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

Weekly Recreation Report: Southeast Zone

January 20, 2015

 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.
  • Fishing for trophy hybrid bass at Ana Reservoir is typically best in the winter.
  • Ice-fishing has been good at Yellowjacket Lake.

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. A potential new state record hybrid bass (white and striped bass cross) was caught in Ana Reservoir on Dec. 10. The fish was caught using a Rapala crankbait on 10 lb. test line and measured 31½ inches with a girth of 24 inches. The fish weighed 19 lbs. 7.5 oz. The potential new state record is 1 ½ inches longer and ½ lb. heavier than the previous record of 18 lbs. 9 oz. caught in 2009.

ANA RIVER: hatchery rainbow trout

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

ANNIE CREEK: brook trout, brown trout and rainbow trout

Closed to fishing until April 25, 2015.

BALM CREEK RESERVOIR: rainbow trout, smallmouth bass, crappie

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

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

No recent fishing report. The reservoir water level is very low with irrigation use and boat ramps are not useable. The reservoir may be partially or completely frozen over but the ice may not be safe 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

The Blitzen River has been flowing between 80 to 135 cfs with water temperatures below 5oF. Recent reports indicate that fishing around the Page Springs Campground has been slow and the water clarity has been poor following recent rain/snow on the Steens Mountain. 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 closed for the winter, which limits access to the upper portions of the Blitzen.

BLUE LAKE: hatchery rainbow trout

Blue Lake is likely frozen and you will probably encounter snow on your way. 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 and appears to be at about 25 percent capacity, as of Dec. 23. Boat ramp is not usable. No recent fishing report.

BURNS POND: trout, bass

Fishing has been good for legal-sized rainbow trout in areas clear of ice on the pond. About 2,000 legal (8 to 11-inches) rainbow trout were stocked in the pond the week of Oct. 3. Ice is present on the pond but do NOT expect it to be safe. Fishing should continue to be good for rainbow trout throughout the winter.

BURNT RIVER: rainbow trout

Closed to fishing until April 25, 2015.

Brook Trout
Brook Trout
-Photo by Kevin Clawson-

CAMPBELL LAKE: brook trout, rainbow trout

Access could be blocked by snow and the lake is likely frozen.

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

No recent fishing reports. 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 unknown whether it is safe for ice fishing or not.

COTTONWOOD MEADOWS: rainbow trout, brook trout

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

COTTONWOOD RESERVOIR (Harney County): rainbow trout

No recent fishing reports. The reservoir is completely frozen over but it is not safe for fishing. Access to the reservoir may be limited when the temperature is above freezing and the road is muddy.

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

No recent fishing reports. The upper lake is full and the lower one is dry. As of 2013, the lakes will no longer be stocked with rainbow trout due to poor habitat quality. Ice fisherman reported poor success for warm water species and trout in the winter of 2013/2014.

DEADHORSE LAKE: rainbow trout

Access might be blocked by snow and the lake is likely frozen. If the lake is accessible, fishing should be good.

DELINTMENT LAKE: trout

No recent fishing reports. Ice has formed on the reservoir, BUT it is unknown whether it is safe for ice fishing or not. Access to the lake may be limited with recent snowfall. Carry chains and a shovel when attempting to access the lake.

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 but the lake is likely frozen.

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

No recent reports. The lake is likely starting to freeze but the ice is likely still unsafe for ice fishing.

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 28 percent full. Fourmile Lake levels

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

No recent report but the reservoir is likely frozen. The lake is only 10 percent full, which makes launching boats challenging if possible. Fishing is slow. No recent reports but Gerber Reservoir is likely beginning to freeze but currently unsafe for ice fishing.

HAINES POND: rainbow

The pond was stocked with trophy-sized rainbow trout in late September. The pond is now ice-covered.

HEART LAKE: rainbow trout, kokanee

No recent reports.

HOLBROOK RESERVOIR: rainbow trout

The reservoir is likely frozen and inaccessible.

