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ODFW WEEKLY RECREATION REPORT
Fishing, Hunting, Wildlife Viewing
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Southeast Zone Map

Weekly Recreation Report: Southeast Zone

April 25, 2017

 Southeast Zone Fishing

Ana Reservoir hybrid bass
Kelly Tuerffs of Cottage Grove landed this monster 16 lb. hybrid bass at Ana Reservoir.
-Photo courtesy Kelly Tuerffs-

Weekend Fishing Opportunities:

  • A 16-pound hybrid bass was caught at Ana Reservoir this season!
  • The ice is off Krumbo Reservoir and anglers are catching some large trout from the dock and other areas.
  • Best bet for the Klamath basin is fishing for bass in Lost River or Willow Valley Reservoir.
  • Fishing for kokanee or yellow perch might be worthwhile at Lake of the Woods.

Regional resources

This guide, produced in 2015, has better descriptions of waterbodies and directions to those waterbodies. Current regulations and water levels might not be accurate.

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

This lake is open year round, providing a great opportunity to catch hybrid bass and rainbow trout. A 16-pound hybrid bass was caught earlier this season and hybrid bass larger than 20-inches are not uncommon. Hybrid bass are targeted successfully using crank baits and fishing bait along the bottom.

 The reservoir was stocked with 3,300 legal trout at the end of March, but anglers reported fishing was slow a couple of weeks ago.

A new state record hybrid bass (white and striped bass cross) was caught in Ana Reservoir on Dec. 10, 2014. 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 new state record is 1 ½ inches longer and more than 1 lb. heavier than the previous record of 18 lbs. 9 oz. caught in 2009.

ANA RIVER: hatchery rainbow trout, brown trout

Fishing has been slow, but fishermen have reported catching trout over 25-inches in Ana River recently. Ana River is open year-round and was stocked in November with larger rainbow trout 10 to 13-inches. Fingerlings were also released in the spring and should be approximately 8 to 12-inches. The Ana River is spring fed and rainbow trout are active throughout the year. Anglers can access these trout by floating the river in a float tube or by walking the banks. Bait is allowed.

Caddis flies are the dominant invertebrate. Small blue winged olive (size 18) mayflies should be hatching. Ana River is a great match the hatch fly fishing river with good hatches throughout the winter. Hatches typically occur during the afternoon from 12-3 p.m. the best time. Small mayfly hatches are typically best on overcast days with light rain or snow. Tui chub and pit roach are abundant in the river therefore casting large flies or lures can be effective for catching larger fish.

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

ANNIE CREEK: brook trout, brown trout and rainbow trout

Fishing in Annie Creek not recommended at this time due to high flows. Annie Creek turns turbid quickly due to the large watershed and snow in the upper elevations. Access is available off Hwy. 62 at the USFS snow park. There is plenty of public property on USFS, State Forest and Crater Lake National Park -- fishing is regulated by the National Park (541-594-3000).

Several waterfalls occur on the creek inside Crater Lake National Park offering exceptional views. Fishing is very slow due to very cold (34 degrees) and low productivity water. Fishing with bait allowed. Open year-round.

rainbow trout
Rainbow Trout
- Photo by Kevin Clawson-

BALM CREEK RESERVOIR: rainbow trout, smallmouth bass, crappie

The reservoir is ice-covered with access only by snowmobile. Fall fish sampling by ODFW indicated that the fingerlings planted last spring have survived and grown well. Fishable numbers of the legal and trophy-sized fish are available as well.

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

No recent fishing reports. The reservoir is currently at 97 percent of capacity and the boat ramp is useable based on the Bureau of Reclamation website. With the recent rains and warmer weather in the area, the reservoir is very murky and the dam has been opened up to accommodate continued snow melt in the basin.

BIG ROCK RESERVOIR: hatchery rainbow trout

All fish died in this reservoir due to low water levels. Fingerlings will be released in May this year and be 8 to 10-inches come fall.

BLITZEN RIVER: redband trout

The Blitzen River is currently flowing around 220 cfs with water temperatures fluctuating around 45oF. The current conditions for the Blitzen can be checked here. Recent fishing reports indicate that fishing has been good on the Blitzen and redband trout over 20-inches long have recently been caught. Fishing has been the most productive in deep water and under overhanging banks around the Page Springs area and up to and above the weir. Spring is approaching and this will get some of the larger redband moving upstream in search of the spawning grounds so that will bring some new fish into the Page Springs area.

Throughout the winter and early spring, large nymphs and streamers can be used for the larger redband trout. Bead-headed wooly buggers in brown and olive are great winter/spring flies to use on the Blitzen, and a lot of people fish them under a strike indicator. Using larger leaders will also help to pull fish out of tough to reach areas and the redband trout on the Blitzen are not know to be leader shy.

The South Loop Steens Road is still closed for the winter making it difficult to access the upper portions of the Blitzen.

BURNS POND: trout, bass

Fishing has been slow for trout on the Burns Pond. The pond is completely full but water clarity has still been fairly good. The pond has been stocked with legal sized rainbow trout so fishing is expected to improve.

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

Access is blocked by snow. Open all year.

CAMPBELL LAKE: hatchery rainbow trout, brook trout

Access is blocked by snow.

Black Crappie
Black Crappie
-U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service-

CAMPBELL RESERVOIR: redband trout, largemouth bass, crappie

There are no recent reports on the reservoir. Crappie fishing will continue to get better with warming temperatures.

There are no boat ramps on the reservoir. The southeastern part of the reservoir is on BLM property. The reservoir is fed by water from Deming Creek.

Access is available off the FS 34 (Dairy Creek road) and 335 roads near Bly. Much of the reservoir is on private property so please respect this area.

CHEWAUCAN RIVER: native redband trout, largemouth bass, brown bullhead

The entire river is open all year and fly-fishing for redband trout 6 to 12-inches should be fair upstream of Paisley once the river comes down. Snow melting from the mountains is causing high flows and cold temperatures. Best time to fish is mid-day and dry flies and nymphs are typically productive. Bait is allowed downstream of Hwy 31 at Paisley, however the use of bait is prohibited upstream of highway 31.

Largemouth bass and brown bullhead are available to anglers at the first Hwy. 31 crossing just north of Valley Falls. Small boats can be launched at this site.

CHICKAHOMINY RESERVOIR: trout

Recent fishing reports indicate that fishing has been fair at Chickahominy this spring with bank anglers reporting catches of 10 to 14-inch rainbow trout. The boat ramp is currently useable with all but a few sections of the boat ramp floating and the water clarity is good for the reservoir, which is known for being really murky. Chickahominy is currently fuller than it has been since 2013/2014 so hopefully this will help to restore the fishery following the prolonged drought in the region.

