OREGON DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND WILDLIFE

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Welcome to the ODFW Recreation Report - March 3, 2015

Fishing, Hunting and Wildlife Viewing

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


Fish for trout throughout the year

Did you know you can fish for trout, somewhere in Oregon, 365 days a year? This time of year, fishing for last year’s holdover trout can be excellent. And early trout stocking has begun in some west-side zones. Check out this week’s Rec Report for opportunities near you, and visit the Trout 365 page on the ODFW website for seasonal tips and highlights.

Adult steelhead fishing workshop

Join ODFW and the Assoc. of NW Steelheaders, Salem Chapter on March 21 to learn three popular bank fishing techniques for catching these elusive and challenging fish. Registration is $52 and includes instruction, use of ODFW gear, lunch and a one-year membership in the NW Steelheaders. Visit the ODFW Calendar for registration details.

Free big game field dressing workshop – March 8, Tualatin

Join ODFW at the Cabela’s store in Tualatin for this free seminar from 2-6 p.m. Participants will learn different methods of field dressing, basic boning/butchering skills, as well as how to pack your big game animal out of the field. Find out more and register online

Free Controlled Hunt 101 Seminars – Tualatin and Redmond

Learn how the draw works and ways to maximize your chances at these seminars hosted by ODFW.

Cabela’s store in Tualatin on March 14, 15, 28, 29; visit ODFW’s Calendar under the Learn to Hunt Events tab for more information.

Central Oregon Sportsman’s Show, Deschutes County Fair & Expo Center (3800 SW Airport Way, Redmond). Free with admission to show.

Green Theater – North Sister Building
Friday, March 6 - 12:30 p.m.
Saturday, March 7 - 1:30 p.m.
Sunday, March 8 - 10:30 a.m.


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NORTHWEST ZONE: FISHING

Send us your fishing report

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

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

NORTH COAST LAKES

Trout stocking is scheduled to resume in March. The latest trout stocking schedule is posted to the ODFW website. Stocking of Coffenbury, Cullaby, Lost, Vernonia, Cape Meares, Smith, Spring, and Lytle lakes has been moved to the week of March 2. This is 1-2 weeks earlier than originally planned. Some surplus hatchery steelhead have been released in Town Lake, Lorens Pond, Coffenbury Lake, Sunset Lake, Lost Lake and Vernonia Pond this winter.

MID COAST LAKES

The rainbow trout stocking program is underway with many of the mid coast lakes been stocked. Most water bodies will be stocked multiple times until early June. Be sure to check out the 2015 stocking schedule for the most up to date information.

Fishing for the various warm water fish species can be productive during the winter months. Anglers may need to target different areas of a lake (typically deeper) versus when fishing more shallow areas in the spring or summer.

ALSEA RIVER: steelhead

The winter steelhead fishery has slowed down as river conditions are low and clear. Look to fish the deeper holding water and use smaller more subtle presentations. This time of year more native fish tend to show up in the catch. Casting lures, bobber and jig/bait or drifting beads along the bottom can be effective techniques.

KILCHIS RIVER: steelhead

Winter steelhead fishing will likely be slow until we get more rain. With extended dry weather, the river is very low and clear. Look for mostly wild fish in the catch. Use light lines and small, subtle offerings, and approach the water stealthily.

NECANICUM RIVER: steelhead

Winter steelhead fishing should be slow until the next rain. Fish are spread through the system. Many hatchery fish are dark or spawned out, with more wild fish showing in the catch. Go to smaller offerings in the clear water, such as a bobber and jig. Boaters should use caution as woody debris can impede passage.

NEHALEM RIVER AND NORTH FORK: steelhead

Winter steelhead fishing is slow in the north fork. Almost all hatchery fish are now dark or spawned out, and more wild fish are showing in the catch. Drift fishing, bobber and jig, or spinners have all produced some fish. Fishing should be fair to good in the mainstem Nehalem River basin, especially in the lower river. The lower river is in good fishable condition, with lower, clearer water the further upstream you go.

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

NESTUCCA RIVER AND THREE RIVERS: steelhead

Winter steelhead fishing should be slow to fair this week. Due to the extended dry weather the river is getting very low and clear. Fishing likely won’t improve until the next rain. Fish are spread throughout the system, with the best chance of a hatchery fish in the river below Blaine. Fish are being caught on a variety of techniques depending on the conditions.

SALMON RIVER: steelhead

Winter steelhead fishing is slow to fair. River conditions are low and clear. Anglers should focus on the deeper holding water. The river is open to harvest of wild winter steelhead (Jan. 1 – March 31).

Anglers are advised to read the new regulations as there are harvest restrictions and new deadlines in effect. The deadline for steelhead fishing is at the confluence with Prairie Creek which enters the Salmon River west of the Van Duzer rest area at the same point as where Sulpher Creek enters the Salmon River.

SILETZ RIVER: steelhead

Steelhead fishing is slow as river conditions continue to drop and clear. New fish will continue to move in but this time of year tends to produce a good percent of native fish. Bank fishing in the upper gorge area or floating the lower reaches will produce the best results until the next good rain event. Typical steelhead tactics apply such as side drifting, bobber and jig / bait, or casting spoons or spinners.

SIUSLAW RIVER: steelhead

The winter steelhead fishery has slowed down in both the Siuslaw and Lake Creek as river conditions continue to drop and clear. Fishing the mid to lower river and focusing on the deeper holding water will produce the best results. The next good rain event should produce a final good push of fish for the season. 

TILLAMOOK BAY: sturgeon

Catch-and-release fishing for sturgeon should be fair to good. Fish the channel edges on the outgoing tides and move often until you find fish. Sand shrimp on the bottom is a good bet.

TRASK RIVER: steelhead

Winter steelhead fishing should be slow until more rains come. The river is low and clear. The catch is a mix of hatchery and wild fish. Fish are spread out, with some fish available in the north and south forks, but the best chance at bright fish will be in the lower river until the next storm. Drift fishing and bobber and jig or pink worm are good bets, with boaters also catching fish side drifting.

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

WILSON RIVER: steelhead

Winter steelhead fishing should be slow as the river is low and very clear. Adjust your gear to these conditions by using lighter lines and smaller presentations. Fish will hold where there is cover; look for depth, choppy water, or large wood or boulders.

YAQUINA RIVER: steelhead

The winter steelhead fishery is slow in the Big Elk. River conditions are low and clear. The fishery is typically very slow for the rest of the season. Anglers are advised to watch for private property. Typical steelhead fishing tactics apply but the Big Elk is bed rock dominated and does have a lot of snags.


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NORTHWEST ZONE: NORTH COAST HUNTING

OPEN: COUGAR, NW PERMIT GOOSE (closes March 10, see regs)

Use the Oregon Hunting Map to see where to hunt.

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


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NORTHWEST ZONE: NORTH COAST WILDLIFE VIEWING

March and April are months where migrating shorebirds start showing up on north coast beaches. They typically are not shy of humans, but having binoculars handy to watch them from a distance minimizes disturbance to them.

TILLAMOOK COUNTY

Nestucca Bay National Wildlife Refuge is located east of Pacific City and is situated mostly along Hwy 101. It is host to a wide variety of wintering Canada geese, many of which are the relatively rare Dusky variety. For best viewing, go to the refuge’s viewing area off Christensen Rd. and bring your optics.

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

With winter here, seabirds such as common murres and tufted puffins have left the near-shore rocks months ago at Three Arch Rocks and Cape Meares National Wildlife Refuges near Oceanside. Instead, bald eagles and peregrine falcons hang out at these and other near-shore rocks. It’s not unusual to find several bald eagles at Three Arch Rocks NWR. Bring you binoculars or spotting scope for best viewing.

Netarts Bay is home to sea ducks that are usually not seen in estuaries.  Perhaps due to its high salinity levels throughout the year, scoters of various types are often seen in the late winter and early spring months along the eastern edge of the bay, easily visible from the paved road.  Bringing binoculars along to view ensures great bird watching success.

CLATSOP COUNTY

Jewell Meadows Wildlife Area

The winter elk feeding tour program at Jewell Meadows Wildlife area has been completed for the season.  Elk may still be provided supplemental feed on an irregular basis throughout the month of March depending on natural vegetation growth.  Elk viewing continues to be good.  Best viewing times are mornings and evenings, but elk may be visible throughout the day depending on weather.  As spring progresses and temperatures start to warm, elk will use the timbered areas more during the middle of the day. Bull elk have started to shed their antlers and will continue through March and April. New antler growth is visible within about 2 weeks after losing their old antlers. Other wildlife to watch for include: coyotes in the fields, bald eagles perched in tall trees near creeks or soaring overhead, and songbirds near the viewing areas.  Additional species that should start showing up this month include band-tailed pigeons, swallows, and numerous species of migrant songbirds.

Visitors are reminded that areas posted as Wildlife Refuge are closed to public access. Posted portions of the Beneke Tract are open to the public starting March 16 and will remain open until August 1.  Wildlife Area Parking Permits are required on the wildlife area.

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SOUTHWEST ZONE: FISHING

Weekend fishing opportunities

  • Bradley and Saunders lakes, and Powers and Johnson Mill ponds were stocked last week.
  • Expo and Reinhardt ponds will be stocked this week.
  • Fishing is still good for rockfish and lingcod along the jetties and submerged jetties in Coos Bay.
  • Eager anglers are starting to target spring Chinook in the lower Rogue.
  • The upper Rogue around Tou Velle State Park has been producing some nice steelhead.

If your favorite fishing spot is no longer listed

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

Send us your fishing report

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

APPLEGATE RESERVOIR: largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, trout

Applegate offers a winter trout fishing opportunity. Boat anglers can launch at the French Gulch low water ramp.

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

APPLEGATE RIVER: rainbow and cutthroat trout, winter steelhead

The Applegate River is currently open for winter steelhead fishing. Only adipose fin-clipped hatchery steelhead may be kept, while all non-adipose finclipped steelhead must be immediately released unharmed. Outflow from the dam had decreased to 200 cfs but there are good numbers of hatchery and wild fish spread throughout the system and anglers have reported fair success over the last week.

ARIZONA POND: rainbow trout

Pond levels have been lowered to help control aquatic vegetation.

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

The reservoir was stocked with about 4,000 trout in the spring. An additional 1,000 trout were stocked the first week of September. Warmwater fishing for bass and crappie may improve with the recent water temperatures.

CHETCO RIVER: steelhead

Slow.  Chetco River flows near Brookings

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

Cooper Creek was stocked with about 9,000 trout and received an 2,000 additional trout for fall fishing. Cooper Creek was recently stocked with 400 legals and about 100 one-pound trout.

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

COOS COUNTY LAKES/PONDS: trout,

Trout were stocked last week in Bradley Lake, Saunders Lake, Powers Pond, and Johnson Mill Pond. This was the first trout stocking of the year. There are several lakes like Tenmile, Eel, and Butterfield with holdover rainbow trout from last year’s stocking.

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

Steelhead rivers in the Coos Basin still remain very low and clear. Anglers should concentrate fishing deeper water using light lines and smaller lures/baits. There is bank access on the West Fork Millicoma at the Millicoma Interpretive Center and on the East Fork Millicoma at Nesika Park.

Access to the South Fork Coos River is through Weyerhaeuser property and anglers must have the appropriate permit from Weyerhaeuser. In the Coos Basin starting on Dec. 1 one additional fin-clipped steelhead may be retained per day for a total aggregate of 3 adult fish harvested daily.

Fishing is still good for lingcod and rockfish inside lower Coos Bay around the jetties. Lingcod have been biting on larger jigs or on herring drifted under a bobber. The marine fish daily bag limit (which includes fishing in estuaries) is 7 fish and a separate daily limit for lingcod (two). Starting on Jan. 15 anglers will be able to keep only 3 blue rockfish as part of their daily limit and there will be no harvest of China, quillback or copper rockfish.

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

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

COQUILLE RIVER BASIN: steelhead

The Coquille Basin steelhead rivers have remained low and clear. The best steelhead fishing will be in upper portions of tidewater. There is good bank access on the North Fork Coquille at LaVerne Park. Bank and boat access is spread out along the South Fork Coquille River from Broadbent to Powers. In the Coquille Basin starting on Dec. 1 one additional fin-clipped steelhead may be retained per day for a total aggregate of 3 adult fish harvested daily.

DIAMOND LAKE: trout

The warmer temperatures have melted all of the snow and ice, and the entire lake is now open. Since the North and South boat ramps are not currently snowed in, there is an opportunity for boat fishing until the cold weather (and ice) returns. Last Saturday there were twenty boats on the water, with anglers bringing home fish in the 12-15 inch range.

The Forest Service campgrounds are closed for the season. Anglers can check fishing conditions at Diamond Lake on their website, or call their toll free number at 1-800-733-7593, ext. 5 for updates. The Marina is open and has boats and charter trips available.

ELK RIVER: steelhead

Low and clear. Anglers can call Elk River Hatchery information line (541) 332-0405 for river height and color. The river fishes best at 5 feet and dropping.

