Willamette Zone Fishing
-U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service-
Weekend fishing opportunities
- The 2 p.m. fishing closure for trout, steelhead, salmon and sturgeon in streams has been lifted as of Sept. 1.
- The lower Willamette River below Willamette Falls and the Clackamas River downstream of the I-205 Bridge has been reopened to fishing for trout, salmon, steelhead and sturgeon.
- Salmon and steelhead are on the move following last weekend’s storms, and angler effort is increasing
- There is still plenty of warmwater fishing to be had in and around northwest Oregon.
- North Fork Reservoir near Estacada will be stocked again this week, for a three-week total of almost 25,000 rainbow trout released.
Low water levels can put stress on fish
While water temperature have returned to near normal in many areas, water levels continue to be very low. Anglers should continue to exercise care when catching and releasing fish by following a few precautions:
- Fish early in the day when water temperatures are cooler.
- Check water temperatures frequently and stop fishing when they exceed 70 degrees.
- Use barbless hooks so you can release fish quickly.
- Use appropriate gear to land fish quickly.
- Keep the fish in the water while you unhook it, and cradle the fish upright until it revives enough to swim away.
- Use your judgement. If conditions seem especially severe (low, hot water) stop fishing, or move to another location where waters may be cooler.
Send us your fishing report
We’d love to hear about your recent fishing experience. Send us your own fishing report through ODFW Fishing Reports – the information will be forwarded to the local biologist who may use it to update various ODFW resources such as the Weekly Recreation Report.
2015 trout stocking
The 2015 trout stocking schedules for the North Willamette Watershed (pdf) District and the South Willamette Watershed (pdf) District are now posted on the ODFW Trout Stocking Page. Take a look to find out when and where Oregon’s hatchery trout are being released around the state.
High Lakes stocking
ODFW takes very small fish to Oregon’s high lakes by helicopter, mule and river boats. Take a look at where these fish were released in the past and where you might even encounter some of them on your next backpacking trek.
North Willamette High Lakes Stocking | South Willamette High Lakes Stocking
Check out the new trout stocking map
Find the location and details about the many lakes ponds and streams that receive hatchery trout from ODFW’s fish hatcheries on the new Google-based stocking map. Click on the fish icons to bring up all the pertinent information about the state’s trout fishing locations.
ALTON BAKER CANOE CANAL: trout
Alton Baker Canoe Canal was recently stocked with a total of 965 rainbow trout, including 150 larger trout. Fish are released at multiple locations along the length of the canal, which will be stocked near weekly through early November.
The canal is located within Alton Baker Park and can be accessed off of Club Road in Eugene. A 4-acre pond at the midpoint of the canal is a good spot but it can be fished all along its two-mile length from Day Island Road in Eugene to Aspen Street in Springfield. The canal is open to fishing all year and remains open to fishing under normal fishing hours.
BENSON LAKE: rainbow trout, white crappie, largemouth bass, brown bullhead
Stocked in June with 4,000 rainbow trout. This is a 40-acre lake located in Benson State Park in the Columbia River Gorge. From Portland, head east on I-84; the park is located on the south side of the freeway about 1/2 mile west of Multnomah Falls.
BLUE LAKE: rainbow trout, largemouth bass, brown bullhead, black crappie, bluegill
This is a 64-acre lake located in Blue Lake Park three miles west of Troutdale. This family-friendly park with picnic areas, restrooms, walking trail, and ramp for small boats. Park is maintained by Multnomah County.
BLUE RIVER: trout, steelhead
Blue River above the reservoir was stocked for last time this year in early July. Wild and hatchery trout are available for harvest upstream of the reservoir. All wild trout caught downstream of the reservoir must be released unharmed. Blue River remains open for fishing under normal hours.
BLUE RIVER RESERVOIR: trout, warmwater species
Blue River Reservoir is located east of Eugene near the town of Blue River, north of Hwy. 126 and is open to year-round fishing. The reservoir was last stocked for the season in early July. Neither boat ramp is accessible at the current reservoir elevation.
BREITENBUSH RIVER: trout
This fishery is currently open for trout. The river received its final stocking of the year the last week of July with the release of 1,800 legal size rainbow trout. Anglers may keep up to 5 trout per day. It is closed to salmon fishing year-round.
CARMEN RESERVOIR: trout
Carmen Reservoir is accessed via FS Road 750 off Hwy. 126, about two miles south of Clear Lake. It is open to fishing all year. Motor boats are prohibited on Carmen Reservoir. Carmen Reservoir was last stocked for the season in late July.
CLACKAMAS RIVER: summer steelhead, spring Chinook
|Riverside Park, Clackamas
-Photo by Rick Swart, ODFW-
NOTICE: Effective Tuesday, Sept. 1, the Clackamas River downstream of the I-205 Bridge has been reopened to fishing for trout, salmon, steelhead and sturgeon.
Anglers have seen no change in fishing opportunities over the past week with poor conditions holding on and expected to stay this way for a few more days. Last weekends storms brought a little relief in both lower temperatures and higher flows, prompting renewed interest in fishing from anglers hoping conditions would be the catalyst salmon and steelhead needed to move upstream.
Most of the summer steelhead and spring Chinook will be found above Barton and on up to Rivermill Dam. Look for springers to be holding in the cooler, deeper pools. The summer steelhead numbers have been less than stellar this year so hooking into one can be tough but there are a few decent looking fish around.
Good bank access for can be found in many locations along the river from Gladstone, Cross Park, Riverside Park, along Clackamas River Road, Carver, Barton, and McIver parks. Clackamas River Drive closely follows the river below Carver Park, but be sure to not trespass on landowners properties.
If you have a drift boat, you can put in at Riverside Park, Carver Park, Barton Park, Feldheimer’s off Springwater Road, and at both lower and upper McIver Park ramps. Boaters beware that the low water conditions can make a few spots tough to maneuver through.
USGS hydrological data for Sept. 1 shows river flows down at 725 cfs, up from just 637 cfs a week ago. The gauge reading also ticked up to 10.49 from of 10.31 feet and the water temperature down 2° to 62°. All of the readings come from the Estacada gauge near Milo McIver State Park.
