June 30. Steelhead are only available below the reservoir.

BLUE RIVER RESERVOIR: trout, warmwater species

Blue River Reservoir was stocked for the last time this season the week of June 30, although bass and holdover trout may still be available. Blue River Reservoir is located east of Eugene near the town of Blue River, north of Highway 126 and is open to year-round fishing.

BREITENBUSH RIVER: trout

This scenic river flows for approximately 30 miles into Detroit Reservoir. It is open from April 26 to Oct. 31. Along with cutthroat trout this river has been stocked fairly regularly this season with legal rainbows, up to the last scheduled stocking made on July 28. Because the water runs cold throughout the year there are usually good numbers of fish throughout the summer.

Forest Road 46 runs along most of its length so access is very good despite some steep and brushy sections. Daily limit is five trout over 8 inches, no limit on brook trout and the use of bait is allowed. The river is closed to salmon fishing but remains open for trout harvest until Oct. 31.

CANBY POND: rainbow trout

Stocked the week of April 28 with 1,400 legal-sized and 250 larger rainbow trout.

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

CARMEN RESERVOIR: trout

Carmen Reservoir was stocked in late July for the last time this season. The reservoir is accessed via FS Road 750 off Hwy 126, about 2 miles south of Clear Lake, and is open all year. Motor boats are prohibited on Carmen Reservoir.

CLACKAMAS RIVER: Coho, summer steelhead, spring Chinook

The water is low, clear, and warm. Rain is in the forecast this week, if it materializes coho will move into the river and summer steelhead activity will increase. There have been few boat anglers out on the river as it’s primarily a drift boat or pontoon boat fishery; those that try will likely be out pushing their boats through the thin spots. Now that school is back in session the rafting crowd should dwindle on weekdays but there could still be fairly heavy crowds over weekends.

While days are still warm, nights are cooling off which will trigger movement of coho into the Clackamas River. There have been reports of a few coho being caught this past week. Expect fish numbers to increase as water temperatures continue to cool.

Coho and summer steelhead are the primary target in mid September; coho and summers can be found throughout the river. Coho will bite if targeted when they are moving, Concentrate on riffles, pocket water, or holding areas adjacent to long stretches of fast water. Summers should be concentrated the reach from Carver up to McIver Park where acclimation ponds are found and recycled fish are available. Folks fishing up around McIver Park have been hooking an occasional summer or springer, mainly near Dog Creek and just below the dam; the small number of boat anglers out have had some limited success working the water from McIver to Barton. Any spring Chinook landed this late in the season will be of marginal quality at best.

The warm water and low flows make it very challenging this time of year and it’s become mostly a hardware fishery with spoons or spinners producing results. Fresh coho will fall to eggs fished under a bobber or behind a diver. Bank anglers working around Cazadero and above Faraday are also landing a few fish. Anglers should make note that an angling deadline is clearly marked up near Rivermill Dam and the fishway; it is illegal to fish or even cast above this deadline.

Of note for anglers is that recycled fish were captured at the North Fork fish trap or Clackamas Hatchery, taken downstream and released at Riverside and Carver parks, typically, every week through July. There have been several reports come in of these recycled summers being caught since these fish are typically marked with “floy” tags near their dorsal fin and have an ODFW phone number and the point of origin of the fish. Anglers who catch these fish are asked to call the information in; though it is not required, it is appreciated.

Tuesday hydrological data shows flows slightly lower than last week at 670cfs, a gauge reading in Estacada of 10.48 ft., and the water temperature still fairly warm at 57.5°F.

CLEAR LAKE: trout

Clear Lake is open to fishing all year and was stocked in late August for the last time this season with 2,500 rainbow trout, including 500 larger sized 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.

COAST FORK WILLAMETTE RIVER: trout

The Coast Fork of the Willamette River was last stocked for the season in mid-May at several locations within Cottage Grove.

Coast Fork basin-specific regulations and stocking schedule.

COMMONWEALTH LAKE: trout, bass, bluegill, crappie

Stocked the week of May 5 with 1,500 legal-sized rainbow trout. This is a three-acre stocked lake within the Commonwealth Lake Park in Beaverton, Oregon.

Commonwealth Park is maintained by Tualatin Hills Park and Rec. Amenities include ADA accessible trail, picnic tables, playground, restrooms.

COTTAGE GROVE POND: trout, warmwater species

Cottage Grove Pond was last stocked for the season in early-April. Warmwater fish continue to be available.

To access the pond, travel east from Cottage Grove on Row River Road. Cottage Grove 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 terrific bird-watching opportunities, with bald eagles, various ducks, red-winged blackbirds, and other migratory songbirds frequently observed in spring.

COTTAGE GROVE RESERVOIR: trout, warmwater species

Cottage Grove Reservoir was last stocked for the season in mid-April. The Reservoir will be stocked again in mid-October. Holdover trout and warmwater species are also available to anglers. The reservoir is south of Cottage Grove and is open to angling 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 was last stocked for the season in early April. The pond is located in Garden Lake Park on the east side of I-5 in Creswell and is open to fishing all year, although vegetation can become a problem as the weather warms up. The pond and park offer additional wildlife viewing opportunities.

DETROIT RESERVOIR: trout, kokanee

This reservoir receives over 100,000 trout throughout the year. It was last stocked in mid-July with 4,500 legal size rainbow trout and is scheduled for the next stocking of 5,000 legal rainbows during the week of Sept. 22 when water temperatures begin to come down.

Kokanee fishing is winding down as the larger fish are getting ready to spawn, but there are still plenty of trout left. Currently the reservoir is about 30 feet below full pool. Most boat ramps are no longer in the water. Best bets are the three boat ramps at Mongold and State Park Ramp G. Check with local outfitters in the town of Detroit for fishing conditions.

DEXTER RESERVOIR: trout

Dexter Reservoir will be stocked this week with 5,000 rainbow trout. This will be the last release until early 2015. In addition to trout, some warmwater fish are also available. The reservoir is adjacent to Highway 58 near Lowell and is open all year.

DORENA RESERVOIR: trout, warmwater

Dorena Reservoir was last stocked in late April and will be stocked next in mid-October. The reservoir is east of Cottage Grove on Row River Road and is open all year. Trout and warmwater fish are available.

DORMAN POND: trout

Stocked the week of May 5 with 1,500 legal-sized rainbow trout. This is an 8-acre pond west of Forest Grove at the junction of Hwy. 8 and Hwy. 6.

EAGLE CREEK: spring Chinook

Eagle Creek is still very low, clear and warm, despite some pretty good rainfall over the weekend in that area. Spring Chinook fishing is done for the season with perhaps a scattering of springers to be found in deep, shaded pools from the middle ladder canyon up to the hatchery. Fish quality at this stage will be marginal at best if you can get them to bite. A few Eagle Creek springers have also been caught below the mouth of the creek in the Clackamas River. Anglers can identify an Eagle Creek acclimation released springer from its unique fin-clips; not only are they adipose fin-clipped but they are also missing a right maxillary fin. Anglers are now waiting for the coho to show up in the creek but that won’t typically happen until late September after some fall rains move in. Due to decreased hatchery coho smolt releases in the past few years returns have been pretty low the last couple of seasons.

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.”

ESTACADA LAKE: trout

Stocked the week of Sept. 2 with 1,200 legal-sized rainbow trout. Estacada Lake is a 150-acre reservoir on the Clackamas River behind River Mill Dam. There is a boat ramp in Milo McIver State Park at the lower end of the reservoir. A fishing dock next to the boat ramp provides non-boating access to the lake.

FALL CREEK above FALL CREEK RESERVOIR: trout

Fall Creek above Fall Creek Reservoir was last stocked for the season the week of June 16. Wild trout continue to be available. Fall Creek and Reservoir are northeast of Lowell.

FALL CREEK RESERVOIR: trout

Fall Creek above Fall Creek Reservoir was last stocked for the season in mid-June. Wild trout continue to be available. Fall Creek and Reservoir are northeast of Lowell.

FARADAY LAKE: trout

Stocked the week of Sept. 1 with 1,200 legal-sized rainbow trout. This is a 25-acre reservoir located 1.1 miles southeast of Estacada on Hwy. 224 next to a PGE hydro plant.

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

FOSTER RESERVOIR: trout, bass, perch, catfish

This scenic 1,200-acre reservoir on the South Santiam River is located just 30 minutes from Interstate 5. There is good bank access at several rest stops and campgrounds, and three seasonal boat ramps. The water level remains approximately 5 feet below full pool with all three boat ramps available at this time. It was stocked last week with 5,000 rainbow trout and will be stocked again with another 5,000 rainbows this week. 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 LAKES: trout, bass, bluegill, crappie

This water body actually consists of three interconnected ponds and features some good size bass and a few very large crappie. A boat ramp is available at East Freeway Lake, and there is good bank access around Middle Freeway Lake. Now that it is summer, the bass, crappie and other warmwater fish are the prize for most anglers. 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. The kokanee fishery has been good this year, producing good numbers, but fish have been on the smaller side. Plenty of kokanee are being caught between 40-60 feet down. Smallmouth bass can be found near underwater structure and at drop-offs. The reservoir level is currently 65 feet below full pool. Thistle Creek boat ramp remains open, but Whitcomb Island is now closed until the spring water storage season.

HALDEMAN POND: trout

Stocked the week of May 5 with 2,000 legal-sized rainbow trout. This is a 2-acre pond located within the Sauvie Island Wildlife Area. From the Sauvie Island bridge, take Sauvie Island Rd. to NW Reeder Rd, then Oak Island Rd.

HARRIET LAKE: trout

Stocked the week of Aug. 25 with 2,000 legal-sized rainbow trout and 250 one-pounders.
Harriet Lake is located on Forest Road 56 up the Clackamas River drainage. Forest Road 56 is a left turn approximately 2 miles past the Ripplebrook Ranger Station. The lake scheduled to be stocked the week of May 12 with 500 one-pounders and 25 “trophy” trout which should provide for some exciting angling action.

HARTMAN POND: trout, bass, crappie, perch

Stocked the week of June 2 with 2,350 legal-sized rainbow trout. This pond is adjacent to the Columbia River adjoining Benson State Recreation Area.

HENRY HAGG LAKE: trout, bass, crappie, yellow perch, bluegill and brown bullhead

Stocked the week of June 2 with 6,000 legal-sized rainbow trout. This popular fishery has been stocked several times this spring and there should be plenty of fish for anglers who are willing to get out and work for them. Hagg Lake is located within Scoggins Valley Park. 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

Hills Creek Reservoir is open to fishing all year. The reservoir will not be stocked this week as scheduled due to high water temperatures. The current plan is to stock it next week and again in mid-October. This reservoir is also stocked annually with 100,000 adipose fin-clipped spring Chinook fingerlings and 200,000 adipose fin-clipped rainbow trout fingerlings. These fish grow to catchable size within a year. All non-adipose fin-clipped trout and salmon must be released unharmed.

HILLS CREEK above HILLS CREEK RESERVOIR: trout

Native trout are available for harvest and bait may be used through Oct. 31 in Hills Creek. Hatchery fish released into Hills Creek in previous years will now be released into Hills Creek Reservoir.

HORSESHOE LAKE: trout

The planned release of 2,000 trout the week of June 30 has been cancelled due to a wash-out in the access road to the lake. Horseshoe is a 14-acre lake located in the Olallie Lake Basin on the Mt. Hood National Forest. There are a few campsites available at Horseshoe Lake Campground.

HUDDLESTON POND: trout, bass, bluegill

Stocked the week of June 2 with with 1,000 legal-sized rainbow trout. This is in addition to 750 legal-sized rainbow trout and 200 one-pounders released the week of April 21. 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.

LEABURG LAKE: trout

Leaburg Lake was stocked just before Labor Day with 1,500 rainbow trout in excess of one pound each. These fish are in the 15 to 18-inch range and fall within the five adipose-fin clipped trout daily bag limit. This was the final release of fish into Leaburg Lake in 2014.

Vehicular and pedestrian access across Leaburg Dam is restricted weekdays from 8 a.m.-noon and 1 p.m.-4 p.m until mid-October. Angler access will not be restricted on the highway side of the lake, but anglers will need to consider dam access when planning their weekday fishing activities on the park side of the lake. Check EWEB’s website for updates.

MCKENZIE RIVER below Leaburg Lake: trout, salmon, steelhead

The McKenzie River below Leaburg Lake was boat stocked in early September for the last time this season with 3,000 rainbow trout. Fish were released from Leaburg Town Landing down to Hendricks Bridge. Gear use is restricted to flies and lures below Hendricks Bridge. Use of bait is allowed from Hendricks Bridge upstream to Leaburg Dam through the end of the year. A Columbia River Basin Endorsement is required for anglers targeting salmon and steelhead in the McKenzie.

Leaburg Dam is closed to vehicular and pedestrian traffic from 8 a.m. to noon and 1 p.m. – 4 p.m. weekdays through mid October. See the EWEB website for updates.

MCKENZIE RIVER above Leaburg Lake: trout, steelhead

The McKenzie River above Leaburg Lake was boat stocked in mid-September for the last time this season below Finn Rock with a total of 2,750 rainbow trout. All non-adipose fin-clipped trout must be released unharmed.

McKenzie basin-specific regulations and stocking schedule.

MIDDLE FORK WILLAMETTE RIVER above HILLS CREEK RESERVOIR: trout

The Middle Fork Willamette River above Hills Creek Reservoir is open to catch-and-release fishing. Angling is restricted to flies and lures. The Middle Fork above Hills Creek Reservoir will not be stocked this year. Those fish will instead be released into Hills Creek Reservoir for anglers.

Middle Fork basin-specific regulations and stocking schedule.

MOLALLA RIVER: spring Chinook, summer steelhead

The Molalla is low yet fishable by drift boat or from the bank and with passage of spring Chinook continuing at the falls there should be some springers to be found in the Molalla. These Chinook are returning from direct releases of 100,000 smolts done every year above Feyrer Park; it’s also not unheard of for a few hatchery summer steelhead to poke their way into the lower river escaping the warmer waters of the Willamette.

MT HOOD POND: trout, crappie, bluegill

Stocked the week of Sept. 15 with 450 trout. The pond also offers angling for several different species of warm water fish including crappie, bluegill, and catfish. Anglers are reminded that from April 1 through Aug. 31 fishing at Mt. Hood Pond is restricted to youths 17 and under as well as individuals who possess a valid Oregon Disabilities Fishing Permit.

NORTH FORK RESERVOIR: trout

The scheduled stocking for this week has been postponed due to the 36 Pit fire south of Estacada. This is a 350-acre reservoir of the Clackamas River behind North Fork Dam approximately 5.2 miles east of Estacada.

Fishermen are reminded that the boat ramp and marina at Promitory Park will be closed to all public access until the summer of 2016 while PGE constructs a surface collector to improve the downstream passage of native salmon and steelhead juveniles at North Fork Dam. All other access points to North Fork Reservoir are open, and ODFW will stock the lake with hatchery trout as in the past. For more information about the closure, visit PGE’s website (pdf).

OLALLIE LAKE: trout

Stocked the week of July 7 with 5,000 legal-sized rainbow trout. This is the largest of more than 200 lakes within the Olallie Lake Scenic Area on the southern edge of the Mt. Hood National Forest.

PROGRESS LAKE: trout, brown bullhead

Stocked the week of May 5 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.

The lake is owned by Tualatin Hills Parks and Rec. Boating and swimming are prohibited on this lake.

QUARTZVILLE CREEK: trout

This beautiful stream is located above Green Peter Reservoir and provides excellent opportunities to fish for trout. There is good bank access along most of its length. Trout season opened April 28 and ends Oct. 31. The river was stocked several times through the summer with over 5,000 rainbow trout. It was stocked one last time for 2014 the last week of July with 2,000 rainbow trout. Wild cutthroat trout can be found here as well. Light gear works best and fly-fishing can be very good, but bait is also allowed. There are two BLM campgrounds as well as numerous designated campsites along the road. Please be cautious with any source of fire while enjoying your outings this season. To get there, follow the directions to Green Peter Reservoir and continue around the lake until the river begins.