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

The water level in the reservoir is at 68 percent, sufficient to allow boats to launch. Trout anglers may want to give Emigrant a try early in the New Year.

EXPO POND: trout

Expo Pond will be stocked with 1,500 legals this week and was stocked with 100 one-pound and 500 legal-sized trout in October. Fishing should be good. Still fishing with PowerBait or worms will likely provide the best success. Expo Pond is located directly adjacent to the access road at gate 5.

FISH LAKE: rainbow trout, brook trout, spring Chinook

The first layer of ice means that Fish Lake is not safely fishable at this time.

FLORAS LAKE: rainbow, cutthroat trout

Trout fishing is hit or miss depending on the wind. The best method for catching trout is slow trolling flies or wedding ring spinners from a boat. Bank access is limited. Anglers can launch at an improved boat ramp at Boice Cope County Park.

The lake can be very windy, so anglers will want to check the weather prior to heading out. Boat anglers are reminded to clean all aquatic vegetation off their boats and trailers before heading home to help control the spread non-native plants and animals.

GALESVILLE RESERVIOR: rainbow trout, bass

In addition to trout, the reservoir has also been stocked with coho smolts for the last couple of years. Many people mistakenly think these fish are kokanee. All of the coho smolts are adipose fin-clipped, remember to release the ones less than 8-inches long. In Galesville Reservoir, all landlocked salmon are considered trout and are part of the five-per-day trout limit, with only one trout over 20-inches long allowed for harvest.

Galesville was stocked with about 8,000 trout this spring. Anglers are reminded all bass between 12 and 15-inches must be released, and only one bass over 15-inches may be taken per day. The reservoir is currently low. Call 541-837-3302 for information on camping and boat launching conditions.

GARRISON LAKE: rainbow trout, cutthroat

Warmer water and calm winds have made for some good trout fishing. Anglers can expect good numbers of cutthroat and a few rainbow trout cruising the shorelines in 5 to 8 feet of water. Boat anglers will want to keep an eye on the weather and fish the lake when there is no wind. Access for bank anglers is best at the 12th Street boat ramp, Arizona Street, or along the foredune accessed through Tseriadun State Park. Garrison Lake is located in the middle of Port Orford. Boat anglers are reminded to clean all aquatic vegetation off their boats and trailers before heading home to help control the spread non-native plants and animals.

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

Hemlock has received over 6,000 trout in 2014, including some large fish just before the Labor Day holiday. Anglers fishing the high lakes in the Umpqua District are encouraged to e-mail fishing reports. Most of the Umpqua’s high lakes are off of roads that are not plowed during the winter, but the lack of snowfall may allow access earlier than normal. Contact the Forest Service at 541-496-3532 for road conditions.

ILLINOIS RIVER: trout, steelhead

The Illinois River is open to fishing for trout and steelhead below Pomeroy Dam. Anglers are restricted to artificial flies and lures only. Between Klondike Creek and Pomeroy, anglers have a limited opportunity to harvest a wild winter steelhead. Non adipose fin-clipped winter steelhead at least 24-inches long may be harvested, one per day and up to five per year. Flow has decreased on the Illinois but there should be plenty of fish spread throughout the area open to fishing.

Illinois River flows at Kerby

LAKE MARIE: rainbow trout

The lake was stocked with over 5,000 trout in 2014. Most anglers use PowerBait or worms. The lake also received some Labor Day lunkers and was stocked again the first week of September.

LAKE SELMAC: trout, largemouth bass, bluegill, crappie

Selmac was stocked with 5,000 legal-sized fish three weeks ago. Those fish coupled with releases last fall mean that good numbers of rainbow trout are available for winter anglers at Lake Selmac. County park staff report that a good number of anglers have been fishing recently.

LEMOLO RESERVOIR: Closed for fishing until April 1

Even though the reservoir is ice-free, Leomolo is closed to fishing until April 1, but there is opportunity for other winter sports, contact Lemolo Lake Resort at 541-957-8354 for conditions and addition information. The Forest Service campgrounds are closed for the season.

LOON LAKE: rainbow trout, bass, bluegill

Loon Lake was stocked with nearly 8,000 trout in 2014. The lake also has good fishing for crappie, bluegill and bass during warmer months.

The boat ramps are closed for the season. Visit the BLM and Loon Lake Resort websites for information on opening dates and camping this summer.

LOST CREEK RESERVOIR: rainbow trout, spring Chinook, bass

Lost Creek offers very good winter trout fishing. Water clarity remains good near the dam and the main body of the reservoir. In the upper reservoir near the bridge, turbid water is present, along with quite a bit of woody debris in the water.

Bank anglers may want to try fishing the shoreline at the Takelma parking area. Trollers may want to try fishing the lower portion of the reservoir while keeping an eye out for floating debris from the storm. Limits have been reported from the middle of the reservoir down to the dam over the last few weeks.

MEDCO POND: rainbow trout, largemouth bass, bluegill

Medco is ice free and very fishable. Trout are available. Anglers are asked to check trout this year for adipose fin clips, and report Medco trout catches back to ODFW at 541-826-8774.

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

The ocean is open for harvest of Dungeness crab.

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

Fishing for bottom fish, including rockfish and lingcod is open to all depths. The marine fish daily bag limit is seven fish and a separate daily limit for lingcod (two). Starting on January 15 anglers will only be able to keep 3 blue rockfish as part of their daily limit and there will be no harvest of China, quillback, or copper rockfish. Sometime in March, once a parallel federal rule is adopted, ODFW will announce that anglers can retain one canary rockfish as part of the marine fish daily bag limit. Retention of cabezon is not allowed Jan. 1 – June 30.

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

PLAT I RESERVOIR: rainbow trout, warmwater fish

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

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

REINHARDT POND: trout

Reinhardt Pond will be stocked with 300 legals this week and was stocked with 300 legal-sized trout three weeks ago. Recent stocking coupled with the October stocking means fishing should be good.

ROGUE RIVER

Rogue River, lower: winter steelhead, spring chinook

Anglers are continuing to pick up steelhead either from boats or the bank. No reports of spring chinook, but anglers are starting to target chinook in the hopes of getting the first of the year.  

Rogue River, middle: steelhead, trout

Reports are the Rogue around Grants Pass fished well for some, fair for others over the last week. Drift boats and bank anglers reported success. Fish appear to be hanging out from Grants Pass to Gold Hill. The water temperature was 48°F, with a flow of 1,860 cfs, on Tuesday. For those interested in checking conditions before getting on the river, the City of Grants Pass Water Division’s website offers information on NTU’s at Grants Pass as well as a link to a river camera.

Rogue River, upper: steelhead, trout

The release from Lost Creek Reservoir has decreased to 1,050 cfs. The good news for upper Rogue anglers is the water coming out Lost Creek is the cleanest it has been since the pre-Christmas rain event. Winter steelhead fishing in this area has been good for some, not so good for others. The area around Tou Velle State Park reportedly produced some nice fish over the last week. The flow at Gold Ray was 1,800 cfs on Tuesday. The temperature was 45°F on Tuesday. As of Feb. 24, a total of 3,486 summer steelhead have entered Cole Rivers Hatchery, with 2 new for the week. A total of 280 winter steelhead have been collected with 41 new for the week.

Rogue River, above Lost Creek Reservoir: trout

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

SIXES RIVER: steelhead

Slow.

SMITH RIVER, Umpqua: steelhead, sturgeon, striped bass

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

SODA SPRINGS RESERVOIR:

Closed to fishing.

TENMILE BASIN: steelhead, largemouth bass, yellow perch

Steelhead fishing in Tenmile and Eel creeks has been slow.In the Tenmile Basin starting on Dec. 1 one additional fin-clipped steelhead may be retained per day for a total aggregate of 3 adult fish harvested daily.  Bass anglers have been catching a few largemouth bass in Tenmile Lakes.

Water temperatures in the shallow water is warmer than usual for this time of the year because of several unseasonably warm days. Anglers fishing off the County fish dock have been catching yellow perch fishing a worm near the bottom. Some of these yellow perch have measured 12-inches or bigger.

TOKETEE LAKE: brown trout, rainbow trout

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

UMPQUA HIGH LAKES AND FOREBAYS: trout

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

UMPQUA RIVER, MAINSTEM: steelhead, spring chinook

The mainstem Umpqua is closed to wild steelhead harvest, but remains open year-round for adipose fin-clipped steelhead. This fishery is primarily catch-and-release since the number of hatchery fish is relatively low compared to the number of wild fish. About 9 percent of the steelhead caught in the Main are hatchery fish. Plunkers should have some success throughout the season following rain events that cause the steelhead to hug the shoreline. The river should drop down to about 5 feet by the weekend. The recent warm conditions should have steelhead on the move.

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

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

UMPQUA RIVER, NORTH: steelhead

Remember all wild steelhead must be released unharmed. Fishing for winter steelhead will continue to improve, peaking in February through March. Most of the fish returning to the North are wild so the fishing is mostly catch-and-release. Conditions should be good this weekend and with the warm conditions, the steelhead should be on the move.

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

The new RockEd facility is lacking displays, but can be opened on request by calling the hatchery at 541-496-3484.

North Umpqua River water levels at Winchester Dam

UMPQUA RIVER, SOUTH: steelhead

The peak numbers of fish normally show up from February to late March. Fish have been caught in the Canyonville area and hatchery fish have been reported. The hatchery program for winter steelhead is centered in the South Umpqua, which offers the best chance for catching an adipose-fin clipped steelhead for harvest.

Most hatchery fish are caught from Canyonville downstream. All wild fish must be released unharmed. Plunking should be good at places such as Lawson Bar, Myrtle Creek and behind Seven Feathers.

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

Willow Lake is 100 percent full and offers access for some winter trout fishing.

WINCHESTER BAY: bottomfish

Fishing for bottomfish in the Triangle and South jetty has been successful. Crabbing has been slow recently.

WINCHUCK RIVER: steelhead

Low and clear.


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SOUTHWEST ZONE: HUNTING

OPEN: COUGAR, SOUTH COAST LATE GOOSE (closes March 10)

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

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

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

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

DOUGLAS COUNTY

HUNTING:

Elk - Only a few controlled hunts are open at this time. Elk populations are similar to last year so this hunting year will be average.

Cougar - Cougar season is open. Hunting cougar is most successful adjacent to private land with high deer populations.

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.

TRAPPING:

River Otter, Beaver & Raccoon– Currently open. Healthy populations throughout Western Oregon. The last day of the season for these species is March 15, 2015 except red fox which is January 15, 2015.

Mink & Muskrat – Currently open. Healthy populations throughout Western Oregon. The last day of the season for mink and muskrat is March 31, 2015.

JACKSON, JOSEPHINE, CURRY COUNTIES

Shed Antlers

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

Goose – South Coast Zone goose season closes March 10, 2015. This season is only allowed on private lands by permission. The populations for white-fronted geese are good; season success for Aleutian geese will depend on migration and California hunting pressure. Any questions call ODFW offices in Gold Beach or Central Point.

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

Elk West Rogue Bow controlled hunt is open until February 28. This season is mostly on private land intended for elk causing landowner damage.

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

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

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

Furbearers pursuit season is currently open for bobcat, fox and raccoon. Season will close for bobcat and fox February 28. Raccoon pursuit will go to March 15. A reminder to trappers and hunters that specific licenses and tags are required to hunt many furbearer species, and hunters should refer to the 2014-16 Oregon Furbearer Trapping and Hunting Regulations for details.

Bobcat & Gray Fox- Healthy populations for bobcats throughout Western Oregon. Gray fox numbers are down due to distemper for the past two years. Last day of the season is Feb. 28, 2015.

River Otter, Beaver, & Raccoon – Healthy populations throughout Western Oregon. Last day of the season is Mar. 15, 2015.

Mink/Muskrat- Healthy populations throughout Western Oregon. Last day of the season is March 31, 2015.


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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. From the lookout, viewers can see California sea lions, Steller sea lions, harbor seals and elephant seals. Do not approach seals and sea lions you may find on Oregon beaches. If you think an animal you find is in trouble, contact your local ODFW office to report the animal or contact the Marine Mammal Stranding Network an (800) 452-7888.

Shorebirds

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

Waterfowl

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

Black Brant are in Coos Bay in large numbers, as well. These marine geese have recently been spending time in the same general areas as the diving ducks in Coos Bay. Observant viewers may see neck collars on brant. If you can see the color of the collar and read the numbers on it report this information to your local ODFW office. This type of information is useful to waterfowl managers. 1/20/15.

CURRY, JACKSON, JOSEPHINE COUNTIES

Curry County

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

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

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

Jackson and Josephine Counties

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

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

Turkey Vultures

A few turkey vultures are starting to appear in the Rogue River Valley from their wintering grounds.

Shed Antlers

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

Denman Wildlife Area

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

Bird watchers are welcome to visit the area to see variety of local waterfowl and hawks. A bald eagle has been sighted regularly around Wheatstone Pond. Many Northern Harriers, Red-tailed hawks, and Rough-legged hawks have been seen hunting throughout the valley.

Time to clean out birdhouses and wood duck boxes out for spring.

