Weekend fishing opportunities:
Trout season opens in many upper Willamette basin waterbodies on Saturday, April 26.
|Sacirovic Mustafa checks his bait while fishing on the Sandy River.
-Photo by Rick Swart-
- Spring Chinook fishing continues on the Willamette River.
- ODFW will host a family fishing event at Trojan Pond near Ranier on Saturday, April 26 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. To ensure there are plenty of fish for participating families, ODFW will stock the pond this week with 2,000 rainbow trout. This event is free, and ODFW will supply gear, bait and instruction.
- Trout stocking is in full gear at locations throughout the Willamette Valley. This week’s releases includes Haldeman Pond, Henry Hagg Lake, Huddleston Pond, Salmonberry Lake, Silver Creek Reservoir, St. Louis Ponds, Trojan Pond, Blue River, Carmen Reservoir, Clear Lake, Detroit Reservoir, Dorena Reservoir, EE Wilson Pond, Fall Creek, Foster Reservoir, Freeway Lake, Junction City Pond, Leaburg Lake, the McKenzie River below Leaburg Dam, Salmon Creek, Smith Reservoir, and Coast Fork of the Willamette River.
- The Clackamas, Molalla and Santiam rivers and Eagle Creek are in good condition for steelhead fishing.
New salmon, steelhead, sturgeon endorsement
Anglers fishing for salmon, steelhead or sturgeon in the Columbia River and its tributaries are now required to have a Columbia River Basin endorsement. See a map of the Basin and get more information.
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.
2014 trout stocking
The 2014 trout stocking schedules for the North Willamette Watershed (pdf)District and the South Willamette Watershed (pdf) District are now posted on-line on the ODFW trout stocking page.
Check out the new trout stocking map
Find the location and details about the many lakes ponds and streams that receive hatchery trout from ODFW’s fish hatcheries on the new Google-based stocking map.
ALTON BAKER CANOE CANAL: trout
Alton Baker Canoe Canal was recently stocked with 815 legal-sized and 150 larger sized rainbow trout. Fish are scattered at multiple locations along the length of the Canal. The Canal will be stocked at 2-3 week intervals through early November. Summer steelhead are occasionally caught in this system and anglers are reminded they will need a combined angling tag and a Columbia River Basin Endorsement to legally target or harvest a steelhead. It is legal to fish with two rods in the Alton Baker Canoe Canal, provided the Two-Rod Validation has been purchased.
The canal is located within Alton Baker Park and can be accessed off of Club Road in Eugene. The Canoe Canal is located in downtown Eugene behind Autzen Stadium. A 4-acre pond at the midpoint of the canal is a good spot but it can be fished all along its 2-mile length from Day Island Road in Eugene to Aspen Street in Springfield.
BENSON LAKE: rainbow trout, white crappie, largemouth bass, brown bullhead
-Photo by Jim Yuskavitch, ODFW-
Stocked the week of April 14 with 4,000 legal-sized rainbow trout. This is a 40-acre lake located in Benson State Park in the Columbia River Gorge. From Portland, head east on I-84, park is located on the south side of the freeway approx. 1/2 mile west of Multnomah Falls.
BETHANY POND: rainbow trout, largemouth bass, crappie, bluegill, bullhead
Stocked the week of April 14 with 1,000 legal sized rainbow trout. This is a 10-acre pond located at Bethany west of Portland. The pond is maintained by Tualatin Hills Park and Rec. Amenities include picnic tables, restrooms, and a paved, ADA accessible trail.
BLUE LAKE: rainbow trout, largemouth bass, brown bullhead, black crappie, bluegill
Stocked the week of April 14 with 1,500 legal-sized rainbow trout. This is a 64-acre lake located in Blue Lake Park 3 miles west of Troutdale. This family-friendly park as picnic areas, restrooms, walking trail, and ramp for small boats. Park is maintained by Multnomah County.
BLUE RIVER: trout, steelhead
Blue River above Blue River Reservoir opens to fishing April 26 and will be stocked with a total of 1,250 rainbow trout for the opener. Fish are released at several locations from the bridge above Mona Campground to the mouth of Quentin Creek.
BLUE RIVER RESERVOIR: trout, warmwater species
Blue River Reservoir was recently stocked with 3,000 legal sized rainbow. Blue River Reservoir is located east of Eugene near the town of Blue River, north of Highway 126 and is open to year-round fishing.
CANBY POND: rainbow trout
Stocked the week of April 14 with 400 legal-sized rainbow trout and 50 one-pounders.
Canby Pond is a 1-acre pond located on the south end of Canby in Canby City Park. The park is south of Hwy 99E and adjacent to the Molalla River. Angling restricted to youth age 17 and under or holders of one of the Disabled Anglers permits.
CARMEN RESERVOIR: trout
Carmen Reservoir will be stocked with 3,000 rainbow trout this week, including 500 larger sized trout. The reservoir is accessed via FS Road 750 off Hwy 126, about 2 miles south of Clear Lake, and is open all year. Motor boats are prohibited on Carmen Reservoir.
CHEADLE LAKE: bass, bluegill
This 60-acre former mill pond in Lebanon provides an excellent warm water fishing experience for the beginner as well as the seasoned angler. Largemouth bass up to 16 inches and panfish up to 9.5 inches have been caught in the past. To get there take Russell Road east off Main Street about a mile. There is a small boat ramp and ADA fishing dock at the parking lot and foot access most of the way around the pond.
