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ODFW WEEKLY RECREATION REPORT
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Southwest Zone Map

Weekly Recreation Report: Southwest Zone

September 30, 2014

 Southwest Zone Fishing

rogue river
Rogue River
-ODFW Photo-

Weekend fishing opportunities

  • Coho fishing continues to be very good in Coos Bay.
  • Garrison and Bradley lakes were recently stocked for fall trout fishing.
  • Look for this week’s rain to move Chinook into the lower sections of the Chetco, Elk and Sixes rivers.

2014 Coastal coho and fall Chinook seasons

Now available on the ODFW Web site.

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 Boat Ramp
The boat ramp at Agate Lake is unusable, Sept. 9, 2014
-Photo by Dan VanDyke, ODFW-

AGATE LAKE: largemouth bass, bluegill, crappie, bullhead

Agate Lake is down to 3 percent full and the boat ramp is no longer usable. An estimated 130-acre feet of water remains for anglers wanting to fish for bass and panfish from shore. Jackson County Parks closes the park at 8pm at this time of year.

APPLEGATE RESERVOIR: largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, trout

Applegate Reservoir is 22 percent full. The Hart-tish facility and boat ramp are closed for the season. The Copper ramp may not be usable, but the low water ramp at French Gulch will still be accessible. Cooling temperatures should mean improving conditions for trout anglers now and into the fall.

The Oregon Health Authority issued an advisory recommending that people limit their consumption of largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, yellow perch, bluegill, and crappie taken from Applegate Reservoir due to elevated levels of mercury. Trout are not included in the advisory and remain a healthy choice for those wanting to retain fish for the table.

APPLEGATE RIVER: rainbow and cutthroat trout, winter steelhead

The Applegate River is open for trout fishing with a bag limit of two adipose fin-clipped rainbow trout per day. All other trout must be released. The river is closed to fishing for steelhead and salmon.

ARIZONA POND: rainbow trout

Pond levels have been lowered to help control aquatic vegetation.

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

The reservoir was stocked with about 3,500 trout during March and another 500 trout were stocked in April. An additional 1,000 trout were stocked the first week of September. 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.

CHETCO RIVER: Chinook

Temporary regulations have been adopted for the Chetco River starting Sept. 1, 2014. Anglers should check these regulation changes prior to fishing the river.

Rain this week is expected to raise the river and move chinook throughout the lower river. Before anglers hit the river they need to review the temporary regulations that run through Nov 3.

Chetco River flows near Brookings

COOPER CREEK RESERVOIR: rainbow trout, bass, bluegill, yellow perch, bullhead

Cooper Creek was stocked with about 9,000 trout and received an 2,000 additional trout for fall fishing. 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.

COOS COUNTY Lakes/Ponds: trout

Bradley Lake, Saunders Lake, Powers Pond, Middle Empire Lake, and Butterfield Lake were all stocked this month with fall “trophy” trout. Anglers are having the best success catching trout fishing PowerBait near the bottom. A few anglers are catching trout by casting small spinners or spoons.

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

Trout season is open in the Coos Basin rivers until Oct. 31. The daily limit of trout in streams is 2 fish over 8-inches and anglers can now use bait in all streams and rivers in the Coos Basin.

Chinook salmon fishing has slowed down but anglers continue to catch a few chinook in the Coos River, Millicoma River, and South Fork Coos River. Chinook are being caught trolling cut plug herring or spinners. Bank anglers have been catching chinook at the mouth of Daniels Creek, Coos Bay Boardwalk, and Isthmus Slough. Coho fishing continues to be good in Coos Bay. Anglers are having the best success trolling cut plug herring or spinners from Empire Ramp to the railroad bridge on the north side of the bay. The wild coho season is open in the Coos Basin until Nov. 30. The daily bag limit for wild (unclipped) coho is 1 per day and 2 for the season.

Crabbing in Coos Bay has been good with boat crabbers picking up limits. The best crabbing has been near the jetties but crabbers are getting legal size crab all the way up to the BLM Boat Ramp.