CLEAR LAKE: trout
Clear Lake is open to fishing all year. It was recently stocked with 2,500 rainbow trout for the last time this season. In addition to seasonally stocked hatchery rainbow trout, naturally reproducing brook trout are also available.
The lake is accessed from Hwy. 126 approximately 70 miles east of Springfield. Cabins and row boats are available for rent from Clear Lake Resort.
COAST FORK WILLAMETTE RIVER: trout
The Coast Fork Willamette River was last stocked for the season in May. Both native and hatchery trout are available for harvest from April 25 through Oct. 31. Bait use is allowed during the same period.
COMMONWEALTH LAKE: trout, bass, bluegill, crappie
This is a three-acre lake within the Commonwealth Lake Park in Beaverton, the park is maintained by Tualatin Hills Park and Rec. Amenities include ADA accessible trail, picnic tables, playground and restrooms.
COTTAGE GROVE POND (ROW RIVER NATURE PARK POND): trout, warmwater species
Cottage Grove Ponds provide good warmwater fishing opportunities (see 65 Places to go Fishing in Lane County). To access this family-friendly fishery, travel east from Cottage Grove on Row River Road. The pond is located behind the truck scales and may be accessed via an asphalt pathway. This pond also offers wildlife viewing opportunities and is open to fishing all year.
COTTAGE GROVE RESERVOIR: trout, warmwater species
Cottage Grove Reservoir provides good warmwater fishing opportunities (see 65 Places to go Fishing in Lane County). This reservoir was last stocked for the season in April. It will be stocked again in October. The reservoir is south of Cottage Grove and is open to fishing all year. Only Lakeside Park boat ramp is accessible at current levels.
CRESWELL POND (GARDEN LAKE): trout, warmwater species
Garden Lake (Creswell Pond) has been stocked for the last time this season. Warmwater fish should continue to be available, although aquatic vegetation can be a challenge for anglers. This family-friendly fishing pond is located in Garden Lake Park on the east side of I-5 in Creswell and is open to fishing all year. The pond and park offer additional wildlife viewing opportunities.
-Photo by Rick Swart, ODFW
DETROIT RESERVOIR: trout, kokanee
This reservoir receives over 100,000 trout throughout the year. It was stocked most recently in mid-July with 4,500 legal size rainbow trout, and there should be plenty of holdover trout as well. Fishing has been very good despite the low water conditions, with many anglers reporting catching their five fish limit of trout and kokanee. Check with local outfitters in the town of Detroit for fishing conditions. Currently the reservoir is about 95 feet below full pool. Only Mongold State Park boat ramp is available.
DEXTER RESERVOIR: trout
Dexter Reservoir has been stocked for the last time this summer. It will be stocked again in late September. Boat and bank access is available from state and county parks. Parking and bank access are also available from the causeway near Lowell. The reservoir near Lowell is visible from Highway 58. Largemouth bass and some smallmouth are available to anglers in this reservoir.
DORENA RESERVOIR: trout, warmwater
Dorena Reservoir provides good warmwater fishing opportunities (see 65 Places to go Fishing in Lane County). Dorena Reservoir has been stocked for the last time this summer. It will be stocked with trout again in mid-October. The reservoir is east of Cottage Grove on Row River Road and is open to fishing all year. Trout and warmwater fish are available. Baker Bay boat ramp is accessible at the current reservoir level.
DORMAN POND: trout
Stocked in the spring. This is an eight-acre pond west of Forest Grove at the junction of Hwy. 8 and Hwy. 6.
EAGLE CREEK: spring Chinook
Eagle Creek appears to be about as low as its been in years with drought conditions holding on. There was optimism in early spring that Chinook would be moving into the creek as fish return from acclimation releases of two years ago. Unfortunately the low water conditions developed very quickly this year giving fish little opportunity to swim into the creek. This far into the summer it’s more of a waiting game for coho coming in late September.
Long stretches of Eagle Creek run through private property, particularly up near the hatchery and from an area below the lower ladder on down past Bonnie Lure to the mouth. Anglers are advised to pay close attention to where you fish and we encourage you to ask permission prior to accessing or crossing private lands on your way to your favorite fishing hole.
See Page 15 of the Oregon Sport Fishing Regulation pamphlet for more information on “Your Rights to Use the Surface, Bed, and Banks of Oregon’s Rivers and Lakes.”
EE WILSON POND: warmwater, trout
Due to warm summer water temperatures, trout will not be stocked until next winter. This pond is located at EE Wilson Wildlife Area, about a ¼ mile hike from the main parking lot. A valid wildlife area parking permit is required.
ESTACADA LAKE: trout
Stocked again the week of Aug. 31 with 1.200 rainbow trout. The lake was also stocked with trout the previous two weeks.
Estacada Lake is a 150-acre reservoir on the Clackamas River behind River Mill Dam. There is a boat ramp in Milo McIver State Park at the lower end of the reservoir. A fishing dock next to the boat ramp provides non-boating access to the lake.
FALL CREEK: trout
Fall Creek upstream of Fall Creek Reservoir (northeast of Lowell) was last stocked for the season in June. Fish are released at multiple locations on the stream above the reservoir up to Gold Creek. Native trout are legal to harvest in Fall Creek upstream and downstream of the dam through October.
-Photo by Rick Swart, ODFW-
FALL CREEK RESERVOIR: trout
Fall Creek Reservoir is open to fishing all year, but boat access is limited due to low flows this spring. The North Shore boat ramp near the dam is unlocked from approximately 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. and is accessible to boaters.
FARADAY LAKE: trout
Stocked again the week of Aug. 31 with 1.200 rainbow trout. The lake was also stocked with trout the previous two weeks.
This is a 25-acre reservoir located 1.1 miles southeast of Estacada on Hwy. 224 next to a PGE hydro plant. No boats, walk-in only.
FERN RIDGE RESERVOIR: largemouth bass, crappie, bluegill, brown bullhead
This 9,000 acre lake just 12 miles west of Eugene is the Willamette Basin’s largest water body.
For local information regarding the lake and available boat ramps, contact the Lane County Parks Department at 541-682-2000. This lake is mostly shallow with a band of deep water from the original channel of the Long Tom River.
