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Weekly Recreation Report: Southwest Zone

August 23, 2016

 Southwest Zone Fishing

Weekend fishing opportunities:

  • Fall Chinook fishing in the lower Umpqua is beginning to pick up.
  • Anglers can now fish for salmon with a second rod in most SW Zone streams through Oct. 31 if they purchase a two-rod endorsement for $21.50. News release.
  • Anglers trolling the Rogue Bay have been picking up Chinook on a regular basis, and the Chinook have been big this year, with a lot of fish in the upper 20s.
  • Summer steelhead fishing has been good on the middle and upper Rogue. Fall and Spring Chinook are also available, and trout fishing should be good.
  • Surf perch fishing continues to be good off the sand spit at the mouth of the Rogue River.
  • The Rogue River above Lost Creek Reservoir provides an excellent escape from the valley heat and offers excellent fishing and camping opportunities, with 2,375 trout stocked weekly from Memorial Day through Labor Day.
  • Though spring Chinook angling has ended on the North Umpqua, summer steelhead angling has been decent.
  • Fishing for trout continues to be good at Lost Creek Reservoir for trollers, but fish are now deeper. Bank anglers will want to fish near the spillway as this is the best access to fish in deeper water. Fish should be moving above the Hwy 62 Bridge with warming lake surface temperatures.
  • Diamond Lake trout fishing has been good.
  • Warmwater fishing should be good in many of the reservoirs surrounding the Rogue Valley.
  • Bottom-fishing as well as surf perch fishing has been good at Winchester Bay.
  • Bass fishing in Tenmile Lakes and on the Coquille River have been heating up the past couple of weeks.

Please check online regulations for the most up-to-date information.

If your favorite fishing spot is no longer listed

It could be the area is closed, inaccessible due or currently offers limited fishing opportunities. These water bodies will return to the recreation report when conditions change. If you believe something is missing, contact us and we’ll find out why.

2016 trout stocking schedules

For detailed information about when and where hatchery trout are going to be released, please refer to the 2016 ODFW Trout Stocking Schedules page.

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: largemouth bass, black crappie, bluegill, bullheads

Fishing for warmwater gamefish should be good, with the best fishing occurring early and late in the day for bass. Night crawlers and crappie jigs should work well throughout the day. The lake is 44 percent full and the boat ramp is open from dawn until dusk.

APPLEGATE RESERVOIR: largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, trout

Fishing is slow for trout with dropping reservoir levels and warming summer surface temps. Trout anglers will want to try trolling, with a good bet being a wedding ring/bait combination early in the morning. Fishing with bait from shore in the upper reservoir should also produce. Smallmouth and largemouth bass fishing should be good on small and regular Senkos fished off the points and boulder areas. The lake is 45 percent full. The Hart-Tish, Copper, and French Gulch boat ramps are available. Hart-Tish is probably the most accessible boat ramp at this point with the lowering reservoir level, however all three are still operable.

APPLEGATE RIVER: steelhead, trout

The Applegate River is open for trout angling. Two hatchery trout may be harvested per day. Wild trout must be released unharmed. Trout over 16 inches are considered steelhead in streams and must be tagged. Flow out of Applegate Reservoir on Aug. 23 was 334 cfs and 56°F.

ARIZONA POND: rainbow trout

The pond has been lowered to help control aquatic vegetation. This pond is managed by Oregon State Parks for youth-only fishing. It is located at Arizona Beach State Recreation Area, approximately half way between Gold Beach and Port Orford.

Ben Irving Reservoir
Ben Irving Reservoir
-Photo by Rick Swart, ODFW-

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

Ben Irving has been stocked with 4,000 legal trout this year, and there are still opportunities to catch rainbows from previous year stockings. Warmwater fishing for bass, crappie and bluegill should be productive. Try using soft-plastics and swimbaits around structure for positive results.


Anglers willing to venture into some of the bigger tributaries are finding some nice cutthroat. Before heading out, be sure to pick up a Forest Service map, either in Gold Beach or Brookings.

COOPER CREEK RESERVOIR: rainbow trout, bass, bluegill

Cooper Creek has been stocked with approximately 8,500 legals and 100 “pounder” size rainbow trout in 2016. Fishing for bass and bluegill should be productive. Dropping soft plastics in clear areas among weeds should yield positive results.


Fishing for largemouth bass and bluegills is best in mornings and late evenings. Bass will be found in a little deeper water associated with cover, like weedlines or other structure. Bluegill fishing has been good with many fish found in or near shallow water. Plastic worms, shallow crankbaits, topwater lures, and spinner baits are good to use for bass. Bluegills will bite on worms, small jigs, or flies.

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

Angling is restricted to artificial flies and lures in streams above tidewater until Aug. 31.

