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Weekly Recreation Report: Southwest Zone

September 30, 2014

 Southwest Zone Fishing

rogue river
Rogue River
-ODFW Photo-

Weekend fishing opportunities

  • Fall is the time of year to fish Rogue watershed reservoirs by float tube, kayak or raft! Fish are still available despite very low water levels at sites managed by the Bureau of Reclamation. Cooling water temperatures should mean good fishing over the next month.
  • Coho fishing has been very good in Coos Bay.
  • Chinook salmon fishing continues to be good on the Coos with anglers catching Chinook from the Highway 101 Bridge all the way up to the forks of the Millicoma and South Coos rivers.
  • Garrison and Bradley lakes will be stocked this week for fall trout fishing.

2014 Coastal coho and fall Chinook seasons

Now available on the ODFW Web site.

2014 trout stocking

The 2014 trout stocking schedule for the SW Zone is available on-line.

Send us your fishing report

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

Agate Lake Boat Ramp
The boat ramp at Agate Lake is unusable, Sept. 9, 2014
-Photo by Dan VanDyke, ODFW-
Agate Lake Boat Ramp
The boat ramp at Agate Lake is unusable, Sept. 9, 2014
-Photo by Dan VanDyke, ODFW-

AGATE LAKE: largemouth bass, bluegill, crappie, bullhead

Agate Lake is down to 3 percent full and the boat ramp is no longer usable. An estimated 130-acre feet of water remains for anglers wanting to fish for bass and panfish from shore. Jackson County Parks closes the park at 8pm at this time of year.

APPLEGATE RESERVOIR: largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, trout

Applegate Reservoir is 26 percent full. The Hart-tish facility and boat ramp are closed for the season. Based on the elevation of the reservoir on Sept. 16, the Copper ramp may not be usable, but the low water ramp at French Gulch will still be accessible. Cooling temperatures should mean improving conditions for trout anglers now and into the fall.

The Oregon Health Authority issued an advisory recommending that people limit their consumption of largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, yellow perch, bluegill, and crappie taken from Applegate Reservoir due to elevated levels of mercury. Trout are not included in the advisory and remain a healthy choice for those wanting to retain fish for the table.

APPLEGATE RIVER: rainbow and cutthroat trout, winter steelhead

The Applegate River is open for trout fishing with a bag limit of two adipose fin-clipped rainbow trout per day. All other trout must be released. The river is closed to fishing for steelhead and salmon.

ARIZONA POND: rainbow trout

Pond levels have been lowered to help control aquatic vegetation.

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

The reservoir was stocked with about 3,500 trout during March and another 500 trout were stocked in April. An additional 1,000 trout were stocked the first week of September. Warmwater fishing for bass and crappie will be best around the edges where there is some structure. Jigging with crappie tubes in the electric motor section has been successful recently.

CHETCO RIVER: cutthroat trout, Chinook

Temporary regulations have been adopted for the Chetco River starting Sept. 1, 2014. Anglers should check these regulation changes prior to fishing the river.

Chinook are showing up in good numbers in the estuary and a few are even moving up to the head of tide. Anglers trolling the bay with anchovies have been catching quite a few Chinook. 

Chetco River flows near Brookings

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

Cooper Creek has been stocked with about 9,000 trout so far this spring. Trout fishing has slowed with the warmer temperatures. Early morning is the best time to try for trout. Cooper Creek will receive 2,000 additional trout for early September fishing. Some of the trout do have copepods which are tiny parasites on their bodies and gills. These are not harmful to humans, but the lesions can be removed and the meat should be thoroughly cooked.

COOS COUNTY Lakes/Ponds: trout

Bradley Lake is scheduled to be stocked with fall “trophy” trout at the end of this week or early next week.  Saunders Lake, Powers Pond, and Middle Empire Lakes are scheduled to be stocked during the week of Oct. 6.  Due to very low water levels, Lower Empire Lake will not be stocked but instead and additional 1,000 trout will be stocked into Middle Empire Lake and the remaining 1,000 trout will be stocked into Butterfield Lake.  

COOS RIVER BASIN: Dungeness crab, bay clams, trout, salmon

Trout season is open in the Coos Basin rivers until Oct. 31. The daily limit of trout in streams is 2 fish over 8-inches and anglers can now use bait in all streams and rivers in the Coos Basin.

Chinook salmon fishing has been good on the incoming tide the past week for anglers trolling cut plug herring. Lots of anglers have been fishing near the Chandler Bridge and upstream into the South Fork Coos and Millicoma rivers. A few anglers are still picking up Chinook fishing the deep water near the airport. The wild coho season opened in the Coos Basin on Sept. 15. There are lots of coho from the jetties to near the railroad bridge on the north side of the bay. Trolling a pink spinner is a good way to catch coho. The daily bag limit for wild (unclipped) coho is 1 per day and 2 for the season.

