Willamette Zone Fishing
-Photo by Kathy Munsel-
Weekend Fishing opportunities:
- Trout stocking resumes at North Fork Reservoir, Faraday Lake, and Estacada Lake.
- The kokanee fishery in Green Peter Reservoir is heating up as fish become more active with the warming temperatures. This is a premiere kokanee fishery with a bag limit of 25 fish per day.
- The bag limit on trout has increased to five adipose fin-clipped fish in the Santiam River basin, and there is no restriction on the size of fish kept.
- The bag limit on fin-clipped steelhead has increased by one fish on the lower Santiam.
- Mosquitoes should be declining in the mountains, making fishing Oregon’s cascade lakes a good option as part of a day trip or overnight excursion. See a list of Willamette Zone stocked mountain lakes for possible destinations.
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.
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
The Alton Baker Canoe Canal will be stocked at weekly intervals through the summer and will be stocked at multiple locations with a total of 965 fish this week, including 150 larger fish. 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. 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.
|Rainbow Trout on a stringer
-Photo by Bob Swingle-
BENSON LAKE: rainbow trout, white crappie, largemouth bass, brown bullhead
Stocked the week of June 2 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 May 5 with 2,000 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.
The lake was also stock with approximately 2,000 legal-sized rainbow trout raised by Mount Hood Community College Fisheries program students. Please be aware that some of the fish may be smaller than 8” due to challenges growing the fish this year in very cold water. Angling regulations require that any trout under 8-inches be released unharmed.
BLUE RIVER: trout, steelhead
Blue River above Blue River Reservoir was stocked for the last time this season the week of June 30 with a total of 1,050 rainbow trout. Fish are released at several locations from the bridge above Mona Campground to the mouth of Quentin Creek. Steelhead are only available below the reservoir.
BLUE RIVER RESERVOIR: trout, warmwater species
Blue River Reservoir was stocked for the last time this season the week of June 30 with 3,000 legal sized rainbow trout. 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.
BREITENBUSH RIVER: trout
This scenic river flows for approximately 30 miles into Detroit Reservoir. It is open from April 26 to Oct. 31. Along with cutthroat trout this river has been stocked fairly regularly this season with legal rainbows, up to the last scheduled stocking made on July 28. Because the water runs cold throughout the year there are usually good numbers of fish throughout the summer.
Forest Road 46 runs along most of its length so access is very good despite some steep and brushy sections. Daily limit is five trout over 8 inches, no limit on brook trout and the use of bait is allowed. The river is closed to salmon fishing but remains open for trout harvest until Oct. 31.
CANBY POND: rainbow trout
Stocked the week of April 28 with 1,400 legal-sized and 250 larger 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 stocked in late July for the last time this season with 2,250 rainbow 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.
|Nice summer buck from the upper Clackamas
-Photo by Nick Lewton-
CLACKAMAS RIVER: summer steelhead, spring Chinook
It appears the flows will keep dropping as the Clackamas fell further over the past week and should be even lower by the coming weekend while the warm, dry weather continues. There have been very few boat anglers out on the river and it’s mainly a drift boat or pontoon boat fishery; those that try could need to push their boats through the thin spots. With summer in full swing the recreational rafters have been out in big numbers so fishing should be done at first light in the morning or late evening around dusk.
Summer steelhead and spring Chinook are the primary target in August; summers can be found throughout the river, particularly in the reach from Carver up to McIver Park where acclimation ponds are found and recycled fish are available. Folks fishing up around McIver Park have been hooking an occasional summer or springer, mainly near Dog Creek and just below the dam; the small number of boat anglers out have had some limited success working the water from McIver to Barton. The warm water and low flows make it very challenging this time of year and it’s become mostly a hardware fishery with spoons or spinners producing results. Bank anglers working around Cazadero and above Faraday are also landing a few fish. Anglers should make note that an angling deadline is clearly marked up near Rivermill Dam and the fishway; it is illegal to fish or even cast above this deadline.
Of note for anglers is that recycled fish were captured at the North Fork fish trap or Clackamas Hatchery, taken downstream and released at Riverside and Carver parks, typically, every week through July. There have been several reports come in of these recycled summers being caught since these fish are typically marked with “floy” tags near their dorsal fin and have an ODFW phone number and the point of origin of the fish. Anglers who catch these fish are asked to call the information in; though it is not required, it is appreciated.