CLACKAMAS RIVER: winter steelhead, summer steelhead, spring Chinook
Clackamas River conditions have held fairly steady in the past few days but will likely see a jump up in flows with rain in the forecast. Catch rates for steelhead have been fair but should see improvement with the freshet, possibly also opening the door for some spring Chinook movement. The river has been producing a scattering of both winters and summers from Gladstone up to McIver Park; April is a prime month for winter steelhead fishing in the Clackamas so now is the time to hit the river. It’s also getting closer to spring Chinook time on the Clackamas and there have been a few picked up in the lower river.
Monday hydrological data shows flows at 2,580 cfs, a gauge reading in Estacada of 12.43 ft., and the water temperature near 47°.
CLEAR LAKE: trout
Clear Lake is open to fishing all year and will be stocked this week with 3,625 rainbow trout, including 1,125 larger sized trout. Naturally reproducing brook trout are also available. The lake is accessed from Highway 126 approximately 70 miles east of Springfield. Cabins and row boats are available for rent from Clear Lake Resort.
COAST FORK WILLAMETTE RIVER: trout
The Coast Fork of the Willamette River opens to the harvest of trout Saturday, April 26 and will be stocked at several locations within Cottage Grove with a total of 1,500 rainbow trout.
COMMONWEALTH LAKE: trout, bass, bluegill, crappie
Stocked the week of April 14 with 1,500 legal-sized rainbow trout. This is a three-acre stocked lake within the Commonwealth Lake Park in Beaverton, Oregon. Commonwealth Park is maintained by Tualatin Hills Park and Rec. Amenities include ADA accessible trail, picnic tables, playground, restrooms.
COTTAGE GROVE POND (Row River Nature Park): trout, warmwater species
Cottage Grove Pond was last stocked for the season in early April. Provided water conditions remain acceptable, trout will likely continue to remain available to anglers. Warmwater fish are also available in this pond.
To access the pond, travel east from Cottage Grove on Row River Road. Cottage Grove Pond is located behind the truck scales and may be accessed via an asphalt pathway. Only the pond with the dock is stocked with hatchery trout. This pond also offers terrific bird-watching opportunities, with bald eagles, various ducks, red-winged blackbirds, and other migratory songbirds frequently observed in spring.
COTTAGE GROVE RESERVOIR: trout, warmwater species
Cottage Grove Reservoir was recently stocked with 4,500 legal sized rainbow trout. Holdover trout are also available to anglers. The reservoir is south of Cottage Grove and is open to angling all year.
NOTICE: The Oregon Health Authority has issued a health advisory updating information about eating fish caught in Cottage Grove Reservoir. Under the advisory issued June 5, 2012 people can safely consume up to nine meals per month of hatchery-grown rainbow trout month that are 12 inches in length or less. People can distinguish hatchery-grown rainbow trout by the absence of the adipose fin, which is clipped before hatchery fish are released into streams and reservoirs. Despite the new exception for rainbow trout, mercury contamination for resident warm-water fish, including bass, bluegill, crappie and bullhead continues to be a concern. Women of childbearing age, particularly pregnant or breastfeeding women, children under six years of age and persons having liver or kidney ailments should avoid eating any fish from this reservoir other than rainbow trout. Healthy women beyond childbearing age, other healthy adults and healthy children six years of age and older should eat no more than one 8-ounce meal of fish other than rainbow trout per month.
CRESWELL POND (GARDEN LAKE): trout, warmwater species
Garden Lake was last stocked for the season in early April. The pond is located in Garden Lake Park on the east side of I-5 in Creswell and is open to fishing all year, although vegetation can become a problem later in spring. The pond and park offer additional wildlife viewing opportunities.
-Photo by Rick Swart, ODFW
DETROIT RESERVOIR: trout, kokanee
Located 50 miles east of Salem, this large lake (approximately 3,600 acres at full pool) receives over 100,000 trout throughout the year. It will be stocked again this week with 20,000 legal size rainbow trout. Currently the reservoir is about 15 feet below full below. Most boat ramps including Mongold boat ramp are available. Check with local outfitters in the town of Detroit for fishing conditions.
DEXTER RESERVOIR: trout
Dexter Reservoir was recently stocked with 2,900 legal-sized rainbow trout. The reservoir is adjacent to Highway 58 near Lowell and is open all year.
DORENA RESERVOIR: trout, warmwater
Dorena Reservoir will be stocked this week with 6,300 legal-sized rainbow trout. The reservoir is east of Cottage Grove on Row River Road and is open all year.
DORMAN POND: trout
Stocked the week of April 14 with 1,500 legal-sized rainbow trout. This is an 8-acre pond west of Forest Grove at the junction of Hwy. 8 and Hwy. 6.
EAGLE CREEK: winter steelhead
Eagle Creek is in good shape for steelhead fishing but it’s getting late into the season and winter fish will be hard to find. The winter steelhead fishery begins to wind down on the creek in April but there could still be a few fish around; effort has been light which could be an indication of how the catch is going. The time is getting closer for spring Chinook to return from acclimation releases done two or three years ago at the facility in Eagle Fern Park, depending on flows. The hatchery has had about 500 steelhead return, a relatively low number as a result of reduced smolt releases a couple of years ago.