SALMON CREEK: trout

Salmon Creek is a tributary to the Middle Fork Willamette River east of Oakridge. Salmon Creek was last stocked for the season in late August. Fish are released at several locations up to the Black Creek Road bridge. Bait use and both native and hatchery trout harvest are allowed through Oct. 31.

SALMONBERRY LAKE: trout

Stocked the week of May 5 with 1,500 legal-sized rainbow trout. This lake is located approximately 9 miles northwest of St. Helens on Pittsburg Rd.

SALT CREEK: trout

Salt Creek is a tributary to the Middle Fork Willamette River east of Oakridge and is open to harvest of native trout through October 31. Bait use is allowed during trout season. Salt Creek will not be stocked in 2014. Instead, these hatchery fished will be released into Hills Creek Reservoir.

SANDY RIVER: Coho,summer steelhead, Chinook

The Sandy River is a very fishable glacial green. Angler effort has been slow but the few who try will find that there are some coho, summer steelhead Chinook in the river, with an occasional fish being landed.

The overall catch reports have been poor to fair, with morning fishing offering the best opportunity to hook into a fish. The Oxbow to Dabney trip is a good choice by drift boat or pontoon and if you’re bank fishing try Oxbow Park, Dodge Park, the Cedar Creek area at the hatchery, Revenue Bridge, up around the old Marmot dam site, or near the mouth of the Salmon River. Reports of good quality summer steelhead still persist at Cedar Creek. Another quality year of coho returns is expected. . Rumors of coho catch abound with very few confirmed coho landed. This should change in the near future with rain predicted this week. Spring Chinook are still present in the river, but will not make good table fare because they are close to spawning. The large fall Chinook run in the Columbia River is expected to bring good numbers of fish into the lower Sandy, many of which will be unclipped. However, anglers may only retain Chinook with an adipose fin clip. Additionally, angling is closed between markers located in Oxbow Park September 16 – November 15 to protect spawning fall Chinook.

Please be aware the Lower Sandy River has changed recently with a new channel mouth flowing to the north/northwest about 0.75 miles downstream of I-84. The new channel is shallow and flows are irregular and controlled by the tide along with Columbia and Sandy River flows. Angling is currently allowed in this channel which is also accessible by foot from the Columbia Gorge Scenic Area parking lot on the Sandy Delta (downstream and east side of the I-84 Bridge crossing of the Sandy River).

Monday hydrological data shows the river flows below Bull Run at 375cfs, a gauge reading of 7.85 ft.

SANTIAM RIVER (NORTH FORK): steelhead, Chinook, trout

Fish can be found throughout the river, but are more concentrated in the upper sections (Mehama to Packsaddle), where summer steelhead can find cooler water. Counts at Willamette Falls as of Sept. 17 show just over 22,000 summer steelhead had entered the upper basin. Of those, over 3,400 made it above Stayton on the North Santiam through Sept. 13.

The river is now closed to spring Chinook harvest. There is lots of spawning activity going on, especially around Packsaddle boat ramp. Please be careful when launching boats there and avoid stepping on to spawning beds or otherwise harassing spawning fish. In a very short time the coho will arrive, providing another opportunity to catch salmon. The first 169 coho have already passed the Willamette Falls fish ladder as of September 17, but only a handful have made it above the Bennett dams at Stayton. 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 to adipose fin-clipped steelhead and trout fishing and will remain open to Oct. 31.

River levels best for fishing are below 3,000 cfs at the Mehama gauge (currently the gauge is around 1,710 cfs). 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.

UPDATE: Maintenance work on the Upper Bennett Dam has been completed! The upgraded boat slide is once again available for use.

UPDATE: 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: (trout)

This gorgeous section of the river is open to fishing April 26 to Oct. 31. It was stocked again for the last time this season on July 28 with 3,000 legal size rainbow trout. Up to five trout of 8 inches or larger are allowed per day, but please be aware that this section of river is closed to salmon fishing.

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

Flows in the South Santiam below Foster dam remain at 1,530 cfs as of Sept. 22 and should remain fairly stable for the short term. These are excellent conditions coinciding with the diminishing influx of new fish into the basin. As a reminder, spring Chinook fishing closed on Aug. 15 and will not reopen until Nov. 1. This is the peak spawning season for Chinook and anglers are asked to avoid areas where fish are actively spawning and not to step on to spawning beds so that these remarkable fish can complete their lifecycle.

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. As of Sept. 14 just under 3,000 summer steelhead had entered the fish ladder and nearly 2,450 were recycled back down river for another angler opportunity. The recycling has now ended for the year.

SHERIDAN POND: trout

Stocked the week of June 9 with 1,000 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

Stocked the week of April 7 with 1,000 rainbow trout ranging in size from 10 inches to over two pounds each. A family fishing event was held April 12 but some holdover fish should still be available.

This is a 4-acre pond located within Ivor Davies Nature Park in the city of Molalla. It can be accessed by the Fifth St. Trailhead across from Heckard Football Stadium.

SILVER CREEK RESERVOIR: trout, catfish

Stocked the week of June 23 with 2,600 legal-sized rainbow trout and 250 half-pounders. This is a 65-acre reservoir on Silver Creek 2.5 miles south of Silverton on Hwy. 214.

SMALL FRY LAKE: trout

The stocking scheduled for this week has been postponed due to the 36 Pit fire south of Estacada. This is a small pond located next to Promontory Park and North Fork Reservoir near Estacada.

SMITH RESERVOIR: trout

Stocked for the last time this season in late June. 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.

Due to construction at the Carmen powerhouse at Trail Bridge Reservoir, the primary access road to Trail Bridge Campground and Smith Reservoir will be closed for approximately two weeks beginning Sept. 14. A secondary access route to the Smith Reservoir and Trail Bridge Campground via Forest Service Road 655 to the Trail Bridge Bypass Road is available to high clearance 4-wheel drive vehicles. The secondary roads are not suited for passenger cars, motorhomes or vehicles towing trailers or fifth wheels. Recreational vehicles and vehicles towing trailers are prohibited. See EWEB's website for updates.

SOUTH FORK YAMHILL RIVER: trout

Stocked the week of June 9 with 2,000 rainbow trout. The South Fork Yamhill from its confluence with the North Yamhill near McMinnville, upstream about 20 miles to Rock Creek near Grand Ronde is stocked with rainbow trout. Trout are released in multiple locations between Gold Creek Road Bridge and Willamina.

Yamhill River Road runs parallel to much of this section and provides adequate turnouts and parking at several locations near the river. The remaining 15 miles of river open to trout fishing has some public access but also meanders across private lands. ODFW reminds anglers to be aware of and respectful toward private property rights along the river.

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

A family fishing event scheduled for Sept. 27 has been rescheduled for Saturday, Oct. 11 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. due to elevated water temperatures at the present time.

The fishing park has a number of ADA-accessible fishing platforms and a paved trail that meanders around some of the ponds. Parking is very limited, so carpooling is encouraged, and when parking lots fill up participants may need to walk in a mile from the gate at the entrance of the complex. 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. More information: Jeff Fulop, (971) 673-6034.

TIMOTHY LAKE: rainbow trout, brook trout, cutthroat trout, kokanee

Stocked the week of June 30 with with 2,000 legal-sized rainbow trout and 50 trophies (3-pounders). Timothy is a 1,400-acre lake about 80 miles east of Portland past Mt. Hood. From Hwy 26 turn onto Forest Rd 42 (Skyline Rd), and then west to Forest Rd 57. Timothy is one of the most popular family camping and fishing destinations in the Mt. Hood National Forest. The lake's south shore features four developed campgrounds and boat ramps. Three smaller, less developed campgrounds are found in the north. A trail system for hikers, mountain bikers and equestrians circles the lake. Motorboats are allowed on Timothy Lake, although a 10 m.p.h. speed limit is in place. The lake is currently accessible via Highway 26 as well as Forest Road 56 up the Clackamas River.

TRAIL BRIDGE RESERVOIR: trout

Trail Bridge Reservoir is open to year-round angling. It was last stocked for the season in late July. 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.

Due to construction at the Carmen powerhouse at Trail Bridge Reservoir, the primary access road to Trail Bridge Campground and Smith Reservoir will be closed for approximately two weeks beginning Sept. 14. A secondary access route to the Smith Reservoir and Trail Bridge Campground via Forest Service Road 655 to the Trail Bridge Bypass Road is available to high clearance 4-wheel drive vehicles. The secondary roads are not suited for passenger cars, motorhomes or vehicles towing trailers or fifth wheels. Recreational vehicles and vehicles towing trailers are prohibited. See EWEB's website for updates.

TRILLIUM LAKE: trout

Stocked the week of Sept. 1 with with 3,000 legal-sized rainbow trout and 250 trophies (3-pounders). Trillium is a 60-acre lake located approximately three miles east of Government Camp off of Hwy 26. This lake is popular for fishing, camping and photography, often clearly reflecting Mount Hood. A large campground at the lake features a seasonal boat ramp and wheelchair-accessible floating dock.

TROJAN PONDS: trout, warmwater species

The pond was stocked with 8,000 trout during the month of April, so there should be lots of fish available. Trojan Pond is a 15-acre lake about 4.5 miles southeast of Rainier on the north side of Hwy 30 at the Trojan nuclear facility.

WALTER WIRTH LAKE: trout, crappie, bass

This popular Salem lake in Cascade Gateway Park receives thousands of hatchery trout annually. It was stocked in early June with 2,000 legal and 250 larger size rainbow trout and stocking is set to resume during the week of Oct. 6. As a reminder, only one fish over 20-inches may be kept.

This wheelchair accessible lake is located just east of Salem within Cascade Gateway Park, west of I-5 at Hwy. 22. Take Airport Rd. or Turner Rd. to reach the lake.

WEST SALISH POND: panfish, trout

The Salish Ponds Wetlands Park restoration project is far enough along that anglers are able to go in and fish both the east and west ponds. A variety of resident warm water species can be found in both ponds, with the east offering the greatest opportunity.

The City of Fairview would like to give young plantings in the park another season to establish themselves before large numbers of anglers begin fishing there again; as a result ODFW likely won’t resume stocking West Salish Pond with trout until late 2014.

WILLAMETTE RIVER: sturgeon, Chinook salmon, summer steelhead

NOTICE: The Oregon Health Authority has issued a public health advisory for the lower Willamette River following tests that showed the presence of toxic blue-green algae. Public health officials recommend that people avoid all contact with Willamette River water through downtown Portland from the Ross Island bridge to the south end of Sauvie Island. Health officials are urging people and pets to avoid all contact with Willamette River water in this area until further notice.

Angling activity on the lower Willamette has been slow in the lower Willamette in the aftermath of the health advisory issued by the Oregon Health Authority.

Chinook salmon anglers have moved over to the Columbia and other streams.

Passage counts at Willamette Falls have ended for spring Chinook and switched over to wild fall Chinook. The summer steelhead passage continues however with counts marching on slow but steady; we also had the first coho pass a few days ago. A total of 30,071 adult spring Chinook passed this season while the summer steelhead have reached 22.114 counted up through the Sept. 18 date. Through that same Sept. 18 date 753 coho have also passed.

Monday hydrological data shows the Willamette flows at 8,540 cfs, the water temperature steady near 68°, and visibility still at an astoundingly clear 9.2 feet.


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WILLAMETTE ZONE: HUNTING

OPEN: COUGAR, BLACK BEAR, ARCHERY DEER AND ELK (closes Sept 28), GROUSE, QUAIL, MOURNING DOVE

See the bird and big game hunting forecasts.

Fire danger is a concern this time of year and hunters are asked to follow all Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) fire restrictions while hunting. See ODF’s webpage for the latest on restrictions (click Landowner/Corporate Closure Chart for private land closures)

EVENT: Free family big game hunting workshop, Oct. 26 at Douglas Ridge Rifle Club, Eagle Creek, Ore.

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 should be preparing now for upcoming big game hunting seasons. Sight-in and practice with your firearms or bows to ensure that when you do get the chance to harvest an animal you are confident in your shooting skills. Many of the local gun ranges will have public sight-in days where you can practice your shooting skills and there are 3-D archery shoots available in the Willamette Valley where you can practice. This is also a good time to ensure that your hunting and camping equipment is in good condition. If not, you will have plenty of time to purchase those items that you need.

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.

Archery Deer and Elk is open August 30 through September 28. This time of year temperature plays a major factor in deer and elk activity. Expect animals to be most active in the early morning and late evenings. During the heat of the day, look for animals in cooler north slope timber stands. As the temperatures cool, animals will become more active during daylight hours. The elk rut is underway and hunters are reporting seeing bulls with cows / calf groups. Bull are also beginning to respond to calling but hunters want to take care not to over call. Please remember fire danger remains high in many areas. Most private timber landowners in the southern portions of the Willamette Zone have closed to access. Hunters should always check access restrictions before entering private lands.

Upland Game Birds

Quail, Mountain / California – Open season from Sept. 1 to Jan 31. These brush loving birds are often found running between hiding and feeding areas in both brushland and riparian zones. Please remember that the daily bag limit is 10 birds singly or in aggregate when both California and mt. quail seasons are concurrent and the possession limit is 30 birds singly or in aggregate when both California and mt. quail seasons are concurrent.

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

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

Forest Grouse – Open season Sept. 1 - Jan 31. The forest grouse group collectively includes the Ruffled and Blue (dusky/sooty) grouse species. Look for grouse along the edges of timber patches during morning and evening times. The dry weather we experienced this spring was good for brood production and hunters can expect to find more young grouse in field this year. Remember that the daily bag limit is 3 of each species and possession limit is 9 of each species.

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

Your participation is greatly needed

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

The Western Oregon Fee Pheasant Hunts will begin September 15 at Fern Ridge Wildlife Area and September 22 at Sauvie Island Wildlife Area and October 1 at E.E. Wilson Wildlife Area. In addition to a current hunting license and appropriate validations, participating hunters will need a fee pheasant tag. Please see page 14 of the 2014-2015 Game Bird Regulations for more information.

Migratory Birds

Mourning Dove season has been expanded this year and is open from September 1 – October 30 with a bag limit of 15 per day. Hunters may find doves feeding in grain fields around the Willamette Valley. Remember to obtain permission before hunting on private lands.

Big Game

Cougar season is open in all zones beginning on Jan. 1, 2014. Hunters will need to purchase a 2014 hunting license and a 2014 cougar tag to hunt cougars. Successful cougar hunters will need to check-in any cougar taken at an ODFW office within 10 days of the kill. Hunters are reminded that biologists located in field offices may be out in the field handling other issues so call ahead to make arrangements to have your cougar checked-in. The hide and skull must be unfrozen and the skull and proof of sex must be attached to the hide. Hunters are required to submit the reproductive tract of any female cougar taken.

Pick up the Big Game Hunting Regulations before your hunting trip to ensure that you are familiar with all of the requirements.

Fall Bear season is open and hunters looking for the best chance for success will want to become familiar with the wide variety of food sources bears utilize during the fall and move throughout the season to stay on the best available food source.

Early in the hunting season bears will be spending the majority of their time in cool and shaded areas trying to avoid the heat. Although bears are most active in the mornings and evenings, on relatively cooler days bears may be active all day. They will be feeding on the abundant berry, apple, pear, and plum crops primarily in the early morning hours so hunters will need to be up and on stands before daylight. When out scouting, hunters should be looking for bear sign close to streams, lakes and adjacent to cool north slopes of timber.

Field Care of Harvested wildlife

The proper handling of harvested wildlife is the most important criteria to ensure its value as table fare. After properly tagging the animal, the hunter should remove the entrails and get the hide off to start the cool-down process. Wipe down the carcass with a dry cloth to remove any foreign material and keep the carcass clean by placing it into a cloth game bag. Warm weather conditions (greater than 50 degrees) can increase bacteria loads so hunters need to get the carcass cooled/refrigerated as soon as possible. Never place the carcass inside of a plastic bag, tarp or in water since wet or damp meat spoils more quickly. Talk to your local meat processor or butcher to get additional information concerning the proper care of wildlife or go online to find websites that cover this topic.