Crabbing in Coos Bay has been good with boat crabbers picking up limits. The best crabbing has been near the jetties but crabbers are getting legal size crab all the way up to the BLM Boat Ramp.

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

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

COQUILLE RIVER BASIN: trout, smallmouth bass, salmon, crabbing

Trout season is open in the Coquille Basin rivers until Oct. 31. The daily limit of trout in streams is 2 fish over 8-inches and anglers can now use bait in all streams and rivers in the Coquille Basin.

Chinook salmon fishing has picked up in the lower Coquille River. Anglers are having the best success fishing from Rocky Point up to Bear Creek trolling cut plug herring. Bank anglers have been catching Chinook salmon near Sevenmile Creek casting spinners.  Anglers have been picking up wild coho from Bandon to Rocky Point trolling spinners. 

Anglers are catching a few smallmouth bass in the mainstem and South Fork Coquille rivers. Small spinners or jigs have been working well to catch smallmouth bass. There is no size limit or bag limit on the number of smallmouth bass you can keep in the Coquille River Basin.

Crabbing has been good in the lower Coquille estuary. Dock crabbers are picking up a few legal-sized Dungeness crab at Weber’s Pier along the waterfront in Bandon.


Fishing has been improving. The lake is cooling down and the fish are moving around more. Most of the fish are 12 to 14-inches, but larger fish are also being caught. The fish are very plump and healthy! They’ve been holding in deeper water lately or the cooler water near Short and Silent Creeks on the south end.

The algae blooms have been off and on. General cautions signs are still in place as a reminder to anglers should another bloom occur. The blooms have been benign.

For campground information call the Forest Service at 541-498-2531. Anglers can check fishing conditions at Diamond Lake on their website, or call their toll free number at 1-800-733-7593, ext. 236 or 238 for updates.

ELK RIVER: Chinook

Rains last week opened the mouth and has moved some Chinook into the estuary.

Emigrant Lake
Boat ramp at Emigrant Reservoir
Sept. 9, 2014
-Photo by Daniel Vandyke-
Emigrant Lake
Boat ramp at Emigrant Reservoir
Sept. 9, 2014
-Photo by Daniel Vandyke-
Fish Lake

Fish Lake from the dam, Sept. 9, 2014
-Photo by Dan VanDyke, ODFW-

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

The reservoir is currently 9 percent full and the boat ramp at the county campground is no longer in use. Anglers fishing from personal watercraft like float tubes or fishing from shore should have good luck on trout, bass and panfish now and into the fall.

FISH LAKE: rainbow trout, brook trout, spring Chinook

Water levels at Fish Lake have dropped below the Bureau of Reclamation measuring gauge, and trailered boats can no longer launch at the lake. Fish Lake was a natural lake before the dam was built, however, so fishable water will remain through the fall. Trout anglers may want to give places like Fish Lake a try from the shore or from small watercraft or float tubes. In addition to stocked rainbow trout, anglers can catch land-locked Chinook salmon, brook trout and tiger trout.

With a surface temperature of 52 F near the resort on Sunday, Sept. 28, Fish Lake should be great for trout fishing in the coming weeks. The lake bottom near the water line has crusted fairly well so that bank anglers can walk along the shoreline with hiking boots or knee boots. Trout fishing was good on Sunday for rainbows up to 14-inches, and good numbers of landlocked salmon were caught near the resort.  When releasing the salmon and trout, be sure to handle them gently and keep them in the water at all times, using barbless hooks will help. Salmon were caught on Panther Martins, super dupers cast from shore, and a streamer fly fished behind a casting bubble.  

FLORAS LAKE: rainbow, cutthroat trout

Trout fishing is hit or miss depending on the wind. The best method for catching trout is slow trolling flies or wedding ring spinners from a boat. Bank access is limited. Anglers can launch at an improved boat ramp at Boice Cope County Park. The lake can be very windy, so anglers will want to check the weather prior to heading out. Boat anglers are reminded to clean all aquatic vegetation off their boats and trailers before heading home to help control the spread non-native plants and animals.

GALESVILLE RESERVIOR: rainbow trout, bass

Galesville Reservoir is open to fishing year-round. In addition to trout, the reservoir has also been stocked with coho smolts for the last couple of years. Many people mistakenly think these fish are kokanee. All of the coho smolts are adipose fin-clipped, remember to release the ones less than 8-inches long. In Galesville Reservoir, all landlocked salmon are considered trout and are part of the five-per-day trout limit, with only one trout over 20-inches long allowed for harvest. Galesville has been stocked with about 8,000 trout this spring. The lake also received some smolts so a few fish may be just shy of legal size for harvest. Fishing with worms in brushy areas has been good for bass and some trout recently.

