Oregon Recreation Report (Feb. 19)

2013-02-20T12:42:00Z Oregon Recreation Report (Feb. 19) Corvallis Gazette Times
February 20, 2013 12:42 pm

The Oregon Recreation Report (fishing, hunting, viewing), updated Feb. 19 by the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife.

Spring trout stocking now under way

Early season trout stocking is underway in several areas and some stocking schedules have been posted –others are coming soon. Ready to explore some new water? Check out the Google-based maps for driving directions. It’s all on the Trout Stocking page at http://www.dfw.state.or.us/resources/fishing/trout_stocking_schedules/.

Columbia and Willamette spring chinook seasons

The first fish of the season have been caught on both the Columbia and Willamette. Seasonal regulations take affect March 1 and are posted here.

Saltwater Sportsmen’s Show March 2, 3 in Salem

The 2013 Saltwater Sportsmen's Show will be March 2 and 3 at the Oregon Exposition Center, 2330 17th Street NE, Salem, Ore. 97301. The event features displays, demonstrations, seminars and a trade show aimed at Oregon’s saltwater anglers. For a full list of activities and to purchase advance tickets visit http://saltwatersportsmensshow.com

Mandatory reporting

Thanks to all hunters who reported their 2012 tags on time. Hunters who did not report 2012 deer and elk tags on time will pay a $25 penalty fee when they purchase a 2014 hunting license. If your 2012 deer and elk hunts extend into 2013, you have until April 15, 2013 to report your hunt. More information on reporting http://www.dfw.state.or.us/resources/hunting/reporting/index.asp

FISHING

Beginning Jan. 1, 2013 the following tributaries of the Columbia will be restricted to barbless hooks when fishing for salmon, steelhead and trout:

• Youngs River from Hwy 101 bridge upstream to markers at confluence with Klaskanine River.

• Lewis and Clark River from Hwy 101 bridge upstream to Alternate Hwy 101 bridge.

• Walluski River from confluence with Youngs River upstream to Hwy 202 bridge.

• Gnat Creek from railroad bridge upstream to Aldrich Point Road.

• Knappa/Blind Slough select areas.

EVENTS

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.

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 fishing map.

NORTH COAST LAKES

Trout stocking is scheduled to resume in March.

Surplus hatchery steelhead have been stocked in Coffenbury Lake, Town Lake, Vernonia Pond and Lake Lytle this winter.

MID COAST LAKES

Trout stocking of the mid coast water bodies is under way. The online stocking schedule is now posted so be sure to check which areas will be stocked before you head out fishing.

Fishing for warm water species is slow during the winter months. Largemouth bass, perch, bluegill and brown bullhead are the most common warm water fish. The Florence area offers the most opportunity along the mid coast such as Siltcoos, Tahkenitch, Woahink, Sutton, and Mercer lakes.

ALSEA RIVER: steelhead

The winter steelhead fishery is fair to good with the best success in the mid to lower river during low flow conditions. Fish can be found throughout the river with best opportunities being river flow dependent. Look to fish the upper river around or above the town of Alsea when flows are 5 feet or higher and in the mid to lower river when flows are 3 to 4 feet on the river gauge.

KILCHIS RIVER: steelhead

Winter steelhead fishing is slow. The river is low and clear again. Use light lines and subtle presentations for best results.

LOWER COLUMBIA TRIBUTARIES: steelhead

Fishing for winter steelhead in Big Creek, Gnat Creek, and the North Fork Klaskanine is slow. Relatively few hatchery steelhead are still available.

NECANICUM RIVER: steelhead

Winter steelhead fishing is slow. Fish were moving in after some rain last week, but the stream is now low and clear. Expect a higher percentage of wild fish in the catch. Boaters should keep an eye out for new hazards in the channel.

NEHALEM RIVER: steelhead

The South Fork (mainstem) is in good shape and should provide good prospects for steelhead as conditions permit. The Salmonberry is clear and may provide some decent fishing, but beware of access closures due to damage to the railroad tracks. Few hatchery winter steelhead are still available in the North Fork. Fishing has generally been slow, with more wild fish showing up.

Anglers who catch a steelhead or salmon with numbered tag(s) are encouraged to report catch information via the internet at http://www.dfw.state.or.us/RR/northwest/fish_tag_returns.asp or by calling ODFW at 503-842-2741 and asking for Derek Wiley. All live tagged fish that are not legal to retain or are voluntarily not kept should be released quickly and unharmed with tags intact.

NESTUCCA RIVER AND THREE RIVERS: steelhead

The main river is getting low sand clear. Winter steelhead are present throughout the system, and fishing has been fair, with some good catches reported. All methods have produced fish, with many people side-drifting eggs or yarn balls, or drift fishing. Bobber and jig will produce better as the river drops. Fishing is slower in Three Rivers.

SILETZ RIVER: steelhead

Winter steelhead fishing is fair with fish being found throughout the river. Low clear flows this time of year can be productive but tactics should be adjusted accordingly. Small pulses of fish will continue to move in through the month.

SIUSLAW RIVER: steelhead

Winter steelhead fishing is fair with anglers finding fish from just above the Whittaker Creek area down to the lower river. Low flows will slow fish movement down but good pods of fish can be found with a little searching.

TILLAMOOK BAY: sturgeon

Sturgeon fishing should be fair. Target the channel edges on outgoing tides. The statewide sturgeon bag limit is now 1 per year.

TRASK RIVER: steelhead

Steelhead angling has been mostly slow. The river is fairly low and clear, so expect angling to continue to be slow until the next storm.

Anglers who catch a steelhead or salmon with numbered tag(s) are encouraged to report catch information via the internet at http://www.dfw.state.or.us/RR/northwest/fish_tag_returns.asp or by calling ODFW at 503-842-2741 and asking for Derek Wiley. All live tagged fish that are not legal to retain or are voluntarily not kept should be released quickly and unharmed with tags intact.

WILSON RIVER: steelhead

Steelhead fishing is slow to fair. Many techniques are productive, but the key right now is light lines and small presentations. A bobber and jig can be effective in the low, clear water.

YAQUINA RIVER: steelhead

The winter steelhead run in the Big Elk is slowing down. Low flows should help keep fish held up in some of the deeper holding water. The next good bump in flows should be the last good fishing conditions for the season.

NORTH COAST HUNTING

OPEN: COUGAR, GOOSE

Use the Oregon Hunting Map to see where to hunt.

Mandatory Reporting

Thanks to all hunters who reported their 2012 tags on time. Hunters who did not report 2012 deer and elk tags on time will pay a $25 penalty fee when they purchase a 2014 hunting license. If your 2012 deer and elk hunts extend into 2013, you have until April 15, 2013 to report your hunt. More information on reporting http://www.dfw.state.or.us/resources/hunting/reporting/index.asp

Goose – Period 3 goose hunting is open. Hunting during the late fall and winter months on the north coast is done through the NW Oregon Goose Permit program. Hunters with harvested geese must check into the respective check station for the county they hunted. See the 2012-13 Oregon Game Bird Regulations for details. Large numbers of resident and migratory Canada and cackling geese are on the north coast, and will be present throughout the seasons.

Cougar - Are most effectively taken by using predator calls. However, cougar densities are relatively low on the north coast. Successful hunters, remember you must check in cougar (hide and skull) at an ODFW office within 10 days of harvest and bring them in unfrozen. It’s also a good idea to prop their mouths open with a stick after harvest for easier tissue sampling, teeth collection and tagging. See regulations for details.

COASTAL VIEWING

Resident and migrant WATERFOWL, such as mallards, pintails, wigeon and Canada geese, have been congregating in estuaries like the lower Columbia River, Nehalem Bay and Tillamook Bay. Look for them along the shorelines, feeding in shallow water or on mud flats. Netarts Bay has small populations of sea ducks, such as scoters for viewing. On Cape Meares Lake, canvasbacks continue to be seen. 2/12/13.

CLATSOP COUNTY

Ft. Stevens State Park

At last report, several snowy owls continue to be seen at Ft. Stevens State Park. A number of them usually migrate down from the north to spend limited and sporadic time there, often along the south jetty of the Columbia River. Remember to bring your binoculars and/or spotting scope for best viewing. 2/12/13.

Lower Columbia River

The Twilight Eagle Sanctuary is much more than a wildlife area to view eagles. During the winter, the marsh area of Wolf Bay is alive with waterfowl, including tundra swans. The Sanctuary is located just off of Highway 30, east of Astoria. Bring your binoculars and/or spotting scope for best viewing. 2/12/13.

Jewell Meadows Wildlife Area

Elk viewing has been excellent at Jewell Meadows Wildlife Area. Elk have been visible throughout the day on the Fishhawk Tract. Best viewing times are from 9:00 am to about noon each day. Visitors should start near the main viewing area and along Hwy 202 to observe larger herds of females and young. The older bulls are usually found near the west viewing area. The Beneke Tract is also a good bet if the elk are not out along Hwy 202. Elk are currently being fed a supplemental diet of alfalfa hay on the wildlife area. Staff tries to feed close to the viewing areas on weekends to enhance viewing opportunities. Reservations for the winter elk feeding tours have been completely filled for the 3-month season. Other wildlife to watch for include songbirds near the viewing area feeders, coyotes in the fields, and bald eagles perched high in trees or soaring along Fishhawk and Beneke Creeks. 2/12/13.

TILLAMOOK COUNTY

GREAT EGRETS are present in Tillamook County and can be seen along the edges of Netarts and Tillamook Bays and in adjacent farm fields. These elegant white birds are related to great blue herons, but are slightly smaller. They can sometimes been seen in groups of 15 or more.

The Nestucca Bay National Wildlife Refuge, located southeast of Pacific City is home to several varieties of wintering CACKLING and CANADA GEESE. The refuge tract immediately west of Highway 101 has fields that are favored by the geese for grazing. Viewing is easy right off of the highway, and binoculars are suggested for optimal viewing. Occasionally, individual birds will have colored neck collars, marking the alpha numeric symbols. A spotting scope is best for reading those collars.

STELLAR SEA LIONS have returned to Three Arch Rocks NWR, where they will stay through the breeding season in summer. The larger and lighter colored cousins to the more numerous California sea lions have struggled in numbers in their range for decades. However, they can be seen reliably here throughout the year except for October when most of them leave, only to return by November. Fortunately, they tend to loaf on Seal Rock, the lowest and closest rock to the shore, thus making for great viewing opportunities. Binoculars or spotting scopes are still recommended, through. 2/12/13.

FISHING

Weekend fishing opportunities:

• February can be a great month on the Chetco River, lots of steelhead and not many anglers.

• Steelhead were biting below Elk Creek on the upper Rogue last weekend and with the increase in flow this section should receive the first significant batch of winter fish for 2013.

• The upper Rogue stocking season begins this week! Read below to see if a waterbody in your area will be stocked this week.

Buy hunting/fishing licenses now

Hunters and anglers are reminded to purchase 2013 hunting and fishing licenses before venturing into the field in the new year. They can be purchased on the ODFW website, at ODFW license agents and at ODFW offices that sell ODFW documents. Fees are not increasing in 2013. For more information, visit ODFW’s licenses and regulations page.

New resources for SW Zone anglers

• 50 places to Go Fishing within 60 Minutes of Medford

• Trout stocking map – Google map of all Southwest Region stocking locations

Send us your fishing report

We’d love to hear about your recent fishing experience. Send us your own fishing report through ODFW Fishing Reports -- the information will be forwarded to the local biologist who may use it to update various ODFW resources such as the Weekly Recreation Report.

AGATE LAKE: trout, largemouth bass, black crappie

Agate was stocked with 1,000 legal and 100 larger sized rainbow trout last week. Also, the lake was stocked with legal and larger sized trout in mid-October and should provide good angling opportunities throughout the winter.

The reservoir is 87 percent full.

APPLEGATE RESERVOIR: largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, trout

Hart-Tish boat ramp is now closed for the season. The French Gulch boat ramp is open; however, you can no longer launch a boat from the Copper ramp.

The Applegate opened to steelhead fishing Jan. 1. Only adipose fin-clipped fish may be harvested. Consult the 2013 fishing regulations for more information. Fish are spread out in the Applegate but there should be a new batch of fish entering the river this week if the predicted storms raise the river flow. Spinners, spoons, bait and flies can all produce fish in the Applegate. Flows at Wilderville were 427 cfs on Feb. 19.

APPLEGATE RIVER: rainbow and cutthroat trout, winter steelhead

The Applegate River is open for trout fishing. Two adipose fin-clipped trout may be kept per day, 8-inch minimum length. All wild rainbow and cutthroat must be released unharmed.

The Applegate opened to steelhead fishing Jan. 1. Only adipose fin-clipped fish may be harvested. Consult the 2013 fishing regulations for more information. There are still reports of fish being caught from the town of Applegate downstream to the Rogue. Spinners, spoons, bait and flies can all produce fish in the Applegate. Flows at Wilderville were 676 cfs on Feb. 11.

ARIZONA POND: rainbow trout

Slow. Arizona Pond has been lowered to help control aquatic vegetation. The pond is managed by Oregon State Parks and is open only to youth 17 and under.

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

The reservoir was stocked with 4,000 trout in 2012. Warmwater fishing for bass and crappie is available. Ben Irving recieved 1,000 trout for Labor Day.

CHETCO RIVER: steelhead

Steelhead fishing has been fair to good, depending on river conditions. Boat anglers side drifting small clusters of eggs or yarn balls seems to be producing the best. Bank anglers have also been enjoying some success either plunking spin and glows or drifting some eggs. Bank access on the Chetco River is really good, with some of the most popular spots being Social Security, Loeb State Park and Ice Box.

Chetco River flows near Brookings.

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

Cooper Creek received 600 trout ranging from 8 inch to 2 pounds in early February, 2013. The reservoir was stocked with over 8,000 trout in 2012. Large yellow perch and bullhead are available to catch. Trout fishing with PowerBait has been successful. Some of the trout do have copepods which are tiny parasites on their body and gills. These are not harmful to humans, but the liasons can be removed and the meat should be throughly cooked.

COOS COUNTY LAKES: rainbow trout, warm water species

Area lakes will not be stocked with trout until late February/early March. Fishing for warm water fish species, like largemouth bass and bluegills, will be slow until the water temperatures start to warm up.

COOS RIVER BASIN: Dungeness crab, bay clams, steelhead, sturgeon, rockfish

The water levels on the steelhead rivers in the Coos Basin have been low this past week. Steelhead fishing has been a little more difficult with the low, clear water conditions on the West Fork Millicoma, East Fork Millicoma, and South Coos rivers. Fishing conditions won’t improve much this week unless we get significant rain. Steelhead anglers are having the best luck catching fish by drifting eggs along the bottom or fishing a jig under a bobber. As the water clears some anglers have good success drifting sand shrimp.

Good places to fish are the Millicoma Interpretive Center on the West Fork Millicoma, Nesika Park on the East Fork Coquille River, and at the Big Creek (5 mile marker above the Dellwood office) on the South Fork Coos River. Access to the South Coos River above the Dellwood Gate is by permit from Weyerhaeuser Company, and is subject to their rules. Anglers should call the Weyerhaeuser hotline number at 1-888-741-5403 for recorded information on access and permits. Fishing access permits can be obtained at Weyerhaeuser’s Dellwood office.

Starting on Jan. 1, 2013, steelhead anglers in the Coos, Coquille, and Tenmile basins will be able to retain one additional adipose fin-clipped steelhead per day for a total aggregate of 3 adult fish harvested daily. See page 38 of the 2013 Oregon Sport Fishing Regulations.

There have been no reports of sturgeon being caught in Coos Bay yet. The statewide annual bag limit for sturgeon is one fish beginning Jan. 1, 2013 under new rules adopted in early December by the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission. All length, gear, and season regulations pertaining to sturgeon fishing remain the same.

Anglers fishing in the lower Coos estuary have been catching a few rockfish and surfperch. The best fishing has been near the rocks/jetties. Rockfish have been biting on jig with a twister tail and surfperch have been biting on sand shrimp fished on/near the bottom.

Crabbing effort in Coos Bay has been slow/decent but for those that ventured out on the bay have found that crabbing has been decent. Successful crabbers have been setting their traps in deeper water. Crabbing from the dock has been slow. Crabbing has been good from the jetties up to the BLM boat ramp off the North Spit.

In a cooperative effort including ODFW and OSU researchers, hundreds of red rock crabs have been tagged with a small blue “floy tag” in Charleston to gain an understanding of their growth, age, movement, population size, and fishery. Red rock crabs are native to Oregon and are found in only a few Oregon estuaries. If you catch a tagged red rock crab please contact the ODFW Charleston office at 541-888-5515.

Clamming is excellent during low tides near Charleston, off Cape Arago Highway, and Clam Island. There are also good places to dig clams even on positive low tides in Coos Bay. For more information on shellfish in Coos Bay click on the following link: Shellfish Assessment of Coastal Oregon. Before any shellfish harvest trip, make sure to check the Oregon Department of Agriculture website for any updates http://oregon.gov/ODA/FSD/shellfish_status.shtml

COQUILLE RIVER BASIN: steelhead

River levels throughout the Coquille Basin have been low with clear water. Steelhead fishing has been decent on the South Fork Coquille River this past week. Anglers fishing from drift boats were have the best success but bank fishing on the river near Powers has been decent. Anglers were having success catching fish by drifting eggs or corkies along the bottom or by fishing a jig under a bobber.

Starting on Jan. 1, 2013, steelhead anglers in the Coos, Coquille, and Tenmile basins will be able to retain one additional adipose fin-clipped steelhead per day for a total aggregate of 3 adult fish harvested daily. See page 38 of the 2013 Oregon Sport Fishing Regulations.

DIAMOND LAKE: trout

Diamond Lake opened to fishing on Jan. 1, 2013. The Forest Service campgrounds and the road around the lake will be closed due to snow. Anglers are being asked to fill out creel forms at Diamond Lake beginning on Jan. 1. The information gained from these forms will be used by ODFW to keep track of catch rates and angler pressure during this winter. Forms are located at the resort marina and the north boat ramp cleaning station.