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WILLAMETTE ZONE: VIEWING

Bats are out and about this time of year

Oregon has 15 species of bats most of which occur in the Willamette Valley. Look for bats foraging for insects at dusk. Anywhere close to water is a good place to see bats and they may even fly over your back yard. These little creatures are good to have around as they can eat up to 600 mosquitoes in an hour! The valley wildlife refuges are all good places to see these fascinating animals. Bats are the only flying mammal.

A nocturnal species, they have a nifty ability called echolocation that allows them to make high-pitched sounds and then listen to the echo of those sounds to locate where objects are. Using echolocation or sound waves, they can find even the tiniest insect! Some of Oregon’s bats migrate south in winter; some stay here and hibernate.

Lots of critters to see down on the river

Beaver, river otter, mink, muskrats and the introduced non-native nutria are common residents along waterways in the Willamette Valley. They can be seen by quietly floating the Willamette River in a canoe or other non-motorized boat and watching the shoreline. 

They are most visible early in the morning or in the evening when other boat traffic is minimal. Occasionally these animals are seen in the Delta ponds or from the river bike path in Eugene and Springfield or in many of the farm ponds on the valley floor. The non-native nutria has displaced the muskrat from much of the Willamette Valley.

Eugene Area

Fern Ridge Wildlife Area

Watch the sky as white pelicans ride the thermals and spiral in the airspace above Fern Ridge Lake. These large white birds with black wing-tips have been observed frequently on the lake and in the flooded impoundments on the Fisher Butte unit. There are many access points around Fern Ridge Lake that provide entry for hiking, birdwatching, canoeing and enjoyment of the outdoors. Visitors are reminded that dogs are welcome on the wildlife area but must remain on leash at all times Fern Ridge Wildlife Area remains open daily for public use throughout the summer months. Bird checklists and maps are available at area parking lots or by contacting the Wildlife Area headquarters at (541) 935-2591. 

Directions to Fern Ridge Wildlife Area.

Hillsboro area

L.L. “Stub” Stewart State Park

Oregon’s newest state park as of 2009,this former logging site is being restored to a more diverse forest setting. More than 17 miles of trails traverse the park, including a 3.5 mile section of the Banks-Vernonia State Trail. Douglas-fir forest and undergrowth host Rufous Hummingbird, Steller’s Jay, Brown Creeper, Winter Wren, and Varied Thrush. Located off US Hwy 26, west of Banks.

Monmouth Area

EE Wilson Wildlife Area

Go birdwatching at the EE Wilson Wildlife Area while the waterfowl broods and songbirds are caring for their young.

Directions to EE Wilson Wildlife Area

Portland area

The migration has begun. Look for large chimneys in urban areas to view the fall migration of the Vaux’s Swifts. From late August to early September, swifts gather at migratory roosts—which include chimneys and large hollow trees—before traveling to their winter homes in Central and South America. In the fall, up to 40,000 birds may use the larger roosts at one time. Oregon City High School’s large brick chimney is one place to witness thousands of birds inhabiting a single roost site. Another is Chapman Elementary School in northwest Portland.

More information on Vaux’s Swifts in Portland.

Salish Ponds

Don’t overlook birdwatching near home on these busy fall days. Salish Ponds Wetlands Park, located between Halsey and Glisan streets at the site of an old rock quarry, is Fairview's largest city park and a great place to see birds.

Visitors can see hawks, geese, ducks and rabbits. At this time of year, look for barn swallows, tree swallows, red-tailed hawks, mallards, American coots, Western scrub jays and hummingbirds.

The two ponds are located within the 70-acre Salish Ponds Wetlands Park, on NE Glisan between 201st and 207th; off I-84 take 207th Avenue Exit and head south to Glisan and turn right.

Sauvie Island Wildlife Area

Sandhill cranes just started to arrive for the winter. Fall migration is in full swing for shorebirds. The best viewing areas for shorebirds and cranes are Sturgeon, Crane or Racetrack Lakes. Approximately 500 white pelicans are now using the wildlife area and are primarily being seen on Mud and Sturgeon lakes. Visitors to Sauvie Island Wildlife Area are welcome to pick the berries after obtaining a free permit from the Sauvie Island Wildlife Area office at 18330 NW Sauvie Island Road

Take Hwy. 30 to the Sauvie Island Bridge. After crossing the bridge, stay on NW Sauvie Island Road for about two miles. Stay left at the “Y” intersection. The wildlife area office is on the right about 1/4 mile from the intersection.

A parking permit is required for ODFW Wildlife areas, including Sauvie Island, and can be purchased at ODFW Point of Sale vendors. A daily permit is $7 and an annual permit is $22.

Salem Area

Foster Dam and Reservoir

Viewing sites are at the boat ramps, roadsides and a county park.A flock of Barrow’s Goldeneye regularlywinters just below Foster Dam,sometimes with Common Goldeneye.Deep water above the dam drawsmigrant Common Loon and Horned,Eared, Western, Clark’s and (rarely)Red-necked Grebes in migration, along

with Pied-billed Grebe, American Coot, Common Merganser, and other diving ducks. Red-breasted Merganser, Surf Scoter, Long-tailed Duck, and migrant terns may drop in as rarities. US Hwy 20 at the E end of Sweet Home, take 60th Ave/Foster Dam Rd N to North River Dr.

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CENTRAL ZONE: FISHING

Weekend fishing opportunities

  • Summer steelhead fishing on the Deschutes continues to be good from the mouth to Macks Canyon.
  • Bass fishing has been excellent in Haystack Reservoir and Lake Billy Chinook.
  • Fall Chinook are beginning to enter the Deschutes River – expect numbers to continue to build through September.

Warm temperatures increase stress on fish

With summer temperatures heating up throughout the state, anglers should take special care when catching and releasing fish.

  • Fish early in the mornings when water temperatures are lower.
  • Fish in lakes and reservoirs with deep waters that provide a cooler refuge for fish.
  • Use barbless hooks, land fish quickly and keep them in the water as much as possible in order to minimize stress.
  • Shift your fishing efforts to higher elevation mountain lakes and streams where water temperatures often remain cool.
  • Target warmwater species, such as bass, bluegill and crappie, that are available in many lakes and reservoirs statewide. However, even warmwater fish can feel the effects of the heat and anglers should try to land and release them as quickly as possible.

2014 trout stocking for the Central Zone

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

Fishing has been good for trout ranging from 10- to 17-inches long; however, the quality of the flesh isn’t very good due to the warm water. The water level is a couple of feet below the end of the gravel portion of the ramp.

BIG LAVA LAKE: rainbow trout

No recent reports.

BIKINI POND: rainbow trout

No recent reports.

CLEAR LAKE: rainbow trout

Water levels continue to be get lower in Clear Lake. No recent reports on fishing.

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

Anglers report good fishing for trout. Closed from 1 hour after sunset until 1 hour before sunrise.

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

No recent reports.

CROOKED RIVER BELOW BOWMAN DAM: redband trout and mountain whitefish

Fishing has been consistently good. 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

No recent reports.

DAVIS LAKE: largemouth bass, redband trout

No recent reports. Restricted to fly-fishing only with barbless hooks.

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

Steelhead fishing on the lower Deschutes from Macks Canyon downstream to the mouth has been good throughout the season. Dam counts at both Bonneville and The Dalles also have been good. Anglers should expect good numbers of fish from the mouth upstream to Sherars Falls.

Periodic high glacial flow from White River has been causing some clarity issues in the lower river after rain events on Mt. Hood. No recent reports on trout fishing, but fishing should still be good for anglers fishing the early morning and evenings.

Fall chinook salmon are starting to enter the lower river from the mouth upstream to Sherars Falls. A few fish are being caught below Sherars Falls in the bait section. Anglers should expect good numbers of salmon at Sherars Falls by the end of September and early October.

The Deschutes opened for fall Chinook Aug.1, and will remain open through Oct. 31, 2014 from the mouth at the I-84 bridge upstream to Sherars Falls. The catch limit is two adult Chinook salmon, and 5 jack Chinook salmon per day. While early for fall Chinook, anglers should pay attention to counts at Columbia River Dams, in order to time when these fish will begin arriving in the Deschutes. Anglers should expect another large return this season.

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 Bend: rainbow trout, brown trout

No recent fishing reports. Fishing restricted to artificial flies and lures.

Bend to Wickiup Dam: rainbow trout, brown trout

Anglers report fair fishing for rainbow trout.

EAST LAKE: rainbow trout, brown trout, Atlantic salmon, kokanee

Anglers report fair fishing. Catch-and-release for all rainbow trout that DO NOT have an adipose-fin clip.

FALL RIVER: rainbow trout

Anglers report good fishing. Restricted to fly-fishing only with barbless hooks.

Anglers who catch a tagged hatchery trout with a colored anchor tag are encouraged to report catch information to ODFW at 541-388-6363. Please do not remove the anchor tag if the fish is caught and released. Contact Erik Moberly 541-388-6145 for additional information.

FROG LAKE: rainbow trout

The lake has been stocked. No recent reports on fishing.

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

Fishing has been excellent for bass. Trout fishing has been slow.

HOOD RIVER: summer steelhead, trout

The Hood River closed to Chinook fishing on June 30, 2014. The mainstem and most tributaries are open to catch-and-release trout fishing. A few hatchery origin stray, along with wild summer steelhead are entering the river, and should provide anglers with some opportunity.

Anglers are reminded that all non fin-clipped steelhead must be released.
Hot weather can cause rapid glacial melting on Mt. Hood creating extremely turbid water conditions in the Hood River. Successful anglers should pay attention to weather conditions, and avoid the Hood River during extended periods of hot weather.

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

Anglers report fair fishing for trout. Restricted to fly angling only with barbless hooks.

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

Fishing has been excellent for bass. 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.

Kokanee are beginning to stage in the upper end of the Metolius Arm prior to spawning and are averaging 11 to 13-inches.

LAKE SIMTUSTUS: bull trout, rainbow trout, smallmouth bass

Fishing for rainbow trout has been fair in the upper part of the reservoir. Anglers report catching many pikeminnow.

LAURANCE LAKE: Rainbow trout, cutthroat trout

No recent reports, however, creel studies in past years have shown some of the best fishing in the lake is in September.

LITTLE LAVA LAKE: rainbow trout, brook trout

No recent fishing reports.

LOST LAKE: rainbow trout, brown trout

No recent report, but anglers should find good success throughout the summer.

METOLIUS RIVER: redband trout, bull trout

Anglers report fair dry fly and nymph fishing. Fly-fishing only above Bridge 99.

NORTH TWIN: rainbow trout

Anglers report fair fishing.

OCHOCO CREEK UPSTREAM TO OCHOCO DAM: rainbow trout

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

OCHOCO RESERVOIR: rainbow trout, black crappie, smallmouth bass

No recent reports. The water level is getting low enough that it will make launching larger boats difficult or impossible.

ODELL LAKE: kokanee, lake trout, rainbow trout

No recent fishing reports. Twenty-five kokanee per day (no size limits) in addition to other trout species catch limit. Trout daily catch limit may include only 1 lake trout, 30 inch minimum length.

PAULINA LAKE: brown trout, rainbow trout, kokanee

Anglers report fair fishing. Catch-and-release for all rainbow trout that DO NOT have an adipose-fin clip.

PINE HOLLOW RESERVOIR: rainbow trout, largemouth bass

The reservoir is warming up and has been stocked, and is still providing good fishing early morning and late evening.

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

Fishing has been slow for trout but the fish that have been caught have been large. Bass and crappie fishing has been good.

PRINEVILLE YOUTH FISHING POND: rainbow trout and largemouth bass

Anglers are reminded that fishing is limited to kids 17 years old and younger. There is also a 2 fish bag limit.

ROCK CREEK RESERVOIR: rainbow trout

No recent reports, but irrigation withdrawals have drawn the reservoir to a low level that will limit good fishing.

SHEVLIN YOUTH FISHING POND: rainbow trout

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

SOUTH TWIN LAKE: rainbow trout

Anglers report fair fishing.

SUTTLE LAKE: brown trout, kokanee

No recent fishing reports.

TAYLOR LAKE: rainbow trout, largemouth bass

Fishing for rainbows will be slow due to hot temperatures, but anglers can shift their efforts to largemouth bass.

THREE CREEK LAKE: rainbow trout, brook trout

No recent fishing reports.

WALTON LAKE: rainbow trout

Fishing has been good.

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

No recent fishing reports. Restricted to flies and lures only upstream of the ODFW marker. The reservoir is closed from 1 hour after sunset until 1 hour before sunrise.

A blue green algae advisory has been issued for Wickiup Reservoir. The lake remains open for fishing, but the Department of Human Services provides recommendations for how the public can protect themselves and their pets.


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CENTRAL ZONE: HUNTING

OPEN: COUGAR, BLACK BEAR, ARCHERY DEER AND ELK, GROUSE and MOURNING DOVE

See the bird and big game hunting forecasts.

Hunters planning to hunt new area open on Columbia River (from the railroad bridge at Celilo to Arlington) – reminder that most Corps of Engineer lands are closed to hunting.

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. ODFW appreciates hunters’ assistance to establish wolves’ presence in Oregon; please report any wolf sightings or wolf sign to ODFW using the online reporting system.

Use the Oregon Hunting Map to see where to hunt.

PRINEVILLE/OCHOCO WILDLIFE DISTRICT

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

Ground squirrels are active in agricultural fields throughout Crook and Jefferson counties. Higher numbers are in Crook County on private lands along the Crooked River between Prineville and Paulina. Permission from landowners is necessary to access and hunt these lands.

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

Archery Elk and Deer - General/Controlled archery deer and elk season closes September28th. Units 40 (Maupin), 41 (White River), 42 (Hood), and 43 (West Biggs) are all general season hunts for both deer and elk. Tags can be picked up over the counter before the day of the hunt.

Forest Grouse and Quail – Sept. 1- Jan 31, 2105. Hunters must possess an upland game bird validation to hunt these species. Hunters seeking forest grouse will find grouse activity typically increase following recent rains. Grouse prefer sites that transition from thick timber to open areas particularly with a forage component such as wild rose or snowberry. Quail densities increase in brushy areas adjacent to water. Hunters are also encouraged to place Grouse and Mountain quail wings in ODFW grouse wing barrels located along roads in district.

Mourning Dove - Sept.1- Oct 31. The season is now 2 months long with a daily bag limit of 15 doves/day. Hunters seeking doves should seek areas with open spaces and water.

Note: 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.

General Bear – Open August 1st through November 30st. Bears have transitioned there forage habits from grasses, forbs, tubers and roots to berries and insects. Most successful hunters focus there hunting areas around berry producing draws near water. Look for areas producing thimbleberries, wild strawberries, blackberries, and huckleberries. Look for browsing, rolled rocks, torn apart logs, and fresh scat. Hunting these areas during twilight hours can increase success. All harvested bears are required to be checked in to a local ODFW office within 10 days of harvest. Please make an appointment to check in the harvested bear. ODFW field office phone (541) 296-4628.

Coyote –There are high numbers of Coyotes in Hood River and Wasco Counties. Those wishing to pursue will find the best success near agricultural lands. Success can be increased if you locate dogs the night before hunting with a howl call and come back to that area with a predator call in the early morning. 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.

Cougar – 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 in early summer is also 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.

WHITE RIVER WILDLIFE AREA

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

Forest Grouse and Quail –Sept 1- Jan 31, 2105. Hunters must possess an upland game bird validation to hunt these species. Hunters seeking forest grouse will find grouse activity typically increase following recent rains. Grouse prefer sites that transition from thick timber to open areas particularly with a forage component such as wild rose or snowberry. Quail densities increase in brushy areas adjacent to water. Hunters are also encouraged to place Grouse and Mountain quail wings in ODFW grouse wing barrels located along roads in district.

