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ODFW WEEKLY RECREATION REPORT
Fishing, Hunting, Wildlife Viewing
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Southeast Zone Map

Weekly Recreation Report: Southeast Zone

March 31, 2015

 Southeast Zone Fishing

Blitzen River
The Blitzen River
-Photo by Reeseman, ODFW-

Weekend fishing opportunities

  • Trout fishing on the Blitzen River around Page Springs has been good.
  • Anglers report good fishing at Mann Lake with fish averaging 18 to 22-inches.
  • New for 2015, several small creeks in the Klamath district will allow the use of bait when they open on April 25. Check the 2015 Sport Fishing Regulations and the updates below to learn more.

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 water bodies 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, hybrid bass

The reservoir is high and launching boats is possible. Hybrid bass are traditionally targeted using crank baits, however they are caught in the reservoir using various methods including bait. Trout are averaging 12 to 14-inches and hybrid bass larger than 20-inches are not uncommon. The reservoir will be stocked with 12-14 inch rainbow trout on the week of April 10.

A potential new state record hybrid bass (white and striped bass cross) was caught in Ana Reservoir on Dec. 10. The fish was caught using a Rapala crankbait on 10 lb. test line and measured 31½ inches with a girth of 24 inches. The fish weighed 19 lbs. 7.5 oz. The potential new state record is 1 ½ inches longer and ½ lb. heavier than the previous record of 18 lbs. 9 oz. caught in 2009.

ANA RIVER: trout

Fishing should be good for rainbow trout in Ana River. The Ana River is spring fed and rainbow trout are active throughout the year. The river was sampled on June 5 to evaluate the current stocking strategy and size of trout in the river. We found smaller trout (8 to 10-inches) were dominant from the dam for about 2 miles downstream. Larger trout up to 14-inches are more common in areas where access is more difficult. Anglers can access these trout by floating the river in a pontoon or float tube.

Caddis flies are the dominant invertebrate. Small blue winged olive (size 18) mayflies should be hatching. Ana River is a great match the hatch fly fishing river with good hatches throughout the spring. Hatches typically occur during the afternoon from 12-3 p.m. the best time. Small mayfly hatches are typically best on overcast days with light rain or snow.

Tui chub and pit roach are abundant in the river therefore casting large flies or lures can be effective for catching larger fish. The roads paralleling the river are likely very muddy. Anglers can park at Ana Reservoir and hike down or park at the lower road crossing and hike up.

Ana River is a good TROUT 365 fishery – good trout fishing 365 days a year.

ANNIE CREEK: brook trout, brown trout and rainbow trout

Closed to fishing until April 25, 2015. Bait will be allowed in Annie Creek beginning this year.

BALM CREEK RESERVOIR: rainbow trout, smallmouth bass, crappie

The reservoir was drained October 2014. Trout will be restocked in May, if the water level is adequate.

Redband Trout
Redband Trout and Fly Rod
-Photo by Roger Smith-

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

No recent fishing reports. The reservoir water level is low but one boat ramp is useable based on the Bureau of Reclamation website. Recent warm weather should have melted the ice and opened up access for bank fishing. USBR crews have been tagging fish populations in the reservoir over the last several years. If you catch a tagged trout report it to the Hines office at 541-573-6582.

BLITZEN RIVER: redband trout

The Blitzen River has been flowing between 90 to 110 cfs with water temperatures around 10oC. Recent precipitation in the Steens Mountain area has caused the river to rise and become slightly murky.

Recent reports indicate that fishing around the Page Springs Campground has been productive and fish have been taking dry flies when a mid-day hatch is present. Anglers have also had some success swinging weighted streamers. The Blitzen River around Page Springs is a good year-round trout fishery, offering amazing scenery and the chance to catch redband trout up to 20 inches.

The East Canal, Bridge Creek, mainstem Blitzen above Bridge Creek and the Little Blitzen River are open for catch-and-release fishing for trout. The South Loop Road is still closed for the winter (generally opens near the end of April), which limits access to the upper portions of the Blitzen. 

BLUE LAKE: hatchery rainbow trout

Blue Lake is likely inaccessible due to snow. Fishing is not recommended at this time. Blue Lake is a fantastic high elevation lake located in the Gearhart Wilderness between Bly and Lakeview. A three mile trail leads to the lake and is a 1-2 hour hike.

Fish were sampled by net and hook and line sampling in the summer of 2014. Rainbow trout ranged from 6 to 17-inches and were in healthy condition. The trout at this lake see little pressure and are easy to catch using flies, lures or bait.

BULLY CREEK RESERVOIR: bass, crappie, yellow perch, catfish, trout

The reservoir water level is on the rise and the boat ramp is useable based on the Bureau of Reclamation website.

