OREGON DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND WILDLIFE

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Welcome to the ODFW Recreation Report - May 23, 2017

Fishing, Hunting and Wildlife Viewing

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


Free Fishing Weekend June 3-4

Take someone fishing during Free Fishing Weekend June 3 and 4. On those two days, no license, tag or endorsement is required to fish, crab or clam anywhere in Oregon. New to fishing and wondering how to get started? Check out the schedule of free family fishing events being held throughout the state on those two days.

The fine print: Applies only to waters already open to fishing, crabbing or clamming. All other regulations, such as bag limits, still apply.

Weekend fishing opportunities

With a three day weekend coming up, why not include some fishing in your holiday plans? Some good bets for the upcoming weekend:

  • Spring Chinook fishing is picking up on north coast rivers.
  • Lots (lots!) of popular waterbodies are being stocked with trout, including many trophy-size fish.
  • Low tides will make this a good weekend for surf perch fishing inside bays and jetties.

Check out this week’s Rec Report for the best opportunities near you.

Things are heating up for warmwater fishing

Fishing for bass, crappie and other warmwater fish, continues to improve in areas throughout the state.

Learn to fish for steelhead

ODFW is partnering with the Sandy Chapter of the NW Steelheaders to present a Steelhead 101 workshop on Saturday, June 24 at 9 a.m. at the Oxbow Regional Park near Troutdale. Find more information and register.

Last days for spring bear, turkey hunting

Both seasons close May 31.

Take a Friend Hunting – Win a Prize

Experienced hunters who take a new or lapsed person out hunting can enter to win prizes. Both must be adults (18 years and older). More info

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NORTHWEST ZONE: FISHING

Weekend fishing opportunities:

  • Trout season opened on May 22 with a two fish per day limit.
  • Spring Chinook fishing is picking on up in coastal waters, including the Nestucca, Siletz, Trask, Three Rivers, and Tillamook Bay.
  • The following locations will be stocked with trout this week: Alder Lake, Buck Lake, Cleawox Lake, Dune Lake, Perkins Lake and Thissell Pond.

Send us your fishing report

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

NORTH COAST LAKES

Most of the North Coast lakes were stocked with trout recently. Water temps are great and fish should be hungry, so go catch them!

MID COAST LAKES

Most of the North Coast lakes were stocked with trout recently. Water temps are great and fish should be hungry, so go catch them!

The 2017 trout stocking schedule is available online.

ALSEA RIVER AND BAY: steelhead

The Alsea River and listed tributaries closed for hatchery steelhead on May 1 to protect spawning wild steelhead.

KILCHIS RIVER: trout

Trout season opened May 22, and there should be some nice cutthroat around. Remember the limit on streams and rivers is two per day over 8-inches.

NEHALEM: trout

Trout season opened May 22, and there should be some nice cutthroat around. Remember the limit on streams and rivers is two per day over 8-inches.

NESTUCCA RIVER AND THREE RIVERS: steelhead, spring Chinook, trout

The Nestucca is in good shape and spring Chinook fishing has been fair. There’s more water than usual for this time of year, so all of the drifts are available. The water has been a little cold for prime springer fishing, but with the warm weather early this week, it should be improving by the weekend. Bobber fishing bait, back bouncing, pulling divers and bait or plugs are all good techniques. We haven’t heard many reports of summer steelhead, but there should be fish in the system.

Spring Chinook fishing on Three Rivers has picked up a little and there are some fish being caught.

Trout season opened May 22, and there should be some nice cutthroat around. Remember the limit on streams and rivers is two per day over 8-inches.

SALMON RIVER: steelhead

The Salmon River closed for wild and hatchery steelhead on March 31 to protect spawning wild steelhead.

SILETZ RIVER: steelhead, Chinook

The Siletz River opened for wild Chinook on April 1 (1 per day and 2 per season). Spring Chinook and summer steelhead are being caught. Drift boaters are having success from Moonshine Park to Siletz and bank anglers are catching hatchery fish in the Siletz gorge. Casting spinners, drifting bait or using a bobber and jig can be effective.

SIUSLAW RIVER: steelhead

The Siuslaw River closed for hatchery steelhead on April 1 to protect spawning wild steelhead.

TILLAMOOK BAY: spring Chinook

Spring Chinook fishing on the bay has picked up a little, although it is still a little slow, but a few fish are being caught both in the upper and lower bay. Fishing should improve throughout the month. Trolling herring in the lower bay, and spinners in the upper, are usually the go to techniques.

TRASK RIVER: steelhead, spring Chinook, trout

Spring Chinook fishing on the Trask has picked up. There is plenty of water for this time of year. The water has been a little cold for prime springer fishing, but with the warm weather early this week, it should be improving by the weekend. Bobber fishing bait, back bouncing, pulling divers and bait or plugs are all good techniques.

Trout season opened May 22, and there should be some nice cutthroat around. Remember the limit on streams and rivers is two per day over 8-inches.

Anglers are reminded that from Cedar Creek boat slide (River Mile 10.9) downstream to marker at Loren’s drift (River Mile 9.0) from May 1 – July 31, angling is restricted to fly angling or salmon bobber angling (See diagram on page 16 of the Oregon Sport Fishing Regulations).

WILSON RIVER: steelhead, Spring Chinook, trout

Spring Chinook fishing has been slow on the Wilson, but there should be some fish around and it should improve throughout the month. There should also be some summer steelhead in the system.

Trout season opened May 22, and there should be some nice cutthroat around. Remember the limit on streams and rivers is two per day over 8-inches.

YAQUINA RIVER: steelhead

The Yaquina River and Big Elk Cr. closed for steelhead on April 1 to protect spawning wild steelhead.

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NORTHWEST ZONE: NORTH COAST HUNTING

OPEN: COUGAR, SPRING BEAR (closes May 31)

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.

Spring bear hunting is done through controlled hunt tags on the north coast. Bear activity has been increasing lately and it’s becoming more likely to see bears out and about, especially on warmer, sunnier days. Hunters are reminded check their harvested bears 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.


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NORTHWEST ZONE: NORTH COAST WILDLIFE VIEWING

Neotropical migrants (songbirds) are starting to make their appearance in the forests, fields and marshy areas of the north coast. In the coming weeks, more will continue to arrive and soon the forests will be alive with male songbirds calling to attract mates and establish territories.

May is typically a good time for observing migrating shorebirds on northern Oregon coast beaches. Many species are moving north from more southerly latitudes, and stop at the beaches to rest and feed before continuing on to the arctic or near-arctic regions.

Brown pelicans have been showing up on north coast estuaries and the lower Columbia River. As spring gives way to summer, many more will show up on the north coast. They are closely tied to the ocean and estuaries whereas their cousin, the white pelican, tends to be inland from the coast.

TILLAMOOK COUNTY

The black oystercatcher is a medium-sized, black shorebird with bright orange bills and feet, that inhabits rocky shorelines of the coast. It feeds typically on mussels growing on the rocks, not oysters, as the name implies. You can often hear them before they’re seen as they have a loud and raucous call. A great place to view them is the Short Beach area, just north of Oceanside.

The whimbrels are back in Tillamook County. May is the typical time when these large, nondescript brown shorebirds are seen and heard, not only along the coast, but in other areas in and around Tillamook. They can sometimes be seen foraging in dairy pastures, just as herons and egrets do, and have a characteristic call when flying overhead. They typically leave for their breeding areas in the north by sometime in June.

CLATSOP COUNTY

The Twilight Bald Eagle Sanctuary is located just off Hwy. 30 on Burnside Road, near the community of Svensen. By May, many of the neo-tropical birds that nest there have arrived, and the marsh should be alive with the calls of nesting birds, such as the marsh wren. The facility has a good viewing platform that even illustrates some of local history, such as the Lewis and Clark Expedition. Bring your spotting scope to optimize your viewing experience.

Jewell Meadows Wildlife Area

Viewing opportunities for elk have been good with some animals visible most days. Best times are in the mornings and evenings. As the spring progresses elk should start spending more time in the timbered areas and less time in the open fields especially on warm days. The bulls have shed their antlers and new antler growth is already visible on many of them. Look for bulls on the Fishhawk tract adjacent to Hwy. 202. Other elk may be visible along Hwy. 202 or the first 1.5 miles on Beneke Creek Road. Please remember that areas posted as Wildlife Refuge are closed to public access.

Migratory species that have recently returned to the wildlife area include band-tailed pigeons, violate-green swallows, tree swallows, and wood ducks. Look for band-tailed pigeons near viewing areas. Swallows can be seen gliding over open fields and checking out nest boxes along fences near viewing areas. Wood ducks, hooded mergansers, and mallards have been seen on the shallow pond areas, in fields with standing water, and along creeks.

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

(Updated 5/23/17)


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SOUTHWEST ZONE: FISHING

Weekend fishing opportunities:

  • Spring Chinook fishing continues to be good in the mainstem Umpqua and some are being caught in the North Umpqua as well.
  • Anglers had been catching spring Chinook pretty consistently in the lower Rogue.
  • May is when summer steelhead will begin migrating through the mainstem Umpqua.
  • Fishing for trout and coho smolts has been good in Galesville Reservoir.
  • Fishing for bass and other warmwater species has been picking up in several area water bodies.
  • Largemouth bass fishing in the Tenmile Basin has been good and should continue to pick up.

Send us your fishing report

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

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

The lake is full and, the boat ramp is open from dawn until dusk. Fishing for largemouth bass, crappie, and other warmwater fish has been good. Look for fish to be around structure along the shore.

APPLEGATE RESERVOIR: largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, trout

Applegate Reservoir will be stocked this week with 14,000 legal-size and 500 one-pound rainbow trout, which should make for very good trout fishing. Trolling with a wedding ring/bait combination has been effective, as has still fishing with bait from the shore. Fishing for smallmouth bass should be good. The water temperature was 60oF as of Monday morning, and the lake was 98 percent full. Hart-Tish Park and boat ramp are open. The Copper Boat Ramp is also open.

APPLEGATE RIVER: winter steelhead, trout

The Applegate River is now open for trout fishing. Two hatchery trout may be harvested per day. Wild trout must be released unharmed.

ARIZONA POND: rainbow trout

Trout fishing has been good, but weed growth is making it a little tougher. Best trout fishing is in the morning or evening. The pond is scheduled to receive numerous stockings through the spring. This pond is managed by Oregon State Parks for youth-only fishing. It is located at Arizona Beach State Recreation Site, approximately half way between Gold Beach and Port Orford.

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

Ben Irving has been stocked several times with legal-size trout. There are still opportunities to catch carryover fish, as well. Warmwater fishing for bass, crappie and bluegill should improve with increasing temperatures.

BURMA POND: rainbow trout

Burma Pond, located on BLM land east of the town of Wolf Creek, was stocked last week with legal-size rainbow trout, so trout fishing should be good. Largemouth bass are also available.

CHETCO RIVER: Closed

The river re-opens to fishing May 22.

COOPER CREEK RESERVOIR: rainbow trout, bass, bluegill

Cooper Creek has been stocked with several hundred trophy-size trout and has received several deliveries of legal-size trout. Fishing for bass and bluegill should improve with increasing temperatures.

COOS COUNTY LAKES/PONDS: trout
Trout will be stocked in the Millicoma Pond at the Millicoma Interpretive Center and fishing should be excellent. Millicoma Pond is intended for children under the age of 12. Please call before traveling to Millicoma Pond to make sure the gates are open. The phone number is (541)267-2557.
Trout are scheduled to be stocked in Empire Lakes and Tenmile Lakes during the week of May 29. This will be the last trout stocking in the area until October.

ODFW is implementing a tag reward trout study on Empire Lakes for 2017 in which anglers will be asked to report tagged trout that are caught. Anglers can report tags on the ODFW website. Some of the tags will be worth a $50 gift card. This study is an effort by ODFW to compare stocking of “larger” trout to last year’s stocking of “legal” size trout.

COOS RIVER BASIN: Dungeness crab, bay clams, rockfish

Streams and rivers are now open to trout fishing until Oct. 31. Fishing is restricted to artificial flies and lures in streams above tidewater. Anglers may harvest 2 trout per day that are a minimum of 8 inches long.

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

Recreational crabbing is open inside the Coos Bay estuary. Crabbing has been good one day and slow the next day in Coos Bay. Even when crabbing is good, crabbers will need to sort through lots of crab to get a limit.

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

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

COQUILLE RIVER BASIN: crab, trout

Streams and rivers are now open to trout fishing until Oct. 31. Fishing is restricted to artificial flies and lures in streams above tidewater, except the South Fork Coquille where bait is allowed. Anglers may harvest 2 trout per day that are a minimum of 8 inches long.

Smallmouth bass fishing in the Coquille Basin will improve as the water temperatures warm up in the next couple of weeks.

Recreational crabbing is open in the Coquille estuary but crabbing is very slow due to the large amounts of freshwater coming downstream.

DIAMOND LAKE: trout

As part of the 2016 regulation simplification process, Diamond Lake is now back to the Southwest Zone regulation of 5 rainbow trout per day. Anglers that are planning on taking a trip to Diamond Lake should check with the Umpqua National Forest (541-498-2531) for information on seasonal camp and ramp closures. Anglers can check fishing and water conditions at Diamond Lake on the Diamond Lake Resort website, or call their toll free number at 1-800-733-7593, ext. 5 for updates. Diamond Lake is open year-round.

With the lake being mostly “iced-off” fishing has been good. A significant portion of fish caught have been larger than 12-inches. Diamond Lake was stocked with tiger trout in early June of 2016. These fish are intended to assist in controlling illegally introduced tui chub. Tiger trout are catch-and-release only and need to be released immediately and unharmed if caught.

DUTCH HERMAN POND: rainbow trout, largemouth bass

Dutch Herman Pond, located on BLM land east of the town of Wolf Creek, was stocked last week with legal-size rainbow trout.

ELK RIVER: closed

The river re-opened to fishing May 22.

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

Emigrant has been stocked with legal-size rainbow trout. Fishing for bass, crappie, and other warmwater species should be good. Look for fish to be around structure along the shore. The reservoir is currently full.

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

Anglers can once again fish the pond just to the north of the arena, which is now within a RV Park developed by Jackson County. Fishing has been good for stocked rainbow trout. Parking is available to the right as you drive in Gate 5. A day use fee to park here is $4. An annual parking permit can be purchased from Jackson County Parks Department for $30.

A short walk from the day use parking area provides access is the southernmost pond which was stocked earlier this year with rainbow trout and offers good fishing for warmwater fish. Three parking spots are available at Gate 1.5, but parking is not allowed on Penninger Road.

FISH LAKE: rainbow trout, brook trout, spring Chinook

Fish Lake has been stocked with legal-size and trophy-size rainbow trout. Brook trout, tiger trout, and stocked Chinook salmon are also available. Fishing for rainbow trout and Chinook salmon has been fair. The Forest Service boat ramp and campground are open. The Fish lake Resort restaurant, boat launch, and campground are currently open Fridays through Sundays. The reservoir is now 72 percent full.

Anglers are encouraged to report catches of larger spring Chinook or tiger trout to the local ODFW district office at 541-826-8774. Tiger trout must be released unharmed.

FLORAS LAKE: rainbow, cutthroat trout

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

GALESVILLE RESERVOIR: rainbow trout, bass, coho smolts

Galesville has been stocked several times in 2017 with legal-size trout and with over 50 trophy-size trout. In addition to trout, the reservoir has been stocked with coho smolts and there have been reports of them being caught in good numbers. Many people mistakenly think these fish are kokanee. The coho smolts should be adipose fin-clipped, and please remember to release the ones less than 8-inches long.

In Galesville Reservoir, all landlocked salmon are considered trout and are part of the five-per-day trout limit, with only one trout over 20-inches long allowed for harvest.

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

GARRISON LAKE: rainbow, cutthroat trout, bass

Increasing weed growth has slowed trout fishing for bank anglers. Boat anglers are still doing very well on a mix of trophy and legal trout. Anglers will want to watch the weather and fish when the lake is not too windy.

ODFW is implementing a tag reward trout study for 2017. Anglers will be asked to report tagged trout that are caught. Some of the tags will be worth money. Anglers can report the tag number to the ODFW Gold Beach office (541) 247-7605 or on ODFW’s website. Tags can be cut off or pulled out of fish being released. The study is an effort by ODFW to see what size of trout contribute to the fishery the best. Garrison is always an excellent trout fishery, and this study will only help improve it.

HEMLOCK LAKE & LAKE IN THE WOODS: trout

Hemlock Lake should be accessible soon if not already. Anglers fishing the high lakes in the Umpqua District are encouraged to e-mail fishing reports. Contact the Forest Service at 541-496-3532 for road conditions.

Lake in the Woods has been stocked in 2017, but Hemlock has been inaccessible to the liberation truck. There are opportunities to catch holdover rainbow trout that were stocked in previous years. Remember only trout over 8-inches may be harvested, and only one trout over 20-inches may be kept per day.

HOWARD PRAIRIE RESERVOIR:

Fishing has been good for rainbow trout, with many of the fish between 14 to 18 inches. The lake will be stocked with another 5,100 legal-sized rainbow trout this week. Anglers have been doing well by still-fishing bait and by trolling bait/lure combinations. Fly anglers have been doing especially well at the upper end of the reservoir. Fishing for largemouth and smallmouth bass should be improving as the water warms. The lake is full. The marina (boat rentals and moorage) and restaurant/store are open, as are the Jackson County Parks campgrounds and boat ramps.

HYATT LAKE: rainbow trout

Fishing has been good for rainbow trout, with many of the fish in the 14 to 20-inch range. The lake will be stocked with another 5,100 legal-sized rainbow trout this week. Still fishing with bait, trolling lures, and fly fishing have all been productive. Fishing for largemouth bass should be improving as the water warms. The reservoir is 62 percent full. The Mountain View boat ramp is open. The campgrounds are scheduled to open this Friday, May 26.

ILLINOIS RIVER: trout, steelhead

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

LAKE MARIE: rainbow trout, yellow perch

Lake Marie has been stocked twice this year with legal-size trout. Most anglers use PowerBait or worms to catch trout and yellow perch.

LAKE SELMAC: trout, largemouth bass, bluegill, crappie

Selmac has been stocked with legal-size rainbow trout and trout fishing has been good. Fishing for largemouth bass, bluegill, and crappie has also been good. Look for these fish around structure along the shore.

LEMOLO RESERVOIR: brown trout, rainbow trout, kokanee

The reservoir has been difficult to access due to snow conditions. Contact Lemolo Lake Resort at 541-957-8354 for weather/road conditions and additional information.

The reservoir was stocked with 4,500 rainbow trout in 2016. It was recently stocked with 6,000 legal size trout. There are also excellent opportunities to catch large brown trout and kokanee. Kokanee in Lemolo are considered trout and therefore fall under the daily limit for trout of five per day with only one of those measuring over 20-inches.

LOON LAKE: rainbow trout, bass, bluegill

Loon Lake has been stocked several times in 2017 with legal-size trout. Fishing for crappie, bluegill and bass will improve with increasing temperatures. Slower presentations such as jigging can be a good technique.

Visit the BLM and Loon Lake Resort websites for information on opening dates and camping.

LOST CREEK RESERVOIR: rainbow trout, bass

Lost Creek Reservoir will be stocked this week with 10,000 legal-sized and 1,500 one-pound rainbow trout. Fishing has been good for anglers trolling bait and/or lures. Bank anglers have been catching fish near the Takelma Ramp, marina, and spillway using spinners, Powerbait, or a nightcrawler below a bobber. Fishing for smallmouth bass should be good. The reservoir is 99 percent full, and the surface temperature is 62oF.

