OREGON DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND WILDLIFE

Mobile Quick Links


Welcome to the ODFW Recreation Report - April 15, 2014

Fishing, Hunting and Wildlife Viewing

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


Spring trout fishing

As spring progresses, trout fishing will only get better. Stocking schedules for all zones have been posted on the trout stocking page, as are Google-based maps showing all stocking locations.

Easy Angling Oregon

We recently revised this popular publication to include 101 great places for families and newcomers to fish throughout Oregon. Easy Angling Oregon.

Spring turkey hunting open April 15-May 31

Tips for beginners and field reports/forecasts from ODFW district wildlife biologists are available at the spring turkey hunting forecast.

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.

Become an ODFW volunteer angling instructor

The agency will be hosting angler instructor training in Springfield on Saturday, April 26 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Department of Forestry at 3150 Main Street, Springfield, Ore. 97478. Preregistration by April 23 is required. To register, contact Darlene Sprecher at (503) 947-6025 or by e-mail at Darlene.m.sprecher@state.or.us.

Closure of Wallowa Mountain Loop Road (Forest Road 39)

A 13-mile stretch of the Wallowa Mountain Loop road, also known as the North Pine section of FSR 39, is closed for construction. Please see the Wallowa Whitman Loop Road Updates page for the latest information and maps.


Back to top

NORTHWEST ZONE: FISHING

Many coastal rivers close to steelhead fishing at the end of March (to protect smolts migrating out) so anglers are reminded to check the regs prior to fishing a particular river after March.

Whiskey Creek Hatchery is hosting their annual fin-clipping party on Saturday, April 12. The hatchery is located along Netarts Bay. Volunteers are needed to clip 100,000 spring Chinook juveniles to be released into Tillamook Bay streams. Clipping begins at 9 a.m. and continues until done. Lunch and refreshements are provided. No experience required. Contact ODFW in TIllamoook (503-842-2741) for more information.

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.

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

Cape Meares, Smith, Tahoe, and Lytle lakes and Lorens and Nedonna Pond were stocked the week of April 7. Town, South, North, and Hebo lakes are schedule to be stocked the week of April 14.

A family fishing event is scheduled for Saturday, April 19 at Hebo Lake. Activities will run from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

MID COAST LAKES

Trout fishing is good in most areas as water temperatures have warmed and stocking has occurred multiple times. The trout fishery can offer anglers of all experience levels some great fishing opportunities and can be a great way to introduce kids into fishing. Prime stocking occurs March, April and May in Mid Coast water bodies. Be sure to check out the 2014 stocking schedule on the ODFW web page for the most up to date information.

Devils Lake recently experienced a large blue/green algae bloom. However, eating fish from this waterbody is safe. When there are elevated levels of blue green algae, anglers are advised to remove all internal organs and skin. For the latest water quality monitoring data, please visit the Devils Lake Water Improvement District website.

ALSEA RIVER: steelhead

Fishing is slow with the upper river being the most productive. Wild fish tend to make up most of the catch this time of year.

NEHALEM RIVER: steelhead

Steelhead are available in the mainstem Nehalem. Fishing should be fair to good depending on water levels. The river should drop into good shape with the dry weather this week. Very few hatchery fish are present, so fishing is primarily catch-and-release. The river upstream of Hwy 26 is closed as of April 1.

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

NESTUCCA RIVER AND THREE RIVERS: steelhead, Chinook

Fishing for winter steelhead remains fair to good, although success may taper off as the river drops and clears this week. Both hatchery and wild fish will show in the catch. Some fish are available in Three Rivers, but most are caught in the main river this time of year. The river upstream of Moon Creek closed March 31. Spring Chinook season opened April 1, but few fish are present in April. Fishing is generally very slow most of this month.

SALMON RIVER:

The river is closed to fishing April 1 – May 23 to protect out migrating salmon and trout smolts. The river will re-open on May 24 the start of the trout season.

SILETZ RIVER: steelhead

The winter steelhead fishery is slow and few quality hatchery fish remain. This time of year is when native steelhead tend to be more prevelant in the fishery as they are nearing or are already spawning. Over the next few weeks, summer steelhead will start to transition into the fishery. Good bank access is from Moonshine Park up to the deadline.

SIUSLAW RIVER: steelhead

The winter steelhead fishery is very slow with the last day to fish for steelhead in the Whittaker Creek vicinity on April 15. After words, all areas above tidewater are closed to fishing until the trout opener on May 24.

TILLAMOOK BAY: sturgeon, Chinook

Sturgeon fishing should be fair. Spring Chinook angling opened April 1, but expect fishing to be slow until later in the month.

TRASK RIVER: steelhead, Chinook

Winter steelhead fishing should be fair to good. Fish will be spread out. Cover lots of water and adjust your techniques to the conditions to entice some bites, especially as the water gets clear and lower. Side drifting, plugs, or bobber and jig are all productive techniques. The North and South Forks are closed to angling as of April 1. Spring Chinook fishing is usually very slow in April as few fish have arrived yet.

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

WILSON RIVER: steelhead, Chinook

Winter steelhead fishing should be fair. The river will be very low and clear by later in the week. The catch is a mix of hatchery and wild fish. Spring Chinook angling opened April 1, but don’t expect to see many in the river until next month.

YAQUINA RIVER: steelhead

The Yaquina and Big Elk are closed to angling April 1 – May 23 and will re-open with the trout season on May 24. Tide water remains open year round for marine species.


Back to top

NORTHWEST ZONE: NORTHCOAST HUNTING

OPEN: COUGAR, CONTROLLED SPRING BEAR

Use the Oregon Hunting Map to see where to hunt.

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

Spring Bear controlled seasons opened April 1 in the Saddle Mtn., Wilson and Trask units. It is still early in the season so hunting should be slow initially, but will pick up with warmer weather. Snow is almost non-existent in the northern coast range, so getting around the forest should not be a problem. As the season progresses into May, the use of calf or fawn distress calls should become more effective. Like with cougar, bears must be checked in to an ODFW within 10 days of harvest – unfrozen and with propped open to allow biologists access to the teeth.


Back to top

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.

Gray whales can be visible in the Pacific Ocean as they pass by the north coast on their way to the Bering Sea from Baja California. Some traditional viewpoints on the north coast include Cape Kiwanda near Pacific City, Cape Lookout near Netarts, Cape Meares near Oceanside, Neah-Kah-Nie Mtn. near Manzanita, Cape Falcon near Arch Cape, Silver Point near Cannon Beach, and Tillamook Head near Seaside. The migrating gray whales should be visible along the coast well into April. For best viewing, bring you binoculars.

One of the true harbingers of spring, the turkey vultures, were seen this past week in various areas of the north coast. It won’t be long until the swallows arrive!

Songbirds are becoming much more vocal in forested habitats. Most birds vocalizing now are year-round residents, such as winter wrens and Amercian robins, but it won’t be long until neotropical migrants show up. The chorus in the forest will be much more diverse in the next month or so.

TILLAMOOK COUNTY

Steller sea lions are present in good numbers (as usual) at the Three Arch Rocks NWR near Oceanside. This larger cousin to the common California sea lion is federally listed as endangered along the Pacific Coast, but is locally abundant in some areas of the Oregon coast. Although more numerous on the southern Oregon coast, this population is the one stronghold of these sea lions on the north coast.

CLATSOP COUNTY

Jewell Meadows Wildlife Area

Elk viewing has been good at Jewell Meadows Wildlife Area. Elk have been visible in the mornings and evenings most days on the Fishawk Tract. There have also been elk visible on the Beneke Tract. Brochures with maps of the area are available at the main viewing area along Hwy 202. Many of the larger bulls have started to shed their antlers. Antler shedding will continue through April. Migrant song birds are starting to return to the wildlife area. Look for swallows near view area fence lines and gliding over open meadows.

Please remember that areas posted as wildlife refuge are closed to public access. Areas along Beneke Creek posted closed to entry during any Saddle Mountain elk season are open to public access starting March 16. Wildlife Area Parking Permits are now required on the wildlife area (as of Jan. 1, 2014).


Back to top

SOUTHWEST ZONE: FISHING

Weekend fishing opportunities

  • Several lakes in Coos County have been recently stocked, including Empire and Tenmile lakes that will be stocked this week.
  • April is typically a good month to fish for striped bass in the Coquille River.
  • Cooler weather this week could put Chinook in the lower Rogue back on the bite.

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

Fishing for warmwater gamefish is improving with the warmer weather. Anglers will do best by fishing bait or working lures slowly. Look for fish to move into the shallow areas along the shore on the warm afternoons. Agate Lake is 100 percent full.

APPLEGATE RESERVOIR: largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, trout

Anglers are having fair to good fishing for rainbow trout, with multiple limits of 10-14 inch fish being taken recently. Boat ramps should now be operable for launching trailered boats but anglers should call the Applegate Ranger District to verify. With the recent heavy rain, the reservoir is a bit turbid but that sediment should settle out with time. Please be aware that the streams flowing into Applegate Reservoir are currently closed to fishing. Only the reservoir is open to fishing at this time.

APPLEGATE RIVER: rainbow and cutthroat trout, winter steelhead

The Applegate River is currently closed to fishing but will re-open on May 24 for trout fishing. Consult the regulations for more information.

ARIZONA POND: rainbow trout

Trout fishing has been good for anglers. Bobber fishing with worms or casting flies or spinners all work well. The pond will be stocked throughout the spring and is a great place to take a kid. The pond is managed by Oregon Parks and Recreation Department and is open only to youth 17 and under.

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 will be stocked in the next couple weeks. A few may be just shy of legal size for harvest. 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:

Closed to fishing until May 24.

Chetco River flows near Brookings

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

Cooper Creek has been stocked with about 7,000 trout so far this spring, and will be stocked with about 1,000 more fish in the next couple weeks. A few of the fish may be just shy being legal size for harvest. Trout fishing with PowerBait has been succesful. 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. Largemouth bass are moving into the shallows for spawning and a nice-sized bass was caught recently at Cooper Creek.

COOS COUNTY Lakes/Ponds: rainbow trout

Empire Lakes and Tenmile Lakes are scheduled to be stocked this week with legal size rainbow trout. Trophy trout are scheduled to be stocked this week in Bradley Lake, Powers Pond, and Empire Lakes. Anglers have been catching trout by fishing PowerBait near the bottom or by casting spoons/spinners. Fly anglers have been catching trout casting and retrieving small streamer or nymph patterns.

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

Steelhead fishing is open in the Coos Basin until April 30. In the Coos Basin, from Dec. 1 through April 30, anglers may keep one additional adipose fin-clipped steelhead per day for a total aggregate of 3 adult fish harvested daily. Anglers wanting to fish the South Fork Coos River should be aware that Weyerhaeuser typically does not allow angling access after the end of March.

Anglers are still catching rockfish and lingcod inside Coos Bay around the jetties, submerged rockpiles, and near the railroad trestle near the Highway 101 Bridge. Fishing is usually best around slack tides.

Crabbing in Coos Bay continues to be fairly slow but some crabbers have been able to harvest some legal size crab.

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: steelhead, striped bass

Steelhead fishing is open in the Coquille Basin until April 30. In the Coquille Basin, from Dec. 1 through April 30, anglers may keep one additional adipose fin-clipped steelhead per day for a total aggregate of 3 adult fish harvested daily.

April is typically a good month to fish for striped bass in the Coquille River. Good places to fish are around the Arago Boat Ramp, Johnson Mill Pond, and Sturdivant Park.

DIAMOND LAKE: trout

Diamond Lake received an additional 16,000 trout in late August. These were 8-inch legal-sized trout. The lake also received about 20,000 sub-legal trout in November. There will be some good fishing opportunity with the open water around the shoreline of the lake. The lake is over 60 percent open water. Although the road around the lake and the Forest Service campgrounds are still closed, people can launch boats from the North Boat ramp.

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:

Closed to fishing until May 24.

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

Emigrant was stocked with 3,500 legal-sized rainbow trout last week, so trout fishing should be good. Fishing for bass, crappie, and other warmwater fish should be good, especially on the warmer afternoons. The reservoir is currently 68 percent full, and the boat ramp at the park is open dawn to dusk.

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

Expo Pond was stocked with another 1,500 legal-sized rainbow trout last week, making this a good destination for anglers looking to catch trout close to home. With the warm weather, angling for largemouth bass, crappie, and other warmwater fish should be good as well.

FISH LAKE: rainbow trout, brook trout, spring Chinook

Fish Lake is ice-free, is 61 percent full, and offers fishing for stocked rainbow trout, spring Chinook salmon, and naturally produced brook trout. Tiger trout have been stocked but these fish must be released unharmed.

There are reports of good numbers of spring Chinook in the 10-12 inch range being caught. Anglers are encouraged to report catches of larger spring Chinook or tiger trout to the local ODFW district office at 541-826-8774.

FLORAS LAKE: rainbow, cutthroat trout

The lake is best fished from a boat, as there is limited bank angling. 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. The older coho are generally 12 to 14-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. Some hatchery steelheads have recently been placed in Galesville. Galesville has been stocked with about 7,000 trout so far this spring. A few may be just shy of legal size for harvest.

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

Trout fishing was good over the weekend for both boat and bank anglers. The lake was stocked this week with catchable and 1 pound trout. Along with the previous stockings of trout, the lake should fish good through the spring. 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

According to the Forest Service the road to Hemlock and Lake in the Woods is now open.

HOWARD PRAIRIE RESERVOIR: Closed to fishing until April 26.

HYATT LAKE: Closed to fishing until April 26.

ILLINOIS RIVER: trout, steelhead

The Illinois River and its tributaries are currently closed to fishing. Consult the angling regulations for more information.

Illinois River flows at Kerby

LAKE MARIE: rainbow trout

The lake has been stocked with about 2,000 trout and will receive more trout in early April. Most anglers use PowerBait or worms.

LAKE SELMAC: trout, largemouth bass, bluegill, crappie

Lake Selmac was stocked last week with 5,000 legal-sized trout. Still fishing with PowerBait or worms, or trolling lures should all be productive for trout. Fishing largemouth bass, bluegill, crappie, and other warmwater fish should be good with the warmer weather. Anglers targeting warmwater species will do best by fishing bait or working lures slowly. Look for fish to move into the shallow areas along the shore on the warm afternoons.

LEMOLO RESERVOIR: rainbow trout, brown trout, kokanee

Opened for fishing April 1. The daily trout limit is 5 per day, but from April 1 – April 26, all brown trout must be released. Brown trout can be retained as part of the daily trout limit from April 27 – October 31. In addition to brown trout, Lemolo has rainbow trout and kokanee. The Poole Creek boat ramp should be accessible unless additional snow falls. Lemolo Lake Resort is open and can provide information on the latest conditions and fish tips. View their Web site or call 541-957-8354. Spring trout fishing can be very productive.

