Weekend fishing opportunities
- Several lakes in Coos County have been recently stocked, including Empire and Tenmile lakes that were stocked last week.
- April is typically a good month to fish for striped bass in the Coquille River.
- Cool, wet conditions this week could really improve spring Chinook fishing on the lower Rogue River.
- Floras Lake will be stocked this week with legal and trophy-sized trout.
- Howard Prairie Reservoir and Hyatt Lake will be stocked this week and open to fishing this Saturday.
2014 trout stocking
The 2014 trout stocking schedule for the SW Zone is available on-line.
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, bluegill, crappie, bullhead
Fishing for warmwater gamefish has been good. Largemouth bass, crappie, and other warmwater species can be found around structure along the shore. Anglers will do best by fishing bait or working lures slowly. Fishing likely will be best on the warmer afternoons. Agate Lake is 100 percent full.
APPLEGATE RESERVOIR: largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, trout
Applegate Reservoir will be stocked this week with 12,000 legal-sized rainbow trout. Fishing should be good for these stocked trout as well as for larger trout from last year’s stocking. Applegate Reservoir is 83 percent full. All the boat ramps and the campground at Hart-Tish Park are scheduled to be open for the weekend.
The streams in Oregon above the reservoir will open to trout fishing this Saturday, April 26, with a trout bag limit of two per day and an eight-inch minimum length.
APPLEGATE RIVER: rainbow and cutthroat trout, winter steelhead
The Applegate River is currently closed to fishing but will re-open on May 24 for trout fishing. Consult the regulations for more information.
ARIZONA POND: rainbow trout
Trout fishing has been good for anglers. Bobber fishing with worms or casting flies or spinners all work well. The pond will be stocked throughout the spring and is a great place to take a kid. The pond is managed by Oregon Parks and Recreation Department and is open only to youth 17 and under.
BEN IRVING RESERVOIR: rainbow trout, bass, bluegill, yellow perch, crappie
-U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service-
The reservoir was stocked with about 3,500 trout during March and another 500 trout were stocked in April. A few may be just shy of legal size for harvest. Warmwater fishing for bass and crappie will be best around the edges where there is some structure. Jigging with crappie tubes in the electric motor section has been successful recently.
BURMA POND: rainbow trout
Burma Pond, located on BLM land east of the town of Wolf Creek, will be stocked this week with legal-sized rainbow trout.
Closed to fishing until May 24.
Chetco River flows near Brookings
COOPER CREEK RESERVOIR: rainbow trout, bass, bluegill, yellow perch, bullhead
Cooper Creek has been stocked with about 7,000 trout so far this spring, and will be stocked with about 1,000 more fish in the next couple weeks. A few of the fish may be just shy being legal size for harvest. Trout fishing with PowerBait has been succesful. Some of the trout do 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. Largemouth bass are moving into the shallows for spawning and a nice-sized bass was caught recently at Cooper Creek.
COOS COUNTY Lakes/Ponds: rainbow trout
Empire Lakes and Tenmile Lakes are scheduled to be stocked this week with legal size rainbow trout. Trophy trout are scheduled to be stocked this week in Bradley Lake, Powers Pond, and Empire Lakes. Anglers have been catching trout by fishing PowerBait near the bottom or by casting spoons/spinners. Fly anglers have been catching trout casting and retrieving small streamer or nymph patterns.
COOS RIVER BASIN: Dungeness crab, bay clams, steelhead, rockfish
Steelhead fishing is open in the Coos Basin until April 30. In the Coos Basin, from Dec. 1 through April 30, anglers may keep one additional adipose fin-clipped steelhead per day for a total aggregate of 3 adult fish harvested daily. Anglers wanting to fish the South Fork Coos River should be aware that Weyerhaeuser typically does not allow angling access after the end of March.
Anglers are still catching rockfish and lingcod inside Coos Bay around the jetties, submerged rockpiles, and near the railroad trestle near the Highway 101 Bridge. Fishing is usually best around slack tides.
