OREGON DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND WILDLIFE

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Welcome to the ODFW Recreation Report - December 16, 2014

Fishing, Hunting and Wildlife Viewing

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


2015 hunting and fishing licenses now available

Buy them at an ODFW office, a license sales agent or online.

Report big game and turkey tags

Don’t forget to report your hunt results no later than Jan. 31, 2015 for most hunts. Report online or by phone (1-866-947-6339).

Hunters need to complete a report for each deer, elk, cougar, bear, turkey and pronghorn tag purchased (or picked up as part of a Sports Pac)—even if they didn’t hunt or weren’t successful. Deer and elk hunters who don’t report will have to pay a $25 fine to get a 2016 hunting license.

Oregon hunting and shooting map goes mobile

Just click on the interactive www.oregonhuntingmap.com from your mobile device and the new responsive design immediately delivers content optimized for your phone or tablet. The map has all the functionally that made it popular-- the ability to search hunting areas by species and location land ownership, property boundaries and much more.

Opening salvo of winter steelhead season

The first winter steelhead of the season are being caught in coastal and Willamette rivers – look for the fishing to get only better. To help plan your upcoming season, including access and fishing tips, check out the 2014 Annual Fishing Guide.

Ice fishing workshop

Learn how to make the best of snowy, icy conditions at a Jan. 24, 2015 Family Ice Fishing Workshop on Lake of the Woods near Klamath Falls.

Hunting workshops in December and January

See the full list, including a Jan. 17 pheasant hunt in Maupin.

Black bear season winding down

Black bears are scarcer now as bears had into hibernation for the winter. Season closes in western Oregon on Dec. 31.

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NORTHWEST ZONE: FISHING

2014 Coastal coho and fall Chinook seasons

Now available on the ODFW Website.

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 closed to trout fishing on Oct. 31.

NORTH COAST LAKES

Trout stocking is complete for the year. The dock was replaced at Town Lake and the lake is full. An additional 30 hatchery summer steelhead adults were released in the lake last week.

MID COAST LAKES

The wild coho salmon fishery in Siltcoos and Tahkenitch Lakes is slow. Most fish have migrated onto the spawning grounds. It is possible for a small number of new bright fish to be available through season end on Dec. 31.

ALSEA RIVER: Chinook, steelhead

Winter steelhead season is underway with reports of some steelhead being caught from the lower river up to the hatchery. Good numbers of fish typically start returning over the next few weeks.

The fall Chinook run is essentially over for the year as most fish have already spawned. Some coho salmon are still being caught but anglers are reminded that the wild coho fishery ended on Nov. 30.

BIG CREEK, GNAT CREEK, NF KLASKANINE: steelhead

Fishing for winter steelhead is fair to good. Increasing numbers of fish will enter the systems over the next few weeks.

KILCHIS RIVER: Chinook, steelhead

Fall Chinook fishing should be fair with the river dropping and clearing. The lower river will provide the best opportunity for a bright fish. Winter steelhead fishing is improving as more fish arrive. Use lighter gear and smaller offerings as the water drops.

NECANICUM RIVER: steelhead

Winter steelhead fishing should be improving as more fish enter the system. The river will be dropping and clearing, so scale down you presentations to match the conditions. Boaters should use caution as woody debris often shifts around in this stream.

NEHALEM RIVER AND NORTH FORK: Chinook, steelhead

Chinook fishing is slow. Many fish are dark and should be released to spawn. Winter steelhead are being caught in the north fork up to the hatchery, with good fishing reported when fishing conditions are prime.

NESTUCCA RIVER AND THREE RIVERS: Chinook, steelhead

Fall Chinook fishing is winding down. Most fish are dark and should be released to spawn. Fishing the river with bait-wrapped plugs, drifted or back-bounced baits, or bobber and bait typically will produce fish. Winter steelhead being caught consistently, especially in Three Rivers. Slowly fish brighter offerings in the slower water and current breaks during the higher flows early this week.

SALMON RIVER: steelhead

Winter steelhead are starting to show up in most coastal basins. Salmon River does get a good return of wild winter steelhead and an occasional stray hatchery fish.

SILETZ RIVER: steelhead, Chinook

Winter steelhead season is underway with a small number steelhead being caught from the lower river up to Moonshine Park by both bank and boat anglers. This time of year is typically slow to fair for winter steelhead. Fall Chinook fishing is slow as most remaining fish have moved onto the spawning grounds. Coho salmon are still being caught but anglers are reminded that the wild coho fishery ended on Nov. 30.

SIUSLAW RIVER: steelhead, Chinook

Winter steelhead are starting to show up in small numbers around the mid to lower sections of the Siuslaw and Lake Creek. Fall Chinook fishing is very slow and any remaining fish have moved onto the spawning grounds. Some coho salmon are still being caught but anglers are reminded that the wild coho fishery ended on Nov 30.

TILLAMOOK BAY: Chinook

Fishing for fall Chinook is slowing down. Some fish will continue to available through the end of the month. Trolling herring or spinners near the bottom is the standard technique.

TRASK RIVER: Chinook, steelhead

Fishing for Chinook has been fair to good depending on river conditions. Bobber and bait, backtrolling plugs, or backbouncing should all produce fish. Winter steelhead fishing is improving as more fish arrive. A few fish are spread through the system.

WILSON RIVER: Chinook, steelhead

Fall Chinook are still available in decent numbers. Fish should be spread out through the river, especially after rains raised the river last week. Release dark fish to spawn. All techniques should produce fish, with bobber and bait, back bouncing, bait-wrapped plugs, and casting spinners among the best. Winter steelhead are available in increasing numbers as well.

YAQUINA RIVER: steelhead, Chinook,

The winter steelhead run is starting to kick in with anglers getting into a few fish along the Big Elk as conditions allow. The fall Chinook fishery is essentially over for the season as most fish have already spawned. Some coho salmon are still moving through the system but anglers are reminded that the wild coho fishery ended on Nov 30.

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NORTHWEST ZONE: NORTH COAST HUNTING

OPEN: COUGAR, BLACK BEAR (closes Dec. 31), GROUSE, QUAIL, WATERFOWL (see regs)

Use the Oregon Hunting Map to see where to hunt.

See the bird and big game hunting forecasts.

Duck season goes through Jan. 25, 2015 (see regs for season break dates and details). The overall liberal bag limit with some species restrictions, continue this fall. See the 2014-15 Oregon Game Bird Regulations for details. More migratory ducks are present now than earlier in the fall, and the weather has been generally more conducive to productive hunting. Some of the best hunting occurs during the onset of stormy weather when ducks are moving around a lot.

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

Black Bears should be in hibernation by now, and opportunity to find a bear in the forest will be limited. The season closes Dec. 31.

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


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NORTHWEST ZONE: NORTH COAST VIEWING

Migratory waterfowl have been moving into the north coast area in recent weeks, and a wide variety of ducks and geese are now available for viewing in and around north coast estuaries, including the lower Columbia River.

Snow geese, a relatively uncommon species on the north coast, have recently been seen in Tillamook area pastures. More birds should be coming in as storms further north develop.

TILLAMOOK COUNTY

Substantial numbers of great egrets are now in Tillamook County, where they should be present in farm fields and along estuaries in the county through the winter months. These large white birds are easy to spot as they usually provide a strong contrast to their surroundings, and can often be seen foraging in close proximity to great blue herons.

CLATSOP COUNTY

Jewell Meadows Wildlife Area

Elk viewing has been excellent at Jewell Meadows Wildlife Area. Elk have been visible throughout the day on the Fishhawk Tract. Best viewing times are from about 9:00 AM to Noon. There have also been elk visible on the Beneke Tract. Brochures with maps of the area are available at the main viewing area along Hwy 202. Elk are currently being fed a supplemental diet of alfalfa hay. Staff try to feed close to the viewing areas especially on weekends to enhance viewing opportunities.

Reservations for the winter elk feeding tours have been completely filled for the three month season. Please remember that areas posted as wildlife refuge are closed to public access and areas along Beneke Creek posted closed to entry during any Saddle Mountain elk season are also closed during those hunting seasons.

Wildlife Area Parking Permits are now required on the wildlife area (as of Jan. 1, 2014) including during the elk feeding tours.

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SOUTHWEST ZONE: FISHING

Weekend fishing opportunities

  • A few winter steelhead are being caught in the Coos and Coquille basins.
  • When rivers are blown out, anglers may want to try fishing for some good-sized carry over trout in Garrison Lake.
  • December can be an excellent month for steelhead fishing in the lower Rogue River, as there is little fishing pressure and good numbers of steelhead.

If your favorite fishing spot is no longer listed

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

2014 Coastal coho and fall Chinook seasons

Now available on the ODFW Web site.

Send us your fishing report

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

AGATE LAKE: largemouth bass, bluegill, crappie, bullhead

Agate Lake is 16 percent full and the boat ramp is no longer usable. Fishing has likely slowed with cooler weather. Jackson County Parks closes the park at dusk this time of year.

APPLEGATE RESERVOIR: largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, trout

Applegate Reservoir is 10 percent full. The Hart-tish facility and boat ramp are closed for the season. The Copper ramp may not be usable, but the low water ramp at French Gulch will still be accessible. Cooling temperatures should mean improving conditions for trout anglers now and into the fall.

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

APPLEGATE RIVER: rainbow and cutthroat trout, winter steelhead

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

ARIZONA POND: rainbow trout

Pond levels have been lowered to help control aquatic vegetation.

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

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

CHETCO RIVER: Chinook

Temporary regulations have been adopted for the Chetco River starting Sept. 1, 2014. Anglers should check these regulation changes prior to fishing the river. Temporary gear restrictions are no longer in effect. As of Nov. 4, anglers can fish the Chetco River per zone regulations. Chinook anglers are still under bag restrictions of 1 wild adult Chinook per day and 5 wild adult Chinook year.

Good river flows have moved most Chinook upstream of Nook Creek and into spawning tributaries. This time of year anglers start side drifting eggs or plunking spin and glows to pick up steelhead. Look for steelhead numbers to really pick upthrough December.

Before anglers head out to fish, check the flows and fish the river as it is dropping.

Chetco River flows near Brookings

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

Cooper Creek was stocked with about 9,000 trout and received an 2,000 additional trout for fall fishing. 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 RIVER BASIN: Dungeness crab, bay clams, steelhead

Steelhead have been caught this past week on the West Fork Millicoma, East Fork Millicoma, and South Fork Coos rivers. 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.

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

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

A few steelhead have been caught by anglers fishing near the town of Coquille and at LaVerne Park on the North Fork Coquille River. Steelhead fishing on the South Fork Coquille River has been a little slow. Bank anglers usually plunk for steelhead at the town of Coquille and Johnson Mill Pond. There is also good bank access on the North Fork Coquille River at LaVerne Park. This is the very beginning of the steelhead run and fishing will continue to get better in the next couple months. 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

Fishing pressure is low on Diamond Lake. Snowfall is beginning to close the road around the lake. A 17 inch fish was caught using bait this past week. Temperatures are dropping, but the lake is not yet frozen over.

The Forest Service campgrounds are closed for the season. Boats can still be launched from the north boat ramp near the Resort. Anglers can check fishing conditions at Diamond Lake on their website, or call their toll free number at 1-800-733-7593, ext. 236 or 238 for updates.

ELK RIVER: Chinook

Frequent storms are keeping the river flows and water color in near perfect condition. Chinook salmon are spread throughout the river, with a few steelhead moving in daily. Anglers can call Elk River Hatchery information line (541) 332-0405 for river height and color. The river fishes best at 5 feet and dropping.

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

The reservoir is currently 16 percent full and the boat ramp at the county campground is no longer in use. Anglers fishing from personal watercraft like float tubes or fishing from shore should have good luck on trout, bass and panfish now and into the fall.

EXPO POND: trout

Expo Pond was stocked with 100 one-pound and 500 legal-sized trout in October. Fishing should be good.

FISH LAKE: rainbow trout, brook trout, spring Chinook

Water levels at Fish Lake have dropped below the Bureau of Reclamation measuring gauge, and trailered boats can no longer launch at the lake. Fish Lake was a natural lake before the dam was built, however, so fishable water will remain through the fall. Trout anglers may want to give places like Fish Lake a try from the shore or from small watercraft or float tubes. In addition to stocked rainbow trout, anglers can catch land-locked Chinook salmon, brook trout and tiger trout. The lake bottom near the water line has crusted fairly well so that bank anglers can walk along the shoreline with hiking boots or knee boots. When releasing the salmon and trout, be sure to handle them gently and keep them in the water at all times; using barbless hooks will help. Salmon were caught on Panther Martins, super dupers cast from shore, and a streamer fly fished behind a casting bubble.

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. Some adult hatchery coho were recently placed in the reservoir, but they were getting dark. Galesville was stocked with about 8,000 trout this spring. Anglers are reminded all bass between 12 and 15-inches must be released, and only one bass over 15-inches may be taken per day. The reservoir is currently low. Call 541-837-3302 for information on camping and boat launching conditions.

GARRISON LAKE: rainbow trout, cutthroat

When rivers are blown out, anglers may want to try fishing for some good sized carry over trout. This time of year trout are usually feeding along deeper weed lines. Boat anglers will want to keep an eye on the weather and fish the lake when there is no wind. Access for bank anglers is best at the 12th Street boat ramp, Arizona Street, or along the foredune accessed through Tseriadun State Park. Garrison Lake is located in the middle of Port Orford. Boat anglers are reminded to clean all aquatic vegetation off their boats and trailers before heading home to help control the spread non-native plants and animals.