Chickahominy is slated to be stocked with both fingerling and legal-size rainbow trout in early May of this year.

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

Access is blocked due to snow.

COTTONWOOD MEADOWS: hatchery rainbow trout, redband trout, brook trout

Access is blocked by snow.

COTTONWOOD RESERVOIR (Lake County): redband trout

There is access to this reservoir, but no recent fishing reports. One rainbow trout per day, 15-inch minimum length may be harvested. The reservoir is full.

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

No recent fishing reports but it is expected that fishing is slow at the Cow Lakes. Fishing reports and sampling data indicate that there is an overabundance of brown bullheads in the lakes. White crappie, bluegill, and large scale suckers were also found during sampling in 2016 with a few of the crappie being very large. ODFW will continue to monitor conditions in the Cow Lakes to hopefully improve the fishery.

CROOKED CREEK (Klamath Co): redband trout, brook trout and brown trout

Closed to fishing until May 22.

CRYSTAL CREEK redband trout and yellow perch

Closed to fishing until May 22.

DEADHORSE LAKE: hatchery rainbow trout

Access is blocked by snow.

DELINTMENT LAKE: trout

No recent reports. The roads to Delintment Lake are still not yet passable but they should open up soon. Fishing this past summer and fall was good at Delintment Lake but there is a possibility that a fish kill occurred following the heavy snows from this winter. Because of the location and ecology of the lake, fish kills often happen at Delintement and ODFW will monitor the lake when it becomes accessible and jump start the fishery when hatchery fish releases start to occur in the region.

DEMING CREEK: redband trout and bull trout

Access blocked by snow. Open to fishing but closed to fishing for bull trout. Any bull trout captured should not be removed from the water.

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

Fishing is slow. The reservoir is very full. The reservoir is turbid and visibility is 4 to 6-inches. Access is available along the Fishhole Creek road. Much of the reservoir is on private property so please clean up and respect this property. Small boats without trailers can be launched at several locations. The reservoir on the east side nearest to the Fishhole Creek road is on private property.

Dog Lake perch
Dog Lake perch

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

There have been no recent fishing reports. Yellow perch are the best species to target on this lake in the early spring, but crappie, brown bullhead and bass are present. Only one rainbow trout per day, 15-inch minimum length may be harvested.

DUNCAN RESERVOIR: hatchery rainbow trout and brown bullhead catfish

Some rainbow trout have left the reservoir recently and can be caught in the creek. Fishing was very slow a couple weeks ago. Water clarity and temperature were ideal but fish were not responsive. The Reservoir is very full with flooded juniper trees and fish appear to be spread out. The boat ramp is flooded therefore launching a boat can be challenging. Bring your waders and watch out for submerged boulders at the boat ramp. For best success anglers should fish near the inlet of Duncan Creek on the southern end near the willows and aspens. Small black midges were hatching and water boatmen were active. Using leech flies can also be productive as the reservoir is full of leeches.

Fishing for bait anglers was extremely slow. Fly fisherman should fish extremely slow and deep with black midge patterns, which can be effective in early April. A recent illegal introduction of brown bullhead will negatively impact the trout fishery in the future. ODFW encourages the retention of all brown bullhead captured in this fishery.

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

The North Loop Steens Road is still closed for the winter making accessing Fish Lake difficult. The Burns District BLM office will open the road when things dry out and mud is not an issue. This may be later than usual this year with the heavy rains the region is experiencing.

FORT CREEK: brown, redband and brook trout

Fort Creek is closed to fishing until May 22.

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

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. Bait is allowed.

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

Access is blocked by snow.

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

The reservoir is 94 percent full. Access is good as BLM maintains campgrounds at the reservoir. Fishing is slow. Best fishing is for yellow perch. Fish numbers are very low due to four years of consecutive drought. Crappie fishing will be very slow. Two boat ramps occur at the reservoir. The reservoir is always turbid.

HAINES POND: rainbow

The pond has been recently stocked with pounder and legal-sized rainbow trout. To measure the catch rate of trout stocked at Haines Pond, ODFW marked approximately 150 of these with an orange colored tag, just under the dorsal fin. If you catch one of these tagged fish, please report the tag number to Tim Bailey, District Fish Biologist at 541-962-1829. Some of these tags will have a $50 reward available.

HEART LAKE: hatchery rainbow trout, kokanee, brown bullhead catfish

Access is blocked by snow. Illegal introductions of brown bullhead catfish have been negatively impacting overwinter survival and the rainbow trout fishery. ODFW encourages the retention of all brown bullhead captured in this fishery.

HOLBROOK RESERVOIR: hatchery rainbow trout

Access is blocked by snow. The reservoir’s head gate has been fixed and is currently spilling. There will be enough water to stock rainbow trout in the spring of 2017.

JACKSON CREEK (UPPER WILLIAMSON RIVER): brook trout

Access likely blocked by snow. Fishing is open and bait allowed. This stream is very small with a large brook trout being 8 inches.

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

Water levels generally remain very similar and drop as the day progresses as water is released for power generation. There are numerous points of access on the reservoir as most property surrounding the reservoir is BLM or PacifiCorp property.

Fishing can be good on days when the water warms quickly during the afternoon. Water temperature is currently peaking at 51 degrees. Fishing for largemouth bass is slow but will improve as bass move towards shallows to spawn and feed. The reservoir is turbid,therefore anglers should try scent and highly visible lures. Fishing for brown bullhead catfish is likely your best bet and catch rates are currently fair.

Klamath Lake
Klamath Lake Sunset
-Photo by Bob Swingle, ODFW-

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

All of Upper Klamath and Agency lakes are ice-free. Boats can be launched at all boat ramps. All boat docks have been placed in the water and all boat ramps are usable. Small boats should take into account the wind forecast for the day. The lake is 0.5 feet below full pool. Water temperature is peaking at 50 degrees. Fishing has improved. All methods are catching fish. Currently best fishing is from boat trolling lures. Trolling from boat is fair due to turbidity and the fish being spread out. Water clarity is 1 foot depending on location. Redband trout are scattered. Anglers typically use spoons or plugs that mimic bait fish in the lake such as blue chub, tui chub, fat head minnows or sculpin species. Recent stomachs sampled at Shoalwater Bay showed redband feeding on large (6 inch) blue chub, sculpin species, fat head minnows and leeches. Schools of fat head minnows were observed in some locations in the lake along the bull rush or under overhanging willows. Many anglers fish from shore using dead minnows or night crawlers. Anglers can fish from shore along Howard Bay, Shoalwater Bay (Eagle Ridge County Park), near Link River Trail and Lakeshore Landing.

