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

Weekly Recreation Report: Southwest Zone

September 20, 2016

 Southwest Zone Fishing

Weekend fishing opportunities:

  • Crabbing

    Crab Tonight!
    -Photo by Thomas Fisk-

    900 trophy trout are scheduled for stocking in Fish Lake the week of Sept. 19-23. This would be an excellent weekend destination.
  • Crabbing has been excellent in Coos Bay.
  • Chinook salmon are being caught by anglers trolling from the chip pile to the Coos River.
  • Anglers can now fish for salmon wit h a second rod in most SW Zone streams through Oct. 31 if they purchase a two-rod endorsement for $21.50. News release.
  • Fishing for trout has been improving at Howard Prairie Reservoir as temperatures have cooled down a bit. Reports of trout in the 14-19 inch size range are being caught by both bank anglers and trollers.
  • The upper Rogue has been fishing fairly well for summer steelhead.
  • Chinook fishing has been picking up in the tidewater portions of the mainstem Umpqua River.
  • Bottom-fishing as well as surf perch fishing has been good at Winchester Bay.
  • Bass fishing in Tenmile Lakes and on the Coquille River has been good. 

Please check online regulations for the most up-to-date information.

If your favorite fishing spot is no longer listed

It could be the area is closed, inaccessible due or currently offers limited fishing opportunities. These water bodies will return to the recreation report when conditions change. If you believe something is missing, contact us and we’ll find out why.

2016 trout stocking schedules

For detailed information about when and where hatchery trout are going to be released, please refer to the 2016 ODFW Trout Stocking Schedules page.

Send us your fishing report

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

AGATE LAKE: largemouth bass, black crappie, bluegill, bullheads

Fishing for warmwater gamefish should be good, with the best fishing occurring early and late in the day for bass. Night crawlers and crappie jigs should work well throughout the day. The lake is 20 percent full and the boat ramp is open from dawn until dusk.

APPLEGATE RESERVOIR: largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, trout

Fishing for trout should start picking back up with the decreasing reservoir temperatures. Trout anglers will want to try trolling, with a good bet being a wedding ring/bait combination early in the morning. Fishing with bait from shore in the upper reservoir should also produce. Smallmouth and largemouth bass fishing should be good on small and regular Senkos fished off the points and boulder areas. The lake is 26 percent full. The Hart-Tish, Copper, and French Gulch boat ramps are available. The concessionaire at Hart-tish Park has closed camping for the season but the boat ramp should still be available.

APPLEGATE RIVER: steelhead, trout

The Applegate River is open for trout angling but closed to Chinook and steelhead angling. Two hatchery trout may be harvested per day. Wild trout must be released unharmed. Rainbow trout over 16 inches are considered steelhead and must be released through Dec. 31. Flow out of Applegate Reservoir on Sept. 25 was 223 cfs and 58°F.

ARIZONA POND: rainbow trout

The pond has been lowered to help control aquatic vegetation. This pond is managed by Oregon State Parks for youth-only fishing. It is located at Arizona Beach State Recreation Area, approximately half way between Gold Beach and Port Orford.

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

Ben Irving has been stocked with 5,000 trout this year, and there are still opportunities to catch rainbows from previous year stockings. Warmwater fishing for bass, crappie and bluegill should be productive. Try using soft-plastics and swimbaits around structure for positive results.

CHETCO RIVER: Chinook, Cutthroat

Anglers are picking up Chinook in the estuary on a regular basis. Most anglers are trolling from the mouth upstream of the port entrance.

COOPER CREEK RESERVOIR: rainbow trout, bass, bluegill

Cooper Creek has been stocked with over 10,000 rainbow trout in 2016. Fishing for bass and bluegill should be productive. Dropping soft plastics in clear areas among weeds should yield positive results.

Cullaby Lake
Cullaby Lake
-Photo by Kathy Munsel, ODFW-

COOS COUNTY LAKES/PONDS: warmwater fish, trout

Fishing for largemouth bass and bluegills is best in mornings and late evenings. Bass will be found in a little deeper water associated with cover, like weedlines or other structure. Bluegill fishing has been good with many fish found in or near shallow water. Plastic worms, shallow crankbaits, topwater lures, and spinner baits are good to use for bass. Bluegills will bite on worms, small jigs, or flies.

Rainbow trout are scheduled to be stocked in several Coos County lakes in early to mid-October. Currently fishing for trout has been decent in the deeper lakes like Eel Lake. Anglers are having success slowly trolling wedding rings.

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

Trout fishing in streams is open until Oct. 31. Fishing with bait is now allowed in streams above tidewater.

Chinook salmon are being caught by anglers trolling near the chip pile all the way up to SOMAR on the Coos River. The bite has been spotty over the weekend but can be very good if you are in the right place. Trolling cut plug herring behind a flasher near the bottom is a good way to catch salmon.

A few hatchery coho have been caught in the lower Coos Bay this past week. There is no season this year for wild coho in Coos Bay but anglers may harvest hatchery coho.

Anglers have been catching a few rockfish along the jetties and submerged rock piles. The marine fish daily bag limit for bottom fish (rockfish) is seven fish and a separate daily limit for lingcod (two). Anglers can only keep 3 blue rockfish and 1 canary rockfish as part of their daily limit and there will be no harvest of China, quillback, or copper rockfish. Retention of one cabezon per day is allowed as of July 1.