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

Hemlock has received over 6,000 trout this season, including some large fish just before the Labor Day holiday. 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. Contact the Forest Service at 541-496-3532 for road conditions.

HOWARD PRAIRIE RESERVOIR:

Closed to fishing until April 25, 2015.

HYATT LAKE:

Closed to fishing until April 25, 2015.

ILLINOIS RIVER: trout, steelhead

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

Illinois River flows at Kerby

LAKE MARIE: rainbow trout

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

LAKE SELMAC: trout, largemouth bass, bluegill, crappie

Selmac was stocked with 1,200 one-pound rainbows in October and fishing should be good for trout. Fishing for warmwater species has likely slowed with cooler weather.

LEMOLO RESERVOIR: rainbow trout, kokanee

Lemolo was stocked with about 8,000 trout in late spring and received about 1,500 nice 14-inch trout in time for Labor Day. The reservoir is drawn down. From Nov. 1 – Dec. 31, all brown trout must be released. Rainbow trout and kokanee can be harvested for the 5 trout limit. Only 1 trout over 20 inches can be harvested per day. Lemolo will be closed to angling from Jan. 1 until April 1, 2015. For information on fishing conditions, contact Lemolo Lake Resort at 541-957-8354. The Forest Service campgrounds are closed for the season.

LOON LAKE: rainbow trout, bass, bluegill

Loon Lake has been stocked with nearly 8,000 trout. The lake is also providing good fishing for crappie, bluegill and bass. The boat ramps are closed for the season.

LOST CREEK RESERVOIR: rainbow trout, spring Chinook, bass

The Oregon Health Authority has issued a health advisory for Lost Creek Reservoir due to high levels of blue green algae. Visit the OHA website for more information. Lost Creek Reservoir was stocked with rainbow trout in October. The surface temperature was 48F Monday morning. Trout anglers will probably want to fish deep in the main body of the reservoir. Trout fishing is probably still best upstream of the Hwy 62 Bridge. Good reports came from anglers trolling flashers and worms and flashers and wedding rings last weekend. Bank anglers also caught fish near the Takelma boat ramp. Lost Creek Reservoir is 46 percent full. All boat ramps are accessible.

MEDCO POND: rainbow trout, largemouth bass, bluegill

Trout fishing should improve as lake waters cool in the fall. Fishing for warmwater species has likely slowed with colder weather.

PACIFIC OCEAN AND BEACHES: bottomfish, Dungeness crab,

The ocean is now open again for harvest of Dungeness crab. Fishing for bottom fish, including rockfish and lingcod opened back up to all depths starting Oct. 1. The marine fish daily bag limit is seven fish and a separate daily limit for lingcod (two). Retention of cabezon is now allowed but only one cabezon per day per angler.

PLAT I RESERVOIR: rainbow trout, warmwater fish

In addition to trout fishing, the lake also has good bullhead fishing. Bass can be harvested from March 1 to Oct. 31 and are catch-and-release only from Nov. 1-Feb. 29. The reservoir received about 4,500 trout this year. The water level in the reservoir is currently low. Some of the trout do have copepods which are tiny parasites on their bodies and gills. These are not harmful to humans, but the lesions can be removed and the meat should be thoroughly cooked.

REINHARDT POND: trout

Reinhardt Pond was stocked with 100 one-pound and 250 legal-sized trout in October. Fishing should be good.

ROGUE RIVER

Rogue River, lower: winter steelhead

Anglers are picking up a few winter steelhead plunking spin-n-glows. Anglers will want to keep an eye on river flows and try to fish as the river is dropping. December can be an excellent month for steelhead fishing in the lower river, as there is little fishing pressure and good numbers of steelhead.

Rogue River, middle: steelhead, trout

Releases from Lost Creek Reservoir have dropped for the fall, and the flow at Grants Pass was 2,670 cfs on Monday morning. The water temperature was averaging about 46F. Summer steelhead are available, and fishing should be good. Always keep the fish in the water when looking for fin marks or taking photos, and release fish quickly. Only adipose fin-clipped fish may be harvested. Anglers are reminded that the area from Hog Creek boat landing to the Fishers Ferry boat ramp is closed to the harvest of Chinook salmon starting Oct. 1, 2014.

Rogue River, upper: steelhead, trout

Anglers are reminded that beginning Nov. 1, the river opens to the use of lures and bait as well as flies upstream of the Shady Cove boat ramp to the deadline at Cole Rivers Hatchery. Also beginning Nov. 1, from Fishers Ferry boat ramp upstream to the Shady Cove boat ramp, the river opens to the use of lures as well as flies. Consult the synopsis for more information. Anglers may want to try nymph patterns, or a big stonefly pattern in combination with a smaller nymph, or standard steelhead patterns. All other trout must be released unharmed. Always keep the fish in the water when looking for fin marks or taking photos and release fish quickly. Only adipose fin-clipped fish may be harvested.

Another shot of rain brought the river up and likely brought in a fresh batch of steelhead and today the river is pretty much back in shape. Fishing in the upper reaches of the river has been very good for steelhead. The release from Lost Creek Reservoir was 1810 cfs and the water temperature was 46F the morning of Dec 15. The water temperature at Gold Ray was averaging about 46F. As of Dec 9, 2,710 summer steelhead had entered Cole Rivers Hatchery.

Rogue River, above Lost Creek Reservoir: trout

Trout are still available in the waters above Lost Creek Dam! Fish stocking has ended for the year upstream of Lost Creek, but fishing remains open and should be very good. Anglers can fish bait like single salmon eggs or worms, or cast small spinners like a Panther Martin or Rooster tail, or let a fly drift downstream below a bobber.

In addition to the stocked trout, naturally produced rainbow, cutthroat, brown, and brook trout are available in the river and in many tributaries. Plentiful trout, beautiful scenery, easy access, and an abundance of Forest Service campgrounds and day-use areas make this a great place to go trout fishing.

SIXES RIVER: Chinook

Chinook are spread throughout the river, but few new fish are moving in. Anglers are reporting picking up a few steelhead.

SMITH RIVER, Umpqua: steelhead, sturgeon, striped bass

Winter steelhead will start arriving in the Smith River basin. Most of the steelhead will be wild, therefore fishing will be primarily catch-and-release.

SODA SPRINGS RESERVOIR:

Closed to fishing.

TENMILE BASIN: yellow perch, coho salmon

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

The wild coho season open in Tenmile Lakes until Dec. 31. The bag limit for wild coho in Tenmile Lakes is 1 wild coho adult per day and a total of 5 wild adult coho for the season in aggregate with other NW and SW Zone waterbodies. Anglers are also allowed 1 wild coho jack per day.

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

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. The number of steelhead will increase in the Main throughout the rest of the month and early January. Plunkers should have some success following this most recent rain.

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

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

Note that from Oct. 1 through June 30, fishing in the fly water area is restricted to a single barbless artificial fly which can be dressed with conventional fly tying material. Remember that from March 1 through July 31 the anti-snag gear restrictions apply on the North from the Lone Rock boat ramp upstream to the fly area boundary above Rock Creek. The Mainstem from Soda Springs Dam, including Soda Springs Reservoir, up to Slide Creek Dam is closed year-round to fishing.

North Umpqua River water levels at Winchester Dam

UMPQUA RIVER, SOUTH: steelhead

The South Umpqua opened for steelhead beginning Dec. 1, 2014. The peak numbers of fish normally show up from February to late March. The South Umpqua offers the best chance for catching an adipose-fin clipped steelhead for harvest. The hatchery program for winter steelhead is centered in the South Umpqua. Most hatchery fish are caught from Canyonville downstream. All wild fish must be released unharmed.

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

At 51 percent of capacity, Willow Lake has the most water among all irrigation reservoirs in the Rogue watershed to date. Trout are available, though fishing for warmwater species is likely slowing with colder weather.

WINCHESTER BAY: chinook, fin-clipped coho

Most salmon have already moved upstream. Fishing for bottomfish in the Triangle and South jetty has been successful. Crabbing has been good recently.

WINCHUCK RIVER: closed

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


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SOUTHWEST ZONE: HUNTING

OPEN: GROUSE, QUAIL, TURKEY, COUGAR, BLACK BEAR, WATERFOWL (see regs)

See the bird and big game hunting forecasts.

Wolves and coyotes can look alike

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

Use the Oregon Hunting Map to see where to hunt.

COOS COUNTY

Duck and Goose season in the goose Southwest Zone and duck Zone 1 continue, be sure to check regs for details. Canada goose numbers appear to be good in the local area so hunting for them should be good. Hunters will find these birds will be attracted to green grass. The flocks are generally habitual about where they go to feed during the day. So, scouting for these areas is beneficial for hunters. With the onset of stormy weather duck numbers appear to be improving. However, rain has caused flooding in agricultural lands in Coos County. This appears to have caused birds to scatter to some extent. As the season progresses waterfowl numbers should continue to build. Presently sea duck numbers are good in the lower portions of Coos County bays.

Wilson’s snipe abundance is increasing with the coming of winter. Wilson’s snipe could be considered the woodcock of the west because they are very similar to woodcock in appearance. Presently snipe can be found in huntable numbers around wetlands, flooded agricultural fields and in some clear cuts. Any place where water ponds there will be habitat for these birds and the potential to find them. Snipe feed on worms and other invertebrates that are found just under the soil’s surface. When soil is moistened by precipitation these birds are able to poke their flexible bill in to the soil to catch their food. While they like open fields and wetlands they can be found in reforested clear cuts where water ponds, as well.

Elk – controlled hunts only at this time. Populations and bull ratios are at or above management objectives in many units in the local area. Hunters will find that as hunting pressure occurs elk will move away from roads and into more secluded locations such as un-roaded creek drainages. Still hunting places with low road densities or behind gated roads where access is allowed is the best method to score on a bull. While elk use clearcuts extensively for feeding, hunting pressure will cause them to become more secretive and less likely to be found during daylight hours there. Elk hunters who will be hunting units in Coos County and the western portion of Douglas County need to be aware that access may have changed for some private lands. Hunters need to contact landowners to ensure lands ore open even if the hunter has hunted there in past years. Don’t assume private land is open, check to make sure that it is.

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

Black Bear - General Bear season continues thru Dec. 31. Bear populations are robust in much of Coos County and offer opportunities for hunting. Due to the time of year and rain black berries are in low abundance and bears are no longer concentrating on them.

Many landowners are complaining of bears damaging apple and other fruit trees. With landowner permission good hunting for bears can be found around isolated orchards. With cooler wet weather occurring bears will not be active for much longer. Season closes Dec. 31.

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

BIG GAME

Deer - Only a few controlled hunts are open at this time.

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

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

Bear – General bear season is open. Hunters can expect an average year. Some nice size bears have been harvested in the last few weeks. Successful bear hunters are reminded there is a mandatory check-in for all harvested bear within 10 days of harvest (see regulations for details). Season ends Dec. 31.

UPLAND GAMEBIRDS:

Grouse & Quail - The season is currently open. Blue grouse success is best in mid to high elevations of the Cascades in partly open conifer stands. Ruffed grouse can be found near creeks mostly at mid elevations of both the Cascades and Coast Range. Success is best in the lower elevation agricultural lands for California quail and mid-elevations of the Cascades and Coast Range near brushy clear cuts on secondary forest roads for Mountain quail.

Fall Turkey – The season is currently open. Hunters can expect a good harvest year. Most turkeys are on or adjacent to low-mid elevation private lands associated with oak savannah habitat. Season ends Dec. 31.

MIGRATORY GAMEBIRDS:

Crow– Crow season is open. Hunters can expect an average year. Crow are abundant and widely distributed on the Umpqua Valley floor. Hunting crow is a challenge with most being on or adjacent to private lands.

WATERFOWL:

Duck hunting is open Oct. 29 – Jan. 25. Goose hunting is Oct. 11 – Nov. 30 & Dec. 8 – Jan. 25. Goose and duck hunters can expect an average to above-average year. Hunting for resident goose and duck in Douglas County should be very good because of an excellent production again this year. Nearly all goose and duck hunting in the Umpqua Valley is on private property and hunters should obtain landowner permission before hunting.

Goose and duck hunters can expect an average to above-average year. Local duck production is historically good but small so a fair number of local ducks are available now with improved opportunity as the fall migrating ducks arrive later in the season. Hunting for resident geese in Douglas County should be very good because of an excellent production again this year. Nearly all waterfowl hunting in the Umpqua Valley is on private property and hunters should obtain landowner permission before hunting.

TRAPPING:

Bobcat & Gray Fox – Currently open. Healthy populations throughout Western Oregon. The last day of the season for these species is February 28, 2015.

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

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

Marten – Currently open. Good populations at higher elevations of the Cascades. The last day of the season is January 31, 2015.

JACKSON, JOSEPHINE, CURRY COUNTIES

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

Bear general season closes Dec. 31, 2014. The season is winding down as bears become scarcer because it’s their time to hibernate for the year. The Applegate unit has one of the highest harvests for the fall season in the state for the past several years. At this time of year bear finding the last of the berry crops and again are eating the new green grass along with acorns. The best times to look for bears are in the early morning and late evenings. Successful bear hunters are reminded there is a mandatory check-in for all harvested bear within 10 days of harvest (see regulations for details).