Angling in Agency Lake is very slow. There is very little bank access for fishing in Agency Lake. Anglers can fish from Henzel Park or the Wood River Wetland Area.

KLAMATH RIVER: native rainbow-redband trout

Keno Dam to J.C Boyle Reservoir

Currently, fishing is very slow as fish are likely moving to spawning grounds. Water levels in the Keno Reach of the Klamath River are extremely high at 4,270 cfs. Expect variable daily flows in this section and ODFW recommends checking flows before fishing. This flow is very high for fishing. Water temperatures are increasing slightly and peaking around 48 degrees. Most redband trout are migrating to spawning grounds or spawning at this time.

Access to the river is extremely challenging especially considering the muddy roads. Many roads along highway 66 should not be used and have been closed. Much of the river access is on Green Diamond Property and private property needs to be respected. Anglers can drive to the river at the base of Keno Dam using Old Wagon Road on the west side of the river. This road is in disrepair. The other access site is at the PacifiCorp Campground on the east side which is currently closed. Access to the lower river is also available at Sportsman Park. Many anglers access the river on the Hwy. 66 side and hike into the canyon.

Fishing this reach of river is extremely challenging. Most areas require a strenuous hike to reach the river. If you are wading, ODFW highly recommends studded wading boots, wading belt and definitely a wading staff. There are bedrock ledges and numerous very slippery boulders. Typically you can’t see where you are wading as the water is turbid. Polarized glasses also help with wading as you can see boulders. A landing net also assists with landing fish in fast water.

Boats are not recommended on this stretch unless you are an expert oarsman. Roe Outfitters provides fly-fishing trips from rafts in this stretch.

Fishing is very good for redband trout in this reach. Condition and size of redband trout in this reach are exceptional. Most anglers use flies and lures that mimic bait fish. However, flies that mimic leeches and caddisfly larvae work well.

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

Fishing on the Klamath River between JC Boyle Dam to JC Boyle Powerhouse is slow. Flows are extremely high below JC Boyle Dam and currently 1,801 cfs. Most fish in this section are very small and average 10-inches. Below the springs this section remains near a constant 360 cfs of flow and water temperatures are cooler in this section 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. Fishing is excellent for small redband for those willing to hike. Nymphs and leech patterns work well during this time of year. Occasional blue winger olive mayfly hatches will occur in mid-day especially during inclement weather. Black spinners cast upstream into the pools is also a great technique. Open all year.

J.C. Boyle Powerhouse to State Line with California

Fishing is very slow due to very high flows, 4,410 cfs. Below the JC Boyle powerhouse the fish get slightly larger than the aforementioned reach and average 12 inches but rarely exceed 16 inches. Most fish are in the 6- to 8-inch range. Fishing will be poor. If flow levels are 900 cfs or lower the river is fishable. Flow release estimates are no longer available. Check the USGS real time website for flow information. Klamath River is a good TROUT 365 fishery – good trout fishing 365 days a year.

KRUMBO RESERVOIR: trout, bass

Recent reports indicate that rainbow trout fishing has been good on Krumbo this month with a few anglers catching larger trout nearing 20-inches. Krumbo can be a great later winter and spring fishery and often produces rainbow trout up to 18-inches long. Please note that only manual or electric powered boats are allowed on Krumbo so please do not use gas powered motors on the reservoir. Krumbo was recently stocked with legal sized rainbow trout and will be stocked again soon with a second round of fish.

Rainbow Trout
Rainbow trout.
-Photo by Justin Miles, ODFW-

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

The lake is ice free. The lake will be stocked with 1,000 trophy rainbow trout the week of April 24. Fishing should be fair for small yellow perch and an occasional brown trout. Fishing for kokanee in the early morning near the surface can also be productive.

The Lake of the Wood Resort Marina is open Friday through Sunday. Call Lake of the Woods Resort for recent reports Toll Free at 866-201-4194.

LOFTON RESERVOIR: hatchery rainbow trout

Access is blocked by snow.

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

Access is limited due to snow.

LOST RIVER: largemouth bass, brown bullhead, yellow perch, Sacramento perch

Fishing for brown bullhead catfish has improved. Access is available off Crystal Springs Road. Fishing for largemouth bass can be excellent this time of year near Bonanza. A small car topper boat can be launched at Big Springs Park.

LUCKY RESERVOIR: hatchery rainbow trout

Access is limited to 4-wheel drive vehicles. There have been no recent fishing reports, but fishing will pick up with warming water temperatures. Fingerlings released in 2016 should overwinter and create a great fishery for 2017.

MALHEUR RESERVOIR: hatchery rainbow trout

Recent fishing reports indicate that fishing is slow at Malheur Reservoir this spring but the reservoir has recently been stocked with legal-size rainbow trout. The roads are currently passable but use caution in muddy areas.

The reservoir dam was repaired and started holding water again in November of 2015. The reservoir was stocked with legal-size and fingerling rainbow trout in the spring of 2016 to jump start the fishery following prolonged drought conditions in the region. It is not currently known how many of these fish survived the winter but ODFW will be sampling it this summer to evaluate the fishery. The reservoir is completely full so that could will help restore the fishery.

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

No recent fishing reports.

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

No recent fishing reports.

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

No recent fishing reports.

MANN LAKE: cutthroat trout

Recent fishing reports indicate that fishing is very slow right now at Mann Lake. Mann Lake and the rest of the east Steens region is still fairly dry and has not been experiencing the same flooding and wet conditions the rest of the region has. Reports indicate that there is still a decent amount of snow in the watershed and we are expecting conditions to improve as we move into the spring. Reports from earlier this winter indicated that the water was very low and there was only a foot of water below the ice in most places. The delayed filling of Mann Lake may be partially due to the depleted groundwater storage following prolonged drought conditions in the region. Hopefully this winter was enough to recharge things and restore the lake and provide better conditions for the fishery.

Currently, there are only two different age classes of cutthroat trout in Mann Lake. It was stocked in 2012 following the removal of invasive goldfish and it was slated to be stocked again in 2014 but a disease outbreak at the hatchery prevented these fish from being stocked. It was stocked with fingerling cutthroat trout in the spring of 2016 so these fish should be available to anglers this spring. ODFW will continue to monitor the lake this spring to determine how the fishery has responded to the less than ideal conditions.

