OREGON DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND WILDLIFE

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Welcome to the ODFW Recreation Report - March 24, 2015

Fishing, Hunting and Wildlife Viewing

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


Check out free Family Fishing Events

The 2015 schedule is now posted on line. This can be a great way to introduce friends or family members to fishing. ODFW will provide the instruction, loaner gear, and a great opportunity to catch fish.

65 Places to go fishing in Lane County

Anglers in Lane County now have a new guide to more than five dozen fishing spots, from the Oregon Coast to the Cascade Mountains. Locations range from family-friendly, stocked ponds, to saltwater jetty fishing, to steelhead fishing on some of Oregon’s iconic rivers, there is something for every angler.

Include fishing in your Spring Break plans

ODFW will be stocking dozens of lakes and ponds with trophy and legal-size trout just in time for Spring Break. Check out the stocking schedules and weekly Recreation Report for locations near you.

10 youth hunters can win guided spring turkey hunt in Jackson County

Apply by March 31 for chance to win guided hunt on private C2 Ranch. Hunters age 17 and under are eligible. More information


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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

The latest trout stocking schedule is posted to the ODFW website. Hebo, South, Town, and Tahoe lakes and Lorens Pond were stocked the week of March 16. Coffenbury, Lost, Sunset, and Vernonia lakes are scheduled to be stocked the week of March 23. 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 in full swing and most water bodies have been stocked recently or will be soon again. Most areas will be stocked multiple times until early June. Be sure to check out the 2015 stocking schedule for the most up to date information.

Fishing for the various warm water fish species can be productive during the spring months as lake temperatures start to rise and fish begin spawning. Anglers will start finding more fish up in the shallows over the next month.

ALSEA RIVER: steelhead

The winter steelhead fishery is slowing down for the season down but fair numbers of fish can still be found in the upper river, especially after a rain event. Native fish tend to be prevalent this time of year. Casting lures, bobber and jig/bait or drifting beads along the bottom can be effective techniques.

KILCHIS RIVER: steelhead

Winter steelhead fishing should be slow to fair this week. The river should be clear, with lower flows. Use light gear and fish deeper holding water where fish are more likely to be concentrated.

NECANICUM RIVER: steelhead

Winter steelhead fishing will probably be slow. The flows are low and the river is clear. A slight rise in river level is forecasted for mid-week, which may lead to better fishing briefly. The steelhead angling season ends March 31.

NEHALEM RIVER AND NORTH FORK: steelhead

Winter steelhead fishing should be slow to fair in the north fork. Mostly 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. The north fork and the Nehalem upstream of Hwy 26 close to fishing March 31.

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

NESTUCCA RIVER AND THREE RIVERS: steelhead, Chinook

Winter steelhead fishing should be good. Fish are being caught on a variety of techniques. Side drifting, drift fishing, plugs, bobber and jig, bobber doggin’ or casting spinners/spoons should all produce fish. Match your gear to the conditions, with larger, brighter offerings when the river has some color and smaller, more subtle presentations as the river drops. Spring Chinook angling opens April 1. Expect slow fishing for several weeks.

SALMON RIVER: steelhead

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

SIUSLAW RIVER: steelhead

The winter steelhead fishery is starting to slow down for the season but decent numbers of fish are still around the Whittaker Creek area. The river should fish well later in the week as the river levels being to drop. Lake Creek typically clears up more quickly.

TILLAMOOK BAY: sturgeon, Chinook

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. Spring Chinook angling opens April 1. Fishing usually starts off slow.

TRASK RIVER: steelhead, Chinook

Winter steelhead fishing should be fair. The catch is a mix of hatchery and wild fish. Fish are spread out, with fish available in the north and south forks. Drift fishing and bobber and jig or pink worm are good bets, with boaters also catching fish side drifting. The river opens to spring Chinook April 1. Fishing usually doesn’t pick up until May.

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

WILSON RIVER: steelhead, Chinook

Winter steelhead fishing should be slow to fair. Last weekend’s rain brought good numbers of fish into the system. Fish will be holding ups as flows are low. Bank anglers can find success throughout the river. Boaters should fish the lower drifts until more rains come. Use lighter gear in the clear water. Spring Chinook fishing opens April 1, but few fish will be present for several weeks.

YAQUINA RIVER: steelhead

The winter steelhead fishery is slow in the Big Elk. 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

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.

Spring vacation for schools marks the time when migrating gray whales are moving up the Oregon coastline on their annual pilgrimage up to the Bearing Sea. During the week of March 22 there will also be Whale Watching Spoken Here viewing stations at many sites on the north coast. Some great spots to view migrating whales on the north coast include Cape Kiwanda near Pacific City, Cape Lookout and Cape Meares near Netarts, Neah-Kah-Nie Mtn. and Cape Falcon near Manzanita, and Silver Point near Cannon Beach. Bring your binoculars or spotting scope for best viewing!

TILLAMOOK COUNTY

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. When viewing, it’s not uncommon to see geese with brightly-colored neck collars. Each color is specific to subspecies or distinct population segment of Canada geese. 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.

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.

Ft. Steven’s State Park

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



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SOUTHWEST ZONE: FISHING

Weekend fishing opportunities

  • Several area lakes (too numerous to mention!) were stocked with trout last week in anticipation of spring break.
  • Recent rains are giving winter steelhead anglers one last hurrah before the season closes on rivers like the Applegate, Chetco, Sixes and Illinois.
  • Spring Chinook have been caught in the lower Rogue and recent rains should bring more fish into the river.
  • Steelhead fishing is getting better on the middle Rogue, and anglers on the upper river were catching a few fish per boat.

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 and trout fishing has been fair. Anglers have reported good catches where the creeks enter the reservoir. Boat anglers can launch at the French Gulch low water ramp.

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

APPLEGATE RIVER: rainbow and cutthroat trout, winter steelhead

The Applegate River 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 has decreased to 150 cfs but there are good numbers of hatchery and wild fish spread throughout the system and anglers have reported fair to good success over the last week. Fishing has been good from the Rogue up to dam. The Applegate will close to all fishing on March 31 so now is the time to get out there and catch some steelhead.

ARIZONA POND: rainbow trout

A mix of legal-size and trophy trout were stocked last week. This pond is managed by Oregon State Parks as a youth only fishing.and is located at Arizona Beach State Recreation Area; approximately halfway between Gold Beach and Port Orford.