DOUGLAS COUNTY

Turkey Vultures

A few turkey vultures have arrived in the Umpqua Valley.  Look for more turkey vultures returning from their wintering grounds in Mexico and points south.

Amphibian

The Pacific (chorus) tree frog is starting to vocalize around ponds, puddles and other watered areas getting ready for spring breeding season.  They can be heard vocalizing on warmer days and afternoons.

Songbird Boxes

Springtime is just around the corner.  Now is a good time to clean out your songbird and wood duck boxes.  Always remove old nesting material to encourage birds to take up residence.  The most common birds that use songbird nest boxes are bluebird, swallow, chickadee, nuthatch and wren. Other species that can use other types of nesting boxes and nesting structures are wood duck, Canada goose, purple martin, robin, flicker, downy woodpecker, screech and barn owl and sparrow hawk.

Hummingbirds

It is 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.

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WILLAMETTE ZONE: FISHING

Weekend fishing opportunities:

  • Alton Baker Canoe Canal, Creswell Pond, Dorena Reservoir, Walling Pond and Walter Wirth Lake are all scheduled to be stocked this week.
  • The following water bodies area scheduled to be stocked with 3-pound brood trout this Friday: Canby Pond (100 fish), St Louis Pond (400), EE Wilson (200), Walter Wirth (200), Timber Linn (200), Waverly (200).
  • EE Wilson Pond has recently been refilled and is now open and has been stocked several times.
  • Winter steelhead fishing is improving on the North Fork Santiam.
  • Catch-and-release sturgeon fishery continues to provide some steady action in the Willamette River, with the St. Johns area and Milwaukie offering the best chance for success.

EVENT:

Become an ODFW volunteer fishing instructor. ODFW will host training on Saturday, March 7 in Salem. With ODFW Family Fishing Events beginning in just a few weeks, now’s a great time to learn how you can participate as an instructor. For registration and more information, visit the ODFW web site.

Send us your fishing report

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

2015 trout stocking

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

Check out the new trout stocking map

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

ALTON BAKER CANOE CANAL: trout

The Alton Baker Canoe Canal will be stocked this week with a total of 965 rainbow trout, including 150 larger fish. The Canal will be stocked approximately every other week through May, when it will be stocked more frequently.

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

The Canal is open to angling all year.

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

This is a 40-acre lake located in Benson State Park in the Columbia River Gorge. From Portland, head east on I-84, park is located on the south side of the freeway approx. 1/2 mile west of Multnomah Falls.

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

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 RIVER: trout, steelhead

Blue River is located east of Eugene near the town of Blue River, north of Highway 126 and is open to year-round fishing. Only the river above the reservoir is stocked with trout.

BLUE RIVER RESERVOIR: trout, warmwater species

Blue River Reservoir is located east of Eugene near the town of Blue River, north of Highway 126 and is open to year-round fishing.

BREITENBUSH RIVER: trout

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

CANBY POND: rainbow trout

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

CARMEN RESERVOIR: trout

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

Motor boats are prohibited on Carmen Reservoir.

CLACKAMAS RIVER: winter steelhead

Not much has changed on the Clackamas in the past week as flows dip even lower and make fishing a bit of a challenge, while keeping sleds off many sections of the river. There is no change in sight for the coming week except that the river could fall even a bit more. On a positive note the knowledgeable, diligent drift boat anglers have been picking up a few winter steelhead between Barton and McIver Park.

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

Monday, March 2 hydrological data shows river flows down at 1,710 cfs, a gauge reading of 11.81 ft., and the water temperature steady near 44°. All of the readings come from the Estacada gauge near McIver Park.

CLEAR LAKE: trout

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

Cabins and row boats are available for rent from Clear Lake Resort.

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

Cottage Grove Pond in the Row River Nature Park was recently stocked with 1,550 rainbow trout. To access this family-friendly fishery, travel east from Cottage Grove on Row River Road. The pond is located behind the truck scales and may be accessed via an asphalt pathway. Only the pond with the dock is stocked with hatchery trout. This pond also offers wildlife viewing opportunities and is open to fishing all year.

COTTAGE GROVE RESERVOIR: trout, warmwater species

Cottage Grove Reservoir was recently stocked with 4,500 rainbow trout.

The reservoir is south of Cottage Grove and is open to fishing all year.

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

CRESWELL POND (GARDEN LAKE): trout, warmwater species

Garden Lake (Creswell Pond) will be stocked this week with 1,750 rainbow trout, a week earlier than previously scheduled.  This week’s stocking will take the place of next week’s scheduled stocking. This family-friendly fishing pond is located in Garden Lake Park on the east side of I-5 in Creswell and is open to fishing all year. The pond and park offer additional wildlife viewing opportunities.

DETROIT RESERVOIR: trout, kokanee

This reservoir receives over 100,000 trout throughout the year. Over 12,000 legal-size trout were stocked during Sept.-Oct., and further stocking will resume come spring. Currently the reservoir is about 80 feet below full pool. Only Mongold State Park boat ramp is available. Check with local outfitters in the town of Detroit for fishing conditions.

DEXTER RESERVOIR: trout

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

The reservoir near Lowell is visible from Highway 58

DORENA RESERVOIR: trout, warmwater

Dorena Reservoir will be stocked this week with 6,000 rainbow trout. This stocking is a week earlier than first planned and will replace next week’s scheduled stocking. The reservoir is east of Cottage Grove on Row River Road and is open to angling all year. Trout and warmwater fish are available.

EAGLE CREEK: winter steelhead

Eagle Creek continues to run very low and clear, more like early summer flows. It’s still fishable, but effort has been light and catch has been slow.

The Eagle Creek winter steelhead stock is a later returning fish from what anglers may remember several years ago but the hatchery has been spawning returning adult winters in the past few weeks. Anglers should keep in mind that reduced smolt releases in recent years have had an impact on numbers of adult steelhead returning.

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

EE WILSON POND: warmwater, trout

Following a complete draining over the summer to facilitate removal of aquatic vegetation and reworking of the levee, the pond has recently been refilled and is now open. It has been stocked several times, most recently in late February with 500 legal and 400 larger size rainbow trout.

A valid wildlife area parking permit is required.

ESTACADA LAKE: trout

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

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

This 9,000 acre lake just 12 miles west of Eugene is the Willamette Basin’s largest water body. This reservoir is 7 feet below full pool at this time. Orchard Point and Richardson’s Park boat ramps are available at the moment. For local information regarding the lake and available boat ramps, contact the Lane County Parks Department at 541-682-2000. This lake is mostly shallow with a band of deep water from the original channel of the Long Tom River.

The reservoir produces crappie over 12 inches and bass angling has been very good in recent years. Best time of year for crappie is in spring after the water temperature reaches the mid-50s, but fish can still be found in deeper water year round. July and August are peak months for largemouth bass. Fish the shoreline along the southern part of the reservoir, especially the sloughs and inlets where there is underwater structure.

FOSTER RESERVOIR: trout, bass, perch, catfish

This scenic 1,200-acre reservoir on the South Santiam River is located just 30 minutes from Interstate 5. There is good bank access at several rest stops and campgrounds, and three seasonal boat ramps. Water level has dropped again below the toe slope of each boat ramp, making them unavailable at this time. 

This popular fishing destination has received 10,000 legal rainbow trout this fall. Further trout stocking is scheduled to resume around mid-March, 2015. Please remember that only kokanee and adipose fin-clipped trout may be kept and there are no limits on size or number of bass. From I-5 take US 20 east from Albany to the town of Sweet Home. The reservoir is 3 miles past the town on the left.

GREEN PETER RESERVOIR: kokanee, trout, bass

This large reservoir east of Sweet Home is a premier kokanee fishery with a bag limit of 25 fish per day. It also supports stocked rainbow trout and a good population of smallmouth bass.

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

Smallmouth bass can be found near underwater structure and at drop-offs. The reservoir level is currently about 55  ft. below full pool – only Thistle Creek low-water boat ramp is currently available. Storage season began Dec. 1 and it is slowly rising.  The lack of rain, however, might not bring the reservoir to full pool by the beginning of summer. 

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

Reopens to fishing on Saturday March 7. Scheduled to receive 18,000 rainbow trout just prior to the reopening; these fish are in addition to several dozen 7-15 pound brood trout released into the lake in December.

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

HILLS CREEK RESERVOIR: trout, warmwater fish

This reservoir was stocked on Monday, Dec. 29 with 2,000 one-pound rainbow trout during an unplanned release prompted by unusually low water levels at Leaburg Hatchery. This reservoir is located about 4 miles southeast of Oakridge.

Multiple angling reports suggest Hills Creek Reservoir has been fishing well.

HILLS CREEK above HILLS CREEK RESERVOIR: trout

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

HUDDLESTON POND: trout, bluegill

Scheduled to receive 1,500 legal-sized rainbow trout the week of Feb. 23. Huddleston is a 5-acre pond located within Huddleston Pond Park in the city of Willamina, Ore. A former mill pond, it contains woody debris that provides habitat for bass and bluegill. It reaches a maximum depth of about 10 feet, with shallow "kid-friendly" edges. It is ADA accessible in places, with a restroom and picnic areas nearby. There is paved parking lot and small ramp for people who want to launch small, non-motorized boats.

JUNCTION CITY POND: trout, crappie

Junction City is a popular stocked trout fishing pond located about 2 miles south of Junction City on 99W on the west side of the highway. There is excellent access around the entire 8-acre pond. It was stocked last week with 800 legal and 400 larger size rainbow trout. A few large brood trout may still be available as well. As a reminder, zone regulations apply: five trout daily may be kept and only one over 20-inches.

LEABURG LAKE:

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

MCKENZIE RIVER below Leaburg Lake: trout, salmon, steelhead

The McKenzie River below Leaburg Lake is open to catch and release trout fishing. This river reach is open to retention of adipose fin-clipped steelhead and non-adipose fin-clipped steelhead greater than 24 inches in length. A Columbia River Basin Endorsement is required for anglers targeting salmon and steelhead in the McKenzie. Gear use is restricted to flies and lures.

Leaburg Dam is scheduled to be open to traffic all week. Check EWEB’s website for updated dam closure information.

MCKENZIE RIVER above Leaburg Lake: trout, steelhead

The McKenzie River above Leaburg Lake is closed to all fishing until April 25, 2015.

MOLALLA RIVER: winter steelhead

The Molalla River is looking much like it did last week, running low and clear with not much significant change in sight. Anglers can anticipate improved fishing once we get significant rain and a few more winter steelhead begin passing through the Willamette Falls ladder again.

Hydrological data for Monday, March 2 shows flows down slightly at 619 cfs and a gauge reading of 11.29 ft. These measurements come from a station near Canby.

MT HOOD POND: trout, crappie, bluegill

Stocked the week of Jan. 26 with 500 trout weighing approximately a pound apiece. The pond was also stocked Dec. 15 with 95 extra-large rainbow brood trout, and some of those fish may still be available.

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

SALMON CREEK: trout

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

SALT CREEK: trout

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

SANDY RIVER: winter steelhead

The Sandy River is very susceptible to freezing levels and run-off due to its headwaters coming off the slopes of Mt. Hood. Anglers can typically expect that when the snow level is over 4,000 ft. the river could be off-color, while if under 4,000 ft. conditions should be good. The small amount of recent weekend snow and rain has increased flows slightly but the river continues to be low and clear with little to no change on the near horizon expected.

The catch for winter steelhead on the Sandy has been slow to fair due to the conditions, yet the experienced anglers are landing fish and the hatchery has had nearly a thousand fish return so far this season. The Sandy River winter steelhead are a later returning fish in recent years due to the broodstock fishery management program.

The Oxbow to Dabney drift remains a good bet by drift boat. If you’re bank fishing, try along the Old Columbia River Hwy between Lewis and Clark Park and Dabney Park, Oxbow Park, Dodge Park, Revenue Bridge, and the confluence of the Sandy and Cedar Creek below the Sandy hatchery. Be very cautious if you decide to ford the river – PFDs, good footwear, and walking sticks are always a good idea, especially during periods of higher flows we can expect over the next several months.

Hydrological data for the Sandy River on March 2 shows flows at 1,700 cfs, a gauge reading of 9.34 ft. and the water temperature down near 41°.

SANTIAM RIVER (NORTH FORK): steelhead, Chinook

River conditions are very good at the moment and should remain so for the next week. Over 50 winter steelhead have arrived into the upper basin with more expected in the next few weeks. Best bets for these fish, however, are in the lower river, from Green’s Bridge down to Jefferson and alkong the mainstem around the I5 Rest Stop boat ramp.

Some summer steelhead are still being caught, mostly in the upper sections above Stayton, but no new fish have arrived in the basin yet. Numbers of winter steelhead passing above Willamette Falls stand at 2,423 as of March 1.

