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

Weekly Recreation Report: Southeast Zone

October 28, 2014

 Southeast Zone Fishing

Redband Trout
Redband Trout
-Oregon Dept. of Fish & Wildlife-

Weekend fishing opportunities

  • The Klamath River below Keno Dam is open. This area typically provides excellent fishing for large redband trout.
  • With recent rain large trout are moving into the Sprague River from the Williamson River in good numbers. If you can find the large trout, fishing can be excellent.

2014 trout stocking for the Southeast Zone

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.

ANA RESERVOIR: hatchery rainbow trout, hybrid bass

Although fishing pressure at Ana Reservoir is typically low this time of year, fish are active with cooling temperatures. Hybrid bass are traditionally targeted using crank baits, however they are caught in the reservoir using various methods including bait. Trout are averaging 12 to 14-inches and hybrid bass larger than 20-inches are not uncommon.

ANA RIVER: hatchery rainbow trout

Fishing should be good for rainbow trout in Ana River. The Ana River is spring fed and rainbow trout are active throughout the year. The river was sampled on June 5 to evaluate the current stocking strategy and size of trout in the river. We found smaller trout (8 to 10-inches) were dominant from the dam for about 2 miles downstream. Larger trout up to 14-inches are more common in areas where access is more difficult.

Anglers can access these trout by floating the river in a pontoon or float tube. Caddis flies are the dominant invertebrate.

Ana River is a good TROUT 365 fishery – good trout fishing 365 days a year.

ANNIE CREEK: brook trout, brown trout and rainbow trout

Fishing is slow due to the small population size of brook trout. Public access is available on USFS and Oregon Department of Forestry land at the winter snow park area off highway 62 on your way to Crater Lake. Annie Creek closes to fishing after Oct. 31.

ANTHONY LAKE: rainbow trout, brook trout

The lake was stocked several times in July with legal and trophy-sized rainbow trout. Fall is a special time to fish this lake as fishing pressure is light and the bite picks up with cooler water temps.

BALM CREEK RESERVOIR: rainbow trout, smallmouth bass, crappie

The reservoir has been drained. Trout will be restocked next spring.

BEULAH RESERVOIR: redband trout, hatchery rainbow trout, whitefish, bull trout

No recent fishing report. The reservoir water level is declining with irrigation use and boat ramps are not useable. USBR crews have been tagging fish populations in the reservoir over the last several years. If you catch a tagged trout report it to the Hines office at 541-573-6582.

BLITZEN RIVER: trout

No recent fishing report. The Little Blitzen River is catch-and-release for trout all year.

BLUE LAKE: hatchery rainbow trout

Blue lake is a fantastic high elevation lake located in the Gearhart Wilderness between Bly and Lakeview. A three mile trail leads to the lake and is a 1-2 hour hike. Fish were sampled by net and hook and line sampling. Rainbow trout ranged from 6 to 17-inches and were in healthy condition. The trout at this lake see little pressure and are easy to catch using flies, lures or bait.

BULLY CREEK RESERVOIR: bass, crappie, yellow perch, catfish, trout

The reservoir water level continues to decline with irrigation withdrawal. Boat ramp is not usable. No recent fishing report but anglers had been catching lots of crappie around 4-inches. The reservoir has been stocked with trout this spring but trout fishing will begin to fade as water levels decline and temperatures increase.

rainbow trout
Rainbow Trout
- Photo by Kevin Clawson-

BURNS POND: trout, bass

About 2,000 legal (8 to 11-inches) rainbow trout were stocked in the pond the week of Oct. 3. Fishing should be good for rainbow trout over the next few weeks and consistent throughout the winter.

BURNT RIVER: rainbow trout

The South Fork of the Burnt River was stocked in late May.

CAMPBELL LAKE: brook trout, rainbow trout

Fishing should be very good as fish begin to feed heavily in preparation for overwintering.

CHEWAUCAN RIVER: redband trout

The river downstream of Paisley closes to trout fishing after Oct. 31. The river upstream of Hwy 31 at Paisley is open and the use of bait in this section of the river is PROHIBITED! Access across property owned by the J-Spear Ranch will be closed to anglers beginning after July 7, 2014. The ranch is taking this action as a fish conservation measure to protect fish during months when the water becomes warmer.

CHICKAHOMINY RESERVOIR: trout

The reservoir is low and the boat ramp is out of the water. Trout numbers will be down this fall, but anglers may be able to catch some trout as temperatures decline.

COTTONWOOD MEADOWS: rainbow trout, brook trout

Fly anglers have experienced excellent late season trout fishing in recent years. Keep an eye out for flying carpenter ants and be able to match them with flies if they hitting the water surface in great numbers. Fishing from a boat with olive colored flies can be very productive. Rainbow trout and brook trout also feed on fat head minnows along the shoreline especially in the fall months. Casting flies that mimic minnows on a very fast retrieve can work well. Lures that mimic small bait fish also work great.

COW LAKES: largemouth bass, white crappie, brown bullheads, rainbow trout

The upper lake is full and the lower one is dry.

As of 2013, the lakes will no longer be stocked with rainbow trout due to poor habitat quality. Ice fisherman reported poor success for warm water species and trout.

Deadhorse Lake
Deadhorse Lake
-Photo by David Banks, ODFW-

DEADHORSE LAKE: rainbow trout

Fishing should be good.

DELINTMENT LAKE: trout

No recent reports, but fishing should become better as water temperatures decline during the fall.

DEMING CREEK: redband trout

Most redband trout in the stream are less than eight-inches long. Fishing is closed for bull trout. Deming Creek will close to fishing after Oct. 31.

DEVILS LAKE (FISHHOLE CREEK): largemouth bass, black crappie, yellow perch, brown bullhead

Water levels are unknown but fishing at Devils Lake should be fair for warmwater fish. Sampling in 2012 showed good numbers of 10 to 11-inch crappie. There also should be a good age class of 4 year old largemouth bass that average 10-inches.

DOG LAKE: largemouth bass, yellow perch, black crappie, brown bullhead

Sampling in June confirmed that brown bullheads are dominating the fishery this year. The bullheads range in size from 8 to 14-inches and are a great fish for kids.
Bass anglers have reported the best bass fishing at the reservoir in years with fish of various sizes caught. Bank and boat access is excellent at the lake.

DUNCAN RESERVOIR: rainbow trout

Water temperatures are cooling and fishing should improve.

EAGLE CREEK: rainbow trout, brook trout

Eagle Creek was stocked with legal-sized rainbow trout in the vicinity of the USFS Campgrounds and West Eagle Meadows the week of June 23. Many of these fish likely moved downstream due to high flows the last week of June.

FISH LAKE (Steens Mountain): rainbow trout, brook trout

Fish are available for anglers to catch. Contact Burns BLM for updates on road access this summer (541 573-4400).

FISH LAKE (Wallowa Montains): rainbow trout, brook trout

Stocked with rainbows the last week of June. Fishing should pick up with cooler fall temperatures and light fishing pressure.

FOURMILE CREEK (tributary to Agency Lake): brook, brown, and redband trout.

