Southeast Zone Fishing
|Meghan Grant with a Lake trout caught in Fourmile Lake, Klamath County
-Photo by Roger Smith, ODFW-
Weekend fishing opportunities
- The 2 p.m. fishing closure for trout, steelhead, salmon and sturgeon in streams has been lifted as of Sept. 1.
- Fourmile, Lake of the Woods and Miller Lake were all stocked last week with rainbow trout.
- Delintment Lake, with its shaded banks and reputation for good summer fishing, could be a great place for the family to beat the heat.
- Due to poor water quality (hot weather, vegetation, low water) a fish kill was documented at Withers Lake (near Summer Lake). If planning a fishing trip in the area, you may want to consider Slide Lake or Ana Reservoir instead.
Low water levels can put stress on fish
While water temperature have returned to near normal in many areas, water levels continue to be very low. Anglers should continue to exercise care when catching and releasing fish by following a few precautions:
- Fish early in the day when water temperatures are cooler.
- Check water temperatures frequently and stop fishing when they exceed 70 degrees.
- Use barbless hooks so you can release fish quickly.
- Use appropriate gear to land fish quickly.
- Keep the fish in the water while you unhook it, and cradle the fish upright until it revives enough to swim away.
- Use your judgement. If conditions seem especially severe (low, hot water) stop fishing, or move to another location where waters may be cooler.
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 can be 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 was recently stocked with 250 trophy rainbow trout and fishing reports are good.
A 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. 12 oz. The potential new state record is 1 ½ inches longer and 1 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, 2014 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.
Ana River is a good TROUT 365 fishery – good trout fishing 365 days a year.
ANNIE CREEK: brook trout, brown trout and rainbow trout
Bait will be allowed in Annie Creek beginning this year. Fishing should be only fair for brook trout as fish density is low in Annie Creek. Flows are low and fishable for this time of year.
A few brown trout also are available. Most fish caught are under 8 inches. Best access is at the USFS snowpark off Hwy 62.
ANTHONY LAKE: hatchery rainbow trout, brook trout
Anthony Lake has been stocked with approximately 3,000 trophy-sized and 3,000 legal-sized rainbow trout in June and July. Fishing is good. Both bait and lures are working well.
BALM CREEK RESERVOIR: rainbow trout, smallmouth bass, crappie
Approximately 5,000 legal-sized rainbow trout have been stocked in Balm Creek Reservoir. Fishing has been good for rainbow trout, but water levels are declining.
Due to low and declining water levels, the daily bag limit, possession limit and minimum size requirement for trout have been removed. From now to Oct. 15, 2015 anglers may keep as many trout as they can catch by hand, dip net or angling.
The Eagle Creek Complex fire is currently burning north of the reservoir along Eagle Creek. Much of the area north of the reservoir is closed to public access. Consult the Wallowa Whitman National Forest website for detailed closure information.
-Photo by Bob Hooton, ODFW-
BEULAH RESERVOIR: redband trout, hatchery rainbow trout, whitefish, bull trout
No recent fishing reports. The reservoir is currently at 3 percent of capacity and none of the boat ramps are useable based on the Bureau of Reclamation website. USBR crews have been tagging fish 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 around 25-30 cfs with water temperatures around 16oC. With the warmer water temperatures comes a higher risk of harming fish so please be responsible and do not over-fight a fish when water temperatures are above 18oC. If possible, stop fishing when water temperatures are elevated.
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. Fish are being caught all the way up to the confluence with Fish Creek and there have been a lot fisherman hiking in the canyon above Page Springs. Fishing should be good on the upper Blitzen, Indian Creek, and the Little Blitzen as fish will migrate into these areas in search of colder water.
The East Canal, Bridge Creek, and mainstem Blitzen above Bridge Creek are open for retention from May 23 – Oct 31. The limit is 2 trout per day. The Little Blitzen River is open for catch and release only. Anglers willing to hike/bike the 3 miles into Bridge Creek have reported good success near the lower canyon. Please respect the fishing regulations for the Blitzen and tributaries.
BLUE LAKE: hatchery rainbow trout
Fishing is good, with the right gear. 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 it’s a 1-2 hour hike.
Fish were sampled by net and hook and line sampling earlier this summer. Rainbow trout ranged from 6 to 16-inches and were in healthy condition. The trout at this lake see little pressure and are easy to catch using flies, lures or bait.
Blue Lake is alive with damselfly, black caddis, and mayfly hatches. If you are looking to fish this water, make sure you bring your fly rod. Numerous 12 to 14-inch rainbows, with some up to 16-inches, can be caught.
BULLY CREEK RESERVOIR: bass, crappie, yellow perch, catfish, trout
The reservoir is at 3 percent of capacity and the boat ramp is not useable based on the Bureau of Reclamation website. Fishing should be fair to good for warm water species with the bonus of an occasional rainbow trout.
BURNS POND: trout, bass
Fishing has been good for legal-sized rainbow trout. The pond was stocked with legal-sized rainbow trout the week of April 20 and anglers have been catching these fish and some holdovers from last year. Fishermen have recently reported catching a mix of trout and bass at the pond in the morning on flies and lures.
The pond is full and the waterway connecting the two portions of the pond is also full which allows fish to move between the different pond sections. Fishing should continue to be good throughout the summer. A strong mid-day hatch has been occurring and fish have been readily taking dry flies and nymphs.
BURNT RIVER: rainbow trout
The South Fork of the Burnt River was stocked with 2,000 legal-sized rainbow this past spring.
-U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service-
CALAHAN CREEK (LONG CREEK-SYCAN AREA): brook trout and redband trout
The fishing regulation has changed from flies and lures only to bait allowed. Fishing should be good for small brook trout, most are less than 10-inches. Flows are low and fishable. The lowermost 400-00 road crossing offers the best fishing. Please respect private property as most of Calahan Creek occurs on Green Diamond Lumber Company. Green Diamond currently allows public access to fishing and hunting.
CAMPBELL LAKE: brook trout, rainbow trout
Legal and trophy-sized rainbow trout were stocked recently; fishing is good.