MEDCO POND: rainbow trout, largemouth bass, bluegill

Two thousand legal-size rainbow trout were stocked into Medco Pond, and fishing for them has been very good. Fishing has also been good for bass and bluegill. Anglers are reminded that Medco Pond is privately owned. Gas engines are not allowed on the pond, and bank access is restricted to the west shore.

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

Recreational crabbing is open along the entire Oregon coast.

Bottom fishing has been good when the ocean conditions allow. Fishing for bottom fish is now restricted to inside the 30-fathom curve. A few black rockfish have been seen feeding on/near the surface recently.

Recreational Chinook salmon fishing is open from Cape Falcon to Humbug Mountain. Anglers may have two salmon per day but is closed to retention of coho except during the selective and non-selective coho seasons. The selective coho season opens on June 24 through July 31 or until the 18,000 marked coho quota has been met.

The next All Depth Halibut days are June 1-3. The nearshore halibut season does not open until June 4.

Recreational harvest of razor clams is CLOSED on the entire Oregon coast due to elevated levels of domoic acid. The recreational harvesting of mussels is OPEN along the entire Oregon Coast from the Columbia River to the California border. Before any shellfish harvest trip, make sure to check the Oregon Department of Agriculture website for any updates.

Surf perch fishing has been good when ocean swells are small. Surf perch anglers will do the best fishing with sand shrimp or Berkley Gulp sand worms. Fishing is typically best on the incoming tide.

PLAT I RESERVOIR: rainbow trout, bass

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

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

REINHART POND: trout, largemouth bass, bluegill

Reinhart Pond has been stocked with legal-size and trophy-size rainbow trout. Fishing for them has been good. Fishing for warmwater species has also been good.

ROGUE RIVER

Rogue River, lower: spring Chinook, surf perch

Boat anglers are picking up springers consistently, but the majority of fish have been wild. Most angling pressure has been in the lower river and the top of estuary.

Anglers have been picking up a few surf perch off the sand spit in the lower estuary.

Rogue River, middle: steelhead, trout

A few spring Chinook salmon have been landed, but fishing for Chinook remains slow. Chinook have been caught on bait-wrapped plugs and on roe. Anglers are reminded that only hatchery Chinook with clipped adipose fins may be retained. Fishing is also slow for steelhead since the majority of the winter steelhead are gone and the summer steelhead have not yet arrived.

The river is now open for trout fishing. Five hatchery trout may be harvested per day. Wild trout must be released unharmed.

As of Monday morning, the flow at Grants Pass was 4,630 cfs, the turbidity was 4 NTUs, and the water temperature was 56oF. For those interested in checking conditions before getting on the river, the City of Grants Pass Water Division’s website offers information on river conditions at Grants Pass as well as a link to a river camera.

Rogue River, upper: steelhead, trout

Fishing for spring Chinook has been slow to fair since relatively few Chinook have made it to the upper Rogue so far. Anglers are reminded that only hatchery Chinook with clipped adipose fins may be retained. Due to low returns of spring Chinook salmon to Cole Rivers Fish Hatchery, the popular “Hatchery Hole” has been closed to all fishing through July 31. The fishing deadline has been moved downstream 1,200 feet. This closure is necessary to help ensure Cole Rivers Fish Hatchery collects enough Spring Chinook to meet future production goals.

Fishing is also slow for steelhead since the majority of the winter steelhead are gone and the summer steelhead have not yet to arrive.

The river is now open for trout fishing. The salmonflies should soon begin emerging, which should result good trout fishing. Five hatchery trout may be harvested per day. Wild trout must be released unharmed.

As of May 17, a total of 2,335 winter steelhead and six spring Chinook have returned to Cole Rivers Hatchery. (Track the hatchery returns at fish returns to Cole Rivers). The outflow from Lost Creek Reservoir on Monday morning was 3,522 cfs, but scheduled to rise to 3,700 later in the day. The water temperature in the river was 50oF. The flow at RayGold was 4,620 cfs with a temperature of 52oF.

Up to date flow and temp information.

Rogue River, above Lost Creek Reservoir: trout

The weekly stocking of rainbow trout in the Rogue River above the reservoir will begin this week and continue through the summer. Some of the usual stocking sites are still blocked by snow or have swift current, so for this week, only the following sites will be stocked: Mill Creek Campground; River Bridge Campground; Woodruff Bridge; Union Creek Campground; Farewell Bend Campground; Mt. Stella Bridge; and Hwy 230 between MP 9 and 10. In addition to the stocked trout, the river and its tributaries also support naturally produced rainbow, cutthroat, brook, and brown trout.

SMITH RIVER, Umpqua: trout

Opened to fishing on May 22.

SODA SPRINGS RESERVOIR: closed

Soda Springs remains CLOSED. There has been some recent articles stating that the reservoir is open to fishing. The reservoir is closed to evaluate its use by salmon and steelhead.

SPALDING POND: rainbow trout

Spalding Pond will be stocked again this week with legal-size rainbow trout.

TENMILE BASIN: trout, bass

Streams and rivers are now open to trout fishing until Oct. 31. Fishing is restricted to artificial flies and lures in streams above tidewater. Anglers may harvest 2 trout per day that are a minimum of 8 inches long. Trout fishing in Tenmile Lakes, Eel Lake, Saunders Lake are open all year. Anglers have been catching trout in Eel and Tenmile lakes trolling wedding ring spinners tipped with a worm.

Largemouth bass fishing has been good and will continue to pick up as the water temperatures warm up. Anglers are catching bass in shallow water near structure or on the deep end of the weed lines using jigs or rubber worms.

TOKETEE LAKE: brown trout, rainbow trout

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

UMPQUA HIGH LAKES AND FOREBAYS: trout

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

Red Top Pond, which offers excellent bank fishing opportunities, was stocked in late April 2017. In addition, there should be plenty of holdover legal-size trout from previous stockings in these waterbodies. Anglers fishing the high lakes in the Umpqua District are encouraged to e-mail fishing reports.

UMPQUA RIVER, MAINSTEM: steelhead, spring Chinook, shad

The mainstem Umpqua is closed to wild steelhead harvest but remains open year-round for adipose fin-clipped steelhead. Spring Chinook season is in full swing with regular reports of anglers catching fish throughout the main. Summer steelhead should begin migrating through the main in May.

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

The traditional season for shad is from Mother’s Day to Father’s Day. There are some reports of shad being caught by spring Chinook anglers.

UMPQUA RIVER, NORTH: steelhead, spring Chinook

Summer steelhead season should start soon.

There have been some reports of spring Chinook being caught above and below Winchester Dam. Per the new regulation, from Feb. 1 – June 30, two wild Chinook per day can be harvested. Ten wild Chinook may be harvested in the North during this time frame in aggregate with wild Chinook harvested in the Main. Anti-snagging rules are in effect from March 1 through July 31 in the area below the fly boundary. This rule includes hook restrictions (one single-point hook with less than ¾” gap) and a leader length of no more than 36 inches. Please refer to the fishing regulations for more information.

Note that from Oct. 1 through Dec. 31 and Jan. 1 through June 30, fishing in the fly water area is restricted to fly fishing only with a single barbless fly.

UMPQUA RIVER, SOUTH: trout, bass

The South opened on May 22 to trout and warmwater fishing.

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

Willow Lake will be stocked again this week with 3,000 legal-size and 1,500 pound-size rainbow trout. Anglers should do well still-fishing with bait, trolling or casting lures, or fly-fishing. Fishing for bass and other warmwater species should be good. The paved ramp and campground are open, and the lake is full.

WINCHESTER BAY: bottomfish, perch

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

WINCHUCK RIVER: closed

The river re-opens to fishing May 22.


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SOUTHWEST ZONE: HUNTING

OPEN: COUGAR, COYOTE, SPRING BEAR, SPRING TURKEY

Bear and turkey hunting close 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. Please report any wolf sightings or wolf sign to ODFW using the online reporting system.

Use the Oregon Hunting Map to see where to hunt.

COOS COUNTY

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

Spring Black Bear- The spring Black Bear season continues until May 31. The hunt that pertains to Coos County is the SW Oregon Limited hunt. Bears are becoming active, although, rainy and windy conditions appear to subdue their activity to briefly. Likely due to the extended winter conditions, bears appear have been slow to come out of dens this year and initially they spent a lot of time in the riparian areas. It may be that they focused their feeding on skunk cabbage. More recently hunters are reporting seeing them in clear cuts and open slopes where grass grows vigorously. Growing grass tends to have more nutrition and is more tender and digestible.

Hunters should begin to see bears regularly on grassy slopes, especially those that face south or west. Bears generally breed in June, so, as the month of May wears on bear activity will increase considerably.

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

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

Turkey populations in Coos County are in good shape presently. Due to several years of good nesting and survival, turkey populations are at a relatively high level presently and flocks have been seen in places where they were not in prior years. Unfortunately, very few turkey flocks spend much time on public land in Coos County. Therefore, hunters must contact landowners for permission to hunt private lands, where most turkeys can be found.

Some of the general areas in Coos County where good numbers of turkeys exist are on private lands near the Coquille Valley, along the coast south of Bandon and in the South Fork Coos and Millicoma River drainages. Hunters must get permission to hunt private lands in these areas, no different than anywhere else.

DOUGLAS COUNTY

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

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

Black Bear – Bears are becoming more active in both the Coast Range and the Cascades. Hunters should target bears along south facing green slopes, grassy abandoned roads, and marshy creek bottoms. Look for locations where food is available in great supply and make it a point to be there before sunrise or just before sunset for the best opportunity to spot a black bear.

Spring Turkey –The general spring season runs through May 31. All indicators point to a healthy turkey population in Douglas County. In general, most turkeys are found on or adjacent to low-mid elevation private lands associated with oak savannah habitat. ODFW has also supplemented prime habitat within the Umpqua National Forest with turkeys over the last several years. Healthy turkey production around the Toketee, Tiller and Upper Cow Creek areas of the Umpqua National Forest can give hunters a different experience and opportunity to test their turkey calling skills. Hunters are reminded to obtain permission before hunting on private lands.

JACKSON, JOSEPHINE, CURRY COUNTIES

Spring Bear season continues until May 31 here in Southern Oregon. Bear numbers are very good here in Southern Oregon, especially in the Applegate and Rogue units which have some of the highest bear harvest numbers in the state. Bear harvest seems to be improving as the month of May progresses. Typically boars emerge from their dens earlier than sows and cubs. Remember that it is illegal to harvest a sow with cubs. In general it is good to start off the season glassing open hillsides during sunny mornings and evenings. Bears will most likely be out at this time feeding on grasses and anything else they can fill their bellies with. As the season continues into May another useful method of hunting is using a fawn distress call. There are many newborn fawns this time of year so you are imitating a natural food source. Other predator calls can be successful as well. Remember that within 10 days of harvest you are required to check your bear skull in at an ODFW office, the skull must be unfrozen and preferable have the mouth propped open. If the skull is brought in frozen we will not be able to pull a tooth and you will likely have to be sent home to return when it is thawed. For more information refer to page 30 of the 2017 Oregon Big Game Hunting Regulations.

Spring Turkey season continues through May 31. Turkey numbers remain good in our area which should lead to a productive hunting season. So far turkey harvest in our area has been good. Many hunters have been successful in filling their first tag and have gone on to buy a second. Harvest should remain good throughout the remainder of the season.

Denman Wildlife Area: Remember to get your parking permit. Hunters get the permit free with their purchase of an annual hunting license. Reminder, starting April 1 bird dog training will be restricted to within the “dog training area” along Touvelle road except for organized permitted events. Remember to place your parking permit on the dash of your vehicle.

Cougar season is open statewide year-round or until zone quotas are met (see zone quota page). Cougars travel many miles a day and often use major ridge lines to find prey, these ridge lines are location for predator calls. Unlike other predators, cougars will usually take longer to come in to predators calls so be prepared to sit for 1 hour or more. It is a good idea to use specific cougar sounds in conjunction with a general prey distress sound, cougar whistles can be one of these very useful sound while calling. Unlike other species cougars will come in slowly and spend lots of time looking for the source of the sound. So be sure to remain very still and keep your eyes open for the cougars head only, as they will often peer around an obstacle to get a better view while remaining hidden.

This time of year can be productive by driving roads after a fresh snow and looking for cougar tracks. By doing this you can narrow down the area worth setting up and calling. There is a mandatory check in of all cougars harvested within 10 days of the after harvest; the unfrozen skull, hide, and proof of sex must be taken to an ODFW office during normal business hours. If a female cougar is harvested it is also mandatory to bring in the reproductive tract in order to gain valuable population data. For more information refer to page 34 of the 2017 Oregon Big Game Hunting Regulations.

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

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

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SOUTHWEST ZONE: WILDLIFE VIEWING

COOS COUNTY

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. Presently, large numbers of Steller and California sea lions are using the haul out. Also, large numbers of harbor seals are present. It is likely that Northern elephant seals are there too. All of these animals are visible from the look out at Simpson Reef located along Cape Arago Hwy. Do not approach seals and sea lions you may find on Oregon beaches.

California grey whales, humpback whales and others tend to migrate through Oregon waters in spring as they head back to the North Pacific and the Bearing Sea. At times several whales can be seen at once from one vantage point. California grey whales will often come very close to shore feeding. It is not uncommon to see these huge animals next to jetties and nearshore rocks or just outside of the furthest breaking waves on beaches.

Cape Arago is a wonderful place to see these animals, for those wanting to see them. Occasionally these whales will even enter Coos Bay. Generally, the best time is at or near high tide, when the water next to shore is deepest.

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

Waterfowl

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

Coquille Valley Wildlife Area (CVWA) is located near the town of Coquille. To access CVWA area take Hwy. 42 from Coquille toward Coos Bay. From there take North Bank Rd. to the west. The public parking area for CVWA is located about ½ mile west from the intersection of Hwy. 42 and North Bank Rd. along North Bank Rd. Beaver Slough Tract, located north of the public parking area, is open to public access. It is a great place to paddle a canoe in the spring when water inundation makes that form of travel easy. Wildlife Viewing opportunity abound along Beaver Slough. Refer to the map posted at the public parking area to make sure you stay on your public land. Permits are required for anyone who accesses CVWA. The permits are available at the parking area and are free of charge. Make sure you put the “A” half in the appropriate box at the parking area and carry the “B” half with you. At the end of the trip put this half in the same box after filling it out. Enjoy this newly acquired wildlife area.

Shorebird migration is well underway. May is the month when we tend to see the largest concentration of shorebirds in the County. In fact biologists who work on the Western snowy plover recovery effort recently reported seeing 14 different species of shorebirds on local beaches in one day. Those interested in seeing these birds can find good viewing opportunities on the beach at Bullards Beach near Bandon, Bandon National Wildlife Refuge and Horsefall Beach, near Coos Bay. Keep in mind portions of some beaches are closed to access this time of year to protect nesting Western snowy plovers. Closed beaches will have clear signage to this effect. However for more information visit the Oregon State Parks office or Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife office which are both located in Charleston. Phone numbers are (541) 888-3778 for Oregon State Parks and (541) 888-5515.

Winter storms bring seabirds in close to shore. Many even move into the bays to forage on fish and crustaceans. On occasion over the past few years, herring, a small schooling fish, have, spawned in the rocks and vegetation found close to the bar but within Coos Bay. This causes a great congregation of a variety of seabirds. A great place to view these birds is the parking area next to a pump station at Fossil Point in Coos Bay. This pump station is located next to Cape Arago Hwy. When this spawning event occurs hundreds of scoters, scaup and a variety of other birds often found in the marine environment will congregate there to feed on herring eggs. Precisely when herring spawn seems to be variable but when they do thousands of eggs are attached to vegetation in rocky areas during a single night. 3/28/2017

DOUGLAS COUNTY

Turkey Vultures - The turkey vultures have arrived in the Umpqua Valley. Watch for roosted turkey vultures with wings wide open, warming in the morning sun and watch out for turkey vultures as you drive the local roads. Many vultures are hit and killed by vehicles as they forage on road struck animals.

Waterfowl – Ducks and geese are nesting around ponds, lakes, wetlands and rivers throughout Douglas County. Watch for nestlings following adult waterfowl in the following weeks as they learn to forage.

Turkeys – Turkeys are abundant on the Umpqua Valley floor. Watch for toms strutting and gathering hens for spring breeding. Look for these birds within the oak savannah habitat and surrounding oak woodlands where food and roosting resources are available. ODFW does not recommend feeding turkeys as these concentrated birds do a significant amount of damage to properties and buildings when concentrated around baited sites within residential and agricultural areas.

Amphibians - The frogs and salamanders are out. Start to watch for frog and salamander egg masses and tadpoles to show up in ponds, puddles, creeks, and ditches. This can be a fun experience for kids and their parents to watch the development and metamorphosis processes of these critters.

Reptiles – As we get warmer, longer days, watch for local lizard, snake and turtle populations to become more active. Lizards and snakes will be taking advantage of morning and evening sun and southern exposed rock formations (and roads) to warm themselves. Turtles will be seen basking on logs and banks of local ponds, streams and reservoirs.

Osprey - Ospreys 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.

Purple Martin – Purple Martins have arrived so look for them around Plat I Reservoir, Cooper Creek Reservoir and Ten Mile Lake. Purple Martin is our largest swallow in North America and is uncommon & mainly found in Western Oregon communally nesting usually near a large water body.

Young Wildlife – As spring births occur, the occasion to notice and watch young wildlife makes for a great learning experience for children and families. Be careful not to get too close however, and don’t take any wildlife from their habitat. If orphans are noticed, if safe or unharmed, leave animal where it is found and contact ODFW or Umpqua Wildlife Rescue (541-440-1196) in Douglas County. Most baby wildlife that is found, believed to be abandoned or orphaned, are simply waiting for mothers to return from foraging. If baby birds are found outside of nests, either return to nest if possible or leave on ground or limb below nest. Mother birds will likely be watching and waiting from a distance for people or predators to leave the area.

Hummingbirds – It time to hang up your feeders for our summer hummers. Avoid the commercial hummingbird mixture you can buy in the store since the red dye can produce digestive problems for these small birds. Remember that you can make your own hummingbird food utilizing 4 parts water to 1 part sugar ratio but always make sure the sugar goes completely into solution before hanging up for use.

Deer – Don’t feed the deer in your area. This is the time of year when we start receiving reports from the public of sick looking deer with little to no hair or patches of hair missing. This condition referred to as “Deer Hair Loss Syndrome” or DHLS has been affecting local deer populations for the last 20 years. Many of the affected deer are does or fawns. This condition is believed to be caused by exotic biting lice in high numbers on affected deer, and can result in death for some while others overcome this condition. An infected deer can pass lice easily to other deer when they congregate in areas where fed so ODFW recommends to not feed the deer to minimize lice transfer and increasing the DHLS in our area.

Shed Antlers – Now is a good time to get out in the woods and look for shed deer and elk antlers. Be careful not to harass deer and elk out of critical winter range habitat.

JACKSON and JOSEPHINE COUNTIES

Rogue Valley Audubon Society

The Rogue Valley Audubon Society will be having their annual picnic at Touvelle State Park on May 23. There will be a bird walk starting at 5 p.m. sharp and a pot luck dinner starting at 6 p.m. Both members and guests are welcome.

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

Denman Wildlife Area

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

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

A prescribed burn was conducted on the Denman Wildlife Area near Little Butte Creek last fall for habitat restoration and enhancement. This newly opened area could potentially be a good spot to view wildlife frequenting the area and benefiting from the habitat improvement. Last month it was seeded with a mix of red clover, birdsfoot trefoil, and other desirable grasses. As the weather continues to get better we should start to see fresh growth for wildlife to feed on.

Song Birds

Several types of swallows are beginning to nest in our bird boxes around the Denman Wildlife area office.

