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ODFW WEEKLY RECREATION REPORT
Fishing, Hunting, Wildlife Viewing
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Northwest Zone Map

Weekly Recreation Report: Northwest Zone

December 16, 2014

 Northwest Zone Fishing

2014 Coastal coho and fall Chinook seasons

Now available on the ODFW Website.

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.

Most rivers and streams closed to trout fishing on Oct. 31.

NORTH COAST LAKES

Tahkenitch Lake
Tahkenitch Lake
- Photo by Kathy Munsel-

Trout stocking is complete for the year. The dock was replaced at Town Lake and the lake is full. An additional 30 hatchery summer steelhead adults were released in the lake last week.

MID COAST LAKES

The wild coho salmon fishery in Siltcoos and Tahkenitch Lakes is slow. Most fish have migrated onto the spawning grounds. It is possible for a small number of new bright fish to be available through season end on Dec. 31.

ALSEA RIVER: Chinook, steelhead

Winter steelhead season is underway with reports of some steelhead being caught from the lower river up to the hatchery. Good numbers of fish typically start returning over the next few weeks.

The fall Chinook run is essentially over for the year as most fish have already spawned. Some coho salmon are still being caught but anglers are reminded that the wild coho fishery ended on Nov. 30.

BIG CREEK, GNAT CREEK, NF KLASKANINE: steelhead

Fishing for winter steelhead is fair to good. Increasing numbers of fish will enter the systems over the next few weeks.

KILCHIS RIVER: Chinook, steelhead

Fall Chinook fishing should be fair with the river dropping and clearing. The lower river will provide the best opportunity for a bright fish. Winter steelhead fishing is improving as more fish arrive. Use lighter gear and smaller offerings as the water drops.

NECANICUM RIVER: steelhead

Winter steelhead fishing should be improving as more fish enter the system. The river will be dropping and clearing, so scale down you presentations to match the conditions. Boaters should use caution as woody debris often shifts around in this stream.

NEHALEM RIVER AND NORTH FORK: Chinook, steelhead

Chinook fishing is slow. Many fish are dark and should be released to spawn. Winter steelhead are being caught in the north fork up to the hatchery, with good fishing reported when fishing conditions are prime.
Fishing the Nestucca
Fishing in the Nestucca River
-Photo by Kathy Munsel-

NESTUCCA RIVER AND THREE RIVERS: steelhead, Chinook, coho

Fall Chinook fishing is winding down. Most fish are dark and should be released to spawn. Fishing the river with bait-wrapped plugs, drifted or back-bounced baits, or bobber and bait typically will produce fish. Winter steelhead being caught consistently, especially in Three Rivers. Slowly fish brighter offerings in the slower water and current breaks during the higher flows early this week.

SALMON RIVER: steelhead

Winter steelhead are starting to show up in most coastal basins. Salmon River does get a good return of wild winter steelhead and an occasional stray hatchery fish.

SILETZ RIVER: steelhead, Chinook

Winter steelhead season is underway with a small number steelhead being caught from the lower river up to Moonshine Park by both bank and boat anglers. This time of year is typically slow to fair for winter steelhead. Fall Chinook fishing is slow as most remaining fish have moved onto the spawning grounds. Coho salmon are still being caught but anglers are reminded that the wild coho fishery ended on Nov. 30.

SIUSLAW RIVER: steelhead, Chinook

Winter steelhead are starting to show up in small numbers around the mid to lower sections of the Siuslaw and Lake Creek. Fall Chinook fishing is very slow and any remaining fish have moved onto the spawning grounds. Some coho salmon are still being caught but anglers are reminded that the wild coho fishery ended on Nov 30.

TILLAMOOK BAY: Chinook

Fishing for fall Chinook is slowing down. Some fish will continue to available through the end of the month. Trolling herring or spinners near the bottom is the standard technique.
Riverside Park, Clackamas
Trask River
-ODFW photo-

TRASK RIVER: steelhead, Chinook, coho

Fishing for Chinook has been fair to good depending on river conditions. Bobber and bait, backtrolling plugs, or backbouncing should all produce fish. Winter steelhead fishing is improving as more fish arrive. A few fish are spread through the system.