Crabbing continues to be very good for people crabbing from boats. A few legal size crab have been caught off the docks in Charleston.

Recreational harvest of bay clams remains open along the entire Oregon coast. Clamming is excellent during low tides near Charleston, off Cape Arago Highway, and Clam Island. There are also good places to dig clams even on positive low tides in Coos Bay.

Recreational harvest of razor clams is closed from the north jetty of the Siuslaw River south to the California border due to elevated levels of domoic acid. This includes all beaches and all bays. Before any shellfish harvest trip, make sure to check the Oregon Department of Agriculture website for any updates. September 23, 2016: Entire Oregon coast closed to razor clam and mussel harvesting

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

Trout fishing in streams is open until Oct. 31. Fishing with bait is now allowed in streams above tidewater.

Anglers have been trolling for Chinook salmon on the lower Coquille River up to Bear Creek. Fishing for salmon has been very sporadic this past week. A few hatchery coho have been caught in the lower Coquille. There is no season this year for wild coho in the Coquille but anglers may harvest hatchery coho.

Fishing for smallmouth bass has been good in the mainstem and South Fork Coquille. Jigs, crawdad crankbaits, and nightcrawlers will all work to catch smallmouth bass.

Anglers have been catching a few legal striped bass in the Coquille upstream from the town of Coquille.

Crabbing has been decent for boat crabbers across from Bandon in the lower Coquille. Crabbing will continue to improve in the next few months.

DIAMOND LAKE: trout

As part of the new regulation simplification process, Diamond Lake is now back to the Southwest Zone regulation of 5 trout/day.

Anglers that are planning on taking a trip to Diamond Lake should check with the Umpqua National Forest (541-498-2531) or Diamond Lake Resort for information on seasonal camp and ramp closures.

Fishing has been good. Most anglers have had success using Powerbait or trolling small lures. Diamond Lake was stocked with around 300,000 fingerling rainbow trout in early June, and there are plenty of legal-sized holdover trout currently in the lake. Diamond Lake was stocked with Tiger Trout in early June. These fish are intended to assist in controlling illegally introduced Tui Chub. Tiger Trout are catch-and-release only and need to be released immediately unharmed.

Anglers can check fishing and water conditions at Diamond Lake on the Diamond Lake Resort website, or call their toll free number at 1-800-733-7593, ext. 5 for updates. Water quality has diminished on the south end of the lake. There are no current water quality warnings for the lake. Please contact Oregon DEQ with questions at 541-686-7838.

ELK RIVER: Cutthroat

Cutthroat are spread throughout the river but access is very limited in the lower river.

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

Fishing for bass, crappie, and other warmwater fish should be good. With the low reservoir levels fish will be away from shore in 20-30 feet of water. Look for humps and structures on the bottom. There’s not much in the way for flooded vegetation until the reservoir fills again. Emigrant Reservoir is currently at 24 percent of capacity. Currently the West boat ramp is closed, but boats can be launched at the North boat ramp which has a dock.

EXPO POND: rainbow trout, largemouth bass, bluegill, black crappie

Fishing for largemouth bass, bluegill, and black crappie should be good in the morning and evening. Trout fishing has been slow.

Access from Gate 1.5 will get you to the southernmost pond, which was stocked earlier this year with rainbow trout. Gate 5, which leads to the RV park is open as well. A day use fee to park here is now $4. An annual parking permit can be purchased from Jackson County Parks Department for $30.

Fish Lake
Fish Lake boat ramp with reservoir at 37 percent full, end of August 2016. Boaters should watch out for submerged logs and other low water-related hazards this time of year
-Photo by Dan Vandyke-

FISH LAKE: rainbow trout, brook trout, spring Chinook

Water clarity at Fish Lake has been improving, but algae is still present. 900 trophy trout are scheduled to be stocked in Fish Lake the week of Sept. 19-23. The reservoir is now at 32 percent full and submerged stumps are showing. The USFS boat ramp is barely usable. The Resort ramp should still be fine for boat launching. Smaller flat bottomed boats should not be a problem. Anglers are encouraged to report catches and send photos of larger spring Chinook or tiger trout to the local ODFW district office at 541-826-8774. Tiger trout must be released unharmed.

FLORAS LAKE: rainbow, cutthroat trout

Warmer water and increased vegetation growth has slowed trout fishing. Best times to fish is early morning or late evening. The best method for catching trout is slow trolling flies or wedding ring spinners from a boat. Bank access is limited. This lake can be very windy. Anglers should check the weather before heading out.

Anglers can launch at an improved boat ramp at Boice Cope County Park. Boat anglers are reminded to clean all aquatic vegetation off their boats and trailers before heading home to help control the spread non-native plants and animals.

GALESVILLE RESERVOIR: rainbow trout, bass, coho smolts

In addition to trout, the reservoir has also been stocked with coho smolts for the last few years and there have been reports of them being caught in good numbers on the lake. Many people mistakenly think these fish are kokanee. The coho smolts should be adipose fin-clipped, and please remember to release the ones less than 8-inches long.

In Galesville Reservoir, all landlocked salmon are considered trout and are part of the five-per-day trout limit, with only one trout over 20-inches long allowed for harvest. Galesville has been stocked with about 8,000 legal size trout and 50 trophy trout over five pounds each this year.

Fishing for bass and other panfish with the use of bait and artificial lures such as swimbaits around structure should give positive results. Call 541-837-3302 for information on camping and boat launching conditions.

