OREGON DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND WILDLIFE

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Welcome to the ODFW Recreation Report - August 25, 2015

Fishing, Hunting and Wildlife Viewing

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


Archery seasons open Aug. 29 – Know before you go!

ODFW is not closing archery season due to fires. But hunters will face fire restrictions and some closures and they need to know what those are before they go. More info. Some good resources for fire information: InciWeb, National Forest webpages, Oregon Dept Forestry

Fall salmon season continues on the Columbia

The fall salmon season is open from Buoy 10 upstream to the Oregon/Washington Border above McNary Dam (see Sport Fishing Regulation Updates page for retention details). An estimated 925,300 fall Chinook and 539,600 coho are expected to return to the Columbia River this fall.

Don’t overlook trout

With the onset of shorter days and cooler nights, trout fishing is starting to pick up in many place. Anglers should continue to use caution when fishing where water levels are extremely low, but weekly Recreation Report can steer you to some great late summer fishing.

Apply now for early season bird hunts

The 2015-16 Oregon Game Bird Regulations are online. Don’t forget these early deadlines for fall bird hunting applications: Sage-grouse applications due Aug. 30, fall turkey due Sept. 15, Klamath WA October hunt applications due Sept. 12 and Sauvie Island hunt period A due Sept. 19.

Sign up now for pheasant hunting workshops for youth, women, families

Fall bird hunting workshops are great for beginners. Check odfwcalendar.com for event information.


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NORTHWEST ZONE: FISHING

Send us your fishing report

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

Warmer temperatures increase stress on fish

However, anglers reduce the stress from catch-and-release fishing by following a few precautions:

  • Fish early in the mornings when water temperatures are lower.
  • Fish in lakes and reservoirs with deep waters that provide a cooler refuge for fish.
  • Use barbless hooks, land fish quickly and keep them in the water as much as possible in order to minimize stress.
  • Shift fishing efforts to higher elevation mountain lakes and streams where water temperatures often remain cooler.

Warmwater fish like bass, crappie and bluegill also feel the effects of the heat, so please follow these precautions in all your summer fishing.

Very low water levels in coastal streams will present some challenging fishing conditions. Scale down your gear, using smaller weights and baits, and lighter leaders. Look for fish, especially steelhead, to hold in different parts of the river than they normally would. Due to warm water temperatures, fishing may be best early in the morning.

Statewide drought updates

For the latest statewide drought conditions, see the State of Oregon’s Drought Watch.

NORTH COAST LAKES

Trout fishing is likely to be slow. Due to warm conditions, concentrate on early morning hours when fish are likely to be the most active.

Warm water fishing is slow to fair. Coffenbury, Cullaby, Sunset, Lytle, Cape Meares, and Town lakes, and Vernonia Pond all offer opportunity for largemouth bass. Weed growth and water quality may be a problem in some areas.

The latest trout stocking schedule.

MID COAST LAKES

Fishing for the various warm water fish species is fair to good during the summer months. There are numerous lakes in the Florence area that can provide good opportunity and have boat and bank access.

ALSEA RIVER: cutthroat trout

The cutthroat trout fishery is fair in the mainstem and in some of the large tributaries. With the low and warm river conditions the best opportunities will be in the early morning when water temperatures are the coolest. Small spinners are typically productive as wells as small spoons or fly fishing with nymphs or streamers.

KILCHIS RIVER: cutthroat

Cutthroat fishing should be fair. Sea-run cutthroat should be available in good numbers in tidewater areas and are moving to upstream areas. Water levels are extremely low and clear so use very light gear. The 2 p.m. angling closure applies to all fishing above tidewater.

LOWER COLUMBIA TRIBUTARIES: cutthroat

Catch-and-release fishing opportunity for cutthroat trout is available. These are small streams, with very low flows and clear water at this time. Using light gear and stealthy tactics should produce fair fishing. Angling is closed after 2 p.m. daily in areas above tidewater.

NEHALEM RIVER: Chinook, cutthroat, coho

Fishing for Chinook is fair to good. An occasional hatchery coho is caught also. Water temperatures are warm, so incoming tides may produce the best bites as cooler ocean water pushes in. Fish are available in the lower bay up to Nehalem, with increasing numbers of fish moving to upper tidewater areas. Troll herring or spinners near the bottom, or bobber fish in upper tidewater.

Sea-run cutthroat can be caught throughout the bay and tidewater areas, and further upstream. Troll or cast small lures or flies along the channel margins or in areas of cover, such as logs or woody debris. No bait is allowed above tidewater through August, and angling above tidewater is closed after 2 p.m. daily.

NESTUCCA RIVER AND THREE RIVERS: steelhead, Chinook, cutthroat

Steelhead fishing is slow. Fishing for cutthroat trout should be fair to good. Fishing for spring Chinook closed July 31 above Cloverdale, and Three Rivers is closed to all fishing downstream of the hatchery. All areas above tidewater are closed to angling after 2 p.m. daily until further notice.

SILETZ RIVER: steelhead, cutthroat trout

Summer steelhead fishing is fair in the upper river. Low flows and warming river temperatures are making new fish race up into the cooler holding waters of the gorge area. New fish will continually be moving into the river through the summer with peak numbers typically in July. River flows are much lower than normal for this time of year so think small and subtle presentations. Typical steelhead tactics apply such as bobber and jig / bait, or casting spoons or spinners.

Cutthroat trout are now also open to harvest and can be found throughout the main stem river and many large tributaries.

SIUSLAW RIVER: cutthroat trout

The cutthroat trout fishery is slow to fair. Fishing during the early mornings or in the larger tributaries is the most productive. River conditions are very low and warm for this time of year. Bait is not allowed above the head of tide but small spinners, spoons and fly fishing can be very productive.

TILLAMOOK BAY: Chinook, coho

Fall Chinook season began Aug. 1. Fishing for Chinook and hatchery coho is slowly improving as a few fish enter the bay. Trolling herring or spinners are the two most popular techniques. Casting spinners can be productive at times in some of the mid-bay channels.

TRASK RIVER: steelhead, Chinook, cutthroat

Spring Chinook fishing closed July 31. An occasional summer steelhead is being caught. Fishing for cutthroat trout is fair to good. The hatchery hole area is closed to all fishing through Oct. 15. The river above tidewater is closed to angling after 2 p.m. daily.

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

WILSON RIVER: steelhead, Chinook, cutthroat

Summer steelhead fishing is slow. Fishing for cutthroat trout should be fair. Use lighter gear for best results as the water is extremely low and clear. Spring Chinook fishing closed July 31. All angling is closed after 2 p.m. above tidewater until further notice.

YAQUINA RIVER: cutthroat trout

Cutthroat trout fishing is slow to fair. The best opportunities are coming in the early mornings when river temperatures are the coolest. River conditions are very low and warm for this time of year. The mainstem Yaquina and Big Elk Creek are good places to try casting small spinners or spoons as well as bait fishing near the head of tide.

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NORTHWEST ZONE: NORTH COAST HUNTING

OPEN: COUGAR, BLACK BEAR, ARCHERY DEER AND ELK (open Aug. 29)

The 2015-16 Oregon Game Bird Regulations are now available online and hard copies should be available at POS license vendors very soon.

Use the Oregon Hunting Map to see where to hunt.

Archery seasons open Aug. 29 – Know before you go!

Hunters will face fire restrictions and some closures and they need to know what those are before they go. More info. Some good resources for fire information: InciWeb, National Forest webpages, Oregon Dept Forestry

ODFW is not closing archery season due to fires.

Deer and elk archery will likely be slow during the opening weekend, especially with the dry conditions in the forests. Access will very likely be limited only to public (state and federal) lands as access on industrial forest lands is predicted to remain closed until significant precipitation occurs. Hunting success typically improves for elk in September as they move more into the rut.

Black bear will be slow with the rather warm weather, and bears will be most active early in the morning and late in the evening in openings such as clear-cuts. Most wild berry crops are early this year so look for patches of blackberries, thimbleberries and the different types of huckleberries where bears may be foraging. Like with cougar, predator calling during the mid-day hours can be very productive. Successful hunters must check in their bear 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.

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.

Forest grouse and mountain quail season opens Sept. 1 in western Oregon with hunting predicted to be good as the birds had excellent nesting conditions this spring and summer. Look for sooty (blue) grouse in higher elevations, such as ridge tops. Ruffed grouse are more common on mid-slope and riparian areas. Mountain quail prefer brushy clearcut areas on south or west-facing slopes.

Mourning dove season also opens Sept. 1, but there not many of these birds on the north coast as there is limited grain agriculture in the region. A larger and similar looking dove – the Eurasian collared dove – is an invasive species and can be hunted year-round with just a hunting license.


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NORTHWEST ZONE: NORTH COAST WILDLIFE VIEWING

Brown pelicans are arriving to the north coast in increasing numbers as summer is progressing. These large, near-shore ocean-dwelling birds are entertaining to watch whether they are gliding just over the waves or stooping to dive for fish. Some good areas to observe them include Cape Meares State Park and the South Jetty at the Columbia River, accessed through Ft. Stevens State Park.

Reports of dead seabirds have started coming in to ODFW offices in August. Many of the birds are young-of-the-year common murres that are showing symptoms of extreme emaciation (starvation). This is not surprising, given the rather warm ocean surface temperatures for most of the summer. The prevailing warm and clear ocean waters indicate a relatively unproductive ecosystem associated with the current El Nino conditions.

Band-tailed pigeons have been residing on the north coast all summer, but are now more visible in the forest. This is because wild berry crops, such as red elderberry and cascara, are ripening, and the pigeons readily take advantage of this plentiful food source in the coast range.

TILLAMOOK COUNTY

Steller sea lions are common on the smaller nearshore rocks on the eastern edge of the Three Arch Rocks NWR, located just west of Oceanside. Both adults and pups are present and can be distinguished by size and coloration. The refuge is home to these marine mammals nearly year-round except in the fall when they take a brief hiatus. Bring binoculars or a spotting scope for best viewing.

CLATSOP COUNTY

American white pelicans have been nesting on islands (mainly Miller Sands) on the lower Columbia River now for several years. As their name implies, they are large white birds – the only ones like that you’ll see there during the summer months. In Oregon, they typically nest inland in eastern portion, so seeing them in western Oregon is a rarity. One place you may be able to see them from land is the viewing platform at the Twilight Eagle Sanctuary, located just off of Hwy 30, east of Astoria. Bring a spotting scope for best viewing.

Jewell Meadows Wildlife Area

Elk viewing has been fair at Jewell Meadows Wildlife Area. With the hot and dry weather conditions, viewing has been restricted to early mornings and late evenings. Most fields have been mowed so elk should be more visible when they are out. Check areas along Hwy. 202 and the first 1.5 miles on Beneke Creek Road.

Visitors are urged to use caution around the main viewing area as construction activities are occurring. The public restrooms are closed for remodeling, and will remain closed until September. Portable restrooms are available. Visitors are reminded that areas posted as Wildlife Refuge are closed to public access. Posted portions of the Beneke Tract are closed to entry during any open Saddle Mt. Unit elk season, August 1, 2015 to March 15, 2016 including the general bow seasons (see big game regulations for exceptions during the Western general rifle deer season). Wildlife Area Parking Permits are required on the wildlife area. 8/18/15.


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SOUTHWEST ZONE: FISHING

Weekend fishing opportunities

  • The Rogue Bay continues to turn out good numbers of Chinook. Cooler weather and a bit of rain are moving Chinook, steelhead and half-pounders into the lower river.
  • Fall Chinook and summer steelhead are being caught in the Grants Pass area, with the run just beginning.
  • Salmon fishing has been getting more consistent in Coos Bay, where the fall Chinook run usually peaks in mid-September.
  • Fishing for smallmouth bass, which remains open under normal rules, should continue to be productive in the mainstem Umpqua (except within 200 feet of tributaries) and South Umpqua Rivers, and trout fishing in the cooler high mountain lakes should offer excellent harvest opportunities.
  • Due to periodic road closures related to the National Creek fire, stocking on the upper Rogue above Lost Creek Reservoir may vary. Regular stocking up to Farewell Bend will continue as scheduled. Sites above Farewell Bend will be stocked as road access allows.
  • Both Howard Prairie and Hyatt Lake have produced some good looking trout recently. Lower water may mean more difficult access or a bit of a hike, but it’s still fun to catch trout in the heat of summer at these lakes despite low water and hot weather. Hyatt and Howard Prairie offer good opportunities for anglers wanting to take some bass home to eat as well, but anglers are encouraged to release bass over 14 inches at Hyatt.
  • As late summer turns to fall, it’s a good time to learn how to identify harmful algae blooms. Few lakes are tested, so the public should know what water looks like when blooms become excessive and potentially pose a health risk to pets and those recreating on the water. Check out the Oregon Health Authority website for more information.

Warm temperatures increase stress on fish

However, anglers reduce the stress from catch-and-release fishing by following a few precautions:

  • Fish early in the mornings when water temperatures are lower.
  • Fish in lakes and reservoirs with deep waters that provide a cooler refuge for fish.
  • Use barbless hooks, land fish quickly and keep them in the water as much as possible in order to minimize stress.
  • Shift fishing efforts to higher elevation mountain lakes and streams where water temperatures often remain cooler.

Warmwater fish like bass, crappie and bluegill also feel the effects of the heat, so please follow these precautions in all your summer fishing.

Statewide drought updates

For the latest statewide drought conditions, see the State of Oregon’s Drought Watch.

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, black crappie

Largemouth bass are being caught on rubber worms fished near the dam. Bass will hit a variety of lures. Bluegill and crappie can be caught with small jigs or bait. Agate Lake is 22 percent full, and the water surface is about five feet higher than it was at this time last year. The boat ramp is usable.

APPLEGATE RESERVOIR: largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, trout

Trout are available, fishing for bass should be good, but access is a bit of a challenge at Applegate right now. Small boats can launch at the French Gulch ramp. Smallmouth bass anglers will want to cast lures and artificial baits around rocky structure. Trout anglers will probably do best still fishing with bait or trolling a flasher/lure or flasher/bait combination. Applegate Reservoir is 24 percent full.

ARIZONA POND: rainbow trout

Slow. Water levels in the pond are being lowered to help control aquatic vegetation.

The pond is managed by Oregon State Parks as youth only fishing and is located at Arizona Beach State Recreation Area; approximately halfway between Gold Beach and Port Orford.

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

The reservoir has been stocked according to schedule (pdf) with 4,000 rainbow trout. Continue to check the website for the next release date at the end of August. Warmwater fishing for bass and crappie has been slow, but bluegill fishing has been good.

CHETCO RIVER: Chinook, cutthroat

Anglers are reminded to check regulations before heading out. Starting Sept. 1 and running through Nov. 3, there are gear restrictions upstream of river mile 2.2.

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

Cooper Creek has been stocked with 8,000 rainbow trout since March. The next scheduled stocking will be at the end of August. Fishing for largemouth bass, bluegill, and yellow perch should be productive especially in the morning and late afternoon/early evening.

We have been getting reports that some of the trout have copepods, which are tiny parasites on their bodies and gills. These are not harmful to humans, but the lesions can be removed and the meat should be thoroughly cooked.

COOS COUNTY LAKES/PONDS: largemouth bass, bluegills

Fishing for largemouth bass and bluegills has been good in many of the Coos County lakes. Fishing for bass will be best in the mornings and late evenings. Fish for bluegills around structure like submerged logs and weed lines.

COOS RIVER BASIN: Dungeness crab, salmon, bay clams, rockfish, trout

Streams in the Coos Basin are open for trout although there is a 2 p.m. fishing closure for trout, salmon, and steelhead in streams above tidewater. Most of the larger rivers will be too warm for trout and the water level in many of the smaller streams is extremely low. Fishing is restricted to artificial flies and lures in streams above tidewater.

Chinook salmon has become more consistent in Coos Bay this past week with fish being caught near the airport and under the Highway 101 Bridge. Trolling a cut-plug herring is working well for catching salmon. The peak of the chinook fishery in Coos Bay is typically mid-September.

Crabbing continues to be very good in the lower bay with crabbers catching mostly hard shell crab with a couple soft shell crabs in the mix. Crabbing has been good all the way up to the BLM Boat Ramp but the best crabbing will be near the jetties and close to slack tides. A few legal crabs have been caught off the Charleston docks.

Clamming is excellent during low tides near Charleston, off Cape Arago Highway, and Clam Island. There are also good places to dig clams even on positive low tides in Coos Bay. Recreational harvest of razor clams is closed for the entire Oregon coastline from the Columbia River to the California border due to elevated levels of domoic acid. This includes all beaches and all bays. Before any shellfish harvest trip, make sure to check the Oregon Department of Agriculture website for any updates.

COQUILLE RIVER BASIN: trout, smallmouth bass, salmon, crab

Streams in the Coquille Basin are open for trout although there is a 2 p.m. fishing closure for trout, salmon, and steelhead in streams above tidewater. Most of the larger rivers will be too warm for trout and the water level in many of the smaller streams is extremely low. Fishing is restricted to artificial flies and lures in streams above tidewater.

A few Chinook salmon have been caught on the lower Coquille River near the Highway 101 Bridge up to Rocky Point Boat Ramp. Anglers have been trolling cut plug herring behind flashers to catch salmon. This is the start of the salmon run into the Coquille and fishing will continue to improve in the next month.

The 2 p.m. stream closure does not affect anglers fishing for smallmouth bass or other warmwater fish species. Smallmouth bass fishing has been good in the Coquille Basin. The best fishing is in the South Fork and upper mainstem Coquille rivers. Anglers are reporting catching 20-40 smallmouth bass per day on jigs, crankbaits, spinner, and worms (bait is legal in tidewater). There is no size limit or bag limit on smallmouth bass in the rivers of the Coquille Basin.

Crabbing has been good from a boat in the Coquille River near Bandon. Crabbing should continue to pick up throughout the summer. If you don’t have a boat Weber’s Pier is a great place to throw out you crab pots.

DIAMOND LAKE: trout

Anglers have been catching fish predominately in the 12 to 17-inch range mostly by trolling lures and using a combination of PowerBait and lures on anchor around the south-end creek inlets and springs as well as near the Marina. Fly fishing has also been productive, particularly around the south end of the lake. Diamond Lake was stocked with approximately 300,000 rainbow trout fingerlings during Memorial Day week. An additional 3,500 legal-size and 3,500 trophy trout have been stocked.

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

The Umpqua National Forest is not accepting new reservations for the Diamond Lake campgrounds.

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

Bass, panfish and trout are available.Most of the fish will be found in deeper water at this time of year.

The water level in the reservoir is at 30 percent of capacity.

EXPO POND: trout

Bass and panfish are available. Expo Pond is located directly adjacent to the access road at gate 5.

FISH LAKE: rainbow trout, brook trout, spring Chinook

Fish Lake is almost without boat ramps now as the lake level continues to drop. The unimproved ramp at the resort is usable only by the smallest boats at report time. Bank anglers and anglers using float tubes, kayaks, and inflatables will soon have the lake to themselves for what should be good fishing in late summer and fall.

One benefit of lower water levels at Fish Lake is that the springs at the bottom of the lake have a more noticeable impact and help cool the water more quickly than other lakes of the same elevation. Fishing with powerbait will produce at Fish Lake, and casting flies can be successful, especially as the water clears. Trollers will want to fish lighter gear due to weeds in the lake. Water clarity is poor and fishing has been slow in recent days.

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

FLORAS LAKE: rainbow, cutthroat trout

Warmer water and increased weed growth has slowed fishing. Anglers fishing early or late evening are faring the best. Always check the weather before heading out, as it can be windy. 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. 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, and please remember to release the ones less than 8-inches long. In Galesville Reservoir, all landlocked salmon are considered trout and are part of the five-per-day trout limit, with only one trout over 20-inches long allowed for harvest. Galesville has been stocked with approximately 8,000 rainbow trout since March.

Bass fishing should be productive particularly in the morning and late afternoon/early evening. Anglers are reminded all bass between 12 and 15-inches must be released, and only one bass over 15-inches may be taken per day. Call 541-837-3302 for information on camping and boat launching conditions.

GARRISON LAKE: rainbow trout, cutthroat trout

Slow. This time of year boat anglers tend to do best fishing the deeper weed lines.

Garrison Lake is located in the middle of Port Orford. Boat anglers are reminded to clean all aquatic vegetation off their boats and trailers before heading home to help control the spread non-native plants and animals.

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

Anglers fishing the high lakes in the Umpqua District are encouraged to e-mail fishing reports. Contact the Forest Service at 541-496-3532 for road conditions.

Hemlock Lake has been stocked with approximately 6,000 rainbow trout in 2015, and Lake in the Woods has been stocked with approximately 1,000 rainbow trout in 2015. Remember only trout over 8-inches may be harvested, and only one trout over 20-inches may be kept per day.

HOWARD PRAIRIE RESERVOIR: rainbow trout, largemouth bass, smallmouth bass

Trout anglers are picking up some rainbow trout in the early morning at Howard Prairie, with fish ranging up to 22-inches. The fish are in surprisingly good shape despite the drought and low water. Fishing along the eastern shoreline in the old creek channel from Doe Island down to the dam is best for trout. Green or chartreuse PowerBait has been producing the most fish, with anglers reporting luck on a 2-foot leader. Once the wind starts later in the morning the bite has dropped off.

To get to the east side of the reservoir near the resort, anglers will want to hike well to the north of Doe Island and walk through areas where the mudflats are growing green vegetation. Other areas are still too wet to walk without sinking deep into the mud. The other option is boating across. Anglers are reminded that it is not legal to drive in to the lake from the back side of Howard Prairie.

Bass fishing has generally been good. One angler has had luck fishing yellow Rooster Tails, while others have fished artificial baits.

The water level at Howard Prairie is lower than in 2014, but anglers need to know that there is still a good amount of water to fish. Small Boats continue to launch at Howard at the rocked road near the resort.

The water temperature measured just above dead pool at the reservoir was 72oF on Monday. The reservoir is 20 percent full. The marina area is dry, and boat rentals are not available.

HYATT LAKE: rainbow trout, largemouth bass

At Hyatt, the water level is just above the levels seen in 2014 at this time. Anglers fishing the area near the dam can have good success. Some rainbow trout to 13 inches were caught recently on both chartreuse and rainbow PowerBait fished from the shore. Another angler caught three largemouth bass in about an hour casting night crawlers. Anglers are encouraged to harvest largemouth under 14 inches in length while releasing larger bass. The larger bass may help reduce the chance of stunted populations when the drought ends. Hyatt is 14 percent full, and the water temperature was averaging 68o F on Monday. The water is turbid at this time, so fishing with bait will probably produce the best results.

ILLINOIS RIVER: trout, steelhead

The Illinois River is open for trout fishing. Anglers can keep five adipose fin-clipped rainbow trout per day. Nonadipose fin-clipped rainbow trout and all cutthroat trout must be immediately released unharmed.

The river is not stocked, so it will primarily offer anglers the opportunity to catch and release cutthroat trout.

LAKE MARIE: rainbow trout

The lake has been stocked with roughly 5,000 rainbow trout in 2015. Most anglers use PowerBait or worms. Perch fishing has been fair for those using worms on the bottom.

LAKE SELMAC: trout, largemouth bass, bluegill, crappie

Bass and panfish are available. Largemouth bass can be caught on a variety of lures. Rubber worms fished in and around the weedbeds work well. Many of the other species of warmwater fish can be caught by fishing with a worm under a bobber or by casting and retrieving small jigs.

LEMOLO RESERVOIR: brown trout, rainbow trout

Brown trout may be harvested as of April 25. So far in 2015 the reservoir has been stocked with 5,000 rainbow trout and brown trout fishing has been productive. The Forest Service has opened Poole Creek Campground. Contact Lemolo Lake Resort at 541-957-8354 for conditions and additional information. There have been reports of wildfires in the vicinity of Lemolo Reservoir, and anglers should check fire information at 541-787-4332 before making fishing and camping plans.

LOON LAKE: rainbow trout, bass, bluegill

Loon Lake has been stocked with 7,500 trout in 2015. The lake also has good fishing for crappie, bluegill and bass during warmer months. Visit the BLM and Loon Lake Resort websites for information on opening dates and camping this summer.

