Weekend fishing opportunities
It’s time to consider winter steelhead fishing on the Willamette and its tributaries. It’s still early but the recent heavy rains likely brought some winters into the system.
- Oregon Fish and Wildlife-
- Catch-and-release only sturgeon fishing is open on the lower Willamette and is a good way to have some fun and entertain out-of-town guests.
- Timber Linn Pond in Albany was recently stocked with 140 large brood trout, and some of those fish should still be available.
- Now that Detroit and Green Peter reservoir pool elevations have been lowered down for the winter, flows in both the North and South Santiam have returned to excellent fishing conditions. Plenty of summer steelhead left in the river above Lebanon dam, as well as coho salmon lower down
New salmon, steelhead, sturgeon endorsement
Beginning Jan. 1, 2014 anglers fishing for salmon, steelhead or sturgeon in the Columbia River and its tributaries will be required to have a Columbia River Basin endorsement. See a map of the Basin and get more information.
If your favorite fishing spot is no longer listed
It’s probably because that river, lake or reservoir is closed for the season, inaccessible due to snow and bad roads, or offers limited fishing opportunities during the winter months. These waterbodies will re-appear in the Recreation Report when they re-open next spring, or when access and/or opportunity improves.
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.
The 2013 schedules:
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
Fish releases into Alton Baker Canoe Canal have ended for the year. Stocking will resume again in February. Some holdover hatchery fish may continue to be available from upper Canal releases. Summer steelhead are occasionally caught in this system and anglers are reminded they will need a combined angling tag to legally 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.
BLUE RIVER: trout, steelhead
Blue River both above and below Blue River Reservoir is closed to fishing until April 26, 2014.
-Oregon Fish and Wildlife-
CANBY POND: rainbow trout
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 was last stocked for the season the week of July 29. Carmen 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 were reported in mid-June. 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
While it’s just a bit early for any numbers of winter steelhead to be in the river this weekends rain may have brought a few into the river. Both the quality and quantity of any late coho or summer steelhead are in question and both runs should be considered over.
The dry cold weather should leave the river in great shape as winter steelhead season nears. Monday hydrological data shows flows at 15,300 cfs, a gauge reading in Estacada of 17.87 ft., and the water temperature up slightly at 41°.
CLEAR LAKE: trout
Clear Lake was last stocked for the season in late August and is open all year. 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 is open to catch-and-release fishing for trout.
Coast Fork basin-specific regulations and stocking schedule.
|Daughter and Father Fishing
-Oregon Fish and Wildlife-
COTTAGE GROVE POND: trout, warmwater species
Cottage Grove Pond was last stocked for the season in early April. 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.
COTTAGE GROVE RESERVOIR: trout, warmwater species
Cottage Grove Reservoir was last stocked for the season in mid-October. 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
Creswell Pond 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.
DETROIT RESERVOIR: trout, kokanee
Located 50 miles east of Salem, this large lake (approximately 3,000 acres at full pool) receives over 100,000 trout throughout the year. The reservoir was stocked in mid-October with 7,000 legal-sized rainbow trout. The water elevation has dropped below the toe of most boat ramps but Mongold State Park is still available. Check with local outfitters in the town of Detroit to find out more.
DEXTER RESERVOIR: trout
Dexter Reservoir was stocked in late September for the final time this year with 5,000 legal-sized rainbow trout. Dexter Reservoir is adjacent to Highway 58 near Lowell and is open all year.
DORENA RESERVOIR: trout, warmwater
Dorena Reservoir was last stocked for the season in late September. Dorena Reservoir is east of Cottage Grove on Row River Road and is open all year.
DORMAN POND: trout
Stocked the week of April 29 with 2,000 legal-sized rainbow trout. This is an 8-acre pond west of Forest Grove at the junction of Hwy. 8 and Hwy. 6.