LOON LAKE: rainbow trout, bass, bluegill

Loon Lake was stocked with about 7,500 trout so far this spring. The lake can also provide good fishing for crappie, bluegill and bass as the water warms up. The Loon Lake Resort boat ramp is now open.

LOST CREEK RESERVOIR: rainbow trout, spring Chinook, bass

Trout fishing has been good at Lost Creek Reservoir for both stocked, legal-sized rainbow trout and larger trout remaining from last year’s stocking, and the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife will stock the reservoir with another 20,000 legal-sized rainbow trout this week. Fishing has also been good for stocked spring Chinook that reach 16-17 inches long. Anglers fishing from the bank have taken limits of rainbows using Powerbait, while boat anglers are doing well by trolling wedding ring spinners tipped with worms.

Fishing for largemouth and smallmouth bass should improve with the warmer weather.
Lost Creek is currently 97 percent full and the surface temperature is 55oF.

MEDCO POND: rainbow trout, largemouth bass, bluegill

Anglers have been catching rainbow trout and bluegill.

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

Recreational Dungeness crabbing is open in the ocean.

Fishing for bottom fish including rockfish, and lingcod is now closed outside of the 30-fathom curve until the end of September. Fishing for bottom fish has been good when the ocean has been calm enough to get out. Late winter/early spring is a great time to catch big lingcod in fairly shallow water. The marine fish daily bag limit is seven fish and a separate daily limit for lingcod (two). Retention of cabezon is not allowed until July 1.

Salmon season (except for coho) is open in the ocean from March 15 – April 30. The ocean salmon season for the rest of the 2014 will be determined in early April. Some chinook salmon have been caught between Bandon and Charleston.

Anglers are starting to pick up a few surf perch. Fishing is usually best on the incoming tide. Anglers have good success using sand shrimp or sand worms for catching surf perch.

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 bass will be moving into the shallows this time of year. The reservoir received about 2,500 trout during March and will receive more in April. A few may be shy of legal size for harvest.

REINHART PARK POND: trout

Reinhart Park Pond has been stocked with legal and trophy-sized rainbow trout.

Fishing for bluegill and crappie should pick up with the warmer weather.

ROGUE RIVER

Rogue River, lower: steelhead, spring Chinook

Spring Chinook are spread throughout the lower river, but low and clear river conditions is making it tough on anglers trying to catch them. The cooler weather this week should drop river temperatures and may get the spring Chinook on the bite. Before heading out, anglers should check river flows, water temperatures, and tides as these are all important to catching spring Chinook.

The steelhead run in winding down, but anglers can still expect to catch a few steelhead in April.

Rogue River, middle: steelhead, trout

Angling for winter steelhead has been good. Drifting bait, backtrolling plugs, casting spinners, and fly fishing have all been productive. A few spring chinook have caught in the middle Rogue, but there are not many of these fish this far upriver yet. The flow at Grants Pass was 2,810 cfs and the water temperature was 55°F on April 14.

The Rogue River is closed to trout fishing until May 24. Consult the regulations for more information.

Rogue River, upper: steelhead, trout

Anglers are still doing well for winter steelhead on the upper Rogue. Drifting bait, backtrolling plugs, casting spinners, and fly fishing are all working well.

The release from Lost Creek Reservoir was 2,000 cfs and the water temperature was 48°F on April 14. The flow at Gold Ray was 2,510 cfs with a water temperature 54°F. The outflow from Lost Creek Reservoir will be reduced to 1620 cfs by mid week. The past week, 451 winter steelhead entered the collection pond at Cole Rivers Hatchery bringing the season total to 1,935. That is the highest total to date for winter steelhead returns in the last ten years. The first spring chinook of the season also entered the hatchery.

Trout fishing is closed on the Rogue River until May 24. Consult the regulations for more information.

Rogue River, above Lost Creek Reservoir: trout

This reach of the Rogue is open to trout fishing year-round; however, the first stocking of rainbow trout for this year will not occur until late May. Holdover rainbow trout, and naturally produced rainbow, cutthroat, brown and brook trout are available in the river and in many tributaries. Lower flow levels this spring should make for better early-season fishing.

SIXES RIVER: Closed to fishing until May 24.

SMITH RIVER, Umpqua: steelhead, sturgeon, striped bass

The mainstem Smith from the mouth to Spencer Creek and the North Fork to Johnson Creek closes for chinook and finclipped steelhead from April 1 until May 24. It remains open for fin-clipped steelhead from Spencer Creek upstream to Sisters and from Johnson Creek to Bridge 10 through the end of April. Anglers will start fishing for strippers as spring progresses.

SODA SPRINGS RESERVOIR: Closed to fishing.

TENMILE BASIN: steelhead, largemouth bass, trout

Steelhead fishing is open in the Tenmile Basin until April 30. Most steelhead anglers have put away their steelhead fishing gear for the year. In the Tenmile Basin, from Dec. 1 through April 30, anglers may keep one additional adipose fin-clipped steelhead per day for a total aggregate of 3 adult fish harvested daily.

Fishing for largemouth bass is starting to pick up in Tenmile Lakes. Look for actively feeding fish along the shoreline in the warmer shallow water. Anglers will have the best success with slower moving lures.

Trout fishing in Tenmile Lakes should start to pick up this month as the water temperatures warm up. Most trout anglers in Tenmile troll wedding rings or other types of spinners usually tipped with a night crawler. Hatchery rainbow trout will be stocked in Tenmile Lakes this week.

TOKETEE LAKE: brown trout, rainbow trout

Fishing is open in Toketee year-round. Fishing for brown trout has been good with the recent warmer tempertures. The campground and boat ramp are now open. For more information call the U.S. Forest Service at 541-498-2531.

UMPQUA HIGH LAKES AND FOREBAYS: trout

Clearwater Forebay #2 received about 500 nice 14-inch trout around 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. The roads to these lakes are not plowed during the winter, but there has been very little snowpack this year.

UMPQUA RIVER, MAINSTEM: steelhead

The mainstem Umpqua is closed to wild steelhead harvest, but remains open year-round for adipose fin-clipped steelhead. This fishery is primarily catch-and-release since the number of hatchery fish is relatively low compared to the number of wild fish. People interested in harvesting a steelhead should fish the South Umpqua from late January through April.

Springers have started to arrive. Most anglers will start fishing in the Scottsburg area and move upstream as the season progresses. A nice 40-pound springer was recently caught in the Elkton area. The mainstem Umpqua is closed to trout fishing until the spring trout opener May 24.

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. Through the end of February over 5,700 steelhead have been counted, which puts the count on par with the last two years when over 12,000 winter steelhead were counted. The first springer passed Winchester Dam on March 16. More will be arriving with the increase in water temperatures.

Note that from Oct. 1 through June 30, angling 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 angling.

North Umpqua River water levels at Winchester Dam

UMPQUA RIVER, SOUTH: winter steelhead

The South Umpqua is open for winter steelhead fishing through April 30. The South Umpqua is then closed to all fishing until May 24. Most hatchery steelhead return to the South Umpqua, so anglers interested in harvesting a hatchery fish will be most successful in the South. The rain has improved conditions on the South. Both bank and boat anglers have been doing well and a good number of hatchery fish have been caught recently, especially between Canyonville and Lawson Bar.

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

Willow Lake was stocked last week with 4,500 legal-sized rainbow trout. Trolling or casting spoons or spinners has been productive, as has still fishing with worms or PowerBait. The boat ramp at the park is open dawn to dusk, and the lake is currently 99 percent full.

WINCHESTER BAY: steelhead

Steelhead will be migrating up the Umpqua for the next several months as they transition from winter steelhead to summer steelhead. Most steelhead fishing in the lower Main is catch and release. Fishing the Triangle and South Jetty has been good for rockfish.

WINCHUCK RIVER:

Closed to fishing until May 24.


Back to top

SOUTHWEST ZONE: HUNTING

OPEN: COUGAR, COYOTE, SPRING BEAR (SW tags sold out), SPRING TURKEY (April 15-May 31)

Wolves and coyotes can look alike

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

Spring turkey hunting is now open; see the turkey hunting forecast for what to expect.

Spring Black Bear season opened April 1 and continues through May 31. Generally bears are very inactive and difficult to find in the early part of this season. So far, very few reports of bear sightings have come to the ODFW office in Coos County, which is to be expected. However, some bears are active now due to the relatively mild weather conditions this spring. Hunters who have an urge to start hunting may find bears if they are slow and methodical in their search. Most active bears will be found on southern exposures where grass is greening up in clear cuts and natural forest openings.

Bear activity will increase as spring progresses. Most bears are takes during the last three weeks of the season. Hunters are reminded to check in bears they harvest with in ten days of harvest. It is important that hunters call the ODFW office where they intend to check harvested bears in to so a biologist can be available.

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.

Coyote populations are good in Coos County and they will often respond to calls. Calling coyotes in the coast range is challenging due to brush. Many landowners with sheep are complaining about losses of sheep to coyote predation. Hunters interested in hunting coyotes may find success in asking for permission to hunt private land where landowners are losing sheep.

DOUGLAS COUNTY

GAME:

Turkey – Turkey season is open April 15-May 31. Last year’s chick/poult counts showed slightly below average production but hunters can expect the spring gobbler hunt this year to be excellent. Over the last 12 years all indicators point to a healthy turkey population in Douglas County. While the hens are off nesting the first part of the season most toms are found on private land sometimes adjacent to public lands. In general, most turkeys are found on or adjacent to low-mid elevation private lands associated with oak savannah habitat. Hunters are reminded to obtain permission before hunting on private lands. Local public lands augmented with turkeys last winter include Tallow Butte and Devil’s Knob in the South Umpqua and N. Bank Habitat Area, Toketee Airstrip and Little Oak Flats in the North Umpqua drainage.

Cougar – Opened on January 1st. Hunters can expect an average year. Cougars are abundant throughout with indicators pointing to stable or increasing numbers. Hunting cougar is a challenge because these animals are very secretive, but harvest success is greatest adjacent to private land with high deer populations using a predator call.

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

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

JACKSON, JOSEPHINE, CURRY COUNTIES

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

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.

Bears – Season opens April 1.Tags for this hunt are provided on a first-come, first-serve basis and are sold out. Bear numbers in the entire region remain high, with highest densities near the coast and the Applegate unit retaining one of the highest harvests for the state. With little rain or snow over the last several months and warm temperatures, bear activity may come earlier this year. Boars will likely to be early with females arriving later in the season. When bears are out they will be feeding in grassy openings. Focus on south facing hill sides in the early mornings and evenings. Good spots to check are skid roads and side roads that are untraveled with lots of grassy margins and bear sign.

Turkey – General season is opening on April 15. Hunters can expect a good turkey season. A more successful 2013 nesting season and a mild winter resulted in a slight increase in turkey numbers for this season. Within Jackson, Josephine and Curry County there are large portions of public land where turkeys are located although private land has more visible turkeys. Don’t be afraid to ask private landowners for permission to hunt their land. Turkeys can cause problems for landowners and they are often willing to allow access to their lands. Turkeys will be feeding on green grasses and insects. Use locator calls before light or after dark to locate roosting trees; then set up in an area of their travel and begin calling as light approaches. Most turkeys are found in low-mid elevation of oak and conifer mixed forests with their associated meadows and clearings. Turkeys are found on most BLM lands and lower elevation Forest Service lands.

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.


Back to top

SOUTHWEST ZONE: VIEWING

COOS COUNTY

Neo-Tropical Migrants

Neo-tropical migrants including Common Yellow Throats are beginning to appear near local wetlands. Many of them are feeding on insects during insect hatches. On days when conditions are good for hatches, birds capitalizing on this food source may be found in profusion and the level of their activity is entertaining to watch.

Good places to watch this interaction are wetlands next to East Bay Drive, which follows the east side of Coos Bay, wetlands along North Bank Road, which follows the Coquille River from Hwy. 42 to Hwy. 101, and Bandon Marsh National Wildlife Refuge.

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 fact, in trouble, contact your local ODFW office to report the animal or contact the Marine Mammal Stranding Network an (800) 452-7888.

Waterfowl

Rain has caused flooding to occur in inland valleys such as the Coquille. The result is that many waterfowl have left the coastal bays and moved into these valleys. Waterfowl numbers will continue to be high as long as agricultural lands in these areas are flooded. A birding tour on North Bank Lane and Hwy. 42S will provide many opportunities to view waterfowl as they feed in these agricultural fields.

Black Brant

Black Brant flocks are beginning to be seen in good numbers around Coos Bay. These migratory, salt water oriented geese are on their northward migration to the North Slope of Alaska and other nesting areas above the Arctic Circle. Good places to view them can be found along Cape Arago Hwy. in Coos Bay.

If you go to see these birds, take your time and look for birds with neck collars. If you find a collared bird note the color of the collar and the numbers or letters on the collar. Then, when convenient, call your local ODFW office and provide the wildlife biologist that information. The biologist will also want to know specifically where and when you saw the bird so he or she can try to confirm the report. 4/8/14.

CURRY, JACKSON, JOSEPHINE COUNTIES

Bird and Wood Duck Boxes

Now is the time to clean out wood duck boxes and bird boxes. After cleaning out wood duck boxes, it is good to put new cedar wood shavings in them; it is not necessary for bird boxes. It is also good to remove all brush and limbs below the wood duck box so the young to have free access to the ground.

Shed Antlers

Now is a good time to get out in the woods and look for shed deer and elk antlers.

Upper and Lower Table Rocks

Two great hikes take you through habitats that range from oak savanna and chaparral to woodland. On the summit, a diversity of wildflowers and wildlife can be found along the trails. Spring can provide some of the best viewing times. More information.

American Dipper

A chunky bird the shape of a wren with a short stubby tail, found in western streams, the American Dipper is North America's only truly aquatic songbird. It catches all of its food underwater in swiftly flowing streams by swimming and walking on the stream bottom. Stands about 7 to 8 ½ inched tall.

Denman Wildlife area

Canada Geese

Canada Geese mate for life and pairs are breaking off from their flocks to find nesting sites. They will begin claiming and defending a small pond or at least a portion of a larger pond for nesting.

Various dog trials will occur on Denman Wildlife Area from the end of March through April. Come watch as dogs demonstrate their ability to obey commands and perform in the field under hunting conditions.

On the Coast

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

Whale watching is good along the coast through the end of May. The northern migration occurs March through May and whales will be cruising closer to shore than they do on the southern migration. Viewing points within Curry County from north to south are Battle Rock, Cape Sebastian, Cape Ferrelo and Harris Beach State Park. 4/8/14.