Deer season youth control tags starts December 15 thru January 5, 2015 in the Rogue (630T), Evans Creek (629T) and Applegate (628T) Units. Deer are at low elevations, and BLM lands provide good access to these animals. Deer numbers and buck ratios are strong and the season will be average. Although with the lack of snow it can create a challenge. A reminder, youth are required to wear orange while hunting.

Fall Turkey season is from Oct. 15 – Dec. 31. Hunters can expect a good year. The mild spring provided good survival of chicks and brood counts showed production up from the last two years. Hunters are allowed to shoot either sex, and are allowed to have two tags. Majority of our turkeys are found in low elevation and around private lands, although a growing number are found in conifer stands that have meadows or clear cuts.

Crows – Season is open until January 31 2013. No limit on harvest. It is critical to distinguish between crows and ravens. Crows are smaller in size (17.5 inches) with smaller beaks with fan shape tail in flight and they make a caw sound. Whereas ravens are larger (24 inches) with long heavy bills, wedge shaped tail, with a low, drawn-out croak call and are protected.

Grouse and Quail - Season will end January 31, 2015. Both mountain quail and forest grouse numbers are higher this year due to the mild spring, so hunters can expect a good year. Forest grouse can be found in timbered creek draws and mountain quail will be found in brushy clear cuts near water. A good bird dog will aid greatly in bird retrieval.

Waterfowl - The fall flight forecast calls for high numbers of waterfowl, but weather conditions will determine migration patterns and hunter success. The best waterfowl hunting at Denman Wildlife Area tends to occur around the end of November; area managers continue to plant crops and flood fields to attract waterfowl to Denman.

Due to lower water in many of our lakes and pond this year the Rogue River can be a little more productive. Hyatt Lake, Howard Prairie and Agate Lake will have waterfowl but will be difficult to hunt due to low water levels.

Pheasant - Statewide season started October 11 and will run through December 31. Pheasants on the Denman Wildlife Area will be few and far between now that the fee season is over. Few pheasants are found in the Rogue valley but there are some and they will be found on private lands. Be sure to ask for permission to hunt these areas.

Wilson’s Snipe season opened November 1 – February 15. Snipe is another challenging bird to hunt for they are small, fast and erratic low-flying birds that can be hard to identify. Be sure to know how to differentiate it from killdeer and other shorebirds before you hunt. Snipe may be spooked in areas where there are high numbers of hunters but other times a person can walk up on them. Snipe almost always emit a call when they take off in flight. The best time to hunt snipe will be late fall and winter months. Denman Wildlife Area has decent numbers of snipe.

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

Western Gray Squirrel 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. This is the time of years rancher will welcome hunters to come onto their property to take coyotes that are cause problems with live stock.

Furbearers – Pursuit season is currently open for bobcat, fox and raccoon. A reminder to trappers and hunters that specific licenses and tags are required to hunt many furbearer species, and hunters should refer to the 2012-14 Oregon Furbearer Trapping and Hunting Regulations for details. Martin is currently open, with population in high elevation strong and healthy. Gray Fox, Muskrat, Mink, Raccoon, River Otter and Beaver open November 15. Population for gray fox and raccoon is down due to distemper for the past two years. Bobcat season opens December 1, and the population is strong.


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SOUTHWEST ZONE: VIEWING

COOS COUNTY

Sea Birds

Birds that are here for foraging include California brown pelicans, cormorants and Western grebes. Great places to watch these birds and their activities are Coos Bay, near Charleston and the Coquille Bay near the harbor in Bandon. Feeding birds can be seen diving on baitfish in the bay and sometimes working in unison to corral fish near shore.

Occasionally other animals get in on the action when foraging birds have located baitfish. Seals, sea lions, porpoise, and even whales will go after these fish as birds are mounting attacks from above.

Marine Mammals

Seal and sea lion abundance in coastal waters around Coos County is high at this time of year, especially south of Coos Bay. At Simpson Reef, a heavily used haul out exists. From the lookout, viewers can see California sea lions, Steller sea lions, harbor seals and elephant seals.

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

Shorebirds

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

While waterfowl numbers are quite high in Coos County right now they may be somewhat challenging to find. Due to recent rain agricultural lands inland of the coast are inundated with water. This has caused waterfowl to scatter inland from the coast. Generally few birds are in Coos County bays, instead these birds are in Winter Lake and other inland locations.

That said, there are good numbers of sea ducks in the bays presently. Sea ducks will not scatter inland as fresh water inundation occurs. Good places to see sea ducks are the Charleston area of Coos Bay and the Bandon area of the Coquille Bay. 12/9/14.

CURRY, JACKSON, JOSEPHINE COUNTIES

EVENT

Christmas Bird Count

Medford will have their bird count on Saturday Dec. 20 and Ashland will have theirs on Saturday January 3. This important event gives everybody an opportunity to be part of the biggest citizen science effort in the New World. Go to the Rogue Valley Audubon Society web page to learn more.

Southward migration

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

Ringtails

Ringtails are small, forest carnivores, nocturnal in habits, and secretive in nature. Ringtails are common in South West Oregon, but rarely seen due to their nocturnal behavior. They are buff to dark brown in color with white under parts and a black and white striped tail. The ringtail prefers to live in rocky habitats associated with water. They are often known as Ringtail or Miner’s cat, but they are not a cat, they are in the raccoon family.

Denman Wildlife Area

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

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

Lewis’s woodpecker

Lewis woodpeckers are seen in our area collecting acorns and stuffing them into holes in trees. In addition, they eat insects found on surfaces of trees and will catch them out of the air. They are the size of an American robin with a greenish-black head and back, with a gray neck and breast. Most distinguishing is the dark red face and pinkish belly. Look for them in open woodlands.

DOUGLAS COUNTY

Winter Raptors

Wintering raptors, especially red-tail hawks, are commonly be seen along highways throughout the county.

Bald Eagles

Bald Eagles are now commonly seen along the mainstem portion of the Umpqua River from Roseburg to Reedsport. 12/16/14.


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WILLAMETTE ZONE: FISHING

Weekend fishing opportunities:

  • Extra-large rainbow trout brook trout were released this week into Mt. Hood Pond, Canby Pond, Timber Linn Lake, and Waverly Lake. These fish weigh in at 7-15 pounds apiece. Brood trout were also released the past several weeks at Junction City Pond, St. Louis Ponds, Huddleston Pond and Sheridan Pond.
  • Winter steelhead are starting to show up in the Clackamas and Sandy rivers, where fishing conditions are nearing ideal. It’s early for these fish but flows and color are good for those willing to get out and brave the cold weather.

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.

2014 trout stocking

The 2014 trout stocking schedules for the North Willamette Watershed (pdf) District and the South Willamette Watershed (pdf) District are now posted on-line on the ODFW trout stocking page.

Check out the new trout stocking map

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

ALTON BAKER CANOE CANAL: trout

The Alton Baker Canoe Canal was last stocked for the season in early November. Stocking will resume in early February 2015. The canal is located within Alton Baker Park and can be accessed off of Club Road in Eugene. A 4-acre pond at the midpoint of the canal is a good spot but it can be fished all along its 2-mile length from Day Island Road in Eugene to Aspen Street in Springfield. The Canal is open to angling all year.

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

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

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

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

BLUE RIVER: trout, steelhead

Blue River both above and below Blue River Reservoir is closed to angling until April 25, 2015.

BLUE RIVER RESERVOIR: trout, warmwater species

Blue River Reservoir has been drawn down for winter flood control. Blue River Reservoir is located east of Eugene near the town of Blue River, north of Highway 126 and is open to year-round fishing.

BREITENBUSH RIVER: trout

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

CANBY POND: rainbow trout

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

CARMEN RESERVOIR: trout

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

CLACKAMAS RIVER: summer steelhead, winter steelhead

Early December is typically an in-between time for the Clackamas with summer steelhead and coho fishing considered about over while a few winter steelhead are making it into the river. Fishing effort has been light with an occasional late summer being picked up above Barton and reports of a handful of winters caught, likely below Carver. Water levels are a bit high but the color is great and the river is very fishable. Rainfall is expected to bring flows up for a day or two later this week but it should be looking very good by the weekend.

Tuesday, Dec. 16 hydrological data shows river flows down at 2,310 cfs, a gauge reading of 12.28 ft., and the water temperature at 43.5°. All of the readings come from the Estacada gauge near McIver Park.

CLEAR LAKE: trout

Clear Lake is open to fishing all year and was stocked in late August for the last time this season. Naturally reproducing brook trout are also available. The lake is accessed from Highway 126 approximately 70 miles east of Springfield.

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

COTTAGE GROVE POND: trout, warmwater species

Cottage Grove Pond was last stocked in spring, but trout or bass may be available. To access the pond, travel east from Cottage Grove on Row River Road. Cottage Grove Pond is located behind the truck scales and may be accessed via an asphalt pathway. Only the pond with the dock is stocked with hatchery trout. This pond also offers wildlife viewing opportunities and is open to angling all year.

COTTAGE GROVE RESERVOIR: trout, warmwater species

Cottage Grove Reservoir was stocked in mid-October with 1,700 fish, including 200 “pounders.” Holdover trout and warmwater species are also available to anglers. The reservoir is south of Cottage Grove and is open to angling all year.

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

CRESWELL POND (GARDEN LAKE): trout, warmwater species

The 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. Stocking has resumed for the season; 5,000 legal rainbow trout were planted during the week of Sept. 22 and another 7,000 legal-size rainbow trout were stocked Oct. 7. Currently the reservoir is about 95 feet below full pool. The Low Water boat ramp at Mongold State Park is the only boat ramp available at this time. Check with local outfitters in the town of Detroit for fishing conditions.

DORENA RESERVOIR: trout, warmwater

Dorena Reservoir was stocked in mid-October with 1,700 rainbow trout. The reservoir is east of Cottage Grove on Row River Road and is open to angling all year. Trout and warmwater fish are available.

EAGLE CREEK: coho, winter steelhead

The coho fishery on the creek is likely over for this season, although a handful of fish are still holding just below the hatchery. Any coho caught this late will be very dark and likely inedible. It was a banner year for coho on Eagle Creek with over 16,000 fish processed at Eagle Creek Hatchery through Friday, Dec. 5.

The Eagle Creek winter steelhead stock is a later returning fish from what anglers may remember several years ago so it’s a bit early to see any winters coming back in decent numbers yet. As well, the reduced smolt releases in recent years have had an impact on numbers of adult steelhead returning. Reliable reports indicate that a few winters are in the creek and there was some angling effort this past weekend. Conditions on the creek are good with water a nice greenish color and moderate flows.

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

ESTACADA LAKE: trout

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.

FALL CREEK above FALL CREEK RESERVOIR: trout

Fall Creek above Fall Creek Reservoir is closed to fishing until April 25, 2015. Anglers may continue to enjoy catch-and-release fishing until then below the dam. Fall Creek and Reservoir are northeast of Lowell.

FALL CREEK RESERVOIR: trout

Fall Creek Reservoir is drained to streambed over the winter. Flowing water above the dam is closed to fishing. Fall Creek and Reservoir are northeast of Lowell.

FARADAY LAKE: trout

Stocked in October with 3,800 legal- and larger-sized rainbow trout. This is a 25-acre reservoir located 1.1 miles southeast of Estacada on Hwy. 224 next to a PGE hydro plant.

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

This 9,000 acre lake just 12 miles west of Eugene is the Willamette Basin’s largest water body. This reservoir is 12 feet below full pool at this time, so there are no longer any boat ramps available. For local information regarding the lake and available boat ramps, contact the Lane County Parks Department at 541-682-2000. This lake is mostly shallow with a band of deep water from the original channel of the Long Tom River.

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

FOSTER RESERVOIR: trout, bass, perch, catfish

This scenic 1,200-acre reservoir on the South Santiam River is located just 30 minutes from Interstate 5. There is good bank access at several rest stops and campgrounds, and three seasonal boat ramps. The water level has dropped significantly over the last few weeks.

The only boat ramp available is at Sunnyside County Park. This popular fishing destination has received 10,000 legal rainbow trout this fall. Please remember that only kokanee and adipose fin-clipped trout may be kept and there are no limits on size or number of bass. From I-5 take US 20 east from Albany to the town of Sweet Home. The reservoir is 3 miles past the town on the left.

GREEN PETER RESERVOIR: kokanee, trout, bass

This large reservoir east of Sweet Home is a premier kokanee fishery with a bag limit of 25 fish per day. It also supports stocked rainbow trout and a good population of smallmouth bass. Kokanee fishing is done for the year, but bass and trout are still available. Smallmouth bass can be found near underwater structure and at drop-offs. The reservoir level has dropped 80 ft. below full pool – only Thistle Creek boat ramp is currently available. Storage season begins Dec. 1 after which the water levels will begin to rise.

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

Hagg Lake is closed and will re-open Saturday, March 7.

HILLS CREEK RESERVOIR: trout, warmwater fish

Hills Creek Reservoir is open to fishing all year and was stocked in mid-October with 2,500 legal-sized and 1,200 trophy-sized rainbow trout. This reservoir is also stocked annually with 100,000 adipose fin-clipped spring Chinook fingerlings and 200,000 adipose fin-clipped rainbow trout fingerlings. These fish grow to catchable size within a year to provide a harvest fishery. All non-adipose fin-clipped trout and salmon must be released unharmed.