Fourmile Creek off Westside road just north of Cherry Creek is open all year with bait allowed. Fishing should be good for brook trout. A few large brown trout occur in the stream.

rainbow trout
Rainbow Trout
-Photo by Roger Smith-

FOURMILE LAKE: rainbow trout, lake trout, kokanee, brook trout

The lake was stocked during Labor Day weekend with 12 to 14-inch rainbow trout. Brook trout and lake trout are more numerous near the deeper water along the west shoreline and at the north end of the lake. Fishing should be very good for lake trout and brook trout as they actively spawning along the shoreline.

The boat ramp at Fourmile Lake is accessible; however, it is unimproved and launching boats might be challenging due to low water levels. The lake is currently at dead pool.

Fourmile Lake levels

Fourmile Lake is very windy in the afternoon; therefore, fishing is best in early morning and evenings. The wind also blows towards the boat ramp making it difficult to place the boat on a trailer. There is an improved campground and numerous trails nearby that lead to other lakes that are stocked. Lakes within a mile of Fourmile Lake that are stocked by helicopter are Squaw, Woodpecker and Badger. Badger Lake is the most productive. Bring your mosquito repellant.

GERBER RESERVOIR: crappie, yellow perch, brown bullhead and largemouth bass

The lake is only 2 percent full, which makes launching boats challenging if possible. Fishing is slow.

HAINES POND: rainbow

The pond was recently stocked with trophy-sized rainbow trout.

HEART LAKE: rainbow trout, kokanee

No recent reports.

HOLBROOK RESERVOIR: rainbow trout

Bag and size limits have been lifted at the reservoir to enable anglers to harvest rainbow trout before it goes dry. Anglers can also try fishing Lofton Reservoir or Heart Lake.

HWY 203 POND: trout, bass, bluegill

Fishing for trout and warmwater fish should improve with cooler fall temperatures.

J.C. BOYLE RESERVOIR (Topsy Reservoir): Largemouth bass, yellow perch, brown bullhead, pumpkinseed, crappie, goldfish

Fishing is fair for warmwater fish such as crappie, pumpkinseed sunfish and brown bullhead catfish. Dense aquatic vegetation makes fishing challenging. The reservoir is turbid therefore anglers should try lures with high visibility and scent.

Access is great here with a BLM campground with fishing pier and boat launch. Boats can be launched in several locations in the reservoir. Unimproved ramps occur just north and south of the bridge crossing. No fees are required to launch at these locations.

Try the bay just south of the BLM campground for crappie and pumpkinseed. Also try the rocky areas near and under the bridge. Goldfish dominate the fish assemblage in the reservoir. Anglers should mimic the goldfish with bronze or copper lures or plugs to catch largemouth bass in the reservoir.

JUNIPER LAKE: cutthroat trout

The lake is very low (reduced to two small pools). The lake can be accessed on public land off the East Steens Loop Rd. on the SE side. A large portion of the lake is privately owned, as indicated by the fence lines; however, bank access is permitted. Please be respectful of private property.

Redband Trout
Klamath Redband Trout
-Photo by Roger Smith-

UPPER KLAMATH AND AGENCY LAKES: native redband trout and yellow perch

Fishing is generally slow with catch rates averaging 7 hours per redband from boat and 30 hours per redband from the shore. Most fishing takes place from a boat this time of year but fishing from the shore begins to improve as November approaches. November is one of the best months to fish Upper Klamath Lake from shore. Redband trout are scattered sparsely around the lakes fishing will be slow. Water temperature has dropped and is averaging around 49-50 degrees. Water temperatures around 58-60 degrees are ideal for redband trout activity. The lake is 5 feet below full pool.

ODFW encourages catch and release as this fishery is managed for trophy trout. Redband trout captured should not be removed from the water, resuscitated by cradling and pumping gills by moving fish back and forth through the water. It is unlawful to continue to fish for the same type of fish after taking and retaining a catch or possession limit.

Upper Klamath Lake is a good TROUT 365 fishery – good trout fishing 365 days a year.

KLAMATH RIVER: native rainbow-redband trout

The section from Keno Dam to J.C. Boyle Reservoir (Topsy Reservoir) opened to fishing Oct. 1. Currently river flows are 659 cfs. Flows remain ideal for a successful fishing outing. The Klamath River is a rugged river with extremely difficult wading. The river is also always turbid. ODFW recommends wearing studded wading shoes, wading belt, and polarized glasses to observe boulders. Fish can also be landed easier with a landing net in the fast pocket water. Most fish being captured are less than 16 inches. Most fish are feeding on minnows. Fishing remains open throughout the fall and winter. Fishing in November can be excellent.

The Klamath River between JC Boyle Dam to JC Boyle Powerhouse offers excellent spinner fishing as well as good dry fly-fishing with small flies. Most fish in this section are small and average 10 inches. Below the springs this section remains near a constant 360 cfs of flow. Fishing is best below the spring inputs. The most effective method this time of year it to cast black spinners upstream into the pools. Fishing with dry flies is also very good. Most attractor dry flies will work well. This section of river requires a hike down steep grade to the river with the exception of the area just above the powerhouse. Caddisfly imitations are working well.

Below the JC Boyle powerhouse the fish get slightly larger than the aforementioned reach and average 12 inches but rarely exceed sixteen inches. River flows in this section are typically quite high during the day but expect flows to be low this week during the afternoon Fishing should be excellent during the low flow period.

If flow levels are 900 cfs or lower the river is fishable. Dead drifting rubber legged stonefly patterns and/or bead head pheasant tails can be good. Caddisfly imitations work well this time of year. Casting leech or wooly buggers upstream into fast water pockets and pools and stripping can be very effective. Look for blue winged olive mayfly hatches in the afternoon. Most fish are in the 6-8 inch range but numerous 12 inch fish can be caught with 16 inches the maximum.

Flows will be high through most daylight hours. Flow release estimates have been discontinued until next spring.

Klamath River is a good TROUT 365 fishery – good trout fishing 365 days a year.

KRUMBO RESERVOIR: trout, bass

No recent fishing reports. Water remains high and boats can be launched at the boat ramp.

Brown Trout
Brown Trout
-Photo by Patti Abbot-

LAKE OF THE WOODS: hatchery rainbow trout, kokanee, hatchery brown trout, yellow perch, brown bullhead, smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, crappie, tui chub

Call Lake of the Woods Resort for recent reports Toll Free at 866-201-4194. Lake of the Woods was stocked recently with 12 to 14-inch rainbow trout. Most trout have moved to deeper water and occur around 15 feet. Trolling with lead core line, downriggers or other gear to get down to the fish will be most effective.

Fishing for brown bullhead and yellow perch is a good backup plan if the trout are not cooperating. Small lures and bait will catch the numerous stunted yellow perch in the lake. Smallmouth bass should be active but most will be less than 14 inches as bass grow very slowly in the lake. Fishing for largemouth bass is very good around the many docks and large wood in the lake.

Fishing is best in very early mornings and very late evenings. The lake is very busy with other recreational watercraft. The emergent vegetation north of the Sunset boat ramp is also productive.