GARRISON LAKE: rainbow, cutthroat trout

Fishing is slow.

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

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

Hemlock Lake has been stocked with approximately 6,000 legal size plus rainbow trout so far in 2016, and Lake in the Woods has been stocked with approximately 1,000 legal size plus rainbow trout as well. In addition, there are still opportunities to catch holdover rainbow trout that were stocked in previous years. Remember only trout over 8-inches may be harvested, and only one trout over 20-inches may be kept per day.
Howard Prairie
Launching larger boats is not a problem at Howard Prairie boat ramp at the end of August 2016
-Photo by Dan VanDyke, ODFW-
Mt. View Ramp
The Mountain View boat ramp at Hyatt Lake is still functional at the end of August, 2016, but the end of the pavement is not far away.
- photo by Dan Vandyke, ODFW-

HOWARD PRAIRIE RESERVOIR:

Fishing for trout has been improving again for trout as temperatures have cooled down a bit. Surface temps were in the 65 degree range this weekend. Reports of trout in the 14-19 inch size range are being caught by both bank anglers and trollers.

Fishing for smallmouth bass should be good.

The lake is now 49 percent full. Visibility in the lake is improving and shouldn’t significantly affect fishing. With dropping lake elevation, boaters should be aware of submerged stumps and islands posing a hazard particularly around Buck Island. Not all water hazards can be marked with dropping reservoir levels. For best results under these conditions, get an early start when the fish are more active. Try using a threaded nightcrawler under a bobber or powerbait fished off the bottom. When water clarity is good, trolling with a wedding ring/bait combination and sliding sinker is a tried and true method on this lake. Legal-sized trout have been stocked to complement trout stocked last year and a good number of 15-20 inch holdovers.

Boat access at the Marina ramp is still in good condition. Klum Landing boat ramp is still usable but the campground is now closed. Willow Point ramp and campground is now closed for the season.

This past weekend anglers caught mostly smallmouth bass, however some trout were caught.

HYATT LAKE: rainbow trout

During this time of year, fishing for trout is best in the morning, and in water 25-35 feet deep. Stocked legals and some trophy trout are still being caught. Anglers fishing from shore will want to concentrate on the deeper water near the dam if they are targeting trout. Fishing for largemouth bass has been good.

The reservoir is 42 percent full. The Cascade boat ramp is still operational, but the dock is completely out of the water. Wildcat boat ramp is a gravel unimproved boat ramp. Users are advised to launch at their own risk.

ILLINOIS RIVER: trout, steelhead

The Illinois River is open for trout angling. Since only hatchery trout may be retained, and hatchery trout are not likely to be to be found in the Illinois River at this time of year, fishing will be primarily catch-and-release for the native cutthroat trout.

LAKE MARIE: rainbow trout, yellow perch

Lake Marie has been stocked with 5,000 legal trout this year. Most anglers use PowerBait or worms. Perch fishing has been somewhat slow, but should continue to be productive for those using worms on the bottom.

LAKE SELMAC: trout, largemouth bass, bluegill, crappie

Trout fishing should be improving with decreasing water temperatures. Warm water fishing should still be good. Under these conditions, good techniques include crappie jigs, worms under a bobber, and flies retrieved slowly behind a casting bubble (fished a couple of feet below the surface)

Bass fishing is also good right now with crank baits or top water lures in the morning, and tube jigs and plastics fished near submerged vegetation as the day goes on. Only one bass may be harvested per day at Lake Selmac. 

LEMOLO RESERVOIR: brown trout, rainbow trout, kokanee

This reservoir is stocked several times a year with rainbow trout of various sizes, and the lake has been stocked with 4,500 rainbow trout so far in 2016.

There are also excellent opportunities to catch large brown trout in Lemolo with many anglers having luck trolling in deeper areas of the reservoir or casting spinners from shore.

Kokanee in Lemolo are considered trout and therefore fall under the daily limit for trout of 5 per day and 1 over 20 inches. Contact Lemolo Lake Resort at 541-957-8354 for weather/road conditions and additional information.

LOON LAKE: rainbow trout, bass, bluegill

Loon Lake has been stocked with 7,500 legal size rainbow trout this year. The lake should offer decent fishing for crappie, bluegill and bass. Anglers should use slow presentations with lures or bait for best results as water temperatures increase.

Visit the BLM and Loon Lake Resort websites for information on opening dates and camping this summer.

LOST CREEK: rainbow trout, bass

Trout fishing is still good at Lost Creek. Another stocking of legal and trophy trout is scheduled for the week of Oct. 3-7.

Surface water temperatures have dropped to 65 degrees and the fall months are shaping up to continue the good trout fishing here. Trollers have caught fish along the dam, along the shoreline to the right of the marina, and upstream of the Hwy. 62 Bridge trolling with a wedding ring. Bank anglers are catching fish near the Takelma ramp and near the marina and spillway using Powerbait or threading a nightcrawler below a bobber.

Fishing for largemouth bass and smallmouth bass should also be good. The lake is 43 percent full.

MEDCO POND: rainbow trout, largemouth bass, bluegill

Fishing for largemouth bass and bluegill should be good. Small night crawlers fished under a bobber from shore should produce bluegill throughout the day. Senkos actively fished close to submerged vegetation/logs is not a bad method for bass. Early evenings should have a good bass bite. Boat anglers are reminded that gas engines are not allowed on Medco Pond.