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 in November with 60 rainbow trout brood trout, weighing from 7 to 15 pounds. Anglers are reminded that the bag limit on trout over 20 inches is one per day. Huddleston is a 5-acre pond located within Huddleston Pond Park in the city of Willamina, Ore. A former mill pond, it contains woody debris that provides habitat for bass and bluegill. It reaches a maximum depth of about 10 feet, with shallow "kid-friendly" edges. It is ADA accessible in places, with a restroom and picnic areas nearby. There is paved parking lot and small ramp for people who want to launch small, non-motorized boats.

JUNCTION CITY POND: trout, crappie

Junction City is a popular stocked trout fishing pond located about 2 miles south of Junction City on 99W on the west side of the highway. There is excellent access around the entire 8-acre pond. It will be stocked this week with 350 “pounders” averaging about 14 inches. There may also be a few large brood trout and steelhead around from previous stockings. As a reminder, zone regulations apply: five trout daily may be kept and only one over 20-inches.

LEABURG LAKE: trout

Leaburg Lake is closed to all fishing and will re-open April 25, 2015. Vehicular and pedestrian access across Leaburg Dam is currently restricted weekdays from 8 a.m.-noon and 1-4 p.m. Check EWEB’s website for updates.

MCKENZIE RIVER below Leaburg Lake: trout, salmon, steelhead

The McKenzie River below Leaburg Lake is open to fishing through the end of the year. Gear use is restricted to flies and lures below Hendricks Bridge. Use of bait is allowed from Hendricks Bridge upstream to Leaburg Dam through the end of the year. A Columbia River Basin Endorsement is required for anglers targeting salmon and steelhead in the McKenzie.

MCKENZIE RIVER above Leaburg Lake: trout, steelhead

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

MIDDLE FORK WILLAMETTE RIVER above HILLS CREEK RESERVOIR: trout

The Middle Fork Willamette River above Hills Creek Reservoir is closed to all fishing until April 25, 2015.

MOLALLA RIVER: coho, summer steelhead

The Molalla is running slightly high but with good color and very fishable conditions. There could still be a few coho holding out in deeper pools but quality this late into the season is questionable. The same could be said for any summer steelhead that made their way into the river earlier this summer. Winter steelhead passage at Willamette Falls is just getting started so very few winters will likely be found in the river.

MT HOOD POND: trout, crappie, bluegill

Stocked Dec. 15 with 95 extra-large rainbow brood 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.

NORTH FORK RESERVOIR: trout

This fishery is closed until May 23, 2015.

OLALLIE LAKE: trout

This is the largest of more than 200 lakes within the Olallie Lake Scenic Area on the southern edge of the Mt. Hood National Forest.

QUARTZVILLE CREEK: trout

This fishery is closed until April 25, 2015.

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: coho, summer steelhead, winter steelhead

The Sandy is in great fishing condition and should remain that way after a slight bump in flows around mid-week. The forecast shows some decent rainfall Tuesday and Wednesday but the river should be looking good later into the week and weekend. This time of year the Sandy starts to see a lull in fishing opportunity as the coho and summer steelhead fisheries come to a close. There’s maybe a few coho lingering around but these fish are likely to be dark and suspect as far as food quality is concerned. It’s still possible to hook into a summer steelhead but it’s getting late for them also and quantity and quality again come into play.

Although it’s probably happened, there haven’t been any confirmed reports of winter steelhead landed on the Sandy yet. The Sandy River winter steelhead are a later returning fish in recent years due to the broodstock fishery management program. This fishery doesn’t usually get cranked up until after the first of the year, but there could be a few early returners looking to get hooked.

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

Hydrological data for the Sandy River on Dec. 16 shows flows down from last week at 2,020 cfs, a gauge reading of 9.59 ft. and the water temperature holding at 44°.

SANTIAM RIVER (NORTH FORK): steelhead, Chinook

Fish can be found throughout the river, but are more concentrated in the upper sections (Mehama to Packsaddle). Counts at Willamette Falls as of Dec. 7 show around 22,900 summer steelhead and over 21,400 coho had entered the upper basin. Of those, around 4,263 steelhead and 1,009 coho made it above Stayton on the North Santiam through Nov. 30.

The coho salmon run has slowed to a crawl and most fish are going to be pretty dark by mid-December. The next fish to arrive in the will be winter steelhead. So far fewer than 200 have passed above Willamette Falls, but those numbers will start to rise over the next few weeks and months. Summer steelhead are still available to the hardy angler, primarily above Stayton. When the ‘bite’ is on, bobbers and jigs are the preferred angling method with spoons, spinners and egg clusters also being effective. Currently the entire river below Packsaddle Park (near the Minto Fish Facility) is open 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 4,360 cfs. Current conditions

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

UPDATE: The 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 are at 3,150 cfs as of Dec. 15. Summer steelhead can be found primarily in the upper river. Below Lebanon, however, there are still a few fresh coho salmon moving in and fishing for these wild fish can be very good. 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. There are still quite a few summer steelhead in the upper reaches. Closed to trout fishing until May 23, 2015.

SHERIDAN POND: trout

Stocked in November with 60 rainbow trout nbrood trout ranging from 7 to 15 pounds apiece. 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.

SILVER CREEK RESERVOIR: trout, catfish

This is a 65-acre reservoir on Silver Creek 2.5 miles south of Silverton on Hwy. 214.

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.

SOUTH FORK YAMHILL RIVER: trout

This fishery is closed until May 23, 2015.

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

Stocked in November with 90 brood trout weighing 10-plus pounds each. The fish were released in Pond #6. Anglers are reminded the gate to the park is closed for the season but the site is still open to fishing for those who are willing to hike in. Hikers are encouraged to follow the road from the gate to the main parking lot to avoid areas that may be inundated with water following cross-country paths.

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 90-acre Timber-Linn Memorial Park in Albany. It will be stocked this week with 80 brood rainbow trout between 5-15 lbs each. Please keep in mind that only one fish over 20 inches may be taken per day. Timber-Linn Lake can be reached by turning east off I-5 onto the Santiam Highway (Hwy. 20), then immediately turning north onto Price Road and proceeding to the park entrance

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

Timothy is one of the most popular family camping and fishing destinations in the Mt. Hood National Forest. The lake's south shore features four developed campgrounds and boat ramps. Three smaller, less developed campgrounds are found in the north. A trail system for hikers, mountain bikers and equestrians circles the lake.

Motorboats are allowed on Timothy Lake, although a 10 mph speed limit is in place. The lake is currently accessible via Highway 26 as well as Forest Road 56 up the Clackamas River.

TRAIL BRIDGE RESERVOIR: trout

Trail Bridge Reservoir is open to year-round 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.

TRILLIUM LAKE: trout

Trillium is a 60-acre lake located approximately three miles east of Government Camp off of Hwy 26. This lake is popular for fishing, camping and photography, often clearly reflecting Mount Hood. A large campground at the lake features a seasonal boat ramp and wheelchair-accessible floating dock.

WALLING POND: trout, crappie, bass

Another batch of brood trout has become available and 110 have been designated for this pond. These very large 8 to 12-pound rainbow trout were stocked last week, in addition to 400 legal and 50 larger size 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

This popular Salem lake in Cascade Gateway Park receives thousands of hatchery trout annually. It was stocked last week with 1,300 legal and 100 larger size rainbow trout. In addition, 110 brood trout averaging between 8-12 pounds were stocked as well. 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 80 extra-large brood rainbow trout averaging between 5-15 pounds each. Please keep in mind that only one fish over 20-inches may be taken per day.

From I-5 take exit 234 west towards Albany. The pond is located a quarter mile down Pacific Boulevard on the right. A paved ADA-accessible path runs all the way around the pond.

WEST SALISH POND: panfish, trout

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

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

WILLAMETTE RIVER: sturgeon, coho, winter steelhead

For anglers interested in sturgeon fishing, the “catch-and-release” sturgeon fishery has been very good with the St. Johns area and Milwaukie putting out fish.

Passage numbers at Willamette Falls are slowing down for coho with just 14 fish passing during the month of December while counts are just getting started for winter steelhead, with 149 crossings through Dec. 15.

Hydrological numbers for the Willamette on December 16 show flows down at 27,400 cfs, a water temperature in Oregon City of 48°, and visibility at 1.5 ft.


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WILLAMETTE ZONE: HUNTING

OPEN: COUGAR, BLACK BEAR, GROUSE, QUAIL, WATERFOWL (see regs), and TURKEY

See the bird and big game hunting forecasts.

See ODF’s webpage for the latest on restrictions (click Landowner/Corporate Closure Chart for private land closures)

EVENTS:

See ODFW’s calendar and sign up now for upcoming Learn to Hunt events including several in January in Tualatin:

The Introduction to Hunting in Oregon series will include five classes and focus on opportunities within a 50-mile-radius of Portland. Sign up for one class or all five.

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.

Upland Game Birds

Quail, Mountain / California – Open season from Sept. 1 to Jan 31. Mountain quail can be found scattered through brushy clearcuts in the coast range. These brush loving birds are often found running between hiding and feeding areas in both brushland and riparian zones. While the use of dogs will improve your chances of locating and quickly recovering birds, hunters without dogs can easily get into the action with a little extra hiking. California quail are typically located in lower elevation agricultural fields and clear cuts that provide both cover and food sources. Please respect private landowners and ask for permission before entering their lands to hunt. Please remember that the daily bag limit is 10 birds singly or in aggregate when both California and mt. quail seasons are concurrent and the possession limit is 30 birds singly or in aggregate when both California and mt. quail seasons are concurrent.

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

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

Forest Grouse – Open season Sept. 1 - Jan 31. The forest grouse group collectively includes the Ruffed and Blue (dusky/sooty) grouse species. Forest grouse hunting success has slowed as rainy and stormy weather conditions persist. Look for grouse along the edges of timber patches and riparian areas during morning and evening times. Blue grouse will begin to move towards higher elevation timber stands to winter so hunters shouldn’t overlook those habitats. Hunters are reporting good numbers of Blue and Ruffed grouse in the Mt. Hood National Forest. Remember that the daily bag limit is 3 of each species and possession limit is 9 of each species.

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

Your participation is greatly needed

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

Migratory Birds

Waterfowl seasons are open; see regs for specific dates. Duck hunters did well during the recent cold weather period but success has slowed since then. While birds continue to move into ponds, lakes, sloughs and fields to feed in the early morning hours, some hunters are reporting better success in the afternoon. Cold and stormy weather is needed to move new birds into the area.

Goose hunting reopened for the second period in both the Northwest General Zone and Northwest Permit Zone on November 15 and will close on January 10, 2015. Reports suggest average hunting conditions and success this season. Hunters are reminded that a NW Goose Permit is required to hunt either of these zones.

Please refer to pages 16 – 19 of the 2014-2015 Oregon Game Bird Regulations for bag limit, open area, and other restrictions. Remember to obtain permission before hunting on private lands.

Big Game

Late season Archery Deer is now closed.

Cougar season is open in all zones beginning on Jan. 1, 2014. Biologists are checking in a few cougars harvested by hunters participating in other big game seasons. Hunters that specifically target cougar are still waiting for snow which will help them locate cougar and improve their chance for success. Until the snows arrive, 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. Hunters will need to purchase a 2014 hunting license and a 2014 cougar tag to hunt cougars. Successful cougar hunters will need to check-in any cougar taken at an ODFW office within 10 days of the kill. Hunters are reminded that biologists located in field offices may be out in the field handling other issues so call ahead to make arrangements to have your cougar checked-in. The hide and skull must be unfrozen and the skull and proof of sex must be attached to the hide. Hunters are required to submit the reproductive tract of any female cougar taken. Pick up the Big Game Hunting Regulations before your hunting trip to ensure that you are familiar with all of the requirements.

Fall Bear season is open but success has dropped significantly and few bears are being checked in at ODFW offices. Many of the berry food sources are gone for the season. Bears are looking for those last few meals before winter arrives so hunters need to locate food sources, such as nuts, apples and pears that remain. Abandoned orchards or old homesteads can be productive this time of year. Bears will be feeding primarily in the early morning hours so hunters will need to be up and on stands before daylight. Please present the unfrozen skull (no hide attached) so that biologists can properly affix a seal. While hunters are NOT required to submit the reproductive track of female bear, the voluntary information is valuable for population modeling.

Fall turkey hunting prospects in the northern Willamette Valley will be similar to last year. Turkeys are primarily found on private lands in Yamhill County and are not readily available to the public. Hunters with access to private lands should have moderate to high success rates. In the southern Willamette district, hunting success is dependent on access to private lands with turkeys and early scouting. Turkeys are most often found on private lands in the foothills along the west side of these units. It is uncommon to find turkeys in the Douglas fir forests at higher elevations.

Hunting can be very good in the McKenzie and southern portions of the Santiam Units for hunters that have done their homework and obtained access to private lands. Turkey are not abundant in the northern portions (north of Silverton) of the Santiam Unit and hunters will have difficulty finding the few scattered flocks.

Field Care of Harvested wildlife

The proper handling of harvested wildlife is the most important criteria to ensure its value as table fare. After properly tagging the animal, the hunter should remove the entrails and get the hide off to start the cool-down process. Wipe down the carcass with a dry cloth to remove any foreign material and keep the carcass clean by placing it into a cloth game bag.

Warm weather conditions (greater than 50 degrees) can increase bacteria loads so hunters need to get the carcass cooled/refrigerated as soon as possible. Never place the carcass inside of a plastic bag, tarp or in water since wet or damp meat spoils more quickly. Talk to your local meat processor or butcher to get additional information concerning the proper care of wildlife or go online to find websites that cover this topic.