DOUGLAS COUNTY

Songbirds

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

Purple Martin

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

Ospreys

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

Fish Passage

Winter Steelhead and Spring Chinook migrating upstream passing through Winchester dam fish ladder on the N. Umpqua River which is free and open to the public. To view the migrating Steelhead go to exit 129 on I-5, proceed southeast on 99 to the fish ladder on the north side of the river. 4/15/2014


Back to top

WILLAMETTE ZONE: FISHING

Weekend fishing opportunities:

  • Spring chinook fishing continues on the Willamette River. The most productive spots last week were Portland Harbor and the lower Multnomah Channel.
  • ODFW will host a family fishing event at St. Louis Ponds on Saturday, April 19 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. To ensure there are plenty of fish for participating families, ODFW will stock the pond this week with 2,000 legal-sized, larger and trophy trout. This event is free, and ODFW will supply gear, bait and instruction.
  • Trout stocking is in full gear at locations throughout the Willamette Valley. This week’s releases includes Benson Lake, Bethany Pond, Blue Lake, Canby Pond, Commonwealth Lake, Dorman Pond, Haldeman Pond, Harriet Lake, Hartman Pond, Henry Hagg Lake, Mt. Hood Pond, Progress Lake, Sheridan Pond, St. Louis Ponds, Trojan Ponds, Cottage Grove Reservoir, EE Wilson Pond, Foster Reservoir, Green Peter Reservoir, Hills Creek Reservoir, Junction City Pond, Roaring River Pond, Timber Linn Lake, Walling Pond Walter Wirth Lake, and Waverly Lake.
  • The Clackamas, Molalla and Santiam rivers and Eagle Creek are in good condition for steelhead fishing.

New salmon, steelhead, sturgeon endorsement

Anglers fishing for salmon, steelhead or sturgeon in the Columbia River and its tributaries are now 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.

2014 trout stocking

The 2014 trout stocking schedules for the North Willamette Watershed District and the South Willamette Watershed 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

Alton Baker Canoe Canal was recently stocked with 815 legal-sized and 150 larger sized rainbow trout. Fish are scattered at multiple locations along the length of the Canal. The Canal will be stocked at 2-3 week intervals through early November. Summer steelhead are occasionally caught in this system and anglers are reminded they will need a combined angling tag and a Columbia River Basin Endorsement to legally target or harvest a steelhead. It is legal to fish with two rods in the Alton Baker Canoe Canal, provided the Two-Rod Validation has been purchased.

The canal is located within Alton Baker Park and can be accessed off of Club Road in Eugene. The Canoe Canal is located in downtown Eugene behind Autzen Stadium. 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 April 14 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 April 14 with 1,000 legal sized rainbow trout. This is a 10-acre pond located at Bethany west of Portland. The pond is maintained by Tualatin Hills Park and Rec. Amenities include picnic tables, restrooms, and a paved, ADA accessible trail.

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

Stocked the week of April 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.

BLUE RIVER: trout, steelhead

Blue River both above and below Blue River Reservoir is closed to fishing until April 26, 2014.

BLUE RIVER RESERVOIR: trout, warmwater species

Blue River Reservoir was recently stocked with 3,000 legal sized rainbow. 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.

CANBY POND: rainbow trout

Stocked the week of April 14 with 400 legal-sized rainbow trout and 50 one-pounders.

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

CARMEN RESERVOIR: trout

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

CHEADLE LAKE: bass, bluegill

This 60-acre former mill pond in Lebanon provides an excellent warm water fishing experience for the beginner as well as the seasoned angler. Largemouth bass up to 16 inches and panfish up to 9.5 inches have been caught in the past. To get there take Russell Road east off Main Street about a mile. There is a small boat ramp and ADA fishing dock at the parking lot and foot access most of the way around the pond.

CLACKAMAS RIVER: winter steelhead, summer steelhead, spring Chinook

The Clackamas River has dropped considerably in the past week but is in good shape for steelhead fishing and should remain this way for a few days. The river has been producing both winters and summers from Gladstone up to McIver Park; April is a prime month for winter steelhead fishing in the Clackamas so now is the time to hit the river. It’s also getting closer to spring Chinook time on the Clackamas and there have been a few picked up in the lower river.

Monday hydrological data shows flows at 2,930 cfs, a gauge reading in Estacada of 12.63 ft., and the water temperature near 46°.

CLEAR LAKE: trout

Clear Lake is open to angling all year. 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 is open to catch-and-release fishing for trout.

COMMONWEALTH LAKE: trout, bass, bluegill, crappie

Stocked the week of April 14 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 (Row River Nature Park): trout, warmwater species

Cottage Grove Pond was recently stocked with 2,000 legal-sized rainbow trout.

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 at this time of year.

COTTAGE GROVE RESERVOIR: trout, warmwater species

Cottage Grove Reservoir was recently stocked with 3,000 legal sized rainbow trout. Holdover trout 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 later in spring.

DETROIT RESERVOIR: trout, kokanee

Located 50 miles east of Salem, this large lake (approximately 3,600 acres at full pool) receives over 100,000 trout throughout the year. The reservoir was last stocked in mid-October with 7,000 legal-sized rainbow trout. It was stocked for the first time in 2014 last week with 10,000 legal size rainbow trout. Currently the reservoir is about 15 feet below full below. Mongold boat ramp is available. Check with local outfitters in the town of Detroit for fishing conditions.

DEXTER RESERVOIR: trout

Dexter Reservoir was recently stocked with 2,900 legal-sized rainbow trout. The reservoir is adjacent to Highway 58 near Lowell and is open all year.

DORENA RESERVOIR: trout, warmwater

Dorena Reservoir was last stocked in early April with 6,000 legal-sized rainbow trout. The reservoir is east of Cottage Grove on Row River Road and is open all year.

DORMAN POND: trout

Stocked the week of April 14 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: winter steelhead

Eagle Creek is looking good, showing great color and nice flows; it should continue this way through the weekend. The winter steelhead fishery begins to wind down on the creek in April but there could still be a few fish around; effort has been light which could be an indication of how the catch is going. Fishing the creek for winters requires some flexibility in gear, adjusting color and size to accommodate water conditions. The hatchery has had about 400 steelhead return, a relatively low number as a result of reduced smolt releases a couple of years ago.

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

EE WILSON POND: trout, bluegill

EE Wilson Pond will be stocked this week with another 2,000 legal, 300 larger, and 25 trophy-sized rainbow trout. This is a small angling pond located in the EE Wilson Wildlife management of Camp Adair just off Hwy. 99W between Corvallis and Monmouth. The wildlife area is owned and managed by the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife. Parking permits are required on the wildlife area.

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

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

This 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 is approximately 25 feet below full pool at the moment, which makes Sunnyside Park the only reliable boat ramp at this time. It will be stocked again this week with 5,000 rainbow trout. Please remember that only kokanee and adipose fin-clipped trout may be taken 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 crappie. A boat ramp is available at East Freeway Lake, and there is good bank access around Middle Freeway Lake. Freeway Lakes was stocked again last week with 800 legal and 100 larger size trout. To get there, take the State Police exit in Albany and follow the frontage road south (3 Lakes Road) for several miles.

GREEN PETER RESERVOIR: kokanee, trout, bass

This large reservoir east of Sweet Home is a premier kokanee fishery with a bag limit of 25 fish per day. It also supports stocked rainbow trout and a good population of smallmouth bass. It will be stocked again this week with 6,000 legal size rainbow trout. The kokanee fishery is slowly heating up as fish become more active with the warming temperatures. Most kokanee are being caught between 20-30 feet down. The reservoir level is about 15 feet below full pool and rising slowly. Both Thistle Creek and Whitcomb boat ramps are open.

HALDEMAN POND: trout

Stocked the week of April 14 with 1,750 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.

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

Stocked the week of April 14 with 7,000 legal-sized rainbow trout. This popular 1,110-acre lake near Forest Grove has been closed to fishing since November and reopened to anglers on March 1. This lake also received 125 large brood trout in January and 1,000 2-pounders on Feb. 20, so there are lots of fish to be caught in this premier Northwest Oregon fishing destination. 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 and will be stocked this week with 6,385 legal-sized rainbow trout. This release is in addition to annual fingerling releases into the reservoir. This reservoir is 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:  Closed to fishing until April 26.

HUDDLESTON POND: trout, bass, bluegill

Stocked the week of April 7 with 25 trophy (2 pounds or better) trout; previously stocked with 800 legal-sized and 200 one-pounders. This is a 5-acre pond located within Huddleston Pond Park in the city of Willamina, Ore. A former mill pond, it contains woody debris that provides habitat for bass and bluegill. It reaches a maximum depth of about 10 feet, with shallow "kid-friendly" edges. It is ADA accessible in places, with a restroom and picnic areas nearby. There is paved parking lot and small ramp for people who want to launch small, non-motorized boats.

JUNCTION CITY POND: trout, crappie

Junction City is a popular stocked trout fishing pond located about 2 miles south of Junction City on 99W on the west side of the highway. There is excellent access around the entire 8-acre pond. It has been stocked several times already this year. It will be stocked this week with 850 legal, 100 larger, and 25 trophy-sized rainbow trout. As a reminder, zone regulations apply: five trout daily may be kept and only one over 20 inches.

LEABURG LAKE: Closed to fishing until April 26.

MCKENZIE RIVER below Leaburg Lake: trout, salmon, steelhead

Water levels in the McKenzie are dropping and fishing should pick up as the spring fly hatches begin to emerge. The McKenzie River below Leaburg Lake is currently open to catch-and-release fishing for trout and fishing for harvest for steelhead. Gear use is restricted to flies and lures. A Columbia River Basin Endorsement is required for anglers targeting salmon and steelhead in the McKenzie.

Due to the continued high river flows, there will be no EWEB construction project-related closures of the bridge over Leaburg Dam through the entire month of April. EWEB may have to close the bridge in May for three to five days total. Any such closures would be on weekdays from 8 a.m. to noon, and 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. See the EWEB website for more information.

MCKENZIE RIVER above Leaburg Lake: Closed to fishing until April 26.

MOLALLA RIVER: winter steelhead

The Molalla is in nice shape for winter steelhead fishing with moderate flow and good color. Nearly 4,000 winters have passed at Willamette Falls meaning anglers should find improved catch rates as a portion of these winter fish make their way into the Molalla.

Since most of the steelhead passing the falls this time of year are wild winters, anglers should be aware that a majority of fish entering the Molalla will be unmarked wild fish resulting in a predominantly catch-and-release fishery.

MT HOOD POND: trout

Stocked the week of April 14 with 1,000 rainbow 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

Closed to fishing until May 25. This is a 350-acre reservoir of the Clackamas River behind North Fork Dam approximately 5.2 miles east of Estacada, Ore.

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. The reservoir will be open to fishing from May 25 through Oct. 31. All other access points to North Fork Reservoir will remain 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)

PROGRESS LAKE: trout, brown bullhead

Stocked the week of April 14 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.

ROARING RIVER POND: trout

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

SALMON CREEK: trout

Salmon Creek is a tributary to the Middle Fork Willamette River east of Oakridge. It is open to catch-and-release angling for trout using flies and lures through April 26, 2014.

SALT CREEK: trout

Salt Creek is a tributary to the Middle Fork Willamette River east of Oakridge. It is open to catch-and-release angling for trout using flies and lures through April 26.

SANDY RIVER: winter steelhead

The Sandy has dropped and rounded into decent shape for steelhead and Chinook fishing; it’s producing winter steelhead, some summer steelhead, and even a handful of spring Chinook in the lower river. Anglers have been landing winters between Oxbow and Dabney along with some good catch numbers seen up at Cedar Creek. The Sandy Hatchery has processed over 1,500 winter steelhead so far this spring.

Monday morning hydrological data shows the river below Bull Run at 2,270 cfs, a gauge reading of 9.77 ft. and the water temperature near 48°.

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

Flows currently stand at 4,100 cfs at Mehama, a significant drop from last week, and excellent conditions for fishing. Best conditions might be found in the lower reaches where new summer and winter steelhead are staging. Counts at Willamette Falls as of April 7 show 3,810 winter steelhead have entered the upper basin, along with the first few spring Chinook and 523 fresh summer steelhead, although it will be a few weeks before they can be found in the Santiam in good numbers. At Bennett dam our video counts show 288 winter steelhead along with 3 summer steelhead have passed above as of March 31. Warming water temperatures should make fish more active. 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 the Minto Fish Facility is open to salmon and steelhead fishing.

River levels best for fishing are below 3,000 cfs at the Mehama gauge (currently the gauge is around 10,000 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: The boat slide at Upper Bennett Dam on the North Santiam was repaired on 1/28/14 and is now ready for use. For boaters, portage around Upper Bennett between Mehama and Stayton should be much easier.

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

Flows in the South Santiam have come down significantly since last week, and conditions are excellent. Currently, they are at 2,970 cfs with good clarity. Spring Chinook and summer steelhead have begun to show up at Willamette Falls, but are still a couple of weeks away from entering the Santiams in any significant number. Winter steelhead and a few fresh summer steelhead are in the basin right now and can be found from the mouth up to Foster dam. So far, 69 winter and 5 summer steelhead have entered the fish ladder below Foster dam as of April 8.

SHERIDAN POND: trout

Stocked the week of April 14 with 1,000 legal-sized rainbow trout. Sheridan Pond is a 2 1/2-acre pond located on the edge of town. It provides excellent access for families and kids. Good parking. From Hwy. 18, take exit 33 to Balston Rd., turn right and left 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.

SMITH RESERVOIR: trout

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

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

ODFW will host a family fishing event at St. Louis Ponds on Saturday, April 19 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. To ensure there are plenty of fish for participating families, ODFW will stock the pond this week with 2,000 legal-sized, larger and trophy trout. This event is free, and ODFW will supply gear, bait and instruction.

St. Louis Ponds is a 260-acre open space owned by ODFW and Marion County Parks. The central portion of this site is a fishing park that boasts seven ponds stocked with a variety of warm water.

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. For more information, contact Jeff Fulop at (971) 673-6034.

SUNNYSIDE PARK POND: trout, bass, bluegill

This 4-acre pond is located 2 miles above the upper end of Foster Reservoir. It gets stocked with over 2,000 rainbow trout a year starting in February. It was stocked in early April with 1,000 legal and 50 larger size rainbow trout. Sunnyside Pond also offers bluegill and largemouth bass year round. The park has a campground and picnic area and is a great place to take kids fishing. There is also boat ramp access to the Middle Fork arm of Foster Reservoir. To get there from I5, take US 20 through the town of Sweet Home and continue around Foster Reservoir to Quartzville Creek road. Take a left and follow this road for two miles to the park.

TIMBER LINN POND: rainbow trout

This beautiful, family-friendly fishing pond is located within the 90-acre Timber-Linn Memorial Park in Albany. It was stocked several times already this year. This week it will receive another 250 legal and 25 larger size rainbow trout. Please keep in mind that only one fish over 20 inches may be taken per day. Timber-Linn Lake can be reached by turning east off I-5 onto the Santiam Highway (Hwy. 20), then immediately turning north onto Price Road and proceeding to the park entrance.

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

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.

TRAIL BRIDGE RESERVOIR: trout

Trail Bridge Reservoir is open to year-round angling. 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.