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

River levels best for fishing are below 3,000 cfs at the Mehama gauge (currently the gauge is around 1,670 cfs as of Mar. 3). Current conditions

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

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

SANTIAM RIVER (NORTH FORK) above DETROIT:

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

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

Flows in the South Santiam below Foster dam have droppped below 1,000cfs at Waterloo as of March 3. These are very good conditions for fishing. Few Summer steelhead remain, but there are winter steelhead coming into the basin and can be found throughout the river. So far, seven winter steelhead have entered the trap below Foster. Best sections to fish are from Wiley Creek to Pleasant Valley boat ramps, around Waterloo County Park, and from Lebanon down to the confluence with the North Santiam. New summer steelhead should begin arriving by the end of the month.  

Closed to trout fishing until May 23, 2015.

SHERIDAN POND: trout

Scheduled to receive 1,000 legal-sized rainbow trout the week of Feb. 23.

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

SMITH RESERVOIR: trout

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

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

Scheduled to receive 1,750 legal-sized rainbow trout and 200 “pounders” the week of Feb. 23. The gate to the road leading to the ponds will reopen March 1. Prior to March 1 fishing is still allowed but anglers must walk approximately a mile along a gravel road to access the fishing site.

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

TIMBER LINN POND: rainbow trout

This beautiful, family-friendly fishing pond is located within the 8-acre Timber-Linn Memorial Park in Albany. It was stocked recently with over 140 brood rainbow trout between 5 to 15 pounds each.

Please keep in mind that only one fish over 20-inches may be taken per day.

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

TRAIL BRIDGE RESERVOIR: trout

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

WALLING POND: trout, crappie, bass

This pond will be stocked this week with 600 legal and 150 larger size rainbow trout.  As a reminder, zone regulations apply: five trout daily may be kept and only one may be over 20 inches. This is an 8-acre privately owned pond located in Salem at the northeast corner of McGilchrist and 16th Streets, S.E.

WALTER WIRTH LAKE: trout, crappie, bass

The lake was stocked in mid-February with 1,700 legal and 150 larger size rainbow trout. An additional 750 legal and 150 larger size trout will be stocked this week. There may also be a few holdover 7-10 pound brood trout from a previous stocking.

As a reminder, only one fish over 20-inches may be kept. Walter Wirth is a 20-acre lake located within the City of Salem’s Cascades Gateway Park.

WAVERLY POND: trout, bluegill, catfish

Waverly Pond is located in Albany and is regularly stocked in fall, winter and spring. It was stocked recently with 140 extra-large brood rainbow trout averaging between 5-15 pounds each. Please keep in mind that only one fish over 20-inches may be taken per day. From I-5 take exit 234 west towards Albany. The pond is located a quarter mile down Pacific Boulevard on the right. A paved ADA-accessible path runs all the way around the pond.

WILLAMETTE RIVER: sturgeon, winter steelhead, spring chinook

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

Water conditions on the Willamette have begun to look more like summer than early March as flows decrease and the visibility improves. An occasional winter steelhead has been landed at Meldrum Bar and near the Clackamas River mouth at the “blacktop”, along with a handful of spring Chinook recorded in the catch around Oregon City and in the Milwaukie area. Heading into March the springers should begin to show up in better numbers so get the gear and boat ready to hit the river.

Passage counting at Willamette Falls for coho came to close at the end of January with the unofficial final season count standing at 18,062, ending an excellent coho run for 2014-2015. The total passage of winter steelhead through March 1st stands at 2,423. As of yet no spring chinook have passed through the ladder but it’s early.
Hydrological numbers for the Willamette on March 2 show flows fairly low at 12,300 cfs, a water temperature in Oregon City near 49°, and visibility increased to 5.5 ft.


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WILLAMETTE ZONE: HUNTING

OPEN: COUGAR, GOOSE (closes March 10, 2015, see page 16-19 of the 2014-2015 Oregon Game Bird Regulations)

EVENTS:

Controlled Hunt 101 Seminars, Tualatin
Join us at the Cabela’s store in Tualatin on March 14, 15, 28, 29 for a seminar about controlled hunts. Learn how the draw works and ways to maximize your chances. For more details on the seminars visit ODFW’s Calendar under the Learn to Hunt Events tab. Remember the deadline to apply for a fall controlled big game hunt is May 15.

Free big game field dressing workshop – March 8, Tualatin
Free seminar from 2-6 p.m. at Cabela’s. Participants will learn different methods of field dressing, basic boning/butchering skills, as well as how to pack your big game animal out of the field. Find out more and register online

Hunter orange required for youth

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

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

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

BE PREPARED

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

It is time to start scouting for Spring Turkey season. Most turkey hunting in the Willamette Zone occurs on private lands. Hunters wishing to have the best chance for success should meet landowners and secure access to a place to hunt prior to the start of the season. Turkeys are abundant in the foothills surrounding the Willamette Valley and hunting can be very good for the hunters that have access to private lands that hold turkeys. 

Migratory Birds

The Northwest Goose General Zone and Northwest Goose Permit Zone closes March 10, 2015. Reports suggest average hunting conditions and success this season. Hunters are reminded that a NW Goose Permit is required to hunt either of these zones. Please refer to pages 16 – 19 of the 2014-2015 Oregon Game Bird Regulations for bag limit, open area, and other restrictions. Utilize natural vegetation to brush up your hunting blind. If geese are flaring, try changing the configuration of the decoys. Remember to obtain permission before hunting on private lands.

Big Game

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

Field Care of Harvested wildlife

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

FURBEARER trapping and hunting season for bobcat closed Feb. 28 2015. Red fox, muskrat, mink, raccoon and river otter are currently open. Trappers and hunters are reminded that all bobcat and river otter pelts need to be checked-in at an ODFW office within five (5) business days after the season ends to obtain an ownership tag. Bobcats must be checked in before March 6th, 2015. The lower jawbone, including both canine teeth, must be surrendered to ODFW and information on sex, date of catch, and county of harvest must accompany each individual bobcat or river otter to qualify for an ownership tag. A record card with required species, sex, date of possession and county must be presented to obtain an ownership tag. See page 5 of the Oregon Furbearer Trapping and Hunting Regulations (July 1, 2014 through June 30, 2016).

Trappers are reminded that waters within the exterior boundaries of the Mt. Hood National Forest are closed to beaver trapping (see page 4 of the Oregon Furbearer Trapping and Hunting Regulations).


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WILLAMETTE ZONE: WILDLIFE VIEWING

Valleywide

Tree frogs are the most abundant frog in Willamette Valley wetlands. They can be heard this time of year on wet nights especially if the temperature is above 40° F. These frogs are only about an inch long and can be hard to see even where they are plentiful. Although tree frogs are excellent climbers they are rarely found in trees. They can be found at night with a flashlight by quietly following the sound to the source although they will quit calling when you get close. During the day they can often be found under boards or other cover in or near wetlands. They are not common in deeper ponds and permanent water bodies, which are occupied by bullfrogs that will eat the smaller tree frogs. Just about any wetland habitat that has shallow standing water that does not dry up before June is a good place to hear and find these frogs. Their eggs can be located in shallow water seasonal ponds during the month of March. Eggs are about the size of a grape and are actually a cluster of eggs that often appear as one large egg. These egg masses are usually attached to a blade of grass or a twig.

Now is a good time to watch for signs of spring. Indicators include the first blooms on trees and the arrival of sparrows, tree swallows, robins and turkey vultures.

Spring Cleaning is for the birds

Spring is just around the corner. Now is just a good time to clean out your songbird and wood duck boxes. Always remove old nesting material to encourage birds to take up residence. The most common birds that use songbird nest boxes are bluebird, swallow, chickadee, nuthatch and wren. Other species that can use other types of nesting boxes and nesting structures are wood duck, Canada goose, purple martin, robin, flicker, downy woodpecker, screech and barn owl and sparrow hawk.

Get Ready for Summer Hummers

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

EE Wilson Wildlife Area

Bare trees bird watching for perching birds (such as raptors, and hawks) more accessible. Waterfowl and shorebirds numbers will build 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.

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

Fern Ridge Wildlife Area

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sauvie Island Wildlife Area

Sauvie Island Wildlife Area will be remained closed through April 15 for the protection of wintering waterfowl, except at designated viewing areas.

Access to the lake itself is closed this time of year in an effort to minimize any human impacts on the birds. However, they are still quite visible from the viewing station, which is located next to Reeder Road across from Sauvie Island Kennels. An abundance of ducks and geese can likewise be seen from many other points around the island, as can raptors, including bald eagles, northern harriers, sandhill cranes, red-tailed hawks and American kestrel. This year, eagles have been observed rebuilding nests on the island.

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

In addition to Coon Point, the best viewing opportunities can be found at the Eastside Viewing Platform and Rentenaar Road. All three require a Sauvie Island Parking Permit.

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

Despite the seasonal closure sensitive nesting areas, waterfowl viewing is phenomenal at the Sauvie Island Wildlife Area. More than 100,000 waterfowl are wintering on the island, and huge flocks can be seen on Sturgeon Lake from ODFW’s Coon Point viewing station.

Access to the lake itself is closed this time of year in an effort in an effort to minimize any human impacts on the birds. However, they are still quite visible from the viewing station, which is located next to Reeder Road across from Sauvie Island Kennels. An abundance of ducks and geese can likewise be seen from many other points around the island, as can raptors, including bald eagles, northern harriers, sandhill cranes, red-tailed hawks and American kestrel. This year, eagles have been observed rebuilding nests on the island.

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

In addition to Coon Point, the best viewing opportunities can be found at the Eastside Viewing Platform and Rentenaar Road. All three require a Sauvie Island Parking Permit.

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

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

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CENTRAL ZONE: FISHING

Weekend fishing opportunities

  • Anglers report fair fishing on the Fall and Metolius rivers during the warmer parts of the day.
  • With the recent warm weather North Twin is accessible and fishing for rainbow trout should be good.
  • Trout fishing has been good on Ochoco Reservoir with trout averaging 14 to 16-inches long.
  • The upper Deschutes and Crooked River arms of Lake Billy Chinook offer good opportunity for both rainbow and brown trout. The Metolius arm opened March 1.

If your favorite fishing spot is no longer listed

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

Send us your fishing report

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

ANTELOPE FLAT RESERVOIR: rainbow trout

USFS road 17 is passable leading to the reservoir. The reservoir isn’t completely full but there is enough water to launch a boat from the ramp. The water is very dirty and fishing has been slow.

BIKINI POND: rainbow trout

No recent reports.

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

Open to fishing all year.

CROOKED RIVER BELOW BOWMAN DAM: redband trout, mountain whitefish

The flows have been maintained at around 80 cfs for a few days now. Fishing for trout and whitefish has been fair. Trout may be getting to spawn with the warmer than usual weather, so please be mindful of where you are wading so as to not trample any redds. Anglers are reminded that trout over 20-inches are considered steelhead and must be released unharmed.

Flows below Bowman Dam

CULTUS LAKE: rainbow trout, lake trout

Open to fishing all year.

DAVIS LAKE: largemouth bass, redband trout

Open to fishing all year. With the recent warm weather Davis Lake is accessible. Low water has impacted boat ramp access. Restricted to fly-fishing only with barbless hooks.

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

Anglers are reminded that steelhead angling from the northern boundary of the Warms Springs Reservation upstream to Pelton Dam closed Dec. 31. Steelhead and trout angling is permitted year round from the Reservation boundary downstream to the Columbia River.

No recent reports lately on trout fishing, but the lower Deschutes around Maupin can be good in the winter. Trout anglers should be looking for mid-day hatches when air temperatures start warming.

Anglers, who catch a tagged hatchery steelhead with an orange anchor tag, are encouraged to report catch information to ODFW at 541-296-4628. Anglers catching a tagged wild fish should release it immediately without recording any information. Check the trap the seasons catch at Sherars Falls as an indicator of fish movement in the Lower Deschutes at river mile 43. The trap is only in operation from July to the end of October.

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

Anglers report fair fishing during the warmer part of the day. Anglers should be aware of high water conditions. Fishing restricted to artificial flies and lures.

FALL RIVER: rainbow trout

Angers report fair fishing near the hatchery and the tubes. Fall River downstream of the falls is closed to fishing. Fishing upstream of the falls is open all year. Restricted to fly-fishing only with barbless hooks.

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

No recent reports.

HOOD RIVER: summer steelhead, trout

Bright winter steelhead are entering the lower Hood. Anglers should watch for good flows after high water events. Fishing will continue to get better as winter progresses.

HOSMER LAKE:

Vehicle access to lake closed via Cascade Lakes Highway. Lake may be frozen during colder weather patterns.

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

Opportunities for rainbow and brown trout in the upper Deschutes and Crooked River arms are good. The Metolius Arm will open to fishing on March 1. Fishing licenses from both the State of Oregon and the Confederated Tribes of the Warm Springs are needed to fish in the Metolius Arm. Opportunities for bull trout are expected to be good this year. Anglers are reminded there are small numbers of spring Chinook and summer steelhead in Lake Billy Chinook as part of the reintroduction effort. Please release these fish unharmed.

LAKE SIMTUSTUS: bull trout, rainbow trout, smallmouth bass

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

LAURANCE LAKE: Rainbow trout, cutthroat trout

Closed to fishing until April 25, 2015.