LOST CREEK RESERVOIR: rainbow trout, spring Chinook, bass

Due to lower than normal water levels, boat anglers must launch at the Takelma ramp. The lake surface temperature is 71oF on Monday.

Trout anglers will probably do best fishing upstream of the Hwy. 62 Bridge. Many of the trout have external parasites called copepods. ODFW encourages the public to harvest fish with the copepods. These fish did not pose a human health risk, but like all fish must be handled and cooked properly. Bank anglers will likely do best early or late in the day.

Fishing for largemouth and smallmouth bass has been good for anglers casting lures around cover. The reservoir is 33 percent full.

MEDCO POND: rainbow trout, largemouth bass, bluegill

Bass and panfish are available.

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

The ocean is open for harvest of Dungeness crab and crabbing has been good outside of Coos Bay and Winchester Bay.

Anglers area catching surf perch on the area beaches like Horsefall Beach. Fishing the incoming tides with sand shrimp usually works the best to catch surf perch.

Recreational ocean salmon season from Cape Falcon to Humbug Mt. is open for Chinook salmon. The fin-clipped coho season closed on Aug. 9 and the non-selective coho season does not open until Sept. 4. The bag limit is two salmon per day, and a minimum size for Chinook salmon at 24-inches or larger. Fishing for Chinook from Bandon to Winchester Bay has been slow.

The nearshore halibut season opened on July 1. The fishery is open 7 days per week inside the 40-fathom line. Anglers were catching a few halibut near Bandon inside 40-fathoms this past weekend. As of Aug. 16, 28 percent of the nearshore halibut quota remains. The Summer All-Depth halibut season was open this past weekend and will be open again on Sept. 4-5 if any of the quota remains. There was 49 percent of the quota remaining as of Aug. 8.

Fishing for bottom fish is restricted to inside the 30 fathom curve. Fishing for black rockfish continues to be very good from Charleston to Bandon. Fishing for lingcod has slowed down inside 30-fathoms. The marine fish daily bag limit is seven fish and a separate daily limit for lingcod (two). Anglers can only keep 3 blue rockfish and 1 canary rockfish as part of their daily limit and there will be no harvest of China, quillback, or copper rockfish. Retention of cabezon is now allowed at 1 fish per day and at least 16-inches long.

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

PLAT I RESERVOIR: rainbow trout, warmwater fish

In addition to trout fishing, the lake also has good bass fishing. Bass can be harvested from March 1 to Oct. 31 and are catch-and-release only from Nov. 1-Feb. 29. The reservoir has received about 4,500 trout since the beginning of March.

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

REINHART POND: trout, largemouth bass, bluegill

Bass and panfish are available.

ROGUE RIVER

Rogue River, lower: Chinook, summer steelhead, half-pounders

Chinook catches continue to be very good in the bay. Anglers may see some fish move up river this weekend and early next week with rain in the forecast and cooler water temperatures. A few coho have been picked up in the bay, but better numbers will start showing in mid-September.

Steelhead fishing has been fair, but cooler water conditions should bring some new fish into the river.

Rogue River, middle: Chinook salmon, steelhead, trout

Fall Chinook and summer steelhead are in the middle river and fish are being caught. Fishing is somewhat hit and miss, with the fish spread throughout the middle river. Most anglers are fishing plugs like Kwikfish wrapped with sardines. More fish should arrive soon with the increase in reservoir releases recently.

As of Monday, the flow at Grants Pass was 1,830 cfs and the water temperature averaged 64oF. For those interested in checking conditions before getting on the river, the City of Grants Pass Water Division’s website offers information on NTU’s at Grants Pass as well as a link to a river camera.

Rogue River, upper: Chinook salmon, steelhead, trout

Big changes are coming to the upper river fishery on Sept. 1. This is the last week to fish for chinook between Fishers Ferry boat ramp and the Dodge Bridge boat ramp. This is also the last week to fish with bait on the upper river with the artificial fly season beginning in September.

River flows are up with releases of 1,750 cfs from Lost Creek Reservoir. The flow at Gold Ray was 1900 cfs on Monday and the average river temperature was 61 F.

Summer steelhead are available. The river is also open for trout fishing. This might be a good time to fish for trout on the upper Rogue at places like Rogue Elk County Park, Casey State Park, and McGregor Park. Anglers can cast flies, rooster tails, or worms through Aug. 31. Anglers can keep five adipose fin-clipped rainbow trout per day. Non-adipose fin-clipped rainbow trout and all cutthroat trout must be immediately released unharmed.

As of Aug. 19, a total of 1,164 summer steelhead (110 new for the week) have been collected at Cole Rivers Hatchery. Just over 600 hatchery steelhead were recycled back into the fishery at the Gold Hill boat ramp last Thursday.

Rogue River, above Lost Creek Reservoir: trout

Due to periodic road closures related to the National Creek fire, stocking on the upper Rogue above Lost Creek Reservoir may vary. Regular stocking up to Farewell Bend will continue as scheduled. Sites above Farewell Bend will be stocked as road access allows.

SMITH RIVER, Umpqua: sturgeon, striped bass, steelhead, trout

Smith River, including all tributaries, is closed to fishing for trout, steelhead, salmon and sturgeon from 2 p.m. until an hour before sunrise except in tidewater.

As of May 23, retention of adipose fin-clipped steelhead is allowed in the Smith River mainstem from the mouth upstream to Spencer Creek and in the North Fork of the Smith River from the mouth upstream to Johnson Creek. The use of bait is allowed in tidewaters. Trout fishing on the Smith River and tributaries also opened on May 23, and anglers should pay close attention to catch and release, harvest, and artificial fly use deadlines outlined in the regulation manual. Sturgeon fishing is catch-and-release only.

SODA SPRINGS RESERVOIR: Closed to fishing.

TENMILE BASIN: trout, largemouth bass, yellow perch

Streams in the Tenmile Basin are open for trout although there is a 2 p.m. fishing closure for trout, salmon, and steelhead in streams above tidewater. Most of the larger rivers will be too warm for trout and the water level in many of the smaller streams is extremely low. Fishing is restricted to artificial flies and lures in streams above tidewater.

The water level in Tenmile Lakes is extremely low and boat anglers should use caution when boating in the lakes. Tenmile Lakes is open all year for trout but trout fishing has been slow.

Bass anglers have been catching several largemouth bass in Tenmile Lakes. Bass can be found this time of the year in shallow water near structure like logs or weed lines.

A few anglers have been catching yellow perch from the fishing dock at the County Boat Ramp and near the edge of the weedlines. A worm or piece of cut bait fished near the bottom works well for catching yellow perch.

TOKETEE LAKE: brown trout, rainbow trout

Fishing is open in Toketee year-round. The boat ramp is currently open but water levels remain low making it difficult to launch boats. For more information call the U.S. Forest Service at 541-498-2531.

UMPQUA HIGH LAKES AND FOREBAYS: trout

Access is good with the limited snow received over the winter. Contact the Forest Service at 541-957-3200 for road and trail conditions. Clearwater Forebay 2 has been stocked with approximately 3,000 rainbow trout in 2015. Anglers fishing the high lakes in the Umpqua District are encouraged to e-mail fishing reports.

UMPQUA BASIN

Fishing for trout, steelhead, salmon and sturgeon in all waterbodies defined as streams in the 2015 Oregon Sport Fishing Regulations is restricted to an hour before sunrise to 2 p.m. throughout the entire Umpqua Basin except in tidewaters.

Additionally in the mainstem Umpqua River from the Scottsburg Bridge on Highway 38 to the River Forks Park boat ramp, fishing is prohibited within 200 feet of all mainstem Umpqua tributaries including the tributaries themselves from the mouth to 200 feet upstream.

UMPQUA RIVER, MAINSTEM: steelhead, spring Chinook

The mainstem Umpqua, including all tributaries, is closed to fishing for trout, steelhead, salmon, and sturgeon from 2 P.M. until an hour before sunrise except in tidewater.

Beginning June 23 through Oct. 1, 2015, fishing is also prohibited within 200 feet of all tributaries including no angling in the tributaries themselves from the mouth to 200 feet upstream.

The mainstem Umpqua is closed to wild steelhead harvest, but remains open year-round for adipose fin-clipped steelhead. Spring Chinook fishing has essentially ended with the low water conditions making some boating access difficult, but fall Chinook fishing should begin to pick-up particularly in lower river. Catch-and-release trout fishing on the mainstem Umpqua opened May 23. Trout fishing in Umpqua tributaries also opened on May 23, with fishing restricted to the use of artificial flies and lures except for in tidewater areas where bait is allowed.

Please note the changes in regulations this year on page 40 of the 2015 Oregon Sport Fishing Regulations booklet. On the Main, anglers can harvest 2 wild spring Chinook per day and up to 5 wild springers from Feb. 1 – June 30. From July 1– Dec. 31, you can harvest 2 wild Chinook per day, and in combination with the other salmon/steelhead recorded on your salmon tag, up to 20 fish total. Fin-clipped hatchery fish can be recorded on a separate hatchery harvest tag that is available. There is no limit on the number of hatchery tags that can be purchased. Daily limits still apply.

Fishing for smallmouth bass, which remains open under normal rules except in regards to the 200ft tributary regulation, should continue to be productive especially in the morning and late afternoon/early evening. Smallmouth bass fishing using a variety of lures such as twister-tails and worms should be good throughout the summer months.

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, spring Chinook

The North Umpqua River, including all tributaries, is closed to fishing for trout, steelhead and salmon from 2 p.m. until an hour before sunrise. Good numbers of summer steelhead are in the North Umpqua. Remember all wild steelhead must be released unharmed. Trout fishing on portions of the mainstem North Umpqua and tributaries opened on May 23, and anglers should pay close attention to which sections and streams are open to catch-and-release, harvest, and artificial fly use outlined in the regulation manual. Please note that spring Chinook season ended on July 31.

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. Per the new regulation on page 40 of the 2015 Oregon Sport Fishing Regulations booklet, from Feb. 1 – July 31, 2 wild Chinook per day can be harvested and up to 10 wild Chinook during this time frame in combination with wild Chinook harvested in the Main. Remember that from March 1 through July 31 the anti-snagging gear restrictions apply on the North from the Lone Rock boat ramp upstream to the fly area boundary above Rock Creek. The Mainstem from Soda Springs Dam, including Soda Springs Reservoir, up to Slide Creek Dam is closed year-round to fishing.

Rock Creek Hatchery is closed until further notice due to construction and high water temperatures.

North Umpqua River water levels at Winchester Dam

UMPQUA RIVER, SOUTH: steelhead

The South Umpqua River, including all tributaries, is closed to fishing for trout, steelhead, and salmon from 2 p.m. until an hour before sunrise. The mainstem South Umpqua upstream to Jackson Creek Bridge opened to fishing on May 23, with trout fishing being strictly catch and release. Catch and release trout fishing in South Umpqua tributaries below Jackson Creek Bridge also opened on May 23, with fishing restricted to the use of artificial flies and lures.

Smallmouth bass fishing, which remains open under normal rules, should be productive especially in the morning and late afternoon/early evening.

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

Willow Lake remains the Rogue reservoir with the highest water levels at 70 percent full. Fishing for bass and panfish should be good. Legal and larger-sized trout also are available.

WINCHESTER BAY: bottomfish, perch

Fishing for bottomfish in the Triangle and South jetty has been successful. Perch fishing has been productive in the bay, and it was reported that good size striped perch were being caught along the jetty.

Crabbing has been improving, and there have been reports of coho and Chinook being caught in the ocean off of Winchester Bay.

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SOUTHWEST ZONE: HUNTING

OPEN: COUGAR, BLACK BEAR, ARCHERY DEER AND ELK (open Aug. 29)

Archery seasons open Aug. 29 – Know before you go!

Hunters will face fire restrictions and some closures and they need to know what those are before they go. More info. Some good resources for fire information: InciWeb, National Forest webpages, Oregon Dept Forestry

ODFW is not closing archery season due to fires.

Wolves and coyotes can look alike

Most wolves in the state today are in northeast Oregon but a few have dispersed further west and south. Wolves are protected by state and/or federal law and it is unlawful to shoot them.

Coyote hunters need to take extra care to identify their target as wolves can look like coyotes, especially wolf pups in the mid-summer and fall. Please report any wolf sightings or wolf sign to ODFW using the online reporting system.

Use the Oregon Hunting Map to see where to hunt.

COOS COUNTY

Bear – Black Bear season is now open. The population in Coos County is healthy and it is well distributed. Generally the population is denser closer to the coast. The berry crop has been very strong this year and bears are using them as their primary food source. A good tactic for hunting bears now is to find isolated blackberry patches where human disturbance will be low and hunt those areas early in the morning and late in the afternoon. Hunting from a treestand or ground blind in the vicinity of these patches or along trails used by the bears to access them is a good method to hunt bears under the present conditions.

Hunters need to be aware that due to fire concerns most private timber land are closed to public access. It is very important that hunters contact landowners and managers to ensure that access to their land is allowed if the hunter plans to hunt private land. For the most part, public lands are open for access but hunters are responsible for knowing if there are any local closures where they intend to hunt.

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

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

DOUGLAS COUNTY

Deer - Bow season opens up August 29. Deer populations are similar to last year, with low levels at upper elevations and high population levels on the Umpqua Valley floor. Most low elevation lands are privately owned so hunters are reminded to obtain permission before hunting on those lands. During the early part of the archery season, hunters should find deer on the northerly slopes and near water and green up areas. Areas within the Indigo, Dixon, and Evans Creek Units are closed due to active fire suppression. Check local fire restrictions for current fire danger before going hunting.

Elk - Bow season opens up August 29. Elk populations are similar to last year so this hunting year will be average. This prediction is a result of ratio increases, good escapement from last hunting season and another mild winter. During the early part of the archery season, hunters should find elk on the northerly slopes and in dense conifer stands. Elk numbers are highest in the Tioga with lower levels in the Dixon, S. Indigo and Melrose units. Areas within the Indigo, Dixon, and Evans Creek Units are closed due to active fire suppression. Check local fire restrictions for current fire danger before going hunting.

Cougar – The cougar season is currently open. Hunters can expect an average year. Cougars are abundant throughout with indicators pointing to stable or increasing numbers. Hunting cougar is a challenge because these animals are very secretive, but harvest success is greatest adjacent to private land with high deer populations using a predator call. Areas within the Indigo, Dixon, and Evans Creek Units are closed due to active fire suppression. Check local fire restrictions for current fire danger before going hunting.

Black Bear – General bear season is currently open. Hunters can expect an average year. The dry weather conditions will concentrate bears near streams where foraging will be better. Berry crops are coming in earlier this year. Glass clear cuts and meadows early mornings and late evenings to find bears taking advantage of these food sources. Bear numbers are good with the highest numbers in the coast range, and with smaller populations in the Cascades. Successful bear hunters are reminded there is a mandatory check-in for all harvested bear within 10 days of harvest (see regulations for details). Areas within the Indigo, Dixon, and Evans Creek Units are closed due to active fire suppression. Check local fire restrictions for current fire danger before going hunting.

Western Gray Squirrel – Squirrel season opens August 29. Hunters can expect an average year. Squirrels are widely distributed throughout the county with good numbers in areas of oaks and conifers. Many areas of high squirrel populations are on private lands so hunters are reminded to ask for permission on these lands before hunting. Areas within the Indigo, Dixon, and Evans Creek Units are closed due to active fire suppression. Check local fire restrictions for current fire danger before going hunting.

UPLAND GAMEBIRDS

Grouse & Quail - Hunters can expect an average hunt year with the season opening Sept. 1. Hunting availability and success for forest grouse should be good this year. 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. Hunters that kill grouse are asked to drop off in a paper bag the frozen wing and tail of each grouse at the local ODFW office or at one of the many blue wing collection barrels found throughout the county (see photos). Please use one bird per bag with each frozen bag of grouse parts including the species, sex, age, unit and general area of harvest for proper analysis.

Nesting season production was average for California quail and Mountain quail, so hunting opportunity should be good. 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. Hunters are also asked if they kill a mountain quail to drop off in a paper bag the frozen wing and tail of each mountain quail at the local ODFW office or at one of the many blue wing collection barrels found throughout the county. Please use one bird per bag with each frozen bag of mountain quail parts including the species, sex, age, unit and general area of harvest for proper analysis. Areas within the Indigo, Dixon, and Evans Creek Units are closed due to active fire suppression. Check local fire restrictions for current fire danger before going hunting.

MIGRATORY GAMEBIRDS

Mourning Doves - Hunters can expect an average year. The dove season opens up on Sept. 1. Most mourning doves have not migrated south since no rains have occurred in the last few weeks so their numbers are currently high. In addition, keep in mind the non-migratory Eurasian collared doves numbers are on the increase throughout the state and our county, and they are NOT part of the mourning dove bag limit. Check the 2015 game bird regulations for details. Also, don’t forget to ask for permission from local landowners before hunting doves on private land. Areas within the Indigo, Dixon, and Evans Creek Units are closed due to active fire suppression. Check local fire restrictions for current fire danger before going hunting.

JACKSON, JOSEPHINE, CURRY COUNTIES

DEER - Bow season opens August 29. Deer surveys show a slight decrease in our trend numbers with buck ratios remaining high. Black-tailed deer in Jackson County mostly migrate from high elevation to lower elevations of the valley floor. Most deer will be in high elevations through September. Although there is a growing population of deer that remain in the valley floor, hunters need to be aware of private property. In Josephine and Curry Counties deer migrate very little and hunters can find deer at all elevations. This year acorn crops vary throughout the counties, deer will take advantage of the acorns in our late fall season. Fire levels are set at high, which imposes restrictions on camp fires and vehicle activities. Check local Forest Service and State Forest web sites for updated fire restrictions. Currently all private timber companies property is closed in Jackson, Josephine, and Douglas counties until fire season (pdf) ends.

ELK - Bow season opens August 29. Season should be average for the hunters. Due to the typical hot weather for our area elk are likely to be found in higher elevation or areas of cooler draws where they can retreat to in the heat of the day. Known water sources or wallow can be good location to start your hunting activities. With the high temperatures it is very important to take quick care of your downed animal and get it cooled off as soon as possible. Fire levels are set at high, which imposes restrictions on camp fires and vehicle activities. Check local Forest Service and State Forest web sites for updated fire restrictions. Currently all private timber companies property is closed in Jackson, Josephine, and Douglas counties until fire season (pdf) ends.

Bear season has opened. Once again bears are abundant in Jackson, Josephine and Curry Counties. Over the past few years Applegate unit has produced the most bears during the fall season. Blackberries are beginning to ripen and bears are feeding on them. With the hot dry year all berry crops may be smaller, ripen earlier and patchy. Also with the heat bears will be frequenting water hole this is a great location for tree stands. Successful bear hunters are reminded there is a mandatory check-in for all harvested bear within 10 days of harvest (see regulations for details).

Youth Elk season is currently open for units in our area. This is a great opportunity for the youth to harvest an elk. These hunts are designed to provide young hunters with a safe, well supervised, low-stress setting where they can enjoy the hunt while building fundamental skills. A reminder that youth are required to wear hunter orange.

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

Cougar season is open statewide year-round or until zone quotas are met. Most cougar hunters’ success comes from predator calls. Cougars travel many miles a day and often use major ridge lines to find prey, these ridge lines are location for predator calls. As other big game seasons are starting for the fall be sure to have a cougar tag with you while in the field to avoid missed opportunities.

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

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


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SOUTHWEST ZONE: WILDLIFE VIEWING

COOS COUNTY

Elk Calves and Deer Fawns

Elk calves and deer fawns are generally born in late May and early June, so they will be becoming easier to see now that they have been up and going for a while. With vegetation becoming taller they are still difficult to see but those who are patient will see these babies if they are patient enough.

Often elk cows and deer does will park their young in places where they feel they are safe and come back from time to time to allow the calf or fawn to nurse. As the young animal becomes more physically capable it will stick closer to its mother. If you find one of these “parked” babies leave them alone and move away. Never pick up deer fawns of elk calves.

Black bear

Bears are using berries as their primary food source right now due to the strong berry crop this year. Those interested in seeing bears may have success in doing so if they watch isolated blackberry patches from a distance using binoculars or spotting scopes. Do not approach closely to bears. Give them their due respect and watch from a distance. While black bears are generally not as aggressive as grizzly bears (grizzly bears do not live in Oregon) they will defend themselves from what they perceive as a threat.

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.

Quail broods

Oregon has two species of native quail; mountain and California quail. Mountain quail generally live at higher elevation in the Coast Range, as their name might imply. They are most often found along exposed ridges and around clear cuts. California quail, sometimes referred to as valley quail, are often found around agricultural areas. In both cases their broods hatch in June and they are not much larger than bumble bees at the time they hatch. Soon these birds will be seen along road ways, under bird feeders and in other places.

The warm sunny weather that Coos County has experienced lately is good for chicks as they are very susceptible to becoming hypothermic when it rains, even if the weather is relatively warm. Once the chicks grow feathers they are more able to deal with precipitation.

Shorebirds

Fall migration has begun for numerous shorebird species. Coos Bay and the Coquille Valley are major stopping points along the Pacific flyway. Good locations to spot migrating shorebirds include ocean beaches, mudflats in Coos Bay, and tidal areas in and adjacent to Bandon Marsh National Wildlife Refuge just north of Bandon. During the summer and early fall, north winds can pick up as the day progresses. Under these conditions, best viewing may be early and late in the day.

Songbirds

Wildlife viewers should stay vigilant to spot nesting songbirds. Young birds, which hatched this spring/summer will be fledging soon. In order to leave birds undisturbed, please view from a distance and don’t disturb natural behaviors. Oftentimes young birds will attempt to fly and land (unhurt) on the ground. Adult birds will continue feeding their offspring until they are able to fly.

CURRY COUNTY

Watch harbor seals in the Port of Gold Beach during low tide, along with blue herons, common egrets, and waterfowl. See osprey feeding near the mouth of the river on baitfish and lamprey. You can also frequently catch sight of brown pelicans at ports of Brookings, Gold Beach and Port Orford.

JACKSON and JOSEPHINE COUNTIES

Trail hikes at this time of year and with the high heat can be unpleasant walks. Try areas of higher elevation and early morning short walks when temperatures are lower and wildlife are more active. Traveling trails in early morning of the Sky lakes Wilderness and Crater Lake national parks provide slightly cooler temps and various wildlife. Animals that can be seen are ground squirrels, chipmunks, humming birds, stellar Jays, deer and perhaps a bear.

Killdeer

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

Mourning Doves

Mourning doves are found throughout the valley where ever there are open grain fields, neighbor hoods with roosting trees and plenty of water. They are currently found nesting in trees or other shaded structures. They can have multiple nests throughout the spring time.

They are a fast flying, graceful, wing whistling birds. They feed on small seeds of weeds and various grains. A species that is similar but larger and is not a native of our area is the Eurasian collared dove. They are seen around residential areas and have known to visit bird feeders. They have similar behavior habits. Unlike the pointed tail of the Mourning dove their tail will be square shaped.

Turtles

Turtles during harsh summer conditions when it is hot and dry are known to go through an aestivation period. Aestivation is equivalent of hibernation or a form of torpor, dormancy or “sleep”. Western pond turtles are known to aestivate on land during periods of hot dry weather. This aestivation is triggered by drying up of aquatic habitat. This period of aestivation can last from a couple of days to several weeks.

Turkeys and grouse

Young turkeys and grouse are now being seen throughout the area. Hens are often seen near roadways in low elevation for turkeys and higher timber areas for grouse. Look carefully when around the adults for movement or grass moving which indicates young.

Denman Wildlife Area

Whetstone pond on the Wildlife Area will go through some access and habitat changes starting around mid-August and into September. Portion of the pond will be closed during this time. 8/11/15

DOUGLAS COUNTY

Bats – With the current hot weather, gather around the air conditioner during the day. When it starts to cool down in the evening, get outside and enjoy the acrobatic flying of bats as they hunt the night skies for insects. Look for bats at dawn and dusk. Watch street lights and water bodies, where insects concentrate, bats may show up to eat up to 1000 insects per hour.

