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Weekly Recreation Report: Northwest Zone

April 21, 2015

 Northwest Zone Fishing

Coffenbury Lake

Fishing on Coffenbury Lake

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.

Most rivers and streams will re-open to trout on May 23, 2015.


Town, Hebo, South, and North lakes were stocked the week of April 13. Sunset, Lost, and Coffenbury lakes, and Vernonia Pond are scheduled to stocked the week of April 27. The latest trout stocking schedule is available on the ODFW website.

A family fishing event is scheduled for Vernonia Pond on Saturday, May 2.


The rainbow trout stocking program is in full swing and most water bodies have been stocked recently or will be soon again. Most areas will be stocked multiple times until early June. Be sure to check out the 2015 stocking schedule for the most up to date information. Fishing for the various warm water fish species can be productive during the spring months as lake temperatures start to rise and fish begin spawning. Anglers will start finding more fish up in the shallows over the next month.

ALSEA RIVER: steelhead

The winter steelhead fishery is very slow this time of year. The river will be closed to all fishing starting May 1 and will reopen with the cutthroat trout season beginning May 23.


Steelhead fishing is fair. Most of the catch is dark or spawned out fish, but with an occasional bright winter fish or early summer run. Fishing is slow for spring Chinook. The best chance at early arriving fish will be in the bay.


The river is closed to fishing until May 23, when it opens for cutthroat trout.

Williams Family

Steve Williams with his daughter and son, Kathyrn and Kyle after a day of steelhead fishing on the Siletz River.
-ODFW Photo-

SILETZ RIVER: steelhead

Steelhead fishing is slow. This time of year tends to be a transition from winter steelhead coming to an end and summer steelhead just starting to begin. Typical steelhead tactics apply such as side drifting, bobber and jig / bait, or casting spoons or spinners.

SIUSLAW RIVER: steelhead

The river, above tidewater, is closed to all fishing until May 23 when cutthroat trout season opens.

TILLAMOOK BAY: sturgeon, Chinook

Spring Chinook fishing is slow. Fishing should improve in the coming weeks as more fish arrive. Fish the lower bay on softer tide series, and the upper bay on the bigger swings. Catch-and-release fishing for sturgeon should be fair.

TRASK RIVER: steelhead, Chinook

Winter steelhead fishing should be fair. The catch is a mix of hatchery and wild fish, with some bright, but mostly dark fish. Spring Chinook fishing is slow but an occasional fish is being reported.

Anglers who catch a steelhead or salmon with numbered tag(s) are encouraged to report catch information via the internet 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, Chinook

Steelhead fishing should be slow to fair. Fish will be holding in deeper holes as flows are low. Use lighter gear in the clear water. Spring Chinook fishing is slow. More fish will arrive in May.

YAQUINA RIVER: steelhead

The river is closed to all fishing and will reopen on May 23 with the cutthroat trout season opener.

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  Northwest Zone Hunting


Use the Oregon Hunting Map to see where to hunt.

See the turkey hunting forecast.

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.

Spring bear season opened April 1 for those hunters with a controlled tag and continues through the end of May. Bears should be active this spring due to the exceptionally mild winter and spring so far. Look for signs of recent bear activity in the forest, such as skunk cabbage with evidence of foraging on it, torn up old logs and young conifer trees with bark peeling near the base. Predator calling is generally your best bet, especially during the day when bears are not very active in forest openings.

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 Northwest Zone Wildlife Viewing

It’s spring and songbirds are starting to get serious about nesting. Year-round residents, such as the winter wren, are already very vocal and their melodic singing can be heard often when walking through north coast forests. Soon, neo-tropical migrants will show up and the forest will be filled with the songs of male birds declaring their nesting territories.

Black Brant
Black Brant
- Photo by Greg Gillson-


Brant geese are common inhabitants of Netarts Bay during the winter months. This small, dark goose is generally rare in Oregon, wintering only in a few estuaries including Yaquina and Tillamook Bays as well. They feed exclusively on eelgrass that grows on tidal flats in the estuaries, and are generally shy of human activity. In Netarts Bay, look for them in the southwestern corner of the bay, along the base of Netarts Spit. For best viewing, bring your spotting scope.

Netarts Bay is home to sea ducks that are usually not seen in estuaries. Perhaps due to its high salinity levels throughout the year, scoters of various types are often seen in the late winter and early spring months along the eastern edge of the bay, easily visible from the paved road. Loons and grebes, now in breeding plumage, can also be seen for a while before they move north or inland to breed. Bringing binoculars along to view ensures great bird watching success.


Jewell Meadows Wildlife Area

Elk viewing continues to be good. Best viewing times are mornings and evenings, but elk may be visible throughout the day depending on weather. As spring progresses and temperatures start to warm, elk will use the timbered areas more during the middle of the day.

Bull elk have been shedding their antlers, and will continue through April. New antler growth is visible within about 2 weeks after losing their old antlers. Other wildlife to watch for include: coyotes in the fields, bald eagles perched in tall trees near creeks or soaring overhead, and songbirds near the viewing areas.

Roosevelt Elk
Roosevelt Elk
-Photo by Jim Yuskavitch, ODFW-

Additional species that should start showing up this month include band-tailed pigeons, swallows, and numerous species of migrant songbirds. Visitors are reminded that areas posted as Wildlife Refuge are closed to public access. Posted portions of the Beneke Tract are open to the public starting March 16 and will remain open until August 1. Wildlife Area Parking Permits are required on the wildlife area.

Ft. Steven’s State Park

The viewing bunker at Trestle Bay within the Ft. Steven’s State Park is a great place to view waterfowl and shorebirds, especially at lower tides. The bunker provides good shelter from rain, wind and storms, and viewing optics, such as binoculars or a spotting scope are highly recommended for best viewing.

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