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

Weekly Recreation Report: Southeast Zone

December 16, 2014

 Southeast Zone Fishing

Redband Trout
Redband Trout and Fly Rod
-Photo by Roger Smith-

Weekend fishing opportunities

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

If your favorite fishing spot is no longer listed

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

Send us your fishing report

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

ANA RESERVOIR: hatchery rainbow trout, hybrid bass

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

ANA RIVER: hatchery rainbow trout

Fishing should be good for rainbow trout in Ana River. The Ana River is spring fed and rainbow trout are active throughout the year. The river was sampled on June 5 to evaluate the current stocking strategy and size of trout in the river. We found smaller trout (8 to 10-inches) were dominant from the dam for about 2 miles downstream. Larger trout up to 14-inches are more common in areas where access is more difficult.

Anglers can access these trout by floating the river in a pontoon or float tube. Caddis flies are the dominant invertebrate. Small blue winged olive (size 18) mayflies should be hatching. Ana River is a great match the hatch fly fishing river with good hatches throughout the winter. Hatches typically occur during the afternoon from 12-3 p.m. the best time. Small mayfly hatches are typically best on overcast days with light rain or snow. The roads paralleling the river are likely very muddy. Anglers can park at Ana Reservoir and hike down or park at the lower road crossing and hike up.  Ana River is a good TROUT 365 fishery – good trout fishing 365 days a year.

Brook Trout
Brook Trout
-Photo by Kevin Clawson-

ANNIE CREEK: brook trout, brown trout and rainbow trout

Closed to fishing until April 25, 2015.

BALM CREEK RESERVOIR: rainbow trout, smallmouth bass, crappie

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

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

No recent fishing report. The reservoir water level is very low with irrigation use and boat ramps are not useable. The reservoir may be partially frozen but open water should still be available for fishing. USBR crews have been tagging fish populations in the reservoir over the last several years. If you catch a tagged trout report it to the Hines office at 541-573-6582.

BLITZEN RIVER: redband trout

No recent fishing report. The river is currently flowing between  25 to 40 cfs with water temperatures in the low 30s. The East Canal, Bridge Creek, mainstem Blitzen above Bridge Creek and the Little Blitzen River are open for catch-and-release fishing for trout. The South Loop Road is currently open to the South Steens Campground but check with Burns BLM before heading out, as recent weather may have prompted gate closures.

BLUE LAKE: hatchery rainbow trout

You will likely encounter snow on your way into Blue Lake. Fishing is not recommended at this time. Blue lake is a fantastic high elevation lake located in the Gearhart Wilderness between Bly and Lakeview. A three mile trail leads to the lake and is a 1-2 hour hike. Fish were sampled by net and hook and line sampling. Rainbow trout ranged from 6 to 17-inches and were in healthy condition. The trout at this lake see little pressure and are easy to catch using flies, lures or bait.

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

The reservoir water level continues to decline with irrigation withdrawal. Boat ramp is not usable. No recent fishing report.

BURNS POND: trout, bass

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

BURNT RIVER: rainbow trout

Closed to fishing until April 25, 2015.

CAMPBELL LAKE: brook trout, rainbow trout

Access could be blocked by snow.

CHEWAUCAN RIVER: redband trout

The river downstream of Paisley closes to trout fishing after Oct. 31. The river upstream of Hwy 31 at Paisley is open and the use of bait in this section of the river is PROHIBITED! Access across property owned by the J-Spear Ranch will be closed to anglers beginning after July 7, 2014. The ranch is taking this action as a fish conservation measure to protect fish during months when the water becomes warmer.

CHICKAHOMINY RESERVOIR: trout

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

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

COTTONWOOD MEADOWS: rainbow trout, brook trout

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

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

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

DEADHORSE LAKE: rainbow trout

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

DELINTMENT LAKE: trout

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

DEMING CREEK: redband trout

Fishing is closed until April 25, 2015.

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

No reports.

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

Sampling in June confirmed that brown bullheads are dominating the fishery this year. The bullheads range in size from 8 to 14-inches and are a great fish for kids.
Bass anglers have reported the best bass fishing at the reservoir in years with fish of various sizes caught. Bank and boat access is excellent at the lake.

DUNCAN RESERVOIR: rainbow trout

No recent reports.

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

Open to fishing all year. Fourmile Creek off Westside road just north of Cherry Creek is open all year with bait allowed. Fishing should be good for brook trout. A few large brown trout occur in the stream.

Access is available off Westside Road at Fourmile Springs. A small car topper boat or canoe can improve fishing access at this area. Anglers should be aware of private property around this area and can check Klamath County Land Ownership for information.

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

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

Fourmile Lake levels

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

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

HAINES POND: rainbow

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

HEART LAKE: rainbow trout, kokanee

No recent reports.