Acorn Woodpecker – A colorful medium-sized black and white clown faced woodpecker with a red crown sought after by birders for their lifetime bird list. This highly social woodpecker is commonly seen with young this time of the year in the lower elevations of Douglas County in pine-oak woodlands where oak trees are abundant. Look for this loud and vocal woodpecker in Roseburg at River Forks Park, N. Bank Mgt. area and Whistlers Park. Since this woodpecker is a hoarder look for signs of a granary in the bark of large pine trees that are used to store insects and acorns in cracks and crevices.

Vaux Swifts – can be observed at Fir Grove Park, downtown Roseburg and other areas at dusk. Look for the awesome aerial displays the last hour of daylight with congregating swifts flying in concentrations forming large vortex's before dropping into the top of their night roosting site. 8/18/15

JACKSON AND JOSEPHINE COUNTIES

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

LAKE SELMAC is a great place to see waterfowl, eagles, osprey and other lake shore birds. Directions from Grants Pass, take Hwy 199 west about 12 miles to lake turn off sign at Lakeshore Drive. Turn left, follow to lake.

Lost Creek Lake provides 30 miles of trails which includes portions of the Rogue River National Recreation Trail. Along the lake and riverbanks, a wide variety of wildlife and wild flowers can be observed. Deer may be seen early in the morning and late evenings along waterways. A brochure of the trail system can be picked up at federal land agency and visitor centers in the area.

Killdeer

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

Mourning Doves

Mourning doves are found throughout the valley where ever there are open grain fields, neighbor hoods with roosting trees and plenty of water. They are currently found nesting in trees or other shaded structures. They can have multiple nests throughout the spring time. They are a fast flying, graceful, wing whistling birds.

They feed on small seeds of weeds and various grains. A species that is similar but larger and is not a native of our area is the Eurasian collared dove. They are seen around residential areas and have known to visit bird feeders. They have similar behavior habits. Unlike the pointed tail of the Mourning dove their tail will be square shaped.

Denman Wildlife Area

Swallows have returned to Denman Wildlife Area to inhabit our song bird boxes, come watch them soar around the Wildlife Area. They are a very beneficial bird to have around because of their food diet of eating fly insects such as mosquitoes.

Many people are visiting the area for fishing opportunities where bass, blue gills and bull head cat fish are caught. School and scout groups are scheduling appointments where Area staff has provided presentations and tours of the area.

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WILLAMETTE ZONE: FISHING

The Willamette River below Willamette Falls remains closed to fishing for trout, steelhead, salmon and sturgeon as the result of drought-related restrictions still in effect. Lake fishing in general, as well as fishing for warmwater species such as crappie, bluegill, bass, catfish and walleye, are unaffected by the action and may continue.
Warm temperatures increase stress on fish

Here are some things anglers can do to lower stress on fish during drought conditions:

  • Fish early in the mornings when water temperatures are lower.
  • Fish in lakes and reservoirs with deep waters that provide a cooler refuge for fish.
  • Use barbless hooks, land fish quickly and keep them in the water as much as possible in order to minimize stress.
  • Go to higher elevation mountain lakes and streams where water temperatures often remain cooler.

Warmwater fish like bass, crappie and bluegill also feel the effects of the heat, so please follow these precautions in all your summer fishing.

Statewide drought updates

For the latest statewide drought conditions, see the State of Oregon’s Drought Watch.

Send us your fishing report

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

2015 trout stocking

The 2015 trout stocking schedules for the North Willamette Watershed (pdf) District and the South Willamette Watershed (pdf) District are now posted on the ODFW Trout Stocking Page. Take a look to find out when and where Oregon’s hatchery trout are being released around the state.

High Lakes stocking

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

North Willamette High Lakes Stocking | South Willamette High Lakes Stocking

Check out the new interactive trout stocking map

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

WARMWATER FISHING OPPORTUNITIES

There are many locations throughout the Willamette Valley where anglers can go to pursue warmwater species such as bass, crappie, bluegill perch, walleye and catfish. The summer months are a good time to consider angling for warmwater fish. Several good spots are listed below. For more detailed tips on how to enjoy this activity, visit ODFW’s on-line Warmwater Fishing Page.

Weekend fishing opportunities

  • A recent surge in migrating adults over Willamette Falls may provide some action in lower sections of the North Fork Santiam
  • Harriet and Trillium lakes on the Mt. Hood National Forest will both be stocked this week with 300+ trout weighing in at 2 pounds and 16 inches apiece.
  • North Fork Reservoir near Estacada will be stocked this week with 16,700 legal-sized rainbow trout, it’s largest release of the summer.
  • Warmwater fishing for crappie, bass, bluegill, and other species is almost ideal right now in the Willamette Valley. If you’ve never tried warmwater fishing, now might be a good time to check it out. Take a look at the Warmwater Fishing page on ODFW’s website for ideas on where and how to fish and other tips for an enjoyable outing.

ALTON BAKER CANOE CANAL: trout

Alton Baker Canoe Canal will be stocked again this week with a total of 965 rainbow trout, including 150 larger trout. Fish are released at multiple locations along the length of the canal, which will be stocked near weekly through early November.

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 two-mile length from Day Island Road in Eugene to Aspen Street in Springfield. The canal is open to fishing all year and remains open to fishing under normal fishing hours.

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

Stocked in June with 4,000 rainbow trout. This is a 40-acre lake located in Benson State Park in the Columbia River Gorge. From Portland, head east on I-84; the park is located on the south side of the freeway about 1/2 mile west of Multnomah Falls.

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

This is a 64-acre lake located in Blue Lake Park three miles west of Troutdale. This family-friendly park with picnic areas, restrooms, walking trail, and ramp for small boats. Park is maintained by Multnomah County.

BLUE RIVER: trout, steelhead

Blue River above the reservoir was stocked for last time this year in early July. Wild and hatchery trout are available for harvest upstream of the reservoir. All wild trout caught downstream of the reservoir must be released unharmed. Blue River remains open for fishing under normal hours.

BLUE RIVER RESERVOIR: trout, warmwater species

Blue River Reservoir is located east of Eugene near the town of Blue River, north of Hwy. 126 and is open to year-round fishing. The reservoir was last stocked for the season in early July. Neither boat ramp is accessible at the current reservoir elevation.

BREITENBUSH RIVER: trout

This fishery is currently open for trout. The river received its final stocking of the year the last week of July with the release of 1,800 legal size rainbow trout. Anglers may keep up to 5 trout per day. It is closed to salmon fishing year-round.

The Breitenbush River is not subject to the 2 p.m. fishing closure and remain open to fishing during the hours specified in the 2015 Oregon Sport Fishing Regulations.

CARMEN RESERVOIR: trout

Carmen Reservoir is accessed via FS Road 750 off Hwy. 126, about two miles south of Clear Lake. It is open to fishing all year. Motor boats are prohibited on Carmen Reservoir. Carmen Reservoir was last stocked for the season in late July.

CLACKAMAS RIVER: summer steelhead, spring Chinook

NOTICE: The Clackamas River is closed to fishing from the I-205 near High Rocks downstream to its confluence with the Willamette under a temporary closure implemented July 18. Under this closure, fishing for trout, steelhead and salmon in this area is prohibited. The remainder of the river remains open under statewide restrictions that close the Clackamas and other rivers after 2 p.m.

Anglers have seen no change in fishing opportunities over the past week with poor conditions holding on and expected to stay this way for a few more days. Warm, dry weather continues to grip the region leading to low flows that have dropped even further, although water temperatures have declined a bit. Try fishing early or late in the day when the sun is off the water for increased chances of success. This will also help you avoid the summer rafting crowd. Despite the poor conditions Clackamas Hatchery has seen over 4,400 spring Chinook get back to the trap, more than meeting their production needs for the season. However movement of fish has slowed down considerably in the past couple of weeks.

Most of the summer steelhead and spring Chinook will be found above Barton and on up to Rivermill Dam. Look for springers to be holding in the cooler, deeper pools. The summer steelhead numbers have been less than stellar this year so hooking into one can be tough but there are a few decent looking fish around.

Good bank access for can be found in many locations along the river from Gladstone, Cross Park, Riverside Park, along Clackamas River Road, Carver, Barton, and McIver parks. Clackamas River Drive closely follows the river below Carver Park, but be sure to not trespass on landowners properties.

If you have a drift boat, you can put in at Riverside Park, Carver Park, Barton Park, Feldheimer’s off Springwater Road, and at both lower and upper McIver Park ramps. Boaters beware that the low water conditions can make a few spots tough to maneuver through.

USGS hydrological data for Aug. 24 shows river flows down at 637 cfs, a gauge reading of 10.31 feet and the water temperature at 64°. All of the readings come from the Estacada gauge near Milo McIver State Park.

CLEAR LAKE: trout

Clear Lake is open to fishing all year. It was recently stocked with 2,500 rainbow trout for the last time this season. In addition to seasonally stocked hatchery rainbow trout, naturally reproducing brook trout are also available.

The lake is accessed from Hwy. 126 approximately 70 miles east of Springfield. Cabins and row boats are available for rent from Clear Lake Resort.

COAST FORK WILLAMETTE RIVER: trout

The Coast Fork Willamette River was last stocked for the season in May. Both native and hatchery trout are available for harvest from April 25 through Oct. 31. Bait use is allowed during the same period. The river is closed to fishing for trout, salmon and steelhead after 2 p.m. due to low flows and warmer water temperatures. Anglers may continue to fish for warmwater species after 2 p.m.

COMMONWEALTH LAKE: trout, bass, bluegill, crappie

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

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

Cottage Grove Ponds provide good warmwater fishing opportunities (see 65 Places to go Fishing in Lane County). To access this family-friendly fishery, travel east from Cottage Grove on Row River Road. The pond is located behind the truck scales and may be accessed via an asphalt pathway. This pond also offers wildlife viewing opportunities and is open to fishing all year.

COTTAGE GROVE RESERVOIR: trout, warmwater species

Cottage Grove Reservoir provides good warmwater fishing opportunities (see 65 Places to go Fishing in Lane County). This reservoir was last stocked for the season in April. It will be stocked again in October. The reservoir is south of Cottage Grove and is open to fishing all year. Only Lakeside Park boat ramp is accessible at current levels.

CRESWELL POND (GARDEN LAKE): trout, warmwater species

Garden Lake (Creswell Pond) has been stocked for the last time this season. Warmwater fish should continue to be available, although aquatic vegetation can be a challenge for anglers. This family-friendly fishing pond is located in Garden Lake Park on the east side of I-5 in Creswell and is open to fishing all year. The pond and park offer additional wildlife viewing opportunities.

DETROIT RESERVOIR: trout, kokanee

This reservoir receives over 100,000 trout throughout the year. It was stocked most recently in mid-July with 4,500 legal size rainbow trout, and there should be plenty of holdover trout as well. Fishing has been very good despite the low water conditions, with many anglers reporting catching their five fish limit of trout and kokanee. Check with local outfitters in the town of Detroit for fishing conditions. Currently the reservoir is about 95 feet below full pool. Only Mongold State Park boat ramp is available.

DEXTER RESERVOIR: trout

Dexter Reservoir has been stocked for the last time this summer. It will be stocked again in late September. Boat and bank access is available from state and county parks. Parking and bank access are also available from the causeway near Lowell. The reservoir near Lowell is visible from Highway 58. Largemouth bass and some smallmouth are available to anglers in this reservoir.

DORENA RESERVOIR: trout, warmwater

Dorena Reservoir provides good warmwater fishing opportunities (see 65 Places to go Fishing in Lane County). Dorena Reservoir has been stocked for the last time this summer. It will be stocked with trout again in mid-October. The reservoir is east of Cottage Grove on Row River Road and is open to fishing all year. Trout and warmwater fish are available. Baker Bay boat ramp is accessible at the current reservoir level.

DORMAN POND: trout

Stocked in the spring. This is an eight-acre pond west of Forest Grove at the junction of Hwy. 8 and Hwy. 6.

EAGLE CREEK: spring Chinook

Eagle Creek appears to be about as low as its been in years with drought conditions holding on. There was optimism in early spring that Chinook would be moving into the creek as fish return from acclimation releases of two years ago. Unfortunately the low water conditions developed very quickly this year giving fish little opportunity to swim into the creek. This far into the summer it’s more of a waiting game for coho coming in late September.

Long stretches of Eagle Creek run through private property, particularly up near the hatchery and from an area below the lower ladder on down past Bonnie Lure to the mouth. Anglers are advised to pay close attention to where you fish and we encourage you to ask permission prior to accessing or crossing private lands on your way to your favorite fishing hole.

See Page 15 of the Oregon Sport Fishing Regulation pamphlet for more information on “Your Rights to Use the Surface, Bed, and Banks of Oregon’s Rivers and Lakes.”

EE WILSON POND: warmwater, trout

Due to warm summer water temperatures, trout will not be stocked until next winter. This pond is located at EE Wilson Wildlife Area, about a ¼ mile hike from the main parking lot. A valid wildlife area parking permit is required.

ESTACADA LAKE: trout

Stocked again the week of Aug. 24 with 2,000 rainbow trout. The lake was also stocked with trout last week.

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.

Estacada Lake is not subject to the statewide daily fishing hours restrictions announced July 18, and remains open for fishing all day.

FALL CREEK: trout

Fall Creek upstream of Fall Creek Reservoir (northeast of Lowell) was last stocked for the season in June. Fish are released at multiple locations on the stream above the reservoir up to Gold Creek. Native trout are legal to harvest in Fall Creek upstream and downstream of the dam through October. The river above and below the reservoir is closed to fishing for trout, salmon (lower river only) and steelhead (lower river only) after 2 p.m. due to low flows and warmer water temperatures.

FALL CREEK RESERVOIR: trout

Fall Creek Reservoir is open to fishing all year, but boat access is limited due to low flows this spring. The North Shore boat ramp near the dam is unlocked from approximately 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. and is accessible to boaters.

FARADAY LAKE: trout

Stocked again the week of Aug. 24 with 2,000 rainbow trout. The lake was also stocked with trout a week earlier.

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

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

This 9,000 acre lake just 12 miles west of Eugene is the Willamette Basin’s largest water body.

For local information regarding the lake and available boat ramps, contact the Lane County Parks Department at 541-682-2000. 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 April to June, 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. All boat ramps are currently open. It was last stocked with hatchery trout in May. Smallmouth bass and yellow perch fishing is very good at the moment. Best places for these fish are near underwater structure and drop-offs.

Please remember that only kokanee and adipose fin-clipped trout may be kept and there are no limits on size or number of bass.

From I-5 take US 20 east from Albany to the town of Sweet Home. The reservoir is 3 miles past the town on the left.

FREEWAY LAKE, EAST: bass bluegill crappie

Trout stocking season is over for Freeway Lake this year, although there could be some holdovers. This water-body actually consists of three interconnected ponds and features some good size bass and crappie. A boat ramp is available at East Freeway Lake, and there is good bank access around Middle Freeway Lake.

Fishing for warmwater gamefish such as bass, bluegill, crappie, and catfish can be very good, especially early and late in the day.

GREEN PETER RESERVOIR: kokanee, trout, bass

This large reservoir east of Sweet Home is a premier kokanee fishery with a bag limit of 25 fish per day. It also supports stocked rainbow trout and a good population of smallmouth bass. It was stocked again the first week of May with 6,000 legal-size rainbow trout.

Kokanee fishing has returned and with the warming temperatures the fish are becoming active. Most fish, including holdover trout, are being caught 50 feet below the surface.

Smallmouth bass can be found near underwater structure and at drop-offs. The reservoir level is currently about 70 ft. below full pool – only Thistle Creek boat ramp is currently available.

HALDEMAN POND: trout

This is a stocked 2-acre pond on the Sauvie Island Wildlife Area that offers good bank access. Ideal for kids. A parking permit is required while on the wildlife area. Permits are available from all ODFW license vendors.

HARRIET LAKE: trout

Stocked the week of Aug. 24 with 334 trophy-sized rainbow trout. This is a 23-acre reservoir on the Oak Grove Fork of the Clackamas River in the Mount Hood National Forest. Boat ramp is just past campground.

HARTMAN POND: trout

Last stocked in June with 1,250 legal-sized rainbow trout. This is a year-round warmwater and spring trout fishing pond in the Columbia River Gorge. Excellent for non-boating anglers.

From I-84, take the Benson State Park exit. The pond is adjacent to the Columbia River adjoining Benson State Recreation Area.

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

Last stocked in June with 4,000 legal-sized rainbow trout. This popular lake has been stocked several times this year and has an impressive array of resident fish species.

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

HIGH MOUNTAIN LAKES: trout (rainbow, brook, cutthroat)

There are several mountain lakes available in the area for day use or overnight camping that require only a short hike into them. Many are easy day hikes, perfect for packing in a lunch and doing some fishing then heading home in early evening.

Some of these waters get very little use, and anglers will often find the solitude incredible. If you plan to camp keep in mind that overnight temperatures at the higher elevations can be quite chilly, even in mid-summer. Given the current high fire danger you should check on restrictions regarding open campfires.

Maps should be available from the local U.S. Forest Service office. Lists of stocked Willamette basin high cascade lakes are available on-line – see Willamette Zone, North and South Willamette High Lakes.

HILLS CREEK RESERVOIR: trout, warmwater fish

This reservoir is located about four miles southeast of Oakridge and is open to year round angling. Anglers can find largemouth bass and crappie in this reservoir in addition to trout. Springtime legal trout releases are in addition to the 60,000 adipose fin-clipped rainbow trout fingerlings and 100,000 adipose fin-clipped spring Chinook salmon fingerlings released annually to reach harvestable size the following year. Trout and salmon must be adipose-fin clipped to be harvested. Large native trout are available for catch-and-release fishing.

Only Packard Creek Boat Ramp is accessible at the current reservoir level.

HILLS CREEK above HILLS CREEK RESERVOIR: trout

Hills Creek above Hills Creek Reservoir is not stocked, but native fish are available for harvest. Use of bait is allowed through Oct. 31. Hills Creek above Hills Creek Reservoir remains open to angling under normal hours.

HUDDLESTON POND: trout, bluegill

Stocked in June with 125 trout ranging in size from a half pound to two pounds each.

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 two miles south of Junction City on Hwy. 99W on the west side of the highway. There is excellent access around the entire 8-acre pond. It was last stocked in June. Stocking will resume in November or December with the onset of cooler weather. As a reminder, zone regulations apply: five trout daily may be kept and only one over 20-inches.

LEABURG LAKE: trout

Leaburg Lake was recently stocked with 1,400 rainbow trout. Adipose fin-clipped trout may be retained; all wild trout must be released unharmed. Leaburg Lake will be stocked every other week through Labor Day. This waterbody also benefits from upriver stockings. Use of bait is allowed during trout season (through October).

Leaburg Dam has been open recently after several weeks of weekday closures to vehicular and pedestrian traffic from 8am to noon and 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Check EWEB’s website for current information and updates regarding dam access.

Leaburg Lake and the entire McKenzie River and its tributaries remain open to fishing under normal hours.

MCKENZIE RIVER below Leaburg Lake: trout, salmon, steelhead

The McKenzie River below Leaburg Lake is stocked with hatchery trout from the Leaburg Town Landing downstream to Hendricks Bridge. It was recently boat stocked with 3,000 trout. All non-adipose fin-clipped trout must be released unharmed.

This river reach is open to retention of adipose fin-clipped salmon and steelhead and non-adipose fin-clipped steelhead greater than 24 inches in length. A Columbia River Basin Endorsement is required for anglers targeting salmon and steelhead in the McKenzie. Gear is restricted to flies and lures, except bait use is allowed upstream of Hendricks Bridge through the end of the year.

Leaburg Dam has been open recently after several weeks of weekday closures to vehicular and pedestrian traffic from 8am to noon and 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Check EWEB’s website for current information and updates regarding dam access.

The entire McKenzie River and its tributaries, as well as Leaburg Lake, remain open to angling under normal hours.

MCKENZIE RIVER above Leaburg Lake: trout, steelhead

The McKenzie River above Leaburg Lake will be boat-stocked this week with 3,850 hatchery trout from the Goodpasture Bridge boat landing upstream to Finn Rock. All non-adipose fin-clipped trout must be released unharmed.

The river is open to retention of adipose fin-clipped steelhead and non-adipose fin-clipped steelhead greater than 24-inches long up to Trail Bridge Dam. A Columbia River Basin Endorsement is required for anglers targeting salmon and steelhead in the McKenzie.

Bait use is allowed up to Forest Glen boat ramp, which coincides with the portion of the river stocked with hatchery trout.

The entire McKenzie River and its tributaries, as well as Leaburg Lake, remain open to fishing under normal hours.

MIDDLE FORK WILLAMETTE RIVER above Hills Creek Reservoir: trout

The Middle Fork Willamette River above Hills Creek Reservoir is open to catch-and-release fishing for trout through Oct. 31. This reach of river is not stocked, although there may be some adipose fin-clipped trout originating from the reservoir available for harvest in the lower river reach. Gear use is limited to flies and lures.

The Middle Fork Willamette and its tributaries above Lookout Point Reservoir remain open to fishing under normal hours.

MOLALLA RIVER: spring Chinook

The Molalla River is extremely low, clear, and warm making for very challenging fishing conditions. For increased success, try early and late in the day when the sun is off the water. Readings at the gauge in Canby show flows down again at 38 cfs with a gauge height of 9.59 ft.

MT HOOD POND: trout, crappie, bluegill

Last stocked in June, this 5-acre pond is 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

Stocked the week of Aug. 24 with 16,700 rainbow trout. This is in addition to the release of 7,700 trout a week earlier.

North Fork is a 350-acre reservoir of the Clackamas River behind North Fork Dam approximately 5.2 miles east of Estacada, Ore.

Fishermen are reminded that the boat ramp and marina at Promitory Park is closed to all public access until the summer of 2016 while PGE constructs a surface collector to improve the downstream passage of native salmon and steelhead juveniles at North Fork Dam.

All other access points to North Fork Reservoir are open, and ODFW will stock the lake with hatchery trout as in the past. For more information about the closure, visit PGE’s website (pdf)

North Fork Reservoir is not subject to the statewide closure after 2 p.m.

OLALLIE LAKE: trout

Stocked the week of June 29 with 2,800 legal-sized rainbow trout. This is the largest of more than 200 lakes within the Olallie Lake Scenic Area. Located on the southern edge of the Mt. Hood National Forest it is a popular summer recreational destination for people from Portland and Salem, Ore.

There are three campgrounds and a rustic cabin resort on this lake as well as a hiking trail that encircles the perimeter. Yurts, cabins, and boat rentals are available at Olallie Lake Resort. There is a boat ramp at Peninsula Campground on the southwest shore of the lake.

Camping is also available at Olallie Meadows Campground and Paul Dennis Campground. Olallie Lake is also a popular jumping off point for backpackers who want to fish the surrounding high lakes or access the Pacific Crest Trail.

PROGRESS LAKE: trout, brown bullhead

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

QUARTZVILLE CREEK: trout

This beautiful stream is located above Green Peter Reservoir and provides excellent opportunities to fish for trout. There is good bank access along most of its length. Trout season is currently open.

The river was stocked for the last time this year on July 22 with 2,000 rainbow trout. There are opportunities to catch some nice wild cutthroat trout as well. Light gear works best and fly fishing can be very good, but bait is also allowed. Flows are extremely low, so stealth will be necessary to catch fish.

There are two BLM campgrounds as well as numerous designated campsites along the road. To get there, follow the directions to Green Peter Reservoir and continue around the lake until the river begins.

Quartzville Creek is not subject to the 2 p.m. fishing closure and remain open to fishing during the hours specified in the 2015 Oregon Sport Fishing Regulations.

SALMON CREEK: trout

Salmon Creek was stocked recently for the last time this season with a total of 850 hatchery rainbow trout. Trout are released at several locations up to Black Creek. Bait use is allowed through Oct. 31. Both native and hatchery trout are available for harvest.

SALT CREEK: trout

Salt Creek is a tributary to the Middle Fork Willamette River east of Oakridge and is open to trout harvest through October. This stream is not stocked, but native trout are available for harvest and bait use is allowed during trout season (through Oct. 31). Salt Creek remains open to fishing under normal hours.