HWY 203 POND: trout, bass, bluegill

The pond is now ice-covered.

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

Conditions at the Reservoir are unknown but are likely frozen. Fishing, if available, would be 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.

Redband Trout
Klamath Redband Trout
-Photo by Roger Smith-

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

Most of Upper Klamath and Agency lakes are frozen. With the expected warming weather the ice might not last long. Ice fishing is not recommended. There is open water at the outlet of the lake and near springs at Rocky Point. Fishing is generally slow with catch rates averaging 7 hours per redband from boat and 30 hours per redband from the shore. The lake is 2.8 feet below full pool. ODFW encourages catch and release as this fishery is managed for trophy trout. Redband trout captured should not be removed from the water, resuscitated by cradling and pumping gills by moving fish back and forth through the water. It is unlawful to continue to fish for the same type of fish after taking and retaining a catch or possession limit.

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

KLAMATH RIVER: native rainbow-redband trout

The section from Keno Dam to J.C. Boyle Reservoir is open to fishing. Fishing is slow but is the best bet for winter fishing in the Klamath Area. The current flow is 738 cfs. Water clarity is poor. Water temperatures are averaging around 34 degrees. Flows are a little high for a successful fishing winter 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. 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 and unpredictable. 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. The 2015 angling regulations will note the year-round angling regulation. Anglers have reported moderate success for rainbow trout up to 19-inches on Dec. 23.

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

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. The lake is frozen. Call Lake of the Woods for ice conditions. The ice might be unsafe for ice fishing. 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

No recent reports. The lake is likely frozen. 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 is currently frozen. 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 Jan. 20 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.

No recent fishing reports. Ice is present on portions of the river which may limit access for fishing.

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.

rainbow trout
Rainbow Trout
-Photo by Roger Smith-

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. Ice may be present on the lake BUT it is not safe for ice fishing.

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

No recent reports. Access might be blocked by snow and the lake could be frozen. 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 fishing reports. Mud Lake is frozen. 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

No recent reports but the reservoir is likely frozen. Access to the reservoir is likely difficult due to snow or mud.

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

No recent fishing reports, but angling is expected to be slow. The access road to the reservoir was open and clear of snow and ice on Dec. 23. 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 have been around 12 cfs as of Jan 20. The river was clear of ice on Dec. 23 but was very cloudy from the dam downstream to the tunnel. There were lots of fisherman on the river during the week of Dec. 22 and reports indicate that fishing was slow but there were a lot of fish present. A small mid-day insect hatch was observed and fisherman reported using small (size 20 and smaller) flies with some success.

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

OWYHEE RIVER (Upper): smallmouth bass and channel catfish

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

PHILLIPS RESERVOIR: trout, perch

The reservoir is at 20 percent of capacity. The reservoir is now 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 2014, 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.

PILCHER RESERVOIR: trout

The reservoir closed to fishing until April 25, 2015.

POISON CREEK RESERVOIR: hatchery rainbow trout

Ice has formed at the reservoir and is around 5-7 inches thick near the dam. Please be cautious when ice fishing, as the thickness and quality of ice varies and changing weather conditions can quickly alter the ice. The limit is 2 per day; please respect the fishing regulations for the reservoir.

POLE CREEK RESERVOIR: hatchery rainbow trout

No recent fishing reports.

Access to the reservoir may be difficult due to snow, mud or ice.

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

Closed to fishing until April 25, 2015.

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

Access is blocked by snow and all lakes are frozen.

SHERLOCK GULCH RESERVOIR: rainbow trout

No recent reports, but fish should be available for anglers to catch. The reservoir is likely frozen.

SPRING CREEK: redband trout, brown trout and brook trout

Closed to fishing until May 23, 2015. Significant numbers of redband trout continue to spawn on 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

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

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 31 percent of capacity and is now ice-covered. Anglers are reminded that a new regulation restricts the harvest of bass to those under 15-inches long.