The lake is a popular high mountain trout lake in the Fremont National Forest, approximately 34 miles northwest of Lakeview, as the crow flies. Small boats with trailers can be launched, however motors are restricted to electric only.
Rainbow trout fishing from shore is good. You can also fish Deadhorse Lake, one mile to the west, while you are in the area. First stocking occurs in June, check the 2015 Lakeview Stocking Schedule online for details.
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 slow for redband trout due to high water temperatures. Large crappie are available. Fishing for bass should be good.
CHEWAUCAN RIVER: redband trout
The river downstream and upstream of Paisley is open, however the use of bait is prohibited upstream of Hwy 31 at Paisley. Fishing should be best during morning hours, be aware that high water temperatures stress fish and can lead to higher mortality if caught and handled.
CHICKAHOMINY RESERVOIR: trout
No recent fishing reports but fishing is expected to be slow. 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.
Due to poor habitat conditions in Chickahominy Reservoir over the last year and projected poor conditions this year, ODFW will not be stocking the reservoir. If conditions improve, then the stocking program in this reservoir will be reinstated.
CORRAL CREEK (SF Sprague): brook trout and brown trout
Corral Creek is a tributary to upper SF Sprague River on Fremont National Forest. The fishing regulation has changed from flies and lures only to bait allowed. Fishing should be good for small brook trout. Corral Creek campground and Gearhart Wilderness trails are nearby.
COTTONWOOD MEADOWS: rainbow trout, brook trout
Fishing should be okay from the shore, however the heat is going to push the fish deep into cooler waters. Flies and lures that mimic fat head minnows are productive. Fish were sampled by net earlier this summer. Rainbow trout ranged from 6 to 16-inches and were in healthy condition.
COTTONWOOD RESERVOIR (Lake County): native redband trout
No recent fishing reports. 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.
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.
-Photo by David Banks, ODFW-
DEADHORSE LAKE: rainbow trout
The lake is a popular high alpine trout lake in the Fremont National Forest, overlooking the wild and scenic section of the Sycan River. Small boats with trailers can be launched, however motors are restricted to electric only.
Rainbow trout fishing from shore is good. You can also fish Campbell Lake while you are in the area. It was stocked recently, check the 2015 Lakeview Stocking Schedule online for details on future stocking.
DELINTMENT LAKE: trout
No recent fishing reports but Delintment Lake is generally a good place to catch holdover trout in the spring and throughout the summer. This is also a good place to beat the heat of the summer, as the lake is surrounded by trees and offers shade while fishing.
DEMING CREEK: redband trout and bull trout
Deming Creek now opens to fishing on fourth Saturday in April. Previously Deming Creek was open the fourth Saturday in May. Most redband trout are less than 8-inches. Fishing for bull trout is closed.
Flies and lures only; no bait is allowed to protect unique redband trout and bull trout.
DEVILS LAKE (FISHHOLE CREEK): largemouth bass, black crappie, yellow perch, brown bullhead
No recent report but fishing should be good for warmwater fish.
DOG LAKE: largemouth bass, yellow perch, black crappie, brown bullhead
There have not been any current fishing reports, but algae blooms are prevalent making the water clarity very poor. With the warm temperatures, fishing should continue to improve for warmwater fish such as crappie, largemouth bass and brown bullhead.
DUNCAN RESERVOIR: rainbow trout
Duncan Reservoir is low; however, stocking went as scheduled and fishing should be good.
EAGLE CREEK: rainbow trout, brook trout
The Eagle Creek area is currently closed to public access due to the Eagle Creek Complex wildfire. For detailed information on the closure area, consult the Wallowa Whitman National Forest website.
FISH LAKE (Steens Mountain): rainbow trout, brook trout
Summer is generally a good time to catch brook trout in Fish Lake. Try fishing at sunrise or sunset for best success. Anglers are reporting that the lake becomes dimpled from rising fish during these times.
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.
-Photo by Roger Smith-
FOURMILE LAKE: rainbow trout, lake trout, kokanee, brook trout
Fourmile Lake was stocked with 12 to 14-inch rainbow trout last week. Fishing from a boat should be good. Rainbow trout will likely move to deeper, colder water off shore therefore best success will be from boat. Fishing is fair for rainbow trout from boat.
The road into Fourmile is very rough in spots. Anglers can call Lake of the Woods Resort for more information. The lake is 0 percent full and launching boats is problematic. Fishing should be good from bank and boat.
Fourmile Lake levels.
Fishing is best in early morning and late evening when the lake has less wind. A few nice brook trout and lake trout have been caught so far this year. There is campground at the Lake. Along the campground area there is deep water offshore that holds fish. Bank fishing can be productive in this area when water temperatures are high. Fishing is slow for catching lake trout from 16 to 22-inches. Troll deep for lake trout.
GERBER RESERVOIR: crappie, yellow perch, brown bullhead and largemouth bass
No recent report. The lake is only 2 percent full, which makes launching boats extremely challenging. Fishing is likely slow.
GRANDE RONDE LAKE: hatchery rainbow trout, brook trout
Grande Ronde Lake has been stocked with approximately 6,000 legal-sized rainbow trout in June and July. Fishing should be good.
HAINES POND: rainbow
The pond was stocked with rainbow trout the first week of April. This pond will not be stocked again until fall.
HEART LAKE: rainbow trout, kokanee
Fishing should be fair for rainbow trout.
HOLBROOK RESERVOIR: rainbow trout
Holbrook was stocked recently with 1,200 legal and 200 trophy-sized rainbow trout. Take advantage of this popular fishing area while the water is still there.
Check the stocking schedule online for details.
HWY 203 POND: trout, bass, bluegill
Hwy 203 Pond has been stocked with approximately 8,600 legal-sized and 250 trophy-sized rainbow trout this spring. The most recent stocking occurred on May 28.
JACKSON CREEK (UPPER WILLIAMSON RIVER): brook trout
Use of bait allowed. A primitive USFS campground exists on the creek. Fishing should be good for small brook trout. Flows are low.