-Photo by Derek Wiley, ODFW-
EAGLE CREEK: coho
Eagle Creek coho fishing is coming to close but there are a few late fish holding in the canyon between the middle ladder and the hatchery, although most are pretty dark. Eagle Creek National Fish Hatchery has seen a couple winter steelhead swim into the hatchery trap and has processed about 5,000 coho this fall.
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.”
FARADAY LAKE: trout
Stocked the week of Sept. 2 with 1.200 legal-sized rainbow trout. Faraday Lake is located one mile southeast of Estacada at the Faraday Hydroelectric Project.
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. Two of the boat ramps are currently open, Orchard Point and Richardson Park. For local information regarding the lake, 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.
A blue-green algae warning was issued for this lake on Aug. 15 based on a visual observation of scum on the water surface. As of Oct. 21 this warning had not been lifted.
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. It was stocked in September with 10,000 rainbow trout. Please remember that kokanee and only adipose fin-clipped trout may be taken and there are no limits on size or number of bass. Sunnyside Park and Gedney boat ramps are available at this time. 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.
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. Reservoir levels have dropped to winter low levels but Thistle Creek boat ramp is open.
HIGH MOUNTAIN LAKES: trout (rainbow, brook, cutthroat)
Cold weather has arrived and most of our high mountain lakes are freezing up. The ice is not yet thick enough to support the weight of people. Anglers interested in ice fishing in these lakes are advised to be very cautious as ice consistency can be extremely variable. Lists of stocked Willamette basin high cascade lakes are available on-line – see Willamette Zone, North and South Willamette High Lakes.
HILLS CREEK RESERVOIR: trout, warmwater fish
Hills Creek Reservoir is open to fishing all year. All non-adipose fin-clipped trout and salmon must be released unharmed. 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.
- Photo by Roger Smith-
HILLS CREEK above HILLS CREEK RESERVOIR: trout
Hills Creek is closed to fishing until April 26, 2014.
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. In the first week of November it was stocked with 100 very large brood trout between averaging 15 pounds each. It will be stocked again this week with an additional 100 very large brood trout. As a reminder, zone regulations apply: five trout daily may be kept and only one over 20 inches. The steelhead stocked are considered ‘trout’ and the only-one-over-20-inches regulation applies.
LEABURG LAKE: trout
Leaburg Lake is closed to fishing until April 26, 2014.
MCKENZIE RIVER below Leaburg Lake: trout, salmon, steelhead
The McKenzie River below Leaburg Lake is currently open to catch-and-release fishing for trout and harvest angling for steelhead. Gear use is restricted to flies and lures through late April.
Access will be limited to Leaburg Hatchery from December 2 through January 17 due to major repair work on Leaburg Dam which is operated by the Eugene Water and Electric Board (EWEB). During this time, access will be prohibited from 8 a.m. to noon, and from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. During the closure periods, no vehicle or pedestrian access across the dam will be allowed. In addition, EWEB will place a digital message board near the dam to alert those driving on Highway 126 of specific closure dates. EWEB will also post regular updates on its Projects webpage.
McKenzie basin-specific regulations and stocking schedule
MCKENZIE RIVER above Leaburg Lake: trout, steelhead
The McKenzie River above Leaburg Lake is closed to fishing and will re-open April 26, 2014.
MOLALLA RIVER: coho
The Molalla is in decent fishing condition but any coho left in the lower river will be getting dark and of low quality. Once we see some good numbers of winter steelhead passing Willamette Falls anglers can bring out the steelhead gear, if they haven’t already.
MT HOOD POND: trout
Stocked the week of Oct. 7 with 1,500 rainbow trout ranging in size from 8-13 inches. 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.
-Photo by Rick Swart, ODFW-
NORTH AND SOUTH SANTIAM: steelhead, trout
Flow levels on the North and the South Santiam have come up significantly from the recent rain, but the forecast calls for cold dry weather for the rest of the week. Once river levels moderate and conditions return to normal, fishing should improve. Steelhead and late coho are still available throughout, but most fish are concentrated in the upper sections. On the North Santiam, approximately 939 summer steelhead and 1,495 coho have passed above Stayton into the upper river through Nov 23. This year’s big coho run is finally tapering off. 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 Corps dams is open to salmon and steelhead fishing.