Remember that many warmwater species can be found close to shore near structure, and it is possible to cast out too far to catch fish.

Siletz River

A salmon fisherman at the mouth of the Siletz River near Taft Pier in Lincoln City -Photo by Joshua Carpenter, PSMFC-

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

September 23, 2016: Entire Oregon coast closed to razor clam and mussel harvesting

Recreational harvest of crab is open along the entire Oregon Coast.

Razor clamming is closed south of the north jetty of the Siuslaw River.

Recreational ocean salmon fishing from Cape Falcon to Humbug Mt. is open for Chinook salmon. Anglers are allowed two salmon per day with a minimum size for Chinook at 24 inches or larger. The non-selective coho season opened on Sept. 3 and will remain open through the earlier of Sept. 30 or reaching the 7,500 coho quota. As of Sept. 11, 70 percent of the quota remains.

The Nearshore Halibut season is open seven days a week from Cape Falcon to Humbug Mt. As of Sept. 4, six percent of the nearshore quota remains. The Summer All-Depth Halibut season had 27 percent of the quota remaining as of Sept. 3. Please monitor the marine zone updates for season information.

Fishing for bottom fish is now closed outside of a line approximating the 20-fathom curve. On Oct. 1, fishing for bottom fish will open back up to all-depths.

Fishing for black rockfish has been good from Coos Bay south to Bandon. Fishing for ling cod has been decent. The marine fish daily bag limit is seven fish and a separate daily limit for lingcod (two). Anglers can only keep 3 blue rockfish and 1 canary rockfish as part of their daily limit and there will be no harvest of China, quillback, or copper rockfish. Anglers may harvest one cabezon per day.

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

PLAT I RESERVOIR: rainbow trout, bass

Plat I has been stocked with 4,500 legal size trout this year. In addition to trout fishing, the lake also has good bass fishing. Anglers may have success catching trout and bass with bait such as PowerBait and nightcrawlers where access is available.

Some of the trout may have copepods which are tiny parasites on their bodies and gills. These are not harmful to humans, but the lesions can be removed and the meat should be thoroughly cooked.
 
REINHART POND: trout, largemouth bass, bluegill

Angling for bass and other warmwater gamefish should be getting better with temperatures cooling. Temperatures here are in the mid 60’s.

ROGUE RIVER

Rogue River, lower: steelhead, half pounders, fall Chinook

Salmon fishing has picked up in the bay as flows in the river have dropped. Most of the fish being caught are Chinook but a few coho have started to show up in the catch. Boat and bank anglers fishing the lower river have been picking up salmon side drifting eggs or anchoring up and back bouncing.

Half pounder steelhead are spread throughout the lower river. Half pounders are immature steelhead that return to the Rogue this time of year and run 12 to 15 inches. These fish will return back to the ocean in the spring. Anglers can do well fishing spinners or casting flies in the riffles.

As per zone regulations: Anglers are reminded that angling is restricted to artificial flies and lures from Foster Creek upstream to Whiskey Creek from Sept. 1 to Oct. 31.

rogue river
Rogue River
-ODFW Photo-

Rogue River, middle: Chinook salmon, steelhead, trout

Per zone regulations: Anglers are able to keep both hatchery and wild Chinook from Hog Creek to Fishers Ferry through Sept. 30. Summer steelhead are available and fishing has been dependent on when a fresh pod of fish move through the area. Try fishing with nightcrawlers, spinners, and side drifted roe. Fall Chinook Are being caught on sardine wrapped kwickfish/flatfish spoons, roe, and roe/sandshrimp back bounced into holes. This is also a good stretch of river to side drift roe.

The Rogue River is open to trout angling. Only hatchery trout can be retained. Wild trout must be released unharmed. Rainbow trout over 16 inches are considered steelhead in streams and must be tagged as part of the daily salmon/steelhead catch as per zone regulations.

The flow at Grants Pass as of the morning of Sept. 20 was 1190 cfs. The water temperature was fluctuating between 59oF and 65oF. For those interested in checking conditions before getting on the river, the City of Grants Pass Water Division’s website offers information on river conditions at Grants Pass as well as a link to a river camera.

Rogue River, upper: Chinook salmon, steelhead, trout

As per zone regulations: Anglers are reminded that beginning Sept. 1 through Dec. 31, all Chinook angling is closed from Fishers Ferry Boat Ramp upstream to Cole Rivers Hatchery Dam. Angling is also restricted to artificial flies (no bait) from Sept. 1 through Oct. 31 from Fishers Ferry to Cole Rivers Fish Hatchery. Additionally, no added weights or attachments except a bubble or similar floating device attached to the line can be used during the Sept. 1 – Oct. 31 period from Fishers Ferry upstream to Cole Rivers Hatchery Dam. Anglers will be allowed to use artificial lures beginning Oct. 1, but angling for Chinook will remain closed.

Angling pressure has been very light in the upper Rogue. Swinging flies on the margins are a good technique when reservoir releases are at the current levels and dropping Anglers can keep two hatchery steelhead per day.

Anglers can keep five hatchery rainbow trout per day. Non-adipose fin-clipped rainbow trout and all cutthroat trout must be immediately released unharmed. Track the fish returns to Cole Rivers Fish Hatchery by the collection pond tally.