J.C. BOYLE RESERVOIR (Topsy Reservoir): Largemouth bass, yellow perch, brown bullhead, pumpkinseed, crappie, goldfish
Fishing is fair for warmwater fish such as crappie, pumpkinseed sunfish and brown bullhead catfish with water temperatures increasing. Water temperature is currently peaking at 69 degrees.
Fishing for largemouth bass is slow. 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.
-Photo by Roger Smith-
UPPER KLAMATH AND AGENCY LAKES: native redband trout and yellow perch
The Oregon Health Authority issued an advisory on July 28 due to blue green algae toxins at levels that could pose a risk to human health. Recent sampling showed blue green algal toxins higher than when Oregon Health Authority issued a health advisory on Upper Klamath Lake on July 28. Pelican Bay is not included in the advisory. Anglers should avoid swallowing and inhaling water. Skin contact with the algae can also cause rashes in individuals with sensitive skin. Oregon health officials recommend that people who choose to eat fish from waters where algae blooms are present remove all fat, skin and organs before cooking.
ODFW does not recommend fishing in most of Upper Klamath Lake as redband trout have moved into areas with better water quality. Most of the lake has a dense algal bloom and is bright green. Most redband have moved into Pelican Bay and the Wood and Williamson rivers. Fishing was very slow in Pelican Bay this past weekend as water was very clear and calm. Water temperatures in Pelican Bay ranged from 51-66 degrees depending on location and time of day. Fishing is generally slow with catch rates averaging 7 hours per redband from boat and 30 hours per redband from the shore but the fish being caught are large. The lake is 3.9 feet below full pool.
Water temperature has dropped to 68 degrees depending on location and air temperature. Klamath Lake is managed for true trophy trout. Redband trout average 21-inches and around four pounds in the fishery.
Water temperatures on the surface of the lakes have been stressful to redband trout. Anglers should considering fishing in early morning when water temperatures are lower. Redband trout to be released should be landed quickly, not be removed from the water, and revived by cradling and moving the fish back and forth through the water to pump water over the gills. Redband trout should be pushed down to deeper, colder water. If redband swallow your lure or bait, cut the line. ODFW also encourages use of single, barbless hooks if fish are going to be released. It is unlawful to continue to fish for the same type of fish after taking and retaining a catch or possession limit.
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 closed to fishing on June 16 and will re-open Oct. 1.
J.C. Boyle Dam to J.C Boyle Powerhouse
The Klamath River between JC Boyle Dam to JC Boyle Powerhouse offers excellent spinner fishing. Dry fly fishing is excellent. Small elk hair caddis and attractor mayfly dry flies also work 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 cooler in this section of the river in the summer. 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. Look for a few giant salmonfly and golden stoneflies still hatching.
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. Dry fly fishing with orange or yellow stimulators can be excellent in the evening. Most fish are in the 6 to 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 are now available online. Also, check out the USGS website for flow information. Best fishing will be during low flows from 6-10 a.m. During high flows water temperatures are warm as most water is coming from J.C. Boyle Reservoir.
Klamath River is a good TROUT 365 fishery – good trout fishing 365 days a year.
KRUMBO RESERVOIR: trout, bass
Anglers have reported moderate success for rainbow trout up to 19-inches this spring/summer. The ODFW Hines District Office recently sampled Krumbo and found plenty of healthy trout up to 20-inches. The maximum water depth was around 21 ft. and water temps were around 20oC. Warm water fishing should be good for largemouth bass during the summer with top-water lures working well for bass early in the morning, then changing to lures that can be worked through the weeds.
LAKE OF THE WOODS: hatchery rainbow trout, kokanee, hatchery brown trout, yellow perch, brown bullhead, smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, crappie, tui chub
Lake of the Woods was stocked with 12 to 14-inch rainbow trout last week and fishing should be good for hatchery trout. Fishing for rainbow trout will be better from boat. Rainbow trout typically hold around 15 feet when water temperatures are stressful on the surface. Rainbow trout will be stocked the week before Labor Day weekend. 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. Fishing is good for largemouth and smallmouth bass. Look for largemouth bass under docks, near large wood, and in emergent vegetation.
Take an active role in the management of Oregon fisheries! ODFW continues to release rainbow trout with bright orange tags near the dorsal fins throughout the year to evaluate, harvest, survival, and growth, but we need your help. If you catch a tagged fish, please report it ODFW. Some tags include rewards of up to $50, and fish can be kept or released. If you release a fish, please write down the tag number and release the fish with the tag intact. If the tag includes a reward, the tag must be removed from the fish and returned to ODFW to receive the reward. Anglers should report and return tags to ODFW Klamath Falls Field Office at 1850 Miller Island Road West Klamath Falls, OR 97603. Phone number is (541) 883-5732. Anglers can also report tagged fish online. Reporting forms will also be available at Lake of the Woods Resort and Store. Already 13 anglers have returned tags worth $50 each.
Call Lake of the Woods Resort for recent reports Toll Free at 866-201-4194.
LOFTON RESERVOIR: rainbow trout
Fishing reports are good. Fish were sampled by net earlier this summer. Rainbow trout ranged from 6 to 16-inches and were in healthy condition. If you are in the area make sure you check out Holbrook Reservoir and Heart Lake for fishing more fishing opportunities.
LONG CREEK (Sycan River): brook trout, redband trout, bull trout
Fishing should be good for brook trout and redband trout in lower Long Creek. Dry fly fishing can be excellent. Fishing with small spinners also can be productive.
LOST RIVER: largemouth bass, brown bullhead, yellow perch
Lost River is open to fishing all year. Public access is available at Crystal Springs day use area. Anglers can fish from the specifically designed fishing bridge 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. Fishing should be slow for largemouth bass if you can find them. Sacramento perch have been captured below Horseshoe Dam. This is one of the only locations in the state to capture this fish. Water quality is poor with low dissolved oxygen levels.
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 have been around 3 cfs. Fishing is expected to be poor with the low flows and warmer temperatures.
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. Fishing can be good in the right locations. Look for areas with cooler water temperatures than occur in the surrounding area. Areas to look for are willow-lined banks and transitions from open meadows to more constrained reaches of the river.