Long stretches of Eagle Creek run through private property, particularly up near the hatchery and from an area below the lower ladder on down past Bonnie Lure to the mouth. Anglers are advised to pay close attention to where you fish and we encourage you to ask permission prior to accessing or crossing private lands on your way to your favorite fishing hole. See Page 15 of the Oregon Sport Fishing Regulation pamphlet for more information on “Your Rights to Use the Surface, Bed, and Banks of Oregon’s Rivers and Lakes.”
EE WILSON POND: trout, bluegill
EE Wilson Pond will be stocked this week with another 900 legal, and 250 larger sized rainbow trout. This is a small angling pond located in the EE Wilson Wildlife management of Camp Adair just off Hwy. 99W between Corvallis and Monmouth. The wildlife area is owned and managed by the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife. Parking permits are required on the wildlife area.
FALL CREEK RESERVOIR: trout
Fall Creek Reservoir will be stocked this week with 3,400 rainbow trout, including 400 pounders. The reservoir is north of Lowell.
|Fishing at Fern Ridge
Photo by Kathy Munsel-
FERN RIDGE RESERVOIR: largemouth bass, crappie, bluegill, brown bullhead
This 9,000 acre lake just 12 miles west of Eugene is the Willamette Basin’s largest water body. For local information regarding the lake and available boat ramps, contact the Lane County Parks Department at 541-682-2000.
This lake is mostly shallow with a band of deep water from the original channel of the Long Tom River. The reservoir produces crappie over 12 inches and bass angling has been very good in recent years. Best time of year for crappie is in spring after the water temperature reaches the mid-50s, but fish can still be found in deeper water year round. July and August are peak months for largemouth bass. Fish the shoreline along the southern part of the reservoir, especially the sloughs and inlets where there is underwater structure.
FOSTER RESERVOIR: trout, bass, perch, catfish
This scenic 1,200-acre reservoir on the South Santiam River is located just 30 minutes from Interstate 5. There is good bank access at several rest stops and campgrounds, and three seasonal boat ramps. The water level is approximately 25 feet below full pool at the moment, which makes Sunnyside Park the only reliable boat ramp at this time. It will be stocked again this week with 9,000 rainbow trout. Please remember that only kokanee and adipose fin-clipped trout may be kept and there are no limits on size or number of bass. From I-5 take US 20 east from Albany to the town of Sweet Home. The reservoir is 3 miles past the town on the left.
FREEWAY LAKES: trout, bass, bluegill, crappie
This water-body actually consists of three interconnected ponds and features some good size bass and crappie. A boat ramp is available at East Freeway Lake, and there is good bank access around Middle Freeway Lake. Freeway Lakes will be stocked again this week with 800 legal and 100 larger size trout. To get there, take the State Police exit in Albany and follow the frontage road south (3 Lakes Road) for several miles.
GREEN PETER RESERVOIR: kokanee, trout, bass
This large reservoir east of Sweet Home is a premier kokanee fishery with a bag limit of 25 fish per day. It also supports stocked rainbow trout and a good population of smallmouth bass. It was stocked again last week with 6,000 legal size rainbow trout. The kokanee fishery is slowly heating up as fish become more active with the warming temperatures. Most kokanee are being caught between 20-30 feet down. The reservoir level is about 15 feet below full pool and rising slowly. Both Thistle Creek and Whitcomb boat ramps are open.
HALDEMAN POND: trout
Stocked the week of April 21 with 4,000 legal-sized rainbow trout. This is a 2-acre pond located within the Sauvie Island Wildlife Area. From the Sauvie Island bridge, take Sauvie Island Rd. to NW Reeder Rd, then Oak Island Rd.
HENRY HAGG LAKE: trout, bass, crappie, yellow perch, bluegill and brown bullhead
Stocked the week of April 21 with 7,000 legal-sized rainbow trout. This popular 1,110-acre lake near Forest Grove has been closed to fishing since November and reopened to anglers on March 1. This lake also received 125 large brood trout in January and 1,000 2-pounders on Feb. 20, so there are lots of fish to be caught in this premier Northwest Oregon fishing destination. Hagg Lake is located within Scoggins Valley Park. The park features numerous picnic areas, two boat launching facilities, more than 15 miles of hiking trails, and observation decks for wildlife and bird watching.
HILLS CREEK RESERVOIR: trout, warmwater fish
Hills Creek Reservoir is open to fishing all year and was recently stocked with 6,385 legal-sized rainbow trout. This release is in addition to annual fingerling releases into the reservoir. This reservoir is stocked annually with 100,000 adipose fin-clipped spring Chinook fingerlings and 200,000 adipose fin-clipped rainbow trout fingerlings. These fish grow to catchable size within a year. All non-adipose fin-clipped trout and salmon must be released unharmed.
HILLS CREEK above HILLS CREEK RESERVOIR: trout
Hills Creek above Hills Creek Reservoir will open to fishiong Saturday, April 26. Although hatchery fish will not be released into Hills Creek this year, native trout are available for harvest and bait may be used through Oct.31. Hatchery fish released into Hills Creek in previous years will now be released into Hills Creek Reservoir.
HUDDLESTON POND: trout, bass, bluegill
Stocked the week of April 21 with 750 legal-sized rainbow trout and 200 one-pounders. This is a 5-acre pond located within Huddleston Pond Park in the city of Willamina, Ore. A former mill pond, it contains woody debris that provides habitat for bass and bluegill. It reaches a maximum depth of about 10 feet, with shallow "kid-friendly" edges. It is ADA accessible in places, with a restroom and picnic areas nearby. There is paved parking lot and small ramp for people who want to launch small, non-motorized boats.