Mourning Dove – Sept.1- Oct 31. The season is now 2 months long with a daily bag limit of 15 doves/day. Hunters seeking doves should seek areas with open spaces and water. Note: 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.

Archery Buck Deer – Aug. 30 to Sept.28Bag Limit: One buck with a visible antler. It was a good year for deer on the Wildlife Area with quite a few bucks being seen. Most of the larger bucks have moved off of the Wildlife Area and up higher in to the mountains. Many of the larger bucks can be found in drainages like the Badger Creek Wilderness Area or the upper potions of Three Mile Creek or White River. Hunting these areas are very difficult; thick trees, steep ground, very few if any roads, and miles of hard walking make it challenging.

Archery Elk – Aug.30 to Sept.28Bag Limit: One Elk – Elk can be found many places on the Wildlife Area. These elk can move long distances in a short amount of time and travel back and forth to and from the Mt. Hood National Forest frequently. Pre-season scouting to make sure elk are using an area is a good idea but don’t overdo it; you don’t want to chase them out of the area before you get to hunt it. Also, limit you’re calling, elk won’t respond very often to calls if people are calling at them all of the time.

Black Bear – Aug. 1 to Nov. 30 – Bag Limit: One black bear per tag, except that it is unlawful to take cubs less than one year old or sows with cubs less than one year old. Bears utilize the Wildlife Area quite often but are difficult to hunt. To see if bears are using an area look for tracks on trails and dirt roads and if you start finding rocks rolled over you know you are in a good area. Finding the bears favorite foods; grass, berries, or acorns will help in locating a bear.

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 – Open 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.

Coyote – 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: VIEWING

CROOK COUNTY

The Prineville Reservoir Wildlife Management Area (WMA) north shore road opened to motorized traffic on April 15. The WMA offers camping, shoreline angling and opportunities to see a wide variety of wildlife, including deer, coyotes, otter, beaver, raptors, shorebirds and waterfowl. Maps of the wildlife area are available at the Prineville ODFW office and at Prineville Reservoir State Park office.

Spring waterfowl migration is nearing its end. Resident nesting species such as mallards, gadwall and cinnamon teal are still numerous, but will be harder to locate as nesting begins. American wigeon, shoveler, green-winged teal and wood duck can still be seen, but are less common as most have migrated through. Numerous Canada Goose broods have been seen and can be found throughout Crook County.

Shorebird migration is in full swing a few that have been seen include American avocets, black-necked stilts and killdeer. Common loons, pied-billed, eared and western grebe, American white pelicans, Caspian terns and a variety of gull species can also be seen around Prineville and Ochoco reservoirs.

Spring passerine migrants continue to increase in diversity and numbers as the season progresses. Common bird species that can be seen this time of year include American robin, common flicker, red-winged and brewers blackbirds, western kingbirds, American and lesser goldfinches, house finches, mountain bluebirds, spotted towhees and tree, cliff and rough-winged swallows.

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.

Deer, elk, and antelope become harder to find this time of year as they become more secretive as fawning/calving nears. 5/20/14.

Deschutes County

The first snowfall is unlikely to hit the ground before Thanksgiving, and we are still enjoying warm days, but the nights are cooler and signs of bird migration is heralding the transition from summer into fall. This is a very good time to enjoy the higher elevation lakes in the Cascade Mountains, numbers of mosquitoes and other biting insects are waning. Lake visitors may be treated to the sight of thousands of newly metamorphosed western toads feeding on insects around the shoreline and preparing to head into the forest to find terrestrial homes for the winter. In some instances, numbers of these little animals can be very impressive and you will need to tread lightly and carefully.

As mentioned above, many bird species have started to migrate or are preparing for their journey south. Voraciously feeding night hawks are one of the species on the move, and it won’t be long before turkey vultures disappear to warmer climes. However, many species of warbler, Cassin’s vireo, Anna’s hummingbirds and many others, can still be found at Whiskey springs and other birding hotspots around the county. Likewise, Hatfield Pond is a great place to find a full cadre of waterfowl and wetland species, such as Canada geese, northern pintail, wood duck, American bittern, and great blue heron.

Western fence lizards and sagebrush lizards can be seen through most of the day and can be found in many areas around Deschutes County, which have rocky outcrops. If you find yourself in open areas with volcanic soils or in pine woodlands, look for the diminutive short-horned lizards as they sit motionless near active ant mounts in search of their favorite food; ants. Keep your eyes peeled when traveling on dirt roads in the evenings as snakes like to lie along roadway edges and absorb the heat from the ground as it is released to the cool of the evening.

Be careful if you come across a rattlesnake, common in canyon areas, and never try to pick one up. If you hear the warning rattle, but cannot see the snake; locate the sound and move in an opposite direction. Rattlesnakes are not aggressive and will not chase you, but they will defend themselves if threatened.

Both bald and golden eagles can still be seen at Smith Rock State Park in north east Deschutes County, along with one of their potential food sources; yellow-bellied marmots. 9/2/14

Wasco and Sherman counties

The Lower Deschutes River provides ample wildlife viewing opportunities. California bighorn sheep are frequently observed in the canyon and can provide fantastic viewing all times of the year. The best spot to view sheep is from the BLM access road just downstream and across the river from Sherar’s Falls (along Hwy 216). Focus your efforts near large cliff complexes for best viewing. Many different raptor species can be seen in the Deschutes River Canyon this time of year including Red-tailed Hawks, Northern Harriers, American Kestrels, Prairie Falcons, Peregrine Falcons, and Golden Eagles.

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

Outdoor enthusiasts should always be aware of current fire restrictions and take extra precautions. 9/8/2014

White River Wildlife Area

Hot summer weather has been baking the Wildlife Area for several weeks now, pushing up the fire danger level. Be careful when parking vehicles around dry grass and be aware that regulated closures are in effect. Entry into all lands protected by the Central Oregon Forest Protection District must comply with restrictions (pdf)

Deer can be found early in the mornings or later in the evening hours grazing in fields and pastures. They will be looking for water to drink and a cool place to retreat to in the heat of the day. There is still a bunch of spotted fawns running around with their moms that are fun to watch. Buck deer can often be seen in small bachelor bunches and their antlers are nearly grown but still in velvet.

Much like the deer, elk will be more active during the cooler morning and evening temperatures looking for shade in the timber or creek bottoms in the heat of the day.

If you can find their food sources in the mornings or evenings your chances of spotting them will greatly increase. Cow elk have had calves by now and the bull elk are still working on growing antlers.

It’s 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. 9/2/14.


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SOUTHEAST ZONE: FISHING

Weekend fishing opportunities

  • Trout fishing remains very good on the North Fork Sprague River.
  • Fly-fishing for monster brown trout using grasshopper or mouse patterns is very good on the Wood River.
  • The daily trout bag limit on Thief Valley Reservoir has been temporarily increased to 15 with no minimum size – this is to allow anglers a chance to harvest fish before the reservoir gets drawn down to dead storage.

Warm temperatures increase stress on fish

With summer temperatures heating up throughout the state, anglers should take special care when catching and releasing fish.

  • Fish early in the mornings when water temperatures are lower.
  • Fish in lakes and reservoirs with deep waters that provide a cooler refuge for fish.
  • Use barbless hooks, land fish quickly and keep them in the water as much as possible in order to minimize stress.
  • Shift your fishing efforts to higher elevation mountain lakes and streams where water temperatures often remain cool.
  • Target warmwater species, such as bass, bluegill and crappie, that are available in many lakes and reservoirs statewide. However, even warmwater fish can feel the effects of the heat and anglers should try to land and release them as quickly as possible.

 2014 trout stocking for the Southeast Zone

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 boat ramp is useable and boats can be launched. Fish biologists recently sampled fish populations in the reservoir. Hook-and-line sampling yielded 12-inch trout on crank baits and jigs. Hybrid bass were captured in net sets, measured and released. One group averaged around 12-inches while the larger group averaged 20 to 21-inches.

ANA RIVER: hatchery rainbow trout

Rainbow trout are active throughout the year in the river and anglers have been catching fish with bait, flies or lures. The river was sampled on June 5 to evaluate the current stocking strategy and size of trout in the river. We found smaller trout (8 to 10-inches) were dominant from the dam for about 2 miles downstream. Larger trout up to 14-inches are more common in areas were access is more difficult. Anglers can access these trout by floating the river in a pontoon or float tube. Flies that mimic grasshoppers can be quite effective this time of year. Ana River is spring fed and trout fishing remains good throughout the summer. Caddisflies are also common on the river.

ANNIE CREEK: brook trout, brown trout and rainbow trout

Fishing is slow due to the small population size of brook trout. Public access is available on USFS and Oregon Department of Forestry land at the winter snow park area off highway 62 on your way to Crater Lake.

ANTHONY LAKE: rainbow trout, brook trout

The lake was stocked with 2,500 legal-sized and 250 one pound rainbow trout the week of July 14. Approximately 1700 ¾ pound and 500 one pound rainbow trout were stocked on July 21. Reports after the first stocking in early July indicated that fishing has been slower than in recent years. Fishing should improve with the recent stockings.

BALM CREEK RESERVOIR: rainbow trout, smallmouth bass, crappie

The reservoir is presently quite low, but was stocked with legal-sized rainbow trout the last week of May.

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

No recent fishing report. The reservoir water level is declining with irrigation use and boat ramps are not useable. 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: trout

No recent fishing report. The Little Blitzen River is catch-and-release for trout all year.

BLUE LAKE: hatchery rainbow trout

Blue lake is a fantastic high elevation lake located in the Gearhart Wilderness between Bly and Lakeview. A three mile trail leads to the lake and is a 1-2 hour hike.

Fish were sampled by net and hook and line sampling. Rainbow trout ranged from 6 to 17-inches and were in healthy condition.

The trout at this lake see little pressure and are easy to catch using flies, lures or bait.

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

The reservoir water level continues to decline with irrigation withdrawal. Boat ramp is not usable. No recent fishing report but anglers had been catching lots of crappie around 4-inches. The reservoir has been stocked with trout this spring but trout fishing will begin to fade as water levels decline and temperatures increase.

BURNS POND: trout, bass

Anglers have recently caught largemouth bass and a large channel catfish in addition to stocked trout.

BURNT RIVER: rainbow trout

The South Fork of the Burnt River was stocked in late May.

CAMPBELL LAKE: brook trout, rainbow trout

The lake was stocked last week 12 to 14-inch rainbow trout this week. Fishing should be very good.

CHEWAUCAN RIVER: redband trout

The river downstream of Paisley opens to trout fishing on May 24.

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

CHICKAHOMINY RESERVOIR: trout

The reservoir is low and the boat ramp is out of the water. Trout numbers will be down this fall, but anglers may be able to catch some trout as temperatures decline.

COTTONWOOD MEADOWS: rainbow trout, brook trout

No recent reports. Dense aquatic vegetation limits fishing success form shore. Best fishing is from a floating device. Fishing is likely slow but should be improving as water temperatures cool.

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

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.

DEADHORSE LAKE: rainbow trout

The lake was stocked during Labor Day weekend with 12 to 14-inch rainbow trout this week. Angling should be good.

DELINTMENT LAKE: trout

No recent reports, but fishing should become better as water temperatures decline during the fall.

DEMING CREEK: redband trout

Most redband trout in the stream are less than eight-inches long. Fishing is closed for bull trout.

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

Water levels are unknown but fishing at Devils Lake should be fair for warmwater fish. Sampling in 2012 showed good numbers of 10 to 11-inch crappie. There also should be a good age class of 4 year old largemouth bass that average 10-inches.

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

Sampling in June confirmed that brown bullheads are dominating the fishery this year. The bullheads range in size from 8 to 14-inches and are a great fish for kids.
Bass anglers have reported the best bass fishing at the reservoir in years with fish of various sizes caught. Bank and boat access is excellent at the Lake.

DUNCAN RESERVOIR: rainbow trout

Water temperatures are warm. Anglers might consider fishing this reservoir early in the day when water temperatures are cooler and fish are likely to be the most active.

EAGLE CREEK: rainbow trout, brook trout

Eagle Creek was stocked with legal-sized rainbow trout in the vicinity of the USFS Campgrounds and West Eagle Meadows the week of June 23. Many of these fish likely moved downstream due to high flows the last week of June.

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

Fish are available for anglers to catch. Contact Burns BLM for updates on road access this summer (541 573-4400).

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

Stocked with rainbows the last week of June. Fishing should be good.

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

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.

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

The lake and campground have reopened but the 790 fire is causing this area to be very smoky. Fishing is fair. The lake was stocked during Labor Day weekend with 12 to 14-inch rainbow trout. Brook trout and lake trout are more numerous near the deeper water along the west shoreline and at the north end of the lake. Fishing in the evening is improving for brook trout as water temperatures decline. Brook trout and lake trout will begin to move to shallow water looking for places to spawn.

The boat ramp at Fourmile Lake is unimproved and launching boats might be challenging due to low water levels. The boat ramp is accessible. The lake is currently only 0 percent full. The lake retains dead storage and is still fishable but launching large boats is unlikely.

Fourmile Lake levels

Fourmile Lake is very windy in the afternoon therefore angling is best in early morning and evenings. The wind also blows towards the boat ramp making it difficult to place the boat on a trailer. There is an improved campground and numerous trails nearby that lead to other lakes that are stocked. Lakes within a mile of Fourmile Lake that are stocked by helicopter are Squaw, Woodpecker and Badger. Badger Lake is the most productive. Bring your mosquito repellant.

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

Fishing is very slow. The lake is very low and only 2 percent full, which makes launching boats challenging if possible.

HAINES POND: rainbow

The pond was stocked with legal-sized rainbow trout in the spring. Fishing will slow down with the hot temperatures.

HEART LAKE: rainbow trout, kokanee

No recent reports.

HOLBROOK RESERVOIR: rainbow trout

Bag and size limits have been lifted at the reservoir to enable anglers to harvest rainbow trout before it goes dry. Anglers can also try fishing Lofton Reservoir or Heart Lake.

HWY 203 POND: trout, bass, bluegill

The pond has been stocked several times this spring with legal and trophy-sized rainbow trout. Trout fishing should remain good until the heat of summer sets in.

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

Fishing is fair for warmwater fish such as crappie, pumpkinseed sunfish and brown bullhead catfish. Dense aquatic vegetation makes fishing challenging. The reservoir is turbid therefore anglers should try lures with high visibility and scent.

Access is great here with a BLM campground with fishing pier and boat launch. Boats can be launched in several locations in the reservoir. Unimproved ramps occur just north and south of the 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.

JUNIPER LAKE: cutthroat trout
The lake is very low (reduced to two small pools). The lake can be accessed on public land off the East Steens Loop Rd. on the SE side. A large portion of the lake is privately owned, as indicated by the fence lines; however, bank access is permitted. Please be respectful of private property.

KLAMATH AND AGENCY LAKES: redband trout and yellow perch

Fishing has been slow. Redband trout have moved into colder water areas of the Williamson River, Pelican Bay and Wood River delta area.

Fishing is generally slow with catch rates averaging 7 hours per redband from boat and 30 hours per redband from the shore. Most fishing takes place from a boat this time of year. The best bet is to fish near areas of colder water. Water temperatures have declined this week to 64 degrees. Water temperatures around 58-60 degrees are ideal for redband trout activity. The lake is 5.2 feet below full pool.

Fishing should be excellent in Crystal and Recreation Creeks for yellow perch. Small pieces of bait are the best method for capturing perch. A boat is needed to access most areas of perch concentration. However, some perch can be captured from the Rocky Point Resort Dock. Fourmile Canal is also a good bet to find concentrations of yellow perch. Most perch are 8-10 inches with a rare perch up to 14 inches.

ODFW encourages catch and release as this fishery is managed for trophy trout. Redband trout captured should not be removed from the water, resuscitated by cradling and pumping gills by moving fish back and forth through the water. It is unlawful to continue to fish for the same type of fish after taking and retaining a catch or possession limit.