-Photo by Charlotte Ganskopp-
MANN LAKE: cutthroat trout
Anglers have reported slow fishing on Mann Lake recently with fish occasionally taking nymphs and spinners. Most fish are around 18-inches long, with some trout over 20-inches being caught.
MILLER LAKE: brown trout, kokanee, rainbow trout, brook trout
Miller Lake was stocked with 8 to 15-inch rainbow trout last week. Fishing should be good from a boat and bank.
Trophy brown trout are available but fishing is typically slow. Anglers can call the Chemult Ranger District of the USFS (541-365-7001) for more information. Brown trout are typically feeding on kokanee and fingerling rainbow trout. Please report any observations of lamprey scars on the fish.
The 12 mile gravel road into Miller Lake is in horrible condition with numerous washboards.
MUD LAKE: hatchery rainbow trout
The reservoir is dry.
MURRAY RESERVOIR: trout
The reservoir is low for this time of year.The reservoir was stocked with rainbow trout the third week of April.
NORTH POWDER POND: rainbow trout
The pond was stocked with rainbow trout the first full week of April.
OVERTON RESERVOIR: rainbow trout
Fishing for rainbows is good, reports of 10-inch plus fish.
OWYHEE RESERVOIR: largemouth and smallmouth bass, crappie, yellow perch, catfish
The reservoir is at 1 percent of capacity and one boat ramp is useable based on the Bureau of Reclamation page. The county boat ramp will be closed indefinitely due to low water levels creating unsafe conditions. Users are asked to launch at the Indian Creek Boat Ramp, located 5 miles south of the county boat ramp. The Indian Creek boat ramp is currently out of the water but users may still be able to launch boats at this location but are advised to use caution to avoid getting stuck, especially with big boats. The Indian Creek boat ramp will be closed for construction beginning in November.
OWYHEE RIVER (Lower): brown trout and hatchery rainbow trout
Water releases below the dam have been around 127 cfs. Fishing has been fair to slow depending on the time of day and location. Brown and rainbow trout over 20-inches have been caught recently with one report of a 22-inch rainbow trout being caught around Snively Hot Springs. Water clarity has been good and fly fisherman have been having success on both dry flies and nymphs.
OWYHEE RIVER (Upper): smallmouth bass and channel catfish
No recent fishing reports, but fishing is expected to be slow.
Paiute Reservoir: hatchery rainbow trout and Lahontan cutthroat
The reservoir is nearly dry.
PHILLIPS RESERVOIR: trout, perch
Reservoir storage is at 10 percent of capacity and will soon reach minimum pool. The boat launch at Union Creek campground is not functional. The boat launch adjacent to Mason Dam is in disrepair and is not advisable for larger boats. The reservoir has been stocked with legal-sized rainbow trout. Anglers are reminded that tiger muskie are restricted to catch-and-release only. No harvest or removal from the reservoir is allowed. Please notify ODFW at 541-963-2138 if you catch a tiger muskie.
PILCHER RESERVOIR: trout
This reservoir consistently provides some of the best summer reservoir rainbow trout fishing in the area. The rainbows typically range in size from 10 to 16-inches. Trout fishing is currently good. The low water boat launch is functional.
|Rainbow Trout on a stringer
-Photo by Bob Swingle-
POISON CREEK RESERVOIR: hatchery rainbow trout
Recent reports indicate that fishing is slow but that some 16-inch fish have been 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.
POWDER RIVER: rainbow trout
The Powder River below Mason Dam was stocked with 4,500 legal-sized rainbow trout in May and June. Trout fishing should be good.
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
Sevenmile Creek above Nicholson Road will be open to the use of bait beginning this year. Fishing will be good for brook trout as flows are low. Fishing is best above the irrigation diversion above Nicholson Road.
SKY LAKES AND MOUNTAIN LAKE WILDERNESS: brook trout and rainbow trout
Fishing should be excellent in Badger, South Pass, Marguette, Harriette, Como, Isherwood and Sonya. Best methods are lures or fly and bubble cast from spinning rod into deeper water. Keep on the lookout for caddis and carpenter ant hatches.
SHERLOCK GULCH RESERVOIR: hatchery rainbow trout
The reservoir is currently low. There have been no fishing reports.
Spaulding Reservoir: hatchery rainbow trout
The reservoir is dry.
-Photo by Roger Smith-
SPRING CREEK: redband trout, brown trout and brook trout
Fishing is slow due to slow, cold and clear water and few fish.
SPRAGUE RIVER: redband trout, brown trout, largemouth bass and yellow perch
Fishing for trout is slow in most of the Sprague River due to very warm water temperatures peaking at 68 degrees near the mouth. The best places to fish are near Beatty. Launching a boat at the public access area just upstream of Beatty near the large power lines is your best bet to access good fishing areas. Look for sporadic hatches and spinner falls of Hex mayflies. Dense caddisfly hatches are also occurring in the evening.
Largemouth bass and yellow perch are most abundant in the river downstream of Lone Pine.
NORTH FORK SPRAGUE RIVER AND ALL TRIBUTARIES: brook trout, redband trout, brown trout, bull trout
North Fork Sprague above the first 3372 road crossing is open for bait beginning this year. This section of the river is dominated with small brook trout. Fishing is good near the meadow areas of Sandhill Crossing and Lee Thomas Crossing.
Fishing is very good in the higher gradient section of the canyon above the first 3411 road crossing. Fly fishing using elk hair caddis or small stonefly stimulators can be good in this section. There is camping at Lee Thomas and Sandhill Crossing.
SOUTH FORK SPRAGUE RIVER AND ALL TRIBUTARIES: brook trout, redband trout, brown trout, bull trout
Fishing was very slow due to low fish density near day use park near Bly. Fishing for brook and brown trout improves greatly near the confluence of Camp Creek off the FS 34 road.
SUMMIT PRAIRIE: rainbow trout
Summit Prairie is a small spring fed gravel pit off highway 140 between Lakeview and Adel. To increase fishing opportunities in the area, rainbow trout (larger and trophy sized) were stocked earlier this season. Fishing from shore is excellent. This is a great place to work on your fly fishing skills as the shoreline is void of large vegetation snag.