Crabbing in Coos Bay continues to be fairly slow but some crabbers have been able to harvest some legal size crab.
In a cooperative effort including ODFW and OSU researchers, hundreds of red rock crabs have been tagged with a small blue “floy tag” in Charleston to gain an understanding of their growth, age, movement, population size, and fishery. Red rock crabs are native to Oregon and are found in only a few Oregon estuaries. If you catch a tagged red rock crab please contact the ODFW Charleston office at 541-888-5515.
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. For more information on shellfish in Coos Bay click on the following link: Shellfish Assessment of Coastal Oregon. Before any shellfish harvest trip, make sure to check the Oregon Department of Agriculture website for any updates.
COQUILLE RIVER BASIN: steelhead
|Father and son fishing at Diamond Lake
Steelhead fishing is open in the Coquille Basin until April 30. In the Coquille Basin, from Dec. 1 through April 30, anglers may keep one additional adipose fin-clipped steelhead per day for a total aggregate of 3 adult fish harvested daily.
April is typically a good month to fish for striped bass in the Coquille River. Good places to fish are around the Arago Boat Ramp, Johnson Mill Pond, and Sturdivant Park.
DIAMOND LAKE: trout
Diamond Lake received an additional 16,000 trout in late August. These were 8-inch legal-sized trout. The lake also received about 20,000 sub-legal trout in November. Altogether the lake was stocked with about 206,000 trout in 2013 compared to 166,000 in 2012. This should improve the fishing this year.
The lake is now 100 percent open water. Although the road around the lake and the Forest Service campgrounds are still closed, people can launch boats from the North Boat ramp.
Anglers can check fishing conditions at Diamond Lake on their website, or call their toll free number at 1-800-733-7593, ext 236 or 238 for updates.
DUTCH HERMAN POND: rainbow trout
Dutch Herman Pond, located on BLM land east of the town of Wolf Creek, will be stocked with legal sized rainbow trout this week.
ELK RIVER: Closed to fishing until May 24.
EMIGRANT RESERVOIR: rainbow trout, largemouth and smallmouth bass, crappie
Emigrant has been stocked with legal-sized rainbow trout, so trout fishing should be good. Fishing for bass, crappie, and other warmwater fish should be good as well, especially on the warmer afternoons. The reservoir is currently 71 percent full, and the boat ramps and campgrounds are open.
EXPO POND: rainbow trout, largemouth bass, crappie, bluegill
Expo Pond has been stocked with legal-sized rainbow trout, making this a good destination for anglers looking to catch trout close to home. Angling for largemouth bass, crappie, and other warmwater fish should be good, especially on the warmer afternoons.
-Photo by Daniel Vandyke-
FISH LAKE: rainbow trout, brook trout, spring Chinook
Fish Lake offers fishing for stocked rainbow trout, spring Chinook salmon, tiger trout, and naturally produced brook trout. The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife will stock 5,000 legal-sized rainbow trout this week. Tiger trout must be released unharmed.
The Fish Lake Resort restaurant, boat launch, and campground are open, and the resort has cabins for rent. The Forest Service boat ramp is open; however, a snow park permit is required to park in the Forest Service parking lot through April 30. The Forest Service campground will not open until mid May. Fish Lake is 62 percent full.
Anglers are encouraged to report catches of larger spring Chinook or tiger trout to the local ODFW district office at 541-826-8774.
FLORAS LAKE: rainbow, cutthroat trout
The lake is scheduled to be stocked this week with catchable and trophy trout. Angling from a boat is usually the best, as there is limited bank angling. Anglers can launch at an improved boat ramp at Boice Cope County Park. The lake can be very windy, so anglers will want to check the weather prior to heading out.