The reservoir produces crappie over 12 inches and bass angling has been very good in recent years. Best time of year for crappie is April to June, after the water temperature reaches the mid-50s, but fish can still be found in deeper water year round. July and August are peak months for largemouth bass. Fish the shoreline along the southern part of the reservoir, especially the sloughs and inlets where there is underwater structure.
FOSTER RESERVOIR: trout, bass, perch, catfish
This scenic 1,200-acre reservoir on the South Santiam River is located just 30 minutes from Interstate 5. There is good bank access at several rest stops and campgrounds, and three seasonal boat ramps. All boat ramps are currently open. It was last stocked with hatchery trout in May. Smallmouth bass and yellow perch fishing is very good at the moment. Best places for these fish are near underwater structure and drop-offs.
Please remember that only kokanee and adipose fin-clipped trout may be kept and there are no limits on size or number of bass.
From I-5 take US 20 east from Albany to the town of Sweet Home. The reservoir is 3 miles past the town on the left.
FREEWAY LAKE, EAST: bass bluegill crappie
Trout stocking season is over for Freeway Lake this year, although there could be some holdovers. This water-body actually consists of three interconnected ponds and features some good size bass and crappie. A boat ramp is available at East Freeway Lake, and there is good bank access around Middle Freeway Lake.
Fishing for warmwater gamefish such as bass, bluegill, crappie, and catfish can be very good, especially early and late in the day.
GREEN PETER RESERVOIR: kokanee, trout, bass
This large reservoir east of Sweet Home is a premier kokanee fishery with a bag limit of 25 fish per day. It also supports stocked rainbow trout and a good population of smallmouth bass. It was stocked again the first week of May with 6,000 legal-size rainbow trout.
Kokanee fishing has returned and with the warming temperatures the fish are becoming active. Most fish, including holdover trout, are being caught 50 feet below the surface.
Smallmouth bass can be found near underwater structure and at drop-offs. The reservoir level is currently about 70 ft. below full pool – only Thistle Creek boat ramp is currently available.
HALDEMAN POND: trout
This is a stocked 2-acre pond on the Sauvie Island Wildlife Area that offers good bank access. Ideal for kids. A parking permit is required while on the wildlife area. Permits are available from all ODFW license vendors.
-Photo by Rick Swart, ODFW-
HARRIET LAKE: trout
Stocked the week of Aug. 24 with 334 trophy-sized rainbow trout. This is a 23-acre reservoir on the Oak Grove Fork of the Clackamas River in the Mount Hood National Forest. Boat ramp is just past campground.
HARTMAN POND: trout
Last stocked in June with 1,250 legal-sized rainbow trout. This is a year-round warmwater and spring trout fishing pond in the Columbia River Gorge. Excellent for non-boating anglers. From I-84, take the Benson State Park exit. The pond is adjacent to the Columbia River adjoining Benson State Recreation Area.
HENRY HAGG LAKE: rainbow trout, smallmouth bass, yellow perch, largemouth bass, crappie, bluegill, brown bullhead, yellow bullhead, native cutthroat trout
Last stocked in June with 4,000 legal-sized rainbow trout. This popular lake has been stocked several times this year and has an impressive array of resident fish species.
This is a 1,110-acre lake and premier fishery located seven miles southwest of Forest Grove. Maintained and operated by Washington County, the park features numerous picnic areas, two boat launching facilities, more than 15 miles of hiking trails, and observation decks for wildlife and bird watching.
HIGH MOUNTAIN LAKES: trout (rainbow, brook, cutthroat)
There are several mountain lakes available in the area for day use or overnight camping that require only a short hike into them. Many are easy day hikes, perfect for packing in a lunch and doing some fishing then heading home in early evening.
Some of these waters get very little use, and anglers will often find the solitude incredible. If you plan to camp keep in mind that overnight temperatures at the higher elevations can be quite chilly, even in mid-summer. Given the current high fire danger you should check on restrictions regarding open campfires.
Maps should be available from the local U.S. Forest Service office. Lists of stocked Willamette basin high cascade lakes are available on-line – see Willamette Zone, North and South Willamette High Lakes.
HILLS CREEK RESERVOIR: trout, warmwater fish
This reservoir is located about four miles southeast of Oakridge and is open to year round angling. Anglers can find largemouth bass and crappie in this reservoir in addition to trout. Springtime legal trout releases are in addition to the 60,000 adipose fin-clipped rainbow trout fingerlings and 100,000 adipose fin-clipped spring Chinook salmon fingerlings released annually to reach harvestable size the following year. Trout and salmon must be adipose-fin clipped to be harvested. Large native trout are available for catch-and-release fishing.
Only Packard Creek Boat Ramp is accessible at the current reservoir level.
HILLS CREEK above HILLS CREEK RESERVOIR: trout
Hills Creek above Hills Creek Reservoir is not stocked, but native fish are available for harvest. Use of bait is allowed through Oct. 31. Hills Creek above Hills Creek Reservoir remains open to angling under normal hours.
HUDDLESTON POND: trout, bluegill
Stocked in June with 125 trout ranging in size from a half pound to two pounds each.
Huddleston is a 5-acre pond located within Huddleston Pond Park in the city of Willamina, Ore. A former mill pond, it contains woody debris that provides habitat for bass and bluegill. It reaches a maximum depth of about 10 feet, with shallow "kid-friendly" edges. It is ADA accessible in places, with a restroom and picnic areas nearby. There is paved parking lot and small ramp for people who want to launch small, non-motorized boats.
JUNCTION CITY POND: trout, crappie
Junction City is a popular stocked trout fishing pond located about two miles south of Junction City on Hwy. 99W on the west side of the highway. There is excellent access around the entire 8-acre pond. It was last stocked in June. Stocking will resume in November or December with the onset of cooler weather. As a reminder, zone regulations apply: five trout daily may be kept and only one over 20-inches.
LEABURG LAKE: trout
Leaburg Lake will be stocked this week with 1,500 rainbow trout. This is the last stocking of the year. Adipose fin-clipped trout may be retained; all wild trout must be released unharmed. This waterbody also benefits from upriver stockings. Use of bait is allowed during trout season (through October).
Leaburg Dam will be open without restrictions through Labor Day. Check EWEB’s website for current information and updates regarding dam access. Leaburg Lake and the entire McKenzie River and its tributaries remain open to fishing under normal hours.