Directions from Lakeview: Head north on US Hwy 395, turn right on the Warner Highway to Adel (Hwy 140), continue approximately 8 miles then turn right onto Forest Service (FS) road 3615 for 0.6 miles, stay straight onto FS road 3910 (Summit Prairie Road) for 4.3 miles. Summit Prairie is on the left side of the road.
SUN CREEK: brook trout, bull trout, brown trout
Sun Creek is closed to fishing for bull trout. Only bull trout occur in upper Sun Creek just above the Sun Pass Forest bridge crossing.
SYCAN RIVER: brook trout, redband trout, brown trout (below marsh)
Flows are low and fishable. The best fishing is above the Sycan Marsh as the river went dry in numerous locations below the marsh last year. Fishing has been was very poor in the Sycan River near Coyote Bucket and Teddy Powers Meadow.
The upper part of the Sycan River above Paradise Creek and Pikes crossing is dominated by brook trout. Dry fly fishing near Rock Creek campground is slow for small redband and brook trout. Fishing is best near the Hanan Trailhead for small brook trout.
Fishing near Pikes Crossing is very slow. Only redband trout are below the marsh with a very rare brown trout. 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 VALLEY RESERVOIR: rainbow trout, largemouth bass
There have been reports of potential fish die-offs below the dam, but this hasn’t been confirmed. No recent fishing reports. Water levels at the reservoir are lower than normal but trout and bass are still available for anglers from shore only, water is too low to launch boats from trailers.
THIEF VALLEY RESERVOIR: trout
The reservoir storage is currently at 3 percent of capacity and will likely be drained by the end of August.
Due to low and declining water levels, the daily bag limit, possession limit and minimum size requirement for trout have been removed through Oct. 15, 2015 anglers may keep as many trout as they can catch by hand, dip net or angling.
-U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service-
UNITY RESERVOIR: trout, bass, crappie
Reservoir is at 28 percent of capacity and declining.
VEE LAKE: rainbow trout
Vee Lake was stocked with 400 larger sized rainbow trout earlier this season. Water levels at the lake are lower than normal, but trout are still available to anglers. Access by boat may become more difficult as the water level recedes.
WARM SPRINGS RESERVOIR: smallmouth bass, crappie, catfish, perch, rainbow trout
No recent fishing reports. Fishing for warm water species should remain good through the summer and anglers are encouraged to keep fish they catch. The reservoir is currently at dead pool with some water remaining behind the dam.
LOWER WILLIAMSON RIVER: redband and brown trout
Fishing is fair for large redband trout. Redband trout have moved into the river from Upper Klamath Lake. Sporadic hatches of small mayflies are hatching on the river (Trico, and Callibaetis). Look for mahogany dun mayflies to begin hatching. Most anglers use small nymph patterns to mimic mayflies hatching.
Most fly fisherman use clear intermediate sinking lines and dead drift and swing nymph patterns for best success. The best area to fish is from confluence of Sprague River to downstream of Waterwheel Campground. Very few trout are above Chiloquin Bridge.
Drift boats can be launched near Chiloquin, Waterwheel campground, Williamson River Retreat, and Williamson River Resort. Anglers can also be somewhat successful casting spoons or plugs that mimic forage fish.
UPPER WILLIAMSON RIVER: redband and brook trout
Fishing is fair in most areas. Redband trout dominate the fishery on USFS land. Brook trout are abundant near the Deep Creek confluence and upstream to the headwaters. Flows are low for this time of year. Insect activity is increasing and fish are responding. The Hex hatch is waning but some hatch still occurs in the late evening around 9 pm. These are the largest mayfly species and can bring some of the largest trout to the surface.
WILLOW VALLEY RESERVOIR: largemouth bass, crappie, yellow perch, bluegill, lahontan cutthroat
Fishing is slow for largemouth bass. Launching a boat is unlikely at the boat ramp due to low water levels. Smaller boats can be carried to the water edge. 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.
WOLF CREEK RESERVOIR: crappie, trout
The reservoir is low and the boat launch is not functional.
WOOD RIVER and tributaries: redband, brown, brook and bull trout
Flows in the Wood River are low and clear. Fishing for brown trout is fair with lures. Most brown trout are below Fort Klamath this time of year. Anglers can launch low profile boats at USFS day use area and Hwy 62 and drift boats at Weed Road.
Dry fly fishing has been good. Grasshoppers are very abundant in certain sections of the river. Fly fisherman should use grasshopper patterns for brown trout above Weed Road.
Bag limit remains two brown trout per day with only one over 20 inches. Best dry fly fishing is from Fort Klamath to Weed Road. All redband trout must be released in Wood River, Fort Creek and Crooked Creek.
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 and was stocked again this year in May. Fishing has been fair for trout in the 12 to 16-inch range with one report of anglers catching their limit in less than 1.5 hours of fishing. Yellowjacket Lake is a great place to take the family for some trout fishing. Fishing from the dam has been productive and fish have been taking dry flies and nymphs.
The ODFW Hines District Office recently sampled Yellowjacket and found plenty of healthy rainbow trout that were around 10 to 13-inches. The maximum water depth was around 25-26 feet and water clarity was good. The dissolved oxygen was best higher up in the water column so mid or top level fishing should be the most productive. The North end of the lake has a lot of algae and aquatic vegetation but the area around the dam is relatively clear and should be a great place to fish.
Southeast Zone Hunting
OPEN: COUGAR, BLACK BEAR, ARCHERY DEER AND ELK, MOURNING DOVE, FOREST GROUSE
Archery seasons open Aug. 29 – Know before you go!
Hunters will face fire restrictions and some closures and they need to know what those are before they go. More info. Some good resources for fire information: InciWeb, National Forest webpages, Oregon Dept Forestry
ODFW is not closing archery season due to fires.
|Gray Wolf in Northeast Oregon
-Oregon Fish and Wildlife-
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.
Follow hunting blind regulations, give wildlife access to water this fall.