LOFTON RESERVOIR: rainbow trout

Fly anglers have reported good fishing early and late. Nearshore vegetation is thick and water levels are low.

LONG CREEK: brook trout, redband trout, bull trout

Fishing for brook trout is excellent on Long Creek. Fly fisherman will have good success with grasshopper imitations as there are abundant grasshoppers this year.

Fishing is best near the meadow areas above the 27 road crossing. Brook trout are actively spawning and easy to catch. Oct. 31 is the last day to fish Long Creek for the season.

LOST RIVER: largemouth bass, brown bullhead, yellow perch

Public access is available at Crystal Springs day use area. Anglers can fish from the specifically designed bridge for fishing at this location. Boats can be launched from an improved boat ramp at Crystal Springs.

Sacramento perch had been reported captured below Horseshoe Dam. This is one of the only locations in the state to capture this fish.

The Lost River is open to fishing year round.

MALHEUR RESERVOIR: hatchery rainbow trout

The reservoir is low and fishing is slow. Please handle smaller fish with care when releasing them; they are next year’s holdover trout.

MALHEUR RIVER (Warm Springs Reservoir downstream to South Fork Malheur River): redband trout and hatchery rainbow trout

Water releases from Warm Springs Reservoir are 3 cfs as of Sept. 22 and the reservoir is at dead-pool. Fishing is poor.

MALHEUR RIVER (from the South Fork Malheur River near Riverside, downstream to Gold Creek): redband trout and hatchery rainbow trout.

Fishing is slow and water temperatures are warm.

MALHEUR RIVER, NORTH FORK: redband trout, whitefish, and bull trout

No recent reports. Trout fishing will begin to improve as water temperatures decrease.

MALHEUR RIVER, MIDDLE FORK: redband trout, brook trout, and bull trout

No recent reports.

Trout fishing will begin to improve as water temperatures decrease.

MANN LAKE: trout

No recent fishing reports, but anglers had been catching good numbers of large cutthroat trout this spring. Most fish are 14 to 16-inches long, with several over 20-inches being caught. Expect water levels to be low.

MILLER LAKE: brown trout, kokanee, rainbow trout, brook trout

Fishing is fair for brown trout but will be improving as brown trout begin to cruise the shoreline looking for places to spawn. Please report any circular wounds on trout that might be caused by lamprey to the Klamath Falls ODFW office at 541-883-5732. Recent sampling showed low numbers of 12 to 16-inch brown trout cruising the shoreline.

Miller Lake has an improved USFS campground with running water, a nice boat ramp and great swimming beach. The 12 mile gravel road into Miller Lake is in horrible condition with numerous washboards. Most anglers use a boat and troll deep to capture brown trout in the lake. Good places to try for brown trout are Evening Creek and near the outlet at Miller Creek.

MOON RESERVOIR: bass, trout

The reservoir is very low with warm water and the boat ramp is out of the water. Carp remain available.

MUD LAKE: trout

No recent reports.

MURRAY RESERVOIR: trout

Stocked with legal-sized rainbows the week of April 28. Fishing should improve with cooler fall temperatures.

NORTH POWDER POND: rainbow trout

The pond was recently stocked with trophy-sized rainbow trout.

OVERTON RESERVOIR: rainbow trout

Anglers can access the reservoir, but duck weed is beginning to present problems for bank anglers. It is best to take a boat, float tube, or pontoon boat this time of year so you can fish the open water. Trout up to 14-inches are available.

OWYHEE RESERVOIR: largemouth and smallmouth bass, crappie, yellow perch, catfish

No recent reports, but angling is expected to be slow. No boat ramps are useable based on the Bureau of Reclamation webpage.

OWYHEE RIVER (Lower): brown trout and hatchery rainbow trout

Water releases below the dam were at 143 cfs as of Sept. 22. Please use ethical angling practices; be respectful of other fisherman, use barbless hooks, land fish quickly and keep fish in the water at all times.

OWYHEE RIVER (Upper): smallmouth bass and channel catfish

No recent reports, but fishing is expected to be slow.

PHILLIPS RESERVOIR: trout, perch

The reservoir is at 15 percent of capacity. Fishing for rainbow trout and yellow perch should improve with cooler fall temperatures.

A second batch of tiger muskie were released into the reservoir in early July of 2014. Anglers are reminded that tiger muskie are restricted to catch-and-release only. No harvest or removal from the reservoir is allowed. The last stocking of legal-sized rainbow trout occurred late June. Fishing for legal-sized rainbows should be fair to good until the water heats up. In early May, 7,500 tiger trout were released. These fish will be 8 to 10-inches when released and should be much larger by fall. As with the tiger muskie, fishing for tiger trout is restricted to catch and release only.

Launching boats at the Union Creek Campground boat launch is not possible. Launching at the boat launch adjacent to the dam is feasible, but rough due to pot holes in the ramp.

PILCHER RESERVOIR: trout

The reservoir water level is low, and the water level is now below the low water boat launch. Launching of boats is not possible. The reservoir closes to fishing on Nov. 1.

POISON CREEK RESERVOIR: hatchery rainbow trout

Trout fishing has been slow, but should improve as water temperatures cool. The limit is 2 per day, please respect the fishing regulations for the reservoir.

POLE CREEK RESERVOIR: hatchery rainbow trout

The reservoir is less than half-full. Catch rates remain fair for holdover trout; however, several fish up to 17-inches have been caught recently using bait. The reservoir was stocked with legal-sized trout earlier this spring.

POWDER RIVER: trout, spring Chinook

The Powder River below Mason Dam was last stocked in June.

Bull Trout
Brook Trout
-Oregon Fish and Wildlife-

SAND AND SCOTT CREEKS: brook trout and brown trout

Sand and Scott Creeks are very small spring fed streams west of Hwy 97 near the Silver Lake highway junction. Fishing on these small streams is open year-round with bait allowed. Most fish are less than 8-inches long.

SEVENMILE CREEK: brook trout, brown trout, redband trout

Flows will be low and ideal for a successful fishing outing. Access is available to the public upstream of Nicholson Road. Fishing above Nicholson Road is very good for 6 to 8-inch brook trout. Fly fishing with dry flies can be very good. ODFW encourages the harvest of brook trout in the stream. Larger brown trout can be found on Sevenmile Creek lower in the system but the only public property is on Sevenmile Canal near the mouth with Agency Lake.

Sevenmile Creek closes to fishing after Oct. 31.

SKY LAKES AND MOUNTAIN LAKE WILDERNESS: brook trout and rainbow trout

This is a great time to visit the Wilderness lakes as most mosquitoes are gone. Access is available to all the lakes but snow is beginning to fall. Thirty-five lakes are stocked with fingerling rainbow or brook trout in the Sky Lakes and Mountain Lakes Wilderness. Several other lakes are not stocked and have natural reproduction of brook trout. Concentrate fishing efforts on the larger mountain lakes such as Como, South Pass and Harriette. Marguette and Isherwood in the Sky Lakes wilderness are also fishing well for rainbow trout up to 16-inches. Flies that mimic dragonfly larvae and lures were effective. Bubble and fly is recommended as most fish are a distance from shore. Packing a floating device into the lakes would improve catch rates. Stomach samples of rainbow trout showed they were eating large dragonfly larvae. Brook trout fishing has also been good at Marguette. Fishing is best in the late afternoon and evening. Contact the ODFW Klamath Falls office for a list of lakes with fish.