No recent fishing reports.

BURNS POND: trout, bass

Fishing has been good for legal-sized rainbow trout. About 2,000 legal (8 to 11-inches) rainbow trout were stocked in the pond the week of Oct. 3. The pond is about halfway full and should continue to fill up as the spring progresses and irrigation season starts. Fishing should continue to be good throughout the spring and summer.

BURNT RIVER: rainbow trout

Closed to fishing until April 25, 2015.

CALAHAN CREEK (LONG CREEK SYCAN AREA): brook trout and redband trout

Calahan Creek will open April 24. The fishing regulation has changed from flies and lures only to bait allowed.

CAMPBELL LAKE: brook trout, rainbow trout

Access could be blocked by snow.

Redband Trout
Redband Trout
-Oregon Dept. of Fish & Wildlife-

CAMPBELL RESERVOIR: redband trout, largemouth bass, crappie

The reservoir is just outside of Bly on the road to Dairy Creek. Deming Creek irrigation ditch feeds the reservoir. Campbell Reservoir should be fair for redband trout. Fishing for crappie should improve with warming weather.

CHEWAUCAN RIVER: redband trout

The river downstream of Paisley closed to trout fishing after Oct. 31. The river upstream of Hwy 31 at Paisley is open and the use of bait in this section of the river is PROHIBITED!

Access across property owned by the J-Spear Ranch will be closed to anglers beginning after July 7, 2014. The ranch is taking this action as a fish conservation measure to protect fish during months when the water becomes warmer.

CHICKAHOMINY RESERVOIR: trout

No recent fishing reports. The reservoir is low but the boat ramp may be useable. The bottom portion of the boat ramp is submerged in water but use caution when launching here during low water as unforeseen obstacles may be present. The reservoir may be murky following recent high winds in the area.

COTTONWOOD MEADOWS: rainbow trout, brook trout

The reservoir is nearly accessible as you can get to the camp host spot just above the lake. Access to the reservoir by vehicle should occur in the next few weeks. Fishing should be good if you hike in and fish from shore.

COTTONWOOD RESERVOIR (Harney County): rainbow trout

No recent fishing reports. The reservoir is free of ice but mud may make the access road difficult.

COTTONWOOD RESERVOIR (Lake County): native redband trout

No recent fishing reports. The reservoir is accessible and ice-free. Redband trout exceeding five pounds are available. Fishing is typically slow but casting lures or flies that mimic fat minnows can be productive. Cast lures or flies to the shoreline. Many redband trout are currently spawning in Cottonwood Creek and tributaries.

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

No recent fishing reports. The upper lake is full and the lower one is dry. As of 2013, the lakes will no longer be stocked with rainbow trout due to poor habitat quality.

Ice fisherman reported poor success for warm water species and trout in the winter of 2013/2014.

DEADHORSE LAKE: rainbow trout

Access might be blocked by snow. If the lake is accessible, fishing should be good.

DELINTMENT LAKE: trout

No recent fishing reports. Reports indicate that the lake is clear of ice and that bank fishing is available. This lake is generally a good place to catch holdover trout in the spring.

DEMING CREEK: redband trout

Fishing is closed until April 25, 2015.

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

No recent report but the reservoir is ice free.

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

No recent reports. Fishing should be good for warmwater fish.

DUNCAN RESERVOIR: rainbow trout

No recent reports but water level is up to the boat ramp.

Brook Trout
Brook Trout
-Photo by Kevin Clawson-

FOURMILE CREEK (tributary to Agency Lake): brook, brown, and redband trout.

Open to fishing all year. Fourmile Creek off Westside road just north of Cherry Creek is open all year with bait allowed. Fishing should be good for brook trout. A few large brown trout occur in the stream.

Access is available off Westside Road at Fourmile Springs. A small car topper boat or canoe can improve fishing access at this area.

Anglers should be aware of private property around this area and can check Klamath County Land Ownership for information.

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

The road into Fourmile is no longer blocked by snow but might be closed to motor vehicles by the USFS. Call the USFS for more information at 541-883-6714.
Anglers can call Lake of the Woods Resort for more information. The lake is 45 percent full. Fourmile Lake levels

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

No recent report and the reservoir is ice free. The lake is only 15 percent full, which makes launching boats challenging if possible.

Fishing is slow.

HAINES POND: rainbow

The pond is now ice-free. Scheduled to be stocked with trout for the first time this spring during the first full week of April.

HEART LAKE: rainbow trout, kokanee

Access is available. Fishing should be fair for rainbow trout. No recent reports.

HOLBROOK RESERVOIR: rainbow trout

Access is available. Fishing is not recommended as the reservoir was dry last year.

