Southwest Zone Fishing
-Oregon Fish and Wildlife-
Weekend fishing opportunities
- Hatchery summer steelhead are still being caught on the North Umpqua around Rock Creek, and in the upper Rogue River
- Though wild coho harvest in the lower Umpqua is closed, there are still opportunities to catch hatchery coho in the mainstem Umpqua River.
- Lost Creek Reservoirs offers the best opportunity for winter trout fishing in the Rogue watershed currently. Anglers did well on trout from 11-16 inches last week. Best success was had trolling a green wedding ring behind a chrome and green dodger. The wedding ring was spiked with a piece of Gulp nightcrawler. An oval egg sinker was used for weight.
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, bluegill, black crappie
The county park is open during daylight hours but water levels remain very low. The boat ramp is not usable.
APPLEGATE RESERVOIR: largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, trout
Trout are available, but access is a bit of a challenge at Applegate right now. Small boats can launch at the French Gulch ramp.
Trout anglers will probably do best still fishing with bait or trolling a flasher/lure or flasher/bait combination. Applegate Reservoir is 6 percent full.
ARIZONA POND: rainbow trout
Water level in the pond has been lowered to help control aquatic vegetation.
The pond is managed by Oregon State Parks for youth-only fishing and is located at Arizona Beach State Recreation Area; approximately halfway between Gold Beach and Port Orford.
BEN IRVING RESERVOIR: rainbow trout, bass, bluegill, yellow perch, crappie
The reservoir has been stocked according to schedule (pdf) with 4,000 rainbow trout. An additional 1,000 legal and 1,000 trophy sized rainbow trout were stocked the first week of September. Warmwater fishing for bass, crappie and bluegill should begin to slow down as we move into the winter months. Try fishing soft plastics and jig around submerged structures.
CHETCO RIVER: Chinook, Steelhead
Chinook are scattered through the lower river. Flows came up a bit last weekend, but dropped and cleared quickly.
COOPER CREEK RESERVOIR: rainbow trout, bass, bluegill, yellow perch, bullhead
Cooper Creek has been stocked with 8,000 rainbow trout since March. An additional 6,300 legal and 2,200 trophy-sized rainbow trout have been stocked since the first week of September. Fishing for largemouth bass, bluegill, and yellow perch should begin to slow down as we move into the winter months. The use of bait such as PowerBait and nightcrawlers should yield positive results for trout and pan-fish anglers.
We have been getting reports that some of the trout 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.
-Photo by Kathy Munselt, ODFW-
COOS COUNTY LAKES/PONDS: trout, largemouth bass, yellow perch
Fall trophy trout were stocked in October in Bradley Lake. Anglers fishing from small boats or pontoons have been catching several trout. About 50 large rainbow trout from Bandon Hatchery were stocked into Butterfield Lake. These trout are leftovers that did not get used in family fishing events this past summer.
Fishing for largemouth bass has been good in many of the Coos County lakes. As the water cools down fishing for bass will be good throughout the day. Bass will be concentrated near drop-offs and structure like submerged logs. Yellow perch fishing has been good this month in lakes like Saunders Lake. Fishing a worm on the bottom in deep water should provide lots of bites for yellow perch.
COOS RIVER BASIN: Dungeness crab, salmon, bay clams
Streams in the Coos Basin are now closed for trout until May 22, 2016.
The wild coho season in Coos Bay is open until Nov. 30. Anglers are allowed to keep one wild coho per day and two for the season. Coho fishing remains good in the lower Coos Bay.
A few steelhead should be moving into the rivers later this month. The week of Thanksgiving is usually a good time to start steelhead fishing.
Crabbing has been closed from Heceta Head to the California border due to high levels of domoic acid in crab viscera (guts/butter).
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 for the entire Oregon coastline from the Columbia River 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: smallmouth bass, salmon, crab
Streams in the Coquille Basin are now closed for trout until May 22, 2016.
A few coho salmon are still being caught in the lower Coquille River near Rock Point Boat Ramp last week by anglers trolling. The wild coho season in Coquille is open until Nov. 30. Anglers are allowed to keep one wild coho per day and two for the season.
A few steelhead should be moving into the rivers later this month. The week of Thanksgiving is usually a good time to start steelhead fishing.
Crabbing has been closed from Heceta Head to the California border due to high levels of domoic acid in crab viscera (guts/butter).