TRILLIUM LAKE: trout

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

Stocked the week of April 14 with 3,500 legal-sized rainbow trout. This is a 15-acre lake just east of Rainier on the north side of Hwy 30 at the Trojan nuclear facility.

WALLING POND: trout, crappie, bass

In winter, spring, and fall, Walling Pond receives over 5,000 trout ranging in size from legal to multi-pound brooders. It will be stocked this week with 400 legal and 50 larger size rainbow trout. As a reminder, brooders are considered trout so zone regulations apply: five trout daily may be kept and only one may be over 20 inches. The pond is located within the Salem city limits west of I-5. Take Turner Road off Mission Street.

WALTER WIRTH LAKE: trout, crappie, bass

This popular Salem lake in Cascade Gateway Park receives thousands of hatchery trout annually. It will be stocked again this week with 2,200 legal and 150 larger size rainbow trout. 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.

WAVERLY POND: trout, bluegill, catfish

Waverly Pond receives over 2,500 trout annually, ranging in size from ‘legal’ to ‘trophy’. It will be stocked again this with 750 legal size rainbow trout. Please be aware, only one fish over 20 inches may be kept. Here is an excellent in-town fishing opportunity. From I-5 take exit 234 west towards Albany. The pond is located a quarter mile down Pacific Boulevard on the right. A paved ADA-accessible path runs all the way around the pond.

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, winter steelhead, Chinook salmon

The spring Chinook effort increased last week as the river finally dropped and cleared up, offering anglers some good fishing conditions from Oregon City down to St Helens. Those out trying found that hooking into fish was a real challenge as catches were only fair with the persistent and experienced anglers finding some success. ODFW checks over the past weekend showed the usual spots were the most productive; the lower channel, and Portland harbor being the best producers.

A bulk of the effort for winter steelhead takes place near the mouth of the Clackamas River in Gladstone at Dahl Park and along Meldrum Bar, although many anglers have switched over to fishing for spring Chinook. Steelhead are often hooked by Meldrum Bar anglers regardless of the high, turbid water.

Winter steelhead passage at Willamette Falls has been steady with 3,906 counted through April 9. It’s still a bit early to see any numbers of spring Chinook move upstream yet, although 60 had moved by as of April 9. The summer steelhead have also begun passing with 563 counted up through April 9.

Monday hydrological data shows the Willamette falling to 22,300 cfs, the water temperature moving up to near 55°, and visibility up at 4.8 feet.


Back to top

WILLAMETTE ZONE: HUNTING

OPEN: COUGAR, CONTROLLED SPRING BEAR, SPRING TURKEY (April 15-May 31)

Use the Oregon Hunting Map to see where to hunt.

EVENTS: Youth Outdoor Day, EE Wilson Wildlife Area (near Corvallis), May 31. Spaces are limited and this event tends to fill fast so register now.

Spring Turkey season is open April 15-May 31. Turkeys are abundant in the foothills of the southern Willamette Valley. Turkeys prefer habitat with a mix of open meadow or grass land and oak forest. Unfortunately for hunters, this habitat is almost exclusively privately owned in the foothills of the Willamette Valley. Hunters will struggle to find turkeys on public property but good hunting opportunities exist for hunters that have access to private property. Hunters wishing to hunt in the Willamette Valley are encouraged to seek out landowners and ask for permission to hunt.

For those turkey hunters who haven’t harvested their bird, turkey hunting experts recommend staying on stand a little longer, using different calls to change-up your calling pattern and practice judging distances so you don’t miss your opportunity when it comes strutting along.

Western Oregon controlled black bear seasons opened April 1. As expected, few hunters had success the first week and the wildlife district staff have not checked-in a harvested bear from the north Santiam, Scappoose, or east Trask Units yet this season. Hunting in the coastal units usually improves in mid to late April and hunting in the Cascade units is best in late May. With early spring green-up this year hunters may have more early success than usual. The key to early success is to target days with some sun and mild weather. Hunters will want to look for areas with abundant green grass or skunk cabbage. Freshly torn up stumps also indicates a bear is in the area. Remember skull of any bears taken must be checked in within 10 days; see the regs for details.

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.

Back to top

WILLAMETTE ZONE: VIEWING

Attract birds and wildlife to your backyard

Spring is here and now is the time to plan your planting. Here are resources to help you with native plants, natural landscapes and water-friendly gardening practices in your yard. Attend a free Naturescaping class to help plan your yard: Lake Oswego, Tryon Creek Stat Park, Tualatin Hills Nature Park and more locations. Visit Clean Water Services Website for more information.

Be on the lookout for native turtles

Oregon’s two native turtles, the western pond and the western painted turtle, are emerging from winter hibernation. After several months of lying dormant either at the bottom of wetland ponds or on land under leaves and brush, turtles are eager to forage for food and bask during sunny periods between rain showers. Be on the lookout for turtles on land moving to water from their upland over-wintering sites. Look for turtles basking in the sunshine on fallen trees and branches in the water. This is also the time of the year when hatchling turtles that over-wintered in their underground nests come to the surface and move to aquatic habitats with shallow water and plenty of vegetation for hiding from would-be predators such as great blue herons.

Valleywide

The Osprey Returns

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

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

Leave baby owls where you find them

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

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

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

Corvallis Area

EE Wilson Wildlife Area

Wildlife viewing is good with waterfowl, shorebirds and neotropical migrants beginning to arrive. Deciduous trees do not have leaves allowing better viewing. Note: dogs are required to be on a leash inside the wildlife area boundary.

Starting April 1, people can use the photography blind on the Wildlife Area. Staff will feed daily so there will be good photo opportunities for waterfowl including mallards, wood duck, hooded merganser, ring-necked duck, western Canada goose. Broods are common. Snipe and other shorebirds are periodically seen. Call the office to make a reservation, (541) 745-5334.

Find directions to EE Wilson Wildlife Area.

Fern Ridge Wildlife Area

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

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

The majority of Fern Ridge Wildlife Area is open daily for public use providing great wildlife viewing opportunities. Visitors are reminded there are seasonal access restrictions in place in five units during the fall and winter to provide wildlife sanctuary. The East Coyote, West Coyote Fisher Butte and Royal Amazon units are now closed to public access six days a week to provide sanctuary for ducks, geese and other birds that are nesting in preparation for the upcoming migration. The closure will be in effect, except on designated trails, through April 30. These areas are open to public access on Saturdays. Visitors are reminded that dogs must remain on leash at all times.

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

Visitors are cautioned that there have been recent vehicle break-ins at Fern Ridge and in local parks, so please secure your valuables before departing your vehicle. Parking areas are located along Highway 126, Nielson Road, Cantrell Road, Territorial Road, and Clear Lake Road. Contact the wildlife area headquarters, (541) 935-2591 if you have any questions.

Sauvie Island Wildlife Area

Migratory sandhill cranes are arriving in great numbers. The wood ducks are back and the great blue heron rookery is now visible from the Walton beach parking lot. Herons generally nest (roost) in colonies in large trees. The first osprey was spotted this weekend. Also an albino cackler goose was seen from the Walton Beach parking lot. The hummingbirds have arrived.

Bald eagles and red-tailed hawks are very active on their nests in anticipation of their new arrivals. There are approximately 10 active eagle nests on the Wildlife
Area. The great horned owls have chicks now.

Viewing areas currently open to the public are Coon Point, the Eastside Viewing Platform and Rentenaar Road. The wildlife area is scheduled to open on April 15.

Sauvie Island Wildlife Area is located on Sauvie Island, only 10 miles north of Portland off Highway 30. A parking permit is required for the Sauvie Island Wildlife Area and can be purchased at ODFW License vendors or at the Sauvie Island ODFW office, Monday through Friday during office hours. For more information, call (503) 621-3488.

Directions to Sauvie Island Wildlife Area


Back to top

CENTRAL ZONE: FISHING

Weekend fishing opportunities

  • Kokonee fishing on Lake Billy Chinook continues to be excellent!
  • This is a great time of year to find trout feeding on the surface of the lower Deschutes River.
  • It’s peak winter steelhead season on the Hood River.
  • Pine Hollow and Rock Springs reservoirs have been stocked and, with water temperatures getting warmer, fishing should be good.

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.

2014 trout stocking

The 2014 trout stocking schedule (pdf) for the High Desert districts have been posted 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.

ANTELOPE FLAT RESERVOIR: rainbow trout

Fishing has been fair due to the turbid water. Using scent or lots of flash will help the fish find your offering. The majority of the fish range from 12 to 14-inches long.

BEND PINE NURSERY POND: trout

The pond was stocked with rainbow trout in early April and current regulations allow for a limit of 2 fish per day, 8 inch minimum length. Fishing should be fair for the next few weeks.

BIG LAVA LAKE: Closed to fishing until April 26.

BIKINI POND: rainbow trout

The pond has been stocked and should be a great place to go this spring and catch some rainbow trout. Bikini pond is a great place to take kids.

CLEAR LAKE: Snow will limit access until late April or early May.

CRANE PRAIRIE RESERVOIR: Closed to fishing until April 26.

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

No recent reports

CROOKED RIVER BELOW BOWMAN DAM: redband trout and mountain whitefish

Keep an eye on the gauge to see if the flow is being adjusted. The fishing is usually poor until the flow has had a few days to stabilize. Please be mindful to not trample any redds.

Flows below Bowman Dam

CULTUS LAKE: rainbow trout, lake trout

No recent reports.

DAVIS LAKE: largemouth bass, redband trout

No recent reports.

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

Some great hatches of early stoneflies, mayflies and caddis should be occurring on the lower Deschutes. This is the best time if the year to find trout feeding on the surface. Good access to fishing can be found in the Maupin area, from Macks Canyon upstream to the Locked Gate. The highest densities of trout are from Oak Springs upstream to the Locked Gate.

Trout fishing closed Oct. 31 and steelhead fishing closed Dec. 31 from the Northern boundary of the Warm Springs Reservation upstream to Pelton Regulating Dam. This area will re-open to trout fishing on April 26.

The Deschutes will open for adipose fin-clipped Chinook from April 15, 2014 through July 31, 2014 from the mouth of the I-84 bridge upstream to Sherars Falls. The catch limit will be two adult adipose fin-clipped salmon per day, and five adipose fin-clipped jack salmon per day.

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.

Anglers can check the trap the seasons catch at Sherars Falls as an indicator of fish movement in the Middle Deschutes.

Lake Billy Chinook to Bend: rainbow trout, brown trout

Water levels should be dropping as irrigation season begins in mid-Apirl. Open year-round; however, gear is restricted to artificial flies and lures only.

EAST LAKE: Closed to fishing until April 26.

FALL RIVER: rainbow trout

River was stocked with rainbow trout the week of April 14. Depending on weather conditions, some good mid-day hatches have been reported. Restricted to fly fishing only with barbless hooks. Open all year upstream of the falls.

FROG LAKE: Snow will limit access until mid May.

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

No recent reports. The reservoir will receive a load of legal-sized trout the week of April 14.

HOOD RIVER: winter steelhead

Winter steelhead fishing on the Hood is at its peak for the season. Lots of fresh fish have been coming over Bonneville and good river conditions should make a good combo for great fishing the remainder of April.

The Hood River will open for adipose fin-clipped chinook from April 15, 2014 through June 30, 2014 from the mouth to mainstem confluence with the East Fork, and the West Fork from the confluence with the mainstem upstream to the angling deadline 200 feet downstream of Punchbowl Falls.

The catch limit will be two adult adipose fin-clipped salmon per day, and five adipose fin-clipped jack salmon per day.

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

No recent reports

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

Anglers are still reporting easy limits of kokanee throughout the entire reservoir. Bull trout fishing has been fair with anglers mostly catching undersized fish.

Anglers are reminded there are small numbers of spring Chinook and summer steelhead in Lake Billy Chinook as part of the reintroduction effort. Please release these fish unharmed.

LAKE SIMTUSTUS: bull trout, rainbow trout, smallmouth bass

No recent reports.

LITTLE LAVA LAKE: rainbow trout, brook trout

No recent reports.

LOST LAKE: rainbow trout, brown trout

Snow will limit access.

METOLIUS RIVER: redband trout, bull trout

Fishing has been fair with reports of decent nymphing. On warmer afternoons and evenings, small hatches are being reported.

NORTH TWIN: rainbow trout

Fishing has been fair with moderate pressure on the weekends.

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.

ODELL LAKE: Closed to fishing until April 26.

PAULINA LAKE: Closed to fishing until April 26.

PINE HOLLOW RESERVOIR: rainbow trout

The reservoir is warming up and has been stocked, so fishing should be great.

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

Fishing has been slow to fair for trout up to 18-inches long.

PRINEVILLE YOUTH FISHING POND: rainbow trout and largemouth bass

The pond will receive a load of trout the week of April 14.

ROCK CREEK RESERVOIR: rainbow trout

The reservoir has been stocked and should be a great place to go this spring and catch some rainbow trout. The reservoir is warming up and has been stocked, so fishing should be great.

SHEVLIN YOUTH FISHING POND: rainbow trout

Pond was stocked with rainbow trout the week of April 14.

SOUTH TWIN LAKE: Closed to fishing until April 26.

SUTTLE LAKE: brown trout, kokanee

No recent reports.

TAYLOR LAKE: rainbow trout, largemouth bass

Taylor has been stocked and there should be good fishing for rainbows.

WALTON LAKE: rainbow trout

No recent reports.

WICKIUP RESERVOIR: Closed to fishing until April 26.


Back to top

CENTRAL ZONE: HUNTING

OPEN: COUGAR, SPRING TURKEY (April 15-May 31) CONTROLLED SPRING BEAR

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

Most Mule Deer bucks have shed their antlers while bull Elk have just started to shed. Due to extremely variable road conditions and the effect of increased harassment on mule deer survival, shed hunters are urged to keep ATV’s on existing roads or trails and minimize disturbance to wintering big game herds. Remember to respect private lands and always ask permission before entering. More about shed hunting

Turkey season opens April 15 and hunters should have better than average opportunities to find birds in the Ochoco, Maury and Grizzly units. Spring is earlier than normal, and green up well advanced so hunters should scout higher elevation areas on BLM and Ochoco National Forest lands. The Trout and Bear Creek drainages in the Grizzly unit and along the southern boundaries of the Lookout Mountain and Paulina Ranger Districts in the Ochoco unit would be good areas to check and scout for birds. The South Boundary Cooperative Travel Management Area (TMA) does have motorized vehicle restrictions in effect. The Prineville BLM and Ochoco National Forest offices should be checked for maps and other motorized access restrictions that could be in effect.

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

Coyotes offer an exciting challenge and will be closely associated with deer and antelope. 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.

Ground Squirrels are becoming more active as spring progresses and temperatures increase. Be sure to obtain permission before entering private lands.