Anglers are reminded all bass between 12 and 15-inches must be released, and only one bass over 15-inches may be taken per day. Call 541-837-3302 for information on camping and boat launching conditions.

GARRISON LAKE: rainbow trout, cutthroat

The lake is scheduled to be stocked this week which should make for some good fall fishing.  The lake is pretty weedy, but anglers fishing the deeper parts of the lake are finding some good trout. Early morning or late afternoon is the most productive. Boat anglers will want to keep an eye on the weather and fish the lake when there is no wind. Access for bank anglers is best at the 12th Street boat ramp, Arizona Street, or along the foredune accessed through Tseriadun State Park. Garrison Lake is located in the middle of Port Orford. Boat anglers are reminded to clean all aquatic vegetation off their boats and trailers before heading home to help control the spread non-native plants and animals.

HEMLOCK LAKE & LAKE IN THE WOODS & Umpqua High Lakes: trout

Hemlock has received over 6,000 trout this season, including some large fish just before the Labor Day holiday. PowerBait has been effective. Anglers fishing the high lakes in the Umpqua District are encouraged to e-mail fishing reports to

Howard Prarie
Possible boat access as Howard Prairie Reservoir, Sept. 9, 2014
-Photo by Dan VanDyke, ODFW-

HOWARD PRAIRIE RESERVOIR: rainbow trout, bass

Howard Prairie is 28 percent full. Anglers wanting to launch a boat at Howard Prairie can try using an area of rocky shoreline at campsite 11 at Willow Point Campground, but conditions are difficult at best. Trout anglers may want to give places like Howard a try from the shore or from small watercraft or float tubes. Fishing for trout should improve as water temperatures cool through the next several weeks.

HYATT LAKE: rainbow trout, largemouth bass

The lake is 6 percent full, and there is no ramp available for trailered boats, but the reservoir is still producing fish. Fishing for largemouth bass is very good. Anglers are encouraged to keep largemouth in the 7 to 12-inch range. These fish are part of a stunted group of bass, and are a good option to take home to eat. Trout are being caught as well, mostly by bank anglers using PowerBait. Trolling and fly-fishing from float tubes or small watercraft should produce some big trout. Trout anglers planning to release most of the fish are reminded to handle the fish carefully, keeping them in the water at all times, and remember that fishing with dough bait on treble hooks can make a safe release very challenging.

ILLINOIS RIVER: trout, steelhead

The Illinois River is open to fishing for trout and steelhead. Anglers are restricted to artificial flies and lures only, and only adipose fin-clipped rainbow trout may be retained. Since anglers are unlikely to catch steelhead or fin-clipped trout this time of year, the Illinois currently offers catch-and-release fishing for cutthroat trout.

Illinois River flows at Kerby

LAKE MARIE: rainbow trout

The lake was stocked with over 5,000 trout this year. Most anglers use PowerBait or worms. The lake received some Labor Day lunkers and was stocked again the first week of September.

LAKE SELMAC: trout, largemouth bass, bluegill, crappie

Fishing for largemouth bass, bluegill, crappie, and other warmwater species should be good. Anglers can catch many of the warmwater species by suspending a worm below a bobber. Crappie can be targeted with crappie jigs or small soft-plastic baits.

LEMOLO RESERVOIR: rainbow trout, kokanee

Lemolo was stocked last week with about 8,000 trout. About 90 percent of these are legal-sized and ready for the anglers. Lemolo received about 1,500 nice 14-inch trout in time for Labor Day. Fishing has been good. Brown trout are being caught and the rainbows are 12 to 16-plus inches depending on the stock. People are also catching kokanee, by trolling deeper water with a small spoon and single hook. The boat ramps are open as East Lemolo and Poole Creek Campgrounds.

From now through Nov. 1, Lemolo has a 5 trout per day, daily limit. A combination of brown trout, rainbow trout and kokanee can be harvested to make up this 5 trout limit. Only 1 trout over 20 inches can be harvested per day. For information on fishing conditions, contact Lemolo Lake Resort at 541-957-8354. For information on campgrounds contact the USFS at 541-498-2515.

LOON LAKE: rainbow trout, bass, bluegill

Loon Lake has been stocked with nearly 8,000 trout. The lake is also providing good fishing for crappie, bluegill and bass. The boat ramps will be open through early fall. For additional information call the BLM at: 541-599-2254.

LOST CREEK RESERVOIR: rainbow trout, spring Chinook, bass

The surface temperature was 65F Monday morning. Trout anglers will probably want to fish deep in the main body of the reservoir. Trout fishing is probably still best upstream of the Hwy 62 Bridge. Water temperatures will continue to improve for trout anglers in October. Anglers caught smallmouth on spinners and crankbaits recently. Lost Creek Reservoir is 42 percent full. All boat ramps are accessible.