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: trout, salmon, crabbing

Trout season is open in the Coquille Basin rivers until Oct. 31. The daily limit of trout in streams is 2 fish over 8-inches and anglers can now use bait in all streams and rivers in the Coquille Basin.

Anglers are still catching a few chinook salmon throughout the Coquille River but the best fishing has been near the head of tide. Bank anglers have been catching Chinook salmon near Sevenmile Creek casting spinners. Coho fishing has been good from Bandon to Rocky Point Boat Ramp for anglers trolling cut plug herring or spinners. The wild coho season is open in the Coquille Basin until Nov. 30. The daily bag limit for wild (unclipped) coho is 1 per day and 2 for the season.

Crabbing from a boat has been very good in the lower Coquille estuary. Dock crabbers are also picking up a few legal-sized Dungeness crab at Weber’s Pier along the waterfront in Bandon.

DIAMOND LAKE: trout

Fishing has been improving. The lake is cooling down and the fish are moving around more. Most of the fish are 12 to 14-inches, but larger fish are also being caught. The fish are very plump and healthy! Mealy worms and PowerBait have been successful. Some of this year’s fingerlings are nearing 8-inches in length and anglers are also beginning to catch them.

The algae blooms have been off and on. General cautions signs are still in place as a reminder to anglers should another bloom occur. The blooms have been benign. They are more dense in the afternoon after sun has been shinning or the wind has blown the algae toward the shoreline.

For campground information call the Forest Service at 541-498-2531. 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.

ELK RIVER: Chinook

Rain this week should bring Chinook into the lower river.

Fish Lake

Fish Lake from the dam, Sept. 9, 2014
-Photo by Dan VanDyke, ODFW-

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

The reservoir is currently 9 percent full and the boat ramp at the county campground is no longer in use. Anglers fishing from personal watercraft like float tubes or fishing from shore should have good luck on trout, bass and panfish now and into the fall.

FISH LAKE: rainbow trout, brook trout, spring Chinook

Water levels at Fish Lake have dropped below the Bureau of Reclamation measuring gauge, and trailered boats can no longer launch at the lake. Fish Lake was a natural lake before the dam was built, however, so fishable water will remain through the fall. Trout anglers may want to give places like Fish Lake a try from the shore or from small watercraft or float tubes. In addition to stocked rainbow trout, anglers can catch land-locked Chinook salmon, brook trout and tiger trout.

Fish Lake should be great for trout fishing in the coming weeks. The lake bottom near the water line has crusted fairly well so that bank anglers can walk along the shoreline with hiking boots or knee boots. When releasing the salmon and trout, be sure to handle them gently and keep them in the water at all times, using barbless hooks will help. Salmon were caught on Panther Martins, super dupers cast from shore, and a streamer fly fished behind a casting bubble.

FLORAS LAKE: rainbow, cutthroat trout

Trout fishing is hit or miss depending on the wind. The best method for catching trout is slow trolling flies or wedding ring spinners from a boat. Bank access is limited. 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, 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 was stocked with about 8,000 trout this spring. The lake also received some smolts so a few fish may be just shy of legal size for harvest. Fishing with worms in brushy areas has been good for bass and some trout recently.

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.

GARRISON LAKE: rainbow trout, cutthroat

Early morning or late afternoon is the most productive. 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

Hemlock has received over 6,000 trout this season, including some large fish just before the Labor Day holiday. PowerBait has been effective. Anglers fishing the high lakes in the Umpqua District are encouraged to e-mail fishing reports.

Howard Prarie
Possible boat access as Howard Prairie Reservoir, Sept. 9, 2014
-Photo by Dan VanDyke, ODFW-

HOWARD PRAIRIE RESERVOIR: rainbow trout, bass

Howard Prairie is 28 percent full. Anglers wanting to launch a boat at Howard Prairie can try using an area of rocky shoreline at campsite 11 at Willow Point Campground, but conditions are difficult at best. Trout anglers may want to give places like Howard a try from the shore or from small watercraft or float tubes. Fishing for trout should improve as water temperatures cool through the next several weeks.