JUNCTION CITY POND: trout, crappie
Junction City is a popular stocked trout fishing pond located about 2 miles south of Junction City on 99W on the west side of the highway. There is excellent access around the entire 8-acre pond. It has been stocked several times already this year. It was stocked last week with 3,000 legal, 300 larger, and 50 trophy-sized rainbow trout. As a reminder, zone regulations apply: five trout daily may be kept and only one over 20 inches.
LEABURG LAKE: trout
Leaburg Lake opens to angling Saturday, April 26. The hatchery will release 2,900 rainbow trout in time for the Trout Opener. All non-adipose fin-clipped trout must be released unharmed. The use of bait is allowed.
-Photo by Derek Wilson-
MCKENZIE RIVER below Leaburg Lake: trout, salmon, steelhead
The McKenzie River below Leaburg Lake will be boat stocked this week with 9,000 rainbow trout. Fish will be released from about 1.5 miles below Greenwood Landing to Hendricks Bridge. Gear use is restricted to flies and lures. A Columbia River Basin Endorsement is required for anglers targeting salmon and steelhead in the McKenzie.
Due to the continued high river flows, there will be no EWEB construction project-related closures of the bridge over Leaburg Dam through the entire month of April. EWEB may have to close the bridge in May for three to five days total. Any such closures would be on weekdays from 8 a.m. to noon, and 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.
See the EWEB website for more information.
MCKENZIE RIVER above Leaburg Lake: trout, steelhead
The McKenzie River above Leaburg Lake opens to fishing Saturday, April 26. The river will be stocked with hatchery trout the week of April 28. All non-adipose fin-clipped trout must be released unharmed.
MIDDLE FORK WILLAMETTE RIVER above HILLS CREEK RESERVOIR: trout
The Middle Fork Willamette River above Hills Creek Reservoir opens to catch-and-release fishing Saturday, April 26. Angling is restricted to flies and lures. The Middle Fork above Hills Creek Reservoir will not be stocked this year. Those fish will instead be released into Hills Creek Reservoir for anglers.
MOLALLA RIVER: winter steelhead
The Molalla is in great shape for winter steelhead fishing with moderate flow and prime color. Over 4,200 winters have passed at Willamette Falls meaning anglers should find improved catch rates as a portion of these winter fish make their way into the Molalla.
Since most of the steelhead passing the falls this time of year are wild winters, anglers should be aware that a majority of fish entering the Molalla will be unmarked wild fish resulting in a predominantly catch-and-release fishery.
MT HOOD POND: trout
Stocked the week of April 14 with 1,000 rainbow trout. The pond also offers angling for several different species of warm water fish including crappie, bluegill, and catfish. Anglers are reminded that from April 1 through Aug. 31 fishing at Mt. Hood Pond is restricted to youths 17 and under as well as individuals who possess a valid Oregon Disabilities Fishing Permit.
NORTH FORK RESERVOIR: trout
Closed to fishing until May 25. This is a 350-acre reservoir of the Clackamas River behind North Fork Dam approximately 5.2 miles east of Estacada, Ore.
Fishermen are reminded that the boat ramp and marina at Promitory Park will be closed to all public access until the summer of 2016 while PGE constructs a surface collector to improve the downstream passage of native salmon and steelhead juveniles at North Fork Dam. The reservoir will be open to fishing from May 25 through Oct. 31. All other access points to North Fork Reservoir will remain open, and ODFW will stock the lake with hatchery trout as in the past.
For more information about the closure, visit PGE’s website (pdf)
PROGRESS LAKE: trout, brown bullhead
Stocked the week of April 14 with 1,000 legal-sized rainbow trout. This is a 4-acre pond next to the Progress Ridge Town Center in Beaverton, Oregon. The pond is an old rock pit and has a maximum depth of 54 feet. There is a sidewalk, fishing platform and viewing platform on one side of the lake. The lake is owned by Tualatin Hills Parks and Rec. Boating and swimming are prohibited on this lake.
ROARING RIVER POND: trout
This is a small one acre pond in Roaring River County Park near ODFW’s Roaring River fish hatchery. To get there, drive highway 226 east out of Albany and turn right onto Fish Hatchery Road and continue for about 7 miles. Park is on the right. It was stocked last week with 160 legal and 20 larger-sized rainbow trout.
SALMON CREEK: trout
Salmon Creek is a tributary to the Middle Fork Willamette River east of Oakridge. The creek will be stocked this week with a total of 1,750 rainbow trout. Fish are released at several locations up to the Black Creek Road bridge. Bait use and both native and hatchery trout harvest are allowed through October 31.
SALMONBERRY LAKE: trout
Stocked the week of April 21 with 3,000 legal-sized rainbow trout. This lake is located approximately 9 miles northwest of St. Helens on Pittsburg Rd.
SALT CREEK: trout
Salt Creek is a tributary to the Middle Fork Willamette River east of Oakridge and is open to harvest of native trout through October 31. Bait use is allowed during trout season. Salt Creek will not be stocked in 2014. Instead, these hatchery fished will be released into Hills Creek Reservoir.