THE DALLES DISTRICT

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

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

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

Turkey – General Spring Turkey season is open April 15th- May 31st. Turkeys can be found throughout the White River Unit with many public land hunting opportunities. The dispersed turkeys can be difficult to locate during the season especially after pressured by other hunters. The key to a successful turkey hunt is good preseason scouting. Identify where they roost, travel and feed and you will be more likely to bag one of these wary birds. Harvest in the White River Unit has continued to increase likely due to an increase in hunters. Be aware of other hunters in the area and take necessary safety precautions.

Cougar – Hunters wishing to pursue cougar will find best success near areas of deer and elk concentrations. Some hunters have found success tracking cougars in fresh snow and predator calling. 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.

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

WHITE RIVER WILDLIFE AREA

Vehicle Access: Last year, 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.

Bear – Controlled Spring Black Bear Season opened on April 1 and runs through May 31. Black bear can be found throughout WRWA but are very elusive and hard to find. Search for tracks on dirt or muddy roads to find areas that they are using. Look for food sources. Bears spend much of their time filling up on grasses, acorns, and other food to fatten up after their winter slumber. Remember to check in any harvested bear skulls at an ODFW office. It is best to make an appointment before you take it in.

Turkey – Spring Turkey Season opens on April 15 and runs through May 31. Turkeys inhabit most of WRWA lands. Preseason scouting can be very helpful in locating the elusive spring gobbler. Use locating calls to find birds roosting in your area. Turkeys can often be found along ridge tops or foraging for food in meadows or oak groves. Be careful and aware that other hunters could possibly be hunting the same turkey that you are after.

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. Tracking a cat in the snow will help increase the odds of spotting one.

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.

Back to top

CENTRAL ZONE: VIEWING

Crook County

The Prineville Reservoir Wildlife Management Area (WMA) north shore road opens 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 well under way. Water bird species that can be seen throughout Crook County, but in higher concentrations around Prineville and Ochoco reservoirs, include mallards, American wigeon, American green-winged teal, Northern pintail, ring-necked ducks, bufflehead, common and barrows goldeneye, Canada geese, killdeer, common and hooded mergansers, pied billed grebes, double-crested cormorants, great blue herons and a number of gull species.

A few of the common passerine species observed throughout Crook County this time of year include common flickers, American robin, American and lesser goldfinches, house finches, white-crowned sparrows, mountain chickadees, spotted towhees, Townsend’s solitaire, mountain bluebirds, cedar waxwings and dark eyed juncos.

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 remain very active. Many populations of deer and elk have moved to lower elevations due to recent greenup. 4/15/14.

Deschutes County

Spring has definitely sprung for most raptor species. Great horned owls began their breeding season in January and are now busily tending feathered young. Eagles, hawks, and other raptors have paired up and are focused on renewing pair bonds, and nest building, although rough-legged hawks (that winter in Oregon) will soon be headed to their arctic tundra breeding grounds. Both bald and golden eagles can be seen at Smith Rock State Park in northeast Deschutes County, and one of their potential food sources, yellow-bellied marmots are being seen on warm sunny days. Red-tailed hawks are one of the most numerous birds of prey and commonly seen on fence and power poles scanning meadows, sagebrush shrub steppe, and other open areas for a tasty rodent snack. Other diurnal raptor species you might encounter include kestrels, sharp shinned hawks, cooper’s hawks, northern harriers, prairie falcons, ferruginous hawks, and even though they are not as numerous as prairie falcons, the occasional peregrine falcons may also be seen

Scan the skies for a glimpse of a large bird with a “V” shaped wing pattern and you could be looking at a turkey vulture as they continue to return from their wintering grounds to the south. Northern pintails, mallards, common mergansers, great blue herons and many other wetland bird species can also be found throughout the county.

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

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

Amphibians are starting to become active and egg laying for some species has already begun. Long-toed salamanders will finish their annual breeding by early April and the earliest laid eggs will hatch his month. Tree frogs and Oregon spotted frogs will begin to lay eggs in lower elevations by early April. It’s still a little cool for reptile activity, but if we get a week of warm weather by the end of the month, snakes and lizards will begin to stir in their underground winter quarters. However, they won’t become really active until warmer days are the rule rather than the exception. 3/3/14

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).

Other wildlife that may be seen along the river includes mule deer, red-tailed hawks, American kestrels, Osprey, and Golden and Bald eagles. Waterfowl are commonly observed on the river, and visitors can usually see many different songbirds and upland game birds that also call the canyon home.

The open agricultural lands, shrub steppe habitat, and meadows also hold a number of different hawks and owls. Although the rough legged hawks will soon be migrating on, you can still find red-tailed hawks, American kestrels, northern harriers, prairie falcons and a variety of owls that are now spending more time hunting in order to feed their nestlings. 3/18/14.

White River Wildlife Area

With the temperature warming up, the deer are starting to move. Deer can still be found digging under oak trees looking for acorns, browsing on bitterbrush and near feed sites.

Elk are starting to move up to their summer ground at higher elevations. You may still find some small herds on the Wildlife Area. The elk have pulled away from the feed sites for the most part. The best time to look for them is in the early morning or late in the afternoon just before it gets too dark to see. The viewing site located about four miles west of Wamic off of Rock Creek Rd. is a good place to occasionally spot elk feeding in the fields. Elk are subsidized with bales of hay at that spot during the winter months.

The gates to through traffic on seasonal roads were reopened but some roads may stay closed until May 1 depending on weather and road conditions.

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. 3/10/14.


Back to top

SOUTHEAST ZONE: FISHING

Weekend fishing opportunities

  • Brown trout fishing on the lower Owyhee River has been good.
  • Largemouth bass fishing is picking up in Willow Valley Reservoir.
  • With calm, warm weather predicted for this week, trout fishing should continue to be good on Klamath and Agency lakes.

Today’s undersized fish are tomorrow’s trophies

This time of year anglers often hook small, undersized fish in fisheries where fingerling (smaller than legal-sized) stocking is the norm. Please be kind to these young fish and release them carefully – they could be next year’s trophies!

2014 trout stocking

The 2014 trout stocking schedule (pdf) for the High Desert districts have been posted 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.

ANA RESERVOIR: hatchery rainbow trout

The water level is rising at the reservoir and is currently 5 feet below full pool. The boat ramp is useable and boats can be launched. Fish can be caught using bait, lures, and flies from shore or boats.

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.

ANNIE CREEK:

Closed to fishing until April 26.

BALM CREEK RESERVOIR: rainbow trout, smallmouth bass, crappie

Balm Creek Reservoir was completely drained fall 2013 and all fish were lost. The reservoir will be restocked in May 2014.

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

Recent fishing reports indicate catch rates are fair. Average size of trout range from 12 to 18-inches. The reservoir water has increased to 64 percent full and inflows were 208 cfs (April 15). The boat ramp is usable again.

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

Fishing for 8 to 10-inch trout has been good on Bridge Creek and upper Blitzen River. Anglers have not yet reported catching large redband trout in the lower river this spring. Flows in the Blitzen River averaged 151 cfs on April 15. Water temperatures at Page Springs gauge ranged from 42˚F to 54˚F. The Blitzen River and tributaries are catch-and-release only for trout until May 24. The Little Blitzen River is catch-and-release for trout all year.

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

The reservoir water level has increased over the last couple of weeks; it was 72 percent full on April 15. Fishing for trout has been fair; crappie angling has been slow.

BURNS POND: trout, bass

Fishing for trout has been fair. Legal-sized rainbow trout will be stocked in late April. Anglers have recently caught largemouth bass and a large channel catfish. Twenty tagged fish are in the pond. If you capture a tagged fish return the tag to the Hines office (237 Hwy 20 S) for a prize.

CAMPBELL LAKE: brook trout, rainbow trout

Vehicles can’t access Campbell and Deadhorse lakes.

CHEWAUCAN RIVER: redband trout

THE RIVER IS CLOSED DOWNSTREAM OF THE HIGHWAY 31 BRIDGE IN PAISLEY. The river upstream of Hwy 31 remains open and the use of bait is PROHIBITED! The river is flowing around 240 cfs with water temperatures in the low 40s.

CHICKAHOMINY RESERVOIR: trout

The reservoir is around a third full, free of ice, and very turbid. The boat dock is usable and anglers have been catching a few holdover trout.

COTTONWOOD MEADOWS: rainbow trout, brook trout

Local anglers began accessing the lake and fishing within the last few weeks. The ice has pulled back from the edges making fishing from shore possible. A floating island of ice remains in the middle of the lake and boat use may be difficult for a few weeks. The OSP game officer reported good fishing success at the lake over the weekend.

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

Vehicles can’t access Campbell and Deadhorse lakes.

DELINTMENT LAKE: trout

The road is rutted in deep snow and ice for several locations. The lake is still covered in ice but is beginning to open around the edges (April 8). Ice fishing is not recommended.

DEMING CREEK:

Closed to fishing until May 24 to protect large spawning redband trout.

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

Fishing at Devils Lake is likely slow for warmwater fish.

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

Dog Lake is ice-free. The few reports from anglers suggest that fishing is currently slow at the reservoir. Water temperatures are in the mid 50s and fishing for most species should improve over the next month.

DUNCAN RESERVOIR: rainbow trout

The reservoir is ice-free with water temperatures in the low 40s. Anglers might consider fishing this reservoir later in the day when water temperatures have warmed and fish are likely to be the most active.

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

The lake is covered in ice of unknown depth. The North and South Steens Loop access roads are closed. Contact Burns BLM for updates on road access this spring (541 573-4400).

FOURMILE CREEK (tributary to Agency Lake): Brook trout, brown trout 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. Currently, this area is very wet thus fishing from a canoe or float tube is recommended.

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

Access to the lake and conditions on the lake is unknown. The road into Fourmile Lake might be closed to reduce damage to the road. Contact the Fremont-Winema National Forest for further information at 541-883-6714.

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

Fishing is very slow. The lake is very low and 1/9 full which makes launching boats challenging if even possible.

HAINES POND: rainbow

The pond is ice free. The first stocking of legal-sized rainbow trout is scheduled for late April.

HEART LAKE: rainbow trout, kokanee

The lake is ice-free and water temperatures are around 43 °F. Water temperatures will warm and anglers should expect good to excellent fishing when temperatures reach 50 °F in 2-4 weeks.

HOLBROOK RESERVOIR: rainbow trout

Local anglers have reported spotty success with some days providing good fishing while others are fair or poor.

HWY 203 POND: trout, bass, bluegill

The pond is ice free. The first stocking of legal-sized rainbow trout is scheduled for mid-April.

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

The reservoir is ice-free. Fishing is picking up with much warmer water temperatures. Crappie and pumpkinseed are increasing in the catch.

JUNIPER LAKE: cutthroat trout

The lake is very low (reduced to two small pools) but ice-free. 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

Water clarity remains good for this time of year. The lake is a nice green color which is a change from the very turbid conditions the past five years. Fishing should remain stable this week with continuing warm weather but expect windier conditions in the late afternoon which will make fishing from a boat challenging. Fishing is generally slow with catch rates averaging 7 hours per redband from boat and 30 hours per redband from the shore. The most popular bank angling areas are at Howard and Shoalwater Bays. Most bank anglers are fishing with dead minnows. Water temperatures have increased dramatically to 58 degree which increases redband trout activity. Trolling lures and plugs from boat should improve with the increase in water temperatures. The lake is 1 foot below full pool. All boat ramps are accessible. 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) opened on Oct. 1. Angling for redband trout is good as larger redband trout have completed spawning. Flows are currently near ideal (980 cfs) for a successful spring outing. Anglers fishing this stretch should come prepared for difficult wading. Wading boot with studs, wading belt, and wading staff are highly recommended. Look for caddis hatches in the afternoon and be prepared to match the caddis pupae. Fish the caddis pupae imitation on the dead drift near the bottom for best success. Mayflies are also hatching and can be matched well with tungsten bead headed pheasant tails. There is an abundance of food in this reach therefore fish rarely rise to flies on the surface. Flies and lures imitating minnows and sculpins can be very effective. Water temperatures have increased dramatically from 51 degrees last week to 58 degrees this week. Water temperatures in this reach were very warm this summer thus some mortality of redband trout might have occurred.

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 is dead drifting stonefly, pheasant tail and midge patterns. This section of river requires a hike down steep grade to the river with the exception of the area just above the powerhouse. This area is the best bet for good trout fishing over spring break.

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.

Check current flow levels. If flows are 900 cfs or lower the river is fishable. Dead drifting rubber legged stonefly patterns and/or bead head pheasant tails can be good. Blue winged olive mayflies are hatching around 1 p.m. and can continue to hatch sporadically until dusk. Look for rising trout in the slow backwater areas near tailouts of pools or in back eddies along foam lines. A few trout can be caught using small dry flies (size 16-18) that match blue winged olive mayflies. 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 operated with high flows 1670 cfs for all daylight hours. However, anglers should keep an eye on flow releases as low flow occurred all day on April 14. Flow release estimates by PacifiCorp have been discontinued until May 2014. Fishing will be slow due to high flows.

KRUMBO RESERVOIR: Closed to fishing until April 26.

Recreationists have reported the gate is open to Krumbo Reservoir; however, fishing is still closed as per 2014 Oregon state angling regulations until April 26. Contact Malheur National Wildlife Refuge at 541 493-2612 for access information to Krumbo Reservoir.

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

The lake is ice-free. Call Lake of the Woods Resort for recent reports Toll Free at 866-201-4194. Lake of the Woods will be stocked with legal and trophy rainbow trout the week before opening day on April 26.

LOFTON RESERVOIR: rainbow trout

Lofton Reservoir currently has no fish available for anglers to catch due to the rotenone treatment last fall. The reservoir is scheduled to be stocked in mid-May. This stocking date was set last fall when biologists assumed that access to the reservoir will not be possible until mid to late May. ODFW realizes that anglers can currently access the reservoir but, at this time, is not able to reschedule the trout stocking due to hatchery commitments at other water bodies. The reservoir may be stocked earlier if a day frees up on the hatchery stocking calendar.

LOST RIVER: largemouth bass, brown bullhead, yellow perch

Lost River is ice-free. Fishing is slow for warmwater fish but should be improving with increasing water temperatures.

MALHEUR RESERVOIR: hatchery rainbow trout

The reservoir is ice free and around 50 percent full. Anglers have been catching a lot of fish in the 8 to 10-inch range, and a few over 18-inches. 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 remain at or around 0 cfs. Fishing the upper river area is expected to be fair for a few holdover trout. Perch and smallmouth bass have been caught in the pool below the dam.

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

Discharge at Juntura averaged 21 cfs on April 15. Fishing has been slow for anglers, but is improving with warmer weather and warmer water temperatures. Spring fishing near Riverside is expected to be fair this year.

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

Fishing for redband trout should be slow; access is challenging due to snow drifting and ice.

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

Fishing for trout is poor; access is challenging due to snow drifting and ice.