The Diamond Lake Resort has licenses, life jackets and augers available for ice fishing. They also have information on ice and fishing conditions at Diamond Lake on their website at http://www.diamondlake.net/fishingreport.html. Or call their toll free number at 1-800-733-7593, ext 236 or 238 for updates. Most anglers have been fishing in front of the resort and the North Boat Ramp. PowerBait is the most commonly used bait. Vary your fishing depth until you find the fish. Since the trout aren’t real active during the winter, use a small presentation and expect very light biting. Fishing with live bait fish is illegal as is using gaffs.

Anglers should use caution when deciding whether or not to access the lake for ice fishing. As with any fishing opportunity, anglers are fishing at their own risk.

ELK RIVER: steelhead

Slow. Anglers may want to wait until river conditions improve. Anglers can check flows by calling the information line prior to fishing the river. The best flows are usually 4-5 feet.

Check river conditions by calling 541-332-0405.

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

Emigrant received 351 summer steelhead that were released into the reservoir and are available for harvest. Fishing at the upstream end of the reservoir should provide the best opportunity to harvest these fish.

Trout fishing is worth a try for trout anglers. The water level at Emigrant is at 65 percent of capacity.

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

The lake was stocked with legal and larger sized trout in mid-October and should provide good angling opportunities throughout the fall and winter.

FISH LAKE: rainbow trout, brook trout, spring chinook

Wedding ring and worm combinations behind a medium split shot may be a good bet for trout.

Anglers must remember to practice good stewardship when releasing fish. Carefully handle the fish, never using a towel, and keeping them in the water at all times. If the fish is hooked deep, it is best to cut the line for release.

Fish Lake is at 64 percent of capacity and the boat ramp is open.

ODFW has received reports of anglers catching some tiger trout (a brook trout—brown trout hybrid) stocked into Fish Lake last fall. Tiger trout must be released unharmed. It is hoped that these predatory trout will feed on the abundant minnows in the lake and grow to provide for a trophy-quality fishery in a few years. Anglers are asked to carefully release any tiger trout they catch.

FLORAS LAKE: rainbow, cutthroat trout

The lake is best fished from a boat, as there is limited bank angling. The lake can be very windy, so anglers should check the weather prior to heading out.

Boat anglers are reminded to clean all aquatic vegetation off their boats and trailers before heading home to help control the spread non-native plants and animals.

GALESVILLE RESERVIOR: rainbow trout, bass

Galesville Reservoir is open to angling year-round. In addition to trout, the reservoir has also been stocked with coho smolts for the last couple of years. Many people mistakenly think these fish are kokanee. All of the coho smolts are adipose fin-clipped. In Galesville Reservoir, all landlocked salmon are considered trout and are part of the five-per-day trout limit, with only one trout over 20-inches long allowed for harvest. A few adult coho were recently released in the reservoir, but most of them were dark and ready to spawn.

The reservoir was stocked with over 8,000 trout in 2012. Anglers are reminded all bass between 12 and 15 inches must be released, and only one bass over 15 inches may be taken per day. Call 541-837-3302 for information on camping and boat launching conditions.

GARRISON LAKE: rainbow trout, cutthroat trout

Fishing has been hit and miss lately with the cold weather. The best time to fish the lake is in the early afternoon when some small insect hatches are occurring. The lake always has a lot of carry over rainbow trout and a good population of cutthroat. Boat anglers will want to keep an eye on the weather and fish the lake when there is no wind. Access for bank anglers is best at the 12th street boat ramp or along the foredune accessed through Tseriadun State Park. Garrison Lake is located in the middle of Port Orford.

Boat anglers are reminded to clean all aquatic vegetation off their boats and trailers before heading home to help control the spread non-native plants and animals.

HEMLOCK LAKE & LAKE IN THE WOODS: trout

Snow has closed the roads to these and the other high lakes in the Umpqua District.

HOWARD PRAIRIE RESERVOIR: closed

HYATT LAKE: closed

ILLINOIS RIVER: trout, steelhead

The Illinois River below Pomeroy Dam is open for trout fishing. In the summer the Illinois fishery is basically a catch-and-release fishery on wild trout. Adipose fin-clipped trout may be kept, but typically these fish are available only in the lower river.

Steelhead should be available in the Illinois River and the river is currently open to steelhead fishing. Fishing is restricted to artificial flies and lures. Beginning Jan. 1, 2013, in the mainstem Illinois River from Klondike Creek to Pomeroy Dam, anglers may harvest non-adipose fin-clipped (wild) steelhead at least 24 inches in length, one per day and five per year, as part of the steelhead/salmon catch limit. The Illinois River above Pomeroy Dam, near the town of Cave Junction, and all its tributaries above and below the dam are closed to fishing. Consult the 2013 fishing regulations for more information.

Illinois River flows at Kerby

LAKE MARIE: rainbow trout

The lake was stocked with over 5,000 trout in 2012. Lake Marie also received some additional trout for Labor Day.

LAKE SELMAC: trout, largemouth bass, bluegill, crappie

Lake Selmac was stocked with 5,000 legal sized trout last week providing an excellent opportunity for Josephine County residents. Fishing for bass, bluegill, crappie, and other warmwater species is probably slowing down with cooler weather. The bluegill and crappie can be found around the willows, docks, and other types of structure. Fishing may be best during the warmest parts of the day.

LEMOLO RESERVOIR:

Please note new regulations beginning in 2013:

Lemolo will be open from April 1 through Dec 31. However, during April 1-April 26 and Nov. 1-Dec. 31 it is catch and release only for brown trout.

LOON LAKE: rainbow trout, bass, bluegill

Loon Lake was stocked with 6,500 trout in 2012. The resort and BLM campgrounds are closed. Call 541-599-2254 for additional information on campgrounds for spring 2013.

LOST CREEK RESERVOIR: rainbow trout, spring chinook, bass

Over the last few weeks there have been reports of multiple limits caught at Lost Creek by bank and boat anglers. Fish were averaging 12 to 15 inches long. PowerBait was working well for bank anglers while boat anglers do well trolling a variety of lures and bait.

Lost Creek is at 65 percent capacity, and the surface temperature is 42ºF.

Many undersized spring chinook are being caught by trout anglers and must be released unharmed, usually by keeping them in the water as much as possible, grabbing the hook and shaking the fish free. Lost Creek offers excellent trout fishing in fall and winter. Trolling lures or flasher/worm combinations at depth should produce fish.

PACIFIC OCEAN AND BEACHES: bottomfish, Dungeness crab, surf perch

The recreational Dungeness crabbing is open in the ocean.

Fishing for bottom fish including rockfish, and ling cod is open at all depths until April 1. The marine fish daily bag limit is seven fish and a separate daily limit for lingcod (two). Retention of cabezon is not allowed until July 1 due to a small harvest cap. Fishing for big ling cod has been good for anglers when the ocean has been calm. At this time of the year big ling cod move into shallower water in preparation to spawn.

There were no reports of anglers fishing for surfperch in the ocean because the ocean has been very rough this past week. When the swells drop below four feet anglers should be able to start picking up surf perch along their favorite beaches. Fishing with sand shrimp or sand worms are always great baits to use for surf perch fishing.

PLAT I RESERVOIR: rainbow trout, warm water fish

Plat I was stocked with over 3,500 fish in 2012. In addition to trout fishing, the lake also has good bass fishing. Bass can be harvested from March 1 to Oct. 31 and are catch-and-release only from Nov. 1-Feb. 29. The reservoir is drawn down for the winter and will be refilled in Febuary.

REINHART PARK POND: trout

Reinhart was stocked with 300 legal sized trout last week. Also, the lake was stocked with legal and larger sized trout in mid-October and should provide good angling opportunities throughout the winter.

ROGUE RIVER

To find out more about conservation, management and outreach efforts on the Rogue River, check out the Rogue River page on the ODFW Web site.

River users can find stream flows and temperatures for several Rogue River reporting stations at this website: Rogue River levels.

Rogue River, lower: steelhead

Anglers are spread throughout the lower river, but success has been mixed. Most anglers fish the edges of the river targeting moving steelhead. The two preferred methods are to plunk a spin-n-glow or run plugs out of an anchored boat. If flows continue to stay low, anglers may want to start side drifting with eggs from Foster Bar down to Agness for a mix of adult steelhead and half pounders.

Rogue River, middle: steelhead, trout, chinook

Fishing has slowed over the last week as the river drops but bright winter fish are available downstream of Galice. Expect more fish to move into this area as the river flow increases this week. The flow at Grants Pass was 2,320 cfs and the river temperature was peaking around 42ºF on Feb. 19.

The mainstem Rogue River from Gold Beach to Fishers Ferry Boat ramp is currently open to the retention of wild steelhead, at least 24 inches in length, 1 per day, five per year. Consult the 2013 fishing regulations for more information. Take care when releasing fish. Anglers should be advised that the former marker at Gold Ray Dam has been changed since the dam has been removed. It is now located downstream of the former dam site at Fishers Ferry boat ramp.

Rogue River, upper: steelhead, trout

This section of the river opened to bait fishing Jan. 1. Consult the 2013 fishing regulations for more information. Anglers should be advised that the former marker at Gold Ray Dam has been changed since the dam has been removed. It is now located downstream of the former dam site at Fishers Ferry boat ramp.

The river from the hatchery deadline downstream to the mouth of Big Butte Creek is often fishable even when the rest of the river is blown out. Summers are still showing up at the hatchery so fishing this section could be worth the trip. Fishing slowed over the last week as river flows dropped in this section. However, if the forecasted precipitation arrives this week, expect fish to show up soon in good numbers.

Remember all non-adipose fin clipped steelhead must be released unharmed. Take care when releasing fish. Also, please be advised summer steelhead are currently spawning and if a caught fish begins to release eggs it should be released quickly and carefully.

A total of 5,170 summers and 11 winters have entered Cole Rivers Hatchery as of Feb 6. Releases from Lost Creek Reservoir are 1050 cfs on Feb. 19.

Rogue River, above Lost Creek Reservoir: trout

Open to fishing! The Rogue above Lost Creek opened to fishing on Jan. 1, 2013 and will remain open all year. Consult the 2013 fishing regulations for more information.

SELMAC LAKE: trout

The lake was stocked with legal and larger sized trout in mid-October and should provide good angling opportunities throughout the fall and winter.

SIXES RIVER: steelhead

Steelhead are spread throughout the river with anglers floating between Edson Creek and Highway 101 doing the best. Side drifting eggs or yarn balls, bobber and jig, fly fishing, or plugs all work well.

SMITH RIVER, Umpqua: steelhead, sturgeon, striped bass

Steelhead will start entering the Smith River. There is no hatchery program up the Smith River so the angling opportunity will primarily be catch and release of wild steelhead.

SODA SPRINGS RESERVOIR: brown and rainbow trout

Soda Springs Reservoir and the Mainstem North to Slide Creek Dam closed to fishing when new regulations went into effect on Jan. 1, 2013. The tributaries between Soda Springs and Slide Creek Dam will be open to catch-and-release angling with flies and lures only. The area above Slide Creek will retain the current regulations. Due to construction at Soda Springs, there is currently very limited access.

TENMILE BASIN: steelhead

Steelhead fishing continues to be slow on Tenmile Creek and Eel Creek. This past weekend, the Eel/Tenmile STEP group helped recycle over 30 steelhead from the Eel Lake trap to Tenmile Creek at Spinreel Park, giving anglers another chance to catch these fish.

Starting on Jan. 1, 2013, steelhead anglers in the Coos, Coquille, and Tenmile basins will be able to retain one additional adipose fin-clipped steelhead per day for a total aggregate of 3 adult fish harvested daily. See page 38 of the 2013 Oregon Sport Fishing Regulations.

TOKETEE LAKE: brown trout, rainbow trout

Fishing is open in Toketee year-round. Campground and boat ramp are now open. For more information call the U.S. Forest Service at 541-498-2531.

UMPQUA HIGH LAKES AND FOREBAYS: trout

Clearwater Forebay #2 was stocked with 4,000 trout this spring and received some additional trout Labor Day weekend. For brook trout anglers should try Cliff, Buckeye, Skookum (North Umpqua), Maidu, Twin and Wolf lakes. Linda and Calamut have been stocked with a native rainbow for the last couple of years. Bullpup and Fuller still have brook trout, but were also recently stocked with some fingerling native rainbows. Redtop Lake was stocked in early May and June and received some additional trout for Labor Day. Access to these lakes will be difficult since the roads will be snowed in.

UMPQUA RIVER, MAINSTEM: steelhead, sturgeon, chinook, striped bass

The mainstem Umpqua is closed to wild steelhead harvest, but remains open year-round for adipose fin-clipped steelhead. Steelhead have entered the mainstem Umpqua in good numbers and angling should improve even more when the water temperature increases. Plunking during periods of higher, more turbid conditions can be very successful for bank anglers. The steelhead are fairly well distributed throughout the Mainstem. When fishing in the Mainstem you will most likely catch a wild steelhead due to the high number of wild fish that are still swimming up to the North and South Umpqua. Bank anglers have been successful in areas such as Cleveland Rapids.

Practice good angling ethics to release wild fish unharmed with a minimum of handling. Please report anyone harvesting wild steelhead to OSP. NOTE: It is illegal to keep a steelhead whose adipose fin has been freshly clipped. Anglers should note that most of the steelhead caught will be wild fish and must be released unharmed.

Spring chinook should start arriving in the lower Umpqua in the next couple weeks.

The “50 Places to go fishing within 60 minutes of Roseburg,” handout which is available online or at the office, identifies several good places for salmon and steelhead fishing.

Umpqua River flows near Elkton

UMPQUA RIVER, NORTH: steelhead

Steelhead have been caught from Colliding Rivers down, but the bulk of the run typically doesn’t arrive until mid-February. A few anglers have had success as high as the fly waters. The river will be fairly stable this week. Remember all wild steelhead must be released unharmed. Less than 6 percent of the steelhead in the North are hatchery fish, so anticipate that mostly wild fish will be hooked.

Note that from Oct. 1 through June 30, angling in the fly water area is restricted to a single barbless artificial fly which can be dressed with conventional fly tying material. The North Umpqua mainstem and the tributaries upstream of Soda Springs Reservoir are open for trout angling through Oct. 31. See gear and harvest restrictions.

The new anti-snagging rule will start on the North Umpqua on March 1. This rule will be in effect from Lone Rock boat launch upstream to the start of the fly water area just above Rock Creek. See page 11 of the regulation booklet.

North Umpqua River water levels at Winchester Dam

UMPQUA RIVER, SOUTH: steelhead

Due to the high flows in December and early January, good numbers of steelhead have entered the South and have been caught up to Milo. Bank anglers are fishing behind Seven Feathers casino, Stanton and Myrtle Creek Bridge. The peak of the steelhead run occurs from February through March and can still be very productive in April. The South Umpqua has a winter steelhead hatchery program and over 100,000 smolt have been released during the past three years. These releases provide the best opportunity for anglers hoping to take a fish home in the Umpqua Basin. Good numbers of hatchery fish were caught between Seven Feathers and Lawson Bar this past week. Please remember wild steelhead must be released unharmed.

Most anglers fish the South when it is between 7 to 9 feet. The South will likely rise this weekend if the rains arrive as forecasted. This should help move the steelhead around. Plunkers should also enjoy good fishing when the river starts dropping.

South Umpqua River water levels near Riddle

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

Anglers should be advised that Willow Lake will be open daily from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. for the fall and winter. The gate will be locked at all other times.

WINCHESTER BAY: sturgeon, chinook, rock fish

A few anglers are starting to fish for sturgeon. Note that starting Jan. 1 the annual statewide bag limit for sturgeon will be one fish. Check with the Coast Guard for new deadlines in the lower Umpqua when the bar is closed (541-271-4847).

WINCHUCK RIVER: steelhead

Steelhead are spread throughout the river, but clear water conditions have been making it tough. Anglers will need to use stealth in approaching the river and fish smaller baits. The best time to fish the river is just after a rain when there is some color to the water.

SOUTHWEST ZONE HUNTING

OPEN: COUGAR, COYOTE

Spring bear draw results are in

The Southwest Oregon spring bear tags sold out on Feb. 15 – 4,400 were available on a first come, first serve basis. Draw results are available online https://or.outdoorcentral.us/or/hunterreport

Mandatory Reporting

Thanks to all hunters who reported their 2012 tags on time. Hunters who did not report 2012 deer and elk tags on time will pay a $25 penalty fee when they purchase a 2014 hunting license. If your 2012 deer and elk hunts extend into 2013, you have until April 15, 2013 to report your hunt. More information on reporting http://www.dfw.state.or.us/resources/hunting/reporting/index.asp

Furbearers – A reminder to trappers and hunters that specific licenses and tags are required to hunt many furbearer species, and hunters should refer to the 2012-14 Oregon Furbearer Trapping and Hunting Regulations for details. Currently, bobcat, fox and raccoon pursuit season is open. Fox and bobcat pursuit season ends Feb. 28.

Wolves and coyotes can look alike

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

Use the Oregon Hunting Map to see where to hunt.

COOS COUNTY

Cougar - Cougar season is open year round in Oregon until quotas for specific zones are filled. As of Nov. 16, 91 cougars have been taken in zone A, the zone Coos County exists in. the quota for the zone is 120. Refer to page 41 of the 2012 Oregon Big Game Regulations for more information. Most successful cougar hunters scout for deer and elk and locate areas where these animals congregate. Cougars can be found near these concentrations. Hunting with predator calls in areas where deer and elk are plentiful is often the most successful way to hunt cougars.

Coyote - Populations are good in Coos County and they will often respond to calls. Calling coyotes in the coast range is challenging due to brush. Many landowners with sheep are complaining about losses of sheep to coyote predation. Hunters interested in hunting coyotes may find success in asking for permission to hunt private land where landowners are losing sheep.

Goose – South Coast Zone goose season runs Feb.23 – March 10, 2013. This season is allowed only on private lands west of Highway 101 by permission. The populations are high; season success will depend on migration and California hunting pressure. Any questions call ODFW offices in Gold Beach, Charleston or Central Point.

DOUGLAS COUNTY

Cougar – Cougar season is open. Hunting cougar is most successful adjacent to private land with high deer populations.