MEDCO POND: rainbow trout, largemouth bass, bluegill

Trout fishing should improve as lake waters cool in the fall. Fishing for bluegill and bass should be good early and late in the day.

Crabbing off the Oregon Coast near Newport
- Video by Bob Swingle, ODFW -

PACIFIC OCEAN AND BEACHES: bottomfish, Dungeness crab, salmon, halibut,

Crabbing has been good in the ocean from Bandon to Winchester Bay.

Fishing for bottom fish, including rockfish and lingcod will open back up to all depths starting October 1. The marine fish daily bag limit is seven fish and a separate daily limit for lingcod (two). Retention of cabezon is now allowed but only one cabezon per day per angler.

The non-selective coho fishery is closed in the ocean. Ocean fishing for Chinook is still open.

As of Sept. 21 there is still 35 pecent of the nearshore halibut quota remaining. The nearshore halibut is open 7 days a week inside the 40 fathom line through the earlier of the quota being met or Oct. 31. The all-depth halibut season is closed for the year.

PLAT I RESERVOIR: rainbow trout, warmwater fish

In addition to trout fishing, the lake also has good bullhead fishing. Bass can be harvested from March 1 to Oct. 31 and are catch-and-release only from Nov. 1-Feb. 29. The reservoir received about 4,500 trout this year. Some of the trout do have copepods which are tiny parasites on their bodies and gills. These are not harmful to humans, but the lesions can be removed and the meat should be thoroughly cooked.


Rogue River, lower: half-pounders, steelhead, Chinook

Anglers have continued to pick up Chinook at a fairly regular pace in the estuary. Coho are just starting to show in the estuary. Anglers can only keep adipose fin-marked coho. The bay coho fishery will continue to get better through the end of the month and early October.  Bank anglers are starting to fish around the mouth of Indian Creek trying to catch Chinook staging to move back to the hatchery.  Indian Creek flows into the Rogue estuary approximately ½ mile upstream of Hwy 101.  

Fishing the Rogue River
Cole Tidwell and Jim Bittle participated in the Middle Rogue Steelheaders salmon derby last Saturday.
-Oregon Fish and Wildlife-

Rogue River, middle: steelhead, trout

Releases from Lost Creek Reservoir have dropped for the fall, and the flow at Grants Pass was 1190 cfs on Monday morning. The water temperature was averaging 61F, with a peak of 63F. Lots of summer steelhead are available, and fishing should be good. Always keep the fish in the water when looking for fin marks or taking photos and release fish quickly. Anglers are reminded that the area from Hog Creek boat landing to the Fishers Ferry is closed to the harvest of Chinook salmon starting October 1, 2014. 

Rogue River, upper: steelhead, trout

The artificial fly season is underway on the upper Rogue, and summer steelhead fishing should be good. Anglers may want to try nymph patterns, or a big stonefly pattern in combination with a smaller nymph, or standard steelhead patterns. Trout fishing should be very good as well. Anglers may keep up to five adipose fin-clipped rainbow trout per day. All other trout must be released unharmed. Always keep the fish in the water when looking for fin marks or taking photos and release fish quickly.

Releases from Lost Creek Reservoir have dropped for the fall. The release from Lost Creek Reservoir was 1080 cfs and the water temperature was 49°F the morning of September 29. The water temperature at Dodge Bridge was averaging about 53F with a peak of 56F. The water temperature at Gold Ray was averaging about 59F with a peak of 62F. As of Sept. 23, 1,251 summer steelhead had entered Cole Rivers Hatchery (78 new for the week), and over 631 had been returned to the fishery downstream at the Gold Hill boat ramp.

Rogue River, above Lost Creek Reservoir: trout

Trout are still available in the waters above Lost Creek Dam!  Fish stocking has ended for the year upstream of Lost Creek, but fishing remains open and should be very good. Anglers can fish bait like single salmon eggs or worms, or cast small spinners like a Panther Martin or Rooster tail, or let a fly drift downstream below a bobber. In addition to the stocked trout, naturally produced rainbow, cutthroat, brown, and brook trout are available in the river and in many tributaries. Plentiful trout, beautiful scenery, easy access, and an abundance of Forest Service campgrounds and day-use areas make this a great place to go trout fishing.


Rains last week opened the mouth of Sixes and a few Chinook have been moving in with the tides.

SMITH RIVER, Umpqua: steelhead, sturgeon, striped bass

Trout season closes in the Smith River basin Sept. 16. Fall Chinook will move up the Smith as fall progresses.


Closed to fishing.

