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Weekly Recreation Report: Southwest Zone

July 29, 2014

 Southwest Zone Fishing

Weekend fishing opportunities

  • July is when sea-run cutthroat trout start to move into the estuaries and lower sections of many area rivers.
  • The first fall Chinook of the season are showing up in Winchester Bay, and anglers have started picking up fall Chinook at the mouth of the Rogue River.
  • Coho fishing has been good in Coos Bay.
  • Summer trout anglers can have success fishing the deeper waters of Applegate and Lost Creek reservoirs, or fishing Lost Creek upstream of the Highway 62 bridge.
  • With high temperatures in the Rogue Valley predicted in the 95-100F range all week, anglers may want to consider escaping to the scenery and cold water of the river upstream of Lost Creek Reservoir. Fishing has been good at the public access points along Highway 62 and 230 that are stocked on a weekly basis through Labor Day.

Warm temperatures increase stress on fish

With summer temperatures heating up throughout the state, anglers should take special care when catching and releasing fish.

  • Fish early in the mornings when water temperatures are lower.
  • Fish in lakes and reservoirs with deep waters that provide a cooler refuge for fish.
  • Use barbless hooks, land fish quickly and keep them in the water as much as possible in order to minimize stress.
  • Shift your fishing efforts to higher elevation mountain lakes and streams where water temperatures often remain cool.
  • Target warmwater species, such as bass, bluegill and crappie, that are available in many lakes and reservoirs statewide. However, even warmwater fish can feel the effects of the heat and anglers should try to land and release them as quickly as possible.

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
Agate Lake boat ramp, July 28
-Photo by Dan VanDyke, ODFW-

AGATE LAKE: largemouth bass, bluegill, crappie, bullhead

The water level is getting low at Agate, and the weather will be hot this week. Anglers targeting bass and panfish will have the best success early and late in the day, but should be aware that the gate to the boat ramp closes at 9 p.m. Agate Lake is 36 percent full.

APPLEGATE RESERVOIR: largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, trout

Applegate Reservoir is stocked with rainbow trout and offers fishing for both largemouth and smallmouth bass. The The surface temperature is expected to be in the mid 70F range. Trout anglers will want to fish deep. An angler fishing for trout recently did well when fishing at depths of 40-60 feet deep. Numerous trout were harvested with wedding rings tipped with worms and scent and spinners. Most of the action was along the bank opposite the Copper boat ramp. Fishing for smallmouth bass has also been fair. Applegate Reservoir is 61 percent full and all boat ramps are accessible.

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 currently closed to fishing for steelhead and salmon.

ARIZONA POND: rainbow trout

Early mornings or evenings when the sun is off the water is usually the best time to fish the lake. Bobber fishing with worms or casting flies or spinners all work well. 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

The reservoir was stocked with about 3,500 trout during March and another 500 trout were stocked in April. 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.

CHETCO RIVER: cutthroat trout

Anglers interested in cutthroat trout can either fish the estuary or upper river. Before fishing the upper river anglers should pick up a map from the Forest Service for best access, and road and trail conditions.

Chetco River flows near Brookings

-U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service-

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

Cooper Creek has been stocked with about 9,000 trout so far this spring. Trout fishing has slowed with the warmer temperatures. Early morning is the best time to try for trout. 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: warmwater fish

Fishing for largemouth bass and bluegills will be best during the mornings and late evenings. Look to find bass and bluegills near cover like weedlines or submerged logs. Summer time is a good time to catch largemouth bass on topwater lures. Small jigs or a worm fished under a bobber are good ways to catch bluegills.

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

Trout season is open in the Coos Basin rivers. Anglers should fish the smaller streams which should have cooler water temperatures. Small spinners, small jigs, and flies all work well to catch trout. In streams and rivers above the head of tide, anglers are restricted to use artificial flies and lures until Sept. 1. The daily limit of trout in streams is 2 fish over 8 inches.

Salmon fishing was good over the weekend for anglers trolling cut plug herring on the Coos Bay bar. Most of the fish caught were a mixture of fin clipped and non-clipped coho but an occasional chinook was also landed. Remember only chinook and fin clipped coho can be kept right now inside Coos Bay.

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, smallmouth bass, salmon, crabbing

Trout season is open in the Coquille Basin rivers. Anglers are having good success fishing the large to medium-size streams for cutthroat trout. Small spinners, small jigs and flies all work well to catch trout. In streams and rivers above the head of tide, anglers are restricted to use artificial flies and lures until Sept. 1. The daily limit of trout in streams is 2 fish over 8 inches.