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

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

CHETCO RIVER: steelhead

Rain this week will give anglers one more chance for good fishing conditions before the season is over at the end of the March. Most fish are spawned out, but a few late steelhead will be around.

Chetco River flows near Brookings

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

Cooper Creek was stocked with about 2,000 trout last week, plus 400 legals and about 100 one-pound trout earlier this year. It’s scheduled to be stocked again before spring break.

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,

Trophy trout were stocked last week in Bradley Lake and Johnson Mill Pond. Legal-size and trophy trout were also stocked last week in Empire Lakes. Legal size trout were stocked in the past month in Bradley Lake, Saunders Lake, Powers Pond, Mingus Park Pond, and Johnson Mill Pond. Trout are biting on bait fished near the bottom or lures like spinners or spoons. 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 fishing is open until April 30 in the Coos Basin although many anglers have put away their steelhead gear for the season. River levels have been low but there are still a few steelhead around. 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 has been good for rockfish inside lower Coos Bay around the jetties. The marine fish daily bag limit (which includes fishing in estuaries) is 7 fish and a separate daily limit for lingcod (two). Anglers will be able to keep only 3 blue rockfish and 1 canary rockfish as part of their daily limit and there will be no harvest of China, quillback or copper rockfish.

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

Anglers have been catching surf smelt using herring jigs on the docks in Charleston. Fishing has been best near high tide.

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

COQUILLE RIVER BASIN: steelhead

Steelhead fishing is open in the Coquille Basin until April 30. River levels have been low but there are still a few steelhead around. 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. Anglers have been catching fish in the 12-15 inch range. The water is still very cold so the fish are biting lightly.

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. 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

Emigrant was stocked with 3,500 legal-sized trout last week. However, the water is still a little turbid from recent rain. Fishing for trout should be good and warm water angling should begin picking up soon. The water level in the reservoir is at 75 percent.

EXPO POND: trout

Expo Pond was stocked with 1,500 legals three weeks ago 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

Fish Lake is ice free and fishing should pick up as the weather warms.

FLORAS LAKE: rainbow, cutthroat trout

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

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

GALESVILLE RESERVIOR: rainbow trout, bass

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

By early April, Galesville should be stocked with about 6,000 trout. Anglers are reminded all bass between 12 and 15-inches must be released, and only one bass over 15-inches may be taken per day. The reservoir is currently low. Call 541-837-3302 for information on camping and boat launching conditions.

GARRISON LAKE: rainbow trout, cutthroat

Warmer weather this week should put the trout on the bite. Good numbers of trophy and legal-size trout are spread throughout the lake. Access for bank anglers is best at the 12th Street boat ramp, Arizona Street, or along the foredune accessed through Tseriadun State Park. Garrison Lake is located in the middle of Port Orford. Boat anglers are reminded to clean all aquatic vegetation off their boats and trailers before heading home to help control the spread non-native plants and animals.

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

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

ILLINOIS RIVER: trout, steelhead

The Illinois River is 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. Flows are up and that has increased winter steelhead movement in the Illinois. Conditions will be good all week for those interested in steelhead fishing. The Illinois will close to all fishing on March 31 so now is the time to get out there.

Illinois River flows at Kerby

LAKE MARIE: rainbow trout

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

LAKE SELMAC: trout, largemouth bass, bluegill, crappie

Selmac was stocked with 5,000 legal-sized fish this week and was stocked with 5,000 legal-sized fish over one month ago. Those fish coupled with releases last fall mean that good numbers of rainbow trout are available for anglers at Lake Selmac.

LEMOLO RESERVOIR: Closed for fishing until April 1

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

LOON LAKE: rainbow trout, bass, bluegill

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

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

LOST CREEK RESERVOIR: rainbow trout, spring Chinook, bass

Lost Creek offers very good winter trout fishing. Water clarity remains good near the dam and the main body of the reservoir. Lost Creek was stocked with 25,000 legal-sized trout last week but be mindful of all the floating debris that has accumulated over the over the winter.

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, salmon, 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.

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

Fishing for lingcod has been very good in the Coos Bay and Bandon areas. Anglers are catching lingcod in shallow and deep water. Fishing for black rockfish has been decent. The all depth rockfish season ends on March 31. Fishing for rockfish and lingcod is open to all depths until the end of March. The marine fish daily bag limit is seven fish and a separate daily limit for lingcod (two). Anglers can only keep 3 blue rockfish and 1 canary rockfish as part of their daily limit and there will be no harvest of China, quillback, or copper rockfish. Retention of cabezon is not allowed Jan. 1 – June 30.

To help anglers identify common species and comply with the regulations, ODFW has produced several sheets of ID Tips for blue vs. black rockfish and for China, copper and quillback rockfish, as well as a handout titled “What Can I Keep, and How Many?” 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 1,500 trout last week and should receive more before spring break. The water level in the reservoir may still be low.

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

REINHARDT POND: trout

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

ROGUE RIVER

Rogue River, lower: winter steelhead, spring chinook

Most anglers have turned their attention to spring chinook. Boat anglers picked up a few more springers over the weekend, but bank anglers are having a tougher time due to the lower flows. It is still early in the run, but everyday should bring new fish into the river.

Rogue River, middle: steelhead, trout

We are approaching peak winter steelhead fishing in the Grants Pass area and reports indicate a lot of fresh fish have moved up into this area. Drift boats and bank anglers reported success. Fish are reportedly spread throughout the area in good numbers and fishing has gotten better this week. The water temperature was 49°F, with a flow of 2,070 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 is at 800 cfs. Fish are now spread throughout the upper Rogue in good numbers. Reports indicate a few fish per boat over the last week with a mix of wild and hatchery fish caught. Bank anglers have reportedly done well from Casey Park to the hatchery. The flow at Gold Ray was 2,300 cfs on Tuesday. The temperature was 48°F on Tuesday. As of March 18, a total of 3,530 summer steelhead have entered Cole Rivers Hatchery, with 8 new for the week. A total of 1,048 winter steelhead have been collected with 560 new for the week. This is by far the highest total for winter steelhead at this date (compared to the last ten years), with many more expected so now is the time to fish the upper Rogue.

Rogue River, above Lost Creek Reservoir: trout

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

SIXES RIVER: steelhead

Slow, but conditions are good for the last weekend of the winter steelhead season.