Yellow-Headed Blackbird

The Yellow-headed Blackbird was sighted on the Denman Wildlife Area near Whetstone pond these past few weeks. The unique and unmistakable bird is rare for just about anywhere west of the Cascades. The name describes the male birds that have a bright yellow head and throat with the rest of their body being black, except for two white patches on the front of each wing. Typically this bird breeds in freshwater sloughs and marshy areas, and can be seen feeding on insects and seeds in fields and other types of open country.

Canada geese

Canada Geese mate for life and pairs are breaking off from their flocks to find nesting sites. We are now starting to see goslings running around the wildlife area with many more to come. They will soon be everywhere in the fields and ponds for people to watch.

Cackling Geese

There is a single pair of Cackling geese that are residents of the wildlife area. They have been seen repeatedly in front of Whetstone pond near our main Central Point ODFW office. These geese are similar in appearance to Canada Geese but are only about half the size. It is uncommon for Cackling Geese to take up permanent residence in the Rogue Valley.

Turkey Vultures

A few turkey vultures are starting to appear in the Rogue River Valley from their wintering grounds. The Denman Wildlife Area and surrounding areas is a good place to view these birds and possibly get some good pictures.

Red-naped Sapsucker

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

Snipe

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

Turkeys

Turkey are beginning their breeding season and it can be an interesting display to watch. Males called toms are starting to collect groups of females called hens. Toms have begun to make sounds called gobbles which can be heard from long distances. These toms spend much of their time strutting, which consists of them spreading their tail feathers and puffing up their chest feathers in order to impress the hens they are trying to attract. There are turkeys throughout southern Oregon, including on the Denman Wildlife Area. Be aware that spring turkey hunting season runs April 15-May 31.

Killdeer

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

For a great birding trail along the southern coast, visit Oregon Birding Trails. (4/25/2017)


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WILLAMETTE ZONE: FISHING

Weekend fishing opportunities

  • Trophy trout will be released this week at Harriet Lake (125), Timothy Lake (500), and Sheridan Pond (125).
  • Anglers can win a $50 Cabela’s gift certificate by reeling in a trout marked with floy tags as part of the ODFW’s tag reward program in Clear Lake, Cottage Grove Reservoir, and Dorena Reservoir. Between the three lakes there are 730 tagged fish … and 70 winners!
  • Estacada Lake and North Fork Reservoir are now open for trout fishing and have been fully stocked.
  • ODFW will host a free youth-only fishing event Saturday, May 27 from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., at Mt. Hood Pond, located on the Mt. Hood Community College in Gresham.
  • Chinook salmon season is open three days a week on the Willamette River, and anglers have been catching fish.
  • The following locations will be stocked with trout this week: Alton Baker Canal, Blue River above the reservoir, Carmen Reservoir, Faraday Lake, EE Wilson Pond, Fall Creek above the reservoir, Foster Reservoir, Leaburg Lake, McKenzie River below Leaburg Dam, Quartzville Creek, Coast Fork of the Willamette River, Harriet Lake, Henry Hagg Lake, North Fork Reservoir, Sheridan Pond, Small Fry Lake, and South Fork Yamhill River.
  • Kokanee are biting at Green Peter Reservoir.

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.

Updated 2017 Trout Stocking Schedules

High Lakes stocking

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

Check out our interactive trout stocking map

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

ALTON BAKER CANOE CANAL: trout

Will be stocked this week with 965 rainbow trout, including 150 larger trout. The canoe canal is located within Alton Baker Park and can be accessed off of Club Road in Eugene. A 4-acre pond at the midpoint of the canal is a good spot but it can be fished all along its two-mile length from Day Island Road in Eugene to Aspen Street in Springfield. The canal is open to fishing all year.

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

Stocked the week of May 8 with 3,000 legal-size rainbow trout. This is a 40-acre lake located in Benson State Park in the Columbia River Gorge. From Portland, head east on I-84; the park is located on the south side of the freeway about 1/2 mile west of Multnomah Falls.

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

Stocked the week of May 1 with 1,000 legal-size 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 May 8 with 1,500 trout. Try fishing from the docks or along the bank near the boat ramp. From October to April private boats are also allowed if under 14 ft. with motors of less than 3.0 horsepower.

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

BLUE RIVER: trout

Will be stocked this week with 750 hatchery trout, including 100 larger trout. Two wild trout may be harvested per day above Blue River Reservoir only. Otherwise, anglers may keep 5 hatchery trout per day. Anglers may only use lures and artificial flies.

BLUE RIVER RESERVOIR: trout, warmwater species

Was stocked the week of May 8 with 2,000 legal-size hatchery rainbow trout. Blue River Reservoir is located east of Eugene near the town of Blue River, north of Hwy. 126 and is open to year-round fishing. The boat ramps are not accessible at current reservoir elevations.

BREITENBUSH RIVER: trout

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

CANBY POND: trout, bass, crappie, bluegill

Stocked the week of May 1 with 800 rainbow trout. Canby Pond is a one-acre pond located on the south end of Canby, in Canby City Park. This pond is open only to youth 17 years old and under, as well as persons who possess ODFW's Disabled Hunting and Fishing Permits.

CARMEN RESERVOIR: trout

Carmen Reservoir will be stocked this week with 3,000 rainbow trout, including 500 larger trout. The reservoir is accessed via USFS Road 750 off Hwy. 126, about two miles south of Clear Lake. It is open to fishing all year. Use of bait is allowed. Motor boats are prohibited on this reservoir.

CLACKAMAS RIVER: summer steelhead, spring Chinook

The recent move into much warmer weather has increased the spring snowmelt and run-off, bumping flows up quite a bit on the Clackamas. The river is in acceptable shape for fishing with good color, but it’s running higher than anglers prefer. Long range hydrological forecasts predict it should settle down by late this week. Regardless of flows the summer steelhead catch was decent last week for the few who chose to give it a try as ODFW personnel checked several summers from Carver up to Dog Creek. The first official spring Chinook catch of the season has happened so it can be verified that at least one springer made it up into the Clackamas River.

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

USGS hydrological data for May 22 shows river flows up at 4,810 cfs, with a gauge reading of 13.84 feet and the water temperature up at around 49°. All of the readings come from the Estacada gauge near Milo McIver State Park.        

CLEAR LAKE: trout

Clear Lake is open to fishing all year, and was stocked the week of May 8 with 3,431 hatchery trout of various sizes. From this release, 330 fish were marked with floy tags as part of the ODFW’s tag reward program, including 30 tags that can be redeemed for a $50 Cabela’s gift card. Clear Lake is accessed from Hwy. 126 approximately 70 miles east of Springfield. Linn County’s Clear Lake Resort rents cabins and boats.

COAST FORK WILLAMETTE RIVER: trout

The Coast Fork Willamette River will be stocked this week with 1,100 hatchery trout, and is open to fishing all year. Bait use is allowed Apr. 22- Oct. 31, but as of Nov. 1 anglers may only use lures and artificial flies. In addition to five hatchery trout, two wild trout may be kept daily.

COMMONWEALTH LAKE: rainbow trout, bass, bluegill, crappie

Stocked the week of May 1 with 1,000 hatchery 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, and restrooms.

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

Stocked the week of April 3 with 1,900 trout. Cottage Grove Ponds are open to year-round fishing and are accessed via an asphalt pathway behind the truck scales on Row River Road. The pond was stocked with a total of 3,250 legal-size hatchery trout the past two weeks. In addition to fishing, these ponds also offer wildlife viewing opportunities. A fishing dock is available on-site.

COTTAGE GROVE RESERVOIR: trout, warmwater species

Was stocked the week of April 24 with 4,250 legal-size hatchery trout. From this release, 200 fish were marked with floy tags as part of the ODFW’s tag reward program, including 20 tags that can be redeemed for a $50 Cabela’s gift card. Cottage Grove Reservoir is south of Cottage Grove and is open to fishing all year.

DETROIT RESERVOIR: trout, kokanee

The reservoir is now completely full and all boat ramps are in the water, although some may not yet be open for use. It appears the reservoir will be in good shape all summer. Water temperature is beginning to warm up and anglers are reporting good catches of trout and kokanee. The reservoir was stocked on May 16 with 10,000 legal rainbows with the possibility of more fish by the end of the month. Mongold boat ramp is available for launching boats.

DEXTER RESERVOIR: trout

Stocked the week of April 3 with 2,800 legal-size rainbow trout. Dexter Reservoir near Lowell is visible from Hwy. 58. Boat and bank access is available from state and county parks. Parking and bank access are also available from the causeway near Lowell. Largemouth bass and some smallmouth are also available to anglers in this reservoir.

DORENA RESERVOIR: trout, warmwater

Was stocked the week of April 24 with 6,000 legal-size rainbow trout. From this release, 200 fish were marked with floy tags as part of the ODFW’s tag reward program, including 20 tags that can be redeemed for a $50 Cabela’s gift card. Dorena Reservoir is east of Cottage Grove on Row River Road and is open to fishing all year. Trout and warmwater fish are available. It was also stocked the week of March 27 with 6,000 legal-size rainbow trout.

DORMAN POND - trout

Stocked the week of May 1 with 1,000 legal-size hatchery 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 has been flowing high after all of the spring rains, although the color is good. The winter steelhead season is essentially over on the creek so fishing effort is very low. Anglers should give it a few more weeks before thinking about seeking out any spring Chinook in the creek, providing the decent water levels hold up.

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

EE WILSON POND: warmwater species, trout

This pond is located at EE Wilson Wildlife Area, about a quarter mile hike from the main parking lot. Recent changes to the fishing regulations now make this a year-round fishery. The pond received 1,200 legal-size rainbows on May 15 and is scheduled again this week for another 1,200 rainbow trout, 200 of them will be of the larger variety. A valid wildlife area parking permit is required.

ESTACADA LAKE: trout, steelhead

Estacada Lake is open for fishing and has been stocked with rainbow trout.

This is a 150-acres reservoir on the Clackamas River behind River Mill Dam. Fishing dock and ADA-accessible fishing platform provide the only non-boating access. Boat ramp in Milo McIver State Park at lower end of reservoir, picnic areas, restrooms. Park fee.

FALL CREEK: trout

Fall Creek above Fall Creek Reservoir will be stocked this week with 1,750 hatchery trout including 250 larger trout. Open all year for trout. Bait use is allowed Apr 22- Oct 31, but as of Nov. 1, anglers may only use lures and artificial flies. Below Fall Creek Dam the creek is open all year for hatchery Chinook, hatchery steelhead and wild steelhead greater than 24-inches. Five hatchery trout and an additional two wild trout may be harvested daily in the river.

FARADAY LAKE: trout

Stocked the week of May 22 with 2,000 legal-size rainbow trout.

This is a 25-acre reservoir located 1.1 miles southeast of Estacada on Hwy. 224 next to a PGE hydro plant. No boats, walk-in only.

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. Currently all boat ramps are available to launch boats.

There is good bank access at several rest stops and campgrounds, and three seasonal boat ramps. Reservoir is pretty much filled up and the boat ramps at Orchard Point, Perkins, and Richardson Park are currently available.

FOSTER RESERVOIR: trout, bass, perch, catfish

Foster Reservoir was stocked on May 15 with 5,000 legal-size hatchery rainbow trout with another 4,000 due to go in this week. 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. At the moment, all boat ramps including Calkins Park are available to launch boats

Look for smallmouth bass and yellow perch near underwater structure and drop-offs. Please remember that only kokanee and adipose fin-clipped trout may be kept as part of the trout bag limit, but there are no limits on size or number of bass. Retention of warmwater fish species such as bluegill, catfish, crappie, and yellow perch is also allowed; no limit on size or number. This reservoir receives hatchery trout in the spring and fall.

FREEWAY LAKE, EAST: 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. Fishing in the spring for warmwater gamefish such as bass, bluegill, crappie, and catfish can be very good, especially early and late in the day. It was stocked last week with 900 hatchery rainbow trout.

GOLD LAKE: brook trout, rainbow trout

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

GREEN PETER RESERVOIR: kokanee, trout, bass

Trout as well as bass are good options for anglers this time of year. Look for them near ledges and drop-offs as well as near underwater structure. Kokanee have also begun to bite as the plankton has started to bloom. Reservoir water levels are in very good shape for this time of year. Currently the reservoir is completely full. Both Thistle Creek and Whitcomb Island boat ramps are currently available for boaters. It was stocked on May 8 with 5,750 hatchery rainbow trout but doesn’t come up again on the schedule for a while; now is the time to get out on the water!

HALDEMAN POND: trout

Stocked the week of April 24 with 2,000 legal-size rainbow trout. This is a stocked two-acre pond on the Sauvie Island Wildlife Area that offers good bank access. This site is ideal for kids. A parking permit is required while on the wildlife area. Permits are available from all ODFW license vendors.

HARTMAN POND: trout, crappie, bass, catfish

This is a year-round warmwater and spring trout fishing pond in the Columbia River Gorge, with easy access for non-boating anglers just off Interstate 84. It was stocked with legal- and trophy-size trout in the spring and also supports year-round populations of crappie, bass and catfish. It will be stocked again this week with 1,750 legal-sized rainbow trout. From I-84, take the Benson State Park exit. The pond is adjacent to the Columbia River adjoining Benson State Recreation Area.

HARRIETT LAKE: trout

Stocked the week of May 22 with 2,000 legal-sized rainbow trout and 125 trophy trout. This is a 23-acre reservoir on the Oak Grove Fork of the Clackamas River in the Mount Hood National Forest. Boat ramp is just past campground.

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

Stocked the week of May 22 with 3,000 legal-size rainbow trout. The lake has been stocked several other times this spring as well.

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

The lake is now open year-round and is stocked regularly throughout the spring and fall. This is a 1,110-acre lake waterbody located seven miles southwest of Forest Grove.

Maintained and operated by Washington County, the park features numerous picnic areas, two boat launching facilities, more than 15 miles of hiking trails, and observation decks for wildlife and bird watching.

HILLS CREEK RESERVOIR: trout, warmwater fish

Was stocked the week of May 1 with 3,000 legal-size hatchery rainbow trout. This reservoir is located about four miles southeast of Oakridge and is open to year round fishing. It is stocked with 60,000 adipose fin-clipped rainbow trout fingerlings and 100,000 adipose fin-clipped spring Chinook salmon fingerlings annually to provide a harvest fishery the following year.

Trout and salmon must be adipose-fin clipped to be harvested. Large native trout are available for catch-and-release fishing.

HUDDLESTON POND: trout, bass, bluegill

Stocked the week of May 15 with 1,325 trout, including 125 trophies weighing two pounds or more. This is a 5-acre pond located within Huddleston Pond Park in the city of Willamina, Ore. A former mill pond, this venue has "kid-friendly" edges, is ADA accessible in places, with a restroom and picnic areas nearby.

JUNCTION CITY POND: trout, crappie

Junction City Pond was stocked on May 19 with 2,600 hatchery trout varying in size from legals to 2-pounders. There should also be plenty of holdover trout available from previous stockings. On May 20, the Junction City Moose Lodge held its annual Youth Fishing Derby., but count on fish being left over and still available. As a reminder, normal trout regulations apply to these fish: Five fish per day, but only one fish over 20-inches may be kept.

LEABURG LAKE: trout

Leaburg Lake will be stocked with 1,750 hatchery trout this week, including 250 larger trout. Leaburg Lake is open to fishing all year. Bait use is allowed Apr. 22- Oct. 31, but as of Nov. 1, anglers may only use lures and artificial flies. All wild trout must be released. Only hatchery fish may be kept. Leaburg Dam closures have ended and the dam should be open as usual.

MCKENZIE RIVER below Leaburg Lake: trout, salmon, steelhead

The McKenzie River below Leaburg Lake will be stocked this week with 6,010 hatchery trout from Leaburg Town Landing downstream to Hendricks Bridge. All non-adipose fin-clipped trout must be released unharmed. As of Nov. 1, anglers may only use lures and artificial flies.

The lower McKenzie River is open to retention of adipose fin-clipped salmon and steelhead and non-adipose fin-clipped steelhead greater than 24 inches in length. A Columbia River Basin Endorsement is required for anglers targeting salmon and steelhead in the McKenzie.

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

MCKENZIE RIVER above Leaburg Lake: trout, steelhead

The McKenzie River above Leaburg Lake was stocked the week of May 15 with 1,250 hatchery trout from Finn Rock to Goodpasture Landing, with some summer releases beginning at Forest Glen boat landing, from late April through mid-September. All non-adipose fin-clipped trout must be released unharmed. As of Nov. 1, anglers may only use lures and artificial flies.

MIDDLE FORK WILLAMETTE RIVER: trout, salmon, steelhead

The Middle Fork Willamette River is open to bait below Dexter Dam only. Reminder: Restrictions from Dexter Dam to appoximately 700 ft downstream to the markers: No angling from the north shore, from a floating device, or while wading (pg 44 in regulations). This river reach is open to retention of adipose fin-clipped salmon and steelhead and non-adipose fin-clipped steelhead greater than 24 inches in length. A Columbia River Basin Endorsement is required for anglers targeting salmon and steelhead in the Middle Fork Willamette below Dexter Dam.

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

MOLALLA RIVER: winter steelhead, spring Chinook

River flows have held steady in the past week on the Molalla and anglers will find very good conditions for chasing those elusive late winter steelhead or early spring Chinook.

Unfortunately so far this year steelhead and Chinook passage has been extremely slow across Willamette Falls and into upper basin tributaries. Steelhead passage at Willamette Falls through May 21 shows only 786 winters passing and moving upstream, a very low number for this date, while spring Chinook passage has improved some at 5,168. A few of these Chinook could be making their way into the Molalla from acclimation pond releases of a couple years ago. USGS hydrological data for May 22 has river flows up slightly at 1,410 cfs and a gauge reading of 12.31 feet. All of the readings come from the Canby gauge.

MT HOOD POND: trout, crappie, bluegill

ODFW will host a free youth-only fishing event Saturday, May 27 from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., at Mt. Hood Pond, located on the Mt. Hood Community College in Gresham. The pond will be stocked just prior to the event, and staff and volunteer instructors will be present to help youngsters with gear, bait, and fishing technique. Fishing licenses are not required for youths 11 and under but are required for those ages 12-17.

Mt. Hood Pond is located on the Mt. Hood Community College campus in Gresham, at 26000 SE Stark St.

Fishing at this location is restricted to youths age 17 and under and Disabled Angler licensees from April 1 - Aug. 31.

NORTH FORK RESERVOIR: trout, steelhead, salmon

Will be stocked again this week with another 8,000 trout. The reservoir was also stocked last week with 10,000 trout. Trout season on the reservoir opened May 22.

This is a 350-acre reservoir of the Clackamas River behind North Fork Dam approximately 5.2 miles east of Estacada, Ore. This reservoir has two boat ramps, boat moorage, 50 campsites, picnic areas, boat rentals, grocery story, fueling station, and ADA-accessible fishing platforms.

PROGRESS LAKE – rainbow trout, brown bullhead

Stocked the week of May 1 with 1,000 legal-size rainbow trout. This is a 4-acre pond next to the Progress Ridge Town Center in Beaverton. 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.

QUARTZVILLE CREEK: trout

Hatchery trout are stocked in late spring and summer. In winter and early spring there are resident trout and very few anglers. It was stocked May 15 with 2,750 hatchery trout and comes up again this week for another 3,000. Stream flows have come down since last week and are currently just under 700 cfs, so fishing conditions remain a bit challenging but are improving (conditions best for fishing are below 500 cfs). Anglers may keep up to 5 trout per day all year.

ROARING RIVER PARK POND: trout

This is a small one acre pond in Roaring River County Park near ODFW’s Roaring River fish hatchery. To get there, drive highway 226 east out of Albany and turn right onto Fish Hatchery Road and continue for about seven miles. Park is on the right. The pond was stocked the week of May 8 with 180 hatchery rainbow trout and is a perfect, easy venue for small children on their first fishing adventure.