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 RESERVIOR: rainbow trout, bass
Galesville Reservoir is open to fishing year-round. In addition to trout, the reservoir has also been stocked with coho smolts for the last couple of years. Many people mistakenly think these fish are kokanee. All of the coho smolts are adipose fin-clipped. The older coho are generally 12 to 14-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. Some hatchery steelheads have recently been placed in Galesville. Galesville has been stocked with about 7,000 trout so far this spring. A few may be just shy of legal size for harvest.
Anglers are reminded all bass between 12 and 15 inches must be released, and only one bass over 15 inches may be taken per day. Call 541-837-3302 for information on camping and boat launching conditions.
-Photo by Wes Niestrath-
GARRISON LAKE: rainbow trout, cutthroat
When the weather has agreed, boat anglers have been catching quite few trout. Boat anglers will want to keep an eye on the weather and fish the lake when there is no wind. Access for bank anglers is best at the 12th Street boat ramp, Arizona Street, or along the foredune accessed through Tseriadun State Park. Garrison Lake is located in the middle of Port Orford.
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.
HEMLOCK LAKE & LAKE IN THE WOODS & Umpqua High Lakes: trout
According to the Forest Service the road to Hemlock and Lake in the Woods is now open. Both lakes were stocked last week.
HOWARD PRAIRIE RESERVOIR: rainbow trout, bass
Howard Prairie will open to angling this Saturday, April 26. The lake is stocked with rainbow trout and should offer fair to good angling for trout in the 10 to 14-inch range. The Howard Prairie Resort and adjacent campground is open. The remaining campgrounds will open on Thursday, April 24. Howard Prairie is only 58 percent full.
HYATT LAKE: rainbow trout, largemouth bass
Hyatt Lake will open to angling this Saturday, April 26. The lake has been stocked with rainbow trout. Anglers should not expect high catch rates, but the average size of the trout is quite large, with many of the trout weighing two pounds or more. The Bureau of Land Management boat ramps will be open; however, the campground is not scheduled to open until May 17. The lake is only 49 percent full. The Mountain View Boat Ramp, on the southeast corner of the lake is currently the only ramp suitable for launching larger boats.
ILLINOIS RIVER: trout, steelhead
The Illinois River and its tributaries are closed to all fishing until May 24. Consult the angling regulations for more information.
Illinois River flows at Kerby
LAKE MARIE: rainbow trout
The lake has been stocked with about 2,000 trout and will receive more trout in early April. Most anglers use PowerBait or worms.
LAKE SELMAC: trout, largemouth bass, bluegill, crappie
Lake Selmac has been stocked with legal-sized rainbow trout. Still fishing with PowerBait or worms, or trolling lures should all be productive for trout. Fishing largemouth bass, bluegill, crappie, and other warmwater fish should be good. Anglers targeting warmwater species will do best by fishing bait or working lures slowly. Look for fish to move into the shallow areas along the shore on the warm afternoons.
LEMOLO RESERVOIR: rainbow trout, brown trout, kokanee
Opened for fishing April 1. The daily trout limit is 5 per day, but from April 1 – April 26, all brown trout must be released. Brown trout can be retained as part of the daily trout limit from April 27 – October 31. In addition to brown trout, Lemolo has rainbow trout and kokanee. The Poole Creek boat ramp should be accessible unless additional snow falls. Lemolo was recently stocked with 2,000 rainbow trout and will receive more trout in early May. Lemolo Lake Resort is open and can provide information on the latest conditions and fish tips. View their Web site or call 541-957-8354. Spring trout fishing can be very productive.
-U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service-
LOON LAKE: rainbow trout, bass, bluegill
Loon Lake was stocked with about 7,500 trout so far this spring. The lake can also provide good fishing for crappie, bluegill and bass as the water warms up. The Loon Lake Resort boat ramp is now open.