SANDY RIVER: spring Chinook, summer steelhead

There’s nothing new to report for the Sandy River with water levels extremely low, as it’s been the entire summer. Angler effort has been very light due to the poor fishing conditions, with only a scattering of folks out in the early morning hours. The mouth of the Salmon River is seeing a bit of activity with rumors of an occasional fish being hooked. The warm weather is aiding in the milky glacier-melt color which will likely persist until the weather cools and even the Zig Zag River is showing signs of glacial melt and silt.

Steelhead returns are below average this summer, although a few are still being hooked, mainly above Dabney Park. A few late summers should be in the river from Cedar Creek downstream, with the best areas for hooking steelhead being near Cedar Creek, Dodge Park, and Revenue. Spring Chinook are also available but the challenging water conditions will test even the most skilled angler.

If you’re targeting spring Chinook, get going early in the morning and concentrate your efforts in the lower river below Dodge Park. Springers are acclimated near the mouth of the Bull Run River and lower flows should cause fish to hold below Dodge Park. Several dozen of these fish have shown up in the ODFW trap on the Bull Run River so there are Chinook around.

USGS hydrological data for the Sandy River on Aug. 24 shows flows at 304 cfs with a gauge reading of 7.62 feet. The water temperature, which has fallen some as the nights are cooler and longer, is holding near 58° in the morning hours.

SANTIAM RIVER (NORTH FORK): steelhead, Chinook

The earlier die-off of salmon and steelhead has receded somewhat with the cooler temperatures, but fish are still vulnerable so the 2 p.m. closure remains in effect.

Most Chinook and steelhead are currently in the upper sections of this river where water temperatures and conditions are better. A recent surge in migrating adults over Willamette Falls may provide some action in lower sections of the river as well. To avoid adding stress to these fish, anglers are encouraged to fish early in the morning or late in the evening and to land fish quickly. If practicing catch and release, avoid taking fish out of the water and minimize handling as much as possible so that these fish can conserve enough energy for spawning in the fall. The North Santiam below Detroit Reservoir was included in the statewide salmon and trout angling closure from 2 p.m. until one hour before sunrise. As a reminder, angling for Chinook closes on Sept. 1, 2015.

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 opened May 23. Anglers are allowed to keep up to 5 fin-clipped trout per day through Oct. 31.

River levels best for fishing are below 3,000 cfs at the Mehama gauge (currently the Mehama gauge is around 1,100 cfs as of Aug. 24. Current conditions

SANTIAM RIVER (NORTH FORK) above DETROIT:

This section of the river is currently open to trout fishing. The river received its final stocking of 3,000 legal size rainbow trout for the year the last week of July. Holdover and resident trout can be found throughout the river. Anglers may keep up to 5 trout per day.

Closed to salmon fishing.

NOTICE: Statewide angling hour restrictions imposed on July 18 apply to the North Santiam below Big Cliff dam: Fishing for trout, salmon, and steelhead is closed on the North Santiam from 2 p.m. until one hour before sunrise.

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

After a long delay new Chinook and summer steelhead have resumed migration through the ladder at Willamette Falls. This pod of new fish should begin to arrive into the upper tributaries, including the Santiam River, within the next few weeks. There are many Chinook and steelhead already in the basin, with over 2,400 Chinook already recycled downstream from Foster dam.

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. Flows have already reached summer flow conditions, currently 760 cfs at Waterloo. They should remain low for the foreseeable future.

SHERIDAN POND: trout

Stocked in June with 1,000 legal-sized rainbow trout and 125 trophy trout. Sheridan Pond is a 2 ½-acre pond located on the edge of town. An old mill pond, it has plenty of bank access, parking, and a restroom. To get there take Hwy. 18 to Exit 33 onto Balston Rd. Go south on Balston Rd. approximately half a mile and turn left onto a gravel road leading about a quarter mile to the pond.

SILVER CREEK RESERVOIR: trout, catfish

Stocked the week of Aug. 24. with 6,300 legal- and larger-sized rainbow trout. This is a 65-acre reservoir on Silver Creek 2.5 miles south of Silverton on Hwy. 214.

SMITH RESERVOIR: trout

Smith Reservoir was last stocked for the season in late June. 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. Both native and hatchery trout are available for harvest.

SOUTH FORK YAMHILL RIVER: trout

Stocked in June with 2,000 rainbow trout. The South Fork Yamhill from its confluence with the North Yamhill near McMinnville, upstream about 20 miles to Rock Creek near Grand Ronde is stocked with rainbow trout. Trout are released in multiple locations between Gold Creek Road Bridge and Willamina. This river has the distinction of being one of the few rivers in the state stocked with hatchery trout.

Yamhill River Road runs parallel to much of this section and provides adequate turnouts and parking at several locations near the river. The remaining 15 miles of river open to trout fishing has some public access but also meanders across private lands. ODFW reminds anglers to be aware of and respectful toward private property rights along the river.

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

Last stocked in June with a nice batch of rainbow trout. It’s summer, the ponds are shallow so be prepared to deal with aquatic vegetation, i.e., moss.

St. Louis Ponds is a 240-acre fishing complex of seven ponds owned and managed jointly by the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife and Marion County Parks Department. The site has a 2,300-foot paved ADA footpath with turnouts, fishing platforms, restrooms and picnic tables. More primitive trails are also available.

A gate providing access to the last mile of dirt road to the complex is closed Oct. 1 - March 1, although anglers are still permitted to walk in to fish.

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

SUNNYSIDE PARK POND: bass, bluegill

This 4-acre pond is located 2 miles above the upper end of Foster Reservoir. Trout stocking season has ended for Sunnyside Pond although a few holdovers may remain. The pond also offers bluegill and largemouth bass year round. Fishing for bass and bluegill should be improving as the water warms and fish become more active.

The park has a campground and picnic area and is a great place to take kids fishing. There is also boat ramp access to the Middle Fork arm of Foster Reservoir. To get there from I5, take US 20 through the town of Sweet Home and continue around Foster Reservoir to Quartzville Creek road. Take a left and follow this road for two miles to the park.

TIMOTHY LAKE: trout

Stocked in June with 11,000 rainbow trout.

Timothy Lake is a 1,400-acre lake about 80 miles east of Portland past Mt. Hood. From Hwy 26 turn onto Forest Rd 42 (Skyline Rd), and then west to Forest Rd 57.

TRAIL BRIDGE RESERVOIR: trout

Trail Bridge Reservoir is open to year-round fishing. This reservoir was stocked for the last time this season the week of July 27. 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. Only flies and lures may be used.

TRILLIUM LAKE: trout

Stocked the week of Aug. 24 with 3,000 legal-sized rainbow trout and 334 trophy trout. Trillium Lake is a 60-acre lake located approximately three miles east of Government Camp off of Hwy. 26. This lake is popular for fishing, camping and photography, often clearly reflecting Mount Hood. Adjacent Trillium Lake Campground is administered by the Zigzag Ranger District of the Mount Hood National Forest. The large campground features a seasonal boat ramp and wheelchair-accessible floating dock.

TROJAN PONDS: trout

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

WILLAMETTE RIVER: sturgeon, spring Chinook, shad

The Willamette River below Willamette Falls remains closed to fishing for coldwater fish – trout, steelhead, salmon and sturgeon. The area remains open to fishing for crappie, bluegill, catfish and other warmwater species under normal fishing hours.

Above Willamette Falls, the river is currently open to all fishing until 2 p.m. when it closes under the statewide fishing hours restrictions adopted to protect fish during drought conditions. Anglers are encouraged to fish early in the day.

Daily counts at the Willamette Falls fish ladder have switched from spring Chinook to fall Chinook as springer counts are officially over for 2015. The final unofficial tally ending Aug. 15 shows 51,046 adult spring Chinook passed through the ladder at the falls, a total well above preseason expectations. The same scenario does not apply for summer steelhead as the overall count on summers continues at a somewhat dismal number.

Hydrological numbers for the Willamette on Aug. 24 show flows down at 5,320 cfs, a water temperature in Oregon City steady near 76°, and visibility exceptional at 8.2 ft.


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WILLAMETTE ZONE: HUNTING

OPEN: BEAR, COUGAR, ARCHERY DEER AND ELK (opens Aug. 29)

UPCOMING: MOURNING DOVE, GROUSE, QUAIL (Sept. 1), BAND-TAILED PIGEON (Sept. 15)

Archery seasons open Aug. 29 – Know before you go!

Hunters will face fire restrictions and some closures and they need to know what those are before they go. More info. Some good resources for fire information: InciWeb, National Forest webpages, Oregon Dept Forestry

ODFW is not closing archery season due to fires.

Fire danger is high to extreme in the Willamette Zone. Hunters are asked to follow all Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) fire restrictions while hunting or scouting. ODF requires each vehicle to be equipped one axe at least 26 inches in length, with a head weighing at least 2 pounds; one shovel at least 26 inches in length, with a blade at least 8 inches wide; and one gallon of water or one fully charged and an operational 2.5 lb. or larger fire extinguisher.

 

Many private landowners have closed access to their lands due to the fire danger. Please remember to check with the landowner for access restrictions prior to entering private lands. Private timberlands access policy.

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

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

Fall Bear season is now open. To be successful, hunters will want to become familiar with a variety of berry producing plants such as black cap raspberry, Armenian blackberry, trailing blackberry, cascara, blue huckleberry, and elderberry. Hunters that note the location of a variety of berry patches will be able to move throughout the season to stay on the best available food source. Experienced bear hunters may find that the berries in their favorite hunting spots are ripening about three to four weeks earlier than in a typical year. In the Cascades, blue huckleberries ripen in September of a typical year but biologist report they are already ripe in many places this year.

Early in the hunting season bears will be spending the majority of their time in cool and shaded areas trying to avoid the heat. Although bears are most active in the mornings and evenings, on relatively cooler days bears may be active all day. They will be feeding on the abundant berry crops primarily in the early morning hours so hunters will need to be up and on stands before daylight. When out scouting, hunters should be looking for bear sign close to streams, lakes and adjacent to cool north slopes of timber.

Successful bear hunters will need to check-in any bear taken at an ODFW office within 10 days of harvest. Hunters are reminded that biologists located in field offices may be out in the field handling other issues so call ahead to make arrangements to have your bear checked-in. Be sure to bring in the skull (The skull must be unfrozen and without the hide), the spring bear tag, and harvest location information. Biologists recommend propping the bear’s mouth open with a stick after harvest; it makes for easier tooth collection and measuring. Bear hunters are reminded that it is helpful to submit the reproductive tract of any female bear taken. The reproductive tract provides valuable information on the number and frequency of cubs born annually in Oregon and is a critical part of ODFW’s black bear population models. Please review the 2015 Big Game Hunting Regulations before your hunting trip to ensure that you are familiar with all of the requirements.

The 2015 Cougar season is currently open in NW Oregon for those with a cougar tag. Hunters will have their best success calling cougars to them with predator calls that mimic a distressed deer fawn or elk calf. Approaching cougar can be difficult to see when you are predator calling so hunting with a partner is advised.

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

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.

 

BE PREPARED

Except for cougar, big game hunting is closed during the summer months. This is a good time for hunters to scout for the upcoming fall hunting seasons. The antlers of buck deer and bull elk are in velvet and sensitive to being bumped. This contributes to bucks and bulls spending more time out in the open and visible. Hunters that spend some time hiking and scouting will not only stay in better hunting shape but may find an animal to target this fall. Try to avoid disturbing females with young when viewing animals. Hunters who drew a controlled tag in the controlled draw applications are reminded to purchase it no later than the day before the hunt begins.

Hunters are reminded to be prepared for emergencies by keeping survival equipment such as food, water, signal mirror, whistle, sleeping bag and first aid kit with you and in your vehicle during your outdoor adventures.

Don’t forget to wear the proper clothing; it is your first defense against the elements. Let someone know where you will be and when you expect to return just in case your vehicle becomes stuck or breaks down.


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WILLAMETTE ZONE: WILDLIFE VIEWING

The pileated woodpecker, a spectacular sight

Where to see the bird

In the Willamette Zone, look, first, for habitat. There are many places to see pileated woodpeckers. Remember, they prefer the forest, which doesn’t necessarily mean the wilderness. Visit the Audubon Wildlife Sanctuary, which in only ten minutes from downtown Portland or the running trail in Forest Park—last weekend, there was a pileated woodpecker on the trail; access the trail from NW Thurman Street.

East of Salem, Silver Falls State Park provides good habitat for this woodpecker and several others. Hikers on the Bruno Meadows Trail in the Willamette National Forest out of Detroit will enjoy many mountain forest birds and may see or hear a pileated.

At EE Wilson Wildlife Area in Monmouth, focus on the hardwood-conifer forest east of the angling pond where it borders on Forest Service property.

Fern Ridge Wildlife Area, five miles west of Eugene, is another great place. In the Zuwalt Park area you will find several parking areas along Jeans Road. A variety of habitats are available here. Pileated woodpeckers use the older stands of firs towards the north end of this unit. Viewing sites at Fern Ridge.

About the bird

The pileated, or crested, woodpecker was the model for the cartoon character, Woody Woodpecker. It is a large black-and-white bird with a bold red feathered crest and distinctive call. You may hear its powerful drumming before you see it.
In Oregon, look for it in older forests in the Blue Mountains, East and West Cascades, Klamath Mountains, Willamette Valley and Coast Range ecoregion. They prefer mature forests and younger forests with large snags and logs, requiring large diameter snags for nesting and foraging. The pileated woodpecker eats the carpenter ants, beetles and termites it uncovers while excavating large diameter dead or fallen trees and logs. Once the woodpecker has moved on, its rectangular excavations serve as home to other birds and mammals.

To hear its call, see a photo and more about the pileated woodpecker, Dryocopus pileatus, visit Cornell Lab of Ornithology All About Birds Web site.

To find out where else to see one in Oregon, see the Northwest, Southwest, Northeast and Central Zone viewing reports.

Valleywide Wildlife Viewing

Oregon has 15 species of bats most of which occur in the Willamette Valley. Look for bats foraging for insects at dusk. Anywhere close to water is a good place to see bats and they may even fly over your back yard. These little creatures are good to have around as they can eat up to 600 mosquitoes in an hour! Wildlife refuges, ponds, streams and under bridges are all good places to see these fascinating animals. For more information about bats, visit ODFW’s online Living with Wildlife section under Bats.

Beaver, river otter, mink, muskrats and the introduced non-native nutria are common residents along waterways in the Willamette Valley. They can be seen by quietly floating the Willamette River in a canoe or other non-motorized boat and watching the shoreline. They are most visible early in the morning or in the evening when other boat traffic is minimal. Occasionally these animals are seen in the Delta ponds or from the river bike path in Eugene and Springfield or in many of the farm ponds on the valley floor. The non-native nutria has displaced the muskrat from much of the Willamette Valley.

Corvallis Area

EE Wilson Wildlife Area.

There are lots of deer, shorebirds and waterfowl to see on the Wildlife Area—look for goose, mallard, hooded merganser and wood duck broods. Wildlife viewing remains good for waterfowl and shorebirds. Neotropical migrants in the area include yellow-breasted chat, American goldfinch, various swallows, warblers, thrush, kinglet and common yellowthroat.

Spring and summer are great times for birdwatching migrants as well as waterfowl including mallards, wood duck, hooded merganser, western Canada goose. Snipe and other shorebirds are periodically seen.

Note: Dogs are required to be on a leash inside the wildlife area boundary. Rifles and pistols are prohibited year round.

Directions to EE Wilson Wildlife Area.

Sauvie Island

Sauvie Island Wildlife Area

Shorebirds have started migrating south and have been viewed moving through. Sturgeon Lake is an excellent place to view them. Approximately 75-100 white pelicans were seen on Mud Lake on the wildlife area recently. Northern harriers, red-tailed hawks, and American kestrel may still be seen on the wildlife area and other points on the island.

The best opportunities for viewing are Coon Point, Eastside Viewing Platform and Rentenaar Road.

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

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

Springfield Area

Fern Ridge Wildlife Area

Fern Ridge Wildlife Area is open daily for public use providing great wildlife viewing opportunities. (One section of levee in the western portion of the Fisher Butte unit is posted closed to provide wildlife sanctuary.)

Observant visitors may catch a glimpse of black tailed deer and furbearers including beaver and otter, mink, red fox and coyotes. Some of the unusual and special bird species to be on the lookout for include white pelicans, black terns, band-tailed pigeons, yellow-headed blackbirds, osprey and bald eagles. This is a great time of year to look for waterfowl, shore birds, wading birds, songbirds, raptors, reptiles, and amphibians. 

There is an elevated viewing platform in the Fisher Butte unit just south of Royal Avenue that is open year-round. A second viewing platform is under construction and scheduled for installation by the end of June. The new viewing platform will be located 1/4 mile north of the Fisher Butte unit parking lot on Hwy 126.

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

Directions to Fern Ridge Wildlife Area.


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CENTRAL ZONE: FISHING

Weekend fishing opportunities

  • Anglers are reporting good trout fishing on the Deschutes River from Lake Billy Chinook to Wickiup Reservoir.
  • During the warm summer months, cool water rivers like the Fall and Metolius can be good bets.
  • Trout fishing continues to be good on East and Lava (Big) lakes.
  • Steelhead fishing on the lower Deschutes has been good from the mouth to Sherars Falls, though the White River has been creating turbid conditions on and off.

Warm temperatures increase stress on fish

However, anglers reduce the stress from catch-and-release fishing by following a few precautions:

  • Fish early in the mornings when water temperatures are lower.
  • Fish in lakes and reservoirs with deep waters that provide a cooler refuge for fish.
  • Use barbless hooks, land fish quickly and keep them in the water as much as possible in order to minimize stress.
  • Shift fishing efforts to higher elevation mountain lakes and streams where water temperatures often remain cooler.

Warmwater fish like bass, crappie and bluegill also feel the effects of the heat, so please follow these precautions in all your summer fishing.

Statewide drought updates

For the latest statewide drought conditions, see the State of Oregon’s Drought Watch.

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

The water remains dirty and low. Sampling indicated many trout available in the reservoir but fishing effort remains low.

BEND PINE NURSERY: rainbow trout

Warmwater fishing should be fair.

BIKINI POND: rainbow trout

Trout fishing has slowed down do to warm summer water temperatures, the pond will be stocked again in November.

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

Trout daily catch limit may include one rainbow trout over 16 inches and one non fin-clipped (unmarked) rainbow trout.

NOTE: Anglers who harvest one rainbow trout over 16 inches that is non fin-clipped have met both of these special regulations.

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

No recent reports.

CROOKED RIVER BELOW BOWMAN DAM: redband trout, mountain whitefish

Fishing for trout and whitefish has been good. Fish that are being released should not be removed from the water.

Due to cooler water temperatures, the Crooked River is not subject to the 2 p.m. fishing closure and remains open to fishing during the hours specified in the 2015 Oregon Sport Fishing Regulations.

Flows below Bowman Dam

CULTUS LAKE: rainbow trout, lake trout

No recent reports.

DAVIS LAKE: largemouth bass, redband trout

No recent reports. Restricted to fly-fishing only with barbless hooks.

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

The lower Deschutes is now open for fishing during normal hours from the mouth to Pelton Dam.

Trout anglers can find summer in full swing on the Deschutes. Warm air and lots of bug hatches in the mornings and evenings. Dry fly fishing is good right now. The best trout fishing is from Warm Springs to Maupin.

Good fishing has been reported from the mouth upstream to the Sherars Falls area. However, anglers should be aware that the White River has been creating poor visibility on and off all summer. Anglers should watch The Dalles Dam counts and expect fishing to continue to improve. Anglers who catch a tagged hatchery steelhead with an orange anchor tag, are encouraged to report catch information to ODFW at 541-296-4628. Anglers catching a tagged wild fish should release it immediately without recording any information.

Counts at the Sherars Falls salmon and steelhead trap can be found on the ODFW web site. The trap is only in operation from July to the end of October.

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

Anglers report good fishing for trout in the mornings and evenings. Fishing restricted to artificial flies and lures.

Benham Falls upstream to Wickiup Reservoir: rainbow trout, brown trout

Anglers report good fishing upstream of Bend. Five trout per day, which may include 2 non fin-clipped rainbow trout.

Wickiup Reservoir upstream to Crane Prairie: rainbow trout, brown trout

Anglers report fair fishing for trout. Two trout per day, 8 inch minimum length. Fishing is slow due to warm water.

Crane Prairie Reservoir upstream to Little Lave Lake: rainbow trout, brook trout

Catch-and-release only for rainbow trout. Five brook trout per day.

EAST LAKE: rainbow trout, brown trout, kokanee

Anglers report good fishing for kokanee and trout. Unmarked rainbow trout must be released.

ELK LAKE: brook trout, kokanee, cutthroat trout

No recent reports.

FALL RIVER: rainbow trout

River will be stocked this week with rainbow trout. Restricted to fly-fishing only with barbless hooks.

Due to cooler water temperatures, the Fall River is not subject to the 2 p.m. fishing closure and remains open to fishing during the hours specified in the 2015 Oregon Sport Fishing Regulations.

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

No recent reports.

HOOD RIVER: summer steelhead, trout

Steelhead fishing on the Hood will be slow through the summer and early fall. Anglers can expect a few fish in November and December.

Due to cooler water temperatures, the Hood River and its tributaries are not subject to the 2 p.m. fishing closure and remains open to fishing during the hours specified in the 2015 Oregon Sport Fishing Regulations.

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

Anglers report good fishing for all trout species.

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

Fishing for 11 to 13-inch kokanee is excellent. Fish are beginning to concentrate in the upper end of the Metolius Arm.

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.

LAURANCE LAKE: Rainbow trout, cutthroat trout

Should provide excellent opportunities, anglers fishing early in the morning will find best success.

LAVA LAKE (BIG): rainbow trout

Fishing for 12 to 18-inch rainbow trout continues to be good. Anglers fishing the early morning hours when the water is cooler are having most success.

LAVA LAVE (SMALL): rainbow trout, brook trout

No recent reports.

LOST LAKE: rainbow trout, brown trout

Lost Lake should be great fishing at one of Oregon’s most scenic lakes.

METOLIUS RIVER: redband trout, bull trout

Special fishing regulations apply to the Metolius River. All tributaries except Abbot, Lake, and Spring Creeks are closed to fishing. Opportunities for challenging catch-and-release flyfishing for native redband trout and bull trout in a pristine mountain stream are excellent.

Due to cooler water temperatures, the Metolius River is not subject to the 2 p.m. fishing closure and remains open to fishing during the hours specified in the 2015 Oregon Sport Fishing Regulations.

NORTH TWIN LAKE: rainbow trout

No recent reports. There is good bank access around entire lake.

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.

OCHOCO RESERVOIR: rainbow trout, black crappie, smallmouth bass

The water level is low. The boat ramp may not be usable for all sizes of boats.

ODELL CREEK: rainbow trout

Catch-and-release for trout.

ODELL LAKE: kokanee, lake trout

Closed to fishing for bull trout and any incidental caught bull trout must be released unharmed. All tributaries to Odell Lake are closed to fishing.

PAULINA LAKE: brown trout, rainbow trout, kokanee

Anglers report fair fishing for trout. Unmarked rainbow trout must be released.

PINE HOLLOW RESERVOIR: rainbow trout, largemouth bass

Water levels are dropping considerably due to drought conditions, and irrigation demands. We have been getting reports that many of the trout have copepods, which are tiny parasites on their bodies and gills. These are not harmful to humans and the lesions can be removed, but the meat should be thoroughly cooked.

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

The water level is low. The State Park boat ramp is still open but the Jasper Point, and Powderhouse Cove boat ramps are closed. Crappie and smallmouth bass opportunities are excellent.

PRINEVILLE YOUTH FISHING POND: rainbow trout and largemouth bass

No recent reports.

ROCK CREEK RESERVOIR: rainbow trout

Anglers should be prepared that low water conditions due to irrigation withdrawals will limit success in Rock Creek reservoir.