HOLBROOK RESERVOIR: rainbow trout

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

HWY 203 POND: trout, bass, bluegill

The pond is not yet ice-covered

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

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

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

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

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

Redband Trout
Klamath Redband Trout
-Photo by Roger Smith-

KLAMATH RIVER: native rainbow-redband trout

The section from Keno Dam to J.C. Boyle Reservoir is open to fishing. Fishing is fair but is the best bet for winter fishing in the Klamath Area. The current flow is 603 cfs. Water clarity is good. Water temperatures are averaging around 42 degrees. Flows remain ideal for a successful fishing outing. The Klamath River is a rugged river with extremely difficult wading. The river is also always turbid. ODFW recommends wearing studded wading shoes, wading belt, and polarized glasses to observe boulders. Fish can also be landed easier with a landing net in the fast pocket water. Most fish being captured are less than 16 inches. Most fish are feeding on minnows. Fishing remains open throughout the fall and winter.

The Klamath River between JC Boyle Dam to JC Boyle Powerhouse offers fair spinner fishing. Most fish in this section are small and average 10 inches. Below the springs this section remains near a constant 360 cfs of flow and water temperatures are much warmer in this section. Fishing is best below the spring inputs. This section of river requires a hike down steep grade to the river with the exception of the area just above the powerhouse.

Below the JC Boyle powerhouse the fish get slightly larger than the aforementioned reach and average 12 inches but rarely exceed sixteen inches. River flows in this section are typically quite high during the day. If flow levels are 900 cfs or lower the river is fishable. Dead drifting rubber legged stonefly patterns and/or bead head pheasant tails can be good. Casting leech or wooly buggers upstream into fast water pockets and pools and stripping can be very effective. Look for blue winged olive mayfly hatches in the afternoon. Most fish are in the 6-8 inch range but numerous 12 inch fish can be caught with 16 inches the maximum. Flows will be high through most daylight hours. The past week the fishable flows have occurred at 3:00 pm. Flow release estimates have been discontinued until next spring.

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

KRUMBO RESERVOIR: trout, bass

A recent change in Malheur National Wildlife Refuge policy has allowed year-round fishing at this reservoir. However, no ice-fishing is allowed. ODFW has enacted a temporary rule to modify the regulation language to allow anglers to continue fishing at this reservoir from Nov. 1 through Dec. 31 2014. The 2015 angling regulations will note the year-round angling regulation. Anglers have reported moderate success for rainbow trout up to 19-inches recently. Water remains high and boats can be launched at the boat ramp.

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

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

LOFTON RESERVOIR: rainbow trout

Snow and mud will make accessing the reservoir challenging.

LONG CREEK: brook trout, redband trout, bull trout

Long Creek is closed to fishing until April 25, 2015.

LOST RIVER: largemouth bass, brown bullhead, yellow perch

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

MALHEUR RESERVOIR: hatchery rainbow trout

Recent reports indicate that the reservoir is dry.

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

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

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

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

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

No recent reports.

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

No recent reports.

MANN LAKE: trout

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

rainbow trout
Rainbow Trout
-Photo by Roger Smith-

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

Access might be blocked by snow. Anglers can call the Chemult Ranger District of the USFS (541-365-7001) for more information. The 12 mile gravel road into Miller Lake is in horrible condition with numerous washboards. The dock has been taken out for the winter and the bathrooms with running water have been closed.

MUD LAKE: hatchery rainbow trout

No recent reports. Road is likely very muddy

MURRAY RESERVOIR: trout

Fishing should improve with cooler fall temperatures.

NORTH POWDER POND: rainbow trout

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

OVERTON RESERVOIR: rainbow trout

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

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

No recent reports, but angling is expected to be slow. The access road to the reservoir was snow-packed/icy due to cold weather during the week of Nov. 17. No boat ramps are useable based on the Bureau of Reclamation webpage.

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

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

The Owynee River
The Owyhee River
-Photo by Jessica Sall-

OWYHEE RIVER (Upper): smallmouth bass and channel catfish

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

PHILLIPS RESERVOIR: trout, perch

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

PILCHER RESERVOIR: trout

The reservoir closed to fishing until April 25, 2015.

POISON CREEK RESERVOIR: hatchery rainbow trout

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

POLE CREEK RESERVOIR: hatchery rainbow trout

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

SAND AND SCOTT CREEKS: brook trout and brown trout

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

Brown Trout
Brown Trout
-Photo by Patti Abbot-

SEVENMILE CREEK: brook trout, brown trout, redband trout

Closed to fishing until April 25, 2015.

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

Access is blocked by snow.

SHERLOCK GULCH RESERVOIR: rainbow trout

No recent reports, but fish should be available for anglers to catch.

SPRING CREEK: redband trout, brown trout and brook trout

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

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

Closed to fishing until April 25, 2015.

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

Closed to fishing until April 25, 2015.

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

Closed to fishing until April 25, 2015.

SUN CREEK: brook trout, bull trout, brown trout

Closed to fishing until April 25, 2015.