A few salmon have been caught in the lower Coquille River earlier this month by anglers trolling cut plug herring. This is the start of the salmon run and fishing will improve in the next couple of months.

Anglers are catching a few smallmouth bass in the mainstem and South Fork Coquille rivers. Small spinners or jigs have been working well to catch smallmouth bass. There is no size limit or bag limit on the number of smallmouth bass you can keep in the Coquille River Basin.

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


Over 25,000 legal and trophy-sized trout were stocked recently to improve the summer fishery. In 2013, Diamond Lake was stocked with about 206,000 trout -- 170,000 fingerlings in spring, 16,000 legals in July and 20,000 sub-legals in the fall -- compared to 166,000 in 2012. For 2014, ODFW has moved to a stabilized stocking of 275,000 fingerlings that were stocked in June. These fish will start reaching legal-size in late August, early September and should have a really positive impact on fishing in 2015.

The algae bloom subsided at Diamond Lake and water clarity improved. General cautions signs are still in place as a reminder to anglers should another bloom occur. The blooms have been benign.

Diamond Lake still produces some nice large fish. In the past month a 25-inch fish was caught during Free Fishing Day, a 21-inch fish was caught at the Blackbird Derby, and ODFW captured and released 6 trout between 18 – 25 inches while monitoring the lake.

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: cutthroat trout

Cutthroat fishing can be good in June. While access to the river is limited in the lower river, the whole upper river runs through Forest Service land.

Emigrant Lake
Emigrant Lake boat ramp on July 15
-Photo by Daniel Vandyke-
Fish Lake

Fish Lake, US Forest Service boat ramp on July 28, 2014
-Photo by Claudia Vandyke-

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

Dropping water levels and increasing temperatures are slowing fishing success and effort. Some anglers are having success on bass at Emigrant recently. A variety of lures and soft-plastic baits have been effective for the bass. Crappie have been hitting crappie jigs and small soft-plastic baits. Suspending a worm below a bobber is an effective technique for many of the warmwater species. The reservoir is currently 38 percent full.

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

Angling for largemouth bass, crappie, and other warmwater fish should be good, especially early and late in the day.

FISH LAKE: rainbow trout, brook trout, spring Chinook

Fish Lake is stocked with legal and larger rainbow trout, and fishing should be fair to good even with the hot weather. The water level is now below the paved portion of the Forest Service boat ramp, so large boats may have some difficulty with submerged stumps and rocks. Another ramp is available at Fish Lake Resort. In addition to stocked rainbow trout, anglers can catch land-locked chinook salmon, brook trout and tiger trout.

Fish Lake is 39 percent full.

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 has been 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

The lake is pretty weedy, but anglers fishing the deeper parts of the lake are finding some good trout. 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. PowerBait has been effective. Lake in the Woods also has been stocked. The campground and restrooms are open at both areas.

Anglers fishing the high lakes in the Umpqua District are encouraged to e-mail fishing reports to

Howard Prairie
Howard Prairie Resort boat ramp, on July 28, 2014
-Photo by Dan VanDyke, ODFW-
Hyatt Dam
Hyatt Lake near the dam on July 28
-Photo by Dan VanDyke, ODFW-

HOWARD PRAIRIE RESERVOIR: rainbow trout, bass

Trout anglers will probably want to fish as deep as possible in the heat of summer, while still staying above the weeds on the lake bottom. Fishing for bass should be good early and late in the day. Howard Prairie is 40 percent full. Due to low water levels boat anglers must launch at the ramp at the resort. A gravel road near the resort should allow boat anglers access through the entire fishing season.

HYATT LAKE: rainbow trout, largemouth bass

The lake is only 22 percent full, and there is no ramp available for trailered boats. Fishing for largemouth bass has been good for fish in the 10 to 12-inch range. Trout anglers will probably want to still fish with Powerbait near the dam.

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 has been stocked with about 5,000 trout. Most anglers use PowerBait or worms.

LAKE SELMAC: trout, largemouth bass, bluegill, crappie

Fishing for largemouth bass, bluegill, crappie, and other warmwater species has been good, especially early and late in the day. 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.

Lake Selmac has a good population of good-sized largemouth bass, which can be targeted with a variety of lures and soft-plastic baits. The lake is getting a lot of aquatic vegetation, so anglers will want to use techniques that reduce the potential for getting hung up in the vegetation.

LEMOLO RESERVOIR: rainbow trout, brown trout, kokanee

The daily trout limit is 5 per day. Brown trout can now be retained as part of the daily trout limit through Oct. 31. In addition to brown trout, Lemolo has rainbow trout and kokanee. People targeting kokanee have been successful recently. Lemolo was stocked with 5,000 trout this year.