LOST CREEK RESERVOIR: rainbow trout, spring Chinook, bass
The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife stocked Lost Creek Reservoir with 20,000 legal-sized rainbow trout last week. Trout fishing has been good at Lost Creek Reservoir for both the stocked trout and larger trout remaining from last year’s stocking. Fishing has also been good for stocked spring Chinook that reach 16-17 inches long. Anglers fishing from the bank have taken limits of rainbows using Powerbait, while boat anglers are doing well by trolling wedding ring spinners tipped with worms.
Fishing for largemouth and smallmouth bass should be improving as the fish move into shallower water.
Lost Creek is currently 99 percent full and the surface temperature is 57oF.
MEDCO POND: rainbow trout, largemouth bass, bluegill
Fishing has been good for rainbow trout and bluegill. The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife will stock the pond with 2,000 legal-sized rainbow trout this week.
PACIFIC OCEAN AND BEACHES: bottomfish, Dungeness crab, salmon, surf perch
Recreational Dungeness crabbing is open in the ocean.
Fishing for bottom fish including rockfish, and lingcod is now closed outside of the 30-fathom curve until the end of September. Fishing for bottom fish has been good when the ocean has been calm enough to get out. Late winter/early spring is a great time to catch big lingcod in fairly shallow water. The marine fish daily bag limit is seven fish and a separate daily limit for lingcod (two). Retention of cabezon is not allowed until July 1.
Salmon season (except for coho) is open in the ocean from March 15 – April 30. The ocean salmon season for the rest of the 2014 will be determined in early April. Some chinook salmon have been caught between Bandon and Charleston.
Anglers are starting to pick up a few surf perch. Fishing is usually best on the incoming tide. Anglers have good success using sand shrimp or sand worms for catching surf perch.
PLAT I RESERVOIR: rainbow trout, warmwater fish
In addition to trout fishing, the lake also has good bullhead fishing. Bass can be harvested from March 1 to Oct. 31 and are catch-and-release only from Nov. 1-Feb. 29. The bass will be moving into the shallows this time of year. The reservoir received about 3,500 trout so far this spring.
REINHART PARK POND: trout
Reinhart Park Pond has been stocked this week with 900 legal-sized rainbow trout, so trout fishing should be excellent.
Fishing for bluegill and crappie should be good as well.
Rogue River, lower: steelhead, spring Chinook
Spring Chinook are spread throughout the lower river, but low and clear river conditions is making it tough on anglers trying to catch them. Cool and wet conditions this week may really improve the fishing on the lower river. Before heading out, anglers should check river flows, water temperatures, and tides as these are all important to catching spring Chinook.
The steelhead run in winding down, but anglers can still expect to catch a few steelhead in April.
Rogue River, middle: steelhead, trout
Angling for winter steelhead is slowing down now that many of the fish have spawned and are heading downstream. Drifting bait, backtrolling plugs, casting spinners, and fly fishing are still producing some fish. A few spring chinook have been caught in the middle Rogue, but there are not many of these fish this far upriver yet. The flow at Grants Pass was 2,110 cfs and the water temperature was 58°F on April 21.
The Rogue River is closed to trout fishing until May 24. Consult the regulations for more information.
Rogue River, upper: steelhead, trout
-Photo by Ross Henshaw-
Anglers are still catching winter steelhead on the upper Rogue; however, many of the fish have spawned and are heading downstream. Drifting bait, backtrolling plugs, casting spinners, and fly fishing are all productive techniques.
The release from Lost Creek Reservoir was 1,520 cfs and the water temperature was 48°F on April 21. The flow at Gold Ray was 1,910 cfs with a water temperature 54°F. The past week, 669 winter steelhead entered the collection pond at Cole Rivers Hatchery bringing the season total to 2,604. The second spring chinook of the season also entered the hatchery.
Trout fishing is closed on the Rogue River until May 24. Consult the regulations for more information.
Rogue River, above Lost Creek Reservoir: trout
This reach of the Rogue is open to trout fishing year-round; however, the first stocking of rainbow trout for this year will not occur until late May. Holdover rainbow trout, and naturally produced rainbow, cutthroat, brown and brook trout are available in the river and in many tributaries. Lower flow levels this spring should make for better early-season fishing.