DIAMOND LAKE: trout
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.
Anglers have been catching fish predominately in the 10 to 16-inch range mostly by using a combination of PowerBait/nightcrawlers and lures on anchor around the south-end creek inlets and springs as well as near the Marina. Fly-fishers have also been successful on the south end of the lake. Diamond Lake was stocked with approximately 300,000 rainbow trout fingerlings during Memorial Day week. An additional 3,500 legal-size and 3,500 trophy trout have been stocked.
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. The Marina is open and has boats and charter trips available.
ELK RIVER: Chinook
|Fishing Emigrant Reservoir
-Oregon Fish and Wildlife-
Anglers have been doing pretty good picking up Chinook near the mouth. A few fish have trickled upstream, but the river is still low. Anglers can call Elk River Hatchery (541-332-0405) for river conditions. The best level to float the river is 5 feet and dropping.
The county boat ramp is no longer usable due to low water. Anglers wanting to fish Emigrant must either fish from shore or from small watercraft or inflatables. Bass, panfish and trout are available. The water level in the reservoir is at 11 percent of capacity.
EMIGRANT RESERVOIR: rainbow trout, largemouth and smallmouth bass, crappie
The park is open during daylight hours in winter, but no boat ramps are available due to low water. Anglers wanting to fish Emigrant must either fish from shore or from small watercraft or inflatables. Bass, panfish and trout are available. The water level in the reservoir is at 10 percent of capacity.
EXPO POND: trout
The southern-most pond at Expo is stocked with rainbow trout. Best access to this pond is at gate 1.5.
FISH LAKE: rainbow trout, brook trout, spring Chinook
Fish Lake remains free of ice and provides a chance for some winter trout fishing. Water levels have rebounded nicely at Fish Lake and the lake is now 21% full. Small boats can launch at the resort (when open) and probably at the USFS boat ramp (watch out for stumps), but snowfall that began Saturday will now limit access.
Anglers must also remember that Sno-Park permits are needed between November 1 and April 30.
Rainbow trout, brook trout, landlocked spring Chinook salmon and tiger trout are available. Anglers are encouraged to report catches 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
The best method for catching trout is slow trolling flies or wedding ring spinners from a boat. Bank access is limited. This time of year anglers will want to keep an eye on 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 RESERVIOR: rainbow trout, bass
In addition to trout, the reservoir has also been stocked with coho smolts for the last few years. Many people mistakenly think these fish are kokanee. All of the coho smolts are 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 approximately 8,000 rainbow trout since March.
Bass fishing should begin to slow down as we move into the winter months. Try around submerged structure with soft plastics, jigs, swim-baits, and/or bait for likely positive results. 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 and cutthroat trout
The lake has good numbers of carry over trout. Slow trolling wedding ring spinners can be very effective. This is the time of year to keep an eye on the weather and fish when conditions are good.
|Lake in the Woods
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 rainbow trout in 2015, and another 1,400 trophy size rainbow trout were stocked the first week of September.
Lake in the Woods has been stocked with approximately 1,000 rainbow trout in 2015, and an additional 100 trophy size rainbow trout were stocked the first week of September. Remember only trout over 8-inches may be harvested, and only one trout over 20-inches may be kept per day.
HOWARD PRAIRIE RESERVOIR: closed for the season
HYATT LAKE: closed for the season
ILLINOIS RIVER: trout, steelhead
The Illinois River is open for trout fishing. Anglers can keep five adipose fin-clipped rainbow trout per day. Nonadipose fin-clipped rainbow trout and all cutthroat trout must be immediately released unharmed. The river is not stocked, so it will primarily offer anglers the opportunity for catch and release fishing.
LAKE MARIE: rainbow trout
The lake has been stocked with roughly 5,000 rainbow trout in 2015, and an additional 500 legal and 1,300 trophy size rainbow trout were stocked the first week of September. Most anglers use PowerBait or worms. Perch fishing continues to be fair for those using worms on the bottom.
LAKE SELMAC: trout, largemouth bass, bluegill, crappie
Selmac is stocked with rainbow trout.
LEMOLO RESERVOIR: brown trout, rainbow trout
Brown trout must be released starting Nov. 1. The reservoir has been stocked with 5,000 rainbow trout in 2015 and brown trout fishing has been productive. An additional 1,500 trophy size rainbow trout were stocked the first week of September.