MANN LAKE: trout

Anglers are still catching good numbers of large cutthroat trout in Mann Lake. The lake is completely ice free and both boat ramps are usable. The reservoir is slightly turbid from wind action and spring run-off from the tributaries off Steens Mountain. Most fish are 14 to 16-inches long, with several over 20-inches being caught.

MILLER LAKE: brown trout, kokanee, rainbow trout

Conditions on the lake are unknown. Please report any circular wounds on trout that might be caused by lamprey to the Klamath Falls ODFW office at 541-883-5732.

MOON RESERVOIR: bass, trout

The reservoir is increasing and is currently near full pool. Carp are plentiful in the reservoir. Trout numbers are expected to be in low, but bass still persist in the reservoir as well.

MUD LAKE: trout

This reservoir is ice-free with water temperatures in the low 50s. The road is dry making access to this reservoir easy. This water should warm faster because of the muddy water, making fish more active and easier to catch than other reservoirs.

MURRAY RESERVOIR: trout

The reservoir is ice-free. Stocking of legal-sized rainbows is tentatively planned for late April.

NORTH POWDER POND: rainbow trout

The pond is ice-free. There was a significant winter kill of fish in the pond. The first stocking of legal-sized rainbow trout is scheduled for late April.

OVERTON RESERVOIR: rainbow trout

Snow is blocking access to this reservoir at this time.

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

The water level in the reservoir is 27 percent of full and inflows averaged 363 cfs (April 15). Three boat ramps appear usable on the Bureau of Reclamation webpage.

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

Fishing has been good for brown trout this spring. Water releases below Owyhee Dam remain constant at winter flow rates; 21 cfs on April 15. 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

Owyhee River flows averaged 363 cfs on April 15. Fishing for smallmouth and channel catfish is slow. The river is high and turbid, watch for debris.

PHILLIPS RESERVOIR: trout, perch

The reservoir is at 41 percent of capacity and is ice-free. Tiger muskie were released into the reservoir in the spring of 2013. Anglers are reminded that tiger muskie are restricted to catch and release only. No harvest or removal from the reservoir is allowed. Yellow perch are currently spawning in shallows.

PILCHER RESERVOIR: Closed to fishing until April 26.

POISON CREEK RESERVOIR: hatchery rainbow trout

Trout fishing has been good for fish 16 to 18-inches. The limit is 2 per day, please be respectful of the angling regulations for the reservoir.

POLE CREEK RESERVOIR: hatchery rainbow trout

The reservoir is near half-full. Catch rates remain fair for holdover trout; however, several fish up to 17-inches have been caught recently using bait.

POWDER RIVER: trout, spring Chinook

Catch-and-release fishing with flies and lures is now allowed through April 25, 2014, from Hughes Lane in Baker City, upstream to Mason Dam. All other reaches of the Powder River and tributaries are closed to fishing. The reach immediately below Mason Dam is now near the winter minimum flow, but should supply anglers with good opportunity for holdover stocked trout or native trout.

PRIDAY RESERVOIR: hatchery rainbow trout

This reservoir is ice-free and the road was dry during the week of March 3 making access to this reservoir easy. This reservoir was stocked on March 21 with large trout (14-inches long). The water temperature was 53 °F. Fish should be active and anglers are encouraged to keep a limit of fish.

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: trout

Flows will be low and ideal for a successful fishing outing on opening day on April 26.

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

Most wilderness lakes are likely frozen and inaccessible.

SHERLOCK GULCH RESERVOIR: rainbow trout

This reservoir is ice-free with water temperatures in the low 40s. The road was dry during the week of March 3 making access to this reservoir easy. This water should warm faster because of the muddy water, making fish more active and easier to catch than other reservoirs.

SPENCER CREEK:
Closed to fishing until May 24 to protect large spawning redband trout.

SPRAGUE RIVER: trout

Fishing should be good on opening day on April 26 above Saddle Mountain Pit Road road as flows will be low and visibility will be good. Closed to fishing until May 24 below Saddle Mountain Pit Road

NORTH FORK SPRAGUE RIVER AND ALL TRIBUTARIES:

Opens to fishing April 26. Fishing will be slow on opening day on public land above the first 3411 road crossing as the high gradient section will have high velocities. If anglers can access the area at Sandhill and Lee Thomas crossings angling should be good on the April 26 opener.

SOUTH FORK SPRAGUE RIVER AND ALL TRIBUTARIES:

Angling will be slow for the April 26 opener due to low fish numbers.

SPRING CREEK:

Closed to fishing until May 24 to protect large spawning redband trout.

SUN CREEK:

The road into Sun Creek is closed to all motor vehicles until June 30. 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. 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. Opens to fishing April 26.

SYCAN RIVER: brook trout, redband trout

Opens to fishing April 26. Fishing should be slow to fair for redband trout below the marsh due to low fish density due to 2013 drought. The Sycan River above Pikes crossing should be fair for brook trout and redband trout. Expect flows to be low and ideal for opening day.

THOMPSON RESERVOIR: rainbow trout, largemouth bass

The reservoir is accessible. Fishing for trout can be very good at this reservoir from ice-off through June and anglers have reported catching large fish here during that time period.

THIEF VALLEY RESERVOIR: trout

The reservoir was drained by the Lower Powder River Irrigation District in early September 2013, meaning a near 100 percent loss of trout in the reservoir. The reservoir currently is at 100 percent of capacity and is ice-free. The reservoir was restocked with sub-legal sized rainbow trout the first week of November 2013. These fish are not expected to be up to harvestable size until the spring of 2014. Sampling to determine average size will occur in April or May. A short section of dock has been installed at the boat launch.

UNITY RESERVOIR: trout, bass, crappie

The reservoir is at 98 percent of capacity and is ice-free. Anglers are reminded that a new regulation restricts the harvest of bass to those under 15-inches long. No recent fishing reports.

VEE LAKE: rainbow trout

Snow is blocking access to this reservoir at this time.

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

The reservoir was 32 percent full and inflows averaged 240 cfs (April 15). The river and the reservoir are very turbid. The boat ramp is out of the water by a significant distance. No recent fishing reports.

LOWER WILLIAMSON RIVER:

Closed to fishing until May 24 to protect large spawning redband trout.

UPPER WILLIAMSON RIVER: trout

Fishing will be slow on the April 26 opener.

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

Fishing is improving for largemouth bass. Try the Antelope Creek channel for best success. Bass will also be in the shallow flats next to the dam. The reservoir is turbid. Bluegill are abundant but small in size. Crappie are scarce but can be abundant at the many habitat structures placed in the reservoir by Klamath Bassmasters, BLM and ODFW. A good fish finder can locate these structures. Some structures can be observed protruding from the water’s surface. There is a concrete boat ramp and the outhouse has been repaired. Water levels are low; therefore, launching boats might be challenging.

WOLF CREEK RESERVOIR: crappie, trout

The reservoir is ice-free and the boat launch is functional, but the dock is in need of repairs and will not be installed until repairs can be made. No recent fishing reports.

WOOD RIVER and all tributaries: trout

Fishing should be good on the Wood River with low flows and good insect hatches on opening day (April 26). Anglers should also have success fishing spoons and plugs in the deep pools for brown trout. Anglers should concentrate their efforts from Fort Klamath the mouth. 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. 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. This is the best bet for a successful outing on opening day in the Klamath Basin. Closed to fishing until April 26.

YELLOWJACKET LAKE: trout

Ice is off and spring fishing for holdover trout has been good. The road was clear of ice and snow (April 15).

Back to top

SOUTHEAST ZONE: HUNTING

OPEN: COUGAR, COYOTE, SPRING TURKEY (April 15-May 31)

Wolves and coyotes can look alike

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

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

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

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. Recent reports indicate calling has been slow. Be aware that bobcats and cougars may respond to predator calls, and separate licensing and open season limitations exist for these species.

KLAMATH COUNTY

Ground squirrels and marmots are active on warmer days now. While some opportunities exist on public lands, best prospects are on private lands, and many landowners do allow access for those willing to ask permission.

Most Mule Deer bucks have shed their antlers and the interest in hunting sheds is increasing. Due to extremely variable road conditions and the effect of increased harassment on mule deer survival, shed hunters are urged to keep ATV’s on existing roads or trails and minimize disturbance to wintering big game herds. Many wintering areas in Klamath County are closed to motor vehicle access during the winter months to protect vulnerable big game herds from harassment. Please respect these efforts on both public and private lands.

Cougar hunting is open year round. Best prospects are in areas with concentrations of big game.

Coyote hunting has been slow. Populations are fairly low. Few coyotes were observed during recent big game surveys.

KLAMATH WILDLIFE AREA

Open during regular state waterfowl and upland bird hunting seasons. Many seasons are now closed.

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.

Management programs on the Klamath Wildlife Area-Miller Island Unit will impact waterfowl hunter access during the 2013/14 waterfowl seasons. Efforts to rehabilitate portions of the marshlands around the Miller Island Unit, to improve long-term habitat benefits to a multitude of waterfowl species will require dewatering certain wetlands and actively controlling overgrown vegetation. While efforts will be to bring water back to all areas as soon as feasible, some portions of the unit may be dry and will not provide good hunting opportunities throughout the season.

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 or thomas.r.collom@state.or.us

LAKE COUNTY

Access: It has been warm and rainy over the last 2 weeks. All native surface roads are very muddy. Hunters should restrict motor vehicle travel to all weather roads.

Ground Squirrels are above ground and active on sunny days. All of the opportunity for squirrel shooting is on private land, hunters must get permission from the landowner.

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 dropping toward lower elevations to take advantage of spring green up. Cougar hunting near big game herds increases the chance for success.

Coyote pairs are forming and breeding season has started. From now through June the most effective calls will be coyote vocalizations. Prey distress calls will still work but are less effective.

SUMMER LAKE WILDLIFE AREA

This section was updated on March 10, 2014

All game bird hunting seasons have ended and discharging of firearms is prohibited.

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

MALHEUR COUNTY

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

Coyote hunting is available throughout the district. Coyotes are very call shy this time of year but may respond to territorial challenges.


Back to top

SOUTHEAST ZONE: VIEWING

HARNEY COUNTY

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bighorn sheep have moved up into the steeper country to begin lambing. Sheep can be viewed with a good pair of binoculars or spotting scope along rocky outcroppings south of Frenchglen and along the east side of the Steens.4/1/14.

KLAMATH COUNTY

Klamath Falls Area

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

Canada geese are into the nesting season and the first broods should be hatched in the coming weeks.

The Link River offers great viewing for common merganser, bufflehead, common goldeneye, lesser scaup, and great blue heron. The Link River trail provides great viewing opportunities. 4/1/14.

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.

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. 2/3/13.

LAKE COUNTY

Access: It has been warm and rainy for the last two weeks. All native surface roads are very muddy. Motor vehicle travel should be restricted to all weather roads.

Spring migration is in full swing with April and early May being the best time to see a variety of bird species. Long-billed Curlew and Sandhill cranes have returned to the county. Bald eagle numbers are increasing as the spring migration progresses. The Chewaucan and Summer Lake Basins will have shallow flooded wetlands this spring and will provide the best viewing opportunities for early migrants. Goose Lake is very low and most of the Warner Valley lakes are dry or very low. 4/8/14

Summer Lake Wildlife Area

This section was updated on April 15, 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 remains open, but major dike roads (Bullgate, Windbreak and Work Road) are now closed to reduce disturbance to staging migrant waterbirds and early breeding waterfowl species. Non-motorized access is permitted, and the Wildlife Viewing Loop will remain open to motor vehicle travel until early fall.

Wetland conditions are excellent; all of the wildlife area’s wetlands are open and sizeable areas are shallowly flooded and receiving heavy waterbird use. Emergent vegetation is beginning to grow.

Spring migrants continue to return in good numbers at this time and some species should continue to increase in number and diversity as the season progresses. Many breeding species have yet to return while several early migrants have already departed the area.

Early breeding species such as Canada geese and mallards are initiating nests at this time. If birds are flushed off nests, please move away to reduce disturbance. Also, area users are reminded that running or training of dogs is prohibited, except by permit.

Waterfowl

Waterfowl populations are declining, but the arrival and staging of other northward migrants continues. Birds are widely dispersed across the entire wildlife area due to excellent habitat conditions.

Duck numbers declined from the previous week with about 9,800 being observed during the weekly count. Northern pintail continue to depart, about 300 remain. American green winged teal, ruddy duck and northern shoveler numbers remain high; over 1,200, 1,100 and 2,500, respectively were counted. Gadwall numbers are steadily increasing, over 800 of this abundant breeding species were found on the April 2nd count.

Canada geese are widely scattered across the wildlife area’s wetlands at this time and many are continuing to establish nesting territories. Incubation is well underway and a few broods were observed on April 2nd. Lesser snow geese have largely departed the area now, but about 200 were still present last week. Greater white-fronted geese continue to stage in good numbers, nearly 600 were observed. Other staging birds will probably appear, but the large build-up of numbers earlier will not occur now.

Greater white-fronts can be found in small flocks scattered across the entire area, most will be departing over the next 2 weeks enroute to breeding areas in Alaska.

All migrant tundra swans have departed the area headed to more northerly staging locations.

Resident trumpeter swans are about 15-20 non-breeders, part of restoration efforts, can be found scattered across the wildlife area. 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 and species continue to increase. Spring migrants such as western willet and snowy plover arrived last week. American avocet, black-necked stilt, dunlin, long-billed curlew numbers continued to increase. Breeding pairs of killdeer are spreading out across the entire area and should begin initiating nest scrapes soon. Wilson’s snipe winnowing was noted last week. Other spring migrant and returning breeding species should be arriving soon.

Both California and ring-billed gulls remained in good number, over 800 were observed. Gulls are beginning to occupy the nesting island in E. Link Unit and nesting should begin soon. Caspian terns arrived last week.

Sandhill crane numbers continue to increase and additional pairs have returned to their breeding territories at least 13 pairs were noted across the area. Territorial calling is very prevalent throughout the day. Non-breeders and other migrants continue to stage as well, over 50 were found in the Foster Place grain fields.

American coot numbers continue to increase; nearly 4,200 were found on the weekly count.

Migrant and breeding grebes are returning now, eared, western and pied-billed were observed last week.

A few American bittern and great blue herons and the season’s first great egrets were observed over the past week.

Raptors and others

Resident raptors, especially red-tailed hawks are scattered throughout the Wildlife Area as well as on private lands along Hwy 31.
Migrant accipiters, especially Cooper’s hawk are fairly common now.

Northern harriers are commonly observed over marsh and hay meadows and males are preforming their ritual courtship flights.

Bald and golden eagle numbers have declined dramatically. Only a few locally nesting pairs and a few late migrants can be found hunting across the area.

Great horned owls can be found scattered across the entire wildlife area, especially in the trees at campgrounds. Breeding season is underway; incubation has started for several pairs and night calling remains fairly common.