TENMILE BASIN: yellow perch, largemouth bass

A blue green algae advisory has been issued for Tenmile Lakes. The lake remains open for fishing, but the Department of Human Services provides recommendations for how the public can protect themselves and their pets.

Yellow perch are biting on nightcrawlers or jigs tipped with a worm in Tenmile Lakes. Yellow perch will be moving towards the deep water (20 feet) and concentrating in big schools. Sometimes anglers need to try several spots before finding the bigger fish. There are lots of smaller yellow perch that anglers have to sort through to catch enough keepers for a meal. Some of the keeper yellow perch are over 12-inches long.

Largemouth bass fishing has been good. Most of the bass are being caught in deep water associated with cover like submerged logs or vegetation. Crankbaits and plastics like senkos or brushhogs have been working to catch bass. As the water temperatures cool the bass will move into shallower water will bite all day long.

TOKETEE LAKE: brown trout, rainbow trout

Fishing is open in Toketee year-round. The boat ramp is currently closed. For more information call the U.S. Forest Service at 541-498-2531.


Clearwater Forebay #2 received nice 14-inch trout in time for Labor Day. For brook trout anglers should try Cliff, Buckeye, Skookum (North Umpqua), Maidu, Twin and Wolf lakes. Linda, Pitt Lake, and Calamut have been stocked with a native rainbow for the last couple of years. Bullpup and Fuller still have brook trout, but were also recently stocked with some fingerling native rainbows.

Contact the Forest Service at 541-957-3200 for road and trail conditions. For information on road and campground closures due to fire, go to: under fire info, or

UMPQUA RIVER, MAINSTEM: steelhead, smallmouth bass, trout, Chinook

The mainstem Umpqua is closed to wild steelhead harvest, but remains open year-round for adipose fin-clipped steelhead. This fishery is primarily catch-and-release since the number of hatchery fish is relatively low compared to the number of wild fish. People interested in harvesting a steelhead should fish the North Umpqua for summer steelhead. Trout fishing in the tributaries to the mainstem closes Sept. 16. The mainstem will continue to be open for catch-and-release trout fishing through Oct. 31.

Smallmouth bass fishing is good, but the river level is low. Boaters will want to check flows or consider using rubber crafts. River Forks boat ramp will be closed for repairs until about Aug. 14. The mainstem Umpqua opens for catch and release trout on May 24. Tributaries are also open. Check regulations for harvest and gear restrictions.

Fall Chinook are moving upstream and are available for anglers. Chinook have been caught up to River Forks Park. There are fishing opportunities for both boat and bank anglers to catch Chinook along the mainstem.

The wild coho season on the Umpqua closes at 12:01 a.m. on Oct. 2.

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

Umpqua River flows near Elkton


Rock Creek Hatchery is once again open for visitors. The hatchery is open to visitors from 7:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. The new RockEd facility is lacking displays, but can be opened on request by calling the hatchery at 541-496-3484.

Remember all wild steelhead must be released unharmed. Anglers are getting some summer steelhead in the Narrows and Swiftwater areas. Steelhead are also up in the fly waters and anglers are fishing the area more. Trout fishing in the tributaries to the North closes Sept. 16. The mainstem of the North will continue to be open for catch-and-release trout fishing through Oct. 31.

Note that from Oct. 1 through June 30, fishing in the fly water area is restricted to a single barbless artificial fly which can be dressed with conventional fly tying material. Remember that from March 1 through July 31 the anti-snag gear restrictions apply on the North from the Lone Rock boat ramp upstream to the fly area boundary above Rock Creek. The Mainstem from Soda Springs Dam, including Soda Springs Reservoir, up to Slide Creek Dam is closed year-round to fishing.

North Umpqua River water levels at Winchester Dam

UMPQUA RIVER, SOUTH: trout, smallmouth bass

The South Umpqua is open for trout and smallmouth bass through Sept. 15. Check the regulations for gear and harvest restrictions. Water levels are low, so boaters will want to check the flows or consider using rubber rafts.

The South Umpqua will be closed for all fishing from Sept. 16 through Nov. 30.

Willow Lake
Boat ramp at Willow Lake,
Aug. 20, 2014
-Photo by Daniel Vandyke-

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

At 49 percent of capacity, Willow Lake has the most water among all irrigation reservoirs in the Rogue watershed to date. Fishing for all species should improve as the reservoir begins to cool.


The wild coho retention from the jetty to the Scottsburg Bridge opened Sept. 15, with a one per day, 2 in the aggregate limit. The season has a 2,000 coho quota, so will be open until the quota is filled or through Nov. 30. Harvest information will be posted regularly on the ODFW website.

Winchester Bay has been good for chinook and coho fishing in the ocean. The fish have entered the river too and good numbers and chinook are being caught up to Dean Creek. Some chinook are also already moving upstream.