The Forest Service campgrounds are now open. Lemolo Lake Resort is also open and can provide information on the latest conditions and fish tips. View their Web site or call 541-957-8354.

The algae bloom subsided at Lemolo and water clarity improved. General cautions signs are still in place as a reminder to anglers should another bloom occur. The blooms have been benign.

LOON LAKE: rainbow trout, bass, bluegill

Loon Lake was stocked with about 7,500 trout this spring. The lake can also provide good fishing for crappie, bluegill and bass as the water warms up. For information about camping call the Loon Lake resort at 541-599-2244 or BLM at 541-599-2254.

LOST CREEK RESERVOIR: rainbow trout, spring Chinook, bass

Legal-sized and larger rainbow trout are available, and fishing should be good. Spring Chinook that reach 16-17 inches long are also available. During hot weather, the area upstream of the Highway 62 bridge should provide excellent success, although trout should also be available in deeper water throughout the reservoir.

Bass and panfish are also available. Fishing for largemouth bass has improved in recent years due to habitat projects and fish transfers conducted cooperatively by the Oregon Black Bass Action Committee, local bass clubs, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife.

Lost Creek Reservoir is 65 percent full and the surface temperature is 76oF. All boat ramps are accessible

MEDCO POND: rainbow trout, largemouth bass, bluegill

Fishing for bluegill and bass has been good, and a few stocked rainbow trout may still be available. Fishing is best early and late in the day.

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

Crabbing has been good in the ocean from Bandon to Winchester Bay.

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 continues to be a little slow near Coos Bay. 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.

Fin-clipped coho fishing has been good in the Winchester Bay areas. Remember only fin clipped coho can be harvested for the next month. The selective coho (fin-clipped) season from Cape Falcon to OR/CA Border is open until Aug. 10 or attaining the 80,000 fish quota. As of July 20, there is still 70 percent of the coho quota remaining.

The summer all-depth halibut fishery opens on Aug. 1 and 2. The nearshore halibut season started on July 1 and will be open 7 days a week inside the 40 fathom line through the earlier of the quota being met or Oct. 31. There is still 65 percent of the nearshore halibut quota remaining as of July 20.

Anglers are still catching surf perch along the steep ocean beaches. Sand shrimp has been the best bait to use.

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. 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.


Fishing for bluegill and largemouth bass should be good. Suspending a worm below a bobber is an effective technique. The fishing will be best early and late in the day.


Chinook Salmon
Spring Chinook Salmon
-Photo courtesy Dr. Tom Danelski-

Anglers have started picking up fall chinook the bay trolling anchovies or an anchovy with spinner blade. With minus tides this week the best fishing will be late mornings or afternoons. Water temperatures are increasing and flows droppings so anglers can expect chinook to continue stacking up in the bay. This time of year the best fishing is from Highway 101 downstream to the mouth.

Anglers are picking up a few early run summer steelhead casting spinners or fly fishing, but river temperatures are getting pretty warm and making it hard to get fish to bite. Best time to fish is first thing in the morning.

Anglers are picking up surfperch on many beaches and at the mouth of the Rogue River. Anglers should check the marine forecast before heading out.

Rogue River, middle: steelhead, trout, spring Chinook

With hot weather in the forecast during this drought year, anglers are reminded to be extremely careful when handling fish. Fishing early in the day when water temperatures are cooler reduces stress. Always keep the fish in the water when looking for finmarks or taking photos and release fish quickly

Anglers are catching some summer steelhead in the middle Rogue. Try night crawlers and corkies, or a Panther Martin with black body and gold blades. Early catches in the ODFW seining project at Huntley Park are hinting at a very good summer steelhead run this year. Fishing for Chinook remains slow in this section of the river, as anglers anticipate the arrival of fall Chinook salmon. The flow at Grants Pass was 1630 cfs on July 28 and the water temperature was averaging 68F, with a peak of 72F.

Rogue River, upper: steelhead, trout, spring Chinook

With hot weather in the forecast during this drought year, anglers are reminded to be extremely careful when handling fish. Fishing early in the day when water temperatures are cooler reduces stress. Always keep the fish in the water when looking for finmarks or taking photos and release fish quickly.

Aug. 1 brings a big change to fishing on the upper Rogue. Fishing for chinook salmon upstream of Dodge Bridge closes for the season on that date. Most of the fish being caught currently in this reach are wild fish that must be released unharmed immediately, so chinook anglers should look for opportunity downstream at this time.

Summer steelhead fishing is fair to good in the river from Gold Hill upstream to Cole Rivers Hatchery. Early catches in the ODFW seining project at Huntley Park are hinting at a very good summer steelhead run this year. Fishing has been most productive early and late in the day. Casting flies or spinners like a Panther Martin should work well for anglers.