SIXES RIVER: Closed to fishing until May 24.
SMITH RIVER, Umpqua: steelhead, sturgeon, striped bass
The mainstem Smith from the mouth to Spencer Creek and the North Fork to Johnson Creek closes for chinook and finclipped steelhead from April 1 until May 24. It remains open for fin-clipped steelhead from Spencer Creek upstream to Sisters and from Johnson Creek to Bridge 10 through the end of April. Anglers will start fishing for strippers as spring progresses.
SODA SPRINGS RESERVOIR: Closed to fishing.
SPALDING POND: rainbow trout
Spalding Pond is scheduled to be stocked this week with legal-sized rainbow trout.
TENMILE BASIN: steelhead, largemouth bass, trout
Steelhead fishing is open in the Tenmile Basin until April 30. Most steelhead anglers have put away their steelhead fishing gear for the year. In the Tenmile Basin, from Dec. 1 through April 30, anglers may keep one additional adipose fin-clipped steelhead per day for a total aggregate of 3 adult fish harvested daily.
Fishing for largemouth bass is starting to pick up in Tenmile Lakes. Look for actively feeding fish along the shoreline in the warmer shallow water. Anglers will have the best success with slower moving lures.
Trout fishing in Tenmile Lakes should start to pick up this month as the water temperatures warm up. Most trout anglers in Tenmile troll wedding rings or other types of spinners usually tipped with a night crawler. Hatchery rainbow trout will be stocked in Tenmile Lakes this week.
TOKETEE LAKE: brown trout, rainbow trout
Fishing is open in Toketee year-round. Fishing for brown trout has been good with the recent warmer tempertures. The campground and boat ramp are now open. For more information call the U.S. Forest Service at 541-498-2531.
UMPQUA HIGH LAKES AND FOREBAYS: trout
Clearwater Forebay #2 was recently stocked with 1,000 rainbow trout and will be stocked again in early May. Hemlock and Lake in the Woods were also stocked, but Red Top will not be stocked until mid-May.
For brook trout anglers should try Cliff, Buckeye, Skookum (North Umpqua), Maidu, Twin and Wolf lakes. Linda, Pitt Lake, and Calamut have been stocked with a native rainbow for the last couple of years. Bullpup and Fuller still have brook trout, but were also recently stocked with some fingerling native rainbows. Contact the Forest Service at 541-957-3200 for road and trail conditions. The roads to these lakes are not plowed during the winter, but there has been very little snowpack this year.
UMPQUA RIVER, MAINSTEM: steelhead
Randy Johnson plays a steelhead
-Photo by Andy Martin-
The mainstem Umpqua is closed to wild steelhead harvest, but remains open year-round for adipose fin-clipped steelhead. This fishery is primarily catch-and-release since the number of hatchery fish is relatively low compared to the number of wild fish. People interested in harvesting a steelhead should fish the South Umpqua from late January through April.
Springers have started to arrive. Most anglers will start fishing in the Scottsburg area and move upstream as the season progresses. A nice 40-pound springer was recently caught in the Elkton area. Water temperatures have dropped this week and the forecast is for an increase in flows by Friday. This should help boat access, but may slow the bite.
The shad should start arriving by early May. Smallmouth bass fishing will improve as the river warms up. The mainstem Umpqua is closed to trout fishing until the spring trout opener May 24.
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.
Umpqua River flows near Elkton
UMPQUA RIVER, NORTH: steelhead, spring chinook
Rock Creek Hatchery is once again open for visitors. The hatchery is open to visitors from 7:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. The new RockEd facility is lacking displays, but can be opened on request by calling the hatchery at 541-496-3484.
Remember all wild steelhead must be released unharmed. Through the end of March over 9,000 winter steelhead have been counted. The first springer passed Winchester Dam on March 16. More will be arriving when the water temperatures increase.