Bank anglers at Half Moon Bay and Osprey Point are beginning to have good success.

The 2014 Crab Bounty Hunt is now running in Winchester Bay until 2 p.m., Sept. 30. A valid shellfish license is required and tagged crab need to be taken to the Sportsman Cannery to be registered. Fishing for bottomfish in the Triangle and South jetty has been successful. Crabbing has been good recently.


The river is closed to all fishing Aug. 1 to Dec. 31, 2014. The river was closed due a forecasted low return of fall Chinook salmon.

Back to the top

  Southwest Zone Hunting


Archery deer and elk seasons are now closed.

See the bird and big game hunting forecasts.

Snake River wolf
Gray Wolf from the Snake River Pack
-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. ODFW appreciates hunters’ assistance to establish wolves’ presence in Oregon; please report any wolf sightings or wolf sign to ODFW using the online reporting system.

Use the Oregon Hunting Map to see where to hunt.


Deer populations have been showing recovery in much of Coos County. General Rifle Deer season opens October 4th and runs through November 7th. Generally the best hunting for deer locally is found on private land such as those owned by timber companies. Because those lands are private hunters cannot assume they are all open to public access. Hunters should contact private land owners before accessing their lands because most private land was closed for hunting through most of the bow season because of fire concerns. Depending on fire danger some lands may still be closed to hunting. The best places will be near ridge tops and on a south slope where brush is growing that has not been overtaken be trees.

As the deer season progressed hunting on the coast generally improves because deer become more active. Hunting in the early season is beneficial, obviously because hunters may find a deer to harvest they but it is also beneficial from the standpoint of having opportunities to locate bucks to be hunted later in the season when conditions improve.

Grouse and Quail seasons opened September 1. This summer was a good one for grouse and quail production. Broods seemed to have survived well. However, the past several years of poor survival for these young birds has resulted in populations that are low and that will need several good years of reproductive success to rebound. Hunters will find the best hunting for both quail and grouse on closed roads on public land. Grouse will generally be found near streams and quail will generally be found neat ridge tops, with the exception of Valley quail which are usually found near agricultural lands.

Black Bear- General Bear season opened August 1. Bear populations are robust in much of Coos County and offer opportunities for hunting. Due to mild weather conditions this spring berry production is very good this summer. Bears will be taking advantage of that food source. Hunters should look for isolated berry stands where vehicle traffic from other people will not disturb bears from feeding on berries. Places like the ends on closed forest roads where berries are growing provide some of the best places to hunt bears that are feeding on them. Walking through these areas in the early morning or late evening or setting up tree stands near these areas are great ways to hunt bears on the Oregon coast.

Cougar hunting is open. Hunters can expect an average year. Cougars are abundant throughout with indicators pointing to stable or increasing numbers. Hunting cougar is a challenge because these animals are very secretive, but harvest success is greatest adjacent to private land with high deer populations using a predator call.


DEER - Western Oregon General Rifle season opens up on Saturday October 4, 2014. Deer populations are similar to last year. Hunters are reminded to obtain permission before hunting on private lands. Hunters should find deer on the northerly slopes and near water and green up areas. Check local fire restrictions due to fire danger before hunting

Elk - A few controlled elk hunts (Melrose and Elkton) are currently open.

Cougar season is open. Hunters can expect an average year. Cougars are abundant and widely distributed. Hunting success is best around high deer population areas using a predator call.

Bear – General bear season is currently open. Hunters can expect an average year. The dry weather conditions will concentrate bears near streams where foraging will be better.  Hunters should concentrate their efforts in the berry patches in early morning and late afternoon. Bear numbers are good with the highest numbers in the coast range, and with smaller populations in the Cascades. Successful bear hunters are reminded there is a mandatory check-in for all harvested bear within 10 days of harvest (see regulations for details).

Western Gray Squirrel – Currently open. Hunters can expect an average year. Squirrels are widely distributed throughout the county with good numbers in areas of oaks and conifers. Many areas of high squirrel populations are on private lands so hunters are reminded to ask for permission on these lands before hunting.

California Quail at EE Wilson

California Quail at EE Wilson
-Photo by Kathy Munsel-


Grouse & Quail - Hunters can expect an average hunt year with the season currently open. The overall 2014 brood/chick counts indicate average production so hunters should find good numbers of game birds out in the field.

Hunting availability and success for forest grouse should be good this year even though production was down. Blue grouse success is best in mid to high elevations of the Cascades in partly open conifer stands. Ruffed grouse can be found near creeks mostly at mid elevations of both the Cascades and Coast Range. A good place to hunt forest grouse is the Toketee area on the Umpqua Forest where many habitat improvement projects have created a great grouse hunting opportunity. Check with the Diamond Lake ranger station for details on the locations of these projects. Hunters that kill grouse are asked to drop off in a paper bag the frozen wing and tail of each grouse at the local ODFW office. Please use one bird per bag with each frozen bag of grouse parts including the species, sex, age, unit and general area of harvest for proper analysis.