As of Sept 13, a total of 2,586 spring Chinook have been collected at Cole Rivers, with 91 new arrivals for the week. A total of 1,606 summer Steelhead have also entered the hatchery, with 66 new fish entering for the week. The flow at Gold Ray was 1,350 cfs on Tuesday morning, and the water temperature was fluctuating between 56 oF and 61 oF daily. The average release from Lost Creek Reservoir was 1,156 cfs at 55oF on Sept. 13.

Rogue River, above Lost Creek Reservoir: trout

The premier summer trout fishery in the Rogue watershed is the river upstream of Lost Creek Reservoir. The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife is stocking legal-sized rainbow trout each week in the Rogue River upstream of Lost Creek Reservoir. Trout are stocked at most of the campgrounds and bridge crossings between Prospect and Minnehaha Creek.

This area offers good trout fishing, easy access, beautiful scenery, numerous Forest Service campgrounds, and cooler temperatures making this a great destination throughout the week and weekends. Spinners tipped with nightcrawler, or fished by themselves work great up here. It is also a good place for the novice fly angler to try their luck at nymph fishing under an indicator.

SMITH RIVER, Umpqua: striped bass, trout, Chinook salmon

Angling is restricted to artificial flies and lures above tidewater. Retention of adipose fin-clipped steelhead is allowed in tidewater. Sturgeon fishing is catch-and-release only. The daily limit for striped bass is 2 per 24 hour period. Trout is catch-and-release up to Sisters Creek. Chinook opened Aug. 1 in the North Fork up to Johnson Creek and in the mainstem up to Spencer Creek.

SODA SPRINGS RESERVOIR: closed

Tenmile Lake
Tenmile Lake
-Photo by Rick Swart, ODFW-

TENMILE BASIN: trout, bass, yellow perch

Trout fishing has been slow in Tenmile Lakes due to warm water. Trout anglers should fish in the deep water and fishing is usually best in the mornings.

Largemouth bass fishing has been good over the past month. Anglers are catching bass near structure or on the deep end of the weed lines using spinner baits, jigs, or rubber worms. Top water lures have been effective in the early mornings or evenings.

Fishing for yellow perch has been slow in Tenmile Lakes. Anglers fishing along the edge of the weedlines are having the best success. Worms fished near the lake bottom work very well for catching yellow perch.

The water level in the lakes is very low so boat anglers should use caution.

TOKETEE LAKE: brown trout, rainbow trout

Fishing is open in Toketee year-round. For more information call the U.S. Forest Service at 541-498-2531.

UMPQUA HIGH LAKES AND FOREBAYS: trout

Contact the Forest Service at 541-957-3200 for road and trail conditions. Red Top Pond, which offers excellent bank fishing opportunities, has been stocked with 1,500 legal size plus rainbow trout so far in 2016. In addition, there should be plenty of holdover legal-sized trout from previous stockings in those waterbodies. Anglers fishing the high lakes in the Umpqua District are encouraged to e-mail fishing reports.

UMPQUA RIVER, MAINSTEM: steelhead, trout, Chinook

The mainstem Umpqua is closed to wild steelhead harvest, but remains open year-round for adipose fin-clipped steelhead.

Please note the changes in regulations this year on page 33 of the 2016 Oregon Sport Fishing Regulations booklet. On the Main, anglers can harvest 2 wild spring Chinook per day and up to 5 wild springers from Feb. 1 – June 30. From July 1– Dec. 31, you can harvest 2 wild Chinook per day, and in combination with the other salmon/ steelhead recorded on your salmon tag, up to 20 fish total. Fin-clipped hatchery fish can be recorded on a separate hatchery harvest tag that is available. There is no limit on the number of hatchery tags that can be purchased. Daily limits still apply.

Chinook fishing has been picking up in the tidewater portions of the mainstem and should become more and more productive as we continue into September.

Smallmouth bass angling should offer excellent harvest opportunities with warmer water temperatures.

The 50 Places to go fishing within 60 minutes of Roseburg,” handout which is available online or at the office, identifies several good places for salmon and steelhead fishing.

Trout fishing is catch-and-release only in the mainstem; open for retention in the tributaries.

UMPQUA RIVER, NORTH: steelhead, trout

Chinook fishing on the North Umpqua closed on June 30. Summer steelhead angling has slowed down. Please remember all wild steelhead must be released unharmed.

Note that from Oct. 1 through Dec. 31 and Jan. 1 through June 30, fishing in the fly water area is restricted to fly angling only with a single barbless fly. Per the new regulation on page 31, 32 of the 2016 Oregon Sport Fishing Regulations booklet, from Feb. 1 – June 30, two wild Chinook per day can be harvested. Ten wild Chinook may be harvested in the North during this time frame in aggregate with wild Chinook harvested in the Main.

North Umpqua River water levels at Winchester Dam

UMPQUA RIVER, SOUTH: CLOSED

The South Umpqua closes from Sept. 16 through Nov. 30 to protect spawning fall Chinook salmon.

Willow Lake
Willow Lake
-Photo by Rick Swart, ODFW-

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

Fishing for warm water species should be good early and late in the day. Trout fishing should be picking back up with the cooling temperatures. fishing will likely be best early and late in the day with active techniques such as crank baits. Fishing with a nightcrawler under a bobber should be produce throughout the day, and is a great way and easy way to get youngsters in on the action.

Anglers are encouraged to keep illegally introduced, small, stunted yellow perch, with no limits on this species. As of Sept. 20, all boat ramps at Willow Lake are still accessible with the reservoir at 56 percent full.