River levels best for fishing are below 3,000 cfs at the Mehama gauge. 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.
CAUTION: The boat slide at Upper Bennett Dam on the North Santiam is in a state of disrepair due to prior high-flow events. Reports indicate that the slide may still be used, however EXTREME caution is required. No fixed date for a repair has been given but it is estimated that it will take place during a low flow period in spring 2014.
PROGRESS LAKE: trout
Stocked the week of Oct. 21 with 500 legal-sized rainbow trout and 100 one pounders. This is a 9-acre lake located next to the Progress Ridge Town Center in Beaverton.
SALMON CREEK: trout
Salmon Creek is a tributary to the Middle Fork Willamette River east of Oakridge. It is open to catch-and-release angling for trout using flies and lures through April 26, 2014.
SALT CREEK: trout
Salt Creek is a tributary to the Middle Fork Willamette River east of Oakridge. It is open to catch-and-release angling for trout using flies and lures through April 26, 2014.
SANDY RIVER: summer steelhead, coho
|Sandy River Steelhead fishing
-Photo by Jessica Sall-
There could be a few late summer steelhead and coho to be found, but it’s getting late into the season as far as finding any quality fish. It’s early for anglers to see any numbers of winter steelhead in the river.
Monday hydrological data shows the river at 20,100 cfs, a gauge reading of 15.65 ft. and the water temeperature holding near 39°.
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.
ST. LOUIS PONDS: trout, bass, crappie, bluegill, yellow perch, channel catfish
Stocked the week of Oct. 21 with 300 one pounders and 800 legal-sized trout in ponds 3 & 6.
The gate to the ponds is now closed until March 1. However fishing is still allowed, although anglers will now have to walk approximately a mile to access the ponds.
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. Since the beginning of the year, this family-friendly pond has been stocked with over 2,000 trout ranging from larger-size to 2.5 pound brooders. It was last stocked in May with 333 legal 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 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 Nov. 18 with 140 very large brood trout averaging about 15 pounds each! 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.
WALLING POND: trout, crappie, bass
In winter, spring, and fall, Walling Pond receives over 5,000 trout ranging in size from legals to multi-pound brooders. It was stocked Nov. 18 with 450 legal and larger size rainbow trout, as well as 50 very large brood trout averaging 15 pounds each! 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.
WALTER WIRTH LAKE: trout, crappie, bass
This pond was stocked again Nov. 18 with 1,300 legal and 100 larger rainbow trout. Last week it received 100 extra large brood trout averaging between 10-15 pounds each! 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
Since the beginning of the year, Waverly Pond has received 2,500 trout ranging in size from ‘larger’ to trophies. It was stocked October 15 with 1,100 legal and larger size rainbow trout. It was stocked again on Nov 14 with 500 legal, 25 larger, and 50 very large brood rainbow trout averaging 15 pounds each. 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, located a quarter mile down the Pacific Boulevard and on the right, will be found in a beautiful park-like setting.
-Photo by Kathy Munsel-
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
Fishing in the Willamette below the falls in Oregon City begins to switch gears over to winter steelhead angling in late November as the traditional winter fishery usually kicks off on Thanksgiving weekend, mainly near Meldrum Bar.
The recent coho counts at Willamette Falls have shown steady decline with passage of fish now in the low single digits per day, however it was an exceptional year for coho moving into the upper river. Recent count totals as of Nov. 24 show 18,583 coho adults and 4,109 coho jacks have passed through the ladder as they moved upsteam; summer steelhead passage numbers ended the season for 2013 at 13,549 fish. The winter steelhead counts are just underway with daily counts still in the single digits and a cumulative count as of Nov. 24 at 73 winters.
Anglers fishing for coho above Willamette Falls should look for fish in the tributary mouths and lower sections of rivers like the Molalla, Tualatin, Yamhill, and Santiam rivers.