Trout fishing should be very good on the upper Rogue. Anglers may keep up to five adipose fin-clipped rainbow trout per day. All other trout must be released unharmed.

The release from Lost Creek Reservoir was 1500 cfs and the water temperature was 54°F the morning of July 28. The water temperature at Dodge Bridge was averaging about 60F with a peak of 64F. The water temperature at Gold Ray was averaging about 65F with a peak of 68F. As of July 21, 600 summer steelhead had entered Cole Rivers Hatchery, and over 300 had been returned to the fishery downstream at the Gold Hill boat ramp.

Rogue River, above Lost Creek Reservoir: trout

With high temperatures in the Rogue Valley predicted in the 95-100F range all week, anglers may want to consider escaping to the river upstream of Lost Creek Reservoir. Major public access sites on the Rogue River between Prospect and Minnehaha Creek are being stocked with legal-sized rainbow trout each week. Fishing has been 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: cutthroat trout

July is when cutthroat start moving into the estuary and lower river. Best access is at Cape Blanco State Park, but it can be very windy so anglers should check the weather and try to fish early morning. 

SMITH RIVER, Umpqua: steelhead, sturgeon, striped bass, trout

The mainstem Smith from the mouth to Spencer Creek and the North Fork to Johnson Creek opens for Chinook, adipose fin-clipped steelhead and trout on May 24. Check regulations for harvest and gear restrictions.


Closed to fishing.

TENMILE BASIN: yellow perch, largemouth bass, trout

Yellow perch are biting on nightcrawlers or jigs tipped with a worm in Tenmile Lakes. The best fishing will be in over 10 feet of water and along weedlines. 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. Early mornings and late evenings are a good time to throw topwater lures for bass.

Trout fishing in Tenmile Lakes has slowed down but anglers can still catch trout in the deeper water. Fishing is typically best in the early mornings and evenings. Trout anglers are having the best success trolling wedding rings or other types of spinners tipped with bait. One hundred hatchery rainbow trout were tagged next to the dorsal fin with a 2 inch blue numbered tag. These fish were tagged as part of a tagged fish contest sponsored by Ringo’s Lakeside Marina. If you catch a tagged trout stop by or contact the marina at 541-759-3312.

Brown Trout
Brown Trout and Leach
-Photo by Roger Smith-

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. Water levels are currently too low to allow launching boats at the boat ramp. This condition may persist for several weeks. Contact the Forest Service at 541-498-2531 for additional information.


Clearwater Forebay #2 was recently stocked with 3,000 rainbow so far this year.

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 stock 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

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.

Smallmouth bass fishing is good, but the river level is low. Boaters will want to check flows or consider using rubber crafts. River Forks boat ramp will be closed for repairs until about Aug. 14. The mainstem Umpqua opens for catch and release trout on May 24. Tributaries also open. Check regulations for harvest and gear restrictions.

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. Anglers are getting some summer steelhead as the chinook season winds down. The Chinook season closes Aug. 1. Steelhead are also up in the fly waters and anglers are fishing the area more.

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 fishing.

North Umpqua River water levels at Winchester Dam

UMPQUA RIVER, SOUTH: trout, smallmouth bass

The South Umpqua opens for trout and smallmouth bass fishing May 24. Check the regulations for gear and harvest restrictions. Water levels are low, so boaters will want to check the flows or consider using rubber crafts.

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

At 86 percent of capacity, Willow Lake has the most water among all irrigation reservoirs in the Rogue watershed to date. Fishing for bass and other warmwater species should be good. Crappie and yellow perch can be target by working small jigs around structure along the shore. Fishing for all species will be best early and late in the day.

WINCHESTER BAY: steelhead, Chinook, surfperch, tuna

Fishing the Triangle and South Jetty has been good for rockfish. Ocean fishing out of Winchester Bay has improved as tuna and more salmon have moved inshore. The ocean is now open for chinook and fin-clipped coho. Some Chinook have already entered Winchester Bay and fishing will continue to improve in the bay area. This will provide some bank fishing opportunity from Halfmoon Bay through Osprey Point. Crabbing is also improving in Winchester Bay.

WINCHUCK RIVER: cutthroat trout

July is when cutthroat start moving into the estuary and lower river. The estuary can be accessed through Oregon State Park property, but most of the rest of the lower river is private and anglers should ask for permission prior to fishing the river.

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  Southwest Zone Hunting


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.


Black Bear- General Bear season opens August 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.

- 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.


Bear – General bear season opens August 1st. ;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).

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.