Hunting maps for Harney County
Archery season for ELK and MULE DEER opened on August 29th. Be sure to check the area you plan to hunt for any fire restrictions.
ANTELOPE second season opened August 26th. Antelope will be concentrated around water sources due to lack of water throughout the desert this year.
SAGE GROUSE seasons were approved by the Commission. The deadline for applications was August 30th. Season dates are September 12th – 20th.
BIGHORN SHEEP first season opened Aug 22nd. Sheep hunters should contact district biologist for specifics about their hunt areas.
Youth antlerless ELK hunts also opened August 1. Additional antlerless ELK hunts opened August 15th. Elk populations are stable in 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 good throughout Harney County. Pups are starting to leave the dens, however adults are still very territorial. Coyote vocalization calls still work best until the pups start to disperse, which will be mid to late August.
Fall BEAR season opened August 1. Bear populations in Harney County are generally low. While no formal surveys are done for bear in this area, bear populations appear to be stable.
Hunters are reminded that hunter harvested bear MUST be checked in at an ODFW field office within 10 days of harvest; please bring bear in thawed and with mouth propped open for easier tissue and tooth collection.
Youth antlerless ELK hunts also opened August 1. Elk populations are stable in Harney County.
MOURNING DOVE season open September 1st. The cold front which moved through this past weekend appears to have started doves moving south. Dove numbers in the Klamath Basin are much lower than a week ago. Best prospects are in foothill areas adjacent to ag lands, weedy areas, or water.
BLUE AND RUFFED GROUSE season open on September 1st. Hunters are asked to provide wings and tails from any grouse taken. ODFW has wing bags available at the Klamath District Office.
Fall BLACK BEAR seasons opened August 1. While no formal surveys are done for bear in this area, bear populations appear to be increasing slightly. Highest concentrations of bears in Klamath County will be found along the eastern slope of the Cascade Mtns. Additionally, the Interstate Unit has produced more and bigger bears in recent years, especially around the Klamath/Lake county line.
Hunters often find success with stand hunting near water holes and by glassing open hillsides where bears commonly feed on berries and during morning and evening hours. Hunters are reminded that hunter harvested bear MUST be checked in at an ODFW field office for sample collection and measurement. Field office staff are frequently out of the office, so please call ahead to the nearest ODFW field office and make an appointment. Field office locations and contact information can be found on the ODFW website.
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. At this time of year, mimicking coyote vocalizations can be an effective tool to bring coyotes into range as adults are still very territorial around den sites. 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 August 31, 2015.
Hunters are reminded to check licenses and validations before showing up to hunt.
Dove season opens September 1 and is open through October 30. Hunters must obtain a self-serve permit available at the check station on Miller Island Road if hunting on the Miller Island Unit. No permit is required if hunting on Shoalwater Bay, Sesti Tgawaals, or Gorr Island. Non-toxic shot is required for hunting on all units of the Klamath Wildlife Area.
Posted safety zones are closed to all hunting.
Miller Island Unit
The Miller Island Unit is located 6 miles south and west of Klamath Falls. The Miller Island Unit is open to hunting on authorized hunt days (please see the 2015-16 Oregon Game Bird Regulations for more information) on a first-come, first-served basis by permit.
Gorr Island Unit
Gorr Island is located four miles south of the Miller Island Unit in the Klamath River, accessible only by boat. Gorr Island is open daily with no permit required during authorized seasons.
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. Shoalwater Bay and Sesti Tgawaals Units are both open for hunting daily with no permit required during authorized seasons.
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.
Archery Deer and Elk seasons opened August 29th. At this time there are no major fires in the district. Level III fire restrictions are in effect throughout the county. Public lands and most industrial forest lands are open with limitations to access consistent with fire restrictions.
Fall Bear season opened August 1st. Berry crops in the forest are very spotty this year which will affect bear distribution. Populations throughout the county are low compared to western Oregon. Hunters have the best success finding an area with fresh bear sign then using a predator call to attract bears.
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 pups are dispersing and pair bonds are breaking down. Calls mimicking prey distress will be most effective from now through the first of the year. Be aware that bobcats and cougars may respond to predator calls, and separate licensing and season limitations exist for these species.
Youth Elk seasons opened August 1st in the Silver Lake and Fort Rock unit. These seasons will extend through the archery deer and elk season.
Sage-grouse seasons were approved by the Commission. The deadline for applications is August 30th. Season dates are September 12th – 20th. Refer to the Game Bird Synopsis for controlled hunt tag numbers.
Forest grouse seasons open September 1st. Season dates and bag limits are posted in the Game Bird Synopsis, which is available on line or at license agents.
Road at Summer Lake Wildlife Area
-Photo by Kathy Munsel, ODFW-
SUMMER LAKE WILDLIFE AREA
This section was updated on September 1, 2015
General archery deer hunting season opened over the past weekend. Hunter participation was light, and no bucks were reported harvested.
Buck mule deer can be found scattered across the wildlife area, especially around agricultural areas and homestead sites on the north end.
Archery hunters are required to obtain daily hunting permit and check out at the end of the day. Free daily permits are available self-serve in the lobby at Headquarters.
Mourning dove season opened on September 1 and opening day pressure was very light. Doves are found in small numbers, especially around agricultural areas and homestead sites on the north end.
All hunters are required to obtain and have a daily hunting permit in their possession while in the field. Free daily permits are available self-serve in the lobby at Headquarters. Check-out is mandatory and can be accomplished by filling out and dropping the permit off in check-out boxes found at major access areas.
Non-toxic shot is required for all Game Bird hunting.
Posted Refuges are closed to hunting.
Please contact Summer Lake Wildlife Area at (541) 943-3152 or email email@example.com for additional information.
DEER and ELK archery opened Aug. 29. As with most of Oregon mild winter conditions were favorable for deer and over winter survival was good. Summer fires burned up portions of all the hunt units in Malheur District, hunters are encouraged to view fire maps or by contacting the Vale BLM office at 541 473-3144.
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 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.
Southeast Zone Wildlife Viewing
Resident breeding waterfowl with broods are abundant around Malheur Lake.