HWY 203 POND: trout, bass, bluegill

The pond is now ice-free.

Scheduled to be stocked with trout for the first time this spring during the second full week of April.

JACKSON CREEK (UPPER WILLIAMSON RIVER): brook trout

Jackson Creek will open April 25 with the use of bait allowed. A primitive USFS campground exists on the creek.

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

Fishing is improving for warmwater fish such as crappie, pumpkinseed sunfish and brown bullhead catfish with water temperatures increasing towards 60 degrees. The reservoir is turbidtherefore anglers should try lures with high visibility and scent. Boats can be launched in several locations in the reservoir. Unimproved ramps occur just north and south of the Highway 66 bridge crossing. No fees are required to launch at these locations.

Try the bay just south of the BLM campground for crappie and pumpkinseed. Also try the rocky areas near and under the bridge. Goldfish dominate the fish assemblage in the reservoir. Anglers should mimic the goldfish with bronze or copper lures or plugs to catch largemouth bass in the reservoir.

Klamath Lake
Klamath Lake Sunset
-Photo by Bob Swingle, ODFW-

UPPER KLAMATH AND AGENCY LAKES: native redband trout and yellow perch

Fishing continues to improve as visibility improves. Turbidity increased last week due to storms and continues to improve and was 1-2 feet of visibility in Upper Klamath Lake as of Sunday. Fishing is fair from both boat (trolling) and bank (minnows or worms). Fishing is generally slow with catch rates averaging 7 hours per redband from boat and 30 hours per redband from the shore. The lake is 1 feet below full pool. Water temperature has increased to 56 degrees and will likely decrease at the end of the week. Fishing success should decrease with the cold front moving in on Wednesday. Redband trout average 21 inches in the fishery.

Redband trout to be released should not be removed from the water; revive by cradling and moving fish back and forth through the water to pump water over the gills. It is unlawful to continue to fish for the same type of fish after taking and retaining a catch or possession limit. Yellow perch are beginning to spawn. If anglers can find yellow perch, fishing can be good.

Upper Klamath Lake is a good TROUT 365 fishery – good trout fishing 365 days a year.

KLAMATH RIVER: native rainbow-redband trout

Keno Dam to J.C Boyle Reservoir

The section from Keno Dam to J.C. Boyle Reservoir is open to fishing. Currently, this is the best option for fishing in the basin. Fishing is slow but is the one of the only options for fishing in rivers in the early spring in the Klamath Area. The current flow is 1010 cfs. Water temperatures are averaging around 55 degrees. Flows are a little high for a successful fishing winter outing.

The Klamath River is a rugged river with extremely difficult wading. The river is also always turbid. ODFW recommends wearing studded wading shoes, wading belt, and polarized glasses to observe boulders. Fish can also be landed easier with a landing net in the fast pocket water. Most fish being captured are less than 16 inches. Most fish are feeding on minnows. Fishing remains open throughout the fall and winter. Many redband trout are currently spawning thus there are fewer fish in this reach of river. Redband trout typically do not spawn in this section of river.

J.C. Boyle Dam to J.C Boyle Powerhouse

The Klamath River between JC Boyle Dam to JC Boyle Powerhouse offers good spinner fishing. Fly fishing should be good as well with stonefly and mayfly nymphs working well. Most fish in this section are small and average 10 inches. Below the springs this section remains near a constant 360 cfs of flow and water temperatures are much warmer in this section. Fishing is best below the spring inputs. The springs start to discharge into the river approximately 1 mile below J.C. Boyle Dam. This section of river requires a hike down steep grade to the river with the exception of the area just above the powerhouse.

J.C. Boyle Powerhouse to State Line with California

Below the JC Boyle powerhouse the fish get slightly larger than the aforementioned reaches and average 12 inches but rarely exceed sixteen inches. River flows in this section are typically quite high during the day. If flow levels are 900 cfs or lower the river is fishable. Dead drifting rubber legged stonefly patterns and/or bead head pheasant tails can be good. Blue winged olive mayflies are hatching but few fish were observed rising. Look for backeddies and foam lines for rising fish. Most fish are in the 6-8 inch range but numerous 12 inch fish can be caught with 16 inches the maximum. Flows below the powerhouse will typically be high during all daylight hours. Flow release estimates have been discontinued until next spring. Check out the USGS website for flow information. Fishing will be slow due to high flows.

Klamath River is a good TROUT 365 fishery – good trout fishing 365 days a year.

KRUMBO RESERVOIR: trout, bass

A recent change in Malheur National Wildlife Refuge policy has allowed year-round fishing at this reservoir. However, no ice-fishing is allowed. The 2015 fishing regulations will note the year-round fishing regulation. Anglers have reported moderate success for rainbow trout up to 19-inches this winter/spring.