WILSON RIVER: Chinook, steelhead

Fall Chinook are still available in decent numbers. Fish should be spread out through the river, especially after rains raised the river last week. Release dark fish to spawn. All techniques should produce fish, with bobber and bait, back bouncing, bait-wrapped plugs, and casting spinners among the best. Winter steelhead are available in increasing numbers as well.

YAQUINA RIVER: steelhead, Chinook,

The winter steelhead run is starting to kick in with anglers getting into a few fish along the Big Elk as conditions allow. The fall Chinook fishery is essentially over for the season as most fish have already spawned. Some coho salmon are still moving through the system but anglers are reminded that the wild coho fishery ended on Nov 30.

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  Northwest Zone Hunting

OPEN: COUGAR, BLACK BEAR (closes Dec. 31), GROUSE, QUAIL, WATERFOWL (see regs)

Use the Oregon Hunting Map to see where to hunt.

See the bird and big game hunting forecasts.

Waiting for some birds
Waiting for some birds
-Photo by Anna Grabhorn-

Duck season goes through Jan. 25, 2015 (see regs for season break dates and details). The overall liberal bag limit with some species restrictions, continue this fall. See the 2014-15 Oregon Game Bird Regulations for details. More migratory ducks are present now than earlier in the fall, and the weather has been generally more conducive to productive hunting. Some of the best hunting occurs during the onset of stormy weather when ducks are moving around a lot.

Forest grouse and mountain quail is likely to be fair as it appears that there was not a strong hatch of young that have survived into the fall. If hunting for grouse, look for ruffed grouse on mid-slopes and along riparian areas, and sooty (blue) grouse are usually found at higher elevations on ridge tops. Mountain quail are most often found in brushy clear-cut areas on south or west facing slopes.

Black Bears should be in hibernation by now, and opportunity to find a bear in the forest will be limited. The season closes Dec. 31.

Cougar are most effectively taken by using predator calls. However, cougar densities are relatively low on the north coast. Successful hunters, remember you must check in cougar (hide and skull) at an ODFW office within 10 days of harvest and bring them in unfrozen. It’s also a good idea to prop their mouths open with a stick after harvest for easier tissue sampling, teeth collection and tagging. See regulations for details.

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 Northwest Zone Viewing

Migratory waterfowl have been moving into the north coast area in recent weeks, and a wide variety of ducks and geese are now available for viewing in and around north coast estuaries, including the lower Columbia River.

Snow geese, a relatively uncommon species on the north coast, have recently been seen in Tillamook area pastures. More birds should be coming in as storms further north develop.

Great Egret
Great Egret
-Oregon Fish and Wildife-

TILLAMOOK COUNTY

Substantial numbers of great egrets are now in Tillamook County, where they should be present in farm fields and along estuaries in the county through the winter months. These large white birds are easy to spot as they usually provide a strong contrast to their surroundings, and can often be seen foraging in close proximity to great blue herons.

CLATSOP COUNTY

Jewell Meadows Wildlife Area

Elk viewing has been excellent at Jewell Meadows Wildlife Area. Elk have been visible throughout the day on the Fishhawk Tract. Best viewing times are from about 9:00 AM to Noon. There have also been elk visible on the Beneke Tract. Brochures with maps of the area are available at the main viewing area along Hwy 202. Elk are currently being fed a supplemental diet of alfalfa hay. Staff try to feed close to the viewing areas especially on weekends to enhance viewing opportunities.

Reservations for the winter elk feeding tours have been completely filled for the three month season. Please remember that areas posted as wildlife refuge are closed to public access and areas along Beneke Creek posted closed to entry during any Saddle Mountain elk season are also closed during those hunting seasons.

Wildlife Area Parking Permits are now required on the wildlife area (as of Jan. 1, 2014) including during the elk feeding tours.

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