Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife
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last updated: 04/16/2014
 
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  FISHING

Kokanee Salmon
Al Vose, Portland, landed this 9+ pound kokanee in Wallowa Lake in June 2011

Weekend fishing opportunities

  • Anglers have reported catching 20 fish limits of kokanee at Wallowa Lake.
  • Rainbow trout were stocked last week in Tatone, Hatrock and McNary ponds, and continue to provide great early season action.

New salmon, steelhead, sturgeon endorsement

Beginning Jan. 1, 2014 anglers fishing for salmon, steelhead or sturgeon in the Columbia River and its tributaries will be required to have a Columbia River Basin endorsement. See a map of the Basin and get more information.

If your favorite fishing spot is no longer listed

It’s probably because that river, lake or reservoir is closed for the season, inaccessible due to snow and bad roads, or offers limited fishing opportunities during the winter months. These waterbodies will re-appear in the Recreation Report when they re-open next spring, or when access and/or opportunity improves.

2014 trout stocking

The 2014 trout stocking schedule for the Northeast Zone is now posted on-line on along with other districts on the ODFW trout stocking page.

Send us your fishing report

We’d love to hear about your recent fishing experience. Send us your 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: rainbow and brook trout

The lake is no longer iced over and is open for fishing. Fishing for carryover rainbow and brook trout is good. The lake will not be stocked until late May.

steelhead
Steelhead!
-Oregon Fish and Wildlife-

GRANDE RONDE RIVER: steelhead

The Grande Ronde River closed for steelhead fishing on April 15. Catch rate estimates from last week’s surveys were not available at the time of this report; however, high flows late in the season limited fishing sucess. The Grande Ronde River and tributaries will open for general fishing on May 24.

HATROCK POND: trout

The Hat Rock State Park provides a trail system with easy angler access to the pond for the entire family. Fishing for rainbow trout should be good.

HOLLIDAY PARK POND: trout

Open year-round. Trout fishing is good. The pond was stocked this week. 

HUNTER POND: trout

Hunter Pond is located about 3 miles south of Hwy 244 off of USFS Rd 5160. The pond is located on the 710 spur just west of 5160.

IMNAHA RIVER: steelhead

The Imnaha River, including Big Sheep Creek, closed for steelhead fishing on April 1h. Catch rates from last week’s surveys were unavailable at the time of this report, but anglers reported mixed success as river flows increased last week. The Imnaha River will open for general fishing on May 24.

JOHN DAY RIVER: wild steelhead, smallmouth bass

Flows are decreasing but are forecasted to be moderately high through the weekend. Steelhead fishing closed on April 15 above Kimberly. Bass fishing remains open below Kimberly and will be improving as the water clears.

Check John Day River flows

LONG CREEK POND, CAVENDER POND: trout

Open year-round. Trout fishing is good The ponds were stocked this week.
 
LUGER POND: trout

This is a handicap accessible site in a beautiful forest setting.

MAGONE LAKE: rainbow and brook trout

The ice is melting and open water should be available soon. No recent fishing reports.

MARR POND: surplus steelhead

Surplus steelhead were planted in Marr Pond in Enterprise, and some may still be lingering. These fish provide a great opportunity to get young anglers into some large fish. Try fishing with bait suspended under a float or casting spinners. These fish are considered to be trout after being stocked into Marr Pond and fall under the general trout regulations for the Northeast Zone. Under these regulations, anglers may harvest one fish over 20 inches/day and are not required to record these fish on their harvest card.

Fishing at Salish Ponds
Fishing Event
-Photo by Bob Swingle-

McNARY PONDS: trout

The ponds will be the site of a youth (12 and under) fishing event on Saturday, April 12 from 10 a.m. to noon. The ponds will open to fishing for the whole family at noon.

A trail system provides access to both pond and stream fishing and the area also has several handicap accessible fishing platforms. The ponds have been stocked and fishing should be good for rainbow trout

MORGAN LAKE: Closed to fishing until April 26.

OLIVE LAKE: rainbow, kokanee

The lake is open for ice fishing if you can get there. Snow is still limiting access.

PEACH POND (Ladd Marsh): rainbow trout

The pond is ice-free and will be stocked with rainbow trout the first week of April.

ROULET POND: rainbow trout

The pond is ice-free and will be stocked with rainbow trout the first week of April.

ROWE CREEK RESERVOIR: rainbow trout

Fishing is poor.Rainbow stocked last spring did not survive through the summer. The reservoir will not be stocked again until late May.