A few Chinook salmon have been caught by anglers trolling near the chip pile all the way up to SOMAR on the Coos River. Trolling cut plug herring behind a flasher near the bottom is a good way to catch salmon. This is the beginning of the Chinook salmon run in Coos Bay.

Anglers have been catching a few rockfish along the jetties and submerged rock piles. The marine fish daily bag limit for bottom fish (rockfish) is seven fish and a separate daily limit for lingcod (two). Anglers can only keep 3 blue rockfish and 1 canary rockfish as part of their daily limit and there will be no harvest of China, quillback, or copper rockfish. Retention of one cabezon per day is allowed as of July 1.

Crabbing has been decent for those crabbing from a boat with the best crabbing near high tide. There has been a mixture of hard shell and soft shell crab in the catch. It is still recommended you discard the crab viscera (guts/butter) before cooking.

Recreational harvest of bay clams remains open along the entire Oregon coast. 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.

Recreational harvest of razor clams is closed from the north jetty of the Siuslaw River south to the California border due to elevated levels of domoic acid. This includes all beaches and all bays. Before any shellfish harvest trip, make sure to check the Oregon Department of Agriculture website for any updates.

COQUILLE RIVER BASIN: crab, smallmouth bass, salmon

Angling is restricted to artificial flies and lures in streams above tidewater until Aug. 31, except the use of bait is currently allowed on the South Fork Coquille.

Anglers have been trolling for Chinook salmon on the lower Coquille River from the Highway 101 Bridge to Rocky Point. A few salmon have been caught but overall fishing has been slow.

Fishing for smallmouth bass has been good in the mainstem and South Fork Coquille. Jigs, crawdad crankbaits, and nightcrawlers will all work to catch smallmouth bass.

Crabbing has been decent for boat crabbers across from Bandon in the lower Coquille. Crabbing will continue to improve in the next few months. It is still recommended you discard the crab viscera (guts/butter) before cooking.

Diamond Lake
Diamond Lake
-Oregon Fish and Wildlife-


As part of the new regulation simplification process, Diamond Lake is now back to the Southwest Zone regulation of 5 trout/day.

Anglers that are planning on taking a trip to Diamond Lake should check with the Umpqua National Forest (541-498-2531) or Diamond Lake Resort for information on seasonal camp and ramp closures.

Fishing has been decent. Most anglers have had success using Powerbait or trolling small lures. Diamond Lake was stocked with around 300,000 fingerling rainbow trout in early June, and there are plenty of legal-sized holdover trout currently in the lake. Diamond Lake was stocked with Tiger Trout in early June. These fish are intended to assist in controlling illegally introduced Tui Chub. Tiger Trout are catch-and-release only and need to be released immediately unharmed.

Anglers can check fishing and water conditions at Diamond Lake on the Diamond Lake Resort website, or call their toll free number at 1-800-733-7593, ext. 5 for updates. Water quality has diminished on the south end of the lake. There are no current water quality warnings for the lake. Please contact Oregon DEQ with questions at 541-686-7838.

ELK RIVER: Cutthroat

Cutthroat are spread throughout the river but access is very limited in the lower river.

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

Fishing for bass, crappie, and other warmwater fish should be good. Look for these species around the flooded willows and other structure along the shore early and late in the day. With dropping reservoir levels and warming surface temperatures, trout fishing should be slow. Emigrant Reservoir is currently at 42 percent of capacity.

EXPO POND: rainbow trout, largemouth bass, bluegill, black crappie

Fishing for largemouth bass, bluegill, black and crappie should be good in the morning and evening. Trout fishing has been slow. Some carp are being caught by anglers using corn as bait. Water temperatures have been in the mid-70’s by 10 a.m.

Construction of the new RV park is now complete and anglers can again access the Expo Ponds. Access from Gate 1.5 will get you to the southernmost pond, which was stocked earlier this year with rainbow trout. Gate 5, which leads to the RV park is now open as well. A day use fee to park here is now $4. An annual parking permit can be purchased from Jackson County Parks Department for $30.

FISH LAKE: rainbow trout, brook trout, spring Chinook

Water clarity at Fish Lake has been improving, but algae is still present. The reservoir is now at 41 percent full and submerged stumps are beginning to show. Anglers are encouraged to report catches and send photos of larger spring Chinook or tiger trout to the local ODFW district office at 541-826-8774. Tiger trout must be released unharmed.

FLORAS LAKE: rainbow, cutthroat trout

Warmer water and increased vegetation growth has slowed trout fishing. Best times to fish is early morning or late evening. The best method for catching trout is slow trolling flies or wedding ring spinners from a boat. Bank access is limited. This lake can be very windy. Anglers should check the weather before heading out.

Anglers can launch at an improved boat ramp at Boice Cope County Park. 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 RESERVOIR: rainbow trout, bass, coho smolts

In addition to trout, the reservoir has also been stocked with coho smolts for the last few years and there have been reports of them being caught in good numbers on the lake. Many people mistakenly think these fish are kokanee. The coho smolts should be adipose fin-clipped, and please 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 legal size trout and 50 trophy trout over five pounds each this year.