The readings for Monday show flows on the lower Willamette falling to 19,900 cfs, visibilty down at 3.4 ft, and the water temperature a very chilly 42°.
- Photo by Charlotte Ganskopp -
OPEN: COUGAR, BEAR, UPLAND BIRDS, DUCK, GOOSE, FALL TURKEY, FURBEARER
Report your tags—even if you didn’t hunt or weren’t successful: Hunters are required to report on every deer, elk, cougar, bear, pronghorn and turkey tag purchased. Hunters who fail to report their 2013 deer and elk tags by the deadline (Jan. 31, 2014 for most hunts) will have to pay a $25 penalty fee to purchase a 2015 hunting license. Report online or call 1-866-947-ODFW (6339).
Hunter orange required for youth
Don’t forget: hunters age 17 and under must wear a fluorescent orange upper garment OR hat when hunting upland game birds (except turkey) and game mammals (deer, elk, bear, cougar, pronghorn, goat, sheep, and western gray squirrel) with a firearm.
Use the Oregon Hunting Map to see where to hunt.
The late period of General Bow Deer season is open through Dec. 8 in select units. Refer to the 2013 Big Game Regulations for details. The rut is winding down and entering a post-rut period. Expect bucks to spend more time traveling as they search out does that either went into estrus late or were not bred and are entering a second estrus cycle. Bucks will typically seek out secluded areas with nearby forage as they recover from rutting activities. Does will begin to concentrate on wintering areas or south slopes as weather conditions worsen. Although rattling may lose effectiveness during the post rut, hunters may find success calling in bucks with low volume grunts that imitate a buck tending a doe. Still hunting or stand hunting over winter forage areas might be the best method to locate der this late in the season.
Field Care of Harvested wildlife
The proper handling of harvested wildlife is the most important criteria to ensure its value as table fare. After properly tagging the animal, the hunter should remove the entrails and get the hide off to start the cool-down process. Wipe down the carcass with a dry cloth to remove any foreign material and keep the carcass clean by placing it into a cloth game bag. Warm weather conditions (greater than 50 degrees) can increase bacteria loads so hunters need to get the carcass cooled/refrigerated as soon as possible. Never place the carcass inside of a plastic bag, tarp or in water since wet or damp meat spoils more quickly. Talk to your local meat processor or butcher to get additional information concerning the proper care of wildlife or go online to find websites that cover this topic.
Upland Game Bird
Quail, Mountain/California – Open season from Sept. 1 to Jan 31. These brush loving birds are often found running between hiding and feeding areas in both brushy uplands and riparian zones. Clear-cuts that are 5-10 years old provide good cover for Mountain Quail while California Quail prefer brushy fencerows near agricultural fields. Please remember that the daily bag limit is 10 birds and the possession limit is 30 birds singly or in aggregate when both California and Mt. quail seasons are concurrent. Remember that wildlife laws state that the feathered head must be left attached while you are in the field or transporting the bird(s) home. ODFW is conducting a survey to determine Mountain Quail locations east of the Cascade Mountains in Oregon. Please report any observations, including the date, specific location, county of observation, and number of quail to your local ODFW office.
Forest Grouse – Open season Sept. 1 - Jan 31. The forest grouse group collectively includes the Ruffled and Blue (dusky/sooty) grouse species. Look for Ruffed grouse along riparian areas and the edges of mid-elevation timber patches during morning and evening times. Sooty (Blue) grouse prefer the upper elevation slopes and ridgelines. Walking abandoned or closed roads is a good strategy for increasing your success rates. Remember that the daily bag limit is 3 of each species and possession limit is 9 of each species. Remember that wildlife laws state that the feathered head must be left attached while you are in the field or transporting the bird(s) home.
|Mallard in flight
- Photo by Greg Gillson-
Duck season is open in Zone 1 from Oct. 23 – Jan 26, 2014. Please refer to the 2013-2014 Oregon Game Bird Regulations. Water levels are still low in the Willamette Zone and finding huntable water has been a challenge for some hunters. Water levels should improve with winter storms. During winter cold spells that freeze ponds and puddles, look for birds to concentrate on rivers and streams with current. Colder weather may move birds south and improve hunting opportunities. As ponds and wetlands freeze over, ducks will be looking for open water areas to feed and loaf. Ducks will typically feed later into the morning during periods of cold weather and dry land decoy sets maybe the best opportunity for hunters early in the day.