WINCHESTER BAY: bottomfish, perch

Fishing for bottom fish in the Triangle and South jetty has been successful.

WINCHUCK RIVER: cutthroat

Cutthroat are spread throughout the river, but the best access is the Oregon State Park property located on the North side of the estuary, or upriver off of Forest Service property.

  Southwest Zone Hunting

Howling Wolf
Wolf

OPEN: COUGAR, BEAR, ARCHERY DEER AND ELK (closes Sept. 25), BIRD (Forest Grouse, Quail, Mourning Dove open see regs)

Band-tailed pigeon closes Sept. 23 statewide.

Wolves and coyotes can look alike

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

Use the Oregon Hunting Map to see where to hunt.

COOS COUNTY

Deer/Elk- Bow seasons for deer and elk close Sept. 25. Populations of both are such that hunting should be good. Weather conditions have not been particularly favorable, however. Considering the lack of rain recently and windy conditions fire concerns are rising for timber land owners. Also, in recent months ownership transfers between timber companies have resulted it new companies owning properties in Coos County. Hunters need to research lands they want to hunt and determine who owns the land. There is a good chance hunters will be dealing with companies they have not dealt with before. These companies will likely have different access policies than prior landowners.

Grouse & Quail – Several upland game bird seasons are now open. Both ruffed and “blue” grouse can be found on the coast but in low densities. Hunters chasing blue grouse should concentrate their efforts at higher elevations, along ridgelines, with open understories; hunting tends to be more productive in older growth forested land. Ruffed grouse can be found at lower elevations, along creek and valley bottoms. These birds can also be seen foraging along forest roads in the early morning and evening. Quail production has been down but above our 10-year average. Both California and mountain quail can be found on the coast. Hunters should target older clear-cuts, young forest stands, closed forest roads, and areas with open thickets and mixed timber.

Mourning Doves - The dove season is currently open. Hunters can expect an average year. In addition, keep in mind the non-migratory Eurasian collared doves numbers are on the increase throughout the state and Coos county, and can be taken in addition to the mourning dove bag limit.

Band-tailed Pigeons - The Band-tailed Pigeon season closes Sept. 23. Hunters can expect an average year. Hunters should concentrate their efforts along open creek drainages, ridgeline saddles, and young forest stands at low elevations. Remember, the daily bag limit is 2 birds, with 6 in possession for the season.

Black Bear – The fall hunting season began Aug. 1 and will run through Dec. 31. Early season hunters should target berries patches and riparian areas where bears may concentrate foraging efforts. Early mornings and late evenings will see the majority of bear activity but individual animals can be found throughout the day. A word of caution to hunters, with large changes in private timber ownership throughout the county users need to be aware that access to many areas may have changed. Please contact the appropriate landowners for more information.

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

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

DOUGLAS COUNTY

Elk - A few controlled elk hunts are currently open. Bow season ends Sept. 25. Elk populations are similar to last year so this hunting year will be average. During the early part of the season, hunters should find elk on the northerly slopes and in dense conifer stands. Elk numbers are highest in the Tioga with lower levels in the Dixon, S. Indigo and Melrose units.

Deer - Bow season closes Sept. 25. The General Western Deer Rifle season begins Oct. 1. Deer populations are similar to last year, with low levels at upper elevations and high population levels on the Umpqua Valley floor. Most low elevation lands are privately owned so hunters are reminded to obtain permission before hunting on those lands. During the early part of the season, hunters should find deer on the northerly slopes and near water and green up areas.

cougar
Cougar
-Oregon Fish and Wildlife-

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

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

Black Bear – General bear season is open. Hunters can expect an average year. The dry weather conditions will concentrate bears near streams where foraging will be better. Glass clear cuts and meadows early mornings and late evenings to find bears taking advantage of food sources. Bear numbers are good with the highest numbers in the coast range, and with smaller populations in the Cascades.

Western Gray Squirrel – Squirrel season is currently open. Hunters can expect an average year. Squirrels are widely distributed throughout the county with good numbers in areas of oaks and conifers. Many areas of high squirrel populations are on private lands so hunters are reminded to ask for permission on these lands before hunting.

Grouse & Quail - Upland Gamebird season is currently open. Hunting availability and success for forest grouse should be good this year. Blue grouse success is best in mid to high elevations of the Cascades in partly open conifer stands. Ruffed grouse can be found near creeks mostly at mid elevations of both the Cascades and Coast Range. For quail, success is best in the lower elevation agricultural lands for California quail and mid-elevations of the Cascades and Coast Range near brushy clear cuts on secondary forest roads for Mountain quail. Hunters that kill grouse and Mountain quail are asked to drop off in a paper bag the frozen wing and tail of each grouse at the local ODFW office. Please use one bird per bag with each frozen bag of grouse parts including the species, sex, age, unit and general area of harvest for proper analysis.

Mourning Doves - The dove season is currently open. Hunters can expect an average year. In addition, keep in mind the non-migratory Eurasian collared doves numbers are on the increase throughout the state and Douglas county, and can be taken in addition to the mourning dove bag limit.

Band-tailed Pigeons - The Band-tailed Pigeon season closes Sept. 23. Hunters can expect an average year. Hunters should concentrate their efforts on forested ridgelines with regenerated clear-cuts having adequate elderberry producing areas.