HYATT LAKE: rainbow trout, largemouth bass

The lake is 6 percent full, and there is no ramp available for trailered boats, but the reservoir is still producing fish. Fishing for largemouth bass is very good. Anglers are encouraged to keep largemouth in the 7 to 12-inch range. These fish are part of a stunted group of bass, and are a good option to take home to eat. Trout are being caught as well, mostly by bank anglers using PowerBait. Trolling and fly-fishing from float tubes or small watercraft should produce some big trout. Trout anglers planning to release most of the fish are reminded to handle the fish carefully, keeping them in the water at all times, and remember that fishing with dough bait on treble hooks can make a safe release very challenging.

ILLINOIS RIVER: trout, steelhead

The Illinois River is open to fishing for trout and steelhead. Anglers are restricted to artificial flies and lures only, and only adipose fin-clipped rainbow trout may be retained. Since anglers are unlikely to catch steelhead or fin-clipped trout this time of year, the Illinois currently offers catch-and-release fishing for cutthroat trout.

Illinois River flows at Kerby

LAKE MARIE: rainbow trout

The lake was stocked with over 5,000 trout this year. Most anglers use PowerBait or worms. The lake also received some Labor Day lunkers and was stocked again the first week of September.

LAKE SELMAC: trout, largemouth bass, bluegill, crappie

Fishing for largemouth bass, bluegill, crappie, and other warmwater species should be good. Anglers can catch many of the warmwater species by suspending a worm below a bobber. Crappie can be targeted with crappie jigs or small soft-plastic baits.

LEMOLO RESERVOIR: rainbow trout, kokanee

Lemolo was stocked with about 8,000 trout in late spring and received about 1,500 nice 14-inch trout in time for Labor Day. Fishing has been good. Brown trout are being caught and the rainbows are 12 to 16-plus inches depending on the stock. People are also catching kokanee, by trolling deeper water with a small spoon and single hook. The reservoir is drawn down, so only Poole Creek boat ramp is still open and it is becoming more suitable for smaller boats. From now through Nov. 1, Lemolo has a 5 trout per day, daily limit. A combination of brown trout, rainbow trout and kokanee can be harvested to make up this 5 trout limit. Only 1 trout over 20 inches can be harvested per day. For information on fishing conditions, contact Lemolo Lake Resort at 541-957-8354. For information on campgrounds contact the USFS at 541-498-2515.

LOON LAKE: rainbow trout, bass, bluegill

Loon Lake has been stocked with nearly 8,000 trout. The lake is also providing good fishing for crappie, bluegill and bass. The boat ramps will be open through early fall. For additional information call the BLM at: 541-599-2254.

LOST CREEK RESERVOIR: rainbow trout, spring Chinook, bass

Lost Creek Reservoir was recently stocked with rainbow trout. The surface temperature was 63F Monday morning. Trout anglers will probably want to fish deep in the main body of the reservoir. Trout fishing is probably still best upstream of the Hwy 62 Bridge. Water temperatures will continue to improve for trout anglers in October. Anglers caught smallmouth on spinners and crankbaits recently. Lost Creek Reservoir is 42 percent full. All boat ramps are accessible.

MEDCO POND: rainbow trout, largemouth bass, bluegill

Trout fishing should improve as lake waters cool in the fall. Fishing for bluegill and bass should be good early and late in the day.

Crabbing off the Oregon Coast near Newport
- Video by Bob Swingle, ODFW -

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

The ocean will be closed for Dungeness crab from Oct. 16 – Nov. 30.

Fishing for bottom fish, including rockfish and lingcod will open back up to all depths starting Oct. 1. The marine fish daily bag limit is seven fish and a separate daily limit for lingcod (two). Retention of cabezon is now allowed but only one cabezon per day per angler.

The non-selective coho fishery is closed in the ocean. Ocean fishing for Chinook is still open until Oct. 31.

As of Oct. 5 there is still 29 pecent of the nearshore halibut quota remaining. The nearshore halibut is open 7 days a week inside the 40 fathom line through the earlier of the quota being met or Oct. 31. The all-depth halibut season is closed for the year.

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 reservoir received about 4,500 trout this year. The water level in the reservoir is currently low. 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.