Lake of the Woods
Lake of the Woods

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 ice free. Fishing is fair for yellow perch. Yellow perch can also be caught using small bait. Fishing for brown bullhead should also be fair. A few large holdover rainbow trout are being captured. Trophy brown trout are available. The lake will be stocked with trophy rainbow trout the week before opening day on April 25.

Call Lake of the Woods Resort for recent reports Toll Free at 866-201-4194.

LOFTON RESERVOIR: rainbow trout

No recent reports. Snow and mud will make accessing the reservoir challenging.

LONG CREEK: brook trout, redband trout, bull trout

Long Creek is closed to fishing until April 25, 2015.

LOST RIVER: largemouth bass, brown bullhead, yellow perch

Lost River is open to fishing all year. All of the Lost River is ice-free. Public access is available at Crystal Springs day use area. Anglers can fish from the specifically designed bridge for fishing at this location. Currently, your best option on the Lost River is to fish for brown bullhead. Brown bullhead can be caught by fishing baits near the bottom Boats can be launched from an improved boat ramp at Crystal Springs. Sacramento perch have been captured below Horseshoe Dam. This is one of the only locations in the state to capture this fish.

MALHEUR RESERVOIR: hatchery rainbow trout

No recent fishing reports but the reservoir is expected to be low and fishing should continue to be very slow.

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

Water releases from Warm Springs Reservoir are less than 0.01 cfs as of March 31. Fishing is expected to be poor but may pick up with increased spring flows.

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

No recent fishing reports.

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

No recent fishing reports.

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

No recent fishing reports.

MANN LAKE: cutthroat trout

Anglers have reported fair to good fishing on Mann Lake recently with fish taking nymphs and spinners. Most fish are 18 inches long, with some trout over 20-inches being caught. Recent high winds may have mixed the lake, resulting in murky colored water.

rainbow trout
Rainbow Trout
-Oregon Fish and Wildlife-

MILLER LAKE: brown trout, kokanee, rainbow trout, brook trout

No recent reports. Access might be blocked by snow. Anglers can call the Chemult Ranger District of the USFS (541-365-7001) for more information.

The 12 mile gravel road into Miller Lake is in horrible condition with numerous washboards. The dock has been taken out for the winter and the bathrooms with running water have been closed.

MUD LAKE: hatchery rainbow trout

The reservoir is dry.

MURRAY RESERVOIR: trout

The reservoir is ice free and low for this time of year.

Fishing for rainbows has been fair. Scheduled to be stocked with trout for the first time this spring during the third full week of April.

NORTH POWDER POND: rainbow trout

The pond is now ice-free. Scheduled to be stocked with trout for the first time this spring during the first full week of April.

OVERTON RESERVOIR: rainbow trout

No recent reports. Access to the reservoir is likely difficult due to snow or mud.

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

No recent fishing reports, but angling is expected to be slow. Three boat ramps are useable based on the Bureau of Reclamation webpage.

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

Water releases below the dam have been around 11 cfs as of March 31. Fishing has been fair to slow depending on the time of day and location. Fish over 20-inches have been caught recently.

OWYHEE RIVER (Upper): smallmouth bass and channel catfish

No recent fishing reports, but fishing is expected to be slow.

PHILLIPS RESERVOIR: trout, perch

The reservoir is at 38 percent of capacity. The reservoir is now ice-free. Yellow perch are spawning in the shallows.

Anglers are reminded that tiger muskie are restricted to catch-and-release only. No harvest or removal from the reservoir is allowed. In early May 2014, 7,500 tiger trout were released. These fish were 8 to 10-inches when released and should be much larger by now. As with the tiger muskie, fishing for tiger trout is restricted to catch-and-release only.

PILCHER RESERVOIR: trout

The reservoir closed to fishing until April 25, 2015.

Piute Reservoir: hatchery rainbow trout and lahontan cutthroat

The reservoir is nearly dry.

rainbow trout
Rainbow Trout
- Photo by Kevin Clawson-

POISON CREEK RESERVOIR: hatchery rainbow trout

The reservoir is ice free and bank access is available. Recent reports indicate that fishing is slow but that some 14-inch holdovers were caught. The limit is 2 per day; please respect the fishing regulations for the reservoir.

POLE CREEK RESERVOIR: hatchery rainbow trout

Recent reports indicate that fishing is slow but that some trout around 12-inches have been caught.

PRIDAY RESERVOIR: hatchery rainbow trout

The reservoir is dry. This is great news as several illegally introduced species occurred in the reservoir and have now perished. This very productive reservoir will be stocked again once water returns -- likely in 2016.