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,

Steelhead fishing is open in the Tenmile Basin until April 30. 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 several largemouth bass in Tenmile Lakes. Bass can be found this time of the year in shallow water near structure like logs or weed lines.

TOKETEE LAKE: brown trout, rainbow trout

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

UMPQUA HIGH LAKES AND FOREBAYS: trout

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

UMPQUA RIVER, MAINSTEM: steelhead, spring chinook

The mainstem Umpqua is closed to wild steelhead harvest, but remains open year-round for adipose fin-clipped steelhead. This fishery is primarily catch-and-release since the number of hatchery fish is relatively low compared to the number of wild fish. Plunkers should have some success throughout the season following rain events that cause the steelhead to hug the shoreline. The river rose to about 5.5 feet with the rain this past weekend, but it will be dropping steadily. However, it should get the springers moving. Spring chinook have now been caught on the Umpqua. Low water conditions makes some boating access difficult.

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

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

UMPQUA RIVER, NORTH: steelhead

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.

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

North Umpqua River water levels at Winchester Dam

UMPQUA RIVER, SOUTH: steelhead

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

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

Willow Lake was stocked with 4,500 legal-sized trout last week in time for spring break. Willow Lake is 100 percent full.

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

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:

GAME:

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

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

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

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:

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

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

Scouting

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

BEAR season is just around the corner April 1. All spring bear tags are sold out. Typically spring bear hunting improves as the season goes along. Boars are usually first to show and sows show later. This is what usually occurs when we have a normal winter season. This year may be a bit different with very little winter and warm sunny days. Bear activity may occur earlier. Bear number continue to be high. When bears are out they will be feeding in grassy openings. Focus on south facing hill sides in the early mornings and evenings. Good spots to check are skid roads and side roads that are untraveled with lots of grassy margins and bear sign. Remember successful bear hunters need to checking-in an unfrozen skull; otherwise tooth collection, measurement and tagging is difficult. Biologists recommend propping the bear’s mouth open with a stick after harvest; it makes for easier tooth collection and measuring.

Shed Antlers

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

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

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

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

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

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

EVENTS

Migratory Bird Festivals: Look for migratory bird festivals throughout the state in April and May. The Umpqua Valley bird day is at the Douglas County Fairgrounds (exit 123 on I-5) on Saturday April 18, 2015 at the Earth Day Celebration. Admission is free.

Turkey Vultures

Vultures can be seen soaring high in the sky looking for food or on the ground eating dead animals. Look for them early mornings perched in a tree sunning themselves with their wings spread warming up.

Songbirds

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

Hummingbirds

Our summer hummers are here so hang up your feeders. 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.

Fish Spawning

Each year there is a chance to observe wild Winter Steelhead spawning just below and just above Soda Springs dam on the N. Umpqua River 55 miles east of Roseburg.

Shed Antlers

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


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WILLAMETTE ZONE: FISHING

Weekend fishing opportunities:

  • Anglers are starting to pick up spring Chinook in the Multnomah Channel.
  • The following Willamette Valley ponds and lakes are scheduled to receive rainbow trout this week:Benson Lake, Bethany Pond, Blue Lake, Canby Pond, Commonwealth Lake, Dorman Pond, Henry Hagg Lake, Progress Lake, St. Louis Pond, Trojan Ponds, Alton Baker Canoe Canal, Cottage Grove Pond, Dexter Reservoir, EE Wilson Pond, Foster Reservoir, Freeway Lake/East, Timber Linn Pond, Walling Pond, Walter Wirth Lake, Waverly Lake.
  • Winter steelhead fishing continues on the North Fork Santiam, Sandy and Clackamas rivers.
  • Catch-and-release sturgeon fishery continues to provide some steady action in the Willamette River, with the St. Johns area and Milwaukie offering the best chance for success.

Send us your fishing report

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

2015 trout stocking

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

Check out the new trout stocking map

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

ALTON BAKER CANOE CANAL: trout

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

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

The Canal is open to angling all year.

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

Stocked the week of March 23 with 2,000 legal-sized rainbow trout.

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

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

Stocked the week of March 23 with 1,000 legal-sized rainbow trout.

This is a 10-acre pond located at Bethany west of Portland. The pond is maintained by Tualatin Hills Park and Rec. Amenities include picnic tables, restrooms, and a paved, ADA accessible trail.

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

Stocked the week of March 23 with 1,500 legal-sized rainbow trout. This is a 64-acre lake located in Blue Lake Park 3 miles west of Troutdale. This family-friendly park as picnic areas, restrooms, walking trail, and ramp for small boats. Park is maintained by Multnomah County.

BLUE RIVER: trout, steelhead

Blue River is located east of Eugene near the town of Blue River, north of Highway 126 and 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. The reservoir will not be stocked this month as scheduled due to low water levels.

BREITENBUSH RIVER: trout

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

CANBY POND: rainbow trout

Stocked the week of March 23 with 375 legal- and larger-sized rainbow trout. It was also stocked with 100 3-pound trout on March 6, and some of those fish should still be available.

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

Clackamas River flows are actually holding up well despite the recent rainfall. Although the slightly higher flows have improved boat access, it hasn’t translated into greatly improved winter steelhead catch with reports indicating fishing at poor to fair. It’s still early to begin chasing after spring Chinook.

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

Tuesday, March 24 hydrological data shows river flows at 2,950 cfs, a gauge reading of 12.67 ft., and the water temperature steady near 47°. All of the readings come from the Estacada gauge near McIver Park.

CLEAR LAKE: trout

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

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

COMMONWEALTH LAKE: trout, bass, bluegill, crappie

Stocked the week of March 23 with 1,500 legal-sized rainbow trout.

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

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

Cottage Grove Pond in the Row River Nature Park will be stocked this week 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 stocked earlier in March with 4,500 rainbow trout.  The reservoir is south of Cottage Grove and is open to fishing all year.

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

CRESWELL POND (GARDEN LAKE): trout, warmwater species

Garden Lake (Creswell Pond) was stocked in early March with 1,750 rainbow trout, a week earlier than previously scheduled. 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. Its first stocking is scheduled for April. In the meantime, there are plenty of holdover trout from last year as well as kokanee, mostly in the 10-13 inch range. Currently the reservoir is about 78 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 will be stocked this week with 2,900 rainbow trout. Boat and bank access is available from state and county parks. Parking and bank access are also available from the causeway near Lowell. The reservoir near Lowell is visible from Highway 58

DORENA RESERVOIR: trout, warmwater

Dorena Reservoir was stocked in early March with 6,000 rainbow trout. This stocking was a week earlier than first planned. The reservoir is east of Cottage Grove on Row River Road and is open to angling all year. Trout and warmwater fish are available.