Anglers are starting to have some success fishing for springers from Amacher and up in the Swiftwater area.
Note that from Oct. 1 through June 30, angling in the fly water area is restricted to a single barbless artificial fly which can be dressed with conventional fly tying material. Remember that from March 1 through July 31 the anti-snag gear restrictions apply on the north from the Lone Rock boat ramp upstream to the fly area boundary above Rock Creek. The Mainstem from Soda Springs Dam, including Soda Springs Reservoir, up to Slide Creek Dam is closed year-round to angling.
North Umpqua River water levels at Winchester Dam
UMPQUA RIVER, SOUTH: winter steelhead
The South Umpqua is open for winter steelhead fishing through April 30. The South Umpqua is then closed to all fishing until May 24. Most hatchery steelhead return to the South Umpqua, so anglers interested in harvesting a hatchery fish will be most successful in the South. The rain has improved conditions on the South, but there has been very little fishing pressure lately.
Closes to all fishing May 1 – May 23.
WILLOW LAKE: rainbow trout, largemouth bass, black crappie, brown bullhead
Willow Lake has been stocked with legal-sized rainbow trout. Trolling or casting spoons or spinners has been productive, as has still fishing with worms or PowerBait. The boat ramp and campground are open, and the lake is currently 99 percent full.
WINCHESTER BAY: steelhead
Steelhead will be migrating up the Umpqua for the next several months as they transition from winter steelhead to summer steelhead. Most steelhead fishing in the lower Main is catch and release. Fishing the Triangle and South Jetty has been good for rockfish.
Closed to fishing until May 24.
OPEN: COUGAR, COYOTE, SPRING BEAR (SW tags sold out), SPRING TURKEY
Wolves and coyotes can look alike
Most wolves in the state today are in northeast Oregon but a few have dispersed further west and south. Wolves are protected by state and/or federal law and it is unlawful to shoot them. Coyote hunters need to take extra care to identify their target as wolves can look like coyotes, especially wolf pups in the mid-summer and fall. ODFW appreciates hunters’ assistance to establish wolves’ presence in Oregon; please report any wolf sightings or wolf sign to ODFW using the online reporting system.
Use the Oregon Hunting Map to see where to hunt.
Spring turkey hunting is now open; see the turkey hunting forecast for what to expect. Turkey populations are in good shape in Coos County. The best hunting is generally in locations associated with agriculture on private land. Hunters must get permission to hunt on private land unless they own the land. As a result, pre-hunt scouting is imperative. Scouting in the early morning as the birds are leaving roosts and going to strutting areas is generally the most beneficial in preparing for a hunt.
Spring Black Bear season is open and hunters are beginning to report finding more bears as the season progresses. Generally, bears are most active on clear, sunny, warm days. So if the weather forecast is for sunny conditions bear hunting should be good. Bears will generally be found on open slopes where grass is vigorously growing. Bears are feeding on grass. Often the best and most attractive grass will be found on south slopes but this is not always the case. Due to the fact that it is still early in the season hunters should be slow and methodical in their search for bears. Bear activity can be expected to increase as the season goes on.
Most bears are takes during the last three weeks of the season when the rut for bears begins and their activity is at its peak. Hunters are reminded to check in bears they harvest within ten days of harvest. It is important that hunters call the ODFW office where they intend to check harvested bears in to so a biologist can be available.
- Royalty Free Image-
Cougar hunting is 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.
Turkey – Turkey season is open thru May 31. Last year’s chick/poult counts showed slightly below average production but hunters can expect the spring gobbler hunt this year to be excellent. Over the last 12 years all indicators point to a healthy turkey population in Douglas County. While the hens are off nesting the first part of the season most toms are found on private land sometimes adjacent to public lands. In general, most turkeys are found on or adjacent to low-mid elevation private lands associated with oak savannah habitat. Hunters are reminded to obtain permission before hunting on private lands. Local public lands augmented with turkeys last winter include Tallow Butte and Devil’s Knob in the South Umpqua and N. Bank Habitat Area, Toketee Airstrip and Little Oak Flats in the North Umpqua drainage.