SALISH POND: trout, warm water species

West Salish Pond will be stocked this week with 500 hatchery trout as efforts get underway to bring the pond back into the regular ODFW stocking rotation. Most local anglers know it’s been quite some time since the pond was stocked with hatchery trout and both The City of Fairview and ODFW are very happy to bring trout fishing back to West Salish Pond. Parking is available at the school after 5 p.m. weekdays and all weekend. Parking is no longer available adjacent to the pond along Glisan St. Informational signs regarding use of the area have been posted by the City of Fairview around the pond’s shoreline.

SALMON CREEK: trout

Salmon Creek near Oakridge will be stocked with 1,750 hatchery trout, including 250 larger trout. Salmon Creek is open to fishing all year. Bait is allowed Apr. 22 – Oct .31, but as of Nov. 1 anglers may only use lures and artificial flies. Trout are released at multiple locations upstream to Black Creek. Two wild trout per day, 8-inch minimum length, may be kept in addition to five hatchery trout.

SALMONBERRY LAKE: trout, sunfish

Stocked the week of April 24 with 1,500 trout. Salmonberry Lake is owned by the city of St. Helens and is about three acres in size. It is a former municipal water supply secluded in the woods off of Pittsburgh Road. The road to the pond is gated and anglers must walk about 1/3 mile to access this pond.

SALT CREEK: trout

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

SANDY RIVER: summer steelhead, spring Chinook

The Sandy flows moved up in the past week with snowmelt and run-off all keeping the river fairly high. Flows are higher than veteran Sandy River anglers prefer but it’s still fishable, although effort has been light with the winter steelhead run coming to a close and the summer run slow to get geared up. As well, much of the fishing pressure had been out on the Willamette River where spring Chinook can be found. Once the water levels recede some there should be some springers around, likely down in the lower stretch of the river below Dabney.

A few summer steelhead have been hooked but the overall catch has continued to be fair. Hatchery personnel do say they’ve seen summers come out daily but not in exceptionally large numbers; there are no reliable reports of spring Chinook being landed yet. More than 1,900 winters were collected at ODFW’s Sandy River Hatchery this season and more than 800 of them were recycled back down to Lewis and Clark boat ramp in February. There have been a small number of summer steelhead swim into the hatchery also.

USGS hydrological data for May 22 shows the Sandy flows at 3,590 cfs, with a gauge reading of 10.57 feet and the water temperature in the 49°F range.

SANTIAM RIVER (NORTH FORK): steelhead, Chinook

With mountain snow melting and the reservoirs full the North Santiam is running higher than normal. As of May 22, flows are around 5,700 cfs at the Mehama gauge. Both spring Chinook and summer steelhead numbers over Willamette Falls are low for this time of year. River levels best for fishing are below 3,000 cfs.

When the ‘bite’ is on, bobbers and jigs are the preferred fishing method with spoons, spinners and egg clusters also being effective. Currently the entire river below Packsaddle Park (near the Minto Fish Facility) is open year-round to hatchery steelhead.

As of May 22, the river has reopened for the harvest of trout, time to enjoy the comfortable change in the weather and catch some dinner!

SANTIAM RIVER (NORTH FORK) above DETROIT:

This section of the river is open year-round for trout. It is stocked regularly in the summer and anglers may keep up to five trout per day. Regular stocking will begin by the end of the month (May). This section of river is closed to salmon fishing.

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

Flow levels are currently around 4,200 cfs (as of May 22), reduced from last week but still flowing energetically. Numbers of steelhead and salmon coming over the falls in Oregon City have increased recently, but are still below the average for this time of year.

Current conditions

SHERIDAN POND: trout

Stocked again this week with 1,050 trout of various sizes.

ODFW will provide equipment for the event including rods, reels and bait. Angling Education Instructors and volunteers will be present to answer questions and offer assistance to less experienced anglers. The pond will be stocked just prior to the event with 8-inch, 13-inch, and two-pound hatchery trout.

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

SHORTY’S POND: trout

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

SILVER CREEK RESERVOIR: trout, catfish

Stocked the week of May 1 with 6,300 rainbow trout. This is a 65-acre reservoir on Silver Creek 2.5 miles south of Silverton on Hwy. 214.

SMALL FRY LAKE: trout

Stocked the week of May 22 with 300 trout. This is a small youth-only fishing pond located next to Promontory Park and North Fork Reservoir near Estacada.

SMITH RESERVOIR: trout

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

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

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

Stocked twice in April with rainbows of various sizes.

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

A gate providing access to the last mile of dirt road to the complex is open March 1-Sept. 30, although anglers are still permitted to walk in to fish during the seasonal gate closure. March/April hours are 7 a.m. – 8 p.m.

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

SUNNYSIDE PARK POND: bass, bluegill

This 4-acre pond is located two miles above the upper end of Foster Reservoir. It was stocked last week with more than 300 hatchery trout. The pond also offers bluegill and largemouth bass year round. The park has a campground and picnic area and is a great place to take kids fishing. There is also boat ramp access to the Middle Fork arm of Foster Reservoir. To get there from I-5, take US 20 through the town of Sweet Home and continue around Foster Reservoir to Quartzville Creek road. Take a left and follow this road for two miles to the park.

TIMBER LINN LAKE: rainbow trout

This is a family-friendly fishing pond located within Timber-Linn Memorial Park in Albany. It was stocked last week with 275 legal-size and larger hatchery rainbow trout and will receive another batch of legals and larger-size trout at the end of the month. 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, kokanee, eastern brook, cutthroat trout, crayfish

The road is now open and the lake has been stocked with 3,000 legal-size rainbow trout and 500 trophy trout.

Timothy Lake is located within the Mt. Hood National Forest approximately 75 miles southeast of Portland via Hwy. 26. It 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. The Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail also traverses the area along the east side of the lake. Motorboats are allowed on Timothy Lake, although a 10 mph speed limit is in place.

TRAIL BRIDGE RESERVOIR: trout

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

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

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

TRILLIUM LAKE – trout

The lake is still snowed in and has not been stocked with trout. These fish will be released as soon as possible after the lake becomes accessible.

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. Adjacent Trillium Lake Campground is administered by the Zigzag Ranger District of the Mount Hood National Forest. The large campground features a seasonal boat ramp and wheelchair-accessible floating dock.

TROJAN POND – trout, panfish

Stocked the first week of May with 500 trophy trout weighing approximately two pounds each. This is a 15-acre pond just east of Rainier on the north side of Hwy. 30 at the Trojan nuclear facility. The pond is located on the right side of the road as soon as you turn onto the Trojan Access Road.

WALLING POND: trout, crappie, bass

Stocked the first week of May with 300 hatchery trout. This is an eight-acre privately owned pond located in Salem at the northeast corner of McGilchrist and 16th Streets, S.E.

WALTER WIRTH LAKE: trout, crappie, bass

Stocked recently with 1,850 hatchery rainbow trout with 150 of those being larger-size. As a reminder, the bag limit is five trout per day, but only one over 20 inches. Walter Wirth is a 20-acre lake located within the City of Salem’s Cascades Gateway Park. Good fishing opportunities remain for warm water species.

WAVERLY POND: trout, bluegill, catfish

Waverly Pond is located in Albany and is regularly stocked in fall, winter and spring. The pond was last week with 180 hatchery rainbow trout, including 20 larger-size. As a reminder, the bag limit is five fish per day, but only one over 20 inches. Directions: From I-5 take exit 234 west towards Albany. The pond is located a quarter mile down Pacific Boulevard on the right. A paved ADA-accessible path runs all the way around the pond.

WILLAMETTE RIVER: spring Chinook, summer steelhead, sturgeon

The Willamette is now subject to a three-day-per-week schedule for spring Chinook and steelhead from Willamette Falls to the mouth of the river, including the Multnomah Channel. Anglers are allowed to fish for these species Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, with a daily adult salmonid bag limit of two hatchery fish, of which only one may be a Chinook.

Spring Chinook anglers on the lower Willamette had another good 3 day fishery last week as flows dropped while water temperatures stayed cool. Springers were again landed from the lower Multnomah Channel all the way up into Oregon City, and all parts in-between. For the past fishing period of Thursday through Saturday the spring Chinook catch checked by ODFW personnel shows 110 Chinook kept for 272 boats in the lower river, 91 Chinook kept for 170 boats in the middle river, and 123 Chinook kept for 248 boats from West Linn up to Willamette Falls. There were also a few sturgeon anglers out doing pretty well on catch-and-release fishing with sublegals, legals, and oversize hooked.

Winter steelhead passage continues to plod along while spring Chinook passage saw a brief jump but has since fallen back and is well behind historical average counts. Through May 21 there have been 786 winter steelhead make their way into the upper Willamette via the fish ladder, a very low number for this date, along with 303 summer steelhead. After a steep decline last week, spring Chinook passage has improved with a cumulative total through May 21 showing 5,168 adult spring Chinook crossing Willamette Falls.

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

USGS hydrological data for the Willamette River on May 22 has flows at 29,700 cfs, the water temperature way up at 58°F, and visibility good at 5.2 ft.

YAMHILL RIVER and tributaries: trout

The river will be stocked this week with 1,900 legal- and larger-sized rainbow trout.

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


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WILLAMETTE ZONE: HUNTING

OPEN: COUGAR, SPRING BEAR, SPRING TURKEY

Bear and turkey hunting close May 31.

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

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

SPRING TURKEY continues until May 31. Turkeys are actively strutting and gobbling. Finding a place to hunt is challenging in Northwest Oregon. Most turkey hunting in the Willamette Zone occurs on private lands. Turkeys are primarily found on private lands and are not readily available to the public. Those hunters without local contacts should be out talking to landowners to acquire access to the few and widely scattered flocks. Some hunters knock on landowners’ doors where they see turkeys and ask permission to hunt. To find public land opportunities, consult Bureau of Land Management (BLM) or U.S. Forest Service maps and look for pockets of public land off the main roads, but adjacent to agricultural land and mixed hardwood forests since turkeys key in on acorns, but also feed in meadows on grubs and other insects. Pay special attention to river bottoms in these areas too. At this time of year, turkeys are found at lower elevations in areas with mixed hardwoods (such as oak savannah) and pasture—the type of habitat found mostly on private lands, although some BLM and Forest Service lands feature this habitat. Hone your turkey calling skills by listening to the sounds of live wild turkeys.

BIG GAME

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

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

See 2016 Cougar Regulations for details

CONTROLLED SPRING BEAR season is open April 1 through May 31 for those hunters who drew a controlled spring bear tag. Tags were allocated through the controlled spring hunt drawing for all hunts except SW Oregon, which is a limited first-come, first-served hunt that sold out in late January this year. Hunters are reminded to check the 2017 Big Game Regulations for their exact hunt boundaries, season dates and requirements for checking in their bear. Skunk cabbage and green grasses are preferred forage items for bears in spring. Early in the season hunters will want to focus on coastal areas or low elevation riparian areas. 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.

Spring bear hunting is starting to pick up and should keep getting better as the weather warms. As expected, hunting in the Cascades has started off very slow. Biologists have finally checked in a handful of Cascade bears but with the high snow pack it is expected that success in the Cascades will remain low for a few more weeks.

Successful bear hunters will need to check-in any bear taken at an ODFW office within 10 days of harvest. Hunters are reminded that biologists located in field offices may be out in the field handling other issues so call ahead to make arrangements to have your bear checked-in. Be sure to bring in the skull (The skull must be unfrozen and without the hide), the spring bear tag, and harvest location information. Biologists recommend propping the bear’s mouth open with a stick after harvest; it makes for easier tooth collection. Bear hunters are reminded that it is helpful to submit the reproductive tract of any female bear taken. The reproductive tract provides valuable information on the number and frequency of cubs born annually in Oregon and is a critical part of ODFW’s black bear population models. Please review the 2017 Big Game Hunting Regulations before your hunting trip to ensure that you are familiar with all of the requirements.

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

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WILLAMETTE ZONE: WILDLIFE VIEWING

LEAVE YOUNG WILDLIFE IN THE WILD!

May and June are the months when newborn animals are getting their start in the wild. Help them out by giving them space and leaving them alone. ODFW and Oregon State Police remind everyone that taking young animals out of the wild isn’t just against the law—it’s also bad for the animal. These animals miss the chance to learn important survival skills from their parents like where to feed, what to eat, how to behave as part of a group and how to escape from predators.

Unfortunately, every year about this time, ODFW offices across Oregon get calls from people concerned about orphaned deer fawns, elk calves, bear cubs, seal pups and other animals they find alone. But the mother animal is usually just off feeding not far away. She will return soon, so don’t interfere. “People often pick up animals they find alone out of good intentions, without realizing they may be sentencing the animal to an early death by removing it from its natural environment and its parents,” said Julia Burco, ODFW Wildlife Veterinarian.

Never assume one of a young animal is orphaned unless you saw the parent killed. In almost all cases, the parent will return once it is safe to do so, like when people and dogs aren’t around. Removing or capturing an animal from the wild and keeping it in captivity without a permit is against state law (OAR 635-044-0015), as is transporting animals. Last year, seven people were cited for such offenses (No wildlife holding permit/Take-hold young game mammal).

Be safe, be responsible and be legal.

Valleywide

Great blue herons have young in their nests at this time of year. The young are very vocal when the adults arrive with food. One of the most visible colonies in the area is in a large cottonwood tree along the bike path at the east end of Alton Baker Park in Springfield (east side of I-5, north side of the millrace). Herons are usually very sensitive to disturbance and in other areas several instances of nest abandonment are known to have occurred due to human disturbance. This colony is especially acclimated to and tolerant of people. To minimize disturbance to the birds, do not approach the base of the tree from the north side of the millrace. Another very visible colony is in a stand of large cottonwood trees next to a pond on the east side of Delta Hwy, just north of the Valley River Shopping Mall in Eugene.

Ruffed grouse courting

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

Turkeys strutting

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

Snakes bask when the sun shines

Three species of garter snake occur in the Willamette Valley. They are the most commonly seen snakes. Much variability in coloration exists in garter snakes but the best identifying characteristic is a stripe down the middle of the snake's back. No other snake species in western Oregon has a stripe down the middle. A good place to see these harmless snakes is on gravel roads and trails through wetland areas. Wildlife areas in the Willamette Valley such as Fern Ridge, Finley, EE Wilson, Baskett Slough and Ankeny are all good areas to see these beautiful animals. Best viewing conditions are on warm sunny days.

Osprey and turkey vultures are on the move

Ospreys are now returning to northwest Oregon from their wintering grounds in Central America. Ospreys mate for life and are building nests, which can be observed on the tops of communication towers, power poles, and broken off trees. Turkey vultures are also on the move this time of year. Turkey vultures are migrating northward to their breeding grounds. Watch for these large birds on drier days riding the thermals and imagine what our world would look like (and smell like) if there were no turkey vultures to clean up all the dead critters!

Where to hear songbirds

Many of the migratory songbirds will begin returning to the area in the next few weeks. Good places to see these birds include Skinners Butte Park, Spencer Butte, Fern Ridge Wildlife Area, Howard Buford Park, Elijah Bristow Park, Brown and Minto Island Park, and Ankeny, Finley and Baskett Slough National Wildlife Refuges.

EE Wilson Wildlife Area

Waterfowl and shorebirds numbers are building with the wetter weather. Wildlife viewing will be improving over the next several months. A waterfowl blind is available to photographers. Call the office at 541-745-5334 to reserve the blind.

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

Eugene: Fern Ridge Wildlife Area

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

The East Coyote, West Coyote, Fisher Butte, and Royal Amazon units are closed to access except on Saturdays through April 30. The viewing platforms accessible from the Royal Avenue, Hwy 126 and Neilson Road parking lots remain open to public use daily, year-round.

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

Portland: Sauvie Island Wildlife Area

The Sauvie Island Wildlife Area is now open.

Bird watching is excellent with spring migrants and summer resident arriving. White pelicans and cliff swallows are showing up in larger numbers. Purple martins are now nesting. The bald eagles and osprey are nesting and may be viewed from various observation points. Over 100 eagles were viewed in front of the Eastside viewing platform a couple of weeks ago. The best opportunities for viewing are Coon Point, Eastside Viewing Platform and Rentenaar Road.

Sauvie Island is a main stopping point for migratory birds as they travel along the Pacific Flyway. ODFW actively manages the area to provide food and cover.

Sauvie Island Wildlife Area is located on Sauvie Island, only 10 miles north of Portland off Highway 30. A parking permit is required for the Sauvie Island Wildlife Area and can be purchased at ODFW License agents, ODFW offices, or online.

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


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CENTRAL ZONE: FISHING

Weekend fishing opportunities:

  • The entire lower Deschutes River is now open for trout fishing.
  • Bull trout and kokanee fishing has been picking up on Lake Billy Chinook.
  • Reports of good trout fishing on Crane Prairie.
  • Recent sampling of Antelope Flat Reservoir and Walton Lake showed excellent winter survival with most trout in the 12 to 14-inch range.
  • Lost and Clear lakes are now accessible; Lost lake has been stocked and Clear Lake will be stocked this week. Each has/will receive an extra load of trophy-size fish.
  • Trout stocking is well-underway in the Central Zone. Check the trout stocking schedules for a location near you.

Send us your fishing report

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

ANTELOPE FLAT RESERVOIR: rainbow trout

Access leading to the reservoir is good. Recent sampling indicated excellent over-winter survival of trout. Most trout were in the 12 to 14-inch range with some reaching 20-inches. The trout were in excellent condition and appeared to be feeding on zooplankton and macroinvertebrates. However, the water was very dirty which could negatively impact fishing.

BEND PINE NURSERY: rainbow trout, bluegill, bass

Anglers may keep two fish per day.

BIKINI POND: rainbow trout

The pond has been stocked and should be good fishing. Great spot to take kids.

CENTUTRY POND: rainbow trout

The pond is located ¼ mile west of the junction of USFS Rd 46 (Century Drive) and USFS Rd 4635.

CLEAR LAKE: rainbow trout

The lake is receiving a bunch of stocked trout this week to catch up from the late snow blocking the road. Also, Clear Lake is receiving an extra load of trophy trout!

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

Anglers report good fishing for trout. Wild rainbow trout must be released. Only 1 trout over 20-inches per day.

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

Open to fishing all year. One lake trout per day, 24-inch minimum length.

CROOKED RIVER BELOW BOWMAN DAM: redband trout, mountain whitefish

The flows have stabilized to near average. Fishing is expected to be slow with the low numbers of trout present. As a REMINDER, bait is no longer allowed on the river and all trout over 20-inches are considered steelhead and must be immediately released unharmed.

Flows below Bowman Dam

CULTUS LAKE: rainbow trout, lake trout

Open to fishing all year.

DAVIS LAKE: largemouth bass, redband trout

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

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

The entire lower river is now open for trout fishing. Trout anglers are reporting fair hatches of stoneflies from Maupin to Warm Springs.

Unfortunately, due to expected low returns of spring Chinook in the Deschutes basin, spring Chinook fishing will remain closed in 2017. By permanent rule, Chinook fishing will re-open on Aug. 1.

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

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

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

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

Benham Falls upstream to Little Lava Lake:

Opens to fishing on May 22. Wild rainbow trout must be released. 2 trout per day (including brook and brown trout, kokanee, and hatchery rainbow trout.

DEVILS LAKE: rainbow trout

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

EAST LAKE: rainbow trout, brown trout, kokanee

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

ELK LAKE: brook trout, kokanee, cutthroat trout

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

FALL RIVER: rainbow trout

The river will be stocked with rainbow trout this week. Open to fishing all year. Restricted to fly-fishing only with barbless hooks.

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

Fishing should be good this year. The reservoir was stocked with 9,500 legal-size trout and 75 brood fish. Warmwater fish are plentiful but tend to be on the smaller side.