DORMAN POND: trout

Stocked the week of March 23 with 1,500 legal-sized rainbow trout. This is an eight-acre pond west of Forest Grove at the junction of Hwy. 8 and Hwy. 6.

EAGLE CREEK: winter steelhead

Eagle Creek looks to be in great fishing shape but the winter steelhead run is about over on the creek. The effort has been very light and catch has been slow. The hatchery completed spawning of returning adult winters several weeks ago. 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

The scheduled stocking for this week will be postponed because of problems with dissolved oxygen. There was a small die-off last week and dissolved oxygen levels were low. It appears to be rebounding however, as the fish that survived appear to be fine. This pond is located at EE Wilson Wildlife Area, about a ¼ mile hike from the main parking lot. A Wildlife Area parking permit is required. A valid wildlife area parking permit is required.

ESTACADA LAKE: trout

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

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

This 9,000 acre lake just 12 miles west of Eugene is the Willamette Basin’s largest water body. This reservoir is 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. It will be stocked for the first time this week with 4,000 legal size rainbow trout. Water level is still 27 feet below full pool so only Sunnyside Park boat ramp is available at this time.

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

FREEWAY LAKE, EAST: trout

It will be stocked again this week with 800 legal and 100 larger-sized rainbow trout. This water-body actually consists of three interconnected ponds and features some good size bass and crappie. A boat ramp is available at East Freeway Lake, and there is good bank access around Middle Freeway Lake. To get there, take the State Police exit in Albany and follow the frontage road south (3 Lakes Road) for several miles.

GREEN PETER RESERVOIR: kokanee, trout, bass

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

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. Water releases below the reservoir are being reduced to fill the reservoir more quickly. The lack of rain and snow pack, however, might not bring the reservoir to full pool by the beginning of summer.

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

Stocked the week of March 23 with 6,000 legal-sized rainbow trout.

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

HILLS CREEK RESERVOIR: trout, warmwater fish

This reservoir 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. Trout and salmon must be adipose-fin clipped. Warmwater fish are also available for harvest.

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

Stocked the week of March 9 with 500 legal- and larger-sized rainbow trout. 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

Stocked this week with 2,100 legal- and larger-sized rainbow trout. Junction City is a popular stocked trout fishing pond located about 2 miles south of Junction City on 99W on the west side of the highway. There is excellent access around the entire 8-acre pond. It was stocked on March 10 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.

MOLALLA RIVER: winter steelhead

The Molalla River is in great shape for fishing and with over 3,000 winter steelhead passing Willamette Falls there could be a few in the Molalla to be hooked. Once we begin to see decent numbers of springers passing at the falls there should be Chinook in the Molalla also.

Hydrological data for Tuesday, March 24 shows flows at 1,800 cfs and a gauge reading of 13.19 ft. These measurements come from a station near Canby.

MT HOOD POND: trout, crappie, bluegill

Stocked the week of March 9 with 1,000 rainbow trout.

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

PROGRESS LAKE: trout, brown bullhead

Stocked the week of March 23 with 1,000 legal-sized rainbow trout.

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

ROARING RIVER PARK POND: trout

This is a small one acre pond in Roaring River County Park near ODFW’s Roaring River fish hatchery. To get there, drive highway 226 east out of Albany and turn right onto Fish Hatchery Road and continue for about 7 miles. Park is on the right. It was stocked March 10 with 160 legal and 20 larger size rainbow trout.

SALMON CREEK: trout

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

SALT CREEK: trout

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

SANDY RIVER: winter steelhead

The catch for winter steelhead on the Sandy has held up fairly well despite ever changing conditions. The low snow levels of early this week have helped to keep the river clear but rising temperatures could melt the snow quickly and increase Sandy River turbidity. The best areas for catching winters are still near Cedar Creek and Revenue.

Hydrological data for the Sandy River on March 24 shows flows at 3,300 cfs, a gauge reading of 10.41ft. and the water temperature near 44°.

SANTIAM RIVER (NORTH FORK): steelhead, Chinook

River conditions are very good at the moment and should remain so for the next week. Steelhead are entering the basin in good numbers. Over 427 winter steelhead as well as the first summer steelhead have navigated Upper Bennett dam as of March 21. Best bets for these fish are in the lower river, from Green’s Bridge down to Jefferson, along the mainstem around the I5 Rest Stop boat ramp, and from Mehama down to Stayton.

More fish are on the way. Counts at Willamette Falls stand at 74 summer steelhead, 30 spring Chinook, and 3,204 winter steelhead as of March 19.

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

River levels best for fishing are below 3,000 cfs at the Mehama gauge (currently the gauge is around 2,500 cfs as of Mar. 23). Current conditions

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

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

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

SANTIAM RIVER (NORTH FORK) above DETROIT:

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

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

Flows in the South Santiam below Foster dam have increased to 1,400 cfs at Waterloo as of March 23. Water releases out of Green Peter reservoir are being reduced for the next few weeks to ensure adequate filling before the summer, which should make for excellent fishing conditions in the interim below Foster dam. New summer steelhead and spring Chinook have begun to arrive at Willamette Falls but it will take a few weeks before they arrive in the basin. Winter steelhead are in the basin now and can be found throughout the river. So far, 32 winter steelhead and three summer steelhead have entered the trap below Foster. Best sections to fish are from Wiley Creek to Pleasant Valley boat ramps, around Waterloo County Park, and from Lebanon down to the confluence with the North Santiam.

Closed to trout fishing until May 23, 2015.

SHERIDAN POND: trout

Stocked the week of March 9 with 500 legal- and larger-sized rainbow trout.

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

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

Stocked with 1,000 rainbow trout the week of March 23.

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 March 6 with 200 large rainbow trout averaging 3 pounds each. It will be stocked again this week with 400 legal and 50 larger rainbow trout. Please keep in mind that only one fish over 20-inches may be taken per day. Timber-Linn Lake can be reached by turning east off I-5 onto the Santiam Highway (Hwy. 20), then immediately turning north onto Price Road and proceeding to the park entrance.