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

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

Fern Ridge Wildlife Area

Access regulations for five units at Fern Ridge Wildlife Area change concurrent with hunt season dates. Visitors are advised to carefully read posted signs and consult game bird regulations before entering the wildlife area. The Fisher Butte and Royal Amazon units are open to hunting 7-days/week during duck season with hunting ending at 1:00 PM each day. These units are closed to all public use at 2:00 PM each day to provide wildlife sanctuary. Trails to and from designated viewing platforms remain open year- round. The Kirk Park unit remains open to public use daily year-round, however during duck season, hunting is only authorized on Saturdays, Sundays, Wednesdays, and holidays. Free daily hunt permits are required for hunting in these five units. The permits are available on-site at area parking lots.

All other units at Fern Ridge lake and wildlife area are open to hunting daily according to authorized seasons and posted access restrictions (for example hunting is not allowed in designated park areas or administrative areas near Fern Ridge dam).

Hunters are reminded that the entire Fern Ridge area is closed to goose hunting during the general season and NW Oregon Goose Permit Zone hunts. All hunters should pack out all litter, including spent shotgun shell casings. We appreciate your effort to keep the area clean and presentable for all visitors.

Parking areas are located along Royal Avenue, Highway 126, Nielson Road, Cantrell Road, Territorial Highway, and Clear Lake Road. A state Wildlife Area Parking Permit is now required to park in any ODFW parking lot. Visitors are cautioned that there have been recent vehicle break-ins at area parking lots. Please secure your valuables before leaving your vehicle unattended. Contact the wildlife area headquarters, (541) 935-2591 if you have any questions.


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WILLAMETTE ZONE: VIEWING

Be on the lookout for birds of prey

Look for birds of prey on your next road trip. When the weather turns foggy, several raptors including eagles, hawks and falcons leave the tops of trees and look closer to the ground for their next meal. They can be easily seen along highways as they perch on the tops of road signs and power lines watching for mice and other rodents in ditches and empty fields.

Fern Ridge Wildlife Area

Access regulations for five units at Fern Ridge Wildlife Area change concurrent with hunt season dates. Visitors are advised to carefully read posted signs and consult game bird regulations before entering the wildlife area. The Fisher Butte and Royal Amazon units are open to hunting seven days/week during duck season with hunting ending at 1 p.m. each day. These units are closed to all public use at 2 p.m. each day to provide wildlife sanctuary.

Trails to and from designated viewing platforms remain open year-round. The Kirk Park unit remains open to public use daily year-round, however during duck season, hunting is only authorized on Saturdays, Sundays, Wednesdays, and holidays.

Parking areas are located along Royal Avenue, Highway 126, Nielson Road, Cantrell Road, Territorial Highway, and Clear Lake Road. A state Wildlife Area Parking Permit is now required to park in any ODFW parking lot. Visitors are cautioned that there have been recent vehicle break-ins at area parking lots. Please secure your valuables before leaving your vehicle unattended. Contact the wildlife area headquarters, (541) 935-2591 if you have any questions.

Eugene Area

Delta Ponds

There are many different types of waterfowl and raptors currently using the area. With the higher water and earlier dusk, now is a good time to see beaver and muskrat. Best viewing times are around 4:30 p.m.

When viewing wildlife, please remember to be respectful and try not to disturb the animals’ natural behaviors. Sometimes, the best way to view animals is from inside your vehicle as to not frighten the birds/animals away.

More information on the Delta Ponds

Forest Grove Area

Fernhill Wetlands

Fernhill Wetlands is 243 acres of wetland and moist soil habitats. From November through March, thousands of waterfowl can be seen daily. Currently, the resident American bald eagles can be seen in the tops of cottonwoods.

Portland Area

Smith and Bybee Lakes Wildlife Area

The Smith and Bybee Lakes Wildlife Area is one of the nation's largest urban freshwater wetlands. Located near the confluence of the Columbia and Willamette Rivers, the lakes function as a flood absorption system for the lower Columbia River. Hidden within an industrial area and just minutes from downtown Portland, the wetlands provide for diverse communities of plant and animal life. Numerous local schools use Smith and Bybee Lakes for a variety of outdoor education programs.

A printable wildlife checklist

Mt. Talbert Nature Park

The nature park includes the top of the former lava dome as well as the west facing slopes visible to the tens of thousands of people that travel I-205 every day or shop at the Clackamas Town Center. The park offers miles of new hiking trails, information about the cultural and natural resources found there and greater access to nature close to home.

A series of interpretive signs along the trails provide visitors information about the plants and animals that can be seen – and heard – at the nature park. Residents and visitors to Mount Talbert include deer, coyotes, raccoons, Western gray squirrel, rubber boa, pileated and hairy woodpeckers, white-breasted nuthatch, Western tanager and many more.

The park is just east of I-205 and south of Sunnyside Road. From Southeast Sunnybrook Boulevard turn south on 97th Avenue and follow until it becomes Mather Road. The park entrance is on the left off of Mather Road.

Sauvie Island Wildlife Area

The Sauvie Island Wildlife Area Eastside units and Westside, Oak Island and North are now closed and will remain so through April 30. The trail to Warrior Rock Lighthouse will remain open for hiking and Rentenaar Road, Eastside Viewing Platform and Coon Point will remain open for viewing. All areas require a Sauvie Island Wildlife Area Parking Permit.

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 them and the thousands of birds that stay to spend the winter on the wildlife area. An abundance of ducks and geese can be seen from many points around the island, as can raptors, including bald eagles, northern harriers, sandhill cranes, red-tailed hawks and American kestrel.

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, at the Sauvie Island ODFW office, Monday through Friday during office hours or online. For more information, call (503) 621-3488.

Directions to Sauvie Island Wildlife Area


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CENTRAL ZONE: FISHING

Weekend fishing opportunities

  • Several rivers and lakes remain open for trout fishing year-round including the Deschutes and Metolius rivers, and Hosmer and Walton lakes. As long as access remains open, fishing can be very good in the fall.
  • Fishing has been excellent on the Crooked River, where the whitefish are spawning and trout are keying in on the eggs.
  • Anglers have been catching 14 to 16-inch trout on Ochoco Reservoir.

If your favorite fishing spot is no longer listed

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

Send us your fishing report

We’d love to hear about your recent fishing experience. Send us your 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

No recent reports. Current road conditions are unknown.

BIG LAVA LAKE: rainbow trout

Closed to fishing until April 25, 2015.

BIKINI POND: rainbow trout

No recent reports. Ice likely a problem.

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

Closed to fishing until April 25, 2015.

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

Open to fishing all year. Anglers report fair catches of lake trout.

CROOKED RIVER BELOW BOWMAN DAM: redband trout and mountain whitefish

Trout fishing has been excellent. The whitefish are spawning and the trout will be keying in on the eggs. The use of bait is no longer allowed until May 23, 2015. Only artificial lures and flies may be use. 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. Restricted to fly-fishing only with barbless hooks.

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

Steelhead fishing on the lower Deschutes has been good throughout the season. Now that fall is here, anglers can expect fish to be spread out from the mouth all the way to Warm Springs. Good fishing can be found just about anywhere, but good fishing has been reported from Macks Canyon to South Junction. No recent reports on trout fishing.

Anglers are reminded that Chinook season closed on the Deschutes River on Oct. 31, 2014. 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

Fishing restricted to artificial flies and lures.

Benham Falls to Wickiup Dam: rainbow trout, brown trout

Closed to fishing until May 23, 2015

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

Closed to fishing until April 25, 2015.

FALL RIVER: rainbow trout

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.

FROG LAKE: rainbow trout

No recent reports on fishing.

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

No recent reports.

HOOD RIVER: summer steelhead, trout

A few hatchery origin stray, along with wild summer steelhead, are entering the river and should provide anglers with some opportunity. Anglers are reminded that all non fin-clipped steelhead must be released.

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

Open to fishing all year. Restricted to fly angling only with barbless hooks.

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

No recent reports.

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

Open to fishing all year.

LOST LAKE: rainbow trout, brown trout

No recent report. Ice and snow will limit access.

METOLIUS RIVER: redband trout, bull trout

Metolius River upstream of Allingham Bridge closed to fishing until May 23, 2015. Metolius River downstream of Allingham Bridge open all year.

Special regulations in effect for this section.

NORTH TWIN: rainbow trout

Open to fishing all year.

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

Anglers are doing well catching 14 to 16-inch trout.

Recent sampling revealed good numbers of trout ranging from 12 to 16-inches long. There were also some smallmouth bass up to 15-inches long.

ODELL LAKE: kokanee, lake trout, rainbow trout

Closed to fishing until April 25, 2015.

PAULINA LAKE: brown trout, rainbow trout, kokanee

Closed to fishing until April 25, 2015.

PINE HOLLOW RESERVOIR: rainbow trout, largemouth bass

No recent reports. Ice on the lake will limit access.

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

No recent reports.

PRINEVILLE YOUTH FISHING POND: rainbow trout and largemouth bass

The pond is currently iced over. For safety reasons, the pond is closed when iced over. Ice fishing is not allowed.

ROCK CREEK RESERVOIR: rainbow trout

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

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.

SOUTH TWIN LAKE: rainbow trout

Closed to fishing until April 25, 2015.

SUTTLE LAKE: brown trout, kokanee

Open to fishing all year.

TAYLOR LAKE: rainbow trout, largemouth bass

The lake is covered with ice.

THREE CREEK LAKE: rainbow trout, brook trout

Open to fishing all year.

WALTON LAKE: rainbow trout

No recent reports.

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

Closed to fishing until April 25, 2015.


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CENTRAL ZONE: HUNTING

OPEN: COUGAR, GROUSE, WATERFOWL (see regs)

See the bird and big game hunting forecasts.

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

Wolves and coyotes can look alike

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

Use the Oregon Hunting Map to see where to hunt.

PRINEVILLE/OCHOCO WILDLIFE DISTRICT

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

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

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

THE DALLES DISTRICT

Waterfowl- Large numbers of Canada Geese have been showing up throughout Sherman and Wasco counties. Most areas of concentrated birds are on private grounds, please ask permission to hunt on private ground. See Oregon Game Bird Regulations for all waterfowl season dates.

Upland Game Birds:

Chukar and Hungarian Partridge – Oct. 11-Jan. 31: Chukar numbers continue to be low throughout the district. Hunters can expect chukar and Hungarian partridge to be similar to last season.

Ringneck Pheasant Oct. 11-Dec. 31: Pheasants numbers continue to be stable but at low levels.

Forest Grouse and Quail – Sept. 1- Jan 31, 2105. Grouse and quail numbers are good throughout the district.

Coyote –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.

Cougar – Hunters wishing to pursue cougar will find best success near areas of deer and elk concentrations, or in canyons near bighorn sheep. Using predator calls 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.

Furbearers: Most 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.

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

Mourning Dove – Closed Oct. 30. 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 – Open all year or until zone mortality quotas have been met. Cougar can be found on White River Wildlife Area but are seldom seen. The annual migration of deer from higher in the Cascades will entice cougars to follow. Use weather to your advantage; look for tracks in snow, mud, and dirt.

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


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CENTRAL ZONE: VIEWING

CROOK COUNTY

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

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.

Deschutes County

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 shrub steppe, and other open areas for their next meal.

Snow has blanketed the higher elevations. Travel conditions and accessibility to high mountain lakes is tentative and drivers should check conditions before heading out, but visitors to lakes such as, Wickiup and Crane Prairie are likely to see common loons, 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. In addition to the water birds, you can expect to see bald eagles, hermit thrushes, Williamson’s, hairy and black-backed woodpeckers, gray jay, northern flicker, mountain chickadee, red-breasted nuthatch, red crossbill, and many other species.

Other 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).

Black-tailed jackrabbits can be seen in many areas where sagebrush abounds, and squirrels can still be observed conducting their winter activities on national forest and BLM lands, but expect to see less activity at higher elevations. Reptiles are now sequestered in underground winter quarters that protect them from freezing conditions. And although amphibians can be active at colder temperatures (even under ice!), they will be much harder to find until next spring. We’ll know spring is back when the chirrups of tree frogs can be heard once again. 12/01/14

Wasco and Sherman counties

The Lower Deschutes River provides ample wildlife viewing opportunities.

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

Many different raptor species can be seen in the Deschutes River Canyon this time of year including Red-tailed Hawks, Northern Harriers, American Kestrels, Prairie Falcons, Peregrine Falcons, and Golden Eagles. Migrating raptors have been showing up in large numbers, focus on high ridgelines where migrating birds travel.

A large variety of songbird species can be viewed in riparian areas along the river also. It is best to go birding in the early morning hours before it gets too hot for birds to be very active. Some common species seen include Bullock’s Oriole, Lazuli Bunting, Mourning Dove, Violet-green Swallow, and Cliff Swallow. 12/8/2014

White River Wildlife Area

Deer are starting into the rut which provides a good opportunity for viewing and photographs with some of the large bucks showing up. Best time to see them is early in the mornings or later in the evening hours grazing in fields and pastures.

There are several groups of elk using the Wildlife Area and much like the deer, elk will be more active in the mornings and evenings. They are just coming out of the rut and may still be seen in large groups but some of the larger bulls have pulled back away from the herds. If you can find their food sources in the mornings or evenings your chances of spotting them will greatly increase.