Fishing for bass and other panfish with the use of bait and artificial lures such as swimbaits around structure should give positive results. Call 541-837-3302 for information on camping and boat launching conditions.

GARRISON LAKE: rainbow, cutthroat trout

Fishing is slow.

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

Anglers fishing the high lakes in the Umpqua District are encouraged to e-mail fishing reports. Contact the Forest Service at 541-496-3532 for road conditions.

Hemlock Lake has been stocked with approximately 6,000 legal size plus rainbow trout so far in 2016, and Lake in the Woods has been stocked with approximately 1,000 legal size plus rainbow trout as well. In addition, there are still opportunities to catch holdover rainbow trout that were stocked in previous years. Remember only trout over 8-inches may be harvested, and only one trout over 20-inches may be kept per day.

The bass were biting last weekend at Howard Prairie Reservoir! Tanya Haight of Gold Hill had the catch of the day with this doozey of a largemouth bass she landed during a social outing of the Rogue / Southern Oregon Flyfishers.
-Photo by David Haight-


Fishing for trout has been fair and should improve as temperatures cool down a bit. The lake is now 54 percent full. Visibility in the lake is down due to algae in the lake but not thick enough to significantly affect fishing. With dropping lake elevation, boaters should be aware of submerged stumps and islands posing a hazard particularly around Buck Island. Not all water hazards can be marked with dropping reservoir levels. For best results under these conditions, get an early start when the fish are more active. Try using a threaded nightcrawler under a bobber or powerbait fished off the bottom. When water clarity is good, trolling with a wedding ring/bait combination and sliding sinker is a tried and true method on this lake. Legal-sized trout have been stocked to complement trout stocked last year and a good number of 15-20 inch holdovers. Boat access at the Marina and Willow Point ramps are still in good condition, but the floating dock at Klum only has probably another week or two left.

This past weekend anglers caught mostly smallmouth bass, however some trout were caught. A local fly angler, Tanya Haight of Gold Hill, caught a doozey of a largemouth bass on a recent joint Rogue Flyfishers/Southern Oregon Flyfishers social outing.

HYATT LAKE: rainbow trout

During this time of year, fishing for trout is best in the morning, and in water 25-35 feet deep. Stocked legals and some trophy trout are still being caught. Anglers fishing from shore will want to concentrate on the deeper water near the dam if they are targeting trout. Fishing for largemouth bass has been good. The reservoir is 48 percent full. The Cascade boat ramp is still operational, but the dock is completely out of the water. Users are advised to launch at their own risk.

ILLINOIS RIVER: trout, steelhead

The Illinois River is open for trout angling. Since only hatchery trout may be retained, and hatchery trout are not likely to be to be found in the Illinois River at this time of year, fishing will be primarily catch-and-release for the native cutthroat trout.

LAKE MARIE: rainbow trout, yellow perch

Lake Marie has been stocked with 5,000 legal trout this year. Most anglers use PowerBait or worms. Perch fishing has been somewhat slow, but should continue to be productive for those using worms on the bottom.

LAKE SELMAC: trout, largemouth bass, bluegill, crappie

Trout fishing should be very slow with warm water this time of year. Under these conditions, good techniques include crappie jigs, worms under a bobber, and flies retrieved slowly behind a casting bubble (fished a couple of feet below the surface).

Bass fishing is also good right now with crank baits or top water lures in the morning, and tube jigs and plastics fished near submerged vegetation as the day goes on. Only one bass may be harvested per day at Lake Selmac.

LEMOLO RESERVOIR: brown trout, rainbow trout, kokanee

This reservoir is stocked several times a year with rainbow trout of various sizes, and the lake has been stocked with 3,000 rainbow trout so far in 2016.

There are also excellent opportunities to catch large brown trout in Lemolo with many anglers having luck trolling in deeper areas of the reservoir or casting spinners from shore.

Kokanee in Lemolo are considered trout and therefore fall under the daily limit for trout of 5 per day and 1 over 20 inches. Contact Lemolo Lake Resort at 541-957-8354 for weather/road conditions and additional information.

LOON LAKE: rainbow trout, bass, bluegill

Loon Lake has been stocked with 7,500 legal size rainbow trout this year. The lake should offer decent fishing for crappie, bluegill and bass. Anglers should use slow presentations with lures or bait for best results as water temperatures increase.

Visit the BLM and Loon Lake Resort websites for information on opening dates and camping this summer.