TATONE POND: trout

The pond has been stocked and fishing should be good for rainbow trout.

rainbow trout
Rainbow Trout
-Photo by Roger Smith-

TAYLOR GREEN POND: rainbow trout

This was a new stocking site in 2013. The pond is located in a gravel pit just off USFS Rd. 7740, approximately ½ mile south of the Jct. with USFS Rd. 7700.

TROUT FARM POND: rainbow and brook trout

Fishing for rainbow and brook trout is fair. The pond is ice free and open to fishing if you can get there. Snow is still limiting access.

UMATILLA RIVER: steelhead

Steelhead angling was good this past week with anglers averaging 6.3 hours per fish caught in the Pendleton area. Anglers are reminded the steelhead season closes on April 15. Spring Chinook season opens April 16. The return continues to be dominated by wild fish this year, with 90 percent of the run wild. Anglers are using a variety of techniques drift fishing techniques, eggs under a bobber, jigs and shrimp. The daily bag limit is 3 adipose fin-clipped steelhead. Anglers should consult the synopsis for detailed regulations.

Threemile Dam fish counts

WALLOWA LAKE: rainbow trout, kokanee, lake trout

Anglers at Wallowa Lake have been finding some kokanee and holdover rainbow trout. Two anglers reported catching their limit of 20 kokanee per angler by jigging on the south end of the lake. As spring progresses and water temperatures warm catch rates will improve.

WALLOWA RIVER: steelhead, mountain whitefish

The Wallowa River closed for steelhead fishing on April 15. At the time of this report, catch rates from last week’s surveys were unavailable but anglers were reporting mixed success with higher river flows. The Wallowa River and tributaries will open for general fishing on May 24. 

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  HUNTING

OPEN: COUGAR, COYOTE, SPRING TURKEY (April 15-May 31), CONTROLLED SPRING BEAR (opens April 15)

Snake River wolf
Gray Wolf from the Walla Walla Pack
-Oregon Fish and Wildlife-

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 with the Wolf Reporting Form.

Use the Oregon Hunting Map to see where to hunt.

Closure of Wallowa Mountain Loop Road (Forest Road 39)
A 13-mile stretch of the Wallowa Mountain Loop road, also known as the North Pine section of FSR 39, is closed for construction. Please see the Wallowa Whitman Loop Road Updates page for the latest information and maps.

BAKER COUNTY

Closure of Wallowa Mountain Loop Road (Forest Road 39)

Turkey season opens on April 15. Hunters should concentrate their efforts around lower elevation levels where there has been more early spring green up. You can expect to find heavy snows in the higher elevations. Public land hunting opportunities exist on the BLM and the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest as well as the ODFW managed Elkhorn Wildlife Area. Remember to ask permission before hunting on private property.

SPRING BEAR season opens April 15. See the hunting forecast for what to expect. Successful hunters, remember check-in of bear skull is mandatory; see the regulations for details. Biologists recommend propping the bear’s mouth open with a stick after harvest; it makes for easier tooth collection and measuring. Hunters should look for open slopes with lots of green up and plan on spending some time glassing to locate bears. Bears will become more active as the season progresses.

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 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

Turkey season opens April 15. The turkeys should start moving onto Forest Service lands as snow recedes. Early in the season, some turkeys are on private property and permission is needed to hunt. Hunters have been successful in finding birds in the Middle Fork John Day River, Murderers Creek, and North Fork John Day River.

Cougar
Cougar
- Royalty Free Image-

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

Turkey season opens Tuesday April 15th.  The Districts turkey population is low but rebuilding. The warmer weather and little snow in the District have turkeys well distributed across the forest. Hunters should focus their efforts in areas with good spring green-up.  There is snow in the higher portions of the forest but hunters should be able to access most of the forest.

Cougar hunting is open. Cougar are well distributed in our forested areas. Calling with distress calls or cougar vocalizations can be effective. Locating a fresh, naturally made kill has the best chance of success

Cougar hunting is open. Cougar are well distributed in our forested areas. Calling with distress calls or cougar vocalizations can be effective. Locating a fresh, naturally made kill has the best chance of success. Looking for tracks after a fresh snow can be effective for locating cougars.

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

Bears will be distributed in forested stringer areas throughout the county. Foraging bears will be out in open areas and available for glassing throughout the spring. Their numbers should increase as the last week in April begins. This should persist until the end of the season.

Turkey are distributing out from wintering flocks and gobbling in forested areas. Hunters will have best luck in low elevation forest areas throughout the season.

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

Spring Bear opens on April 15. Bears are starting to show up on open slopes in Union County. Scouting will pay off but expect snow to block roads higher than 5000 foot elevation. Access to hunting areas will improve later in the season.  Successful hunters must check in harvested bears within 10 days. Propping the mouth open will make the check-in process go more quickly. See 2014 big game regulations for details.