SANDY RIVER: winter steelhead
The Sandy is showing some fairly low flows considering it’s April but is still in fishable shape for steelhead and spring Chinook. Low snow levels this week should keep flows in about the same range or increased slightly. In the past week there were a few winter steelhead, some summer steelhead, and an occasional spring Chinook caught in the lower river. Anglers have been landing winters between Oxbow and Dabney along with some fair catch numbers seen up at Cedar Creek. The Sandy Hatchery has processed over 1,600 winter steelhead so far this spring.
Monday morning hydrological data shows the river below Bull Run at 1,670 cfs, a gauge reading of 9.32 ft. and the water temperature down near 46°.
SANTIAM RIVER (NORTH FORK): steelhead, Chinook, trout
-Photo by Charlotte Ganskopp-
Flows currently stand at 2,440 cfs at Mehama, a significant drop from last week, and excellent conditions for fishing. Best conditions might be found in the lower reaches where new summer and winter steelhead are staging. Counts at Willamette Falls as of April 20 show 4,396 3,810 winter steelhead and 992 summer steelhead have entered the upper basin. Spring Chinook have also arrived in earnest with 1,887 fish counted so far at Willamette Falls, almost all within the last week. Warming water temperatures should make fish more active. When the ‘bite’ is on, bobbers and jigs are the preferred angling method with spoons, spinners and egg clusters also being effective. Currently the entire river below the Minto Fish Facility is open to salmon and steelhead fishing.
River levels best for fishing are below 3,000 cfs at the Mehama gauge (currently the gauge is around 10,000 cfs) Current conditions
CAUTION: The section between Shelburn and Green’s Bridge remains hazardous for boaters because of downed trees and multiple side channels. Better bets are the floats below Green’s Bridge and above Stayton.
UPDATE: The boat slide at Upper Bennett Dam on the North Santiam was repaired on 1/28/14 and is now ready for use. For boaters, portage around Upper Bennett between Mehama and Stayton should be much easier.
SANTIAM RIVER (SOUTH FORK): steelhead, Chinook, trout, bass
Flows in the South Santiam have come down significantly since last week, and conditions are excellent. Currently, they are at 1,710 cfs with good clarity. Spring Chinook and summer steelhead have begun to show up at Willamette Falls, but are still a week or two away from entering the Santiams in any significant number. Winter steelhead and a few fresh summer steelhead are in the basin right now and can be found from the mouth up to Foster dam. So far, 69 winter and 5 summer steelhead have entered the fish ladder below Foster dam as of April 8.
SHERIDAN POND: trout
Stocked the week of April 14 with 1,000 legal-sized rainbow trout. Sheridan Pond is a 2 1/2-acre pond located on the edge of town. It provides excellent access for families and kids. Good parking. From Hwy. 18, take exit 33 to Balston Rd., turn right and left to the pond.
SHORTY’S POND: trout
Stocked the week of April 7 with 1,000 rainbow trout ranging in size from 10 inches to over two pounds each. A family fishing event was held April 12 but some holdover fish should still be available.
This is a 4-acre pond located within Ivor Davies Nature Park in the city of Molalla. It can be accessed by the Fifth St. Trailhead across from Heckard Football Stadium.
SILVER CREEK RESERVOIR: trout, catfish
Stocked the week of April 21 with 3,500 legal-sized and 200 larger rainbow trout. This is a 65-acre reservoir on Silver Creek 2.5 miles south of Silverton on Hwy. 214.
SMITH RESERVOIR: trout
Smith Reservoir is north of Trail Bridge Reservoir and is accessed by turning off Hwy 126 at Trail Bridge Reservoir and following FS Road 730 north to Smith Dam. The reservoir is not visible from the highway and is open to year-around fishing. Smith Reservoir will be stocked this week with 4,000 rainbow trout.
ST. LOUIS PONDS: trout, bass, crappie, bluegill, yellow perch, channel catfish
-Oregon Fish and Wildlife-
Stocked the week of April 21 with 500 legal-sized rainbow trout and 200 larger trout. St. Louis Ponds is a 260-acre open space owned by ODFW and Marion County Parks. The central portion of this site is a fishing park that boasts seven ponds stocked with a variety of warm water.
The fishing park has a number of ADA-accessible fishing platforms and a paved trail that meanders around some of the ponds. Parking is very limited, so carpooling is encouraged, and when parking lots fill up participants may need to walk in a mile from the gate at the entrance of the complex.
St. Louis Ponds is located 13 miles north of Salem and west of I-5. To get to there from the north, take the Woodburn exit off I-5. Then go east to Hwy. 99E. At Hwy. 99E, head south to the town of Gervais. At the light, go west on Gervais Rd. through Gervais. Gervais Rd. changes to St Louis Rd. Continue west on St Louis Rd. as it crosses over I-5 to Tesch Lane, at the railroad crossing. Go left on Tesch Lane and follow the signs to the ponds. For more information, contact Jeff Fulop at (971) 673-6034.
SUNNYSIDE PARK POND: trout, bass, bluegill
This 4-acre pond is located 2 miles above the upper end of Foster Reservoir. It gets stocked with over 2,000 rainbow trout a year starting in February. It was stocked in early April with 1,000 legal and 50 larger size rainbow trout. Sunnyside Pond also offers bluegill and largemouth bass year round. The park has a campground and picnic area and is a great place to take kids fishing. There is also boat ramp access to the Middle Fork arm of Foster Reservoir. To get there from I5, take US 20 through the town of Sweet Home and continue around Foster Reservoir to Quartzville Creek road. Take a left and follow this road for two miles to the park.