Nesting season production was below average for California quail and Mountain quail, but hunting opportunity should still be good. Success is best in the lower elevation agricultural lands for California quail and mid-elevations of the Cascades and Coast Range near brushy clear cuts on secondary forest roads for Mountain quail. Hunters are also asked if they kill a mountain quail to drop off in a paper bag the frozen wing and tail of each mountain quail at the local ODFW office. Please use one bird per bag with each frozen bag of mountain quail parts including the species, sex, age, unit and general area of harvest for proper analysis.

Fall Turkey – The season is from Oct. 15 – Dec. 31. Hunters can expect a good year. The 2014 summer chick counts showed above average production with excellent carryover from the last year. Most turkeys are on or adjacent to low-mid elevation private lands associated with oak savannah habitat.


Mourning Doves - Hunters can expect an above average year. The dove season is currently open. Most mourning doves have not migrated south since no rains have occurred in the last few weeks so their numbers are currently high. In addition, keep in mind the non-migratory Eurasian collared doves numbers are on the increase throughout the state and our county, and they are NOT part of the mourning dove bag limit. Check the 2014 game bird regulations for details. Also, don’t forget to ask for permission from local landowners before hunting doves on private land.

Crow– Crow season is open. Hunters can expect an average year. Crow are abundant and widely distributed on the Umpqua Valley floor. Hunting crow is a challenge with most being on or adjacent to private lands.

WATERFOWL: The regular goose season opens Oct. 11th. Goose hunters can expect an average to above-average year. Hunting for resident geese in Douglas County should be very good because of an excellent production again this year. Nearly all goose hunting in the Umpqua Valley is on private property and hunters should obtain landowner permission before hunting.


Furbearers – Harvest season is currently closed but pursuit season is currently open for bobcat, fox and raccoon.


Denman Wildlife Area: Remember to get your parking permit. Hunters get the permit free with their purchase of an annual hunting license. Display on car dash.

Bear general season opened August 1. Hunters can expect another average year. Bear numbers continue to be abundant. The Applegate unit has one of the highest harvests for the fall season in the state for the past several years. With hot dry weather which is typical for this time of year, bears will be found around cooler wet drainages. As the berry crops become ripe hunters should locate these areas to find bears. The best times to look for bears are in the early morning and late evenings. Successful bear hunters are reminded there is a mandatory check-in for all harvested bear within 10 days of harvest (see regulations for details).

Youth Elk season started August 1 for units in our area and runs to the end of December. This is a great opportunity for the youth to harvest an elk. These hunts are designed to provide young hunters with a safe, well supervised, low-stress setting where they can enjoy the hunt while building fundamental skills. Remember youth must wear hunter orange.

Deer rifle season opens October 4. Black tailed deer populations in Jackson, Josephine and Curry counties remain strong. The end of last year’s season showed a good buck ratio with high fawn ratios. This season will again be dependent on weather conditions. Because of the calendar year, season is set back a week potentially providing cooler temperatures. However we have recently been observing mortalities due to Adenovirus (ADHD), this is a natural disease that only affects deer and it could have some impact on hunting seasons in areas where natural mortality has occurred. We would like to hear from hunters this season if they have found dead deer in the woods. Black-tailed deer in Jackson County mostly migrate from high elevation to lower elevations of the valley floor. Migration usually occurs during the early part of the season and by the late season portion they have moved into their winter range. Although there is a growing population of deer that remain in the valley floor, hunters need to be aware of private property. In Josephine and Curry Counties deer migrate very little and hunters can find deer at all elevations. This year we have a good acorn crop, deer will take advantage of the acorns in our late fall season. Campfires are now allowed outside of campgrounds.

Elk bow season closed September 28. Cascade elk season will be later this year; this could provide a cooler hunt. From our spring elk surveys we had good bull ratios. Season should be average for the hunters. Due to the typical hot weather for our area elk are likely to be found in higher elevation or areas of cooler draws where they can retreat to in the heat of the day. Known water sources or wallow can be good location to start your hunting activities. With the high temperatures it is very important to take quick care of your downed animal and get it cooled off as soon as possible. Fire levels are set at high, which imposes restrictions on camp fires and vehicle activities. Check local Forest Service and State Forest web sites for updated fire restrictions. State forestry lists all private timber land closures.