Turkey season opens April 15. Turkeys have started to move off winter range and should be showing up in the upper foothills around Union county. Birds can be found throughout the county with the highest densities in the north end. The Wallowa Whitman National Forest, Hancock Forest Management lands and ODFW’s Elkhorn Wildlife Areaallprovide public access to turkey hunters in Union County. Hunters are cautioned that forest roads may be soft in the spring and to take care when driving to prevent damage.

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. 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 check in.

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

Hunting seasons now closed. Ladd Marsh harvest statistics

Note: all visitors including hunters must have in their possession a free daily permit to access the wildlife area. Permits will be available at several self-check-in stations at entry points and parking lots beginning in late September. Wildlife hunters, viewers and anglers also need a parking permit to park on the wildlife area. Hunters receive a free parking permit with their hunting license. 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. Parking permits are to be displayed on the vehicle dash. More information

WALLOWA COUNTY

Closure of Wallowa Mountain Loop Road (Forest Road 39)

Black Bear
Black Bear
-Oregon Fish and Wildlife-

BLACK BEAR: Spring bear season starts this week, and a good density of black bears exists throughout the district. Snow is melting off of the lower areas of the district and many bears will begin waking up and making forays away from their dens in search of early season foods, such as green grass, ground squirrels, and roots and tubers. In spring, black bears are fair weather fellows and really only venture out of their dens on warm, sunny days. The best strategy for finding them this time of year is to sit on a spot with a good view of open canyon sides and use binoculars or a spotting scope to locate them. The animals feed off and on during all daylight hours and patience is the order of the day when spotting spring bears.

TURKEY: Spring turkey season starts April 15. While turkey numbers are only moderate in the district there are good places to find them. Snow is melting off of the lower areas of the district, as well as on south slopes and around trees in the moderate elevations. Turkeys are beginning to move from their wintering areas up into nesting areas at this time. The best strategy for finding them this time of year is to travel the forest roads or hike into areas where turkeys might be and call for them or just listen for their calls early in the morning.

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.

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  VIEWING

BAKER COUNTY

Spring is arriving in Baker County. Robins and red-wing blackbirds can be found in the valley. Sandhill cranes can be heard flying overhead and can sometimes be seen in Bowen Valley and in the fields near Richland.

Turkeys can be seen and heard throughout the county in the transitional zone between the forest and the valley. A good area to look is on the Elkhorn Wildlife Area. Be aware that turkey season is open through May 31.

Bighorn sheep
Burnt River California Bighorn Sheep
- Photo by Brian Ratliff, ODFW -

Bighorn sheep can be seen in the Burnt River Canyon west of Durkee or along the Snake River Road south of Richland.

Bald and golden eagles can be seen along the Snake River. Take the Snake River Road between Richland and Huntington.

Elk are beginning to head for higher ground as things green up. They can still be found on the wildlife area, the viewing areas on Old Auburn Road, or North Powder River Lane provide a good opportunity to watch. Remember the wildlife area is closed to entry, so bring binoculars and a spotting scope for the best look. 4/8/14.

GRANT COUNTY

Swans can be readily seen moving through Fox Valley.

Bald and golden eagles are in abundance this time of year and can be readily seen all along the John Day Valley.

Elk have moved down to their winter range and can be found throughout the Murderers Creek Unit.

Bighorn sheep can be viewed along the South Fork of the John Day. 3/10/14.

MORROW, GILLIAM and WHEELER COUNTIES

Spring is in full here in the Heppner District. Sandhill cranes are still seen flying north, although in smaller flocks of birds. Pine siskins can be seen occasionally at feeders in the area. Golden crowned kinglets are also showing up in the area.  Ferruginous hawks are showing up to claim nest territories and can be seen in the northern portion of the District.  Red-tailed hawks, American kestrels and northern harriers can be seen throughout the District.  

In the forest mountain bluebirds are showing up in numbers and are easy to spot. Turkeys are leaving their winter flocks and males are gobbling. Ruffed and blue grouse can be seen and heard drumming in the forest. 

Throughout the spring, one can spot white-crowned sparrows, northern oriel, American goldfinch, eastern kingbird, and, if you are really lucky, cedar waxwings

Bald eagles can still be seen along the waterways of the District. Sharp-shinned hawks can be spotted along most riparian areas with good trees and shrubs. 4/15/14.