MCKENZIE RIVER below Leaburg Lake: trout, salmon, steelhead
The McKenzie River below Leaburg Lake is stocked with hatchery trout from the Leaburg Town Landing downstream to Hendricks Bridge. It was boat stocked in mid-August with 3,000 trout. All non-adipose fin-clipped trout must be released unharmed.
This river reach is open to retention of adipose fin-clipped salmon and steelhead and non-adipose fin-clipped steelhead greater than 24 inches in length. A Columbia River Basin Endorsement is required for anglers targeting salmon and steelhead in the McKenzie. Gear is restricted to flies and lures, except bait use is allowed upstream of Hendricks Bridge through the end of the year.
Leaburg Dam will be open without restrictions through Labor Day. Check EWEB’s website for current information and updates regarding dam access. The entire McKenzie River and its tributaries, as well as Leaburg Lake, remain open to angling under normal hours.
MCKENZIE RIVER above Leaburg Lake: trout, steelhead
The McKenzie River above Leaburg Lake was recently boat-stocked with 3,850 hatchery trout from the Goodpasture Bridge boat landing upstream to Finn Rock. All non-adipose fin-clipped trout must be released unharmed.
The river is open to retention of adipose fin-clipped steelhead and non-adipose fin-clipped steelhead greater than 24-inches long up to Trail Bridge Dam. A Columbia River Basin Endorsement is required for anglers targeting salmon and steelhead in the McKenzie.
Bait use is allowed up to Forest Glen boat ramp, which coincides with the portion of the river stocked with hatchery trout.The entire McKenzie River and its tributaries, as well as Leaburg Lake, remain open to fishing under normal hours.
MIDDLE FORK WILLAMETTE RIVER above Hills Creek Reservoir: trout
The Middle Fork Willamette River above Hills Creek Reservoir is open to catch-and-release fishing for trout through Oct. 31. This reach of river is not stocked, although there may be some adipose fin-clipped trout originating from the reservoir available for harvest in the lower river reach. Gear use is limited to flies and lures. The Middle Fork Willamette and its tributaries above Lookout Point Reservoir remain open to fishing under normal hours.
MOLALLA RIVER: spring Chinook
The Molalla River is extremely low, clear, and warm making for very challenging fishing conditions. For increased success, try early and late in the day when the sun is off the water. Readings at the gauge in Canby show flows down again at 38 cfs with a gauge height of 9.59 ft.
MT HOOD POND: trout, crappie, bluegill
Last stocked in June, this 5-acre pond is on the campus of Mt. Hood Community College in Gresham. Angling is restricted to youths age 17 and under and holders of ODFW's Disabled Anglers permits from April 1 - Aug. 31.
NORTH FORK RESERVOIR: trout
|North Fork Reservoir
-Photo by Rick Swart, ODFW-
Stocked the week of Aug. 31 with 3,500 rainbow trout. The reservoir was also stocked with 25,000 trout the previous two weeks.
North Fork is a 350-acre reservoir of the Clackamas River behind North Fork Dam approximately 5.2 miles east of Estacada, Ore.
Fishermen are reminded that the boat ramp and marina at Promitory Park is closed to all public access until the summer of 2016 while PGE constructs a surface collector to improve the downstream passage of native salmon and steelhead juveniles at North Fork Dam.
All other access points to North Fork Reservoir are open, and ODFW will stock the lake with hatchery trout as in the past. For more information about the closure, visit PGE’s website (pdf)
OLALLIE LAKE: trout
Stocked the week of June 29 with 2,800 legal-sized rainbow trout. This is the largest of more than 200 lakes within the Olallie Lake Scenic Area. Located on the southern edge of the Mt. Hood National Forest it is a popular summer recreational destination for people from Portland and Salem, Ore.
There are three campgrounds and a rustic cabin resort on this lake as well as a hiking trail that encircles the perimeter. Yurts, cabins, and boat rentals are available at Olallie Lake Resort. There is a boat ramp at Peninsula Campground on the southwest shore of the lake. Camping is also available at Olallie Meadows Campground and Paul Dennis Campground. Olallie Lake is also a popular jumping off point for backpackers who want to fish the surrounding high lakes or access the Pacific Crest Trail.
PROGRESS LAKE: trout, brown bullhead
This is a 4-acre pond next to the Progress Ridge Town Center in Beaverton, Oregon. The pond is an old rock pit and has a maximum depth of 54 feet. There is a sidewalk, fishing platform and viewing platform on one side of the lake. Boating and swimming are not allowed.
QUARTZVILLE CREEK: trout
This beautiful stream is located above Green Peter Reservoir and provides excellent opportunities to fish for trout. There is good bank access along most of its length. Trout season is currently open.
The river was stocked for the last time this year on July 22 with 2,000 rainbow trout. There are opportunities to catch some nice wild cutthroat trout as well. Light gear works best and fly fishing can be very good, but bait is also allowed. Flows are extremely low, so stealth will be necessary to catch fish.
There are two BLM campgrounds as well as numerous designated campsites along the road. To get there, follow the directions to Green Peter Reservoir and continue around the lake until the river begins.
SALMON CREEK: trout
Salmon Creek was stocked recently for the last time this season with a total of 850 hatchery rainbow trout. Trout are released at several locations up to Black Creek. Bait use is allowed through Oct. 31. Both native and hatchery trout are available for harvest.
SALT CREEK: trout
Salt Creek is a tributary to the Middle Fork Willamette River east of Oakridge and is open to trout harvest through October. This stream is not stocked, but native trout are available for harvest and bait use is allowed during trout season (through Oct. 31). Salt Creek remains open to fishing under normal hours.
SANDY RIVER: spring Chinook, summer steelhead
|Sacirovic Mustafa checks his bait while fishing on the Sandy River.
-Photo by Rick Swart-
There’s nothing new to report for the Sandy River with water levels extremely low, as it’s been the entire summer.
Steelhead returns are below average this summer, although a few are still being hooked, mainly above Dabney Park. A few late summers should be in the river from Cedar Creek downstream, with the best areas for hooking steelhead being near Cedar Creek, Dodge Park, and Revenue. Spring Chinook are also available but the challenging water conditions will test even the most skilled angler.