Sandhill cranes can be found in agricultural fields throughout the Harney Basin.
Local breeding species include killdeer, avocets, black-necked stilts, white-faced ibis, curlews, willets, pelicans, egrets and a variety of grebes species. Forester’s terns, black terns, franklins, ring-billed and California gulls can also be found.
A large number of breeding passerine species and woodpeckers can be found in National Forest land throughout the county. Malheur National Wildlife Refuge is the summer home to some unique passerines and is an excellent place for birding.
-Photo by Chuck Gardner-
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, ferruginous and red-tailed hawks are very easily observed in open agricultural areas. 8/17/15
Owl species including great-horned, barn, screech and short-eared owls can be observed just after dark around agricultural and foothill areas as they start hunting for rodents, snakes, and other small prey. Great gray owls are found at higher elevation forested areas usually adjacent to meadows and small forest openings.
Sightings of duck broods are now common around rivers and lakes in the Klamath Basin. Canada geese are now flying and can be observed flying from water out to agricultural lands to forage.
Western and Clark’s grebes have largely finished courtship, but can still be observed on Upper Klamath Lake and surrounding waterways. These two species look very similar in plumage but are distinguished by head and bill coloration.
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.
Please watch for game and use caution while traveling on area highways and county roads. Deer-vehicle collisions have increased over the past few weeks. 8/18/15.
KLAMATH WILDLIFE AREA
Klamath Wildlife Area (Miller Island)
This section was updated on August 31, 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.
Flocks of Western Canada Geese can be found scattered across the area. Dabbler species that remain are mostly resident birds. Mallards, gadwall, and cinnamon teal are the most common, but northern shovelers, northern pintail, wood duck, green-winged teal and American wigeon may still be found.
Shorebirds, waders and other waterbirds
Sandhill cranes can be observed scattered across the area and their very audible calls are quite common. Killdeer, common snipe, yellow legs, long-billed dowitchers, spotted, least and western sandpipers, American avocets and black-necked stilts along with different species of small shore birds can be found on mud flats and around the edges of receding ponds.
American white pelican and double-crested cormorant are now a very common sight along the Klamath River. Western grebes are very numerous on the Klamath River and pied-billed grebes are occasionally found in some of the areas deeper ponds. Caspian and forester’s terns are also very common along the Klamath River at this time.
Great blue herons, great egrets, black-crowned night-herons and American bitterns are also occasionally observed on the area and should continue to be a common sight as the weeks go on.
Great horned and barn owls can be seen at dusk. Red-tailed hawks, northern harriers, cooper hawks, American kestrels, prairie falcons and eagles can be seen foraging throughout the wildlife area. Turkey vultures can be seen riding the thermals above around the area
Upland Game Birds
California quail and the occasional ring-necked pheasant can be found scattered around the old homesteads and the headquarters area.
Mourning and Eurasian collared dove can be found scattered over the area. American goldfinches, house finches, white crowned sparrows, western kingbirds, western meadowlark and Northern flickers continue to be a common site throughout the area. Violet-green, Tree, cliff and barn swallows can be found scattered across the area.
Marsh wrens, song sparrows, yellow-headed and red-winged blackbirds can be found in dense stands of tall emergent hard stem bulrush and broad-leaved cattail and are very numerous.
Overnight camping is not allowed on the Miller Island Unit. If you have any questions, please contact Klamath Wildlife Area at (541) 883-5734.
Fall migrating shore birds are starting to show up on Lake Abert. Most of the species that commonly use the lake are present but due to the low water levels total numbers are substantially reduced. Species dependent on deeper open water, such as eared grebes will not use Abert this year.
Other large closed basin lakes in the county are dry. An abundance of vegetation on these lake bottoms make them excellent areas for viewing raptors. All of the waterfowl species are in various stages of eclipse plumage during the summer molt.
Sandhill Cranes are starting to form larger flocks as they feed in hay fields throughout the county. Summer passerines are most abundant in riparian habitats throughout the county. 8/18/2015
SUMMER LAKE WILDLIFE AREA
This section was updated on September 1, 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 (pdf) 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 is open. Major dike roads (Bullgate, Windbreak and Work Road) are now open to motor vehicle traffic. Spur dikes and levees will remain closed to vehicles, but non-motorized access is permitted and should afford good viewing opportunities. Motor vehicle access to the Wildlife Viewing Loop and major dike roads will be closed 3 days prior to the Youth Waterfowl Hunt on September 23rd and remain closed through the following weekend.
Wetland conditions remain good; a majority of the area’s wetlands remain fairly well flooded, some are receding due to high temperatures and evaporation rates, and the return to irrigation season water diversions. Viewing opportunities remain good.
Breeding season is essentially over and very few birds can still be found in their bright nuptial plumage. “Fall” migration continues with good numbers of shorebirds and waterfowl staging. Many early migrants have already departed the wildlife area heading to other staging or wintering areas.
Waterfowl populations are increasing as migrants continue to arrive. Ducks remain widely scattered across the entire wildlife area and some have formed good sized flocks. A few duck broods can still be found, especially the later nesting gadwall. Early in the morning and evenings are the best times to observed broods.
- Photo by Dave Budeau -
Western Canada geese are widely distributed across the area. Family groups and small flocks can again be found across the entire wildlife area at this time.
A few resident trumpeter swans remain widely scattered across the wildlife area. Most 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) or the symbol “@” and two numerals that are read from the body toward the head.
Shorebirds, waders and other waterbirds
Southward migration of shorebirds continues. Many juveniles are beginning to appear and some are forming large foraging congregations. Early nesting species such as long-billed curlew and western willet have already departed the area. Baird’s, least and Western sandpipers, long-billed dowitchers, yellowlegs, phalaropes and marbled godwit have been observed recently. Now is a good time to search staging shorebird flocks for rare or vagrant species.
American coots remain very numerous; they are widespread across the entire area and newly fledged chicks are very common.
Virginia rails and soras continue to be found in good numbers throughout the entire wildlife area.
Greater sandhill cranes have wrapped up breeding season activities, and some can still be found in their traditional territories scattered widely across the entire area. Unsuccessful pairs and non-breeders are beginning to stage in fair numbers especially at the Foster Place.