Fishing at Lost Creek
Fishing at Lost Creek
-Photo by Dan VanDyke-

LOST CREEK: rainbow trout, bass

Trout fishing is slowing, but still relatively good at Lost Creek. Water temperatures heated up this past week but trout are still being caught. Trollers have caught fish along the dam, along the shoreline to the right of the marina, and upstream of the Hwy. 62 Bridge trolling with a wedding ring. Bank anglers are catching fish near the Takelma ramp and near the marina and spillway using Powerbait or threading a nightcrawler below a bobber. Fishing for largemouth bass and smallmouth bass should also be good. The lake is 65 percent full, and the lake surface temperature was 73oF on Aug. 23.

MEDCO POND: rainbow trout, largemouth bass, bluegill

Fishing for largemouth bass and bluegill should be good. Small night crawlers fished under a bobber from shore should produce bluegill throughout the day. Plastics actively fished close to submerged vegetation is not a bad method for bass. Early evenings should have a good bass bite.

Remember that many warmwater species can be found close to shore near structure, and it is possible to cast out too far to catch fish.

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

Recreational harvest of crab is open along the entire Oregon Coast. It is still recommended you discard the crab viscera (guts/butter) before cooking.

Razor clamming is closed south of the north jetty of the Siuslaw River.

Recreational ocean salmon fishing from Cape Falcon to Humbug Mt. is open for Chinook salmon. Anglers are allowed two salmon per day with a minimum size for Chinook at 24 inches or larger. The non-selective coho season does not open until Sept. 3.

The Nearshore Halibut season is open seven days a week from Cape Falcon to Humbug Mt. As of Aug. 14, 18 percent of the nearshore quota remains. The Summer All-Depth Halibut season is nearing the quota. Please monitor the marine zone updates for season information.

Fishing for bottom fish is now closed outside of a line approximating the 20-fathom curve.

Fishing for black rockfish has been good from Coos Bay south to Bandon. Fishing for ling cod has been decent. The marine fish daily bag limit is seven fish and a separate daily limit for lingcod (two). Anglers can only keep 3 blue rockfish and 1 canary rockfish as part of their daily limit and there will be no harvest of China, quillback, or copper rockfish. Anglers may harvest one cabezon per day.

To help anglers identify common species and comply with the regulations, ODFW has produced several sheets of ID Tips for blue vs. black rockfish and for China, copper and quillback rockfish, as well as a handout titled “What Can I Keep, and How Many?”

PLAT I RESERVOIR: rainbow trout, bass

Plat I has been stocked with 4,500 legal size trout this year. In addition to trout fishing, the lake also has good bass fishing. Anglers may have success catching trout and bass with bait such as PowerBait and nightcrawlers where access is available.

Some of the trout may 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.
REINHART POND: trout, largemouth bass, bluegill

Angling for bass and other warmwater gamefish should be fair. It will be a warm weekend, so best advice is to fish early or late.


Rogue River, lower: steelhead, half pounders, fall Chinook, surf perch

Salmon fishing has been excellent in the Rogue Bay. The majority of fish are being caught below the Hwy 101 Bridge, but as river temperatures cool anglers will find fish spread throughout the bay. The Chinook have been big this year, with a lot of fish in the upper 20s.

Half Pounder steelhead started showing up this week. Half pounders are immature steelhead that return to the Rogue this time of year and run 12 to 15 inches. These fish will return back to the ocean in the spring. Anglers can do well fishing spinners or casting flies in the riffles.

rogue river
Rogue River
-ODFW Photo-

Rogue River, middle: Chinook salmon, steelhead, trout

Summer steelhead are available and fishing has been good on nightcrawlers, spinners, and side drifted roe. Additional fall Chinook have been starting to move upstream. The past week’s pulse of water from Lost Creek Lake has dropped the temperature of the mainstem Rogue to give the Chinook that have been moving through the canyon below Grants Pass relief from high water temperatures. Anglers are able to keep both hatchery and wild Chinook per zone regulations from Hog Creek to Fishers Ferry through Sept. 30. Sardine wrapped kwickfish/flatfish or plugs should pick up moving fish. Anglers can continue angling for hatchery and wild Chinook between the Fishers Ferry and Dodge Bridge reach through Aug. 31.

The Rogue River is open to trout angling. Only hatchery trout can be retained. Wild trout must be released unharmed. Trout over 16 inches are considered steelhead in streams and must be tagged as part of the daily salmon/steelhead catch as per zone regulations.

The flow at Grants Pass as of Tuesday at noon, Aug. 23, was 2210 cfs., The water temperature was fluctuating between 62oF and 66oF. For those interested in checking conditions before getting on the river, the City of Grants Pass Water Division’s website offers information on river conditions at Grants Pass as well as a link to a river camera.

Rogue River, upper: Chinook salmon, steelhead, trout

As of August 1, all Chinook angling is closed from Cole Rivers Hatchery downstream to Dodge Bridge, as per zone regulations. Anglers are still able to retain wild and hatchery Chinook downstream of Dodge Bridge through the month of August. Anglers are catching Chinook by drifting or back-bouncing bait or drift-bobbers, or backtrolling quickfish.