SHERLOCK GULCH RESERVOIR: rainbow trout

No recent reports, but fish should be available for anglers to catch.

SPRING CREEK: redband trout, brown trout and brook trout

Fishing is always slow on Spring Creek as the creek is a spring fed system that is cold and clear with low catchable fish density. ODFW encourages the release of large, spawning redband trout. A few brown trout have entered the creek in preparation for spawning. Spring Creek closes for the season after Oct. 31.

SPRAGUE RIVER: redband trout, brown trout, largemouth bass and yellow perch

With recent rain large trout are moving into the Sprague River from the Williamson River in good numbers. If you can find the large trout, fishing can be excellent.

The river is low and visibility will be good. Public access is available at numerous USFS properties along Sprague River highway, near the town of Sprague River, two county parks off Drews Road and just upstream of Beatty. Small boats can be launched at all these locations.

A boat is recommended for fishing most of the Sprague River as angling from shore is difficult. Best fishing is near the town of Beatty where numerous cold water springs enter the river. Look for blue winged olive hatches in the afternoon.

Most fish caught are redband trout that range from 10 to 14-inches. The Sprague River will close to fishing after Oct. 31.

NORTH FORK SPRAGUE RIVER AND ALL TRIBUTARIES: brook trout, redband trout, brown trout, bull trout

Fishing remains very good throughout the North Fork Sprague. Fishing with dry flies can be good around the Sandhill Crossing campground and wading this stretch is relatively easy. The river from Sandhill Crossing campground to near the headwaters is a low gradient, meadow type stream. Brook trout are spawning in large concentrations in the upper sections of the NF Sprague and Tributaries. Fishing can be excellent for brook and brown trout this time of year.

Brook and brown trout dominate the catch above Lee Thomas Crossing while redband trout dominate the catch above the first 3411 crossing. Large brown trout are available near the first 3411 crossing. Bring your mosquito repellant. Caddisflies are hatching and caddisfly dry fly imitations work very well. Brown trout fishing is very good in the late evening as they come out of hiding.

The North Fork Sprague and all tributaries will close to fishing after Oct. 31.

SOUTH FORK SPRAGUE RIVER AND ALL TRIBUTARIES: brook trout, redband trout, brown trout, bull trout

Angling will be slow due to low fish numbers from drought in the years 2009-2010 and 2012-2013. Access to the South Fork Sprague occurs at a very nice picnic area off highway 140 and near Corral Creek campground. Flows will be ideal for fishing. Best fishing will be near the Corral Creek campground. Bring your mosquito repellant.

The South Fork Sprague and all tributaries will close to fishing after Oct. 31.

SUN CREEK: brook trout, bull trout, brown trout

Anglers need to concentrate efforts below the bridge crossing on Sun Creek as the area above the road was treated in 2012 and 2013 to remove brook trout to benefit native redband trout and bull trout. The section of Sun Creek above the barriers upstream of the road crossing had bull trout only. Angling for bull trout is closed in the Klamath Basin. Anglers should be able to identify brook, brown and bull trout. Various signs and trout identification cards are available around the Wood River and Sun Creek access points.

Sun Creek will close to fishing after Oct. 31.

Redband Trout
Redband Trout
-Photo by Roger Smith-

SYCAN RIVER: brook trout, redband trout

Fishing was slow for redband trout below the marsh due to low fish density caused by the 2013 drought. The Sycan River above Pikes crossing should be excellent for brook trout and redband trout. Expect flows to be low and ideal. Large concentrations of brook trout up to 10 inches can be observed spawning near the Hanan Trailhead on the Upper Sycan River.

The Sycan River and all tributaries will close to fishing after Oct. 31.

THOMPSON RESERVOIR: rainbow trout, largemouth bass

Water levels at the reservoir are lower than normal, but trout and bass are still available for anglers. No recent reports.

THIEF VALLEY RESERVOIR: trout

The reservoir was recently drained by the Lower Powder River Irrigation District. The reservoir will be restocked with sub-legal rainbow trout in November. These fish will not be to legal-size until spring of 2015. Until then no fishing opportunity exists at this reservoir.

TWIN LAKES: rainbow trout, brook trout

The lake at the campground was stocked with legal-sized rainbows the last week of June. Fishing should improve with cooler fall temperatures.

UNITY RESERVOIR: trout, bass, crappie

The reservoir is at about 5 percent of capacity. Anglers are reminded that a new regulation restricts the harvest of bass to those under 15-inches long.

VEE LAKE: rainbow trout

Anglers can access the reservoir, but vegetation is beginning to present problems for bank anglers. It is best to take a boat, float tube, or pontoon boat this time of year so you can fish the open water.

WARM SPRINGS RESERVOIR: smallmouth bass, crappie, catfish, perch, rainbow trout

The reservoir is at dead-pool and fishing is slow.

LOWER WILLIAMSON RIVER: redband and brown trout

The Williamson River switched to catch-and-release for rainbow trout on Aug. 1.

Fishing is good above Chiloquin as multiple mayfly species are hatching. Mayflies hatching are small and should be matched with size 16-20 flies.

ODFW encourages catch and release in this fishery to promote trophy sized fish as the Williamson River is managed for trophy redband trout. Hatches of small mayflies in the evening with some surface activity occurring especially above the town of Chiloquin.

Many of the redband trout below Chiloquin have either moved back into the lake or upstream towards spawning grounds. Most effective fishing below Chiloquin occurs from a drift boat as little public access occurs. Most anglers hire a guide to fish this river due to the challenge of catching fish. Most anglers fly fish this section of river.

Numerous insect hatches are occurring including various very small mayflies (BWO, Trico, Mahogany duns) and caddis including the large October caddisflies. Look for hatches of small mayflies in the evening with some surface activity occurring especially above the town of Chiloquin. Large brown trout can be stalked in the small pools above Spring Creek.

The Williamson River closes to fishing after Oct. 31.

UPPER WILLIAMSON RIVER: redband and brook trout

Upper Williamson is a slow, meandering spring fed river. The best time to fish is when fish are rising steadily to insect hatches.Numerous other small mayflies are hatching on the Williamson River with 6-8 inch brook and redband trout rising. Anglers can pay to fish Yamsi or Sand Creek Ranches and the fishing is exceptional especially for abundant brook trout. A few large redband trout exceeding 20-inches are also available. River flows are low.

The Upper Williamson closes to fishing after Oct. 31.

WILLOW VALLEY RESERVOIR: largemouth bass, crappie, yellow perch, bluegill, lahontan cutthroat

The current conditions at the reservoir are unknown but launching boats might be impossible.

WOLF CREEK RESERVOIR: crappie, trout

Fishing for 8 to 11-inch rainbow trout is very good. The water level is now below the boat launch so fishing with larger trailered boats is not possible. Try flyfishing with a float tube or trolling with a small car-top type boat.