ROGUE RIVER

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

Rain this week should bring the last of the Chinook into the lower Rogue and get the coho moving. Anglers are reminded they can only keep adipose fin-clipped coho. Bank anglers are catching Chinook and some coho around the mouth of Indian Creek. Chinook are staging to move back to the hatchery. Indian Creek flows into the Rogue estuary approximately ½ mile upstream of Hwy 101.

Rogue River, middle: steelhead, trout

Releases from Lost Creek Reservoir have dropped for the fall, and the flow at Grants Pass was 1250 cfs on Monday morning. The water temperature was averaging 55F. Summer steelhead are available, and fishing should be good. Always keep the fish in the water when looking for fin marks or taking photos and release fish quickly. Anglers are reminded that the area from Hog Creek boat landing to the Fishers Ferry boat ramp is closed to the harvest of Chinook salmon starting Oct. 1, 2014.

Rogue River, upper: steelhead, trout

The artificial fly season is underway on the upper Rogue, and summer steelhead fishing should be good. Anglers may want to try nymph patterns, or a big stonefly pattern in combination with a smaller nymph, or standard steelhead patterns. Trout fishing should be very good as well. Anglers may keep up to five adipose fin-clipped rainbow trout per day. All other trout must be released unharmed. Always keep the fish in the water when looking for fin marks or taking photos and release fish quickly.

Releases from Lost Creek Reservoir have dropped for the fall. The release from Lost Creek Reservoir was 1080 cfs and the water temperature was 45°F the morning of Oct. 13. The water temperature at Gold Ray was averaging about 54F. As of Oct. 8, 1,316 summer steelhead had entered Cole Rivers Hatchery.
Fishing the Rogue River
Cole Tidwell and Jim Bittle participated in the Middle Rogue Steelheaders salmon derby last Saturday.
-Oregon Fish and Wildlife-

Rogue River, above Lost Creek Reservoir: trout

Trout are still available in the waters above Lost Creek Dam! Fish stocking has ended for the year upstream of Lost Creek, but fishing remains open and should be very good. Anglers can fish bait like single salmon eggs or worms, or cast small spinners like a Panther Martin or Rooster tail, or let a fly drift downstream below a bobber. In addition to the stocked trout, naturally produced rainbow, cutthroat, brown, and brook trout are available in the river and in many tributaries. Plentiful trout, beautiful scenery, easy access, and an abundance of Forest Service campgrounds and day-use areas make this a great place to go trout fishing.

SIXES RIVER: Chinook

Rains this week should bring the first good group of chinook into the lower river.

SMITH RIVER, Umpqua: steelhead, sturgeon, striped bass

Trout season closes in the Smith River basin Sept. 16. Fall Chinook will move up the Smith as fall progresses.

SODA SPRINGS RESERVOIR:

Closed to fishing.

TENMILE BASIN: yellow perch, largemouth bass, coho salmon

A blue green algae advisory has been issued for Tenmile Lakes. The lake remains open for fishing, but the Department of Human Services provides recommendations for how the public can protect themselves and their pets.

Yellow perch are biting on nightcrawlers or jigs tipped with a worm in Tenmile Lakes. Yellow perch will be moving towards the deep water (20 feet) and concentrating in big schools. Sometimes anglers need to try several spots before finding the bigger fish. There are lots of smaller yellow perch that anglers have to sort through to catch enough keepers for a meal. Some of the keeper yellow perch are over 12-inches long.

Largemouth bass fishing has been good. Most of the bass are being caught in deep water associated with cover like submerged logs or vegetation. Crankbaits and plastics like senkos or brushhogs have been working to catch bass. As the water temperatures cool the bass will move into shallower water will bite all day long.

The wild coho season opened Oct. 1 in Tenmile Lakes. The lake level is very low and coho will most likely not enter the lake until we get significant rain. The bag limit for wild coho in Tenmile Lakes is 1 wild coho adult per day and a total of 5 wild adult coho for the season in aggregate with other NW and SW Zone waterbodies. Anglers are also allowed 1 wild coho jack per day.