The Forest Service has opened Poole Creek Campground. Contact Lemolo Lake Resort at 541-957-8354 for conditions and additional information.
LOON LAKE: rainbow trout, bass, bluegill
Loon Lake has been stocked with 7,500 trout in 2015. The lake also has good fishing for crappie, bluegill and bass during warmer months. Visit the BLM and Loon Lake Resort websites for information on opening dates and camping this summer.
LOST CREEK RESERVOIR: rainbow trout, spring Chinook, bass
Lost Creek offers the best opportunity for winter trout fishing in the Rogue watershed currently. Boats can still launch at the Takelma boat ramp despite very low water levels. Two anglers had the reservoir to themselves on Wednesday, with one angler catching a limit of 11-13 inch trout, and the other catching trout up to 16 inches in length.
Best success was had trolling a green wedding ring behind a chrome and green dodger. The wedding ring was spiked with a piece of Gulp nightcrawler. An oval egg sinker was used for weight. Fish were also caught on a small lures—a gold Blue fox spinner, and a chrome and blue kastmaster. Trout were feeding in the shallows on the shore opposite the marina, near small snags that are normally submerged but are visible this year. Casting flies would be very successful in this area right now.
The reservoir is 19 percent full. Because all boaters are confined to using the Takelma boat ramp, it is important for everyone to obey the signs around the ramp. Vehicles need to park in the paved lot above the restrooms.
NEW RIVER: Chinook, coho
Recent storms opened the river mouth and has allowed Chinook and coho to move in. There is a wild coho fishery that runs from November 1 to 30. Anglers can keep 1 wild adult coho per day and 2 for the season as part of the daily bag limit. Anglers should check regulations prior to heading out.
PACIFIC OCEAN AND BEACHES: bottomfish, Dungeness crab,
The ocean is now closed to harvest of Dungeness crab.
With the exception of the Elk River Fall Chinook bubble fishery, open through Nov. 30, ocean salmon fishing is closed.
Pacific halibut fishing is closed.
Fishing for bottom fish is now open to fishing at all-depths. Fishing for black rockfish continues to be very good from Charleston to Bandon. 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. Retention of cabezon is now allowed at 1 fish per day and at least 16-inches long.
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, warmwater fish
In addition to trout fishing, the lake also has good bass fishing. Bass can be harvested from March 1 to Oct. 31 and are catch-and-release only from Nov. 1-Feb. 29. The reservoir has received about 4,500 rainbow trout since the beginning of March. The lake is now drawn down and access for fishing may be very muddy.
Some of the trout have had 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.
|Fishing the Rogue River
REINHART POND: trout, largemouth bass, bluegill
Reinhart is stocked with rainbow trout.
Rogue River, lower: steelhead
Slow. Winter steelhead usually start showing around early December.
Rogue River, middle: steelhead, trout
Flows in Grants measured around 1230 cfs on Monday morning, and the water temperature averaged 46F. The river is open for hatchery summer steelhead. Anglers may want to try backtrolled lures, drifting worms, or fishing puffballs. Some hatchery coho salmon are also be available. For those interested in checking conditions before getting on the river, the City of Grants Pass Water Division’s website offers information on NTU’s at Grants Pass as well as a link to a river camera.
Rogue River, upper: steelhead, trout
Fishing for summer steelhead is fair on the upper Rogue on fish scattered throughout the river. Beginning Nov. 1, from Fisher’s Ferry boat ramp upstream to the boat ramp at Shady Cove Park, the river is open to fishing with artificial flies and lures (no bait). From the boat ramp at Shady Cove Park upstream to the deadline at Cole Rivers Hatchery, the river is open to flies, lures and bait. Harvest remains restricted to adipose fin clipped fish only in both these sections. Consult the synopsis for more information. As of Nov. 10, a total of 1,845 summer steelhead (13 new for the week) have been collected at Cole Rivers Hatchery. The flow at Gold Ray was 1,280 cfs on Monday morning, and the water temperature averaged 45F.
Rogue River, above Lost Creek Reservoir: trout
Stocked rainbow trout are available near sites stocked this past summer. Naturally produced rainbow and brook trout are available in the tributaries. Casting bait or flies on light line should produce fish.