SHEVLIN YOUTH FISHING POND: rainbow trout

Pond will be stocked this week with rainbow trout. Open to fishing all year. Limit is 2 trout per day, 8-inch minimum length. Fishing restricted to juvenile anglers 17-years-old and younger.

SOUTH TWIN LAKE: rainbow trout

No recent reports. There is good bank access around entire lake.

SUTTLE LAKE: brown trout, kokanee

No recent reports.

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

Trout fishing will slow down during the summer months, but anglers can find lots of bluegill and largemouth bass.

THREE CREEK LAKE: rainbow trout, brook trout

Anglers report fair fishing for brook trout.

WALTON LAKE: rainbow trout

Anglers will have the most success fishing early in the morning when the temperatures are cooler. As a reminder, the bag limit includes only one trout over 20-inches per day.

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

Special regulations apply for this waterbody.


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CENTRAL ZONE: HUNTING

OPEN: COUGAR, BLACK BEAR, ARCHERY DEER AND ELK (opens Aug. 29)

Archery seasons open Aug. 29 – Know before you go!

Hunters will face fire restrictions and some closures and they need to know what those are before they go. More info. Some good resources for fire information: InciWeb, National Forest webpages, Oregon Dept Forestry

ODFW is not closing archery season due to fires.

Wolves and coyotes can look alike

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

Use the Oregon Hunting Map to see where to hunt.

PRINEVILLE/OCHOCO WILDLIFE DISTRICT

Please be aware of fire restrictions and closures in the area. Consult appropriate land management agency for details.

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

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

THE DALLES DISTRICT

Black Bear: Bear season is August 1-Nov. 30th Bears can be found by glassing open areas Look for areas with fresh bear sign and berries or wild cherries to increase your chance of success. Remember that all harvested bears must be checked in to an ODFW office, unfrozen within 10 days of harvest. Placing a stick in the mouth of harvested bear is encouraged for easier tooth extraction.

Archery Deer and ELK: Archery season begins on August 29th. Hunters should expect good deer and elk numbers similar to last season.

Coyotes There are good 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.

Cougar: Deer and elk have moved off the wintering areas to their summer grounds where they are more dispersed and at higher elevations. Cougars can be found in the same areas as they follow deer and elk through their migration routes. Calling with fawn in distress can be effective this time of year. Cougars have large home ranges so remember to be patient and persistent. 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.

Hunters are reminded to check on access prior to entering the field.

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.

Archery Deer & Elk: Aug. 29 – Sept. 27 Bag Limit: See Page 43 of the regulations for details of the area you will be hunting in. Most of the larger bucks have moved back up into their normal summer habitat in the higher country but there are always a few nice bucks that can be found on the Wildlife Area.

Elk numbers in this area have been on the increase the last several years. The local elk herds move around the Wildlife Area and onto the Mt. Hood National Forest often so they can be difficult to locate. Look for cool areas that have access to food & water nearby to help increase your odds of tagging one.

Black Bear: Aug. 1 – Nov. 30 Bag Limit: Black bears can be found on the Wildlife Area but most of them live a little higher in the mountains. With the hot dry conditions that we are having finding bear tracks on dirt roads is a good way to see if they are using the area that you plan on hunting. Don’t forget to scan hillsides and meadows for grazing bears in the morning and evening hunts. Remember that all harvested bears must be checked in to an ODFW office, unfrozen within 10 days of harvest. Placing a stick in the mouth of harvested bear is encouraged for easier tooth extraction.

Blue & Ruffed Grouse: Sept. 1 – Jan. 31, 2016 Daily Bag Limit: 3 Possession Limit 9: Grouse can occasionally be found on the Wildlife Area but mostly on the Western boundary. They are found in more abundance at higher elevations in the Cascade Mountains. The regulations state that a feathered head or wing must be left attached to all game birds while in the field or traveling home. Note: ODFW is collecting information on grouse and mountain quail populations throughout the state. The wings and tails from hunter-harvested grouse and mountain quail provide us with information on the status of these populations. Wing Barrels and sacks to put wings/tails in will be placed at several entrances throughout the Wildlife Area. Thank you for your help collecting this information.

Mourning Dove: Sept. 1 – Oct. 30 Daily Bag Limit: 15 Possession Limit 45
Doves can be found at just about any grain field on the Wildlife Area. Another good place look for them is around ponds, springs, or other water sources.

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

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

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

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

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CENTRAL ZONE: WILDLIFE VIEWING

CROOK COUNTY

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

Prineville Reservoir Wildlife Area

The Prineville Reservoir Wildlife Area offers walk-in access to view a wide variety of wildlife, including deer, coyotes, otter, beaver, raptors, shorebirds and waterfowl. Maps of the wildlife area are available at the Prineville ODFW office, at Prineville Reservoir State Park office and the ODFW website. 6/30/15

Deschutes County

At this time of year, hot weather conditions in the high desert can make viewing wildlife challenging during the day. Birds are more active in the early morning hours. Many mammals will find a shady bush, hollow tree, burrow, or safe rocky area to escape the heat of the day, becoming most active in the mornings and evenings. Even reptiles that require the sun to bring their bodies up to “working temperature” will keep out of the sun for much of the day, again being most active in the early morning and evenings. Some species, such as rattlesnakes, may remain active all night when temps remain warm. Be careful if you come across a rattlesnake (common in river canyons) and never try to pick one up. If you hear the warning rattle, but cannot see the snake; locate the sound and move in an opposite direction. Rattlesnakes are not aggressive and will not chase you, but they will defend themselves if threatened.

If you are out and about during the heat of the day, the best places to see wildlife are wetlands, lakes and rivers with robust riparian and emergent vegetation. This is generally true at any time of the year, but especially so when wildlife change their activity patterns to avoid temperature extremes. That said, it is best to enjoy wildlife from a distance with the aid of binoculars or a spotting scope. Like us, many wildlife species will seek a quiet shady spot to hide from the heat, and causing them to flush from their shelter to avoid contact with curious humans can place an unnecessary stress on them.

Excellent places to increase your chance of seeing wildlife include any of the Cascade lakes and reservoirs, such as Wickiup, Davis, Elk, and Crane Prairie where impressive numbers of waterfowl can be seen along with mountain chickadee, red-breasted nuthatch, gray jay, red-crossbill and many other mountain bird species. Keep your eyes and ears open for sightings and sounds woodpeckers, especially in areas with beetle or fire killed trees. Productive lower elevation wildlife viewing sites include Smith Rock State Park at Terrebonne, and along most of the Deschutes River, especially in areas that have off river ponds, such as those found on the west side of the river near Slough Camp Ground, about 1.5 miles above Dillon Falls. Ponds and lakes are great places to find treefrog and western toad. Late summer to early fall is the time when most amphibian species metamorphose. One good site to find newly changed tree frogs and western toads is Sparks Lake on the Cascade Lakes Highway, but be careful where you step as they can sometimes be found crossing nearby trails in the hundreds or thousands.

Western fence lizards and sagebrush lizards can be seen through most of the day, but as mentioned above, they will seek shade during the hottest hours. They can be found in many areas of Deschutes County, but the best places to find them include sagebrush habitats with rocky outcrops. If you find yourself in open areas with volcanic soils or in pine woodlands, look for the diminutive short-horned lizards as they sit motionless near active ant mounts ready to suck down their favorite six legged food.

Bird watching is not just limited to wild places, as residents and visitors to Bend can watch an osprey pair nesting adjacent to the Parkway that runs through Bend and Vaux’s swifts can be seen flying over the former Bend library at 507 NW Wall St., and disappearing into the chimney at dusk. 08/03/15

Wasco and Sherman counties

The Lower Deschutes River provides ample wildlife viewing opportunities. California bighorn sheep are frequently observed in the canyon and can provide fantastic viewing all times of the year. The best spot to view sheep is from the BLM access road just downstream and across the river from Sherar’s Falls (along Hwy 216). Look for movement and the white rump patches of bighorns and remember patience and good optics is key to seeing wildlife.

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. A large variety of songbird species can be viewed in riparian areas along the river.

It is best to go birding in the early morning hours before it gets too hot for birds to be very active. Some common species seen include Bullock’s Oriole, Lazuli Bunting, Mourning Dove, Violet-green Swallow, and Cliff Swallow. 6/9/15.

White River Wildlife Area

There are many different animals on White River Wildlife Area ranging from Deer and Elk to coyotes, bears, and the occasional cougar. Some of these animals are much harder to find than others.

 Deer can be spotted in open fields and meadows early in the morning or in the evenings. There are plenty of fawns running around with spots but some are starting to lose them already. Bucks are still sporting velvet antlers but should start rubbing it off soon. Remember when driving around the Wildlife Area or rural roads to be watching carefully for deer along the edges ready to jump out in front of you. There are many deer mortalities every year from getting hit by vehicles. Not only is it bad for the deer but can cause serious injuries or be fatal to the driver and passengers.

The best time to view elk is also in the morning and evenings. If you do get lucky enough to spot some elk if they see you they won’t stick around very long. They are very wary animals and don’t like hanging around when people are nearby. With upcoming hunting seasons their habits will change making them even more difficult to locate.

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

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

Look on ponds, lakes and streams to see a variety of ducks and geese.
 8/24/2015


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SOUTHEAST ZONE: FISHING

Weekend fishing opportunities

  • Fourmile, Lake of the Woods and Miller Lake will all be stocked this week with rainbow trout.
  • The Blitzen River upstream of Page Springs Weir, the entire Malheur River and tributaries, and the Owyhee River below the dam remain open to fishing from 1 hour before sunrise to one hour after sunset.
  • Delintment Lake, with its shaded banks and reputation for good summer fishing, could be a great place for the family to beat the heat.
  • Due to poor water quality over the weekend (hot weather, vegetation, low water) a fish kill was documented at Withers Lake (near Summer Lake). If planning a fishing trip in the area, you may want to consider Slide Lake or Ana Reservoir instead.

Warm temperatures increase stress on fish

However, anglers reduce the stress from catch-and-release fishing by following a few precautions:

  • Fish early in the mornings when water temperatures are lower.
  • Fish in lakes and reservoirs with deep waters that provide a cooler refuge for fish.
  • Use barbless hooks, land fish quickly and keep them in the water as much as possible in order to minimize stress.
  • Shift fishing efforts to higher elevation mountain lakes and streams where water temperatures often remain cooler.

Warmwater fish like bass, crappie and bluegill also feel the effects of the heat, so please follow these precautions in all your summer fishing.

Statewide drought updates

For the latest statewide drought conditions, see the State of Oregon’s Drought Watch.

Send us your fishing report

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

ANA RESERVOIR: hatchery rainbow trout, hybrid bass

The reservoir is high and launching boats is possible. Hybrid bass are traditionally targeted using crank baits; however they can be 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. The reservoir was recently stocked with 250 trophy rainbow trout and fishing reports are good.

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

ANA RIVER: trout

Fishing should be good for rainbow trout in Ana River. The Ana River is spring fed and rainbow trout are active throughout the year.

The river was sampled on June 5, 2014 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 spring. Hatches typically occur during the afternoon from 12-3 p.m. the best time. Small mayfly hatches are typically best on overcast days with light rain or snow. Tui chub and pit roach are abundant in the river therefore casting large flies or lures can be effective for catching larger fish.

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

ANNIE CREEK: brook trout, brown trout and rainbow trout

Annie Creek is not subject to the 2 p.m. fishing closure and remains open to fishing during the hours specified in the 2015 Oregon Sport Fishing Regulations.

Bait will be allowed in Annie Creek beginning this year. Fishing should be only fair for brook trout as fish density is low in Annie Creek. Flows are low and fishable for this time of year.

A few brown trout also are available. Most fish caught are under 8 inches. Best access is at the USFS snowpark off Hwy 62.

ANTHONY LAKE: hatchery rainbow trout, brook trout

Anthony Lake has been stocked with approximately 3,000 trophy-sized and 3,000 legal-sized rainbow trout in June and July. Fishing is good. Both bait and lures are working well.

BALM CREEK RESERVOIR: rainbow trout, smallmouth bass, crappie

Approximately 5,000 legal-sized rainbow trout have been stocked in Balm Creek Reservoir. Fishing has been good for rainbow trout, but water levels are declining.

Due to low and declining water levels, the daily bag limit, possession limit and minimum size requirement for trout have been removed. From now to Oct. 15, 2015 anglers may keep as many trout as they can catch by hand, dip net or angling.

The Eagle Creek Complex fire is currently burning north of the reservoir along Eagle Creek. Much of the area north of the reservoir is closed to public access. Consult the Wallowa Whitman National Forest website for detailed closure information.

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

No recent fishing reports. The reservoir is currently at 4 percent of capacity and none of the boat ramps are useable based on the Bureau of Reclamation website. USBR crews have been tagging fish in the reservoir over the last several years. If you catch a tagged trout report it to the Hines office at 541-573-6582.

BLITZEN RIVER: redband trout

The Blitzen River and its tributaries above the Page Springs weir are not subject to the 2 p.m. fishing closure and remains open to fishing during the hours specified in the 2015 Oregon Sport Fishing Regulations.

The Blitzen River has been flowing around 25-30 cfs with water temperatures around 18oC. With the warmer water temperatures comes a higher risk of harming fish so please be responsible and do not over-fight a fish when water temperatures are above 18oC. If possible, stop fishing when water temperatures are elevated.

Recent reports indicate that fishing around the Page Springs Campground has been productive and fish have been taking dry flies when a mid-day hatch is present. Anglers have also had some success swinging weighted streamers. Fish are being caught all the way up to the confluence with Fish Creek and there have been a lot fisherman hiking in the canyon above Page Springs. Fishing should be good on the upper Blitzen, Indian Creek, and the Little Blitzen as fish will migrate into these areas in search of colder water.

The East Canal, Bridge Creek, and mainstem Blitzen above Bridge Creek are open for retention from May 23 – Oct 31. The limit is 2 trout per day. The Little Blitzen River is open for catch and release only. Anglers willing to hike/bike the 3 miles into Bridge Creek have reported good success near the lower canyon. Please respect the fishing regulations for the Blitzen and tributaries.

BLUE LAKE: hatchery rainbow trout

Fishing is good, with the right gear. 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 it’s a 1-2 hour hike. Fish were sampled by net and hook and line sampling earlier this summer. Rainbow trout ranged from 6 to 16-inches and were in healthy condition. The trout at this lake see little pressure and are easy to catch using flies, lures or bait.

Blue Lake is alive with damselfly, black caddis, and mayfly hatches. If you are looking to fish this water, make sure you bring your fly rod. Numerous 12 to 14-inch rainbows, with some up to 16-inches, can be caught.

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

The reservoir is at 7 percent of capacity and the boat ramp is not useable based on the Bureau of Reclamation website. Fishing should be fair to good for warm water species with the bonus of an occasional rainbow trout.

BURNS POND: trout, bass

Fishing has been good for legal-sized rainbow trout. The pond was stocked with legal-sized rainbow trout the week of April 20 and anglers have been catching these fish and some holdovers from last year. Fishermen have recently reported catching a mix of trout and bass at the pond in the morning on flies and lures.

The pond is full and the waterway connecting the two portions of the pond is also full which allows fish to move between the different pond sections. Fishing should continue to be good throughout the summer. A strong mid-day hatch has been occurring and fish have been readily taking dry flies and nymphs.

BURNT RIVER: rainbow trout

The South Fork of the Burnt River was stocked with 2,000 legal-sized rainbow this past spring.

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

Calahan Creek is not subject to the 2 p.m. fishing closure and remains open to fishing during the hours specified in the 2015 Oregon Sport Fishing Regulations.

The fishing regulation has changed from flies and lures only to bait allowed. Fishing should be good for small brook trout, most are less than 10-inches. Flows are low and fishable. The lowermost 400-00 road crossing offers the best fishing. Please respect private property as most of Calahan Creek occurs on Green Diamond Lumber Company. Green Diamond currently allows public access to fishing and hunting.

CAMPBELL LAKE: brook trout, rainbow trout

Legal and trophy-sized rainbow trout were stocked recently; fishing is good.

The lake is a popular high mountain trout lake in the Fremont National Forest, approximately 34 miles northwest of Lakeview, as the crow flies. Small boats with trailers can be launched, however motors are restricted to electric only.

Rainbow trout fishing from shore is good. You can also fish Deadhorse Lake, one mile to the west, while you are in the area. First stocking occurs in June, check the 2015 Lakeview Stocking Schedule online for details.

CAMPBELL RESERVOIR: redband trout, largemouth bass, crappie

The reservoir is just outside of Bly on the road to Dairy Creek. Deming Creek irrigation ditch feeds the reservoir. Campbell Reservoir should be slow for redband trout due to high water temperatures. Large crappie are available. Fishing for bass should be good.

CHEWAUCAN RIVER: redband trout

The river downstream and upstream of Paisley is open, however the use of bait is prohibited upstream of Hwy 31 at Paisley. Fishing should be best during morning hours, be aware that high water temperatures stress fish and can lead to higher mortality if caught and handled.

CHICKAHOMINY RESERVOIR: trout

No recent fishing reports but fishing is expected to be slow. The reservoir is low but the boat ramp may be useable. The bottom portion of the boat ramp is submerged in water but use caution when launching here during low water as unforeseen obstacles may be present. The reservoir may be murky following recent high winds in the area.

Due to poor habitat conditions in Chickahominy Reservoir over the last year and projected poor conditions this year, ODFW will not be stocking the reservoir. If conditions improve, then the stocking program in this reservoir will be reinstated.

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

Corral Creek is not subject to the 2 p.m. fishing closure and remains open to fishing during the hours specified in the 2015 Oregon Sport Fishing Regulations.

Corral Creek is a tributary to upper SF Sprague River on Fremont National Forest. The fishing regulation has changed from flies and lures only to bait allowed. Fishing should be good for small brook trout. Corral Creek campground and Gearhart Wilderness trails are nearby.

COTTONWOOD MEADOWS: rainbow trout, brook trout

Fishing should be okay from the shore, however the heat is going to push the fish deep into cooler waters. Flies and lures that mimic fat head minnows are productive. Fish were sampled by net earlier this summer. Rainbow trout ranged from 6 to 16-inches and were in healthy condition.

COTTONWOOD RESERVOIR (Lake County): native redband trout

No recent fishing reports. Redband trout exceeding five pounds are available. Fishing is typically slow but casting lures or flies that mimic fat minnows can be productive. Cast lures or flies to the shoreline.

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

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

DEADHORSE LAKE: rainbow trout

The lake is a popular high alpine trout lake in the Fremont National Forest, overlooking the wild and scenic section of the Sycan River. Small boats with trailers can be launched, however motors are restricted to electric only.

Rainbow trout fishing from shore is good. You can also fish Campbell Lake while you are in the area. It was stocked recently, check the 2015 Lakeview Stocking Schedule online for details on future stocking.

DELINTMENT LAKE: trout

No recent fishing reports but Delintment Lake is generally a good place to catch holdover trout in the spring and throughout the summer. This is also a good place to beat the heat of the summer, as the lake is surrounded by trees and offers shade while fishing.

DEMING CREEK: redband trout and bull trout

Deming Creek is not subject to the 2 p.m. fishing closure and remains open to fishing during the hours specified in the 2015 Oregon Sport Fishing Regulations.

Deming Creek now opens to fishing on fourth Saturday in April. Previously Deming Creek was open the fourth Saturday in May. Most redband trout are less than 8-inches. Fishing for bull trout is closed.

Flies and lures only; no bait is allowed to protect unique redband trout and bull trout.

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

No recent report but fishing should be good for warmwater fish.

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

There have been reports of good largemouth fishing. Fishing should continue to improve for warmwater fish such as crappie, largemouth bass and brown bullhead with the warm temperatures.

DUNCAN RESERVOIR: rainbow trout

Duncan Reservoir is low; however, stocking went as scheduled and fishing should be good.

EAGLE CREEK: rainbow trout, brook trout

The Eagle Creek area is currently closed to public access due to the Eagle Creek Complex wildfire. For detailed information on the closure area, consult the Wallowa Whitman National Forest website.

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

Summer is generally a good time to catch brook trout in Fish Lake. Try fishing at sunrise or sunset for best success. Anglers are reporting that the lake becomes dimpled from rising fish during these times.

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

Fourmile Creek is not subject to the 2 p.m. fishing closure and remains open to fishing during the hours specified in the 2015 Oregon Sport Fishing Regulations.

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

Fourmile Lake will be stocked with 12 to 14-inch rainbow trout this week. Fishing from a boat should be good. Rainbow trout will likely move to deeper, colder water off shore therefore best success will be from boat. Fishing is fair for rainbow trout from boat.

The road into Fourmile is very rough in spots. Anglers can call Lake of the Woods Resort for more information. The lake is 0 percent full and launching boats is problematic. Fishing should be good from bank and boat.

Fourmile Lake levels.

Fishing is best in early morning and late evening when the lake has less wind. A few nice brook trout and lake trout have been caught so far this year. There is campground at the Lake. Along the campground area there is deep water offshore that holds fish. Bank fishing can be productive in this area when water temperatures are high. Fishing is slow for catching lake trout from 16 to 22-inches. Troll deep for lake trout.

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

No recent report. The lake is only 2 percent full, which makes launching boats extremely challenging. Fishing is likely slow.

GRANDE RONDE LAKE: hatchery rainbow trout, brook trout

Grande Ronde Lake has been stocked with approximately 6,000 legal-sized rainbow trout in June and July. Fishing should be good.

HAINES POND: rainbow

The pond was stocked with rainbow trout the first week of April. This pond will not be stocked again until fall.

HEART LAKE: rainbow trout, kokanee

Fishing should be fair for rainbow trout.

HOLBROOK RESERVOIR: rainbow trout

Holbrook was stocked recently with 1,200 legal and 200 trophy-sized rainbow trout. Take advantage of this popular fishing area while the water is still there.

Check the stocking schedule online for details.

HWY 203 POND: trout, bass, bluegill

Hwy 203 Pond has been stocked with approximately 8,600 legal-sized and 250 trophy-sized rainbow trout this spring. The most recent stocking occurred on May 28.

JACKSON CREEK (UPPER WILLIAMSON RIVER): brook trout

Jackson Creek is not subject to the 2 p.m. fishing closure and remains open to fishing during the hours specified in the 2015 Oregon Sport Fishing Regulations.
Jackson Creek opened April 25 with the use of bait allowed. A primitive USFS campground exists on the creek. Fishing should be good for small brook trout. Flows are low.

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

Fishing is fair for warmwater fish such as crappie, pumpkinseed sunfish and brown bullhead catfish with water temperatures increasing. Water temperature is currently peaking at 71 degrees.

Fishing for largemouth bass is slow. The reservoir is turbidtherefore anglers should try lures with high visibility and scent. Boats can be launched in several locations in the reservoir. Unimproved ramps occur just north and south of the Highway 66 bridge crossing. No fees are required to launch at these locations.

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

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

The Oregon Health Authority issued an advisory on July 28 due to blue green algae toxins at levels that could pose a risk to human health. Pelican Bay is not included in the advisory. Anglers should avoid swallowing and inhaling water. Skin contact with the algae can also cause rashes in individuals with sensitive skin. Oregon health officials recommend that people who choose to eat fish from waters where algae blooms are present remove all fat, skin and organs before cooking.

ODFW does not recommend fishing in most of Upper Klamath Lake as redband trout have moved into areas with better water quality. Most of the lake has a dense algal bloom and is bright green. Most redband have moved into Pelican Bay and the Wood and Williamson rivers. Fishing was very slow in Pelican Bay this past weekend as water was very clear and calm. Water temperatures in Pelican Bay ranged from 51-66 degrees depending on location and time of day. Fishing is generally slow with catch rates averaging 7 hours per redband from boat and 30 hours per redband from the shore but the fish being caught are large. The lake is 3.6 feet below full pool.

Water temperature has remained steady the past week around 71 degrees depending on location and air temperature. Klamath Lake is managed for true trophy trout. Redband trout average 21-inches and around four pounds in the fishery.