Monday hydrological data shows flows down to 848 cfs, a gauge reading in Estacada of 10.48 ft., and the water temperature still fairly warm at 63°.
CLEAR LAKE: trout
Clear Lake is open to fishing all year and was last stocked in late July 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 was last stocked for the season in mid-May at several locations within Cottage Grove.
Coast Fork basin-specific regulations and stocking schedule.
COMMONWEALTH LAKE: trout, bass, bluegill, crappie
Stocked the week of May 5 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: trout, warmwater species
Cottage Grove Pond was last stocked for the season in early-April. Warmwater fish continue to be available.
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 last stocked for the season in mid-April. The Reservoir will be stocked again 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 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 as the weather warms up. The pond and park offer additional wildlife viewing opportunities.
-Photo by Jerry Korson-
DETROIT RESERVOIR: trout, kokanee
This reservoir receives over 100,000 trout throughout the year. It was last stocked in mid-July with 4,500 legal size rainbow trout and is not scheduled for further stockings until late September when water temperatures come down. Anglers report good catches of kokanee below 35 feet as well as trout in the top 30 feet or so. Currently the reservoir is about 15 feet below full pool. All boat ramps including Mongold boat ramp are available, however the two state park ramps barely have their feet in the water. Check with local outfitters in the town of Detroit for fishing conditions.
DEXTER RESERVOIR: trout
Dexter Reservoir was last stocked in late April and will next be stocked in late September. In addition to trout, some warmwater fish are also available. The reservoir is adjacent to Highway 58 near Lowell and is open all year.
DORENA RESERVOIR: trout, warmwater
Dorena Reservoir was last stocked in late April and will be stocked next in mid-October. The reservoir is east of Cottage Grove on Row River Road and is open all year. Trout and warmwater fish are available.
DORMAN POND: trout
Stocked the week of May 5 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: spring Chinook
Eagle Creek is running very low, clear and warm, considered the norm for mid-August. Spring Chinook fishing is likely done for the season with perhaps a scattering of springers to be found in deep, shaded pools from the middle ladder canyon up to the hatchery. Fish quality at this stage will be marginal at best if you can get them to bite. A few Eagle Creek springers have also been caught below the mouth of the creek in the Clackamas River. Anglers can identify an Eagle Creek acclimation released springer from its unique fin-clips; not only are they adipose fin-clipped but they are also missing a right maxillary fin.
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.”
ESTACADA LAKE: trout
Stocked the week of Aug. 18 with 1,800 legal-sized rainbow trout. Estacada Lake is a 150-acre reservoir on the Clackamas River behind River Mill Dam. There is a boat ramp in Milo McIver State Park at the lower end of the reservoir. A fishing dock next to the boat ramp provides non-boating access to the lake.
-Photo by Rick Swart, ODFW
FALL CREEK above FALL CREEK RESERVOIR: trout
Fall Creek above Fall Creek Reservoir was last stocked for the season the week of June 16 with 1,750 rainbow trout at multiple locations up to Gold Creek. Wild trout continue to be available. Fall Creek and Reservoir are northeast of Lowell.
FALL CREEK RESERVOIR: trout
Fall Creek Reservoir north of Lowell was last stocked for the season in late April.
FARADAY LAKE: trout
Stocked the week of Aug. 18 with 2,000 legal-sized rainbow trout. This is a 25-acre reservoir located 1.1 miles southeast of Estacada on Hwy. 224 next to a PGE hydro plant.
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. This reservoir is still completely full at this time, and all boat ramps should be available. 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 remains approximately 5 feet below full pool with all three boat ramps available at this time. It was last stocked in May with 4,000 rainbow trout and is not due for stocking again until mid-SEP when water temperatures are lower. 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 a few very large crappie. A boat ramp is available at East Freeway Lake, and there is good bank access around Middle Freeway Lake. Now that it is summer, the bass, crappie and other warmwater fish are the prize for most anglers. 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 last stocked in early May with 6,000 legal size rainbow trout and is not scheduled for further trout stocking until later in the year. The kokanee fishery is heating up as fish become more active with the warming temperatures. Plenty of kokanee are being caught between 40-60 feet down. Smallmouth bass can be found near underwater structure and at drop-offs. The reservoir level is currently approximately 30 feet below full pool. Both Thistle Creek and Whitcomb boat ramps are open, although the latter may not be available much longer as the water level drops below the toe slope of the ramp.