VEE LAKE: rainbow trout

The lake is likely frozen and inaccessible.

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

No recent fishing reports. The reservoir is at dead-pool. 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.

Fishing at Ollala Reservoir
Ice Fishing Today Video.
Click image to play.
- Dave Genz Ice Safety Tips -

WOLF CREEK RESERVOIR: crappie, trout

The reservoir is now covered with 6-8 inches of ice. Fishing has been fair for 9 to 12-inch rainbows.

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 is around 5-7 inches thick near the boat launch. Fishing reports from Jan. 12 indicate that fishing is good with catches of around 4-6 fish per hour in 11-12 feet of water. Fish sizes were 10-12 inches. Pink was the color of choice for these trout. Please be cautious when ice fishing, as the thickness and quality of ice varies and changing weather conditions can quickly alter the ice.

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  Southeast Zone Hunting

OPEN: COUGAR, UPLAND BIRD (some closed Dec. 31, see regs) WATERFOWL (closes Jan. 25, see regs)

Hunters are reminded to purchase their 2015 hunting license.

See the bird and big game hunting forecasts.

Snake River wolf
Gray Wolf from the Snake River Pack
-Oregon Fish and Wildlife-

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

Hunting maps for Harney County

Upland Game Bird season continues through January 31, 2015. 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 season closed Dec. 31.

Only one antlerless ELK hunt is still open through January 31, 2015.

Waterfowl – Duck season closes Jan. 25. 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. Remember to pick up a 2015 tag.

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

Duck season remains open through January 25. Some reports of birds migrating north towards nesting grounds have been received along with reports of minimal harvest of gadwall, canvasback, and mallard. Unseasonably warm temperatures have resulted in open water in many locations, and hunters should look to larger bodies of water for late season action with limited birds in the area. Canada goose season also remains open until January 25 with some geese still using parts of the lower basin.

Mountain quail season is open until Jan. 31. Look for brushy areas in the south Cascade mountains. Hunters are reminded of the daily bag limit of 2/day in Klamath County.

Cougar
Cougar
- Royalty Free Image-

Cougar hunting is open year around. Populations are healthy and distributed throughout the district in any area with a big game prey base. Cougars at this time of year are generally concentrated along with their primary prey of deer and elk on big game winter ranges. Some hunters have reported limited success with calling at this time of year. Don’t forget successful hunters must check-in cougars no more than 10 days after harvest; please bring cougar in thawed and with mouth propped open so that field staff can quickly process the animal and get you on your way.

Coyote populations are fairly low throughout Klamath County. 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.

About half of the wildlife area is frozen at present and should continue to thaw as warm temperatures continue to be expected. (1/21/2015)

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. January has started out wet and mild. Throughout the county deer are using transition ranges between 5800 and 6500 feet. These areas are predominately forest vegetation.

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.

Duck and Canada goose seasons are open through January 25th. The hunting season for Snow Geese and White-fronted Geese (Specks) is closed. Hunting conditions are poor throughout most of the county. With the mild and wet conditions of December many of the closed basin lakes in the county have started holding water. Unfortunately that water did not show up soon enough to hold substantial numbers of birds.

Coyote
Coyote
-Oregon Fish and Wildlife-

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

SUMMER LAKE WILDLIFE AREA

This section was updated on January 20, 2015

The fourteenth week of hunting season was poor for migratory birds. Upland game bird hunting pressure was very light. Hunter participation was down compared to the same week of the season last year. Decoy hunters willing to spend time in the field did fair, while pass shooters did very poorly. Upland bird hunting pressure remains very light.

Weather conditions were generally mild most of the week. Temperatures were mild all week; high temperatures in the 40s to low 50s and the lows ranged from 17 to 40 degrees F. A storm event late in the week brought about 0.35 inches of precipitation and was accompanied by moderately strong winds. Mild temperatures and windy conditions removed nearly all the ice cover across the wildlife area by the weekend.