SMITH RIVER, Umpqua: sturgeon, striped bass, steelhead, Chinook
Retention of adipose fin-clipped steelhead is allowed in the Smith River mainstem from the mouth upstream to Spencer Creek and in the North Fork of the Smith River from the mouth upstream to Johnson Creek. Fall Chinook fishing is also open in the mainstem Smith River from the mouth upstream to Spencer Creek, and in the North Fork of Smith River from the mouth upstream to Johnson Creek. The use of bait is allowed only in tidewaters. Sturgeon fishing is catch-and-release only.
SMITH RIVER, Umpqua: sturgeon, striped bass, steelhead, Chinook
Retention of adipose fin-clipped steelhead is allowed in the Smith River mainstem from the mouth upstream to Spencer Creek and in the North Fork of the Smith River from the mouth upstream to Johnson Creek. Fall Chinook fishing is also open in the mainstem Smith River from the mouth upstream to Spencer Creek, and in the North Fork of Smith River from the mouth upstream to Johnson Creek. The use of bait is allowed in tidewaters. Sturgeon fishing is catch-and-release only.
SODA SPRINGS RESERVOIR:
Closed to fishing.
TENMILE BASIN: trout, largemouth bass, yellow perch, coho
Streams in the Tenmile Basin are now closed for trout fishing until May 22, 2016. Tenmile Lakes is open all year for trout but trout fishing has been slow.
Bass anglers have been catching several largemouth bass in Tenmile Lakes. Bass can be found this time of the year in shallow water near structure like logs or weed lines.
Yellow perch fishing has been very good for anglers in boats and from the fishing dock at the County Boat Ramp. A worm or piece of cut bait fished near the bottom works well for catching yellow perch.
Wild coho season is open in Tenmile Lakes until Dec. 31.The bag limit is 1 wild coho per day and 5 wild coho for the season in aggregate with all other wild coho fisheries in the NW and SW zones. More coho should be entering the lakes after last weekend’s rain.
TOKETEE LAKE: brown trout, rainbow trout
Fishing is open in Toketee year-round. The boat ramp is currently open but water levels remain low making it difficult to launch boats. For more information call the U.S. Forest Service at 541-498-2531.
UMPQUA HIGH LAKES AND FOREBAYS: trout
Contact the Forest Service at 541-957-3200 for road and trail conditions. Clearwater Forebay 2 has been stocked with approximately 3,000 rainbow trout in 2015, and an additional 500 trophy size rainbow trout will be stocked in this forebay the first week of September. Anglers fishing the high lakes in the Umpqua District are encouraged to e-mail fishing reports.
UMPQUA RIVER, MAINSTEM: steelhead, coho
The mainstem Umpqua is closed to wild steelhead harvest, but remains open year-round for adipose fin-clipped steelhead. The mainstem Umpqua is closed for catch-and-release trout fishing. Opportunities to harvest hatchery coho still exist in the mainstem Umpqua, with some anglers having success around River Forks.
Please note the changes in regulations this year on page 40 of the 2015 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.
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, NORTH: steelhead
Hatchery summer steelhead are still being caught in the North Umpqua. Remember all wild steelhead must be released unharmed. Try around Rock Creek for best results.
Note that from October 1 through December 31 and January 1 through June 30, fishing in the fly water area is restricted to fly angling only with a single barbless hook. Per the new regulation on page 40 of the 2015 Oregon Sport Fishing Regulations booklet, from Feb. 1 – July 31, 2 wild Chinook per day can be harvested and up to 10 wild Chinook during this time frame in combination with wild Chinook harvested in the Main.
Remember that from March 1 through July 31 the anti-snagging 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:
The South Umpqua is currently closed to all fishing until Dec. 1.
WILLOW LAKE: rainbow trout, largemouth bass, black crappie, brown bullhead
Willow Lake offers an opportunity for some winter trout angling but water levels are very low. The county park is open during daylight hours, but the boat ramp is not usable due to low water.
A couple of yellow perch were caught by some bank anglers this past Saturday.
WINCHESTER BAY: bottomfish, perch, crab
Fishing for bottomfish in the Triangle and South jetty has been successful. Crabbing has been productive, but Chinook and coho fishing has slowed in the ocean off of Winchester Bay and in the lower Umpqua River.