Coyote - Numbers are strong throughout Douglas County. Using predator calls to lure them in can be an effective method for harvesting coyotes. Try calling in early morning and late afternoon. Be sure to ask permission before hunting on private land.

Goose – South Coast Zone goose season will be Feb.23 – March 10, 2013. This season is allowed only on private lands west of Highway 101 by permission. The populations are high; season success will depend on migration and California hunting pressure. Any questions call ODFW offices in Gold Beach, Charleston or Central Point.

TRAPPING:

Furbearers – Fox and bobcat pursuit season ends Feb. 28. A reminder to trappers and hunters that specific licenses and tags are required to hunt many furbearer species, and hunters should refer to the 2012-14 Oregon Furbearer Trapping and Hunting Regulations for details. Currently, bobcat, fox and raccoon pursuit season is open.

Bobcat & Gray Fox – Currently open. Healthy populations throughout Western Oregon. The last day of the season for these species is Feb. 28.

River Otter, Beaver & Raccoon – Currently open. Healthy populations throughout Western Oregon. The last day of the season for these species is Mar. 15.

Mink & Muskrat – Currently open. Healthy populations throughout Western Oregon. The last day of the season for mink and muskrat is Mar. 31.

JACKSON, JOSEPHINE, CURRY COUNTIES

DENMAN WILDLIFE AREA: Remember to get your parking permit for 2013. Hunters get the permit free with their purchase of an annual hunting license. Display on car dash. More information

Cougar - General season is open statewide year-round or until zone quotas are met. Southwest Cascades zone B has 165 quota and Coast/North Cascades zone A has 120. Refer to regulations for more information. Most cougar hunters’ success comes from predator calls.

Western Gray Squirrel - Open only in the year-around portion of the Rogue Unit, check Big Game Regulations for area descriptions. Squirrels can be found in oak or mixed conifer stands. This is a great animal to hunt for first time hunters.

Coyotes – Are abundant in our area. Remember to ask for permission to hunt on private lands.

Goose – South Coast Zone goose season will be Feb.23 – March 10, 2013. This season is allowed only on private lands west of Highway 101 by permission. The populations are high; season success will depend on migration and California hunting pressure. Any questions call ODFW offices in Gold Beach, Charleston or Central Point.

TRAPPING

Furbearers – A reminder to trappers and hunters that specific licenses and tags are required to hunt many furbearer species, and hunters should refer to the 2012-14 Oregon Furbearer Trapping and Hunting Regulations for details. Currently, bobcat, fox and raccoon pursuit season is open.

Bobcat & Gray Fox - Healthy populations throughout Western Oregon. Last day of the season is Feb. 28, 2013. Pursuit season is currently open for bobcat.

River Otter, Beaver, & Raccoon – Healthy populations throughout Western Oregon. Last day of the season is Mar. 15, 2013. Pursuit season is currently open for fox and raccoon.

Mink/Muskrat- Healthy populations throughout Western Oregon. Last day of the season is March 31, 2013.

SOUTHWEST ZONE VIEWING

COOS COUNTY

Herring are spawning around Coos Bay. These fish deposit eggs on eelgrass and other aquatic vegetation and create a food source that is very attractive to some bird species and other wildlife. When driving along Cape Arago Hwy., vigilant viewers may notice large concentrations of sea ducks, gulls and other wildlife from time to time in certain locations. These concentrations are likely animals capitalizing on this food resource.

Turkey Vultures

Turkey Vultures have been seen in Coos County recently. Many of these birds migrate from North America to South America annually. They generally return to Oregon in late winter or early spring, as the spring progresses their abundance will increase. They provide a great service to communities in Oregon by scavenging on dead animal carcasses, thus cleaning up our environment.

Marine Mammals

Seal and Sea Lion abundance in coastal waters around Coos County is high this time of year, south of Coos Bay. At Simpson Reef, a heavily used haul out exists. From the look out, viewers can see California sea lions, Steller sea lions, harbor seals and elephant seals.

At this time of year, elephant seal females give birth to their young. These large babies may be encountered on sandy beaches. They often appear to be injured, abandoned, or even dying—but they are not. It is normal for female elephant seals to leave their young to fend for themselves after only a month of nursing. During this time, elephant seal pups live off fat reserves and molt their skin. The molted skin decays and causes them to smell, which supports the appearance that they are sick. They are not; this is a normal part of their development.

Do not approach seals and sea lions you may find on Oregon beaches. If you think an animal you find is, in fact, in trouble, contact your local ODFW office to report the animal or contact the Marine Mammal Stranding Network an (800)452-7888. 2/12/13

Bald Eagles

In winter, bald eagle viewing can be good because the birds are feeding on waterfowl near coastal bays, estuaries and along the coast. Areas to see eagles include Winchester Bay near Dean Creek Elk Viewing Area, Cape Arago Hwy. in Coos Bay, East Bay Drive in Coos Bay and Rocky Point in the lower Coquille River.

Waterfowl

Waterfowl populations locally have dispersed to inland valleys. This makes finding large concentrations of waterfowl difficult to do, however they will be attracted to good food sources. The edges of recently flooded farm fields and some inland wetlands will have waterfowl in better numbers.

Shorebirds

Recently large numbers of shore birds were seen on mud flats along Cape Arago Hwy. within Coos Bay. Good numbers are likely available for viewing in other bays with extensive mud flats at low tide.

Sea ducks

Sea ducks like surf scoters and harlequin ducks are making a strong appearance in local bays and along rocky shorelines where they can find protection from large swells and wind. South Cove on Cape Arago is a great place to see harlequin ducks from now through the spring months. Cape Arago Highway near Charleston affords several views of Coos Bay in an area where flocks of scoters of mixed species can be viewed. If you are going to be near the ocean looking for these birds beware of the fact that tides, swell and surge can be especially high in the fall, winter and spring. Do not get too close. 2/19/13.

CURRY, JACKSON, JOSEPHINE COUNTIES

Denman Wildlife Area

Effective Jan.1, 2013, a Wildlife Area Parking Permit is required to park on the Wildlife Area. Cost is $7 daily or $22 annually. Free with purchase of hunting license. Buy online or at an ODFW office that sells licenses or at a license sales agent. Learn more. Find directions to Denman Wildlife Area on ODFW’s website.

There has been a bald eagle hanging around Whetstone Pond near the Wildlife Area office. Other hawks including northern harriers, red-tailed hawks and rough-legged hawks have been seen hunting throughout the Wildlife Area and the valley.

Take one of two trails off Touvelle Road and enjoy birdwatching and sightseeing. Below the fourth pond and to the north, you will find the newly built horse trail that provides great views of the Upper Table Rock and opportunities to see birds that live in oak trees, wedge leaf ceanothus and areas of riparian vegetation along the Little Butte Creek.

Cackling Canada Geese

Rogue Valley has had an increase in cackling Canada geese (Cacklers). They are the smallest subspecies of Canada geese, weighing around 3-5 pounds with a distinctive high pitched call. Other identifying features would be the darker brown breast and shorter bill. They nest in western Alaska and typically spend the winters in California Central Valley. Now more and more are wintering in western Oregon.

Snipe

Snipe are small, fast and erratic low-flying birds that can be hard to identify. They can be easily confused with killdeer and other shorebirds. Snipe are found in muddy or shallow water areas feeding on insects. Snipe almost always emit a call when they take off in flight.

Lewis woodpecker

Lewis woodpeckers are seen in our area collecting acorns and stuffing them into holes in trees. In addition, they eat insect found on surfaces of trees and will catch them out of the air. They are the size of an American robin with a greenish-black head and back, with a gray neck and breast. Most distinguishing is the dark red face and pinkish belly. Found in open woodlands. 1/22/13.

DOUGLAS COUNTY

Fish Passage

Winter Steelhead are migrating upstream and passing through Winchester dam fish ladder on the N. Umpqua River. The fish ladder is free and open to the public with the best viewing in the late afternoon hours when the water is not muddy. To view the migrating fish go to exit 129 on I-5, proceed southeast on 99 to the fish ladder on the north side of the river.

Amphibians

The pacific (chorus) tree frog is starting to vocalize around ponds, puddles and other watered areas getting ready for spring breeding season. They can be heard vocalizing on warmer days and afternoons.

Owls

Great horned owls and other smaller owls are calling in the evenings or early mornings in areas of wooded habitat.

FISHING

Weekend fishing opportunities:

• Steelhead fishing has been picking up on the lower Willamette.

• A few spring chinook have been landed on the lower Willamette.

• Steelhead fishing is good on the Sandy River and fair on the Clackamas and Eagle Creek.

• Trout stocking is getting into full swing at various locations around the Willamette Valley. Trout are being released this week at Alton Baker Canoe Canal, Cottage Grove Pond, and Junction City Pond.

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.

STOCKING SCHEDULE

The 2013 schedules will be posted at our website as soon as they are available.

North Willamette stocking schedule

South Willamette stocking schedule

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 fishing map.

ALTON BAKER CANOE CANAL: trout

The Alton Baker Canoe Canal is open all year and will be stocked this week with 1,800 rainbow trout, including 400 larger trout. 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. 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.

BLUE RIVER RESERVOIR: trout, warmwater species

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

Canby pond was stocked on Monday, Dec. 3 with 40 rainbow trout weighing from 7-15 pounds. The bag limit on these fish is one per day for those 20 inches and longer. 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 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.

CLACKAMAS RIVER: winter steelhead

Catch rates for winter steelhead were fair over the weekend as conditions on the Clackamas are still good but challenging as the water remains low and clear; some increasing rain in the forecast by late week could improve things. The knowledgeable anglers are still picking up a few fish, both hatchery and wild, from Gladstone all the way up to McIver.

Tuesday hydrological data for the Clackamas has flows at 2,410 cfs, with a gauge height in Estacada of 12.40 ft. and the water temperature holding near 41°.

Beginning Jan. 1, 2013, barbless hooks will be required from the mouth to the 99E Bridge when fishing for salmon, steelhead and trout.

COAST FORK WILLAMETTE RIVER: trout

The Coast Fork of the Willamette River is open to catch-and-release fishing only, using artificial flies and lures. It will open to harvest angling April 27.

COTTAGE GROVE POND: trout, warmwater species

Cottage Grove Pond will be stocked this week with 1,750 legal-sized rainbow trout. 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 in mid-October with 1,500 legal-sized and 200 larger sized rainbow trout, and is open all year. Warmwater fish and holdover trout are available to anglers. The reservoir is south of Cottage Grove.

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

Garden Lake (Creswell Pond) is located in Garden Lake Park on the east side of I-5 in Creswell. Garden Lake was recently stocked with 1,750 legal-sized rainbow trout.

DETROIT RESERVOIR: trout, kokanee

Located 50 miles east of Salem, this large lake (approx. 3,000 acres at full pool) receives over 100,000 trout throughout the year. The 7,000 legal-size rainbow trout stocked in October was the last trout stocking until later this spring. The water level is currently 105 feet below full pool (as of Feb. 15). The Mongold-Low boat ramp is the only ramp still barely in the water; exercise caution when launching. Check with local outfitters in the town of Detroit to find out more.

DEXTER RESERVOIR: trout

Dexter Reservoir was last stocked in early fall with 2,000 one-pound fish. Dexter Reservoir is adjacent to Highway 58 near Lowell and is open all year.

DORENA RESERVOIR: trout, warmwater

Dorena Reservoir was last stocked in mid-October with 1,500 legal-sized and 200 larger sized rainbow trout. Dorena Reservoir is east of Cottage Grove on Row River Road and is open all year.

EAGLE CREEK: winter steelhead

Eagle Creek is still offering some good winter steelhead fishing conditions but the water is a little low and very clear; rain later this week should improve conditions. Angler effort has remained fairly light with a slight increase in traffic on weekends; reports are in of a few winter steelhead hooked from the hatchery down to below Eagle Fern Park and the lower fish ladder. Both bobber and jig or corkie and yarn are proven methods on Eagle Creek but spoons have also taken fish. Anglers should adjust the color and size of gear for changing water conditions. Through last week Eagle Creek Hatchery had seen about 180 adult winter steelhead return this season.

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.”

EAST FREEWAY LAKE: trout, bass, bluegill, crappie

This pond features some good size bass and crappie. A boat ramp is available. Freeway Lakes received a special stocking of approximately 1,450 ‘larger’-sized trout on JAN 17. To get there take the State Police exit in Albany and follow the frontage road south (3 Lakes Road) for several miles.

EE WILSON POND: trout, bluegill

EE Wilson Pond reopened for angling Friday, Feb. 1. The pond has been heavily stocked in recent weeks. Approximately 1,200 brook trout (ranging from half-pound up to two-pound fish), 1,200 one-pound rainbow trout, 500 legal-size rainbows, and approximately 50 7-to-10 pound brood trout have been planted in the pond. An additional 250 2-year brood trout averaging 2.5 pounds were stocked the first week of February. Fishing reports have been excellent so far and should improve when another 800 legals are stocked the week of Feb. 18 with more coming before the end of the month. Anglers can expect crowded conditions for a while so please exercise courtesy while enjoying this fabulous fishing opportunity. Also be reminded that permits are required when parking anywhere at EE Wilson Wildlife Area.

ESTACADA Lake: trout, steelhead, chinook, coho

Last stocked in mid-September with 1,750 legal-sized rainbow trout. This is a supplemental stocking to the Aug. 27 release of 3,200 legal-sized rainbow trout. Estacada is a 150-acre reservoir on the Clackamas River behind River Mill Dam. There is a fishing dock and ADA-accessible fishing platform that provide the only non-boating access. There is a boat ramp in Milo McIver State Park at the lower end of the reservoir, picnic areas, and restrooms. There is a fee for entering the park.

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. It has four boat ramps and there is good bank angling along the dam and at the shoreline parks. The reservoir is currently 16 feet below full as of Feb 15 leaving all four boat ramps out of the water at this time. 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.

GREEN PETER RESERVOIR: kokanee, trout, bass

This large reservoir east of Sweet Home is a premiere kokanee fishery with a bag limit of 25 fish per day. It also supports stocked rainbow trout and some large smallmouth bass. Reservoir levels are approximately 71 feet below full pool (as of Feb. 14) and the Thistle Creek boat ramp remains open.

HENRY HAGG LAKE: trout, bass, crappie, brown bullhead

This popular 1,110-acre lake near Forest Grove is closed until the first Saturday of March 2013.

HILLS CREEK RESERVOIR: trout, warmwater

This reservoir is open to fishing all year. Boat anglers have been doing well catching adipose fin-clipped trout. All non-adipose fin-clipped trout and salmon must be released unharmed.

HILLS CREEK above HILLS CREEK RESERVOIR: trout

Hills Creek is closed to angling until April 27, 2013.

HUDDLESTON POND: trout

Stocked the week of Dec. 17 with 350 rainbow trout “pounders.” This is in addition to the release of 45 large rainbow trout brood on Dec. 3. To get to Huddleston Pond, from Hwy 18, take Willamina City Center Exit. Turn left on Main St. Follow Main St. to NE E St. and turn right. Proceed to NE Yamhill St. and turn left. Follow Yamhill St. to pond.

JUNCTION CITY POND: trout, crappie

This prime fishing pond was stocked during the month of January with 3,550 trout ranging from legal-size up to ‘pounders’. A special stocking of 250 brood trout at 2.5 pounds apiece took place last week and another stocking of 1,000 legals is expected during the week of Feb. 18 with more coming before the end of the month. Casting spinners and plunking with PowerBait can be effective strategies for these fish. Junction City pond is 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. As a reminder, zone regulations apply: five trout daily may be kept and only one over 20 inches. The steelhead stocked a couple of months ago are considered ‘trout’ and the ‘only-one-over-20-inches’ regulation applies.

LEABURG LAKE: trout

Leaburg Lake is closed to angling until April 27, 2013.

MCKENZIE RIVER below Leaburg Lake: trout, salmon, steelhead

Only adipose fin-clipped trout may be taken down to Hayden Bridge. No trout harvest is allowed below Hayden Bridge. Note that a new regulation went into effect in 2013 allowing only the use of artificial flies or lures between Hayden Bridge and Hendricks Bridge unless targeting salmon or steelhead with hooks 5/8-inch gap or larger during the period May 1 – June 15.

MCKENZIE RIVER above Leaburg Lake: trout, steelhead

The McKenzie River above Leaburg Lake is closed to angling until April 27, 2013.

MIDDLE FORK WILLAMETTE RIVER above Hills Creek Reservoir: trout

The Middle Fork Willamette River above Hills Creek Reservoir is closed to angling until April 27, 2013.

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 two seasonal boat ramps. It was stocked twice this fall with a total of 10,000 rainbow trout. No further trout stocking is anticipated until later this spring. Please remember that only kokanee and adipose fin-clipped trout may be taken and there are no limits on size or number of bass. Currently the reservoir is 25 feet below full pool (as of Feb. 11). The Gedney Creek ramp is barely in the water; the Sunnyside Park ramp is only slightly deeper – exercise caution if launching a boat. 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.

MT HOOD POND: trout

Stocked the week of Feb. 13 with 500 12-inch rainbow trout. This release is in addition to the early January of rainbow trout brood stock ranging from 7 to 15 pounds. Anglers are reminded the bag limit on trout 20 inches and longer is one per day. Mt. Hood Pond, located on the Mt. Hood Community College campus in Gresham, is now open to all licensed and juvenile angler since the restriction limiting access to anglers 17 and under as well as those in possession of ODFW’s Disabled Angler Permit applies April 1 through Aug. 31.

NORTH AND SOUTH SANTIAM: steelhead, trout

Flow levels have remained fairly stable and are currently at 2,630 cfs at Mehama on the North Santiam and 1,260 cfs at Waterloo on the South Santiam with water temperatures generally in the low 40s. Anglers report some success catching summer steelhead between Packsaddle and Mehama on the North Santiam and below Foster on the South Santiam. When the ‘bite’ is on, bobbers and jigs are the preferred angling method with spoons and egg clusters also being effective. Nearly 25,000 summer steelhead passed the Willamette Falls in 2012 and now small numbers of winter steelhead (approximately ,312) have been moving over and can be expected soon for those anglers interested in catch-and-release sport fishing (at least 5 confirmed ‘winters’ have passed the Upper Bennett ladder already). Counts on the North and South Santiams during 2012 indicated approximately 11,000 summer steelhead moved into the basins, split at about 40 percent to the North and 60 percent to the South.