Waterfowl - The regular duck and goose season opens Oct. 15.

Furbearers – Harvest season for most furbearers is currently closed, but pursuit season is currently open for bobcat, fox and raccoon.

JACKSON, JOSEPHINE, CURRY COUNTIES

The Denman Wildlife Area’s annual fee pheasant hunt will continue through Oct. 7. In order to participate hunters must have a valid hunting license and upland game bird validation as well as a $17.00 pheasant tag which allows for the harvest of two rooster pheasants. The shooting hours table in the Oregon Game Bird Regulations apply, for more information refer to page 16 of the Oregon Game Bird Regulations. In addition to the released birds remaining from the youth pheasant hunt there will be almost 500 additional birds released for the fee hunt. Generally 20 birds will be released nightly during the work week and 40 birds released each on Friday and Saturday night until the end of the season.

Band-Tailed Pigeon: Band-Tailed Pigeon season continues through the 23rd. Hunting Permits are required for Band-tailed Pigeon; consult the Oregon Game Bird Regulations for more information.

Deer: Archery deer season has begun and continues until Sept. 25. There was a slight increase in the hunter success rate last year compared to 2014. This upcoming 2016 season should be good as well. Remember that deer in the Dixon, Rogue, and Evans Creek unit typically are at high elevations during the summer and as fall approaches they migrate down to lower elevations; however there are resident deer on the valley floor year round. In the Applegate and Chetco units deer that are present at higher elevations usually only move when pushed out by severe weather. Remember when heading out this archery season that many areas here in Southwest Oregon are at a fire danger level of Extreme which imposes restrictions based on the land you are hunting on. Visit the US Forest Service or Oregon Department of Forestry websites for more information.

Elk: General Archery Elk season is now open and continues until Sept. 25 for any elk in the Applegate and Sixes units and lands outside of the US Forest Service’s National Forest boundaries in the Rogue, Dixon, and Evans Creek units. Within the National Forest boundaries in the Rogue, Dixon, and Evans Creek unit as well as the entire Chetco unit hunting is restricted to bull elk only. Always refer to the 2016 Oregon Big Game Hunting Regulation before heading out to hunt. This is expected to be an average harvest year with a slight increase in hunter success in 2015 compared to previous years. During the first part of the season when the weather is warmer look for elk in the cooler drainages as well as on north facing slopes. Finding and sitting on active wallows and other water sources can be very productive in hot weather. Remember when heading out this archery season that many areas here in Southwest Oregon are at a fire danger level of Extreme which imposes restrictions based on the land you are hunting on. Visit the US Forest Service or Oregon Department of Forestry websites for more information.

Black Bear
Black Bear
-Oregon Fish and Wildlife-

Bear: Fall black bear season started Aug. 1. Hunters can expect another good year. The Applegate unit has historically had some of the highest harvest in the state so focus your efforts there, however the Rogue and Evans Creek can also be very productive. Huckleberry patches at high elevations are doing very good this year and still have many berries; look for bears feeding in these areas in early morning and late evening. Find out where bears are most likely going to appear by glassing in early mornings and late evenings to spot bears in openings around Southern Oregon. Fawn calls and other predator distress calls can also be a useful tool when trying to harvest a bear. Keep in mind that bears may respond to elk hunters using cow calls. Remember that there is a mandatory check in of your bear skull at an ODFW office or designated collection site within 10 days of harvest, the skull must be unfrozen. See page 29 in the 2016 Oregon Big Game hunting regulations for more information.

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

Denman Wildlife Area: Remember to get your parking permit. Hunters get the permit free with their purchase of an annual hunting license. Reminder, starting April 1 bird dog training will be restricted to within the “dog training area” along Touvelle road except for organized permitted events. Remember to place your parking permit on the dash of your vehicle.

Mourning Doves: Dove season opened Sept. 1, hunters can expect a season very similar to that of 2015. Remember the daily bag limit for Mourning Doves is 15; refer to the 2016 Oregon Game Bird Regulations for more information.

Upland Game Birds: Grouse season is open, the daily bag limit is 3 of each of the two species. Both California Quail and Mountain Quail season opens Sept. 1, the daily bag limit is 10 Quail total. Hunters can expect a below average year as survey numbers of upland game birds have been low. Refer to the 2016 Oregon Game Bird Regulations for more information.

Cougar season is open statewide year-round or until zone quotas are met. Most cougar hunters’ success comes from predator calls, however this time of year archery elk hunters may have cougars responding to their cow calls. Cougars travel many miles a day and often use major ridge lines to find prey, these ridge lines are location for predator calls. Unlike other predators, cougars will usually take longer to come in to predators calls so be prepared to sit for 1 hour or more.

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

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

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 Southwest Zone Wildlife Viewing

COOS COUNTY

Harbor Seal

Harbor Seal
-Photo by Kathy Munsel-

Marine Mammals

Seal and sea lion abundance in coastal waters around Coos County is high at this time of year, especially south of Coos Bay. At Simpson Reef, a heavily used haul out exists. From the lookout, viewers can see California sea lions, Steller sea lions, harbor seals and elephant seals. Do not approach seals and sea lions you may find on Oregon beaches. If you think an animal you find is in trouble, contact your local ODFW office to report the animal or contact the Marine Mammal Stranding Network an (800) 452-7888.