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Southwest Zone Hunting
Chenelle's first turkey 2015
-Photo by Travis Hale-
OPEN: LATE ARCHERY DEER, 2nd COAST ELK (Nov. 21-27), FALL TURKEY, UPLAND BIRDS, WATERFOWL (see regs), COUGAR, BLACK BEAR, SNIPE and SCAUP
Know before you go!
Hunters will face fire restrictions and some closures and they need to know what those are before they go. More info. Some good resources for fire information: InciWeb, National Forest webpages, Oregon Dept Forestry
2015 Big Game Hunting Forecast
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.
Elk- The populations of elk in most Coos County Wildlife Management Units are at or above management objective in terms of their abundance and the bull ratios within those populations. Hunters will find elk will respond to hunting pressure by moving to more secluded parts of their herd range like areas with low road density. Areas of low road density can be seen on maps of the area that is being hunted.
Roosevelt elk rarely leave their herd range even when hunting pressure is high. So the savvy hunter will note where elk sign is found when he or she is out hunting and combine this with information he or she can get from maps of the hunting area. Hunting secluded, walk-in areas in the vicinity of fresh elk sign will eventually put the hunter in the elk.
Waterfowl -The abundance of ducks and geese is beginning to increase as we get into the fall season but total numbers are still fairly low. Most birds, especially ducks, are in the bays where tidal salt water wetlands provide feeding opportunities for them. Hunters should find fair waterfowl hunting in the tidal Coos Bay and the Coquille Bay. Bandon Marsh National Wildlife Refuge would be a good place to try.
Bear –The population in Coos County is healthy and it is well distributed. Generally the population is denser closer to the coast. Berry crops have run their course and are not providing the largest component of bear diets, as they were in the summer. Bears will now be capitalizing on a variety of other foods like apples, roots and mushrooms. As a result populations will be less concentrated. Calling bears with predator calls should be quite effective since bears are stretched for food. The may be more interested in preying on an animal they think is vulnerable. Patient hunters may find success by using treestands or ground blinds near heavily used game trails because bears will be on the move in search of food.
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.
Upland bird- Hunters should find that numbers of grouse and quail are increasing to the point that it is worthwhile to hunt them again. The past few years of dry weather in the spring has resulted in better survival of chicks. Because of high annual mortality for upland birds, survival of chicks is what makes the population strong from one year to the next.
Hunters will find California quail most abundant near agricultural lands and mountain quall near ridges in forested parts of the county. Both species like edge habitat found in these areas.
Ruffed grouse will be easiest to locate along closed forest roads and near creek bottoms. However, ruffed grouse can be found anywhere in western Oregon forests. Blue grouse, or sooty grouse, as they are now called, will be in higher elevations in the Coast Range where habitats are less brushy. Sooty grouse can be hard to find in most of the Coast Range, but persistent hunters will be successful.
Hunters are asked to turn in a wing and the tail fan from grouse they harvest, unless they want to use those parts for other purposes. Wings and tail fans from hunter harvested birds are used by biologists to get information on grouse populations that we use for management. Contact your local ODFW office for information on where to turn in those parts, your cooperation is greatly appreciated.
My fate with chance had come to an end that day. Words can’t explain that hunters moment.
-Photo by Trever Niestrath-
Elk - General coast bull 1st season opens November 14th for the Melrose and Siuslaw units in Douglas County. Elk populations are similar to last year so this hunting year will be average. A few controlled elk hunts are currently open. Elk populations are similar to last year so this hunting year will be average. Check with landowners about access before going hunting.
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. Check with landowners about access before going hunting.
Black Bear – General bear season is currently open. Hunters can expect an average year. 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. Successful bear hunters are reminded there is a mandatory check-in for all harvested bear within 10 days of harvest (see regulations for details (pdf). Check with landowners about access before going hunting.
Western Gray Squirrel – Squirrel season is open, but closes November 11th. 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. Check with landowners about access before going hunting.
Grouse & Quail – Season is open. Hunting success for forest grouse has been good this year. Hunters are finding good numbers of birds on National Forest and BLM lands. 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. Hunters that kill grouse are asked to drop off in a paper bag the wing and tail of each grouse at the local ODFW office or at one of the many blue wing collection barrels found throughout the county. Please use one bird per bag including the date of harvest, unit and general area of harvest for proper analysis.