HOOD RIVER: spring chinook

Spring Chinook fishing has been slow due to low returns thus far, but quite a few new fish are arriving this week with improved passage at Bonneville.

The limit for spring Chinook in the Hood River, in 2017, is one adult and five jacks hatchery fish.

HOSMER LAKE: brook, rainbow and cutthroat trout

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

KINGSLEY RESERVOIR: rainbow trout

The lake has been stocked and should be good fishing. Bank anglers are having success along the dam.

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

Bull trout and kokanee fishing has been picking up.

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

LAKE SIMTUSTUS: bull trout, rainbow trout, smallmouth bass

Fishing should be good this year as the reservoir receives 30,000 legal-size rainbow trout. There is a good population of smallmouth bass.

LAVA LAKE (BIG): rainbow trout

Anglers report fair fishing for trout. Open to fishing all year.

LAVA LAKE (SMALL): rainbow trout, brook trout

Open to fishing all year.

LOST LAKE: rainbow trout

The lake has been stocked and should be good fishing at one of Oregon’s most famous lakes. Additionally, Lost Lake received an extra stocking of trophy trout!

METOLIUS RIVER: redband trout, bull trout

Anglers report fair fishing for rainbow trout. The river is now open above Allingham Bridge. Fishing is restricted to fly fishing only upstream of Bridge 99. Catch-and-release for trout including bull trout.

NORTH TWIN LAKE: rainbow trout

Lake will be stocked with rainbow trout this week. Open to fishing all year.

OCHOCO CREEK UPSTREAM TO OCHOCO DAM: rainbow trout

There are usually some nice-size trout in the creek during the spring.

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

OCHOCO RESERVOIR: rainbow trout, black crappie, smallmouth bass

The reservoir is nearly full, which further restricts the already limited bank access. Boat anglers can do well trolling slowly. Fishing should be excellent this year as there are good numbers of large trout and abundant warmwater populations. The reservoir is stocked annually with 50,000 fingerling trout that grow well.

ODELL CREEK: rainbow trout

Now open for trout fishing. Catch-and-release for trout including bull trout.

ODELL LAKE: lake trout, kokanee, rainbow trout

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

PAULINA LAKE: brown trout, rainbow trout, kokanee

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

PINE HOLLOW RESERVOIR: rainbow trout, largemouth bass

The lake has been stocked and fishing has been good, especially for trophies.

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

The reservoir is full and the fish well-dispersed. Fishing should be good this year. The reservoir is stocked annually with 150,000 fingerling trout, and the warmwater fish populations are abundant.

PRINEVILLE YOUTH FISHING POND: rainbow trout and largemouth bass

Fishing should be good for the recently stocked trout.

ROCK CREEK RESERVOIR: rainbow trout

The lake is full of water and has been stocked, should be good fishing.

SHEVLIN YOUTH FISHING POND: rainbow trout

The pond will be stocked with rainbow trout this week. Open to youth only (17 years and under) and disabled anglers. Limit is two fish per day.

SOUTH TWIN LAKE: rainbow trout

Lake will be stocked this week with rainbow trout. Open to fishing all year.

SPARKS LAKE: cutthroat trout

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

SPRAGUE POND: rainbow trout

Turn at Cow Meadow sign off USFS Rd 40. Take first left at first dirt road and follow road to pond.

SUTTLE LAKE: brown trout, kokanee

Open to fishing all year. 25 kokanee per day in addition to daily trout limit. No size limits on kokanee.

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

The lake has been stocked and fishing should be good.

THREE CREEK LAKE: rainbow trout, brook trout

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

TUMALO CREEK: rainbow trout, brook trout

Now open to trout fishing. No limit on size or number of brook trout.

WALTON LAKE: rainbow trout

Recent sampling indicated excellent over-winter survival of trout. Most trout were in the 12 to 14-inch range with some reaching 18-inches. The trout were in excellent condition and appeared to be feeding on zooplankton and macroinvertebrates.

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

Anglers report fair fishing for kokanee. Twenty-five kokanee per day in addition to daily trout limit. No size limits on kokanee.

WHYCHUS CREEK: rainbow trout

Now open for trout fishing. Rainbow trout over 20-inches are considered steelhead.


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CENTRAL ZONE: HUNTING

OPEN: COUGAR, COYOTE, SPRING BEAR, SPRING TURKEY

Bear and turkey hunting close 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. 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

Turkey season continues until May 31. Turkeys can be found on forestland in the Ochoco, Grizzly, and Maury WMU’s. Turkey numbers and distribution in the district are gradually increasing, with groups scattered throughout the national forest. Hunters should contact both the Ochoco National Forest and Prineville BLM offices for road conditions and motorized access restrictions. Motorized restrictions remain in effect year-around in the South Boundary Cooperative Travel Management Area (TMA) along the southern boundary of the Ochoco National Forest. Maps of the area are available at entry portal signs, and at ODFW and Ochoco National Forest offices in Prineville.

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. Cougars must be checked in at an ODFW office within 10 days of harvest. Please consult the synopsis for all required parts and be sure to call first to make an appointment.

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

THE DALLES DISTRICT

Spring Turkey: Spring turkey season runs until May 31. With the heavy snowpack we got this year, turkeys should be a bit more concentrated in lower elevations during the early season than years past. Opportunity should open up in higher elevations as snow melts off. On public land in the southern portion of White River, covering a lot of ground and calling to listen for “shock gobbles” will be your best route to success. The northern portion of the White River unit will provide better hunting opportunity but it’s mainly private land, so be sure to secure permission. The White River Wildlife Area (WRWA) is a very popular area to hunt with decent turkey numbers. Harvest in the unit has continued to increase but hunter success is low. Try hunting weekdays or evenings when it’s less crowded. Pre-season scouting can also be very helpful in locating the elusive spring gobbler. Identify where they roost, travel and feed and you will be more likely to bag one of these wary birds. Be careful and aware that other hunters could possibly be hunting the same turkey that you are after and take necessary safety precautions. A parking permit is required for all users of the wildlife area (permit comes with your hunting license but don’t forget to put it on your car dash). Turkey populations in the hood unit are small but not many people hunt them. If you can find them, there’s a good chance you can succeed at harvesting a bird. The West Biggs unit has small populations of turkeys in the Deschutes river canyon and in some other nearby drainages that are mostly private land.

Spring Bear: Bear densities are good, especially in forested areas of the unit. Despite healthy bear numbers, success rates have been fairly low in the spring season. Lower elevation areas of the unit are great for spot and stalk hunting. As you move higher into more densely forested areas, look for scat, turned over logs and rocks to key in on bears using the area. 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. Forested areas south of Mosier provide plenty of open areas in the western portion of the unit. Good optics and patience while glassing these areas should increase the opportunity to spot a bear. Make sure you have a permit through Weyerhauser to hunt on any of their lands in the Hood unit. Bear activity and harvest has historically increased later in the season.

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

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

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

White River Wildlife Area

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

Bear: Controlled spring bear season for the White River Unit continues until May 31. Look for sign of bear along closed roads in timbered areas and on open ridges where they have been digging wild onions, tubers, and grasses. Hunters will have the greatest success glassing in the early morning and just before dark. All bears must be checked in at an ODFW office within 10 days of being killed, please call ahead to schedule your appointment.

Turkey: Opening weekend harvest was up from last year, but hunter numbers are up as well. Turkey hunting on the Wildlife Area is a popular sport making it very important to be sure of your target. Be careful when using decoys and make sure that you are shooting in a safe direction.

Cougar: Cougar season is open Jan. 1- Dec. 31 or until Zone Mortality Quotas have been met. Calling with distress calls or cougar vocalizations can be effective. However, locating a fresh, naturally made kill has the best chance of success.

Coyotes: Populations are good throughout Wasco County. Pair bonds have formed and calls mimicking coyote vocalizations are most effective. Be aware that bobcats and cougars may respond to predator calls, and separate licensing and season limitations exist for these species.


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CENTRAL ZONE: WILDLIFE VIEWING

CROOK COUNTY

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

Prineville Reservoir Wildlife Area: The Prineville Reservoir Wildlife Area offers access to view a wide variety of wildlife, including deer, coyotes, otter, beaver, raptors, shorebirds and waterfowl. Maps of the wildlife area are available at the Prineville ODFW office, at Prineville Reservoir State Park office and the ODFW website. Note: The exterior gates are closed until April 15 to protect wintering mule deer. Non-motorized walk-in access is still permitted.

Deschutes County

Weather conditions in the high desert are unpredictable at this time of year. Night time temperatures can dip below freezing and it’s not unusual to experience the occasional snow squall during the day. However, nice days and warmer conditions are also on the menu, and that encourages reptiles to venture out from their rocky winter residence. A good way to tell if it’s warm enough for reptile activity is to touch the rocks. If they feel warm, you can expect to see lizards around rock piles and snakes around ponds and wetlands, where you are also likely to see small packets of Pacific tree frog eggs attached to vegetation below the water line.

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

Wickiup and Crane Prairie Reservoirs are good areas to see bald eagles, common loon, horned grebe, and tree swallows. Both bald and golden eagles can be seen at Smith Rock State Park in north east Deschutes County, and yellow-bellied marmots (a favorite food item for golden eagles) will be active on warm sunny days. Other good birding locations include Camp Polk Meadows, located a few miles north east of Sisters on Camp Polk Road, where a wide variety of birds can be seen this time of year. Visitors to the meadows are likely to see American kestrel, great horned owl, multiple warbler species, kingfisher, Virginia rail, Wilson’s snipe, California quail, hairy and downy woodpeckers, pygmy nuthatches, mourning doves and western bluebirds to name just a few.

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

Bird watching is not just limited to wild places, as residents and visitors to Bend can watch an osprey pair nesting adjacent to the Parkway that runs through the city. Other opportunities to view a diversity of bird species (and other wildlife) without leaving Bend can be found along the trails that follow the Deschutes River. And Vaux’s swifts can be seen flying over the former Bend library at 507 NW Wall St., and disappearing into the chimney at dusk.

Whether you’re interested in song birds, waterfowl, or raptors and prefer remote birding locations, or those closer to urban areas, directions to a long list of great birding locations can be found at East Cascades Audubon Society web site 04/25/17

WASCO AND SHERMAN COUNTIES

The Lower Deschutes River provides ample wildlife viewing opportunities. California bighorn sheep are frequently observed in the canyon and can provide fantastic viewing all times of the year. The best spot to view sheep is from the BLM access road just downstream and across the river from Sherars Falls (along Hwy 216). Focus your efforts near large cliff complexes for best viewing. Sheep can also be viewed from The Lower Deschutes Wildlife Area access trail on the east side of the river by hiking up from the mouth of the river. Sheep can be seen about as low as river mile 7 or 8.

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

Great wildlife and wildflower viewing opportunities also exist on the River Ranch tract of Lower Deschutes Wildlife area. Wildflowers are in full bloom on the area. Spring migrants will be showing up soon and oak canyon is a great place to view many unique species. Many bighorn sheep also use the area. The area can be accessed through BLM lands at the mouth of Oak, Ferry, or Ward canyons. You will need a boat to access the area, which provides a very remote experience, with usually very few other people around, if any. Please call The Dalles district office at 541 296 4628 with any questions about accessing the area. 5/2/2017

White River Wildlife Area

There are many different animals on White River Wildlife Area ranging from deer and elk to coyotes, bears, and the occasional cougar. Bucks are starting to grow back their antlers and can be seen with short velvet antlers this time of year. Does will soon be having their fawns. It is common practice for deer to leave their fawns behind while feeding or when disturbed by people so please leave young animals alone as the mothers will come back to feed their young. Remember, watch carefully for deer along the edge of roads. There are many deer mortalities every year from vehicle collisions.

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

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

Look on ponds, lakes and streams to see a variety of ducks and geese, as well as western grebes, coots, and mergansers. 4/18/2017


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SOUTHEAST ZONE: FISHING

Weekend Fishing Opportunities:

  • On Cottonwood Meadows, trolling damsel and dragonfly nymphs may be the ticket this weekend.
  • This weekend anglers were catching trout up to 18-inches long at Yellowjacket Lake.
  • Keep on the lookout for radio tagged redband trout in Upper Klamath and Agency Lakes. Please release these fish unharmed.
  • Fishing on the Klamath River above the powerhouse is very good right not for 10 to 12-inch redband trout.
  • Holbrook Reservoir will be stocked this week with 3,500 legal trout and 500 trophy trout.
  • There will be a free fishing day event at the Burns Pond on June 3 from 7-11 a.m. There will be three age categories for a fishing tournament: 3-6, 7-11, and 12-16. Prizes will be given away in each age category for biggest fish and possibly second and third biggest fish.

 Regional resources

This guide, produced in 2015, has better descriptions of waterbodies and directions to those waterbodies. Current regulations and water levels might not be accurate.

Send us your fishing report

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

ANA RESERVOIR: hatchery rainbow trout, hybrid bass

This reservoir was stocked the week of May 15 with 3,000 legal-size rainbow trout.

This lake is open year round, providing a great opportunity to catch hybrid bass and rainbow trout. A 16-pound hybrid bass was caught earlier this season and hybrid bass larger than 20-inches are not uncommon. Hybrid bass are targeted successfully using crank baits and fishing bait along the bottom.

The reservoir was stocked with 3,300 legal trout at the end of March, but anglers reported fishing was slow a few weeks ago.

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

ANA RIVER: hatchery rainbow trout, brown trout

Fishing was slow a month ago, but fishermen have reported catching trout over 25-inches in Ana River. Ana River is open year-round and was stocked in November with larger rainbow trout 10 to 13-inches. Fingerlings were also released in 2016 and should be approximately 8 to 12-inches. The Ana River is spring fed and rainbow trout are active throughout the year. Anglers can access these trout by floating the river in a float tube or by walking the banks. Bait is allowed.

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

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

ANNIE CREEK: brook trout, brown trout and rainbow trout

Fishing in Annie Creek not recommended at this time due to high flows. Annie Creek turns turbid quickly due to the large watershed and snow in the upper elevations. Access is available off Hwy. 62 at the USFS snow park. There is plenty of public property on USFS, State Forest and Crater Lake National Park -- fishing is regulated by the National Park (541-594-3000).

Several waterfalls occur on the creek inside Crater Lake National Park offering exceptional views. Fishing is very slow due to very cold (42 degrees) and low productivity water. Fishing with bait allowed. Open year-round.

BALM CREEK RESERVOIR: rainbow trout

The reservoir is now accessible and completely full of water. Fall fish sampling by ODFW indicated that the fingerlings planted last spring have survived and grown well and should provide for good fishing this spring. In addition, 500 legal-size rainbows were stocked the week of May 15.

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

No recent fishing reports. The reservoir is currently at 100 percent of capacity and the boat ramp is useable based on the Bureau of Reclamation website. With the reservoir being completely full, look for fish near the shallow water at the upper end of the reservoir. This is where a lot of the smaller “baitfish” congregate and you may find larger fish feeding on them.

BIG ROCK RESERVOIR: hatchery rainbow trout

People have been catching a few rainbow trout 8 to 12-inches this past week. Most trout probably perished last year due to low water levels. Fingerlings will be released in May this year and be 8-to 10-inches come fall.

BLITZEN RIVER: redband trout

The Blitzen River is currently flowing around 331 cfs with water temperatures fluctuating around 50oF. The current conditions for the Blitzen can be checked here. Recent fishing reports indicate that fishing has been good on the Blitzen and redband trout over 20-inches have been caught recently. Fishing has been the most productive in deep water and under overhanging banks around the Page Springs area and up to and above the weir.

These redband trout are spring spawners so look for larger adults that may be moving upstream in search of the spawning grounds. Anglers are asked to avoid walking in gravely tailouts where spawning is occurring. It is also important to not over-play any large adults that are caught. They are expending a lot of energy during the spawning process and will require extra time to recuperate following being caught.

Throughout the winter and early spring, large nymphs and streamers can be used for the larger redband trout. Bead-headed wooly buggers in brown and olive are great winter/spring flies to use on the Blitzen, and a lot of people fish them under a strike indicator. Using larger leaders will also help to pull fish out of tough to reach areas and the redband trout on the Blitzen are not know to be leader shy. Aquatic insects have started hatching and some mayflies have been observed so dry fly fishing on the Blitzen should be picking up.

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

BURNS POND: trout, bass

Fishing has been slow for trout on the Burns Pond. The pond is completely full but water clarity has still been fairly good. The pond has been stocked with legal-size rainbow trout so fishing is expected to improve. There will be a free fishing day event at the Burns Pond on June 3. The event will start at 7am and run until 11am. There will be 3 age categories for a fishing tournament: 3-6, 7-11, and 12-16. Prizes will be given away in each age category for biggest fish and possibly second and third biggest fish. Please contact the Hines ODFW office or the Burns BLM for more information.

BURNT RIVER: rainbow trout

The South Fork of the Burnt River will be stocked with 1,000 legal-size rainbow trout the week of May 15.

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

Access is blocked by snow. Open all year.

CAMPBELL LAKE: hatchery rainbow trout, brook trout

Access is blocked by snow.

CAMPBELL RESERVOIR: redband trout, largemouth bass, crappie

Fishing is currently fair for crappie and bass. Crappie fishing will continue to get better with warming temperatures. Some 12 to 13-inch crappie have been caught recently.

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

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

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

The entire river is open all year and fly-fishing for redband trout 6 to 12-inches should be fair upstream of Paisley once the river comes down. Snow melting from the mountains is causing high flows and cold temperatures. Best time to fish is mid-day and dry flies and nymphs are typically productive. Bait is allowed downstream of Hwy 31 at Paisley, however the use of bait is prohibited upstream of highway 31.

Largemouth bass and brown bullhead are available to anglers at the first Hwy. 31 crossing just north of Valley Falls. Small boats can be launched at this site.

CHICKAHOMINY RESERVOIR: trout

Recent fishing reports indicate that fishing has been fair at Chickahominy this spring with bank anglers reporting catches of 10 to 14-inch rainbow trout. The boat ramp is currently useable with all but a few sections of the boat ramp floating and the water clarity is good for the reservoir, which is known for being really murky. Chickahominy is currently fuller than it has been since 2013/2014 so hopefully this will help to restore the fishery following the prolonged drought in the region.

Chickahominy has already been stocked with fingerling-size rainbow trout and these fish are expected to grow to around 8- to 10 inches by this fall. Chickahominy was also recently stocked with legal-size rainbow trout and is slated to receive a load of trophy-size rainbow trout in early June.

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

Access is blocked due to snow.

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

Access is open to all vehicles. Although there have been no recent fishing reports it should be great. Most fishing styles will suffice, but trolling damsel and dragonfly nymphs may be the ticket this weekend. Fish should be more active as the water warms.

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

No recent fishing reports but it is expected that fishing is slow at the Cow Lakes. Fishing reports and sampling data indicate that there is an overabundance of brown bullheads in the lakes. White crappie, bluegill, and large scale suckers were also found during sampling in 2016 with a few of the crappie being very large. ODFW will continue to monitor conditions in the Cow Lakes to hopefully improve the fishery.

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

Opened to fishing on May 22 but fishing is currently slow. The creek has limited access. The access at the Highway 62 crossing is typically very slow.

CRYSTAL CREEK redband trout and yellow perch

Crystal Creek opened May 22. Fishing is slow due to most redband trout being in Upper Klamath and Agency Lakes

DEADHORSE LAKE: hatchery rainbow trout

Access is blocked by snow.

DELINTMENT LAKE: trout

No recent fishing reports. The roads to Delintment are currently free of snow and passable with cars and trucks. The lake was recently stocked with fingerling and legal-size rainbow trout so fishing should be good this spring. There is a possibility that some fish didn’t make it through the winter so there may not be as many holdovers as usual.