If you’re targeting spring Chinook, get going early in the morning and concentrate your efforts in the lower river below Dodge Park. Springers are acclimated near the mouth of the Bull Run River and lower flows should cause fish to hold below Dodge Park. Several dozen of these fish have shown up in the ODFW trap on the Bull Run River so there are Chinook around.
USGS hydrological data for the Sandy River on Sept. 1 shows flows at 338 cfs with a gauge reading of 7.69 feet. The water temperature, which has fallen some as the nights are cooler and longer, is holding near 55° in the morning hours.
SANTIAM RIVER (NORTH FORK): steelhead, Chinook
Regular fishing hours have been restored on the Santiam and other rivers around the state as the ban on fishing after 2 p.m. has been lifted.
Most Chinook and steelhead are currently in the upper sections of this river where water temperatures and conditions are better. A recent surge in migrating adults over Willamette Falls may provide some action in lower sections of the river as well. To avoid adding stress to these fish, anglers are encouraged to fish early in the morning or late in the evening and to land fish quickly. If practicing catch and release, avoid taking fish out of the water and minimize handling as much as possible so that these fish can conserve enough energy for spawning in the fall.
When the ‘bite’ is on, bobbers and jigs are the preferred angling method with spoons, spinners and egg clusters also being effective. Currently the entire river below Packsaddle Park (near the Minto Fish Facility) is open year-round to adipose fin-clipped steelhead. Trout fishing opened May 23. Anglers are allowed to keep up to 5 fin-clipped trout per day through Oct. 31.
River levels best for fishing are below 3,000 cfs at the Mehama gauge (currently the Mehama gauge is around 1,100 cfs as of Aug. 24. Current conditions
SANTIAM RIVER (NORTH FORK) above DETROIT:
This section of the river is currently open to trout fishing. The river received its final stocking of 3,000 legal size rainbow trout for the year the last week of July. Holdover and resident trout can be found throughout the river. Anglers may keep up to 5 trout per day.
Closed to salmon fishing.
SANTIAM RIVER (SOUTH FORK): steelhead, Chinook , bass
After a long delay new Chinook and summer steelhead have resumed migration through the ladder at Willamette Falls. This pod of new fish should begin to arrive into the upper tributaries, including the Santiam River, within the next few weeks. There are many Chinook and steelhead already in the basin, with over 2,400 Chinook already recycled downstream from Foster dam.
Best sections to fish are from Wiley Creek to Pleasant Valley boat ramps, around Waterloo County Park, and from Lebanon down to the confluence with the North Santiam. Flows have already reached summer flow conditions, currently 760 cfs at Waterloo. They should remain low for the foreseeable future.
SHERIDAN POND: trout
-Photo by Rick Swart, ODFW-
Stocked in June with 1,000 legal-sized rainbow trout and 125 trophy trout. Sheridan Pond is a 2 ½-acre pond located on the edge of town. An old mill pond, it has plenty of bank access, parking, and a restroom. To get there take Hwy. 18 to Exit 33 onto Balston Rd. Go south on Balston Rd. approximately half a mile and turn left onto a gravel road leading about a quarter mile to the pond.
SILVER CREEK RESERVOIR: trout, catfish
Stocked the week of Aug. 24. with 6,300 legal- and larger-sized rainbow trout. This is a 65-acre reservoir on Silver Creek 2.5 miles south of Silverton on Hwy. 214.
SMITH RESERVOIR: trout
Smith Reservoir was last stocked for the season in late June. Smith Reservoir is north of Trail Bridge Reservoir and is accessed by turning off Hwy 126 at Trail Bridge Reservoir and following FS Road 730 north to Smith Dam. The reservoir is not visible from the highway and is open to year-around fishing. Both native and hatchery trout are available for harvest.
SOUTH FORK YAMHILL RIVER: trout
Stocked in June with 2,000 rainbow trout. The South Fork Yamhill from its confluence with the North Yamhill near McMinnville, upstream about 20 miles to Rock Creek near Grand Ronde is stocked with rainbow trout. Trout are released in multiple locations between Gold Creek Road Bridge and Willamina. This river has the distinction of being one of the few rivers in the state stocked with hatchery trout.
Yamhill River Road runs parallel to much of this section and provides adequate turnouts and parking at several locations near the river. The remaining 15 miles of river open to trout fishing has some public access but also meanders across private lands. ODFW reminds anglers to be aware of and respectful toward private property rights along the river.
ST. LOUIS PONDS: trout, bass, crappie, bluegill, yellow perch, channel catfish
Last stocked in June with a nice batch of rainbow trout. It’s summer, the ponds are shallow so be prepared to deal with aquatic vegetation, i.e., moss.
St. Louis Ponds is a 240-acre fishing complex of seven ponds owned and managed jointly by the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife and Marion County Parks Department. The site has a 2,300-foot paved ADA footpath with turnouts, fishing platforms, restrooms and picnic tables. More primitive trails are also available.
A gate providing access to the last mile of dirt road to the complex is closed Oct. 1 - March 1, although anglers are still permitted to walk in to fish.
St. Louis Ponds is located 13 miles north of Salem and west of I-5. To get to there from the north, take the Woodburn exit off I-5. Then go east to Hwy. 99E. At Hwy. 99E, head south to the town of Gervais. At the light, go west on Gervais Rd. through Gervais. Gervais Rd. changes to St Louis Rd. Continue west on St Louis Rd. as it crosses over I-5 to Tesch Lane, at the railroad crossing. Go left on Tesch Lane and follow the signs to the ponds, about a mile to the main parking lot.
SUNNYSIDE PARK POND: bass, bluegill
This 4-acre pond is located 2 miles above the upper end of Foster Reservoir. Trout stocking season has ended for Sunnyside Pond although a few holdovers may remain. The pond also offers bluegill and largemouth bass year round. Fishing for bass and bluegill should be improving as the water warms and fish become more active.
The park has a campground and picnic area and is a great place to take kids fishing. There is also boat ramp access to the Middle Fork arm of Foster Reservoir. To get there from I5, take US 20 through the town of Sweet Home and continue around Foster Reservoir to Quartzville Creek road. Take a left and follow this road for two miles to the park.