Sauvie Island harvest statistics
Fern Ridge harvest statistics
Goose hunters are reminded to check their 2013 Game Bird Regulations for information on open periods and areas. Both the NW Oregon General Zone and NW Permit Zone are open for three periods this year. The second period is open from November 23 through January 12, 2014. Remember, NW area hunters are required to possess a NW Oregon Goose permit to hunt in either the general or permit zones. For latest info on any closures, call 1-800-708-1782 or visit the Waterfowl page beginning Nov. 3.
Your participation is greatly needed
ODFW would appreciate your help in obtaining important information about the health of populations grouse and mountain quail populations. To do so we would like the tail and one whole wing off any grouse or mountain quail you harvest. Look in the 2013/14 Oregon Game Bird Regulations for specific instructions for removing wings/tails and sending in.
Cougar - Season is open. Hunters should look for concentrations of the cougars’ prey species where food sources are more abundant and palatable such as around lakes, ponds, streams and wetlands. Cougars will be more active during low light hours and in areas that have less sunlight, like dense forests and north slopes of mountains. While the majority of cougars harvested this time of year are by hunters participating in other big game seasons, hunters using predator calls can be very successful. As winter progresses some hunters will have success tracking cougars in fresh snow.
Successful cougar hunters will need to check-in any cougar 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. Please review the 2012 Big Game Hunting Regulations before your hunting trip to ensure that you are familiar with all of the requirements.
Oregon Fish and Wildlife
Bear season is open. Hunting should be slowing this time of year, as food sources dwindle and bears search for dens and other protected sites to spend the winter. A few bears can still be found near abandoned fruit orchards. Season closes Dec. 31.
Fall Turkey hunting in the Willamette Zone is difficult since the majority of turkeys occur on private lands in the foothills around the valley. Most public land in this zone consists of Douglas fir forests, which are poor habitat for turkeys. As a result, turkeys are not common on public lands in this zone. Turkey populations are strongest in the mid to southern portion of the zone. Hunters are reminded they must have permission to hunt private lands.
Trappers and hunters should be getting out in the field. Bobcat (opens Dec 1), gray fox, red fox, marten, muskrat, mink, raccoon, river otter and beaver trapping and/or hunting is currently open.
Coyote hunters should be having success using prey animal distress calls. Remember to keep the volume low when you start to avoid scaring any animals near your stand, then increase the volume. Hunters are advised to keep a close watch downwind of their positions when predator calling. While bobcats are less disturbed by human scent, coyotes and fox will tend to circle downwind and once they have your scent – it is all over.
NEW: Hunters get a free Sauvie Island parking permit with their purchase of an annual hunting license. Display on car dash. The parking permit is also required at EE Wilson Wildlife Area near Corvallis and a number of other areas.
Take advantage of severe storms
Severe storms sometimes create good viewing opportunities for unusual birds that get pushed out of their normal range. If severe arctic weather pushes south, watch for snowy owls and gyrfalcons in fields near the Eugene Airport, Finley National Wildlife Refuge near Corvallis or at Baskett Slough Wildlife Refuge west of Salem. Wintering bald eagles may be seen in the Willamette Valley within several miles of the Coburg hills where they sometimes concentrate for night roosting. These birds have become a relatively common sight along area streams, reservoirs, Fern Ridge Wildlife Area and Ankeny National Wildlife Refuge. They are commonly seen in grass seed fields and sheep pastures in Linn County where they scavenge dead sheep.