Cougar – Opened on January 1st. 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.
Bear – Continues through May 31st. Bear numbers are good with the highest numbers at lower elevations in the coast range with lower numbers elsewhere in the coast range and Cascades. Hunters can focus on open meadows early in the morning or late in the afternoon. Successful bear hunters are required to check in the skull within 10 days of the kill.
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.
JACKSON, JOSEPHINE, CURRY COUNTIES
The Jackson Cooperative Travel Management Area is in effect. This agreement between government agencies and private partners provides hunters with access to a variety of lower elevation areas to hunt. Now that hunting seasons are over the roads continue to remain closed within designated areas unless posted to provide very little disturbance to wildlife especially deer and elk. Maps can be obtained online through ODFW’s website; click on the Oregon Hunting Access Map
Denman Wildlife Area: Remember to get your parking permit. Hunters get the permit free with their purchase of an annual hunting license. Display on car dash.
Bears – Season open thru May 31. Tags for this hunt are provided on a first-come, first-serve basis and are sold out. Bear numbers in the entire region remain high, with highest densities near the coast and the Applegate unit retaining one of the highest harvests for the state. With little rain or snow over the last several months and warm temperatures, bear activity may come earlier this year. Boars will likely to be early with females arriving later in the season. When bears are out they will be feeding in grassy openings. Focus on south facing hill sides in the early mornings and evenings. Good spots to check are skid roads and side roads that are untraveled with lots of grassy margins and bear sign.
- National Wild Turkey Federation-
Turkey – General season open thru May 31. Hunters can expect a good turkey season. A more successful 2013 nesting season and a mild winter resulted in a slight increase in turkey numbers for this season. Within Jackson, Josephine and Curry County there are large portions of public land where turkeys are located although private land has more visible turkeys. Don’t be afraid to ask private landowners for permission to hunt their land. Turkeys can cause problems for landowners and they are often willing to allow access to their lands. Turkeys will be feeding on green grasses and insects. Use locator calls before light or after dark to locate roosting trees; then set up in an area of their travel and begin calling as light approaches. Most turkeys are found in low-mid elevation of oak and conifer mixed forests with their associated meadows and clearings. Turkeys are found on most BLM lands and lower elevation Forest Service lands.
Cougar season is open statewide year-round or until zone quotas are met. Hunters are encouraged to carry a cougar tag while hunting other animals; you never know when an opportunity will come available. Most cougar hunters’ success comes from predator calls.
Western Gray Squirrel season remains open year round with no bag limit in that part of the Rogue Unit south of Rogue River and S. Fork Rogue River and North of Hwy 140. 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.
Neo-tropical migrants including Common Yellow Throats are beginning to appear near local wetlands. Many of them are feeding on insects during insect hatches. On days when conditions are good for hatches, birds capitalizing on this food source may be found in profusion and the level of their activity is entertaining to watch.
Good places to watch this interaction are wetlands next to East Bay Drive, which follows the east side of Coos Bay, wetlands along North Bank Road, which follows the Coquille River from Hwy. 42 to Hwy. 101, and Bandon Marsh National Wildlife Refuge.
|Stellar Sealions - Rogue Reef
-Oregon Fish and Wildlife-
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 look out, 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 fact, in trouble, contact your local ODFW office to report the animal or contact the Marine Mammal Stranding Network an (800) 452-7888.
Rain has caused flooding to occur in inland valleys such as the Coquille. The result is that many waterfowl have left the coastal bays and moved into these valleys. Waterfowl numbers will continue to be high as long as agricultural lands in these areas are flooded. A birding tour on North Bank Lane and Hwy. 42S will provide many opportunities to view waterfowl as they feed in these agricultural fields.