Nesting season production was average for California quail and Mountain quail, so hunting opportunity should 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 wing and tail of each mountain quail at the local ODFW office or at one of the many blue wing collection barrels found throughout the county. Please use one bird per bag including the species, date of harvest, unit and general area of harvest for proper analysis. Check with landowners about access before going hunting.
Fall Turkey – The season is open and continues until December 31st. Hunters can expect a good year. The 2015 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. Turkeys have been transported in recent years to several areas within the Umpqua National Forest. Check areas around Toketee, Tiller, and Upper Cow Creek for turkeys established through these introductions.
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.
The duck season opens back up from November 4th through January 31st 2016. The regular goose season runs Oct. 17 - Nov. 1 & Nov. 8 - Jan. 31, 2016. Goose and duck hunters can expect an average to above-average year. Nearly all goose and duck hunting in the Umpqua Valley is on private property and hunters should obtain landowner permission before hunting. Goose and duck hunters can expect an average to above-average year. The season will open for ducks, geese, snipe and coot. Local duck production is historically good but small so a fair number of local ducks are available now with improved opportunity as the fall migrating ducks arrive later in the season. Hunting for resident geese in Douglas County should be very good because of excellent production again this year.
A reminder to trappers and hunters that specific licenses and tags are required to hunt many furbearer species, and hunters should refer to the Oregon Furbearer Trapping and Hunting Regulations for details. Currently, bobcat, fox and raccoon pursuit season is open.
-Oregon Fish and Wildlife-
Bobcat - Healthy populations throughout Western Oregon. Harvest season is currently closed but the season opens on December 1, 2015. Pursuit season is currently open for bobcat.
River Otter, Beaver, Mink/Muskrat, Red Fox, Gray Fox & Raccoon – Healthy populations throughout Western Oregon. The harvest season opened for red fox on October 15, 2015. The harvest season opening for gray fox, mink/muskrat, river otter, beaver and raccoon is November 15, 2015. Pursuit season is currently open for fox and raccoon.
Marten – Good populations at higher elevations of the Cascades. The season is open through January 31, 2016.
JACKSON, JOSEPHINE, CURRY COUNTIES
DEER - Late archery season opened Nov. 14 in the Evans creek and Rogue units. Deer should be moved into their winter range by that time, so hunt areas below 4000 feet in elevation. Many areas had a fair acorn crop, so look for a mix of oak trees and buck brush fields. Hunters that want to hunt back country hike in areas try Soda mountain/Pilot Rock.
Elk - General coast bull elk season in Applegate Unit Nov. 21-27. Very few elk are in this unit. The elk in this unit are well spread out. It is strongly encouraged if hunters are interested in hunting this unit to do a lot of scouting.
Bear season is open thru Dec. 31. Once again bears are abundant in Jackson, Josephine and Curry Counties. Over the past few years Applegate unit has produced the most bears during the fall season. Blackberries are beginning to ripen and bears are feeding on them. With the hot dry year all berry crops may be smaller, ripen earlier and patchy. Also with the heat bears will be frequenting water hole this is a great location for tree stands. Successful bear hunters are reminded there is a mandatory check-in for all harvested bear within 10 days of harvest (see regulations for details (pdf).
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.
Turkey hunting is open thru Dec. 31. Last spring weather was fairly mild which provided another great year for turkey chick survival. Flocks found throughout the area have increased in size and we except harvest to be above average for the fall season. Hunters are allowed to shoot either sex, and are allowed to have two tags. Majority of our turkeys are found in low elevation and around private lands, although a growing number are found in conifer stands that have meadows or clear cuts. Remember current fire restrictions have closed private timberlands until fire season has been lifted. All BLM land found within Jackson Cooperative Travel Management Area are great places to find turkeys. Another area for turkeys are the BLM lands off of the Butte Falls Prospect Hwy.
Grouse and Quail - Forest grouse and quail are open and will close January 31. Mountain quail are down slightly this year although forest grouse numbers are higher. Hunters can still expect to have a fair harvest. Young could be in various sizes due to some re-nesting from spring rains. Look for mountain quail in brush thickets and old clearcuts near water. Ruffed grouse can be found along streams or near springs at middle elevations, and sooty (blue) grouse can be found at higher elevations. Hot weather will keep birds near water sources. We are asking hunter to bring in wings from your upland birds or drop them off at blue barrels located in various locations around the valley.