HALDEMAN POND: trout
Stocked the week of May 5 with 2,000 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.
-Photo by Rick Swart, ODFW
HARRIET LAKE: trout
Stocked the week of June 14 with 3,000 legal-sized rainbow trout and 250 one-pounders.
Harriet Lake is located on Forest Road 56 up the Clackamas River drainage. Forest Road 56 is a left turn approximately 2 miles past the Ripplebrook Ranger Station. The lake scheduled to be stocked the week of May 12 with 500 one-pounders and 25 “trophy” trout which should provide for some exciting angling action.
HARTMAN POND: trout, bass, crappie, perch
Stocked the week of June 2 with 2,350 legal-sized rainbow trout. This pond is adjacent to the Columbia River adjoining Benson State Recreation Area.
HENRY HAGG LAKE: trout, bass, crappie, yellow perch, bluegill and brown bullhead
Stocked the week of June 2 with 6,000 legal-sized rainbow trout. This popular fishery has been stocked several times this spring and there should be plenty of fish for anglers who are willing to get out and work for them. 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 stocked in mid-April with legal-sized rainbow trout. This release is in addition to annual fingerling releases into the reservoir. Additional legal-sized trout will be released in late September. This reservoir is also 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
Native trout are available for harvest and bait may be used through Oct. 31 in Hills Creek. Hatchery fish released into Hills Creek in previous years will now be released into Hills Creek Reservoir.
HORSESHOE LAKE: trout
The planned release of 2,000 trout the week of June 30 has been cancelled due to a wash-out in the access road to the lake. Horseshoe is a 14-acre lake located in the Olallie Lake Basin on the Mt. Hood National Forest. There are a few campsites available at Horseshoe Lake Campground.
HUDDLESTON POND: trout, bass, bluegill
Stocked the week of June 2 with with 1,000 legal-sized rainbow trout. This is in addition to 750 legal-sized rainbow trout and 200 one-pounders released the week of April 21. Huddleston 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.
LEABURG LAKE: trout
Leaburg Lake will be stocked this week for the last time this season with 1,500 hatchery trout. All non-adipose fin-clipped trout must be released unharmed. The use of bait is allowed.
The trout and sturgeon show pond at Leaburg Hatchery will be closed for renovations beginning July 14 until further notice. The goal of the project is to increase ADA accessibility and upgrade existing facilities. The renovations should take 4 to 6 weeks and during that time the show pond will be off limits to the public. However, the rest of the hatchery will be open as usual during daylight hours, as will the boat launch area below Leaburg Dam.
MCKENZIE RIVER below Leaburg Lake: trout, salmon, steelhead
The McKenzie River below Leaburg Lake will be boat stocked this week with 3,000 rainbow trout. Fish are released from Leaburg Town Landing down to Hendricks Bridge. Gear use is restricted to flies and lures below Hendricks Bridge. Use of bait is allowed from Hendricks Bridge upstream to Leaburg Dam through the end of the year. A Columbia River Basin Endorsement is required for anglers targeting salmon and steelhead in the McKenzie. Anglers should check salmon and steelhead counts over Willamette Falls and allow 10-14 days for fish to arrive in the Eugene-Springfield area.
See the EWEB website for possible Leaburg Dam closures.
MCKENZIE RIVER above Leaburg Lake: trout, steelhead
The McKenzie River was recently boat stocked from Forest Glen Boat Landing near Blue River to Goodpasture Boat Ramp near Leaburg Lake with a total of 7,750 rainbow trout. The river will be truck stocked at boat landings this week with a total of 1,250 rainbow trout. All non-adipose fin-clipped trout must be released unharmed.
McKenzie basin-specific regulations and stocking schedule.
MIDDLE FORK WILLAMETTE RIVER above HILLS CREEK RESERVOIR: trout
The Middle Fork Willamette River above Hills Creek Reservoir is open to catch-and-release fishing. 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.
Middle Fork basin-specific regulations and stocking schedule.
MOLALLA RIVER: spring Chinook, summer steelhead
The Molalla is low yet fishable by drift boat or from the bank and with passage of spring Chinook continuing at the falls there should be some springers to be found in the Molalla. These Chinook are returning from direct releases of 100,000 smolts done every year above Feyrer Park; it’s also not unheard of for a few hatchery summer steelhead to poke their way into the lower river escaping the warmer waters of the Willamette.