SAND AND SCOTT CREEKS: brook trout and brown trout

Sand and Scott Creeks are very small spring fed streams west of Hwy 97 near the Silver Lake highway junction. Fishing on these small streams is open year-round with bait allowed. Most fish are less than 8-inches long.

SEVENMILE CREEK: brook trout, brown trout, redband trout

Closed to fishing until April 25, 2015. Sevenmile Creek above Nicholson road will be open to the use of bait beginning this year.

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

Access is blocked by snow.

SHERLOCK GULCH RESERVOIR: hatchery rainbow trout

No recent reports, but fish should be available for anglers to catch. The reservoir is nearly dry.

Spaulding Reservoir: hatchery rainbow trout

The reservoir is dry.

SPRING CREEK: redband trout, brown trout and brook trout

Closed to fishing until May 23, 2015. Large numbers of redband trout continue to spawn on Spring Creek at Collier State Park and make for great fish watching.

Number of spawning redband trout is around 50 and still can be observed on redds.

SPRAGUE RIVER: redband trout, brown trout, largemouth bass and yellow perch

Closed to fishing until April 25, 2015.

NORTH FORK SPRAGUE RIVER AND ALL TRIBUTARIES: brook trout, redband trout, brown trout, bull trout

Closed to fishing until April 25, 2015. The North Fork Sprague above the 3372 road will be open for bait beginning this year.

SOUTH FORK SPRAGUE RIVER AND ALL TRIBUTARIES: brook trout, redband trout, brown trout, bull trout

Closed to fishing until April 25, 2015.

SUN CREEK: brook trout, bull trout, brown trout

Closed to fishing until April 25, 2015.

SYCAN RIVER: brook trout, redband trout

Closed to fishing until April 25, 2015. Bait will be allowed in the South Fork of the Sycan River this year. The mainstem Sycan River is still restricted to flies and lures only.

THOMPSON RESERVOIR: rainbow trout, largemouth bass

No recent fishing reports. Water levels at the reservoir are lower than normal, but trout and bass are still available for anglers. Access is available and the reservoir is ice-free.

THIEF VALLEY RESERVOIR: trout

The reservoir was drained by the Lower Powder River Irrigation District in September 2014. The reservoir was not restocked with rainbow trout in November 2014 due to low water.

Stocking plans for spring 2015 will be dependent on water supply.

UNITY RESERVOIR: trout, bass, crappie

The reservoir is ice free and at 97 percent of capacity. No recent fishing report.

VEE LAKE: rainbow trout

No recent reports.

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

No recent fishing reports. The reservoir is about halfway full and fishing should improve as we move into the early summer. Mud, snow or ice may make accessing the reservoir difficult.

LOWER WILLIAMSON RIVER: redband and brown trout

Closed to fishing until May 23, 2015 to protect spawning redband trout.

UPPER WILLIAMSON RIVER: redband and brook trout

Closed to fishing until April 25, 2015.

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

No recent reports.

You can access the reservoir and fishing is improving for warmwater fish. The reservoir is primarily a bass fishery as other species are either too small or density is low. Typically shore fishing is very slow. The reservoir is always turbid. A boat is recommended but currently launching a boat might be challenging if possible.

rainbow trout on a stringer
Rainbow Trout on a stringer
-Photo by Bob Swingle-

WOLF CREEK RESERVOIR: crappie, trout

The reservoir is ice-free. The boat ramp is functional, and the dock is installed. Fishing has been fair for 9 to 12-inch rainbows.

WOOD RIVER and all tributaries: redband, brown, brook and bull trout

Closed to fishing until April 25, 2015.

YELLOWJACKET LAKE: trout

About 4,000 legal (8 to 11-inches) rainbow trout were stocked into the lake during the week of Oct. 3, 2014. The lake is clearing of ice and bank access is available. Fishing has been fair for holdover trout in the 12-16 inch range with one report of anglers catching their limit in less than 1.5 hours of fishing.

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  Southeast Zone Hunting

OPEN: COUGAR

Wolf OR-7
Wolf OR-7
-Photo courtesy of USFWS-

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. 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

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. Remember to pick up a 2015 tag.

Coyote populations are fairly low throughout Harney County. Be aware that bobcats and cougars may respond to predator calls, and separate licensing and season limitations exist for these species.

Ground squirrels are becoming more active on warmer days. Be sure to obtain permission when entering private lands.

KLAMATH COUNTY

Cougar hunting is open year around. Populations are healthy and distributed throughout the district in any area with a big game prey base. Cougars at this time of year are generally concentrated along with their primary prey of deer and elk on big game winter ranges. Some hunters have reported limited success with calling at this time of year. 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 populations are fairly low throughout Klamath County. Be aware that bobcats and cougars may respond to predator calls, and separate licensing and season limitations exist for these species.