Brook Trout
Brook Trout
-U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service-

WOOD RIVER and all tributaries: redband, brown, brook and bull trout

Wood River is one of the best brown trout fisheries in the state. Fishing is good for brown trout and slow for redband trout. Fair hatches of blue winged olive mayflies, mahogany dun mayflies, October caddis and other various small caddisflies are getting the interest of brown trout and the occasional large redband trout. Brown trout are near spawning and have moved up higher into the system. The highest density of brown trout in the river occurs below Weed Road in the early season. Anglers should also have success fishing spoons and plugs in the deep pools for brown trout. If brown trout are not rising to insects they are typically holding in deep water or under cover. Flies and lures should be fished deep when no surface activity is observed.

Sculpins are also a favorite food for brown trout. Sculpins live on the bottom of the river which is another reason anglers need to present flies and lures near the bottom.

A boat is recommended to fish the Wood River as little public land occurs on the river. Most anglers use a low profile boat to float under and portage around the many obstacles on the river. A typical drift boat can be used from Weed Road to mouth but can’t be used upstream due to low bridges.

Bank access is limited but public property is available on BLM property at the BLM wetland and the USFS Day use area above Fort Klamath. Small boats can be launched at Kimball State Park (breathtaking headwaters), USFS day use area, Highway 62 bridge crossing and Weed Road. Weed Road has the only semi-improved boat launch for larger boats such as drift boats.

The Wood River will close to fishing after Oct. 31.

YELLOWJACKET LAKE: trout

About 4,000 legal (8 to 11-inches) rainbow trout were stocked into the lake during the week of Oct. 3. Fishing should be good for the next few weeks and consistent throughout the winter.

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  Southeast Zone Hunting

OPEN: COUGAR, BLACK BEAR, RIFLE DEER (see regs), CONTROLLED ELK, GROUSE and MOURNING DOVE (closes Oct. 30)

See the bird and big game hunting forecasts.

Wolf coyote identificationWolves and coyotes can look alike

Most wolves in the state today are in northeast Oregon but a few have dispersed further west and south. Wolves are protected by state and/or federal law and it is unlawful to shoot them. Coyote hunters need to take extra care to identify their target as wolves can look like coyotes, especially wolf pups in the mid-summer and fall.

ODFW appreciates hunters’ assistance to establish wolves’ presence in Oregon; please report any wolf sightings or wolf sign to ODFW using the online reporting system.

Use the Oregon Hunting Map to see where to hunt.

HARNEY COUNTY

Hunting maps for Harney County

Hunters are reminded of four Travel Management Areas in the Harney district. Two in the Silvies Unit (Dairy Creek and Burnt Cabin) and two in the Malheur River Unit (Conroy Cliff and Devine-Rattlesnake). Maps are available at each major entry point of the travel management area as well as online and at the Hines office. Period of restrictions are Oct. 1 through Oct. 10 and Oct. 26 through Nov. 16.

Elk – First season Bull ELK opens on Wednesday Oct. 29.  Elk populations are stable, with good numbers of yearling bulls available due to good recruitment last spring. The mild winter experienced throughout southeast Oregon in 2014 has benefited most desert species. Elk season is expected to be fair to good depending on weather conditions.  Youth antlerless elk hunts also continue. 

Upland Game Bird season opened on Oct. 11. From late winter through summer of 2014, extremely dry weather persisted across much of SE Oregon which was poor for habitat. Recent precipitation may help bird populations by providing some much needed fall green up. Overall chukar and quail populations are expected to be similar to the past two seasons, and are still below the 10 year average. PHEASANT hunting opportunities are limited in Harney County. Check out the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge website for pheasant and quail hunt areas open to the public.

Waterfowl season opened Oct. 11 as well. Hunting may be limited in the Harney Basin due to low water conditions in Malheur Lake and most local reservoirs. Best hunting opportunities will be for Canada geese on private lands, hunters are reminded to get permission from the landowner before hunting on private lands. Check out the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge website for detailed maps.

Fall Bear season continues thru Nov. 30. Bear populations in Harney County are generally low. While no formal surveys are done for bear in this area, bear populations appear to be stable. Hunters are reminded that hunter harvested bear MUST be checked in at an ODFW field office within 10 days of harvest; please bring bear in thawed and with mouth propped open for easier tissue and tooth collection.

Mourning Dove season closes Oct. 30. Best prospects will be around agricultural areas or near water sources. Hunters are reminded that Eurasian-collared doves are now unprotected and can be taken year round. As a reminder Mourning Dove season has been extended until Oct. 30 statewide.

Forest Grouse season opened Sept. 1. Grouse can be found in the forested portions of the Silvies and Malheur Units, but population numbers are low.

Cougar hunting is open. The deadline to purchase a general season tag for the 2014 calendar year is Oct.3. If you have already purchased the general season tag you may purchase an additional cougar tag at any time. Populations are healthy and distributed throughout the district in any area with a big game prey base. Successful hunters must check-in cougars no more than 10 days after harvest; please bring cougar in thawed and with mouth propped open for easier tissue sampling, teeth collection and tagging.

Coyote populations are fairly low throughout Harney County. Pups have dispersed from the den. Standard predator calls will be effective from now through December. Be aware that bobcats and cougars may respond to predator calls, and separate licensing and season limitations exist for these species.

Elkhorn Wildlife Area
Rocky Mountain Elk; Starkey Experimental Forest
-Photo by David Bronson-

KLAMATH COUNTY

First Season Rocky Mountain Elk seasons open on Wednesday, October 29. Cooler wet weather should improve hunting conditions. Elk numbers, although at fairly low densities, remain stable with good older age bulls available.

Controlled archery deer season for the Keno Unit remains open through November 19.  Recent precipitation and cooler temperatures should improve hunting conditions.

Mountain quail season is now open with best prospects in the southern Keno Unit.  Look for brushy areas.  Hunters are reminded of the daily bag limit of 2/day in Klamath
County.

Grouse Season opened Sept. 1 and includes both Blue and Ruffed Grouse with a daily bag limit of 3 per species. For Blue Grouse, hunters should concentrate on semi-open ridge lines. Ruffed grouse are restricted primarily to creek drainages in the Cascades although birds can be found in some areas further east as well.

Fall Black Bear seasons opened Aug. 1. While no formal surveys are done for bear in this area, bear populations appear to be increasing. Highest concentrations of bears in Klamath County will be found along the eastern slope of the Cascade Mtns. In previous years, hunters have found success with stand hunting near water holes and by glassing open hillsides where bears commonly feed on berries during morning and evening hours. Hunters are reminded that hunter harvested bear MUST be checked in at an ODFW field office for sample collection and measurement. Field office staff are frequently out of the office, so please call ahead to the nearest ODFW field office and make an appointment. Field office locations and contact information can be found on the ODFW website.

Cougar - Hunting is open year round. Populations are healthy and distributed throughout the district in any area with a big game prey base. Don’t forget successful hunters must check-in cougars no more than 10 days after harvest; please bring cougar in thawed and with mouth propped open so that field staff can quickly process the animal and get you on your way.