TOKETEE LAKE: brown trout, rainbow trout

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

UMPQUA HIGH LAKES AND FOREBAYS: trout

Clearwater Forebay #2 received nice 14-inch trout in time for Labor Day. 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.

UMPQUA RIVER, MAINSTEM: steelhead, smallmouth bass, trout, Chinook

The wild coho season below Scottsburg Bridge was closed Oct. 2. There are still some hatchery coho moving through the system and fall chinook. Only fin-clipped adult and jack coho can now be harvested. The upstream fishery between Osprey and River Forks is still providing some fall Chinook harvest opportunity.

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 North Umpqua for summer steelhead. Trout fishing in the tributaries to the mainstem closes Sept. 16. The mainstem will continue to be open for catch-and-release trout fishing through Oct. 31.

Smallmouth bass fishing is still available, but slowing.

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

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. Anglers are getting some summer steelhead in the Narrows and Swiftwater areas. Steelhead are also up in the fly waters and anglers are fishing the area more. Trout fishing in the tributaries to the North closes Sept. 16. The mainstem of the North will continue to be open for catch-and-release trout fishing through Oct. 31.

Note that from Oct. 1 through June 30, fishing 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 fishing.

North Umpqua River water levels at Winchester Dam

UMPQUA RIVER, SOUTH:

The South Umpqua will be closed for all fishing from Sept. 16 through Nov. 30.

Willow Lake
Boat ramp at Willow Lake,
Aug. 20, 2014
-Photo by Daniel Vandyke-

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

At 49 percent of capacity, Willow Lake has the most water among all irrigation reservoirs in the Rogue watershed to date. Fishing for all species should improve as the reservoir begins to cool.

WINCHESTER BAY: chinook, fin-clipped coho

The wild coho season in the Umpqua closed October 2. Now only fin-clipped adult and jack coho can be retained as part of the daily salmon limit. Harvest information for other basins will be posted regularly on the ODFW website.

Bank anglers at Salmon Harbor, Half Moon Bay and Osprey Point are still having good success. Both Chinook and fin-clipped coho have been caught. Anglers in the boat basin are using bobbers and bait successfully. Boat angling has slowed, but if weather conditions change the bite may turn back on.

Fishing for bottomfish in the Triangle and South jetty has been successful. Crabbing has been good recently.

WINCHUCK RIVER: closed

The river is closed to all fishing Aug. 1 to Dec. 31, 2014. The river was closed due a forecasted low return of fall Chinook salmon.

Back to the top

  Southwest Zone Hunting

OPEN: COUGAR, BLACK BEAR, CASCADE ELK (Oct. 18-24), RIFLE DEER (closed in Cascade area Oct. 18-24), GROUSE, QUAIL, MOURNING DOVE, TURKEY (opens Oct. 15)

Archery deer and elk seasons are now closed.

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

See the bird and big game hunting forecasts.

Wolves and coyotes can look alike

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

Use the Oregon Hunting Map to see where to hunt.

COOS COUNTY

Duck and Goose season in the goose Southwest Zone and duck Zone 1 opened October 11. Canada goose numbers appear to be good in the local area so hunting for them should be good. Hunters will find these birds will be attracted to green grass. The flocks are generally habitual about where they go to feed during the day. So, scouting for these areas is beneficial for hunters.

Duck numbers appear to be low locally, at this point. Once fall storms begin to move onshore duck numbers will improve, most likely. Hunters wanting to get started now will find the best hunting in bays because tidal activity provides feeding opportunities for ducks. As ducks migrate south with the on-coming winter hunting will improve in Coos County.

Deer populations have been showing recovery in much of Coos County. General Rifle Deer season opened Oct. 4 and runs through Nov. 7. Generally the best hunting for deer locally is found on private land such as those owned by timber companies. Because those lands are private hunters cannot assume they are all open to public access. Hunters should contact private landowners before accessing their lands because most private land was closed for hunting through most of the bow season because of fire concerns. Depending on fire danger some lands may still be closed to hunting. The best places will be near ridge tops and on a south slope where brush is growing that has not been overtaken be trees. As the deer season progressed hunting on the coast generally improves because deer become more active. Hunting in the early season is beneficial, obviously because hunters may find a deer to harvest they but it is also beneficial from the standpoint of having opportunities to locate bucks to be hunted later in the season when conditions improve.