DEMING CREEK: redband trout and bull trout

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

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

Fishing is slow. The reservoir is very full. The reservoir is turbid and visibility is 4 to 6-inches. Access is available along the Fishhole Creek road. Much of the reservoir is on private property so please clean up and respect this property. Small boats without trailers can be launched at several locations. The reservoir on the east side nearest to the Fishhole Creek road is on private property.

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

There have been no recent fishing reports. Yellow perch are the best species to target on this lake in the early spring, but crappie, brown bullhead and bass are present. Only one rainbow trout per day, 15-inch minimum length may be harvested.

DUNCAN RESERVOIR: hatchery rainbow trout and brown bullhead catfish

Some rainbow trout have left the reservoir recently and can be caught in the creek. Fishing was very slow the first week of April, but should improve with warming temperatures. Water clarity and temperature were ideal but fish were not responsive. The Reservoir is very full with flooded juniper trees and fish appear to be spread out. The boat ramp is flooded therefore launching a boat can be challenging. Bring your waders and watch out for submerged boulders at the boat ramp. For best success anglers should fish near the inlet of Duncan Creek on the southern end near the willows and aspens. Small black midges were hatching and water boatmen were active. Using leech flies can also be productive as the reservoir is full of leeches.

Fly fisherman should fish extremely slow and deep with black midge patterns, which can be effective in early April-May. A recent illegal introduction of brown bullhead will negatively impact the trout fishery in the future. ODFW encourages the retention of all brown bullhead captured in this fishery.

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

The North Loop Steens Road is still closed for the winter making accessing Fish Lake difficult. The Burns District BLM office will open the road when things dry out and mud is not an issue. This may be later than usual this year with the heavy rains the region is experiencing.

FORT CREEK: brown, redband and brook trout

Fort Creek opened to fishing beginning May 22. Expect slow fishing due to low fish densities. Some nice size brown trout occur in the creek.

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

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

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

Access is blocked by snow.

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

The reservoir is 99 percent full. Access is good as BLM maintains campgrounds at the reservoir. Fishing is slow. Best fishing is for yellow perch. Fish numbers are very low due to four years of consecutive drought. Crappie fishing will be very slow. Two boat ramps occur at the reservoir. The reservoir is always turbid.

HAINES POND: rainbow trout

The pond was stocked in April with pounder and legal-size rainbow trout. To measure the catch rate of trout stocked at Haines Pond, ODFW marked approximately 150 of these with an orange colored tag, just under the dorsal fin. If you catch one of these tagged fish, please report the tag number to Tim Bailey, District Fish Biologist at 541-962-1829. Some of these tags will have a $50 reward available.

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

Access is available and will be stocked the week of May 22.

Illegal introductions of brown bullhead catfish have been negatively impacting overwinter survival and the rainbow trout fishery. ODFW encourages the retention of all brown bullhead captured in this fishery.

HIGHWAY 203 POND: rainbow trout, panfish, bass

The pond was stocked in April with trophy- and legal-size rainbow trout. The pond will be stocked again the first week of June. To measure the catch rate of trout stocked at Hwy 203 Pond, ODFW marked approximately 240 of these with an orange colored tag, just under the dorsal fin. If you catch one of these tagged fish, please report the tag number to Tim Bailey, District Fish Biologist at 541-962-1829. Some of these tags will have a $50 reward available.

HOLBROOK RESERVOIR: hatchery rainbow trout

The reservoir’s headgate was fixed in 2016 and the reservoir is currently full. We will stock 3,500 legal-size rainbow trout and 500 trophy-size trout the week of May 22.

JACKSON CREEK (UPPER WILLIAMSON RIVER): brook trout

Access likely blocked by snow. Fishing is open and bait allowed. This stream is very small with a large brook trout being 8 inches.

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

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

Fishing should improve this week as water temperatures increase. Water temperature is currently peaking at 63 degrees. Fishing for largemouth bass is improving as bass move towards shallows to spawn and feed. The reservoir is turbid,therefore anglers should try scent and highly visible lures. Fishing for brown bullhead catfish is likely your best bet and catch rates are currently fair. Catch rates for crappie and pumpkinseed should improve this month as water temperatures warm. A few anglers are catching crappie.

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

ODFW and OSU radio tagged 33 redband trout April 14-15 at the Eagle Ridge Park boat ramp and an additional nine in Agency Lake and nine off the Skillet Handle. Tagged Redband trout will have a long antennae protruding from the abdomen. The antenna looks like very heavy fishing line. Please report the capture of any of these fish. Please do not remove these fish from the water. It is unlawful to retain radio tagged fish (Page 15 under number 14 of Sport Fishing Regulations).

Catch rates have slowed from fishing from boats. Boats can be launched at all boat ramps. All boat docks have been placed in the water and all boat ramps are usable. Small boats should take into account the wind forecast for the day. The lake is 0.9 feet below full pool. Water temperature is peaking at 65 degrees. Redband trout are beginning to move into colder water of the Williamson, Pelican Bay and Wood River mouth areas. The algae bloom along Eagle Ridge is increasing rapidly which can reduce catch rates.

All methods are catching fish. Currently best fishing is from boat trolling lures. Trolling from boat is fair due to turbidity and the fish being spread out. Water clarity is one and half feet depending on location. Redband trout are scattered. Anglers typically use spoons or plugs that mimic bait fish in the lake such as blue chub, tui chub, fat head minnows or sculpin species. Many anglers fish from shore using dead minnows or night crawlers. Anglers can fish from shore along Howard Bay, Shoalwater Bay (Eagle Ridge County Park), near Link River Trail and Lakeshore Landing.

Fishing in Agency Lake remains slow. There is very little bank access for fishing in Agency Lake. Anglers can fish from Henzel Park or the Wood River Wetland Area.

KLAMATH RIVER: native rainbow-redband trout

Keno Dam to J.C Boyle Reservoir

Currently, fishing is very slow as fish are likely moving to spawning grounds. Water levels in the Keno Reach of the Klamath River are high at 2300 cfs. Expect variable daily flows in this section and ODFW recommends checking flows before fishing. This flow is very high for fishing. Water temperatures are increasing slightly and peaking around 62 degrees. Most redband trout are migrating from spawning grounds.

A Many roads along highway 66 should not be used and have been closed. Much of the river access is on Green Diamond Property and private property needs to be respected. Anglers can drive to the river at the base of Keno Dam using Old Wagon Road on the west side of the river. This road is in disrepair. The other access site is at the PacifiCorp Campground on the east side which is currently closed. Access to the lower river is also available at Sportsman Park. Many anglers access the river on the Hwy. 66 side and hike into the canyon.

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

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

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

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

Fishing on the Klamath River between JC Boyle Dam to JC Boyle Powerhouse is very good. Flows are stable below JC Boyle Dam and currently 117 cfs. Most fish in this section are very small and average 10-inches. Below the springs this section remains near a constant 360 cfs of flow and water temperatures are cooler in this section in the summer.

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

J.C. Boyle Powerhouse to State Line with California

Fishing is very slow due to high flows, 2,830 cfs. Below the JC Boyle powerhouse the fish get slightly larger than the aforementioned reach and average 12 inches but rarely exceed 16 inches. Most fish are in the 6- to 8-inch range. Fishing will be poor. If flow levels are 900 cfs or lower the river is fishable. Flow release estimates are no longer available. Check the USGS real time website for flow information. Klamath River is a good TROUT 365 fishery – good trout fishing 365 days a year.

KRUMBO RESERVOIR: trout, bass

Recent reports indicate that rainbow trout fishing has been good on Krumbo this month with a few anglers catching larger trout nearing 20-inches. Krumbo can be a great later winter and spring fishery and often produces rainbow trout up to 18-inches long. Please note that only manual or electric powered boats are allowed on Krumbo so please do not use gas powered motors on the reservoir. Krumbo has already been stocked with a total of 13,000 legal-size rainbow trout so there are plenty of fish available.

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 and lake level is high. The lake is spilling at Seldom Creek. The lake will be stocked this week with 700 trophy and 1,500 legal rainbow trout. Fishing should be excellent for rainbow trout. Best fishing is from a boat. Only the lodge boat ramp is open due to snow. Fishing should be fair for small yellow perch and an occasional brown trout. Fishing for kokanee in the early morning near the surface can also be productive.

Fishing for largemouth bass is also improving. Look to fishing docks and along the lily pads for good bass fishing.

The Lake of the Wood Resort Marina and Lodge opened May 1. Call Lake of the Woods Resort for recent reports Toll Free at 866-201-4194.

LOFTON RESERVOIR: hatchery rainbow trout

Access is available and people have been catching holdover trout over 17-inches. Worms under a bobber has been producing trout, but fish were loaded with dragonfly nymphs and midge larvae. Fly fishermen should use leech patterns and damsel/dragon nymph patterns. Midges were also hatching and found in the stomach contents of rainbow trout. The week of May 22 1,500 legal-size and 400 trophy-size rainbow trout will be stocked.

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

Access is limited due to snow.

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

Fishing for brown bullhead catfish has improved. Access is available off Crystal Springs Road. Fishing for largemouth bass can be excellent this time of year near Bonanza. A small car topper boat can be launched at Big Springs Park.

LUCKY RESERVOIR: hatchery rainbow trout

There have been no recent fishing reports, but fishing will pick up with warming water temperatures. Fingerlings released in 2016 should overwinter and create a great fishery for 2017. Fingerlings were released again in May 2017.

MALHEUR RESERVOIR: hatchery rainbow trout

Recent fishing reports indicate that fishing is slow at Malheur Reservoir this spring but the reservoir has recently been stocked with legal-size rainbow trout. The roads are currently passable but use caution in muddy areas.

The reservoir dam was repaired and started holding water again in November of 2015. The reservoir was stocked with legal-size and fingerling rainbow trout in the spring of 2016 to jump start the fishery following prolonged drought conditions in the region. It is not currently known how many of these fish survived the winter but ODFW will be sampling it this summer to evaluate the fishery. The reservoir is completely full so that could will help restore the fishery.

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

No recent fishing reports.

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

No recent fishing reports.

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

No recent fishing reports.

MANN LAKE: cutthroat trout

Recent fishing reports indicate that fishing is very slow right now at Mann Lake. Mann Lake and the rest of the east Steens region is still fairly dry and has not been experiencing the same flooding and wet conditions the rest of the region has. Reports indicate that there is still a decent amount of snow in the watershed and we are expecting conditions to improve as we move into the spring. Reports from earlier this winter indicated that the water was very low and there was only a foot of water below the ice in most places. The delayed filling of Mann Lake may be partially due to the depleted groundwater storage following prolonged drought conditions in the region. Hopefully this winter was enough to recharge things and restore the lake and provide better conditions for the fishery.

Currently, there are only two different age classes of cutthroat trout in Mann Lake. It was stocked in 2012 following the removal of invasive goldfish and it was slated to be stocked again in 2014 but a disease outbreak at the hatchery prevented these fish from being stocked. It was stocked with fingerling cutthroat trout in the spring of 2016 so these fish should be available to anglers this spring. ODFW will continue to monitor the lake this spring to determine how the fishery has responded to the less than ideal conditions.

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

MILL FLAT POND: hatchery rainbow trout, largemouth bass

Access is available. Bass have been illegally introduced and are negatively impacting the hatchery rainbow trout. Bass up to 6-pounds have been caught in 2016 and crawdads have been a major food source. Fingerling rainbow trout will be stocked in June of 2017.

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

Access to the lake is blocked by snow.

MUD LAKE: hatchery rainbow trout

The reservoir is full. It is likely no fish survived from 2016, but in May the reservoir was stocked with fingerlings that will reach 8- to 11-inches by this fall.

MURRAY RESERVOIR: rainbow trout

The reservoir has been stocked with legal and trophy-size rainbow trout.

NORTH POWDER POND: rainbow trout, panfish, catfish

The pond was stocked in April with pounder- and legal-size rainbow trout. To measure the catch rate of trout stocked at North Powder Pond, ODFW marked approximately 200 of these with an orange colored tag just under the dorsal fin. If you catch one of these tagged fish, please report the tag number to Tim Bailey, District Fish Biologist at 541-962-1829. Some of these tags will have a $50 reward available.

OVERTON RESERVOIR: hatchery rainbow trout

Access is blocked by snow.

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

The Owyhee Reservoir is currently at 100 percent of capacity and the managers have been releasing extra water through the dam and the glory hole spillway in an attempt to accommodate heavy flows entering the reservoir. There have been no recent fishing reports for the Owyhee Reservoir but fishing is expected to be slow in these conditions.

The Owyhee Dam boat ramp is permanently closed due to safety concerns. The Gordon Gulch boat ramp is currently open and the Indian Creek boat ramp is likely open as well.

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

Water releases below the dam have been around 1,420 cfs according to the USGS stream data. There is an abundance of water entering the reservoir so it is expected that river flows will remain high in an attempt to control the reservoir. Fisherman have reported fair fishing success during these high conditions so don’t let the high water scare you, as there are still fish being caught throughout the river.

OWYHEE RIVER (Upper): smallmouth bass and channel catfish

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

PHILLIPS RESERVOIR: rainbow trout, yellow perch

The reservoir was stocked with legal- and trophy-size rainbows the week of May 15. Reservoir storage is at 85 percent of capacity.

Trophy-size trout stocked in the reservoir spring 2016 are still present in fair numbers. To measure the catch rate of these trophy’s, ODFW marked approximately 400 of these with an orange colored tag, just under the dorsal fin. If you catch one of these tagged fish, please report the tag number to Tim Bailey, District Fish Biologist at 541-962-1829. Some of these tags will have a $50 reward available.

Recent fish sampling by ODFW indicates that good numbers of hold over trout are available and range in the 12- to 18-inch size range.

PILCHER RESERVOIR: rainbow trout

The reservoir is full to the point that access to the high water boat launch is flooded. Fishing should be good for rainbow trout from 10- to 16-inches.

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

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

PIUTE RESERVOIR: hatchery rainbow trout

There have not been any recent fishing reports, but the reservoir is full. Over winter survival was very low due to water levels this winter. Fingerling rainbow trout were stocked in May and become 8 to 11-inches this fall.

POISON CREEK RESERVOIR: hatchery rainbow trout

No recent fishing reports but fishing is expected to be picking up following the recent stocking of 200 trophy-size rainbow trout.

Fishing in the summer of 2016 on Poison Creek Reservoir was slow but anglers did report catching large rainbow trout. The reservoir is unique in that it has a very robust population of large macroinvertebrates and this helps the trout to grow big rather quickly. The abundance of food for these trout may also be the reason that fishing is slow because the fish do not need to go far to find food so they move around less.

POLE CREEK RESERVOIR: hatchery rainbow trout, crappie

No recent fishing reports but fishing is expected to be slow following the complete draw down of the reservoir this past winter. Pole Creek is filling up and the conditions are expected to be better this year than the last two years.

PRIDAY RESERVOIR: hatchery rainbow trout

Fishing has been fair for trout over 16-inches. Trophy rainbow trout were stocked the first week of April. Legal-size and fingerling rainbow trout stocked in 2016 should have overwintered and create a good fishery this year. Once the water warms up fishing should get better. Try fishing close to shore as rainbow trout cruise the shoreline looking for food.

Priday Reservoir is on some BLM property, but the majority of the reservoir is on private property between Plush and Adel. Please respect the private property by staying on the main roads and cleaning up trash from others.

ROGGER POND: hatchery rainbow trout

Access is available to all vehicles on FS 3915 road. There are plenty of 9 to 12-inch fish located in this reservoir.

SAND AND SCOTT CREEKS: brook trout and brown trout

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

SEVENMILE CREEK: brook trout, brown trout, redband trout

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

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

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

SHERLOCK GULCH RESERVOIR: hatchery rainbow trout

There have been no fishing reports this year, but fish were observed feeding on the surface last week. Fingerling rainbow trout were stocked in 2016 and should be 8 to 12-inches this spring. Fingerlings will be stocked again in May.

SID LUCE RESERVOIR: hatchery rainbow trout

There have been no recent fishing reports but the reservoir is full and fish were rising this past week.

SPAULDING RESERVOIR: hatchery rainbow trout

The reservoir was dry in 2015 and 2016. The reservoir is full and was stocked with fingerling rainbow trout in May and will reach 8- to 11-inches this fall.

SPENCER CREEK: redband trout and brook trout

Spencer Creek is open to fishing beginning May 22. Expect slow fishing due to low fish densities. Fish may be taken on spinners, as well as leech patterns. Small mayfly and caddis hatches have been recently observed.

SPRING CREEK: redband trout, brown trout, brook trout

Spring Creek is open to fishing beginning May 22. Expect slow fishing due to low fish densities.

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

The Sprague River opened April 22. Flows have dropped slightly to 1320 cfs. Large trout are available but scattered. ODFW encourages the release of large spawned out redband trout (kelts). Keep on the lookout for radio tagged redband trout. Radio tagged redband must be released unharmed. All tributaries to the Sprague River including Trout Creek, Sycan River, NF Sprague, Fivemile Creek, and SF Sprague remain open to fishing all year.

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

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

Fishing through the canyon is slow. Access to this area is challenging as is wading through the high gradient areas. Open all year. Flow has increased through the canyon to 154 cfs. Larger brown trout and redband trout occur in this section.

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

Access is limited due to snow. The South Fork Sprague River is open to fishing all year. Fishing is very slow in most areas due to low fish densities. Flow is high (183 cfs) at the USFS day use park east of Bly.

SUMMIT PRAIRIE POND: hatchery rainbow trout

Access is blocked by snow.

SUN CREEK: brook trout, bull trout, brown trout

Sun Creek is closed to fishing for bull trout. Only bull trout occur in upper Sun Creek just above the Sun Pass Forest bridge crossing. Angling not recommended at this time.

Redband trout were reintroduced to Sun Creek. These redband trout were small, most less than four inches, and salvaged from the Wood River irrigation system. The Sun Creek channel will be rerouted into the historic channel this summer.

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

Access is very challenging to the lower river and snow is blocking access to the upper river. Fishing is very slow below the marsh as most of the river desiccated in summer of 2015. Flows are high at 346 cfs.

THOMPSON VALLEY RESERVOIR: hatchery rainbow trout, largemouth bass

Access is available to this reservoir, but there have not been any recent fishing reports. It was stocked the week of May 15 with 9,000 legal-size trout and 300 larger trout. Although the reservoir got fairly low last year there should be plenty of trout and bass that overwintered. The reservoir is full and should be very productive this year.

THIEF VALLEY RESERVOIR: trout

The reservoir is full and has been stocked with both trophy and legal-size rainbow trout. The new boat dock is in place and functioning properly. A batch of 5,000 legal-sized rainbow trout was stocked the week of May 15.

UNITY RESERVOIR: rainbow trout, bass, crappie

No recent reports. Reservoir storage is at 96 percent of capacity.

VEE LAKE: hatchery rainbow trout

Access is blocked by snow.

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

No recent fishing reports but fishing is expected to be slow. The reservoir is currently at 99 percent of capacity. The roads have recently been passable but use caution when accessing the reservoir in muddy conditions as they can quickly become unpassable.

WARNER POND: hatchery rainbow trout

Fly fishermen have been catching fish 10 to 14-inches in this small pond at the base of Hart Mountain. Typically trout are observed rising throughout the day chasing water boatmen, damsel nymphs and midges. The most effective way to fish is in a float tube or small john boat. This pond is very productive and should be fished earlier in the season before vegetation takes over.

UPPER WILLIAMSON RIVER: redband trout and brook trout

The Upper Williamson River opened to fishing April 22. Expect slow fishing on opening day due to high flows and turbid water conditions. River flows are 75 cfs. Access might be difficult in some locations due to snow and muddy road conditions. Expect the black drake mayfly hatch to be excellent later this year in June.