River levels best for fishing are below 3,000 cfs at the Mehama gauge. You may check for current conditions at http://waterdata.usgs.gov.

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 when conditions improve.

SALMON CREEK: trout

Salmon Creek, near Oakridge, is open to catch-and-release fishing using artificial flies and lures.

SALT CREEK: trout

Salt Creek is a tributary to the Middle Fork Willamette River east of Oakridge, and is open to catch-and-release fishing using artificial flies and lures.

SANDY RIVER: winter steelhead

The Sandy is still offering up a few winter steelhead despite the low flows and very clear water making things a bit more challenging. Rainfall later this week could improve the fishing conditions; anglers should adjust gear colors and techniques accordingly.

ODFW checks over the past week showed some fair catch rates on winters, both fin-clipped and non-clipped, with Cedar Creek providing the best success. Sandy winter steelhead are typically a later arriving fish due to the broodstock program coming into place a few years back but now that it’s mid-February the bite is on.

The Sandy Hatchery has begun sorting their winter steelhead returns and through last week had recycled about 200 fish back down to the Lewis and Clark boat ramp. Anglers who catch one of these fish can identify it by a “hole punch” in the fish’s tail section.

Tuesday hydrological data shows the Sandy River flows at 2,270 cfs, a gauge height reading of 9.77 ft., and water temperature dropping to near 39°.

SANTIAM RIVER NORTH FORK above Detroit Lake: trout

This beautiful section of the river closed for trout fishing as of Oct. 31, 2012 and will re-open April 27, 2013. Also, please be aware that this section of river above Detroit Lake is closed to salmon fishing. Weather permitting, you may find this highway route to be an excellent family outing for simply enjoying nature.

SCOUT LAKE: trout

Hwy. 30 toward Clatskanie; take the Swedetown Rd. exit; follow Swedetown Rd. about a quarter of a mile to Olson Rd. Turn right onto Olson Rd. Follow Scout Lake signs posted along Olson Road about three miles to locked gate. From there hike in about a mile to the lake or sign out a key to the gate from the City of Clatskanie at 95 S. Nehalem and drive in. For more information, contact the City of Clatskanie at 503-728-2622.

SHERIDAN POND: trout

Sheridan Pond was stocked on Monday, Dec. 3 with 45 rainbow trout weighing from 7-15 pounds. This is in addition to 50 brood trout that were released at this site on Nov. 12. The bag limit on these fish is one per day for those 20 inches and longer. 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.

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.

SOUTH FORK YAMHILL RIVER: rainbow trout, cutthroat trout

Closed to angling on Oct. 1.

ST. LOUIS PONDS: trout, bass, crappie, bluegill, yellow perch, channel catfish

The gate to the fishing park is closed until March 1, although the park remains open during daylight hours for those who are willing to walk in. Several new ADA-accessible structures are available, including fishing platforms and paved trails. The ponds are located west of I-5 about 15 miles north of Salem and 2 miles West of Gervais. From Gervais, take St Louis Rd west to Tesch Lane, turn left onto Tesch Lane and follow road into the St. Louis Ponds public fishing area.

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 1,650 trout ranging from larger-size to 2.5 pound brooders. Another stocking of legals and ‘larger’ is scheduled for the week of Feb. 25. 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 LAKE: trout

This beautiful, family-friendly fishing pond is located within the 90-acre Timber-Linn Memorial Park in Albany. Within the last couple of months, the lake has been stocked with 1,450 ‘larger’ trout and nearly 200 heavyweight brooders. 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.

TRAIL BRIDGE RESERVOIR: trout

Trail Bridge Reservoir is open to year-round angling. Only adipose fin-clipped trout may be harvested from Trail Bridge Reservoir. Flies and lures only may be used. Trail Bridge Reservoir 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. Trail Bridge Reservoir is adjacent to Hwy 126 and is approximately 60 miles east of Springfield.

TROJAN POND: trout, warmwater species

Stocked the week of Feb. 11 with 3,000 legal-sized rainbow trout. This is a 15-acre lake just east of Rainier on the north side of Hwy 30 at the Trojan nuclear facility.

WALLING POND: trout, crappie, bass

In recent weeks, Walling Pond has received over 1,150 trout ranging in size from legals to multi-pound brooders. 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. Another stocking of 450 legal-to-larger trout is scheduled for the week of Feb. 18 with more planned before the end of the month. 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

Since the first of the year, this pond has received several stockings totaling over 4,000 fish providing anglers an opportunity to catch trout of all sizes, from legal 8-inch trout to whoppers over 10 pounds. As a reminder, brooders are considered trout so zone regulations apply: five trout daily may be kept and only one over 20 inches. Another 1,850 trout ranging from legal to ‘larger’ are scheduled for the week of Feb. 18 and more before the end of the month. 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 1,750 trout ranging in size from ‘larger’ to trophies. 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.

WEST SALISH POND: panfish, trout

The Salish Ponds Wetlands Park has been closed by the City of Fairview as an extensive renovation project is underway. This project is running well behind schedule so ODFW will likely not be stocking West Salish Pond again until fall of 2013.

WILLAMETTE RIVER: winter steelhead, spring chinook

Winter steelhead counts have improved in recent days, although not spectacular at the Willamette Falls fish ladder. Passage of winters through Feb. 17 has reached a total of 1,403. There have now been two spring chinook counted passing; it’s very early in the season for springers to travel through the ladder.

The winter steelhead fishery on the lower Willamette has seen some decent action for boat and bank anglers and Meldrum Bar is often the popular bank spot; this is a unique type of fishing at the bar and the best way to be successful is by going there and watching the regulars to get a feel for the methods. Anglers have been known to land fish even in poor water conditions, fishing very close to shore as the steelhead hug the eastern bank seeking out cleaner Clackamas River water. Boats fishing the same water will come fairly close to shore so bank and boat anglers need to stay clear of each other.

Although it’s a little early to begin any springer fishing in earnest it’s worth mentioning that a few verifiable catches of hatchery spring chinook have come in; most appear to have been landed between the Sellwood Bridge and the Portland Harbor. It’s likely a few others have been hooked that haven’t been heard about.

Hydro readings at Willamette Falls on February 19 show flows down to 15,100 cfs, visibility improved at 5.2 ft., and the water temperature holding on near 43°.

As of Jan. 1, 2013, barbless hooks are required from the mouth to Willamette Falls, including the Multnomah Channel and Gilbert River, when fishing for salmon, steelhead and trout.

Note: Boaters are reminded that due to bridge construction around the Sellwood bridge, navigation and “no wake” markers have changed for 2013. Boaters are cautioned to orient their vessels to mid-channel when passing under the bridge, and observe the no wake zones above the bridge.

WILLAMETTE ZONE HUNTING

OPEN: COUGAR, GOOSE

Mandatory Reporting

Thanks to all hunters who reported their 2012 tags on time. Hunters who did not report 2012 deer and elk tags on time will pay a $25 penalty fee when they purchase a 2014 hunting license. If your 2012 deer and elk hunts extend into 2013, you have until April 15, 2013 to report your hunt. More information on reporting http://www.dfw.state.or.us/resources/hunting/reporting/index.asp

Hunters: Return black-tailed deer teeth!

ODFW asks that successful Western Oregon deer hunters return black-tailed deer teeth. See this flyer for directions

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.

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:

www.oregon.gov/ODF/FIRE/corporate_closure.shtml

BE PREPARED

Hunters are reminded to prepare for cold temperatures: dress appropriately and keep survival equipment such as food, water, sleeping bags with you and in your vehicle during the winter months. Let someone know where you will be and when you expect to return just in case your vehicle becomes stuck.

Goose – Third period goose season is open. Hunters are reminded to check their 2012-2013 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. Remember, NW area hunters are required to possess a NW Oregon Goose permit to hunt in either the general or permit zones.

Cougar - Season is open. Some hunters are finding good success tracking cougar after finding tracks close to or crossing roads. There is a lot of snow in the Cascade Mountains for hunters wanting to track a cougar but the forecasted dry period will make it necessary for hunters to pay close attention to the age of tracks. Cougars are challenging to hunt due to their secretive nature, penchant for traveling great distances, and characteristic low population density, but can bring large rewards for successful hunters. Some hunters have had luck calling cougars to them with predator calls that mimic a deer fawn or elk calf. The key to successful calling is to get within hearing range of a cougar, which will require that hunters be familiar with the local landscape characteristics, be aware of deer and elk patterns in the area, and understand cougar habits. Hunting with a partner is recommended for those hunters attempting to call cougars, since these animals can be difficult to see and hear as they approach. Calling for at least an hour from each calling location is important. Using a tree stand or sitting back-to-back is a good technique to cover all potential entry points.

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. Please review the 2012 Big Game Hunting Regulations before your hunting trip to ensure that you are familiar with all of the requirements.

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. More information.

WILLAMETTE ZONE VIEWING

VALLEYWIDE

Tree frogs are the most abundant frog in Willamette Valley wetlands. They can be heard this time of year on wet nights especially if the temperature is above 40° F. These frogs are only about an inch long and can be hard to see even where they are plentiful. Although tree frogs are excellent climbers they are rarely found in trees. They can be found at night with a flashlight by quietly following the sound to the source although they will quit calling when you get close. During the day they can often be found under boards or other cover in or near wetlands. They are not common in deeper ponds and permanent water bodies, which are occupied by bullfrogs that will eat the smaller tree frogs. Just about any wetland habitat that has shallow standing water that does not dry up before June is a good place to hear and find these frogs. Their eggs can be located in shallow water seasonal ponds during the month of March. Eggs are about the size of a grape and are actually a cluster of eggs that often appear as one large egg. These egg masses are usually attached to a blade of grass or a twig.

Now is a good time to watch for signs of spring. Indicators include the first blooms on trees and the arrival of sparrows, tree swallows, robins and turkey vultures. 2/12/13

Corvallis Area

Chip Ross Park

This is 125 acres of forested hilltop, mainly in oak and conifers, which adjoins the southeast corner of McDonald State Forest. The oak trees with mistletoe in the canopy should be checked for bluebirds during the winter. Rare sightings include ruffed grouse, an immature spotted owl and a red-naped sapsucker which is rare west of the Cascades. Other birds that can be seen include sharp-shinned hawk, hairy and pileated woodpecker, olive-sided flycatcher, brown creeper and wrentit. Drive west on Lester Avenue off NW Highland Drive, where you will find ample parking space at the park boundary. A superb view of the city is to the south.

Visit the Audubon Society of Corvallis Web site for parking information and an area map.

EE Wilson Wildlife Area

Bare trees bird watching for perching birds (such as raptors, and hawks) more accessible. Waterfowl and shorebirds numbers will build with the wetter weather.

Wildlife viewing will be improving over the next several months. A waterfowl blind is available to photographers. Call the office at 541-745-5334 to reserve the blind.

From Albany, take Highway 20 toward Corvallis and after 5 miles turn right on Independence Highway. Go 3 miles and turn left on Camp Adair Road, then proceed 2 miles to the wildlife area. Find directions to EE Wilson Wildlife Area. 2/12/13

Eugene Area

Delta Ponds

Many different types of waterfowl and raptors currently use the area. With the higher water and earlier dusk, now is a good time to see beaver and muskrat. Best viewing time is around 4:30 p.m. When viewing wildlife, please remember to be respectful and try not to disturb the animals’ natural behaviors. Sometimes, the best way to view animals is from inside your vehicle as to not frighten the birds/animals away.

For more information on the Delta Ponds on the Oregon Solutions Web site.

Forest Grove Area

Fernhill Wetlands

Fernhill Wetlands is 243 acres of wetland and moist soil habitats. From November through March, thousands of waterfowl can be seen daily. Currently, the resident American bald eagles can be seen in the tops of cottonwoods. For information on Fernhill Wetlands, visit the Birding Washington County Web site.

Portland Area

Smith and Bybee Lakes Wildlife Area

The Smith and Bybee Lakes Wildlife Area is one of the nation's largest urban freshwater wetlands. Located near the confluence of the Columbia and Willamette Rivers, the lakes function as a flood absorption system for the lower Columbia River. Hidden within an industrial area and just minutes from downtown Portland, the wetlands provide for diverse communities of plant and animal life. Numerous local schools use Smith and Bybee Lakes for a variety of outdoor education programs.

For a printable wildlife checklist, visit the Friends of Smith and Bybee Lakes Web site.

Sauvie Island

Sauvie Island Wildlife Area

Raptor viewing is reaching its high point with wintering birds throughout the Wildlife Area. Recent sightings include merlin, red-shouldered hawk and northern harriers. A reminded that the Annual Raptor Road Trip will occur on Feb. 9. This event is cosponsored by Metro, Portland Audubon Hawk Watch International and ODFW. Along the Columbia River, the bald eagles have begun to return to their nests. Great horned owls should begin occupying the nests of red-tailed hawks. ODFW staff recommends watching for the pointy feathers of the “horns” to stick out above the nest edge. Viewing areas currently open to the public are Coon Point, the Eastside Viewing Platform and Rentenaar Road.

Waterfowl viewing is phenomenal at the Sauvie Island Wildlife Area. More than 100,000 waterfowl are wintering on the island, and huge flocks can be seen on Sturgeon Lake from ODFW’s Coon Point viewing station.

Access to the lake itself is closed this time of year in an effort to minimize any human impacts on the birds. However, they are still quite visible from the viewing station, which is located next to Reeder Road across from Sauvie Island Kennels.

A parking permit is required for the Sauvie Island Wildlife Area and can be purchased online or at an ODFW office that sells licenses or at a license sales agent. Learn more.

Find directions to Sauvie Island Wildlife Area on the ODFW Web site.

Springfield Area

Fern Ridge Wildlife Area

Fern Ridge Reservoir has extensive wildlife habitat that can be accessed from many access points including Royal Avenue which extends from west Eugene to the reservoir and ends at a gated access point. This is an excellent place to observe wildlife. Also accessible from this access point are natural prairie habitats (to the north and south) that are very rare in the Willamette Valley. In addition to the abundance of waterfowl, many raptors can be seen in this area. Look for short eared owls and peregrine falcons. Also visible from this area are wading birds, such as egrets and herons and various shorebirds.

Wintering concentrations of waterfowl and migrant shorebirds 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 blacktail deer and furbearers including beaver and otter, mink, red fox and coyotes.

Effective Jan.1, 2013, a Wildlife Area Parking Permit is required to park on the Wildlife Area. Cost is $7 daily or $22 annually. Free with purchase of hunting license. Buy online or at an ODFW office that sells licenses or at a license sales agent. Learn more. Find directions to Fern Ridge Wildlife Area on ODFW’s website. 2/12/13

Salem Area

Walling Pond

Walling Pond in Salem is a fishing pond created by Walling Sand and Gravel near 16th St. and McGilchrist St.; it is west of Interstate 5 off the U.S. 22 exit. In addition to good fishing, visitors to the pond can enjoy seeing a good selection of sparrows, swallows and wintering waterfowl.

FISHING

Weekend fishing opportunities:

• There are many great year-round fisheries for the fly angler, including the Metolius, Fall and Crooked and Deschutes rivers. Snow and cold temperatures can mean quiet, peaceful fishing. And hypothermia, so be prepared for winter conditions.

• Depending on current weather and ice conditions, January and February can be good months for ice fishing. Always proceed with caution and make sure conditions are safe before going on to the ice.

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.

ANTELOPE FLAT RESERVOIR: trout

The reservoir is not accessible by vehicle due to the snow on the roads.

BEND PINE NURSERY POND: trout

The most recent stocking was in late September with a number of one pound rainbow released.

BIG LAVA LAKE: rainbow trout

Closed to fishing until spring.

BIKINI POND: rainbow trout

The pond has received its fall stocking, and should provide anglers with good fall fishing opportunity.

CLEAR LAKE RESERVOIR: rainbow trout

Water level in reservoir is at low levels due to irrigation demand. Recent snow will limit access.

CRANE PRAIRIE RESERVOIR: rainbow trout, brook trout, kokanee, largemouth bass

Closed to fishing until spring.

CRESCENT LAKE: rainbow trout, brown trout, lake trout and kokanee

Opportunities for rainbow and brown trout are good.

See the story of the 26-pound lake trout recently caught at Crescent Lake.

CROOKED RIVER BELOW BOWMAN DAM: redband trout and mountain whitefish

Fishing for trout has been good. Water levels have been consistent and fish are feeding on small mayfly and midge nymphs. The use of bait is prohibited until May 2013. Trout over 20 inches are considered steelhead and must be released unharmed.

Flows below Bowman Dam.

A sample of redband trout and mountain whitefish are tagged with a numbered floy tag protruding from the back. Anglers who catch a trout or whitefish with a floy tag are encouraged to release the fish with the tag intact after recording the tag color and number, fish length and location caught. Anglers can send the information to ODFW at (541) 447-5111 ext. 24 or timothy.k.porter@state.or.us.

CULTUS LAKE: rainbow trout, lake trout

No recent reports.

DAVIS LAKE: redband trout, largemouth bass

Inaccessible due to snow.

DESCHUTES RIVER: steelhead, redband trout

Mouth to the Pelton Regulating Dam: steelhead, redband trout, whitefish

Trout fishing remains good for trout downstream from the Warm Springs Reservation Boundary. Best trout fishing typically occurs around midday, as the best light reaches the canyon floor. Fly anglers will find best success with nymphs along with egg patterns for trout and whitefish. Anglers are reminded trout angling is closed upstream from the Warm Springs Reservation Boundary.

Anglers should note that fall chinook salmon retention closed on the Deschutes Nov. 1.

Anglers, who catch a tagged hatchery steelhead with an orange anchor tag, are encouraged to report catch information to ODFW at 541-296-4628 or via the internet at http://www.dfw.state.or.us/fish/The_Dalles/fish_tag_returns.asp. Anglers catching a tagged wild fish should release it immediately without recording any information.

Anglers can check the trap the seasons catch at Sherars Falls as an indicator of fish movement in the Deschutes at: http://www.dfw.state.or.us/fish/fish_counts/sherars_falls/index.asp. The Sherars Falls trap went offline for the season Nov. 2.