TIMOTHY LAKE: trout
Stocked in June with 11,000 rainbow trout. Timothy Lake is a 1,400-acre lake about 80 miles east of Portland past Mt. Hood. From Hwy 26 turn onto Forest Rd 42 (Skyline Rd), and then west to Forest Rd 57.
TRAIL BRIDGE RESERVOIR: trout
Trail Bridge Reservoir is open to year-round fishing. This reservoir was stocked for the last time this season in late July. This waterbody is adjacent to Hwy 126 and is approximately 60 miles east of Springfield. Only adipose fin-clipped trout may be harvested from Trail Bridge Reservoir. Only flies and lures may be used.
-Photo by Rick Swart, ODFW
TRILLIUM LAKE: trout
Stocked the week of Aug. 24 with 3,000 legal-sized rainbow trout and 334 trophy trout. Trillium Lake is a 60-acre lake located approximately three miles east of Government Camp off of Hwy. 26. This lake is popular for fishing, camping and photography, often clearly reflecting Mount Hood. Adjacent Trillium Lake Campground is administered by the Zigzag Ranger District of the Mount Hood National Forest. The large campground features a seasonal boat ramp and wheelchair-accessible floating dock.
TROJAN PONDS: trout
This is a 15-acre pond just east of Rainier on the north side of Hwy. 30 at the Trojan nuclear facility. The pond is located on the right side of the road as soon as you turn onto the Trojan Access Road.
WILLAMETTE RIVER: sturgeon, spring Chinook, shad
The Willamette has reopened to fishing for trout, steelhead, salmon and sturgeon under normal fishing hours.
Daily counts at the Willamette Falls fish ladder have switched from spring Chinook to fall Chinook as springer counts are officially over for 2015. The final unofficial tally ending Aug. 15 shows 51,046 adult spring Chinook passed through the ladder at the falls, a total well above preseason expectations. The same scenario does not apply for summer steelhead as the overall count on summers continues at a somewhat dismal number.
Hydrological numbers for the Willamette on Sept. 1 show flows up slightly to 5,570 cfs, a water temperature in Oregon City down 4° to 72°, and visibility exceptional at 8.3 ft.
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Willamette Zone Hunting
-Oregon Fish and Wildlife-
OPEN: COUGAR, BLACK BEAR, ARCHERY DEER AND ELK, FOREST GROUSE, MOUTAIN QUAIL, MOURNING DOVE
UPCOMING: September Canada Goose (Sept. 12), BAND-TAILED PIGEON (Sept. 15)
Archery seasons open Aug. 29 – Know before you go!
Hunters will face fire restrictions and some closures and they need to know what those are before they go. More info. Some good resources for fire information: InciWeb, National Forest webpages, Oregon Dept Forestry
ODFW is not closing archery season due to fires.
Fire danger is high to extreme in the Willamette Zone. Hunters are asked to follow all Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) fire restrictions while hunting or scouting. ODF requires each vehicle to be equipped one axe at least 26 inches in length, with a head weighing at least 2 pounds; one shovel at least 26 inches in length, with a blade at least 8 inches wide; and one gallon of water or one fully charged and an operational 2.5 lb. or larger fire extinguisher.
Many private landowners have closed access to their lands due to the fire danger. Please remember to check with the landowner for access restrictions prior to entering private lands. Private timberlands access policy.
In addition industrial forestland owners will usually have information regarding access to their property posted on their gates and usually have a “hotline” devoted to providing up-to-date access for hunters.
Hunters are reminded to have permission to hunt or make sure hunting is allowed before accessing private lands.
Archery Deer and Elk As usual for this time of year, temperature plays a major factor in deer and elk activity levels. Hunters are reminded that weather conditions early in the archery season can be very hot and dry so planning ahead to properly handle harvested animals is essential to avoid spoiling meat. The animals can be expected to spend most of their time feeding in the late evenings and early mornings. During the heat of the day, they will typically bed in shady, cool locations such as north slope timber stands.
Hunters should use binoculars to glass for animals in the early morning hours and hunt bedding areas during the heat of the day. As the temperatures begin to cool, animal activity during the day will begin to increase. In the fall, elk become increasingly vocal as they enter their rut. Hunters may have success with cow and bugle calls if they don’t over call. Hunters can expect to find bulls with or near the cow-calf groups, but most bulls are still being fairly quiet and in bachelor groups. Please remember to check with landowners for current access restriction before hunting on private lands. Many private timberland owners have closed access to their lands due to fire danger.
Return black-tailed deer teeth!
Successful black-tailed deer hunters are asked to return a tooth from their deer. See how to properly remove black-tailed deer teeth (pdf). Postage-paid envelopes are available at license sales agents or ODFW offices. If you can’t pick up an envelope, send the tooth to ODFW, Wildlife Population Laboratory, 7118 NE Vandenberg Ave, Adair Village, OR 97330. Include the following information with the tooth: Your name and address, sex and species of animal (e.g. buck deer), antler points, hunter ID#, date harvested, Wildlife Management Unit or Hunt where harvested, drainage or landmark. ODFW staff use the teeth to determine the age of the animals, which is needed for population modeling and management efforts.
Fall Bear season is now open. To be successful, hunters will want to become familiar with a variety of berry producing plants such as black cap raspberry, Armenian blackberry, trailing blackberry, cascara, blue huckleberry, and elderberry. Hunters that note the location of a variety of berry patches will be able to move throughout the season to stay on the best available food source. Experienced bear hunters may find that the berries in their favorite hunting spots are ripening about three to four weeks earlier than in a typical year.
Early in the hunting season bears will be spending the majority of their time in cool and shaded areas trying to avoid the heat. Although bears are most active in the mornings and evenings, on relatively cooler days bears may be active all day. They will be feeding on the abundant berry crops primarily in the early morning hours so hunters will need to be up and on stands before daylight. When out scouting, hunters should be looking for bear sign close to streams, lakes and adjacent to cool north slopes of timber.