KLAMATH RIVER: native rainbow-redband trout

The section from Keno Dam to J.C. Boyle Reservoir (Topsy Reservoir) is closed to fishing until Oct. 1.

The Klamath River between JC Boyle Dam to JC Boyle Powerhouse offers excellent spinner fishing as well as good dry fly-fishing with small flies. Most fish in this section are small and average 10 inches. Below the springs this section remains near a constant 360 cfs of flow. Fishing is best below the spring inputs. The most effective method this time of year it to cast black spinners upstream into the pools. Fishing with dry flies is also very good. Most attractor dry flies will work well. This section of river requires a hike down steep grade to the river with the exception of the area just above the powerhouse. Caddisfly imitations are working well.

Below the JC Boyle powerhouse the fish get slightly larger than the aforementioned reach and average 12 inches but rarely exceed sixteen inches. River flows in this section are typically quite high during the day. Fishing trips should be planned when flows are lower.

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. Caddisfly imitations work well this time of year. Casting leech or wooly buggers upstream into fast water pockets and pools and stripping can be very effective. Most fish are in the 6-8 inch range but numerous 12 inch fish can be caught with 16 inches the maximum.

Currently, operation at the hydro system below the powerhouse has fishable flows in the very early morning till 8-9 a.m. Flow release estimates are now available by PacifiCorp.

Fishing will be slow most daylight hours during high flows.

KRUMBO RESERVOIR: trout, bass

No recent fishing reports.

Water remains high and boats can be launched at the boat ramp.

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

Call Lake of the Woods Resort for recent reports Toll Free at 866-201-4194. Lake of the Woods was stocked last week with 12 to 14-inch rainbow trout. Most trout have moved to deeper water and occur around 15 feet. Trolling with lead core line, downriggers or other gear to get down to the fish will be most effective.

Fishing for brown bullhead and yellow perch is a good backup plan if the trout are not cooperating. Small lures and bait will catch the numerous stunted yellow perch in the lake. Smallmouth bass should be active but most will be less than 14 inches as bass grow very slowly in the lake. Fishing for largemouth bass is very good around the many docks and large wood in the lake. Fishing is best in very early mornings and very late evenings. The lake is very busy with other recreational watercraft. The emergent vegetation north of the Sunset boat ramp is also productive.

LOFTON RESERVOIR: rainbow trout

No recent fishing reports. Fishing will be slow due to dense aquatic vegetation.

LONG CREEK: brook trout, redband trout, bull trout

Fishing for brook trout is very good on Long Creek. Fly fisherman will have good success with grasshopper imitations as there are abundant grasshoppers this year. Fishing is best near the meadow areas above the 27 road crossing.

LOST RIVER: largemouth bass, brown bullhead, yellow perch

Fishing is very slow for warmwater fish due to poor water quality. Public access is available at Crystal Springs day use area. Anglers can fish from the specifically designed bridge for fishing at this location. Boats can be launched from an improved boat ramp at Crystal Springs.

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

MALHEUR RESERVOIR: hatchery rainbow trout

The reservoir is low and fishing is slow. Please handle smaller fish with care when releasing them; they are next year’s holdover trout.

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

Water releases from Warm Springs Reservoir are 3 cfs as of Sept. 22 and the reservoir is at dead-pool. Fishing is poor.

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

Fishing is slow and water temperatures are warm.

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

No recent reports. Trout fishing will begin to improve as water temperatures decrease.

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

No recent reports.

Trout fishing will begin to improve as water temperatures decrease.

MANN LAKE: trout

No recent fishing reports, but anglers had been catching good numbers of large cutthroat trout this spring. Most fish are 14 to 16-inches long, with several over 20-inches being caught. Expect water levels to be low.

MILLER LAKE: brown trout, kokanee, rainbow trout

Fishing is fair for brown trout. Please report any circular wounds on trout that might be caused by lamprey to the Klamath Falls ODFW office at 541-883-5732. Miller Lake was stocked last Monday with 12 to 14-inch rainbow trout. Fishing should be excellent.

Miller Lake has an improved USFS campground with running water, a nice boat ramp and great swimming beach. Mosquitoes should be thinning out. The 12 mile gravel road into Miller Lake is in horrible condition with numerous washboards. Fishing bait from shore can be effective at capturing recently planted rainbow trout. Most anglers use a boat and troll deep to capture brown trout in the lake. Good places to try for brown trout are Evening Creek and near the outlet at Miller Creek.

MOON RESERVOIR: bass, trout

The reservoir is very low with warm water and the boat ramp is out of the water. Carp remain available.

MUD LAKE: trout

No recent reports.

MURRAY RESERVOIR: trout

Stocked with legal-sized rainbows the week of April 28. Fishing will slow down as the heat of summer sets in.

NORTH POWDER POND: rainbow trout

The pond has been stocked with legal-sized rainbow trout. Fishing will slow down as the heat of summer sets in.

OVERTON RESERVOIR: rainbow trout

Anglers can access the reservoir, but duck weed is beginning to present problems for bank anglers. It is best to take a boat, float tube, or pontoon boat this time of year so you can fish the open water. Trout up to 14-inches are available.

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

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

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

Water releases below the dam were at 143 cfs as of Sept. 22. Please use ethical angling practices; be respectful of other fisherman, use barbless hooks, land fish quickly and keep fish in the water at all times.

OWYHEE RIVER (Upper): smallmouth bass and channel catfish

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

PHILLIPS RESERVOIR: trout, perch

The reservoir is at 28 percent of capacity.

A second batch of tiger muskie were released into the reservoir in early July of 2014. Anglers are reminded that tiger muskie are restricted to catch-and-release only. No harvest or removal from the reservoir is allowed. The last stocking of legal-sized rainbow trout occurred late June. Fishing for legal-sized rainbows should be fair to good until the water heats up. In early May, 7,500 tiger trout were released. These fish will be 8 to 10-inches when released and should be much larger by fall. As with the tiger muskie, fishing for tiger trout is restricted to catch and release only.

Launching boats at the Union Creek Campground boat launch is not advisable. Launching at the boat launch adjacent to the dam is feasible, but rough due to pot holes in the ramp.

PILCHER RESERVOIR: trout

The reservoir water level is receding, but the high water launch is still functional.

POISON CREEK RESERVOIR: hatchery rainbow trout

Trout fishing has been slow, but should improve as water temperatures cool. The limit is 2 per day, please respect the fishing regulations for the reservoir.

POLE CREEK RESERVOIR: hatchery rainbow trout

The reservoir is less than half-full. Catch rates remain fair for holdover trout; however, several fish up to 17-inches have been caught recently using bait. The reservoir was stocked with legal-sized trout earlier this spring.

POWDER RIVER: trout, spring Chinook

The Powder River below Mason Dam was last stocked in June.

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

Flows will be low and ideal for a successful fishing outing. Access is available to the public upstream of Nicholson Road. Fishing above Nicholson Road is very good for 6 to 8-inch brook trout. Fly fishing with dry flies can be very good. ODFW encourages the harvest of brook trout in the stream. Larger brown trout can be found on Sevenmile Creek lower in the system but the only public property is on Sevenmile Canal near the mouth with Agency Lake.

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

Most lakes in the Sky Lakes Wilderness are inaccessible due to the 790 fire. Thirty-five lakes are stocked with fingerling rainbow or brook trout in the Sky Lakes and Mountain Lakes Wilderness. Several other lakes are not stocked and have natural reproduction of brook trout. Concentrate fishing efforts on the larger mountain lakes such as Como, South Pass and Harriette. Bring mosquito repellant. Contact the ODFW Klamath Falls office for a list of lakes with fish.

SHERLOCK GULCH RESERVOIR: rainbow trout

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

SPRING CREEK: redband trout, brown trout and brook trout

Fishing is always slow on Spring Creek as the creek is a spring fed system that is cold and clear with low catchable fish density. ODFW encourages the release of large, spawning redband trout.

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

Fishing is good for bass and yellow perch if you can find where they are concentrated. Fishing is slow for trout the Sprague River. Most trout have moved to better water quality areas of the Sprague.

The river is low and visibility will be good. Public access is available at numerous USFS properties along Sprague River highway, near the town of Sprague River, two county parks off Drews Road and just upstream of Beatty. Small boats can be launched at all these locations.

A boat is recommended for fishing most of the Sprague River as angling from shore is difficult. Best fishing is near the town of Beatty where numerous cold water springs enter the river.

Most fish caught are redband trout that range from 10 to 14-inches. The Hex hatch occurs in numerous sections of the Sprague River.

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

Fishing remains very good throughout the North Fork Sprague. Fishing with dry flies can be good around the Sandhill Crossing campground and wading this stretch is relatively easy. The river from Sandhill Crossing campground to near the headwaters is a low gradient, meadow type stream.

Brook and brown trout dominate the catch above Lee Thomas Crossing while redband trout dominate the catch above the first 3411 crossing. Large brown trout are available near the first 3411 crossing. Bring your mosquito repellant. Large stoneflies and caddisflies are hatching. Caddisfly dry fly imitations work very well. Brown trout fishing is very good in the late evening as they come out of hiding.

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

Angling will be slow due to low fish numbers from drought in the years 2009-2010 and 2012-2013. Access to the South Fork Sprague occurs at a very nice picnic area off highway 140 and near Corral Creek campground. Flows will be ideal for fishing. Best fishing will be near the Corral Creek campground. Bring your mosquito repellant.

SUN CREEK: brook trout, bull trout, brown trout

Anglers need to concentrate efforts below the bridge crossing on Sun Creek as the area above the road was treated in 2012 and 2013 to remove brook trout to benefit native redband trout and bull trout. The section of Sun Creek above the barriers upstream of the road crossing had bull trout only. Angling for bull trout is closed in the Klamath Basin.

Anglers should be able to identify brook, brown and bull trout. Various signs and trout identification cards are available around the Wood River and Sun Creek access points.

SYCAN RIVER: brook trout, redband trout

Fishing was slow for redband trout below the marsh due to low fish density caused by the 2013 drought. The Sycan River above Pikes crossing should be fair for brook trout and redband trout. Expect flows to be low and ideal.

THOMPSON RESERVOIR: rainbow trout, largemouth bass

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

THIEF VALLEY RESERVOIR: trout

The reservoir currently is at 39 percent of capacity. The reservoir was restocked with sub-legal sized rainbow trout the first week of November 2013 and these fish should now be 12 to 16-inches long. Fishing is reportedly slow.

The water surface is now below the boat launch. It is anticipated that the reservoir will likely be drained by mid-September, so the daily bag limit has been increased to fifteen trout with no minimum length to allow anglers increased opportunity to harvest these fish before being lost due to drawdown.

TWIN LAKES: rainbow trout, brook trout

The lake at the campground was stocked with legal-sized rainbows the last week of June. Fishing should be good.

UNITY RESERVOIR: trout, bass, crappie

The reservoir is at 34 percent of capacity. Anglers are reminded that a new regulation restricts the harvest of bass to those under 15-inches long.

VEE LAKE: rainbow trout

Anglers can access the reservoir, but vegetation is beginning to present problems for bank anglers. It is best to take a boat, float tube, or pontoon boat this time of year so you can fish the open water.

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

The reservoir is at dead-pool and fishing is slow.

LOWER WILLIAMSON RIVER: redband and brown trout

The Williamson River switched to catch-and-release for rainbow trout on Aug. 1. A recent float of the Williamson River above Chiloquin observed few trout.

Fishing remains good below Chiloquin but much more challenging above town. Most fish captured so far this year have been small (less than 20 inches.

Flows are extremely low and water clarity is very good for this time of year as currently no flow of dark, tannin colored water is coming from the Klamath Marsh.

ODFW encourages catch and release in this fishery to promote trophy sized fish as the Williamson River is managed for trophy redband trout. Hatches of small mayflies in the evening with some surface activity occurring especially above the town of Chiloquin.

Fishing for redband trout is best from the confluence of the Sprague River to slack water above Modoc Point Bridge. Most effective fishing occurs from a drift boat as little public access occurs. Most anglers hire a guide to fish this river due to the challenge of catching fish. Most anglers fly fish this section of river.

Numerous insect hatches are occurring including various very small mayflies and caddis. Large brown trout can be stalked in the small pools above Spring Creek.

UPPER WILLIAMSON RIVER: redband and brook trout

Upper Williamson is a slow, meandering spring fed river. The best time to fish is when fish are rising steadily to insect hatches.

Numerous other small mayflies are hatching on the Williamson River with 6-8 inch brook and redband trout rising. Anglers can pay to fish Yamsi or Sand Creek Ranches and the fishing is exceptional especially for abundant brook trout. A few large redband trout exceeding 20-inches are also available. River flows are low.

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

The current conditions at the reservoir are unknown but launching boats might be impossible.

WOLF CREEK RESERVOIR: crappie, trout

The reservoir is receding and the boat launch/dock is functional. Fishing should be fair to good for 10-12 inch rainbows.

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

Wood River is one of the best brown trout fisheries in the state. The best bet is to fly fish above Weed road using grasshopper imitations. The highest density of brown trout in the river occurs below Weed Road in the early season. Anglers should also have success fishing spoons and plugs in the deep pools for brown trout. If brown trout are not rising to insects they are typically holding in deep water or under cover. Flies and lures should be fished deep when no surface activity is observed.

Sculpins are also a favorite food for brown trout. Sculpins live on the bottom of the river which is another reason anglers need to present flies and lures near the bottom. Anglers should concentrate their efforts from Fort Klamath to the mouth.

A boat is recommended to fish the Wood River as little public land occurs on the river. Most anglers use a low profile boat to float under and portage around the many obstacles on the river. A typical drift boat can be used from Weed Road to mouth but can’t be used upstream due to low bridges.

Bank access is limited but public property is available on BLM property at the BLM wetland and the USFS Day use area above Fort Klamath. Small boats can be launched at Kimball State Park (breathtaking headwaters), USFS day use area, Highway 62 bridge crossing and Weed Road. Weed Road has the only semi-improved boat launch for larger boats such as drift boats.

YELLOWJACKET LAKE: trout

No recent fishing reports. Fishing should improve as water temperatures cool.


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SOUTHEAST ZONE: HUNTING

OPEN: COUGAR, BLACK BEAR, ARCHERY DEER AND ELK, GROUSE and MOURNING DOVE

See the bird and big game hunting forecasts.

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.

ODFW appreciates hunters’ assistance to establish wolves’ presence in Oregon; 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

Fall BEAR season opened August 1. Bear populations in Harney County are generally low. While no formal surveys are done for bear in this area, bear populations appear to be stable. Hunters are reminded that hunter harvested bear MUST be checked in at an ODFW field office within 10 days of harvest; please bring bear in thawed and with mouth propped open for easier tissue and tooth collection.

Youth antlerless ELK hunts also open August 1. Elk populations are stable in Harney Co.

Archery season for ELK and MULE DEER opened on August 30th. The Steens unit is under limited entry regulations for deer hunting and elk hunters must have drawn the deer tag to hunt in the unit.

MOURNING DOVE season opened September 1st and best prospects will be around agricultural areas or near water sources. Hunters are reminded that Eurasian-collared doves are now unprotected and can be taken year round.

Forest GROUSE season opened September 1st. Grouse can be found in the forested portions of the Silvies and Malheur Units, but population numbers are low.

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

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

KLAMATH COUNTY

MOURNING DOVE season opened September 1 with an increased daily bag limit of 15. Best prospects are around agricultural areas or near water sources. Cooler overnight temperatures and hunting pressure during the first week of the season has slowed dove hunting for the year. Some birds remain around recently harvest grain fields, but overall density of dove in the Basin is lower now than during the summer months. Hunters are reminded that Eurasian-collared doves are now unprotected and can be taken year round.