MT HOOD POND: trout, crappie, blugill
Stocked the week of May 26 with 1,625 trout, including 125 two-pounders. 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
North Fork Reservoir
-Photo by Rick Swart, ODFW
Stocked the week of July 14 with 3,500 rainbow trout. This is a 350-acre reservoir of the Clackamas River behind North Fork Dam approximately 5.2 miles east of Estacada.
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. All other access points to North Fork Reservoir are 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).
OLALLIE LAKE: trout
Stocked the week of July 7 with 5,000 legal-sized rainbow trout. This is the largest of more than 200 lakes within the Olallie Lake Scenic Area on the southern edge of the Mt. Hood National Forest.
PROGRESS LAKE: trout, brown bullhead
Stocked the week of May 5 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.
QUARTZVILLE CREEK: trout
This beautiful stream is located above Green Peter Reservoir and provides excellent opportunities to fish for trout. There is good bank access along most of its length. Trout season opened April 28 and ends Oct. 31. The river was stocked several times through the summer with over 5,000 rainbow trout. It was stocked one last time for 2014 the last week of July with 2,000 rainbow trout. Wild cutthroat trout can be found here as well. Light gear works best and fly-fishing can be very good, but bait is also allowed. There are two BLM campgrounds as well as numerous designated campsites along the road. To get there, follow the directions to Green Peter Reservoir and continue around the lake until the river begins.
SALMON CREEK: trout
Salmon Creek is a tributary to the Middle Fork Willamette River east of Oakridge. Salmon Creek will be stocked this week with 850 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 Oct. 31.
SALMONBERRY LAKE: trout
Stocked the week of May 5 with 1,500 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 Steelhead fishing
-Photo by Jessica Sall-
SANDY RIVER: summer steelhead, spring Chinook
Sandy River flows keep falling and will stay very low as warm summer conditions hold on for a few more weeks. Angler effort has been slow but those who try will find that there are some summer steelhead and spring Chinook in the river with an occasional fish being landed. The river has taken on the glacial melt milky-blue color that some experienced Sandy anglers actually find isn’t a deterrent to hooking fish.
The overall catch reports have been poor to fair, with morning fishing offering the best opportunity to possibly hook into a fish; the water is cooler and the swimmers haven’t shown up yet. The Oxbow to Dabney trip is a good choice by drift boat or pontoon and if you’re bank angling try Oxbow Park, Dodge Park, the Cedar Creek area at the hatchery, Revenue Bridge, up around the old Marmot dam site, or near the mouth of the Salmon River. This should be a decent year for spring Chinook on the Sandy with many fish already returning to the hatchery or showing up in ODFW traps working throughout the basin.
Please be aware the Lower Sandy River has changed recently with a new channel mouth flowing to the north/northwest about 0.75 miles downstream of I-84. The new channel is shallow and flows are irregular and controlled by the tide along with Columbia and Sandy river flows. Angling is currently allowed in this channel which is also accessible by foot from the Columbia Gorge Scenic Area parking lot on the Sandy Delta (downstream and east side of the I-84 Bridge crossing of the Sandy River).
Monday hydrological data shows the river flows below Bull Run lower yet at 479 cfs, a gauge reading of 8.01 ft. and the water temperature down a bit at 60°.
SANTIAM RIVER (NORTH FORK): steelhead, Chinook, trout
-Photo by Rick Swart, ODFW-
Fish can be found throughout the river, but are more concentrated in the upper sections (Mehama to Packsaddle), where summer steelhead and spring Chinook can find cooler water. New fish passage at the Falls is slowing dramatically. Counts at Willamette Falls as of Aug. 15 show just over 31,500 spring Chinook and over 21,300 summer steelhead have entered the upper basin. Of those, over 6,600 spring Chinook and 3,350 summer steelhead have made it above Stayton on the North Santiam through Aug 16. As the number of fish passing the Falls slows, the number of fish passing Stayton is also declining. 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 and will remain open to Oct. 31.
River levels best for fishing are below 3,000 cfs at the Mehama gauge (currently the gauge is around 1,090 cfs). Current conditions USACE is in the process of analyzing flow rates and may reduce the Detroit outflow to around 900 cfs through Sept. 1 and returning to normal in October.