For the 14th week of the season, hunter participation (46 check-in) was down (-17.9%) from last year and reported harvest (100.0% check-out) of 55 birds (49 ducks and 6 Canada geese) was down (31.3%) from the same week of the season last year. The bird per hunter average of 1.34 was down -17.8% from 2014.

Duck harvest was reported to consist of 22 mallards, 9 bufflehead, 9 American wigeon, 3 gadwall, 3 northern pintail, 2 scaup (illegal harvest since season is closed) and 1 canvasback.. The duck per hunter average of 1.20 was down 23.9% from the same week last year.

Six (6) Canada geese were reported taken during the week which was up by 3 times from the same week last year. Snow and white-fronted geese are now closed for the remainder of the season.

No California quail harvest was reported.

The prospect for the upcoming final week week of migratory bird hunting season remains poor. Weather conditions are predicted to continue to be mild and with the change to open conditions, the low number of birds remaining will be able to spread out extensively across the entire wildlife area.

Snow and white-fronted goose and scaup hunting seasons remain closed for the rest of the season.

Weather conditions for the upcoming week are forecasted to be unseasonably mild the entire week. Low temperatures are predicted to be slightly below freezing the entire week. High temperatures will be in the mid to high 40’s and reaching the low 50’s by the weekend. As a consequence, the Area’s wetlands will remain open and birds will be widely scattered with very little need to move. Skies are predicted to be mostly sunny with no precipitation and winds will be light and variable.

With open conditions, birds will spread-out across the entire wildlife area, and moderate temperatures will reduce their need to make foraging flights. Frozen conditions are needed to concentrate ducks into smaller open water areas and to increase their foraging activities. 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 Jan. 14th found about 4,500 ducks and 1,700 geese (1,100 Canadas) present. The next count is scheduled for January 21st 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 well flooded, open and ice free.

Migratory bird (ducks, geese, coots and snipe) will close on Sunday January 25, 2015. California quail season will remain open through January 31, 2015.

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: 2015 HUNTING LICENSES ARE NOW REQUIRED. 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 year of age 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

Mild weather in recent weeks has resulted in slow hunting for waterfowl and difficult access off of improved roads. Forecasted cold weather this week should improve waterfowl hunting and access for chukar hunting.

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

Coyote hunting is available throughout the district. Areas with livestock feeding and calving operations are strong attractors for coyotes this time of year.

Chukar

Chukar
-Oregon Fish and Wildlife-

UPLAND BIRDS

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

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

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

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 Wildlife 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 winter season progresses, look for deer, elk, and antelope to remain active for longer periods of the day. Many populations of deer and elk have moved onto lower elevations as daylight hours have dwindled. Mule deer can be found in foothill areas around the basin.

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. 12/29/14.

KLAMATH COUNTY

With winter setting in, it’s a good time to stock your bird feeders. It’s also a good idea to clean your feeder periodically through the winter to reduce spread of diseases.

Tundra Swan
Tundra Swan
- Photo by Kathy Munsel, ODFW-

Swans have arrived in the Klamath Basin offering excellent viewing and photographing opportunity. While the vast majority of the individuals present are tundra swans, occasionally a trumpeter swan can be observed. Flooded fields north of Klamath falls adjacent to the Running Y ranch/resort have recently held several hundred swans. Limited highway pull-offs exist. Please use caution on this often icy stretch of highway.

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

Bald eagles have begun moving into the Klamath Basin. Good areas to view wintering bald eagles are along Eagle Ridge and Shoalwater Bay accessed from Eagle Ridge Road from Highway 140. The Lower Klamath National Wildlife Refuge provides great viewing opportunities as well.

Rough-legged hawks are beginning to show up from northern breeding locations and are easily found foraging around agricultural areas throughout the basin. Red-tailed hawks and northern harriers are very common and can be observed in agricultural areas as well.