GROUSE SEASON opened September 1 and includes both Blue and Ruffed Grouse with a daily baq limit of 3 per species. For Blue Grouse, hunters should concentrate on semi-open ridge lines. Ruffed grouse are restricted primarily to creek drainages in the Cascades although birds can be found in some areas further east as well.

DEER AND ELK Archery seasons are now open. While weather conditions remain warm, hunting near water and good cover offer the best prospects. Buck and bull ratios are at or above management objective.

Fall BLACK BEAR seasons opened August 1. While no formal surveys are done for bear in this area, bear populations appear to be increasing.. Highest concentrations of bears in Klamath County will be found along the eastern slope of the Cascade Mtns. In previous years, hunters have found success with stand hunting near water holes and by glassing open hillsides where bears commonly feed on berries during morning and evening hours. Hunters are reminded that hunter harvested bear MUST be checked in at an ODFW field office for sample collection and measurement. Field office staff are frequently out of the office, so please call ahead to the nearest ODFW field office and make an appointment. Field office locations and contact information can be found on the ODFW website.

Cougar - Hunting is open year round. Populations are healthy and distributed throughout the district in any area with a big game prey base. 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. Pups have now left their dens, however adults are still very territorial. Coyote vocalization calls still work best until the pups start to disperse, which will be mid to late August. Be aware that bobcats and cougars may respond to predator calls, and separate licensing and season limitations exist for these species.

KLAMATH WILDLIFE AREA

Dove season is open through October 30. Hunters must obtain a self-serve permit available at the check station on Miller Island Road if hunting on the Miller Island Unit otherwise hunting is open on the Shoalwater Bay, Sesti Tgawaals, and Gorr Island Units without permit. Dove hunting has slowed on the Miller Island Unit due to doves migrating south for the winter. Federally approved non-toxic shot is required for all game bird hunting on the Klamath Wildlife Area.

Gorr Island Unit

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

Shoalwater Bay Unit and Sesti Tgawaals Unit

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

Miller Island Unit

The Miller Island Unit is located 6 miles south and west of Klamath Falls. The Miller Island Unit is open to hunting on authorized hunt days (please see the 2013-14 Oregon Game Bird Regulations for more information) on a first-come, first-served basis by permit.

Waterfowl Hunting

Waterfowl hunting is now closed. Klamath Basin waterfowl numbers are available on the US Fish and Wildlife website.

Upland Game Bird Hunting is now closed.

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

Archery Deer and Elk seasons opened on 30 August. Elk populations are very low throughout the county. All deer herds are at or above post season buck management objective and hunters should have opportunities for a nice buck. At this time conditions are very dry and dusty.

Bear season opened on 1 August and populations in the county are low compared to western Oregon or the Blue Mountain zone. Hunters are finding the best success in forest openings that have berry producing shrubs. Hunters are reminded that hunter harvested bear MUST be checked in at an ODFW field office within 10 days of harvest; please bring bear in thawed and with mouth propped open for easier tissue and tooth collection.

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. Mule deer herds are still using spring green up, but are starting to move toward summer ranges. Cougar hunting near big game herds increases the chance for success.

Coyote Pups are starting to disperse and pair bonds are breaking up. Calls mimicking prey distress sounds will be effective through the fall.

Forest Grouse season opened on 1 September. There are very few Ruffed Grouse in the county and Blue Grouse populations are restricted to the higher elevation forest openings with berry producing shrubs or aspen. Hunters are asked to provide one wing and the tail of each bird harvested for population monitoring. Contact the Lakeview Office at 541-947-2950 for collection bags.

SUMMER LAKE WILDLIFE AREA

This section was updated on September 23, 2014

General deer bow season remains open. Hunting pressure over this past week was light with only 2 hunter check-ins, and no buck harvest was reported.

Mourning dove season remains open through Oct. 30. Hunting pressure over this past week was light. There were no dove hunters checked-in.

Buck mule deer and fair numbers of doves can be found scattered across the wildlife area, especially around old homesteads and agricultural areas on the north end. General bow season will end on Sunday September 28, 2014 and mourning dove season will continue through October 30, 2014.

The Statewide Youth Waterfowl hunting weekend will occur on September 27 and 28, 2014 and prospects are promising

The last weekly bird count (September 17th) found about 35,000 ducks and 1,000 geese on the Wildlife Area. The next weekly count will occur on September 24th.
This hunt is only open to hunters 15 years of age and younger. All youth hunters must be accompanied by an adult, 21 years of age or older. All youth hunters must have in their possession a Hunter Education Certificate, valid hunting license with HIP validation, and if 14 years of age or older a state waterfowl validation.

Youth hunters must obtain a free daily hunting permit and check-out at the end of the weekend.

Youth hunters need to be aware that the eastern portion of Between The Dikes including the northeast Bullgate Unit and along the entire length of Bullgate Dike will be dry due to wetland enhancement activities occurring in Bullgate Refuge. The northeast portion of Summer Lake proper will also be dry or at a very low level so over-water and pond hunting in this 2,000 acre area will be affected.

Posted refuges are closed to all hunting.

Non-toxic shot is required for all game bird hunting on the wildlife area.

Archery and dove hunters are required to obtain a daily hunting permit. Two consecutive daily permits are allowed and check-out is required at the end of the day.

For the Youth Waterfowl Hunt weekend, the Checking Station will be open to issue daily hunt permits 1½ hours (5:00 am) before legal shooting time (6:30 am).
Please contact Summer Lake Wildlife Area at (541) 943-3152 or email martin.j.stlouis@state.or.us for additional information.

MALHEUR COUNTY

Fire and Drought Most of SE Oregon is in extreme drought conditions however timely spring rains in March and April resulted in good growth of annual grasses creating prime conditions for wildfire. Hunters are reminded to check with the appropriate land management agency for fire restrictions and to follow those restrictions.

Water is extremely limited in places and is impacting distribution of wildlife and livestock. Please avoid camping near limited water sources.

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

Coyote hunting is available throughout the district. Coyote pups are dispersing and can be responsive to calls this time of year.

Malheur County – Record rain fall in the North end of Malheur County in September 2013 resulted in good fall green up, combined with a mild winter and favorable rains early in the spring upland bird production increased significantly from previous years.

Chukar

Chukar surveys on established routes yielded 47 chukar per 10 miles and very good production with 11.5chicks per brood. This is a 135% increase from last year when 20.2 birds per 10 miles were measured and is 7% below the 10-year average of 50.7 birds per 10 miles.

The Succor Creek/Leslie Gulch area has only experienced limited recovery. The poor range conditions caused by ongoing invasion of exotic annual grass (medusahead) likely limits the ability of birds in this area to successfully raise broods. The most productive routes were South of Harper in the Cottonwood Canyon, Freezout/Dry Creek (west side of the Owyhee reservoir a North of Hwy 20.

Pheasant

The surveys along established routes yielded 7.4 birds per 10 miles which is a 21% increase in number of birds observed from last year’s survey and 14% below the 10-year average. Chick production above averaged at 4.4 chicks per brood. Hunting prospects will vary depending on the farming practices in the area where you have permission to hunt. The outlying areas around Willow Creek and Vale have higher bird numbers than areas closer to Ontario and Nyssa.

There is very little public land pheasant hunting opportunity in the area and the few parcels that are available tend to get hunted daily. One option for private lands access is the Cow Hollow fundraiser to benefit the Cow Hollow Park.

California quail

Quail production was up in agricultural areas and good in rangelands. Surveys on established routes showed 44 quail per 10 miles, up 35% down over last year and 16% above the 10-year average. Production was 9.8 chicks per brood with similar production observed in rangelands. Overall quail populations still remain low in rangelands due to depressed populations from previous years.

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SOUTHEAST ZONE: VIEWING

HARNEY COUNTY

Fall shorebird migration has started to slow. Lesser yellow legs, killdeer, avocets, black-necked stilts, white-faced ibis, curlews, pelicans, egrets and a variety of grebes species are a few of what can be seen.

Fall migrating waterfowl continue to grow in numbers including Northern pintail, Northern shovelers, American wigeon, American green-winged teal, Canvasback and Redhead.

Sandhill cranes can be found in agricultural fields throughout the Harney Basin.

Fall migrating passerine species continueto show up. White-crowned sparrows, American goldfinches, Spotted towhees,Says phoebes and a variety of warbler species are a few that can be found in the basin. A large number of breeding passerine species and woodpeckers can be found in National Forest land throughout the county.
Raptors continue to be found throughout the area. You should be able to view osprey around lakes and reservoirs, golden eagles, a few bald eagles, red-tailed hawks, northern harriers, prairie falcons and ferruginous hawks. 9/23/14.

KLAMATH COUNTY

Klamath Falls Area

Fall migration is right around the corner and will offer some excellent viewing opportunities for shorebirds, raptors, waterfowl, and passerines. Check riparian and wetland areas for best prospects.

Shorebird numbers are increasing as fall migration is underway and breeding season is concluded. American avocet, black-necked stilt, killdeer, Wilson’s phalaropes and their chicks are now present in the Basin. A large number of migrants are staging in good number at this time. Least and western sandpipers, lesser and greater yellowlegs, red-necked and Wilson’s phalaropes and long-billed dowitchers are especially numerous. Most long-billed curlews and willets have departed the area.

Now is the time to look for unusual vagrants passing through the area.

Sandhill cranes will begin staging in Yonna and Langell Valley over the next month. Check harvested grain fields near wetland areas for best viewing opportunities.

American white pelicans can be readily observed on Upper Klamath and Agency Lakes. These large piscivorous (fish-eating) aquatic birds are a colonial nesting species that nest in only a few locations in the Klamath Basin including Clear Lake Refuge, Lower Klamath Refuge, and on Upper Klamath Lake.

Thousands of lesser scaup, bufflehead, goldeneye, and northern shovelor will begin arriving within the next few weeks on Upper Klamath Lake. Rafts of up to several thousand ducks can be seen from either Highway 97 north along Upper Klamath Lake or Highway 140 west near Howards Bay. This is a must see opportunity for any uninitiated to this areas migration. 9/8/14.

Klamath Wildlife Area

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.

Due to severe drought conditions a large portion of the Miller Island Unit is dry, however some areas have retained a little water and these areas can be excellent for wildlife viewing.

Waterfowl

Great Basin Canada geese can be found scattered throughout the Miller Island Unit along with mallards, northern pintail, gadwall, northern shoveler, cinnamon teal and American green-winged teal. At the Shoalwater Bay Unit ruddy duck, bufflehead and wood ducks can also be seen.

Shorebirds, waders and other waterbirds

Shorebird numbers continue to increase on the wildlife area as fall progresses. Large numbers of long-billed dowitchers, least and western sandpipers, lesser and greater yellow legs, American avocets, black-necked stilts and white-faced ibis can currently be seen on the wildlife area.

White pelicans and double crested cormorants can be seen in large numbers on the Klamath River.

Pied billed, western and Clark’s grebes can also be found on the wildlife area and Klamath River.

Raptors

Turkey vulture can be seen riding the thermals above the Miller Island Unit. Great horned and barn owls can be seen at dusk. Red-tailed hawks, northern harriers, cooper hawks, prairie falcons and American bald eagles can be seen foraging throughout the wildlife area.

Upland Game Birds

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

Passerines

Mourning and Eurasian collared dove can be found scattered over the area. Barn and cliff swallows, American goldfinches, house finches, spotted towhees and yellow rumped warblers continue to be a common site throughout the area.

Marsh wrens and song sparrows can be found in dense stands of tall emergent hardstem bulrush and broad-leaved cattail and are very numerous.

Brewer’s, red-winged and yellow-headed blackbirds remain fairly numerous at this time.

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. 9/16/14.

LAKE COUNTY

All of the large shallow lakes in the county are dry and therefore most migrating shore birds will bypass the county this fall. The fall waterfowl migration has started with last week’s arrival of white-fronted geese. With the dry conditions the best viewing opportunity for shore birds and water birds is Summer Lake Wildlife Area.

Sumer resident raptors are common throughout the county. Bighorns are using the springs on the west side of Crump Lake and can be seen near the boat launch on the Plush-Adel Road. 9/9/14

SUMMER LAKE WILDLIFE AREA

This section was updated on September 23, 2014.

Summer Lake Wildlife Area requires a new calendar year 2014 $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.

Vehicle access to the Wildlife Viewing Loop and major dike roads (Windbreak and Work Road) will close three days prior to the Youth Waterfowl Hunting weekend (September 24th ) and remain closed through the weekend. Vehicle access will be allowed from September 29 through October 3. Lateral dikes off Windbreak and Work Road remain closed to motor vehicles. Bullgate dike will be temporarily closed due to construction activities associated with a major wetland restoration effort. Viewers are cautioned to be aware of heavy equipment and dump truck traffic along the Headquarters Road. Non-motorized access is permitted on all other dikes and levees, and the Wildlife Viewing Loop and major dike roads will remain open to motor vehicle travel until early fall.

Wetland conditions are fair; semi-permanent marshes and sizeable areas of seasonally flooded wetlands are receiving heavy waterbird use. Water levels in most seasonal wetlands and some semi-permanent marsh units are beginning to recede due to reduced flows and increased evapotranspiration due to hot summer temperatures. Emergent vegetation is growing vigorously and submerged aquatic plants are very prolific.

Also, area users are reminded that running or training of dogs is prohibited, except by permit.

Waterfowl

Waterfowl populations are beginning to increase as early migrators are starting to arrive. Birds are widely dispersed across the entire wildlife area due to excellent habitat conditions.

The weekly count conducted on September 16 found nearly 35,000 ducks on the area. Good numbers of early migrating northern pintail, northern shoveler, American wigeon and American green-winged teal were observed.

Canada geese are widely scattered across the wildlife area’s wetlands. Greater white-fronted geese continue to increase, over 600 were counted last week.

Resident trumpeter swans number about 15-20 non-breeders, all part of restoration efforts, can be found scattered across the wildlife area. One pair successfully nested this year and is rearing one cygnet at this time. All of these birds 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 remain fair at this time as fall migration continues. Migrants continue to stage in in good numbers at this time. Least and western sandpipers, lesser and greater yellowlegs, red-necked and Wilson’s phalaropes and long-billed dowitchers are especially numerous. Over the past weekend, sanderlings and Baird’s sandpipers were found.

Now is the time to look for unusual vagrants passing through the area.

Both California and ring-billed gulls have largely departed the area. A fair number of recently fledged chicks are dispersing across the area. Migrant Franklin’s and sometimes Bonaparte’s gulls are occasionally observed.

Caspian and Forster’s terns are dispersing at this time although a few can still be found.

American white pelican and double-crested cormorants remain fairly numerous.

Sandhill cranes are widely scattered across the area. Non-breeders and other migrants continue to stage as well, especially in the Foster Place grain fields and at the head of Summer Lake. Last week, around 50 were found scattered across the area.

American coots remain very numerous, over 10,000 were found during the weekly count.

Several species of grebes (eared, western, pied-billed and Clark’s) can be found scattered across the wildlife area.

A few American bittern, great blue herons, great egrets and fair numbers of white-faced ibis continue to be observed.

Raptors and others

Resident raptors, especially red-tailed hawks are scattered throughout the Wildlife Area as well as on private lands along Hwy 31. Swainson’s hawks are now present around Headquarters and on the north end of the area. Northern harriers are commonly observed over marsh and hay meadows and newly fledged chicks are becoming very apparent. Bald and golden eagle can be occasionally observed. A red-shouldered hawk has been present at the Headquarters Orchard area for the past week, and migrant accipiters are occasionally observed.

Prairie falcons are frequently observed and peregrine falcons have been observed recently hunting migrant waterfowl and shorebirds.

Great horned owls can be found scattered across the entire wildlife area, especially in the trees at campgrounds.

Short-eared owls continue to be observed on a regular basis.

Upland game birds

California quail and ring-necked pheasants are widely scattered across the north end of the wildlife area. Pheasant and quail broods are being seen on a regular basis now.

Passerines

Swallow breeding activity in nearly over and most have departed the area. A few individuals remain but large flocks have already departed. Small flocks of the late migrating barn swallow are being observed now..

