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The ODFW Visitors' Guide


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Fern Ridge Wildlife Area

Regulations and Seasonal Access

The majority of the wildlife area and lake area is open year-round for public access. Over 85% of project land and water areas are open daily year-round for all types of public use including boating, hiking, bird watching, picnicking, and hunting during authorized seasons.

Three units on the southeast side of the project have seasonal access restrictions in place to provide protection for wintering waterfowl. The East Coyote, West Coyote, and Fisher Butte units have seasonal access restrictions effective from November 1 through March 15 each year. Signs are posted at all access points for these units to advise visitors of current regulations.

Even during periods of closure, the units with seasonal access restrictions provide excellent opportunities for bird watching and viewing from area parking lots and roadways. Concentrations of waterfowl, raptors, and shorebirds are a constant presence during the winter providing frequent opportunities for close viewing.

NOTE: All dates are fixed for access restrictions and do not change except for the mid-January date (last day of duck season). Call any ODFW office to be advised of this date. Consult the annual Game Bird Regulation booklet for detailed regulations relating to hunting and access. Fern Ridge Wildlife Area (541) 935-2591.

East and West Coyote Units

Mid -January (last day of duck season) to March 15: Open to public use on Saturdays for bird watching. Closed Sun-Fri to all public access to protect wintering waterfowl. Dogs must be kept on leash at all times and discharge of firearms is prohibited.

March 15 to October 31: Open daily for public use. All dogs must be kept on leash except during authorized game bird hunting seasons. Discharge of firearms prohibited except during authorized game bird hunting seasons. Discharge of firearms prohibited except during authorized game bird or game mammal seasons.

November 1 to Mid-January (last day of duck season): Open only for controlled waterfowl hunt on Mon-Wed-Sat mornings until noon. Closed to all other public access to protect wintering waterfowl.

Fisher Butte Unit

Mid-January (last of duck season) to March 15: Open to public use on Saturdays for bird watching. Closed Sun - Fri to all public access to protect wintering waterfowl. Dogs must be kept on leash at all times and discharge of firearms is prohibited.

March 15 to October 31: Open daily for public use. All dogs must be kept on leash except during authorized game bird hunting seasons. Discharge of firearms prohibited except during authorized game bird or game mammal seasons.

November 1 to Mid-January (last day of duck season): Open to public use on Sat - Sun - Wed. (Open for both bird watching and hunting). (Closed to all access on Mon - Tu - Th - Fri.)

General Regulations - Year Round All Areas

  • Camping and open fires prohibited.
  • Dogs must be kept on leash at all times except during authorized game bird seasons.
  • Discharge of firearms prohibited except during authorized game bird or game mammal seasons.
  • Discharge of rifles and handguns prohibited at all times.
  • Motorized vehicles not allowed on trails or beyond parking lots.

Back to Fern Ridge Wildlife Area

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4034 Fairview Industrial Drive SE   ::   Salem, OR 97302   ::    Main Phone (503) 947-6000 or (800) 720-ODFW [6339]

Do you have a question or comment for ODFW? Contact ODFW's Public Service Representative at: odfw.info@state.or.us
Do you want to enter your opinion about a specific issue into the public record? Contact
: odfw.comments@state.or.us





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