Fathead minnows were found in Mann Lake this past summer and have been giving fisherman concern. At the moment, it does not appear that the population of fathead minnows is negatively affecting the fishery but ODFW will continue to monitor the lake.

MILL FLAT POND: hatchery rainbow trout, largemouth bass

Access is blocked by snow. Bass have been illegally introduced and are negatively impacting the hatchery rainbow trout. Bass up to 6 pounds have been caught in 2016.

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

Access to the lake is blocked by snow.

MUD LAKE: hatchery rainbow trout

The reservoir was reported spilling this past week. It is likely no fish survived from 2016, but the reservoir will be stocked with fingerlings again in 2017.

MURRAY RESERVOIR: trout

The reservoir has been stocked with legal and trophy-sized rainbow trout.

NORTH POWDER POND: rainbow trout

The pond has been recently stocked with pounder- and legal-sized rainbow trout. To measure the catch rate of trout stocked at North Powder Pond, ODFW marked approximately 400 of these with an orange colored tag just under the dorsal fin. If you catch one of these tagged fish, please report the tag number to Tim Bailey, District Fish Biologist at 541-962-1829. Some of these tags will have a $50 reward available.

OVERTON RESERVOIR: hatchery rainbow trout

Access is blocked by snow.

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

The Owyhee Reservoir is currently at 97 percent of capacity and the managers have been releasing extra water through the dam and the glory hole spillway in an attempt to accommodate heavy flows entering the reservoir. There have been no recent fishing reports for the Owyhee Reservoir but fishing is expected to be slow in these conditions.

The Owyhee Dam boat ramp is permanently closed due to safety concerns. The Gordon Gulch boat ramp is currently open and the Indian Creek boat ramp is likely open as well.

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

Water releases below the dam have been around 2,250 cfs according to the USGS stream data. Fishing will be difficult in these conditions but the water clarity appears to be getting better so that should help with the fishery. There is an abundance of water entering the reservoir so it is expected that river flows will remain high in an attempt to control the reservoir.

OWYHEE RIVER (Upper): smallmouth bass and channel catfish

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

Ice Fishing at Paiute Reservoir
Ice Fishing at Paiute Reservoir
-Photo by Shannon Hurn, ODFW-

PAIUTE RESERVOIR: hatchery rainbow trout

There have not been any recent fishing reports, but the reservoir is full. Over winter survival was very low due to water levels this winter. Fingerling rainbow trout will be stocked this spring.

PHILLIPS RESERVOIR: trout, perch

Approximately 3,500 legal-sized rainbow trout have been recently stocked. Reservoir storage is at 58 percent of capacity and increasing.

Trophy-sized trout stocked in the reservoir last spring are still present in fair numbers. To measure the catch rate of the trophy’s, ODFW marked approximately 400 of these with an orange colored tag, just under the dorsal fin. If you catch one of these tagged fish, please report the tag number to Tim Bailey, District Fish Biologist at 541-962-1829. Some of these tags will have a $50 reward available.

Recent fish sampling by ODFW indicates that good numbers of hold over trout are available and range in size from 12 to 18 inches.

PILCHER RESERVOIR:

The reservoir is now ice-free and the high water boat launch is functional. Fishing should be good for rainbow trout from 10 to 16 inches.

PINE CREEK and tributaries (Snake River tributary): rainbow trout, brook trout

Pine Creek and tributaries are open to trout fishing year-round, with a five-rainbow trout bag limit.

POISON CREEK RESERVOIR: hatchery rainbow trout

No recent fishing reports.

Fishing in the summer of 2016 on Poison Creek Reservoir was slow but anglers did report catching large rainbow trout. The reservoir is unique in that it has a very robust population of large macroinvertebrates and this helps the trout to grow big rather quickly. The abundance of food for these trout may also be the reason that fishing is slow because the fish do not need to go far to find food so they move around less.

POLE CREEK RESERVOIR: hatchery rainbow trout, crappie

No recent fishing reports. Pole Creek is filling up and the conditions are expected to be better this year than the last two years.

PRIDAY RESERVOIR: hatchery rainbow trout

Fishing has been slow in this reservoir recently, but was stocked with trophy trout two weeks ago. Legal-size and fingerling rainbow trout stocked in 2016 should have overwintered and create a good fishery this year. Once the water warms up fishing should get better. Try fishing close to shore as rainbow trout cruise the shoreline looking for food.

Priday Reservoir is mostly on BLM property between Plush and Adel. Please respect the private property on the reservoir and stay on the main road.

ROGGER POND: hatchery rainbow trout

Access is blocked by snow.

Brown Trout
Brown Trout
-Photo by Patti Abbot-

SAND AND SCOTT CREEKS: brook trout and brown trout

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

SEVENMILE CREEK: brook trout, brown trout, redband trout

Flows are high. Fishing is slow for 6- to 8-inch brook trout. Anglers can access Sevenmile Creek at Nicholson Road and fish upstream of Nicholson Road. Bait is allowed upstream of Nicholson Road. Flows are high and water temperatures are cold. Fishing is best in the beaver dam pools above Nicholson Road. The bridge crossing Sevenmile Creek at Nicholson Road is closed. Open all year.

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

Access is blocked by snow. Fishing is not recommended at this time.

SHERLOCK GULCH RESERVOIR: hatchery rainbow trout

There have been no fishing reports this year. Fingerling rainbow trout were stocked in 2016 and should be 8- to 12-inches this spring.

SID LUCE RESERVOIR: hatchery rainbow trout

Access might be blocked by muddy roads and high water on both Colvin and Snyder Creeks. There have been no recent fishing reports but the reservoir is full.

SPAULDING RESERVOIR: hatchery rainbow trout

The reservoir was dry in 2015 and 2016. The reservoir is full and will be stocked with fingerling rainbow trout in 2017.

SPENCER CREEK: redband trout and brook trout

Spencer Creek is closed to fishing until May 22.

SPRING CREEK: redband trout, brown trout, brook trout

Spring Creek is closed to fishing until May 22. Spawning redband trout can be observed in the picnic area upstream of the Logging Museum at Collier State Park.

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

The Sprague River opens April 22. Expect slow fishing on opening day due to very high river flows of 2,210 cfs. Large trout are available but scattered. ODFW encourages the release of large spawned out redband trout (kelts). All tributaries to the Sprague River including Trout Creek, Sycan River, NF Sprague, Fivemile Creek, and SF Sprague remain open to fishing all year.