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

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

Look on ponds, lakes and streams to see a variety of ducks and geese. 11/3/14


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SOUTHEAST ZONE: FISHING

Weekend fishing opportunities

  • The Klamath River below Keno Dam is open. This area typically provides excellent fishing for large redband trout.
  • Ana River is a great match the hatch fly fishing river with good hatches throughout the winter.

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 extremely low. Launching boats is unlikely. Although fishing pressure at Ana Reservoir is typically low this time of year, fish are active with cooling temperatures. Hybrid bass are traditionally targeted using crank baits, however they are caught in the reservoir using various methods including bait. Trout are averaging 12 to 14-inches and hybrid bass larger than 20-inches are not uncommon.

ANA RIVER: hatchery rainbow trout

Fishing should be good for rainbow trout in Ana River. The Ana River is spring fed and rainbow trout are active throughout the year. The river was sampled on June 5 to evaluate the current stocking strategy and size of trout in the river. We found smaller trout (8 to 10-inches) were dominant from the dam for about 2 miles downstream. Larger trout up to 14-inches are more common in areas where access is more difficult. Anglers can access these trout by floating the river in a pontoon or float tube. Caddis flies are the dominant invertebrate. Small blue winged olive (size 18) mayflies should be hatching. Ana River is a great match the hatch fly fishing river with good hatches throughout the winter. Hatches typically occur during the afternoon from 12-3 p.m. the best time. Small mayfly hatches are typically best on overcast days with light rain or snow. The roads paralleling the river are likely very muddy. Anglers can park at Ana Reservoir and hike down or park at the lower road crossing and hike up. Ana River is a good TROUT 365 fishery – good trout fishing 365 days a year.

ANNIE CREEK: brook trout, brown trout and rainbow trout

Closed to fishing until April 25, 2015.

BALM CREEK RESERVOIR: rainbow trout, smallmouth bass, crappie

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

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

No recent fishing report. The reservoir water level is very low with irrigation use and boat ramps are not useable. The reservoir may be partially frozen but open water should still be available for 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

No recent fishing report. The river is currently flowing between 25 to 40 cfs with water temperatures in the low 30s. 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 currently open to the South Steens Campground but check with Burns BLM before heading out, as recent weather may have prompted gate closures.

BLUE LAKE: hatchery rainbow trout

You will likely encounter snow on your way into Blue Lake. 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 continues to decline with irrigation withdrawal. Boat ramp is not usable. No recent fishing report.

BURNS POND: trout, bass

About 2,000 legal (8 to 11-inches) rainbow trout were stocked in the pond the week of Oct. 3. Ice formed with the recent cold weather, but has since receded and the pond is almost entirely open water. Fishing should be good for rainbow trout over the next few weeks and consistent throughout the winter.

BURNT RIVER: rainbow trout

Closed to fishing until April 25, 2015.

CAMPBELL LAKE: brook trout, rainbow trout

Access could be blocked by snow.

CHEWAUCAN RIVER: redband trout

The river downstream of Paisley closes 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

The reservoir is low and the boat ramp is out of the water by 10-15 feet. Ice has formed on the reservoir, BUT it is not safe. There are some open water areas along the shore, and around rocks and the dock and the recent warmer weather could open up more of the lake. Trout numbers will be down this fall, but anglers should be able to catch some trout now that temperatures have fallen.

COTTONWOOD MEADOWS: rainbow trout, brook trout

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

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

The upper lake is full and the lower one is dry. As of 2013, the lakes will no longer be stocked with rainbow trout due to poor habitat quality. Ice fisherman reported poor success for warm water species and trout.

DEADHORSE LAKE: rainbow trout

Access might be blocked by snow. Fishing should be good.

DELINTMENT LAKE: trout

No recent reports, but fishing should become better as water temperatures decline during the fall. Ice has formed on the reservoir, BUT it is not safe.

DEMING CREEK: redband trout

Fishing is closed until April 25, 2015.

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

No reports.

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

Sampling in June confirmed that brown bullheads are dominating the fishery this year. The bullheads range in size from 8 to 14-inches and are a great fish for kids.

Bass anglers have reported the best bass fishing at the reservoir in years with fish of various sizes caught. Bank and boat access is excellent at the lake.

DUNCAN RESERVOIR: rainbow trout

No recent reports.

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

Open to fishing all year. Fourmile Creek off Westside road just north of Cherry Creek is open all year with bait allowed. Fishing should be good for brook trout. A few large brown trout occur in the stream. Access is available off Westside Road at Fourmile Springs. A small car topper boat or canoe can improve fishing access at this area. Anglers should be aware of private property around this area and can check Klamath County Land Ownership for information.

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

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

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

The lake is only 1 percent full, which makes launching boats challenging if possible. Fishing is slow.

HAINES POND: rainbow

The pond was stocked with trophy-sized rainbow trout in late September. The pond is not yet ice-covered.

HEART LAKE: rainbow trout, kokanee

No recent reports.

HOLBROOK RESERVOIR: rainbow trout

Bag and size limits have been lifted at the reservoir to enable anglers to harvest rainbow trout before it goes dry. Anglers can also try fishing Lofton Reservoir or Heart Lake, though all these lakes might be frozen.

HWY 203 POND: trout, bass, bluegill

The pond is not yet ice-covered

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

Fishing is very slow for warmwater fish such as crappie, pumpkinseed sunfish and brown bullhead catfish. The reservoir is turbid therefore anglers should try lures with high visibility and scent. Boats can be launched in several locations in the reservoir. Unimproved ramps occur just north and south of the Highway 66 bridge crossing. No fees are required to launch at these locations. Try the bay just south of the BLM campground for crappie and pumpkinseed. Also try the rocky areas near and under the bridge. Goldfish dominate the fish assemblage in the reservoir. Anglers should mimic the goldfish with bronze or copper lures or plugs to catch largemouth bass in the reservoir. Water temperatures in the reservoir are peaking at about 42 degrees.

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

The lake is turbid therefore bank fishing or still fishing has been more productive than trolling or casting from a boat. Fishing is generally slow with catch rates averaging 7 hours per redband from boat and 30 hours per redband from the shore. Most anglers are fishing from shore near Moore Park, off highway 140 or at Eagle Ridge County Park. Water temperature has increased slightly to 41 degrees. Water temperatures around 58-60 degrees are ideal for redband trout activity. The lake is 4.3 feet below full pool. ODFW encourages catch and release as this fishery is managed for trophy trout. Redband trout captured should not be removed from the water, resuscitated by cradling and pumping gills by moving fish back and forth through the water. It is unlawful to continue to fish for the same type of fish after taking and retaining a catch or possession limit.

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

KLAMATH RIVER: native rainbow-redband trout

The section from Keno Dam to J.C. Boyle Reservoir is open to fishing. Fishing is fair but is the best bet for winter fishing in the Klamath Area. The current flow is 603 cfs. Water clarity is good. Water temperatures are averaging around 42 degrees. Flows remain ideal for a successful fishing 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.

The Klamath River between JC Boyle Dam to JC Boyle Powerhouse offers fair spinner fishing. 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. This section of river requires a hike down steep grade to the river with the exception of the area just above the powerhouse.

Below the JC Boyle powerhouse the fish get slightly larger than the aforementioned reach and average 12 inches but rarely exceed sixteen inches. River flows in this section are typically quite high during the day. 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. Casting leech or wooly buggers upstream into fast water pockets and pools and stripping can be very effective. Look for blue winged olive mayfly hatches in the afternoon. Most fish are in the 6-8 inch range but numerous 12 inch fish can be caught with 16 inches the maximum. Flows will be high through most daylight hours. The past week the fishable flows have occurred at 3:00 pm. Flow release estimates have been discontinued until next spring.

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. ODFW has enacted a temporary rule to modify the regulation language to allow anglers to continue fishing at this reservoir from Nov. 1 through Dec. 31 2014. The 2015 angling regulations will note the year-round angling regulation. Anglers have reported moderate success for rainbow trout up to 19-inches recently. Water remains high and boats can be launched at the boat ramp.

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

Call Lake of the Woods Resort for recent reports Toll Free at 866-201-4194. Fishing for brown trout can be fair this time of year as they move into the shallows and also feed aggressively after the spawn. Yellow perch can also be caught using small bait.

LOFTON RESERVOIR: rainbow trout

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 but will likely freeze sometime next month. Public access is available at Crystal Springs day use area. Anglers can fish from the specifically designed bridge for fishing at this location. Boats can be launched from an improved boat ramp at Crystal Springs. Sacramento perch have been captured below Horseshoe Dam. This is one of the only locations in the state to capture this fish. The Lost River is open to fishing year round.

MALHEUR RESERVOIR: hatchery rainbow trout

Recent reports indicate that the reservoir is dry.

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

Water releases from Warm Springs Reservoir are less than 1 cfs as of Dec. 15 and the reservoir is at dead-pool. Fishing is poor.

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

Fishing is slow and ice has formed on much of the river.

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

No recent reports.

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

No recent reports.

MANN LAKE: trout

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

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

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 reports. Road is likely very muddy

MURRAY RESERVOIR: trout

Fishing should improve with cooler fall temperatures.

NORTH POWDER POND: rainbow trout

The pond was stocked with trophy-sized rainbow trout in late September. The pond is not yet ice-covered.

OVERTON RESERVOIR: rainbow trout

Access to the reservoir is likely difficult due to snow or mud.

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

No recent reports, but angling is expected to be slow. The access road to the reservoir was snow-packed/icy due to cold weather during the week of Nov. 17.

No boat ramps are useable based on the Bureau of Reclamation webpage.

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

Water releases below the dam were at 10 cfs as of Dec. 15. Ice has formed on the river but recent weather may have opened up water for fishing.

OWYHEE RIVER (Upper): smallmouth bass and channel catfish

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

PHILLIPS RESERVOIR: trout, perch

The reservoir is at 16 percent of capacity. The reservoir is not yet ice-covered. A second batch of tiger muskie were released into the reservoir in early July of 2014. Anglers are reminded that tiger muskie are restricted to catch-and-release only. No harvest or removal from the reservoir is allowed. The last stocking of legal-sized rainbow trout occurred late June. In early May, 7,500 tiger trout were released. These fish were 8 to 10-inches when released and should be much larger by winter. As with the tiger muskie, fishing for tiger trout is restricted to catch and release only. Launching boats at the Union Creek Campground boat launch is not possible. Launching at the boat launch adjacent to the dam is feasible, but rough due to pot holes in the ramp.

PILCHER RESERVOIR: trout

The reservoir closed to fishing until April 25, 2015.

POISON CREEK RESERVOIR: hatchery rainbow trout

Ice has formed at the reservoir, but it is unsafe at this time. The limit is 2 per day, please respect the fishing regulations for the reservoir.

POLE CREEK RESERVOIR: hatchery rainbow trout

No recent report. Access to the reservoir may be difficult due to snow, mud or ice.

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.

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.

SPRING CREEK: redband trout, brown trout and brook trout

Closed to fishing until May 23, 2015. Significant numbers of brown trout and a few redband trout continue to spawn at the mouth of Spring Creek at Collier State Park and make for great fish watching.

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.

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

Closed to fishing until April 25, 2015.

SUN CREEK: brook trout, bull trout, brown trout

Closed to fishing until April 25, 2015.

SYCAN RIVER: brook trout, redband trout

Closed to fishing until April 25, 2015.

THOMPSON RESERVOIR: rainbow trout, largemouth bass

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

THIEF VALLEY RESERVOIR: trout

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

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

UNITY RESERVOIR: trout, bass, crappie

The reservoir is at about 11 percent of capacity and is not yet ice-covered. Anglers are reminded that a new regulation restricts the harvest of bass to those under 15-inches long.

VEE LAKE: rainbow trout

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

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

The reservoir is at dead-pool and fishing is slow. Mud, snow or ice will make accessing the reservoir difficult.

LOWER WILLIAMSON RIVER: redband and brown trout

Closed to fishing until May 23, 2015.

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

Mud, snow or ice will make accessing the reservoir difficult.

WOLF CREEK RESERVOIR: crappie, trout

The water level is now below the boat launch so fishing with larger trailered boats is not possible. The reservoir is not yet ice-covered.

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

Closed to fishing until April 25, 2015.

YELLOWJACKET LAKE: trout

About 4,000 legal (8 to 11-inches) rainbow trout were stocked into the lake during the week of Oct. 3. Ice has formed on the lake and anglers can drive to the lake, but the ice is currently unsafe for ice fishing. Water was observed on top of the lake and around the margins of the lake on Nov. 24.


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SOUTHEAST ZONE: HUNTING

OPEN: COUGAR, UPLAND BIRD, WATERFOWL (see regs)

See the bird and big game hunting forecasts.

Wolves and coyotes can look alike

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

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

Use the Oregon Hunting Map to see where to hunt.

HARNEY COUNTY

Hunting maps for Harney County

Forest Grouse - Season remains open through the end of December. Grouse can be found in the forested portions of the Silvies and Malheur Units, but population numbers are low. Blue grouse are generally found along ridges that have some forest openings. Ruffed grouse are usually found along riparian areas. Hunters are asked to collect wings and tails from any grouse harvested and submit them to an ODFW office.

Upland Game Bird season continues. From late winter through summer of 2014, extremely dry weather persisted across much of SE Oregon which was poor for habitat. Recent precipitation may help bird populations by providing some much needed fall green up. Overall chukar and quail populations are expected to be similar to the past two seasons, and are still below the 10 year average. PHEASANT hunting opportunities are limited in Harney County. Check out the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge website for pheasant and quail hunt areas open to the public.