SYCAN RIVER: brook trout, redband trout

Closed to fishing until April 25, 2015.

THOMPSON RESERVOIR: rainbow trout, largemouth bass

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

THIEF VALLEY RESERVOIR: trout

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

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

UNITY RESERVOIR: trout, bass, crappie

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

VEE LAKE: rainbow trout

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

rainbow trout
Rainbow Trout
-Photo by Kathy Munsel-

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

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

LOWER WILLIAMSON RIVER: redband and brown trout

Closed to fishing until May 23, 2015.

UPPER WILLIAMSON RIVER: redband and brook trout

Closed to fishing until April 25, 2015.

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

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

WOLF CREEK RESERVOIR: crappie, trout

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

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

Closed to fishing until April 25, 2015.

YELLOWJACKET LAKE: trout

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

Back to the top

  Southeast Zone Hunting

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

See the bird and big game hunting forecasts.

Wolves and coyotes can look alike

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

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

Use the Oregon Hunting Map to see where to hunt.

HARNEY COUNTY

Hunting maps for Harney County

Ruffed Grouse
Ruffed Grouse
-Oregon Fish and Wildlife-

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

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

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

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

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

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

KLAMATH COUNTY

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

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

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

Cougar
Cougar
- Royalty Free Image-

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

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

KLAMATH WILDLIFE AREA

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

Gorr Island Unit

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

Shoalwater Bay Unit and Sesti Tgawaals Unit

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

Miller Island Unit

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

Waterfowl Hunting

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

For weekly updated hunt statistics please see ODFW Klamath Wildlife Area Harvest Summaries for more information.

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

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

LAKE COUNTY

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

Coyote
Coyote
-Oregon Fish and Wildlife-

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

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

Upland Bird – Chukar and quail seasons are open. The chukar hatch appears to be better than last year. Hunters should focus on the major rims with desert vegetation in the Beatys Butte, Juniper, Wagontire and Warner units.

Almost all quail populations are restricted to private land and hunters must get permission before hunting. Hunting opportunity for quail on public land are restricted to the Warner Wetlands and Summer Lake Wildlife Area.

Waterfowl - Hunting conditions are poor throughout most of the county. All the Warner Valley lakes are primarily dry, with the only water being from the springs along the shore line or at the mouths of the creeks.

After the recent rains Lake Abert has sheet water but the only permanent water is at the springs along the shore line. Goose Lake is dry.

SUMMER LAKE WILDLIFE AREA

This section was updated on December 16, 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

MALHEUR COUNTY

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

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

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

UPLAND BIRDS

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

Chukar

Chukar
-Oregon Fish and Wildlife-

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

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

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

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

California quail

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

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 Southeast Zone Viewing

HARNEY COUNTY

Wintering raptors have returned to the area. You should be able to view golden eagles, bald eagles and a variety of hawks perching on telephone poles and fence posts throughout the district. Resident raptors such as northern harriers and red-tailed hawks are very easily observed in open agricultural areas.

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

Many of the bighorn sheep will be using lower elevation slopes and can often be seen from the highways. Bighorn sheep may be seen from highway 205 along Catlow Valley or along the East Steens Road. 12/9/14.

KLAMATH COUNTY

Klamath Wildlife Area (Miller Island)

A Wildlife Area Parking Permit is required to park on the Wildlife Area. Cost is $7 daily or $22 annually. Free with purchase of hunting license. Buy online or at an ODFW office that sells licenses or at a license sales agent. Learn more.

Canada Goose
Canada Goose
- Photo by Dave Budeau -

Waterfowl

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

Shorebirds, waders and other waterbirds

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

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

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

Raptors

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

Upland Game Birds

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

Passerines

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

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

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

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

LAKE COUNTY

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

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

SUMMER LAKE WILDLIFE AREA

This section was updated on Dec. 15, 2014.

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

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

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

Pintail Pair
Northern Pintail Pair
- Photo by Robert Mutch -

Waterfowl

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

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

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

Migrant trumpeter swan numbers remain fairly strong with over 50 present on the weekly count. A few of these birds a part of restoration efforts and will be neck-banded with green collars and white alphanumeric symbols. Viewers are encouraged to “read” the collars and report them to wildlife area personnel. Collars will have the Greek letter Theta (Ѳ) and two side-ways laying numerals that are read from the body toward the head.

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

Shorebirds, waders and other waterbirds

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

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

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

Raptors and others

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

Prairie falcons are sometimes observed.

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

Upland game birds

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

Passerines

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

Lesser Goldfinch Male
Lesser Goldfinch Male
-Photo by Kathy Munsel, ODFW-

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

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

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

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

Facilities and Access

Please remember: Calendar year 2014 parking permits are required!

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

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

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

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

Habitat

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

Summer Lake continues to increase in size at this time. A good amount of water is flowing into the northern portion of the lake now.

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

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

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

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