Eurasian collared doves remain very numerous at Headquarters Complex and mourning doves continue to be observed.

American and sometimes lesser goldfinches continue to be observed in fair numbers at Headquarters. Savannah sparrows are very common along dikes and levees. American robins, cedar waxwings, yellow warblers and remain fairly abundant around Headquarters now. Migrant white-crowned sparrows are numerous at this time.

Hummingbird activity at the Headquarters feeders is slowing down. Black-chinned, calliope and rufous have been observed recently.

Marsh wrens and song sparrows can be found in dense stands of tall emergent hardstem bulrush and broad-leaved cattail and are very numerous.

Blackbird numbers are declining at this time, although a few large flocks continue to be observed.

Facilities and Access

Please remember: Calendar year 2014 parking permits are required!

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

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

The Wildlife Viewing Loop and major dike roads (Windbreak and Work Road) will close on September 24, three days prior to the youth waterfowl hunting weekend. They will be open briefly from September 29 through October 3 and then close again for the remainder of the year.

Bullgate dike is temporarily closed due to construction activities associated with wetland restoration. Viewers are cautioned to be aware of heavy equipment and dump truck traffic, especially along the Headquarters Road.

All secondary roads and dikes continue to remain closed to motor vehicles and cross-country motor vehicle travel is prohibited.

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. Due to construction activities in Bullgate Refuge, camping at Bullgate Campground is discouraged.

Also, area users are reminded that running of training of dogs is prohibited, except by permit.

Habitat

Currently nearly most of the wildlife area’s wetlands are fairly well flooded although several units are have receded due to reduced water supply and evapotranspiration.

Bullgate Refuge remains dry in preparation for wetland enhancement work to take place during the next two months. Once construction activities have begun, viewers will need to be aware of heavy equipment and large dump truck traffic, especially along the Headquarters Road.

Summer Lake is beginning to increase in size at this time. A small amount of water is flowing into the northern portion of the lake now, but the remainder of the playa is dry. Exposed and newly flooded emergent marsh areas and muddy shorelines will provide good habitat conditions for fall migrant shorebird and waterfowl staging.

Emergent wetland vegetation is beginning to move into fall senescence across all wetland areas now. Submerged aquatic plants remain very prolific in nearly all ponds.

Upland habitat remains in excellent condition with considerable residual vegetation and extensive new growth of grasses and forbs that is providing high quality food and cover for many wildlife species.

Planted tree and shrub plots are providing excellent sheltered sites for many wildlife species. Nearly all shrub species have set an abundant fruit crop.

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

  • Fall weather has arrived, cooling mountain lakes and ponds and triggering trout to feed heavily.
  • Salmon have arrived in good numbers at the mouth of the Umatilla and at Threemile Dam and effort is picking up.
  • Pendland Lake offers some fine fly-fishing in the fall.

Warm temperatures increase stress on fish

With summer temperatures heating up throughout the state, anglers should take special care when catching and releasing fish.

  • Fish early in the mornings when water temperatures are lower.
  • Fish in lakes and reservoirs with deep waters that provide a cooler refuge for fish.
  • Use barbless hooks, land fish quickly and keep them in the water as much as possible in order to minimize stress.
  • Shift your fishing efforts to higher elevation mountain lakes and streams where water temperatures often remain cool.
  • Target warmwater species, such as bass, bluegill and crappie, that are available in many lakes and reservoirs statewide. However, even warmwater fish can feel the effects of the heat and anglers should try to land and release them as quickly as possible.

2014 trout stocking

The 2014 trout stocking schedule for the Northeast Zone is now posted on-line on along with other districts on the ODFW trout stocking page.

Send us your fishing report

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

ALDRICH PONDS: rainbow trout

Anglers can make either a 2 mile hike to Roosevelt Lake (Lower Lake) or a 2.5 mile hike to Stewart Lake (Upper Lake). Fishing is good for carryover rainbow trout at both ponds.

BULL PRAIRIE RESERVOIR: rainbow and brook trout

Fishing for carryover rainbow and brook trout is fair. Trout are now concentrated in the deeper part of the reservoir near the dam. Vegetation growth is affecting fishing access for bank anglers.

GRANDE RONDE RIVER: trout, bass

The Grande Ronde River is open for steelhead as of Sept. 1. A few steelhead have been caught; however, the bulk of the run is still a few weeks away.

Flows are currently low, but there is still the opportunity to fish a few holes using different techniques. Bass fishing will still produce, however success rates will likely slow with falling tempertures.

Remember, only adipose-fin clipped trout may be retained and all bull trout must be released unharmed. Some fall chinook will start to move into the lower Grande Ronde in the coming months. Please release these fish immediately and allow them to finish spawning.

HOLLIDAY PARK POND: trout

Trout fishing is fair but vegetation growth is affecting fishing access for bank anglers.

HUNTER POND: trout

Hunter Pond is located about 3 miles south of Hwy 244 off of USFS Rd 5160. The pond is located on the 710 spur just west of 5160. The pond was stocked the last week of May.

IMNAHA RIVER: trout, bass, Chinook

The Imnaha River is open for steelhead as of Sept. 1. Some steelhead may be available in the lower river yet the bulk of the run is still weeks away and is best in March. Trout anglers may find some success as the water cools and trout become more active. Remember, below the mouth of Big Sheep Creek only adipose-fin clipped trout may be harvested. All bull trout must be released unharmed.

Fall chinook will start entering the lower river to spawn in the next few months. Please release these fish unharmed and allow them to complete the cycle.

The upper Imnaha has a healthy population of mountain whitefish and can produce some large fish. Look for whitefish in deep pools and runs. Whitefish will take small bead-head nymphs and small spinners.

JOHN DAY RIVER: smallmouth bass, trout

Smallmouth bass fishing is good in the lower river but flows have dropped to 150 cfs making boat travel very difficult. Trout fishing is fair on the South Fork and on the Middle Fork but flows will stay very low for the remainder of the summer.
Check John Day River flows

JUBILEE LAKE: rainbow trout

The lake has been stocked and should provide good fishing for rainbow trout. Anglers should concentrate on the deeper areas near the dam or use a non-motorized boat to reach the deeper areas of the lake.

JUMP-OFF-JOE LAKE: brook trout

This high lake near Desolation Creek fishes well all summer and presently has large brook trout available. It requires a ½ mile hike. Fishing is poor from the bank but packing in a float tube or raft will greatly improve your chances.

LONG CREEK POND, CAVENDER POND: trout

Bass fishing is fair but trout fishing is poor. Fish activity is limited by high water temperatures and vegetation growth is affecting fishing access for bank anglers.

LUGER POND: trout

The pond was stocked the last week of May.

MAGONE LAKE: rainbow and brook trout

The fishing has slowed for brook trout and rainbow as the lake temperature has warmed to over 65 degrees.

MORGAN LAKE: rainbow trout

No recent report.

OLIVE LAKE: rainbow, kokanee

This high lake stays cool all summer and is accessible by vehicle for bank or boat angling. There is a campground with boat launch. Kokanee fishing has slowed as water temperatures warmed but they can still be caught in deeper water. Carryover rainbows are available along with recently planted jumbo trout.

PEACH POND (Ladd Marsh): rainbow trout

The pond has been stocked several times this spring, the last being early June. Catch rates will decline as the season progresses into summer and water temperatures warm.

PENDLAND LAKE: rainbow trout

As water temperatures cool with fall weather, angling pressure diminishes and catch rates improve. Bring a boat or float tube to reach the best fishing areas. Fly-fishing shines during the fall months.

ROULET POND: rainbow trout

The pond has been stocked several times this spring, the last being early June. Catch rates will decline as the season progresses into summer and water temperatures warm.

ROWE CREEK RESERVOIR: rainbow trout

Fish activity is limited by high water temperatures. Low water and vegetation growth is affecting fishing access for bank anglers. Fishing is poor.

STRAWBERRY AND SLIDE LAKES: rainbow and brook trout

These high lakes in the Strawberry Mountain wilderness area provide good fishing all summer. Strawberry lake requires a 1.5 mile hike and Slide Lake is another mile further. Fish can be caught from the bank but packing in a float tube or raft will improve your chances.

TAYLOR GREEN POND: rainbow trout

This was a new stocking site in 2013. The pond is located in a gravel pit just off USFS Rd. 7740, approximately ½ mile south of the Jct. with USFS Rd. 7700. The pond was stocked the last week of May. Fishing is good.

TROUT FARM POND: rainbow and brook trout

Fishing for rainbow and brook trout is fair. Carryover and legal sized rainbows are available. Vegetation growth is affecting fishing access for bank anglers.

UMATILLA FOREST PONDS: trout

The following ponds have been stocked to date: Ninemile, Shimmiehorn, skyline, Boundary, Key hole, Pearson Ridge Twin, Goldfish, 5412, Yellow Jacket, Granite Meadows, French Corral, Four Corners and Frog Heaven. The South Umatilla Ponds will be stocked this week (Ellis, Gopher springs, Divide well, Rock pit, Sugarbowl, 5320, Thompson and Stinkwater) All should provide good fishing.

UMATILLA RIVER: salmon, trout

The Umatilla River opened for salmon and steelhead fishing on Sept. 1, and fish numbers picked up at Threemile Dam late last week. Anglers should concentrate on the lower river downstream of Threemile Dam and the backwater area of the Columbia River. Fish numbers and catch will improve as the flows increase and water temperatures decrease. The upper Umatilla is open to catch-and-release trout fishing and fishing for rainbow trout has been good. Anglers should consult the synopsis for detailed regulations.

Threemile Dam fish counts

WALLOWA LAKE: rainbow trout, kokanee, lake trout

Fishing for rainbow trout has slowed. Some fish are still available, though anglers will need to be more persistant. Trout have been caught with a variety of methods but a simple rig with Powerbait has been best.

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 $2,500 in rewards have been paid.

WALLOWA RIVER: steelhead, mountain whitefish, chinook

The Wallowa river has been fishing good for trout. Catch rates on fin-clipped trout have also been good and anglers are encouraged to harvest these fish. For fly anglers, October caddis are on the river and trout are showing some interest. The best dry fly fishing is in the late evening. During mid-day nymph fishing will produce the most fish. Most spinner and bait fishing techniques also will be very effective. Look for trout where the water is well oxygenated and near structure. Remember, below Rock Creek only adipose-fin clipped trout may be harvested. All bull trout must be released unharmed.

The Wallowa is also open to steelhead fishing as of Sept. 1. While a few fall fish are caught every year, the main run will not show in mass till late winter.


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NORTHEAST ZONE: HUNTING

OPEN: COUGAR, BLACK BEAR, ARCHERY DEER AND ELK, GROUSE, and MOURNING DOVE

See the bird and big game hunting forecasts.

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. ODFW needs hunters’ assistance to establish wolves’ presence in Oregon; please report any wolf sightings or wolf sign to La Grande office (541) 963-2138 or online with the Wolf Reporting Form.

Use the Oregon Hunting Map to see where to hunt.

BAKER COUNTY

Closure of Wallowa Mountain Loop Road (Forest Road 39)

ARCHERY: Hunters should find deer and elk around water and cool moist northern aspects. Warm temperatures will limit animal activity to early morning and late evening. As the weather cools and the season progresses bulls will be more active and calling will become more effective. Remember to check the regulations for the area you will be hunting.

GROUSE: Grouse season starts September 1. Blue grouse can be found in the higher elevations while ruffed grouse are more common in wetter areas. Hunters should expect an average year for grouse. Successful hunters are asked to place the tails and wings from harvested birds in the collection barrels.

BEAR season opened August 1. Successful hunters, remember check-in of bear skull is mandatory; see the regulations for details. Biologists recommend propping the bear’s mouth open with a stick after harvest; it makes for easier tooth collection and measuring.

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.

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

ODFW’s Phillip W. Schneider Wildlife Area (Murderers Creek Unit, Grant County) remains closed to all access as of today due to the South Fork Complex Fire. “Once the fire is contained, ODFW will work directly with local fire officials to reopen portions of the wildlife area as fire fighter and public safety permits,” says Wildlife Area Manager Dan Marvin.

A Level 1 evacuation remains in effect for the area bounded by the 2150 road on the south, the 21 road on the east, Hwy 26 on the north and on the west by a line running due north from the Aldrich Lookout to Hwy 26. A closure is in place on the Malheur NF, Ochoco NF and BLM and private lands surrounding the fires, with all roads and trails closed within the closure area.

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.

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

There are some road closures on the Umatilla NF in the Heppner ranger district.

YOUTH ELK hunts open in the Heppner and Fossil units on August 1st. Elk are generally well distributed across the forested areas of the Heppner and Fossil units. Fossil unit hunters should try any of the areas in the north and west of the forest. he upper end of Stahl canyon is usually a good place to start looking. Heppner unit hunters will want to focus in areas with good grazing near cover for elk. Any of the areas in northern portion of the forest or along any of the creeks running water would be a good place to start. As always hunters will want to focus in areas with fresh elk sign. Getting away from roads should improve your odds of success.

Cougar hunting is open. Cougar are well distributed in our forested areas. Calling with distress calls or cougar vocalizations can be effective. 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

There are public use restrictions on the Umatilla NF due to fire danger; always check for conditions and restrictions before heading out.

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

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

UNION COUNTY

BLACK BEARS are plentiful throughout the county. Look for sign around fruit trees and in canyon bottoms. Bears can be concentrated along creeks and rivers in the late summer. This year’s bumper berry crop should make for good early season bear hunting in Union County. Huckle, Service and Hawthorn berries are all in full swing. Hunt in the early morning and evenings for the best chance of seeing bears. Bear skulls must be checked in within ten days of harvest, see regulations.

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.

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.

ARCHERY DEER AND ELK hunters can expect good opportunities in all units. Archers are reporting success for both deer and elk all over the county. Warmer temperatures may keep animals closer to water sources.

Ladd Marsh Wildlife Area

Hunting seasons 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 will be available at several self-check-in stations at entry points and parking lots beginning in late September. Wildlife hunters, viewers and anglers also need a parking permit to park on the wildlife area. Hunters receive a free parking permit with their hunting license. The $7 daily or $22 annual permit can be purchased online or at an ODFW office that sells licenses or at a license sales agent. Learn more about ODFW’s Wildlife Area Parking Permit Program. Parking permits are to be displayed on the vehicle dash. More information

WALLOWA COUNTY

Closure of Wallowa Mountain Loop Road (Forest Road 39)

BLACK BEAR: A good density of black bear exists throughout the district. Hunters should focus efforts in berry patches and old fruit orchards.

ELK: The archery season for elk began August 30th. The youth hunts for antlerless elk are also underway in most hunt units. Numbers of elk are strong throughout most of Wallowa County and most elk are on their summer ranges. They are often in large herds this time of year and so are localized. Consequently, hunters should be aware that there are large parts of their range that have no elk, but when they do find elk they are likely to find 100-200 in a herd. When hunting or scouting look on timbered ridges where they can rest in the shade during the day. Elk this time of year usually move to the larger meadows at night to feed.

DEER: The archery season for elk began August 30th. Mule deer numbers are below desired levels in all units, but hunters can still expect to have fair success by adding a little more effort in the field. White-tailed deer numbers are improving. They can be found in open grassland areas adjacent to brushy areas and in agricultural areas.

BIGHORN SHEEP: The first bighorn sheep seasons began September 13th. Bighorn numbers are good in most units, but hunters can expect to spend a lot of time in the field scouting as these animals are well dispersed in very rough country.

MOUNTAIN GOAT: The first mountain goat seasons also began September 13th. Goat numbers are good in most units, but below desired levels in the Hurricane Creek areas. Hunters can expect to spend a lot of time in the field scouting as these animals are well dispersed in very rough country.

FOREST GROUSE: Forest grouse hunting has been poor – fair in recent years and this year is similar. The season started September 1st. Blue grouse numbers are below the long term average, but hunters can still find a few birds along open grassy ridges adjacent to timber. Ruffed grouse hunting opportunities will be best along riparian areas where abundant shrubs are found.