Elk – Only a few antlerless ELK hunts are still open, in addition to the Youth antlerless elk hunts that will continue through the end of December 2014.

Waterfowl season is open; see regs for season dates. Hunting may be limited in the Harney Basin due to low water conditions in Malheur Lake and most local reservoirs. Best hunting opportunities will be for Canada geese on private lands, hunters are reminded to get permission from the landowner before hunting on private lands. Check out the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge website for detailed maps.

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

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

KLAMATH COUNTY

Waterfowl - Duck season will reopen on December 10 and goose season on December 15. Duck hunting is beginning to slow down as birds have begun moving south out of the Klamath Basin.

Mountain quail season is open with best prospects in the southern Keno Unit. Look for brushy areas. Hunters are reminded of the daily bag limit of 2/day in Klamath County.

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

Cougar - Hunting is open year round. Populations are healthy and distributed throughout the district in any area with a big game prey base. Don’t forget successful hunters must check-in cougars no more than 10 days after harvest; please bring cougar in thawed and with mouth propped open so that field staff can quickly process the animal and get you on your way.

Coyote populations are fairly low throughout Klamath County. Pups have now left their dens, however adults are still very territorial. Coyote vocalization calls still work best until the pups start to disperse, which will be mid to late August. Be aware that bobcats and cougars may respond to predator calls, and separate licensing and season limitations exist for these species.

KLAMATH WILDLIFE AREA

Klamath Wildlife Area is open to hunting during the general waterfowl and upland game bird seasons. Please see the regulations for specific hunt information about hunting at Klamath Wildlife Area. Federally approved non-toxic shot is required for all game bird hunting on the Klamath Wildlife Area.

Gorr Island Unit

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

Shoalwater Bay Unit and Sesti Tgawaals Unit

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

Miller Island Unit

The Miller Island Unit is located 6 miles south and west of Klamath Falls. The Miller Island Unit is open to hunting on authorized hunt days (please see the 2014-15 Oregon Game Bird Regulations for more information). All three Units of Klamath Wildlife Area are now open during the designated 2014-15 shooting hours. A self-serve permit is required and can be obtained at the check station.
Federally approved non-toxic shot is required for all hunting.

Waterfowl Hunting

Klamath Basin waterfowl numbers are available on the US Fish and Wildlife website. For weekly updated hunt statistics please see ODFW Klamath Wildlife Area Harvest Summaries for more information.

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

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.

Coyote Pups have dispersed. Calls mimicking prey distress sounds will be effective through the fall. Be aware that bobcats and cougars may respond to predator calls, and separate licensing and season limitations exist for these species.

Forest Grouse season continues thru Dec. 31. There are very few Ruffed Grouse in the county and Blue Grouse populations are restricted to the higher elevation forest openings. By this time of year Blue grouse will be roosting and feeding in fir trees. Through the winter they spend very little time on the ground.

Upland Bird – Chukar and quail seasons are open. The chukar hatch appears to be better than last year. Hunters should focus on the major rims with desert vegetation in the Beatys Butte, Juniper, Wagontire and Warner units. Almost all quail populations are restricted to private land and hunters must get permission before hunting. Hunting opportunity for quail on public land are restricted to the Warner Wetlands and Summer Lake Wildlife Area.

Waterfowl - Hunting conditions are poor throughout most of the county. All the Warner Valley lakes are primarily dry, with the only water being from the springs along the shore line or at the mouths of the creeks. After the recent rains Lake Abert has sheet water but the only permanent water is at the springs along the shore line. Goose Lake is dry.

SUMMER LAKE WILDLIFE AREA

This section was updated on December 16, 2014

The ninth week of hunting season was fair for ducks and upland game birds. All migratory bird hunting seasons were closed for the first 2 days of the week and goose seasons remained closed through the weekend. Hunter participation was up compared to last year. Decoy hunters willing to spend time in the field did fair, while pass shooters did very poorly. Upland bird hunting pressure remains light.

Weather conditions were extremely variable the entire week. Rainfall occurred nearly every day, especially late in the week. Harsh conditions moderated somewhat through the weekend. Temperatures were unseasonably warm highs in the mid-40’s and low 50’s and lows that remained above or slightly below freezing. The entire marsh remains open and ice free through the past weekend.

For the 9th week of the season, hunter participation (83 check-in) was up (56.6%) from last year and reported harvest (92.8% check-out) of 143 birds (123 ducks, 7 Am. coots and 13 California quail) was down (-28.5%) from the same week of the season last year. The bird per hunter average of 1.91 was also down (--52.3%) from 2013.

Duck harvest was reported to consist of 36 mallards, 25 American wigeon, 16 N.shoveler, 12 gadwall, 16 Bufflehead, and 18 other ducks of 7 different species. The duck per hunter average of 1.64 was down (-56.1%) from last year.

California quail take (13) was up from the 10reported taken in 2013.

The prospect for the upcoming week remains fair. On December 15, Canada goose season reopened. Snow and white-fronted goose seasons will remain closed for the rest of the season.

Weather conditions for the upcoming week are forecasted to remain mild although somewhat stormy with chances of rain or showers all week. Temperatures will be mild, so open and ice-free conditions should persist through the upcoming weekend.

Frozen conditions are needed to concentrate ducks into smaller open water areas. Currently, the entire area is open and ice-free.

Pass shooting from dikes or along refuge boundaries will continue to be very poor. Hunters utilizing decoys and willing to spend most of the day in the marsh, away from dikes and levees, should continue to have fair success.

The weekly waterfowl count conducted on Wednesday Dec. 10 found about 23,400 ducks and 1,400 geese present. The next count is scheduled for December 16th and results will be posted on the department website and wildlife area’s telephone answering machine the following day.

Habitat conditions remain good with most all units being fully flooded or nearly so and ice free.

Hunter must obtain a free daily hunting permit that can be obtained at the Checking Station 1.3 miles south of the town of Summer Lake. Permits may be obtained for 2 consecutive days (one for each day) at one time and check-out is required daily or at the end of the 2 day period.

The Check Station lobby area is open and daily hunting permits are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Hunters will need current year hunting licenses with appropriate HIP and Game Bird validations. Please remember, if have a Sports-Pac license; you will have had to return to a POS agent in order to update your waterfowl and upland game bird validations and complete the HIP validation. Federal Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamps (duck stamps) are required for hunters over 16 years and are available from US Post Offices and sometimes license agents. Stamps must be signed across the face in ink to be valid for hunting.

Youths under 18 must have a hunter education card (or certification on their hunting license) in their possession. Please consult the 2014-2015 Oregon Game Bird Regulations for licensing requirements and bag limits.

Please remember, posted refuges are closed to all hunting. Non-toxic shot is required for all game bird hunting on the wildlife area. Please contact Summer Lake Wildlife Area at (541) 943-3152 or email martin.j.stlouis@state.or.us for additional information.

MALHEUR COUNTY

The snow storm that came through Nov. 14 deposited 6 inches of snow in the northern portion of Malheur County. Currently the Treasure Valley is in an inversion with well below average temperatures. These cold temperatures have frozen up most standing water bodies concentrating waterfowl on the Snake River.

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

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

UPLAND BIRDS

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

Chukar surveys on established routes yielded 47 chukar per 10 miles and very good production with 11.5 chicks per brood. This is a 135% increase from last year when 20.2 birds per 10 miles were measured and is 7% below the 10-year average of 50.7 birds per 10 miles. The Succor Creek/Leslie Gulch area has only experienced limited recovery.

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

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

The outlying areas around Willow Creek and Vale have higher bird numbers than areas closer to Ontario and Nyssa. There is very little public land pheasant hunting opportunity in the area and the few parcels that are available tend to get hunted daily. One option for private lands access is the Cow Hollow fundraiser to benefit the Cow Hollow Park.

California quail

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

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SOUTHEAST ZONE: VIEWING

HARNEY COUNTY

Wintering raptors have returned to 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.

As the fall season progresses, look for deer, elk, and antelope to remain active for longer periods of the day. Many populations of deer and elk will begin to move into lower elevations as severe weather events increase in frequency and daylight hours dwindle. This annual transition into winter ranges often makes large animals more visible, and may provide opportunities for viewers and photographers.

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. 12/9/14.

KLAMATH COUNTY

Klamath Wildlife Area (Miller Island)

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.

Waterfowl

Great Basin Canada geese can be found scattered throughout the Miller Island Unit, however a majority of the waterfowl have migrated out. You can still find a few mallards, northern pintail, American wigeon, gadwall, Northern shoveler, and American green-winged teal scattered around. Divers such as canvasbacks, scaup, ringnecks, redhead, bufflehead, ruddy duck and goldeneye can still be seen on the Wildlife Area and along the Klamath River.

Shorebirds, waders and other waterbirds

Majority of the shorebirds have migrated, but you can still find the occasional common snipe, yellow legs species and killdeer.

Pied billed and eared grebes can still be found on the wildlife area and Klamath River.

Ring-billed and Bonaparte’s gulls continue to be a common site on the area, but continue to decline in numbers as winter progresses.

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.

Upland Game Birds

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

Passerines

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

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

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

Overnight camping is not allowed on the Miller Island Unit. If you have any questions, please contact Klamath Wildlife Area at (541) 883-5734. 12/7/14.

LAKE COUNTY

All of the large shallow lakes in the county are dry and therefore most migrating shore birds will bypass the county this fall. There are a few shore birds using the fresh water springs and shallow channels remaining in Lake Abert.

Rough-leg hawks have arrived. The fall migration is over and most summer residents have moved south. 11/12/14.

SUMMER LAKE WILDLIFE AREA

This section was updated on Dec. 15, 2014.

Summer Lake Wildlife Area requires a calendar year 2014 $7 daily parking permit or a $22 annual parking permit. Parking permits can be purchased at any ODFW license agent or through the ODFW website. Locally, parking permits can be purchased at the Summer Lake Store, 1.3 miles north of Headquarters.

Vehicle access to the Wildlife Viewing Loop and major dike roads (Windbreak and Work Road) is closed for the remainder of the year.

Wetland conditions are good; all of the area’s wetlands are open and ice-free. Emergent vegetation is beginning to lodge-over due to recent strong winds.

Waterfowl

Waterfowl populations remain in fair numbers. A few migrants such as swans continue to arrive, but the major fall migration is nearly over. Birds are widely dispersed across the entire wildlife area in small areas of open and ice-free water.

The weekly count conducted on December 10 found 23,400 ducks (15 species) on the area. Good numbers of migrant northern pintail, northern shoveler, American wigeon and American green-winged teal and some divers (canvasback and ringneck) were observed.

Lesser snow geese are nearly gone, less than 15 were still present. Canada geese are widely scattered across the wildlife area’s wetlands and numbered about 1,000 on the weekly count. Greater white-fronted geese are continuing to linger in small numbers, about 340 were observed.

Migrant trumpeter swan numbers remain fairly strong with over 50 present on the weekly count. 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.

Migrant swans continue to stage in good number with around 1,100 total swans observed during the weekly count.

Shorebirds, waders and other waterbirds

Shorebird numbers continue to decline at this time as fall migration is over and because of the frozen over conditions experienced a few weeks ago.
It is expected that very few will be found on the next weekly count.

American coots have declined dramatically, about 1,000 were found during the weekly count.

Several species of grebes (eared, western, pied-billed and Clark’s) can still be found scattered across the wildlife area. A few American bittern, great blue herons and an occasional black-crowned night heron continue to be observed.

Raptors and others

Resident and migrant raptors, especially red-tailed hawks are scattered throughout the Wildlife Area as well as on private lands along Hwy 31. Several rough-legged hawks were observed during the weekly count, their numbers should continue to grow over the coming weeks. Northern harriers are commonly observed over marsh and hay meadows. Bald and golden eagle can be occasionally observed. A red-shouldered hawk has been present at the Headquarters Orchard area for the past several weeks, and migrant accipiters are occasionally observed.

Prairie falcons are sometimes observed.

Great horned owls can be found scattered across the entire wildlife area, especially in the trees at campgrounds and common-barn owls are sometimes observed or heard at night at Headquarters.

Upland game birds

California quail and ring-necked pheasants are widely scattered across the north end of the wildlife area. Coveys of quail are sometimes seen, especially around the Headquarters Refuge. Pheasants are difficult to observe since hunting seasons have started.

Passerines

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

American and lesser goldfinches continue to be observed in good numbers at Headquarters. Song sparrows are very common along dikes and levees. American robins and sometimes cedar waxwings are fairly abundant around Headquarters now. A Harris’ sparrow was observed over the past weekend.

Wintering Townsend’s solitaires are beginning to arrive in good number. A fox sparrow and Harris’ sparrow, along with a brown creeper was observed over the past week at the Headquarters feeder.

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

Blackbird numbers are low at this time, although a few small flocks and scattered individuals continue to be observed. Large flocks of European starlings continue to be observed.

Facilities and Access

Please remember: Calendar year 2014 parking permits are required!

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

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

The Wildlife Viewing Loop and major dike roads (Windbreak and Work Road) are now closed for the remainder of the year.
The Wildlife Viewing Blind on the edge of Schoolhouse Lake Refuge affords an excellent opportunity to view a wide variety of waterbirds.

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 nearly all of the wildlife area’s wetlands are open and ice free.

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 well into fall senescence across all wetland areas now and much of it is lodged over due to recent strong winds.