LOWER WILLIAMSON RIVER: redband trout and brown trout

The lower Williamson below Kirk Bridge opened to fishing beginning May 22. Flows below the Sprague River confluence are 2,200 cfs which are much higher than average. The water is dark and turbid due to flows from the Upper Williamson River.

Hatches of salmonflies, caddis, mayflies and small stoneflies have been observed recently. Fish can be taken on leech and sucker egg patterns as well.

There are numerous hatches of insects above Chiloquin. Brown trout and redband trout are rising but extremely difficult to catch. Flows below the Sprague River confluence are very high but redband trout are keyed into sucker eggs. Fishing will be fair on the Williamson River.

Drift boats can be launched near Chiloquin and can drift down to the Waterwheel at Highway 97. The Waterwheel offers a shuttle service. Boat ramp fee is $10 at waterwheel. ODFW recommends hiring a guide to fish this section.

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

There have been no recent fishing reports. Best fishing is from a boat. Launching a boat might be problematic due to high reservoir levels. Bring waders or rubber boots to launch. Crappie are rare in the reservoir but can be found suspended near the large wood placement and spider block structures. Bluegill are abundant in the shallows but typically small and difficult to capture. Lahontan cutthroat are very rare. Yellow perch can be the most dominant fish in the reservoir but tend to stunt resulting in very small adult size (6-inches). The reservoir is turbid.

WOLF CREEK RESERVOIR: crappie, trout

The reservoir is full and boat dock is in place. Fishing is expected to be good for rainbow trout 10 to 14-inches.

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

The Wood River opened to fishing on April 22. Expect slow fishing due to low fish densities. Flows above Crooked Creek are 303 cfs. Flows have increased and flow levels are fishable. Look for an increase in flow as the snow melts. Brown trout numbers continue to be low. Redd counts for redband trout and brown trout in the Wood River and Fort Creek were low this year.

Hatches of small mayflies and stoneflies are occurring. The best section for dry fly fishing is from Loosley Road to Weed Road. Lures that mimic baitfish can work well. Brown trout typically feed on sculpins, crayfish, annelids (worms) and mice this time of year.

YELLOWJACKET LAKE: trout

Recent reports indicate that fishing has been good at Yellowjacket Lake and fish are being caught in the 8 to 18-inch size range. Yellowjacket has already been stocked with legal-size rainbow trout and it will be stocked again near the end of the month.

The Hines ODFW District Office is conducting a study on growth of rainbow trout at Yellowjacket Lake this summer. Fish have been marked with a powdery substance called “grit” that is sprayed on using high pressure. Some of the grit will imbed in the scales and will be visible when viewed under a black light. Some of this grit is currently still visible on the trout but it will not cause any health hazards to human and wildlife that consume these fish and the grit is expected to wash off within a few weeks. This method allows fishery managers to evaluate growth, survival, and exploitation rates of various stocks and different sizes of fish to fine tune the fishery.


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SOUTHEAST ZONE: HUNTING

OPEN: COUGAR, SPRING BEAR, SPRING TURKEY

Bear and turkey hunting close 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. 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

General Spring TURKEY season continues thru May 31. Turkeys can be found in the northern portion of the county on or near national forestland although this past winter conditions may have negatively affected the populations.

Coyote populations are good throughout Harney County. Pair bonds have formed and calls mimicking coyote vocalizations are most effective.

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

KLAMATH COUNTY

Spring TURKEY continues thru May 31. Hunting is expected to be average as survival and reproduction have been good for the past few years, but overwinter survival this year may have been reduced due to snow levels. Best prospects are in the southern portion of the Keno Unit.

Controlled spring BEAR continues thru May 31. Bears are active and feeding aggressively after a hibernation period that may, in some individual cases, have been longer than it has been in the last several years. Best prospects are in the Interstate Unit and also along the east side of the Cascades. Successful hunters are reminded to check-in their bear within 10 days of harvest.

Ground Squirrels – Belding’s ground squirrels have emerged and are active on warmer days. Be sure to obtain permission before entering private lands.

Cougar - Hunting is open. Populations are healthy and distributed throughout the district in any area with a big game prey base. Use of predator calls is a great hunting technique during the spring period. Don’t forget successful hunters must check-in cougars no more than 10 days after harvest; please bring cougar in thawed and with mouth propped open so that field staff can quickly process the animal and get you on your way. Remember a 2017 cougar tag and hunting license is needed to hunt.

COYOTE hunting opportunities are improving. Be aware that bobcats and cougars may respond to predator calls, and separate licensing and open season limitations exist for these species. Please consult the annual hunting synopsis for further information.

Shed Hunting. Shed hunters are reminded that once an antler falls off it legally becomes the property of the landowner. Therefore shed hunters need to get permission from private landowners to access their property and pick up sheds.

KLAMATH WILDLIFE AREA

Updated May 23, 2017

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

Dogs are prohibited off leash except during authorized game bird seasons, in the posted dog training area, or by permit.

Miller Island Unit

The Miller Island Unit is located 6 miles south and west of Klamath Falls. Miller Island Unit is closed to all access from 10:00pm until 4:00am.

Posted safety zones are closed to all hunting.

Gorr Island Unit

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

Shoalwater Bay Unit and Sesti Tgawaals Unit

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

Waterfowl and Upland Hunting Information

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

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

Overnight camping is not allowed on the Miller Island Unit.

If you have any questions, please contact Klamath Wildlife Area at (541) 883-5732.

LAKE COUNTY

Spring turkey continues thru May 31.

Spring Bear. Hunt number 731A includes all of the forested habitats in Lake County. Bear populations are low compared to the rest of the state. Access to the higher elevations in the Interstate and Warner WMU’s continues to be restricted by snow drifts or muddy road conditions. Whether you’re on public or private land, keep vehicles on gravel roads with a good base. Much of the hunt area is private timber land open to the public without charge. The best way to have those properties closed to access is by tearing up roads in the spring.

Cougar populations are healthy throughout the District. Deer and elk have moved up in elevation as the snows have receded and dispersed to fawning and calving areas. Fawn in distress calls can be an effective cougar hunting method at this time of year, though bears may also be particularly interested in those calls as well and hunters should be prepared for predators other than cougar to respond.

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

Shed Hunting. Warmer temperatures and increased moisture has resulted in a strong spring green-up. Deer have been on high quality feed and are recovering body condition. Shed hunters are reminded that once an antler falls off it legally becomes the property of the landowner. Therefore shed hunters need to get permission from private landowners to access their property and pick up sheds.

SUMMER LAKE WILDLIFE AREA

Updated May 15, 2017

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

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

MALHEUR COUNTY

Recent wet weather has made access limited due to mud in much of the 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. Reproduction this year appears to be good which should enhance calling opportunities. Be aware that bobcats and cougars may respond to predator calls, and separate licensing and season limitations exist for these species.

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


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SOUTHEAST ZONE WILDLIFE VIEWING

HARNEY COUNTY

Waterfowl migration has stopped and most waterfowl found now will be breeding pairs on territories and initiating nesting sites.

Sandhill cranes can be found in agricultural fields throughout the Harney Basin. Shorebird migration is slowing. Birding will be more difficult as birds begin to initiate nesting. Lesser yellow legs, killdeer, avocets, black-necked stilts, white-faced ibis, curlews, willets, pelicans and western grebes are some species that can be seen. A large number of franklins, ring-billed and California gulls can also be found.

Spring passerine migrants continue to increase in diversity and number as the season progresses. Malheur National Wildlife Refuge is the summer home to some unique passerines and is an excellent place for birding.

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.

Bighorn sheep viewing will be very difficult at this time as sheep are having their lambs and will stay near steep rugged terrain. Viewers are urged not to disturb sheep during this sensitive time period.

Mule deer will be widely scattered and secretive this time of year as they prepare for fawning. The first of the antelope fawns have started appearing and wildlife viewers can expect to see plenty more in the weeks to come. 5/8/17

Klamath Falls Area

Most Canada geese have completed nesting and goose broods can be found on edges of agricultural fields next to waterbodies all around the Klamath Basin.

Nesting shorebirds such as American avocet, white faced ibis, snipe, and greater yellow legs can be found in wetland areas and flooded pastures at this time of year.

Dedicated birders and astute observers will find a variety of neotropical migrant passerine species migrating through the basin over the next several weeks. Warblers, finches, grosbeaks, hummingbirds, and flycatchers will be among the diversity of species returning to nest in the area or passing through to nesting habitats further north. Listen carefully in the early morning and evening hours to both identify and locate these summer occupants.

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

Mule deer and other large mammals are beginning to return to their summer home ranges. Some key migration corridors and wintering areas are under restricted motorized access to protect the integrity of those areas during this critical time of year. Use caution driving near wintering areas, and please respect seasonal road closures. 5/15/2017

KLAMATH WILDLIFE AREA

Updated May 23, 2017

Dogs are prohibited off leash except during authorized game bird seasons, in the posted dog training area, or by permit.

Waterfowl

Western Canada Geese can be found scattered across the area. Canada goose broods are a common site on the area. White (Ross’s and Snow) geese have departed the area on their way to northern nesting areas. There are still a few white-fronted geese around, but their numbers are very few as most headed north.

Dabbling ducks are now at breeding/nesting numbers, as many have already headed north to nesting areas. Pintail, mallard, wigeon, gadwall, American green-winged teal, Cinnamon teal and northern shovelers can be seen scattered across the area, however American wigeon, American green-winged teal and northern pintail are less common as most have migrated through on their way to nesting areas. Early nesting duck species have initiated nesting with the first Mallard and Cinnamon teal broods being observed over the last couple of weeks. Diver species such as: canvasback, redhead, bufflehead, ruddy duck and ring-necked duck are a common sight on the area, and can be found most anywhere. Common and hooded mergansers can be observed using the Klamath River.

Shorebirds, waders and other waterbirds

Shorebird numbers continue to increase. Killdeer, American avocets and black-necked stilts are abundant around the area, but can be hard to spot as most have already started nesting and not as visible. Dunlin, willets, Wilson’s’ phalaropes and western, least and spotted sandpipers can also be observed. Wilson’s snipe are secretive, but can sometimes be heard in the morning and evenings.

Great blue herons, black-crowned night herons, great egrets and American bitterns can be seen scattered around the area. Double crested cormorants are now a common site. White-faced ibis have been observed using flooded pasture areas. American white pelicans are around in good numbers. Sandhill cranes are a common site with approximately seven pairs that nest on Miller Island. Crane colts are now a common site on the island.

Ring-billed gulls continue to be a common site on the area. Franklin’s gulls are easily spotted flying over Miller Island. Caspian and Forster’s terns are abundant along with the occasional black tern along the Klamath River and on Miller Island.

Pied billed, eared and western grebes have all been observed on Klamath WA Miller Island Unit.

Virginia rails and sora heard more often than seen can also be located.

Raptors

Great horned and barn owls can be seen at dusk. Red-tailed hawks, rough-legged, northern harriers, cooper hawks, sharp-shinned, American kestrels, prairie falcons can all be seen foraging throughout the wildlife area. Peregrine falcons can also be observed using old power poles overlooking the wetlands. Common ravens are quite numerous at this time. Eagle species numbers continue to increase and are becoming quite common. Osprey have been recently observed using Miller Island. Turkey vultures are common site.

Upland Game Birds

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

Passerines

Eurasian collared dove can be found scattered over the area. Large numbers of mourning dove reside on Miller Island and have initiated nesting.

American and lesser goldfinches, house finches, mountain chickadees, American robins, brewers, yellow-headed and red-winged black birds, brown-headed cowbirds, spotted towhees, white-breasted nuthatches, black-billed magpies, western meadow larks and Northern flickers continue to be a common site throughout the area. Tree swallows are still around in good numbers but are beginning to decrease as barn swallow numbers are increasing. Cliff swallow numbers are now abundant as nest building has been initiated on just about every building on Miller Island. Western Kingbirds and the occasional Says phoebe can be spotted fly catching from fences and shrubs. Yellow-rumped warblers and common yellowthroats can be observed using trees and shrubs around the area.

Marsh wrens and song sparrows can be found in dense stands of tall emergent hard stem bulrush and broad-leaf cattail. Savanah sparrows are common throughout the uplands dominated by perennial bunch and salt grasses. Dark-eyed juncos, white-crowned and golden crowned sparrows are becoming less common as spring progresses.

Bullock’s orioles can be located at old home site areas dominated by trees and shrubs on Miller Island.

The occasional horned lark can be spotted on the wildlife areas agricultural fields.

Shrike can sometimes be found using the shrub dominated uplands of the Southern part of Miller Island.

Rufous hummingbirds have been recently spotted using the Klamath Wildlife Area headquaters.

Reptiles

Western pond turtles have become active. They can be observed basking on logs during warm sunny days.

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

Overnight camping is not allowed on the Miller Island Unit.

If you have any questions, please contact Klamath Wildlife Area at (541) 883-5732.

LAKE COUNTY

Nesting ducks, Lesser Sandhill Crane and the larger gulls and terns are present in good numbers. Long Billed Curlew and American Avocet have arrived as well as some of the smaller shore bird species. Summer resident and migrant passerines are showing up in good numbers. It is the time of year when new species are arriving every day.

As the snows recede, mule deer are moving to higher elevations and their fawning grounds. DO NOT PICK UP DEER FAWNS. Female deer become isolated and solitary near the time of birthing, so while you may not see them, they are near the fawn waiting for you to leave so they can return. Even if you think the fawn is abandoned, DO NOT PICK IT UP!

SUMMER LAKE WILDLIFE AREA

This section was updated on May 15, 2017.

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

Motor vehicle access on major dike roads (Bullgate and Windbreak) closed on March 15, 2017, but the Wildlife Viewing Loop remains open. Viewers should be aware of oncoming traffic since portions of the Wildlife Viewing Loop are narrow. Numerous parking areas and pullouts are found along the loop

Wildlife viewing continues to improve with the continued arrival of northward migrants, as well as the onset of breeding season for many species, especially waterfowl. Several species of shorebirds and other migrants have recently returned. Passerines are becoming very numerous at this time.

Waterfowl

Waterfowl migration is largely over but fair populations of breeding species remain.

Western Canada geese are widely distributed across the wildlife area, most are well into nesting or brood rearing. Small flocks of non-breeders can still be found.

Arctic and sub-arctic nesting geese (lesser snow and greater white-fronted) have largely departed the area, but a few late migrants can sometimes be found.

Duck numbers have declined to breeding season levels following the end of migration. A few late migrants in small flocks are sometimes seen. Major breeding species such as mallard, cinnamon teal and gadwall are abundant. Local early breeding ducks such as mallard and cinnamon teal are paired-up and nesting is well underway. Gadwall are pairing also, and nesting for this species is beginning.

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

Shorebirds, waders and other waterbirds

Migrant shorebirds continue to arrive and nesting is underway for some breeding species (9 total). Shorebird diversity continues to be good, with American avocets, black-necked stilts, dunlin, , killdeer, long-billed curlew, snowy plover, semi-palmated plover, Wilson’s phalarope, Western willet, Western, least and spotted sandpipers observed over the last week. The overall number of shorebirds is increasing and viewing opportunities will remain good for the next few weeks. Wilson’s snipe can be heard winnowing mornings and evenings. Willet calling is continuous throughout the day.

American coot numbers continue to increase and are found across the entire area, many are separating into pairs and nesting should be underway soon. Observations and calling of sora and Virginia rails are increasing. Sandhill cranes continue to stage in good numbers (esp. in farmed fields at the Foster and Turner Places), breeding pairs have dispersed onto traditional nesting territories, nesting is underway and the season’s first colts should be observed soon.

Gulls are numerous and widespread across the wildlife area. Ring-billed gulls are the predominant species, but California gulls are common. Franklin’s and Bonaparte’s gulls have also been observed recently. Caspian and Forster’s tern numbers continue to increase, spring arrival of black terns should occur any day. The tern nesting island in East Link unit and Schoolhouse Lake, on the east side of the viewing loop is a good spot to view a concentration of breeding gulls and Caspian tern where they are beginning to nest.

American white pelicans are present in good number and small flocks are being observed in several locations across the wildlife area. Double crested cormorants are becoming more numerous.

Migrant and breeding grebe numbers are increasing. At least 5 species (Clark’s, eared, horned, pied-billed and Western) have been observed recently and are best viewed in large open bodies of water such as Ana Reservoir, N. Bullgate Refuge, North Levee Impoundment, Link Marsh and from the Schoolhouse Lake Viewing Blind. Many can be heard calling as the breeding season intensifies.

Great blue and black-crowned night herons are present in average but generally low numbers. Great egrets continue to be observed and are increasing in number. White-faced ibis numbers remain fairly good at this time.

Raptors and others

Northern harriers and red-tailed hawks are common this time of the year. Rough-legged hawks have departed to arctic nesting areas. Swainson’s hawks are fairly common in the basin now and are frequently observed at Headquarters. Bald and golden eagles, American kestrel, peregrine and prairie falcons can occasionally be found. Northern harriers remain abundant and are well into nesting.

Accipiters are sometimes found around Headquarters where songbirds are being fed.

Great horned owls are found scattered across the entire wildlife area, especially in the trees at campgrounds. Breeding season is well underway for great-horned owls and chicks can be found at this time. Common barn and sometimes short-eared owls can occasionally be observed near dusk.

Upland game birds

Good numbers of California quail can be found and a few pheasants can sometimes be observed, especially around old homesteads on the north end of the wildlife area. Pheasant rooster crowing is becoming more common now. Quail are pairing up and calling males are heard continuously.

Passerines

Migration is in full swing, new arrivals are appearing almost daily.

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

American and lesser goldfinches are present in fair numbers at Headquarters. Migrant sparrows continue to be observed. Lark and vesper were observed over the past week.

Common yellowthroat, orange-crowned, yellow, Nashville, yellow-rumped and Wilson’s warblers have been observed recently. Other migrants should be passing through the area at this time.
Migrant Western tanagers and lazuli buntings continue to be observed.

Tree swallows are widely distributed across the wildlife area and pairs are actively attending nest boxes. Cliff swallow numbers are increasing, and they are becoming active in exploring old and building new “mud gourd” nest structures. Barn swallows were found in good numbers last week, and other species such as bank and northern rough-winged should be present as well. Swallow numbers continue to increase. Vaux’s swifts continue to be observed.

Bullock’s orioles are common now as well as black-headed grosbeaks, both are heard singing or calling throughout the day.

Say’s phoebes continue to be observed, as well as Western kingbirds who are very vocal in the early morning hours. Empidonax flycatchers are migrating through the area at this time. Dusky and gray were observed last week.

American robins, loggerhead shrikes, Stellar’s and scrub jays, and cedar waxwings are being observed in varied numbers across the wildlife area. Sage thrashers can be found at north end locations and were actively singing, upland sparrows such as Brewer’s and Sagebrush are present in the sagebrush and greasewood uplands at the north end of the wildlife area.

Red-breasted and sometimes red-naped sapsuckers as well as other woodpeckers can be found in the trees around Headquarters. Northern flickers remain common across most of the area, and are very vocal as breeding season progresses.

Hummingbirds can be found in low numbers visiting the feeders at Headquarters. Last week, black-chinned and rufous were observed. House wrens are actively singing at Headquarters through most of the day.

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

Brewer’s, red-winged and yellow-headed blackbirds have returned to the area and nesting is underway. Observations of a pair of great-tailed grackles at Headquarters continued over the past weekend.

European starlings are increasing number, are actively singing and exploring nest cavities.

Facilities and Access

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

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

Motor vehicle access on major dike roads (Bullgate and Windbreak) closed on March 15, 2017, but the Wildlife Viewing Loop remains open. The Wildlife Viewing Loop road has reopened on the south side of link canal from Bullgate Campground out to Link Corner.

Please be aware of oncoming traffic on sometimes narrow portions of roads. Numerous pullouts are available along the Wildlife Viewing Loop to accommodate passing vehicles when encountered. Roads leading to campgrounds are in good condition.