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

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NORTHEAST ZONE: VIEWING

BAKER COUNTY

Upland game bird broods are beginning to be seen in the area. Along the Snake and Burnt River are good places to look.

Bighorn sheep can be seen in the Burnt River Canyon west of Durkee or along the Snake River Road south of Richland. Ewes can be seen with their lambs this time of year. 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.

Elk and deer can be seen with their young. Give them extra space to avoid separating young from the group. Remember to leave any young wildlife where you found them. 7/29/14.

GRANT COUNTY

Quail chicks can be viewed along roads and in riparian areas. For the avid birder, the best place to see the most diversity of songbirds this time of year are in and around riparian areas.

As the snow recedes on the Strawberry Mountains mountain goats can be readily seen. The best places to see mountain goats are High Lake and Little Strawberry Lake. Nannies can be seen with their kids at both locations.

Fawns and calves are becoming more visible this time of year. Deer and elk will be seeking higher elevations as summer heats up and this is a great opportunity to view some of their young as they migrate. Please leave fawns and calves alone; moms may not be visible but are close by. 7/7/14.

MORROW, GILLIAM and WHEELER COUNTIES

Summer is here, and most of our birds are fledged for the Heppner District. House finches, northern oriels, mourning doves, western kingbirds, horned larks, and the ever present American kestrel, can be seen in many of the yards of the area.

In areas with sage brush loggerheaded shrikes can be seen moving about. Horned larks can be seen in most open areas of grass and wheat. Grasshopper sparrows can be seen in the northern portion of the District.

California quail can be seen with their broods along most areas that have good riparian vegetation. Chukar and Hungarian partridge can be seen out with their broods along the steeper areas of the foothills. Pheasant can be seen with their broods along the alfalfa fields in the area.

Only our common raptors remain―northern harrier, red-tailed hawk and a few golden eagles in areas with habitat for them. The occasional Swainson’s hawk can still be seen in the north end of the District.

Deer and elk can be seen with their young in the forested areas of the district. The fawns and claves are moving with their mothers now. Watch meadows at dawn and dusk for the best chance so see elk; deer are more hit and miss. Pileated woodpeckers can be seen in the areas of the forest with large snags. Turkeys can be seen with their young moving around and feeding. 7/29/14.

UMATILLA COUNTY

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

UNION COUNTY

Ladd Marsh Wildlife Area

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

The Tule Lake Public Access Area and autoroute are open to the public through Sept 30. The Glass Hill Unit is open to public entry for foot and horse traffic only. Please see the note above regarding daily permits. Visitors are advised to carefully read posted signs and consult game bird regulations before entering the wildlife area. 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.

As is typical for late summer and early fall, water levels are extremely low. Waterfowl are concentrated in the remaining ponds and wetlands including the Foothill Road refuge.

Shorebird migration has slowed as shallow flats have dried out but some shorebirds may still be seen.

Great Blue Herons and Great Egrets have been taking advantage of fish stranded in small pockets of water. As many as 50 great egrets were recently seen foraging in the remnants of one pond.

Sandhill Cranes have begun to gather in large groups in preparation for their migration south. Look for them in shallow flats, in the Foothill Rd refuge and in fields around the valley. 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.

For more information on access rules for Ladd Marsh Wildlife Area, please consult the Oregon Game Bird Regulations or call the wildlife area (541) 963-4954. 9/16/14.

WALLOWA COUNTY

The elk on the Zumwalt Prairie are on the open prairie now and the mid-elevation forests. Occasional large herds can be seen from the Zumwalt Road or on The Nature Conservancy’s Zumwalt Prairie Preserve. Once you find a herd, use binoculars or a spotting scope to observe the animals. Another good area to spot elk is from the Troy Road as it passes through the Shilo Ranch on the north end of Powwatka Ridge. This is a county road, but is bordered on both sides by private land. Please watch from the road and don’t trespass on the ranch.

A good place to view mountain goats and bighorn sheep is near Hat Point above Hells Canyon.They often congregate just north of the USFS lookout tower to lick salt along the rim.

Resident waterfowl can still be seen flying into Wallowa Lake in the evenings from the county park at the north end of the lake. Canada geese can be seen feeding in agricultural fields and along streams around the county, and many broods have already hatched so look for young goslings around ponds and along streams in the valley. 9/23/14


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SNAKE RIVER ZONE: FISHING

New salmon, steelhead, sturgeon endorsement

Beginning Jan. 1, 2014 anglers fishing for salmon, steelhead or sturgeon in the Columbia River and its tributaries will be required to have a Columbia River Basin endorsement.

See a map of the Basin and get more information.

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

Anglers are reportedly catching good numbers of crappie averaging 7 to 8-inches. Fishing is also good for bass and catfish.

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

Fishing remains good for bass and channel catfish, some trout are also being picked-up at tributary mouths.

HELLS CANYON RESERVOIR: trout, crappie, bass, catfish

Fishing remains good for bass and channel catfish, some trout are also being picked-up at tributary mouths.

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

The Snake River closed to salmon fishing Sunday, July 27.

Fishing for smallmouth bass can be fantastic throughout the summer in Hell’s Canyon. Smallmouth are abundant in Hells Canyon and can be found in nearly every spot where the water slows.

Fall chinook season is open in Hells Canyon from the Washington state line to the boundary below Hells Canyon Dam. Fish will be arriving soon and catch rates can be good. Steelhead are arriving and fishing will start picking up sharply in the coming weeks. Barbless hooks are required when fishing for salmon, steelhead and sturgeon in Hells Canyon. Also remember a Columbia Basin Endorsement is required when fishing for salmon, steelhead and sturgeon in the Snake River.

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

Get updated information on flow levels.

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

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

Flows at the Nyssa gauge were 9,860 (June 17). Flows at the Weiser gauge were 14,800 cfs. Over the last week water temperatures ranged from 55 to 72˚F at the Weiser gauge and 62° to 74°F at Nyssa.

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COLUMBIA RIVER ZONE: FISHING

Weekend Fishing Opportunities:

  • The fall salmon season is open from Buoy 10 upstream to the Oregon/Washington Border above McNary Dam (see Sport Fishing Regulation Updates page for retention details).
  • Coho fishing is excellent at Buoy 10.
  • Chinook fishing is fair to excellent between Warrior Rock and Bonneville Dam.
  • White sturgeon retention is closed but remains an option for catch-and-release fishing.
  • Walleye fishing is fair in Troutdale.

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

Salmon, Steelhead and Shad

On the lower Columbia this past weekend there were 823 salmonid boats and 77 Oregon bank anglers counted from Bonneville Dam downstream to Tongue Point on Saturday’s (9/20) flight; and 422 Oregon boats at Buoy 10. Anglers at Buoy 10 averaged 3.9 coho and 0.10 Chinook caught per boat. In the gorge, boat anglers averaged 1.25 Chinook and 0.05 coho caught per boat, while anglers fishing in Troutdale averaged 0.44 Chinook and 0.03 coho caught per boat.

In the Portland to Warrior Rock area, boat anglers averaged 0.46 Chinook and 0.01 coho caught per boat, while anglers fishing Warrior Rock to Tongue Point averaged 1.2 Chinook and 0.6 coho caught per boat. Bank anglers fishing in the gorge averaged 0.14 Chinook caught per angler.

Gorge Bank:

Weekend checking showed nine adult Chinook and three jack Chinook kept for 66 bank anglers.

Gorge Boats:

Weekend checking showed 55 adult Chinook, six jack Chinook and one adipose fin-clipped adult coho kept, plus one unclipped adult Coho released for 44 boats (151 anglers).

Troutdale Boats:

Weekend checking showed 79 adult Chinook, 11 jack Chinook and three adipose fin-clipped adult coho kept, plus one adult Chinook and two unclipped adult coho released for 181 boats (416 anglers).

Portland (Sauvie Island) Bank:

Weekend checking showed no catch for two bank anglers.

Portland to Warrior Rock Boats:

Weekend checking showed 78 adult Chinook, 21 jack chinook and one adipose fin-clipped adult coho kept, plus two adult Chinook and one unclipped adult coho released for 174 boats (392 anglers).

St. Helens to Westport Bank:

Weekend checking showed no catch for seven bank anglers.

Warrior Rock to Tongue Point Boats:

Weekend checking showed three adipose fin-clipped adult coho kept, plus three adult coho, 12 adult Chinook and two jack Chinook released for 10 boats (22 anglers).

Estuary Bank (Tongue Point to Clatsop Spit):

No report.

Estuary Boats (Tongue Point to Buoy 10):

Weekend checking showed 530 adipose fin-clipped coho and one adipose fin-clipped steelhead kept, plus 261 unclipped coho and 20 Chinook released for 204 boats (589 anglers).

STURGEON

Lower Columbia River:

Catch and release only. Weekend checking showed one sublegal sturgeon released for one boat (two anglers). Sturgeon creel sampling summaries and catch estimates for Bonneville, The Dalles, and John Day pools: WDFW Mid-Columbia River mainstem sport sampling summary

WALLEYE

Gorge:

No report.

Troutdale:

Weekend checking showed one walleye kept for two boats (three anglers)


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MARINE 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.

Saltwater News Bulletins

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

Marine Reserves

Prohibitions at Oregon’s marine reserves at Cascade Head, Cape Perpetua, Redfish Rocks and Otter Rock are in effect. Fishing, crabbing, clamming, hunting and gathering seaweed are all prohibited. Beach walking, surfing, bird watching, diving and other non-extractive uses continue to be allowed. See complete details and a map of the boundaries of the reserves:

Otter Rock Marine Reserve

Redfish Rocks Marine Reserve and Marine Protected Area

Cape Perpetua Marine Reserve and Marine Protected Area

Cascade Head Marine Reserve and Marine Protected Area

TUNA

As always, access to the albacore is highly dependent on weather and ocean conditions. Overall the fishing was fair to good last week, with the best catch rates out of Charleston and Winchester Bay with 4.5 to 5 fish per angler. Albacore were reported to be as close as 16 miles from shore at some ports.

Albacore are typically in areas where sea surface temperatures (SST) are warmer than 58 degrees and in areas where chlorophyll concentrations are close to 0.25 milligrams per cubic meter. Both of these conditions can change very quickly due to weather and upwelling.

PACIFIC HALIBUT

The summer all-depth Pacific halibut season in the Columbia River Subarea (from Leadbetter Point to Cape Falcon) is open Thursday-Sunday until the quota is reached or Sept. 30. Seventy-four percent of the summer quota remains.

The Columbia River Subarea is open inside the 40-fathom line on days when the all-depth halibut fishery is closed (Monday through Wednesday). Through Sept. 15, 88 percent of the nearshore quota remains.

The Central Coast Subarea (Cape Falcon to Humbug Mountain) nearshore Pacific halibut season (inside the 40-fathom line) is open seven days a week until the quota is taken or Oct. 31. Through Sep. 15, 39 percent of the quota remains for this fishery.

The summer all-depth Pacific halibut season between Cape Falcon and Humbug Mountain is closed.

From Humbug Mountain to the Oregon-California border, Pacific halibut fishing is open seven days per week until the quota is reached or Oct. 31.

A complete map of the sport halibut regulations for 2014 is available on the sport halibut web page.

BOTTOM FISHING

Fishing for bottomfish has been spotty, perhaps due to cold ocean water temperatures. Anglers have had to work to fill their bag limits. A few more lingcod have been showing up in catches.

The ocean outside of the 30-fathom curve (defined by coordinates) is closed to bottom fishing through Sept. 30. The marine fish daily bag limit is seven fish, including one cabezon during the cabezon season from July 1 until the quota is reached. There are separate daily limits for lingcod (two) and flatfish other than Pacific halibut (25).

Remember: yelloweye rockfish and canary rockfish may not be retained.

The Stonewall Bank Yelloweye Rockfish Conservation Area, approximately 15 miles west of Newport, is closed to the take of rockfish, lingcod, flatfish and other species in the groundfish group. The waypoints are the same as in previous years but were misprinted on page 105 of the 2014 Oregon Sport Fishing Regulations book. The correct coordinates are:

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

OCEAN SALMON

Fishing off the Columbia River is open for all coho (no fin clip restriction) and up to 2 Chinook in the daily bag limit. Salmon fishing continues to be great off the north coast, with many Astoria-based anglers getting their limits.

South of Cape Falcon, the non-selective season is continuing for ports from Garibaldi to Port Orford. Fishing for coho remained good from Garibaldi to Newport. Chinook catches were better at Winchester Bay and Charleston, but still generally only fair at best overall.

SHELLFISH

Razor clams

The annual razor clam conservation closure for Clatsop beaches started on July 15. Since 1967 ODFW has closed the 18 miles of beach north of Tillamook Head so that young clams can establish themselves there during the summer. ODFW’s annual razor clam stock assessment survey is underway. Preliminary information indicates that large numbers of small razor clams have entered the population, and adult razor clams should be abundant in 2015. Clatsop beaches will reopen to recreational razor clamming Oct. 1.

The Oregon Department of Agriculture and the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife announced the closure of recreational and commercial harvesting of razor clams from the California border to Heceta Head, north of Florence on the central Oregon Coast. The closure is due to elevated levels of amnesic shellfish toxin (ASP) or domoic acid toxins and 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 clam are still available along Oregon beaches in the region between Heceta Head and Tillamook Head.

Razor clammers should pay close attention to the surf forecasts and be on the beach one to two hours before low tide. If the forecast calls for combined seas over 8 or 10 feet, razor clamming can be very difficult because the clams tend to show much less in those conditions.

Bay Clams

Low tides are now in the evenings. Low tides as high as +1.0 to +2.0 feet can still allow clamming opportunities, especially for purple varnish clams that can sometimes be found when the tide is as high as +4.0 feet. Sport clammers should be able to collect daily limits of cockles, gaper clams and butter clams from the popular sites in Tillamook Bay, Netarts Bay, Siletz Bay, Yaquina Bay, Alsea Bay, Coos Bay and several other locations along the coast.

Recreational shellfish safety status, as of Aug. 29:

  • Razor clams are closed from the Oregon/California border north to Heceta Head (north of Florence) due to elevated levels of amnesic shellfish toxin (ASP) or domoic acid.
  • Due to potential biotoxins, consuming whole scallops is not recommended. However, a scallop’s adductor muscle does not accumulate biotoxins and may be safe for consumption. Scallops are not being sampled for biotoxins at this time.

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

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

Crabs

Bay crabbing has slowed in some estuaries, compared to recent weeks. The best months for bay crabbing in Oregon are August through November. Check out the monthly crabbing report for the most recent data.

Crabbing has been moderate to good in the ocean from virtually every port in Oregon, although some anecdotal reports suggest crabbers had to work harder for their catches last week. The recreational ocean crabbing season is open through Oct. 15.

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


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MARINE ZONE: VIEWING

Marine Mammals

Boaters and beach-goers have enjoyed lots of marine mammal sightings on the central and south coast recently, including Steller sea lion mother-pup pairs and harbor seals around Orford Reef, widespread gray whale feeding activity, and one report of blue whales just south of Waldport.

Sea Turtles

A beached sea turtle was found in Florence last month, and returned to the ocean by well-intentioned passers-by. Although several species of sea turtles occur in the ocean off the Pacific Northwest coast, they typically are not found on our beaches unless they are seriously sick or injured.

Strandings are often seen in late fall and early winter during a time when ocean conditions are transitioning, possibly trapping turtles in colder waters, where they may become hypothermic.

Stranded sea turtles (or cetaceans) should be reported to the Oregon State Police, Wildlife Division at 1-800-452-7888.

A trained response team will evaluate stranded turtles and transport them to an authorized rehabilitation facility such as the Oregon Coast Aquarium, for appropriate treatment and hopefully release in warmer waters after recovery.

More information on this and other wildlife topics is available from the US Fish & Wildlife Service.

Seabirds

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.


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

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