Grouse and Quail seasons opened Sept. 1. This summer was a good one for grouse and quail production. Broods seemed to have survived well. However, the past several years of poor survival for these young birds has resulted in populations that are low and that will need several good years of reproductive success to rebound. Hunters will find the best hunting for both quail and grouse on closed roads on public land. Grouse will generally be found near streams and quail will generally be found neat ridge tops, with the exception of Valley quail, which are usually found near agricultural lands.

Black Bear- General Bear season opened Aug. 1. Bear populations are robust in much of Coos County and offer opportunities for hunting. Due to mild weather conditions this spring berry production is very good this summer. Bears will be taking advantage of that food source. Hunters should look for isolated berry stands where vehicle traffic from other people will not disturb bears from feeding on berries. Places like the ends on closed forest roads where berries are growing provide some of the best places to hunt bears that are feeding on them. Walking through these areas in the early morning or late evening or setting up tree stands near these areas are great ways to hunt bears on the Oregon coast.

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.

DOUGLAS COUNTY

Deer - Western Oregon General Rifle season is open. Western Oregon buck rifle season is closed Oct. 18 – 24 in Dixon, Indigo and Evans Cr. units in Douglas County during Cascade elk season. Coast units Melrose, Siuslaw, Tioga and Powers continue to be open in Douglas County for General Western Oregon Buck rifle season. General deer rifle season in Indigo, Dixon and Evans Creek units re-opens Oct. 25th. The harvest success should continue to improve as the season progresses with bucks starting to come into rut. Many of the controlled doe seasons are open from October 25th – November 7th in Douglas County.

Elk - A few controlled elk hunts are currently open. Cascade rifle season is open Oct. 18 - 24. Elk populations are similar to last year so this hunting year will be average. Hunters should find elk widely scattered, and good numbers can be found in dense conifer stands. Elk numbers are good in both the Dixon and S. Indigo units.
Cougar - Cougar season is open. Hunters can expect an average year. Cougars are abundant and widely distributed. Hunting success is best around high deer population areas using a predator call.

Bear – General bear season is currently open. Hunters can expect an average year. The dry weather conditions will concentrate bears near streams where foraging will be better. Hunters should concentrate their efforts in the berry patches in early morning and late afternoon. Bear numbers are good with the highest numbers in the coast range, and with smaller populations in the Cascades. Successful bear hunters are reminded there is a mandatory check-in for all harvested bear within 10 days of harvest (see regulations for details).

Western Gray Squirrel – 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.

UPLAND GAMEBIRDS:

California Quail at EE Wilson

California Quail at EE Wilson
-Photo by Kathy Munsel-

Grouse & Quail - Hunters can expect an average hunt year with the season currently open. The overall 2014 brood/chick counts indicate average production so hunters should find good numbers of game birds out in the field. Hunting availability and success for forest grouse should be good this year even though production was down. 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. A good place to hunt forest grouse is the Toketee area on the Umpqua Forest where many habitat improvement projects have created a great grouse hunting opportunity. Check with the Diamond Lake ranger station for details on the locations of these projects. Hunters that kill grouse 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.

Nesting season production was below average for California quail and Mountain quail, but hunting opportunity should still be good. 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 are also asked if they kill a mountain quail to drop off in a paper bag the frozen wing and tail of each mountain quail at the local ODFW office. Please use one bird per bag with each frozen bag of mountain quail parts including the species, sex, age, unit and general area of harvest for proper analysis.

Fall Turkey – The season is open Oct. 15 -Dec. 31. Hunters can expect a good year. The 2014 summer chick counts showed above average production with excellent carryover from the last year. Most turkeys are on or adjacent to low-mid elevation private lands associated with oak savannah habitat.

MIGRATORY GAMEBIRDS:

Mourning Doves - Hunters can expect an above average year. The dove season is currently open. Most mourning doves have not migrated south since no rains have occurred in the last few weeks so their numbers are currently high. In addition, keep in mind the non-migratory Eurasian collared doves numbers are on the increase throughout the state and our county, and they are NOT part of the mourning dove bag limit. Check the 2014 game bird regulations for details. Also, don’t forget to ask for permission from local landowners before hunting doves on private land. The season ends Oct 30th.