Anglers have been doing well on summer steelhead, but with the warmer stream temperatures experienced lower in the system, not as many new fish have been moving upriver, as evidence by the drop in new hatchery fish entering Cole Rivers Hatchery. However, there are still fish in the upper river, and the fishery should continue to improve over the next few weeks. Anglers can keep two hatchery steelhead per day.

Trout fishing has been good. Anglers can keep five hatchery rainbow trout per day. Non-adipose fin-clipped rainbow trout and all cutthroat trout must be immediately released unharmed. Track the fish returns to Cole Rivers Fish Hatchery by the collection pond tally.

As of Aug. 17, a total of 2,242 spring Chinook have been collected at Cole Rivers, with 75 new arrivals for the week. A total of 1,312 early run summer steelhead have also entered the hatchery, with 61 new fish entering for the week. The flow at Gold Ray was 2,310 cfs at noon on Aug. 23, and the water temperature was fluctuating between 58 and 64 degrees daily. The average release from Lost Creek Reservoir was 2204 cfs at 56oF on Aug. 23.

Rogue River, above Lost Creek Reservoir: trout

The premier summer trout fishery in the Rogue watershed is the river upstream of Lost Creek Reservoir. The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife is stocking legal-sized rainbow trout each week in the Rogue River upstream of Lost Creek Reservoir. Trout are stocked at most of the campgrounds and bridge crossings between Prospect and Minnehaha Creek.

This area offers good trout fishing, easy access, beautiful scenery, numerous Forest Service campgrounds, and cooler temperatures making this a great destination throughout the week and weekends. Spinners tipped with nightcrawler, or fished by themselves work great up here. It is also a good place for the novice fly angler to try their luck at nymph fishing under an indicator.

SMITH RIVER, Umpqua: striped bass, trout, Chinook salmon

Angling is restricted to artificial flies and lures above tidewater. Retention of adipose fin-clipped steelhead is allowed in tidewater. Sturgeon fishing is catch-and-release only. The daily limit for striped bass is 2 per 24 hour period. Trout is catch-and-release up to Sisters Creek. Chinook opened Aug. 1 in the North Fork up to Johnson Creek and in the mainstem up to Spencer Creek.


TENMILE BASIN: trout, bass, yellow perch

Tenmile Lake
Tenmile Lake
-Photo by Rick Swart, ODFW-

Trout fishing has been slow in Tenmile Lakes due to warm water. Trout anglers should fish in the deep water and fishing is usually best in the mornings.
Largemouth bass fishing has been good over the past month. Anglers are catching bass near structure or on the deep end of the weed lines using spinner baits, jigs, or rubber worms. Top water lures have been effective in the early mornings or evenings.

Fishing for yellow perch has been slow in Tenmile Lakes. Anglers fishing along the edge of the weedlines are having the best success. Worms fished near the lake bottom work very well for catching yellow perch.

The water level in the lakes is very low so boat anglers should use caution.

TOKETEE LAKE: brown trout, rainbow trout

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


Contact the Forest Service at 541-957-3200 for road and trail conditions. Red Top Pond, which offers excellent bank fishing opportunities, has been stocked with 1,500 legal size plus rainbow trout so far in 2016. In addition, there should be plenty of holdover legal-sized trout from previous stockings in those waterbodies. Anglers fishing the high lakes in the Umpqua District are encouraged to e-mail fishing reports.

UMPQUA RIVER, MAINSTEM: steelhead, trout

The mainstem Umpqua is closed to wild steelhead harvest, but remains open year-round for adipose fin-clipped steelhead.

Please note the changes in regulations this year on page 33 of the 2016 Oregon Sport Fishing Regulations booklet. On the Main, anglers can harvest 2 wild spring Chinook per day and up to 5 wild springers from Feb. 1 – June 30. From July 1– Dec. 31, you can harvest 2 wild Chinook per day, and in combination with the other salmon/ steelhead recorded on your salmon tag, up to 20 fish total. Fin-clipped hatchery fish can be recorded on a separate hatchery harvest tag that is available. There is no limit on the number of hatchery tags that can be purchased. Daily limits still apply.

Chinook fishing has been picking up in the tidewater portions of the mainstem.

Smallmouth bass angling should offer excellent harvest opportunities with warmer water temperatures.

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.

Trout fishing is catch-and-release only in the mainstem; open for retention in the tributaries.

UMPQUA RIVER, NORTH: steelhead, trout

Chinook fishing on the North Umpqua closed on June 30. Summer steelhead angling has slowed down. Please remember all wild steelhead must be released unharmed.

Note that from Oct. 1 through Dec. 31 and Jan. 1 through June 30, fishing in the fly water area is restricted to fly angling only with a single barbless fly. Per the new regulation on page 31, 32 of the 2016 Oregon Sport Fishing Regulations booklet, from Feb. 1 – June 30, two wild Chinook per day can be harvested. Ten wild Chinook may be harvested in the North during this time frame in aggregate with wild Chinook harvested in the Main.