Coyote populations are fairly low throughout Klamath County. Pups have now left their dens, however adults are still very territorial. Coyote vocalization calls still work best until the pups start to disperse, which will be mid to late August. Be aware that bobcats and cougars may respond to predator calls, and separate licensing and season limitations exist for these species.

KLAMATH WILDLIFE AREA

See the regulations for information about hunting at Klamath Wildlife Area. Hunters must obtain a self-serve permit available at the check station on Miller Island Road if hunting on the Miller Island Unit otherwise hunting is open on the Shoalwater Bay, Sesti Tgawaals, and Gorr Island Units without permit. Dove hunting (which closes Oct. 30) has slowed on the Miller Island Unit due to doves migrating south for the winter. Federally approved non-toxic shot is required for all game bird hunting on the Klamath Wildlife Area.

Gorr Island Unit

Gorr Island is located four miles south of the Miller Island Unit in the Klamath River, accessible only by boat. Gorr Island is open daily with no permit required during authorized seasons.

Shoalwater Bay Unit and Sesti Tgawaals Unit

Shoalwater Bay and Sesti Tgawaals are both located on the west side of Upper Klamath Lake approximately 10 miles to the north and west of Klamath Falls. Shoalwater Bay and Sesti Tgawaals Unit are both open for hunting daily with no permit required during authorized seasons.

Miller Island Unit

The Miller Island Unit is located 6 miles south and west of Klamath Falls. The Miller Island Unit is open to hunting on authorized hunt days (please see the 2013-14 Oregon Game Bird Regulations for more information) on a first-come, first-served basis by permit.

Mallard Drake
Mallard in flight
- Photo by Greg Gillson-

Waterfowl Hunting

Klamath Basin waterfowl numbers are available on the US Fish and Wildlife website.

Upland Game Bird Hunting is now closed.

A Wildlife Area Parking Permit is now required to park on the Wildlife Area. Cost is $7 daily or $22 annually. Free with purchase of hunting license; just be sure to put it on your dashboard. Buy online or at an ODFW office that sells licenses or at a license sales agent.

Overnight camping is not allowed on the Miller Island Unit. If you have any questions, please contact Klamath Wildlife Area at (541) 883-5734

LAKE COUNTY

Rifle Elk Elk populations throughout the county are very low compared to other parts of Oregon. Hunter success usually ranges from 2 to 6%. All rifle elk hunts in the county are under limited entry rules with a bull only bag limit.

Bear season continues thru Nov. 30 and populations in the county are low compared to western Oregon or the Blue Mountain zone. Hunters are finding the best success in forest openings that have berry producing shrubs. Hunters are reminded that hunter harvested bear MUST be checked in at an ODFW field office within 10 days of harvest; please bring bear in thawed and with mouth propped open for easier tissue and tooth collection.

Cougar hunting is open. Populations are healthy due to good habitat and prey base. If hunters can find a fresh cougar kill, calling within a ½ mile of that kill can be very effective.

Coyote Pups have dispersed. Calls mimicking prey distress sounds will be effective through the fall. Be aware that bobcats and cougars may respond to predator calls, and separate licensing and season limitations exist for these species.

Forest Grouse season opened on 1 September. There are very few Ruffed Grouse in the county and Blue Grouse populations are restricted to the higher elevation forest openings with berry producing shrubs or aspen. Hunters are asked to provide one wing and the tail of each bird harvested for population monitoring. Contact the Lakeview Office at 541-947-2950 for collection bags.

Upland Bird – Chukar and quail seasons opened on 11 October. The chukar hatch appears to be better than last year. Hunters should focus on the major rims with desert vegetation in the Beatys Butte, Juniper, Wagontire and Warner units. Almost all quail populations are restricted to private land and hunters must get permission before hunting. Hunting opportunity for quail on public land are restricted to the Warner Wetlands and Summer Lake Wildlife Area.

Waterfowl - Season opened on 11 October and hunting conditions are poor throughout most of the county. All the Warner Valley lakes are primarily dry, with the only water being from the springs along the shore line or at the mouths of the creeks. After the recent rains Lake Abert has sheet water but the only permanent water is at the springs along the shore line. Goose Lake is dry.

SUMMER LAKE WILDLIFE AREA

This section was updated on October 28, 2014

The second week of hunting season was only fair for ducks, but poor for geese and upland game birds.  Decoy hunters willing to spend time in the field did well, while pass shooters did very poorly.  Upland bird hunting pressure was light.

Weather conditions were generally unsettled and somewhat stormy most of the week, especially over the weekend. Winds were very strong over the weekend, associated with storms  that brought 1.35 inches of precipitation. Skies were mostly cloudy and winds were moderate to very strong most of the week.

For the 2nd  week of the season, hunter participation (398 check-in) was up slightly (1.5%) from last year and reported harvest (97% check-out) of 541 birds (395 ducks, 113 geese, 15 American coots, 13 California quail and 5 ring-necked pheasants) was up (5.5%) from the same week of the season last year.

Duck harvest was reported to consist of 116 mallards, 87 American wigeon, 65 gadwall, 57 N. shoveler, 34 N. pintail, 15 American green-winged teal, and 21 other ducks of 9 different species. The duck per hunter average of 1.14 was up considerably (66.5%) from last year.

The goose harvest consisted of 91 snow, 13 Canada geese and 9 white-fronted . The goose per hunter average of 0.33 was down -49.4% from last year.

American coot harvest was 66.7% from 2013.

Ring-necked pheasant harvest (5) was one less than last year, while California quail take (13) was down by over half (-53.9%) compared to 2013.

The prospect for the upcoming week remains is fair to good. Weather conditions for the upcoming week are forecasted to mild with cool temperatures, mostly cloudy skies, chances of precipitation and moderate winds. Most waterfowl continue to remain in refuge and/or sanctuary areas or on Summer Lake proper. Food is abundant in these areas and birds will have little need to make foraging flights to other areas unless weather conditions become favorable.

Pass shooting from dikes or along refuge boundaries will continue to be very poor.
Hunters utilizing decoys and willing to spend most of the day in the marsh should continue to have fair to good success.

The weekly waterfowl count conducted on Wednesday Oct. 22 and found about 54,900 ducks and 4,400 geese present and new arrivals over the past week were not obvious. The next count is scheduled for October 29th and results will be posted on the department website and wildlife area’s telephone answering machine the following day.

Habitat conditions were good with most all units being fully flooded or nearly so. Flooding continues to increase, especially along the northwest portion of the head of the lake. Wetland areas off the west side of Bullgate Dike are beginning to flood as is the recently enhanced Bullgate Refuge.

Hunter must obtain a free daily hunting permit that can be obtained at the Checking Station 1.3 miles south of the town of Summer Lake. Permits may be obtained for 2 consecutive days (one for each day) at one time and check-out is required daily or at the end of the 2 day period.