Crow season is open. Hunters can expect an average year. Crow are abundant and widely distributed on the Umpqua Valley floor. Hunting crow is a challenge with most being on or adjacent to private lands.

WATERFOWL:

The regular goose and duck season is open. Goose and duck hunters can expect an average to above-average year. Hunting for resident goose and duck in Douglas County should be very good because of an excellent production again this year. Nearly all goose and duck hunting in the Umpqua Valley is on private property and hunters should obtain landowner permission before hunting. Goose and duck hunters can expect an average to above-average year. The season is currently open for ducks, geese, snipe and coot. Local duck production is historically good but small so a fair number of local ducks are available now with improved opportunity as the fall migrating ducks arrive later in the season. Hunting for resident geese in Douglas County should be very good because of an excellent production again this year. Nearly all waterfowl hunting in the Umpqua Valley is on private property and hunters should obtain landowner permission before hunting.

TRAPPING:

Furbearers - Pursuit season is currently open for bobcat, fox and raccoon. The harvest season opened for red fox on October 15, 2014 but all other species it still is closed.

JACKSON, JOSEPHINE, CURRY COUNTIES

Apply by Oct. 26 for chance to win access to private ranch for late-season archery deer hunting.

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.

Elk - Cascade Rifle season starts October 18 thru October 24. Rainy cooler weather is predicted for the start of elk season and this should be great for hunters. The season will be above average. The hunters will have the advantage of a quieter walk in the woods and the ability to recognize fresh elk sign. Overall trend for our units shows maintained calf recruitments and bull ratios. Reminder the Green dot road closer will be in effect beginning Oct 15.

Bear general season closes Dec. 31, 2014. Hunters can expect another average year. Bear numbers continue to be abundant. The Applegate unit has one of the highest harvests for the fall season in the state for the past several years. With hot dry weather which is typical for this time of year, bears will be found around cooler wet drainages. As the berry crops become ripe hunters should locate these areas to find bears. The best times to look for bears are in the early morning and late evenings. Successful bear hunters are reminded there is a mandatory check-in for all harvested bear within 10 days of harvest (see regulations for details).

Youth Elk season started Aug. 1 for units in our area and runs to the end of December. 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. Remember youth must wear hunter orange.

Deer rifle season opened Oct. 4 and continues except for a break in the Cascade area. Black tailed deer populations in Jackson, Josephine and Curry counties remain strong. The end of last year’s season showed a good buck ratio with high fawn ratios. This season will again be dependent on weather conditions. Because of the calendar year, season is set back a week potentially providing cooler temperatures. However we have recently been observing mortalities due to Adenovirus (ADHD), this is a natural disease that only affects deer and it could have some impact on hunting seasons in areas where natural mortality has occurred. We would like to hear from hunters this season if they have found dead deer in the woods. Black-tailed deer in Jackson County mostly migrate from high elevation to lower elevations of the valley floor. Migration usually occurs during the early part of the season and by the late season portion they have moved into their winter range. Although there is a growing population of deer that remain in the valley floor, hunters need to be aware of private property. In Josephine and Curry Counties deer migrate very little and hunters can find deer at all elevations. This year we have a good acorn crop, deer will take advantage of the acorns in our late fall season. Campfires are now allowed outside of campgrounds.

Migratory Dove - New regulation changes allow for 15 doves and season goes to October 30. Dove season is very weather dependent—when the weather is hot the doves tend to be here; if it’s cold they tend to move to warmer climates. Hunters can expect a fair season for doves. Eurasian collared doves are continuing to increase in abundance and are found statewide. The Eurasian collared doves look similar to mourning doves but are considerably larger in size. These new arrivals, which are not native to the state, have no bag limit and can be hunted year round.

Grouse and Quail - Both mountain quail and forest grouse numbers are higher this year due to the mild spring, so hunters can expect a good year. Forest grouse can be found in timbered creek draws and mountain quail will be found in brushy clear cuts near water. A good bird dog will aid greatly in bird retrieval.