KLAMATH WILDLIFE AREA

This section was updated on March 30, 2015.

All game bird hunting seasons are now closed.

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; just be sure to put it on your dashboard. Buy online or at an ODFW office that sells licenses or at a license sales agent.

Overnight camping is not allowed on the Miller Island Unit. If you have any questions, please contact Klamath Wildlife Area at (541) 883-5734.

LAKE COUNTY

Shed Hunting. Most Mule deer bucks have lost their antlers. With the mild winter weather deer are widely distributed at elevations up to 6500 feet and are not restricted to traditional winter ranges. Once an antler falls off it legally becomes the property of the landowner. Therefore shed hunters need to get permission from private landowners to access their property and pick up sheds.

Cougar hunting is open. Populations are healthy due to good habitat and prey base. If hunters can find a fresh cougar kill, calling within a ½ mile of that kill can be very effective.

Coyote pair bonds have formed and calls mimicking coyote vocalizations are most effective. Be aware that bobcats and cougars may respond to predator calls, and separate licensing and season limitations exist for these species.

SUMMER LAKE WILDLIFE AREA

This section was updated on March 30, 2015

All hunting seasons on the wildlife area are closed.

Please be aware: It is unlawful to discharge firearms between February 1 and August 31 except by permit issued by ODFW.

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

MALHEUR COUNTY

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. Remember to pick up a 2015 tag.

Coyote hunting is available throughout the district. Areas with livestock feeding and calving operations are strong attractors for coyotes. Howling and territorial challenges are typically the most effective calls this time of year.

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 Southeast Zone Wildlife Viewing

HARNEY COUNTY

EVENT: The 34th Annual John Scharff Migratory Bird Festival, April 9-12 2015, Burns

Spend an amazing weekend witnessing the spectacular spring migration in the Harney Basin of Southeast Oregon. View thousands of migratory birds as they rest and feed in the wide open spaces of Oregon's high desert. From waterfowl to shorebirds, cranes to raptors, wading birds to songbirds, you'll see it all!

The festival offers non-stop birding activities as well as historical and cultural information sure to entertain you and your family. So whether you're a beginner or a life-long wildlife enthusiast, the festival has something for everyone. More information can be found online at www.migratorybirdfestival.com

Countywide

Snow goose

Snow Goose
- Photo by Charlotte Ganskopp-

Spring migration is well underway and large numbers of snow geese, ross’s geese, and sandhill cranes can be found in agricultural fields throughout the Harney Basin. Pintail, shoveler, wigeon, goldeneye, mallard, green-winged teal and cinnamon teal can also be found throughout the basin.

Shorebird migration is just beginning and should improve over the next few weeks as spring migration progresses. Lesser yellow legs and killdeer are some species that have already arrived.

Wintering passerine species (dark eyed juncos and house finches) are still fairly active around the county. Spring passerine migrants should be increasing in diversity and number as the season progresses. Spotted towhees, red-winged blackbirds and white-crowned sparrows are a few that have already started to show up.

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. Resident raptors such as northern harriers and red-tailed hawks are very easily observed in open agricultural areas along with rough-legged hawks and an occasional ferruginous.

Sage grouse are just starting to attend leks. Binoculars or spotting scopes are needed to observe sage grouse as getting close to the leks will flush the birds.

Viewing opportunities around Burns/Hines and at Malheur National Wildlife Refuge will continue to improve as migration continues to develop and more species of passerines and breeding water birds arrive in the area.

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. 3/24/15.

KLAMATH COUNTY

Swans have arrived in the Klamath Basin offering excellent viewing and photographing opportunity. While the vast majority of the individuals present are tundra swans, occasionally a trumpeter swan can be observed. Flooded fields north of Klamath Falls adjacent to the Running Y ranch/resort have recently held several hundred swans. Limited highway pull-offs exist. Please use caution on this often icy stretch of highway.

Look for lesser snow geese and Ross’s geese to begin arriving in great numbers in coming weeks. Viewing opportunities are abundant along Stateline Rd. and from many county roads in the southern portions of the Basin.

A great opportunity for wildlife viewing is right in Klamath Falls with several options available. The Wingwatchers Trail starts right at Veterans Park along Lake Ewauna in downtown and the Link River Trail is accessed from Lakeshore Drive. Many aquatic birds can viewed as well as passerine species.

Bald eagles have begun moving into the Klamath Basin. 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.

Rough-legged hawks are beginning to show up from northern breeding locations and are easily found foraging around agricultural areas throughout the basin. Red-tailed hawks and northern harriers are very common and can be observed in agricultural areas as well.

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. 2/01/15.

Klamath Wildlife Area (Miller Island)

This section was updated on March 30, 2015.