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 new boat slide at Upper Bennett Dam will be closed starting June 20 in order to perform routine maintenance on the dam. It is scheduled to re-open around Labor Day. Boaters can use the boat slide at Lower Bennett dam on the north channel around Geren Island in order to reach the Sayton boat ramp.
UPDATE: The new gate at the Green’s Bridge boat launch site is now closed for the summer through Labor Day. Boat anglers wishing to use the site will need to obtain a key from the ODFW district office in Adair Village. For further information, call 541-757-4186.
SANTIAM RIVER (NORTH FORK) above DETROIT: (trout)
This gorgeous section of the river is open to fishing April 26 to Oct. 31. It was stocked again for the last time this season on July 28 with 3,000 legal size rainbow trout. Up to five trout of 8 inches or larger are allowed per day, but please be aware that this section of river is closed to salmon fishing.
SANTIAM RIVER (SOUTH FORK): steelhead, Chinook, trout, bass
Flows in the South Santiam below Foster dam have dropped to around 973 cfs as of Aug. 11 but should remain fairly stable for the next few weeks. These are excellent conditions coinciding with the diminishing influx of new fish into the basin. Spring Chinook and summer steelhead numbers at Willamette Falls indicated an improved run this year, and so far fish have showed up in good numbers to the base of Foster dam.
Best sections to fish are from Wiley Creek to Pleasant Valley boat ramps, around Waterloo County Park, and from Lebanon down to the confluence with the North Santiam. As of Aug. 7 just under 2,050 spring Chinook and just over 2,500 summer steelhead have entered the fish ladder, however the daily numbers are dropping rapidly. Many of those fish have been recycled downstream to allow anglers another shot at them.
SHERIDAN POND: trout
Stocked the week of June 9 with 1,000 rainbow trout. Sheridan Pond is a 2 ½-acre pond located on the edge of town. An old mill pond, it has plenty of bank access, parking, and a restroom. To get there take Hwy. 18 to Exit 33 onto Balston Rd. Go south on Balston Rd. approximately half a mile and turn left onto a gravel road leading about a quarter mile 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.
-Photo by Roger Smith-
SILVER CREEK RESERVOIR: trout, catfish
Stocked the week of June 23 with 2,600 legal-sized rainbow trout and 250 half-pounders. This is a 65-acre reservoir on Silver Creek 2.5 miles south of Silverton on Hwy. 214.
SMALL FRY LAKE: trout
Stocked the week of June 16 with 300 rainbow trout. This is a small pond located next to Promontory Park and North Fork Reservoir near Estacada.
SMITH RESERVOIR: trout
Stocked for the last time this season in late June with 5,000 legal-sized rainbow 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.
SOUTH FORK YAMHILL RIVER: trout
Stocked the week of June 9 with 2,000 rainbow trout. The South Fork Yamhill from its confluence with the North Yamhill near McMinnville, upstream about 20 miles to Rock Creek near Grand Ronde is stocked with rainbow trout. Trout are released in multiple locations between Gold Creek Road Bridge and Willamina.Yamhill River Road runs parallel to much of this section and provides adequate turnouts and parking at several locations near the river. The remaining 15 miles of river open to trout fishing has some public access but also meanders across private lands. ODFW reminds anglers to be aware of and respectful toward private property rights along the river.
ST. LOUIS PONDS: trout, bass, crappie, bluegill, yellow perch, channel catfish
Stocked the week of June 16 with 4,000 legal-sized rainbow 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. More information: Jeff Fulop, (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 was stocked in early June with 334 legal-sized 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.
-Photo by Rick Swart, ODFW
TIMOTHY LAKE: rainbow trout, brook trout, cutthroat trout, kokanee
Stocked the week of June 30 with with 2,000 legals-sized rainbow trout and 50 trophies (3-pounders). 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. The lake is currently accessible via Highway 26 as well as Forest Road 56 up the Clackamas River.
TRAIL BRIDGE RESERVOIR: trout
Trail Bridge Reservoir is open to year-round angling. It was stocked for the last time this season in late July. 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
Stocked the week of June 30 with with 2,000 legals-sized rainbow trout and 50 trophies (3-pounders). 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
The pond was stocked with 8,000 trout during the month of April, so there should be lots of fish available. 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.