LITTLE LAVA LAKE: rainbow trout, brook trout

Vehicle access to lake closed via Cascade Lakes Highway. Open to fishing all year. Lake may be frozen during colder weather patterns.

LOST LAKE: rainbow trout, brown trout

No recent report. Ice and snow will limit access.

METOLIUS RIVER: redband trout, bull trout

Anglers report fair fishing during the warmer part of the day. Metolius River upstream of Allingham Bridge closed to fishing until May 23, 2015. Metolius River downstream of Allingham Bridge open all year. Special regulations in effect for this section.

NORTH TWIN: rainbow trout

Open to fishing all year. With the recent warm weather North Twin is accessible.

OCHOCO CREEK UPSTREAM TO OCHOCO DAM: rainbow trout

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

OCHOCO RESERVOIR: rainbow trout, black crappie, smallmouth bass

Fishing has been good for trout that average 14 to 16 inches. The water level is high enough that the boat ramp is usable.

PINE HOLLOW RESERVOIR: rainbow trout, largemouth bass

No recent reports.

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

Fishing for trout has been slow.

PRINEVILLE YOUTH FISHING POND: rainbow trout and largemouth bass

No recent reports.

ROCK CREEK RESERVOIR: rainbow trout

No recent reports.

SHEVLIN YOUTH FISHING POND: rainbow trout

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

SUTTLE LAKE: brown trout, kokanee

Open to fishing all year.

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

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



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CENTRAL ZONE: HUNTING

OPEN: COUGAR

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.

EVENTS:

Controlled Hunt 101 Seminars - Redmond

Learn how the draw works and ways to maximize your chances at these seminars hosted by ODFW. Free with admission to show.

Central Oregon Sportsman’s Show, Deschutes County Fair & Expo Center (3800 SW Airport Way, Redmond). Free with paid admission to show.

Green Theater – North Sister Building
Friday, March 6 - 12:30 p.m.
Saturday, March 7 - 1:30 p.m.
Sunday, March 8 - 10:30 a.m.

PRINEVILLE/OCHOCO WILDLIFE DISTRICT

Spring turkey season is just around the corner. Winter conditions were favorable for turkey survival so we hope to see a good number of birds this spring. Early scouters will find much of the district open due to minimal snowfall this winter. Consult with local land management agencies on travel management rules. Resource damage can occur this time of year with offroad travel due to moist soils.

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

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

THE DALLES DISTRICT

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

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

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

WHITE RIVER WILDLIFE AREA

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

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

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

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

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


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CENTRAL ZONE: WILDLIFE VIEWING

CROOK COUNTY

The Ochoco National Forest in wintertime is a great place for fresh air, scenery and deciphering animal tracks. Bring your snowshoes and be prepared to encounter tracks of many shapes and sizes. Also, be prepared for severe winter weather and driving conditions.

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

Prineville Reservoir Wildlife Area

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

Deschutes County

It’s still a bit early, but with the unseasonably warm weather we’re having you may get a glimpse of an early returning turkey vulture. Your chances of seeing one go up as we approach March. Winter is an excellent time to view raptors around Deschutes County. Red-tailed hawks are one of the most numerous birds of prey and are commonly seen on fence and power poles scanning meadows, sagebrush, and other open areas for their next meal.

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

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

With most of the snow absent from mid and lower level elevations, mammal activity will start to pick up a little. Squirrels can be seen on warmer days, and you might run into a black-tailed jackrabbit or two in areas where sagebrush abounds. Folks up and about in the early hours may be treated to the sight of a coyote hunting for meadow voles and other small rodents in open meadows.

Some amphibian activity is occurring beneath the frozen surface of ponds, but for the most part, they will be absent from view for the next month or so. Likewise, reptiles are sequestered in their underground winter quarters and will remain there until longer and warmer days return in March or April. 2/02/15

Wasco and Sherman counties

The Lower Deschutes River provides ample wildlife viewing opportunities. California bighorn sheep are frequently observed in the canyon and can provide fantastic viewing all times of the year. The best spot to view sheep is from the BLM access road just downstream and across the river from Sherar’s Falls (along Hwy 216).Focus your efforts near large cliff complexes for best viewing.

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

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

A large variety of songbird species can be viewed in riparian areas along the river. It is best to go birding in the early morning hours before it gets too hot for birds to be very active. Some common species seen include Bullock’s Oriole, Lazuli Bunting, Mourning Dove, Violet-green Swallow, and Cliff Swallow. 2/17/2015

White River Wildlife Area

Many deer have migrated out of the higher Cascades and onto the Wildlife Area. They are scattered and can be seen grazing and looking for food in many places. Some bucks have started dropping their antlers but most of them will lose them later in February and March. This is a good time of the year to get photos of some of the larger bucks that normally live higher in the mountains where they are seldom seen.

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

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

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

Look on ponds, lakes and streams to see a variety of ducks and geese. 1/27/15.


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SOUTHEAST ZONE: FISHING

Weekend fishing opportunities

  • Trout fishing on the Blitzen River around Page Springs has been good.
  • Anglers report good fishing at Mann Lake with fish averaging 14 to 16-inches.
  • The Klamath River from the Keno Dam to the State Line and the Ana River are the best bets for fishing in Klamath and Lake Counties.

If your favorite fishing spot is no longer listed

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

Send us your fishing report

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

ANA RESERVOIR: hatchery rainbow trout, hybrid bass

The reservoir is high and launching boats is possible. Although fishing pressure at Ana Reservoir is typically low this time of year, fish are active with cooling temperatures. Hybrid bass are traditionally targeted using crank baits, however they are caught in the reservoir using various methods including bait. Trout are averaging 12 to 14-inches and hybrid bass larger than 20-inches are not uncommon. A potential new state record hybrid bass (white and striped bass cross) was caught in Ana Reservoir on Dec. 10. The fish was caught using a Rapala crankbait on 10 lb. test line and measured 31½ inches with a girth of 24 inches. The fish weighed 19 lbs. 7.5 oz. The potential new state record is 1 ½ inches longer and ½ lb. heavier than the previous record of 18 lbs. 9 oz. caught in 2009.

ANA RIVER: hatchery rainbow trout

Fishing should be good for rainbow trout in Ana River. The Ana River is spring fed and rainbow trout are active throughout the year. The river was sampled on June 5 to evaluate the current stocking strategy and size of trout in the river. We found smaller trout (8 to 10-inches) were dominant from the dam for about 2 miles downstream. Larger trout up to 14-inches are more common in areas where access is more difficult. Anglers can access these trout by floating the river in a pontoon or float tube. Caddis flies are the dominant invertebrate. Small blue winged olive (size 18) mayflies should be hatching. Ana River is a great match the hatch fly fishing river with good hatches throughout the 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. The roads paralleling the river are likely very muddy. Anglers can park at Ana Reservoir and hike down or park at the lower road crossing and hike up.

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

ANNIE CREEK: brook trout, brown trout and rainbow trout

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

BALM CREEK RESERVOIR: rainbow trout, smallmouth bass, crappie

The reservoir has been drained. Trout will be restocked next spring.

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

No recent fishing reports. The reservoir water level is very low and boat ramps are not useable but recent warmer weather may have melted the ice and opened up water for bank fishing. USBR crews have been tagging fish populations in the reservoir over the last several years. If you catch a tagged trout report it to the Hines office at 541-573-6582.

BLITZEN RIVER: redband trout

The Blitzen River has been flowing between 50 to 70 cfs with water temperatures around 3oC. The weather has been fluctuating from highs in the low 50s during the day to mid-20s at night.

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

The East Canal, Bridge Creek, mainstem Blitzen above Bridge Creek and the Little Blitzen River are open for catch-and-release fishing for trout. The South Loop Road is closed for the winter, which limits access to the upper portions of the Blitzen.

BLUE LAKE: hatchery rainbow trout

Blue Lake is likely frozen and you will probably encounter snow on your way. Fishing is not recommended at this time. Blue lake is a fantastic high elevation lake located in the Gearhart Wilderness between Bly and Lakeview. A three mile trail leads to the lake and is a 1-2 hour hike. Fish were sampled by net and hook and line sampling. Rainbow trout ranged from 6 to 17-inches and were in healthy condition. The trout at this lake see little pressure and are easy to catch using flies, lures or bait.

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

The reservoir water level is low and the boat ramp is not usable.

No recent fishing reports.

BURNS POND: trout, bass

Fishing has been good for legal-sized rainbow trout. About 2,000 legal (8 to 11-inches) rainbow trout were stocked in the pond the week of Oct. 3. The recent warm weather has cleared the pond of ice and fishing should continue to be good for rainbow trout throughout the winter.

BURNT RIVER: rainbow trout

Closed to fishing until April 25, 2015.

CAMPBELL LAKE: brook trout, rainbow trout

Access could be blocked by snow.

CAMPBELL RESERVOIR: redband trout, largemouth bass, crappie

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

CHEWAUCAN RIVER: redband trout

The river downstream of Paisley closed to trout fishing after Oct. 31. The river upstream of Hwy 31 at Paisley is open and the use of bait in this section of the river is PROHIBITED!

Access across property owned by the J-Spear Ranch will be closed to anglers beginning after July 7, 2014. The ranch is taking this action as a fish conservation measure to protect fish during months when the water becomes warmer.

CHICKAHOMINY RESERVOIR: trout

No recent fishing reports. The reservoir is low and the boat ramp is out of the water. Ice has formed on the reservoir but recent warmer weather should open up water for bank fishing.

COTTONWOOD MEADOWS: rainbow trout, brook trout

Access might be blocked by snow and the reservoir could be frozen.

COTTONWOOD RESERVOIR (Harney County): rainbow trout

No recent fishing reports. The reservoir was previously frozen over but recent warmer weather may have opened up water for bank fishing.

Access to the reservoir may be limited when the temperature is above freezing and the road is muddy.

COTTONWOOD RESERVOIR (Lake County): native Redband Trout

No recent fishing reports.

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

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

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

DEADHORSE LAKE: rainbow trout

Access might be blocked by snow. If the lake is accessible, fishing should be good.

DELINTMENT LAKE: trout

No recent fishing reports. Ice has formed on the reservoir, BUT it is unlikely that it is safe for ice fishing following the recent warm weather. Access to the lake may be limited with recent snowfall. Carry chains and a shovel when attempting to access the lake.

DEMING CREEK: redband trout

Fishing is closed until April 25, 2015.

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

No recent report but the reservoir is ice free.

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

No recent reports.

DUNCAN RESERVOIR: rainbow trout

No recent reports.

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

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

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

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

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

Conditions at the lake are cold and snowy. The road into Fourmile might be blocked by snow. Anglers can call Lake of the Woods Resort for more information. The lake is 28 percent full. Fourmile Lake levels

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

No recent report and the reservoir is ice free. The lake is only 15 percent full, which makes launching boats challenging if possible.

Fishing is slow. No recent reports.

HAINES POND: rainbow

The pond was stocked with trophy-sized rainbow trout in late September. The pond is now ice-free due to unseasonably warm weather.

HEART LAKE: rainbow trout, kokanee

No recent reports.

HOLBROOK RESERVOIR: rainbow trout

No recent reports.

HWY 203 POND: trout, bass, bluegill

The pond is now ice-free due to unseasonably warm weather.

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

Fishing is slow for warmwater fish such as crappie, pumpkinseed sunfish and brown bullhead catfish. The reservoir is turbid therefore anglers should try lures with high visibility and scent. Boats can be launched in several locations in the reservoir. Unimproved ramps occur just north and south of the Highway 66 bridge crossing. No fees are required to launch at these locations. Try the bay just south of the BLM campground for crappie and pumpkinseed. Also try the rocky areas near and under the bridge. Goldfish dominate the fish assemblage in the reservoir. Anglers should mimic the goldfish with bronze or copper lures or plugs to catch largemouth bass in the reservoir.

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

The lakes are very turbid. A few fish are being caught by shore anglers using bait (worms or dead minnows). Fishing is generally slow with catch rates averaging 7 hours per redband from boat and 30 hours per redband from the shore. The lake is 1 feet below full pool. Water temperature has decreased to 42 degrees but should increase with expected warmer weather. Fishing should improve with the continuing warmer weather and a reduction in turbidity. Redband trout average 21 inches in the fishery.

Redband trout to be released should not be removed from the water; revive by cradling and moving fish back and forth through the water to pump water over the gills. It is unlawful to continue to fish for the same type of fish after taking and retaining a catch or possession limit. Yellow perch are beginning to spawn. If anglers can find yellow perch, fishing can be good. Upper Klamath Lake is a good TROUT 365 fishery – good trout fishing 365 days a year.

KLAMATH RIVER: native rainbow-redband trout

Keno Dam to J.C Boyle Reservoir

The section from Keno Dam to J.C. Boyle Reservoir is open to fishing. Currently, this is the best option for fishing in the basin. Fishing is slow but is the best bet for winter fishing in the Klamath Area. The current flow is 514 cfs. Water temperatures are averaging around 43 degrees. Flows are ideal for a successful fishing winter outing.