The Check Station lobby area is open and daily hunting permits are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Hunters will need current year hunting licenses with appropriate HIP and Game Bird validations. Please remember, if have a Sports-Pac license; you will have had to return to a POS agent in order to update your waterfowl and upland game bird validations and complete the HIP validation. Federal Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamps (duck stamps) are required for hunters over 16 years and are available from US Post Offices and sometimes license agents. Stamps must be signed across the face in ink to be valid for hunting.

Youths under 18 must have a hunter education card (or certification on their hunting license) in their possession. Please consult the 2014-2015 Oregon Game Bird Regulations for licensing requirements and bag limits.

Mourning dove season remains open through Oct. 30.

Please remember, posted refuges are closed to all hunting. Non-toxic shot is required for all game bird hunting on the wildlife area. Please contact Summer Lake Wildlife Area at (541) 943-3152 or email martin.j.stlouis@state.or.us for additional information.

MALHEUR COUNTY

Drought Most of SE Oregon is in extreme drought conditions however timely spring rains in March and April resulted in good growth of annual grasses creating prime conditions for wildfire. Hunters are reminded to check with the appropriate land management agency for fire restrictions and to follow those restrictions.

Water is extremely limited in places and is impacting distribution of wildlife and livestock. Please avoid camping near limited water sources.

cougar
Cougar
- Royalty Free Image-

Cougar hunting is open. Populations are healthy and distributed throughout the district in any area with a big game prey base. Successful hunters must check-in cougars no more than 10 days after harvest; please bring cougar in thawed and with mouth propped open for easier tissue sampling, teeth collection and tagging.

Coyote hunting is available throughout the district. Coyote pups are dispersing and can be responsive to calls this time of year.

UPLAND BIRDS – Record rain fall in the North end of Malheur County in September 2013 resulted in good fall green up, combined with a mild winter and favorable rains early in the spring upland bird production increased significantly from previous years.

Chukar surveys on established routes yielded 47 chukar per 10 miles and very good production with 11.5 chicks per brood. This is a 135% increase from last year when 20.2 birds per 10 miles were measured and is 7% below the 10-year average of 50.7 birds per 10 miles. The Succor Creek/Leslie Gulch area has only experienced limited recovery. The poor range conditions caused by ongoing invasion of exotic annual grass (medusahead) likely limits the ability of birds in this area to successfully raise broods. The most productive routes were South of Harper in the Cottonwood Canyon, Freezout/Dry Creek (west side of the Owyhee reservoir a North of Hwy 20.

Pheasant - The surveys along established routes yielded 7.4 birds per 10 miles which is a 21% increase in number of birds observed from last year’s survey and 14% below the 10-year average. Chick production above averaged at 4.4 chicks per brood. Hunting prospects will vary depending on the farming practices in the area where you have permission to hunt. The outlying areas around Willow Creek and Vale have higher bird numbers than areas closer to Ontario and Nyssa. There is very little public land pheasant hunting opportunity in the area and the few parcels that are available tend to get hunted daily. One option for private lands access is the Cow Hollow fundraiser to benefit the Cow Hollow Park.

California quail

Quail production was up in agricultural areas and good in rangelands. Surveys on established routes showed 44 quail per 10 miles, up 35% down over last year and 16% above the 10-year average. Production was 9.8 chicks per brood with similar production observed in rangelands. Overall quail populations still remain low in rangelands due to depressed populations from previous years.

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 Southeast Zone Viewing

Greater Yellowlegs

Greater Yellowlegs
- Photo by Greg Gillson-

HARNEY COUNTY

Most migrant shorebirds and sandhill cranes have passed through the area for wintering areas further south. Migrant waterfowl species such as greater white-fronted geese, American widgeon, and northern pintail have started to arrive.  Look to agricultural lands near Burns for viewing opportunities of migrant Canada geese.

As the fall season progresses, look for deer, elk, and antelope to remain active for longer periods of the day.  Many populations of deer and elk will begin to move into lower elevations as severe weather events increase in frequency and daylight hours dwindle.  This annual transition into winter ranges often makes large animals more visible, and may provide opportunities for viewers and photographers. 10/29/14.

KLAMATH COUNTY

Klamath Falls Area

Fall migration will offer some excellent viewing opportunities for shorebirds, raptors, waterfowl, and passerines. Check riparian and wetland areas for best prospects.

Shorebird numbers are increasing as fall migration is underway and breeding season is concluded. American avocet, black-necked stilt, killdeer, Wilson’s phalaropes and their chicks are now present in the Basin. A large number of migrants are staging in good number at this time. Least and western sandpipers, lesser and greater yellowlegs, red-necked and Wilson’s phalaropes and long-billed dowitchers are especially numerous. Most long-billed curlews and willets have departed the area.

Now is the time to look for unusual vagrants passing through the area.

Sandhill cranes are now staging in Yonna and Langell Valley. Check harvested grain fields near wetland areas for best viewing opportunities.

American white pelicans can be readily observed on Upper Klamath and Agency Lakes. These large piscivorous (fish-eating) aquatic birds are a colonial nesting species that nest in only a few locations in the Klamath Basin including Clear Lake Refuge, Lower Klamath Refuge, and on Upper Klamath Lake.

Thousands of lesser scaup, bufflehead, goldeneye, and northern shovelor have arrived on Upper Klamath Lake. Rafts of up to several thousand ducks can be seen from either Highway 97 north along Upper Klamath Lake or Highway 140 west near Howards Bay. This is a must see opportunity for any uninitiated to this areas migration. 10/13/14.

Klamath Wildlife Area

A Wildlife Area Parking Permit is required to park on the Wildlife Area. Cost is $7 daily or $22 annually. Free with purchase of hunting license. Buy online or at an ODFW office that sells licenses or at a license sales agent. Learn more.

Due to severe drought conditions a large portion of the Miller Island Unit is dry, however some areas have retained a little water and these areas can be excellent for wildlife viewing.

Waterfowl

Great Basin Canada geese can be found scattered throughout the Miller Island Unit along with mallards, northern pintail, gadwall, northern shoveler, cinnamon teal and American green-winged teal. At the Shoalwater Bay Unit ruddy duck, bufflehead and wood ducks can also be seen.

Shorebirds, waders and other waterbirds

Shorebird numbers continue to increase on the wildlife area as fall progresses. Large numbers of long-billed dowitchers, least and western sandpipers, lesser and greater yellow legs, American avocets, black-necked stilts and white-faced ibis can currently be seen on the wildlife area.

White pelicans and double crested cormorants can be seen in large numbers on the Klamath River.

Pied billed, western and Clark’s grebes can also be found on the wildlife area and Klamath River.

Turkey Vulture
Turkey Vulture
-Photo by Cathy Nowak-

Raptors

Turkey vulture can be seen riding the thermals above the Miller Island Unit. Great horned and barn owls can be seen at dusk. Red-tailed hawks, northern harriers, cooper hawks, prairie falcons and American bald eagles can be seen foraging throughout the wildlife area.

Upland Game Birds

California quail are scattered around the old homesteads and the headquarters area.

Passerines

Mourning and Eurasian collared dove can be found scattered over the area. Barn and cliff swallows, American goldfinches, house finches, spotted towhees and yellow rumped warblers continue to be a common site throughout the area.