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.

From February 1-April 30, use is restricted to public roads and parking lots to minimize disturbance to migrating waterfowl. The short birding trail next to the check station and the dog training area will remain open.

Spring conditions are occurring on the area and are expected to continue according to recent weather updates.

Waterfowl

Great Basin Canada geese continue to be a common site on the area, many are actively nesting at this time. The first Canada goose brood was observed on 3-30-15. Large numbers of white-fronted, lesser snow geese and Ross’s geese are still using the wildlife area; large flocks can be seen on the areas agricultural fields. Their numbers should start to decrease as they head further north to their nesting grounds. Canvasback, scaup, ruddy duck, ring-necked, bufflehead and common and barrows goldeneye along with other diver species can be seen in the deeper ponds/canals and Klamath River. Many different dabbler species can now be found on the area. Some of the more common species included mallard, northern pintail, northern shoveler, cinnamon teal, wigeon and gadwall. Dabbler species are spread uniformly across the entire area. American coot abundance on the wildlife area continues to be very high and they can be found throughout the area.

Shorebirds, waders and other waterbirds

Ring-billed gulls are still observed on the area. Sandhill cranes can be observed scattered across the area and their very audible calls are becoming quite common. Killdeer, common snipe, yellow legs, and black-necked stilts are becoming an increasingly common site on the area. Several white-faced ibis were observed using the south end of the area on 3-30-15. American white pelican and double-crested cormorant were observed using the area over the previous weeks. Western and pied-billed grebes are also being observed on a more regular basis. Great blue herons, great egrets, black-crowned night-herons and American bitterns are also occasionally observed on the area and should become a more common sight as the weeks go one. Shorebirds and waders can usually be found in several of the area’s units that have receding water levels, while grebes, cormorants and pelicans can be found using the river or on the areas deeper ponds and canals.

Great Horned Owl

Great Horned Owl
-Photo by Charlotte Ganskopp-

Raptors

Great horned and barn owls can be seen at dusk. Red-tailed hawks, northern harriers, cooper hawks, prairie falcons and American bald eagles can be seen foraging throughout the wildlife area. Eagle numbers are still good, and several can usually be found near large flocks of white geese.

Upland Game Birds

California quail and the occasional ring-necked pheasant can be found scattered around the old homesteads and the headquarters area.

Passerines

Mourning and Eurasian collared dove can be found scattered over the area. American goldfinches, house finches, white crowned sparrows and Northern flickers continue to be a common site throughout the area. Tree swallows have become a very common sight across the area over the past several weeks. Marsh wrens, song sparrows, and red-winged blackbirds can be found in dense stands of tall emergent hard stem bulrush and broad-leaved cattail and are very numerous.

Klamath Basin waterfowl numbers are available on the US Fish and Wildlife website.

Overnight camping is not allowed on the Miller Island Unit. If you have any questions, please contact Klamath Wildlife Area at (541) 883-5734.

LAKE COUNTY

Spring migration continues and there are new species of birds arriving almost daily. Waterfowl are abundant anywhere there is shallow flooded fields and eagle numbers have increased along with the waterfowl. The spring passerine migration appears to be early this year. Shore bird numbers are expected to be low because all of the major closed basin lakes were dry last year and have limited water this spring.  That said most of the common summer resident shore birds are arriving, albeit in reduced numbers. 3/30/15.

Summer Lake Wildlife Area

This section was updated on March 30, 2015.

Summer Lake Wildlife Area requires a calendar year 2015 $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.

CALENDAR YEAR 2015 PARKING PERMITS ARE NOW REQUIRED.

Vehicle access to the Wildlife Viewing Loop remains open. Major dike roads (Bullgate, Windbreak and Work Road) are now closed to motor vehicles to reduce disturbance to migrating waterbirds. Non-motorized access is permitted and should afford good viewing opportunities.

Wetland conditions are good; a majority of the area’s wetlands are open and remain ice-free, viewing opportunities are very good.

Waterfowl

Waterfowl populations continue to remain strong as spring migration continues. No count was conducted last week but migrant waterfowl numbers remain strong.  Some species have departed the area over the past several weeks. Ducks were widely scattered across the entire wildlife area, and were especially numerous in seasonally and intermittently flooded wetland areas.

White-fronted Goose

White-fronted Goose
- Photo by Dave Budeau-

Lesser snow goose numbers have declined dramatically, greater white-fronted geese remain fairly numerous and nesting Canada geese are abundant as well. Viewers will find swan and arctic nesting goose (snow and white-fronted) numbers decreasing over the next several weeks.

Resident Western Canada geese are well into breeding season with numerous pairs and attending ganders scattered widely across the entire area.  The season’s first goslings should be appearing soon.