TRAIL BRIDGE RESERVOIR: trout

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

TROJAN PONDS: trout

Stocked the week of March 23 with 3,000 legal-sized rainbow trout.

This is a 15-acre pond just east of Rainier on the north side of Hwy. 30 at the Trojan nuclear facility. The pond is located on the right side of the road as soon as you turn onto the Trojan Access Road.

WALLING POND: trout, crappie, bass

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

WALTER WIRTH LAKE: trout, crappie, bass

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

WAVERLY POND: trout, bluegill, catfish

Waverly Pond is located in Albany and is regularly stocked in fall, winter and spring. It will be stocked this week with 750 legal and 50 larger size rainbow. 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

Springer fishing in the lower Willamette is still a bit slow as the water clarity gradually improves. Most of last week and over the weekend visibility was hovering at or below one foot. Improvement began early this week and there were a few more fish caught from the Multnomah Channel up to Oregon City. Catch rates should improve heading into late March and early April as the heart of springer season gets underway.

Daily counts at the Willamette Falls fish ladder continue, with the total passage for winter steelhead through March 23 standing at 3,306. As of the March 23 a total of 54 spring Chinook have passed through the ladder.

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

Hydrological numbers for the Willamette on March 24 show flows at 18,000 cfs, a water temperature in Oregon City near 52°, and visibility decent near 3.5 ft.


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WILLAMETTE ZONE: HUNTING

OPEN: COUGAR, COYOTE

EVENTS:

CANCELLED: The March 29 Controlled Hunt 101 Seminar at Cabela’s Tualatin has been cancelled.

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

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

Upcoming Hunting Seasons

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. Hone your turkey calling skills by listening to the sounds of live wild turkeys.

Spring BEAR season is approaching for those hunters who drew a controlled spring bear tag. Tags were allocated through the controlled spring hunt drawing for all hunts except SW Oregon, which is a limited first-come, first-served hunt and is now sold out. Hunters are reminded to check the 2015 Big Game Regulations for their exact hunt boundaries, season dates and requirements for checking in their bear. Get outdoors and do some pre-season scouting to learn new areas and develop your hunt plan. Skunk cabbage and green grasses are preferred forage items for bears in spring. Early in the season hunters will want to target coastal areas or low elevation riparian areas. Please review the 2015 Big Game Hunting Regulations before your hunting trip to ensure that you are familiar with all of the requirements.

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.

FURBEARER trapping and hunting seasons for bobcat and river otter are now closed. Muskrat and mink are currently open. See page 5 of the Oregon Furbearer Trapping and Hunting Regulations (July 1, 2014 through June 30, 2016).

Hunter orange required for youth

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

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

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

BE PREPARED

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


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WILLAMETTE ZONE: WILDLIFE VIEWING

Valleywide

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

Most of the Sauvie Island Wildlife Area is closed until April 15 to protect wintering waterfowl. Despite the seasonal closure sensitive nesting areas, waterfowl viewing is phenomenal on the wildlife area at designated viewing areas, which remain open. 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. Sandhill cranes are also abundant on the wildlife area this time of year.

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

  • The southern portion of Cascade Lakes Highway will open May 18, 2.5 months ahead of the normal opening. It will allow vehicle access to Elk Lake, Little Lava Lake, and more importantly, Hosmer Lake. All these lakes are open to fishing all yea. While they haven’t been stocked yet in 2015, there is opportunity for holdover trout from last year.

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

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

Anglers are reminded that steelhead 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.

ELK LAKE: brook trout, kokanee, cutthroat trout

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

More information

FALL RIVER: rainbow trout

Anglers report fair fishing. 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:

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

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

Anglers report fair fishing with reports of good sized trout being caught. The southern portion of Cascade Lakes Highway is open up to Elk Lake. More information

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

Lake stocked with rainbow trout last week. Open to fishing all year.

OCHOCO CREEK UPSTREAM TO OCHOCO DAM: rainbow trout

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

OCHOCO RESERVOIR: rainbow trout, black crappie, smallmouth bass

Fishing has been good for trout that average 14 to 16 inches. The 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

EVENT: Youth turkey hunting clinic, April 4, White River Wildlife Area. Learn turkey calling, turkey hunting techniques, shotgun shooting and patterning at this workshop sponsored by ODFW and Oregon Hunters Association. For youth age 8-17; spaces limited. The workshop is from 8:45 a.m.-4 p.m. and the $10 cost includes lunch. Youth must be accompanied by an adult (who can purchase lunch for $5). Register online at ODFW license sales page or see the ODFW Calendar for more information.

Wolves and coyotes can look alike

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

Use the Oregon Hunting Map to see where to hunt.

PRINEVILLE/OCHOCO WILDLIFE DISTRICT

Spring turkey season 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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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SOUTHEAST ZONE: FISHING

Weekend fishing opportunities

  • Trout fishing on the Blitzen River around Page Springs has been good.
  • Anglers report good fishing at Mann Lake with fish averaging 18 to 22-inches.
  • New for 2015, several small creeks in the Klamath district will allow the use of bait when they open on April 25. Check the 2015 Sport Fishing Regulations and the updates below to learn more.

If your favorite fishing spot is no longer listed

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

Send us your fishing report

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

ANA RESERVOIR: hatchery rainbow trout, hybrid bass

The reservoir is high and launching boats is possible. Hybrid bass are traditionally targeted using crank baits, however they 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: 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.

Tui chub and pit roach are abundant in the river therefore casting large flies or lures can be effective for catching larger fish. The roads paralleling the river are likely very muddy. Anglers can park at Ana Reservoir and hike down or park at the lower road crossing and hike up.

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

ANNIE CREEK: brook trout, brown trout and rainbow trout

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

BALM CREEK RESERVOIR: rainbow trout, smallmouth bass, crappie

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

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

No recent fishing reports. The reservoir water level is low but one boat ramp is useable based on the Bureau of Reclamation website. Recent warm weather should have melted the ice and opened up access 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 70 to 85 cfs with water temperatures around 8oC. Recent precipitation in the Steens Mountain area has caused the river to rise and become slightly murky.

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 still closed for the winter, which limits access to the upper portions of the Blitzen.

BLUE LAKE: hatchery rainbow trout

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

Fish were sampled by net and hook and line sampling. 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 but the boat ramp is useable based on the Bureau of Reclamation website. Recent warmer weather should have melted the ice and opened up access for bank fishing.