Seabirds

Many sea birds like pigeon guillemots and common murres can be found close to shore along the Oregon coast, right now, because they nest in this area. Since surf tends to be smaller this time of year now is a good time to look for them. Just in case, check surf conditions before you get into places where large waves can be hazardous. Also, even if surf conditions are forecasted to be small always keep an eye on the waves when you are near the ocean and know where your escape route will be if large waves come.

Another interesting bird species to see when you are near the rocky intertidal zone is the black oyster-catcher. These birds are dark brown or black with bright red bills and pink feet. They live their entire lives in or around the splash zone on rocks along the coast. They are non-migratory, so while they are here at anytime during the year they are easiest to observe when surf conditions are small. Since they even nest near the splash zone and are extremely protective of their nests they are often seen chasing other birds that get too close to their territory. 7/5/2016

DOUGLAS COUNTY

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

Reptiles –Lizards and snakes will be taking advantage of morning and evening sun and southern exposed rock formations (and roads) to warm themselves. Turtles will be seen basking on logs and banks of local ponds, streams and reservoirs.

Purple Martin
Purple Martin female
- Photo by Kathy Munsel-

Turkey Vultures - Vultures can be seen soaring high in the sky looking for food or on the ground utilizing expired animals. Also, look for them early mornings perched in a tree sunning themselves with their wings spread warming up. Starting around the last week in September turkey vultures will start migrating south for the winter to Mexico and Central America. Watch for turkey vulture migration roosts where many vultures congregate in groups in anticipation of the coming migration. Over a three week period and by mid-October all vultures will have migrated south. The vultures migrate in large groups (called a “kettle” of vultures) from 12 to 500 with the average being around 40 by riding hot air updrafts and southern thermals late in the afternoons. You can observe the beginning of the migration by looking very high in the sky in the afternoon to see a kettle of vultures soaring on the thermals heading south.

Purple Martin – Purple Martins can be found around Plat I Reservoir, Cooper Creek Reservoir and Ten Mile Lake. Purple Martin is our largest swallow in North America and is uncommon & mainly found in Western Oregon communally nesting usually near a large water body.

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

Migrating Birds - Many species of birds are starting their southward migration so look for species congregating at roosts and feeders or in the air just before or during migration. Some migratory species to watch are: ospreys, turkey vultures, swifts, swallows, cedar waxwings, and some species of flycatchers, warblers, finches and shorebirds.

Hummingbirds –Avoid the commercial hummingbird mixture you can buy in the store since the red dye can produce digestive problems for these small birds. Remember that you can make your own hummingbird food utilizing 4 parts water to 1 part sugar ratio but always make sure the sugar goes completely into solution before hanging up for use.

Common Nighthawk –The nighthawk is a darkish colored bird 9.5 inch long with long pointed wings and white wing patches. Nighthawks are commonly observed flying high in the evening sky catching insects on the wing emitting a nasal peent call. This migratory bird is one of the last birds to migrate to North America for nesting. It can be seen and heard in Western Oregon from cities and towns to woodlands and forests.

Gamebirds –Coveys of California quail are common on the Umpqua Valley floor usually associated with blackberry cover and water. Many blue and ruffed grouse and their young are found in mid to high elevation forested areas in our local mountains. Wild turkeys are very common throughout the Umpqua Valley, usually on private lands in oak savannah habitat. Most pheasants are found in central Douglas County associated with pastures and ranches.

Bats –Look for bats at dawn and dusk. Watch street lights and water bodies, where insects concentrate, bats may show up to eat up to 1000 insects per hour.

JACKSON and JOSEPHINE COUNTIES

Mourning Dove

Mourning Dove
- Photo by Dave Budeau, ODFW-

Mourning Doves

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

Denman Wildlife Area

Take one of two trails off Touvelle Road and enjoy birdwatching and sightseeing. This is the time of year when the wildlife area greens up with variety of flowers and wildlife. Below the fourth pond and to the north, you will find the newly built horse trail (2.5 mile) that provides great views of the Upper Table Rock and opportunities to see birds that live in oak trees, wedge leaf ceanothus and areas of riparian vegetation along the Little Butte Creek. The trail to the south that runs along the forth pond dike is our interpretive trail, come in to the office and pick up and interpretive trail guide. You will learn of some of the history of the wildlife area and the different environment unique to our area. A wide variety of wildlife can be found along this 1 ½ mile trail.

A covered viewing station on the Denman Wildlife Area provides a good opportunity to view waterfowl, egrets, raptors and songbirds. The structure was built by the Oregon Hunters Association and is accessed by a paved, ADA-accessible pathway. Two additional fishing dikes have been created to provide more fishing access. It is on Whetstone Pond, just north of the ODFW Rogue Watershed Field Office in Central Point.

There have been recent sightings of the Common Nighthawk and American Kestrel on the wildlife area and to the west near Table Rock and Kirtland Ponds.

On the Coast

Shorebirds are currently migrating north and can be observed on area beaches and the Rogue Bay. Ospreys are actively fishing in the Rogue estuary and also nesting on the Lower Rogue. Several nests are observable from the Jerry Flat Road along the Rogue River.

Harbor seals can be observed in estuaries throughout the South Coast. Look for sandy haul out sites. Remember, spring is when seals have their pups they are often left on their own most of the day so please observe these animals from a distance. If you find pups on the beach, leave them where you found them—mother knows where they are.

For a great birding trail along the southern coast, visit Oregon Birding Trails. (8/30/2016)


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