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

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

The Klamath River between JC Boyle Dam to JC Boyle Powerhouse offers good spinner fishing. Fly fishing should be good as well with stonefly and mayfly nymphs working well. Most fish in this section are small and average 10 inches. Below the springs this section remains near a constant 360 cfs of flow and water temperatures are much warmer in this section. Fishing is best below the spring inputs. The springs start to discharge into the river approximately 1 mile below J.C. Boyle Dam. This section of river requires a hike down steep grade to the river with the exception of the area just above the powerhouse.

J.C. Boyle Powerhouse to State Line with California

Below the JC Boyle powerhouse the fish get slightly larger than the aforementioned reaches and average 12 inches but rarely exceed sixteen inches. River flows in this section are typically quite high during the day. If flow levels are 900 cfs or lower the river is fishable. Dead drifting rubber legged stonefly patterns and/or bead head pheasant tails can be good. Blue winged olive mayflies are hatching but few fish were observed rising. Look for backeddies and foam lines for rising fish. Most fish are in the 6-8 inch range but numerous 12 inch fish can be caught with 16 inches the maximum. The past week the fishable flows have occurred around 4 pm and fishing should be good after flows subside. Flow release estimates have been discontinued until next spring. Check out the USGS website for flow information.

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

KRUMBO RESERVOIR: trout, bass

A recent change in Malheur National Wildlife Refuge policy has allowed year-round fishing at this reservoir. However, no ice-fishing is allowed. The 2015 angling regulations will note the year-round angling regulation. Anglers have reported moderate success for rainbow trout up to 19-inches this winter and recent reports indicate that the reservoir is free of ice and boat and bank access may be available. For information regarding winter conditions on Krumbo Reservoir, please contact the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge.

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

The lake is ice free. Fishing is fair for yellow perch. Yellow perch can also be caught using small bait. Fishing for brown bullhead should also be fair. A few large holdover rainbow trout are being captured. Trophy brown trout are available.

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

LOFTON RESERVOIR: rainbow trout

No recent reports. Snow and mud will make accessing the reservoir challenging.

LONG CREEK: brook trout, redband trout, bull trout

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

LOST RIVER: largemouth bass, brown bullhead, yellow perch

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

MALHEUR RESERVOIR: hatchery rainbow trout

Recent reports indicate that the reservoir is dry.

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

Water releases from Warm Springs Reservoir are less than 1 cfs as of March 3 and the reservoir is at dead-pool. Fishing is poor.

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

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: trout

Anglers have reported fair to good fishing on Mann Lake recently with fish taking nymphs and spinners. Most fish are 14 to 16-inches long, with some trout over 20-inches being caught.

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

No recent reports. Access might be blocked by snow. Anglers can call the Chemult Ranger District of the USFS (541-365-7001) for more information. The 12 mile gravel road into Miller Lake is in horrible condition with numerous washboards. The dock has been taken out for the winter and the bathrooms with running water have been closed.

MUD LAKE: hatchery rainbow trout

No recent fishing reports. Road is likely very muddy

MURRAY RESERVOIR: trout

No recent report.

NORTH POWDER POND: rainbow trout

The pond is now ice-free.

OVERTON RESERVOIR: rainbow trout

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

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

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

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

Water releases below the dam have been around 13 cfs as of March 3. Fishing has been fair to slow depending on the time of day and location. Fish over 20-inches have been caught recently.

OWYHEE RIVER (Upper): smallmouth bass and channel catfish

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

PHILLIPS RESERVOIR: trout, perch

The reservoir is at 32 percent of capacity. The reservoir is now ice-covered, but recent warm weather has ice conditions unsafe for ice fishing. There is a band of open water around much of the reservoir. The Powder River inlet area is ice-free. Anglers are reminded that tiger muskie are restricted to catch-and-release only. No harvest or removal from the reservoir is allowed. In early May 2014, 7,500 tiger trout were released. These fish were 8 to 10-inches when released and should be much larger by winter. As with the tiger muskie, fishing for tiger trout is restricted to catch-and-release only.

PILCHER RESERVOIR: trout

The reservoir closed to fishing until April 25, 2015.

Piute Reservoir: hatchery rainbow trout and lahontan cutthroat

The reservoir is nearly dry.

POISON CREEK RESERVOIR: hatchery rainbow trout

Ice has formed on the reservoir and was around 5 to 7-inches thick near the dam but recent warm weather has decreased the quality and thickness of the ice making it unsafe for fishing. If the warming trend continues, the reservoir may offer bank fishing in the near future. Reports from January suggest that fishing has been slow. The limit is 2 per day; please respect the fishing regulations for the reservoir.

POLE CREEK RESERVOIR: hatchery rainbow trout

The reservoir was partially frozen over on Feb. 5 but recent reports indicate that the reservoir is now clear of ice and that fishing is very slow.

PRIDAY RESERVOIR: hatchery rainbow trout

The reservoir is dry. This is great news as several illegally introduced species occurred in the reservoir and have now perished.

This very productive reservoir will be stocked again was water is available.

SAND AND SCOTT CREEKS: brook trout and brown trout

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

SEVENMILE CREEK: brook trout, brown trout, redband trout

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

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

Access is blocked by snow and all lakes are frozen.

SHERLOCK GULCH RESERVOIR: rainbow trout

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

Spaulding Reservoir: hatchery rainbow trout

The reservoir is dry.

SPRING CREEK: redband trout, brown trout and brook trout

Closed to fishing until May 23, 2015. Large numbers of redband trout continue to spawn on Spring Creek at Collier State Park and make for great fish watching.

Numbers of spawning by redband trout is still high with over 150 redband trout spawning at Collier State Park.

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

Closed to fishing until April 25, 2015.

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

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

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

Closed to fishing until April 25, 2015.

SUN CREEK: brook trout, bull trout, brown trout

Closed to fishing until April 25, 2015.

SYCAN RIVER: brook trout, redband trout

Closed to fishing until April 25, 2015.

THOMPSON RESERVOIR: rainbow trout, largemouth bass

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

THIEF VALLEY RESERVOIR: trout

The reservoir was drained by the Lower Powder River Irrigation District in September 2014. The reservoir was not restocked with rainbow trout in November 2014 due to low water.

No opportunity for ice fishing will exist this winter. Stocking plans for spring 2015 will be dependent on water supply.

UNITY RESERVOIR: trout, bass, crappie

The reservoir is at about 75 percent of capacity and is now ice-covered, but current unseasonably warm weather has the ice conditions unsafe for ice fishing.

Anglers are reminded that a new regulation restricts the harvest of bass to those under 15-inches long.

VEE LAKE: rainbow trout

No recent reports.

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

No recent fishing reports. The reservoir is at dead-pool. Mud, snow or ice will make accessing the reservoir difficult.

LOWER WILLIAMSON RIVER: redband and brown trout

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

UPPER WILLIAMSON RIVER: redband and brook trout

Closed to fishing until April 25, 2015.

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

No recent reports.

You can access the reservoir but fishing will likely be slow for warmwater fish.

WOLF CREEK RESERVOIR: crappie, trout

The reservoir is now partly ice-covered, but unseasonably warm weather has ice conditions unsafe for ice fishing. There is a band of open water around much of the reservoir. Fishing has been fair for 9 to 12-inch rainbows.

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

Closed to fishing until April 25, 2015.

YELLOWJACKET LAKE: trout

About 4,000 legal (8 to 11-inches) rainbow trout were stocked into the lake during the week of Oct. 3. Ice has formed on the lake and was around 5-7 inches thick near the boat launch but recent warm weather has decreased the quality and thickness of the ice making it unsafe for fishing.

Prior fishing reports from Jan. 12 indicate that fishing was good with catches of around 4-6 fish per hour in 11-12 feet of water. Fish sizes were 10 to 12-inches. Pink was the color of choice for these trout.


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SOUTHEAST ZONE: HUNTING

OPEN: COUGAR, LATE GOOSE (closes March 10)

Wolves and coyotes can look alike

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

Use the Oregon Hunting Map to see where to hunt.

HARNEY COUNTY

Hunting maps for Harney County

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

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

KLAMATH COUNTY

White-fronted geese and Snow/Ross’s geese are beginning to arrive in the Basin. Over the past week, significant increases in goose numbers have been observed. Most of the geese are currently using the Klamath Wildlife Area and Straits Unit at Lower Klamath National Wildlife Refuge. Over the next few weeks, geese will begin using more agricultural lands in the southern part of the basin. Late goose seasons are now open through March 10. The Miller Island Unit of the Klamath Wildlife Area and all federal refuge lands are closed, however, all other waters of the state and public lands are open to hunt in addition to private lands. Remember to ask for permission before entering private lands. Hunting will continue to improve as the late season progresses. Season closes March 10.

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

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

KLAMATH WILDLIFE AREA

This section was updated on February 09, 2015.

All game bird hunting seasons are now closed on the Miller Island Unit of the Klamath Wildlife Area.

Hunting for White Geese and White-Fronted Geese is allowed during the Klamath, Lake, Harney & Malheur Cos. Zone White and White-Fronted Goose season (Jan. 26-Mar. 10, 2015), only in the Gorr Island, Shoalwater Bay and Sesti Tgawaals Units.

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.

The Gorr Island Unit is open for hunting during the Klamath, Lake, Harney & Malheur Cos. Zone White and White-Fronted Goose season (Jan. 26-Mar. 10, 2015).

Shoalwater Bay Unit and Sesti Tgawaals Unit

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

Shoalwater Bay and Sesti Tgawaals Units are open for hunting during the Klamath, Lake, Harney & Malheur Cos. Zone White and White-Fronted Goose season (Jan. 26-Mar. 10, 2015).

Miller Island Unit

All game bird hunting seasons are now closed on the Miller Island Unit of the Klamath Wildlife Area.

Waterfowl Hunting

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

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

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

LAKE COUNTY

Late Snow Goose/White Front Season runs through 10 March. The spring migration has started. Snow geese and white-fronted geese are using shallow flooded pastures. Many of the seasonally flooded pastures frequented by spring migrating geese are dry this year. Hunters are reminded that almost all of the spring use areas are private land and permission is required before hunting. Also, In Lake County the bag limit for white-fronted geese (specks) is one bird per day.

Shed Hunting. Mule deer bucks are losing their antlers. With the mild winter weather deer are widely distributed at elevations up to 6500 feet and are not restricted to traditional winter ranges. Once an antler falls off it legally becomes the property of the landowner. Therefore shed hunters need to get permission from private landowners to access their property and pick up sheds.

Cougar hunting is open. Populations are healthy due to good habitat and prey base. If hunters can find a fresh cougar kill, calling within a ½ mile of that kill can be very effective. February has started out wet and mild. Throughout the county deer are using transition ranges between 5800 and 6500 feet. These areas are predominately forest vegetation.

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

SUMMER LAKE WILDLIFE AREA

This section was updated on March 2, 2015

All hunting seasons on the wildlife area are closed.

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

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

MALHEUR COUNTY

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

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


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SOUTHEAST ZONE: WILDLIFE VIEWING

HARNEY COUNTY

Early migrant waterfowl are beginning to move north. Tundra swans and snow geese and a variety of duck species have started showing up around the county.

Wintering 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.

While much winter season still remains, the recent warming trend, precipitation and increased daylight hours has promoted some significant green up on the winter ranges, look for deer, elk, and antelope to remain active for longer periods of the day. Mule deer can be found in foothill areas around the basin.

Many of the bighorn sheep will be using lower elevation slopes and can often be seen from the highways. Bighorn sheep may be seen from highway 205 along Catlow Valley or along the East Steens Road.

Winter recreation opportunities on Steens Mt. are very limited due to the very little snow fall received so far this winter. 2/17/15.

KLAMATH COUNTY

Swans have arrived in the Klamath Basin offering excellent viewing and photographing opportunity. While the vast majority of the individuals present are tundra swans, occasionally a trumpeter swan can be observed. Flooded fields north of Klamath Falls adjacent to the Running Y ranch/resort have recently held several hundred swans. Limited highway pull-offs exist. Please use caution on this often icy stretch of highway.

Look for lesser snow geese and Ross’s geese to begin arriving in great numbers in coming weeks. Viewing opportunities are abundant along Stateline Rd. and from many county roads in the southern portions of the Basin.

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

Bald eagles have begun moving into the Klamath Basin. Good areas to view wintering bald eagles are along Eagle Ridge and Shoalwater Bay accessed from Eagle Ridge Road from Highway 140. The Lower Klamath National Wildlife Refuge provides great viewing opportunities as well.

Rough-legged hawks are beginning to show up from northern breeding locations and are easily found foraging around agricultural areas throughout the basin. Red-tailed hawks and northern harriers are very common and can be observed in agricultural areas as well.

Ask for permission from the landowner before entering private lands. Please watch for game and use caution while traveling on area highways and county roads. 2/01/15.

Klamath Wildlife Area (Miller Island)

This section was updated on Feb. 17, 2015.

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

The majority of the wildlife area is ice-free. Conditions should remain similar with the mild forecasted weather for this coming week.