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

Access is challenging to most areas of the NF Sprague River due to snow.

Fishing through the canyon is slow. Access to this area is challenging as is wading through the high gradient areas. Open all year. Flow has decreased through the canyon to 129 cfs. Larger brown trout and redband trout occur in this section.

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

Access is limited due to snow. The South Fork Sprague River is open to fishing all year. Fishing is very slow in most areas due to low fish densities. Flow is very high (225 cfs) at the USFS day use park east of Bly.

SUMMIT PRAIRIE POND: hatchery rainbow trout

Access is blocked by snow.

SUN CREEK: brook trout, bull trout, brown trout

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. Angling not recommended at this time.

Redband trout were reintroduced to Sun Creek. These redband trout were small, most less than four inches, and salvaged from the Wood River irrigation system. The Sun Creek channel will be rerouted into the historic channel this summer.

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

Access is very challenging to the lower river and snow is blocking access to the upper river. Fishing is very slow below the marsh as most of the river desiccated in summer of 2015. Flows are high at 658 cfs.

rainbow trout on a stringer
Rainbow Trout on a stringer
-Photo by Bob Swingle-

THOMPSON VALLEY RESERVOIR: hatchery rainbow trout, largemouth bass

The boat ramps and campgrounds are blocked by snow, but you can park along FS road 27 and FS road 28 and hike a short distance into the reservoir. Although the reservoir got fairly low last year there should be trout and bass that have overwintered. There will be more rainbow trout stocked in May.

THIEF VALLEY RESERVOIR: trout

The reservoir is full and has been stocked with both trophy and legal-sized rainbow trout.

UNITY RESERVOIR: trout, bass, crappie

No recent reports. Reservoir storage is at 93 percent of capacity.

VEE LAKE: hatchery rainbow trout

Access is blocked by snow.

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

No recent fishing reports but fishing is expected to be slow. The reservoir is currently at 94 percent of capacity. The roads into Warm Springs Reservoir can become unpassable when they are muddy or snowy so use caution when venturing out to this reservoir and always carry chains and other emergency equipment.

WARNER POND: hatchery rainbow trout

Fly fishermen have been catching fish 10 to 14-inches in this small pond at the base of Hart Mountain. Typically trout are observed rising throughout the day chasing water boatmen, damsel nymphs and midges. The most effective way to fish is in a float tube or small john boat. This pond is very productive and should be fished earlier in the season before vegetation takes over.

UPPER WILLIAMSON RIVER: redband trout and brook trout

The Upper Williamson River opens to fishing l April 22. Expect slow fishing on opening day due to high flows and turbid water conditions. River flows are 143 cfs. Access might be difficult in some locations due to snow and muddy road conditions. Expect the black drake mayfly hatch to be excellent later this year in June

LOWER WILLIAMSON RIVER: redband trout and brown trout

The lower Williamson below Kirk Bridge is closed to fishing until May 22.

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

There have been no recent fishing reports. The Reservoir is spilling. Fishing for largemouth bass can be good in early April in the Creek channel. Best fishing is from a boat. Launching a boat might be problematic due to high reservoir levels. Bring waders or rubber boots to launch. Crappie are rare in the reservoir but can be found suspended near the large wood placement and spider block structures. Bluegill are abundant in the shallows but typically small and difficult to capture. Lahontan cutthroat are very rare. Yellow perch can be the most dominant fish in the reservoir but tend to stunt resulting in very small adult size (6 inches). The reservoir is turbid.

WOLF CREEK RESERVOIR: crappie, trout

The reservoir is ice free. Fishing is expected to be good for rainbow trout 10 to 14-inches.

Brook Trout
Brook Trout
-Photo by Kevin Clawson-

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

The Wood River opens to fishing April 22. Expect very slow fishing on opening day due to high flows and low fish densities. Flow above Crooked Creek is 307 cfs. Brown trout numbers continue to be low. Redd counts for redband trout and brown trout in the Wood River and Fort Creek were low this year.

YELLOWJACKET LAKE: trout

Recent reports indicate that fishing is very slow at Yellowjacket Lake right now. The roads are clearing up and people have been accessing the lake in trucks. The lake is full and is currently spilling and it will be stocked with rainbow trout in early May. ODFW will continue to monitor Yellowjacket Lake to see if there was a fish kill over the winter, which may be the cause of the slow fishing.

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  Southeast Zone Hunting

OPEN: COUGAR, SPRING BEAR (see regs), SPRING TURKEY

Howling Wolf
Gray Wolf

Wolves and coyotes can look alike

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

Use the Oregon Hunting Map to see where to hunt.

HARNEY COUNTY

Winter conditions: Motorized access is limited due to mud.

General Spring TURKEY season continues thru May 31. Turkeys can be found in the northern portion of the county on or near national forestland although this past winter conditions may have negatively affected the populations.

Coyote populations are good throughout Harney County. They will be widely scattered on breeding territories this time of year. Barking can be very effective for locating coyotes during the breeding season. Be aware that bobcats and cougars may respond to predator calls, and separate licensing and season limitations exist for these species.

Coyote populations are good throughout Harney County. Pair bonds have formed and calls mimicking coyote vocalizations are most effective.

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. 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.

Shed Hunting. Mule deer bucks have lost their antlers. Shed hunters are reminded that once an antler falls off it legally becomes the property of the landowner. Therefore shed hunters need to get permission from private landowners to access their property and pick up sheds.

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

turkey
Wild Turkey
-National Wild Turkey Federation-

KLAMATH COUNTY

Spring TURKEY continues thru May 31. Hunting is expected to be average as survival and reproduction have been good for the past few years, but overwinter survival this year may have been reduced due to snow levels. Best prospects are in the southern portion of the Keno Unit.

Controlled spring BEAR continues thru May 31. Bears are active and feeding aggressively after a hibernation period that may, in some individual cases, have been longer than it has been in the last several years. Best prospects are in the Interstate Unit and also along the east side of the Cascades. Successful hunters are reminded to check-in their bear within 10 days of harvest.

Ground Squirrels – Belding’s ground squirrels have emerged and are active on warmer days. Be sure to obtain permission before entering private lands.

Cougar - Hunting is open. Populations are healthy and distributed throughout the district in any area with a big game prey base. Deer and elk are now occupying lower elevation winter ranges, and cougars often follow this prey base and become more concentrated themselves in these lower elevation areas. Use of predator calls is a great hunting technique during the spring period. 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. Remember a 2017 cougar tag and hunting license is needed to hunt.