Gull (California and ring-billed) numbers have declined following the end of breeding season and most have dispersed.
Caspian terns can occasionally be found, as well as the more abundant Forster’s terns, although both species have already dispersed to other staging and wintering areas. Black terns are occasionally observed at this time, especially young of the year.
Grebes are fairly numerous at this time, and late nesting continues for a few species and few broods have been recently observed. Clark’s, eared, pied-billed and Western can be found.
American bitterns, great egrets, great blue herons are frequently observed. White-faced ibis numbers are declining but a few individuals continue to be observed. Non-breeding American white pelicans and double-crested cormorants continue to be observed in good numbers.
Raptors and others
Northern harriers and red-tailed hawks are common this time of the year. Turkey vultures are widespread across the area and are easily observed. Osprey can still be found in the vicinity of their nesting platforms near Ana Reservoir.
Adult bald eagles from locally nesting pairs can sometimes be viewed. Golden eagles, American kestrel, peregrine and prairie falcons as well as accipiters (Cooper’s and sharp-shinned hawk) can occasionally be found. Peregrine falcons have been observed recently and others should be found in the near future as they follow shorebird migrants, a favored food source.
Great horned owls were found scattered across the entire wildlife area, especially in the trees at campgrounds and chicks from several nests are fledged and are nearly full grown. Common barn owl chicks have fledged at Headquarters and can sometimes be observed in the evening hours. Short-eared owls have been observed recently.
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. Large coveys of quail are beginning to form.
Eurasian collared doves remain very numerous at Headquarters Complex and cooing is very commonplace throughout the day. Mourning doves remain fairly numerous.
|Lesser Goldfinch Male
-Photo by Kathy Munsel, ODFW-
American goldfinches and sometimes lesser goldfinches are observed at Headquarters. Song and savannah sparrows are very common along dikes and levees.
Swallow numbers are declining as the breeding season is over and most have migrated south. Vaux’s swifts continue to be seen and heard over the Headquarters area.
American robins remain fairly common, and occasionally and cedar waxwings are observed around Headquarters.
Migrant warbler species are beginning to appear and now is a good time to look for vagrants.
Other migrant passerines are beginning to move through the area, dusky flycatchers, white-breasted nuthatch and western tanager have been observed recently.
Hummingbirds have been observed using to the feeders at Headquarters in fair numbers; Anna’s, calliope, rufous and black-chinned have been seen.
Steller’s and scrub jays can sometimes be found around Headquarters.
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.
Blackbirds (Brewer’s, red-winged and yellow-headed) are found in good numbers and large flocks are beginning to form. Blackbirds and brown-headed cowbirds remain very numerous, especially around Headquarters.
Facilities and Access
Please remember: Calendar year 2015 parking permits are required! 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, and major dike roads (Bullgate, Windbreak and Work Road) are now open to motor vehicle traffic. Motor vehicle access to the Wildlife Viewing Loop and major dike roads will be closed 3 days prior to the Youth Waterfowl Hunt on September 23rd and remain closed through the following weekend.
Spur dikes and levees will remain closed to vehicles but 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.
Currently a majority of the wildlife area’s wetlands are fairly well flooded. Irrigation season water diversions have resumed following hay harvest, and water flow into the interior and eastside units of the wildlife area is decreasing. Receding shorelines are providing excellent foraging areas for a variety of migrant waterbirds. Emergent marsh vegetation is very robust and submerged aquatic plants fill the water column of nearly all wetland ponds.
Summer Lake is beginning to increase in size at this time, due to increased run-off from a few wetland units (Gold Dike Impoundment and west side of Windbreak Dike). Irrigation season is continues at this time. With the high level of Ana Reservoir, warm temperatures and continuing high evaporation rates as well as the suppressed discharge of Ana Springs; Ana River flow is reduced and water flow into the lake is slow.
Upland habitat remains in excellent condition with considerable new growth and abundant residual vegetation that is providing high quality food and cover for many wildlife species. Vigorous growth and seed-set for nearly all forb and grass species is well underway. Planted tree and shrub plots are providing excellent sheltered sites and food resources for many wildlife species. Nearly all shrub species have flowered and most have set fruit.
Please contact Summer Lake Wildlife Area at (541) 943-3152 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org for additional information.
A mild winter and below average precipitation over helped with over winter survival of adult birds but was unfavorable for chukar and quail in the range lands. Fortunately, much of the county received above average rain fall in May and early June which helped improve range conditions. Hunter should expect to have similar hunting as last year with good sized broods but the overall population is still down.
Chukar surveys on established routes yielded 45 chukar per 10 miles and good production with 10.3 chicks per brood. This is a 6% decrease from last year when 47 birds per 10 miles were measured and is 11% below the 10-year average of 50.5 birds per 10 miles.
The Succor Creek/Leslie Gulch area has only experienced limited recovery. The poor range conditions caused by ongoing invasion of medusahead likely limits the ability of birds in this area to successfully raise broods. The most productive routes were South of Harper in the Cottonwood Canyon, Freezout/Dry Creek (west side of the Owyhee reservoir) Cottonwood Mountain and Brogan Canyon.
The surveys along established routes yielded 10.8 birds per 10 miles which is a 45% increase in number of birds observed from last year’s survey and 32% above the 10-year average. Chick production was above average at 4.3 chicks per brood. Hunting prospects will vary depending on the farming practices in the area where you have permission to hunt. The outlying areas around Willow Creek and Vale have higher bird numbers than areas closer to Ontario and Nyssa.
There is very little public land pheasant hunting opportunity in the area and the few parcels that are available tend to get hunted daily. One option for private lands access is the Cow Hollow fundraiser to benefit the Cow Hollow Park.
Quail production was up in agricultural areas and good in rangelands. Surveys on established routes showed 56 quail per 10 miles, up 26% over last year and 41% above the 10-year average. Production was good at 8.4 chicks per brood with similar production observed in rangelands. Overall quail populations still remain low in rangelands due to depressed populations from the previous year.
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