North Umpqua River water levels at Winchester Dam


Trout fishing is catch-and-release only in the South Umpqua and tributaries. Bass fishing should be good with warmer water temperatures.
Willow Lake
Willow Lake
-Photo by Rick Swart, ODFW-

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

Fishing for warm water species should be good early and late in the day. Trout fishing should be slow with the warm water. With the lake warming up, fishing will likely be best early and late in the day with active techniques such as crank baits. Fishing with a nightcrawler under a bobber should be produce throughout the day, and is a great way and easy way to get youngsters in on the action. Anglers are encouraged to keep small stunted yellow perch with no limits on this species. As of Aug. 23, all boat ramps at Willow Lake are still accessible.

WINCHESTER BAY: bottomfish, perch

Fishing for bottom fish in the Triangle and South jetty has been successful.


Cutthroat are spread throughout the river, but the best access is the Oregon State Park property located on the North side of the estuary, or upriver off of Forest Service property.

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  Southwest Zone Hunting

Howling Wolf


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.


Deer/Elk- Bow seasons for deer and elk open Aug. 27. Populations of both are such that hunting should be good. Weather conditions have not been particularly favorable, however. Considering the lack of rain recently and windy conditions fire concerns are rising for timber land owners. Also, in recent months ownership transfers between timber companies have resulted it new companies owning properties in Coos County. Hunters need to research lands they want to hunt and determine who owns the land. There is a good chance hunters will be dealing with companies they have not dealt with before. These companies will likely have different access policies than prior landowners.

Black Bear – The fall hunting season began Aug. 1 and will run through Dec. 31. Early season hunters should target berries patches and riparian areas where bears may concentrate foraging efforts. Early mornings and late evenings will see the majority of bear activity but individual animals can be found throughout the day. A word of caution to hunters, with large changes in private timber ownership throughout the county users need to be aware that access to many areas may have changed. Please contact the appropriate landowners for more information.

Coyote - Numbers are strong throughout Coos County. Using predator calls to lure them in can be an effective method for harvesting coyotes. Try calling in early morning and late afternoon. Be sure to ask permission before hunting on private land.

Cougar - 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.


Black Bear
Black Bear
-Oregon Fish and Wildlife-

Elk - A few controlled elk hunts opened Aug. 1. Bow season opens up Aug. 27. Elk populations are similar to last year so this hunting year will be average. During the early part of the archery season, hunters should find elk on the northerly slopes and in dense conifer stands. Elk numbers are highest in the Tioga with lower levels in the Dixon, S. Indigo and Melrose units.

Deer - Bow season opens up Aug. 27. Deer populations are similar to last year, with low levels at upper elevations and high population levels on the Umpqua Valley floor. Most low elevation lands are privately owned so hunters are reminded to obtain permission before hunting on those lands. During the early part of the archery season, hunters should find deer on the northerly slopes and near water and green up areas.

Cougar – The cougar season is currently 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.

Coyote - Numbers are strong throughout Douglas County. Using predator calls to lure them in can be an effective method for harvesting coyotes. Try calling in early morning and late afternoon. Be sure to ask permission before hunting on private land.

Black Bear – General bear season is open. Hunters can expect an average year. The dry weather conditions will concentrate bears near streams where foraging will be better. Glass clear cuts and meadows early mornings and late evenings to find bears taking advantage of food sources. Bear numbers are good with the highest numbers in the coast range, and with smaller populations in the Cascades.

Western Gray Squirrel – Squirrel season opens Aug. 27. 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.

Grouse & Quail - Hunters can expect an average hunt year with the season opening Sept. 1. Hunting availability and success for forest grouse should be good this year. 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. For quail, 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 that kill grouse and Mountain quail 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.

Mourning Doves - Hunters can expect an average year. The dove season opens up on Sept. 1. 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.


Deer: Archery deer season begins on Aug. 27. There was a slight increase in the hunter success rate last year compared to 2014. This upcoming 2016 season should be good as well. Remember that deer in the Dixon, Rogue, and Evans Creek unit typically are at high elevations during the summer and as fall approaches they migrate down to lower elevations; however there are resident deer on the valley floor year round. In the Applegate and Chetco units deer that are present at higher elevations usually only move when pushed out by severe weather. Remember when heading out this archery season that many areas here in Southwest Oregon are at a fire danger level of Extreme which imposes restrictions based on the land you are hunting on. Visit the US Forest Service or Oregon Department of Forestry websites for more information.