Lake Billy Chinook to Bend: rainbow trout, brown trout

Flows have increased with the end of irrigation season. This will make the river more difficult to wade but often triggers trout to feed more heavily and seek out new territories. Rainbow trout average 10 to 16-inches, while brown trout up to 26-inches are available. Anglers will find better access downstream of Lower Bridge. Remains open year round; however, gear is restricted to artificial flies and lures only.

EAST LAKE: rainbow trout, brown trout, Atlantic salmon, kokanee

Closed to fishing until spring.

FALL RIVER: rainbow trout

No recent reports. The river below the falls closed on Sept. 30. The river above the falls is open all year. Fishing is restricted to fly fishing only with barbless hooks.

FROG LAKE: rainbow trout

No recent reports. Snow will limit access.

HAYSTACK RESERVOIR: rainbow trout, brown trout, kokanee

No recent reports.

HOOD RIVER: summer steelhead, winter steelhead

Anglers are catching a few early winter steelhead, the fishing will continue to get better as the winter progresses. Anglers are reporting the best success on bait due to the cold water temperatures.

HOSMER LAKE: Atlantic salmon, brook trout, rainbow trout

Inaccessible due to snow.

LAKE BILLY CHINOOK: bull trout, brown trout, rainbow trout, kokanee, smallmouth bass

Fishing for bull trout has been fair. Anglers are reminded there are small numbers of spring chinook and summer steelhead in Lake Billy Chinook as part of the reintroduction effort. Please release these fish unharmed. The Metolius Arm closed to fishing Oct. 31.

LITTLE LAVA LAKE: rainbow trout, brook trout

No recent reports.

LOST LAKE: rainbow trout, brown trout

No recent reports. Anglers should check with the USFS Hood River Ranger Station for 541-352-6002 concerning access.

METOLIUS RIVER: redband trout, bull trout

Trout fishing has been good. Insect hatches should offer lots of opportunities for good dry fly fishing. Angling for post spawning bull trout should be excellent. Large streamer flies fished in the deeper pools and slots are the best bet.

The mainstem above the Allingham Bridge closed to fishing Oct. 31.

NORTH TWIN: rainbow trout

No recent reports.

OCHOCO CREEK UPSTREAM TO OCHOCO DAM: rainbow trout

No recent reports.

Angling is restricted to artificial flies and lures only; two trout per day with an 8-inch minimum length. Trout over 20 inches are considered steelhead and must be released unharmed.

OCHOCO RESERVOIR: rainbow trout

Ice fishing on Ochoco Reservoir is not recommended.

ODELL LAKE: kokanee, lake trout, rainbow trout

Closed to fishing until spring.

PAULINA LAKE: brown trout, rainbow trout, kokanee

Closed to fishing until spring.

PINE HOLLOW RESERVOIR: rainbow trout

No recent reports; might be frozen.

PRINEVILLE RESERVOIR: rainbow trout and largemouth bass

There is no ice near the dam near Powderhouse Cove. Fishing has been slow but the trout that are being caught have been large.

PRINEVILLE YOUTH FISHING POND: rainbow trout and largemouth bass

Due to safety concerns, no one is allowed to be on the ice.

ROCK CREEK RESERVOIR: rainbow trout

No recent reports; likely frozen.

SHEVLIN YOUTH FISHING POND: rainbow trout

Shevlin Pond is fishing well and typically fishes well throughout winter if not iced over.

SOUTH TWIN LAKE: Rainbow trout

Closed to fishing until spring.

SUTTLE LAKE: brown trout, kokanee

No recent reports

TAYLOR LAKE: rainbow trout and largemouth bass

Taylor Lake has been recently stocked, and has provided consistent catches of rainbow trout.

WALTON LAKE: rainbow trout

No recent reports.

WICKIUP RESERVOIR: rainbow trout, brown trout, kokanee, largemouth bass.

Closed to fishing until next spring.

CENTRAL ZONE HUNTING

OPEN: COUGAR, COYOTE

Mandatory Reporting

Thanks to all hunters who reported their 2012 tags on time. Hunters who did not report 2012 deer and elk tags on time will pay a $25 penalty fee when they purchase a 2014 hunting license. If your 2012 deer and elk hunts extend into 2013, you have until April 15, 2013 to report your hunt. More information on reporting http://www.dfw.state.or.us/resources/hunting/reporting/index.asp

Wolves and coyotes can look alike

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

Use the Oregon Hunting Map to see where to hunt.

PRINEVILLE/OCHOCO WILDLIFE DISTRICT

Cougar - Present throughout the Maury, Ochoco, and Grizzly units but are more likely near deer and elk herds. The Maury and Ochoco units are recommended because of their greater amounts of accessible public land. Remember cougars must be checked in at an ODFW office within 10 days of harvest. Please consult the synopsis for all required parts and be sure to call first to make an appointment.

THE DALLES WILDLIFE DISTRICT

Cougar - Hunters wishing to pursue cougar will find best success near areas of deer and elk concentrations and near recent cougar kills and calling. With periodic snow events, following fresh tracks can improve chances of locating a cougar. Successful hunters, remember you must check in cougar (hide and skull) and bear skull at an ODFW office within 10 days of harvest and bring them in unfrozen. It’s also a good idea to prop their mouths open with a stick after harvest for easier tissue sampling, teeth collection and tagging. See regulations for details.

WHITE RIVER WILDLIFE AREA

Vehicle Access: Most gates through the Wildlife Area closed Dec. 1 and will remain closed until April 1, 2013. As of January 1, 2013 new rules take effect that prohibits all recreational ATV use on the Wildlife Area, also camping will be only allowed in designated camping areas.

A parking permit is now required to use/park on the White River Wildlife Area along with other ODFW wildlife areas. visit ODFW’s Web site.

Cougar - Open all year or until zone mortality quotas have been met. Look for areas that have recent deer and elk activity. Focus your efforts along migration routes, and along rim rocks and canyons. Look for fresh tracks or kills to increase success. Deer are down on the Wildlife Area for the winter so it is a good area to look for cougars.

Coyote - Hunters should be looking in open areas along the eastern perimeter of the wildlife area. Open fields can provide good calling opportunities on the area.

CENTRAL ZONE VIEWING

Jefferson and Crook Counties

Prineville Area

Winter conditions are present and recreational users and their pets should dress and come equipped for snow, ice, and potentially dangerous driving conditions.

The Prineville Reservoir Wildlife Management Area (WMA) offers winter wildlife viewing opportunities. With recent frigid winter temperatures many ducks, geese, and other waterfowl have moved to more temperate areas. The WMA and the north side access road are now closed to motorized access. Walk in or bike access is allowed and provides vantage points to view migrating birds and resident wildlife.

Waterfowl hunters and trappers may also be using the area and all users are encouraged to wear bright hunter orange clothing. Most trappers avoid using the more traveled areas along the north shore, but could be using remote upland areas and the south shoreline which is difficult to access without a boat or canoe. Dog owners should use care when using remote uplands or the south shore. A map of the area is available at the ODFW’s Prineville Office and the Oregon State Park office located at the Prineville Reservoir State Park, or for more information, visit ODFW’s Web site. 12/18/12.

DESCHUTES COUNTY

It’s still a bit early, but scan the skyies for a glimpse of a large birds with a “V” shaped wing pattern and you could be looking at a turkey vultures as they start to arrive back into the area. You’re chances of seeing one go up as the month progresses and we approach March.

Winter is an excellent time to view raptors around Deschutes County. Red-tailed hawks are one of the most numerous birds of prey and commonly seen on fence and power poles scanning meadows, sagebrush shrub steppe, and other open areas for a tasty rodent.

Stella’s jays, white-headed woodpeckers, junco’s, several sparrow species, ravens, spotted towhee, hairy woodpecker, cedar waxwings and red-cross bills are just a few of the species that can be found in the Deschutes National Forest and BLM managed lands. Good sites to look for birds include forest edges surrounding meadows and wetland areas. Those with patience and stealth may be rewarded by the call and possible sighting of a Virginia rail moving through thickets of cat tails.

Specific birding destinations to consider include Tumalo Reservoir (west of Highway 20 between Sister and Bend), Pelton Dam wildlife overlook and Lake Simstustus (Deschutes River northwest of Madras), and Hatfield Lakes (just north of the Bend airport), where you can expect to see. Canada geese, American widgeon, green-winged teal, bufflehead, ring-necked ducks, northern shovelers, lesser scaup, common and Barrow’s goldeneye, multiple gull species, and various grebes including horned, eared, western, and Clark’s.

Now that snow has melted at lower elevations, mammal activity will start to pick up a little. Squirrels may be seen on warmer days, and you might run into a black-tailed jackrabbit or two in areas where sagebrush abounds. Folks up and about in the early hours maybe treated to the sight of a coyote hunting for meadow voles and other small rodents in open meadows.

Some amphibian activity is occurring beneath the frozen surface of ponds, but for the most part, they will be absent from view for the next month or so. Likewise, reptiles are sequestered in their underground winter quarters and will remain there until warmer days return in March or April. 2/4/13.

WASCO AND SHERMAN COUNTIES

The Lower Deschutes River can provide ample wildlife viewing opportunities. California Bighorn Sheep are frequently observed in the canyon and can provide fantastic viewing this time of year. The best spot to view sheep is from the BLM access road just downstream and across the river from Sherar’s Falls (along Hwy 216). Other wildlife that may be seen along the river include the red-tailed hawk, American kestrel, Osprey, Golden and Bald eagles. Waterfowl are commonly observed on the river, and visitors can usually see many different songbirds and upland game birds that also call the canyon home. 12/21/12.

FISHING

Weekend fishing opportunities:

• Because of its constant 60-degree water temperature, Ana Reservoir can get a great winter fishing destination.

• If the water flows cooperate, the Klamath River can be a fine place for winter trout fishing.

• Anglers ice fishing on Dog Lake have caught yellow perch, bluegill, redear sunfish and largemouth bass.

• If you prefer trout on ice, check out Chickahominy Reservoir or Mann Lake.

• Depending on current weather and ice conditions, January and February can be good months for ice fishing. Always proceed with caution and make sure conditions are safe before going on to the ice.

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.

ANA RESERVOIR: hatchery rainbow trout

Repairs on the head gate are complete and the reservoir is filling. The reservoir was 9 ft. below full pool at last report. Ana Reservoir is a great winter fishing location because water temperatures remain at 60 °F keeping trout and hybrid bass actively feeding. Be prepared for muddy conditions around the shore due to the lower water levels.

ANA RIVER: hatchery rainbow trout

Rainbow trout are active throughout the year in the river and anglers have been catching fish with bait, flies or lures.

BEULAH RESERVOIR: redband trout, hatchery rainbow trout, whitefish, bull trout

Irrigation water releases are shutoff until next spring. The reservoir was 33 percent full on Feb. 12. Inflows averaged 64 cfs (Feb. 12). The reservoir is ice-covered. No reports on ice thickness. Anglers should use caution when fishing through the ice.

USBR crews sampled fish populations in the reservoir. If you catch a tagged trout report it to either the Ontario office at 541-889-6975 or the Hines office at 541-573-6582.

BLITZEN RIVER: trout

Flows in the Blitzen River at Page Springs Gauge over the last week have ranged from 65 cfs to 35 cfs averaging about 53 cfs (Feb. 19). With the warmer conditions over the week water temperatures started fluctuating between 32˚F in the morning and 40˚F in the afternoon. Fishing slowed for trout above and below the Page Spring Weir. The upper Blitzen closed to harvest until late May; the Little Blitzen remains open year around for catch-and-release.

BULLY CREEK RESERVOIR: bass, white crappie, yellow perch, catfish, and trout.

Irrigation water releases are shutoff until next spring. The reservoir water level was 43 percent full on Feb. 3. The reservoir is ice-covered. No recent fishing reports. No recent reports on ice thickness. Anglers should use caution when fishing through the ice.

BURNS POND: trout, bass

Both ponds are ice covered, however ice is receding from the shoreline and thinning out. The current ice depth is unknown (Feb 19). Anglers should use caution when fishing on spring ice. Burns Pond has been well stocked with large trout for the fall and winter season. Fishing has been good for trout over 12”. The east pond remains mostly dry and has been for a few months.

CHEWAUCAN RIVER: redband trout

The river below Hwy 31 in Paisley closed to fishing Oct. 31. The river upstream of Hwy 31 remains open and the use of bait is PROHIBITED!

CHICKAHOMINY RESERVOIR: trout

The reservoir is less than half-full and was stocked with legal-sized and trophy-sized trout for the fall season. The ice thickness was around 14 inches on Feb. 12th, but ice in Harney County is beginning to shrink (Feb. 19). Ice fishing has been good for trout 17 to 20-inches.

COTTONWOOD MEADOWS: rainbow trout, brook trout

Current ice conditions and thickness are unknown and access is limited to snowmobiles.

COW LAKES: largemouth bass, white crappie, brown bullheads, rainbow trout

No recent fishing reports. Both lakes are ice covered. No reports on the thickness of the ice. Anglers should use caution when fishing through the ice.

DELINTMENT LAKE: trout

The lake is covered in ice, but no report of thickness. Snow and ice make accessing Delintment Lake very challenging. No recent fishing reports. Contact the Hines office (541) 573-6582 if you capture a brook trout while fishing in Delintment Lake.

DEVILS LAKE (FISHHOLE CREEK): largemouth bass, black crappie, yellow perch, brown bullhead

Sampling by ODFW this summer found good populations of crappie, largemouth bass, yellow perch and brown bullhead. Look for fish along emergent and floating vegetation. Fishing is good for brown bullhead from shore. The reservoir is turbid. There is no boat ramp. No recent fishing report but cold water temperatures will likely reduce warm water fish activity. The lake is frozen.

DOG LAKE: largemouth bass, yellow perch, black crappie, brown bullhead

The ice is about 9 inches and in good condition. The road to the lake is accessible with a 4x4 vehicle. Fishing over the weekend yielded yellow perch, bluegill, redear sunfish, and largemouth bass, but the bite was very light and anglers needed to pay attention or they would miss fish. A small ice fly tipped with meal worm or small piece of night crawler was enough to interest the fish, but a fish attractant such as smelly jelly or sand shrimp oil sealed the hook-up. The weather is expected to get cold again this week and the ice thickness should increase. Use caution if you choose to venture onto the ice and go with two or more people. A general rule for safe ice is 6 inches of clear ice. Use a digging bar, cordless drill, or auger to check ice thickness as you travel from shore to your fishing location. Check often because ice thickness can vary in different areas of the lake or reservoir. The reservoir is closed to the retention of trout to protect native redband trout.

DUNCAN RESERVOIR: rainbow trout

There are 9 inches of good, solid ice on the reservoir and the road is open for high clearance vehicles.

FISH LAKE (Steens Mountain): rainbow trout, brook trout

The Steens Mountain Loop is closed. Angling access is by snowmobile or snowcat only. An unknown amount of ice and snow covers Fish Lake.

FOURMILE LAKE: rainbow trout, lake trout, kokanee, brook trout

Access blocked by snow. A snowmobile can be used to reach the lake but ice conditions are unknown.

GERBER RESERVOIR: crappie, yellow perch, brown bullhead and largemouth bass

The reservoir is frozen. Ice thickness is unknown but some anglers are ice fishing. Fishing has been slow with a few small yellow perch begin caught. Gerber Reservoir currently holds the State record for white crappie at 4 pounds 12 ounces.

HAINES POND: rainbow

The pond is iced over and should be thick enough for fishing but use caution.

HEART LAKE: rainbow trout, kokanee

No recent reports. Current ice conditions and thickness are unknown and access is limited to snowmobiles. The reservoir is day-use only and has a boat ramp, picnic tables, and a pit toilet.

HOLBROOK RESERVOIR: rainbow trout

Current ice conditions and thickness are unknown and access is limited to snowmobiles. The reservoir has a few primitive camp sites, boat ramp, and pit toilet. Access to the lake is by snowmobile only.

HWY 203 POND: trout, bass, bluegill

The pond is ice-covered and some have been ice fishing.

J.C BOYLE RESERVOIR: Largemouth bass, yellow perch, brown bullhead, pumpkinseed, crappie, goldfish (Topsy Reservoir):

The reservoir is mostly frozen but thawing fast. Fishing for warmwater fish is slow. Ice is not safe for ice fishing.

JUNIPER LAKE: cutthroat trout

Fishing in the lake is slow for cutthroat trout. The lake is partially covered in ice. A large portion of the lake is privately owned; please be respectful of private property.

KLAMATH AND AGENCY LAKES: redband trout and yellow perch

Angling is very slow but a few fish are being caught. The lakes are mostly frozen. Open water occurs at Rocky Point, below Pelican Marina, sucker springs, near the water pump at Algoma pond, water pump in Howard Bay and at the mouth of the Wood River near Oregon Shores private boat ramp.

KLAMATH RIVER: native rainbow-redband trout

The Klamath River provides good fishing in January. Fishing with flies or lures has been slow. The current flow level of 465 cfs provides good fishing opportunities. Make sure you check the flows before you go as they change almost daily. The river remains turbid. The slight increase in water temperature should improve fishing. Anglers should wear wading belt, studded wading boots and carry a wading staff. The Klamath River below Keno Dam is turbid and the substrate is composed of large, angular boulders with bedrock drop-offs. Large trout over 20 inches are abundant.

The Klamath River between JC Boyle Dam to JC Boyle Powerhouse offers excellent spinner fishing as well as good dry fly fishing with small flies. Most fish in this section are small and average 10 inches. This section remains near a constant 360 cfs of flow. Fishing near the springs is better due to the warmer water temperatures this time of year.

Below the JC Boyle powerhouse the fish get slightly larger and average 12 inches but rarely exceed sixteen inches. River flows in this section are typically quite high during the day. Fishing trips should be planned when flows are lower. Flows continue to occasionally be low enough below the powerhouse for a successful fishing outing. Flows have been low after 11 am in the morning.

Check current flow levels here. If flow are 900 cfs or lower the river is fishable. Look for blue winged olive mayfly hatches around noon. Look for back eddies and rising fish. Dead drifting rubber legged stonefly patterns can be good. A four wheel drive vehicle is currently needed to access this area. The fishing below the powerhouse continues to be excellent once the flows drop in the afternoon. Most fish are in the 6-8 inch range but numerous 12 inch fish can be caught with 16 inches the maximum.