TIMBER LINN POND: rainbow trout
This beautiful, family-friendly fishing pond is located within the 90-acre Timber-Linn Memorial Park in Albany. It was stocked several times already this year. This week it will receive another 250 legal and 25 larger size rainbow trout. Please keep in mind that only one fish over 20 inches may be taken per day. Timber-Linn Lake can be reached by turning east off I-5 onto the Santiam Highway (Hwy. 20), then immediately turning north onto Price Road and proceeding to the park entrance.
TIMOTHY LAKE: rainbow trout, brook trout, cutthroat trout, kokanee
Timothy is a 1,400-acre lake about 80 miles east of Portland past Mt. Hood. From Hwy 26 turn onto Forest Rd 42 (Skyline Rd), and then west to Forest Rd 57. Timothy is one of the most popular family camping and fishing destinations in the Mt. Hood National Forest. The lake's south shore features four developed campgrounds and boat ramps. Three smaller, less developed campgrounds are found in the north. A trail system for hikers, mountain bikers and equestrians circles the lake. Motorboats are allowed on Timothy Lake, although a 10 m.p.h. speed limit is in place.
TRAIL BRIDGE RESERVOIR: trout
Trail Bridge Reservoir is open to year-round angling. This waterbody is adjacent to Hwy 126 and is approximately 60 miles east of Springfield. Only adipose fin-clipped trout may be harvested from Trail Bridge Reservoir. Flies and lures only may be used.
TRILLIUM LAKE: trout
Trillium is a 60-acre lake located approximately three miles east of Government Camp off of Hwy 26. This lake is popular for fishing, camping and photography, often clearly reflecting Mount Hood. A large campground at the lake features a seasonal boat ramp and wheelchair-accessible floating dock.
TROJAN PONDS: trout, warmwater species
ODFW will host a family fishing event at Trojan Pond near Ranier on Saturday, April 26 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. To ensure there are plenty of fish for participating families, ODFW will stock the pond this week with 2,000 rainbow trout. This event is free, and ODFW will supply gear, bait and instruction. The pond was stocked with an additional 6,000 trout the previous three weeks, so there should be lots of fish available for the family fishing event. Trojan Pond is a 15-acre lake about 4.5 miles southeast of Rainier on the north side of Hwy 30 at the Trojan nuclear facility.
WALLING POND: trout, crappie, bass
In winter, spring, and fall, Walling Pond receives over 5,000 trout ranging in size from legal to multi-pound brooders. It will be stocked this week with 400 legal and 50 larger size rainbow trout. As a reminder, brooders are considered trout so zone regulations apply: five trout daily may be kept and only one may be over 20 inches. The pond is located within the Salem city limits west of I-5. Take Turner Road off Mission Street.
-Photo by Kathy Munsel-
WALTER WIRTH LAKE: trout, crappie, bass
This popular Salem lake in Cascade Gateway Park receives thousands of hatchery trout annually. It was stocked again last week with 2,200 legal and 150 larger size rainbow trout. As a reminder, only one fish over 20 inches may be kept. This wheelchair accessible lake is located just east of Salem within Cascade Gateway Park, west of I-5 at Hwy. 22. Take Airport Rd. or Turner Rd. to reach the lake.
WAVERLY POND: trout, bluegill, catfish
Waverly Pond receives over 2,500 trout annually, ranging in size from ‘legal’ to ‘trophy’. It was stocked again last with 750 legal size rainbow trout. Please be aware, only one fish over 20 inches may be kept. Here is an excellent in-town fishing opportunity. From I-5 take exit 234 west towards Albany. The pond is located a quarter mile down Pacific Boulevard on the right. A paved ADA-accessible path runs all the way around the pond.
WEST SALISH POND: panfish, trout
The Salish Ponds Wetlands Park restoration project is far enough along that anglers are able to go in and fish both the east and west ponds. A variety of resident warm water species can be found in both ponds, with the east offering the greatest opportunity.
The City of Fairview would like to give young plantings in the park another season to establish themselves before large numbers of anglers begin fishing there again; as a result ODFW likely won’t resume stocking West Salish Pond with trout until late 2014.
WILLAMETTE RIVER: sturgeon, winter steelhead, Chinook salmon
With the Columbia River now closed to salmon fishing for awhile anglers should expect to find increased effort on the Willamette from Oregon City down to the lower Multnomah Channel. Flows have dropped substantially in the past few days and the rain forecast this week could help to improve the catch, as long as the river doesn’t get blown out. Anglers out trying in the past week found that hooking into fish was a real challenge as catches were only fair with the persistent and experienced anglers finding some limited success. ODFW checks over the past weekend showed the Oregon City area producing fish while the lower channel and Portland harbor were proving to be a bit stingy in offering up landed springers.
Spring Chinook passage at Willamette Falls has increased due to the warmer water temperatures and decreased flows with 1,887 counted through April 20. Winter steelhead are still passing with 4,396 moving through as of April 20 while the summer steelhead have reached 992 counted up through April 20.
Monday hydrological data shows the Willamette falling to 17,400 cfs, the water temperature near 53°, and visibility up at 5.6 feet.
OPEN: COUGAR, CONTROLLED SPRING BEAR, SPRING TURKEY
Use the Oregon Hunting Map to see where to hunt.