Wildlife pre-scouting

Now is the time for archers to begin there annual pre-scouting trips to the woods. August 30 is not far away, hunters should be spending this next month locating the elk and deer herds. Much of the animals found now will be in that general locations come opening season. High elevations are the place to look. Besides, it’s a great time to be in the woods to avoid most of the heat found in the valleys.

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.

Bear general season opens August 1. 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 yea,r 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).

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. 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


Sea Birds

Pigeon Guillemot

Pigeon Guillemot
-Photo by Kathy Munsel, ODFW-

Sea bird numbers are high along the Oregon coast this time of year. Many of these birds are here to nest and brood young, others are here to feed on fish and other forage that moves close to shore in the summer months. Examples of birds that are here for nesting are common murres and cormorants (three species). The best place to see the birds that are here for nesting are near rocky headlands and offshore islands. Coquille Point in Bandon is a great place to find both of these habitats. The number of common murres, pigeon guillemots, cormorants and other nesting sea birds is impressive.

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 bait fish 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 bait fish. 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.

Shore Birds

Early migrating shore birds are already beginning to show up on local beaches and mud flats in the bays. Numbers will increase as fall approaches and species composition of flocks will change. For the birder who wants to maximize the number of species seen in a season now is a good time to start checking areas where shore birds congregate to see the species involved with the early migration. 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.

Baby Birds

Many species of song birds are beginning to fledge now, which means they are learning to fly and will soon be leaving the nest. When these birds are starting to fly they often fly out of the nest and are not able to fly back in. When you couple this fact with the strong north winds that are common this time of year young birds are commonly encountered on the ground or in vegetation apparently stranded. The fact is, this is a normal situation for them and the parent birds continue to feed them while they work out the details of fledging. If you find birds like this in your yard of on a nature hike the best thing to do is leave them alone so they do not become stressed by human attention. If the birds are in your yard keeping cats and dogs away from them is really important. 7/14/14.


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

Lost Creek Lake provides 30 miles of trails which includes portions of the Rogue River National Recreation Trail. Along the lake and river banks a wide variety of wildlife and wild flowers can be observed. During spring and early summer months deer with their young may be seen early in the mornings and late evenings along water ways. A brochure of the trail system can be picked up at federal land agency and visitor centers in the area.

Harbor Seal Pup

Harbor Seal Pup
-Photo by Kathy Munsel-

Baby Season

Spring is the season for most wildlife to have young. Now is a great time to visit the outdoors to look for wildlife with there young. You may see a cow elk and her calf, a doe deer and her fawn, a mother raccoon and her young, a pair of geese and their goslings or a mother kill deer and her chicks. It is very important to keep your distances and not to disturb mothers with their young. Check out our web page about young wildlife.

Turkeys and grouse

Young turkeys and grouse are now being seen throughout the area. Hens are often seen near roadways in low elevation for turkeys and higher timber areas for grouse. Look carefully when around the adults for movement or grass moving which indicates young.

Denman Wildlife area

Many people are visiting the area for fishing opportunities where bass, blue gills and bull head cat fish are caught.  California brown pelicans are showing up on Whetstone Pond.

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.

California brown pelicans

California brown pelican numbers are increasing along the coast. Many of these birds are migrating up the coast to summer here and farther north. When conditions are windy, as they commonly are in summer on the coast, these birds will fly very close to beaches and will occasionally congregate behind jetties and other points to rest. These resting flocks can be hundreds strong, creating a great viewing opportunity. Bring your binoculars.

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. 6/24/14.


Common Nighthawk

The nighthawk is part of the nightjar family that also includes poor wills in Western Oregon. Nighthawks are 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. The national nighthawk surveys are conducted in Oregon from June 19th to July 4th. The best opportunity for observing nighthawks is from 1 hour before sunset and as the full moon rises above the horizon until 1 hour after sunset, no clouds or overcast skies, no more than a light (<15mph) wind and no rain, usually over valley floor agricultural areas with ample insects.

California Quail
California Quail Mother and Chicks
- Photo by Charlott Ganskopp-


The young chicks of California and mountain quail, blue and ruffed grouse, wild turkey and pheasants are now being seen throughout the county. 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 and their poults 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.


Osprey chicks are starting to fledge (leave nests) in Douglas County with an estimated 250 nesting pairs. You can locate the osprey’s classic large stick nest usually on a dead tree or electric pole near a river, creek or lake. Then, look for the nestlings standing on the edge of the nest practicing their lift by flapping their wings just before they take flight.

Fish Passage

Now is a good time to see Summer Steelhead migrating upstream passing through Winchester dam fish ladder on the N. Umpqua River which is 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.

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