KRUMBO RESERVOIR: trout and largemouth bass

Closed to fishing until April 27.

LAKE OF THE WOODS: hatchery rainbow trout, kokanee, hatchery brown trout, yellow perch, brown bullhead, smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, crappie, tui chub

The lake is frozen. Ice fishing is slow. Call Lake of the Woods for recent reports Toll Free at 866-201-4194 or visit their website.

LOFTON RESERVOIR: rainbow trout

No recent reports. Ice conditions and thickness are unknown and access is limited to snowmobiles. The reservoir is has a 26-unit campground, boat ramp, picnic tables, and a pit toilet.

LOST RIVER: largemouth bass, brown bullhead, yellow perch

Lost River is ice free at the fishing bridge at Crystal Springs Road. The Lost River is also ice free near Olene at the ODOT mitigation wetland south of South Poe Valley bridge crossing and at Stevenson Park. Hot springs occur upstream of the bridge crossing on South Poe Valley Road. Warmwater fish are likely to congregate near these springs. Boats can be launched at the Crystal Springs Boat ramp. Large numbers of fish eating birds were observed at the Crystal Springs Bridge over the weekend suggesting large number of bait fish in the area. Largemouth bass and yellow perch should also be in the vicinity feeding on the minnows.

MALHEUR RESERVOIR: hatchery rainbow trout

The catch rates are slow but the trout are big. This reservoir did not receive any fingerling rainbow trout this spring, so numbers of trout in the reservoir are lower than normal. As of Jan. 10 there was about 6 inches of ice on the reservoir. Anglers should use caution when fishing through the ice.

MALHEUR RIVER (Warm Springs Reservoir downstream to South Fork Malheur River): redband trout and hatchery rainbow trout

Water releases from Warm Springs Reservoir are shutoff for the winter. Fishing the Riverside area is slow due to the low water and cold.

MALHEUR RIVER (from the South Fork Malheur River near Riverside, downstream to Gold Creek): redband trout and hatchery rainbow trout.

Water releases below Warm Springs Dam and Agency Valley Dam are shutoff for the winter. No recent fishing reports.

MALHEUR RIVER, NORTH FORK: redband trout, whitefish, and bull trout

Access to this area is blocked by snow. Fishing for redband trout is slow.

MALHEUR RIVER, MIDDLE FORK: redband trout, brook trout, and bull trout

Road to Summit Prairie is plowed; access to Logan Valley is blocked by snow. Fishing for trout is slow.

MANN LAKE: trout

The lake is covered in thin ice, with open water in several areas. Fishing has been fair to good for cutthroat trout.

MILLER LAKE: brown trout, kokanee, rainbow trout

Access blocked by snow. A snowmobile can be used to reach the lake but ice conditions are unknown.

MOON RESERVOIR: bass, trout

The reservoir ice was measured on Jan. 15 at 10 inches, however ice is beginning to thin in Harney County (Feb. 19). Anglers should use caution when fishing through the ice. No sign of anglers ice fishing on Moon Reservoir.

MURRAY RESERVOIR: trout

The reservoir is ice-covered.

NORTH POWDER POND: rainbow trout, bluegill

The pond is ice-covered. Additional rainbows were stocked in the fall.

OWYHEE RESERVOIR: largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, black crappie, yellow perch, catfish

The reservoir water level was 41 percent of full (Feb. 12). The boat ramps at McCormack State Park and Leslie Gulch remain unusable for the launching and retrieval of boats. All other boat ramps are open for use. Fishing is slow. Bass and crappie have moved deeper getting ready for winter. Boaters should use caution as ice probably formed in the upper ends of coves and in the upper end of the reservoir, possibly as far downstream as Leslie Gulch.

ODFW tagged about 300 crappies with reward tags. If you should catch a tagged crappie, record the tag number and approximate location fish was caught and report information to the phone number on the tag.

OWYHEE RIVER (Lower): brown trout and hatchery rainbow trout

Water releases below Owyhee Dam were turned off for the winter. Releases are expected to average about 30 cfs until mid-April. Most the river from the dam downstream to the tunnel opened up. The bank ice along this stretch remains, with some over 8 inches thick. The river from the tunnel downstream remains mostly ice covered, with riffles open and pools still ice over. On warm days a few midges have been seen hatching. Anglers should continue to use caution when walking in the stream channel around spawning areas. Alevins will not emerge from gravel until April. Fishing for trout remains slow.

ODFW conducted spawning surveys in the Owyhee River below Owyhee Dam on Nov. 29-30 and Dec. 8-9. A total of 1,488 brown trout redds were counted for a density of 197.3 redds per mile. Only in 2009 and 2010 were more redds counted.

OWYHEE RIVER (Upper): smallmouth bass and channel catfish

Owyhee River flows at Rome averaged 291 cfs on Feb. 12. Fishing for smallmouth and channel catfish is slow.

PAIUTE RESERVOIR: rainbow trout, Lahontan cutthroat trout

Ice thick enough to walk on covers the reservoir, but fishing is slow.

PHILLIPS RESERVOIR: trout, perch

The reservoir is ice-covered and some have been fishing near the dam. Access for ice fishing is best using the boat ramp near the dam. It is not regularly plowed but 4x4 vehicles can get there as of Jan. 7.

PILCHER RESERVOIR: trout, crappie

Closed for the winter.

POLE CREEK RESERVOIR: hatchery rainbow trout

The reservoir is ice-covered. No recent reports on ice thickness. Anglers should use caution when fishing through the ice. No recent angler reports, but catch rates are expected to be slow. This reservoir did not receive any fingerling-sized rainbow trout this spring, so the number of trout is lower than usual.

POWDER RIVER: trout, spring chinook

Catch-and-release for trout is allowed using flies and lures only from Hughes Lane Bridge in Baker City, upstream to Mason Dam. The remaining portions of the Powder River are closed.

PRIDAY RESERVOIR: hatchery rainbow trout

Current ice conditions are unknown. The trout range in size from 13 to 15-inches. Anglers can catch rainbow trout using bait, lures and flies.

SKY LAKES AND MOUNTAIN LAKE WILDERNESS: brook trout and rainbow trout

All wilderness lakes are blocked by snow.

SHERLOCK GULCH RESERVOIR: rainbow trout

No recent report. Ice may be present.

SPAULDING RESERVOIR: rainbow trout

No recent fishing reports. Ice may cover the reservoir. Use caution if venturing out on the ice. Please consider keeping a limit of trout if you fish this reservoir.

SPRAGUE RIVER: wild redband trout, brown trout, yellow perch, brown bullhead, largemouth bass

Closed to fishing Oct. 31.

NORTH FORK SPRAGUE RIVER: wild redband trout, brown trout, brook trout, bull trout

Closed to fishing Oct. 31.

SEVENMILE CREEK: brook trout, brown trout, redband trout

Closed to fishing Oct. 31.

SPRING CREEK:

Spring Creek is closed to angling to protect spawning fish. Large redband trout can be observed spawning in very good numbers. Areas to look for spawners are at Collier State Park at the mouth and at the upper end of the park above the logging museum. Polarized glasses are recommended to reduce glare and observe fish.

SUN CREEK: brook trout, brown trout, bull trout

Closed to fishing Oct. 31.

SYCAN RIVER: wild redband trout, brook trout, brown trout

Closed to fishing Oct. 31.

THOMPSON RESERVOIR: rainbow trout, largemouth bass

Anglers can get to entrance to the East Bay Campground (USFS) via East Bay/Forest Road 28. It is a 1.5 mile walk, snowshoe, or snowmobile into the reservoir. Ice thickness is unknown, but likely similar to Duncan Reservoir.

THIEF VALLEY RESERVOIR: trout

The reservoir is near full. It was stocked in the fall with sub-legal rainbows. Fishing is possible but the fish may not be legal-sized until spring. Ice is on the reservoir and may be thick enough for fishing but use caution.

UNITY RESERVOIR: trout, bass, crappie

Fishing is fair for trout. Ice is 12 inches thick.

WARM SPRINGS RESERVOIR: smallmouth bass, white crappie, catfish, perch, and hatchery rainbow trout

The reservoir is ice covered. No recent reports on ice thickness. Anglers should use caution when fishing through the ice. No recent angler reports. The reservoir was 38 percent full and inflows averaged 95 cfs (Feb. 12).

UPPER WILLIAMSON RIVER: wild redband trout, brook trout

Closed to fishing Oct. 31.

LOWER WILLIAMSON RIVER: wild redband trout, brown trout

Closed to fishing Oct. 31.

WILLOW VALLEY RESERVOIR: largemouth bass, crappie, yellow perch, bluegill

Angling for warm water game fish has been slow. Ice conditions are unknown.

WOLF CREEK RESERVOIR: crappie, trout

Fishing is fair for trout. Ice is 7 inches thick.

WOOD RIVER and tributaries: wild redband trout, brown trout, brook trout

Closed to fishing Oct. 31.

YELLOWJACKET LAKE: trout

The lake is ice-covered, anglers report ice thickness averaging 14 inches on Feb 12, however ice is beginning to thin in Harney County (Feb 19). Anglers should use caution on the ice and measure depth from the bank by auguring several holes. Ice fishing has been very productive for large trout. Snow and ice on the road make accessing the last 14 miles to the lake difficult.

SOUTHEAST ZONE HUNTING

OPEN: COUGAR, COYOTE

Mandatory Reporting

Thanks to all hunters who reported their 2012 tags on time. Hunters who did not report 2012 deer and elk tags on time will pay a $25 penalty fee when they purchase a 2014 hunting license. If your 2012 deer and elk hunts extend into 2013, you have until April 15, 2013 to report your hunt. More information on reporting http://www.dfw.state.or.us/resources/hunting/reporting/index.asp

Wolves and coyotes can look alike

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

Use the Oregon Hunting Map to see where to hunt.

HARNEY COUNTY

Hunting maps for Harney County

http://www.co.harney.or.us/huntmaps.html

Cougar - Hunting is open. Populations are healthy and distributed throughout the district in any area with a big game prey base. Successful hunters must check-in cougars no more than 10 days after harvest; please bring cougar in thawed and with mouth propped open for easier tissue sampling, teeth collection and tagging.

Coyote - Populations are fairly high throughout Harney County. The highest concentrations are associated near mule deer wintering areas and private agricultural or calving areas. Hunters are reminded to ask permission before entering private lands. Be aware that bobcats and cougars may respond to predator calls, and separate licensing and open season limitations exist for these species.

Bobcat - Season remains open through Feb. 28, 2013.

KLAMATH COUNTY

Goose – Klamath County Late Goose Season begins February 23 and ends March 10. The late season is restricted to white-fronted geese, lesser snow geese, and Ross’ geese. The opening weekend will likely be fairly slow as few geese have returned from wintering areas in Central Valley California. Geese that have returned are primarily using the Lower Klamath Refuge on the California side. Hunters are reminded that hunting is restricted to private lands only.

Cougar - Hunting is open. Populations are healthy and distributed throughout the district in any area with a big game prey base. Big game are now concentrated on winter ranges, and cougars will follow this seasonal movement of their prey base. Many winter ranges are closed to motorized entry, but allow walk in access for cougar hunters. Don’t forget successful hunters must check-in cougars no more than 10 days after harvest; please bring cougar in thawed and with mouth propped open so that field staff can quickly process the animal and get you on your way.

Coyote - Are still at a relatively low level in their natural population cycles, however good calling opportunities still exist. Big game species like mule deer and elk are now concentrated on wintering grounds in various areas of the county. Coyotes and other predators follow these movements, and also can become concentrated. Focus on low lying areas with low snow depths where possible. Coyotes may also be congregated around winter cattle feed lots. Stand hunting or active calling may both be effective in these areas. Hunters are reminded to ask permission before entering private lands.

KLAMATH WILDLIFE AREA

Updated Feb. 19, 2013

Gorr Island Unit

Gorr Island is located four miles south of the Miller Island Unit in the Klamath River, accessible only by boat.

Shoalwater Bay Unit and Sesti Tgawaals Unit

Shoalwater Bay and Sesti Tgawaals are both located on the west side of Upper Klamath Lake approximately 10 miles to the north and west of Klamath Falls.

Miller Island Unit

The Miller Island Unit is located 6 miles south and west of Klamath Falls.

A Wildlife Area Parking Permit is now required to park on the Wildlife Area. Cost is $7 daily or $22 annually. Free with purchase of hunting license. Buy online or at an ODFW office that sells licenses or at a license sales agent.

Furbearer trapping will take place Jan. 28-Feb. 28 throughout the wildlife area, to control burrowing furbearers and reduce damage to wildlife area water control infrastructure.

Public use is restricted to the public roads and parking lots from February 1 to April 30 to minimize disturbance to migrating wildlife.

Klamath Basin waterfowl numbers are available on the US Fish and Wildlife website at http://www.fws.gov/klamathbasinrefuges/cenfindex.html

Running and training of dogs is allowed only in the Dog Training Area by the boat ramp on Klamath River from February 1 until August 1, 2013.

Overnight camping is not allowed on the Miller Island Unit. Discharge of firearms is prohibited except by permit. If you have any questions, please contact Klamath Wildlife Area at (541) 883-5734 or lanny.a.fujishin@state.or.us.

LAKE COUNTY

Cougar - Hunting is open. Populations are healthy due to good habitat and prey base. Deer are starting to concentrate on winter ranges and cougars will move with this prey source. If hunters can find a fresh cougar kill of any species, calling within ½ mile of the kill can be very effective. Hunters are reminded that the Silver Lake-Cabin Lake road closure in the north end of Lake County is in effect through March 31. Motorized vehicle access in this area is restricted to protect wintering deer.

Coyote - Numbers appear to be increasing throughout the county. Pair bonds are starting to form and as the breeding season progresses, the pairs will get increasingly territorial. Coyote vocalizations will become more effective than prey distress calls.

SUMMER LAKE WILDLIFE AREA

This section was updated on Feb 19, 2013

Parking permits are now required on all vehicles. Hunters get the permit free with the purchase of their annual hunting license.

All game bird hunting seasons are now over.

Discharging firearms is prohibited, except by special permit.

Coyote hunting opportunities are available; hunters need to contact the Wildlife Area to make arrangements to obtain a special permit.

Please contact Summer Lake Wildlife Area at (541) 943-3152 or email martin.j.stlouis@state.or.us for additional information.

MALHEUR COUNTY

Access conditions are terrible. Warm weather has created extremely muddy and slick conditions on top frozen ground.

White Goose Season - The white goose season in the Malheur County Zone is Feb. 16- Mar. 10. See the 2012-13 regulations. The best hunting is in the area around Adrian and Nyssa although the geese tend to vary their use patterns from year to year with increased use being observed around Ontario, Vale and Annex in recent years. Most hunting occurs on private land and scouting is the key to success. As of Feb. 4, there were very few white geese in the area.

Cougar - Hunting is open. Populations are healthy and distributed throughout the district in any area with a big game prey base. Successful hunters must check-in cougars no more than 10 days after harvest; please bring cougar in thawed and with mouth propped open for easier tissue sampling, teeth collection and tagging.

Coyote – The coyotes have become very call shy. This time of year, howling and pup distress calls can be effective. Cattle calving areas tend to draw coyotes but be sure to ask permission to hunt on private land.

SOUTHEAST ZONE VIEWING

Harney County

The early spring migration has begun with snow geese and white-fronted geese starting to arrive in our area. Canada geese have begun their annual pairing in preparation for the nesting season.

Wintering raptors continue to be found throughout the area. You should be able to view golden eagles, bald eagles and a variety of hawks perching on telephone poles and fence posts throughout the district. Bald eagles will increase in numbers as spring migrants begin to move north. Resident raptors such as northern harriers and red-tailed hawks are very easily observed in open agricultural areas.

As the winter season progresses, look for deer, elk, and antelope to remain active for longer periods of the day. Many populations of deer and elk have moved onto lower elevation ranges as severe weather events have increased in frequency and daylight hours have dwindled. Mule deer can be found in foothill areas around the basin.

Many of the bighorn sheep will be using lower elevation slopes and can often be seen from the highways. Bighorn sheep may be seen from highway 205 along Catlow Valley or along the East Steens Road.

Winter recreation opportunities on Steens Mt. are available. Cross country skiing along the North Loop Road can provide excellent access to an abundance of winter wildlife viewing, as well as spectacular views of the high desert in winter. 2/11/13

KLAMATH COUNTY

Klamath Falls Area

Viewing opportunities are picking up now at Lower Klamath National Wildlife Refuge with late winter migrants starting to show up. Thousands of tundra swans can be found feeding in flooded grain fields along Stateline Road. Also, look for coyotes, bald eagles, American wigeon, northern pintail, mallards, lesser snow geese, and white-fronted geese.

Excellent viewing opportunities exist as close as downtown Klamath Falls at Veteran’s Park. Species include bufflehead, common goldeneye, American coots. Be sure to check for bald eagles using the perch snag along Lake Ewuana. Another close viewing opportunity is the Link River Trail where viewers will see many species of passerines as well as a few mammals including deer, gray fox, and mink.

Rough-legged hawks are easily found foraging around agricultural areas throughout the basin. Redtail hawks are very common and can be observed in agricultural areas as well.

Good areas to view wintering bald eagles are along Eagle Ridge and Shoalwater Bay accessed from Eagle Ridge Road from Highway 140. The Lower Klamath National Wildlife Refuge provides great viewing opportunities as well.

Fall migration has concluded for mule deer and they are now readily observed on lower elevation winter ranges. Please note that many high-density winter ranges are closed to motorized travel to protect wintering big game, which are particularly vulnerable to disturbance during this difficult time of year. Foot traffic, cross-country skiing, and snowshoeing are great ways of accessing these restricted areas on public land, but be aware that private lands may not be posted. Ask for permission from the landowner before entering private lands. Please watch for game and use caution while traveling on area highways and county roads. 2/12/13

Klamath Wildlife Area

Public use is restricted to the public roads and parking lots from Feb. 1 to April 30 to minimize disturbance to migrating wildlife.