Pheasants – General pheasant season opened October 10 and runs through December 31. Pheasants are thinly spread about the Rogue Valley with most all birds on private property. Denman will have a few left over birds from Fee hunt but they can be are to find.
Waterfowl - The fall flight forecast calls for high numbers of waterfowl, but weather conditions will determine migration patterns and hunter success. The best waterfowl hunting at Denman Wildlife Area tends to occur around the end of November; area managers continue to plant crops and flood fields to attract waterfowl to Denman. Due to lower water in many of our lakes and pond this year the Rogue River can be a little more productive. Hyatt Lake, Howard Prairie and Agate Lake will have waterfowl but will be difficult to hunt due to low water levels.
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.
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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. As other big game seasons are starting for the fall be sure to have a cougar tag with you while in the field to avoid missed opportunities.
Western Gray Squirrel season closes November 11. 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.
Furbearers – Pursuit season is currently open for bobcat, fox and raccoon. A reminder to trappers and hunters that specific licenses and tags are required to hunt many furbearer species, and hunters should refer to the 2014-16 Oregon Furbearer Trapping and Hunting Regulations for details.
Southwest Zone Wildlife Viewing
|Northern Elephant Seal
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.
Coos County is a good place to see large numbers of migratory waterfowl in the fall. October and November are the months when many of these birds move from northern nesting areas through the Pacific Flyway. A large number of these move along the coast and stop in local bays and estuaries.
One of the best places on the Oregon coast to see large congregations of waterfowl in the Coquille Valley. The Audubon Society estimates as many as 50% of the migratory dabbling ducks that migrate along the coast winter in the Coquille Valley.
Due to low water conditions places where tidal inundation occurs in the Coquille estuary are the best places to see waterfowl presently. The Bandon Marsh National Wildlife Refuge, located north of the city of Bandon, may be the best place to see these birds presently. Once the rainy season starts in earnest waterfowl will move into inland valleys in search of flooded agricultural lands.
Recently fishers are reporting seeing large congregations of baitfish in Coos Bay. Seabirds like pelicans, grebes and cormorants can be seen chasing these fish from above and below. At times the water in the bay has been clear enough to actually see the action going on underwater from Point Adams in Charleston. Similar opportunities should exist in Winchester Bay and Bandon, from the docks in those bays.
Migrant waterfowl are showing up in all the bays. Elegant terns are now seen in the Rogue bay. They are a mid-sized tern with long reddish bill that has a turned down appearance. The tail is forked and short. Their head has a black band along the top and wings are tipped with black other than that they are white.
Hummingbirds – Some people recommend taking down their hummingbird feeders in October to encourage natural migration of a summer hummers.
Buck Deer – Each year at this time bucks are in full rut so look for large bucks following does for the next couple weeks.
Winter Raptors - Wintering raptors, especially red-tail hawks, are commonly be seen along highways throughout the county.
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.
Bald Eagles – Bald Eagles are now commonly seen along the mainstem portion of the Umpqua River from Roseburg to Reedsport.
JACKSON and JOSEPHINE COUNTIES
The Pileated Woodpecker is one of the biggest, most striking forest birds on the continent. It’s nearly the size of a crow, black with bold white stripes down the neck and a flaming-red crest. Look (and listen) for Pileated Woodpeckers whacking at dead trees and fallen logs in search of their main prey, carpenter ants, leaving unique rectangular holes in the wood. The nest holes these birds make offer crucial shelter to many species including swifts, owls, ducks, bats, and pine martens. These Woodpeckers can be found around old burns up elk creek in Jackson County.
|Greater White-fronted Goose
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Many flocks of Greater White-fronted geese have been spotted in the valley flying high heading south. Because they fly so high, it is easier to recognize them by their unique call. A few are seen landing on Whetstone pond on Denman.
Denman Wildlife Area
Whetstone pond on the Wildlife Area has gone through some access and habitat changes. We now have extended two dikes that ran on both side of our OHA provided building. These dikes are now 50 foot longer with pavement running from the tip of them to the parking lot along whetstone. It also has a 6 inch ADA approved curb along the edge of the dikes. Many fishermen have enjoyed and appreciate these dikes with fish being caught off them almost daily.
Hunting season is underway on the Denman Wildlife Area. Other recreational users are encouraged to wear bright orange or other bright colored clothing and to stick to the trail systems.
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