COYOTE hunting opportunities are improving as coyotes are now more concentrated at lower elevation areas where big game animals are wintering. Be aware that bobcats and cougars may respond to predator calls, and separate licensing and open season limitations exist for these species. Please consult the annual hunting synopsis for further information.

Shed Hunting. Shed hunters are reminded that once an antler falls off it legally becomes the property of the landowner. Therefore shed hunters need to get permission from private landowners to access their property and pick up sheds.

KLAMATH WILDLIFE AREA

Updated April 25, 2017

Miller Island Unit

The Miller Island Unit is located 6 miles south and west of Klamath Falls.

Posted safety zones are closed to all hunting.

Feb. 1-April 30: Public use is restricted to public roads, parking areas, boat ramp, designated birding trail and designated dog training area to minimize disturbance to migrating waterfowl.

Gorr Island Unit

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

Shoalwater Bay Unit and Sesti Tgawaals Unit

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

Waterfowl and Upland Hunting Information
Weekly and summarized harvest statistics for past seasons can be found at: ODFW Klamath Wildlife Area Harvest Summaries

A Wildlife Area Parking Permit is now required to park on the Wildlife Area. Cost is $10 daily or $30 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) 883-5732.

LAKE COUNTY

Winter Conditions: Motorized access is limited to paved or all weather gravel roads due to mud and/or snow.

Spring turkey continues thru May 31..

Black Bear
Black Bear
-Oregon Fish and Wildlife-

Spring Bear. Hunt number 731A includes all of the forested habitats in Lake County. Bear populations are low compared to the rest of the state. There is still a lot of snow at all elevations above 5500 feet and access will be restricted at least during the first half of the season because of drifts or muddy road conditions. Whether you’re on public or private land, keep vehicles on gravel roads with a good base. Much of the hunt area is private timber land open to the public without charge. The best way to have those properties closed to access is by tearing up roads in the spring.

Cougar populations are good and most individuals have moved to lower elevations as deer are still on winter range. Finding a fresh kill and then calling in the vicinity is the best option for harvesting a cougar.

Coyote hunting is available throughout the district. Be aware that bobcats and cougars may respond to predator calls, and separate licensing and season limitations exist for these species.

Shed Hunting. Mule deer bucks have lost their antlers. With the continued snow conditions deer are still restricted to traditional winter ranges. Just as antlers begin to drop, deer and elk are at their poorest physical condition. They are using more energy than poor winter forage can replace. So when shed hunters inadvertently push or spook animals the additional energy expenditure could be enough to cause death due to malnutrition. You might consider doing the deer and elk a favor by waiting to search for dropped antlers until later in the spring. Shed hunters are reminded that once an antler falls off it legally becomes the property of the landowner. Therefore shed hunters need to get permission from private landowners to access their property and pick up sheds.

SUMMER LAKE WILDLIFE AREA

Updated April 25, 2017

ALL GENERAL HUNTING SEASONS ARE NOW OVER, AND DISCHARGING FIREARMS IS PROHIBITED, except by special access permit.

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

MALHEUR COUNTY

Recent wet weather has made access limited due to mud in much of the 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.

Coyote hunting is available throughout the district. Reproduction this year appears to be good which should enhance calling opportunities. Be aware that bobcats and cougars may respond to predator calls, and separate licensing and season limitations exist for these species.

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

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 Southeast Zone Wildlife Viewing

Sandhill Crane

Sandhill Cranes at Summer Lake
- Photo by Jane Pittenger-

HARNEY COUNTY

Spring migration is starting to slow most white geese and white-fronted geese are continuing to migrate north. Sandhill cranes can be found in agricultural fields throughout the Harney Basin. Pintail, shoveler, wigeon, goldeneye, mallard, green-winged teal and cinnamon teal can still be viewed in good numbers throughout the basin as well.

Shorebird migration is well underway lesser yellow legs, killdeer, avocets, black-necked stilts, white-faced ibis, curlews, willets, pelicans and western grebes are some species that have arrived. A large number of franklins, ring-billed and California gulls can also be found.

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

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

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

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

Bighorn sheep have moved up into the steeper country to begin lambing. They will be widely scattered and secretive this time of year as they prepare for lambing. Sheep can be viewed with a good pair of binoculars or spotting scope along rocky outcroppings south of Frenchglen and along the east side of the Steens. 4/17/2017

Klamath Falls Area

Spring migration is in full swing with new arrivals daily in the Klamath Basin. Lower Klamath National Wildlife Refuge offers great viewing opportunities for tundra swans, white-fronted, snow, and Ross’ geese. In addition, county access roads between Miller Island Rd and Stateline Rd may offer opportunities to observe large numbers of migratory geese foraging in agricultural fields or roosting on ponds and rivers in the area. Numbers of migrating geese within the basin have likely peaked for the season and will begin decreasing until most lesser snow, Ross’s, and white fronted geese have moved to nesting grounds in the Arctic..

Nesting shorebirds such as American avocet, white faced ibis, snipe, and greater yellow legs can be found in wetland areas and flooded pastures at this time of year.

Dedicated birders and astute observers will find a variety of neotropical migrant passerine species migrating through the basin over the next several weeks. Warblers, finches, grosbeaks, hummingbirds, and flycatchers will be among the diversity of species returning to nest in the area or passing through to nesting habitats further north. Listen carefully in the early morning and evening hours to both identify and locate these summer occupants.

The Link River Trail offers great viewing opportunities for aquatic birds including great blue-heron, common goldeneye, Canada geese, bufflehead, and common merganser.

Mule deer and other large mammals are beginning to return to their summer home ranges. Some key migration corridors and wintering areas are under restricted motorized access to protect the integrity of those areas during this critical time of year. Use caution driving near wintering areas, and please respect seasonal road closures. 04/10/2017

KLAMATH WILDLIFE AREA (Miller Island Unit)

Updated April 25, 2017

Viewers need to be aware road conditions can be poor at this time due to recent snow and rainfall events. Please use extreme caution because of the soft and muddy conditions especially along road edges.

Feb. 1 – Apr. 30

Public use is restricted to public roads, parking areas, boat ramp, designated birding trail and designated dog training area to minimize disturbance to migrating waterfowl.

Waterfowl

Western Canada Geese can be found scattered across the area, many have already staked out nesting territories and have initiated nesting. The first Canada goose brood of the year was observed on March 28. On April 11 multiple goose broods were observed with most looking like they hatched within the last few days. White (Ross’s and Snow) and White-fronted geese continue to use the area heavily before their continued migration north. Approximately 23,000 Ross’s geese and 6,000 white-fronted geese were observed using the area over the past week. Very few snow geese were observed with most already migrating north. Spring migratory goose numbers and use of the area should continue to stay the same during the next couple of weeks.