Effective Jan.1, 2013, a Wildlife Area Parking Permit is required to park on the Wildlife Area. Cost is $7 daily or $22 annually. Free with purchase of hunting license. Buy online or at an ODFW office that sells licenses or at a license sales agent. Learn more.

Furbearer trapping will take place Jan. 28-Feb. 28 throughout the wildlife area, to control burrowing furbearers and reduce damage to wildlife area water control infrastructure.

Waterfowl

Most ponds are still frozen, however snow geese, Ross’s geese and white-front geese are beginning to appear in pastures and loafing on the ice. Great Basin Canada geese are beginning to pair and develop territories. The Klamath River near the boat ramp has melted and large numbers of diving ducks can be seen. Bufflehead, ring-necked ducks, and ruddy ducks are becoming more common. Tundra swans may be seen loafing in many of the open water areas on the Miller Island Unit.

Upland birds

Sandhill cranes have returned to the basin. Two pair of sandhill cranes were spotted on the Miller Island Unit on Feb. 19.

Klamath Basin waterfowl numbers are available on the US Fish and Wildlife website at http://www.fws.gov/klamathbasinrefuges/cenfindex.html

Running and training of dogs is allowed only in the Dog Training Area by the boat ramp on Klamath River until August 1, 2013.

Overnight camping is not allowed on the Miller Island Unit. Discharge of firearms is prohibited except by permit. If you have any questions, please contact Klamath Wildlife Area at (541) 883-5734 or lanny.a.fujishin@state.or.us. 2/19/13.

LAKE COUNTY

Winter raptors including Rough-legged hawks and Red Tail hawks are the most abundant raptor species. Snow Geese and White-fronted Geese have started returning to the county. These are the earliest spring migrants and are indicators of the start of spring migration. The number and species of waterfowl and larger water birds usually peak in mid to late March with shorebird numbers steadily increasing through April. Bald eagle numbers will increase with the waterfowl migration. Winter raptors including Rough-legged hawks and Red Tail hawks are the most abundant raptor species. Due to the amount of precipitation received to date, access will be very limited on all but the paved and all-weather gravel roads.

Mild weather through mid-February resulted in a spring green-up of annual grasses along Abert Rim. Bighorn sheep on the Abert Rim have moved to the lower south-facing slopes and are easily visible from US Highway 395. 2/19/13

SUMMER LAKE WILDLIFE AREA

This section was updated on Feb. 19, 2013

Summer Lake Wildlife Area requires a $7 daily parking permit or a $22 annual parking permit. Parking permits can be purchased at any ODFW license agent or through the ODFW website. Locally, parking permits can be purchased at the Summer Lake Store, 1.3 miles north of Headquarters.

Vehicle access to the Wildlife Viewing Loop and the major dike roads (Bullgate, Windbreak and Work Road) is now open. The Wildlife Viewing Loop will remain open until early fall and the major dike roads until Mar. 15, 2013.

All secondary roads and dikes continue to remain closed and cross-country travel is prohibited. Non-motorized travel is permitted.

Furbearer trapping is underway at this time and will continue through Mar. 15. This regulated program is in place to control populations and reduce damage to dikes and levees caused by burrowing furbearers. Please remember it is unlawful to disturb or remove traps.

Northward migrating waterfowl are beginning to stage in good numbers now. Several thousand lesser snow and white-fronted geese, American wigeon, northern pintail and canvasback have arrived.

Waterfowl

Northward migrants have arrived and continue to increase. The last weekly waterbird count conducted on Feb. 13 found over 5,700 ducks (13 species), 2,700 geese (Canadas, white-fronted and snow) and 800 swans (trumpeter and tundra). Numbers of all species have increased dramatically since the count and numbers are approaching 15-20,000 or more.

Waterfowl are widely scattered across the wildlife area’s wetlands at this time.

Ducks are taking advantage of newly flooded area of the recently completed Between The Dikes restoration project actively foraging in the shallowly flooded areas.

Evenings are excellent times to observe snow geese from the Wildlife Viewing Loop, especially in the River Ranch area. Snow geese spend a majority of the day roosting on large ponds or the lake and move into emergent marsh areas to feed in the evening and night.

Swans are dispersed in open water areas, predominantly in the Rest Lake Refuge, Gold Dike Impoundment and the head of Summer Lake at this time. About 25 non-breeding trumpeters, part of restoration efforts, along with 40-50 winter migrants can be found scattered across the wildlife area. All of the restoration birds will be neck-banded with green collars and white alphanumeric symbols. Viewers are encouraged to “read” the collars and report them to wildlife area personnel. Collars will have the Greek letter Theta (Ө) and two side-ways laying numerals that are read from the body toward the head.

Shorebirds, waders and other waterbirds

Very few shorebirds can be found. Only common snipe and killdeer were observed during the past week, but spring migrants are expected any day.

American coot numbers increased from the previous week and remain scattered in open water areas; over 240 were found on the weekly count. Over the past weekend, the spring arrival of sandhill cranes was noted.

Very few grebes are present, but western, eared, and pied-billed can still be found.

A few American bittern, the occasional black-crowned night-heron and a few great blue herons are still present in very low numbers and are widely scattered across the entire wildlife area.

Raptors and Others

Resident and migrant raptors, especially red-tailed hawks are scattered throughout the Wildlife Area as well as on private lands along Hwy 31. A red-shouldered hawk was present at Headquarters over the past weekend.

Northern harriers are commonly observed over marsh and hay meadows, about 20 were found on the weekly count.

Bald and golden eagle numbers have been observed occasionally over the past week.

Prairie falcons are fairly common residents of the area and are frequently seen during this time of the year. Rough-legged hawk numbers are increasing at this time and should continue to as the winter progresses.

Migrant accipiters continue to be observed, primarily at Headquarters and a few will remain throughout winter.

Great horned owl and the occasional common-barn and short-eared owl can be found scattered across the entire wildlife area, especially in the trees at campgrounds. Great horned owls remain very vocal at night and nesting is underway. Of interest was the unusual observation of a burrowing owl at the tip of Bullgate Dike.

Upland game birds

California quail and ring-necked pheasants are widely scattered across the north end of the wildlife area but since the opening of hunting seasons are difficult to observe. The feeder at Headquarters allows for excellent viewing of California quail.

Passerines

Wintering species and the occasional late migrant are present now. Spring migrants are beginning to appear, tree swallows have recently appeared.

Eurasian collared doves remain very numerous at Headquarters Complex, over 25 are present. American and lesser goldfinches and several species of sparrows are fairly numerous at Headquarters/old homesteads and other tree and shrub sites. Occasionally, evening grosbeaks and cedar waxwings can be found.

Tree and shrub plantings near Summer Lake Church (Church, Dutchy and Swanie Fields), Middle Well and the Caulkins and Turner Place Homestead plantings are excellent locations to find wintering passerines. American robins and Townsend’s solitaires are fairly easy to locate.

Marsh wrens and song sparrows can still be found in dense stands of tall emergent hardstem bulrush and broad-leaved cattail vegetation. A few wintering blackbirds (Brewer’s and red-winged) can still be found. Red-winged blackbirds returned to the Headquarters area and have begun to sing.

Observations of flocks of European starlings remain frequent.

Facilities and Access

As of Jan. 1, 2012, Summer Lake Wildlife Area requires a $7 daily parking permit or a $22 annual parking permit. Parking permits can be purchased at any Point of Sale Agent or through the ODFW website. Please remember: New 2013 parking permits are now required!

Locally, parking permits can be purchased at the Summer Lake Store, 1.3 miles north of Headquarters.

The Wildlife Viewing Loop and major dike roads (Bullgate, Windbreak and Work Road) are now open. The Wildlife Viewing Loop will remain open until early fall, and the major dike roads until Mar. 15, 2013.

All secondary roads and dikes continue to remain closed and cross-country travel is prohibited. Non-motorized travel is permitted.

Wetland restoration work in the Between the Dikes unit is completed and northern portions of the unit are well flooded at this time and receiving heavy waterfowl use. Raptors and common ravens will find very favorable hunting conditions as small mammals are displaced by the rising water levels.

Camping is permitted at four sites on the Wildlife Area. Campgrounds are primitive but each has vault toilets, trash barrels and a few picnic tables.

Habitat

Nearly all other wetland units are fairly well flooded at this time. A recent warming trend has reduced frozen-over conditions. Cold night-time temperatures result in morning ice covering about 50 percent of the wildlife area wetlands.

Emergent wetland vegetation is mostly lodged over, allowing for good viewing conditions.

Upland habitat remains in excellent condition with considerable residual vegetation that is providing high quality food and cover for many wildlife species. Planted tree and shrub plots are providing excellent sheltered sites for many wildlife species.

Please contact Summer Lake Wildlife Area at (541) 943-3152 or e-mail martin.j.stlouis@state.or.us for additional information.

FISHING

Weekend fishing opportunities

• The Grande Ronde River at Troy is still producing steelhead at very respectable catch rates.

• The Wallowa River is heating up and steelhead are present in catchable numbers throughout the river.

• Depending on current weather and ice conditions, January and February can be good months for ice fishing. Always proceed with caution and make sure conditions are safe before going on to the ice.

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.

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 fishing map.

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.

BULL PRAIRIE RESERVOIR: trout

Access is now blocked by snow. Ice fishing only for both rainbow and eastern brook trout.

GRANDE RONDE RIVER: steelhead, trout, whitefish, bass

Recent reports from the Grande Ronde indicate anglers are still having success. Flows are right for a smooth ride in a drift boat from Wildcat Bridge to the state line. Many anglers have already moved to the Wallowa leaving room to fish. Steelhead will become less available in the lower river as they move upstream toward the hatchery facilities. This season, steelhead have been taking diverse gear including various baits, jigs, spinners and swung flies. Nymphing small flies such as glo-bugs and prince nymphs under an indicator can also be a deadly method. This year’s run consists of a higher percentage of two-salt fish and anglers are catching large fish ranging from 27 to 31 inches. Bull trout are present in the system and anglers are required to release them unharmed.

Check river flows

HOLLIDAY PARK POND: trout

The pond is covered in thin ice. A few carryover rainbow should be available when the ice melts.

IMNAHA RIVER: steelhead, trout, whitefish

Imnaha river flows are in the “sweet spot” for angling and fish are distributed throughout the river. Angler reports indicate low catch rates; however, fishing will improve into the spring. Temperatures in the canyon can often be in the range for T-shirts this time of year and can provide some fantastic days for angling. Big Sheep Creek will start to offer some action and can provide some great fishing into the spring. Steelhead are taking a variety of gear from various baits under a float or bounced on the bottom to swung flies. Nymphing small flies including glo-bugs and prince nymphs can be an effective method as well. The number of returning fish is down this year but so is angling pressure. This year’s run is however made up of a larger number of two-salt fish (larger fish) which may offer a better workout for your drag.

Fishing for whitefish remains open throughout the steelhead season below the mouth of Big Sheep Creek. Look for whitefish in deeper runs and holes, and target them using beaded nymphs. Bull trout are present this time of year and anglers are reminded to handle bull trout carefully and immediately release them.

Check Imnaha River flows.

JOHN DAY RIVER: steelhead

River flows are dropping and clearing. Fishing is fair upstream of the Burnt Ranch. Steelhead are scattered all the way up to the Middle Fork. Water temperatures will still be cold so anglers will have the most success targeting the slow, deep pools using jigs or bait. Very few hatchery stray steelhead are available here and anglers are reminded to carefully release all wild fish.

Check John Day River flows.

LONG CREEK POND, CAVENDER POND: trout

The ponds are covered in thin ice. No recent fishing report.

MAGONE LAKE: rainbow and brook trout

Access is now blocked by snow to passenger vehicles but may be accessed by snowmobile. Ice fishing should be fair for rainbow and brook trout.

MORGAN LAKE: trout, bullheads, bass

Closed to fishing until spring.

OLIVE LAKE: rainbow and kokanee

Access is now blocked by snow to passenger vehicles but may be access by snowmobile. Ice fishing for rainbow is likely fair.

PEACH POND (Ladd Marsh): rainbow trout

The pond is ice-covered and a few have been fishing. No report on success.

ROULET POND: rainbow trout

The pond is ice-covered.

ROWE CREEK RESERVOIR: rainbow trout

The pond is covered in thin ice and the water level is low. No recent fishing report.

TROUT FARM POND: rainbow and brook trout

Fishing for rainbow and brook trout is fair. The pond remains unfrozen during the winter due to warm spring flows. Snow may make access difficult.

UMATILLA RIVER: steelhead

Angling effort was light this past week and catch rates remained low. River conditions are good in the Pendleton area and are dropping and clearing in the Hermiston area. Steelhead return numbers to Threemile Dam showed an increase on Monday as a result of the increased flows and water temperatures.

Updated Threemile Dam fish counts can be accessed at http://www.dfw.state.or.us/fish/fish_counts/

WALLOWA LAKE: rainbow trout, kokanee, lake trout

Wallowa Lake is currently frozen with 6-10 inches of ice. Some trout and kokanee are being caught through the on both ends of the lake. Jigging is the preferred method with lures like Kokanators and Swedish Pimples tipped with corn, cheese or other baits. While ice conditions are currently stable, caution is recommended as ice can melt quickly with warmer temperatures.

WALLOWA RIVER: steelhead, trout, whitefish

Anglers reported catch rates at about 13 hours a fish over the last week. Fishing should continue to improve as spring approaches and fish move out of the Grande Ronde into the Wallowa.This year’s run consists of a higher percentage of two-salt fish and anglers are catching large fish ranging from 27 to 31 inches. Remember, nearly 60 percent of the fish are returning to Wallowa Hatchery so fish can be caught throughout the river. Steelhead are taking a variety of gear from various baits under a float or bounced on the bottom to swung flies. Nymphing small flies including glo-bugs and prince nymphs can be an effective method as well. Try fishing slow runs and tail outs where fish can conserve energy while holding.

WILLOW CREEK RESERVOIR: Trout

Trout angling should be fair throughout the winter.

NORTHEAST ZONE HUNTING

OPEN: COUGAR, COYOTE

Phillip W. Schneider and Elkhorn wildlife areas are currently closed to public access.

Mandatory Reporting

Thanks to all hunters who reported their 2012 tags on time. Hunters who did not report 2012 deer and elk tags on time will pay a $25 penalty fee when they purchase a 2014 hunting license. If your 2012 deer and elk hunts extend into 2013, you have until April 15, 2013 to report your hunt. More information on reporting http://www.dfw.state.or.us/resources/hunting/reporting/index.asp

Wolves in Northeast Oregon

Wolves are protected by state law and it is unlawful to shoot them. Coyote hunters in northeastern Oregon need to take extra care to identify their target as wolves can look like coyotes, especially wolf pups in the mid-summer and fall. ODFW needs hunters’ assistance to establish wolves’ presence in Oregon; please report any wolf sightings or wolf sign to La Grande office (541) 963-2138 or online.

Use the Oregon Hunting Map to see where to hunt.

BAKER COUNTY

Cougar - Cougars can be found throughout Baker County but hunters should target areas with high concentrations of deer and elk. Setting up on a fresh kill or using distress calls can all be productive techniques. Hunters are required to check in the hide of any cougar taken, with skull and proof of sex attached.

Coyote - Coyote numbers are good throughout the district. Try calling in early morning and late afternoon. Remember to ask for permission before hunting on private properties.

GRANT COUNTY

Cougar - Hunting remains open. Successful hunters should remember that check-in of the hide with skull and proof of sex attached is mandatory; see the regulations for details.

Coyote - Numbers are good in most of the district. Coyotes may respond to distress calls. Try calling in the early morning and late evening.

MORROW, GILLIAM and WHEELER COUNTIES

Cougar - Hunting is open. Cougar are well distributed in our forested areas. Calling with distress calls or cougar vocalizations can be effective. Tracking a cougar after a fresh snow can be a successful technique as well. Locating a fresh, naturally made kill has the best chance of success.

Coyote - By all indications the coyote population is healthy with good numbers of coyotes available for those who wish to pursue them. Watch wind direction to help prevent giving away your location. Calling with game distress calls can be very successful.

UMATILLA COUNTY

Cougar - Cougar are well distributed in forested areas of the Walla Walla, Mt. Emily, and Ukiah units. Hunters will have best success by finding a fresh naturally made kill and sitting on it, or by using predator calls. Some success has come from following tracks until the cougar is located.

Coyote - Are numerous throughout the District and hunters should have good success calling. Remember to ask permission before hunting on private lands.

UNION COUNTY

Cougar - Cougars are common in Union county. Focus on game rich areas with long ridgelines or saddles that cats typically travel. Setting up downwind of a deer or elk killed by a cougar can be productive. You need to be extremely patient and wear camo when calling cougars as they come in slowly and use every bit of cover as they approach. Using remote calls will focus the cat’s attention away from your blind. Remote motion devices next to the remote call will increase your chances of harvest. Above all, DO NOT MOVE! - their eyesight is excellent. Nonresident hunters can include a cougar tag with others tags for only $14.50. All cougars taken must be checked in within 10 days of harvest; call for an appointment before coming in.

Coyote - Coyote numbers are good throughout the district. Try calling in early morning and late afternoon. Remember to ask for permission before hunting on private properties.

LADD MARSH WILDLIFE AREA

With the close of authorized hunting seasons on the area, Ladd Marsh Wildlife Area is closed to hunting and to all entry beginning February 1. This includes all portions of the wildlife area both west and east of Foothill Rd. The Glass Hill Unit will re-open April 1.

A parking permit is needed for Ladd Marsh. Hunters get the permit free with their purchase of an annual hunting license. Display on car dash. More information

WALLOWA COUNTY

COYOTE: Good numbers of coyotes can be found throughout Wallowa County. Calling coyotes with rabbit distress type calls has been effective for hunters. It is important to choose areas with abundant coyote sign and little human activity.

COUGAR: Cougar numbers are strong throughout Wallowa County. Most lions are taken incidental to other hunting; however, calling with fawn bleat, or locating a cougar kill and waiting for a cat to return are often successful techniques.

NORTHEAST ZONE VIEWING

GRANT COUNTY

Bighorn sheep can be viewed along the South Fork of the John Day. Sandhill cranes can be seen and heard as they migrate through the valley in large flocks. Bald eagles and robins are beginning to return to the valley and can be seen near the John Day River. 11/14/12.