Water temperatures on the surface of the lakes have been stressful to redband trout. Anglers should considering fishing in early morning when water temperatures are lower. Redband trout to be released should be landed quickly, not be removed from the water, and revived by cradling and moving the fish back and forth through the water to pump water over the gills. Redband trout should be pushed down to deeper, colder water. If redband swallow your lure or bait, cut the line. ODFW also encourages use of single, barbless hooks if fish are going to be released. 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

Keno Dam to J.C Boyle Reservoir

The section from Keno Dam to J.C. Boyle Reservoir closed to fishing on June 16 and will re-open Oct. 1.

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

The Klamath River is not subject to the 2 p.m. fishing closure and remains open to fishing during the hours specified in the 2015 Oregon Sport Fishing Regulations.

The Klamath River between JC Boyle Dam to JC Boyle Powerhouse offers excellent spinner fishing. Dry fly fishing is excellent. Small elk hair caddis and attractor mayfly dry flies also work well.

Most fish in this section are small and average 10 inches. Below the springs this section remains near a constant 360 cfs of flow and water temperatures are much cooler in this section of the river in the summer. Fishing is best below the spring inputs. The springs start to discharge into the river approximately 1 mile below J.C. Boyle Dam. This section of river requires a hike down steep grade to the river with the exception of the area just above the powerhouse. Look for a few giant salmonfly and golden stoneflies still hatching.

J.C. Boyle Powerhouse to State Line with California

The Klamath River is not subject to the 2 p.m. fishing closure and remains open to fishing during the hours specified in the 2015 Oregon Sport Fishing Regulations.

Below the JC Boyle powerhouse the fish get slightly larger than the aforementioned reaches and average 12 inches but rarely exceed sixteen inches. River flows in this section are typically quite high during the day. If flow levels are 900 cfs or lower the river is fishable. Dead drifting rubber legged stonefly patterns and/or bead head pheasant tails can be good. Dry fly fishing with orange or yellow stimulators can be excellent in the evening. Most fish are in the 6 to 8-inch range but numerous 12 inch fish can be caught with 16 inches the maximum.

Flows below the powerhouse will typically be high during all daylight hours. Flow release estimates are now available online. Also, check out the USGS website for flow information. Best fishing will be during low flows from 6-10 a.m. During high flows water temperatures are warm as most water is coming from J.C. Boyle Reservoir.

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

KRUMBO RESERVOIR: trout, bass

Anglers have reported moderate success for rainbow trout up to 19-inches this spring/summer. Warm water fishing should be good for largemouth bass during the summer with top-water lures working well for bass early in the morning, then changing to lures that can be worked through the weeds.

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

Lake of the Woods will be stocked with 12 to 14-inch rainbow trout this week and fishing should be good for hatchery trout. Fishing for rainbow trout will be better from boat. Rainbow trout typically hold around 15 feet when water temperatures are stressful on the surface. Rainbow trout will be stocked the week before Labor Day weekend. Fishing is fair for yellow perch. Yellow perch can also be caught using small bait. Fishing for brown bullhead should also be fair. A few large holdover rainbow trout are being captured. Trophy brown trout are available. Fishing is good for largemouth and smallmouth bass. Look for largemouth bass under docks, near large wood, and in emergent vegetation.

Take an active role in the management of Oregon fisheries! ODFW continues to release rainbow trout with bright orange tags near the dorsal fins throughout the year to evaluate, harvest, survival, and growth, but we need your help. If you catch a tagged fish, please report it ODFW. Some tags include rewards of up to $50, and fish can be kept or released. If you release a fish, please write down the tag number and release the fish with the tag intact. If the tag includes a reward, the tag must be removed from the fish and returned to ODFW to receive the reward. Anglers should report and return tags to ODFW Klamath Falls Field Office at 1850 Miller Island Road West Klamath Falls, OR 97603. Phone number is (541) 883-5732. Anglers can also report tagged fish online. Reporting forms will also be available at Lake of the Woods Resort and Store. Already 13 anglers have returned tags worth $50 each.

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

LOFTON RESERVOIR: rainbow trout

Fishing reports are good. Fish were sampled by net earlier this summer. Rainbow trout ranged from 6 to 16-inches and were in healthy condition. If you are in the area make sure you check out Holbrook Reservoir and Heart Lake for fishing more fishing opportunities.

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

Long Creek is not subject to the 2 p.m. fishing closure and remains open to fishing during the hours specified in the 2015 Oregon Sport Fishing Regulations.

Fishing should be good for brook trout and redband trout in lower Long Creek. Dry fly fishing can be excellent. Fishing with small spinners also can be productive.

LOST RIVER: largemouth bass, brown bullhead, yellow perch

The Lost River is not subject to the 2 p.m. fishing closure and remains open to fishing during the hours specified in the 2015 Oregon Sport Fishing Regulations.

Lost River is open to fishing all year. Public access is available at Crystal Springs day use area. Anglers can fish from the specifically designed fishing bridge at this location. Currently, your best option on the Lost River is to fish for brown bullhead. Brown bullhead can be caught by fishing baits near the bottom.

Boats can be launched from an improved boat ramp at Crystal Springs. Fishing should be slow for largemouth bass if you can find them. Sacramento perch have been captured below Horseshoe Dam. This is one of the only locations in the state to capture this fish. Water quality is poor with low dissolved oxygen levels.

MALHEUR RESERVOIR: hatchery rainbow trout

No recent fishing reports but the reservoir is expected to be low and fishing should continue to be very slow.

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

The Malheur River and its tributaries are not subject to the 2 p.m. fishing closure and remains open to fishing during the hours specified in the 2015 Oregon Sport Fishing Regulations.

Water releases from Warm Springs Reservoir have been around 3 cfs. Fishing is expected to be poor with the low flows and warmer temperatures.

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

The Malheur River and its tributaries are not subject to the 2 p.m. fishing closure and remains open to fishing during the hours specified in the 2015 Oregon Sport Fishing Regulations.

No recent fishing reports.

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

No recent fishing reports.

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

No recent fishing reports. Fishing can be good in the right locations. Look for areas with cooler water temperatures than occur in the surrounding area. Areas to look for are willow-lined banks and transitions from open meadows to more constrained reaches of the river.

MANN LAKE: cutthroat trout

Anglers have reported slow fishing on Mann Lake recently with fish occasionally taking nymphs and spinners. Most fish are around 18-inches long, with some trout over 20-inches being caught.

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

Miller Lake will be stocked with 8 to 15-inch rainbow trout this week. Fishing should be good from a boat and form the bank.

Trophy brown trout are available but fishing is typically slow. Anglers can call the Chemult Ranger District of the USFS (541-365-7001) for more information. Brown trout are typically feeding on kokanee and fingerling rainbow trout. Please report any observations of lamprey scars on the fish.

The 12 mile gravel road into Miller Lake is in horrible condition with numerous washboards.

MUD LAKE: hatchery rainbow trout

The reservoir is dry.

MURRAY RESERVOIR: trout

The reservoir is low for this time of year.

The reservoir was stocked with rainbow trout the third week of April.

NORTH POWDER POND: rainbow trout

The pond was stocked with rainbow trout the first full week of April.

OVERTON RESERVOIR: rainbow trout

Fishing for rainbows is good, reports of 10-inch plus fish.

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

The reservoir is at 2 percent of capacity and one boat ramp is useable based on the Bureau of Reclamation page. The county boat ramp will be closed indefinitely due to low water levels creating unsafe conditions. Users are asked to launch at the Indian Creek Boat Ramp, located 5 miles south of the county boat ramp but be aware that recent construction on the boat ramp may cause it to be closed as well. Be sure to check the Bureau of Reclamation website or call them before planning a trip to the Owyhee Reservoir.

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

The Owyhee River below Owyhee Reservoir is not subject to the 2 p.m. fishing closure and remains open to fishing during the hours specified in the 2015 Oregon Sport Fishing Regulations.

Water releases below the dam have been around 135 cfs. Fishing has been fair to slow depending on the time of day and location. Brown and rainbow trout over 20-inches have been caught recently.

OWYHEE RIVER (Upper): smallmouth bass and channel catfish

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

Paiute Reservoir: hatchery rainbow trout and Lahontan cutthroat

The reservoir is nearly dry.

PHILLIPS RESERVOIR: trout, perch

Reservoir storage is at 10 percent of capacity and will soon reach minimum pool. The boat launch at Union Creek campground is not functional. The boat launch adjacent to Mason Dam is in disrepair and is not advisable for larger boats. The reservoir has been stocked with legal-sized rainbow trout. Anglers are reminded that tiger muskie are restricted to catch-and-release only. No harvest or removal from the reservoir is allowed. Please notify ODFW at 541-963-2138 if you catch a tiger muskie.

PILCHER RESERVOIR: trout

This reservoir consistently provides some of the best summer reservoir rainbow trout fishing in the area. The rainbows typically range in size from 10 to 16-inches. Trout fishing is currently good. The low water boat launch is functional.

POISON CREEK RESERVOIR: hatchery rainbow trout

Recent reports indicate that fishing is slow but that some 16-inch fish have been caught. The limit is 2 per day; please respect the fishing regulations for the reservoir.

POLE CREEK RESERVOIR: hatchery rainbow trout

Recent reports indicate that fishing is slow but that some trout around 12-inches have been caught.

POWDER RIVER: rainbow trout

The Powder River below Mason Dam was stocked with 4,500 legal-sized rainbow trout in May and June. Trout fishing should be good.

PRIDAY RESERVOIR: hatchery rainbow trout

The reservoir is dry. This is great news as several illegally introduced species occurred in the reservoir and have now perished. This very productive reservoir will be stocked again once water returns -- likely in 2016.

SAND AND SCOTT CREEKS: brook trout and brown trout

Sand and Scott creeks are not subject to the 2 p.m. fishing closure and remains open to fishing during the hours specified in the 2015 Oregon Sport Fishing Regulations.

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

Sevenmile Creek is not subject to the 2 p.m. fishing closure and remains open to fishing during the hours specified in the 2015 Oregon Sport Fishing Regulations.

Sevenmile Creek above Nicholson Road will be open to the use of bait beginning this year. Fishing will be good for brook trout as flows are low. Fishing is best above the irrigation diversion above Nicholson Road.

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

Fishing should be excellent in Badger, South Pass, Marguette, Harriette, Como, Isherwood and Sonya. Best methods are lures or fly and bubble cast from spinning rod into deeper water. Keep on the lookout for caddis and carpenter ant hatches.

SHERLOCK GULCH RESERVOIR: hatchery rainbow trout

The reservoir is currently low. There have been no fishing reports.

Spaulding Reservoir: hatchery rainbow trout

The reservoir is dry.

SPRING CREEK: redband trout, brown trout and brook trout

The Spring Creek is not subject to the 2 p.m. fishing closure and remains open to fishing during the hours specified in the 2015 Oregon Sport Fishing Regulations.

Fishing is slow due to slow, cold and clear water and few fish.

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

The Sprague River is not subject to the 2 p.m. fishing closure and remains open to fishing during the hours specified in the 2015 Oregon Sport Fishing Regulations.

Fishing for trout is slow in most of the Sprague River due to very warm water temperatures peaking at 72 degrees near the mouth. The best places to fish are near Beatty. Launching a boat at the public access area just upstream of Beatty near the large power lines is your best bet to access good fishing areas. Look for sporadic hatches and spinner falls of Hex mayflies. Dense caddisfly hatches are also occurring in the evening.

Largemouth bass and yellow perch are most abundant in the river downstream of Lone Pine.

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

The North Fork Sprague River and all tributaries are not subject to the 2 p.m. fishing closure and remains open to fishing during the hours specified in the 2015 Oregon Sport Fishing Regulations.

North Fork Sprague above the first 3372 road crossing is open for bait beginning this year. This section of the river is dominated with small brook trout. Fishing is good near the meadow areas of Sandhill Crossing and Lee Thomas Crossing. Fishing is very good in the higher gradient section of the canyon above the first 3411 road crossing. Fly fishing using elk hair caddis or small stonefly stimulators can be good in this section. There is camping at Lee Thomas and Sandhill Crossing.

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

The South Fork Sprague River and all tributaries are not subject to the 2 p.m. fishing closure and remains open to fishing during the hours specified in the 2015 Oregon Sport Fishing Regulations. Fishing was very slow due to low fish density near day use park near Bly. Fishing for brook and brown trout improves greatly near the confluence of Camp Creek off the FS 34 road.

SUMMIT PRAIRIE: rainbow trout

Summit Prairie is a small spring fed gravel pit off highway 140 between Lakeview and Adel. To increase fishing opportunities in the area, rainbow trout (larger and trophy sized) were stocked earlier this season. Fishing from shore is excellent. This is a great place to work on your fly fishing skills as the shoreline is void of large vegetation snag.

Directions from Lakeview: Head north on US Hwy 395, turn right on the Warner Highway to Adel (Hwy 140), continue approximately 8 miles then turn right onto Forest Service (FS) road 3615 for 0.6 miles, stay straight onto FS road 3910 (Summit Prairie Road) for 4.3 miles. Summit Prairie is on the left side of the road.

SUN CREEK: brook trout, bull trout, brown trout

Sun Creek is not subject to the 2 p.m. fishing closure and remains open to fishing during the hours specified in the 2015 Oregon Sport Fishing Regulations. Sun Creek is closed to fishing for bull trout. Only bull trout occur in upper Sun Creek just above the Sun Pass Forest bridge crossing.

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

The Sycan River and all tributaries are not subject to the 2 p.m. fishing closure and remains open to fishing during the hours specified in the 2015 Oregon Sport Fishing Regulations. Flows are low and fishable. The best fishing is above the Sycan Marsh as the river went dry in numerous locations below the marsh last year. Fishing has been was very poor in the Sycan River near Coyote Bucket and Teddy Powers Meadow.

The upper part of the Sycan River above Paradise Creek and Pikes crossing is dominated by brook trout. Dry fly fishing near Rock Creek campground is slow for small redband and brook trout. Fishing is best near the Hanan Trailhead for small brook trout.

Fishing near Pikes Crossing is very slow. Only redband trout are below the marsh with a very rare brown trout. Bait will be allowed in the South Fork of the Sycan River this year.

The mainstem Sycan River is still restricted to flies and lures only.

THOMPSON VALLEY RESERVOIR: rainbow trout, largemouth bass

There have been reports of potential fish die-offs below the dam, but this hasn’t been confirmed. No recent fishing reports.

Water levels at the reservoir are lower than normal but trout and bass are still available for anglers from shore only, water is too low to launch boats from trailers.

THIEF VALLEY RESERVOIR: trout

The reservoir storage is currently at 3 percent of capacity and will likely be drained by the end of August.

Due to low and declining water levels, the daily bag limit, possession limit and minimum size requirement for trout have been removed through Oct. 15, 2015 anglers may keep as many trout as they can catch by hand, dip net or angling.

UNITY RESERVOIR: trout, bass, crappie

Reservoir is at 28 percent of capacity and declining.

VEE LAKE: rainbow trout

Vee Lake was stocked with 400 larger sized rainbow trout earlier this season. Water levels at the lake are lower than normal, but trout are still available to anglers. Access by boat may become more difficult as the water level recedes.

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

No recent fishing reports. Fishing for warm water species should remain good through the summer and anglers are encouraged to keep fish they catch. The reservoir is currently at dead pool with some water remaining behind the dam.

LOWER WILLIAMSON RIVER: redband and brown trout

The Lower Williamson River and all tributaries are not subject to the 2 p.m. fishing closure and remains open to fishing during the hours specified in the 2015 Oregon Sport Fishing Regulations.

Fishing is fair for large redband trout. Redband trout have moved into the river from Upper Klamath Lake. Numerous species of mayflies are hatching on the river (Trico, BWO, Hex, PMD). Most anglers use small nymph patterns to mimic mayflies hatching. Look for the giant Hex mayfly hatching or the spinner fall. The Hex mayflies hatch around 9 pm. Best hatches of the Hex mayfly occur from just above highway 97 to below Modoc Point Road. Caddisfly activity is also high but no one species is creating a significant hatch that can be effectively matched. Dry fly fishing is best during the hex hatch at night. The hex hatch is waning with only a few mayflies still hatching.

Most fly fisherman use clear intermediate sinking lines and dead drift and swing nymph patterns for best success. The best area to fish is from confluence of Sprague River to downstream of Waterwheel Campground. Very few trout are above Chiloquin Bridge.

Drift boats can be launched near Chiloquin, Waterwheel campground, Williamson River Retreat, and Williamson River Resort. Anglers can also be somewhat successful casting spoons or plugs that mimic forage fish.

UPPER WILLIAMSON RIVER: redband and brook trout

The Upper Williamson River and all tributaries are not subject to the 2 p.m. fishing closure and remains open to fishing during the hours specified in the 2015 Oregon Sport Fishing Regulations. Fishing is slow in most areas. Redband trout dominate the fishery on USFS land. Brook trout are abundant near the Deep Creek confluence and upstream to the headwaters. Flows are low for this time of year. Insect activity is increasing and fish are responding. The Hex hatch is waning but some hatch still occurs in the late evening around 9 pm. These are the largest mayfly species and can bring some of the largest trout to the surface.

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

Fishing is slow for largemouth bass. Launching a boat is unlikely at the boat ramp due to low water levels. Smaller boats can be carried to the water edge. The reservoir is primarily a bass fishery as other species are either too small or density is low. Typically shore fishing is very slow. The reservoir is always turbid.

WOLF CREEK RESERVOIR: crappie, trout

The reservoir is low and the boat launch is not functional.

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

The Wood River and all tributaries are not subject to the 2 p.m. fishing closure and remains open to fishing during the hours specified in the 2015 Oregon Sport Fishing Regulations.

Flows in the Wood River are low and clear. Fishing for brown trout is fair with lures. Most brown trout are below Fort Klamath this time of year. Anglers can launch low profile boats at USFS day use area and Hwy 62 and drift boats at Weed Road.

Dry fly fishing has been good. Grasshoppers are very abundant in certain sections of the river. Fly fisherman should use grasshopper patterns for brown trout above Weed Road.

Bag limit remains two brown trout per day with only one over 20 inches. Best dry fly fishing is from Fort Klamath to Weed Road. All redband trout must be released in Wood River, Fort Creek and Crooked Creek.

YELLOWJACKET LAKE: trout

About 4,000 legal (8 to 11-inches) rainbow trout were stocked into the lake during the week of Oct. 3, 2014 and was stocked again this year in May. Fishing has been fair for trout in the 12 to 16-inch range with one report of anglers catching their limit in less than 1.5 hours of fishing. Yellowjacket Lake is a great place to take the family for some trout fishing. Fishing from the dam has been productive and fish have been taking dry flies and nymphs.



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SOUTHEAST ZONE: HUNTING

OPEN: COUGAR, BLACK BEAR, ARCHERY DEER AND ELK (opens Aug. 29)

Archery seasons open Aug. 29 – Know before you go!

Hunters will face fire restrictions and some closures and they need to know what those are before they go. More info. Some good resources for fire information: InciWeb, National Forest webpages, Oregon Dept Forestry

ODFW is not closing archery season due to fires.

Wolves and coyotes can look alike

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

Use the Oregon Hunting Map to see where to hunt.

Pronghorn hunters

Follow hunting blind regulations, give wildlife access to water this fall.

HARNEY COUNTY

Hunting maps for Harney County

Archery season for ELK and MULE DEER opens on August 29th. Be sure to check the area you plan to hunt for any fire restrictions.

ANTELOPE second season opens August 26th. Antelope will be concentrated around water sources due to lack of water throughout the desert this year.

SAGE GROUSE seasons were approved by the Commission. The deadline for applications is August 30th. Season dates are September 12th – 20th.

BIGHORN SHEEP first season opens Aug 22nd. Sheep hunters should contact district biologist for specifics about their hunt areas.

Youth antlerless ELK hunts also open August 1. Additional antlerless ELK hunts opened August 15th. Elk populations are stable in Harney County.

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

Coyote populations are good throughout Harney County. Pups are starting to leave the 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.

Fall BEAR season opens August 1. Bear populations in Harney County are generally low. While no formal surveys are done for bear in this area, bear populations appear to be stable.

Hunters are reminded that hunter harvested bear MUST be checked in at an ODFW field office within 10 days of harvest; please bring bear in thawed and with mouth propped open for easier tissue and tooth collection.

Youth antlerless ELK hunts also open August 1. Elk populations are stable in Harney County.

KLAMATH COUNTY

Fall BLACK BEAR seasons opened August 1. While no formal surveys are done for bear in this area, bear populations appear to be increasing slightly. Highest concentrations of bears in Klamath County will be found along the eastern slope of the Cascade Mtns. Additionally, the Interstate Unit has produced more and bigger bears in recent years, especially around the Klamath/Lake county line.

Hunters often find success with stand hunting near water holes and by glassing open hillsides where bears commonly feed on berries and during morning and evening hours. Hunters are reminded that hunter harvested bear MUST be checked in at an ODFW field office for sample collection and measurement. Field office staff are frequently out of the office, so please call ahead to the nearest ODFW field office and make an appointment. Field office locations and contact information can be found on the ODFW website.

Cougar hunting is open year around. Populations are healthy and distributed throughout the district in any area with a big game prey base. Cougars at this time of year are generally concentrated along with their primary prey of deer and elk on big game winter ranges. Some hunters have reported limited success with calling at this time of year.

Don’t forget successful hunters must check-in cougars no more than 10 days after harvest; please bring cougar in thawed and with mouth propped open so that field staff can quickly process the animal and get you on your way.

Coyote populations are fairly low throughout Klamath County. At this time of year, mimicking coyote vocalizations can be an effective tool to bring coyotes into range as adults are still very territorial around den sites. Be aware that bobcats and cougars may respond to predator calls, and separate licensing and season limitations exist for these species.

KLAMATH WILDLIFE AREA

This section was updated on August 17, 2015.

All game bird hunting seasons are closed. Discharging firearms is prohibited except as authorized during game bird seasons, or by permit.

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

Fall Bear season opened August 1st. Berry crops in the forest are very spotty this year which will affect bear distribution. Populations throughout the county are low compared to western Oregon. Hunters have the best success finding an area with fresh bear sign then using a predator call to attract bears.

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 are dispersing and pair bonds are breaking down. Calls mimicking prey distress will be most effective from now through the first of the year. Be aware that bobcats and cougars may respond to predator calls, and separate licensing and season limitations exist for these species.

Youth Elk seasons opened August 1st in the Silver Lake and Fort Rock unit. These seasons will extend through the archery deer season.

Sage-grouse seasons were approved by the Commission. The deadline for applications is August 30th. Season dates are September 12th – 20th. Refer to the Game Bird Synopsis for controlled hunt tag numbers.

Forest grouse seasons open September 1st. Season dates and bag limits are posted in the Game Bird Synopsis, which is available on line or at license agents.

SUMMER LAKE WILDLIFE AREA

This section was updated on Aug. 25, 2015

General archery deer hunting season will open on Saturday, August 29th.

Buck mule deer can be found scattered across the wildlife area, especially around agricultural areas and homestead sites on the north end.

Archery hunters are required to obtain daily hunting permit and check out at the end of the day. Free daily permits are available self-serve in the lobby at Headquarters.

Posted Refuges are closed to hunting.

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

MALHEUR COUNTY

DEER and ELK archery open Aug. 29. As with most of Oregon mild winter conditions were favorable for deer and over winter survival was good. Summer fires burned up portions of all the hunt units in Malheur District, hunters are encouraged to view fire maps or by contacting the Vale BLM office at 541 473-3144.

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



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SOUTHEAST ZONE WILDLIFE VIEWING

HARNEY COUNTY

Resident breeding waterfowl with broods are abundant around Malheur Lake.
Sandhill cranes can be found in agricultural fields throughout the Harney Basin.
Local breeding species include killdeer, avocets, black-necked stilts, white-faced ibis, curlews, willets, pelicans, egrets and a variety of grebes species. Forester’s terns, black terns, franklins, ring-billed and California gulls can also be found.

A large number of breeding passerine species and woodpeckers can be found in National Forest land throughout the county. Malheur National Wildlife Refuge is the summer home to some unique passerines and is an excellent place for birding.