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 and into the spring.

BURNT RIVER: rainbow trout

Closed to fishing until April 25, 2015.

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

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

CAMPBELL LAKE: brook trout, rainbow trout

Access could be blocked by snow.

CAMPBELL RESERVOIR: redband trout, largemouth bass, crappie

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

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 but the boat ramp may be useable. The bottom portion of the boat ramp is submerged in water but use caution when launching here during low water as unforeseen obstacles may be present. The reservoir is free of ice but the water is murky from recent winds.

COTTONWOOD MEADOWS: rainbow trout, brook trout

The reservoir is nearly accessible as you can get to the camp host spot just above the lake. Access to the reservoir by vehicle should occur in the next few weeks. Fishing should be good if you hike in and fish from shore.

COTTONWOOD RESERVOIR (Harney County): rainbow trout

No recent fishing reports. The reservoir is expected to be ice free following the recent warmer weather.

COTTONWOOD RESERVOIR (Lake County): native redband trout

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

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

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

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

DEADHORSE LAKE: rainbow trout

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

DELINTMENT LAKE: trout

No recent fishing reports. Reports indicate that the lake is clearing of ice and that bank fishing is available.

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

The road into Fourmile is no longer blocked by snow but might be closed to motor vehicles by the USFS. Call the USFS for more information at 541-883-6714.
Anglers can call Lake of the Woods Resort for more information. The lake is 45 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.

HAINES POND: rainbow

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

HEART LAKE: rainbow trout, kokanee

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

HOLBROOK RESERVOIR: rainbow trout

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

HWY 203 POND: trout, bass, bluegill

The pond is now ice-free.

Scheduled to be stocked with trout for the first time this spring during the second full week of April.

JACKSON CREEK (UPPER WILLIAMSON RIVER): brook trout

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

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

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

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

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

The lakes have cleared with 2 to 3 feet of visibility. Fishing is fair from both boat (trolling) and bank (minnows or worms). Fishing is generally slow with catch rates averaging 7 hours per redband from boat and 30 hours per redband from the shore. The lake is 1 feet below full pool. Water temperature has increased to 50 degrees and will continue to increase at the end of the week. Fishing should improve with the continuing stable, warmer weather and a reduction in turbidity near the end of the week. 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 one of the only options for fishing in rivers in the early spring in the Klamath Area. The current flow is 1010 cfs. Water temperatures are averaging around 50 degrees. Flows are a little high 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. Flows below the powerhouse will typically be high during all daylight hours. Flow release estimates have been discontinued until next spring. Check out the USGS website for flow information. Fishing will be slow due to high flows.

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

KRUMBO RESERVOIR: trout, bass

A recent change in Malheur National Wildlife Refuge policy has allowed year-round fishing at this reservoir. However, no ice-fishing is allowed. The 2015 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 is 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.

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 0.02 cfs as of March 16 and the reservoir is near dead-pool but may be coming up with the recent snowmelt and rain/snow. 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: cutthroat trout

Anglers have reported fair to good fishing on Mann Lake recently with fish taking nymphs and spinners. Most fish are 18 inches long, with some trout over 20-inches being caught. Recent high winds may have mixed the lake, resulting in murky colored water.

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

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

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

NORTH POWDER POND: rainbow trout

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

OVERTON RESERVOIR: rainbow trout

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

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

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 16. 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 38 percent of capacity. The reservoir is now ice-free. Yellow perch are spawning in the shallows.

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

PILCHER RESERVOIR: trout

The reservoir closed to fishing until April 25, 2015.

Piute Reservoir: hatchery rainbow trout and lahontan cutthroat

The reservoir is nearly dry.

POISON CREEK RESERVOIR: hatchery rainbow trout

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

POLE CREEK RESERVOIR: hatchery rainbow trout

The reservoir is clear of ice but fishing has been 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 once water returns -- likely in 2016.

SAND AND SCOTT CREEKS: brook trout and brown trout

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

SEVENMILE CREEK: brook trout, brown trout, redband trout

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

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

Access is blocked by snow.

SHERLOCK GULCH RESERVOIR: 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 redband trout is still high with over 80 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. Bait will be allowed in the South Fork of the Sycan River this year. The mainstem Sycan River is still restricted to flies and lures only.

THOMPSON RESERVOIR: rainbow trout, largemouth bass

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

THIEF VALLEY RESERVOIR: trout

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

Stocking plans for spring 2015 will be dependent on water supply.

UNITY RESERVOIR: trout, bass, crappie

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

VEE LAKE: rainbow trout

No recent reports.

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

No recent fishing reports. The reservoir is 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 and fishing is improving for warmwater fish. The reservoir is primarily a bass fishery as other species are either too small or density is low. Typically shore fishing is very slow. The reservoir is always turbid. A boat is recommended but currently launching a boat might be challenging if possible.

WOLF CREEK RESERVOIR: crappie, trout

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

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

Closed to fishing until April 25, 2015.

YELLOWJACKET LAKE: trout

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


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SOUTHEAST ZONE: HUNTING

OPEN: COUGAR

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.

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

KLAMATH COUNTY

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 March 16, 2015.

All game bird hunting seasons are now closed.

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

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

LAKE COUNTY

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

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

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

SUMMER LAKE WILDLIFE AREA

This section was updated on March 23, 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

EVENT: The 34th Annual John Scharff Migratory Bird Festival, April 9-12 2015, Burns

Spend an amazing weekend witnessing the spectacular spring migration in the Harney Basin of Southeast Oregon. View thousands of migratory birds as they rest and feed in the wide open spaces of Oregon's high desert. From waterfowl to shorebirds, cranes to raptors, wading birds to songbirds, you'll see it all!

The festival offers non-stop birding activities as well as historical and cultural information sure to entertain you and your family. So whether you're a beginner or a life-long wildlife enthusiast, the festival has something for everyone. More information can be found online at www.migratorybirdfestival.com

Countywide

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

Shorebird migration is just beginning and should improve over the next few weeks as spring migration progresses. Lesser yellow legs and killdeer are some species that have already arrived.

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

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

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

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

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. 3/24/15.

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 March 23, 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.