UMATILLA COUNTY

Winter has broken and birds are starting to come out and be visible in all of the low and mid elevation habitats in the County. Ferruginous hawks started arriving in late February and have been forming pairs and working on their nests. They can be seen during the day soaring in loose pairs. Rough-legged hawks are still present and observable from public roads in open grassland areas and valleys in timbered forest areas. Bald eagles are still moving up and down the larger river systems looking for carrion to scavenge. Riparian areas are beehives of activity by migrating and resident birds.

Deer and elk are starting to orient to green-up areas of annual grass in the low and mid slope areas of the Blue Mountains. Large herds of elk will be intermingled in the trees at mid elevation areas. Deer will be more widespread with small groups present from near field edge to upper forest areas.

Turkeys are starting to move off their wintering areas and dispersing into the mid slope areas. Toms should start gobbling early in the morning as the weather improves. Please note that turkey hunting season is open April 15-May 31. 2/18/14.

Ladd Marsh Wildlife Area

Sunset at Ladd Marsh Wildlife Area
-Photo by David Bronson-

UNION COUNTY

Ladd Marsh Wildlife Area

Note: New this year: All visitors must have in their possession a free daily permit to access the wildlife area. Permits are available at several self-check-in stations at entry points and parking lots. Wildlife viewers and anglers also 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 open to the public. Please see the note above regarding daily permits. The Glass Hill Unit is open to public entry for foot and horse traffic only.

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.

Many Canada geese are on nests and a few have hatched so watch for goslings as they head for cover with their parents.  Numerous species of duck can be seen on almost any open water. These include Mallard, Gadwall, Cinnamon Teal, Green-winged Teal, Ring-necked Duck, Lesser Scaup, Bufflehead, Redhead and Northern Shoveler. Eared Grebes, Pied-billed Grebes and American Coots are also present. Black-necked Stilts and American Avocets can be seen in shallow flats and at wetland edges.

Both Greater and Lesser Sandhill Cranes remain on the area. Many of the local Greaters are on nests and the last of the Lessers will likely move on soon. Please report any sandhill cranes wearing leg bands to the Ladd Marsh staff (541-963-4954). If possible, note the color and order of bands on each of the bird’s legs (e.g., pink above white on left leg; silver above black on right leg). The specific combination and order can identify individual birds.

Raptors are common in the area and include Northern Harriers, Red-tailed Hawks, Rough-legged Hawks and Bald Eagles. A few Red-tails have begun nesting. Great Horned Owls are incubating eggs in at least five different nests on the area.

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. 4/8/14.

White-tailed Buck
White-tailed Buck
-Oregon Fish and Wildlife-

WALLOWA COUNTY

A good place to observe mule deer is along the Wallowa Lake highway between Joseph and the south end of Wallowa Lake. Drive slowly and watch along the moraine on the east side of the lake around dawn and dusk. Be careful to use the turnouts when stopping to watch these animals, as there will be other traffic on the road. White-tailed deer can be found throughout the Wallowa Valley on or near agricultural lands.

Many of the elk on the Zumwalt Prairie have moved back onto the prairie from the breaks of the canyons and are now more visible. Occasional large herds can be seen from the Zumwalt Road or on The Nature Conservancy’s Zumwalt Prairie Preserve. Once you find a herd, use binoculars or a spotting scope to observe the animals.

This is a good time to find raptors in the Wallowa Valley. Particularly common are red-tailed hawks, with some rough-legged hawks also. Bald eagles are now present in large numbers as more migrants arrive in the area to join the locally wintering birds. Of particular interest this year is a gyrfalcon that has been wintering in the lower Prairie Creek area east of Enterprise.

Many waterfowl, particularly Canada geese, mallards, and American wigeon, are still wintering in the county. Additionally, we are beginning to see spring migrants moving back into the area on their way north. These birds can be seen flying into Wallowa Lake in the evenings from the county park at the north end of the lake.  Many geese can be seen feeding in agricultural fields around the county, and the dabbling ducks can be seen eating cattle feed on the feedlots and along the open water streams feeding on water plants. You might also check the forest and Zumwalt Prairie livestock ponds for species like goldeneyes and phalaropes.

Finally, our three species of forest grouse are in the midst of their breeding season. Ruffed grouse can be heard drumming in brushy areas, especially near riparian strips. Dusky grouse (the old name was blue grouse) are displaying in the uplands and can be found in grassy openings in the forest near steep canyon areas. And spruce grouse are performing their distinctive “wing clap” displays in densely forested areas on the Eagle Cap wilderness, especially along McCully Creek. 4/8/14.

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Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife
4034 Fairview Industrial Dr. S.E.   ::    Salem, OR 97302   ::    Main Phone (503) 947-6000 or (800) 720-ODFW   ::   www.dfw.state.or.us

Questions?
Contact odfw.web@state.or.us