Upland habitat remains in excellent condition with considerable residual vegetation that is providing high quality food and cover for many wildlife species. No snow is on the ground at this time. Planted tree and shrub plots are providing excellent sheltered sites for many wildlife species.

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

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NORTHEAST ZONE: FISHING

Weekend fishing opportunities

  • Long Creek, Cavender and Holliday Park ponds and Bull Prairie Reservoir were all stocked in late September and trout fishing should be good through the end of the year. Proceed with caution when ponds are iced over. Ice may be too thin to support anglers.
  • Flows are up on the Grande Ronde River and anglers are reporting good steelhead fishing. There is healthy proportion of two salt fish this year, so expect a few larger fish and some screaming drags!
  • The Wallowa River is a whitefish factory this time of year. Whitefish can be a great way to keep kids interested while steelhead fishing and can be great table fair.

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 all year. Approximately 200 trophy rainbow trout were stocked on Sept. 23. The reservoir has frozen and should provide good ice fishing for the remainder of the winter. Proceed with caution, ice may be too thin to support anglers.

GRANDE RONDE RIVER: steelhead

Anglers have recently reported good steelhead fishing on the Grande Ronde. Flows are up and fishing should continue to be productive as long as temperatures hold. Boating will be much easier for both rafters and drift boaters. With cooling water temps look for fish to move to calmer water where they can conserve energy while holding. 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: trout

Remains open all year. Trophy trout were stocked on Sept. 23 and should provide good fishing for the remainder of the year. Proceed with caution if pond is iced over. Ice may be too thin to support anglers.

IMNAHA RIVER: Steelhead

PIT-tag detections show a number of steelhead moving up the lower river and anglers have had success finding good numbers of early fish. A few steelhead can be found in the lower river all winter; however, the best times to catch steelhead in the Imnaha are in the early fall and spring. Fall chinook are in the lower river to spawn. There is no open Chinook season on the Imnaha River. Please release these fish unharmed and allow them to spawn.

JOHN DAY RIVER: Steelhead

River flow is now over 500 cfs at the Service Creek Gauge RM 157 and summer steelhead have begun moving into the lower 100 miles of river below Clarno. PIT-tag detections at RM 20 are increasing and show a surge of steelhead moving up river in late November. The mouth of Rock Creek and Cottonwood Canyon State Park provide the best bank access. Floating with drift boats is now possible but water temperatures will be cold. Flies and lures will not do as well in the cold water but bait fishing should still produce steelhead. 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

Remain open all year. Trophy trout were stocked on Sept. 23 and should provide good fishing for the remainder of the year. Bass fishing is likely poor with the onset of freezing temperatures. Proceed with caution if pond is iced over. Ice may be too thin to support anglers.

MAGONE LAKE: rainbow and brook trout

Remains open all year. Ice fishing is fair for brook trout and rainbow. Proceed with caution if lake is iced-over. Ice may be too thin to support anglers.

PEACH POND (Ladd Marsh): rainbow trout

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

ROULET POND: rainbow trout

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

ROWE CREEK RESERVOIR: rainbow trout

Remains open all year. Trout fishing is fair but the water level is very low. Proceed with caution if pond is iced-over. Ice may be too thin to support anglers.

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 fishing was fair last week with lower river anglers averaging 7.3 hours per steelhead caught and upper river anglers averaging 11.3 hours per steelhead caught. 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

Some rainbow trout are still available and tagged fish are occasionally being reported. Trout have been caught with a variety of methods but a simple rig with PowerBait has been most effective. If the cold weather continues and the lake freezes, ice fishing can be good for both kokanee and trout. 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.

WALLOWA RIVER: steelhead, mountain whitefish

The Wallowa is currently open for steelhead fishing and anglers have reported finding a few fish. However, the best catch rates will be in the late winter and spring. 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 and let the fun begin.

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NORTHEAST ZONE: HUNTING

OPEN: COUGAR, GROUSE, WATERFOWL (see regs)

See the bird and big game hunting forecasts.

Wolves in Northeast Oregon

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

Use the Oregon Hunting Map to see where to hunt.

BAKER COUNTY

Closure of Wallowa Mountain Loop Road (Forest Road 39)

Chukar, Hun, and California Quail - The season opens Oct. 11 and ends Jan. 31, 2015. Hunters should expect another season very similar to last years. Chukar numbers are still low for the county, however quail numbers showed a slight increase from last year.

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

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

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

GRANT COUNTY

Grouse season started Sept. 1 and will remain open through Dec. 31. Blue grouse can be found in the higher elevations while ruffed grouse are more common in wetter areas. Hunters have had great success so far this season.

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

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

MORROW, GILLIAM AND WHEELER COUNTIES

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

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

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

UNION COUNTY

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

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

Ladd Marsh Wildlife Area

Ladd Marsh Wildlife Area is open Saturday, Sunday, Wednesday and federal holidays during pheasant, quail, partridge and waterfowl seasons. Visitors are advised to carefully read posted signs and consult game bird regulations before entering the wildlife area.

Waterfowl hunting has been slow due to the early freeze-up. Recent warm temperatures and rain is beginning to open some areas. Local bird numbers remain good and hunting should improve if warm temperatures persist.

Hunters should watch local weather reports for high winds near Ladd and Pyles canyons. This generally means good waterfowl hunting at Ladd Marsh. Upland hunting has been good for pheasants and quail. Nesting conditions were good for both this year. Hunt areas near water with dogs for the best success.

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/regulation 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)

Elk - Numbers of elk are strong throughout most of Wallowa County with good bull to cow ratios in all units. Most animals are now on winter ranges at lower elevations. Several antlerless elk seasons are open now and success has been moderate.

Forest Grouse hunting has been poor – fair in recent years and this year is similar. Blue grouse numbers are below the long term average, and most birds have moved to timber stands where they spend the winter eating conifer buds. Ruffed grouse hunting opportunities will be best along riparian areas where abundant shrubs are found.

Chukar hunting has been poor to fair in recent years, but this year a good hatch should produce an improvement in chukar numbers. The season started October 5.

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: VIEWING

BAKER COUNTY

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

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

Deer and elk are returning to the valley to winter. Early in the morning and late in the afternoon are good times to view wildlife. Driving through the foothills of the Baker valley and through the Keating valley can turn up good numbers of deer. 11/25/14.

GRANT COUNTY

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

Mountain Goats can still be viewed along the rocky outcrops above Strawberry Lake. Small mammals such as black squirrels and chipmunks are readily seen while walking up the trail to the lake.

Watch for deer and elk crossing the highways. This is the time of year when deer begin to migrate. 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. 10/6/2014

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.

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. 11/12/14.

UMATILLA COUNTY

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

UNION COUNTY

Ladd Marsh Wildlife Area

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

The Tule Lake autoroute is closed to vehicles, the Tule Lake unit and most of the wildlife area is open Sat., Sun., Wed. and holidays during the waterfowl and pheasant hunting seasons. The Glass Hill Unit is open to public entry seven days a week for foot and horse traffic only. Be aware that hunting seasons are open. Please see the note above regarding daily permits. 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.

Water levels had begun to recover when the unseasonably cold temperatures struck. The wildlife area remains mostly frozen. Waterfowl are using grain fields and many may be seen loafing on Hot Lake.

Large numbers of white-crowned sparrows have been found in shrubby areas along with song sparrows. Cedar Waxwings can be found foraging in fruit trees, mountain ash and hawthorn. Northern shrikes have been seen in several locations across the area.

Raptors include Red-tailed Hawk, Northern Harrier, Rough-legged Hawk, Great horned and Barn Owls, Cooper’s and Sharp-shinned Hawks and American Kestrel.

For more information on access rules for Ladd Marsh Wildlife Area, please consult the Oregon Game Bird Regulations or call the wildlife area (541) 963-4954. 12/01/14.

WALLOWA COUNTY

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

The elk on the Zumwalt Prairie are on the open prairie now and the mid-elevation forests. Occasional large herds can be seen from the Zumwalt Road or on The Nature Conservancy’s Zumwalt Prairie Preserve. Once you find a herd, use binoculars or a spotting scope to observe the animals.

Large numbers of migrant waterfowl can 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 be seen feeding in agricultural fields and along streams around the county. Other winter migrants have begun to move into the area including several bald eagles. 12/16/14


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SNAKE RIVER ZONE: FISHING

New salmon, steelhead, sturgeon endorsement

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

See a map of the Basin and get more information.

Send us your fishing report

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

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

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

Fall chinook season is closed in Hells Canyon as of Nov. 17. Steelhead fishing can be good in the canyon throughout the winter and into spring. Barbless hooks are required when fishing for salmon, steelhead and sturgeon in Hells Canyon. Also remember a Columbia Basin Endorsement is required when fishing for salmon, steelhead and sturgeon in the Snake River.

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

Get updated information on flow levels.

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

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

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COLUMBIA RIVER ZONE: FISHING

Weekend Fishing Opportunities:

  • Steelhead angling is fair in the John Day Arm.
  • White sturgeon retention is closed but remains an option for catch-and-release fishing.

 

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

Salmon, Steelhead and Shad

The salmonid creel program on the lower Columbia has ended for the year and will resume February of 2015.

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

Weekly checking showed six adipose fin-clipped steelhead kept, plus 14 unclipped steelhead released for 14 boats.

STURGEON

A hearing is scheduled for 10:00 a.m. Thursday, December 18, 2014 (via teleconference) to consider recreational sturgeon retention fisheries in Bonneville Pool.

Catch-and-release only. No report

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MARINE ZONE: FISHING

Send us your fishing report

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

Saltwater News Bulletins

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

Marine Reserves

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

PACIFIC HALIBUT

The 2014 Pacific halibut seasons have all closed for the remainder of the year. The International Pacific Halibut Commission (IPHC) will set 2015 quotas for all areas in late January 2015. More information on the 2015 seasons will be available after that time.

BOTTOM FISHING

The ocean is open to bottom fishing at all depths. This time of year, whenever the weather permits, bottom fishing can be great fun and very productive. Charter fishing trips are an especially good bet for visitors to the coast, making an ocean fishing experience easy and enjoyable with expert crews to help provide and rig gear and find good fishing locations. December is a good time to try for deep water lingcod, and cabezon is open through Dec. 31.

The marine fish daily bag limit is seven fish, only one of which may be a cabezon while cabezon is open. There are separate daily limits for lingcod (two) and flatfish other than Pacific halibut (25). Remember: yelloweye rockfish and canary rockfish may not be retained.

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

The correct coordinates are:

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

SHELLFISH

A holiday feast!

Many people celebrate the winter holiday season with a seafood feast. The winter low tides will provide opportunity to harvest your own shellfish to make a nice meal like cioppino. Cioppino is a simple tomato-based stew of fresh shellfish and fish. A few shellfish ingredients that you can harvest yourself include: mussels (can be found off many jetties and rocks), bay clams (like cockles or butter clams), razor clams, and crab (Dungeness or red rock). Add some white fish (like halibut or rockfish from your freezer or the market) and enjoy!

Razor clams

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

Due to the large number of small razor clams on the beach, diggers should be highly selective about which shows they pursue. Harvesters are reminded they must retain the first 15 clams regardless of size or condition.

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

Bay clams

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

Recreational shellfish safety status, as of Dec. 16:

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

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

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

Crabs

Weather permitting, go crabbing! Ocean-caught crabs are big and full of meat this year, although crabbers might have to pay their dues in patience—many crabbers are reporting slow catch rates, but excellent quality crabs. Bay crabbing can also be very good this time of year. Keep in mind that major rain events can dramatically lower the salinity in some bays and prompt crab to move lower in the bay or out to the ocean. Check out the monthly crabbing report for data by port.

Crabbing is fun, but sometimes the cost, weight, and waiting can be a lot of work. For a family-friendly crabbing adventure, try a lightweight (and affordable) folding crab trap. Most commonly attached to a sturdy fishing rod or lightweight line, these traps are perfect for crabbing from the shore or a dock. Just zip-tie a chicken leg for bait, cast or drop your line, and wait for a “tug.” With these traps, crabbers often check them every 5 minutes! Popular places to use lightweight folding traps are the mouths of Siletz Bay or Alsea Bay, and from any public fishing pier. Combine some crabbing with your recreational paddling—folding crab traps also work well from small boats such as kayaks or canoes. Don’t forget to take along a large bucket for your catch!

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

See an illustration showing the correct measurement (jpg).


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MARINE ZONE: VIEWING

Whale Watch Week is almost here (but why wait?)!

Volunteers with the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department’s Whale Watching Spoken Here program will be stationed at great whale watching sites from December 27-31 so they can help others spot the whales. 

The winter and spring Whale Watch Weeks highlight the passage of migrating whales making their way to and from the waters off Alaska and Mexico. The winter migration season is generally mid-December through January.
Don’t limit your watching only to the Whale Watch Weeks, though—Oregon also has resident gray whales who stick around all year, and great whale watching opportunities occur anytime the viewing conditions are good! Gray and humpback whales are the most common species sighted in Oregon’s nearshore waters.

Seabirds

Great places to view seabirds and perhaps a bald eagle are Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area (the deck behind the lighthouse); Heceta Head State Park (the viewing area in front of the lighthouse); Cape Meares State Scenic Viewpoint (the north deck by the parking lot); and Ecola State Park (the westernmost viewing platform at Ecola Point overlook).

Coastal Wildlife Viewing Highlight: Yaquina Bay South Jetty

Looking for a great place to spend some time outdoors with family around the holidays? 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, 12/15.

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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