Marsh wrens and song sparrows can be found in dense stands of tall emergent hardstem bulrush and broad-leaved cattail and are very numerous.

Brewer’s, red-winged and yellow-headed blackbirds remain fairly numerous at this time.

Klamath Basin waterfowl numbers are available on the US Fish and Wildlife website.

Overnight camping is not allowed on the Miller Island Unit. If you have any questions, please contact Klamath Wildlife Area at (541) 883-5734. 9/16/14.

LAKE COUNTY

All of the large shallow lakes in the county are dry and therefore most migrating shore birds will bypass the county this fall. There are a few shore birds using the fresh water springs and shallow channels remaining in Lake Abert. Summer resident passerines are starting to leave the county.

Sumer resident raptors are common throughout the county. Winter raptors should be showing up throughout October. 10/28/14.

SUMMER LAKE WILDLIFE AREA

This section was updated on Oct. 27, 2014.

Summer Lake Wildlife Area requires a new calendar year 2014 $7 daily parking permit or a $22 annual parking permit. Parking permits can be purchased at any ODFW license agent or through the ODFW website. Locally, parking permits can be purchased at the Summer Lake Store, 1.3 miles north of Headquarters.

Vehicle access to the Wildlife Viewing Loop and major dike roads (Windbreak and Work Road) is closed for the remainder of the year.

Wetland conditions are good; semi-permanent marshes and sizeable areas of seasonally flooded wetlands are receiving heavy waterbird use. Water levels in most seasonal wetlands and some semi-permanent marsh units continue to increase due to precipitation, reduced evapotranspiration, cooler temperatures and the end of irrigation season diversions. Emergent vegetation remains very robust and erect.

Waterfowl

Waterfowl populations continue to increase as migrants arrive. Birds are widely dispersed across the entire wildlife area due to excellent habitat conditions.

The weekly count conducted on October 22 found nearly 55,000 ducks (12 species) on the area. Good numbers of migrant northern pintail, northern shoveler, American wigeon and American green-winged teal and some divers (canvasback and ringneck) were observed.

Snow geese swirl across the skies of Summer Lake Wildlife Area. Spring 2011
View full size.
- Video by Dave Budeau-

Lesser snow geese are staging in fair numbers now, nearly 3,400 were present. Canada geese are widely scattered across the wildlife area’s wetlands and numbered about 750 on the weekly count. Greater white-fronted geese are beginning to decline as they continue their migration to California wintering areas, about 200 were observed.

Resident trumpeter swans number about 15-20 non-breeders, all part of restoration efforts, can be found scattered across the wildlife area. One pair successfully nested this year and is rearing one cygnet at this time. All of these birds will be neck-banded with green collars and white alphanumeric symbols. Viewers are encouraged to “read” the collars and report them to wildlife area personnel. Collars will have the Greek letter Theta (Ѳ) and two side-ways laying numerals that are read from the body toward the head.  Over the past weekend, the season’s first migrant tundra swans were observed.

Shorebirds, waders and other waterbirds

Shorebird numbers continue to decline at this time as fall migration is nearly over. A few long-billed dowitchers, killdeer and yellowlegs remain. Very few gulls and terns remain and only a few American white pelican and double-crested cormorants can still be found on the area.  

Sandhill cranes have migrated south to wintering areas in California. American coots remain very numerous, over 20,000 were found during the weekly count.

Several species of grebes (eared, western, pied-billed and Clark’s) can be found scattered across the wildlife area. A few American bittern, great blue herons, great egrets and an occasional white-faced ibis continue to be observed. Of interest was the observation of a snowy egret over the past weekend.

Raptors and others

Resident and migrant raptors, especially red-tailed hawks are scattered throughout the Wildlife Area as well as on private lands along Hwy 31. Northern harriers are commonly observed over marsh and hay meadows. Bald and golden eagle can be occasionally observed. A red-shouldered hawk has been present at the Headquarters Orchard area for the past several weeks, and migrant accipiters are occasionally observed.

Prairie falcons are frequently observed and peregrine falcons have been observed recently hunting migrant waterfowl and shorebirds.

Great horned owls can be found scattered across the entire wildlife area, especially in the trees at campgrounds and common-barn owls are sometimes observed at Headquarters.  Over the past weekend, short-eared owls were observed at the head of Summer Lake.

Upland game birds

California quail and ring-necked pheasants are widely scattered across the north end of the wildlife area.  Coveys of quail are sometimes seen, especially around the Headquarters Refuge.  Pheasants are difficult to observed since hunting seasons have started.

Passerines

Eurasian collared doves remain very numerous at Headquarters Complex and mourning doves are occasionally observed.

American and lesser goldfinches continue to be observed in fair numbers at Headquarters. Song sparrows are very common along dikes and levees. American robins and sometimes cedar waxwings are fairly abundant around Headquarters now. Migrant white-crowned sparrows are numerous at this time and a few golden-crowned sparrows and spotted towhees have been observed recently.

Rufous Hummingbird

Rufous Hummingbird
- Photo by Patti Abbott-

Hummingbird activity at the Headquarters feeders is nearly over, although a couple of individuals were observed over the past week.

Marsh wrens and song sparrows can be found in dense stands of tall emergent hardstem bulrush and broad-leaved cattail and are very numerous.

Blackbird numbers are declining at this time, although a few large flocks continue to be observed. Large flocks of European starlings continue to be observed.

Facilities and Access

Please remember: Calendar year 2014 parking permits are required!

Summer Lake Wildlife Area requires a $7 daily parking permit or a $22 annual parking permit. Parking permits can be purchased at any Point of Sale Agent or through the ODFW website.

Locally, parking permits can be purchased at the Summer Lake Store, 1.3 miles north of Headquarters.

The Wildlife Viewing Loop and major dike roads (Windbreak and Work Road) are now closed for the remainder of the year.

The Wildlife Viewing Blind on the edge of Schoolhouse Lake Refuge affords an excellent opportunity to view a wide variety of waterbirds.

Camping is permitted at four sites on the Wildlife Area. Campgrounds are primitive but each has vault toilets, trash barrels and a few picnic tables.

Habitat

Currently nearly most of the wildlife area’s wetlands are fairly well flooded.

Bullgate Refuge remains largely partially dry from the recently completed wetland enhancement work. Flooding is underway at this time.

Summer Lake continues to increase in size at this time. A good amount of water is flowing into the northern portion of the lake now, but the remainder of the playa is dry. Exposed and newly flooded emergent marsh areas and muddy shorelines will provide good habitat conditions for waterfowl staging.

Emergent wetland vegetation is beginning to move into fall senescence across all wetland areas now.

Upland habitat remains in excellent condition with considerable residual vegetation and extensive new growth of grasses and forbs that is providing high quality food and cover for many wildlife species. Planted tree and shrub plots are providing excellent sheltered sites for many wildlife species. Nearly all shrub species have set an abundant fruit crop.

Please contact Summer Lake Wildlife Area at (541) 943-3152 or e-mail martin.j.stlouis@state.or.us for additional information.

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