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

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 actively nesting at this time. Large numbers of white-fronted, lesser snow geese and ross’s geese are currently using the wildlife area; large flocks can be seen on the areas agricultural fields. Canvasback, scaup, ruddy duck, ring-necked, bufflehead and common and barrows goldeneye along with other diver species can be seen in the deeper ponds/canals and Klamath River. Many different dabbler species can now be found on the area. Some of the more common species included mallard, northern pintail, northern shoveler, cinnamon teal, wigeon and gadwall. Dabbler species area spread uniformly across the entire area. American coot abundance on the wildlife area continues to be very high and they can be found throughout the area.

Shorebirds, waders and other waterbirds

Ring-billed gulls are still observed on the area. Sandhill cranes can be observed scattered across the area and their very audible calls are becoming quite common. Killdeer, common snipe, yellow legs, and black-necked stilts are becoming an increasingly common site on the area. American white pelican and double-crested cormorant were observed using the area over the previous weeks. Western and pied-billed grebes are also being observed on a more regular basis. Shorebirds and waders can usually be found in several of the area’s units that have receding water levels, while grebes, cormorants and pelicans can be found using the river or on the areas deeper ponds and canals.

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 are still good, and several can usually be found near large flocks of white geese.

Upland Game Birds

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

Passerines

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

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

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

LAKE COUNTY

Spring migration continues and there are new species of birds arriving almost daily. Waterfowl are abundant anywhere there is shallow flooded fields and eagle numbers have increased along with the waterfowl. The spring passerine migration appears to be early this year. Shore bird numbers are expected to be low because all of the major closed basin lakes were dry last year and have limited water this spring.

With spring green-up conditions bighorn sheep are using the lower slopes of Fish Creek Rim, north of Adel; and Abert Rim along Highway 395 north of Lakeview.

Summer Lake Wildlife Area

This section was updated on March 23, 2015.

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

CALENDAR YEAR 2015 PARKING PERMITS ARE NOW REQUIRED.

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

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

Waterfowl

Waterfowl populations continue to remain strong as spring migration continues. A count was conducted on March 18 last week; migrant waterfowl numbers remain strong although some species departed the area over the past week. Ducks were widely scattered across the entire wildlife area, and were especially numerous in seasonally and intermittently flooded wetland areas. Of the nearly 21,000 ducks counted, northern pintail (2,600), ruddy duck (1,400), gadwall (1,200), northern shoveler (1,100) and canvasback (about 1,000) were most numerous.

Lesser snow goose numbers remain very good; over 19,000 were noted during the weekly count as well as 1,300 greater white-fronted geese. Several blue morph snow geese have been observed recently. Swan numbers (about 150) declined dramatically as this arctic nesting species continues to migrate northward to other parts of the Pacific Flyway during this period of unseasonably mild weather conditions. Viewers will find swan and arctic nesting goose (snow and white-fronted) numbers decreasing over the next several weeks.

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

Shorebirds, waders and other waterbirds

Shorebird numbers still remain at their low wintering levels; although a few early migrants such as killdeer have been observed scattered across the area and are increasing in number. The first of spring observation of long-billed curlew occurred on March 21st. Other migrant and breeding species should be arriving soon.

American coots remain fairly numerous, over 3,700 were observed during the weekly count. Virginia rails can be seen or heard, especially along Ana River.
Greater sandhill cranes are increasing, nearly 100 individuals were observed, and pairs can be found on nesting territories scattered widely across the entire area. Territorial calling is very common during the early morning hours.

Grebes remain at low number now, but a few species are beginning to return. American bittern and great blue herons can still be found. Spring arrival of double-crested cormorant occurred early last week.

Raptors and others

Wintering raptors are beginning to decline, but a few migrant red-tailed hawks, bald eagles and rough-legged hawk can still be found scattered throughout the Wildlife Area as well as on private lands along Hwy 31. Northern harriers are beginning their aerial courtship displays. Last week, a ferruginous hawk was observed again and turkey vultures are increasing in number.

Viewers can expect eagle numbers (especially bald) to drop when migrant waterfowl numbers decline as spring migration continues. Sick and weak waterfowl are favored food sources for bald eagles, as their food source departs so do they.

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 nesting is underway now. Common barn owls are sometimes observed around Headquarters. Short-eared owls continue to be observed, especially at dusk. Last week, a long-eared owl was observed roosting in the Turner Place tree and shrub plot.

Upland game birds

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

Passerines

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

American and lesser goldfinches and pine siskins continue to be observed in good numbers at Headquarters. Song sparrows are very common along dikes and levees. The Harris’ sparrow has returned, and over the past week several spotted towhees, mourning dove, brown-creeper, white-crowned sparrow, mountain and western bluebirds and a slate-colored junco were observed.

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

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

Blackbird numbers are increasing at this time; many are beginning to disperse into wetland breeding areas. Over the past weekend, the season’s first yellow-headed blackbird was observed, and heard singing on a bright, sunny day.

Facilities and Access

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

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

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

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

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

Habitat

Currently most of the wildlife area’s wetlands are open and ice-free due to the recent unseasonably mild temperatures. Shallowly flooded pond margins are seeing considerable waterbird use. Warm (mid-50’s to low 60’s) daytime temperatures have resulted in a heavy midge hatch and many species of birds are actively feeding on this very important food source.

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 remains snow free at this time and green-up is well underway. Planted tree and shrub plots are providing excellent sheltered sites and food resources 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 season on the Wallowa River is in full swing and fishing is good.
  • 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.

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

Flows have come up on the Granded Ronde but the river will still fish. Most anglers have moved to the Wallowa R. leaving lots of room to fish and there are still plenty of fish available. 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

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

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

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

JOHN DAY RIVER: steelhead

River flow levels are just right and steelhead are biting on jigs, flies and bait. 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 has no ice cover. The first spring stocking of rainbow trout is scheduled for the first full week of April.

ROULET POND: rainbow trout

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

ROWE CREEK RESERVOIR: rainbow trout

Remains open all year. 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 multiples. 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. 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 will close to all angling after April 15, 2015. The river will reopen for trout and whitefish on May 23, 2015.

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

OOPEN: 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.

The warm and dry winter has left much more county snow free that usual. Green up has also begun to appear in the lower elevations. The mild weather may also have BEARS out and more active in the early part of the season.