Elk: General Archery Elk season opens Aug. 27 for any elk in the Applegate unit and lands outside of the US Forest Service’s National Forest boundaries in the Rogue, Dixon, and Evans Creek units. Within the National Forest boundaries in the Rogue, Dixon, and Evans Creek unit as well as the entire Chetco and Sixes units hunting is restricted to bull elk only. Always refer to the 2016 Oregon Big Game Hunting Regulation before heading out to hunt. This is expected to be an average harvest year with a slight increase in hunter success in 2015 compared to previous years. During the first part of the season when the weather is warmer look for elk in the cooler drainages as well as on north facing slopes. Finding and sitting on active wallows and other water sources can be very productive in hot weather. Remember when heading out this archery season that many areas here in Southwest Oregon are at a fire danger level of Extreme which imposes restrictions based on the land you are hunting on. Visit the US Forest Service or Oregon Department of Forestry websites for more information.

Bear: Fall black bear season started August 1. Hunters can expect another good year. The Applegate unit has historically had some of the highest harvest in the state so focus your efforts there, however the Rogue and Evans Creek can also be very productive. Huckleberry patches at high elevations are doing very good this year; look for bears feeding in these areas in early morning and late evening. Find out where bears are most likely going to appear by glassing in early mornings and late evenings to spot bears in openings around Southern Oregon. Fawn calls and other predator distress calls can also be a useful tool when trying to harvest a bear. Remember that there is a mandatory check in of your bear skull at an ODFW office or designated collection site  within 10 days of harvest, the skull must be unfrozen. See page 29 in the 2016 Oregon Big Game hunting regulations for more information.

Youth Elk season is currently open for units in our area. 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. A reminder that youth are required to wear hunter orange.

-Oregon Fish and Wildlife-

Denman Wildlife Area: Remember to get your parking permit. Hunters get the permit free with their purchase of an annual hunting license. Reminder, starting April 1 bird dog training will be restricted to within the “dog training area” along Touvelle road except for organized permitted events. Remember to place your parking permit on the dash of your vehicle.

The Denman Wildlife Area youth pheasant hunt is the weekend of September 17-18 and this is an excellent opportunity for youth 17 years and younger to have a memorable hunt. Registration is now open, there will only be 90 spots available each day so don’t wait to reserve the day of your choice.

Mourning Doves: Dove season opens Sept. 1, hunters can expect a season very similar to that of 2015. Remember the daily bag limit for Mourning Doves is 15; refer to the 2016 Oregon Game Bird Regulations for more information.

Upland Game Birds: Grouse season opens Sept. 1, the daily bag limit is 3 of each of the two species. Both California Quail and Mountain Quail season opens Sept. 1, the daily bag limit is 10 Quail total. Hunters can expect a below average year as survey numbers of upland game birds have been low. Refer to the 2016 Oregon Game Bird Regulations for more information.

Cougar season is open statewide year-round or until zone quotas are met. Most cougar hunters’ success comes from predator calls. Cougars travel many miles a day and often use major ridge lines to find prey, these ridge lines are location for predator calls. Unlike other predators, cougars will usually take longer to come in to predators calls so be prepared to sit for 1 hour or more.

Western Gray Squirrel is currently open for the part of the Rogue Unit south of Rogue River and S. Fork Rogue River and North of Hwy 140 where the season remains open year round with no bag limit. 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. Hunter can find coyotes around meadows and brush piles where mice and rabbits are found. Predator calls are very useful when used in conjunction to known prey base.

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 Southwest Zone Wildlife Viewing



Many buck black-tailed deer and bull elk can be seen growing antlers at this time of year. Antler are covered in “velvet” which is simply an extension of the skin from the head. It is presumed that growth-stimulating hormones act on the antlers during this period and the growth is initiated by changes in day length. During this time the antlers are sensitive and males can be seen in open country, avoiding thick forests and other vegetation. Many opportunities exist along the backroads of Coos County (e.g. pasture land in the evenings) and at the Dean Creek Wildlife Area to view deer and elk.

Harbor Seal

Harbor Seal
-Photo by Kathy Munsel-

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.


Many sea birds like pigeon guillemots and common murres can be found close to shore along the Oregon coast, right now, because they nest in this area. Since surf tends to be smaller this time of year now is a good time to look for them. Just in case, check surf conditions before you get into places where large waves can be hazardous. Also, even if surf conditions are forecasted to be small always keep an eye on the waves when you are near the ocean and know where your escape route will be if large waves come.

Another interesting bird species to see when you are near the rocky intertidal zone is the black oyster-catcher. These birds are dark brown or black with bright red bills and pink feet. They live their entire lives in or around the splash zone on rocks along the coast. They are non-migratory, so while they are here at anytime during the year they are easiest to observe when surf conditions are small. Since they even nest near the splash zone and are extremely protective of their nests they are often seen chasing other birds that get too close to their territory. 7/5/2016


Acorn Woodpecker – Is a colorful medium-sized black and white clown faced woodpecker with a red crown sought after by birders for their lifetime bird list. This highly social woodpecker is commonly seen with young this time of the year in the lower elevations of Douglas County in pine-oak woodlands where oak trees are abundant. Look for this loud and vocal woodpecker in Roseburg at River Forks Park, N. Bank Mgt. area and Whistlers Park. Since this woodpecker is a hoarder, look for signs of a granary in the bark of large pine trees that are used to store insects and acorns in cracks and crevices.