Migrant trumpeter swans have largely moved past the area, but a few resident birds remain widely scattered across the wildlife area. A few of these birds a part of restoration efforts and 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 (Ѳ) and two side-ways laying numerals that are read from the body toward the head.

Shorebirds, waders and other waterbirds

Shorebird numbers still remain at low levels, but are slowly increasing.  Last week saw the arrival of American avocets, and a semi-palmated sandpiper was reported. Killdeer are increasing across the entire area and nesting should begin soon.  Wilson’s snipe are commonly heard winnowing during the evening and early morning hours. Other migrant and breeding species should be arriving soon.

American coots remain fairly numerous, and Virginia rails are being seen and especially heard on a regular basis.

Greater sandhill cranes are increasing and pairs can be found on nesting territories scattered widely across the entire area. Territorial calling is very common during the early morning hours.

Grebes remain at low number now, but a few species are beginning to return. American bittern and great blue herons can still be found. Spring arrival of white-faced ibis was noted over the past weekend.  American white pelicans and double-crested cormorants are increasing in number.

Raptors and others

Wintering raptors have mostly departed, but a few migrant red-tailed hawks, bald eagles and rough-legged hawk can still be found scattered throughout the Wildlife Area as well as on private lands along Hwy 31. Northern harriers are beginning their aerial courtship displays. Turkey vultures continue to increasing.

Viewers can expect eagle numbers (especially bald) to drop when migrant waterfowl numbers decline as spring migration continues. Sick and weak waterfowl are favored food sources for bald eagles, as their food source departs so do they.

Golden eagles, American kestrel and prairie falcons as well as accipiters (Cooper’s and sharp-shinned hawk) can sometimes be observed.

Great horned owls were found scattered across the entire wildlife area, especially in the trees at campgrounds, they remain very vocal and nesting is well underway now. Common barn owls are sometimes observed around Headquarters. Short-eared owls continue to be observed, especially at dusk. Last week, a long-eared owl was observed.

Upland game birds

Fair numbers of California quail can be found and pheasants can sometimes be observed, especially around old homesteads on the north end of the wildlife area. Crowing and displaying rooster pheasants are frequently heard and seen during calm and still days.

Passerines

Eurasian collared doves remain very numerous at Headquarters Complex and cooing is very commonplace throughout the day. Mourning doves are occasionally observed and are beginning to coo.

American and lesser goldfinches and pine siskins continue to be observed in good numbers at Headquarters. Song sparrows are very common along dikes and levees. The Harris’ sparrow has returned, and over the past week several spotted towhees, mourning dove, brown-creeper, white-crowned sparrows were observed.

Tree swallows are very numerous and in preparation for breeding, are exploring nest boxes found throughout the area.  The first of spring observations of cliff and northern rough-winged swallows was reported over the past weekend.

Towsend's Solitair
Towsend's Solitair
- Photo by Greg Gillson-

Wintering Townsend’s solitaires, American robins, evening grosbeaks and sometimes cedar waxwings are sometimes fairly abundant around Headquarters now.

Marsh wrens and song sparrows can be found in dense stands of hardstem bulrush and broad-leaved cattail throughout the wetlands and are very numerous. Spring arrival of savannah sparrow was noted over the past week.

Blackbird numbers are increasing at this time; many are beginning to disperse into wetland breeding areas. Yellow-headed blackbird numbers are slowly increasing and the first of spring brown-headed cowbird was observed or the past weekend.

Facilities and Access

Please remember: Calendar year 2015 parking permits are required beginning on January 1, 2015!

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.

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

The Wildlife Viewing Loop remains open, but major dike roads (Bullgate, Windbreak and Work Road) are closed to motor vehicle traffic. Non-motorized access is permitted on all dikes and levees.

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

Currently most of the wildlife area’s wetlands are open and ice-free due to the recent unseasonably mild temperatures. Shallowly flooded pond margins are seeing considerable waterbird use. Warm (mid-50’s to low 70’s) daytime temperatures have resulted in a heavy midge hatch and many species of birds are actively feeding on this very important food source.  Mosquitos are beginning to appear at this time, providing yet another abundant food source for many bird species.

Summer Lake continues to increase in size at this time. A good amount of water is flowing into the northern portion of the lake now.

Emergent wetland vegetation is lodged over due to recent strong winds allowing for good viewing into many wetland units. Green-up of some sedges and rushes is starting to occur.

Upland habitat remains in excellent condition with considerable residual vegetation that is providing high quality food and cover for many wildlife species. The ground remains snow free at this time and green-up is well underway. Planted tree and shrub plots are providing excellent sheltered sites and food resources for many wildlife species. Several shrub species are beginning to leaf-out.

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

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