Visit the Oregon Hatchery Research Center in Alsea for an opportunity to view salmon spawning and wildlife native to coastal streams. Brilliant red, orange and gold leaves against a backdrop of cool green mountains and verdant fields make the drive part of the destination. The Visitors’ Center is open from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and includes interpretive displays of the salmon life cycle.
High water flow in Fall Creek makes ideal conditions to view wild fall chinook spawning. Blue heron and American dippers are daily visitors to Fall Creek and there is usually the opportunity to see red-legged frogs, beaver and otter. Deer and elk are seen early in the morning and in the evening.
From Corvallis, take Highway 34 to Alsea. Continue through Alsea on Highway 34 about 12 miles; Turn right on East Fall Creek Road. From Waldport, take Highway 34 to East Fall Creek Road and turn left. It’s about 40 miles.
Highway 126 sign to the Fern Ridge Wildlife Area
- Photo by Chris Schubothe, ODFW-
Fern Ridge Wildlife Area
Fern Ridge Wildlife Area is open daily for public use with the exception of five units posted with seasonal access restrictions. The closures are in effect during the winter months to provide wildlife protection and sanctuary. Beginning Oct. 12 and continuing through Jan. 26 the Fisher Butte and Royal Amazon units remain open daily until 2 p.m. each day with the late afternoons reserved for undisturbed wildlife use. East and West Coyote units remain closed to all public access daily during this period with the exception of a reservation waterfowl hunt 3-days/week. The eastern 2/3 of the Kirk Park unit remains open daily for public access however hunting is allowed only on Saturdays, Sundays, Wednesdays, and holidays.
Observant visitors may catch a glimpse of black tailed deer and furbearers including beaver, otter, mink, red fox and occasionally even a wary coyote. Depending on the season, some of the unusual and special bird species to be on the lookout for include white pelicans, black terns, band-tailed pigeons, yellow-headed blackbirds, osprey and bald eagles. Winter is a great time of year to look for concentrations of waterfowl, shore birds, wading birds and raptors. In addition to many species of migratory ducks, Canada geese utilize all portions of Fern Ridge lake and surrounding mudflats. Large flights of geese departing in the morning and arriving at dusk provide an impressive viewing opportunity from many vantage points around the lake.
There is an elevated viewing platform in the Fisher Butte unit just south of Royal Avenue that is open daily year-round. A second viewing platform is located 1/4 mile north of the Fisher Butte unit parking lot on Hwy 126 that is also open daily year-round.
Visitors are reminded that a wildlife area parking permit is required for all wildlife area parking lots. Visitors are also 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.
Directions to Fern Ridge.
Oaks Bottom Wildlife Refuge
If you live or visit the Portland area, put Oaks Bottom on your calendar. This month look for American Goldfinch, Dark-Eyed Junco Golden-Crowned Sparrow, White-Crowned Sparrow, Orange-Crowned Warbler, Ruby-Crowned Kinglet, Golden-Crowned Kinglet, Steller's Jay, Northern Flicker, American Coot and Red-Tailed Hawk and Northern Pintail.
Sandhill Crane at Sauvie Island Wildlife Area
- Photo by Kathy Munsel-
Sauvie Island Wildlife Area
Winter populations of waterfowl and sandhill cranes are in and the viewing is excellent. The best locations to see these birds are Rentenaar and Sauvie Island Roads. Thousands of cackler Canada geese can also be observed around the island.
The Sauvie Island Wildlife Area Eastside units and Westside, Oak Island and North are now closed and will remain so through April 30. The trail to Warrior Rock Lighthouse will remain open for hiking and Rentenaar Road, Eastside Viewing Platform and Coon Point will remain open for viewing. All areas require a Sauvie Island Wildlife Area Parking Permit.
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, at the Sauvie Island ODFW office, Monday through Friday during office hours or online. For more information, call (503) 621-3488.
A parking permit is required for the Sauvie Island Wildlife Area and can be purchased at ODFW License agents. A daily permit is $7 and an annual permit is only $22.
Directions to Sauvie Island Wildlife Area.