Waterfowl - Both Duck and Goose season opens Oct 11. The fall flight forecast calls for high numbers of waterfowl, but weather conditions will determine migration patterns and hunter success. The best waterfowl hunting at Denman Wildlife Area tends to occur around the end of November; area managers continue to plant crops and flood fields to attract waterfowl to Denman. Due to lower water in many of our lakes and pond this year the Rogue River can be a little more productive. Hyatt Lake, Howard Prairie and Agate Lake will have waterfowl but will be difficult to hunt due to low water levels.

Pheasant - Statewide season started October 11 and will run through December 31. Pheasants on the Denman Wildlife Area will be few and far between now that the fee season is over. Few pheasants are found in the Rogue valley but there are some and they will be found on private lands. Be sure to ask for permission to hunt these areas.

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 is currently open until Nov. 12. The bag limit is five squirrels. Except 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. This is the time of years rancher will welcome hunters to come onto their property to take coyotes that are cause problems with live stock.

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 Southwest Zone Viewing

Pigeon Guillemot

Pigeon Guillemot
-Photo by Kathy Munsel, ODFW-

COOS COUNTY

Birds that are here for foraging include California brown pelicans, cormorants and Western grebes. Great places to watch these birds and their activities are Coos Bay, near Charleston and the Coquille Bay near the harbor in Bandon. Feeding birds can be seen diving on baitfish in the bay and sometimes working in unison to corral fish near shore. Occasionally other animals get in on the action when foraging birds have located baitfish. Seals, sea lions, porpoise, and even whales will go after these fish as birds are mounting attacks from above.

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.

Shorebirds

Shorebird migration is in full swing. A large variety of birds can be found in local bays and along beaches. Bandon Marsh National Wildlife Refuge is probably the best place in Coos County to see these birds. The Bandon Marsh Unit is located immediately north of Bandon and is probably the best part of the refuge to visit for shore bird observation. Otherwise mud flats in Coos Bay, Winchester Bay (Douglas County) and the Coquille Bay are great places to check. 9/16/14.

CURRY, JACKSON, JOSEPHINE COUNTIES

Southward migration

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 to watch for are: ospreys, turkey vultures, swifts, swallows, cedar waxwings, and some species of flycatchers, warblers, finches and shorebirds.

White-fronted geese

Many flocks of Greater White-fronted geese have been spotted in the valley flying high heading towards Klamath Falls. Because they fly so high, it is easier to recognize them by their unique call.

Mourning Dove

Mourning Doves
- Photo by Maxine Wyatt-

Mourning Doves

Mourning doves are found throughout the valley where ever there are open grain fields and roosting trees with plenty of water. 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.

Denman Wildlife Area

Hunting season started Sept. 1 on the Denman Wildlife Area and will go into February. Other recreational users are encouraged to wear bright orange or other bright colored clothing and to stick to the trail systems. Be aware of hunters while watching the wildlife on the area.

Denman Wildlife Area has had an increase of hawks, accipiters and buteos. Many Northern Harriers, Red-tailed hawks, and Rough-legged hawks have been seen hunting throughout the valley.

DOUGLAS COUNTY

Fish Passage

Coho Salmon are now migrating upstream and passing through Winchester dam fish ladder on the N. Umpqua River which is open to the public. The best time to view fish movement is from noon to 6pm. To view the migrating fish go to exit 129 on I-5, proceed southeast on 99 to the fish ladder on the north side of the river.

Fish Spawning

Each year there is opportunity to observe wild Fall Chinook spawning along the South Umpqua River and lower portion of Cow Creek. The South Umpqua has a large run of Fall Chinook so look for them spawning on the major gravel bars from Roseburg to Canyonville and on Cow Creek from Riddle to Byers.

Migratory Waterfowl

Waterfowl have been observed throughout the Umpqua Valley migrating south for the fall/winter. Look for the migratory ducks and geese at local ponds and reservoirs.

Hummingbirds

Some people recommend taking down their hummingbird feeders in October to encourage natural migration of a summer hummers.

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