Successful bear hunters will need to check-in any bear taken at an ODFW office within 10 days of harvest. Hunters are reminded that biologists located in field offices may be out in the field handling other issues so call ahead to make arrangements to have your bear checked-in. Be sure to bring in the skull (The skull must be unfrozen and without the hide), the spring bear tag, and harvest location information. Biologists recommend propping the bear’s mouth open with a stick after harvest; it makes for easier tooth collection and measuring. Bear hunters are reminded that it is helpful to submit the reproductive tract of any female bear taken. The reproductive tract provides valuable information on the number and frequency of cubs born annually in Oregon and is a critical part of ODFW’s black bear population models. Please review the 2015 Big Game Hunting Regulations before your hunting trip to ensure that you are familiar with all of the requirements.
The 2015 Cougar season is currently open in NW Oregon for those with a cougar tag. Hunters will have their best success calling cougars to them with predator calls that mimic a distressed deer fawn or elk calf. Approaching cougar can be difficult to see when you are predator calling so hunting with a partner is advised.
Successful cougar hunters will need to check-in any cougar taken at an ODFW office within 10 days of the kill. Hunters are reminded that biologists located in field offices may be out in the field handling other issues so call ahead to make arrangements to have your cougar checked-in. The hide and skull must be unfrozen and the skull and proof of sex must be attached to the hide. Cougar hunters are reminded that it is required to submit the reproductive tract of any female cougar taken. The reproductive tract provides valuable information on the number and frequency of kittens born annually in Oregon and is a critical part of ODFW’s cougar population models. Pick up the Big Game Hunting Regulations before your hunting trip to ensure that you are familiar with all of the requirements.
-Photo by Blaine Fanning-
Upland Game Bird
The dry spring and summer was good for upland bird brood production. Hunters should find fair numbers of forest grouse and quail.
Mountain and California Quail – Open from Sept. 1 to Jan 31 in Western Oregon. These brush loving birds are often found running between hiding and feeding areas in both brushland and riparian zones. Please remember that the daily bag limit is 10 birds and the possession limit is 30 birds singly or in aggregate when both California and mountain quail seasons are concurrent. Remember that the head or one fully feathered wing must be left attached while you are in the field or transporting the bird(s) home. ODFW is conducting a survey to determine Mountain Quail locations east of the Cascade Mountains in Oregon. Please report and observations, including the date, specific location, county of observation, and number of quail to your local ODFW office.
Remember that the wings and tails of the forest grouse and mountain quail you harvest can provide biologists important information about the health of the population. Please remove the entire wing and whole tail including small feathers. The wing and tail from each bird should be put in paper bag (1 bird per bag) and delivered to your local ODFW office or dropped at a collection barrel. If there is a delay in dropping off the bag, please freeze it.
Forest Grouse – Open from Sept. 1 - Jan 31, 2016. The forest grouse group collectively includes the Ruffed and Blue (dusky/sooty) grouse species. Look for grouse along the edges of timber patches during morning and evening times. Remember that the daily bag limit is 3 of each species and possession limit is 9 of each species. Remember that the head or one fully feathered wing must be left attached while you are in the field or transporting the bird(s) home. Review the information provided in the 2015-2016 Oregon Game Bird Regulations for more details.
Your participation is greatly needed
ODFW would appreciate your help in obtaining important information about the health of grouse and mountain quail populations. To do so ODFW would like the tail and one whole wing from any grouse or mountain quail harvested. Grouse and mountain quail wings and tails provide ODFW biologist important information about the health of populations. What to do; remove one entire wing and whole tail including small feathers, place in paper collecting bag provided at ODFW officers or use your own (1 bird per bag), mark the bag with species, date harvested, county of harvest and general location, and drop it off at local ODFW offices or at designated collection sites. If there is a delay in dropping off your specimen, please freeze it.
Migratory Game Birds
- Photo by Dave Budeau-
Mourning Dove – Open statewide from Sept. 1 - Oct. 30. Scout for habitat with plenty of perch locations near open areas. Many doves leave Oregon once fall weather starts approaching so hunting is best early in the season. Remember that the head or one fully feathered wing must be left attached while you are in the field or transporting the bird(s) home. Review the information provided in the 2015-2016 Oregon Game Bird Regulations for more details. A larger and similar looking dove – the Eurasian collared dove is an invasive species and can be hunted year-round with just a hunting license.
Band-tailed Pigeon – Open statewide from Sept. 15 – Sept. 23. Pass shooting is the most common method to bag a few pigeons during the season. Set up in low saddles or off points where pigeons tend to enter and leave clear cuts and other openings. Look for concentrations of elderberry and other fruit bearing plants.
September Canada Goose – Open from Sept. 12 to Sept. 20 in the Northwest Permit Zone. Remember that the daily bag limit is 5 geese and possession limit is 15 geese. Please review the 2015-16 Game Bird Regulations before your hunting trip to ensure that you are familiar with all of the requirements. Remember that geese must be intact and fully feathered in the field and while in transit to a place of permanent residence of the possessor. Refer to page 22-23 in the 2015-16 Game Bird Regulations for more detail.
Hunter orange required for youth
Don’t forget: hunters age 17 and under must wear a fluorescent orange upper garment OR hat when hunting upland game birds (except turkey) and game mammals (deer, elk, bear, cougar, pronghorn, goat, sheep, and western gray squirrel) with a firearm.
Field Care of Harvested wildlife
The proper handling of harvested wildlife is the most important criteria to ensure its value as table fare. After properly tagging the animal, the hunter should remove the entrails and get the hide off to start the cool-down process. Wipe down the carcass with a dry cloth to remove any foreign material and keep the carcass sanitary by placing it into a clean cloth game bag. Warm weather conditions (greater than 50 degrees) can increase bacteria loads so hunters need to get the carcass cooled/
refrigerated as soon as possible. Never place the carcass inside of a plastic bag, tarp or in water since wet or damp meat spoils more quickly. Talk to you local meat processor or butcher to get additional information concerning the proper care of wildlife.
Hunters who drew a controlled tag are reminded to purchase it no later than the day before the hunt begins.
Hunters are reminded to be prepared for emergencies by keeping survival equipment such as food, water, signal mirror, whistle, sleeping bag and first aid kit with you and in your vehicle during your outdoor adventures.
Don’t forget to wear the proper clothing; it is your first defense against the elements. Let someone know where you will be and when you expect to return just in case your vehicle becomes stuck or breaks down.