Youth Outdoor Day, EE Wilson Wildlife Area (near Corvallis), May 31.
Spaces are limited and this event tends to fill fast so register now.
-National Wild Turkey Federation-
Spring Turkey season is open April 15-May 31. Turkeys are abundant in the foothills of the southern Willamette Valley. Turkeys prefer habitat with a mix of open meadow or grass land and oak forest. Unfortunately for hunters, this habitat is almost exclusively privately owned in the foothills of the Willamette Valley. Hunters will struggle to find turkeys on public property but good hunting opportunities exist for hunters that have access to private property. Hunters wishing to hunt in the Willamette Valley are encouraged to seek out landowners and ask for permission to hunt.
For those turkey hunters who haven’t harvested their bird, turkey hunting experts recommend staying on stand a little longer, using different calls to change-up your calling pattern and practice judging distances so you don’t miss your opportunity when it comes strutting along.
Western Oregon controlled black bear seasons continue thru May 31. As expected, few hunters had success the first week and the wildlife district staff have not checked-in a harvested bear from the north Santiam, Scappoose, or east Trask Units yet this season. Hunting in the coastal units usually improves in mid to late April and hunting in the Cascade units is best in late May. With early spring green-up this year hunters may have more early success than usual. The key to early success is to target days with some sun and mild weather. Hunters will want to look for areas with abundant green grass or skunk cabbage. Freshly torn up stumps also indicates a bear is in the area. Remember skull of any bears taken must be checked in within 10 days; see the regs for details.
Cougar season is open in all zones beginning on Jan. 1, 2014. Hunters will need to purchase a 2014 hunting license and a 2014 cougar tag to hunt cougars.
Successful cougar hunters will need to check-in any cougar taken at an ODFW office within 10 days of the kill. Hunters are reminded that biologists located in field offices may be out in the field handling other issues so call ahead to make arrangements to have your cougar checked-in. The hide and skull must be unfrozen and the skull and proof of sex must be attached to the hide. Hunters are required to submit the reproductive tract of any female cougar taken.
Pick up the Big Game Hunting Regulations before your hunting trip to ensure that you are familiar with all of the requirements.
Attract birds and wildlife to your backyard
Spring is here and now is the time to plan your planting. Here are resources to help you with native plants, natural landscapes and water-friendly gardening practices in your yard. Attend a free Naturescaping class to help plan your yard: Lake Oswego, Tryon Creek Stat Park, Tualatin Hills Nature Park and more locations.
|Western Painted Turtle
-Photo by Don Vandeberg-
Visit Clean Water Services Web site for more information.
Be on the lookout for native turtles
Oregon’s two native turtles, the western pond and the western painted turtle, are emerging from winter hibernation. After several months of lying dormant either at the bottom of wetland ponds or on land under leaves and brush, turtles are eager to forage for food and bask during sunny periods between rain showers. Be on the lookout for turtles on land moving to water from their upland over-wintering sites. Look for turtles basking in the sunshine on fallen trees and branches in the water. This is also the time of the year when hatchling turtles that over-wintered in their underground nests come to the surface and move to aquatic habitats with shallow water and plenty of vegetation for hiding from would-be predators such as great blue herons.
Amphibian eggs are hatching
Most native frogs and salamanders in the Willamette Valley have already laid their eggs. Eggs are hatching. Frog tadpoles and salamander larvae are now visible. Can be observed in sunny, shallow water areas of natural wetlands and manmade ponds. Frog tadpoles are herbivores, grazing on algae and other plant material while salamander larvae are carnivorous, eating zooplankton, invertebrates, and sometime even other salamander larvae. Some native amphibians like the Pacific treefrog and rough-skinned newt are still courting and laying eggs. Observe and listen to native amphibians, but leave them in the wild. Moving/relocation of native amphibians is not permitted due to concerns related to the spread of amphibian disease.
Call of the sandhill cranes
Spring is a good time to hear the musical call of sand hill cranes as they pass through the valley on their way north. Large flocks can be seen flying very high. They occasionally land in fields east and north of Salem and near Sauvie Island for a few days of rest.
Ruffed grouse – drummers of the forest
Listen for a rhythmic drumming as you hike the forests this spring―male ruffed grouse are out courting females and their rhythmic wing beating (drumming) is used to advertise their presence and draw females into their territories. Drumming starts with a slow but powerful wing beat every second, rapidly speeding up, and ending 8 to 11 seconds later. This acoustic “calling card” is repeated every 3 to 5 minutes in the early morning and late afternoon during the breeding season. Ruffed grouse are native to Oregon and can be easily identified by their relatively long, fan-shaped and distinctively banded tail in addition to their neck ruffs. Look and listen for these 16-19 inch long, brown or gray-brown, chicken sized birds in deciduous and mixed forest communities in western Oregon.
Turkeys strut their stuff this time of year
Wild turkeys are actively strutting and courting during this time of year. These birds were introduced into Oregon from other parts of the US where they are native. These birds are widely established in the foothills around the edge of the Willamette Valley. Look for them where there is a mix of wooded areas and pastures. Mixed hardwoods, especially oaks, are preferred over conifers. Tall pines or fir trees are often used for night roosts. Fortunately, turkeys are most active and easiest to see on warm sunny days! Landowners beware! While turkeys are fun to watch and have around, if you feed them you may create a serious problem for yourself and your neighbors. Turkeys will often become a serious nuisance when they concentrate in an area because they are being fed. Turkeys that are not fed will range widely and rarely cause such problems.