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

Waterfowl

Great Basin Canada geese continue to be a common site on the area, many are starting to stake out territories in preparation for nesting. Numbers of white-fronted, lesser snow geese and ross’s geese have increased dramatically from the previous week; large flocks can be seen on the areas agricultural fields. Canvasback, scaup, ruddy duck, bufflehead and common and barrows goldeneye along with other diver species can be seen in the deeper ponds/canals and Klamath River.

There are still some Tundra swans using the area, but their numbers have decreased dramatically over the past week. Dabbler species numbers have increased over the past week and should continue to increase with the northward migration.

Shorebirds, waders and other waterbirds

Ring-billed gulls continue to be a common site on the area, but continue to decline in numbers as winter progresses. Several pairs of sandhill cranes were observed on the area and their very audible calls are becoming quite common.

Raptors

Great horned and barn owls can be seen at dusk. Red-tailed hawks, northern harriers, cooper hawks, prairie falcons and American bald eagles can be seen foraging throughout the wildlife area. Eagle numbers should start to increase dramatically in the basin as they follow migrants northward.

Upland Game Birds

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

Passerines

Mourning and Eurasian collared dove can still be found scattered over the area. American goldfinches, house finches, white crowned sparrows and Northern flickers continue to be a common site throughout the area.

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

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

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

LAKE COUNTY

Swans, sandhill cranes and snow geese are moving through the county.These are the earliest spring migrants and indicate the start of spring migration.If the mild wet conditions persist, spring staging habitat should be substantially better than last year.

Winter resident raptors are common throughout the major valleys in the county. Bald and golden eagles are common. 3/3/15.

Summer Lake Wildlife Area

This section was updated on March 2, 2015.

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

CALENDAR YEAR 2015 PARKING PERMITS ARE NOW REQUIRED.

Vehicle access to the Wildlife Viewing Loop and major dike roads (Windbreak and Work Road) is now open. Lateral/spur dikes and levees remain closed to motor vehicles but are open for other access.

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

Waterfowl

Waterfowl populations continue to increase as spring migration continues. A count was conducted on February 25 last week; an increase for nearly all migrant waterfowl species has been noted over the past 10 days. Northern pintail (5,700), canvasback (1,200) and ruddy duck (1,000) are especially numerous at this time.

Lesser snow goose numbers remain good; over 30,000 were noted during the weekly count as well as over 1.200 greater white-fronted geese. Swan numbers remain very substantial and widespread across the entire wildlife area, nearly 2,400 were observed. Because of the unseasonably mild weather conditions, swans and snow geese are beginning to push further north to other parts of the Pacific Flyway.

Migrant trumpeter swan numbers remain fairly strong. The count conducted on Feb. 25 found nearly 65 trumpeters. A few of these birds a part of restoration efforts and will be neck-banded with green collars and white alphanumeric symbols. Viewers are encouraged to “read” the collars and report them to wildlife area personnel. Collars will have the Greek letter Theta (Ѳ) and two side-ways laying numerals that are read from the body toward the head.

Shorebirds, waders and other waterbirds

Shorebird numbers remain at their low wintering levels now; although a few early migrants such as killdeer have been observed scattered across the area. Only three species (killdeer, greater yellowlegs and Wilson’s snipe) can be expected to be found at this time.

American coot numbers continue to increase, nearly 1,500 were observed during the weekly count. Virginia rails can be seen or heard, especially along Ana River. Grebes remain at low number now, but a few species can still be found. American bittern and great blue herons can still be found.

Raptors and others

Wintering raptors, especially northern harriers, red-tailed hawks, bald eagles and rough-legged hawk can be found scattered throughout the Wildlife Area as well as on private lands along Hwy 31.

Viewers can expect eagle numbers (especially bald) to build as migrant waterfowl numbers continue to increase. Sick and weak waterfowl are favored food sources for bald eagles.

Red-shouldered hawks, golden eagles, American kestrel and prairie falcons as well as accipiters (Cooper’s and sharp-shinned hawk) can sometimes be observed.

Great horned owls were found scattered across the entire wildlife area, especially in the trees at campgrounds, they remain very vocal and some should be establishing nests now. Common barn owls are sometimes observed around Headquarters.

Upland game birds

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

Passerines

Eurasian collared doves remain very numerous at Headquarters Complex. Mourning doves are occasionally observed.

American and lesser goldfinches continue to be observed in good numbers at Headquarters. Song sparrows are very common along dikes and levees. The Harris’ sparrow has returned, and over the past week several spotted towhees, mourning dove, golden-crowned sparrow and a slate-colored junco were observed.  The first of spring Say’s phoebe was observed recently.

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

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

Blackbird numbers are increasing at this time, 20-30 red-winged blackbirds were present at the Headquarters feeder over the past weekend and many are beginning to disperse into wetland breeding areas.

Facilities and Access

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

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

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

The Wildlife Viewing Loop and major dike roads (Windbreak and Work Road) are now open for motor vehicle traffic. Lateral dikes and spur levees remain closed to motor vehicles but other access is permitted.

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

Habitat

Currently most of the wildlife area’s wetlands are open and ice-free due to the recent unseasonably mild temperatures.

Summer Lake continues to increase in size at this time. A good amount of water is flowing into the northern portion of the lake now.

Emergent wetland vegetation is lodged over due to recent strong winds allowing for good viewing into many wetland units.

Upland habitat remains in excellent condition with considerable residual vegetation that is providing high quality food and cover for many wildlife species. The ground is snow free at this time. Planted tree and shrub plots are providing excellent sheltered sites for many wildlife species.

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:

  • Steelhead continue to enter the Umatilla River in record numbers and anglers should be able to find fish scattered throughout the river. Last week anglers averaged 3.6 hours per steelhead caught.
  • Water conditions in the John Day are in great shape and steelhead are being caught between Service Creek and the town of John Day and in the North Fork up to Monument.
  • The Wallowa River had catch rates below 4 hours per fish recently!
  • One hundred surplus hatchery steelhead have been stocked in Marr Pond, offering a great opportunity to get young anglers into some big fish.
  • Fishing for holdover trout from last year’s stocking should be fair to good in Holliday, Long Creek and Cavender ponds, and Rowe Creek Reservoir.

If your favorite fishing spot is no longer listed

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

Send us your fishing report

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

BULL PRAIRIE RESERVOIR: rainbow and brook trout

Remains open to fishing all year. The reservoir is frozen but proceed with caution as the ice may be too thin to support anglers. Approximately 200 trophy rainbow trout were stocked last fall and should provide fishing all winter.

Brook trout are also available.

GRANDE RONDE RIVER: steelhead

After a big influx in flow, the river has come back into shape. While the river is still a bit high, anglers should have good success. Fishermen have had a lot of success on the Grande Ronde this year and that success is expected to continue when flows subside. A healthy proportion of two salt fish has resulted in a large average size this year. So, expect a few larger fish and some screaming drags! Remember, only adipose-fin clipped rainbow trout may be retained and all bull trout must be released unharmed.

HOLLIDAY PARK POND: rainbow trout

Remains open all year. The pond is now free of ice. Carryover trout are being caught and should provide fair angling until stocking occurs in April.

IMNAHA RIVER: steelhead

The Imnaha is very high and will likely be very difficult to fish over the next week. Watch the flow gauge on the Idaho Power website. Expect the action to pick up when flows drop below 700 cfs. This high water may draw some fish up into Big Sheep Creek which will clear first.

JOHN DAY RIVER: steelhead

River flow levels are just right and steelhead are biting on jigs, flies and bait. Most of the steelhead being caught are wild and have been holding between Service Creek and the town of John Day and in the North Fork up to Monument. Water temperatures are cold so steelhead are holding in slack water along the current edge. A few bass have been caught below Kimberly during the warmest days. ODFW encourages all anglers to keep any ad-clipped steelhead taken in this fishery. All wild (adipose intact) steelhead must be released unharmed.

Check John Day River flows

LONG CREEK POND, CAVENDER POND: trout

Remains open all year. Both ponds are now free of ice.  Several trout stocked last year survived the winter and will provide good fishing until both ponds are re-stocked again in April. 

MAGONE LAKE: rainbow and brook trout

Remains open all year. Portions of the upper lake are ice free so proceed with caution if attempting to ice fish. The ice may be too thin to support anglers.

MARR POND: surplus steelhead

Marr pond has been stocked with 100 surplus steelhead that returned to Wallowa Hatchery. Once these fish are placed in still water fisheries they are considered “trout” and do not need to be recorded on a harvest card. This is a great opportunity to get young anglers into some big fish. Try catching these fish by floating bait under a bobber mid water column. Brightly colored lures and spinners may also be productive.

PEACH POND (Ladd Marsh): rainbow trout

The pond was stocked with trophy-sized rainbow trout in late September. The pond has no ice cover.

ROULET POND: rainbow trout

The pond was stocked with trophy-sized rainbow trout in late September. The pond has no ice cover.

ROWE CREEK RESERVOIR: rainbow trout

Remains open all year. The pond is now free of ice. Fishing is fair for carryover trout but the water level is very low.

UMATILLA FOREST PONDS: trout

The forest ponds remain open to angling year around and can provide a good opportunity for ice fishing during the winter months.

UMATILLA RIVER: steelhead

Steelhead continue to enter the system in record numbers, anglers should be able to find fish scattered throughout the river. Steelhead fishing was good last weekend with upper river anglers averaging 3.6  hours per steelhead caught. During the three days creeled last week, 78 anglers caught 43 native and 2 hatchery steelhead.

Water conditions in the Pendleton area dropping quickly back into shape, flows are about 500cfs and water temperatures are in the low 40s. Steelhead are distributed though out the system. Anglers are find best success using bobbers and jigs and drift fishing for steelhead. Anglers should consult the synopsis for detailed regulations.

Threemile Dam fish counts

WALLOWA LAKE: rainbow trout, kokanee, lake trout

As spring approaches anglers will start to find some stocked trout that held over from last season’s stocking. These fish often range 15 to 20 inches and can be caught in multiple numbers. These fish are normally more common later in the spring; however with the warm weather and early spring anglers should start seeing these fish soon.

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

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

WALLOWA RIVER: steelhead, mountain whitefish

The steelhead season is in full swing on the Wallowa River. Catch rates dipped below 4 hours per fish last week! Fishing is good and there really is no good excuse to not be out there. Anglers are finding fish in good numbers and the ratio of two-salt fish to one-salt fish is high. This means there are a lot of larger fish available so, oil your reels and make sure that drag is working well.

Remember the Wallowa River is a whitefish factory. Whitefish can be a great way to keep kids interested while steelhead fishing and can be great table fair. Simply tie in a small bead-head nymph dropper while fishing under a bobber rig and let the fun begin. Also, steelhead will often take a bead head nymph hanging under a jig.

WILLOW CREEK RESERVOIR: trout

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


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NORTHEAST ZONE: HUNTING

OPEN: COUGAR

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

Latest info on Wallowa Mountain Loop Road (Forest Road 39) closures.

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

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

GRANT COUNTY

The P.W. Schneider Wildlife area closes February 1st through April 14th.

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

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

MORROW, GILLIAM AND WHEELER COUNTIES

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

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

UMATILLA COUNTY

Bears will be distributed in forested stringer areas throughout the mid elevations.  Low to mid elevation forest roads are accessible from numerous access points throughout the county, thus providing an earlier opportunity for scouting those mid elevations for upcoming spring bear season.  Foraging bears can be observed by glassing open hill slopes with a south/southwestern aspect.  Earlier in the season bears can be observed throughout the day.  Bear numbers will begin to increase towards last half of April and should persist until the end of the season.  Hunters are reminded all bears are required to be checked in within 10 days of harvest.

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

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

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

UNION COUNTY

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

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

Ladd Marsh Wildlife Area

Hunting now closed.

Ladd Marsh harvest statistics

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

WALLOWA COUNTY

Closure of Wallowa Mountain Loop Road (Forest Road 39)

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

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


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NORTHEAST ZONE: 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.

Deer and elk are returning to the valley to winter. Early in the morning and late in the afternoon are good times to view wildlife. Driving through the foothills of the Baker valley and through the Keating valley can turn up good numbers of deer.

Elkhorn Wildlife Area

Elkhorn Wildlife Area is known for the Rocky Mountain elk and mule deer herds that frequent the area during the winter. When snow covers the ground, ODFW staff feed elk and deer to encourage them to stay in the higher elevations and out of agricultural fields. There are two good viewing sites. The Anthony Creek site is located about eight miles west of I-84 on North Powder River Lane. From I-84 take the North Powder Exit (Exit 285). About 150 elk can be seen here on any given day. From the overlook on Auburn Road, watch hundreds of elk and mule deer. It is on the south side of Old Auburn Road, which branches off Highway 7 about six miles south of Baker City. 12/30/14

GRANT COUNTY

P.W. Schneider Wildlife Area

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

Countywide

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

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

For the adventurous, there is a great opportunity to snowshoe or cross country ski up the trail to Strawberry Lake in the Strawberry Wilderness area to view groups of nanny and kid mountain goats or try snowshoeing up Onion Creek trail to view the billies.