Upland game birds

California quail and ring-necked pheasants are widely scattered across the north end of the wildlife area.

Passerines

Now is the time to look for wintering and early returning spring migrant species.

Tree swallows numbers increased over the past week and many can be found exploring nest boxes scattered across the area.

Eurasian collared doves remain very numerous at Headquarters Complex and a few migrant and breeding mourning doves have arrived.

Sparrows are making a strong showing now; large numbers of white-crowned a few golden crowned and spotted towhees were found at the Headquarters feeder during the past week. American and lesser goldfinches continue to be observed in good number. The season’s first pine siskin was observed over the past weekend.

American robins, Townsend’s solitaires and cedar waxwings are fairly abundant. Orange-crowned and yellow-rumped warblers were observed over the past weekend.

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

Red-winged and yellow-headed blackbirds continue to increase, and many males are beginning to establish nesting territories in emergent marsh areas.

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 is open, but major dike roads (Bullgate, Windbreak and Work Road) are now closed to reduce disturbance to staging waterbirds and early breeding waterfowl species. The Wildlife Viewing Loop will remain open until early fall.

All secondary roads and dikes continue to remain closed and cross-country 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.

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

Habitat

Currently nearly all of the wildlife area’s wetlands are well flooded. Bullgate Refuge remains dry in preparation for wetland enhancement work to take place in spring and early summer.

Emergent wetland vegetation is mostly lodged over due to strong winds resulting in increased visibility into wetland areas.

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. At present, all areas are snow free.

Planted tree and shrub plots are providing excellent sheltered sites for many wildlife species. Nearly all species are beginning to leaf out at this time.

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


Back to top

NORTHEAST ZONE: FISHING

Weekend fishing opportunities

  • Anglers have reported catching 20 fish limits of kokanee at Wallowa Lake.
  • Rainbow trout were stocked last week in Tatone, Hatrock and McNary ponds, and continue to provide great early season action.

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.

If your favorite fishing spot is no longer listed

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

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.

BULL PRAIRIE RESERVOIR: rainbow and brook trout

The lake is no longer iced over and is open for fishing. Fishing for carryover rainbow and brook trout is good. The lake will not be stocked until late May.

GRANDE RONDE RIVER: steelhead

The Grande Ronde River closed for steelhead fishing on April 15. Catch rate estimates from last week’s surveys were not available at the time of this report; however, high flows late in the season limited fishing sucess. The Grande Ronde River and tributaries will open for general fishing on May 24.

HATROCK POND: trout

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

HOLLIDAY PARK POND: trout

Open year-round. Trout fishing is good. The pond was stocked this week.

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.

IMNAHA RIVER: steelhead

The Imnaha River, including Big Sheep Creek, closed for steelhead fishing on April 1h. Catch rates from last week’s surveys were unavailable at the time of this report, but anglers reported mixed success as river flows increased last week. The Imnaha River will open for general fishing on May 24.

JOHN DAY RIVER: wild steelhead, smallmouth bass

Flows are decreasing but are forecasted to be moderately high through the weekend. Steelhead fishing closed on April 15 above Kimberly. Bass fishing remains open below Kimberly and will be improving as the water clears.

Check John Day River flows

LONG CREEK POND, CAVENDER POND: trout

Open year-round. Trout fishing is good The ponds were stocked this week.

LUGER POND: trout

This is a handicap accessible site in a beautiful forest setting.

MAGONE LAKE: rainbow and brook trout

The ice is melting and open water should be available soon. No recent fishing reports.

MARR POND: surplus steelhead

Surplus steelhead were planted in Marr Pond in Enterprise, and some may still be lingering. These fish provide a great opportunity to get young anglers into some large fish. Try fishing with bait suspended under a float or casting spinners. These fish are considered to be trout after being stocked into Marr Pond and fall under the general trout regulations for the Northeast Zone. Under these regulations, anglers may harvest one fish over 20 inches/day and are not required to record these fish on their harvest card.

McNARY PONDS: trout

The ponds will be the site of a youth (12 and under) fishing event on Saturday, April 12 from 10 a.m. to noon. The ponds will open to fishing for the whole family at noon.
A trail system provides access to both pond and stream fishing and the area also has several handicap accessible fishing platforms. The ponds have been stocked and fishing should be good for rainbow trout

MORGAN LAKE: Closed to fishing until April 26.

OLIVE LAKE: rainbow, kokanee

The lake is open for ice fishing if you can get there. Snow is still limiting access.

PEACH POND (Ladd Marsh): rainbow trout

The pond is ice-free and will be stocked with rainbow trout the first week of April.

ROULET POND: rainbow trout

The pond is ice-free and will be stocked with rainbow trout the first week of April.

ROWE CREEK RESERVOIR: rainbow trout

Fishing is poor.Rainbow stocked last spring did not survive through the summer. The reservoir will not be stocked again until late May.

TATONE POND: trout

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

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.

TROUT FARM POND: rainbow and brook trout

Fishing for rainbow and brook trout is fair. The pond is ice free and open to fishing if you can get there. Snow is still limiting access.

UMATILLA RIVER: steelhead

Steelhead angling was good this past week with anglers averaging 6.3 hours per fish caught in the Pendleton area. Anglers are reminded the steelhead season closes on April 15. Spring Chinook season opens April 16. The return continues to be dominated by wild fish this year, with 90 percent of the run wild. Anglers are using a variety of techniques drift fishing techniques, eggs under a bobber, jigs and shrimp. The daily bag limit is 3 adipose fin-clipped steelhead. Anglers should consult the synopsis for detailed regulations.

Threemile Dam fish counts

WALLOWA LAKE: rainbow trout, kokanee, lake trout

Anglers at Wallowa Lake have been finding some kokanee and holdover rainbow trout. Two anglers reported catching their limit of 20 kokanee per angler by jigging on the south end of the lake. As spring progresses and water temperatures warm catch rates will improve.

WALLOWA RIVER: steelhead, mountain whitefish

The Wallowa River closed for steelhead fishing on April 15. At the time of this report, catch rates from last week’s surveys were unavailable but anglers were reporting mixed success with higher river flows. The Wallowa River and tributaries will open for general fishing on May 24.

Back to top

NORTHEAST ZONE: HUNTING

OPEN: COUGAR, COYOTE, SPRING TURKEY (April 15-May 31), CONTROLLED SPRING BEAR (opens April 15)

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.

Closure of Wallowa Mountain Loop Road (Forest Road 39)
A 13-mile stretch of the Wallowa Mountain Loop road, also known as the North Pine section of FSR 39, is closed for construction. Please see the Wallowa Whitman Loop Road Updates page for the latest information and maps.

BAKER COUNTY

Closure of Wallowa Mountain Loop Road (Forest Road 39)

Turkey season opens on April 15. Hunters should concentrate their efforts around lower elevation levels where there has been more early spring green up. You can expect to find heavy snows in the higher elevations. Public land hunting opportunities exist on the BLM and the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest as well as the ODFW managed Elkhorn Wildlife Area. Remember to ask permission before hunting on private property.

Spring Bear season opens April 15. See the hunting forecast for what to expect. 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. Hunters should look for open slopes with lots of green up and plan on spending some time glassing to locate bears. Bears will become more active as the season progresses.

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

Turkey season opens April 15. The turkeys should start moving onto Forest Service lands as snow recedes. Early in the season, some turkeys are on private property and permission is needed to hunt. Hunters have been successful in finding birds in the Middle Fork John Day River, Murderers Creek, and North Fork John Day River.

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

Turkey season opens Tuesday April 15th. The Districts turkey population is low but rebuilding. The warmer weather and little snow in the District have turkeys well distributed across the forest. Hunters should focus their efforts in areas with good spring green-up. There is snow in the higher portions of the forest but hunters should be able to access most of the forest.

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

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. Looking for tracks after a fresh snow can be effective for locating cougars.

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

UMATILLA COUNTY

Bears will be distributed in forested stringer areas throughout the county. Foraging bears will be out in open areas and available for glassing throughout the spring. Their numbers should increase as the last week in April begins. This should persist until the end of the season.

Turkey are distributing out from wintering flocks and gobbling in forested areas. Hunters will have best luck in low elevation forest areas throughout the season.

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

Spring Bear opens on April 15. Bears are starting to show up on open slopes in Union County. Scouting will pay off but expect snow to block roads higher than 5000 foot elevation. Access to hunting areas will improve later in the season. Successful hunters must check in harvested bears within 10 days. Propping the mouth open will make the check-in process go more quickly. See 2014 big game regulations for details.

Turkey season opens April 15. Turkeys have started to move off winter range and should be showing up in the upper foothills around Union county. Birds can be found throughout the county with the highest densities in the north end. The Wallowa Whitman National Forest, Hancock Forest Management lands and ODFW’s Elkhorn Wildlife Areaallprovide public access to turkey hunters in Union County. Hunters are cautioned that forest roads may be soft in the spring and to take care when driving to prevent damage.

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.

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

TURKEY: Spring turkey season starts April 15. While turkey numbers are only moderate in the district there are good places to find them. Snow is melting off of the lower areas of the district, as well as on south slopes and around trees in the moderate elevations. Turkeys are beginning to move from their wintering areas up into nesting areas at this time. The best strategy for finding them this time of year is to travel the forest roads or hike into areas where turkeys might be and call for them or just listen for their calls early in the morning.

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.


Back to top

NORTHEAST ZONE: VIEWING

BAKER COUNTY

Spring is arriving in Baker County. Robins and red-wing blackbirds can be found in the valley. Sandhill cranes can be heard flying overhead and can sometimes be seen in Bowen Valley and in the fields near Richland.

Turkeys can be seen and heard throughout the county in the transitional zone between the forest and the valley. A good area to look is on the Elkhorn Wildlife Area. Be aware that turkey season is open through May 31.

Bighorn sheep can be seen in the Burnt River Canyon west of Durkee or along the Snake River Road south of Richland.

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

Elk are beginning to head for higher ground as things green up. They can still be found on the wildlife area, the viewing areas on Old Auburn Road, or North Powder River Lane provide a good opportunity to watch. Remember the wildlife area is closed to entry, so bring binoculars and a spotting scope for the best look. 4/8/14.

GRANT COUNTY

Swans can be readily seen moving through Fox Valley.

Bald and golden eagles are in abundance this time of year and can be readily seen all along the John Day Valley.

Elk have moved down to their winter range and can be found throughout the Murderers Creek Unit.

Bighorn sheep can be viewed along the South Fork of the John Day. 3/10/14.

MORROW, GILLIAM and WHEELER COUNTIES

Spring is in full here in the Heppner District. Sandhill cranes are still seen flying north, although in smaller flocks of birds. Pine siskins can be seen occasionally at feeders in the area. Golden crowned kinglets are also showing up in the area. Ferruginous hawks are showing up to claim nest territories and can be seen in the northern portion of the District. Red-tailed hawks, American kestrels and northern harriers can be seen throughout the District.

In the forest mountain bluebirds are showing up in numbers and are easy to spot. Turkeys are leaving their winter flocks and males are gobbling. Ruffed and blue grouse can be seen and heard drumming in the forest.

Throughout the spring, one can spot white-crowned sparrows, northern oriel, American goldfinch, eastern kingbird, and, if you are really lucky, cedar waxwings

Bald eagles can still be seen along the waterways of the District. Sharp-shinned hawks can be spotted along most riparian areas with good trees and shrubs. 4/15/14.

UMATILLA COUNTY

Winter has broken and birds are starting to come out and be visible in all of the low and mid elevation habitats in the County. Ferruginous hawks started arriving in late February and have been forming pairs and working on their nests. They can be seen during the day soaring in loose pairs. Rough-legged hawks are still present and observable from public roads in open grassland areas and valleys in timbered forest areas. Bald eagles are still moving up and down the larger river systems looking for carrion to scavenge. Riparian areas are beehives of activity by migrating and resident birds.

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.

Turkeys are starting to move off their wintering areas and dispersing into the mid slope areas. Toms should start gobbling early in the morning as the weather improves. Please note that turkey hunting season is open April 15-May 31. 2/18/14.

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 auto route are open to the public. Please see the note above regarding daily permits. The Glass Hill Unit is open to public entry for foot and horse traffic only.

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.

Many Canada geese are on nests and a few have hatched so watch for goslings as they head for cover with their parents. Numerous species of duck can be seen on almost any open water. These include Mallard, Gadwall, Cinnamon Teal, Green-winged Teal, Ring-necked Duck, Lesser Scaup, Bufflehead, Redhead and Northern Shoveler. Eared Grebes, Pied-billed Grebes and American Coots are also present. Black-necked Stilts and American Avocets can be seen in shallow flats and at wetland edges.

Both Greater and Lesser Sandhill Cranes remain on the area. Many of the local Greaters are on nests and the last of the Lessers will likely move on soon. 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.

Raptors are common in the area and include Northern Harriers, Red-tailed Hawks, Rough-legged Hawks and Bald Eagles. A few Red-tails have begun nesting. Great Horned Owls are incubating eggs in at least five different nests on the area.

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. 4/8/14.

WALLOWA COUNTY

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

Many of the elk on the Zumwalt Prairie have moved back onto the prairie from the breaks of the canyons and are now more visible. 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.

This is a good time to find raptors in the Wallowa Valley. Particularly common are red-tailed hawks, with some rough-legged hawks also. Bald eagles are now present in large numbers as more migrants arrive in the area to join the locally wintering birds. Of particular interest this year is a gyrfalcon that has been wintering in the lower Prairie Creek area east of Enterprise.

Many waterfowl, particularly Canada geese, mallards, and American wigeon, are still wintering in the county. Additionally, we are beginning to see spring migrants moving back into the area on their way north. These birds can be seen flying into Wallowa Lake in the evenings from the county park at the north end of the lake. Many geese can be seen feeding in agricultural fields around the county, and the dabbling ducks can be seen eating cattle feed on the feedlots and along the open water streams feeding on water plants. You might also check the forest and Zumwalt Prairie livestock ponds for species like goldeneyes and phalaropes.

Finally, our three species of forest grouse are in the midst of their breeding season. Ruffed grouse can be heard drumming in brushy areas, especially near riparian strips. Dusky grouse (the old name was blue grouse) are displaying in the uplands and can be found in grassy openings in the forest near steep canyon areas. And spruce grouse are performing their distinctive “wing clap” displays in densely forested areas on the Eagle Cap wilderness, especially along McCully Creek. 4/8/14.


Back to top

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

Look for bass fishing to pick up the middle of April.

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

Look for good trout fishing at tributary mouths, particularly Wildhorse Creek. Look for bass fishing to pick up mid-April.

HELLS CANYON RESERVOIR: trout, crappie, bass, catfish

Look for good trout fishing at tributary mouths, particularly Pine Creek. Look for bass fishing to pick up mid-April.