Tundra swans are becoming rare, but an occasional group can still be observed. The Occasional trumpeter swan can be located on the Miller Island Unit.

Northern Pintail
Northern Pintail
- Photo by Greg Gillson-

Numbers of dabbling ducks are still increasing, as migrants continue to show up. Pintail, mallard, wigeon, gadwall, American green-winged teal and northern shovelers can be seen in good numbers scattered across the area, however American wigeon are becoming less common as spring progresses. Cinnamon teal continue to increase in numbers. Diver species such as: canvasback, redhead, bufflehead, common and barrows goldeneye, ruddy duck, ring-necked duck and scaup species are a common sight on the area, and can be found most anywhere. Common and hooded mergansers can be observed using the Klamath River.

Shorebirds, waders and other waterbirds

Shorebird numbers continue to increase. Killdeer, yellow-legged species, American avocets and black-necked stilts are becoming more abundant around the area. Dunlin, willets andwestern sandpipers have been observed recently.

Great blue herons, black-crowned night herons, great egrets and American bitterns can be seen scattered around the area. Double crested cormorants are now a common site. American white pelicans continue show up, but are still in low numbers. Sandhill cranes are a common site with approximately seven pairs that nest on Miller Island. They are becoming a little more difficult to find as they have started sitting on nests.

Ring-billed gulls continue to be a common site on the area. Franklin’s gulls are easily spotted fly catching over Miller Island. Caspian terns and Forster’s terns are also becoming more common along the Klamath River and onMiller Island.

Pied billed, eared and western grebes have all been observed on Klamath WA Miller Island Unit.

Virginia rails and sora heard more often than seen can also be located.

Raptors

Great horned and barn owls can be seen at dusk. Red-tailed hawks, rough-legged, northern harriers, cooper hawks, sharp-shinned, American kestrels, prairie falcons can all be seen foraging throughout the wildlife area. Peregrine falcons can also be observed using old power poles overlooking the wetlands. Common ravens are quite numerous at this time. Eagle species numbers continue to increase and are becoming quite common. Osprey have been recently observed using Miller Island.

Turkey vultures are now a common site.

Upland Game Birds

California quail and ring-necked pheasant can be found scattered around the old homesteads and the headquarters area. Several chukar can be seen around the HQ area.

Passerines

Eurasian collared dove can be found scattered over the area. Large numbers of mourning dove have shown up.

American and lesser goldfinches, house finches, mountain chickadees, American robins, brewers, yellow-headed and red-winged black birds, spotted towhees, white-breasted nuthatches, black-billed magpies, western meadow larks and Northern flickers continue to be a common site throughout the area. Dark-eyed juncos, white-crowned and golden crowned sparrows are becoming less common as spring progresses. Tree swallows are still around in good numbers but are beginning to decrease as barn swallow numbers are increasing. The first cliff swallow numbers are increasing and will continue to increase as spring progresses. The occasional Says phoebe can be spotted fly catching from fences and shrubs. Yellow-rumped warblers can be observed using trees and shrubs around the area.

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

The occasional horned lark can be spotted on the wildlife areas agricultural fields.

Shrike can sometimes be found using the shrub dominated uplands of the Southern part of Miller Island.

Reptiles

Western pond turtles have started to become active over the last few days. They can be observed basking on logs during warm sunny days.

A Wildlife Area Parking Permit is now required to park on the Wildlife Area. Cost is $10 daily or $30 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) 883-5732.

Summer Lake Wildlife Area

Sunrise on Winter Rim at Summer Lake Wildlife Area
- Photo by Keith Kohl-

SUMMER LAKE WILDLIFE AREA

This section was updated on April 25, 2017.

New 2017 Wildlife Area Parking permits are required for all users of Summer Lake Wildlife Area. Parking permits can be purchased at any ODFW license agent (pdf) or through the ODFW website. The cost is $10.00 daily or $30.00 annually and is valid on all ODFW Wildlife Areas. Locally, parking permits can be purchased at the Summer Lake Store, 1.3 miles north of Headquarters.

Motor vehicle access on major dike roads (Bullgate and Windbreak) closed on March 15, 2017, but the Wildlife Viewing Loop remains open. The Wildlife Viewing Loop road now follows the main route on the south side of Link Canal from Bullgate Campground out to Link Corner. Viewers need to be aware road conditions can be soft this time of year due to recent rainfall events. Please use caution because of the soft and muddy conditions especially along road edges. Roads leading into campgrounds are generally good. Road work improvements are being conducted along Link Canal, Deepwater Canal and Schoolhouse Lake. Parking areas are also being developed and caution should be used around heavy equipment.

Wildlife viewing continues to improve with the arrival of northward migrants, as well as the onset of breeding season for many species, especially waterfowl. Several species of shorebirds and other migrants have recently returned.

Waterfowl

Waterfowl populations continue to stage and migrate through the area in good numbers, although many present now are local breeders.

Western Canada geese are widely distributed across the wildlife area, most have formed breeding pairs and established nesting territories. Many Canada geese continue to incubate nests and newly hatched broods continue to be observed.

Lesser snow geese numbers have declined dramatically but occasional stragglers can still be found. A major exodus of greater white-fronted geese occurred over the past weekend, but a few late migrants should remain through the end of April.

Duck numbers remain fairly high as the spring migration continues. Early migrants such as northern pintail, American wigeon and canvasback have largely departed the area. Later migrants such as Am. green-winged teal, northern shoveler and ruddy duck remain in fair numbers. Last week, 15 species of ducks were observed. Major breeding species such as mallard, cinnamon teal and gadwall are abundant. Local early breeding ducks such as mallard and cinnamon teal are paired-up and nesting is underway. Gadwall are pairing also, but nesting for this species is typically later in spring when new growth vegetation is more robust.

Migrant swans have largely departed. A few resident and non-breeding trumpeter swans remain widely scattered across the wildlife area. Some of these birds are 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) or the symbol “@” and two numerals that are read from the body toward the head.