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

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

GRANT COUNTY

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

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

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

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

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

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

MORROW, GILLIAM AND WHEELER COUNTIES

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

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

UMATILLA COUNTY

Bears will be distributed in forested stringer areas throughout the mid elevations. Low to mid elevation forest roads are accessible from numerous access points throughout the county, thus providing an earlier opportunity for 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)

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

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

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

Cougar 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.

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). Elk use at the feed site has been sporadic with the warm weather. From the overlook on Auburn Road, a few elk may be seen; again, the warm weather conditions have made elk viewing less dependable. It is on the south side of Old Auburn Road, which branches off Highway 7 about six miles south of Baker City. 3/17/15.

GRANT COUNTY

P.W. Schneider Wildlife Area

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

Countywide

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

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

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

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

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

MORROW, GILLIAM and WHEELER COUNTIES

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

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

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

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

UMATILLA COUNTY

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

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

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

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

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

WALLOWA COUNTY

Spring is a good time to find raptors in Wallowa County, and many of them are pairing up and preparing nest structures for the breeding season now. Particularly common are red-tailed hawks, with many rough-legged hawks also present. Many migrating bald eagles are still in the area. Look for them around the agricultural fields as they are primarily feeding on ground squirrels and after-birth from cattle calving operations at this time.

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

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

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

Other migrants have begun to move into the area including 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. 3/24/15.


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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 plenty of good-sized steelhead. 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:

  • Spring Chinook fishing is open from Buoy 10 to Beacon Rock, plus the banks only from Beacon Rock to Bonneville Dam.
  • Spring Chinook fishing is open from Tower Island powerlines upstream to the Oregon/Washington border above McNary Dam, plus the banks between Bonneville and Tower Island powerlines.
  • Effective Jan. 1, 2015 sturgeon retention is open in The Dalles Pool until the respective guideline of 100 legal white sturgeon is met.
  • Effective Jan. 1, 2015 sturgeon retention is open in the John Day Pool until the respective guideline of 500 legal white sturgeon is met.
  • White sturgeon retention is closed from Buoy 10 upstream to The Dalles Dam, but remains an option for catch and release fishing.
  • 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

Effort is increasing, but salmonid catch rates are still low in most areas. Boat anglers fishing in the gorge below Beacon Rock averaged 1.0 spring Chinook caught per boat, while anglers fishing in Troutdale averaged 0.07 spring Chinook caught per boat. In the Portland to Westport area, boat anglers averaged 0.13 spring Chinook caught per boat, while anglers fishing in the estuary averaged 0.08 spring Chinook caught per boat. Bank anglers fishing in the gorge averaged 0.2 spring Chinook caught per bank angler, while anglers fishing the Portland to Westport area averaged 0.03 spring Chinook and 0.01 steelhead caught per bank rod. On Saturday’s (3/21) flight, 889 salmonid boats and 423 Oregon bank anglers were counted from the Columbia River Estuary to Bonneville Dam.

Gorge Bank:

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

Gorge Boats (below Beacon Rock):

Weekend checking showed three adipose fin-clipped spring Chinook kept for three boats (10 anglers).

Troutdale Boats:

Weekend checking showed one adipose fin-clipped spring Chinook kept for 14 boats (34 anglers).

Portland to Westport Bank:

Weekend checking showed six adipose fin-clipped spring Chinook and one adipose fin-clipped steelhead kept, plus one unclipped spring Chinook and three unclipped steelhead released for 269 bank anglers.

Portland to Westport Boats:

Weekend checking showed 32 adipose fin-clipped spring Chinook kept, plus five unclipped spring Chinook released for 283 boats (749 anglers).

Estuary Bank (Clatsop Spit to Wauna Powerlines):

Weekend checking showed no catch for 12 bank anglers.

Estuary Boats (Tongue Point to Wauna Powerlines):

Weekend checking showed two adipose fin-clipped spring Chinook kept for 24 boats (46 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 adipose fin-clipped spring Chinook and one adipose fin-clipped steelhead kept for 18 bank anglers.

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

Weekly checking showed no catch for 17 bank anglers; and no catch for one boat (two anglers).

STURGEON

Lower Columbia (below Bonneville Dam):

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

Gorge Bank:

No report.

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

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

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

Weekly checking showed no catch for 10 bank anglers; and one oversize and 17 sublegal sturgeon released for seven boats (17 anglers).

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

Weekly checking showed no catch for 11 bank anglers; and one legal white sturgeon kept, plus three sublegal sturgeon released for nine boats (23 anglers).

WALLEYE

Bonneville Pool:

No report.

The Dalles Pool:

Weekly checking showed no catch for three bank anglers; and 188 walleye kept, plus two walleye released for 27 boats (63 anglers).

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

Weekly checking showed no catch for two bank anglers; and 77 walleye kept, plus 12 walleye released for 35 boats (62 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 for rules and tools to help anglers correctly identify these species.
  • Ocean Chinook salmon fishing is open from Cape Falcon to Humbug Mountain, through April 30. See ODFW’s Ocean Salmon webpage for details.
  • Several surfperch species often move into bays this time of year.

Send us your fishing report

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

Saltwater News Bulletins

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

Marine Reserves and Other Management Designations

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

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

 

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

SALMON

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

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

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

PACIFIC HALIBUT

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

MISC FISHING

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

Herring in Yaquina Bay appear to be done spawning for the season.

One Pacific mackerel was observed over the weekend – this species is usually not seen until later in the year.

BOTTOM FISHING

Rockfish are biting off of Newport and Depoe Bay, and lingcod catches have been fair to good.

REMINDERS: Cabezon is closed through June 30, and the ocean is open to bottom fishing at all depths through the end of March.

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

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

Anglers are urged to avoid canary rockfish (retaining one only if it is injured and caught incidentally while targeting other species such as black rockfish) and to use a descending device for any that are released. Although canary rockfish numbers are increasing, the population is not fully recovered.

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

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

SHELLFISH

Razor clams

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

North coast razor clammers are in luck due to the abundance of clams, but because of a 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.

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

Bay clams

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

Recreational shellfish safety status, as of March 24:

  • Razor clams remain closed from the Oregon/California border north to the south jetty of the Siuslaw River in Florence due to elevated levels of domoic acid. The closure includes razor clams on all beaches, rocks, jetties, and at the entrance to bays in this section of the Oregon Coast. Opportunities to collect razor clams are still available along Oregon beaches north of 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 webpage.

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

Crabs

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

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

MARINE WILDLIFE VIEWING

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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