Hunters should be preparing now for upcoming rifle big game hunting seasons this fall. Sight-in and practice with your firearms to ensure that when you do get the chance to harvest an animal you are confident in your shooting skills. Many of the local gun ranges will have public sight-in days where you can practice your shooting
Be safe, be responsible and be legal.
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Willamette Zone Wildlife Viewing
- Photo by Greg Gillson-
The pileated woodpecker, a spectacular sight
Where to see the bird
In the Willamette Zone, look, first, for habitat. There are many places to see pileated woodpeckers. Remember, they prefer the forest, which doesn’t necessarily mean the wilderness. Visit the Audubon Wildlife Sanctuary, which in only ten minutes from downtown Portland or the running trail in Forest Park—last weekend, there was a pileated woodpecker on the trail; access the trail from NW Thurman Street.
East of Salem, Silver Falls State Park provides good habitat for this woodpecker and several others. Hikers on the Bruno Meadows Trail in the Willamette National Forest out of Detroit will enjoy many mountain forest birds and may see or hear a pileated.
At EE Wilson Wildlife Area in Monmouth, focus on the hardwood-conifer forest east of the angling pond where it borders on Forest Service property.
Fern Ridge Wildlife Area, five miles west of Eugene, is another great place. In the Zuwalt Park area you will find several parking areas along Jeans Road. A variety of habitats are available here. Pileated woodpeckers use the older stands of firs towards the north end of this unit. Viewing sites at Fern Ridge.
About the bird
The pileated, or crested, woodpecker was the model for the cartoon character, Woody Woodpecker. It is a large black-and-white bird with a bold red feathered crest and distinctive call. You may hear its powerful drumming before you see it.
In Oregon, look for it in older forests in the Blue Mountains, East and West Cascades, Klamath Mountains, Willamette Valley and Coast Range ecoregion. They prefer mature forests and younger forests with large snags and logs, requiring large diameter snags for nesting and foraging.
The pileated woodpecker eats the carpenter ants, beetles and termites it uncovers while excavating large diameter dead or fallen trees and logs. Once the woodpecker has moved on, its rectangular excavations serve as home to other birds and mammals.
To hear its call, see a photo and more about the pileated woodpecker, Dryocopus pileatus, visit Cornell Lab of Ornithology All About Birds Web site.
To find out where else to see one in Oregon, see the Northwest, Southwest, Northeast and Central Zone viewing reports.
-phopto by Durham-
Valleywide Wildlife Viewing
Oregon has 15 species of bats most of which occur in the Willamette Valley. Look for bats foraging for insects at dusk. Anywhere close to water is a good place to see bats and they may even fly over your back yard. These little creatures are good to have around as they can eat up to 600 mosquitoes in an hour! Wildlife refuges, ponds, streams and under bridges are all good places to see these fascinating animals. For more information about bats, visit ODFW’s online Living with Wildlife section under Bats.
Beaver, river otter, mink, muskrats and the introduced non-native nutria are common residents along waterways in the Willamette Valley. They can be seen by quietly floating the Willamette River in a canoe or other non-motorized boat and watching the shoreline. They are most visible early in the morning or in the evening when other boat traffic is minimal. Occasionally these animals are seen in the Delta ponds or from the river bike path in Eugene and Springfield or in many of the farm ponds on the valley floor. The non-native nutria has displaced the muskrat from much of the Willamette Valley.
EE Wilson Wildlife Area.
There are lots of deer, shorebirds and waterfowl to see on the Wildlife Area—look for goose, mallard, hooded merganser and wood duck broods. Wildlife viewing remains good for waterfowl and shorebirds. Neotropical migrants in the area include yellow-breasted chat, American goldfinch, various swallows, warblers, thrush, kinglet and common yellowthroat.
Spring and summer are great times for birdwatching migrants as well as waterfowl including mallards, wood duck, hooded merganser, western Canada goose. Snipe and other shorebirds are periodically seen.
Note: Dogs are required to be on a leash inside the wildlife area boundary. Rifles and pistols are prohibited year round.
Directions to EE Wilson Wildlife Area.
Sauvie Island Wildlife Area
Shorebirds have started migrating south and have been viewed moving through. Sturgeon Lake is an excellent place to view them. Approximately 75-100 white pelicans were seen on Mud Lake on the wildlife area recently. Northern harriers, red-tailed hawks, and American kestrel may still be seen on the wildlife area and other points on the island.
The best opportunities for viewing are Coon Point, Eastside Viewing Platform and Rentenaar Road.
Sauvie Island is a main stopping point for migratory birds as they travel along the Pacific Flyway, and ODFW actively manages the Wildlife Area to provide food and cover for these creatures.
Sauvie Island Wildlife Area is located on Sauvie Island, only 10 miles north of Portland off Highway 30. A parking permit is required for the Sauvie Island Wildlife Area and can be purchased at ODFW License vendors or at the Sauvie Island ODFW office, Monday through Friday during office hours. For more information, call (503) 621-3488.
Fern Ridge Wildlife Area
Fern Ridge Wildlife Area is open daily for public use providing great wildlife viewing opportunities. (One section of levee in the western portion of the Fisher Butte unit is posted closed to provide wildlife sanctuary.)
-Photo by Tanna Reed-
Observant visitors may catch a glimpse of black tailed deer and furbearers including beaver and otter, mink, red fox and coyotes. Some of the unusual and special bird species to be on the lookout for include white pelicans, black terns, band-tailed pigeons, yellow-headed blackbirds, osprey and bald eagles. This is a great time of year to look for waterfowl, shore birds, wading birds, songbirds, raptors, reptiles, and amphibians.
There is an elevated viewing platform in the Fisher Butte unit just south of Royal Avenue that is open year-round. A second viewing platform is under construction and scheduled for installation by the end of June. The new viewing platform will be located 1/4 mile north of the Fisher Butte unit parking lot on Hwy 126.
Visitors are reminded that dogs must be kept on leash at all times. Visitors are also cautioned that there have been recent vehicle break-ins at Fern Ridge and in local parks, so please secure your valuables before departing your vehicle. Parking areas are located along Highway 126, Nielson Road, Cantrell Road, Territorial Road, and Clear Lake Road. Contact the wildlife area headquarters, (541) 935-2591 if you have any questions.
Directions to Fern Ridge Wildlife Area.
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