Raptors continue to be found throughout the area. You should be able to view golden eagles, bald eagles and a variety of hawks perching on telephone poles and fence posts throughout the district. Resident raptors such as northern harriers, ferruginous and red-tailed hawks are very easily observed in open agricultural areas.
8/17/15

KLAMATH COUNTY

Owl species including great-horned, barn, screech and short-eared owls can be observed just after dark around agricultural and foothill areas as they start hunting for rodents, snakes, and other small prey. Great gray owls are found at higher elevation forested areas usually adjacent to meadows and small forest openings.

Sightings of duck broods are now common around rivers and lakes in the Klamath Basin. Canada geese are now flying and can be observed flying from water out to agricultural lands to forage.

Western and Clark’s grebes have largely finished courtship, but can still be observed on Upper Klamath Lake and surrounding waterways. These two species look very similar in plumage but are distinguished by head and bill coloration.

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

Please watch for game and use caution while traveling on area highways and county roads. Deer-vehicle collisions have increased over the past few weeks.
8/18/15.

KLAMATH WILDLIFE AREA

Klamath Wildlife Area (Miller Island)

This section was updated on August 17, 2015.

Discharging firearms is prohibited except as authorized during game bird seasons, or by permit.

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

Flocks of Western Canada Geese can be found scattered across the area. The occasional canvasback, scaup, ruddy duck, redhead, ring-necked, and bufflehead can still be seen in the deeper ponds/canals and Klamath River.

Dabbler species that remain are mostly resident birds. Mallards, gadwall, and cinnamon teal are the most common, but northern shovelers, northern pintail, wood duck, green-winged teal and American wigeon may still be found. Broods of mallards, gadwall, and cinnamon teal can be observed across the area at this time. Broods of Gadwall can be seen readily from the viewing blind on the Miller Island Slough, on Miller Island Road.

Shorebirds, waders and other waterbirds

Sandhill cranes can be observed scattered across the area and their very audible calls are quite common. Killdeer, common snipe, yellow legs, spotted and western sandpipers, American avocets and black-necked stilts along with different species of small shore birds can be found on mud flats and around the edges of receding ponds. White-faced ibis can often be observed in irrigated pastures.

American white pelican and double-crested cormorant are now a very common sight along the Klamath River. Western grebes are very numerous on the Klamath River and pied-billed grebes are occasionally found in some of the areas deeper ponds. Caspian and forester’s terns are also very common along the Klamath River at this time.

Great blue herons, great egrets, black-crowned night-herons and American bitterns are also occasionally observed on the area and should continue to be a common sight as the weeks go on.

Raptors

Great horned and barn owls can be seen at dusk. Red-tailed hawks, northern harriers, cooper hawks, American kestrels, prairie falcons and eagles can be seen foraging throughout the wildlife area.

Upland Game Birds

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

Passerines

Mourning and Eurasian collared dove can be found scattered over the area. American goldfinches, house finches, white crowned sparrows, western kingbirds, western meadowlark and Northern flickers continue to be a common site throughout the area. Violet-green, Tree, cliff and barn swallows can be found scattered across the area.

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

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

Fall migrating shore birds are starting to show up on Lake Abert. Most of the species that commonly use the lake are present but due to the low water levels total numbers are substantially reduced. Species dependent on deeper open water, such as eared grebes will not use Abert this year. Other large closed basin lakes in the county are dry. An abundance of vegetation on these lake bottoms make them excellent areas for viewing raptors. All of the waterfowl species are in various stages of eclipse plumage during the summer molt. Summer passerines are most abundant in riparian habitats throughout the county.
8/18/2015

SUMMER LAKE WILDLIFE AREA

This section was updated on August 18, 2015.

Summer Lake Wildlife Area requires a calendar year 2015 $7 daily parking permit or a $22 annual parking permit. Parking permits can be purchased at any ODFW license agent (pdf) 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 is open. Major dike roads (Bullgate, Windbreak and Work Road) are now open to motor vehicle traffic. Spur dikes and levees will remain closed to vehicles, but non-motorized access is permitted and should afford good viewing opportunities.

Wetland conditions remain good; a majority of the area’s wetlands remain fairly well flooded, some are receding due to high temperatures and evaporation rates, and the return to irrigation season water diversions. Viewing opportunities remain good.

Breeding season is essentially over and very few birds can still be found in their bright nuptial plumage. “Fall” migration is beginning with increasing numbers of shorebirds and waterfowl staging.

Waterfowl

Waterfowl populations are increasing as broods are becoming flighted and migrants are beginning to arrive. Ducks remain widely scattered across the entire wildlife area and some have formed good sized flocks. Broods remain fairly numerous now, especially the later nesting gadwall. Early in the morning and evenings are the best times to observed broods.

Western Canada geese are widely distributed across the area. Family groups and small flocks can again be found across the entire wildlife area at this time.

A few resident trumpeter swans remain widely scattered across the wildlife area. Most 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. Swans are molting now and have become very secretive. Jacks Lake, across from Headquarters provides an excellent viewing opportunity.

Shorebirds, waders and other waterbirds

Shorebird numbers are fair to good now and breeding season is winding down for the 9 nesting species found on the Wildlife Area. Fledglings for many species are frequently observed at this time.

Southward migration of shorebirds continues. Many juveniles are beginning to appear and some are forming large foraging congregations. Early nesting species such as long-billed curlew and western willet have already departed the area. Baird’s, least and Western sandpipers, long-billed dowitchers, yellowlegs, phalaropes and marbled godwit have been observed recently. Now is a good time to search staging shorebird flocks for rare or vagrant species.

American coots remain very numerous; they are widespread across the entire area and newly fledged chicks are very common.

Virginia rails and soras continue to be found in good numbers throughout the entire wildlife area.

Greater sandhill cranes have wrapped up breeding season activities, and some can still be found in their traditional territories scattered widely across the entire area. Unsuccessful pairs and non-breeders are beginning to stage in fair numbers especially at the Foster Place.

Gull (California and ring-billed) numbers have declined following the end of breeding season. A good number of chicks fledged this year and can be found scattered across the entire area. A few Bonaparte’s and Franklin’s gulls continue to be observed, but most have departed the area, a few fledged Franklin’s gull chicks have been observed recently.

Caspian terns can still be found, as well as the more abundant Forster’s terns, although both species are beginning to disperse. Black terns are occasionally observed at this time, especially young of the year.

Grebes are fairly numerous at this time, and nesting continues for a few species and numerous broods have been observed. Clark’s, eared, pied-billed and Western can be found.

American bitterns, great egrets, great blue herons are frequently observed. White-faced ibis numbers are very numerous and widespread. A large nesting colony fledged numerous young and foraging adults are easily observed in shallow wetlands throughout the wildlife area and adjacent irrigated pastures as well as recently mowed and reflooded hay meadows. Non-breeding American white pelicans and double-crested cormorants continue to be observed in good numbers.

Raptors and others

Northern harriers and red-tailed hawks are common this time of the year. Turkey vultures are widespread across the area and are easily observed. Osprey chicks have fledged from a couple of the platforms.

Adult bald eagles from locally nesting pairs can sometimes be viewed. Golden eagles, American kestrel, peregrine and prairie falcons as well as accipiters (Cooper’s and sharp-shinned hawk) can occasionally be found. Peregrine falcons have been observed recently and others should be found in the near future as they follow shorebird migrants, a favored food source.

Great horned owls were found scattered across the entire wildlife area, especially in the trees at campgrounds and chicks from several nests are fledged and are nearly full grown. Common barn owl chicks have fledged at Headquarters and can sometimes be observed in the evening hours. Short-eared owls have been observed recently.

Upland game birds

Fair numbers of California quail can be found and pheasants can sometimes be observed, especially around old homesteads on the north end of the wildlife area. Several broods of both species with good numbers of chicks are being observed on a regular basis.

Passerines

Eurasian collared doves remain very numerous at Headquarters Complex and cooing is very commonplace throughout the day. Mourning doves remain very numerous and fledging young have been observed recently.

American goldfinches and sometimes lesser goldfinches are observed at Headquarters. Song and savannah sparrows are very common along dikes and levees.

Swallow numbers are declining as the breeding season is over and most have migrated south. Vaux’s swifts continue to be seen and heard over the Headquarters area.

American robins remain fairly common, and occasionally and cedar waxwings are observed around Headquarters.

Breeding warbler species such as yellow and common yellowthroat are departing and migrants of other species are beginning to appear.

Other migrant passerines are beginning to move through the area, dusky flycatchers, white-breasted nuthatch and western tanager have been observed recently.

Hummingbirds have been observed using to the feeders at Headquarters in large numbers; Anna’s, calliope, rufous and black-chinned have been seen.

Marsh wrens and song sparrows can be found in dense stands of hardstem bulrush and broad-leaved cattail throughout the wetlands and are very numerous.
Blackbirds (Brewer’s, red-winged and yellow-headed) are found in good numbers and fledglings are beginning to disperse. Blackbirds and brown-headed cowbirds remain very numerous, especially around Headquarters.

Facilities and Access

Please remember: Calendar year 2015 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 remains open, and major dike roads (Bullgate, Windbreak and Work Road) are now open to motor vehicle traffic. Spur dikes and levees will remain closed to vehicles but non-motorized access is permitted on all dikes and levees.

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

Habitat

Currently a majority of the wildlife area’s wetlands are fairly well flooded. Irrigation season water diversions have resumed following hay harvest, and water flow into the interior and eastside units of the wildlife area is decreasing. Receding shorelines are providing excellent foraging areas for a variety of migrant waterbirds. Emergent marsh vegetation is very robust and submerged aquatic plants fill the water column of nearly all wetland ponds.

Summer Lake continues to decrease in size at this time, due to increased evaporation rates associated with warmer temperatures. Irrigation season is continues at this time; with the high level of Ana Reservoir and the suppressed discharge of Ana Springs; Ana River flow is reduced and will cause the lake to recede dramatically.

Upland habitat remains in excellent condition with considerable new growth and abundant residual vegetation that is providing high quality food and cover for many wildlife species. Vigorous growth and seed-set for nearly all forb and grass species is well underway. Planted tree and shrub plots are providing excellent sheltered sites and food resources for many wildlife species. Nearly all shrub species have flowered and most have set fruit.

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

MALHEUR COUNTY

A mild winter and below average precipitation over helped with over winter survival of adult birds but was unfavorable for chukar and quail in the range lands. Fortunately, much of the county received above average rain fall in May and early June which helped improve range conditions. Hunter should expect to have similar hunting as last year with good sized broods but the overall population is still down.

Chukar

Chukar surveys on established routes yielded 45 chukar per 10 miles and good production with 10.3 chicks per brood. This is a 6% decrease from last year when 47 birds per 10 miles were measured and is 11% below the 10-year average of 50.5 birds per 10 miles.

The Succor Creek/Leslie Gulch area has only experienced limited recovery. The poor range conditions caused by ongoing invasion of 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) Cottonwood Mountain and Brogan Canyon.

Pheasant

The surveys along established routes yielded 10.8 birds per 10 miles which is a 45% increase in number of birds observed from last year’s survey and 32% above the 10-year average. Chick production was above average at 4.3 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 56 quail per 10 miles, up 26% over last year and 41% above the 10-year average. Production was good at 8.4 chicks per brood with similar production observed in rangelands. Overall quail populations still remain low in rangelands due to depressed populations from the previous year.



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NORTHEAST ZONE: FISHING

Weekend fishing opportunities:

  • Trout fishing in Wallowa Lake has been very good thanks, in part, to additional stocked trout diverted from nearby ponds too warm to receive fish.
  • Crappie fishing continues to be good in McKay Reservoir, with the best catches coming early and late in the day.
  • Walleye fishing continues to be excellent on the Columbia River from McNary dam downstream to Boardman.

Warm temperatures increase stress on fish

However, anglers reduce the stress from catch-and-release fishing by following a few precautions:

  • Fish early in the mornings when water temperatures are lower.
  • Fish in lakes and reservoirs with deep waters that provide a cooler refuge for fish.
  • Use barbless hooks, land fish quickly and keep them in the water as much as possible in order to minimize stress.
  • Shift fishing efforts to higher elevation mountain lakes and streams where water temperatures often remain cooler.

Warmwater fish like bass, crappie and bluegill also feel the effects of the heat, so please follow these precautions in all your summer fishing.

Statewide drought updates

For the latest statewide drought conditions, see the State of Oregon’s Drought Watch.

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.

GRANDE RONDE RIVER: trout, whitefish, bass

The river remains open for trout whitefish and bass. However, the 2:00 p.m. closure for trout due to drought conditions is in effect. Fishing for smallmouth bass will be good with lots of fish in the river, warm temperatures and low flows.

Steelhead season will open on Sept. 1, however few fish will be in the river until later in the month.

HOLLIDAY PARK POND: rainbow trout

Pond has been stocked with both legal and trophy-sized trout. Fishing has been fair. Pond does have an ADA fishing dock for anglers with disabilities.

HUNTER POND: hatchery rainbow trout

This pond has been stocked with 250 legal-sized rainbow trout. From I-84 take Hwy 244 towards Ukiah. At the Blue Mtns summit, turn left onto USFS Rd 5160. Proceed for approximately 3 miles to the Jct. of roads 5160 and 5155. Stay on 5160. Just past this Jct. on the right will be spur 710. Take this spur. The pond is just off 5160.

The Imnaha River is current low with some very warm temperatures. Fishing for trout and whitefish may be difficult for the remainder of the summer. However, the lower river can produce well for smallmouth bass and this can be good fishing during the hot summer months. The 2:00 p.m. trout fishing closure is in effect for the lower river below Freezeout Creek.

Spring Chinook season will close at the end of the day July 12.

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

JOHN DAY RIVER: smallmouth bass

Smallmouth bass fishing is good with many being caught. There also has been a fair number of catfish being caught. Bass anglers may try their luck higher in the North Fork below the town of Dale. Bass are present up to Dale but in lower numbers.

John Day River flows

Please check the sport fishing regulation updates on the ODFW website for new regulations on the John Day River.

JOHN DAY RIVER AND TRIBUTARIES

Beginning Saturday, July 18, 2015, fishing for trout, salmon, steelhead, and sturgeon is prohibited at all times, including hours between one hour before sunrise and one hour after sunset, in the following areas:

  • John Day River mainstem upstream of Indian Creek near Prairie City,
  • Middle Fork John Day River upstream of Mosquito Creek, near the town of Galena,
  • North Fork John Day River upstream of Desolation Creek, and
  • Desolation Creek.

Fishing for warmwater gamefish and other fish, as defined in the regulations, remains open under normal rules.

JUBILEE LAKE: rainbow trout

Fishing has been best in the early morning and late evenings, bank anglers should also look for the deep water areas near the dam or bring a non-motorized boat and fish deep in the middle of the lake. The lake has been stocked and should provide good fishing for rainbow trout.

LONG CREEK POND, CAVENDER POND: trout

Both ponds are fair fishing and are open all year. Cavender pond has had both legal and trophy-sized trout stocked.

LUGER POND: hatchery rainbow trout

Fishing restrictions will be relaxed on Lugar Pond in preparation for an upcoming fish removal project. Starting Sept. 1, fish may be harvested by hand, dip net, or angling. Daily bag and possession limits will also be lifted.

Luger Pond has been stocked with 500 legal-sized rainbow trout. This pond is accessible to persons with disabilities, having compacted gravel trails and two fishing platforms. The pond is located within a beautiful forest setting in the Blue Mountains.

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

MAGONE LAKE: rainbow and brook trout

Lake has been stocked with both legal and trophy-sized rainbow trout. Fishing has been good. Magone is a great place to escape the summer heat with a decent swimming beach available.

McHALEY POND: rainbow trout

Pond has been stocked with legal and trophy-sized rainbow trout. Fishing is good.

McKAY RESERVOIR: crappie, bass

Water levels are dropping quickly; the water level is below the concrete portion of the boat ramp but is still usable on the gravel portion of the ramp. Crappie fishing continues to be good, with the best catches coming early and late in the day.

MORGAN LAKE: rainbow trout

The City of La Grande has closed access to Morgan Lake due to extreme fire danger.

OLIVE LAKE: rainbow trout, brook trout, and kokanee

Fishing is good and lake has been stocked with both legal and trophy-sized rainbow trout. Some kokanee are being caught at 30 to 40 feet depth.

PEACH POND (Ladd Marsh): rainbow trout

Fishing restrictions will be relaxed on Peach Pond in preparation for an upcoming fish removal project. Starting Sept. 1, fish may be harvested by hand, dip net, or angling. Daily bag and possession limits will also be lifted. These relaxed regulations will be effective until Sept. 25, when the pond will be closed to all fishing through Dec. 31, to prevent public exposure to rotenone.

PENDLAND LAKE: rainbow trout

Fall is one of the best times to fish this lake, as water temperatures drop fish go back on the feed. Fishing is good in this weedy but very productive lake. Fly fishing is one of the best ways to target trout in this lake, a small boat or float tube is recommended to get anglers to the open water.

ROULET POND: rainbow trout

Stocked with rainbow trout in the spring.

ROWE CREEK RESERVOIR: rainbow trout

Remains open all year. Fishing is fair for carryover and stocked trout.

TAYLOR GREEN POND: hatchery rainbow trout

Taylor Green Pond has been stocked with 250 legal-sized rainbow trout. Some holdovers from last year are also available. From Hwy 203 at Union, turn left staying on Hwy 203 towards Medical Springs.

At the summit between Union and Medical Springs, turn left onto USFS Road 7700 (opposite snowpark area). Proceed East on 7700 road for about 9 miles to USFS Road 7740 on the right. Proceed on the 7740 road for about 1/4 mile. The rock pit pond are on the right.

UMATILLA/WALLA WALLA FOREST PONDS: trout

Fishing restrictions will be relaxed at Boundary, Keyhole, Yellowjacket, Granite Meadows, Goldfish and Windy Springs ponds in preparation for upcoming fish removal projects in October. Starting Sept. 1, fish may be harvested by hand, dip net, or angling. Daily bag and possession limits will also be lifted. These relaxed regulations will be effective until Sept. 25, when the ponds will be closed to all fishing through Dec. 31, to prevent public exposure to rotenone.

UMATILLA RIVER: trout

The Upper Umatilla should be fair for catch-and-release fishing for rainbow trout.

WALLOWA COUNTY PONDS: rainbow trout

Fishing restrictions will be relaxed at Kinney Lake in preparation for an upcoming fish removal project in October. Starting Sept. 1, fish may be harvested by hand, dip net, or angling. Daily bag and possession limits will also be lifted. These relaxed regulations will be effective until Sept. 25, when the ponds will be closed to all fishing through Dec. 31, to prevent public exposure to rotenone.

Due to potentially lethal water temperatures, trout stocking in Wallowa County ponds was suspended during June. Ponds affected by these changes are; Salt Creek, McGraw, Honeymoon, Teepee, Victor, Weaver, Marr, and Kinney Lake. Trout that would have been released in these ponds were stocked in Wallowa Lake in addition to scheduled trout stockings.

These ponds are traditionally stocked through July with Honeymoon, Teepee, Salt Creek and McGraw also receiving trout in late September to benefit deer hunters. With moderating temperatures managers have determined if these ponds will receive these traditional fall stockings.

WALLOWA LAKE: rainbow trout, kokanee, lake trout

Trout fishing has been good at Wallowa Lake. The lake has received additional rainbow trout stocking due to other area water bodies being too hot to receive fish. This means the lake has been heavily stocked with both legal-size and trophy trout.

Kokanee anglers have found some recent success, however the fish are still running on the small side.

Biologists have received few reports on the kokanee fishery; however, late spring and early summer is usually best. Lend a hand to local biologist and report your kokanee fishing experience at ODFW Fishing Reports.

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

WALLOWA RIVER: spring Chinook, steelhead, mountain whitefish

The Wallowa River above Sunrise Road is not subject to the 2 p.m. fishing closure and remains open to fishing during the hours specified in the 2015 Oregon Sport Fishing Regulations.

The Wallowa River flows are currently extremely low; howeve,r water temperatures are getting cooler and anglers are finding good early morning success.

Please be mindful of the well-being of the fish when practicing catch-and-release fishing during drought conditions.

WESTON POND: trout

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

WILLOW CREEK RESERVOIR: crappie, bass and trout

Angling for crappie and bass has been fair; look for schools of crappie suspended offshore. Trout fishing has slowed with the warm water temperatures, but will improve as fall approaches.


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NORTHEAST ZONE: HUNTING

BAKER COUNTY

Bighorn sheep can be seen in the Burnt River Canyon west of Durkee or along the Snake River Road south of Richland. Young lambs can be seen this time of year with ewes across most of the bigborn sheep range. The best viewing is in the early morning and late in the evening. Please remember to leave wildlife alone. It is crucial for their survival to keep human interactions to a minimum.

Bald and golden eagles can be seen along the Snake River. Take the Snake River Road between Richland and Huntington. 6/2/15.

GRANT COUNTY

There is a Forest Closure due to the Canyon Creek Complex Fire. The closure map is available on inciweb or on the Malheur National Forest website. The Strawberry Mountain Wilderness, including Strawberry Lake are within the closure boundary. 8/24/15

Countywide

Bighorn Sheep: Bighorn ewes and lambs can be viewed early morning along the South Creek road near Black Canyon on the east side. Rams can be seen usually up Smokey Creek and Oliver Creek. Snakes are out and about this time of year in this area. Watch your steps in rocky areas and riparian areas as snakes tend to hang out in these areas. Snakes are best viewed from a distance; consider yourself a lucky person if you see one as not too many people get a chance to. Be careful not to run them over on the South Fork Road.

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

Watch for deer and elk crossing the highways. Doe and Elk Cows will be followed by their fawns and calves, please slow down and take an extra minute to allow for their young to cross the road. 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. 6/29/2015

MORROW, GILLIAM AND WHEELER COUNTIES

Summer is in full effect here in the Heppner District. For wildlife watchers looking to escape the heat of the foothills for the relative cool of the forest there are several viewing opportunities.

Pileated woodpeckers can be seen in the Bull Prairie area. Lewis woodpeckers can be spotted in southern end of the forest from Bull Prairie to Potamus creek. Mountain and western blue birds can be seen along the open areas of the forest. American goldfinches are a sight this time of year with their bright plumage.

Mule deer and elk can be seen with their fawns and calves, any area that has water is a good bet at dawn or dusk.

Big horn sheep can be seen from Potamus Point but it does take some luck and a lot of scanning to find them. Dawn and dusk are the best times to see them as they do not move in the heat of the day much.

Raptors can be seen with their recently fledged young in much of the forest. Red-tailed hawks, American kestrels, and golden eagles can all be seen in the Wheeler burn in the southwest end of the forest. Great grey owls can be seen in the swale creek area near the 21 road.

In the foothills of the District short owls can be seen at dusk, the irregular wing beat is a great identifier. Loggerheaded shrieks can be seen in those areas that have sage brush. Horned larks, grasshopper sparrows, and savanah sparrows can be seen in the grasslands in the northern part of the District. Swainson’s and red-tailed hawks can be seen in the sage and grasslands areas of the District.

The ospreys are still near the nest site at Willow Creek Reservoir. Kingfishers can be seen along Willow Creek in Heppner.

A wide array of birds is coming into the yards of the District. One can see Lazuli bunting, norther oriel, western kingbirds, house finch, brewers black birds, and barn swallows coming into feeders and sprinklers. 8/4/2015

UMATILLA COUNTY

Quality viewing opportunities can be obtained in the Columbia Basin during the early hours of daylight for fledglings of various species of passerines, raptors, waterfowl, shorebirds and upland game birds.

The Columbia Basin wildlife areas (Willow Creek, Coyote Springs, Irrigon, and Power City), State/County parks, Federal and Tribal areas/refuges along with public roads access throughout the county provide great public access to a multitude of habitats and associated mammalian and avian species. Numerous spring seeps, creeks, rivers and large reservoirs distributed throughout the county provide an abundance of habitat types composed of mixed agricultural lands, savanna and shrub steppe, upland grasslands, riparian and wooded corridors and complex wetlands.

Coyote Springs: On July 22, a 165 acre grassland fire sparked by transmission lines consumed over 85 acres of the wildlife area. Currently there are no access restrictions but there has been significant upland habitat loss due to the fire. Staff will be working to conduct habitat restoration activities in the coming months.