SNAKE RIVER below HELLS CANYON RESERVOIR: steelhead, Trout

Steelhead are currently available in the Snake River from the border with Washington to Hells Canyon Dam. Fishing presure is light and last week anglers found success around ten hours per fish caught. Bank access is available from the Oregon side at the dam, at Dug Bar, and some anglers will walk the five miles down the lower Imnaha River trail. 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.

Get updated information on flow levels.

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

Catfish and bass fishing on the Snake River is good. Flows at the Nyssa gauge were 7,640 (April 15). Flows at the Weiser gauge were 12,900 cfs. Over the last week water temperatures ranged from 48 to 54˚F at the Weiser gauge and 51° to 60°F at Nyssa. Be cautious of debris in the river during spring run-off.


Back to top

COLUMBIA RIVER ZONE: FISHING

Weekend Fishing Opportunities:

  • White sturgeon retention is closed from Buoy 10 upstream to The Dalles Dam, but remains an option for catch and release angling.
  • Sturgeon retention is open in The Dalles and John Day pools until the respective guidelines are met.
  • Sturgeon retention is open during February 1-July 31 from McNary Dam upstream to the Oregon/Washington border.
  • Spring Chinook angling is open during March 16 – May 9, from Tower Island powerlines upstream to the Oregon/Washington border above McNary Dam, plus the banks between Bonneville and Tower Island powerlines.
  • Walleye fishing was good in The Dalles and John Day pools last week.

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

Salmon, Steelhead and Shad
Salmonid catch rates ranged from fair to excellent on the lower Columbia this past weekend. Boat anglers had the best success in the gorge, where anglers averaged 1.34 spring Chinook caught per boat. In the estuary, boat anglers averaged 0.56 spring Chinook caught per boat, while anglers fishing the Portland to Westport area averaged 0.49 spring Chinook caught per boat. In Troutdale, boat anglers averaged 0.37 spring Chinook caught per boat. Bank anglers fishing in the estuary averaged 0.25 spring Chinook and 0.5 steelhead caught per bank rod, while anglers fishing in the gorge averaged 0.14 spring Chinook caught per bank rod. In the Portland to Westport area, bank anglers averaged 0.06 spring Chinook and 0.01 steelhead caught per bank rod. On Saturday’s (4/12) flight, 1,918 salmonid boats and 742 Oregon bank anglers were counted from the Columbia River Estuary to Bonneville Dam.
Gorge Bank:

Weekend checking showed nine adipose fin-clipped adult Chinook kept, plus two unclipped adult Chinook released for 81 bank anglers.

Gorge Boats (below Beacon Rock):

Weekend checking showed 39 adipose fin-clipped adult Chinook kept, plus 12 unclipped adult Chinook released for 38 boats (129 anglers).

Troutdale Boats:

Weekend checking showed 17 adipose fin-clipped adult Chinook kept, plus seven unclipped adult Chinook released for 65 boats (144 anglers).

Portland to Westport Bank:

Weekend checking showed 17 adipose fin-clipped adult Chinook and two adipose fin-clipped steelhead kept, plus four unclipped adult Chinook, one unclipped jack Chinook and one unclipped steelhead released for 374 bank anglers.

Portland to Westport Boats:

Weekend checking showed 211 adipose fin-clipped adult Chinook kept, plus 46 unclipped adult Chinook released for 445 boats (1,183 anglers).

Estuary Bank (Clatsop Spit to Wauna Powerlines):

Weekend checking showed one adipose fin-clipped adult Chinook and two adipose fin-clipped steelhead kept for four bank anglers.

Estuary Boats (Tongue Point to Wauna Powerlines):

Weekend checking showed 12 adipose fin-clipped adult Chinook kept, plus three unclipped adult Chinook released for 27 boats (57 anglers).

Bonneville Pool:

No report.

The Dalles Pool:

Weekly checking showed one unclipped Chinook released for 30 bank anglers.

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

Weekly checking showed no catch for one boat (one angler).

STURGEON

Lower Columbia River:

Catch and release only.

Bonneville Pool:

Catch and release only.

The Dalles Pool:

Weekly checking showed one legal white sturgeon kept, plus two oversize and 10 sublegal sturgeon released for 38 bank anglers; and one legal white sturgeon kept, plus one legal and 34 sublegal sturgeon released for eight boats.

John Day Pool:

Weekly checking showed two sublegal sturgeon released for 25 bank anglers; and five legal white sturgeon kept, plus five legal, one oversize and 13 sublegal sturgeon released for 28 boats (55 anglers).

Sturgeon creel sampling summaries and catch estimates for Bonneville, The Dalles, and John Day pools can be found at the following link:
WDFW Mid-Columbia River mainstem sport sampling summary

WALLEYE

Bonneville Pool:

No report.

The Dalles Pool:

Weekly checking showed no catch for three bank anglers; and eight walleye kept, plus three walleye released for five boats (11 anglers).

John Day Arm and Vicinity:

Weekly checking showed 13 walleye kept, plus eight walleye released for 18 boats (30 anglers).

Back to top

MARINE ZONE: FISHING

Correction

There is an error in the 2014 Oregon Sport Fishing Regulations book in the waypoint for the Stonewall Bank Yelloweye Rockfish Conservation Area (YRCA). On page 105, the latitude for waypoints 3, 4 and 5 are incorrect. The map for the YRCA on page 105, however, is correct. The waypoints for the Stonewall bank YRCA are the same as in previous years. The waypoints for the YRCA on the ODFW web site are correct.

Here are the correct coordinates (the bold and underlined minutes are corrected from the 2014 regulations book):

 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'

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. Sign up and enter your phone for text alerts and e-mail information to subscribe to email updates. 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:

BOTTOM FISHING

Sport fisheries samplers at Garibaldi, Depoe Bay, Newport, Charleston and Brookings report good catches of rockfish last week. In each of the ports, most anglers on charter boats got limits or near limits. Rockfish catches from private vessels were fewer – between three and five fish – but often private fishers only catch what they can eat in the next day or two.

Anglers out of Depoe Bay and Brookings caught an average of one lingcod. The five other ports reported two or three lingcod for every 10 anglers.

The ocean outside of the 30-fathom curve (defined by coordinates) is closed to bottom fishing from April 1 to Sept. 30.

The cabezon season is closed until July 1.

The marine fish daily bag limit is seven fish. 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.

Spearfishing

Visibility for spearfishing along rocky jetties and rocky outcrops in bays is still good this time of year, except in bays following heavy rains. On good ocean days a boat trip to rocky ocean reefs will provide excellent hunting.

OCEAN SALMON

Sport anglers report good catches of Chinook off the Oregon Coast south of Cape Falcon from Newport to Bandon.

Recreational Chinook salmon fishing this year should be good to great based on forecasted adult returns destined for key river basins of the Columbia River, the Central Valley in California, and the Klamath River. Although fishery managers are forecasting returns to the Central Valley and Klamath River fall Chinook to be well below the 2013 totals, they should be abundant enough to result in good Chinook catches along the entire Oregon Coast.

Tremendous returns of Chinook are forecast for the Columbia River this summer and should provide great fishing both in the ocean and the Columbia River in August.

Thanks to improved hatchery and naturally-produced coho populations, the 2014 ocean coho seasons should provide the most time on the water for coho fishing since the 2010 season. Fishery managers expect selective fishing for fin-clipped hatchery coho beginning in late June to be very good along the Oregon Coast, especially from Bandon north to the Columbia River. The Cape Falcon to Humbug Mountain non-selective coho season will open on Aug. 30 to coincide with Labor Day weekend.

Summary of the Ocean Seasons Adopted by PFMC:

  • North of Cape Falcon to Leadbetter Point, Washington
  • Recreational season for hatchery fin-clipped Chinook from May 31-June 13 (9,000 coast-wide quota).
  • Recreational season for all salmon from June 14-Sept. 30 with a two fish limit, of which only one can be a Chinook and all coho must be fin-clipped. Quota of 92,400 coho with 13,100 Chinook guideline.
  • South of Cape Falcon
  • Sport Chinook from Cape Falcon south to Humbug Mountain open March 15 through Oct. 31, and from Humbug Mountain to the Oregon-California border open May 10 through Sept. 7.
  • Sport fin-clipped coho open June 21-Aug. 10 (quota of 80,000 coho) from Cape Falcon south to Oregon-California border
  • Sport non-selective coho from Aug. 30 through Sept. 30 with a quota of 20,000. Open from Cape Falcon south to Humbug Mountain.

The regulations adopted by the Pacific Fishery Management Council cover ocean waters from three to 200 miles from the state’s shore. In late April, the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission consider concurrent regulations for Oregon’s territorial water that extend three miles from the shoreline. The regulations must also be approved by the National Marine Fishery Service and the Secretary of Commerce.

PACIFIC HALIBUT

Fishing for Pacific halibut in Oregon is closed.

After a public meeting and on-line survey, ODFW staff recommends these dates for sport Pacific halibut all-depth seasons between Cape Falcon and Humbug Mountain:

  • Spring all-depth Fixed Dates: May 8-10; May 22-24, June 5-7, and June 19-21
  • Spring all-depth Back-up Dates, if quota remaining: July 3-5, July 17-19 and July 31
  • Summer all-depth: opens Aug 1-2, every other Friday and Saturday until quota is attained

The Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission could make changes before granting final approval at its April 25 meeting. A complete map of the recommended regulations for 2014 is available on the sport halibut webpage.

SHELLFISH

Razor clams

The entire Oregon coast is open for razor clamming.

The next minus tide series began March 25 mid-afternoon. You will need a lantern as the low tides get later in the evening, but midwinter clamming can be productive. For best results, clammers should pay close attention to surf forecasts and be on the beach one to two hours before low tide. If the forecast calls for combined seas over 8 or 10 feet, razor clam harvesting can be difficult because the clams tend to show much less in those conditions. When referencing tide tables, Clatsop beach razor clam harvesters should use the tide gauge at the Columbia River entrance.

Recreational shellfish safety status as of April 15:

  • On April 3, mussel harvesting was re-opened from Cape Arago in Coos County south to the California border. It had been closed because of biotoxin concerns.
  • With this reopening, all recreational shellfish harvesting is open from the Columbia River to the California border.
  • 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.

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 is very slow this time of year. The best months for bay crabbing in Oregon are August through November, although success usually declines after significant rainfall as estuary salinity drops. Look for bay crabbing to pick up again in June.

The ODFW crabbing report shows average number of legal-sized Dungeness crab per person in various bays by month over the past year through September.

Crabbing in the ocean opened Dec. 1.

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.


Back to top

MARINE ZONE: VIEWING

The whales go by

The network of whale watchers along the coast reported more than 700 whale sightings for the first three days of “Whale Watch Week” going on right now. Of course, many of the sightings are multiple views of the same whale. A ranger at the Depoe Bay Whale watch Center reports some spectacular behavior, including breaches by some whales and many mothers with calves. The whales move more slowly and closer to the beach during the spring migration because there are calves in the pod. About 18,000 gray whales will pass by the Oregon coast.

A gray whale's blow is up to 15 feet high, and each blow is visible for about five seconds. When warm, moist air exhaled from the animals' lungs meets the cool air at the ocean surface, it creates the bushy column called a blow, or spout. Anticipate that the whale will dive for three to six minutes, then surface for three to five blows in row, 30 to 50 seconds apart, before diving deep for three to six minutes again.

To watch the migration, it is best to pick a calm day and find a view point that is high enough to spot the spouts. Learning good binocular technique will help spot the whales. Gaze out onto the ocean, focusing on medium distances until you see a puff of white. Then raise your binoculars while continuing to look at the place you saw the puff. This technique takes some practice, but generally works better than swinging the binoculars around looking for something. Just keep your eyes focused on the whale and raise the binoculars to your eyes, looking through them, not into them.

Gray whales are the most coastal of the baleen whales and are often found within a few miles of shore as they migrate from Alaska to Baja. Gray whales have baleen instead of teeth. To feed, they fill their vast mouths with mud from the sea bottom and strain it through their baleen to capture amphipods and other small animals. This is the only type of whale to feed in this manner.

Killer whales

Seeing killer whales off the Oregon coast is a rare treat, but whale watchers can usually count on a pod of orca’s patrolling the coast in mid April. Orcas shadow gray whales as they return from breeding in Mexico. They mostly target the gray whale calves. Orcas are most often seen in the ocean off Depoe Bay and Newport, but can be spotted coast wide. The first thing you are likely to see when sighting killer whales is their dorsal fin. Male orcas have a dorsal fin that can be six feet in height, juveniles and females have shorter fins. These large fins can be seen from quite a distance.

Nesting hummingbirds

Rufous and Anna's hummingbirds are collecting nesting material this month. Hang out by some cattails and watch the fun. Check the out attached photo by Roy Lowe, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.

Feasting waterfowl

Congregations of herring in the bay attract hundreds of hungry waterfowl including of Surf Scoter, Scaup, Bufflehead and more.

Minus Tides

Starting the end of March and continuing through April, are the first morning minus tides of the year. More hours of daylight make this prime time for visiting tide pools and watching the life that was just a few hours ago under as much as 10 feet of water.

The three series of morning minus tides are: March 30 to April 3, April 15 through 22 and April 27 through the end of the month.

Look for green anemones, hermit crabs, sea urchins, small fish, jelly fish, sea stars, pinkish corraline algae, lime green anemone, dark green sea lettuce, barnacles and other animals of the intertidal region.

There are dozens of good places on the Oregon coast to go tide pooling. Some of the best are in state parks and recreation areas, including Haystack Rocks, Hug Point, Seal Rock, Yachats State Recreation Area (or just about anywhere with 10 miles of Yachats), Strawberry Hill State Wayside, Neptune State Park, Sunset Bay State Park, Cape Arago State Park and Cape Blanco State Park. Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area, four miles north of Newport, has outstanding tide pools and rangers on hand to provide tours and answer questions.

Don’t turn your back on the ocean because a large wave may get you wet or worse. Also, stay off beach logs! They can roll in the surf and crush you. High surf can make tide pooling on the ocean beaches uncomfortable and dangerous, so try looking for wildlife in the mud flats of coastal bays and rivers.

For more information.

Tufted Puffins arrive in early April at an offshore rock near you

Tufted Puffins sport a colorful bill and in the breeding season with two long, blond plumes at the end of a facial mask. These chunky black birds arrive every spring to breed on the coastal islands of Oregon that make up Oregon Islands National Wildlife Refuge. From early April to late August they can be seen up and down the coast. Tufted puffins only come ashore to breed and raise their young. For the remainder of the year they live, feed, and sleep on the open ocean. Puffins arrive, along with thousands of other seabirds, to the coastal rocks of the refuge during the first week in April.

Summer birds return to the coast

The first brown pelicans have been spotted on the central Oregon coast. Turkey vultures are gliding above the beaches and fields. The first swallows are also back. Spring must be here.


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

Mobile Quick Links | Back to top