WALTER WIRTH LAKE: trout, crappie, bass
This popular Salem lake in Cascade Gateway Park receives thousands of hatchery trout annually. It was stocked in early June with 2,000 legal and 250 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.
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.
|A 12+ pound Willamette River Steelhead
- Oregon Fish and Wildlife-
WILLAMETTE RIVER: sturgeon, Chinook salmon, summer steelhead
As is the norm for mid to late August you’ll find fishing activity on the lower Willamette decreases considerably while the warm weather brings out large numbers of recreational users. On any given summer day the Willamette River is crowded with boaters and jet skiers, so early morning fishing is the best bet.
Most of the serious salmon anglers have moved down to the lower Columbia and Buoy 10 but the few anglers on the water could pick up a rare late springer since fish are still passing through the ladder at Willamette Falls; the best bet being above the West Linn Bridge closer to the falls. Anglers will also find there are plenty of warmwater fishing opportunities on the Willamette for bass and small pan fish, working the rocky shorelines and around areas with structure, particularly near Cedar Island and Milwaukie.
Spring Chinook passage at Willamette Falls saw a slight bounce back last week despite low flows and very warm water. The summer steelhead passage also saw a little bump after some zero passage days. Passage numbers for the season have been good however, showing a total of 30,071 adult spring Chinook have passed while the summer steelhead have reached 21,299 counted up through the Aug 15 date. The counts for spring Chinook officially end on August 15th so barring any corrections that will be the final count for 2014.
Monday hydrological data shows the Willamette flows at 7,970 cfs, the water temperature down slightly to 73°, and visibility at an amazingly clear 8.5 feet.
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Willamette Zone Hunting
OPEN: COUGAR, BEAR
Fire danger is a concern this time of year and hunters are asked to follow all Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) fire restrictions while hunting. See ODF’s webpage for the latest on restrictions (click Landowner/Corporate Closure Chart for private land closures)
|Hunters age 17 and under must wear fluorescent orange.
- Photo by Mary Hanson -
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.
Industrial forestland owners will usually have information regarding access to their property posted on their gates and usually have a “hotline” devoted to providing up-to-date access for hunters. In addition, many private timberlands use the following link to provide information regarding the access policy for their private lands. Hunters need to have permission to hunt or make sure hunting is allowed before accessing private lands.
Hunters should be preparing now for upcoming big game hunting seasons. Sight-in and practice with your firearms or bows to ensure that when you do get the chance to harvest an animal you are confident in your shooting skills. Many of the local gun ranges will have public sight-in days where you can practice your shooting skills and there are 3-D archery shoots available in the Willamette Valley where you can practice. This is also a good time to ensure that your hunting and camping equipment is in good condition. If not, you will have plenty of time to purchase those items that you need.
Hunters are reminded to be prepared for emergencies by keeping survival equipment such as food, water, signal mirror, whistle, sleeping bag and first aid kit with you and in your vehicle during your outdoor adventures. Don’t forget to wear the proper clothing; it is your first defense against the elements. Let someone know where you will be and when you expect to return just in case your vehicle becomes stuck or breaks down.
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.
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.
Fall Bear season is open and now is the time to get out and scout your favorite bear hunting spots to see if the berries are ripe. Most successful fall bear hunters target natural food sources. To be successful, hunters will want to become familiar with a variety of berry producing plants such as black cap raspberry, Armenian blackberry, trailing blackberry, cascara, blue huckleberry, and elderberry. Hunters that note the location of a variety of berry patches will be able to move throughout the season to stay on the best available food source.
Early in the hunting season bears will be spending the majority of their time in cool and shaded areas trying to avoid the heat. Although bears are most active in the mornings and evenings, on relatively cooler days bears may be active all day. They will be feeding on the abundant berry crops primarily in the early morning hours so hunters will need to be up and on stands before daylight. When out scouting, hunters should be looking for bear sign close to streams, lakes and adjacent to cool north slopes of timber.
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Willamette Zone Viewing
Lots of critters to see down on the river
Beaver, river otter, mink, muskrats and the introduced non-native nutria are common residents along waterways in the Willamette Valley. They can be seen by quietly floating the Willamette River in a canoe or other non-motorized boat and watching the shoreline. They are most visible early in the morning or in the evening when other boat traffic is minimal. Occasionally these animals are seen in the Delta ponds or from the river bike path in Eugene and Springfield or in many of the farm ponds on the valley floor. The non-native nutria has displaced the muskrat from much of the Willamette Valley.