Reptilian and amphibian species associated with these abundant habitats throughout the county can be seen amongst other species the Painted Turtle, Woodhouse and Western Toad in the wetland potholes of the Irrigon Wildlife Area.

The Umatilla National Forest, BLM and county roads provide good access to the Northern Front Range of the Blue Mountains. Heat has arrived and the perennial grass and forbs have begun to dry in the mid elevations.

Deer and Elk are moving to cooler microclimates distributed throughout the forest. Fawns and calves have been observed at heal and should be visible for viewing amongst these associated habitats.

8/4/2015

UNION COUNTY

Ladd Marsh Wildlife Area

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

The Tule Lake unit, including the auto route, is open for the season. The Glass Hill unit is open to foot traffic only. 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 game bird hunting seasons. There are numerous quality viewing opportunities from county roads that pass through the area. Binoculars or a spotting scope will help as many animals are best viewed from a distance.

Extremely dry weather has resulted in an early dry-down of wildlife area wetlands. Hatchling waterfowl may experience high stress levels as wetlands dry out and they attempt to move to remaining water. In some cases, it is a long way to find water. If you encounter broods moving across dry land, please be extra careful not to follow or otherwise stress them. As with the rest of N.E. Oregon, fire danger on Ladd Marsh is extremely high.

A few shorebirds continue in the shallows and mud flats left by the drying conditions. Western, least, solitary and semipalmated sandpiper, long-billed dowitcher, and other shorebirds have been observed recently. American avocets and black-necked stilts are still on the area.

High numbers of raptors are using the area as hatch year birds learn to hunt along with adults.

At least 30 American white pelicans have been seen both in the air and on ponds. Great Blue Herons and Great Egrets take advantage of fish trapped in drying ponds and may be found in relatively high numbers. Egrets can often be found perched in trees where they stand out in their bright white plumage.

Sandhill cranes are using harvested grain fields on private lands to feed on waste grain. They will stage in large numbers in these and other fields for a few more weeks before making the long migration south. Please report any sandhill cranes wearing leg bands to the Ladd Marsh staff (541-963-4954). If possible, note the color and order of bands on each of the bird’s legs (e.g., pink above white on left leg; silver above black on right leg). The specific combination and order can identify individual birds. 8/24/15.

WALLOWA COUNTY

During summer, many raptors will be feeding young at their nests. Common raptors in the open areas of the county are red-tailed hawks, with occasional ferruginous and Swainson’s hawks also present. A resident pair of bald eagles is again using the nest at the south end of Wallowa Lake. Look for them in a large cottonwood tree near where the Wallowa River runs into the lake. A pair of ospreys can be seen at or near their nest, which is located on a power pole about 1 mile northwest of the town of Lostine near Highway 82.

Many young hawks and owls are beginning to fledge from their nests and some may be found on the ground and appear to be injured. Usually, they are still being fed by their parents and should be left alone. If you find one in a dangerous location you can move it to the closest safe location or call your nearest ODFW office for help in moving it.

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

Many elk have returned to the Zumwalt Prairie now. Try driving the Zumwalt and Pine Creek Roads and looking carefully at ridge tops. Elk can also be observed regularly along the Lostine River Road 4-5 miles south of the town of Lostine, and along the Powwatka Ridge Road between 18 and 27 miles north of the town of Wallowa. All of these areas are county roads that run through private property, so please respect the landowners privacy and remain on the county road and park out of the traffic lanes while watching the elk. Once you find a herd, use binoculars or a spotting scope to observe the animals.

Waterfowl can still be seen flying into Wallowa Lake in the evenings from the county park at the north end of the lake. Canada geese and several species of ducks can also be seen feeding in agricultural fields and along streams around the county.

Other migrants and summer residents are moving into the area including, western tanagers, Say’s phoebes, horned larks, killdeers, and robins. Mountain bluebirds are also arrived back from their southern haunts and can be seen in open grassland areas near trees. 6/29/15.

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NORTHEAST ZONE: WILDLIFE VIEWING

BAKER COUNTY

Bighorn sheep can be seen in the Burnt River Canyon west of Durkee or along the Snake River Road south of Richland. Young lambs can be seen this time of year with ewes across most of the bigborn sheep range. The best viewing is in the early morning and late in the evening. Please remember to leave wildlife alone. It is crucial for their survival to keep human interactions to a minimum.

Bald and golden eagles can be seen along the Snake River. Take the Snake River Road between Richland and Huntington. 6/2/15.

GRANT COUNTY

There is a Forest Closure due to the Canyon Creek Complex Fire. The closure map is available on inciweb or on the Malheur National Forest website. The Strawberry Mountain Wilderness, including Strawberry Lake are within the closure boundary. Highway 395 going south out of John Day is closed to Seneca and will most likely remain closed until later this week. Check the ODOT website (tripcheck) for the most up to date road closures.

Countywide

Bighorn Sheep: Bighorn ewes and lambs can be viewed early morning along the South Creek road near Black Canyon on the east side. Rams can be seen usually up Smokey Creek and Oliver Creek. Snakes are out and about this time of year in this area. Watch your steps in rocky areas and riparian areas as snakes tend to hang out in these areas. Snakes are best viewed from a distance; consider yourself a lucky person if you see one as not too many people get a chance to. Be careful not to run them over on the South Fork Road.

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

Watch for deer and elk crossing the highways. Doe and Elk Cows will be followed by their fawns and calves, please slow down and take an extra minute to allow for their young to cross the road. 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. 6/29/2015

MORROW, GILLIAM AND WHEELER COUNTIES

Summer is in full effect here in the Heppner District. For wildlife watchers looking to escape the heat of the foothills for the relative cool of the forest there are several viewing opportunities. Pileated woodpeckers can be seen in the Bull Prairie area. Lewis woodpeckers can be spotted in southern end of the forest from Bull Prairie to Potamus creek. Mountain and western blue birds can be seen along the open areas of the forest. American goldfinches are a sight this time of year with their bright plumage. Mule deer and elk can be seen with their fawns and calves, any area that has water is a good bet at dawn or dusk. Big horn sheep can be seen from Potamus Point but it does take some luck and a lot of scanning to find them. Dawn and dusk are the best times to see them as they do not move in the heat of the day much. Raptors can be seen with their recently fledged young in much of the forest. Red-tailed hawks, American kestrels, and golden eagles can all be seen in the Wheeler burn in the southwest end of the forest. Great grey owls can be seen in the swale creek area near the 21 road.

In the foothills of the District short owls can be seen at dusk, the irregular wing beat is a great identifier. Loggerheaded shrieks can be seen in those areas that have sage brush. Horned larks, grasshopper sparrows, and savanah sparrows can be seen in the grasslands in the northern part of the District. Swainson’s and red-tailed hawks can be seen in the sage and grasslands areas of the District.

The ospreys are still near the nest site at Willow Creek Reservoir. Kingfishers can be seen along Willow Creek in Heppner.

A wide array of birds is coming into the yards of the District. One can see Lazuli bunting, norther oriel, western kingbirds, house finch, brewers black birds, and barn swallows coming into feeders and sprinklers. 8/4/2015

UMATILLA COUNTY

Quality viewing opportunities can be obtained in the Columbia Basin during the early hours of daylight for fledglings of various species of passerines, raptors, waterfowl, shorebirds and upland game birds.

The Columbia Basin wildlife areas (Willow Creek, Coyote Springs, Irrigon, and Power City), State/County parks, Federal and Tribal areas/refuges along with public roads access throughout the county provide great public access to a multitude of habitats and associated mammalian and avian species. Numerous spring seeps, creeks, rivers and large reservoirs distributed throughout the county provide an abundance of habitat types composed of mixed agricultural lands, savanna and shrub steppe, upland grasslands, riparian and wooded corridors and complex wetlands.

Coyote Springs: On July 22, a 165 acre grassland fire sparked by transmission lines consumed over 85 acres of the wildlife area. Currently there are no access restrictions but there has been significant upland habitat loss due to the fire. Staff will be working to conduct habitat restoration activities in the coming months.

Reptilian and amphibian species associated with these abundant habitats throughout the county can be seen amongst other species the Painted Turtle, Woodhouse and Western Toad in the wetland potholes of the Irrigon Wildlife Area.

The Umatilla National Forest, BLM and county roads provide good access to the Northern Front Range of the Blue Mountains. Heat has arrived and the perennial grass and forbs have begun to dry in the mid elevations.

Deer and Elk are moving to cooler microclimates distributed throughout the forest. Fawns and calves have been observed at heal and should be visible for viewing amongst these associated habitats.

8/4/2015

UNION COUNTY

Ladd Marsh Wildlife Area

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

The Tule Lake unit, including the auto route, is open for the season. The Glass Hill unit is open to foot traffic only. 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.

Extremely dry weather has resulted in an early dry-down of wildlife area wetlands. Hatchling waterfowl may experience high stress levels as wetlands dry out and they attempt to move to remaining water. In some cases, it is a long way to find water. If you encounter broods moving across dry land, please be extra careful not to follow or otherwise stress them. As with the rest of N.E. Oregon, fire danger on Ladd Marsh is extremely high.

Canada goose goslings at a variety of stages of growth can be seen throughout the area. Duck broods are also being seen in several locations. It is the season for babies on the marsh!

Shorebird migration has begun. Western sandpiper, long-billed dowitcher, semipalmated sandpiper and other shorebirds have made appearances in mud flats in the area. American avocets and black-necked stilts are still on the area.

Swainson’s hawks are fledging and many can be seen in flight or perched, often near the nest. Other raptors in the area include Northern Harrier, Cooper’s and Sharp-shinned Hawks and American Kestrel. Watch for prairie falcons and golden eagles as well.

At least 30 American white pelicans have been seen both in the air and on ponds. Great Blue Heron and Great Egret chicks have fledged resulting in high numbers of both species on Ladd Marsh. Egrets can often be found perched in trees where they stand out in their bright white plumage.

 Sandhill crane chicks have fledged. The young may be seen with their parents in meadows. Please report any sandhill cranes wearing leg bands to the Ladd Marsh staff (541-963-4954). If possible, note the color and order of bands on each of the bird’s legs (e.g., pink above white on left leg; silver above black on right leg). The specific combination and order can identify individual birds. 8/4/15.

WALLOWA COUNTY

During summer, many raptors will be feeding young at their nests. Common raptors in the open areas of the county are red-tailed hawks, with occasional ferruginous and Swainson’s hawks also present. A resident pair of bald eagles is again using the nest at the south end of Wallowa Lake. Look for them in a large cottonwood tree near where the Wallowa River runs into the lake. A pair of ospreys can be seen at or near their nest, which is located on a power pole about 1 mile northwest of the town of Lostine near Highway 82.

Many young hawks and owls are beginning to fledge from their nests and some may be found on the ground and appear to be injured. Usually, they are still being fed by their parents and should be left alone. If you find one in a dangerous location you can move it to the closest safe location or call your nearest ODFW office for help in moving it.

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

Many elk have returned to the Zumwalt Prairie now. Try driving the Zumwalt and Pine Creek Roads and looking carefully at ridge tops. Elk can also be observed regularly along the Lostine River Road 4-5 miles south of the town of Lostine, and along the Powwatka Ridge Road between 18 and 27 miles north of the town of Wallowa. All of these areas are county roads that run through private property, so please respect the landowners privacy and remain on the county road and park out of the traffic lanes while watching the elk. Once you find a herd, use binoculars or a spotting scope to observe the animals.

Waterfowl can still be seen flying into Wallowa Lake in the evenings from the county park at the north end of the lake. Canada geese and several species of ducks can also be seen feeding in agricultural fields and along streams around the county.

Other migrants and summer residents are moving into the area including, western tanagers, Say’s phoebes, horned larks, killdeers, and robins. Mountain bluebirds are also arrived back from their southern haunts and can be seen in open grassland areas near trees. 6/29/15.


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SNAKE RIVER ZONE: FISHING

The mainstem Snake River is not subject to the 2 p.m. fishing closure and remains open to fishing during the hours specified in the 2015 Oregon Sport Fishing Regulations.

Warm temperatures increase stress on fish
However, anglers reduce the stress from catch-and-release fishing by following a few precautions:

  • Fish early in the mornings when water temperatures are lower.
  • Fish in lakes and reservoirs with deep waters that provide a cooler refuge for fish.
  • Use barbless hooks, land fish quickly and keep them in the water as much as possible in order to minimize stress.
  • Shift fishing efforts to higher elevation mountain lakes and streams where water temperatures often remain cooler.

Warmwater fish like bass, crappie and bluegill also feel the effects of the heat, so please follow these precautions in all your summer fishing.

Statewide drought updates

For the latest statewide drought conditions, see the State of Oregon’s Drought Watch.

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

Fishing continues to be good for crappie throughout the reservoir, but the fish are smallish, averaging 6 to 8-inches. Fishing for channel cats has been slow. Fishing for bass has been good, but there are many small fish.

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

Bass fishing is good. However, there are many small fish in the 6 to 7-inch range, but good numbers of fish in the 12 to 14-inch range are also avialable. Fishing for channel cats has been slow.

HELLS CANYON RESERVOIR: trout, crappie, bass, catfish

Fishing for troutremains good at tributary mouths. Trout up to 19 inches are being caught.Bass fishing is good, but is dominated by smaller fish. Fishing for channel cats has been slow.

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

The Snake River will be open from the OR/WA border to the deadline below Hells Canyon Dam beginning Sept. 1 and will remain open until Oct. 31, or until a closure is announced. In addition, the reach from Cliff Mountain Rapid (at river mile 246.7) upstream to the deadline at Hells Canyon Dam will be open from Nov. 1-17.

The daily bag limit will be six adipose fin-clipped Chinook salmon. Anglers can also keep an unlimited number of fin-clipped jack Chinook. Chinook jacks are salmon between 15 and 24-inches long.

Only barbless hooks may be used on this stretch of the Snake River while angling for salmon, steelhead and sturgeon, and anglers should consult the 2015 Oregon Sport Fishing Regulations for other rules that may apply.

The Snake River can produce some great fishing for smallmouth bass during the summer and fall months. These fish are generally very aggressive and can be caught on all types of gear.

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:

  • The fall salmon season is open from Buoy 10 upstream to the Oregon/Washington Border above McNary Dam (see Sport Fishing Regulation Updates page for retention details). An estimated 925,300 fall Chinook and 539,600 coho are expected to return to the Columbia River this fall.
  • The mainstem Columbia River and mainstem Snake River ARE NOT INCLUDED in recent actions to prohibit angling for trout, salmon, and steelhead in Oregon streams after 2 P.M. daily. 
  • White sturgeon retention is closed from Buoy 10 upstream to Marker 82 below Bonneville Dam, but remains an option for catch and release fishing.
  • Walleye angling is good the gorge and Troutdale.

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 lower Columbia basin was filled with heavy smoke over the weekend due to fires burning on the eastern side of the state. On the lower Columbia this past weekend there were 368 salmonid boats and eight Oregon bank anglers counted from Corbett downstream to Tongue Point on Saturday’s (8/22) flight; and 1,217 Oregon boats counted at Buoy 10. Anglers fishing Buoy 10 averaged 1.90 fall Chinook and 0.36 coho caught per boat. In Troutdale, boat anglers averaged 0.21 fall Chinook and 0.02 steelhead caught per boat, while anglers fishing the Portland to Tongue Point area averaged 0.56 fall Chinook and 0.05 steelhead caught per boat. Bank anglers fishing in the gorge averaged 0.04 fall Chinook caught per angler.

Gorge Bank:

Weekend checking showed one adult fall Chinook and one jack fall Chinook kept for 25 bank anglers.

Gorge Boats:

Weekend checking showed no catch for two boats (five anglers).

Troutdale Boats:

Weekend checking showed nine adult fall Chinook and one jack fall Chinook kept; plus one steelhead released for 43 boats (97 anglers).

Portland to Westport Bank

Weekend checking showed no catch for 17 bank anglers.

Portland to Tongue Point Boats:

Weekend checking showed 34 adult fall Chinook, two jack fall Chinook and two steelhead kept; plus one adult fall Chinook, three jack fall Chinook and one steelhead released for 63 boats (150 anglers).

Estuary Bank (Tongue Point to Clatsop Spit):

No report.

Estuary Boats (Tongue Point to Buoy 10):

Weekend checking showed 865 fall Chinook, 112 coho and one steelhead kept; plus 135 fall Chinook and 75 coho released for 526 boats (1,779 anglers).

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

No report.

STURGEON

Lower Columbia (below Bonneville Dam):

Closed to retention, catch-and-release only.

Gorge Boats (below Marker 82):

Closed for retention. No report.

Troutdale Boats:

Closed for retention. Weekly checking showed one legal and one oversize sturgeon released for one boat (one angler).

Portland to Westport Bank:

Closed for retention. No report.

Portland to Westport Boats:

Closed for retention. No report.

Estuary Boats:

Closed for retention.

Bonneville Dam upstream to the Oregon/Washington Border:

All sturgeon fishing, including catch and release is prohibited until further notice.

WALLEYE

Gorge:

Weekly checking showed nine walleye kept, plus one walleye released for one boat (five anglers).

Troutdale:

Weekly checking showed 16 walleye kept, plus one walleye released for five boats (15 anglers).




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MARINE ZONE: FISHING

Weekend opportunities:

  • Fin-clipped coho fishing is very good north of Cape Falcon (and is closed south of Cape Falcon).
  • Low morning tides this weekend are good for tidepooling.

Send us your fishing report

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

Saltwater News Bulletins

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

Marine Reserves and Other Management Designations

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

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

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

SALMON

The Oregon coast south of Cape Falcon is closed to coho salmon fishing but remains open for other salmon species. Chinook fishing has been poor, but nearshore areas should improve as coastal fish begin returning to river mouths. In some places, shore anglers in estuaries are having better success than boat anglers. A non-selective coho salmon season opens Sept. 4 from Cape Falcon to Humbug Mt. on an impact-neutral basis. North of Cape Falcon, fishing for Chinook and fin-clipped coho remains very good, but anglers are reminded that the two-salmon daily limit includes no more than one Chinook. The Columbia River Control Zone is closed.

PACIFIC HALIBUT

Summary of open dates and regulations for the 2015 Pacific halibut fishery (pdf)
Catch estimates (usually updated on Thursdays)
40-fathom line waypoints for nearshore fishery (pdf)

The Columbia River Subarea (Cape Falcon north to Leadbetter Point, WA) nearshore halibut fishery is open daily until Sept. 30 or the quota has been met; fishing has been slow. The all-depth Pacific halibut fishery in this subarea is closed for the remainder of 2015.

In the Central Coast Subarea (Cape Falcon to Humbug Mt), high seas this past weekend kept all-depth halibut effort down, but catch rates were good for anglers that got out. An announcement will be made on Thursday (Aug. 27) with an update on the status of the nearshore and all-depth quotas and fisheries.

Meanwhile, the nearshore halibut fishery is open seven days per week inside a line approximating the 40-fathom depth contour. Good-sized fish (32 to 40-inches) have been coming in slowly but steadily, and catches have included petrale sole, a delicately-flavored fish, averaging just over 3 pounds.

The Southern Oregon Subarea (Humbug Mt. to the Calif. border) is open daily, but fishing has been slow.

Additional information about the sport halibut fishery.

TUNA

Not a lot happened last week in the sport albacore fishery, but when anglers have been able to get offshore to where fish are holding, catch rates are averaging 2.6 albacore per angler. Albacore are typically in areas where sea surface temperatures (SST) are warmer than 58 degrees and in areas where chlorophyll concentrations are close to 0.25 milligrams per cubic meter. Both of these conditions can change very quickly due to weather and upwelling.

The Oregon Albacore Commission and Oregon State University’s Extension Service have recipes and information on canning and smoking fish.

MISC FISHING

Redtail and silver surfperch can be caught from ocean beaches throughout the year.

BOTTOM FISHING

Catches of rockfish fell off last week but continue to be fair to good, and lingcod success continues to be spotty. If you’re lucky enough to catch a colorful assortment of bottomfish, keep in mind that (a) China, copper, quillback and yelloweye rockfish are prohibited, (b) canary rockfish has an annual management quota to consider, and (c) no more than one cabezon can be retained. Several handouts – including “What Can I Keep, and How Many?” and species identification tips – are available on the OFDW sport groundfish webpage.

The ocean is open for groundfish (bottom fish) only inside of the 30-fathom regulatory line (30-fathom waypoints) through Sept. 30.

New for 2015. The marine fish daily bag limit is seven fish, of which no more than three can be blue rockfish and no more than one can be a canary rockfish. (Not new: lingcod has a separate daily bag limit of two.) Three species of rockfish join yelloweye rockfish on the do-not-retain list: China, copper and quillback.

Canary caveat. Although anglers may retain one canary rockfish, there is an annual management quota, so anglers are urged to avoid canary rockfish (retaining one only if it is injured and caught incidentally while targeting other species such as black rockfish) and to use a descending device for any that are released. Releasing individuals that are not bleeding from the gills or showing signs of injury other than barotrauma will help preserve fishing opportunity for other species such as black rockfish and lingcod throughout the year.

Signs of barotrauma, such as bulging eyes and a gut protruding from the mouth, result from the change in pressure as fish are reeled to the surface. Happily, symptoms are reversible when fish are returned to depth with a descending device. ODFW encourages anglers to use a descending device to release rockfish with signs of barotrauma.

See ODFW’s sport groundfish webpage for an underwater video of a fish recompressed and released by ODFW researchers, and an entertaining and informative video showing several different types of descending devices (both videos are at the bottom of the page).

SHELLFISH

Recreational shellfish safety status, as of Aug. 24:

  • Mussels. Good news! Recreational harvest is open along the entire Oregon coast.
  • Razor clams. Bad news! Recreational harvest is closed along the entire Oregon coast due to elevated levels of domoic acid. This closure includes all beaches and bays.
  • Bay clams. Recreational harvest is open (except for razor clams) along the entire Oregon Coast.
  • Scallops are not affected by closures when only the adductor muscle is eaten.
  • Commercial shellfish products remain safe for consumers; samples show no 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. Call the hotline before harvesting: 1-800-448-2474. For more information, call ODA’s Food Safety Program at (503) 986-4720 or visit the ODA shellfish closures webpage.

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

Bay clams

The last weekend of August will have some great low tides for bay clamming. Coos Bay, Yaquina Bay, Netarts Bay, and Tillamook Bay are four places where bay clams can be found. Gaper clams, butter clams, and cockles are open in bays coastwide and are not affected by the razor clam safety closure. Stock assessments have revealed abundant populations and that current harvest levels are sustainable. See ODFW’s bay clam webpage for more information on where and how to dig, clam ID, etc.

The Oregon Health Authority has issued an advisory about naturally occurring arsenic found in softshell clams along the Oregon coast. Removing skin from clam’s siphon dramatically reduces arsenic levels, public health officials say. More info

Crabs

Ocean crabbing is still very good. The shells of most crab that molted this summer have hardened up. A soft shell indicates the meat will be watery and disappointing. Crabs with hard shells or that have not recently molted – look for barnacles on the shell – are a better option for the crab kettle.

Bay crabbing has been improving, although success can be hit or miss depending on the day and the place. 

The large algal bloom that closed crabbing in southern Washington has not impacted crabbing in Oregon; tests show no harmful levels of domoic acid in Oregon crab. 

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

The correct way to measure the minimum size for Dungeness crab, which is 5 3⁄4 inches, is 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 WILDLIFE VIEWING

Great summer weather and low tides are conducive to tidepooling and exploring Oregon’s rocky and sandy shores. The Oregon Parks and Recreation Department’s tidepooling website has information on where and when to go, what you can expect to see, safety tips, etc.

Seabirds

Viewing tips are available from the US Fish and Wildlife Service. In September shorebirds head south to winter, and their numbers along the Oregon coast peak, making autumn a great time to see large flocks. The National Wildlife Refuges at Nestucca Bay, Siletz Bay, and Bandon Marsh are great places to watch for migrating shorebirds and waterfowl. Waterfowl that will winter along the coast begin to arrive soon.

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

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 marbled murrelets, rhinoceros auklets and raptors can be seen throughout the year.

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

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