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

Sandhill cranes have started to migrate through the valley. They are best viewed early in the morning along the John Day River. 2/2/2015.

MORROW, GILLIAM and WHEELER COUNTIES

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

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

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

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

 

UMATILLA COUNTY

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

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

UNION COUNTY

Ladd Marsh Wildlife Area

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

The Tule Lake unit, including the auto route, is now open for the season. Visitors are advised to carefully read posted signs and consult the wildlife area administrative rules. Rules that apply to all areas are at the top (at the above link), and then scroll down to page 8, #635-008-120, for additional rules specific to Ladd Marsh. Dogs are not permitted within the Wildlife Area, on or off leash except during authorized hunting seasons. There are numerous quality viewing opportunities from county roads that pass through the area. Binoculars or a spotting scope will help as many animals are best viewed from a distance.

Canada geese are pairing off and selecting nest sites. Large numbers of Tundra swans and greater white-fronted geese are on the marsh and in flooded fields throughout the valley. At least one snow goose has been seen as well. Common mergansers are present on several ponds in the area. Northern shrikes continue in several locations across the area. American goldfinch and pine siskins are conspicuous at natural seed sources.

Great horned and barn owls are nesting. Great horned owls can be seen sitting in nests at several locations. Other raptors include Red-tailed Hawk, Northern Harrier, Cooper’s and Sharp-shinned Hawks and American Kestrel. Bald and golden eagles have been seen soaring on the thermals. 3/3/15.

 

WALLOWA COUNTY

Winter is a good time to find raptors in the Wallowa Valley. Particularly common are red-tailed hawks, with many rough-legged hawks and bald eagles also present. A gyrfalcon has also been seen in the Upper Prairie Creek area NE of Joseph for much of this winter. Look for it perched on power poles along the farm roads or near farm ponds.

Winter is a good time to view mule deer and white-tailed deer as they are more actively feeding during the limited hours of daylight this time of year. A good place to observe mule deer is along the Wallowa Lake highway between Joseph and the south end of Wallowa Lake. Drive slowly and watch along the moraine on the east side of the lake around dawn and dusk. Be careful to use the turnouts when stopping to watch these animals, as there will be other traffic on the road. White-tailed deer can be found throughout the Wallowa Valley on or near agricultural lands.

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

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

Other migrants have begun to move into the area including bald eagles, hooded mergansers, goldfinches, and both cedar and Bohemian waxwings. The first mountain bluebirds have arrived back from their southern haunts and can be seen in the lower areas of the Imnaha Canyon. 2/24/15.


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SNAKE RIVER ZONE: FISHING

Send us your fishing report

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

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

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

OXBOW RESERVOIR: trout, crappie, bass, catfish

No recent fishing report.

HELLS CANYON RESERVOIR: trout, crappie, bass, catfish

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

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

Steelhead and trout fishing below Hells Canyon has been producing. Steelhead will be available throughout the winter and into the closure on April 15, 2015. Barbless hooks are required when fishing for salmon, steelhead and sturgeon in Hells Canyon. Also remember a Columbia Basin Endorsement is required when fishing for salmon, steelhead and sturgeon in the Snake River. Most anglers will access the canyon via jet boat launched at Heller Bar or Hells Canyon Dam. Oregon and Idaho regulations require barbless hooks in the Snake River when fishing for salmon, steelhead or sturgeon. Updated information on flow levels

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

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

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COLUMBIA RIVER ZONE: FISHING

Weekend Fishing Opportunities:

  • Steelhead fishing was fair in The Dalles and John Day pools last week.
  • Effective Jan. 1, 2015 sturgeon retention is open in The Dalles Pool until the respective guideline of 100 legal white sturgeon is met. Fishing was slow last week.
  • Effective Jan. 1, 2015 sturgeon retention is open in the John Day Pool until the respective guideline of 500 legal white sturgeon is met. Boat anglers caught a few legals last week.
  • White sturgeon retention is closed from Buoy 10 upstream to The Dalles Dam, but remains an option for catch-and-release fishing.
  • Walleye fishing was excellent in The Dalles and John Day pools last week.

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

Salmon, Steelhead and Shad

On Saturday’s (2/28) flight, 98 salmonid boats and 132 Oregon bank anglers were counted from the Columbia River Estuary to Bonneville Dam.

Gorge Bank: No report.

Gorge Boats: No report.

Troutdale Boats: No report.

Portland to Westport Bank:

Weekly checking showed two adipose fin-clipped spring Chinook and one adipose fin-clipped steelhead kept, plus one unclipped spring Chinook and one unclipped steelhead released for 160 bank anglers.

Portland to Westport Boats:

Weekly checking showed no catch for 21 boats (40 anglers).

Estuary Bank (Clatsop Spit to Wauna Powerlines):

Weekly checking showed no catch for two bank anglers.

Estuary Boats (Tongue Point to Wauna Powerlines):

Weekly checking showed no catch for seven boats (10 anglers).

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

No report.

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

Weekly checking showed one unclipped steelhead released for two bank anglers; and no catch for one boat (one angler).

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

Weekly checking showed one adipose fin-clipped steelhead kept for 24 bank anglers.

STURGEON

Lower Columbia (below Bonneville Dam): Closed to retention, catch-and-release only. No report.

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

Weekly checking showed 20 sublegal sturgeon released for 48 bank anglers; and three legal white sturgeon kept, plus two legal, one oversize and 263 sublegal sturgeon released for 31 boats (78 anglers).

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

Weekly checking showed one legal and two sublegal sturgeon released for 19 bank anglers; and 10 sublegal sturgeon released for three boats (seven anglers).

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

Weekly checking showed two sublegal sturgeon released for 32 bank anglers; and two legal, one oversize and 12 sublegal sturgeon released for 11 boats (26 anglers).

WALLEYE

Bonneville Pool: No report.

The Dalles Pool:

Weekly checking showed 21 walleye kept, plus one walleye released for 10 boats (21 anglers).

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

Weekly checking showed 83 walleye kept, plus 23 walleye released for 29 boats (61 anglers).


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MARINE ZONE: FISHING

Weekend opportunities:

  • When ocean conditions permit, bottom fishing has been good with many anglers bringing home black rockfish and lingcod. Anglers need to know about new regulations for blue, copper, quillback and China rockfish – check the ODFW sport groundfish webpage. ODFW has developed some tools to help anglers correctly identify these species.
  • Ocean crabbing is looking up!  Last weekend saw recreational ocean catches averaging around 2 crabs per pot. Tips and regulations are on the ODFW sport crabbing webpage.
  • Razor clams remain closed from the Oregon/California border north to Heceta Head (north of Florence) due to elevated levels of domoic acid.  

Send us your fishing report

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

Saltwater News Bulletins

You can subscribe to receive e-mails and text message alerts for marine topics you are interested in. It’s easy to unsubscribe at any time. Your phone and e-mail information will remain confidential.

Six different lists of interest to ocean enthusiasts are available: Bottomfish (recreational), Halibut (recreational), Ocean Salmon (recreational), Ocean Salmon (commercial troll), Commercial Nearshore Groundfish, and Marine Reserves.

Marine Reserves

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

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

PACIFIC HALIBUT

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

BOTTOM FISHING

Anglers should be aware of new regulations for blue, China, copper, and quillback rockfish, and the seasonal closure for cabezon. The ocean is open to bottom fishing at all depths.

Fishing for lingcod was superb out of Newport last Sunday when the weather cooperated. Rockfish catches were also good.

The marine fish daily bag limit is seven fish. REMINDER: China, copper, quillback, and canary rockfish may not be retained; and only three blue rockfish may be retained per day (as part of the 7-fish bag). Sometime in mid-March, retention of one canary rockfish will be allowed as part of the marine fish daily bag limit. REMINDER: Cabezon is closed Jan. 1 through June 30.

There are separate daily limits for lingcod (two) and flatfish other than Pacific halibut (25). Remember: 5 species of rockfish may not be retained: yelloweye, china, copper, quillback, and canary.

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

The Stonewall Bank Yelloweye Rockfish Conservation Area, approximately 15 miles west of Newport, and Marine Reserves are closed to the take of rockfish, lingcod, flatfish and other species in the groundfish group (pages 95-98 of the 2015 Oregon Sport Fishing Regulations book). The waypoints (page 97 of the 2015 Oregon Sport Fishing Regulations book) are:

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

PACIFIC HERRING

Herring are in Yaquina Bay.  Anglers jigging for the small silver fish, popular as bait, found a lot of them in the lower estuary and all the way up past Sawyer’s Landing.

SHELLFISH

Razor clams

This year’s Clatsop beaches stock assessment survey found the highest number of razor clams since ODFW began conducting the surveys in 2004. About 16 million razor clams inhabit the 18-mile stretch of beach located between the Columbia River south jetty and Tillamook Head. This estimate of clam abundance is significantly greater than the previous peak of 9 million clams in 2005. The average size of clams at the time of the survey was a little over 2 ½ inches, and only a few larger than 4-inches were found. Currently, this very abundant age class has grown to about 4 inches. Razor clams were distributed fairly evenly along the entire stretch of beach.

North coast razor clammers are in luck due to the abundant clams, but because of the large number of small razor clams on the beach, diggers should be highly selective about which shows they pursue. Harvesters are reminded they must retain the first 15 clams regardless of size or condition.

During the winter months, low tide series are in the evening so harvesters should plan ahead. Razor clam harvesters should pay close attention to the surf forecasts and be on the beach one to two hours before low tide. If the forecast calls for combined seas over 8 or 10 feet, razor clamming can be very difficult because the clams tend to show much less in those conditions.

Bay clams

When able to get out, sport clammers should be able to collect daily limits of cockles, gaper clams and butter clams from the popular sites in Tillamook, Netarts, Siletz, Yaquina, Alsea, and Coos bays and several other locations along the coast. Low tides as high as +1.0 to +2.0 feet can still allow clamming opportunities, especially for purple varnish clams that can sometimes be found when the tide is as high as +4.0 feet. See ODFW’s bay clam webpages for more information on where and how to dig, clam ID, etc.

Recreational shellfish safety status, as of March 3:

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

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

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

Crabs

During the winter months, crabbing for Dungeness crab in bays can be really slow. However, red rock crab can be plentiful during this time of year. Red rock crab are a native species but are not present in all of Oregon’s bays. Good places to try are off docks in Tillamook Bay, Yaquina Bay, and Coos Bay. Crabbers fishing for Dungeness in the ocean off the central coast recently have also been bringing in red rock crab. Red rock crab are caught just like Dungeness; check out these “How to crab” tips. The daily limit is 24 per person, any size or sex. Most crabbers who keep red rock crab keep only the largest ones which have much more meat than small ones.

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


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MARINE ZONE: WILDLIFE VIEWING

Spring has sprung on the Oregon coast!  Red-winged blackbirds and hummingbirds are out in force in the marshes, elk are out grazing, and a peregrine falcon was spotted over Yaquina Bay. 

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

Coastal Wildlife Viewing Highlight: Yaquina Bay South Jetty

Looking for a great place to spend some time outdoors with family? Bird and wildlife watching is easy on the Yaquina Bay South Jetty Road in Newport. This is an ideal excursion in any weather, and is good for all ages. It is very flat (easy walking), and the birds and wildlife are always there! Bring binoculars or a spotting scope for up-close viewing.

To get there, from the South Beach peninsula in Newport turn onto South Jetty road and drive past the residences at the beginning of the roadway. Once clear of the northside buildings, the breakwater makes a cove. Begin to scan the water for harbor seals. You will see a nose, or flipper or a head. Stop and watch them—they seem to like company. A few adults and two or three pups are often spotted there.

To the west of the cove toward the ocean is the first of three boulder breakwaters. If the rocks are visible (low to mid tide), you could see surf scoters, coots, buffleheads, surf scoters, great blue herons, grebes, and two types of cormorants. Between the first and second breakwaters there are usually buffleheads, grebes and loons. Sometimes harbor seals are resting on the rocks, as well.

The second breakwater is usually a fishing spot, but be on the lookout for the same types of birds.

The third breakwater is frequented by brown pelicans. Watch them as they stand into the wind and sleep, stretch; preen and yawn! There will be cormorants and other waterfowl. A ruddy turnstone was there in the morning on Monday.

After the third breakwater look for animals feeding in the water—usually cormorants, surf scoters and sea lions!

As you make your way back toward the bridge, look for the marsh hawk on the south side of the roadway. The marsh hawk can be identified by its tan topside with a white rump patch, and white underneath with black-tipped wings. This bird can hover like a helicopter. The hawk may be roosting at the top of the small trees, or flying over the grasses. Just past the first breakwater, look in the flooded area within the grasses for mallards. Many are there now, and the males are chasing each other to be alone with the females.

For a more active adventure, bring bicycles or running shoes and explore the trails leading off the South Jetty road into South Beach State Park. These trails connect with the South Beach State Park campground and day use area, and offer a mix of paved and packed dirt surfaces, as well as sandy beach access. Raptors and small wildlife abound.

Wildlife Viewing Map

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


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

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