Fall migration has concluded for mule deer and they are now readily observed on lower elevation winter ranges. Please note that many high density winter ranges are closed to motorized travel to protect wintering big game, which are particularly vulnerable to disturbance during this difficult time of year. Foot traffic, cross country skiing, and snowshoeing are great ways of accessing these restricted areas on public land, but be aware that private lands may not be posted.

Ask for permission from the landowner before entering private lands. Please watch for game and use caution while traveling on area highways and county roads. 1/20/15.

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.

The entire wildlife area is completely frozen at present, but with the expected warming some water could be opened up.

Waterfowl

Great Basin Canada geese continue to be a common site on the area, while white-fronted and snow geese can also now be found, but are still in small numbers. Canvasback, scaup, ruddy duck, bufflehead and common and barrows goldeneye are now concentrated on the Klamath River. Large numbers of Tundra swans along with the occasional Trumpeter swan are also using the area.

Shorebirds, waders and other waterbirds

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

American Bald Eagle
American Bald Eagle
-Photo by Blaine Fanning-

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 still be found scattered over the area. American goldfinches, house finches, white crowned sparrows and Northern flickers 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. 1/20/14.

LAKE COUNTY

Swans and Snow Geese started moving into the county this weekend. These are the earliest spring migrants and indicate the start of spring migration. If the mild wet conditions persist spring staging habitat should be substantially better than last year.

Winter resident raptors are common throughout the major valleys in the county. Bald and golden eagles are common. 1/13/15.

Summer Lake Wildlife Area

This section was updated on Jan. 20, 2015.

Summer Lake Wildlife Area requires a calendar year 2015 $7 daily parking permit or a $22 annual parking permit. Parking permits can be purchased at any ODFW license agent or through the ODFW website. Locally, parking permits can be purchased at the Summer Lake Store, 1.3 miles north of Headquarters.

CALENDAR YEAR 2015 PARKING PERMITS ARE NOW REQUIRED.

Vehicle access to the Wildlife Viewing Loop and major dike roads (Windbreak and Work Road) is closed until the end of waterfowl hunting seasons (January 25, 2015).

Wetland conditions are fair; a majority of the area’s wetlands are beginning to freeze over. Emergent vegetation is lodged-over due to recent strong winds.

Waterfowl

Waterfowl populations are now at low wintering numbers. Birds are widely dispersed across the entire wildlife area. The weekly count conducted on January 14 found about 4,500 ducks representing 14 species, over 1,700 geese (Canada, lesser snow and greater-white fronted) and nearly 800 swans.

Migrant trumpeter swan numbers remain fairly strong with nearly 60 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.

Shorebirds, waders and other waterbirds

Shorebird numbers are at their low wintering levels now. Only three species (killdeer, greater yellowlegs and Wilson’s snipe) can be expected to be found at this time.
American coot numbers declined dramatically, about 50 were tallied on the weekly count. Grebes are at low number now, but a few species can still be found. American bittern and great blue herons can still be found.

Raptors and others

Wintering raptors, especially northern harriers, red-tailed hawks, bald eagles and rough-legged hawk can be found scattered throughout the Wildlife Area as well as on private lands along Hwy 31. Red-shouldered hawks, golden eagles, American kestrel and prairie falcons as well as accipiters (Cooper’s and sharp-shinned hawk) can sometimes be observed.

Great horned owls were found scattered across the entire wildlife area, especially in the trees at campgrounds and are becoming fairly vocal now.

Upland game birds

Fair numbers of California quail can be found and pheasants are difficult to observe at this time.

Passerines

Eurasian collared doves remain very numerous at Headquarters Complex. 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. A brown creeper was observed at the Headquarters feeder over the past week.

Wintering Townsend’s solitaires, American robins, evening grosbeaks and sometimes cedar waxwings are fairly abundant around Headquarters now. 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 2015 parking permits are required beginning on January 1, 2015!

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 through the end of waterfowl hunting season (January 25, 2015).

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 most of the wildlife area’s wetlands are open and ice-free due to recent moderating temperatures.

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. The ground is snow free 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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