Black Brant flocks are beginning to be seen in good numbers around Coos Bay. These migratory, salt water oriented geese are on their northward migration to the North Slope of Alaska and other nesting areas above the Arctic Circle. Good places to view them can be found along Cape Arago Hwy. in Coos Bay.
If you go to see these birds, take your time and look for birds with neck collars. If you find a collared bird note the color of the collar and the numbers or letters on the collar. Then, when convenient, call your local ODFW office and provide the wildlife biologist that information. The biologist will also want to know specifically where and when you saw the bird so he or she can try to confirm the report. 4/22/14.
CURRY, JACKSON, JOSEPHINE COUNTIES
Bird and Wood Duck Boxes
Now is the time to clean out wood duck boxes and bird boxes. After cleaning out wood duck boxes, it is good to put new cedar wood shavings in them; it is not necessary for bird boxes. It is also good to remove all brush and limbs below the wood duck box so the young to have free access to the ground.
Now is a good time to get out in the woods and look for shed deer and elk antlers.
Upper and Lower Table Rocks
Two great hikes take you through habitats that range from oak savanna and chaparral to woodland. On the summit, a diversity of wildflowers and wildlife can be found along the trails. Spring can provide some of the best viewing times. More information.
A chunky bird the shape of a wren with a short stubby tail, found in western streams, the American Dipper is North America's only truly aquatic songbird. It catches all of its food underwater in swiftly flowing streams by swimming and walking on the stream bottom. Stands about 7 to 8 ½ inched tall.
Denman Wildlife area
Canada Geese mate for life and pairs are breaking off from their flocks to find nesting sites. They will begin claiming and defending a small pond or at least a portion of a larger pond for nesting.
Various dog trials will occur on Denman Wildlife Area from the end of March through April. Come watch as dogs demonstrate their ability to obey commands and perform in the field under hunting conditions.
On the Coast
For a great birding trail along the southern coast, visit Oregon Birding Trails.
Whale watching is good along the coast through the end of May. The northern migration occurs March through May and whales will be cruising closer to shore than they do on the southern migration. Viewing points within Curry County from north to south are Battle Rock, Cape Sebastian, Cape Ferrelo and Harris Beach State Park. 4/8/14.
Various songbirds like Western Bluebirds, Black-headed Grosbeaks, House Wrens, thrushes and various sparrows are present at Stewart Park Duck Pond and Stewart Park trail in Roseburg. Remember to clean out your songbird nesting boxes or put up new boxes now since courtship, nest building and raising nestlings happens for many birds in April and May.
The early arrivals (scouts) have arrived at Plat-I reservoir in Sutherlin and Ten Mile Lakes near Lakeside. The best opportunity to view North America’s largest swallow is in the early morning flying high above the water capturing insects or checking out nesting cavities, nesting boxes or gourds.
Ospreys have returned to the Umpqua Valley from their wintering areas in Central and South America. Ospreys are also known as fish hawks and can be seen flying above rivers or lakes looking for fish in the water. This time of the year, look for male ospreys diving into the water capturing fish, and taking the captured fish back to the female on the nest.
Winter Steelhead and Spring Chinook migrating upstream passing through Winchester dam fish ladder on the N. Umpqua River which is free and open to the public. To view the migrating Steelhead go to exit 129 on I-5, proceed southeast on 99 to the fish ladder on the north side of the river.
The early spring arrivals are here in Roseburg and Sutherlin. The best opportunity to view this swift, which resemble flying cigars, is during the day flying from 50 – 250 feet above the ground or water bodies capturing insects in flight. Also, at dusk look for a concentration of swifts entering brick chimneys or hollow dead trees going into their nighttime roost.
Western Pond Turtles are now being seen on warm sunny days and afternoons at all local reservoirs plus Stewart Park Pond in Roseburg.
Young ducks and geese are showing up at Cooper Creek, Plat I, Galesville and Berry Creek Reservoirs.