The pileated woodpecker, a spectacular sight
Late summer is a good time to be on the lookout for pileated woodpeckers around the Willamette Valley and throughout Oregon.
- Photo by Greg Gillson-
The pileated, or crested, woodpecker was the model for the cartoon character, Woody Woodpecker. It is a large black-and-white bird with a bold red feathered crest and distinctive call. You may hear its powerful drumming before you see it.
In Oregon, look for it in older forests in the Blue Mountains, East and West Cascades, Klamath Mountains, Willamette Valley and Coast Range ecoregion. They prefer mature forests and younger forests with large snags and logs, requiring large diameter snags for nesting and foraging.
The pileated woodpecker eats the carpenter ants, beetles and termites it uncovers while excavating large diameter dead or fallen trees and logs. Once the woodpecker has moved on, its rectangular excavations serve as home to other birds and mammals.
Pileated woodpeckers prefer the forested, which doesn’t necessarily mean the wilderness. Visit the Audubon Wildlife Sanctuary, which in only 10 minutes from downtown Portland or the running trail in Forest Park.
East of Salem, Silver Falls State Park provides good habitat for this and several other woodpeckers. Hikers on the Bruno Meadows Trail in the Willamette National Forest out of Detroit will enjoy many mountain forest birds and may see or hear a pileated.
At EE Wilson Wildlife Area near Monmouth, focus on the hardwood-conifer forest east of the angling pond where it borders Forest Service property.
Fern Ridge Wildlife Area, five miles west of Eugene, is another great place. In the Zuwalt Park area you will find several parking areas along Jeans Road. A variety of habitats are available here. Pileated woodpeckers use the older stands of firs towards the north end of this unit.
Viewing sites at Fern Ridge
Additional wildlife viewing opportunities
|American White Pelicans
-Photo by Maxine Wyatt-
Fern Ridge Wildlife Area
Watch the sky as white pelicans ride the thermals and spiral in the airspace above Fern Ridge Lake. These large white birds with black wing-tips have been observed frequently on the lake and in the flooded impoundments on the Fisher Butte unit. There are many access points around Fern Ridge Lake that provide entry for hiking, birdwatching, canoeing and enjoyment of the outdoors. Visitors are reminded that dogs are welcome on the wildlife area but must remain on leash at all times Fern Ridge Wildlife Area remains open daily for public use throughout the summer months. Bird checklists and maps are available at area parking lots or by contacting the Wildlife Area headquarters at (541) 935-2591.
Directions to Fern Ridge Wildlife Area.
EE Wilson Wildlife Area
Go birdwatching at the EE Wilson Wildlife Area while the waterfowl broods and songbirds are caring for their young.
Directions to EE Wilsong Wildlife Area
The migration has begun. Look for large chimneys in urban areas to view the fall migration of the Vaux’s Swifts. From late August to early September, swifts gather at migratory roosts—which include chimneys and large hollow trees—before traveling to their winter homes in Central and South America. In the fall, up to 40,000 birds may use the larger roosts at one time. Oregon City High School’s large brick chimney is one place to witness thousands of birds inhabiting a single roost site. Another is Chapman Elementary School in northwest Portland.
More information on Vaux’s Swifts in Portland.
Sauvie Island Wildlife Area
Sauvie Island Wildlife Area
-Photo by Kathy Munsel, ODFW-
Fall migration has begun for shorebirds. The best viewing areas for shorebirds are Sturgeon, Crane or Racetrack Lakes. Wild Himalayan blackberries are ripe and ready to be picked. Visitors to Sauvie Island Wildlife Area are welcome to pick the berries after obtaining a free permit from the Sauvie Island Wildlife Area office at 18330 NW Sauvie Island Road
Take Hwy. 30 to the Sauvie Island Bridge. After crossing the bridge, stay on NW Sauvie Island Road for about two miles. Stay left at the “Y” intersection. The wildlife area office is on the right about 1/4 mile from the intersection.
A parking permit is required for ODFW Wildlife areas, including Sauvie Island, and can be purchased at ODFW Point of Sale vendors. A daily permit is $7 and an annual permit is $22.
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