Shorebirds, waders and other waterbirds

Migrant shorebirds continue to arrive. Shorebird diversity is increasing with American avocets, black-necked stilts, black-bellied plover, dunlin, greater and lesser yellowlegs, killdeer, long-billed curlew, marbled godwit, snowy plover, semi-palmated plover, Western willet, Western and least sandpiper observed over the last week. The overall number of shorebirds is increasing and viewing opportunities will continue to improve in the coming weeks. The season’s first killdeer egg laying was reported recently and nesting activity should increase in the near future. Wilson’s snipe can be heard winnowing mornings and evenings.

American coot numbers continue to increase and are found across the entire area, many are separating into pairs and nesting should be underway soon. Observations and calling of sora and Virginia rails are increasing. Sandhill cranes continue to stage in good numbers (esp. in farmed fields at the Foster and Turner Places), breeding pairs have dispersed onto traditional nesting territories and nesting is underway.

Gull numbers continue increase and are widespread across the wildlife area. Ring-billed gulls are the predominant species, but California gulls are common. Franklin’s and Bonaparte’s gulls have also been observed recently. Caspian tern numbers continue to increase and Forster’s terns returned recently and will increase over the next few weeks. The tern nesting island in East Link unit and Schoolhouse Lake, on the east side of the viewing loop is a good spot to view a concentration of gulls and Caspian tern where they are beginning to nest.

American white pelicans have also arrived and small flocks are being observed in several locations across the wildlife area. Double crested cormorants are becoming more numerous.

Migrant and breeding grebe numbers are increasing. At least 5 species (Clark’s, eared, horned, pied-billed and Western) have been observed recently and are best viewed in large open bodies of water such as Ana Reservoir, N. Bullgate Refuge, North Levee Impoundment, Link Marsh and from the Schoolhouse Lake Viewing Blind. Many can be heard calling as the breeding season approaches.

Great blue and black-crowned night herons are present in average, but increasing numbers. Great egrets continue to be observed and are increasing in number. White-faced ibis have recently returned, and their numbers should continue to build as spring progresses.

Northern Harrier
Northern Harrier
-Photo by Cathy Nowak-

Raptors and others

Northern harriers and red-tailed hawks are common this time of the year. Rough-legged hawks are declining in number as they depart for arctic nesting areas. Bald and golden eagles, American kestrel, peregrine and prairie falcons can occasionally be found. Northern harriers remain abundant and males have been actively performing their courtship flights.

Accipiters are sometimes found around Headquarters where songbirds are being fed.

Great horned owls are found scattered across the entire wildlife area, especially in the trees at campgrounds. Breeding season is well underway for great-horned owls and the season’s first chicks should be hatching soon. Common barn and sometimes short-eared owls can occasionally be observed near dusk.

Upland game birds

Good numbers of California quail can be found and a few pheasants can sometimes be observed, especially around old homesteads on the north end of the wildlife area. Pheasant rooster crowing is becoming more common now. Quail are pairing up and calling males are heard continuously.

Passerines

Eurasian collared doves remain very numerous at Headquarters Complex. Mourning doves are found in low but increasing numbers and are scattered across the wildlife area.

American and lesser goldfinches are present in low numbers at Headquarters. Migrant sparrows are beginning to arrive. White-crowned sparrows are increasing in number and a few golden-crowneds have been observed.
Tree swallows are widely distributed across the wildlife area and pairs are actively attending nest boxes. Cliff swallow numbers are increasing, and they are becoming active in exploring their mud gourd nest structures. Barn swallows were found in good numbers last week, and other species such as bank and northern rough-winged should be present as well. Swallow numbers continue to increase.

Say’s phoebes continue to be observed, other early migrants should be appearing soon. Western kingbirds were present last weekend.

American robins, loggerhead shrikes, Stellar’s and scrub jays, and cedar waxwings are being observed in varied numbers across the wildlife area. Sage thrashers can be found at north end locations and were actively singing, upland sparrows such as Brewer’s and sagebrush are present in the sagebrush and greasewood uplands at the north end of the wildlife area.

Red-breasted and sometimes red-naped sapsuckers as well as other woodpeckers can be found in the trees around Headquarters. Northern flickers remain common across most of the area, and are very vocal as breeding season progresses.

The season’s first hummingbird (probably rufous) was observed shortly after feeders were placed-out during the weekend.

Marsh wrens and song sparrows can be found in fair numbers in dense stands of hardstem bulrush and broad-leaved cattail along dikes and levees throughout the wetlands. Savannah sparrows are fairly abundant along dikes and levees.

Red-winged blackbirds have returned to the area, moderate sized flocks were found last week and increasing numbers have returned to the feeder at Headquarters. Yellow-headed blackbirds have also returned and are quickly increasing in abundance. Of interest was the observation of a pair of great-tailed grackles at Headquarters over the past weekend.

European starlings are increasing number, are actively singing and exploring nest cavities.

Facilities and Access

Please remember: Calendar year 2017 parking permits are required beginning on January 1, 2017!

Summer Lake Wildlife Area requires a $10 daily parking permit or a $30 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.

Motor vehicle access on major dike roads (Bullgate and Windbreak) closed on March 15, 2017, but the Wildlife Viewing Loop remains open. The Wildlife Viewing Loop road has reopened on the south side of link canal from Bullgate Campground out to Link Corner.

Please be aware road conditions can be poor at this time of year due to recent rainfall events. Roads may be soft and muddy, especially along edges. Numerous pullouts are available along the Wildlife Viewing Loop to accommodate passing vehicles when encountered. Roads leading to campgrounds are in good condition.

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.

NESTING IS WELL UNDERWAY FOR SOME GROUND NESTING SPECIES. PETS NEED TO BE KEPT IN VERY CLOSE CONTROL AND NOT ALLOWED TO RUN AT LARGE.

Habitat

The Area’s wetland units are very well flooded at this time. Extensive shallowly flooded sheetwater areas are providing excellent foraging opportunities for a variety of waterfowl.

Wetland plants are beginning to grow and insects, esp. Chronomids (midges) are becoming numerous on sunny days providing abundant food resources to many species of birds. Biting insects have yet to emerge but are expected once warmer weather prevails.

Emergent marsh vegetation remain lodged-over allowing for good visibility into the interior of many wetland units.

Muskrat
Muskrat
-Photo by Kathy Munsel-

Muskrat houses are very obvious now and are frequently used by many species of birds.

Summer Lake continues to increase in size at this time.

Upland habitat remains in very good condition, forbs and grasses remain erect with an abundance of seeds. Green-up of several grass and small forb species is well underway and very apparent. Planted tree and shrubs in plots and the orchard are providing excellent sheltered sites and food resources for wildlife. Trees and shrubs are beginning to bud and leaf-out with warming temperatures and longer days.

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

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