Sea lions active in Portland harbor
California and Stellar sea lions are now foraging for fish in the Willamette River below Willamette Falls. Awkward on land, in the water sea lions are powerful and graceful swimmers. Their presence during the spring Chinook season raises some challenging management issues. Nevertheless, this is animal behavior worth watching.
The Osprey Returns
Each spring, osprey make their return to Oregon in preparation for the breeding season. Ospreys were first documented in Oregon in 1855 and historically were very numerous. In the 1970s, they experienced drastic declines as a side effect of widespread pesticide use. With environmental regulations that banned these chemical and the Federal Migratory Bird Treaty Act that offers protection to all native migratory birds, including osprey, ospreys have made a remarkable comeback.
Osprey can be seen throughout the Willamette Valley, nesting on the very top of dead/dying trees, cell phone towers, power poles, river pilings, and even on abandoned human structures such as cranes. Enjoy watching the osprey, but be careful not to disturb them during their critical nesting time (March – August).
More on ospreys (pdf).
Leave young owls where you find them
Don't be surprised if you see a baby owl on the ground this spring. Owls are one of earliest nesting birds in the Willamette Valley and this is the time of the year when they are leaving the nest.
It is a natural occurrence for young owls to spend much of their time on the ground being fed by their parents. Please do not interfere. If you come across a baby owl on the ground, assume its parents are in the vicinity and are feeding it. This is a normal stage of development. Leave the area quietly and do not disturb the young owl. When in doubt, call your local ODFW office for assistance.
Remember, nothing can quite take the place parental owls in feeding and raising young owls—help keep wildlife wild!
EE Wilson Wildlife Area
Wildlife viewing is good with waterfowl, shorebirds and neotropical migrants beginning to arrive. Deciduous trees do not have leaves allowing better viewing. Note: dogs are required to be on a leash inside the wildlife area boundary.
People can now use the photography blind on the Wildlife Area. Staff will feed daily so there will be good photo opportunities for waterfowl including mallards, wood duck, hooded merganser, ring-necked duck, western Canada goose. Broods are common. Snipe and other shorebirds are periodically seen. Call the office to make a reservation, (541) 745-5334.
Find directions to EE Wilson Wildlife Area.
Fern Ridge Wildlife Area
-Photo by Charlotte Ganskopp-
Wintering concentrations of waterfowl can be observed on the lake and surrounding mudflats and wetlands. Several thousand Canada geese use Fern Ridge Lake for an evening roost site and the sunset and sunrise departures and arrivals of the large flocks of geese provides an outstanding viewing opportunity. Observant visitors may also catch a glimpse of black tailed deer and furbearers including beaver and otter, mink, red fox and coyotes.
Royal Avenue and the trail to the Fisher Butte viewing platform remain open all day every day year round. There is a second elevated viewing platform in the Fisher Butte unit located 1/4 mile north of the Fisher Butte unit parking lot on Hwy 126.
The majority of Fern Ridge Wildlife Area is open daily for public use providing great wildlife viewing opportunities. Visitors are reminded there are seasonal access restrictions in place in five units during the fall and winter to provide wildlife sanctuary. The East Coyote, West Coyote Fisher Butte and Royal Amazon units are now closed to public access six days a week to provide sanctuary for ducks, geese and other birds that are nesting in preparation for the upcoming migration. The closure will be in effect, except on designated trails, through April 30. These areas are open to public access on Saturdays. Visitors are reminded that dogs must remain on leash at all times.
The Kirk Park unit is open daily for public use and hunting is limited to 3 days per week (Sat-Sun-Wed) plus holidays. The entire Fern Ridge lake water area and surrounding mudflats remain open daily year-round. The mudflats surrounding the lake low winter pool can provide for excellent hiking on a sand-bar type lake bottom that extends for miles.
Visitors are cautioned that there have been recent vehicle break-ins at Fern Ridge and in local parks, so please secure your valuables before departing your vehicle. Parking areas are located along Highway 126, Nielson Road, Cantrell Road, Territorial Road, and Clear Lake Road. Contact the wildlife area headquarters, (541) 935-2591 if you have any questions.
Sauvie Island Wildlife Area
- Photo by Kathy Munsel-
Migratory sandhill cranes are arriving in great numbers. The wood ducks are back and the great blue heron rookery is now visible from the Walton beach parking lot. Herons generally nest (roost) in colonies in large trees. The first osprey was spotted this weekend. Also an albino cackler goose was seen from the Walton Beach parking lot. The hummingbirds have arrived.
Bald eagles and red-tailed hawks are very active on their nests in anticipation of their new arrivals. There are approximately 10 active eagle nests on the Wildlife
Area. The great horned owls have chicks now.
Viewing areas currently open to the public are Coon Point, the Eastside Viewing Platform and Rentenaar Road. The wildlife area is scheduled to open on April 15.
Sauvie Island Wildlife Area is located on Sauvie Island, only 10 miles north of Portland off Highway 30. A parking permit is required for the Sauvie Island Wildlife Area and can be purchased at ODFW License vendors or at the Sauvie Island ODFW office, Monday through Friday during office hours. For more information, call (503) 621-3488.
Directions to Sauvie Island Wildlife Area