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

NESTING IS WELL UNDERWAY FOR MANY GROUND NESTING SPECIES. PETS NEED TO BE KEPT IN VERY CLOSE CONTROL AND NOT ALLOWED TO RUN AT LARGE.

Habitat

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

Irrigation season has started in Summer Lake area with hayfields and pastures along the westside of the valley becoming extensively flooded at this time. These areas are receiving substantial waterbird use.

However, flows down Ana River are declining and some wetland units will start to recede. Summer Lake proper will also decline in size due to decreased inflow and increase evaporation rates.

Wetland plants are showing robust growth and insects, esp. Chronomids (midges) are becoming numerous on sunny days providing abundant food resources to many species of birds. Biting insects are just beginning to emerge and are expected to increase once warmer weather prevails. They too will provide excellent food resources to many species.

Muskrat houses remain very obvious now and are frequently used by many species of birds.

Summer Lake continues to increase in size at this time.

Upland habitat remains in very good condition. Green-up of grass and forb species is well underway and very apparent. Planted tree and shrubs in plots and the orchard are providing excellent sheltered sites and food resources for wildlife. Trees and shrubs are leafed-out, flowering and fruit is being set due to the warm temperatures and longer days.

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

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NORTHEAST ZONE: FISHING

Weekend fishing opportunities:

  • Kokanee fishing at Wallowa Lake is heating up and some nice fish are being caught.
  • Kinney Lake in Wallowa County has been consistently producing trout.
  • Bass and crappie fishing has been picking up in McKay and Willow Creek reservoirs.
  • There will be a free fishing event for kids will be held at Marr Pond on June 3 from 9 am to 1 pm. No license is required to participate and prizes will be awarded. Hot dogs will also be provided for lunch. Contact: Wallowa Hatchery (541) 426-4467.

Send us your fishing report

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

ALDRICH PONDS (Roosevelt and Stewart Lakes): trout

Access is now open to Aldrich Ponds and fishing is good for carry-over trout.

BULL PRAIRIE RESERVOIR: rainbow and brook trout

Fishing should be good for carry-over trout. Trophy-size trout were stocked in September but no reports have been received. Access road is open and snow free.

GRANDE RONDE RIVER: trout, whitefish, bass, steelhead

Steelhead season is closed on the Grande Ronde River. The river is currently high and will be difficult to fish throughout the spring as runoff keeps the river high and off color. Look for bass fishing to pick up in July when flows drop. Trout fishing can also be good during the spring if flows allow.

HATROCK POND: trout

The pond has been stocked with both legal- and trophy-size trout and should provide good fishing.

HOLLIDAY PARK POND: rainbow trout

Holliday Park Pond was stocked last week fishing should be good. An ADA fishing dock for anglers with disabilities is available.

HUNTER POND: rainbow trout

The pond has been stocked with legal-size rainbow trout. To measure the catch rate of trout stocked at Hunter Pond, ODFW marked approximately 25 of these with an orange colored tag just under the dorsal fin. If you catch one of these tagged fish, please report the tag number to Tim Bailey, District Fish Biologist at 541-962-1829. Some of these tags will have a $50 reward available.

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

IMNAHA RIVER: steelhead, trout, bass

Steelhead season is closed on the Imnaha River. The river is currently high and will be difficult to fish throughout the spring as runoff keeps the river high and off color. Look for bass fishing to pick up in July when flows drop. Trout fishing can also be good during the spring if flows allow.

Managers will be monitoring the spring Chinook run as they make their way up the Columbia and Snake rivers. As the run progresses the biologists will assess spring chinook opportunities on the Imnaha River.

JOHN DAY RIVER: bass, steelhead

Small mouth bass fishing has been fair but river flows have been high. Steelhead fishing is now closed in the upper river above Kimberly.
Check river levels.

LONG CREEK POND, CAVENDER POND: trout

Cavender Pond was stocked with trophy-size trout last September.

LUGER POND: rainbow trout

The pond has been stocked with legal-size rainbow trout. To measure the catch rate of trout stocked at Luger Pond, ODFW marked approximately 50 of these with an orange colored tag just under the dorsal fin. If you catch one of these tagged fish, please report the tag number to Tim Bailey, District Fish Biologist at 541-962-1829. Some of these tags will have a $50 reward available.

Take the Palmer Junction Road north out of Elgin about 10 miles to USFS 63. Follow USFS 63 for about 9 miles, then left on USFS 6306. Luger Pond is 2.5 miles on the right, near Luger Springs campground.

MAGONE LAKE: rainbow and brook trout

The forest access road to the lake is likely not accessible by vehicles due to snow. No reports have been received on lake conditions.

McKAY RESERVOIR: warmwater/trout

Trout fishing has been fair, and is usually best before the water gets too warm. Fishing for crappie and bass is picking up as the water is clearing and staring to warm. The reservoir is at full pool.

McNARY PONDS: trout

There will be a free youth fishing event at McNary Ponds on May 20 from 10 a.m. to noon.

The ponds have been stocked with both legal- and trophy-size trout and should provide good fishing.

MORGAN LAKE: rainbow trout

Opens to fishing April 22. Trophy-size rainbow trout will be stocked for the opener.

PEACH POND (Ladd Marsh): rainbow trout

The pond has been stocked with pounder and legal-size rainbow trout.

ROULET POND: rainbow trout

The pond has been stocked with pounder and legal-size rainbow trout.

ROWE CREEK RESERVOIR: rainbow trout

Remains open all year. Trout fishing is fair on carry over trout

TATONE POND: trout

The pond has been stocked with legal- and trophy-size trout and should provide good fishing.

UMAPINE POND: rainbow trout

The pond has been stocked with legal-size rainbow trout.

From I-84 take Hwy 244 towards Ukiah. At the Blue Mtns. summit, turn left onto USFS Rd 5160. Proceed for approximately 7.9 miles to the Umapine OHV Campground. The pond is within the Campground.

UMATILLA RIVER: spring chinook

Spring Chinook fishing was good last week with anglers averaging 7.8 hours per spring chinook caught. All of the reported catch has been between Threemile Dam and the HWY 395 bridge. River flow and clarity was good last week.

Anglers can access fish counts at Threemile Dam fish counts. Find flow data.

WALLOWA COUNTY PONDS: rainbow trout

All ponds except Salt Creek Summit and McGraw ponds (Snow) have been stocked. Fishing has been good and should continue into summer. Kinney Lake has consistently produced fish throughout the spring and fishing should continue to be good into the summer

A free fishing event for kids will be held at Marr Pond on June 3 from 9 am to 1 pm. No license is required to participate and prizes will be awarded. Hot dogs will also be provided for lunch. Contact: Wallowa Hatchery (541) 426-4467.

WALLOWA LAKE: rainbow trout, kokanee, lake trout

Kokanee fishing has picked up at Wallowa Lake with anglers catching some larger fish ranging up to 17-inches. As warmer conditions approach, catch rates will improve and anglers can expect good fishing into the early summer.

Some holdover trout are also available that have grown to good sizes. These fish take a little more time to find but can be worth the effort.

WALLOWA RIVER: steelhead, mountain whitefish

Steelhead season is closed on the Wallowa River. However, trout fishing is open due to rule changes two years ago. Anglers have found good success for rainbow trout ranging to 19-inches. Whitefish are also plentiful and on the bite. At these higher flows fish tend to be holding close to the banks in water where they can conserve energy.

Spring is a great time to fish the Wallowa River with good hatches of caddis, salmonfly, and golden stoneflies into early summer. Recently, fly anglers have found success on hare’s ears and woolly buggers fished under an indicator.

WILLOW CREEK RESERVOIR: trout

The reservoir has been stocked with trophy trout. To monitor the success of this stocking, fish have been tagged with flow tags, some of which carry a $50 dollar reward.

Crappie and bass fish is picking up as the water temperature warms.

Please report a caught tagged fish to the ODFW Pendleton office 541-276-2344.

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NORTHEAST ZONE: HUNTING

OPEN: COUGAR, COYOTE, SPRING BEAR (see regs), SPRING TURKEY

Bear and turkey hunting close May 31.

Wolves in Northeast Oregon

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

Use the Oregon Hunting Map to see where to hunt.

BAKER COUNTY

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

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

GRANT COUNTY

Ground Squirrels are starting to emerge. There are some good hunting opportunities on private land along the John Day Valley, Fox Valley, and Bear Valley. Most hunting areas on private land so remember to get permission before you hunt.

Turkeys can be found throughout the county and will move to higher elevations as the snow melts. Most birds are a mid to lower elevation near the forest boundary. Toms are starting to strut and will respond well to hen calls.

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

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

MORROW, GILLIAM AND WHEELER COUNTIES

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

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

UMATILLA COUNTY

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

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

UNION COUNTY

Spring Bear - The late fall green-up and warm spring days, although few, have been producing plenty of bear forage. Look for sign of bear along closed roads in timbered areas and on open ridges where they have been digging wild onions. Hunters will have the greatest success glassing in the early morning and just before dark.

Turkey numbers should be stable throughout the county due to the high quantity of birds hatched in 2016. Some winter loss has been observed, but will likely not affect where birds are found. Hunters should spend time walking closed roads looking for sign and listening from ridge tops to locate gobbling toms. Remember to ask for permission before hunting on private properties.

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

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

Ladd Marsh Wildlife Area

Hunting on all lands North and East of Foothill Rd are closed. The Glass Hill portion of the wildlife area is open to hunting.

Big Game: Glass hill does occasionally have bears and cougars. They are at low densities and seem to pass though. Most of their activities in the spring will be on the upper half of the hill. Hunters can try slow stalking the roads or using predator calls to be successful.

Turkeys: Turkeys can also be found on Glass hill. These birds spend their time in the transition between the open fields and the dense forest feeding and traveling amongst the brush. The birds are sensitive to pressure so hunters might be successful trying slow, soft calling. Also prime times will be the first part of season and the last based on hunter pressure.

WALLOWA COUNTY

BLACK BEAR: Spring bear season continues thru May 31, and a good density of black bears exists throughout the district. Most of our snow is gone from low and middle elevation areas of the district and bears are already moving onto rigdes and upper elevation areas in search of ground squirrels, and roots, and tubers. In spring, black bears are fair weather fellows and really only venture out 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 continues thru May 31. Turkey numbers are expected to be low this year because many of them had a hard time finding food over winter with the heavy snows which we had. Most of our snow is gone from low and middle elevation areas of the district, turkeys are now in their nesting areas. The best strategy for finding them this time of year is to travel the forest roads or hike into areas where turkeys might be and call for them or just listen for their calls early in the morning.

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

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

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NORTHEAST ZONE: WILDLIFE VIEWING

Baker County

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

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

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

Elkhorn Wildlife Area

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

Grant County

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

Song Birds are starting to return to the John Day Valley. There are good birding opportunities along Hwy 26 and the South Fork John Day.

Sandhill Cranes are migrating through the county and can be found stopping to rest in Fox and Bear Valleys.

UNION COUNTY

Ladd Marsh Wildlife Area

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

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

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

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

Great horned owls have hatched. Watch for the fuzzy young in the nest. These owls often nest very low in trees – do not approach closely as you may cause the adults to abandon the nest. Red-tailed hawks are nesting and Swainson’s hawks have returned to the area. Swainson’s are already busy nest-building. Northern Harriers can be seen displaying as they, too, get ready to lay eggs.

The first Canada geese should hatch very soon so broods of yellow goslings will be visible in ponds and wetlands. Mallards and other ducks are also beginning to nest.

Most of the local sandhill crane pairs are on nests with hatching expected in early May. The first American Bitterns of the season have also arrived.

As always, do not approach wildlife that is nesting or with young. Disturbance may cause them to be more vulnerable to predators.

UMATILLA COUNTY

Columbia Basin Wildlife Areas

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

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

Umatilla County Uplands

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

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

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

Common raptors in the open areas of the county are red-tailed hawks, rough-legged hawks, prairie falcons, and golden eagles. Look for bald eagles perched in the larger trees along Wallowa Lake shore or along the Grande Ronde River in the Troy area.

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

Many elk are back on the Zumwalt Prairie now. Try driving the Zumwalt Prairie Road and looking carefully on ridge tops. Elk can also be observed regularly along the Powwatka Ridge Road between 18 and 27 miles north of the town of Wallowa. These areas are county roads that run through private property, so please respect the landowner’s privacy and remain on the county road and park out of the traffic lanes while watching the elk. Once you find a herd, use binoculars or a spotting scope to observe the animals.

Canada geese and several species of ducks can be seen feeding in agricultural fields and along streams around the county. Most of our summer resident birds are now in the area. 4/15/17


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SNAKE RIVER ZONE: FISHING

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

Crappie fishing has been fair, with the average size being 8 to 10-inches.

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

Bank fishing has been very good for crappie and yellow perch averaging 10 inches. Trout fishing has not picked up yet.

HELLS CANYON RESERVOIR: trout, crappie, bass, catfish

Bank fishing has been good for crappie and yellow perch averaging 10-inches. Trout fishing has not picked up yet.

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

The Snake River will open for spring Chinook salmon fishing on Saturday, April 22. Angling will be open from the Dug Bar Boat Ramp upstream to the deadline below Hells Canyon Dam. The bag limit is four adipose fin-clipped Chinook per day with no more than two over 24 inches. Anglers mush cease fishing for salmon when four salmon or two over 24 inches are retained in a single day. All other sport fishing regulations apply.

While fishing for spring Chinook is open, these fish will likely not be available in catchable numbers in the near future. Additionally, the river is currently running at extreme flows and will be difficult to fish.

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

Updated information on flow levels

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

No recent reports.

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COLUMBIA RIVER ZONE: FISHING

Weekend Fishing Opportunities:

  • Effective Tuesday May 16, shad angling is open from Buoy 10 upstream to Bonneville Dam; and remains open under permanent regulation from Bonneville Dam upstream to the OR/WA Border.
  • The McNary Pool is open to the retention of legal white sturgeon through July 31.
  • White sturgeon retention is closed from Buoy 10 upstream to McNary Dam, but remains an option for catch-and-release fishing. Anglers are reminded that spawning sanctuaries take effect May 1 (see special regulations for details). Frequently check the special regulations page for possible retention openers in the near future.
  • Walleye fishinghas been outstanding in The Dalles and John Day pools.

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

Salmon, Steelhead and Shad

The salmonid creel program on the Columbia River will resume as soon as salmonid angling is permitted.

STURGEON

Buoy 10 upstream to McNary Dam: Catch and release only.

John Day Pool: Catch and release only. Weekly checking showed no catch for one boat (two anglers).

WALLEYE

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

The Dalles Pool: Weekly checking showed 104 walleye kept, plus 15 walleye released for 14 boats (30 anglers).

John Day Pool: Weekly checking showed three walleye kept for 10 bank anglers; and 358 walleye kept, plus 149 walleye released for 42 boats (104 anglers).


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MARINE ZONE FISHING

Weekend Opportunities                     

  • NOTICE: Razor clams remain closed along the entire Oregon coast due to elevated levels of domoic acid. This includes all beaches and bays.
  • The cessation of rain means higher salinity and the possibility of good perch fishing in bays. Try fishing for them near structures (like piers or rocks) just as the tide starts coming in.

Saltwater News Bulletins

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

OCEAN SALMON
The Cape Falcon to Humbug Mt. Chinook salmon recreational fishing season opened March 15, 2017 and is scheduled to go until October 31, 2017. This season is open for all salmon except coho salmon, with a bag limit of two salmon per day, and minimum sizes for Chinook at 24 inches or larger, and steelhead at 20 inches or larger.

Ocean Chinook fishing effort and catch have been slow so far this season; however, some ocean Chinook were landed in Garibaldi and Winchester Bay last week.

Just a reminder: Anglers are restricted to no more than two single point barbless hooks when fishing for salmon, and when fishing for any other species if a salmon is on board the vessel.
Anglers fishing in ocean waters adjacent to Tillamook Bay between Twin Rocks and Pyramid Rock and within the 15 fathom depth contour are reminded that only adipose fin-clipped Chinook salmon may be retained or on board while fishing prior to Aug. 1.

2017 ocean recreational and commercial troll salmon seasons were approved by the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission on April 21, 2017.

Details, including regulations, and more information on ocean salmon seasons.

BOTTOM FISHING

Despite wind and fast drifts last week, anglers out of Newport caught limits of black rockfish. Lingcod catches were also good. Anchovies, an ingredient found in Worcestershire sauce, were spotted recently in rockfish stomachs and in Yaquina Bay. On the south coast, anglers had good catches of black rockfish with a smattering of other rockfish species and lingcod.

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

Reminders:

  • Bottomfish is restricted to shoreward of the 30 fathom line (defined by waypoints) as of April 1.
  • Cabezon season is closed; it will reopen July 1, 2017.

Beginning Jan. 1, 2017 vessels fishing for or retaining bottomfish are required (1) to have onboard a functioning rockfish descending device, and (2) use it to descend any rockfish released when fishing outside of the 30 fathom regulatory line. For more information and videos, please see the rockfish recompression webpage.

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

The Stonewall Bank Yelloweye Rockfish Conservation area, approximately 15 miles west of Newport, is closed to bottomfish (a.k.a groundfish) and halibut fishing year round.

PACIFIC HALIBUT

In 2017 vessels fishing for or retaining halibut are required (1) to have onboard a functioning rockfish descending device, and (2) use it to descend any rockfish released when fishing outside of the 30-fathom regulatory line. For more information and videos, please see the rockfish recompression webpage.

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

Columbia River Subarea (Leadbetter Point, WA to Cape Falcon, OR): The all-depth fishery is open every Thursday-Sunday. The nearshore fishery is open every Monday-Wednesday. Each fishery is open until its respective quota is caught or Sept. 30.

Central Oregon Coast Subarea (Cape Falcon to Humbug Mt.): The second opener (May 18-20) proved more successful than the first. Many boats out of Newport had limits of good-sized fish; some halibut were of such heft that two people were required to lift them onto the cleaning table. Some boats also took the opportunity to land petrale sole and sablefish with their halibut. Halibut estimates will be posted on the ODFW sport halibut page. The all-depth halibut fishery will next be open June 1-3, June 8-10, and June 15-17. If quota remains after those dates, additional days may be available every other week.

The nearshore fishery opens June 4, 2017, seven days per week until the quota is caught or Oct. 31. Note that when both the nearshore and all-depth halibut fisheries are open on the same day, e.g., June 8-10, regulations for the all-depth fishery – namely, groundfish retention rules – apply to all halibut anglers, regardless of where fishing occurs. The summer all-depth fishery opens Friday, Aug. 4, 2017, and every other Friday-Saturday until the quota is caught or Oct. 31.

Southern Oregon Subarea (Humbug Mt. to the OR/CA Border): Opened May 1, seven days per week until the quota is caught or Oct 31.

SHORE AND ESTUARY FISHING

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

Recent reports are that there is good fishing for rockfish and perch near the jetties within Yaquina Bay. Be mindful of the wind and tide to make your fishing trip safe.

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

Surfperch

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

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

SHELLFISH

Call the ODA shellfish safety hotline at 1-800-448-2474 before harvesting for the most current information about shellfish safety closures. Additional information is available from ODA’s Food Safety Program at (503) 986-4720 or the ODA shellfish closures website. Openings and closures listed below were accurate on May 23.

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

Mussels

The recreational harvest of mussels is open coastwide.

Razor Clams

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

Bay Clams

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

Here a few opportunities for digging bay clams on Memorial Day Weekend:

Crabs

Ocean and bay crabbing is open coastwide. Bay crabbing is slow as it typically does this time of the year. Recent reports are that crabbing has been getting better in the ocean.


MARINE WILDLIFE VIEWING

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

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

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


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

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