Reptiles –Lizards and snakes will be taking advantage of morning and evening sun and southern exposed rock formations (and roads) to warm themselves. Turtles will be seen basking on logs and banks of local ponds, streams and reservoirs.

Osprey - Ospreys are also known as fish hawks and can be seen flying above rivers or lakes looking for fish in the water. This time of the year look for male ospreys diving into the water capturing fish, and taking the captured fish back to the female on the nest.

Turkey Vultures - Vultures can be seen soaring high in the sky looking for food or on the ground utilizing expired animals. Also, look for them early mornings perched in a tree sunning themselves with their wings spread warming up.

Hummingbirds –Avoid the commercial hummingbird mixture you can buy in the store since the red dye can produce digestive problems for these small birds. Remember that you can make your own hummingbird food utilizing 4 parts water to 1 part sugar ratio but always make sure the sugar goes completely into solution before hanging up for use.

Common Nighthawk –The nighthawk is a darkish colored bird 9.5 inch long with long pointed wings and white wing patches. Nighthawks are commonly observed flying high in the evening sky catching insects on the wing emitting a nasal peent call. This migratory bird is one of the last birds to migrate to North America for nesting. It can be seen and heard in Western Oregon from cities and towns to woodlands and forests.

Gamebirds – The young chicks of California quail, blue and ruffed grouse, wild turkey and pheasants are now being seen throughout the county. Coveys of California quail are common on the Umpqua Valley floor usually associated with blackberry cover and water. Many blue and ruffed grouse and their young are found in mid to high elevation forested areas in our local mountains. Wild turkeys and their poults are very common throughout the Umpqua Valley usually on private lands in oak savannah habitat. Most pheasants are found in central Douglas County associated with pastures and ranches.

Bats – With the current hot weather, gather around the air conditioner during the day. When it starts to cool down in the evening, get outside and enjoy the acrobatic flying of bats as they hunt the night skies for insects. Look for bats at dawn and dusk. Watch street lights and water bodies, where insects concentrate, bats may show up to eat up to 1000 insects per hour.


Elk Cow and Calf
A Roosevelt elk cow and her calf
- Photo by Chuck Wiegmann -

Baby Season

Spring is the season for most wildlife to have young. Now is a great time to visit the outdoors to look for wildlife with their young. You may see a cow elk and her calf, a doe deer and her fawn, a mother raccoon and her young, a pair of geese and their goslings or a mother kill deer and her chicks. It is very important to keep your distances and not to disturb mothers with their young. Check out our web page about young wildlife.

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.

Upper and Lower Table Rocks rise 800 feet above the valley floor. Habitat types range from oak savanna and chaparral to woodland. On the summit a diversity of wildflowers and wildlife can be found along the trails. Spring can provide some of the best viewing times.

Denman Wildlife Area

Take one of two trails off Touvelle Road and enjoy birdwatching and sightseeing. This is the time of year when the wildlife area greens up with variety of flowers and wildlife. Below the fourth pond and to the north, you will find the newly built horse trail (2.5 mile) that provides great views of the Upper Table Rock and opportunities to see birds that live in oak trees, wedge leaf ceanothus and areas of riparian vegetation along the Little Butte Creek. The trail to the south that runs along the forth pond dike is our interpretive trail, come in to the office and pick up and interpretive trail guide. You will learn of some of the history of the wildlife area and the different environment unique to our area. A wide variety of wildlife can be found along this 1 ½ mile trail.

A covered viewing station on the Denman Wildlife Area provides a good opportunity to view waterfowl, egrets, raptors and songbirds. The structure was built by the Oregon Hunters Association and is accessed by a paved, ADA-accessible pathway. Two additional fishing dikes have been created to provide more fishing access. It is on Whetstone Pond, just north of the ODFW Rogue Watershed Field Office in Central Point.

There have been recent sightings of the Common Nighthawk and American Kestrel on the wildlife area and to the west near Table Rock and Kirtland Ponds.

On the Coast

Shorebirds are currently migrating north and can be observed on area beaches and the Rogue Bay. Ospreys are actively fishing in the Rogue estuary and also nesting on the Lower Rogue. Several nests are observable from the Jerry Flat Road along the Rogue River.

Harbor seals can be observed in estuaries throughout the South Coast. Look for sandy haul out sites. Remember, spring is when seals have their pups they are often left on their own most of the day so please observe these animals from a distance. If you find pups on the beach, leave them where you found them—mother knows where they are.

For a great birding trail along the southern coast, visit Oregon Birding Trails.

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