Migratory Dove - New regulation changes allow for 15 doves and season goes to October 30. Dove season is very weather dependent—when the weather is hot the doves tend to be here; if it’s cold they tend to move to warmer climates. Hunters can expect a fair season for doves. Eurasian collared doves are continuing to increase in abundance and are found statewide. The Eurasian collared doves look similar to mourning doves but are considerably larger in size. These new arrivals, which are not native to the state, have no bag limit and can be hunted year round.

Grouse and Quail - Both mountain quail and forest grouse numbers are higher this year due to the mild spring, so hunters can expect a good year. Forest grouse can be found in timbered creek draws and mountain quail will be found in brushy clear cuts near water. A good bird dog will aid greatly in bird retrieval.

Fee Pheasant - Season opens September 22 – October 10. Opening day typically will have many pheasants left over after youth hunt. Pheasants will be released every night during the season. A total of 400 pheasants are set aside for the fee hunt. Parking permits need to be displayed in vehicle window when on the area. Remember to validate your tag while in the field.

Cougar season is open statewide year-round or until zone quotas are met. Hunters are encouraged to carry a cougar tag while hunting other animals; you never know when an opportunity will come available. Most cougar hunters’ success comes from predator calls.

Western Gray Squirrel season remains open year round with no bag limit in that part of the Rogue Unit south of Rogue River and S. Fork Rogue River and North of Hwy 140. Squirrels can be found in oak or mixed conifer stands. This is a great animal to hunt for first time hunters.

Coyotes are abundant in our area. Remember to ask for permission to hunt on private lands. This is the time of years rancher will welcome hunters to come onto their property to take coyotes that are cause problems with live stock.

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 Southwest Zone Viewing

Pigeon Guillemot

Pigeon Guillemot
-Photo by Kathy Munsel, ODFW-


Sea Birds

Birds that are here for foraging include California brown pelicans, cormorants and Western grebes. Great places to watch these birds and their activities are Coos Bay, near Charleston and the Coquille Bay near the harbor in Bandon. Feeding birds can be seen diving on baitfish in the bay and sometimes working in unison to corral fish near shore. Occasionally other animals get in on the action when foraging birds have located baitfish. Seals, sea lions, porpoise, and even whales will go after these fish as birds are mounting attacks from above.

Marine Mammals

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

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


Shorebird migration is in full swing. A large variety of birds can be found in local bays and along beaches. Bandon Marsh National Wildlife Refuge is probably the best place in Coos County to see these birds. The Bandon Marsh Unit is located immediately north of Bandon and is probably the best part of the refuge to visit for shore bird observation. Otherwise mud flats in Coos Bay, Winchester Bay (Douglas County) and the Coquille Bay are great places to check. 9/16/14.


Mourning Dove

Mourning Doves
- Photo by Maxine Wyatt-

Mourning Doves

Mourning doves are found throughout the valley where ever there are open grain fields and roosting trees with plenty of water. They are a fast flying, graceful, wing whistling birds. They feed on small seeds of weeds and various grains. A species that is similar but larger and is not a native of our area is the Eurasian collared dove. They are seen around residential areas and have known to visit bird feeders. They have similar behavior habits.

Turkeys and grouse

Young turkeys and grouse are now being seen throughout the area. Hens are often seen near roadways in low elevation for turkeys and higher timber areas for grouse. Look carefully when around the adults for movement or grass moving which indicates young.

Denman Wildlife Area

Hunting season starts Sept. 1 on the Denman Wildlife Area and will go into February. Other recreational users are encouraged to wear bright orange or other bright colored clothing and to stick to the trail systems. Be aware of hunters while watching the wildlife on the area.

Denman Wildlife Area has had an increase of hawks, accipiters and buteos. Many Northern Harriers, Red-tailed hawks, and Rough-legged hawks have been seen hunting throughout the valley.


Vaux Swifts

Vaux Swifts can be observed at Fir Grove Park, downtown Roseburg and other areas gathering for their annual fall migration at dusk. Look for the awesome aerial displays the last hour of daylight with congregating swifts flying in concentrations forming large vortex's before dropping into the top of their night roosting site.

Migrating Birds

Many species of birds are starting their southward migration so look for species congregating at roosts and feeders or in the air just before or during migration. Some migratory species to watch are: ospreys, turkey vultures, swifts, swallows, cedar waxwings, and some species of flycatchers, warblers, finches and shorebirds.

Western Pond Turtles can be seen basking in the late summer sun in local ponds (Stewart Park) and reservoirs (Cooper Creek, Galesville, Berry Creek. Plat I, etc.).

Turkey Vultures

Over the next two weeks, the remaining turkey vultures will migrate south. The vultures migrate in large groups (called a “kettle” of vultures) from 12 to 500 with the average being around 40 by riding hot air updrafts and southern thermals late in the afternoons. You can observe the migration by looking very high in the sky in the afternoon to see a kettle of vultures soaring on the thermals heading south.

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