Baker County

Bighorn sheep and mule deer can be viewed along the Snake River road between Huntington and Richland. Keep your eyes open as Bald Eagles are also plentiful in the area. Bighorn sheep in the Burnt River are down low in the canyon along the riparian areas and can be viewed from the road.

Elk feeding tours on the Anthony Creek feed site are available through T&T Wildlife Tours. Make sure and visit their website for hours of operation and other information.

MORROW, GILLIAM AND WHEELER COUNTIES

Rough-legged hawks can be seen throughout most of the north half of the District. Short-eared owl can be seen along the grasslands of the north end of the District. Our year-round resident raptors, red-tailed hawks, Northern harriers, and American kestrels are all easily found. Heppner’s merlin has been seen in the area as well. The remaining ravens are our resident population, the mobs have headed south. Prairie falcons can also be seen in the area, although much rarer to be found. Sharp-shinned hawks can be seen along the riparian areas of the north half of the District.

In the yards of the district, one can find the common winter song birds around the feeder. Dark-eyed juncos, song sparrows, house sparrows, white-crowned sparrows are all easily found. American gold finches and Rufus sided towhees can also be see in the Heppner area. A northern shrike was also seen in the Heppner area.

Golden eagles can be found along Lost Valley Creek and along the foothills. Bald eagles are starting to show up along the John Day River, try the segment from Spray to Dayville for best chance to see them.

Waterfowl are finally showing up in numbers along the Columbia Rivers. The most common to be seen are mallards, American widgeon and Canada geese. But northern shovelers, Coot, blue wing, green wing, and cinnamon teals, , buffleheads, and common mergansers can also be found. Common and Pied-billed grebes can be seen along the Columbia as well. Great blue herons are found along all of our streams that support fish. There are two that can be found most days between Heppner and Lexington along Willow Creek.

With winter here our deer in the area are all down on the winter range. Take a drive down Willow or Hinton creek bottoms to see mule deer. One can also spot great grey owls in the forest as well. Try the Swale Creek area, there is usually one that can be found in that area. 01/15/13.

UMATILLA COUNTY

Columbia Basin Wildlife Areas

Willow Creek and Coyote Springs Wildlife Areas are both found next to interstate 84 and the Columbia River and have excellent viewing for wetland and riparian obligate bird species. The upland areas are also available for savanna and shrub steppe species of birds. Willow Creek has an ample deer herd and the evidence of beaver activity can be seen on the Willow Creek delta area of the wildlife area.

The Irrigon Wildlife Area holds riparian and wetland habitat and hosts a number of species of birds associated with each habitat. One can see a number of waterfowl and wading bird species in the pothole pond areas. Painted turtles are also common in the pond areas. White pelicans can be commonly found along the Columbia River as well. Geese and ducks are beginning to build along the Columbia River and will be commonly trading back and forth along the river.

Power City Wildlife Area between Hermiston and Umatilla on Highway 395 is also characterized by both wetland and upland habitat. Birding in the early hours will offer opportunity at a number of summering bird species typical of Columbia Basin habitats. 11/6/12.

See the ODFW Wildlife Viewing Map for locations of these ODFW Wildlife Areas.

Umatilla County Uplands

Uplands and forested riparian areas will have a number of wintering birds.

Elk will be more common in the early morning and late afternoon in mid and lower elevation areas now that wintering conditions are in place. Roads moving upslope from the valley floor to the mountain areas would be best to see these animals.

WHITE-TAILED DEER are common along the foothills of the Blue Mountains and can be seen either early morning or evening in those areas. Mule deer are found in better numbers in the desert and mountain areas. 12/3/12.

UNION COUNTY

Ladd Marsh Wildlife Area

Note: Wildlife viewers and anglers need a parking permit to park on the wildlife area. The $7 daily or $22 annual permit can be purchased online or at an ODFW office that sells licenses or at a license sales agent. Learn more about ODFW’s Wildlife Area Parking Permit Program.

The Tule Lake Public Access Area and Auto Route are closed for the season. The Tule Lake area will reopen Mar. 1. The Glass Hill Unit is also closed to public access; it will re-open April 1. Visitors are advised to carefully read posted signs and consult game bird regulations before entering the wildlife area. Dogs are not permitted within the Wildlife Area, on or off leash except during authorized hunting seasons. There are numerous quality-viewing opportunities from county roads that pass through the area. Binoculars or a spotting scope will help as many animals are best viewed from a distance.

Tundra swans have been seen on the Tule Lake Unit as well as other open water areas. Greater white-fronted geese have also begun to arrive, although in small numbers. Longer days and more open water will bring more.

Northern shrike and American tree sparrows continue to be seen in a variety of locations within the wildlife area. A few common redpolls have been seen on the wildlife area and at other locations in the valley. Flocks of up to 20 western meadowlarks have been seen in fields and roosting in trees.

Northern harrier, red-tailed hawk, rough-legged hawk, and bald and golden eagles have all been seen hunting over the wildlife area. American kestrels can be seen perched on wires along the roads.

Elk movements into the wildlife area from Glass Hill and Craig Mountain have slowed as they are not moving down every day. Wildlife viewers are asked to use caution and keep some distance from elk, especially when they attempt to cross a county road or highway. When motorists approach too closely, they often prevent the animals from crossing or split the herd.

For more information on access rules for Ladd Marsh Wildlife Area, please consult the Oregon Game Bird Regulations or call the wildlife area (541) 963-4954. 1/28/13.

SNAKE FISHING

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.

BROWNLEE RESERVOIR: crappie, bass, perch, catfish, bluegill, trout

The reservoir has a thin layer of ice. Fishing for perch off the dock was good before it iced over. Call the Idaho Power Company’s recording at 1-800-422-3143 to get information on access at recreational sites or visit their website http://www.idahopower.com/OurEnvironment/WaterInformation/Reservoir/

Reservoir level information

OXBOW RESERVOIR: trout, crappie, bass, catfish

Trout fishing has been good just below the Brownlee pool.

HELLS CANYON RESERVOIR: trout, crappie, bass, catfish

Trout should be accessible, especially at creek mouths.

SNAKE RIVER below HELLS CANYON RESERVOIR: trout, salmon, sturgeon

Catch rates for the season have been fair for steelhead below Hells Canyon Dam. Anglers have reported successful trips with large fish and high catch rates. Fishing preasure has been light and there is plenty of room to fish. Steelhead anglers are reminded that barbles hooks are required. Anglers are also reminded that, new for 2012, only adipose-clipped trout may be kept in the Snake River.

Get updated information on flow levels.

SNAKE RIVER (above Brownlee Reservoir): channel catfish, flathead catfish, smallmouth bass

Last week most of the ice jams located in the river upstream of Brownlee Reservoir cleared. Fishing is expected to be slow. Flows at the Nyssa gauge remain below normal (14,400 cfs), they were measured at 7,460 cfs on Feb. 19. Flows at the Weiser gauge also remain below normal (18,700 cfs), they were measured at 10,100 cfs on Feb. 19. Over the last week water temperature at the Nyssa gauge ranged from 40˚F to 47˚F, while at the Weiser gauge it ranged from 35˚F to 38˚F. Boaters should continue to use caution on the Snake River — debris remains in the river.

COLUMBIA FISHING

Weekend Fishing Opportunities:

• Sturgeon retention is allowed from Buoy 10 upstream to Bonneville Dam, and in The Dalles and John Day pools. Check the current regulations for retention days and length restrictions.

• Spring Chinook are beginning to enter the Columbia River, while winter steelhead are migrating towards the tributary mouths.

• Walleye anglers are catching a few fish in The Dalles and John Day pools.

Current Columbia River regulations for sturgeon and spring chinook can be found at the Sport Fishing Regulation Update page.

SALMON, STEELHEAD AND SHAD:

Salmonid angler effort is picking up on the lower Columbia. On Saturday’s (2/16) flight, 49 salmonid boats and 109 Oregon bank anglers were counted.

Portland to Longview Bank:

Weekly checking showed two adipose fin-clipped steelhead kept, plus two unclipped steelhead released for 124 bank anglers.

Portland Boats:

Weekend checking showed no catch for 16 boats (36 anglers).

The Dalles Pool:

Weekly checking showed two adipose fin-clipped steelhead kept for six bank anglers; and one adipose fin-clipped steelhead kept, plus two unclipped steelhead released for one boat (three anglers).

John Day Pool (Columbia River above John Day Dam and John Day Arm):

Weekly checking showed no catch for four bank anglers; and one adipose fin-clipped steelhead kept, plus three unclipped steelhead released for four boats (eight anglers).

STURGEON:

Gorge Bank:

Weekend checking showed no catch for nine bank anglers.

Gorge Boats:

Weekly checking showed no catch for two boats (five anglers).

Portland to Longview Bank:

No report.

Portland to Longview Boats:

Weekend checking showed one sublegal sturgeon released for 14 boats (39 anglers).

Bonneville Pool:

CLOSED FOR RETENTION.

The Dalles Pool:

Weekly checking showed two oversize and eight sublegal sturgeon released for 55 bank anglers; and one legal and seven sublegal sturgeon released for four boats (10 anglers).

John Day Pool:

Weekly checking showed no catch for 26 bank anglers; and two legal white sturgeon kept, plus one oversize and six sublegal sturgeon released for 33 boats (84 anglers).

Sturgeon creel sampling summaries and catch estimates for Bonneville, The Dalles, and John Day pools can be found at the following link:

WDFW Mid-Columbia River mainstem sport sampling summary

WALLEYE:

The Dalles Pool:

Weekly checking showed five walleye kept for three bank anglers; and four walleye kept for three boats (seven anglers).

John Day Pool:

Weekly checking showed 10 walleye kept, plus five walleye released for 23 boats (41 anglers).

MARINE ZONE

MARINE FISHING

EVENT

Saltwater Sportsmen’s Show March 2, 3 in Salem

The 2013 Saltwater Sportsmen's Show will be March 2 and 3 at the Oregon Exposition Center, 2330 17th Street NE, Salem, Ore. 97301. The event features displays, demonstrations, seminars and a trade show aimed at Oregon’s saltwater anglers.

The show is for the serious saltwater angler, beginners, or those who would like to try ocean fishing but don’t know quite where to start. There will be seminars and demonstrations on fishing for halibut, salmon, albacore tuna, using marine electronics, ocean safety, kayak fishing in the ocean, and many other subjects. Food will be available at the show.

The show is open 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday. For a full list of activities and to purchase advance tickets visit http://saltwatersportsmensshow.com

Saltwater News Bulletins

You can subscribe to receive e-mails and text message alerts for marine topics you are interested in. To sign up go to http://dfw.state.or.us/MRP/bulletins/index.asp and enter your phone for text alerts and e-mail information to subscribe to email updates. It’s easy to unsubscribe at any time. Your phone and e-mail information will remain confidential. Six different lists of interest to ocean enthusiasts are available: Bottomfish (recreational), Halibut (recreational), Ocean Salmon (recreational), Ocean Salmon (commercial troll), Commercial Nearshore Groundfish, and Marine Reserves.

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.

Marine Reserves

Prohibitions at Oregon’s marine reserves at Redfish Rocks and Otter Rock are in effect. Fishing, crabbing, clamming, hunting and gathering seaweed are all prohibited. Beach walking, surfing, bird watching, diving and other non-extractive uses continue to be allowed. See complete details and a map of the boundaries of the reserves:

• Otter Rock Marine Reserve

• Redfish Rocks Marine Reserve and Marine Protected Area

BOTTOM FISHING

Good weather last weekend allowed several charter and private boats to successfully pursue rockfish and lingcod. Newport charterboats reported full limits of rockfish and lingcod. Fishing for rockfish and lingcod can be good this time of year when weather and ocean conditions permit.

With excellent visibility and lingcod moving to shallow waters to mate and lay eggs makes this time of year good for diving the bays and jetties of the Oregon coast.

Cabezon retention is prohibited by all anglers until July 1. Retention of cabezon is allowed July 1 through Sept. 30. Under the federal cabezon quota, there is only enough cabezon to be open for two to three months during the busy summer period. When ODFW asked for public input in the fall, many people said they preferred a later season (July-September) over an earlier season. The daily bag and size limits remain the same (one-fish sublimit, 16-inch minimum length).

Sport fishing for groundfish is open at all depths through March 30.

The marine fish daily bag limit is seven fish (of which no more than one may be a cabezon during the cabezon season). There are separate daily limits for lingcod (two) and flatfish other than Pacific halibut (25).

Remember: yelloweye rockfish and canary rockfish may not be retained.

The Stonewall Bank Yelloweye Rockfish Conservation Area, approximately 15 miles west of Newport, is closed to the harvest of rockfish, lingcod, flatfish and other species in the groundfish group.

PACIFIC HALIBUT

The International Pacific Halibut Commission set the annual allowable catch for the West Coast at the same level as last year. The date structure of the 2013 Halibut fishery the proposal was that the first “Fixed Day” period opens 2nd Thursday in May (May 9, 2013) for the central coast. It will be open Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. After “Fixed Days” period, if poundage remains the fishery re-opens every other Thursday, Friday, and Saturday (Saturday priority if only one day; Friday-Saturday if only two days of quota remain). Weeks can be skipped to avoid adverse tides.

The dates need to be approved by several governing boards before they are final. For the most up-to-date information visit: http://dfw.state.or.us/mrp/finfish/halibut/index.asp

SHELLFISH

New for 2013

Limits double on purple varnish calms

Clam diggers may harvest twice as many purple varnish clams in 2013 than they did in previous years. In response to a public proposal, the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission increased the daily catch limit for purple varnish clams from 36 per day to 72 per day. Purple Varnish Clams are a non-native species that has become established in several Oregon bays and estuaries over the past decade.

Scallops require report card

Also starting in 2013, divers who harvest rock scallops will be required to report their catch to the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife using a free harvest card. Divers will provide important information about this resource to ODFW biologists that will enable them to better manage the resource. Since 1996, ODFW has required similar reporting by all recreational abalone harvesters who complete an annual harvest card. This program helps ODFW biologists understand and monitor the abalone fishery. This same card now includes space for rock scallop harvesters to report their catch. Anyone recreationally harvesting abalone or rock scallops will need to obtain the free abalone and scallop harvest card in addition to an Oregon Shellfish License. The harvest card is easy to get and simple to complete. Limits for abalone and rock scallops remain the same: one per day and five per year for abalone and 24 rock scallops per day.

Divers can get abalone/scallop permits by contacting ODFW Marine Resources Program in Newport 541-867-4741, Charleston 541-888-5515 or Astoria 503-325-2462. For more information visit the ODFW website.

Razor Clams

Clatsop beaches reopened Oct. 1 to razor clam harvesting, making the entire Oregon coast available to razor clam harvest.

Harvesters should pay close attention to the surf forecasts and be on the beach one to two hours before low tide. If the forecast calls for combined seas over eight or 10 feet, razor clam harvesting can be very difficult because the clams tend to show much less in those conditions.

Recreational shellfish safety status as of Feb. 12:

• Mussel harvesting remains closed from Cape Arago to the California border because of elevated levels of paralytic shellfish toxin.

• On Jan. 14, the Oregon Department of Agriculture reopened mussel harvesting from the Columbia River to Cape Arago in Coos County.

• All other shellfish harvesting is open from the Columbia River to the California Border.

• The consumption of whole recreationally harvested scallops is not recommended, however. Coastal scallops are not affected by toxin closures when only the adductor muscle is eaten.

The Oregon Department of Agriculture's shellfish safety hotline is toll free and provides the most current information regarding shellfish safety closures. Please call the hotline before harvesting: 1-800-448-2474.

Check out the recreational shellfish pages on the ODFW web site. The pages contain everything you need to know for identifying and harvesting Oregon’s clams.

Crabs

During periods of rain, crabbing in bays may slow due to decreased salinity, but boat crabbers can still expect to land a few keepers. The recreational harvest of Dungeness crab in Oregon’s bays and estuaries is open year round.

Ocean crabbing has been decent, although some crabs are still reportedly soft. Recreational crabbing in the ocean is open along the entire Oregon coast.

The ODFW crabbing report shows average number of legal-sized Dungeness crab per person in various ports by month over the past couple of years: check it out.

Some sport crabbers have difficulty correctly measuring the minimum size for Dungeness crab, which is 5 3⁄4 inches measured in a straight line across the back immediately in front of, but not including, the points. See an illustration showing the correct measurement.

MARINE VIEWING

Northern elephant seal pups

You can watch northern elephant seals pupping right now from Cape Arago State Park at the Simpson Reef overlook south of Charleston. Except for the time spent on the rookery during the breeding season and a month or so ashore while undergoing the molt, the Northern Elephant Seal is truly a pelagic mammal.

Humming birds

The pink salmon berry blossoms will open soon providing a food source for the earliest spring migrant bird to the coast, the rufous humming bird. This bird nests further north than any other hummingbird.

Most rufous humming birds winter in wooded areas in the Mexico state of Guerrero. They travel more than 2,000 miles – a prodigious journey for a bird weighing only three or four grams. They often stay in one spot for considerable time and often aggressively take over and defend feeding locations. They will chase away resident Anna’s humming birds.

Frogs and salamanders

Amphibians are on the move this month. Watch for rough-skinned newts, Pacific giant salamanders, red-legged frogs and other Oregon coast amphibians as they cross fields, lawns, roads and paths to find appropriate ponds and other still bodies of water to lay their eggs. Look just below the surface of the water at wetlands for clusters of eggs. A close inspection will reveal the embryo developing and often moving in the transparent egg.

Many newts produce toxins to avoid predation, but the toxins of the Oregon rough-skinned newt are particularly potent. One thirtieth of the toxin present in the skin of an average adult rough-skinned newt is sufficient to kill a healthy adult human. Toxicity is generally experienced only if the newt is ingested, although there are reports that some individuals experience skin irritation after handling the newt.

Murres

Common murres start staging where thousands gather together to re-establish pair bonds and find nesting sites. Between 8,000 and 9,000 murres gather around Yaquina Head most years. 2/19/13.

Copyright 2015 Corvallis Gazette Times. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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